He jumped onto the icy ground with a thud, from the rock wall he had climbed down. Looking up he could hardly even make out the pin prick light of the hole he had entered, in the first place.
The world he once knew was long since gone now, he had no reason to look back. His mission was clear, and he knew it was a one way trip. He would have been frightened but he realized that in doing this it would bring him back to Ella. His love. The fire that burned in him for her vengeance was far to great to be extinguished by the clouds of fear.
He looked ahead of him, there was a large tunnel, it had been dimly lit with torches along its passageway. He was surprised that the ice that had extinguished the fires that once burned here now, was still not enough to put out these merely simple flames. They were candles compared to what probably used to burn.
The thought quickly left him. This wasn't a world of physical laws, and as long as the main fire had been extinguished that meant the evil that lurked in this pit, the beast that cowered here, was loosing power and would be easily extinguished itself. He smiled at the thought, but it was not a smile of happiness, but a mere twisted smile of hatred.
All his life he had been dedicated to the destruction of evil, the hit man for the heavens. Now his foes had been defeated, and the final evil, the ancient evil, giver of life to all the things he had seen and killed. It was now its time. The beast's number was up.
He grabbed a torch and ventured down the tunnel, as he walked he passed man different things that would have usually piqued his interest, but now were just useless distractions. Cages made of stone carved into the tunnel walls, shackles where any number and types of creatures and souls had been tortured.
There were even a few offshoots from the main tunnel, but he knew, he could feel, the way to go. The presence of this ancient evil was stronger than anything he had ever felt. And it led him forward.
The walk was long, and tiresome. The scenery was bland and continuous, but finally the tunnel broke open into a large room. There was a smell of blood and fear in the air, very strong and acrid. He was getting very close now.
As he walked into the room he suddenly came across what looked like a large stone alter. It was washed over in blood many times, he could see from all the stains, and the stench of death and fear was overpowering.
The sanctity of life had been desecrated many times here. Dark rituals of the old ways to provide power to those he fought. He held back the urge to vomit and moved on quickly.
The room ended with another small tunnel, from what he could see it wasn't very long, at the end of it was a smaller very well lit room. This was it, the room that held his final foe.
He slowly approached, his hand reaching for his trusted sword strapped to his back, ready to grab the handle and unsheathe the power of his blade at any time.
The runes on the blade began to glow a green colour, reacting to the presence of the evil. When he had been a novice, just starting out and wet behind the ears, this sword had become an asset to his senses. But now it was just a confirmation of what he already was able to sense himself.
Although its power had greatly diminished, he could still sense that this beast had more power now than any other foe he had faced in his lifetime. A hundred times over. He tried not to think how it would have felt to him, had the great evil been at full power.
He entered the room slowly scanning everything quickly. It was a small room, but there were torches everywhere. There were large stone steps clearing the entire room and leading up to a large throne, made entirely of bones.
Upon the throne, his foe sat, it had chosen to take the form of an old weathered-looking man. The creature looked at him, it had a large black robe covering its body, and he felt as though it somewhat resembled death itself.
The creature smiled showing ancient yellow teeth, crooked and blackened on the ends. The skin of it resembled that of very old weathered leather that had been thrown into a sloppy pile. The skin hung from its skull in rolls. The eyes were yellowed where they should be white and looked almost lifeless.
It raised a leathery arm and pointed a very bony finger at him. Its nails were yellow as well and long, pointed.
"You are the Hunter," it was more of a statement than a question.
He nodded at the beast and without thinking he quickly unsheathed his rune-covered sword, the runes were blindingly bright with magic.
The smile widened on the beasts face, and it chuckled. Then it began to laugh a deep, dry laugh. It was the laugh of evil, and it echoed off the walls and down the tunnels. It was a laugh that would make any being shudder.
"Foolish boy, you still rely on mere weapons to fight your battles. You believe that a man made piece of metal will defeat anything you face," the beast croaked, "but have you not learned that you were not always able to rely on such a weapon."
It was true, the sword had not always worked for him in some battles, he had had to rely on his skill and heart to defeat some of his stronger enemies.
The beast lowered its hand and the smile faded.
"You are not ready, I will not face you," it murmured, "come back when you are worthy of my force."
He felt the anger surge inside of him, the urge to kill this creature, this animal. As it had sent its minions to kill his love. He would fight whether it would or not.
"I have been sent by God, to destroy you foul beast. I will extinguish your life as I have extinguished your fortress of its fire. My sword will be the collector of your death. Your blood will mark the walls with my victory," he cried out.
The smile returned to its face.
"You believe that your God, has sent you to destroy me? He has less faith in you than I do," it laughed, "He knows that there is hatred in your heart, and I feed on hatred. You fear me still, and because of this you will never be able to defeat me."
"Enough of your words. You will stall me no longer, I am the Hunter and my quest is to defeat you, now prepare for death!" he screamed, and then ran forward swinging his sword.
The beast swung its arm and he was suddenly lifted in the air floating in mid run, frozen and paralyzed.
"Release me, coward! You use magic to protect yourself, face me as a man and see if your power is so great," he yelled at the creature.
"Silence boy, I have had enough of this game. I tire of your trivial attempts, but still you intrigue me," it rasped, thoughtfully.
It seemed to think for a moment and then looked at him again.
"Very well, I accept your challenge," it agreed, lowering its hand and dropping him to the floor again "but first you must be tested for your worthiness, I will choose the grounds of the test."
He got up and started moving towards the beast again, but this time struggling, the magic still not wearing off.
"I will destroy you now, my worth is of no matter," he coughed.
"You will return to me on forty first day," it said, ignoring him, "and then you will have your battle, if you survive."
With that it waved its hand again and before he could come any closer the floor below him suddenly fell away taking him with it. He was falling into a swirling vortex of fog and darkness.
He screamed but he could not hear his cries over the laughter of the beast as he slowly fell deeper into darkness, until there was nothing but black.