Chapter 41:

Cannibalism (8)

Don't Die, Will

Couple of hours ago:

“But we don’t know when they’ll decide to…kill Olivia! We don’t even know if she is alive or not. All we can do is play guesses and that’s it!”

“Nothing we can do about it.”

Emma sighed.

“Although,” Nolan continued, “There is something we could do.”

“Hm?” she looked at him.

“But it’s a bit risky. If things don’t go according to the plan, everything will fall apart.”

“Just spit it out already.”

“You have to get caught.”

Emma was confused, “What?”

“You need to get yourself caught,” he elaborated, “If Olivia is in the house. She is most likely to be in a secured place. You have to find her and make a scene.”

Emma didn’t understand what he meant exactly but she continued to listen.

“After you get caught, they'll definitely interrogate you, ask you how you got there, who else knows about it and so on. You will tell them that you are working alone and you figured all these out by yourself.”

“Um hm.”

“Now comes the important part,” he said, “You’ll have to make them believe that they are in danger.”

“How exactly?”

“However you can,” he replied, “After you disappear, the others will start suspecting.. And they are smart enough to know that. You have to make use of that advantage.”

“What exactly am I doing here?”

“Our intention is to make them apprehend us,” he replied, “And you have to ensure it.”


“If they think they’ll be in trouble, the best and safest option for them is to capture us all while we are still harmless.”

“That’s too risky! What if they decide to kill some of us or so?”

“If Olivia is alive, I’m pretty sure they’ll keep us alive too,” he replied, “We are food to them. And they’d try their best not to waste any. If they don’t see us as a threat, there is no point in executing.”

“You’re not wrong. But it’s still really dangerous.”

“Dangerous but effective.”

“But we still don’t know the exact location of Olivia,” Emma pointed out, “Without that, we can’t progress.”

“If you were one of the siblings, where would you plan to hide her?”

“Hm, let me think.”

“In the house, I mean.”

After some thought, she said, “If it’s in the house, I’d definitely want her to be in a place where no one is expecting her to be in. That’s the safest option.”

“Exactly,” Nolan complimented, “Safest and a brilliant idea it would be.”

“Oh, I actually got that right?”

“So where could this ‘safest place’ be?” he asked.

“Are you asking me or just wanna know my thoughts?”

“Your idea.”

“Hm, a place where no one goes or thinks about going,” she thought.

“The upstairs.”

“Right!” she exclaimed, “Keren and her family live upstairs.”

“She must be in one of their rooms,” he added, “More likely to be in their father’s room.”

“How come?”

“If Ryan is actually looking after his father and Olivia. Considering the safest place, it should be it.”

“Hm,” she thought.

“If I were them, I wouldn’t want to draw unnecessary attention by going back and forth between the rooms.”

“I see.”

“They want us to think it as if he’s entering the room to take care of his father. But in reality, he is hitting two birds with a stone.”

“Hm, clever.”

“That’s how I would make my enemies think if I were them,” Nolan said, “If they are actually smart, that would be the way.”

“So,” she asked, “When are we doing this?”


“Oh, boy.”

“You have to persuade them to capture us,” he said, “By tonight.”

“By tonight?” she asked, “I don’t know if it’s possible or not.”

“It’s a requirement for the next step of the plan,” he said, “I wouldn’t be setting a time otherwise.”

“What are you planning to do?”

The last time they did it, it was at night with complete darkness all around, harder for them to get seen. Doing the crime at daylight was a foolish move. But it was necessary. Though Nolan made sure that no one was around. But he kept checking the sides every now and then.

“It’s taking longer than last time,” Marco said, “Hold on a bit.”


“I’m trying,” Marco opened the lock, “There!”


Nolan stood on the stairs. He looked at Marco, “Lock the doors.”


“Do it.”


“Just do as I say.”

Marco sighed, “I don’t know why you’re doing this. You better tell me everything when it’s over.”

“You’ll see for yourself, very soon.”

Marco didn’t fully understand the meaning behind his words.

“And one more thing,” Nolan added, “If anyone asks for my whereabouts, just tell them that I’ve gone hunting.”


“Do not mention any further details.”

He nodded and closed the doors. Nolan heard him locking the door from inside. After making sure that the doors were locked, Nolan climbed down the stairs. It was completely dark as the doors were closed, no sunlight could come in. But the eagle’s eyes were used to it.

