Chapter 34: Broken Walls

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The black stone made the Tower of the Honored nearly inseparable from its dark environment at night. The silver moonlight was weak and shrouded by clouds, so we had to trust our other senses whilst we hid in the bushes near the training grounds and waited for Rowan's mother to arrive.

"Ouch! Watch out, you idiot! You stepped on my foot!" Ellie cursed as silently as she was capable of, which was still loud. Next to her, Larry ducked to avoid a smack on the head, a sheepish look on his face. Rowan's thigh brushed mine as he shifted his position to rub his face in frustration, but he refrained from scolding at the Dwarfs.

Is it almost time yet? The longer I was forced to crouch down in front of the tower like this, the more anxious I became. My nerves felt like cords stretched to their limits, ready to snap at the slightest touch. My legs had already gone numb and my knees ached from the lack of movement.

The bell at the top of the tower rang to indicate the changing of the guard and the two brutes slouching against the wall beside the back door yawned and walked away, debating whether they would go to the brothel or to a pub close by. Just as Olive had promised, they weren't replaced by two new guards and the back door remained wide open for possible intruders. Or burglars.

A cloaked figure appeared from the darkness on the other side of the tower. The light of the single lantern hanging by the door illuminated Olive's face, pale and tense. "Come, the coast is clear." 

We dashed out of the bushes toward the tower and she urged us inside, glancing left and right before entering herself. She squeezed past us to catch up with Rowan, who was already tiptoeing to the stairs at the end of the narrow corridor. 

The Dwarfs and I followed swiftly, although I cringed at every thump of Ellie's heavy boots on the tiled floor. I shot her an annoyed look, to which she responded with a quirked brow. "Did you really have to wear those, Ellie?" I grumbled through gritted teeth. "I bet the guards can hear you all the way up the tower."

"I didn't exactly bring ten pairs of shoes, missy," she hissed back. "Contrary to your cute little feet, mine don't fit just about any type of shoe."

"Then why would you choose to bring boots that sound as if they weigh at least ten pounds each? Are you afraid the wind will carry your tiny figure away or something?"

"You little piece of—"

"Could you two stop, please?" Larry interrupted us, a warning undertone in his voice. Ellie's lips already parted to snarl at him, but he covered her mouth with his hand before she could say anything else. "Shut. Up. Ellie."

She was so taken aback by his sudden dominance that she actually obeyed. My lips trembled with the effort of holding back an amused grin while I ascended the steep stairs toward the higher floors.

"The storage room is on the second floor," I heard Olive whisper to her son farther up ahead. "The door will be guarded, and a second guard will be circling the landing around the main stairs."

"All right," Rowan answered. "We'll see you soon, okay?"

Panting, I arrived on the landing of the second floor, just in time to see Olive stand on her toes to kiss Rowan's cheek. Her footsteps echoed along the narrow staircase as she continued her walk toward the uppermost floors. I joined Rowan at the door leading to the rest of the floor and he pushed it a few inches open, peeking through the crack.

"I can only see one Dark Sorcerer, the one standing in front of the storage room. But where is the other— Oh, shit!" He quickly closed the door, his face a few shades paler than usual. He pressed his ear against the wood, meanwhile mouthing at me, He's right here.

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