Chapter V : Revelation IV

Chapter V : Revelation

“ Red “

The old snake Linnorm looked down at the humans just as it finished swatting some townsfolk away. They had been asking it to help the other humans, to get rid of the hydnorae in their bodies, but just moments later, they realized that the townsfolk were beyond help.  The parasites seemed to have gotten bored of moving around in slow human bodies. However, since they were already completely integrated into the humans’ skulls, they couldn’t return to their small, spherical form. Instead, the hydnorae’s legs burst out from the humans’ ears and lifted the whole head off of the body. The result was a large pile of headless humans and many arachnid-like severed heads which ran towards Linnorm.

By then, Rina already fainted due to the amount of gore and blood that she saw. Puppy grunted and opened his shell so that Thyme could let his fiancée rest securely in it; after which, the farmer and the guard armed themselves, ready to fight off the hoard of heads. They knew that it wasn’t enough to get away from the creatures; if they allowed those parasites to live, surely, they would overrun some other town. Thyme had his porcupig quill spear and Steel had his makeshift quill knives; with Linnorm and Puppy by their side, the humans felt optimistic.

On Errol’s end, things were just as bloody. Hunter tried his best to keep up with the girl but every now and then, she had to create vine walls to prevent the hydnorae from jumping on the tamer’s face. She held his hand as they ran between the houses in search of the long-haired woman, and the warmth of her skin reminded him of that moment when he discovered her secret. Back then, he didn’t bother to bring the issue up since Errol did not seem to mind; Puppy was the one who acted defensively. The tamer did wonder why she had to hide that fact, why she allowed people to refer to her as a boy, why she always hid under her cloak; but as they ran through the streets, flashbacks from his childhood played through his mind.

“ Errol, “ he called out to her.

“ Hmm? “ the girl didn’t look back.

“ Have we met before? “ Hunter asked, “ When I was much younger? “

Errol’s hold on his hand tightened for a moment, but relaxed soon after. As the tamer ran behind her, he thought about that one day when the sky was purple. He had gotten lost near the border, but the guards were hiding somewhere else. Everyone knew what a purple sky meant: solar storms. Sudden bursts of heat from the sun would hit the planet, and anything that it touched would be either damaged or dead. Tears ran down his cheeks back then; a child who was completely lost and afraid. Then, someone took his hand and told him to run as fast as he could. Her hair was short and black, and was just slightly taller than him. Back then, he thought that she was also an artist, a child. Time did not seem to have changed Errol. She looked exactly the same.

Suddenly, Hunter snapped back to the present as a shadow appeared from above. Errol, whose eyes looked forward, did not notice it. His legs still felt a bit numb, and he was tired, but the boy used whatever strength he had left to dash forward, then he pushed the black-haired girl to the side. He owned her that much already, right?

His head felt light, his body felt numb, but there was a sharp pain in his chest. This time, it wasn’t because of his emotions; as Hunter lay on his back on the ground, he looked at the left side of his chest and found a hand buried in it. He looked up at the face in front of him; the woman’s eyes were completely black and devoid of any emotion, but a smile on her face meant that she was pleased of the outcome. Her long hair almost suffocated him as it fell all over his face. And he saw red. A lot of red: all over his chest, around the woman’s right hand and arm, and splattered all over her face.

In the blink of an eye, he then saw black. Hunter did not black out; he literally saw black blood as thorny vines attacked from his left side and grazed the woman’s upper arm before she could back away to a safe distance. More vines erupted from the ground and created a dome over the tamer and his companion; rays of light passed between loose thorns and lit up the insides of the dark container.

“ Idiot! “ Errol ran over to his side. Her eyes seemed as if they were holding back her tears, “ You didn’t have to do that! I’m immortal! “ 

She frantically ripped off the tamer’s shirt to see just how much damage had been done. The girl was no longer able to hold back her tears when an open wound revealed the lower part of a beating internal organ.

“ You might not be able to die but, I know that just like humans… “ Hunter coughed up dark red blood and almost choked as he spoke, “ … you can get hurt. You feel pain. “

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