Shadow Slave-Chapter 934 No Way Out
There could not have been a tunnel that stretched under the Antarctic Center for hundreds of kilometers. Not only would a structure like that be a miraculous feat of engineering, but far too many people - especially the army strategist and someone as knowledgeable as Professor Obel - would be aware of its existence.
However, no one had been.
Sunny remained silent for a while, then looked at the old man. Professor Obel simply shook his head.
"I am afraid I can't explain. Which... is not too surprising. After the Nightmare Spell descended, there are many things in the world that science - or rather, our limited scientific understanding - fails to explain."
What was he supposed to do now?
It was clear that the laws of nature were either broken or worked differently inside the tunnel. Space was not behaving as it was supposed to behave... or maybe they had simply traveled to some. strange pocket dimension that was filled with nothing but true darkness.
Maybe they were all under the influence of another mind hex. Maybe they had all been devoured by the swarm of Brood beasts, and were now condemned to an eternal purgatory.
Who could tell?
Sunny cursed silently, then wrapped all four shadows around the Undying Chain to ramp up its mental protection. Nothing changed. The oppressive darkness did not disappear... if anything, it seemed even more foreboding now.
He closed his eyes for a moment.
"Alright. Let's not panic yet."
Sunny looked around, then walked to the wall of the tunnel and struck it with his fist. A startling bang rolled through the tunnel, echoing in the darkness. In the place where his steel gauntlet had landed, a small impression appeared, with a net of cracks spreading from it through the cold stone.
"Get back into your vehicles."
Everyone followed his instructions without asking questions. The convoy continued to move forward. However, this time, Sunny made it stop after ten minutes and left the Rhino alone.
Wrapping the shadows around his body, be activated the [Light Eater] enchantment of the Cruel Sight to illuminate the path and ran back into the darkness. Moving much faster than the vehicles had, he soon reached the point of the previous stop and studied the cracked section of the wall, then made his way back.
The convoy moved for another ten tninutes. After that, Sunny commanded them to put the vehicles in reverse - the tunnel was not wide enough for the Rhino and the civilian transports to turn around - and drive back.
After a while, he gave the order to stop.
'...This is bad.'
His seemingly erratic actions, of course, had not been without a reason.
Sunny already knew that it was possible to go back to a previously visited spot inside the tunnel - Belle, Dorn, and himself had walked for around six kilometers during the initial scouting, and then safely returned to the convoy.
The first stop he had ordered was to make sure that the same principle still applied. Indeed, he had been able to return to the marked portion of the wall from five kilometers away.
The second stop was to test if something would change with more distance... and it bad.
They should have long seen the imprint of his fist and the net of cracks around it, but there was none. At some point in time. somewhere between five and ten kilometers of separation, the mark had disappeared without a trace.
Which was very, very bad news for Sunny. It meant that they could not return to the collapsed exit from the tunnel. The way back, and the second option he had of escaping to the surface, did not exist anymore.
Staring into the darkness, Sunny felt a cold shiver run down his spine.
if he had led the scouting party a few kilometers further... would they have been separated from the convoy forever? Would they be doomed to wander the darkness alone, for the rest of their lives?
He had come close to disaster without even knowing it.
'I was lucky.'
One of his worst fears had become reality. Sunny was more than capable of fighting against enemies that he could strike down, even if their strength seemed overwhelming. However, he was as powerless as the rest against circumstances like the one they found themselves in right now - against threats that were both unseen and unexplainable. dooming those who encountered them silently and without warning.
Simply by existing.
Against threats like that, he needed someone like Cassie. Sadly, she was far away, probably preparing for the war between Valor and Song with the rest of the Fire Keepers.
He looked at the stone walls of the tunnel, then at the battered vehicles of the convoy. There were almost four hundred people in them that he had promised to rescue... was he going to become a liar? Sunny tilted his head a little, then blinked.
'Wait, what nonsense am I thinking about? I have always been a liar! There's nothing for me to become...'
lie took a deep breath.
'No... no, it is alright. I'll find a way out.'
After all, he did not need to understand the nature of the trap. He just had to break it.
Sunny rubbed his face, glanced at the darkness one last time, and gestured for Luster to continue driving the Rhino forward. Before anything else, they had to make sure that there was really no limit to the strange endlessness of the dark tunnel.
The convoy traveled through the darkness, traversing kilometer after kilometer. More hours passed with nothing changing. Then, some more.
Eventually, an entire day was gone. Slowly, a sense of dread was spreading through the exhausted refugees and the mundane soldiers. Even the Irregulars seemed tense.
Sunny commanded everyone to stop and make camp. People needed rest, and nothing would improve if they persisted forward despite everything. ƒr𝒆𝑒𝔀e𝒃𝚗𝒐𝘃𝐞𝑙. c𝗼m
As the soldiers started cooking food and arranging sleeping places for the civilians, he walked some distance away from them and called Sergeant Gere over.
Gere jogged to where Sunny stood, half-swallowed by darlutess, and asked in a hoarse voice:
"Yes, Captain? Did you need something?"
Sunny lingered for a few moments, looking back at the convoy. Then, he looked at the sergeant and
"Yeah. I have two questions for you... how much food do we have left? And how long will the fuel cells
of the transports last?"