Twilight Bridge: Immersion
● 6th day of the Sixth Month, year 666 -Realm of Light.
It was a windy summer day in the Cleve Forest, also known as the RESTRICTED AREA that Jaden was punished for going into, but today it was allowed. At least for the hunters who were signed up to finally explore these massive ruins.
Hunters who operated in the same area knew each other well. This was due to the collective gathering of all Hunters in the area whenever a dungeon is opened up. And today, the hunters who've gathered shared a cup of coffee while greeting each other .
"Oy, Mr . Erik, over here."
"Ooh, Mr . Bram, what are you doing here? I thought you were done with the Hunter business."
"Ah that... The wife just got pregnant with number two."
"Hahaha, is that so? Well, nothing better than a Raid to oil the pockets of a Hunter!"
Both Mr . Erik and Mr . Bram laughed.
"You know, it seems like the Association's been calling us less and less lately. Wonder if the rate of dungeon raids decreased?"
"Eh, nonsense. It's because the Infernos have been working harder than the Association lately. Whenever large sums of money's involved, you just know the Church pounce on'em with that iree look in their eyes."
"Well then, I guess this "Raid" being supervised by the Association means it'll be pretty safe, right?"
With a slight concern, Mr. Bram took a look around the area. A Gate ignored by the Infernos meant low pay, and a low paying Gate meant low difficulty. Of course, there was nothing in life that was 100% certain. Similar to Mr. Bram, other hunters in the area shifted their eyes with nervousness.
As he finished the coffee, Mr. Erik suddenly waved to someone he saw approaching in the distance .
"Oh, wait, look who it is!"
Other Hunters also looked at the newcomer with familiarity and contempt.
"It's the Inferno kid.." few hunters whispered.
It was Jaden Inferno, finally arriving at the dungeon site, which was crowded with hunters and merchants of different ranks.
"So Jaden came. Then this place should be safe. "
With his eyes widened, Mr . Bram asked Mr. Erik "What? Is he that strong?"
"Ah, Mr. Bram, you wouldn't know. He started the job a little after you left. There's no hunter here who doesn't know Jaden Inferno. "
"That strong? Why is he working under the Association, then? Why not freelance or join his peers in the The Grand Church?"
Chuckling, Mr. Erik's eyes narrowed.
"You know what that man's nickname is?"
"How would I know? Come on, spit it out."
"Humanity's Weakest Hunter."
" . . . Weakest? Not Strongest?"
"Listen to yourself, that kind of title belongs only to the S-rank Hunters . That man over there is the Weakest Hunter. Probably the weakest Hunter ever . "
Mr . Bram furrowed his brows . If he was that weak, why would the Hunters look so relieved at his appearance? A fellow Hunter was someone who had to be relied upon in a Raid. He could not understand the other Hunters' reactions .
Seeing Mr . Bram's tilted head in contemplation, Mr. Bram ribbed him with his elbows while laughing .
"Don't you get it? If that kid appeared in today's Raid, it means it's gotta be an easy one . The Association wouldn't risk putting him on anything hard. Nobody wants to see someone die pointlessly . "
And now, Mr . Bram's face brightened.
"Is, is that so?"
Coming back to the Raiding scene after a long break, both he and his wife were ladened with uneasiness and concern. But listening to Mr. Erik's words, his mood lightened up.
Mr. Bram shifted his eyes towards Jaden and quieted his laughter. Fortunately, Jaden appeared some distance away and probably couldn't hear their conversation.
But he did.
I heard everything, you geezers.
Doing his best to ignore their laughter, he met their gaze and put on an ignorant smile. At times like this, he cursed his rather keen hearing.
Did I come too soon?
It was some time before the Raid would begin. While waiting, Jaden approached an Association Employee for some coffee.
"Could I get a cup as well?"
"Ah . . . I'm so sorry, we just ran out..."
" . . . "
A cold breeze slapped his face. It was a rather sad day where even the coffee ran out just as he got to it.
"Guess that will be that.." he whispered to himself.
But never mind, I've finally made it! This dungeon will answer all of my questions. That's all that matters..
Few minutes later, the hunters started to gather near the entrance.
Looks like they're getting ready!, Jaden thought as he went closer to the dungeon.
