They soon came to a path winding into the mountains. Not even pausing for a rest, Qailin began climbing the rocky path. Mala sighed, and brought up the rear, following behind everyone. Soon, they came to a large open area, with several paths leading in different directions. The paths became cavernous passages a few feet in. Qailin paused, unsure which one to choose.
The decision was taken from him when hordes of spiders, ranging in size from that of a small dog to that of a large horse, came pouring in from all directions. The group found themselves fighting for their lives, and it wasn't long before the spiders had separated them as well.
Mala found herself backing into one of the paths, scimitars slicing through spiders with every swing. Suddenly, the spiders were just gone. She'd killed many of those that pushed her here, but most had rapidly retreated. She began to make her way back to the clearing, but stopped when a loud rumbling began. Rocks began to topple all around her, and she dived out of the way, further into the cavern.
Dazed, she tried to pick herself up, but couldn't. One of her legs had been trapped by the falling rocks. She flexed the muscles in it, and tried to move it. It hurt, but wasn't broken. Well, that's something at least. She sat up, and had just begun to try to shift the boulders pining her, when she heard a strange sound behind her. She half-turned, unable to turn fully due to her trapped leg, and froze at the sight that greeted her.
A huge butterfly floated a dozen feet away, beautiful multicolored wings barely flapping, as if it were using something else to fly. The sheer beauty of the creature made her want to weep, and she reached a hand out, as if to touch it. Pulling her hand back, she shook her head. Something was wrong. Her body, her soul, still cried out to touch the creature, but her mind held strong. Then she saw what was wrong. On the head was a round mouth ringed with razor sharp needle-like teeth. It was obviously used to attach to a victim and suck...Well, something anyway, and nothing I'd want to share, either! Old stories and histories came back to her, and she knew what this beast was.
The byoune, seeing that it's compulsion wasn't working, began to sing. Mala covered her ears to try and block it, but the song of the byoune is not a physical song. Rather, it enters the mind of the victim and feeds on their emotions. Once they are all devoured, the victim is left as a soulless shell, not dead, but not truly alive. All this ran through Mala's mind as she tried vainly to block the sound. She could feel herself slipping, her emotions draining away. She desperately tried to reach her scimitar, but it lay too far away, inches shy of her grasping fingers.