Horsemen – Chapter 4

Attracted by the delicious smell of food coming from the large cooking pot, Drake and Kara reached a silent consensus of leaving the serious talk for later and enjoy the alluring food for now. Raising themselves from the couch, Kara made her way to the dining table while Drake went to the kitchen so he could wash the spoons, as his sister had asked.

Washing done, he brought the spoons over as well as the dining plates, putting one before each of the people present. Once done, his sister opened up the lid and the fragrant odors from the pot bombarded their noses with the juicy smell of meat and vegetables as the stew came in full view.

One of the best parts of living with his sister was the fact that she was an excellent cook, even to the point of being able to open a restaurant if so she wanted.

Engorging himself on the juicy meat that seemed to melt in his mouth, Drake saw as Kara widened her eyes in surprise.

“To think that an angla would be such a good cook… This world really is full of surprises…” She said in sincerely honest tone.

“Angla?” Aliss asked confused, before finally smiling and giggling slightly. “No, no. I don’t come from england.” She said cheerfully. Kara raised an eyebrow in slight confusion, but the girl quickly went on. “Err, angla is an old name of england, right?” She asked confused.

“I think that the people were called Anglo Saxons…” Drake added while glancing confused towards Kara.

Although he was covering for the girl, he couldn’t help but think that what she had called his sister was something similar to how she called him Scribe.

But how come he and his sister were considered from different “tribes” ?

Well, if he thought about it, Aliss wouldn’t fit into her description of a Scribe. Not even if he took the roundabout way.

Neither were his parents if he thought about it.

As his doubts piled up, he was glad that neither of them pursued the fact for much longer and were happily stuffing themselves with the stew.

After an engorging lunch, Drake felt satisfied and could see that the other two were in a similar state. However, he also knew that the best part was yet to come.

“Another good work if I do say so myself!” Aliss said satisfied before extending her arm towards the cake package.

An expectant gaze appeared on his face, while Kara raised a confused eyebrow.

Opening the package, Aliss took out a plate with a small black cake on top of a simple plastic plate.

If one were to take on only its look, they would see a simple chocolate cake with nothing of special about it. But the moment she used the knife, within were revealed multiple layers of different fillings, each one seeming to lure them in to take a bite.

“I call this one ‘Surprise Cluster’! My newest addition to the store!” She said proudly.

Dividing the cake in three equal parts, the cook gave a piece to each one who was on the table. Drake didn’t even wait before greedily digging in on the cake, feeling as the sweet tastes of the various fillings bombarded his tongue.

As Drake put on a loose satisfied smile, Kara raised an eyebrow to his reaction, as well to Aliss who giggled cheerfully while eating her own slice.

Finally, she turned her attention towards the cake that she had been given, eyeing it with a confused look for quite some time as if she had seen it for the first time in her life.

After some time of what looked like hesitation, she finally dug the small fork on the oddly textured food and brought it to her mouth.

Then, tears were spilled.

“Oi, Kara! Are you alright?” Drake asked worried while stumbling so he could stand up. Aliss looked in shock at the blue haired girl as she silently cried.

As the siblings watched the girl worried, they finally heard a low mutter.

“Thank oh great Hu, for allowing me to survive up to this blessed day where I could enjoy a nourishment as marvelous as what these humans call cake.” She said in an almost prayer-like tone.

The siblings looked at each other in shock for a moment before letting out a short giggle, not knowing exactly how to react to the girl’s praise. Settling down on their chairs once again, they kept watching her while a small wry smile stood on their faces each time the girl put on another piece of cake on her mouth, only to cry a bit more.

“I never thought I would see someone cry because of my cakes…” Aliss said with a wry smile, although her satisfaction was clear in her tone.

“This ‘cake’ you gave me is unlike anything I have ever eaten before! This soft texture that’s not unlike a sponge, this… Strange flavor that I have never tasted before… To think that the humans had a treasure such as this. I really underestimated humanity!” She said with regret in her tone.

“Well, my sister is known as the goddess of sweets around this city, you know?” Drake said with a strange pride in his voice, however, the reaction he got was a bit more than what he expected.

