Chapter 21: Hide & Seek

Chapter 21: Hide & Seek

A Chapter by Sairek Ceareste

 

 

 

 

Sairek opened his eyes as he felt the pain… but he realized it wasn’t from the acid; it was from the jewel. It had opened up a mana barrier by itself around him; and the shock of the hit from the acid penetrating into the shield was what had hurt him; it was too much strain on his body; it ripped a lot of energy out of him at once. Needless to say; he still technically took the damage, but not directly and the damage would not be lethal. He, after all, was still alive right at this second. That was a defenite plus.

 

He hoped that it would remain that way. The shield soon collapsed a second later and Sairek was left feeling incredibly dizzy and light headed. It was a battle just to keep his head from falling back on the ground from exhaustion. He grunted out exhausted as he tried to struggle out of the hands that bound him, but it was hopeless. Somebody had to help him. Nothing now stood between the beast and him.

 

Saireks' eyes looked up in time as Nayleen suddenly charged at the beast; heroically, she slammed into the creature despite the putrid look of it. Her slam was strong enough for the beast to topple over on to its side; and it squirmed about in confusion at being tipped over. Cyial responded instantly, sprinting over as fast as he could as he bent down to Sairek. He wasn’t physically as strong as Nayleen was and it took him a few hits with the book to break the brittle bones that had their hold on Sairek. The Prince groaned out after the last one had been broken. Holding his forehead with his left hand as he propped himself up with his right hand which still held on to his staff. He gasped air in now that his throat was, for the second time now, free.

 

“Are you alright?” Cyial asked in a worried tone. Sairek didn’t know how to answer that with a yes or a no.

 

“...I’ve... felt better…” he decided to respond with.

 

“Stay still then, or lay back down.” Cyial responded. He placed the book next to him as he sat on his knees and soon held both hands out.

 

“What are you doing?” Sairek questioned curiously. He looked up as he saw Nayleen battling the creature; it had gotten up by now and in rage, almost lazily threw its arm out to try and claw her. Nayleen was far too nimble to be hit by such a sluggish attack and dodged accordingly. She attempted to counter attack and try to slice the perpetrator's arm. Her dagger blade connected as she swung, but it seemed all she met was soft flesh and bone. The wound didn’t even bleed, rather, the flesh just simply oozed out. Seeing her attack failed, she moved back before she was countered back as well.

 

“I’m going to give my Ethereal to you, that should make you feel better again.” Cyial responded.

 

“But don’t--“

 

“Demons don’t need Ethereal energy unlike a human like you does. I can absorb it into my body but it does nothing for me. If anything you will be doing the both of us a favor. It won't be much but it should help stabalize the shock your body is under right now. I keep the energy in my body for situations like this. Now stay still.”

 

Sairek sat still as he continued to watch Nayleen. He didn’t see anything that suggested that Cyial was doing anything, but he felt the Ethereal shifting from the demon boy's body and moving towards him slowly. He imagined it would be faster, but maybe that was due to the underworld’s energy making the Ethereal meet resistance.

 

Nayleen soon held up one of her daggers in her fingers, ready for it to be thrown. She waited patiently for the beast to make a move, but she didn’t anticipate the action the beast decided to take. Rather then attacking her, its head bowed down and almost in seconds, it burrowed itself underground. The dirt kicked up and soon was a hole that soon filled up with loose dirt where the creature had just been.

 

“Damn!” Nayleen cursed out loud, as her dagger in her fingers returned to be safely gripped in her hand.

 

Sairek felt himself recovering out from his dazed and exhausted state rather quickly once he felt the Ethereal touching his body. Eventually he felt the stream of energy end from Cyial’s side and eventually made its way over to him completely. Sairek slowly stood up; he didn’t feel perfect but compared to before, it felt as if he had at least rested for an hour or two in just a minute.

 

“How did it burrow itself so fast?” Sairek questioned as he stood up. Cyial took his book back in hand and stood up with Sairek as he turned around to look at Nayleen. "It burrowed under the ground?" He asked curiously. He didn't see because his back had been turned.

