CHAPTER ONE: THE STONE DWARFS
Many-many years ago there were two dwarfs’ villages close to the Black Mountain: the dwarfs of the 1st village were red and of the second – blue. The red were very strong and quick, and the blue – wise and smart. Two kings ruled there: a decisive and vindictive Kronig of the red and kind and fair Mar-Thoon of the blue. Kronig was tall and lean, with mean and tenacious look from shaggy and bushy eyebrows and long black hair. Mar-Thoon loved to eat and proudly wear long red cape, fully covering his big belly. His smoothly combed beard felled on his stomach and shiny bald head reflected sunny beams and moon shine with the same strength.
The red dwarfs lived in a big wooden house with a gabled iron roof and the blue each lived in own small and cozy house made of white stones, collected around the lake.
Kronig had just one daughter named Clia, and Mar-Thoon only a son called Kreggs. The children were complete opposites of their parents: Clia – blue-eyed blonde, affectionate and cheerful, and Kreggs – a smart player with the ball and a successful hunter for rhinoceros beetles. He’s the only one left to fight toxic mantis and killed him after hours of fierce battle, braiding his blue-black hair in a thick tuft on his head
The red and the blue have been at odds because of the Black Mountain since long time: to whom it belongs to, and because of the Old Forest: who has the right to live in it. The blue and red believed that they originated from rocks, covered with moss, which periodically rolled down the mountain. None of them has yet been able to get to the top, whence came the stones. The brave Kronig hardly tried to make it several times but unsuccessfully.
Before a stone became a dwarf, it had to lie in the Old forest for 100 years, became completely overgrown with moss, warm up in the sun, to be braided thick cobwebs and to be covered every morning with dew. Some of the stones, rolling down, disappeared forever in the Mysterious Lake, and nobody knew what happened next.
As the elderly tell Mar-Thoon appeared many centuries ago from the huge smooth cobblestones, and Kronig from a fragment of a black hard rock. Mar-Thoon married the fairy mountain spring – a funny and naughty Khloe and Kronig married the fairy magic meadow – a quiet and peaceful Flea.
Once in the morning, when blue and red dwarfs, as usual, came to the lake to get some water, Clia, scooping up the pail, tripped on a rock and dropped the pail into the Lake.
“My pail” cried Clia out, “please help me to get it out!”.
The water bubbled and two tentacles grabbed the Princess’ pail and pulled it into the water. Everyone was screaming running back from the lake, only Clia, lifting her skirt, went into the water, trying to grab her pail, but slipped as the bottom of the lake was clay and felled into the water.
The bucket was spitting back, and out of the water again appeared brown-green tentacles that were reaching out towards Clia.
“Hold on,” Kreggs cried out, rushing to her aid, but muscular Kronig was closer. It was a huge leap he reached the lake and grabbed Clia’s hands, snatching her out of the water and throwing away to the banks. Tentacles seized Kronig firmly, and pulled him into the depths.
“With the sword, hit him with the sword” cried Mar-Thoon, rushing to the aid of his foe.
Kronig fought back, snatching the sword, trying to cut off the tentacles that were around him. One of the tentacles grabbed his throat and began strongly to squeeze like a Python. Other tentacles continued to pull Kronig down in the deep of the Mysterious lake.
“Ah,” Mar-Thoon gasped, having tripped on the root of the tree stump. His two-handed sword slipped from his hands, slowly going under the water.
Standing on the bank of the Lake the dwarfs looked with horror at what is happening and almost hardened from fear. Tentacles belonged to Ramshtoore – huge ancient monster living in the lake for thousands years. His body was likewise the spider with eight hairy legs plus four tentacles, which enabled him to catch the prey in the water. Almost every month someone became his victim.
The water bubbled and closed over the beast and his today’s victim.
The only thing that the red and blue dwarfs combined – was fear of the monster. They could drink water only from the Mysterious Lake, and therefore had every morning to come over for the water. The rest of the time they were at enmity between themselves, once even fought – the red attacked the blue. The war ended only when the monster ate the father of the Konig – the old cunning Bellad. Red announced the mourning and then together they went to fetch water from which the red even began to brew the drink using one of the bitter herbs. Blue dwarfs were not big fans of this drink, otherwise the blue and red used to eat and drink the same: honey, berries and baked pies with pine cones
The death of the King has made a huge impression on blue and red. All went downcast, with their heads down. Clia was constantly crying, and Kreggs, and others tried to console her.
And finally the red and blue decided to meet and discuss what to do. Further to leave everything as before was impossible. Without the Lake they could not live a single day, but to have each month one of them to became a prey of the beast was unacceptable.
