The Labyrinth

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

the second half of The Olympians, takes place a few days later.

Three days after they original found it, the Olympians returned to what Lance and Hercules believed to be the mythical labyrinth them, and many others in the past, had been searching for. Zeus eventually allowed them to go but they had a much smaller team this time. Artemis, Lana Katia, decided to stay behind. Not only was Lana just not that interested but she didn’t want to waste all their manpower on this. She also made Mercury, Trent Moralis stay back as well. He was much more bummed about being left out of this potential discovery. Lance, Hercules and their team landed, they got a crate of supplies that they might need and de-boarded. Lance took another look around the enclosed space. It was no wonder it was undiscovered till now, especially with the gorgon’s “protecting” it for so long. Lance picked up the Knife he left their and Hercules pulled an inflatable boat from the plane. Once the raft was ready they boarded and set sail across the dangerous water.

 

They reached the other side where all of them got a better look at the entrance. Hercules was starting to feel Lance was right, even if this wasn’t the labyrinth, it would have some great secret. As long as he got to fight something. “So is there a trick to open it or do I just smash it?” Hercules asked “Let’s try a less destructive way first shall we?” Lance said. He pressed a few rocks and turned what apparently was a lock and the door opened. “Your eyes showed you the combination?” Hercules asked and Lance and the team entered. Inside torches lit up, apparently activated at the same time as the door, which now closed. “I guess we won’t need our flash torches.” One of the workers said. “Stay close, watch your step and don’t touch anything unless I say so.” Lance said. He scanned as much of the maze as he could, there seemed to be no end. “This is it alright.” Lance said. The team ventured forward carefully, until the got to the first crossroads and Lance looked around again. “We must be deep underground now.” Hercules said. Lance walked down the first hall to the right and the rest fallowed. After a few feet, Lance stopped everyone, looking over the space “Saws in the wall, there are several trigger points, follow my steps exactly.” The men did as they were told, some took more of their sweet time than others but they made it across. Lance moved to another fork “Another trap to the right, we’ll take the center and see where it goes.” “If your eyes can see through rock, apparently.” Hercules said and Lance stopped “Maybe we should have flown over so you could get an aerial view. Map out the maze from there?” Lance sighed “Too late for that now, we’re locked in remember?” “So what? We can’t get out until we get to the center?” “I don’t know, I didn’t see any way to unlock that door from the inside.” Lance said “Let’s just keep going, there has to be a way out somewhere.”

 

Elsewhere, in a market for creatures, Lana was negotiating with a group of centaur, they wanted food delivered to their people. “Is there something wrong with the market?” Lana asked them “Why there no discount?” the lead one, Alias, asked pointing to a stand with a troll at it. “We want much food, we should not pay full price.” He did have a point, if you bought in bulk it was supposed to be cheaper, this sadly wasn’t the first time there had been complaints about the same seller. “I shall talk with him.” She said “Why is there no discount for bulk orders?” she asked the troll “If they have a problem they can go somewhere else, these items were hard to find. I risked my life in some cases.” He unfortunately also had a point but she still felt he was rude. “Haven’t you heard the customer is always right?” The troll grumbled “I will cut…five percent.” “Ten.” Alias demanded “Six.” “Eight.” The troll looked at the centaurs, he knew he was already pushing his luck. “Fine.” He said begrudgingly. “I better not have to come back and deal with you again.” Lana said. The troll knew it wasn’t a violent threat but they could close him down.

 

Lance and the team were much deeper in the maze now and had gotten past many traps. They came across a dead end, Hercules looked at Lance but didn’t say anything. Lance looked at the riddle on the wall, it was the oldest one in the book. What has four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night? There was a part of the wall that had mixable letters so he spelled out man and the door opened. They continued forward till they reached another fork with six paths. “Seriously, can’t I just smash though the walls?” Hercules asked “You mean the ones full of traps or the ones holding the roof up?” Lance asked “I doubt very much I would cause a cave in, thank you.” “Can we please just get through this?” one of the men asked and the two stopped bickering. Lance chose door number three, they came to a large block and a gaping whole blocking the path. “This path?” Hercules asked. Lance thumbed to the block. Hercules moved the large block to fill the whole in the ground and the path continued.

 

Trent was as board as he could possibly be, it was bad enough that he was a speedster and everything seemed to move slower to him at times, but now he was doing paper work for elf citizenship. It made sense for him to do it but he sure didn’t have to enjoy it. The long line of elves didn’t take too long to shorten but to Trent it felt like days. He sure envied Lance and Hercules.

