Edwin looked through the basement window. He thought his eyes were betraying him and went to rub them before realizing his goggles were still in place.
“Eula, are they?” He could not finish his question.
“They’re chanting, wearing robes and the place is lit by candles; I think they are going to do exactly what you think they are,” Eula readied her new mallet for action.
“But the goat in the corner,” Edwin could not bring himself to say aloud the conclusion he had drawn.
“Come on, hero,” Eula said.
They crept through the darkened alley, making stealthy steps to the front entry of the bank.
“So the plan is to get in there, smash some skulls, capture the Duke and bring an end to his relic trade and go home?” Edwin asked.
Eula had known nervous men before, but Edwin’s anxious prattling was something all its own.
“No, we get in there, let the Duke know we’re on to him and look the scene over. Remember everything you see in there and we’ll start figuring out what is going on after our escape,” Eula said.
“Live to fight a different day. Got it. Do we have time to save the goat?” Edwin’s concern was genuine.
“We can save the goat,” Eula agreed.
The two emerged from the alleyway and stepped, heads held high and goggles in place, to the bank. None of the guards or sentries typical of the Duke’s entourage were in sight. Eula was quite disappointed that she may not get to use her new fireball throwing mallet before heading into the building.
They reached the entrance, Edwin pulled open the door and Eula ran inside waving her mallet.
She screamed in an attempt to strike fear into the hearts and minds of any foes foolish enough to be present in the bank lobby.
“It’s empty,” she said, dropping the mallet to her side.
“That would have been an amazing moment,” Edwin said entering the bank.
“Do you see any way to get to the basement?” Eula looked over the room.
Edwin was puzzled. The room was four flat walls, a teller’s bay and a desk; no sign of secondary exits. Fortune smiled on him as a scrap of paper danced across the floor.
“You feel a breeze?” He asked as he stepped to the paper.
“No, we’re indoors,” Eula’s tone let him know that he needed to speed up the reveal.
“This paper is being pushed by wind. I am very, very excited to say this,” Edwin cleared his throat for dramatic effect, “there’s a secret passage over here.”
He tapped the wall and to his surprise a doorway opened.
“That went splendidly for you,” Eula said, “Follow my lead. And don’t say anything.”
“I’m telling the goat we’re heading to a farm upstate,” he smiled.
“Tell the goat whatever you want, just wait until we’re leaving,” Eula was not laughing.
The doorway led to a spiral staircase. Iron steps and red brick walls, wet for reasons neither hero wanted to investigate, dove deep into the underbelly of the bank building. With each step the room warmed and chanting grew louder. Edwin’s heart was racing.
Eula stopped their descent.
“I do the talking,” she reminded Edwin before continuing the march.
They came to the end of the stairwell and looked upon a collection of blue robed figures, chanting in a language neither could identify. Candles flickered, the goat bleated from time to time, and at the center of the room sat a stone table.
Eula saw a number of artifacts she had been hunting for some time, just hanging on the walls of this subterranean temple. She wondered for a moment if she could convince Edwin to leave the goat and grab the relics. She went to voice her new plan but Edwin was mouthing bleats in the goat’s direction. The goat was coming with.
“Let’s go,” Eula said. She ignited the mallet and stepped into the room.
“Duke, I’ve come for the relic,” she said.
Edwin moved to grab the goat.
“You? You’re the one that has been bothering me so?” The Duke said as he pulled the robe’s hood off his head.
“Did you expect anyone else?” Eula asked.
“Yes, yes I did thus my prior statement. What relic are you after this time?” The Duke asked.
“You have multiple relics that would bring me here?” Eula was curious.
The Duke paused to carefully plan his next words. “No,” he finished.
Eula recognized the knife sitting on top of the stone table in the center of the room and found her move.
“Just give me the knife and I’ll get out of your way,” she said.
“And the goat,” Edwin added, “the knife and the goat.”
“You can obviously see that both of those elements are quite essential to what we are trying to do here tonight, right? Of any items in this room those are the two that cannot leave this place.” The Duke moved his hands too much when he spoke, Edwin felt.
“Apostles, remove these two buffoons,” The Duke ordered.
“Finally,” Eula said.
She swung the mallet upward, clipping an oncoming attacker on the chin as it rose. She grinned as fireballs started filling the room. The assembled robed men, those with not currently on fire robes, fled the room. Edwin clutched the goat close and hid from the inferno.
Eula did not watch The Duke escape, but it did not matter. They now had an empty temple full of relics to investigate and surviving items to return to their original homes.
The fires were gone just as quickly as they had started.
“Your roommates make a good mallet,” Eula said when Edwin stood up.
“How did you know the fires would die out when the chemicals went away?” Edwin asked.
“I didn’t, but that super worked out, eh?” Eula laughed. “Let’s gather some of this stuff and head on out.”
Edwin saw a tiny spark flutter and land atop a leather bound book by the stone table.
“I’m thinking most of what we need to know will be in that tome,” he said.
“He left his religious text in the fire? That just stinks of trap.” Eula said.
“Maybe so, but don’t you want to know why they had blue robes?” Edwin asked.
“Open that book, Gear.”
Thanks for reading!
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