Chapter 60: The next step
“Tomorrow…. We’ll be reaching Garrion.” Eve sighed, gazing at the camp fire while hold her knees to her chest. She then glanced at Lazarus, who was leaning against a tree, seemingly in deep thought. “You know, you never once told us much about yourself Rex.” She forced a smile.
Eris, who was just beside her, glanced at Lazarus, curious about what he had to say.
“Well, there isn’t really much to tell about myself.” Said Lazarus. Eris turned her gaze back to the fire, disappointed, as it was of course, an obvious way of saying he didn’t want to talk about it.
“I doubt it.” Replied Nalar with a huff. “It’s quite obvious that you’re always trying to hide something. Well, not that it matters.”
Lazarus wasn’t entitled to tell them, after all, everyone had their own little secret. And he’d like to keep the fact that he holds otherworldly knowledge to himself. “Well, we all have a few things we’d like to keep to ourselves, don’t we?”
“True...” Replied Eve. “But I’ve never once heard you mention about your family. Why?”
Lazarus frowned. Eris noticed the change in his expression immediately. Was he abused during his childhood? Or did his parents meet an unfortunate fate? She could only wonder why he made that face.
Lazarus, not wanting to be the only having to reveal himself, spoke. “Same goes to the three of you.” He then glanced at Eve specifically. “If you want me to tell you about mine, then shouldn’t you start with yourselves?” he made a point that he was already fed up with the questions.
A gentle smile formed on Eve’s face, but the atmosphere had suddenly gone quiet.
Nalar shot a glare as he spoke in an irritated tone. “Are you insensitive or something?” Lazarus raised a brow as he too was also feeling a bit irritated. Eris simply switched her gaze from back and forth but would not utter a single word.
“Nalar…. Please….” Eve sighed. “It’s alright.”
Nalar ignored her and continued with his rant. “You do realize why Eve is called ‘the last of the white fox clan’ I don’t have to spill it out for you, do I?”
Lazarus suppressed the surfacing steam from his chest, letting it out as a long sigh. “I really don’t care. My point is simple. Stop asking about me, it’s not just HER that doesn’t want someone prying into their past..”
Nalar huffed. “And as I’ve said before also. It REALLY doesn’t matter to me.”
“Nalar, that’s enough. It was I who had asked not you.” Said Eve in a lowered voice making Nalar click his tongue and look away. “Rex, you can just forget I ever asked.”
Lazarus didn’t reply; he simply kept quiet and stared at the fire. For the past few weeks during their travel it was just small talks here and there, but it was mostly about them trying to pry out his secrets, out of a harmless curiosity maybe, but it had been bothersome to Lazarus.
Nalar simply rested his head on his bag, turning his back on Lazarus and closing his eyes, simply wanting the night to pass. He couldn’t stand his attitude.
Eve lied down without meeting Lazarus’ gaze and spoke. “I’ll be getting some rest first.”
Lazarus felt a bit guilty for making the atmosphere sour, but he wasn’t here to play friends. An excuse he thought to himself. He then glanced at Eris who had been silent. “You can rest, I’ll keep watch.”
Eris shook her head. She remembered their time at the outpost and his reaction to the symbol so she decided to test him, she eyed Lazarus closely, before speaking. “The Valhearts.”
And almost immediately she noticed, Lazarus’ brows twitch for a moment. It was almost like a trigger word.
“What about them?” Asked Lazarus cautiously. Having confirmed a certain connection between them, Eris glanced back at the fire and spoke. “Nevermind.”
Lazarus simply sighed and dismissed the thought as he continued to glance around with his night vision as he thought to himself. “-I wonder how dad is doing?-”
He was somewhat curious if ‘Rex’ his father had already finished repairing the ship or if he was still in earth. Once he meets him, what next? He thought to himself.
They could both live in this world, or they could go back to earth. The latter sounded more pleasing to him, he hated this world and always had. If they go back, maybe they could rebuild civilization. The thought was amusing making Lazarus break out a smile.
