“Do you think she’s okay?” Dirge asked. The two girls did not wander far from where they landed before the girl with dark curls questioned Dread.
“Who?” Dread stopped walking and let her eyes roam over the empty green plain as she looked for someone in danger.
“La Sirena on that last Earth. What do you think she’ll do now that she’s free?” Dirge asked. Dread shrugged and gave a half smirk.
“Probably complain about her Paraguas being stolen,” she said. Dirge posed; the white lacy parasol appeared in her hand with a flash of golden light. She gave it a gentle smooch.
“Awww, she wasn’t using it.” Then the umbrella disappeared in another flash. “Anyway, haven’t you ever been curious about what happens after you leave?”
“Yeah, a few times I guess. I couldn’t go back, so it never mattered.” Dread said. Dirge hooked her arm in Dread’s and walked her around until she faced the way they came from.
“Well now you can!” Dirge waved a hand in the air to open a dark black vertical portal in front of them.
“Alright,” Dread said with a shrug. She stepped through. On the other side of the portal Dread stood in front of the Sirena’s pool. She looked around at the dozens of skeletons with glowing golden flowers on their foreheads, then looked up. Above them a brilliant golden orb glowed, held up by a large silver ring supported by five pillars, instead of Ballisea’s corrupt red orb.
“Neat!” Dirge said behind Dread.
“Dios Mio! You came back!” Dread heard a male voice behind her, she and Dirge turned around. They found a young man with unkempt, short, dark brown hair and a scraggly beard. He wore ratty sandals, dark black board shorts and green and gold t-shirt. A large tattoo of the Earth covered his left eye, with the number 37 drawn in gold numbers on his eyelid.
“A Mundo?” Dread asked. Dirge stepped forward and extended a hand.
“Hi Mundo, I’m Dirge and this is Dread. We totally just saved your world, you know?” Mundo did not take his eyes off of Dread.
“Yes, of course. I know you very well señorita Dread. All the Mundos that you’ve freed speak highly of you.” Mundo knelt with his right knee, and all the skeletons in the area knelt also.
“I thought Mundos couldn’t leave their universe?” Dirge said. She stood over Mundo’s form and peered down at him suspiciously.
“They can talk to each other if they find the same frequency. My dad knew a few different Mundos.” Dread said, then she gestured toward Mundo to get him to stand up. He stood then pointed to the golden orb above them. After he rose the skeletons also stood straight up.
“Like Ballisea, you leave behind a portion of your soul when you conquer an Earth. It lets us Mundos communicate from the Earths you’ve freed.” While the girls looked up at the orb Mundo stepped forward and grabbed Dread’s hand.
“Señorita Dread, I am very honored to have you on my Earth.” He bowed deeply, then rose and continued speaking. “However, it is because I have you here that I must request a favor of you. One of my friends, a Mundo, is in danger. I have no one else to ask, will you listen to my plea?” Mundo bowed again, and touched his forehead to Dread’s hand. Dread looked at Dirge for guidance, but the girl only smiled and nodded.
“It doesn’t hurt to listen,” Dread said.
“Thank you!” Mundo released her hand then guided the two girls towards the pool. Mundo’s hand glowed with green light then the pool waters began to recede, as if a drain was pulled from the bottom.
“Where’s the Sirena?” Dirge asked. She watched the waters leave a staircase behind as they sank deeper into the pool.
“Ballisea’s orb kept her bound here,” Mundo gestured at the sunken staircase. “Once you freed her she left, very grateful.” Dread walked down the stair case followed by Dirge and Mundo. They reached the bottom of the staircase and stood at the crossroads of a dark, damp cave. Mundo wiggled a green glowing hand upward and the space above their heads began to fill with water, like they the stood under an invisible bucket. “It keeps snoops out,” Mundo said as the pool continued to refill above their heads. Then he walked to an exit to his right. Dirge and Dread followed, he spoke to them while he walked.
“How familiar are you girls with #33?” Mundo asked.
“La Araña? I’ve never met any, you?” Dread said, then asked Dirge. Dirge shook her head.
“Nope. Regal always told me to be careful around them, but he didn’t elaborate,” Dirge said. They crossed a threshold into a wide open cave. A scribbled on chalk board sat at one end of the cave surrounded by a plethora of cloth scraps; some hung on from the chalk board, most gathered on the floor beneath it. Once they entered the cave Mundo continued straight for the chalk board, then he turned around once he reached it.
“#33 La Araña is unique, even among Uniques. It’s an Animal soul that can grow as strong as a Celestial.”
“No way! That’s awesome!” Dirge said. Mundo shook his head.
“No. Like all Uniques, La Araña gets stronger, if it absorbs any other Unique soul. However, Spiders are cannibalistic. If it eats more Araña souls it can grow powerful enough to move up a tier, but it also corrupts the soul. My friend Mundo thinks a Spider near it is very close to becoming a Celestial.” Mundo said.
“So you want us to stop it?” Dread asked. Mundo nodded.
“We get to kill a giant dimension hopping spider? This is gonna so be awesome!” Dirge cheered.
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