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Once they reached the chamber with the large crystals, they saw the goblins huddled together underneath a large crystal leaning against the wall. Goblins with large oversized shields stood on the entrance guarding it while the goblins hid under the safety of the gem. Two glowing orbs were under the crystal, and another two orbs stood in the open, waiting for the perytons to come. A large abyss in the middle of the chamber divided the four orbs from one another.
The perytons divided into groups. One will attempt to catch the prey standing in the open, and the others fly above the goblins with the shield and s.n.a.t.c.h their prey. Stick and Smoke watched the flock of perytons separate, with one group flying towards them. "So they did notice us. Good thing." Stick remarked.
"What if they didn't?" Smoke rested his club on his shoulder.
"No idea what will happen," Stick said while planting his shield on the ground. "But since the plan is working so far, let's get ready."
"What do you mean by so far?"
"Well, you know. Our plan didn't work out with the trolls. It might happen again. You never know."
"I can't help but feel like that was a personal attack."
"What? I didn't mean it that way. Besides, I said our, meaning we were all responsible."
"Hahahahaha!" Smoke laughed, "I was joking! Oh look, half of the perytons are flying this way."
The perytons flew around the crystals and were forming their hunting formation when suddenly their lead flyer's antlers slammed against a hanging rope. The peryton spun around the air, trying to regain control of its body before hitting a wall. The rest of the group stopped and flew higher to a.s.sess the situation. They saw countless ropes strung together like a spider's web waiting for them to get caught. And in the center of this birdcage were the light the perytons desires.
The fallen peryton got on its feet and extended its wings while barking at the brothers. It used its wings to give the illusion of a larger frame. They were not fooled, and Smoke quickly charged at the peryton with a club on hand.
The peryton tried to block the attack with its ma.s.sive wings, but the club broke through its flimsy defense and struck its skull, breaking its antlers along the way. The impact was strong enough to knock the beast unconscious. The perytons watched their packmate while floating in the air. Their strength lies in their number as well as their ability to fly. The intricate maze of rope stopped them from swarming in and prevented them from flying freely once inside the cage.
The perytons had only two options left, retreat, or fly through the web and fight to hunt their prey. They a.s.sessed the environment inside. The s.p.a.ce in which they could fly was high enough to retreat from the goblins and large enough to fit ten of the perytons at once.
The pack made their choice, and the first wave made up of ten perytons carefully flew around the crystals and rope. Once inside, they hovered above the brothers. Their shadows swim across the ground, occasionally blanketing the goblins. Then suddenly, two perytons dived towards them with their talon opened and ready to grab them. Stick dodged the peryton's attack by rolling away.
Smoke parried the peryton's talon away and causing the peryton to lose its balance. The peryton landed on its feet, letting Smoke time to retaliate with his club. Smoke slammed his club against the peryton's wings, breaking them in half. The peryton cried in pain, but its cry was short live after Smoke smashed its lower jaw apart.
The perytons quickly descended to attack Smoke while his guard was down, but Stick protected his back with the large shield. Smoke swung his club around, swaying the perytons away from them. "Strange, they got us beat in numbers, but they're overly careful." Smoke said. The perytons retreated, flying higher in the air while avoiding the rope above them. "If they want to, they could just charge at us at once and suffocate us."
"Don't give them any ideas!"
"Like they understand what we're saying. But we can't beat them if they keep flying away from us. We need something to reach those birds."
"Like my sickle!" Stick took his sickle out with a rope attached to its hilt. "You might want to move, bro. I need as much s.p.a.ce as possible."
Smoke backed away from Stick as he spun his sickle above his head. The sickle traveled around and around, gaining speed as it rotates closer to its center while the updraft blew his clothes wildly, and his long black hair floated in the wind. Then he released his grip of the rope while moving his arm. The circle grew larger. Then Stick released the sickle towards the flock.
The sickle flew across the air before striking its blade through a peryton's ribcage. The beast crashed to the earth, and Stick pulled his sickle out and began the process once more. The perytons, realizing they were no longer safe from a distance, panicked into action. They dove straight towards Stick, which made it all too easy for him to strike them down. Stick flailed his arm around, leading his sickle through the air, making it dance as it sliced the perytons.
