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The Hoard of the Beast


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Leon just smirked and chuckled at Luke’s choice of nicknames.

 

The duo… or rather the trio, continued their trek down the watery channel. He felt things brush up against him in the water and fought to keep from jumping nearly every time. He was actually grateful when Chewy scared most of them off after catching and eating one of them.

That had to slow down a little, between the deepening water and being unable to see just where they were stepping. But the little group continued on steadily.

He plucked another coin he spotted from a small outcropping, almost missing it in a shadowed nook. As he examined it, the sound of a sudden splash caused him to turn around as quickly as he could in the chest high water to find his friend gone and the water rippling.

“Luke! Luke!”

He called out as he waded passed Chewy,  towards where Luke should have been. The little creature paddling like a duck as it clacked at him. Leon reached down into the water feeling around for his friend.

“Come on buddy.”

He muttered as he frantically groped around.

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It has all been so sudden. One moment he was walking navigating the small underground river, bantering with his friend and the next he was grasping from air, his feet having found empty space where ground used to be sending him downward underneath the water. He struggled to swim upward, but there was something keeping him down, wrapped around his left leg. The boy felt his lungs burning as he barely registered movement from above.

 

Leon!

 

He latched onto his friend as the fellow teenager searched from him. In fact, the two barely managed to drag each other out from the water when whatever was keeping Luke down finally snapped at their combined effort. 

 

When they emerged, now wet from head to toe in the unforgiving breeze of the cavern, their breath was hectic and hearts racing. Chewy swam close to them, giving the boys some worried clacks and what could only be described as disapproving eyeless looks. 

 

"Should... pay.... more... attention..." Luke spat a generous dose of water as he balanced himself against his friend. "I... Tha... thank you man. I owe ... you... one..." He continued, between breaths, shivering, but at the same time feeling the adrenaline pumping in his veins.

 

"Maybe it's gonna be safer if we swim from now on." He continued. This way they could avoid another 'trap' under the surface. Their monster friend clacked in agreement. 

 

Speaking traps, it didn't feel like whatever was keeping him there had been something alive, maybe it really was some sort of trick. Although, to be honest, it would have been weird placing a trap of sort in a torren tin the middle of nowhere. 


"Hey...Keep watch ok... I'm gonna check what the hell was that." He added moments later, diving down again, this time though, more aware about what was going on.

 

When he re-emerged, some moments later, there was a puzzled look in his eyes. "Weird. It was... Like... a chain or something... Tied to an old rusty chest... I think I might be able to get to it." He suggested. Although it would definitely take some time and effort to do so. The boy turned to his friend, wondering what they should do with the discovery.

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Leon’s hands flailed frantically as they searched through the water for his roommate, his worry growing as they found nothing. Suddenly Luke’s hands found his, surprising him, but Leon quickly grabbed hold and hold with all his strength. He pulled against the unseen force so hard he felt the rocky surface of the stream bed actually crack under the strain. With their combined effort whatever was holding on to Luke finally relented and his friend broke the water surface with a gasp, sending the duo tumbling back in the water.

Leaning back against the walls of the stream Leon panted from the effort. He suddenly realized he had been pulling with way more strength then he should have had. He wasn’t a wet noodle, but had to admit he’d been skipping a more the a few gym days to hang out in the library. He was looking at his hands dubiously as his friend thanked him.

 

On 1/25/2022 at 6:12 AM, Nerdzul said:

"Should... pay.... more... attention..." Luke spat a generous dose of water as he balanced himself against his friend. "I... Tha... thank you man. I owe ... you... one..." He continued, between breaths, shivering, but at the same time feeling the adrenaline pumping in his veins.

 

"Maybe it's gonna be safer if we swim from now on."

 

“What?”

He looked up at Luke for moment before what he had said registered.

“Oh, ya. Probably.”

He nodded in agreement.

 

On 1/25/2022 at 6:12 AM, Nerdzul said:

"Hey...Keep watch ok... I'm gonna check what the hell was that." He added moments later, diving down again, this time though, more aware about what was going on.

 

When he re-emerged, some moments later, there was a puzzled look in his eyes. "Weird. It was... Like... a chain or something... Tied to an old rusty chest... I think I might be able to get to it."

 

Leon tensed as his roommate disappeared under the water again. His eyes searching the darkness for any sign of trouble.

