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Chapter 5

Fleeing from the caverns injured and outwitted, Sylvester hissed in anger and bitterness, leaving an eatable and alive body and somewhat usable sword behind him for some other creature or monster to claim. 

The battle was intense one indeed, and Fru had more luck than wisdom, for who knows what time, again. He managed to escape death for an inch, one more time. 

“Cough, cough…M- Merv?” Fru coughed. He was catching his breath,  lying on the ground. The necro python almost crushed his chest. 

“Frf..ofr head…” Mervin said something. He tried to call Fru over and check up on him, but his voice was blocked and unclear from beyond the collapsed pillars and Fru couldn’t hear him clearly.

“Man, cough, that was close,” Fru said. He turned around from his back and pulled up trying to sit. He was still dizzy. 

“Mervin, where are you? You ok?” Fru asked.

“Yeaf, I’ms goof, trped unda plarez,” Mervin replied.

“What? What did you say? I can’t understand you a thing.”

“Mofon,” Mervin ranted from below the rock. 

“Huh? Whatev’s,” Fru ranted back at Mervin. 

Wow, I’m alive. And everything seems to be in its place, so that’s good, Fru thought. He was relieved to be alive and fully well. Everything was ok, every bone in his place was whole, his ribs were all there. He had a few bruises on his arms and back, but that was all. And he survived an encounter with a necro python.  A necro python! Now, wouldn’t that be an ale tale? Fru standing in the center of an inn, holding his ale in one hand and mimicking his fight with the beast the other, while all eyes were looking at him, breathless. Barkeep refilling his mug, ladies fainting of excitement around him, and his audience clapping him endlessly, at their faithful hero, Fru the beast killer. Now wouldn’t that be an ale tale, or what? It most definitely would. 

The very thought of him telling everyone at the tavern about his duel with a Necropython brought that stupid looking innocent silent smirk on Fru’s face. 

“Heh,” he cheered at his thoughts. 

But in order to tell such tale in person, he needed to get out of this prison. At least now he knew where he was. In a prison. And that meant that there is a way out. No prison is inescapable, one just need to figure out how, but it is certainly doable. It was time to get his ass of the ground, dust of, pick up his sword hit the cavern exit and search for escape.

”Mervin, glow some light so I can find you,” Fru said.

”Ofkh,” Mervin mumbled and lighted up his light.

”I can’t see you, where are you?”

”Undef a rofk,” Mervin mumbled.

”I can’t understand you. Why can’t I understand you?”

“Becaufs I am undef a rofk, you mofon,” 

“Nevermind I hear you so, I am coming at you, just keep talking.”

“Mofon, mofon, mofon, hof’s thaft?”

“Perfect. Aah, I see some light coming under a pile of rocks. Are you… trapped in there?”

“Yef.”

“How did you got there?”

“Juft get me ouft of herf.”

“Still mumbling. Hold tight, I’ll try to move the stones.”

“Huffy.”

Fru went on the pile and removed a few stones, tossing them around. Removed stones opened a few small holes and more Mervin’s light came out.

“There we go, More light coming thru, I am coming for you Mervie,” Fru said.

He removed a few more stones with ease, but the big one was not so easy to handle.

“I see your tail, but there is one big rock that I can’t seem to move. Got any moving spells in your pocket?” Fru asked.

“No, you will hafe to figufe something outf fast or the curse will staft to manifest it’s powef,” Mervin replied.

“Blasted curse,” Fru ranted.” Ok, let me figure something.”

He turned around to check if he can find anything of use but there was nothing around. 

“Hey what about that third body, you mentioned before? Is it still in the cave somewhere? Does it have any weapons with it?” Fru asked.

“Yeaf that’s a good idea. Go and check it ouft,” Mervin answered. “But before you go, try to reach ouft to me, and touch me if possible, thaft will pause the curse.”

“Of course, that makes sense. Hold on, I see your tail.” Fru reached for Mervin’s tail through a small hole between rocks. “A-almost there.” He streched out as much as he could. ” Bloody hell, I can’t get to you, I miss like an inch. Can you try and move?” 

“I can’t,” Mervin said.” You need to pufsh hafder.”

