I can sure that we will get into trouble, from the moment we save the girl from a bag.
Why is that she in the bag?
Why she acted as she knows me?
How is the one she knows like?
How should I act to be the one she knows?
What exactly the person do in this place?
What are the ways to live in such a place?
There are too many questions in my head that I can’t ask easily. Unknowing questioning is only a clueless act in this dangerous place.
Before I figure out anything from the place, there already a problem come ahead.
“Are you really Beta?” The girl started to doubt after a while of calm down.
“Why would you ask?” I prepare to fail the plan.
“You possesses a deeper voice than I knew.”
“......I catch a cold and is not fully healed.”
“You seems to be taller than the last time I saw.”
“I wear high-heel boots.”
“Your eyes…...are different.”
“.....Too many things happened that I can’t handle my emotion well, sorry.” Let’s assume she is not saying we have different colors of eyes.
Sorey shut his mouth with worry, after all, he is not good at lying.
The girl stops saying more after that. Whether starting to doubt my identity or trust me, I will prepare for any situations. Plans must be solid, and reactions flexible.
She leads us to a place where seems to be their spot to hide, I take that she believed in me, to the extent that if she still leads the way to their spot or she has another purpose to bring me here.
We pass through the narrow alley with water dripping above, the washed clothes just hang on the pipe ducts line outside the building to dry and block the limited sunlight to the alley. Buildings are very close to each other that almost close enough for a handshake and the electrical cables link the buildings together. Walking up all the stair, she leads us to a metal house on a rooftop of a low-rise building.
She knocked on a door with a specific beat like a signal, the door then opened a slit, I see an eye is watching outside through it.
“...Beta!! Anna! You are safe!”
Again they get the strange name on me, I guess the one called Beta may be like a sister or family member to them. Now at least I know the girl named Anna.
“....Who is the guy?” The boy behind the door pointed to Sorey.
“..A new friend. He helped me a lot.”
“Oh...Ok! Anyway, You have to see this!!” After a while, the boy decided to believe in Sorey too and opened the door. There is only a word to describe the view behind the door: disaster. Broken furniture everywhere and the things in the house are in a chaotic state. I see injured children staying in the room with shivering and covered by the ragged blanket. They powerlessly lean on each other.
“What is going on here? And where is Tom?”
Seems that someone is missing in the room.
“I don’t know, 2 men just suddenly opened our door and beat us down when breaking down the furniture to scare us.”
“Anyone followed you?” I asked.
“....I always remind you to be careful about the surrounding!” Anna stated in frustration.
“The men then pull some dirty water towards us and gave some strange medicines for us to eat while we cannot move. They caught Tom in a bag and brought him somewhere.”
“I remembered their last word: ‘ Seems these kids can sell a fine price, now we get a new supply.’”
“Then they must come back again, I will beat them up,” I said to pretend as I care them if I was their sister, but somehow I feel the anger within me.
“Must be the asshole gang under Mafia.” The girl said with oppressive rage.
“Hey, isn’t it a great heat?!” I exclaimed after I test their body temperature with my own hand, it is hot like they are having a high fever.
“We still have time, so maybe we can look after them first,” Sorey suggested as he wants to help those poor kids.
“......I will take care of the gang and rescue the rest, but at first………..I will take care of you guys.” Those children in poor health reminded me of my sick brother that I can’t leave them alone.
“Sorry to make you worry……” The kid apologized in a weak tone.
“Hey. What are you apologizing for? We’re a family, right?” I responded immediately after I heard the kid says the same sentence as my little brother one said.
We tidy up all the things in the house and throw away the broken furniture. Then I did things like a natural response like I back in the time when I still had my little sick brother here.
I instructed: “Sorey, the water.”
“Water, get it quickly. The kids are having a high fever.”
“Ah! OK! I will get it soon.”
I instruct Sorey to help taking care of those children with cool tower.
"Beta….” One of the sick kids is calling the person.
“Firmly cover the blanket and rest now.”
I make some pillows from our clothes package with some cardboards they stored to let them lie down comfortably and covered the kids with the blankets in their house and the clothes we brought along, it is not good to get a further cold.
“Wait here, I will try getting you guys something to eat,” I said then go to the kitchen to go cook some foods which are easy-to-digest.
“Can I help?” Anna asked.
“I don’t need help in cooking, more efficient to do it alone. You may just look after those kids….And I may need a taste test after a while.”
“OK! Leave it to me!” She gladly accepted, seems that she doesn’t doubt at me anymore.
Velvet looks like a different person when she is taking care of the kids. Back then, she is cooler, like carefree to anything, and she always tries to avoid revealing anything about herself to me even after I know she was a Lord of Calamity. I know she has her kind and gentle side, but now she shows it more than I remembered.
Not like I fully get to know her, but I am sure that she is a clumsy person to show her kindness.
“Here. It is hot, small sips.” Velvet said to the kid in a gentle and soft voice when she feeds the sick children.
“When you finish eating, take medicine properly and sleep well. OK?”