When he finally emerged again Leon let out a small exhaled breath and smirked.

“Don’t suppose it’s attached to a giant plug, maybe labeled Acme?”

He chuckled, but then looked thoughtful. A chain and the random coins they’d found all seemed very confusing. He looked back at Luke

“You wanna check it out?”

He frowned, but nodded.

“Just be careful. In fact, I’m coming with you.”

He added.

Edited by Spacefurry
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“Don’t suppose it’s attached to a giant plug, maybe labeled Acme?”

 

Now it was Luke's turn to chuckle. "Hope not man..." He replied as he pictured in his mind the two of them being flushed down a giant drain after pulling out a cartoonishly oversized plug. 

 

"No problem man I got it." He nodded back, rubbing his shoulders as he tried to somehow fight the chill that was running down his spine since his unexpected immersion. He did not object however, when Leon followed behind him, together with Chewy that kept cheerfully a few feet away from them, uninterested in the prize the boys were seeking, but always in search for a new meal.

 

Fortunately, while the riverbed was deeper close to the chest, they didn't need to swim much until they got to the 'treasure', it was a massive rusty crate, held in place by a few chains, that were surprisingly in good conditions all things considered, but were still no match for the teenage dragon strength, now that he was prepared. The boy did his best to wrap one of the chains, wondering if it could be useful down the road. 

 

Dragging it up on the surface so that they could examine it wasn't too hard as well, once it was free and, with Leon's aid Luke deposited the big box on top of a rocky outcrop nearby. 

 

"That's freakin' weird..." He shook his head. Not that it was the strangest thing that happened since their awakening of course. "Do you think you can open it mr Drake?" He grinned as his gaze shifted toward the lock, it was waterlogged and ruined, perhaps Luke could bash it with a rock or just try to force it open, but there was always the risk of ruining whatever was inside, maybe a gentler touch would be a more appropriate solution, given the situation.

Edited by Nerdzul
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Leon was grinning as his roomie dragged the chest up and plopped it on a rocky ledge. If the coins were any hint of the goodies inside, he couldn’t wait. He eyes the lock and  frowned. Half waterlogged and half rusted.

 

2 hours ago, Nerdzul said:

"Do you think you can open it mr Drake?"

 

Leon grinned at Luke.

“Just watch the pro, Dr. Jones.”

He propped himself up with one arm and leaned his ear near the lock. He slid the small piece of paper he held into the lock and it rustled inside the mechanism as Leon worked it around. There was the audible sound of ages old rusty pins clicking into place before the sound of the lock opening sounded.

“Bingo!”

Leon pulled himself up on to the ledge with the chest and pulled on the lid. The Hodges complain fiercely but gave up as the lid swung open. Leon’s triumph grinned faded as he looked into it. He crouched down and started to rummage through the contents.

“I think we found the lost-and-found.”

He said as she pulled something out, turning to look at Luke wearing a pair of big nosed Groucho Marx glasses. He smirked at his freeing and room them off, tossing them back into the chest.

He rummaged around a bit more for a moment before the smirk was replaced with confusion on Leon’s face. His hand sunk deeper into the casts-offs that seemed to be the chest’s primary contents. It was like he was searching for something specific.

Leon suddenly froze, then slowly he withdraw his hand. In it, an old worn book was in his grip. He stared at it, tuning it over in his hand, a look of obvious disbelief on his face. 

The cover of the book was legible, the simple illustrations of a young blonde boy and a small orange teddy bear under the title ‘The Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh’. Leon swallowed as he touched his left hand fingers to the cover.

A shimmer rippled across his hand. The color fading away to reveal wrapped paper in the shape of his fingers. Slowly the effect crept up his hand and wrist, spreading up his arm to stop just above the bicep.

Leon didn’t seem to notice as he just stared at the book. With trembling paper fingers he carefully open the book. He nearly gasps at he examines the first page.

“It’s… it’s impossible…”

He touches the inner page with his paper fingers and Luke can see his friend fighting back tears.

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Luke rubbed his shoulders trying to fight the cold that was creeping back, his eyes however, were fully focused on his friend's deft attempt to break trough the ancient lock. What was gonna wait for them inside? More treasures perhaps? Although honestly speaking, he could have traded their gold coins for something warm to wear (although given the swim that was ahead of them he was probably more comfortable in just his shorts anyway), a pair of sneakers maybe, or food to put in his stomach... or... or ... Whatever. The only thing he could do was wait.

