Surreptitious Hent

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Chapter 4

On the car ride back home, Noir counted the seconds passed before he looking at the girl again on his passenger seat.

1..2..3..4...7 then looked again. Same pose.

1..2..3.. at his 4th count a thought passed in his mind that the child could be an orphan who ran away, he made a mental note to call all the near orphanages in the city.

At 5th, he tried to assessed the girl by her image, does a child who looks like 6 or 7 could be that expressionless as her? And silent as she could be? Anyhow, he hope that Zara would accept her because this girl has the thing she likes the most.

At 6th, while waiting for the stoplight to turn green, he saw police cars on the other lane, speeding up to the adjacent street, there were 6 cars in total and ambulance on the end. All on with their sounds and well speeding up.

After they all passed their sight the stoplight turned green.

At 7, the girl spoke; "Who do you think it would be?"

Assuming she was talking about the scene earlier, Noir shrugged, "I don't know, I really do not crossed that street. They say it's full of bad guys and guns, and bloods, and that's scary. Don't ever go there if I were you."

It's true, that street is the most dangerous street he could ever imagined. His late father always reminded him not to step a foot there when he was a kid. One time, he heard gunshots and shuffling noises from that street and almost tripped from his soccer ball when he saw a man emerging from that street.

That man keeps on haunting him. After all this years. The man was covered in blood. Proof that that street is a really dangerous one.

The girl smirked, her smile fading away as quick as seconds before she dropped the most dangerous thing that Noir could've ever take.

"But I lived there."

Isabela sat on the corner of the bed and fished her phone from her luggage. She tried calling Noir again and sighed heavily when she heard the other end rang.

Yet it was not Noir who picked the call.

"Hello. My friend, it's nice to hear from you." It was a girly robotic voice that Isabela knows too well.

"Hent? Why did you answer my call?" She asked, it was Hent, the AI robot that the organization made who answered the call but why would she answer Noir's call?

"Everyone is busy here." Hent replied. She was an advanced robot made only for the organization by some great scientists the organization hired. She was made same before Isabela entered the organization, she was her first friend at the same time her first enemy. She knew she could ruin the things around her so she chose the tasks that the organization put on her.

Since the first day, she already knew that the friendship won't lasts forever but she took a few steps however to accommodate Hent here and there. Hent knew quite a thing about Isabela, Hent has a file in her cabinet dedicated only to Isabela but Isabela hasn't.

It was a sad ending but it was good than being happy. Isabela trained hard on the other branch where they treat her like Hent. She became Hent's little apprentice. Hent's duplicate. At the worst.

"Can you spot Noir? I need him to clarify some things." She said, holding onto the phone a little to tight.

A human becoming a robot solely for the mission is quite ludicrous to hear but lo and behold after years of training. Isabela became who she was. Looking back, maybe her family, Hent, and the people surrounding her contributed a lot on her transformation. A catastrophic transformation.

"No. I can't find him."

"That's okay. Thanks." Isabela averted her gaze on the door where she heard muffled sound of that guy and girl named Rachelle.

"You are welcome. Anymore?"

She lifted her phone from her ears before closing the distance again and said quitely; "do you have the file of the Crowne's?"

"Yes. What do you need?"

"Can you send me a report via e-mail?"

"How long will you want to wait?"

"As soon as possible" She said and immediately ended the call and hide her phone on the secret stash of her bag.

"Hey, Isabela, Rachelle's gone." The guy said behind the door. Isabela picked up her pace and opened the door.

"Why did you hide?" Was the first words that the guy asked when she saw him.

"I wasn't, I just thought I'll go to my room."

"Is there... Is there something I need to know?" He said it like someone who doesn't want to swallow the lump in his throat so he forced the words out with all his might.

A deafening silence emerge from the whole apartment. Isabela tries to process what he said.

Was there something that is scarier than hiding things? If so, why was he so scared that someone will hide things from him?

"Nothing. What would you need to know?" She finally said, receiving a sigh of relief from the guy.

"Good because I'm not the kind of person who likes to get hidden with things."

"By the way, let's continue your tasks shall we?" He said, back with his shining personality again.

"Come with me."

