Chapter 96

“…do you have a better idea?” Andie shot Cedric a disappointed look. She was starting to wonder if Cedric was here to help, or just to complain. “Or have you taken it upon yourself to speak for Pessimists Incorporated instead of do anything constructive?”
“…fine.” A defeated sigh slipped out from Cedric’s lips. “I guess trying to reason with the Nightmare is worth a shot. Just be careful, okay? I’ve already lost one friend today.”
“No. You haven’t. Not yet.” Andie shook off her previous disappointment and smirked cockily. “Besides, it isn’t like this will be the hardest speech I’ve ever delivered. I mean, any fears Dyllan has of lashing out and hurting innocent people are totally unfounded. I have not once seen him get angry for his own sake – it’s always other people getting hurt that riles him up.”
“Andie…” Cedric started to say something… then hesitated. After a brief moment to reorganize his thoughts, he spoke. “Dyllan isn’t afraid of hurting innocents. He’s a pacifist, remember? He’s scared of hurting his enemies.”
“Okay.” Andie tightened up her posture, and stared Cedric right in the eye. “Then, you and me? We’re going to need to have a talk.” She frowned. “I know I may not be the best at reading people most of the time… but I’m not totally oblivious. When it comes to cheesy, dramatic, trope-like situations like this even I can tell something isn’t right. You don’t really expect me to believe that all of this…” She gestured broadly at the mindscape around her. “…is just because Dyllan’s afraid of decking some punk in the face in a fight they started?”
“Well, I mean -”
“No. I know that look on your face, I know you’re going to try and change the topic or distract me.” Andie’s eyes narrowed. “There was a goddamn noose on Dyllan’s Nightmare, Cedric. Something happened.” She forced herself to relax a little. “…I know that something big happened to you and Dyllan before we met, I’ve known for a while now. You’d always dodge the topic when it came up, and Dyllan would just… fidget. I didn’t push the issue because it seemed like it was pretty traumatic for Dyllan, and I respected that you didn’t want to spill secrets that weren’t yours.” She took a deep breath. “But Dyllan’s life is on the line, Cedric. I don’t know how long we have to save him, or if it’s already too late. I need to know what happened.”
“I…” Cedric squirmed a little, nearly falling off his drone. “Alright. Okay. I’ll tell you what happened. See, before I met Dyllan, I used to be bullied a lot…”


A note from the author ninja:

Dramatic Backstory(tm) time!

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