Chapter 6

The Key of lies

Aaron and the Jester prepared their things and began their way towards the smoke. It was bright and early, and the birds were chirping in the forest. At least, they were. As they got closer to the smoke, the birds seemed to stop making noise and the forest went quiet.

“Uh, Aaron… Why is there no more sound?” asked the Jester.

“Huh? Oh, I don’t know, maybe the birds decided their songs were too loud,” Aaron chuckled back. In reality he was also a bit concerned.

The smoke seemed to be stemming from a clearing in the forest, about 10 yards ahead of them. They peered through the treeline to see a cart smoldered in flames. The fire was so big, they couldn’t even see across to the other trees. Just then, a Squish, one that was carrying something, ran out from another section of bushes, being chased by a gigantic bear, one that had four arms.

“Ahhhh help me!” shouted the Squish. “Somebody help!”

Aaron, as always, began his transformation into mage form. His eyes went green and leaves swirled around him. He began chanting a similar phrase as before and the leaves swooped towards the bear, taking him out in less time than it took for the Jester to realize it was over.

“There we are, easy as that,” Aaron said to himself, his eyes returning to normal.

The Squish that was being attacked walked over to Aaron, and like many others, was astonished as to how he was able to use magic. Of course, to any normal Squish, Aaron looked like a regular traveling merchant.

“Wow that was cool,” said the Squish. “The name’s Ronan by the way. That bear, creature, mutant… whatever it was, must’ve smelled the fire and unfortunately I didn’t bring my anti-mutant bear spray with me today. If it wasn’t for you, I would’ve joined my cart in becoming that thing’s lunch.”

Aaron smiled and said, “Well, you’re welcome. That cart, are you also a merchant?”

“Why, yes I am. I actually trade rare artifacts and relics I find along my travels. The only thing I was able to save is actually right here. It’s a map of some sort, it points to some kind of fountain.”

“A fountain?” the Jester said. “Aaron, that might be the fountain we’ve been looking for.”

Aaron thought it over for a bit and then asked, “How much for the map?”

“Oh, please, take it. It’s the least I can do.” Ronan paused for a moment and then asked, “Hey, would you happen to be able to perform water magic. That fire should probably be put out and if I could control water I’d do it, but since I can’t maybe you can help. What do you say?”

Aaron agreed and put out the flames. “That never gets old,” he said aloud.

“Well,” said Ronan, “thanks again. I’ll try to salvage what’s left of my cart. Till next time, farewell.” And with that, the Jester and Aaron made their way into the forest.

“This map says there’s some kind of entrance in a cavern, locked away by some secret passageway. A key is needed to open the door.” Just then the Jester pulled out… a key.

“Is this what you mean?” Aaron gasped, “What, when did you get that?”

“Oh, you know. Just found it on the ground,” the Jester laughed. “No, I found it next to that statue of Dionysus in the cave. I was going to tell you, but I didn’t know it was a key, just thought it was some kind of relic I could sell later on. Good to know, though.”

Aaron and the Jester made their way along the path the map laid out, and found a door, much like the one described on the map. The Jester put in the key, turned it, and the door began to creak open. The passageway was revealed, and they stepped inside, preparing for what was to come.

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