Emma must’ve already found Olivia by now, he thought, if things went according to the plan.

He looked around to hide himself for the time being. He recalled his memories with Emma from earlier,

“How are you so sure about that?” Emma asked him at that time when he explained the rest of the plan, “What if they don’t toss us in the basement? Then what? All these will be for nothing then.”

“Sure,” he replied at that time, “But they will. You can trust me on that.”

“Might as well explain, huh.”

“It’s pretty logical if you think,” he explained then, “Even after nabbing everyone, I’ll be missing from the list. As Marco would feed them the false information of me being in the woods and unaware of the situation, their first priority would be to seize me. Now while they are at it, they wouldn’t leave so many people tied up out in the open, would they?”

Emma shook her head.

“The basement,” Nolan said.

“Hm, It’d be a normal thing to do. I would do the same actually. But still,” she said, “What if they don’t? Anything can happen.”

“It’s a gamble,” he responded.

“This whole plan is a gamble, Nolan. From the start to the end. As a matter of fact, we don’t even know if Olivia’s alive or not.”

Nolan sighed and looked at the sky, no sign of snowing. Seeing him, she also did the same.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“It is,” she agreed, “Huh.”


“I am exhausted, Nolan,” she expressed, “No matter where we go, trouble follows us. I can't remember the last time I had a peaceful night's sleep without any worries on my mind.”

"My father used to say, 'In every problem lies a hidden lesson, waiting for those eager to learn,'" he recreated the words.

“Wise words.”

“I never really understood what he actually meant. I was too young to understand,” he mumbled, "Now I've reached an age where I've grown. But he isn’t around anymore.”

“Oh, Nolan.”

“Sorry about that. I must’ve gone carried away.”

“No, it’s fine. It’s just, you never really talk about this kind of stuff.”

Nolan laughed awkwardly. She caught off guard with that laugh. It was natural, Nolan never really smiled or so. It was a rare moment. Emma smiled back.

“Remember back in Rust,” Nolan continued, “I accused you for being the culprit.”

“Um hm.”

”I’ve never properly apologized to you for that,” he said, “I am sorry.”

“Apology accepted,” she smiled, “Though you didn’t do anything wrong. Moreover, you taught us a lesson.”

“I am not here to teach anything, Emma. I am just doing what needs to be done.”

“Yeah, I know,” she looked at him, “Thanks for existing.”

Nolan smiled but it melted away quickly, which was intentional.

“Hey, wanna hear a joke?”

“A joke?” he asked.


“Go ahead.”

Emma cleared her throat, “Knock-knock.”

“You’re already smiling.”

“C’mon, answer!”

“Ahh, who’s there?”

“Interrupting cow.”

“Interrupting cow wh-”

“Moo!” she burst into laughter.

“I don’t get it.”

“Your face!” she kept laughing, “You should look at your face!”

He sighed.

“Now tell me one.”

“I don’t know any.”

“C’mon, everyone knows a few.”

“Ahh,” he thought, “Here’s one.”

“Hm hm.”

“I am a calendar and I am scared of myself. Ask me why?”


“Because my days are numbered.”

They stared at each other for a few seconds.

“That’s such a dad joke.”

“No, it isn’t.”

Emma whipped her tears, “Ah, I haven’t laughed like this in a long time.”



“It’s time,” he said.


“You said it’s all a gamble, didn’t you?”

“Ah huh.”

“This is a gamble.”


“If you aim to create an impact, risk loses its significance," he said.

Nolan returned to reality. He was lost in his thoughts. He looked around.

I must’ve gotten distracted, He shook his head, That’s not like me.

He still needed to find a spot for hiding, to carry out the plan. The place was filled with leftovers, covered with clothes and blankets. He explored the place and found a spot to hide himself.

He addressed 'waiting' as his companion, remarking, "Back to this, my old friend, once again."

“If you’d excuse me, I have some other business to take care of. Your friend Nolan isn’t around. I’ve to make sure he joins you people. I’ll be back soon,” Nolan heard Owen saying. He couldn’t see anything though, as the blanket covered him. He heard Owen leaving the basement. But he remained hidden for a few moments, just to be safe.

He isn’t coming back, he thought.

