I took a few hours to rest below deck and gather my strength. Oahu was there waiting. Unlike Koen, he follows orders. He'd kept such a low profile people had forgotten he was below, studying, guarding my belongings, and catching the occasional rat. I crawled into the hamock, and Oahu rose from where he was crouched over an Alchemy primer and stood by attentively, ears tilting in a sign of concern.
"Waz wrong wit ya, Doc? You sweatin wit fevah!"
Indeed, I was sweating profusely and my heartbeat was elevated.
"I must be mad," I said. "I must be completely mad. I've used the Staff of Ra on ground troops, burning them alive! I brought the Song of Osiris with me with full intent to use it! Not even Bloodwing dared use it in his moment of greatest spite! The King of Heliopolis uses that spell to clear the way for the Sun Barge. And I, a mere mortal..?"
"Doc, if anybody can handle dese magics, is you! Ah look out de porthole, Ah see people workin' in fields full o' rice breakin dey backs, but dey still gots no meat on dem. Ah see peoples cut up bad, lashed up an' chopped up. Ah see dem catchin' rats an cookin' dem an' sellin' dem! Ah never see humans do dat, not even me urchin friends! If dis Emperah is so bad if he don' care if his people live or die, and he gots magic makers keepin' him on, den you gotta use evry ting you gots!"
I held his paws in my hands as he leaned in closer. He guided my hands over my chest.
"Oahu...this is the strongest spell I have. Even if is works...my soul could be obliterated by.."
"Destroyed. I'd be forever dead. No amount of reanimation fluid could bring me back."
"Doc...is you choice in de end...but even if you do die...all you friends gon' rememba what you did, dyin' to help you friend and free dese people."
I took a deep breath as I used my spiritual training to slow my heart down.
"You gon' bring de Vortex back. You gon' build you daughta 'gain. You gon' settle tings wit' Koen."
I felt a twinge at the mention of his name.
"He should be happy he got an' extra life, Doc. I speak to 'im for you if I gotta."
I chuckled as I closed my eyes. I felt Oahu rest his mane on my chest. He purred as I scratched it.
"A fine servant you are," I whispered. "A fine servant indeed..."