 

“I knew that they can do that, but I honestly don’t know how. We need to lure it away from here. This darkness is a disadvantage.” Nayleen said, as she quickly began stepped towards the other three as they were near the doorway.

 

“I’ll try ‘vulkenhei’ again--“ Sairek started, before he soon heard the roar of the beast again. The three of them spun around and their eyes widened in fear.

 

“T…Two?!” Sairek choked out. He had to resist the urge to wipe his eyes clean to make sure he was not seeing doubles, but there was clearly two. The one from before which looked a little bit wounded from Nayleen battling it and then compared to the other one, it looked fresh and eager to engage.

 

Another cry came out, as another dirt mound flew up. The trio stared in horror, as more dirt mounds rose up. Three… four… five… six… seven…

 

“Seven?! We can’t win against this! We were having trouble with just one!” Sairek choked out in horror.

 

Nayleen growled angrily “Ugh! If I even try to distract them, I’ll be killed! Sairek, do you have any ideas?!”

 

Sairek gritted his teeth; he didn’t answer. He had none at all. Cyial soon moved in front of the two, holding his arms out as if he was blocking the doorway off to them. He held his book in his right hand tightly, opening it up to a page with his hand he had apparently bookmarked.

 

“Go,” Cyial urged.

 

“Don’t be ridiculous--“ Sairek began before being cut off.

 

“Stop arguing with me and work on the door!” The Acolyte shouted angrily.

 

“But--“ The Prince began.

 

Sairek!

 

Reluctantly, Sairek turned himself around. With all the panic running through his mind, it was terribly difficult to concentrate enough to draw the energy in. He heard the constant wails of the beasts behind him. He slowly heard the way they were waddling towards the doorway. Sairek flinched when he heard one of the beasts groan out loudly. He heard Cyial respond with chanting ‘Ralopa!’ and seconds later he heard a loud PING as the beast had thrust its head towards Cyial, but the head bounced back; and the sharp teeth rammed into another’s throat. The victim of the wound cried out in agony; the aggressor’s teeth was imbedded into the other’s bone. Without momentum, they didn’t have very much strength and the beasts soon began fighting each other to pry each other away.

 

Cyial panted from the effort of the shield. The force from the lunge was nearly enough to shatter the shield and he had but just managed to stabilize it. Soon, another took a swing at Cyial. The Acolyte strengthened the shield, preparing for the shock. It wasn’t as surprisingly and he managed to brace for it, but the effort still sapped the wind out of him as his next breath was a sharp inhale. The creature’s head was thrown upwards; uprooting it from the ground as it flopped on its back. Unlike the other two, it didn’t have much of an accident than that.

 

Sairek finally had enough energy, managing to calm himself down some. He swung his staff back preparing to swing as he yelled out ‘Vulkenhei!!’ at the top of his lungs. Soon swinging the staff at the door, a loud pop was heard as sparks went flying. Sairek was thrown back, but Nayleen quickly moved and caught him so he didn’t fly into Cyial; or the creatures themselves for that matter.

 

Sairek groaned from the effort, as he slowly lifted his head and mentally swore. The spell did a lot of damage to the door due to how badly it was dented and splintered… but it wasn’t enough to burst it down. He looked to see sparks coming out from the door… no, not out; around it. It was protected by a spell shield. No spell shield he had seen or read about before sparked like that, not unless a spell he read in a book skipped over that detail, but most were fairly descriptive.

 

“I don’t have enough strength or time to charge up another one…!” Sairek spoke through clenched teeth.

 

“Forget the spell -- let’s just ram the damn thing down together! A spell shield can't stop us from physically forcing it down!” Nayleen said angrily, as she stepped back, pulling Sairek back with her. “On the count of three?”


"Alright, I'm ready," Sairek answered.

 

“One…

 

two…

 

three!


Sairek and Nayleen both rushed at the door. When the two slammed into it with as much strength as they could muster, it cracked and snapped, giving away as it toppled on the ground and the two stumbled on through.


