Ch.7: The Gravedigger's Offer and The Spoken Vow

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"...What's... this?"

In all honesty, Ray was wholly unprepared for the sight that awaited her once she stepped through the crack in the wall once more. The moment her feet were solidly against the cobblestone, and she had straightened up enough to see, she had to double take.

Every single gravestone in the room except for hers lies in ruins. The stone bits are haphazardly strewn across the entirety of the room, each resting place destroyed and smashed to pieces. The hooded boy's grave especially is mangled to bits- most likely the first one to go, judging by the more immensely crushed nature of it all. He's pacing back and forth impatiently in front of her gravestone, twirling the handle of his scythe in his gauzy hands until he sees her.

Hearing her confused remark, he turns on his heel to look at her, eyes narrowing immediately.

"What took you so long?! What the hell were you up to?" His tone is accusatory, like he expects she was up to something else on her expedition. Her fingers tighten around the thick black strap of her purse.

"...I should ask you the same," she says with a frown.

The two of them wander toward the front of her grave. He's anxiously toying with his weapon, and she takes some time to explain what she found once the door was unlocked.

"Huuuuh? Another one?!" He growls with irritation upon hearing there was yet one more locked door with a hidden mechanism. He taps his foot frequently. "God dammit..."

Pausing a moment, Ray recalls what she brought with her. Having nearly forgotten she'd stuffed it in her purse thanks to the surprise of his little crime spree, she pulls out the personal resume she'd taken from the archive room about herself and holds it out for him to see.

"Oh, and I found this." She shows it to him, and he squints at it for a moment.


"It's a resume."

A little bit of light dawns on his face, but he still seems perturbed. "...A resume?"

Ray nods. "It's about me... 'Rachel Gardner'." It feels strange to say her name aloud like this, but in a way it's almost introductory; she's not sure he actually knew it to begin with.

"That's worthless bullshit." His response is immediate, cutting off her thoughts. He scoffs at it and crosses his arms. "All it does is tell your story- nothing more, nothing less."

Tells... my story?

The way he speaks strikes her funny somehow. Normally it would be a casual, brusque comment that she might've brushed aside, but for some reason, it seems deeper than that, like the thought of such a descriptive paper struck a nerve somewhere.

Is he saying that something like would only know an outsider's point of view? Like it... wouldn't actually know the person you are, only the life you've lead and the past that made you?

...Maybe I'm overthinking it somehow.

She returns the paper upon his apparent disinterest, and instead withdraws his with hesitant fingers. He watches her movements like a hawk, silent in front of her as he drums his fingers along his scythe handle.

"Also... there was also one for some guy named Isaac," she says, choosing her words with careful precision and keeping an eye on his expression, observing how he seems to tighten up a little at the name. She inhales quickly, then blurts out the question she'd been mulling over.

"...Is that you?"

A heartbeat, then two passes without a word from him. Instead, they're caught locked in eye contact- her blue eyes curious, his gold and brown unreadable.

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