Chapter 9 - Lost and Found

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Two seemingly soul-devouring eyes glared at me as I stepped outside. I meant only two for the gaze of the girl wearing a gown was somewhat friendly or as it may seem. But I knew myself that they were not to be trusted.

The soil was moist, dampened by the cold air.  Fallen dried and fresh leaves decorated the floor of the clearing. A few roots from the defeated sunflowers were scattered here and there.

I continued to trudge on. The chafing of the swords in my scabbard was breaking the solemn atmosphere of the place.

My feet dragged me slowly towards those people. Every stride seemed heavier than the last one. I felt like I was walking straight into the depths of hell myself. Seriously, these guys looked more dangerous than a hundred gorillaphants.

“Hello there Mister Handsome! Watcha doing in this place? Stalking at us maybe?” the pink-haired girl cheerfully said with a naughty wink.

The way she dressed reminded me a lot of those girls from the Korean pop group, Girl’s Generation. Above her head was her name, pinkiepiesally. No wonder she was wearing something pink.

“No, I was just, uhmm,” I was stammering. What could I possibly say? Katherine and I were actually stalking on them.

“We were watching you fight.” A voice emerged from behind me. It was Katherine.

A comforting sensation of relief embraced me. I didn’t know she went after me. It was great to know that I had somebody to back me up. I was not alone. I thought she just sent me away to be murdered by these people and run away to save herself.

All I could do was give her a weak smile as a ‘thank you’.

“Hmm yeah? Nothing else, Miss SuddenlyButtingInYourUglyFace?” the girl replied with sarcasm.

‘This is really bad.’ I whispered in my mind. Provoking Katherine was the worst thing anybody could do. Just try to annoy her and you’d find yourself inside a coffin later; if she would still have the sympathy to get one.

“Yeap,” Katherine replied.

The way she answered in a calm voice really surprised me. Normally, she would have burst out her anger like an erupting volcano. But this time, her face was bare of emotion, as if unconcerned with what was happening.

“Okay? So Comrad? What do we do with this derps?” the girl turned to the armored guy. His named appeared on top of him; ComradeCavalry01.He gave me an intimidating gaze. I tried to gawp back, as wicked at possible.

“Let’s leave ‘em alone Sal. It’s no use killing them. The period’s still due this weekend,” he answered as he licked some dripping blood off his mouth.

“Kill us?” Katherine blurted out. She sounded serene yet vicious. “Go on and try.”

“Got some guts huh, girl?” he approached Katherine and threatened to seize her arm.

Katherine immediately grabbed his wrist and pulled him over. She gave him an abrupt blow in the abdomen that brought him down on his one knee. He screamed. Like a drowning kid in Iron Man costume, he gasped for air as he went red all over.

I tensed my nerves and coolly started clenching and unclenching my fists. Cold sweat trickled from my hair down to my neck. Anytime soon, I expected the black-dressed guy, whose name was Wolfbane18 to pounce on Katherine.

But I was wrong, he didn’t. He was too taciturn and just stabbed us with his dagger-like stare. I thought he was far worse than Katherine because Kath still uttered a few words when we first met. This guy looked like he was a deaf-mute or his tongue had been cut off or he was a retarded psycho.

“Don’t you dare touch me you dumbass,” Katherine nastily said as she twisted Comrad’s arm. A cry of agony pervaded the air. I saw the pained expression of Sally.

She tried to come nearer but Katherine pointed her staff directly into her face. “I don’t want you dead too, derpy Kpop fanatic.”

Sally didn’t respond but she was flaring with anger. She gritted her teeth while her grip on the wand tightened. I was discouraged by what she looked at the moment. Anger was certainly draining her exotic beauty.

“V, let go,” I commanded at my partner, trying my best to look adamant.

“They started this first, Leon!” she contorted Comrad some more. The poor guy squirmed in excruciation.

“But they didn’t do us any harm.

“No harm?” Her voice was close to a yell, “Did you forget they almost sunk a knife into your chest?”

I winced at the thought. Katherine was partly right though she was also wrong. “Who cares? As if I could die anyway.

All of them gave me a puzzled face, eyebrows crossed except Wolfbane. Even Comrad smirked despite of his writhed shape.

Katherine appeared baffled the most. She threw Comrad aside and stepped closer to me, “You don’t know?”

“Know what?”

“Death in this game is real.”

“What do you mean?”

“My, my, my! I guess somebody hasn’t been telling her friend the truth,” Sally said as she laughed.

“You shut up!” roared Katherine. Sally behaved but it was obvious she was trying to hide her amusement.

“Again, what do you mean that death in here is real?” I inquired, interrupting her bad mood.

“If you die, you’re dead forever. Both here, and in the real world.”

The words hit me like a wrecking ball. I hope she was not lying. I already knew much, but what I heard now was just … too much. Katherine watched me as if she was waiting for an answer.

“What? Are you kidding me?” I exclaimed, “Don’t we get spawned or resurrected again somewhere when we die?”

“Sadly, no.”

A tingling feeling jolted through my spine. So this was really risky right from the start. I thought of the time I met Marccus, how he killed Yumina, the time I fought the gorillaphant, and Katherine’s eyes when she suddenly decided to burn me to flames.

I was getting dizzy. One tiny, single mistake would have caused me my life back then.  If I haven’t be─

“─Sorry to interrupt the drama but we’ve got to go,” Comrad butted in, interrupting the flood of thoughts in my mind.  He brushed the dust off his armor and walked away, grunting at Katherine.

“Bye-bye, weak one! Was fun meeting you,” Sally waved at me vigorously but she scowled at Katherine. “I’ll get you for what you did someday, lady bitch!”

“Fuck off,” Katherine hissed.

My gaze followed the two of them until they were out of sight. Now, only Wolfbane was left. I didn’t know why he was still standing there, completely still like a statue. He walked towards my direction in a slow pace. He gawked at me and drew his face to the side of my head.

“Trevor wants to send his regards, Leonne Ress” the cold voice whispered the words sharply with a tone of loathing into my ears. I know I should have been glad but felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand. My mind race as I murmured to myself, “Finally, I found you, buddy.”

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