Chapter 13:

Mechanical Turmoil

Face of Eternity : The Star and the Rose

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. I let her sleep and left her a note on the table saying we were going out.

Since my map had marked all the locations we’d visited, I took us to the spot I remembered finding the car in the forest.

It was there alright, but it looked like a crinkled up tin can. That moose must have really been mad at this car for some reason.

Shockingly, part of the engine was still intact. At least, the coolant valve and a few bits off the radiator that we needed. But this wasn’t enough parts to fix the whole car up.

Huh? That was odd…there was a little empty slot in the engine. It looked like something could plug into it. I have a basic diagram of how an engine works in my head, and I’ve never seen a slot like this. It almost looked like a USB port. Maybe this was for the onboard computer?

“Did you see any more cars around here?” Marek asked.

“No.” I shook my head. “But we could keep looking.”

Marek put the extra parts in a backpack and we went off searching for more car parts. I kept my map open to see if there was anything that resembled the shape of a car around us.

The wind was blowing across the land, brushing against leaves and grass. Many different birds chirped in the trees. The breeze was cool, but not cold. It was a pleasant day out.

The sky was still cloudy, but the clouds were thin and let some sunlight peek through. Oooh! My first taste of real sunlight! I could immediately tell the difference between artificial sunlight and the real deal. Of course, that was just on a spectroscopic scale.

“I love the outdoors.” Yamin clung her hands close to her chest. “Isn’t it so nice out?”

“I like it too.” Marek agreed. “It smells much better than a stinky mechanic garage.”

“Did you work in a garage, Marek? I thought you were a politician.”

Uh-oh, daddy always told me to avoid talking to politicians. He said they were a real danger and would be fake friends with me to get power. That meant I couldn’t talk to Marek anymore.

“My grandfather taught me how to repair cars, since he had so many of them. Besides the smell, I enjoyed it far more than being on the Royal Council.”

“I bet. Being locked in a room with a bunch of old rich guys must have sucked all the life out of you.”

“Sometimes I swear I was starting to look like them.” He shook with disgust. “If it weren’t for my father and the Queen’s Party, I think I would have sucked the life out of me many times over.”

These old rich guys must have been like the Reaper if that was the case.

We hit a rocky area, so all of us started climbing up. But before we really got going, Yamin stopped and turned back to Marek with a flush red face.

“Marek, you take the lead.” She ordered.

“Huh?” He turned to me, then back to Yamin. “Why?”

“Just do it.” She pointed up the hill. “Go!”

He started moving past her, then took point. All the while genuinely confused why.

Once we all got back to climbing, Yamin was in front of me now. Whenever I looked up, I could see her bloomers.

“Ha ha!” I snickered. “I can see up your…”


-Warning! Threat Sighted!-

Yamin had a harrowing aura around her. It was so powerful that my sensors were picking it up as a threat! I kept my mouth shut about seeing up her skirt…

"What was that?..." Yamin spoke in a calm, authoritative voice.

"Nothing." I squeaked out.

"That's what I thought."

-Threat Neutralized-


What the heck was up with that? I genuinely felt a disturbing presence radiate out of her. It felt like...darkness? Couldn't have been!

While we were climbing, Marek’s leg slipped on a rock and he made a loud groan of pain. We were close to the top, so we all made it up and checked out his injury.

He skinned his knee. It wasn’t too bad, especially since he had a few bumps and bruises on him already, probably from the car crash. But we had to do something about it or he’d be very uncomfortable.

I was about to cast a healing spell, but Yamin pulled out a tiny little box from her jacket and opened it up.

“Here you go.” She used an alcohol wipe and cleaned his wound, then she put on a bandaid with a smiley face to cover it up. “You always have to be prepared out here.”

“Thank you, Madam. So, Yamin, what did you do for a living?” He asked.

“I’m a neet, but I love nature too.” She answered in her usual upbeat tone. “I spend a lot of time camping at night so I can see the stars.”

Oooh! She was a stargazer!

“I see.” Marek asked. “Do you plan on getting a job eventually?”

Yamin shrugged. “I want a job, but right now I’m not sure what to do. I keep busy with charity work.” She leaned back against a tree, looking up at the sky with folded lips. “One time, they wanted me to dress up like a dove and dance in front of the church.”

That's charity work? It sounds silly.

“Did you?”

“Yup.” She rolled her eyes. “Weirdest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Marek was able to stand now, so we all got back to walking. We saw a taller point up the hill, so we made our way there.

“Not to be nosy, but do your parents support you?” He continued his questioning.

“Yeah. My mom works all the time, and gets paid pretty well. I don’t see her very often since she usually goes out of the country.”

“What does your mom do?” Marek asked, gesturing for us to watch out for some slippery mud.

“She’s a geologist, and works for Research Group 9”

“RG 9…wasn’t that the same group led by Dr. Asamo?”

