Chapter 24:

Xadulo's Goal: Start


After days of recovery had passed, the group was ready for departure again. “Now, like I said, Jackie, don’t even try to go to the human world (not that you ever tried ever since we got here, tho)” Xadulo reminded Jack as a final warning. They decided to not go to the Centre anymore and just look for another village. “Come to think of it, we haven’t eaten the same flesh as ours ever since we came from Farhood Hills,” Kyshanne mentioned. “How long ago was that again?”, “Three months, I guess,” Deneb replied. “There should be villages around here, not far.”

He was right. Less than a day just passed when they found one. The villagers were friendly, and despite knowing Xadulo in the rumors, they said that they don’t believe in them unless they see it for themselves. And they lived happily— but not ever after. “Don’t go endin’ the story on yer own!”

They observe how the fog affected them, and it seems that it didn’t really gave them a drastic effect. The worst so far is that they can’t pass the boundary between the Wander world and the Human world. Means, they can never go back there again since no one in the area remembers their kind: no human remembers the necromancers’ kind. What helps them cross is their existence in the human’s minds.

“It’s just like how some humans say ‘those who aren’t aware are safe - those who believes and those who don’t are likely to be targeted’. By woodland creatures, I mean,” Xadulo explained as they wait for the food. Every dinner, the villagers line-up their tables in the road and form a long line where they will share their dinner with everyone. “Believe who?” asks a curious old lady on the same table who was sitting on the extra chair of the eight-people-table. “Sorry, that must’ve been vague. I mean that those who believe in us Wander world creatures,” Xadulo cleared herself. “So, it’s ‘better not know’?” Jack asked. “Yup. But because humans doesn’t know about this rule, they spread stories if they ever saw one of these creatures, putting the others at stake. That was how we got the bridge to the other side.”

The food came. It filled the tables with different types like roasted chicken, porridge, pork soup, rice, salad, bread, and pork blood stew. Everyone started dining merrily. “My, dear. Aren’t you going to eat?” asks the same lady from before to Carnelia. “I don’t need to”, “Kids these days… come and eat with us,” she offered to spoon-feed her, but she declined. “You don’t need to. I will eat,” then disappeared to the Under World. “My? Where could she have gone?” the six laughed, and Xadulo explained to her.

Time passed… every dinner was like this, full of happiness and smiles.

Kyshanne was heading to the hut where they are staying after helping to clean the plates. She stopped, gazed at the sky and whispered, “Guess I can’t run away now…”, “Run away from?” she heard Xadulo’s voice behind her that made her jumped a few steps forward. “Or should I ask ‘Run away to’?” Kyshanne’s expression is puzzled and confused. 

“You know about this village, do you?” Xadulo asked that only made Kyshanne more and more guilty, and couldn’t make an eye contact. After seeing the reaction, Xadulo showed a friendly smile. “Don’t worry, I’m not mad,” she stepped closer and whispered to her, “Just tell everything next time,” and gave Kyshanne chills down the spine. Xadulo went straight to the hut. Just after she entered, Kyshanne said “…how the hell am I supposed’o sleep now?”

The following night, Xadulo was on the roof, lying as she watched the cloudy, partly-starry night sky. Carnelia appeared, “What is it, mistress?” Xadulo stood and bluntly said. “I wanna go to the afterlife.”

“My, leaving already?” said the old lady they became comfortable with. “It’s only been half a year… well I guess it can’t be helped. Kids these still have their own dreams fresh and ready to be claimed,” she waved at them as they walk away. “Have a safe trip!” after a few hours of walking… “It’s surprising only a few of the people became victim,” Deneb said. “There wasn’t much young meat there, so…” Seril replied. “I mean, it’s tenderer, jucier, softer… it’s hard to cook old people’s meat”, “Still, the people were really kind. It kinda feels like the kindest people yet we’ve met. To think they didn’t care about such rumors about Xadulo,” Pablo commented.

“Come to think of it…” Kyshanne spoke. “Carnelia was a lot calmer around them. As if she’s softer”, “She also has weakness against kindness sometimes,” Xadulo responded. “But she hasn’t appeared all day… ever since last night, I guess?” it slipped out of Deneb’s lips. “Why, you want to see her?” she teased him, as the rest wore a smug face. “T-That old joke again, guys?!” he complained, all flustered.

“So, where are we goin’ this time?” they were taking a lunch break under an enormous tree when Jack asked. “I want to meet a certain someone. I already asked Deneb to lead us there,” she talked as she prepares the packed food. “Where exactly?” Xadulo looked at him in the eyes. “To a stone expert.”