SPY TO LIVE

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Anna

“I got your coffee.” Ray hold up a cup to me. I have just arrived to the cafeteria. Ray and Ronald were casually chatting at our table. “Thank you.” I took the hot cup and sat next to him, facing Ronald. It’s almost like a routine now for us to hang out at the cafeteria and normally Ray would get my black coffee even before I there. He knew very well I couldn’t start my day without the caffeine in my veins. “Where are the others?” Ronald asked me. “They will be here soon.” I told them. I came down first because I’m hungry as hell. I didn’t take my dinner last night, trying to balance up the calories I gained from having the sinfully delicious burger and French fries.

“You look weak.” Ray told me and right on time my stomach growl loudly. I smiled at him sheepishly.

“I need food.” He laughed at me. He was in his grey tee and black jeans. The fresh cropped cut jet black hair makes him look rugged.

“Anna, you always crave for food. You eat a lot don’t you?” Ronald teased me. He always finds it funny to mock me. We came to know him through Ray. He’s Ray’s best buddy and now he’s in our circle.

“No, I don’t. I barely ate last night.” I rolled my eyes.

“Never tell girls the truth. They always find a way to get out of it.” Ray joined Ronald. Both of them chuckled.

I stood up shaking my head, “Watch it guys. Don’t make a hungry girl angry.” I warned them playfully. “I’m going to hunt some food and deal with you two later.” I left the table with my coffee.

“You go girl!” Ronald said out loud. I smiled all the way to the food counter. The days here are not so bad lately. It turns out not many people hates as we thought. Many chose to ignore our existence in this institute.

The cafeteria was not as pack as it would always be. Its Sunday so I’m guessing most of them would have gone out. The weekends are the only days we could escape from this place. We are allowed to go anywhere we want but with the condition to be back before eight. It’s not a tough call especially when the tyros here are punctual and exceptionally disciplined. We barely have tyros with attitude problem. The only tyros that often get called to the office would be us. I’m not proud of that record.

Today, we, the girls and the boys planned to leave at noon, maybe catch some movies. A good breakfast would suffice for me to get through the morning. I surveyed the breakfast at the food section and grabbed a sandwich. I placed my coffee on the counter and looked for some coins in my purse to pay. The lady in chef clothing waited impatiently. I didn’t look up when another tyro stood beside me to pay.

The girl picked up my coffee by mistake when she was done.

“Hey, that’s mine.” I called out after she took a few steps. The girl with the high pony tail turned around to face me.

It was Olivia. She was wearing a white top with white mini skirt, showing of her long legs on stilettos. She made a disgusted face before placing my coffee on the counter. She took hers, the other coffee cup on the counter and left without a word. That was strange, never seen her leaving without making any infuriating comments.

I went back to the table and saw Naomi and Jane there.

“Hey, has Ivy left?” I asked them.

Ivy has a date with her dream boy today. She was all over the place this morning and that’s the reason I woke up way too early than I should have.

“Just did.” Jane answered.

“Where she went all by herself?” Ray asked us. “She didn’t go by herself. She has a very strong company with her.” Naomi said mischievously. The boys were dumbfounded. Ronald got it in a minute time.

“I knew it. She went out with Daniel right?” He asked in excitement.

“How you know it’s him?” Jane asked him in surprise.

“I got my sources.” He said smugly.

“We saw him leaving the dorm early all dolled up.” Ray told us, earning a glare from Ronald.

“Dude!” He squawked at Ray.

“Is he good?” I asked Ray.

I don’t really know this Daniel guy. We shared the same class once and both of us didn’t notice each other until Ivy introduced us.

“He’s clean.” Ronald answered.

“Yeah, he’s good.” Ray said.

“So why not you four go out together for a group date?” Ronald asked us.

“My soul mate is not here.” Jane said.

“Too busy for that.” I told them and followed by Naomi mumbling, “I don’t think he would say yes.”

Jane and I and frowned at Naomi while the boys gave us a dubious.

“That’s cute. I bet you will be in circle of love stories before the semester ends.” He told us. I gave him a fake laugh. “That’s funny.”

“Isn’t it prohibited for tyros to date?” Jane asked while picking on her waffles.

