Swamped Chapter 132 Page 13

“Would be real useful if the crow-man were here,” Arlene mused. “He’s got actual armor.”

“Well, if that’s the direction we’re going, there were some military types in the hospital,” you grumble. “But I’m not sure they’re going to just leave that door open while we run off and grab reinforcements.”

You think for a bit and turn to Marian. “Maybe you could go in and work some magic?”

“They’ve already demonstrated an ability to block magic. It might just be some sort of ether-catching mechanism in the door, but if it’s more than that, it could be hard for me to do anything,” Marian grumbles. “Our best bet might be to have your costumed friend go in and confuse them. It could give us the rest of us an opening for an ambush.”

“Hey! Are you saying I’m weird?” Arlene asks.

“I’m saying you could give that impression,” she replies carefully.

“Don’t know that would work. Not if they decide to hit weird things with their sword.” Arlene thinks for a bit. “I do like the thought of pulling a trick, though. Maybe Drip could go in and since he’s a priest, they try to capture him? I mean, they’ve taken a bunch of priests already.”

“Assuming our theories are correct,” Drip interjects. “Which they may not be. This is a difficult decision, and at times like this, I seek divine guidance.” He turns to you. “And I note that you came here with a relic of Nual. That seems like a powerful sign to me.”

Oh, hells. You’re just going in circles now.

“Well, she found one too,” you say, pointing to Marian. “For that matter, we could just give them both to someone. Don’t see how the fact that I started with it makes a difference.”

“But you, I believe, were guided,” Drip says.

Guided? All you did was follow the aura… which, well, does sound like a sort of guidance, doesn’t it.

“That does have some merit,” Marian agrees. She hands you the stone fish. “If you hadn’t brought that shell, we wouldn’t have gotten that far. Might as well carry them both, right?”

Arlene just stands there, but you can tell she’s smirking under the mask.

“Right,” you sigh. “Guess this is our best bet.”

You step into the door. Almost immediately, it slams shut behind you.

You don’t see any priests. Just a coffin in the middle of the room.

It’s open, and it’s empty.

And someone is standing in front of it.

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Is it actually person? It looks more like a projected reflection…