No. 404 – The Molten Kingdom Part 4

Clue was ushered to the throne room of the underground citadel.

The queen of the underground beings sat on a throne chiseled from a single piece of volcanic stone. She did not wait before addressing Clue. “I have been told that you possess the Eyes.”

“That’s right, your highness,” said Clue, bowing low. “I have one here. The second is close by.”

“That is good,” said the Queen. “We will not have to kill you immediately. Now, show me.”

Clue held up the diamond. Another guard took it from her and carried it to the royal dais.

The Queen inspected it closely before setting it down on the arm rest of her throne. “Tell me what you have really come here for, outsider.”

Clue didn’t have a chance to answer. There was a commotion outside the door to the throne room, and a group of soldiers entered with a small cage.

“A mouse was found in the fortress,” they reported. “It has come from the surface. There is a breach in our defenses.”

The Queen turned to Clue. “Did you bring an animal with you?” she asked.

Clue shrugged. “What would I do with a rat?” she said dismissively.

The Queen considered the answer.

“Take this one to the dungeons,” she ordered the soldiers. “Kill the creature.”

The soldiers grabbed Clue roughly and hauled her toward the deeper corridors of the stronghold.

“But the other Eye,” she yelled as they took her away. “You won’t find it without me.”

“I am not concerned. It must be nearby,” said the Queen. “And perhaps, before long, you will consider revealing where you hid it.”

“No!” screamed Clue. “You can’t take me.”

But it was no use. She was soon locked away, deep beneath the earth.

Exactly where she wanted to be.