“Yeah it is. But come on everyone know that rule is impossible. All is good until you get caught.” It was Ronald that answered her while Ray remained quiet.

We left to our dorm after having breakfast. We decided to meet up late afternoon, I wanted to laze on my bed and enjoy the slow moving Sunday morning.

My Sunday was no longer awesome.

I felt a little dizzy while lazing on my bed.

My stomach didn’t feel good. I felt nauseated and something surged from gut into my throat. I rushed to the washroom and my breakfast came spewing out. Ugh.

Damn it, I’m sick.

My friends wanted to cancel the day out but I urged them to go without me. I told them I will be fine by myself. I felt light headed so I stayed in my bed but struggled to get sleep.

Sick day reminded me of my mum. I called her yesterday and had a long chat with her.

I dialed her again. She picked up in the first ring. We talked for about fifteen minutes.

She asked me to rest and takes some medicine. I promised her I would and hung up. However, I dismissed the thought of going to the medic. No way I’ll be able to reach it without throwing up a few more times. I drank a cup of water and switched on the laptop but had nothing much to surf. The internet connection here is weak. I knew the administration purposely made the line weak for us the tyros. I stared blankly at the screen deciding what to do. I can’t log in to social networks. The Angels’ made sure we have no account in the net.

I end up playing my favourite shooting games. It’s been a while since I played these games. I used to play it with my brother at home.

Playing alone was not fun.

I miss home.

My stomach twisted in pain again and I ran to the washroom.

I heard a knock when I was cleaning myself up.

“Come in.” I yelled. It’s probably Steph because my friends would not knock.

But I found Ray standing near the closed door awkwardly.

“What are you doing here?” I asked him in surprise.

“You’re a mess.” He stated, looking at me head to toe. I was a mess. My hair tied in messy bun and I changed to my big loose tee and sweatpants.

“Hey, I wasn’t told I’m having a guest. Oh wait, you shouldn’t be here.” I realized the Angels’ rule, pretty much the same rule all over the world, boys not allowed in girls’ dorm. My head spun a little so I staggered to my bed.

“Are you alright?” Ray asked in concerned. He sat on my chair, beside my bed.

“Take this.” He tossed a small white packaging to me. I gave him a questioning look.

“The girls told me, you haven’t taken any medicine. I got it from the medic. It will ease nausea.” He explained to me.

“How come you’re here? I thought you wanted to watch the movie.” I asked him while taking the pills.

“Naomi told me you going to have a peaceful Sunday all by yourself so I wanted to ruin it.” He answered, smiling wickedly.

“How nice of you, Ray.” I grinned at him.

“You said you didn’t eat much, how come you got food poisoning?” he asked me.

I shrugged, “The sandwich?”

“That’s rare. The cafeteria food is good, never once had any problem.”

I shrugged. He looked around our room.

“Not bad.” He said as his eyes searched for something. “Do you have anything fun here?” He asked me. His eyes focused on my laptop on the bed. “And here I thought you were really sick.” He narrowed his eyes at me.

I looked at my laptop. The screen paused with the game on. “Hey, I am sick okay.” I claimed. He smiled at my reaction.

“Feeling better?” He asked.

“I think so.” I couldn’t be sure because the dizziness is still there.

“How good are you in that?” He gestured at my laptop.

I raised my eyebrow, “Better than you.” I challenged.

“You’re so going to regret that.” He chuckled.

Ray started to play the one I resume. He was good. I watched him play on my desk. I gave up watching after about half an hour. The pills worked. I felt much better.

I borrowed Naomi’s laptop to install the game and we had a few rounds shooting each other. We played for a couple of hours. I lost almost all the game. Ray was an expert. We stopped playing after I lost continuously for the tenth time. Ray was beyond excited that I had to shut both our laptops before he stop me.

“I told you.” He started. I threw my pillow at him.

“Shut up.” I lay down on my bed while Ray sat on the floor leaning on my bed. I no longer felt dizzy but my body felt very tired as though I ran a few laps on the field, maybe it’s the medicine.

“I miss playing this game with my brother.” I told him.

“Me too.” He said.

“You have a brother? You never told me that.” I accused him.

