--donation bonus week (day 2/5, post 3/5)--
Hector eyed them all again. They each seemed in perfectly good health, still. Just a bit uneasy, perhaps. “Uh... w-would you like to take a break for lunch?”
“Yeah,” voted someone.
“Sounds good to me.”
Miss Calloway frowned. “It’s early still. We should go on a bit longer--at least until we make it to the bottom of this first tower.”
The others didn’t argue with her, but Hector could see the reluctance in their faces.
Miss Calloway led the party deeper. They passed a familiar banquet hall, opting to keep going straight down, and then they came upon a peculiar thing. The walls, the floors, and the ceilings were all made of darker stone here, so Hector didn’t notice straight away, but the surveyors did.
“What’s with this area?” one of them said. “Are my eyes lying to me, or is this place in absolutely pristine condition?”
Miss Calloway ran her hand horizontally across a darkly gray wall. “No, you’re right. This stonework is impeccable. Look closely. See the decorative etchings?”
“Beautiful. It’s preserved remarkably well.”
“How can only this section of the tower be so perfect when the rest is scarcely better than a ruin?”
“Perhaps someone restored this part in secret,” said Miss Calloway. “Whatever the case, it’s very good news. Unlike everything else we’ve seen so far, this area is quite inhabitable.” She looked at Hector. “You may wish to set up a base of operations here and try to expand the restoration outward.”
Indeed, it seemed like a good idea. They walked through the rest of the tower in a state of awe. Hector counted seven perfect bedrooms, two ancient washrooms, a kind of large den with a hearth right in the center, a storage closet, and one long staircase that spiraled between the four adjoined floors. The bottom floor led outside into the immense cavern, allowing the surveyors a good look at the ring of eight great towers.
They marveled at the sight only briefly before deciding that it was time to take that break now. Hector was a little disappointed by their reactions, quite frankly.