“You were a goddess?” Kara asked surprised while turning towards Aliss, who became startled with her sudden action. Before either of the siblings even had the time to react, she had thrown herself to the ground and kneeled down before the girl. “Forgive me for my impudence before your greatness. I had no knowledge of such cause and while believing you to not even being a recovered, I ended up acting in an extremely unbefitting manner before your presence. To even think that I dared to take on the garments that once dressed your body is…”

“It’s alright! It’s alright! I’m not bothered by it!” Aliss said quickly with a wry smile, stopping the girl’s barrage of praises. Blinking surprised, Kara lifted her head up towards the girl and looked at her with shocked face for some time. Before she could recover, Aliss quickly stood up and took the plates. “I’ll… Go put the dishes on the washing machine.” She said hastily. While she approached Drake, she lowered herself and whispered. “I’ll want you to explain to me later, okay?”

He sighed and nodded heavily, watching as the blonde girl walked her way back to the kitchen. Not even had she turned around the corner, with an uncanny agility Kara jumped over the table and stood besides him, grabbing him by the shirt’s neck and lifting him from the chair with a scary ease.

“Why did you not warn me that your sister was a goddess?” She asked in a chilly tone that made Drake’s spine shiver. “I’ve ended up acting in a completely unbefitting and rude manner before her.” She then looked away and frowned. “But then, it does explain why her food had such an incredible taste and how such a thing like ‘cake’ could be created…”

“Err… I think we might have a small misunderstanding, Kara…” Drake said wryly while lifting his hands. The girl blinked surprised before frowning.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t know exactly why you reacted like that, but I can tell you that the reason my sister is called a goddess isn’t a literal one like you seem to be thinking.” He said while laughing dryly. The girl blinked surprised and lowered him to the ground level once again.

“You mean… She isn’t a goddess? But don’t people call her so?” She tilted her head before glancing towards the remainings of the cake she had devoured on the table. “Then how come she was able to produce something as divine-tasting as that ‘cake’?”

“You are getting your facts on the wrong order there.” He said with a smile. “The reason she is called the goddess of sweets is because she makes incredible cakes. Not that she can create incredible cakes because she is a goddess.”

Kara looked at him in confusion for some time as she slowly processed what his words meant. After some time it finally sunk in and her face blushed slightly while she covered it with her hand, lowering her head in shame.

“Then… I just did something incredibly embarrassing for both her and myself…” She said in a low and almost inaudible voice. “Oh, Hu… Why do you humans have to have such confusing customs as calling your civilians gods?”

While the girl wailed herself in self pity, Drake smiled awkwardly. Still he walked towards the couch and sat down once again, calling Kara over. The girl sighed loudly for a moment before nodding and sitting down besides him.

For a moment neither said anything as they prepared themselves for the talk that was ahead of them. Drake preparing his questions while Kara calmed herself and chose her answers carefully.

After some time, the mean-looking man was the one to first open his mouth.

“So, from the way you reacted, should I take it that from where you come from, it’s normal to have gods walking amongst your people?” He asked.

“Yes. I myself met the great Hu thrice in the time I have lived.” Kara said with a serious nod.

“I see…” Drake nodded heavily before turning towards her with a serious look. “That’s not something you would see on the earth I know.” He said seriously. Kara blinked surprised for a moment before lowering her head.

“They… Didn’t inform me of that on the briefing.” She said with a slightly annoyed tone.

“I think I see where this is going.” Drake said with a sigh. Kara simply looked at him with curiosity, but didn’t say anything for some time until he went on. “Well, before the main question, I guess I should ask this one. WHY, do you need help?” He said while putting on heavy emphasis on the word.

“Good question.” The girl said with a smirk. “Not many would make that question, as strange as it sounds.” She sighed loudly.

“I guess it’s good I’m not in the middle of the ‘most’ then.“ Drake said with a smirk before turning to her. “Look, from what I saw just now at the table, you are not only a lot faster than me, but your strength is something that would leave those drunkards to shame, as you didn’t even break a sweat when lifting me.” He frowned a bit. “And you said you need someone with fighting skills, so you clearly pass these conditions just fine. So once again, why would you need help with whatever you are doing?” He asked once again.