"Everyone!" shouted some middle aged man with slit back blonde hair.
"We're off to go happy hunting; so, I'm not qualified to say this." said the man. "But I'd like to be the leader of this raid. Is that fine with you?"
"Yeah, of course!" voices of agreement came from different directions.
"We're counting on you Mr. Brown!"
Mr. Brown then answered "Okay then, everybody in their positions. Get ready!"
Jaden clenched his fist, Here we go..
As they went few meters inside, everyone was dazzled by the red crystal shards scattered throughout the dungeon.
"I've made it this far alone.." Jaden whispered.
"Hey hey, arm your weapons!" Mr. Brown shouted as he spotted bunch of demons approaching.
"Demons!" someone screamed.
They were a lizard like medium sized demons flock. Jaden drew his knife and head against the monsters. "Ghaaa! Outta my way!!"
The other hunters killed tons of demons, too.
"They're not that strong!" said Mr. Bram.
"Told you its an easy gig.." replied Mr. Erik.
After they reached a wide area, a hunter demon, similar to the one Jaden had fought the day before, has appeared.
"It's the Hunter Demon!!" a hunter shouted.
"Wait, that's another one!" Mr. Erik shouted in panic when another Hunter Demon showed up.
"There's some smaller demons here, too!" Mr. Bram yelled.
"Stay in formation! Cover each other's back!" Mr. Brown yelled as he was casting a fireball magic in his right hand.
"Not good.." Jaden said in exhaustion.
But the hunters fought in formation, and killed both hunter demons. Jaden took care of the smaller targets.
"All clear!" a hunter said.
"Looks like its over!" Mr. Bram said in relief.
Jaden was examining the place. "Is that it?"
It was an empty hall with very high ceiling. The wall was drenched with what it seemed to be dried out blood.
Not much to see here.. Is that what I was longing for? Just this?!
Suddenly, someone shouted,
"Eh? There's another entrance here!"
The Hunters swarmed towards the voice .
"Really? Another entrance?"
As the first person noted, there indeed was another Dungeon entrance here.
"A Double Dungeon... So they really do exist. "
A hunter with 10 years worth of experience, Mr. Brown looked at the newly found entrance with wonder. Unable to see far into the dark tunnel, Mr. Brown used his specialty, fire magic. The fireball that shot out from his hand threw through the tunnel, illuminating its darkness.
However, the tunnel was deeper than expected, and the fireball eventually lost its energy and fell to the ground and quickly extinguished as a spark. Darkness returned before their eyes.
"Hmm... Everyone, please gather around."
As the de facto leader of the Raid, Mr. Brown gathered the hunters before him. Jaden joined the crowd. Mr. Brown addressed gathered Hunters,
"As you all may know, Gates do not close until the Dungeon's boss is taken down . Since our Gate is still open, even though we've cleared all the mobs in the area, it appears that the real boss in down that tunnel."
Mr. Brown gestured towards the newly found Dungeon entrance. Looking at each other, the hunters also nodded in agreement.
"The protocol in situations like this is to exit the Dungeon, contact the Association, and let them handle things going forward... But if we do that, and some other group of Hunters take down the boss, there's a chance that our income for this Raid will drastically decrease."
The gathered hunters' expressions hardened. Mr. Bram, who came here to support his expecting wife, looked doubly troubled.
Postnatal care these days is really expensive..., he thought. He left now, the efforts he risked his life for would be wasted.
"And so I was thinking What if we just went ahead and go kill the boss? What do you guys think?"
The Hunters fell in contemplation.
" . . . "
" . . . "
It was not a decision that could be made easily. Some knew that there was no guarantee that the Double Dungeon would be as safe as the one that they had just cleared. Others came to the conclusion that if the Outer Dungeon was this easy, perhaps the Inner Dungeon would be just as easy. Regardless, it was not a situation where everyone would be in agreement.
Mr. Brown faked a cough,
"Since there's 17 of us here, why don't we take a vote on this? And no complaining after the vote. How about it?"
At Mr. Brown's suggestion, each Hunter nodded in agreement.
Mr. Brown's was the first to raise his hand. "I'll go . "
Mr. Bram was the first to follow Mr. Brown, "I'll go too . "
"Me, me too..."
