[V1-Prologue]. A Lost Girl.
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Prologue. A Lost Girl

Year 1003—Astron City
Business Sector

 

After a quick, ten-minute drive—the two of us soon arrived at the business sector where tons and tons of skyscrapers stood tall and proud. Multiple transportations such as flying trains could be seen roaming around the area while some others kept it simple and walked.

 

Yurika was still on her phone, messaging and taking pictures of the business sector then sending them to her “girlfriends” which made me giggle a bit. She was quite an interesting little girl.

 

Another two-minute drive passed before we stopped at our destination’s car park which was filled with vehicles. I kind of regretted bringing this car though since it doesn’t blend in well with the other vehicles and knowing how many cars there are here, it wouldn’t be here if this thing would be scratched by the time we come back even with the special license plate that we are granted with.

 

“Yurika, stop messaging on your phone. It’s time to go!”

 

I looked at Yurika while utilizing the holographic system to turn off the vehicle, opening both doors as she nodded and turned off her phone as we both exited out of the vehicle and then locked the doors.

 

“Do you have a list of what you want to order?”

 

“Mhm! I’ll send it to you via Messenger!”

 

As she spoke, she took out her phone and started to play around with it for a bit before a message popup appeared to the right of my eye. I didn’t need a phone since we Decimas, who are always at the frontline of battle, are injected with this holographic mobile device that we can see all the time. It’s a pretty convenient device.

 

The message she sent was a list of the food she wants which ranged from the peach mango pie to the fried chicken and spaghetti—I felt a bit jealous that she wants the spaghetti since the one I make should have been more than enough!

 

“You sure want a lot of stuff. Do you have anything for me?”

“The five ones at the end of the list are yours, Mama!”

 

Five out of twenty-three items. I don’t know whether I should laugh or not with how enormous my own daughter’s stomach is—can she even eat all of them—well if she can’t then I will force her since wasting food is a no-go.

 

While pinning the message to the side of my eye, we walked towards the inside of the restaurant to be greeted by the crowded view of the place. There were a lot of people all over the place and the people managing this entire mess were roaming left and right to deliver on the orders.

 

As someone who was used to more silent places, this was a sight to behold but it wasn’t that much of a mess though—it looks like it because of the scale of people here dining—after assessing the place, I gestured Yurika to find a seat while I lined up in the decent-length line.

 

The waiting game took quite some time, maybe around fifteen minutes before it was my turn where I then went on to order everything that my cute little daughter demanded to which the cashier responded with a bill of 1700 ASTRA (approx. 340 USD or 1,700 divided by 5).

 

After the ordering game was over, it was once again the waiting game but this time, I was seated in front of Yurika who was smiling all over the place as she played around with her smartphone. It was as if she had gotten a boyfriend behind our backs.

 

I wanted to see who she was texting but decided to let it go as I looked at the messages sent from my coworkers over at the station.

 

STATION AURORA:

@ophelia_one: Did you all receive the email from the director?

@yuna: What email?

@cecilia: I think @opehlia_one meant the sudden meeting announcement by the director.

@yuna: I didn’t receive any emails today.

@iris: I also didn’t receive any today.

@cecilia: You might receive it later, but to summarize, the director has some important news to report soon.

@ophelia_one: Do you think this has to do with Stratson Laboratory again?

@iris: I think not. My husband called me earlier and he didn’t mention any issues.

@cecilia: How about divorcing your husband and marrying me instead, @iris?

@iris: Business, please.

@cecilia: Awww.

@yuna: It might have to do more with the rise of Monstras over at Cliff Abyss. Weren't both

@ophelia_one and @iris dispatched to Cliff Abyss while wearing all sorts of sensors?

@iris: Hmm… could be. I have no time to investigate though, I'm on a date with my daughter.

@cecilia: Hey! Bring me as well, or maybe you can eat me in bed. 😚

@iris: Please refrain yourself, @cecilia.

@cecilia: I will steal you away from your husband someday.

@yuna: Boink!

 

After the little conversation at our encrypted group chat, two waitresses soon approached us with two trays full of food on each hand. The smell was already reaching my nose, causing me to gulp for a second.

 

There were quite a lot in there and among them was fried chicken, sunny-side-up egg with fried rice which was at the top of my favorites paired with some chicken hotdog. It was a breakfast meal that I liked.

