Book 6 - Mystery of Shadow Mountain - Chapter 38: When Two is a Crowd

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httyyd
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Here is the start of the chapters I have been wanting to write since I thought of this mystery.  Then with all the events of the book and the character development and mystery development, these chapters are going to be some of my favorites to write this story.

 

I hope you all enjoy!

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

New - Chapter 23, Parts 2 and 3

 

The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links
 

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

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Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

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httyyd
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Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

         Little over four hours later, our friends arrive at Mystery.  Ashley Sorethon, Sapphire Battersea, Meen Mordson, Hattori Korozinu, Navaro Blannson, Kesu Patro, Cullan Quinn, Thoreous Hallson, Tory Skyman, Repteil Abisson, Faith Valgard, and Jack Leifson all came.

         As the group going to Shadow Mountain made final checks and double checks on supplies and tools we are bringing with us, I inform the rest of our friends of all that has gone on.  They are amazed at what we have uncovered, astonished at the clues and connections we have encountered, angry at the opponents and obstacles we have faced, and encouraged that if anyone could be able to put a stop to Vixxen’s plans and keep her from the secret Shadow Mountain is hiding, it would be the group that is going.  Our friends already know what to do if attacked, they known our defensive schemes, and they know where they can go for help or reinforcements.  I also told them that if the group going to Shadow Mountain is not back in three days, split their forces to defend Mystery and find what happened to us.  Hopefully, the latter will not have to be implemented.  We say our goodbyes and so longs and start on the trip to Shadow Mountain.

         There is a silence of anticipation for several minutes as we fly.  The quietness is assisted by the very little breeze blowing against us while we are flying at a slow but steady cruise.  As if someone blew into the Dragon Horn that Hiccup made, Asvord spoke up breaking the silence.

         “So, what are the plans you are going over in your head, Jarl,” my sister asks.

         “Well,” I reveal.  “I have many thoughts going through my head with all the different things we could encounter.  Then based on what we are faced with, what plan will I go with.  If there is anything unexpected, how will we react, what will we do, and when should we take action are the thoughts going through my mind.”

         Annabeth further questions, “But of those plans, which are the best ones you can think of?”

         I continue and answer, “First I would like to search between the east and north sections of the island.  The clue said how to get to Shadow Mountain, but not what to look for when we get there.”  I pause, “I almost want to get ahead start trying to figure out the mystery before we engage Vixxen.”

         “You really think she is going to be there?” Annabeth asks almost knowing the answer already.

         “She has been one step ahead all this time, why not now?” I point out.  “While we search the island, we will have to go do it on foot.  If Vixxen is there, we will have the element of surprise, even if she knows we are coming.  I am still debating whether we should have a few stay behind with all of our dragons, the rest of us scout ahead, or we split up to cover more ground…  I am just thinking about what would happen if Vixxen were to capture us.  If we all get captured at once, then who will save us?  If we split up, then we have a better chance to save the other if one group gets captured.  I am leaning towards splitting up, however, I would like to scout ahead first to see what I am dealing with both about the island and Vixxen.”

         “Well,” Asvord declares.  “We’ll figure it out when we get there.  Don’t cross your chickens before your bridges is hatched.”

         “True,” I reply.

         “What?” Hannah asks.

         Cazi says, “Just go with it.  Can’t get the cart before the yak.”

         I smile, “Unless you already have a yak, then if asked that, then the answer would be to get the cart.”
         Cazi sighs, closes her eyes, and I bet rolls them too.

         The further we fly northwest, the more islands we begin to see.  Shadow Mountain is going to stick out like the Twins at a wedding, so we do not have to search the islands to be sure they are not the island we are seeking.  After going over a few islands, the sun is now on the western horizon and will be dark within the next two hours.

         Angie comments, “Another thing is that we will be searching by night.  This will give us cover from any lookouts patrolling the island on our approach to the island, -which is something to keep in mind to watch for controls- and will keep us concealed.  We will have trouble finding what the island has to do with this mystery in the dark.  So, scouting to see what we are up against and waiting for morning may be the best thing to do.”

         “That’s a good idea,” I respond.  “Thank you.”

         Now surer of what we will do, I feel more encouraged about what is coming up.  The coolness of the night starts to settle in with the stark contrast of the bright stars in the sky.  The moon will not be up for another two, maybe three hours.

         Going a little bit farther, a big dark and ominous shape towers over the horizon.  Not a word needs to be said.  We all know what lies ahead of us.  To insure we are not spotted, even if it is difficult to see in the night, I signal my friends to follow me in Arrow Formation close to the ocean to evade detection.  With me at point, everyone follows in behind me, alternating a dragon and rider behind me on my left flank and my right.