"Same here . "
"One more vote for 'yes' "
Mr. Erik had also joined the "go" group . But there were opposing votes as well,
"Let's not . "
"I think we should wait on the Association's judgment."
As the "yes" crowd and the "no" crowd clashed at 8-7, all gazes fell on the two last undecided people.
Mr. Brown then, noticed someone who didn't have an opinion on the matter yet.
"Mr. Inferno?" he said. "What will it be?".
I don't have anything saved up for that...
Jaden wanted answers. And if that meant going beyond that door to get them, he wouldn't think twice.
Jaden raised his hand .
"I'll also go. " he replied confidently.
The tunnel went on and on and on. At the vanguard stood Mr. Brown and other veteran Hunters. Led by the light from his fireball.
Mr. Erik spoke up from the party, "Isn't this going in a little too deep? Maybe we should think about turning back."
"How long have we been walking?"
Mr. Erik checked his watch, "About... 40 minutes."
"When we take down the boss, we'll have 1 hour before the Gate closes. Taking into account the time for the return trip, we still have a breathing room of 20 minutes, right?"
"Then if we don't come across the boss after 20 more minutes of walking, we should leave, right?"
"I suppose so. "
Nodding, Mr. Brown pointed towards his back with his thumb.
"Hey Mr. Erik, it's dark ahead of me, so fall back a little bit. "
Mr. Erik looked at Mr. Brown's fireball, then took out his flashlight and turned it on. The light from the phone brightly illuminated their path.
" . . . "
Looking back and forth between his fireball and the flashlight, Mr. Brown quietly searched pockets for his communicator.
At the rear of the party walked Jaden, who was injured.
I've never made it this deep before! These guys seems pissed! I'm probably on their shit list. Why wouldn't they?! I just dragged them down here, he thought while he was looking around. It was then, suddenly, a commotion rose from the vanguard of the party.
"This is it!"
"The boss room!"
Jaden and the other hunters turned their gazes forward. There stood a giant door signaling the end of the tunnel . The Hunters gathered before the door.
"To think there was a door at the end of the tunnel. "
"Do you think this was always here?"
"First time I'm seeing something like this... . "
"Do . . . do you think it's dangerous?"
As they quietly whispered back and forth, the Hunters became uneasy.
After all, their lives were on the line; they had to be careful . But too much care may impede progress, Mr. Brown thought.
"So you guys want to turn back after all that? To go back empty handed?"
He placed his hand on the door.
"You're free to go back . I'll go alone. "
Mr. Brown was a professional hunter with 10 years of experience. If it wasn't for the fact that he was past 60 years old, he could've probably raided under a large agency.
So when such a veteran hunter spoke with confidence, the uneasiness of the other hunters slowly disappeared.
"Now that I think about it," One of the hunters spoke of a rumor regarding Double Dungeons, "I heard that Double Dungeons have some crazy treasures . "
"Yeah, I heard some mid-level agency once found a Double Dungeon and shot straight to a large agency status!"
"And wherever magic beasts may appears in a Dungeon, they should all be the same level generally..."
And so the hunters thought, what if this Double Dungeon contained a phenomenal treasure? And what if the magic beasts beyond this door were the same level as before?
Can't let that old man take all the treasures by himself.
'Mm, of course.
Jaden stood near the door and noticed some of the crystal shards around. There was one large piece that has the word J.A.D.E.N engraved on.
He laid his hands on it for a moment.
Is that where I was found?! Ovan always told me that my name was engraved on the crystals...
"Hey Ovan, what does the name Jaden mean?" Jaden asked.
"I don't think it meant to mean something.." Ovan replied. "It's not like names got meanings.."
"But Sanctus always says that Bahamut gave everything a name for a reason."
"And do you think Bahamut actually care to give a reason?" Ovan asked.
"How should I know?!" Jaden said.
"You must always ask questions, Jaden. Just because Sanctus said it, doesn't mean that it's totally right. You should think for yourself." Ovan said. "But for now, rise up! Pick up the sword!".
That was a distant memory Jaden had when he was little.
The hunters then helped each other and pushed the door.
Through some unknown mechanism, the giant door opened easily as the 60-year old man pushed.
The wide open door revealed a large interior, and the Hunters entered pushing past each other .
