Not all chaotic events had to happen at the main branch of the Heroes’ Hideout. In fact, several taverns that scattered in the city of Belcazzar that had their own stories of madness, even if it was not on the same level that Bogus had to go through.
Still, who would had thought that one particular tavern would be hosting the leader of an army that is trying to cause an eternal darkness? OR the fact that said leader was waiting impatiently for a casual visit.
Necross nervously put his hands behind his back as he paced up and down in front of the entrance of the tavern restlessly. Maxie, Requiem, Ripper and Walter watched him go from left or right while sitting on one of the outdoor benches.. The former had a bored look on her face.
“Hey, hubby? Don’t take this the wrong way, I mean I don’t mind.” Maxie piped up. “But I am pretty sure that the staff would not like you creating a hole in front of the tavern.”
Necross growled before glaring at his “wife”. “Well, I am glad that somebody is keeping calm.”
Maxie chuckled at Necross’ reaction. “Well, SOMEBODY has to.”
“I’m with Maxie on this one.” Walter said, after making sure that nobody was watching and listening. “I mean you are a leader of an army. I think you could handle one meeting.”
Necross shook his head. “No… This is more than just a meeting.”
“How? I thought Oswald had told those angels about the truce.” Ripper asked, confused while tilting his head.
“No, no, no, Ripper.” Necross scolded. “This isn’t about getting Sylvia or going against the angels. This is to be friends with Oswald.”
Maxie gave an unimpressed look. “Hubby. You threatened, insulted, mentally AND physically attacked him and even after everything you put him through, he STILL want to help you reunite with Sylvia. I think you are in the clear.”
Necross winced when he reminded what happened after he had found out that Oswald knew the angels and tried to get the truth of Shane’s location out of him by any way possible.
“That is EXACTLY why I want this to go without a hitch…” He said before looking to the side. “I had treated Oswald horribly and I want to make it up to him by giving him the respect and kindness that he deserves.”
He then glared at his “family”.
“In other words, I want all of you on your best behavior. Even if Oswald says otherwise, I am extremely lucky that he wants to give me the time of day.” He said, pointing a finger.
“Hey, I don’t really have a problem with the kid.” Maxie said with a shrug. She then scowled. “It’s his sister, I have a problem with.”
Necross nodded his head. “Indeed. At least Oswald is visiting us alone.”
Ripper and Requiem both stayed silent while looking at each other, not looking sure about the whole thing.
“Father, I understand that I will sound repetitive by now but I STILL think you are being naive.” Requiem said.
“Yeah, you were the one who told me angels are horrible people and now you are actually going to trust them?” Ripper asked in disbelief.
“In fact, how could you even trust Oswald?” Requiem asked. “Even if there is a chance that he will be loyal to us, it is a fifty-fifty gamble.”
“Yeah, he is with the angels!” Ripper said, angrily pumping his fists in the air. “He can’t be trusted at all!”
Necross frowned at the young-looking demons’ negative reactions but at the same time, wasn’t too surprised. While still keeping her stoic disposition, Requiem would ironically be the most vocal about his decision to give the angels one last chance. After all, it was her who recruited Necross to be a part of the army in the first place.
As for Ripper, it was Necross who taught him everything he knew about angels. In other words, about how they were a bunch of self-righteous bastards. So if Ripper gave Oswald a hard time over being an ally of an angel, it would technically Necross’ fault for his behaviour.
Then again, he couldn’t really blame either of them for their skeptical behaviour. In fact, even he was wondering if he was making the right choice. He loved Sylvia but was he just setting himself up for another betrayal from heaven?
He then shook his head. He wasn’t meeting with an angel, he was meeting with a neutral party.
Necross explained. “Look, I am willing to accept that I may be doing a foolish mistake by trusting the angels but don’t attack Oswald. He had more than enough trouble as it was!”
Requiem and Ripper crossed their arms, still not looking happy about the whole thing.
“Now I expect you to be on your best behaviour.” Necross said sternly. “BOTH of you.”
“...Yes, daddy.” Ripper pouted.
“...Agreed, father.” Requiem said.
Necross gave a sigh of both relief and exasperation. Figures that the one time that they both agreed on something was to not want to do anything to do with Oswald. He also had to watch out for Maxie. She may not have anything against the artificial god but she could easily inadvertently upset the poor child.
Why did the only friendly and well-mannered one here had to be the pet who can’t talk?
Unknown to the group, the child in question, Oswald was slowly making his way over to them. However, they were so busy with each other had they had failed to see the artificial god coming.
Despite seeing the small dispute, Oswald gave a small smile.
“It’s only a natural response… I suppose it would be for the best that I approach now before any more arguing.” He said before walking over and making himself known. “Mr. Ross, I see why you requested I come on time rather than earlier.”
The five turned their heads to see Oswald and his pupils quickly shrank to the size of peas. How long had he been standing there?
“Oh, Oswald!” Necross said, feeling like an idiot. “I-I’m so sorry! I didn’t even know you were here!”
