Chapter 47:


Code: Zero Defect

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

The massive clock that hung from the walls was all that could be heard amidst the silence. Each stroke sends forth a click that most would find annoying. However, to one, it was the sound of absolute bliss. And to whose ears does the clock entertain?

In that same room sat a woman at her desk. A window in front of her shined its beautiful rays within, and, since she never bothered to turn on the light switches, was the only source of light.

The woman sat almost completely still in her seat, periodically moving her arms around as she brushed a pencil across a notebook. Along the walls next to the bed frame, a myriad of different drawings hung unevenly like a bulletin board.

Each drawing depicted very different scenes. In one, a little boy was chasing a little girl around a house. In another, that same boy was sitting on the ground as the girl hovered over him with her hands glowing.

The woman tilted her head slightly to admire the drawings. A soft smile dashed across her face, but it dissipated just as quickly. She reached her arms high up for a stretch.

Her eyes turned over to a folded letter that she received just a couple of minutes prior. As much as she felt the need to open it, she already knew the contents.

Suddenly, four knocks in rapid succession came from the door.

"Missus?" a squeaky voice called.

"Come in," the woman replied.

The doors slowly creaked open, not because it was being carefully moved. It was more so that the little girl who peaked her head in couldn't open it any faster than that. She entered the room, but the woman was still concentrating on her drawing.

"Is that you, Nina?" she asked.

"Yup!" the little girl replied before her expression dropped. "Um... Are you... doing okay?"

"Whatever could you mean?"

"W-well... You know..."

The woman paused her hands for a brief moment. Her head tilted to the unending blue sky beyond the window in front of her. She then rested her pencil on the desk and sighed.

"It's... a lot to take in, that's for sure," she chuckled. "If I had known a little bit sooner... maybe I could've done something."

Nina abruptly pushed herself through the door and rushed over to lean her head on the woman's lap.

"You're not alone," she said affectionately.

The woman took her hand and rested it on top of Nina's head with a gentle smile.

"Hehe, thank you, Nina," she giggled. "It means a lot."

For a while, the two sat just like that with the woman slowly caressing Nina's hair. As they listened to the ticking of the clock, the woman couldn't help but shut her eyes and lose herself in nostalgia.

Finally, the hour hand struck twelve, and the sound of footsteps echoed in the hallway outside. It stopped right as it approached the open door.

"My lady," said a man's deep voice.

"I got it," the woman said. "Let's go, Nina."

"Mhm!" Nina hummed.

When Nina lifted herself, the woman stood from her seat. She turned around, allowing the butler to revel in her beauty. Even through the silhouette, he could make out her black hair tied into a ponytail with long strands falling from the side of her face.

Within the darkness, an ominous red glow sprung from her sharp eyes, one donning a hollowed diamond, and the other, a star.

"Shall we?" she asked with a smile.

"Right this way, my lady," the man said as he bowed his head.

Together, the three of them left through the door.

A gust of wind suddenly blew into the room, flipping the pages of the woman's notebook. However, it was not as affected as the letter, which was carried around the room before it flung out of the window.

If that letter was a bird, it would've had such a beautiful view of the grand city below. Not as perfect as 'utopia,' as one would say, but decent enough to where strife and struggle are irrelevant factors of life.

The letter flew and flew, carried by the winds of the world. Eventually, it began to glide back down to the ground to which a pair of hands snatched it right out of the air.

The lucky man unfolded the letter and read it, but tossed it out when he deduced that it was perhaps someone else's business.

"Nelia, my dear. It is time.
- The Angel."