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4.59% Bloodlines of the Ancient Pantheons / Chapter 27: XXVII. The Cave

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Chapter 27: XXVII. The Cave

Dag heard a moan behind him, in the same direction of the eyeless corpse.

The crow flew away from his horse's head.

Dag turned back. The fog got denser and for a moment, the ravens stopped croaking. He looked at the horse's head, then moved in the opposite direction, to go on, walking close to the rocky wall.

He heard a step sound, in front of him. He stopped, trembling.

From the fog, a human shape was walking towards him. Getting closer, he focused on the figure: one of its arms was cut off and its legs moved uncoordinated, one of them by dragging the droopy foot.

The figure got closer when Dag finally figured that that being was the dead corpse he saw a few minutes before.

"What the…!" exclaimed Dag, stepping back.

He was a half-naked man, with parts of his body missing. He continued to move forward in Dag's direction, breathing heavily.

In his chest, a huge rounded wound, probably dug by the crows.

Dag focused on his face: his eyes were of intense purple and his skin completely white.

"What…what the fuck do you want from me?" asked Dag, pointing his sword towards the man.

No answer.

The man kept on moving when Dag hit him with the sword, cutting his head off with a single move.

"Why are you watching me? Why?!" yelled, looking at the sky.

The crows started again to croak deafeningly loud.

A hand grabbed his ankle. The dead body was still struggling and moving.

Dag swung again his sword, frightened hitting the undead on his shoulder. He quickly overcame the corpse on the ground and ran down the footbridge, that oscillated when hit by his feet, making difficult for Dag to stay in balance.

While he was running, he looked behind: the body stood up back on his feet and with only one hand grabbed his head from the ground, then walked following him.

He kept running without seeing anything, the fog was heavy and it was late in the evening: the darkness was falling on the mountain.

He still heard the crows croaking all around him when he saw a natural cavity in the rock, at the end of the footbridge: it should be the cave!

Getting closer he could see clearly. The circular entrance led to the inner of the rock, the only way to access the cave was from the path Dag followed. There was no light inside. On the left side of the entrance, a wooden wheelbarrow was abandoned.

Dag figured out that the cave should be a mine in the past.

Without hesitation, he walked in.

Behind him, it seemed that the moaning of that half-dead being stopped.

Right after the entrance, he saw some torches stacked against the wall and picked one of them.

From a small pouch of his belt, he pulled out a piece of pyrite and a metal stick.

With a rapid movement of the stick on the stone, he produced a few little sparks, that lit the torch, soaked in some flammable oil.

Now he could see.

His suspects were correct, the cave used to be a mine: an iron rail system spread from the entrance to the deepest spots of the cave.

Pickaxes, shovels and old working tools were scattered here and there as if the miners quickly left the mine after some accident.

Dag kept on moving, holding the torch in his left hand in front of him, illuminating the path he was walking through and his sword in his right hand, right after him, ready to self-defense.

The cave seemed quiet, the sound of water drops falling in muddy puddles was the only one Dag heard, except for the noise of the wind, coming from his back, that gradually became less intense.

The cave had the main trail, full of rails on the ground, and lots of secondary paths and spots, less enlighted by Dag's torch.

Dag thought that given the fact that Magni just said to walk through the cavern, he could just walk forward, following the main path. It was just a normal cave, a way to reach the farmhouse.

After about ten minutes he saw the exit, a hollow in the wall, reachable by climbing a few rocky steps.

Just when he moved in that direction, he heard again the moan. The undead man followed him in the cave.

Dag turned back, pointing the torch in front of him. He couldn't let the monster pass, otherwise, it could reach his safe place.

He moved to a wall, driving the torch in a metal ring fixed in the rock.

From the dark of the cavern, the undead took shape again. He slowly walked towards Dag, holding his head.

When he came closer, the torchlight shone on him: even if the dead had been cut off, his mouth was still moving and so his purple eyes.

Dag was scared, he never saw anything like that.

"Step back, or I'll end you!" said with a trembling voice.

The air into the cave started to get colder.

The undead raised his hand and clenched his fist. The torch went out.

Dag couldn't contain a scream. He couldn't see anything.

Suddenly heard a fast step sound: the monster was charging!

Dag tried to swing his sword, but he missed the target, hitting the air. The monster struck back and dealt a heavy blow to Dag, scratching his shoulder.

Dag got hurt and stepped back. He felt his shoulder bleeding.

The undead continued to fight, hitting Dag at different points when Dag finally parried a slap.

He should be able to see in the dark.

Dag stepped back again. The exit was not so far, but the monster became faster when the light disappeared from the cave. He focused on the sound.

The undead was breathing heavily and when he moved, his head moved with him and the sound of the gnashing of his teeth could warn Dag about his position in the cave.

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