The presidential palace was highly securized and incredibly luxurious. Apart from the President’s huge collection of masterpieces exhibited on the walls the most impressing was the patio imagined like an ocearium from which Sam Suung and Maa Kintoche could admire beautiful undersea sceneries.
It bothered somehow Sam Suung when she realized the President would have never gone out his palace to face reality:
- May I help you? The President’s secretary politely inquired.
- We have business with the President, Maa Kintoche announced.
- Wait here I’ll take you to him as soon as possible.
They didn’t have to wait long. With courtesy the President welcomed them in his main office inviting them to sit. Maa Kintoche did but Sam Suung stepped back when she saw the “Shovel of Death” on the desk.
- Don’t be afraid, it’s not a trap.
In spite of his friendly smile Sam Suung was intimidated. Unwillingly, she blushed when he looked strongly at her expecting her to sit according to his orders. She obeyed steadily with resignation:
- What is the “Shovel of Death”??
- I ask the questions and you answer it.
- I’ll forever make you to regret your crime if Sempai died!
-How dare you talk back to me? Do you know where you stand right now? The President shouted.
Sam Suung stood up:
- Don’t twist my words!
- Know of your place and show more respect to your elders,, we will never be equals!
- I am who I am!
-There must be a misunderstanding between us. I don’t accuse you of being a Lonesome, it's none of my business.
- Because of you I’ve already suffered so much!
- Oh my… Someone must have told you but who?
- Don’t be naïve, with the famous “Mad Hatter” always by your side it was very easy deducing who you are. Now you can’t run away I’ve called the security before your arrival just in case you’d intend anything to escape the palace.
- We… We were supposed to talk about the “Shovel of Death”!
- It was a nice excuse to force you to come here. I’d like to make an offer to both of you, he explained looking at Maa Kintoche.
- What is it?! They exclaimed.
- Your dearest wish will be granted within three days only if you manage well the following task for me.
The sea has turned to the darkest navy blue when they finally could leave. They remained silent while they were heading back to Moto Rorola’s mansion. Out of energy Maa Kintoche called a cab as soon as Sam Suung has entered in the house.
In the dark she went swiftly upstairs: Moto Rorola and Nokira were already sleeping in the guest room near Sempaï’s bed. He hadn’t fully recovered yet, still bedridden. She gently landed a hand over his forehead to ensure he hasn’t caught a cold.
- Forgive me.
His voice was so light and so weary; Sam Suung closed the curtains and sighed:
- It’s all by my fault.
- I don’t think so…
- If I hadn’t let Maa Kintoche to enter in the house, nothing would have happened!
- In any case, whether he did or not, it had to happen because Al Cartel has been aiming to put us out of harm’s way since he realized I know much more about him than he would expect.
- What do you mean?
- Let’s sleep for now it was a hard day for us all.
The moon was full. Somewhere on earth Ashley went outside the nuclear shelter to walk alone along the seaside beneath the starry sky. From the top of the hill she stared at Society’s city lights shining underseas.
Unable to sleep Maa Kintoche turned on his laptop and wandered on the Web searching information about Sam Suung. There were only a few matches, mostly classified which intrigued him. One of the fully available pages were a list of her articles. The first one whose title was “Year 0” caught his eye and he clicked on it.