Iliseanor’s whispered words brought Jayla back to reality. She addressed the humans. “We’re helping you to escape. You must follow us and be quiet. We’re near discovery.”
Jayla took a step back as her friend opened the first cage – for all they knew, the humans could turn on them. The red-haired human crawled out and stood, then its legs crumpled and it steadied itself against the cage to remain upright.
Jayla drew a sharp breath. They wouldn’t be able to walk. Not as weak as they were. “Iliseanor…”
Her friend had already opened the second cage, where a human with long, untidy blonde hair sat clutching its stomach.
Iliseanor turned to Jayla. “What’s wrong?”
“How are they supposed to walk out of here when they can’t even stand without support?”
Iliseanor froze, uncertainty evident in her eyes. “Blokhin can carry one…”
“He might be strong, but they’re an awkward shape for him to carry… and I’m not sure they’d allow it.”
“Then Abelard can do it.”
“And the other six?”
Iliseanor’s shoulders tensed. “Curses! I knew they’d been starved and would be weak, but I thought they’d be able to walk, at least… or run.” Tears sparkled in her clear green eyes.
Jayla’s heart broke at the situation and her friend’s unshed tears. “Let the rest out. See if any of them can walk and support the others. I’ll see if the Secret Keeper can do anything.” She sent a telepathic warning as she walked away. If any of them go for you, kill them.
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