Becky proves to everyone she's truly sorry.
And it had to be somewhere obvious in case the jailers needed it in a hurry.
The door that had become both familiar and ominous over the weeks stood locked in the gloom before them. Another hurdle, but not a difficult one.
Eldrian pressed his hand over the keyhole. A magical force snaked out from his suncrest as the levitation spell crept through to the other side of the door. He felt around with the mental limb and gripped the handle on the inside of the study before giving it a turn. He breathed a sigh of relief when the lock clicked its acceptance.
Dark and lifeless. Not that the study had ever really felt hospitable. Everything had to be still but the way the tiny glow from Eldrian's palms fell over everything made it seem as though they shifted at the corners of his vision. Books, trophies, knickknacks and other curiosities crawled over their shelves as he scanned the room.
"Can you see it?" Eldrian asked after nudging the girl's shoulder for her attention.
A headshake no.
"Try his desk."
While the girl searched with sound, Eldrian ventured to do the same with his eyes. He walked around the desk and started on the cabinet behind.
The shelves inside mostly held piles of paper and rolls of parchment but one small section had three leather-bound journals. They stood so neatly among the clutter that he found his focus drawn to them immediately. The faint glow from his palms barely lit the titles on their spines. He didn't dare make more light or a haphazard glance down the hallway might catch a glow under the study's door.
Eldrian's lips moved as he squinted out the title of the first journal, so thin compared to the other two. Then he froze.
A hand fell on his shoulder and he whipped round to see the girl holding up a tiny, gold key. Then she pointed at the books and cocked her head.
"What? Oh, they're nothing.
Headshake and an insistent jab.
"Just... money things," he lied. "Numbers and figures. It's boring"
Eldrian took the key from her fingers, eager for this line of discussion to end.
With a shrug the girl turned around, baring the back of her earmuffs.
He looked at the key, back to her. "Not yet. Once we're downstairs."
"You can trust me," she sighed, a little too loud
"I know. But if someone catches us now, there'll be even worse trouble. At least this way we could hide the key for later."
She shrugged again then started towards the door.
Eldrian closed the cabinet when her voice had moved on.
The journey downstairs went faster, much to the pain of Eldrian's nerves. The girl walked quickly, almost carelessly. More than once Eldrian found himself having to jerk her out of the way of the leg of a table or from crashing into the edge of a wall.
This is a bad idea.
It isn't, Eldrian replied. Take off the earmuffs, say the spell, put them back on.
This is a bad idea.
Yoled will die otherwise.
And everyone else?
Eldrian clenched his teeth.
"You're sure this will work?" He asked when the passage to the infirmary loomed into sight. There weren't any offshoots or rooms around here. Nobody to overhear them, even if the girl got a bit loud.
"Ah... but he might make some noise so be ready."
"What kind of noise? You mean he might scream?"
"Well, he's going to wake up quickly. Like that." She snapped her fingers. The soft crack seemed deafening in the silence of night. "And he's been asleep for a while, ah? He might not be expecting it. Just be ready."
The girl paused over Yoled's bed, watching him. The flit lay motionless in the moonlight except for the slow rise and fall of his chest. She touched his shoulder and gave him a gentle shake. Then a violent one that disturbed the covers.
"Don't!" Eldrian hissed.
"I have to be sure.