The Magic Beans – Page 44



“Very well,” says Perilous Jack. “I will trade you the Death Claw for the Cloud Key.”

Victorinox claps his hands with glee and the trade is effected.

The Dwarf indicates a small inscription on the shaft of the key, engraved into the metal in strange, narrow characters.

“An Elvish dialect,” Victorinox says. “Fortunately, I can translate. It says ‘Gold, Silver, Copper.’”

It takes Jack a moment to realize that the Dwarf is finished translating. “Is that all it says?”

Victorinox shrugs. “The Elves are not renowned for straightforward speech. It takes a Dwarf to get the honest truth.” He hands over the key. The Dwarf assures him that he is only a mile from Foldoron Lake, and even provides a hand-drawn map to help him find the way and some final instructions regarding the cloud door. Jack retrieves his Universal Solvent from the Death Claw, and he and Victorinox part ways as good friends.

Although Victorinox has assured him that the plant monsters who guard the Beanstalk will not molest anyone who displays the Cloud Key, Jack still prefers to take a less direct route. From the top of the Dwarf’s pyramid he leaps to a floating chunk of masonry and then to another, guarded only by a single Death Blossom. The huge carnivorous flower ignores Jack, and he is able to make the final leap to the Beanstalk itself without trouble.

The climb is slow and arduous, but with nothing to harass him, the time passes pleasantly enough. Soon he stands on a platform of Cloudstone, that strange and magical material of which the Cloud Kingdom is largely composed. Stretching up and away is a stair of clouds. Jack leaps from one to the next, coming eventually to a curious red door standing alone on a platform of Cloudstone. There is nothing supporting it; the door frame appears to be affixed to the air itself.



With a shrug, Jack inserts the Cloud Key of Cerpux Arsak in the door, turns the lock, and enters.

Add the Cloud Key to the Pouch of Ghrul and turn to 69.