“Between Ridley, James, the elf, and myself,” Sir Carter told the wizard, “they will be fine. Farewell, Calavus.”
“Fare the well,” Calavus replied. “For now.”
With only a nod in return, Sir Carter pulled the door shut. It closed firmly with an iron clang against its frame. They could hear the metal bars being lowered down on the other side– Cerys remembered that there were three of them– and then it was quiet. She supposed that on the other side, the mage was lowering the tapestry, smoothing it back into place before crossing the room to do his own work.
The tunnel that the party now found themselves in was lit only by the lanterns that they had brought with them. It was narrow, lined in rough bricks, which were not aligned nearly as evenly as what would have been the standard in the rest of the castle. Cerys could not see very far, but she felt from the draft that it was a long tunnel, and wondered whether wit was a straight path, or if if twisted and turned along its length.
“Stay close,” Sir Carter told them. “We cannot leave lights along our way to guide us.”
“They would only guide your enemies,” Himeko noted.
The knight nodded.
“We’ll stay together,” Cerys assured him.
“There are traps set,” Lord Ridley added. “Once we get far enough through the passage, we will have to be careful not to set them off ourselves.”
Ridley began walking, clearly not wanting to waste time, and the others kept up with him. It was cold in the tunnel, and the air was somewhere between fresh and stale; Cerys could not quite place it. It was not wet or pungent, the way some dungeons were described, and for that she was thankful. She remembered all the games she had played where the tunnels had a dripping sound in the distance, and creaking doors, and an echo that seem to go on forever. But there, deep beneath Summerlay’s royal castle, there was only the echo.