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Saturday, December 31, 2011

3.1.7.4. Boulder Trouble - Part Two

A Stone Golem. Temporary Reference Picture from
The Soulcalibur Wiki (http://soulcalibur.wikia.com/wiki/Golem)
To find out more about golems, please click Wikipedia here.

There is only one champion among the dark side, the dark-skinned lady only wearing a half-breastplate and a dancing skirt wielding two scimitars, and Robert can’t mistake her with somebody else as he says, ‘Sheena Mekh’ta! And the stooges, Baxter and Ellephar!’

Andreas replies with a mixture of shock and confusion, ‘Defilers of Eil’thanath! We found them at last! Now we must question them whether they’ve sold the greaves or…’

Robert is puzzled by Andreas’ reaction, ‘Father Andreas! They’ve sold it, you say? How’d you know it?’

Andreas scratches his forehead with an unintelligible grin, ‘Er… eh, nay, nay! I was just… assumed, that’s all.’

‘That’s odd,’ says Robert with a look of distrust on his face. ‘Normally you’d say, “Let’s get it from them”, right?’

And for the first time since their entrance into Enia’s Sanctum, Andreas loses his temper. ‘Just drop it, please! Forgive this old slippery tongue. For once, just be flexible, Robert! For Vadis’ sake!’

‘All right, all right. We’ll ask Sheena later if we have a chance, now we have to…’

THUD!

Something hits Robert squarely on his back, hard. Robert is thrown forward. Apparently an earth elemental clobbered his giant-club hands aimlessly just to counter the attacking hunters, and it happened to be near Robert.

‘ROBEEEERT!!’ Iris and Carolyn shriek together.

Iris and Carolyn rush to Robert’s side, but they are engaged by a hobgoblin*) hunter and a minotaur**) shaman.

Footnote:

(* Hobgoblin: The improved, superior evolution from common goblins. Their height is similar to humans, they’re twice as smart as goblins. They have large ears but not pointy, and their skins are blue, not like the green goblins.

(** Minotaur: Demi-humans with bulls’ heads as their heads.

‘Just where do you think you’re going, ladies?’ the minotaur shaman taunts.

‘Mewillkillya!’ says the hobgoblin, throwing his spear towards Iris. But Carolyn deflects it away with her trident Esthagar. Lavennia smiles thankfully at Carolyn and attacks them at once with her elven dagger.

While his partners are busy with their opponents, Andreas manages to sneak past them and tends to Robert. The white-haired swordsman lies face-down on the floor. He is still alive, although he’s unconscious from the massive blow that must’ve hurt his insides. Robert’s crossbow that hangs on Rob’s back is broken in splinters – the weapon served its purpose for the last time as a shield for its master. Had the blow hit Robert directly, he would be dead for sure. Lots of blood came out from his mouth, making a bloody puddle on the floor. Andreas sighs in guilt.

He’s badly hurt. It’s my fault, I should’ve told him about Kyflynn’s greaves. I’m sorry, Rob. Viavitali!

With his thought only, Andreas casts Great Heal on Robert, putting one hand on Robert’s back and hold his Staff of Gloria Vadis with the floating orb on it spinning and shining to generate holy energy. His hands glow white. Robert’s life is saved, his inside injuries are healed slowly and supernaturally. Andreas is trying to maintain his spell, while a few dark hunters see this as an opportunity and immediately attack Andreas and Robert. But before their weapons even touch them, they can only see their weapons fly away or break. And as they look up to see their attacker, they are horrified at a sight of a body so large and massive of a fighter, Desmond the Berserker.

Desmond holds his great maul high with one hand and roars, ‘ATTACK THE ELEMENTALS FIRST! REMEMBER THE CLUE!’

The deafening roar makes the fighting hunters pause for a moment, and some are still fighting the losing battle against the earth elementals. Hernan is having difficulties to defeat an elemental even with his multi-thrust air-to-ground move, Shears of the Falling Rain. Seeing the hunters stop fighting with each other, he grabs this opportunity by saying, ‘Their eyes are the same as the air elementals’! Shoot their eyes!’

Several hunters immediately use their ranged attacks and spells with the elementals’ eyes as their targets. Lavennia Iris is the first to hit an earth elemental’s eye with her Heartseeker, a wind-enchanted arrow shot. Sparks of red electric bolts come out from the elemental’s eye, and the earth elemental stumbles with a roar. Instead of being shattered into pieces, the stony brute curls itself up and hides its head into its body. And then it curls up to form a big, square boulder and stays there on the spot where it fell.

The second earth elemental is hard to finish. Carolyn always misses the target with her Polyvoltarus (Lightning Rain) spell and the elemental, realizing that its weakness is known, covers its eye with its left hand and keep clobbering with the right one. And this makes the other hunters can’t shoot at the target too.

At this time of crisis, a brave soul comes forth. It’s Desmond, and despite of his bulky body, he climbs on the stone-golem-like elemental to its head. The elemental can hardly feel anything on its body of solid stone, but it keeps moving and swinging to shake off anything crawling on its body. Desmond works hard to maintain his grip, and after a slip and a bump, he finally manages to reach its head. Standing on the constantly moving monster, Desmond takes out his great maul from his back, and immediately swings it with all his might on the eye. The eye emits red sparks too and like its ‘room mate’, the earth elemental stumbles and curls itself into a huge, square boulder. Desmond rolls over to avoid being plummeted by the giant boulder. Kyflynn walks towards his partner Desmond and pats his back, and Desmond replies with a smile. But his smile would be fuller if Agustina also comes to him and gives her support.

