10.

-HER-

After several steps, I feel wet in my feet and soon, the sound of water echoes throughout the cave, reaching my ears and haunting me.

Fvck!

Since I cannot see anything due to the darkness in the cave, I decide to rely on my other senses. With slow steps, I move forward in the darkness while my hands are levitated in the air before me so that I could find a wall or anything that’d guide me through this darkness. My nose is up in the air, sniffing and trying to find any scent.

I am constantly shivering due to the low temperature here. Outside seemed warmer than here. The cave is eerily silent. Only the water splashes due to my boots and the chattering of my teeth echoes throughout it with occasional sounds of my shaky breaths.

“You’re going the wrong way.” A deep voice resonates throughout the cave and I jump back in surprise and shock. Did I really head someone speak or am I wondering voices? I shake my head and take a deep breath before starting to walk again.

“Still going the wrong way.” The same voice speaks again and this time I am sure that I didn’t hear it in my head. The voice was real.

“huh?” That’s all I manage to say. My weak voice bounces back and forth on the cave rocks. Suddenly, I hear a snapping sound and a figure appears in front of me with a torch holding in their hand. I stumble back due to their sudden arrival. The torchlight flickers and lights up the cave.

“Who are you?” I ask, feeling my heart race in my chest. I see the figure holding the torch closer to their face. From where I standing, I could tell that the person is really tall. As tall as Arles who is probably waiting for me outside with more dreadful tasks after I manage to finish this one and walk out of here alive.

As soon as the light hits the person’s face, I feel my jaw dropping to the floor. He’s breathtakingly beautiful. Every feature on his face seems to be beautifully and carefully sculpted. He has bright blue eyes which are staring down at me intently. I see his blond hair escape out of the hood of the black cloak that he’s wearing. His nose is straight and his upper lip is thin while the lower one is full. I couldn’t tear my eyes off him but stare in complete awe.

Who is he?

“I am your well-wisher.” He answers my question before flashing me his perfect pearly white teeth. Who he really is? Why is he here? I haven’t seen him before and I don’t really know him. Why is he calling himself my well-wisher?

When I don’t speak and continue to stare at the perfect incarnation of beauty in the form of this man, he simply rolls his eyes at me. Wow, he looked so... sexy rolling his eyes. How did he do it? huh? What am I thinking?

“Arles sent you to bring the Basilisk’s eyes?” He asks and I nod.

“Hold this.” He says handing me the torch while I see him reach inside his clock and pull out a dagger.

“Take this. Stab that snake right here...” He says pointing to the place between his eyebrows as he hands me the dagger, “... and have faith in yourself. I know you can do this.” He says placing his hands on my shoulder and looking down at me urgently. I look down at the dagger and back at him and see hope and desperation brimming in his eyes.

Who is he and why is he helping me?

“Lun- Nefret, did you understand me?” He asks and I weekly nod, not understanding why he is helping me at all. He nods at me and drops his hands from my shoulder. Next, he takes my right hand and takes it closer to his lips before kissing the back of it. I feel my jaw drop to the floor and I stare at him awkwardly as he does so. After that he lightly bows and disappears, leaving a puff of white smoke behind.

I look at my hand where he kissed me.

What was that? How did he know my name?

Suddenly, a low rattling sound pulls me out of my thoughts. It echoes throughout the cave and is followed by a slow snake-like hiss. I shiver knowing the bearer of those sounds.

I take some moments to assess the insides of the cave and find that indeed, I was heading the wrong way. The floor of the cave is covered with water while sharp tooth shaped rocks hang from the cave’s ceiling. I walk deeper into the cave trying to be as quiet as I could manage and find that the cave narrows and forms a tunnel.

As I walk through the tunnel making sure that I don’t hurt myself by the sharp rocks, the sound of water splashes made due to my walking resonates.

I don’t know how long I’ve been walking through this endless tunnel. My fingers are already aching due to clutching the torch so hard and my teeth are chattering due to the low temperature inside the cave. Goosebumps erupted all over my sin every time the cold cave winds caress my skin.

Finally, after endless walking, I see the end of the tunnel and when I step out of it, I find a large lake inside the cave, its water thick and green. A foul smell instantly invades my nose and bile rise in my stomach in disgust. I step forward and observe the whole place.

The still water of the lake casts a green reflection on the cave’s ceiling. I step by the lake and try to perceive its depth. As I look deeper into the water, I see the faint crisscross design that cover’s a snake’s body. I instantly step back feeling my heart thump in my chest but after looking at it for moments, I realize that it’s the shredded skin of the serpent.

For a moment, it looked so real, I thought that it was Zesux. I sigh and continue looking around. My eyes fall on a small island in the middle of the lake. On that island stands a statue. From where I am standing, all I can say is that the statue seems to be of a woman wearing armor. Her stance looks as if she is about to attack.

What astonishes me the most about her is that she is holding a torch in one hand and a dagger in the other... just like me. Her hand with the dagger is held high up in the air as if she is about to strike while her hand holding the torch is lowered.

I have seen this somewhere. That woman looks strangely familiar. That statue looks strangely familiar. I feel Oculus Reaper tighten around my wrist all of a sudden.

Suddenly, I hear a loud hiss just behind me and it doesn’t take me long to know who it is.

I feel its cold breath tickle the back of my neck and for a moment, I swear, I felt its tongue lightly brush the back of my neck. A loud rattling sound echoes throughout the cave followed by a hiss which seemed more like a roar to me.

Without thinking next, I jump right into the green water. The freezing cold water hits me like a wrecking ball, knocking all the breath out of me...

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