"My injuries didn't matter. My fatigue didn't matter.

I tracked my sister down and found her near Centaurus. Not too far from here.

When I was about to save her, a young girl—my sister's best friend—said if I even moved my aura, the artifact my sister wore would trigger, killing her.

There wasn't much I could do. I was losing my mind, trying to find a way out.

But the artifact wasn't a normal thing. It's something only a rank 9 could posess.

I knew someone was behind this but it didn't matter. My sister's life was at stake and I was helpless."

Isadora's aura fluctuated violently. The insides of the cave began to shake and tremors ran across the whole region.

The fluctuations were enough to damage a planet, but the star didn't even shake.

Perhaps because this place was the result of rank 9s, it was extraordinarly sturdy.

"Then they showed up. The kidnappers." Isadora laughed.

A mocking laughter.

Varian just had a feeling that she wasn't laughing at others. She was laughing at herself.

"The two orphan girls I saved, with the group I joined them in, one of the group's who I considered my friend.

They all showed up, armed to the teeth, with excess of treasures, all to take me down.

I killed the ones I didn't know. But the ones I did…I couldn't bring myself to do it. I stopped attacking and kept defending.

Maybe an hour passed like that, maybe more.

I kept asking why they were doing this. Why they were betraying me. What wrong did I do them.

She didn't answer. Neither did she. Nor she."

Isadora pointed fingers, from one place to another, as she kept moving.

Her body was here, but her mind had long gone to that day.

Ta! Ta! Ta!

At some point, small pieces of ice, in the shape of tear drops, started dropping wherever she passed by.

Since she didn't want them to see her like that, Varian and Sarah didn't use their senses to look at her current face.

But her choking, cracking voice was telling more than enough. "I didn't know what to do.

I wanted help. My mother came there rushing. She first checked my condition, then my sister who was still hostage.

I wanted her to solve this problem. Idiotic, isn't it? I thought them trying to kill me was still solvable.

It's not that I didn't kill. I was cruel to my enemies. The Jai Empire's geniuses and powerhouses feared me alike.

But to my own people…I didn't know what I should do.

My mother said she'll sort this out. And she stabbed me in the back."

Varian froze in his tracks.

Isadora stopped a bit ahead, in front of a pitch black chasm. After ascertaining it, she nodded to herself and signaled to Varian.

"Wh-What happened next?"

"My paths regressed, I paid a big price. But maybe beacuse I was like that, I was able to find slivers. I fell asleep. Sia woke up for the first time. The rest is history."

Isadora said in a calm voice. The sadness, nostalgia, joy in her previous narrations was absent.

Varian looked at her once again.

A woman with long silver hair. Eyes that shone like rubies. A face that transcended human standards of beauty.

And yet…

Those eyes no longer look forward to anything. The face doesn't have a genuine anymore.

"Do not pity me. I don't need it." She shook her head. "Pity my enemies, though. They'll need it. A lot."

"I can't pity them after what they did to you…but why do you hate your sister?" Varian asked.

"You should've guessed, Mr.Smarty?" Isadora smiled, but her eyes weren't smiling.

Varian exhaled deeply. Sarah took a moment longer but also realized.

He had a rough guess of some things.

Daphne was one of the orphan girls. Perhaps the other was the other maid Reina.

He could vaguely tell that their ages were much larger than it appeared. But the first maid Romanov, she should be her sister's best friend.

And her sister…wasn't really kidnapped. It was all an act.

Her own mother, sister, best friend and the girls she rescued—everyone betrayed her.

No wonder Isadora was like this. It'd be hard to trust any person after even a single betrayal. But she's telling this much even after all she'd been through.

"…I'm sorry for being overly harsh on you," Sarah said. "I still hate you for trying to kill Varian and me. But if you can drop that madness, we could be good frie—"

"I can't trust you," Isadora chuckled and turned to Varian. "Or you. This is just a part of our deal. I'll tell you what happened and you'll help me with my revenge. Turns out, you really do have a rank 9 enemy."

Varian nodded without any hesitation. "I'll stand by my words. I'll help you."

"That can happen only if we can get out of here alive." Isadora shrugged. "Even if I and Sarah do our best, we can't win Rudolph now."

"Why isn't he here yet?" Varian asked but he quickly answered his own question. "Is it the life field?"

"He'll break it sooner or later. It's too old to hold up against a rank 7." She said. "And when he does, we won't be able to win him."

Varian asked. "So what exactly is your plan?"

"Why do you think I have one?" Isadora had a smile.

"Dying here means giving up on your revenge."

Isdaora's smile vanished and she nodded. "I hate doing this but this is the ony way. Follow me."

Saying so, she jumped into the chasm. Varian and Sarah followed in.

The chasm went straight to the heart of the star. A huge region as big as earth's sun.

"He'll take his time to get here. Until then," She sat down and pulled him. "Sarah, join but be alert. Varian and I will have our first and last Synergy."