Axra didn’t sleep well that night. Why was she so nervous? For that matter, why was she heading to the ruins when she hadn’t come for that purpose? Was it just because Twila was going? Why should she even care what she did? And yet… and yet… She glanced at the sleeping woman. There was something about her. Something that drew Axra to her. Why? Why was it her? Axra lay still, trying to sleep and struggling with her confusion until day broke.
Twila got up shortly after the sunset. She yawned, stretched and grabbed her pouch. She started by putting her bedroll away and reached in for a change of clothes and provisions. Axra went to her horse and changed as well. She hurried and returned to the campsite. Twila had started making breakfast.
“Good morning,” she said. “Did you have pleasant dreams?”
“Sure,” Axra lied. “They were awesome. How about you?”
“I don’t really remember,” Twila said. “I think I had a dream of some kind, but it’s one of those ones that you just forget as soon as you wake up.” She handed Axra some food. “Eat up. We should be going soon.”
“Right,” Axra said. “Don’t wanna waste the morning.”
They ate and hurriedly broke camp. Twila led the way and they eventually reached a large broken down structure. The remnants of a door was tossed to the ground nearby. The entrance was open and there were no living things in sight. Twila pulled a large rolled up parchment from her pouch and examined it for a moment.
“Yes,” she said. “I do believe this is the one.”
“You have a map of the ruin?” Axra asked.
“I do,” Twila said. “Uncle Lulu and Aunt Elaine were here a few months ago. He drew a map for me and then she re-did it so it would be legible. I love Uncle Lulu, but his handwriting’s a mess.”
“If it’s already mapped out won’t there be nothing inside?” Axra asked.
“It’s possible,” Twila said. “Finding anything of value is difficult for most of these ruins. But I have a theory I’d like to test.”
“What kind of theory?”
“Well, I think that the ruins are connected,” Twila said. “This may not have just been a city. It may have been a city with buildings connected by a complex system of tunnels. If we can find the way inside, then we won’t just be able to search rooms that have been hidden for who knows how long, but we’ll be able to advance knowledge!”
“That would be interesting,” Axra said. “But what makes you think it’s true?”
“I read the legend in a Djinn book,” Twila explained. “It spoke of a large, interconnected city that fell into ruin at the time of the cataclysm. But some people survived by fleeing underground into the tunnels.”
Djinn? Axra had heard that term before. Where was… Oh, yes. She remembered. The lost race. “Where did you find a Djinn book?”
Twila hesitated for a moment. “I got it from my Aunt Reira,” she finally answered.
“Well, it couldn’t hurt to check,” Axra said. “We should be careful, though. If those tunnels still exist there’s no telling what lurks inside them now.”
“We’ll be careful,” Twila said. “And we’ll have Fang to watch our backs.” The two strode into the building.