I had a vision of the Princess again. She stood before the hourglass, looking, perhaps hoping for me to rescue hen The sand was running out. I could see it clearly. I had little time.
Level 6

1. I was still in the palace, but higher I could almost smell the scented halls of the residential levels above. I tried running to the east, but came to a dead end soon enough so I headed west from the doorway.

2. I came to a long hallway with great arches and columns, much like those in the other parts of the palace. I ran with care past two spike traps in the floors.

3. Eventually, I came to a gap. A pressure plate opened the gate ahead, but I spotted the telltale sign of a spike trap across the gap. I jumped with great care over the gap, then over the spikes, and through the gate.

4. On the other side of the gate stood another guard, this one as fat as a caliph. I shuddered at the thought of burying my sword point in his girth.

"Well done, young son-of-lowly-dogs," cried this more th ample swordsman. "You have come farther than any other. Too bad you must end your journey here."

I walked forward and almost fulfilled his prophecy when the floor began to drop beneath me. I hurried forward and drew my sword as the guard advanced.

"Isn't there some carrion you have missed devouring, O weighty one?" I taunted, striking a blow to the man's shoulder.

But this guard was deceptively fast - by far the best swordsman I had met. His counterattacks were swift and deadly I had to parry quickly and then strike. First I drove him back before he could push me into the chasm behind me. He parried my blows, but fell back as he did so.

I found that if our sword tips nearly touched, I was one step from hitting him. But in taking that step I had to be careful and parry before I struck. But if I awaited his advance, I could parry his blow, then strike. Sometimes we would stand each waiting for the other. If our blades crossed slightly, I found I could hit him if I was the faster to strike. Eventually, after he died as had all the others, and fell heavily to the ground. I was wounded, however, and bleeding from a few cuts he had delivered.

5. I ran to the west, across a narrow gap.

6. Finally I came to a wide chasm. A gate opened across the gap when I stepped on a plate, but I saw, standing across from me, the Shadow Man from the mirror I knew he could be up to no good, but there was only one way to go, I ran back to get room and then vaulted across the chasm, grabbing onto the wall with both hands. I began to pull myself onto the ledge.

And that diabolical fiend of Jaffar's stepped casually forward onto the pressure plate that closed the gate. He had trapped me for certain, and I had no choice, I could not get the gate open and 1 could not get back to the other side. My death was at hand. My Princess would die without me. Or worse.

Continue to Chapter 3: The Dungeon (Level 7)
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