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Gaian and Bevern quickly drew their swords, and Tyght held up his staff. The troll took a swipe at Gaian, who jumped out of the way, and Bevern took his chance to hit the troll.

The troll cried out in pain and turned on Bevern. Simultaneously, Sianna shouted “FIRE!!!” and a jet of flames shot out from her hands hitting the troll. However, this time the troll barely reacted, as it took a swipe at Bevern, who was unable to get out of the way, and was thrown across the cave.

Tyght then became engulfed in a red light that emanated from his staff, and leapt up in the air. He seemed to fly around towards the troll’s face, and hovered in mid-air whilst he landed numerous blows on him. Gaian took this chance to also attack the troll, whilst Sianna went over to Bevern to cast a cure spell on him. Gaian’s and Tyght’s assault became too much for the troll, who collapsed to the ground with an almighty thud, and then slowly disappeared into thin air.

Gaian went over to Bevern, who was now sitting up. “Are you alright?”

“I’ll be OK. But what I want to know is why that door rejected Tyght and sent that thing after us.”

They all turned to face Tyght, who had now returned to normal. “I do not know what happened...”

“Oh, come on, I think it’s pretty obvious. It says, ‘and your hearts be true,’ and so yours obviously isn’t! I don’t know what exactly is going on with you, Tyght, but you’re obviously planning something!”

“I assure you I am not! My aims are just the same as yours – save the Crystals, save the world! What other aims could I possibly have?!”

“The same aims as that bloody Emperor, perhaps! You probably want the Crystal’s power for yourself to rule over the world or something!”

“You clearly know nothing about Leven! You do know that I carry his staff? His aims were never to rule over the world, but to live in harmony with it! He never ruled over anyone! He wanted to see a world completely in balance, so, if he found himself in this situation that we are now in, he would want to restore the Crystals as they are responsible for helping to maintain the balance of the world!”

“So why did that door reject you then?”

“I told you, I do not know. Maybe it has a faulty mechanism of something...”

“A faulty mechanism?! Are you mad?! Can’t you see that we’re dealing with some kind of ancient, almighty power! These things don’t bloody have ‘faulty mechanisms’!

Gaian then interjected, “Look, calm down, both of you! This isn’t getting us anywhere. We’ve got to find a way out of here. I’m guessing that our Crystal is behind those doors, so we need to find a way through. We need to decide what to do.”

Bevern said, “We can start by killing him!”

“Hey! What’s got into you?! Nobody’s killing anyone!”

“But he got us into this mess! First he steers our ship into the heart of a whirlpool, nearly drowning all of us. And now it’s clear he’s got something evil in his heart because that bloody door rejected him and sent a troll after us that damn near killed me!” He rubbed his ribs to try and emphasise the point.

“But he’s also saved us – from those pirates and now from that troll. And don’t forget that Lisa also chose him to be a ‘Warrior of Light’ so I very much doubt if he’s evil!”

“Well, if you ask me she made a mistake!”

“So,” said Tyght, “What would you do to resolve this situation? You would have me killed, and then carry on with your quest I presume. Gaian is right, the Water Crystal is behind that door, but you appear to have forgotten that the door has place for four pairs of hands. How do you propose to open it?”

“I don’t know, maybe Sianna could blast a hole in it or something...”

“I doubt that would work,” said Sianna, “My spell had no effect on that troll, it was protected somehow, and chances are that door is as well. As you said, there is a mighty power at work here, and I think that it would take something other than pure brute force to open that door.”

“Well then we’ll just have to figure something out, won’t we! Maybe they’ll be other ‘Warriors of Light’ out there and we can use one of them!”

“You fool!” said Tyght, “We are the ones that have been chosen – the only ones. Didn’t you notice that those imprints matched our hands perfectly? We’re the only ‘Warriors of Light’. No one else is coming.”

Everyone fell silent for a moment. Then Gaian said, “So we have to get through the door to the Crystal, and the only way of opening it would appear to be if we place our hands in it. The inscription says, ‘Warriors of Light, if your quest be noble, and your hearts be true, place your hands below and you shall be admitted. But be there evil in your hearts, then leave this place, or face your doom.’ I think we can all say that our quest is noble – whether Tyght is coming from Lisa’s angle or Leven’s, his quest must surely be noble. So it comes down to his heart – is it true? Is there any evil in it?”

“I say we cut it out,” spat Bevern.

“Bevern, enough! If you can’t say anything useful to help us then don’t say anything at all!” Bevern was visibly hurt by this comment.

Gaian turned to Tyght, “So, is your heart true and free from evil?”

Tyght looked at him in disgust, “What a silly question to ask! Of course it’s ‘true’! And if there were any evil in it don’t you think Lisa would have spotted it? Do you think that I would have been chosen if I were evil?”

“Very well then, how do you explain what just happened – and don’t say mechanical failure!”

Tyght thought for a moment and then said, “Maybe it was some sort of test. The inscription says that if your quest isn’t noble, if you heart isn’t true or has any evil in it, then you will meet your doom. Well, we didn’t, did we? We defeated the troll, a fight in which I played a key part!” He looked squarely at Bevern when he said this. “So maybe this was a test of our resolve, to see if we could defeat the troll.”

Bevern then said, “So why did the door reject you?”

“Who says it did? It merely reacted when the last person placed their hands into the indents. Maybe it would have done the same thing if you had been the last one!”

“I don’t think so! There was a reaction when each of us placed our hands on it! That chiming noise! But with you we got a bloody horn and a troll!”

Sianna then spoke up, “Look, we’re just going round in circles here! We’ve explored all of these tunnels, and this is the only way out. There are four indents for the ‘Warriors of Light’, who are us, and there are four of us. The only way we’re going to get out of here, and reach the Water Crystal, is if we try again. Maybe Tyght was right, and it was just a test.”

Bevern looked at her in surprise, “You’ve changed your tune. You got all worried when he first did that red mist thing! Killing all of those pirates! And aren’t you forgetting that he’s almost killed us twice?!”

“Yes, well, it was actually only once – you can’t blame him for the troll. Yes, he took us into the Maelstrom. But it did bring us here – one door away from the Water Crystal.”

“But how do we know it’s behind there? We only have his word that we’re anywhere near the Crystal!”

Gaian then spoke, “I think it is behind the door. Just look at those ‘flames’. And this door was certainly placed here for us, the ‘Warriors of Light’.”

There was silence for a moment, and then Bevern said, “So, what, you just want to try again? What if another troll appears?!”

Sianna then said, “Tyght could place his hands in the indents first, with you and Gaian standing by should another troll emerge.”

“You’re crazy!”

Gaian then said, “Well, if you can think of a better idea – one that doesn’t involve killing Tyght – I’d like to hear it. If not, then I don’t see any other option.”

There was another moment of silence, before Bevern shouted, “Oh very well then! If we’re going to die we might as well get it over and done with!” He drew his sword and stood by the spot where the troll had emerged. He turned to the others and said, “Well, come on then!”

Gaian slowly walked over to stand next to Bevern, and drew his sword. Sianna took up position behind them.

Tyght was clearly nervous as he walked up to the door. He stood before his set of indents, and composed himself.

“Get on with it!” Bevern shouted.

Tyght slowly placed his hands in the indents.

Immediately there was a flash of blinding light, forcing the others to cover their eyes. Once the light had dissipated, and they could open their eyes again, they saw that Tyght had vanished.

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