Risen World
13 Chapter 12: A Conversation with a Snake and Dealing with the Aftermath
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Risen World
Author :VivitheGreat
© Webnovel

13 Chapter 12: A Conversation with a Snake and Dealing with the Aftermath

It was late at night with most lights in the hallway dimmed to a low glow. The mansion was quiet with the occasional snore being heard from different rooms around the building. Throughout this peaceful scene one door cracked open without making much noise. A slim figure covered in a jacket with a hoodie and masked hiding their face closed the door back before quietly making their way down the hallway.

They carried an empty bag over their back as they headed towards the kitchen to grab some of the food from the pantry. They also decided to grab a few knives from one of the racks on the wall just in case they would have to defend themselves while making their way away from the farm. Soon the figure made their way outside through a back entrance trying to avoid drawing attention by using the front door. Just when they thought they had pulled it off a voice surprised them.

"Where are you heading this late at night?" Joshua said as he came walking from behind a storage house not too far from the back door. The question startled the hooded figure so much that she almost dropped her bag in her attempt to pull out a knife to protect herself. "Whoa, calm down. I'm not here for a fight Madalyn."

"Then why are you here? It's the middle of the night, everyone is asleep yet here you are hiding in the dark." Madalyn responded still keeping up her guard. Her face was hidden by the hood hung over her head, but the way she acted was completely different from before. No longer was she a jumpy quivering mess like before, now she was back to the calm decisive fighter that he had seen back when working alongside her.

"We decide we have to have two night watch shifts. One for the first half and another for the second. I took the first half tonight while Dave has the second." Joshua replied. The only thing he got in return was a long stare as Madalyn refused to put down her guard. Joshua let out a sigh before leaning back against the storage house trying to portray a sense of ease. "Besides I had a hunch that this was going to happen so I took first shift. If anyone else was out here we might have a problem."

"What do you mean?" Madalyn asked.

"I mean I figured you would try to leave after killing George." When those words left his mouth he could swear that he heard a strange hissing sound coming from the direction of Madalyn. He couldn't make out what happened do to how well hidden she kept herself in the small amount of moon light.

"Why do you think I killed him?"

"If you didn't kill him then why are you in such a rush to leave?"

"Maybe I just want to get away from him!" Madalyn said with such high level of frustration in her voice. If she wasn't worried about waking others up she might have been screaming at this point.

"Why don't you take off that jacket and step into the light. If you have nothing to hide then that should be no problem." Joshua calmly replied. For a while there was nothing, but silence as the two simply stared at each other. At first Joshua was starting to think that he might not be able to solve this with just words sense Madalyn seemed so high strung and ready to attack him at any moment, but soon she stepped forward and pulled the hood off from covering her face.

What Joshua saw infuriated him. He clinched his hands so hard his knuckles started to turn pale. When Madalyn's face became visible the most noticeable thing wasn't her beauty or her stern gaze, but instead there was a large bruise on her cheek that drew all attention on to itself. It wasn't some simple red print as though she had been slapped, but instead was a large purple welt that could only come from someone being punched harshly. He couldn't tell if there were any other bruises on her body, but the long shirt and jacket she wore to cover her skin weren't exactly a good sign.

"This isn't the first time this has happened, but it will be the last. I'm not going to stay with him anymore." Madalyn said as tears started to well up in her eyes. "This may be the only chance I get to finally leave. For the longest time the people of this town have either looked the other way or just seen it as a lovers spat. Everyone would just continue to encourage me to stay, to make me believe that everything was fine and that we could easily settle any problems between us. No one…and I mean NO ONE EVER TRIED TO HELP!" Her voice grew loud in the quiet backyard.

Watching her talk like this and seeing her tear up was pulling on Joshua's heart strings. For a moment he wanted to do nothing but encourage her and try to make her feel better. He wanted to calm her down and help her face her problems head on, but then he remembered something crucial. Once again he started to see through her facade. Even though a lot of it was probably true he could still tell that it was a far cry from the truth on what happened tonight. He was sure that she had killed George even without checking their room. The bruise on her face made it an almost certain fact at this point.

"That might all be true, but you're not running away from him." Joshua started to reply before standing back up to his full height and slowly walking back over towards her. "You play a jittery mess of a woman at one moment then you're a crying desperate trapped soul the next, but your eyes tell the truth. Those fierce calm eyes I saw stalk George all the way back to your room definitely don't fit the bill of the woman I see in front of me right now."

"Why are you so certain that I did it?" She asked once again this time he could see her tearful act starting to fall apart.

"Because I know about the first phase and everything else you were told before choosing to stay in a bid to kill the man that has haunted your life." Joshua answered getting a look of surprise and realization in response. "I know you were given a power just like Natalie and Laura. I know that you can grow stronger by facing those creatures. It explains why you wanted to come in to town with me in the first place, but what it doesn't explain is why someone with strength to fight in kill those monsters from the start would act like some helpless women while drawing them over towards her husband."

For a moment Madalyn just lowered her head before letting out a long breath. When she looked back up her posture was no longer tense and defensive. Her eyes were no longer teary and her being once again portrayed a calm confidence. "Fine, you got me. Yes I was out to get him from the start, but only him. If that thing had tried to kill anyone else I would have killed it and gained my first level. So what? I'm still not staying hear with these people." She sounded as if she spat out the last word.

"Then what will you do?" Joshua asked as he felt he was finally getting somewhere.

