When I joined wordpress there was this challenge called the word of the day. Or the word of the week, I don’t remember. This is not about this, but somehow, it’s inspired by that movement or whatever that was. Because this is a single story, each post strongly linked with one word. The first one was Monster.
“You are very wise, my lord. Sometimes I forget you are a well educated knight.” Sir Reg already stand up from his stony stump and started again walking down the road.
“Well…let’s say I will not list your last comment as an offensive one.” The warrior slows down his speed to stay closer to Janus. “It is true that I was not the smartest on my class. I can say I mainly hated the lectures on the Castle where I trained with the other Laria knights. I didn’t see any use of learning algebra, geography, protocol, or dynasty. What I did love were the practicals. The teachers, the old bastards, were cooking up situations, they called them. Typical, so to say, like a group of morons trying to rob an old man, a lady in distress, those things. Probably you can imagine them.” Janus nodded. “At that moment I didn’t understand what they were for. Now I know the reason behind, they were trying to built on us some kind of sense of righteousness that a normal peasant, like you, if you were not a sorcerer, of course, don’t have. I can proudly say on the practicals, I was always the best. As a consequence, I have a rock hard morale and a very analytical mind when a riddle of the type a knight is supposed to solve is presented to me.”
Janus sighted, trying not to be heard by his party mate. And he was supposed to be able to solve magical problems, of course. Unfortunately he didn’t have practicals on his university, or at least, not on his course. The image of Radin, Oystre, Lumarr and the others facing an adventure like this one made him smile. He lost track of them, if he manage to leave this place, he said to himself, he will try to contact the lads.
So they keep walking happily down the hill, hoping to find an exit to the dungeon because this is what is supposed to happen. Janus didn’t delete the smile on his face for a while, Sir Reg on the other hand, started to hum another dirty tavern song.
The static sun started to bite their skin. Some fumes emerged between the forest of stalagmites they were crossing. The water vapour, without any wind, was drawing around them ghostly columns, from time to time creating clouds that covered drastically the light, making Janus remember that he should be deep underground, not on a happy picnic on the field. A sudden claustrophobia evolved on him. What if the sun was not a sun, and this was indeed some kind of closed ecosystem? What if the circle above was just a giant crystal belly filled with flowing hot and shiny lava that was periodically getting cold by natural means?
“I think we should be about to arrive.” The voice of Sir Reg kicked Janus out of his dark thoughts. “Don’t you see a brightness after the next hill? That should be it!”
“Well we still need to go through that grey esplanade before.” The esplanade, as long as a battlefield, was separated by the narrow black road, that cut through it like a scar on a shedding skin. Here and there, ominous fumes were rising. Over the hill, what looked like broken carved pillars on both sides of the road were waiting them. The pillars of a door, most probably. Hopefully a door out.