treacherous

Chapter 6: A Progress

"…and is classified as an action of murder. Eijiro Himeka, the owner and the CEO of the infamous Eijiro Corp. was found dead in her room on 6 p.m. by her assistant…"

As a maid puts down the tray of black tea, Natsu felt his mind could wander anytime if only his father didn't motioned him to follow him into the spacious living room with a big television in front of them. A dull pain in his head caused him to sip the hot tea thoughtlessly then he cursed inwardly for his stupidity.

Just why the heck–

His father's laughter boomed as his left eye twitched and stared at him with scowling face. After he drank his tea – with an extra careful this time – Natsu put the tea cup back on the table. He peeked at his father, only to see the older man was frowning on whatever he saw. Following his gaze, Natsu found himself looking at the television; an ambulance was clearly displayed as the female newscaster reads the news clearly.

"…a dagger was stabbed in her stomach with a big lump on the back side of her head. There is no trace about the villain and now the police and some detectives are…"

"Himeka-san…"

"You knew her," Natsu blurted.

"I do," his eyes stared at the air, his mind traveled back to the time where they get acquainted, "in fact, she was one of my best let's-skip-this-shitty-meeting-buddies," he sighed and chuckled bitterly, "and I don't know what kind of action she did to deserve… this."

The quiet boy didn't answer. His eyes still fixed to the wide screen, unable to tear it away. It was weird, though, because Natsu seldom watches the television, let alone watch the news. But a weird feeling of curiosity appeared as he continued to watch it.

"…and with this case, there has been five murders in this month and two of them were on this week; two days ago to be precise,"

Another newscaster, the male one, reported before he changed the topic to politic and natural disaster. Natsu turned the television off before he asked his father a silent question of 'what is this thing you want to talk to me?' and saw his father turned off the television.

"Son," Igneel started, "do you mind to tell me who was the girl?"

As expected. The boy fought the urge to roll his eyes. "Not one. Just a random stranger."

"Natsu, I believe that she's a stranger, but unfortunately, I know you too damn well," the red haired-man rolled his eyes, not even bothering to stop his curse. "You won't just help any random stranger, hell, you won't even help me if I got hypothermia."

Natsu had to stifle a mocking laugh at his father sudden little drama.

"Kid, tell me the truth, you don't have to hide the truth about if she's your girlfriend or something."

As much as he wanted to do the face palming, he prevents his itchy hands to do that. But he couldn't control the reflex of twitching his eyes. "Let me correct some of the misunderstanding here," his hand balled into fist instead. "First, I will not not helping you if you got this hypothermia or something because I will let you suffering because of your own stupidity. Second, she is not my girlfriend. And three, I told you the truth."

"Ouch," his father faked the sound, trying to mock his only son, "and if that girl isn't your girlfriend then who is she?" he was now growling. He leaned forward, eyes narrowed to stare at Natsu skeptically.

"She IS a stranger," he shouted in disbelief on his father's maddening attitude, "an annoying, loud-mouthed, female stranger which came to the balcony days ago to send back that blue cat and annoy me!"

Silence.

Natsu's eyes widened. He wasn't just blurted that, right? Right? Right? But alas, he was so very wrong. He saw his father smirked – grinned widely on Natsu's tiny tongue slip. And inwardly, he did the victory dance to celebrate his luckiness.

"Oh, I see."


"You're a good for nothing child! An annoying pest!"

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, Papa…"

"It should be better if you were never born at all!"

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, Papa…"

The sounds of soft whimper were barely audible as another sound of beating her father caused echoed the room. She couldn't do anything. Her body was too weak to fight back. She didn't have anything around her to use as a weapon and her hands were tied behind her back. But she was not going to fight back. She only had to obey.

"Don't you dare call me 'Papa'! I'm not your freaking father, you monster!"

"I-I'm so sorry…"

Long blonde hair scattered on the dirty wooden floor, smeared with blood that trickling down from her head. Her small body slumped in the corner; her legs were having some swollen injuries as the result of her father's constant beating with a sake bottle.

"You little monster!"

"I…"

"I'm not a monster."

"Who?"

Lucy's eyes widened when she heard someone asked her. Quickly, she glanced to the side, to see a man with red hair. Despite the low voice he made, he was grinning rather widely. The red-haired man was wearing a black suit with a gray tie. It matched his dark-colored eyes well.

