The Fairy Warehouse
Kutori never liked her very much. She always called Kutori her little sister and treated her as such. Of course, fairies, who aren’t born from the womb of any mother, can’t actually have sisters or siblings of any sort. But she would justify their supposed older and younger sister relationship by saying that they originated in the same forest on the same floating island, or that she came five years earlier than Kutori. Pulling out those coincidental facts as evidence only annoyed Kutori more.
She also apparently had great skill with Dug Weapons, another point that Kutori didn’t like. Kutori remembered watching her fly off to battle, showing off her big sword, then come marching home with a wide grin on her face. Right after coming back, she would always barge into the dining hall and chow down on butter cake, an item on the menu at that time, with an expression of pure bliss.
One time, on a whim, the then young and inexperienced Kutori decided to ask her something.
“Why do you always wear that brooch, even though it doesn’t look good on you?”
“Ahaha you’re too honest, Kutori. You’ll make your big sister cry, you know?”
“You’re not my big sister…”
“Ehh? Well I certainly can’t be the little sister.”
“I’m saying we’re not sisters in the first place.”
After a few minutes of their usual light hearted banter, she loosened her smile a bit.
“I once had someone like a big sister too. I took this brooch from them.”
“Took it? She didn’t give it to you?”
“It was one of her treasures. She always wore it and took good care of it, so whenever I asked for it she wouldn’t listen.” At this point Kutori thought she was even more evil than before, stealing such an important item from someone, but like always she laughed away Kutori’s judgmental stares. “I would challenge her to various games, demanding the brooch if I won. Like grades in our training courses, or eating contests, or card games. But I never won. Even so, I kept challenging her because it was fun.”
Kutori could already see how the story would end. If Kutori didn’t know this self proclaimed big sister’s big sister, it meant that she had already gone by the time Kutori came around. Kutori remained silent, not wanting to ask about that, but it must have showed on her face.
The ‘big sister’ patted her back and went on. “Well in the end, I won by default. One day, she went off to battle without her brooch on. She had just left it on the desk in her room, so it became mine.” She laughed, even though Kutori couldn’t see anything funny about her story. “I think it looks bad on me too… but I feel like I need to wear it.”
Again, Kutori never liked her very much. But, looking back, maybe she wasn’t so bad after all. So that day when she never returned home from battle, Kutori went to her room. Behind the unlocked door lay a mess of underwear, card games, and other miscellaneous items strewn about. Amidst the clutter, only the top of her desk was clean. A silver brooch sat all alone right in the middle.
For the past few days, Willem hadn’t seen some of the fairies around. Kutori, Aiseia, and Nephren. All of the relatively old girls seemed to have disappeared somewhere. After thinking about it for a little, he figured that there must have been some special circumstances and decided to not pursue the matter any further. Without any more thought, he simply accepted the situation.
The ground still retained some moisture from the morning’s rain. Team red, which had struggled throughout the first half of the game, had just begun to get back on the offensive. The team members’ motivation was on the rise, and they all agreed to smash the ball right into the white team captain’s face during the second half.
A strong wind suddenly blew while the ball flew through the air, guiding it right into a dense thicket. The girl chasing it happened to be the type to never give up and the type who doesn’t pay attention to her feet when looking at the sky. Adding up those conditions left only one possible outcome. Determined to catch her target, the girl ended up falling head first into the thick brush.
“Hey! Are you alright!?”
“Ow ow… that was a failure.”
The crash looked bad enough that a serious injury wouldn’t be surprising, so when the girl stood up laughing, Willem breathed a sigh of relief. Then, a moment later, he froze in terror. A deep laceration showed on the girl’s left thigh, and her upper right arm had been pierced by a thin branch. Fortunately, judging by the amount of blood coming out, an artery hadn’t been damaged, but it was still hardly the light scratch that the girl made it seem like.
“Both look pretty bad. We’re going to treat these right away.”
“Ehh? I’m fineee,” the girl responded nonchalantly. “Anyways, let’s play let’s play! We’re about to make a comeback!”
Willem couldn’t believe his ears. Maybe the wounds weren’t as serious as they looked? But no matter how many times he checked, he could be certain that they needed to be healed immediately, or else the girl’s life might be in danger.
“… it doesn’t hurt?”
“It hurts. But, you know, we were just getting all fired up!” The girl, a huge smile on her face, excitedly gestured for Willem to restart the game.
