Leo was playing alone in his hideout as usual.
And today as well, he was jumping around, trying to catch the birds that flew into the ruined building but this time, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t catch a single feather.
Eventually, Leo got annoyed and lay on his stomach, tapping his tail furiously against the floor. Meanwhile, the bird that was playing around with Leo quickly flew to the ceiling. Leo once again felt restless from the boredom and rolled on the floor.
He wanted to go see Yuri, but he was hesitant because of what she said when he saw her at the graveyard last time.
‘Reflect on yourself. If you do this again, I might really get angry next time.’
On top of that, didn’t he sneak out to the festival streets and get caught not too long ago? If Yuri got angry with him, Leo would probably be saddened to death.
Yuri was the only one who was kind to him without despising or ignoring him when they were at the research institute in Carnot. It was also Yuri who stopped the doctor and researchers from disposing of him as a failure, telling them he could be a lookout instead.
Even when he found Yuri’s scent and followed her after escaping from the institute, she accepted him without looking annoyed at all. So he didn’t want to do anything that would make Yuri angry. However, since it was true that sometimes he couldn’t resist the urge and ate people’s liver, he was worried that he might get on Yuri’s bad side at this rate.
Leo was crestfallen and spent some time in reflection.
Tap, tap…roll roll
Right then, a small noise came from the entrance.
Leo’s ears pricked up.
He looked at where the brief sound came from and soon got up. Then he wandered towards it. After a while, a round thing on the floor caught his eye.
Leo’s eyes were filled with curiosity as he looked at it, then he slowly touched it with his paw. The round thing rolled left and right like a ball as Leo fiddled with it. Leo was intrigued by this new toy.
Then when his feet pressed a little harder on it…
The orb suddenly broke and white smoke surged into the air. Leo was instantly buried in the smoke.
And a while later, a sleeping Leo with his tail wrapped around his curled up body appeared from the dissipated smoke.
“Is it really asleep?”
“Yea, I’m pretty sure.”
“Oi, let’s get to work.”
Only then did the people hiding at the entrance reveal themselves. They put Leo in a large cage and wrapped it tightly with a black cloth. Even while this was happening, Leo was smacking his lips in deep sleep.
“F*ck, I can expect a reward, right?”
“Hah. Who knew there was actually another monster like this.”
“Let’s go before those guys beat us to it.”
Like that, they took Leo and left the ruined monastery.
* * *
The place Yuri headed to was the monastery where Leo stayed.
However, she couldn’t see Leo anywhere even though he would usually run out to meet her and greet her fervently. Then, just as she stepped through the entrance, Yuri smelled a faint scent wafting through the air.
Her feet stopped. Her red eyes gleamed coldly as her gaze swept through her surroundings. Then suddenly, she felt a vague presence somewhere.
Immediately, an icy light flashed through her eyes and dozens of sharp threads shot out of her hands.
In the blink of an eye, a cloud of dust rose from the ceiling. After a while, the long, needle-like threads that had pierced the wall drew back to where Yuri was standing. At its end was dense, rounded bars trapping something within.
When some of the threads were removed, a small bird flapping its wings in the cage was reflected in Yuri’s cold red eyes.
It was a seemingly ordinary bird.
However, Yuri used her thread to flip the bird around. And she found a small red dot on the bird’s neck. At the same time, she understood who was sharing perspective with this bird.
It wasn’t Odin.
And there was only one person she knew that could do this other than Odin.
‘Be careful of birds, Ms. Yuri.’
She abruptly remembered what that guy said at the coffeehouse. Was this what he meant?
“Did you do this?”
Yuri asked, looking into the eyes of the bird trapped within her spider webs. Of course, there was no reply but she knew the one who sent the bird here would be listening to what she said.
“Where is Leo?”
Another chilly question followed and the bird flapped its wings twice. Yuri leveled a cold stare at it, then she retrieved the webs that made up its cage.
“Lead the way.”
At Yuri’s order, the bird flew into the sky.
* * *
After work, Anne-Marie went to get groceries in a somewhat depressed mood and now she was heading home. Until a while ago, she was a good mood because today, she was going to have dinner early with Hestia for the first time in a long while…
‘Oh, why am I so stupid.’
She felt guilty when she remembered her slip of tongue with Yuri at the coffeehouse. Anne-Marie knocked herself on the head, wanting reflect on her actions. Honestly, lately there were times when she went blank and her mind wandered away. For some reason, her mind would always go back to the white-masked man she saw on the night of the festival.
Even she didn’t know why she kept thinking of that person.
At first, with his strange white mask, his appearance of being chased by someone and seeing how he destroyed the building with some unknown scary weapon, she thought he was a scary man but…
‘Sorry. I’ll take you to your sister.’
He had a surprisingly kind personality. And when she thought about it, he was gentle when he carried her. Even when he was speaking, she felt like he was being careful, as if not wanting to scare her.
Maybe she kept thinking about that person because the little glimpse she had reminded her of her friend, Yuri. So eventually, she couldn’t hold back and asked Yuri if she had a brother.
But to think she would have no family.
Anne-Marie began to feel gloomy again. Even though it wasn’t obvious on the outside, she had been feeling down due to other things lately and her worries had increased. The ‘other thing’ which was making her feel down, was because she was wondering whether she should continue working at the clinic.
Of course, the job suited her. However, the problem was that it suited her too well.
She was worried because there was many times where she left her young sister alone at home when she was focused at work. Even without that, there was many emergency patients coming in when it was almost time for her to get off work so she unintentionally kept coming back late. Additionally, she felt sorry to Hestia because Hestia ate with her so her eating time was also irregular.
So, she felt it was time to seriously think about her job at the clinic.
Nearly at home, Anne-Marie looked at Yuri’s house with a slightly dispirited gaze. Then she noticed something on the floor in front of Yuri’s house.
‘Who threw this kind of thing in front of Ms. Yuri’s house!’
It was obviously some kind of trash.
Anne-Marie frowned and walked past her house to Yuri’s house. She couldn’t just let someone leave trash in front of Yuri’s house. And just when Anne-Marie stood before Yuri’s door and picked up the trash…
“Are you Ms. Yuri?”
Anne-Marie reflexively turned to the voice calling out from behind.
Her nose and mouth were instantly covered by a towel with an odd smell and she quickly lost consciousness.
The groceries she bought fell to the floor and rolled away.
Some men hurried to encircle Anne-Marie’s unconscious figure. They seemed to want to reduce suspicion as much as possible because they were dressed plainly. In other words, they looked like people who also lived on Ferret Street.
They quickly carried Anne-Marie to the side alley.
“Hey, is this chick really a ‘mutant’? Why don’t I get that feeling?”
“They said she’s extremely pretty. I think she fits the bill, doesn’t she?”
“Besides, didn’t you see her pick up the trash? Is there anyone who picks other people’s trash these days?”
“Well yeah but…”
“Ah, whatever. We don’t have time. Even if she’s not, we’ll still get a reward so let’s just take her.”
The content of the conversation was confusing but even while that was going on, their nimble fingers were moving skillfully.
 She means Snow.