Do you dream of me in the next life?
Josie and Alice exited the Settlement Council building. Gary came out behind them and placed a hand on Josie’s shoulder.
“I’ll be seeing you around alright?” Gary said with a smile.
“Yeah. Thank you, we really appreciate all your help.” said Josie.
“You’re welcome. I know it didn’t turn out the way we hoped but you didn’t see all of the councils yet, right?”
“The dragon settlement is the only one left to ask.” said Alice.
“Good. Anyways, see ya.” Gary waved and left.
After that, Josie and Alice promptly left the settlement.
* * *
Josie and Alice were now in a forest near the dragon settlement. While they kept an even pace, Alice caught Josie staring at her.
“Is there something on my face?” asked Alice. She thought about the lunch break they had earlier.
“No. I just…I was thinking about stuff I’ve been meaning to ask.”
“Like, if anyone else I know is a witch?”
“Noah, Rebecca, and Ava are witches. And…your mom is too. She’s the head of the Ethereal Circle.”
“Wow, really!? Now it all makes sense.” Josie thought about all the times Noah turned down days to hang out and whenever Anna claimed she was busy with late night work.
“Um…I’m not sure if I want to know the answer but, how did you die?”
Alice recounted the event. For Josie, it felt like everything in the world stopped. She focused on every word like it was the only thing that mattered. Then the world became anew with animation when the emeralds turned blue.
“N-No! She would never,” she thought about the last conversation she had with her and blushed, “She would never hurt you!”
Alice placed a hand on her chest. “I know. She had such a heartfelt reaction to your stabbing and what I did to save you.”
“That means someone manipulated my mom into trapping you?”
“Maybe. I think-”
One of the trees violently shook. Josie spun in the direction of the sound and carefully surveyed the area.
“Probably a good idea to keep moving.” Suggested Josie.
* * *
“Good thing I reacted quickly.” the Nightmare thought to himself. He adjusted his body so he could sit on the tree branch he clung to a minute ago. A tele-crystal was pulled out of his magic.
“Charity, are you there? Come in Charity.”
Some brief silence occurred and then something that sounded like food being chewed.
“Does she ever stop eating? I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without food.” thought the Nightmare.
“I’m here. What’s…happening Lance?” said Charity between bites.
“I followed the rumors of the princess and it’s true. She’s alive.”
“Are you even listening?”
“Not really, no. We have bigger things to do like the plan.”
“Speaking of the plan, thank you for covering for me.”
“No problem. If it weren’t for you, the plan wouldn’t even exist. But Y’know Leon asked me to cover him too? Said he had “business to attend to.” Like seriously, why is he here?”
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Lance chuckled, “So what should I do about the princess? Capture her or kill her?”
Charity left her quarters and walked down the hallway with her food bowl and tele-crystal in hand. She stopped in front of a room with big doors.
“Nothing for now. If she is going to interfere,” she opened the doors, “Then The Order will deal with her soon enough.”
In the room were four Nightmares seated at a table. One Nightmare was a woman in a kimono, arms crossed with an annoyed expression on her face. The female Nightmare next to her tried to hide her face in the long sleeves of her kimono. On the other side, a Nightmare looked at himself in the mirror and donned a hat with a feather in it. In the middle of the table sat a Nightmare giant who leaned against his fist. Charity sat down and stuffed some food into her mouth. The giant chuckled with a wicked grin.