This week has been a pain. My partner's dad is in hospital and it has been a constant back and forth from our home to there. I am tired. I hope the chapter is up to everyone's expectations
Have a good week all!
“Harpy, why you attack my family?” came a long-drawn-out voice.
The fog swirled around the creatures, and Derric whined.
There are far more than what we can see.
Magna looked up at the flying harpy who continued to circle with the blue flames radiating from her claws. She wasn’t attacking now, but rather showing off her flaming claws, almost as if in a warning.
“Simmin, you know the rules. Once bested, the one who bested me may ask a favour. He has asked me to protect those under him.”
“Ah! The curse.” A monstrous form pushed past the monkeys and apes gathering.
Magna’s mouth dropped when she saw the sheer size of the creature. It was at least as big as the trees, which surrounded them and as covered in moss. It looked like a huge sloth but moved faster and had claws not only growing from its hands but also along with its wrists and arms. Long ridges ran down its back, and its tail was tipped with four large spikes. She had no idea what it was.
Don’t stare. You are being rude.
Magna dropped her gaze, and the creature looked at her.
“This is the first time you have brought her to this domain. You know the danger you place a god-touched, right?”
“She isn’t god-touched!” roared Adiran as the blue flames travelled up his arms.
Magna had never heard the man that angry before. His anger was so palpable that the creatures surrounding them hooted and hollered in reply as if challenging him.
“You haven’t kept up with your wards. She is indeed god-touched, her aura beckons to us, and we are so very hungry.”
The sloth got to its hind legs and opened its mouth to show rows and rows of teeth. Murky slobber ran from its blackened lips, but it made no move to attack.
“You are always hungry Simmin.” Said Helga from the sky. “If you coordinated attack plans on the lizards you would have plenty to eat, but you have a taste for human flesh. You have tainted your troupe with that.”
“It isn’t his fault.” Said Mortis under his breath. “This land has seeped in curses, and even animals are affected.”
The sloth turned to him, and its green eyes narrowed. “Cursed? Cursed? No, this is beyond a curse It is far slower growing that any curse that has ever been placed on life. No, this is worse, but from your scent, I am sure you are well aware of that, Ancient One.”
Mortis snorted but didn’t remove his hand from his sword. He may not have liked what the creature said, but it was true. The creature slowly sunk back into the muck of the swamp and continued to look at the creatures before him. He knew their smells now and could hunt them to the ends of the earth, but did he really want to. The tightness in his belly let him know that he needed to feed soon, and he debated whether eating a god-touched human would quell his ever-lasting hunger. As if sensing his intent, the werebeast put itself before the girl.
“Oh my.” The sloth tried to reach for Derric.
Helga swooped down and latched onto the finger and claw. She looked the sloth in the eye and said, “Don’t touch my hatchling!”
The simian creatures started screaming again, angered that the gate’s protector dared to challenge their king. However, the beast only grinned.
“Aren’t you too cursed, Helga?” it drawled as he lifted his finger to bring her closer to his face.
“What does it matter to you?”
“Do you know the tale of the twins that saved the humans but cursed us?”
“Enough.” Warned Mortis as he drew his sword.
“You disagree with the tale, Ancient One? Is that because you…?”
A fireball hit the best in the face. It dropped Helga and screeched in pain. It flung itself into the mud which erupted with slithering things. Derric turned, grabbed hold of Magna’s collar and ran toward the gate. Mortis wasn’t far behind them, he only paused long enough to lift Adiran in such a way that the mage could still fire fireballs at the creatures behind them.
“Get to the gate!” yelled Helga as she continued her aerial attack on the creatures below.
Hang on Magna.
The girl closed her eyes and braced herself. The smell of the swamp was replaced by burning cinnamon and sulphur. Her skin felt as if it were burning, followed by it freezing, and then being flayed off. She wanted to scream, but nothing could come from her mouth. It felt like something was trying to steal her breath. Time stretched on forever, and the agony was now finding its way into her head. She was sure it was going to explode, but then the air around them burst.
The air felt cold, and she opened her eyes to see where they were. With horror, she realised they were airborne.
“Derric!” she shouted.
She knew if he landed on her in his current state, he would kill her. Sensing her terror, the werebeast threw his head up, before twisting himself so she could land on his belly. Then they both hit the ground, hard. Derric roared in pain as his back made contact with sharpened black rocks. They cut through his pelt and burrowed themselves into his muscles, Magna’s weight on his chest added to his pain.
Within seconds they had stopped sliding. Derric could barely keep his eyes open. He hadn’t felt this pain in years. He whined but refused to roll over to allow his friend to be injured. Horrified by the sounds the werebeast was making, Magna quickly got off of him and rolled him, so his legs were next to him instead of in the air. His white fur was streaked with red and black rock was lodged in several places. The only light she had to see the injuries by was a large moon that hung overhead.
“Derric! Derric! Can you hear me?”
“Hang on! I’ll help you!”
She hurried and looked around for the rest of their party, but she couldn’t see them. All around her were black spires with black crystals growing around them. They looked as smooth and sharp as glass. Magna knew Derric was in danger, but with no one around to help she was almost at a loss as to what to do.
“Always keep healing herbs with you.” She muttered under her breath, “Mother packed me a small bag!”
She reached for the pouch she had at her side. Somehow, after everything, it was still there.
“Hold on, Derric. I’ll help you.” Although she sounded confident, she was terrified. Where were Mortis, Helga, and Adiran?
Mortis Custos Parts
|Part 29 - You are Here
|Part 30 - Coming Soon
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