"Uncle . . . Larcus . . . ?"

As Evie stood in the strange room, her gaze fixed on the figure before her, she couldn't shake the flood of memories that surged to the forefront of her mind.

It was her Uncle Larcus, a man she hadn't seen or heard from in over a decade. He had been a prominent figure in her life during her childhood, a surrogate father of sorts, but his sudden disappearance had left a void that had never been filled.

Uncle Larcus was also the reason behind the staggering debt that plagued their country, Frizkiel. During his reign, he had wielded his power recklessly, accumulating debts with little regard for the consequences.

And then, without warning, he had vanished, leaving the country in turmoil and financial ruin.

In the years that followed, Frizkiel had struggled to recover from the fallout of Larcus's actions. The burden of debt weighed heavily on the citizens, and the scars of his betrayal ran deep.

Despite the passage of time, the wounds remained raw, a constant reminder of the betrayal they had endured.

For Evie, her Uncle Larcus had once been a source of comfort and guidance, a pillar of strength in her life.

But now, as she stood before him after so many years, she couldn't help but feel a sense of betrayal and resentment bubbling within her.

The warmth and familiarity she had once associated with him had been replaced by a sense of unease and apprehension.

He was the reason why she was in this mess right now and the reason why Ren worked so hard to the point of being hospitalized.

Evie gritted her teeth and her hand fisted. It was all his fault!

How could he have abandoned them so callously, leaving them to pick up the pieces of his mistakes?

As she studied his features, Evie couldn't help but notice how much he had changed. The years had taken their toll, etching lines of weariness and regret upon his face.

His once vibrant eyes were now dull and haunted, a stark contrast to the lively sparkle she remembered from her childhood.

Despite her anger and confusion, Evie couldn't deny the pang of sadness that tugged at her heartstrings.

Beneath the facade of indifference she had erected, there still lingered a flicker of affection for the man who had once been so dear to her.

But now was not the time for sentimentality. Evie knew she needed answers, and she was determined to get them, no matter the cost.

"Uncle Larcus," she began, her voice steady despite the turmoil raging within her. "What are you doing here? And why did you disappear all those years ago, leaving us to deal with the aftermath of your actions?"

Her words hung in the air, heavy with accusation and longing. She waited for his response, her heart pounding in her chest as she braced herself for whatever truth he might reveal.lightsnovel

For a moment, there was silence as Larcus regarded her with a mixture of sadness and remorse. Then, with a heavy sigh, he spoke, his voice tinged with regret.

lightsΝοvel "Evie, my dear niece," he said, his tone laced with sorrow. "I know I have much to answer for, and I can't begin to express how sorry I am for the pain I've caused you, my brother, and our country. But please believe me when I say that I never meant for any of this to happen."

Evie listened, her emotions roiling within her as she struggled to process his words. Despite her anger and resentment, a part of her couldn't help but feel a twinge of sympathy for the man before her.

But sympathy alone wouldn't absolve him of his sins, and Evie knew that forgiveness would not come easily, if at all.

Larcus's expression shifted to one of urgency as he closed the gap between himself and Evie.

"I don't have much time to explain, so listen carefully," he said, his voice low and urgent. "I only have a limited window here before they find me and take me away. When that happens, we'll never see each other again. Ever."

"W-what? What are you talking about?" Evie stammered, her heart pounding with confusion and fear for his uncle was acting strange all of a sudden.

"Listen carefully, Evie," Larcus continued, his tone grave. "I am one of the founders of this game. I am the one who funded and one of the developers of COVENANT. I came . . . I came from the future . . ."

Evie's eyes widened in disbelief. "Future . . . ? But that's impossible."

"The reason I accumulated those debts and ran away is because we needed the money to secretly build COVENANT. This isn't merely a game; it's a way to hasten humanity's evolution before the apocalypse comes."

"Evolution? Apocalypse? Uncle, what are you talking about?" Evie's mind spun with disbelief, struggling to comprehend Larcus's words.

"Listen closely," Larcus urged, his voice urgent. "Talking to you here and revealing myself is strictly prohibited, and I will surely be punished. But I had to see you. Ever since you entered the game, I have been monitoring your stats and evolution.

"But, Evie . . . you're among the few humans whose evolution is slow. I'm afraid you wouldn't make it, so I had to see you no matter what."

Evie's head swam with confusion, her thoughts racing as she tried to make sense of her uncle's crazy words.

"I had to see you to give you this," Larcus continued, producing a small green card in his hand. "Take this. This is the [Green Card], and it will ensure your safety in the next world and by that time, I'm sure you will already evolve."

He pressed the card into Evie's hand, his grip tight as he locked eyes with her. "Evie, you must not tell anyone about this. You must never, ever show this card or speak of it. It's important. Do you understand?"

Evie shook her head, her mind reeling with questions and uncertainty. "What are you saying, Uncle?"

"We have no time. Go, Evie. You must live. You MUST!"

Before Evie could respond, she was suddenly swept away, her uncle's face fading into blur until she was enveloped by an invisible force, and was pplunged into darkness.

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