Chapter 3

     I stand from the couch. "You know what I think? I think you're crazy with a capital C." Despite everything I had heard and seen, I don't believe him. I might have been hallucinating in the train. 

      But how do you explain how you got here?
I ask myself. His clothes makes me suggest that he is a crazed lunatic. Plus his attitude. I can't believe I followed him here. I can't believe I am in his house right now. I can't even believe that I am here speaking to him and mentally cursing and scolding myself for being here in the first place. "It was pleasure meeting you but,"I jerk a thumb to that old,wooden door that looks enough fragile for me to kick it down with just a nudge of my foot,"I should probably get going now. My...parents would kill me if I'm late."

      It was a lie. I don't have parents. I have been an orphan for as long as I can remember. I stayed with my aunt for some time. She was abusive and would go out to wild parties and return home drunk and start hitting me with anything she got her hands on after Uncle Dev filed a divorce. She's currently staying behind bars for now and sometimes sent to the mental hospital (from what I'd heard)  for stabbing someone in an alley when she was drunk when I was thirteen. The victim managed to escape with minor injuries. Till now,I can still feel the pain and see her in my dreams. She was my own personal nightmare.

       I snap out of my thoughts when he suddenly begins to peel his coat and then his shirt off, revealing the killer body that can make any girl swoon over. His muscles tightening. His skin a perfect light bronze. Strong arms. Hard abs. Well-built body and excellent physical shape."W--What are you doing?"I stammer,looking away quickly as I get really uncomfortable with the thought of being here with a half-naked man. Alone. In his house.

       "You seem very uncomfortable with me wearing clothes. If you wanted me naked,all you had to do was ask." I can feel him raking his hair.

        "No! I didn't mean it that way!" How stupid and crazy this guy can be? "It's the way you're dressed,moron!" A blush crawls its way up to my cheeks.

         "Moron?"he repeats as if it doesn't sound right. "What is that? Is it the definition of charming?" He rubs the back of his neck. "Or did you meant maroon?"

          I nearly slap my forehead. "Are you really that dumb?"

        "If I had known,I would never have made a fool out of myself. Besides, I'm sure that that word doesn't exist," he says as he strokes his collarbone.

        "Oh?"I say,crossing my arms. Good looks and no brains. "There's a thing called dictionary. Look it up. It surely describes you. A lot." When he raises an eyebrow at me, I sigh. Just when I'm about to tell him the meaning of moron, someone bangs the wooden door bangs and despite its looks, I'm surprised it hasn't break down yet. 

       "Phantoms!"Codian shouts and then he suddenly grasps my hand and leads me to a room and then down the basement. Everything is dark despite the time of the day. Of course,it's underground. 

       
"Here."I hear a door creaking. "Hang on."His hands slide beneath my knees and the other at my back,lifting me up. I nearly let out a sigh of relief that it is dark so he can't see how red my cheeks are. 

         We bump into something soft as he runs. Not the softness of pillows,more like the surface of water.


        I look down at the well-polished black and white tiled floor as Codian puts me down,allowing my eyes to explore the beauty of our new location. I let my eyes travel to the gray walls on both sides that meet and form a tall arched ceiling high above. Ancient paintings hung on both sides of the walls. They are even beautiful than the famous Mona Lisa. Eight large stone pillars,evenly spaced at the sides of the great hall.There is a set of double staircases,one on the right and the other on the left sides at the end of the magnificent hall. Golden,hard ropes of vines entwine into beautiful patterns to form into railings. 

         I have seen castles in movies and in storybooks,picturing castles through novels;but nothing had prepared me for being in one in real life. But the real deal is in the middle of this grand hall. An angel in armour carved from stone is holding his sword of flowing ,crystal water into the pool below like the bravest of all warriors. His wings rising from his back. I gaze at the ethereal beauty of the heavenly being. 

        "Where is this place?"I ask,breathless.

        "The Fallen School,"he answers,almost proudly and loud. His voice bouncing off the walls. "Breathtaking,isn't it?"

         "How did we get here?"

       "We went through the portal in the basement. Phantoms can't get through there. We're safe here. That house I took you to was just a...decoy. The treasure is just below. Even if they found the portal,they can't get through." He spreads his hands in front of him. "Just think of it this way. They're the shadows of the dark. They can't get through the light."He tips his chin lazily at the stairs on the right. As we walk through the hall,he explains, "Phantoms don't usually attack at daytime. In fact,they rarely attack humans. Imagine my surprise when I saw them about to attack you. And once they start an attack,they won't stop until that person is dead. Hunter and prey. That's their thing."

      "How did you know I was in trouble?"

     A slight frown is starting to form on his face. "Alden had been missing for two days. he was supposed to be here. We had been searching for him since then without rest. And when I tried to track him,the tracks led to you. That's when I sensed the Angel's Tear on you. I followed you for a while. Why didn't you escape?"

     I bite my lip."Well,excuse me. If I'd known that they're Phantoms,I would've made a run for it." I clear out the anger. "So why call it the Angel's Tear? It sounds..."I shrug,"...sad." I picture the stone angel weeping.

       "Would you prefer the Blood Tear Of The Angel?"

        It takes me a moment for it to sink in. "It was called the Blood Tear Of The Angel?" After climbing the stairs,we make a right turn to a corridor.

       "That was what we called it centuries ago until we find the name too long and too strange and ghastly to call it that. So in order to honour the angel,we call it the Angel's Tear."He sweeps his hair to the side. "We'll talk more of it later." He opens an oak door. 

        He stretches a hand to motion for me to enter. "Ladies first,"he whispers. A huge grin on his face when he sees my frown.

      I get in and he follows close behind. Like the hall from earlier, this room has double staircases on each sides,leading down. But it is more violent-looking. I see swords, guns, shurikens, katanas, daggers and spears hanging on walls and some in display cases. Other than that,there is nothing more. No furniture except for the painting at the far end of the large room. The painting of the angel. It's the same statue but realistic with bright colours. 

     I am about to open my mouthy to say something but then I hear someone arguing. The voices are so familiar. A boy and a girl. They are the ones I have known since my childhood. I grab onto the cold railing and peek down the stairs.

     Lauren?

     Nathaniel?
    

The End

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