Looking up at Yi Jenny, Ruda replied nonchalantly, “Oh, yeah, right. That was our deal.”
‘No…’ I stared at her while feeling devastated. Right after Yi Jenny, Yi Ruda got on the helicopter. The door then closed with a slam.
I just looked up at them in a daze while standing on the partially destructed hotel. The helicopter took a round in the air leisurely then flew away.
Staring at the scenery of Seoul on top of the collapsed building for quite a while, I, at last, woke up from sleep.
It was for the first time in a long time to wake up as if falling off a cliff or being thrown into the water.
As soon as I opened my eyes, I felt so dizzy that I touched my forehead but soon realized that I didn’t have time to hesitate. I quickly looked through the bedside and found my phone.
It was three in the morning. Removing my phone from the charger, I quickly entered a message.
Jooin, you knew it, right?
It was too early in the morning to expect a response from him, but within a few seconds, my phone rang. I opened it up to look at the screen.
Sent by: Son
I wasn’t aware of it but kind of noticed it though.
I bit my lips, thinking, ‘Why on earth did I never anticipate it so far?’
Yi Ruda didn’t look like a type who enjoyed reading; I actually never saw her reading something other than our textbooks at school. What was she doing in the library then?
Considering the nature of a place called a library, the answer was simple. A library was an open place for the public, but, at the same time, it was difficult to use for those who weren’t students; it was also a place that was too conspicuous to pass when something noisy happened or a suspicious person came in.
Yi Ruda was, therefore, staying at the library to avoid the men in black who were chasing him for the whole semester. If he got caught at home, no one was able to help him.
It wasn’t easy to make a fuss in a public building, and since libraries were mostly full of students, grown men with muscular physiques would attract every eye. If the tumult increased, Yi Ruda could quickly grasp that something suspicious was occurring and would be able to escape as soon as possible. Thinking to that extent, I bit my lips and disheveled my hair.
‘Yeah, if she could have evaded the pursuit at home, she would have not come to school that early! I should have then anticipated that she was eluding her pursuers at somewhere else other than her house during the break!’
There was also another thing that made me feel a pressure on my chest. I had heard so many conversations at the party hall, but I didn’t have much time and a chance to think deeply about those words; therefore, I lost so many clues right in front of my eyes.
The relationship between Yi Jenny and Yi Ruda… Yoo Gun’s sarcastic remarks about Yi Ruda carrying danger and risk at anywhere and anytime… and the words Yi Ruda dropped with a disarming smile when I was the only person within earshot… ‘Everything was a clue, but why did I miss all of them?’ Having that thought, I disheveled my hair in annoyance.
‘I ran away from my mother to never become a person like her, but everything I’m using to escape from that lady is what I all learned from her.’
From what she said before, I could assume where her fugitive career, astonishing running ability, and disguising skills came from. The person, who taught all those techniques to Yi Ruda and whom Yi Ruda was escaping from, was Yi Jenny.
My memories then cast back to the time when the helicopter landed on the rooftop. I heaved a sigh of despair, uttering, ‘Gosh, how can I realized that right now?’
‘Should we go, son?’
‘Oh, yeah, right. That’s was our deal.’
Replying to those words, Yi Ruda smiled at Yi Jenny with a pale face.
At first, when Yi Ruda came to save Ban Yeo Ryung and me by helicopter, an unexpectedly immense vehicle, I just considered that everything could happen since we were inside a world of the novel. I also thought that this novel had a scale of a blockbuster movie; however, I never wondered where the helicopter came from.
Now I came to think of it, even if this was a novel, how could a teenage runaway rent a helicopter in this small Korean peninsula? Besides, she didn’t have anything to do with the kidnapping incident, but how was she able to find our location before the Four Heavenly Kings?
I recalled what Yoo Gun said.
‘Why are you here in the first place when the securities are everywhere here. How many of them do you think are out of the reach of Reed Enterprises?’
It was also the name of the building where Yi Ruda dropped me and Ban Yeo Ryung.
That was when I came up with the guy in the black suit who was with Choi Yuri at the warehouse where we were kidnapped and trapped. He went outside the warehouse after Choi Yuri’s permission; he then never came back, and as soon as he stepped outside, the helicopter landed right in front of the warehouse. I, at last, grasped what all those things meant.
Yi Ruda made a deal with her mother, Yi Jenny.
It was just for the sake of saving me and Ban Yeo Ryung.
The next day, at school, kids were still being high up as if they were walking on a great big cloud. It was the usual atmosphere surrounding the school right after the end of the break.
However, only our class was way out of that light-hearted air of excitement. Everyone in our class threw a glance at Yi Ruda’s vacant seat while pausing their words from time to time. When some teachers called Yi Ruda’s name thoughtlessly to make her do a presentation, all my classmates got depressed and stayed gloomy even until the next class.
As the situation proceeded that way, other classes also learned about Yi Ruda’s dropout. The entire school then began to be in a bustle while talking about why Yi Ruda had left and transferred to another school.
However, that also didn’t last long since an unexpected event had utterly reversed the interest in Yi Ruda.
“It was a ghost?”
Descending the stairs totteringly with the trash bag in my arms, I asked the question.
Beside me, the Kim twins were also carrying trash bags, the outcomes of cleaning at the new semester, in their arms and walking down the stairs. Some kids, who were having a roughhouse with brooms and dustpans, clattered up the staircase next to us.
Holding a trash bag almost as big as herself, Kim Hye Hill responded in a composed face, as usual, without showing any signs of difficulty.
“Yeah, that’s what I heard. Do you think that makes sense? Not just one or two but every kid who arrived at school earlier has seen that.”
“It’s ridiculous. Besides, it didn’t just disappear in silence. I mean, if it was a ghost, it should just stare at other people wordlessly with sad eyes while standing still in a corner or so. Isn’t it?”
I giggled at Kim Hye Woo’s grumble then thought about the boy with sky-blue hair standing near the main entrance a few days ago.
He was wearing our school uniform and also looked our age, so I thought he was a transfer student without any doubt; however, for some reason, he didn’t show up in any of our classes. The entire school, who were excited to see a new student at the beginning of a new semester, started to wonder what was going on, then those rumors began to spread.
‘Hmm, well…’ I slightly frowned, ‘However, doesn’t he have such a unique identity to remain just as a ghost?’ Kim Hye Woo also looked as if he had the same thought.
He said, “And even ghosts have lines to say or not to say. What the heck was that? Ice Prin––”
‘Hold on, you don’t have to speak that out!’ With a shriek, I tried to jump into him to seal his mouth, but Kim Hye Hill kicked Kim Hye Woo on his knees beforehand.
‘Dang!’ Kim Hye Woo shut his mouth with a stagger. Kim Hye Hill then struck a retort to her brother in an icy cold voice.
“Are you gonna kill someone? How can you put that word out?”
“Then what do I say? Should I be afraid to say that name like Lord Voldemort? It’s just Ice Princess…”
“I told you to stop. Just call it a Voldemort then.”
I was thankful to Kim Hye Hill who was sensitive to the lines in web novels as much as I did, but I soon looked dumbfounded. Come on, wasn’t there a stark difference between Ice Princess Elsa and Voldemort?
Kim Hye Woo, beside me, also spoke with a look of bewilderment.
“Coming to this school to find Voldemort… that’s too weird. Let’s re-articulate it with a more romantic term.”
Listening to that remark quietly, I then carefully suggested my opinion.
“What about Coffee Princess?”
“Sorry, my bad.”
We then headed toward the garbage dump in silence.