The Adventurers The The Temple Treasure - Ayaan Chettiar -

The Adventurers : The Treasure Temple

The Darwin Temple in Africa had been nicknamed the ‘Treasure Temple’, owing to the mystery that clouded it. Concealed within miles of dense forest, it was revealed to hold many relics of great significance.

The Adventurers: the world’s greatest explorers, had spent the previous week exploring the jungle region. Fellow explorer Daring Dante had accompanied them, and supplied them with a map supposedly leading to the temple.

As their vehicle moved down the rocky dirt path, crushing jagged rocks under its wheels,  Ayaan and  Aayra glanced at the symbols they had themselves drawn upon the map.

“While Darwin searched near these paths on his mission to prove the theory of evolution, he located this ancient temple, rumored to hold great artifacts of the past.” said  Ayaan.

As a hare jumped out of the nearby hedge, and scampered across the path, Dante took a left turn, as they cut off towards the bank of a river. His eyes twinkled.

“Behind that clearing lies the ancient temple of Charles Darwin, mes amigos.” said Dante, with a smile. “The map wasn’t lying.”

The Adventurers smiled at this. They had deciphered some of the symbols left by Darwin with the assistance of his journals. They had been shown the path towards the river, behind which the temple was hidden by a horde of trees alongside each other, clouded from the outside view.

“How do we get across?” questioned Aayra, gesturing towards the fast-flowing river current near them.

“This adventure just became on-foot.” said Dante, as the vehicle came to a stop. He got out near a wooden bridge to the side.

“Whenever they show bridges like these in those old movies…” said Ayaan, with caution. “9 times out of 10, they don’t support the ones on it.”

“This is real life, Ayaan.” said Dante, in a rather don’t-carish voice. “I assure you, there is only a 75% chance the bridge breaks.”

“That’s comforting to know.” Aayra mumbled.

They decided to go one at a time, doubtful as the whether the bridge could hold their combined weight. Dante went first, followed by Aayra. When Ayaan was towards the middle, the bridge shuddered.

“Just my luck.” said Ayaan, hurriedly moving towards the other side.

The bridge collapsed, as Ayaan was immediately drenched into the ice-cold river water. His head bobbed above the water, as he realized he was moving fast downstream. Dante was running across the river bank, shouting something he couldn’t hear.

Ayaan spotted a branch nearby, and held on to it. Dante caught up, panting, and pulled his fellow explorer out of the water. Ayaan looked at his soaking clothes, and then at the bright sun above them.

“They’ll dry soon enough.” said Ayaan. “Come on, we might as well get a move on.”

The trio began their hike towards the clearing. They could make out the silhouette of something behind the immediate clearing, something that towered above the ground. The sight comforted them, and they felt instantly that the legend may be justified.

Suddenly, the blades of a helicopter could be heard. The trio’s eyes darted upward, as they spotted a chopper scanning the skies. They recognized it as the belonging of their arch rivals: Mack and Vik.

“We should hurry.” said Aayra. “Mack and Vik want to reach the temple just as badly as we do, and they’ll stop at nothing to do it.”

Ayaan nodded. He and Aayra were more than familiar, with the antiquities of Mack and Vik, the “Evil Explorers.” In their past meetings, Mack and Vik had undertaken notorious actions, in order to secure the treasure before the Adventurers.

“Hold on to your horses, you two.” said Dante. “I’ve heard a lot of bad stuff about those two, but they can’t be as bad as all that, can they?”

“If you’re talking about hijacking a magic sleigh, attempting to break into a tent in Antarctica, trying to steal the keys to a magical world, trying to steal aforementioned sleigh, attempting to scare us off with a fake mummy, or a failed attempt to steal the Star Statue, then I’m afraid you’re talking about those two.”

Dante chuckled, as they walked past the clearing. Immediately, their eyes fell upon a majestic temple, a dazzling green monument. They were enthralled and lost for words on the sheer beauty of what they were witnessing.

“The legend is true.” said Ayaan, at last. “Charles Darwin really did locate an ancient temple.”

Dante gestured for the other two to follow, as they raced near the grand entrance of the temple. Not so surprisingly, it was jammed shut. Immediately, they started scanning for another entrance.

“There has to be something in Darwin’s journal about this.” said Ayaan, removing the journal, and shuffling the pages, until he found what he was looking for.

“According to this, there was a secret passage leading to underneath the temple, which Darwin stumbled upon when he was searching the forest. It’s somewhere near the back.”

The trio raced to the back of the temple. The ground was ridden with withered autumn leaves. They quickly cleared the leaves, until Aayra noticed some strands of grass sticking out from the ground.

The trio grabbed the entrance of the passageway, and pulled as hard as they could. The entrance shuddered, and gave way, revealing an underground passage.

“Down we go.” said Dante, walking down the stairs beneath the temple.

While the Adventurers and Dante explored the underground region of the temple, Mack and Vik were trying to find a way in from above, courtesy of their chopper.

