Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Mystery / Suspense

12+

LoaMR: Ch.XII: The Closed City 4

by MailicedeNamedy


Emma's bed was bathed in coldness.

Claire was rudely awakened by the warden who brought breakfast and the bowl of water every morning. He alerted the head of the office. It was not half an hour after the bewildered Claire was sitting in Newman's office waiting for him to continue.

What have you done, Emma? Did you really escape? You stupid cow! How could she have disappeared from the room? Through the door? Wasn't it locked? How did she get past security? Or weren't there any? Did he arrange to run Emma out of town so she could be captured? To kill her because she didn't have a say-

The door was closed rudely.

Newman rubbed his forehead and took a seat.

"Good morning, Miss Silberlilie. I have just been informed that your friend has escaped from the room. Did you have anything to do with it? Did you plan this? Are you possibly enemies who are selling on the secret knowledge?"

Claire was bombarded with questions.

"No... I don't know anything. I only found out this morning."

"No plans exchanged? No idea of anything?"

"No."

"We are obliged to report this case immediately. Your friend is being treated as an enemy of the Empire and is wanted. Do you know what that means? You can be charged as an accessory."

"I don't know anything," Claire gasped.

Newman stood in front of her. His otherwise cute accent, as she had thought since their first meeting, made her afraid. He spoke quietly but quickly.

"Your friend didn't mention anything to you? Nothing at all?"

"Last night we had a little chat about Berlyne, that's all!"

"Do you confess that she is on her way there?"

Claire swallowed.

"Please, I don't know anything."

"I believe you," Newman muttered, "What do you think she's up to? Sell the information on? To Flechburg, Weißberg or even the States? What contacts does she have?"

Almost tearfully, her head snapped up. She choked several times when she wanted to say something. Nothing came out of her mouth.

"We will gather all the documents on her father and mother and notify them, arrest them and interrogate them," Newman declared menacingly, "It won't take a day and we will have located them."

"Erlenbrunnen."

The name popped out of her mouth. Claire repeated it.

"Pardon me?"

"We-were-going-to-Erlenbrunnen."

"Erlenbrunnen?" he repeated, puzzled. He was about to take the typewriter out of the cupboard when Claire continued.

"We are looking for someone. He lives near it, that's why Erlenbrunnen. Only after that did we plan to travel to Berlyne. Honestly. It's just... we didn't say anything about it because it's a closed city..."

"Tell me more. Who do you want to find?"

Claire sobbed. Now she had to think of something.

"A friend who lives there."

"What's his name?"

"Leo... nard..."

"Leon Hardt?"

"Léonard."

"Girl, don't always make these pauses. Who is this man? A foreigner? A partisan?"

"No... neither of those things. He's a friend of my father's..." Claire whined.

"Go on!"

"I think that's enough, Neumann."

Claire winced.

Not because of the second person in the room. Rather because of that quietly stern voice that came to life behind her. The stooped Newman straightened up.

It was the dark-haired woman.

"I don't suppose you know how to handle a child?"

"Whether child or adult, everyone is equal in front of the law."

Claire didn't understand what she was saying. She was standing behind her. A little later, the woman and Newman were gone.

The interrogated woman wiped away her tears and tried to think clearly.

What have I done? Are they going to call my father now? They'll tell him everything. Then I have to talk about Léonard... How do I get out of this...?

The strange idea of jumping out of the window had not occurred to her for the first time. She breathed in and out deeply. The heart gradually calmed down. After five minutes Newman appeared. There was no trace of the woman.

He surveyed Claire as he reset the typewriter.

"I've been enlightened," he said, dissatisfied and relaxed at the same time, "your friend must have run away without telling you anything. Her destination was always Erlenbrunnen, wasn't it? She will be on her way there. It's not far from here, three- or four-days walk. Is Malven skilled at maps? - “(Claire answered in the affirmative.) "-then there will be no trouble.

Of course, it is an offence to leave a closed city before submitting the documents. They will be there in five days. You will be allowed to leave. I won't report anything, your friend probably won't spill much, her little knowledge of technology and this place will hardly be of any help to her. -" (He grinned briefly.) "-Only, unfortunately, we will have to punish you for your friend's stupid act."

Claire´s heart slipped down. She swallowed. Her gaze caught on the window. It became more tempting.

