Chapter 98: Tunnels are long and Dangerous

I came to the realization that the tunnels are really dangerous because this is under the gym ground where all talents are practiced. I also remembered that the gym classes are intense, so Kai and me are pretty much in danger. Does Oresama want to kill us? Is this punishment for not making any progress in his test last night? I don’t know, but I do know that we have to get out of the tunnels as soon as possible.

            I bet you guys are wondering why I don’t use my earth talent to escape. That’s easy…Oresama only knows about my wood talent and if I were to emerge from the ground, not only will Oresama know that I have more than one talent, but so would the school and thus the high wizard would know followed by chaos of a test that never figured out I wasn’t talentless. In other words, better safe than sorry, unless I really am in danger of losing my life.

To be honest, this tunnel is dangerous, but I don’t think I would die in here. I mean when I think straight, there is no way Oresama is aiming to kill. I mean what would that say about the Academy?

Anyway, I am now calm and will continue down this tunnel with Kai, who looks annoyed at me. Well I did smack into his face (so embarrassing).

OK, judging by the flames that shot in front of me, we are under the grounds where the fire talent users are practicing. I don’t know how they train, since Nate looked pretty embarrassed to tell me, so I should be cautious, while crawling here.

I crawled down the tunnel making sure not to run into any more fire pillars that would most likely erupt from the ground, but after turning into a different tunnel, the tunnel began to slightly shake…BACK UP!

I immediately scooted back making sure to warn Kai this time. On cue, the fire pillar erupted from the ground again, but for some reason, I heard a scream from above…sounds like a girl’s scream.

“THAT WAS WAY TOO STRONG, NATHANIEL!”

Nathaniel? Could that be directed toward Nate? By the sound of the voice, it sounds like one of the instructors, but I’m not too sure. I can’t really hear. I better not stay here too long. I’m curious, but Kai and I have to complete the task Oresama gave to us (Kai also looks impatient).

We continued to travel, but the ground suddenly began to shake again. MOVE FASTER! Kai and I somehow managed to crawl forward before the pillar of fire appeared, but once again, I heard a female scream.

“ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL HER?”

…Are the pillars of fire being aimed at someone? I hope not.

I better continue…HUH? There’s someone in the tunnel with us? Right in front of me is a person…I recognize this person…ISN’T THAT NATE’S FIRE GOLEM? Why is he down here? Actually he looks pretty confused too.

“Who is that?” I heard Kai ask from behind me. How do I answer that? When I met this fire golem, I was a fox. Is it a good idea to reveal I know him, even though we haven’t officially met?

“Don’t know.”

I decided not to reveal that I know this fire golem. Better to pretend for now.

I approached the fire golem (I secretly named him Nissan) and then poked his shoulder. OH MY GOD! Nissan attacked with a fire punch. I tumbled back in order to dodge, but I also collided into Kai’s face (my poor butt).

“WHAT THE HECK?”

Kai is seriously angry as he glares toward Nissan after pushing me slightly aside. Kai please don’t use your dark talent as a weapon in here. There is not enough room.

Nissan narrowed his eyes as flames surrounded his form.

“Who are you two?”

“Students,” I answered after managing to calm Kai down, “My name is Laveda Lorenzino and this is my classmate Simon Crawford. We are trying to…”

“Did you say Laveda?”

I nodded. The flames around Nissan faded. He seems to have calmed down and no longer looks angry. He instead looks curious.

“I’m sorry for attacking you. I didn’t expect to see the one I was modeled after,” he stated, but then he added, “I can see why you were mistaken as a boy in the past…”

I whacked him in the face, but what I didn’t want said was said. Kai looks confused…wait…he is laughing? Why are you laughing? Let’s ignore Kai for now and turn my focus back on Nissan.

“So who are you?”

Remember that this is technically my first meeting with him, since I was a fox when I first saw him.

“My name is Nissan, a fire golem.”

“FIRE GOLEM?”

Note: the person who screamed in shock was Kai not me. I am already aware that he is a fire golem, but I will pretend to be surprised…hold on…DID HE JUST SAY HIS NAME IS NISSAN? I thought Nate didn’t name him yet and isn’t Nissan the name I gave him when I was in fox form?

“A fire golem is really rare. Who made you?”

“I was created by Nathaniel Agni.”

