Chapter 32: Legends And Falsehood

Ro: “Barry, is this …?”

Barry: “Yes.”

The two stand still, in front of the tomb, in shock.

Ro: “If this is the tomb, then where’s the pond?”

Barry: “That’s the big question, isn’t it?”

Ro: “You said you had been to the island before, right?”

He asks with a narrowed expression.

Barry: “That’s true, but I didn’t come here.”

Barry remembers clearly how his previous visit went.

Barry: “I was stopped by the two dogs, and then the girl appeared. I used telepathy on her to convey my thoughts to the dragon. And then the dragon came to meet me on the beach alone. That’s where we had our conversation.”

Ro: “So you never went past that point before today?”

Barry: “Yeah, basically.”

Barry answers while turning his attention to Ro, who seems to be pondering while keeping his hands on his chin.

Ro: “But that creates new mysteries, doesn’t it?”

Barry: “It does, but which ones are you talking about in particular?”

Ro: “Like, why does he stop people from coming in like that?”

Barry: “Hmm …”

Barry tries to remember the whole conversation he had with the girl as well as the dragon the last time he came there.

Barry: “According to what the girl said, the forest is full of creatures that can end up killing those who enter there, so stopping them at the beach is a safety measure.”

Ro: “Do you believe that?”

Barry: “I don’t think it’s completely a lie, but there’s definitely more going on than that.”

Ro nods to his answer and then says,

Ro: “Well, if I would have to take a guess at what’s going on behind the scenes, I would say that the dragon is trying to fill our minds with false legends.”

Surprised by the sudden, bold claim made by Ro, Barry asks,

Barry: “I don’t disagree, but how exactly did you reach that assumption?”

Ro: “Well, just think about it,”

Ro says as he starts remembering all the examples that led him to this deduction,

Ro: “The man with the-eyes-that-can’t-be-deceived should be long gone, but somehow Ethan has those eyes.”

Barry nods urging him to continue.

Ro: “The Island where only psychics lived is supposed to be holy grounds of sorts for psychics. It should be filled with psychic energy but there’s nothing like that here. It’s just a historically important place from the look of things.”

He continues seeing Barry nodding again and again,

Ro: “And then the pond, which is supposed to be such an important part of the island, is not where it is supposed to be. We don’t even know if it actually exists or not.”

Barry: “I see that the legends don’t match up with the facts but why is the dragon the culprit according to you?”

Ro: “Well, who else could it be but the only living person from the time these legends tell of?”

Barry narrows his eyes in doubt and then comes to realize why Ro thinks so. Ro doesn’t know that Ozyllus and Abyss exist as ghosts and have continued to interfere with the world on different occasions. So, of course according to him, the only possible culprit can be the dragon.

Ro: “Something wrong with my reasoning?”

Ro asks in a slightly annoyed tone as he sees Barry frowning.

Barry: “Well, there’s something I haven’t told you about, so …”

Ro: “I am pretty sure there are a lot of things you haven’t told me about.”

That’s not false, Barry says in his mind.

Barry: “Well, you know how long a ghost can last?”

He asks as a question that is truly difficult for anyone who doesn’t know the answer to figure it out.

Ro: “Uh, I don’t, but I think there’d be no fixed number of years or a fixed range.”

Barry: “That’s right. Ghosts are not eternal, but they can stretch their life span really long if they need to.”

Ro: “Need to, huh?”

Barry nods seeing that Ro picked up on the crucial part.

Barry: “For ghosts, just wanting to exist very long doesn’t really do much, but needing to exist for long can stretch their life spans beyond anything one can expect.”

Ro furrows his brows as he listens to the last part of his sentence.

Ro: “It sounds like you are talking about a really long time there.”

Barry: “I am.”

Ro: “Any numbers?”

Barry: “As you thought earlier, there are no fixed numbers or fixed ranges. The stretch can be as short as a minute or as long as five centuries.”

Ro: “Wait a minute! Isn’t that really, really large?”

Ro couldn’t help but look at Barry in surprise thinking that he had added an extra zero and waiting for him to correct himself. However, he had done no mistake in speaking whatsoever.

Barry: “Yes, it is. That’s the highest number we know of right now. The current king of the ghost is said to be a ghost for more than 500 years now.”

Ro: “I-I see.”

Ro is left speechless for a moment by the sudden revelation, but he soon regains composure as he asks.

Ro: “Well then, you are saying it can stretch even longer than that, right?”

Barry said that the highest number they know of is five centuries, which could very well mean there can be an even larger number possible that they have no idea about. Ro thinks so and he isn’t wrong.

Barry: “Indeed. And that brings me to the counter argument against your earlier assumption.”

Ro: “Counter argument?”

Ro doesn’t understand what he is talking about, so Barry puts it in words for him,

Barry: “Imagine if Ozyllus and Abyss have been out there for all those years causing things like this fabrication in the legends to happen.”

Barry knows full-well that both of them are indeed still existent but he acts like it’s only a theory to not himself seem suspicious in front of Ro.

Ro: “That … I would like to say it’s absurd but, that isn’t completely impossible.”

Now that Ro knows so much, he can’t call it absurd and be done with it. He can clearly see the logical explanation for it and hence will need a logical reason to call it false as well. The time for running away from reality is not something he has.

Ro: “So, the dragon is not the only suspect … is what you are trying to say?”

Barry nods.

Ro: “I see.”

Ro looks down as he thinks of the various things that he has come to know over the past few hours.

Barry: “I understand if it’s a lot to take in at first.”

Barry says so with a smile to show that he genuinely means that. However,

Ro: “No, I need to process everything and think about things fast.”