Sairek spun around to Cyial, as the child groaned out in strain. Sairek felt a pulse of energy as the shield Cyial had finally shattered a second later after one more impact. Sairek rushed towards Cyial as one of the creature's jaws went to snap towards the other boy now that the barrier was gone. The Demon who was too exhausted from the strain of the spell could barely stand up, was yanked back from Sairek grabbing him from the back of his robe with his left hand and pulling him away just in time as the jaws of the creature only snapped air, inches away from Cyial's flesh.


Sairek pulled Cyial out the door, as Nayleen was first to get out ahead of him. The two panted as Cyial had fallen unconscious.


"Is he okay?" Nayleen asked through heavy breathing.


"I think so. I don't see any signs of him being wounded, I think the shield knocked him out. I can't carry him out of here though."


"That's okay, I'll do it. It would be hard for you to with you staff and the stuff--"


She was interrupted with loud wails coming from the building, along soon with lots of scratching and thumping on the structure walls from the inside.


"Let's get the hell out of here. We don't want those things figuring out they can just burrow under the building." Nayleen let out, as she knelt down for Sairek to securely place Cyial on his back. His eyes wandered and gritted his teeth as he found Cyial's book near the doorway. He quickly rushed back towards it to get it.


There was a loud crack, as Sairek stood up with the book in hand. The wall soon cracked and burst not even a second later, as one of the creature's head's lurched through in front of Sairek's face. The Prince fell backwards both in surprise and fear. He quickly crawled backwards, scrambling away, as more heads lurched through newer holes in the structure. Sairek eventually scrambled back up to his feet. He held his staff in two hands as he began preparing a spell.


"Sairek?!" Nayleen shouted at him. "You better be standing there because you have something to slow them down!"


"Aye!" Sairek called back in confirmation, as he soon moved his staff to his left. He unleashed the energy, yelling out "Balinzer!" the staff head ignited in flame, and Sairek swept it across towards the ground in front of him, soon igniting a wall of flame on dry grass in front of him. Sairek took a couple steps back, still holding the staff in two hands, he held the weapon out, before soon shouting out "Ethirul!" swinging the weapon down towards the ground, it shook a bit, as the area along the line of fire began to compress downwards in a curved ditch, although it was several feet deep. Sairek then once again held his staff out in front of him, before chanting out "Waert!" A large amount of water began streaming out of his staff, as if an invisible tub of water was being poured into the ditch; it was only a twenty seconds later the entire ditch was filled with water. Sairek hoped that the fire would stop them from going near and over; the ditch would force them to have to dig under deeper. And if they decided not to, that the water would sink down. since the soil would slowly absorb the water, it would make their way towards them wet and muddy. He hoped these creatures disliked clean water, as well.


Sairek leaned on his staff lazily, panting from the exertion of restrained spells. But he quickly pushed his fatigue aside and tucked his staff under his arm as he began jogging back to Nayleen. Without a word, they began to sprint off, looking back towards the house with loud wails that echoed out even though with the fog, they couldn't see anything, even Sairek's fortification of spells.


"Where should we go?" Nayleen asked through ragged pants.


"Just get away. Our location doesn't matter. As long as we're in this forest, under this cloud, I believe they can tell where we are at all times."


"What should we do?!"


"We just keep on running. We need to find that cave."


"But the town--"


"There's... nothing we can do about the town. All we can do is try and make this not in vain. If we make it to the cave and hurry, we can get to the next town and let them send reinforcements if it's not too late..."


"But Sairek--"


"Nayleen, don't protest this!" He shouted angrily. "You think I like the decision? My mother's grave is in Lamen, but a town is not nearly as important as Yggdrasil! We couldn't even beat one of those things alone by itself; we all very nearly got incapacitated by just one, you want us to take on seven? Cyial is out cold! There's just no way for us to do that, it doesn't matter what our reasons are, it doesn't matter how brave we are, we are not strong enough to take on seven of them and if we stay in this forest, not only will we die, but so may the rest of the--"


Sairek was soon grabbed by the collar, and pulled back to a halt. He gagged a bit as the pressure went to his throat. He was soon let go and he spun around to see it was Nayleen who grabbed him.