Ray had been a very good friend to me and my friends. We always spent our evenings and weekends together. He was one of the reasons, the other kids started to talk to us. Ray has a great influence among the tyros and they respect his choices. I have seen the young tyros trying to mimic him. Ray once told me, it’s probably because of him getting assigned to a mission even before graduating. He never got too proud of himself. I like that about him. I’ve never had a guy best friend before and now I feel lucky to have one. I have been hanging out with Ray more than I thought I would have few months back.

“No, it’s my uncle. I used to play games with him when I was a little boy. I always spent my holidays with him.” He stated.

“Oh, you don’t play with him anymore?” I asked him. “Nope, he’s a busy man. I barely see him nowadays.” Ray’s eyes were distant. It’s obvious he misses his uncle. “He’s spy, a great one. He’s the reason I’m here. I wanted to be like him.” He went on.

“Hey, don’t worry. I can play with you.” I told him and earned a smile.

“But you suck at it.” He complained.

“Oh, okay. Never mind then.” I sulked.

He chuckled. “Anna, here’s an advice from me.” He said. I tilt my head to him, “What?”

“Don’t ever get involve with guns. You might kill the innocent instead of the subject.” He told me, his expression was dead serious. When I didn’t respond he burst out laughing.

“I was just kidding.” I wanted to not laugh but I can’t help it. Ray was laughing so hard.

“Your sense of humor sucks, Ray.” I told him, throwing yet another pillow at him.

We chatted the whole noon. My head felt heavy as the time goes by. My phone rang and it’s Naomi. “Hey.” I answered the phone. Ray was toying with the pillow I threw to him.

“You okay?” She asked.

“Better now.” I informed her.

“That’s good. You need to hear this.” Her voice was urgent. I sat up straight and my vision blurred. Ray watched me in concern.

“What?” I asked. “It’s Olivia.” She mentioned.

“What? I don’t get it.” I claimed.

“We met her just now and she asked about you. She mocked about you being sick. She knew it that means she’s behind it.” Naomi told me. I recalled meeting Olivia at the cafeteria briefly. She took my coffee.

“Of course.” I said, feeling stupid for not being able to notice that earlier.

“I’m going to kill her.” I growled. I hung up and filled Ray in. He was furious to hear that.

“I didn’t know she would go that far. She must have gotten something from the lab.” He claimed. “Well for sure she wouldn’t keep quiet after what we did to her at the combat test but this is low.” I grumbled. I wanted to storm off and punch her right across her face but my eyelids were heavy.

“The medicine you give me causes drowsiness?” I asked Ray.

“Oh shit, I forgot. You should sleep. Don’t worry about Olivia or anything else. I will deal with her. Sleep and get well, Anna. I should get going before the warden notice.” “Thanks.” I murmured.

He left in hurry and he seemed angry. I gave in to sleep after minutes he left.

My sleep didn’t last long. Stephanie burst in to my room causing me to jolt awake in surprise. I blinked and looked at the clock it’s almost nine.

Stephanie watched me. “I heard you got sick.”

She asked.

I nodded. I stayed on the bed and waited for nausea rolling in but instead of that I could feel my body temperature increased. I felt feverish.

“Is that why you are here? I’m feeling better I guess.” I told her unsurely. I’m not sure if it’s the stuff that Olivia put in my coffee or the medicine.

She shook her head, “No, the girls and Daniel got caught. They came back pass the curfew and Mr. Henry found them trying to climb over the wall.”

“You’re kidding me.” I jumped out of my bed and followed Stephanie to the office. I felt weaker but I managed to walk without falling. The hallway was empty. All the tyros are in their dorm. We rushed to Block A, and stopped beside the office. It was Miss Fiona’s furious voice we heard. I waited for them but Mr. Henry got out first. He walked past us without noticing us.

Stephanie sighed out loud after he left our sight. “He’s scary.” She whispered to me.

My friends walked out minutes later.

“What happened?” I asked them.

“We got caught.” Ronald grumbled.

“Obviously.” Stephanie stated.

“Why did you come back after curfew? What were you guys doing out there?” I stressed on.

“The movie took longer hours than we thought.” Naomi said.

“Seriously? That’s the reason.” I shook my head in disbelief.

“Anna, we heard enough from her. Let’s go to our room. I’m tired.” Jane complained.

