Late at night.
Siella went to bed earlier than usual, feeling uneasy for some reason. She had barely fallen asleep when a loud sound pierced her ears and woke her up. It was the loud and echoing sound of thunder everywhere as if the world was falling apart.
It started raining late in the afternoon and had been pouring all evening and into the night, continuing to soak the ground. Siella slowly pushed herself up and moved to the window. When she looked out the window, she could barely see a thing.
‘It’s raining heavily today, just when Hellen and Lena were both out.’
Hellen and Lena hadn’t returned home yet, but Siella hoped for them not to be forced to go home in this weather. She was worried that something might happen to them if they tried to walk back up the forest in this bad weather. She’d rather they returned after the rain had stopped completely.
Siella stared out the window, her eyes filled with worry. The rain didn’t show any signs of stopping anytime soon.
Rumble! Another clap of thunder. There were flashes of lightning that momentarily lit up the dark sky before that. Siella quietly looked up at the darkened sky again. It was at that moment.
Nina’s low voice drifted from the other side of the door.
“Ah, Nina, wait.”
Siella quickly approached the door. But the moment she put her hand on the doorknob with the intention of opening it, Nina said, “Don’t come out.”
“No matter what noise you heard outside, don’t come out and quietly stay inside.”
What do you… There was a pause, and Siella, who had been frozen in place, managed to speak up.
“What are you talking about all of a sudden, Nina?”
“Listen to me, my Lady.”
“You must never come out.”
Nina’s tone was rigid as she repeated her request. Only then did Siella realize something happened.
“… What’s the matter?”
Siella asked in a shaky voice and turned the doorknob. She pushed the door as hard as she could, but it wouldn’t budge. Nina was holding the doorknob outside, trying hard to stop her from opening.
“Nina, what is happening….”
Siella’s hand on the doorknob started to tremble. Did she feel that? When Nina spoke, her voice was soft and soothing unlike before.
“Don’t worry about anything. You just have to stay quietly inside, my Lady. Don’t turn on the lights and stay quiet as if there’s no one inside.”
“Nina, don’t be like that and open the door so I can….”
“You can’t come out, my Lady.”
Her tone was soft but stern. Nina said it clearly, as if there was no room for negotiation.
“Trust me and wait inside your room.”
“Make sure to lock the door.”
Siella’s hand turning the doorknob lost its strength. Then Nina spoke in her usual mischievous voice, as if teasing her.
“You’re a good girl, my Lady.”
Boom! Rumble! The loud, sky-splitting sound echoed through the silence of the bedroom. Siella bit her bottom lip in frustration and looked out the window. It was the middle of the night, and she couldn’t see anything much in the darkness, given how heavy the rain was. She thought of turning on the light in the room, but then she remembered what Nina said.
As Nina told her, she locked the door behind her and nervously looked outside the window for a few minutes. Flash! There was lightning. At that moment, she saw several shadows blending into the landscape outside. Siella sucked in a sharp breath. Intruders!
Nina had gone outside to deal with the uninvited guests who came in the middle of the night. She didn’t know whether to consider Hellen and Lena’s absence a good or bad thing….
Siella walked up to her bed, with a pale and terrified face, and her hands hurriedly searched under her pillow. She soon felt the hard sheath against her fingertips. Quickly grabbing the dagger, she approached the window again.
Lightning flashed just in time, before loud thunder was heard. Crouching as low as she could, Siella peered out the window. Her heart was racing, and she could barely breathe, worried that something might have happened to Nina.
Flash, flash! Every time the lightning flashed, what was happening outside seemed to be cut off moment by moment, like a stuffed painting. She wished she could see nothing at all.
The moment Nina thrust her sword on her last opponent, having taken down the other three, Siella caught a glimpse of the face of the man who was about to pounce on her from behind.
That man was none other than Kyle. The moment she recognized Kyle, the shallow threads of reason Siella had barely held onto snapped.
“Nina!” Siella shouted as she threw the window open, exposing her face to the heavy rain. “Nina, look out!”
But it was too late. Wiping off Nina’s blood from his sword, Kyle looked up and smirked at her. Siella blankly stared down at Nina’s body slumped down next to Kyle. Kicking Nina’s body to the ground, Kyle called out to her in a deep voice.
Kyle tilted his head with his blade pointing downward, as if he was about to plunge it into Nina’s back at any moment. Without pulling his gaze away from Siella, he spoke.
“Come on down quickly.”
“Or should I go up?”
Kyle looked at Siella a little sharper than she remembered.
“Not bad.” Kyle sat down, squeezing his large body into the tiny chair, and crossing his legs. “It’s a little cramped, but well… alright.” He turned his head and gave the interior a glance. “I might live here as well.”
Siella, who had been staring at the small vial in Kyle’s hand the entire time, suddenly raised her head.
“Don’t say nonsense.”
“Was it? But I meant it.”
Siella clenched her hands in her lap into tight fists. If she was going to save Nina, she needed that antidote Kyle had. Kyle slashed Nina with a poisoned sword so she fell helplessly to the ground, unable to regain consciousness.
[“Calm down, Siella. She had just fallen asleep, though of course, whether this is a short sleep, or an eternal sleep is in your hands.”]
The image of Kyle shaking the bottle of antidote and threatening her flashed through her mind, and the urge to kill him swam in her head again.
Whether he knew it or not, Kyle tilted his head in a disgusting way, “So Siella, how have you been?”
“Living without me.”
“It’s been living like hell, right?”
Siella tried to ignore his words, as if they weren’t worth answering. But she couldn’t hold back the laugh that escaped her mouth. Kyle grinned back at her, as if he even liked that ridiculous laugh.
Siella bit the tender flesh inside her mouth.
“How did you know I was here?”
“I’m different from that guy.” Kyle answered her sharp question like a person stating what’s obvious. “I am sincere with you.”
“And I am desperate.”
It didn’t take long for Siella to realize that the guy Kyle was referring to was Eschert.
“So I looked for you and found you. And I don’t plan on losing you like that fool.”
(T/N: What do you mean it’s like living hell without you? Kyle, the hell inside Eschert’s mansion was better than the hell with you, although they were both hell. [roll eyes])