After several hours, they wake up and are relieved that the door held the water and they remember never to open that door again.
“We did find some upgraded equipment and one of the gold keys for one of the doors!” said Karna, relieved to be alive.
“There is no point going back to the locked, doors yet, as we know we need more keys because, we could see through the doors,” declared Rheill.
All of them get up and stretch, they hear that the water has stopped flowing behind the door, “Which, door shall we try to today?” asked Sana.
“Time is of the Essence is something possibly we have faced before; we had to be fast, this could be an option?” suggested Isai.
“I do not care, as long as it does not involve me fighting for my life in another flooding cavern!” mentioned Karna.
“Then it is settled; Time is of the Essence, it is!” said Sana.
They all managed to agree and move slowly and quietly towards the door; this door is a normal door, unlike the Matrix door. The door is a portcullis, just like on the floor above, but it fits perfectly into the cavern. Rheill pushes the button and the door opens, up automatically, they then see a blue diamond-shaped button on the wall.
Sana begins to read the writing on the wall out loud, “Hit and Run!”
“Could be a trap; well let us check the corridor first, never just press buttons after what happened yesterday!” said Karna suggestively.
“Agreed, Karna,” answered Rheill.
They decide to check out the corridor, but it leads to nowhere at all, just a dead end, and Karna presses against the walls to see if any more, false walls, exist. She remembered this from the Matrix, where she found her new wooden shield, when she leaned on the wall before the flooding event occurred.
“No false walls here, so we have no choice, but to press this button; let us see what it does!” suggested Isai.
“Okay everyone; go back to the door we have no idea what it does!” declared Karna.
“I am pressing the button, to try and see what happens,” said Karna.
They see nothing at first, so Karna presses it again and then, they see a passageway open, up and close quickly.
“Now, this is going to be a speed area, it seems!” said Rheill.
“Okay, we can make this easily; the corridor is not that far, but we have got to watch that we do not get crushed. You guys just wait by the opening and go through; I will wait here, otherwise I risk being crushed. I will also close the door so I am safe; you look for a way to open it on your end, if there is nothing, I will then take the risk,” suggested Karna.
“Okay, Karna, it is probably safer, but we may need you, if anything hostile is on the other side,” replied Sana.
“That is true, but Rheill should be able take care of it and I do not want you to go far into the next area. Also, it gives you three a chance to escape with me standing here as I can just re-open the door, not trapping all of us in the new area,” replied Karna, using her wits.
“Alright, I agree it will be fine, so let’s go; press it now Karna,” shouted Isai.
Karna presses the button and the wall opens slowly and all three of them, but Karna go through the wall. The wall shuts behind them making a crashing and thunderous sound that echoes throughout the cavern. Sana, Isai and Rheill are now in the new area; meanwhile Karna shuts the door sealing her from the, Choose Your Fate room.
“Okay, looks like this area goes past a pressure pad, maybe that is how we get out of here, let us try it!” said Isai.
“No, wait! It could be another wall that opens revealing hostile enemies or something worse, let’s look around,” said Sana.
They step around the pad, but realize they just cannot go any further as there is a deep and massive pit trap blocking them. There is a four by four area in the cavern with three spaces next to the large pit trap. However, another pressure pad can be seen, but it is not over the pit trap directly, but around the corner and the pit is preventing a direct throw to the pressure pad.
“Let’s head back and step on the first pressure pad. Karna, we have found two pressure pads, but one is unreachable; we are going to step on this one and hopefully it will open up!” shouted Rheill.
“Okay!” yelled Karna right back at them.
They tread slowly on the pad and surely it was not that simple, but the wall opens, up; Karna quickly goes through the archway of the now open wall and rejoins the others. Now the wall does not close at all; Karna steps around the pressure pad and rejoins them, although they still are blocked by a puzzle that they now must solve.
“Also, it is a good thing that we saved all, of this food and water, as we have yet to see a single food source on this floor and we are not sure if that water in the cavern is drinkable,” said Sana.
“Oh, I see we have a pit trap with a pad that we cannot throw anything on it, we for sure cannot jump it; there is another blue diamond-shaped switch here also. Yes, it is a good thing about our rations; maybe in the level below, we will find new creatures for food, but let’s worry about this puzzle, right here and now!” replied Karna.
