Tallel peered out of the grate, gazing around before he placed his hands on the bars and shoved the metal up. "There we go, no guards here." He confirmed, climbing up onto the dry land of the alleyway before letting his friend follow.
"There shouldn't be," Bathial added, putting the grate back before he moved towards a wooden door. "We get through this door and it's just three hallways to the vault."
Tallel closed his eyes and grimaced at the creak, taking a deep breath as the door was pushed open. "No guards, they must be on patrol somewhere else. Just keep quiet so I can hear their footsteps okay?" Bathial cautioned his voice a whisper as he led his friend into the hallway.
Their footsteps were muted as they stepped on the carpet, moving into a hallway that was certainly made for royalty. Stone busts, oil paintings, and plush carpets and rugs.
"Huh, so this is how the other half lives." Tallel mused, walking behind his friend, his ears perked for danger and the feel of the grail heavy on his back. It'll be over soon, I'll put this back and it'll be over.
The pair moved down the hallways, hugging the walls silently. "The vault is close... and say, if we put the grail back, does that give us the ability to take something else in exchange? We are saving the nation, after all, I say we should get some coin for our trouble." Bathial chuckled. "I heard a caravan moved some rubies here a few weeks ago to the vault, I doubt anyone would notice them missing."
Tallel grabbed his friend's shoulder, stopping his movements. "We aren't stealing anything, we are putting the grail back, stopping a war, and then leaving."
"Fine! But I think we sh-... wait!" Bathial growled, holding up a hand as they came up to a corner. "Hear that?"
The pair paused, letting the soft sound of footsteps reached their ears. A sound that grew louder... and louder. The rattling of heavy armor joined the footsteps as Bathial pressed against the wall, mouthing the word 'guard.'
The vampire waved for Tallel to get against the wall, his eyes narrowing as he focused on the guard. Human male, heavy armor, average height and build. Should be easy prey.
The guard walked around the corner, yawning a bit at the boring patrol route. There were only so many times you could count your steps. Especially when you were forced to go down the same three hallways all day. The vault was designed to be impenetrable anyway, so who would even try to get in-
A pair of strong arms wrapped around him, yanking him off balance with a surprised grunt. Before he could struggle to draw his sword, his arms fell limp, the shoulders and chest following as his legs buckled underneath him.
Bathial withdrew his fangs from the man's neck, his ears picking up on his companion's gasp. "Calm down, sleeping spell. He'll be up in a few hours no worse for wear. We get him into one of these rooms and no one will notice him missing."
"Alright," Tallel answered, leaning down to check the man's pulse just in case. "Let's get him into the side room." His arms looped under the man's legs, lifting him up as his companion helped get the guard into the room.
They silently closed the door, and then kept moving towards the vault, winding down the hallways and keeping their ears peeled for more sounds of guards.
Tallel shifted the bag containing the grail on his back, stopping abruptly and trying to keep the contents from shuffling. "We did it, there's the vault," Bathial added, pointing at the large steel door that was flanked by two large tapestries.
"We just need to get inside, and thankfully my vampire strength can take care of that." His ally smiled, patting his friend on the back as he walked over to the vault door.
Bathial smiled and placed his hands on the steel, feeling the metal with sensitive fingers as he ran his hands across the door. Every single door had a weak point, and he was going to find it.
Just press down there, and press down there... gotcha! Bathial smiled, pressing his hands into the door and causing the lock tumblers to line up into place. The steel door was like a lover, and if you pressed it in the right place you could get all sorts of things to happen.
He pulled the door open, leading Tallel inside before slowly inching the steel door shut. Then they both gazed upon the wonders of the Galefen Royal Vault, and it was not misnamed.
Bags of coins and jewels littered the floor, their contents spilling out onto the ground in some places. Rare works of art hung on the walls, standing right next to solid gold statues and pieces of jewelry. There were also pedestals with engraved weaponry and pieces of armor, everything in the room gleaming with shine and polish.
"How are we supposed to know where the Grail goes?" Tallel asked, jabbing his elbow into his friend's side. The last thing he needed was a vampire turning into a dragon and stealing something that could get them into more trouble.
"It probably belongs in the center of the room. Look for a pedestal in the center of the room, like the one there."
Tallel followed his friend's finger, seeing a marble pedestal by a giant rock. He opened his bag and fished out the Grail, moving towards the pedestal and placing the heavy cup on it.
"Finally, the Grail is back where it belongs, and once they check it then the knights will stop questing and prevent the land from getting invaded." The man smiled, leaning back in relief and slamming his back against the rock.
Then the rock started to move, scraping against the floor and tumbling backward with a loud thud that echoed through the entire vault.
"Damnit! Now the guards will know we are here for sure!" Bathial growled, gold coins tumbling from his pockets as he rushed towards the back of the vault. "Alright, where did the map say the exit was?"
More scraping filled the air, causing Bathial to turn back towards his friend. The last thing they needed was to spend time putting the rock back!
Only to find that Tallel's hands were empty, and the rock was starting to move on its own. The large egg-shaped rock began to crack, forming arms, legs, and a lava-filled mouth as it slowly stumbled forward.
The arms clumsily reached out, steam pouring from the creature's mouth as the activated golem shuffled towards the two intruders.
The vault door opened and more guards poured in, flanking the creature and aiming their halberds down at the pair.
"Well, looks like we caught the grail thieves... probably coming back to steal more. Let's get these two to the cells, I imagine the inquisitors want to speak to them."
The guards moved closer, the points of their halberds almost tickling his stomach as Tallel unbuckled his sword belt. Fighting human guardsmen just didn't seem right, and there was no way he and Bathial could take on a golem.
Their weapons clattered to the floor as the guardsmen began to herd them towards the jail. "If you didn't have a trail of gold coins falling from your pocket we could talk out way out of this." Tallel cursed, hoping beyond all hope they hadn't gotten Alexandra too.
Meanwhile, unaware that the grail had been returned and the armies of Grayfen weren't about to disperse to the four winds on a quest to hunt for the object, a Chaos Dwarf invasion force marched through the lands.
The horde marched into the hated sunlight, leaving shriveled grass and dead trees behind them as they marched to war. And they'd leave the ruins of Grayfen behind them, and build a new monument to their nation in its place.
Well, this story might be marked complete, but the overall tale isn't over. The horrors of the Chaos Dwarf army are marching on Grayfen, our heroes are in jail, and they don't know how the Grail got removed from the vault in the first place! I'll get to part two of this story soon, maybe after a few more weeks, and we'll have some answers!
But I would recommend to every writer to use some randomness in your work. By having a dice roll or a generated prompt tell you what to do, it forces some out of the box thinking, and only improves your skills and puts the fun back into writing!
As always please leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day!