“We’ll beat those rotten Adventurers just yet.” snarled Vik. “They’ve got nothing; no proper vehicle, second-hand supplies, and that disastrous excuse of a Dante for a partner. What have we got: supplies, our clearly superior intellect, and a helicopter.”

She pushed a button, as the chopper readied to fire a missile towards the roof of the temple.

“I know how badly you want to get in the interior before them, Vik.” said Mack, the calmer of the two. “But you have to think clearly. There must be a better route inside than destroying the roof of an ancient temple. It’ll alert them about our presence.”

“They already know we’re here, you idiot.” shouted Vik. “Because of your usual flying skills, all that noise alerted them. And now, you expect me to go wandering around for an entrance, when we have a perfectly good one right in front of us.”

Mack tried helplessly to convince Vik otherwise, but his obstinate partner stubbornly refused to give way. She slammed on the button, as the missile launched.

There was a mighty explosion that shook the temple, and even as they searched for a way back above, the Adventurers and Dante could feel the rumbling, and immediately suspected that Mack and Vik had something to do with it.

Vik laughed maniacally, but it turned out that her plan had a serious flaw. The exploring debris jammed the helicopter’s propeller, rendering it useless. In an instant, the chopper began falling downwards.

Mack and Vik screamed as the helicopter slammed into the temple’s interior, resulting in a subsequent bang, that shook the temple. An ancient chandelier fell from the ceiling, and onto the disrupted helicopter.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” said Vik, attempting to desperately push the chandelier over the exit route, but failing to do so. “Give me a hand here, you useless fool.”

But Mack had realized that the shattered windscreen glass allowed them to squeeze through the windscreen, and into the temple. He had gone into sleeping position, and began to crawl, accidentally hitting his head in the process.

“Ow.” he groaned, slowly escaping the chopper. “Get a move on, Vik.”

Vik, grumbling, too began to follow suit, as the duo continued to escape the helicopter.

All the shaking had revealed the escape route to the Adventurers and Dante, who spotted a nearby ladder. The trio climbed the ladder, which led to the main floor of the temple, where they also found Mack and Vik.

“Darwin’s temple is an architectural masterpiece!” exclaimed Dante, aghast. “And you blew through the roof like it was a bunch of Dominos. You should be ashamed of yourselves, you two rotten excuses for explorers.”

“Spare the theatrics.” said Vik. “And get out of my way. The treasure is ours for the taking.”

“You barge in here.” said Ayaan. “Explode the ceiling of a hundred-year old temple, destroy an ancient chandelier, crash your chopper, and you expect us to let you get away with the treasure. Never.”

Vik snarled, as the staring contest ended in a stalemate. She also knew that she and Mack were outnumbered three-two, which placed them at a disadvantage.

But her sharp eyes detected Darwin’s legendary sword in a glass case at the side, and she bolted. Mack shrugged, as the case shattered, and Vik brandished the sword against them like a seasoned pirate.

The Adventurers took a step backwards, but Dante removed rooted to the spot. He pulled out his faithful dagger, and smiled at Vik.

“It doesn’t have to come to this.” said Mack, trying to calm Vik down, and avoid a duel between them. “What if we split the treasure in half?”

“Never.” snarled Vik, as Dante shook his head.

The Adventurers knew that the might of a sword was much greater than that of a dagger, and removed their own weapons to back up Dante. Vik suddenly realized she was seriously outnumbered.

“Do something.” she said to Mack, but Mack had broken into a sweat. He was nervous, anxious, and couldn’t think straight for even a second.

Immediately, Dante struck, or atleast pretended to. The shock was too much for Mack, who stumbled, tripped on his two feet, and fell onto the remains of the helicopter.

Vik rolled her eyes, as she turned her attention back to the trio. But the three looked as intimidating as ever, their weapons at the ready.

Vik lunged, but Dante dodged, as his dagger clashed with the sword. The sword began to push him down, but the Adventurers struck simultaneously, throwing the sword out of Vik’s grip altogether. She too stumbled, and fell upon Mack’s limp body, as they landed in a heap.

“Do you surrender?” questioned Dante, pulling up the dagger.

With the sword far from arm’s reach, Vik realized she was beat, and grumbled, swearing under her breath. Dante decided to take this as a “yes.”

He gestured for Ayaan and Aayra, who proceeded to tie the evil explorers to the helicopter, in order to prevent them from interfering, before exploring the temple for its secrets. They found inside many incredible treasures from Darwin’s voyage, and others, not to mention his writings on evolution.

“A truly magnificent treasure.” whispered Dante. “A marvel of knowledge and literature. Darwin’s writings are more priceless and valuable to the world, than even mounds of gold and silver.” Smiling, they decided to keep the treasures from the voyage in the temple, where they would remain safe and sound. Instead, they carried back home his writings on evolution, a treasure as valuable as any other.

Ayaan Chettiar

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