Home Post 835-chapter-91


“While we’re outside, a friend named Caleb will be pretending to be me. He’s very good at imitating my voice.”

Senu laughed softly. He then pointed to himself, who was wrapped almost entirely in bandages, except for the eyes and mouth.

“My mother never comes to the den herself. And… even if she did, she wouldn’t recognize me now.”

Enya stared directly at Senu, who casually said that his mother wouldn’t recognize him. She felt a sudden surge of revulsion towards Servia and a sense of sympathy for the man in front of her. He remembered his words about proving himself and the patients’ worth.

She finally asked a question she had been pondering since last night.

“Besides me… has anyone else ever fallen into this cave?”

For Servia, they would definitely have done it.

As expected, Senu didn’t answer immediately. After a pause, he answered.

“There have been a few.”

Enya felt her stomach twist. She couldn’t respond, and Senu quietly added.

“Most weren’t in good health like you. We tried to help, but they didn’t last long here in this cave.”

As soon as Senu finished speaking, he turned his back on Enya, indicating he didn’t want to continue the conversation.

“Ah, right. Don’t worry about the thing you asked for. It seems I’ll need to do it at night, to avoid prying eyes…”

He asked with a cracked voice, not meeting her gaze.

“Could you leave now? I need to prepare for something. See you later tonight.”

“Just, just a moment.”

Senu turned back at Enya’s urgent call. She asked softly, gulping dryly.

“Could I take some of… that hair…?”

“Your hair, you mean?”

Senu seemed puzzled but soon casually handed back a portion of her cut hair. Enya barely whispered a ‘see you later’ and quickly left his room.







True to his promise, that night, Senu agreed to Enya’s second request. He waited until it was dark enough that not even the faintest detail could be discerned without a torch, then led Enya somewhere, not just the two of them.

“We could have just gone, just me and Jahan.”

“To trust you clowns with this outsider woman!”

Senu murmured under his breath, and Silanda retorted.

Clowns. That’s too much, Silanda!”

Jahan protested from the side.

“Shut it, Jahan! You brat is just drooling over this woman!”

Silanda glared fiercely at Jahan, who glanced awkwardly at Enya, flailing his hands in protest.

“Me, when have I ever!”

Jahan added with an unexpectedly grave tone.

“Ahem, I am not such a frivolous man.”

His voice sounded so different from usual that it came off even more comically. Of course, Silanda scoffed.

“A man? You’re as tall as a cactus stuck to the ground.”

“Ugh! I’m still growing, okay! I grow taller every night!”

“How many years have you been saying that?”

As Enya watched their banter, she found herself unexpectedly amused.

‘Maybe this is a good thing.’

Walking through the dark corridors of the cave with limping steps, Enya genuinely thought so. She held onto the small item in her hand even tighter. In her grip was a tiny doll she had started making as soon as she left Senu’s room. The doll was hastily completed using straw and hair. It was somewhat crude, but it did resemble a human figure.

Holding the doll seemed to make her heart beat erratically.

“Jahan, can you help me?”

When they reached the end of the corridor, Senu stretched his arms upwards, asked. Jahan and Senu lifted something heavy together, and suddenly, a hole opened in the ceiling, letting in the cold air from outside.


As soon as he stepped out into the open, Jahan immediately took deep breaths of the fresh night air until his lungs were full.

“Sweet, sweet breath!”

“Don’t make such a fuss.”

Silanda muttered, brushing off Senu’s hand as she climbed out on her own. Yet, even she took a deep breath until it made a sucking sound when her feet touched solid ground.

Despite scolding Jahan for doing the same.

Enya was also surprised by the refreshing breeze touching her skin for the first time in what felt like a long time. Only then did she realize how stuffy the air had been inside the cave. The hole they had exited was almost on the opposite side of the cave entrance.

She glanced around, familiarizing herself with the surroundings and squinting into the darkness to gauge their direction.

“If we head southeast from here, we’ll come across a large rock formation. It’s quite a distance from the village and surrounded by dense bushes, making it our usual spot for exiting without being noticed.”

Senu explained the geography hidden in the darkness.

Jahan added grumpily.

“Though we have to return underground before sunrise.”

