CHAPTER 38 - Of an Escape

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Only when the footsteps of the devil completely receded, I let the fear overtake me. I slid to the floor; my back pressed to a cold wall. Hugging my knees closer to my chest, I let Prince Nova's words wash over me -

A life for a life!

Serena was spared...

In that moment, all my friends' faces flashed across my head. 

If only Una would've believed me, if only she would have let me finish. If only Doran would've approached her, with my satchel, they might have found the wand.

The enmity of the Realms - the enmity of both my Realms was fast becoming a real hindrance.

The idea of what Ralph must have faced for having known about me, made a steady flow of tears gush out. I shut my eyes as I recalled how he had protected me. How he had called me his sister! I found myself having a sudden urge to see him again.

To see Doran.

Serena. Una.

Anyone.

To just escape and survive.

I looked at the blood clotting on my open palm, cut twice now. The scar would be forever etched on my body and soul. My blood would become a reason for the world's damnation.

Not knowing how long I sat there, how many hours, how many days - mulling over the past  events, about the Alchemist, about King Orlon, about Doran, about Serena, about Prince Nova who was planning something evil - I did not realize when the earth below me started to shake.

At first it felt like an illusion, but soon it was unmistakable. I clutched the chain tightly with my unwounded hand and shrunk closer to the wall behind me.

What now?

I sensed a faint trace of magic in the air, getting stronger every moment, but that was impossible. There were protective wards that even I couldn't get rid of. Sweat formed over my forehead as I waited for something to happen. Something dreadful. 

And right then, the ground hollered. I watched as a massive split appeared in the center of the cage, right a few paces away from me. Even the walls shook as the split became larger and larger.

I blinked rapidly at the magically disappearing piece of land and a hole forming in its stead. There were specks of blue and gold mingling together from the bottom, as it grew and grew. Finally, the magic vanished. The shuddering of the land stopped, leaving a large hole in my prison.

"Is it done yet?" A boyish voice spoke, penetrating the silence of the dungeon.

"Yes, Dylan. Patience." A woman's voice answered promptly.

The voices were completely unfamiliar and I shrunk more into the wall, a fist clutched to my mouth, my hands trembling. Dylan who?

Why couldn't people just leave me alone?

And with eyes opened as wide as they possibly could, I watched a man jump out of the hole.

"Hello there," he said through the thick scarf that he had wound around his face, letting only his eyes be seen. I saw them crinkled. Was he smiling at me?

"Tsk tsk. They never learn." He said, the scarf making me unable to see his face, but his eyes were a bright shade of blue and his coppery hair wayward. His gaze roamed around the cage and stopped at my shackles.

"Dylan, quick. The Chief's going to murder us if we're late." The woman spoke from under the hole. And added, "Is the victim okay?"

"Injured, yes, but okay." He said, scrutinizing me, his gaze halting on my palm.

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