Smoke watched helplessly and in awe. Stick always talked about his weaknesses, but he was no weakling. He cut through the swarm like snow, and the perytons could do nothing but fly away from Stick's reach. But no matter how far they could fly, Stick's weapon follows them close behind. Smoke could do nothing but watch as blood rain on Stick's body.
While he was watching Stick's performance, a peryton escaped Stick's onslaught and aimed its sights on Smoke. It charged towards him with the vigor matched only by Rock. But it could not reach Smoke as a sickle stabbed its legs. The peryton tripped on its face, breaking his left antler in half along the way.
Eventually, the perytons inside the cage bled to death after receiving numerous cuts from Stick's attacks. The perytons watching the battle above could not believe how strong their preys were. But there was still hope yet for them. Across the room, their other group managed to fly through the maze and wreak havoc on the goblins. They flew towards them to reinforce their attack.
The goblins panicked as more of the flying monsters flooded the scene, tossing goblins left and right looking for their prey. "We have to stick together," Cyrus said while hugging Mari's arm.
"Just stick close to me!" Sam said while holding her sister's hand, pulling her away from Mari. Eventually, the women got separated from the chaos unfolding around them.
Finally, they perytons found one of their prey, Mari. The perytons flew pa.s.sed the legions straight towards her. Mari, realizing she was the target, ran away from the goblins while grabbing a shield with her. She jumped into a small crevice and ducked her head behind her shield. The legions jumped on the perytons, wrestling them away from her. The rest of the tribe joined in after realizing the perytons' target was their beloved Chief's mother.
The perytons struggled to get the shield off her while the goblins gathered around them, blocking their talons from Mari and shoving them away, risking their lives. Goblins were torn apart and blown away, but they were persistent and continued defending their savior from the dark. "Get out of here!" Mari yelled at the goblins, "Call Stick and Smoke! it's too dangerous to fight them."
"No!" The goblins yelled as they continue to fight off the perytons.
Natasha and Sam joined in, carrying a club with her. She bashed the perytons' wings as they attempt to fly away from the mob of goblins. "What are you doing? get out of here!" Mari shouted.
"Not with you trapped inside!" She retorted.
Meanwhile, Sam hid Cyrus away from the perytons and the goblins. Their tendency to hunt those of pure hearts meant that Cyrus was a prime target. But Cyrus could not contain herself, and she jumped out from the shadows. "Cyrus, stop!" Sam yelled, but it was too late. Cyrus threw a rock at one of the perytons. "Are you crazy!"
The peryton looked at the direction of the rock, and then it called out to the rest of the pack. They found their fourth prey, and unlike Mari, she has no one to defend herself. Sam grabbed Cyrus' hand and ran. "No, You can't leave her!" Cyrus yelled. "Don't take me away!"
The perytons flew high into the air while shaking off any goblins that grabbed hold of them and chased after the siblings. "White, follow them now!" Mari commanded.
White ran through crystal forest, chasing after the perytons. At last, they reached the siblings, standing near the edge of the large crater. 'Get behind me, Cyrus." Sam placed her arm in front of Cyrus. "You want her. You have to go through me."
"No," Sam whispered.
"What? Don't worry. I'm going to protect you. I promise."
"No. You always say that." Cyrus said while her tail bobbed back and forth.
Sam turned around to look at her sister, walking in front of her. Sam pulls away while staring at her sister's deep green eyes, "Cyrus?" She said. Then Cyrus pushed her off the cliff.
White and the perytons watch in horror. For the perytons, the light for which they were chasing, suddenly fell off the cliff, replaced by the dark void residing inside Cyrus' body. The tendrils of fear slowly crept its way on to them, with only their hunger for light keeping them at bay. Eventually, the perytons came back through their senses, and flew down to the dark abyss, chasing after the light that Sam pushed off the cliff.
White was frozen in place, unable to move after witnessing Sam push her sister. While the perytons flew away, he just stood there in silent horror after watching Sam vanish. Cyrus slowly turned around, facing White. She looked at him with a gentle smile.