“I had a feeling Nate made you, since he is very powerful. Is he the one who named you too?”

Nissan fell silent for some reason. Did I say something wrong?

Kai suddenly pushed me aside making him meet eye to eye with Nissan and said, “I can understand you were made by that Fire User, but why are you down here in this tunnel?”

Oh yeah, I forgot to ask that. Why is Nissan down here?

“I’m…quite confused myself. I was in the woods not too long ago and then I found myself here.”

That’s strange. Why would Nissan be summoned here? I mean he was obviously summoned, but why? The ground is beginning to shake again…KYAH! A pillar of fire appeared in front of me again and took Nissan with it. WHY?

“He should be fine, since he is a fire golem,” I heard Kai mutter, but he doesn’t sound very convincing.

I can hear some yelling above us, but I can’t make it out this time. The tunnels seem to have cooled down as well, so Kai and I better take this chance to move forward. I’ll just hope that Nissan is unharmed.

It really had cooled down in this tunnel…too cool…COLD! I think it should be obvious. We are in the ice portion of the gym field. It’s cold and slippery in here. I used my ice talent to stay warm, but Kai is visibly shivering.

“Do you want me to use my ice talent on you?”

“Please do.”

I blew on him to activate my ice talent around him and in doing so allowed his body to warm up, but for some reason he is red in the cheeks.

“Did you catch a cold?”

“I’M FINE!” he pushed me forward in the tunnel urging me to continue. Actually…I AM SLIDING? I was pushed down a slide made of ice. I am having a sense of déjà vu. Kai is sliding after me screaming. I am not as scared, since there aren’t obstacles on this slide, but as we slide through twists and turns I feel like the slide is getting longer. WHAT IN THE WORLD? The slide is getting longer. Ice is forming continuously and ice pillars are falling from above. DANGEROUS!

One of the ice pillars is about to fall on the slide. I activate my ice talent creating an ice whip and slam it against the pillar making it fall to the side far away from the slide. I do the same to the other pillars trying to destroy the slide. One pillar practically shot toward the slide like an arrow, but I shattered it. Huh, I thought I heard a scream from above followed by some colorful vocabulary that I will not repeat.

“Look in front of you!” I heard Kai yell and a good thing too, since I failed to notice that the slide was about to end. I shattered the ice whip and then slid into the new tunnel the slide ended into followed by Kai, who did a small tumble before facing me and asking if I was all right.

“I’m fine,” I stated as I deactivated the ice talent around us, since we were safe from the cold. From what I can tell: we have already conquered the fire area and the ice area. I wonder what will happen next.

THE TUNNELS ARE CAVING IN? There is no question that this part is the earth users’ area. This tunnel will collapse and bury us alive, if we don’t move fast. IS ORESAMA REALLY AIMING TO KILL? No time to think, so I used my earth talent to widen the tunnel, so we could run down the tunnel instead of crawling. Why didn’t I do this before? It didn’t exactly hit me, OK?

I ran down the tunnel, but Kai suddenly grabbed my hand and pulled me into his arms. WHAT IS HE DOING? I can use my wind talent to run faster, so why…PRINCESS CARRY? He is carrying me like a princess and running down this tunnel. He is moving pretty fast, but this position is too embarrassing for me! PUT ME DOWN!

Looks like the tunnel has finally stopped collapsing, so that means we have cleared the earth area, but Kai is still carrying me. This is really embarrassing.

“Kai, can you put me down, please.”

“…Don’t say my real name,” he stated as he finally placed me down. That was so embarrassing for me, but Kai looked a bit embarrassed too. I guess he was more worried about clearing the tunnel, so let’s forget the princess carry and continue forward.

The tunnel is wider, so we can walk down the tunnel normally now, but I wonder which area of the gym field we are in now.

Water is dripping from above, so we must be around the water area. I guess a pool or something is on the gym ground, since the lake should be far from here.

“Laveda?”

“Yes?”

“Is it just me or does the water seem to be increasing?”

“Increasing…what do you mean?”

Kai pointed at the top of the tunnel and I could definitely see that the droplets of water were getting bigger. Hang on…I widened the tunnel, so we could run from the earth area, so that would make the ceiling of the tunnel higher…WOULDN’T THAT MAKE THE TUNNEL CLOSER TO THE SURFACE OR IN THIS CASE THE WATER ABOVE? Time to run again.