“It’s fine, I just arrived is all.” The child said, shaking his head “You wanted for me to come today?”
“Anyway, yes.” Necross said before putting his fist to his mouth to clear his throat. “Oswald, there is no easy way to say this but to say that you and I had started off on the wrong foot was an understatement.”
Oswald paused, remembering what had happened but again shook his head. “Mr. Ross, I have already told you, while your methods were extreme, I could tell that you were only trying to find your friend.”
The disguised demon chuckled weakly as he scratched the back of his head.
“...You know, kid.” Maxie said, flatly. “Easily forgiving him is just going to make him MORE upset for hurting you. In other words, your goody-goody personality would do more harm than good.”
Oswald paused while Necross glared at Maxie while gritting his teeth.
“I believe you remembered my loving wife, Maxine.” Necross muttered.
“Ah, of course.” Oswald smiled. “It is nice to meet you again, Miss Maxine.”
“Sup.” The pink-haired woman said, giving a two-finger salute.
“And these are our children, Hope and Jacky.” Necross said, motioning to his “children”.
Said children crossed their arms while not looking pleased.
“Hello, Miss Hope and Mr. Jacky.” Oswald said before bowing his head. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”
Said children didn’t even move one inch.
Necross chuckled nervously before talking in a stern voice to his children. “Children, don’t be rude. Say hello.”
Ripper gave a small growl. “Hi…”
“Hello…” Requiem said.
Oswald paused, easily seeing that he was not well-received by the children. Nonetheless, he wanted to make a good first impression, especially since Necross was looking so desperate to make up for their last meeting.
“Even though that you are much older than me, I would like to spend time with people my own age.” Oswald smiled.
“While I admit that it is not that large, the gap between our ages are not that small either.” Requiem retorted.
“Yeah!” Ripper agreed. “We are big kids! We don’t hang around with little kids!”
Oswald’s smile vanished. “Oh, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
Necross winced before glaring at Requiem and Ripper. The meeting barely started and already Oswald was feeling uncomfortable. Even if Maxie was right and Oswald would just smile off the two’s hostility, he still wanted to make for what happened.
Suddenly, his gaze had locked onto Walter, sitting on Maxie’s shoulder while watching the children, looking just as exasperated at Necross. His eyes immediately lit up. Acting quickly, he grabbed the bat, startling him and rushed over to Oswald before shoving him in front of his face.
“Oswald, please meet Wallabee!” Necross said, quickly.
Despite startled, the child merely smiled and nodded his head. “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Wallabee.”
The bat smiled before bowing his head politely. “The feeling is more than mutual, Master Oswald.”
Ripper’s eyes bugged out before leaping onto his feet. “Hey! Hey! Hey! What are you doing!? You are not supposed to talk!”
Walter turned his head towards the blue-haired demon. “It is alright. Nobody else is looking or listening in on us.”
“Dude, I think he was talking about Oswald…” Maxie said, flatly.
“Exactly!” Ripper said, swinging his arms in the air in anger.
“Jacky, it is alright. Oswald could sense that we are demons anyway so there is no reason to keep it a secret from him.” Necross reassured.
“Exactly. Please do not fear, Mr. Jacky.” Oswald nodded. “I could understand why you felt the need to hide your demonic heritage. I promise to keep your secret to the grave.”
Walter gave a small smile. “Well, I must say that I could see why Necross spoke so highly on you. You are quite well-mannered and well-spoken young man.”
“Why, thank you. Your manner of speaking is just as approachable.” Oswald said.
Necross let out a sigh before giving a small smile. It may not be perfect but this was a decent start.
“So Oswald, shall we get seated?” Necross asked.
“Yes, please.” The artificial god nodded.
With that, Necross and Oswald had went to sit down. Needless to say, Oswald chose to sit away from Requiem and Ripper, at least until they would feel more comfortable around him.
“So, what shall we talk about?” Oswald smiled.
Necross paused. “Well, anything you want to know about us, really.”
Oswald paused for a moment when he said this.
“Now Mr. Ross, I know you felt like you owe me but that does not mean I should know all of your secrets.” The artificial god explained.
“Then butt out.” Ripper spat.
“Jacky!” Necross scolded before looking at Oswald. “What is it, Oswald?”
The artificial god then took a deep breath before asking his question.
“Who is Sylvia?”
Ripper, Maxie and Walter’s eyes widened at this question, knowing much this was sensitive to the subject about Sylvia.
Necross on the other hand, merely sighed. “Might as well get the obvious out of the way but Sylvia is someone who is very close to me.”
Oswald just nodded his head.
“She is…” Necross said.
He then paused. How exactly should he tell Oswald about Sylvia? After all, from the eyes of Oswald, Maxie was his wife so naturally he cannot talk too much about Sylvia. After all, he didn’t wanted Oswald to think that he was cheating on Maxie as strange as it seemed.
Suddenly, his eyes lit up in realization.
“Say, Hope, Jacky, had I ever told you children about the time when Sylvia and I had first met?” Necross asked.
