Chapter 25:

The Fog

The Melancholy of a Whimsical Half-Elph

Alejandro shuddered awake when a distorted howl echoed throughout the forest. His gasp was covered with a gentle hand. His eyes darted to the culprit upon feeling a weight upon his waist. Enne shushed him as her ears perked to the foggy environment. When she gently released, she looked over to Silesta, who barely sat up.

“Why the hell are you on top of me?” he asked.

“Never mind that!” she replied. “I don’t know what’s happening, but Silesta isn’t feeling well.”

“Oh?” The wanderer glimpsed the young woman’s miserable state. “Where’s the slime?”

“I don’t know... But my mana is suppressed.”

“You said the forest had that quality about it, anyway.”

“It does, but this feels different from my encounter with the Skitini.”

Alejandro raised his eyebrow. Enne got off him and returned to Silesta. The young elf murmured incoherently while clutching her head. The wanderer stood up when he heard strange vocalizations from the thicket. Their base sound was that of wolves, but

“Necrobytes?” he gasped.

“Geez, that took you long enough,” she replied. Alejandro ignored her response, fixating on the young elf instead. Her eyes glowed lilac momentarily as she lifted her head. “We should be going.”

“What’s going on?” Silesta finally asked. Alejandro winced, though Enne tried to ease her concern. “Where’s Dewy?”

“He, uh... Rolled away?”


“I’m sure we’ll come across him along the way,” Alejandro said. Enne looked through the side of her eye and smiled. “What’s important right now is getting out of here.”

“Allie,” Enne said. She guided the young woman toward Alejandro. “You and Silesta go. I’ll try to draw their attention.”

“I’m not sure if that’s a good idea.”

A distorted growl echoed. The trio looked over to see several silhouettes emerge. More surrounded them on each side. There was nowhere for them to run to in the endless fog. Enne tensed up and took a step forward. The warmth that grasped her arm stopped her.

“Don’t do anything reckless,” Alejandro said, prompting her side glance

“Good thing I don’t need to rely on mana,” she smiled. She sensed the wolves readying to pounce. “Run.”

Alejandro and Silesta ran. A wolf leaped at them, only to be caught by Enne. Having grabbed it by its neck, she broke it effortlessly before hurdling it against another. Its neck bones quickly snapped into place. Enne nearly gawked but maintained composure. With several charging at once, she dodged between the trees. She lost her footing, forgetting the environment’s sloped nature. Her body tumbled through as she tried to regain control of her descent. Despite the wolves’ frantic chase, none could catch up to her. Enne landed on her feet when she reached the bottom. Her dress was covered in leaves as she sprang to her feet.

Enne ducked a tentacle that pierced the fog. She swung around and grabbed it from its base before pulling it forward. As a wolf landed by her feet, she tore the tentacle out. The wolf’s face split open, revealing the tiny sensor from its face. Teeth lined the parting of its skull. Enne backed away, providing enough space as she sloughed the bladed-tipped tentacle. It broke off the thickest trees and turned saplings into dangerous projectiles. Some wolves were impaled while others pressed on. She quickly stumbled away, brought the whip back, and swung it again. It shredded through the ground and tore some in half.

How many more are there? Enne wondered as she returned to form. How do I take them out without fire?

Her ears twitched to something rushing behind her. Enne glimpsed a crouched figure dashing past her and began striking down the oncoming wolves. It let out a low growl as it thrashed against the first few. The massive figure dragged one wolf when it shot its tentacles at him. It sunk its canines into the creature, drying it entirely before tossing it away. Enne froze as the wolves redirected their attention at it. It reminded her of how the Snallygaster killed the necrobear.

“D—Dewy?” she gasped.

Sorry, I—

“You can kill them?”


“Crap,” Enne heard the oncoming creatures. “There are more of them! We need to meet up with the others, but....”

Follow me!

Enne followed Dewy as they dashed away from the scene. They led the wolf pack through the sparse setting. Dewy fended off those who got two close. Though their tentacles pierced its hide, the dogman wasn’t phased. Again, it sunk its teeth into the necrowolf without feeling the effects. Enne winced, wondering how it could sustain absorbing the infection. She felt along her waist, remembering the hardening effects from the otherwise fatal strike the necrobear delivered.

“N—no way,” Enne thought aloud. “Wait, how many until he gets full?”

Enne, what are you doing?


Thinking? We’re being swarmed!

“Something is not right.”

Enne hopped over him and kicked a leaping wolf away. She landed and crouched next to him as she looked ahead. Several figures prowled beyond the trees. A lilac hue dimly filled the view. Their stalkers retreated toward Alejandro and Silesta’s direction. She looked up at Dewy. He saw the terror in her eyes. Her lips parted, but words couldn’t trickle out. Something was amiss.

“We need to catch up to them,” Enne said.

Alejandro and Silesta ran aimlessly through the woods. Silesta struggled to keep up as panic set in. The wanderer tried to keep her focused. Silesta clung to a tree, slowly revealing her face. Tears ran down while her irises glowed a dim purplish hue. Her breathing changed. Alejandro approached hesitantly.

“I’m scared,” she said. Her voice became a distorted mix between her voice and a scratchy tone.

“Silesta?” he spoke. She stepped away when he tried to reach for her shoulder.

