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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Amadea and the Divinity Blade - Chapter 14

Chapter 14

"Did you hear that?" Amadea asked, suddenly alert. Everyone grew silent.
"I don't hear anything," Notus said after a few moments.
"Maybe not, but my senses are tingling," Zephyr muttered quietly.
"Rage, Anger!" Amadea summoned. The two blood red dogs jumped from her shadow onto dry land. They looked nearly black even though it was almost the full moon.
"Why did you name them that anyway?" Zira wondered.
"It just seemed appropriate." Amadea shrugged. "Go, scout for any danger." The dogs silently disappeared in different directions. Meanwhile, the occupants of the hot spring dried off, and redressed. One of the dogs began to bark in the not too distance. It was joined by the other a few moments later.
"I guess we had better go see what's out there," Zephyr commented. Suddenly, there was a blood-curdling scream from the direction of the barking.
The party rushed to where the dogs were attacking a huge monster. It could have been a troll except it looked nothing like a troll.
"It's a taurman!" Zira announced. "It is usually harmless enough, but close to a full moon and near a woman! It's looking to mate!"
The taurman apparently hadn’t been able to get to the poor woman cowering near some bushes before Rage and Anger had attacked it, but she was watching the battle knowing what the outcome would be if the dogs lost. Their barking had brought it to her attention.
Amadea guided Cumulus to land several feet away from the taurman. "Rage, Anger, Heel!" The dogs reluctantly did as they were told.
"What are you doing?!" Zephyr demanded from the air. "Just hit him with a fire ball!"
"I need to see something!" Amadea explained. "Stay," she ordered the dogs, then walked straight up the monster. She could see the lust in his eyes as she approached. She stopped about half a dozen feet away. The taurman soon grew impatient, and charged her. It inadvertently knocked her back about ten feet.
She stood up, and dusted herself off. Again, the monster lunged at her. This time he grabbed her and tried to tear her clothes off.
"That's all I wanted to know, thank you!" Amadea quickly unsheathed the Divinity Blade, and ran the monster through. She then stood tapping her foot in thought for a few moments.
"What was that all about?" Zephyr questioned, but was not answered as the almost victim rushed up to Amadea.
"Thank you for saving me! I was out gathering night blooming herbs - as I have done since I was a child - when all of a sudden those dogs of yours warned me of the danger. I just know I would have been raped to death had you not been here, and worse, my younger sister is out here somewhere!" The woman had been explaining at top speed, but ended in a horrorstruck gasp. "Oh no! She's only 12 years old!" The young woman began to run in the direction the taurman had apparently come from.
Zephyr immediately flew ahead of the woman, and Amadea mounted to follow them, but spotted a girl in the distance of the opposite direction. She flew over to her, and found her skillfully gathering herbs.
"Hi there, are you all right?" Amadea asked.
"Huh? Oh, I'm just fine. I'm picking herbs," the girl replied.
"Listen, your sister's looking for you. She's just had quite a scare, and is worried about you."
"Is she? Well then, I had better go see what the matter is." The girl stood and brushed off her skirt. The next thing Amadea knew, she was gone, swallowed up by the ground. Amadea heard her screaming, and dove to help her. She frantically dug until she uncovered the girl's head. Zephyr flew circles above Amadea.
"What are you doing?" He called out. Notus held the woman on his lap.
"The girl, she was just pulled under here!" Amadea cried. The girl had long since stopped screaming, but Amadea kept digging her up anyway. She got her hands under the girl’s chin, and tried to pull her free. It was unexpectedly easy, and Amadea landed on her rear with an audible thump.
The woman screamed in horror at the sight of her little sister's head in Amadea's lap.
Amadea noticed this as well, and began to scream in unison. Suddenly, Amadea felt herself being pulled underground. She realized that she was inside a mouth, the teeth of which would have severed her head from her body, had her shield not protected her. She could hear Zephyr screaming her name.
It was much too late for any of them to help her, and she prayed that they kept off the ground. The mouth she was in was just large enough that when she stretched out her legs, and pushed on the entrance to its throat, she could "stand up" so that the teeth would sever her just below the shoulders, if they could puncture her. Her shield had made her impervious even to what should have been a painful impact when the taurman had attacked her.
Amadea felt a snake-like appendage wrap around her feet as she was trying to grab hold of anything that would keep her stationary as the monster keep on going, thus ripping her from its mouth. She briefly wondered if the snake had been a previous meal that was trying to escape. She learned the horrible truth when it pulled her down the monster's throat.
She didn't have much room to move, but being stuck in the monster's throat gave her a possible chance of escaping. She made a fist against her left hand, and slowly drew her hands apart. When they were about two feet apart, Amadea wished that the sword wasn't always so long. Instantly, the blade solidified, signaling that it was free of her hand, and ready to use.
"Interesting," she thought, "it can be whatever size I want it to be." She pushed the point of the sword out of the monster's throat until she could feel it break through the outer layer of skin. Next, she struggled to turn herself in a circle so that she could hopefully decapitate it. It must have returned to its burrow, for it stopped moving long before she finished her task.
She had only succeeded in creating a tear large enough to escape, but it was as effective as slitting its throat since it couldn't breathe, and it would bleed to death, unless it could heal. Amadea couldn't take that chance. She crawled along its body until she could feel its heart thumping below her. She plunged her sword into its heart, and drew a fatal line down to its guts. Nothing could survive that.
Amadea noticed that the shield was providing her with a small amount of air, but not much. She was beginning to suffocate. Then, she noticed a wriggling pile in a pocket-like cave move toward her, and realized that these were the monster's babies, who were expecting food, and didn't seem to care if it was their mother.

