This is (obviously) part 2 of my fanfic Blood of the Beast. If you haven't read it please read it first.
Rik rummaged through the mud and scraggly grass, searching for the little red plants, the sun beating down on his sweating back. Rust had already led the Barroth away from the mud pool, so that Zoey, Tarrow and Rik could gather in peace. Lance had gone off to find the cactus flowers in the sandier areas of the Sandy Plains. Just then, Lance entered the area, a big grin on his face. "How's it going, guys?" He asked as he sank down onto his knees next to Zoey. "Not good, we've only got 3 bughoppers and 5 fire herbs so far," Tarrow explained, a bug net in her hands. They continued to gather for five minutes in the quiet of the mud pool, until they felt a tremor under their feet. Rik understood what it meant first. "Everyone, out of the mud pool!" He yelled, and then ran for a large log that lay on the ground, presumably knocked down by the beast that Rust was hunting. He had just managed to jump over it and hide behind it as a huge Barroth, at least twice as tall a Rik was, burst from the mud pool, flinging the sticky substance everywhere. Some of it landed on Tarrow, who was furthest into the mud pool, and it stuck to her, leaving her hands stuck to her body and useless. She managed to avoid the attention of the beast, and dive behind the log that Rik was hiding behind. Rik rummaged through his bag and pulled out a cleanser, which he poured over Tarrow, ridding her of the sticky mud. Lance and Zoey had managed to hide behind a tree stump not far from where Rik and Tarrow was. "Okay, once it's attention is diverted, run for it," Rik whispered to the others. Just then Rust entered the area, bleeding and battered, with a Royal Ludroth Greatsword on his back. "Okay big boy, let's finish it." He drew the giant sword, and the Barroth charged.
The Barroth crouched low, drooling, waiting for an opportunity to charge. Rust held the giant sword ready, trying to avoid making the fatigued beast agitated. Rik and the others hid in a bush near the exit of the area. Lance shifted his position slightly. They had been sitting there for five minutes, waiting for an opening to escape, and they all felt uncomfortable. Rust slowly sheathed the blade, and carefully pulled out a small glass ball. Inside, buzzing angrily, was a large yellow beetle with a glowing abdomen. "Shield yer eyes!" He yelled, as he threw the ball at the ground. Rik covered his eyes with his arm, but he could still see the brilliant falsh of light the flashbug gave off when it died. The Barroth, however, looked straight into the flash when it went off, and was now blinded, thrashing out at any noise it heard. Rust crept up behind the beast quietly, and with one great swing, took the Barroth's tail off. He then slashed at the legs, trying to make the Barroth fall off balance. Finally, the Barroth regained it's sight, and swung around in a half circle. Rust caught the stub of its tail full in the chest, sending him flying. He landed on the fallen log roughly, and it looked as if he had broken a few ribs. His sword was flung over to where Rik and the others lay hidden, and he was completely defenceless. The Barroth, in its rage at losing its tail, lowered it's head towards the helpless hunter, and started it's lumbering run towards Rust. Rik, looking at the man who had almost been a father to him for most of his life, now half dead in the path of a rampaging Barroth, decided it was time for him to step in. He discarded the switch-axe that he carried on his back, and sliding Rust's giant sword onto his back, and rushed toward Rust.
The Barroth was angry. It was so focused on destroying the hunter that had inflicted so much pain upon it that it didn't see Rik standing just off to one side, the Ludroth Greatsword in his hands and the red glow along the blade that was always apparent when a greatsword was being charged. Rust hadn't seen Rik yet, either, and had that hopless look of a man staring death in the face. The great Barroth was almost upon him when Rik swung.
Rik had timed it perfectly. He had swung at the Barroth's head exactly when he felt that surge of energy that meant the greatsword was fully charged. The Barroth caught the blow in the front of its head, and there was a loud Crash as it's head was forced into the ground. But the momentum the Barroth had gained in its charge couldn't be stopped even by the power of that blow, and the Barroth flipped over its own head, and almost seemed to fly over Rik and Rust. There was an ear-splitting crack as the crest of the mighty brute's head split off to lie at Rik's feet. Rik dropped the blade and rushed to Rust, and poured the contents of a mega-potion down his throat. "That was a mighty fine attack, youngin'." Rust coughed. Lance walked up beside them and handed Rik his Switch-axe back. "That was stupid, Rik." He growled. "But I'm glad you did it." The Barroth got up and let our a roar so loud they had to cover their ears, and charged at them. "He knows you're here now, youngin's, so ya' might as well help." Rust said after they had evaded the attack. The Barroth stopped it's charge, swung around, and smashed it's head into the muddy ground, splattering mud all over the place.
