So Paks, Saben and Canna are off picking berries. Paks has Probable Feelings for Saben, Saben has Serious Feelings for Paks, and Canna is Just Cool in General. As Young CW had never encountered GRR Martin, she had no idea how bad this combo is re: plot matters. I hope you brought kleenex.
The Halvarics sounds Obvious Alarm. Paks is not yet practiced enough to understand that Obvious Alarm means You Fucking Run For The Nearest Weapon And God Help You If You Are Slow. Her buddies also stand their like idiots and watch a massive collum of People march on the fort. They don't start moving until the enemy start shooting their own people, and of course by now the only place they can run is for the nearst pile of brush. This gets Canna shot in the shoulder. Bonus points for her, she makes no noise whatsoever. But now they're in the middle of an ambush with one third of their party mortally wounded. Good going Paks.
They pull the arrow from Canna's shoulder. Somehow this manages to neither kill nor cripple her (There are several major veins, arteries and nerves, not to mention bones, in that very small, cramped space. If an arrow isn't lodged in a bone, odds are it's lodged in something even less arrow-friendly.)
Also: the enemy clearly wants to rape the women in Paks's little party. Nice.
So now they have to hike to Rotengre with a wounded girl. So they do the smartest thing they can: Stuff themselves with food. No, really, this is smart. Food is important, and they've been gathering berries for hours. Vitimine C is strong with berries, it'll ward off infection in Canna and it'll give Sabin and Paks the energy to make it to the city. NEVER underestimate the value of food.
They also have cheese and meat, which are apparently Fantasy World Staples. They give these to Canna because they figure she needs them.
tone. "I know neither of you are Girdsmen, but— I wish you would join me in prayer. At least for the confusion of our enemies." "That I'll go along with," said Saben. "But won't Gird be angry if non-Girdsmen pray in his name?" "No," replied Canna. "He welcomes all honorable warriors." She reached into her tunic, the cloth rustling as she moved, and pulled out her holy symbol. Paks heard the faint chinking of the links of the chain. "Holy Gird, patron of warriors, protector of the weak, strengthen our arms and warm our hearts for the coming battles. Courage to our friends, and confusion to our enemies."I really, really love this. I DO believe that God answers even the prayers of non-believers and it's kind of awesome to see that kind of thing in print. (It's also why I find LKH's faith-based protections offensive. God wants to preserve people, IMHO; making their safety and salvation be dependent on how strongly they believe seems kind of self-defeating in my book. He fucking DIED for you. He can weather your non-belief just fine) Anyhoo, it gives God (in whatever form) an existance beyond the faith. Gird, in this case, is less dependant on your legalism. He cares more about how much help you actually need right now.
They weather the first night intact. They make it almost to dawn when they hit the enemy's first patrol. Not good. The best part is they identify the hostage-taker as the Honeycat. Which isn't exactly a positive.
They have a breif arguement over who is in command. Canna wins, with Paks as a second. And then this happens:
"Another thing— if one of us is caught , or killed, or— or whatever— the others must go on. Someone has to get to the Duke, no matter what, or the whole thing is wasted. Clear?"Paks and Saben protest, naturally. It's all for one, one for all, right? Canna is quick to set them straight:
"We're warriors first," said Canna firmly. "That's what we're here for. If you accept my command, you must accept this. We're warriors , and our duty is to our Duke. He's the only one who can help the rest, anyway. I'd leave you— I wouldn't want to, but I would. And you'll leave me, if it comes to that, rather than let the whole cohort be lost, and the Company after it."
I kind of want to marry this.
The chapter ends with Paks hearing some kind of drum.