Unexpected Adventure, Part Fifteen
Dr. Rune hid in a small enclosure, watching Regis battle. The formidable man charged, swung, drew blood from the creature—an overgrown insect by the layman called the Gigus. Dr. Rune shook his head. “Why must you be so obstinate? Your damage will not last.”
Soon after each wound Regis inflicted, the malleable exoskeleton of the Gigus dropped over it—and healed it. Regis didn’t seem to realize this for several strokes. When he slipped in the thing’s blood and it had pinned him to the ground, he noticed.
Regis cursed, but did not call for aid. He tried grabbing the Gigus’ mandibles and wrenching the bulbous head to the side. Something snapped, but the creature was by no means finished.
Dr. Rune adjusted ear muffs just before the creature squealed. Regis fell still, momentarily paralyzed. The sword in the stone was a mere inch away from Regis’ fingers. Still, he would not draw it.
Dr. Rune whispered to himself. “I’m sorry, my boy, but this consequence is on your hands alone.” As much as he wanted to help, he’d been told not to interfere until the end. Orders from an Oracle were not to be gainsaid.
Regis stirred, and beat the Gigus’ eyes.
“Well, hand,” Dr. Rune amended.
The Gigus jerked its head, and Regis’ right hand vanished into its fizzing maw. Regis cried out and flailed.
“I believe that constitutes the end of this fight.” Dr. Rune leapt from the ledge where he’d been watching and landed on the bulbous insect’s back. It thrashed and tried to dislodge him.
He drove his fingers into pressure points at the base of its neck. It fell, away from Regis. Dr. Rune brushed his hands together. “You have a habit of ignoring orders that would have saved you a great deal of trouble.”
Regis stayed where he was, mouth open.
Dr. Rune made a quick tourniquet on the remnants of Regis’ forearm, then withdrew a vial from inside of his coat. He tilted the contents into Regis’ mouth. “Congratulations on surviving the attack of a Magnus corporosus. Up you go.” He lifted Regis up, supporting most of the weight. It would be slow going, but most of the Gigus would be gone by now, drawn to the collective flight of the Lux beetles.
Before calling Cloudwillow from the cave, he shuffled a few steps to the sword. He maneuvered Regis’ left hand to the pommel and cocked his head. “Now would be an excellent time to stop defying Prophetic words, don’t you think?”
For a second, he thought Regis was going to snarl and say something to the extent of, “Over my dead body.”
Instead, Regis clenched his fingers around the hilt.