Edvard kept grumbling being shoved forward whilst Dastan rolled his eyes and wished the old man would keep his mouth shut. If King Barclay or Zal-Kath as Dastan now knew him didn’t have a reason to kill them before, he did now. He could see the annoyance flood the King’s face as they reached the end of the winding stone staircase.
It was pitch black in front of them, Dastan couldn’t see a thing. He was suddenly blinded by light when Zal-Kath enchanted a spell to light the torches on the wall. He could see the dust hovering in the light as he coughed against the stale air.
Before them stood a black gate, covered in cobwebs and dust. Dastan was shoved forward first towards the metal as he noticed there was no keyhole. He knew it had to be locked, otherwise, he wouldn’t be down here. But what he didn’t understand was why he was needed to open it. As he stumbled forward one of the stones beneath his feet clicked. Pausing, eyes wide he wondered what had just happened. Zal-Kath didn’t seem too worried in fact he was smirking. He heard gears grinding within the walls around them, creaking from having gathered dust in centuries.
“Hurry up and read it!” Zal-Kath snapped causing Dastan to glance over his shoulder in confusion.
“Read what?” He scoffed before turning to see what the grumpy King meant. Along the top banner of the gate, the dust had been blown away, to allow runes to be sketched into the metal. One by one the letters formed their words as Dastan was slow in his attempt to read it. Zal-Kath’s patience was thinning when Dastan struggled on the last pronunciation.
“Húê ríjst meret share ituooi. Miiu Dimus huia jouhetre yhem tœra sladi hùnyw máethreæ?”
“It’s pronounced maeheree! Here rest the rulers of old. May Dimus grant eternal life for their service and let them forever rest.”
Once the words had escaped Edvard’s mouth the gates flew wide open. It was a blessing that lay upon the gate. The blessing was often spoken during a funeral of the monarch before they were sealed away. Blessing are one of the strongest kinds of magic, which is why Zal-Kath couldn’t open the tomb. Dark hearts could not open the gate.
A blue fire burned, emphasising the tombs of the fallen Kings. Being shoved forward again they kept walking. It was a long corridor with graves on either side, etched into the walls. They came to a large dome clearing where in the middle stood a large stone coffin. Carved perfectly in marble on the lid was a statue of King Dominic lying with his crown and jewelled ring on his finger.
“Open it!” Zal-Kath demanded. Dastan growled under his breath, the King should be allowed to rest in peace. Struggling to push the lid off the coffin, two of the soldiers assisted causing the lid to crash to the ground. Dastan was quick to glance at the lid to ensure it hadn’t cracked. Em would never forgive him if he had damaged her father’s memory.
Glancing at the skeleton covered in cobwebs, he noticed his crown has rusted over the years. His once magnificent clothing now was shredded with holes. He noticed a large ruby ring with a gold rim in perfect condition resting against his bony finger.
“At last! The Jewel is mine!” Zal-Kath hissed with glee. He wasn’t gentle as he reached down and ripped the ring from the King. Dastan flinched hearing the snap of a bone. Zal-Kath’s grin couldn’t have grown any bigger as he inspected it closely. He waited to feel the surge of power when the ring disintegrated into dust within his palm. His face went white unable to believe it had vanished.
“Is it supposed to do that?” Quarin questioned confused. Zal-Kath was frozen in place. Slowly it started to dawn on him as his fists clenched in rage.
“THAT WITCH!” His voice shaking the tombs. Dust fell from the ceiling as Dastan watched his eyes go pure black. Storming out, Zal-Kath couldn’t believe he had allowed himself to be deceived.