"Who knows, kill more of those things and get stronger to protect myself. Probably end up scavenging some of the smaller farms for food to survive in the meantime, then wait for someone to end the first phase." She replied without a care.

"I think we should stick together honestly." Joshua said as Madalyn glared at him as if he were stupid. "I don't mean you should stay here, that would cause more problems than I can count. I just think that relying on others to finish the job in killing the boss is foolish. If those things grow stronger to the point where it doesn't matter how many people fight them then we're all screwed. I'm not willing to wait around and hope someone else fixes the problem. So I think we should work together to kill it when the time comes, that's all."

"Why should I trust you? Why do you even want a murderer on your side anyways?" Madalyn asked as she gave him an odd look.

"'I'm not asking you to trust me right away, just give me a chance. How about we have a longer heart to heart talk tomorrow?" Joshua said as he waited for her response.

"Fine, but for now I need to leave. Where should we meet then? It can't be where someone else could easily find us."

"How about you get a good night's rest at one of the smaller farms nearby to the west. I'll send out people in search parties towards the east tomorrow afternoon so the west should be safe for a little while. Just leave a sign at whichever farm you end up at for me to notice." Joshua explained.

"Fine. I'm already trusting you by doing this. Don't make me regret it." Madalyn said before stalking off into the night leaving Joshua there to think over his conversation with her. He spent the next few hours in contemplation over the steps he should take in the near future before heading back inside to wake Dave for his shift. After getting the surprisingly light sleeper of a man up to take his shift he immediately headed back to his room. When his head hit the pillow he was out like a light in a matter of seconds. The long tiring day had caught up to him, but he was expecting this to become the norm throughout this entire debacle. In the blink of an eye he was awakened by the loud shouts of people down the hall.

The sun was barely a dot trying to poke its head over the ground as he groaned before slowly getting out of bed. The noise from outside the room was an irritation that wouldn't allow him to get anymore rest so he got up and headed to the nearest closet to find some fresh clothes to wear. The only things he could find in his size were a large button up plaid shirt and some rather long khaki shorts. He then went to the nearest bathroom, got a quick shower, and then changed into his new clothes. Looking in the mirror he had the odd feeling that he should probably head out in the woods and chop a tree down.

His old clothes were a mess covered in purple smeared blood, dirt, and all kinds of tears from moving through broken glass windows. They weren't worth the time to try to get fixed so he decided to try to find some better clothes when he went scouting later on. When he came down to the main foyer he found just about everyone up shouting at each other trying to place blame on George's death. It seemed like no one wanted to believe it was possible for Madalyn to do it except for Laura, Natalie, and Nathan who were all looking towards him questioningly.

"How can we expect to feel safe if we already got people killing each other?" Someone asked in the crowd only to be met with more arguing in return.

"It's alright will get down to the bottom of this so calm down." The mayor tried to ease their fears, but was failing miserably.

"We can't even sleep without one eye open. I thought we were supposed to have a watch last night!" Another man shouted in reply. Dave tried to interject, but all the shouting drowned his voice out.

"SHUT UP!" Joshua screamed causing the whole room to go quiet. "You're acting like a bunch of scared children. There's no reason for you guys to be pointing the blame at each other right now the person who killed George is already gone. Madalyn did it, I saw her leaving last night."

"Then why didn't you stop her?" The mayor asked surprise. "Although George wasn't exactly a saint he was a part of our group. We should have come to a decision about how to handle this together."

"Let's just say when I saw her leaving last night I was able to make out a fairly large bruise on her face as if someone had just tried to punch her lights out." Joshua responded while glaring at the people around. Some of them looked on it shock like the Carsen brothers, Natalie, Laura and Nathan, but the rest couldn't gain the will to look him in the eyes. Suddenly all of the righteous anger in the room faded away. "I guess a lot of you knew about this huh? What got nothing to say now?"

"Son some things aren't what they seem and have to be handled carefully." The Mayor replied cautiously, but everyone else still seemed to have found a sudden interest in the pattern on the floor, ceilings, or walls as they did everything to not draw attention to themselves.

"I've only known the women for less than a day and I could tell that she was dealing with physical and mental abuse. Hell George even threaten to throw her to those monsters when we first met. You can't expect me to believe that none of you knew what was going on between the two of them." Joshua's voice grew stronger as his anger started to bleed through.

"I tried to but…" Thomas started to try to explain his self, but the look he got from Natalie made the words stick in his throat.

"You all disgust me. I don't care about the reason why you all just looked the other way but know this. You're just as much responsible for what happened here as Madalyn and George were. Doing nothing at all isn't any better than egging a bad situation on." Joshua said before leaving the room with solid footsteps. He headed over to get the gear he had set aside in his room before going back down to the entrance. Waiting for him were the few people he still trusted among the group.

"Were sorry about this we didn't know." Natalie said still looking angered at the fact her superior was involved in something like this. The others nodded along to her statement.

"What do you plan to do now?" Devin said as he looked surprisingly serious for the moment instead of putting on an impersonation of a sloth.

"Well after they calm down I need you guys to lead three groups to scout out the area around here to the east. Gather any supplies you think are necessary and keep an eye out for anymore purple haze in the area. We don't want to be caught by surprise." Joshua explained. The three Carsen brothers nodded in acceptance.

"What about us?" Laura asked as stoically as always.

"Gather any gear you think can help you in a fight. Will be doing a little scouting on our own when I get back." Joshua said. He started to head out the door after getting nods back in reply. Now it was time to go have a long conversation that could affect how he would have to handle things going forward.


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