Peter nodded, stepping away before he had finished bandaging Phillip’s limp and squidgy arm, as though he had been given an electric shock.
“I need you to help me, brother. I need you to overcome your fears, no matter how hard it may seem.”
Still, Peter was hesitant. Phillip decided a different approach was then necessary.
“I know that you want to help me,” his voice was calm but full of bitter sadness. “Not just in this, but with bringing Aidelle home too. Yes, I’ll admit now that it is too hard for me to continue without her. Maybe it is my punishment to suffer all these bumps and bruises… Punishment for leaving…” Phillip paused, and spat the metallic blood from his mouth before continuing.
“But it is punishment more being separated from her. To be honest, without you here to support me, Peter, I might well have taken my own life, if only to quell the agony that my heart bears inside. Family is everything, yes, but Aidelle is, to me, more than anything; she means more than this world can bring, more fire than a thousand stars, and more spirit than that which is hidden with the gods.
“I need your help- and your knowledge of something that is beyond us- to get my queen back where she belongs: here; and beside me wherever else I shall travel.
First though, I need you to bite your fears, as the wild dog does, and be my physician.”
After his magnificent speech, then it was becoming harder for Phillip to speak, and he was beginning to feel light-headed from the pain and loss of blood.
Peter nodded, steadying himself by studying the intricacies of the old carpet below his feet, and when he finally looked up (and after a near minute of silence), Phillip was surprised to see that Peter had tears in his eyes, shining like a beam of sunlight that had caught an emerald jewel unawares.
“I’ll try,” he said, as he resumed tying the bandages. As to explain, Peter also said:
“When I was recruited as a soldier working across The Big Sea, I saw much bloodshed, but I also saw many men recover. That is why I always turned myself to face the doctor’s tent and the future it brought, not the burning battle and the end of someone’s fate.
“Also, having been around father for the better part of his career, and Andrew at the beginning of his, I have often seen the way they prepare and practice. Now, for me, tying bandages becomes a simple task.”