The Cloud Castle – Page 73


Putting his faith in the Seven League Boots, Jack gets a running start and leaps as powerfully as he is able up and over the Air Elemental.

His jump was well calculated … except for the updraft.

The powerful winds generated by the fan in the Tornado Shaft – and the Elemental itself – drive Jack up to smash into the underside of a platform overhead. He impacts with rib-cracking force, but the blow is hardly the worst of his problems. The wind has essentially pasted him to the ceiling – and an inquisitive, flesh-dissolving Green Slime inches near his face, its own fluid body hardly bothered by the wind.

It takes steady hands and strong concentration to drag his sword from its scabbard without whacking himself in the leg or face with it, then to feebly scrape the Slime off the platform. As the Slime detaches, Jack has a sudden, horrified vision of the powerful winds simply flinging it directly in his face, but fortune is with him. The wind blows the Slime away and sends it tumbling to the floor below.

With the most immediate threat dispensed with, Jack eyes the Air Elemental. The monster is definitely trying to reach him, but it is too firmly bound to the fan of the Tornado Shaft. Jack reasons he can stay out of its grasp long enough to scoot past.

The next several minutes are exhausting and humiliating. Jack wriggles his way along the underside of the platform, face stretched and hair streaming, using every ounce of his strength to move the few feet necessary to escape the worst of the wind. When the moment comes for gravity to wrest him back from the grasp of the updraft, Jack is entirely unprepared. He tumbles from the roof, bounces off the edge of a floating platform laden with treasure chests, and narrowly avoids landing directly in the puddle of Green Slime he so lately scraped from the ceiling.

It takes several more minutes before he has the fortitude to stand again. He rummages in the Pouch of Ghrul for a Potion of Healing to tend his bruised and battered body – sadly, there is no such salve for his ego – and smooths back his tousled hair.

A little worse for wear, but past the Air Elemental without a fight, he continues deeper into the castle.

Remove a Potion of Healing from the Pouch of Ghrul and turn to 2.