Yes, I added three new tags to this story. Two of them are possibilities and the other is coming. I wanted to give you guys a heads up before I started writing just in case it came to it and I didn't want it to be unexpected for those who hate that kind of writing. Since I write as I type, I have no idea if it'll come to it. If it doesn't, I'll remove the tags.
Hopefully, this will be a two chapter day, otherwise it'll be tomorrow.
Doc was happily making new slimes in his dungeon when he senses their approach. It was still dark outside, but he felt the approach of some people to his entrance.
"Claire, wake up." He sent to her sleeping form, "Someone is coming our way."
Claire mumbled and rolled around on her bed, a new addition to her room made from plants and slime. "Claire!" Claire woke up with a yelp and flew into the ceiling, startled by his yell. She groaned and rubbed her nose in annoyance.
"What is it Doc?"
"Someone's coming out way, and it's still dark out." Doc informed her. Claire raised an eyebrow and began flying to the entrance.
"I didn't think they'd show up so soon." She muttered to herself as she flew down her tunnel.
"They? Do you know who is coming?" Doc asked curiously.
"Not who specifically, but I can guess the reasons for the visit." She said honestly, taking her spot at the peephole, "Have you remade your dungeon boss yet?"
"No, I was just making more slimes. Should I go ahead?"
"No, save it for now." Claire advised, eyeing the approaching humans, "You may need it for later."
Confused, Doc obeyed and moved curiously to the entrance to watch. There were four men in the leather armor at his entrance, waiting for something. He didn't recognize them, but their presence seemed familiar.
"Those are the men who came with the mage yesterday." Claire clarified, "However, they are not wearing their magic armor and wield plain swords. They did not come here to conquer you again."
The two were alerted to a new presence that ran up to join the men. Doc recognized the human aspects, but this human was not like the others. "Claire, this human has lumpy things on her, like you." He exclaimed.
For some reason, Doc sensed he had somehow offended Claire. "Doc, those are breasts. They are found on females of most species and used to feed their young. They are not lumps."
"So does that mean you have children? How'd you make them?"
Doc felt a mental back slap from a blushing Claire, who cried out, "No you idiot I don't have kids! They are there for when we have children, and used to attract a mate."
"Weird thing to use to attract mates." Doc muttered under his breath, speaking up, "So does that mean bigger is better than? I think you have bigger ones even she is larger than you."
Claire was feeling rather smug when she said, "Yes it does, and yes I am thank you very much. Now, be quiet so I can listen in."
The two focused on the conversation that started when the girl arrived.
[Am I late? Did Sir Koran go without me?] The female asked.
[Don't worry ranger, Master Koran had other matters to tend to and you're on time. We won't be going far in today, but you came prepared for battle correct?] One of the men asked.
The girl nodded and showed off her weapons, [I'm all set! Thank you for bringing me with you on your dungeon excursion.] She bowed to them.
The men waved it off, [Think nothing of it young one, we are happy to help our junior with gaining experience. It's important to learn what's expected of you sooner rather than later. Follow us.]
They entered the dungeon, leading the girl into its dark depths. Doc watched them closely, somehow not feeling as excited as he had the day before.
"Claire, somehow I don't feel comfortable." He told her.
She nodded, "I guess being an old soul makes you more aware of situations like these. Most dungeons wouldn't care at all."
"What do you mean?"
Claire sighed, "Not everyone is a good person in the world. Mommy showed me that when I was younger. Some evil people like to use dungeons to do things and get away from punishment. Don't interfere and watch them."
Doc was unsure now, but relented and watched the men lead the girl deeper into the dungeon.
[Is this your first time in a dungeon Mrs. Ranger?] Asked one of the men.
She nodded, [That's right, I haven't seen a dungeon before. Is it supposed to be this easy?]
[Don't worry; it'll get worse the further we go in.] He reassured her, [The way to the first room is clear of traps for now and the room has a nice copper vein to mine.]
[Wow! They didn't teach me at the castle about copper veins in dungeons.] The girl was so excited she must have said something interesting. Doc wasn't the only one to notice, because the man began eyeing her differently and coughing.
[Are you alright sir?] She asked, concerned.
The man nodded, [Don't worry, it's an old injury. Why don't you go ahead to the first room while I rest a moment? Take Jack with you while the others watch me.]
[Are you sure? Splitting up sounds. . .]
[Don't worry; it's safe till the second tunnel. Go; don't let me hold you back.]
The girl still looked unsure, but her eagerness overcame her reservations and she and one of the men went on ahead to the room. The girl inspected the walls in fascination and asked the man about mines in dungeons. Meanwhile, Doc noticed, the other three men were huddled together and arguing.
[She's from the castle! No way am I following the plan now, that's too much attention.] One of the men was saying in hushed whispers.
[You idiot, you knew she was important, what difference does it make now? We have our orders from Koran, and failure to him would get us killed.] Another argued.
[Screw that! I hear traitors to the crown are given over to those bastard elves, and they say they know ways to keep a man alive in pain for decades.]
The first man snorted, [And you don't think Koran can't? Besides, no one knows that she's here with us. To everyone, the girl was overeager and entered the dungeon without help and died a terrible death. Those slimes are real useful for stuff like that you know, and we can even have some fun before getting rid of her.]
[The dungeon, what if it attacks us while we're still inside it? We had to leave our stuff behind so no one would recognize us while Koran's men wore the armor and swords today. We could die in here!]
[Listen, we aren't traveling farther than the first room. We have some fun in there, than toss her body down the corridor and let the slimes finish her off. No one will be the wiser.]
