Book 6 - Mystery of Shadow Mountain - Chapter 47: Would You Rather...

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httyyd's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013

Finally got to the next point in the story that I have been waiting to write now for five chapters.  Though the next chapter is going to be very fun because that is when the Mystery of Shadow Mountain is solved!  Though, still not the last chapter.  I still have a couple more in mind and then the epilogue.


Difficult to believe I am this close to finishing my sixth book.  Crazy.


Hope you guys enjoy the chapter!


Rest in Peace NarixuZen.  2004-2017

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track


The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links


Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies


Proud Leader and fellow member of:


















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

httyyd's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
Would you rather cant wait to read or write a chapter in a book?

^^^(The subject doesn't have enough characters XD) As long as you knew what to write and loved reading.  Anyway, after that word for our sponsors, it is back to our story... XD^^^


         We make it back to the compound ten minutes later.  I have Annabeth go straight to the barracks.  Upon arriving we happen to run into Fira, who was working there.  Without needing to explain, Fira goes straight to work to help Annabeth with her cut.  Asvord and Elsa go past the barracks and go find a quiet place somewhere else.

         As Fira works, Annabeth notices, “Your arm is wet!  What did you- What did you do, stick you hand in the water to get that lens?”

         I answer, “Yes, but after I got it, my priorities changed to getting out of the chamber to seeing what the commotion was about to protecting you from Vixxen.

         Annabeth quips in a tease, “You took your sweet time getting to me.”

         “You know what I mean,” I add as Fira slaps something if my left hand.  I ask, “Is this what I think it is?”

         “Yep,” Fira responds.  “I always have some medicine mixed to take for any contact with the water.  Anybody that went with you today, even Vixxen and her guards, need to take this herb mixture.  Except for you, unless everyone else had direct skin contact with the water, then you could be fine.  What happened?”

         After taking the mush, I explained to her what had happened.

         Overcoming the initial shock and anger reaction, she replied, “Cloudy and dirty water?  Hmm… The contaminated water should be crystal clear or very little dilution to it.  That water you had may have been just rain or spring water.  But better safe than sorry.  Even if that water isn’t the contaminated water, any water that has a little bit in it, you could still get severely sick.  Go on, I’ll take care of Annabeth.”

         Annabeth remarks as Fira works, “I know you are going to do it, but please check on Elsa.”

         “I will,” I answered.

         My arm that was wet, Fira just dried off.  Because Vixxen seized our weapons, she also took my bracers.  So, my arm was just wet, but nothing else.  As Fira is bent over Annabeth’s head, I approach Annabeth, offer my right hand, and she grabs it.  Giving her a quick squeeze, I left to let Fira work.

         First, I go out in search of Vixxen and her vikings.  I only find Klarp but tell him the importance of taking the mush and telling the two guards and Vixxen, who came with us, to take the mush as a precaution against possibly getting sick.  Klarp took his portion and then went on his way.  Now, I start to quickly search for my two sisters.  At this point, I am free roaming the compound and the guards are paying little attention to me.  I look around and not until I reach the northern gate do I then start to hear my sisters’ voices.  Just outside the gate off to the left, Asvord is comforting Elsa.

         I come over and sit on Elsa’s right, Asvord is on Elsa’s left.

         “It’s all right now, Elsa,” I swing my left arm over my sister’s shoulders, wrapping around her left side.  “I’m sorry that I put you through that.”

         Much calmer now, but still crying a little, Elsa responds, “No, I’m sorry for being such a wimp.”

         “No, no, no,” I say.  “If I had known there were snakes in that chamber, I would have had someone else change places with you.”

         “If you were not talking to me, keeping me calm,” Elsa states.  “I would have never let that snake crawl on me.”  Elsa then flinches as a shiver, thinking about the snake actually on her, weirds her out.

         “I am so proud of you for sticking with it for that long,” I hug her with my one arm.  “Though you have a deathly fear of snakes, you were very brave not to just freak out.”

         “If we had done it from the underside and me stand on your shoulders, I may have freaked out,” Elsa informed.  “But because I knew you might drop me if I would freak out, that stopped me from freaking out; plus, you warning me somewhat in advance.”

         Asvord then asks, “Not to be a stickler for details, but Jarl, did you say snakes, as in more than one?”

