For You I Call – Episode 1: Arachnids Part 2 (3)

Okay, here it is, the promised action chapter! I worked so hard for this, I hope you enjoy it!

Previously:

“Do you want to forget your time as a soldier?” Vert never straight out said if she worked in the army as a soldier, but she left enough hints to deduce.

Vert closes her eyes to allow me cleaning her eyelids. “More than that. I want to forget I am a soldier. I can’t stop wondering if my friends are alright.”

Apprehension dawns upon me. I often catch Vert looking towards the nearby base when we can hear the sounds of battle. It must be torturing her conscience—her enjoying an easy life while her friends are betting their lives out there, close by, every day. If I were her I’d want to forget too.

“I’m sorry.”

Vert doesn’t disagree with me like usual. She keeps silent and still as I finish cleaning up her face. Gradually, a calm and peaceful atmosphere settles between us. Vert seems to enjoy the feeling of rags wiped on her face, eyes closed like a cat being groomed, while I find the simple task of cleaning surprisingly soothing. I can’t help but chuckle at the thought. Dad is right. It takes a little to be happy.

But how much longer can we enjoy this peace?


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For You I Call – Episode 1: Arachnids Part 2 (2)

Hi there, sorry this comes out late. I was not satisfied with it so I make massive corrections on it. I’ll try to be on time on the next one. Hope you all enjoy it! 


Previously:

“Are you fine with it?” 

My question seems to catch Vert off guard.

“Me?”

“You seem to love this place. I’ll feel bad if you keep putting my needs over yours.”

Vert smiles wryly. “There’s no need for you to feel bad. I did what I did because I want to. But you’re right; I don’t want to leave before we actually live in here. Let’s see how it goes first. We can consider moving out if it’s not working for us.”

“That’s—“ another booming sound, “—a good idea,” I manage to say, but my eyes twitch and Vert notices it. She smirks. 

“It seems like you need to get used to the sounds first. Don’t worry. It won’t take long,” she assures, patting my back with an abnormal amount of force. I just laugh along and say nothing. 

I really hope we will be fine, living this close to two threats.

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For You I Call – Episode 1: Arachnids Part 2 (1)

Hello, readers! Here is the start of Arachnids arc Part 2 , where things start to get a “little” exciting. You still get to enjoy two chapters of sibling fluff first though. Ufufufu. Enjoy the ride, and stay tuned for it!


Previously:

“Like I said, I’m not returning you.”

“But why? You’ve got nothing to gain from doing this!”

“It doesn’t matter anymore if I gain or lose,“ Vert says, looking straight to my eyes with unshakable determination. “I just… I’ve promised to myself that I won’t let go so easily.”

Then she lowers her eyes and forces the next words out of her gritted teeth.

“Even if it’s an enemy disguised as a reminder.”

Outside, the whistle is blown and the train departs.


“We’re here,” Vert announces as the coach stops in front of a large gate of steel. The bars are pitch black, one story high, and two coaches wide. Beyond it is a lush forest, which content is unknown despite my ability to see clearly in the dark.

“Is this a—” I pause to find the right word, “—park?”

“No. This is my home.”

“Home? But I don’t see any building.” There’s only the high walls, the road, and the forest. We’re so far from the nearest town that it’s amazing to see a road built sturdy enough to let a coach pass.

“Of course you don’t see it. It’s hidden behind these trees. Come on. Let’s get off so Rosalys can return the coach.”

“And let her walk all the way back here?”

“Pffft. Of course not. She got to rent a horse until we got our own.”

I accept the explanation and force myself to get off. It’s actually easier than I thought. I guess after all those close calls and long journey, I am simply too tired to feel scared.

I’m still not convinced there’s a building beyond the trees though. My skepticism only increases as we walk through the lush of greens. The path is unkempt. Mini plants grow between the stone blocks and dead leaves cover most of it. It looks more like the opening of a hiking trail.

Vert sighs when she squishes another mud patch.

“This will be hell to clean up.”

I hum in agreement. Leave it any longer and the path will be reclaimed by the forest. I’m almost afraid to find out the state of the building—if it exists.

“We are halfway there,” Vert announces when we are approaching a sharp turn to the right. “You should be able to see it after this turn.”

And there it is, perfectly visible from the path, a huge white mansion with ebony colored roof. It’s higher than the trees, which is already two stories high, and looks even bigger up close; like four three stories high, ten cars wide building lined up and glued together. The windows are as high as the gate and the main entrance is decorated with white pillars. There’s even a pond with a grand fountain in front of it. I just have to stop and stare.

Oh. Wow.

