Chapter V : Revelation VI

Chapter V : Revelation

“ Schism “

Hunter woke up to Thyme’s angry voice and to blinding sunlight. He looked up and saw Rina who smiled at him; the tamer found himself on his friend’s lap with her fiancé right in front of them, and he seemed to be yelling at someone in the distance. When the brown-haired boy managed to sit up, he realized that they were, once again, on Puppy’s back and were traveling at full speed.

“ It was you all along, but you didn’t say anything! “ the redhead screamed at Errol who was on Linnorm’s head.

The snake and the tardigrade ran through the desert sand side by side. Steel, who felt very adventurous due to his brush with death earlier, happily sat on the old snake’s back; he just sighed at Thyme’s outburst.

“ We’ve been looking for you, and you were with us all that time! “ the guard continued to yell. At that point, Errol could stand it no longer and had half the mind to punch a hole through his head.

“ You were sent out to follow the trail of Black Blood, “ she calmly replied without looking at Thyme, “ I wanted to know where it led as well, because those droplets were not from me. “

Thyme finally shut up at that point. He did notice it at the site where Hunter almost died. There was black blood on the ground, but the Overlord was not injured and there were no traces of fresh black blood on her clothes as well; not until she began to transfer her own life source to save his blue-eyed friend.

“ Then, that woman… “ the guard looked ahead but there seemed to be no goal in sight, “ She looked like you, didn’t she? I mean… older-looking but… “

Hunter listened to the conversation as the wind howled beside their ears. He looked over to the golden-haired historian and caught her writing furiously in her history book as she checked her map. The tamer then felt that place on his chest where he had been stabbed; it didn’t hurt at all. He lifted his shirt up to check if there was a scar and instead of unsightly red markings, he saw a circle of black thorns etched on his skin, much like the ones on Errol’s left arm.

“ The Mechanism, “ said the pale little one, “ … didn’t like it when I left. “

At that, Steel spoke up. He wasn’t going to pass up a conversation that could answer his own questions.

“ Is the Mechanism a person? An animal? A plant? “ he asked one question after the other.

“ Uhm… it’s… “ Errol thought about it for a moment, “ It is a little bit of everything. That time when I was connected to it, I saw its memories… how it had veered off course because of a chain reaction, and soon it crashed on the planet which, at that time, was called Earth. “

As she tried to recall what she saw back then, and those memories overlapped her own memories for a moment.

“ The humans who spoke to the sky called it Apocalypse, “ she continued, “ It ended up deep within the planet. The humans who practiced science found its nine parts and scattered them around… uhm… a molten orb deep underground. The largest part became the Mechanism. There was a lock… “

Errol looked at her left arm.

“ … and a key, “ she then yelled and pointed at a large hole in the middle of the desert, “ There! “

The tardigrade and the snake slowed down as they approached their destination.

“ They are me, but not me, “ Errol tried to explain.

“ The woman? But… they? “ Steel frowned; he knew what the answer to his question was, but he wanted to be sure, “ There’s more than one of her? “

The Overlord nodded.

“ There were eight locks on the Mechanism. I’ve already taken care of three, “ Errol said, then she hopped off Linnorm’s head when it stopped close to the massive hole on the ground, “ I thought that placing guards on the entrance would keep them from getting out but… they found another passage. “

Linnorm huffed. It did not look happy or Linnorm-ish at all. Hunter could only wonder if the desert snakes’ home was indeed the entrance to Impact Cavern; perhaps the old snake was not pleased that they were outsmarted by the Overlord’s “copies”.

“ I would not have cared if they ran around looking like me… “ Errol clarified as she looked around the hole for any signs of the long-haired woman, “ But unfortunately, they think like the old me. “

Rina finally stopped what she was doing. She shuddered. Some of the things which she read from the Overlord’s diary were quite appalling after all. Humans knew that they needed the Overlord but at the same time, many of them hated her. In the Age of the Sun, Errol was cold and heartless; she was not the Errol who led the humans through the forest and through the desert. It was then that the historian realized something. She looked at the foreword of her history book and laughed when she saw Errol’s signature. It was a funny way of hiding and she wondered if anyone else noticed what those letters spelled out.

But that was her secret, and Rina didn’t want to bother the others with such trivial matters. The events which unfolded in front of her were much more important than an anagram. The farmer had just gone ahead to check the hole for it seemed familiar, and instead of being surprised by an antlion’s head, he was surprised that all that was left of the massive desert creature was its exoskeleton. Clearly, something- or someone – got rid of that beast so that they could use its burrow.

“ They’re not down there, “ Errol exclaimed.

She then looked a little to her left at a nearby toadstool colony. They were massive tame plants, but they had their own dangers.

“ Four… “ the Overlord’s eyes were still on the bright red toadstools, “ … and six. “

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