He finally began to understand the situation. Like she said, there was actually pain, and maybe a lot of it. This girl — and the other girls, who didn’t seem to detect anything unnatural about her behavior — simply didn’t think of injuries as a big deal. A shiver ran through his spine. He felt as if he was surrounded by unknown, mysterious creatures. Or perhaps it wasn’t just a feeling at all, but rather the reality that he had failed to notice until now.
“The game’s over.”
Groans rose up from the girls in protest, but Willem, paying them no attention, rushed inside the warehouse, carrying the wounded girl in his arms.
“… so why is the depressed one here not the actual person that got injured, but the one who just carried her?” Wearing a white gown over her normal clothes, Naigrat questioned Willem.
The girl lay on a nearby bed with her limbs wrapped in bandages, pouting over the ball game’s suspension. Willem sat in a chair, his head buried in his hands.
“I didn’t notice until today… those girls don’t seem to have much attachment to their own lives, do they?” Holding that posture, he asked Naigrat, who he hoped might know something.
“Hmm, I guess. They certainly do have that tendency.”
“That’s not normal… what are they, anyway?”
Naigrat paused for a moment and sighed, then asked back, “Do you really want to know that?”
Willem finally looked up.
“You are their manager, even though it may be just a title. So if you demand information about them, then I am in no position to refuse.” Her voice took a more serious tone. “To be honest, I don’t really want to tell you. After hearing this, you’ll change your attitude toward the kids. At first, I thought you were a bit creepy, but now I’m thankful that you’ve been so nice to them. If possible, I want things to stay like this for a little longer.”
“… tell me please.”
“Well then… I guess I have no choice.” Naigrat’s shoulders sagged. “Strictly speaking, those kids are not living. Their bodies do not fear death because they are not alive in the first place. Their minds are different, but at a young age they just follow their body’s instincts and easily become careless.”
“Sorry… I don’t understand a word you’re saying.”
Not living? What kind of joke is that? How could the stubborn, energetic, boisterous girls he saw everyday be… not living?
“Hmm… well I didn’t want to believe it either when I first heard,” Naigrat murmured softly. She walked out of the room and gestured to Willem. “Follow me. I want to show you something.”
Willem sluggishly stood up and went after her, still utterly perplexed.
“The Emnetwyte. I assume you know a lot about them?”
“… as much as anyone does.”
“No need to be modest.” She giggled. “The legendary species that ruled the ground over five hundred years ago. They weren’t blessed with any special talents…”
It is said that the Emnetwyte lacked the daunting size of the Gigants. They had no refined magic like the Elves. Their building skills paled in comparison to that of the Moleians. Their reproduction rate could never match that of the Orcs. And of course, they also lacked the overwhelming strength of the Dragons. Despite being a puny existence with no superior abilities, the Emnetwyte ruled the ground for a long period of time, fending off attacks from almost all of the other races.
“Ah… I see.”
“And one more thing: they tasted way more delicious than any of the other races. That fact has been passed down through generations of Trolls.”
That legend needs to die out. Seriously.
“One of the main reasons for their strength was the system of weapons which now lives on under the name of Dug Weapons.”
“… I’ve heard of those before. Anaala mentioned once that if you find a functioning Dug Weapon, it’ll easily cover the cost of the next few salvages.”
“Mhm. The Trading Company buys them for a minimum of 200,000 Bradals. I think the highest has been 8,000,000 Bradals.”
Eight million. That could pay off Willem’s sizable debt fifty times and still leave some left over.
“And… all the Dug Weapons gathered by the Trading Company…”
Naigrat stopped walking as they arrived in front of an unusually large and sturdy door. A thick layer of metal covered its entirety, with sharp tacks protruding from the edges. The locking system looked to be more intricate than any ordinary keyhole, and the accompanying doorknob felt incredibly heavy. In this “warehouse” overflowing with liveliness, the out of place door in front of them alone served as a reminder of its official status as an army facility.
“… are inside this room.”
Naigrat unlocked the door with ease and pushed it open. A deep sound like the rumbling of a stomach resounded throughout the hallway. Mold and dust mixed together to form an unpleasant. damp smell which found its way into Willem’s nose.
It’s almost like a tomb. It looked like one of those where an ancient king was buried with his treasures, and foolish tomb robbers would try to steal some but end up being cursed. Willem had never actually seen one with his own eyes, but he heard a few stories like that. Well, whether or not such tombs still remained down there on the ground, he had no idea.
