The Geraptiku Two: Part Two
Morning came. That night, I had eluded all of Leven's pressing questions, like "Why are you so tense?" and "So just what are you two doing tomorrow?" I also managed to unwind before I went to sleep. I even accomplished the feat of not looking at the lost city before I fell asleep. I woke up feeling just as calm and relaxed. I stared at myself in the grand mirror that Leven had impulse bought for me a few years ago. What a composed-looking orange Kyrii that was staring right back at me. Was the fear in my chest noticeable? Not at all. Could it appear in a flash of a moment?
In the kitchen, Leven was chomping on an omelette. "Good morning," he said to me between chews. "Did you sleep well?"
"Yeah," I answered, not even sure if that was a lie. "Kind of excited for today!"
"You and Sivus sure love adventure, huh?" Leven commented. He gestured for me to grab something to eat and sit with him. I enjoyed breakfast and dinner with him because it was our opportunity to talk. Other than that, our "bonding time" was limited.
I smiled. "That's Mystery Island life for you."
Leven smiled back at me. After we ate breakfast, we played a game. I kept stealing glances at the clock, even though Sivus and I had no time set. I suddenly realized he may have purposely waited until the latest time possible to show up at my doorstep. I would not let that happen. As soon as I got up to write him a mail message, I heard a knock at the door.
"Must be Sivus," Leven said.
I opened the door. Sivus was there, looking over prepared but with a smile. He carried a backpack that couldn't even zip due to its fullness, a belt that had various things attached to it, and two pairs of sunglasses. "Ready?"
"I suppose," I murmured. I called louder, "Bye, Leven!"
Leven waved. "You two have fun."
I held onto that word: fun. I closed the door behind me. Sivus eagerly handed me a bottle of water. "Thanks," I said. "Ready for this, right?"
"Of course!" Sivus answered, nodding energetically. "I've taken every precaution I could think of. I even did some late night reading. We're set for days, if we have to do that. I'm more worried about you."
"I'm fine," I answered. In comparison I seemed meek and ill-equipped, but I walked with enough pride to hide that. I drank a few sips of water in an attempt to drown my anxiety. Other than that, we walked silently. I suspected Sivus was eager, and I was afraid. I held on to hope that Sivus was just a little anxious and that his fervor was just a façade.
Geraptiku sat in front of us after only a few minutes. Sivus entered through the city's gates first, and I went in second. The shadowy city seemed to eat us up. Just the city is frightening. Certain natives sat around the repulsive, dark trees. Upon seeing us, some stared and snickered. Walking into the city was like stepping into a whole new world. The cheery morning turned into a menacing night. The dampness and darkness were unsettling. I still kept my head up, though. Sivus's enthusiasm, however, deflated a bit.
"Ah... no turning back, right?" he said meekly. I assumed all his preparation and late-night cramming hadn't been realistic.
"No turning back," I answered.
As we stood at the door of the deserted tomb, I remembered that some good could come out of this; we could find riches! Something else reminded me of the mystic's fortune, that whole "terrible luck" thing. I sighed and began to open the door. Sivus and I struggled for an endless amount of minutes. Though through all our grunts and sighs, neither Sivus nor I complained. I was too deep in ineffectively psyching myself up. Once the door was opened to an adequate amount, we entered slowly. In front of us was a slight pathway. Should we follow it? I looked to Sivus, who only looked back at me. We took it as an unspoken yes.
We walked side by side on the path. The tomb was dank and dim, and the passageway was narrow. Sivus began to pull out a small lantern from his belt, but to our surprise an array of lit torches adorned the walls. "Convenient," Sivus muttered.
"Very. Things are looking up!"
Or they were. The door slammed down with a resonant boom, and all the lights began to flicker out. Only a few stayed lit.
"Looking up, huh?" Sivus grabbed his lantern. It was then that I realized my fear of the dark never went away. The darkness was inevitably ahead. I scooted closer to Sivus, to the light. We kept moving, making incremental nonsuccess. After nearly a half hour of walking and discreet complaining, the corridor emptied out into a huge room characterized by drab, gray blocks and slime dripping from the ceiling. My heart sped up; could this be the treasure?!
