It was quite laborious, but eventually, after more than two weeks of efforts, I did manage to find the stairway to the 52nd floor. My success was largely due to the presence of the black spider. I would periodically lie down under it and allow my body to heal all the damage the wind dealt to it.
And now, I’m alone again.
Phineas has already entered dormancy.
Well, the black spider is with me, but it is a poor conversation partner, probably owing to the fact that it doesn’t even have the organs necessary to produce speech.Continue reading
“I have a visual. She just reached floor 52. And I’ve regained control over floor 51.”
As soon as the words leave my mouth, it’s like the tension that hung in the air for the past few weeks is suddenly gone. All the researchers sitting around the conference table visibly relax. Hershey even sags in his chair, like a puppet whose strings have been cut.
But I have to admit that I didn’t exactly feel relieved for a while, there, either.Continue reading
Before I can even think to struggle, to escape, the lightning hits.
I barely have time to notice the black spider stretching one of its legs forward before my sight disappears again in a flash of white. All my muscles clench up as a great electrical current runs through my body.
The sound of that thunder once again shakes my insides.
I spit out more blood. My thoughts are fuzzy. The only reason I haven’t lost consciousness yet is thanks to the pain – or is it because of the pain? I suppose it’s a matter of perspective.Continue reading
He may as well not have appeared in the first place. It would have spared me the disappointment.
But yes, it’s fine.
I’ll be fine. I’ve already been through sixteen years like that. What are a few more?
Things went much smoother than I’d feared.
That little girl – Akasha – is a bit taciturn, but she’s more amenable than her demonhood might suggest. Submissive, even.
It’s actually quite a surprise. I expected to have to fight tooth and nail and negotiate and debate and convince in order to earn my place inside her dantian. But I guess being the one to free her from her loneliness played in my favor.
And so, I got settled in.Continue reading
I rush across the valley. No spider is following after me, yet, but I want to put as much distance as possible between me and that nest.
Hmm… I didn’t plan my route too well, though, did I?
The way I took is a dead-end, barred everywhere by tall, sheer cliffs. I should have been more careful. As it is, it won’t be too much of problem, I think, but something like that might prove fatal the day I’m actually being chased by something nasty.
I continue running, heading straight for the cliff in front of me.Continue reading
I’m walking along the pathway through the field of bones again, all of my senses looking out for any potential threat.
Phineas’s voice suddenly resounds. (This floor looks different from when I was sealed. At the time, it was a long, dirty river, bordered by jungle on both sides. There weren’t all these bones everywhere. What’s this all about?)
Suspicious. Very suspicious.Continue reading
Why is there an old man inside my dantian?
That’s never happened before. Usually, my hallucinations limit themselves to the outside world. They never enter my dantian. And it’s always either Nerys or Father. Why is it someone new, all of a sudden?
…Well, I suppose there is a first for everything.
The old man smiles at me, stroking his beard, and suddenly starts speaking. (Hello. My name is Phineas. I’m a three thousand-year-old god. When you touched the obelisk earlier, my soul flowed from it and into your body. So, I’ll be living here from now on. Pleased to make your acquaintance.)Continue reading
I open my eyes.
I can see.
A smile stretches the lips of my new body.Continue reading
By my reckoning, 16 years have passed since I arrived in the cave.
Which means I have spent more of my life inside the cave than outside it.
I have no idea what floor this is. I stopped counting a long time ago.
What I do know, is that my situation is worsening at an uncomfortable pace.Continue reading