Natalia's dark lair seemed to stretch onwards for miles, like an illusion image on a virtual room door. But all the time Cressela and Amber advanced to the next level, Amber's thoughts of her parents and Natalia sensing her supposed powers clung to her, staining her mind and almost distracting her of what she had come to do. She bit her lip hard, tasting the metallic tang of her blood and alerting Cressela.
"Amber," Cressela said, bringing Amber's attention back to her, "Amber, what is it?"
"I don't know," Amber replied, the flickering candles reflecting a scissor of light on one side of her face. "Cressela, do you believe in what Natalia told me? That I could have... powers?"
"Not important," Cressela told her, her dark gaze meeting Amber's, "what important is if you believe. Because, if she's right, the only way to discover them is to believe that you can."
Amber sighed lightly, her hazel eyes wandering over the dark enclosure as she tried to find her way.
"Adventure can be so confusing," she whispered, and Cressela nodded in agreement.
"Don't worry now. We need to get past the last levels now. Insanis, he might now more," Cressela suggested.
"I don't think he'll like me," Amber said in a half-joking tone, then stopping in her tracks abruptly when her foot kicked against a hard blockade.
Taking out Natalia's cool, silver chain, Amber felt for its space and inserted it carefully; the candles' flames reforming to smoke as they died out. The wall trembled slightly and began to move backwards, eventually sinking into the ground as Level Six was revealed.
The floor was shaded a deep purple, with red splotches and no walls around the large, square space. Amber didn't dare down the sides - instead, she glanced around the peculiar area in curiosity, looking for the entrance to the final level.
"What is this place?" Amber asked Cressela, her lowered voice echoing about the room as Cressela shrugged.
"Don't remember," she replied, pointing to a slowly revolving door in the distance, "but that where we get out."
Amber nodded, and the two walked purposefully towards it until a shrill, angered female voice stopped them in their tracks.
"Where do you think you're going?!"
Amber jumped a little, looking back to be met with a pair of bold, iris coloured eyes with a dark red cherry tattoo underneath one. She had dark, wavy hair that hung down to her ribs, red lips and a few light freckles that were scattered across her nose - scrunched up in an irritated scowl.
"Um... hi, I'm Amber - nice to meet you-"
"No, not nice to meet you, human scum. What do you think you're doing?!"
"Look, we don't want any trouble," Amber insisted, and the girl scoffed, "we just need to get to the next level. Me and Cressela - we're here to free you all."
"You've got some sick nerve," the girl hissed, her face inches away from Amber's, "claiming that you can stop the Master Insanis from his arrangements and plans. We won't be here forever, you know. And if you think I'll let you pass and disturb him, you... you're a Delusional. So go back to where you came from, human girl."
Amber frowned, at a loss for words, and Cressela stepped forward in defence.
"Cheri, what gotten into you?"
"Sense, Cressela," Cheri spat, glaring at her, "and I didn't think you'd be stupid enough to return. Why you here with a human?"
"Amber found me," Cressela shot back, "my coetus were killed, and I... I nearly turned delusional."
Cheri seemed surprised at her response for a moment, sighing and sitting down.
"How they die, Cressela?"
Cressela didn't answer, looking down, and Cheri nodded.
"Humans, my guess is. Why you think she'll be any different?"
"Dr Insanis is a human too though," Amber said suddenly, diverting Cheri's attention, "isn't he?"
"He isn't a normal human, girl," Cheri answered coldly, "and maybe you aren't either."
Amber rolled her eyes slightly, fidgeting as the nagging thoughts bit back at her.
"Why do you all keep suggesting-"
"Because no average human would even think about partnering with one of our kind to 'save' us. Throwing away usual life to face the Master. You have some sort of power," Cheri told her, folding her arms, "you just choose not to believe it."
"But, why is believing so important, Cheri?"
"It's the only way you can use them. You have to to think of what you want to do," she continued, closing her eyes and revealing her lilac tinted eyelids and dark lashed that contrasted with her skin, "believe that you can do it - imagine it in action, and just..."
Cheri's eyes opened, and small bolts of purple lightning danced about the palm of her hand, before fizzing and dying out again. Amber watched, spellbound.
"It's... that's all?"
Cheri and Cressela nodded.
"It gets easier the more you do it," Cressela added, "you get tired after first few tries, but then it simple."
Amber nodded, meeting Cheri's iris gaze.
"Cheri, we really need you to let us pass."
Cheri's scowl returned, and she shook her head defiantly.
"Not going to happen."
"Look, your younger sister is trapped at the first level. This could be the only way you two can be reunited. You can all be together, and go to a safer place. You don't have to live like this anymore."
Cheri's eyes dropped at the mention of her sibling, and she shifted in her spot.
"If you fail, I'll be partly blamed, Amber. That means I never see her again at all. And it'll be all your fault."
"We won't fail," Cressela said determinedly, surprising Amber a little by her confident tone, "you will be with your sister again. You have our word."
Amber nodded in agreement, and Cheri sighed, thinking. Then she stood up, grabbing Amber's arm and pulling her towards her roughly.
"Listen, human girl," Cheri started bitterly, glaring again, "you and Cressela will go to Insanis and make sure you won't fail. Free us all, bring me my sister. And if you don't, I'll rip you inside out with no hesitation - and I don't make empty threats. Got it?"
Amber nodded, and Cheri released her, nodding back.
"Good luck then. Cressela. Amber."
"Don't we need a key or... something?" Amber asked, but Cheri rolled her eyes and shook her head.
"Just go. It's a revolving door, not escape room. Go, before I change my mind."
Cressela nodded at Amber, at the girls ran off, entering the door and disappearing into the next room. Cheri sighed, biting her lip anxiously.
The seventh level had a cold and unwelcoming feel to it, and Amber shivered, looking around. A dark, long corridor that lead straight forwards, and metal bars like built-in cages either side of them. One empty... and one with a girl's figure inside.
Amber peered in, and immediately Cressela grabbed her hand, pulling her away.
"Don't get too close," Cressela warned her, "she could be a Delusional."
"What does a Delusional look like?" Amber whispered, and a high pitched hissing noise, similar to the one that Amber had heard in Cressela's old mansion in the forest, emitted from inside the cell. The girl came closer, and Amber gasped in horror, her hazel eyes widening.
"They look like that."