And here is the haunted marsh. A distant, quiet voice can be heard singing, but the singer never pauses for breath.
A light comes into view from behind a tree.
"What are they like?"
He shrugs. "All sorts of things. They're not that great, really. You're a lot less threatening than some of them. Most of them, even. You're not missing out on that much."
"...Uh-huh. I've never met anyone who wasn't that great, what are they like? How do they threaten you?"
"I don't--" There. A pair of eyes not interested in anything but its next meal. He shudders, tenses a little less. "Don't."
"Oh. So, uh... you came here because you were hoping I'd lead you to your death somewhere?"
He shakes his head. "They say, uh." Wow, it sounds stupid even before he says it. "They say that if you follow a wisp and don't die, you're a witch."
"...It is true that all of the people who've followed me before and haven't died are witches..."
The wisp changes direction.
"Because no one else tried," he guesses.
Well, if he's not following, then Valen will just stop where he is.
"Yeah. But if you want to meet some witches I can introduce you."
Makji keeps walking, then tilts his head and turns around to not quite face the wisp. "I have met witches before. Everyone has."
...Okay, he'll follow Makji instead. That's ironic or something, right?
"Want me to show you the way out of here?"
"I guess, yeah. I'd been planning on just keeping walking, but that was a while ago anyway."
The wisp changes direction again. Maybe he'll follow this time?
Nope. He doesn't seem to have any idea he's not following the wisp anymore.
Then the wisp will catch back up with him.
"Hey, this is definitely a stupid question, but are you blind?"
He stops short. "Not technically." He bites his lip and takes back his sight, blinks a few times. "I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't when I'm talking to someone. I use other eyes a lot. Birds'."
"I wish I could do that! Anyway if you hang a right here you'll be headed toward the closest edge of the marsh. I can try to tell you if there's anything in your way but you shouldn't trust me, I don't really know which things matter if you have feet."
Makji grins. "It's beautiful. There's nothing like flying." Knowing your body is somewhere below and wanting to leave it forever. The cruel snap of distance.
He shakes his head to clear it. "That's okay, I'm careful. And I'm looking now."
"I'm sorry I couldn't fix things for you."
"Fix...? You're the least of my problems, I promise. I wasn't really expecting you to do anything for me. And, hey, look, you're showing me the way out."
"Yeah, I guess. It was nice meeting you. You could come again if you want anything from me."
Yeah, but that would require leaving, and that's seeming less appealing by the minute. "You said you know some witches? Are they close?"
"I think they're close but I don't have feet that get tired. This is the wrong direction, though, you'll have to go exactly the opposite way to find them."
"Oh. Yeah. Maybe I should sit for a bit, or something."
There's a decently dry patch of ground nearby. Makji sits, propping his chin on his hands.
"What did you say your name was again?"