The Sun Door Part 28
by Joe Solmo
Serius took a curious peek behind the sheer curtain surrounding the large bed. All his senses were assaulted by pleasing and soothing stimuli. The music continued in his ears as his nose smelled the scent of a flowery perfume. His eyes fell upon a vision of beauty lying on the bed. The woman’s skin was smooth and pale. Her long toned legs crossed as she arched her back showing off her well-rounded breasts above a perfectly flat stomach. The Dontu’s eyes slowly, almost regrettably, raised higher to a slim neckline, then paused at the sight of the most beautiful face he had ever seen. It made Skittessa look like a potato, he thought. Full red lips parted in a playful moan as she looked upon him with the prettiest emerald green eyes he had ever seen. Wrapping the vision of beauty was long shiny deep red hair that fell in loose waves behind her back.
He tried to speak, but nothing came out. He tried for a second time and again failed. It’s not very often Serius found himself at a loss for words. The woman smiled showing white teeth, sensing his oratory dilemma. Was that a fang?
She raised her index finger to her full lips and made a “shh” sound then patted the bed next to her. The Dontu started to climb behind the curtain before he knew what he was doing. His entire world was now that face, that image of beauty. Nothing else existed for him now, not Drejnin, not Drey’or, nor the group of humans he had met since coming to this world. All those memories faded as he focused on those gorgeous eyes, so green, and enticing. He felt like he was falling into them, as if they were a deep pool of loveliness and warmth and the world was a cold harsh place. He needed to be in them, to feel their presence wrap around him and comfort him. He could no longer see the rest of the face of the beautiful woman, his whole line of sight was those eyes, deep pools of darkest red. RED? Weren’t they green a moment ago? Well ain’t this a bitch, he thought as darkness seemed to close in on him…
We exited the She-slug’s chamber into another exterior hall. This one seemed uninhabited so we all breathed a sigh of relief, but kept our weapons drawn just in case. We have now slain 2 of the 7 evils that are said to haunt this cemetery; we still had a lot more evil to vanquish if we were to get the key Drejnin needed to go home.
The thought of him leaving left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. One part of me was thinking I wouldn’t have undead attacking me anymore once I parted ways with the big goof and his shape changer friend, but another part of me was intrigued by his story and the fantastical things that seem to flow in his wake. I have seen more things in the last few months I have known him that I did my entire life before that. Sure, he is evil, but aren’t we all sometimes? Oh, we humans will lie to ourselves all the time and say we are good people, but I have seen a lot of atrocities in this world done by so-called good people in the name of good. I myself am not immune to this, I have done things I am not proud of. I bet I will do more of those things in the future.
I guess the reason I wanted to get away from him was because I was just a man. A real regular guy. Everyone else here was something special, but I was just a guy with a sword for hire that wasn’t much good at anything and drifted from place to place. Even Dead-Eye has more to him than I thought I knew. All that stuff with his father’s death. Myder and Hall are healers, the brothers are all great warriors in their own way and the paladin is following a holy quest. Shit, even Weebly was on a mission, but not me, all I did was stop following one leader to take up with another. I can’t even be loyal to one thing for too long. Well, enough about me, too depressing.
After everyone caught their breath and took the time to snack. Hall checked all our nicks and cuts and gave us the go ahead to go get more nicks and cuts. We resumed our walk. The Paladin walked next to Drejnin, flaming sword in front lighting our way through this hall. We rounded a corner and befell a door, similar to the iron doors we encountered before. We paused at it, as if asking collectively are we really ready for another encounter? Drejnin reached out with his massive hand and gripped the handle on the door and gave it a slight tug. It swung out without a sound.
No light escaped the room, it appeared to be dark inside there, even with the door fully opened and us standing on the threshold. “Magical darkness,” escaped Skrat’s voice from the book that I had almost forgotten I held.
I looked into the young magi’s face and asked, “What can you tell us about this asshole?”
“One second, Marsh,” the book said as we peered into the waiting darkness of the next chamber. Still no sound came from inside there. Dead-Eye started to whistle impatiently between dirty looks towards Drejnin and swigs from the flask. I looked down at the Tome in my hands.
“Come on kid, can’t we move this along?” I asked, getting a little impatient myself.
