|Gloria Vadis Healing Axe-Staff - External Reference Image Source||reference image from this external source|
Andreas chooses to defend himself and concentrate on finding the way across. Using his long axe-healing staff Gloria Vadis, he is still not quick or strong enough to put any damage on the robotic scorpions and dragonflies.
The fat priest swings his staff once, horizontally and hits a dragonfly when it swoops down to sting him, sending it crashing on a platform, broken in pieces. Andreas moves his elbow from the front of his belly to his side, saying, ‘Yesss!!!’ spiritedly but silently, and immediately readies himself for another attack. Suddenly he hears someone shouts,
‘I’ve made it! I’m at the other side!’
Andreas looks at the talker just ahead of him. It’s a weremouse (mouse-man, that is) hunter standing on the other side of the pool to the exit. Andreas thinks, I’m in the right path. I’ll let him stay there and I’ll tell Robert and the others…
The weremouse screams. It looks like something hit him on the back, and he is struggling to get it off. But it’s too late. He falls to the front, and lies spread-eagled there – dead. A mechanical scorpion stands on his back, its sting went deep into its victim’s body, and it stays there, as though the scorpion is injecting something.
The injection process is finished when Andreas sees a strange, silvery liquid comes out from the dead weremouse’s eyes, nostrils, ears and mouth.
It’s quicksilver! The Galatea’s Force Field cannot protect from inside destruction! These Parthenian scientists really have thought of everything!
The mechanical scorpion takes out its sting from the dead weremouse, and looks at Andreas who arrives at the pool side too. A red light glares on its tiny eyes and the scorpion attacks Andreas with great speed. Andreas tries to block its attack by swinging his healing staff, and the scorpion grabs the staff and holds it with one of its pincers, and quickly attacks Andreas with the other pincer.
When the pincer is already opening on the fat priest and is a split-second away from cutting his neck off, suddenly the pincer drops. Andreas also falls because the other pincer holding his staff also falls and dragging him down.
By Vadis, what happened…
|The Great Axe Il Khatl J'nadh - Reference from External Source|
Andreas looks up, and he sees Dar’gum there, holding his legendary great axe. It seems that the axe has split the robotic scorpion in two, right on the slot between its head and body – a convincing display of why the axe became legend. Il Khatl J’nadh was made from adamantium, a kind of metal extracted in liquid form from the shells of the hyper-rare 1,000-year old giant adaman turtles (without killing them or breaking their shells, of course).
It can be made into weapons of extraordinary sharpness – the perfect rival for mythril – and it can cut through any kind of metal except itself, mythril and the rarest metal of all, eternium. In the continent of Aurelia, giant adaman turtles only live on the cold northern Adaman Sea and shores of Bjordan and Val’shka.
‘Thank you, Dar’gum,’ says Andreas.
Dargum lifts his axe, rests it on his shoulder and walks out, saying with a calm, deep voice, ‘The same with the protection field. We’re even now.’
Andreas can’t help but smiles and follows Dar’gum to a safer ground. He takes out a torch, lights it and waves it around to inform Robert and the others the right path across. Dar’gum stands guard near him to anticipate any more attacks from the security probes.
Soon hereafter, Iris and Carolyn arrive, followed by Robert and Dar’gum’s two companions, and finally all other surviving hunters too. They have wiped out the security probes. Fourteen out of thirty-seven in Robert’s group fell victim to the probes, no matter how tough the Galatea Protection Field is. Some got knocked over and drowned in the boiling hot water, some got too many wounds or got wounds on fatal points on their bodies, the same way of death as the poor weremouse, or a few other ways.
Robert kisses his ring as the final salute for his fallen comrades, looks at the way ahead and shouts, ‘My friends! The exit is just ahead! Let’s make a rush for it, there’s no time to lose!’
The hunters can’t afford another wave of security probes attack, so they rush to the exit, through an open doorway. Of course the champions are the last ones to get out of the engine room, and Carolyn is having funny thoughts when she sees a glimpse of the room ahead.
It seems as though hell is in the next room.
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