Chapter 16:

Talk: Chat with Me and the Folks


The harvest season was approaching, and everyone was looking for yet-to-ripe fruits for stock. Deneb was helping Xadulo from below, as she picks fruits and throws them into the bag Deneb was holding “Still, why did you choose me?” they were having a talk while doing so. 

“Kyshanne and Seril were saying many ones you encountered ended up being heartless”, “So? What’s your point?” Deneb couldn’t answer right away. “I mean, what are my odds I wasn’t killed?” Xadulo glanced at him to explain. “I can read people. What they were feelings, what were their mood, or what were their lies and honesties,” she went back into choosing and picking fruits. “I like sincere liars. You were like them,” she said. 

“What exactly was I lying about?”, “Your motive. You said you have been chasing after me. Yes, you believed I was still alive and well, but you weren’t looking for me. You were just using that as an excuse so that you can venture the outside world, convincing yourself ‘you weren’t lying to anyone’. I find it funny how you were one of that ‘anyone’,” Deneb was immersed in listening, as if he was hearing a story of someone else. “All the others were normal, boring ones. What would have been the fun with all that purity?”

“Was Pablo and the rest just the same as me?” they were walking back where all the bags were stocked, as Deneb is carrying the bag. “Not exactly. If I picked different people because of the same reason, then I’m the boring one. …hm,” she tried remembering. “Jackie had the guts capture me, and torture Carnelia. I found him an odd-minded human. Seril was suspicious. Yet he wanted to be in a group of friends so bad it overcame his fear. Kyshanne was in solitude when she found the village we were staying at. I was about to kill her, until she said what she chose to be her last words: her own name. Pablo was… well, he was simply the first to ever resist and tried to fight back. During those days, I didn’t interact with much people anyway, so I hired him as my first. Ever. Necromancer friend! He was also the first one I talked to that I didn’t kill right after,” Xadulo was so happy just telling the stories she had.

“You all had personal secrets inside…” her tone change, which kind of sounded sad. “You knew because you can read people’s mind?”, “What?” her usual tone came back. “I never said I can read minds. It’s not some sort of power either. For me, it was just easy to see the reflection of creatures’ emotions, and spot their lies. Like listening to their heart.”

Deneb did a thinking for a while. “What about… Carnelia?” he had hard time remembering her name. “When did she gained her vessel?”, “When we were four… no, maybe three,” after answering the question, Xadulo smirked and teased him, and said sarcastically, “You like her, don’t you?” Deneb turned red. “Huh?! I don’t! What do you mean by that?! I thought you can read people’s REAL emotions?!” he felt betrayed, but Xadulo just laughed. “I was joking!” he felt even more betrayed.

Pablo saw them, and had a bit of sadness in his eyes. Seril tapped him at his back to ‘wake’ him up. “What’s the matter?” he asked. “Nah, just thinking how long it has been since this group became so crowded”, “Dude, seven people is a crowd to you?”, “No! …I mean, it just feels weird. Back in the days, there were just three of us… now, I’m fifteen… and it’s just, you know…”, Seril was a little bit confused. 

“N-No, I actually don’t…”, “old days, I mean. Back then, there was just the two of us, playing something probably dangerous,” 'only her... and me' he reminisced a memory with the girl. Seril didn’t know how to respond. “Any chance you’re in love?” was what just came out of his mouth after all the bullshit he heard from Jack. 

“What? No way in heavens and hell,” Pablo replied bluntly. “Well, you’re 15”, “That’s just one year away from 14. I’m still too young”, “Don’t know if I should say you’ve got a point or what,” he sighed. Pablo let out a ‘pfft’ and said, “Who is there to fall in love with, anyway?” Seril really wanted to say ‘are you numb?’ but just held it in as he stared at Pablo in disbelief.

The 3rd pair, Jack and Kyshanne, was silent. Their conversations were like “can you pass me that-sure” or “lend me a hand here-no problem”. They’re not much active or close to be talking like the 2 previous pairs. Not that they hate each other either, but there is just no story for them to tell.

Carnelia, who was watching all six of them from above while floating, smiled softly and said, “Well, it’s going fine, alright. These people… really, chatting can be done with anything if it were them.”