“Are you okay?!” Gabe shouts while looking in my direction.
“Still kicking.” I answer after evading the Tesák-Worm preemptive strike.
Their formations broke, Cyan moved back 5 steps behind while Gabe jumped to the right side.
“Good. Keep an eye on its movement, we can’t be hit no matter what happens.”
The Tesák-Worm roars after its attack failed. The monster usually defeated its enemy by making a surprise attack, and when it failed the chances for it to win are decreased significantly.
“How’s Anne?” I asked briefly.
“I’m still holding it.” The cat needs medical treatment sooner than later. Cyan’s lesser health potion can only make her wound a little bit better not heals her completely, but the Tesák-Worm won’t let this party go away so quickly after deliberately invading its nest.
“I’ll make time for you. Take Anne and run as fast as you could.” says Gabe while still keeping a close watch on the Worm.
“You got a plan to kill it?”
“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” deciding to start the battle, the Tesak-Worm hurtled towards Gabe.
“Whoops…” evading a really straightforward attack so easily really shows Gabe’s experience as an ex-Adventurer.
I start to dash towards the monster.
“HAAA!!” I slash my silver sword to the right side of the monster. The wound it makes is not deep but red blood still gushes out of the Tesák-Worm’s body.
“Oh, nice! My turn.” Gabe starts his attack with a stance. He put his left foot, and his left hand aiming towards the enemy and his weight on his back while gripping the small dagger in a reverse grip on his right hand.
The small dagger runs through Tesák-Worm’s right side of the mouth and ripped it into two. Gabe’s attack put a lot of damage to the monster making it slows down and back off a little bit.
Its instinct tells the monster that these two enemies in front of it are not something to take half-heartedly. The monster then tries to go underground to escape from them.
“Not so fast big boy!”
Gabe hit his second attack right to the skin of the Worm just before it left. Gabe tries to pursue it to the hole it makes but the Tesák-Worm speed below the ground is not something to be underestimated and the hole also closed very quickly.
“Pheeeeeeeew! Guess that’s it then. Now you know who's the boss ‘round here big boy!” said Gabe while sweeping his sweat.
“Did you threw Anne!??” I ran to the cat right on the other side of the cave.
“Of course not! I put her there gently right when you attack so she could be safe while I could attack easily! GENTLY!” Gabe denies it immediately.
“Sigh… Let’s just go home already.” I end the silent bickering.
The cave is silent. The cave wall still slimy and stinks. The decayed animal parts still scattered all around.
Gabe and I have started to leave the one-way cave after giving Anne, the cat, another lesser health potion.
“Any idea why would something that big living here just on the outside of PortHumming?”
“Hmm… Not really. This kind of thing is outside my area of expertise.” Gabe answers.
“Probably some kind of curse or magic or something someone put to a worm.” Gabe continued.
“Curse huh…” Cyan thinks for a bit.
“Or maybe just a really lucky worm who miss the Northern Army, the Guild, the villagers, and all people who pass through PortHumming and became that big after eating all that scraps.”
“No. I don’t think that is the right answer. This cave is new, it probably a week old or maybe even less. The soil is so soft it makes no sense if the worm lived here for a while” I argue.
“OH!” Gabe shouts with joy.
Anne wakes up after the party walks a few minutes towards the entrance of the cave. The cat snuggles slowly in her master’s arms, looking around as if wondering what happened just now. It has been one hell of a ride for the beautiful black cat to not only got lost in the forest but also face the big worm monster.
“It still doesn’t make any sense. Why would Anne go here in the first place?” I have been wondering about any possibility for a while now.
“Hmm…” Gabe’s confused face shows up again.
“Is it possible that Anne sees the cave and interested in it and wonders in without any guilt whatsoever?” I continue my theory.
“The only way to know is to ask her, but we all know that is not possible.”
“No. If she interested in the cave while playing catch with you, she wouldn’t return with the ball at all. She would instead go exploring the cave immediately while you are still on the glade worrying about her.” I keep talking to myself without heeding Gabe’s gibberish.
“It doesn’t make any sense.” I repeat.
It's all dark.
The both of them underestimated the Worm.
Cyan’s mind can’t think as fast as the Worm’s speed.
The Tesák-Worm’s best trait is its speed below the ground. After its surprise attack failed miserably and the damage it got after trying to battle the party, it knows that it can’t win above the ground. The Worm is not some bloody dumb monster that keeps attacking until it dies. It goes to the ground not to hide nor to run. It goes underground to heals and launch its deadly attack the second time. The monster also knows that the first surprise attack failed because the party can hear and feel the tremor of its movements just right at the surface of the ground, so now it tries to dig deeper below and hide as much as it could before attacking. And it works.
Gabe cannot even process what happened just now. He literally just walking slowly towards the cave’s entrance with Cyan and all he can see now is black.
Cyan was only thinking for a bit back then. She didn’t feel any tremor nor any kind of sign of attack coming from below. The Tesák-Worm’s attack just came out of nowhere, and it gulps Gabe and Anne whole without leaving a single trace of both of them.
Sh*t. We should’ve hurried toward the entrance. Why the heck do I think that we won the battle!!!
Cyan readies its sword once again and starts attacking the worm only to hit thin air. The monster only attacks once and goes below the ground again.
Cyan stands her ground, gripping her sword with both hands. She threw away her mask after she starts to feel out of breath. Bloods run to her brain faster than ever before. Sweats came out of every pore in her body. Her eyes went black and her legs were shaky. This is her second time in battle and also her first time to knows fear. The Fear of Death.
to be continued to Chapter Four