Everyone paused when they heard this. Indeed, they had heard Necross talk about how much he treasured Sylvia but never actually heard any stories about the couple, let alone how they first met.
“N-No…” Ripper said, shaking his head. “You didn’t.”
“Well, I think it is high-time I tell all of you.” Necross said before giving a small smile. “It happened all of the way a long, long time ago.”
Necross started to tell the tale about how he was in his late teens. He was a freshman at a college. At the time, he was nothing more than your everyday student who was studying vigorously and occasionally having a bit of fun.
He even recalled how he used to be a young man who went by his birth name, Ross. He smiled as he walked down outside of the building while carrying a book in his hand. Several orange and brown leaves dropped from the various trees scattered around. He hummed a jovial theme as he made his way to his next class.
However, he had then froze when he saw something on the side of the path. This caused him to raise an eyebrow in intrigued.
A bunch of pumpkins were laid in a group on the side. However, they had carved out holes in them, making them look like they had eyes and a smile.
“Heh. I almost forget that it was Halloween.”
He merely shrugged it off before making his way to class. He wasn’t that big of a fan of Halloween. Not that he disliked it but when he compared it to other holidays, it wasn’t that special. Unlike events like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, all you give on that day was candy to a bunch of kids in costumes. There wasn’t any heartwarming moments to it. In fact, for most of the students, they wanted to cause mischief for everyone else.
He shook his head as he walked over to his next class. However, he had seen something else that had made him freeze in his spot once again.
However, instead a bunch of faced pumpkins, he instead saw a woman with long, white hair that was about the same age as him entering a building. But what had really caught his attention was that said building was some kind of storage shed. Said shed seemed very worn out though and it didn’t looked like it had been used for quite a long time.
And yet it didn’t stopped her from entering the shed, regardless. Ross raised an eyebrow at this. Maybe it was just of how it looked on the outside but there didn’t seemed to be anything worthy of fetching from that old shed.
While curious, he just shrugged it off. He had a lesson to get to and he wasn’t going to play hooky just because he wants to know. So ignoring the woman entering the shed, he continued onto his way to his next class.
It didn’t took him long to enter his class which was already full of students that were being seated down in their chairs. It didn’t took him long to find a seat that was not only empty but right next to someone he knew very well. It was a young man that was a bit older than him with short brown hair. His attire was quite simple with a white button-up shirt underneath a brown vest with blue pants and brown shoes.
He smiled before making his way over.
“Oh, hey, Andrew!” He said, getting the man’s attention.
“Ah, Ross!” The man said with a smile. “How are you doing this morning?”
“Just fine.” Ross reassured. “And you?”
“Eh. Could be better…” Andrew muttered. “My stupid roommate woke me up at two o’clock when he barged in drunk like a fish.”
Ross’ eyes widened at this.. “What? That is late even for him!”
“You are telling me! Apparently, they had gone drinking AFTER going around and vandalizing people’s cars off-canvas!” Andrew said, rolling his eyes.
“Seriously?” Ross said in disgust.
“Yeah. He had slept ten minutes gloating about it before going to sleep.” Andrew said. “I swear, sometimes I think Halloween is invited so punks get this weird idea that they could do anything they want.”
Ross shook his head in distaste at what he had just been told.
“But anyway, want to meet up for lunch in the courtyard?” Andrew asked. “After last night, I could really stand to talk to someone with a decent amount of brain cells.”
Ross chuckled at this. “Oh, don’t you worry. I would be more than glad to join you.”
Andrew gave a small smile. “Thanks, man.”
“Good morning, class.”
The two young men turned their heads to the direction of the voice to see a woman with glasses, stepping in while holding a book.
“Nice to see each and every one of you is so lively.” The woman smiled. “Now then. Shall we continued off with where we left off.”
Almost everyone in the class readied all of their stuff for their next lesson. Learning doesn’t stop, no matter what time of year it was.
College lessons were never easy for anyone so after several hours of learning, all of the students were more than happy to get out of their classroom and have a nice, long lunch break.
Ross let out a sigh of relief as he sat on a bench on campus, waiting for Andrew. He was just pleased that he didn’t had to do a full day of lessons today or else he would pass out from the stress.
As he continued to wait, he raised his head to look around at the area that he was in as he watched several students walk past. Suddenly, his eyes widened when he noticed something.
The same woman with long, white hair was making her way over to the shed, just like she had done earlier. When he first saw her, he just stared for a few minutes before shrugging it off but to have the same thing happen in just a few hours can’t be just kind of coincidence. What exactly was the woman doing?
The man’s eyes widened before turning his head to see Andrew rushing over while waving his hand at him.
Ross immediately smiled. “Ah, Andrew, there you are.”
“Sorry, been waiting long.” Andrew apologized, scratching the back of his head.
Ross merely shook his head. “It’s fine.”
“Well, shall we be off?” Andrew offered.