“Isn’t this a little…”

“Overdone? I agree, but it was on discount. The garden is large too, so why not?”

“You call this—“ I gesture to the whole area, “—a garden? Have you thought about maintenance? Even a mansion a quarter as big as this needs ten people to maintain,” I say, speaking from my experience visiting Azure’s house. I take another look and feel tired just from imagining how much work needed to take care all of this.

“Of course I did. We can just seal the rooms we don’t need. As for the garden, I’ll take care of it. I’m planning to open an herb store.”

“A herb store? But what about your job in the army?”

“I quit weeks ago.”

“And they just allow you?”

“It’s before I kidnap you and I do have a proper reason. My injury prevents me from working in the army.”

“But…” I give Vert a once over. “You look fine.”

“That’s because it’s already healed. But I can’t do anything too strenuous for a long time.”

Considering she can lift me easily and land noiselessly from a three story jump, I wonder what her definition of strenuous is.

“I see. Then gardening should be fine for you.”

“Right. Besides, it’s not like I’m starting from zero. This whole garden is already filled with rare and precious herbs; naturally grown without any involvement from human hands. The soil is already so fertile and this place is close to the Bright Spring—the most nutritious water source in the queendom if you don’t know. The only thing left to do is keeping the weeds and pests from eating too much of the good herbs.”

”That’s good to hear. But if the location is that good, why was it sold cheap?”

“Because it’s too close to the border. Nobody wants to live in a place where you can hear the sounds of battle.”

As if on cue, several booming sounds reach my ears. Like Vert said, they sound close—like someone sounding large drums behind the forest. It’s definitely a worrying sound, but Vert looks unaffected, just like that time with the dragon.

“Are we really going to be fine?” I ask to make sure. The booming sounds continue, each sounds closer than the one before.

“More than fine. No one will expect you and your kidnapper to live so close to the border, where the army’s presence is at its peak. Also, didn’t I mention that the Bright Spring is nearby? That spring is highly protected because it is one of this country’s lifelines. In other words, this is practically the safest place we can stay.”

“But still…”

“If you’re that worried, we can move out,” Vert says, so easily that I doubt it.

“Can we?”

Vert nods. “I can sell this mansion again and use the money to buy another home further from the border.”

I’m glad to hear it, but even if she doesn’t show it, I can sense her reluctance.

“Are you fine with it?”

My question seems to catch Vert off guard.

“Me?”

“You seem to love this place. I’ll feel bad if you keep putting my needs over yours.”

Vert smiles wryly. “There’s no need for you to feel bad. I did what I did because I want to. But you’re right; I don’t want to leave before we actually live in here. Let’s see how it goes first. We can consider moving out if it’s not working for us.”

“That’s—“ another booming sound, “—a good idea,” I manage to say, but my eyes twitch and Vert notices it. She smirks.

“It seems like you need to get used to the sounds first. Don’t worry. It won’t take long,” she assures, patting my back with an abnormal amount of force. I just laugh along and say nothing.

I really hope we will be fine, living this close to two threats.


PS: If it’s hard for you to imagine the mansion, just look at the US Capitol building. It was based on it.

For You I Call – Episode 1: Arachnids Part 1 (8)

Happy New Year! I’m back from holidays! Hope you all had good ones! Here’s the other part for your Monday reading pleasure!


Previously:

“If they’re that concerned, why send the army too? Don’t you have it under control?”

“To keep the creature in line in case it goes berserk of course. Groundsweepers may appear calm, but they’re actually very sensitive. If they accidentally acknowledged a city as an enemy because some idiot provokes it, then, well, it’s hard to change its mind.”

I look at the dragon again. It’s blinking again, so slowly. Yeah. I think it can flatten a city or two before it can be convinced otherwise.

“Long story short, moving a Groundsweeper takes months of planning and calculation. You can’t just plus one when you feel like it. Even if you’re desperate.”

“Perhaps they have no other choice,” I say, trying to make sense of the reason behind. 

“That’s what I’m afraid of. In any case, this works for us. It’ll take around three to four hours to let the dragons pass. The checkpoint will be lax with the growing line.”

“And the patrols?”

“Won’t come. They trust the checkpoint guard to do their job.”


True to her words, we pass the checkpoint without trouble. We are not even stopped; the guards have given up checking when our turn comes. But Vert doesn’t relax until we can’t see the town anymore.

“I’m going to sleep,” Vert announces before laying down and continues sleeping. I too, follow her example when I get bored of the sceneries. When I wake up, Vert is the one driving.

“Oh, you’re awake,” Vert says when they stop in the middle of a road.

