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In front of us there was a long hanging bridge, made of flimsy ropes, which connected our position on one side of the mountain cliff to a peak on the other side, and below us was a valley at least 1000-meters deep.

“We’ll need to cross the bridge to go over”, Cartelle said, pointing to the other side and to the bridge.

We assessed the bridge to see whether it was durable enough for us to use, otherwise, the trip down will cost us our lives.

Kay and I balked at the idea of using the worn-out bridge, but we didn’t seem to have a choice because it was impossible for us to return as the magic portal that brought us here was a one-way portal so we couldn't return to the lava caverns even if we wanted to.

As we slowly nudged along the bridge, strong winds blew toward us, which grew stronger and more violent as we walked, and the bridge swung widely from side to side as we held tightly to the ropes on the bridge.

We waited for the wind to subside before we continued moving until we almost reached the other side when a familiar sight approached us.

It was a Dragon, with parts of its body stained with blood caused by gunshot wounds.

“The Dragon must have somehow entered the portal with us,” said Cartelle although we weren’t aware of its arrival.

The Dragon breathed a fiery breath at us and burnt the bridge we were on.

Since we were only a short distance from the other end, we quickly hurried toward the exit, but before we reached it, the bridge collapsed, as we held onto the ropes tightly to avoid falling into the valley below.

Cartelle lost his grip and almost fell into the endless valley below but luckily, I grabbed his hand at the last minute and saved him.

Then the Dragon suddenly rushed toward us, with flaming smoke escaping from his nostrils as it prepared to burn us alive.

Hanging from the ropes of the broken bridge with one hand and holding onto Cartelle with the other there was really nothing much I could do to stop the Dragon.

I was a sitting duck, and I envisioned several ways I could dodge the Dragon, but all scenarios required me to drop Cartelle to save myself.

Even if I didn’t hold on to Cartelle he still wouldn’t have survived because both of us would be roasted by the Dragon.

I hated to decide the life and fate of someone else especially if the determination was made to save myself.

Even if I were to survive the Dragon’s onslaught how would I deal with the remorse from my actions?

I’d rather burn and drop to the valley below which might not necessarily kill me than bear the guilt for as long as I could remember the choice I made today.

However, before I had to make the tough decision, the Dragon closed my options, as it breathed fire not on me but on the ropes of the bridge right above me which broke our only support as Cartelle and I dropped to the valley below.

“Take this”, Kay shouted at the flying creature as he shot at the Dragon with his Thunderbolt.

Kay was far ahead of us before the bridge fell so he made it to the cliff on the other side.

This time perhaps by luck, Kay’s shot hit the Dragon’s vital organs as it fell into the valley below while Cartelle and me looked on.

“Good Shot”, I shouted at Kay complimenting on his great aim. Cartelle and I didn’t fall into the valley below because in a stroke of luck I grabbed onto some branches which grew along the mountain and we hung there for a while, waiting for a solution.

Kay quickly dropped ropes for us and pulled us to the top and we were saved.

Once we were on the other side of the rope bridge there was a clear path in front of us, so we continued the path, and we quickly reached a place with a gigantic four-sided Obelisk measuring at least 100-meters on each side.

There were many wax statues of life-like humans, fully dressed in their clothing, and holding their equipment, which was littered all around the Obelisk, and I thought this place must be a museum, like the wax museums on Earth.

However, on closer inspection, they weren’t made of wax but were as hard as stone.

“They were turned into stone, for failing the Obelisk’s test,” said Cartelle.

I was quite shocked by the revelation, and if it was true, then those statues weren’t for art and this place wasn’t a museum, but a tomb for petrified corpses.

“What strange technology could transform organic matters into stone?”, I thought to myself.

Sara scanned the statues and had a theory.

By means of some technology or magic, the skin and flesh of the corpses were coated or infused with dense Neutronium matters, which hardened and turned them stone-like.

Then Cartelle said, “We need to pass this test to leave this place” pointing at a large stone tablet on a pedestal in front of the Obelisk.

The test was relatively simple.

There were a thousand alphabets on the tablet, and the test was to consecutively pick three correct runes, to pass.

We moved away some of the stone corpses and made our way to the front of the pedestal.

Pointing his finger at the Obelisk, Cartelle said, “Only with eyes of Magic shall pass”, translating the words written on it.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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