Chapter 12:

Mystery of the Valley

Face of Eternity : The Star and the Rose

Once I was all cleaned up, I put on the white dress that Yamin found. It was tight! I hated it. Not nearly as comfy as my favourite dress, but oh well.

Yamin gave me a good look from top to bottom. The longer she stared the more her face lit up with excitement. She started pinching my cheeks and squealed.

Note to self, cheek pinching is not as nice as headpats.

“Oh! You look so cute!” She cheered. “I’m cleaning up your dress in the laundry room. While that’s going, Marek and I wanted to ask a few things.”

We both made our way downstairs, then sat around the coffee table by a window. A tray of sweets were sitting on it, curtsey of Marek's cooking. Each sweet little morsel awaited me to collect and inspect their flavour.

They were yummy, passing my taste test. I don't know what Marek used to make these, but I gave him a thumbs up, two in fact. He had a proud little smirk and adjusted his tie.

The air grew significantly more serious once my chomping quieted down. I didn't stop eating the cookies, I just didn't chew so loudly.

Yamin cleared her throat, becoming the first to speak up.

"Yalda, where are we?" Yamin asked.

"Esma." I answered.

"Esma? What region?"

Esma was separated into several different regions, according to Marek. This region wasn't the true North Pole, but it was the lower part of the northern continent. It was known as Exterius.

My map updated with that information.

"So, we really are in the Holy Lands…" Yamin’s lips closed tightly on each other and her eyes cringed. "Oh boy, we're far away from home. How did we…?"

This was where I told them both exactly what was going on up to now, and how the Manona crest teleported them both here for some reason.

"Teleporting?" She looked at the crest. "This bracelet is a teleporter? No it isn't. I've had it forever."

"Where did you get it?" I asked.

"My mom gave it to me when I was little."

Her mom may have known my dad. Nobody else could have one of those unless he gave it to them. But why would he have risked giving her one?

If it was powered right now I could check the logs on it, but it must have used too much power teleporting here. I didn’t even know these things could lose power. This one did look a little cheep compared to Indena’s.

Ohh! You know what I should do? I should add them to my party. That way I could get a little more info about their stats. They both seemed…like good people! Like…lawful good? Yeah, that was Yamin. And Marek was…Neutral good!

I opened up my stats screen and looked at the party tab. Just by thinking about it, that dialog box from before popped up and asked me if I wanted to add the two of them to my party. I selected yes.

-Yamin Kintsugi added to party!-

-Marek Le Verren added to party!-

While I was in the stats screen, I decided to check on their information and stats.

-Yamin Kintsugi :: Level 1 Exorcist / Level 0 D-^o?-*o-! :: Human :: Female-

-Age : 15 :: DOB - 501/2/5 (ED) ::-

-:: Homeworld = Eden ::-

Yamin was multiclassing. But what the heck was up with that second class? It was a jumble of letters and symbols. It was pretty cool that she was an exorcist though! If scary movies have taught me anything, it's that an exorcist is someone who defeats ghosts and demons. She must have been able to do that with stardust, I bet.

-Marek Le Verren :: Level 3 Civilian :: Human :: Male-

-Age : 17 :: DOB - 498/7/14 (ED) ::-

-:: Homeworld = Eden ::-

He was just a civilian? Boring. That’s not an interesting class. Everyone knows civilians can’t do anything for themselves in video games. That’s why they ask you to do all the side quests for them.

I scrolled down on both of their info screens and discovered their actual physical and mental stats. Yamin had a high wisdom, but everything was low compared to my stats.

Marek had a high charisma…and oh my gosh, his strength was through the roof! What was up with that? It was incredible. It was higher then either Indena's or mine combined and multiplied by 2! I wondered how such a high number would translate to real life.

I must have looked like I was spacing out, because Yamin started to wave her hand in front of my face.

“Hello? What happened to her?”

“She looks like she’s gone into a trance, no?”

With the two of them watching me, I realized spacing out and checking through my systems probably looked really strange to people who couldn't do it. I’d have to learn to multitask and be present in real life whenever I do that.

I shook my head to get back in the moment.

“Sorry, I just spaced out.”

“Okay…?” Yamin smiled. “Well, as long as you’re alright. We’ll need to find a way back to my hometown. And we’ll have to get help too.”

“Huh?” I interjected.

Yamin explained something weird to me. She said that they came from a town called Verrenvill. According to her, Verrenvill was taken over by demons, and they just barely escaped, only to find themselves here.

