Rise of the Thrall Lord
The Battle of Fisheye Cove - Part 18
The chamber seemed to sway slightly as Perovich stood up. He waved Merry away, but she grabbed his right arm and steadied him anyway. It was a good thing he thought as the floor seemed less firm at the moment than the deck of a sloop in a gale.
He carefully turned and faced the statue of Alaric. The acid had run down the front leaving small marks that seemed to be fading as he watched.
“I’m a man of my word.” He said quietly.
Merry looked askance, but he just flashed his best grin at her. “It’ll be alright, have faith.”
“Uncle Vic, are you sure you didn’t hit your head when you fell off that statue?” she asked dubiously.
A splash brought them both about in alarm; Perovich immediately regretting the sudden movement as pain shot through his side. There were only faint dark ripples in the pool near where Gully had been standing a moment before.
Cold fear gripped his heart as they both stood in shock the few quietly strained moments before Gully’s grinning head popped back out of the water. He was triumphantly holding the second emerald eye.
“I knew you threw two!” he crowed as he set the second giant green gem on the edge of the pool next to the first and nimbly pulled himself out of the water.
“Gully! Don’t do that!” Merry scolded.
“What?” Gully asked sincerely perplexed.
The skinny lad stood there in the lightning spawned illumination beneath the statue, the flickering shadow of the upraised heavenly bolt falling directly on him. Perovich almost didn’t recognize his nephew for a moment again. It must be weakness from the wounds, he thought. He had to blink twice to bring the boy back into focus.
It was just little Gully, but he could see indomitable spirit and a love of adventure reflected in Gully’s blue-gray eyes. He recalled that feeling, he was only a few years older than Gully was now when he stowed away aboard a southbound freighter to join the Penwick navy.
As Gully stepped forward, Perovich also noticed a large puckered scar running from the boy’s right shoulder half way across his chest. It looked nasty, but several weeks healed, and Pervich knew the lad didn’t have that injury only a few hours ago. He had seen a ship’s priests call upon divine magics to heal wounds like that in a matter of seconds.
“What happened to you?”
“Dragon,” Gully said tracing the scar with a grin. “Not a little one like your black, but a great big fiery red one!” He stretched out the words and spread his arms wide emphasizing the size.
Ah, the boy has the knack, Perovich thought. The only thing a fisherman or sailor liked better than showing off their scars was exaggerating the size of their encounters.
“I suppose that one got away?” he refrained from chuckling; it would hurt his burned side too much.
“Dunno, I suppose it’s still out there…” Gully looked up at the stone ceiling as if he could see through. His voice had gotten quieter at the thought.
“Right,” he said, also lowering his voice for some unknown reason. It was unlikely that a dragon bigger than that black one could fit down here. “Then we better get moving; grab my bag and those gems and help me to the other statue.”