"You will be monitored around the clock until we release you. You will certainly have a lot to talk about once you are together. Or do you no longer want to go to Erlenbrunnen?"

"I... I don't know...I think so..."

"Seek out your friend and give her some advice: When you play at being an adult, you have to be aware of your consequences! Obviously, she hasn't thought about any feelings of guilt."

He finished his speech and pulled a hard-boiled egg from somewhere, which he cracked and slowly freed from the shell.

Only after many minutes of silence, where Newman greeted his typewriter after eating the egg and opening a letter, did Claire dare to say anything again.

"May... I go?"

"Knock yourself out. You know where your room is."

***

Actually, those people who wait for others are punished. Not those who are late. Claire had something in common with all the waiting people in this world.

She paid no attention to breakfast. Only at noon was it exchanged for the meal. She sat motionless on the chair and stared at the door, calling out to it, obeying it to open. To open up and free her from this nightmare.

Sleep. A dream.

These were the words she used to avoid unpleasant or embarrassing situations. Anything that wasn't positive enough was labelled a dream. Only the happy moments remained, the rest was a matter for her script. But it had the problem that she gradually could no longer concentrate on the good and beautiful moments that were forgotten.

She also often used the ability to use a doll instead of herself during unbearable days. She filled herself with anger and frustration. She swallowed.

For a short while, Claire wanted to throw everything out the window, including herself. Then she realised that this kind of anger made no sense. Breaking things or throwing them out of the window only made sense if you were angry at the dresser, the chair, or the bed. But not at a person.

Somewhat bitterly, she confessed to herself that Emma was the victim. She was constantly insulted and discriminated against by Newman. Not her. She is a citizen of the Empire. She has the privilege of being free.

"Where are you?"

The pitiful sound warmed the night.

She realised that Emma was on her own. She had escaped, somehow made it through security and was well on her way to Erlenbrunnen to join Léonard. Claire, on the other hand, remained in her cell and could not escape for five days.

But where to?

After her to the Melaten estate? To her father in Berlyne?

A thousand things assailed her head as she slammed her face into the pillow and tried to fall asleep. A thousand things crushed the girl into a thin room with people she had never seen.

***

Newman took her on his daily tour as nothing had happened.

Claire could not look him in the eyes. Her crying from yesterday was too embarrassing. Too embarrassed was the incident. It got nastier as he pretended nothing had happened. Bile in the pit of her stomach cauterised her head. She kept quiet, meek and behind him.

"Aren't you interested in your father's work? Or in Seelenherz Inc.?"

They sat in front of the fountain in the park. It was eerie how rarely they met people. The sandy gravel disturbed them. It changed the aura of the forest, which glowed in deep, brown-green colours. The light-coloured ground distorted the atmosphere.

"No."

"But you should, my dear Miss. Seelenherz Inc. finances us. Ask your father once you're with him, I'm sure he can tell you more."

"Will do," she replied, "Are there any more of these places that the company funds?"

"Of course. Submarines are being worked on near Wasserrund, and there are larger mines in the Nordic Sea and the region of Lenemai. The vast majority work directly for the war. Weapons production and armament. War-important cities they are called on the papers."

He paused.

"For citizens of the Empire who have nothing to do with the war, all this paperwork, the party structure as well as the administration of the Empire is an impenetrable web of authorities and documents. You can't imagine how many folders there are just to describe one little process! But nobody reads it, because they are all busy (in the party) trying to outdo each other. It is precisely the convoluted structure that leads to petty wars within their own ranks."

He paused again.

"Regenschloss. Where you live. It will soon be a closed city. After the tar pit is finished and simply pumped out, work will begin to clear the forest and use the material for road construction."

Claire's shocked expression did not change Newman's narrative.

"You are lucky to have escaped now. Baron von Federstein is taking the opportunity to close as many cities and towns as possible. The fewer people travel, the easier it is to control them and lie to them.

It is not always pleasurable to be on the side of the bad guys."

It was the first time anyone had called the Sagauvelian Empire evil. Claire was surprised.

"Have you ever been to Cattell?" he mentioned in passing, "You should definitely visit it as soon as the war ends. I lived there for a few years. Or visit the States. The United States of Terra Omnibus are amazing!”