         As we fly closer to the island, we feel the mist coming off the ocean making the air feel even cooler.  I lead my friends to the eastern shore.  The closer we get, the larger the mountain towers over everything; it looks twice as high as Berk, probably higher.

         We come upon the beach and I hold my right arm up, making a fist with my hand to signal everyone to slow down.  I land Fredrick further in on the beach shore to make room for everyone else to land.  The riders’ dragons are as follows:  My Thunderdrum, Fredrick; Asvord’s Deadly Nadder, Spiker; Elsa’s Gronckle, Meatballs; Annabeth’s Razorwhip, Anora; Cazi’s Skrill, Electic; Hannah’s Deadly Nadder, Winter; Abbie’s Gronckle, Rockelle; Explod’s Not-Hideous Zippleback, Hazor and Sparko; Garth’s Tide Glider, Riptide; Angie’s Skrill, Nina; Hyrith’s Deadly Nadder, Sun Rose; Ali’s Thunderdrum, Undyne; Dawn’s Triple Stryke, Fawn.

         Dismounting our dragons, we all huddle up and I say, “Alright, Cazi, I want you to be the distraction, demanding the ball however you want to demand the ball.  While you call for the ball, I want Asvord to go set a screen for you.  Elsa, you’re in the corner.  When Cazi rolls to the top of the three-point line, Asvord will come set a screen for you.  Hannah and Abbie, you are running around making sure the defense cannot set up and keeping them moving.  Explod, Garth, and Hyrith, I want you running around too, but setting screens for each other.  With all of this confusion, there is still being a play run.  Angie, you’re in the corner opposite of Elsa.  Ali and Dawn, you’re at the left and right wings, respectfully.  Annabeth, you’re right next to me, where you should be, just standing there looking beautiful and awesome as always.  When Cazi’s action starts, Ali set a down screen for Angie in the corner.  Angie you come off it coming to the top to fill her spot.  When Asvord sets the screen for Elsa, you, Dawn, will set a double screen for Elsa, but set it a little back so that Elsa can run her guy off two screens.  When you come up Angie, I will pass you the ball and then set a screen for Annabeth.  Annabeth you roll off of it and go through a backdoor screen set by Dawn.  I’ll start arguing with Cazi about her not getting the ball.  Once you come off Dawn’s screen, Annabeth, roll to the basket.  I will throw an alley-oop for you and you will slam dunk the yaknog out of the basketball.”

         At first no one knew what I was talking about.  Halfway through, the girls started getting irritated as a sister might.  My sisters sighed in embarrassment but frustratingly saw it coming.  All the guys were trying to keep track of what I said and see if they could do the play again if I told them to repeat it.

         When I finish speaking, everyone facepalms at the same time.

         Asvord lets out a loud huffing sigh and comments, “When we came to huddle up, I thought you were going to tell us the plan.  But in the back of my mind, my sibling alarm was going off, saying, ‘Watch him do something totally unexpected that will totally embarrassing, yet if he does it right, totally hilarious.’”

         Hannah questions, in a tone as if she is unsure about my sanity, “Okay, what are you doing?”

         I chuckle, “Sorry, but making light of a situation helps me to concentrate better.  I know this is going to be a serious mission with implicating dangers that I do not know of and some that I do know.  There are more unknowns than I would like.  Where there are unknowns, there is trouble.  Scouting ahead will reveal any unknowns that we can deal with either then or later; it will most likely be the latter.  I will take a small scouting party with me.  We will scout any caves that we could spend the night in with our dragons, either that or a secluded cove that is well covered.  And if we can, spot if there is any Vixxen presence here.  Once we know that, we will regroup with the rest of you here.”

         “Alright,” Cazi then starts walking away.  “Have fun Jarl and Annabeth.”

         “Get back here,” Annabeth retorts.

         Cazi does and grins, “Sorry.  But we all know that where Jarl goes, you are going with him.”

         Hannah, standing to her older sister’s right, looks up, “We do?”

         Using her right elbow, Cazi elbows Hannah who then recounts her last statement to sound more like a statement than a question, “We do.  We certainly do.”

         Dawn frustrated that I do make light of situations because she wants to be more direct about things, sighs and asks, “Alright, is there anyone else going with you?”

         “Yes,” I answer.  “Angie and Hyrith.  So, we can move more stealthily through the forest, we will only take one dragon to help us scout and for a quick getaway.  We’ll take Anora.  And not mainly because she’s Annabeth’s dragon, but because Anora is the most naturally camouflaged dragon for night that there is…. And she’s Annabeth’s dragon.”

         Annabeth now sighs and simply shakes her head, “Come on, knuckle brains.”

