17. Breakneck Speeds

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Chapter 17. Breakneck Speeds

Just as soon as the relief of rest came, however, Jacob was awakened.

“Jacob, you can’t sleep!”

He moaned, not wanting to move.

“Please, Jacob. Come on.”

Jacob moaned again and tried to clear his mind. He didn’t open his eyes for fear the bright lights would flash again and make him want to throw up. “The Key . . . did you get it?”

“Yes, it’s here.”

Jacob took a deep breath. “And the box?”

“Here as well.”

“Put . . . put them in my bag. I just need . . . a minute.”

“We’ve really got to go, Jacob—now. The Lorkon, wolves, and Dusts are stunned, but won’t be for much longer.”

Reality entered Jacob’s mind, and his eyes snapped open. He jerked to a sitting position, immediately regretting it. “Whoa,” he said, holding his head in his hands. It took a second for everything to stop spinning.

While waiting for the dizziness to pass, Jacob mentally examined himself. His body was sore all over, and his eyes ached a great deal. The ringing in his ears was gone, though. He glanced around the small, dark space. “Where are we?”

“I had September find us a place to hide. We’re only a couple of rooms away from where we found the Key.” Akeno got to his feet. “There are Dusts everywhere. As soon as you fell to the floor, several of them came in. I think they all knew we’d entered the castle and were hiding from us.”

“I saw hundreds of people going back and forth,” Jacob said. “Were they chasing us?”

Akeno looked confused. “People? What people?”

“Makalos, Lorkon, humans—tons of them. Even Shiengols and Dusts. Or Wurbies. I couldn’t tell which ones they were. And others . . . different creatures.”

“I only saw Dusts and the four Lorkon. No one else.”

Jacob scratched his head. “Are . . . are you sure?”

“Of course.”

“Then why did I see them?”

Akeno gave him a worried look. “I don’t know.”

Jacob groaned in frustration, switching gears in his head. “Okay, let’s just focus on finding a way out. I don’t think going through the door would be the best choice right now.” He stood up. “September, you keep a lookout. Let us know if anyone comes toward the door.”

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