Legends Of Zyconia Part 26
Suddenly Terrek began coughing up water. A loud series of choking and shivered sputtering escaped his throat as he began breathing. His eyes opened slightly as though he were half asleep. Diana ran to him tears streaming down her face.
"Terrek — Terrek!" Diana sobbed as she held Terrek's head in her hands.
She sat him up in the muddy water and put her arms around him.
"Diana," Terrek said slowly.
Diana trembled as she held him, crying.
"I thought I'd lost you, I thought I'd lost you," she cried as she held him tighter, as though she'd never let him go.
Hemoth, Zachary, John and the others looked on. Relief flowed through the team.
Much later all the teams made it through the mudpit and rejoined their families, who Perrin had guided safely around the swamp. Terrek's tent was pitched and a healer was brought to him. Although exhausted, Terrek strongly insisted on hearing the reports from all his chief aides. They all gathered around the makeshift bed in his tent. He lay exhausted with several animal furs covering him. Diana sat beside him staring down at him strangely. She appeared deep in thought. Terrek attempted to ignore her peculiar behavior.
"We managed to recover the crystal in the swamp Commander," proclaimed Ricsis retrieving a bluish purple gem from his belt.
Terrek looked pleased, though his face remained pale. Ricsis handed the gem to Terrek who deposited it in his belt. Ricsis smiled as he told the tale of its capture to everyone.
"The team I led, as well as two of the other teams, converged at the center of the swamp. There, a large pedestal rose from the depths. On the top surface sat the crystal. Almost as soon as we arrived more than a hundred ghouls came up out of the water and attacked. After a great battle Adam climbed the large pedestal and retrieved the crystal. We then fled to escape ghoul reinforcements that we saw moving toward us on the horizon." Ricsis looked at Adam.
"Adam deserves most of the credit. He climbed the pedestal, risking being pulled off by the ghouls to take a fatal fall. If they'd succeeded in pulling him off they would have had no problem dragging him below the swamp. It took great courage to do what he did." Everyone acknowledged Adam in respect and congratulated him, shaking his hands and patting him on the back.
"You are a great warrior. You all are," Terrek said proudly.
He smiled as he looked at them, even Lynx.
"You all may leave now," Terrek said.
Diana stood, but thought again and decided to stay. Terrek looked up at her.
"I didn't think I was going to escape that pit, but somehow this helped," Terrek said holding up his amulet.
Diana looked at it but said nothing.
"As I was being dragged under I tried to hold my breath and break free of the ghouls' grips but there were too many of them. Even through the muddy water I noticed the amulet glowing and when I clasped it in my hand I felt extreme strength flow through me. I was instantly revitalized. It seemed as though I had a new breath in my lungs and my strength had magnified tenfold. Still frantic, I struggled away from the ghouls and headed toward the swamp surface. The ghouls followed. I guess my new found strength wasn't to last forever," he said referring to his near death experience.
Terrek finished his story and again looked at Diana. She seemed unresponsive. Tenek lowered his eyebrows in worry.
"Is something wrong Diana?" asked Terrek.
Diana stood up and slowly paced his tent. She appeared to be deep in thought. Gradually she turned and faced him.
"Diana?" Terrek spoke her name quietly, this time deeply concerned.
"I've always lived my life under great strain. I've never really asked for anything from anyone and I've never let myself get too close to anyone. Perhaps I always knew they'd go away and I'd just end up alone again. Maybe I just have never met anyone who I felt able to share my deepest emotions with. I know I've never met anyone like you. You're so strong, yet you're so caring, so kind, and so gentle," she confided.
Diana stared directly into his eyes all her emotions emptied her soul with one accurately attributed phrase:
"Tenek I love you."
Terrek's eyes became clouded and he coldly turned over in his bed and buried his face in his furs. Diana looked toward him puzzled.
"I think maybe you should go," Terrek said in confusion and sorrow.
Diana lowered her head and lifted her hands to her face as she began to cry.
"I - I don't understand Diana sobbed.
"Leave, I said! Get out!" screamed Terrek emotionally.
Diana turned and ran from his tent, tears streaming down her face. Terrek turned over, his own face streaked with tears. His mind wandered to a place deep within his past. She just didn't understand. If she only knew.
TO BE CONTINUED...
TO READ FROM THE BEGINNING GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 1
TO READ THE PREVIOUS PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 25
TO READ THE NEXT PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 27