The Wheel Of Fortune

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Chapter 21- Turning Point

“Get up.” I groan and pull the comforter over my head, “Nadya, Get up.”

I press myself deeper on the pillow to block the voice but all of a sudden the comforter is taken away from me. I try to pretend to be asleep but the persistent voice forces me to get up.

I tsk and slowly open my eyes to find Ryou standing beside my bed and looking down at me. “What?” I ask while lying on the bed before glancing at the clock on the table and continuing, “It’s 2 am, why are you in my room.”

I lean against the headboard and run my hand through my hair, “I am not going to train at this hour.” Seeing how he is wearing a black leather jacket, he must be going out, right? But where is he going? I let out a yawn while looking at his outfit.

“Who is asking you to train? Luella booked a flight back to her hometown and it is for 4 am... today.”

“Oh” I answer while closing my eyes to go back to sleep before opening my eyes and sitting up straight on realizing what he just said, “What? What? Luella is going where?”

“Yes, so now get up, we have to go. I receive the information not even half an hour ago. Luella took leave for four days yesterday evening and booked the flight last night for today morning.”

I throw away the comfortable and run towards my walk-in closet. I rapidly change into a white puff sleeve top and black bell-bottoms before running out of the closet while tying my hair with a ribbon. I let my tied hair fall on my back and open the second drawer of the study table.

After taking a deep breath, I reach for the pistol and the loaded magazine which I used during the training for the last one and a half week. I tuck the pistol in my jeans and put the magazine in my purse, I will load it before entering her house. Though I saw a gun tucked in Ryou’s jeans, I still want to keep one for myself for my personal safety.

On reaching the garage, I turn off my smartphone before entering the car. “Did you bring your gun?” Ryou asks as he exits from the community gate.

“Yes.”

“Load it before entering the house. And don’t tell anyone about this. If the administration department finds out we made a move without informing them then she will be not the only one who will end up in prison. EXH is very strict about acting without orders.”

“I will keep that in mind.”

After getting off the highway, the headlight of the car remains the only source of light on the road, while blue light from the screen and the steering wheel lights the inside the car. The occasional passing cars and trucks give me the comfort that it is not an abandoned road. The place looks rather undeveloped and there are only a few houses around and that too at distance.

“Are we on right track?” I ask hesitantly while eyeing the road for signboard.

“This place is at the outskirt so there are fewer houses and we are on right track. I have been here before.”

Ryou parks the car a block away from Luella’s house and we walk the rest of the distance. Once we reach her house, Ryou knocks at the door while I stay a step behind him to keep a look around. When no one opens the door, Ryou knocks on the door a few more times. The light is on so she must be inside. A minute later, Luella opens the door slightly and peeks from the gap.

“Who is...Your Grace? Why are you here?” She asks in a somewhat panicked voice.

Instead of answering her, Ryou pulls open the door which makes her step back in all the suddenness of his action. He steps in and walks past her into the first room on the right. She looks at his back in shock as an annoyed expression and scowl rise on her lips but as soon as she notices me still standing there and watching her expression, she quickly straightens her lips.

“I did not let him enter-” She starts. But I flash a smile and cut her off, “Thank you for letting us in, ” I say before walking past her and going the same direction as Ryou. And I don’t find it surprising when I find him sitting on the couch like he owns the house. Instead of taking a seat beside him, I take a stand behind the couch, finding it more comfortable to lean on it.

Luella enters the room and looks at both of us, “Your Grace? Can you tell me why are you in my house?”

“I heard you are leaving the city so I decided to pay a visit.” He folds his arm as he stares at her.

She gives us a stiff smile, “...But we don’t know each other nor I have done anything to you then why are you here? Kang only said we can’t leave the city till the investigation is ongoing but the investigation is already over. And I am just going back to visit my orphanage, I don’t know why you are making such a big deal out of it. I will be back in two days.”

“You are going to visit your orphanage?” He questions.

“Ryou, I want to talk with Luella alone. I will explain the situation.” Ryou looks back at me as I emphasize the last sentence. He thinks for a moment. Once he gives me a nod, I motion to Luella, she takes me upstairs to her bedroom. I stop in the middle of the room while closing the door before facing me.

“What do you want to talk about?”

“Do you know why we are here?”

“Of course not, otherwise why would I be asking? What do you want from me?” She asks in frustration.

“Luella, do you know about the important pen drive that went missing from Safan’s house?” I take two steps forward, stopping right in front of her.

“No, I don’t even touch his stuff. Are you both here for that? But I didn’t do anything, why would I steal the pen drive, it is useless to me. I don’t even know what is in it.”

“I never said that you stole it. But you don’t have to worry about the pen drive...since that was empty.” I tilt my head and show a pleasant smile. Her eyes widen and her mouth falls open as she opens and closes repeatedly. After some effort, she lets out only one word, “What?”

The next moment, raw anger covers her face and she says out of gritted teeth, “What the fuck, bitch? Are you kidding me?”

I think for a second, “Uhm...No.”

I don’t even have the time what happened but my reflex acts on her next action. She takes out a knife from behind and raises it to stab me in the chest. I hold her hand with the knife with one hand and elbow her face with the other. She quickly lets go of the knife and steps back while clutching her face with one hand.

