Rayad came later that day. Kenno froze when he saw the man, but Rayad didn’t reach for his sword. In fact, he didn’t say a word. He threw a pile of food on the ground and hung a large waterskin from a peg on the wall. Then he stepped toward Kenno.

Kenno fought to keep himself from recoiling. Though he didn’t know what the man was going to do, he couldn’t let himself show the fear gripping his body. But Rayad only reached forward, untied Kenno’s gag, and threw it onto the ground. Then he turned silently, walked out, and bolted the door behind him.

After another moment of frozen silence, Kenno exhaled a long breath.

He wasn’t going to die.

Kenno ate a small amount of the food and then settled down to think. It seemed as if he would be here a while, at least if Rayad got his way. He would have to find something to do all day, and preferably also find a way to keep his body from completely deteriorating from unuse.

But he wasn’t going to die.

The next morning, Leyon came back. As soon as the man opened the door, his eyes moved to the food and water Rayad had left. He stopped and said, “He’s going to let you live.”

Kenno nodded. Leyon headed over to him and untied his hands. Then he reached down toward Kenno’s feet and began to untie the ropes binding his ankles.

Kenno gave Leyon an odd look. The man had never fully untied him before.

In response to the glance, Leyon said quietly, “It looks like you’ll be here a while.” He shrugged. “You need a chance to move around.”

Leyon stepped away and sat down against the wall. Kenno hesitantly pushed himself to his feet. Shards of pain instantly shot through his whole body, and he caught himself against the wall. He hadn’t stood fully in so long.

What was he supposed to do, anyway? Just pace back and forth? It didn’t help that he wasn’t remotely healed from everything Rayad had put him through, and that he’d hardly moved his arms and legs in days. But with difficulty, Kenno started to walk along the length of the room.

On Kenno’s second step, his left leg buckled. He stumbled against the wall and barely kept himself from falling, grimacing in pain and balancing on his right leg. He’d forgotten about his injury.

He glanced down at his calf. The wound didn’t appear to be infected—likely thanks to Leyon, however little Kenno wanted to admit it—but it wasn’t nearly healed. Not enough that he could walk, at least.

“This isn’t going to work,” Kenno muttered, sinking down against the wall.

“It will eventually,” Leyon said.

“How long are you planning to do this?” Kenno asked, a bit shortly.

“As long as I need to,” Leyon said.

Kenno clenched his jaw. He didn’t want Leyon to do all this for him. Yet at the same time he knew he couldn’t bear it without him.

Kenno stretched his arms forward, despite the pain it caused, and then moved them slowly through the air. He might as well take some advantage of the chance for movement. Leyon didn’t watch him, which made Kenno feel less strange.

When Kenno had finished, Leyon retied him and left, but Kenno didn't feel the same despair that he had previous times. He wasn't going to die, and some things, at least, could maybe be okay.