Last Stand of the World
Chapter Eighteen: Boxed in
Ryli looked after her friends, and a few tears streaked unobtrusively down her cheeks. She wondered where it had all gone wrong; obviously, Gabs had been holding some kind of hatred for her long before The Shaman had made his decision. Did Dugger also feel the same and hide it just as well?
A hard, heavy hand slammed down on her head and ruffled her hair, "don't let it get into your head, people say things out of jealousy they don't always mean, and Dugger, well, that kid seems to really like you, so don't go doubting everyone on account of one person." Davern said and then knocked her under the chin. "Now buck up, we really need to go; things that were said can be sorted out when you need to; give her an earful later after everyone has cooled off."
She nodded her head and swiped her hands under her eyes before whipping them on the sides of her pants, "the path is down this way." She said, getting in front of them and taking them down the quickest way to the end of the tunnel avoiding all the traps.
They were nearing the end of the first corner when a large explosion concussed near her and knocked her back and into a wall. She heard crazed laughter. "Really thought you could take everything that's mine, Ryli?"
She stood up and shook herself. "At this point, I really wish there was a way to transform her into stone as well." She held her head. A small trickle of blood oozed through her fingers and headed back towards Davern and Asaa. "I know another way, but I'm not sure if she's trapped that way as well."
Asaa, took out a cloth and dabbed the wound, looking over to Davern, "what do you think?
"I can put a small shield around us to protect us from small blasts like this if she intends to harass us. I'm not sure what she hopes to accomplish by doing this. If she doesn't straighten up, I don't care what Dugger says; I'm not sure if I'd trust her enough to bring her with us."
"Well, I'm at that point right now," Ryli said, straightening up. "Thanks, Asaa; I appreciate the help.
"Actually, I have a better idea, but I'll need a medium to run it, and it will last on its own without me having to keep powering it. Asaa, do you have anything to write within the bond?"
She looked at him, a little funny, "you know you don't have to keep asking for everything. You saw me put the entire study in there. Why wouldn't I have paper? Besides, I know you know how to get in there yourself..." she said handing him the paper and a brush and ink. "
Davern turned aside and looked around the tunnel for a moment, acting as if he hadn't heard her. She flicked her tail at him. He deftly turned, avoided, and looked for a few small pebbles. Finding them, he tore off a few strips of the paper, and then, dipping the brush into the ink, he wrote a few runes down each side. Then he pleated a few pieces of the paper together around each stone and pricked his finger, dropping a bit of blood on each.
After it was done, he closed his eyes and murmured a spell while holding them in his hands until they felt warm to the touch. They began to glow a soft lavender when they did so and slowly went dim again.
He opened his eyes and handed one to each of the girls. Here, put it somewhere on your person. If something attacks you, it will deflect it a few times. It's not much, but it's better than constantly running a shield.
"Thanks, " Asaa said, reaching out and taking it.
He gripped her fingers lightly and passed it over. "As you said, no 'thanks' are necessary," he smiled at her. Then handed the second one over to Ryli. "Besides, I wouldn't have been able to make them without the materials you provided from your bond.
"That maybe so, but you have one as well," he just smiled at her and didn't respond to that comment. Just then, they heard something collapse behind them. Damnit, "just what is Dugger doing?" Davern looked behind them at the wall of dust that billowed out from the collapse and poured towards them.
"I'm beginning to think either he is on her side, or she's done something to him."
"What do you mean? Ryli asked in a quivering voice.
"He wouldn't let her just get away with this, would he?
"Well, no." Ryli looked worriedly towards the nest, and her feet began subconsciously to turn in that direction.
"Well, there you go," Davern said.
"But doesn't she care about him? Ryli argued as if that last grasp at straws would change anything.
Davern sighed and patted Ryli's shoulder, "Dugger had just told her he didn't see her that way. You know the old saying about a woman scorned.
"You don't think she really hurt him, do you?" Her eyes pleading with him to tell her anything but bad news. She didn't think she could take another blow right now.
"Hurt him? Well...no, not exactly, but I can guarantee he isn't going to like where he is." Davern grinned at her with a weird glint in his eye.
Asaa, smacked him with her tail, "enough quit teasing her." She turned and looked at Ryli.
"Ryli, your race doesn't have any way to change a person's mind, do they? Like with a potion, or something? Asaa asked.
"I'm not sure why." She was perplexed as to why the lamia was constantly hitting Davern with her tail. She heard that they only did that with their mates. But she knew Davern had only been in the tunnels for six hours. She shook her head, bigger fish at the moment.
"Well, if there is, that's probably what she's up to, and all this is just a distraction, to keep us busy while she does it, then both your friends will turn on you. Asaa said rather matter-of-factly.
"Davern? Do you think that's possible?
"Quite possible, and I'm also quite sure that that old shaman of yours left Dugger out of that spell for a reason, not so sure about Gabs, but Dugger for sure, and if he is the old Summoners heir, that makes sense."
"Well, if that's the case, we've got to save him," bloody hell if it's not one thing, it's another. I need to save my brother. That's why I'm down here, but I'm sure Dugger is closer because your little nest is right here, and that damn Nuller is deeper, which is the only reason I'm helping you out of this mess.
"But I swear to the gods if one more thing comes up!"
Asaa, whipped him with her tail shush you'll jinx yourself, he shut his trap, and just as he did, an explosion came from in front of them. That devious little shit had boxed them in. Well, two could play at that game. He thought with a gleam in his eyes.