“Yes, you are right, Karna,” answered Sana.
“So, what does this diamond switch do; let’s see, there is nothing else we can physically do here!” said Rheill, as he presses the button.
After Rheill presses the button, a blue swirling vortex appears in front of them, but beyond the pit trap. Suddenly, it vanishes giving them a very short time period of a five second window of opportunity to do something, if not shorter. They start to discuss what to do now to overcome this new type of obstacle.
“I think I know what to do! This vortex looks similar, to the one that Karna went through with the Mummy on the second level of the dungeon,” explained Sana.
“What do you mean, Sana?” queried Isai.
“Well, do you remember when I threw the torch and it went through the vortex; maybe the vortex teleports the items onto the pressure pad?” replied Sana.
“That could work, Sana!” answered Karna.
“It looks to be the only way as I cannot even get a clear shot to the pad, even if I line it up between the two corners by throwing an object. It is just not physically possible without some kind of magic here,” explained Rheill.
“Rheill, take one of the unlit torches from my backpack as with Sana’s new light spell, we do not need as many of these,” explained Isai.
“Karna just press the button!” declared Rheill.
“Throw it as hard as you can, Rheill, do it now!” Shouted Karna.
Next, within the five second time frame that they were given, Rheill throws the torch and it flies into the vortex and magically lands right on top of the pressure pad as the item then hits the corner of the wall. Suddenly, the pit trap slowly begins to close allowing them to progress onwards into the Time of the Essence’s area of this dark and gloomy cavern.
They swiftly and hastily move over the now closed pit trap and come to yet another hole in the ground. They can see some strange shadows moving along the end wall.
“There is something across the pit, so it cannot get us, but we cannot get across either!” said Karna.
“It looks to be a new type of creature as well, the shadow is different, but they move silently; it is not the shape of a Mummy,” replied Isai quietly.
“It seems to have moved away as the shadow has vanished, so once we find a way across this pit, we need to charge whatever it is!” said Sana, a bit frightened, not knowing what it is.
“Check the walls around it, there must be a way to close it!” said Rheill
Karna looks closely along the walls, but does not find anything. Sana, being the brains and wits of the party, finds another blue, diamond-shaped switch on the back, cavern wall that is directly behind them.
“Look another switch! I am going to press it now, so be ready for anything!” declared Rheill.
Sana presses it and the pit closes, but for only a short time; it flings back open in less than five seconds.
“Looks like they were not kidding, whoever wrote Time is of the Essence, in this area!” said Karna.
“We have to use haste then, but I am not sure whoever can press the button can turn in time, maybe they can run backwards?” suggested Isai.
“I will do it. I am the most agile of all of us, due to my sword and shield training; you have seen what I can do!” declared Karna.
“Okay, Karna, be careful! The rest of us will run on my countdown… one, two, three and go!” shouted Rheill.
Karna quickly jumps back twice and then backflips onto her feet avoiding the pit trap; she lands exactly on the edge and shows great balance; the rest look on in shock.
“Wow, Karna! You amaze me more and more every day!” shouts Rheill, praising Karna’s natural gift of agility and athleticism.
Karna unsheathes the new sabre that she found in the area with her new wooden shield; she unfortunately lost her other spare falchion in the Matrix, in the surge of rushing water. Rheill readies both of his falchions as well.
“Rush to end of this corridor and hopefully we have more space to fight!” yelled Karna.
All of them rush to the corner and see a larger cavern and see two blue figures; they are like Ants. They have a blue insect-like head and are both wielding wooden clubs; they make a ferocious buzzing sound. The two ant creatures stand at around seven feet tall, they are bigger than Rheill and Karna; they move slowly towards the entourage. Karna blocks the first strike of the first blue ant creature with her shield and then evades the second one. She hits a glancing blow, which cuts it’s arm slightly and green blood squirts out from the arm, but does not seem to effect it much.
“You have hurt it, Karna, these are not magical creatures like the Mummies, meaning we only need to stab them to kill them!” roared Isai, in the heat of battle.