“I can hear you, go back to your room this second.” Miss Fiona yelled from her room.

We took off the moment we heard her.

“Damn, she’s scarier than a monster.” Naomi muttered as we got into the room.

“And what happened here.” She stopped at the entrance. Her laptop and the pillow were on the floor. “Oh, that. Ray stopped by.” I told them casually. My friends eyed me suspiciously.

“Here, in the room, you two all alone?” Jane faked a shocked expression.

“Stop, he’s a friend. You know that.” I told them.

“Anna, Ray’s a great guy.” Naomi said as she brushed her tangled curls.

“I know.”

I knew where this is going. We had this conversation before. My friends think Ray and I would make a great couple but I don’t feel that way. I bet Ray will be on par with me.

“Don’t friend zone him.” Naomi went on and Jane agreed with her.

“Now, that’s just ridiculous. I’m going to bed.” I sank into my bed. I didn’t even have the appetite to eat anything.

“Where’s Ivy?” Naomi asked us. “Do you still have your hand phone? Miss Fiona collected ours just now.” Jane stated. Normally we will hand in our handset on Monday morning before the classes start. I rolled over and took mine from the desk. I rang Ivy. She picked out on the third ring.

“Where are you?” I asked her.

“At the tower.” She whispered.

“And where is that?”

“In the institute, Anna.” Ivy answered impatiently.

“Oh okay, get back soon. Jane and Naomi got caught today. I don’t want you to get in trouble too.” I told her and hung up.

“Do we have a tower here?” I asked my friends. They thought about it before answering, “The two at each side of this institute?” Naomi asked.

“That should be it. Not bad for a dating spot.” I muttered.

The next day was awful, I felt worst. I should have taken medical leave instead of attending every class.

I had two quizzes and a test in the morning itself. I had been preparing for it for a whole week but due to my condition, I couldn’t complete any of it. I’m pretty sure my marks will get affected by this. Olivia and I shared two classes together today. She must have done it on purpose to mess with my grades. I could only glare at her through the classes while she was happily chatting away with her group, glancing at me once in a while to snicker sourly.

It was during the combat class, I dropped quite dramatically even before I finished the first lap on the field. I had no idea who carried me to the medic but I knew I made up to the top three most circulated gossip of the week in the Angels .

Of course the first place goes to Ivy and Daniel since they started dating officially. Fainting in a spy school is not something to be proud of or easily get ignored of. I’m pretty sure I must have been labeled as one of the weakest tyro in the institute. It is extremely important for us to keep our health in check. Mr, Raina had told us that if we can’t take care ourselves now then what would happen if we face dire circumstances.

I woke up with my friends staring at me worriedly. “Hey.” I smiled at them as I sat up.

“I think I blacked out.” I told them the obvious.

“You should have taken a day off, Anna.” Naomi said disapprovingly.

“I’m fine, just having light fever.” I lied. My fever hasn’t gone down a bit and my friends knew that. Before they could say anything, a nurse came in and chased my friends out of the medic centre.

I tried to get up but she stopped me. A female doctor came to my ward with a smile, “You’re going nowhere until your fever goes down.” I sank back into the bed.

“You should have come to me when your food got contaminated. Taking pills for nausea will only worsen it.” She stated while checking my temperature. I was stunned to hear that.

Olivia had planned this throughly.

“You should inform Miss Fiona who is responsible for this. It’s not healthy if tyros start to use this tactic to prank among themselves.” I didn’t expect her to figure it out easily but then again she’s a doctor in a spy school. She went away after a quick check. I gulp down the pill the nurse gave me and slept off almost immediately.

I went back to my dorm at night after having a light meal at the medic. I have been given the next day off which I was grateful for. There’s something I got to do.

The next day I went to see Mr. Henderson to give our answer. I felt so much better with this newly prescribed medicine. My friends skipped breakfast so that we could take the final vote. After a lengthy discussion we decided to accept the offer. Our training thus far would be pointless if we reject such a generous offer. We did not know much about mission these tyros always talks about but we wanted to give it a try. I wanted to clarify my doubts before I agree to the task. I walked straight to Block A. The place was busy as always. I reached the corridor where Mr. Henderson’s room located at the end.

