She had spoken in their childhood language, but he continued in commons speech.
“The power going out, was that your doing?”
Mari scoffed indignantly and replied in commons as well, “I ghave been well, thanks so much for asking.”
“And why do you assume it whas meh?”
He squinted again. “The coincidence would be astounding.”
“Ha! That’s note faihr!”
“All you have to do is answer the question.”
Mari took a breath and Cael smiled sardonically.
“Okay, so the power bit may ghave been Sieffre’s idea.”
Ilya sniffled and raised her head at the familiar name. She looked from Cael to Mari, unable to understand their conversation.
“What are you doing listening to Sieffre, and what is Sieffre doing having ideas in the first place?”
Mari cocked her head, “Ooh! I think you ghurt his feelings.”
Ilya jumped his mocking laugh. She turned and looked to Alberich.
“What’s wrong? What are they arguing about?”
“I’m not… entirely sure.” The large man had sunk back against the wall and was rubbing the feeling back into his hands. “Apparently, she caused the lights to go out.”
“Yes, I knew that.”
Cael’s head snapped back to tiny woman in his lap.
“You did?” He asked in Sakhimi.
“Well, yes. I… your sister, she helped me escape.”
“You know she’s my sister?” He turned to Mari in commons, “Have a bit of a conversation did we?”
The bald woman hugged herself against the chill of the doorway and shrugged; the lamp in her hand lit up her face in a ghostly blue.
“And what exactly did you two talk about?”
“Oh, well… I suppose a congratulations es en ordah, Mister… ah Enkshi. Thankjyou, Sieffre.” Mari then erupted in a low chuckle, leaning as if someone were whispering in her ear.
“It’s very rude to carry on a private conversation in front of others.” Cael snapped.
“Jyou are one to talk.” She nodded at Ilya who sat forgotten in his lap.
He cleared his throat.
“Ah, Ilya, are you okay now?”
She shook her head, not sure how to answer. “Yes?”
He squeezed her shoulders reassuringly.
“Do you think you’re ready to move?”
“Move? Yes? I can walk. Mari only carried me here because of the glass.”
“Yes, when Sieffre had to pop all of the overhead lights in the locker room.”
“Sieffre? You know about Sieffre?”
“Well… Yes? He showed me how to find you.”
“You spoke to Sieffre?” He leaned back doubtfully. “How?”
“Well, through the kampdator.”
“Through the….” He swiveled the box around on the table, and its square skrina lit up on cue. The blinding light faded to reveal the face of a broadly smiling Sieffre.
“Hello!” He chirped in Sakhimi.
“Cael, Ilya, good to see you again.”
“Thank you! For… rescuing me back in the locker room.”
“You did so well back there.”
“No, I panicked….”
“It was quick thinking to go for the locker.”
“What?” Cael jumped in. “What are you talking about? Ilya, tell me what happened in the locker room.”
“Well… I… had to find something to cut your restraints and there were these men….” Ilya’s voice faltered and her chin began to tremble again. She pressed a palm to her mouth, embarrassed by how quickly her weakness overtook her.
“It’s okay, never mind.” Cael hugged her to him again. “We’ll… talk about it later.”
“Um….” Sieffre cleared his throat and gave meaningful look to Mari.
Mari pushed off from the doorway. “We should get moving.”