Swamped Chapter 55 Page 9

Right, you can do this. You just need Ringer to…


…to stop ringing that damned bell, apparently. What’s going on?

Ringer stumbles into the light, stares you in the face, and points at their ear, while ringing their bell.

Can’t hear anything? That’s weird. They don’t look like they got hit in the ears…

…wait. You hear something. It starts as a whisper, but gets gradually louder.

okti okti okti okti… okti okti okti okti…

Now that… That’s a word you know. It means “silence”.

More disconcerting, it’s a voice you know. A voice you never expected to hear again.

You have to put that aside for now, and focus on your next move. This must be like the sleep spell – it’s designed to work on humans. And in this weak light, El… the intruder probably hasn’t realized you aren’t one.

That means you can use the chanting to figure out where they are. Not far, you think. Just about a foot… if you step forward…

okti okti okti… okti?

They sound a little confused. Maybe their mask is letting them see in all this darkness, and they weren’t expecting you to move the way you did.

You try flailing a little, as though you don’t know where you’re going. The next chant doesn’t falter. Though, as you get closer, they sound a little nervous.

You tackle them before they have a chance to act.

Ringer’s bell rings a few times, then stops. Without an active chant, the silence spell seems to be broken.

“Get to the hall!” you call out. “I’ve got the intruder.”

You pull your captive to the hall, and Ringer soon joins you. The mask makes a sound like it’s in pain.

You pull the damn thing off. And the face beneath confirms your fears.

It’s Elmin. Elmin, who you could have sworn you killed with your own two hands years ago.

At least they can’t hide behind a language barrier. But what the hell do you even ask to someone who’s supposed to be dead?

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It’s a sick tactic, making captured prisoners fight each other for amusement. Especially when someone has sworn off killing.

What was it she said to you? Something about fate and how the wind blows. It was fate that killed her, she said.

Fate blew a dagger right into the neck of your guard and the warden the following night. Funny, that.

Might as well let them know what your name is now.

Oh also HOW ARE YOU ALIVE? Is also a good question. Maybe worth getting that out of the way before the interrogation room.