Emperor Cassius looked down at her, and she looked back. There was no deference in her gaze, curiosity in his, as they surveyed each other.

He settled back into his throne, resting on one arm, puzzling over the girl and the conundrum that she posed. Sage could see it on his face as clearly as if he had spoken it. Here she was, related to the most notorious activists of the rebellion, and yet she was clearly nothing like them.

He flicked his fingers out. “Take her to the dungeon for now.”

The manacles clanked as the two guards on either side of her escorted her out of the throne room. She walked with them, all the resistance that she had shown in avoiding capture gone now that she was in the palace. The emperor was a fascinating man.

It was only when they began to climb a set of stairs instead of descending them that Sage grew suspicious. She threw a glance out of a window, and indeed they were climbing up higher. She looked at the back of the third guard who was leading them, but said nothing.

They continued up more stairs, narrow enough that they had to let go of her arms and have one in front and one behind, twitching nervously as they went.

At the top of the stairs was a small room, with three doors leading off from it. The lead guard took out a ring of keys and unlocked the middle door, before the guards ushered her through.

Sage looked around in mild surprise as she took in the bed, the desk, the tiny but separate chamber for the necessity.

6830f3806568ac23286eb399b1dde96d“I hate to state the obvious, but this is not a dungeon.” She said.

The lead guard came over, and took out another set of keys. Motioning for her to give him her hands, he unlocked the manacles as he answered. “This is the tower, you’ll be staying here until his Imperial Majesty decides otherwise.”

The manacles clanked off, and Sage unconsciously rubbed her wrists. “The Tower, primarily used for prisoners of noble birth, and yet in public he said dungeons. What a clever misdirection.”

“Food will be brought in three time a day. If you have a need for blankets or other necessities, knock on the door and ask the guard.” The head guard said, as the three men who had accompanied her left the room, and the heavy door swung shut. The click was more than audible as it was locked behind the guard, and if there were any last minute orders, it was too thick for her to hear through.

She looked around the tower room. If she had known that imprisonment would be this well appointed, she might not had tried to run away with quite so much effort.