Chapter 4: Unveiling Deceptive Lies

The room was dusty, dark, and tight. Hansel ushered me to a storage filled with a lot of folders. The light flickered and the dust tingled my nose, causing me to sneeze uncontrollably. Did he forget I had allergic rhinitis? I was starting to hate him for this.

I rolled my eyes in frustration and kicked the crate with too much force than I intended. Heaving a sigh, I looked down on the scraps scattered on the floor. The crate was opened, papers spilling out of it. How was I the one to fix this? Was he even serious?

I crouched in front of the pile of papers and started picking everything up. From my curiosity, my eyes began to trail on the texts, reading every detail of what seemed like a research. There was even a newspaper hidden with these papers. With my nosiness, I read it.

"Jack Houston's murder case had been compromised," I read through the headline, mumbling to myself. What was the newspaper doing with these folders?

The death of Jack Houston was a big case that was opened in the year 2015. The most influential journalist was killed by Edward Jones.

The texts in the newspaper read. I put a hand on my mouth, furrowing my brows.

What? Dad didn't kill anyone, this wasn't true. How did I not know any of these? Didn't they know that Dad's currently lost?

Edward Jones' death was caused by assassination and called down by the Houstons as quits.

My fists clenched, causing the newspaper to wrinkle.

This was just pure evil. Dad didn't even die from their assassination, nor was he really dead. And what the hell? They even called it quits? Such a disrespect. I guess media sided to Houstons. I suspected Mom did nothing to put down this rumor.

Tears of anguish started to form in my eyes, but I shrugged off any emotions, knowing my weakness would take over me if I ever let it fall. My hands were trembling, and my heart was pounding rapidly that it could fall out my chest. I felt furious, and I wanted revenge on what they had done.

Dad might be dead. How can this be concealed from us for a long time?

I put the newspaper inside my bag and quickly cleaned up the papers that were scattered around me. I picked up the crate and placed it on the shelf beside the array of small boxes. Then I searched the disorganized folders beside the shelves, hoping I would find more.

Suddenly, someone barged in the door and I was jolted, causing the shelf to move. It made a bunch of old books fall on my head, as I stumbled on the ground, rubbing my hand on my head in pain.

"Ouch!" I exclaimed and tried to endure the pain. "You should've knocked."

My voice sounded sore, and my mind was trying to figure out who it was. Then I saw Mom, staring down at me with her widened eyes. She was still holding the knob, and I was on the ground with books layed on top of me.

"What are you doing here?!" she asked anxiously, a little enraged.

Of course, that would be her reaction. She might've guessed that I found something really confidential. I tried my best to look eased, so she wouldn't suspect anything.

"Mom?" I furrowed my brows, standing up from the floor. "I was just trying to be useful so Hansel told me I should clean this storage. But nevermind, I shouldn't be doing this job, anyways. And I should probably return home," I said in a most natural and innocent way possible.

She sighed in relief and moved her hand that was holding the knob to her chest.

"So you're being a janitor now?" She chuckled jokingly, and I was surprised by the tone of her voice. It didn't sound like her. I mean, it was too nice to be her.

"Not really. I'm done." Then I raised both my palms to the side of my face in defeat. "After what struck my head, no thank you."

I grabbed my bag on the floor and walked past by her. I left her vicinity and traipsed to the elevator.

My head was sore, so was my elbow that caught my weight when I fell. That was actually nothing compared to the heft of pain my heart felt. Everything was just unfolding in front of me; it was ubelievable. The pain I had to endure seemed too much, and I felt like the world conspired against me.

The tinging sound of the elevator averted my attention from my thoughts. I immediately stepped out and made my way outside the building to the parking lot.

I should go to William, he needed to explain this to me.


"Nothing in this article was true," William agitatedly said, tossing the newspaper in the trash can.

"I know. That's why we need to find out what really happened," I responded, tensed.

"These newspapers were not even distributed publicly. If so I should've known it by now." William paced back and forth, his thumb on his chin while his elbows rested on his other arm.

"My question is, why would they disseminate a false information? And Jack Houston, who is he?" I pointed to the newspaper frustratedly.

"Jack Houston wasn't the man the media thought he was. Their family was an enemy. They saw Edward the night Jack died and accused him of his death. So your father ran away and I did everything I could to save his company," William explained. The words that escaped his mouth made everything so confusing.

"You didn't even tell me this." I frowned at him. My hands were sweaty, and I never thought we would be talking about such thing.

"They wanted to take your father's wealth. So when the company hired Jack to be their journalist, not long after that, your father suspected his treachery," he explained further, clasping his hands together. "But Edward didn't even tell me what Jack did."

"Shit. Then we should go find Dad then," I eagerly responded, having no idea what I was saying.

Then it hit me. Dad might be dead without us knowing it. But I was still clinging to the hope that I would find him someday. Maybe that hope was gone, and Dad was dead. If he was alive, we could've heard of him somewhere.

I shrugged off the emotion and composed myself in front of William to show my eagerness.

"You shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight, Araulla. We need to be smart, wise, and most importantly, invulnerable. I should prepare you more." He then caressed my arm in a comforting way. "It will take time."

"The time was taken away from us, William. I've killed people for you, hoping that you would show me where he is, how can I wait for time? This is enough, and if I were to shed one more blood, it will come from the Houstons. No matter what it takes, or if it meant getting myself killed," I said sadistically, the ecstasy of anger rushing in my body. I should set aside any sentimental emotions; it would cut off all my courage and dauntlessness.

"Stop being impulsive and focus on what is happening right now. We will deal with this, and all the hard work will be paid off by justice at the right time. I'm preparing you, Araulla," he then comforted and sighed hesitantly. "Your father didn't want this for you because it will be risky along the way. But I need your help especially now that someone must've held your father captive."

I blinked my eyes in disbelief. If someone held Dad captive, then why?

"How did you come up with that speculation?" I asked, quite confused.

"You think I spend every day of my life not thinking about what could possibly be the cause of your father's disappearance?" He leaned backward and sat on his desk. "But this isn't the time for you to know the truth, it's too complicated. You need to distract yourself from all this mess and prepare."


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