I heard voices before reaching his room.

The conversation was between Miss Fiona and Mr. Henderson, sounds like they are arguing.

I should have stood in front of the glass door to be seen but I didn’t.

The matter they were talking about got my attention. It’s about us.

“They’re not ready.” Miss Fiona told him.

“They will be. You saw them at the test. They improved quite impressively in a short period.” Mr. Henderson voice stated strongly.”

“It’s dangerous for them to go out now. They need protection, in here. Death awaits them out there.” Miss Fiona’s voice dropped low but I heard it. My heart started to race. Death? I wanted barge in and question them but kept myself still. “I have chosen the right mission. It’s not far and we could keep an eye on them.” Mr. Henderson determined voice stated. “I’m not going to play his game. I will prove he is wrong and hope he might stop his crazy ploy.” Miss Fiona started to argue again but Mr. Henderson raised his voice, “Enough, Fiona.” I knew the conversation is over and I should either show myself or walk away. I chose the former. I walked to stand in front of his door. His eyes found me and Miss Fiona looked at me in shock. Of course I overheard something I shouldn’t have. The door slide opened and I entered. I have no idea what expression I wore at that moment but when my eyes fall on both of them, I felt betrayed. Mr. Henderson sat on his chair. His eyes guarded. “Sit.” I sat without a word. Miss Fiona excused herself. “What do you want to know?” He asked me. “The truth.” I set a hard stare on him. He pursed his lips. “I’m not sure if you are ready to hear it.” His voice was gentle. “I don’t want to be lied to.” I told him, not compromising. He nodded and tossed a bulky file on the table, in front of me. The file was labeled as highly confidential. My hand shook as I opened the hard cover. It was all words in it. The first page was a biodata of a person named Drago. I have heard the name before. There was no picture of him. I looked up at Mr. Henderson. “Who is this?” I asked him in curiosity. “The most wanted criminal, Drago. He is an underground mob leader. He’s involved in almost all the crime out there.” I looked down at his name. “You mentioned him before at the cabin.” I recalled the conversation between him and Miss Gabriella at the boot camp. He nodded. “He attacked you that day?” I guessed. “Yes, that was his men.” Mr. Henderson affirmed. “But why?” My mind was burning with curiosity about how this man could be connected to us. “We hunt him down. He’s the primary suspect in our radar. We had intervened in many of his crime related business but he never back down or surrender. His father was the real threat but when we got him. His son came out of nowhere, taking over his father’s syndicate.” His face grew serious, shoulder tensed. “What happen to his father? You caught him?” I asked in a small voice. “We shot him to death.” He answered briskly. I tried to keep up my poker face. “Oh.” I breathed. “So, he’s trying to take revenge by killing you?” I guessed. “Right now that’s exactly the scenario. He’s treating this as a game rather. He enjoys threatening and spreading his fame.” The file showed his age as 27. “He’s young.” I spoke out my mind. “That’s our advantage. It took us two decades to get his father. It’s a matter of time before we catch Drago.” His voice was strong and determined. “What does this have to do with us being here?” I finally asked. His expression darkened. The voice at the back of my mind asked me to not hear the answer. I ignored it and braced myself for whatever the answer could be. “Now, he’s set to kill you.” I waited for more but he stayed silent. I wanted him to repeat his words, to make sure I heard it wrong but I found no voice in me. My throat went dry. I absently mindedly cleared my throat before speak and my voice sounded pinched and short. “Why?” Mr. Henderson sighed as he looked away. “You and your friends interfered. Unfortunately the act of you saving me has cost your lives.” He answered in his strained voice. “But… How he knew it’s us?” I could not believe any of this. My hands started to shook badly. I balled them up and placed it on my laps. I don’t want to look frighten. “I’m afraid we have a traitor among us.” He grimaced. I was stunned to hear that. “We are investigating the possible suspects.” He went on. “How could you be sure, it’s us he wanted to kill?” I interrupted. I was more concern about the killing part. He stood up and went to the shelves to take a thumb drive. He attached it to his computer and then I heard the voice. “Henderson, how do you feel of being alive for the moment?” The voice laughed in a very strange way. I recoiled in my chair at the sound. “You should have ended in the beautiful fire I set for you and yet here you’re still walking on this earth unharmed. Interesting turnout of an event isn’t it. Who would have known the one who saved you were the oblivious teenagers. Interesting. Very interesting that now I’m interested in those girls, the four life savers of