To avoid trouble, Evan and Sirius decided to use their Animagus forms.
In the form of animals, they tried to stay away from the mad adventurers, follow the path they had in memory, from the remote passageway to the depths of the Temple.
This idea proved very efficient. In their Animagus form, Evan and Sirius were moving fast, and their smaller size made them less likely to be discovered by others.
Even if they were occasionally seen, no wizard would ever care about their presence.
It was just a lost cat and a stray dog. Two animals would never take the adventurers’ minds off the gold!
It did seem very strange and peculiar; a cat and a dog suddenly appearing in the ancient Temple of the Centaurs, purposefully avoiding all intruders and heading deep into the Temple.
Just thinking about it a little, anyone would find something wrong in it.
But under the influence of the vampires’ curse on the gold, nobody thought about it at all.
Evan and Sirius did not touch the gold or other seemingly suspicious things they saw along the way. They went forward as fast as they could to find the Philosopher’s Stone.
In the Temple of the Moon in the Forbidden Forest at Hogwarts, the Philosopher’s Stone and the statue of the evil spirit were preserved on the magnificent statue at the top of the Temple, protected by special magic.
This was obviously not the case here. The top of the Temple had been occupied by intruders.
Everything valuable there was taken away, and there was no Philosopher’s Stone.
The fallen Centaurs had hidden the Philosopher’s Stone and the statue of the evil god before they died out.
Evan and Sirius, who had no clues tried to explore the deepest part of the Temple.
They explored several chambers that had not yet been discovered, and the huge stone gate carved with the moon’s phase diagram, which had not been destroyed.
But there was nothing, the Philosopher’s Stone and the statue of the evil god seemed to have vanished.
“There must be something that we haven’t noticed. We’ve been hanging around for more than three hours.” Sirius put his wand on the ground, “Guide me!”
The wand spun rapidly on the ground, never stopping.
“There is an unknown force in this Temple that hinders all detection spells.” Sirius picked up his wand and looked impatient. “Damn, magic doesn’t work. If only there was a Niffler here, it could help us find the Philosopher’s Stone.”
The Niffler is a magical animal that burrows into the ground. It is fluffy, black, and long-snouted.
By nature, they have a predilection for anything glittery and precious treasures, and they are good at finding them.
Taking advantage of this, Nifflers are often kept by goblins to burrow deep into the earth for treasure.
“If Hagrid was here, he might have a Niffler with him. I saw him have a whole nest in the Forbidden Forest,” Evan said.
He also tried to use a detective spell that quickly dissipated after the magic left the wand, blocked by strange magical fluctuations in the air.
“This is not the way to go. We’ve checked all the places, but we haven’t found any secret chamber.” Sirius said, “Maybe we can go from…”
“Have we checked everywhere?!” Evan looked at Sirius and said uncertainly, “I know another place…”
He remembered that in the illusion before, the ancestor of the Centaurs, Okegiga led him into the secret passage and they had sneaked into the Temple of the Moon from under the water. But they had not yet seen it here.
The Philosopher’s Stone might be hidden there, but Evan was not sure.
In the Temple of the Moon, there was only a secret passage that extended deep into the lake, and all the lakes and rivers near the Temple here were dried up.
This meant that following that secret passage down, there was a good chance it would lead them to the Temple underground.
The Centaurs were not goblins. They did not hide things underground.
However, these fallen centaurs were not the same as the normal ones, and their habits were very different.
Maybe they really hid something underground.
Just as Evan was about to take Sirius there for a look, there was a loud bang in the distance.
Like a violent earthquake, the whole temple was shaking!
“What’s going on?” Sirius asked aloud, clenching his wand.
Following the shaking, there was a shout in the distance, seemingly answering his question. Although it sounded very flustered, it was exceptionally clear.
“Found it! Yes, we have found the treasure of the Centaurs!”
Evan and Sirius looked at each other and hurried to the place where the voice had sounded.
Although they both didn’t know what had been found, the Philosopher’s Stone was likely to be there.
Through an ancient narrow stone tunnel, Evan saw a large hole opened by magic in what was originally a wall, with a large number of stones scattered on the ground.
Attracted by the sound, many adventurers came to the place, and even the wizards and goblins outside the Temple were attracted.
There was an uproar, with curses and threatening words everywhere.
Many people even started dueling, and sparks and beams were flying everywhere.
Even so, the number of wizards gathering was increasing, and everyone was desperately squeezing into the entrance of the wall, for fear of falling behind.
Looking at the noisy crowd in front of him, Evan’s feeling of uneasiness grew stronger.
This was really strange. If the one who had shouted had really found the place where the Centaurs were hiding the treasure, he would not shout out like this, but keep it for himself.
Doing this now was like someone deliberately attracting them to the place.
“Hold on, we’d better not go in!” Evan stopped Sirius, who was ready to rush through, and stood in the distance looking behind the hole in the wall.
Behind it, there was a dirt trail that slowly extended forward, with no end at a glance.
There was a smell of decay pouring out of it, and it looked like a catacomb.
“What are we doing here?” Sirius said strangely, “If the Philosopher’s Stone is below, we must hurry up and find it before others …”
“It’s just too coincidental that this Centaurs’ treasure chamber appeared now. I’m sure that the Philosopher’s Stone is not there,” Evan continued. “I can feel that there are strange magic fluctuations below. It’s the magic of the vampires.”
“Vampires?!” Sirius frowned, considering what Evan said.
In fact, just as they were talking, the noisy voices that came from behind the walls were getting louder and louder, as if many people had really found something.
Faced with this situation, almost everyone’s breathing was heavy, no longer think rationally.
The scene became more and more chaotic, the scope of the battle became wider and wider. Many wizards, who like Evan and Sirius stood aside to observe were also involved.
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