The Dead Man watched as the Witch-Queen paced the grounds of their new quarters. The Lord of Brimone had granted them lodging, pleased on hearing the news of the Mercenary's death. The Witch-Queen clutched her lacking right arm, the fresh bandages she had applied only moments ago staining quickly with more blood.
“Curse Mariqah!” the Witch-Queen muttered, “Even in death, the wretched mercenary plagues me!”
There were some things about magic that the Witch-Queen had always found stupid, although she never deigned to question as to why such things were.
Not until now.
The wielding if magic required a right hand. The Mercenary must have known this. And now, not only did the Witch-Queen lack her own right hand, but the wound would not heal and the means of a cure to such a circumstance were scarce, perhaps non-existent. The Witch-Queen could not re-grow her hand, if the wound was incapable of healing.
As it was, the Witch-Queen was using all her time and energy to minimize the flow of blood. It would be ridiculous - even embarrassing - to die of something like blood-loss at this point.
“Damn that woman!” the Witch-Queen cursed.
The Dead Man sat up.
His strength had been restored, so that he could move freely without his decaying parts falling away from him. Nothing could be done about his appearance, however, so he kept his body hidden in tight leathers, his face covered with a simple cloth, and a wide-brimmed hat covered his head: shadowing the gap he allowed for his eyes. He was unnaturally thin and appeared taller than he was.
The Dead Man certainly wasn't a pleasant sight to behold.
“She is gone, mistress,” said the Dead Man, as a means of comfort, “she can plague you no further.”
The Witch-Queen gave him a sour look. She envied how naïve the Dead Man could be. Although, her envy often burnt into annoyance immediately.
“Either say something useful or nothing at all, Ethelred,” she snapped.
The Dead Man let out a raspy sigh, “You must cauterise the wound, mistress.”
The Witch-Queen pursed her lips, “If I cauterise the wound, there will be no remedying my hand thereafter. I need my magic. It is the entity which has given me power,” the Witch-Queen chewed her lip thoughtfully, “The sword... The sword that Mariqah used had been enchanted. That can only mean one thing: Gwyn.”
The Dead Man hesitated, “The Old Witch will not help you.”
“I'll make her help me.”
“Mistress...” the Dead Man looked away, feeling the marks on his forehead glow. The markings granted him a certain measure of foresight. He knew that the Old Witch would not aid the Witch-Queen. He was about to mention as much when something else struck his mind.
“You have bigger problems to worry about, mistress,” the Dead Man said.
“Bigger than a constantly-bleeding arm?” queried the Witch-Queen, furrowing her brows.
The Dead Man paused, “Lady Flaed of Battersea has been killed,” the Dead Man regarded the Witch-Queen as her eyes grew bulbous in shock, “by the one you once cursed.”