Relaf blinked. He couldn’t tell if his eyes were open or closed or remember what had happened. He tried sitting up. Pain shot through his entire body as he moved. Despite the pain he forced himself to sit up. Suddenly he remembered what had happened. “Camilla,” he hissed in darkness! “Camilla, can you hear me?”
There was a moan. He moved towards the sound and tripped over the prone body of Camilla. Quickly kneeling beside her, he began to chafe her wrists. Slowly regaining consciousness, she asked dazed, “Where am I?”
“At the bottom of a deep hole,” Relaf replied relieved that she was fine.
Bruised and very sore she sat up and as her memory returned Camilla asked, “How did we survive that fall?”
“I don’t know.”
They fell into silence thought about what to do next. As they sat there in the dark, they heard loud voices start speaking excitedly in a foreign language and saw a faint light coming from above.
“The dwarves,” hissed Relaf nervously. “They’re coming after us. What should we do?”
“Follow me,” Camilla whispered back, deciding on a course of action.
“Further down this tunnel. Just stay close behind so we don’t lose each other. If it comes to a fight then we’re better off together then separated.” With that, Camilla started to feel her way through the dark with Relaf following close behind.
Slowly they made their way along what seemed to be a dried-up underground riverbed. Behind them, they heard the dwarves touch down behind them. Relaf was starting to panic. “We need to speed up or they will catch us.” And with that he started to run. But that was a mistake. He was unable to see where he was going and was constantly tripping and slipping as he made his way down the cave. Realizing that he wasn’t going any faster and starting to feel woozy from blood loss Relaf said, “It’s no use running. We’re just as fast walking carefully.”
“Well you were the one who wanted to go faster,” Camilla hissed back, annoyed with her partner’s clumsiness. She hadn’t ran at all and had already caught up with him.
Relaf slowed down and once again they tried feeling their way slowly through the dark, the sounds of the dwarves chatter and heavy steps constantly ringing in their ears.
As Camilla’s hands swept back and forth in the darkness she felt a wall loom up in front of her but before she could warn Relaf, he jabbed his injured hand into the rock wall. “Ahhh,” Relaf yelled in pain. There was an eerie silence in the cave.
“What was that,” Camilla hissed at him? “You just alerted our enemies where we are.”
“I’m sorry,” Relaf hissed back, trying to ignore the pain in his hand. “The path’s ended!”
“I know that. Just be quiet.”
Camilla pushed past Relaf and felt around in the darkness trying to find any sign of the tunnel continuing. “Quickly, try climbing,” she said glancing at Relaf’s hand in the faint glow from the lights of their enemies which was coming dangerously close. Realizing they had no other option, Relaf bit back the pain and started to climb. As soon as they reached the roof of the cave, the dwarves swarmed around the corner. For what seemed like an eternity the dwarves argued in their native tongue. The blood from Relaf’s open wound was still flowing gradually covering the rock wall that he was holding onto more and more slippery. Just when Relaf felt he couldn’t hold on any longer, the dwarves made up their minds. Getting down on their hands and knees they noisily disappeared seemingly into the wall that Relaf and Camilla were hanging from.
Not sure if it was safe Relaf found a clean rock with no blood on it and readjusted his grip. They hung on for a few moments more letting the dwarves put a bit of distance between them. Eventually they started to descend. In the strange distant glow from a dwarven lantern that their enemies carried, Camilla could distinguish a small opening at the bottom of the cave’s wall. Once her foot touched the ground she already had a plan. She searched the ground for rock or something large to block up the hole. Instead she found the relic that Relaf had grabbed when they first ran into the dwarves. Quickly grabbing the relic she hid it among her other equipment and waited for Relaf to get down.
Relaf, half sliding half climbing down, slowly followed Camilla. Holding his breath for fear of making too much noise and attracting unwanted attention he finally felt the ground beneath his feet. In the faint glow he could make out the figure of Camilla beckoning to follow her back the way they had just come. The pain in his hand was growing every second and he could barely think straight. He stumbled forward in the general direction of Camilla.
The footsteps of the dwarves were now almost out of earshot when they suddenly stopped. A little impatient, Camilla walked up to Relaf and hissed in his ear, “Quickly now!”
Relaf just nodded his head in response and started following.
But after walking for a bit, Camilla noticed that Relaf was not right behind her. She could still hear him shuffling along but there was another sound coming from that direction, the sound of many heavy feet approaching fast. As quick as lightning Camilla summed up the situation. “The dwarves must have hit a dead end. Relaf looks as if he’s in a lot of pain and won’t be able to climb very quickly.” Deciding on a course of action Camilla ran back to Relaf, grabbed his hand, and half dragged him through the dark cave.
Arriving where the pursuit originally began Camilla found the rope the dwarves used to climb down. Quickly she tied the barely able to stand Relaf to one end and scaled up the wall to the relic room. Reaching the top she realized that the hole was not deep at all. Finding the other end of the rope she started to pull. It didn’t take long for her arms started to hurt under the weight she was pulling up. “It wouldn’t hurt this man to eat a little less,” she moaned to herself. “I have the relic Goran sent us to find. I could just leave him here and say the dwarves killed him.” She then thought of a few hours before when she told him to let her go and get away by himself. “If we die we die as a team,” she decided. Summoning all her strength she pulled hard.
Half climbing half dragged, Relaf felt the wall disappear and he fell forward. Realizing he was back in the relic room, he got to his feet and looked around. Once again he saw Camilla beckoning for him to follow her. Biting his lip as his hand burned with pain and his whole body ached, he followed her to the surface. Their first mission was almost complete!
This has been too long in the making but I was pretty busy this summer and away from my Lego. Whatever, it's here now and there's more to come in the near future!