In the midst of a malevolent snowstorm, a determined young adventurer traversed slowly. A heavy gust of wind blew off his hat, exposing his long, uneven, scarlet hair that danced erratically; his hat was the least of his worries, so he pressed on despite feeling his ears being chilled. The force of the frigid gusts and the depth of the piling snow made him tread even slower. He stepped on something that wasn snow, so he hastily bent down and picked up a tree branch; he shoved it into his satchel. Another strong gust of wind appeared; this time, it was much stronger than the previous one, so his scarf flew off from his neck. He felt colder each passing second. He suddenly staggered and fell onto his knees; his energy kept depleting for he hadn had anything to eat in a day. He let out a weak cough.
He wondered why the snowstorm seemed to be stronger than it was yesterday. He stopped in the middle of his tracks and stared at the sky. He couldn see it due to the heavy clouds, so he checked the visibility of his surroundings and saw that dusk drew near. Traversing through the snowstorm at night was very dangerous due to how dark the island became. He needed to find a cave or any other similar type of shelter to rest for the night. Knowing that he was in the middle of nowhere, he got up and resumed walking.
He reached his hand out and felt a rough surface. Cliffs and other rocky edges on this island often had small caverns that he usually took shelter in at dusk. If he felt something with his hand, he would know that a cave would be nearby. He then placed another hand on the wall and guided himself towards a possible nearby cavern. Fortunately, there was a cave with enough space for him to rest for the day. He entered and quickly took off his goggles and rested them on his neck as a makeshift scarf. He removed his satchel and sat down; he quickly reclined back and felt the smooth surface against his body. He sighed with relief.
Arcturus Mercury was a traveling adventurer enduring the cold in order to reach his destination: ruins made of ice. He wasn sure how long it would take for him to find them but he knew it had already been a week since his arrival on this island, Eternally; his adventures had started four months ago. He knew this was a risky choice for he had to leave his loved ones behind in order to risk his life in a snowstorm that would never subside; he came here because this was his only chance.
The chilliness caused him to sneeze, so he reached a hand out for his satchel and spilled out all of its contents: branches, a matchbox, a jar with only one ice cube remaining, a small canteen, a journal and a pen. He sat up to gather the branches; he piled them up carefully. He then grabbed the matchbox and lit a match to make a campfire. Once he felt warm, he took off his coat and goggles from his body; he wore a black sweater and pants underneath his heavy outer garments. On his right arm, there was a mechanical contraption tightly strapped. He unbuckled it and placed it aside.
He then reached out to grab the jar. He looked closely at the ice cube and saw that it still maintained its cubic shape even though it was next to heat. He opened the jar and grabbed it to feel its texture. It was cold like a regular ice cube, but it wasn as transparent; it was more opaque than its counterpart, but there was an iridescent color that made it unique. He shoved it into his mouth and crunched on it slowly. His face contorted with how cold it was. Before consumption, his stomach had felt empty, but now, he felt immediately full; he drank the remaining water he had in his canteen as well. He was happy to be full, but the sight of the empty jar caused that joy to be momentary. He was now out of food supplies. He wasn sure how long it would take for him to reach the next cave and to find another food source.
He groaned. ”This is the real game of survival now… ”
Frustration quickly built up, so he grabbed the journal and pen. He skimmed through his past entries and found a blank page and started writing about his progress.
Today, I have progressed through more snow. I am now in a cave where I ran out of iridescent ice. What should I do about food and water? No animals live on Eternally. Should I eat snow?
His question soon became curiosity. He looked at the snowstorm outside and pondered about the pile of ice bunched up on the ground. He put his journal down as he got up and approached the cold. He knelt down and grabbed a handful of snow. Although he was full, his curiosity was insatiable. He brought the snow towards his lips. It had no scent, but that did not deter him. He opened his mouth and his tongue greeted a new cold sensation. His teeth became chilled as he rolled the substance inside his mouth. The heat of his mouth made it melt quickly; his mouth now contained water, which he drank as a finishing touch.
He savored the taste on his way back to his journal. It doesn taste like anything, he wrote. He didn mind the bland taste, however. He would want to consume it again if he were to go hungry.