I let out a small 'oops' and look at her bloodied nose. She removes her hand and looks down at the blood on her palm in horror. Maybe I hit much harder than I wanted. But it came out of reflex, it’s not like I wanted to give her a bloody nose. I kick the knife at the corner of the room with my feet and look at the same time when Luella raises her hand to slap me.

I grab her hand and twist it just enough to make her feel pain. Suddenly, the door behind Luella is opened with a start. I glance at it once before turning back to Luella. Ryou enters the room after a pause at the door and takes the scene in before walking up to us. He takes Luella from me and makes her sit on her knees on the floor and takes out his gun before pointing it right at her head. She shrinks back, gulps, and stops protesting all together.

For a second, I think he is going to kill her but he stops and look at me, “Are you alright?”

Oh, he was worried about me. “As you can see, I am perfectly alright.”

He turns back to Luella, “Who ordered you to bring the pen drive and why?” He makes sure to press the gun against her head. As he threatens her, I begin to go through all the drawers on the bedside table. Since the key was not in her room in the mansion, then she must have hidden it here.

“...I don’t know. I don’t know anything, let me go.” She shrieks by the end of her sentence. She tries to get out of Ryou’s hold but he doesn’t lose his grip. “I really don’t know anything.”

“Then why did you steal the pen drive?” I ask while taking out the key from under the book. So it was here, she was the one who stole it. I put the key in my pocket after showing Ryou the key.

“I don’t know anything, don’t ask me. I only did what I was told.”

“I see, then you won’t be of any use to us,” Ryou says before putting his finger on the trigger. “It would be better to dispose of waste before it contaminates any more places.”

“Wait, wait...I can only tell you what I know, put, put the gun away, I will only tell you if you put the gun away. Don't kill me, I will say everything.” She asks in a frantic tone as she raises her hand to push away the gun but actually has no courage to do so.

Ryou analyzes her expression before pulling the gun away but still keeps it trained at her. “Say it.”

“Uhm...Uh...I was contacted by a person before I left the orphanage and he was the one who said I have to work at Safan’s mansion and steal the pen drive from there. I don’t know what’s in the pen drive, I was only asked to steal and pass it to him after Safan dies.”

“Where can we find this person? Do you know his address?”

“No, he is the one who contacts me, I don’t have any way to contact him other than the number he left to me when we met for the first time. The only thing I can tell you is that he is called ‘M’, that’s what we call him.”

“Where is the number? Do you remember how he looks? Will you recognize him if you see him again? Answer carefully otherwise...” He leaves the sentence incomplete instead the cocks the gun at her.

“I can recognize him and I have kept the number in my dairy.” She nods repeatedly. “Just let me go.”

“After you lead us to him, when are you going to meet him to hand over the pen drive?” He, at last, puts the gun away completely. Tension leaves Luella’s body immediately and she takes deep breaths before answering.

“I have already-”

Ding

Everyone falls silent at the sudden intervention. I glance at the wall clock before exchanging glances with Ryou. Who comes at such an hour?

"I will go and see who it is," I say while reaching for the gun but Ryou stops me.

"I will go." He grabs Luella by her arm to take her with him, "Go answer it, I will stay behind you."

“It should the driver, I booked a taxi,” Luella explains when Ryou makes her stand up. “Take care of him and don’t try to run away. I don’t think there is a need for me to warn you again.” He hands her a tissue to wipe her blood before motioning towards the door.

As Luella exits the room, I start roaming around the room while Ryou keeps standing at his place, waiting for Luella. There is sound of talking from downstairs and it continues for a minute.

All of a sudden, I notice something. Wait a minute...Why are there three different voices? And why is the conversation with a driver is going on for so long?

I put away Luella’s phone and begin concentrating on the voices downstairs. Even Ryou moves away from his place and presses his ear against the door with a serious expression. I exchange a glance with Ryou. I reach for my gun as Ryou grabs the knob and opens the door as softly as possible.

Ryou and I stop right behind the wall beside the staircase. As Ryou descends the stairs first, I lag behind with my gun ready and trained towards the floor. As soon as we reach halfway down the stairs, I can finally fully see all the four people standing near the door including Luella.

They stop talking when they see us coming down. Luella turns around to look at us too when her companions stop talking and keep looking behind her back. She gives us a smirk, “Now let’s see who will threaten whom.”

Not even a second later, there is a loud sound from behind Luella, I flinch and cover my mouth with my free hand as something warm splatters on my face.It makes me a few seconds to realise what just took place.

I stare at the wide eyes of Luella, which I am sure I will never forget in my life. I lower my trembling hand and look at the hole right in the middle of Luella’s forehead.

Thud

I lower my gaze and look at the body on the floor in horror. The blood pools on the floor and the mat dyes the place red. Slowly, I raise my head to find a gun directly in front of me trained at me. What the...I raise my hand to fire but the next second another shot rings out. I close my eyes and raise my arms, acting out of my reflex.

When I don’t feel any pain for the next few seconds, I take a deep breath and open my eyes while lowering my arms. I look at the sight in front of me before glancing at Ryou, who is focusing on the situation. I release a sigh of relief and face the magic circle which is acting like a barrier, covering our front. The blue magic circle is big enough to cover all the front, not leaving any area for them to attack or shoot from.

They stop firing when they notice the shots are not even leaving a crack on the magic circle.

“Run,” Ryou shouts as soon as they lower their guns.

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