 

He grinned when the loud click broke the silence. "Yeah! Well done man!" He gave his friend an enthusiastic pat on the back.

 

He peered inside. It was full of, well, all kind of stuff, but... It was... Trash? Could it be? Why would someone take all of this effort to bury underwater in a chained test what looked like the content of a lost and found bin. He began to dig inside as well. Unfortunately, most of the stuff was broken or hardly in any condition to help improving their situation. Still, he grinned when he pulled out an old battered soccer ball, Chewy leaned up from the water, but the boy pulled it away from the baby monster's fangs, cradling it under his right arm. It was, well strangely familiar. The small creature gave him a disappointed clack in response, as Luke kept searching inside with his left hand.

 

He pulled out a strange fragment of some kind of smooth obsidian-like substance, giving it a puzzled look, sensing a similar pang of familiarity, but being unable to truly realize where it was coming from. "What the hell do you thin-" Leon though, was now apparently close to tears.

 

What was going on? Meanwhile, Chewy leaned against Leon and began to rub itself against him, as if the creature was trying to console him. A thought that elicited a tiny smile from Luke before he could give a worried look toward his friend. 

 

"Hey... Are you ok man? What's that" The boy put one arm on Leon's shoulders as he leaned closer.  

 

 

Edited by Nerdzul
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Leon was absorbed by the book in he hands. It took a moment before he looked up at Luke like he didn’t understand why the other boy was there. He shook his head and remembered where they were… well, okay he didn’t actually know where they were. But he knew where they weren’t. He blinked and looked back at the book.

 

On 2/11/2022 at 9:06 AM, Nerdzul said:

"Hey... Are you ok man? What's that" The boy put one arm on Leon's shoulders as he leaned closer.  

 

“This? This shouldn’t be here. This shouldn’t be anywhere…”

He swallowed.

“Except a landfill.”

He paused and wiped his eyes before continuing.

“My mother use to read this to me when I was little. I don’t mean she just read me Winnie the Pooh, I mean read me THIS book.”

Leon looked back up at Luke and turned the book to show his friend the inner cover. A page declaring ‘This Book Belongs to ____’ was printed neatly. And on the line after it, written in the lopsided, uneven crayon of a child was ‘Leon Moore’.

He turned the book back to himself and stared at the page again. his voice started to tremble as he spoke, but he did his best to hide it.

“But it shouldn’t be here. When I was 8, my mother was reading it to me before bed, trying to pretend her son wasn’t a freak…”

He tried to smirk and sound uncaring, but it was weak.

“I was young and I loved the book, and as she was reading it… the illustrations began to move on the page, acting out the story.”

Leon swallowed, but continued.

“My mom flipped. She scream and threw the book across the room. It damaged the spine and some of the pages fell out. I heard it call to me, I want to get up and fix it, but my mother… she picked it up and threw it out the window into the alley below our apartment. I looked for it the next day, but never found it.”

He closed the book, like he was finished telling a story. Looking back at Luke with visible confusion he asked the only question he could think of.

“How is this possible?”

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“This? This shouldn’t be here. This shouldn’t be anywhere…”

 

Luke gave his friend a puzzled look, tilting his head slightly. How? It was there right? Then again, this place very clearly wasn't normal. What the- Is going on?

 

“But it shouldn’t be here. When I was 8, my mother was reading it to me before bed, trying to pretend her son wasn’t a freak…”

 

As he listened to his friend's narration, the boy found short on words. Himself, well, his family never had much, damn himself he had been kidnapped from gods know where and yet, the Landers were very close. Sure they had their moments when things didn't work out (like when Luke decided to use his superpowers to play gangster), but in truth, he could not imagine mom and dad not being in his corner.... He could barely imagine how painful it could have been for Leon. "Hey I'm sorry man..." Gently he squeezed his friend's shoulders as if to quietly say that he was there for him.

 

"You are not a freak by the way..." He added shortly thereafter. "A bit quirky maybe." Luke teased his Leon, with a genuine smile. "Or a lot..." He chuckled.

 

It was then that he realized that his friend's arm had changed back, but he said nothing, after all, it was Leon's choice if he wanted to delve on the matter.

 

“How is this possible?”

 

"I dunno..." His gaze shifted toward the batter soccer ball that was still in his arms. "It's like... stuff we have lost or somethin'..." 

