“Y-You want me to help them?” I ask, staring hard at Lily.
“Yes… yes, I do, Caiden! But you must want to help them too, right?” Lily asks fervently.
“You saw that man assaulting my mother with your own eyes! How mercilessly he destroyed her life just to fulfill his evil desires! And… And now, what he’s planning to do with me… With my sister…” she says, shuddering a little in fear, but I can see great anger flaring inside her eyes.
“I am not… Lily…”
I find it difficult to reply to this.
Of course, my anger for Harrison hasn’t settled down even a single bit. The memory of his assault on Mrs. Storm and the dark bruises on her body is still fresh inside my mind. There is no doubt that I want to see him get punished equivalent to the pain he has inflicted on others.
I also haven’t forgotten what the gang has done to me and Lily… how they made me rape her, how they threatened and blackmailed me, how they are using us even now.
“Lily, as you said, Harrison needs to get what deserves. And I know that we alone— without the aid of the gang— won’t be able to make him pay, but that also doesn’t mean that we should just forgive the gang for what they did to us and give them our open support.
“They are criminals, Lily. Even if it’s futile, we should always show resistance to anything they force us to do for them. Otherwise, they will simply stop being cautious with us and easily turn us into their pawns— exploiting us in any and every way possible for their benefit,” I say in a serious tone.
“No! You are wrong!” Lily shouts.
It is so sudden that, for a moment, I just stare at her in shock; it’s extremely rare for Lily to shout at me. But the next instant, my shock subsides as I finally see something strange, something I was looking out for, something betraying her composed face.
Out of nowhere, she’s now looking at me lividly. Though I can still detect traces of unmistakable fear on her face.
“We should support the gang with our everything! There is no point in making things difficult for them knowingly! And whatever they did to us, does it even matter!? We were already in love with each other!” she declares angrily.
“Lily, do you even know what you are saying!? It doesn’t matter if we were in love or not! They forced us into doing it, threatened us! They are not good people, Lily!” I say, my voice gaining volume as well.
“Oh… No, I get it. Of course, you don’t want to help them… I know why…”
Surprising me yet again, Lily calms down suddenly, even faster than her anger came.
“W-What are you saying?” I ask, lowering my voice as well, disconcerted.
“You don’t understand why the gang is after my— that man, do you?” she asks.
I do not reply but continue to stare at her in confusion.
“Yes, it makes sense, you need to know their reason as well, Caiden. I am sure you will also agree with me after that. Their—”
“Now, now, Lily. Why don’t you leave that part to me?”
Suddenly, a voice interrupts. Turning around, I see that the door is open and Reagan is standing inside the room, though I don’t know since when.
“Reagan,” Lily addresses her with a neutral face.
“Come with me, boy. I would be able to explain things from here much better. Lily, you should lay down and try to sleep for a while. Three days without even a small nap is a little concerning” she says, giving Lily a worried look that looks completely fake.
Lily nods but doesn’t say anything.
“You haven’t slept for three days, Lily!?” I ask.
“I-I couldn’t… nightmares,” she replied with a strained smile.
“But you said that—”
“Boy, I think we should let her rest. Come with me, I will tell you everything you need to know,” Reagan says while moving forward and grabbing my arm.
And before I know it, she pulls me out of the room— into the corridor again, closing the door shut behind.
Just for a moment there, while leaving, I think I saw Lily’s features getting strangely darkened, though I am not sure if it was just a trick of light or not.
“I want to speak to her, let me go!” I say, jerk my hand away from Reagan’s grip.
“No, leave her be, she actually needs to rest. Anyway, she couldn’t tell you the things you want to know, but I can,” she says.
And without waiting for my reply, she turns around and starts walking away.
I stand still for a moment in dilemma: whether to follow her or dash inside the room again. Even though heavily leaning towards the latter, I grudgingly take a deep breath and stride after Reagan.
To be honest, I do have a strange feeling that I won’t be able to hold a proper and factual conversion with Lily right now.
“I don’t understand! What happened with Lily?” I ask, reaching next to Reagan.
“What do you mean?” she asks with a smirk.
“You perfectly know what I mean! You said that Lily has recovered. And unbelievably, she was actually normal at first— telling me what happened to her in the last three days calmly.
“But out of nowhere, she suddenly became angry— at me, of all people. And then, as you saw, she was calm again. What’s with this fluctuation!? If she’s normal now, why was she acting like that!?” I ask accusingly.
“I never said that’s she’s back to being normal. She just recovered from her shocked state and is better than before. You should be thankful for that,” she says with a shrug.
“Yeah!? You liar! Lily herself said she’s back to normal!” I retort.
“Oh, that’s what she believes, you idiot,” Reagan says with another laugh.
“What she believes!?” I ask, frowning.
“Don’t you understand what I have done!? How cleverly I have turned your girlfriend— who would have probably proven to be the most difficult one to control— in favor for us!?” she says, a triumphant look on her face.
“I had limited time, you see, but it was all planned out; Making Lily watch that video alone in the van after feeding her some lies, picking her up right after you left to maximize the time I could get, not letting her talk to any of her friends or you…”
“And even what transpired in those three days… Lily only told you what she believes had happened, it was not entirely true. While I did order Abigale, Emily, and Nora to look after Lily and cheer her up, I knew that it was impossible for her to actually become normal in just three— no, two days.
“She told you that she talked her hearts out, and even cried to Abigale, didn’t she? Well, I admit, she did cry, but I don’t think that just a couple of sentences can be called “talking my hearts out”. And even the next day, quite opposite to what Lily told you, she barely spoke in the amusement park or cafe, much less enjoy herself in any way.
“I think— and I believe it’s correct— that she’s affected so much by that incident, that her mind twisted the reality to lessen the pain she’s feeling. Making her believe that she’s getting better in the company of those three. And well, this is what I wanted,” Reagan says with a satisfied expression.
“But still, while being far from normal, she at least recovered enough to listen and understand when being talked to and answer back decently. Thus, making my task easier when the third day arrived.
“You know the reason why Lily could talk to you, what it seems like, normally? What could I have done to make her like this in just one— yes, one day?” She asks, her eyes gleaming.
“Simple, as Lily mentioned, I told her the reason why our organization is after Harrison Storm, the things he has done to incur our wrath— with some explicit proves to justify my claims (You will understand better after I tell you too, boy).
“And as I hoped, adding these things to what happened to her mother, it was enough to spark a new emotion inside Lily other than fear, disbelief, and shock she was feeling for the past three days— it was anger,” Reagan says, her lips curling into a smile.
“And as said, her mind was trying it’s hardest to lessen the pain she was experiencing— obviously, it latched to this new emotion immediately. And thus, converting all the excruciating pain into anger and rage against her father.
“But that doesn’t mean her mind became normal, you see. This newfound rage is controllable, if I must say, and blind. And that’s what I wanted to achieve, that’s what I thrived for since the start. For her to be willing to do and say anything I tell her to, just so that she can quench this explosive rage she now carries in her heart— to make her father suffer for what he has done.”
“In simple words, I basically turned your mutinous little girlfriend into my obedient doll,” Reagan finishes, enjoying the horror-struck expression on my face.