Part 29: Oasises
Are you sure that potion worked? You still look a bit stiff.
You haven't eaten in a while either. Aren't you hungry?
At least put that hat on. Keep the sun off your head.
I just hate this. I hate having to run away. Let my guard down again. I should have handled her.
It's not your fault. You didn't know she'd do that.
That's not the point. I should have killed her when I had the chance.
No. No you shouldn't have.
Why not? We all knew she was up to something. If I'd just taken her down in that duel, none of this would have happened.
What happened, exactly? You got away, you're not hurt, and you have someone to guide you back. If you'd killed her, you'd be lost with the entire village after your head. And they'd have had it too, once the curse hit.
You didn't want to hurt anyone during the war. What happened to that?
...well that was different. They weren't bad. They were just soldiers.
No, it's not different. You can't kill someone because of what you think they might do. That's never an excuse. I don't ever want to hear you say that again.
Hey, keep the pace. We're gonna lose him.
What's that guy's deal anyway? Cracking our damn heads open one minute and walking us home the next.
(It's called a date.)
I still say Yumil should have hit him.
And what would that have accomplished?
A black eye for a black eye, man. Fair's fair.
"Makes the whole world blind."
No, that's an eye for an eye. A black eye for a black eye just gives everyone a black eye. Then we all learn not to fuck around.
Wait, what do you mean "What would it have accomplished?" You don't even know what happened.
No, but I do know you.
I...are you angry with me?
What would you say if I was?
Do you understand why I said what I said?
Are you angry with me?
Well then. Let's not dwell on it.
She didn't mean to chastise you, I'm sure. It's just that we've seen the book bring out the worst in past owners, and-
Don't speak for me. I did mean to chastise him. Otherwise I wouldn't have done it.
Er. Yes. What I meant to say was, you had good reason to do so. I'd like to make sure he understands that.
He does. He just said so. Why are you going over it again?
....because I can't resist the taste of my foot. Apparently.
Sound of your voice, more like.
Neaki, would you care to exchange shackles?
(Kiss my icebox.)
Oh, speaking of past owners, Kullervo's back. Forgot to tell you.
Well, yeah. Didn't seem that important. It isn't big, scary Kullervo. He's just possessing some prince's body.
Ah. Right then.
Let me see if I understand this. Kullervo has returned, and he's taken control of a prince. A monarch. Thereby giving him control of an entire nation.
And you didn't think it was important.
Anything sounds important if you ham it up like that.
Get this. Kullervo has returned, and he has taken control of a gardener. A horticulturist. Thereby giving him control of an entire patch of butternut squash.
Seriously, what difference does it make? He sent the whole damn country after us and we kicked them all the way home again. He can't do shit.
Do you remember when we agreed that the end had come too soon?
Indeed. And what brings the end about? Conflict. Corrpution.
Who might be in a position to cause that, do you think? Who, in all the world, would know about the Book of Prophecy and want it to appear again?
...no, that's...no. Come on. You're jumping to conclusions.
God damn it.
So now what? I suppose I have to run off and stop this person?
Who said that? Nobody said that.
It's true though, isn't it?
Well, I mean, it couldn't hurt. If he's speeding things along. It probably wasn't meant to happen like this.
I'm never going to get any peace, am I?
Hey, that's not...look, there's no need to do it right now. You can take it easy for a while once you get back.
Like last time, you mean? After the war?
Yeah, that was easy. Being asked to raise the dead, having to cheer up a ghost, getting kidnapped. All because of a book. How easy will it be this time, do you think?
Why did it have to be me?
It didn't. It just had to be someone.
Why does it have to be someone? Why does this have to happen at all?
I wish I could answer that. It's not fair, is it?
Do you know something, though? I'm very proud of you.
Well, partly because even after all you've done, you can still hear "I'm proud of you" and ask "Why?"
I haven't done anything, though.
You've been a good person. Isn't that enough?
Not for some people.
It's enough for me.
Give me a minute. I'm just going to drink this oasis.
In the meantime, one of you can explain how I'm supposed to handle all this by myself. Because I'm fast running out of ideas.
You aren't supposed to.
Do you not see the four of us? Hello. We're the book spirits. You are not by yourself.
Yeah, if you ever need to vent or whatever, just yell at us. We don't care. We've heard it all, believe me.
That's what we're here for.
Indeed, it is literally what we're here for. I've conjectured that-
Oh, here we go.
What? It's plausible. He should hear it.
Yeah, but we shouldn't. I'm hearing this spiel in my sleep.
Yumil. I'm sure you've wondered why it's necessary to gather us spirits for the creation of the new world. My theory is-
LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAAAAA
My theory is that it is not necessary. It hasn't happened as of yet, but I believe the act of creation would proceed even without us. Our role is to offer guidance and support to-
Rempo, I am teetering on the verge of discourtesy.
The key, the true key, is in your words. They alone make the world what it is. We are just here to foster them as best we can.
As I said though, it's just a theory.
Ah, fuck your theories. Here's the short story. No matter how shitty things are, even if the whole world's out to get you, someone's got your back. And they're awesome. The end.
That's not precisely what I was...
Well, yes. I mean, there is that. As well.
Stay strong, alright? We're here for you.
(help, i'm drowning in mush, help)
(Yes. Fine. He can't hear me anyway. Who cares.)
I think that upsets you more than you'd have us believe.
Gustav sometimes says true things. No more wars, ever.
Take a hot air balloon. Put bombs in it. Haochy.
New spirit Neaki is mute. Does it count as mute if everyone hears you anyway? Maybe I'm deaf.
Amorphes, Kullervo, ??? Previous author? Wrote himself in to steal book back? Demon?
Why did you give yourself to me, book?
Got back from war, everyone called me a hero. Felt like one for five minutes. Then, oops, can't help Rex, can't help Meenya, can't help Duran. Rainy day. No more hero. Silly Yumil.
What I have done without the book's help:
- Look after Fana
She says I have to worry about my future. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
why am i writing this, i'm supposed to be writing a world
Samiad desert. Sandy. Hot. Dry. No empty boxes.
Oh, that's why.
At an oasis now. There should be more of these. Deserts in new world have lots of oasises. Also, sand does not get in shoes. Also, people do not attack you outside your own house because of a stupid book you didn't even ask for.
New world does not end.
New world is perfect and everyone is happy.
Everyone must have tried this. Why doesn't it work. What are the rules.
Book in new world explains the rules. (Worth a shot.)
Mieli said she was proud of me.
No-one's ever said that to me before.
It felt weird.