All the dwarfs gathered on the magic meadow with large toadstools, as there are better thoughts there. The mushrooms gathered in the center of the clearing, forming a shelter from the sun, where dwarfs hid, starting the discussion. They argued very long and hot, come to shout, sometimes even calling each other fools or cowards. Finally there was a break for lunch, however the dispute continued, in spite of the centuries-old tradition. Finally the red and blue agreed and chose from each side by one very strong and brave young man who will have to go down to the bottom of the lake and kill the monster. The reds’ future hero became Klienthal, he was a cousin of Clia, and the blue’s was Kreggs. Clia really wanted to go together with them, but it was not allowed, because the men were stronger, and the girl became very upset
Before the evening they had to come together: to sharpen weapons, collect stuff, and at night to go for that special hunting of the monster. On the lake bank, hidden under the water lilies, for many-many years was a boat made of mica. All believed that it was built by the ancient dwarves – the ancestors of red and blue, which descended from the Black mountain top by themselves. The boat was made of mica from Black Mountain and came out light and durable. The air in it was served on a thin, flexible tube connected to the furs. The dwarfs’ weapon was long and very sharp basalt swords, processed in a special way and short spears or “killing darts”. These darts could shoot straight from the cannon, which was placed on the bow of the boat.
Also in the boat were bullish bubbles inflated by the air – it was possible to get out the boat with them under water, wearing a special helmet with a transparent visor. For lighting they took fireflies in a small glass box. All cracks in the helmet were sealed with a single hole for a thin tube from the bladder. Having collected that all the heroes went for a rest a bit at night. Mar-Thoor will go with them to help in pushing the boat into the water while it was secret, and only kings, their advisors and inner circle knew about it.
Clia dreamed of joining the guys to revenge for the death of her father and grandfather. Now she thought that would not survive if stay at home all that time. Then she took a small dagger, which her father presented her at birth, and decided to get secretly on the boat. About where the boat is – she knew well since her childhood.
In the night Kreggs and Klienthal, along with Mar-Thoor, stealthily approached the boat. There was a dead silence around. Boys carefully climbed into the boat and clogged sunroof. Mar-Thoor made a push and the boat began to slowly pull on the water. It stayed for a moment on the surface, and then abruptly went under the water, forming broad circles on the Lake.
CHAPTER TWO: DOWN THE LAKE
The guys opened the box with the fireflies that illuminated the entire cabin – what was a surprise when they saw Clia, which looked at them with frightened eyes. But it was impossible to go back. Klinthel said that when they return, he will ask to set bashing.
Kreggs said, “Now we are not going to discuss that, only Clia please stay always behind us.
Firefly was off and the boat was sinking into the lake further and further away in complete darkness and silence.
Fireflies, which they took, live on grave stones, so they soon again lit up and the light was like the moon in the cemetery: blue-green. This light was to help them quickly find the monster.
While the boat was sinking, all were looking around, holding their breath. But nothing and no one was visible. But there came a slight bump meaning the boat is finally at the bottom. After that, they released all the fireflies and all lit up around within a radius of 10-15 meters faintly shimmering, translucent and gentle light.
Kreggs loaded the cannon with the darts and they swam slowly. Klinthel with all his force exerted pressure on the levers driving the propellers of the boat, and Kreggs and Clia carefully looked around, trying to find the monster. To the right and to the left side all was under the cannon, which Kreggs managed. But nobody was around; only flat pink snakes flowed along the bottom. At the sight of the boat they instantly buried in the silt. Here’s a big green fish, like a huge bird, smoothly sailed over them, then suddenly dived, snatched one of the snakes and swallowed it
A flock of small birds Cwiklies drifted by. They lived in the forest, but it was easily for them to glue to the web. These birds fed a sun’s light, and the moons light was poisoned for them. So at night they hid in the depths of the Lake. Also in the forest the butterflies hated them, as the dwarfs like Cwikles more than them. The whole flock sat on a huge underwater lilies and it slowly closed. There they will be able to spend the night safely.
But the bottom of the lake was almost over, and the Monster yet not to be seen. They approached a huge Black stone, which probably fell from the mountain many years ago, but was not overgrown with moss since. Right in front of it the boat stopped, having sat on the bottom. At this point, the stone slowly moved away and the boat glided down somewhere down, in the deep abyss
All happened so quickly and unexpectedly, that the guys fell down and quite banged of the hard boat walls and lost consciousness. They then could not recall how much time the boat was sinking down into the abyss.
When they awoke, all was flooded with bright greenish light, the cicadas were singing their songs, and around them grew a thick yellow grass and bluish bushes with red berries
Two huge grey butterflies sat on the stone. Clia slowly came closer, but they didn’t even pay attention to her. The stone was very warm and the warmth of him spread throughout the body. Now all three of them stood around, clasping their hands and stood, gaining warm strength
“Where should we go now and how we find the monster and may be return home then?” – quietly asked Klia
“Butterflies, my dear, where we are, hint me please? Help us find that monster that killed my father.”
