The Magic Beans – Page 70



The Shambling Mound moves aside to reveal three wooden chests.

The Druid throws back the lids one by one, gesturing proudly at the contents. The first two chests are filled with boxes, pouches, vials, and packets, all bursting with seeds of every size and shape. The Druid lifts out a few and holds them reverently, whispering the names of the flowers and trees they can create. Jack recognizes one or two – a delicate spring flower he recalls from the alpine meadows of Momao; a dangerous carnivorous tree found only in a patch of swamp near the western end of the Dark Forest of Exentaser. Most of the other names are unfamiliar to him.

At last the Druid produces a bulging leather pouch. “Magic Beans,” he whispers, handing over the pouch. Jack opens the pouch and examines the beans – they are real, as far as he can tell. He has only seen their like once before, and that was years and miles away. He puts the Beans in the Pouch of Ghrul and nods his thanks.

Jack produces the Red Bead. “Payment for the Magic Beans. As agreed. I take it the second GreenShaft leads out?”

“To the surface; near the edge of the TowaShroom Forest,” the Druid says, but his mind is on the Red Bead. At last he looks up. “You puzzle me, warrior. You haven’t asked to see what’s in the third chest.”

“Gold, jewels, the like,” Jack responds with a shrug.

The Druid nods. “And yet you have no interest.”

“I am a hero, not a mercenary.” With that, Perilous Jack leaps to the floor and brushes past the Wood Golems, who offer no resistance as he makes his way to the GreenShaft that leads to the surface. The Druid turns away to brood over his seeds, and Perilous Jack steps through the Warp Portal, out of the dank earth, and back into the world of light and sky.

Perilous Jack is triumphant!

Add the Magic Beans to the Pouch of Ghrul and remove the Red Bead. Turn to 65.