***

When they arrived at Claire's room, he said goodbye to her with a wave of his flat cap. His elegant manner seemed slimy and played, though he himself didn't notice; for him, it was a simple, polite thank you.

Claire needed to collect herself. Think. Draw conclusions. His kindness, the rejection towards Emma and the moment of his little speech. Was he playing with her?

She saw Emma's empty bed and had to admit to herself that nothing was as it seemed. She flipped through the books to get a little distraction. She wanted to get out although she enjoyed the peace and quiet a little. Finally, Claire could relax.

***

No one had come to pick her up the next day. She stayed in the room for the day. She couldn't open the window. Thinking about touching the door gave her the nervousness she was supposed to get when she did.

She watched the men in the square. There were several houses. One looked like a chapel. The rocks barely gave a clear view of the sky. Several times she saw the dark-haired woman and inspected her walk. She sometimes stopped and talked to the workers. Now and then she looked towards the window and Claire felt that the eyes could read her soul.

Claire held her breath.

Hours decayed like leaves in autumn. Hours disappeared like birds. Hours hid like animals in the forest. Night fell and it rained. It rained the entire next morning, noon, even in the afternoon.

Alone, she plunged from recovery back into an apathy of pessimism. Emma jumped through her brain, Léonard laughed on one side, her father shook his head, Auntie was trapped in a city and she herself was tugged by the chains to make a decision.

It was clear to her that she wanted to chase Emma. With her head start, she could never catch up with her. She hoped that she had found her way to the Melaten estate and that Léonard lived there.

Next time she wanted to ask Newman for directions to Erlenbrunnen. He did not turn up.

It was not until the ninth day that there was another knock at the door.

To XII.5.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
375 Reviews


Points: 38346
Reviews: 375

Donate
Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:45 pm
View Likes
RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hey Mailice!

RandomTalks here with a review!

This was a really interesting continuation of the story. It will be fair to say that I did not see that coming. I cannot believe that Emma actually took off on her own. Or did she really even take off? Is there something else going on here that we can't really see yet?

Regardless to say, it was a big surprise. Emma has always been spontaneous, but this kind of an escape requires precision of planning and attention to details. Both are not qualities I would associate with Emma. It would explain her quiet silence to Newman's biased talks, but unless she had someone helping her from the outside, I am really curios to know how she managed to escape. I am also very curios to know how she simply left Claire behind and escaped without one thinking about her. I don't know, but it seems very cruel to me. All throughout this journey, they both have only had each other to rely on. Claire has been with her every step of the way and has given in to all of her whims of following Leonard around the globe. Besides, they are friends. It seems a little wrong that she did not even bother to let Claire in on her plan. Of course, we don't know what's going on right now, so I guess, it is too early to judge.

I was also a little surprised by Claire's reaction to it all. She is a person who is mostly governed by her emotions. Here, we can feel her fear and desperation at the situation very well. But when it comes to Emma's escape, I thought she would be angry at her friend and feel betrayed at being left. However, these emotions never seemed to have only skimmed through her. She is mostly concerned about Emma's well being and even makes excuses for her, portraying her as the victim in the situation. I did not understand that part. Even if Emma was the victim here for tolerating Newman's biases, there was no reason stopping her from letting Claire in on the plan.

Nevertheless, I really liked the way you portrayed Claire's emotions here. There was an entire process where her frustration and desperation gave in to concern and fear and finally exhaustion and bitter acceptance of the situation. Her broken sentences during the interview conveyed the whirlpool of emotions raging inside her without actually telling us. It also showed her age and reminded us once again how young and unprepared she is for this. The state of her mind once inside the room was once again portrayed very beautifully. Numbering the days also gave it a more haunting edge - it made it feel as if she is truly in holding with no sense of anything other than the number of days marked by the changing light outside her window.

Thankfully, Newman was almost kind and gentle with her during the interrogation - probably because he still views Claire as one of his own. Given the extreme measures they took during their arrival, I thought they would do something just as drastic this time. However, once Claire revealed the purpose of their visit, he seemed more relaxed. He is strangely confident that Emma would have no use of the information she has managed to learn while staying with them, not that anyone doubts him. The mysterious woman again made an appearance. She continues to remain in the shadows though and still take up all the space in the room. She had probably only one line in the chapter, and yet the way she delivered it was almost chilling. She has a really dominating presence and she continues to make me more and more curios.