 

"This must... It has to be right?" So many hours spent pretending to be a pro-player on the concrete lot of the trailer park with his dad. "I got this when I was a little kid I... Damn I cried so much when that ass took it." He clearly remembered it now. The smirk of older kid who just stole what was at the time, his favorite toy, himself, looking with teary eyes from the ground, with just bruises as rewards from trying to take it back. A lesson, in how the world works. "I..." Well, the conclusions that he had taken about it at the time didn't make him proud today. 

 

"This thing though. I have no freakin' idea." He said, taking the strange smooth polished and seemingly obsidian shard in his hand, still, it gave him the same sense of familiarity as the soccer ball. Weird. He shrugged. 

 

"You think we should keep some of this stuff?"

Edited by Nerdzul
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On 2/17/2022 at 8:59 AM, Nerdzul said:

"You are not a freak by the way..." He added shortly thereafter. "A bit quirky maybe." Luke teased his Leon, with a genuine smile. "Or a lot..." He chuckled.


 

Leon managed a weak smile and nodded as his friend offered some comfort.

 

On 2/17/2022 at 8:59 AM, Nerdzul said:

"I dunno..." His gaze shifted toward the batter soccer ball that was still in his arms. "It's like... stuff we have lost or somethin'..." 

 

He looked away and quickly wiped his face and did his best to compose himself as Luke reflected on the soccer ball.

”If you want, we can go back and teach those guys a lesson.”

He offered with a chuckle.

 

On 2/17/2022 at 8:59 AM, Nerdzul said:

“You think we should keep some of this stuff?"

 

Leon gripped the book tightly and clutched it to his chest almost reflexively. He still hadn’t noticed his arm was paper again and completely undisguised. He gave Luke a slight nod.

“This is the only thing outta there I care about.”

He said with some finality. He regarded the shard in his roomies hands and nodded again. It seemed to radiate a feeling if importance he couldn’t pin down.

“Ya, better hold on to that. Could be important.”

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”If you want, we can go back and teach those guys a lesson.”

 

Luke chuckled in return. "You have no idea how many times I have thought about that." He grinned. "It'd be kinda unfair though, I mean..." He flexed his muscles. Yeah, besides he had used enough of his powers for petty revenge before Claremont anyway, he had to resist, no matter how tempting...

 

Not long after the two boys decided to get back to their subterranean navigation, it wasn't exactly easy to swim while carrying his soccer ball (especially keeping it away from the fangs of Chewy that was definitely interested in their new acquisition), but all in all, with the exception perhaps of the cold temperature of the water, it wasn't too bad. Eventually, the two boys got to what looked like a small lake, in a larger cave. 

 

The light that had illuminated their way during the swim however, was now gone. Luke pulled himself up from the the ledge and then offered his hand to help Leon up to join him. "I wish we can make a fire or somehin..." Yeah, anything to dry himself up really.  Luke shivered.  Fortunately the only clacking sounds in the darkness were made by Chewy followed cheerfully, their detour must have shaken away the monsters, for now at least. 

 

After a few steps into the darkness, Leon could feel Luke flinching, his foot had sank a little in the ground, producing a metallic sound, it didn't take much for them to realize that ahead of them the terrain was no longer just a layer of rocks and dirt, instead it was covered by a layer a few inches deep of small metallic disks. Coins... Not unlike the one they have found at the bottom of the river. 


"What the...?"

 

The boy knelt, testing the ground with his hand, grabbing a handful of the coins. "I guess we are rich now, man..." He chuckled. 

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The duo moved on from the chest of lost things. It seemed to take an massive effort to protect the book he clutched to his chest. It wasn’t easy maneuvering through the water with one hand, but Leon managed.

 

With Luke’s help he clambered up on to the ledge of the new chamber.

“I hear ya, I’d kill for a flashlight or even an old timey torch.”

Leon panted, taking a moment to gather himself. Straightening up, he felt around and put a hand on his friend’s shoulder when he found it. As they moved along in the darkness he could feel the other boy flinch.

“You okay?”

He asked

 

On 2/21/2022 at 7:05 AM, Nerdzul said:

"What the...?"

 

The boy knelt, testing the ground with his hand, grabbing a handful of the coins. "I guess we are rich now, man..." He chuckled. 