Zephyr was frantically trying to dig Amadea up, but was having difficulty sustaining his efforts.
"Zephyr, calm down," Zira commanded. "Amadea must still be alive."
"How can you say that?" Notus demanded.
"Two reasons, I'm still here, and the dogs are still obeying her. If she had died, they would have attacked," Zira explained.
"You're right, that's why I have to get to her!" Zephyr hadn't paused in the slightest.
"I understand that, so why are you using your hands?" Zira asked. This made Zephyr's panic recede.
"You're right! I'm getting nowhere like this," he agreed. "I'm going to try to summon her. It's the reverse of my ability to transport, so I think it'll work."
"But you haven't been able to transport without some serious motivation," Notus protested.
"Well, I'm motivated now!"

Amadea knew that she could not let these infant monsters live. Nowhere would be safe if they could snatch you as you walked on the ground. She decided to use a spell that was likely to kill her as well, but was guaranteed to work.
"Funeral Pyre!"

Zephyr was in the middle of reciting his spell when there was a huge explosion about a mile away. He finished it, causing Amadea - who was currently falling from about 200 feet in the air above the explosion - to land at his feet, causing a small crater. She was unconscious.
"Amadea!" Zephyr scrambled to get to her, and gathered her in his arms. She was entirely covered with dirt and soot, and looked like she lived in a chimney. He felt her breathing, but couldn't wake her no matter what he tried.
"Looks like she needs to rest," Zira commented. "Why don't you bring her back over to the hot spring, and clean her up?"
Zephyr gathered his wife into his arms, and carried her to Cirrus. Notus and Zira mounted Cumulus, and the group flew back to their campsite.
Notus fetched a pot of water from the hot spring, and helped his brother clean the grime off Amadea. It wiped away easily, causing Zephyr to suspect that he could easily clean it with a spell. He did, and marveled at how the dirt seemed to have hovered above her body and clothing.
Later on, Amadea roused. "Zephyr?" She whispered.
Zephyr began to cry in relief.
"Zephyr,... I'm going... to be... fine. Don't worry... about me," she said weakly, between breaths.
"All of you, get some rest, I can keep watch, since I don't need sleep," Zira suggested.
"Right," Notus agreed.

Go To Chapter 15 

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