Hey, that’s daddy he’s talking about.

“Yeah. That was before the Imperial Security Force took over. Now they have her raiding old temples, searching ancient ruins, the works.”

Daddy was the leader of her moms research team? What a small world.

“Did you ever meet my dad?” I asked her.

“Yeah.” She replied. “It was at a dinner party. I was little though, so I don't remember much.”

She also mentioned that this happened about ten years ago, so it was before I was born. Which meant dad had contact with the surface world for a while. It made me wonder why he decided to stay here for so long without coming to see me.

“Actually, my mom should be in Esma right now. I don’t know where though.”

“What’s your moms name?” I asked.

“Lauri Samual.”

“So you are Yamin Samual?”

“No, I was adopted.”

That explains why they didn’t have the same last name on my party information screen.

“My last name is Kintsugi, which is Kanai. I probably look the part too.”

She kinda had the same narrow eyes as Indena, but she definitely had something else mixed in there too.

We finally reached the top of the hill. From up here you could see pretty far off in the distance. Endless amounts of trees on one side and glaciers on the other.

“See any cars?” Marek asked.

“I…Yeah.” Yamin pointed to a few different spots. “There's a few of them.”

Wow, she had good eyes. I almost didn’t even see what she was pointing at.

“Man, this place almost looks like a junkyard. Why’s there so many broken down cars?” Yamin asked.

Marek suggested it may have been illegal dumping, but my theory was that there may have been a road nearby, and these people were driving through the forest to escape the Reaper. Either way, it was pretty eerie.

We started working our way to them. The first car we found had some good parts in it, so Marek pulled out tools and got to work disassembling them.

Hmm…this car had that weird empty USB slot in the engine too.

“So, Yalda, what do you do for fun?” Marek asked me.

“…” I stayed silent.


“Hey, Yalda?”

“Yes Yamin?”

She asked me if I heard Marek, and I said yes.

“Well, answer him.”

“No. He’s a politician. My dad said not to talk to them.”

Marek rolled his eyes. Then sighed deeply.

“Your father always said that he would love to work with the Royal Council. I see that was a lie.”

Dad doesn't lie. Marek must not have heard him right.

“Well, if I’m going to be ignored, I guess I’ll just get back to work, no?”

He sounded really disappointed. Then Yamin looked at me like I’d done something so terrible that it was unforgivable.

“Now you’ve hurt his feelings! You’re being a bad girl.”

I wasn’t a bad girl! I was doing what dad told me to do!

But, I guess Marek was a nice person, so it made me feel bad to ignore him. Besides, he didn’t seem to like the people he worked with much, so that might have said something about his personality.

“I’m sorry. Do you forgive me, Marek?”

“Of course.” He nodded, getting oil sprayed all over his hands. “Ahh, yuck.” He whipped the oil off on a towel. “So, answer my question, no?”

He asked what I did for fun. I told him I play video games and read books. Yamin related to that pretty well.

Finally, Marek got the parts we needed from this car. So we moved onto the next. I did a diagnostic on it and discovered that this engine was actually in good shape, but we didn’t have the tools to take it apart here. It would have fixed up both cars if we managed to bring it back with us.

It also had that USB slot.

“Marek, what is this slot?” I asked him, since he worked as a mechanic.

“Umm…” he gave it a look, “Something always plugged into this, but I never learned what. It's probably for running diagnostics...?"

He didn't sound too sure. But I'm not convinced it was for diagnostics.

“Too bad we can’t use this engine,” Yamin said. “No way we’ll be able to bring it back.”

“Yes we can.” Marek started to unscrew the engine out of place. Then it dropped under the car.

The man put his high strength stat to the test and picked up the front end of the car, pushed the whole thing backwards, in the dirt mind you, then picked up the engine all by himself.

“Wow!” I cheered.

“Holy moly…” Yamin uttered.

“Come on, let’s get back before my arms explode.”

That engine must have been around 250 kilos, not bad at all!


Back home we were surprised to see Indena sitting on the front porch, waiting for us.

“Look at this. The stooges return.” She announced. “Next time, wake me up, you idiots.”

“Don’t be so mean!” I shouted at her.

“I’ll be as mean as I want, Shrimp! There’s monsters out there. Or did you forget that?”

Oh, she was right. We’re lucky we didn’t run into anything well we were wandering around.

“So, this is the infamous Indena...” Yamin whispered to me. “She definitely seems like a handful.”

While we were heading back, I told the others a little about Indena. I didn’t say anything about the grudge she had on Yamin though. I think that may have been a bad idea.

“So, did you trogs actually find anything, or was the trip a whole…” her eyes shot open wide when she saw Marek wielding a car engine. “Christ…how are you carrying that thing?!”

“What, this?” He showcased it as if it were light as a cardboard box. “It’s nothing.”

