HA\LF: Dead nor Alive
A few days had passed since Archie killed a king and the body started to decay and Archie had been eating the flesh to replenish his strength. He wandered around the island and it was so big that he hadnt checked every part of the island. One thing that interested him was that there was a cave that led into the deep similar to the small island he went to.
“Theyre still not here?” Archie asked the wind witch.
“Theyre still far away from here, it might take them at least three days if the weather is on their side,” The witch answered as she stared at the sea. “So, what are you going to do now while waiting for those humans?” the witch continued.
“Im going down there, I need to get stronger because right now I dont think I would be able to survive if I meet her again. I dont want to be ended up like the others two,” Archie said and then walked to the cliff where the cave was.
(Somewhere in the middle of the sea)
Fanheim stood in front of the ship with the other ships in front of his, they have been sailing for five days, and their food started to run low. He looked at everyone lazing on the deck with barely anything in their stomach, he worried that they wont make it if parasites decided to board the ship again.
Ruby suddenly stood next to Fanheim and he was a bit surprised to see her. “Whats wrong, Bub? Cant get some sleep?” he asked as he stared at her.
“No, Im just thinking and decided to come here to get some peace of mind,” Ruby answered while she kept staring at the sea.
“Peace of mind? Does it has something to do with Archie, Bub?” Fanheim asked as he leaned his back on the railing and crossed his arms.
Ruby looked at Fanheim because that was exactly what she was thinking, she then looked down and nodded. “Yes, Im thinking about him right now and I cant get him out of my head,” she answered quietly.
“Hmm? What are you thinking about him right now? Are you worried about him?” Fanheim asked and leaned his right side of his body on the railing and stared at her.
“No, Im not worried about him at all,” Ruby answered as she shook her head. “I was thinking about what he said to me,” she continued while she was holding the railing.
“What did he say?” Fanheim asked and faced the sea.
“Its better for you to not know about it, its something that nobody can handle, even for me, it has been giving me nightmares,” Ruby answered.
“Was that a challenge?” Fanheim asked jokingly.
“Im not, Colonel,” Ruby said with a serious expression. “Its something that I cant explain but it sure is making me feel uncomfortable and I cant get it out of my head,” she continued and sat down with her back leaned on the railing.
“Are you talking about the end of humanity, Bub?” Fanheim asked as he sat down next to Ruby.
Ruby looked at him with a surprised expression and immediately nodded her head. “Yes, did he tell you about it as well? The reason why hes here, all the parasites, and that woman?” she asked repeatedly and made Fanheim look at her with confusion.
“Not all of them, but he told me about the fate of humanity,” Fanheim answered as he stared at the red sky. “So he told you everything? Do you want to share it with me? Im an old man, I dont think I can be bothered by the truth anymore and its better for you to share that burden with someone else,” he continued and looked at Ruby.
Ruby didnt want to share it but if she kept holding it by herself, she might go crazy. So she decided to share everything she heard from Archie with Fanheim because of her own wish to share the burden as Fanheim said.
The moment that Fanheim knew the truth from Ruby, his expression changed and he reacted the same way as when Ruby heard everything from Archie. Fanheim couldnt withstand the truth but he was still sitting there with Ruby, and his face said it all that he regretted what he said earlier.
“Im sorry, Colonel,” Ruby said as she looked down. “I shouldnt have told you about it,” she continued.
Fanheim took a deep breath and exhaled deeply to calm himself down but it did nothing. “Its fine Bub, we share the same burden now,” Fanheim replied as he shook his head. “It seems that I need to have alone time to think about it, and you came here to have some peace, right? Lets do that then,” he said as he smiled.
Ruby slightly smiled and nodded with understanding then Fanheim left to process everything that he heard.
Three days had passed, and Fanheim still couldnt get that information out of his head. He had been musing and thought about it as if it tried to disturb his peace of mind.
“Colonel, I see the island!” The guy on top of the mast said.
Everyone ran to the front of the deck to look at the distance and as the guy said, they saw the island where they wanted to go. All of them were cheering with excitement and hugging each other that they had made it safely.
Fanheim smiled and sighed with relief. “We made it, we reached our destination,” he said with everyone cheering behind him.
The closer they were to the island, the more visible the island was, and they saw the kings body stranded on the island with his decayed body. Everyone was staring at it with disbelief and terrified at the same time that something like that existed under the sea. They had a chill down their spine but at the same time, they couldnt look away from it.
All the ships docked on the island and put their anchor down. They all put their feet, body, and face on the grass the moment they set their feet on the island. Marlon and Fanheim immediately checked the corpse of the king and looked at it from up close with the others.
“Who did this? How can a parasite this big die with big chunks of flesh that went missing? Is there another one that lives around here?” Marlon asked as he looked at the body of the king that Archie had been consuming ever since he came to the island.
Ruby and the others were glad to see the king died and that could only mean one thing, and that was Archie still alive and on the island.
“Lets be careful on the island, we dont know what lives on this island and how it is compared to the Eastern Nations parasites,” Fanheim said as he looked at them.
All of them nodded with understanding and regroup with the others. They went deeper into the island to find a perfect place to live for the next few weeks before they continue their journey to the Northern Nation.
On their journey through the island, none of them could sense Archies presence and he went to the back of the line and rejoined them as if nothing happened. He then walked past the crowds and casually walked to Vincent and the others.
“Why did it take you guys so long to come here?” Archie asked as he stood behind them.
All of them turned around and looked at Archie who casually walked behind them with his hands in his pocket and swords on his back. “Archie?!” Vincent quietly said and then the three of them were patting his back and checked his healthy body.
“Were you the one who killed that thing?” Vincent asked as he pointed in the direction where the kings corpse was.
“Yes, I did, it was quite an experience,” Archie answered.
“Holy shit! How did you kill that beast?!” Tommy said quietly as he leaned his head toward Archie.
Archie explained to them how he entered the kings mouth, traveled into the kings body then cut his way up to the kings brain. He explained it in a detailed manner so that they could imagine how thrilling the story was, and then he told them that he ended up here because of luck.
“Wow, thats unbelievable. Im glad that youre back here with us,” Vincent said as he patted Archies shoulder. “So you have been wandering through the island, right? Is it safe here?” he asked.
“Its safe, I have cleared the island while I was having my alone time and to waste time,” Archie answered.
While they were talking with Archie about the island, Ruby suddenly appeared from the front and looked at Archie with disbelief. Archie looked at her and he gently smiled at her with his hand raised. “Long time no see, Ruby,” he said.
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