Reads: 3

A battle hardened man and woman stood at the entrance to a large cavern and both could feel their souls retreating from their bodies in fear. A bone chilling cold ran along their spines and made their limbs stiffen in fright.

 

Before the duo was thousands, no, millions of eggs piled on top of each other along the walls of the cavern. They filled nearly every square meter of the walls and ceiling like some terrible nightmare from hell.

 

At the far end of the cavern, several cocoons were planted on the ground. The cocoons moved slightly and the duo could see several human face impressions pushing out towards them from inside.

 

Hanging from the wall above them, a massive spider the size of a tennis court was curled up sleeping. Its soccer ball sized eyes were closed and a large human shaped face of a beautiful woman with olive colored skin was on its back.

 

Tony's entire face twitched subtly as he looked at the massive spider hanging on the wall above the cocoons. He had stalked close enough to see the system name of it along with a new system feature, History.

 

Kali, Daughter of Mother Namtaru](Unique Boss)

History: Kali was born of the demonic spider that became a god, Namtaru, before she achieved godhood. She has one of the purest bloodlines of the spider goddess and is capable of both spider and humanoid transformations. She was forced to flee when Nyx, a demigod of darkness, destroyed her clan in an attempt to capture her for her blood and soul She has retreated to a deep cave to recuperate and rebuild her kingdom.

 

Tony grimaced as he read the massive spider's history. A monster that could fight a demigod and still manage to escape alive was absolutely terrifying.

 

He laughed internally as he realized that not only had he killed her children and reduced her kingdom's power. He was about to steal her best food source, then blow up her home.

 

He turned to Tanya and met eyes with her; a similar look of apprehension in her eyes. No words were said but they both understood each other instinctively.

 

Tanya returned the daggers to Tony and split off to begin planting C4 charges around the cavern. Tony stowed his spear and slid one dagger back into its sheath before slowly creeping forward.

 

He decided to keep one hand free so he could grab and hoist one of the soldiers out in one sweeping motion. The two soldiers that were rescued earlier had come to the entrance and stood in a ready position.

 

Through a combination of nonverbal motions, They had setup a plan for moving the soldiers out. Tony would use wind magic to lighten the soldiers and then throw them to the waiting soldiers.

 

Seconds felt like minutes and minutes felt like hours as the two worked as carefully and slowly as they could while keeping an eye on Kali. After what felt like days to Tony, he reached in front of Kali and the cocoons.

 

With deft hands, he slit open the first cocoon and pulled the man in one swift motion. Then, he threw the man behind him in an arc towards the entrance where the two soldiers and Tanya were now waiting in place to receive him.

 

Carefully, they caught the man as noiselessly as possible. After ensuring he wasn't in immediate danger of death, they turned back to wait for the next soldier. The rescued soldier, meanwhile, moved back and sat down to recover his stamina as much as possible.

 

Lt. Eva had also sent in a few soldiers from the outer guard team after seeing the red dots disappearing. The newly arrived soldiers shook silently when they saw the cavern interior, but quickly adjusted their emotions.

 

With Tanya's instructions, the five new arrivals set themselves up in a line formation leading out of the cavern. Together, they would form a train to bring the rescued soldiers out of the cavern before allowing them to rest where the final soldier was a trained medic. She would verify their condition as well as she could with the limited time available.

 

Tony continued to slit open the cocoons and throw the soldiers to the waiting receivers. After clearing the last cocoon, he backtracked as fast as he could while remaining wary of his steps.

 

After receiving the last soldier, Tanya signaled all of them to retreat back to the outside immediately. She stayed behind to ensure her commander could make it back out.

 

Her admiration deepened greatly after working with him in this operation. Few men would brave the front lines, especially commanders, when they could command others to take their place. Subconsciously, she licked her lips when she looked at the man. This was a man worth dying for and his partner, Caitlyn, had a similar aura.

 

She suddenly felt a pang of guilt over her former commander. Lt. Eva and Zofia said they didn't find his corpse so he should be alive still somewhere. Would he think of her working with another man as a betrayal?

 

While she was lost in thought, Tony had arrived within three meters of her and he could see her curious expression. The lighting in the cave was very poor, generated by the strange stones along the walls. It made visibility very poor at a distance and they had relied on LED sticks to mark each other's locations in the darkness.

 

However, even without the light, Tony could feel the burning gaze on his back. The nightmare at his back had opened her eyes and she was glaring at his direction. It was unclear if she had noticed what he had done, but it was enough that he was walking freely in her nest, her kingdom.

 

A terrifying screech filled with anger, despair and hunger filled the cavern and reverberated throughout the entire nest. The very ground beneath Tony and Tanya's feet seemed to tremble in fear at the madness of the daughter of the spider goddess.

 

Kali could smell the blood of her children on Tony and Tanya's bodies. While she would normally be indifferent to losing a few hundred children, they had also stolen her prized reserves of food. She would be vulnerable and forced to flee again if she couldn't recover her power.

 

Tony took a small grey object from his ring and tossed it backwards in desperation as he yelled at Tanya to start running. She had been slow to react and had only turned around after he had closed the three meters to her.

 

Kali slid off the wall and her legs spread out in all directions as she prepared to charge forward. The small grey object had not given her any sense of danger so she ignored it entirely. However, when she closed in on the escaping duo, it exploded in a blinding flash of light.

 

Instinctively, she tried to close her eyes but was still blinded and stunned. Her body's momentum continued moving forward and she slammed into one of the cavern walls.

 

After running out far enough, Tanya blew the explosives closest to the entrance of the cavern. Several large sections of the wall and ceiling collapsed inward, creating obstacles for Kali to tear through.

 

Tony's magic and stamina were both running near empty by this point, but he chose to expend it all at once as he wrapped an arm around Tanya's waist. With a burst of wind and thunder magic, he pushed hard off the ground and flew forward at a speed that was no less than one of Caitlyn's arrows. It was still far slower than a bullet, but it was far faster than their normal sprinting speed, even with full stamina and in their best shape.

 

Tanya's body went rigid at the sudden intimacy and then relaxed as she focused on triggering the C4 explosives behind them. By the time his body gave out, they had cleared the cave's entrance and fallen before the outer guard formation.

 

Tony's face was deathly pale from exhaustion and he was fading out of consciousness, but he had gotten the two of them out safely. Tanya rolled to her feet quickly and called for a medic and a full retreat.

 

Caitlyn and Lt. Eva made no argument after seeing the state of the soldiers that came out earlier ad hearing their accounts of what lay inside. The troop immediately fell back towards the base, with Tony on a stretcher made by tying the legs of a spider minion into four parts and laying him across its back while being carried by four men.


Submitted: September 15, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Draakdorei. All rights reserved.

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