[Chapter 4 - Suffering Savior]
"Ugh," Oscar makes a sound of disgust, "I can still smell it."
"Smell what?" Decker asks curiously as they continued walking towards further into the Asylum.
"I don't know what," Oscar couldn't put a finger on it, "At first I thought it might've come from those Hollows we fought, seeing as how they've been stuck here for gods knows how long... But we left their rotting corpses a while ago, yet this scent still lingers."
Decker blushes underneath his facemask, or rather, he would've if he had the flesh to produce that red tint, as he reveals the source of the smell. "Sorry," Decker apologizes, "It's coming from me; I had just gotten out of the sewers, you see."
"Oh that's what the smell was!" Oscar exclaims not of disgust, at least this time, but out of finally knowing what the scent was. "Good thing I didn't go down there then," Oscar tells Decker, "That smell would've clung to me like a tin can full of sardines."
"And then I would've had to eat you," Decker chuckles jokingly, though admittedly, he is hungry; After all, he had been locked up for quite some time, and escaping a huge hammer-wielding monster, traversing through a catacomb of sewers, and fighting a group of Hollows definitely whets up an appetite.
"Perhaps, though I'd like to see you try to bring a can opener to a fight," Oscar eggs him on light-heartedly. Decker chuckles once again, this time out of feeling a sort of... kinship... with this fellow knight. Maybe it's because of their banter together, or the fact that they shared the same side in a battle not long ago, but Decker feels somewhat at ease with Oscar, allowing him to lower his guard.
"Anyway, where are we headed now?" Decker asks him.
"Into the heart of the Asylum, I suppose," Oscar shrugs.
"Why?" Decker expresses his skeptism, "Why shouldn't we try to escape this place? Actually, while we're on the topic, why are you here anyway?"
Oscar takes a few moments to consider answering his question. It's not as if he is planning to lie to the young man, in fact he wants to tell the truth, but he feels that his answer may not be satisfactory, or worse, embarassing. "Don't laugh," Oscar pleads, "But I was told that something valuable is down here in the Asylum, and that if I don't want the world to be ushered into darkness, I need to find it."
Decker double-take as he hears his answer. "You're telling me some crazy fortune teller told you to come down here to prevent the end of the world?"
"I know it seems funny," Oscar admits, "But she told me that the world will be plunged into darkness unless I find... Whatever it is I'm looking for... And bring it to the outside world."
"And that's it?" Decker expresses his skeptism once again, "She doesn't tell you what the item is, what it does, or even what to do with the damn thing?"
"Nope," Oscar answers, "She told me that once I find it, my journey will end."
"Really?" Decker shrugs, "That's it? If I didn't know better, I'd say you were taken for a fool."
"Haha," Oscar laughs, "Perhaps, but something good came out of it, no?" He obviously referencing his newfound friendship with Decker, whom he pats on the back to ensure Decker gets the underlining point loud and clear.
As the two walks the cobblestone path, they eventually reach another part of the Asylum building. The entryway is unlocked, thankfully, so the pair opens the door and walks back inside the dark, murky darkness of the interior. From where they are, they can see several jail cells lining the walls, all free of prisoners, and several staircases leading up and down. Some of the jail cells and staircases were ruined to the point that they no longer serving their purpose, like a criminal could easily escape his cell by walking through the huge opening in the side of the wall. Also due to the destruction of the Asylum, there are many holes in the interior that leaks into the outside, such as a hole below them shows the bonfire that Decker had used earlier.
As Decker and Oscar walks forward to explore, they both decide not to stick too close together, in order to avoid another ambush. In addition to that, they both try to walk quietly and keep their voices down, for their sounds would echo throughout the building and alert the hordes of angry undead Hollows. Oscar, hoping to look for the object, decides to search the jail cells for any items while Decker goes on ahead to look for a way out. Decker goes around looking for any unlocked doors or staircases that were stable enough to hold them both.
"Aw, nothing," Oscar expresses his dismay as he finishes searching a corpse of one of the prisoners; All he found is a bloody knife in the palm of the prisoner's hand upon seeing the trail of blood that leaked from the prisoner's wrist. He tries very carefully not to touch even a speck of blood on the prisoner, hoping not incur a "vision," since the cause of death of the prisoner is seemingly clear enough.
With nothing left to investigate in the cell, he gets up off the ground and leaves the tiny room to find another. Along the way, however, he notices something most peculiar: There is a huge huge in the wall on the side of the next jail cell with dried blood all over it. Oscar immediately looks the other way in order to find out what could have caused this little "scene," but all he sees is Decker walking on the staircase leading up.
"I'm going to see if I can find a way out from here," Decker calls out quietly as Oscar nods back in response; Oscar doesn't want to worry Decker of something that's probably nothing to care about, but nevertheless, he needs to investigate this. With a deep sigh, he places his hand on the bloodstain, which causes him to react unusually; His body shakes with tremors as he keeps his hand on the bloodstain, seemingly for an unknown reason, but only after a few second of this "episode" does he immediately takes his hand off and shouts.