 

“Is it possible to pack up four of these burgers?”

 

I looked at one of the waitresses who nodded with a professional smile without asking a single question as she went back to the counter and came back to our table with a paper bag that carried the burgers.

 

“You can have those for snacks later, Yurika. I know you won't be able to finish everything here, so focus on the meals first before going with the burgers.”

 

“Mama…”

 

“No, do you understand me?”

 

“Yes, Mama…”

 

She puffed up her cheeks as I poked her adorable cheeks. I know my daughter a lot, she will eat all the burgers and end up so full that she won't be able to finish the rice meals she ordered which would be wasteful.

 

After taking my share of the peach mango pie and the breakfast-perfect meal, I then started to eat without waiting for my daughter who was still busy taking pictures and sending them off to her “girlfriends”.

 

The breakfast-perfect meal was satisfying and delicious— it suited my taste especially the fried rice which has a distinct ancient Asian taste to it. The fried chicken was crispy and juicy and the egg plus hotdog combination was perfect.

 

As for the mango pie, it was steaming hot that if someone unaware were to not let it cool down a bit, they would burn their tongue without a doubt—but the taste is over at the positive side at around an 8 out of 10 for me.

 

“How is it, Mama?”

 

Yurika grinned. I made sure not to let out any expression at all while wiping my mouth with a tissue while responding with a straight face.

 

“It’s good.”

 

“Then, will you buy me new toys later?”

 

“Not good enough for new toys.”

 

“Mama…”

 

“Fine, but keep it in moderation.”

 

“Yay!”

 

The spoiled child started to become even more spoilt. I am worried about her each day, what if I were to be dispatched to a mission with no chances of surviving, what would happen to her?

 

I was afraid that spoiling her too much might lead her to be dependent on me a lot, but alas, I am too weak to battle it out with her.

 

The two of us continued to eat while having moderate talks about how her school was and other events that I have to attend which seems to be none this week which weirds me out considering how I am called by the school now and then because of her behavior.

 

After our little meal, the two of us went back inside the car and drove off below the speed limit when out of the blue.

 

HOOOOOONKKKKK!

 

I forced the car into a halt just before it could touch the little white-haired girl who ran out of the blue. The little girl was afraid and shivering as she looked at the car.

 

“Yurika, please stay inside for a bit.”

 

“Yes, Mama…”

 

After telling Yurika to stay put, I took out my safety belt and walked out of the car while taking a glimpse at the little girl who ran in front of us.

 

“Are you al—”

 

But what I didn’t expect was the eyes of the little girl. They were a beautiful shade of gold—it was a shade that reminded me of the Regina of Space but it wasn't her since the Monstra energy around the place was normal.

 

Although she was dirty from top to bottom, her elegance was still present; from the tips of her hair to the shade of her eyes. I felt a kind of resonance with the little girl.

 

Amidst my inspection of the girl, a loud growl echoed throughout the streets originating from the little girl who looked embarrassed.

 

“You haven't eaten a single food yet?”

 

The little girl shook her head. I felt bad since she was skinny, she was almost like a skeleton. It was horrific to see a child look like this.

 

“Do you have any parents?”

 

She shook her head again. It must mean she is either a runaway orphan or an abandoned child, if it was a runaway orphan then we would be notified at least but my mobile device is showing no results for her which meant she wasn't.

 

“I'll figure it out later…”

 

I looked behind and saw the rising amount of traffic behind my car. It was still a busy time and I need to do something fast.

 

“Are you okay with following me inside?”

 

The little girl tilted her head but nodded as I lent her a hand and carried her towards the backseat of the car which surprised Yurika.

 

“Yurika, please get along with her for a bit.”

 

“Mama is kidnapping a chil—”

 

I flicked her forehead before she could continue, turning on the car before speeding off as I looked at the little girl from the rearview mirror.

 

“Do you have a name?”

 

“Ares.”

 

“Ares—what a nice name. Do you like burgers, Ares?”

 

The little girl looked confused but as if for compliance, she nodded which looked adorable. I turned towards Yurika before saying.

 

“Yurika, can you hand over half of the burgers we brought with us to Ares? I'll buy you new toys if you do.”

 

She didn’t hesitate and handed over all four burgers instead while looking at me with a grin. Her hand was gesturing that she wants more toys, making me sigh as Ares looked at the burgers which were wrapped in a paper wrapper.

