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Legends Of Zyconia Part 9
Beware The Worms That Roam These Caverns
The words had barely erupted from Terrek's throat, when the monstrous creature entered the cave through the huge hole it had just made. The huge worm was the most grotesque beast any of them had ever seen: the very sight of it struck fear into their souls. It was long and covered in tough scales, the scales appeared greenish grey and were covered with acidic slime. Its face consisted of two main features: a huge, razor sharp, tooth filled mouth and one massive glaring red eye.
The worm opened its massive mouth as it spied the group that had invaded its den. Loud high-pitched screeches echoed in their ears. The worm propelled itself forward as everyone scattered. Terrek quickly moved sideways pushing Jessica out of the worm's path as he leaped high over the worm's back and came down sword first. Terrek's sword plunged deep into the worm's back as cries of pain and anger rumbled through the cave.
Furiously, the worm swung it's huge hind end into Terrek. He flew from the worm's back hitting the wall of the cave. Perrin quickly ran to his aid as the worm turned to renew it's attack. Meanwhile everyone else, extremely disoriented, struggled to regain their equilibrium, and rushed to attack the worm.
Hemoth lifted himself from the cave floor and extended his hand to help Jessica up. Then he turned to help Terrek but was stopped dead in his tracks. The wall in front of Hemoth shattered as another worm collided into him knocking him off his feet. A shower of rock shrapnel struck Jessica and Lynx and they were also thrown to the rock floor again. Hemoth once again regained his balance and pulled his club and dagger from his belt.
The caverns quaked again as a third worm shot into the cave through an outer tunnel. Zachary, John. Adam and Ricsis drew their weapons and rushed into battle.
Lynx got to his feet. He had a bruise on his head. He felt his robe, and found blood. Small cuts covered his left arm. He looked around and saw Jessica. her body huddled on the ground. Apparently she'd been hit by the rocks, harder than he had. Lynx knelt down and listened. Slowly the erratic sound of her breathing reached him. he carefully scooped her up in his arms and moved her away from the conflict.
Perrin's sword streaked across the death worm's eye as it screeched even louder, the beast's agony dominating its vocal cords. Terrek and Perrin staggered back as the second death worm rushed by. Hemoth was clinging to its upper body, his dagger buried deep. He held his dagger tightly, struggling to remain on its back. He raised his club and brought it down on the creatures face repeatedly. Gaping wounds appeared on the worm's head as it went completely mad shaking it's head back and forth furiously. Hemoth jumped from it's back just before it rolled over, writhing in pain.
Amazingly the worm managed to roll back onto it's belly. Hemoth looked around. His club had been thrown half way across the cave. Too far away. He found himself captured in the glare of the worm's huge red eye. In just an instant Hemoth saw into the very soul of the beast. Delving into the raw consciousness and purpose of the beast terrified him. He had never felt anything like it in his life; the beast was pure unadulterated evil. Hemoth's fear nearly paralyzed him but he broke eye contact and quickly searched around for something to use as a weapon. The worm fixed it's gaze on Hemoth. preparing for it's final charge.
Hemoth caught sight of a large rock spike connected to the cave floor and threw the whole weight of his body against the spike to knock it over. Hemoth heard the crack as the spike fell to the ground. The worm, not hesitating any longer, raced toward Hemoth. With one last burst of superhuman strength he hefted the spike up in front of him, directly in the path of the oncoming worm. With a thud. the noise of the impact resounded through the cave, as the spike sunk deep into the worm's eye, penetrating it's brain. The impact knocked Hemoth against a nearby wall. Exhausted and battle weary, he paused for a moment to catch his breath.
At that same moment Terrek and Perrin moved in for the kill. Now blinded, the worm they faced was considerably easier to attack. Throwing themselves on the worm's back they hacked and sliced at its body with their swords. Soon the worm lay still, and all signs of life faded from its eyes. Terrek and Perrin joined the others against the one remaining worm. It had also been wounded, deep slashes, dripping blood littered it's body. Swiftly they circled attacking as one force, in seconds it also lay dead.
Everyone stood there gazing upon the carnage, their minds soaking in everything that had just happened. Terrek looked around and then turned to examine his aides, cuts and bruises covered his people as they panted for breath. Lynx brought Jessica over to the group. Terrek eyed him suspiciously as he spoke.
"She's been hurt by the flying rock." Lynx said quietly.
Terrek quickly bent down and checked her breathing looking for signs of any serious injury. She seemed to have been knocked out. Other than that, she had only minor cuts.
"She'll be all right," Terrek replied as he lifted her onto his shoulder and stood up.
"Now let's-," Terrek was stopped in mid-sentence by a loud rumbling.
"Not another worm," groaned Ricsis, but this time it sounded strangely different, a moment later the group felt the cave floor give way.
The collapse sent rocks and debris plunging down into the darkness beside them. Terrek felt Jessica slip from his grasp as they hit the water. Everyone came up gasping for air. Terrek looked up. Far above stood the remainder of the cave floor on which they had just fought. Now Terrek was standing in hip deep water in a tunnel leading off into the southeast. Nearby Jessica's body floated up and down in the water, carefully he lifted her from the water checking to see if her breathing had been effected by their fall in the water. Her breathing was slow but rhythmic: he lifted her back onto his shoulder.
"Anybody injured?" he questioned as he looked around the group, everyone shook their heads and Terrek squinted, gazing down the long tunnel before them.
"Follow me, this appears to be the only way out." Terrek observed as he started down the long tunnel, the others close behind.
Awhile later. the group was still wading down the tunnel. It hadn't changed, and the water level hadn't changed, but Terrek was beginning to tire. The soft weight of Jessica's body made his shoulder ache. He had to admit that under normal circumstances he wouldn't have minded being this close to a beautiful woman. But this was ridiculous.
Terrek peered ahead straining his eyes. Suddenly he noticed a small point of light. Instantly rejuvenated he pushed his legs forward through die water wading faster than ever toward the faint light. Close behind the others were exhausted, but tried to keep up as best as they could.
When Terrek got closer he realized that the light was coming from a small cave entrance on the wall of the tunnel. He approached the entrance of the cave cautiously and stared into the object that created the light. In the center of the room stood a pedestal covered in hieroglyphics and ancient writings. The glow emanated from the direct center of the pedestal. Terrek gazed into the object with sheer amazement. A kaleidoscope of colored light radiated from it. The gem on the pedestal bathed Terrek's skin in warmth. This was the crystal of light. Terrek slowly reached down and plucked the crystal from its nest, the gem was warm in his palm.
He shifted Jessica on his shoulder as he detected a faint noise. Looking up he saw the ceiling caving in. Wasting no time Terrek flung himself and Jessica through the entrance just barely evading the huge rocks. Terrek's aides rushed over to him and Riesis helped him up out of the water, Terrek once again retrieved Jessica.
"I have the first crystal," Terrek said as he held it out so everyone could see it.
They all began to talk at once but Terrek cut them off.
"We don't have time to talk here. Let's get out of these caverns before something else happens." Terrek muttered.
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 8
TO READ THE NEXT PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 10