We fell down a steep decline of corridor as soon as we had stepped out of the Office of Exacle's doors.

"BLOODY—HELL!"

My screams were muffled by the force of gravity pushing against my face. I involuntarily cursed at every poke and jab felt from protruding edges. We fell at a ludicrous, uncontrollable, speed through winding tourmaline and obsidian tunnels.

'DUCK!" Death shouted in my inner ear.

I narrowly missed jagged rock that almost saw my head off.

My ears swelled with heat, rang with pain. The zooming way before me was a blur.

"ARGH!" I yelped, involuntary tumbling into Brystagg.

We dropped down a straight vertical tunnel of pitch-black darkness and landed on black rock made visible by subdued red light.

"Ouch!" I winced at the tender pain I felt to my thighs and rib cage.

Lyra and Buru's cursing followed us down.

I mustered some strength to roll away from their falling forms and had unfortunately moved to the spot to be underneath Colin.

"Gef off meh fool," I gagged with tears squeezed out of my eyes.

Colin rolled off me.

"Did any of you magis geniuses think about using a spell to cushion our fall?!" I complained when I had reclaimed my breath.

"Could you do a spell falling at those high speeds?" Lyra answered with a loaded question.

Fair point.

Brystagg had lost his hat. His stylish, messy crop of brown hair brought thoughts of Leinard to my mind. I had to get back to him and return Death to his body. No idea on how I would do either, but I would find a way when I got there.

"Are you okay?" His calm voice pulled my thoughts back to the present.

He checked on our condition, using his hira magic to heal superficial wounds.

Colin wrapped a bandage around Buru's waist to stop yucky bits of pus and blood oozing out of the wound to his side.

"You can't heal that?" I asked Brystagg pointing to Buru's wound and gulped at the murderous glare he gave me in response.

Lyra sniggered. "He'd have to perform bestiality to do that."

"I've healed what I could for you guys to walk unaided." Brystagg's murderous eyes were redirected to hers.

"You have my thanks Sire." She changed the subject.

"Meh be fine," Buru calmly reassured everyone.

"You're like that saying, strong as an ox." I lightly joked and copped a glare from him.

"Meh not an ox." He firmly asseverated.

"Aah," I nervously scratched my head, realising I had struck a sore spot.

"Geeze Famine, your ignorant mouth is astonishing. Ox are castrated creatures, forced to labour. It's clear he's proud of being otherwise." Death's chiding voice stirred an ache to my temples.

"I didn't mean it that way" I groaned, turning my attention to Colin to change the subject.

Colin was focused on taking stock of his inventory.

I checked own gear, satisfied to see that the guns were still cased in their holsters, the portspell and bag of shrill marbles were in my belt pouch next to Small Cap.

"Mirror, guns, marbles, looks like I still have them." I ticked off my inventory aloud.

"Marbles? You sure about that?" Lyra derisively questioned.

I poked my tongue in response to her wryness.

"Settle down children," Brystagg said to call order.

We gathered around him to discuss our next steps.

Gurgles and scratching noises made us go quiet.

"Oh, my, my, it's been a while," hissed a familiar voice with a tone far from being warm and welcoming.

"It can't be!" Lyra gasped. Her blue eyes were dilated with fear.

The creature's fleering was making me feel skittish.

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