Chapter VI : Journey Home IV

Chapter VI : Journey Home

“ Chronicle “

Inevitably, Linnorm had to return to the other desert snakes. The oak forest was much too crowded for the large creature and it could not find a clear path which it could take. It would have to uproot all of the trees which stood in its way, and that was a bad idea for a considerable portion of the forest would be wrecked. Puppy also had to dive into the ground for the tardigrade tripped on exposed oak tree roots. The group said farewell to Linnorm and Rina even hugged the massive creature’s snout. Once the snake was out of sight, the tardigrade dove underground, and the humans and Errol continued their journey home. The succeeding moments were uneventful. That is, until Rina skipped to Errol’s side. She had two history books: Errol’s and hers. The Overlord looked at the girl, then at the history books, then at Rina once again.

“ No, “ the black-haired one bluntly said, with a forced smile on her face.

“ But… but… “ Rina nudged Errol’s face with the thick, heavy history book, “ Open it! “

“ No. “

“ Open iiiiiiiit! “

“ No… “

“ I want to see what’s inside! “

At that point, Errol stopped on her tracks. She looked at Rina sternly.

“ No. And that is final, “ she said. The blonde historian looked so defeated when Errol stepped forward again, therefore, the Overlord sighed and continued, “ You can ask me any question. If I want to, I’ll answer it and you can write that down. “

The girl’s emerald eyes sparkled. She handed the massive history book to Thyme for safe-keeping, took out her writing materials and opened up her own history book which contained many handwritten notes.

“ What’s your name? “ was her first question.

“ Errol, “ came the reply.

“ No, not that. Errol D’ Theov is just an anagram for The Overlord! “ Rina exclaimed, a revelation that surprised the rest of the group, “ Your real name! The one that your parents gave you. “

Silence fell over the forest as they continued to walk.

“ They didn’t give me a name, “ was Errol’s honest reply. She did not look at Rina, and so she missed the apologetic look on the girl’s face.

“ Hmm… do you know who your parents were? What about your siblings? “ the blonde historian asked. Once again, Errol’s answer was not instant.

“ I don’t know their names. I had three younger siblings. The first two died and were buried. When the third one died too, I killed my parents so that they would not eat it, then I buried the little one and left the other corpses to be eaten by animals, “ the reply was cold and distant as if Errol was telling a story.

Rina hesitated to write that down, but she was a historian…

“ Did you have any husbands? “

“ No. “

“ Did you have any children? “

Errol looked at Rina as if the girl asked the most ridiculous question, and then she muttered a definite, “ No. “

“ Have you ever fallen in love? “ was Rina’s next question.

Her beautiful green eyes were wide and expectant. She looked at Hunter, then at Errol, and there was a mischievous grin on her lips. But time passed, they continued their journey, and that question remained unanswered. Rina finally sighed and moved on to her next question.

“ What is the Mechanism? “ the historian asked as she turned a page of her history book.

“ Oh~ good question, “ Errol’s eyes lit up as if she remembered something; then, she shrugged, “ I don’t know. “

“ Ehhh? “ Rina whined, “ But you saw it! What does it look like? What does it do? “

“ I can describe it… a floating roundish thing with symbols on it. There were nine symbols; eight were scattered and the ninth was in front, “ Errol explained as she walked on, “ I call it the ninth because the symbols were locks, and they had to be undone in a specific sequence. “

Thyme’s fiancée nodded and frantically wrote everything down.

“ It had… a voice, “ the Overlord continued, “ –  a small voice that called to me. I unlocked the eight. Then, when I reached for the ninth, it opened by itself … an endless hole in the Mechanism, and the voice said that I had to reach in to unlock it. “

Errol looked at her left arm. She winced.

“ Many small things sunk into my flesh. I could feel them grind against my bone… they stabbed and cut and sliced and… “ she clenched her fist and sighed, “ And then I couldn’t feel anything. “

Rina wrote it down and did not ask another question.

“ Then it let me go, “ Errol continued, “ And the symbols began to move. I could also feel something move beyond it, but I couldn’t see what it was. I went back to the citadel, but no one was there so I went to sleep. “

The group was silent for a while.

“ And your copies? “ Rina finally asked.

“ The first was One. She came to me and asked me to end her life, “ Errol explained, “ She knew that our time was over. It was the age of humans once again; we lost our place in this world. She warned me about the others… especially Seven and Eight. “

“ Four recited a poem, “ the historian showed the Overlord what she wrote, “ Have you met them? “

“ No, but I’ve felt them, “ the black-haired one replied after she took one look at the poem, “ I went to the cavern and found the empty pods, but I didn’t know where to start. So… when I went back up, I put Linnorm’s colony at the entrance. I didn’t know how many of them got out, so I traveled through the forest constantly. “

The men looked on as the girls conversed. Rina asked one last question.

“ Errol… “ she began, “ How does it feel … to be immortal? “

The Overlord looked straight ahead and didn’t hesitate. She had a simple answer.

“ Cold.“

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