         “Yes, that is what I mean,” I say and Elsa sighs in a way that she was glad she did not know that when she only had to deal with the one.  “When I looked around from the lens, after I leapt down and went into the chamber, I saw several snakes in the water and in cubby holes around the inside of the chamber itself.  I am surprised to see snakes on an island this far north, but I recognized the snake as the Northern Water Snake.  Thankfully, these snakes do not have any poison, they just have bites that could cause pain, bruising, and/or wounds.  To have a snake this far north is nearly unnatural, though not completely out of its supposed habitat where it could live.  The only plausible reason I can think of for a snake to this far north, in these numbers, and in an odd place like that, is someone planted them there.  This is often a tactic that vikings would use if they had a large rodent or small animal problem.  Placing non-poisonous snakes in the land would cut down on the problem rather quickly.  The snakes would learn to adapt in their new environment.  Only reason I know this is from stories our dad would talk about from his sailor days.”

         “Oh yeah,” Asvord said.  “I remember those stories.”

         “I kind of do,” Elsa spoke, not crying any more.  “But I think we know the reason why I irradiated it from my memory.”

         Asvord and I chuckle a little bit.

         Elsa changes the subject, “How’s Annabeth?  I feel bad because had I not freaked out, Vixxen would not have freaked out, and then Annabeth would not have gotten hurt.”

         “Oh, don’t blame yourself, Elsa,” I tell her.  “I could have left the lens where it was and instead came right out to see if you were okay.”

         “Alright, now if I’m not supposed to blame myself, then you don’t do the same to yourself,” Elsa said standing up.  “But thank you.  I guess everything just kind of built up and then boiled over all at once.”

         “Yeah,” I agree and stand up too; Asvord follows.  “Annabeth will be alright, Fira is taking care of her now.  Though Vixxen is Vixxen, she may be happier once she calms down as we have all the lenses now.  I bet that starting tomorrow morning, we are going to go through to that door Vixxen was talking about.”

         Elsa suggests, “Why don’t we go check on Annabeth?”

         Asvord approves, “Yes.  Let’s go.”

         So, my sisters and I go back to the barracks to check on Annabeth.  She is resting on one of the cots and Fira is going back to what she was doing before, cleaning up the room and making things look nice.  Annabeth has a bandage across the right side of her face, over her eye.

         Elsa is the first to ask, “How are you doing?”

         Annabeth smiles, as do the rest of us, Annabeth replies, “My face feels as if Jarl punched it again… I mean… My face really hurts right now.  Not sore, just pain.”

         Asvord adds, “It will probably be sore tomorrow.”

         I inquire, “How is your eye?”

         “That was something that I was worried about too,” Annabeth states.  “But Fira checked and my eye is untouched.  Less than a quarter inch closer, and my eye would have been damaged.”

         “That is a blessed thing to hear,” I say relieved.

         Annabeth smiles at me, “Yes, it is.”  Annabeth pauses and then continues, “I think there was a combination of a couple of things that allowed my eye to escape.  One, I made myself fall backwards as Vixxen swung down.  Falling backwards as opposed to leaning to one side or the other, I thought I would not get away fast enough, so, I fell backwards; guess technically I still didn’t get out of the way.  I knew throwing my arms up would not be good either with a sword being swung down.  Then Vixxen being a wildly inaccurate, she unsheathed her sword, but then went straight into a down swing.  She was yelling her head off, more worried about what she was saying than what she was doing.  Vixxen reacted and she was not accurate.  I mean she was aiming for Elsa but was way short for she was too far away.  The cut itself is not deep for I got the very tip of her sword.”

         Asvord remarks, “What is the probability of only get struck by the tip of a sword in that situation?”

         “Either really high because it happened,” I said.  “Or we just got the once-in-a-blue-moon.  Because everyone else who would have been in the same situation, this would not have happened.  But because it was us, it happened.”

         Annabeth adds, “Fira says I might have a scar.”

         “It will make you more beautiful,” I bow.

         Annabeth looks at me without trying to smile but fails, “Are you saying I was not beautiful before?”

         Rhetorically sarcastic, I respond, “Eh, you were pretty to look at.”

