On the hilltop, so far removed from the underground caverns, Sozwik found himself reluctantly relieved.
The landscape exhibited an intense openness. The fresh air, running smoothly through his hair, felt like being birthed into an entirely new world. For Sozwik, leaving would have been more difficult if he actually had a choice… But his hands were tied.
Sozwik had earned his ‘freedom’.
After a lifetime of forced slavery inside the zapixion mines, he had achieved what so few had been able to do. Sozwik tediously toiled his way up to Top Rank, the highest position a Jyoti could obtain, and was the youngest yet to do so.
Just seven Jyoti of each generation were granted freedom. And only those of Top Rank were even eligible. Freedom was a fleeting dream that so many clung to, yet such a small number would ever taste. The leading theory…
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