As we picked up the pace the water began to gush into the tunnel. This looks like a scene from Titanic!

“Use your water talent, idiot!”

I do not appreciate being called an idiot, but Kai is right. I activate my water talent making the water avoid us as we ran. The water is getting higher, but I think I can see the end of the tunnel or at least a place that has dry ground. Kai and I both leaped into this dry tunnel, but before I could drag my feet through, I felt something slimy grab my ankle…OH MY GOD! It’s that mermaid with the seaweed hair. Her eyes are glowing as she tugs on my ankle…SCARY!

“What is that thing?” Kai exclaimed as he grabbed me from under my arms and yanked me away from the mermaid’s hold. The mermaid reached out to me, but I scooted deeper into the tunnel pressing my back against Kai. The mermaid only smiled before diving into the now deep water of the tunnel…does she live here now?

I felt Kai tugging at me, so we continued down the tunnel. Why was that mermaid here?

I will wait for you, your majesty.

That mermaid spoke to me in my head again. Why does she address me as “your majesty” and why is she waiting for me? This really confuses me.

“So are you going to tell me what that thing back there was?”

“A mermaid…I think.”

“What do you mean ‘you think?’”

“I’m not sure OK! I don’t even know why that mermaid was in the tunnel.”

I was confused and now I am getting annoyed. I just want to get out of this tunnel before anything else…WHAT PART OF THE GYM IS THIS? We reached an area where there are pitfalls of acid and I can clearly see some curse symbols on the walls. Just touching these symbols will most likely give us pain. This area is a death trap and I can’t think of what area of talent this is aimed at.

Wait a second…pitfalls of acid…curse symbols…didn’t Cecil mention before that his gym activity yesterday included dangerous pitfalls? ISN’T THIS TOO MUCH? It really looks like the time talent users can die at any time during gym. What in the world are the teachers thinking?

“How do we move forward?” I heard Kai ask with uneasiness in his face. Really, how are we going to move forward? I can see the other end of the tunnel, but that is pretty far and the only way to reach it as far as I can see is to get over the acid pit, while also avoiding the cure symbols. Hold it, Professor Oresama wouldn’t make this tunnel unpassable (I think), so there must be a way to get across. I can use my talents, but which one would be the best…

“AHHH!”

Wasn’t that a scream? I looked up and noticed that there was a light from above followed by a falling teenage boy screaming…A TEENAGE BOY SCREAMING? He’s headed to one of the pits of acid…no…he’s about to touch a cursed symbol before he can even reach the acid! I do not want to be a witness to a murder. I was about to use my talent, but Kai grabbed my hand shaking his head.

“Don’t use your talent now. That guy won’t keep silent.”

I know what Kai is saying. I have been keeping my talents a secret and I know keeping my talents a secret also helps him keep his secret (two non-talent users together is not suspicious). I also made it clear that besides the people who are already aware of my talent, I don’t want anyone else to know (especially the Headmaster). I was fine using my talents down here because there are no witnesses besides Kai, but now this boy falling can see, so I shouldn’t reveal it, but…I can’t let him die here.

I yank my arm away from Kai and then use my wind talent to propel myself off the ground before propelling myself toward the boy. I flew through the air like a bullet reaching out to the boy. If it is like this, even if that boy does see, I can just explain that I have good jumping power.

I grab the boy with my small frame forcing him to fall into the tunnel of the other end that Kai and I were trying to get to. I shook my head to get my thoughts in order and then looked at the boy. I didn’t really see how he looked from a distance, but he looks a little like Cecil with his brown hair, but he looks younger and has a birthmark covering his left eye (the mark looks almost like a howling wolf). This boy must have the time talent, since he is in this area. I wonder what his name…WAIT A MINUTE, ISN’T HE UNCONSCIOUS RIGHT NOW?

This boy is very much out cold and it looks like his hand is slightly burned too. Why is his hand like that? Did acid touch it when I was saving him or was it a curse symbol? I don’t know what caused it, but it is best to use my healing ability. Just a little light talent and there! His hand looks all healed up, but he is still unconscious.

“Laveda, what are you doing?”