Rust and Lance managed to evade the sticky blobs, but Rik wasn't as fortunate. He staggered as the mud splattered over him, unable to dodge the Barroth as it swung it's head down towards him. Suddenly a volley of three arrows sped across from the bush where Tarrow and Zoey were hiding, all three hitting the Barroth in the soft part of its head that had been exposed by Rik's attack with the greatsword. The beast staggered back in pain, and turned it's attention to the two girls. It was about to charge when Lance stepped in and unleashed three stabs of his lance to the soft underside of the Barroth. Again, it turned its attention to its latest attacker and went to swoop him up into the air with its head. Zoey darted out and started hacking at its legs with her Dual Blades, barely scratching it's hard carapace. The Barroth, enraged now to a point no other monster could achieve, turned towards her. Rust stepped in, and with a huge heaving uppercut, hit it under the chin, knocking it flat on its back. Zoey rushed in and raised her arms, the red glow in her eyes of Demonisation. She attacked the wounded beast now, her blades barely slowing as they hit the Barroths hard shell. As she hacked it's belly, Rik, now rid of the mud that had covered him, unsheathed his Switch-axe into sword mode, and discharged his whole vial into the Barroth's face. Suddenly, the monster stood up, and roared so loudly the ground shook. It smashed it's head into the ground and soaked Lance, Rust, Rik and Zoey head to foot in mud. It swept its bloody, mangled stump of a tail in a wide arc, hitting Rust and Lance, knocking them both out. Rik managed to find one last cleanser in his bag, and poured it over his head. Four Felynes came and put Lance and Rust on stretchers and took them back to base camp. The Barroth paid no attention to the small cat-like Lynians, focusing on Zoey, still covered in mud and with a broken leg. It lowered it's head, and with a snort, began to charge.
Rik, who was only a few feet from Zoey, rushed over to her. Judging by her expression of pain, he knew he wouldn't be able to move her. He stood, about three feet in from of her, his Switch-axe held out like he was blocking with a Greatsword. He dug his feet into the ground and braced himself, he knew this was going to hurt. "Tarrow!" He yelled at the top of his lungs. "Shoot it!" Zoey ran onto the top of a hill and aimed her bow, concentration showing on her face. "Come on! Shoot it!" Rik yelled, getting nervous. "Hang on a sec, its not in the right place yet!" Tarrow yelled back. The Barroth rumbled steadily towards Rik, its momentum gathering. "Tarrow..." Rik called again. He was beginning to get scared. He knew if Tarrow didn't stop the Barroth in its charge, or at least distract it, both him and Zoey were dead. It was almost upon them now. "TARROW, SHOOT IT!" Tarrow, her bow fully charged, released the piercing arrow. It flew through the air, and hit the raging beast in the eye, just a few feet from Rik and Zoey. The arrow went straight through the Barroth's head until it hung half-out of its other eye. The beast hit the ground and skidded into Rik, who stumbled as his Switch-axe deflected its path off to the side.Rik looked at his Switch-axe. It was obviously broken, it's morphing mechanism in smoke.
Discarding his weapon, he went through his bag, and gave Zoey an immuniser, to numb the pain. Its effect was immediate, and he found a long straight stick to use as a splint for Zoey's broken leg. Just as he finished securing it to her leg to stop the bones from moving, Rust and Lance showed up. "Zoey!" Lance exclaimed as he saw his girlfriend's condition. "I'm okay now Lance," Zoey replied. "Rik patched me up." Rust moved over to the dead Barroth, lying half in the mud, and gave a low whistle. "That was quite a shot, young Tarrow," He said, staring at the arrow sticking out of the beast's eye. Tarrow blushed, "Oh, it was nothing. Rik was the brave one, he stood in front of it to protect Zoey, and distracted it long enough for me to shoot it." But Rust wouldn't let it go. "Yer still shot a charging Gold Crown Barroth through the eyes. That there is an accomplishment ter be proud of." He looked at all of them, and continued. "All of you should be proud of yerself. In this last quest yer all performed well above the standard of all us regular hunters, and yer saved me life." The four young hunters glowed with the praise, all bloody and battered, but with high spirits.