“I place the water and medicine here, is this fine?” I asked when placed the necessary items next to the kid.
“Yeah, thanks.” Surprised me more, she becomes polite.
The children sleep after having the medicine we brought with the congee we just made. Glad that we brought some medicine from the clinic before we start the journey.
“Surprised me. You seem to use to this,” I asked Velvet with a surprised smile after all the kids are asleep.
“My little brother had a weak constitution and was almost sick every day in his life. I had to look after him.” She answered while twisting the tower to dry it and wet it with new cold water. I didn’t see her expression, maybe she just didn’t want to show her weakness.
“I see, you are a good sister. You’ve mentioned him once. I remember...he called Laphicet….. The same name as Maotelus…...” Back then I forgot to ask her about that shocking fact.
“Yes, my little brother died, and I named Maotelus with my brother’s name because they look alike. You can tell that I am a terrible person.” She teased herself.
“.............Sorry to mention it.” I don’t know how to respond when I hear the fact of the origin of the name of the Empyrean in the past. Indeed, it is a terrible act to name one seraph with the same name as a dead person, like that just a substitution of a person. People do foolish and terrible acts when they lose in the maze of emotion. She must experience something like that which I can’t comment on her.
“Laphicet didn’t tell you?”
“No, he didn’t…..But he mentioned that the name means the one who lives, and you told him that he is living.”
“......Yes, when he was a slave of an exorcist and be ordered to kill me with self-destruction. I just accidentally grabbed him away with me. I once treated him as a tool and as a substitution too, but still, he saved me from the despair.”
“He loves you. He said everyone in your team taught him how to live.”
“.....I don’t........” She stopped a while and then make another sentence to respond.
“Good that he learned the great things from a team of bad guys. I will be always grateful to him.”
I stopped the topic after hearing the answer, it seems that she doesn’t want to talk about it.
After a while, we hear some sound outside the door and we assure each other the plan with an eyes contract and a nod. At the moment the door is busted open, we defeat the enemy in a second, too bad they still come with only two people. Although no surprise that they are hellions, they are the weak one and must possess the same weakness as human, that we can handle them in the first moment they didn’t notice. Velvet tied both of them on a chair tightly and waits for them to wake.
“Lead us to the spot you kidnapped the kids, also promise to not target at the kids again. Or I kill you.” Velvet puts the knife on his neck and threatens his life.
I see Velvet also a dangerous person to do such act, but I suppose she is right this time, it is not like they are some people to agree with things with only conversations.
I sorted out the characters in this place from the views I have seen on our way when the 2 guys are leading us to the place.
There are people who timid and trembling in fear, they don’t bother the gang to earn a lesson.
There are people who curl up shivering along the street, they are so poor that they can’t even get proper clothes.
There is people rob for their living, they join the gang and commit the crime.
This is the life in this maze-like building complex which covered by its own large shadow with limited sunlight.
I think of my Titania 3-year life in the bloody pit, the view is, all the same, every day.
The cold stone wall tainted with Daemon’s blood and bare sunlight from the steel caged skylight. The skylight is the only exit and the light source. Rain and snow sometimes blow down the pit, but they don’t wash away a thing but solid my realization to myself-- I am no longer human, I didn’t even feel cold. People who turned into daemon are thrown in the pit and be eaten by a monster who was too hungry and vengeful to care. All I care was to survive and had my revenge on the Shepherd. I even ate kids who were still under 10 years old.
Thus I can totally understand that human will do no mercy under extreme conditions. Like those malicious people that we encountered when we just headed in the tower. However, it is still a lively town with people live with their own will. We still see smile exist in this place. At least the children are not having the worst childhood, they may at least play around freely. The protection to the children is a hidden rule in here, but clear that it is used for some illegal human trafficking as well by some people too.
I may pretty sure that we are in the giant tower complex no mentioned to be the poor-concentrated slums.
It maze-like structure and gang presence made the government be hard to intervene. People are forced to stay here by the gang and by their poor. They call here the Lost Tower.
The groups that have linkage to the outside will be the management team and the dark guild.
We got all the information from those two I am threatening.
They planned to defeat us with the people in their spot once we arrived but we defeated all the people with several minutes as they are too weak when compared to all the hellions Sorey and I fought in the past. We smoothly rescued out the Tom and other kids kidnapped by the gang, then we continue the search for the information about Beta.
The name Beta belongs to a person said to has similar look to me, she is one of the senior administrators in a dark guild called Wild Wolf.
The guild is not just receiving requests but also offer shelter to the lost orphan, I think that also to increase team member and train talent from child period.
“Are you sure you continue to do this?”
Sorey understands my way to get us survived but he still has opinions against it. The only consensus between us is that now is not a good time to reveal my true identity.
“Yes, I can’t turn back now.”
All I can lie to maintain the false identity of Beta is to blur the information given to others and give the accurate answer sometimes.
“At least, it is not hurting someone.”
I feel sorry to Sorey who need to help to keep the lie. I let him ask about the personality of Beta and I got the name list of the team members.