"We should go too . "
Not wanting to fall behind, Jaden went ahead.
As the Hunters' first steps fell onto the ground, the numerous torches that hung on the walls of the area lit up, brightly illuminating the interior.
"Hmm? The light went on?"
"First time I'm seeing that. " said Jaden.
"Something's... different. "
The Hunters surveilled their surroundings. It felt like the interior of a large temple. Like an ominous temple that would be hidden away deep underground, the doors, the walls and even the ceiling was covered in moss. Some Hunters shuddered and noted. "Something feels wrong"
"Doesn't it feel like we're being watched?"
The more fearful hunter fell to the rear, while the stronger hunters headed deeper into the room .
"Tsk. Don't say such things ."
"Let's just finish up here and go back."
The interior was incredibly large. A wide area in a dome shape. It was comparable to multiple olympic field being put together. No, perhaps bigger . At the same time, it paradoxically felt cramped. The reason was simple.
"That . . that thing..."
"That's not a monster, is it?"
At the end of the room, something whose size surpassed reason and logic sat upon a grand and enormous seat. It could only described as a massive Statue of God
"My god. . . "
They could not help but be amazed.
Jaden himself compared the statue's size to Bahamut statue in the Grand Church. Although the.. No... This thing's bigger...
The Hunters gathered before the statue could not help but gulp repeatedly . They stood in fear, wondering if the Statue of God was the boss of this Dungeon.
" . . . "
But the Statue did not move .
"Phew~" Mr. Brown also sighed in relief.
"Alright, let's spread out. "
With renewed confidence, the hunters spread out, investigating the giant room.
"I don't see any demons. "
"Forget demons, I don't even see a single bug. "
Compared to its well-lit interiors and enormous size, the room of the Statue of God was rather plain. Adorning its walls were countless torches, illuminating the room. In front of the torches stood statues slightly larger than the average man, forming equidistant points of a circle.
"It's like a work of art."
Each statue held something different in its hands . Some held weapons, some books, others held instruments or torches.
"It's like..." Mr. Erik started describing,
"Decorations in a temple. " Mr. Brown finished his sentence.
Mr. Brown found something at his feet.
"This is... a magic circle?"
At the center of the temple room, there was a magic circle that he had never seen before in his life.
"Mr. Brown, there's something written here . Can you come take a look at this?"
A hunter called out to the Raid's leader, finding a statue that stood out from the rest. Leaving his observation of the magic circle, Mr. Brown headed towards the hunter. One by one, all the hunters in the room gathered before the strange statue as well. Of all the statues in the room, this one was the only one with wings. It was holding a stone tablet. What caught the hunters' eyes were the words written on the stone tablet.
"It's Runic. " Mr. Brown spoke after analyzing the tablet.
Runes. A form of text that could be found in Dungeons, it was something that could not be found elsewhere on Red Grave. Only the hunters and mages can interpret them.
Mr. Brown read the first line of the tablet:
" 'Commandments of the Shirrafall Temple' "
Jaden listened to Mr. Brown's reading of the tablet with a serious expression. But then suddenly, he felt someone or something moved behind him.
Meanwhile, Mr . Brown's reading of the tablet continued.
"Worship the Lord . Second, Praise the Lord . Third, Prove your Faith to the Lord . Those who do not follow these commands will not leave alive. "
It was in that moment,
At the sudden sound, all the Hunters jumped in surprise.
The first person to notice was Jaden. Having focused on his hearing because of the torches, he was able to immediately notice what was happening.
"The door! The door is closing!"
At his words, the entire party turned towards the door, only to watch it close with a bang.
"Dammit! I can't do this anymore!"
The Hunter who first voted "no" to enter the Double Dungeon swore and headed towards the door.
"I'm leaving now . You guys can have all the bosses and treasures you want . "
Glaring rebelliously at Mr. Brown, the man turned and grabbed the door's handles .
Mr. Brown's eyes widened .
A sickening sound of 'something' striking 'something' rang throughout the temple.
With it, the man's head had disappeared from sight. Having lost its head, his body naturally fell backwards onto the ground.
The Hunters started screaming.
Having obliterated the man's head with its mace, the statue returned and assumed its position next to the door as if nothing had happened.
