During Sally’s stay in the sick room her wounds and bruises got healed up. The queen visited her, and when she saw that she was no longer hurting she ordered her to go back to work. Sally got out of the bed and meekly followed the queen back to her task. As she walked she thought about the Lightbearer that came to see her. She was so sweet and kind. Though so young she looked like she had served the Good King for a long time. Sally hoped that she would see her again. When she reached the room where the other women slaves were she saw Karen smiling and helping them with the mending. Sally wanted to wave to her but she felt that it wouldn’t be a good idea with the queen present. She quietly returned to her spot where the shoes were and started mending them. She noticed that Karen was right next to her. When the queen wasn’t looking she turned her head to her and said, “Thank you, Karen for visiting me and for helping me with the encouraging words from your Lantern.”
Karen patted her back. “You’re welcome. Keep holding on to your faith, for your freedom is around the corner.”
All that day Karen didn’t see Eddy with the other slaves. She had a feeling that something happened to him and she became worried for him. She silently prayed for him but she couldn’t stop thinking about him. If only there was a way she could see what became of her dear and best friend.
That night when everyone was sleeping, Karen quietly snuck out of the room. Using her Lantern she shined it around the dark hallways to find Eddy. The hallways were very quiet. Karen walked carefully on the stone floor and looked around to see if there was a guard in sight. She didn’t know that one of the Master of Darkness’ minions were watching her and getting ready to spring a trap on her.
“Are you ready?” one asked the other.
“Yep, just give me a minute to clear my voice.”
Karen was getting closer to them.
“Ready…now!” said the demon.
The other demon started to mimic Eddy’s voice. “Help! Help! Karen, please help me!”
Karen heard the cry and started to run in their direction. “I’m coming, Eddy! Hold on!” she shouted, not fearing that the guards could hear her.
Suddenly a net fell on her. Karen gasped and tried in vain to get it off of her. She was stuck.
The two demons appeared in front of her. “You’re doomed, Karen. Doomed like your little friend. There’s no escape for both of you!”
“Where’s Eddy? What have you done with him?” Karen asked bravely.
“Don’t worry, you will see him shortly,” said one of the demons. “Just stay right here like a good human while we go and get our boss. He is speaking with the chief of the Natives of Doubt. Don’t move. Ha ha ha ha ha!” the demons then left her alone under the net.
Karen knelt on the stone floor and prayed.
Minutes later Much Cruel appeared along with the Master of Darkness, who was in his human disguise. Karen looked up at them and said in a shaky voice, “What are you going to do to me?”
The Master of Darkness grinned wickedly. “Aw, is the courageous Lightbearer now afraid for her life? What happened to that bravery you showed in many of your Heaven appointed missions?”
Karen couldn’t answer. She was wondering what happened to her God-given bravery too.
Much Cruel reached his hand under the net and grabbed Karen’s Lantern. “I’ll take that thank you,” he said as he pulled it out.
The chief then placed the shining Lantern on the stone floor and picked up a huge rock that was by the wall. Karen watched in horror as he used the rock to smash her heavenly treasure.
“Stop! Stop!” she cried.
But Much Cruel didn’t stop and the beautiful golden Lantern got all broken and smashed up. The fire was still burning, which greatly annoyed Much Cruel and the Master of Darkness. They tried to snuff it out but it kept on burning brighter.
“Just dispose of it,” said the Master of Darkness. “That eternal Light of Truth is not going to make a difference for her or for anyone else anymore.”
Much Cruel picked up the ruined Lantern and threw it out of an opened window.
Karen wept. “My Lantern. My wonderful precious Lantern.”
The Master of Darkness went up to her. Karen saw his red eyes glowing from his human form and turned away. She felt so helpless against him without the Lantern with the Light of the Good King’s Truth.
“Yes, cry your eyes out human, however, your sorrow is going to be very short because you and your little friend are going to die tomorrow. I will kill you while your hearts are in despair so that you will never experience the joy of eternal life with the Most High.” the demon said jubilantly.
Karen shook in the net. She felt like a frightened little girl. She didn’t want to die like this with no hope or faith in her heart. “Please, spare me!” she pleaded.
The Master of Darkness’ smile broadened. The once brave Lightbearer of the Good King was begging him for mercy. She had proven herself to be more cowardly than the Small Faith Person. This opened up a door for him tempt her with one of his most awful temptations:
“I’ll spare your life on one condition: one, leave your allegiance to the Most High and serve me. I’ll give you anything you want and you won’t have to sacrifice or experience hardships. You can go back to your life in Secular City and forget about all this. What do you think of that?”
This offer seemed good to Karen. She was ready to accept it until she heard the voice of her Lord and Savior:
“Don’t do it, My child. You will have the pleasures of the World but it will only be for a season. You will feel sadness and loss in the end. Don’t be afraid because your Lantern is gone. My words are in your heart. Believe and don’t give in to My enemy, and your enemy.”
Karen stopped shaking and looked at the Master of Darkness. “I will not stop serving the Good King. I will never pledge my allegiance to you and to your evil forces.”
The Master of Darkness was taken aback. He did not expect Karen to show courage and firmness again. He thought for sure that he had her but he could see that her love for the Most High was still strong.
Much Cruel called for two of his guards. When they came he ordered them to lock Karen up until tomorrow when the games would begin.
The guards dragged the net away. As Karen was being led to her prison she heard the sound of weeping coming from one of the cells. She turned her head in the net and saw that it was her best friend.
“Eddy!” she cried.
He heard his name being called and looked through the bars on the stone door. When he saw who it was he gasped. “Oh, no! Karen!” Before she disappeared from his sight, Eddy pleaded with the guards:
“Please don’t hurt her! Do what you want with me but let her go!”
“Shut up runt!” the guards yelled.
Eddy went away from the door and buried his face in his hands. The only One who could save them was the Good King. He earnestly prayed that he and Karen would be strong in Him and that He would save them from death according to His good will.
To Be Continued.