Chapter 156: The Oldies
We changed our plans and headed to Purgatory Island at night. Unlike yesterday, the rowers were quiet. They were silent, but sometimes, they would look at Nico and I, then at our guardians, and their eyes clearly showed uneasiness.
I don’t think they should look at us with eyes that were asking why we were taking children along even if the other party is part of the royal family. I hope Prince Albert doesn’t notice.
Purgatory Island, like an island I visited in the past, was rocky and there was hardly any flat land. Still, there were no gaps in the ground, and I was relieved that Hollows didn’t come out in the daytime.
“Do Hollows not come out in the day?”
“It is said that they don’t appear while it is bright out,” Earl Coulter politely answered Nico’s question. There were three barrier boxes and the edges of the barrier overlapped with each other. We waited for night-time with the minimum amount of people. The island was much bigger than it appeared from the lake.
The ship will wait for us on the lake but getting on and off the ship was dangerous even if we have barriers, so we were spending our morning on the island. We went over the schedule so that no one would lack sleep. In the end, I worried about whether Prince Albert would be late for his marriage interview and if that would cause Kingdom’s relationship with Farland to deteriorate.
They probably didn’t want Nico and I to move since there were chairs prepared for us to sit in, even while moving, at the middle of the barrier. But honestly, it was easier to sit directly on the floor. Nico was sitting with his back straight on the chair, but someone who was nearly four is really different.
While I was impressed, I also became honest.
“What is it, Lei?” Nii-sama answered in a gentle voice.
“I’m thired of shiththing on da chair. I wanth tho shith on thhe ground.” (I’m tired of sitting on the chair. I want to sit on the ground)
Because my legs are swinging around. Fortunately, Natalie, and the other women, were left at the mansion, so there was no one to tell me that I couldn’t sit on the floor. I successfully sat on the ground comfortably on the rug laid out for me.
“I also want to sit on the ground.”
Of course, he would. Nico’s chair was also put away and we both sat on the floor.
“Nearwy sheththing.” (Nearly setting) I warned Nico. The sun was about to set.
“If this were the case, then I should have checked what kind of Hollows are on Purgatory Island right now,” I could hear a faint voice filled with regret. The truth was that Earl Coulter wanted to investigate the island today and bring Nico here tomorrow after proper preparations had been made. However, there was no point in regretting it now.
“Hm.” Nico held his stomach. They’re here. The Hollow’s presence echoed in his body. As expected of the royal family who have a lot of magic. Though, I think he should just put his hand on his chest normally.
I met Nii-sama’s eyes, then looked at Gill. Nii-sama and Gill nodded a bit late.
*WHIRR* The presence that shook in my chest increased by one, two and three. Apparently, there were Hollows who had sucked the life out of living things here even though there were no living beings here. There was only a faint light placed inside the barrier box so that the Hollows wouldn’t notice. As the sun fell and the area got darker, the presence of the Hollows gradually increased.
Everyone inside the barrier was staring at the presences.
“What the hell?” I wouldn’t be surprised if the person who had said those words were Nico or Prince Albert. However, it was Earl Coulter. Earl Coulter, who was next to Nico in the middle of the barrier so that he could answer Nico’s questions, stepped forward as if he was being pulled by something.
However, a guard stopped him after he had taken a few steps.
Earl Coulter’s eyes didn’t stop staring in front of him even though he was stopped. I looked where he was looking, and…
There were a few Hollows with the appearance of a person. However, they were all old people.
“Who’s Melissa?” Nico’s calm voice echoed. He could also see the Hollows clearly.
“She was an employee. She should have gone back to her hometown when she got too old to work, but why?”
Earl Coulter looked at the guard and said, “My body moved on its own before, but I’m okay now. I want to take a closer look.”
“But, it’s dangerous.”
“It’s fine. That’s a Hollow. I won’t reach out to it.”
The guard reluctantly stepped aside. They were only a few metres away from the Hollows. Earl Coulter slowly walked towards the Hollows who were being repelled by the barrier.
“Nico,” I called out to Nico, who had stood up. I implied that he couldn’t go. Nico looked at me as I tried to stand up and nodded to reassure me. Of course, I don’t feel reassured.
“I won’t go further than where Coulter-dono is. Gill, help me.”
Gill acknowledged him, and firmly held Nico’s extended hand.
I quickly stood up and reached out for Nii-sama. Nii-sama hesitated a bit, but he firmly held my hand and walked towards Earl Coulter alongside Nico.
Of course, Hans was following behind us.
I saw Hollows many times in Frontier, but I only knew they were dangerous, so I didn’t feel like observing them properly.
“Melissa. She’s older than she was when she left the mansion.” Like Earl Coulter had said, she looked decrepit and ugly with age. But what she was wearing was gorgeous. I couldn’t see the colour properly, but she had on a lacey dress and there was a large necklace around her neck. Her hair was also done up properly.
Earl Coulter took his eyes away from the Hollow, closed them and turned his face to the sky. I also understand. She had funeral makeup on. She was probably prepared to die when she came to this island. So, since there are a few elderly people who are dressed the same, then it indicated that this wasn’t a rare thing to do.
As a feudal lord, he must have been shocked by the fact that he didn’t know this.
“Their feet don’t touch the ground even though they have the appearance of people,” Nico said suddenly, and everyone stared at the Hollows’ feet in shock. They were certainly floating a bit.
“Why are they swaying? If you look carefully, you can see through them as well.”
That’s what Hollows are. However, when I look at them again, I can clearly see the difference between them and humans.
“Their eyes also aren’t looking over here. They want to come over here, but their eyes aren’t looking at anything.”
Nii-sama grasped my hand tighter. I looked up and saw that Nii-sama had pressed his lips together and was looking firmly at the Hollows.
“I only thought about defeating them, so I haven’t taken the time to observe them.”
“You’re right. We only think about how to reduce their numbers by a little and how to defeat them efficiently,” Gill answered Nii-sama’s mutter.
Nii-sama noticed my silent question and answered, “We don’t talk much about the time when we were separated. Let’s take our time and talk about it later.”
Meanwhile, it got darker, as the Hollows swayed and were repelled by the barrier.