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Lessons of Life and Death

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Many months had passed for Dora, Chester, Bob and Chris, and an endless parade of dank caves, forbidding ruins and such blurred in their memories.  

Now, they slowly walked towards a staircase, while around them, a suffocating silence swept the entire cave.

Chester glanced around and whispered "Why are all of the monsters so silent?"

Bob grinned and said "Because they fear our awesomeness."

Dora rolled her eyes and said "You never quit, do you?"

Chris whispered to Chester "He does this when he's nervous."

Bob snapped "I heard that!  I am not nervous," as his small sword slipped from his fingers.  He knelt to pick it up and added "Must be all the moisture in the cave."

Dora chuckled and said "Well, let's go."

They all descended the staircase.  As they marched down the brightly lit and oddly clean staircase, Dora said "This feels familiar, somehow.  As if...

Chris asked "What?" as they slowly passed a set of bright white spots glowing in the walls.

Dora replied "I can't identify it.  Reminds me of something I once felt, when I had meditated for many hours."  

They reached the bottom of the stairs, and walked down a well-trodden path.  Occasionally, they nimbly stepped over dented armor filled with often bony, sometimes decaying remains.

Minutes passed as the cavern grew still larger, and atop a set of stairs, they saw a large, purple form holding a ruler.   He saw them, nodded and said "Please approach my magnificent, munificent, marvelous self."

They approached and Dora said "You're Elusid."

Elusid nodded and said "I am indeed.  And you are?"

Bob said "We already beat you quite a few times.  How can you be here?"

Elusid turned to Bob and said "So rude.  I shall have to teach you the only way you ignorant humans can learn.  If you all survive, perhaps, we can talk further."

Chris said "You idiot, Bob."

Bob shrugged and said "Let's go."

Chester took out his wand and muttered, as the tip started to glow.

Chris, Bob and Dora took out small swords and shifted their shields.

Elusid commented "Gladiators with shields.  Surprising.  No matter."

Elusid's paws moved as a large circle of the brighest flame engulfed the party.  Everyone staggered, as Chester focused his will and engulfed everyone with pure white light.  They all stood up.

Bob roared defiance and ran toward Elusid, nimbly dodging a swiped paw.  His sword blurred so quickly, a thunderclap filled the room, as Elusid slammed a paw into him, causing Bob to be flung back like a rag doll.

Chris and Dora raced towards Elusid from opposite sides, and surrounded him in a blur of steel, asin, minor booms echoed through the cave.

Again, Elusid muttered, and raised his paws, causing a blackened blue ball to burst.  An instant later, huge ice spikes tore through the party.  Again, Chester filled the room with light, as the party stood up.

Bob muttered "Enough of this.  Cover me."  He raced towards Elusid, as Elusid roared in frustration.  Elusid's paws moved, and a gigantic red ball started to form.

Chris ran up into the ball and screamed as a deafening explosion rocked the cavern.  He was thrown to the wall, his corpse stinking of burnt flesh.

Chester sighed and waved his wand, causing a deep glow to fill Chris's body.  Chris stood up, shakily, and said "Thanks.

Meanwhile, Bob and Dora's swords blurred around Elusid, causing smaller booms.  Elusid finally said "Enough."  He lowered his paws and said "You all have learned something."

Dora said "What did I feel when I came into this cave?"

Elusid said "The same thing you felt when you meditated so long ago.  It's what anyone would feel if they went into a dark silent cave, let their heartbeat fill the room, then breathe gently past it.  My daughter, she didn't understand."

Chester said to Dora "Elusid was part of the Almighty."

Elusid said "Yes.  Corvus was so consumed by hate.  His hatred opened a huge number of portals to other worlds."

Chris said "That's why we keep seeing you?"

"Yes.  Now you all have learned something else.  There is far more than just this world.  Other worlds, even some where great wizards have become dragons, in the insanity borne of grief after their pet dragons passed on."

"Is that all?" Bob asked.

"No.  Always keep learning and growing.  And, rest assured, everything is part of a plan, even if it is not just mine."

Elusid then nodded respectfully and faded away, leaving behind a scroll. 

Dora said "So, now where do we go?"

Bob said "Anywhere but here.  Let's go."

They took the scroll as the cave faded out.

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