Chapter VII : Eastbound II

Chapter VII : Eastbound

“ Humans “

The townsfolk of 27 finally reached the unnamed river. There, they found many other humans from different towns, led by their own Captains and Keepers. Tall leather oak trees stretched above the travelers and their branches formed arches which almost hid the aurora. It was almost daybreak, and the humans became anxious since some plants already woke up. Though tired, they knew that they should not stop and rest for the attacking plants from the Overlord’s Sea could catch up to them.

“ Let’s set up a camp here, “ Xing instructed the people of 27.

A loud murmur echoed through the forest as humans from other towns looked on.

“ I’ve already spoken to the other Captains. They’ll watch over us while we rest; they’ve taken turns to rest and guard earlier, “ Hunter’s father assured them.

Though not entirely convinced that it would be safe, 27’s townsfolk followed their Captain. The weariness which they felt was undeniable, and it was impractical to continue the journey if they would just die of exhaustion later. As time passed little by little, more humans arrived at the site. It was apparent that most if not all the towns around the sea were attacked, but although Errol was worried about the situation, the humans still seemed to be happy.

“ I don’t understand, “ she tugged at Anise’s robe while her grandson Thyme set up a tent.

“ Hmm? “ the little old lady smiled up at the Overlord.

“ You too… how can you smile at a time like this? “ Errol asked. Her usually pleasant face was ruined by a frown.

“ Oh! Well, bad things happen all the time. There’s no reason to be so worried, “ Anise giggled.

In the past, the Overlord did not care if humans lived or died. She saw them as annoying creatures which were only useful as fertilizer for plants and as food for animals. But was that really the truth? Did she truly despise them? Errol ran over to one of the older men; he had been injured and found it difficult to walk around, but he still tried to help a friend of his. With her little arms that seemed frail to human eyes, she held the man up when he almost tripped on his own belongings.

“ Thank you! “ the man ruffled Errol’s hair, “ What a nice little boy! “

The black-haired one did not mind that last statement at all. In fact, she was used to being called a boy, or a brat even. She was focused on the two words which came before that last statement. With a light heart and a cheerful face, she helped the old man and his friend with what they were doing. The evening passed with just minor incidents such as acorns that randomly fell and sleepy humans who almost slipped into the river. During their time of trial, Errol was able to understand humans a bit more. They have improved over the years; the lessons which the older generations learned were not forgotten- they passed it onto the next generation.

Since she barely required rest and did not need food at all, Errol went around the humans’ camp and helped them out. Before the first rays of the sun rose in the west, the people of 27 had their much needed rest. She knew a lot of information and memorized many facts, but the feeling that she got when she understood some abstract concepts, such as hope and optimism, was unmatched. Contented with her forgettable achievement, the girl sat on Puppy’s wide back as the tardigrade munched on a tasty rock. The aurora began to fade away as the sun rose slowly, but the smile on Errol’s face brighter than sunlight.

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