Chapter 16: All Roads Lead to the Cemetery

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Crap, crap, crap. The Dark Sorcerers had found us already. This was not good, no, not good at all.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Mrs. Berrywood replied to the Sorcerer's question, her tone calm and casual.

I was startled by the door swinging open, avoiding a painful clash by a hair's breadth. Rowan sneaked back inside the room and closed the door behind him without making a sound. His hands grabbed my wrists, his tight grip forcing me to look at him. "There are two Dark Sorcerers at the door and a few more are combing the streets, questioning the villagers and searching their houses. They're looking for us."

I nodded. I already knew.

"Seems like they're organizing a real manhunt for you, lassie," Larry said from the bed. "You have to leave while you still can."

I shook my head. "They're after you too. Besides, Ellie isn't in any state to travel right now. I can't just go and leave you."

"Don't worry about us." Larry smiled, affection softening his features as his gaze landed on Ellie. "We'll be fine."

"Kenna." Rowan, who stood beside the open window on the other side of the room, threw an impatient glance over his shoulder. "Larry's right; there's no time to debate about this. We have to go, now. You and me."

"But—"

"Kenna," Rowan growled, the threatening undertone of his voice warning me not to test his patience.

All blood was drained from my face as the imminent danger of the situation slowly sank in. Not in the mood to wait any longer, Rowan jumped out of the window. When I leaned outside, I found him safe and well on his feet in the garden, looking up at me expectantly. He spread his arms. "Come on, Kenna. I'll catch you."

I snorted. As if I needed a knight in shining armor to catch me. This wasn't nearly the highest window I had jumped out of.

I swung my legs over the window sill and looked back at the Dwarfs one last time. Larry gave me a reassuring nod and I smiled at him, then pushed myself off. Rowan's strong arms caught me and put me safely on the ground, our sudden proximity making my cheeks flush. He took my hand and we ran off together, jumping over the low fence around Mrs. Berrywood's garden onto the narrow path behind it, illuminated by the faint light of the crescent moon.

"Where are we going?" I asked while we ran down the path.

"No idea. Away from here."

An idea popped up in my head. "Perhaps we should go to the cemetery."

"Now? You don't think they will expect us to go there?"

"Of course they will, but not at night. I suspect that at least one Sorcerer will be guarding the entrance, but since a few Dark Sorcerers are already roaming the streets right now, they probably think that we have been accommodated somewhere. Which is not untrue."

"That's a huge risk you want to take, Kenna," he said, hesitant. "What if the place is swarming with Dark Sorcerers by the time we get there?"

"Then we'll have to improvise," I grumbled.

He tugged at my hand. We turned a corner into a dark alley in between two houses. Judging by the awful smell, this was where the inhabitants dumped their garbage. Rowan turned me around so that I faced him, his dark eyes boring into mine. "I really don't think this is a good idea. You don't even know how to raise the dead, Kenna! You can't just stand there all night trying, knowing that the Dark Sorcerers are after us."

I gritted my teeth. "Look, I came here for answers and I'm going to get them, one way or another. The longer we stay here, the more Sorcerers will come. We have to do this tonight or we might never get another chance." He crossed his arms, but didn't answer, so I continued, "As for raising the dead, one bone should suffice to summon the Seer. We can steal it from her grave and take it into the forest that borders the village to perform the ritual there."

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