¡°Aren¡¯t you glad I brought the torch light?¡± Amy gloated, as they traveled inside the cave tunnel.
¡°Ya, always the clever one, huh,¡± Brian sneered.
¡°Clever? Not really that clever. Just better than you two idiots,¡± Amy smiled.
Heck, just because she is the rich man¡¯s daughter, that does not give her the right to insult us, thought Brian to himself in anger, but he said nothing.
¡°Er¡ we are reaching¡ an opening, I think,¡± Mary stuttered, pointing to some flickers of light at a distance.
¡°I can see that for myself, cripple!¡± Amy replied, sharply. ¡°I wonder why we even bring you along in the first place.¡± Mary bowed her head down in response to the curt reply of the daughter of her mother¡¯s master. Her limping right foot was always the game of the girls in town.
¡°Mind your words, Amy,¡± Brian defended Mary. It was the slave¡¯s daughter who found the map to the treasure and shared it with them. There was also a rumor going on that the daughter of the slave at Amy¡¯s house had come down with some terminal sickness.
¡°Keep quiet, Brian. Don¡¯t forget, your dad still had not repaid some of the money he had borrowed from my dad!¡± Brian was quiet for the rest of their journey towards the flicker of light.
It took them minutes after they had entered before their eyes finally adjusted themselves to the blinding whiteness. Sparkling whitish-golden valuables of all shapes and sizes filled up an empty pit about 4 knee lengths away. A man, with chocolate colored hair, stood dutifully beside the pool of valuables.
¡°You had come for the treasure?¡± His rich and deep voice echoed through the cave.
¡°Not all of us, just this guy and me,¡± Amy replied, pointing to Brian. ¡°That cripple¡ she is just our servant. Isn¡¯t that so, Brian?¡±
¡°Yes,¡± Brian replied, after some hesitation.
¡°It doesn¡¯t matter. The treasure will belong to whoever can answer my question.¡± The man said, emotionlessly.
¡°Then, let me be the first to answer your question,¡± Amy requested.
¡°Very well, then. Here is my question: Where is the treasure of treasures?¡±
¡°The pool of valuables beside you,¡± answered Amy. She collapsed to the ground, instantly.
¡°What¡ what happened?¡± Brian asked in fear.
¡°A rule of this game,¡± the man explained, dutifully. ¡°You will forfeit your life if you give a wrong answer to my question.¡±
¡°I¡ I am out... out of here,¡± Brian stuttered. His legs refused to obey his instruction to escape.
¡°Another rule. You cannot leave unless you answer my question.¡±
¡°I¡ I don¡¯t want to die,¡± Brian stammered.
¡°Where is the treasure of treasures?¡± The man asked, coldly.
¡°Please!¡± Brian pleaded, and crumpled instantly to the ground right after he uttered the word.
¡°Your turn, young lady.¡± The man turned to the crippled Mary.
¡°I don¡¯t want the treasure. You can take my life, too, if you really must, but please¡ please¡ let these two friends of mine live!¡± Mary pleaded in tears.
¡°I can see you are sick, my child, from your face. The treasure can cure you if you hold it near to you. You are dying, child, unless, you have the treasure. Why not take a gamble at the answer and see if you may win the cure to your life?¡±
¡°No, dear sir,¡± she replied after a moment of hesitation. ¡°I don¡¯t want the cure. I want my friends.¡±
¡°Are you sure you are willing to trade your life for theirs?¡± The voice of the man was gentle and soothing, almost familiar.
¡°Yes,¡± the slave daughter cried.
¡°Even though they had been so wicked towards you?¡±
¡°Yes,¡± Mary confirmed.
¡°Mary, I am proud of you.¡± The voice was unmistakably familiar.
¡°Jesus,¡± Mary exclaimed and the man before her transformed into the familiar figure of her savior. The overjoyed girl limped speedily into the laps of her smiling Master.
¡°Do you know where you can find the treasure of treasures?¡± Jesus whispered.
¡°Where?¡± The limping girl asked in curiosity.
Jesus smiled, ¡°I am bringing you to a mansion I had prepared for you, my pretty child. I will tell you the answer when we get there.¡±
When Amy and Brian regained their consciousness, Mary was nowhere to be found. The pool of valuables was gone. Where the valuables used to be, there shone a golden heart. And, oh, it was so beautiful. The treasure of treasures.
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