· Alfonso's Map

“Thanks!”

“Now continue walking!”

“Geez, a thank you would be nice,”

Clayton limped painfully to the dungeon. He was trying not to shout in pain as he clenched his teeth hard. All that was coming from him was heavy breathing and some grunts. About ten minutes later, we reached a dead end. The man asked us to stand right at the wall. That was the dungeon? I thought. It was not that bad. We just did as we were told. Suddenly, the ground below us opened up and we fell into a very deep hole. We could only see the silhouette of the man looking at us from above. Then, left us here. We were still tied up so we were practically useless without our hands. I tried to stand up and jump but I didn’t even reach half of the rocky wall. I sighed and sat back down with Clayton.

“I’m sorry that I was not helpful in this adventure, if I was more helpful or more attentive, you wouldn’t get injured or we wouldn’t be trapped in this place forever,”

“What do you mean not helpful. You were the one that found the similarities on the stone slabs. You were the one that got us safely through the moving statues, and you were the one that had the idea of using the statues sword to break the wall! It was never your fault. At least I get to be stuck here with my best friend.”

I smiled at him and tried to hug him without hands. In the end, I just fell to the floor. We laughed at my epic fail but it didn’t last long. We had a long silence after. After what felt like an eternity, we heard meowing. The meowing got louder and louder every minute. Suddenly, someone threw a rope ladder down the dungeon. Something jumped into the dungeon and landed on my lap. It was the cat! It skillfully used its claws to cut the rope and we were free. Without a second thought, we climbed up the ladder. The cat was on my head hitching a ride to the top. When we reached the top, the man was there. was there. Refusing to make eye contact, he explained that the cat kept meowing and pulling him towards the dungeon. He thought hard and he believed that we were good people. He finally introduced himself.

“My name is Aiman Wulfenite bin Ali. You can call me Wolf. Thank you for saving me,”

“Anytime. We just want to find a map,”

“I can show you where it is but it will be a challenge,”

I asked why. According to Wolf, the map is in his grandfather’s bedroom. We had to come up with a plan. But first, I had to come up with a name for my cat! He was the smartest cat in the world! It jumped into Wolf’s arms and purred. I cooed at the cat, excessively praising it.

“You never praised me like that before,” Clayton sulked.

“HAHA. Okay, okay. Sorry, I’ll praise you next time,”

“Next time?”

We finally got out of the tunnel but I bumped into something. I looked down and saw a little girl about five years old. She wore a simple skirt and had wavy hair. She stood up and stared at her brother. She asked her brother why he was helping the intruders. Wolf was obviously not ready for the question. He nervously answered the question. He explained how Clayton saved him. Wolf gave the girl the cat and introduced her. Her name was Batrisyia Emerald bin Ali, Wolf’s little sister. Batrisyia nodded understandingly. Wolf and Batrisyia led us to three wooden huts. Batrisyia pointed the largest hut. That was probably their grandfather’s hut. We tip-toed to the hut. When we got to the door, there was a bronze lock on the door.

Wolf had forgotten that the only key was on the grandfather’s neck. He had to try to steal it from him. But before we could even come up with a plan, we were interrupted by someone clearing his throat. Oh no! It was Wolf’s grandfather! We have been spotted. Wolf asked how he knew we were here. Turns out, Wolf’s other little sister saw them and told grandfather.

“GOD! When everything was going right,” Clayton complained.

“We weren’t doing anything bad! We just wanted to break into your house to take a map! Wait, when I say it like that, it does sound bad,”

“Please Grandfather Arman, they saved my life. They are good people!”

“If they can save this place then I’m convinced,”

I asked Wolf what danger was the cavern in. He explained that we were not the first to find this place. A man stumbled upon this cavern while stomping the ground in dismay as one of his business plans failed. When he found the cavern and saw how beautiful the cavern and how habitable the lake was, he wanted to remove them and turn this cavern into a vacation spot for tourist. They come every night to try and move them from their houses. They disturbed them and made the cavern hard for a living. They did all sorts of things. They would contaminate the lake with trash and would throw poison ivy leaves on their house.

Suddenly, the ceiling of the cavern shook violently. A hole opened up in the ceiling and someone repelled down. Arman frowned. The man landed smoothly and he strode towards Arman confidently with a smug smile engraved on his face. He was a tall man who wore a reflective vest over a smart-looking suit. He looked down on Arman and said that it won’t be long until they would move out.

“My men and I will have this place turned into the most popular tourist spot in Melaka. My men and I will put a barrier at the tunnel in the sea. we will only release the barrier if you live,” said the man

“What tunnel?” I asked.

“Where do you think the fishes come from. There is a natural underground river below the lake. The fishes and water come from a lake which is connected to a river which is further connected to the sea,” Wolf explained.

The man walked backwards and tugged the rope. He went back up to the surface. Irritated, I wanted to stand up for Wolf’s family.

“I’m going to stop that man from turning your cavern into a tourist spot!” I said out of pride.

I raised my fist and shouted. They cheered at my claim. I was feeling proud and determined at the time. I saw Clayton folding his arms and raised his eyebrow. After the cheer, they went back to their hut to rest.

“You have nothing, don’t you?”

“How could you tell?!”

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