It felt good to be running on a trail again -- even though they could barely see it. When they finally ran out of breath, they all flopped to ground. Tom turned on his back and stared up at the big round moon. It reminded him of the King who made it. "Thank you, King, for helping us," he whispered.
Peter interrupted his thoughts. "You guys, I don't think this path leads back to the valley." He sounded worried.
"Right," said Colin. "It takes us around to the back of the mountain. Toward my country."
"How do we get home then?" asked Tom. "I don't want to go by that cabin again."
"I guess we have to sleep here on the mountain tonight." Peter's voice shook.
"Let's try to think about the armor again," said Tom. He felt cold and scared.
This time Peter was ready. "Okay. What do we do?"
"I just remembered something else from the King's Book," answered Tom. "Maybe we can use it to put on the breastplate of righteousness. The King once said it Himself to me: 'I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth.'"
"Are you sure he's with us?" said Peter. "The palace is a long way from here."
Tom thought for a moment. "When we trust Him, he'll be with us--no matter where we go. He said so!"
"Even when we do bad things?"
"I'm not sure. I guess we don't really deserve his help. We just took off on this trip without asking him about it."
"You mean, when we do our own thing, the King doesn't help us?" Peter sounded worried.
"I'm not sure." Tom was quiet for a moment. Then he smiled. "I just told him I was sorry, and I'm sure he heard me. He can hear everything, no matter how far away. The Book of Truth says...."
"Forget your Book of Truth," interrupted Colin. "You don't have to listen to that old stuff. Do your own thing! You own your life. Why should you listen to the King--or your parents? Decide for yourself!"
"The King knows a lot of things we don't know," answered Tom. "And he has power to make things come out right...."
"So do lots of other gods and spirits. They'll help us. I know a chant...."
"I don't want to hear your chant," interrupted Tom.
"Stop arguing," shouted Peter. "We've got to do something. We need a place to sleep." He followed the path past a huge boulder and disappeared in the dark. Tom and Colin followed and found themselves at the edge of a steep incline. From below came a strange throbbing sound.
"It sounds like drums," said Peter.
"Who's down there?" asked Tom.
"Just some witches," answered Colin. "And they're doing what I started to tell you--drumming and chanting to raise power."
"Does it work?" asked Peter.
"Of course!" said Colin. "Go and try it yourself."
"Are you kidding?" said Tom. "They're using the Baron's power. We've got to get out of here! C'mon, Peter."
"Go and hide, if you're scared of a little power," teased Colin. "I'm heading down there. They'll offer cake and wine to the gods--but the people get to eat some of it. Wanna come, Pete?"
Peter hesitated. "I'm starving! But I don't want to go down there."
"I'm off, then. See you wimps later." Colin headed down the hill will Shasta at his heals.
"Now what do we do?" whispered Peter. "Colin's gone. This mountain is full of the Baron's people. We're completely lost. And I'm really scared."
"Me too," whispered Tom. "But I found a place to sleep. Right behind this rock."
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