The Wanderer lead me through the ash. There were both large and small mushrooms, some of them as big as trees. There were black vines and lots of bug creatures that seemed to pay us no mind. We were walking through a bunch of ruined building. Many of them had been closed up against the ash but others had been worn down and there were mushrooms growing inside them.
“This place is strangely beautiful.” I said as I looked upon the things while we walked.
“Well, I can give it a try I guess.” Said Valarie. She looked around at the room, “Although there might be some damage. Should we do it now?”
Eta nodded and I heard the Wanderer say, “Anytime is good for me.”
“No child,” Said the Wanderer, “It is dangerous here and you should stay in your home. It is far safer there.”
Esta rubbed her shoe on the floor in a disappointing way, “Ahh, well if you say so then I will stay here.”
I hadn’t seen Marilyn since she had Lyle had come to question us and it had been almost a week since then. She had said that she would see if there was anything that she could do to help us and had left. Lyle has seemed apologetic and said he was determined to ‘make it up to us’, as such he occasionally showed up at the Pendulum Lounge. Valarie had been too polite to tell him to leave and my protested seemed to be ignored. Martin said that Lyle was still a customer so I wasn’t allowed to hurt him.
Sure there were charges that Miss Linson could probably bring to bear against the two women but they weren’t really criminals. They were just the victims of fate. She had found proof that her claims could have been real but it was not far too late for that case. Even if she could find the man it would be difficult to persecute him for a case he was found innocent of.
The Wanderer sat there in front of the computer. He was leaning forward with his head held in his hands. There was the water edge of tears around his eyes. He had been sitting there for the last couple of hours since he had finished analyzing the signal.
When Esta finally spoke he was relieved like he had been waiting for her to return home. “Wanderer? Are you alright? Did something happen?”
“I finished processing the signal that I had found.”
“And how did he find us here?” I asked.
“Well we weren’t exactly secret about anything. If he was looking for us it would only be a matter of time before he found us.”
I took a couple of breaths so that I could relax and think properly. “I think that we should be safe from him. Judging from the information we got about the Forbidden Domain it is likely that his powers in our world was derived from the game system.”
It was like putting the pieces together for a strange sinister puzzle. The Wanderer had managed to find the pieces necessary to put together a rudimentary computer. He had pulled out many of the pieces from an old ruin that was nearby. He had greatly underestimated what was needed to make one of these things work.
I nodded in thanks to Valarie. “Well, in our world there didn’t seem to be a way to control your power and because of that you were marked for death however now there are other options. We have a whole new world to explore for a way to control your ability. And if that doesn’t work then we will be able to find a world where we can.”
“Thanks, I hope I won’t be too much of a burden on you.”
With a moment to ourselves again I took a sip of the tea, which was actually quite good, and then asked Valarie, “Do you think we should do it?”
She simply blew on the cup trying to cool it down. After a couple breaths and some thought she responded, “Our other choices seems rather limited without taking his suggestion. Without money we do not have many options. We would have to look for a different source of income anyways if we refused him. At least until we have other options we should accept his support. Although..”