Tracking Down a Bloodline: Part Three
Garin looked at the chess patterns around the door. What in Neopia did these have to do with anything? He bit his lip. He knew there was no possible way to make an escape, but did he really want to let this chance slip through his fingers? Garin suddenly noticed, that on the door was a crown, sitting as if on a chess board, and all the other pieces were off to the side.
Wait a minute, the sun was coming up and the tide had turned! Garin knew how to get in! He reached for one of the many pieces around the door, but none of then moved, except for the knight. He pulled the knight from its place and placed in a small hole on the square next to the king, which suddenly popped out. Scarblade stared.
“Check mate,” Garin whispered, and pushed the king in. There was a loud rumble, and the door opened wide like a gaping mouth. Garin grinned, but then heard a pistol cocking behind him. He felt the barrel pressed against the back of his head.
“So it’s you then?” Scarblade asked. “The heir of King.”
“Aye,” Garin answered as bravely as he could.
“Well then, this is where our paths cross for the last time. Farewell, Garin.” Scarblade’s finger tightened on the trigger.
Suddenly, there was a loud screech. Scarblade looked up and took a frightened jump back. A ghost, streaming white with blood red eyes, soared toward them. Scarblade’s men let out a terrified yell and ran out of the tomb. Scarblade shoved Garin forward onto his face and ran, shouting,
“Ye can feed its hunger!”
Jacques looked inside and saw what Scarblade meant. “Garin!!!” he shouted. Garin covered his head.
Garin opened his eyes and looked up. The ghost just sat there, floating as if he weren’t visible. Garin stood up and walked ever so slowly towards it.
“Garin!” Jacques said warningly. Garin ignored him, reached out at the ghost, and grabbed hold.
Garin stared, then burst out laughing. Jacques and Glint looked at each other and shrugged. Garin looked at them.
“Look! Look at this! This is no ghost, it’s just a sheet painted to LOOK like a ghost!” Garin said, showing them the sheet. Jacques, Glint and the rest of the crew buckled over, letting out relieved sighs. Glint wiped sweat from his brow.
“Now that’s clever but not very funny,” Jacques said.
“Didn’t I tell ye that King was clever?” said Glint.
“Aye, you did,” Garin said. Jacques embraced his friend.
“I’m glad you’re okay, Garin!” he exclaimed. “I was afraid Scarblade would kill you!”
“I was too,” Garin said, wiping sweat from his brow. He looked at Glint, who had a relieved look in his eyes. Garin felt ashamed. He looked down. “I’m sorry, Glint.”
“I should be the one to forgive, Garin,” Glint said. “I kept that secret, when I should have told you when you were ready. I should have tried to find you.”
“Well, your inheritance awaits.” Glint gestured for Garin and the others to move on into the tomb. Garin nodded, grabbed a torch and walked down the corridor, followed closely by Jacques and the others. The corridor led to some stairs, which spiraled down, down, down into darkness. Jacques and Garin gave each other a nervous glance, then looked at Glint.
“Don’t look at me, lads,” he said. “King built this place. He knows its secrets, not me.”
“I was afraid you were going to say that,” Garin said nervously. He started down the stone stairway, Jacques right behind him. Garin nearly stumbled as some of the stairs crumbled beneath him. He watched it fall into nothingness, and began to sweat. Suddenly, the rest of the steps began to fall away beneath Garin. Glint dove and grabbed Garin’s arm before he fell and pulled him back. Garin looked at Glint.
“Th-Thanks,” Garin stammered. Glint smiled and nodded.
“Maybe I should go first,” he said.
“Yeah. But be careful!” Garin warned. Glint nodded, then started walking. Garin held the torch high to make a clear path of light for Glint and the others. He looked at the old Kougra.
“Glint, can I ask you something?”
“How did K- Err, my grandfather die?” Glint stopped for a moment, but then kept walking and said,
“The Colonel finally got his wish. He had been after King for years, and finally caught up with him. They were fighting in an old church steeple, and by the time we all got there... We were too late,” Glint said. “The Colonel was gone, and your grandfather was too.” Glint clenched his fists and bared his teeth. “And Rebecca lost everything... including the will to live.”
Garin was silent, and anger burned in his heart.
“Do you know what happened to who did it?” he asked.
