“Ouch ouch ouch…… just, where am I?”
I said as I regained consciousness and slowly stood up. My whole body was aching, especially my back.
I looked around a bit, and after seeing the damp earth and the walls, I finally remembered. I am in a cave. Well, it’s a dungeon actually.
“But, just what was that?”
I tried to remember what had happened earlier.
Me, Sam, Jack, Liera, Shiggurath and Cornellia had entered the dungeon after Reishu had slaughtered the demons outside it. After entering, we didn’t find any monsters. No, we didn’t even find any living creatures. After walking for some time, we met up with the Demon King Leticia and the commandments, along with Almarick.
Frankly speaking, the moment I saw him, my trauma from almost being killed by him last time surfaced, making me almost unable to move. However, it was soon overshadowed by anger and confidence. Liera, along with Reygus and Olivia, had vigorously trained me in these last two weeks.
The training was so hard this time that I actually thought that dying by the hands of demons would be better. But I persisted till the end. According to them, I should be able to beat a Commandment now.
Anyway, upon meeting the Demon King, Sam talked to her as if he was meeting an old friend, and she responded in kind. However, she showed her true colours when Sam tried to leave.
At that moment, god knows why but Shiggurath jumped and attacked the Demon King. She easily evaded it, of course, but the attack hit the ground and it started cracking. Sam screamed at us to fall back, and heeding his advice everyone jumped.
I also tried to jump, however, something coiled around my legs and pulled me to the ground, thus causing me to fall over. When I looked at it, it was a hand made out of stone. I tried freeing myself of it, but I was too late.
The ground crumbled, and I started falling with the debris. I then hit something on my head and lost consciousness.
And now here I am, contemplating my life’s choices.
I once again looked around to confirm my surroundings. As mentioned earlier, I was in a cave with no source of light.
I could see that there was no one here beside myself. In fact, absolute silence surrounded me: I could even hear the rustling of clothes as I moved, which in fact, was quite unnerving.
However, that wasn’t the problem right now. The real problem, was what lay in front of me.
A step ahead of me, the cave changed into a hallway. The walls, the ceiling and the floor were all white, the purest of white I had ever seen. Moreover, those walls were glowing, thus providing me the illumination needed to confirm my surroundings.
I looked behind me, but there was just a dead end there. The ceiling was normal as well: there was no sign of the hole which I should have fallen through. Provided that I did reach this cave by falling from above.
This cave was clearly different from the dungeon I was in before. Its walls were moist and were covered with moss. The ceiling above was actually completely covered with it, ruling out the possibility that the ceiling closed up after I fell through it. Though it’s not like I can be sure that this moss is not just a part of the cave which is repaired when destroyed. Something like that shouldn’t be possible though.
Moreover, there was not even any debris lying beside me. From this, only two conclusions could be reached: I had reached a lower floor of this dungeon and the climate here was different. Or that I was at an entirely different place. But the second possibility is quite absurd, so it shouldn’t be the situation I am in, right?
I could hear the thunder of my heartbeat as I contemplated on what to do in the deadpan silence. I cannot go anywhere except to the hallway in front of me, and I don’t think I can wait for anyone to come retrieve me.
So, the only option left for me is to go through that hallway.
After deciding on what to do, I unsheathed my sword for safety and started walking. I entered the hallway, but after walking a few steps, I felt that something was wrong. When I turned around, I saw that behind me a white wall had sprung up, thus trapping me in this hallway.
“What the fuck?!”
I ran to it and started pounding it, only to feel my hands growing cold. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the wall was made of snow.
“What the heck is with this place….?”
I tried using fire magic to melt the wall, but the fire didn’t even put a scratch on it.
This is clearly suspicious no matter how I look at it, god damnit!
With no other choice, I decided to go forward where the hallway was trying to lead me, because fuck this shit. I’m now pissed and will attack anyone who stands against me.
I took out the bottle from my bag to wet my parched throat, readied my sword, and put my presence detection magic at full throttle.
Using this magic at its full power, I can sense all living creatures within a radius of about 5 km. So, anything that was to harm me would be detected before it can even come near me.
However, I soon realised that there was a problem with that magic. It wasn’t extending beyond the walls of this hallway: the walls were interfering with it.
Haah…. just what have I gotten myself into? The only saving grace was that I could not feel any presence up ahead. At the very least, there doesn’t seem to be anything that can harm me.
With that thought in mind, I started walking, determined to reach the end of this place and get out.
“Just stop iiiitttttt!!!!!”
I screamed at the top of my lungs and fell on my knees because I couldn’t take it anymore. From feelings alone, I can tell that it’s been 4 hours since I started walking. However, even after walking for so long, I still haven’t reached the end of this hallway.
However, that’s not the only problem.
The thing which has been shaving away at my spirit is actually the voice inside my head. From the moment I started walking. It was screaming in a whimpering voice,
First of all, I don’t even know who she is, so how can I save her?! For fucks sake why can’t this voice leave me alone?!
After remaining like that for a while and seeing that the voice would not stop, I slowly got up and started walking away. That voice started when I entered this hallway, so it should leave when I exit it.
Because I don’t know what I’m gonna do if it doesn’t.
After walking for about an hour more, I finally regained hope after I started seeing what seemed like a door. Unable to hold myself back, I ran to it.
Upon reaching it, the door turned out to be way bigger than I thought it to be. It was at least 15 metres in height, and around 10 metres across.
The double door was made of ice, but it was translucent so I couldn’t make out what was on the other side of it. But before that, how do I even open it?
There weren’t any handles to pull or levers to turn that would let me open it.
Instead of them, at the point where the two sides of the door touched each other, there was a depression in the door shaped like a right hand. It was at the level of my eyes, and it seemed to be inviting me to put my hand in it. Strangely enough, the depression was the size of my hand.
Going back wasn’t an option, and seeing no other way to open the door, I decided to put my hand into the hollow to see whether that would do anything.
The moment I put my hand in it, the door started shining with a golden light, causing me to narrow my eyes, and opened inwards.
And what filled my vision wasn’t something I was ready for.