Kai is calling to me. I guess I should use my wind talent to get him over here now. I summon the wind and then yanked Kai over to my side. He was cursing since I did it so suddenly. Sorry about that. Kai managed to catch his breath, but then glared at me. He looked ready to hit me, but stopped midway. Of course he would, since hitting me would give him pain thanks to the curse.

Kai sighed and then his eyes fell onto the unconscious boy.

“So what do we do with him?”

“A teacher should come down to check on him, but just in case…”

I used my light talent to cast a protection spell on him. Protection spell is considered a light specialty by the way in case you are wondering why Sensei didn’t mention protection spells in his lesson of the talents. Anyway, this should make sure he is safe until he is rescued by the teachers.

I dusted off my dress and then headed down the tunnel once again with Kai by my side. I really hope that boy will be OK. Kai looks pretty annoyed for some reason.

“Is something wrong?”

“NO!” he denied pretty strongly, but he is definitely annoyed about something. I’ll ask again later…if I remember.

Let’s see: we went through fire, ice, earth, water, and time. What could be next?

BANG!

…Judging by the tree trunk that nearly crushed me and Kai, I would say that we are now under the field of the wood talent users. The tree trunk was not moving out of the way, so I had to use my earth talent to go around it. I kind of feel like a mole now.

“This isn’t so bad.”

Kai definitely just raised a disaster flag…just as I thought, here comes more tree trunks raining down from above. Kai is screaming out profanities I rather not repeat, but even I want to curse. Besides using my earth talent, I am also using wood talent to redirect the stumps that got to close to us. What would have happened, if we really were talentless? We would definitely be dead.

We somehow made it across this part of the tunnel with no injuries, but what in the world is going to come next? If I think about it, Light and Darkness won’t be a problem to get through, since there are only two light users in the school and there are no darkness users (not counting Kai). Wind should not be a problem either since it is up in the sky, so the last part of the tunnel should be under the animal talent users, but how bad could that be?

HISS!

I RAISED A FLAG! There is a huge snake right in front of me and it looks ready to kill…hold on…this snake looks oddly familiar. Have I seen this huge snake before? AH, no time to think! It is trying to wrap its tail around Kai and me.

“Seriously, why is there a giant snake in here?”

“Like I would know!”

This snake seems very determined to kill us. The snake lunged at us, but the dirt above it suddenly collapsed and the next thing I knew, the snake’s head was buried in the ground…Is that Bibi standing on it?

“Bibi?”

Bibi, in his teddy bear form, looked at me and I could have sworn that his eyes were glittering. I immediately hugged Bibi. SO CUTE!

“How did that creature…never mind that. Drop that creature and let’s go before the snake recovers.”

I nodded at Kai’s words and gave Bibi one last hug before placing him down on the tunnel ground.

“I can’t bring you with us down the tunnel, but do prevent this snake from following us.”

Bibi nodded with a small jiggle of his body. SO CUTE!

Kai and I continued our journey down the tunnel. That should have been all the training areas that could affect us right? So we should definitely be close to the end of the tunnel.

“About time.”

Huh, I felt a vine wrap around my waist and drag me down the tunnel. I can hear Kai screaming, so he is definitely being dragged as well. I can see light up ahead. With one final tug of my body, I felt the cool breeze of the wind. We are definitely out. I never thought I could be so happy to see the sky once again.

I breathe in the fresh air, but then I saw Oresama looking down on us with a smirk on his lips. I want to slap that smirk off his face. We could have died many times in there!

Ah, Kai is trying to punch Oresama in the face. I do not oppose this decision of his, but I couldn’t predict that Oresama would use a vine to dangle Kai by his feet.

“No striking the teacher, Simon.”

Kai could only growl as he dangled before Oresama. Oresama then focused on me. I made sure to prepare myself in case Oresama planned to attack, but all he did was pat my head saying, “Good going.”

…A compliment? I am not used to hearing a compliment from his lips. Did he compliment me before? If he did, I don’t remember.

Oresama let Kai down and then said, “You two passed today’s gym lesson, but we still have one more thing to do, before your next class.”

“What are we doing?” I asked filled with the slight suspicion that Oresama was going to torment us again.

“The Group class of course.”

…So we are doing something with the other groups, but judging by the wicked smirk on Oresama’s face, it will not be an easy task.

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