The strangers have six casters, in their group, that Qiri can count. Qiri's group has four counting him, and they got split up awhile ago when the strangers started that earthquake. Qiri is stuck with Master Huo. Master Huo is dying, but since Qiri is chained up he can't use that to escape, or attack Master Huo. The master's magic is uninjured, and he can reach Qiri's from where he lies, and Qiri is sitting there, goosepimpled, enduring it. He wonders if Master Huo might be in enough pain to distract him, if Qiri tried to wrench his magic away, but he doesn't think so. He can squirm around a fair bit under Master Yu and Master Zao if only one of them is using him for a spell - and if he wants to earn himself a beating - but not Huo.
He doesn't get nauseous anymore, like he did when he was a kid. So there's that.
Huo's casting a healing spell, moving Qiri's magic around this way and that to set it up. Qiri assumes it's going to target Master Huo, but spells don't know who anyone is. Qiri can't distract himself, not with his spine tingling and all his magic cringing under the slide of Huo's. Instead he tries to concentrate on something less directly sensory: how's the spell targeting? How is Huo going to make sure it heals him, and not Qiri's irritated skin under where the chains sit, the injuries to his fingers from the last time he irritated Master Yu, the probably broken toe sustained in the earthquake?
He figures it out when the spell is probably almost over: it's going to target the most injured person, and Qiri is a little banged up but Master Huo's got an arrow to the gut and a slice through his thigh that's probably going to bleed him out before the abdominal wound can kill him. It's objectively pretty impressive that he can concentrate enough to make his magic force Qiri's through the motions he wants.
Then, dimly around the cloying sensation of Huo's magic over his, Qiri notices a group of the stranger mages approaching, standing close together, back to back to back, doing something -
And he and Huo are banished somewhere else.