Chapter 14

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Buddar spun around to see Navy standing behind her. "Oh yeah?" She asked defiantly. "Why not?"

Navy had a look of fear in her eyes. "Lord Shadow will punish you if you try to leave." She said. "I-I'm not sure exactly how, but I don't think it would be good."

"I'm not afraid of Shadow." Buddar said, reaching for the handle again.

"Please, don't!" Navy begged. "If you escape and he can't catch you, he'll whip me!"

Buddar stopped, then slowly took her hand away from the handle. Navy's eyes widened in surprise, as though she didn't actually think Buddar would stop. Buddar turned to her. "You don't deserve to be whipped." She said. "I'll stay if it means nobody gets hurt."

Navy sighed in relief. "Th-Thank you, Miss Night Trickster." She said.

Buddar smiled. "Please," She said. "Just call me Buddar."

Navy nodded. "Alright, Buddar." She said, returning the smile.

Buddar glanced around. "This place is huge," She mumbled to herself. "There's probably a million places to hide."

Navy gave her a confused look. "Hide?" She asked.

Buddar smirked deviously. "Just because I'm stuck in this cage doesn't mean I'm going to be easy to tame." She said. "Therefore, I'll do what I do best."

"And that would be...?" Navy asked.

"Trying not to get caught." Buddar answered.

***

Buddar crouched in the chest, which was in the very top room of one of the turrets. It was kind of cramped, but it was going to be worth it if it annoyed the crud out of Shadow. The chest was filled with dust, and it tickled her nose, but she tried her hardest not to sneeze. She had been waiting for about half an hour or so, and her back hurt from the position she was in.

Suddenly, she heard faint voices trail up the stairs. She knew that it was Shadow and Navy. Navy must have told him that she was hiding somewhere, since he started calling her name. You really think I'm going to show myself to you? She thought, rolling her eyes.

After about another twenty minutes, she heard footsteps running up the stairs, and fast. She heard Shadow open the door that led into the small room. She held her breath as she heard him slowly enter the room, she could tell he was listening for her because of how quiet he was being. The dust began to tickle her nose again, and her eyes began to water. Please don't. She silently pleaded.

Then she let out a loud sneeze, she accidentally smacked her head against the top of the chest from the momentum of the sneeze. A few seconds later, the chest opened, revealing Shadow kneeling next to the large chest. He smirked mischievously when he saw her. "So, you decided to hide from me." He said. "I told you to behave, and you disobeyed me. Now I'm afraid I'll have to punish you."

Buddar glared up at him. "I doubt that there is any punishment worse than having to live with you." She snarled.

A look of hurt passed through Shadow's glowing red eyes, but it quickly faded back into a glint of mischief. "Come on," He said. "Why don't you get out of that chest? That must be extremely uncomfortable."

Buddar hesitated, then stood up, her back was still stiff, and she had a bit of trouble moving when she stepped out of the now empty chest. "Here," Shadow said, reaching for her hand. "Let me help you."

She smacked his hand away. "I can function on my own, thank you very much." She growled. She took a step forward and stumbled a bit. Shadow sighed and swept Buddar off her feet, making her help in surprise.

"Put me down!" She protested.

Shadow glanced down at her, his glowing red eyes had a slight glint of concern in them. "Buddar, you can't walk down the stairs in the condition you're in." He said as he walked out of the room and down the stairs. "How long were you even in that chest? Twenty minutes?"

"Almost an hour." She said, his eyes widened at her answer. "Why do you care?"

Shadow smiled warmly at her. "That's for me to know," He said. "And you to find out."

Buddar sighed in annoyance, but didn't ask any further. As soon as they reached the bottom of the stairs, she leaped out of his arms and landed lightly on her feet. "Now, if you'll excuse me," She growled at him. "I'll be in my room, away from you."

She was about to walk into the hall that her room was down, when Shadow gently grabbed her wrist. She turned to look at him, his red eyes were filled with concern. "Don't hide from me," He said. "I was worried."

Buddar stared into his eyes, looking for some sign that he was lying. But the concern in his eyes was genuine. She slid her hand out of his grip. "I can't make any promises." She said, then she turned and walked down the hall. She entered her room, and shut the door behind her.

She leaned against the door, confusion swirling around in her head. Why is Shadow concerned about me? She wondered. I know how to take care of myself, and he knows it!

Then another thought struck her. What if he's hiding something, and he doesn't want me to find it? She wondered. That could be what he was really worried about.

She rubbed her chin thoughtfully. But what could it possibly be? She wondered.

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