Chapter 8:

Chapter 8: Path to the Weapon


“How?” She questioned with a brow raised. He balled her fists

“There’s a secret area that contains a special item. With that, we can turn this battle around.”

“A secret area…talk about cliche.” She folded her arms.

She quickly followed up.

“Where is this secret area you speak of.”

“It was by the pit of monsters.”

“A pit….”

Lea put her hand up on her chin, recalling their way into the domain. Then it hit her, the pit flashing before her mind.

‘That pit!?’

“Very well, I’ll go ahead and take a look, thanks for the tip.” She gave him a soft smile.

“W-wait, I can help..”

“Hm? How can you help when you’re in that state.”

Lea looked at Reed from head to toe.


Reed lowered his head.

“There’s a door that needs a specific chant to be opened.”


Her eyebrows rose.

“Then, tell me what the chant is.”

“I could tell you the chant, but the pathway to get there is a maze.”


“Y-yeah, with me there I can guide all of you there.”

“No, that won’t be necessary.”


“I won’t let you risk your life, I mean look at you, you are in no condition to fight.”

Lea fished something out of her pocket.

“How about this? You draw the layout of the domain.”

She fished out a piece of paper that is used to write her journal with. Reed looked up and saw Lea’s holding a piece of paper right in front of him.

“I-I can’t…”

“Hm? Why is that?”

He nervously gulped his spit.

“The domain tends to shift, even if I drew you the exact coordinates of the door, the domain can transfer the door to a different location.”

‘So drawing a map is useless huh… well the only option we got is this kid.’

Lea carefully analyzes Reed.

‘This kid… how does he know all of this….. is it because of that shadow?’

A brief encounter with the shadow flashed in Lea’s mind.

Lea sighed.

“Raise your head.”

Reed slowly raised his head.

‘The look in his eyes is full of determination.’

“Alright then.. let’s head out.”

“You may go ahead first, I need to do something real quick.”

Reed looked at the unconscious Rei.

Lea nods.


She walks away. Reed’s knees gave out, he let out a shaky breath.

‘I-I manage to keep my composure.’

He felt a sudden sickening sensation throughout his body. He soon felt his stomach seemed to rise to his throat.

He forcibly and involuntarily emptied his stomach contents through his mouth.

‘W-what was that?’

He recalled when the shadow touched his head. It sent him afterimages of them repeating the same scenario over and over again. He saw all possible deaths of each one of the survivors and the hunters.

‘There were 89 loops that already happened’

His forehead creased.

‘That means this is the 90th loop.’

The floor swayed beneath him. He felt like fainting as he saw the darkness almost consume him completely was his wide-eyed, face.

Reed tries his best to maintain his balance and his composure. He took a breath in a controlled and coordinated manner.

After a few breathing exercises, he managed to calm himself just a bit.

He slapped both of his cheeks and moved on. He walked towards Lea with great determination.


Rei weakly raise her hands but quickly blacked out.

“Let’s go.”

Lea nodded.

Lea looked at a hunter.

“I’m leaving the rest of the survivors in your hand.”

“Yes ma’am.”

A female hunter tapped her shoulder.

“Lea, are you sure, that we can trust that kid?”

“Well, this is the only option we got Kaley. If we want everyone to survive.”

Kaley bit her lower lips.



“I want you to escort the remaining survivors safely back outside, can you do that?”

Kaley's eyes widen in response.

“Why me?”

“Because you’re the only one capable here to fight.”

“What about me?”

A big hunter casually walks into their conversation. Pointing to himself.

Lea smiled.

“Of course, you too rule.”

Rule smiled and casually flex his muscle.

“No way…”


Kaley spoke up.

“I said no way.”


“Because I’m coming with you.”

“What about the survivors?”

”Rule can handle it.”

Kaley points at Rule.

Lea looks over to Rule.

“Can you-”

Before finishing her sentence, Rule quickly interrupted her.

“No, I’m coming with you guys.”

Lea’s eyes widen.

“But the survivors?”

“Our man can handle it, Lea.”


Lea looks at Kaley.

“Rule has a point, Lea. We trained those men.”

Lea was silent for a moment. She indeed saw Rule, Kaley, Zou, and even Dagen train their men non-stop.

Rule patted Lea’s shoulder and smiled at her.

