Chapter 2:

Chapter 2: Their Choice.

RE-RUN


Everything now depended on Rei’s decisions. Reed tightly grasps the crystal bone in his hand as he looks at Rei. Rei looked at Reed with a worried expression.

What if they go ahead and lose our lives, what if they go back,  Reed would be devastated. Not only did he lack the abilities to do so, but he was also not brave enough, too

However, Rei saw Reed coming to the hospital and visiting someone every day. She decided to follow him that day and saw Reed looking at his mother and his sister.

“I promise, I’ll get enough money to heal both of you guys.”

Those were the sentence ringed in Rei’s brain. Right, now every cent was precious to him no matter how small is it. So she curls her fist and raised her hands up high.

“I -I vote for going ahead.”

Everyone lets out an audible yet soft sigh.

Rei looked at Reed who appears smiling.

“Alrighty then, let’s kill us some boss,” Rone screamed.

Rone raised her weapon, and everyone followed and screamed in unison. Reed now feels determined. Rone pushed the door open the door was heavy he asked someone for help.

“Rrrgh!, would you guys help me, I think this door is stuck.”

Several hunters helped Rone pushed the door open.

“Put your hips on to it come on!!!”

They all grunt and screamed as the heavy door started opening slowly.

“I hope, I won’t regret going ahead,” Brecc whispered to himself.

The heavy door opened.

“Alright, let’s head everyone.”

Everyone looked at each other and nodded. Reed swallowed down his own spit and followed everyone.

The passageway went on and on forever.

In front, Mister Rashef and other strong hunters had taken the lead. Rashef had cast a small fire on top of his palm to illuminate the way forward.

Mister Rone asked him as he walked alongside Rashef.

“I feel like we are still walking in place.”

“Yeah, it’s strange, normally you would see a giant dungeon room where the boss resides right?”

“Yeah..”

Mister Brecc jogged forward and walk alongside the two.

“How long have we been walking?”

Rashef looked at his wristwatch.

“Maybe around… forty to fifty minutes.”

Brecc stared intently at the ceiling, as if the words he was looking for were, somehow, written there.

“That leaves us one hour, a abyss shuts down completely two hours after the boss is killed.”

“If we can’t see the boss in the next twenty minutes, I’m calling quits.”

“Yeah, me too.”

Rone nodded his head for a while, he pointed to his back with his thumb.

“Mister Brecc? We don’t you head back behind, who knows maybe we’ll get ambushed.”

Brecc stared at the walls for a second or two, before nodding.

“Yeah, sure.”

He headed behind walking alongside Reed and Rei.

“I feel like a babysitter, babysitting the world’s weakest healer .” Brecc silently muttered.

Mister Rone pulled out his smartphone and opened his flashlight.

And then, they heard within the passageway some sort of heavy stones moving.

“What the-”

“Everyone, in positions.”

Everyone readied their weapons preparing for a battle. But then, the passageway illuminated brightly. The light was so bright that had to cover their eyes.

Rashef alternated his gaze between Mister Rone and his smartphone.

“What was that!?”

Meanwhile, at the very back of the group was the spot where Reed, who is the weakest healer, and Rei who is also a healer possess martial arts skills.

Reed awkwardly scratched the back of his neck. He asked.

“So… why did you decide to go ahead? Miss Rei?”

“W-Well, I-I needed some- cash, yeah some cash.”

She gave him fidgety smile. She then added.

“Besides, I’m fine with it, so don’t mind me.”

Reed carefully analyzed Rei’s expression. He can tell that she is hiding something from him.

“Are… you really fine?”

That triggered Rei to shift her gaze toward him. She closed her eyes and breathed very deeply.

“Of course not, are you even sane right now!? is it really worth it risking your life in this stupid abyss, what if you get stabbed in the eyes or heart, what if you die because of your own injuries not long ago, what if your wounds opened again and became fatal wounds? I used half of my magic just to heal you, you know! and yet you recklessly want to continue on the abyss?? not only that we have been walking blindly, we don’t know if there is a boss!?”

She spoke so quickly that Reed can’t even comprehend what she said.

However, she was right.

Not long ago Rei was always there when Reed needed her. Rei helped Reed without him even knowing it. If it weren’t for her Reed wouldn’t have been able to be a fully-fledged hunter.

‘Wait, now that I think about it, I still owe Miss Rei a lot, don’t I’

They were both a healer-type hunter, healers now are rare species of hunters. Most of the guilds are lacking healers, to this day they are inquiring for more healers to join their guild. Not only that, Reed admired her, she was a genius ranked at ‘Tier A’ healers. Most of the guilds attempted to recruit her but she decline their invitation one by one.

The organization always asked all available healers to heal the injured hunter whenever they are done clearing the abyss. And whenever Reed participated in the clearing, he’d almost always ended up sitting down next to her.

“Ha! Wait a moment.”

She hurriedly walks beside Reed.

“Are you okay? Here let me heal you.”

Rei was focused on Reed’s injury.

“Uhm… I can heal myself.”

“Nonsense, look at you, you looked like a zombie right now. Hold still.”

