HA\LF: Dead nor Alive
“So, those Ex-Humans from earlier, they do look like a human from the outside, huh?” Prince asked as he looked back and up into the dark sky.
“Why do you ask, Prince? Dont tell me you fall for one of them?” Resse said as she glanced at him.
“I mean, it took me by surprise when I saw them naked like that and not to mention that theyre beautiful. As a man, Im sorry but cant help it, right, Vince?” Prince said as he looked at Vincent.
Vincent looked at Ruby for a second and she was glaring at him without even showing any expression. “Uh, please dont drag me into this,” he replied nervously.
“You know that if you dont give an answer nor deny a question, that means you feel guilty about it and you agree with it,” Ruby said as she kept glaring at Vincent.
Archie smirked and held his laughter while he walked at the front. The four of them were so busy talking about the witches that they didnt realize that the witches were still stalking them.
“So, how far is it, the Landing Site?” Prince asked as he walked next to Archie.
“I had to run all day to reach the Landing Site, and at that time I was following one of the witches so it wasnt just a normal run. If we keep walking with this pace, we might reach it at least in five days,” Archie answered.
“I see, then we have to keep up our pace since its quite far away,” Ruby said.
Three days had passed and they decided to rest for the night since they had been moving nonstop. Prince was making the tent while Vincent and Ruby were hunting for food. Resse just sat near the campfire and had been stealing glances at Archie that Archie could feel her gazes stabbing him.
“What is it?” Archie asked as he looked at Resse.
Prince turned his head and looked at Resse and Archie. “Nothing, Im just curious if I can be like you,” Resse answered.
“You want to be like me? An Ex-Human?” Archie asked and raised his eyebrows. “You dont even know what I have suffered in the past few years. If you think becoming an Ex-Human is fun, you should at least try to eat human flesh first and see if youre able to endure the hunger,” he continued as he gathered twigs.
“You ate human flesh?” Prince stopped building the tent and asked Archie while he looked at him with a surprised expression.
“Yes, I ate human flesh once, an Axis Humans flesh,” Archie said with a serious expression as he stared at both of them. “It was a while ago when the witches fed me that flesh and I cant remove that memory from my head because of how delicious the meat was,” he continued while Prince and Resse started to feel nervous and awkward.
Archie chuckled and dropped the twigs next to the campfire. “You dont have to worry because Im not going to eat human flesh again, at least if there are plenty of parasites that I can eat,” he explained. “By the way, I have never asked you guys about the experiment that you both had to experience. How was it? I heard it was painful based on the rumors that have been going on around the city,” he asked.
Prince and Resse looked at each other and then Prince sat in front of the campfire. “I think everyone had a different experience during the experiment because, for me, it felt like I was being tortured and every inch of my skin was getting peeled off. It was a nightmare that I dont want to experience ever again because it took me a whole week until I could fall asleep,” he answered.
“What about you, Resse?” Archie asked as he threw the twigs into the fire.
“For me, the moment they injected the blood into my body, I felt like every muscle in my body was being crushed. My heart pounded really fast that I couldnt see anything but pulses of the blood pumping. I started to hallucinate and people were holding me down and hitting me with hammers, it was unpleasant because at that time I wish I was dead but they prevented me from doing so. They had to tie me down in a bed while I was screaming in pain that I tore my vocal cord,” Resse answered while she stared at the fire. “It was the worst feeling I have ever had,” she continued.
Archie hummed with understanding and imagined if what they felt was similar to what he had experienced.
“Oh, but theres a woman who passes the experiment so easily that she didnt feel the torment of the experiment,” Prince said.
“Yes, thats right, I heard about that as well,” Resse nodded in agreement.
Archie furrowed his forehead and looked at them both. “Who was it? Do you guys know?”
Prince looked at the trees while he squinted his eyes. “Who was it again? Fa… Faya?” he answered as he looked at Resse.
“Not Faya, but Faye. Elendra Faye,” Resse answered.
The moment Archie heard that name, he jolted from his sitting and looked at Resse with a surprised expression. “Elendra Faye?! Are you sure that was her name?”
They both were startled when they saw Archie surprised because it was the first time they saw him like that. “Yes, we believe her name was Elendra Faye, shes from the Western Nation and I heard that she took the experiment with her own will because she didnt want to see her best friends sacrifice gone for nothing,” Resse answered. “Why? Do you know her?” she asked.
Archie looked at Resse and nodded slowly. “Yes, I know her, we used to be close,” he answered.
“Then you should be able to meet her when we leave this continent because we heard that she leads an international force that specifically deals with high gen parasites,” Prince said.
Archie looked at him and nodded with understanding.
Archie felt relieved when he heard her name again, and not to mention she became someone great that people depended on her. He couldnt wait to leave the continent and went back to the Western Nation to meet her and Aster, but he then remembered they didnt remember him anymore, their memories of Archie had been replaced by someone else.
Ruby and Vincent came back with their games in their hands, they both looked at Archie with confusion. “Whats wrong, Archie? You looked pale,” Ruby asked.
Archie shook his head. “Nothing, I was thinking about something,”
They both just hummed and then they immediately made dinner for everyone.
The morning came and they put everything back in the bag, Archie looked around and the witches werent there with them anymore. He noticed that something felt different around him than last night, but he didnt know what so he ignored it and told the rest to start moving again.
After two days of walking, they finally saw the cliff in front of them, Archie hadnt told them that the Landing Site was right in front of them. They walked to the edge of the cliff and they were mesmerized by the scenery and the lake in the middle.
“This is beautiful,” Ruby said as she sat down on the edge of the cliff. “So, wheres the Landing Site, Archie? We have been walking for two days and that means we are close right?” she asked.
Archie nodded and pointed at the lake. “We are not just close, we are here,” he answered.
All of them were looking at Archie with confusion. “Wait, this lake is the Landing Site?” Vincent asked.
Archie nodded. “Yes, the Landing Site is covered with water and underneath the lake is where the symbols that we are looking for,” he answered.
“Wait, if the symbols are at the bottom of the lake? How are we supposed to take a picture of them? Its impossible,” Ruby said as she looked at the lake.
“Thats not the only problem, Ruby,” Archie said as he tightened his gloves. “The Mother is also down there, remember?” he continued.
“Where is she? I cant see her at all,” Prince asked as he squinted his eyes and looked at the lake.
“You will see,” Archie said. “Just enjoy the show and stay here, I will deal with her on my own,” he continued as he walked to the edge of the cliff.
“Wait, what are you doi-” Ruby said and before she could finish her sentences, Archie jumped off of the cliff and dove into the lake.
All of them were looking down and saw a tiny splash, they could see how big the lake was by comparing it with Archies body. While they were looking at him, the ground shook and the whirlpool appeared from the middle of the lake. They saw a big parasite surface from the lake, and they were speechless when they saw how big The Mother was, and they had a chill down their spine as they watch Archie walk toward her.
Archie unsheathed his swords and smiled at her. “We meet again and I will seek my revenge now,”
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