Chapter 17:

A Literal Cat Burglar

Corruptions Are Best Exposed In The Autumn!

The rest of the night was a dream come true.

With one team wearing white pinnies and the other team wearing red, players could easily distinguish the teams. I donned a black and white shirt, befitting that of a referee. From there, it was game on, and I whistled to start the play.

No matter where I was around the 125 by 85-meter field, it was always like watching a real game live, but just closer to the action. The white lines outlining the turf looked as if painted just yesterday, and the thousands of empty seats around the field screamed of prestige. Goosebumps enveloped my body every time I imagined what a packed stadium looked like from a player’s perspective.

“Man, to think the ref gets to see all this up close.”

As the game progressed, the white team managed to carry the ball into the red team’s box, where if a foul was made by the red team, the white team would be awarded a penalty. I dashed closer to the action, hovering my eyes over the ball between the white attacker and red defender.

Launching her feet at the ball, the defender contacted the ball first with her boots, but the attacker dove to the ground, screaming for a foul.

“Hey, that’s a penalty!” She yelled with both her hands in the air at me. Yet from the way I observed the tackle, the whistle stayed glued to my chest; my decision was already made.

“Play on,” I answered. “That was a clean tackle!”

The white team muttered complaints across the field but none protested further than that nor shouted in my face to repeal my decision. The game carried on, and soon, both sides scored, with the white team managing to score twice.

Wow, this is so fun!

Before we knew it, the timer on my phone rang out like an alarm, and I blew the last whistle to end the match.

“That’s game, two-one is the final! White team wins!”

“Woo!” yelled everyone in white, throwing their hands into the air to celebrate. Rin, who was wearing black, gripped her waists and smiled in silence; I guess that was her way of accepting defeat.

“Haha, looks like we still got it, eh Rin?” Rose claimed, patting her back with a smirk across her face. “Better luck next time, hehe.”

Rin wiped her face with her shirt, letting me see her stomach. “Man,” she murmured. “How did we even lose…”

Once players began handshaking each other and walking off the field to the sidelines, I jogged over to the bench near the dugout, and picked up one of the black plastic water bottles.

This is mine, right? I thought, and opened the lid to take a sip.

“Hey, that’s mine!” Rin yelled from the field, but it was too late - the indirect kiss was a done deal.

“Uh, shit, sorry…” I muttered.

“Oh, jeez, you did that on purpose, didn’t you?” she teased.

“N-No no!” I waved my hands in front, denying my intentions. All her teammates laughed, and I couldn’t help but blush and laugh along with them.

“Well, we better get going,” Rose suggested, and the others nodded in unison.

“Ah, okay.” Rin responded with a sulking tone, and her old friends glanced at each other.

“Don’t worry about us, Rin! You and Kai take your time.” Rose giggled with a hand over her lips, staring at Rin and I with eyes of amusement.

“W-What do you mean by that?!” Rin retaliated with a slight blush.

“Hey, by the way, your boyfriend is pretty good at being a referee,” Rose continued while her and everyone else began their way back to the dugout. “And also, quite handsome. He should just ref the rest of your games this season.”

Just as everyone disappeared back inside, Rin turned at me; her arms crossed and her back straight, looking like an impressed boss at work. “H-Hey, where did you learn how to ref?”

Placing my whistle and ball into my bag, I then glanced up at Rin, who packed next to me.

“I watched a lot of soccer games as a kid with my father.”

“I-I see, your father must’ve really liked the sport then.”

I caressed the back of my head with both hands, and grinned. “He didn’t just like the sport, he loved watching Febai’s soccer matches. Coach Meyer was his favorite player.”

“Wow, I didn’t know that…”

“Well I mean, that doesn’t take away any of the accusations on him.”

Rin stayed silent at my response and continued to pack her bag, but I paid no mind; I took out my coat and zipped up my bag, ready to depart. Reminiscing about my old man with her was probably not the best idea because of what happened. Plus, he’s still in prison.

“Hey.” Rin’s voice grew soft, worrying me with her tone.


“Thank you… for doing all of this for me,” she stood next to me, but directed her head at the ground. “It meant the world to me, being able to see everyone’s happy and free faces, running and kicking the ball around like old times.”

