“Your kind shall not survive! At last, I am free… Now you shall feel my wrath. All life shall destroy!” – A nightmare woke Blasius up. He was sweating profusely. He quaffed down some water to regain his senses and opened the drapes of his chamber to soothe down his uneasiness. The surroundings were eerily quiet. Most of the guards were snoring their lungs out. Even the workers and slaves were signing one last agreement with their so-called beds under the white blemished black canopy. Blasius had spent quite a few nights in the Horrow, but there was something odd about this one. “Maybe it’s the cube?” – Blasius pensively went to sleep.

      “This is the most peaceful I have felt since we got posted in this hell-hole!” – Birk said gulping down his favorite wine. “I won’t take back a half-filled wine barrel with me, so we better chug this thing down to the bottom before sunrise!” – Birk and Tim joyfully smashed their mugs together and slurped. “You know, something interesting happened today. I heard some workers talk about a mystic object with immense power and their ancestors believed that ---” – two arrows came dancing on the silent symphony of darkness and gashed open their necks. “Stay low! We don’t want to alert the guards.” – Nico and Figar murmured as they climbed down the tree from where they arrowed down the two wine lovers.
      “Quick! We need to get up that watch tower.” – Nico said as they stealthily scaled up the ladder. Birk and Tim were bathing inside a puddle of blood. “Guzzling down red, then bleeding out red! Poor soldier’s life…” – Figar thought. “There’s the chamber.” – Nico said as he loaded up his bow with a grappling hook. He shot the hook towards the far wooden railing on the chamber’s roof and fastened the other end of the rope on the watch tower. “I’ll go first.” – He waved his hand and ziplined swiftly to land on the chamber’s roof. Figar gulped down his anxiety and followed up behind him. As he was about to land on the roof, the rope gave in. Figar toppled down off the roof right in front of the guards at the door. Nico flattened to hide himself. The sudden noise woke up Blasius. “Intruder! Alarm the others, we might have more. I’ll take care of him…” – Petrok pointed a sword at the fallen Bounty Hunter. Just as Conan was about blow the trumpet, Blasius blasted through the door and snatched it away. “Wait! If we signal that we are under attack, they will lose their element of surprise. Fearing a failed coup, they might flee and all we’ll be left with is this cloddish aide. Tie him up and I’ll make him sing out his evil plans like a bird.” – Blasius said. The guards drew sense in the wise words of their lord and took Figar inside. Blasius vigilantly followed the guards inside the chamber. “My Lord! Do you want us to…” – He viciously dug his knife in Petrik’s head before he could complete his words. Conan met the same fate at the hands of Figar. “Greetings My Lord!” – Figar awkwardly knelt in front of Lord Blasius.      

          “Either you are smarter than I thought or my guards are just too foolish. How could someone pull that cheap ‘broken-rope’ deception off?”- Blasius said as he saw Nico enter the chamber. “Now…Get your ass off to work!” – Blasius replied rudely. “The maps I drew for your escape are spoilt. You can’t go to Andreas; the city is flooded with soldiers. So, you’ll have to find your way to the Valley of Loot where I’ll meet you in six days. – he continued. “But this jungle, it’s a fucking maze.” – Figar exclaimed. “Just follow the Ugic star.” – Blasius handed over the cube to Figar in a black purse. Nico tied the lord to a chair. “Apologies!” – he punched Blasius hard, several times on his face. Figar and Nico left the chamber and disappeared in the forest.

        “You can never get enough of this magic potion!” – Reuben said. “Pity! I don’t have a drop left…” – Mack grumbled. “Birk and Tim, at the western watch tower have a barrel full of wine. We could borrow.” – Reuben’s face lit up. “Keep watch while I get us some!” – Mack took two large mugs and climbed down.

        Mack blew the night sky off with his trumpet. There was utter stampede. Two dead bodies were discovered on the western tower. Sazar along with a few soldiers dashed towards the Lord’s chamber whose door now stood lonely and unguarded. “The bodies weren’t to be found until Sunrise. Those fools must be still lingering in the jungle.” – Blasius became restless. Sazar found the door unbolted and hesitatingly went inside without waiting for the lord’s permission. Blasius acted as if he was dazed out and in pain. The soldiers cut open the ropes. “Search the jungle and find those motherfuckers!” – Blasius muttered repeatedly. Sazar left the chamber as the others helped Blasius with some water. He divided the troops into packs and ordered them to capture any human they find inside the jungle. “Scarface, you’ll come with me!” – Sazar along with dozens of his men started the hunt for the cape bearers.               


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