All Kiri could do was peer out the window from her room.
It was sunny outside, but nonetheless, she was forbidden from leaving the house.
The house she lived in was quite large, to say the least.
With over 20 rooms, there were many places she could go, but she was still forbidden by her parents from leaving.
The reason for this had something to do with an illness, but when Kiri turned 12, she found out that this wasn't the case.
She tried sneaking out on her 12th birthday, but didn't get very far from the front door before suddenly losing consciousness.
When she woke up in her bed, her mother told her that is was because of her illness that she suddenly collapsed, and that she shouldn't try to leave again.
But Kiri wasn't stupid.
That night, she noticed that there was a red sting mark right behind her neck.
So she immediately suspected something.
If her parents had given her medicine to get better, it would have been better to inject it in her arm, especially if she was lying down.
No, Kiri knew what would cause such a wound.
Her house had quite an extensive library in it, ranging from all sorts of subjects.
And she remembered reading one book that outlined how to tranquilize animals that had escaped.
Knowing that her parents were rather serious about this, Kiri therefor decided it would be best to listen to them.
But her curiosity remained: why did they never want her to leave?
Surely they would have a reason?
It wasn't until she had turned 17 that she started to get a better idea why…
To pass her time, Kiri spent more and more time in that library.
She read every book she could reach, and learned many things about the world.
The first thing she realized though, was that it was rather uncommon to have such an estate for a family of three.
Why was it that she lived in such a place?
No matter how far she looked from the window, all she could see was the grassy hill the house stood atop, and the forest that encircled it.
Because she was curious, Kiri asked her mother what she did, but she only got a bleak answer in return.
She didn't dare ask her father, was was either locked in his study, or away for months at a time.
Neither of her parents were approachable.
In fact, the more she thought about it, the more she realized that she knew very little about them as well.
She knew that if she discovered anything about them, she might learn the reason why she was locked up for all her life.
She never expected for something to bring out the truth so clearly to come to her, but it did, that night in fact.
Instead of sleeping like she was supposed to, she was reading a book about famous assassins that she had found on some of the higher shelves of the library.
When suddenly, she heard the front door slam shut, followed by some cursing from her father.
Intrigued, she leant an ear to the floor and tried her best to listen in on the conversation.
"…he target w… the client himsel…"
She only heard a few key words, but it had seemed that someone had played a trick on her father, and something about the client and the target being the same person.
After listening in a bit more, she pieced together exactly what her father's profession was: a professional assassin.
That must be it! They were afraid of her leaking that information out so they kept her locked up for good!
Feeling so happy for the first time in years, she suddenly realized the grim reality of the situation: she still had no way to escape.
Not until she turned 22 anyways…
On that night, Kiri planned everything out perfectly.
Instead of escaping from the front door like she naively did when she was 12, she would climb out of the window, and crawl across to the back of the house, where she could escape into the trees with ease.
After hours of planning and waiting, she executed her plan flawlessly.
After a two hour's walk, she emerged from the forest to a small town.
Using some money she stole from her mother's bag, she located the first thing that resembled an inn based on the descriptions she gathered from reading the encyclopedia, and called it a night.
She was finally free!
She didn't know how long it would last though, so she left early the next morning and got as far away as possible.
Finally satisfied with a town she had found, Kiri settled down, started working as an assistant to the local library, and truly felt free for the first time in her life.
After just a few months though, she started feeling anxious.
It wasn't because she ran away, it was more a sense that someone was following her.
But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't figure out who it was, or if they even existed.
She had left several traps, even some that would simply indicate if anyone had come close to her residence, but none were ever set off.
After a month of being careful, she decided it was best to ignore her in stinks and to just enjoy life.
But it was in that very moment that she had made a fatal mistake.
There really was someone following her, after all.
After another month, her anxiety only got worse.
People, such as other librarians and customers she was friendly with stopped showing up at the library, one by one.
When she realized that they hadn't been seen for days, it was already too late.
On her was back to the small apartment in which she now lived, she started getting the chills, and thus walked faster and faster.
Finally reaching the door, she franticly handled her keys in an attempt to unlock it, only to drop them on the floor.
Finally getting the door open, the ran inside and slammed it behind her.
Truly terrified for the first time in her life, she slowly sunk to the floor, and waited.