 

Leon heard the distinctive clinking of the coins and smirked into the darkness.

“Great, now if we could just get outta here. Wherever ‘here’ is.”

He chuckled, but it was tinged with weariness. It was obvious the ex-thief was pushing himself to keep up. It’s was proving to be a long and testing night.

“I swear, if someone pops out and says ‘Gotcha’ I’m gonna let you punch them right in the face.”

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"Yeah... some fire would be awesome." Luke smiled in the darkness.

 

"I mean... makes us warmer, plus an old timey torch is way more Indiana Jones than a flashlight, Mr Drake." He teased as the boys continued navigating the strange room, their steps among the carpet of coins echoing in the darkness.

 

"Can you imagine how much it can be worth? I mean, it's freakin' tons of gold..." Luke cleared up the wet hair from his brows, not that having his eyes obscured changed anything, but well.

 

"Although, I'm... like... not eager to meet the owner of all of this stuff." Yep, definitely, besides, if someone, or something, was still around to 'own' the treasure, it would have probably set some kind of defense to prevent two random teenagers to steal it, right? The thought sent a shiver down his spine. 

 

The cave heartbeat of metallic crashes was getting way closer now, they must have been almost there and with it, perhaps some answers. 

 

“I swear, if someone pops out and says ‘Gotcha’ I’m gonna let you punch them right in the face.”

 

"With pleasure..." The boy replied with a tired chuckle. He was about to add something, when his next step proved to be a fateful one, with the 'ground' losing its consistence underneath, together with the mass of coins that surrounded them, forming what felt like a mix of a slide and an avalanche of coins underneath them and dragging both of the boys down into the darkness.... 
 

Edited by Nerdzul
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On 2/26/2022 at 11:20 AM, Nerdzul said:

"Although, I'm... like... not eager to meet the owner of all of this stuff."

 

"Maybe its Smaug."

He chuckled as they continued. The hammering beat of the crashing growing a little louder with each step they took...

Which turned out not to be that many once the 'ground' seemed to fall out from under them. Leon felt himself start to fall even before his brain registered what was happening. Instinctively, he tried to slow himself as he slid along the tumbling coins, but a surge of coins took his balance and his ankle rolled on him.

With a snarl hit bit back the yelp of pain, even as he grunted upon landing shoulder first on the rough, solid flow of coins. He tumbled and rolled, trying to limit any further injuries until he finally came to a stop battered, bruised and half covered in coins.

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The boys tumbled down the pile of coins, almost like if they were descending some kind of uncomfortably uneven metallic slide. Luke did his best to slower his descent, but there wasn't much he could do, the surface was too unstable and the slope too steep for him to stop himself. so the best he could manage was to try and not to land face first. He could sense his friend less than gracious descent a few feet from him, Chewy was nearby as well, but Luke could swear that the young creature strange clacking calls sounded more excited or amused than worried. 

 

They were halfway through the descent when suddenly, Light! They must have somehow moved away from the narrow passages and instead entered a much larger cave system, with the sun somehow shining in from above, reflected on a pool off... Gold? A lake, no a small sea of coins as far as the eye could see, polished and shiny, like million of tiny mirrors they reflected the celestial rays, bathing the scene in an otherworldly glow.

 

"Woah..." Luke shielded his eyes from the sudden flash as he finally landed on a somewhat more stable surface, although, his feet had sank among the coins and he was somewhat submerged up to his ankles. "This must be where the crash-" 

 

Leon! His friend was a few feet behind him and despite usually being more agile than the young dragon, had been caught off guard and had a far from graceful descent . Luke tried to step away, "Fuuuu....." It was too late and his roommate came crashing into him, sending them both tumbling down until they finally properly 'landed' piling down on the floor.

 

When they had both regained their composure, Luke stood up, on shaky legs, extending one arm to help his friend do the same while using the other to massage his lower back. Perhaps his unnatural stamina had managed to shield him from the worst damages, but that was definitely gonna hurt in the morning. "Woah..." He took a deep breath.

 

"That's not at all how Scrooge does it..." He chuckled, yep, perhaps they should have asked the  comic book billionaire duck for some pointers...

 

As the boys had a bit more time to survey the scene they noticed that they were in a truly massive cave, filled to the brim with the coins, ahead of them however, there was a large a stone column of sort and shielding their eyes from the reflection of the light, the boys could almost see the contour of a stair climbing it up. On their left, many feet away, there was what looked like a plateau of sort, unfortunately they were too down below to see what was on top of it. 

