Part 16: Who is the real villain.
Translated by: Miss Ruby
“Ms. Yuri, are, are you hurt? We should go to the clinic…! No, to the guards!”
Anne-Marie looked really shaken up at the sight of Yuri. Once Yuri suddenly appeared in front of her, she was flustered and unable to do anything.
But when Yuri’s still calm voice rang out in her ears again, Anne-Marie finally regained some of her composure.
“I’m not the one who’s hurt.”
It was only after she heard what Yuri added that Anne-Marie was able to see the situation properly. Yuri’s clothes were indeed covered in blood, but a closer look showed that the stain was coming from something she was holding.
Whatever Yuri was carrying, was wrapped in a white material which was possibly bandages but because of that, Anne-Marie couldn’t figure out exactly what it was. She could only tell it was a small, black animal.
Still, perhaps due to her experience as a doctor, Anne-Marie quickly calmed herself down.
“Is it a bird?”
“It’s a crow. It has a lot of penetrating wounds.”
Of course, it wasn’t a normal crow but since he was in the form of a crow right now, Yuri left out the complicated explanation.
“For now, just come inside. I have to see how it is.”
Anne-Marie said to Yuri while opening the door which she had closed behind her. Then the two of them went into Anne-Marie’s house.
Hestia was sleeping in the bedroom, so Anne-Marie led Yuri to the room which she used as a lounge/study room. Then she pulled out the table, spread out a clean cloth to make space, and as she hurried to wash her hands, she asked Yuri to place Odin there.
When she saw Anne-Marie approaching, Yuri removed the threads from Odin’s body. Blood was still flowing from the injured area, so she didn’t take away all the threads she had used for stopping the blood.
When Anne-Marie saw the threads snaking through the air like a living entity, her eyes nearly popped out of their socket.
The dressings wrapped around the crow were not bandages.
Now that she thought about it, she had seen a glimpse of something that looked like silk thread when Yuri fell from the roof earlier, but it had quickly disappeared.
However, Anne-Marie shut her mouth without saying anything else and checked Odin’s condition. It seemed Odin’s state was very serious even for Anne-Marie because after a while, she lifted her head and her expression was stiff.
“It doesn’t look like a typical wound…but since it’s urgent, I’ll give it emergency first aid for now.”
After saying that, Anne-Marie’s hands began to move without pause.
“I’m not sure how helpful this will be since I’ve not really treated animals officially but…”
“You can do it, Ms. Anne-Marie.”
Anne-Marie’s voice was filled with nervousness when she added that, but Yuri’s reply was firm.
That seemed to give Anne-Marie courage as her eyes grew brighter. And so, the heroine’s struggle to save the unknown crow began.
* * *
Hestia called for Anne-Marie while opening the door slightly, but she soon stepped back quietly.
The door closed with a soft noise. It seemed Anne-Marie was still busy. Because she didn’t seem to notice that Hestia had woken up earlier and looked for her, or even that Hestia had opened the door just now.
The room Anne-Marie was in was filled with the fishy smell of blood and medicine. Hestia couldn’t clearly see what it was but the thing on the table seemed to be a small, black animal. From the looks of things, Anne-Marie was probably treating it…
‘Did she go outside and bring back an injured animal while I was sleeping or something?’
Hestia recalled how Anne-Marie was fiercely concentrating in the room then she walked out to the living room as quietly as she could. She wasn’t sure why but her big sister looked like she was doing something very important. So she didn’t want to disturb her.
Hestia glanced through the kitchen then she prepared something for breakfast/lunch. She was used to watching the house alone when Anne-Marie went to work anyway so she was capable of making some simple meals for herself.
She considered going to ask Anne-Marie if she wanted to eat together but decided it would be better to leave Anne-Marie alone when she was in that state.
‘But she’ll be hungry if she doesn’t eat anything.’
After Hestia was done eating, she placed the sandwiches she made for Anne-Marie on the table, packed some snacks, and left the house.
* * *
“Leo, you came early?”
As usual, Hestia set out to a nearby alley. And as always, her small animal friend was waiting for her there.
Leo, who was yawning on top of an abandoned box in a corner, saw Hestia and his eyes lit up with happiness. To be more precise, the happiness was because he saw the bag of snacks that Hestia brought.
Leo jumped down from the box and ran up to Hestia.
“H-Hestia late. I was waiting.”
“Sorry. I couldn’t leave early because of my sister.”