"What do you--" He began in an irritated tone, but it could be told he was making a strong effort to restrain himself from acting any worse.


"Look, over there."


Sairek slowly gazed over as she pointed to her left. The child gazed upon a cliff wall, with a gap somewhere along it. The child's eyebrows rose with interest. He knew exactly what it most likely was; the cave they had been looking for.


"Can we afford to go inside?" Nayleen asked. Sairek sighed.


"I don't know if we can afford to, but we're going to have to. There is one advantage to it though; we will be out of this cloud. It may be harder for them to sense us if we are out if its influence."


The both of them made their way towards the mouth of the cave. When Sairek got inside, he cast 'balinzer' to illuminate what was around them. The difference from the strain of spell casting before to now was immense. It felt like weights had been lifted off.

 

The caves rock went from a dirty brown to a more cleaner and smoother gray quickly as they went inside. Sairek lead the way, holding his staff out as if it was a normal torch.

Eventually, the tunnel opened up into a more wider space, and Sairek turned back to Nayleen who was still carrying Cyial on her back.

"We should rest here for at least a while. If we don't let Cyial rest some, we may overexert him in that condition. He may even wake up soon. He isn't hurt, just tired."


"Yeah... being carried is such a difficult task..." Nayleen mumbled a bit sarcastically. Sairek couldn't help but give a small smile. "You are the one who offered to carry him." He replied back to her.


Nayleen bent down as Sairek helped her gently pick Cyial off her back and lean the Acolyte against the wall. Sairek set the child’s book on the ground next to him as he himself soon sat down with a sigh with his back against a wall near Cyial. He still held his staff up though to keep the light alive around them. Nayleen sat beside Cyial on the opposite side from Sairek. She was about to speak, before Cyial soon shifted slightly, stirring awake already.

 

“That was good timing.” Sairek announced as the other boy soon opened hi crimson red eyes, blinking slowly as his hands slowly rose to hold the sides of his head.

”Ngghh… what... happened…?" Cyial groaned, blinking slowly, but only opening his eyes part ways "…Oh, wait, I think I'm beginning to remember…”

”You got knocked out from your shield breaking. I managed to pull you away just in time and Nayleen carried you.” Sairek explained, pausing before continuing. “While Nayleen and I were fleeing, we spotted this cave not too far away from the house. I think this is the cave we have been trying to find, I could be wrong though. It was pretty close to the house. But inside this cave, we are at least out of that cloud. I don’t think those things or anything else will be able to detect us in here as easily.”

 

"You've only been out for a few minutes as well." Nayleen soon quickly added.

 

Cyial seemed to think for a moment, before slowly nodding his head. “...Yes, this would be a good hiding spot… most undead react on instinct, not through seeing or hearing. If they sense something, it is generally a reaction… like an animal instinct. The cloud would help their senses since they can feel disturbances in the Ethereal; the shape of our forms moving along the energy of their cloud. They can’t feel that here because the cloud hasn’t reached inside here yet…

That said, that doesn’t mean we are safe. There could be more undead down here. If we wander close enough to one, they will still sense us the same way.”

 

“Kind of makes it hard to sneak up on them, or hide from them, doesn’t it?” Nayleen asked and Cyial nodded in confirmation. Looking at the side, he saw his book and soon held hold of it, keeping it near his chest once again with both hands. “But if you manage to make one lose its sense of you, it will lose interest almost immediately unless it is someone like the Necromancer ordering an undead to do its bidding, controlling it, they will not look for traces of where you went. Like tracks and stuff. They are just mindless monsters most of the time. Some however are a little bit more intelligent...”

 

“Well, let’s not really take that chance… Are we all ready to keep moving on through here?” Sairek asked, as he slowly stood himself up. He then glanced towards Cyial who slowly pushed himself up to his feet. “How do you feel, Cyial?”

 

“The shattering of the spell shield makes me feel a bit lightheaded, but it’s not too bad. I will be fine soon.” The Acolyte responded as Nayleen now stood up on her feet as well.