“Put some trust in them will ya.”

Lea looked over Rule’s shoulder and saw the hunter smiling at them.

Lea smiled.


Lea looked at Reed, who was ready.

With a nod Rule shouted out some orders.

“Alright Men, I want you to escort these survivors safely. Can you all do that.”

The hunter shouted in unison.


“That’s what I like. Alright move out, make Dagen proud.”


Rule looked at Lea and nodded.

“Alright, the rest of you follow me .”

They split up.

Lea’s group headed over to the pit with 34 hunters following them.

56 hunters were left and continued on escorting the survivors out of the domain safely.

Lea’s team started advancing. Their footsteps in the domain could be distinctly heard. They put their attention on their surroundings.

“So, how do you know there’s a secret area on this domain.”

Lea broke the silence with a question.

“Uh, well….”

Reed scratched the back of his head.

“It’s because of that shadow.”

Lea intently listened.

“Did it attack you, mentally?”

Reed looked down.

“N-No, well it attacked me but not that kind of attack you were referring to.”


“Well, all it did was send the direct coordinate where this weapon is.”

Lea ponders about it, as she runs her fingers through her hair, twisting and twirling it around her fingers.

‘Why would a shadow help him.’

‘What is their main motive.’

Then Lea was interrupted by Reed’s voice.

“Here we are.”

Lea looked down.

“It’s pitch black.”

Reed clenches his fist very tightly as they stand at the edge of the gaping pit, feeling a sense of unease wash over him. The pit is dark and foreboding, and Reed can hear the sounds of creatures stirring within. Reed grips his sword tightly Lea looks at Reed, his face was full of fear.

Reed shake the fear away, taking a deep breath to steady his nerves.

He looks at Lea and nods signaling to her that he is ready.

Lea nods in response.

“Let’s go.”

They all descend carefully with their makeshift rope embedded with spells. One by one managed to land at the depths of the pit.

Descending into the pit, Reed’s senses are assaulted by the stench of decay and the sound of hissing and snarling all around them. Upon descending at the bottom of the pit they were greeted by the view of a purple lush forest.

Reed was awestruck by the view as he carefully descends.

The air is thick with tension as they make their way through the darkness of the pit, their eyes scanning the surroundings for any signs of danger. In the distance, they can hear the sound of snarling beasts and the rustling of leaves, a warning that they are approaching a horde of sleeping monsters.

The hunters know that any sudden movements or noises could wake the monsters, triggering a frenzied attack. So, they move with the utmost caution, each step measured and deliberate.

As they draw closer to the horde, the hunters can make out the shapes of the creatures - twisted and grotesque, with sharp claws and teeth. The hunters grip their weapons tightly, ready to strike at a moment’s notice.

But as they approach, they realize that the creatures are sound asleep, their chests rising and falling in a steady rhythm. The hunters exchange a quick glance, silently agreeing to pass by the horde without disturbing the slumbering beasts.

With the utmost care, they begin to move past the horde, stepping over gnarled roots and fallen leaves with the grace of dancers. They hold their breath, their hearts pounding with the knowledge that the slightest mistake could spell their doom.

The silence is broken only by the quiet steps of their footsteps through the grass and the occasional snap of a twig. But the monsters remain asleep, their slumber unbroken by their passing.

Finally, they emerge on the other side of the horde, their relief palpable. The tension drains from their bodies, replaced by a sense of exhilaration and pride in their success.

They share a silent nod of acknowledgment, knowing that they have passed a test of skill and bravery.

They now stand before a massive door, its surface etched with strange symbols and runes. The door is old and weathered, the wood warped and cracked with age.

Reed looks at the door, studying the intricate carvings that cover its surface. The symbols seem to glow with otherworldly energy, beckoning him closer.

Reed steps forward, his hands outstretched to touch the door. But as he makes contact, a sudden surge of power jolts through his body, causing him to stumble back in shock.



Lea hurriedly goes to Reed’s side checking him

His stomach churns with nausea, and he doubles over, retching uncontrollably. The pressure of the door is overwhelming, its sheer magnitude threatening to crush him under its weight.

Reed gasps for air, his body wracked with tremors as he struggles to regain his composure. But the pressure continues to build, a relentless force threatens to overwhelm him.

Finally, Reed collapses to the ground, his body heaving with convulsions as he empties the contents of his stomach onto the floor.

