357 CCCLVII. The Acciden
"It's moving forward... she keeps going up. That can be a good sign" Reidar said, looking at his captain, who remained silent, focused on the rope and sounds in the tunnel, which were already too far away to be heard.
Small pebbles fell every now and then, caused by Claire's feet and hands clinging to the surface of the water-saturated rock, peeling off some pieces and dropping them backward.
"Heeey! How are you? Are you still going up?!" Dag yelled, hoping for a response from above.
"... Yes! I see something...!"
To those words, they all made a startling and hopeful expression, believing that the brave Shieldmaiden had perhaps reached the exit of the tunnel, about half an hour after she had entered.
"What? What do you see? Are you about to come to the surface?!" Dag continued, smiling, glad that his intuition would save the soldiers a lot of distance to cover.
That moment of euphoria suddenly stopped when the rope stopped moving.
"Dag, the rope stopped!"
"Yes, Captain, look! It's not moving anymore! Maybe Claire ran into an obstacle!"
Egill and Reidar began talking to Dag, who could not explain the strange phenomenon.
"Claire?! All right?!" he yelled again.
Still nothing, the girl did not answer the call.
The Masters kept screaming her name, in the hope that she would be able to communicate something when at one point, the rope began to move again, but at an incredible speed, crawling like a super-fast snake inside the hole in the wall.
"What?! What the fuck is going on?" Dag gasped, who watched the rope moving and for a few seconds remained paralyzed, not knowing how to intervene.
When she noticed that despite its length, the rope was about to enter the tunnel completely, he grabbed it and twisted it around his arm.
"Captain!" Reidar shouted, grabbing the rope and holding it tightly with him.
"Come on, let's help her!" Sander yelled, who with his mighty arms wrapped Dag and grabbed the rope with one hand, pulling back.
The rope suddenly froze and all three began to resist that incredible superhuman traction.
"Fuck! What is it? It's so strong! I can't hold it!" Dag said, resting both feet on the wall and his back on Sander's chest, leveraging and making the most of his physical strength.
"Sons of bitches, leave the girl alone!" Sander screamed again, who tightened the rope even more and pulled hard, managing without too much trouble to pull it in the opposite direction.
"Yes! It's moving towards us! Master Sander, keep it that way!" exclaimed Dag, noting that whatever was pulling Claire couldn't resist the physical strength of the Crows Of Odin's Master of Defense.
The noises and screams drew Gridd and the others, including Kjell, who got off the wall and with them ran towards their companions, unaware of what was going on.
"Grrraaagh!" Sander grunted, forcing Dag and Reidar to let go, grabbing the rope with both arms and pulling at full power, while the veins on his muscles swelled, as well as those of his neck and forehead.
"What's going on?! Is anyone still stuck in there? Why is he pulling so hard?" Gridd asked, sharing the panic with the others, as two soldiers approached her and Kjell and explained to them what had just happened.
Sander put his foot on the wall and the wall beneath it cracked, exerting even stronger traction.
"Sander, if the rope is attached to the girl's belt, that way you're going to cut her in two!" Egill exclaimed, who, though he wasn't physically participating, was behind them, trying to get something on his mind.
Just as the rope moved a few more centimeters in the right direction, it suddenly came out completely out of the hole and Master Sander fell back to the ground, rolling backward after the impact, with the rope still in his hands.
Dag grabbed the end still inside the tunnel and quickly pulled it out, realizing from the ease of extraction that it had been cut.
When the final part of the rope finally came out of the rock, he and the others looked carefully at it and realized that it had been accurately severed with a blade.
"Sander! Did you get hurt, my friend?!" Egill asked, who rushed towards him and helped him get up.
"Yes, I'm fine... suddenly the force pulling in the opposite direction to mine was interrupted and I was unbalanced. I just slightly injured my arm, falling on sharp rocks" he said, showing the wound to Egill, who immediately opened his hand and held it still a few inches from his friend's arm.
From the palm of his hand, an intense green light came out, directed towards the wound: the blood dripping from the surface cuts began to flow backward, returning from where it had come and the cut completely closed.
"Oh, thank you! It's much better now!" Sander greeted, looking at his arm that had been fully healed by Egill, in a matter of seconds.
"Captain, what do we do now?! What happened to Claire?! She was dragged out of the tunnel suddenly!" Reidar exclaimed, panicked, as well as the group of soldiers behind him, who did not expect to witness such a scene.
"Claire... Claire... where the fuck are you?! What happened to you?!" Dag thought out loud, reflecting aloud on the incident and entering the tunnel, trying to see something and gather useful clues.
One hand grabbed his ankle and dragged him backward, avoiding sliding his hands on the smooth surface of the rocks eroded by the water inside the hole.
The hand was that of Freydis, who, before her boyfriend made a risky move, without thinking about the consequences, stopped him.
"Where do you think you're going alone? Can't you see that one of our people just disappeared inside a hole in the wall? We must avoid going down this road!" Freydis said, looking at his boy with frightened eyes, not knowing how to react.