Rei managed to heal most of his injuries.

“Sorry, I can’t heal you completely, this is the best I can do for you, Miste-”

She looked up and saw Reed’s face.

“It’s you again.”

Confused, Reed replied.

“you again?”

“Ah, right, I’m the healer who always heals you whenever you exit the abyss.”

“I-I can’t seem to remember you.”

“Yeah, it’s because whenever you exit the abyss, you ended up being unconscious that’s why you don’t know me yet.”

Reed's eyes widen and avoid her gaze.

“O-Oh was I?”

Reed scratched the back of his neck, feeling embarrassed

“Yeah…”

She opened up his med kit taking out some bandages and antiseptic cream.

“We’re running into each other quite often nowadays.”

“Yeah, hold still please.”

Rei gently bandaged Reed’s arm.

“Your name is Reed right?”

“Y-Yeah, how did you know my name.”

“Well, let’s say you are quite popular within the healer circle.”

“Oh really…”

Reed is always getting injured, he always uses up his own mana to heal his squad mates. He can heal them 2 times only before falling unconscious. They began to see each other often, out of work and at work. People think that they are in a special relationship, but the truth is they are just friends.

“.….Ah! Miss Rei.”

Reed attempted to raise his hand but to no avail.

Rei looks at him, and with a concerned expression, and she sighed.

“Show me your arm.”

“Uhm… this arm?”

“No, not that one, use a bandage on that arm. I meant the other one with the bone fracture.”

At that moment, Reed felt grateful for everything she had done, he felt apologetic for inconveniencing her.

Whenever Reed feels dispirited, Rei also felt a bit bad for scolding him moments ago, her attitude softened up.

“S-sorry, Miss Rei..”

She sighed and softened her gaze.

“You’re really sorry?”

“Y-Yes, I am.”

She looks at his face for a second then her lips slowly arched up.

“Then, how about you buy me dinner sometimes?

Reed expected harsh conditions, but that was a totally unexpected offer.

Reed looked at her with an expression of surprise and found a teasing smile on her face.

‘It’s the least I can do for her, why not

Reed smiled at her and nodded lightly, Rei's eyes beamed with signs of excitement.

“Then, it’s a promise.”

She holds up her pinky.

“Uhm…”

Reed alternated his gaze on her pinky and her.

“Come on, seal the deal”

She wiggled her pinky. Reed smiled and raised his pinky finger.

“A-Alright.”

“Then, I would like to recommend a restaurant nearby here. Once we head out and got our payment, let’s head there.

“S-sure.”

‘I hope it’s not an expensive restaurant, I can hear my wallet crying.’

‘Wait that means…. it’s a date!?’

His mind wandered picturing him and Rei going out on a date and his face reddened up somewhat. He shook his head from left to right rapidly.

‘Come on, it’s just friends hanging out.’

Rei took a glance at Reed who appears shaking his head.

Rei tilted her head.

“Uhm-”

As she prepared to ask Reed she was interrupted by Mister Rone yelling out in front.

“We found it!!!!”

“It’s the boss chamber!”

Reed and Rei’s gazes automatically shifted to the front and saw a huge iron door blocking the passage.

“So the door back then was a fake?”

“It seems so.”

Hunters immediately surrounded the door.

“This door seemed strange.”

“This is the first time I saw a door like this.”

“This…. doesn’t feel so right, right now.”

“Yeah.”

The hunters began to express their doubts and fears one at a time.

Since their own lives is on the line, they had to be cautious.

Mister Rashef carefully examines the door.

“I think we should head back.”

“Nonsense.” Says Mister Rone.

“This is it you guys, we’ve come this far, beyond this door is our ticket to get some large money.”

Rone placed his hands on the door.

“If you guys don’t want it, I’ll go in alone.”

As he placed his hand…Reed’s ear started ringing in a high pitched tone.

“Reed?”

Rei saw Reed covering his ears.

“Hey, are you okay?”

Reed can’t make up what Rei was saying because of the high-pitch tone he is hearing. Brecc noticed Rei concerned about Reed, he hurried over to Reed.

“Hey kid you alright?”

Other hunters change their attention to Reed, who appears to be in pain.

“Hm?”

Not long after, Rashef and Rone noticed it as well. Rone let go of the door and hurried over to Reed.

Suddenly the ringing stopped.

“What happened to him?”

“I-I don’t know.”

Reed spoke.

“I-I’m f-fine.”

His voice was trembling.

“Maybe, let’s head back for now.”

“Agreed.”

The majority of the hunters are now willing to head back but Mister Rone refuses.

“Fine then, I’ll be richer than all of you, Gahahaha.” he let out a hardy laugh.

Everyone stopped in their tracks

“...”

A couple of hunters began recalling rumors of killing a boss.

“I heard that killing a boss can help you rank up to Tier C.”

“The monster inside a dungeon like this always possesses roughly similar ranks no matter where are they located, so I think this boss is at least a Tier E type of monster.”

“Now that you mention it, monsters in this abyss are easy, maybe the boss will be easy too.”

What if there were incredible artifacts or weapons or even treasures beyond this door?