Lea's eyes were pure concern.

She hurriedly cast a healing spell on him.

The pressure begins to recede, the weight of the door lifting slightly.


The hunters' expression suddenly takes shift.

Reed’s scream was loud it could have made a ruckus amongst the sleeping beast. They scan the area swiftly for any signs of a monster.

Fortunately, there were no signs of them.

They have a breath of relief.

Reed takes a deep breath, his head swimming with dizziness and disorientation. He knows that he has pushed himself to the limits of his endurance, that the pressure of the door is too much for him to bear.

But despite the overwhelming fear and uncertainty, Reed is determined to press on. He knows that the door holds the key to their survival.

With a deep breath, Reed forces himself to his feet.


Lea carefully supported him up.

Reed let out a tired smile.

“Thank you…”

His voice was but a whisper that only Lea could hear.

With his resolve unwavering. She takes a step forward, his hand outstretched once again, ready to face whatever dangers and challenges lie ahead.

As Reed steadies himself, he takes a moment to catch his breath and collect his thoughts. The wave of nausea has passed thanks to Lea’s healing, but the memory of its intensity lingers.

“This intensity.”

Reed noticed that the door and the figure share the same wavelength of intensity.

“That’s why it’s so familiar but the difference is that the pressure of the door is way heavier than the figure.”

He studied the door, searching for any clues or hints that might help him. The symbols and runes seem to pulse with a life of their own, whispering secrets, mysteries, and mostly the chant to open the giant door. that only Reed can only hear.

With a deep breath, Reed open his mouth and spoke.

“By the light of the moon and the stars above, by the power of the earth and the spirits of love, by the wisdom of the ancients and the strength of the brave, we call upon the door to open, and reveal the way.”

The chant echoes throughout the area, its words a powerful invocation of ancient magic and mystical power. The symbols and runes on the door begin to pulse with otherworldly energy, their intricate patterns glowing with a faint, ethereal light.

Slowly but surely, the door begins to creak and groan, its massive form grinding against the stone floor. With a great heave, it swings open, revealing a dark mysterious path that leads deep into the unknown.

The air crackles with electric energy as if the very fabric of reality is being torn apart.

As the door opens fully, a rush of wind and energy sweeps through the room. They were greeted by a giant maze.

With a deafening roar, the door finally swings open. The sound echoes throughout the chamber, shaking the very foundations of the cavern and stirring the beasts that dwell within.

In an instant, the horde of sleeping monsters awakens, their eyes blazing with a fierce and unbridled hunger. With a bloodcurdling howl, the hunters began to hear the sound of heavy footsteps coming toward them.

“Everyone run!!!”

With a shout, they quickly run inside, weapons at ready, their hearts pounding with fear and adrenaline.

“Shit!! they’re here!!”

The monsters are fast and fierce, their numbers seemingly endless. As they make their way through the labyrinthine corridors, they saw monsters up ahead

“Monsters!!! ahead!!”


“Let’s break through them!!!”

The hunters screamed in unison.

They snap and bite, clawing at the hunters with a relentless ferocity that seems impossible to withstand.

Reed tried his best to fight will all his might, their weapons flashing in the darkness as they fends off the creatures that swarm around them. His heart is pounding, his breath coming in ragged gasps.

A hunter swings his great sword in a wide arc, cutting down one monster after another. But even as they fights, they knew that the horde is closing in, their numbers growing by the second.

As they fight, Reed spots something out of the corner of his eyes a faint blue glow in the darkness. It is a pathway, marked by torches that burn with an eerie and ethereal light.

With a sudden burst of intuition, Reed knows that this is the way they must go.

“Everyone head towards the blue pathway!!”

Reed roared as loud as he can so each hunter could hear him.

Without a second thought, they charge forward, cutting a path through the horde with fierce determination.

The hunters follow close behind, their eyes fixed on the blue torches that flicker in the darkness. They knew that pathway may be their only chance at survival, and they are determined to make it to the other side.

With each step and slash they take, the blue torches burn brighter, their light leading way through the darkness. The hunters move quickly

With a final surge of strength, they charge forward, their weapons flashing in the dim light. They cut a path through the horde, fighting with all their might, but the beasts keep coming, their rage and hunger driving them forward.


