As crazy as it had been, Twynam's idea had worked. Even though he'd been wounded by an arrow in the process, which could very well have been dipped in a deadly poison.
Kiara had done for him all that she could, but the rest was up to luck. If the arrow wasn't poisoned, fairly sterile, hadn't hit any major organs, nerves or blood vessels, he might live.
For Kate's sake, who was sitting at his side, holding his hand and talking to him soothingly as if she didn't know he was unconscious, Kiara hoped he survived.
On the bright side, the enemy had just been blasted to nothing.
Most of the Fae left were dead, the rest mortally wounded and taking their final breaths, the endless wave of enemies brought to an end.
Except, hopefully, the one saved for her. She could only hope it was a creature that was relatively similar to what had poisoned her blood, and that the poison hadn't reached any arteries quite yet.
At best she had a few weeks, maybe a month before the venom would probably take hold. Who knew the horrors of what the poison would do?
She could end up hallucinating, insane, paralyzed, disfigured, or, more likely than not, dead.
Despite the indifference she presented to the world, Kiara was definitely not ready to die.
Her life had not yet even started.
Tossing aside the sword in her hands with annoyance, she hunkered down onto a nearby boulder, catching her breath.
Norida looked happy from the victory despite the tear stains down her face. She had probably just realized firsthand the pain and relief of surviving a war.
Perhaps it would have been better if Kiara was martyred to their cause, dubbed a hero rather than spend her final days rotting in a bed somewhere, reduced to nothing.
She wondered briefly how her death would affect the Hawks, if at all.
Yes, she was the primary doctor in their camp, but Dreda could probably replace her if she trained her in the little time she had left.
If she let go of her pride and taught a few of the women all of her fighting technique they could pass it on.
Kiara's significance could and would be easily maintained beyond death.
But there were things she had to settle first.
She was up a few moments later, surveying the battlefield to search for survivors.
Human, to try and save. Fae, to put out of their misery.
Any able-bodied Hawks in her immediate vicinity were recruited in carrying bodies of their own, living and dead, back to the camp. She would organize a funereal service for the fallen and recheck the treatments she had just administered.
And then, grabbing a few sacks she'd brought along, Kiara started collecting different Fae bodies inside them.
The small ones fit but the bigger ones just lost a head and a hand or foot, being sketched methodically into her little book.
Her samples were left by a tree to be carried back to her tent, but she still had an empty sack gripped tightly in her hands.
Time to find the Fae she'd been promised.
She made haste in finding where it had been hidden, grabbing the slightly stirring thing and shoving it into the bag.
It didn't look at all like the pixie that had bitten her. It would have immense scientific significance, yes, but likely none when it came to an antidote.
The body of the pixie itself was nowhere to be seen, probably blown to bits in the explosion that was still ringing in her ears.
Her breathing slowed as she strolled behind the cover of a few trees, washing some of the blood off of her face and hands and taking the opportunity to survey the bite.
The swelling had gone down but the blackening veins and yellowed skin had spread further down her neck, darker and extremely sore to the touch. She looked for fresh bandage but, realizing that she had run out, had no choice but to pull the collar on her shirt up to hide her neck, hoping that it would stay in place for the time being and that the strange clear pus she'd noticed would stop soon.
Kiara was a dying woman, preoccupied with keeping any of her comrades from worrying any more than they already did.
If only her father could see her now.