Light Seekers #8 – Nhe


I wasn’t too sure if those sorcerers could be trusted, but they fed us, and didn’t ask for anything in return. They didn’t attack us and gave us directions. I hope I see them again one day. Seeing someone besides me seems to have lifted Levi’s mood. He can’t stop talking about all the things they’ve seen on their journeys. Lights that don’t need generators, torches that never die, weapons fueled by magic. The world is a lot bigger than I ever knew. I’m curious how much further we’ll need to go, and if we’ll be walking the entire.

I almost fall as Levi pushes me, “are you listening to me?”

“I try not to.”

“Well you should because I just found something.”

“What?”

“The metal road,” he points both fingers and bites his lip.

“I think you’re going crazy out here.”

“Use your magic eyes, and look beyond that massive skull of yours for a moment,” he grabs my arms and leads me.

It’s real, a path made of two huge pieces of metal that stretch on further than I can see without magic. Occasionally there’s a piece of rotted wood connecting the two. This is it, the metal road they told us about. We don’t waste any time running alongside it until we’re tired. There doesn’t seem to be any end to it, but we’ve finally got some real directions on where we’re going. We were planning to stop and rest, but we kept going because we were excited.

The excitement all vanished when we finally came to the Demon’s Mouth. Horns bursting from a skull, two glowing eyes with smoke spilling out. We don’t have any choice but to go in, the road vanishes underground next to the Demon’s Mouth. If we want to make it to the next city, we have to go.

“You think there’s another way around,” Levi asks as we approach.

“I think we have to go through it.”

“Do you think there’s a real demon in there?”

“I’ve never seen a demon before.”

“Neither have I, but I’ve heard stories.”

“Well, you said all that stuff about dying with me earlier, so fighting a demon isn’t a bad way to go. They’re tell stories about us too,” I shrug and walk ahead of him.

“Has anyone ever told you that you rush into things without thinking?”

“Yeah, but I just rushed ahead and laughed at them,” I’m faking the confidence, I’m just as terrified as he is.

The positive is that as we get closer we can see that the Demon’s Mouth isn’t some magic monster come to pull us down into the underworld. It’s a staircase with some elaborate decoration. Piece of would and metal jammed into boulders. It looks enough like a demon to scare most people off if they never get close. The thing I can’t figure out, the smoking eyes. It’s the creepiest part of it all. We share a glance at each other, I head down the stairs first, and he follows. A huge concrete stage is waiting for us at the bottom. Down below, the metal road continues into a tunnel.

“How far do you think it goes,” I ask Levi.

“Hopefully to the next town.”

I drop down to the tunnel followed by Levi. There’s nothing but an echo. This time the there’s more wood, not rotten and spaced the same distance apart. Occasionally a small bug will fly by with a glowing butt. We laugh about that, we’ve never seen it before. Maybe if we catch a bunch of them we can use them as a light, it’ll probably be more reliable than lanterns and candles. What would the bugs eat? We’ll probably need something with holes they can breathe through. It feels like the ground and entire tunnel is shaking.

“Hey, do you feel that?”

“Like we’re being shaken up,” Levi responds.

“Yeah, and there’s this rumbling sound.”

“You should try to see if you can see up ahead of us.”

I have been meaning to use my mask, this would be a good chance. I slide the base over my head before snapping on the facemask on. A deep breath before opening my eyes and the vomit inducing vision kicks in. Luckily, I can’t see walls and that limits the distance, but I can see plenty far. There’s something coming down the tunnel. It’s far away, but it’s moving fast. It looks like a, big, silver and brown snake.

“We need to move, there’s something coming. Something big, there’s an indent further up the tunnel, we’ve passed a few. We need to run,” I don’t waste any more time explaining, I just run.

I’m moving, using magic at the same time and not getting sick. The metal snake is moving towards us without pausing. I don’t even think it sees us. I throw my body into the indent and hit the wall. I snatch Levi and pull him in. It’s a tight fight and we’re chest to chest, nose to nose breathing heavily. I close my eyes as the shaking becomes more violent and the sound gets louder. I feel a slight tug at my shoulder as the snake finally passes through. I open my eyes to get a glimpse and spot people inside. They aren’t panicked the way I would be if I was inside a snake. I’m not sure what it is, but they all look like they’re in there willingly.

“Are we good to move or do you want to keep enjoying my company,” Levi asks.

“You’re fat. Two of me could have fit comfortably.”

“You sound like my dad. It’s like I never left home.”

“Let’s go.”

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