The cavern walls quaked from the high-pitched shrieking, fierce scratching on rock and the intense rush of battle.
"This isn't working!" I shouted over blaring gunfire.
I instinctively crouched to avoid an oncoming spider. Aimed my guns and fired. Spider bodies and icky bits of limbs thudded to the ground. More replaced the fallen.
My fingers were cramping up from rapid firing. Hot smoke stuffed up my nose. The taste of iron was drying out my throat. My eyes drooped. I was staggering. So bloody exhausted.
"We've no choice! For Death!" Brystagg shouted near my ear.
No fair. Pulling out that card. Of course, my body would respond with an adrenaline rush. He pressed his back to mine to steady my stance. We held out our guns and fired rounds. Stepping in a clockwork circle to blow off spider heads and spindly limbs aimed for us.
I saw Lyra dodging web attacks. She was smoothly hacking a clutter to pieces. She was enthralled with oncoming attackers that she hadn't detected the one behind her.
Bullet projectiles from my guns caused the spider at her back to explode before it could carry out with its nasty stab attack.
Lyra heaved with a thankful sigh. She continued with her skillful slash attacks.
Buru was next to her, pulverizing, shredding spider body parts with his bare hands and using the webbing roped around his arms to smash banshee into each other before tearing free.
I was worried he'd be poisoned by the viscous spider gunk his hands were in contact with. So far, he appeared to be okay.
Colin entered our firing circle. He called upon a bidea wave to dissipate a massive ring of spiders into glittering air.
"Why the hell didn't you do that earlier?!" I shouted.
"It hurts my head that's why." He clumsily signed.
Lyra and Buru also entered our area when they saw a new formation of banshee surround us.
Colin was preparing himself for another bidea wave when the banshee turned tail and fled.
"Why?" I gulped.
The crunching and grinding sounds from the walls and floors provided an answer.
The floor broke apart.
"Shit!" My voice trailed off as we fell.
My heart thumped with threats of stopping.
We ducked our heads. Dodging flying red bricks that were reforming walls around us.
"Aargh!" I heard Buru cry out next to me.
Our descent unexpectedly stopped.
A new floor had been reformed under our feet. I glanced in an L-shaped corridor that opened out to a generous rectangular room.
"Buru." I sheathed my guns to check his arm.
It was badly bruised, possibly broken. He was heaving for breath. His skin was clammy and the wound to his side was leaking blood onto the bandage. I sensed his pupils were dilated. Not good.
"Buru. Imma gonna do this sorry." I swallowed down an awkward breath. Convincing myself that what I was about to do was to save a friend's life.
"Here goes." I scrunched my nose and yanked his head towards mine.
I squeezed my eyes closed when I used my hira magic to heal his dangerous wounds. This experience was the most taxing on my energies by far. I sighed with relief when Buru released me with a healthy roar at the end of it. The minotaur ripped off the bloodied bandage to reveal a healthy, wound free waist. His bruises were gone.
"Famine! How long have you had this squeamish power?!" Death was stupefied.
I stumbled about the spot. Shook my head to reclaim my clarity.
"I'm going to forget this sight for all eternity." Lyra squirmed.
"Please do." I groaned, mustering my strength to stand steady.
"Thank you, Young Lord." Buru slapped my back with his hearty appreciation.
I ignored Brystagg's raised brows and mouth twitching with sarcasm.
Rushing figures from the far end of the rectangular space put us back on alert.
My arms weren't strong enough to hold guns. Death provided an answer for a weapon when he nudged the bag of shrills towards the top of the belt pouch.
I cupped an iron marble in each hand and raised my arms for the throw.
"Wait!" I heard a familiar voice call out. "Famine!?"
I lowered my arms, eager to believe what I heard and the sight I was seeing.
"Wilfred!" I rushed to him.
Wilfred examined me for a moment before lowering his guns.
"Thank god we've finally found you. We've the hell you been?!" He madly nudged my shoulders with the nose of his guns. "War's been on this scary rampage to get to you!"
"Wilfred?!" I heard Lita desperately call out behind him.
She stepped into view with a short sword raised at Brystagg's head. "Colonel! We've you been? What the heck are you wearing?"
Her head tipped to one side with a quizzical frown at the rugged outfit Brystagg wore. She lowered her sword.
Colin enclosed us in a protective barrier.
"Colonel?" Brystagg frowned.
"He's, Your Royal Highness, Prince Brystagg." I corrected Lita.
"Really? But if you're High Prince Brystagg that means—" Lita gulped.
"Walls aren't the only aspect going haywire." Wilfred finished off for her. "The fact that you're not in our data loads is proof."
"What about the others? Where's War?" I pressed them with my questions.
Wilfred telepathically provided an explanation. His mind replayed events not long after the time I had been pulled into the mirror.
The squad had been called to an emergency summons to be a task force to knights who had been struggling against a sudden, abnormal revolt of demon and prisoners.
"Teagan, my former captain, and her squad was the first to fall to the wall break downs. Some of my colleagues—" He expelled a sigh of remorse and continued with his telepathic update.
"We made it to a pivot landing when, literally, all Hell broke loose."
I saw his perspective of when the Wisteria Garden Squad had reached the First Tier. They found the tunnels rebuilding themselves into an uncontrollable tangle. Some tunnel entry points had destroyed a few pivot landing platforms. The knights had no choice but to jump into a moving tunnel. None of the maplink paths were leading them back to other pivot landing points. If they did, the landings were destroyed.
"What's worse. None of the link paths trace back to the Lotus Bridge. Your brother was able to work out a method for the path's next direction, but even that was for the next path contact. We're roaming blind." He continued to explain in thought.
"Was War with you guys?" I asked out loud.
I bit back the worry I felt at seeing War skillfully fend off revolting prisoners and demons with a longsword from his thoughts.
"Yeah." Wilfred carefully answered.
"He convinced Jensen to take him. Glad we did. As you can see, he's an impressive swordsman. I'd almost wager he's a combat specialist equal to our captain. He saved our hides a few times." He telepathically finished off his update.
Impressive fighter or not. It was War the hiruda was after. If the demon found out that he was right under his nose, all would be lost.
"With the others before we were separated," Lita answered.
She had been keeping a watchful eye on the others up to this point.
I calmed myself and briefed the twins on my situation. Introducing Buru and Lyra in the process.
"It's worse than I thought," Wilfred nervously commented.
"Per chance your name be Lyra Kazama. Former house leader for the Neska Gudari Kazama Head?" Lita politely asked Lyra with a bow to change the subject.
"You know me?" Lyra asked.
She nodded her head at the sight of the maplink covering Lita's right eye. "Of course. The maplink."
"Actually, I know of you from somewhere else Kazama-sama."
The expression on Lyra's face was one of delight. She sidled up close to Lita. "Finally. Someone with intelligence and manners."
I was unable to contain my knowing chuckles.
"Something funny you want to share?" Lyra eyes narrowed.
" Nothing." I zipped my lips.
Familiar grinding sounds from the walls drew our focus back to our surroundings. Fortunately, the floors didn't dissemble themselves.
Every red brick wall was magically rearranged to form an enormous circular chamber with no roof. At least, one that wasn't visible.
"You've got to be kidding me!" I shouted out my frustration.
"Well, well, we meet again." Homburg Banshee was backed with his remaining spider party.
"Indeed, we do," said a deep and threatening voice.
My heart thumped madly at the sight of a well-built man stoically walking towards us. I was able to see the deep X-scarring on his neck.
Please go to https://www.wuxiaworldapp.net/
install our App to read the latest chapters for free