Chapter XLIV

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They left as soon as they came. The Tenth's servants gave us some bread, a jar with water, and saying nothing, crossed the door again. The sound of the keys locking it echoed so much it hurt my ears, maybe even Pandora's, but I couldn't be sure because of the almost absolute darkness that surrounded us.

We both ate in silence, each one focused on her own things, saving the breath for a much more important use in the future, or so we hoped. Pandora had also told me that, because of that same darkness, we couldn't be sure if there was someone or something listening inside the shadows.

Despite I understood her point, I couldn't help saying this or that, commenting on anything, just to break the silence that threatened to break me in a half. There was a part of me that still wanted to believe nothing of what has happened was real, that there was still hope, and somehow, I could feel it, but only wanted a sign.

Such a thing wouldn't take long to arrive to us. The hours passed slow enough to almost drive me mad, almost making me go insane, until the third meal arrived. In my mind, I knew it was already night on the outside world, but couldn't tell any difference from where I was.

Pandora took me by the hand while we were eating and tightened her grab. She wanted to tell me something, but wouldn't or couldn't. I tried to feel anything, amplify my senses just like I had done many times before in Dreamare, realizing that there was nothing to worry about.

"It's safe for now, you can speak." Once again, it felt strange to speak aloud and to feel my mouth, my real mouth, and its muscles moving as spoke.

"I can feel them, Alynne. The kids are near to us." Pandora tried to control it, but there was a big excitement in her voice.

"What?!" Suddenly, I was alarmed and worried about what could happened to them. "Can you speak to them? They have to run away from here!" I kept my voice under control, not letting it go higher than a mere whisper, yet charged with all the sense of urgency.

"Let me try, let me try. Calm down, please." Pandora took a couple of audible breaths, focusing her mind on what she intended. "Wiese, Gail, listen to me."

I struggled not to pronounce a single word, as I already knew how fragile her connection would be in case she could create it. The littlest of noises could cut it, and Pandora would be fully with me again.

"Wiese, Gail, listen to me." This time, her tone was softer, calmer. "Listen to me." She finally said in a whisper before gasping. It had been done. While Pandora had the response from the children, I amplified my senses once again, asking for the Gods not to let anyone enter or do any kind of noise. "Tell them yourself, Alynne." She said to me.

"Wiese, Gail, please, please, get away from here," I said in a rush, "you know nothing about The Tenth, you have barely seen her and her magic, and I promise you that that is nothing compared to what she is really capable of." I wanted to say more, to explain them why, to put myself as the vivid example of it all, but Pandora made me a gesture with her hand to stop and I had to bite my tongue.

"They say they are perfectly okay, and they're... having caution with it all," said Pandora after another silence that made me feel anxious. "Wiese says we need to have some faith in them, Gail says the same and promises... promises that she is discovering new powers... She says she knows you dreamed... with her?" Pandora tried to control herself again, but I could feel the insecurity in her unintended question.

The sound of Pandora's voice started to send shivers down my spine. It echoed in the empty place and came back, crossing itself with her new words, combining the sounds and creating an effect I could hardly ignore, as if she caressed me without even touching me. All of of my head trembled in ecstasy as she spoke again, lower than before.

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