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Chapter 38

Me and Pudding teleported next to a tent in the Royal Hall.
“That was odd!” declared the little Mander.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought the first time, too,” I assured him. “Now, let’s look for that keystone. Apparently it’s right below the surface, so it should be raised up a little.”
“I will help you look!” said Pudding. He began looking around on the ground. So did I. “I found something!” called my pet Mander. He handed me what appeared at first glance to be an insect, but actually wasn’t: it was a golden scarab just like the one on my ring, only this one was much larger and inlaid with precious gems. I bet this was worth a lot of money! I had no use for it, either. I could sell it to someone here in Krokotopia and get more money to get home. I had about four thousand gold already, and this ornamental scarab would easily bring that amount up to six thousand.
“Wow, thanks, Pudding!” I said. Pudding smiled. I was beginning to really like the little guy. He was cute, friendly, and helpful.
“I will look for more!” he said. Off he dashed, and began digging in the sand. I walked over to the camp site, where there were some archaeology tools. I “borrowed” a shovel, and dug into the sand.The shovel hit something hard. It was a small box. I tried to open it, but it was locked. I tucked it under my arm and moved on to somewhere else. I used my hands this time, instead of the shovel. I grabbed something that felt like a small rock. I pulled it up from the sand. It was a small, egg-shaped stone engraved with many hieroglyphic messages that seemed like gibberish to me. I looked at them: a beetle, a bird, some fish, what looked like a pair of knives, and a vase, and a key. A key! I bet this was the keystone Assistant Danforth wanted me to find.
“I found it, Pudding!” I called. Pudding hopped eagerly across the sand.
“I found a gold coin, and a key!” he said. He handed them to me. I put the coin in the little sack of gold I kept tied to the belt of my robe, and looked at the key. It appeared to be made out of bronze… I wondered what it could possibly unlock. Then I remembered the chest I had dug up earlier. It was inlaid with the same kind of bronze. I fit the key into the lock and the box clicked open. It was full of scrolls. They were written in the Krokotopian language, and I couldn’t begin to decipher what they said. I could ask someone who could read it. There was also a drawstring bag the size of my fist. I wondered what was in it. I felt inside: nothing. I decided to put the golden scarab in there to keep it safe. I slid it in, and it disappeared. I felt inside with my fingers. Where could have gone? I shrieked in surprise as my whole arm slid into the pouch. I felt inside again. This time, I found the golden scarab. It was at the very bottom. This pouch must have been enchanted! It was bigger than a backpack inside, yet smaller than a frog on the outside. It would come in handy if I ever had something heavy to carry. Which, I actually did, I mused. I tried to shove the box into the bag. It didn’t work at first, but then it fell into the space inside. I put the key inside, also. I tied the pouch around my neck like a necklace, then I told Pudding, “Okay, let’s go back to the Chamber of Fire.” he jumped into my arms so he could teleport with me and not get left behind. Then I took a step and teleported there.
“Did you find it?” asked Assistant Danforth.
“Yeah.” I said, placing Pudding on the ground.
“Smashing! Isn’t archaeology exciting?” he said cheerily. I wanted to say “Pfft! No!” but that would be rude, so I kept my mouth shut.
“Now we can get into the Palace of Fire! Go, and help the troops there. Oh, mustn’t forget this–” he handed me a few hundred coins– “And off you go!” I assumed the Palace of Fire was that locked door in the Altar of Kings. I figured that I had been teleporting a little to much, and that, for Pudding’s sake, we would walk there.
“C’mon, Pudding,” I said. “Let’s go.” We took off at a run towards the Palace of Fire.



1. Fellarina - August 13, 2010

are there only 38 chapters? I want more!!!

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