I began to run. There was a box--full of treasure maybe? It could've been the way out already! Before I could even reach the box, Sivus yelled, "Kyra, wait!" and the ground began to collapse beneath me. I managed to hold on to some sturdy ground for support and tried not to think about what my feet might then be dangling above. Sivus came over to help me. I opened my mouth to thank him, but screamed instead. A thousand arrows came from the walls, flying right toward us.
"Duck!" I attempted to shout, but Sivus was already ahead of me. He flew to the top of the tomb, leaving me behind. Good thing I was smart enough to duck myself. After two minutes of frantic hopelessness, the attack from the arrows ceased.
Sivus came down from the ceiling with a grin. "Lucky, weren't we?"
"Lucky?!" I tried to regulate my breathing and stood up. "Well, I suppose it could have been worse...."
"Listen, I don't want to be mean, but you have to be more careful," Sivus said gently. "Had I not saved you... well, let's just say I may have been the only healthy one to get home."
I brushed my shoulder off and scoffed. "Don't think it'll happen again."
Sivus chuckled, but then his expression turned dark as he looked at the next corridor ahead. "That was just a taste of what we'll see this whole journey."
I gulped. We started walking down another narrow corridor. Sivus began to fly instead of walking. I wished I had wings. By then I had convinced myself that the eeriness was something I could look past... as much as possible, anyway. Every drip of water from the ceiling or frightening groan made me shiver. We came to a dead end. Actually, there wasn't a complete dead end. There was a rope that led upward--into what, I didn't know.
"Is it safe to climb?" I teasingly asked Sivus.
In answer, he bravely flew skyward into the little square overhead. It was too dark to gauge the safety. "It's safe!" Sivus called. "So far...."
I climbed the rope cautiously. Walking, falling, ducking, shivering, climbing... all of this? For what?! As I ascended I hoped that something good was up there to make the venture worthwhile. An exit would have been nice.
There was merely another stone room.
I sighed. "I don't mean to complain, but this is just a little frustrating," I commented. "I bet we'll just have to walk some more."
"It's not a walking trail, Kyra," Sivus said as patiently as he could. "It... it's a deserted tomb. And we're not walking, we're discovering, exploring! Surviving. It'll be a while until we get out."
Sivus was definitely not exaggerating. We walked in hallways, in more rooms, and climbed more ropes. Thankfully we didn't get attacked by any arrows or caving floors. The most agonizing part was the immense spiral walkway. Sivus couldn't resist the temptation of flying. I had to. He was kind enough to fly at my walking pace, though, partly because I'd be left in the dark if he hadn't. The stairs never ended. Each step was a heavy block added to my fatigue. Sivus made a remark that he hoped the stairs didn't collapse. I had enough strength to throw him an edgy glare. And... was that a falling stair I heard below us?
"It's getting kinda late," Sivus said as I still trudged on steps.
"How can you tell?" I asked.
Sivus pulled out a pocket watch from his belt and grinned. I should have guessed. "Look," he continued, "it's even a stopw--" He stopped short because he accidentally dropped the pocket watch. It fell down the staircase, seemingly purposely avoiding the steps. Sivus muttered, "Oops." He didn't even attempt to fly back for it because we'd gone so high.
I suppressed a groan and then a shiver. "So how long have we been here?"
"Pretty much five hours," Sivus said. He began to say something else but shouted, "Finally!"
I picked up my climbing pace. At last another room or corridor! Anything other than stairs would have been grand. We came up on a huge room--how many could the tomb hold? Sivus and I agreed that then would be a perfect time to take a lunch break. We sat in the center of the room and Sivus distributed the peanut butter and jam sandwiches and the bottles of water. "Let's have a toast for perseverance," he said, raising his bottle in the air.
"Let's," I agreed. We toasted and silently munched on the sandwiches. "You know," I continued, "if things go this well, this may not be as scary as I thought it would have."
But once again, I'd spoken too soon. After we had finished our sandwiches and bottles of water, Sivus taught me how to make a sandwich out of fungus. We laughed because he knew I would never do that. Ever. We sat back and relaxed in the deserted tomb, totally calm and prepared for our exit. I sighed. "Well, let's get going, I guess." But before our calmness could diminish completely, it turned into fear. Before we could even get up, we gaped in awe at all the tiny ghost Crocalus that emerged from the walls.
To be continued...