"Decker!" He runs back towards Decker, who stops dead in his tracks in the middle of the staircase leading to the next level.
"What's up?" Decker asks of him, completely unaware of the Undead Soldier smirking behind him as it pushes a huge boulder down the staircase; Only when the boulder hits that first step does Decker recognizes what's going on, and tries to run down the stairs in order to save himself. However, the sudden burst of speed that Decker conjures in order to escape causes him to trip over his legs, falling down the staircase, injuring his ankle badly. Furthermore, with the rate of speed that the boulder is travelling, there is no possible way that Decker could get back up in time to move out the way.
"No!" Oscar shouts as he runs over to Decker, picks him up, and pushes him out of harm's way, saving his life. Decker rolls over and stumbles on the ground with the wind knocked out him. After catching his breath, he starts struggling to get back up despite his broken ankle, to go thank Oscar for saving him from the boulder. But when he gets up and turns around, Oscar isn't there, much to his horror.
"Oscar!?" Decker shouts, no longer afraid to alert the enemies seeing as how the boulder might have done that already. The boulder had smashed through the indent that Oscar was investigating earlier, so Decker decides to check for Oscar there. As the Undead Soldier comes down the staircase to finish the job, Decker grabs one of his daggers and tosses it at it's legs, so that it stumbles down the stairs like Decker before it, and stabs it right in the cranium with his other dagger. "That's for not killing me," Decker says it regretfully as he limps on over to the jail cell.
As soon as he walks in, his worst fears are confirmed: Oscar is sitting next to the boulder, which had hit him so hard that it bounced off of him. Despite the heavy armor he wore, steel is no match for a giant rock, and as a result, Oscar's body is banged up like a crushed up tin can, with his blood seeping out of the cracks and slits of his armor. Oscar looks up at Decker as if trying to smile at him, albeit weakly. "Hey," he utters out with his exhausted breath, "You okay?"
"I should be asking you that," Decker answers back softly, "I mean, you're a lot worse off than I am."
"Funny that I'm the one who got hurt more," Oscar struggles to laugh, "Considering that I'm wearing a ton of armor." Decker senses that Oscar is in tremendous pain, if it isn't obvious from his injuries, but Oscar's trying to get the situation from appearing gloomy.
"That's going to make it harder to carry you out of here," Decker explains as he limps on over to Oscar, "You want me to take off your pants or do you want to be a big boy and do it yourself?"
"What, not even going to buy me dinner first?" Oscar jokes back.
"Sure, you like roasted Undead?" Decker flashes his Pyromancer's Glove, igniting a tiny flame with a flick of a wrist and a snap of his fingers.
"I rather have something to drink," Oscar takes out a tiny flask with only a tiny amount of liquid inside. He flips open the mask portion of his helmet, revealing his Hollow status to Decker, and takes a final hit of his flask, emptying the contents into his mouth. With a sigh, he tosses the flask to Decker, who manages to catch it despite being throw off guard.
"Take this," Oscar gives him, "It's an Estus Flask, some kind of a magical bottle that heals your wounds." He isn't lying when he says this: Estus Flasks are a special bottle that can heal even the most deadliest of wounds. However, the existence of the bottles are questionable at best, and yet Decker manages to see one for himself.
"So does that mean that you're going to be okay?" Decker asks, seeing as how Oscar had drank some of the contents recently.
"Sorry," Oscar shrugs, "There isn't enough for it to completely heal me. At least it'll numb the pain, for now."
"Where can I get more?"
"I saw a bonfire downstairs," Oscar remembers when he first enters the room and sees the bonfire from the holes in the building, "Take this bottle of water, pour it into the flask, and then dip the Flask into the bonfire itself. Fish it out and bring it back up here."
"Got it," Decker tells him before heading off to go downstairs. He hurries despite his, because the commotion must've drawn the attention of other Undead enemies, but no matter how fast he goes, it's futile, and Oscar knows it. As Decker leaves the premise in order to "save" Oscar, he thinks back to the fortune teller, recalling that she said that "when he finds what he's looking for, his journey will end." He even smirks to himself as he realizes why the fortune teller had given him the Estus Flask, and why she insisted that he take it and keep it on him at all times.
"I guess I've done my job then," Oscar smiles to himself once more before he drifts from consciousness. The scorched ring on his body, the Darksign, which is the symbol of a cursed Hollow doomed to repeat death over and over again, fades from existence as does he.
And even though Decker is at the bonfire, trying to fish out the Estus Flask dwelling inside, he senses Oscar's death, and upon feeling his departure, understands his true intentions for lying to him: It was to keep Decker from seeing a newfound friend die right before his eyes.