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"No I'm not drunk," I said. "I just think it's time."
I could barely make it out, but it sounded like a weak, gasping scream. Sitting up in bed, I heard something that sounded like weeping. I threw off the covers, and slid out of the bed. Walking around the room, I traced the sound to a wall -- the one separating my room from Gwen's.
Grabbing my sword, thoughts of some drunk having broken into her room rushing through my head, I headed out my own door, and pressed my ear against hers. I could hear the sound of her crying quite clearly.
Opening the door, I saw her pull the covers up and gasp. Her eyes were red, and tears streamed down her cheeks. I shut the door, and lay my sword down on a chest of drawers nearby. "Are you okay, Gwen?" I asked, while lighting a lamp on the table next to my sword.
Sniffling, she said, "I had a dream about... About..." Gwen started to cry again, and I walked over to the bed.
She was sobbing into her sheets, and I stood there for a moment, not knowing what to do. After a few false starts, I reached out and stroked her back gently. "It's okay, no matter what it was about, it was just a dream."
Her voice broken up by gasps for breath, Gwen looked up at me and said, "How I wish it was only a dream. If it were, my father and everyone else in Moonbrooke would be alive."
"Oh, Gwen..." I said helplessly. I could only guess how much she'd heard, hidden away in a cellar when Hargon launched his attack on Moonbrooke Castle. Worse, she might have seen the devastation, if they'd dragged her out of the cellar, before transforming her into a dog.
I sat down on the bed, continuing to stroke her back in the only comforting gesture I could really provide her. After a minute or two, she threw her arms around me, weeping up against my bare chest. I wrapped my arms around her too, holding her and rocking back and forth, as I might have with a fussy baby in my arms.
It took quite some time, but Gwen eventually cried out her tears. Sniffling, she wiped her face on the sheets, and lamented, "I must look absolutely dreadful."
She was only wearing a light linen nightgown, something I hadn't noticed yet in my concern for her. I tore my eyes away from the clear outline of her breasts beneath the cloth, which confirmed my earlier guess from the beach. I was glad I only noticed the sight out of the corner of my eye, and so I wasn't staring right at them before I snapped out of it. "Nothing to be ashamed of, Gwen."
Gwen sighed, "How can I ever hope to fight Hargon, if I can't even withstand a dream I've had more times than I can count?"
Taking her trembling hand, I said, "Because you're the only one who can. You, Thakkor, and Lars are the only hope of saving everyone from Hargon. Life continues for now, but how long will it last? He's going to get stronger, and that's when the nightmare at Moonbrooke will be repeated everywhere. You've made it this far, because you have the inner strength and conviction to do what must be done. You're of the blood of Erdrick, blessed by Rubiss, and in the end -- you'll win."
"I wish I was that confident," Gwen chuckled with a hint of self-depreciation.
"You can do it, Gwen. Stop Hargon, rebuild Moonbrooke, and reverse all the damage he's done to the world."
She looked up at me, smiling, and then I saw a rush of color flood her cheeks. "I'm sorry I woke you."
I shrugged my left shoulder, still holding her right hand in mine. "I couldn't sleep anyhow. Seems to happen every time I drink. I tried to sop some of it up with some more stew, but it doesn't seem to have done the trick."
The storm kicked up again, rattling the Inn stronger than ever.