His alert eyes silently swept through the surroundings, trying to grasp the situation then once again, his gaze fell on the person standing in front of him.
“Why am I…”
A cracked voice spilled from Lakis’ lips as he instinctively opened his mouth. But he cut off with a low groan, unable to finish his sentence. It looked like it was difficult for him to speak right now because of the injury on his neck.
Lakis lifted his hand and felt the bandages around his neck. Afterwards, he looked down at his body which was similarly wrapped in bandages and his gaze stayed there for a while. Then he looked up again and his blue eyes looked calmer than ever. He seemed to have realized that Yuri had treated him.
Seeing Lakis like this, Yuri opened her mouth.
“I’m not sure if you remember but you were injured and fainted in front of my house two nights ago. So I brought you inside for now and treated you.”
Perhaps if it was the heroine, Anne-Marie, she would kindly explain what the situation was like when she discovered him and the progress of his injury. Then she would stay by his side and tell him to stay in bed until his wounds were all better.
But Yuri did not do that.
“I know you might have some questions, but I have to go to work right now.”
She didn’t feel the need and above all, simply thinking about organizing the words in her head to explain to Lakis made her feel annoyed.
“Quick question before I leave. I’ve roughly treated your injuries but I’m not an expert. Would you like me to call someone from the clinic?”
Still, just in case he decided to complain later that the treatment was terrible, Yuri decided to set this part straight before moving on. Of course, if he was the Lakis Avalon she knew, there’s no way he would tell her to go ahead, even if it was lip service.
“You don’t have to speak, you can just use your head to answer.”
His blue eyes simply stared at Yuri and it was impossible to know what he was thinking. After gazing at her like that for a while, he finally shook his head slightly.
It was just as she’d expected. Since she had confirmed that, Yuri nodded.
“I put the things you might need on the table beside you so you can use them as you please while I’m gone. If you want to sleep some more, you can. If you want to leave, you’re welcome to do that too, that’s fine with me.”
Her last sentence meant he could leave without saying anything while she was away. She didn’t mind. At a glance, it was hard to tell if she was being considerate or negligent or perhaps even cold-blooded. Her shallow voice seemed both dry and gentle. So those who didn’t know her got confused as to whether her tone was sweet or cold.
While Yuri was speaking, Lakis remained as he was, simply looking at her with a gaze that was difficult to read. After she was done, Yuri really left the house, leaving behind the gaze that was following her.
Honestly speaking, it wasn’t common sense to leave someone who was that injured, alone at home, and go out. And of course, Yuri knew that. But for a long time now, she had been a person who didn’t see the reason to follow common sense.
Yuri walked towards Blue Ferret street where the coffeehouse was located. But she didn’t go straight to coffeehouse, instead, she entered a secluded alley. Actually, she didn’t need to leave her house so early, but she hurried this morning because of the man she had stuffed in this alley two days ago. In order to separate the trash, Yuri walked to the garbage dump.
* * *
Garbage collection on Ferret Street was usually done once a week, and that day was none other than today. Thankfully she remembered it or the man she tied up would have been found by someone else. When Yuri arrived at the garbage dump, she pulled her thread and woke up the person buried inside.
“Hi, good morning.”
The man who was bound in coils of white thread seemed to have regained consciousness for a while now and when he heard Yuri’s flat greeting, he squirmed a little. Then again, two days had passed so it was only natural he’d regained consciousness.
“Sorry, I was so busy yesterday that I forgot to come see you.”
Yuri’s voice was soulless as she apologized.
“But you’re the one who’s been following me for a couple of days now, right?”
The man’s eyes seemed to scream that he wanted to say something.
The first time Yuri sensed a shadow following her was a week ago. Even when she was at the coffeehouse, she felt a suspicious gaze from time to time, but she decided not to do anything until the other side made a move first, so she acted like an ordinary clerk. In the first place, there were the occasional lunatics who tried to secretly follow her home from the coffeehouse so she thought that might be the case again.
There were about thirty minutes left before the garbage collector arrived. So Yuri removed the threads blocking the man’s mouth, intending to ask the reason.
“If you have something to say, go ahead.”
But the answer Yuri wanted did not come.
The very next moment, the man blew something at Yuri through his pursed lips. However, Yuri noticed the thing flying at her and casually caught it with her fingers despite her surprise.
Seeing this happen, the man’s eyes opened wide.
She tilted her head to the side and her dark hair gently flowed with her movement. The red eyes on her beautiful, expressionless face alternated between the needle caught in her hand and the man’s face.
“What is this now.”
As she muttered in a bored manner, she moved naturally and stabbed the needle into the man’s neck.
The effect was apparent immediately. It was a paralyzing drug. Quite the little trick, it was.
With her curiosity satisfied, Yuri dully blinked her eyes.
“Well, no normal person would go around with this kind of thing in their mouth.”
Something about this time had been bothering her more than before and now, it would seem the man wasn’t an ordinary stalker. But the man was now completely paralyzed, tongue included, so he couldn’t tell Yuri anything.
Faint blood-thirst briefly flashed in her eyes as her beautiful face soaked up the bright morning sun.
‘…Should I just kill him?’
But if this man was someone who came looking for Arachne, then she needed to find out where the tail came from. Since he had been following her for a week now, he was definitely not chasing after Lakis Avalon.
After coming to a decision, Yuri extended her thread again and bound the man’s entire body. Then she took him out of the garbage dump and this time, she really stuffed him in a covert place where no one would find him.
It was one of the places she had looked at in advance when she first moved here, just in case. Even if you hid a corpse in this place, it wouldn’t be found any time soon.
Expecting the paralysis to be gone by evening, Yuri adjusted her dress and turned away from the place. Somehow, the way to work seemed very long today.
* * *
Shortly after the slender woman disappeared from his view, Lakis heard the sound of the door closing. And so, he was left alone in the almost dreary, quiet house.
He held his breath for a while and listened to noises outside, but the woman’s footsteps really drew farther from the door.
‘…Did she really just leave like that? The owner of the house just leaves a man she’s never seen before alone in her house…?’
He tried to understand the situation he was in for a while. But no matter how much he thought about it, the reality he was in right now, wasn’t very realistic.
He turned his attention to the assortment of things that were on the table beside him. It had various medical supplies, hot towels, water for quenching thirst and bread for simply filling the stomach.
Of course, it was impossible for a patient like Lakis to eat something like bread.
His expression turned strange as he remembered the woman who said she had to go to work and left the house without any hesitation.
‘How did I wake up in a place like this?’
Lakis pulled his still chaotic mind together and began to calmly rewind through the process that led to the current situation.
Right then, a voice rang out in his head, seemingly echoing in his mind. The moment he heard it, reality which seemed to be floating in the air, immediately gained gravity and descended to the floor.
—Are you alive?
Lakis’ blue eyes narrowed.
It was a voice he was hearing again after going through life and death but rather than feeling glad, he felt far more tired of it.
Lakis gave a rather unfeeling answer as usual.
‘My ears are sore. If you want to bark, do it later.’
It was difficult for him to talk because of the injury on his neck but since he could speak inwardly to the target he was talking to, it wasn’t an issue.
Loud swearing rang out in Lakis’ head for a while in response to his heartless words.
—Is that something you should say to someone who’s worried?!
Perhaps they had really been constantly worried while he was unconscious, for their voice was glaringly louder than usual.
* If you’re wondering where the story of Yuri shoving the man in the garbage dump is, that’s chapter 7.
* I don’t know if the voice has a gender or not, so it’s going to be ‘it’ or ‘they’