Sairek didn’t say anything else, as he began to walk through the cave. It had been gray, but soon the rocky outcrop was becoming a crisp light brown again, but of hard caked dirt. Eventually, the cave started to become brighter, bright enough that Sairek was actually able to relinquish ‘balinzer’ and keep on walking ahead without it through the tunnel. He was wondering why it was so bright...

 

As they continued walking, the tunnel eventually ended and opened up. The trio walked through and Sairek’s breath caught in his throat. He felt a wave of hot air coat him which made him feel light headed for a few seconds. With how thick his clothes were, the heat was overwhelming him. He was surprised at how quickly the temperature had changed, and he took a couple steps back just so he could look around without feeling sick.

 

He looked around as a river of magma slowly flowed down a ravine to their left. Nothing was stopping them from slipping off, but thankfully there was quite a bit of distance to their right which was closed off by a wall from the side of the cave. But other than that, the cavern was just really large and he couldn't see much more than this since there was a wall on their right that turned a bend, blocking any vision beyond there off until they got closer.

 

“Magma… so close to the surface…?” Sairek questioned out aloud. “That’s… not right… I mean, if we were in a volcano, that would be different, but…”

 

“No, it can happen.” Cyial answered. “But not so much as rivers like this. This place… it’s taken an unnatural change rather quickly. The magma here is from deeper underground. Something is pushing the magma upwards towards the surface. But I don't think there's any risk of it ever rising outside the cave judging from how it is flowing...”

 

“Something…? What could possibly push magma? Surely no creature could…” Nayleen began, but trailed off. Cyial shook his head.

 

“No, it’s not the result of a creature. That is good news in itself, but also bad news." Cyial answered. "The problem is the planet itself, unfortunately... This is another sign that things are not going well for Yggdrasil…”

 

“Great…” Sairek muttered. Cyial shrugged. “I wouldn’t say it’s too bad, actually…” Cyial spoke out and Sairek slowly turned his head, raising an inquisitive eyebrow to the Demon’s response. He answered, not faltered by Sairek’s accusing glance. “You see, this is happening under the ground, but not on the surface. If it’s only happening underground, it means we still got time to make it to Yggdrasil. This seems to have happened extremely recently, guessing by the fact there is still magma flowing out from the wall over there. I would say it was about around the time after we arrived in Lamen. Also, it only seems to be liquids that are being pushed, not the actual terrain itself other then minor splits and cracks here and there.”

 

“It may be positive in a way, but I can’t say that I fancy lava while being near it…” Nayleen muttered.

 

Cyial glanced towards the both of them, a slightly stern look on his face. “Do you both know what this means?” He questioned. Nayleen gave a shrug, and Sairek simply stood in his formal stance, but didn’t hide his expressions; the look of being confused at what Cyial was getting at.

 

“It means we have time to get to Yggdrasil… that we still have a chance to find out what to do to save it.”

 

Nayleen shrugged. “Well, it took me for the better part, a month on my own to get to here. But I took a lot of shortcuts and I didn't have to go through crap like this.”

 

“You’re saying we should stay out of dangerous places to shave off time, instead just take safer routes?” Sairek asked. Nayleen nodded.

”Besides, if we stay on public roads, there will be more civilian activity. I don’t think the Necromancer would risk attacking us so easily on them then compared to how we are now…” Cyial added.

 

Nayleen let out an ‘Hmm…’ in thought, before speaking. “You know, technically, since all the caves are combined together in a network all around the world, we could technically march down to Yggdrasil here although it may take a much longer time I suppose..." She trailed off and then glanced at the lava. "…Well… we could have…” she muttered. “I’m kind of worried the way near my place is going to be more dangerous than before. Aside from that, I think going down random caves may be a bit dangerous. Don’t want to get lost, you know.”

