“If you’re in contact, yes.” Theodora answered plainly. “and don’t worry Zorikh, our secret’s safe with Grendel, as it is with Beowulf. Grendel’s had an idea for quite some time.”
“Though I’ve never actually been to that place before,” Grendel said, “a most beautiful place. Very interesting indeed.”
Grendel looked over his shoulder at Beowulf, who was beckoning for one of his warriors to come and help him. “You must be Beowulf,” Grendel said politely, “Theodora has told me much about you, Ecgtheow’s son. Thank you for coming to help me.”
Beowulf smiled grimly. “I would not have missed the chance to aid my lady Theodora, or the opportunity to meet you Grendel.” He looked over the giant’s back one last time before saying, “Your wounds aren’t bad at all, it seems I can pluck most of them out…”
“Yes, I have tough hide…” said Grendel.
Beowulf continued, “But one has gone between the bones of your collar and shoulder, we’ll have to cut it out.” At this, Grendel shrugged and gave his assent. “Actually, Herrig here will cut it out. He’s our steadiest hand.”
The thane Herrig stepped forward with a small dagger. Apparently, Grendel’s size alarmed him greatly, for he approached with caution. In fact, all of Beowulf’s men stared openly at the enormous stranger who sat taller than many of them stood. “This- this may hurt you a bit… Lord Grendel.” Herrig stammered.
“Of course it will hurt,” Grendel said evenly, “and I’m no lord, good thane. ‘Grendel’ will do just fine.” He waited patiently while Herrig pulled the shallower barbs from his back, then clenched his teeth as the thane dug the dagger point into his flesh around the deepest shaft.
Excruciating moments later, Herrig pulled the remaining arrow from Grendel’s shoulder and washed his wounds. “So much for my nice tunic,” Grendel muttered. Theodora dressed and bandaged him.
“Hrothgar deliberately betrayed us, if what you say is true,” she said to Beowulf and Zorikh, “and I know both of you enough to trust your word.”
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