The man grumbled, but nodded. [Fine, but I get first dips on her chastity. I like my women pure when they scream.]
The other two men laughed and clapped the man on the back as they headed toward the first room. Doc was horrified.
"They are going to kill that girl Claire! Why would they hurt each other?"
Claire sent him her sad feelings, "I told you there are bad people in the world. Those men are going to use her, then dump her and leave her to die. I've seen it before, and it will happen again."
"I. . I . . . don’t like that." Doc muttered, "I . . . don’t want to see her . . . hurt. She’s . . . going to be hurt . . . going to die. . ." Doc's mumbling began to fall into gibberish, which began to concern Claire.
"Doc, you okay? Speak to me!" Claire called out, but Doc couldn't hear her anymore. He was completely focused on the scene in the first room.
[Jack was telling me all about the copper veins! Thank you for guiding me!] The girl was happy and bowing her thanks to the men.
The lead man smiled, [Always happy to help. Now, we need to discuss payment.]
The girl tilted her head, confused. [Payment? How much do you want?]
The man nodded to Jack, who was slowly walking up behind the girl with his sword out. [Oh don't worry about it. Like I said, juniors need to be taught what to expect by your seniors.] With a flash, Jack cut the leather binding the girls’ weapons to her and broke the bow as they clattered to the ground. The girl jumped back in fright as she stared wide eyed at her weapons.
[What, what is going on?] She asked, fear creeping into her voice.
The men chuckled, [Oh, why we're just going to have some fun. Now be a good girl and come to us.] Two of the men were blocking the exit tunnel as the other two closed in on her, her back to the tunnel leading further in.
[You can't do this! I'm a princess! My father will kill you for this!] She cried out, fear overcoming her training as the men closed in on her with weapons drawn.
[Silly girl, no one knows you're here. No one knows your name. No one will care that you're gone.] Said the leader with an evil grin. [That letter told us exactly what to do with you. Now, since that letter came from the palace, I think you should realize exactly who ordered this.]
The girl backed up slowly as her eyes darted back in forth, [N . . . no . . . no one wants be dead! Everyone likes me, and I haven't done anything wrong.]
[Silly girl, it's your existence that's the problem. No one is going to save you, and when they realize you’re gone, they will all forget about you. All you ever were was a burden, an eyesore, and an embarrassment to your name. Why, your own family wants you gone.]
The girl's knees buckled, [No, that can't be. You're lying!]
The man removed something and showed it to her, [See here, that's the royal seal of your family isn't it? It may not say who, but only you're family has access to the seal.]
The girl's face fell into despair as she looked at the thing, tears falling down her face as she understood her folly. [I, I won't be killed by this!]
With a slash, she drew a dagger out of her sleeve and sliced the flimsy thing in half as the man jumped back. He laughed and waved his sword in the air.
[Come on then girl, bring your fight! I like my girls feisty and defeated.] He swung his sword at her, barely missing her as she leaped backwards. Her face was in complete panic as she tried to get a hold of herself, but the trauma and fear were not leaving her. The two men sung their massive swords, and it was all she could do to dodge them by leaping back and leaning sideways. The men didn't even give her a chance, one man's swing ending as the other's began. Her little dagger was worthless against their reach.
Seeing no way to run, she reared back and threw the dagger into the arm of the lead man, shouting [I'd rather die than give you bastards what you want!] She turned and ran down the tunnel, leaving the man cursing in pain as he took the dagger out.
[Dammit! Get her Jack!] He shouted, prompting his partner to run after her into the tunnel.
Doc watched her run through his dungeon. He watched her, sobbing and terrified, run toward his pitfall trap. He watched, fall; fall and fall into his trap. The slimes came up to meet her. Her anguished screams as she felt their gooey grip. He saw all of it, and could only watch in silence, a specter in the wind.
And then, he stopped.
Hank growled as Lucas wrapped his arm in cloth. "Damn bitch, I'll treat her when Jack drags her back." He yanked his arm away from Lucas and looked at it. Some blood was starting to seep through, but it was holding together. "Lucas, Mark, I get her pretty face first." He barked at them. They nodded, unwilling to argue against him while he was furious.
They were interrupted by a loud scream, echoing down the tunnel.
"That that was Jack." Lucas said, wide eyed.
Hank growled and got up, walking to the tunnel. "Jack, Jack answer me!" He yelled down the tunnel. He heard no answer from the darkness. "Mark, go find him!"
Mark picked up a torch and lit it, heading down into the tunnel. He didn't get far before he ran back in fear. "It got him Hank, the slimes got 'im!"
Hank spat onto the floor and shook his head, "Damn idiot. I told him to be careful with the pitfalls."
"He ain't in no pitfall Hank, they be on top of him." Mark cried out.
Before Hank could ask, they heard a rustling from the darkness. They turned to see a mass of slimes slithering toward them from all surfaces.
"Run!" Hank cried, and the three of them bolted for the exit. They found the way blocked by another mass of slimes, and found themselves trapped in the room.
"It wasn't like this before Hank; it wasn't like this at all!" Lucas wailed as they were surrounded.
"Shut up and light the torches, we can still get out!" Hank ordered. Quickly, each man held two torches and waved them at the slimes, creating a free space around them.
Hank laughed, "Ha! Stupid slimes are scared of fire! Let's go boys, slow and steady now." They never looked up to see a lone slime crawl right above them. They didn't see it begin to grow to a much larger size.
They did, however, feel it when it fell on them and smothered their fire.
And the slimes descended on their screams.