         Annabeth rolls her eyes and then grimaces, “Ow,” she says out.  “Don’t make me roll my eyes.”
         I stifle a chuckle, “Alright.  I was about to think of a retort back at you, but I won’t.”

         “Thank you,” Annabeth smiles.  “Could you stay around for a while?”

         I nod and then Fira answers, “I am basically done here.  Well, you might say that I am done here.”

         Asvord adds, “I know what you mean.  I feel the same.  Come on, Elsa, let’s see if we can scrounge up some supper for the rest of us.  I think Cazi would be glad to have the help in the kitchen and cook for us and not for them.”

         Asvord, Elsa, and Fira all left.  I go over to the cot, Annabeth scoots over, and I sit down beside her with my right hand over hers.  She and I just look at each other for several minutes, all we do is look into each other’s eyes, or in my case, singular eye.

         Nearly ten minutes roll by before Annabeth says, “So, how does this work.  You go first?  I go first?”

         “You know what I just realized?” I said.

         She hesitantly asks with a hint of wariness of where I might go with this, “What?”

         “It is impossible to look into someone else’s eyes, meaning both eyes,” I say.  “Because you can only concentrate or focus on one eye.”

         Annabeth laughs as wondering why of all things I would bring up, why this?

         Using her one eye, she looks at me and says, “Yeah, you’re right.  Never thought of it, or at least actually thought of it that way.”

         I pause but then Annabeth jumps in and speaks, “Don’t say your sorry.  I know you wouldn’t question that I would do the same again in a heartbeat, but there is nothing that you could have done to have change the outcome.  So, I got a cut on my face.  Big deal.  It could have been a lot worse, I am thankful it turned out the way it did.  You of all people should know, because you have taught me from the way you handle stuff, if things like this happen, you cannot go back and change it.  You deal with it, fix it if you can, and then move on.  We both need to do that now.”

         I sigh and smile, “The tadpole has learned well from its master.”

         She laughs and then remarks, “Oh, it hurts to smile too.”

         I grin, “Oh really?”

         “Stop,” she shoves me in the side with the right hand.  “I’m laughing at you not saying a joke, so, don’t say a joke.”

         “I won’t,” I tell her.  “Where does it hurt?”

         “Here,” she points to just above where her right eyebrow would be.

         I put my right arm on the cot to Annabeth’s left and lean over to give that spot a gentle kiss.

         “Here,” she then points to below her eye.

         I do the same again with that spot.

         “Here,” she then points to her lips.

         I kiss her.

         A few moments later, I whisper, “You do know that your lips are not the place that’s hurting.”
         “Yeah, I know,” she smiles but then grimaces slightly.  “But it is indirectly hurting because of the cut.”

         “True,” I return.  “Get some rest.”

         “The thing is,” Annabeth said as I stood up.  “I feel like I have a bunch of energy but with this wound, I need to make myself stay still enough so that it can heal properly even if it does scars over.  But the more I stay still the more energy gets built up inside of me.”

         “You’ll be fine, you can’t fix it, move on,” I smile.

         Annabeth catches herself from rolling her eyes, “Oh, get out of here.”

         “Alright,” I reply as I start walking out.  “I’ll be back with supper.”

         I wave to her, “Love you.”

         “Love you too,” she returns.

         After getting back to the compound, not much happened after that.  For as eventful as the day has been, now going into evening and then night, nothing happened, just the expected.  We had supper, Annabeth would rather get up and move to our cell we were in previously then stay in the barracks with Dragon Hunter scum, so, she moved -as much as she should have stayed still at least until tomorrow-, and we went to bed.  Although in a cell, there were no cots or beds.  All we had to work with was a couple blankets and at least pillows for all of us.  “Pillows” is what they called them, I would call them more of a very thin material wrapped with rocks in them.  I think the rocks was more of there hardly being any fluff in the pillows that we were feeling the floor through the pillow itself.  The guys agreed to give the blankets to the girls.  We picked our spots and we feel asleep.


         The next morning, I wake up and I find myself next to Annabeth.  For some reason, we both wake up at the same time.

         Annabeth is the first to ask the question I am just now thinking, “How’d you get over here?  It was nice of you to come over a lay next to me?”

