chapter seventeen | a sudden change of subjects?

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"Seems like all of us can relate, then,"

"...All of us?"

"Yes. I had a father named Morrison. One day... he just turned bad... and I-I was scared. I was so scared, I ran away... I'm telling you about this just to let you know to stay alert; you never know when he'll come searching for me..."

Suddenly I understood.

"Is Morrison coming to get you back?" I asked gently.

"Y-yes... But... It's not going to be that easy. I-I'm not going to just follow him," the Darkness mage answered.

"And he doesn't just want Lana. That creep wants Reaper and me as well," said Grim coolly, seeming unfazed by Lana's sudden burst of shock. He stabbed a piece of meat from a plate with his fork and sent it towards his mouth to chew.

"What? Why?" Akuma questioned.

"You three may not know this, but most babies who are found to have Dragonslayer blood in them are tagged with a four-digit code when they are born.

"Rumours have it that if you compile all the codes in the world, you would be granted secret access to a chamber which will contain anything that you would ever wish for. However, if it gets into the wrong hands, everyone would probably be in great danger. And that's what Morrison's trying to do," Sienna stepped up to explain after cleaning up the glass shards.

"Oh dear..." muttered Lyra. I looked up to the Metal and Ice mage, the former constantly asking if Lana was doing well, and the latter shaking her head in disgust, her arms crossed.

"Well then, what should we do about this?!" Kaito exclaimed, worry written all over his face.

Reaper shrugged. "Dunno. We can't really do anything about it now, so I guess we'll just sleep it off for the time being. Sounds good?"

Sienna looked a bit skeptical, but after spotting our worn-out expressions from the long train ride earlier on, she nodded her head in agreement.

After finishing our dinner, we thanked Hikari for it. I switched off the television before heading back upstairs and falling onto my bed. My eyes closed and I drifted off to sleep once again.

~

"Wake up, wake up! Kaito made pancakes!" The sound of Akuma's voice rang shrilly in my ears.

"Best way to start the day..." I groaned as I covered my ears with my pillow.

The door suddenly bust open, Lana standing at the door. Underneath her eyes were gradually appearing eyebags, and her snow white hair was in a mess. She stalked towards me, grabbed my bed's covers and flung them off me.

"Get up. Now," Lana demanded. Realising that she could have appeared too harsh, her expression softened. "Breakfast is ready."

I blinked once, slightly shocked from the sudden small confrontation. I sat up, placed my feet onto the cold wooden ground and slowly stood up. Looking at Akuma, I saw her lifting an eyebrow as she narrowed her eyes at Lana.

Still, I didn't want to ask Lana how she was doing yet, not wanting to strike a nerve. Akuma and I followed the Darkness mage back down to the dining table, where Kaito stood proudly in front of a plate pilled up with pancakes.

"GOOD MORNING!" Kaito greeted us, hands on his hips. "I made breakfast for you! Try some of my pancakes!"

Kaito suddenly fixed his gaze upon Emma, who was currently chewing on one. Noticing this, her eyes widened as she almost started to choke on the pancake.

"How is it?" asked Kaito enthusiastically.

"U-um... Ish good..." Emma replied while chewing.

"Yes! That's right! Waterfall, Akuma, Lana, here's your plates-" Kaito sent three plates with a pancake on top flying towards us, all of us catching our dishes in time.

We sat down and quickly started to eat as soon as we found Hikari staring at us, her red eyes piercing through my soul, as if she would brutally murder the three of us if we refused to try them.

I took up one bit of pancake and tasted it. Then I looked back up at Kaito to see his face brimming with anticipation on how his food tasted.

"It's good!" Akuma exclaimed, pouring on three or four small boxes of maple syrup onto one single pancake.

"Are you sure you're not going to get diabetes from this?" Grim asked jokingly.

"Demons can't get diabetes," Akuma replied as she chewed on her food.

"I doubt it," I mumbled, supporting my head on my right palm as I fed myself with the other hand.

"What was that, Waterfall?" said Akuma.

"Uh-" I was cut off by Sienna. The Fire mage walked towards us with a letter in hand.

"We got another mission." Sienna flipped the letter to show us what was written inside.

"This time, we go undercover in a ball."

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