 

After glancing at it for a few seconds, she unwrapped the paper wrapper and took a bite at the burger before her beautiful eyes glowed with a happy expression on her face then continued to hammer the burgers with her adorable teeth.

 

We soon reached home where the maid greeted us as soon as we got off the car, she looked a bit surprised to see the little girl but regained her professionalism in mere seconds. She looked at me with a smile.

 

“Do you want me to fix the little girl up, Madam?”

 

“Please do.”

 

After accepting my order, she lowered herself to Ares with a bright, cheery smile while reaching her hand out. Ares was a bit frightened for a second but took the hand as the two walked inside the house.

 

“Yurika, send me a message of what toys you want. I’ll be leaving for somewhere else in a bit.”

 

“Okay, Mama!”

 

Yurika then ran back to the house before a holographic window with the phone number that I wanted to call appeared out of the blue. It still amazes me to this day how technology is this advanced.

 

Without hesitation, I dialed the number that was on the holographic window before a dialing window followed until a caller screen replaced it with a penguin profile picture above the name: Erisa.

 

“Iris—it’s been a long time. Do you need anything from this mistress of yours?”

 

“I don’t have any mistresses and I do need something from you. I’ll be sending you photos of a child, gather information about her, and ask around the offices whether a lost child was filed for her otherwise I’ll be placing her under my temporary custody.”

 

“Huh—wait… let me see the photos.”

 

She hung up for a second right after I’ve finished sending photos that I took of Ares a little while ago. Almost ten seconds after, the call resumed with a loud Erisa screaming from the other side.

 

“WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! You have to be kidding me, how does a child have a similar appearance as the Regina of Space herself?! WAIT! IRIS! Did you gather samples of the Monstra energy around her?!”

 

“I was also surprised at first, but the instruments inside my vehicle and from the Holosphere have reported no anomalies with the level of the energy being at the average. I’ll also send you the samples in a bit, also show them to whoever you ask to clarify.”

 

“Wow… this has to be some sort of demonic coincidence. How could a child look so close to the Regina of Space—those eyes are almost the same, but if you were to look even closer, it isn’t. The child’s eyes are more of a light bulb while the Regina of Space is akin to the sun.”

 

“Although, their hair color sure sparkles, there are differences in their hair that don’t make them the same. It’s like this girl is a Regina herself though… but if your samples are indicating that she isn’t, then she isn’t since those instruments that you have are the latest technology.”

 

“Less talk. Find me all the information that you can find. I’ll reward you with a pillow if you want.”

“Is it a body pillow of a nude you?! OKAAAY! LETSSS G—”

 

Before she could continue, I hung up the call while shivering. I don’t understand why I got creepy people around me like Cecilia and Erisa but those two are sure useful people in these cases.

 

“Madam…”

 

“Is there something wrong?”

 

“No, Madam. You’ve received a message from the Director earlier stating: We’ve collected enough data from the deployment, it seems on Abyss Cliff—be prepared to be deployed in two days from now after our reconnaissance team checks it out.”

 

“Why can’t she just send the message through the standard way…?”

 

An anomaly on Abyss Cliff sounds scary though. Although Abyss Cliff is a bit far from Astron City and it tends to be peaceful with a few Monstra now and then but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a history of tragedy and chaos that almost led to the collapse of the city.

 

“I do hope nothing comes out from the reconnaissance otherwise I don’t know how long I would be out on the battlefield this time. Enough about that, how are Ares and Yurika doing?”

 

“Young miss is doing well in her room, playing some games once again while eating unhealthy chips while the young child you brought—Ares—seems to be quiet on the sofa watching television with a curious look.”

 

I’m still confused over what to do with Ares, but if there are no results from Erisa then I’d have to either drop her off at an orphanage or just look after her which isn’t that bad but I’m more worried about dropping her to an orphanage since her looks will sure cause some issues.

 

“Do we have enough ingredients for some pasta tonight?”

 

“If it is the usual pasta then we do, Madam. Are you planning on cooking today?”

 

“Mhm, please help me out.”

 

“As long as it isn’t a complicated dish, Madam.”

 

“It will just be a quick Mac ‘n Cheese. I don’t know how to cook the other kind, after all…”

 

“As you wish, Madam.”

 

—And like that, the two of us conversed our way back to the kitchen.

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