Arc 1 – Lost
Ch. 7 – Hunger and exploration
The nightmarish experience died down and my mind became calm. I was barely reassured by the lack of detail of that particular nightmare. Maybe it’s because it didn’t occur to me in a while? Not that it matters now.
I gazed at the little ball of fluff laying on my lap, peacefully breathing in and out. I was fuzzy and warm from the cub’s nuzzling, who kept comforting me for these past minutes. He was a calm bonfire, tenderly heating up my cold, scared heart.
His parents’ gaze eased up on me. I wasn’t so intimidated by them anymore. Perhaps we built a relationship of trust, even if barely.
“I’m really hungry…” I was interrupted by my stomach’s complaint against my lack of nutrients. I hadn’t eaten since I fell in this hole after all.
I looked over to the parents and noted that they were okay – but I‘m sure I wasn’t. If we didn’t move, I’d die from hunger.
I gently placed the little cub on the ground and woke him up. I couldn’t differentiate night from day since we were underground, but I presumed it was already night since we slept at the same time.
After everyone woke up, we continued down our path to somewhere with food.
The cave’s walls were getting lighter in color. It was as if there was more dirt in the area. The small bits and parts of the earth were scattered and covered the rocks, giving the room a more rustic feeling.
The usually hard ground looked just a little bit softer and the everlasting array of star-like gems still brightened the room in an array of pastel colors.
It wasn’t all that bad, actually.
My stomach began to throw a fit just like a child. I couldn’t bear the rumbling from my stomach so I began to look even harder for food and water.
I’d searched every nook and cranny of the place, though found nothing but the endless rocks and dirt that covered the cave. However, there was just one spot that I left untouched.
I approached an entrance about an adult’s size. My steps were steady and attentive, careful about any possible attack. The wolves didn’t make a sound, it was dead-quiet, except the crackling of dirty small rocks and shoes. I examined the place with vigilant eyes.
My nostrils were suddenly invaded by a sickeningly sweet aroma. They were like leashes to my stomach; they made me instinctively walk forward. I recognized that smell!
Before rushing in, I signaled the wolves to come and help me. I wouldn’t go in before them anyway. I was weaker than an ant in comparison to anyone in this cave.
I followed them down the entrance. It wasn’t like a simple door; instead, it was a tunnel. We walked over the course of minutes. It was dark and humid in there. Sometimes I’d feel the occasional spider webs clinging to my skin.
What had captivated me, however, was the fact that the entrance had enough space for a human adult. I couldn’t help but think that someone had been here before me.
While thinking about those things, we eventually arrived in a room. The gems that lay scattered across the ceiling were different from the ones outside this room. They were brighter and had a smaller color-range. I could even mistake the lightning in the room for daylight. My eyes wandered to the trees… Trees? It was underground, so what kind of tree would be able to grow here? I’m not too keen on botany so I’m not really sure. I shrugged it off.
My eyes widened. That honey-luscious scent of blue apples swayed me astray. The stomach’s emptiness only worsened the situation as I desperately began to search the room.
However, whilst walking across the place, my feet got caught up on something and I kissed the floor in the most painful way possible. I could swear that I heard the wolves snickering at me… It hurt, you know? It really did!
Somehow, my hunger wasn’t as intense as before. I guess the shock did take my mind off of it for now.
I kneeled on the ground and rubbed my face, trying to ease the stinging pain of kissing the dirt. I wasn’t bleeding but it could’ve happened.
Looking at the place I’ve tripped at, I noticed a small piece of wood. It was a plank, used normally in the village as a building material. I crouched closer and grabbed it. It felt really old.
If there was something like this laying randomly on the ground, there should be more of this, right?
Whilst looking around, I noticed details I didn’t note when I entered the room: pieces of wood were scattered all across the dirt. They couldn’t be natural, so I assumed there was a man-made building in this cave.
I noticed that the room had a curve in one end, just like a crescent moon. I noticed that there were more pieces of wood scattered across the place near that corner, so I walked closer to it.
Upon nearing the place—
“Whoa! A library?!”
Thanks for reading!
Thanks, Shirayuki for editing!
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