Chapter 13:

The Hostage: Misunderstanding 'Fun'


“This is weird,” Deneb said. “You’ll get used to it,” Seril replied. Early in the morning, Deneb was still tied. The gang was awake, and they are taking a patrol around to search for a village. “Nothing about this is normal to get used with!”, “Then get used to a not normal,” what was weird was Deneb was tied using two ropes, and each end is held by four of the gang. Xadulo was leading them, just as usual. Not to mention, two thick strips of black lines are drawn on their left cheeks. The boys behind, Seril and Pablo, were pointing spear to Deneb, while Jack and Kyshanne in the front held their spears pointed in the sky.

“Also, there’s only six of us! Where on earth is that Carnelia, in hell?!” everyone replied, “Yes” in different ways of saying. ‘Was that sarcasm?? Or is it the truth?! “In hell?! Why would she need to be there!” Kyshanne said, “Annoying… of course, she’d be there. That’s her home”, “HOW?!” Deneb was persistent. “BECAUSE SHE’S A DEMON. GODDAMMIT,” Pablo said, itching his left ear as sign he’s tired of whatever he hears. 

Deneb was trying to process it. “But that thing was not an illusion. She had a body. How does that work??”, “She has a vessel, a human vessel. Made by that woman over there who you’ve been dreaming to get for years,” Pablo said. “Don’t make it sound misleading!”

Xadulo turned her head, not halting their walk. “Why do you want to know that much about Carnelia? Are perhaps interested?”, “Not romantically!” he shouted as his face turned as red as a tomato. “Just another lad in his puberty days,” Jack said. “What do you mean by that?! I’m totally not in love!” he meant it. But he was so red that everyone, except Xadulo, misunderstood. “Ugh, feels like worse than our Jackie-days,” Seril said.

Late in the morning. Deneb was tired walking, but not the five people he was with. “How come you can still stand?” he asked in exhaustion. “Years of walking endlessly, you’ll also get used to it,” Pablo bragged. “Why on earth?!”, “Where’s your village?” Xadulo asked. “What on earth are you trying to do there?!” he was serious mad. “Don’t worry, if possible, I wouldn’t kill them all,” Deneb struggled. “I wouldn’t tell!”, “Just say it. You’re my trusted friend anyway, you can trust me in exchange”, “I wanna leave this group!” 

Xadulo turned to dead serious, as that carefree smile vanished. All four pointed their spears on his neck, no more joking this time. “You’re so very wrong there, Deneb,” Xadulo said. “You are part of this group not because you wanted to, but because I wanted you to,” Xadulo grabbed his collar and pulled him so close they could kiss. “If you want to leave, I’ll tell you how, and if you agreed, then you’ll be able to leave this place”, “How?!”

Xadulo let go and stepped away. “I’ll make your heart explode”, “What…?”, “Since that heart won’t be in my care anymore. Once you leave this group, I’ll lose interest in you. And anyone I’ve got no interest in, boom! Their heart explodes,” Deneb finally understood. The people around him were really serious. None was a lie. “Now can you tell me where your village is?”

 the innocent smile came back. Deneb looked down and lowered his voice. “It’s in southwest, on the Farhood hills…” they headed there, Deneb appearing to be a hostage. He’s pride was off his sight, and continued looking down. When he thought it was over for him, Xadulo instructed the group to let go of Deneb and wipe their cheeks. 

She called for Carnelia, and she appeared with her usual short hair and faint-red eyes, the image Deneb haven’t seen. Of course, he’s shocked about Carnelia suddenly appearing out of thin air. Xadulo asked to take the spears, and Carnelia did so, disappearing again, but with the spears. In an instant, they looked totally innocent.

“What’s this?” Deneb asked. “We’ll appear as you friends. No actually, we are!” Deneb didn’t understand. “Why?”, “I want to meet other necromancers that’s not in my age. Not to mention, I feel like wanting to meet that boss of yours,” but Deneb still didn’t understand her motive. “It’s all to ease boredom, and find fun! Cooking you (temp), ignoring you, drawing those lines on our cheeks, making you look like a hostage, none of those meant anything. I just want to have fun with my friends!” 

By that, Deneb understood. “We’ve been living our life full of fun in this group!” he saw Xadulo as an awful leader, so he didn’t understand why these people obeyed her. He thought maybe they were forced, but he was wrong. The people he thought to be unfortunate were actually luckier than anyone he knew. “Let’s go to the village!” Xadulo said excitedly.