Indena was amazed, which really said something. She was so impressed that she stopped insulting us and encouraged us to get the car fixed.

“If you two need to get back to your town, get the hell out of here already.”

I was actually under the impression that we were going to help them. I’d been thinking about it, and they both needed our help against the demons that took over their town.

When I expressed my feelings to Indena, she got angry again.

“Don’t forget that I gotta’ bring you back to your dad. So shut up and let me do my job.”

Yamin had enough of Indena’s aggression. She puffed out her chest and returned a mean look.

“You know, you don’t have to be so rude to people.”

The moment Indena glared back at her, Yamin couldn’t keep eye contact.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Don’t go giving her any funny ideas, Deula.”

Marek gasped, and Yamin’s face shot with anger and tears.


Marek slapped Indena in the face!

“How dare you say something so awful?! Have you no shame?” He yelled.

Uh-oh…this was going to get bad! Indena was going to kill him for hitting her!

“No,” she replied, surprising me with how calm she sounded. “I don’t have shame. So get over yourselves and get to work.”

She…didn’t attack him? Why? I mean, that was a good thing, but still.

Yamin turned around, clearly trying to keep from showing her tears. But she was really sobbing hard. Calling her a Daula really hurt her badly.

Without thinking, I charged at Indena and started pushing her back into the house. She only budged a little.

“What’s your deal?”

“Stop being a jerk!” I ordered.


“Then we’re not friends anymore!”

My threat didn't seem to have much weight. She just chuckled. “Yeah right. Don’t be ridiculous. I’m trying to protect you, got that? Whether you like me or not, that’s why I’m here.”

I had to bring up that she was just being mean to poor Yamin for no reason. Yamin didn’t even do anything to her and she was just totally being rude.

“You wanna’ know what Yamin did to me? Nothing. She did absolutely nothing. It’s not about her, its that stupid shield necklace.” Indena said.

“Huh?” Yamin turned back, like a curious deer.

“Yeah. Her type seems all nice and sweet on the outside, but on the inside all they wanna’ do is make you live under someone else's thumb. Otherwise, their eight minions are coming after you.”

Yamin's posture became stern. “Oh, I get it.” She retorted. “You’re one of those people who think anyone with a moral compass is wasting their lives.”

“Nah. I think your moral compass is a waste of life. I won’t suger coat it, I’m a bitch. But at least I chose to be a bitch. You people just do it because you don’t wanna’ burn in Hell.”

What did Heck have to do with any of this? What were they even arguing about! This was getting so stupid that I had to step in!

Just before I shouted my disapproval, Marek’s voice boomed with authority over them!

“Enough! This is ridiculous! You both will waste your lives if you keep fighting like this.”

“Fine, forget it!” Indena threw her arms out. “But don’t expect me to help this Deula.”

“Stop calling me that! And I won’t ever help you either, if that’s what you want!”

“Ooohh…” Indena cooed out with a fake smile “...look at that, I thought you people had some code where you're supposed to help others no matter what? Isn’t that some of that nice guy shit you're always spitting out?”

“I think the verse you're looking for is Help others before helping yourself.

“Yeah. Looks like you're a bad Deula if you won’t do that.”

Yamin scoffed and stomped her foot. The old wood under her nearly broke with how hard she hit it.

“You know what? Maybe you will burn in Hell for being so terrible of a person!”

“Yeah?!” Indena lit herself on fire and stuck her arms out proudly. “I’ll be right at home there!”

I couldn’t take it anymore! All this fighting about going to Heck was making me so mad! I was so annoyed that I kicked a wall really hard! The cobble stone chipped where my foot hit.

"Ahh! Stop it!" I shouted. "Can't you two see we have to work together to get out of here!?"

Indena put a hand on her hip and turned to me, letting her flames die down.

"We don't need to go anywhere, Shrimp. We just gotta wait for these fools to leave, then your Uncle can come and get us."

At this point, I was sure Uncle pinpointed my location. But I think he was taking some time to get here since the portal networks were shut down.

In my opinion, the best thing to do would probably be to stay here anyways, but I wasn't going to let Yamin's home town be destroyed by a demon. It just wasn't in me to think that people were suffering while I sat by all nice and happy.

"Wait, Indena…"


I re-explained to her that Yamin's home was in trouble, and that I couldn't ignore what was going on there. If a demon was attacking, it would be my job to stop it.

"You've gotta' be kidding me…" Indena clicked her tongue. "When your Uncle gets here, we'll see what we can do. But I won't help because of that Deula over there. I'm doing it for you."

Yamin held herself from barking back at Indena, but I could see anger well up on her pouting face. She probably had more than a few things she wanted to retort with. I was glad she took the high road.

Since both of them were now enemies with somewhat of a common goal, I’d need to find a way to unite them together, or else they may end up causing each other trouble. And I’d have to be the one to clean it up.

Mario Nakano 64