An instant before Mr. Mouse was incinerated, Clue burst through the wall and projected a sheet of ice between her falling partner and the lava. The cage impacted heavily on the makeshift safety net, then slid to Clue’s feet.
Mr. Mouse squeaked his appreciation for being saved.
Clue nodded at him. She turned to face the would-be executioners. “You’re going to pay for that,” she growled at them, stepping forward menacingly. Her hands were still superheated from her trip through the rock, and she reached out to burn the cowering guards.
Mr. Mouse chirped frantically. He had no intention of watching Clue kill for him.
She heard his protest. She lowered her arms suddenly. Shaken by what she had almost done, she slumped to the floor.
The terrified guards scrambled to leave the room.
“Thanks,” Clue whispered to her friend.
His reply was short. Clue understood that he was very cross with her, but that, right now, they needed to leave the underground kingdom.
“Just one more thing,” Clue told him. “Come on.”
She opened her pocket for Mr. Mouse to ride in. Slowly, he made his was up and tucked himself in. He knew the ride home was going to feel very long, indeed.
Clue powered up, and resumed burning through the ground. Her next destination was the throne room.
Moments later, she arrived. Her unexpected appearance stunned everyone in the vast chamber.
The Queen was the first to speak. “It seems that you were never truly our prisoner,” she observed. “I assume you have the crown?”
“Yes,” said Clue.
“And you’ve come for the Eye?”
“It seems, then, that you’re going to tell me that I have no choice but to hand it over,” the Queen said, regretfully.
Clue didn’t hesitate. “Or I’ll melt a hole into the lava chamber. You and all your subjects will drown in fire.”
The Queen sighed. “So dramatic. I don’t believe you, though. I have been receiving reports about your escape. You haven’t killed yet. Even the ones that tried to kill your beast are still alive.”
Mr. Mouse popped his head up and glared at the Queen. If only she knew how close her people had come to death. He wasn’t mad at her, though. He was worried that Clue wouldn’t be able to handle being taunted like that. He wasn’t sure if he could talk her down for a second time.”
Sure enough, Clue was very close to carrying out her threat. She lifted herself off of the ground and floated toward the outer wall. She placed her hand squarely in the middle and pushed gently.
The Queen watched in horror as rivulets of liquefied earth began to trickle toward the ground.
Mr. Mouse tried desperately to change Clue’s mind, but he began to shiver as she began to build up her icy armor in preparation for being immersed in the lava.
The Queen couldn’t hear the mouse’s pleas. Sensing, now, that Clue wasn’t bluffing, the Queen changed her mind.
“Stop,” she said, her voice as commanding as ever, despite facing possible death. “Here is what you seek.” She produced the diamond and threw it disdainfully at Clue.
Clue caught it.
Without a word, she turned away from her excavation, and launched herself toward the surface, leaving the molten kingdom behind, for good.
After retrieving the other diamond from the hole where Mr. Mouse had stashed it, Clue took the crown from its bag.
She mounted the two jewels into the empty claws on the rim of the crown. Once she had them in place, she held the crown up against the glow from the lava in the crater.
Two beams of light, focused through the gems, flashed out and illuminated a spot on the inside of the headpiece. Clue made a note of the location and turned the crown over, examining the writing carved onto the outside.
“That’s where we start,” she told Mr. Mouse. “We should be there in a few days.”
She replaced the crown in its pouch and began to head down the mountain towards home.
Mr. Mouse sat quietly in her pocket, thinking about how close to disaster the quest had come. This time, once Clue arrived at the edge of the desert, he did not have to remind her to use her powers to glide.
It did not make him happy, at all.
Clue Restacks will return.