Jarmo Dorak and Marion Alsy stepped out of their spacecraft onto the surface of Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. The heat was oppressive, and they both struggled to adjust to the extreme temperature. They had come a long way in their quest for the Temple of the Wind Harp, and they were eager to find the next signpost that would lead them to the Cube of Knowledge.
As they approached the temple, they were struck by its ancient beauty. The structure was made of a strange, shimmering material that seemed to change color depending on the angle of the sun’s rays. The carvings on the walls were intricate and mysterious, depicting scenes from an unknown culture. Jarmo, being a culture specialist, was particularly fascinated by the carvings. He studied them carefully, trying to decipher their meaning. Marion, meanwhile, kept watch for any signs of danger.
As they made their way deeper into the temple, they came across a large room that seemed to be the central hub of the structure. In the center of the room was a pedestal, upon which sat a strange, box-shaped object. Jarmo immediately thought that this was the second signpost they had been searching for. Excitedly, he approached the pedestal, eager to examine the signpost more closely. But as he reached out to touch it, a loud rumbling noise echoed through the temple.
Startled, Marion drew her weapon and scanned the room for any signs of danger. Jarmo, meanwhile, realized that the signpost was connected to a mechanism that had triggered the noise. He quickly scanned the carvings on the walls, looking for any clues as to what was happening. And then he saw it – a depiction of a massive stone door, sealed shut by a complex locking mechanism. The stone door itself was in the opposite wall. And yes, it was locked.
Jarmo knew that they needed to find the key to unlock the door if they were to make any further progress in their quest. He and Marion searched the temple, examining every nook and cranny for any sign of the key. As they searched, they came across more carvings that shed light on the ancient culture that had built the temple. They learned of a powerful ruler who had commissioned the construction of the temple and had used its secrets to gain dominion over his rivals. In one of the pictures, the ruler could be seen looking at a large, black cube.
“The Black Cube of Knowledge!” Jarmo exclaimed.
The two looked more closely at the picture. The ruler had raised one hand and was pointing to the image of a small statuette. In addition to the statuette, three other objects were depicted. One item appeared to be the crystal Jarmo, Marion, and Aisha found on Mars. The other two items could not be seen. At this point the relief was too weathered.
“Look!” Jarmo explained. “The four signposts. And it looks like we’ll have to look for this… small statuette here. Whatever it’s supposed to represent.”
Marion nodded. “Then we shouldn’t waste any time.”
Finally, after what seemed like hours of searching, Jarmo and Marion found a hidden chamber deep within the temple. But before they could enter, they were interrupted by a loud noise from outside.
Marion immediately went into high alert, but Jarmo knew that they needed to press on with their quest. He and Marion stepped through the doorway, into the unknown depths of the Ruy’i Koolian caves.
Jarmo and Marion stepped into the first room of the Ruy’i Koolian caves, and their eyes widened as they took in their surroundings. The walls were covered in carvings similar to those in the temple above, but these were even more intricate, depicting scenes of battles, sacrifices, and other strange things.
Jarmo quickly began to search the room, while Marion still kept a lookout for any signs of danger. As they moved deeper into the caves, they encountered strange creatures they had never seen before – small, winged creatures that buzzed around their heads, and slimy, slug-like creatures that crawled across the walls.
The deeper they went, the more humid the cave became, and they soon realized that there must be a source of water somewhere nearby. Jarmo began to speculate that the ancient culture that had built the temple and the caves must have found a way to tap into the planet’s resources to survive in such a harsh environment.
As they made their way through the first few rooms, Jarmo and Marion talked about their thoughts on the environment and their situation. They speculated about the creatures they encountered and marveled at the carvings on the walls, wondering what secrets they held.
But as they entered the fourth room, they suddenly heard a loud noise, like the sound of rushing water. They quickly realized that they had stumbled upon the source of the humidity – a massive underground river that flowed through the caves.
Jarmo and Marion stood in awe as they gazed upon the river, marveling at its power and beauty, watching as the water flowed swiftly past them. The water was clear and blue, and they could see fish swimming beneath the surface.
“Wow,” Jarmo said in amazement. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. The power of this river must be incredible.”
Marion nodded in agreement, taking in the sight before her. “Yes, it’s amazing,” she said. “But we need to keep moving if we want to find that statuette.”
They both fell into a moment of silence, considering their options. Jarmo spoke up after a while, “How far into the caves do you think we should go?”
