Once Max stepped onto the pier, it gave a soft creak. The appearance of the pier showed that it had not been used for a long time. They each alighted cautiously, fearing that the pier might crumble. As there appears to be wooden shards around the pier, even if the water is shallow, the shards might leave unwanted injuries. They treaded carefully until they reached solid ground. They each heaved a sigh of relief as from the way the creak sounded, it was warning them that one misstep could very well cost them their lives. Max then looked up and what was in front of him sent shivers down his spine. It was a massive jungle that gave off an eerie feeling. They stared towards the mouth of the jungle. Even though it was pitch black, it was enticing them to enter.
Sarah dropped to her knees, as if trying to hide from someone.
“Sarah!” John and Haley exclaimed, rushing to her sides and trying to help her up. As they were helping her stand, she was struggling to find her footing, her body trembling and slowly recovering from shock.
Max took off his backpack and offered Sarah to sit as an alternative to a chair. Wilheim, on the other hand, handed her a bottle of water to calm her down.
“Sarah, are you okay?” Max kneeled beside Sarah and inquired. He is worried about the condition of his friend.
All Sarah did was nod towards him. She was gasping for air, feeling as though someone had choked her. She wanted to crawl into her ball, trying to escape from whatever that was there.Her face white as the driven snow.
“Calm down Sarah. We’re right beside you.” The group of four tried consoling Sarah. This was the first time Sarah had ever shown this type of fear.
Once Sarah had calmed down, she looked towards the group of people. “Max, this..this jungle is different. One minute I was with you guys and the next, I was stuck in darkness Max. At first, there…There…was…nothing but blood all around me.. Then, I saw them.” She covered her face. She took a few more breaths. “Eyes... Staring at me.” Tears began to fall down her face. They quickly hug her, to provide her with a sense of security.
Max looked towards the entrance. He pondered for a few minutes. He then looked towards John and asked him to stay behind with Sarah as she was in no condition to travel. The reason behind this is to allow Sarah time to recover while they quickly explore the jungle. After a minute second, John agreed to Max’s plan. It was better for one person to stay with Sarah to provide her with the company while the rest explore part of the jungle. This may have sounded cruel but they had to do this so that they can finish the expedition faster to get Sarah home. This is to allow them to have a better understanding of the island and provide them with a clue as to the history of the island. After they had done setting camp, Max and the rest divided themselves into two separate groups. Just as they were about to set off, Sarah ran to the front of the group, halting them. She pleaded to join the group, proceeded to explain that she did not want to drag the team down and she wanted to at least contribute. They looked at each other and smiled before looking back at her. Even though they knew she would want to join, they could not help but show concern towards her. With that, they decided to enter the jungle as a group as they would achieve a sense of security with everyone present.
They followed what seemed to be a pathway deep into the jungle. Max was hoping there to be traces of civilization as it would at least provide them clues to treasures. The jungle seemed to have a life on its own. The sound of birds and crickets created a symphony which beckoned them deeper, and they were dancing to nature’s tunes. The pathway began to loom further. The trees stood beside the pathway, seemingly inviting the group to walk in further. The further they ventured in, the less they can see. As they were focusing on staying on the path, the less they realised that it was getting dark. For what seemed like eternity, they came across an open land. They were saved from having to endure the horrors of the forest, from the harsh bites of the insects, the eerie call of the forest along with the heavy atmosphere. They were marvelled at the sight before them.
It appeared to be remnants of a village, creating a grand scenery standing before them. Wilheim took a step forward, bent down and began inspecting the ground. Max looked at him, then proceeded to delve in further into the village, trying to figure out the scene. He came up to a house that was bigger compared to the other houses. The houses in the village were circular in shape, each of the houses were trying to indicate that they were built in the ancient era. The houses had stone bricks as the walls and straw hays as rooftops. It was surprising to him as this house was one of the two houses that had stood against the test of time and remained standing. Part of Max was delighted as this could be their chance to uncover history that might lead to their big break in life. Max approached the house and noticed writings on the stone walls. Max glanced at the wordings before proceeding on as he was not affluent in foreign languages. Instead of getting hung on the ancient language, he proceeded towards the entrance of the house. He pushed slightly on the door before the door collapsed backwards, pushing up dust all around. Taking a step back and brushing off all the dust off himself, Max entered the house. The house was a complete mess. A large stone chair was placed right at the centre of the circle. The chair gave off a grandiose feeling, with the light seemingly focused on the chair. It gave off a majestic vibe leading Max to assume that it was built for a leader. As he headed towards the chair, he tripped and landed on his chest. It was then that Max noticed that there were writings of the same language written on the floor. Max stood up and followed the writing. Starting from the entrance, the writings ended at the foot of the chair. On the backseat of the stone chair, there was a single word that was written in bold. Max took a wild guess and assumed that it meant the word “Leader” given the setting of the room. He also assumed that the writings on the floor were some sort of record. He decided he would leave this to Wilheim as Wilheim was more proficient compared to him. He continued looking around the house, trying to find anything that might stand out in the room. As he was roaming around the room, he felt as though he was being watched. The feeling intensified the moment he stepped closer to the chair. The chair seemed like it was beckoning him to touch it. Feeling curious, Max proceeded to place his hand on the arm rest of the chair.