Rheill then thrusts both falchions straight into the mid-section of one of them and it falls to ground. Karna finishes it off with a straight swipe, taking its head straight off, of it’s shoulders with her sabre to make sure it is dead.
The other Ant creature moves in for Sana and Isai, but Sana shoots a Poisonous bolt with the new rune that she just learned. This stops it, allowing Rheill to cut the Ant creature down from behind; it then falls lifelessly to the ground, as they defeat both, of them.
“Hmm… new enemies in this cavern; wonder what other horrors await us. Keep your weapons out; there could be more of them!” said Sana vehemently.
“Sana, your poison spell works well, but it will not work against Mummies or any beings that do not have flesh!” explained Isai.
“Yes Isai, I already mentioned that when I learnt the Des Rune!” said Sana, poking her tongue out at him in playful, but teasingly manner.
“We cannot use these as a source of food, though. They are just insect parts; let us look around this room, before we go ahead,” suggested Rheill.
They all decide to look around, Isai finds an arrow on the floor and takes it for later use and then places it in his scabbard. Karna notices another blue diamond-shaped button on the wall.
“Look! Another switch, maybe that is to close the pit trap, so we can get back out, but let’s leave it for now and move out of this open cavern,” said Karna.
They decide to ignore the button on the cavern wall for now and move into the corridor, which leads to another room, but the corridor comes to an end and they cannot go any further. However, they do find another helmet on the ground.
“Rheill, take the helmet; you will need it as well as I will for armour and protection!” said Karna, as she passes it to Rheill gently.
Rheill places it on top of his head and it gives him the same protection as Karna’s helm, but their faces are still slightly exposed and they will need to find some better protection than this. Underneath the helmet, there is a second gold key; Karna picks it up since she has the other gold key already and she then places them together.
“Looks like, we should head back, then?” asked Sana.
“Yes, there is nothing else here and that switch must close the pit trap, much like the wall that let us in here,” replied Isai to Sana.
Next, all of them move back to the room and decide that pressing the switch is the only option.
“Karna, press the button; I will go look down the cavern corridor,” said Rheill.
Next, Karna pushes the button and Rheill nods to her that the pit trap is now closed.
“There seems to be no timer either on it, so let’s make haste,” mentioned Rheill.
All of them then quickly hurry back and leave the Time of the Essence area of the gloomy cavern; next they then open the portcullis and close it behind them.
“Let’s head back to the locked doors, in case we lose the gold keys. We could only really see that there, was one, or more doors,” said Karna, in a suggestive manner.
“Yes, a good idea, Karna,” replied Rheill, always siding with her.
“Rheill, you always side with Karna, but in this instance, it is the right decision,” said Sana, teasing Rheill.
Next, they head back out of the Choose Your Fate room and find the locked doors. Karna then places the gold key inside of the golden lock and then the door opens, up. They now see that there is a third door behind the second door; Karna places the second gold key into the next golden lock and it opens as well, although they are faced with a third locked door.
“Looks like we have to do all of the rooms, or maybe just a few more,” said Isai.
“I guess we should head up the stairs to take a drink from the fountain and eat before continuing our exploration,” replied Sana to Isai.
“Yes, a good idea, but we must ration all, of our food and it is good that we found so many Screamer slices from the Screamer trees,” answered Rheill.
“Yes, a break would be nice; let us head back up there, then,” said Karna.
Next, all of them head back up the stairs the second level of the dungeon and back into the dungeon-type area. They decide to rest here; they then eat some more Screamer slices and drink some water from the water bottle, which becomes a water-skinned bottle. Sana then refills the water bottle from the lion-headed water fountain; they then rest their feet a little before getting back up and heading back to the room they spent the last two days in.
“Now we have, to decide which door to choose next; I say we go with the Creature Cavern as it may have a lot of creatures, but it sounds straight forward?” queried Karna.
“What are the other rooms we have yet to do?” asked Isai, adding further insight to Karna’s question.
“We have The Room of the Gem, Creature Cavern, Chamber of the Guardians and finally, The Vault,” replied Sana, reading the room names from the walls next to each of them aloud.
“I say we do the Creature Cavern; it sounds the simplest and we can take a rest after this, then we have half of this area explored,” said Rheill.
