Odilon was sneaking through the narrow corridors of the bustling prison. Many prisoners roared as he ran to his freedom, but unlike them, the young prince was getting deeper and deeper into the prison's basement.
The guards, in an attempt to contain the fugitives, set fire to the exits and in retaliation the prisoners took all sorts of objects in an attempt to confront the soldiers. In the outer courtyard archers fired arrows from the high walls in order to execute the men who managed to get through the fire-covered exits.
Odilon was completely sweaty and panting. He rubbed his hand over his face to remove the dripping sweat. He was tired and lost, and to add to his bad luck the smoke was beginning to penetrate the corridors. He took a deep breath and kept running.
"Hey buddy," shouted one of the prisoners. "You're going the wrong way."
"I believe not," he replied. "I'm looking for a prisoner. A sorceress."
"Sorceress? She is likely to be in the vault." The vault was the special wing of the prison, where the most dangerous in society, such as wizards and other magic users, were confined. "But by now she must have escaped...like most of the staff here." The fugitive started to run again.
"Wait!" shouted Odilon. "Where do I find the safe?"
"Ah! It's not far away, just..." A sword went through the man's belly, before he even finished his sentence.
Odilon ran again, but was tripped and fell to the ground.
"Go back to your cell." Said the guard.
"I'm not a prisoner."
"Yeah, and I'm not a guard, I'm an earl." Mocked the guard. "Come on, go back to your cell."
Odilon stood up, patted his clothes to remove the dust and pushed the guard.
"Have you gone mad?" said the guard, drawing his sword from its sheath.
The soldier lunged at Odilon, who quickly spun around and kicked the guard in the back, who fell face down on the ground. Odilon took his sword and locked him in one of the cells.
"Now, sir count." He ironized. "Tell me how do I get to the vault?"
"Then I hope you enjoy burning." Odilon grabbed a torch, which cleared the place, and threatened to set fire to the guard's cubicle.
"Wait! Wait! I'll talk." He shouted desperately. "Go down the next staircase and turn left, at the end of the corridor there is a golden gate, but it is locked."
"And how do you open it?"
"The guards only open it for authorized authorities or guards."
"Do you have authorization?"
"Then I'll have to find another way." Said the prince, walking toward the staircase.
"What about me? Don't leave me here, I... I have a family."
Odilon knew the right thing to do, but the sorrow in his heart did not allow it. For a moment he stood still, thinking, but he resisted what was right and left, leaving the jailer in the cell.
"You must be desperate to come and rescue me." Said the sorceress, seeing Odilon entering the cell.
Odilon remained silent.
"How did you do it? Are you the one who caused this rebellion?
"How are you?" Odilon removed the chains that were holding Polipedes to the wall, yet he did not remove the handcuffs from his hands and feet.
"I'm fine! I just can't use my magic." The sorceress gestured her hands, trying to figure out if she could cast any spells.
"Fine." Answered the prince dryly.
"Great? Since when is it good for a sorceress to run out of magic?" He replied, making a grimace. "You forgot to unlock your handcuffs."
"I'm not releasing you. This is more like a kidnapping."
"You've gone crazy, Odilon. Take these off now... huumm ...hhhhhuuuuummm"
"Shut up!" Spoke Odilon, putting an old rag cloth in the sorceress' mouth.
"Huummmmm ... Huummmmmm" muttered Polypedes.
"Come on!" Odilon pushed Polipedes from behind. The sorceress began to walk awkwardly in her greenish platform heels.
Odilon set fire to the safe, to cover up the sorceress' escape.
"Have you gone mad?" shouted Polypedes, as soon as the cloth was removed from his mouth, "How dare you gag me like that?"
"Eat!" Odilon threw a plate on the table, containing some grapes and pieces of bread.
"I'm not hungry!" He replied, dryly.
Odilon pulled the plate away, and Polypedes held it back, giving the prince a frowny look.
"What's the matter? Why do you have that huge beak? Something's wrong with it."
Odilon didn't answer. He went to the window.
"Aren't you going to say anything? You took me off the island of the damned just to look at my face?"
"I'm..." He shouted! He took a deep breath and lowered his voice. "I'm analyzing the weather."
"And for what?" The sorceress pinched a piece of bread. "You work on the weather forecast now?" Polypedes contorted his lips, after biting his tongue.
"We need to cross the bridge and head towards Torac, but I don't believe we'll make it, not just yet." He concluded, turning back to the table. "With the rain this afternoon it is certain that the river has overflowed and covered the bridge. It should take one, two days at most for the water to recede."
"Torac? That's just..."
"I know where it is." Odilon said, interrupting her. He sat down facing her, sighed deeply and locked his gaze on hers.
"What's going on? Why am I still handcuffed?" The sorceress was impatient. She knew that the emerald dust, which mixed with other metals contained in the almonds, prevented her from using magic, and why she could not use it that I felt a certain fear. "I know something is going on. I know you. I know you don't act this way; let me help."
Odilon was silent for a long time. His eyes were distant. Her mind seemed empty.The look in her eyes showed that she really wants to help me, but what could she do? "If I don't give her to those men I will never see my daughter again," he thought.
"What do you know about the ice giants?" asked Odilon calmly.
"Ice giants?" those creatures have been in confinement for centuries.
"No, they are not." Odilon punched the top of the small wooden table on which they were sitting. "They set fire to the palace, destroyed almost everything... they... took Sotrel." The young man was silent. He had a sad look on his face. "They took my daughter."