"That- that thing just moved!"
"What? Does that mean all the statues here can move?"
"We're supposed to fight those?!"
"I didn't even see him swing that mace!"
It was at this point, Jaden had a wild thought. His eyes... The Statue's eyes just looked at us. If that's true...
He shuddered. Making an effort to move his terrified body, he turned and looked at the Statue of god.
And found the Statue of god looking back at him.
Jaden realized. This was just the beginning.
The Statue of God's eyes were lit with a crimson light.
Was it a Hunter's instinct? No, it was the survival instincts of a living being . "Something" is coming. "Something" that could not be stopped...
Jaden turned and shouted on top of his lungs .
Right as his mouth opened, a crimson ray of light shot out from the Statue's eyes.
Jaden threw himself to the ground.
The ray of light passed through where Jaden was standing moments before.
1 tenth of a second.
No, 1 hundredth of a second.
If the timing of his actions were off by just a fraction...
The other Hunters were not as lucky.
The screams did not come from the Hunters who were struck by the light. After all, the ones who were struck disintegrated instantly, leaving only a trace of ash and burnt stone in their wake No, the screams were coming from the Hunters who survived.
"What the hell is this!"
"How could this..."
The Hunters were in shock . 11 remaining alive out of 16.
They had never seen an attack like this before.
I barely dodged after hearing that Inferno kid..
The Hunters looked at Jaden and gulped. Their lives' savior. If it was not for him, they knew that they would be counted among the fallen.
" . . . "
With his entire body bowed on the ground, Jaden turned his head and peaked at the Statue. Its eyes were still lit with crimson glow but did not continue its attack.
Is... is it done attacking?
Jaden turned his head towards the ground again.
"Don't stand up. " It was Mr. Brown. "Don't move!" Mr. Brown yelled.
"Shut up! We don't know when that thing will attack again! You just want us to wait until that time?!" yelled one of the hunters.
"We can't stay like this!" another hunter said while his entire body was shaking.
It didn't take long for the rest to start panicking, and couldn't bear to remain still.
The ray were fired out again.
One of the female Hunters screamed. Unable to control her fear, a yellow puddle slowly appeared from the ground she was collapsed on. The other Hunter's faces hardened.
"Oh my god..."
Why isn't it attacking us while we're low?! There's gotta be rules to this! I need to look at these writings.., Jaden slightly leaned over to take a glimpse at that tablet.
Jaden ducked in light speed.
If he hesitated even for a split second on getting back to the ground, Jaden would've lost a lot more than few strands of hair on his head.
Back on the ground, Jaden panted heavily. He had almost died just now. When his eyes met the Statue of God's, he knew he had looked at death right in the eyes. Having dodged the attack by a hair (literally), Jaden's legs could not stop shaking.
"The Commandments, they're not there for nothing.."
" everyone!" Jaden yelled.
The Hunters' gaze gathers to Jaden.
Jaden looked around them and said "Please bow to the statue!"
"Do you want to bow to the priest?" yelled one of survived hunters sarcastically.
The Hunters, who had noticed each other, immediately poured out their words to Jaden.
"Fuck ... What are you talking about now?!"
"No, is that what you say in this situation?"
"Are you already crazy, kiddo?" asked Mr. Brown.
Erik poured a snot into his earned face.
"I've seen enough! If I could move now, I would have kicked my ass! "
I could fully understand the feelings of the Hunters. And the most important thing ...
There was no logical basis for him.
Just feel. I could only express it with the word persimmon. By the way.
The voice came from the back of Jaden.
Everyone looked and moved.
It was Mr. Brown who could be called a leader.
"Old man ...?"
"Do you bow to that fucking god?" Mr. Brown said.
While other Hunters were embarrassed, Brown looked into Jaden's eyes. "Did you find something?" he asked.
Jaden nodded his head.
"Is that a sensation?"
"...Yes. for now."
"Better than nothing." Mr. Brown mumbled.
Eleven people lived because of that feeling of Jaden.
"Right now, Mister" Jaden told Mr. Brown.
The rays missed!
"Are you real?" asked Mr. Brown.
Jaden pushed the momentum and gave strength to the voice.
"Please! Everybody, get down to the statue. Maybe we can survive!"
