The cavern walls quaked from the high-pitched shrieking, fierce scratching on rock and the intense rush of battle.

"This isn't working!" I shouted over blaring gunfire.

I instinctively crouched to avoid an oncoming spider, aimed my guns and fired. Spider bodies and icky bits of limbs thudded to the ground. More replaced the fallen.

My fingers were cramping up from rapid firing. Hot smoke stuffed up my nose. The taste of iron was drying out my throat. My eyes drooped. I was staggering, so bloody exhausted.

"We've no choice! For Death!" Brystagg shouted near my ear.

No fair. Pulling out that card. Of course, my body would respond with an adrenaline rush. He pressed his back to mine to steady my stance. We held out our guns and fired rounds, stepping in a clockwork circle to blow off spider heads and spindly limbs aiming for us.

I saw Lyra dodging web attacks, smoothly hacking a clutter to pieces. She was enthralled with oncoming attackers that she hadn't detected the one behind her. Bullet projectiles from my guns caused the spider at her back to explode before it could carry out with its nasty stab attack.

Lyra heaved with a thankful sigh. She continued with her skilful slash attacks.

Buru was next to her, pulverising, shredding spider body parts with his bare hands and using the webbing roped around his arms to smash banshee into each other before tearing free.

I was worried he'd be poisoned by the viscous spider gunk his hands were in contact with. So far, he appeared to be okay.

Colin entered our firing circle. He called upon a bidea wave to dissipate a massive ring of spiders into glittering air.

"Why the hell didn't you do that earlier?!" I shouted.

"It hurts my head that's why," he clumsily signed.

Lyra and Buru also entered our area when they saw a new formation of banshee surround us.

Colin was preparing himself for another bidea wave when the banshee turned tail and fled.

"Why?" I gulped.

The crunching and grinding sounds from the walls and floors containing us provided an answer.

The floor broke apart.

"Shit!" My voice trailed off as we fell.

My heart thumped with threats of stopping. We ducked our heads, dodging flying red bricks that were reforming walls around us.

"Aargh!" I heard Buru cry out next to me.

Our descent unexpectedly stopped. A new floor had been reformed under our feet. I glanced in an L-shaped corridor that opened out to a generous rectangular room.

"Buru." I sheathed my guns to check his arm.

It was badly bruised, possibly broken. He was heaving for breath; his skin was clammy and the wound to his side was leaking blood onto the bandage. I sensed his pupils were dilated. Not good.

"Buru, Imma gonna do this sorry." I swallowed down an awkward breath, convincing myself that what I was about to do was to save a friend's life.

"Here goes." I scrunched my nose, yanked his head towards mine and squeezed my eyes closed when I used my hira magic to heal his dangerous wounds.

This experience was the most taxing on my energies by far. I sighed with relief when Buru released me with a healthy roar at the end of it.

The minotaur ripped off the bloodied bandage to reveal a healthy, wound free waist; his bruises were gone.

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