Notes: There's some subtle Syrenne/Lowell. Otherwise, there's nothing worth mentioning here.
Yurick clutched the torch in his hand as he continued down one of the dug-out corridors, stopping every now and then to observe the few artifacts his eye could catch and taking down notes in his worn, leather-bound notebook. This archaeological excavation hadn't been as interesting as he had hoped. Perhaps he had set his standards too high when he and his crew had heard that they would be working on an underground city, but thus far there was nothing that stood out. There were no skeletal pieces to carbon date, leaving them to assume that this city had been abandoned, and as far as he could tell, they took most of their possessions with them. Sure, the city itself was an architectural feat when considering that it was about 700 years old, but all in all, it wasn't terribly exciting.
With a sigh, he pushed forward, feeling a chill creep in as he delved farther and farther underground. Perhaps he should have gone back and checked on the findings of his peers, but with the hope of a more promising discovery, he continued down.
And just like he had hoped, he had found a promising discovery. After treking just a little farther, he stumbled upon a set of arched, wooden doors. The good condition of the wood in comparison to the rest of the city made him skeptical yet very intrigued, and compelled by his curiosity he drew closer. On the right door was an intricate, golden sculpture of a man's face surrounded by an engraved circular frame—his cheeks shaven and his hair short. The opposite door was very similar, but the sculpture was silver and of a female with long, wavy locks falling far past her frame. The details were incredibly astonishing and realistic, and immediately he began to ponder their purpose.
At any rate, he wasn't going to know until he went past those doors.
Setting his torch against the earthen wall, he placed his hands on the rightmost door and pushed.
Until he realized that it wasn't going to budge.
He tried again on the other door, and the results were no different. He huffed and stepped back, eyeing the doors with an accusatory look. Someone wanted to hide something and he wanted to know what exactly it was.
"Ya know, if you wanna get inside, you're gonna have to solve our riddle." Spoke the woman of the left door, causing Yurick to scream out much like a little girl would.
"W-what the bloody hell!?" Had the door actually talked? No. No, no, nono, no. It couldn't have. The most logical and realistic explanation was that he was hallucinating. He hadn't sleep in days and his work was nothing less than stressful. Naturally, his mind had to be revolting in ways that made him see the sculptures move their mouths and speak.
He rubbed his eyes in an attempt to clear the images away and looked again. Now, instead of having those neutral faces they originally had, they both were grinning mischievously in his direction.
Great, the two of them were animate, and he was beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, he wasn't hallucinating.
"She's right, chap. If you wanna get by here you're gonna have to be bright."
"Lowell, hold oooonnn. Don't tell the riddle this time. You got to do it last time and we haven't had someone try in ages!" The woman barked back, her eyes rolling over to look at the so-called "Lowell".
"But Syrenne, sweetheart, you always tell the dullest riddles. Mine are much better." Her silver nose scrunched up in annoyance and she huffed.
"Oh alright, alright. Tell away. I can't have a lovely lady mad at me, after all."
Pacified, she cleared her throat and turned her attention back to the archaeologist.
"Did Dick Pickens prick his pinkie pickling cheap cling peaches in an inch of Pinch or framing his famed French finch photos?" Lowell rose an eye brow and Yurick gaped like a fish, insinuating a number of possible things.
"That's the best you could do? You almost always use that one." Syrenne growled and shook her door in a fury.
"Oi, no one ever solves that one so why tha' hell are you complanin'?"
"Did Dick Pickens prick his pinkie pickling cheap cling peaches in an inch of Pinch or framing his famed French finch photos is not a riddle, you stupid door!" Yurick yelled midst all their bickering, arms held out in exasperation.
"Ohh, he said it perfectly," Syrenne hummed in silent agreement with her consort, "but how 'bout I give you a fair riddle, ey lad?" 'Finally', he thought. Maybe one of these doors had a sliver of common sense after all. He just wanted to go inside and be about his way.
Unfortunately, nothing was ever that simple.
"What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"
"How is tha' even a riddle, Lowell? That's just a scientific question!"
Yurick groaned into his hands.
Continuing down this corridor was the worst decision he had ever made.