Thieves: chapter 6
The tunnel went straight down for a while, and Jovlin had to be careful not to lose her grip on the ladder they were climbing. After a long time, Jovlin heard a thump from below her, and she assumed that The Mask had jumped the rest of the way. She had assumed correctly, and The Mask advised that she jump as well. At first, she hesitated, unsure whether she should trust this strange man, then she took a leap of faith, and let go of the ladder.
Jovlin fell for a while, and she was beginning to regret the decision to trust The Mask. She kept falling and reached out to grab ahold of the ladder once more to break her fall. It wasn’t there. She couldn’t find the ladder anywhere on the wall and she was only cutting her arms against the stone wall by looking for it. Jovlin feared death, and she began to panic when the ground still did not seem near.
The Mask’s voice came to her again: “Get ready!”
She didn’t have a chance to call back because just then she hit something hard, and her world went black.
Jovlin awoke to The Mask standing over her, looking worriedly down at her. She groaned at the pain of broken bones, before realizing that there was no pain. Standing up, Jovlin looked around and noticed a large pile of pillows and sheets that must have broken her fall.
“Are you alright?” The Mask asked, “I think you just fainted from the shock, you don’t look like you broke any bones.”
Jovlin felt like she was in a daze.
“Yeah,” she said, “I’m fine.”
The Mask looked strangely relieved. He turned around and began to walk down a wide hallway towards a bright room. Jovlin followed shakily, still wondering what exactly had happened.
The Mask kept glancing back at her as he led her down the hall. The first thing Jovlin noticed about the bright room that they were walking towards was that it was really farther away than it seemed. It was also brighter than it seemed. The light filled the hallway long before they were even close to the actual room. Besides the intensity of it, the light was very strange. It did not flicker like the light from a candle would, and it was more like the light of the sun than that of the moons, but it was more clear than the light of the sun.
The nearer they drew to the room, the less she could see of it. It was not that the light blinded her as much as it distracted her. She was puzzled as to the possible source of such a strange illumination.
At the entrance to the room the source of the light finally became discernible. There were strange balls all around the room. Some were stuck to the wall while others hung on strings from the ceiling. There were thousands of these balls, each ranging in size from one foot around to ten feet around. The light cast from these balls was brilliant and stunning, and it shocked Jovlin so much that her mouth actually hung open in complete amazement.
She cautiously stepped closer to the ball nearest to her, reaching her hand out to touch it. Her nails made contact with it and she pulled her hand back. It was hard, like glass, but somehow she had thought it would be soft. In truth, she had almost been expecting her hand to go straight through.
It was because of this light that it took her several moments, spent gawking, to finally notice the other contents of the room. So it was that when Kamber spoke to her, she did not hear. Her mind was too filled with joy and amazement and pure happiness. For not only did the room contain strange balls which gave off light, it also held a treasure.
This treasure was not made of gold, or silver, or even jewels. The treasure that filled Jovlin’s eyes was much more precious to her. The room was filled with books.
Not just a few books either. No, this room was covered, from floor to ceiling, with shelves filled with books. The shelves seemed to travel off with the room, seemingly forever. The books seemed to never end.