Karna presses the button to open the door and they are greeted by a group of Ant creatures; they are the same creatures they fought in the Time of the Essence room.
“We know what to do; let us have at them!” declared Rheill, cockily.
Rheill moves in after drawing both of his falchions; he strikes one of them down with his right falchion. Karna finally is, able to draw her sabre from her scabbard, as Rheill went in too recklessly. Karna is not impressed at all; she moves in, thrusts at the other one, killing it. Then, the party moves around the curvy cavern and they encounter more of these creatures. Sana and Isai literally have nothing to do so far. Karna and Rheill pretty much dominate the next group of four Ant creatures with vicious thrusts and slashes, taking them down. There is a small area within the Creature Cavern that can be traversed around on the either side. All of them move into the room, but, little do they know, one of the Ant creatures was lurking around the corner and the whole party is too busy focusing on what is in front of them.
Rheill and Karna are heavily engaged with fighting another four of the creatures. Meanwhile, the lurking Ant creature sneaks up and hits Sana in the back with a clubbing blow; she never saw it coming and is knocked totally unconscious by the blow.
“NO, SANA!” yelled Isai.
Isai then goes into a berserker-like rage and stabs the hell out of the Ant creature, at least ten stabs into every part of its body with his dagger and then he checks on Sana. Karna and Rheill finally take down the entire army of the remaining Ant creatures in an epic battle. Karna had a lot of avoiding to, do in that battle, as she had to dodge and block all, of their clubbing strikes from their wooden clubs. Although, Rheill assisted her well, neither of them have any idea of what just happened to Sana.
Isai screams out and it is directed towards Karna, “KARNA, you are meant to protect us! Now look at what just happened!”
“Isai! Stop it; this is not Karna’s fault. She had enough to deal with right here! If you have not noticed the number of corpses now lying on the floor!” yelled Rheill, in Karna’s defence.
“STOP IT, BOTH OF YOU!” shouted Karna at the top of her lungs as she raises her sword forcefully and then she continues to speak, “This does not help, Sana, at all; Isai, quickly check on her wounds. See if you can use the VI, Healing Potion formula we learned on the level above.”
“You are right, Karna, I apologize for shouting at you,” replied Isai.
Rheill apologizes as well for yelling at Isai and all three of them now check on Sana, who is out like a light. They are suddenly encased in a profound darkness, as Sana was no longer channeling her light spell.
“Pick Sana up and take her to the door in case there are more of these fiends in here,” said Karna to Rheill.
Rheill slowly picks up the unconscious Sana and carries her in his arms, feeling the cavern wall until he reaches the open door.
Karna assists Rheill as she gently holds onto his muscular arm. Isai follows them and he feels for the switch to shut the portcullis door, preventing anything else from escaping and attacking them in the darkness. Isai checks Sana’s pulse by pressing gently on her neck to make sure she is still alive and breathing; he is assured by the feel of her pulse and he then sighs in relief that she is still alive. He had to wait to do this because of the impending darkness and the worry of more Ant creatures being about.
He memorizes the healing spell from the scroll that he took along earlier after he found it. He then creates it in one of the empty, glass flasks, a VI healing potion for when Sana finally wakes up.
“Isai, we should rest as we cannot do anything more for her until she wakes up; we cannot continue without her, either, as she is the only one that can make a light source,” said Rheill
“Yes, Rheill, we must really be careful from now on; she is lucky to not have been killed by that wooden club in her back,” explained Isai.
Karna and Rheill sleep close together in each other’s arms; worry is apparent on Karna’s face and she is also very disappointed in herself for letting an enemy slip past her defences. Isai continues to worry about Sana, as a few tears trail down his cheek. While Karna and Rheill are sleeping, Sana wakes up and whispers to Isai, “Isai, do not cry; I am fine. What happened…? Why does my back hurt so badly?”
Isai embraces Sana and tells her to rest, but he makes her drink the VI potion he made first.
“You got hit from behind; that is why your back hurts. If the VI potion does what the scroll says, you will be healed from the blow you just sustained from the Ant creature. It will probably not heal you fully, but will remove the wound and ease your pain a little,” explained Isai.
