Dungeon Crackers, Chapter 11: The Stolen Talisman

I then ran to Grayon, and slashed the sack that he was holding. Most of the supplies fell out, but all I wanted was a ball-shaped artifact wrapped in cloth. The talisman fell out, and the cloak of invisibility was with it. I figured that Phoebe had followed us to the school with the cloak, and then used it to wrap up the talisman. That way, she could touch it without it sucking up her magic.

“Stop him!”

All I had to do was touch the talisman, and I would have the advantage. Grayon’s stony hand grabbed my leg, and before he could lift me, I had the talisman. I then touched it, and willed that all the magical creatures around me be drained. I had no idea what was to happen.

Grayon’s stony hand felt more like flesh now, and I got the feeling that his stone skin had now been replaced with flesh. As for Rolf, his fairy light had gone out, and it didn’t look like he could fly.

Phoebe didn’t seem to be affected, and I began to wonder what the range was for the talisman. It could work from a distance, but clearly not too far.

Before I could get any closer, Grayon threw me further away. I was surprised, but even though Grayon was no longer stone, he was still three times as thick, and probably three times as strong as a regular human being.

I still had the cloak of invisibility, so I restored it to full strength, and covered myself with it. I made certain to put the talisman under my shirt. If the talisman were to touch the cloak, I would be visible, and vulnerable.

I knew that I would have to face off with Phoebe and Grayon, but I could not now. I then took off running, but I saw Rolf on the path. I decided that he was light enough to travel with me, and scooped him up.

When I was what I thought a safe distance from Phoebe and Grayon, I smacked Rolf on the ground, and put my foot on every part of him but his face and wings. I then took out my knife and stuck it on his wings.

“Let me go, damn it!”

“Rolf, I know you probably think I hate you, but I don’t. Don’t make me change my mind.”

“Okay.”

“Here’s how this is going to work. You will live if you show me where Madelyn is. Got it?”

“What if I don’t know where Madelyn is? Phoebe saw her last.”

“You think it will hurt if I pull off your wings?”

“The stables at the school, just like she said! She was telling the truth.”

As I ran back to the school, I began to realize that how it ended was going to be how I thought it was going to end. I always thought that the group would split up because one of us didn’t like the cut, or that we should get a bigger cut, or something. We stayed together and got rich for several years, and I thought I could trust them.

Now I saw how it really ends. I am going to have to face Phoebe and Grayon again. I have to find Madelyn first.

When I ran to the school, I saw people trying to repair the gate. When I told them that I wished to speak with the Headmaster, they said they didn’t know whether he would had left. Fortunately, I found him at the stables before he took off.

“Come to surrender?”

“No, but I’ve brought the talisman.”

He jumped off his horse and seemed surprised that I was giving it to him.

“You found the glamour?”

“Yes. You were right about the Madelyn, the fake Madelyn, at least. She was Phoebe.”

“I knew I shouldn’t have trusted that troll.”

“Hey, that troll is my…was my friend.”

“I see you brought your other friend with you.”

“He’s going to show me where Madelyn really is.”

“Like I said, she’s in the stables.”

“I don’t see her.”

“Ahem,” said Bitane, “you should come with me.”

Bitane led me to another stable, and I saw something that was simply horrifying. Worse yet, I was expecting it, but I had tried to put it out of my mind. I ran up to see the body of Madelyn. It couldn’t have been anything else. Phoebe probably led her here, and then she struck her. Then she poured oil on her, and set her aflame. Here were several flasks of oil on the shelf.

“That’s not….not…oh no! No!” Bitane saw the body and started to cry. I wanted to cry, but I knew it would do know good, but I could do something.

I squeezed Rolf as tight as I could, and he just pleaded for mercy.

“I swear that I didn’t know that she was going to kill her! We thought she was just going to knock her out, and take her place, and keep her alive just in case she ever wanted any information from her or something.”

“Why would she do that when she could just kill her?”

I banged Rolf against the rafter of the stable. Bitane stopped me, but I had already beaten the fairy dead in my fist.

“What? Am I to show this creature mercy?”

If thing had gone according to Phoebe’s plan, then I probably would have ended up finding this body in some other town, dressed in the clothing that Madelyn was wearing on the last night I saw her. The talisman would probably have been nearby, and Phoebe would have taken Madelyn’s place by removing all the evidence.

Bitane looked at me and sobbed: “What are we going to do?”

“They are after me, and after this talisman. They will be here soon.”

So, what will happen when Phoebe and Grayon arrive? This will be revealed in the next chapter here.

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