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In Mika's hands, the orange light came to life once again. A gentle, illuminating glow. Fire flickering and crackling, warding off evil. It lit the room, making every detail stand out against the shadows. It was another crypt, but with only one sarcophagus on a platform in the center. Strange glyphs were written on the side and there was the symbol of a sun. A sconce hung off the wall beside the door where they had come in. There was a torch void of flame.

Raithe immediately grabbed it and lowered the torch so Mika could light it. Both of them let out huge sighs of relief. Even Felix seemed to do that and they both started laughing.

“How is your arm?” Mika asked when they had stopped.

“Numb,” Raithe replied. He could still feel stinging where those teeth had sunk in, but not nearly as much as he should have been able to. Instead, the entire limb tingled. It did not hurt and he did not feel weak.

“Doesn't hurt?”

“No,” Raithe replied.

“That's good,” Mika said, sounding relieved. “I think we have to go this way.” the boy ran over to the sarcophagus and started pulling, trying to move the lid.

“H-hey wait!” Raithe said. “What if there is something... you know.... in there?”

“If there is, I think you will defeat it. But I don't think there is.”

Raithe stood, watching.

Felix gave him an annoyed look before she went to sit at the base of the object. When Raithe made no move to follow, she let out a meow which was her version of a whine. She didn't seem to be afraid. Maybe it was just another door.

“Fine,” Raithe said reluctantly. So far, Felix hadn't let him down when he needed her and he trusted his friend. The best thing he knew he could do right now, was to trust her and if she didn't believe there was anything in there, then there probably wasn't. Raithe set the torch he held in the sconce and walked over. He placed his hands on the lid and planted his feet, then he started to push.

Gradually, the lid began to slide open. Slow, one inch at a time. Stone scraped against stone until finally, it locked in place. All of them peered inside, into the dark depths, the bowls of this tomb. It was like the open maw of a wild, slumbering beast, waiting for its next meal to meander in.

“It's... dark,” Mika said. It was probably because he had no idea what else to say, but the boy stated the obvious.

“Yeah,” Raithe agreed. He retrieved the torch from the wall. “Let's go.”

He went first, climbing carefully over and into the stone sarcophagus and onto another set of stairs. Felix jumped in next and then not wanting to be left behind, Mika joined them. They descended the steps cautiously, again listening for any sounds that might give their predators away. Raithe could feel the air and a wave of uneasiness within it. Then they reached the bottom.

His foot landed on something which crunched beneath his weight. A quick sweep of the torch revealed a floor with bones scattered everywhere. “I wonder what did this?”

“I... don't think I want to find out,” Mika said as he squeezed Raithe's arm between both of his.

“Neither do I,” Raithe agreed.

Nervously, they continued forward. Torchlight revealed that the room they were in was enormous, because from where they stood, light did not reach the walls. And then as they made it to what Raithe thought might be the center. Two enormous, yellow eyes were caught in the light and glowed. The pupils followed them as the continued to walk and then they all jumped back in surprise.

Raithe dropped the torch by accident and cursed himself for doing so. It then, illuminated the creature's muzzle and that had to be the largest dog Raithe had ever seen. The animal's head was as tall as he was and as wide as it should be. Its head was lying on its paws, as if it had been sleeping soundly and the three intruders had very rudely woken it up. Then a low, menacing growl escaped its throat, loud enough to rumble and shake the room.

He could feel the vibration in his chest and Raithe's first instinct was to go for his dagger. When the rumble intensified and the dog bared its teeth, he moved his hand away. The dog stopped growling and closed its large eyes.

With caution, Raithe bent over to pick up the torch.

“What are you doing?” Mika whispered.

“We need the torch to keep moving.”

“I don't mean that... the dagger.”

Raithe shook his head. “I think it's a trigger,” he said. He believed that as long as they made no sudden moves and no move towards a weapon, the dog would not react. Clearly, it had been put here to guard against something, but apparently not against them. That was why, as long as they stayed calm, everything would be find.

“But what if it...?”

“The dog won't attack,” Raithe said and then he snatched the torch up. “Just... don't make any sudden moves and do not appear like you are about to attack it.” he backed away from the beast, slow and easy.

When he thought he was at a good distance, Raithe turned and walked right passed Mika and Felix, hoping that they would follow. They did. Another couple minutes of walking, revealed another door on the other side. They entered through it and all three, let out the breaths they had been holding in.

“I guess that isn't the boss then?” Mika said.

Raithe looked at him. “Boss?”

“Mhmm. We're currently in a dungeon and usually the biggest, baddest monster is located at the end. You will have to defeat one, in order to complete this dungeon.”

“Great,” Raithe said, his voice squeaking.

A whispering voice flowed across the room, to their ears. Like the wind, it traveled, but like a person talking, there were words. They were impossible to understand though and seemed to all jumble together.

His ears twitched when the voice reached him and Raithe cocked his head, curious. He felt no fear from it, though he knew he probably should have. But it was sending him a message. Raithe couldn't understand the words, but he knew what it was trying to say. Come find me. The torch went out.

In a flash of blue, six other torches gained a flame. There was nothing there that could have lit them, but they all came to life anyway. The blue light revealed an empty room, with a single staircase, leading down. From down there, came a breeze of cool air and the voice came with it. Come fiiiind meee! it said again.

“This way,” Raithe said. He began to descend them, with Felix following close behind. He turned around when Mika remained still. “Coming?”

“I... don't know...” the boy said. His tail was wrapped around his waist and his ears were down.

“You were the one who wanted to come,” Raithe stated.

“Yeah but... I've never been this deep before.”

“That makes two of us,” Raithe said and then he continued to descend. It didn't take long before he could hear the kid's quiet footfalls, run up right behind him and a tug on his arm as Mika huddled close.

Blue torchlight lit their way, all the way to the bottom and illuminated the next room. It was pretty basic, small and empty with the exception of a small pedestal against one of the walls. Symbols on the front were of the two foxes he had seen in the old ruins. Standing upright on the top, was a black dagger. The blade was curved and the hilt short. A black mist seemed to ooze out of it and the voice was much louder.

“Um... cool!” Mika said and ran over to grab it.

Both Raithe and Felix reacted quickly by stepping in front of him. That weapon felt evil and who knew what the black mist coming off of it was? It would be best not to touch it with bare hands. He took off his shirt.

“Raithe?” Mika asked.

“I can't let you touch that thing,” he replied and stepped up to it. Carefully, Raithe wrapped his shirt around the weapon and pulled. It came out with a puff of black smoke around him. When it dissipated, a screech filled the room and the entire structure shook.

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About the author

Maiz

Bio: I am a female fantasy writer (maybe some sci-fi down the road), I read books, gamer and I like anime and all that fun stuff!

Patreon: If you like my work, it would be awesome if you can show your support by becoming a Patreon. This would help me a great deal as then I'd be able to focus a lot more on writing and coming up with new, great stories for you all to read! Thank you to anyone who is already a Patreon! That means a great deal to me and I am eternally grateful!

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