Ross happily nodded as he got up from the bench. The two then started to go their way towards the cafeteria. However, Ross couldn’t help but think about what he had just saw.
“Oh, before we go, can I ask you something?” Ross piped up.
Andrew turned around and looked at his friend. “Sure, what is it?”
Ross nervously grabbed his wrist before pointing to the side. “Listen, do you happen to know what exactly is in that shed over there?”
Andrew raised an eyebrow before looking at said old shed.
“Oh, that thing? Never. Just a bunch of old empty crates and such. There is absolutely nothing of value in…” He explained.
Suddenly, his eyes widened in realization as he froze in his spot. Ross immediately caught on.
“Andrew…?” Ross asked, concerned.
Andrew then slumped his arms with an exasperated look on his face. “Let me guess. You saw an Albino woman entering that shed, right?
“Huh, um, yeah. I mean I didn’t exactly seen that much of her but her hair was definitely white.” Ross agreed.
“Well, there had been this rumor that had been flying around now. Apparently, that woman had been sneaking into that shed whenever chance she gets.” Andrew pointed out. “But here is the strange part.”
Ross leaned in closer. “Yes?”
“Apparently, when people try to eavesdrop on her whether on purpose or by accident, they could had sworn that they heard TWO people talking in there.” Andrew explained. “However, whenever someone comes in, they only see said girl.”
“Really?” Ross’ eyes widened.
“Yeah, spooky, isn’t it?” Andrew said before looking at the shed. “After all, there is only one way out and there are only so many places you could hide in there.”
Ross paused. “Maybe she is a ventriloquist?”
“Perhaps. But whatever she is doing in there, she is very defensive when confronted about it.” Andrew explained. “It is that attitude where the rumors get ridiculous.”
“How so?” Ross questioned.
“Well, there were reasonable ones like your ventriloquist idea and some other ideas like she got schizophrenia or she is talking to the spiders in there.” Andrew said. He then rolled his eyes. “Then there are the ones where she is talking to ghosts.”
Ross’ eyes widened at this. “Talking to ghosts?”
“Yeah, silly, isn’t it? And to make things worse, this stupid rumor is getting cemented seeing that Halloween is coming around the corner.” Andrew agreed.
Ross shook his head. “Silly is right. This is the type of rumors you hear in grade school.”
“Exactly!” Andrew agreed. “But whatever. That is not our problem, right?”
Ross paused for a moment. He then nodded. “Agreed.”
“Good. Now let’s go.” Andrew smiled before walking on ahead. “We need something to take my mind off of work besides stupid rumors.
Ross again nodded his head before following his friend to the cafeteria. Though in the back of his mind, he couldn’t help but still be curious about that woman. While it was none of his business, he still wanted to know what in the world she was doing in there.
The rest of the day had pretty much went just like any other normal day at college. A lot of hard subjects that the students had to learn. A lot of people were having it easier than others but they could all agree on how much long the lessons were.
Soon, it was almost time for the final lesson to end. All they needed to leave was the professor’s permission to leave for the day. Said professor picked up her book and tapped it against her desk a couple of times.
“Alright, class. That is enough for today. Remember what I had taught you.” The professor explained. “Until then, you may go.”
The students nodded their heads before gathering their stuff and getting up from their seats to leave the classroom. Ross was about to do the same thing until a large student that he was sitting next to bumped into and made him drop his stuff on the ground.
The large student looked back. “Whoops. Sorry.”
Despite his apology, he had gone on ahead and made his way towards the exit as if nothing had happened. Ross narrowed his eyes.
“No, don’t you worry yourself. I could pick up these things myself.” Ross muttered, underneath his breath.
While annoyed by the large student’s lack of sympathy, he merely tried to forget it as he crouched down and picked up the items that were on the ground. When he had got up, everyone else were nearly coming back out of the room. Ross was about to join them until the professor’s voice stopped him.
“Oh, wait! Sylvia! Sylvia?”
Ross’ eyes widened before looking towards the professor who was holding a letter in her hand with an upset look on her face.
“Is something wrong, Professor?” Ross asked.
“Sylvia had left already.” The professor frowned.
Ross raised an eyebrow. “Um, Sylvia?”
The professor’s eyes widened at this. “Wait, are you saying that you don’t know Sylvia?”
“Um, well, yes and no.” Ross said, scratching the back of his head. “I mean I knew that she was in this class but I had never noticed her at all.”
The professor shook her head in disbelief. “Honestly, I knew that she was introverted but still… Look, she is an Albino young woman with long hair. You can’t miss her.”
Ross’ eyes widened when he had heard this. While there were not too many people with Albinism, this couldn’t had been the same woman that he was talking, could it?
“Listen, if you don’t mind, could you deliver this letter to her?” The professor asked, offering the envelope. “I had just remembered about it by the time Sylvia had already left.”
“Um, sure, I mean I don’t have that much plans anyway.” Ross said before taking the envelope. “Don’t worry. I shall deliver it to her.”
“Thank you, Ross.” The professor said with a sigh of relief. “I would had done so myself but I had to so much to do.”