Enya could roughly pinpoint their current location thanks to Senu’s explanations and her own sense of direction. Although it was challenging to find the way in the dark, she soon began to lead the group to their intended destination.

“This way.”

Following her lead, the group walked for a while. Silanda raised an eyebrow at Enya’s confident navigation through the darkness, relying on the dim light of a torch.

“Are you sure we’re going the right way in this pitch dark?”

“I’m certain. I used to walk this path every day.”

Enya replied softly and continued to guide them.

The midnight meadow was hit by strong winds. They walked non-stop across the ground, littered with rocks and sparse vegetation. As they progressed, Silanda continually checked to see if they were on the right track.

“Look, we’re going to end up wandering until dawn at this rate. It feels like following a hippi into a lake. Are you sure we’re headed in the right direction?”

Despite Silanda’s impatience, which annoyed her a little, Enya held back and responded.

“This is the right way.”

There was no other path that Enya could be unfamiliar with.

Finally, they arrived at a thicket.

Seeing the place, Enya’s vision blurred as if she had been drinking. She cleared her throat and told the followers to wait.

“We’re here. Just wait there for a bit.”

Enya parted the knee-high grass a few times, revealing a small mound from the darkness.

Without needing any warning from her, Jahan, who had been chattering non-stop, fell silent. Senu, who had quietly followed her, and even Silanda, who had been irritably checking their direction, quieted down.

A small patch of land. Grass grew sparsely around a shallow, raised little mound of earth. On it was placed a faded and frayed straw doll similar to the one Enya had been clutching all along. Despite being weathered by time, it bore the same shape.

It was unmistakably a child’s grave.

The group from the leprosy den looked at the doll in surprise, then averted their gazes to the ground or the air. Enya slowly crouched before the grave.

Senu’s gaze followed hers.

It should be pitiful to see the sight of her small back hunched over the grave, but it wasn’t. Rather, her composed demeanor might have been the reason.

Enya didn’t delay as she promised to be quick. Her familiar movements as she tidied up the bushes around the grave were fast and efficient. After clearing the sporadic nettles and placing the doll she brought next to the original, she was done.

Senu noticed Enya’s hands trembling as she placed the doll and eventually turned his gaze away, following Jahan and Silanda’s example.

Soon after, Enya stood up and announced they were ready to leave.

“I’m done. Let’s go back.”

Senu redirected his uncomfortable gaze back to Enya. Her lack of tears or overt sorrow made the moment uncomfortable for those watching.

At that time, Jahan approached Enya hesitantly.


He fumbled in his sleeve and pulled out something. It was a bright red apple. Seeing it, Enya’s eyes widened. Jahan handed her the apple he’d secretly brought, and he explained.

“I brought this because I was afraid you might be hungry… If it’s okay, maybe this too…”

After squeezing the apple in her hand, Jahan quickly stepped back. He then scratched his chin and avoided her gaze.

Holding the apple in both hands, Enya stood still for a moment. She was overwhelmed by emotion. She bit her lip, quickly turned back, and approached the grave again. After a moment’s hesitation, she began to dig beside where the dolls were placed.

‘The apple will just rot and attract bugs if left on the ground.’

Senu and his companions waited quietly as she buried the apple. Even Jahan, who usually couldn’t stop talking, and Silanda, who had been irritable, remained silent.


* * *


As he said, Senu scheduled their departure urgently. After visiting the grave with Enya and as dawn approached, they each grabbed their belongings and set off.

If anything had changed overnight, it was Silanda’s attitude towards Enya.

“Here’s an extra leather backpack if you need one.”

Previously, Silanda had hovered around Enya and argued with whatever. Now, she tossed something in front of Enya. It was a backpack. Inside, Enya found a few sets of clothes and dried food, seemingly a gesture of consideration for Enya, who hadn’t been able to prepare any belongings.

When Enya picked up the backpack and looked at her in surprise, Silanda turned away and disappeared.

‘Such an unpredictable person.’

Enya gave up on trying to understand Silanda.

The three were seen off by the cave dwellers at the secret exit leading outside the cave they had used the night before.

“Take good care of everyone for me, Lomba.”

Senu left instructions with an elderly woman named Lomba, who would oversee the den in his absence. A man named Caleb was also there to see them off.