There was no wind, no pressure or tension. Only, silence in the darkness that was everywhere. For a while, there was one movement as the silence stretched.
Then, it was broken by sounds. More precisely, they were the noises made by a living being. Groaning softly, they pushed rubble away from them. This person, then, blinked confusedly as she looked at the darkness.
“W-Where am I?” Ondine said into the darkness.
There was no reply even when she waited another few seconds. Singing heavily, she brushed the rubble off her as she sat up.
She looked around, but only found that she was surrounded by darkness on all sides. There was nothing she could see. All she felt was the floor beneath her, the rocks and the like.
Ondine, then made a confused expression as she asked “Where the heck am I?”
Yet again, there was no reply. Shaking her head, she turned to move her hands around in the dark. She might be able to see, but she can feel as proven when she felt the floor and the rocks on her.
Her hands searched blindly searched around them. Suddenly, her hands found something. It as solid, but had a fleshy feel about it. Surprised, she pressed her hands and became certain of it.
Then a thought came to her. She was not sure what might or what she will find. With that, she pressed her hands onto the fleshy skin and punched it.
There was an instant yell of “Ouch!”
Ondine taken aback by the yell of the voice. The owner of the voice, quickly jerked their arm away from her and began to rub it with their other arm.
“Oww… What was that for?!” the owner of the voice demanded indignantly.
Ondine uncertainty asked “Master? Is that you?”
“Huh? That voice… could it be… Ondine?” Lakshman said and he sounded surprised. Then he asked “Where are you? I can’t see you!”
“I’m over here, master” Ondine said, sounding both happy and relieved.
“Um…” he said hesitantly.
Ondine moved her hands and grabbed his arm. Then she moved it and placed it on her cheek. At the touch of his warm hand, she finally relaxed.
“There you are!” he said happily as his hand made skin contact.
“Yes, master,” she said in a relieved voice.
For a moment, they stayed silent as they relaxed their tensions. Then Lakshman broke the silence.
“By the way, where are we?” he asked as he looked around.
“I don’t know,” she said as she also looked around.
“It’s so dark though! It almost feels like we’re in an enclosed space or something,” he said nervously.
“Maybe…” She said uncertainty before asking “Master, how about we try remembering what happened before we got to this strange place?”
“Ah! That’s a good idea!” Lakshman said and he sounded impressed.
For a moment, they remained silent. Then, he was the first to break the silence.
“If I remember right, I was with the kids and dad in the dungeon.”
She joins him in retelling what she last remembers.
“Ah, yes. That was the last when we fought and defeated those boar monsters. After that… um…”
There was a moment of silence as they tried remembering. Suddenly, Lakshman exclaimed “Ah!”
“What is it master? Did you remember something?” Ondine quickly asked.
“Yeah,” he said slowly. “After defeating them, we were going around and throwing their bodies into the Two-Way Magic Circle. At that point…”
This time, it was Ondine’s turn to exclaim loudly by saying “That’s right! After you’d made your turn, it was my turn. I remember walking towards the magic circle. And then…”
“I think you stepped into the Trip Magic Circle.”
“That’s right!” she exclaimed in shock as she remembered. “I think you tried warning me, but it was already too late.”
There was a short pause in which they thought about what they remembered. Unknown to each, they had worried looks on their faces. Then, her expression changed to that of puzzlement.
She turned to, what she believed, was his face and asked “Master… If I was already into the magic circle, home is you end up being here with me?”
He turned to her, and had a feeling she was gazing at him with scrutiny.
She suddenly gasped and said “Please… you couldn’t have…?!”
Laughing hastily while rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment, he spoke.
“When that yellow light surrounded you, I grabbed onto you to try and pull you out. But, it didn’t exactly work out and I ended up here with you.”
He continued to laugh in embarrassment as he finished. However, the air suddenly became tense and he soon stopped laughing.
In the darkness, she stared at him in shock. She remained like that for the next few seconds. Then she slowly began shaking her head in disbelief.
