Fantasy Fiction posted July 24, 2022 Chapters:  ...28 29 -30- 31... 


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Finding the great dragon stone

A chapter in the book The Chronicals Of Bethica: The Rise

The Chronicles of Bethica

by amahra




Background
Dinary and soldiers find The Eye of the Dragon--but with great risk.
ATTENTION READERS! In (part 2) of chapter 18, Prince Norr finally agreed to send Lord Abram aid against the Nordoxz, but only if Dinary and his soldiers bring back the precious stone from the Haunted Wastelands.

At the end of the chapter, Dinary and soldiers became ill unto death after eating from a sack placed by an unknown evil while being under a strange spell. However, the magical Gunji saved their lives.

(Gunji is singular and plural)


Chapter 18 (part 3)
The Eye of the Dragon


After a few hours, Dinary and the soldiers recovered thoroughly. However, what determined the next few minutes shocked even the magical Gunji when day instantly flashed to night.

"What the blazes is this!" a soldier shrieked.

Loud murmuring rose among the soldiers as they scrambled to their feet and looked about.

"Calm yourselves," Dinary demanded. He examined the eerie darkness that had suddenly engulfed them, then said sternly, "We're not camping here. Light your torches. Unsheathe your swords. We're going on to Modos."

"Holy gods of the heavens," Rhico blurted. "Is he serious?"

"NO TALKING!" Dinary blasted. "Get into formation!" Immediately, the soldiers searched around and grabbed their gear.

According to the map, the trail led to the tomb of The Eye of the Dragon. As they traveled, the haunted land seemed to toy with them as day and night switched constantly back and forth nearly every hour. The soldiers, however, grew accustomed to the strange antics and didn't react; in fact, not one foot broke the rhythm of their march.

After hours of traveling, it was night again when they entered the mouth of the cave--their eyes widening as each of their torches scattered more and more of the darkness. The cave walls were jagged up to the ceiling and stretched fifty feet upward. Their feet constantly struck the sandstones that littered the dirt floor. Decaying air filled their lungs. The Gunji stopped every so often and concentrated heavily on sensing evil. "This cave reeks of it," he said.

As they journeyed farther, one of the soldiers stepped on--what looked like a dead tree branch, but when he attempted to step off, the plant coiled, like a serpent, then wrapped around his ankle; it rose with him into the air, dangling him nearly fifty feet off the ground.

"Get me down!" he shrieked, wriggling about.

"Stop moving!" Dinary yelled up to him. Dinary looked at the Gunji and waited to see what he'd do. Energy shot from the Gunji's palm and struck the plant. The men scrambled with their hands in the air for the catch.

"Aah!" the soldier yelled as the plant tore loose of him, and he went tumbling down into their waiting arms like an oversized babe. Tossing him to the ground, the men chuckled and were about to tease him when the ground opened like a trapdoor.

Falling in pitch darkness, they landed hard on what felt like round objects. Each rubbed a different painful spot on their body. They scrambled around on their knees--moveable things crunching under them, and tried to locate their torches; having done so, they lifted them and gasped when the fiery light revealed they were sitting upon piles of humanoid skulls. Dinary's eyes widened as he looked around. He scrambled to his feet and unknowingly stepped back against a wall of skulls. The wall suddenly rolled inward, releasing a second wall that came thundering down, separating him from the group.

"Dinary!" Celio yelled.

In the darkness, Dinary patted the wall of his instant tomb, feeling for an opening or weak spot.

"I can't find a way out!" he shouted, but no one could hear him.

Then the stone floor slowly parted at a snail's pace, and a dim stream of light pierced the darkness. Dinary saw there would soon be no floor. He could see what appeared an endless drop through the small opening. "Ho! I need to get out of here! Can anybody hear me?" he yelled, banging on the stone wall. The floor opened wider. He backed up against the wall with his toes hanging off the edge of the slowly opening floor. "Ho! Out there! Gunji, Celio, anybody!" Dinary looked up and around him, faintly calling upon the gods.

"Dinary, hold firm, we'll get you out!" the Gunji yelled. Dinary couldn't hear him. The soldiers felt along the wall in hopes of finding a way to bring it back up.

Panic-stricken, Dinary shrieked, "If you're doing something, hurry!"