Ro can’t afford to use that excuse in such a dire situation.

Ro: “We will never be able to understand someone like Ethan if I let something like this slow me down.”

Barry: “I … see.”

Barry smiles seeing that expression while wondering if he should tell him more about Ozyllus and Abyss’ connection with the incident 12 years ago.

Ro: “Hey, you can scan the whole island from here, right?”

Barry: “Yeah, I guess.”

Ro: “Be easier to understand than ‘I guess’.”

Ro asks in annoyance and Barry sighs before responding,

Barry: “Well, what I mean is that the things I can pick up on will be vaguer the more distance I cover.”

Ro: “So, the distance you can cover and the details you can pick up on are inversely proportional, huh?”

Barry: “Yes, basically.”

Barry answers while looking at Ro with a curious expression. Barry knows why he is asking these questions. He wants Barry to use Aura Reading to see if the pond that is said to be near the tomb in the legend is actually in some other place.

Ro: “Well then, will you scan the area?”

Barry: “In order to do that, I need to either sacrifice the distance or precision.”

Ro: “Sacrifice distance.”

Barry: “Oh, you sure?”

Barry tilts his head as he doesn’t understand Ro’s confident sounding tone.

Ro: “You need to cover enough distance that you are able to reach towards the end of the island.”

Barry: “Then doesn’t that mean I should sacrifice precision?”

Ro: “No, what I am saying is to not use aura reading in all directions, only one.”

Barry: “Hmm … I guess that could work.”

By not using the ability to cover 360-degrees, Barry will end up lowering the total area he uses it on. That would allow him to increase precision. It is what Kais did as well.

Ro: “So?”

Barry remains silent for a moment as he calculates the amount of psychic energy he would need for the task. After having finished those calculations, he says,

Barry: “Alright then, I think I should be able to do it.”

Ro points straight ahead as if to tell him to start from there.

Ro: “We just came from the other side so this side will be the furthest away from the beach. Why not start from there?”

Barry: “Is that a gut feeling?”

Ro: “More or less.”

Barry decides to take him up on his advice and start from the direction opposite to the one they came from.

*******************************

Sneha: “What do you mean?”

Ethan: “Huh?”

Sneha: “You just said ‘I was hoping it wasn’t true.’ What’s that supposed to mean?”

Ethan: “Well,”

Having difficulty in explaining things on the spot, Ethan scratches his cheeks.

Ethan: “Let’s just say,”

He says with an uncomfortable smile,

Ethan: “I once had an encounter with death in my life. And this guy was the reason for it.”

Sneha widens her eyes in surprise as she listens to him.

Sneha: “That … isn’t something I’d expect you to say with a smile on your face.”

Ethan: “I suppose it isn’t.”

Their conversation comes to a halt as the two people in the jet come to the ground.

One of the two has a dark brown robe and a black cape with his face hidden beneath a golden helm. The other has black, completely black garments from a tight jacket to trousers with his seemingly handsome face visible.

Sneha: “Well, so which one were you talking about?”

Ethan: “Well, the one with the helm.”

Sneha: “I see. That’s Spectre Dyne.”

Ethan: “And who’s the other one?”

Sneha: “No idea.”

As the two silently exchange words, they keep their eyes focused on the two who had set foot on the island recently.

Dyne: “Well, I think I recognize you.”

Dyne speaks in a surprisingly soft tone as he looks at Sneha.

Sneha: “Yeah, we met before during an expedition.”

Dyne: “Hmm … yeah, I remember. You are an Aural working for Vermillion, aren’t you?”

Even as he remembers something that the two had expected would put him on guard against them, he doesn’t seem all that alarmed by it.

Sneha: “Well, not anymore.”

Sneha says as she carefully observes the two’s movements.

Dyne: “Not anymore, huh? You quit.”

Sneha: “You think one can just quit it like that.”

Dyne chuckles and says,

Dyne: “No, of course not. But anyway, I guess you are not an ally to me then, huh?”

Sneha: “Well, from what I understand of the situation, sure we aren’t on Vermillion’s side. If that means we are not your allies, then that’s that.”

Dyne: “We, huh? So you two are working together?”

Ethan: “Yeah, I’m Ethan Kales, nice to meet you.”

Ethan says with a smile – one that can easily be recognized as a fake by anybody.

Dyne: “I see. I expect you to have already heard who I am.”

Ethan: “Uh, yeah.”

That’s an arrogant answer, or so thinks Ethan anyway.

Dyne: “Well then, if you would, please tell us if you have seen a man named Barry on this island?”

Ethan: “Barry, huh?”

Ethan narrows his eyes as he looks at Dyne while smirking.

Sneha: “Well, if you want to know, he went in the forest.”

Dyne doesn’t respond instantly but curiously looks at Sneha. Then, as if to say being so cautious was a waste of time, sighs and stretches his arms.

Dyne: “You know Sneha, if you have broken off from Vermillion, I would like to offer you a chance to join us.”

Sneha: “You don’t say?”

Dyne: “I’m serious here. But anyway, I’ll give you some time to think about it.”

Ethan: “And what are you guys going to do while you give her the time to think about it?”

Dyne: “Well,”

Looking at Ethan while his expression is covered because of his helm, Dyne says,

Dyne: “Eyes of Truth, right?”

Ethan’s eyes widen in surprise but he immediately regains his composure.

Dyne: “Don’t think I don’t remember you, boy. I would give you the chance to join too. And about your question,”

He says as he glances once at his black clothed partner,

Dyne: “We will do what we are here to do.”

Before they could ask to specify, Dyne answers himself.

Dyne: “Kill Barry.”

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