Realization about his desperation to survive surged within him as he laid down in frustration. ”I ate snow? ” he sputtered. ”How ridiculous. I am ridiculous. ” He placed his hands on his face to cover his own frustrations. ”I am crazy. I am desperate. I do not deserve to live after eating snow. ”
Another bolt of realization kicked in as he grabbed the closed journal and slammed it onto his forehead. ”Negative thoughts, begone! ”
The sound was quite loud, causing Arcturus to wince in pain. Even though he had gone without a proper meal for months, he still had strength, to which he was relieved. The sound kept resonating with the cave; Arcturus noticed it was unusual, so he kept listening.
Does this cave have a tunnel?
He then grabbed his mechanical device and strapped it back onto his right arm. He took a good look at the device. It was a black rectangular device with a slit on the edges. There was a small blank screen on the top next to a small remote button where a tiny speck of red light occasionally blinked. Despite how thick it looked, it was quite light. He raised a hand to his left ear that had a dangling yellow earring attached and pressed it. A knife came out from the slit closest to his hand. Arcturus instinctively caught it before it zipped past his fingers.
He examined the weapon. It was a thin knife specialized for throwing. The whole blade was metallic alongside the handle portion. There was a circular hole where he rested his fingers on. It was light, just like the contraption held on his arm. He first threw it against the wall next to him, just to hear what sort of sound it made when colliding—small clinking noises. He then placed it on his left hand and stretched his arm. Taking a deep breath, he lunged forward and threw the knife.
He had expected to hear the clinking noises from before but he heard nothing. Noticing how unusual it was made Arcturuss heart skip a beat; his tired eyes had a spark of excitement. There was a tunnel in this cave like he had expected, so he quickly gathered up his belongings, put on his coat and goggles and then grabbed a lit branch for light. He slowly traversed through the tunnel.
It was a long linear path with nothing noticeable; no animals seemed to have resided here. Arcturus anticipated what lied beyond the tunnel. He then saw his knife that landed on the ground, picked it up and proceeded with his adventure.
Arcturus wasn sure how long it had been since he left his campfire, but he became worried as the branch became shorter and the end was yet to be seen. He then grabbed another branch from his bag and passed the fire onto the new one and proceeded.
Soon, he had used up three branches. He stopped and checked up on the branches he had left: one. He knew he could use matches, but fire used them up quickly. He hastened his pace. Panic came to him for he worried about what this tunnel could actually be.
Could this place really be a cave? Am I just being misled to think that this tunnel could be something important but is actually just a waste of time?
He soon collided against a hard surface, causing him to drop his branch. He winced in pain as he rubbed his nose and chin. He then glanced over at what he had collided against: a wall. Panic surged into him as he realized this was a dead end.
”This can be! ”
He immediately surrendered as he groaned and leaned against the wall. ”Is this really the end for me? ”
He then scanned his surroundings. The area around the wall wasn much for it was just an enclosed space. He then looked down and noticed an unusually smooth surface that did not match the gravel of the cave.
”What is this? ”
He quickly placed his knife down and got out his journal to note in his findings. Once he finished, he put his journal back into his bag and examined it. ”Its smooth and wooden. What purpose does this have? ” He then felt a thin crease in the middle, which caused anticipation. ”Could it be a door? ”
He tried opening it from the edges, but it did not budge. He tried stomping on it, but nothing happened. He got out his knife and tried to pry it open, but the weapon kept slipping out of his hands in every attempt.
”Is this really a door? ” He wondered in frustration.
He quickly surrendered as he decided to scan his surroundings again. He then noticed something unusual at the corner of the cave; it was a bit hard to see given how dim the light was. He went over and grabbed the branch to see what lurked at the corner; it was a bat.
Arcturus became happy. ”Its a bat! ” It quickly changed into fear when he realized something unusual with his discovery. ”Wait a minute, animals do not reside on this island. ”
Knowing that it was risky, Arcturus threw his knife at the bat. When he landed a hit, the bat suddenly moved erratically, unlike a real animal. The wings spread out and its eyes started glowing. Arcturus gulped when he realized it was a mechanical bat. The robot then started screeching; he covered his ears. When he took a step back, he realized he could not feel a surface underneath; he looked down and saw the wooden door opening.
It was a trap door? Arcturus thought as he fell in. He was too late to grab the edge of the hole as he submerged into the black abyss.
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