 

“With the terrain probably going to be shifting once we most likely get there, it’s too dangerous to go exploring random caves and just pray with luck to get down to Yggdrasil.” Sairek commented as he glanced back towards the flowing magma. “We’ll just stick with the original plan, unless some opportunity happens to presents itself. But can we please at least get walking? I don’t want to be cooped up in this place for very long. It’s sickeningly hot in here and I'm not wearing the most suitable kind of outfit for a place like this...”

”Yeah…” Nayleen muttered as they began walking along the wall. “I can't imagine how poor Cyial must feel under that heavy robe…”

”Actually, I feel perfectly fine. The air seems normal to me as anywhere else.” The Acolyte commented. Nayleen raised a curious eyebrow. Cyial began to explain for her what he meant.
“I am a Demon. The Demon race has skin which usually looks much different than any human's, but Incubus’s and Succubus’s don’t follow that norm. Our skin mimics the same look as a human, but it still has different kinds of properties."

"...Meaning...?" Nayleen urged him, and Cyial shrugged,and explained it flatly. "My skin has resistances to heat, both hot and cold, mostly. It also as I age will become a bit more solid, kind of like stone skin. At least it might. It might be softer living here than in the underworld..."

 

Sairek listened to the two, but didn't really pay too much attention to it. His mind was flooded with other thoughts and it was distracting him as well as the fact he was making sure he didn't trail off the cliff while he was burrying himself inside his own thoughts. That would be a bad way for it all to end. As Sairek stared at the lava, he suddenly blinked with the feeling of an idea that had suddenly hatched in his head, it made him stop where he was walking.

 

"I just had a brainwave, but I am not sure if it will work." The Prince said. The other two stopped, their attention given to Sairek. The Prince walked his way over to the edge, but he soon frowned.

 

"No, even though we're close, we're not close enough. I'll try it later if we need to."

 

"...What are you wanting to try?" Nayleen asked with a curious tilt of her head.

 

"I wanted to try spraying the lava with water to see if I could harden it enough with enough water, but from up here, the water won't be focused enough. It will spray everywhere and I don't think I'm strong enough to focus a blast of water together from this far away. And even so, it wouldn't do us any good now."

 

"I'm a little reluctant to walk across a river of lava..." Nayleen muttered to the Prince and he shrugged. "I just wanted to see if it would work. Better to know it works than to be unsure. If I spray enough of an area it may work if the river is small enough for us."

 

It was Nayleen’s turn to shrug now, showing she would be reluctant whether Sairek’s idea worked or not. Despite this, they continued on walking. Eventually the large gap closed off to yet another long, narrow tunnel. The light died down some, but not enough to warrant Sairek to cast ‘balinzer’ again, it was still bright enough to make their way through and soon they once again reached out the end of the tunnel back into a space like they were in before. Sairek realized they were in the same space; but on the opposite side. They had been on the right side of the river of lava. They were now on the left.

 

The cliff however had less ground to travel on though at certain points, where instead of walking side by side, they were now forced to walk single-file as they pressed themselves against the cavern wall.

”Do you think if the undead could sense us here, they would be able to follow us?” Nayleen soon asked, breaking the silence as they all concentrated on staying far away from the edge as they could.

 

“I’m not sure. I never studied on the Undead.” Sairek responded.

 

“I don’t think they will." Cyial answered. "The Undead prefer places that are dark. Any kind of light tends to drive them away, even fire keeps them away if it is concentrated enough. But to answer if they can... they most certainly are able to, especially if guided by a Necromancer. Off on their own, they act like animals. Only reacting based on instinct. They wouldn't be stupid walk straight towards us and just fall down a cliff into the lava. They have a bit more sense than that.”

 

“I don’t think it should be the undead we should be concerned about for now…” Sairek began as he let out a sigh. “I don’t want to know of any other creatures that may live in here find us. We are in a cave; that’s trespassing on monster territory pretty much.”

 

“Skull-bats tend to live in areas like this. Other than the lava, this is the perfect habitat for them.” Nayleen answered and Sairek gave out a quiet groan before he spoke up. “What’s a ...'Skull-bat'?”

”Really…? You don’t know?” She let out in response. Sairek didn’t answer back and she continued. “A Skull-bat is basically… a skull. With bat-like wings... They can fly” She answered flatly.

