Eilyn exchanged a look with Clement before tipping over to the door. She searched the wood for a peephole, but found none.
“Eilyn!” the voice called again.
“It sounds like Tharlmund,” Clement said, joining her at the door. Eilyn felt the unspoken question lingering between them.
“There is no way to be sure,” she said after a moment. “We never established a code.”
“Sister,” a child called out to her. “I found father.”
“Brother, how do I know it’s you?” Eilyn called. In her heart, she hoped it was not her brother and father on the other side of the door. She needed more time to get Clement out before she confronted them. Her hopes sank as the boy rattled off the line of poetry. She responded and put her hand on the doorknob.
“You don’t have to do this, Eilyn,” Clement put his hand over hers. “We can get out without them.”
“They are my family,” She answered. “I have to try.”
Eilyn took a deep breath and opened the chamber door. Her father and brother stood before her like a beautiful dream. One in which they were safe and happy in her mother’s palace. She smiled weakly.
“Come in,” She said, knowing they would not. “We will be safe from any danger in here.”
“Eilyn,” Tharlmund said, his voice sweet and paternal, “We must not delay.Your brother will lead us to where the others are hiding.”
“No one can hide from the necromancers for too long,” Eilyn said, stepping out of the chamber. “One can join their ranks or be turned into a soulless minion.”
“You are well studied, sister,” the boy stepped forward and bowed. “Which will you choose?”