Chapter 116: Catching Up with “Relatives”
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Freya stared at “Loki’s” face. After a silent trip back to Freya’s inn room, the boy claiming to be her twin brother transformed. His hair turned from a shade of brown that matched Freya’s to a bright blue. He appeared to grow and mature in seconds. In place of the cute, innocent kid stood a rebellious-looking teenager. 

[Nightscythe]

[Lvl 11 Rogue]

“Ah, feels good to be me again,” Nightscythe said, stretching.

Freya sighed and checked the closed curtains again. She remembered when Yina had seen her transition between identities she said it made her head hurt. Watching Nightscythe’s appearance completely transform was like watching a wizard work. There was nothing left of his previous face to make anyone second guess the transition. Unlike Freya’s “Frey” identity that looked close to her real face, just masculine, nothing in Nightscythe’s “Loki” looked like him.

“When did you learn Misidentify?” Freya asked.

He grinned, “Last night!”

“What?!”

She knew that rogue’s had an affinity for Misidentify, but she didn’t think the advantage was this unfair. 

“I grinded it all night. I can’t hold that kind of advanced identity for long, but it looked good, right!”

“Yeah, I guess,” Freya admitted, then shook her head. “Why did you pretend to be my brother? What are you doing here?”

“Hey, I helped, didn’t I? I gave you a good cover story.”

She bit her lip as Nightscythe gave her an innocent look. The demoniclasts’ questions had left her flustered. Without his intervention, her Misidentify could have failed. However, that didn’t answer her question.

“That was super risky. What if I told them beforehand I didn’t have a brother? What if I didn’t realize your plan? You could have given me a little bit more of a warning.”

Nightscythe scratched his head and looked away, “It was a spur of the moment plan. I was watching the trial from the stands. I was actually using a different, easy-to-maintain identity. I didn’t want to distract you, so I didn’t message you. But then I saw you talking to those demoniclasts with Player Cards. I listened in on your conversation, and I thought you needed help.”

Freya’s heart softened a bit at his sincerity. He always seemed to have good intentions, although she often questioned how he went about it. She sat down at the table opposite of him. 

“I don’t know if that was the best plan, but thanks for helping me. They were getting pretty suspicious of me, but they seemed to believe what you said.”

The rogue brightened at Freya’s thanks. He sat up straighter in his seat.

“Adults are more likely to believe innocent-looking kids,” Nightscythe explained, nodding to himself. “If I pretended to be a random friend or older brother, they’d probably still be skeptical. But a sickly-looking twin brother, exaggerating stories about his brother wouldn’t be questioned.”

Freya blinked, “I didn’t think you were that self-aware.”

“Hey!”

She hadn’t thought about it that way, but it did make sense. The demoniclasts were probably wary of her unnatural strength and game level. They didn’t know about the Misidentify skill, but they may have suspected she had a Player Card. However, Frey having a weak twin brother threw a wrench in that idea. They wouldn’t expect a game player to pretend to be a weaker person. Also, like Nightscythe said, boasts of innocent children were easier to rationalize. 

“Still, why did you suddenly decide to learn Misidentify and come here?” Freya asked. “It’s dangerous for players to be in Corrin.”

“I’m investigating, just like you,” Nightscythe said, crossing his arms.

Freya raised an eyebrow, “I didn’t think you were interested.”

Just yesterday when they met, he had said nothing. What changed his mind? He had been one of the first to know about Freya’s plan to infiltrate the demoniclast trial, but he had expressed no interest in helping.

“Well, Bis was worried. And I realized the demoniclasts might know about what I’ve been searching for.”

Freya waited a beat for him to continue. He’s said something similar before. What is Nightscythe trying to find? 

He fidgeted in his chair and turned slightly away. She decided to ask about the easier subject. “Bis isn’t trying to learn Misidentify, is he?”

Nightscythe chuckled, “He asked about learning it.”

“I hope I don’t suddenly have another brother tomorrow,” Freya sighed.

Hiding his laughter, Nightscythe started typing in the air. “I’ll warn him.”

The rogue sent some rapid-fire messages in the group chat. Since he had watched most of it, he updated everyone about Freya passing the second trial and the confrontation with the demoniclasts. It saved Freya having to explain it. Once he finished, he told her he needed to log out.

“I’ll see you tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch whatever the demoniclasts are going to have you do tomorrow, but I can try the ‘I’m a family member’ excuse.”

“Login in early if you can. We need to get our stories straight if we’re going to pretend to be brothers,” Freya said. 

Nightscythe agreed and disappeared from her inn room. The air seemed unnaturally still and quiet with him gone. She took a deep breath.

It was nice to have someone to lean against, but his presence also added another variable. She didn’t think he was here out of just goodwill. He was searching for something. Something he didn’t want to talk about: Freya wondered what kind of secret he was holding that someone as talkative as him wouldn’t speak of it. He had put all his attribute points into perception trying to search for this thing. 

Freya shook her head, I have enough things to worry about. If he doesn’t want to talk about it, I won’t ask.

 

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