 

“Are you serious? What kind of manifestation is that?” The Prince remarked in surprise.

Nayleen shrugged. "You tell me. A lot of the monsters like Skull-bats and the Hundred-Hands that we ran from come from the Underworld. That said, our world has some very odd-balls too. And kind of blob or slime monster, for example. It doesn't have any bones, mind, internal organs, or anything, but they still take shape and move."

 

"But that's rumored to be because of mixed magic..." Sairek pointed out.

 

"Mixed magic? Nayleen questioned.

 

"Um... think of it like a sort of pollution in the air, except it doesn't harm the planet, or really effect any living things. Rather, it can effect inanimate objects or create completely random ones. Mixed magic is..." Sairek paused, thinking on how to explain it for a moment, before speaking again. "Basically, when magic disperses, it goes back into the planet, but it's not in a usable state for a while. Some particles don't get cleaned, because a little bit of energy from the spell is left over. Those particles can drift and sometimes can catch on to something. They get cleaned eventually, but it could be months.

The rumor goes that if enough mixed energy comes into contact with an object, it could create something similiar to a chemical reaction. The energy can explode and all kinds of things can happen. Animating stuff like liquid is one of the rumored things. The entire process could take years to happen and even if it does, it may not spark something to move by its own. So nobody can tell for sure without dedicating an investigation into the process. They're so random when the magic ignites together and what happens apparently that it's nearly impossible to tell. All we really know is that they can and do happen."

 

"What gives a slime the ability to react then, to feel, and such?" Cyial asked inquestively.

 

"I don't know for a fact, but what I believe is since that Ethereal is the embodiment of all four elements and spells can be made out of different stages of each element, or even mixed and matched together, that this more or less, sparks the object to actually be alive. To give it animation, but not necessarily a conscious. I don't think many things actually have a mind or something like that. A slime can hang on the roof of a cave for months. It's not like it needs to sleep, or it needs to eat." Sairek answered. Slimes usually attack in "self defense". Most caves are kind of isolated so I guess that's why slimes prefer caves.

 

"The slime we fought seemed to be able to detect us to me. It swallowed you and began crushing you as if we were trespassing in it's territory." Nayleen pointed out.

 

Sairek thought for a moment, before speaking once again. "That can be another side effect of the mixed magic effect too. We don't fully understand it. The mixed magic effect can cast more spells forcibly than just one. It can cast several. For example, it could cast 'Balinzer' and 'Waert' along with 'Wuaie' at the same time. Too much strayed energy of those three spells can build up together, and then when combined to each other they may react. I don't even know what causes the reaction. They are very rare, and even more so they are unpredictable, remember. I haven't seen it myself as of yet. My father apparently has a few times. It's a bit more common in wargrounds during a battle because sometimes magic is being casted everywhere constantly, which means a lot more stray energy to be contacted with along with whatever the requirement to ignite it may be."

Sairek soon stopped walking, as he focused. He felt something, a vibration starting at his feet. He stared down at the floor. The other two stopped behind him.

 

"Did... you two feel that...?" He asked in a whisper. The other two stopped, trying to focus, but eventually it became more apparent that he wasn't simply imagining it as the vibrations slowly got stronger, the entire cave seemed to shake a little. Sairek looked around cautiously, moving himself against the wall as he felt the surface of it. The vibrations were coming from below, there was no question about it. The wall's vibration was not nearly as strong as the shaking he felt down below. The other two mimic Sairek, caution easily detectable in each pair of eyes.

 

There was a sound that came out like a pop and then it sounded like something exploded down below. The entire ground shook, as Nayeen, Cyial, and Sairek all staggered from the place suddenly shaking violently. Sairek was already holding the wall for support, as the other two frantically went and joined him so they wouldn’t topple down into the magma pit below. The trio held the wall and each other for balance and support.

 

A ferocious roar came fourth. Saireks' emerald eyes widened as he saw a giant form rise up out from the valley down below. He barely had a moment to glance at the beast other than seeing that it had wings and maybe a tail, before the area below them began to shake violently again.

