Heidi stepped gingerly between two large, loose blocks of stone. “These look like they’re carved, don’t you think? There’s not much left but this one has…yes, I’m certain! It has runes or something carved right into the face. Maybe it was a lintel over a doorway?”
Johann stopped next to the rubble Heidi was pointing at. “Hm,” he muttered, examining the rock from numerous angles. “I think so! But who carved it?” He poked at it with his sword.
A cloud of dirt and debris blew up behind him. Startled and still very twitchy, he wheeled around so fast that he nearly lopped the head off of Gustlab. Only because of the farmer’s strength and agility did he stop his blade in midair.
Ercen had returned with Rutahn and had already set to heaving massive boulders down the side halls and took no notice of Johann and Gustlab. Their only focus, for the moment, was to clear debris away from the doorway into the sacrificial chamber.
“That was excellent, Mr. Skulstad!” Paign gushed.
“It depends on one’s point of view, boy!” Gustlab barked. “Ercen needs our help in getting through what used to be the main entrance to the lower dungeons of Kahrnahrgx’s fortress. We will be faster at completing this task when you get out of our way,” he said with a glare.
Freida pulled on Paign’s sleeve to motion him back up the stairs until they stood to the side. Her parents joined them a minute later. She was amazed to see that Tiny was asleep at a time like this, let alone with his tongue splayed carelessly into the dust and grime. She couldn’t help but grin at her contented beast.
Paign guessed that they sat in the surging dust for about twenty minutes before Ercen reappeared a few steps below.
“It is time,” she said, without any enthusiasm.
“What is wrong, Ercen?” Freida asked.
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