The young man shook his head. “It is alright. I am fine with that.”
After exchanging goodbyes with the professor, Ross had left the building while inspecting the letter that was in his hand. He didn’t really cared about the contents of the letter. But rather the person he was delivering it to. Whoever Sylvia was must had liked solitude so he didn’t knew how to approach him.
Especially since she was most likely going towards THAT place. If she had already gone to her shed, he probably would never find the right thing to say because of the situation.
So he decided to jog through the outside while passing through several people in hopes of getting to Sylvia in time. Much of his relief, it only took him a few minutes to find Sylvia, walking by herself. As if he was expecting anything else, she was heading straight the shed.
“Sylvia!” Ross called out.
The white-haired woman’s eyes widened before turning her head to see Ross making his way over. Just as Ross expected, she had pale skin and red eyes to go along with her white hair.
“Oh, you are that Ross guy, right?” Sylvia said.
The young man winced a bit at the fact that she knew who he was and yet it wasn’t mutual. “Um, yes.”
“What is it?” Sylvia said with a stern glare.
Ross shrank back at the unfriendly face. “Um, the professor asked me to bring you this.”
Sylvia raised an eyebrow as Ross handed her the letter. The white-haired woman slowly took the letter and inspected it.
“Oh, this? Yes. I had nearly forget about this.” Sylvia said, taking the letter. “Thank you.”
“No problem.” Ross said.
The two then shared an awkward silence with each other. Ross nervously shifted his eyes from left and right.
Ross looked down at Sylvia. “Huh?”
“Are you going to say anything else?” The Albino woman asked.
“Huh? Um, no.” Ross insisted. “That is all, really!”
“Good.” Sylvia spat.
With that, she turned around and walked off. Ross watched her leave before narrowing his eyes at the woman’s unfriendly attitude. What was her problem anyway? Shaking his head, he was about to walk off to go do his own thing before casting one final glare.
However, he had quickly noticed something was off as Sylvia was heading towards the shed. Two young men were standing next to the side of the shed. One of them was holding a camera. Sylvia was so busy looking at her envelope to notice them and she made her way over to the ghost and turned the knob before walking inside.
The three men then smirked before peeking inside of the window.
“Okay, I don’t think she saw her. Ready the camera.” One man said.
“Well, you don’t have to tell me twice.” The man with the camera sneered as he peeked inside through the window.
Ross’ eyes widened when he saw this. These people were spying on the poor woman. He then narrowed his eyes while gritting his teeth in anger. His parents had always thought him that invading a woman’s privacy was one of the worst things a man could do to a woman. Even though Sylvia seemed moody and unfriendly, he was going to let something like this go.
“Hey! What do you morons think you are doing!?” Ross roared, getting the two men’s attention.
“H-Hey! Shut up, you idiot! They’ll hear us!” One man scolded.
“I’m the idiot!? You do realize that I could have you two in big trouble for what you are trying to do!” Ross scolded.
The two men jumped when they realized that Ross was right. Spying on another student, especially a female would have strong consequences. However, they decided to keep their ground.
“Hey, come on, man!” The man with the camera. “If you keep it up…”
“What is going on out here!?”
The two men’s eyes widened as the door to the abandoned shed opened up to reveal an annoyed Sylvia. She looked around for a moment to see the two men hiding next to the shed. Said men winced as they gave sheepish grins. Sylvia’s eyes widened before narrowing them.
“And what do you think you are doing?” Sylvia said with a dark glare on her face.
“Um, taking pictures?” The man with the camera said.
“So I see.” Sylvia said, crossing her arms with an unimpressed look on her face. “Now get away from here.”
The two men winced before glaring at Ross who merely returned the stare.
“Thanks a lot, snitch.” The one with the camera spat as the two sulked off.
“No problem.” Ross said, crossing his arms.
He and Sylvia glared at the two men walking off. Once they were a good distance away, Sylvia let out a deep sigh as she held her head.
“Ugh, what am I going to do?” She groaned. “I can’t keep this up at this rate these imbeciles.”
She then turned her head to see Ross standing quite a few feet away.
“Hey, did you blew the whistle on those two idiots?” Sylvia called out.
“Yes.” Ross said before walking over.
Sylvia paused. “Why?”
Ross looked confused. “Come again?”
“Why did you stopped them?” Sylvia asked, raising her head.
Ross paused, still puzzled by the question. “Well, I just thought that it was wrong for those guys to spy on a woman.”
Sylvia paused before looking down for a moment. “Oh, I see… Thank you for that.”
“It’s alright.” Ross said, shaking his head.
Sylvia paused for a moment as if looking in thought. Ross stayed silent, wondering what was going on. Soon, his confusion turned into concern.
“Hey, are you sure that you are alright?” Ross asked.
Sylvia continued to stay quiet for a moment. She then let out a deep sigh.
“I suppose that some more help may be needed.” She muttered.
“Hm?” Ross asked, raising an eyebrow.
