“WERE GOING TO DIE. WHAT DID YOU DO?” Ritas heart was beating fearfully, afraid that it would be flattened at any second. The velocity at which they were falling did not help reassure Rita of their survival chances.

And the worst part about it all? The stranger was still holding her captive in her shoulder which gave Rita no chance to use her summoning magic. Even if she did try, the backlash would be felt by both of them and send them hurling through the air.

And beneath their falling bodies lay the abyss. The darkness eclipsed the whole landscape, leaving the ground as a bottomless surface. Rita had never entered the abyss herself but she had heard stories from her guards. And they were not pretty or inspiring.

“Are you suicidal? Why me? Why did you close with me? Will we continue to fall the whole time? I heard that the abyss doesnt have an end. I dont want to be here” Rita felt tears hit her eyes as she looked down.

So this was how she was going to die? At the hands of a madwoman who did not see it as wrong to jump down directly into the abyss? So what if the lights coming from the abyss looked pretty? That did not mean it was the right idea to jump down.

“You complain too much” Rita felt herself being moved in that embrace and the next thing she knew, she was on the beautiful girls shoulder again. The one carrying her made a small impact which felt like they had landed on solid land. The lights surrounding them also neared and were at a touchable distance now.

T-There really was ground down here. Then, did that mean the abyss had an end? It seemed to be shallower than Rita had expected it to be. But maybe the abyss and its depth had been an exaggeration? Its corrosive magic felt weak to her.

“I-Is this the abyss?” Rita asked, her voice shaky. She had been mentally counting the days for this very moment. She knew she was nearing her initiation date into an abyss team and she had been hand-picked as well.

But now that she was finally here, Rita could not help but feel afraid of what would happen next. She had never imagined herself to be in the abyss alone, much less with a stranger that had dragged her there.

“Abyss? What are you talking about? Were in the underbelly right now, trying to get to the pleasure district. The abyss is 1000 or so meters below us” the blue-haired female reassured and weirdly enough, Rita believed her.

After all, this place did not give off the same amount of oppressive feeling the Abysss taint gave off. Rita could breathe the air in and it did not harm her.

“If were not in the abyss, then where are we? I never knew there was another city this deep beneath our own” Rita marveled at the dark and gloomy architecture of the place. Most of it was mismatched and did not fit together.

No two buildings were alike in looks or even maintenance. They all looked like they were falling apart and it made Rita hesitate to step inside.

“Such places exist beneath every city, even the holy one, not that theyll ever admit it. But these underbellies are a necessity to keep the upper cities working. No, dont make eye contact” The blue-haired girls hand landed on Ritas face and turned it away from the direction shed been staring at.

The pair staring back at her glanced at her companion and something in their gaze just changed. Rita could sense the moment they decided to make a move and she instantly felt like she should be on the alert.

“Hurry. Walk fast but dont run. We dont want to alert any unsavory parties about our location” Rita nodded as her companion took her arm and started to drag her away.

But it did not deter the pair from following after them. Instead of slowing down, it felt like the guards had sped up even more and the guards were about to catch up to them. Rita wanted to tell her companion and she even opened her mouth…

…only to stop. How did she call the lady at her side? It was not like Rita even knew her name or anything.

Had Rita actually consented to leave with an unknown person out of her own will? Hadnt she been warned again and again about this? How did that happen?

“Dont panic. Were almost out of their hunting area. They wont follow us into the red valley!” Her beautiful companion explained, totally missing the origin of Ritas panicking.

However, something in Rita told her not to ask the question now. People down here were weird and they were observing Rita and her companion with a discreet eye. And if not for her training, Rita would have never noticed this at all.

Ritas eyes moved back to the pair following after them and she saw them falter just as her companion entered the alley and put her down. Rita had not even realized that she had been carried around on the others shoulder this whole time.

“They wont bother us anymore since this area is under protection. Now, what are you going to do now?” The blue-haired lady asked. She did not sound demanding but something in Rita made her want to reply back.

Rita paused, thinking back at all that had happened in the last few hours. She had been free and void of all her responsibilities but she had also been thrust into a world she knew nothing about.

As such, there was only one correct answer for her.

“I want to go home. Please take me back” Rita requested, even as her heart sank. Being free had been awesome but she knew she could not remain free forever. She had responsibilities and had people dependent on her back home.

She just hoped that the female in front of her understood.

“Youre free to go back. I still have work here to do so Ill be going ahead now” the lady turned and Rita felt panic settle inside her.

She was not going to be left alone here, was she? T-There was no way, right?

“What is it?” The blue-haired lady asked as Rita caught her wrist. There was no way Rita was going to traverse this place alone.

And as much as she hated to admit it, the blue-haired female was the only one she felt like she could trust. So the other was stuck with Rita whether she liked it or not.

“Uh, I think itll be better if I come with you, whats your name again?” Rita asked, only to get an amused chuckle in return.

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