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I had instinctively chosen the left path and was now running through a narrow, winded corridor with torches mounted to the walls at the side. The sphere of light floated closely behind me, always adjusting to my changing speeds. My body had started to ache shortly after I left my cell behind me. When I wanted to accelerate, every fiber and muscle of mine urged me to take it easy. I had never been the fittest person around, but using magic or whatever feat it was I had just pulled off, was incredibly tiring for my mind and physique.
A few cells were lined up on the left and right side of the corridor, but they were not guarded, so I assumed that they were not the cells I was looking for. Nobody was to be seen behind the small slits in the doors, so I continued charging down the corridor. It soon found its end with a small staircase consisting of about six steps inviting me to explore. This definitely wasn’t a way out, but I was sure whoever had caused the trouble earlier was held on this second level of cells. I crouched down and peered down the stairs, but it was too dark to decipher anything.
Giving commands orally was less taxing than controlling the light just by my mind. However, as I was just beginning to explore my newfound capabilities, I was not sure if had enough strength to continue controlling the sphere.
I sighed and cursed myself. “Maybe I should have chosen to go right after all.” I whispered under my breath. The thoughts of failure pushed back by my escape were creeping back into the forefront.
Muffled laughter forced me to concentrate on my task of exploring. The sound was not only a surprise to me. I could hear two voices reacting to it.
“What the hell are you laughing about?” An older, male voice.
“Shut up!” A young, forceful and definitely female voice.
Still crouching, I inched down the first steps, trying to get a closer look at the guards. The laughter hadn’t stopped yet.
“If you don’t shut up, we’ll come and make you.” The female tone was serious and calm. Her threat carried a lot of weight and gravity. Meanwhile, I had reached the bottom of the stairs and peered around the corner. I could clearly see the two guards and the heavy cell door they were guarding. And most importantly, I could hear everything they were talking about.
The laughter stopped for a second. “I’d like to see you try.”
The female guard moved her hand through her short, shoulder-length red hair and sighed. She dropped her voice and told her partner, who was looking at her slightly puzzled. “I might actually have to go in there now.”
“He knows you’re bluffing.”
“I’m not.” She smiled and moved her hand to the short sword hanging by her side. Both guards wore heavy, grey armor, a bit different from the simple padded clothing my guards had worn. Obviously, this prisoner was considered more of a threat than I had been.
The laughter started again. The older guard reacted first, asking his prisoner what was so funny.
“None of your business. I’m just keeping myself entertained.” The voice coming from within the cell was full of confidence, which added to my earlier surprise quite a bit. Now that I had finally heard the prisoner speak clearly, I knew who was behind that door: Laurenar.
I cautiously peered around the corner again. My own disappearance wouldn’t go unnoticed for any much longer. In fact, my escape had probably been discovered already. Somehow, nobody had caught up to me just yet. It was clear that time was running for me and Laurenar.
The sphere of light, floating quietly behind my back grew back to the size of a football.
I waited for a moment, staring at the two guards standing in front of the cell. The woman was furious and wouldn’t take the jabs from inside the cell much longer. Sure enough, when Laurenar said something I couldn’t quite make out, she took out her keys and told her partner: “Someone needs to be taught a lesson.”
That was my chance.
The light which had previously burned with the intensity of the torches now fully illuminated the staircase I was still standing on.
I was panting heavily now, still focused on the white lights in front of me, when I heard footsteps coming in my direction. But they were coming from downstairs and not from upstairs. The older guard had decided to check out the strange light on the stairwell.
In an instant, I jumped around the corner and pushed the guard back before he had a chance to use his drawn sword. Adrenaline drove me forward and I ordered one of my glowing spheres of light to blind my opponent. I shielded my eyes, while my ball exploded in a flash of bright, white light blinding the old guard and causing the female guard, who was standing in the open cell door, to turn around.
The older guard fell backwards against the wall. Immediately, I jumped on his one-handed sword and picked it up. With a quick move, I slid the weapon into the cell and into the hands of Laurenar, while the female guard made a step towards me. When she realized what I had done, her face turned pale. Beating up Laurenar while she had all the power was easy. Beating him when he had a sword was a different story.
I felt the need to rest. The original sphere of light was still floating next to me, but when I tried to help out Laurenar, my words failed me. He didn’t need my help. The knight deftly parried the first two clumsy strikes by the guard, before using the same trick I had just minutes before. He attacked, probing the woman’s guard with subtle blows from the left and right. While she was working hard to defend herself, he moved around with purpose and a clear plan. Laurenar dominated the fight without using too much energy. He tried to strike her chest, then her arms and then her legs, but never gave up his defensive stance. The knight was not doing this for the first time. Even though he would be more comfortable with a two-handed weapon, Laurenar had gotten her exactly into the position he wanted. He was outside of the cell and she was standing inside of it. They had danced around in a perfect circle. With far more elegance than I was used to, he shut the heavy stone door.
During the shouting and screaming of the furious, captured guard, he nodded to me: “Let’s get out of here.”
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