Marion looked thoughtful. “Well, we know that the statuette isn’t in this room, so we have to keep exploring. But we also need to be careful. We don’t know what other dangers lie ahead.”
Jarmo nodded, “You’re right. Maybe we should stick to the edges of the river for now and see if we can spot anything.”
Marion looked at the river, “Actually, examining the river might also yield a clue to the small statuette. But since only I can breathe underwater, I should explore it.”
Jarmo looked at Marion, “Are you sure you want to do that alone?”
Marion smiled confidently, “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. Besides, if I find anything, I’ll come back and let you know.”
With that, Marion quickly took off her uniform. Much to Jarmo’s amazement, she was wearing what appeared to be swimwear underneath. Was she always ready to go in the water? She couldn’t have expected that here, in the middle of the desert. Before Jarmo could have asked her, Marion dove into the water. She felt the cool rush of water against her skin as she descended into the depths, the light from the cave entrance fading behind her.
As she swam, she marveled at the underwater landscape. She saw schools of colorful fish darting around her and strange, slimy creatures clinging to the rocks. She dove deeper, feeling the pressure build in her ears, until she saw something glinting on the riverbed. It was a small pendant, about the size of her palm, lying on the riverbed. She picked it up and examined it closely, marveling at its intricate design. As she made her way back to Jarmo, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement. They had found a clue!
Jarmo waited anxiously on the bank of the underground river, his mind wandering as he thought about the past few months. He couldn’t help but recall the days when he and Aisha were so in love and how it all began just a few months ago on the beach. It also went well when they later along with Marion were searching for clues to the Temple of the Wind Harp in the library of Aresium on Mars. Aisha was with them until her mother fell ill, forcing her to return to Earth to take care of her. They kept in touch for a while, but as the weeks passed, their communication became less frequent until it finally stopped altogether. Jarmo feared that he had lost Aisha forever, but he knew he had to focus on the task at hand.
Lost in his thoughts, Jarmo didn’t notice Marion emerging from the river until she was standing right in front of him, dripping wet. He looked up at her, relief washing over him as she held out the small pendant she had found in the river.
“Jarmo, I found it!” Marion exclaimed, holding out the small pendant.
Jarmo let out a sigh of relief and a smile spread across his face. “Good job, Marion,” he said, taking the pendant from her.
They both sat down on the bank of the river, catching their breath and taking a moment to rest. Jarmo couldn’t help but ask Marion about her experience in the water.
“What did you see down there?” he asked.
Marion smiled, “It was amazing. The water was so clear, and I saw fish and other creatures I had never seen before. It was like a whole other world down there.”
Jarmo smiled, “Sounds incredible.”
Marion nodded, “It was. But I’m just glad I found this.”
They both sat in silence for a moment, reflecting on the challenges they had faced and the ones that lay ahead. Jarmo couldn’t help but think about Aisha again and the pain of her absence. But for now, he was grateful to have Marion by his side.
As Jarmo and Marion entered the next cave, following the rive, they were awestruck by the artistic design on the walls. The reliefs depicted an ancient god of Planet Mercury, the God of a Thousand Doors, in various poses. Jarmo took a closer look at one of the reliefs and noticed that the god was holding a small object in his hand.
“Look at this,” Jarmo said to Marion, pointing at the relief. “The god is holding something. It could be the small statuette we’re looking for.”
Marion nodded in agreement and they continued to explore the cave. They reached a dead end, with two stone doors in front of them. The river flowed into a hole in the wall, and they could hear the sound of rushing water.
Jarmo looked closely at the doors and saw that there were inscriptions carved into the stone. He read them aloud: “Two doors stand before you, one leads to the end, the other to the beginning. Choose wisely and the path will open.”
He turned to Marion. “This must be a riddle. We have to choose the right door to continue.”
Marion nodded and they both looked at the doors. They were identical and there were no markings on them. They tried pushing and pulling them, but nothing happened.
“We need a clue,” Jarmo said, looking around the cave.
He spotted another carving of the god holding the object again, but this time the object was glowing.
“Look at that,” he said excitedly. “The object is glowing. Maybe that’s the clue.”
Marion took the pendant she found in the river. She held it up to the doors and the pendant began to glow brightly.
“That’s it,” Jarmo said. “Let’s get closer to the doors!”
Marion held the pendant first to the left, then to the right door. The one on the right began to glow. They pushed it, it opened and it lead to the next cave. As they entered, they heard a faint clicking sound and realized that the door had locked behind them. They exchanged a worried look but continue on their quest.