“I’ll try.” Fru put his arm back in the hole again. There was no way he can reach out like this. “Oh man, this is gonna hurt.” Death was coming at him again. But now in a shape of a curse. So Fru had to choose again, little more pain or death. I hope I won’t crush my shoulder, but everything is better than death. He closed his eyes, ground his teeth and pushed his arm.

“Aaargghhh,” Fru screamed in pain. The weight of a rock was pressing heavy on his skin and muscles, but he managed to reach out Mervin’s tail.

“Yeah,” Fru yelled and pulled back his arm. He pinched his shoulder, but managed to touch Mervin, and more importantly pause the curse.

“Ough, that will leave a nice mark and bruise on my shoulder,” Fru hold and rubbed his shoulder. “All right, where do I go now? Where’s the body? And how much time before the curse is back in action?”

“Yefs. The body is on the othef side right acfoss the hiding place. Go hastily, huffy, Fru, huffy,” Mervin said. 

Fru turned around and slowly went back to the place where he had a close encounter of the first kind with a monster necro python. The visibility was almost none since Mervin was still trapped under the rocks, but enough to see where to go. The stench of rotten corpses was also a guide to him. He knew he was in the right place when he couldn’t breathe from stink anymore. 

Damn these corpses really stink, luckily they haven’t covered rest of the cavern with it, or otherwise no exit could have saved me, Fru thought. He got to the corpse he used to hide and turned around to search for the other one. A few steps on the right, a body was lying. It was bigger than Eldoof’s or the one he used to hide. This one was from an Orc, and a brute, from the looks of the bone constitution. The position of the orc’s corpse and body suggested that this one was definitely crushed by something more powerful than itself. Its arms were twisted around and bent at awkward positions, the chest was completely out of its place, and legs were speaking each its own language. Only a monster like a necro python could have done this. 

“I guess you were Sylvester’s last meal, that he was talking about. Poor lad,” Fru said. “Let’s see if there will be some sense in your death.”

He got closer to the corpse, but the stink of an orc corpse was ten times stronger than the stink of all other corpses he encountered in the caverns. 

“Great Zoshnah, I  am going to be sick,” Fru said. Luckily the orc had a weapon. Spire which was in his hand. He obviously died holding it. 

Fru grabbed it with both his hands and jerked it, tore the orc’s arm in pieces.  The moment he ripped out the spire, orc’s body crushed down and raised some ugly smelling dust. Fru put a hand over his nose and mouth and began to fall back and away from the corpse. The stink was going away but not entirely because the arm was still holding the spire. Fru tried to shake the arm off, but it wouldn’t fell. 

“Bloody arm,” Fru ranted and turned back rushing to Mervin, holding his nose and mouth with his left hand.

“I found the orc, and the spire,” Fru told Mervin. “Hold tight, I am about to lift the rock with it.”

“Great. Gosh that orc stinks,” Mervin said.

Fru wedged the spire under the rock on one side and used the moment of force and lift it up on the other side. 

“It works,” Fru cheered.

The rock moved slightly creating a bigger hole that enlightened the room more. 

“Cr-crack,” the sound of breaking wood from the spire stick was heard. The weight of the rock was more than the stick could handle and it broke in half. 

“Damn!” Fru yelled out in agony. “The spire broke, but it moved the rock a bit. I’ll try to reach you out now, but if this doesn’t work, I don’t know what we will do,” he said to Mervin and reached for him.

Luckily the rock created just enough space for Fru to manage to grab Mervin. 

“I got you,” he said.

“Yes, I feel it. Now pull me out quickly, before these rocks collapse on both of us.”

Fru pulled Mervin out of the rocks and moved away from them.  Mervin was free, the light was back in the room and the curse was not activated.

“Taaa-daah,” Mervin said while glowing with happiness and light full of glittering texture.

“I’m so fed up with all this nonsense. It’s time to get out of this cavern, for good,” Fru said with anger floating through his voice. “Lead the way, Merv.”

“Of to the hidden lair chamber, and a new unknown adventure Fru, my boy! Of to our freedom!” Mervin yelled and glowed in the lair’s direction.