         In the morning, I am the slowest viking in the world to do anything; I am thinking of an answer to the question, but Asvord from the other side piped in, “He didn’t do it out of the bottom of his heart.  More like the seat of his pants.  The guy will roll around in his sleep.  Sometimes when I have gone into his room to wake the guy up, I lift up the covers to see his groggy face only to find his feet.  He is like a mole sometimes and will toss and turn so much that he completely flips around.  Most vikings would say he isn’t getting his sleep because he is tossing and turning so much, but if you ask him, he gets plenty of sleep.  The only trouble is, getting up.  Most of the time going to sleep isn’t the issue or even staying asleep, it is the getting up.  He could have had ten hours of sleep and still wake up as if he only four and try to go back to sleep.”

         Annabeth shakes her head.

         I say, “Well, this morning my head is telling me to get up now because it is aching from that rocky ground.  Me’sa got a headache.”

         I slowly sit up and then even slower stand up.  Once up, I over my hands to Annabeth, she grabs them, and then I help her stand.

         “How do you feel this morning?” I ask her.

         She answers, “I think I have that same headache.  My face is now sore but the pain I was having yesterday is now dull or not even present.”

         Fira adds, “It will probably be sore for a while.  I should probably change that bandage this morning too.”

         Just then, we hear footstep approaching.  The body that walks into the room is that of Klarp.  With him, he has trays of food and looks like medical supplies for Annabeth.

         “I thought after yesterday,” Klarp said, setting the items down to unlock the doors of the cell.  “I could help you guys out by brining you breakfast and fresh bandages for Annabeth.”

         Now, a little bit more awake, I am the first to say, “Thank you.”

         “Are you kidding me?” Cazi disgustingly puts her hands on her hips.  “You telling me that you knew how to cook all along?  Then why in the world was I supposed to be the one cooking for everyone yesterday.  Asvord’s the better cook anyway.”

         “Well,” Klarp has an apologetic look on his face.  “That wasn’t my decision to make and Aberdeen was in charge of that.  Vixxen thought that with his past history with you guys, making him feel like he had some power would keep him occupied and out of Vixxen’s hair.  The viking is just annoying, but he has his uses.  Now today, with the majority of the compound already up and had breakfast from what food you had already prepared, all that work is done.  I helped a little bit to have enough to feed the masses, but I saved out enough for you all.”

         A bit perturbed, Cazi takes her plate of mashed potatoes, salad, bacon, and eggs, and starts eating.

         “Oh man,” Asvord declares as she takes her plate.  “You sure know how to get to a girl’s heart… Give her bacon.”

         Klarp smiles, “I think that is anyone’s heart… or rather… Stomach.”

         We all chuckle.

         Klarp adds, “I thought I would get up early too before Vixxen gets up just to have some relief from the tension she is letting off.  Things are so intense around her right now, everyone is avoiding her more than usual.”

         “Huh, yeah,” I agree.  “This is an extremely personal mystery to her.  Although at the same time, somewhat understandable the mood she is in.  How she is controlling herself, or the lack thereof, is the issue.”

         Though there are four things for us to eat, there are small portions and had them done within a few minutes.

         “As you know,” Klarp states taking the plates and putting them on the trays.  “We are going to the door inside the mountain to use the lenses today.  So, there won’t be much for you guys to do.  Mainly, check on your dragons, feed them, take care of any other needs, and then report back to me.  Other than that, we will head out straight to final puzzle to solve to open the door.”

         We all acknowledged him and led all my friends and two sisters out except Annabeth, Fira, and I.  Klarp let Fira change the bandage on Annabeth.

         Fira has her lay down again, so she can work.  Fira suggest me to prop Annabeth’s head up so she can unravel the white cloth.  I kneel down on both knees and then stretch out my right leg for Annabeth to put her head on.  Fira slowly starts to unwind the bandage.  Fira put it on thick, so it took a little bit of time to take it off.  By the time she got to some of the final layers, the stained blood through the cloth started to show through.  There is a lot of it but as soon as the bandage was off, the cut had already scabbed over and start healing too.

