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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“Yeah, I never thought I'd miss that place,” Colt grunted, testing the ground ahead
with his greatsword. “Nothing like being buried in an ancient city, filled with insane
dwarves and giant mole-monsters to give you some perspective.”
Aiden wasn't really paying attention, as he was watching Pacian climbing the pile of
rubble that Clavis had mentioned earlier. It rose up out of the shattered buildings and
flood waters around them, and seemed to consist mostly of carved stone sections from
housing, but the style was different to that of the structures around them.
The light from Pacian's makeshift torch was illuminating the ceiling, and there
appeared to be a sizeable hole above him. That could only mean that the rubble Pacian
was climbing had come from... the floor above them.
“Pace, watch out, that hole above you leads right up through to where those crazy
dwarves are living!” Everyone halted immediately at this statement, looking up at the
hole in trepidation.
“I'm just going to take a quick look,” Pacian assured them, clambering over the
rubble with ease towards the gap in the wall.
“No, wait!” Aiden whispered as loudly as he could, hoping that they hadn't already
alerted their enemies to their presence on the floor right below them. Pacian ignored the
warning, sitting directly underneath the hole and looking up through it cautiously. It was
much bigger than he was, probably close to ten feet across and had s mooth sides, much
like the borer holes they had seen on the higher levels.
Looking around at the base, Aiden couldn't see any signs that it was used as a
passage between the levels on a regular basis, but he couldn't understand why. Despite
his reservations, he started to climb up the pile of rubble to join his blond friend, for
although part of him was wary of bringing their enemies down upon them again, another
part wanted to know if they'd just found their way out of this dreadful place.
“'Ere, what's goin' on up there?” Clavis said, surfacing not far from the base of the
rock pile.
“There's a hole leading up through to the next level,” Nellise informed him. “I think
they're trying to see if we can get out that way.”
“Well, I ain't found any way out from down there yet, but I did find the throne room.
If I can just hold me breath a bit longer, I can get in there and see if the K ing's axe is still
there!”
“Wouldn't it have rusted away by now?” Colt asked.
“It woulda if'n it were made 'o steel mate, but it was fashioned from precious mithral,
and immune to the ravages of time.”
“Mithral?” Pacian called down to the dwarf. “Isn't that stuff worth a fortune?”
“Aye, and don't think fer a second that yer gonna sell it, ya greedy bastard!”
“I was just curious,” Pacian protested.
“Focus, Pace,” Aiden cautioned his friend, still examining the hole to see if there
were any handholds.
“Sorry, it's really hard,” he replied. “I feel like I'm jumping out of my skin here.”
“I know what you mean, I can barely keep my feet from twitching,” Aiden muttered.
“Alright, this time I'll make it all the way down,” Clavis declared, almost to himself.
He exhaled as much as he could, and then inhaled a mighty breath before plunging back
down into the depths.
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