Dungeon Crackers, Chapter 7: The Weeping Valley
I suppose I could put a "Previously, on Dungeon Crackers" here, but you could just simply read any chapters that you missed. Here's some links here.
Of course I had to take the job, as it did offer me the only thing in my life that hadn’t been taken away: money. I wanted Rolf and Grayon to get some rest, so I told Madelyn that we had to leave at sunset the following day.
Unfortunately, the fastest way to get from Moraden to Bitane’s school is directly through the WeepingValley. It wasn’t called that until nine years ago, when the last battle in the Magic Wars was fought there. Even though it was a straight path to where we needed to go, there were not many who trod here.
There were a lot of bad memories here, for all of us. If you looked through some of the brush, you would see some bones of dragons, ogres, and other beings who had gone underground since the Magic Wars. Some of the races of magical creatures, such as the trolls, were dying. According to Grayon, there were no longer any troll females. Trolls lived a long lifespan of two hundred years, but when the eldest troll was dead, so would the troll race.
I had told Grayon not to trust Madelyn. I then told Madelyn that Rolf’s illuminated form would be leading the way. He and I would study the blueprints, to see what backdoors that we could make.
I also told Grayon to put in his blue tooth communicator on, and that I would be listening to his conversation with Madelyn. The one thing I know about Grayon is that he is one of the noblest creatures I know. Grayon doesn’t use his appearance to frighten anyone, and wants to get to know people. When people stop seeing the troll, they begin to open up to him.
Grayon began with an observation. “You know, we usually don’t have the one who hired us come with us.”
“I understand if this is awkward. What about Phoebe? Where is she?”
“She’s usually about getting us other missions. I imagine she’s probably about under a cloak of invisibility now, listening in on other people’s conversations, seeing if they want someone to break into a dungeon and recover some item that belongs to them. Do you mind if I ask how she found you?”
“Oh. I ran into her on the road. I thought she was someone else.”
“Do you mind if I ask who?”
“No problem, he’s right over there.”
“Tiran? Then he must be…”
“Yes, we have a history together.”
“I’d like to hear it.”
I stopped in my tracks. I realized that I could have given away to Madelyn that I was eavesdropping, but it didn’t appear to stop her from speaking.
“We were studying magic together, and we sort of found our own magic.”
“He was expelled from the school before you could be together, I take it.”
There was a silence there, and Grayon wasn’t certain if Madelyn was thinking of a question to ask him. He took a risk with this next question.
“So, you saw Phoebe, and thought it was Tiran. I understand how awkward that is. I thought she was my wife, when I first met her.”
“You didn’t do anything embarrassing, did you?”
“I actually scolded her. You see, my wife perished during the war. When I first saw Phoebe, I said: ‘You’re alive. Why did you not tell me?’”
“I’m so sorry.”
“I wasn’t your fault. Well, actually, it was the fault of all humans, but I don’t blame you for being a part of it.”
“It must be hard to see her again, whenever you look Phoebe, that is.”
“I’ve sort of used to it. Every once in a while, I catch myself looking too long. It is a pleasant reminder that she is always a part of me.”
“I guess I understand.”
“You would have to. I always knew that I could move on if Phoebe changed into anyone else. Clearly your feelings about Tiran have not changed in all those times.”
“I’ve sort of made that assumption myself. Can I ask how you met Tiran?”
“It isn’t a secret. I met Tiran through Rolf. Right around here, in fact. You see, I was a part of this battle.”
“I understand if you don’t want to talk about it.”
“There isn’t much to tell. I was not in front, and could not tell what was going on. However, we had some of the strongest out in front, the dragons, the cyclops, and giants. All of the wizards were ready. Yet an army of humans were slaughtering us. We didn’t know why.”
I could tell that Madelyn was only saying that to be polite. It almost sounded like she knew the reason why the war was lost.
“Eventually, we all retreated, and most of us went underground.
“I went underground for about a year. I came out and looked at this battlefield, one that will never be clean of corpses. I found Rolf at around that time. He had come back to essentially kill himself. Apparently, he’s not very popular with the other fairies.”
“So he told me.”
“He tells everyone. Anyway, we were both figuring out our next move, and we hear the sound of a fairy whistle.”
“A fairy whistle, interesting.”
I knew that Madelyn knew exactly what fairy whistle he was talking about.
“We found Tiran, and we wondered if we could get the magic that had been taken out of the world back again. Somehow, we eventually found Phoebe, and she’s kept us in business ever since.”
“Hey,” said Rolf, “don’t you think that Madelyn is really fine-looking?”
“Unless the next thing that you’re about to say is something to do with our next assignment, I’m not really wanting to hear anything from you, actually.”
“Fine. By that way. I couldn’t help but notice that there is no way in around this thing. It’s not below ground, and it’s surrounded by metal. There is no way we can get in there unless…”
“We go through the front door. Exactly my plan.”
“Okay, more or less, going through the front door was my plan.”
So, Tiran is going to get the item in the non-sneaky way. Check out the next chapter here.