The room had no lights. He could tell that something lay there behind the darkness, but couldn’t make out what.
“Pretty strict security, huh?”
“Well, a bunch of dangerous things are gathered here.”
The pair stood still, waiting for their eyes to get used to the gloom.
“Weapons of the ancient past whose ways of making, repairing, and wielding have all been lost forever. Weapons made by a powerless race to defeat the all-powerful Dragons and Visitors. Weapons that symbolized the will to resist and the strength to fight. Weapons that, despite being held by mere individuals, could change the outcome of an entire war.”
The shadowy contents of the room started to become discernible.
“Haha….” Willem laughed nervously.
Against one wall leaned dozens of swords. Although he still couldn’t see them clearly, they were obviously much larger than a typical longsword used only for ceremonial purposes or personal combat. Their lengths varied, but most stretched up to the height of an average adult, or slightly less. The proportional lengths of the hilts indicated that the swords were meant to be wielded with both hands.
What made them clearly different from regular swords was the structure of their blades. As Willem observed them from a closer distance, he could make out the signature cracks running throughout their bodies. An even more careful look would reveal that the parts of the blade on either side of one of these cracks differed slightly in color, suggesting that the cracks were not cracks at all, but rather links.
A normal sword comes from a single lump of metal beaten into shape. But these came from dozens of steel fragments, all about the size of a fist, linked together in a sword shaped jigsaw puzzle.
“So that’s what they used to be called, huh?”
As Willem looked around the room once more, he felt a sudden tight pain in his chest. He recognized some of the swords. The Percival Series mass produced Kaliyons. Those swords had taken good care of him many a time when he was still a rookie Quasi Brave without a specialized weapon. They had no individualized Talents built in, but made up for it with a reasonably high base quality and incredible flexibility — Willem could perform emergency maintenance on his sword even in the middle of a battlefield. He could never get used to the successor model, the Dindrane Series, but it got praise from other Quasi Braves for its improved stability.
Locus Solus. The favorite sword of a Quasi Brave, whose name he couldn’t remember, that fought alongside Willem during a battle with the Dragons in the south. It had a Talent for muscle stimulation, but since its healing abilities broke, your muscles would always hurt like hell the day after a battle — Willem remembered his comrade complaining about that.
Beside it sat Mulusmaurea. A fellow Quasi Brave had carried it into battle when they were called as reinforcements to defend the city of Listiru. He never got a chance to see its Talents in action, but he heard it had the ability to prevent death for a short time.
It felt like a very strange class reunion. He plopped himself on the ground, not caring if his army uniform got dirty. Lightly igniting his Venom, Willem concentrated and gave his eyes the ability to see spell veins, ignoring the resultant pain in his head. As he expected, all of the swords were in poor condition. The spell lines had been untied and cut and scrambled every which way.
Even with these shoddy swords, they still keep fighting?
“There’s one thing I want to ask you.”
“What is it?”
“Kaliyons were created for the Emnetwyte by the Emnetwyte, man-made miracles. Only the chosen Braves of that same race could wield them. Now, they should be nothing more than useless antiques. So why still gather them? How do you fight with them?”
“You already know the answer to that, don’t you?”
Because… we’re also Braves?
Ignoring the little girl’s voice replaying in his head, Willem asked again. “Tell me.”
“If the Emnetwyte aren’t around any more, we just need a substitute. Those kids are Leprechauns. The sole race that can act as a complete replacement for the Emnetwyte. There’s the answer you’ve been looking for.”
“… I see.”
Deep down inside, Willem had already figured that out. He stood up, brushed the dust off his bottom, and passed his gaze over the lined up Kaliyons.
“So those girls are you guys’ partners now, huh?”
With a tinge of loneliness, pride, and sorrow, as if speaking to his old friends, Willem muttered those words.
What am I? Willem thought to himself. A few descriptions came to mind. One who once aspired to be a Regular Brave. One who once wielded a Kaliyon as a Quasi Brave. And lastly, one who lost those qualifications in a battle and now lived like an empty shell.