He then glanced back at Eve and Nalar, scanning their temperatures and breathing sequence. From the data that the scan showed, it was relatively safe to say they were asleep. Only Eris remained awake with him.
She just sat there, staring at the fire. It was then that Lazarus called out. “Hey...” Eris shifted her gaze to him as he continued. “Back then, why’d you protect me?” Eris was silent for a moment. “Because…. You also did the same for us...”
“Oh…..” Spoke Lazarus as he thought it was the obvious answer. Then he suddenly raised a brow as Eris continued. “And, you’re my friend regardless of how you see me.” She was implying that Lazarus didn’t see her the same way.
“I see...” Were the only words that Lazarus could speak. He never really thought they were close enough to be called friends, but somehow it made him feel a bit happy for some reason, making a soft smile appear on his face.
Eris chuckled. “You’re smiling.”
“Hmph… did you really need to point that out?” Replied Lazarus jokingly. “Anyway, you should get some rest.”
Eris somewhat satisfied, nodded, walked over near a tree and leaned against it, closing her eyes off with a light smile. “Night..”
Now that things were quiet, Lazarus continued to glance around with his night vision scanning the area from left to right. Having not found anything, he switched to thermal version. There wasn’t any particular threat he could find as he only saw small animals and birds.
Gazing at the fox girl soundly asleep, Lazarus somehow ended up recalling his time on the ship with her. She earnestly listened to his story and even went out as buying the book he had for a gold just because she liked the story.
Somehow, Lazarus never properly thanked her for what she did, and after acting the way he did, he somehow felt bad.
“-Tomorrow, maybe I can talk to her….-”
He continued scanning the surroundings until dawn came, he didn’t wake anyone up to take over simply because there was no need to. His nanomachine enhanced body allowed him to function for at a hundred percent for 3 days without resting.
After the rest woke up, they ate some fruits before finally hitting the road on their horses.
Eve and Nalar never spoke a word other than a few ‘good mornings’.
Lazarus was already brimming with excitement, gazing at the miniature city from afar.
“Garrion were finally back.” Lazarus couldn’t help but grin. Nalar was already pulled ahead, whipping his horse faster. Eris also did the same. And as Lazarus was about to whip rigel faster, Eve who was beside him, spoke. “Rex, about last night...”
Lazarus responded while keeping his eyes on the road. “Before that, there’s something I wanted to tell you.” Eve eyes widened slight as she was somewhat surprised. Lazarus continued. “Back when we met on the ship, I never really got to thank you for what you did.
Truth is, I barely had enough money to eat that’s why I sold you that book. Thanks… and sorry for last night.“
Eve immediately refuted waving both of her hands hurriedly. “N-no.. it was my fault, you shouldn’t be sorry. The thing is… I just wanted to get to know you better...” Eve lowered her gaze. “And somehow… I got a bit pushy..”
“Well, it’s alll in the past now.” Replied Lazarus, as he glanced at Eve he noticed that she was still lowering her gaze while forcing a smile. Somehow it wasn’t getting any better. Lazarus was silent for a moment, before he thought of an idea and spoke. “How about this?”
Eve made a ‘huh’ face as Lazarus continued. “I’ll answer one question truthfully.” Hearing his words, Eve’s face lit-up with a smile as she nodded.
Seeing her that way somehow made Lazarus feel a strange sense of satisfaction. She placed a hand on her chin and thought carefully of what to ask. Then a thought occured to her.
“How do you feel about your parents?”
Lazarus raised a brow, wondering why of all the questions she could ask, why that? Maybe it had something to do about her being the last of the white fox clan. Their clan must’ve been wiped out by something, and no doubt her parents were included on those.
As for Lazarus, he had two, one of which he detest and another whom he cared about. Lazarus huffed, having decided what to tell Eve, he spoke. “I practically forgot about my real parents, that is until they found a way to piss me off.”
“Real…? Parents..?” Eve repeated in a hushed tone, this was an obvious hint that Lazarus had other parents. She had a rough guess as to why there were two but before she could speak out her mind, Lazarus whipped rigel faster and pulled ahead.