The Bald Tattooist of Maskerville

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The Monumental Elf Golem (Part II)

The Snake tried to wrap its body around the Dimetrodon once again but its sail is too high making it hard for the Snake to do so. It moved forward and switched to the Dimetrodon’s neck. But Yanmar jumped on the head of the Snake and threw his loadstone blade at its left eye then at the right, blinding it.

The moment the Dragonfly was eliminated, the ants attacking the Wolf had also vanished. With the spell gone, Eris spurred Il to run to the finish line. It was the perfect time while the Snake and the Dimetrodon were occupied with each other.

After blinding the Snake, Yanmar checked to see if any other creature were nearing the golem. When he saw the Skink slinking to another one of its hole in the ground. He dropped to the clay soil, palm first. A blaze of red traveled through the clay from his palm towards the Skink and suddenly, the ground surrounding it melted like quicksand and rapidly swallowed the beast. It tried to dig through the mud to find solid clay. After all, it was its specialty to navigate underground. That’s how it had been moving forward so far allowing it to avoid any encounter with other beasts. However, no matter how far it tried to dig through, there was no solid soil. Everything it touched melted and continued to swallow its whole body. The rider elves were such at a loss because they didn’t know any counter spell to stop the quicksand.

Seeing that his spell was able to stop the Skink, Yanmar went to attack the Snake once again. The Dimetrodon had now pinned its body to the ground and it’s head flailed trying to get away. Its eyes were still bleeding and Yanmar threw his loadstone blade once more at his head. He threw it exactly at the spot where the brain is located and its body grew limp and vanished.

Il had managed to sneak unscathed from the Dimetrodon. It was now passing by the Skink who was drowning in quicksand. Rebecca and the others had no time to sit and stare at the creature though, for just one kilometre away was the feet of the massive statue. They were so close, so close to winning.

However, the Dimetrodon was rapidly approaching them. It picked up its pace and was now closely behind the Wolf.

“Guys, the Dimetrodon is almost behind us!” Sebastian warned.

“Be ready!” Claus answered. “Eris, you take Il to the finish line. I’m counting on you. We will try to defend it as much as we could. Do not let it engage the Dimetrodon. We are ahead of them, if it could just keep pushing through, we will make it. Never and I mean, never, tell it to stop.”

Just when Claus finished talking about not letting it stop, the Wolf abruptly halted in its track when vines came out of nowhere, sprouting from the clay, wrapping its legs and body.

“Young Masters, hold tight!” Eris shouted as Il thrashed its body to break free from the tendrils that tried to immobilize it. Unfortunately, the more tendrils broke, more germinated and the tighter its hold became.

Ink and the others tried to cut the tendrils as it not only wrapped the legs but also the Wolf’s torso.

The Dimetrodon was closing in now. Demelov could only see one solution left. As the other beast passed by their helpless state, he took a big leap and jumped on its body. He used his blade to grabbed unto the creature by stabbing its thick skin and hanging unto it.

“Oh, for the love of all that’s holy,” Marty said, shaking his head. He took a few steps back, a deep breath, ran and leaped into the creature as well, doing the exact same thing Demelov did to hold unto the beast. He crashed to it with an oompf and almost fell when his sweaty palm lost his grip on the hilt of the sword.

Ink watched horrified as his friend did the unthinkable. Him and Marty were not the best fighters they had in the group. So why he took that leap was beyond his imagination. He worried that Marty might just get in Demelov’s way. But what the hell! The more hands, the better. Ink thought as he took the leap as well and hung unto the Dimetrodon’s back, grabbing at a projecting spine.

“What the hell are you doing?!” Demelov shouted.

“I’m helping you, of course. What does it look like I’m doing?” Marty replied.

“It looked like you just jumped to your death.”

“Well, I’m alive. So, obviously. You are wrong.”

Demelov shook his head and swung his feet to the side pushing himself up the sail of the Dimetrodon. Once he was up, he grabbed Marty by the hand and pulled him up as well.

“I don’t think it even felt our blade pierce its skin,” Marty commented.

“It must’ve felt like an insect bite to it,” Demelov added.

“So, what’s the plan? For now it seems like the elves haven’t noticed our presence.”

Ink managed to get to the top of the Dimetrodon’s back just fine. He was a few steps behind the other two and walked to where they were. He overheard Marty asking for the plan as he neared them.

“Do you know any of its weaknesses, if it does have one?” Demelov asked.

“No,” Marty answered.

“Ugh, great. Where is Claus when you need his brain,” he grumbled.

Ink then remembered something he overheard the night before Claus took over the watch. He remembered him saying to Frank that if it ever goes down to a fight with the Dimetrodon which he believes would be one of the last ones standing, he wanted Frank to aim at the spot behind its eyes.

“Hey guys,I think I know it’s weakness.”

Marty was shocked. “Ink? What are you doing here?”

“You’d think I’d let you go off on your own. Just like that? Catherine would kill me,” he grinned.

Demelov cleared his throat impatiently. “Now isn’t the time for us to catch up. You said you know it’s weakness?”

Ink nodded his head. “Well, Claus did. I overheard him telling Frank that there’s a hole in its skull just on the spot behind its eyes. If we could managed to injure its brain severely through that gap, there might be a chance for us.”