Hours decayed like leaves in autumn. Hours disappeared like birds. Hours hid like animals in the forest.

I liked the different comparisons here. It conveyed the passage of time in a more dramatic manner, making it seem longer than it actually has been.
Well, now the story has steered almost dramatically into a very interesting direction. I can't wait to see what you have planned ahead!

Keep writing and have a great day!






Thank you for your review! :D



User avatar
573 Reviews


Points: 43004
Reviews: 573

Donate
Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:44 am
View Likes
ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey! Forever here with a review!!

It's high time that I catch up. Anyway, let's get into the review. Honestly, I wasn't expecting that. Emma's escape was actually very surprising and unexpected at the same time. Despite knowing the fact how bad Emma really felt, that came as a blow, both to the readers and Claire. I wonder about its consequences. The consequences we saw in this part were not at all good and were very negative. However, I do assume that Emma's escape does have some positive side here.

Now, we have the most intriguing question in front of us. How did she escape and that also completely alone? I never saw her as the person who could really take such a big decision alone but seems like she actually can. It exposes how desperate she actually was and well, she had to tolerate insults at every step and perhaps she couldn't take that in, which is quite normal. Back to the question, I see something very mysterious happening. At least, I get that sense in my head. Maybe she didn't escape herself but someone took her away. Who knows, everything can happen, to be honest. Hm... I see Leonard coming into picture. Maybe Leonard somehow got to know of her and he took her away. That kind of seems to be unreal but it can happen because they came to know about Claire's father and it's unknown to us how they knew it. If they actually connected with Claire's father to confirm the fact, maybe Leonard has heard it or something like that. We are very very unsure about Leonard's current location, he never stays at a place for many days.

"No... neither of those things. He's a friend of my father's..." Claire whined.

This line actually intrigued me. As there was no mention of lying, I think CLaire assumed it to be the truth and now, I don't know if it is actually the truth. I do remember Leonard telling something about Claire's father to CLaire but I don't remember it very well what it was. Did he tell that he was friend of Claire's father? Probably he didn't. Hmm... suspicious. They can be related though, both are related to the abbey. One works or worked with the abbey and the other probably researched about the abbey.

And now with Claire's problems. Emma has definitely landed Claire in an immense set of problems. I don't see how she can actually get rid of all the problems until and unless Emma is discovered by the people and if that happens, nothing better is going to happen. SO, it's a very bad condition. Well, not only Cliare, Emma has landed both her mother and her grandfather in trouble. What worries me the most is her mother doesn't know a little about this and when will come to know about what Emma has done, she is not going to be the happiest. Anyway, now Claire has told about what they were about to do. And of course, the people will not allow her to go there as it is a closed city. As far as I can see, she will not be able to reach there unless she escapes and goes there. Maybe she will be taken to her father and she will meet Leonard there. I am quite excited to know what happens next, something quite out of ordinary. Now, maybe she will be able to know something more about Leonard during her stay at this place. Quite expectant.

This man is not very mysterious but he is mysterious to some extent. I don't know if I told this earlier but this man doesn't seem to be Sagauvelin.(Forgive me if I have done a blunder with the spelling). Even if he is Sagauvelin, he does have a heart, he doesn't seem to be a heartless person. Maybe circumstances made him change into what he is today but inwardly, he doesn't seem to be a very bad person. And finally, this woman. This woman still remains a very mysterious person and I really really wish to decipher this woman.Or maybe she is not mysterious at all and Claire takes her to be mysterious. Everything is becoming uncertain.

"What's his name?"

"Leo... nard..."

"Leon Hardt?"

"Léonard."

"Girl, don't always make these pauses. Who is this man? A foreigner? A partisan?"

Here, the woman actually appeared in the very perfect time. Otherwise, the man would have interrogated her further and wouldn't have been happy with all the true answers. Hm.. the woman is a saviour.

To end with, the cliffhanger was an awesome one and left me thinking. I just hope that they haven't caught Emma and the person is not Claire's father. Let's see what happens.

Keep Writing!!

~Forever






Thank you very much for your review! :D





You're welcome! Did you recieve a notification though?