         I give one last instruction, “Cazi, Asvord.  Take two separate groups and carefully scout out the area north of here.  Look for clues, obviously, but look for a place to be hidden for now.  Lookout for nightly patrols, because those are just as likely.”

         Cazi nods her head as she and Asvord leads the group north.  Those in the scouting party had to give their dragons some extra encouragement to go on with the other group without their rider.  Fredrick went with Asvord while Nina and Sun Rose went with Cazi.

         I could hear a quip from Cazi when the dragons started following her, “Great, now I’m babysitting dragons.”

         Giving direction to the scouting party, I tell them that we will first look for a cave or cove for our dragons and us to stay in overnight.

         Annabeth, Angie, Hyrith, and I start making our way west by a natural pathway probably walked by dragons and land-based animals alike.

         It takes the next fifteen minutes to reach the base of Shadow Mountain.  We are careful to watch our step and not fall into any pools, especially Annabeth.  She stays near her dragon to be surer of where she is going.  This is another reason why I picked Anora, she could help her rider be surer about walking around this island in the dark.

         Hyrith then looks up at the mountain, “Man, this mountain is massive.  Kind of reminds me of home.”

         For context, Hyrith is referring to his home we visited in a previous mystery, not Berk.  The mystery we went up against Truvor and defeated him.

         Because the rest of our friends are scouting more north and probably northwest, we will scout around to the north but follow the arc of edge of the mountain.

         Except for the sound of our feet walking on the ground, the very light breeze from the south, and hearing ourselves breathe, the air is very quiet.  It is not too quiet I do not like it, but it is close.

         So far, we have not seen any pools yet.  I am beginning to think they are only on that side of the island.  No sign of any markings relating to the mystery.  No sign of any of the distinct symbols found on Defenders of the Wing.  We begin to quietly discuss this as we continue north.  After about another fifteen minutes of walking, the mountain starts to drastically turn to the north and west.  Mountains do not have to be precisely circle all the way around, they are perfect the way they are.

         A few minutes more of discussion, Angie gives a soft chuckle, “The only thing I see is a massive mountain and a bazillion trees.  And I guess the three of you and Anora.”  Angie pauses, then adds, “And a house.”

         “A house?” both Annabeth and I echo in surprise.

         “House… Hut… Building…  Whatever you want to call it, look there,” Angie points to our left.

         I see a small shack like house in a very small clearing.  Coming up to the house, I see that trees had been cleared away to make room for the shack.  By the looks of it, the shack was built with the trees that were cleared away.

         “Why would there be a shack here?” Hyrith asks, but then answers his own question.  “Oh wait, doesn’t the Fira Girl live here on Shadow Mountain.”

         “Yeah,” I answer.  “But I am not sure if she knows that this is Shadow Mountain or anything related to the mystery.”

         Moving towards the front door, the shack is no bigger than ten feet by twenty feet, with the door being on the longer side of the building.

         Knocking a few times, no answer came.  I try push on the door, it does not move.

         Annabeth tries to hold back a smile, “There’s a wonderful invention call the door handle.”

         I look at her, “I know there’s a door handle.  With my mystery brain going full tilt right now, I wondered if there was any forced entry.”

         Angie questions, “What are you thinking happened here?”

         “I don’t know… yet,” I respond.

         Opening the door, I see a torch on the wall right next to the door.  I take it off the wall and ask Anora to light it.  The Razorwhip graciously complies and spits a small flame onto the torch to light it.  I leave the door open, because Annabeth does not come it so she can stay with Anora.  However, there are two open windows on either side of the door that gives Annabeth clear vision on what is inside.  Annabeth leans on the window sill to look in; Anora also sticks her head enough to see what is going on but not to get in the way.

         I take a quick once around the room to see what I am working with.  The shack looks like a place where someone could just crash for the night or take shelter from a storm.  There is a very basic bed in the back-right part of the room from the door.  Next to the bed and near the right wall is a small desk and chair.  Opposite the desk on the other side of the room are some cabinets along the left wall and wall to the left of the door.  There is one table with two chairs on either side of the table, front and back.  There is a fairly large chest with a few pairs of viking boots and a couple of helmets on top the chest.  Finally, there are various gardening and farming tools lining the far wall up until the edge of the bed.  One other thing, I just spot, there are framed drawings on the wall.  The drawings are of a variety of plants.

         “Notice the smell,” I mention out loud

         Annabeth quickly answers in a question, “Herbs?”

         “Yep,” I reply.  “Basil and Oregano are the two herbs I smell the greatest.”

         Angie opens a few cabinets to view the contents, “There are more herbs than that, but I also smell peppermint.”

         “So, this hut is Fira’s,” Hyrith states.