When Hestia opened the snacks, Leo began to greedily gobble them up like he was waiting for it.
“Hey, I don’t think we can play today.”
As Hestia was proudly watching him eat, she suddenly remembered something and spoke up. At that, Leo lifted his head curiously.
He was curious about why but his mouth was filled with food so he couldn’t talk. But Hestia was quick to notice and explained why first.
“I have some stuff to do. My sister was actually supposed to do it, but she looks busy today…so I’ll do it for her.”
Hearing that, Leo swallowed the snacks and smacked his lips then he asked.
“What, What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to look for the unni next-door.”
Leo listened to Hestia while munching on the cake she brought. But the cake tasted so good today that his mind was half-occupied by it.
“She’s the unni who gave you the candy you ate last time. She hasn’t come home for a few days and we don’t know where she is. So my sister and I are very worried.”
Leo’s tail wagged gently at the deliciousness of the snack. He numbly said ‘I see’ while half-listening to Hestia then he suddenly felt something was strange.
“Next, Next-door unni?”
The snack that was half-way into his mouth fell to the floor. Hestia’s next-door unni…isn’t that Yuri?!
“Your next-door unni…she, she’s missing?”
Hestia nodded pensively.
“Si, Since when?”
“I think today makes it three days.”
For some reason, Leo began to grow restless after that and although Hestia felt it was a little strange, she soon figured out that her animal friend was also worried about the person who gave them candy and her heart grew warm.
“I, I’ll go with you too! Let’s look for her!”
Leo even stopped eating his snacks, jumped to his feet, and shouted.
Hestia gladly welcomed her new partner.
And so, a temporary group was formed to find Hestia’s next door unni, also known as Yuri.
* * *
Meanwhile, at this time, the person whom the two of them had just set out to find, Yuri, was entering Hestia’s house, proving the saying: you can’t see what’s right under your nose.
“Ms. Anne-Marie, I brought everything I could see for now, is this fine?”
Anne-Marie looked speechless for a moment as she watched Yuri enter through the window like it was nothing, then she tried to compose herself and looked through the things Yuri brought.
“Yes, these are okay. I think this will do.”
Anne-Marie’s face looked slightly relieved.
While she was treating the crow, she mentioned she was having difficulty because she didn’t have enough medicine and tools but thankfully, Yuri said she could bring supplies. She had been a little unsure but Yuri really came back with the stuff she needed as fast as possible.
As she was feeling relieved by that, Anne-Marie belatedly realized that the things Yuri brought had the logo of the clinic engraved on them.
“Huh? Ms. Yuri, these are from the clinic, how..”
She looked back at Yuri in wonder and asked. But when she saw Yuri looking back at her with a tilt of her head and saying nothing, Anne-Marie was once again speechless.
“Nevermind…uh, I’ll just finish what I was doing.”
She had more than a few things she wanted to ask Yuri but for now, she decided to focus on the work in front of her.
Where in the world has she been all this time? Why did she suddenly appear with a crow in this state? How did she manage to jump off a roof like nothing, how could she control that strange thread like that? And just how did she bring the things from the clinic so quickly and so easily…
She wanted to ask things like that but figured she could ask that after she was done with the urgent issue. Anne-Marie moved her hand to continue the surgery she had stopped for a bit. Still, she was thankful the crow’s vitality was quite strong because it was holding out much better than she expected.
But right then, a bright light somehow burst out from the crow lying on the table.
And when she saw the scene reflected in her eyes the next moment, Anne-Marie was so surprised that she stepped back.
“This, what is…what in the world…”
In the spot where an almost-dying crow definitely was a second ago, was a random boy lying down.
Anne-Marie looked to Yuri with trembling eyes.
Yuri looked at Odin who had suddenly turned human and held her forehead like she was having a headache.
Right then, a bird flew in from the slightly open window. It spread its wings and flew noisily around the room. Instantly, Yuri noticed the bird was something Siren was controlling.
‘Haa’, a soft sigh leaked from Yuri’s mouth.
A thread swiftly shot from her hand and wrapped around the bird that was flying around crazily then she pulled it to herself.
Anne-Marie’s eyes trembled even more when she saw that. Seeing that, Yuri looked at her and said:
“Ms. Anne-Marie, right now…I’ll explain a bit later so please finish what you were doing.”
Anne-Marie didn’t know what else to do but nod her head in a daze.