It is better to help them get the true Beta so the guild is willing to help us out of here.
In the midnight time, everyone is out from the guild, I found a female in sexy clothing and carefree expression is gazing at her and I can’t find her in the book, I guess she is a seraph as no one see her existence so she is not recorded in the book. However, I remembered that I have seen her when Sorey and I just watch the towers outside of this place. She was the mysterious seraph who warn us better not to go in, but she also said it will be interesting if we go in.
“Hey, who are you?” I asked, doubted it this woman related to the guild and what is her purpose to talk to us in that time.
“Oh? You still come. One looks like Beta or…...Velvet Crowe.” A female said in a joyful tone, like that she know Beta.
“You know me?”
“You are the student of the disciple of King Claudin Asgard, the student of Artorius Collbrande.”
“Rare that there is one perceive me that way. Sound like you know King Claudin too?”
“Well, I was once the seraph following King Claudin, until he died to protect Artorius. I was curious how Artorius would be after that, then I watched you when you are trained by Artorius.” I can’t say she is lying while I was low in resonance to perceive any Seraphim at that time, but Laphi never mentioned her to me, maybe she hid well.
“You watched Artorius fell in despair and did nothing?!” I felt angry with her act when I heard that she was observing us at that time.
“It is not like I have the responsibility to save the world, I followed Claudin only because he was interesting, but Artorius is a boring person to me, I rather just watch. Besides, I lost my free will after the Scarlet Night, not like I could stop him.”
“.......” I can’t fully accept her answer, but true that she has the right to act as an observer.
“You are the Grandson of Claudin, I am interested in you.” She is the Seraph with the worst personality I have ever seen.
“That’s why you said it would be interesting if we enter this tower complex……..You should know that I am also the Lord of Calamity at that time from others.”
“Surprised me, you still remember. Sure, but your acts in later were also sort of similar Claudin Asgard style. Not wrong to say you are the Grandson of Claudin’s style.”
“I am not a hero, and it is not like I learned any things from Claudin.”
“Artorius taught you the basic skills in the fight and the maxims, then all you have to do is to develop your own fighting style with countless battles, this is the Claudin’s style. One more thing you are similar to Claudin that is some recklessness in your act that always gives a surprise.” She stated in a joyful tone that I wonder if she is trying to tease me.
“Anyway, I just want to get out here. Why will you stay in such a place when you are a Seraph?” I stated my aim here that I don’t want to continue the conversation with her.
There is a silent gap after I asked, but a sound of entry break it, it is Sorey who came back here to converge and present his findings to me. He looks surprised that here are one more people exist at such time in the guild since it should be the time that everyone goes home. I can understand as I was shocked too.
“I see your point. I already said I love to watch interesting thing. This place is far more interesting than outside. In fact, the outside is actually dangerous to seraphim now.” The female seraph answered finally. Like many other Seraphim, she is interested in observing human life, but I hate her for this.
“What do you mean? I sense much lower malevolence outside right now.” Sorey just came back and join the conversation.
“Not in terms of Malevolence, can’t you find that the seraphim number is awfully low in outside even in such low malevolence?” The seraph asked us a question with a gaze to idiots. I hate her gaze but I must admit we still barely know a thing in this age.
“That’s true. You mean someone trap those seraphim?” Sorey answered after a ponder, the significantly decreased amount in seraphim make him concluded there is someone who trapped those seraphim in outside.
“Maybe, that is why I need the information from some people in the guild.” The seraph declared and start being more honest.
“I see. And you also know the person called Beta in this place, right? Have you any idea where the true Beta has gone?” I requested information from the lady.
“I heard she went to the center of the Lost Tower to do something with the Mafia, like she wanted to do something with the growing human trafficking in this place.” The lady answered honestly, seems that she has the joy to observe what I am going to do.
“Great, we will go to find her.” I planned to leave as I think she is not the type of people I can handle well and I hate her.
“Is that fine with your equipment?” The female seraph teased.
“Better than what we got when we first got in.” I show my new equipment obtained from the guild and share some of it to Sorey.
“You steal it from the guild?!” Sorey exclaimed. I am sure he has a bad impression towards me but I don’t care. At very first, he should not view me as a good person. After all, I was a Lord of Calamity, who can tell I have changed along the time? I am still the one who is willing to do anything and use anything to achieve my goal, that’s all.
“Borrowed, just returned them to the guild after we left if you mind it so much,” I stated calmly as I think they are the necessary weapons for as to survive in the Lost Tower.
“Oh, boy, it will be fine, we have pretty much of those supply, just take it, you will need it.” The female seraph claimed.
“If you say so…….Thank you. What’s your name by the way?” Sorey stated his gratitude politely and asked a question I avoided.
“You should report your name first before asking.” She responded.
“Sorry, I am Sorey and she is Velvet. What’s is your name?” Sorey just introduced both of us without a second thought, though the seraph already knew my name.
“My name is Ophelia. Good luck, you two.” The seraph revealed her name and expelled us out of the place in a polite manner.