"Um…" her voice cracked, "Sir, where am I?"

"You're a polite one, huh?" the grin widened with a hint of smirk. "Never mind, you're in Natsu's room. You know him, right?"

She blinked slowly, trying to absorb the information the man had told her. "W-What time is it now?"

"It's five past sixteen in the evening."

Upon hearing the time, she sat up abruptly, causing a mild headache, but she didn't care. There was a meeting with her father she should attend on six, and it appears to be an important meeting about her job. Aside from her main mission to kill a certain person her father had assigned her to, her job as a public – of course just for all people who know her and her father – assassin never ceased. Last night she just killed this beautiful woman and two days ago, she just killed a boy.

"I have to go. My…" Friends? No. Family? Right, but she didn't, she couldn't risk her mission here, "cat is waiting for me to feed him at six," the girl removed the thick blanket. "I thank you so much for everything, I must've made troubles last night, I'm sorry, Dragneel-san."

"Are you in a hurry? I can drive you home if you want, but I prefer you to stay here, little girl," the man ruffled her bed hair gently. "You're still sick, after all. And I think Natsu won't like the idea of not meeting you after his return."

"But–"

"No buts," he pushed Lucy back to the bed, "wait, you said your cat?"

"I believe I said cat, what is it, Dragneel-san?"

"So you're living alone?" his jet black eyes widened at his remark.

"Uh…with my cat, if you didn't count it alone."

"Nonsense, Missy, you shall live here from now on!"

Jaw slightly dropped, Lucy never knew that her infiltration process would be this easy.

"But, Dragneel-san, I can't just suddenly live here, can I?" Lucy asked, confirming if her infiltration was really that easy.

"Yes, you can because I said so. Say, what's your name? My son refused to tell me your name even if I know he knew your name."

"Lucy, my name is Lucy," she smiled softly. "It's nice to meet you, Dragneel-san."

Infiltration: success.


"She… what?"

Natsu's eyes twitched as he saw the Lucy girl sleeping on his bed from the corner of his eyes. Porlyusica had been there for an hour before Natsu's arrival since Igneel had called her to examine the girl's condition.

"She lives here starting from today," his father frowned. "I thought I said that quiet clearly."

"She can't."

"Of course she can."

"And why do you think so, old man?"

"Because I said so and I'm not an old man, Natsu."

"Whatever."

With a loud 'blam' from the door, Natsu quickened his pace to the practicing room; the only place where his father won't set a foot. Tomorrow he will have to go to the studio to do a combined exercise with the rest instrument player of an orchestra group. He better started to work out his violin or else he might not be able to catch up with his rest time.

A piece titled Bloom played without the piano's background song, but somehow he knew the time where and when he had to stop and resume his violin play. The song didn't last long; it just had four up to five minutes long, but it was simply beautiful one, Natsu had to approve. Maybe he had to thank the composer to make such a beautiful song and he knew he can do that because Mavis will be there tomorrow to watch him do his rehearsal, and so does his manager.

The second song was Serenade Melancolique Op. 26 by Tchaikovsky, which the song last for about ten minutes long. This one was orchestrated but he was still the main player. To think the event again, it wasn't a big concert like he just did several weeks ago. It will be just a mini concert as the pre-concert for the upcoming one. Located on the Crocus, his concert will be attended by the King and the Princess themselves, Toma E. Fiore and Hisui E. Fiore.

"Natsu-san."

A soft voice calling for him suddenly chimed. He turned his head to the side to see the girl who was supposed to be sleeping. "Thank you, you know, for the last night's trouble," Lucy smiled sheepishly.

"You will be living here," Natsu stated, earning a nod from her. "Why do you ask, Natsu-san?"

"That old man might accept you, but don't you think I am," he turned back his head and now focused on his violin. "And that was a statement."

Despite his harshness, he saw her smile didn't waver. The next thing she said had left his heart in mixed and confusing feeling, but he knew it wasn't the same feeling he had when she was unconscious. Not a tight knot inside his chest, more like it was piercing like a knife. Jabbing his heart cruelly, he almost feel the pain.

"I won't be long here, don't worry."

Because a tiny part of his wanting, longing a little company. Because he was tired of being alone. Because he was lonely.

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