|Fire Wyrm - Reference image from "Gothic Dragon" by Anne Stokes - www.annestokes.com|
Robert goes into the next room with widened eyes, although nothing can put surprise or shock on the sad-looking ranger here. No matter how horrifying the situation is. The room is as vast as the rooms for the prime guardians: giant wind elemental, giant rock golem, and ice elemental generator, but it’s multiple times as dangerous. There’s a vast lava pit in there deep down the floor, with only pillars of stone for anyone to walk on. The stone paths are of various sizes and shapes like half-cut meteorites, floating above the pit. and the large ones can be stepped by four or five people. It’s just like a miniature of hell, just like Carolyn’s thought. There’s no choice but to defeat the guardian and maybe the door to the exit will be revealed.
Robert thinks. If this is a guardian room, where is the guardian?
Robert sees Kyflynn and his team are already there, also with Sheena, Baxter and Ellephar. They stand scattered on the stone pillars, and it looks like they are waiting for something to come out from the lava pit. Dar’gum and some hunters from Robert’s group are already there, standing by on the stone pillars although they don’t know what or who they are dealing with.
And there it is, coming out from the lava pit. A fiery red dragon comes up with its abnormally long body (or just neck?), with menacing horns on its head and rows of big yellow sharp teeth on its mouth. Seeing its targets, it blows fire from its mouth to a pillar, and a hunter on it gets scorched and falls into the lava pit.
Satisfied with the result, the dragon goes down to the pit again, maybe to get a second helping of lava to recharge its fire power. Kyflynn, the nearest champion to the dragon seizes this opportunity and leaps to another stone pillar. He somersaults in mid-air and dives vertically, thrusting his daggers to the dragon’s head with his Soul Splitting Drill move. The dagger hits the head but cannot penetrate the hide yet. Maybe Kyflynn believes that the thick hide on the top of the dragon’s head is its only weak spot.
The dragon roars in pain. Its head is indeed its weak point, and there’s a crack on it. It seems that it was hit two times with such a force, and it’s uncertain how many times the head must be hit so the hide will be smashed and one more hit will destroy its brain and kills the dragon. The dragon immediately darts itself up again to bite Kyflynn as a counterattack, but Kyflynn ingeniously steps on the dragon’s snout and leaps to the nearest stone pillar – to safety.
As it leaps, we can see that the longest part of the red dragon is indeed its body, with four legs to crawl on the pillars and to leap upwards. Its tail is like an arrowhead. One can tell that this dragon is not originally from Aurelia – but from the far eastern realms of Ashura and Wushu. One must have been there or from Ashura or Wushu in order to summon it here. It’s called fire wyrm in Aurelia: a cross-section between a dragon and a giant serpent that lives in lava pits.
The wyrm dives, it chomps a huntress before she can do anything to resist or avoid it. The cruel monster moves its head upwards, tosses the dying huntress upwards and eats her whole. Then it dives quickly, directly into the lava pit. Carolyn almost pukes on seeing this brutality, but before she can say or even think about it, the fire wyrm comes up again and shoots fire at the hunters – this time to Alexis.
Before the fire reaches him, Alexis calmly but quickly connects the hilts of his twin swords Im’colath the Black Sword and Im’htaloc the White Sword into a double-edged sword Colathtaloc. Alexis swings it rapidly like a rotating fan, creating a wind strong enough to blow the fire away. The runes on the twin swords glow green, means that it uses wind property to reinforce the Last Stand of the Eagle skill.
And then when the fire ceases and the wyrm comes down, Alexis splits his sword and attacks the wyrm’s head with a concentrated Eagle Fishing on the Lake double-thrust that utilizes water property. But before the thrust lands on the dragon’s head, a second jet of fire hits Alexis on his side, sending him falling into the lava pit.
The fire came from a second wyrm, which came from the pit as the first one went in – the wyrm with the cracked crust on its head.
Alexis is now in a hopeless state, and he thinks. This is it. I’m falling into my own doom… but, wait! What is this? I… I stopped! I’m floating! I’m flying upwards! Someone’s levitating me!
The Crown Prince of Arcadia tries to see his rescuer. It’s a sorcerer with shabby, torn robe like a Vadisian monk, wearing a hood that hides his face completely. But the strange thing is, he’s shorter than average humans, and has odd-looking long ears and long feet like rabbit’s protruding from under his hood.