 

Lance was reading another riddle, again a very old one. When you need a meal, I’ll cook it, when you need to see, I’ll help you but be foolish and I will hurt you. What am I? Lance answered fire and a path opened. “These puzzles seem rather easy.” Hercules said. “I expect they were more difficult when they were made and I do have an advantage.” Hercules laughed, he did indeed. They came to another fork and Lance looked around, he seemed perplexed for once. “What’s wrong?” Hercules asked “That way is a dead end. Ten foot thick wall.” Lance said pointing right “Ahead is a false floor with a pitfall and to the left is a trap that springs a boulder. I think we have to go back and find another way.” Hercules started moving down the left path. “What are you doing?” Lance said “Where is the trigger?” Hercules asked “As far as I can tell that path doesn’t lead to the center, there isn’t any point to going past the trap.” “Where is the trigger?” he asked again “Three steps forward and one to the left but why?” Hercules moved to that spot and heard the noise of the boulder release, he ran back to the fork with the large rock coming for him and jumped toward the group, avoiding the trap. The boulder kept going down the hall into and through the wall at the end. The team looked down at the new path “If there isn’t an opening, make one.” Hercules said with some pride and walked to the opening. The team fallowed. Lance looked up the new hall “Just another hundred feet or so.” He said. “Do you see a minotaur?” Hercules asked “I see a throne, what’s in it could be a minotaur, yes.” “Anything else? Gold?” “It’s guarding something, I can’t see what though.”

They made their way down the long path, having to sneak past a few more traps and make three more turns until they reached the wide open center. They could all see the large throne now surrounded by a hill of gold, jewels and bones. The minotaur looked up at them and stood. He towered nine feet tall with huge horns. The room had thousands of books, all kinds of rare artifacts, murals and a large curtain. His face seemed oddly calm, or even uninterested. “So, another mortal made it this far, huh?” it bellowed. Hercules looked ready to fight but Lance held him back. He didn’t want to fight if they didn’t have to. Not that he thought they couldn’t take it. He just didn’t want to have to kill him either. “What is it you seek here?” the minotaur asked “We seek knowledge.” Lance said “Is there nothing else you wish to find?” the minotaur asked “Whatever this place has to offer.” Hercules said. The beast looked at them and pulled an ax from beside his throne “Only the worthy can have the treasure.” He said and charged. Hercules rushed the bull man, unafraid of his size and blocked the ax at the handle. The minotaur snorted in Hercules’s face and pushed down harder. Lance ran to the side of the beast but Hercules called him off “Let me handle this. He wants someone worthy, he shall face him.” Hercules jerked the ax to the side and hit the bull man with a hard hook. The minotaur shook it off, grabbed Hercules by the neck and flung him to the wall. The minotaur looked at Lance, he was no longer interested in using the ax. “I’m always running but you can’t see me move.” Lance said. The minotaur continued to stand looking at him “When I run out, you’ll wish you had more of me. What am I?”  “Time.” the minotaur said. Lance was pleased, hopefully he could prove his worth through intelligence. “You know, your traps are pretty good but your riddles are very outdated.” Lance told the minotaur. The minotaur glanced back at Hercules, the rest of the men held no interest. “One has brains, one has brawn. You needed both to get this far. You still need both now.” the minotaur said “You don’t have to stay here. There’s a whole world out there. We can help protect whatever your guarding. We just want to see it for ourselves.” Lance said “I cannot leave.” the minotaur said “We can help you.” “You must still prove your worth.” The minotaur pulled the large curtain to reveal a slide puzzle on the wall. “Did we even need to fight you?” Hercules asked “It is but one test.” “This puzzle is another?” Lance asked. The minotaur didn’t respond. Lance looked at the other murals in the room and realized they told a story, the puzzle was the last part. Lance and Hercules approached the puzzle and Lance told him where to move the parts. They eventually finished the puzzle but there was still a space to fill. “We can’t finish it.” Hercules said “The piece you need is here.” the minotaur said. Lance used his eyes, he could see the tunnels outside the room and then he saw something “Behind the throne.” he told Hercules. Herc went behind and retrieved the missing piece that was almost pinned to the wall. He put it in place and the door they entered closed. All the men reacted in surprise except Lance who was looking at the finished mural. He was beginning to suspect the builder of the maze might have been a decedent of his. “What is this?!” Hercules asked outraged. “You went to all this trouble to get here and now all you want is out?” the minotaur said “And there is another way out, isn’t there?” Lance asked even though he knew the answer “Of course.”

 

The minotaur used his ax as a key in a whole on the left of the throne, a door slid open to reveal a ladder. “The labyrinth’s secrets are yours now master.” the minotaur said “You don’t need to call me that.” Lance said “And you no longer have to isolate yourself here.” the minotaur looked almost sad “I have never known a life outside of this place.” “Then let your new life begin now.”


Submitted: August 10, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Mathew Nicol. All rights reserved.

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