“Get away. I—”

Wolves emerged from the thicket. Silesta and Alejandro found themselves surrounded. Nothing made sense to the wanderer as he observed the young woman’s strange calm. She didn’t seem like the same person any longer. Her feet shuffled through the grass as she looked through the trees. Countless silhouettes lingered.

“Why aren’t they attacking?” he wondered aloud. The young elf didn’t respond.

Is this what I think it is? The wanderer awaited a reply that never came.

The still air suddenly began to stir. A storm was brewing; Unnatural and as ominous as the foggy setting they traveled through. Her eyes glowed, and the wind picked her off her feet. Alejandro watched her ascent and the calamity that unfolded. The wolves hesitated to attack. With a few hand motions, the trees were uprooted violently and launched against the scattered pack. Alejandro ducked in time as a tree flew over him.

“Silesta?” he called.

“I must protect this body,” she spoke. Her voice became wretched and hoarse. “At all costs.”

“Who are you?”

A bright lilac light flashed. When it subsided, he turned over to find Silesta grounded. Her body wobbled, nearly collapsing until he caught her. The spirit that inhabited her remained when he looked into her eyes.

“Where is she?” he asked. Her eyes deviated from his.

“Within... So, she could remember.”

“Remember? Who are you? Why her?”

“Because she would’ve been sold off had I not intervened. This child has been through enough. She’s safe, for now.”

“You still haven’t told me—”

“Allie!” Enne shouted. Dewy followed behind. The half-Elph sensed something off when she looked into the young woman’s eyes. “Silesta?

“So, you survived?” she replied coldly. “Along with that beast?”

Hey! Dewy’s ears lowered. Enne grabbed Silesta’s shoulders and joggled her.

“What’s wrong with you?” Silesta growled.

“Get out of her body!” Enne demanded.

Enne sounds absolutely crazy, he thought.

Alejandro couldn’t fathom the strange circumstance as the women exchanged shouts. A possessed woman, a werewolf, and a half-elph were presented before him. As the shouting between them came to a climax, he sighed loudly.

“Seriously?” Alejandro said. Enne released her grip and remained on her knees. “This is getting us nowhere. We just need answers. Perhaps... We can work together?”

“Where are we then?” Enne asked. Her tone had eased. Alejandro narrowed his eyes upon hearing her question. “Something isn’t right about this.”

“You certainly don’t miss a thing, do you?” Silesta asked. “We are in a place between time and space. Few can enter nor escape.”

“Escaping, it is.”

“It’s not that simple.”

“You’re probably the reason we’re here in the first place!”

Silesta’s eyes glowed. A sudden burst of flora sprung in all directions and quickly subdued the stalking wolves. Their yelps fell silent within moments. Enne maintained her glare. The tension made Alejandro uneasy.

“The girl can’t handle what’s happening,” she continued. “As an inhabitant of this body, I cannot allow her to be harmed. Despite my powers, they’re mostly defensive. I would’ve never imagined these creatures could slip through.”

Enne and Alejandro exchanged silent glances.

“That’s strange—” they said at the same time.

“The only way to get out is by going the opposite direction,” Silesta uttered. Enne looked to the cloaked skies. “Why are you looking up?”

“You said opposite direction,” she replied. Silesta gawked.

“Well, you can’t fly!”

“No! But I can jump really high!”

What am I listening to right now? Alejandro’s face remained expressionless.

“Hypothetically, that could work, right?” Enne questioned.

“Eh, yes... Sure?”

She doesn’t seem so sure, Dewy said.

“I can hear you!”


“Yeah, me too. Your voice wasn’t what I expected,” Alejandro raised his hand. He returned his focus to the conversation. “Couldn’t you just levitate out of here, eh—You still haven’t given us a name.”

“What my is name is doesn’t matter. What matters is the plan,” she replied.

“I didn’t realize you were so cultured!” Enne smiled.

“Of course, I’m a witch—Uh....”

Enne grinned menacingly.

“A witch, you say? Are you—”

“Elizabeth Abigail Kedward.”

Salem’s ancestor? Enne thought.

Alejandro raised an eyebrow.

“Come on,” Alejandro chuckled. “The Blair Witch? You can send us into another world?”

“Is that what they call me these days?” she responded. “This is a self-defense mechanism based on her inner world.”

“What?” Enne and Alejandro replied.

“So, we get isekai’d into another world?” Enne asked.

“Ise—what?” the wanderer replied.

“Wait, so… How can we get her back out?”

“When she no longer feels in danger,” Silesta replied. Enne frowned before glancing at the grayed distance.

“We let her down... Wait, there aren’t any wolves.”

“There isn’t,” Alejandro affirmed. “So, the danger is over?”

“No,” Silesta replied coldly. “Something else lurks in the thicket of her mind.”

Dewy slowly turned, looking at what Enne observed. The fog revealed nothing, but it growled. Enne’s ears shift while observing the dogman’s posture. Wings flapped heavily in the distance before falling silent. Silesta and Alejandro watched with them, discovering an ominous shadow beyond the tree line.

“And there it is,” Silesta whispered.

A metallic screech filled the silence.

Mother? Dewy gasped.

“Mother?” Everyone said at the same time.

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