Lysara snuck out of her tent. In the morning they’d go search for the enchanted weapon, the Zerstörelicht. Was it another sword, axe, mace, maybe something weird like bagh nakh? She didn’t care right now. She had more pressing matters.
The entire day had been awkward. She and Bonnie had barely said a word to each other. She walked carefully over to the fire. “Lilly, slow watch tonight?”
“Thankfully, yes,” Lilly said. “But shouldn’t you be… I don’t mean for it to sound like I’m giving you orders or anything… but didn’t you ne… want to sleep?”
“Actually, Lysara said. “I needed to talk to you in private and since you’re working with Velvet tonight I figure it’s the best time.”
She glanced over at Velvet who was staring out at their surroundings. Head resting on one hand.
“Oh… sure,” Lilly said. “What did you wanna talk about?”
“You’ve known Bon longer than anyone else here,” Lilly said. “So, do you know how she started working for the kings?”
“Oh… I… that’s a…” Lilly looked down, up and finally turned completely away from Lysara. “I… I have no idea… I mean, how would I… know anything like that?”
“You’re such a bad liar,” Lysara stated. “Is it… really that bad?”
The two sat in silence for a time. Finally, Lilly spoke up. “I… don’t think it matters. I… I mean the past is over, right? And… and the person she is today is strong, dependable and trustworthy. Don’t you think?”
Lysara had to take a moment to think about it. “I guess you’e right,” she said, at last. “Bon’s always been there, looking out for me, protecting me. Does it really matter what her past was like? I mean, I’d love to know, sure, but I guess I can live just knowing the person she is today.” Lysara rose. “Thanks, Lilly. I’m sure I’ll be able to get some sleep now.” She hurried back to her tent.
“That could have gone better,” Velvet muttered.
“I know,” Lilly agreed. “But… it’s really none of our business.”
They ate and broke camp early, anxious to find the weapon and return to the surface.
“Bon,” Lysara sang “let’s walk together!” She took Bonnie’s hand and smiled at her.
“Sure,” Bonnie said.
“The first step is to find this storage area where the Zerstörelicht is being held,” Twila said. “Then we’ve just got to grab it.”
“It’ll be a snap,” Axra said. “Just use your detect magic thing and we’ll be able to start going home today.”
“I… I wouldn’t be that confident,” Lilly said. “I mean… Gail did indicate that something really nasty… really deadly would be in our way.”
“The sleeping destroyer, was it?” Twila muttered. She put a hand on Lilly’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, we’ll be careful.”
“Maybe we won’t even encounter it at this point,” Lysara suggested. “I mean, we haven’t seen or heard anything about it yet, right?”
“Not like it matters if it does,” Axra said. “I’ll just deal with it. I’m not scared of some sleeping monster.”
“Dealing with monsters is a hassle,” Velvet said. “Let’s just grab the thing and get out before it wakes up.”
“Indeed,” Reginald said. “As spectacular a sight as the young beauty of a princess going up against a strange beast would be, the best battle is ultimately the one you don’t have to fight.”
They headed to the spot indicated by the map. Like most of the ruins in the deep underground, it was practically leveled with barely the support remaining to tell that it had been a building at all. Twila cast her magic detection spell and looked around.
“See it?” Axra asked.
“I’m not really seeing anything except some of our own equipment,” Twila said. “I suppose they might have shielded it somehow, but where would they hide it?”
“Only one possible place,” Bonnie said. “If the building had a basement then that might still be intact and they could have shielded it.”
“I see,” Twila said. “That would make the most sense. Especially if they were housing something really powerful. There’s no helping it, we’re going to have to look for a trapdoor or other entrance of some kind.”
They searched around, moving piles of stone and rubble around to look for any hidden entrances and not finding any signs of anything intact.
“Maybe we’re in the wrong spot,” Lysara suggested.
“Or maybe it’s a magic door,” Bonnie added.
“But would that not be detectable by the lovely Twila’s spell?” Reginald asked.
“Not necessarily,” Twila said. “It is possible to create a magic door that isn’t detectable by any normal spell. The trick is to have the magic flow from a secondary source when the door gets activated. In which case, the secondary source could very well be in the shielded area.”
“Whoever built this place was serious about security if that’s the case,” Bonnie said.
“So, how in tartarus do we open an invisible door?” Axra asked.
“There might be a way,” Twila said. “This thing was built a long time ago. So, a knock spell might very well be able to force it open. In any case, it couldn’t hurt to try. Everyone, stand back.”
Twila chanted for several seconds and finally let out a loud command. “Knock!”
The response was immediate. The ground started shaking beneath Twila. She hurriedly moved to more stable ground on the side. The floor slid open to reveal a marble staircase, still intact, leading down.
“You did it!” Axra exclaimed.
Twila nodded. “Let’s hurry, before it closes back up.”
“I’ll take point,” Bonnie said.
Fang flew to Twila’s shoulder and the eight of them began filing down the staircase.