Chapter 27:

Chapter 24 “deception”

Age of Ember beta

A couple of hours of partying passed, and the party was still going. The eyes of the performers glowed, along with some of the people in the crowd. Their eyes glowed the same mysterious symbol as the performers, yet Odrian’s eyes never lit up. Growing tired, he began rounding everyone to head back to the hotel. He saw the influence in the eyes of the partygoers; it was strange and hivemind-like. Although Odrian found everyone, he couldn’t find Arachnia. Considering she was no longer on the premise he left.
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They had an enjoyable night since they knew it was going to be a grueling week ahead. When they arrived at the front entrance, they were stopped by the elven guard.Bookmark here

“Are you sure you want to leave now?” the elven guard asked, his eyes glowed just like the partygoers. “The best part Is about to start.”Bookmark here

What’s his problem, Odrian wondered.Bookmark here

Growing suspicious of the guard’s behavior, Odrian pushed forward, without uttering a word. Everyone followed closely as the guard smiled on.Bookmark here

“Come back again next weekend.” The guard added.Bookmark here

Odrian didn’t feel that it would be a good idea to turn back. This would be the only time they’d have to unwind. He glanced over at Verona and thought she deserved to experience more.Bookmark here

Maybe, next time, Odrian thought as he turned forward.Bookmark here

Landon walked well ahead of them as they approached the hotel. Landon immediately spotted Diamond off in the distance, he could recognize her figure a mile away. She was with the rest of group A. What business did they have at this time? Landon pulled out his phone and quickly sent a message. Bookmark here

“Hey, give me a minute,” Landon requested as he walked away further away from everyone. Everyone kept their distance as Landon approached Diamond.Bookmark here

The matter seemed urgent. Once the discussion was settled, Landon signaled for them to come closer. Bookmark here

“Hey guys,” Landon looked at everyone. “I'll be gone for a couple of days. Let Ziggy know I'll be back as soon as I can.” Bookmark here

“What’s Group A doing all the way out here?” Sarah questioned.Bookmark here

“We’re tasked with taking out Scornoids,” Diamond responded. “We were told someone here knows where they all are, so we are going to check it out.”Bookmark here

“Scornoids? Victor asked, enthused. He enjoyed hunting more than anyone in the group. “I've never seen those what do they look like?”Bookmark here

Diamond showed the hunt quest on her phone. The picture of the Scornoid looked like a scorpion with bladed crab-like claws.Bookmark here

“Apparently, they’re a highly invasive species and incredibly adaptive,” Diamond added in after showing them the picture. She moved over closer to Landon, pressing herself against him.Bookmark here

“What are you doing?” Landon asked, feeling a bit uncomfortable.Bookmark here

“What does it look like I’m doing?” Diamond whispered playfully into his ears. Their faces were incredibly close. As soon as Landon lowered his guard, her 9 tails sprung from her lower back, brushing against his chin as she moved away.Bookmark here

Landon turned back to look at her. She was grimacing as she took a few steps away.Bookmark here

“That’s a good example of what being invasive is,” Diamond turned toward him with her hands behind her back and slightly leaned forward. “They do have a bit of a voracious hunting style.”Bookmark here

“You mean getting into my personal space?” Landon countered. “Yeah, that’s a fine example right there.”Bookmark here

“Really? You didn’t say anything when it was the ot-”Bookmark here

“Oh, uh… You can stop,” Landon quickly stopped her from finishing her sentence. “I have no problem with you getting close to me.”Bookmark here

“I thought so,” Diamond grinned.Bookmark here

“I like her,” Sarah broke out in laughter. With her infectious laughter, everyone laughed. No one had ever seen Landon in a compromising position before, but Diamond was able to effortlessly.Bookmark here

“Can we go to already?” A member of Group A asked, growing tired of Diamond’s merciless teasing. “We have a job to do.”Bookmark here

“I'll come with ya,” Victor walked up to Landon. “A little back up never hurts.”Bookmark here

