----- SKIP TO THE BIT I LIKE BECAUSE I LITERALLY HAVE NO IDEA AS TO HOW TO TAKE THIS AND THERE IS LITERALLY NO TIME LEFT. LIKE LITERALLY. LITERALLY.
We raced down the stone passageway to the dungeons, in the saftey of the darkness but careful not to make a sound. Someone would hear us and then the trouble would begin. Zephina led the way with her stealthy figure and Elias protected us from behind but it didn’t comfort me. I was terrible at fighting regardless of the little training Zephina and Elias had both given me over the course of the months we had been together.
Panting due to my poor physical shape, I pushed myself down the last step and hoped that the cell was close. Over the course of the last week we had found that the Xana girl was kept in the 3rd cell of the 4th room, right in the centre of the fortress thanks to some careless talk, a flirty zephina and a very ignorant boy.
Zephina took her position on the shady corner with Elias in the other as I breathed in my worries and took a few steps forward in the most regal manner I could fake.
“Achem,” I said, to a burly silhouette guarding what I supposed was the cell holding the Xana. It caught his attention and just as he was about to tell me to leave I raised a hand.
“Do you not know?” I snarled, “Do you not know?”
“No. No I don’t. But I do know you are not authorised to be here. So leave or I will make you leave,” he smiled revealing a set of crooked teeth.
“Don’t you dare. I am here from the General. Did she not tell you?” I said, taking a cautious step forward in the hope it would seem intimidating.
He folded his arms, UN amused. I took another breath. This was not working well. He didn’t believe the lies.
Just as I was about to talk / plead again, an arrow flew past my ear to his chest. I twisted and saw Zephina holding her bow in one hand and gesturing me on. “You’re welcome,” she stage whispered, jumping over the groaning body to the cell.
It was not as I had expected. Instead of the normal bars and moaning figures throughout the entirety of the dungeons, there was another engraved door. It was to be expected, though, wasn’t it? An xana would easily escape through wood and stone and steel. They could only be contained by their advantage, magic. Their only benefit was their only liability.
Zephina turned the knob but it didn’t open.
“Doors need someone who has had their blood inscribed into it,” She said in a matter of fact way, “I read it somewhere.”
“I didn’t, but...” Elias said, coughing at the end of his sentence in pain. It must mean. Me.
“Maybe...” I whispered faintly as I ran to her side and carefully placed my hand upon the golden knob. It shined, radiating in shades of yellow and blue and green and as I pulled back my hand in complete and utter fear, the door creaked open.
There was a boy, yes that was visible, but he seemed nothing like the youngest child the Xana had portrayed him as. His skin was wrinkled like a rough ocean and hair thin and bleached a deathly shade of white, not matching his scarred black skin. He sat in the corner of the dark room head down between his knobbly knees.
“I’m not going to tell you,” he shouted followed by a cold laugh. Elias lent down by his side and worked to remove the chains cruelly around his thin ankles and wrists.
“Shh.” I said at the same time, leaning down and pulling his head up to face me. His eyes widened and for a second I saw a flash of fear.
“Please.. Don’t Ximen.”
I brushed his words away, hoping that the fear he thought for me would be easily fixed and looked straight into his stormy grey eyes.
“We are helping you escape. In a few minutes the general will discover we are not at the dinner and will come looking. I doubt she will have any patience. And then we are going to run like the wind and into the door and I am going to take you back to your family.”
I tried to help him up with a hand but he continued to look at me dumbfoundedly.
“I.. a m not coming with you. Even this hell is better than the hell you created for me. At least the fygols have humanity, you.. you are heartless. I would rather let them let me rot in this chamber till I am like the dust and the wind than go with you. You lie. You lied. And you will lie.”
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.
“I AM NOT XIMENA! NOW GET UP OR I WILL FORCE YOU UP,” I shouted as he quivered.
“What she is meaning to say is that we are on your side. NOW GET THE HELL UP!” said Zephina impatiently, very aware of the fact footsteps were following down the passageway.
Zephina pulled him up with her bare arms and I retrieved the black powder we had stole from the storeroom, and blowing it with a single breath into the stone ceiling. If our calculations were correct we were directly underneath the gateway. As I returned to the corridor along with my companions, a breath of adrelinane hit me.
There was a bang, a big bang with dust and rubble spraying in all directions. I lent down, careful not to get anything into my eyes. When I was sure that the coast was clear, I pulled Zephina and Elias and the Xana man back through the cell. Our calculations were correct, we were directly underneath the gateway.
“I’ll go first,” said Zephina with a smile, picking her bow up from the bow.
“Try not to kill all of them,” I shouted when she had reached the top to a hoard of angry guards. Where had we come to? It was only a few months ago when I had condemned a single murder let alone a massacre.
The xana went next, with some help from the two of us remaining, considering he had probably not stood for an age. As we heaved him up, I understood the true extent of his torture. His legs were like twigs, no muscle, just bone. If he were a human, if he wasn’t immortal there was not a shadow of doubt he would have died of hunger and malnourishment if not torture by now. Immortality for the prisoner, there was never an escape. I gulped knowing full well that I could also be the same. Someone could trap me. I would loose everything, even the control of what is most sacred. My own life. I could never give up, because everything would just come back to haunt me in circles, if not today then tomorrow.