"Impossible." Polypedes was incredible.
"They wanted you." He said dryly. "What could they possibly want from you?"
"Answers." Polipedes was thoughtful.
"What kind of answers?"
"The ones I don't have." The sorceress took a very long swig from her mug of water. "Well? Are you going to turn me over to them?"
"And what are you going to do?"
"I have a plan."
"Since you're not going to turn me in...could you remove these handcuffs?"
"Not yet. Not until you hear and agree to my plan."
"Don't waste time, tell me."
The silence was interrupted by a slow knock on the door. They looked at each other, not understanding what was going on.
"Open the door." Said a voice from outside the room.
"Were you expecting someone?" Whispered Polipedes.
"No." He shook his head.
"Open the door, please!" Said the man, still banging on the door.
"Who is it?" Odilon approached the door slowly.
"We are lookouts for the establishment. People have claimed to have an argument here."
"Some mistake must have occurred." The young man opened the door very slowly.
"Is everything all right?" The strong dark-skinned man asked. He was tall and had a scar near his left eye, which was white because he was blind from his sword wound. "Some customers said they saw you enter with a handcuffed woman. Then chambermaids claimed to hear an argument and punching sounds coming from here." The man took a deep look around the entire room, without even leaving his seat.
"As you can see everything is all right." Odilon went to close the door.
"What about that woman chained up over there? What does it mean?" The watchman asked, holding the door firmly shut.
"That one? ... that's a woman I brought in to distract me a little. I was doing that very well, until you interrupted."
"And why don't you remove her handcuffs?"
"We like different things." Odilon gave a half smile.
The watchman looked around again, still suspicious of the situation.
"Anything call me." Said the security guard.
Odilon closed the door and sighed with relief. Polipedes found everything very strange and became suspicious. She got up and went towards the window.
"We have to leave." Said the sorceress, seeing what was happening on the sidewalk of the inn.
"Now? It's still night."
"Now. That man is not a watchman, he is a spy. Look. There on the sidewalk. He's talking to a guard, a witch hunter."
Odilon watched and noticed that the man was passing information to a guard dressed in the colors of the Azhard flag, blue and white. He also noticed the emblem of the kingdom printed on his clothes, the sun setting behind the mountains. The man spoke to the guard and pointed to the rooms where they were staying.
"We have to go now." Polypedes repeated. "I know a place we can go. Remove those handcuffs."
Odilon obeyed. The sorceress felt the magic returning to her veins. She clenched her fists and grimaced, as if she was feeling something.
"Let's go down the stairs slowly and out the back way." He said in a low voice as he left the room.
They walked down the stairs to the lounge. The place was full. The spy who was also there saw the two of them trying to get out the back way and immediately warned one of the guards who was soon walking towards them.
"Come on! Hurry!" Polipedes said, as he pushed Odilon out.
They ran out into the alley, but at the next corner there was a guard. The young man was new and seemed to have only recently started on the job. He was afraid and was startled when he saw the sorceress. Polipedes stopped and stared at him. Not knowing what to do, the boy remained paralyzed for a while.
"Hey! You! Stop!" He said, drawing his sword awkwardly.
Polipedes looked at the young man, a look Odilon knew very well.
"Don't do anything foolish. He's just a scared kid." The prince said, signaling with his hand.
The soldier stepped forward. Polipedes raised his hand, and a blue light flickered from it. Two other guards arrived, cornering the pair in the narrow corridor.
"Now what? Is there anything I can do?"
"Put that hand down, sorceress." Said the guard at the other end of the corridor. Polipedes paid no attention. "I said put your hand down!" He shouted.
Polipedes took a deep breath and attacked. He stretched out his arm, knocking the two guards down with the momentum of the wind. He grabbed Odilon's arm and pulled him away, running towards the younger guard, who, frightened by the scene, didn't react. They were a little far away, but soon began to run. They went towards the bridge that connected the city, over a huge crack. The emergency bells began to ring and all the guards started to go after the fugitives, who by now were near a temple on the edge of the city.
Archers appeared on the high walls, with their bows and crossbows ready to attack. Around Odilon and Polipedes there were already several guards with spears and shields. There was no way out. Polipedes raised their hands. The guards moved into attack position. The sorceress abruptly lowered her hands. The place was filled with smoke. The guards scrambled to find the fugitives, but there were no more traces.
Odilon began to cough heavily, due to the excess smoke he had breathed in during the escape.
"Where are we?"
"In Tanhur still. My magic is not so strong that it can teleport us far away. We need to go quickly to..." the sorceress was interrupted.
"Stop!" Said the archer.
Odilon and Polipedes were surrounded again. The alley could not be reached, as it was in the rear of the soldier. Polipedes was thinking of a way to escape. Odilon raised his hands, giving up on escaping. Polipedes tried to cast magic against the enemy. The archer fired in the direction of the sorceress' face. Polipedes closed his eyes, fearing it was the end, yet an axe swiftly passed in front of the arrow. The arrow hit the face of the axe, preventing it from hitting the sorceress. The guard fired another arrow. This one hit her belly.
Polipedes fell to the ground in agony. Odilon went to help her, but there was nothing he could do. The guard came closer, but was struck in the back of the head by an unknown man with an axe handle. The man, dressed in a green jacket covered by a layer of chain, approached.
"Don't be alarmed, I am an old friend. Help me take you home, where I can take better care of your wound.
"The guards are chasing us."
"Stay calm." He spoke softly. "They won't bother you anymore."