“Master… What were you… thinking?!” she said angrily.
In the next instant, she lashed her first at him. Making contact on his face, the force of her first blew him away. He flew a few meters before crashing into a wall and dropping with dull thud on the ground.
She straightened up and angrily said “I am very disappointed in you, master!”
Picking himself up from his crash point. He shook his head to clear the looked at her with wide eyes.
Hesitantly, he asked “W-Why?”
“Master! You could’ve stayed with Indra and helped them in rescuing me. Instead, you tried acting the hero, and we’re trapped together! How stupid of me to think you are different to everyone else.”
Ondine sounded very angry as she folded her arms and glared furiously at him. Lakshman desperately waved his hands at her, forgetting that she cannot see him in the dark.
“Ondine, believe me! I wasn’t acting the hero or whatever. I thought I had time and that’s why I grabbed you to pull you out,” he said in a firm voice.
“R-Really?” she asked uncertainly.
“Yes,” he said in a tired voice as he clutched his face.
She could not see his face, but could hear the conviction in his voice. Her eyes widened in shock at his reply. Instantly, she keeled and bowed her head.
“I’m really sorry, ouch, master!” she said as she accidentally hit her head against the ground.
He simply laughed it off and said “It’s fine if you understand.” Then, while smiling, he said “Still… You pack quite a wallop. Are you taking secret lessons from mum?”
“Eh?!” she said, taken aback by his words. “I’m not, master!”
“Are you sure? You certainly punch like her whenever she hits dad.”
“I-in any case, we need to find a way out of here,” she said, changing subjects to save herself of speaking anymore on it.
“You’re right, but I can hardly see anything. What we need is fire… fire… Of-course! Fire! That’s it!”
“W-What are you planning, master?” she asked him nervously.
Hearing her nervous tone he laughed and reassuringly said “Don’t worry. It’s safe to do it this way. All I need is check if she will help out.”
“What do you mean?” Ondine asked, looking perplexed, but he was not paying attention to her.
Lakshman though “Tetra? Can you hear me?”
“Yes, master?” Tetra spoke in his mind.
“I take it that you were listening to our earlier conversation?”
“Yes. I take it that you want me to use my Burning Blade technique?”
There was a short pause of silence. Then she came back and said “I don’t want to.”
“Huh?!” he said and accidentally spoke aloud.
“What is it, master?” Ondine asked in a puzzled voice.
“Oh, nothing,” he quickly said before saying in his mind “Why, Tetra?”
“Because, master never plays with Tetra!” he heard her say in a sad voice. “Master ignores Tetra and plays with Ondine instead.”
At her pointing out, he suddenly realised he was not paying much attention to her. He cursed himself for forgetting her when she is so loyal to him.
“Okay then. I’ll play with you more once we return, alright?”
Lakshman heard her cheer in his mind and he smiled. Then he heard her speak once more.
“Okay master, I’m going to do it now, okay?”
“Go for it!’
He shifted slightly to pull out his sword. Then he heard it out and waited. A moment later, he heard Tetra incarnate some magic words.
“Flames of fury, burn and turn your rage into light. Burning Blade!”
Instantly, his sword began to glow brightly. It dispelled the darkness as it spread the light to every corner of the room. The emitting light was so bright it almost felt like the room suddenly got lit.
“Here we go!” he said and nodding in satisfaction with his sword.
Then he turned and saw Ondine blinking repeatedly to adjust her eyes to the sudden light.
“Bright!” Ondine exclaimed as she rubbed her eyes. “Rather, it’s too bright!”
Lakshman laughed and rose to his feet as he said “Get used to it.”
He walked over to her and lent her his hand. She glanced up at him and, then, at his hand. Blushing slightly, she grabbed his hand and he helped her to her feet.
While wearing a confident smile, he said “Now then, let’s get out of here, Ondine!”
She saw his smile and the confidence he radiates. Nodding at him, she smiled and said “Yes!”