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My head was still spinning.

We made our way back down the staircases through the castle until we arrived at the ground floor. Crossing the room that led into the kitchen, we found the others already waiting there for us, a group of about twenty teens huddled in a corner. Their pale faces turned toward us as we entered the room. They scrambled even closer to each other.What happened? my grandfather asked, running toward us and gripping my shoulders. His eyes fell on the blood staining Kiev’s leg.

We’re okay, I said, We need to just get out of here. But… these humans are the only ones you found?My father nodded sadly.Where are the others? I thought they stole over a hundred from that school. And those are just the ones we’re aware of. We’re missing so many.

Could they all be locked in that spell room?These people are all we’ve found, darling, Aiden said.

I looked at Caleb. His face was ashen.

We need to try to get out of here now with those we’ve found, Caleb said. If we stay here longer, we risk losing not only their lives, but our own.But it had backfired.

I had of course expected Jeramiah to put my theory to the test. But I’d thought he might wait until the hunt itself, once we were already outside of the boundary, not have me experiment on a human beforehand.Although I felt guilty about inflicting on another human the life of a half-blood here in The Oasis, with no guarantee of who might take him or her on, Jeramiah had made clear that the person had already been chosen to be a half-blood. Either I did the job, or someone else would.

Now I just had to hope that my theory would indeed hold up, because there was no way out of this now.Jeramiah, River and I made our way down to the ground level and Jeramiah led us into a room where a woman was huddled in one corner.