The small group keep to the shadows as they continue to twist through the passages. Falcon can hear them breathing softly, but it feels as though every sound they make echoes off the very stone they walk upon. The sheer danger of what they are doing hangs over their heads like a dark cloud, a cloud they move fast to avoid. However, hampered by injuries, they can't move as fast as they'd like. Falcon keeps turning back to check everyone is still following. He knows how many there are in the group now. Nine. Nine of the original twenty-something. And only three are children.

One of the children is Mary, and she has scarcely left her foster mother's side throughout the whole ordeal. Now she keeps close between her and the man in front, seeming to find comfort in the presence of the two adult soldiers. Falcon shoots her a reassuring look, praying he looks convincing. The last thing they want now is for someone's nerve to break and give them away. Gods know what would happen to them if the elves found them now.

Just ahead of him, Falcon hears Eternal smother another coughing fit. It's getting worse, he knows it, but he keeps doggedly by her, occasionally whispering reassurances in her ear. She's not got much strength left, he's going to have to provide it for her. After what feels like an age of darting through shadows and across doorways, they finally reach an exit. However, there is a problem. Three elvish guards stand in the way of the door, armed just as dangerously as those who attacked the group before. Falcon signals the group to halt and nods to Dane, who has already slung his bow off his shoulders. He hears two others unsheathe throwing knives, and crosses his fingers behind his back. Please, he hopes desperately, let them kill them first.

Two of the elves are killed with barely a sound, one with a knife in his throat  and the other hit cleanly between the eyes by Dane's black-fletched arrow. The third too is hit, but to Falcon's dismay he manages a strangled scream before a second arrow slams into his throat and he falls still. Distantly, Falcon can hear approaching footsteps. Someone is coming.

"Move!" he hisses to the group and they all race off as fast as their legs can carry them, racing out of the door and taking off through the labyrinth of tunnels.

Falcon has no idea where they're going, but he doesn't care. All he wants is to get them as far away from whatever pursuers may be after them as fast as they can. As if Blazes weren't enough, now they have murderous elves and a NightHuman on their trail. All he can hope for now is that they're not to late for Eternal.

The End

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