With a final shout, with a burst of strength and determination, Reed and the hunters managed to break through the horde, emerging into a wide open space. The blue torches burn brightly, their light illuminating the path ahead.

As the lights get brighter and brighter, they were greeted by a wide space area.

They turned around preparing to fight off the monsters, but to their surprise, the monsters stop chasing them.

They gnarled at them ferociously before retreating quickly. Each of them breathe relief as they saw the monsters retreat.

“Is everyone okay?”

“Apart from being tired, I’m perfectly fine.”

“Me too.”


“We lost some few.”

Lea recomposes herself and counted the remaining hunters.

Reed catches his breath as he looks at the hunters.

“We’ve lost 20 hunters back there.”

“That means there’s only 14 of us left.”

A moment of silence passed each hunter didn’t open their mouth.

Lea inhales deeply and exhaled.

“Alright, let’s move.”

The hunters nodded and stood up recomposing themselves.

The hunters step into the blue-torched room, their eyes scanning the area for any clues or signs of danger. The room is large and cavernous, the blue torches flickered eerily in the area, casting strange shadows across the stone walls.

In the center of the room sat a large, ornate chest, its wood weathered and worn with age. The lid was slightly ajar, revealing a glimpse of what lay inside.

But the most unsettling aspect of the area was the collection of stone statues that stood all over the area. They were human-like in shape, but distorted and twisted in unnatural ways. Some had elongated limbs, while others had extra joints that bent in impossible directions. Their faces were twisted into expressions of agony and despair, frozen in stone for eternity.

“Shall we open?”

“Well, it’s the only item in this room…”

The hunters approach the chest with caution, wary of any traps, they couldn’t help but feel the statues’ cold, lifeless eyes following their every move. It was as if the statues were alive, watching and waiting for something to happen.

The area was silent, except for the faint sound of their own breathing. the hunters hesitated, unsure if they should proceed, but their lives are on the line. They took a deep breath, gripping their weapons tightly, slowly approaching the chest.

They stand there observing the chest.

No one dares to open the chest.

“Hey, newbie.”

A hunter called Reed out.


“Open it.”

Reed was too scared to talk back and swallowed.

Reed reach for the chest and opens it, he was surprised as the chest was easy to open.

He discovers a scroll inside, its surface bearing strange and unfamiliar markings. Reed takes the scroll in his hand and begins to read its contents.

{“By the power of ancient rites,

We seek a weapon of untold might,

To unlock its power, sacrifice we must give,

To gain the strength that we need to live.

Let the blood of the willing flow,

A price we pay, but the power we’ll know,

May the sacrifice be pure and true

To unlock the weapon’s power anew.

We pledge our lives to this quest

To gain strength we must see best,

With this sacrifice, we’ll unlock the key

And claim the weapon, let it be.”}

“What I don’t get it, I don’t speak riddles.”

Reed froze up as he read the lines “SACRIFICE WE MUST GIVE.

Lea smacked the confused hunter.

“OW! What was that for.”

The hunter soon notices that the air rather than the atmosphere surrounding him drastically changed.

The hunters exchange uneasy glances, wondering what kind of sacrifice is required to obtain this weapon.

Suddenly, a loud rumble echoes through the room, and an altar rises from the floor, its surface adorned with glowing runes and symbols. The hunters carefully approach the alter with trepidation, wondering what kind of dark magic is at work.

As they approach the altar, they notice that a strange energy is emanating from it, a power that seems to pulse with a life of its own. The hunters exchange glances, wondering what kind of sacrifice is required to unlock this power.

As they hesitate, a voice echoes through the room, low and ominous.

“Only through sacrifice can you unlock the weapon,” It says. “Only through the shedding of blood can you unleash its full potential.”

The air was tense, and the only thing that the hunters came to conclusion on who should do it, is….

All the hunters gaze upon one specific hunter.


None of the hunters dare to speak, they already made their decision in their minds. In this world, you need to sacrifice to the weak to move further.


They all look down refusing to make eye contact. Reed bit his lips knowing that he cannot persuade them.

Reed clenches both of his fists. Refusing to meet anyone’s eye.

“Come on kid, if we want to survive this you should do your part.”

The scared hunter approaches Reed and pointed at his chest.

“Come on.”

