He took me to the cages. I’d always known we kept them underground, but I’d never dared to see them myself before. The guards eyed me as we walked to deeper and darker levels, our footsteps echoing like heartbeats in that empty, stone chasm.
The heartbeats died when we reached the cages.
“Every single one,” he said.
“Every…” I couldn’t manage to speak. Cage after cage stood open. I gaped openly, but the master bore the eerie calmness of resignation.
“Whatever was holding them shut broke,” he said.
“What will happen?”
He clapped a hand on my shoulder. I jumped. “I was hoping you’d go find out,” he said.