Chapter 28:


Curiosity Killed The Cat

You don’t deserve a damn thing from me, Mylise. I wish you would die.

The words echoed in the young girl’s head as she sat hugging her thin knees along the river bank. Her green eyes had tears in them. This was where she often went when she and her father fought. The water from the river was so calming to look at and she could be all alone out here. It felt like she could forget everything, even the hunger from being denied yet another dinner.

Summer vacation had started recently, forcing her to spend a lot of time at home. It was really bad this year. She hated everything in her life, her parents, her teachers, everybody in this whole town. Nobody helps her. It’s everyone that deserves to die, she thought. She gazed at the rushing water that shown white in the moon’s bright light. Sometimes she noticed a bluish tint to the water, but today it was especially strong like it was calling to her.

She would often swim in the river during the day so she thought it would be a good idea to run and jump in. Maybe it would make her feel better, to throw caution to the wind. She stood up and took a few steps back before running towards the water. Just seconds after her jump, she was engulfed in the dark water.

It was terrifying being thrown into that darkness. She couldn’t breathe. It felt like the water was pulling her down deeper into it, unable to go up for air. Her limbs struggled against the current, but she stayed underwater. Her lungs felt like they were on fire. Was she going die? She didn’t want to die, even though it might be for the best, she thought.

She heard a faint voice. It was getting louder, but she still couldn’t understand it. Was it even English? Suddenly, a strong hand gripped hers and pulled her to the surface. She gasped and started coughing immediately. The hand was pulling her out of the water.

“Neflina!” The deep voice called out to her.

She opened her eyes as she tried to catch her breath. The hand that saved her belonged to an unfamiliar man with blue eyes. In fact, the whole area looked unfamiliar. It was day now instead of night. This wasn’t the river bank that she had jumped from. He gripped her shoulders and hugged her. She instinctively pushed back against him and yelled. In the river’s water she saw her reflection and she touched her face. Her eyes were the same shade of blue now. What in the world happened to her?

The man had deep concern on his face. He quickly stood up and gripped her hand. She pulled against his grip as he led her through the forest. She was scared and confused. The forest gave way to a town with people. They were all thin and seemed to speak a strange language like the man. She didn’t know where she was or where she was going.

In a strange house a woman looked her over with worry and spoke to her, but Mylise was unable to answer any of her questions. In the end, she hugged her as well. This is so strange, she thought. This person is acting like a mom. Would that make that man a father? Am I going to have to live here from now on? What would they do if they found out she wasn’t their daughter? Many people looked at her, but they looked at the parents and shook their head. The tension in the air was heavy.

Later the next day, as she lay awake with fear in an unknown bed, she heard a faint voice. It was almost like it was her own subconscious talking to her.

The country of Rydes was a poor country. The government controlled the guns and what food there was to eat. Her new family, though, always happily ate what little they had together every day. They tried their best to help her learn the language and telling others it was just due to shock when she couldn’t understand basic things. The voice also helped her slowly adjust to her new life. If they hadn’t, she might have been killed due to being considered a changeling.

She never thought about going back to her old home as she moved up the ranks of her new country. However, amid growing tension with Weit she volunteered to be a secret agent. She told them about a similar girl named Mylise that she could play the role of. The girl was deceased, but they could change the records with their own inside men. When asked how she knew of that information, she said it was from the voice of the Gods.

Her training was mostly in controlling her emotions. She needed to learn how to confidently react in the right way to get people to trust her. As well as how to act normal while being manipulative. They helped her get a role at the school and a volunteer job at the nearby mental hospital. If she needed to go back to the school discreetly, she could inject a patient with something to make them sleep and sneak out. She did this a few times to get information from the dael room. Since she was given a role as a spy there, she had been accustomed to that room.

The assigned job they gave her as a teacher was always supposed to have been temporary. She needed to keep a low profile since she was there as someone who was supposed to be deceased. It felt nice to be called Mylise again, that she didn't except. Her feelings for Weit softened, despite what the voice told her. She especially liked to mess with her one-eyed male coworker. 

The white room was uncomfortable. A glass jar sat on a table next to the bed. The other men left the room to deal with something they heard. Mylise stayed behind to keep watch. She sat next to Kothur who was laying down. White bandages were over where his right eye used to be. His black coat and tie had been removed, leaving his white long-sleeved shirt that matched his pale skin.

“I’m sorry this happened to you, Kothur.” She said softly to him.

“It’s probably for the best anyway.” He said with a weak smile.

It made her feel incredibly guilty. He knew everything she had put him through and yet he still smiled at her. It made her uncomfortable. Seeing him now made her feel the weight of everything she’s done. Her hands curled into fists in her lap. “When you first started as a teacher, I thought you were making fun of women. That you were trying to prove a woman can’t do anything as well as a man could. I was really upset, but it wasn’t like that at all, was it.”

He stayed quiet as he looked at her. It made her emotions grow more uneasy. “You saw about my parents here. It turns out they died a long time ago. They weren’t very good parents anyway. Nothing about my old life was very good. Because nothing was good, I thought I wouldn’t care about anything here.” She paused and looked down. “But I was sad. About what happened to Soline. About Sibelle. Even my parents.”

She felt tears come to her eyes as she looked at him. “I don’t want to do these kinds of things anymore. I loved my parents and I loved my time here. I wish I could have grown up here. Maybe we could have met differently.”

Kothur sat up and hugged her. It made her gasp. “It’s you. It was you that I was supposed to meet that day. It’s always been you that I love, Mylise.”

“W-what? How can you say that? I haven’t done anything but hurt you. How do you know you love me?”

“It’s my choice. I choose to love you and that means I’ll protect you. You only have to accept it.”