Sabotage

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"Oh! So I fainted and you picked me up, did you? Um... S—B—B... Boss? Or sir?" Aladdin asked as they walked along through the tunnel.

"Boss! I'm the head of Qishan, Jamil. My job is to insure the city is safe for all of its citizens... So, in short, I save people!" the Chief explained with a brilliant shit-eating grin. "Considering my position, I couldn't very well ignore you when you needed my help, could I? As for your friends, I sent them ahead. No need to worry, though, I personally made sure that they were absolutely safe!"

"I... I see," Aladdin said.

"Anyway, we can look for them later," said Jamil brightly. "For now, let's find the exit to this place."

"..." Aladdin glanced at Morgiana. He recognized her as the girl they had tried to help the other day. He wondered what she was doing there... Did she get caught again? The chains on the shackles around her ankles and the ankles of the big guy next to her clinked and clanked as they walked.

"Are you concerned with these two? They're my slaves," Jamil said with a smile. "The big guy is Goltas. He came from a nomadic tribe from the north... Even if he gets hurt, he doesn't make a sound, but he's extremely reliable. The small girl is Morgiana. She hails from the 'Continent of Darkness', where the descendants of a hunting tribe once dwelled! She's got a great sense of smell and fairly sturdy body. They were both super expensive, but really worth it!" he finished with a laugh.

"Oh..." Aladdin said quietly.

"Oh! How about you let me see your slave?" Jamil suggested. "You know, the big guy in the flute? I tried before, but your friends insisted I didn't..."

"Ugo-kun... isn't my slave, but my friend."

"I see!" Jamil said with a big smile. "Well, more importantly, we should continue down this dungeon... since we're close to the end..." he said, deciding to change the subject. "We managed to find the right path while you were asleep, so let's find the treasure together!"

" 'Kay... But, sir? Are Alibaba-kun and Faith... really going to meet us there?" Aladdin asked.

"Sure they are!" Jamil answered brightly with another smile.

"..." Aladdin stared up at the Chief and narrowed his eyes slightly. He didn't like this man. And he didn't trust him.

"Oh my..." Jamil said when they reached the next room at the end of the tunnel. "There are three entrances here, aren't there...? So does this mean the dragon has three esophagi?" That peon had said everything would be in the dragon's tail... 'What should I do...' the Chief wondered. 'The translation he gave us was right up to this point... Should I look for the correct path? Should I use Morgiana? Hm, I'm likely to need her nose to sniff out any corpses that could spell trouble later... And if I use Goltas, even if he finds something, he won't be able to tell me, since he can't talk.' It was quite the dilemma. 'Hmm... Ugh, no matter who I go with, it's useless... I guess there's no choice but to do this myself! If I take Goltas with me, he can deal with the traps ahead,' he decided darkly. "Everyone! I have deemed the path ahead of us as dangerous! Hence, as the leader, I'll go scout out the safest path! Women and children wait here for us!" he declared brightly. "So, take good care of him, Morgiana," he ordered as he passed her, lowering his voice so the magi wouldn't hear.


"Oh, I see, so that translation you gave earlier was bogus?" said Faith as she and Alibaba walked through the tunnel leading off from the pit of spikes that they had fallen in.

"Yeah, the real translation is... 'to reach the truth, you must struggle along the innards of the dragon first'," Alibaba explained. Ironically enough, it was only after they fell into the blade trap... that he understood the full meaning of the phrase 'the dragon's fangs'.

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