I’m going on a journey, the old man said. Keep studying, I’ll soon be back.
Mirk nodded. His master slowly faded and disappeared.
For years he had been studying hard, though time worked differently here than back home. He had read so many books, calculated so many formulas. He’d learnt how to change little thing around him, make things appear out of nothing, duplicate, shrink and float in the air.
It was the first time he had the house for himself. He wanted to use the time well, and study hard.
As he sat there with his mind buried deep into an old book, something distracted him. It had for a long time. A door, at the end of the library. His master had told him never to go in there. He said he one day would explain, when Mirk was ready. The curiosity nagged him, scratched him deep under the skin. He needed to know.
It didn’t look like much. It had a golden handle, and was made of old oak.
A cold draft came when he opened it. A staircase went down into the darkness. It looked older than the rest of the house, older than anything he’d ever known. On one side there was an abyss, a bottomless crack down into nothing. On the other the wall had symbols carved on them. Some Mirk knew from before. Letters, telling stories of a dark past, of times when the world was ruled by horrors. Others were calculations of numbers not created for counting. Magic. They seemed to be for protection, at least the few ha was able to understand.
The rest were of another kind. Deeper, darker. Unknown and forgotten. He started walking down the many steps. Formulas in his head made the darkness cede. The steps seemed to never end.
He reached a wall. An invisible wall he could not pass. On the other side there was darkness, a hall so big he could not see the walls.
A sound. Chains moving. Something was out there. Something big.
A roar. A horrible roar from the deep of his fears, a scream of terror and evil. Something came out of the darkness. Teeth. Fire. Mirk fell back on the stairs.
The chain straightened. It stared at Mirk, it’s eyes deep and evil. It knew. It knew the numbers. It knew how reality worked.
Mirk could feel it casting spells in its mind. Spells of destruction. He could feel them threatening to tear him apart, even through the protective wall, through the carvings and symbols.
Mirk got up on his feet, ran as fast as he could. He ran back up the stairs, closed the door behind him.
He decided it was better not to go down there ever again.