Chapter 22

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I’ll call this world…

I don’t even want to give it a name.

I don’t want to do this…

I’ll call it… “Scarring.” And… it was paradise.

-as close as I’ll ever get.


It was… extremely similar to the First Nav. To the point that it will be faster to tell you how Scarring was different from it, rather than anything else.

Heh… C’mon Tess. You can do this.

…It… had no countries.

There were no divides between people: no prejudices, no grudges, no great differences in power…
There were still As and Bs, a poisonous ecosystem and a benign, but… They’d tamed them. By working together, they’d divided the ecosystems, given each certain areas to exist, and prevented the poisonous ecosystem from overtaking the benign.

The Bs and As helped each other in the way they were supposed to in the First Nav: The Bs maintained the separate ecosystems, protecting the As, and the As returned the favor by taking care of the Bs other needs. But… because they worked together to accomplish this, people from both groups were able to take part in… more fun activities, like arts and sports.
No one needed to perform a job if they didn’t want to!

And crossbred children…
If it hadn’t been so difficult to accomplish physically, I think they might have replaced both the As and Bs.
In fact, since I can’t exactly check… Perhaps they did, after a time. I’ll never get to see it, if so, but… I like to think they might have.

Aside from that, though… the two worlds were identical. The traits I wanted — went looking for — didn’t change, after all. I’d only added more.

There was… one… unexpected consequence of the As’ and Bs’ care for one another, though.

They realized very quickly that… something was off about my sudden arrival.

Children didn’t just… show up — without parents to care for them.
I mean, it’s not like there were any orphans! Why would there be?!

So my just… forming was… heh, conspicuous, to say the least. But even so, I was welcomed and accepted by them without question.
I was given a place to live, any education I wanted, the chance to try all sorts of “jobs” to see what I liked… Friends and family, gifts, love and affection… They just… POURED it out on me!
They figured some terrible accident must have happened to cause me to be alone (they weren’t exactly… wrong, I suppose), so they tried to help me however they could.

So, I ask you… How, exactly… was I supposed to keep my mouth shut? When literally everyone was just so… so NICE?!

I doubt I need to explain it, but just in case: I generally tried to not tell people about me being the Keeper.
I mean, 1. They usually just decided I was crazy and wrote me off, even if I tried.
But, 2. If they did believe me, they… sometimes tried to access the Crossroad.
Which, y’know, never worked, since only one spirit can inhabit the Crossroad at a time. But! I’d learned there was a slim chance that they could achieve interdimensional travel.
And most people who go looking for power like that…? Don’t plan on doing anything good with it.

But these people… These people.
They wouldn’t abuse that kind of power! And I knew, if I told them, they would believe me!

And I was…
Honestly, I was DESPERATE at this point. Desperate for someone — anyone — to just… talk to. Because… Everytime I left a world…

Heh… I…-
-It still hurts.

I don’t just leave worlds behind when I die in them. I leave the people IN them, too.

So… I told them. About the Crossroad.
Thanks to that, I was… often invited to chat with the “leadership” of the world. And no, not the “World Leaders” — there weren’t any countries or anything to be leaders of. But there was still a general group of people trusted to make the “big decisions.”
They told me they wanted my input because, having lived so many extremely diverse lives, I was surely “full of wisdom.” I don’t know about that, but… I chatted with them. And I gave them the best advice I could.

However, despite trusting them — so deeply I risked them gaining access to such a great power — … I still couldn’t tell them about me being a “demon-eater.”
Despite knowing that they wouldn’t, that they would never do such a thing, I… I couldn’t risk them rejecting me.

And so, when the time came… they didn’t stand a chance. They couldn’t defend themselves, and…
And they couldn’t help me.

… Not that it would have made much difference, in the end, I suppose. There is only one way to satisfy my hunger. There’s no way around it.
And no one could have guessed how it would manifest, since not even I knew yet. I had heard of it, but it had never happened to me before.

So when it did…
… Not even I realized what was going on.

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