“What about the last one?” Layke asked. Linda shook her head once.
“Come on, it’s time to go,” she said, waving them along. “And I wouldn’t bother myself about the last one if I were you.”
Still, Layke couldn’t help but give the last cell an inquisitive glance as they left. He couldn’t see who was in it, because it was too dark.
“Layke, do you know what happened to Waiye?” the youngest of Waiye’s troop asked, making him temporarily forget about the mysterious last cell. “That’s your name, isn’t it? Layke?”
“Yes,” Layke nodded. “I don’t know where she is, but she got away.”
The girl said nothing, just fell into step with him. They walked together in silence for awhile.
“Layke, how did Waiye pick you up?” the girl asked. Layke smiled.
“She didn’t exactly pick me up. I more of picked her up.”
“What do you mean, picked her up? She’s the leader of the group, the one who recruits people,” the girl said, puzzled.
“Nevermind,” Layke said. “It’s a long story.”
“Then you’ll tell me as soon as we get out of the enemy camp,” the girl decided.
“Wait, enemy camp?” Layke asked, confused. “We are in an enemy camp?”
“Well, that’s how I put it, anyway. The government is an enemy to us in this case, because they send assassins to kill any threat to them.”
“Are we a threat?” Layke asked, already knowing the answer.
“Sorry for interrupting.” Layke’s and the girl’s head snapped around to face the speaker. It was Linda.
“Sorry, Linda, what did you want to tell us?” Layke asked.
“We’re going to have to be quiet,” Linda said, “if we want to get out of here alive.”
“You mean that there are still more guards?” Layke asked.
“Of course,” Linda said. “It is a fortress, after all. We only got out of the dungeon, there is a bit more of a way to go before we escape.”
Layke looked around at the path they were walking on. They were surrounded by greenery, and there was nothing to suggest that they were still in the fortress.
“But we are out of it, aren’t we?” Layke asked. He looked back and saw the gaping door to the dungeon. That couldn’t be right. They wouldn’t have a door to the dungeon out in the woods. That would have made escape far too easy.
“It’s a courtyard,” Linda explained. “If we want to get out, we’ll have to go through the main door.”
Layke’s brow furrowed. There was something nagging at his mind. “Wait, if it’s a courtyard, that means it must be enclosed, right?”
“Yes,” Linda said. She pointed to a patch of grey to their left. “That’s the walls.”
Layke went over to them, brushing off the vines that grew on them.
“What’re you doing?” the girl asked. Layke didn’t answer, just kept on ripping off the leaves and vines that covered the wall. Finally, there was a clear spot. Layke looked up at it.
“There aren’t any barbed spikes,” he commented.
“No, there isn’t,” Linda said, starting to take interest.
“So?” the girl asked, obviously confused.
“Anything else on the other side of the wall?” Layke asked, and was answered by the sound of footsteps on the other side. They grew in volume, then faded. “Sentries.”
“Well, most good fortresses have them,” the girl said, still not seeing the point.
“Let’s go,” Layke said to Linda. She nodded.
“Come on,” she said, turning to the people gathered behind her. “It’s time to escape for real.”