         Fira comments, “Most of that blood is from when I was putting on the cloth to begin with.  I cleaned the wound but the blood still kept coming.  Only until it reached the point where the bloodstream let out enough of the impurities and bad spirits of infection, did the blood then stop coming out.  That is when the skin was able to start the scabbing process.  But looks like you are going to have an awesome mark on your face for a while, only time will tell if it will scar.  My personal opinion, it will scar.  How much, I do not know.  Any cuts or wounds to the face, it will often leave a mark of some kind.  I would still like to watch that, putting fresh bandages on each day, but you’re good now.  Just don’t be too active as it is still tender and needs time to firm up.”

         I forgot that Fira believes in other ideas than what the rest of us believe in.

         The mark on Annabeth’s face is off center to the right, towards her nose, a tad and starts about less than a half inch above Annabeth’s eyebrow.  It goes down towards the top of the eye lid, stops, and then picks back up along the same trajectory like a quarter inch or so from her bottom eyelid.  Finally, it ends just below the top of her cheek bone.

         This time, Fira wraps the bandage around her head fewer times and covering less area.  The final result is more of an eyepatch than a wrap.

         Helping Annabeth stand up by pulling her up with my right hand, I grin and say, “Arrrgh!”

         “Ha-ha,” Annabeth rolls her eyes.  “Very funny.”

         “Oh, I’m sorry,” I forgot.  “Did that hurt?”

         “Actually, not as bad as yesterday,” Annabeth down played.  “It is more of my whole right side of my face is sore.  Any movement I do around just makes me notice it, but doesn’t cause me any pain.”

         “Klarp,” I request.  “Would it be possible that all my friends could get our weapons back for when we go into Shadow Mountain?”  Klarp made a face at me probably thinking of what Vixxen’s reaction to this idea might be.  I continue, “We don’t know what is inside this mountain.  The Clues have told us to keep all that we have done for each puzzle in mind for the future.  That could only mean that there are going to be more puzzles.  Our weapons also act as tools to aid us in solving puzzles.  Without my bow and grappling hook, the first puzzle would have been practically impossible.  You try riding a dragon over a pool of Giant Eels and tell me what else we could have done.”

         Klarp pauses and sighs, “Alright.  But you gotta promise me that you won’t use them against us.”

         “And you know” I return.  “If the situation changes, that goes off the table.  Until then, you have my word.”

         Klarp takes a breath and says, “Alright.  Go see your friend Garth now and tell Tommy, the guard watching Garth, that I, Klarp, said it was fine.  Do that and then you and your friends meet me at the front of the headquarters.”

         I nod and then Klarp leaves.

         Intentionally lagging behind and waiting for him to get out of ear shot, I turn to the girls and say, “I don’t know what will be in the mountain, but I almost hope there is something crazy in there.  Why?  Because Vixxen won’t take a whole lot of vikings with her, excluding our numbers.  If we can isolate Vixxen and her vikings away from the camp, then we can out number her.  I’ll keep her occupied and some of you go quietly and accidentally let our dragons loose.  Basically, once Vixxen is separated when we are past the door to the mountain, cause as many distractions as possible to cover our escape.”

         Annabeth compares, “So, like what we did at Aberdeen Island?”

         “Exactly,” I reply.

         The girls and I head out.  We go straight to the blacksmith shop and armory.  I inform Tommy of Klarp’s approval.  Tommy lets us get our armor and weapons.  The viking is very young, though still looks like he is ten years older than we are.  We take our friends’ weapons with us and Tommy as well as Garth helps us carry them.  When we arrive, we find that Klarp must have passed the word along to our friends as they are all here, waiting for us.  The five of us dish out the weapons and armor and then ready ourselves.

         Once we got everything on Vixxen came down the stairs; the stairs just inside the doorway to our right.  Vixxen saw our gear on and was about to probably question who let us have them.  But she then stopped and did not say a word.  Instead, she started walking down into the cavern.  The reason I was going to give her was probably the reason she used to answer her own question.

         Vixxen leads my friends and my two sisters and I down through the main passage of the caverns.  We had gone through the main cavern before.  Then there had been sounds of digging, mining, and conversations.  Now, it is spookily quiet with everyone lining the passageway ready to do work but just watching us go.  I bet Vixxen wanted to be sure we could get through before anything else could continue because of the fault line they say that runs close to the door.