My heart jumped several times as my ear caught every single word from her. I’m sure my cheeks weren't exactly pale either, and not just because it was cold outside.

“Hey,” I replied, looking up at the night sky instead, which consisted of scattered stars and the bright, full moon. Not a single cloud hovered over us; every twinkle was so visible that I could easily tell which ones were planets among the dancing dots. I gulped, preparing for my next line: “Don’t you think the moon’s beautiful tonight?”

“Huh?” Rin tilted her head sideways and lifted an eyebrow. “What are you talking about? I’m thanking you here, you know.”

“Ahaha, don’t worry, I’m just running my mouth,” I replied, embarrassed that she didn’t get my reference. “Anyways, no need to thank me. I wanted to do this for-”

Ring ring!

Before I could finish, my phone began ringing louder than my usual alarm, causing me to look down at the screen.

I forgot to turn silent mode on…

“Sorry, mind if I quickly take this? It’s my manager at the café.”

“N-No problem!” Rin smiled.

Tapping the answer button and bringing the phone to my ear, my smile turned into a look of shock almost instantly:

“Hey Kai, this is Lora. I just wanted to make sure that Sesame is doing okay and is in your care?”

Shit! I thought. I completely forgot about that fucking cat!

“N-No problem at all, Lora! You and Julian just go and enjoy your honeymoon!”


I closed the call and threw my phone into my bag, which I then flung onto my back. Spinning around to inspect every inch of the stadium, my eyes darted around but to no avail; the cat was already nowhere in sight.

“Shit!” I yelled, startling Rin.

“W-What’s wrong?!”

“I lost sight of the cat! The managers are going to kill me if they find out I lost Sesame!”

My head was covered in sweat despite the cold air brushing against my skin. The moment I managed to reunite Rin with her old teammates and coach, Sesame left my mind.

“I’ll help you find him!” Rin replied while zipping up her brown coat. “He couldn’t have made it far from here!”

Thanks, I hope you’re right.”

The two of us dashed into the dugout, returning to the spot where I last had my eyes on the cat. The lights within the building were still on, since Mr. Meyer and Rin’s friends didn’t leave that long ago. The white hallways filled the interior like usual, and every photo frame from before was still glued to the walls.

“Wait, what’s that?”

Near the end of the white flooring where the exit was at, brown smudges appeared.

“Hey, aren’t these footprints?”

Rin and I walked closer, inspecting the muddy footprints which dirtied the white tiles. Next to it were a pair of paw prints, barely visible but identifiable. For some reason, both prints were only found near the door, and not anywhere else in the hallway.

“Those paw prints are definitely Sesame’s,” I muttered. “But these other human footprints.”

“Couldn’t these have just been the coach or my friends?” Rin suggested, and perhaps she was right.


“Wait, that can’t be the case,” I stroked my chin, speaking my mind. “Since we didn’t see these prints before when we arrived at this building, and neither Mr. Meyer nor your friends could make these prints at the end of the exit only, without marking any parts of the floor from the beginning.”

“Y-You’re right,” Rin admitted. “But then I wonder who…”

“Anyone you know who wears Chelsea boots?” I asked. “These prints look like the bottom of an expensive brand of Chelsea boots I know of.”

In fact, I recognized them quite well: a pointed front that appeared flat at the bottom without any patterns, along with the striped pattern under the heel. I used to wear those myself during the winter when I lived with my father; they were one of the most expensive brands I could think of.

Rin then covered her mouth, gasping at who came up in her mind: “It… it can’t be…”

“Might be Elias, right?” I deducted.

“But, how did he even know that we’d-”

“I’m not sure if you’re aware, but he’s quite the stalker,” I explained. “He followed my coworker all the way to my apartment door when she came to visit almost two months ago.”

“Y-You mean that Lily girl? The one who he dated behind my back?”


Rin became speechless, but I could tell from her trembling eyes that she was shocked. I took a deep breath and opened the door to the exit, which led to the rest of Febai College. As expected, a trail of footprints etched out from where we stood, stretching out to the main campus without an end in sight. I clenched my fists, cursing under my breath.

“I have to give chase.”

I glanced at Rin, who stared blankly at the footprints. With her straight deadpan face, I couldn’t tell what she was thinking. Tailing her ex to help save my manager’s cat was not on my agenda for tonight, and I’m sure it wasn’t on hers either.

