Chapter V : Revelation VIII

Chapter V : Revelation

“ Lair of the Beasts “

Hunter covered Rina’s mouth just before she screamed. Within the mist which barely allowed any sunlight to reach the ground, hundreds of skeletons laid on the cold sand. Humans and animals- they were all victims of the toadstool colony. Thyme almost tripped over what seemed to be a recently deceased man with a toadstool growing out of his chest. The plant clearly broke through that human’s ribcage but it remained unclear whether he died because of that, or because of the fact that the toadstool had been slowly draining his strength.

Due to the mist, almost everything appeared to be in shades of grey. As they walked farther into the colony, it became increasingly difficult to avoid the skeletons which had toadstools growing out of them. Rina held onto Thyme’s left arm as they walked, while his right hand held his porcupig quill spear tightly. Steel had a dagger in each hand and Hunter armed himself with Errol’s knife which he was allowed to keep at the moment.

Errol suddenly stopped.

The wind did not reach that far into the colony. No sound aside from the humans’ breathing could be heard.

“ Defend yourselves, “ the Overlord broke the silence, “ They’re coming. “

White noise filled the humans’ ears. It sounded as if many small voices screamed all at once. It was not deafening or loud; instead, it was like a distant chorus that was getting closer. Thyme looked to his left and pulled Rina towards him. With dexterous movements and flicks, the guard spun his spear around with his fingers; Thyme effectively deflected a swarm of hydnorae. Without a host, the plants were easily to kill as long as one reacted quickly enough. Behind the group, a small figure darted from one of the toadstools. It headed for Hunter, but the aged yet strong farmer stepped in front of him. His daggers clashed with scythe-like vine formations. Steel forced one strong push to break his opponent’s defense and as the scythes parted, the figure tumbled backwards.

“ You’re… “ the surprised grey-haired human wasn’t able to finish his statement.

A gust of wind that carried sand and bones came from Errol’s direction. Thyme put his arms around his fiancée to protect her while Hunter and Steel put their hands over their eyes. As the sand settled down, the humans tried their best to look at what was before them, despite the grey mist. The first thing that they saw was a massive bright red cap which seemed to be sitting right on Errol’s spot. But as the sand settled down further, the little one was still there. Her right arm held the toadstool up; her legs were buried halfway into the sand. It was evident that she took on the full force of that attack.

“ Predictable, “ Errol scoffed.

At the other end of the medium-sized toadstool which seemed to have been ripped from its roots, there stood a figure that looked just like Steel’s opponent. The farmer had to check his enemy once again; the scythe-wielding girl was still there. His attacker and Errol’s attacker were clearly different figures, but they looked the same. Just like the woman at 144, they looked like Errol; unlike the woman who seemed to be an older version of the Overlord, these two seemed to be younger ones. Their haircut was short and they had neatly trimmed bangs. Both wore nothing but bandages on their child-like bodies.

“ Unforgivable, “ Errol’s attacker said.

“ Despicable, “ Steel’s attacker exclaimed.

“ Giving Black Blood… “

“ … to a human. “

“ Our sacred blood… “

“ … heretics! “

“ Shut up, Six, “ the one true Overlord finally had enough. With just one arm, she pushed the toadstool cap upward and to her left; she then pulled her legs out of the sand and stepped forward, “ That word, sacred, who taught you about that? “

“ Seven, “ said the toadstool-wielding one.

“ Seven knows all, “ said the scythe-wielder.

“ I thought so, “ Errol sighed.

“ We are the gods of this world, “ continued Errol’s attacker.

“ We created this planet, “ said Steel’s opponent.

The humans were confused, but they were still on their toes.

“ Bullshit, the Overlord spat on the ground. The anger in her voice could be clearly noticed, much like when she referred to one of her copies as ‘bitch’, “ This world already existed long before I was created. “

She then pointed at the one who attacked her.

“ And definitely long before you were created, “  Errol exclaimed.

“ Oh? “

“ Oh? “

“ Seven did say… “

“ … that your mind was polluted. “

“ Polluted, yes. “

“ By humans. “

“ Humans, filthy creatures. “

“ Humans, stupid ingrates. “

“ Walking fertilizer. “

“ Animal fodder. “

“ Damn, I feel so insulted, “ Thyme suddenly piped up.

Hunter snickered, and Steel tried to hold back his laughter, but Six remained serious. The one in front of Errol put her fists up, and the one in front of Steel put her vine-covered arms up. Their eyes became completely white.

“ Six is synchronized. You’ll just get in my way, “ Errol said, her voice stern, “ But I do need you to round up the other one. “

Without looking at the humans, she pointed to her left side into the darkness where the swarm of hydnorae came from.

“ The woman from 144 is my fourth copy, “ the Overlord explained, “ She was injured. Find her. “

Steel nodded at the other humans and they headed to Four’s direction. But before they could leave, Errol spoke up again.

“ Hunter, do you trust me completely? “ she asked, “ If you do, stay behind me. “

The tamer blinked and was rooted to his spot. He knew that he was utterly useless, but Thyme forcefully shoved him towards Errol. The other humans then went to look for the one who caused the tragedy at 144.

“ I… I’ll do my best, “ Hunter said as he turned to face the scythe wielder.

“ A fair fight, “ Six said, echoed by both of its bodies, “ Good. “

As Hunter braced himself, he noticed that the black thorn markings on his skin quickly enveloped his body. He glimpsed at Errol and he saw that the same thing happened to her. His body felt light and his vision became clear, as if the grey mist was no longer present.

“ You don’t have to do anything, “ Errol said and as she called forth dark, thorny vines from the sand, so did Hunter though he was unsure of how he did it, “ Just leave it to me. “

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