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“This is where the HQ agent trainees learn. There used to be two classrooms but now there is one left since there is only one HQ agent left available to teach; most of the HQ agents are assigned somewhere else,” Tyler explains.

I notice that there are not many HQ agents as there were when I came to the HQ building.

“Does it have something to do with Great York?” I question almost silently.

He nods with a grave expression. “No one – I mean the HQ agent trainees – has no idea what’s going on in Great York but someone overheard that it has something to do with the hybrids in MeadowFalls. Some of the hybrids manage to escape and find another way to GurneyCity, which is through Great York.”

We stay in silence as we walk down the empty hallway. It is quite an old fashion hallway, with chandeliers and red carpets, but the windows at each side shows a very high-tech rooms that are used for training. I see all kinds of weapons lay on the walls in the rooms and some has punching bags.

“This is where the mermaids and mermen HQ agent trainees train,” Tyler tells me, pointing at the window with water behind it. It is empty except for a merman swimming by. I stare at the merman in fascination.

“I didn’t know that there are mermaid and mermen HQ agents…” I say in wonder.

Tyler shrugs and puts his hands into his pocket as if he’s trying to be cool. “There are some royal mermaids and mermen to be protected under the sea. The HQ agents were humans like us once, just that they chose to be a mer than receive a guardian animal. Unlike them, we didn’t have any knowledge of mermaids before we became an HQ agent. They knew and chose to be a mer when they are called into the HQ building.”

“That’s cool! Do they have to see The Decider to become a mer?” I ask, watching a mermaid passes by me, giving me a smile. I smile back.

Tyler scratches his ears. “No, but the King of Atlantis have the power to change them.”

“Atlantis exists?” I can’t help but bounce in excitement. There are so many things to learn!

Tyler laughs and pats me. “You’ll learn that soon, I promise. You have no idea how many times I failed my test in my first year with all these information.”

I slap his hands away and scowl at him. I hate the fact that he’s taller than me. “This year is…?”

“My final year,” he tells me. “A few more months then I’ll graduate. So are Ella, Bobbi, Nero, Lina, and Lucy.”

At that very moment, my heart sinks.

“Oh…” Since this year will be my first year, I’ll have to spend the next two years without them.

“Don’t sulk, Lanie. You’ll see us again after you graduate,” Tyler states, leading me towards the elevator.

“Lanie?” I repeat in confusion.

Tyler blushes instantly. “I decide to call you Lanie since I know many people will nickname you ‘Mel’. If that’s okay with you, that is…”

“It will be okay if I can call you ‘Leo’,” I reply with a smirk.

He frowns at me. “Why Leo?”

“Panthera Leo,” I murmur as I recall one of the researches I did a few months ago on wild cats when I found Anna in the woods. The elevator dings and opens.

“Excuse me?” he asks as we enter the lift.

“Nothing,” I say innocently.

Leo does not say anything, only presses the number 12 button. He keeps looking at me and then the ground until we reach the 12th floor. There’s something about him that makes me feel safe and secure, just like when I was around Nate.

Leo walks me to my room.

“Well, this is mine,” I say awkwardly, nodding towards my door.

He chuckles nervously. “Err, yes, it is. I have to go. See you tomorrow, Lanie.”

Without a second thought, he gives me a hug and then walks away to the elevator. The moment Leo left, Lina opens the door with a huge grin on her face.

“So what happened between you and Tyler?” she asks, bouncing on the balls of her feet like a little kid in a candy store.

“Nothing happened,” I say easily and walk in. “He just showed me around.”

Lina smirks as she wriggles her eyebrows. “Sure he does.”

I roll my eyes at her. “Don’t wriggle your eyebrows like that. It’s so weird.”

She does not reply, only mumbling something under her breath. It does not sound English at all. She doesn’t sound too happy as well.

“What?” I ask.

“Nothing,” she answers me.

Whatever she says, it doesn’t sound like ‘nothing’. 

Author's Note

Hey guys! So I bet you're wondering "Who is Melanie going to end up with?" Mwahahaha! Honestly speaking, I'm still making up my mind. I got the plot down so far. Here's another sneak peek for you! 

Melanie is going to see Nate at some point in this book. 

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-M.

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