As he lands safely on the stone path, Alexis says, ‘Thank you…’ to his rescuer.
The sorcerer only takes a semi-low bow as response, and immediately treats Alexis’ burn wound with Viavitali – the Great Heal spell.
On the other hand, Iris is greatly alarmed by the fact that there are two Fire Wyrms to deal with now, thinking, wyrms, like dragons, are immune to ordinary magic. I must apply a greater force on this one! Iris summons Eshmyria, the Spirit of the Wind again. And Agustina, who silently thinks of a way to block the fire and assist the hunters, seeing Iris’ action, casts, ‘An Jokulion Aschi!’ She moves her Frost Wand six ways.
Suddenly a portal, a round layer with a shining hexagram appears in front of Agustina, exactly like what happened with Iris when she summoned Eshmyria. The only difference is that from the portal comes the Spirit of Ice, the Frost Knight, Jokulion. He looks like a man wearing and wielding everything crystal: full armor, crystal sword, crystal shield, crystal helm and mask. And he stands as tall as Eshmyria, and they stand side-by-side to face the wyrm.
The wyrm shoots fire at Eshmyria, but the shot is blocked by Jokulion with his crystal shield. Then Iris yells, ‘Now, Eshmyria! Raduyev Eshmyriad!’ Eshmyria sends huge bolts of Typhoon and concentrates the attack on the wyrm’s cracked crust on its head. The cluster of typhoons go drilling and slashing, no matter how hard the wyrm tries to avoid them. And Jokulion adds the damage by thrusting and slashing his sword so many times on the weakened spot, creating an effect like Tina’s Blizzard Blast spell. At last the crust cracks open, and the attacks go on and destroy the wyrm’s brain and head. Only after that the attacks cease, and the wyrm falls lifeless into the lava pit.
But then Jokulion’s spirit suddenly vanishes. The second wyrm, who appears to be the dead wyrm’s mate, is now real furious to see its male’s death. Being instinctly intelligent, it attacks Jokulion’s summoner, Agustina with another jet of fire and breaks her concentration. But thanks to the ice aura that covered her during the summoning, the fire didn’t hurt Agustina much but a light burn. As Agustina is standing on a one-man stone path, Desmond, her partner can’t jump there to protect her and he just grits his teeth regretfully.
Iris immediately casts another Typhoon through her avatar, Eshmyria. She obviously hopes that this attack can finish the female wyrm off as well. But to her disappointment, the healthy wyrm can dodge most of her bolts – only three bolts manage to drill cracks on the wyrm’s forehead.
Now it’s Hernan’s turn to spring into action, as he is the nearest to the wyrm and he needs to deliver an attack before the wyrm moves or attacks again. To his delight, the wyrm goes down to recharge its fire power.
Suddenly Hernan feels a surge of power within him, as he feels nimbler and quicker than his usual self. It’s the result of Eidos Crydias’ Haste spell, specially cast with his Chrono Chakram and Tome of Time and Tide to assist Hernan, a very handy spell as ‘the romancing fencer’ is not in his full health. Feeling that no time should be wasted on thanks, Hernan leaps very high above the wyrm’s head. And with a beautiful somersault, he attacks the wyrm’s forehead with Shears of the Falling Rain, a water-based, downward multiple-thrusts technique. The attack makes an open crack on the wyrm’s head. A slash on its brain will send it to wyrms’ paradise to meet its deceased spouse.
A stray arrow that was targeted to the wyrm hits Hernan’s foot instead – another part of his body that is not protected by the Mythril Armor of Eil’thanath. Hernan roars in pain, and falls way down towards the lava pit. But thanks to his extra speed from Eidos, Hernan manages to grab a thorn on the wyrm’s body and hangs there.
Meanwhile, the wyrm is in pain. It changes its mind, instead of going down, it leaps upwards to deliver a desperate final attack and devour all its attackers. The wyrm tries not to fall into the lava pit at the risk of burning its brain. It lands on a stone path, crushing two hunters standing on it. Robert delivers an Air Slash towards it but misses. The wyrm moves very quickly horizontally, and leaps to another path with Paliades and Eidos on it. Paliades swings his great hammer upwards, and hits the wyrm’s jaw with his Earthquake Epicenter hammer slam, a far more powerful and concentrated skill than Megaton Impact. The one hit alone sends the wyrm flinging backwards.
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