Chapter 749 - Portal To The Underworld
Mount Niflheim was like Mount Tempest's dark twin, but instead of being filled with ice, snow, and an ice castle at the peak, there was actually a dark cave in the center of it. As Harlow and Julian reached the opening, the princess thought she heard echoes of screams.
This made her shudder and unconsciously step back. However, seeing the man beside her look nonchalant about it, she cleared her throat and pretended she stepped on something and moved back.
"What happened?" Julian asked her.
"Nothing. I think I stepped on something. That is all." The beautiful princess shook her head. She didn't want Julian to mock her for being scared.
She was not scared, okay? Harlow was just startled by the sounds of people screaming from gods know where.
She took a deep breath and walked again more carefully. Her right hand held her torch tightly.
Even with the lighting provided by Harlow's torch fire, it was difficult to enter the pitch-black darkness because she couldn't see anything with it. How dark was it? This was the land of demons and monsters of nightmares.
"Are you scared, princess?" Julian asked and offered his hand. He gave her a genuine smile. "You can hold my hand if you'd like. It might make you feel calmer."
Harlow stared up at his hand and vehemently shook her head. Instead of doing any of that, she simply glanced at Icecube and grabbed the ice dragon's wing.
"Let's go, Icecube," she said. "Try not to bump your head, okay?"
Julian looked at the feisty princess and her ice dragon enter the cave without himself and only grinned in amusement. So… Harlow preferred to hold on to a dragon than to even consider holding him.
It spoke a lot about how she really didn't warm up to men.
"Hey, wait up for me!" Julian called out and followed after them.
"Get lost, Julian!" Harlow shouted at him even though she didn't actually mean it. Instead, her voice was supposed to help him find the way to her side because the princess couldn't really see anything.
"Don't be like that, Harlow… I think I stepped on something. It's a—" Julian paused uncertainly in the dark and then before the princess realized that Julian was nowhere near her, Icecube suddenly made his move.
The ice dragon flung its tail back and slammed into the adventurer. It sent Julian sprawling backwards into the cave.
Julian hit the cave wall and then fell to the ground with a loud thud.
"Ouch." Harlow cringed when she turned around to barely see the faint outline of the man hitting himself against the walls. It was a bad idea to walk behind Icecube, because he ended up stepping into his tail.
That means, the best position for him to walk was actually next to her.
"Ow. I'm sorry Icecube, I didn't know that was your tail." Julian chuckled and got up from the cave floor. He held a hand up and only smiled. "I stepped on it by accident, I swear!"
Harlow furrowed her brows and wondered if this was all intentional…
Only a mad man would try to get attacked by an ice dragon just to get close to her. This man didn't seem like a madman… did he?
So, it must be an honest mistake, Harlow made a conclusion.
She sighed and called out to Julian. "Get yourself in front with me, Julian. You'll bump into Icecube again if you stay in the back."
"Well… don't mind if I do." Julian quickly made his way to Harlow's side without even tripping on anything despite the complete darkness. His reflexes were actually good and he tossed an innocent grin at the princess. "Will you hold my hand if I was the one scared?"
Harlow rolled her eyes. "No."
"Aww." Julian pressed his chest, pretending to feel hurt by Harlow's blatant rejection. However, he only grinned and didn't push her limit.
The two of them continued to walk through the cave. Then, before Harlow knew it, they already reached the end of it. Or rather, Julian held an arm out and stopped Harlow from taking another step forward.
"Stop," Julian warned her. "Look down, Harlow."
Harlow's eyes bulged when she saw that the cave had a canyon inside of it. There was no other way forward except for falling.
"Are you telling me that we have to…" She gulped and then glanced at her ice dragon. "Icecube, can you fly us down?"
"I think the point of the underworld is going UNDER, not flying," Julian said. "Even Icecube shouldn't fly and just freefall so we can reach the city of the demons."
"Are you insane???" Harlow turned to him and narrowed her eyes at the man. "We'd literally die and break our necks if we fell."
"Do you want Icecube to go first then?" Julian raised a brow.
"No!" Harlow was ferociously protective of her ice dragon and preferred keeping him alive. She already lost her Phoenix and wouldn't like her ice dragon to be the next victim just because she was looking for Raphael.
"Understood. I'll go jump then." Julian chuckled and stepped closer towards the ledge. "I'll shout when I reach the bottom and let you know if things are fine."
Harlow narrowed her eyes at him. She grabbed for his arm and pulled him backwards. She didn't want to see him get hurt or do anything idiotic. She had had enough of the shenanigans and didn't want to lose a friend.
"Are you some sort of daredevil? Do you want to die?" Harlow barked at him. "That's incredibly risky, even if we know that the underworld is downwards. Have you actually been there before? What if there's another way?"
"Another way? The only thing I can see is this cliff and so we jump and then get to the underworld." Julian tilted his head. "Simple, right?"
The princess pursed her lips and glanced at the canyon below them. She was still holding onto her torch fire and soon made another torch before, bravely and carefully, walking forward.
Harlow threw the torch and watched it fall.
The fire dropped so fast and then suddenly winked out of existence.