The Cloud Castle – Page 151


As Jack enters the next chamber, a stunning and terrifying new foe confronts him – a huge Tyranox!

The Tyranox is a curious creature, capable of developing in two very divergent ways. In the wild a young Tyranox will exhibit considerable intelligence and dexterity with its forelimbs, but as it ages and grows it will gradually become a brutish, unreasoning killing machine standing taller than a castle keep, and its forelimbs will scarcely grow at all, becoming nearly useless.

This monster dominates the small chamber, and its roars are deafening. Jack knows better than to spar with it or let it get within biting range. He immediately flings Storm Fist, striking the monster as hard and fast as possible. Throw after throw, he pounds the Tyranox with a relentless barrage of magical blows. The hammer keeps the monster at bay, but he doesn’t appear to be making any progress. The Tyranox shows no signs of fatigue, but Jack’s arm is swiftly cramping.

Behind the Tyranox, he spies a large lever. A glance at the floor beneath him confirms his suspicion. He and the monster stand up on a retractable bridge, and if the terrific heat in the room suggests anything, it is that a pool of lava waits below. Jack flings his hammer again to distract the Tyranox, then rushes at it. He makes a powerful leap augmented by his Seven League Boots, bounds off the top of the Tyranox’s snapping head, catches Storm Fist in mid flight, and flings it again – this time at the lever.

The blow knocks the lever back and the bridge retracts just as Jack lands on the opposite platform. He whirls, hoping to see the Tyranox plunge into the lava – but instead, it disappears into a swirling cloud of fire-red motes. With mingled relief and disappointment, Jack enters the next chamber.

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