He heard someone moving their chair, forcefully. He slightly moved the blanket to see. David was trying his hardest to get to the table, to the candle on it. But he eventually lost his balance and fell with the chair. Just then, he saw Nolan. Nolan moved the blanket away and got out of the narrow spot.

“Never doing this again,” he stretched his body. It was all cramped, “Now, let’s get you up again.”

He picked up David. He was shocked to see Nolan as expected, everyone was. They all started to mumble.

“Shh,” he warned, “Don’t make any noise.”

He looked at David, “Listen to me very carefully. I am going to loosen your ties. Strike him at the opportune moment. Do you understand?”

David nodded. After getting done with him, he approached Arthur and did the same to him. He was having doubts when he loosened up Arthur ties. Arthur was a short tempered person. Waiting for the right time and attacking wasn’t a suitable job for him. He’d most likely jump on Owen as soon as he saw him. But Nolan needed manpower and Arthur had enough of it.

Just when Nolan loosened Arthur’s ties, he heard footsteps approaching from outside the door.

Already here?

Nolan went back to his spot and covered himself quickly. He was a bit worried about Arthur.

Owen entered the basement just right then, “I changed my mind.”

He pulled off the tape from David’s mouth, “I couldn’t help myself but tell you the reason behind all these.”

David smirked, “You’ve become awfully talkative suddenly, haven't you kid?”

This is my true self,” he said, “I was merely putting on an act all these time.”

“Too bad, I liked you more before.”

Owen started laughing out of nowhere, “Is that supposed to hurt my feelings?”


Arthur mumbled aggressively.

Stay calm, Arthur, Nolan thought to himself. He was seeing the matter by slightly moving the blanket from his eyes.

“This is an annoying one,” Owen directed it at Arthur.

Arthur looked furious. David looked at him.

“So, what’s the reason?” he asked to bring Owen’s attention to him, “Why are you doing this?”

“Hm, let’s see,” he began his story, “It started when…”

“Careful with that thing,” Henry warned his son, Ryan.

“You don’t need to worry, father,” Ryan held Emma’s gun.

“Among the three of you, I am most worried about you, son.”

Hearing that, he put the gun back in his pocket.

“One wasn’t enough, now they brought another one!” Henry shouted. He directed it to Emma, who was also tied up alongside Olivia.

Ryan looked at Olivia. He hesitated as soon as their eyes met.

“A-ah, I am sorry,” he apologized, “I’ve caused you a lot of trouble.”

Olivia shook her head slightly. He was the least troublemaker and she knew that. After an extended period in his company, she came to the realization that he wasn’t inherently a negative person as she had presumed, unlike his other siblings.

Olivia mumbled something.

You’re kind, she meant to say.

“Sorry, I don’t have the permission to take off the tape,” he added, “So I don’t know what’ve you been trying to say all this time.”

“Oh, dear,” Henry sighed.

“What is it, father?”

“When you apologize to a lady, you better make sure you actually listen to what she says. None of that nodding or shaking head business, got it?”

“But Keren to-”

“Oh, rubbish!” Henry scolded, “Your stupid sister says a lot of things. This is more important.”

Ryan hesitated.

“Stand up for yourself and do what you want to do, son,” he coughed.

He switched some looks between his father and Olivia. He took a moment to decide.

Approaching Olivia, he pulled off the tape from her mouth slightly, “Please, don’t scream?”

She nodded. He was really careful peeling that tape off her mouth, and didn't want her getting hurt.

Olivia let out a deep breath, “Thanks, it was suffocating.”

“I just made that up,” Henry started laughing, “Honestly, I just wanted to hear some new voices, all this constant yapping from you siblings. I’m worn out.”

Seeing Olivia, Emma started mumbling. She wanted her tape off too.

“Take off hers too,” Ryan’s father noticed.

Ryan hesitated again. But he did nonetheless.

“Phew,” she said, “That was uncomfortable.”

“You stupid girl!” Olivia exclaimed towards her instantly, “Why did you have to provoke her like that?”


“Now everyone will be in danger.”

Emma wanted to explain the matter to her. But Ryan and Henry in front, she kept quiet.

“My bad,” she couldn't help but laugh awkwardly.

“A-ah, Olivia,” Ryan hesitatingly said, “I shouldn’t say this to you but, your friends are already in trouble.”

