Lugah feral intent, p.5
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       Lugah - Feral Intent, p.5

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  Chapter Five

  The Methuselan guard saluted the king as he approached. King Jim smiled in acknowledgement, and placed his palm against the iron door. For a moment, it glowed a dull yellow, and then dimmed. A loud thunk echoed in the halls. The locks released, allowing the king to enter.

  Jim stepped into the dark room as the door swung shut behind him. Another loud thunk echoed as its locks re-engaged, replaced by the hum of a swarm of wasps. The hum grew louder as the swarm scanned the man standing there. Suddenly, his torch was extinguished and the treasury filled with light, as the magical wasps lit up, welcoming their king. He stowed the torch in his belt

  Chests, laden with gold, lined the stone room. The gold overflowed onto the floor, covering all but a small walkway. The hum of the wasps followed him as he ignored the gold and headed to the back of the room. Jim stopped in front of the rear wall. The wasps disappeared into small holes that riddled the stonework. Moments later, the wall groaned and shuddered. Particles of dust fell to the floor in front of him as the door shunted backwards, creating a narrow opening through which to enter. Inside the large room, a square hole in the floor disappeared into a deep chasm. The wasps did not exit the wall, and the room was pitch black.

  He walked three paces and felt along the wall for a pattern known only to him—a small, deep cut that formed a right angle.

  “Ha! Found it.”

  He put his thumb and forefinger inside the cut. A small click released a single, glowing wasp. He watched as it descended to the floor, and alighted on a long rope inside a metal channel. Careful not to move from his position, Jim bent down and tugged the rope. A wooden ladder slid along the underside of the channel towards him. As it came to rest at his feet, he took a deep breath.

  “Down we go,” he muttered.

  A small notch in the wall provided a sufficient handhold as he backed onto the ladder. His foot slipped off the top rung and he lost his grip as one hand bore his full weight. He fell through the air. Panicked, he reached out and his hands collided with a lower rung. He gripped it hard, and found his footing. The torch fell out of his belt. Moments later a distant thud sounded beneath him.

  “I’m getting too old for this,” he exclaimed.

  Jim paused there, wiping his sweaty palms. He grabbed the rope that hung beside the ladder, tied it around his waist, and commenced his descent. He shuddered as the ladder creaked and wobbled under his weight.

  As the king neared the floor of the first level, the section lit up, momentarily blinding him. He gingerly opened his eyes and peered down. “Just don’t look up.” He laughed as he continued.

  Each level lit up as the king passed, illuminating chests of all varieties. Some glowed with magic, while others sat, unremarkable, covered in generations of dust. The king smiled with relief when his feet finally touched the ground. He looked up and marveled at the magnificence of the twelve illuminated floors above him.

  Unlike the other levels, this floor remained dark. The king moved in the darkness from item to item, searching for his prize.

  “Hopeless!” he shouted, as his hands found the handle of the torch he dropped earlier. He carried on his search. His heart froze as his hands touched a small, iron chest. Jim pried the latch open and retrieved a small piece of fabric from inside.

  “Found you at last.” He stroked the delicate lace, and then tucked the fabric into his pocket. Running his hand along the wall, he walked back in the direction he had come, and found the ladder.

  An hour later, and covered in dirt and sweat, the King emerged from the treasury. His personal advisor scrutinized the breathless king. “I assume that a mug of your favorite ale is in order, Sire?” he asked, removing a long thread of spider webbing from Jim’s tunic.

  The king grinned and replied, “I believe it is, old man. Perhaps you could see to it that I am not disturbed.”

  “By anyone, Sire?”

  The king nodded and brushed himself down.

  “Of course, Sire. I shall make arrangements accordingly.”

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Comments 1

Matthew Stewart
Matthew Stewart 8 June 2018 04:04
A fast great read. Nothing like what I expected. A must read series!
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