Chapter 01 – O
My eyes gradually open up, looking at the white ceiling of the room.
A new day has already begun – a new day without the fear of not being able to see my sister again. The caramel haired girl is still lying on the bed, cuddled right next to me. I throw my legs lazily down to the floor and get up from the bed, stretching.
On the other bed next to mine is the blonde archer, snoring without a care in the world. She left her bow leaning on the wall next to her bed before she went to sleep.
On the other hand, a dark haired girl with twin pony tails is sleeping quietly on the couch at the corner of the room. Unlike the archer, this girl’s hands are tightly gripping onto her sheathed daggers. She seems to be extremely alert even while sleeping. But I can hardly blame her for it.
I took a glance at the clock hanging on the wall.
It’s already 10 AM. I never had a chance to wake up this late ever since mom and dad passed away. There is just so much I had to do in one day that I could not waste a single minute. Oversleeping for only an hour could mean having no food for that day.
But this is an exception. The four of us got to this inn around 3 or 4 in the morning. We were so bruised up and tired from our battle. I didn’t even have enough strength to completely heal up everyone properly. As soon as we got into the room, Lauress made her way for the bed and instantly fell asleep. Miki didn’t mind sleeping on the couch, so Orica and I shared the last bed.
Anyway, since I don’t really have to go to work, I guess relaxing and oversleeping for a bit wouldn’t hurt. Now that I am fully rested, I’ll probably patch everyone up the first thing after they wake up.
All of the sudden, while I was off-guard, a plush doll hops up from the floor to my shoulder and cuddles his bouncy cheek against mine.
“Oh hey. You’re awake?” I asked him and lift him down to my arms. The plush doll simply nods and looks at me quietly without speaking a word.
Anty helped us a lot during our last battle. He told me that the Scorpio Angel within me is the strongest Zodiac Angel among the 12. As a result, she placed a limiter on her reincarnated hosts so that her hosts would not be able to abuse her power. The limiter can be removed only when the situation is appropriate – situations such as last night.
It was only because Anty unleashed his true form that we were able to save Orica and get out of there safely.
I finish my morning chore and move to sit at the working desk. The first thing that came to my attention when I sat down is my cell phone. I got it back from Miki, who told me to switch it on and wait for a call from Sophia, since last night. But I haven’t turned it on yet. She did not directly say it, but I know she trusted me that I wouldn’t call Lynus.
On the other hand, Orica also told me to at least consider telling him that I am okay. That way he would know that I am safe and alive. Considering my apartment’s state when I left a couple of days ago, I’m sure he would be so worried sick about me right now.
The two thoughts had been conflicting within my mind since last night and I don’t know what I should do. Since I was so tired, I decide to just leave the cell phone switched off on the table and go to bed, postponing the matter until I wake up the next day. Since everyone is not yet awake, I guess I should think about it right now.
I walk out to the balcony of the room and look at the phone nervously. My cell phone was set to count any missed calls I received while it is turned off. This means that the moment I switch it back on, I am going to see the number of attempts Lynus tried to reach me.
I can’t help but feel anxious about seeing it.
After taking a deep breath and preparing my mind, I finally switch on the cell phone. It took a few seconds for the phone to boot up, and when it does, the number of missed calls expectedly pops up onto the main window. That moment, tears immediately welled up in my eyes as they gazed upon the number of attempts he tried to reach me.
1359 missed calls.
He tried to reach me for more than one thousand attempts in just two days. I don’t even want to start thinking about how worried he must be right now.
What should I do?
Should I call him back?
It’s so easy. All I have to do is just press redial and the line will connect; I would be able to hear his voice again.
…But what should I tell him?
What should I tell him that will make him stop worrying about me?
What should I tell him so that he would not try to look for me?
I don’t know…
I don’t know how to start.
I don’t know what to tell him.
But even then, I just had to call him.
He gave me more than one thousand missed calls.
I have to call him…
Before I know it, my thumb already hits the redial button. It took only a single beep before the call was answered.
The young man’s voice yelled through the cell phone.
“AURIA!!! Auria!!! Is that you!? Please answer me!!!!”
My body drops me down on the bench at the balcony. I was completely speechless. I don’t know what to say. It was like I suddenly forgot how to speak our language. Instead of speaking, all I did was cry incomprehensible gibberish into the cell phone.
“Auria!!!? What’s going on!!!? Where are you!!? What did they do to you!?”
“Was it ransom!? What do they want!? Let me talk to them!!!” the young man yelled.
So he thought I was kidnapped for ransom. He really has no idea how big the situation is on my side. Because of that, the words that Miki has been slapping into my face several times since we met suddenly surface to the top of my mind.
He can’t know.
He can’t know where I am.
He can’t know that I am a Zodiac Angel, being hunted down by the Nebula Corp.
“I’m…all right…I’m sorry…”
And with that, I quickly cut the call and switch off my cell phone, dropping it onto my lap. After that, my hands covered my mouth as I begin crying loudly – so loud I’m sure I’ve never cried this hard before in my entire life. The plush doll hops onto my lap and nudges my arm, as if trying to comfort me. But it didn’t help. My body just won’t stop crying…
It has been only two days.
But I miss him so much…
“You disappointed me.” A familiar voice spoke up from behind me, followed by a long sigh.
“…I…I just had to. I just had to tell him that I’m okay…,” I replied without turning around, trying my best not to sob while speaking, although I’m not doing a very good job.
“Well, at least you did not tell him about our situation, where we are, or where we are heading. He should still be safe,” said the twin pony tailed girl standing behind me.
She’s been eavesdropping?
How long has she been awake?
“For calling him? Don’t apologize to me. He’s your boyfriend. You can do whatever you want to him. I was just trying to stop you from making any stupid choices like me in the past,” she said, “But well, you definitely didn’t do anything too stupid…I had to commend you for that.”
“But it was still stupid though…Just not too stupid,” she continued.
I remain quiet because I don’t know what to say any more. I’m still crying heavily just from thinking about his voice.
“Still though, you shouldn’t turn on your cell phone anymore. Just use mine to call the other angels when we get to the Orion Observatory,” Miki suggested.
“It’s okay…I’ll just block Lynus’s calls,” I said.
Miki paused for a bit, probably surprised at what I said. “You sure about this?”
“Yeah…I understand…our situation,” I replied, “Thanks, Miki.”
“……I seriously don’t get you. I’ve been saying so many harsh realist stuffs to you and made you cry countless times. Yet you are still thanking me,” Miki sighed, “You’re a weirdo.”
“Yeah…Maybe you’re right,” I laughed, “…I just … I just want to thank you…for everything. For saving me. For helping me save my sister. And for stopping me from doing something too stupid.”
The twin pony tailed girl shakes her head and walks back into the room.
Did I make the right choice?
Was it for the best that I did not let him know about my situation?
I guess it doesn’t matter.
He’s safe and I told him that I’m fine.
That was really all I wanted to do…
For those who are still confused about when exactly this takes place, it’s in the morning right after the night where they fought the brainwashed Orica. In this morning, Viola hasn’t fought Rokishi yet (she’s about to go to the Pisces Temple), and Sophia is still running around Arian Village looking for Lin and Len.