As the Gunji mumbled a spell, his comrades kept feeling along various areas of the wall with no success.

Meanwhile, an aura of darkness gripped Dinary as the feeling of panic and terror consumed him. Only his heels were on the floor, with more than half of the bottom of his foot exposed to the endless drop beneath him.

"Dinary, can you hear me!" Rhico yelled. "Say something!"

Minutes ticked by. The Domari sisters and the men continued to feel along the wall. "We're trying, Dinary...hold firm!" Melitah shouted. But behind the wall was silence--no banging, no yelling or pleading with the gods. Minutes more, the group effort appeared useless. Finally, the Gunji's magic energy struck a portion of the wall, and they heard a loud click.

"That's it!" Melitah shouted. The wall rose with a roar. But Dinary had vanished along with the floor. The Gunji and the soldiers stepped forward and gazed down into the dim Abyss. Celio felt his heart skip a beat as the others gasped in disbelief.

"Oh, no," Melitah said.

"Well, you going to stand there or get me down from here?"

Every eye lifted. Dinary was barely holding on to a short ledge near the ceiling of the confined space--his toes wedged between a broken space in the cave wall.

Celio shouted for a rope.

"Here, Captain!" a soldier yelled, running toward him, dragging half of the rope. Celio took the rope and looped it. Then he and several men wrapped the length of the other end around their waists with the looped end still several feet long.

"Dinary, can you hold on with one hand long enough to grab the loop?"

"I'll try," he said breathily.

Celio threw the rope. With his left hand, Dinary reached, but his hand shot back to the ledge when his right hand nearly lost its grip. Celio gathered the rope and threw it a second time. Again, Dinary missed by inches. Celio made several throws, but Dinary failed to grab hold each time.

Exhausted, Dinary grunted, "It's...no use. I can't."

Celio shot his eyes to the Gunji. "Do something, blast you!"

"I'm trying, I'm trying."

"Try harder, you fool," Ndornah bellowed. "Why do you think we brought you along?"

"Hold your bloody tongues! There is strong magic here! You must let me concentrate!"

"All right. All right. We're sorry," Celio said. "Let's...just let him alone."

Every eye focused on the Gunji. He took a deep breath, and his eyes rolled back in his head until only the yellow balls showed. His face darkened--his chest rose, and a trickle of blood oozed from a nostril as he strained.

Dinary's muscles ached, and his fingers tips grew bloody and raw with every tightening of his grip.

Celio stood amazed as the rope ascended from his hands and grew several feet long. It rose higher into the air and then slithered toward Dinary like a serpent. The loop slid under him--inching up his legs, to his thighs, to his torso, and tightened around his waist.

The Gunji's temples bulged with thick blue veins as the painful strain cast him outside of his body. The rope lifted Dinary from the ledge and held him. He looked down into the black pit as he and the rope slowly floated over it. Once he got close, Celio grabbed and held on to him until his feet touched the ground and the rope went limp.

Dinary flopped to the floor. While still in an intense amount of pain, he lay still to rest his muscles and catch his breath. After some minutes had passed, he said, "I was screaming. What took you so long?"

"We were screaming too," Rhico said.

"A thank you would be nice," Ndornah said.

"Thank you," he said. "Now let's go find that bloody stone and get the blazes out of here."

Dinary hopped up. And everyone moved in his direction except the Gunji, who was on the ground--eyes closed and not moving.

"Dear goddess...the poor creature," Melitah said.

"Perhaps some water. Do we have enough?" Dinary asked.

"No. And Gunji don't often need water," Ndornah said. "They get their liquids from beetle juice."

"Then grab some beetles and stuff them in his mouth," Dinary said. "This place chills me to no end. We've got to find that stone and get out of here."

Melitah quickly opened the Gunji's sack of beetles. She looked down at the squirming black and orange vermin and made a face like she'd tasted something sour. Ndornah held the Gunji's mouth open while Melitah, disgusted with the whole ordeal, one by one, pulled apart several beetles and squeezed them. Like oozing gray mud, the wet mass piled upon his tongue. With his eyes fluttering, the Gunji smacked his lips with delight as he slowly came into consciousness.

The sisters helped him to his feet.

"Are you well, or do you need to rest?" Dinary asked.

"I am well," the Gunji replied.

"Then we should be on our way," Rhico said, heading right.