To become a Regular Brave, one needed a suitable background. For example, you had the blood of a god in you. Or you were the descendant of a Brave. Or you were born on a special night mentioned in some prophecy. Or your hometown had been destroyed by Dragons. Or your father had passed down secret sword techniques to you. Or your body had a powerful demon sealed inside of it. All of the real deal Braves had some background like that. Only those that everyone agreed would be able to handle inhuman strength could actually have the opportunity to grasp it.
So Willem couldn’t become a Regular Brave. No matter how much he wanted to, he simply didn’t meet the qualifications. His birth parents lived simple lives working in the cotton business. He grew up in a regular old orphanage, not particularly happy but not particularly miserable either. Naturally, such an ordinary background could only earn him ordinary strength. He could do absolutely nothing about that. It would have been nice if he was at least born in the neighborhood of an esoteric school of swordcraft or something, but unfortunately the world didn’t seem to cater to Willem’s circumstances.
“You have no talent.” One time, his master flat out told him that. “The system of Braves is fundamentally elite. Legendary heroes… those born with the blood of a demigod… the system was created to give those kinds of people the ability to unlock even greater power. They live in a completely different world than us simple warriors who strive for victories on a much smaller scale. They carry the whole world on their backs.”
The master shook his head. “Any normal human wouldn’t be able to fulfill that purpose. Even if you forced yourself, you would soon break… then not being able to fight would be the least of your worries. And Willem, unfortunately, you are a somewhat normal human.”
A brief silence followed. The master took a deep breath and gave the last of his speech. “Don’t make that face… it’s not like I enjoy crushing your dreams. This is simply the truth that I must tell you and the reality that you must face. That’s all.”
When he heard those words, Willem denied them. He continued stubbornly refusing to give up. Looking back, it might have been a childish reaction. But at the time, he was dead serious. He chose to defy his master’s words until the bitter end.
Willem remembered the 20th generation Regular Brave appointed by the Church. He not only carried blood of the first Regular Brave, but also had been born heir to some kingdom. When he was just nine years old, an army of Gloom Elves attacked that kingdom, burning everything he held dear to ashes: his parents, his friends, his hometown. While his castle crumbled in flames, he escaped to a faraway remote village, where he studied long lost sword techniques under an old army general.
When Willem first heard about the guy’s history, he could hardly do anything but sigh. Finally seeing proof of what it took to become a Regular Brave hurt a bit. When that new appointee received the 18th Regular Brave’s beloved sword, Seniolis, one of the five highest tier holy swords in the entire world, he couldn’t bring himself to feel any jealousy or hatred. He had already given up thinking about it. It was all in a whole different world from his. Comparing himself to that could only make him more miserable.
A long time afterwards, Willem realized. That person had a reason he could fight. He had a reason to fight. He had a reason why he must fight. That’s why everyone, including Willem, didn’t notice. No one even imagined the possibility.
Him. The 20th generation Regular Brave. Born with the strength to defeat the mightiest of demons, bearing the pain of losing his parents and hometown, carrying on secret techniques of the ancient past, wielding a shining sword capable of fighting even the Visitors. Him.
He had never once wished to fight. He simply threw himself into a war of revenge because he had no other choice. He challenged the Dragons and the gods themselves because he had to meet the expectations of others. He was nothing but a puppet manipulated by his own powers and the desires of those who could use him.
The moment Willem realized that, he began to hate him. He could never forgive him. And, to be perfectly honest, he still carried some of those feelings even now.
As the sun sank below the horizon, a light rain began to pour.
“Shoulda brought an umbrella…” he muttered softly, but he didn’t actually feel like taking shelter or heading back to his room.
The 68th Island, harbor district. The foyer of the entire island, it contained all the necessary facilities for airship landing and departure. He stood out in the open near the edge of the harbor, leaving himself vulnerable to the falling rain drops. A few clouds shaped like shredded cotton floated about beneath him. And even farther beyond those, he saw the great expanse of land spreading out in all directions. It contained no trace of the green of the forests, or the blue of the rivers and oceans, or the yellow of deserts. The view before his eyes contained only a sea of uncanny, muddy gray sand.
He had come to the harbor for the sole purpose of seeing that view. He wanted to confirm the things he had lost, the things he could never take back. But before long, even that gray wasteland began to melt into the absolute darkness of night.
There were a few things he could agree with. For example, that usage of Venom. Venom is a little like heat, or a flame. You first ignite a spark within your body, feed the fire, then transfer its power outside. But this heat places a burden on the user’s body. If you try to summon a flame beyond a certain strength, your own life force will smother it. This mechanism places an inherent upper limit on the amount of Venom the different races can wield.
