"I could ask you the same question. What are you doing here?" Marin asks.
"I… I was…" I mutter, but unable to finish my thought. Marin looks at the two dead behind me. She closes her eyes. "It-it's a misunder—"
"The information broker told us about this hideout," Marin answers and opens her eyes. I knit my eyebrows.
"He told us you admitted to being a part of Cascabel. He followed you to this hideout yesterday. He showed us where today."
What?! Impossible… We covered our tracks. Did they read us…? I grit my teeth, take a few steps to the left, and ask, "What else did he tell you?"
"That you're the one who has been backing Osmir. That you've been holding Velyn and Seirus hostage…but we're too late."
"An-and you believe him?" "Over me?"
"Are you saying he's lying?"
"Yeah. None of it is true. Whatever he's been telling you, it's all lies."
Marin sighs and then says, "I want to believe you… I really do."
I smile and then exclaim, "You can! Just trust me."
"I can't…when you've constantly been lying to me… When will the lies stop?" I frown. "I didn't need the information broker to tell me that you were a part of Cascabel. I already knew. I've known for a while now. Did you think I wouldn't notice?"
I bite my lower lip and don't say anything for several seconds. There's an opening behind Marin and the others. "Maybe that part isn't a lie…but everything else! That old guy can't have possibly made any of those conclusions. The most he could've known was the location of this hideout."
Marin cocks an eyebrow and then asks, "What're you talking about? He wasn't that old."
I knit my eyebrows. She continues, "Hmm… Perhaps late 30's or early 40's?"
I raise my eyebrows. I gulp and then ask, "Did he have short brown hair…? And a hooded white uniform?
"Oh, so you did meet him." My eyes widen. My mind is finally grasping around everything. "Why'd you say he was old?"
I sigh and then furrow my eyebrows. I look straight into Marin's eyes. "Marin, listen very carefully. The only reason I joined Cascabel was to kill the man responsible for that incident. The man that led you here is Xedeus. He's the leader of Cascabel, and he's behind everything. We were here to set up an ambush, but he set us up with this trap instead."
Silence follows my confession. Marin, Jetia, and the guards burst into laughter. I relax my facial expressions and then quirk an eyebrow. Jetia says, "Oh how the great Kai has fallen."
"Kai…do you think we'll really believe that?" I frown. "Why would your leader purposely set you up and weaken his organization? It doesn't make sense."
"I…I don't know the answer to that either, but it's true! Bring me to that man right now. He's here, isn't he? You can't let your guard down around him! Where's Ruby?"
"You're not going to see that man again. You're coming with us, and he alread
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