“Yah, here it is,” Skrat said from the book, I didn’t see his face at first, but he soon filled the page once again. He looked a little distracted. Peggas Vehannes is who you should be approaching. It says her Mrs. Vehannes lived about a hundred years ago and amassed a huge amount of wealth in her relatively short life. Peggas made people bring her bribes of gold coins or gems to get her to side with them on local disputes. She was murdered by her husband at the age of 37 for stealing his ancestral family lands and auctioning them off. He set her on fire and threw her out a window, but by the time he reached the basement treasure room, the coffers were bare. No one knows what happened to Peggas Vehannes treasure.” The young mage explained.
“Any reason why the place should be so dark?” I asked.
“Not that I can see, give me a second,” Skrat said and disappeared from view again.
“You got somewhere better to be?” I asked him, a little perturbed.
“Not funny Marsh, my brothers are there with you, don’t forget. Their lives are on the line too,” he said peeking back in view for a minute before disappearing again.
I looked up at our group. They were all staring at me for the answers, but I didn’t have any for them. Jarris raised his flaming sword in front of him and with a nod to me, entered the chamber alone. After listening for a few seconds for the horrifying scream we all expected to hear and being somewhat disappointed, we followed the brave, or foolhardy, Paladin of Parius into the darkness.
The only light in this stone chamber was from the sword, silhouetting the old bastard in its holy flame. The light flickered off the walls that seemed to be about twenty feet apart. More than once I thought I saw movement, but I was distracted by all the reflections I saw glinting on the floor. It looked like gold coins everywhere, and not just coins. I saw a few gems mixed in the pile of loot.
“Marsh, it appears that her lover moved her fortune for her just before she died. She had planned to leave her husband and take him for everything he was worth. Her lover was so distraught by her death he buried her with her fortune. That must be why I hear the gasps from the group,” Skrat said.
“You got that right, kid,” I said looking around the chamber. Every damn thing sparkled in that paladin’s light.
“What’s that in the back?” Sreg asked pointing towards a golden statue. Jarris moved closer, lifting his sword higher to cast its light farther. Drejnin followed the paladin towards the back of the chamber, as I did my best to impersonate a brick of the wall.
“I don’t think that’s a statue,” Drejnin said and pointed. The eyes on the statue were white, and wet. They rolled and came back with irises. The hate in those eyes fell upon our resident Dreymorian.
With a creak a golden arm raised and pointed accursedly at us. “Be gone from my chamber. If one coin is unaccounted for you will die,” came a feminine voice from the golden mouth. I held the book up for Skrat to see what was going on.
“Is that Peggas covered in gold?” I asked the young mage.
“It appears so. Is she attacking?” he asked.
“No, seems she just wants us to leave. Can we bypass her?” I asked, slightly distracted by Sreg crouching behind me.
“Give me a second. Let me see what I can find,” Skrat said and disappeared from view.
“Psst, Marsh,” Sreg whispered from behind me. I turned to see what the ranger wanted as the rest of the group headed for a door near the statue. Drejnin and Jarris held it open, waiting for the rest of us. It seemed we would try to bypass this bitch anyway.
“Cover me Marsh,” Sreg said.
“Don’t get any on my leg,” I said sarcastically. Which was very rare for me, as you know. Thought I would try sarcasm as something new.
“Funny, Marsh,” Sreg said as I whistled, waiting for Skrat to return or Sreg to finish doing whatever he was doing. Everyone was waiting for us at the door, growing impatient. I sighed, as I looked at my friend Dead-Eye waiting by the statue. He was trying to signal me subtly, but that doesn’t work very well for me. I’m the type of guy you have to bludgeon over the head to get my attention. I once had a girl follow me around for a whole summer because she liked me and I just thought she was slow in the head and got lost easily.
Dead-Eye was mouthing the word no, and gesturing at me. I mouthed back a clever, wha? He looked at the statue then back at us with widened eyes. I heard the clink of gold coins being moved around and then it hit me. Well what Dead-Eye meant hit me, but the statue hit him and sent him into the wall with a thud. I turned around.
“What are you doing?” I asked Sreg as I caught him stuffing coins into his pocket.
“She can’t know if I just take a few,” he said with a sideways smile. The room grew brighter as Jarris charged Peggas with his flaming sword. The rest of the group came back through the door as well.
“What happened, Marsh?” Skrat said from the book. “You guys should have been safe.”
“Ask your asshole brother,” I said and faced Sreg with the Tome.
