Dewin's form reappeared in a cave far from the battle site. His long grey hair was tangled, and blood dripped from his nose, a sign that he had spoken enough enchantments today. He wiped it with a tattered sleeve. 

His shoulders began to tremble, heaving up and down. He was laughing. Dewin threw back his head and let a long, low, menacing laugh echo off the cave walls. 

Sitting down on the cold stone floor, he wiped his eyes, which had begun to water, still chuckling. Emong didn't know. Dewin had never heard such a fine joke in all his centuries! Here the Gnome King was battling his heart out, and didn't even know what he was protecting! 

Overcome with fatigue, too tired to use magic to light a fire, Dewin wrapped his cloak around him tightly and rested his head on a rock to rest.

It was a good thing Emong didn't know what he had, Dewin thought, closing his eyes. Even without it, the gnome was a worthy opponent. He would have to be more careful if he was going to claim the artifact for himself...

Dewin realized, too late, that he had forgotten to put a shield around his hiding place. He rose to his feet as the sound of footsteps reached his ears. He was exhausted and not in good shape for another fight. There was only one entrance to this cave - he was trapped. The wizard began to shiver as the footsteps came nearer...

The End

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