Chapter 78

A moment of uncomfortable silence smothered the rooftop, broken when Dyllan finally spoke. “…are we really sure this was a good idea?” He paused. “This whole, combining with our shadows thing…”
Andie nervously fiddled with her fingers for a bit, then sharply exhaled and snapped halfway back to her usual self. “Yes.” She stood up. “Why do you ask?”
“Well, it’s just that I’ve been feeling… something… ever since I started letting my shadow hitch a ride.” A flicker of malicious satisfaction for his suffering wriggled in the back of his mind, not entirely his own. “Plus, you seem a little… volatile now that your shadow is a part of you.”
“Volatile. Really.” Andie’s eyes narrowed. “Dyllan, I was deceived by my own grandpa, and one of my best friends – two people I trusted more than anything else in the world, and believed in with all my heart. Regardless of forgiveness, understanding, and whether or not what they did was justified… I think I’m allowed to be a little upset.” She threw her hands up in the air. “I mean, really!? I get pissed off one time, under extenuating circumstances, and suddenly I’m volatile!?
“Yeah, I know…” A chagrined expression settled into Dyllan’s face. “The weapon was a bit much, though.”
“It’s not a weapon Dyllan, it’s my Courage, my Virtue.” Andie beamed with pride. “I don’t think I could hurt someone with that even if I wanted to!”
“…but Nightmares -”
“Aren’t people. They’re physical representations of abstract feelings like hate, fear, and misery. It’s like… it’s like…” Andie fidgeted with her hands as she tried to think up a metaphor. “It’s like a laser beam that only fries cancer cells! Sure, it fires blasts of destruction that incinerate human cells… but you can’t really call it a weapon can you?”
“I… I guess not.” Dyllan’s gaze slowly drifted down to his feet. “But, still…”
“C’mon Dyllan! I was gonna smack him upside the head with the side of the sword, not lop him in half or something!” Andie’s face furled into a frown as she folded her arms. “Honestly, with this and that whole door scheme Cedric had, I’m starting to think you see me as some kind of -” She cut herself off mid sentence. “Oh, Cedric! Welcome back. Done hiding from me?”
“…I wasn’t hiding from you.” Dyllan could tell Cedric was lying. Andie was skeptical, but seemed to be leaning towards believing him. “I just saw something I needed to investigate.” Cedric gestured toward a building about a block away. “Turns out, our friend in a business suit is up on the ledge of a building again.”
“Well, at least we know what we’re doing tonight. C’mon guys.” Andie re-summoned her Courage, and dashed off toward the building Cedric had pointed to.
Dyllan started to follow Andie, but was stopped by Cedric. “Dyllan… thanks for standing up for me back there. You’ve always been a good friend.” He hesitated. “…so it hurts me to call you out on this, but… you might want to look up psychological projection tomorrow.”


A note from the author ninja:

Cedric owes Dyllan a lot. He cares about Dyllan a lot.

Doesn’t mean he isn’t going to call him out on his shit.

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