--donation bonus week (day 4/5, post 3/5)--
‘Look down,’ said Garovel.
And then he saw it. Part of the floor had slid away, revealing an impressive rectangular slit in the nightrock. At this angle, he couldn’t see anything within, only pitch blackness. He stepped closer for a better look.
‘Don’t fall in,’ said Voreese. ‘If you do, it’ll be two and a half hours before you hit the bottom.’
Hector stared at her. “W-what? What the hell is this?”
‘This, dear Hector, is the reason why Stasya built Warrenhold here. As old as this castle is, this pit right here is even older.’
He shined his light through. He could see gray walls in an almost perfect cylinder extending straight downward. And that was it. He couldn’t see the bottom. It just kept going. The hole itself was wide enough for perhaps three people to stand adjacent with their arms spread.
‘Where does it let out?’ asked Garovel.
‘Right near Capaporo. You know it?’
‘Yeah. Are you sure it still exists, though? I haven’t been there in, oh, three hundred years, maybe.’
‘I don’t know. It’s been seventy years for me.’
“E-excuse me, but... I don’t understand anything that’s happening...”
‘We wouldn’t expect you to,’ said Garovel.
“Uh... well, what is this hole?”
‘It’s a portal to Hell,’ said Garovel.
Hector just blinked dully.
‘I don’t think he believes you,’ said Voreese.
‘Tch. He probably remembers that I don’t believe in Hell.’
‘Should’ve lied better, then.’ A beat passed as she stared at Hector. ‘It leads to Heaven.’
‘...I don’t think he’s buying it.’
“Agh. Please, just tell me the truth.”
Voreese looked at Garovel, who shrugged. ‘Alright,’ she said. ‘It leads to a second human civilization that diverged from the surface of Eleg so long ago that nobody up here even knows about it.’
Again, Hector just stared.
‘We call it the Undercrust,’ said Garovel. ‘It’s a layer of rock in Eleg’s mantle with caves that make the one here in Warrenhold look like nothing. There were about five hundred million people living down there, last I heard.’
“Wait. Are... are you actually being serious?”