Xorsis : Invasion\Lost
Chapter 14: Trust
“So, what should our plan be now?” Aez asked enthusiastically.
Mersoy was chewing on her food. Gulping, she said, “The forest.”
“The forest. We need to find the forest spirit.”
They were sitting in the hotel lobby. Breakfast was served. Mersoy wasn’t a big fan of these Crilanian food, she felt that Estoyca’s food was much better. But there was no helping it. Well. Gotta get used to this shit.
“You keep mentioning it,” Nia said. “What is it though? A land serpent? A dragon?”
“Definitely not any of them,” Aez answered, “Do you think they could send search parties so many times and still can’t find a … Well, a gigantic serpent? Or a dragon?”
Mersoy replied, “If she was something like that, wouldn’t your people, or Nevidilandians, have killed her?”
“Well, then, what does it - she - look like?” Aez asked, “We have to prepare, you know. Not everyone is lucky like you to escape death so many times.”
“Don’t worry about it. She won’t harm you.”
“Well, if you say so…” Aez said, looking down at a small pocket-diary he held in his left hand, while his right hand held the spoon he was eating with.
“Guess we’ll just have to take whatever’s necessary then,” Nia shrugged.
“But the things we know aren’t a lot, yet.” Aez said, dropping his spoon and holding his head now in frustration. He looked at his scribbles in the diary and read them out.
“All we know now is - in short - you’re Estoycan, you are from so long ago that you witnessed three wars. You used to be an assassin. You stole that scroll from Nevidilandi, hoping it’ll turn all the pure fiends into part fiends. But it turned out to be a lie. And then that forest spirit encaged you for thirteen years.
“Then later on, you acted on its command and invaded Dottonex and our army camps with an undead army. You don’t want to tell us the reasons because you think that spirit will explain things better.”
“Yeah, sure, fair enough, it all makes sense,” Nia said in a sarcastic voice. “Why is a piece of parchment such a big deal?”
“It might have been valuable in the past,” Mersoy shrugged, “Maybe you two can’t grasp its potential because you all have already got its results. Imagine being in the middle ages without knowing how to produce enough food. Then an upgraded farming technique will be more precious to you than gold.”
“Maybe,” Aez shrugged.
“You can’t appreciate something you’ve already got,” Mersoy stated.
“But how do I know that the scroll does have farming techniques,” Nia asked, “You could be lying to us.”
“I have sources. Translation books for both Nevidilandian and ancient Tokreian. They are in the forest, so we have to head there if you want such proves.”
“Such books would be rare to find though,” Nia asked, scowling, “Where would you get them?”
“Well, you can buy your way in everywhere,” Mersoy sniggered, “Don’t ask me how I got money.”
“But the Tokreians said,” Aez said, slapping the table, “That scroll is a clone. What about that? It could be just a fake scroll for making them look bad.”
“Really?” Mersoy frowned, “You still believe in that bullshit? After how they behaved in Dottonex? You have a problem, boy.
“Just do what I’m saying. Let’s head to the forest and you’ll all be clear.”
Nia drank coffee slowly, and for a moment, her eyes flickered to the counter behind Mersoy. Mersoy noticed Nia's eyes were widened in shock, and then she nudged Aez by her elbow.
“What? Is something-”
But by now Mersoy too had turned her head slightly and seen them. Four Tokreians had entered the hotel through the other door near the counter, and they were approaching the hotel manager. Their voices were being heard, and Mersoy could hear them asking the shopkeeper about the three of them.
“We can’t stay here longer,” Mersoy said quietly, “Let’s get out.”
The three stood up and turned their backs to the counter.
“Well, we still have to pay,” Nia whispered, and looked at both of them a bit scared, “Um, sorry, but it’s bad to not pay them for their hard work.”
“Hard work my ass,” Aez cursed, “Who the hell makes food like this? Is this even a fu-”
Sighing, Nia opened her money pouch and put the money on the table.
“It’s bad behaviour to leave money on the table when there’s the counter,” Nia sighed, “But guess there’s no helping it.”
The three walked out through the other door. Mersoy glanced once more at the other door and twitched, one of the Tokreians had looked straight at her eyes. Without waiting for anything more to happen, she followed the other two and walked out.
“Where-?” Nia started to speak.
“Anywhere outside of the city will do,” Mersoy spoke in a low voice, interrupting her. She looked around her for Tokreians, and found them at almost every lane, the black suits standing out. “They’re here. And they’re searching for us.”
Both Nia and Aez remained silent. Aez said darkly, “It’s strange, huh? The saviours of the world, searching for us. And we can’t even show our face to them.”
“If you did, I doubt you’ll be able to prove you are not guilty of anything,” Mersoy replied in a cold voice, “If we really don’t know anything, why have we escaped? Why was a Tokreian attacked in the prison? I’m afraid no matter what your brother had planned, things haven’t been going too smoothly. And things are progressing just the way I thought they would,” she gritted her teeth.
Aez hissed, “Don’t you dare to accuse my brother, he’s-”
“It might not have been a flawless plan, but at least it let us escape, and I’m grateful for that,” Mersoy replied, interrupting him, “Look, I really don’t care what you think, but your brother has good foresight and I can respect that. However, I don’t think I’ll ever stop pointing out mistakes no matter whose it is.”
“It’s pointless to think of mistakes now!”
“No, it isn’t,” Mersoy looked at him, and he looked away, his face red with anger, “If you two ever have to come across something daunting - you’ll have to plan things well.”
“We’d never,” Aez said, “We need to get the truth and then we’re going back to Dottonex. I don’t care about what happened in history. I have dreams and I need to fulfill them.”
“If you think Dottonex is safe now,” Mersoy was looking at the distant, “You’re terribly wrong.”
“Enemies are around us, everywhere. Or are we the enemy? I don’t know, but no matter where you go now,” Mersoy now looked sharply at both of them, “There’s no place safe remaining anymore. And do you know why things have come to this?”
“Why?” Nia asked slowly.
“Because you asked to know the truth, and that’s what makes us potential criminals. If they got enough info, it wouldn’t take them long to frame up cases of terrorism against us.”
They had walked to the city gates of the capital. Outside, there were carriages waiting for passengers. Nia went ahead and booked one upto the outermost city gates. They rode the carriage. Mersoy looked around and quickly brought down the curtains at the end of the carriage, keeping a small slit.
“They are everywhere,” Mersoy whispered darkly, “It looks like they have decided not to let us out. In any case, we need to get away from Cridelford.”
The carriage rode on, the sound of its wheels dragging the stony paths made a strange sound in Mersoy’s ears. This was the second time she was riding a carriage. Back then, on those days, she had never rode one, and stone paths were new to her. So was the entire Cridelford. Humanity had progressed a lot in thirteen years. And she wasn’t used to all these new things. After all, it had been only a few visits here. Mersoy felt like she was old, and she didn’t fit in with the current world. But she looked around twenty-five still, fairly young. It was a strange feeling.
“I just don’t get it,” Aez was shaking his head, “Things are… they aren’t what they seemed like. The Tokreians…”
“Just accept the fact that we are criminals in their eyes,” Mersoy said emotionlessly, then turning away her head.
“I’m pretty sure we’re good people who are curious a little bit,” Nia said slowly.
“And they are people who want to punish people for being curious,” Mersoy said, sighing, and leaning back, “I think you’ll need to think a little bit whether you should keep trusting them anymore."