Chapter IV

The Awakening Part III

Xiao Ling had been walking for a while now and had discovered some of the unique habitats and creatures of Hell. For example, the smallest cracks in the earth were home to the best souls doomed to Hell and were caused when one was deemed worthy enough to go for a week to the human realm, midgard, whatever. She had also experienced a hive of hell-bats killing and feasting on their prey. She was imagining a pretty poster something like this:

A Tour Through Hell

You will get to see the wonders of the Inferno,

The murdering and torturing of souls,

And

The wonderful things it does to your mind!

Wait a second, I didn't think of the last verse. Xiao Ling spun around and shouted: "Who's there?! Come out! Stop hiding!"

But no one came out. Frustrated, Xiao Ling stomped off to the wall and used her left hand to punch clean through it. She pulled back and punched again. She heard a shout from within and punched or scraped enough to make a hole big enough for her to crawl through. She looked at her purple arm and smirked affectionately.

"Not bad, it makes up for the looks I'm going to be getting and the fact that it will be near impossible to not get caught."

She shook her head and climbed through. She ducked and shone the green light brighter. It cast an eerie glow but it did the job. Once she was sure there were no hell-bats or other monsters she studied where she was. She was on a little ledge, it was pretty high up. She squatted near the edge and could make out a giant steaming internal lake. So much steam was coming out of it it looked like it was a giant pot with boiling water waiting for something to cook alive. There were things jumping up and down in it but as she looked closer she realised the things were being boiled alive and eaten. Something shouted from just above her and jumped down. Xiao Ling looked up just in time to see a shadow descend on her. She scooted to the side just in time to see it land where she had been, it had antlers and a giant weathered grey robe so she could not see how it looked but it scared her enough that she felt insignificant.

Grab its ankle!

Xiao Ling didn't know what happened but her hand shot out of its own accord grabbed the stranger's ankle and sweeped it out from underneath causing it to fall down to the boiling water but Xiao Ling couldn't watch anymore because she was tumbling off the ledge. Xiao Ling panicked and hovered in the air for a second before plummeting back down. Lunging to grab a bit of the wall she hit it with her left hand hard enough to hold on but also so that a big piece of rock from above broke off and came down to her.

All she could think was,

Oh God.

The irony.