Chapter 54- Golden Gauntlet
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“Mmm, found nothing” said Gabi.

“Yeah. You think it could be under these ruins?” asked Diego.

“That would be terrible. But this is a wide area and the gem itself should be pretty small. I mean, it should be the same size as the gem that I swallowed, right?”

“The size of a person’s thumb, yes. Which is quite unfortunate” complained Diego.  

Ignoring their chit chat Mikhail sat next to Amanda.

“Why aren’t you searching for the gems?” Amanda asked.

“Why aren’t YOU searching for it. It’s strange. The way you were so in a hurry to get here. And all of a sudden you seem to be drained when effort actually should count. What happened?” asked Mikhail.  

“I dunno. A woman’s mood changes like the wind, they say”

Mikhail giggled and threw the rock sitting next to him aimlessly.

“Perhaps it was wrong of me to try to make sense of the illogical. But do tell Amanda. The map…”

“What about the map?” asked Amanda with a quick jolt.  

“It was hand-drawn.” said Mikhail.  

“Yeah…so what?”.

“Maybe I am a fool to ask. Maybe I am just overthinking. But…I never actually saw a hand-drawn map provided by the virtual world. The posters scattered around the world. The user menu, everything. With the same font and computer text. Only that map. It was beautifully drawn but regardless of its beauty, it was hand-drawn. Even the map sort of thing that Vlad kept from the chest we found in the dungeon quest was not hand-drawn”.

“Oh yeah. That is strange indeed” she said with a drowsy tone.  

“Strange, yeah. The world is full of strangeness. But I never wanted it to be this strange” said
Mikhail and looked at her with narrow eyes.  

“Hehe. This isn’t strange to me Mikhail. It’s just how it is. To me, the way you are so carefree, so relaxed and so eager to dance around is the strangeness. How could you keep dancing in this strange world?”

The tone of her voice twirled into a bit of madness towards the end. Mikhail did not like this.    
“I don’t contemplate about the strangeness.  I only like to do what I like to do In the present. That’s the only thing I wish to care about”.

Amanda laughed carelessly. If Mikhail didn't know better he would have accused her of losing her sanity.    

“Things that you like, huh? I don’t know what I like. But it’s definitely not dancing” said Amanda lowly.  

“Why not?”

She got up and turned her back towards Mikhail. And slowly she started typing codes on her wristboard. Mikhail could not see this from behind her. Even if he had a faint idea that she was planning an attack. He wished that it wasn't the case.     

“You know, Amanda. You could try dancing with us, sometimes. It’s nice to have fun with company once in a while” said Mikhail with a sarcastic tone. 

She dipped her hand into her bag and brought out a gauntlet and slipped her hand into it

“Thanks, Mikhail. But I’ll have to decline”

She slowly turned around and faced Mikhail, whose eyes widened and his face became fear-stricken.

“I never trusted the ground to not hurt me. If I ever fall” .

The golden gauntlet on her hand had a brown gem at the center of It.