After 10 minutes had past, she slowly got on her feet, carelessly removed her shoes, and dragged her legs to the nearest room.
Feeling the walls for the lights, her fingers casually flipped the switch.
But nothing happened.
She tried a few more times, and with the third try, they finally turned on.
The room she was in, however, did not look like her own.
The walls were covered in stab marks, and feathers were everywhere, due to the torn up pillow that lay ripped on the ground.
The scene was so bizarre she neglected to notice the man who was sitting in the corner of the room, until he spoke up that is.
"I've been wai～ting for you～!" he said with a smile, while caressing a large knife.
Half expecting it to be her mother or father, she was surprised to see this man she had never seen before, but she refused to go back to that house ever again, so she spoke up:
"Who are you!? It was my parents who sent you, wasn't it!? I'm not going back, even if you force me!!" she yelled, hoping to garner some attention from outside.
The man's reply troubled her though, since he suddenly started laughing uncontrollably.
After a brief moment, he spoke up: "Your parents sent me? HAHAHAHAHA, thats the best joke I heard all day."
"That was even better than what your mother said before I killed her! With tears covering her eyes, she begged me to spare your life…"
"… bu～t my hands were begging me to kill her as quickly as possible. It took me a lo～ng time to find you～. Where were you hiding?"
Hiding? Kiri wasn't doing such a thing. She was trapped! And what was all this talk about killing her parents, and her mother begging for her life?
Her mother wasn't like that at all.
She didn't have much time to think about things though, as the man started to approach her slowly.
She darted for the door, but he was faster.
At the very least, it seemed like he wanted to enjoy his kill, so she had a chance.
Her parents clearly didn't send such a lunatic after her if they wanted to bring her back, and clearly as assassins themselves, they could have done a stealthier job of killing her.
Positive something was up, she ran for the balcony window and jumped through it at full speed.
All she knew was that she needed to get as far away as possible at this point.
But the man was indeed fast.
In just a few moments, he had caught up with her and was ready to deliver a final blow.
The last thing Kiri was expecting, however, was for him to collapse on the ground, motionless.
And behind him, was her father, carrying a gun in both hands.
Never expecting it, she was relieved, and with that relief, she fainted onto the pavement.
When she woke up, she was in that familiar room once more.
At her side was her mother, who was unexpectedly asleep, and across the door she could hear her father talking to someone.
Suddenly, the door opened and her father, along with a doctor entered.
Her mother suddenly woke up from the noise.
"Go catch some sleep honey, you've been up for almost three days now" her father said. Her mother complied by drowsily walking out of the room.
"We… aren't your real parents" her father said.
Kiri was very confused, but she couldn't say a word from fatigue.
"That man was a friend of your mother's" he continued.
"At the time, she didn't know he was one of the most… successful serial killers of our time, and befriended him through her work."
"He unfortunately snapped one day and decided he needed to kill her."
"Your father died trying to save her, and I, a private officer off duty at the time, arrived to late to save your mother."
"I did manage to keep him from killing you, though, who was just a baby."
"However, that man… during past cases, he always ended up killing his targets, no matter how much time passed, or where they went… it was only a matter of time."
"So I took you in to protect you. We moved out to a secret forces base of operations, this house, and started living here, the three of us."
"Knowing what would happen if he caught wind of you, we decided it would be best if you never left."
"At first, we wanted to be closer to you, and act like your real parents, but the more you grew up, the more we decided that it would be best if you learned to hate us…"
"I'm… so sorry…" he finished, as he started crying a little.
After a few moments, he continued:
"When you turned 12 and decided to run away that first time, we were truly scared."
"But we also decided to track down that man before he found you."
"After 5 years of looking, we almost found him, but he had tricked us instead."
"Afraid of him finding your location, we called the search off, and lost hope."
"When you ran away a few months ago, I knew that this would be my chance, so I followed as carefully as I could where you had gone."
"I was set on keeping you safe, while trying to give you all the freedom you had deserved all these years."
"When you yelled in your apartment that night, I immediately got ready to protect you."
"I'm so glad you are safe…"
Her father starting to cry again, Kiri didn't know how to react after hearing such a story.
She understood though, that her parents never meant her any harm all these years.
And with that realization, a small happiness grew inside her chest, as the tears started flowing from her eyes.
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