So if there existed some twisted life form whose body was not strictly living, it would be able to produce an enormous amount of Venom far beyond what the other races could hope to achieve. That power, which would most likely be uncontrollable, would soon run wild and cause a gigantic explosion, blowing away the user and his enemy, leaving behind only a gaping hole with a lone Kaliyon at its center. The ultimate weapon. It might not be the most efficient, given its one time use nature, but just having that as an option carries significant meaning and value.
One more thing he could agree with: they were certainly strong. A race bred for war. Their entire lives spent for the sole purpose of victory. Carrying that fate alone made those girls worthy. Worthy of being the successors to the Regular Braves. They could become the thing that Willem had strived so hard to become but could not. Great. Wonderful. They probably wanted that too. In that case, he should be happy for them. He should bless them. Woohoo, awesome! I’ll leave all the rest to you! Good luck!
“… I want to die…”
Of course, Willem knew. His deeply flawed logic had been created by his own mind in a desperate attempt to comfort himself. Standing here all alone, his thoughts had run wild. Maybe it would be better to talk to the girls directly about how he felt. But in the end, what could he do? An irrelevant outsider has no right to interfere in the wars of Braves.
Above his head, rays of sunshine shone brightly, parting the thick sea of clouds. An airship approached. He couldn’t make out the silhouette very well against the blinding light behind it, but he knew for certain that it was no ordinary patrol airship or ferryman’s ship. It seemed rather small, but most likely it was an army transport ship.
A deep metal grinding sound resounded through the damp air as the airship docked in the harbor. Screeches erupted from the shock absorber boards. Three anchors fastened the back, middle, and front of the ship to the pier. The pair of rotors stopped their movements. The burning spell reactor gradually shut down, lowering the deafening thundering noise it had been making.
The ship’s main entrance door opened, revealing two human figures stepping out from within.
Willem immediately recognized the two as Leprechauns: Kutori and Aiseia. They both wore an informal women’s army uniform, an outfit he hadn’t seen them in before. Something was off. Aiseia, with a grim look on her face, walked with a limp Kutori leaning against her shoulder.
“Hey hey, Willem, Second Enchanted Weapons Technician. Good evenin’.” She spoke in her usual cheerful manner. “Sure is a strange place to meet, huh? Taking a walk in the rain?”
Aiseia probably meant it as a joke, or an intentionally wrong guess, in an attempt to keep the topic off their own situation. But it was pretty much the right answer. Well, not that it mattered. Willem wasn’t about to let them avoid the subject.
“What happened to you guys?”
“Hmm… well we were in a similar situation as yours. Just taking a little walk outside the island… will you accept that as an explanation?”
“Of course not. I assume this is….” He faltered. Whether or not it was acceptable to ask any further, he couldn’t tell, but he needed to. “You just came back from fighting, didn’t you? With the ‘17 Beasts’.”
“Ahaha, how’d you know?”
Kutori hadn’t said a word since getting off the airship. Wanting to see how badly she had been hurt, Willem walked up closer to her.
“Ah — she’s fine. There’s nothing you can do for her. If you want to help out, maybe you can handle that over there.”
With her eyes, Aiseia indicated the mountain standing behind them. Milky white scales covered the mountain’s entire body, over which it wore an army uniform. Crouching down to squeeze through the door, it began to sluggishly exit the airship. Near the mountain’s summit, a pair of eyes opened and locked onto Willem.
— it was the Reptrace Willem saw that one time.
“That uniform… I take it you are Willem?” He had an intimidating voice, like the hissing of a snake. Due to their different throat structures, the Reptrace always had peculiar pronunciation, even when speaking the common tongue of the islands.
“Yeah… and you are?”
“Carry,” the Reptrace commanded, completely ignoring Willem’s question, and handed him, or rather threw at him, two long, thin objects.
Instinctively, Willem reached out his arms to catch. But the package, which wasn’t that large compared to the gigantic Reptrace’s body, almost surpassed Willem’s size. Likewise, while the Reptrace had been able to effortlessly hold it and toss it around, it was far too heavy for any normal human’s muscles. He failed to grab them and the objects fell on the ground, making clanging metal sounds.
Wrapped tightly in white cloth were two supersized swords.
