6. The Place Where Earth and Sky Kiss (part 6)

          A few moments later, the group arrived at their destination. Before them, a grand cavern at least two hundred feet in height glowed. Gold and silver objects laid in buckets. Jewels of every color dotted the area like sprinkles on a sundae. Heaps of treasure, scattered in disarray, filled the chamber. The crew blinked as they stared at the breathtaking view, completely awestruck. Hataru’s eyes darted around, taking it all in. She noticed a barrel full of fire-like rubies in front of her, a tiara with a diamond as big as her fist off to her right, and to her left she saw the most beautiful sapphire ring that matched her blue dress perfectly. She had never seen anything so magnificent in all her years as a princess; it had a gold band with intricate silver swirls, and the gem gleamed brilliantly as if it had just been polished. Hataru bent down to pick it up and slipped it on. It fit her slender finger like a lock to a key, but then she remembered Antenor’s story and felt ashamed of herself. This wasn’t hers to take. Silently, she gave it one last look of adoration and placed it back down. Sighing, she walked away and joined the men in their search for the comb.

          Everyone was growing tired after only fifteen minutes of rummaging through the treasure. They had found many decorated brushes, bows, hair pins, and other adornments, but there was no sign of the comb anywhere. Hataru was contemplating whether the object she held in her hand was in fact a comb or just another hair decoration, when she heard scuffled footsteps approaching the entrance of the chamber. Levi seemed to hear it too, and ushered everyone into hiding. Every eye stared at the dark opening, every ear strained to hear the footsteps, and every mouth held its breath. No one moved.

          A shadowed body appeared. It took two steps into the room, then stumbled and fell to the ground, coughing and gasping for breath. No one dared move to help the poor man, fearing that he might be of the enemy, until Hataru broke the silence.

          “Zephyr!” she screamed, leapt from behind a chest of golden crowns and jeweled medallions, racing to the boy's side.

The End

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