You can buy. I can survive.., he told himself.
The power of the word was great.
The hesitant Hunters began to fall down one by one. In the form of a temple. The number one and two increased. Erik, who grumbled, eventually bowed to the priest. But there was no change in the image. The two eyes of the gods were still glowing with a creepy red light.
Jaden was feeling the heart sank.
Then the change began.
The hunters who recognized the change screamed.
"The Statue? Look at everyone! "
"The eyes of the priest!"
The red light glowing from the eyes of the gods was gradually diminishing.
"what? Is this really going to happen?"
Soon the red light disappeared completely.
The Hunters cheered.
The game is not over yet.
Two more disciplines remained.
Second, praise God.
Third, prove your faith.
Right then- the whole room began to shake with terrible noise. Jaden's face got hardened.
Also...hope was good, he thought there for a second. It is not the end.
The statue was slowly raising its huge body.
The hunters, who held each other in tears and cried, realized this and settled like a stone.
"What... what? Was not it over? "
"Do not say that!"
Everyone was freezing and unable to speak.
There was despair over their faces.
Finally, the statue got up completely.
He glanced around once, and then he stepped toward the Hunters.
Every time the statue stepped on the ground, the earthquake shook.
The head of the head seemed to reach the ceiling, which seemed to be so big and big.
Even at this moment the size of the man is overwhelmed, the distance from him has been decreasing. Until just before, the Hunters who had been rubbing Jaden rushed.
"Isn't there a way?"
The bigger adults were making facial expressions that would burst into tears at the very least.
Jaden was the only hope at present.
"Praise the Lord. It's open. Oh, that!" Erik pretended to know. "What was written on the slab?"
"Right. Worship God, praise God, prove faith. We have to satisfy all three rules. " Jaden's words got faster.
The statue had already approached the nose.
The huge shadow of the guy was on the hunters.
The hunter's complexion was pale.
"I'll try it." One young man hunter, who had almost no words at all, stepped forward.
"Hey! What are you going to do? " Mr. Erik exclaimed.
"I am from church choir. I am proud of it. "
The young man walked slowly in front of the statue despite Erik's briskness.
The last time he looked up at his image and breathed his breath, he breathed a big breath. "Go to the Lord."
In the room a pure voice rang.
"Make me renewed - pour out Your grace."
The statue stopped in front of him.
Oh - the Hunters gave out their elasticity, Jaden thought. The priest did not move as if he were singing.
All the noise in the room disappeared. Only the voice of the young man trembled inside. The young man who gained courage further strengthened his voice.
"All my weaknesses I have found in me - will be taken away by Your love."
Only one of them, Jaden, was tired of an ominous feeling.
Jaden repeatedly swallowed words, Inside this room is the rule of this room.
A heavy noise rang inside.
She screamed like a torn girl.
As the priest lifted his foot, the naked young hunter appeared naked between his soles and the floor.
Other hunters screamed.
"Uh, ah, ah!"
The face of the image which had never been expressionless was disturbed with anger.
"Do not run away!"
The hunters quickly ran away from the statue.
But the hunter, who witnessed the young hunter stepping on his deathbed, immediately screamed as if he had already lost his mind.
Jaden, who was holding her back and ran away, turned to save her.
However, Brown stood up.
"Mister...?!" Jaden yelled.
He pushed her away, but was caught by the statue's slap. His lower limbs were completely crushed.
Jaden ran to see him.
"It's already late." he said.
The priest hit the woman with Hunter in the palm of her hand, beating the fly.
"Old man, you shouldn't.." sobbed Jaden.
It was a disastrous sight that both eyes could not see.
"There is no time for this. Are you going to let that girl die? " the almost dead Mr. Brown managed to utter.
It was literally, the breaking point for all the surviving hunters in the room.
Help me! I no longer can think straight.. Is that the answer I wanted! Dammit!
Now the statue started to walk. It ran around and crashed people at random. Every time he ran his foot, the whole room shook. Jaden started to run with his hands.
At Morrison's, a guy came running into the tavern, and looking for the director of the Association. He told people that the Dungeon's doors closed up and no one has made it out.
Morrison jumped out of his seat. "Kathryn! Go and tell Keryto to follow me to the ruins! Now!".
