“Where did you go, just now?” said the one called Manuel.

“I am not certain,” said Royo, which was technically true. He didn’t wish to explain his still-increasing understanding of the Sword, but neither did he wish to lie to this person.  

The one called Manuel appeared to be conversing with his ghost.

Which was dangerous, Royo felt. If they finally realized that they were supposed to be fighting, they might begin to see Royo as a threat.  

The Sword’s invisibility would have been extremely helpful here and now, if only he hadn’t just wasted it all. He could sneak up and subdue them before they knew what was happening.  

He wondered if the invisibility would “recharge” on its own. He knew that ardor was similar to electricity insofar as being able to accumulate as a “charge,” but unlike electricity, ardor had the potential to generate its own charges, without outside input. And indeed, he could sense that the ardor within the Sword itself had not diminished in any way, so it clearly didn’t need to be “refueled” with fresh ardor like the modern firearms of the Hun’Kui did.

It was far from guaranteed, but Royo had an inkling that he only had to wait.  

Time was precious, in that case. He turned and picked up the Boots of Karugetti in order to examine them more closely while he still could.

The one called Manuel spoke up again before Royo could detect anything new. “Do you have any idea how to get out of here yet?”

Well, there was fighting one another, but Royo didn’t want to mention that. He did have an alternative in mind, though he’d barely given it a moment’s thought so far. He pointed across the room to a tall pile of treasure. “There is a monument under there similar to the one we used earlier.” He didn’t know for sure, of course, as he hadn’t seen it, but he’d noticed its larger, ardor-laden presence amidst all the other, smaller ones.  

That seemed to distract the one called Manuel and his ghost, as Royo hoped, and they wandered toward the buried object.

“Another one?” said the one called Manuel. “Now that you mention it, I thought I saw more of them back in that room where we found Malast.”

Royo knew what he was referring to. Most likely, they were are all part of some sort of network which allowed travel between many different treasure chambers. He might have bothered to mention all of that, if it wasn’t more desirable to keep the two of them occupied with figuring it out for themselves.  

It wasn’t proving all that helpful, however. He’d slipped the Boots of Karugetti on and begun testing their pressure points, but if they truly did harbor some kind of magical ability, it wasn’t nearly as obvious as the Sword’s was.  

But even if he disregarded their apparent fame, Royo did think there was something special about them. The pressure points were in the soles of the boots, right below his toes, which struck him as very deliberate placement.