         “Looks that way,” I say.  “But something isn’t right.”

         “Nothing is ever right when you’re searching for clues,” Hyrith declares.

         “Unless it is left,” I show a quick smile.

         Annabeth asks to clarify, “How is it not right?”

         “This looks like a very ordinary, small, little shack, does it not?” I inquire from the rest of the group.

         Everyone nods, even Anora agrees with a nod, though maybe only because Annabeth nodded her head.  Yet, dragons are very intelligent creatures.  Being around us for so long, our dragons seem to understand what we are saying and can even give input, agreement, or dislike on any subject.

         “At the time of our arrival to Shadow Mountain,” I start my reasoning behind my hesitation to write this off as just a shack of Fira’s.  “It was dark.  And any normal viking would start getting ready for bed about this time…,” a yawn interrupts me.  I chuckle, “Speaking of which… Anyway… They would finish up any work they are doing, finish any dishes and put them away, and then lay down in bed.”

         Angie challenges, “What makes you say that this is where Fira got ready for bed?  She does have her other hut, which is probably her actual home.”
         “Don’t disagree with the second statement,” I continue my aim of thinking.  “Look here,” I point to the desk.  “A journal is open.  I assume she is writing about her day, but the writing stops mid-sentence.”

         Hyrith counters, “She could have just stopped to think, done something else, and never came back for it.”

         I return is counter, “But do you do that in the middle of the night?”
         Hyrith looks at me strange, “Look here now,” I point at the bed.  “The blanket is rolled back to the right as if someone heard something and got out of bed.”

         “Or had something on their mind that they had to get down on paper,” Hyrith debated.  “I’m sure you’ve come across that in your times writing down your mysteries in your journals.”

         “True,” I agree.  “But how do you explain no torch or lamp on the table lit?”

         Hyrith wanted to say something, but my statement stopped him in his tracks, I added, “If Fira got up to write something but then stopped, even mid-sentence, she would have gotten up to put out the lights.  If she got back in bed, she would be in her bed and we would have run into her.”

         Angie suggests, “She could have heard something outside.  Being alone on an island with the dragons she has to take care of, there could have been something preying on her dragons.  Remember, her Changewing is blind.  So, she is most likely extra protective of him.”

         “Good point,” Hyrith conceded.

         Going on, I continue deducing the clues out loud, “I saw nowhere around this shack any place where dragons could be sheltered.  The shack is in a space cleared by trees by some viking and built by those same trees.  It is highly unlikely she got up for her dragons.  Although, her getting up from being in her bed or writing at her desk is quite likely.”
         “Jarl,” Annabeth declares.

         “Yes?” I respond.

         “Look at the table too,” Annabeth states.  “Fira is here alone, no?  Then why would she make two plates with food instead of just one.”
         As if I just remember today was Annabeth’s birthday, I see what she means as the clue
fall into place, “Two plates, two cups.  One empty the other barely touched,” I study the table.  “On the plates, crumbs of bread and biscuits.  Did Fira have comp-.”

         “Oh my…” Angie declares surprised, as if she too remembered it was Annabeth’s birthday.  “You gotta read her journal.”

         Angie brings the book over and I start reading.

         I do not even finish her latest entry before I start over and read aloud, “Get this, ‘I am getting very close to solving the puzzles I have found on this island.  Why there are mind puzzles on an island with no vikings, I do not know.  I have found four distinct puzzles all of which a common symbol appears: Puzzle One, an arch.  Puzzle Two, three tails that look like scorpion tails.  Puzzle Three, two horns like a goat.  And Puzzle Four has a few circles and a triangle.  These symbols have to have some meaning, but I at least know for a fact that they are all connected.  Based on the language of found with all these puzzles and across the island, I can decipher that each puzzle must be done in order because without something from the last puzzle, progress is impossible.  There is something hidden on this island and I think I know where to…’ And it just ends there.”

         Annabeth slowly puts forth a question, “Does Fira know how to solve this mystery?”

         “Putting all these clues together,” I say very worried.  “Someone else knows she knows how to solve this mystery.”

         Hurriedly going outside and dousing the torch with dirt to extinguish it, I put the torch back and ask everyone to come outside.

         “Angie and Hyrith,” I ask.  “I need you two to back track and find Cazi and Asvord to tell them I believe Vixxen is here.  If they have already found a hiding place, stay with them.  We will return to you guys in a few hours.”

         Hyrith questions, “Where are you two going?”

         I reply, very worried, “See just how big a presence Vixxen has on Shadow Mountain.”

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Cazi the Conquerer
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Joined: 10/22/2014
I'll do you one better: Why is Gamora?

Great chapter! Two thumbs up to you, amigo

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