 

Down! Get down flat on the ground!” Sairek shouted as he let go of his grip from the wall with his hand. He bent down on his knees and laid himself on the stomach as best as he could against the violent tremors. He glanced behind him to see Nayleen and Cyial lying down on the ground as he had ordered. The Prince pushed himself as much as he could into the caked dirt. He looked up with his head against the ground as the beast quickly flew into view.

 

He didn’t need Nayleen to tell him what it was. It was a wyvern; and not a normal wyvern either. It was an undead one. Sairek’s gut sank with dread.

 

If it spotted them, or detected them, they were dead. It was probably searching for them right now. Sairek held in his breath, as if the slightest intake of air would make too much noise and get them all spotted. The three lay there, as the vibrations stopped, at least for now. The flap from the wyvern was heard as it beat its wings, which still had flesh clinging onto it. Sairek gritted his teeth, as it stayed air-born, but stationary. It was staring in their direction.

 

Turn around… go away… do anything but look or come this way…” Sairek begged helplessly and desperately in his mind.

After he had just finished his thought, the wyvern began moving again, letting out a roar which Sairek struggled against every instinct in his body to just get up, and run. But even if he did do that, there was nowhere to run to. He envisioned the wyvern coming straight at the three, perching on the edge of the cliff right in front of him. He imagined it roaring and then bending its bony face towards him. The fleshless skull that made up the head enclosing its jaws around him... Sairek shivered despite how hot the area was and he felt a small whimper escape his mouth, which he quickly covered with his left hand to silence himself. The creature was flying around the area, as if surveying. Sairek soon pushed his entire face into his left arm, so he couldn't look at the beast. All he knew was that staring at the thing was badly damaging his psyche and composure and was initiating a fear response. He was beginning to hallucinate horrifying visions of death, his head was pounding, his heart beating out of his chest, his breathing was coming out ragged despite his efforts to calm it. A light layer of sweat was emitting from his entire body. He felt as if he was laying there, helplessly naked like a newborn. He may as well had been against such a beast, it would make no difference had he been or not.

 

The wyvern was moving towards them now, but not directly. Sairek felt his muscles tense and flex in fear as he braved to take a peek from his arm, and quickly regretted it.. The wyvern soon suddenly bolted forwards where Sairek's breath quickly caught in his throat. He struggled with every ounce of energy to stop himself from coughing out, or grabbing his throat as he choked silently. His eyes watched, not moving his head. The wyvern's form diving into the pit of lava suddenly. The vibrations quickly started rising up again and Sairek squeezed his eyes shut as the wyvern was flying into the ground, making tunnels in the surrounding area. Eventually, the vibrations grew softer until they were gone.

 

Nayleen and Cyial gasped out for air simultaneously, each having held their own breath as Sairek coughed out instead. His hand rubbed his throat as he breathed. His muscles reluctantly released as he lay on the ground, feeling exhausted, even though all he had done was lay there, quaking in terror. Sweat dripped down his face as he breathed heavily. Eventually though, he managed to force himself to push himself off the ground and at least sit upright against the wall.

 

“Well… s**t…” He heard Nayleen say. It nearly brought out fourth a nervous chuckle, but he felt too tired and afraid to laugh.

 

“Remember when we were discussing whether the undead would find us or not in here…?” Sairek managed to croak out.

 

“…Yes…” he heard Cyial pipe out. Sairek gulped.

 

“Well… they can come after us… and I think they are about to find us…”

 

 

 

 



© 2013 Sairek Ceareste


Author's Note

Sairek Ceareste
Chapter last updated on: February 6th, 2013

Changelog:

- Lots of descrption and dialogue changes in an effort to make the overall text more clean

- Some more typo fixes




Changelog [April 5th, 2012]:

- Several typo fixes

- Minor editing on descriptions, dialogue

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Added on November 18, 2011
Last Updated on February 6, 2013
Tags: The, Ethereal, Elixer, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Romance, Mystery, The Ethereal Elixer