Sylvia shook her head. “Listen, could you do me a favor?”
“Um, it depends but sure.” Ross said.
Sylvia looked down for a moment. She then looked back up with a look of determined look on her face.
“I will tell you. But not here.” She explained.
She then walked over to Ross who was not looking completely stumped by what was going on. Sylvia then whispered something in his ear.
“Please meet me at the shed at six o’clock.” Sylvia explained.
“H-Huh?” Ross asked, surprised.
“Do you have something planned by then?” Sylvia asked.
“N-No. I am free.” Ross reassured.
Sylvia nodded her head. “So is it alright if I see you there?”
“Um, sure. See you there, I guess?” Ross asked.
Sylvia again nodded her head before turning around and walking off back towards the shed. Ross blinked twice, trying to figure out what was happening. Was he actually going to find out about Sylvia’s secret? Even though they had just met for a few minutes? There was also the shift in personality. Granted, Ross had done a great deed in blowing the whistle on the spying duo but to be trusting?
Whatever the case, he had already agreed to meeting Sylvia at the allotted time. Perhaps he should go through with it. After all, he may not regret it. He then walked off to find some way to pass the time.
After hanging around campus for a couple of hours, it was almost time for Ross to meet Sylvia in front of the shed. Even though he agreed to see her, he was much more nervous about the whole situation than he first thought.
Mainly because of it was already getting dark. Not that he had any problems with going at night on his own but to enter an abandoned shed? It sounded like he was begging to be attacked.
He then shook his head. He was being as silly as everyone else. Sure, entering an abandoned shed at night may seemed scary but that was all it was. An abandoned shed. If it was truly dangerous, the staff would had banned students from entering it all, let alone on a daily basis.
Letting out a deep sigh, he made his way onto the campus. He looked around for a bit. The only people out were some people smoking. Then again, this was exactly why Sylvia had asked him to go at six o’clock.
It didn’t took him long to find Sylvia standing in front of the shed with her arms crossed. The white-haired woman saw him and stepped forward.
Ross gave a sheepish grin. “Um, hey, Sylvia. How is it going?”
“Just fine.” Sylvia said. “I am pleasantly surprised that you actually came.”
Ross scratched the back of his head. “Yeah, well. Like I said, I didn’t had anything else to do so here I am.”
Sylvia nodded her head before making her way forward. Ross fought the desire to step backwards, even though he found it much harder than he thought. Soon, Sylvia was right in front of Ross while staring into his eyes.
“I think you may had already figured it out for yourself but there is a reason why I had brought you here.” Sylvia said, softly.
Ross paused before nodding his head. “R-Right. You are… Actually going to tell me…”
Sylvia returned the nod. “That’s right. I am going to tell what exactly I had been doing why I am in the shed.”
Ross again stayed silent for a moment. “I knew it… Though I have to ask. Why?”
“Why?” Sylvia said before shrugging. “Out of desperation, really. Do you actually think I would go put in my full trust into someone over ONE good deed?”
Ross physically winced as he glared down at Sylvia. What was up with this woman?
“However, I needed SOMEONE to help me. As you could see, there had been a lot of rumors spreading about me and the more I get talked about, the more idiots like the ones from earlier would try to find out my secret.” Sylvia explained. “At first, I thought I could handle it but I underestimate the stupidity of some of these people…”
Ross again scratched the back of my head. “So, why have you decided to come to ME instead of one of your friends?”
Sylvia paused. “I don’t have any friends in this college.”
Ross’s face fell before looking to the side. “O-Oh… I am sorry.”
Sylvia shook her head. “No, it is fine. I wasn’t that much for socializing anyway. The lack of companions DOES hurt when you have a problem that you cannot do alone.”
Ross paused in thought.
“Ross, please, I really need your help. I could only do this by myself.” Sylvia said.
Ross stayed silent while thinking about what to do. Should he really trust this woman who he just known existed until today? What if she was doing something that was against the school rules? If he agrees to help and later gets caught, they would be in great trouble.
Still, if what Sylvia was saying was true, she had no one to look to. No friends that she could ask support from. She did admitted that she was desperate for help and she didn’t deserve having several people spy on her.
Ross let out a deep sigh. “Alright, I will help you.”
Sylvia gave a small smile. “Thank you, Ross… I am really in a predicament right now.”
Ross looked up. “I-It’s fine. Though I could really know what exactly ARE you hiding in there.”
Sylvia’s smile vanished. “Ross, I know that this is more than a bit too much to ask but you have to promise me no matter what, you will not make any loud noises of any kind.”
Ross shrank back when he heard this. That was not a good sign. “Um, alright.”
Sylvia nodded her head. “Good. Now brace yourself.”
With that, she turned around and made her way over to the shed’s door. For Ross, the flow of time had slowed down immensely as Sylvia put her hand on the knob and turned it slowly. He could feel his heart beating rapidly inside of his chest. Finally, Sylvia had opened the door before looking back at Ross.
