Previously: Yi Fan fell defending Twain and Digger from the Cobalt Czar’s assault in the passage leading to the City of the Moon. And now…
Digger ducked into the connecting passage to the next chamber as the Czarâ€™s blue beam carved through the space where he had been standing. The Czar stomped after him.
Twain cradled Yi Fan in the dim glow of the blue crystals dotting the walls. She felt hot, and her face looked mottled in the half-light. She wheezed, a horrible liquid sound, and said, â€œJeff.â€
â€œNo, just take it easy,â€ Twain said. â€œWeâ€™ll get you to the healer. Everything will be all right.â€
â€œIâ€™m sorry,â€ she said. â€œI cou…â€
Twain waited for the next word, but it didnâ€™t come. He strained to hear, as if she might simply be speaking too quietly for him to perceive. But even though the darkness seemed to magnify his hearing, so that he could hear the Czar thumping after Digger in the next chamber, the rush of blood in his ears, and even the sound of the tears squeezing out onto the surface of his eyes, he heard nothing from Yi Fan.
Digger ran into the antechamber where they had left the Cup of Regret. He saw it still sitting on the ground, a dark silhouette against the pervasive blue glow. And the amber liquid in it was definitely glowing now, green against the blue. Digger ran to the cup, scooped it up as he ran past, toward the stone wall with the narrow passage to the main cathedral. He heard stomping footsteps behind him, glanced back to see the Czar, glowing even brighter than the surrounding crystals, with hands outstretched, ready to loose glowing blue death at him.
Digger splashed the glowing liquid from the cup into his face as the blue beam lanced toward him.
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]Digger splashed the glowing liquid from the cup into his face as the blue beam lanced toward him…[/blockquote]Twain heard the sound of the Czarâ€™s energy beam, but barely registered it. Who cared what the Czar was doing? Yi Fan was all that mattered, and she was gone.
But no, she wasnâ€™t, Twain realized! Yi Fan had told him that he traveled back in time to meet her, and he still hadnâ€™t done that. He could do that now and warn her to avoid the attack. He could still save her. He just needed the cup.
He sprang to his feet and rushed to the next chamber, where he stopped and gaped in wonder, unprepared for what he saw.
The antechamber no longer existed, in a sense. The stone wall separating the chamber from the main cathedral had been disintegrated, making the two room into one. Blue crystals littered the floor where the stone holding them had been melted away. It made a sort of sense that the crystals could not be harmed by the same power the Czar drew from them.
But the crystals were not important. The cup was. Twain scanned the floor for it; it was gone. Digger must have kicked it or something as he ran past. Twain scanned further down and saw the dark silhouette of the carved wood handle, surrounded by shards of milky quartz.
The cup had been shattered!
With the cup destroyed, how will Twain be able to fulfill his destiny of meeting Yi Fan? More importantly, how will Digger make good on his promise to return it to the museum? Don’t expect any answers to these questions in the next episode, but join us anyway. It will be worth your time.
To read from the beginning, click here…