“What do you mean?”

“They’ll have been captured last night,” he said, “We have them tied up in the basement.”

As Nolan intended it to be, Emma thought to herself, all according to the plan.

“Ryan, you need to untie me,” she requested, “My friends, they’re in danger.”

“I can’t do that, Olivia,” he refused, “Besides, what can you do all by yourself?”

“But still, I have to try.”

“You’ll get yourself killed.”

“I’ll die anyway if things go like this!”


You’ll just get in the way, Emma thought. She said, “That’s dangerous.”

“Just to let you know, kids,” Henry said, “I am against this too. Don’t hate the old man.”

“You’re not happy with it either, I know,” Olivia said to Ryan, “Are you?”

Ryan’s expression said a lot but he kept silent.

“I’m sorry,” he said at last.

“You disgusting son of a bitch,” David mumbled after hearing the story. Everyone was as shocked as him.

Hold on a bit more, Arthur, Nolan thought, not yet.

But Arthur was about to burst. It was impressive how he could hold onto himself for such a long time.

“How does it feel, huh?” David asked, “To eat your own kind?”

“We’re used to it,” he replied, “Sure, it was a bit scary at first. But you'll be amazed to know how swiftly humans can adjust to new things."

“You’re fucking sick.”

“Well, I don’t remember asking for your opinion,” he said, “So you should better shut the hell up.”


“Now, since my job here is done, I’ll go and look for your friend,” he said, “It’s so late. Where is that motherfucker?”

Owen started walking away. While passing by Arthur, he gave him a glare.

“What’re you looking at, you fuck?” Owen asked, “Have your parents taught you noth-”

Before he could get out the last words of his sentence, he caught sight of Arthur springing towards him. Owen got caught off guard. Arthur exerted immense force, thrusting Owen backward, sending them crashing onto the table, shattering it upon impact. His mighty hands grabbed Owen by his throat, choking him to death. Owen was still trying to wrap his head around the matter. It happened so fast that he didn’t have the time to react. Arthur’s fingers were gripping onto his throat, making it impossible for him to breathe.

“Don’t kill him!” David shouted while untying himself.

Owen grabbed Arthur’s hands and began to apply force. In seconds, the table turned. Unexpectedly, Arthur's strength waned. Owen forcefully moved Arthur’s hands from his throat and pushed him away. Just then, David pushed and tried taking him down. He landed some heavy blows on his stomach. But Owen remained still. His one strike on the face was enough for David to lose his balance.

“How the fuck did you bastards get loose?!” he screamed, “Keren!”

Shit. This wasn’t meant to happen, Nolan thought about coming out. But he knew he didn’t stand a chance against him.

“Keren! Kill those tw-” Owen couldn’t finish his sentence as Arthur shoved his arm on Owen’s mouth, preventing him from shouting.

David pulled off the ropes from the chair he was tied up with. He started tying Owen up. It wasn’t easy as he was throwing his limbs around. He was surprisingly strong. Owen bit Arthur’s arm with all his strength.

“God dammit!” Arthur groaned. He landed some punches straight to Owen’s face.

David taped his mouth. After a few seconds, he was all tied up, unable to move. But he kept applying force constantly to let himself loose.

Nolan came out of his spot again, “Go and look for Keren. I hope she didn’t hear all the shouting.”

“How did you know all these?” David asked.

“Not now,” Nolan replied, “Olivia and Emma should be upstairs. In one of the rooms, the youngest sibling, Ryan. He should be guarding them.”


“Take out Keren before she realizes anything. She’s probably keeping an eye for my arrival. Don’t give her time to think, take her down,” he said, “After that, go upstairs and find them. Ryan wouldn’t be expecting you. So, he’ll be off guard.”

“What are you gonna do?”

"I’ll untie them.”

David and Arthur looked at each other and nodded.

“Fine,” David said and looked at Arthur, “Let’s go.”

“Let me take care of that bitch.”

“You’re too reckless. You’ll get yourself in trouble, kid.”

“I can handle myself,” Arthur said with confidence.

David sighed, “Fine.” There was no time to argue and he knew that.

They both approached the door. Arthur planned to take down Keren. Meanwhile, David would take Ryan while his guard was down.

David reached out to open the door. But the door opened from the other side. Keren was standing just right outside, equally astonished.


MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon