Keaton was moving slower than before, shuffling even. Sage stopped at the turn, and leaned on her stick, looking at the drooping prince. He didn’t notice that she had stopped until his head almost collided with her stomach.

“I can’t go on, not without some water,” his voice was raspy, tongue darting continuously over his lips.

Sage spent a moment more looking down at him, “We’ll make camp for the night here. There’s no traps for at least ten yards in either direction of the corner.”

“What about water?”

“If you drank all of your canteen, then there is none.”

The prince sat down heavily, legs skewed as he sank back against the thick bushes of the labyrinths walls. “Two days in here and already I’m dying.”

“Just go to sleep.”

Keaton’s eyes narrowed, almost glaring at Sage as she took out her own roll and cloak, and started busying herself with some trail rations and other bits.

Clumsy fingers pulled his own roll from his backpack, and he fell back on it, cloak not quite covering him until he curled up underneath it. The weakest cough he had ever heard came out from his throat, one hand covering his skin as the air pushed over the dry interior. Grumbling, he rolled over so he didn’t have to look at the heartless person. He was sure that she had some water left in her canteen.

Morning woke him with a drop of dew on his cheek. Keaton’s mouth sprang open, rough tongue darting out in the vain hope of catching it. The cold air caught in his throat, and a series of rasping coughs tore up his throat, sending him bolt upright, arms wrapping round his chest, pulling tight.

“You really don’t get along well with mornings, do you?”

Keaton glowered up at her, eyes watering as he continued to cough. Sage reached up and pulled a skin off a line strung above them he hadn’t noticed.


When his coughs had subsided, he reached out a hand to take the neck of the bag, and peered inside. Crystal clear water glinted at him. Keaton sacrificed breathing as he gulped the drink down, throat bobbing up and down furiously as the dry skin finally got some relief.

“You know that you’ll give yourself a stomach ache drinking that fast, right?”

Only when he had drained the skin dry did he take gasp in a lungful of air. “Maybe if I had had water last night, I wouldn’t have needed to.”

“You seem to forget; we’re in a maze now. There are no taps, no streams, no active sources of water. Each night I set up a series of bags designed to catch the morning dew, and that is our water for the day. Learn to ration what you have, or go to bed thirsty each night.”