The butterflies turned to her, then took off and stood looking at her, as waiting for something
“As if inviting us to follow them,” said Clia. The guys looked at each other and followed the butterflies. Butterflies flew low over the path that led them to the forest. On the outskirts of the forest the butterflies stopped, waved their wings and flew away.
Huge trees with their crowns were closing the whole light. Below them were scattered exotic fruits, a bit like yellow fir cones. But the boys did not dare to try them – if suddenly venomous. They stopped, carefully inspecting all around, and not daring to enter.
“Clia, do not go to the forest, who knows what could be there” said quietly Kreggs.
Suddenly quite far away they saw a flock of green mantises, around 10, with long jumping quickly approaching them.
“My favorite pastime is hunting mantis” – boastfully said Kreggs. Klinthel only grunted, and Clia somehow blushed, looking at Kreggs, keeping his sword with both hands, and long hair flying in the wind.
“Maybe it is the inhabitants of this country?” asked Kreggs. Then we will quickly overcome them.
As they got closer, it appeared that the mantises several times more than the children. They surrounded them in a semicircle, looking with their burning eyes, and something chirring each other
Kreggs, shouted: “Flee into the forest, I will delay them as much as I can.”
-No, I’ll stay with you – said firmly Klia.
“No” firmly whispered Kreggs. Klinthel, go with her into the forest, who knows what’s in there.
At this time, the mantises began to slowly compress the ring. “We will defend ourselves together,” said Clia.
Boys closed Clia by their bodies and drew their swords. Clia was trying to get the dagger to help guys, but suddenly someone seized her from behind and dragged into the forest. The mantises rushed after her, but the trees were too close to each other, and whistled arrows launched from somewhere in the forest, wounded several mantises.
The children woke up somewhere in the deep forest thicket, in the house, which stood on high poles. It was possible lifting there only by rope or ladder. Around the guys were staying the same dwarfs as they are, only with very pale skin, red eyes and yellow hair. Then one of them came out and said
“Let me introduce myself, my name is Ghil Thoon, I am the king of this tribe. We see that you are our brothers from the surface of the earth. You, apparently, come to us, in that glass boat, now everyone here is talking about. It supposedly fell from the sky and killed the Beast”
Clia replied: “Thank you for salvation, we came here to kill this monster, because it recently killed my father, and constantly stolen and devoured the other dwarfs. But who are you and where are we?”
Our country was called Sin-La, until it was captured by an Invisible Dragon – a terrible Evil. He conquered our people and we covered by a huge tribute. Every year we have to give him half of our children to save the other half. Additionally, the Dragon brought his servants – toxic mantises, which were close to kill you and slimy, giant toads, living here in the forest. Due to the mantises we had to hide in the forest, and because of toads had to do these houses on stilts, so that they were not able to climb. Yet there are giant red-ants, but their invasion occurs only once a year, during the period of drought. Then we leave our homes and are hiding high up in the crowns of the trees, so they haven’t noticed us, and we wait this invasion.
The invisible Dragon lives with his family in a huge cave. Apart from us, he enslaved also gold butterflies – the most intelligent creatures in our country, only they don’t know how to talk, and even a lonely Gentle Behemoth – a pretty good-natured fat man, who now have every day to clean up this huge cave.
“And is it possible to defeat this Dragon?” asked Kreggs.
“Very hard, because he’s invisible and only reflected in the mirrors.”
“Then we must forge a mirror shields” exclaimed Clia, – “is it possible?”
“Oh, Yes, replied the king, we immediately will start doing that, and also you will need armor, which are resisted to his fire.”
And all started to work hardly. Two days later the armor were ready – for Kreggs Golden, for Klienthal silver, and for Clia white platinum, covered with diamond dust to strengthen. The mirror shields were forged and special swords that can pierce thick Dragon’s scaly. Then the dwarfs got a map of the cave and all sat down to think about how to defeat the Dragon with his family – it was the only way. Golden butterflies joined with them and they came up with a plan
It was decided to put in some huge mirrors in front of the cave, so that the Dragon couldn’t fly out of the cave unnoticed, then the guys trio will make their way into the cave, together with one of the butterfly. And then the cave will break the rest of the dwarves and butterflies with torches and different mirror stuff.
The rest of the dwarves and butterflies then enter the cave with torches and different other mirror stuff
And so they did, the only thing that the dwarfs offered was to leave part of them outside to protect the rest from possible attack of the mantises.
