The whole trip had been ridiculously easy so far. Fiachra and Bleu had spent the last three days exploring the labyrinthine caverns under the Lost Temple, fighting an improbable array of monsters and traps, not to mention the ever-present dust and grime. Adventurers have to look their absolute best at all times, after all. It's part of the job description.
It was on the afternoon of the third day when they stepped through one last doorway, into the biggest cavern either of them had ever seen. In the middle of the cavern, sitting on a carved stone plinth, was the Golden Chalice of Awesome, which they'd been sent to retrieve for the king of the Lost Kingdom. The golden cup was free of the ever-present dust and the gems that decorated every surface sparkled in the mysterious light Fiachra had conjured for them to see by. It was, Fiachra thought, a silly thing for anyone to want to drink wine from.
"It's just sitting there, out in the open. But that doesn't make any sense" Fiachra said.
"Maybe they wanted to show it off," Bleu said.
"Maybe who wants to show it off? Who'll ever see it? We're at the bottom of a dirty hole in the ground full of Orcs and monsters, and who knows what else. For something this valuable, you'd think they'd lock it away, or at least post a guard," Fiachra said.
"Oh hush. It's about time we got some easy treasure. Half the time, the stuff we find gets smashed in the final fight. And that's if someone hasn't already stolen it," Bleu said.
Bleu strode across the cavern to where the chalice waited for them. Fiachra followed a bit more slowly, while she scanned the area for traps. Bleu was an excellent fighter, and Fiachra had lost count of how many times the little wolf had saved her life since they'd started adventuring together. She only wished Bleu would learn a bit of caution.
"See? It's perfectly safe," Bleu said, and she grabbed the chalice from the plinth.
When she did, a section of cavern wall directly behind her slid silently aside, revealing another, smaller chamber. The new room was pitch black inside, and all Fiachra could see was a thin trickle of smoke issuing from some unknown source. Then, before Fiachra could find the breath for a warning, the guardian of the chalice emerged, blinking resentfully in the light as the spikes on its head scraped against the top of the cave.
"I think we're gonna need a healer," Fiachra said.
Fiachra O'Malley and Alexandria Bleu belong to me.