“I can’t let that old man monopolize all the artifacts”

‘Yeah!”

“Yeah, my month’s rent is almost due, so….”

The opinions of the Hunters began to change, now they were on the same page except for Rei.

“But, Reed..”

Reed steadied himself.

“I’m fine…It’s nothing…”

‘i can’t return home with just a tier f crystal bone, at a bare minimum, I gotta kill at least a Tier E monster!!’

Reed steeled himself.

‘If I at least get a Tier D crystal, things might improve even the slightest.’

Reed nervously swallowed down his fear.

Rei saw his determined expression.

“Well, don’t forget our promise, okay?”

“Y-yeah.”

“Good.”

Rei lets out a sigh.

Rone pushed the door open and Reed’s ears began hurting, he endure until the door fully opened. Now that the door was wide open, it revealed a huge open room. The hunters hurriedly rushed in.

Rei looked like she was having second thoughts upon entering the room.

“Let’s go in.”

Reed grasped Rei’s hand and took the lead.

“Ree-”

She opened her mouth, but not a single word came out. Rei’s face reddened.

As the hunters sat foot inside, the room glowed bright blue. Thanks to that, the room illuminated revealing a Slender brazier encircling each of the six sandstone columns light up most of the throne hall and mantle the hall in warm yellows. The illustration of battles on the bowed ceiling dance in the flickering light while statues look down upon the granite floor of this royal hall.

“Woah…”

“This is the first time, I saw a boss domain like this.”

The hunters cautiously examine their surroundings. The overall atmosphere of the place was similar to that ancient throne room.

A sapphire rug runs from the throne to the doors and is matched by smaller ones on either side of the hall while embattled banners with burnished embroideries hang from the walls. Between each banner stands a tall candle, they've all been lit and in turn illuminate the depictions of gods and goddesses below them.

High, stained glass windows depicting important moments of victory are enclosed by veils colored the same sapphire as the banners. The curtains have been adorned with emblazoned edges and gold leaves.

Several Hunters shrunk back and shuddered slightly.

“Is this a Tier F abyss, it looks like a Tier S to me.”

Hearing that several Hunters began to doubt their decision of heading inside the boss's room.

“Oh quit it will ya.”

Leaving behind the scared hunters, Brecc, Rashef, and Rone the strongest hunter in the group went in deeper.

“Don’t say things like that, you might jinx us.”

“Let’s end this quickly and go home shall we.”

A towering throne of mahogany sits atop an elevated platform and is adjoined by five similar, but less ornate seats for those closest to the royal highness.

The throne is covered in divine illustrations and fixed on each of the elegant armrests is a jade skull. The modest pillows are a dark sapphire and these too have been adorned with golden corners.

“Hey, guys come to look at this.”

In the deepest part of the, what seems like a throne room. A coffin-like rock laying on a throne.

“What the hell is that?”

“Wow.”

A shocked gasp leaked out from the Hunters.

The first image popping up in Reed’s head was a giant cocoon of some sort.

Hunters began nervously swallowing. They walk towards the giant cocoon. The taut and heavy apprehension and anxiety were clear to see on their faces as they worried that this might trigger something…

One hunter tried kicking the giant cocoon.

“Hey!”

Their bodies tensed, and they nervously looked around. They were expecting some kind of ambush. Fortunately, nothing happened. They heave a sigh of relief.

“Alright, chop! chop! Everyone, we got some treasure to find.”

Now that their nervousness faded away, the Hunters split among themselves and began searching around the area.

“Strange, there’s no monster here whatsoever.”

“Y-yeah it’s making me kinda concerned.”

“I wonder if we can claim this as our own.”

Reed looked around, he happened to stumble upon a button.

“Uhm… hey guys! There’s a button here.”

All of the Hunters' attention turned their attention to Reed. Rone and the others walked towards Reed before asking.

“What is it, boy.”

“It’s a button.”

“Shall we push it?”

“I think not.”

“I say, we push it.”

Rone and Rashef started bickering at each other about whether they should push the button or not. Until they were interrupted by Brecc.

“You know what-.”

Brecc accidentally slipped and pushed the button.

“Ow…”

The room began to emit a mechanical sound, opening something. Behind the button, a path was open, and inside was full of gold, ancient artifacts, and more.

The hunters' eyes widen as they saw gold.

“We hit the jackpot!” Screamed Rone.

They entered the room full of treasures and begin collecting them.

“I’m gonna be rich!! GAhahahaha.”

Reed followed and started to collect some too.

‘Mother and My sister with this amount of treasure, I can heal them completely.’

Reed attempted to heal both of them but to no avail, he heals them every day whenever he visits them. He never gave up on them.

While collecting Rashef found a stone tablet with words carved into it. He takes a look at the slate and muttered to no one in particular.

“Give thy gold to the throne.”

Rashef read the text carved on the stone. With a deeply nervous face, Reed carefully analyzed the stone tablet, as read out by Rashef. As he keeps on analyzing it he felt a tug at his arm.

He looked back and saw Rei and several hunter expressions. Their expressions were deathly-pale.

End of Chapter 2