“Well, if you would.” Sylvia urged.
Ross took in a deep gulp before gathering his courage and making his way over to the shed. As if he had expected anything else, it was completely dark inside, save for the slight light shining in from a nearby streetlight. Ross continued to slowly entered the shed and looked around.
There, they didn’t seemed to be anything out of the ordinary. Just a bunch of boxes that were covered with dust. Meanwhile, Sylvia looked around for a few moments to see if anyone was looking. She then slowly closed it but not all of the way so that Ross could have a bit of light.
“Alright, the coast is clear.” Sylvia said.
At first, Ross thought she was talking to him. But then something happened that made all of the colour from his skin drain.
A large blue pulsing aura had appeared out of nowhere, leaving a dim glow that was more than enough to illuminate the shed. Said aura surrounded a person. However, said person was pale blue from top of bottom. She seemed to be a young woman that was around the same age as him with a nervous complexion. Because of her pale blue complexion, she could make out too much about the clothes she was wearing but could easily notice her glasses and her tail pigtails.
Ross took a step back while looking in absolute shock. He was standing front of a ghost. One of the rumors that Andrew had told him was true.
“Ross, this is Alma.” Sylvia said, softly. “Alma, this is Ross, the boy I was telling you about.”
The bespectacled ghost narrowed her eyes. “...Hey.”
“U-U-Um, hey.” Ross said, sheepishly.
“Ross, don’t be rude.” Sylvia scolded, narrowing her eyes. “Speak properly.”
”How is she expected for me to speak properly to something I always thought never existed!?” Ross said in disbelief.
“Forget about it, Sylvia. This pussy is wetting his pants at the sight of me. I knew that we couldn’t trust him!” Alma spat.
Ross glared at Alma while Sylvia shook her head.
“Alma, we talked about this. We can’t continue on our own. We need help!” Sylvia insisted.
“So? And what makes you think HE could help?” Alma challenged.
“I don’t know yet.” Sylvia explained. “But for now, let’s worry about us three working together.”
Alma growled before casting Ross a death glare. The latter stepped back a couple of steps. Sylvia shook her head a few times.
“Anyway, while this goes around saying but this is Alma and as you could plainly see, she is a ghost.” Sylvia explained. “She had been on campus for longer than she could even remember.”
Ross slowly nodded his head. “I-I am pleased to meet you, I guess…”
“Oh, I just LOVE the enthusiasm.” Alma spat.
Sylvia narrowed her eyes. “And like you are one to talk.”
Alma merely scoffed. “Whatever…”
“Anyway, I had only managed to catch her by accident. After a bit of talking, we became friends and started to hang out with each other.” Sylvia explained. “Of course, because of her being a ghost, we can’t go talk in public without causing a fuss.”
“I-I could imagine…” Ross said.
Sylvia then let out a deep sigh. “Of course we had been talking inside of this shed. However, as you could see our conversations had caught the attention of some very nosy people.”
“I STILL think you should had let me break their legs. I mean it is not like I would get caught.” Alma spat.
Sylvia shook her head. “Crippling them isn’t going to stop the rumors from flying around.”
Alma scoffed. “Well, it would stop them from approaching the shed.”
Ross shrank back. As if being a ghost was as spooky as he initially thought but Alma seemed quite violent.
“Look, Alma, please give Ross a chance.” Sylvia reassured. “We need all of the help we could get.”
The ghost rolled her eyes. “Pfft. Whatever… But listen here and listen good. I couldn’t care less if you rat ME out but if you cause Sylvia any trouble and I will haunt you for the rest of your life. I got all the time in the world.”
Ross’ eyes widened as he stepped back until he backed up against the wall. Sylvia narrowed her eyes at Alma.
“Alma, I am going to talk to Ross alone, alright.” Sylvia spat.
The ghost scoffed as she rolled her eyes. “Fine.”
Sylvia nodded her head as she grabbed Ross’ hand and gently guided the poor man out of the shed where she closed it behind them.
“I am sorry about her, Ross. She absolutely can’t stand people.” Sylvia reassured. “You can be surprised how long until she warmed up to her.”
“I-I see…” The brown-haired man said.
“Listen, believe me when I say this but despite you won’t let you show it, Alma is actually a very lonely girl.” Sylvia said. “She literally doesn’t have anyone to talk.”
Ross paused when he realizes that what Sylvia was true.
“She says that she doesn’t have anywhere to go so she decided to stay here.” Sylvia continued.
“But why? Why this college?” Ross asked.
Sylvia paused before looking down. “I am sorry, Ross. But I am not content with telling you. At least not without her permission first.”
Ross stayed silent “I-I guess… S-So the main goal is to try to hide Alma, right?”
“Right.” Sylvia nodded. “We need to find a new place to take her.”
“Makes sense…” Ross said.
Sylvia paused for a moment with blinking eyes. “I must say that you are impressing me.”
Ross blinked twice. “W-What do you mean?”
“Well… You are handling this much better than I thought you would.” Sylvia explained.