“Just tried to increase the family fortune,” Sreg said and shrugged. I turned the book back to the action in front of me.
Moose was holding the statue’s left arm up above its head, straining under the supernatural power. Weebly was hacking at the back of its legs trying to bring it down to the stone and coins underneath.
“Skrat what’s the trick here?” I asked him feeling useless as the fighting continued. Even Sreg fired some arrows over my shoulder to help out. Not me, I was the gods damned librarian.
“I don’t know Marsh, she is a giant golden statue. Melt her?” Skrat replied.
“Skrat said to melt her. Fire it up,” I yelled to the group. Now that I was looking I could see where Jarris’s fire blade was digging into the soft metal. Dead-Eye poured his flask on the ground and up the legs of the statue.
“Give me a light!” he called out and Jarris swung low. The statue engulfed in flames quickly, and it tried to tear out of Moose’s grasp, severing its own arm. The big man used it as a club, bludgeoning it on the back to drop it down into the flames that was spreading like crazy.
“Fuck’s sake, Dead-Eye, how strong is that drink?” I called out.
“Oh, you know, all the way,” my buddy replied.
“What the fuck does that mean?” I asked him, but I don’t think he heard me. As the fire spread panic started to set in and we all tap-danced our way to the door leading to the next chamber. Zeeg even dragged Sreg along, since the bastard couldn’t be trusted.
“But…the gold,” Sreg said in a whiny voice.
“It’s all melting into one big coin,” I said as I pushed him through the door so I could exit and close it behind me. The heat was already getting pretty intense.
Once the door was closed we were in darkness again, this time the only light we had were the stars above when they weren’t obscured by clouds. Both sides of the path were lines with wrought iron fence that was at least ten feet tall. There was no wind, no sound coming from the night that surrounded us. It was too quiet.
“We must move forward,” Drejnin said. “We only have a few more champions of evil to destroy to get to the door.”
The group moved as one, more because we were scared shitless then an urgency to finish our quest. I have no problem admitting I was scared, as long as everyone was too. We reached the end of the hall, it was only about thirty feet long and faced yet another door. The creators of this cemetery maze sure had no imagination. Once again, I hung back with the magic book and waited for the others to ask me to communicate with Skrat on the other side.
As if on cue I heard the mumbling from the front of the line and looked into the book. “Hey Skrat you still there?” I asked.
“Yes, Marsh. Where are you guys now?” came the reply from the young mage.
“We are at the next door. It was at the end of a path surrounded by fence. What are we going to find inside?” I asked.
“One second, let me look,” Skrat said.
“The kid only has one job. You would think he would be prepared,” I said in a whisper. I hope the kid didn’t hear me. Sometimes I just can’t get my mouth to stop talking.
“Here we are. I think. Is the chamber really big? He asked.
“I don’t know. We haven’t opened it yet. We would like to know what we are getting ourselves into before we open it,” I said, hiding my sarcasm fabulously.
“Well if this map is accurate then you are in front of the home of Brutus DeCarl. One large disgusting man,” Skrat said.
“Oh yeah? Some demonic fat-ass?” I asked.
“Exactly,” Skrat responded.
“So, something that makes the blob we already destroyed look like one of those girls on those woodcarving calendars?” I asked.
“Looks like it. Don’t let his features fool you though. He was chosen to be here for a reason. He is dangerous,” Skrat said and disappeared from sight in the pages for a moment. “Oh, Marsh one more thing. The book said that there were seven guardians, but the map is only showing me six chambers. There has to be a hidden door somewhere, it’s not on the map,” Skrat finished.
“We will keep our eyes peeled,” I replied. I looked up and noticed that the whole group was looking at me. I guess I have been talking to Skrat for a few minutes.
“He says it’s a big dangerous fat-ass. Also keep your eyes open for a hidden door somewhere,” I told them.
Drejnin nodded towards me in reply then turned towards the door. I looked down at the book. “Thanks, kid.”
Jarris stood right behind the Dreymorian waiting for his chance to strike down evil. I wondered what would happen when the major evils were vanquished and the only evil left was Drejnin. “Dagger?” the large man asked in his booming voice, and I watched as the paladin handed him one from his belt. Drejnin made quick work of the lock that was on the door. Even I heard it click open from the back of the pack. I think we all simultaneously held our breath.
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