Trials of the Valiant Chapter 17
By The RPGenius
Outside of the cave, Ramza's captured allies had spent a very unpleasant night. It had been a cold and damp, and none of their enemies had felt the sympathetic need to share a fire with them.
Malak struggled once again to break his bonds. Once again, his efforts brought no reward. He sat back and watched the sun rise slowly, a bleary orange-gray hue through the clouds.
He turned and saw that Alma was once again concentrating. All through the night, Alma had kept trying to come up with ideas on how to break the ropes holding them, but each idea ended in futility. Still, she refused to give up.
Alma opened her eyes, sighed, and asked once more, "Doesn't ANYONE have ANYTHING sharp enough to break these ropes?"
Meliadoul lost her temper. "NO! For the final time, no! We don't have anything we can use to get out of these ropes, and even if we did, we wouldn't even be able to get it out of our pockets! Think of something else, this is the fourth time you've asked!"
Malak defended Alma. "Settle down, Meliadoul. At least she's coming up with some ideas. No one else has thought of anything all night. Well, besides Mustadio..." he trailed off.
Mustadio looked up, spitting out pieces of rope. "You wouldn't believe how bad this stuff tastes! Tastes a little like my breakfast, actually. But I've got good news! I'm halfway through!" he said loudly. A guard heard this, and tied him up with another piece of rope.
Malak sighed and closed his eyes. There was just no way around it: they'd been caught, and there wasn't anything they could do about it.
After a moment, someone kicked him savagely. He opened his eye and saw a guard.
"Up on your feet, you lot. You're to march down to the quicksand pits to be executed," the guard said, cutting the ropes around their ankles.
Malak considered running, but realized that it was pointless. If they didn't shoot an arrow through him, they'd quickly overtake him and force him to come with them.
The leader, Duegran, walked over to the prisoners. "Well, what a lovely day for a walk in the swamp. Hope you don't mind a quick jog in the quicksand pits."
He turned to his soldiers. "I want fifteen to come with me! The others stay and await further orders from Syldreth!" He turned and began to lead the way to the pits.
Malak saw that Vantan had been selected as one of the fifteen who would oversee their deaths. Malak just wished he had one good hand free to wring the traitor's neck.
* * *
Ramza was in a bit of trouble. After hours of peace, someone had found him. Agrias still asleep and healing. Worker 8 was still healing her. So Ramza was going to have to face the Chemist, Squire, Samurai, and Time Mage that had just arrived by himself.
"Come on!" yelled the Samurai to his companions. "He's alone!"
The Time Mage started charging a spell. Ramza ran forward to eliminate him first, but was blocked by the Chemist. Ramza plunged his sword into the Chemist's chest, killing him instantly. Unfortunately this gave the Time Mage enough time to cast Haste on the Squire and Samurai.
Ramza whirled around to meet their attack and just barely missed being chopped by the Squire's ax. The Samurai moved towards Ramza with incredible speed, thanks to the Haste spell, and slashed Ramza viciously with his katana. Ramza winced out in pain, but managed to counter with a thrust of his own, wounding the Samurai.
Ramza prepared to finish the Samurai when he was suddenly smashed over the head. Ramza had completely forgotten about the Time Mage, and had gotten a nasty blow for that mistake. Ramza gritted his teeth, spun around, and slashed with such force that the Time Mage never had time to even scream. Ramza turned to face the Squire and Samurai, but knew that he had no chance, weakened as he was. Even if he did manage to win, he might die from his current wounds.
The Squire stepped forward, grinning triumphantly. She raised her ax to deliver the final blow, and--
Was utterly destroyed by a Holy Explosion. Agrias stood before Ramza, her Rune Blade drawn and ready.
The Samurai dashed forward, but his blade was blocked by her shield. She slashed him, and he fell dead on the ground.
Ramza, breathing hard, managed to gasp, "Thanks, Agrias."
She helped him to his feet. She looked at him angrily. "Didn't I tell you to wake me if you needed help? If I hadn't finished healing when I did, you'd be dead," she said angrily.
Ramza made his way over to the dead Chemist, and used the potions he found in the Chemist's bag on himself, healing his wounds.
He turned to Agrias. "Sorry. I didn't want to wake you until you were fully healed, so I had to fight alone. I couldn't just run off and leave you undefended," he told her.
Agrias replied gruffly, "Well, don't worry about protecting me. I'm much better at protecting you than the other way around. I was a bodyguard, remember? Now come on, let's get moving. My healing cost us several hours."
With that, they continued searching for a way out. Worker 8 automatically traced their path, and drew maps of where they had been, thus making it easier to find a way out. Ramza just hoped that there actually was one...
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