XI | The Deep Dungeon

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LYNA

She took each step with care as she walked down the concrete stairs. Spiraling down the tower, the Queen kept her balance as she supported on Maiden Sarlyn. A young beautiful maiden, protected by Lyna herself, was supporting her Queen as she went down to the dungeon.

"I have to take a look." The Queen was hell-bent on her decision.

"Are you sure about this, my Queen?" Sarlyn warned again as she turned her head and looked into Lyna's beautiful shiny blue eyes. The eyes of a Carnelian, an unusual attribute in the Kingdom of Amor, caught her maiden's focus as Sarlyn always felt like she would drown in the ocean in her eyes.

"Yes, I am sure, before it is too late, Sar. I have to see the creatures," Lyna voiced out her stance with determination. With elegance, she gently laid her foot onto the concrete floor of the dungeon. The unorganized cobble bricks at the side of the wall gave her shivers.

"Be careful, my Queen," Lyna warned with a hint of fear. "This place is not meant for royalties." Knowing the consequences if the Queen was harmed, Sarlyn's voice trembled a little when she spoke.

"I will be careful, Sar. You should stop worrying about me. Watch where you're walking, Sar." Instead, the Queen warned her maiden to take caution as the pathway was not easy to walk. The cracks dominated the concrete floors like the root of the Elven trees holding the ground of the Sevi Lands.

As they approached towards the direction of the cells, Sarlyn noticed shadows of knights flickered at the end of the pathway. Fear took over her body as every joint in her refused to take another step. In a desperate tone, she urged her Queen under her lips, "My Queen, let us head back. If the King finds out, I'll be beheaded!"

"Don't worry, Sar. The King is busy with the accolade, he'll not find out. Besides, I wouldn't let the King behead you. If anything happens, I'll say it's entirely my idea," Lyna assured her maiden. Thinking about the excitement and drowning into the fantasy world inside her, she could not wait to see the rumored bloodcrawler. The tales from the history books that she had spent her entire adolescent life reading was actually true.

"Yes, my Queen." Sarlyn, picked up her confidence from the words of her Queen and moved her heels, as if magic was cast upon her.

As they crept closer to the end of the pathway, a voice entered their earshot.

"--- do it quick! Where's the key?"

"Stop with the grumbling and help me out, will you?" Another voice came about. His was deeper than the other.

"Your sedate hands are going to get us killed." The voice was fumed with irritation.

The Queen, unsure of what was happening took a few steps closer. With her back lying on the cobble bricks, she peeked over the corner of the wall. 

Her bare skin felt an electrical sensation as her vision focused. A pool of blood on the ground, flowing from a fallen knight. On top of him, was a knight with a red cloak. A royal knight? The back of the knight with a bloodstained long sword was facing Lyna. Piecing the puzzle of information that she had gathered, she pulled her head back to the wall trying to think what was happening.

"What is going ---"

"Shh!" The Queen covered her maiden's mouth with her tiny brute force. Lyna felt something was wrong. Terribly wrong... She knew that she could be in danger.

The jingling of steel keys filled the silence of the dungeon. "Thank the Rogs, I've found it!" With a sense of relief, the knight let out.

"Quick! Before the accolade ends. We have to get it done!" The deeper voice urged with an impatient tone. The sound of the steel key clanking against the hole of the dungeon lock, it sounded like they were struggling to open the cell.

"How about the other lock? Do we free the bloody horse as well?"

"Leave the horse. Look at it. It's pathetically useless."

The Queen gradually but carefully moved her right hand away from Sarlyn's mouth with her left index finger resting on her lips, warning her to keep her volume down. Sarlyn nodded as fear started revealing itself in her brown eyes.

Lyna, still piecing the puzzle together, wanted to know what happened to the knight. Why was the knight in a blood pool? What happened? Who are those royal knights? What's going ---

"Aer..." A raspy and unpleasant voice interrupted her thoughts. 

"Wow! It startled me. Jef, why are we freeing this again?" The voice of the knight was no longer clear, it was filled with hesitation as his throat vibrated with doubt.

"Do your job and stop questioning," the deeper voice warned again, annoyed by the knight's illogical fear towards the half-cut body of the bloodcrawler.

With uncertainty, one of the knights could be heard to be stepping around, fidgeting his feet. The footsteps stopped as soon as the sound of boots stamp onto a pile of liquid. Blood. "Jef, so what... What do we do with this knight over here...?"

"Just throw it inside the cell. That half creature is going to writhe its way and bite it. It'll look like an accident the guard has made," explaining the plan to the other knight, he added on, "Stop questioning, unless you want your soul to be taken by that bloodcrawler."

The scratch of metal against the floor traveled across the dungeon. The two royal knights were definitely dragging the fallen knight.

What? What is going on?! This is treason! They are planning to free the creature?! What ---

"Aer..." The sound of bones getting crushed and flesh getting chewed, a disgusting sound could be heard. Still leaning against the corner of the wall, Lyna was terrified and her limbs started to shiver like a frightened pigeon.

"We're done here. Leave the cell open, that bloody creature should be able to find its way out. Let's hurry up and ---" 

Cough. A simple sound only a human could have made on the Sevi Lands resonated towards the knights from the corner of the pathway.

"Who's there?!" The royal knight roared.

Curse the Rog Hells...

Lyna Auburn cursed under her breathe as she looked at her maiden. Sarlyn, with regret written all over her face, covered her mouth with terror. The maiden whimpered lifelessly, "I'm so sorry..."

"Come out now!"

Knowing that she could not outrun the royal knights, Lyna stared deeply into her maiden's brown eyes and pointed towards the direction of the exit. The last word she whispered to her before revealing herself to the royal knights were, "Run."

Hoping that the royal knights will listen to her command, the Queen turned at the corner to face the royal knight. Run while you can, Sar.

Within her sight, was two royal knights, holding bloody Amorian long swords with a tight grip, ready for combat. Next to them was a cell, open. The bloodcrawler could be seen feasting on a dead knight. The Queen was horrified.

"My Queen?!" As petrified as the queen, one of the royal knight was stunned to see her in the dungeon. She was not supposed to be there.

Woosh. The sound of metal going against the wind could be clearly heard. Unlike the terrified knight, the older knight without a single hint of fear, pointed the edge of his long sword towards the Queen.

"What is my Queen doing here?"

"What are you two doing here? I, Queen of Amor, order you to lay your swords down." Her command, loud and stern, was a facade. Deep within her, she was praying to the Rogs not to be killed.

"Your title does not grant you power, my Queen." The royal knight looked right into her blue eyes, knowing that was the attribute which made men despised her royalty.

Trying to keep up with her act, the Queen repeated herself, but this time, her sound was coated with fear. "Lay your swords down."

"Sorry, my Queen. I don't take orders from you."

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