”That is more because I was too stunned to react.” Ross thought before sighing. “W-Well, I can’t say that I am completely composed.”
“Still, you are doing much better than I thought.” Sylvia offered.
She then gave a small smile.
“You have no idea how much this brings me to.” Sylvia thanked. “Alma may think otherwise but someday, she will just be as grateful to you.”
Ross looked into Sylvia’s face for a moment. He only met her for a short time but he never thought that she could seemed to be happy. Even though she admitted that she was desperate to trust a complete stranger, she was still grateful to him. As unfriendly as the Alma woman was, perhaps he should give them the benefit of the doubt.
Ross let out a deep sigh before giving a small smile. “Don’t worry, Sylvia. I promise that I will find you and Alma…”
With that, he reached out his hand in form of a handshake. As if Sylvia stepped back as if she had never seen a handshake before. She stared at the hand for a couple of moments. She then slowly accepted it. The two then stared into each other’s eyes as the evening moon shined down on them.
“...And that is the story of how I first met Sylvia.”
With that, Necross let out a small sigh. Whether it was out of relief or sadness was anyone’s guess. Oswald was sitting up, hearing to every little detail of the story as Walter did the same. Maxie crossed her arms as she raised an eyebrow as Requiem stayed silent as always. Surprisingly, the person who looked the most eager was Ripper.
“Goodness, Mr. Ross. I could see why you feel so strongly about this Sylvia woman.” Oswald smiled.
“Indeed. She seemed like one-in-a-million.” Walter said, softly while whispering in Necross’ ear.
Necross let out a weak chuckle. “Yes, she was nothing like any other.”
Maxie on the other hand, shifted her eyes from left to right before leaning towards Requiem. “Um, am I the only one who expected Sylvia to be similar to a Disney princess?”
“No. Not to say that I am blaming you though.” The dark-haired woman said.
“Agreed.” Maxie nodded.
“Mr. Ross, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It was quite fascinating.” Oswald smiled.
“No problem. Though it still felt somehow awkward though.” Necross said, scratching the back of his head.
Oswald tilted his head in confusion. “Awkward? How?”
“Oh, nothing. I mean everyone in my family knows how much I loved her but I had never explained in full-detail on our first meeting.” Necross said. “It feels… Nice.”
Oswald nodded his head. “Well, I believe that it is only fair to return the favour for answering my question. You may ask me any question about me.”
Ripper’s eyes widened before looking at Oswald. “What!? No! I want to listen to the rest of the story!”
Necross’ eyes widened before narrowing them. “Jacky!”
“What? There is more to the story?” Oswald asked before frowning. “Oh, I am so sorry, Mr. Ross. I knew fully well that your tale was from over but I thought you was leaving it off for today.”
Necross shook his head. “No, it is alright. Yes, there IS more to the story but I merely wanted to tell the opening.”
“Aww! But I want to know more about you! About Sylvia! About Alma!” Ripper whined.
Necross narrowed his eyes. “Look, Jacky, let’s make a deal. If you behave for the rest of the day, I will tell you the next part of my story, alright?”
The zombie-like young man paused for a moment before looking at Oswald. Even as simple-minded as him knew to fully behave, he had to be civil to the artificial god, even though he couldn’t trust him. But at the same time, he was really invested in the story.
Ripper let out a sigh of relief. “Yes, daddy…”
“Atta boy.” Necross said with a triumphant smile on his face.
“Whipped.” Requiem muttered as Maxie chuckled.
Ripper growled while glaring at his “sister” but actually tried his best to control his temper before glaring at Oswald.
“Alright, alright… What story are you going to next us?” Ripper muttered, not looking interested in the slightest.
“Depends, Mr. Jacky. What do you wish to know about me?” Oswald asked. “After all, Mr. Ross told me about his meeting with Sylvia when I specifically asked.”
“Well, in that case, how could you and that redhead sister of yours get along without attempting to kill each other?” Maxie piped up.
“Maxine!” Necross scolded.
“Oh, like I am the only one in this entire world who haven’t asked that question!” Maxie retorted.
“That doesn’t give you the right to be so crude about it!” Necross scolded.
“It is alright, Mr. Ross. Miss Maxine is right. Based on first-impressions, it would seem quite strange indeed for Ellen and me to be siblings.” Oswald said, shaking his head. “However, Ellen is…”
Necross shook his head as he watched Oswald start his story. Truth be told, he had felt a weight being lifted off of his shoulders. He couldn’t remember the last time he had told anyone about how he and Sylvia first met. It felt nice to tell somebody about the story.
The demon’s eyes widened before he looked around the area for a bit. Everyone was quick to notice this.
“Um, Mr. Ross, is something the matter?” Oswald asked.
The leader looked around at everyone. “None of you heard that.”
“Huh? Heard what?” Maxie asked, confused.
Necross paused before looking around a couple more times. After confirming that there was nobody but the people he was with, he turned his attention to the others.
“Oh, it is nothing. Please continue, Oswald.”