yours.” Mr. Henderson paused the recording. Obviously there’s more. I sat very still, my back pressed to the chair. I realized I have forgotten to breath. “Drago?” I breathed. Mr. Henderson nodded. “He called me the day you and Naomi got attacked at the mall. My eyes grew wide, hearing that. “That was him?” “His men. Both of you got lucky. That’s when I decided to bring you four in. The administration advised to give you enough protection but I wanted to give you more. I wanted to train you so that you could protect yourselves. I want Drago to think twice before he attempts to endanger you again. All four of you, as tyros would not look like an easy target for him. For the past few months you and your friends would have thought your life are being controlled by the Angels’. To a certain extent, yes, but there is no other choice. We can’t change the past but we could change the future.” My head started to spin. I could only think about our live being in danger and that a high profile criminal wants us. “I know this is a lot to take in. I had no intention to keep this as a secret but before I let you know I wanted you to be prepared, physically and mentally. I hope you understand the importance of your recruitment, Adrianna.” The Angels is our lifeguard for the time being, I realized. “What happens now?” I asked him. My mind is blank like an empty box. “Right now, you’re required to undergo whichever training we throw to you. I know this is too much to ask but if it’s possible I want you and your friends to graduate as fully trained tyros and become a spy.” He paused and measured my reaction. “Is this the only choice we have?” I questioned him. “No, there is another option. The one the administration suggested earlier, to give enough protection but your activities in the outside world would make it harder for that or you will be restricted from moving far from you protection. There are arguments whether to even provide each of you protection or not. Some are reluctant to lose our men for young commoners. I am not saying this to persuade you otherwise but this is happening and now that you know you might as well learn the truth.” He explained. “If, we’re not here, as tyros or graduated as spies. We might be left out there without any protection.” I asked him. “Yes that’s one of the possible outcomes.” He answered without any hesitation. Slowly, my mind started to put things into pieces, the sudden recruitment right after the attack at the parking lot, the strictness of our trainers and lecturers, and the heavy schedule. Stephanie was right, she guessed the Angels’ are preparing us for something big, only it’s not as awesome as she thinks. The Angels had been providing us trainings to stay alive. Now, we may have to become the real spies to stay alive. Spy to live. “But you said you will catch him? Lock him up?” I asked him. “We will but probably could take some times. As I told you, we might have his informer among our people so each of our plans reached him fast, even before our men executing it.” He told me in frustration. “But we will definitely stop him. Meanwhile I don’t want him to use you or any of your friends to get to us. Right now, that is his plan. He would be looking for you and I’m hope he’s not aware of you and your friends being here. Even if he knows, he will wait for the perfect time to act. I can assure you that the Angels’ will protect you but still you should be able to defend yourselves too.” “I should tell my friends.” I muttered. “That depends on you. Do you think they could accept the truth, the danger that awaits them?” He asked me. I nodded. “Remember, they will be affected by this news as much as you are. Make sure they understand the whole point of you being here and not come to make rash decisions.” I nodded again. I’m still processing the information. I walked to the door and just then I remembered the reason I came here in the first place. I turned and faced Mr. Henderson. “The mission.” I muttered. “What is your decision?” “We accept but…” I was not sure if that’s the right choice after hearing about Drago. “Ask me your question Adrianna.” He told me. “How can you let us out there after knowing Drago’s intention? What if he attacks like the other day?” My fear was consuming my head. “Adrianna, do you and your friends intending to stay in here forever? Is it okay for you to act the victims? This is the reason I wanted to train you instead of simply providing protection. I don’t want all four of live in fear. That’s what he wants. Utilize your knowledge and for the mission I have for you and your friends, I have chosen the nearest place. The agents will be there in no time if anything goes wrong. Don’t worry, it’s is our rule to not abandon the newly graduated tyros in their first mission especially in your case.” He explained. “I will prepare for the necessary. As fully committed tyros I want you and your friends to do well in your trainings.” I left the room in a daze. There are so many things happening in a short time. I never knew my life would come to this.

