At the princess's command, the knights drew their long swords and lined up to face the enemy. The witches, on the other hand, stood with Brendel. The large saber-toothed Crystal Wight swooped in front of them but to everyone's surprise, the monsters were moving towards the darkness on the other end as if they hadn't seen them.
What's going on? Everyone turned their heads in shock when they saw the Crystal Wights rush forward without stopping, disappearing into the darkness. Soon, only a faint rustling sound remained.
This scenario confused not just the group of knights; even Brendel and the witches around him were a little confused. Most monsters were vicious and kill people. There must be a reason for their strange behavior.
"They… seem to be running away?" Princess Gryphine, who stood behind Brendel, whispered in a somewhat confused manner.
Yes, they are running away! As though a lightning bolt had crossed his mind, Brendel reacted. His expression changed immediately. Each of those large Crystalized Saber-toothed Spiders were no less than a Gold Ranker, what else was there that could make them run for their lives?
The answer to that was fairly obvious.
"Put your swords away and run, something is chasing them!" Brendel’s hair stood on end when he thought of the Mother of Spiders. Suddenly he wondered if he was at odds with the place, encountering all sorts of situations every time he came.
The knights were shaken, but they reacted to Brendel’s warning immediately. They all turned pale, put away their long swords, turned around and retreated. Fearing that they would panic and run headfirst into the cobwebs of Anarons, Brendel quickly spoke up to remind everyone the way out.
The underground was littered with layers and layers of spider silk; it looked as if the safest way was to advance along the riverbank. Only Brendel knew that it was actually a trap. The actual safe route was instead on the side of the cliff, and he knew that there was only a single narrow opening to cross that cliff safely.
There was actually another treasure there, but Brendel wasn’t in the mood to think about it at that moment. He led everyone through the strange rocky stalactites, avoiding the huge cobwebs that connected almost the entire underground passage. It wasn't long before everyone heard a rustling sound coming from behind, like a large hand rubbing against yarn.
Princess Gryphine subconsciously glanced back and saw four pairs of blood-red eyes in the darkness, each one the size of a fist. She couldn't help but let out a yelp in fright. Her legs weakened, almost causing her to fall.
Brendel was quick-eyed and hurried to catch her. "Don't look back, she's looking for us too."
"Is that the Mother of Spiders?" It was only after the princess had calmed the fear in her heart that she asked in a quiet voice. "Yes, that's her," Brendel replied with a calm nod.
He didn't even need to look back to know that the female spider was trailing behind them. Darkness Perception was an impressive attribute in The Amber Sword and now that it was working once again, Brendel could clearly feel the chill behind him. That feeling wasn’t really the most comfortable one.
"It didn't see us?"
"It is trying to pinpoint our location." He was tempted to tell Her Highness that the eyes of the Mother of Spiders were ornaments used to scare people; its real eyes were the silk under her feet. It sensed the location of its prey through vibrations and its silk was spread throughout the subterranean tunnels. The slightest vibration would draw its attention, which led to the group of people and the spider playing cat and mouse, very quickly passing through a large cavern of dense spider webs. Brendel had chosen the narrower burrows to escape in order to limit the speed of the Mother of Spiders. But even so, the huge creature stayed close behind them.
The knights were doing fine. The high-intensity training allowed them to handle such scenarios with relative ease, keeping up with Brendel even in their heavy armor. On the other hand, the witches, who rarely exercised, couldn’t handle it much longer. With a few old witches panting and falling behind, Brendel had to slow down to make sure no one fell behind.
But by doing so, the Mother of Spiders was one step closer to them and Brendel could almost already sense her footsteps. He couldn't help but feel anxious on the inside, but they were already very close to the slit he remembered. They just needed to hold on for a little longer.
Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The Mother of Spiders Anarons also seemed to realize something was wrong. It suddenly let out a hiss and caught up, raising its chelicerae and sweeping towards Brendel’s direction.
"It's just ahead!" Brendel shouted. He hugged Her Royal Highness and rolled forward. The princess let out a muffled grunt and the Mother of Spiders Anarons' giant chelicerae swept over their heads. Two knights and a witch didn’t manage to dodge the attack and were slammed in the waist.
The broken bodies fell to the ground like two pieces of wood. Blood then gushed out like a fountain and spilled all over the place.
Brendel vaguely heard the little witch called Sugar Jar scream in terror. He dazedly grabbed the Halran Gaia and stood up, only to see another broken cliff ahead. Luckily, there was a crack, which was as wide as half a man, in the rock wall on the side of the break, a crack in which the rocks were crisscrossed and blackened. Exactly as he remembered.
That was exactly the place he was looking for.
"Everyone, don't stop, get in there!" Brendel didn't dare relax and immediately shouted to the others. The knights and witches heard him and ran in that direction. He looked back, only to see the Mother of Spiders Anarons in the darkness once again raising its chelicerae, its four pairs of blood-red eyes staring at him condescendingly.
"Who would be afraid of you, monster!"
There was no more room for Brendel to retreat at that moment. He simply stood up straight, picked up the Halran Gaia and prepared to face the spider. The black blade of the sword swung around mid-air and slashed towards the Mother of Spiders Anarons’ chelicerae, which was swinging towards them. The clash let out a loud clang. Brendel felt as if he had hit a steel pillar or a rock. Dazzling sparks bloomed in the darkness.
Half of his body went numb as he only felt a huge force that sent him flying, before he crashed into the rock wall on the side. The Halran Gaia also flew out of his hand. It spun, scraped a few stalactite pillars and bounced off, making a series of clanking noises in the darkness and landing on a spider web.
It was only then that Brendel realized how far he was from the truth. The battle with Williams had left him a little too hot-headed, and the after-effects had only decided to make themselves known right this moment. The Planeswalker’s power was not his own after all.
He felt his airway contracting and his mouth was filled with a metallic, salty taste. However, this was not the time to ponder about what was right or wrong. He shook his head to shake off the dizziness, but his head had already been cracked open. He could barely lift his blood-covered eyelids to see the Mother of Spiders Anarons’ swinging limbs getting closer to him by the moment.
Brendel felt his heart clench at that moment.
By this time, the knights and witches had gotten closer to the crack, only to discover that Brendel had been knocked out. It seemed too late for them to turn around and rescue Brendel.
It was at this moment that Princess Gryphine, who was not far away, suddenly reacted and rushed towards the knight who had been killed earlier. She picked up what was left of his longsword and threw it at the Mother of Spiders with all her strength. The blade spun and struck the Mother of Spiders in the head, knocking her small head so that it turned to the side.
The half-elf princess then drew her own saber and shouted with a pale face at the giant spider, "Monster, I'm here!"
"No, Your Highness!"