         The passage way is a pretty good decline to walk on but is no more than ten degrees from level ground.  We walk for quite a while, a good fifteen minutes, al the while going deeper underneath and further into the mountain.  Finally, we reach the door.

         The “door” does not look like a door.  Calling this place a door was merely to represent the gateway to the next portion of the path.  First impression, it looks like a simple dead end.  My mystery mind knows otherwise.

         The most obvious thing we see is the large amounts of the blue, glowing algae in this circular room.  This alga is probably been the most consistent thing throughout the whole mystery.  The alga is in clumps all over the place, though mostly in the corners… Or should I say edges.  Whoever heard of a corner in a circle?  Next is four levers or poles coming off the ground.  There looks to be some type of puzzle on the floor; the levers are attached to a round puzzle piece.  Each piece is a ring about a foot wide and they all make up a symbol in a ten-foot circle; the symbol is all jumbled up.  On top of each lever is another ring standing up on its side.  The size of these rings is that of the Dragon Eye lenses we found.  Lastly, there is a carved, written clue encircling the room on the molding right beneath the ceiling.

         We are in a small circular cave room, lit torches that Vixxen’s Vikings have already set up.  However, this cave looks anything but a cave.  The room has been cut out of the solid rock walls itself.  Smooth walls, a floor twenty feet across, a ceiling ten feet high, ornate columns carved out from the wall, each one equal distance from the other all at sixty-degree angles from the enter of the room, and the “door” I would assume is right in front of us, but concealed well enough I cannot tell where it is at.  My best guess would be a section between two columns.

         Vixxen asks, “Can you read that writing on the wall?”

         “Ha, ha-ha,” I chuckle.  “Read the writing on the wall.”  Vixxen is not amused.  So, I clear my throat, “Ahem, ‘The Legend is almost a reality for you.  No longer shall you grow blue from searching but be glowing for finding your way.’”

         One of the guards, who is Tommy by the way, remarks, “What in the archipelago does that mean?  How does that help us?”

         I clear up his confusion, “Well, of all the clues my friends and I have uncovered, figured out, and used to find the next, there are always one or a few key words.  Based on my observation of the room, the key words are:  Blue, glowing, and finding.  Because we have four Dragon Eye lenses that we have yet to make use of in this mystery, they have to come into play here or else there would be another way to open this door.  See those levers and rings?  The rings are just large enough to fit a lens in.”

         Vixxen steps in to further my thought and acting as well as sounding like the old Vixxen I like… Or rather disliked the least from what she was yesterday, “So…  When I heard about and then saw the four previous puzzles awarded Dragon Eye lenses, I knew they would fit the rings and they would have to be lined up and only a certain way.”

         “Exactly,” I reply.  “Now we have to insert them and solve the puzzle.”

         Vixxen had the lenses and starts to go to work.  I am wondering how we will figure out which goes where.  We quickly find out how the lenses fit through Vixxen going through three lenses before the fourth one finally fits in the ring.  Turns out there is enough of a difference that only a certain lens will go in a ring.  Feeling the lenses again, out of curiosity, each lens has eight sides but each side is different between all the lenses.  Some sides are long or short and even has groves which makes the lenses only able to go in one direction.  This makes our job a whole lot easier.

         Vixxen and I put in all the lenses.  The symbol we need to solve is something I do not recognize from anything I have seen throughout the mystery.  We then start to rotate the levers.  We both need help pushing these levers because the solid rock ring they are attached to needs to be moved too.  Vixxen and Klarp push the outside lever.  As they move it about five feet to the right, it locks into place.  This may be the easier puzzle thus far, even easier than the sunlight one.  Though that one could have been easier than Annabeth and I made it, but this puzzle is straight forward.

         Annabeth and I do the next lever in and rotate it to the left seven feet.  Garth and Hyrith grab the next lever, only rotating it a foot to the right.  Then Explod and Angie rotate the last one.  They have to rotate it all the way around, but seeing how it is the inner most circle, therefore the smallest, they only have to rotate the lever two feet to the left.  With each lens in its place and the rings all lined up, we wait for something to happen.

         Nothing happens.

         Even after we say to ourselves, “Nothing happened,” nothing still happens.

