Chapter 25:

Epilogue : part 1

Face of Eternity : The Star and the Rose


The church managed to do a lot for the clean up effort, especially in recruiting help from neighboring towns and cities. They took this very seriously, which was good.

Thankfully, most of the damage was able to be cleaned up pretty easily. Roads had to be reworked from where the Reaper tore them up, and a few buildings had to be remodeled from getting warped out of shape. Humans work fast.

We stayed a few more days to make sure everyone recovered mentally and physically. By the second night after I’d woken up, it seemed like everyone was back to normal. Well, the new normal.

There was some odd stuff that was going on though. For starters, when we went to the cathedral, only a few people recognized me when I walked in.

“Yalda!” Sister Connie came running up to me. “It’s been a few days, how have you been?”

“I’m okay!” I gave her a hug. “How has everyone here been?”

“Well…” She gestured to some of the clergy around, many of which I saw the night of the demon attack. “Brothers, come here for a moment!” She called them over.

The clergy came over with smiles and wholesome hellos. A guy dressed in black was holding a book close to his chest like it was a teddy bear.

“Brothers, I’d like to introduce you all to my friend, Yalda,” she introduced me?

“Ahh, blessings be upon you, Yalda.” The guy in black did a little hand symbol and bowed his head. He asked if I’d be attending mass today, but I told him we’ll probably be busy packing.

I didn’t know what mass was, so I didn’t know if I was supposed to go or not.

He walked off along with the other people he was with. I for sure saw these people the other night, so I can’t imagine how they didn’t recognize me.

“What’s up with that?” I asked Sister Connie.

“It seems none of the people here remember you, bar a few…”

SLAM!

The front doors shot open!

“We have returned successful!” That was Danial the inquisitor. He marched right in with a few of his other inquisitors and walked right past us down the aisle. “Hello, Yalda.”

“Hi…?” I shyly waved, realizing he recognized me at least.

As the other inquisitors passed by, I noticed that they were all looking at each other and shrugging. One asked, “Who’s that?” and pointed at me. I guess they didn’t know who I was either.

“Sister Connie!” And to cap it off, the older nun, Sister Ruth, came stomping up to Connie and grabbed her hand. She looked really mad. “You don’t have time to play with the other children, come along!”

“Yes, Sister Ruth.” Sister Connie waved to me. “Goodbye, Yalda! I’ll see you later!”

“Hurry now!” Sister Ruth tugged her a bit faster.

This was so freaky. Most of the people here didn’t even know who I was. Could that have been a side effect of the demon curse? But if that was the case, Danial was under that curse too, so how did he remember me?

What a weird thing. Who else forgot I existed?

Uncle came up behind me, finally catching up after I ran to the church. I jumped into his arms, and he looked all confused.

“Uncle, do you remember who I am?” I asked.

“Hmm…” He rubbed his chin and looked up at his hat. “Ahh, yes. You’re the Young Mistress who shouldn’t run ahead of her friends.” He rubbed my hair.

Yup, he remembered me. He was being playful.

The others remembered me too, Indena just glared at me like, ‘Seriously? How could I forget you?’

“Have people been forgetting you, sweetheart?” Yamin asked.

“Yeah,” I nodded. “Almost everyone at the church forgot me. Weird, right?”

“Hmmm…” Uncle tapped his foot. “Regardless, that may work in our favour. I’d rather you not be well known, at the moment.”

He always said we needed to try and keep a low profile if possible. And judging by how everything went here, that was probably for the better.

“You know something?” Yamin started. “I don’t think they ever really knew who you were.”

Everyone gave her a curious eye.

“Think about it. If an angel came down from heaven, don’t you think they’d be rolling out the red carpet?”

“Hey, she’s got a point.” Indena agreed. “These guys should be dancing and singing like wild things. What’s up with that? They just locked her in a room.”

When I first woke up, they definitely were singing and dancing…but only 4 of them…

Marek claimed to have an answer. “It’s like I said on TV. We haven’t confirmed anything.”

According to him, the church wasn’t actually convinced I was a real angel just yet, let alone the Eighth Star. A few of them did, like the inquisitor Danial, or Connie, but the rest weren’t really taking me seriously. Not that I was a real angel, but still.

Could that have had something to do with why so many people didn’t remember me? They never believed I was real?

We tried giving it more thought, but we didn’t have enough info to go any further at the moment.

“Well, what do we do now?” I asked.

Everyone had their different objectives to complete now that we were back in civilization. Me, Uncle and Indena had to find daddy.

Marek said he had to get back to Erderiech, an Island kingdom which was south of here. They were the country that controlled this area.

And Yamin needed to find someone who could help her fix her hometown, which was also in Erderiech. Marek declared that he wanted to help fix it as well. Not only that, but Mella was after her, trying to kill her.

“Uncle, we have to help Yamin.” I said. “And we have to save her home!” It’d been over a week since her home was overrun by demons. Who knows how bad things had gotten in that time? It could have been destroyed.

“Our objective is to find your father. Anything else is well out of the way.”