Meanwhile, inside the Dungeon, most of the hunters were massacred by the gigantic statue.
It was Bram. He ran to the power of sucking. The tears poured into the family thoughts.
Mr. Erik, who was close to him, shouted to Bram, who was barely breathing in the corner. "Mr. BRAM!"
Bram looked back at his familiar voice. "Huh?"
Erik shouted over Bram 's back. "Rear! Look back!"
At the time, there was something sharp in the back of Mr. Bram.
Bram sliced straight from his head to his groin. The body of the torn Mr. Bram fell on both sides.
The statue, which hit Mr. Bram with his sword, returned to its original position as if the gatekeeper had done nothing.
Mr. Erik looked at him and screamed.
"These cobwebs ...!"
Behind him was a huge stone statue stepping on people one by one, and when they ran to the corner to avoid him, a stone statue placed there attacked the people.
"My arm! My arm! "
The inside turned into a crucible of fear and confusion.
"please, no ..."
Jaden's's forehead was filled with sweaty bones, My legs are getting heavy.
"Waaaaah" Erik yelled for the last time before being sliced. Then another one, and then another, and another.
Until it was only Jaden standing. Barely for that instant.
Few moments later, Jaden's body started to give up. The Statue approached him, and smiled viciously.
This might be it! That's how I'm gonna go... sorry, Kat, but there's no kind god watching over us.
The Statue raised his foot to smash Jaden beneath him. Dammit all to hell..
"Pick up the sword.."
He gave one deep sigh..
Then, he rolled away from that falling foot. He then picked up his knife, Rebellion.
Drenched with blood, Jaden rushed against the Statue.
"Guaaaaah" he let out a loud scream.
The animated Statue flashed his beams randomly scratching Jaden's shoulder.
Jaden then managed to reach the Statue's face after he picked up one of the dead hunters axes and shoved it onto the monster's eye.
The Statue's eye blew up, and it bent over.
Soon to collapse Jaden swung his knife on it.
I'll do it.. I'll do it.. I'll do it... I'll do it..
He was able to deal some damage, but the monster started to rise up again.
Jaden was spitting blood.
The red emerald on the Statue's forehead shone brighter, and the monster went outrageous. He grabbed Jaden as he was trying to resist, and opened his mouth.
"Ghaaaaaaaaah" Jaden yelled as the monster was about to devour him.
As he grabbed his legs by teeth, Jaden tried to push out, and was able to stab the red emerald few time.
"This is the end!!" He shouted lastly as his body finally got limp. And the emerald glew.
The Statue then lost its structure as it was fuzzing in and out of shape like it was haunted, or maybe melting and freezing at the same time.
When he opened his eyes, Jaden was standing in a pitch black place. There was nothing, just him.
Am I.. dead? Is this the afterlife?
Then, he noticed that there was someone standing right in front of him. He tried to get closer, and closer, but the other person was getting closer as well.
As he approached him, Jaden felt like it wasn't the first time he'd seen him. He knew him--like, all his life.
Tanned skin, dark brown eyes, short black hair. It was all too familiar.
But something was off. Whatever move Jaden made, the other person made too.
Is he mimicking me?! Or, is this a mirror?! He looked really hard at his face, and finally realized.
I know you! You're M...
"You're Mado.." he whispered. You're... me..
As he said those words, he looked in that mirror again, and found himself instead. He found Jaden staring back at him..
A flood of memories were flying back into his mind. He couldn't bear it no more. "So much... is rushing into... my head..I ca.." he dropped back on his knees and screamed from the top of his lungs.
A huge vertical beam of light erupted through Cleve Forest.
Morrison and Keryto noticed it. It was red, and gleaming. Shattering the ground beneath them, and rattling the trees around them. Thanks to it, the Dungeon lost its ceiling, creating a shortcut for both rescuers to hurry through.
When the blow was cleared up, the two managed to pave their way to the Double Dungeon room.
And there were dead bodies everywhere they turned. But there was one body, still intact, still breathing heavily.
Holding what it seemed like a red emblem in his hands, he was lying alone on the alter.
"We've known each other for a long time" said Morrison. "You'd never had this much trouble.."
"What the hell?!" Keryto said.
It was Jaden, the only survivor.