Yes. :D





Finally! :D



User avatar
2829 Reviews


Points: 296170
Reviews: 2829

Donate
Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:23 am
View Likes
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okayy...well...this was quite the uphill climb here. Some things are most definitely going down here, that much is certain, this feels like the setup to a massive decision on the part of Claire and if we jump back towards Emma at some point I really want to know how she managed to pull this whole thing off here.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Emma's bed was bathed in coldness.

Claire was rudely awakened by the warden who brought breakfast and the bowl of water every morning. He alerted the head of the office. It was not half an hour after the bewildered Claire was sitting in Newman's office waiting for him to continue.

What have you done, Emma? Did you really escape? You stupid cow! How could she have disappeared from the room? Through the door? Wasn't it locked? How did she get past security? Or weren't there any? Did he arrange to run Emma out of town so she could be captured? To kill her because she didn't have a say-

The door was closed rudely.

Newman rubbed his forehead and took a seat.


Well...that's unexpected but I suppose not exactly surprising considering the kind of things that Emma was being put through. I'm just mostly surprised at the fact that Emma actually did this escape successfully. I would have expected something like an attempted escape but did not imagine an actual escape would happen considering how well protected everything seems.

"Good morning, Miss Silberlilie. I have just been informed that your friend has escaped from the room. Did you have anything to do with it? Did you plan this? Are you possibly enemies who are selling on the secret knowledge?"

Claire was bombarded with questions.

"No... I don't know anything. I only found out this morning."

"No plans exchanged? No idea of anything?"

"No."

"We are obliged to report this case immediately. Your friend is being treated as an enemy of the Empire and is wanted. Do you know what that means? You can be charged as an accessory."

"I don't know anything," Claire gasped.


Well...this is escalating out of control exactly as you would expect from a case like this...this is definitely something that can be considered as a serious crime. I highly doubt that Emma ever took the time to think things through...and I honestly don't know if she will survive the experience of being a wanted criminal like this.

Newman stood in front of her. His otherwise cute accent, as she had thought since their first meeting, made her afraid. He spoke quietly but quickly.

"Your friend didn't mention anything to you? Nothing at all?"

"Last night we had a little chat about Berlyne, that's all!"

"Do you confess that she is on her way there?"

Claire swallowed.

"Please, I don't know anything."

"I believe you," Newman muttered, "What do you think she's up to? Sell the information on? To Flechburg, Weißberg or even the States? What contacts does she have?"


Well...I don't know if he does even believe that, Claire doesn't really seem to know anything at all about what's going an in her fear her responses can end up being interpreted in ways that aren't going to benefit either of the two of them here. This is certainly careening towards a disaster.

Almost tearfully, her head snapped up. She choked several times when she wanted to say something. Nothing came out of her mouth.

"We will gather all the documents on her father and mother and notify them, arrest them and interrogate them," Newman declared menacingly, "It won't take a day and we will have located them."

"Erlenbrunnen."

The name popped out of her mouth. Claire repeated it.


Well....it looks like things are just going to get worse here...and arresting the family, well Emma has certainly properly crossed a line by this point and everything she has done in her single minded pursuit of Léonard is now really going to end up causing more than a few problems.

"We are looking for someone. He lives near it, that's why Erlenbrunnen. Only after that did we plan to travel to Berlyne. Honestly. It's just... we didn't say anything about it because it's a closed city..."

"Tell me more. Who do you want to find?"

Claire sobbed. Now she had to think of something.

"A friend who lives there."

"What's his name?"

"Leo... nard..."

"Leon Hardt?"

"Léonard."

"Girl, don't always make these pauses. Who is this man? A foreigner? A partisan?"


Well...there's no reaction to the name, so that's something, I was half expecting there to be more of a reaction considering the kind of things that Léonard gets up to. And well, with the full truth coming out like this I'm almost suspecting this of being an elaborate scheme by the people here to try and crack the two girls under pressure. Well, let's see how this ends up going here.

"No... neither of those things. He's a friend of my father's..." Claire whined.

"Go on!"

"I think that's enough, Neumann."

Claire winced.

Not because of the second person in the room. Rather because of that quietly stern voice that came to life behind her. The stooped Newman straightened up.


Okayy....well, it looks like someone is trying to reign in his questions...although to be honest despite Claire being a little intimidated I think he was doing a pretty good job...he's going a little stricter at her than is probably best but he does seem to have some very genuine concerns for the secrets of the area being revealed...although hmm, someone stepping in and perhaps curbing that is a good idea here.