“No it's not!” I puffed up my chest, standing proudly. “My purpose is to protect humanity, so we have to save Yamin’s home!”

As much as I know we had to get to dad, I wouldn’t sleep well knowing everyone at Yamin’s home was suffering. Uncle came to see my perspective, but he wasn’t sure if we had the time.

“Old Man, her dad said you’d know where he was. Do you?” Indena asked.

“I have an idea, but I have yet to receive an official location. You’ll be crucial in helping me track down Master Asamo,” he replied.

Speaking of which, he requested to look into her Manona crest log. He noticed the city Indena came from was known as Toshinde.

"How do we get back?" Indena asked.

"With the portals currently down, getting there will be tricky. It's on the other side of Esma, at least according to the coordinates listed here."

Esma was big, really big and full of inclement weather. If we were going to get to the other side of it, we'd need some heavy duty transportation, which we didn't have yet.

Marek raised a hand. "I could pettition the Royal Navy for transpertaiton. But we'd need to get to the capital on the mainland for that."

"That may work." Uncle responded.

“Well then that settles it!” I announced. “We’ll just go to Yamin’s home and help her on our way to the capital!” I started to walk out of the church, but Uncle grabbed me by my pony tail. “Hey?!”

“Where are you going? Do you even know where any of those places are?” Uncle asked me.

“Just a skip across the pond, right?”

That’s how people with accents talked. I heard it on TV.

“No, not a skip. Try a swim.” He huffed out a sigh. “To get there, we’ll need a boat.”

He stood against the church door, pulling down his fedora and giving it some thought.

“Very well. We’ll go to Yamin's hometown and defeat this demon threat on our way to the capital city.”

Great! Now we just needed to find a way to the main island.

“Marek, you’re rich. Let’s take a private jet there!” I said.

He shrugged. “I don’t have a private jet.”

Oh, that puts a damper on my plans.

I asked if we could take a plane to Erdereich, and Marek said that would be fairly expensive.

“Marek has lots of money!”

“Well…” He undid his collar, like he was getting nervous. “You see…”

“Young Mistress, don’t force him to spend his money on our goal.” Uncle lightly chopped me in the head.

“Yes, Uncle.”

There was an alternative that was far cheaper, and well within our price range of just above zero pence. Marek had a train card that he could use to get from this region of Esma to a province called Anderland. From Anderland, we’d have to take a ferry to Erdereich.

“Why doesn’t the government give you a pass to take a plane?” Yamin asked.

“That is only given out to overseas members of the council. Which I am not part of.”

To make things worse, commercial planes were rare, so even if you had the money, it still might be hard to get on one at all. Private planes were pretty common, but only if you offered up some money.

“Alright, enough about planes,” Indena barked out. “We take the train to Anderland, then we take a boat to the Face of the World.”

What was the Face of the World? She made it sound like an actual place.

Marek told me that was a nickname for Erdereich’s mainland. It was a term they used proudly, like an honorary title.

“I’m coming along as well.” Mella spoke out of nowhere. She was standing just outside the cathedral behind Indena. Where the heck did she come from?

“Ehh!?” Indena frightenedly jumped forward. “Oy, Witch! The hell? Where've you been?”

Mella just shrugged, then turned to Yamin. “Evil One, I will kill you.”

Oh no, was she here to attack Yamin?! Wait, if she was, my IFF tags would be lighting up. I wasn’t sensing any hostilities.

“You damn well won’t!” Indena got in her face. “You wanna’ kill someone? You go through me first!”

Mella lazily stared down Indena not seemingly intimidated by her ire. Then she slowly nodded her head once and turned back to Yamin.

“Very well. The spirits accept this challenge. To kill the Evil One, I shall challenge the mage first.” She turned around and threw her broom down, it hovered in mid-air. “However, I won’t do this now. We’ll fight some other time.” She sat down on her broomstick.

“What?” Indena seemed appalled. “What’s up with that?”

“There’s been enough chaos for now. I cannot justify anymore.”

“So, you’re following us to get Yamin?”

Mella didn’t turn back, she just kept her gaze forward toward where she wanted to fly. “The World is becoming unbalanced. I must aid in correcting it, upon the behest of the spirits. Many events revolve around you lot. So must I.”

Now Mella was going to be joining us. If that was the case, sending her a party invite would…

HUH!? She declined the invite? Nobody else did that! Was she aware of this stuff? That’s the only explanation.

“Come on, accept it!” I yelled at her.

“Heh.” She smirked at me. “What are you talking about?” Then she flew away.

I was really hoping she’d join. That way I could get more info on her. Darn it!

Mella was strange, but in a very scary way. She definitely knew a lot more about things then she acted, but I had to wonder how much of that had to do with these spirits of hers. She was for sure a witch, that much was certain.

“Yeah, Shrimp…what are you talking about?”

It wasn’t worth explaining the party system to them right now. At least we were all in a party together. And Mella did appear on my map, so I’m sure she wouldn’t be hard to find if need be.

After that, we went off to prepare to leave as soon as we could.

Mario Nakano 64
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