After that, we'll see who suffocates first, Jay thought.
Hegatha grunted, grabbed a handful of dirt tightly, and she grit her teeth, straining her body against the skeletons.
"Well?" Jay called.
"Why?!" a raspy yell came back through the fog.
"Why what?" Jay replied.
"Why should I help you?"
Hmm… yes. Why should she? Jay wondered. He didn't want to jump straight to threatening her. It was the simple solution, but it would leave a bitter taste in his mouth if he did.
Sullivan's flimsy noon blanket doesn't make up for the time I was threatened, though it's funny how he came to try and appease me.
"I'm sure we can arrange something. It looks like you don't have much in the way of shelter? Or I could get you off this island?"
"No. Just leave!" she grunted back.
Ah, this crazy woman, Jay thought, but heard something clinking behind himself.
Suddenly, the sub-skeletons had appeared, and while they were covered in scorch marks, they were not empty-handed.
Delicately gripped in two bone fingers, one of them had a prize for Jay. A tiny amber-colored marble. Slightly misty and see-through. But it wasn't made from amber, sap or glass.
Crystal maybe? Jay wondered, grabbing it from the skeleton.
This is good but I thought I told you guys to bring me a corpse back?
Yet before analysing it, he had to deal with Hegatha; holding the amber sphere in his fingers, Jay called out again.
"What do you know about the floating lights? The un-healing fire? The branchless burnt trees? The children's voices and the amber marbles?"
His voice traveled through the fog, and for a moment, there was silence. As Jay started into the shadowy mist, he scratched his chin, wondering if she heard him.
Maybe she's thinking… all the sounds of the rustling leaves have stopped.
"How did you escape? Who sent you?!"
Escape? What is she talking about…
Seeing Asra in pain, he had enough of this woman's maddened rambling. While he hadn't confirmed it yet, it did seem like she was doing something diabolical with children, and he wouldn't stand for that.
Jay was standing in the middle of the swamp on a half-built bridge of bones. He had released thousands of skeletons so far to make this bridge of the dead, and could only just see the bank of the swamp island under the fog.
To finish the bridge across, he released thousands more of these bones, all of them splashing into the water like a landslide.
He did a quick check of his gauntlet, which held hundreds of thousands, and finally, it went down one percent.
He periodically turned back to add some back into his necrotic gauntlet, but it threatened to destabilize his bone foundation so he couldn't salvage them all.
Meanwhile, something below the surface began eating away at the bridge. Because of this, many bones were lost to the swamps dark waters, and soon hundreds of bone-eating creatures gathered as the waters rippled, filling up with bubbling as the abyss consumed this feast.
Red's guardian skeletons stepped off the bridge first, followed by Jay stepping onto the island too, with Red by his side who still carried Asra.
I guess we won't be making too many trips across, Jay thought, glancing back at the turbulent waters and his gauntlet. Angela's Library