Chapter 4 - The beginning
"Oh SHIT! WRONG TURN WRONG TURN" screamed Bell as he sprinted through the hallways with a... minotaur behind him?
The white-haired boy picked his crystal up. The dungeon was stiffly quiet, however, only the occasional footsteps of other adventurers broke the silence. "Alright that's one down," Bell said, as he stored his crystal in his back satchel.
The uneasy shaking stopped and I felt more calm and prepared.
I examined my knife, the hilt already felt shaky and the edges seemed to dull with small cracks in-between.
I wandered forward, occasionally bumping into other adventurers. Relieved that I'm not totally alone I tugged on going deeper into the floor. The first floor had a pretty linear sequence and was easy to navigate. "Well, I guess it is the easiest floor"
I turned round the corner still on high guard, my right hand holding the knife in a reverse grip as I quietly examined the corridor. I was greeted with sturdy steps going a level down, "that must be floor 2.." I said, debating whether I should go down there. I mean I can handle the monsters and it means more money that I can invest in my armour.
My ridiculous thought got the best of me as I slowly stepped down the stairs, expecting monsters to come storming at me. Fortunately, that was not the case which I was partly relieved at. I followed the dreary lamps in the hallway as I remember before long, I came face to face with a hairy creature striking a hideous posture
The beast let off a foul smell as it scratched its claws on the wall. The yellow vicious eye glared right at me, its look sent a revolting feel down my throat. My breath grew shorter and shorter. My heart raced as I clutched my knife harder with a trembling hand. The beast drooled as it licked its claws and started sprinting towards me. I was stuck in the thought of just running or fighting until -
"Swish" The claws ripped through the air leaving a brief trail of sound. I jump out the way as the kobold throws himself at me with reckless regard.
"He's faster than the goblin" I come to the realisation as it swiftly closes the gap again. I grit my teeth hard - as I stagger back, blocking its relentless attacks.
I meet its sharp eyes, carelessly proceeding to strike before I kick it to at least intimi-
"Augh!" The rigid nails tore through my jacket into my shoulder blade, I could feel it's long claws between my flesh. Hot crimson liquid drips. Time slows, my hand subtly shakes before I'm kicked in the liver and sent a few metres back. The cloud of dust rushed from the side as I stay shaking on the floor. I spit the blood swelling in my mouth out as I got back up.
Taking advantage of the smoke, I went around and laid low and then attempted to pierce its stomach with my knife, until. It gets stuck, only going halfway in.
My eyes widen, "Its skin is thicker too!" I exclaim before I notice the same crimson fluid, splattering out, I was able to scratch an organ. The kobold retreats a few steps, clearly in pain.
We're at a stalemate, both I and it are injured however not once has the others gaze stop following the other. During this brief moment, I cursed myself for being stupid and heading down on my first day. I was still in wonder at how a floor difference could do this much damage. I could feel the blood going down my leg as my tainted shirt glued onto my chest.
I need to do something, so I can patch up and get out of here.
I slowly step back. My sweaty palms still gripped the knife. I continued stepping back before I began to turn around to escape.
The cold-blooded beast without hesitating races forward. I forced to fight again as I stop and sluggishly jump to the right. My movements are pathetic due to the injury.
Fortunately, the creature also feels the wound as it abruptly stops.
I squint my eyes as I swallow my pain and swing at the kobolds eye while it was recovering, followed by a stab to the chest. The attacks connect as the beast reels over continuing to endure, I force my muscles to move as I plunge my knife into his shoulder.
The creature gives one final howl before it vanishes into a smoke as the boy falls to his knees trying to gain his breath back.
"Can't believe how strong that thing was" I mumble, as I lay on the floor with my back to the wall. Sweat drooled down my forehead. I thought my heart would explode as it frantically rushed to pump blood around.
I lost all my energy, even thinking about moving hurt. I sit on the floor, gazing into the ceiling, trying not to focus on the pain until it became unbearable.