Claire didn't understand what she was saying. She was standing behind her. A little later, the woman and Newman were gone.

The interrogated woman wiped away her tears and tried to think clearly.

What have I done? Are they going to call my father now? They'll tell him everything. Then I have to talk about Léonard... How do I get out of this...?

The strange idea of jumping out of the window had not occurred to her for the first time. She breathed in and out deeply. The heart gradually calmed down. After five minutes Newman appeared. There was no trace of the woman.

He surveyed Claire as he reset the typewriter.


Well, poor Claire is now caught in a proper maelstrom of problems here and it doesn't look like she can really find a way out of this gigantic mess. Hopefully she doesn't end up getting into too much trouble, but you can certainly guess that Emma is going to be tossed right under that bus especially considering this Neumann distaste of her in general as well.

"I've been enlightened," he said, dissatisfied and relaxed at the same time, "your friend must have run away without telling you anything. Her destination was always Erlenbrunnen, wasn't it? She will be on her way there. It's not far from here, three- or four-days walk. Is Malven skilled at maps? - “(Claire answered in the affirmative.) "-then there will be no trouble.

Of course, it is an offence to leave a closed city before submitting the documents. They will be there in five days. They will be allowed to leave. I won't report anything, your friend probably won't spill much, her little knowledge of technology and this place will hardly be of any help to her. -" (He grinned briefly.) "-Only, unfortunately, we will have to punish you for your friend's stupid act."


Well...not entirely sure what he meant there. It sounds like perhaps Emma isn't going to get too many overly severe charges like he threatened earlier, but it seems he's going to end up causing plenty of trouble to Claire and the smile there is just eerie in how it looks like he genuinely enjoys the idea of having someone to punish.

"I... I don't know...I think so..."

"Seek out your friend and give her some advice: When you play at being an adult, you have to be aware of your consequences! Obviously, she hasn't thought about any feelings of guilt."

He finished his speech and pulled a hard-boiled egg from somewhere, which he cracked and slowly freed from the shell.

Only after many minutes of silence, where Newman greeted his typewriter after eating the egg and opening a letter, did Claire dare to say anything again.

"May... I go?"

"Knock yourself out. You know where your room is."


Well that was an awkward ending there...it conveys here shock well but that hard boiled egg peeling was a complete out of the blue move and ended up only making me laugh a little too hard there...and well, it looks like Emma is not going to be treated too badly after all due to her being quite so young....and well, I feel like this is a bit of an anticlimax after all the threats earlier to try and get Claire to speak. I suppose someone reminded this person that children and adults are not exactly equal in the law.

Actually, those people who wait for others are punished. Not those who are late. Claire had something in common with all the waiting people in this world.

She paid no attention to breakfast. Only at noon was it exchanged for the meal. She sat motionless on the chair and stared at the door, calling out to it, obeying it to open. To open up and free her from this nightmare.

Sleep. A dream.

These were the words she used to avoid unpleasant or embarrassing situations. Anything that wasn't positive enough was labelled a dream. Only the happy moments remained, the rest was a matter for her script. But it had the problem that she gradually could no longer concentrate on the good and beautiful moments that were forgotten.


Well...its another one of those situations where Claire is just trying to process her way through a horribly uncomfortable situation and just trying not to lose her mind. We've seen so much of this horribly and it seems that besides a few brief moments of happiness, she really hasn't gotten much opportunity to not be in a state like this.

Somewhat bitterly, she confessed to herself that Emma was the victim. She was constantly insulted and discriminated against by Newman. Not her. She is a citizen of the Empire. She has the privilege of being free.

"Where are you?"

The pitiful sound warmed the night.

She realised that Emma was on her own. She had escaped, somehow made it through security and was well on her way to Erlenbrunnen to join Léonard. Claire, on the other hand, remained in her cell and could not escape for five days.


Well, it looks like she's maybe admitted that Emma's reasons were good although I still can't wrap my head around how she ever pulled this escape off and is then going to find enough supplies to make it all the way to this town which could very well detain here again considering it is also a closed city of some sort. Well...at any rate we're just seeing poor Claire suffer through her worst scenario yet.