“The weapons of these two. Carry them back to storage.” The Reptrace repeated his order and started to head back inside the airship.
“You don’t have the right to say anything. In a place where a warrior stands, one who is not a warrior cannot enter.”
With that, the door closed shut, concealing the Reptrace’s boulder like back.
“Ah, don’t worry about him. Mr. Lizard’s always like that,” Aiseia said cheerfully. “Also, if you could carry those swords, that would be super. As you can see, I’ve got my hands full with Kutori.”
“Was she wounded?”
“Nope, she just overexerted herself, so she’s feeling a little faint. After some rest in the clinic, she’ll be good as new.”
Willem picked up one of the swords lying at his feet. Even through the thick cloth wrapping, he could feel its familiar texture. And even with the scarce lighting, he could recognize its unmistakable shape.
“Ohh, you sure know your swords.”
Of course he knew. Not a single Quasi Brave alive during that time didn’t know that name. Swing it to the right and slay a dragon. Swing to the left and bring down a god. One of the very first Kaliyons ever forged. The Brown Dragon Killer. The God Breaker. The Secret Blade of the White Scabbard. It had accumulated enough nicknames from its long history and many achievements to make a book. A Kaliyon among Kaliyons. The partner of the 18th and 20th generation Regular Braves, a symbol of heroism.
“Is this yours?”
“Nah, that’s Kutori’s. I’m assigned to the other one.”
Willem picked up the second sword.
“Mhmm. Seems like you’ve become pretty knowledgeable. Did ya read our equipment list or somethin’?”
“No….” He shook his head. “Just happen to know a lot of these swords.”
“Ah, not really sure what you mean by that, but okay,” Aiseia said, tilting her head.
“I’ll take that luggage too.”
Willem picked up the limp Kutori and carried her on his back. Behind them, a shrill metallic sound signaled the departure of the airship from the harbor.
“… you’re stronger than I thought,” muttered Aiseia, who now had nothing to carry.
“Well, it’s my job to support you guys now.”
“Ohh, trying to sound cool, huh?”
Willem started the long walk back, with Aiseia following half a step behind.
“So how much do you know? About us.”
“… not much. I know that you’re fairies… and you’re fighting to protect the islands with Kaliyons… or rather Dug Weapons. That’s about it.”
“Hmm… I see.” Aiseia looked up at the sky. “Repulsive, isn’t it? Disposable lives. Using relics of the despised Emnetwyte. A pretty disgusting setting if you ask me.”
“Don’t say setting… you’re not some character in a story.”
But she was completely right. That perfect setting she spoke of was essentially all a Brave needed. The more sorrowful, the more tragic, the better. Their fates and destinies all revolved around that setting, which would instill in them the power to wield the ancient artifacts of the Emnetwyte. It didn’t matter if they themselves wished for it or not.
“A long time ago… I knew someone in a situation similar to you guys’.”
“Ooh, an old story?”
“It’s not long enough to be a story. I owed her a lot, and I never got a chance to repay all the things she did. So when I heard about you guys, I felt like I had to do something to help. That’s all.”
“Wow… it really was short.”
“I told you…”
Aiseia kicked a stone lying on the road with a bored look on her face.
“Hmm.. is this the part where you open up your heart to me and try to build up our love? Since it’s just the two of us and all.”
“Aren’t you forgetting a certain someone on my back?”
“Kutori’s the one that wakes up in the middle and hears everything, ya know? Then a wonderful, jealousy filled love triangle is born.”
“What in the world have you been reading lately?”
“The Torn Triangle.”
Willem had heard the title before. It took place on a fictional floating island, where the characters repeatedly engaged in cheating and adultery, claiming they were searching for true love.
Well, stuck in this forest almost their whole lives with just other girls (and Naigrat), they had to learn about society somehow. Apparently, they gathered information from sources such as these, which were a little inaccurate, to say the least.
“I especially like the third book. It’s a masterpiece.”
“Remind me to confiscate that when we get back. Kids shouldn’t be reading that kind of book.”
“Such oppression! Who ya calling kids, huh?? Also, you knew everything just from the title?!”
Many forms of entertainment and pleasure flowed through the slightly degenerate 28th Island. Going around from job to job, Willem heard gossip about all the latest crazes. Anyway, he decided to ignore all of Aiseia’s questions.
“Keep your voice down… this one’ll wake up.”
He felt his back shake slightly, accompanied by a small groan.