John, Bill, and Jeannine finished eating and set off in search of Errour’s den immediately thereafter. Their goal was simple: to free her captives from slavery, and force them to fight in the battle, willing or not. It was a very hypocritical plan. No one minded.
“Now Pompetus said it was ten miles from here but didn’t tell us in which direction, so I say we all split up and take different directions, to cover more ground,” suggested John.
“But then whoever finds the den will have to confront Errour alone, John,” said Jeannine. “I doubt any of us can manage that.”
“I can. And I’m the only one that matters,” said John. “If one of you finds it and dies and doesn’t show up back at the castle by nightfall, I’ll know where to find her. It’s a perfect plan. Everyone ready? Let’s go!”
At the behest of John, they all split up, and each started off in a different direction. Bill went left, the only direction he knew, his mother having given up on teaching him the distinction between left and right halfway through.
Jeannine went right, mistakenly assuming that the direction right was synonymous with the adjective indicating correctness.
John, however, went straight ahead. He would, of course, be the one to find the den of Errour; after all, he is the protagonist. Protagonists are always the ones who find hidden dens.
Look at that, a hidden den, thought John as he gazed upon the Den of Errour. I’ll bet it’s the den of Errour. In fact, I know it’s the den of Errour, because I know everything.
Strutting inside boldly, John drew his sword that he suddenly had and called out, “Errour! I’ve come to free your captives. Unless you want to die, please show me where they are. I’ll give you 30 seconds.”
John took out a stopwatch and started timing. The cave was completely dark. John couldn’t see anything but his watch, thanks to its nifty incandescent little glow.
The air in the den was cold and damp. Drops of water fell regularly from stalactites on the cave’s roof, echoing ominously, emphasizing the isolated solitude of caves.
Then, 24 seconds in, John heard something. It sounded like a snake, but one larger than any could possibly be. He heard a clicking sound, and suddenly the cave was completely illuminated – someone had turned on the lights, revealing the hideous creature: she had the head and torso of a woman, but her lower half was that of a gargantuan snake, slithering and writhing all about. It was Errour.
“Why have you come?” she hissed, italicizing every syllable.
“I already told you why I’ve come. If you weren’t listening, that’s your own problem; I refuse to repeat myself to the likes of you,” said John. “You’ll just have to improve your listening skills, monster. Then maybe next time you’ll hear me the first time around.”
“My missstake,” she replied. “I jussst remembered that I DO know what you sssaid. And I’m sssorry, but I can’t free the captives. I enjoy watching them sssuffer.”
“Then I’m afraid I’ll have to take them from you,” said John plainly, holding up his sword. “By force!”
It was a fine sword, made by the elves; it glowed blue whenever danger was near. It was glowing now. John had taken it from his throne room before leaving – clearly, it was something Claudius had stolen from his father when he’d stolen the throne.
Out of the corner of his eye, John then noticed something shining on the ground. It appeared to be a shield, but it was made entirely of diamond! He bent to pick it up, then realized that if he were to use it in the battle, it might decrease in value; so he left it alone and charged at Errour.
She was not unaccustomed to fighting humans, however, and before John even knew what was happening, she had him locked in her deadly coils. Within a few minutes, John would be completely suffocated.
But then he reached out and grabbed her throat, choking her to death. Very ironic.
“Now to free those captives!”