“Sorry,” Lysara said. “I think that Bon got carried away there.”
“I got carried away?” Bonnie asked. “You were the one who…”
“Yeah, but I’m always like that,” Lysara said. “You know that I can’t control myself around you. You’re supposed to be the responsible one.”
“You… I…” Bonnie stammered.
“I’m just teasing you, Bon,” Lysara said. She turned to Twila and Axra. “We both got carried away.”
“What, when we were taking a break?” Twila asked. “I’m sorry, were you two doing something? I didn’t notice.”
“I was too busy paying attention to my Loves to notice you guys,” Axra agreed. “Lilly and Twila are both looking remarkably ravishing right now. Considering the trouble we’ve had down here.”
“I… I was cleaning my ears… so I didn’t hear a thing,” Lilly added, her face bright red.
“You guys…” Bonnie began.
“Are really wonderful friends,” Lysara finished.
“Well, we’ll leave it at that,” Twila said. “On to the fourth chambre.”
They opened the door to the next chambre. Axra had to shield her eyes. The entire room was bathed in bright, multi-coloured light.
The walls, floor and ceiling were all bare, leading to a silver coloured door.
“So where’s the trap in this one?” Axra wondered.
“The lights, perhaps?” Bonnie speculated.
“Would they be that obvious?” Lysara asked.
“The torches in the last chambre were pretty obvious,” Twila stated. “As was the caged beast in the air chambre, whatever it was. It’s entirely possible that the lights are the source of the danger for this room.”
“Yeah, but the earth chambre had that invisible thing,” Lysara said. “Whatever is in here could be invisible.”
“Either way, we’ll just have to proceed carefully,” Twila said. “Whatever enemy is waiting, it will probably strike when we’re about to leave or, possibly when we hit the centre of the room.”
The group moved cautiously forward, watching the lights warily.
“Isn’t all this an awful lot of trouble?” Axra asked. “If they were so afraid of this elemental staff being found then why not just destroy the damned thing? Why set up some elaborate ordeal for someone to go through to get it?”
“Because they want it found,” Twila answered. “But they don’t want it found by just anyone. The obstacles are to make sure the person who finds it is a skilled mage. My guess would be that its power is too dangerous for just anyone with a small amount of magic ability. Hence the whole production.”
They reached the door without incident.
“I… I can’t hear anything,” Lilly offered. “Anything dangerous, I mean.”
“Could the thing that guarded this chambre have been killed?” Lysara asked.
“Unlikely,” Twila said. “We’ve been dealing with beasts that have magical origins. The enchantments that power this place should be replacing them if they get destroyed. Even the chambres we’ve cleared should have replacement guardians on the way.”
“But there’s nothing here,” Axra said. She shrugged. “Let’s just go.” She reached for the door handle.
“Princess, look out!” Bonnie pushed her out of the way. The silver from the door had stretched towards her.
It flowed away from the door like a thing alive, coalescing into a humanoid form.
“Fireball!” Twila snapped her fingers. Flames flowed from her hands into the creature and shattered against a crimson light.
“Magic doesn’t work?” Twila asked.
Bonnie’s trident thrust against the creature’s chest, deflected by an azure light.
The creature gestured at them, beams of light sweeping from its fingertips and blasting all around them as they frantically dodged.
“Physical attacks don’t seem to do much good either,” Bonnie said.
“Lilly, can you tell where it is?” Axra called.
“I can hear it,” Lilly said. She pulled back on Zerstörelicht’s invisible sting and fired. The bolt of energy scattered against a crimson light, leaving the creature undamaged.
“Even a mystical weapon is no good?” Axra asked. “How do we beat this thing?”
“I think I might know,” Twila said. “We need to attack together. Icicle Storm!”
She snapped her fingers, a flurry of icicles breaking against the creature’s crimson shield. Lysara’s chakram swung at its back. The creature hurriedly shifted into a tube-like form to avoid it.
“I knew it!” Twila declared. “Axra, if I give you a signal can you hit that thing in less than thirty seconds?”
“I can do it in ten,” Axra stated.
Twila nodded. “Bonnie, I need you to strike at it from the left. Lysara, go from the right. Lilly, fire shots in front of it. If we can box it in we can beat it.”
“If this works I am going to kiss you so hard!” Axra promised.
“I’ll look forward to it,” Twila said. “Bonnie, Lysara, Lilly, go!”
The three women moved in unison. Lilly fired her arrows at the sound of the creature, Bonnie and Lysara hemmed it in from the sides, avoiding its energy blasts. The creatures azure shield blocking their attacks.
Twila chanted. After nearly a minute she nodded to Axra. Axra took off, running straight for the creature, evading while continuing forward to reach her target in the promised ten seconds. Twila snapped her fingers. “Stone Spike!”
The ground thrust upwards, hurling at the creature even as Axra leapt up to strike at it with her blade. The stone shattered against a crimson field, Axra’s blade went right through slicing into the core of the thing. Its silver body lost cohesion, melting into nothingness.
Axra ran over to Twila and kissed her, hard. She broke away after nearly a minute.
“Told you I could get there in ten seconds flat,” she panted.
Twila just nodded and wiped her mouth.
“I’m confused,” Lysara said. “How did that attack go through?”
“I noticed that it was using different shields for physical and magical attacks,” Twila explained. “I knew that it had to have time to shift from one to the other when it dodged Lysara’s chakram instead of blocking it like it was everything else. So I figured if a magical attack and physical one both hit at the same time that one of them would bring it down.”
“That’s my girl!” Axra declared. “You really have quite the brain in your head.”
“I… I’m proud of you too,” Lilly said. “A… and I’ll show it too… later, when it’s just us three.”