= 12 =

"What happened to you?"

I looked from the Natallis to Davin and back, anxiously grasping the phone in my hand. "Just lost my way in the crowd. Didn't realize I was somewhere else, until I saw the ring crowding the plaza here."

The Natallis and Davin bore identical looks of confusion.

"You're here now, so everything should be fine," Hizac looked behind him as he said this. "It was a false alarm as you may have already heard. Nothing too hideous," 

At the same moment, the phone buzzed, and I bit my lip in nervousness before taking it out and reading the text.

Wait a few more seconds. There'll be a couple of guests arriving.

The worry was seeping in through my pores, and the guests he was referring to was making me all the more nervous. They weren't really adhering to killing innocent people, were they? I mean, one of them was a Natalli. He wouldn't have the will to kill his brothers.

"Clear the way! Clear it!"

In just a few moments, the ring formed a gap in which two people stumbled in: one holding the other upright and the other limping his way into the scene, and all I could do was allow my eyes widen at the sight. This wasn't what I expected. It wasn't what I wanted.

How could they?

Lore and Mioun. Lore was helping Mioun walk. Mioun was injured, and all I could do was stand there shellshocked. My mind couldn't accept it, but these were the guests, weren't they? He planned this...

My phone buzzed again.

Go to your friends. Show your absolute concern.

I stared at it in fury, yet I tore my eyes away and took one step, then another and another, until I was inches away from them. It wasn't like I couldn't react to this situation alone. Sure, I couldn't lift a finger to show my full concern from the fear of breaking his fragility, but one point was evident, the pain was killing me.

Mioun looked up then with his glossy eyes, and all I could do was stare back with a shielded gaze before it broke, eliciting my profound contempt towards the people who did this to him along with my pain for him.

"Dian?" Lore asked in bewilderment. "Why are you here? ...And, dressed like that?" 

Her questions were nothing but a minutive buzz as Mioun's gaze intensified, and my mouth opened on its own will. "You're going to be alright, Mioun. You're going to be fine."

It was okay. I was assuring him. This would turn out like it should. Life would be great.

"But, it hurts, Dian."

That was all it took. That was all it took for my heart to break in one piece. For once, has he ever referred to my first name, and for once, has he ever admitted to being hurt. How dare they!

The phone buzzed again.

Now. Now, darling. Put away your claws.

I scoffed before typing away at its pad. Why should I? 

There was no response from the other line, until a few seconds later. A few seconds where I should have spared my life by throwing away the device right then. You should because, you see, we hold your very lifeline like a precious jewel. 

I scoffed again. Sure, you do. I don't know who you guys are, and I don't know why this didn't come to mind in the first place, but I'm calling the police.

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