“Nope.” Glint looked at Garin. “But besides that factor, the crew and I mostly split up across- Whoa!!” Glint slipped and nearly fell, but Garin grabbed his arm. Glint’s weight was too much for Garin and he nearly fell too, but Jacques grabbed his arm. He pulled them both up.
“Glad to see you had a hearty breakfast today, Glint,” Jacques grunted.
“Can you see the bottom?” Talak called down from behind.
“No,” Garin called. “Best not look down, mates! Just keep moving, and watch your step!”
Suddenly, as he leaned over to look, Jacques slipped and fell forward, but landed smack on his stomach on a hard stone floor.
“Ow!” Jacques yelped, then pulled himself up and looked around. “...Well, I found the bottom, Garin.”
Garin looked over the edge, and saw Jacques sitting on rocky ground. He sighed in relief, then jumped down to join his friend.
“You alright, me hearty?” asked Garin.
“Aye. A little sore, but I’ll be fine.” Jacques stood up with Garin’s help. “Now what?”
“Take a look, lads.” Glint pointed at a large door. Garin looked at it, and saw three symbols etched into the door. A king, a queen and a golden heart.
“So how do we get in?” asked Jacques. Glint shrugged. Garin thought for a moment, then looked at Glint.
“Did King say anything to you about this place?” he asked.
“Well, it was shortly before he died, but he said something... ‘Follow the chess pieces,’ I think.” Glint said, scratching his head.
“Chess pieces... chess pieces...” Garin mumbled to himself. “I think I’ve got it.” Garin looked at the door. “He meant follow the chess pieces, follow them to something that’ll let you in... But let you into what? The heart? Wait a minute... There was a heart at the main entrance! It’s a clue to let you in!” Garin pressed the heart, and watched it pull in slowly.
The door opened slowly to reveal a dark abyss. Glint took the torch from Garin and took a step forward. He stared with a smile on his face.
“Garin,” he said. “King’s life hoards.” He motioned for Garin to move forward, and he obeyed, Jacques and the crew close behind. They stopped dead in their tracks and stared at the massive pile of treasure that lay in front of him. Garin’s jaw dropped. He looked at Jacques, who seemed to be at a loss for words as well. Garin looked at Glint, who was watching him with a great look of satisfaction on his face.
“You didn’t think King would leave his kin flat broke, did ya?” Glint asked. Garin, Jacques, and the crew exchanged glances. Little Sam was bold enough to take a step away from the group and take a closer look at the treasure. He reached out and slightly touched a large golden pot. He looked at Garin, still astonished.
“Yeah, it’s real,” he said. Garin laughed, then took a few steps forward and picked up a handful of the treasure and let it slide through his fingers. He looked at Jacques and his mates.
“Well, come on, you dogs! There’s plenty for everyone!” he said, excitement filling his voice. Jacques let out a laugh and joined Garin, followed by a still astonished crew. Glint just watched. Garin looked at him.
“That means you too, Glint.”
Glint smiled and joined the group. Garin looked again at the mountain of treasure. “Let’s pack up what we can, mates. We’ll take it aboard the Pawkeet and put it in the hold, then come back for the rest. We have to be quick; Scarblade and his men will regain their nerve soon enough and return. So let’s move!”
“C’mon, mates, it’s almost sun up,” Talak said from ahead of the group.
“We have to move fast... You alright, Glint?” Garin asked.
The old Kougra looked up, panted and said, “I’m not as young as I used to be, Garin.” Glint neared the entrance of the tomb and helped Sam set down a large sack of treasure he brought up. Sam noticed something piled in a corner of the tomb. It was gritty and black.
“Erm... what’s this stuff?” he asked. Glint walked over and took a sniff.
“Gunpowder,” he said. “Best keep our torches away from this stuff. It could blow this whole place up without any trouble.”
“You heard him,” Jacques said, herding Sam away because he carried a torch. Garin walked outside as his crew laid down their heavy sacks. He really didn’t know how what to make of the day. He had gone from one thing to another all in twenty-four hours, it was all a bit nerve wracking. Suddenly, a cutlass whizzed by him and landed in the wall. He jumped back and looked ahead of him.
“Oh no,” he breathed. Scarblade and his men had returned sooner than thought, and a fight was about to begin...
To be continued...