CHAPTER THREE: IN THE DRAGONS’ CAVE
The next day it all started. The children’s trio with butterfly quietly slipped into the cave and through the winding passages held into the Central hall. As it was no light in the cave, the butterfly carried a long thread that kept the guys. There was complete silence and darkness. The trio had to hold their breath for half an hour, so that the Dragon could not hear them, and also to hold the beating of the heart. Then they heard as other dwarfs broke into the cave and it seems, as judging by the flashes of light, together with butterflies
Something around the guys became in motion, and then in the far corner. Suddenly, right in the heart of the Hall, huge mirror shine with pale light. Then it reflected a huge black muzzle of the dragon, with a long crooked teeth and predatory gaze of the three red eyes, surrounded by a bluish scale. The invisible Dragon coughed slightly and said in a low soothing voice:
“Hello, my dear Clia, Kreggs, Klinthal and you, my dear Bambos. I am very glad to see you all as my guests. When I recently was told that a sky boat fell from the sky, I immediately realized that it was you and sent my family to another country”.
Here the butterfly chuckled: “I heard from a mantis that you have no family, that you had eaten them a long time ago, because they were reproaching you because of your malice”.
“So you believe to my servants, the faithful servants of the Evil, my dear Bambos?” – gently asked Dragon.
“And not only to them, butterfly grinned, the information was verified”.
“Well,” replied the Dragon, “then I have no choice as to devour you as well”.
With these words he stepped back and disappeared. All hid again ceasing to breathe, and the butterfly fell on the head of Clia.
The silence became dense, and then ringing, as if a huge flock of mosquitoes has completely filled up the whole cave. But no, this is due to the fact that all stopped breathing, even the butterfly
Suddenly Clia briskly threw her small dagger in the direction of the Mirror, there was clink and it was split into many small pieces, scattered throughout the Hall. Lit fireflies and all saw a monstrous dragon, silently creeping towards them.
Kreggs threw a dart that struck the dragon in the left side, while Klinthal by the other dart nailed his front right paw to the floor. But the Dragon swung its huge tail with a huge knot-a knob at the end and got all the guys down, stunned. Clia fell unconscious, and the guys were lying on the ground bleeding all over broken ribs. The dragon opened its mouth, ready to burn them
But then the butterfly rushed at the Dragon and with a sudden force pushed him, and then threw up, and then he flipped over and lay there, hard kicking up his huge sides.
The butterfly flew up and sat next to Clia and waved the wings – tender and gentle breeze helped the girl to wake up. She hardly got up and sat down
“The mirror of Evil is broken and the Dragon is visible now and not to be so terrible. You did the right thing that broke this mirror. Now we need to finish everything, take the dagger of your father and kill the Dragon so that our country would again become kind and beautiful! Kill him and don’t be afraid of anything”.
The dragon barely opened his eyes, “Sure, kill me, I’m wounded, and it will not be that difficult. And the most important for you to know, if you kill me Bambos also will die”.
“Don’t listen to him and slay the Dragon!” said the butterfly.
“I don’t want you died” whispered the girl
“You must do it to save our people. My name is Bambos, and he was previously called Mardos – my younger brother. I ruled in this country, but once he found the Mirror of Evil and made the breakthrough. But hurry, you must do it until his servants return!”.
Clia got up and walked over to the Mirror and hardly found among the fragments of his dagger, then squeezed it with both hands, loudly uttered the old dwarfs spell “Roorr-gabbrro-abheim” jumped up and with all the strength pierced the dragon’s throat through.
It was a terrible thunder and the cave began to crumble. Dead dragon became pale, and then disappeared, but the butterfly became colorful and began to shine in different colors, as the magic Palace of a giant.
At this time the dwarfs broke into the Hall, raised the children on stretchers and all quickly ran out of the cave
Outside the sun was brightly shining, the birds were twittering, timid bunnies with curiosity watched what’s going on, and a fat Hippo in a frock coat and top hat danced and jumped with joy.
Having run off at a sufficiently large distance all watched in horror, as the cave collapses, and then falls to and under the ground. Then the earth over the cliff began to swell and burst a mighty stream of water, then another and fell like a waterfall, only top down, a huge fountain.
Suddenly there was thunder again and a glass boat appeared in the sky – he froze for a moment, and then gently down next to the dwarfs. Its doors opened silently and the red and blue dwarfs ran out. They arrived from the surface to help the guys. Thus ended the story of the invisible Dragon and the Lake’s monster
After this, the dwarfs built a huge heavenly ferry, which went every week and sent the red and the blue on a visit to the pale and vice versa. On the same ferry expedition of dwarves then managed to reach the summit of the Black Mountain, which went straight into the clouds. So they found the Stone Book in an unknown ancient language with intelligible pictures, of which it was clear that before only red dwarfs lived in the forest, blue lived in the lake, and pale beneath the earth, but all this will be told in the following tale.