The room was dimly lit, some sort of crystals on the walls providing a faint glow. In the center of the room stood a pedestal with a stone statue of a god holding out its hand.
Jarmo and Marion approached the statue and saw that there was an inscription on the pedestal. The inscription read:
“Speak my name and I shall reveal the path. But beware, for with each incorrect guess, the room will unleash its wrath.”
Jarmo looked at Marion, and they both knew that they had to be careful with their guesses. He examined the statue closely. It was again one of the gods of the planet Mercury. He wore a crown and had strange markings on his chest. Jarmo had an idea of the name of this god. He had studied the gods of Mercury in the library on Mars. Now he just hoped he got the pronunciation of that name right. Jarmo took a deep breath and said, “Is your name Atzi Nechi?”
There was no response, and the room shook slightly. They heard a grinding noise, and a section of the wall slid open to reveal a second statue.
Marion approached the second statue and read the inscription on its pedestal:
“The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?”
Marion looked at Jarmo and said, “Footsteps. The answer is footsteps.”
The room shook again, and they heard a grinding noise. Another section of the wall slid open, revealing a third statue.
The third statue held a large book in its hands, and Jarmo and Marion could see that there was an inscription on its pages.
“If you seek knowledge, then answer me this: I am not alive, but I grow. I don’t have lungs, but I need air. I don’t have a mouth, but water kills me. What am I?”
Jarmo thought for a moment and said, “Fire. The answer is fire.”
There was a moment of silence, and then the room shook violently. They heard a grinding noise, and a section of the wall slid open, revealing a door.
Jarmo and Marion breathed a sigh of relief and walked through the door, ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead. Then they heard a loud noise coming from the room they had just left. They realized that they had to move fast.
The next room was pitch black, and they could hardly see anything. They could hear water dripping and the sound of footsteps. Jarmo and Marion exchanged a worried glance. They knew that this room could be dangerous, and they had to be careful.
As they walked through the dark, they stumbled upon a small, glowing object. Jarmo picked it up, and they saw that it was a small lantern. Jarmo lit the lantern, and they could see that they were in a narrow tunnel. They walked down the tunnel and saw that the walls were covered in ancient carvings. The carvings depicted the history of the ancient civilization that had built the temple. Jarmo and Marion were amazed by the intricate details of the carvings.
Suddenly, they heard a noise coming from behind them. They turned around and saw a group of small creatures, no taller than their knees, running towards them. Jarmo and Marion were startled, but they quickly realized that the creatures were harmless. They seemed to be carrying something, and they ran past Jarmo and Marion and disappeared into the darkness.
They continued to delve deeper into the underground labyrinth. The air grew more humid, and strange creatures lurked in the shadows. As they entered a new chamber, they were greeted by the sound of rushing water. The walls of the cavern were lined with crystals, which glimmered in the dim light of their headlamps. In the center of the room was a pool of water, fed by a waterfall cascading down from above. Jarmo and Marion carefully made their way around the edge of the pool, searching. Suddenly, Marion’s foot slipped on a mossy rock, and she fell into the pool with a splash.
Jarmo rushed to her side, but she was already standing up, dripping wet. “I’m okay,” she said with a grin. “But I think I found something.” She held up a small shard of pottery, decorated with intricate carvings.
Jarmo examined the shard closely, trying to decipher its meaning. “This pottery looks like it could be from the same culture as the temple above,” he said thoughtfully. “I’ll take it with me, and we should take a closer look at it. Maybe it tells us something.”
Marion nodded in agreement. “We should keep searching,” she said. “There must be more clues down here.”
As they entered the next chamber, they were once again met with the sound of rushing water. They saw a vast underground lake that seemed to stretch out as far as the eye could see. They were on the bank of the lake and could see nothing but darkness ahead of them.
Jarmo looked around and saw an inscription on the wall. He read it aloud, “I am the beginning of the end, the end of every place. I am the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space. What am I?”
Marion thought for a moment and then exclaimed, “Water! It’s water. It starts and ends everything, and it flows eternally.”
Jarmo nodded, “That must be it. But how does this relate to the clue to move forward?”
Marion looked out at the lake and said, “Perhaps we need to cross the lake. It could be the only way to move forward.”
Jarmo was hesitant, “But how can we cross the lake? We don’t have a boat or any equipment to do so.”