         “Huh,” I think for a moment then think of the clue.  “Oh, yeah glowing.  Duh.  All of the Dragon Eye lenses I have seen need a dragon’s breath to shine light through the lenses.  The different types of lenses react differently to the fire types.  But seeing how this alga has been so apparent and seen frequent throughout this whole mystery, that has to be the light source needed to shine through the lenses.  Put out those torches.”

         Within a few seconds, Vixxen orders her vikings to put out the torches.  The moment the last torch goes out, the intense blow glow shines throughout the room… And creates a unique image on the wall to upper right!  It is the wall just off center from the wall opposite the entrance to this room.

         Out of the corner of my eye, I spot Annabeth.  One moment she is here and she moved then had vanished behind Tommy who stepped forward to take a look at the new image.  Although the only light in the room is the glowing algae, there is an intense and rather bright light to the room.  The alga makes everything look like they are in hues of blue.  But I see Annabeth give a slight nod back with her head, I even see a blue glare off the white in her one eye looking back.

         While Vixxen and them are occupied, Annabeth whispers under her breath, “I swiped the keys to the stable cages.  Once I get back out, I can go free our dragons.  I have a hunch Garth had been at work all day yesterday and part of the night making their weapons and defenses inoperable or disabled.  Freeing our dragons could be the distraction we need to escape off this island.”

         “Yeah,” I agree.  “But only if Garth has been doing that, which I bet he has been doing it too.”

         Right as I finished, on the other side of the room, the wall opposite the entrance starts moving.  This in turn creates a sound like a giant slab of rock being dragged along the ground.  It could be better described as rock being grinded up.

         “I was marveling at how much the blue algae lights up the place,” I say walking back over to where the image is.  “What did I miss?”

         Elsa remarks, “Vixxen solved the puzzle in the image on the first try.”

         But Angie points out, “The image highlighted four areas on the wall.  The highlights are the symbols that corresponded with each clue we found.  The symbols are done in the exact same way they were done at the first puzzle.  All that was needed was that each area that was highlighted needed to be pushed in about an inch.  Between the veins of algae and cracks in the wall, without the image, it would be impossible to figure out where the places were.”

         “Well,” Vixxen sighs in relief and then takes a deep breath.  “Shall we?”

         Vixxen takes the first step into the new tunnel.  Ever so cautiously, I follow.  I start walking in the tunnel and the pit of my stomach just drops.

         “Jarl,” Annabeth’s tone changes completely from what it just was.  “Get out of there.  Get out of there right now?”

         “What?” Vixxen stopped, turned, and said looking confused as to why I would stop.

         Just then, the ground started to shake and then quickly went to split and then jolted downward!

         “Jarl!” Annabeth yelled out.

         The path did not fall away completely, but instead of only being a few feet away from Annabeth and the entrance, I am now ten feet away.

         Scrambling to my feet I race up towards the entrance.  Annabeth reaches out her hand.  As I reach up to grab it, the rest of the path breaks loose!

         My fingers, on my right hand, brush through the fingers of Annabeth’s right hand.

         “JARL!!” Annabeth’s screams.

         “Annabeth!!” I yell back.

         Thinking quickly, I aim my grappling hook for the top of the entrance.  The hook fires, but merely bounces off the wall.  Annabeth tries to grab for the line as it falls past her, but she is too far away to reach it without falling down in as well.

         “It will be alright!” I yell back.  “All part of the plan!!”  The rubble now creating so much noise and following me down I can no longer see or hear Annabeth.  I finish my thought, “I hope!

         In a situation that one finds themselves free falling down a shaft with boulders crashing and bearing down on you, it might be difficult for some to think of something to lighten the mood.

         Out of anything that could come to mind, this is what comes to my mind right now, “Annabeth is probably thinking, ‘All part of the plan??  You idiot, you’re falling down a chasm with the potential of getting squashed!  You call this part of your plan?’  Well, I might add that I don’t plan on getting squashed.”

         The it sunk in, “How do I get out of this?”

         Just as I thought that, I felt like a fell through an envelope of cool air.

         “Water!” I say grateful… Then back up.  “Water?  Well, would I rather get squashed to smithereens and hideor get really sick and die?  There needs to be a game where two choices are given that are equally just as bad but make you choose, because I have to make one of those choices right now!”