“As you said, not only my superiors, but also myself believe that I am enough to take care of this job.” She said with a nod. “Even considering the fact that I will still have reinforcements incoming soon, this would be more than enough to tackle on anything this mission might throw at us.” She said with a proud tone.

“That doesn’t sound like someone who needs help, you know?” Drake replied.

“I know.” She nodded in response. “But I would rather be extra safe than sorry.” A frown appeared on her face at these words. “What if something goes wrong? What if the danger was something beyond what we expected? What if we lack a key piece of information that only the humans have?” She turned to him and looked at him straight in the eyes. “You are that last life-line I’m preparing. You are that last attack to take down the enemy. You are the one to take me to safety if I’m out. That’s why I’m asking for your help.”

“I didn’t take you as a cautious one.” Drake said with a raised eyebrow, remembering how she reacted with the drunkards. “Still, I guess I see where you are going.” He admitted with a sigh. “Let me ask this, but next you are going to say that you aren’t a human, correct?” She took some time, but nodded to his question. For a brief moment, a smirk appeared on his face, but he quickly shook it off. “You know. As much as I want to believe in all of your weird story, my realistic side keeps telling me that this is only the talk of a girl with a vivid imagination.” She flinched slightly at his words, frowning, but she couldn’t reply as she knew he was right. “Do you have a way to prove it?” he suddenly asked. “A way to prove that you aren’t a simply girl who have gone crazy with her delusions?”

“I have.” She replied immediately, in fact, surprising Drake. “Do you have something that I can cut without worries?”

“Huhh… Cut?” Drake asked confused while he recovered from the shock. After a few seconds he finally nodded and stood up, walking towards the kitchen and picking up an apple. Aliss raised an eyebrow to his action, but he simply shrugged it off.

Still, she followed her brother towards the living room, where they found Kara standing up as if preparing something. She turned towards them with a raised eyebrow, looking towards Drake in an inquiring gaze.

“I was going to have to tell her sooner or later if I didn’t want to starve to death anyway.” he said with a dry laugh. Kara sighed and nodded while taking the apple from his hand. Holding it in her hand, she weighed and examined it, looking a bit disappointed for some reason.

“I guess this will work…” She sighed before turning to him. “I could say that if you see what I am about to do you would be involved in this matter without question, but that’s not really what happens.” She said with a frown, making Aliss steal a confused glance towards Drake. “Still, the moment you see this, everything you know about your existence might be turned upside down.” She said without any real threatening intonation, however, her words weighed on the siblings as they noticed that she wasn’t just saying them at random. “Are you sure you want me to continue?”

Her last question weighted in the air, and the siblings quickly exchanged glance one last time, with Aliss sighing loudly when she noticed the excited look deep on Drake’s serious face. Knowing that her brother was going through whatever the mysterious blue-haired girl threw at him, she decided that she might as well go along to see where her reckless little brother was going.

Steeling themselves, they nodded in synchro, and Kara nodded before tightening her grip on the apple.

“Since you are ready, I might as well as say this. Everything you think you know about humanity’s existence, is most likely a lie.” She said while throwing the apple up high, almost hitting the ceiling. As it made it’s way up, she crossed her arms while following the fruit with her eyes. “This thing that you call bodies are no more than a shell to protect your souls while they stay here.” She said, and the siblings caught sight of some movement on the back of her shirt. “On this whole collection you call humanity, the number of truly human souls in existence, is zero.” As she said that, something flashed from beneath her shirt and towards the apple, however, nothing seemed to happen to the fruit that simply kept falling down. With a swipe of her hand, she caught the fruit, presenting towards the siblings who watched in awe. “And this place you call ‘your world’, we call it the purgatorium.”

“Because here is where we come to rest after dying so we can recover to our next life.” Right before the sibling’s eyes, the apple suddenly split in two, a perfect and clean cut right through the middle, making the fruit fall to each side.

“And our souls, are anything but human.” With her words, a long and thin tail flickered behind the girl, formed from what looked like a lot of shells linked together, at its very tip a large shell in the shape of a spear-head with a tuft of blue fur sprouting from its back.

“So, the whole of your humanity is formed of nothing more but what you may call monsters.” The Hu-ara finished. A ferocious smile appearing in her face.

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