It was rather odd that an entire village was going unnoticed. That lives were being lived and days were going by in a land that no one knew about. That the villagers of Rubicund-Chi knew little about the outside world, and the outside world knew nothing of Rubicund-Chi.
Gema found herself in awe of the concept that such a village exists and that she was going to be one of the first outsiders to visit Rubicund-Chi. She would've taken in the sights, savouring the air and the smell of grass. She would've had a fluttering sensation in the pits of her stomach at the anticipation.
She would've enjoyed it if her friend wasn't dying.
It was a week since Gema found Yuki on her doorstep. The screaming had woken her up - a screaming that sounded like the anguish of a wounded animal. It wasn't the best of weeks for Gema either. She had been sworn at, screamed at, thrown out of a shuttle, lost Yuki six times, had to break apart several fights - including one between Yuki and a tree - and worst of all, made to travel on public transport.
"Pisa," Yuki's voice was a soft whisper. She had been quiet for the past hour, preoccupied with uprooting grass. And it was when she was quiet that scared Gema the most. When Yuki muttered to herself, it was because she missed her friend, Annie. When Yuki screamed, it was because of her fever. When Yuki was quiet, Gema didn't know what she was thinking.
She had asked Yuki once, about what she was thinking. After a minute of silence, Yuki had lashed out, scratching Gema's face and hissing at her. Gema didn't ask again. But there were times, times when Yuki would talk to herself in her native language. And amongst those words that Gema did not understand, she recognised one - Inabikari.
"Pisa," Yuki said again, this time looking up at her friend. Her eyes were more focused than they had been in days. Gema's mouth twitched at the sound of the nickname for her. The name sounded too much like pisser. "Pisa, where are we?"
"We're almost there. I think," Gema said. She looked around at the trees surrounding her, at the leaves that had began to darken and sighed. "Actually, I don't know where we are. Where are we, Yuki?"
"Imeta," Yuki said, and pulled herself up. While Gema did not know what the curse meant, she'd began to favour the word and had caught herself using it earlier that day. Yuki squinted