“Still haven’t arrived yet?” Galileo asked with a frown.
“This is strange. We should’ve arrived,” Nicole was confused as well.
“Are you too old to remember the right direction?” Galileo smirked and teased at Nicole. Nicole pouted, returning a sarcasm to Galileo, “I ain’t a dotard like Gali. I can find the right direction!”
“What auntie? I’m just few years older than you!”
Glaring at each other, there was almost flare ignited between Galileo and Nicole. At this moment, Einstein moaned.
Einstein’s cheek turned into burning red because of the fever; The moist on his skin reflected the lighting of the corridor. His condition was getting worse.
“It’s not the time to argue. We gotta hurry to find water!” Nicole thought. Just when she was getting herself together, a glimpse at the corner stopped her pace, almost tripping Galileo.
Galileo rebalanced herself in time.
“What’s with the sudden break...What’s wrong?” Galileo asked as she saw the look on Nicole’s face.
“We’ve been here already.”
“Huh?” The skeptical Galileo shook her head and said, “no way. How can it be possible while we’ve been heading straight all along? You’re confused——”
“My memory will never be confused!” Nicole declined grimly. She then pointed at a tiny crack on the wall and continued, “the wall has the same crack at the beginning. Other than that, the colour difference between the floor, the position of the door frame and the stain on the ceiling are all the same.”
“Wait, you...I remembered.” Galileo figured something out. “You’re gifted for your photographic memory and you’ll never forget things…But this doesn’t make sense. It’s impossible to reach the starting point if we keep moving forward,” she said.
“Could it be…” An idea flickered in Nicole’s mind. She carefully put down Einstein. Then she pressed her ear against the wall, listening close to the smallest noise within. Later on, she said to Galileo, “I’m right. We’re not the only thing moving. This corridor is moving too.”
“So we’re trapped in a moving maze…” Galileo’s heart sank for Nicole’s words. “Then are we never getting out of here?” she asked.
“No! I won’t give in!” Nicole yelled with her fist clenched. “This maze must be working in some kind of pattern. As long as we figure it out, we’ll be able to leave.”
“How? This is impossible!”
“It is possible!” Nicole said as she pointed at her head. “Using this,” she continued with a grin.
Widening her eyes, Nicole placed her finger between her eyebrows and mumbled, “open...and search…”
Different from the vague memory of ordinary people, Nicole had every tiny detail memorized in her mind. She could flash back to any moment of her life if she wanted, and drew every detail of the scene on a paper.
At this moment, Nicole rewinded the memories, piecing all the roads together. “I got it,” she said with a smirk.
Nicole went back to Einstein then told Galileo to move on.
Galileo nodded and followed her instruction, lifting Einstein up to move forward. Nicole instructed decisively at every intersection, and Galileo followed without any hesitation.
“We’re very close! The exit is ahead of us!” the excited Nicole said as she sped up. Yet a sudden closed gate smashed her hope.
“This is despicable! The gate closed when it detected someone in close proximity,” Nicole yelled and punched the metal gate, “damn! The exit was right in front of us!”
“Leave this to me,” Galileo said, leaving Einstein to Nicole. A mechanic sword was pulled out; With her mesmerizing eyes widened, Galileo conjured dark element to consolidate a razor-sharp edge, slicing at the gate.
The gate was brutally cut into half. Galileo confidently retrieved her sword while Nicole dropped her jaw in contrast.
“Whoa...Gali you’re awesome.”
“I’m always that awesome. You’re just not paying enough attention.” Galileo returned to Einstein, reached her hand at Nicole and said, “let’s go.”
They arrived the destination finally——the kitchen.
The door was barged open by Galileo’s kick. Nicole and Galileo then carried the unconscious Einstein into the room, leaning him against the wall.
“Ugh. How can he be so heavy? I thought he was just a thin boy...Huff…” Nicole whined about the heavy weight.
“Ah…” Einstein moaned in agony while his face was pouring with sweat.
Nicole instantly rushed to the sink and filled a cup of water for Einstein. Meanwhile, Galileo checked around to make sure the room was safe.
“Here comes water.” Nicole fed Einstein with water. After hydrating himself, he finally fell asleep peacefully.
“We’ve done what we could. The rest is on him,” Galileo comforted the worried Nicole. She padded her shoulder and continued, “relax. He’s chosen by Lomond Manor. He’s not that weak.”
Nicole looked Galileo back. Yet Galileo looked away awkwardly as she wasn’t good at comforting others. At this moment, Nicole giggled for her reaction, “thank you, Gali.”
“Told you to stop calling me——”
An explosion interrupted Galileo before she could finish her words.
“Whoa! What just happened?” the startled Nicole asked.
“I’m gonna check outside. Stay close with Einstein,” Galileo told Nicole before.
“Okay. Be careful.”
Galileo nodded and left, leaving the room with the echo of dripping sound.
“Ah…” the sleeping Einstein moaned painfully, drawing Nicole to check on him. She put his head on her lap.
Yet the pain of Einstein never eased. He continued moaning in frown, “teacher… I… I want more… I wanna know more…”
“He’s in pain now. What can I do for him...How did mom comfort me when I was sick…” Nicole searched through the only joyful memory that she had. Then she followed the memory, padding his back and singing softly to him.
It seemingly worked as Einstein eased his frown and fell asleep again. Stroking his wet hair, Nicole smiled at this sleeping teen boy.
“You’ve had the premium experience of sleeping on my lap. So get well soon,” Nicole whispered at Einstein softly.
The room was filled with a peaceful vibe as Nicole kept padding Einstein to calm him. Catalyzed by the peaceful vibe, Nicole finally felt the exhaustion from everything happened earlier, falling asleep together with Einstein.
“Nicole, I’m sorry. It’s mommy’s fault. I shouldn’t have given birth to you…”
“No… No… Mommy it hurts...Please stop...NO!”
A scene full of blood and tears played vividly in her dream, waking her up in fear. Gasping fiercely, it took Nicole a moment to realize that she wasn’t in that living hell.
Click! The door was opened; It was Galileo. “What’s with your sweat? Taking care of one patient is annoying enough. I don’t need another one,” she asked.
“I ain’t sick! And I won’t give you the chance to take my Stein away.”
“You——Ugh. I’m telling you that I won’t and I don’t want to have children with Einstein…” Galileo was too embarrassed to continue. “Anyways, I don’t have the same feeling towards him like you do,” she made a statement.
“Then is it me that you’re into——”
Seeing Galileo’s desperate declinal, the amused Nicole laughed out loud. Galileo realized that she was messing with her, and she moved away from Nicole quietly.
The room was tranquil. Yet when Nicole thought Galileo was asleep, she talked, “sorry.”
“Huh?” Nicole tilted her head out of confusion, and continued, “Why did you apologise suddenly?”
“...Back when you were tied up, you would’ve been dead if it wasn’t for Einstein. But I left you just to save myself. You have every right to hate me.”
“What are you laughing at?” Galileo asked as this wasn’t the reaction she expected.
“Cause you’re such an idiot,” Nicole said, wiping away the tear in her eyes.
“...I’ve never been called idiot in my whole life.” Galileo thought she would be angry, but she didn’t. “Yes. I’m stupid,” she nodded to agree rarely.
“Only an idiot would be stupid enough to take all the responsibility. Any sane person would flee in that situation! I would’ve done the same if I were you,” Nicole said as she soothed Einstein’s wet bang, and she continued, “except this super fool,”
Nicole leaned close to Galileo, tapping her forehead gently.
“Stop blaming yourself anymore. It wasn’t your fault.” Nicole said with a sweet smile.
With Nicole’s words, Galileo finally reconciled with herself.