Marion thought for a moment and said, “Maybe I could swim across the lake and see if there’s anything on the other side that will help us move forward.”
Jarmo agreed, and Marion dove into the water. The water was icy cold, and as she swam deeper, she realized the lake was much deeper than she initially thought. She kept her focus and continued to swim until she finally reached the other side.
She looked around and saw a small tunnel leading out of the chamber. She signaled to Jarmo, who had been watching from the bank, to follow her. He did, although the water was really cold, and together they crawled through the tunnel, which led them to the next chamber.
They both caught their breath, relieved to have made it through. The chamber was filled with a strange, otherworldly light, illuminating a statue in the center of the room. They approached it, and Jarmo recognized it as the statue they had been looking for all along. It was a small figurine of the ancient god of the planet Mercury, the “God of a Thousand Doors.”
Jarmo and Marion shared a look, feeling a sense of accomplishment. They had come so far and overcome so many obstacles to find this statue. It was an almost celebratory moment when Jarmo picked up the statuette. But then something unexpected happened: There was a loud, hissing noise and the two saw that a jet was shooting out of an opening in one of the walls. It hit the opposite wall, where the stone began to glow red.
“Damn it!” Jarmo shouted. “Of course, a protective mechanism!”
“We have to get out!” Marion replied.
The two crawled back through the tunnel they had come in. But it was not yet over. Now they were being attacked by the small creatures from earlier. The creatures were quick and nimble, darting in and out of the shadows as they tried to swarm the two explorers. Jarmo and Marion tried to fend them off with their weapons, but there were too many of them.
“We have to get out of here!” shouted Marion, her voice barely audible over the screeching of the creatures.
Jarmo nodded in agreement and they started to run, dodging the creatures as best they could. They could see the entrance to the cave up ahead, but it was still some distance away. As they ran, Jarmo realized that they were heading straight for the lake.
“We can’t go in the water,” he shouted to Marion. “We don’t know what’s in there!”
“We don’t have a choice,” she replied, gesturing to the creatures that were closing in on them.
Without hesitation, Jarmo and Marion plunged into the icy water. They could feel the creatures nipping at their heels, but the water slowed them down enough for the two to get away. They swam towards the entrance of the next cave, their hearts racing with fear.
Jarmo and Marion struggled to catch their breath as they emerged from the water, their clothes and hair dripping wet. They quickly scanned the new cave, but this time, there was no visible riddle or clue. Instead, the cave was filled with large, craggy rocks and a thick, dense mist.
Jarmo rubbed his hands together to warm them up and tried to peer through the mist. “What do we do now? I don’t see anything that could help us move on,” he said with a sigh.
Marion thought for a moment and then looked up. “Look! There’s a small opening up there, in the ceiling. It looks artificial. If we could examine it, we might find a way forward,” she said, pointing to the narrow hole.
Jarmo studied the opening and nodded, “But how can we reach it? The walls are too steep to climb up.”
Marion’s eyes brightened up, “Hey, you’re still in your uniform! Remember the gear I got us through BUREAU 07? The cable with the hook hidden in your belt buckle? Maybe we can use that to reach the opening. It should be strong enough to carry both of us.”
Jarmo nodded in agreement. He quickly retrieved the cable and grappling hook from his belt buckle. But he found that she was more skilled, so he gave it to Marion and she began to throw the hook up towards the opening. After several attempts, the hook finally caught onto the edge of the opening.
With a firm grip on the cable, Marion climbed up to the opening and peered inside. “I can see a mechanism. It looks like we need to turn some wheels to unblock the passage.”
Jarmo quickly scrambled up the cable and joined Marion. Together they located the wheels and began to turn them. Suddenly, the ground beneath them shook, and the mist swirled around them violently.
Jarmo and Marion clung to the wall for dear life, but soon the shaking stopped, and the mist cleared. They had opened up a new passage.
“Quick, let’s go!” Jarmo shouted. Both let go and fell into the water.
The river flowed into this new passage, carrying them along with it. The passage twisted and turned, and the water was choppy, making it hard to keep their heads above the water. As they rounded a corner, they saw something glinting in the water ahead of them. It was a small, golden key, floating in the water. Jarmo quickly snatched it out of the water and examined it closely.
“A key,” he said with a grin. “A real key. Maybe this one will open the door in the temple above.”
