“Do you want to say it’s none of my business again?”
Kalian gnashed his teeth harshly. The look in his eyes was just as chilly as Lakis’.
Kalian was remembering how Lakis looked when he was taking Yuri from the shopping mall that day.
‘Step aside; don’t block the way.’
‘I’ll take her somewhere safe myself.’
‘You’re the Hero of the East, go take care of the other injured inside.’
The scene from that day was strangely engraved in Kalian’s mind. The same could be said of the man’s face which he saw that day. So there was no way he could mistake the fact that this man was the same person.
It wasn’t that long ago when the man was talking big and now…
When he recalled how Yuri looked earlier, somehow Kalian felt his blood boiling a little. Maybe it was because of his guilt.
When he learnt of Genos’ prediction that she might get hurt, he tried to not get involved, and earlier, he ended up having to leave her and escape the building.
“I don’t know what relationship you have with Ms. Yuri but to bring her to a place like this and lock her up. Do you not even realize it’s a crime?”
Kalian’s voice echoed at an even louder pitch.
And at that very moment, an intense amount of bloodlust, incomparable to before, began to leak from Lakis’ body.
—Hk, Lakis! So I was right? That woman was here? No wonder it felt familiar. Her ability must be why the entire building looks like this!
The bug in his head rambled while studying Lakis’ mood.
“…Did you say Ms. Yuri was locked up here?”
Finally, Lakis’ lips parted slightly and a voice dripping with frost leaked through.
Hearing that, Kalian’s eyes sharpened.
“Are you trying to play stupid now? Why are you acting like you don’t know?”(1)
Kalian clenched his fist tighter as trembling in his hand grew more severe.
On the outside, he was talking to Lakis like he was relaxed but actually, Kalian’s body was in such a bad state that just standing on his feet was difficult. And his symptoms were worsening as time passed.
However, Kalian continued to talk to Lakis to drag out time. As he did so, his men approached Lakis’ side without making a sound.
But the next moment.
While Kalian wasn’t paying attention, a black shadow drew close to him in a flash.
Kalian was thrown to the ground by a force much more powerful than before. Shattered debris flew up in the air as he crashed and coughed up blood.
His horrified men ran towards him.
However, the red blood had begun running amok again and it fiercely raged through the air as if it would rip through anyone that approached. So no one was able to able to get closer to the both of them.
While Kalian was defenseless, a strong hand reached out and covered his face. The cold eyes shining through the gaps of the fingers pierced through Kalian.
“Give me everything you heard and saw.”
“What do you…!”
Even though Kalian was shaken up, he tried to swing the sword in his hand, but he wasn’t able to. He felt as if a ruthless hand was turning his head into a mess.
His vision was blurry, and his stomach churned as if he was going to throw up any moment now.
“Lord Crawford! Are you okay?”
“Get something to stop the bleeding! And transfer…!”
By the time Kalian came to his senses a while later, the man who attacked him had already disappeared. His men who ran over to him hurriedly checked Kalian’s condition.
Kalian swallowed the reflux of blood in his throat and tried to get up.
“I have to go after him…”
But his men quickly held him back and yelled.
“Lord Crawford, finding the heretic might be important but you cannot chase him any further! You are seriously injured, you have to get treated first!”
“The reinforcements we asked for just arrived, so we sent a pursuing team for now. We also instructed them to look for the hostage you mentioned so please just look after yourself.”
As they said, his condition was so bad that he couldn’t even manage to get up on his own so in the end, Kalian had no choice but to give up on pursuing himself.
He couldn’t capture the heretic and in the end, he couldn’t save Yuri either.
As he remembered that, Kalian clenched his fist so tight, it seemed like he would crush it.
* * *
Lakis cut through the wind as he ran. The scenes he saw through Kalian Crawford a while ago kept running through his mind.