“Is there any trouble?” I ask.

“No, I’m just here to wake Rosalys up. We’re close to the town; it’ll be too suspicious if a noblewoman drives her own coach.”

Rosalys wakes and we’re moving again. It doesn’t even take ten minutes to reach the town. The maid drops us at the station before departing again to return the coach.

“Doesn’t she need to go back to the town where we rent it?” I can’t help but ask.

“Of course not. You can return the coach to the nearest postal service.”

Ah, so it’s like a chain service shop. “I see.”

“How about your eyes? Can you still see?”

“It’s getting difficult. Is it morning already?”

“Soon. Hold my hand. We’re going to purchase the tickets and wait for Rosalys.”

Turns out we don’t have to wait. Rosalys is already back when we finish buying the tickets. The train, which I’m lucky enough to see, is already on standby, so we get on right away. The inside is dim lighted, so it’s not very hard to navigate through. But when we enter the compartment, it’s total darkness.

“Hold on, let me fix the light for you,” Vert says after Rosalys excuses herself and heads to her own compartment. She lets go of my hand and work on the room’s lighting. When I can see again, the compartment’s window is closed with a blind, with some light peeking through its edges.

“How is it now?” she asks.

“Better,” I say, taking a seat to show the proof. Vert sits on the opposite side and stares at me intently.

“So, have you thought about what you’re going to do next?” she asks.

“I have, during our ride on the coach. But I still don’t know what to do.”

“There’s probably not much you can do in the first place. Not when the army is looking for you.”

“Why are they looking for me in the first place?”

Vert looks like she’s debating with herself before answering.

“Because I stole you from them.”

“Stole me? You mean to say I’m the army’s property?”

“Not originally. The army took you into custody and I bust you out.”

I suspect it’s not that simple, but I’ll let it slide for a more important question for now.

“Why did they take me? What did I do?” I ask, starting to fear what my lost memories hide from me. What if I did something bad? What if I killed people?

“You didn’t do anything. It’s just, the circumstances you were found weren’t good, so they think—” Vert stops, once more looking like she’s debating with herself, then looks down. “Sorry, I can’t explain more than that.”

And there’s nothing I can do to change her mind. Not if she’s as stubborn as the Vert I know. So I do as I usually do; asking in a roundabout way, in yes/no format.

“Does it have something to do with the war you’re having?”

Vert goes rigid; her lips pursed tight from trying too much in keeping a poker face. She really is like the Vert I know: bad at lying. Then this shouldn’t be too difficult.

“Do they see me as a threat?”

Vert looks away.

“You know, right? Because you work in the army.”

“Can you please stop that?” Vert snaps. “Continue doing that, and the army will think I’m leaking the information to the enemy. The less you know, the better for both of us.”

I open my mouth, then close it again.

“I’m sorry.”

“Stop that.”

“Stop what?”

“Stop imitating my brother.”

“I’m not imitating him.”

“Yes you do.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“N—“

“Argh! This is why I told you to stop! We’re reminders of our long gone siblings! How could you act like you’re not bothered by it?”

I chuckle. “Not really. I’m not even sure if my Vert really died. Besides, it’s not that hard for me to disassociate you from her; my sister is a lot cuter.”

Vert gives me a very judgmental look. I shrug it off.

“It’s true.”

Vert huffs. “Whatever. I better stop talking to you before I start treating you like my own brother.”

“Fine by me. It’s probably for the best.”

Vert glares at me.

“I’m not going to return you to the army,” she says like it’s an oath.

“You better do. I’m not your brother and I’m distressing you with my similarities to him. Even if I’m not your enemy, I can only live in hiding and burdening you. It’ll save you a lot of trouble if you just return me and pretend that you’re the one who captured me back.”

I can see Vert’s determination wavers.

Outside, the station staff makes an announcement.

“The first express bound to Vairfield town will soon depart. Passengers are requested to board. I repeat: the first express bound to Vairfield…”

“Hurry up. The train is leaving,” I urge. Because the further we are from the town we escaped from, the more difficult it’ll be to justify Vert’s involvement. But my words seem to produce the opposite effect. Vert’s eyes hardens with determination.

“Like I said, I’m not returning you.”

“But why? You’ve got nothing to gain from doing this!”

“It doesn’t matter anymore if I gain or lose,“ Vert says, looking straight to my eyes with unshakable determination. “I just… I’ve promised to myself that I won’t let go so easily.”

Then she lowers her eyes and forces the next words out of her gritted teeth.

“Even if it’s an enemy disguised as a reminder.”

Outside, the whistle is blown and the train departs.