For a moment Barrett thought he’d managed to find his way back outside, for the sound of wind that had gone away behind him appeared in front of him after he opened the door. However, it was still clear that he was underground. The room ahead of him shifted from worked stone to a somewhat natural looking stone cavern. However, saying it was entirely natural would be incorrect. A twenty meter long rock bridge had been carved in the center of an otherwise long, narrow cavern. Below it, the ground dropped away past where Barrett could see with the light he was provided.
Besides the cavern itself, the wind was clearly unnatural. While some wind might find its way underground in rare circumstances, Barrett could feel nearly tornado force winds as he heard them blowing around the cavern. That was the other unnatural part- they weren’t coming from anywhere or going to anywhere, as far as he could tell.
The wind barely touched him at the doorway, but he felt it become stronger as he approached the bridge. However, there were also moments where the wind died down and felt weaker.
Barrett pulled out one of the ends of his recently acquired magic bandages. It pulled away from his body easily, unraveling the other ends. He didn’t really need it around himself anyway- he had no significant wounds. Normally, it just wrapped around his chest and would move to cover anywhere that needed it.
Now he had a roll of bandages, about three meters long and five centimeters wide. At least, that was how it appeared. The bandages could actually become as much as forty meters or more- enough to cover the whole body, if necessary. Though the bandages were magical, they were limited in what they could actually do. They could extend to a certain length, repair themselves at a certain speed, help with healing, and constrict around limbs if necessary. When not next to anything, only the first really applied. Barrett held onto a segment wrapped around his hand and let the other end unravel in the wind.
He had no control over where they went, but it didn’t matter. That wasn’t the point at all. The bandages stretched out into the room, moving like a snake swimming in the water- except without any sort of control. They twisted and whipped about as the winds changed going first one way then another… then back. Barrett coiled the bandages once more, then stood over to the side, seeing how they behaved starting at different points.
After a few minutes, he had a good idea of where the wind blew in the room- and he was certain that it changed in a regular pattern. With respect to the door, it blew mostly left and right, only occasionally blowing forwards or backwards. There was constant up and down motion, but the effect of that weakened near the bridge as the air seemed to blow in a ring around the bridge- making the right and left motion a clockwise or counterclockwise motion if he were to be precise. Barrett wasn’t sure exactly how the front to back winds moved, since there wasn’t anywhere for them to go except into the walls. The ceiling wasn’t that high- perhaps four meters above the floor and the lower ends of the bridge- and it didn’t seem to circle back at the top. Unfortunately, that was the limit of what his bandages could tell him. He put them back where they belonged, and waited for the right moment.
The rock bridge was wide enough to walk on without worry- except for the wind. In fact, it was nearly three meters wide by Barrett’s estimation… which actually made it too wide to hug onto the edges. That would have been the easiest solution. The wind was not so strong it could blow him away if he had a solid grip. The next thing was to try berserk energy… but the ground was magically reinforced so that he couldn’t penetrate it with berserk energy, making it much harder to steady himself that way. There seemed to be a particular intent for how one was to pass- they had to work with the wind. He could still use berserk energy to help prevent slipping, but it wouldn’t anchor him.
He waited, feeling the wind blow clockwise, counterclockwise, towards the door at his back, clockwise, counterclockwise, away… the cycle continued regularly. Finally, when the wind was blowing away from the door behind him, he dashed forward. He let the wind carry him forward some, though he didn’t entirely go with it. Instead, he mostly relied on his own speed. A few step out onto the bridge, Barrett nearly got blown off towards his left. He barely managed to crouch down and slide himself to a stop a handful of centimeters from the edge.
His initial thought was that the wind had changed pattern or timing- but he realized that wasn’t the case at all. The wind blew ‘forwards’ and ‘backwards’ the same way as it blew left or right- in a spiral around the bridge. Thus, the wind pushed in two directions, changing in intensity depending on location along the bridge.
Barrett pushed back against the wind, then a moment later there was a tiny lull as the wind shifted, and he threw himself back the several meters towards the beginning of the bridge. He managed to arrive there just as the winds really picked up, but they weren’t very strong on the solid ground.
Barrett waited for the next cycle before trying again- this time bracing himself against the shifting winds pushing him forward and to the side. He had to rely more on the winds to push him forward. In a short time he reached the halfway point… and then he was committed. He pushed himself forward, leaning against the wind to his right, using berserk energy to create more friction with the ground and Pure Body Tempering to lower his center of gravity. He reached the other side just as the wind shifted once more, blowing suddenly from the left. It would have flung him off if he was still on the bridge, because not only was it stronger in that direction but he was already leaning with it.
He took a few moments to catch his breath and steady himself before moving towards the next door. He wondered what he would find behind it…