But the momentum did not spare him and he too fell behind me as we now tumbled into the hole not knowing how deep it was or what lay beneath.
The moment we fell into the hole I couldn’t see a thing and the fear of falling onto jagged rocks and dying was so terrifying that I screamed at the top of my lungs all the way to the bottom.
My mind was split in two now as one part thought the fall somehow should never end and thus hoping it was very long and the other short so that I did not attain severe injuries.
The latter seemed true as the fall did not last too long but a quick estimate told me that it be a tough climb back out from the bottom of the pit.
Now for the landing, I braced my elbows in front of me to lessen the impact on the ground and unlike the last time since I had to abandon the shield during my confrontation with Stuq earlier, I had nothing but my arms to save me from killing myself.
To my surprise, the landing was a lot better than the horrible images drawn up in my mind, as there was water at the bottom of the pit.
But the water was only about four feet of water and when I hit the water face down I could instantly feel the rock bottom beneath hit me.
The pain was even more agonizing than when I hit the ground falling off the Sordes because now I had hit the rock bottom with no protection like the shield earlier.
But again sensing imminent danger I arose with blood drooling from my forearms, which had taken the impact and the cut from the Minokova earlier.
My right hand now badly bruised and out of shape, I transferred the whip to my non-dominant hand feeling very under-confident as I did so.
The pit was pitch black and I couldn’t see a thing but fortunately for me the purple light given off from the pure energy flowing from my whip was enough to cast a faint glow at my surroundings.
The pit was in fact a cave and shining my source of light very cautiously I could see that right in front of me I could see an opening cut into the wall of the pit into a narrow corridor that led to a chest. I could see that it was a chest because unlike the cave I was in right now the small room where the chest was lit by something.
I gasped seeing it knowing this was the prize and then suddenly thought why no one had made it out alive and then is when I got the shock of my life.
Literally. I jolted out of the water like a fish jumping out of the water swimming against the flow of water and landed back into the water only to be shocked again.
At first, I thought it was some kind of jellyfish or eel beneath the water but then I had a flashback to when I and my sister had first visited the banks of the river Inimical alone and us thinking why this river actually got its infamous name.
And then when I tried touching the water was when I got the shock, so powerful it threw me so far away from the banks of the river, that it almost seemed the river had a mind of its own.
And that was not all as I had heard tales of the river killing, if not obstructing anyone who tried to cross its banks by either through its electrified water or by air. By air was something many people had tried to do but was seemed impossible as many accounted seeing the water jut out from its otherwise calm state like a creature was lurking in its depths waiting for the next plane or boat to fly across it, and crash into the plane or boat electrifying its occupants.
‘The arena is built over the river Inimical.’ I thought now realizing that the river passed right underneath the arena and this was the place where it flowed through but unlike the turbulent currents everywhere else in the path of the river this water here had slow-moving currents and since it was so dark I could not see the entry points and exit point of the water entering into the river.
Before I could think anymore another jolt of electricity ran through me and I knew another dose like this would kill me and so I had to think fast.
Realizing my armor was going to be the death of me in here I hastily removed it and within a few seconds felt much better in my ordinary clothes of black long pants and a light green shirt.
Once I removed my armor I noticed that the water was not giving me jolting shocks anymore, like how I had gotten during my visit with my sister and instead gave a constant stinging sensation like hundreds of needles being driven into my ankle and legs all at the same time.
I now proceeded agonizingly towards the prize thinking what happened to Stuq. ‘Did he die by the fall?’ I thought and that seemed very unlikely because if he could have survived the electric glass and falling from the Sordes, then this would have been nothing for him.
And I was right. As I peered into the darkness trying to figure a way to the narrow corridor I saw something glowing a few feet from me.
I knew I was already discovered because of my weapons glow, so I proceeded with caution towards the small green source of light all the while resisting the urge to scream as the electrified water burnt my skin.
When I was only but a few feet from the source, I heard the unmistakable voice, but it seemed very strange. I quickly noticed why. All the while in this arena I had heard his voice filled with so much anger that I did not get a chance to hear his actual voice which I had to admit was so much better than when he sounded angry.
He now spoke his anger gone but replaced with utter curiosity. “How is this possible?” he said and I totally did not understand him. When I answered with silence he spoke again and through my dull light my weapon I saw him with his weapon raised in precaution. I too did the same raising my whip to m side ready to attack if needed.
“How did you get that?” he said trying to remain calm. Again through the dull light of the whip, I saw him pint towards my chest and there right at the center of was my necklace, the one my mom gave and told me to keep safe at all time, glowing brightly in the dark like as if it were some kind of automatic torch.
I had never seen it glow in the dark and this puzzled me as I answered. “My mother gave it to me,” I said thinking there was no point in lying.
“TRUTH boy!” he said his voice getting angrier and this time I noticed what was the source of the other green light and that was him. Stuq. He too had a similar necklace over his around his neck, which I guessed in the heat of battle had come out of his armor and was hanging freely.
“I swear on every god I know, hell, even on my family and…..and…even yours that I got this from my mother” and then for the first time of entering into the arena I felt I could win this fight without weapons but words. And the part where I swore on his family? That was all a way to get through him, just like I had tried unsuccessfully against Gawk and one technique my sister was a master at.
Few seconds passed but to me, it was like millions of hours because of water killing my feet.
And then I could not take it and before he could answer I ran, not towards him but away from him towards dry land. Towards the chest.