Without warning, the chair lit up. Max felt a warm sensation flowing through him, starting from his hand to the rest of his body. When Max no longer felt the sensation anymore, the chair dimmed losing its light whilst giving off a low hum. Max was mesmerised by the whole process and when he came to, the chair was in pieces. This piqued his interest as this proves that magic might be real and used in the ancient times. Realising that there was nothing else he could do, he continued to search the room.
After a long search around the room, his search was unsuccessful. The room was filled with debris and no matter which rock Max turned over, it only uncovered more rocks. With the state of the room, it was evident that the occupant of the room at that time took everything with them except for the chair. Max was partly disappointed as he wanted there to be at least a sign for him to find a valuable item. Not wanting to waste anymore time on an empty search, Max called in Wilheim to investigate the wordings on the floor. As soon as Wilheim entered the room, his eyes lit up and went straight to work. Wilheim took out his magnifying glass and went to inspect on the wordings on the floor.
Wilheim was profusely shaking his head. “This is… a language that I have never seen before. From the structure of the words, it seems to focus on the word khatar.” Wilheim explained. “Give me this afternoon and i will get back to you what it says.”
Max nodded as he turned to look towards the horizon. It was getting dark and it would take hours to return to the ship. Just as he was about to reply, they heard a shriek outside. They both ran to the source of the shriek. They dashed into the other hut and saw Haley on the ground. She had tripped upon stepping on an object before the object gave way, making her lose her footing. Max and John stood by her sides to help her up. It was then that Max noticed that she had an object in her left hand and asked her about it. As she brought the item into view, it was a shape of a skull.
“At first, i thought this was a normal human skull. However, upon closer inspection, this person had been too much.” Haley said, while proceeding on to point at several areas of the skull. “Look at these areas. These are not fall damages, it was done by something much worse. I do not know what might have caused these injuries, but i would imagine that it was something fearsome.”
“Maybe it was made by a wild animal in that period of time maybe?” John said.
“Perhaps. It must be one heck of an animal to incur this type of injury.” Haley replied, while examining the skull.
Seeing that it was getting dark soon, they decided to camp at the village. They sat in a circle to discuss their findings. It turns out that there was close to nothing in the village. The only highlights of their day was the discovery of the foreign language and the skeleton remains of a person. Even though it was not much, Max felt relieved that they at least managed to find an item or two.
They set up camp inside the hut as it provided them the shelter in case it rained. It was better to continue exploring the area in the day. Max was just about to sleep before he was dragged in by darkness. He called out to his friends but to no avail. It was as if he was the only one in darkness. He tried running around but his feet would not listen to him. He was rooted to the ground. He tried many different actions but was met with resistance. He clenched his heart. He saw a speck of light approaching. However, the speck of light brought with it a threatening feeling. As the light got closer, fear kept rising in Max. Before the light reached him and disappeared, it let out multiple huge roars. Max stumbled when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Max, are you okay?” John assisted him before asking.
Max was sweating profusely. He looked at John before checking his surroundings. Seeing that it was all back to normal, he nodded towards John before replying.
“Yeah...Yeah, I’m fine thanks. Must be the exhaustion catching up to me or something.”
Max understood John’s worried facial expression. Both Sarah and him were experiencing paranormal activities. It was challenging to explain to the rest as it all happened instantly and to comprehend all of it was close to impossible. What was important to them now was a good night rest so that they can continue their exploration on this weird island.