Lakis clenched his teeth so tightly, you could hear them grind. He couldn’t sense Yuri’s energy in the vicinity. Even in the building, he could only feel remnants of Yuri’s power but he couldn’t feel her energy anywhere.
So it was possible that Milliam had taken Yuri.
If the bastard kidnapped Yuri because he knew something, he would never let him die an easy death.
Since Milliam fought Kalian Crawford just a few hours ago and even got injured, Lakis was sure the fake bastard wouldn’t have gone very far.
—Lakis, there! Go right!
The bug was more sensitive to the power of the ruins and it seemed to sense something, so it led him that way. And after some time, Lakis finally found it.
The traitorous bastard who dared to covet something of his.
A sharp and murderous light flashed through Lakis’ eyes.
* * *
As soon as she saw Yuri, Siren ran in with tears rushing out of her eyes.
“Where did you go without telling me? Do you know much I was looking for you?”
The feathers fluttering in the air tickled Yuri’s nose. Siren was hugging her so tight that she almost couldn’t breathe but she just kept her mouth shut.
Siren was seeing her in person for the first time after the bird stormed into the room where Anne-Marie was treating Odin. But Yuri could fully understand why Siren’s reaction was so intense.
At first, she told the Siren-controlled bird that she would explain the situation later so Siren should relax and go back for now, but she was actually surprised by the fact that Siren actually listened and stayed still.
“I searched all over and just when I thought I finally found you, the crow is half-dead, and you’re covered in blood. Do you know how surprised I was!”
As soon as Yuri came to see her, Siren’s words poured out fast like she had been holding it in.
“But all you do is tell me to wait!”
The main subject was how worried she was about Yuri and how anxious she was looking for Yuri. Since it was Siren, it wasn’t exactly surprising but you couldn’t find a hint of worry about Odin.
“But where in the world did the crow get so beaten up? Don’t tell me you went to save him?”
Siren asked, looking at Yuri with a face full of complaints.
Last time, Yuri saved Siren when she was caught by illegal slave traders, so she seemed to have misunderstood and thought that Yuri went to save Odin who was in hot water somewhere.
However, it was actually the opposite this time.
“No. Odin got like that because of me. He was helping me and got hurt.”
When she saw Yuri shaking her head, Siren frowned.
“He got hurt because of you? What exactly happened? Ah, what about you then? Were you hurt?”
After hearing what Yuri said, Siren suddenly grew worried and began to fuss over Yuri as if she was about to removed Yuri’s clothes to check. So Yuri had to tell Siren over and over that she was fine.
“That aside, nothing happened with you, right?”
Yuri asked Siren first before explaining what had happened to her.
“I know it’s not easy for you to move around because your wings stand out and it’ll be bad if we get a repeat of what happened last time.”
Hearing that, Siren paused.
“I, I don’t think there’s…anything?”
Yuri narrowed her eyes at Siren.
At that, Siren was taken aback and tried to avoid Yuri’s gaze. A second later, she looked straight at Yuri, trying to act like she never did that, and shouted.
“There’s really nothing! Forget me, this is you! Let’s talk about you! What happened to you and the crow?”
Yuri still felt suspicious but with how things were, she decided to just give Siren a brief explanation of the situation for now. Still, she didn’t think it was a good idea to talk about the fake Lakis carelessly, plus she was also reluctant inwardly. So for now, she said she was kidnapped by an unknown assailant.
After calming Siren who was agitated by her story, Yuri went back to Anne-Marie’s house.
“Huh? Yuri unni?!”
Hestia, who had just gotten home, saw Yuri and her eyes went wide.
Yuri greeted Hestia normally like she usually did. Hestia, who had just come back from searching for Yuri with Leo, quickly dropped her glass of milk on the table and ran over.
“Unni, where have you been? My sister and I have been looking all over for you.”
Yuri couldn’t help but pause at those unexpected words. She opened her mouth again, about to tell Hestia something but just then, Anne-Marie flung the door open and came out.
“Ms. Yuri, the patient is awake!”