“You should have seen it. There were pools of sludge everywhere, and these little goblin looking monsters were putting people to sleep.” Marek shook his head. “It was horrible.”

The sludge sounded familiar, but the sleeping and the goblins didn’t.

“You guys had to deal with demons too, huh.” I said. “We had one here too, it was like the Grim Reaper. He had little locust minions with him.”

“What in the World is going on?!” Yamin put her head in her hands while gritting her teeth. “How come all these demons are everywhere? It must be the end of the World.”

The strange part was, (and I tried my best to write off this explanation) these demonic attacks were in line with my prime detective. You see, I was made to protect humanity from a terrible darkness that would one day appear. It only stands to reason that eventually in my lifetime I’d see that goal realized, but it sucks that it had to happen when I’m seven.

I can only imagine someone who discovered that would probably be pretty upset. And even if they did know it, their life was about to change forever.

“It’s okay. I was made to fight these demons.” I said. "The World won't end on my watch."

“What?” Both of them uttered.

“Daddy made me to fight the demons away and protect all of you. That’s my purpose.”

“Could it be that she’s the…” Yamin clung tightly to the little shield necklace she had.

“Who is your daddy?” Marek asked.

I stood out of my seat to my tippy toes, then I struck a proud pose like a ballerina with my arms stretched out slightly, then tilting my whole body to the side.

“My name is Yalda Asamo, and my dad is Ivan Asamo. I’m here to protect you all from eternal darkness!”

“Huh?” Yamin grip loosened on her necklace. “Did you say, Asamo? Like, Dr. Asamo?”

“No, he’s not a doctor, he’s a scientist.”

“Sweety, he has a PhD. He can be called a doctor too.”

Oh wait, she’s absolutely correct. I’m dumb, I swear. Doctor is also sometimes used for people with doctorates. Dad was super smart, after all. I bet they just handed him the degree the moment he stepped into the school.

Wait, that would mean Janus from last year was augmented by dad to be more powerful…because Janus said that he was given a crystal heart by a Dr. Asamo…never mind! Not important right now!

“I didn’t know that Dr. Asamo had a kid.” Yamin mumbled.

“Neither did I.” Marek shook his head. “Are you sure you're his child?”

“Yeah, I’m sure! He’s my daddy, after all.” He was the first person I saw after I was born. Besides, I kinda look like him. Not that I look like a guy or anything, just that we have similar features.

How did they know who he was? I bet it's because dad shared all sorts of great inventions and tech with them that made their lives a whole lot easier. He was probably a household name by this point.

Man, everyone seemed to know my dad. Talk about a social butterfly. He sure spent a lot of time with people other than me…

“Is your daddy here right now?” Marek asked.

I shook my head. “No. He sent Indena to bring me to him. But we kinda got stuck in this valley after the teleporters went all haywire.”

Yamin started theorizing the problem. “So, it seems like these teleporter things…Nalnara gates, you called them? It seems like they're causing a lot of problems here.”

“Do you think they have something to do with the demons?” Marek asked.

“No, I doubt it. I don’t think it was a coincidence that we were sent here though.”

Her theory was that someone was manipulating these portals to bring us all here.

Honestly, she figured out the same theory I had.

“But why here, of all places?” Marek asked. “Yalda said that a demon was attacking here too.”

“Yalda mentioned that she was made to fight demons. So clearly whoever brought her here either wanted to get rid of her while she was little, or they figured she could handle the demon for them. The question is, why is this valley important? What’s the reason we were teleported here? There were demons attacking my town, why not send her there?”

That was a good point. These portal networks spanned the entire planet, so the fact that we were all brought here specifically was weird.

"Maybe it's because this area is secluded." Marek said.

"That sounds right. You wouldn't want to off your target in public."

That fed the idea that whoever was behind this, assuming that was the case, definitely wanted me out of the picture. But Marek had another good point to add.

“Don’t forget, you have one of those teleporters on your wrist,” Marek brought up to Yamin. "You're connected to this too."

Yamin was important if she had that Manona crest with her. And the fact that she’d had it her whole life only made me think something about her was special.

Given that she had that weird 0 class on her, I had to wonder if that was important.

You know what? I think Yamin's former theory was correct. The reason we were all brought here was because something wanted us all dead.

My reason for thinking that was because I remembered seeing a car crashed in the middle of the forest. It had dust and ash in it, which now that I’m thinking back on it, must have been people that were killed by the Reaper.

