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Stolen Treasures: Part Three

by uni_luver


"It's beautiful out here," said Kara who had been lost in thought looking at the trees.

      "Yes it is," said Ella. "The trees never looked like this from the castle windows."

      "We better get going again," said Kara after another long silence. "We'll have to hurry to find where the items have been hidden."

      "I guess you're right," Ella sighed. "It's just so beautiful here."

      "It is," replied Kara. "But we should admire it while we walk."

      The wind picked up over the afternoon, until it was a strong gust that took the leaves off all the trees. The girls had reached a fork in the road, so Kara took out the map once again. Suddenly the wind blew harder than ever, and blew the map right from her hands.

      "Oh no, the map!" Kara shouted.

      "It's alright," said Ella. "We don't know where the items are hidden anyway."

      "Yes, I guess you're right," replied Kara. "Which way should we turn?"

      "I don't know," said Ella. "You're better with directions, pick one."

      "How about the right one?" said Kara.

      The girls continued walking down the right fork of the road. The leaves blew around them in sudden gusts of wind. The trees looked less alive without the colorful leaves swaying gently on them. Kara spotted something colorful on the side of the road.

      "Look at that!" said Kara.

      "What is it?" asked Ella.

      "I don't know," replied Kara. "Let's go see."

      They walked over to get a better look. It was caught on a branch further back in the forest than it had looked.

      "It looks like some type of yellow cloth," said Ella.

      "I think it's part of someone's shirt," said Kara, "but I have no idea how it got here."

      "I think this is the same material as the piece attached to the letter," said Kara.

      "You're right it is!" replied Ella. "The person who stole the treasures must have walked this way. Let's make camp and start looking again tomorrow; it's getting dark."

     * * * * *

      The next morning was rainy and freezing. Kara awoke and shivered with cold. Without the warm wool blankets they had brought, she would have been soaked through. Ella was already awake, and unsuccessfully trying to make a fire, which was constantly doused by the icy torrent of rain. Kara packed up their now fully soaked blankets, and sat down beside Ella.

      "Let's just have a cold breakfast," she said.

      The bread and cheese they had packed had gone soggy in the rain. By the time they got around to eating it, the girls were so hungry that they did not care. They were running out of time, and still had no idea where the stolen treasures were hidden. The piece of material Kara found last night was an unexpected clue, and would help the search proceed. The thief or maybe his accomplice, had most likely left it there by accident, but Kara hoped that it was not only cunningly placed to distract them from the item's real location. While Ella packed up the meager breakfast, Kara looked around the area for more clues. The constant downpour of icy rain made it impossible to see very far at all. Giving up trying to find anything more, Kara decided that they should just go straight and keep looking.

      "Let's go this way," she said while pointing straight ahead.

      The girls continued to walk through the onslaught of the heavy shower. Their clothes were soon soaked through, and Kara's legs grew numb with cold. We must keep going, she thought. We are running out of time to find the stolen treasures. Forcing herself to keep going, Kara looked around for any clues. There were none to be seen.

      "Do you see anything, Ella?" she asked.

      "No," replied Ella. "I can't see much of anything in this rain."

      Despite the fact that they could not see much through the cascades of water, the girls searched on well through the day. By mid-afternoon, the rain had still not let up. Kara could see a cliff face ahead, next to a rushing river swollen by the downpour of rain. Not sure where to turn, she walked closer with Ella right behind her.

      "Is that a cave up ahead?" asked Ella, squinting into the distance.

      Kara looked too. In the distance, near the bottom of the cliff, was what appeared to be a small dark hole in the jagged rock.

      "I think it is," she answered. "Let's go inside it while we wait for the rain to stop."

      As the girls trudged over to the cliff face, the cave became more defined. It was a small hole compared the gigantic cliffs above it, and they could both fit in quite easily. Inside Ella lit a fire with her flint and tinderbox so they could see more clearly. Through the flickering light of the fire, the girls could see that the cave continued back even farther.

      "Should we look back there?" asked Ella peering into the inky blackness of the tunnel.

      "It seems like an ideal place the hide the stolen items," said Kara. "I don't think many people would dare to explore any farther than this."

      "We don't have to, do we, Kara?" asked Ella nervously.

      "Yes, I afraid we do," replied Kara shivering with fear. Both of them had always feared being trapped in a dark tunnel like this one after a cave in.