With renewed energy, they continued down the passage, following the river as it flowed towards the next chamber. The water was getting colder and the current was getting stronger, making it harder for them to stay afloat. Finally, they entered the next chamber of the cave, and the river abruptly stopped flowing.
The room was completely dark, but they could hear the sound of rushing water coming from somewhere. Jarmo and Marion swam around, feeling along the walls, trying to find the source of the sound. After a few minutes, they found a small waterfall on one side of the chamber, but it was blocked by a large boulder.
“We need to move that rock,” Jarmo said, pointing to the boulder.
Marion nodded in agreement. “But how are we going to do that? We can’t push it, it’s too heavy.”
Jarmo thought for a moment. “Maybe there’s a lever or something we can use to move it. Let’s look around.”
They swam around the chamber, feeling along the walls and floor for anything that could help them move the boulder. Finally, Marion felt something protruding from the wall, and when she pulled on it, a section of the wall moved aside to reveal a small room.
Inside the room, they found a lever that looked like it could move the boulder. But when they tried to pull it, nothing happened.
“It’s stuck,” Jarmo said, frustrated.
Marion looked around the room and noticed something written on the wall. “Hey, look at this,” she said, pointing to the inscription. “It says ‘the lever can only be moved by the power of two’.”
“What does that mean?” Jarmo asked.
“I don’t know, but there are two of us. Maybe we need to do something together to activate the lever.”
They looked at each other, unsure of what to do next. Suddenly, they heard a loud noise coming from the waterfall. The boulder was starting to move, and water was beginning to flow through the small opening.
“We did it!” Marion exclaimed, relieved. “But how?”
They swam through the opening and followed the river into the next chamber. As they exit the river, they were surprised to find themselves in a massive underground cavern. The chamber was filled with stalactites and stalagmites, forming a natural maze of sorts.
As they made their way through the cavern, Jarmo and Marion stumbled upon another small underground lake. The water was again crystal clear. On the other side of the lake was a massive stone door, with strange markings etched onto its surface. Jarmo and Marion examined the markings, trying to decipher their meaning. Suddenly, they heard a loud rumbling sound coming from behind them. Turning around, they saw that the water level in the lake had risen significantly, and the lake was now overflowing into the surrounding area.
Panic set in as they realized they were about to be swept away by the flood. Jarmo grabbed Marion’s hand and they ran towards the stone door, hoping to find shelter from the water. As they approached the door, they saw that the markings had changed and were now glowing a bright blue color.
Without hesitation, Jarmo placed his hand onto the markings and the door began to move, opening slowly to reveal a small room beyond. They ran inside and the door slamed shut behind them, cutting off the sound of the rushing water.
Panting heavily, Jarmo and Marion looked around the room, trying to catch their breath. The room was small, with a single pedestal in the center. On top of the pedestal was a small statuette, similar to the one they found earlier.
As they approached the pedestal, they noticed that the statuette emitted a soft, blue glow. Jarmo picked up the statuette, and suddenly the room begins to shake violently.
“You had to do this, right? Quick, we need to get out of here!” shouted Marion.
They ran towards the door. As they exited the room, they found themselves back in the underground cavern. The water level had receded, and the natural maze had shifted, forming a new path for them to follow. Heart pounding, Jarmo lead the way, with Marion close behind. Finally they emerged from the underground river into a large chamber. The walls were adorned with intricate carvings, depicting scenes of ancient Mercurian mythology. In the center of the chamber stood a pedestal, and upon it sat a small, ornately decorated box.
Jarmo and Marion approached the pedestal, and Jarmo carefully lifted the box from its resting place. As he did, the walls of the chamber began to shake and rumble, and a deep, ominous voice boomed out from all around them.
“Who dares to disturb the sacred chamber of the Mercurian gods?” the voice asked.
Jarmo and Marion exchanged nervous glances, but they knew they had come too far to turn back now.
“We seek the Temple of the Wind Harp,” Jarmo said, his voice shaking slightly. “We mean no disrespect to the Mercurian gods.”
There was a long moment of silence, and then the voice spoke again.
“Very well,” it said. “If you truly seek the Temple of the Wind Harp, you must prove your worthiness. Solve the riddle before you, and the way to the temple will be made clear.”
Jarmo and Marion looked around, but they saw no riddle anywhere in the chamber. Then, Jarmo noticed a small inscription on the bottom of the box he held.
He read it aloud:
“In this room, there are three doors,
Each with a different symbol, you must explore.