And this valley had a history of death, considering the Reaper sprung up every so often in several records. Something probably wanted me dead, just like anyone else who set foot around here. This valley was all but abandoned. Stopping one demon out in the middle of nowhere was pretty low on the threat priority scale.

But why bring these two into this? And who was it that wanted us to die? Probably that hacker god jerk, I bet.

Yamin’s stomach started to grumble. She was trying to hide it by twisting and turning in her chair, but it was really obvious.

Indena made food for everyone earlier, so I directed everyone into the kitchen. It smelled okay, so that was promising.

Once I heated it up for them using the gas stove, which apparently still had a little gas left since heaven knows how long ago, they both started eating.

Neither of them looked like they were hating or enjoying the meal. They both had neutral faces as they chowed down. Needless to say, they were satisfied to eat something. I think it was fish soup or something. I ate some too. It wasn't too bad, definitely had a little more flavour in the broth, as opposed to it sinking to the bottom.

Indena had a unique way of cooking, but at least she cared to keep us fed.

“Thank you for the meal.” Yamin bowed her head in a short prayer.

“Thank you for the meal.” I copied her.

Once they were finished, Marek went outside to check on the car.

“Oh no, it won’t start!”

I could have told him it wouldn't have started just based on the huge dent in the front of it.

The engine kept making a *CACHIK, CACHIK* noise. We popped the hood and did some investigation. Honestly, I'm surprised it even made that noise at all in this condition.

So, the coolant tank ruptured. And the front part of the engine looked all bent upwards as well. With all the damage to the front end of the car, and the marks on the ground, it looked like they teleported in mid air and landed hard on the ground.

“We won’t be going anywhere if we can’t fix this.” Marek commented.

"Just our luck," Yamin pouted. She turned around and noticed a garage attached to the main house. "Hey, maybe there's parts we can use to fix the car in there?"

Marek ran inside and cranked the garage door open with a wheel off to the side.

The garage had another car in it. This one looked very similar to Marek’s car, but slightly older. Marek figured we could possibly take some of the parts out of this one and swap them out, but this car’s parts were rusted and old.

“Oh, what are we going to do? My father will kill me if I show him this mess.”


“I saw another car in the valley. We might be able to go there and take out the parts from that one.”

The likelihood that those parts were in better condition then this car was very low, but it was worth a shot. Plus, who knows what other stuff we might find around here?

I went to go check up on Indena, but she was sleeping in one of the beds. She must have been exhausted from all the work she’d been doing lately, so I let her sleep and left her a note on the table before we left.

When I went back outside, Yamin was looking up at the animal blood painted over the doorway.

"They did it all wrong." Yamin mentioned. "This won't work if it isn't blessed."

That was a strange observation, but I guess it makes sense. How does one bless something like that though?

"It looks old, so a priest would probably have to redraw it. But…" she turned her nervous gaze over to the animal altar, "I don't think we should."

"Are those animal altars evil?" I guessed.

"No. Well, maybe. It's just…do we really want to kill an animal for it?"

Maybe she really liked animals. I could get behind that.

As we walked back inside, Marek seemed to be having trouble cleaning up the bedding Indena made for them earlier.

Yamin insisted that she be the one to clean it. She went as far to muscle Marek away and start folding up the sheets.

"I woke up last, this is the least I can do."

Marek wasn't going to argue with her determination, but he didn't like making her do all the work.

While this was happening, I noticed my head was significantly lighter than normal. Samael wasn't in my hair. Where'd he go?

Oh no, did he slither away again? Gosh, I need to microchip that snake!

Wait, I see him…he was…

"Um…" Yamin stiffened, then her body shot up. "Guys, what's on top of my head?" She squealed out.

Samael was coiling up in her hair. What the heck was he doing there?

"Samael, get back here!" I pointed to my head. "Don't sit in Yamin's hair!"

"Ehhh…saa…sama…an…what is a…a Samael?"

"He's my snake. But he wouldn't harm a…"

"EEEEEE!" She screamed! "Snake in my hair! Help!"

She was freaking out, but not moving at all. Marek quickly jumped in and handed Samael back to me.

Samael didn't sound too happy, but he slithered back up to my hair and got in his usual spot.

"Bad snake!" I disciplined him. "No more red meat for you!"

"Sss." He was getting sassy with me! Bad snake!

Once Samael left her hair, Yamin calmed down and proceeded to continue folding the blankets like nothing happened.

"Yalda, keep your pet under control." She said, calmly.

"Yes ma'am." I nodded.

Mario Nakano 64
Taylor J
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