I'm not a fan of magic fences at the best of times, but when I'm trying to break out of an encircling horde of thousands of monsters I really don't want to see one. So my first thought when I saw a wall of golden light appear in front of me was 'oh plops'.
Because it didn't take a genius to realise who was responsible for this sudden and inconvenient impediment. Sure enough, to either side of me, two Setsulah mage servants had appeared, seemingly from thin air.
Aren't you guys supposed to be somewhere else right now?! Why the heck are you here?!
My feet scrambled to halt my momentum as I tumbled forwards but ultimately I failed to stop in time.
I slammed into the barrier of flowing light, the shock of the impact reverberating throughout my exo-skeleton. That frickin' hurt! But they stuffed up this time, the two mages are much closer than they were last time. I brushed off the impact and focused my eyes on the two of them. Robed and hooded as always, there was very little I could make out of their bodies, but they were close. Each not even ten metres from me.
I don't know if this is a trap or if they're just taking advantage of the situation, but I'll happily take another one of these guys down, even if it means having to ride the lightning again.
Activating my dash skill I streak forward at high speed, my mandibles open wide, ready to rend and tear at the mage to my right. Before I chomp down a tingle from my antennae warns me something is coming. I slam on the brakes, my legs scrabbling to halt my momentum just as another barrier sprung into existence, shielding my target behind a protective wall of golden light.
What the heck is going on?!
Out the corner of my eyes I can see that two more of the mage slaves have appeared, their barriers joining together with the first just in front of the first two mages, protecting them from my wrath. I don't like this. Not one bit!
Indecision and uneasiness struck me in that moment. What should I do? Dig under? Run back? What if more of them are coming, or are already there? Will my acid break through?
Once again the air around me rumbled at the power of that voice and, in the back of my mind, I noted that the suffocating aura that rolled off Momma Croc grew stronger, ever so slightly. And then again.
I'm NOT going down here like this!
I refuse to end my second life as Croca plops. Refuse! I'd rather be fed to a nest of claw-centipedes. I'd rather be melted down and eaten by an acid slug. Heck, I'd prefer to be chewed up by a stupid thorn lizard than get eaten by Garralosh!
I spun in place, expertly presenting my business district towards the first barrier.
POW! POW! POW! POW!
As I spun I unleashed my acid of perpetual prosperity which splashed into the barrier and adhered to it, sizzling as it began to eat away at the mana.
[Tiny! Get over here buddy!]
Unfortunately Tiny had been caught inside the barrier with me, so I called him to join me.
[Crinis! Any chance you can tenderise any of these mage slaves?!]
Since she'd been hanging back, Crinis hadn't been trapped with us, but she still had plenty of monsters to deal with, even if they were temporarily stunned for a moment.
[I'm trying, Master!] she cried. [There is something blocking me!]
I cursed. They must have planned ahead after seeing how Crinis operated in order to prevent her getting a tentacle on these mages. Makes sense, I don't think the big lizard wants to risk any more of them and wouldn't send them out if he thought they'd be separated into bite size chunks.
My acid is still bubbling away at the barrier but it's taking its sweet time. Were they able to counter the effects of the acid in some way?
I'm not a fan of this, not a fan at all.
With a flash another barrier was formed behind me, completing the encirclement. Most frustrating of all, every one of the six Setsulah used to create the cage of light walls was on the outside of it. Cowards! How dare they entrap me like this?! What did I ever do to them?! Other than kill one of them that time…
What's happening now?
To my shock and surprise, the combined barriers began to slowly extend upwards. Looks like they are intent on creating a complete cage! I checked on the progress of my acid, but it wasn't working fast enough for my taste. They must have done something to resist its effects, the crafty sods.
However, they didn't count on one thing.
[Tiny! Grab me and jump out of here!]
Not needing to be told twice, Tiny grabbed me up in his arms and threw me onto his back where I clung with all the strength my claws could manage. As the barrier continued to close overhead and the oppressive aura of Garralosh pressed down on us, Tiny took two running steps and exploded forth.
He pushed every fibre of his bunched leg muscles to the limit and burst into the air.
The air whistled over my carapace, pushing my antennae back against my head and driving the micro hairs on my face nuts.
I knew Tiny had some jumping power, I'd seen him leap high often enough, but being carried by him was a very different experience!
We soared through the air and out of the still forming cage, the light barrier melding shut beneath Tiny's feet.
We slammed into the ground and only my grip skill kept me from falling flat on my face. Haha! Stupid mages! You think you can trap us that easy?
No sooner did we soar out of the barrier and land heavily than fire began erupting around us! The Setsulah Mage servants had dropped the light barrier the moment we'd escaped and now attempted to BBQ what they had failed to contain.
Yeeouch! That was close! Fireballs began flying through the air accompanied by jets of flame and arcing balls of flaming death that rained down from above.
Isn't this a little excessive?!
I clung onto Tiny for dear life as he began to shift and sway, displaying the full extent of his fancy feet. With a grace that belied his size, he shimmied here, spun there and navigated the maze of destruction by the thinnest of margins. But by gosh it was close!
The sharp sound of arrows whistling through the air pierced through the roar of flames, lifting my heart. Isaac had turned up! Right on time!