Thorgaut was already a little distance away. He considered making a run for the tunnel. He might make it if the spider was still weak. The Viking warrior decided against it though.
He had seen how far the spiders could jump in the earlier fight. And he knew Abyss Snarer could close the distance between them in a single bound if she was feeling back to normal. He would rather face her head on and have a fighting chance, then have her tackle him from behind. He didn’t want her sinking her fangs into his back as she had earlier.
Abyss Snarer was anxiously tapping her feet and moving sideways. She lowered her head and raised her abdomen. He circled to put a stalagmite between him and the spider hoping that it would block her jump.
“I’m leaving and going back to my home,” he said. “I don’t plan on coming back and won’t ever bother you again. So don’t attack me and I won’t hurt you.”
“Silly human,” she hissed. “Humans will never accept you for who you’ve become. You are one of us now. You may as well stay here in the cave with me.”
Thorgaut started backing away toward the tunnel. He tried to keep the stalagmite between him and the spider as much as possible.
“Are you scared yet?” she asked.
The man shook his head. He honestly didn’t feel afraid of her because she had already tried to kill him and failed. He also knew what she was capable of doing and knew he could put up the good fight. The only thing he had to do was avoid her fangs. And yet he still wanted to avoid the conflict.
“Not necessarily,” he replied. “But my mama always taught me to be nice and play fair. She told me to live and let live as much as possible because death never did anyone any good.”
“Your mother wouldn’t make a good spider,” she replied. “We have to kill to eat and survive.”
Thorgaut shrugged. He knew the spider was trying to goad him into a fight, but he wasn’t in the mood. He just wanted to get back to his friends. He was so close to reaching them after having come this far.
The giant spider kept edging closer in his direction, and he kept backing up. Abyss Snarer tried to fake him out like she was going to jump, but he didn’t flinch. The warrior was ready for her attack and waiting for her to make a mistake.
He had been actively probing her mind the entire time. So, he knew there was little chance she would actually jump straight at him. He hadn’t been able to activate an open connection yet to perceive exactly what she was thinking. But he had enough of a read on her to sense her feelings and intentions.
Thorgaut did know that she didn’t plan on letting him leave the cavern. She would pick a fight soon. So, he bided his time, analyzed his options, and prepared for an attack of his own.
She was eyeing an area of the cavern roof behind him. He sensed that was where she wanted to jump to begin her attack. He didn’t know yet exactly what she would do after that. So, he stopped moving to stall for time. She paused as well.
“I guess we are in a deadlock,” he said. “We’re both now undead creatures who are gonna fight in this cavern for all eternity.”
Abyss Snarer chuckled. “You should be proud of yourself, Thorgaut,” she said. “You’ll go down in history as a myth and legend. Don’t worry though. I will make sure to tell everyone I kill down here about you before I eat them.”
Thorgaut started backing up again. This time he edged off to the side to avoid the area of the roof that she was watching. She realized that he had caught on to her plan, and took the leap.
It was amazing to watch. With an increased clarity of vision, Thorgaut could make out the twitches in her muscles. He could see all the subtle details in the movement of her body. He didn’t move an inch though. He followed her only with his eyes while admiring what she could do.
He knew Abyss Snarer was trying to fake him out again. As soon as she landed on the stalagmite, she would push off in his direction and attack him from the side. He watched her legs reaching out for the edges and then begin to push off again.
The instant she committed herself to the leap in his direction, Thorgaut jumped back and to the side. The spider realized she wasn’t going to reach him. Abyss Snarer stretched out her legs as far as they would go in his direction, but she couldn’t quite make it. She landed right where the human had been standing an instant before.
One of her front paws was close enough for him to grab with his right hand. He held it firm and smashed down on it with his other forearm. Like Happy Feet, her skin wasn’t as hard as it looked. It snapped under the crushing blow. Green spider goo squirted across his arms and hands. She screamed in pain and fury.
The spider hobbled backward on her other seven legs to get away from him. But she wasn’t fast enough. Thorgaut was already in her face. He stabbed ‘Terror,’ the fang in his right hand, straight down into the middle of her forehead. She screamed in hissed in his face spraying spider spittle and venom at the human.
Abyss Snarer laughed and waited for him to fall over paralyzed once again. But the poison didn’t faze him in the slightest, because his body had already built up an immunity to its effect.
The spider had stepped in close to spit in his face. But Abyss Snarer was still wobbly and backed away too slowly. Her body hadn’t had the time to heal fully like Thorgaut’s.
He reached out to grab her other front leg with his left hand. He grasped it firmly and held on for a moment as he wiped his eyes clean with the other. Then he brought his right forearm down hard and crushed through her other leg.
Thorgaut reached out and grabbed the fang still protruding from her forehead. It slid out exposing her brains. The spider clutched her head with mangled paws. She tried to back away. Thorgaut slashed the fang across her eyes before she could get away. He completely blinded her two large eyes up front and the three smaller ones to the right.
The giant spider stumbled backward and tried to turn so she could see him with the eyes on her left side. But Thorgaut moved along with her staying to the right. She screeched and jumped in his direction, feeling for him with her six good legs. He ducked to avoid them and stepped in to meet her swollen underbelly.
The fierce warrior drove the fang deep into her soft gut. It was still gorged with all that she had sucked out of his body. The Viking pulled the prong up. It tore through the flesh across her abdomen. Before he could pull it back out though, her weight came crashing down on top of him.
Thorgaut fell to the ground with her weight on top of him. He struggled to get out from under her massive body. He managed to roll out and stay away from her flailing legs. He stood up and realized that Terror, the fang, was still stuck underneath her.
He pulled the other fang out of his pocket and considered stabbing her with it for good measure. He didn’t want to use it though because Happy Feet and given it to him for a reason. It wouldn’t be wise to waste it unnecessarily on this enemy. Thorgaut watched Abyss Snarer to see what she would do.
She lay on the ground and moaned pitifully. Her legs pushed uselessly against the ground. Thorgaut knew that her body would heal itself given enough time as he had. Somehow being bitten by the undead gave them almost unlimited healing power. He realized that this ability must be what made the undead unable to die.
Thorgaut walked around to her left side to look into the three good eyes. She hissed when he came into view. She pushed a leg in his direction, but he kicked it out of the way. He stomped on it the second time she tried. The spider screamed and cursed him. But she gave up trying to push him back.
The man knelt down in front of her probing her mind softly. He could see the desire for revenge burning in her eyes. He continued to poke around until he felt a soft spot in her mental barrier. He forced it open and savagely pushed himself deep into her thoughts. He could sense her mental processes tearing like she had done to him earlier when they first met.
“I’ll chase you down to the ends of the earth and rip your head off,” she growled at him.
She projected a mental image of traveling through the caves to Jorundarfell. He could see that she find him and kill everyone he loved. She even threatened to drag the other spiders of her race in an all-out war against humankind.
Thorgaut stood up and took a step closer. He placed both hands on the sides of the spider’s head and pressed his foot against her shoulder. He gave a hard twist to the left and yanked back with all his might. Her neck snapped, and the spider’s head tore off in his powerful hands.
“Heal that,” Thorgaut said as he held the head up before his eyes.
The warrior locked the spider’s cranium in place under his left arm. He ignored the green blood and goo dripping down his side. He grabbed one of her fangs and gave it a hard yank. It popped right out of her jaw. He did the same to the other fang as well.
Thorgaut now had three giant fangs. And the new ones were almost twice as long as Happy Feet’s. He tossed Abyss Snarer’s head back down on the ground in front of her.
“Thank you for your generous contribution to my war!” he said and walked away.