Axel grasped the scrying gem in his hand. “Yeah?”
“Lilly and Velvet found Axra. She’s promised that they’ll keep her safe. Have you found the League yet?”
“I found some signs of them,” Axel said. “But I may have just gotten us into a war.”
“What did you do?”
“I may have attacked Elaine Silverstar’s lover and her nephew.”
“Why on Earth would you do that?”
“Cause,” Axel answered.
“I’ll see if I can sort things out with the dark elves. Don’t do anything to further antagonise them.”
“Fine,” Axel said. “I’ll play nice, until I meet those League bastards, anyway.”
Axra woke up and looked around. Twila was still asleep to her left. To her right, Lilly had somehow rolled out of her bedroll and was almost touching Axra’s. She couldn’t see Velvet from her position. He’d taken a spot away from the three of them and close to the entryway.
Fang flew over to her bedroll and stared at her.
“What?” Axra asked. The little dragon flew back to Twila’s bedroll and nudged her. The mage awoke almost instantly.
“Morning,” she whispered.
“Morning,” Axra said.
“Could you lower your voice please,” Twila stated. “So, what do you think of our new companions?”
“She’s nice and he’s harmless,” Axra answered, lowering her voice to match Twila’s. “Why?”
“He let it slip that they’re on a mission as soldiers of Nervius,” Twila whispered. “I very much doubt that he’s as harmless as he seems.”
“Soldiers, huh,” Axra said. “Do you know what they’re after?”
“No,” Twila responded. “That’s what bothers me. They’re probably here for something very important. We’ll have to keep our eyes out.”
“You think they’re a threat,” Axra observed.
“I don’t know,” Twila clarified. “But until we know what they’re after, we should be cautious.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Axra agreed.
The two prepared breakfast. Lilly woke up while they were working and hurriedly offered to help. Velvet showed no signs of movement until it was finished. They ate a leisurely meal and went back into the main tunnel.
“Think we’ll encounter more of those multi-legged things?” Axra asked.
“Possibly,” Twila said. “It’s unlikely that there was only one down here. I think they’re closely related to centipedes, but of a monstrous size.”
“Ca… careful,” Lilly said. “I… I see some really big webs… and where there are webs… there are spiders.”
The three moved up to her location. Axra could see them, a large web was covering a door nearby and extending over the wall. A couple dead giant centipedes were lying near it.
“Is it smart to keep going?” Velvet asked. “Fighting a bunch of giant insects seems like a hassle.”
“We won’t learn anything if we’re afraid of the potential dangers,” Twila said. “And spiders aren’t insects. Let’s cut this web open and see what’s inside.”
“Wh… Wha… Won’t that be, kind of, dangerous?” Lilly asked.
“Don’t worry,” Twila said. “I’m quite confident that we can handle a giant spider.”
“I’ll go in first, Axra volunteered.
“Alright,” Twila said. “I’ll cast a protective spell before you cut it open, just to be safe.”
Axra nodded. She was determined not to let anything past her. Besides, this was the first sign she’d seen of giant spiders. The hermit could be around here.
She drew her sword and prepared to bring down the web.