“Hey, you don’t need to come with me if you’re uncomfortable seeing him again or anything,” I suggested, and sighed. “But I still need to go and save that damn cat. I’m not sure why the hell he even stole Sesame in the first place.”

Rin rubbed her eyes, and just when I thought she was about to comply -

“No. I’ll come with you. I’m on your side this time.”

My eyes widened, and my jaw momentarily dropped to the floor. Her look of resolve was all I needed for my own chest to thump like a drum. I thought for sure she still had lingering feelings for Elias, despite how he cheated on her.

“Okay, thanks for all your help.”

I extended a hand to Rin, and she happily accepted. Believe me, I don’t think I’ll ever stop blushing just from holding hands with a pretty girl like her.

The two of us took our first step back outside, where large rain puddles scattered throughout the ground. Only parts of the stone paths under building roofs were left dry. For some reason, Elias’ muddy footprints mostly covered the drier areas of the path, making them easier to find and follow.

Once we arrived closer to the main tower of the campus, Rin pulled my hand, prompting me to stop.

“Wait, why did he go into the tower in the first place?” She asked, and I couldn’t help but notice her worried chestnut eyes glistening under the moonlight. Shaking my head to focus on my mission, another question popped in my mind.

“I’m not sure, but how did he manage to get in? Aren’t most buildings now locked already, this late at night?”

“You may know this, but…” Rin tightened her grip on my wrist. “His family’s incredibly wealthy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he found access to all campus buildings because of his connections.”

I directed my gaze back at the tower, remaining calm. “I see, makes sense. But then how do we…”

Before finishing my next question, my eyes caught sight of the entrance to the tower; the golden double doors were wide open, and light emerged from inside.

“Let’s go?” asked Rin, despite her worried look.


Without letting go of our hands, we proceeded into the entrance, which featured a large spiral stairway that led to the top, outlined by a golden railing. Surrounding the stairs were old dark walls without any decorations. Tilting my head up to observe the top, a few floors with doors to various rooms were found throughout, but I could see the top floor just beyond.

“Holy cow that’s a lot of stairs,” I admitted, taking one step up. My legs were exhausted after having ran around the field to referee the game earlier. Rin, however, jogged up without a problem.

“C’mon!” she hollered, surpassing me by a few floors already. “We’re close to the top!”

You’re close to the top,” I answered, huffing and puffing my way from one stair to the next. Perhaps it was time for a gym membership; while this ached my legs and caused them to burn, Rin treated this like a morning jog. By the time I had caught up to her at the top floor, my hands were grasping my knees, which were a flick away from caving and causing me to collapse. Buckets of sweat filled my insides, making me want to take off all my clothes.

“Kai,” Rin tugged my coat, and brought her other hand to her chest. In front of us was a golden door on the top floor, standing as grand as the entrance from down below. “I-I think he’s in here.”

Rin stuttered in her voice, and I’m sure her heart was thumping as fast as mine. Once I caught my breath, I stood back up, and opened the door.

“Well, you’re finally here!”

As expected, a dark human shadow engulfed the floor to the last room, which featured walls made of old planks of wood and a cone-shaped ceiling. Without a doubt, this was more like an attic rather than an actual floor. Near the one and only open window stood Elias.

“What took you guys so long?” Elias continued. A giant smirk could be seen from his face, and the sharp glare from his menacing black eyes pierced into my soul. In his arms was a small cage which carried Sesame, who visibly struggled. He continued clawing and biting at the iron bars; the cage itself was smaller than his usual cage, so Sesame had barely any room to move around.

“Wait, please let him out of that cage!” I yelled. “Don’t hurt him!”

“Elias!” Rin shouted behind me, although her hand still gripped my coat. “What do you think you’re doing?! You’ve gone insane!”

“Shut the fuck up you bitch,” replied Elias, who then directed his eyes at me. “Kai, I’ll give you back your kitty if you do what I’m about to say.”

This guy… he’s a psychopath! I thought.

“What is it?”

“Let me record a video of you admitting about how you and your father tampered with last year’s matches which cost Rin the title. Renounce your family name! And then, Rin must kiss me on the lips and admit your mistake for leaving me!”


“What kind of request is that?!”