alnwick_castle_by_americamarten-dbomzh2 via DeviantArt.com. https://www.deviantart.com/art/Alnwick-Castle-706511126
See Part 1 here.
Delia woke in a stone room. Kaya was already awake, beside her. “I’ve already walked the room. The door is solid oak with iron laced through it and locked. The window it too high for me to reach. Both of them have protection wards on them.
Delia touched the back of her head. Her fall, or perhaps the elves when they brought her here, knocked her wound open. It hurt and, she looked at her hand, it was bleeding. “Can you look at my head please? My head is bleeding.” She scooted around so her back was to Kaya. She felt fingers gently probe her head and part her hair.
“Oh, yes. It’s broken open. Let me see if I can help.”
Delia felt that spot on her head get warm, the pain went away. “That feels better.”
“Good.” Kaya sat back against the wall. “I was out long enough for my power to regenerate.”
“I’m glad. Any idea how long we were unconscious?”
Kaya shook her head. “I’m not sure. I was totally drained when we were captured and I’m not sure how long it should or would have taken to get back to full strength. So, it could still be today or we may have lost a day. Or more.”
“More?” Delia sagged against the wall. She thought about the battle that had been raging when they were captured. Was her father all right? What happened at the battle? Was he worried? Was he dead? A soft sigh escaped her lips.
“I know.” Kaya took Delia’s hand. “We don’t know anything and it’s easy to drop into despair. So let’s tally up the good points. First, we’re alive.”
Delia chuckled. “I suppose that is a good point. Yes.”
“Next, we seem to have all of our powers and faculties. Every body part works.”
“That’s so.” Delia began to feel better. “And now that I think of it, my head was bleeding, and I’m not covered in blood so not too much time must have passed.”
Kaya grinned. “That’s true. Clever of you to think of that. I guess I was wallowing in some despair myself.”
Delia patted Kaya’s hand and let out a big breath. “The battle could still be going on.” She stood up and looked up at the window. “You’re smaller than I am. If you stood on my shoulders, do you think you could see outside?”
Kaya got up and stood beside Delia, looking at the window. “Maybe. Let’s try it.”
Delia went to the wall under the window and put her hands on the wall. “I’ll make a knee so you can climb up.”
Kaya took her boots off and placed her left foot on Delia’s left knee. “I hope I don’t hurt you too much.”
“It’ll be worth it if we can learn something.” As Kaya shifted her weight to her right foot on Delia’s right shoulder, Delia straightened up. “Are you close?”
“I’m still below the window. I’m going to try and pull myself up.”
Delia felt the weight leave her shoulders so she stepped back from the wall to see. Kaya had both hands on the window’s edge, elbows bent as she made the effort to lift herself up. “Let me try to help.” She dashed over to Kaya and put a hand under each of her feet. “I’m going to push up, Kaya.” As she pushed, she focused and added a little power.
“It’s working! Keep going!”
Delia lifted until her arms were straight up. “That’s it. Can you see out?”
“A little. Tree tops mostly. Wait, listen.” Kaya was silent for a moment. “I can hear fighting!”
“My arms are getting tired.”
“Oh. Yes. You can let me down.”
Slowly, Delia lowered her arms until Kaya’s feet touched her shoulders. She braced against the wall again as the elf clambered down.
Kaya let out a big breath. “That was awkward.”
Delia brushed off her hands. “What did you see?”
“The moat below us. Cleared ground on the other side of the moat to the treeline. That’s it.”
“How high up are we?”
“High. Four stories or more.”
Delia paced around the room. Six paces to the door. Seven from one side of the room to the other. The room was clean, at least there was that. But no water or food and no place to relieve herself, not even an empty bucket.
“The window is open?”
“Yes. Except for the protection spell. I could feel my fingers tingling on the window’s edge.”
“So we are stuck here until someone comes to let us out.” Delia didn’t like that at all. It felt like it did when she was a slave.
Kaya sat down, her back against the wall facing the door. “I’m going to take a nap.”
Delia nodded. Kaya must still be feeling the effects of her all out magical efforts from the morning. But Delia wasn’t tired. She paced back and forth in front of the door, stopping now and then to examine the door or parts of the wall. The sun set and the room grew dark and chilly. She finally went over to sit with Kaya. Delia found Kaya’s body warmth comforting, even if it was just arm to arm. At least she wasn’t alone.
When Kaya woke, the two traded stories about growing up. Delia found herself a little envious of Kaya’s tales of family outings, trips to other elf kingdoms, and her siblings’ antics, but the tales helped to pass the time and she was glad of that.
They were startled by the sound of a key in the lock of the door. It swung open on creaky hinges and they sheltered their eyes at the glare of a torch. It was one of the black elves. “Come.”
Delia scrambled to her feet. Kaya shoved her feet into her boots and rose also. “Where?”
The elf backed out of the room. “Come.”
Delia sighed. There was nothing else to do. She followed the elf into the hall where she saw three others waiting. Kaya followed her.
“Come,” the elf with the torch said. He led them down the hall to the left. Delia and Kaya walked side by side, the three other black elves following. They reached the end of the hall in a tower and went down flights of stairs to a landing that led to another hall. They followed that to a great room, a fireplace at one end, windows along the right wall, and a table in the middle set for supper.
At the head of the table was an elf, dressed all in black. On his right was Nethene and on his left, Cienno. Delia felt the hairs on her arms stand up. This could not be good.
Thank You! Come back next week for Part 30.
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