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Leon

 

“Fuuu…”
Leon was panting as he laid on the cold, solid, uncomfortable coins. He’d run into something solid before he had tumbled to a stop amongst the avalanche of metal buts. He wasn’t sure what it had been until he heard Luke groan himself.

”I’m pretty sure I have a concussion now. Think that’ll get me outta tomorrow’s quiz?”
He’d closed his eyes during the rough ride down and as he opened them he realized vaguely that he could see better then before. Something was giving off light.

As he sat up he rubbed his head and looked around. Quickly he realized what he was seeing and his mouth hung open for a moment. With a shake of his head he snapped himself out of the trance of incalculable wealth he and his friend had just stumbled onto.

With Luke’s help Leon managed to get his good foot under him and find his balance.

 

On 3/6/2022 at 3:59 PM, Nerdzul said:

"Woah..."

 

“That is an understatement, my friend.”

Was all he could say as he looked around. Squinting, he nodded towards the spiraling stairs wrapped around the giant pillar.

”And my head cannon is that Scrooge just had a super power, some kinda ‘super-movement’ for swimming in money.”

He chuckled.

 

“Think that’s a way out?”

He asked even as his eyes drifted up to the plateau’s edge.

“You know, if there is a dragon, he’s all yours.”

Leon smirked as he patted Luke’s shoulder and limped forward, trying to be careful of his injured ankle.

“I’m just gonna grab a few of these, ya know, as proof.”

Leon said casually. Luke could hear the his roomie’s grin even if he couldn’t see it.

“You watch out for the dragon.”

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  • 3 months later...

”I’m pretty sure I have a concussion now. Think that’ll get me outta tomorrow’s quiz?”
 

Luke relaxed a little as he realized that his roomate was still in a condition to quip. "Hate to break you more bad news, but... I mean getting blasted by omegadrones didn't save me from an F... so..."

 

“Think that’s a way out?”

 

"Only one way to know..." Luke rubbed his eyes and his stare turned to the plateau in the distance. "Need help walkin' man?" He added moments later. 

 

Strangely enough, when Leon moved to collect some of the loot, Nightscale eyes glowed and the young man could not resist the impulse to growl at him. "Wh... Sorry... I..." He gave his friend a puzzled look.

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Leon

 

Leon grimaced at the mention of the omegadrones incident, he hadn’t done much better on that same test.

 

Reaching for a coin he froze, looking up at Luke as his roommate emitted a low growl. He held up his hands as he straighten, eyeing the other boy.

“It’s cool. Don’t sweat it.”

Leon lowered his hands and regarded Luke.

“You good?”

He asked in typical male fashion. Giving his friend a small nod in acknowledgment.

“Let’s get outta here before you go all Smaug on me.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Yeah I..." Luke ruffled the hair on the back of his neck. He felt a sense of growing uneasiness, his instincts at war with his mind. It was weird. he was about to add something when one of the huge pile of gold coins and treasures in the distance collapsed, crashing into the glittering sea and startling the boy.

 

"Woah..." Luke almost jumped and even Chewie gave the two teens a worried clack. "I guess it's... We... We better get moving ok..." Quietly, Luke offered his friend to lean against him to help during the long trek ahead, one that for sure was  not gonna be pleasant with a wounded leg.

 

At least, they were no longer stumbling blindly in the dark, but the navigation of the hoard was indeed not an easy one, with the 'ground' unsteady and brittle, frequently enough to make their legs sink up to their ankles and force themselves to push hard to progress.

 

Riches beyond their wildest imagination lied at their feet, an ocean of wealth, untapped, glittering under the furtive rays of the sun coming from somewhere high above their heads, the coins themselves, antiques individually worthy of a small fortune, jewels and other treasures scattered among them dotted the surface and much likely many more were hidden in the depths away from prying eyes. 

 

Not unlike in the caves before, the crashes and the winds, still continued and the boys could swear that the more they progressed, the more they felt like heartbeats and breath. Although, to be completely honest, that was a comparison easier to be made by Leon that Luke, as the weirdly enough, the rhythm of the hoard seemed to somewhat synchronize with the one of the dragon boy's own heart. 

