(RaShelle's Giveaway at bottom of post)
“Welcome to my secret fortress, Silindra,” Titan said.
I grunted my response, walking past him to the doorway in the mountain, its entry bursting with light. The surface my feet touched was smooth and hard, like polished rock. But it wasn’t rock. It was some kind of iron. It swayed slightly, and I grabbed hold of the rails.
This is incredible, Snow White said.
I agreed wholeheartedly. Metal catwalks crisscrossed each other, reminding me of a spider’s web. Tall beams rose to the ceiling where millions of lights shone. It was as though Titan harnessed a portion of the sun, and somehow held its ray’s captive within.
In the center of the mountain, and vertical, reaching the top and I guessed touching the bottom, was a thick grated tube. Inside the tube were two sets of stairs. One used to walk up, and the other for down. A steady flow of occupants used them; exiting through archways onto walkways like the one I was on. The walkways led to large, cylinder-shaped holes carved into the mountain.
Cautious, I glanced over the side and felt my throat drop into my stomach. A seemingly endless amount of walkways weaved from the center stairs, and downward.
I took a deep breath, noting the tang of something sour, like curdled milk. The voices of thousands echoed as trolls, fairies, gremlins, and other magical creatures busily rushed around. Like a strange city.
“What is this place,” I finally asked.
“This is Varden. The place where all the scientific magic happens,” he responded, pushing his bulky body past me, walking briskly along the path. The metal shuddered under his weight, and I held my breath. Snow let out a tiny scream.
I tried to calm my nerves and Snow’s.
It’ll hold him, I told her and myself. And I hoped I was right.
When he reached the stairs, he turned. “Do you want the strength of a troll or not?”
Lifting my chin, I said, “Of course I do.”