Leinard briefly explained that the room we were in was a Green Room in the Fourth Tier of Hell's Labyrinth, which was used as a map-jump calibration point or a place to land or leave when casting a third eye cakra spell.

In short, it was a fancy magical elevator platform with the price of suffering some nasty temporary ailments if using cakra magic, typically to the eyes and related nervous systems. So, a lot of magis only used these rooms as an absolute emergency.

However, —

"Where's the exit?" I glanced around the room, resting my hands on my hips when I only saw dim-lit walls of sublime green.

"I'm thinking." Leinard glanced around.

"What kind of elevator doesn't have a door?" I frowned.

"The Green Room is not an elevator and it has a door." Leinard knowingly answered. "I'm deciding on the one we should take."

"So, you say." I blew off the rest of my questions and got myself cosy in a corner to watch him stoically fret about the room.

"Hey, if you're not sure, you can always use the eni-meeni-myni-mo method," I casually suggested and received a raised-one-brow-look for a response. "Just saying."

He stared at the walls for some time before dropping his focus with a sigh and sat down next to me to rest.

My cheeks flushed red when my mind wandered to the moment of our kiss. I was, most certainly, out of my goddamn mind at that time, and Leinard being healed was a lucky surprise. Whilst I was tickled pink that I had discovered a magical ability, the method to apply it was crazy. I cringed, realising back there was my first time initiating a kiss. Leinard's expression of remarkable sangfroid, made me wonder on how many other people he had kissed. He certainly hadn't been complaining when we locked lips.

Locked lips?!

"Gaah! I'm rescinding that power as of now," I muttered under my breath to cool my blushes.

I waved off further troublesome thoughts and focused on our current predicament.

"Hey, Colonel, we could stay here for a bit, longer right?"

"That will be our end."


"Small Cap will know what I'm referring to." Leinard glanced at my belt pouch.

I asked my spider friend and received an obvious answer. Of course, the longer we stayed put meant we'd be kaput.

"Small Cap. I could use your help if you don't mind." Leinard directed a question for support to the golden hair spider.

Small Cap scurried to the floor before us.

"Yes, me help Freend." He agreed.

Leinard provided Small Cap with some instructions and returned to his green-room-exit analysis with the spider running laps around the walls.

"This one." Small Cap had declared when he stopped on the north wall.

"Good work," Leinard praised him.

I huffed with a frown, noticing that they had formed a rather chummy friendship. Leinard wasn't uncomfortable around Small Cap any more.

"Are you listening?" Leinard drew my mind back to our situation.

"Yes, yes," I muttered and yelped when Leinard pinched my cheek. "I was really listening!"

Leinard sighed. "Make sure your mind doesn't become distracted when we're out there. It could cost your life."

I stared at the blank, seamless, wall whilst rubbing my sore cheek.

"Hey, why can't you use that eye thing you do to get us out of here?" I spoke aloud my nagging thought.

"So, you want to see the end of my life," Leinard answered with a narky frown and sighed again. "I can't draw upon the eye on my own; I don't have enough mana. Wilfred is the only other magis with the ability to compensate."

He pulled out a small clear crystal shard from his pocket and pressed it against the north wall to transform it into an opening. I stared at a black wall corridor illuminated by subdued red light.

I was startled by Leinard's loud gasp. Hearing him gasp gave me the heebie-jeebies more than those ghost things did. It made matters worse when he retracted the crystal, so the opening had become the wall again.

"Whaddahell was with your gasp?!"

"I didn't gasp." Leinard forced a calm voice.

"Bullshit! You gasped!" I began to panic.

"Calm down Famine. It's alright." Beads of sweat trickled down the side of Leinard's neck.

"Then why you're sweating!"

"I'm hot," Leinard answered back with a tone that said don't ask any weirder questions.

My mind wandered to some other definition for hot, which had calmed me down a little.

"Are you sure this is the way with the least movements?" Leinard asked Small Cap.

"Yes. Not much. Moving slow," Small Cap confirmed.

Leinard faced me with, 'unpleasant fact', written all over his face.

"So, give it to me." I slowly released a deep breath.

"We're not in the Fourth Tier as I had planned." Leinard's voice was calm.

"Okay." I calmly nodded my head.

"We're on the First."

First Tier. As in demon stronghold and nasty humans First Tier!

Wait, it might not be as bad as this was a fake Hell's Labyrinth. Surely a demon wouldn't be able to replicate those nasties too. I gulped down my nervousness. There was no use getting myself worked up any further.

"I place my life in your hands. Please don't let my life end out there." I bowed low.

Leinard placed a reassuring hand on my shoulder. I raised my head to meet his eyes and felt confidence from them.

"I promise."

"Me here too Freend," Small Cap said as he crawled back into my belt pouch.

"Of course." I sighed away the rest of my unease and reclaimed my resolve.

Leinard opened the way to the black corridor again. We made our way through.

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