Deep in the pit, the beast lets up a wet and strangled howl. Rasalgethi, kneeling at the pit's edge, spits a fragment of bloody tooth after it. He was expecting to feel better about this.
"So, friend," says Augustus, offering his gloved hand. "What next, now that your quest has ended?"
"Don't tell me you're going to keep a vigil here, like some ascetic. Come with me back to civilization, and live out your days in modest scholarship."
"Scholarship. Of course."
"Or keep bees, or something. Surely you deserve a rest."
Staring down into the darkness, Rasalgethi pretends to reconsider.