Chapter 368: A Ghost Whispers
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You know it don’t you? Said the man’s voice.

I know.

She is a liar.

I know. But this one is different.

The man raised his hands. He was missing three fingers.

How long will you keep ignoring it?

Until I can have what I want.

She is your curse.

I know.

He stared at the endless black. A landscape of corpses. One of the corpses faced upward. A face that he was familiar with. Young and Old. They all look the same to him. Some were beheaded. Some were simply stab in the heart. If one would examine every body. He was sure that they would be amaze how he had been given every death possible.

Maybe you can find out now. How a planet squashes you into the surface of another planet, desperately holding it up. She is a liar. Fragments we are, she’s still her. You admired. You respected. Love? Do you even know why? Or does the momentarily happiness keeps you foolish?

I know.

The world of endless black became transparent. He could see Ashia leaning on his shoulder. The landscape blurring as the train passes.

This isn’t the finish line. Just an island among the Greater World, the world where the truest lives. Where all legends and fantasies have been imagined, given to those who were able to take a glimpsed of it. She will reach it. She’s close to it.

I know. She has always been a liar.

Yes. Do not mistake her current thoughts to be her real thoughts. I…wish that I had this joy, finding a fragment so separate from the base. But who knows when the woman who could do well…would go back to her ways of tormenting a poor soul.

She is wonderful…isn’t she?

Yes. I do admit that. But that doesn’t change she is a fragment of her.

She is the first one. You know this. Don’t lie, liar. Stop telling yourself that you do not love this Ciara.

The man whose skin was layered with an obsidian skin, clenched his hands, and yet his three fingers did not recover. For someone who could grow a limb. He could not grow his three fingers back. Forever lost. No, more like a vow to the name he had promised.

Why do you want to reach the Greater World? The true one?

The man did not answer. His body hissing smoke. A momentary anger. Eyes burning red with all the sigils that a bleak walker can have.

Old Revenant…Time Wraith…A Bleak Walker.

I am.

Yes.

How many times has been this way?

You can tug the creation. You are near her strings. You will not part here. No, I assure you that.  The Disciple of Nether, River Nix’s Witch, and her master, the one who walked the Stasis River…had found an isolated path to Greater World. He would have saved us. No, Hero Ryle tried, he was lost, a burning candle, and cursed as well. Oh Brother Ryle, I wish I could have done something for you.

I do not understand.

You are older than this planet.

I know.

Time…You will hunt her.

No. Not this one. Please. I beg of you. Not this one.

Yes…she is near. Just near. Remember…she will always find you. Our eternal enemy, the person that we have not been able to defeat. Our enemy.

I know that already.

You know your curse. I must continue

I don’t understand.

You are a liar as well.

I am. Who said I wasn’t?

Stop lying. You know that she will have false tears, but she will always find you.  A single look and she would decide who you belonged to. This path is different…strange…so peaceful…an almost perfect world that she would have tried to save and burn it at the same time.

The man’s hollowed eyes looked at Ashia.

That woman who gave you her life. The one you run away with. She was her too. Adey…Machina…they decided to die as fragments rather than continue to become what we are. This one…how long could you hold this hand?

As long as I could.

He turned to the man’s voice. Beyond that obsidian mash he hides. Beyond all the noises that the dead makes. There was a look that he could not hide.

You will continue?

The man clenched his hands.

Yes. That is the bleak path. You found her. I didn’t. It is only right that you could be with Ciara. The Ciara that we had truly loved.

Or you can stop and become one with me. Stop chasing after her.

No. I cannot forgive the Burnt Woman. The War Maiden who died in the Pale Pass, I can forgive. But not her. It is the only way out of freedom. I am revenant, a wraith that could not stop.

You will tire of this.

Does the light tire? Do stars wonder why they exist? We are fixed. She made us a fixed creature. A constant in these worlds. She had turned us into a monster…because she’s lonely.

What could we have done?

Not carry her on our back when Oasis fell. We shouldn’t have carried her broken body, we should not have carried her to the Three Fates, where she met with the Incarnations of the War Maidens, and letting ourselves beheaded by Kaiser. She argues that what she had done, was so that we would have the courage to drive a blade in her heart. No, she’s a liar. Do you think that a woman who had watched her children die, her children’s children die, wouldn’t be numb to it? How many times have you thought she had watched them turn to dust? We should have prevented the merging of the world, where she came from, from being destroyed. We shouldn’t have let the gods merged it into one giant world. Not let her escape that loop.

She had created a fixed point. We cannot go back to the time where she had lost it. Because she had destroyed that world out of an excuse of saving her children.

She’s not that cruel.

The man’s face seems to twist in hatred.

Even after all the years of being put to death? You lie to yourself. She is a liar. You are a liar. But…you are the liar that reached this end. When you perish I shall continue to hunt her down.

He looked down.

Was there a future…where we were able to?

Go back home?

Yes. There was. But she found you.

Even there?

You have helped her be a god. Time is nothing to her. If anything, you should already know why you were sent in her world in the first place. You know it in your heart, but you lie to yourself, thinking, “No, it can’t be possible,” but you know that is a lie as well.

Why do I listen to a ghost?

Because you know it don’t you?

Tell me. Have you seen this path?

No. I envy you. This is where our path differs. Our Ciara found you first, not the Burnt Woman. I am glad that there is a path like this. She is close, but Sister will hold her back. Alcina…you poor fool.

Alcina?

The endless black vanished. The train’s horns sounded. His vision cleared, replaced with Ashia’s confused stare. Nolan smiled, throwing those thoughts away. Why does he lie to himself so much…he can only wonder as he escorts her out of the train, eyes on the sandstone structures of a town.

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