Paign surged off the floor, ramming his left shoulder into an unsuspecting and very startled Rance-Dahl, throwing his captor off balance. Before the gargoyle could regain his footing, Paign shoved his straightened left arm into the rough floor, quickly pivoted around on his wounded left hand, and delivered a powerful, double side kick into Rance-Dahl’s abdomen. The furious gargoyle sailed backward, unable to fight the boy until the laws of physics returned him to the chamber’s floor.
Too late did Rance-Dahl realize the angle that Paign had kicked him. Glancing behind, the gargoyle twisted violently in the air, vainly trying to swing away from the Glimmer.
As his captor hurtled into the bizarre device that had earlier kept the boy locked within, Paign was already on his feet, racing at the flailing gargoyle.
Rance-Dahl’s head, torso and legs were nearly engulfed in the Glimmer, as if he were sinking into a thick porridge. Only the front of him was uncovered by the glowing orange mass. His right arm was trapped, halfway up his massive, twitching forearm. His left arm was encompassed to the elbow, leaving his forearm unbound and free to slice wildly at the Glimmer.
Paign slammed into the beast’s left forearm, seizing the gargoyle’s wrist with all of his strength.
Rance-Dahl wailed in fury and pain, his left arm compressed suddenly into its immovable elbow. Frantically, he tried to slice at Paign’s head with his right-hand talons; only the right wrist was free of the Glimmer. His flaming eyes grew wide, enraged that he couldn’t reach the impudent boy.
But Paign’s rage was the greater. Already, he was viciously twisting Rance-Dahl’s left wrist so that the beast’s talons were aimed at his own throat, bearing down with all the strength his will could muster.
“Aaargh, I see your game, boy! I commend your creativity and spirit,” the gargoyle grunted. “Nevertheless, in a moment, you will die for this insolence!”
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