 

They have been walking for a while, when, in a small 'clearing' in between piles of riches, something caught Leon's attention...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Leon was watching his roommate when the nearby pile of coins collapsed. He started at the same time as Luke, his attention snapping in that direction. His eyes looking for any signs of movement.

 

On 6/20/2022 at 4:33 AM, Nerdzul said:

"Woah..." Luke almost jumped and even Chewie gave the two teens a worried clack. "I guess it's... We... We better get moving ok..." Quietly, Luke offered his friend to lean against him to help during the long trek ahead, one that for sure was  not gonna be pleasant with a wounded leg.

 

“Ya.”

He agreed and licked his lips nervously as he nodded. Leon absently patted Chewie before putting his hand on Luke’s shoulder. The pain was already fading but better safe then sorry.

 

The trio made their way slowly, careful whenever the began to deeply. A few times they had to circumvent an unstable looking mound of wealth. The last thing they needed was to be buried beneath a truck load of precious metals and stones.

More then once Leon spotted something that made his fingers twitch with a desire to snatch it up, but it was easily suppressed by instinctive self-preservation. The need to figure out where they were and how they could get home was a stronger desire. 

“You know, a few pocketfuls of this stuff and we’d be living large for a good while. A bagful and we be set for life.”

Leon shook his head and sighed.

“From now on, I’m going to sleep fully dressed and holding a burlap sack.”

He joked, it had a nervous edge but at least he could still making jokes.

 

The noise and wind wasn’t lessening any. In fact, it seemed to be growing stronger as the continued deeper into the hoard. Leon could feel the tensing in Luke’s shoulder as the moves. And Maybe he was going a little crazy, he would have sworn the other boy seemed to responding to the… well, pulse of the place. It sounded weird even as he thought it, but was the best way he could describe it. Whatever it was it had him on edge.

 

Ahead of them the small adventuring party could make out a larger space between the piles. Approaching cautiously they picked their way into the ‘clearing’. As Leon’s eyes started to scan the area something caught his attention.

“What the h-?”

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  • 4 months later...
On 7/13/2022 at 3:26 PM, Spacefurry said:

“You know, a few pocketfuls of this stuff and we’d be living large for a good while. A bagful and we be set for life.”

 

 

"Yeah, the pocket change here can like... solve world hunger or somethin..." Luke commented wishfully and less idealistically, it could also deal with a few issues for the perennially broke  teenage boy and to his family as well. If only... "Do you think..." The boy ruffled the hair on the back of his neck. "... That it could be considered stealing' if we take just a couple..." The boy felt a strange sense of wrongness as he mentioned the possibility. It was not just a sense of guilt, due to his past misdeeds, there was something else, more primal perhaps, that he couldn't exactly place. "it's not like a few would be missed..." He mused, but there was little conviction in his voice.

 

He was interrupted by a gust of icy wind, one that sent a shiver down his spine, leaving the boy wondering if the sensation was due to the cold breeze on his flesh, still wet after their swim in the underground river, or something more sinister. 

 

"I mean, it's not like dragons are known to be possessive about their stuff or something..." He joked to ease the tension. 

 

On 7/13/2022 at 3:26 PM, Spacefurry said:

“From now on, I’m going to sleep fully dressed and holding a burlap sack.”

 

 

"Definitely... Like with an huge dollar sign on it and all" He smirked at his friend's joke, not that he couldn't imagine Leon doing exactly as he had described, especially had he known about the chance of waking up in a cave full of riches. 

 

"What the first thing you'd buy if you could take this stuff?" He asked sometimes later, as the two were still navigating the treacherous terrain of the cave, having barely avoided a small stream of crashing treasures.

 

On 7/13/2022 at 3:26 PM, Spacefurry said:

“What the h-?”

 

An eye. And a massive one at that. At first, Leon had mistaken the strange golden disk, who was easily as wide as he was tall, more perhaps, as just one of the precious wonders among the pile, but as his own vision focused just a little more, he could properly see that he was staring an enormous pupil, emerging from underneath the sea of treasures, one of solid gold, not unlike Luke's own when the teenage dragon shifted back into his scaly frame. Just... Orders of magnitude bigger. The creature it belonged to, was hidden from sight, with the exception of the massive eye, buried beneath, asleep, perhaps, but still, it felt very much alive.

 

At least, though, it did not seem to react to the boys' presence, for now. 

Edited by Nerdzul
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