The Story So Far
After Acantha and Krazzle were wandering around being jerks to each other, they run into this unformed ghost. Krazzle being the kind-hearted soul he is, decides to guide them over the guardian of children, called Bells, in an attempt to take the ghost back wherever they came from before it’s too late. Turns out that, in this world, ghosts are beings from, possibly, another dimension of unknown origins, and they are incompatible with the guardians that control the life cycle and reincarnation process. Because of this, they turn into horrible monsters as time goes on(yikes).
Acantha gets roped into this, being the only one with a sense of direction, and—after a few bumps caused by Acantha’s attitude and life choices—they eventually find their way to one of the guardian’s temples before being attacked by these shadow creatures called Cucos. They try to ward them off but are eventually cornered until Bells triumphantly falls in and chases these creatures out. She saves the ghost and leaves, making things kinda awkward for everyone, especially Acantha, who seems to have a past with Bells because--surprise--she is one of the ghosts-turned-monsters and blames Bells for her being stuck in this strange world. Acantha and Krazzle part ways, as Acantha decides to visit someone and we wrap up chapter 1.
Chapter 2 starts of with Acantha living life on her own and we find out the collar around her neck shocks her whenever she turns violent (double yikes) and because the question of "when is violence ever necessary" is such a morally-ambiguous concept, she can’t even hunt for food and is forced to steal from small human settlements scattered around the vast forest. In one of these settlements, a human-adopted ghost called Gallo stops Acantha from stealing with, what he deems, to be one of his heroic acts. We find out this self-righteous cowardly featherbutt doesn’t fully understand the Ghost Struggle™, but has a kind heart regardless in allowing Acantha to take the food to a mutual friend of theirs—presumably another ghost—in exchange for finding a way to pay back the people she stole from.
As they venture out, they spot an odd fish…rabbit…clock…thing that wears an almost-identical collar to that of Acantha. In an attempt to get answers, she tries to grab him and all three are transported into a cold and empty world near a cold and empty town surrounded by festivities and bread. In there, they find a tiny green man who speaks words of wisdom and acceptance as we find out the clashing concepts of Acantha and Gallo of how they see the world: Acantha has become very pessimistic whereas Gallo, seeing how he was raised in acceptance, cannot understand that mentality.
Anyway, the little green guy gets eaten by some purple blob that popped from the woods and everyone’s screaming and panicking and just having a very bad time. You know, typical Tuesday things.
Chapter 3 opens with Acantha and Gallo (still rabbitfish-less) trying to escape the village that is slowly being surrounded by purple blobs. They hide in a house, accepting their new fate—or at least trying not to panic—and they realize the purple beings co-exist with the green people in their own weird way of a symbiotic life-cycle. There’s a pattern here. They attempt to communicate with said blobs and find out they’re pretty great hosts, actually, and are even given great new outfits to fight against the cold. They finally find the rabbitfish trying to survive an incoming storm and chase after him.
Pop! The rabbit returns them to their world and disappears once more. Acantha feeling frustrated at the lack of answers, takes the food into a cave where their mutual friend is supposed to live—the place is a mess by the way, not a very clean friend which we yet to meet as he's not there—and Gallo promises Acantha he’ll try and find answers on the rabbitfish, even if it means not telling someone Acantha distrusts called Schnell.
But nah, he totally tells Schnell since he’s some ominous grinning shark-thing that seems to have answers—which he does! The rabbit is called Lheur and he’s “someone’s pet”. Acantha, however, overhears this, feels betrayed for a good reason, and bails—before either Schnell or Gallo realize—to find the answers herself. Schnell catches wind of this and comments on how Acantha was doomed, not because Bells failed her, but rather because he allowed it to happen.
Chapter 4 is a flashback of how Acantha spent her first days in this odd world. How Schnell, the first of the ghosts, found her and told her the big news: she’s dead. All ghosts are dead. And she should appreciate this second life to do whatever she wants. They road trip together as he begins to explain how the world works, and finally dumps her in some Ghost House where other ghost kids live (This being Hessa and Ramus, the mutual friend Gallo and Acantha seem to share). They take her in and begin to hint of a darker aspect behind their apparent happy-but-humble lifestyle as they are keeping a secret from her. It’s during Acantha’s first outing as a thief that she learns the answer from Ramus: having gained a body isn’t the end-game of their monster selves, they’ll continue to change and it’s impacted by negative thoughts. She instead finds comfort in this, saying it’s all about what they do with their second chance, and they can make the best of it--which Ramus disagrees with, but encourages anyway as the good friend he is. This establishes their relationship as Acantha is the optimist of the two (what happened??), and hints of Bells having a larger role behind this as we find out through this chapter Schnell calls her “mother”.
Chapter 5 is back to the present, a human city outside of the forest and near the ocean. It’s a thriving city with lots of buildings and an abundance of humans, in contrast to previous locations. There, we find a tourist who hears the voice of a statue warn him about an incoming attack. Lo and behold, a giant monster is attacking the city and the guardian of children, Bells, is seemingly fighting against him (while Schnell watches from the distance, making petty comments and all). Turns out, the large monster is none other than Ramus gone vicious and is trying to destroy the guardian. The fight ends when the second guardian of the dead, Syias, mortally wounds Ramus and leaves him on the brink of death (how fitting). Bells argues with Syias about his methods, but leaves defeated to let her co-guardian finish his job. After she and Schnell have left, Syias feels a hint of guilt right until Ramus catches a second wind and, presumably, smashes Syias. With the winner of the fight still being undetermined, we end the scene.
We catch up with Acantha inside a food cart, stuffed with food, and dreaming of how she and Ramus began to grow apart as time went on: Ramus shutting out everyone around him and Acantha trying to help him to no avail.
(Chapter in process)