I slowly loosen my shirt, ready to put a torn cloth over the wound until I remember the two ruby tubes sitting in my bag.
Pop! The potion had a subtle smell of strawberry until I chugged the entire thing down. "Yep, definitely strawberry"
I rested for another 10 minutes, continuing to get my breath back and overall recovering. "Whew, already healed, those potions are a life saver!" I exclaimed, still shocked at the wonders
My body felt lighter and I regained all my energy it seemed, however, I was not going to stick around. I need to see where I am and get out.
But of course, this is me were talking about which meant that my luck brought me towards a pair of monsters at the end of the room, one being a kobold and the other a creature with yellow skin and a tail with snake-like eyes. It looks like a lizard, but I'm not sure; Eina didn't tell me anything about the 3rd floor. I assume I'm not in their range as I decide to step in closer to get a better look at the terrain until lizard glares me down.
I'm seen. I feel my heart pounding in my chest once again. I take off, left, right, right straight, left. I barely managed to kill that kobold, "I can't take both on!"
They scratch their claws on the wall for a couple of seconds making me regret coming down here, even more. I run without a clue where I'm going, my map still in my back pocket. I check behind me to see if I'm still being pursued, the kobold and lizard both still hot on my tail, I continue running just like I did back on my farm, I remember running towards the mountains to have a final look of the sunset before it hides away behind the mountains… "Focus bell!" I tell myself as I snap out of it and run down another pair of stairs and continue running not having the courage to check behind me. Slowly my legs scream at me to a stop as I take a gulp of water, I stand leaning on the wall to get my breath back before the realisation of the fact I'm lost hits me.
Getting the map out takes ages as my fingers are spazzing all over the place, the adrenaline kicked in hard I guess... It takes me another good 10 minutes to pinpoint where I am until I know which way to go.
Anxious and shocked, the boy tries to make his way to the stairs for the 4th floor.
Can't believe I went down so many levels without realising it, but I was at awe at how amazing the dungeon is, it automatically regenerated with the walls were destroyed, made monsters that magically come out of the walls as well as how gigantic it is in total.
I step out of my thought to realise how awfully quiet it is, not a single noise. It starts to make my hairs stand and start butterflies in my stomach, the dungeon was scarier when it was dead silent.
I freeze on spot and look forward to where the scream came from.
An irregular scream soon followed, it almost sounded like a battle cry of a monster.
My grip tightens on the knife, as I hear footsteps running towards me until I hear "RUUUNN" and two adventurers running out of the shadows, they pass me without looking back, death written on their faces. I stand there hesitating and puzzled until red eyes shoot out and the brown humanoid beast walks out the shadow.
"mmm—mmm-iinattoouurr?" my words stumbled out my mouth as if they wanted to escape too. I didn't need to be told what a minotaur looked like, I had read countless stories on them.
I stand puzzled for half a second until it roars at me and picks its 3-foot-long sword up.
I dash off from the spot, sweat rained on my body as I sprinted through the labyrinth. I cursed myself for wondering down a level, to be honest, I wanted to prove all those familias who rejected me wrong but I see the reason as to why I was rejected now…
"Oh SHIT! WRONG TURN WRONG TURN!" screamed Bell in his head as he sprinted through the hallways.
My legs screamed at me to stop but my heart was already 10 metres ahead.
Left, right, right, I stumble and roll on the floor into a dead end.
"no, no, no no way" whimpered Bell as he backed off into the wall, trying to gain as much distance from him and death
"I'm sorry gheja je" I say my last apologies to my grandfather, disappointing him hurt more than death will.
The minotaur stepped forward, grunting with a sadistic smug grin on his face as he got ready to end me.
Instead, I see tomato puree flying towards me, followed by an elegant slash through the minotaur's stomach, it turns around only to have its arm and head severed.
