Here goes the part when Yuffie enters the Temple of Mysterious Ways:
"After a few tens of steps forward a blurry outline of a door came out from the shadows. Waving her hands in joy, Yuffie broke into a run, hoping deep inside that behind the door would be something other than the already familiar stone pathway. She reduced her pace and slowly approached the door, trying to calm her warm breath. She reached out to the doorknob and pulled it sharply towards her, covering her eyes with her free hand in anticipation.
“Oh no!” she exhaled in disappointment and snuggled against the door, putting her arms around herself in an attempt to feel some support. The dwarfess carefully rested her cheek against the door and gazed at the torch lamps in depression.
“Four! There are four damn torch lamps!” she wailed, only just maintaining her composure, so as not to burst into tears. The dwarfess lost her temper, scolding herself for her poor time management “Is it night? Or morning or afternoon?” she thought, taking a deep breath and every now and then, snivelling. And, standing there for a minute or so, she calmed down, and then wiped her tears with her blouse sleeve.
“Hmm,” mumbled Yuffie in confusion and then suddenly jumped away from the door. The flames in the far torch lamps suddenly fired up and burnt significantly brighter, throwing a magnificent shadow on the gently sloping wall that had re-emerged from the darkness.
“Where are the steps?” uttered the dwarfess quietly, frozen for a second from the fear that gripped her. She then moved forward slightly, casting a glance along the lower part of the wall.
And just as she stepped over the doorstep, closing the door behind her, she noticed a weak, but sharp smell. “Maybe it’s some sort of a gas,” she supposed and only just managed to hold off the urge to sneeze, “that must be why the fire flared up”.
Yuffie stopped a couple of steps away from the wall and, pressing her fist to her forehead like her granddad, began to rigorously examine it.
“Where is it coming from?” she asked herself, straining her eyes in the darkness, “Maybe I’m not looking in the right place?”
And, having found no obvious clues, the dwarfess turned around to face the door, but right then sprung backwards, instinctively stretching out her hands behind her back.
Yuffie stopped breathing and froze. As if obeying somebody’s order, her eyelashes congealed up, instantly shackled by a hypnotic aura, emitted from a wood-carved skull on the door. Light from the torch lamps, refracted through stones encrusted in the eye sockets of the skull, seemed to gain a supernatural power and, flickering blood red, brought the eyes to life. Through an incredible effort, Yuffie managed to turn her head slightly to the side in an attempt to avoid the piercing gaze of the magnetic eyes and took a step back. At that very moment the eyes in the skull fired brightly in response, as if vexed, absorbing all the light in the room. A chill ran down her spine and horrified, the dwarfess took another step, backing up to the wall.
“No!” she cried in fear. “Shoo!”
Yuffie screwed up her eyes and sharply turned her head to one side. “And what if…” she thought in horror, recognising that anymore and she would pass out, “the skull image comes off the door and floats towards me, and as soon as I open my eyes, it…” This thought sent Yuffie’s heart beating desperately and unable to resist, she opened her eyes and turned away, taking a sneaky glance at the motionless carving. An unpleasant smell filled the air again, stronger than last time, and Yuffie, holding her breath, moved her attention to the closest torch lamp. For an instant the fire in the lamp violently flared up, throwing out flame like tongues across the wall, as if nets, and then sharply recoiled them, quickly collecting the invisible catch. And it wasn’t the only one that fate was smiling on. But even though the contented crackling sound now reached the astonished dwarfess, as if through a thick material, it no longer attracted her attention. Instead Yuffie, entranced, looked directly in front of her, where in a short flaming aurora of light she could make out a narrow opening in the wall joint, and the opening, having revealed a few steps leading down for a second, disappeared into a familiar veil of darkness.
“Hmm,” muttered the dwarfess and clapped her hips, “you can’t hide from me!” And, casting a contemptuous look in the direction of the skull, jumped inside.
Holding onto the wall, Yuffie carefully moved along the narrow passage, feeling her way in the complete darkness. After a few minutes of walking, it started to appear to her, that the stairs were slowly winding to one side, and the steps were becoming a little higher, and as a precaution, Yuffie slowed her pace. A barely audible echo from her footsteps was replaced by a more distinct pitter-patter. The air became noticeably warmer, coloured with a shade of deep red, and the never-ending darkness came to an end, opening up a magnificent panorama of local mines in front of the dwarfess.
Yuffie looked intently at the mountainous expanse, and then walked over to a small trellis platform, lay on her stomach and with one eye looked down: directly underneath her, approximately one hundred forearm lengths away, a river of fire flowed. Waves of lava ruthlessly swashed against the expanse of the underground riverbed, giving out a weak roar. And the sound, rising upwards, mixed with the barely audible ring from the chained stairs, formed a captivating cannonade of sounds.
The dwarfess got up, went over to the first step and stood there for a minute, gathering courage. Then she began to move forward, looking apprehensively below and climbing up using her hands on the warm chains.
After a few tens of flights of stairs she was led up to a small patch of hard ground, resting on a monolith above the river. The first thing she did, climbing off the last step, was mop the sweat from her brow, and having taken a good look around, she noticed that she was on a stone balcony, surrounded by carved railings. Two statues in the form of figures clothed in long cloaks, whose faces were hidden by face masks of marcel, frozen on the spot in a slight bow, gestured to visitors to continue further, introducing the entrance to a grandiose colonnade.
“Amazing!” she blurted out with a hint of irony, having noticed a door in the distance. “It looks like I’m heading to the centre of the earth!”
Saga of D'Elem. Circle One is available here: http://www.sagaofdelem.com
Let mystery come upon you,
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