“Awww… thank you, Isai!” replied Sana.
She then gently kisses Isai on his lips and tells him not to blame Karna; she had her hands full. Isai then kisses her back and both, of them begin to kiss each other for a few minutes and hug each other after. He tenderly moves Sana on top of him so she can rest easier; meanwhile Karna is resting sound asleep on top of Rheill’s body. The dissension that had just taken place will only make the team that much stronger.
All of them wake up after several hours of rest; Sana lights up the area again. Isai has revenge set in his body and soul because of what the Ant creatures did to his newfound love, Sana.
“Isai, do not be too hasty with trying to get some revenge for what happened. We have to be even more careful from this point onwards and not let this happen again!” explained Karna.
“Open the door and ready your weapons; there is most likely to be more of them, I will stay far back as I am not fully recovered!” explained Sana.
They slowly go back inside, but this time Karna’s awareness elevates to the next level from their previous encounter. She watches the area that goes around the main room in a rectangle, ascertaining that nothing is hiding around there again, before they head deeper inside the dreaded Creature Cavern. As they move in deeper, they see they can go right or left, but from the left, several more, blue, Ant creatures come out and attack them with their wooden clubs. Karna moves in with her shield and readies her sabre. Rheill readies both of his falchions and they then engage the Ant creatures; next, Karna draws them to her like a magnet. She easily blocks and parries all, of their attacks with her new shield; it is much more sturdy and stronger than the buckler she had before.
Karna yells, “Strike now!”
Rheill, taking her advice, slashes one of them where the heart of a human would be and it falls lifeless to the ground with its green blood staining the grey cavern floor. Isai throws his dagger right into the head of the other one, but soon more come from the left. Karna picks them off defensively and slashes both, of them down with ease.
Karna peeks around the corner to see that there are a few more of them left, but it leads nowhere, although something is laying on the ground ahead. Next, she motions to Rheill that there are two more and they pre-emptively strike them down and the area is now clear of hostile forces.
“Check the other route to be safe, Karna,” suggested Isai.
Karna goes around the corner to check where the route leads, only to find it lead to a closed, wooden door, with a button on it in the normal place. This door, however, has a square four-by-four window etched into the top of it.
“It is clear; there was something on the floor in the big area,” replied Karna.
“It is another arrow,” explained Rheill, as he picked it up and handed it over to Isai.
“I just need a bow to be able to use these properly,” replied Isai, as he puts it inside of his quiver.
Sana hands over the arrow that she found right near the start of the dungeon, so that he now has three arrows and that they can be kept together.
“Well, now the only place left to explore is beyond that wooden door,” said Karna, to the others.
“Keep your weapons out, there could be more lurking inside this door!” declared Rheill, in a stern voice.
Karna leads the way as they approach the wooden door, “I am pressing the button now, so get ready, Karna and Rheill!” alleged Sana.
Sana presses the button on the right of the door; it opens, up like every other automatic door they have found up until this point in their journey through this dark, evil place. The passage turns to the right and leads to a dead end, but it is occupied by four more blue Ant creatures. They approach them; Karna gets in front again. The first Ant creature swings and hits the cavern wall after missing Karna, as she ducks out of the way of it; again, the cavern wall is not affected at all. Karna connects with a stab, which sends the first one crashing to the ground; Rheill parries another hit with his left falchion and strikes it with the right falchion. Karna bashes it with her shield, stunning it for a split second, which is enough for Rheill to thrust inside of it and kills it; now only two remain. They try to make their way to Sana and Isai, but they have no chance with Karna there; she just simply blocks them off, blocking all, of their strikes with her shield and sabre. Isai throws his dagger into the skull of one of them as Karna had managed to position them on her right side while she was situated against the left cavern wall, which allowed for easier ranged offense.
Rheill then slashes it down as Karna jams the final Ant creature against the wall with her wooden shield. All of them now lie motionless with green blood splattered everywhere; Karna is most displeased; her body language tells it more than her face could ever.
“What is wrong, Karna?” asked Rheill, reading her body language.
“Do you really have to ask, Rheill; take one more look… you, numbskull!”
Rheill looks at her and she is drenched in the green liquid from the now-dead Ant creatures.
