|Wiping his blade clean, Jack sets off again for Crumbling Peak, but doesn’t get far before a startling sight draws his attention.|
Surmounting a tall staircase of blocks, he sees a small fortress below with a flag in front flying the image of a grinning red skull. Flames and smoke emerge from the gaping doors and windows of the fortress, and a huge Hell Hound prowls back and forth before the entrance!
Were it just the Hell Hound he encountered, he might leave well enough alone and be on his more important quest – but there may be folk in the burning fortress! Even as he draws the Rune Sword to engage the Hell Hound, he hears a distant scream from within the fortress, confirming his fear.
The Hell Hound will not be an easy foe to defeat, but Jack has a plan. Pinned between the burning fortress and the wall of blocks, he would be at a disadvantage against the huge beast of the pit, but if he can strike from above . . .
Jack makes the most powerful leap he can and feels his natural ability augmented by the Seven League Boots. He catches the flagpole – barely – and slides down, blade at the ready. The Hell Hound, not anticipating his maneuver, is off-balance when Jack completes his slide down the pole and leaps onto the monster’s back. The Hell Hound twists and snaps at Jack, attempting to breathe fire and smoke in his face – but Jack’s blade is quicker! Jack buries the Rune Sword in the beast’s back and leaps free just as the Hell Hound vents a line of flame from its fang-studded maw.
Before the beast is even dead, Jack has snatched up his sword and dashed into the burning fortress. The sounds of screams are growing fainter . . .