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LINK 20: (CASSIE) ROLL THE DICE
I stepped through the entrance to the cave avoiding the shattered pieces of blade, “Be careful Cassie, please.” I heard Majo say.
The cave ahead was a tunnel. It was lit with torches several feet up on the walls, and the ceiling itself was at a dozen feet up. I strained my eyes looking for any other traps; top and bottom. As far as I could tell it was safe. I waved to Majo and the others; signaling them. They walked over.
“It’s safe then?” Majo asked.
“Considering your head is still attached, I suppose so,” Jacob told him.
“I’ll detach your head.’ He muttered back.
“Now boys, stop fighting,” I whispered staring ahead at the tunnel ahead. It was about fifteen
feet wide at most. Torches only lined the right side, and it appeared to go on in one direction.
Our local Demaling whimpered; scared. I looked back and offered a smile an a thumbs up. She cocked her head probably not understanding the gesture. Jacob whispered to her and then she smiled back at me. With a no, I began to sneak down the tunnel. The cold wind blew past us making the torches flicker, and our shadows dance about crazily.
We continued in silence, only hearing the wind, for at least twenty minutes before the cave began to dip down and curve to the right. Soon we came to a large opening giving a wicked view. It opened up into a vast cavern at least a few football fields across. A few feet in front of us was a cliff edge. Way down below was what looked like a maze made out of tall stone walls. It was so vast and complicated I couldn’t spot any entrances or exits, but in the center of the labyrinth stood a tower with a huge dark black crystal atop it, that gave off a purple glow and struck out at the air with purple lightning bolts. Every few seconds the bolts would shoot out striking towers around the maze.
“This looks bad,” Majo stated. He walked up to the edge and put his hands on his hips.
“There’s a ladder down.” I told him as he peeked over the edge, “Over here.”
I pointed around the corner of the cave opening. It looked sturdy enough, although it was made out of wood which made me question its strength. Suddenly around the maze appeared a large winged reptile; a dragon. It was red with black wings and a long tail trailing behind it in the air.
“Is that an effing dragon?” Majo asked, and a second later it opened its mouth and blew fire down at something and swooped down on the other side of the labyrinth.
With a sigh, Majo shook his head, “Yeah that’s a god damn dragon.”
Serenitalia whimpered something, and Jacob responded, hopefully calming her down and not being a jerk.
“Do we go down?” I asked, really seeing no other way. I wanted to get moving before the dragon found us.
“Yeah.” Jacob said looking out over the maze, “It looks like we are going to have to face the maze.”
“Can’t we just go around?” Majo asked him.
Jacob shook his head, “No, we can’t.”
“Because Astaroth is at the center.”
Majo face-palmed himself, “I was afraid you were going to say that.”
“We get to the center, defeat the Astaroth guy and save the maiden in distress? Sounds pretty typical to me.” I said, starting for the ladder and beginning the nerve-wracking climb down.
The wooden ladder wobbled and creaked, being crudely tied to the wall with ancient ropes and dug in pikes, the worst part was I was the lightest of the group. Each step I took down the ladder groaned and swayed. Holding my breath, I kept going down some fifty feet or more to the bottom. As I touched down, I backed up and watched Majo begin his descent, but suddenly the ladder began to fall.
“Majo!” I cried out.
He started to fall backward with the ladder, but Jacob quickly grabbed him and pulled him back up to the edge. My husband climbed up and stared down at me.
“Rope? Do your bags have a rope?” I yelled up.
Majo disappeared for a moment and came back shaking his head, “No!” I turned around, and the only exit to the small little pit I had climbed into was the archway to the maze. I would have to go on alone.
“Ok. You guys find another way down, I’ll go take care of Astaroth!” I called back.