Newman took her on his daily tour as nothing had happened.

Claire could not look him in the eyes. Her crying from yesterday was too embarrassing. Too embarrassed was the incident. It got nastier as he pretended nothing had happened. Bile in the pit of her stomach cauterised her head. She kept quiet, meek and behind him.

"Aren't you interested in your father's work? Or in Seelenherz Inc.?"

They sat in front of the fountain in the park. It was eerie how rarely they met people. The sandy gravel disturbed them. It changed the aura of the forest, which glowed in deep, brown-green colours. The light-coloured ground distorted the atmosphere.


Okayy....well I'm surprised but it seems that Neumann really does believe she has no intention of giving away any knowledge to whatever things Neumann is paranoid about and now it seems he's continuing his mission of wanting Claire to become a part of her father's company.

"No."

"But you should, my dear Miss. Seelenherz Inc. finances us. Ask your father once you're with him, I'm sure he can tell you more."

"Will do," she replied, "Are there any more of these places that the company funds?"

"Of course. Submarines are being worked on near Wasserrund, and there are larger mines in the Nordic Sea and the region of Lenemai. The vast majority work directly for the war. Weapons production and armament. War-important cities they are called on the papers."

He paused.


Okayy...so that company definitely does a lot more than I initially imagined. I can see why it would be important for Léonard in that other mention of it all those chapters ago. It certainly seems like the sort of place you can get a lot of power if you work in...although I highly Claire will be swayed by something like that.

"Regenschloss. Where you live. It will soon be a closed city. After the tar pit is finished and simply pumped out, work will begin to clear the forest and use the material for road construction."

Claire's shocked expression did not change Newman's narrative.

"You are lucky to have escaped now. Baron von Federstein is taking the opportunity to close as many cities and towns as possible. The fewer people travel, the easier it is to control them and lie to them.

It is not always pleasurable to be on the side of the bad guys."

It was the first time anyone had called the Sagauvelian Empire evil. Claire was surprised.

"Have you ever been to Cattell?" he mentioned in passing, "You should definitely visit it as soon as the war ends. I lived there for a few years. Or visit the States. The United States of Terra Omnibus are amazing!”


Hmm...this man is a proper enigma...he seems to be this strict duty bound officer for the empire but at the same time is awfully self aware of the less than ideal practices carried out by the empire. He seems almost like two different people there...although in a strange twist it makes him more scary. Working so hard for a place he willingly acknowledges as the "bad guys" suggests he know he's supporting someplace that wrongs people and yet does it anyway.

Claire needed to collect herself. Think. Draw conclusions. His kindness, the rejection towards Emma and the moment of his little speech. Was he playing with her?

She saw Emma's empty bed and had to admit to herself that nothing was as it seemed. She flipped through the books to get a little distraction. She wanted to get out although she enjoyed the peace and quiet a little. Finally, Claire could relax.


Well, good to see Claire is on her toes and is not going to get dragged into Neumann's odd behavior. That whole cap thing was certainly an odd addition...he's clearly upto more than what he lets on.

Hours decayed like leaves in autumn. Hours disappeared like birds. Hours hid like animals in the forest. Night fell and it rained. It rained the entire next morning, noon, even in the afternoon.

Alone, she plunged from recovery back into an apathy of pessimism. Emma jumped through her brain, Léonard laughed on one side, her father shook his head, Auntie was trapped in a city and she herself was tugged by the chains to make a decision.

It was clear to her that she wanted to chase Emma. With her head start, she could never catch up with her. She hoped that she had found her way to the Melaten estate and that Léonard lived there.

Next time she wanted to ask Newman for directions to Erlenbrunnen. He did not turn up.

It was not until the ninth day that there was another knock at the door.


It seems that she is certainly going to take a decision here. Whether said decision is going to end up doing good things for them or bad things will remain to be seen, but something is certainly going to happen soon with this little cliffhanger...and I'm excited. :D

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this story has now officially changed direction quite dramatically now and I get the feeling at the end of this chapter, this is going to end up in a place that is extremely different from where it was last chapter. I can't wait to see what this next part is going to be. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry






Thank you for your review! :D



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!! :D




He began to wonder why he had felt uneasy at all. It was like a man wondering in broad daylight why a dream had appeared so terrible to him at night.
— Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart