Story for the Day: Nemesis
I swear, I have a teleporting spider in my house. I'm usually very lenient with spiders, but this one was ridiculous.
|Rautu: Spider hunter|
While the commander and Alasdair were enduring the horrors of the Livanon royal court, the Den Asaan sat at the entrance of his room in the guest quarter waiting for the large black spider to reappear. After his failed attempts at subduing it, the creature had crawled beneath one of the cabinets. And though a hand might reach into the crevice and persuade the spider to leave its hideaway. Rautu would not go to the enemy, as such conduct was discreditable when facing an craven adversary. He would sit by the door to make certain the creature had little means of escape and wait for it to grow tired of screening itself. His eyes narrowed as he gazed at the crack into which the spider had crept, but then from the corner of his eye, he perceived the familiar long, black legs of his object behind the legs of the nearby chair. He thought perhaps that there were now two spiders, each communicating with the other by means of their intuition and endeavoring to deceive him, to have him chase after one while the other make its escape, but when he passed his blade under the cabinet to remove the first spider, he realized that his target had moved without his notice. He had not seen a skittering form nor had he heard a gentle tapping of its feet along the stone, yet it had removed from the cabinet to the chair. Rautu growled in disdain for being easily duped: this creature was clever, but it would not overcome the Den Asaan and Den Endari of Sanhedhran. The giant knew his weakness was in miscalculating the abilities of his opponent, as had happened with his mate upon their first meeting, but too see such covertness from a mere spider was untoward.
He stood, therefore, and prepared to charm it from behind the leg of the chair. He pushed the seat to startle it, but the spider was hardly convinced of such an action. It remained in its place, rubbing its front legs against its mandibles, and mocked the Den Asaan by stopped its movements periodically to look at him.
“Your mistake was to oblige your instincts during a hunt, Undu,” the giant’s voice rumbled. He lifted his sword and prepared for a strike when the creature’s legs twitched and it skittered into the far corner of the room.
“And now, you are trapped,” the giant leered, shadowing the spider with the wide flat of his sword.
With all the force his powerful arms could grant, Rautu smashed his enemy until he was certain it was no more. He twisted his blade in every way to make certain he heard the crackling sounds of the spider’s demise, and when he removed his weapons, he received a visual confirmation: a flattened body and sprawled legs were all his triumph, and he gloried in the defeat of his longstanding opponent until, to his surprise, the spider began to move. Rautu watched in half terror half astonishment as the creature uncompressed its body and began to reanimate. The giant’s eyes widened and he swore in burgeoning fury. What had begun as a territorial contest was now a matter of a warrior’s pride, and the Den Asaan would not relent until this abomination was eliminated.
Rautu lunged at the creature, stabbing the tip of his blade into its body, but the smallness of the spider allowed it to escape its death and it ran along the length of the table, begging the Den Asaan to follow. The giant roared and sliced through the table, dividing it into numerous sections in attempts to kill the shrewd disturbance, but it yet survived. It leapt into corners, onto walls, and only stopped once it had found a haven in the top nook of the room. Rautu thrust his blade at it, but even the tip of his sword was too large for the hiding place. He scraped his weapon along the stone and bellowed in aggravation.
“You will challenge me honorably, Undu,” the giant demanded, pointing to the ground opposing him.
The spider agreed to the giant’s declaration and scampered over to the ground facing Rautu. It prepare for him by lifting its front legs in menacing tenor and making a small hissing sound to taunt him.
Rautu had done with this unnatural behaviour. This was no spider of the Southern Continent, for they were docile in comparison. They had their annoyances and their escapades, but this evident intellect was not to be borne. It understood the giant, yielded to his demands and was even disposed to mislead him. This abnormality must be extinguished and the Den Asaan would be the victor. He leapt at the creature with his blade high and it responded with similar action. He sliced through the air when he passed the careening creature but had somehow missed it and turned immediately to lay another blow. The spider, however, was first to act in this instance but did not attack the giant has he might have believed it would.
The commander was just returning from her time at the courts. She came to see how well her mate did in her absence, but when she entered the doorway of the room, she found a rather large spider hurtling toward her. She made a small gasp and tumbled out of the way as a heavy, black blade sailed perilously close to her features and sliced her assailant in two. The commander righted herself to find her mate calming his budding ethnaa and lifting his foot to smash the splintered remains of his opponent. He grinned with satisfaction to hear the sounds of its body being pressed and looked at the commander with a conquering expression.
“That was rather heroic,” she simpered. “I daresay it was a worthy adversary to have you rend it and then crush it underfoot . I think the spiders being deployed for your discomfort are well-trained now.”
“That was not an Undu,” the giant growled, smearing the remains of the spider along the ground.
“I assure you, it was, Iimon Ghaala. A dark mage even one accustomed to shapeshifting would be useless in physical combat. These variety are huntsmen spiders and they are excessively clever. You shall probably see a few more of them about the palace while we’re here. And you shall probably demolish nearly all of the guest quarter attempting to rid them from the vicinity.” She peered into their adjoined chambers to find all the furnishings in disarray and the table completely destroyed. “Was the table so deserving of your terror, Iimon Ghaala?”
“It crawled under it, woman,” the giant asserted.The commander laughed at his inability to curb his strength and called for the housemaid with apology for the state of the room but claiming that a lethal predator had been vanquished within.