      "We should at least take a torch so we can see," said Ella.

      "That's a great idea, but I think we should also tie the rope the this rock. That way we don't have to worry about getting lost. We can just follow the rope back to the entrance," replied Kara.

      The girls entered the tunnel, Kara dropping the rope as they went along. The flickering light of Ella's torch sliced through the shadows ahead of them. The girls walked on for what seemed like hours through the never changing tunnel. After what was actually only half an hour, the tunnel branched out in two directions. Both forks looked exactly the same, but the girls knew that only one held the stolen treasures. If they took the wrong one, they would probably never find them.

      "Which one should we take?" asked Ella.

      "Let's take the left one," said Kara. "On the path outside we took the right fork."

      The girls took the left tunnel, and continued walking steadily. The passage split off into more tunnels as the girls continued on. Every time they came to one, they went right then left, Kara dropping the rope steadily behind them. Though they did not know it, the girls were walking steadily downwards through a labyrinth of passageways.

      "We'll never find anything at this rate," sighed Ella.

      "There are so many passages leading off that cave," said Kara. "The treasure could have been in any of the ones we passed."

      This was the perfect cave for the thief to have hidden the stolen treasures. The girls did not know, that the hundreds of winding passages joined together into one deep underground. Off of the central tunnels was a huge chamber, perfect for hiding the stolen treasures. Those who did search the cave, gave up or lost their way in the crisscrossing passages before they found their way there.

      "Let's just keep walking," said Ella. "We can't turn back now."

      "You're right," replied Kara as they continued on.

      After about two more hours walking through various tunnels, the girls walked into a huge central chamber. The torch had burnt out long ago, so they were happy to see sunlight filtering through the ceiling far above them. They did not know that if they had scaled the cliff face, it would have brought them into a rugged mountain range. They were now at the mountain's very heart.

      "Ella," said Kara in a worried voice, "I've just run out of rope."

      "I don't think we'll need it anymore," said Ella, looking around.

      Many passages including their own, circled around the chamber. Directly across from them stood a huge wooden doorway. The girls could see no possible way to open it, as there were no handles in sight. The huge oaken doors were engraved with seven strange symbols the girls did not recognize. Kara looked around for some way to get them to open. She saw no switches or levers by the doors, and there was definitely no way she could see to pry them open. Ella was looking in their passageway for clues. Looking carefully at the wall, she noticed a small symbol carved into the rock. It seemed to be the same as one of the larger symbols on the gigantic doors.

      "Kara look at this!" exclaimed Ella.

      "What is it?" asked Kara staring at the strange mark on the wall.

      "I think it's a button," answered Ella.

      "Well push it!" said Kara excitedly.

      "We don't know what it'll do though," answered Ella, unsure of what to do.

      Kara solved the problem for her, by leaning around and pushing the button. As soon as she had done so, they heard a huge rumbling sound like hundreds of boulders rolling down a mountain. The girls did not know that behind the door were seven stone beams blocking the doors from opening. Each was triggered by a button in the passages around the chamber. The beams were each engraved with one of the seven symbols. The rumbling stopped abruptly as the beam slid out of the way.

      "Maybe the buttons open the door," said Ella.

      "You're right!" replied Kara. "There are seven symbols on the door, so there are probably seven different buttons."

      "Let's look in each of the passageways," said Ella.

      They looked around in each of the small tunnels for the buttons. Each time a button was pushed, it was accompanied by rumbling which abruptly stopped as the corresponding beam slid into place. After the girls had pushed all seven buttons, the doors slid inwards without a sound. Inside were Fyora's stolen treasures. Ella and Kara ran in and collected the items in their packs. There would be time to celebrate later. Following the rope outside bright sunlight met their eyes.

     * * * * *

      Back at the castle, Fyora was elated that the girls had come back with the stolen items. A feast was held in their honor. The dishes James prepared were even more spectacular than before. Kara and Ella wore their beautiful dresses once again. As a reward, the King offered to make them ladies of the castle, but they refused. Kara and Ella were happy to return to work as attendants again, though it was never really the same. No one ever found out who the thief was, but the girls were truly happy and that was all that mattered.

The End

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Other Episodes

» Stolen Treasures: Part One
» Stolen Treasures: Part Two

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