"Nalyari, where are you?" The sound of the Duke's voice echoed through the hallways of the ruins.
Nalyari, still hunkered beneath the stone pallet, came to consciousness hearing the voice calling her. The voice seemed to be a different voice than that of the man in white; it was much lower in pitch. Startled to hear a different voice she sat up too quickly and banged her forehead on the stone pallet she was hiding under. Smarting from the pain of hitting the stone pallet she closed her eyes and lied back down trying to gather herself.
"Nalyari, where are you?" she heard the voice again a little closer. She began to hear the man's footsteps as he approached the room she was hiding in.
She could not place the voice. It was not Meondobo's voice it was too deep. She wondered if the man in white had not summoned helpers to find her. The thought of an army of men in white looking for her in the ruins chilled her. She knew that there was no way that she would be able to hide indefinitely from a group of determined searchers.
"Nalyari, it's your father, where are you?"
Her father? Had her father come all the way to Tingan to find her? She could not remember the last time her father had left Lachiesis and he was here now? She instantly doubted that the voice calling her was her father. In her memory her father had never left Lachiesis. He would always send emissaries to arrange trade deals for him and not travel himself. He had not even left Lachiesis for Aglaya's wedding, staying at home and viewing it on a live feed over the uniweb. How could he be here now?
When the Duke called out for her again, Nalyari listened to the voice. It did sound like her father's voice and despite her initial disbelief Nalyari began to climb out from under the pallet where she had been hiding. In the pitch black she moved slowly, remembering the bang on the head she had received when she had first tried to get up. When she was sure that she was out from under the pallet, she slowly got to her feet. Standing once again she tried to look around the small room that she was in, but in the darkness she could see nothing.
"Nalyari, where are you?" called her father's voice once again.
"Here," she called.
"Nalyari?" the voice called again.
She heard the sound of footfalls from the hallway slowly grow louder as the Duke approached the room. Looking over to the doorway there was a faint bit of light. She walked through the doorway and out into the hall. Looking down the hallway in the direction that the voice was coming from she was blinded with the light of the Duke's flashlight shining in her eyes and she brought her hand up to cover them.
"Nalyari!" exclaimed the Duke, beginning to run to where she was. When he reached her he flung his arms around her and held her to his breast. "Oh Nali, I was so worried."
"Father," she said, and began to cry, her tears flowing into his chest.
As they hugged Karl came up from behind the Duke. "Ah, you found her, good," he said.
"Nali, I'm sorry about arranging for you to marry the Pasha. I shouldn't have done it," said the Duke, holding his daughter. "Let's go home, I have to tell the Pasha he will not have his bride"
"Yes, father," said Nalyari.
The Duke released his daughter and they began walking out of the ruins, the Duke and Karl shining their flashlights in the hallway ahead. They had not gone more than thirty meters when they saw the man in white standing in the beams of their flashlights holding a large metaloceramic knife in his hand.