The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
near the far edge of the pond.
A hideous six-foot monstrosity covered with shiny, grey scales came crashing out of the bushes next to the
tree. Its jaws opened wide showing large, yellow teeth with fangs protruding down from the top row.
Ben raised both swords getting ready for the attack.
Sam pulled Dahms from the pond and joined Ben just as the thing started running at them.
"A sword won't penetrate that hide," he yelled. "Aim for the eyes."
The beast came to a sudden halt. Around its neck was a metal collar, a blue-green sheen in color. From it a
long chain extended and disappeared behind the tree.
Gaal and Rennie stepped onto the bank.
"Only for those who take the other path," said Gaal.
"Looks like you were right," said Dahms.
Rennie didn't say anything. He was still shaken. His face was white and perspiration began to drip from his
Ben watched as the monster's jaws snapped shut and then opened again. Hiding behind his tree waiting for
the right moment to jump on his victims, he had undoubtedly eaten some of the unsuspecting runners. “He’s
probably developed a taste for humans,” said Ben.
Sam said, "In my opinion that thing's too ugly to keep on living." And before anyone realized what he was
doing, Sam charged the beast at a full run.
Dahms held her breath for a second, then yelled, "What the hell are you doing? Stop!
Sam could see that the beast was still at the end of the chain, stretching it tight. Without realizing it the beast
was making himself completely defenseless.
Sam jumped in the air and ran his sword through the beast’s eye and into his brain. He stepped back rending
the sword free. He looked toward the ceiling. "Import another one of these," he yelled.
The beast fell heavily to the ground with blood spurting from the eye socket.
Ben looked toward the rafters as a crackling voice came over the loudspeaker.
It was Hurd, and he was angry. "May your sister rot in the Zi pits. That Yulni cost me one hundred
thousand tal!" There was a slight pause, then, "I'm going enjoy watching you die!" The loudspeaker clicked
Dahms patted Sam on the back, and then to the group she whispered, “There’s a good chance Hurd won’t be
watching us die.”
“You must know something,” said Sam, “because that’s the second time you’re made reference to us making
it through, but I won’t ask, and as for Hurd, his time will eventually come. It might not be my doing, but
someone will take him out.”
Rennie was the last one out, and as the door to the safety chamber slid shut Ben looked ahead. The path
traveled for a short distance on level ground, then it began up a steep incline and entered into a pitch-black cave.
It was embedded fifty feet off the surface of the run. The hole was punched into the bottom of a cliff, which
was made of a black, glistening material—some type of rock. It would be impossible to climb the cliff above
the cave, which meant they would have to go into the cave and face whatever was inside.
Dahms started up the trail with Ben behind her, then came Gaal, Rennie, and Sam.
As they walked along Ben sheathed his short sword and took the handbeam from his belt.
"Now we know what the lights are for," said Rennie with a laugh.
"Probably won't matter," said Sam. "Some demon in the cave will be lurking in the shadows behind a
corner, just watching for a light, and while he's eating you I'll get away in the dark."
Rennie started to laugh, however, the seriousness of the idea must have struck home, because he became
somber and quiet as he trudged along.
It didn't take more than five minutes to get to the cave. The path was quite smooth and manageable with no
unexpected obstacles nor creatures to bar their way. Dahms turned her light on, as did Ben and the other two,
then she stepped through the entrance.
Ben was sure it wasn't the cool breeze blowing gently through the opening that made Dahms shudder. He