Agustina just stands far from her partners and observe her surroundings. The door is still closed. Something catches her sight, and she just walks to a corner without telling the others first. Then she steps on a very large tile which seems different than other tiles around it. It has a rune carved on it. The tile doesn’t move at all, but Agustina immediately comes out with a conclusion. Then she talks softly to Hernan, the nearest to her, ‘There’s a switch here. Maybe it will open the door.’

‘Really?’ says Hernan. ‘Let’s try pressing it then.’

‘It won’t come down. I’ve tried it,’ says Agustina.

‘Ah, pity. Of course your pretty legs won’t be enough to press it,’ says Hernan playfully. Agustina immediately turns her head and leaves him in disgust.

‘Hey, you, big guy,’ Hernan turns to Desmond, and then to some other hunters, ‘and all gentlemen in this room, will you please help me? My frosty girl here found a big switch, a large rune-carved tile, and maybe if we all step on it, it will come down and open the door to the exit. And please, stop fighting or we will be short of manpower and we’ll all die.’

Agustina grunts again in disgust. Frosty girl, he said? I’ll make a frosty snowman of him anytime! Who does he think he is?

Suddenly a hunter yells, ‘Oy, mates! I think there’s a switch here too!’

‘Good,’ says Hernan, in a bossy tone. ‘Then we must split into two groups and step on them at the same time. Oh yeah, check if any other switches are around.’

‘Wait, Mr. Hernan – I presume?’ says Sheena, raising her hand and coming forward. Baxter and Ellephar are eyeing Kyflynn, Agustina and Desmond vengefully, but they don’t dare to attack them frontally because they are no match for the hunters who stole their prize, The Mythril Greaves.

‘Yes, my dear? What’s in your mind?’ says Hernan.

Sheena says, ‘If we all step on the switches, if the door opens then who will go into the next room? I mean, assuming that we have to keep pressing the switches to keep the door open, right?’

‘Ah, yes. You got a point there.’

‘Now, let’s see. There are two boulders here. They are here for a reason, right? Let’s just move the boulders to the top of the switches. Their weights will surely be sufficient to press the switches fully. That’ll give us time to get into the next room before the boulders transform into earth elementals again. I mean, you see the runes on the switches? I think they’ll recharge the boulders with magical energy, and you’ll know what will happen next.’

As Sheena finishes her explanation, she hears someone clapping hands at a corner. It’s Kyflynn saying, ‘Bravo! What a thorough analysis. I know I was right about you. If you gave up being a pirate, you would make for an admiral!’

‘Well, thank you, Mr. Kyflynn,’ says Sheena. ‘Too bad I can’t say the same about you, though. By the way, you and I have a score to settle, and we’ll settle that once and for all after we get out from these traps.’

Kyflynn just snorts with a malevolent smile. He just answers lightly, ‘Yeah, why not?’

Just then Hernan is busy giving further instructions.

‘… And you mages use your levitating spell on the boulders to make them push easier! Okay! On your places, now!’

The hunters are split into two groups. As each group is now gathering near each boulder, Hernan who acts as supervisor yells again, ‘Ready! Get set! PUSH!’

The hunters begin pushing the boulders together. The light side and the dark side, side by side. Thanks to Desmond and Hernan’s initiative, making them all cooperate for their own survival. Even the dumb, brutal Cyclops also gives a big help for his group.

‘Amplifor Eleviant!’

Carolyn, Agustina, Iris and other mages cast Levitation spell on both boulders. Their combined, amplified spell can only lift the boulders a bit from the ground, but it makes the pushers’ work considerably lighter. Then, slowly but surely, the first group led by Desmond reaches the switch first.

The second group led by Sheena apparently takes a longer, trickier route than the first group. Hernan the supervisor sees this and yells, ‘First group! Hold it! Don’t push it into the switch yet! Help the second group push theirs until they’re one step away from the switch! Then go back and push the switches in unison!’

Greatly fatigued, the first group stops levitating and pushing. They immediately go towards the second group and give their assistance, with Baxter, Ellephar and several more hunters yelling continuously, ‘Heave, ho!’

Meanwhile, Andreas, now assisted by Chiel the Micha has completed his Great Heal magical process on Robert and Robert comes into consciousness again. Robert tries to get up, but he is still too weak and his sight is blurry, and he falls on the floor. The first person that comes into Robert’s sight is Andreas.

Robert tries to talk, ‘Unnnh… father… thank…’

Chiel lets out a ‘Chi, chi!’ happily and rubs itself against Robert’s cheek, while Andreas answers Robert calmly, ‘Hush, now. You have to gather your strength first. We must get out from this room when Hernan gives the signal.’

Robert is about to talk again when he hears footsteps from the rune room. He notices one of them, and then he frowns and talks very feebly, ‘Orc… must… destroy…’

‘Calm down, Robert! You must gather your strength! We can deal with him later! Don’t let your personal vendetta destroy you instead!’


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