Christa's heart sank in to despair. "Not every bloody one of you can be Orin!" she bellowed. Realising the volume of her own voice, she turned her head to catch a glimpse of the slumbering guard. Fortunately, he was still snoring away.
As she turned her attention back to the prisoners, she saw that they were all pressed up against the bars of their cells, desperate for her attention. "By the gods, I am Orin! Set me free!" one of them wailed, his voice rising to a desperate pitch.
"The gods?" Christa laughed. "Orin hates the gods."
The prisoner's face fell, and he retreated into the shadows of his cell.
"Damn the gods, I hate them and everything they stand for," said the other prisoner, flashing his golden tooth.
Christa spun around to face him, her eyes narrowing with suspicion. "You’re trying too hard," she retorted. She was at a loss for what to do. Never had she imagined a scenario where every inmate would claim to be Orin to secure their release. She couldn't possibly set them all free; the divine lock pick was a one-time use item, and time was running out.
Suddenly the sound of a deafening explosion echoed through the prison block. She could take a guess as to what it was: The signal she was supposed to be waiting for this whole time. She spotted the guard at the end of the hallway waking up. Taken aback, he grabbed his sword and stumbled towards Christa. The guard was a large man, his armour clanking as he moved.
With a grim determination, using her left hand she drew her dagger from the scabbard that was tied around her waist and took up a defensive stance. Fighting was not her strong suit; she knew that better than anyone else but she had no choice but to fight. She knew that the prison cells are cursed with an energy that restricts the use of blessings. This gave her some comfort knowing that the guard, without any divine advantages would at least be somewhat on her level, but was that enough?
Christa ran towards the guard and they clashed, their blades ringing out as they slammed in to each other. Christa was quick on her feet. But the guard was strong and experienced with a reach advantage that she had no hope of overcoming with her dagger.
She cried out in pain as his sword sliced through her right arm, drawing blood. She gritted her teeth and lunged forward, aiming for the guard's midsection. The guard saw the attack coming and parried with his sword, but Christa was too quick. The guard had only just woken up, so he was slow and sluggish. Christa used this to her advantage. She darted to the side and sliced her dagger across his leg, causing him to stumble and fall to the ground.
Christa kicked the guard's sword out of reach and pointed her dagger at his throat. "Surrender," she said, her voice cold and deadly.
She was breathing heavily. She had won the fight, but she knew this wasn’t where it ends. She couldn’t let her guard down. She had never killed before, and although she had no intention of doing so now, she needed to show her opponent that she was capable of it.
The guard looked up at her, defeated. Sensing her deadly intent, he knew he had no chance against her. With a sigh, he raised his hands in surrender.
Pressing her dagger against his neck, she demanded “Which one of these prisoners is Orin.” She got nothing but silence in return. She applied more pressure against his neck with her dagger until it produced blood. “Tell me!”
The guard hesitated, his eyes darting around the cells. Finally, he pointed a shaking finger at one of the cells. "He's in there," he whispered.
Christa shoved the guard's face into the dirt and bound his arms with a length of rope from her pack. "You'll be staying here for a while," she snarled.
She turned towards the cell, her heart pounding in her chest. With a divine lock pick in hand, she easily unlocked the door and stepped inside.
A figure emerged from the shadows, revealing a thin and dishevelled man with dark skin and long, dirty hair. Despite his weakened state, there was an aura about him. Christa knew immediately that this was the man she had been looking for.