He kept on pointing at him until a big hunter patted the scared hunter’s shoulder

“Come on be reasonable man, we can’t just pick a sacrifice on a whim like that.”

“Rule, for once throw away your morality, we are in a life-and-death situation here.”

One of the hunters spoke in an irritated tone.

“We all busted our ass just to get here, because of your foreseen prophecy.”

“Y-Yeah at least do your part.”

“Yeah.. we lost many comrades just to get here.”

“That’s right.”

Not long after the silent hunter joins in. The majority of the hunter wants Reed to sacrifice himself. There were few who defended the injured hunter.

As they bicker, Lea approached Reed.

“Hand me the scroll.”

Reed do as told and handed it over.

Lea carefully analyzes its content.

As the tension in the room continued to escalate, the hunters stood at a stalemate. Each one of them was adamant that they were not going to be the sacrifice, and the weapon could not be obtained without one.

The blue torch flickered, casting an eerie glow on their faces as they glared at each other. The air was thick with fear and desperation, as each person considered the possibility of their own demise.

Suddenly, a loud creaking sound filled the room, and the chest containing the scroll slowly began to close. The hunters realized that they were running out of time.

Suddenly, an idea struck Lea. Lea turned to the hunters and spoke in a calm, determined voice.

“Wait! We don’t have to sacrifice one of us”

Kaley patted Lea’s shoulder.

“Lea, there’s no point in defending him.”

“Hear me out, Kaley.”

“What do you mean.”

“We can sacrifice something else.”

‘Sacrifice something else?”

Lea nodded.

“I noticed something while looking around.”

She pointed to a small, intricately carved stone statue sitting on a pedestal in the corner of the room. The statue stood about a foot tall, with chipped and weathered stone that looked ancient and worn. Its features were twisted and contorted as if it was in great pain or agony. Its eyes were empty sockets, but it seemed to follow their moves with an eerie intensity. The hands of the statue were raised up in a strange and unsettling gesture, almost as if it was protecting something. There were strange and cryptic symbols etched into the base of the statue, adding to the overall feeling of unease and foreboding that emanated from it.

“What if we sacrifice that thing? This statue is different from the others.”

“But the scroll said we need a blood sacrifice.”

Lea put her hand on her chin, thinking.

Reed on the other hand was silent.

‘Is this it,d-did we reached a dead end…’

‘Come on think, think.’

Reed stood trembling in the room, with his heart racing as he contemplated his impending doom. He couldn’t bear the thought of being sacrificed to obtain the weapon, but the others were equally unwilling to volunteer themselves.

As desperately looks for clues around the area, he notices the statue Lea mention earlier.

He recalls the contents of the scroll. As he tried to piece the puzzle together, his expression shifted from one of fear to deep concentration, and he started to think hard.

Suddenly, his eyes lit up, and an idea struck him. He looked up and spoke in a quivering voice.

“W-What if!”

The hunters turned to him, surprised, and asked.

“What if? What?”

Reed replied, “It says that we need a blood sacrifice, but it doesn’t specify that it has to be a human sacrifice. What if we sacrifice that statue in the center of the altar instead?

The hunters looked at him, unsure.

“But how will that work?”

One of them asked.

Reed continued.

“What if we all offer a small amount of our blood and pour it into the statue? Maybe that would be enough to satisfy the requirement of the sacrifice.”

‘This is the only way we can survive this…’

“What if it didn’t work.”

Reed swallowed his nervousness and spoke.

“T-Then, I am willing to sacrifice.”

The hunters exchanged a look, considering the possibility. Slowly, they nodded in agreement, recognizing that this was the only way they could obtain it without sacrificing one of them.

The hunters nodded in agreement, and they lift the small strange statue in the middle, and they all began to prick their hands and let drops of blood fall onto the statue.

Lea offers some of her blood, she slices the palm of her hand and lets drops of blood fall onto the statue. Lea clenches his wound and turned around and gave the knife to Reed.

“Your turn.”

Reed nervously grab the knife and stood looking down at the bloodied statue. He swallowed as he grip the knife tightly. He takes in deep breaths and proceeds on slicing the palm of his hand. He let drops of his blood fall onto the statue, he clenches his wound and turned around them.

The area was still and silent, except for the crackling of the torches. The hunters look at each other nervously, wondering if the sacrifice had been enough.

“Nothing happened.”