This chapter was a bit longer than the others...and like all the chapters, I had loads of fun with it. The Shadowling is not happy with Nibel...because he feels the dwarf is ruining his chances to obtain the 8 Laws of Understanding (his ticket back to the Heart of Heavens) At this point in the adventure, as I have talked about, the Shadowling wants to "go home" and not have anything to do with the World of the Humans.
The reader is reminded that the Shadowling represents "struggle" and as such can not "go home." The time of perfect peace in the world is over. The "fall of man" has occurred - ( I refer to this as the betrayal) - so there is no going back for Medelia and that means that the Shadowling will not go back as well - but he thinks there is a chance to return to the Heart of Heavens - and so he pays Nibel a visit.
One of the things that happens in chapter 31 is the mention of the secret betrayer that has helped Nibel build Myrland and keep things up and running. The Shadowling, of course, knows all about this which surprises the dwarf. So here are a couple of paragraphs that mention this.
"And speaking of your sparking city of Myrkland," the Shadowling continued, "I am aware of the powerful, mysterious figure that has helped you...get where you are today. She is bound by your alchemy as well, is she not?"
"I don't know what you mean? There is no one that..."
"Nibel, that's the biggest secret of them all. How does a little dwarf who sneaks up from the Underworld carrying a bag of gold gain such power in the World of the Humans? You have a whole city at your command. You have a powerful hidden army and navy, do you not?"
"I have nothing of the sort and as to some mysterious benefactor, there is no such person."
"It's one thing to act surprised but it's another to lie to me, Nibel, which you have done on a number of occasions in our little chat. You shouldn't have done that."
(more on the "bond of alchemy later" ) ..........what fun is this :)