As I walked past this ancient building, the growing realization hit me hard. I stopped right in front of the beautiful statue, the angel. The moment we walked into this institute, it is not only the new world of spies we entered but we had walked right in the middle of an unspoken war between the good and the bad, and how we are actually part of the war, a war we had no idea existed. Now everything fit into pieces, everything make sense but the more it makes sense the more terrifying the world seem. What we have gotten ourselves into.

Ivy and Naomi were arguing about something while Jane sprawled on her bed with her home works. “Anna, you need to hear this.” Naomi caught my attention. I was barely aware of my surrounding until I reach my room. “What?” I asked the two girls. “She’s blaming us for what happened yesterday.” Naomi told me. “About?” I asked them. “She didn’t get to kiss Daniel and that’s our fault.” Naomi stated. “Huh?” I was totally clueless. “I’m not blaming you guys. It’s just…” Ivy’s eyes went all dreamy as she went on. “It was perfect timing, the moment, the moon, the tower, his eyes.” She sighed heavily and sank into her bed. “So? What went wrong?” I asked her and she gave me a ‘are you kidding me’ look. “You calling me.” She said accusingly. “Oh.” I had no idea. “Ops, sorry.” I said lamely. “Don’t worry you get to see him daily anyway.” Jane muttered not looking up from her books. I sat on my desk and opened the world map. I wanted to revise the locations of a few selected places for tomorrow’s class. I tried to concentrate but my mind voice can’t stop thinking about the earlier incident. Drago. The name keeps on popping in my mind. What are we going to do about it? I threw a few anxious glances at my friends. I remembered Mr. Henderson’s words. He told me as much as he noticed, he thinks that each of our strength would our friendship. The attitude of not leaving anyone behind and the understanding we had. He also mentioned we have the potential to become one of them. Before I leave, he stopped me. “Adrianna, your friendship maybe the strength of your group but it can also be your weakness. Remember that.” His words sent chill to my spine. I couldn’t comprehend his words. The guiltiness in me grew heavier. If only I didn’t drag them to that camp, we might have been spending our days as normal girls. “Anna, what are you thinking?” Naomi snapped me out of my guilty world. “You looked tensed. Are you feeling sick again?” Naomi asked me in concern. “No, I’m not sick. I’m fine.” I tried to smile but failed. “Is it about the mission? What did he said?” Jane questioned me. I looked at each of my friends, wondering if I should spill it all out. “Are you worried about how we will survive out there on our own?” Ivy asked me. I nodded. “Don’t worry, we will make it somehow.” She assured me. “I hope so. The old man didn’t say much about the mission but he did caution me about our safety that we should be careful. And to stay undercover and shouldn’t get caught.” I mentioned some of his words. “I’m still not sure what I’m going to do out there.” Naomi grumbled. “We are being trained in haste, expected to be on par with the other tyros. That’s just ridiculous. Isn’t the whole point we joined here is because the old man wanted to repay our kindness by teaching us some spy skills which is awesome, by the way. But now it’s getting serious. Don’t get me wrong. The idea of performing a mission sounds cool but aren’t we going to choose our own course next semester and all these will be secondary subjects so what’s the point of pushing us this far, training us this much.” She went on. “Did the old man tell you what we will be investigating about?” Jane asked me. “Nope. Not a word. But it’s not about the type of investigation, it’s about who we going to deal with. Gangsters? Mobs?” I wanted to tell them the whole story, looking at them now, maybe not. I don’t want to burden them with this right now. I will tell them when the time is right. “They can be dangerous or else why the need to go to them to get information secretly.” Ivy said. “I think we should prepare ourselves more. Train more. Learn more. I don’t want us to fail our first mission.” I told them and they agreed with me. “Anyway why are they sending us together?” Jane asked me. I shrugged, “I’m not sure about that maybe because the old man thinks we could work better together. I preferred it this way.” “Yeah, we could back each other up if anything goes wrong.” Naomi joined me. “Of course. As long as we stick together.” Ivy said. “We will.” I muttered.

This whole thing started by a mastermind, a gruesome man called Manlio. He’s not from here but he knew every wealthy and capable man in the country. He started small with supplying explosives into the country. Eventually he expanded his illegal business.”

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