“It’s more than just mayhem,” James told them. “People have been known to go missing it. I haven’t heard much about these monsters causing damage to property, but any damage was caused by humans trying to stay away from the monsters.”
By then, they had arrived gate, and a small group of guards greeted James and the others. He thanked all of them, even stable boys, for their assistance and hospitality, and without much else to say, led his friends out into the open fields. It was another long and winding road, like a graceful line traced over the canvas that was the landscape. Trees here, bushes here, and for a while, smaller roads branching out, leading to the village’s farm fields.
“James,” Himeko began to speak, her voice timid, with a forced sense of calm. “What happens to people who are touched by one of those beasts?”
“Are you asking because you really want to know,” James said, looking to her, “or because you are afraid of what might happen?”
Himeko forced herself to not look frightened, although anyone who knew her well enough knew that his words has affected her at least somewhat. Still, she answered his question. “Fear or not, it’s important to know, to have that knowledge. Isn’t ignorance worse?”
“Well,” James said, his voice a sort of grumble, “I do that saying you have on Earth about what ignorance is.”
“Ignorance is not with the Japanese think of as bliss,” Himeko told him. “It is better to know, to be prepared for what is to come.”
“I always enjoy studying your people,” James replied. “If you must know, being touched by them is not completely damning, although breaking free of their grips has never been easy for anyone. The reports that I have heard about them has all been different from one another. Some are left with scars, others stained what what look like tattoos, horribly done with mars of black ink. Some have been terribly maimed, as though chunks of muscle had been removed from right beneath their skin.”
“So we should do everything we can to stay out of their reached,” Bayani concluded. “I we are careful, we should be fine.”
“’Should’ is always the word that gets groups like ours into trouble,” Peter pointed out. “How long can we hold out until we have to face one of those things head-on?”
“If you are luck, then never,” James told him.
Peter scoffed. “I’m not the lucky type.”