"No, it's this way," Celio said.

"No, it's this way," Dinary said, squinting at the map. He stepped back on a stone and lost his balance. Stumbling against another wall, it roared and moved in a few inches. "Oh no, not again!" Dinary cried out.

His comrades panicked and rushed to grab him. Missing him by inches, Dinary fell within the rolling wall. The soldiers suddenly stopped, and their eyes seemed to widen simultaneously. 

"What?" Dinary blurted, following their gaze. He looked over his shoulder and went slack-jawed at the sight of a giant stone dragon deeply carved into the reddish-brown cave wall. In the middle of its forehead sat the very large, magnificent emerald--the Eye Of The Dragon.

Dinary stood--mouth opened, gazing at the fist-sized gem--sparkling and blazing like green fire. He pulled his dagger from his waist and carefully dug around it; with great effort, he plucked out the emerald. Dinary sheathed his dagger. Still dazzled, he turned and held it in both hands like cradling an infant. The stunned onlookers finally found their voices; they laughed, hugged each other, and took turns holding and admiring the stone. Dinary took it, carefully placed it in a silk cloth, then tucked it in a pouch on his waistband.

Pleased with themselves, they couldn't stop chuckling as they started on the short journey out of the cave; then, suddenly, the sound of rocks crumbling at their backs made them turn. Removing the emerald had caused the dragon to come alive, and it was trying to wrest its stone body from the wall to reclaim it.

Everyone stood frozen with fright.

"Run!" the Gunji yelled over his shoulder as he was the first to bolt. The harsh movement of the Gunji kicked up dust and pebbles, partially blinding the rest; nevertheless, they were right on his heels.



The end of part 3






Image: by Dantegrafice from Pixabay

Main Characters
Lord Gangus Abram Leader of his clan
Lady Brehira (Bree here rah) His wife
Dinary (Deh nah ry) Youngest Son
Celio (Seal le o) Soldier and close friend
Princess Netrekka (Neh trek kah) Dinary's Lover/wife
Olatunji (O Lah Tune Gee) Cushite Soldier
Gangus's Staff Command Tierphenjinochun (Teer fen gin o tion)

Minor Characters
Khimah (Kee ma) Eldest Son
Captain Dulcy P Dordrecht (Door check) Captain of the Cristofur
Judian (Jew-dee-in) Second in Command of the Christofur
Kofius (Ko fee us) The Sail Master
The Drake (like it's spelled) The menacing dragon
The Gunji (Gun-gee) A magical humanoid

The gods
Raziel (Ray-zeal) God of gods
Dahlia (Doll-lee'ah) Goddess of Domaria--a kingdom ruled by women
Gailzur (Gale-zore) God of War
Nelchael (Nell-key-ol) God of the Underworld
Zakzakiel (Zak zah keel) God of Peace


The Races
Volarians (Vo lar rians) (Humans) 'Gangus's tribe'
Timbakni (Tim-bach-knee) (Humanoid) K9 race, Devoted to Gangus and his tribe
Engamars (In ga mars) (Humanoids) aka, Red Beards 'Hate Aenwyns and Qu'Venars'
Aenwyns (An winds) (Humanoids) 'Adore Qu'Venars, hate Engamars'
Qu'Venars (Q' Vin nahs) (Humanoids) 'Adore Aenwyns can't tolerate the stubborn Engamars'
Nordoxz (Nor-docks) (Humanoid) 'Skin multi-colored like a serpent, Enemy to all, including the gods, except one'
Faerie (Far ree) (Another world) Origin of the Aenwyns'
Domarians (Doe mah rians) ( Humans) A kingdom ruled by women'
Nekani (Neh cah knee) (Humanoids) Felion Race'





 




When Lord Gangus Abram is awakened by a mysterious voice in the night and told to seek out the Oracle Naman, he must make a journey across the Endless Ocean to destroy the Nordoxz, an undefeated race of humanoids that are controlled by powerful forces of evil.

Lord Abrams plunges into a perilous trek to obey the gods and settle in Bethica, a land of dragons, cannibals, Fallen Angels, Amazonians, and Dark Lords. He is joined by his wife, Brehira, youngest son Dinary, comrade and friend, Celio, Shapeshifter and Beast Master, Olutunji, and 750 people willing to risk their lives for land and freedom.
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