Chapter IV : 144 VII

Chapter IV : 144

“ Empty Streets “

“ Can you tell me what you saw in the town? “ Rina repeatedly poked Hunter’s side until he woke up.

“ Huuuh? Uhm… “ the tamer managed to sit up. He rubbed the sleepiness from his eyes and he took a journal from his bag, “ Just read that. “

Without another word, the brown-haired boy curled up on his grass mat and went to sleep again. It was almost daybreak, but the tamer spent his night out on a stroll with Steel and had just gotten back. The old man was equally tired and he snored loudly. All of the men were asleep, but Rina continued to analyze anything that she could read, and she wrote every piece of information down in her history book. Every now and then, she still tried to pry Errol’s book open, but to no avail.

Later in the day, Thyme woke up but the other two were still asleep. He noticed that his fiancée remained wide awake, and she now had two more books to read. The guard recognized Hunter’s journal, but the other book was unfamiliar. It was very old, tattered and had dried mud. He deduced that it was Steel’s journal.

“ I’m going out, “ he said, and the only reply that he got was a nod from Rina.

Although the redhead was annoyed by the historian’s preoccupation with her work, he knew and accepted that she would always be like that. When they were kids, Rina and Hunter were the only ones who didn’t pester him when he could not make up his mind and choose a role. Thyme thought that maybe, over the years, he became uptight and must have seemed ungrateful. He felt regretful of the way that he treated Errol, but he knew that he could not do anything about it anymore. Determined to redeem himself in the eyes of his friend and of his fiancée, Thyme walked down the streets of 144 with a mission. Unfortunately, he was delayed.

“ AAAARGH! “ he yelled, but no one could hear him, “ Help! Someone! “

With his head in the ‘mouth’ of a snap dragon, Thyme panicked. He tried to run away but the plant was securely rooted into its earthen pot. Unlike Hunter’s captor, the snap dragon that caught Thyme was a pale orange; the bite did not hurt, but the guard was quickly running out of breath. He flailed his arms some more until they accidentally brushed against the snap dragon’s stem. That tickled the plant and was enough for it to let go.

“ HAAAAAAAAAAAAH! “ Thyme exhaled as he fell on his bottom.

The guard looked at the snap dragon which got back into its usual position.

“ So that’s… “ he gasped for air, “ How it felt like… for Hunter. “

As he stood up, Thyme thought about his friend’s encounter with the plant, and he swore that he would not laugh at the tamer if it ever happened again. He walked down the streets and as he turned at a sharp corner, only then did the guard notice something peculiar. The streets were completely empty. He looked around him but there was no sign of movement. Worried about Rina and the others, Thyme headed back to the town hall but his mind was soon put at ease when some people emerged from one of the larger houses.

“ Oh, did they have a meeting? “ he wondered as he slowed down, “ OW! “

A sharp pain on the back of his head made Thyme wince. He put his hand on where he felt the prick, but there was nothing there. The guard looked at his hand and there was no blood or any sign of injury, so he shrugged it off and went to look for 144’s trade market. He knew that soon, they would have to go back to 27 and the least that he could do was to look for provisions for the journey home.

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