A blonde head swordswoman spins around, I meet her golden eyes, I sit there frozen, my heart was on fire and felt as if it melted. If I wasn't soaked in red blood already, she would've seen my red out of control face blushing madly. I was in a chant, trapped in her eyes, it seemed as if she was a goddess. The wind swirled around her as her soft golden hair complemented her golden eyes, and then she spoke
"Are you okay?" she asked
I couldn't respond. She was a princess out of the fairy tales. I was trapped by her appearance, her toned body, her tender smooth voice, the care in her eyes all spoke to my heart directly.
It takes me a full couple of seconds to take her beauty in, I saw myself in those eyes, the eyes of grief - the feeling of losing a loved one, but also something far greater, a hero; She had what I wanted most. I sit in awe for perhaps another few seconds however they felt like hours.
I feel the minotaur blood dripping into my back and I come back to reality. A stream of embarrassment and awkwardness hit me, I took off, faster than I did with the minotaur leaving her behind…
I ran through the streets, blood spat everywhere every step I took, I was the centre of attention however my mind paid no attention, my heart was still tingling since the encounter. I had one place on my mind and that was it.
The sun got low and the light got redder and the shadows got longer and the flowers began to think about closing.
I wandered through the narrow streets in long strides, I felt as if I would soon take flight as my heart was still roaring. I had her face imprinted in my mind.
I come to a stop when I turn around the corner and see a small girl on the floor outside a house with a large woman standing inside with crossed arms, yelling " Come back when you're stronger" and slamming the door on her.
Deja vu much? I thought before hurrying to her, "Are you alright?" I asked as I put my hand out. She gazed at the hand and sat frozen surveying each corner of me. I stand puzzled as to why she was hesitating before I realise... I'm covered in red blood.
I stumble back and frantically exclaim "don't worry, I'm only covered in blood because of the dungeon" as if that was going to help the awkward situation, however, her hands slowly move up and accepts help. I was close enough to make her out - she was rather frail with chocolate brown eyes and dark brown hair wrapped in a ponytail. She wore a brown top and bottoms with a dingy silver waistcoat down, nothing that really stood out except her bracelets on her arms reflecting the glimmering rays of the sun. She stood up and reached about 5 foot, up to my shoulders, she was covered in dirt.
However, she did have a kind face as she stared at me. I noticed she had a bag on her back and remembered why she got kicked out - "Are you an adventurer?" I asked, curiously.
"haha, trying to be one.." she said joyfully, with a smile on her face. She had what looked like the hilt of a sword peeking out her bag.
"Well... t-thank you" she nervously states
Of course, my face blushes again as I tell respond "It's fine" before we bow our heads and turn in the opposite direction.
It took me 20 more minutes and a lot more glares before I reached the guild as I got lost halfway through. I already see Ms Eina walking outside.
After a lot of lectures, due to the freaking minotaur on the bloody 5th floor she finally calms down and I'm able to finally ask.
"sss-so, y-you know that person wh-who saved me do you know her name?" I ask slowly, making sure I'm not entering the "deep end" straight away
After a rather stern look, she finally sighs and says "Her names Ais Wallenstein, level 5 and belongs to the Loki familia"
"Yeah, but do you know her favourite foods? Her favourite hobbies? Or if she's currently um, into someone? I eagerly inquire, as I turn my head away. Face still red as though I'm still covered in blood
Her eyes widen, "Hmmmm... Sounds like you're in looovveee" she claims
And so.. after a lot more embarrassing torture I finally learn she's 'single'
I'm now stood outside, grinning and blushing madly. It was now night, however, the bird continued to chirp inside me as butterflies fluttered in my stomach.
I took a deep breath of the cool night air-
"I have a chance!"
Alright now, wheres Mama mias bar then?
Hey! finally updated
Due to exams in 1-2 months time and 'mocks' flying at me left, right, and centre I haven't had much time to properly sit down and write for straight hours
Also many thanks to 'FumeKnight' for some advice
Either way thank you to all the people who left reviews and the people who are still reading!