a moment, Lief could not speak. Then he put his hand on Manus's
arm so small and thin, and yet so full of strength.
"What is below the chapel?" he asked.
"Why - nothing," Manus said. "The outside wall runs
down beneath the earth, to meet the palace foundations. The inner
wall beside us here continues down to form the first wall of the
dungeons below the entrance hall. By the plan, there is only empty
space in between a cavern too small and low to be used for
The Enemy found a use for it, it seems," Lief said grimly.
"Now listen carefully, Manus. Everyone, except those too ill
to walk, must leave the palace at once. Tell them it is by order
of the king. Tell them to put their masks back on, go down to the
city, and spread the word that the plague is real. Then go yourself,
Manus. Find Doom, Gers, and Steven, if you can, and tell them I
His throat closed, He struggled to go on, but this time he could
"You have not mentioned Barda and Jasmine," Manus said
quietly. "They are here, in the palace. Do you really think
that they will leave 'by order of the king'?"
Lief gave a twisted smile. "No," he admitted. "If
they are still able to come to me they will, whatever I say. We
will stand together against the Enemy, one last time.
Manus nodded, his eyes very bright, and darted away without another
Lief put his fingers on the topaz once more and silently, insistently,
called to the golden dragon.