Episode 59: Terror

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I looked up to see that it was Arthur who put his hand over my mouth. "Gracious, Minicha. What are you doing here?"

A wide-eyed Raymond was hiding behind him.

I answered after Arthur took his hand off my mouth. "I decided to look for the Liberators' headquarters. Since I couldn't get in contact with you, I decided to take matters into my own hands."

"Oh, really?" Arthur laughed into his hand. "You've suddenly decided to be helpful now? Where were you when he was taken away?"

"I'm not even sure I could've done anything in that moment." My jaw dropped. "How did you even—?"

Arthur put his hands on his hips. "Raymond and I were responsible for caring for him. You must know he has nightmares or night terrors. I heard a lot about you. More importantly, a child should have never been put through half of everything he'd been put through."

Alastair hadn't had an easy life. There was no denying that. But what did Arthur know? Wasn't Raymond the one tasked with watching him when he was awake?

"Where is the main base?" I stood up straight. "I doubt you'd have a public space in such an important building."

Raymond perked up. It was like my question flipped a switch inside of him. "Turn back."

I raised an eyebrow. "And why exactly should I do that?"

"Turn back if you value your life." Arthur met my gaze. He didn't waver in any way.

I scoffed. "You realize you're speaking to Protector who has been in her role for centuries?"

Arthur's eyes trembled. "I have no idea what happened to him, but I swear our boss has a way to separate Key Keepers from their keys. I can't even imagine what he could do to you."

"I'm not afraid of death." A fire welled up inside of me. "I've contemplated relinquishing my life every five to ten years since 1929. Were it not for the boy, the cycle would've just repeated."

"How can you say that with so much conviction?" Raymond's voice cracked.

Arthur pinched the bridge of his nose. "You really shouldn't have told me you basically have a death wish."

"Know there is a reason you couldn't possibly have witnessed."

Raymond's head looked like it was about to explode. Actually, the kid just didn't look good overall. His cheeks were red, and his skin was pale. Maybe that was why he was keeping so close to Arthur.

"Regardless, we are much more merciful than some of our colleagues. There are more than few who have blood on their hands. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to say that."

I sighed. "Fine. I'll return home."


***


Really, that wasn't my true motive. I just needed to be sure Alastair didn't need me after what I put him through. I owed him that at the very least.

I went into the Protectors' space before I returned to the house. I didn't know if they knew if we moved or not. I needed to try to throw them off if I could.

When I got back, Cyan was with the boys in their bedroom. Cole was nowhere in sight.

His brother was on his bed with him. His brother cradled him, rocking him back and forth.

"Alastair..." Cyan's voice was gentle and sweet. She had a hand on his back. "Everything's going to be okay now, sweetie. Nothing is going to hurt you. Ran and I are right here."

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