Ink thought that if they could just pull this off, they’d have a shot at winning the wars and getting the Vertigo Forest. It appears like the Heavens haven’t completely forsaken us yet. But with the blessing of the Heavens or not. I will make sure to make it happen.

The wind whipped at their masks as the three guys held unto the Dimetrodon’s back. Rebecca and the others were still struggling with the vines that immobilized their Wolf. By this time, almost all of Il’s body was covered with green stems and unfurling fiddlehead fern fronds. Rebecca would have appreciated it’s beautiful pattern more, only if it weren’t strangling their beast.

Ink looked back at their incapacitated state, not able to break free from the assault. He knew they had to move sooner now before Il got suffocated by the greeneries. The only problem they’re facing is how to get behind the Dimetrodon’s eyes when the elves are practically standing on that spot. Ink was right to think that it must be it’s weak spot. Why else would the elf-riders closely guard it? Demelov looked up at its sail.

“Did any of you manage to snag a bow and an arrow?” Demelov asked.

Ink did managed to grab a spare bow and arrow before jumping to the beast. He handed it to Demelov.

“I don’t suppose you have a rope with you?”

Marty made a show of tapping his tunic and trousers as if searching for the rope. Then, he looked at Demelov. “Do I look like someone who will be carrying a rope here?”

Demelov hit his shoulders. “Seriously, Marty. I have no time for your smart remarks. I have a plan and in order to get that plan into motion, I need a rope.” Though Demelov didn’t say it out loud, he was grateful that Marty and Ink joined him on his crazy suicidal idea.

The two friends shared a look. It was the first time Demelov addressed Marty in his first name. Ink thought it was an achievement unlocked. “What is your plan?” he asked.

He pointed at the sail of the Dimetrodon, clutching the bow and arrow Ink had handed him. The elves were too focused on reaching the finish line that they didn’t notice them riding the beast yet.

“Seriously?” Marty asked bewildered.

“We don’t have any other choice, do we?” Demelov answered.

Ink crouched and placed his left hand over his right. Marty gazed at him questioningly. “What are you doing? Get down here and do the same.” Ink pulled him down and instructed him to bend, copying his friend’s position.

Demelov flexed his shoulders and cracked his neck. He slung the bow and arrow across his chest.

“You think you can reach it?” Ink asked.

Demelov gauged the height. “Just give me a strong boost. I’ll manage to lift myself up once I clutched on that flap of skin.”

Ink nodded his head. “Oh, I will. You won’t be needing a rope at all.” He signaled at Marty who nodded his head in return.

Demelov’s left boot stepped on Ink’s hand while his right boot at Marty’s. He steadied himself using Ink’s bald head and Marty’s curly hair. The difference in the texture made him want to rub Ink’s head. He thought for good luck.

“On three,” Ink said.

“One.” Demelov pulled at Marty’s hair just for fun.

“Two.” He rubbed Ink’s head for luck.

“Three.” He crouched low and leaped for good boost.

He flew upwards as Ink and Marty tossed him in the air with all their might. Demelov almost reached the top of the sail, and he extended his hand to the slab of skin in between the spines. His left hand slipped but he managed to hold on with the other. He tightly grabbed the skin, enough to swing his left hand and steadied himself. He used his upper body strength to lift his body all the way up and he sat on the space in between the spines. He looked down at both Ink and Marty, waving.

Marty grinned. “He did it.”

Ink checked the elves. But so far, they have been undetected. Suddenly, the Dimetrodon roared and Demelov clutched the spines for dear life. It was a victory cheer. The elves tapped each other’s shoulder, congratulating their comrades for a job well done. They were almost at the foot of the monumental golem and they thought nothing stood in the way of their victory.

Demelov shook his head. That’s what you think.

He aimed his arrow at the eyes of the Dimetrodon. He held his breath as the arrow flew towards its target and hit the mark. The arrow went deep into the flesh, only the nock was left visible. The Dimetrodon staggered and wailed. Blood poured out of its eyes.

The elves whipped their heads to see where the arrow came from and saw Demelov perched on top of the beast’s sail. The Dimetrodon shook his sail violently, and Demelov grabbed tightly on it’s spine. When Yanmar saw that the beast’s movements didn’t send Demelov hurtling down the ground, he jumped off of the Dimetrodon with the other two elf guards. He whistled, and the beast rolled off on its side throwing Demelov, Ink and Marty away.

Demelov fell just right on top of the sail and the beast was about to roll over which would, no doubt, crush him to bits. He stared wide-eyed as the belly of the Dimetrodon rose, overshadowing the sun beating on his sprawled body. He gulped. He didn’t fancy being squashed like a bug and tried to move out of the way, but the bow he had slung across his chest got stuck on the cracks of the prismatic clay. He struggled to free himself as the body of the Dimetrodon neared in slow motion. Damn it. He thought as he punched the clay soil.

He looked up at the massive size of the beast and laughed at the absurdity of his situation. I guess this is it. He closed his eyes.

Right then and there, he heard the slash of a blade cutting the bow apart. He opened his eyes. Marty and Ink pried the ruined piece of wood and taut string. They both dragged Demelov out of the way before the Dimetrodon’s body came crushing down.

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