Swamped Chapter 32 Page 23

“Frills tends to seek out high places. Give him enough time and he’ll turn up in the Roost. It would be best to check it right away, in case he’s used the chance to slip out of the fortress entirely.”

“Oh, that’s already covered. Seems there’s been some trouble there lately, so Razor’s got it under watch.”

“In that case, tell the sentries to keep their masks on. They won’t want lizard bile all over their faces, after all. Oh, but if the bile is blue rather than purple, it means Frills has turned female and you need to look for her eggs. It’s not the right season for it, but with everything that’s been happening lately, I don’t want to take chances.”

“Warn the roost guards, blue bile means check for eggs… got it. Good luck with whatever you’re doing, sir.”

“Thank you, Shrike. Good luck to you, as well. Sandy’s litter is due any day now, after all.”

“Wait, which one… oh, never mind, I’ll work it out.”

You’re already on the way out. You stop by where you heard the noise before, hoping Mantis has taken care of it.

It didn’t quite work out that way. A worm-lizard has Mantis pinned down, and Yvonne is trying desperately to pry it off.

You promptly sever the thing’s head with your spear and lift it off him with your free hand.

“My apologies, Mantis,” you say, handing the head to him as he gets up. “If I’d known you were having trouble, I would have come sooner.”

“It was right under her when it struck,” he says, pointing to Yvonne. “I couldn’t tell it was a separate aura, they were both too unfamiliar. Caught me off guard.”

“Well. Dispose of the head before it rots. The body will grow another head in a week or so, but hopefully we can get it back to the desert before then.”

“Understood.”

He walks off without further questions.

“Yvonne, I’ll see you at the gateway. Bring the worm-lizard with you if you can manage it, otherwise I’ll grab it on my way back.”

“Strings said your book was missing,” she says nervously.

“I expected that at this point. I’m moving to my contingency plan.”

You’re now Yvonne again, and you’re not sure what to make of what you just saw.

You also have a decapitated worm-lizard squirming around through a hole in the floor. Without its head, it’s disoriented and largely harmless. Rider’s right, it’s probably best to just bring it back with you.

It’s too big for you to lift. But perhaps you can guide it somehow?

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Suggestions:

Gross. If it can sense motion, maybe you’ll have to just wave something in front of the neck stump and lead it around. Grody. Augh. Honestly who even knows, it’s not like you can leash it.
We need some rope or something we can tie around the worm lizard’s torso. Actually, will our tail work?