In hindsight, the scene was nothing more than acquaintances meeting up. And unlike the others, Victor had a good idea of what Group A was about. They were all part of the group that laughed at Odrian’s failure to get Ren’s attention. Victor wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but he knew he should go with Landon.Bookmark here

“OK,” Odrian was a bit confused as to what was going on. The night was full of surprises so far.Bookmark here

“Have fun,” Sarah said to Landon and Victor with enthusiasm. She, too, was just as confused as everyone else to what was happening. Bookmark here

"No worries, we’ll be back before Odrian’s training starts,” Victor responded, walking away with Landon and Diamond along with her group.Bookmark here

After the separation, Odrian found it suspicious, but he knew Landon was in good hands with Victor. He continued to the hotel with Verona and Sarah. Upon arriving at their respective rooms, they passed out. Ziggy and Sabrina weren’t present either. While Sarah and Verona were asleep, Odrian decided he would wait up a little to see if Arachnia come back.Bookmark here

It’s almost 6. I can’t miss out on any more sleep, Odrian thought. He then heard the door crack open soon after that thought. He leaned his head over the leather couch he was sitting in to see who was coming in.Bookmark here

“Hey,” Arachnia walked through the door, looking straight at Odrian.Bookmark here

“Hey, I guess,” Odrian responded with a mix of concern and condescension.Bookmark here

“Well, someone has a bit of an attitude.”Bookmark here

“I mean, you did just kind of disappeared on us. I was looking for you.”Bookmark here

“Sorry… The drinks got to my head. I needed to walk it off.”Bookmark here

“But you only had two drinks.”Bookmark here

“Right, and is that a problem for you?” Arachnia grew irritated. “Since when do I have to answer to you?”Bookmark here

Odrian was surprised by her response. He thought it may be because of the drinks, but he didn’t want to escalate the situation.Bookmark here

“I was a little worried that something might’ve happened,” Odrian spoke honestly. “I know you're strong, but don’t hesitate to rely on me... Rely on us, we are friends, right?”Bookmark here

Odrian let out a sigh before standing up. Arachnia turned away, hiding her expression.Bookmark here

“Anyways,” He began walking to his room. “I stayed up waiting for you. Now I'm burnt out… I'm going to sleep.”Bookmark here

As he reached for his door handle, he felt something soft pressing against his back. What followed next was a warm embrace around his chest.Bookmark here

“Stay like this for a moment, will you?” Verona’s voice cracked.Bookmark here

“Sure,” Odrian complied. “What’s wrong?”Bookmark here

There was a long pause. Odrian felt wet drops land on his shoulder.Bookmark here

“Sorry,” Arachnia continued. “I don’t know why my eyes feel so heavy. Just don’t turn around.”Bookmark here

“Take your time,” Odrian encouraged with a brief silence that followed. Bookmark here

“Did you really worry about me?”Bookmark here

“Of course, I did. I didn’t know what happened to you.”Bookmark here

There was a brief silence.Bookmark here

“Why are you so nice to me? Why care about me so much? I don’t understand.”Bookmark here

“Because I think you’re cute,” Odrian responded, switching up the mood a little.Bookmark here

“Really?” Arachnia went along.Bookmark here

“I'm joking. Not about the cute part, though. You and Verona were the only girls to ever give me the time of day.”Bookmark here

“Oh, because you lack options?” Arachnia chuckled.Bookmark here

“Hey, don’t insult me. It's my shoulder, your heads on.” Odrian reminded her as they shared a laugh. “I care about you.”Bookmark here

“Well…I think you're cute too,” Arachnia responded as her arms hugged around him. As quick as she hugged him, she quickly withdrew into the other room before he could react.Bookmark here

Odrian heard the door close behind him. Thinking about what happened, he went into his room, removing his shirt. He could still feel the dried tears. He looked down at his abs before jumping into his bed.Bookmark here

“There must be the reason,” Odrian buried his head into bed.Bookmark here

Age of Ember beta

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