“I have some on me, too, Karna; you should relax a bit, we can open that door now that the water has subsided and we can bathe together!” whispered Rheill to Karna.
Next, Karna slaps Rheill right across his face; Sana and Isai look on in shock.
“Rheill is just being a pervert and a typical man; you can guess what he asked me by looking at me!” yelled Karna.
Both nod their heads at Karna, guessing what Rheill had just whispered to her.
“Maybe we should let Karna go back upstairs so she can wash it off using the water fountain, since we have yet to find any other water sources on this floor, other than where we almost drowned. Opening that door may flood the entire cavern and is just too risky!” stressed Sana.
Karna wipes all the liquid she can, “I will do that after we explore here as we could use some rest,” declared Karna.
Karna then notices there is some food on the floor along with a golden, shiny object. Sana moves closer and notices that it is some cheese, which was dropped by one of the Ant creatures and the shiny object is another key. “How on earth did these creatures find cheese; nonetheless, we now have a little bit more food!” said Sana.
Karna picks up the third golden key from the ground and places it inside of her pouch. They then decide to head out and shut the door behind them, “Rheill and I are going up to wash this blood off, of both of us at the fountain; we will be back shortly,” said Karna.
Isai and Sana get a private moment as well; they embrace each other and just talk, while they wait for Karna and Rheill to return.
Both Karna and Rheill go up the stairs to the closest lion-headed fountain and begin to wash the blood.
“Rheill, can you please help me rub this off, of my back and I will do your back?” asked Karna.
Next, Rheill gently washes the blood from Karna’s back; she smiles and her eyes glow with pink small hearts, “That feels really nice!” said Karna in a soft and loving voice as Rheill’s hands sail over her frame. Karna then rubs the blood from Rheill, he feels Karna’s gentle, soft hands span over his back as well. They then wash each other’s hair and Karna’s eyes remain closed as well as Rheill’s, but Karna cannot hide her smile. Karna and Rheill look at each other, but Karna refuses to kiss Rheill on the lips at this point; she feels he needs to do a little bit more to earn that right. She pretends to kiss him and brushes away at the last second, “You, big tease, Karna!” explained Rheill to her.
Karna simply laughs and presses her finger on his lips and she says, “Shush, all good things come to those that wait!”
Rheill smiles as they walk back down to meet Isai and Sana who are resting together, Rheill and Karna sleep together as they get some rest.
A few hours later, they wake up again; all of them learned that blaming each other for mistakes was wrong when Sana got hurt and when Karna nearly drowned. They discuss what has happened so far for an hour, while they eat and drink. Karna and Rheill filled their water bottles up while they were near the fountain before they went to sleep. They also shared the water from their bottles with Sana and Isai, “Thank you, Karna, for sharing your water; we will need to refill soon. Also, I hope we can find one for Rheill soon; I am sure you do not mind sharing with Rheill for the moment though,” replied Sana.
Isai also thanks Karna for sharing her water battle, Karna then replies, “Not at all we are getting very close towards one another so it is only natural we are sharing our water bottle.”
“Do we choose more doors, or try the keys as we do not know if we need more?” suggested Sana after she hands back the water bottle to Karna.
“Let us see how many doors there actually are, maybe?” responded Karna.
“We could also search more for better gear and treasure as well,” stated Rheill.
“We do not want to be too greedy; remember, it said to choose our fate. We want a good fate,” answered Isai.
“I am going to go with Rheill on this one, minus the greed, because we need better equipment to protect ourselves and we may as well explore through all the doors while we are here. We need to find another source of food as our Screamer supplies are getting thinner every day. Though, we do have the cheese and drumsticks we found around the caverns,” explained Karna.
“I say we do the door that is next to us, ‘Room of the Gem!’” said Rheill.
After the long discussion about whether if they want to explore all, of the remaining rooms. All, of the adventurers agree on doing so and immediately realize they need be even more cautious now, as the traps and creatures are getting more dangerous as well as his minions being armed with weapons. Next, all four of them head towards the Room of the Gem and open the door with the button and it opens, up automatically.
Contents Page – View
Chapter 7 – view
Chapter 9 – View