The first door has a crescent moon,
The second door has a sun at noon,
The third door has a starry night,
Choose the right one, and the way is bright.
But beware, behind two lies a trap,
Choose the wrong one, and you’ll take a nasty slap.
So think carefully, and make your choice,
For one door leads to the next room and a joyful rejoice.”
Both looked at each other in astonishment. As they examined the walls more closely, they recognized the doors mentioned in the riddle in the carvings. However, they looked as if they were part of the relief. Probably another trick to hide the exit. But what was the riddle supposed to mean?
“I’m not an expert,” Marion said, “but what if the riddle is meant literally?”
“Literally?” Jarmo asked back. “What do you mean by that?”
“It says we should choose ‘the right door’. We understood that in the sense of ‘the correct door’ as opposed to the wrong one. But what if it literally means ‘the right door’, i.e. the door which is on the right?”
Jarmo read the riddle again. Finally he shrugged. “I can’t think of anything better,” he admitted.
The two walked across the room and to the door on the right. It was decorated with a few stars.
“Hey!” said Marion. “I even know that! That is the star constellation of the God of a Thousand Doors, which can only be seen in this form from Mercury.”
The sign consisted of 20 stars, matching the God of a Thousand Doors. Marion took a closer look. Finally she pointed to a star in the center of the constellation.
“Take a look at this!”, she asked Jarmo.
He moved closer to the stone. The star was carved out of the stone, about two inches tall, and had seven points. At first Jarmo didn’t see it, but then he realized what Marion had meant. In the middle of the star was a slit that was almost impossible to see.
“The star is called Rulan, it belongs to the Soaron Cluster,” said Marion.
“How… how do you know that?”
“Does the name GOOD HOPE ring a bell?”
Jarmo thought. Wait, GOOD HOPE! Yes, he had heard of this spaceship before. It was considered lost. Their final mission was… mapping the Soaron Cluster!
“You mostly ‘the’ GOOD HOPE?” he asked.
“Yes. I have…” She stopped herself. One could see she was struggling with herself. “Can you keep a secret?” She finally asked Jarmo.
“Yeah, sure. What’s that secret?”
“You know I belong to BUREAU 07,” she began. “Twice a year we have a gathering. Old files are called up with unsolved cases. Last year there was a file on the GOOD HOPE. The Soaron Cluster is in a poorly mapped part of the galaxy, almost on the edge of the ORION arm.”
Jarmo frowned. “But that’s no secret,” he stated. “I heard that too. The tragedy of the GOOD HOPE. Lost in space, near the barrier.”
“I didn’t mean that!” Marion said firmly. “With the files was the last report that Fleet Headquarters had received from the GOOD HOPE. The Captain reported an attack by an unknown force. They were able to route the enemy, but the ship was damaged. The Captain had decided to to look for a planet to land on and then carry out necessary repair work. After that, nothing was heard from the ship.”
Dorak took a deep breath. “And they wanted to keep that a secret so nobody would panic because of the unknown force that attacked the GOOD HOPE?” he asked.
“Does that have anything to do with the riddle here?”
“No. But you wanted to know how I know the name of this star. And I answered that for you.”
Jarmo nodded. “Right. That’s what I asked.”
“I know even more. The Rulan system has already been mapped by the GOOD HOPE. It has seven planets, Rulan Piemi, Rulan Feri, Rulan Cati, Rulan Fua, Rulan Itra, Rulan Ume, and Rulan Erse.”
“Wow. But my question again: does that have anything to do with the riddle here?”
“No, not yet. But I have a suspicion about the door. You found that key, didn’t you?”
Jarmo put down the two statuettes he had been holding. He reached into his uniform pocket and pulled out a small key. Marion took the key from his hand and inserted it into the slot they had found in the surface of the carved star Rulan. A click was heard.
Marion breathed in audibly. “Now we will soon find out whether I was right.” She turned the key. With a crunch, the door moved to the side. The passage was free. Jarmo picked up the statuettes again. They went through the passage.
Much to their surprise, they found themselves in the first room of the temple on the surface.
“Look!” Marion said suddenly. “The door! We were on the other side of the door we saw at the very beginning.”
She looked directly at Jarmo. His face showed a pained expression, but also looked kind of surprised. Marion had to laugh out loud. It lasted a moment, then Jarmo laughed with her. After all, despite all the obstacles, the mission had been a success. With the statuette they had found the second signpost to the Temple of the Wind Harp. And they were a little closer to the temple.