Chapter 18:

Trades: Take one, Give one


The six started moving in different directions, like the group can be disbanded any second. Fortunately, Carnelia tied the each of them an invisible rope-like thing on their right arms that can only be barely seen when force is applied. Each is about five meters long, and no one can escape at 5 meters radius circle from Carnelia. This way, no one will get lost.

“Give her a medal,” Pablo said.

They saw lots of unique foods, items, and potions and chant books. They wanted to get a thing from everything. They didn’t have much money, so they tried trading their fruits for whatever they can. They were able to get some small history book, a free ‘Centre guide map’ flyer, some salted fish sauce to pair with their sour mangoes, a few unusual looking pieces of clothes, and three pully-bags with two wheels each. They were having so much fun that they kind of forgot why they came there is a flash.

“Right! We shall go to the children trading center!” Xadulo said as she stood up from the bench, done with resting. But right after having the will back, she saw a stall named ‘Fresh lemonades! and other flavors’. She took a total of six cups for the gang, and they all sipped, heading to the destination place.

When they were getting closer and closer, memories of sold children from the group started feeling déjà vu. Kyshanne saw her mother selling her there. Pablo remembered the fainted roses in the garden, the last thing he remembers in the Wander world. The feeling Seril felt after running away with three other boys, who died afterwards, came back to him. As a kid, Deneb always saw children in that circle, and Centauri explaining it’s just an orphanage’s playground. And Xadulo heard all the cries of those lonely children, looking for their parents as they travel the other world.

The excitement was killed and gloom took over. As they reminisce their past, they still see children being sold, just like they were. Because everyone felt down, she asked everyone to cool themselves for a while as she does the asking. She can do it without breaking down, because of all of them, she didn’t have a horrific past. Or more like, that scene wasn’t horrific, but simply mysterious and thrilling. So, she knew she had to do it. After she had gone far enough for the others to not hear her, she called for Carnelia. “Yes?”, “Aid me.” She took of the invisible ropes to be able to follow Xadulo.

The two started looking at the same place at the same time, observing what was going on in every wonderful object. Finally, they found the spot where children are brought. Xadulo pulled on the sleeve of one of the merchants and asked, “How does this trading work?”

With pride, the merchant explained everything to the innocent looking girl. Apparently, ‘thrown-out kids’ goes to the lost and found. If it’s been three months and they haven’t been claimed yet, they’ll be heading to the trading center where unfortunate ones heads to the human world.

Xadulo just understood everything. From all the stall she bought from, no one noticed her looks. If there was, it would be a praise. She thought that maybe the rumors of her here were never big, they never believed it, or that they never had it. In contrary, the other costumers and buyers were very aware of her. It was the Centre which had the problem. And now she had talked to the merchant, she knew from the moment he spoke: the merchant was a human.

She noticed the others as well, and they were also humans. Very proud humans, underestimating necromancers and thinking of them as fools. She glanced at the children trading circle, and all that cries are forced to silenced. There were also no children above the age of 10. She asked for permission to talk to one of the kids. She was allowed, but as long as she doesn’t touch them or explain what was happening.

She sat in front of a four years old kid with cold eyes, and has no reason to live. “Hey kid,” she said kindly. “How do you feel?” after he realized it was him Xadulo was asking, he replied. “Ma-ah wasn’t here. And I’m tired of crying, calling for her,” Xadulo saw herself in him.

“Where do you think you’ll be going now?”, “It doesn’t matter…” he was getting sleepy. “Do you want to mee—” but the kid suddenly collapsed. He was very tired for some reason. Xadulo stood up and went away. She was really thinking of stealing every merchant’s heart, but Jack called for her, out of breath. He was running, and his face was full of horror. “Jackie? What is it?”, “Seril… Seril was…!” Xadulo tried calming him down. “Seril… Kyshanne, and Pablo… they were kidnapped…!”