Arc 1 – Lost
Ch. 5 – Fire
My eyes darted around the rocky room from left to right, seeking for whoever had saved us from the immediate peril of the Minotaur.
The place I found myself in was a gigantic underground dome of rocks. There were multiple entrances here and there, there were stalactites that hung from the ceiling and stalagmites lay scattered around the cave floor; the ground was rough and difficult for walking. Small crystals were scattered across the ceiling like a starry night sky, covering the place with a heap of rippling pastel colors, ranging from pearl-blue to beryl-pink.
In one of the entrances of the dome, I saw two furry creatures; probably wolves. Their fur bobbed from one side to another just like the aggressive flames of a bonfire. Their surroundings sizzled and crackled with the undulations of heat that came from them.
The corner of their jaws hissed, smoke came out from their nostrils and fire came out of their grunt-filled mouths. If I didn’t see whatever was doing all of that, I would definitively say that they would be dragons.
Those eyes were suffocating. I could see them from afar; they were as red as dried blood. My body momentarily stopped right on its tracks, my mind going numb. Those blood-seeking slit orbs were something that I couldn’t shake off at that exact moment. I couldn’t grasp their meaning.
However, like a tidal wave, my mind was struck with a crucial realization. I turned my head to the little cub that I held in my arms.
Now it makes sense!
That recognition made its way into my mind in that fraction of a second. The little wolf was their little baby, who called for help not too long ago!
Against a huge Minotaur, what could these two wolves do? Surely, the big one has more power than the smaller ones. That’s the law of nature: the one with more power will trample over the ones without it. The physical difference was just too much.
Those thoughts were suddenly burnt to ashes. Right in front of my own two eyes, I saw something amazing; something mythical. I had never thought that one day I’d see such a beautiful regalia of molten colors; ruby and citrine mixed in a beautiful spiral of red-yellow flames. Those igneous colors painted the cave red to the tallest rock of the ceiling. The suffocating vapor was certainly overwhelming, but I kept on watching. It was something that I, a 13-year-old good-for-nothing, would have never thought to see… I couldn’t remove my eyes off of them; of that spectacle. Albeit scared, I couldn’t help but to feel astonished.
The Minotaur was floored, surprised at the sudden outburst of flames just like I was. Usually, the red color would inflict rage upon male bovine creatures. And that didn’t stray from common knowledge.
But there was just way too much red.
The Beast was getting frenzier by the second. That magma red filled all of the corners of his vision and his body began to profusely sweat. The sole vapor from being near those two wolves was unbearable; I could barely hold on behind all of those rocks, albeit in that somewhat large distance.
And, as much as I liked the prospect of leaving that place, if I did so, the cub’s parents would turn their wrath against me and would eventually kill me. It didn’t matter if I left the little cub there or not, they’d still kill me.
The wolves’ growls clawed my ears as well as every possible living being in that room that wasn’t cauterized by the flames. Their little offspring was being threatened by that lowly Minotaur. They wouldn’t let something like that pass.
Tearing into a charge towards the bovine, both of the wolves went in from opposite sides, aiming for the flanks of that monster. I watched them, mystified. The little cub in my hands, with the strength he could muster from being tired, yelped reassuringly. Help had arrived.
The Minotaur couldn’t do anything. He was paralyzed.
The wolves, reaching the monster, began to claw and bite him. However, it was all futile. His skin was just too tough. Their fangs were swords trying to pierce a harsh gigantic boulder with sheer strength; it just wouldn’t work.
Noticing that, the wolves backed up and rumbled. Ready, their jaws opened, allowing for a strange globe of energy to form. Small bits of an emberly magma-red light began to spin around it. As the seconds passed, that orb began to violently sizzle and to exude immense heaps of heat.
From those orbs, a spray of magma was shot, dripping on the way to the Minotaur whilst burning everything on its path. Just like a geyser, the magma flew directly onto the bovine. It pierced that rock-hard skin of the Beast with ease. In a final deafening roar of defiance, the Minotaur limped down on the ground lifelessly, causing it to shake with his sheer weight and physical power.
The Wolves won with margin to spare. The Minotaur couldn’t do a thing against that overwhelming powerhouse.
Don’t underestimate your opponent.
I thought whilst looking at the wolves, who leered at me with their suffocating violent eyes. They thought that I was holding the cub captive.
I knew that if I didn’t get out of the boulder and gave them the puppy, I’d be as dead as the Minotaur. A heavy lump of saliva roughed down my throat; sweat trickled down my face.
With mushy legs, I walked forward. The little pup was getting more fidgety as the seconds passed. I let go of him gently on the ground, looking at the happy reunion of parent-offspring. But they didn’t fence off at any point.
The adult wolves stepped closer to me menacingly with their knife-fangs pointing at me, growling at the one who held their little puppy during the whole fight. I was their new target – I figured.
Seriously… What’s up with Beasts attacking me?!
I voiced my complaints inwardly, momentarily forgetting about the tense atmosphere.
I had no escape at that time. They were faster than me and stronger than the Minotaur. I’d be overwhelmed in the bat of an eye.
Just as they were about to pounce at me, the little wolf cub approached me and nuzzled and licked my trembling feet. His gentle actions warmed my heart more than the covers I use to sleep at night. I forgot that he clawed and burnt me for a moment, even if I didn’t hold any grudge against him for that. I couldn’t control a smile at that heartwarming moment.
I crouched down slowly, trying not to stir the parents’ worry even more and began to gently ruffle his fur; my fingers ran across the soft baby-pelt of the little wolf, fiddling and twisting it gently, just like my mother did to me countless times to calm me down, to make me stop crying.
I gradually felt the temperature of the room return to normal.
At that moment, my heart slowly returned to its normal pace. I could finally rest at ease that the cub had finally found his family.
But what about me?
I wanted to get out of there, to get to my family as well…
I missed my mom’s warmth; the violent hair-ruffling that I received from her was just the tip of the iceberg of memories that floated astray in my mind. I didn’t have much time to think because of all of the situations I found myself in, but I wholeheartedly desired to go back.
The two adult wolves began to walk to one of the entrances in that cavern’s room, interrupting my monologue. Before leaving, their slit pupils gazed directly into my soul.
Again, those eyes… I felt like I was underwater; the pressure of being suffocated by something was almost unbearable. They didn’t budge, twitch or move – they stood still, as if leering at the deepest parts of my emotions.
I picked myself up from that abyss.
I could give up on following them and keep going on my own, but that was just plain stupidity.
Following them was the best option that I could take.
I took one step forward.
I could swear I saw a glint of acceptance in those cold, yet warm eyes.
In the deepest parts of my heart, I thanked them for not abandoning me in that dark pit.
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