Dale picked himself up off the ground and shivered for a little, but caught his breath and was able to go on. The others were just fine, so he couldn’t back down here. Plus, if he was with his best friends, then there was nothing bad going to happen.
As they went on down the path, the air got chillier and their breath could be seen. Suddenly, they come across a room.
“Hey, this doesn’t feel like those little gimmicks from before, these are toys covered in real blood. I can smell the iron.”
Erik was a dwarf who had a close connection with metals and minerals, so this was easy enough for him, but he couldn’t explain the scene before him as well.
All around were discarded, torn apart stuffed animals covered in dry blood. There were deep gouges all over here and there, and the paintings of what looked like a noble family’s portrait were cut in half. One of the people looked a lot like the pale figure, but he was just a little boy. What had happened?
“Is this some sort of hint about the ghost’s resentment? He was killed, wasn’t he? Then…who did it?”
“Well, look. He is the son of a wealthy noble. Oh? Is that a baby in the mother’s hands?”
Kayne was right, the mother was indeed holding a bundle in her hands, but the faces were all gouged out, making it hard to determine who the parents were. The only clear image was of the figure.
Dale wanted to say it was the working of the famous Nolan, but the figure didn’t look completely like him, though there were similarities. For one, the hair of the kid in the picture was black and spiky. Even though it was now white, it was still spiky.
Not to mention that smiling face. It was nothing like Nolan’s expressionless face. Even the ghostly figure had a lot of emotion on his face.
The three were looking for clues when a strange laughter filled the room.
“Hahaha, so did you find them? The ones who killed me?”
Standing there in the middle of the room as if he was always there was the strange translucent figure.
Kayne spoke up.
“Did you die here?”
However, the spirit said nothing.
He just faded out and disappeared. Then, the room went dark. As the men all prepared for the worst, the faint gray lights came back, but the room was void of any marks, including blood and stuffing from the dolls. It was completely empty.
The three were now extremely disturbed, but they had to act. They rushed down the pathway, ignoring any other clues. They had to hurry and move onto the next plan. Erik and Kayne would stall the ghost while Dale went to get his enchanted blade. Then, they would exorcise this evil spirit.
However, they soon came to the last room. It was nearly empty, but there was one stuffed bear with a sewed up left eye, leaving stitches that looked like a diagonal scar. But the scariest part was the fang that was stabbed into the heart of the doll.
The temperature in the room dropped to below freezing, and the wet clothes started to harden. Erik cast a flame spell on all of them, melting them and keeping them warm. Over at the exit was a strange pile.
Dale ran over, but he stopped in his tracks.
“These are…the parents?!”
Certainly, the pile was made of carcasses, but even though there were nearly fifty bodies, they were all dressed in the same way as the picture and the heads were gone.
Suddenly, screams reverberated around the room.
“NO! STOP IT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
It was a woman’s voice, screaming with desperation.
“YOU MONSTER! MEN! KILL THIS THING! HE IS NOT MY SON!”
Now it was a man’s voice, filled with hatred and fear.
“Huh? But…I saved you. This isn’t my sister, she’s been dead for a while. This is a monster.”
“DON’T LIE, YOU MUST HAVE BEEN JEALOUS OF HER AND OUR LOVE FOR HER!”
Then a strange vision appeared in the center of the room, almost as if it was coming out of the bear. A young boy was being run through by several large men with spears, but in the next instant, all of their heads came off.
“Mother, Father, why? I love you, I was only protecting you from the Changeling.”
Then, the small body lying on the floor trembled. It rose, even though its head was gone. Even the soldiers got up.
“Oh brother…we are all Changelings. You are the only one who is different.”
The heads slowly started to reform, becoming a dark image of malice. The child collapsed as the parents also drew close, carrying weapons and striking at the young boy.
“What the hell is all of this?! This is…unreal…”
Dale was shocked, and he was surprised Erik could still speak in this situation. What? He could never have suspected this!
“Ah, that’s right…it was my own family that killed me…because they were Changelings…no, they were all Changelings…”
Behind them, the young boy appeared once more, but he was more tangible as if he wasn’t a ghost anymore. However, the pale white color still struck fear into the trio’s hearts. Then ice crystals started forming in the air and the strange vision dissipated and the little bear doll floated into the air.
Dale stared at the figure’s expression, as its eyes widened, making its already creepy eyes turn extremely off-putting. Dale felt like he would be sucked into those large eyes and drown.
“You must be Changelings, too…aren’t you?”
“Dale! Get back!”
Kayne cast a spell and the giant Halfling was sent spinning, but in his place was that same fanged sword. The figure reached out to the doll and pulled the fang out, but it then transformed into another long blade. He grabbed the blade out of the ground and dual wielded, but the air around the blades was hardening.
Several strange apparitions appeared and surrounded the room. They were identical to the young boy. Each one carried two blades and had a sinister feeling coming from it.
And then the one in the center of the room looked at Kayne with a strange expression.