Xuan tried to concentrate, to understand what was happening, but it was a challenge even to stay conscious. Every muscle felt numb and sluggish, and his vision kept blurring in and out.
They’d pushed themselves too hard, his brain finally realized. He and Duvoss had known this might happen. Of course they had.
But that was how hyper state exhaustion worked, subtle and creeping and numbing. A quiet crevice between the two minds would form, and it was only too common for neither one to realize what was happening until it was too late.
And because he’d drifted, he didn’t know how much time had passed since the fight began, either. It could have been one minute; it could have been twenty.
It couldn’t have been that long, though, because he was still himself. Mostly. He hadn’t totally lost it and started attacking his own comrades, at least. That was something.
But that was definitely where his mind had been headed. He could still feel the lingering weight that had been growing in his soul a moment ago. A twisted mixture of despair and rage. If it had progressed to hunger, too, then...
He didn’t think about it. He needed to focus. What was happening?
He looked around. Everything was a mess. The room was unfamiliar. Had they moved? Of course they had. Where were they now? Too difficult to tell. Who was still fighting?
Asad and Qorvass were down, Xuan saw. The reaper was bleeding out of the Sandlord’s torso.
Zeff and Axiolis were on one knee--still alive and covered in thin trails of fog and ice. But they were struggling to hold it together. Their merge was probably going to end soon, if it wasn’t already happening.
Dimas? Xuan couldn’t see--no. There he was. Him and Iziol. On the ground behind Darktide.
Darktide was still standing? Still fighting? Of course he was. That ridiculous bastard.