She sat back. Is he even alive? After the confrontation with the confessor priest, he had just laid there in his cell. She had decided to let him rest. After taking the magical blasts, he was obviously hurt. That those blasts had been meant for her weighed on her mind.
She reached out and poked him, again. “Hey!”
This time, he stirred, and groaned. He rolled onto his back, and lifted his hand up to wipe his face. It looked like a painful motion.
“You ARE alive, after all.”
He opened his eyes, and gradually focused. She stood, then leaned over him, offering her hand to help him up. He took it, and they pulled together. She had misjudged her stance and started to fall. She reached behind her, quickly, and grabbed the cell bars for stability. Now braced, she helped him up.
“I’m guessing it’s probably night right now, so it’ll be easier to escape.” He let go of her hand, and stood on his own for a moment. His eyes finally fixed on the two open cell doors.
He smiled. “It looks like the keys worked,” He mumbled.
“Can you walk?”
He just nodded and stepped toward the door. As she walked behind him, she glanced at the small table with the mage’s bane incense burning in the bowl. She would be glad to finally be away from the smog it created, both in the air and in her soul.
The main room door was wooden, with steel banding as reinforcement. She paused in front of it. “I don’t know what’s beyond this door. Do you?”
He nodded. “There’ll be a short hallway, and then the main guard room.”
She slipped the key into the hole carefully, not wanting to make any noise. It clicked, but not too loudly. She pushed on the door and it began to swing out.
It squeaked a little, and she stopped, took a breath, and then pushed again, more slowly. When it was halfway open, Antonneri stepped through. She followed.
A lantern in the guardroom cast a hopeful light down the hallway as they crept forward. They heard voices ahead, with a rattling noise. Antonneri turned around and gestured a shaking and tossing motion with his hands, then held up two fingers.
There are two of them, playing Lots. The air around her in the hall was a bit musty and smelly, and even still a bit damp from the rain, but she breathed it in eagerly. As it filled her lungs, she could feel it clearing her mind. She felt hope, and a bit of excitement. She nodded to Antonneri. I’m ready!
Antonneri nodded back, then turned and rushed into the room. DeFrantis immediately followed. Antonneri leaned under the heavy wooden table where the guards were playing, and flipped it up onto one of them. As the other stood, surprised, Antonneri swung his fist hard into the man’s gut. The guard dropped, gasping for breath.
DeFrantis took in the room. It was circular, but not large. Opposite the table were two straw mattresses on the floor. Behind them, circling up the wall, was a stone stairway. That’s our freedom!
“This way!” she called out as she darted to the stairway. Antonneri hit the downed guard across the back of his head, and he flopped to the floor, out. Antonneri stepped over him, then reached for his sword.
The other guard was pushing the table off as they started up the stairs. He called out, “STOP THEM! They’re coming up!”
As she came to the top of the stairs, she saw another circular room about the same size, with two more guards leaping from a table and drawing their swords. This room had windows, and a large double door. Cool air wafted through the open window, and she took a deep breath. Her head was clear, now, her will and focus returning. She grabbed Antonneri’s arm, then waved her other hand before her. She summoned her will and the darkness of the night flooded into the room, swelling up from the shadows on the floor until the entire room was shrouded. She heard the soldiers stumble and curse.
Antonneri’s chuckle sounded behind her. “I thought you renounced the shadow.” She yanked his arm and ran toward where she knew the door was. They hit the door, then Antonneri shouldered it. A third hit burst it open, and they stumbled out into the street.
“This way!” She shouted, even though she had no idea where she was. They hadn’t taken more than a few steps when a bright explosion boomed just behind them, knocking them off their feet. Antonneri jumped up and ducked in between two buildings, with DeFrantis running scared behind him.
They ran through the alleyways, avoiding the streets, behind carts and crates and fences, until they finally collapsed, exhausted. As they gasped for breath, she got her bearings. We’re in the InnerWall, near the RiverFront. She leaned against the wall and slid to the ground. With a groan, Antonneri sat beside her and they huddled in silence.
Start the whole story from the beginning. Start from where this current story arc begins.