She was led from the living room where the board and all of the things where still there and can still smell the footprints of Rachelle's because it smelt like pink fruity that makes Isabela cringed

"Here is the board that girls like- as you saw Rachelle really likes it- now for you, I'd like to test your endurance slash reaction time with this."

"Why is that part of the test?" She asked not trying to inhale the scent so her voice is in more higher pitch than usual.

But this guy seems not to notice that, "Huh? Don't you know this when you're in grade school? Junior or Middle school? Even college students do this. Anyway, put the stickers on the board."

Isabela, still stopping her breathing almost crushed his head with her bare hands but stop mid way. She keeps her silence and walked slowly to get those stupid stickers laying on his worn-out couch.

She post it one by one on the glittery board even if the only thing she want to do right now is to burn the board together with him.

Self-control. Yes. Self-control, she was always reminded to have self-control, the one that the organization taught, she must apply that right now.

With the last sticker on hand, her halting of her breathing was no problem when she was still on training with the people of the organization, she can hold her breath underwater, on ice cold temperature and made her breathing technique while she was on a shrinking house where air s thinned every passing seconds.

There's no way she could not pass this task but with her anger of him going on inside her veins, she could feel every bit of her nerves pulsating to strangle his neck. Cursing him with the passing seconds and digging a hole fit for his body 7 feet under the ground until she was satisfied and can finally breathe.

"Okay so you've done great on the first task. Now for the second, I have here a luggage bag."

Isabela looked at him with a raising brow as he showed a medium size luggage on her.

"Fit yourself here." He said tapping it like that is not annoying as hell.

Isabela's knotted forehead is visible when she closed the distance between him and she was sure that she noticed that.

But she doesn't gave him a second to talk, instead she removed her house slippers. Step on the luggage and showed him that a 5 foot 7 inches lady can fit on his luggage, when she finally settled herself in it, she took on the other side and close the luggage herself from the inside.

He was left with his mouth half-opened. "Second task done." He said, checking his clipboard.

After he said that, he helped Isabela to get out of the luggage and step aside when she got her stance back.

"Let's go to the kitchen." He said not even looking on Isabela's eyes nor putting the luggage back.

"I have this box here with a lock, try finding the key with this various exercises that I set on this table. This will test your math skills, language competency, chemical skills, crafting skills, geography, nutritional—"

She didn't let her finished by throwing an apple at him she found on the basket next to the set of knives. That will surely hit hard without spilling his blood on his kitchen.

"Hey Isabela, are you listening?" She got off track when she realized how closed he was on her, snapping his fingers repeatedly.

Isabela immediately pushed her head back, blinking repeatedly on the process. One of the most vital thing that the organization wants is to never put your guard down.

Because you'll never know when someone will kill you dead. You need to be faster than them and kill them first.

How can she forgot that at this moment? Her only tasks here is to love him and then kill him but on what is happening right now it seems that she's more loathing him than loving him.

She had to pull back up and stay on track. She's loosing more than she could win. She had to put her head back on the game.

Looking at him, she pushed her back slightly and said; "Yes. Please continue." Like how she must said that. In a calm, monotonous manner. Like she always practiced. Like she was always.

"Okay, as I said, you have your time limit. If you exceed 1 minute you'll definitely be banished."

Isabela looked at the math problem that was given; If sin A + sin^2 A = 1sin and a cos^{12} A + b cos^8 A + c cos^6 A - 1 = 0 then b + frac {c}{a}+b = ?

Isabela's mind blew away after reading the question. If there is an expression that best describe her emotion 'clueless-seriousness-prepare-to-die-you-faggot next' then it would be a bloodbath here.

Did he just gave her a trigonometry question? How is she going to answer that?

"Now your timer starts no—"

Its like adrenaline rush receded on her and flashback on her trainings in the organization come in her mind and like a domino everything falls back and only one remain standing. She ran quickly over the edge of the table and saw the wooden box he was talking about, locked in a small padlock but no metal can be seen around.

She punch the box harder with no hesitation saw then it made a cracking sound making her rejoice inside and got the apple.

The next thing she saw was him, grinning like a fool while clapping his hands slowly, "Time stop is 7 seconds. Okay next. Change your clothes, we're going to the market." He said, slapping the pen with the clipboard that he's holding.

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