“People live in deception, but what you feel is true. And with that, I will stay alive.”

Rain drops down like a melody of a piano… each falls like a tune in a requiem being played for her as she lied on the cold ground. Blood flowed from her eyes like tears trickling down in loneliness and sorrow; like the rain, it seems to fall endlessly.

“You have betrayed the Mirage. You must die.”

His voice floated over her blankness as she recalls the look on his face—perhaps the last time she would be able to gaze at him. He looked furious, holding the gun and aimed it at her heart, determined to kill her at all cost. However, there was a strained feeling in his heart, and she felt it too. She knew the decision isn’t easy for him; something, which might even cause him his life or death…

“You’re the last person on earth I could ever trust my life to…Why?” She mutters inaudibly. “Steven?”

He tried to keep his hands from shaking, but the words of his own friend gave tinge to the heart he has been trying to ice. He never wanted to do this in the first place… yet there is nothing he could do. He could either lose a friend’s life by his own hands, or lose his.

“This is your punishment!” Steven yells in anguish. But then, the spite in his face turned into deep grief. “Why must you let me do this?? Why must you die in my hands???” he growled.

Her eyes strained on him, she did not move nor twitch even for a second. For a minute there, she couldn’t say a word. Steven is in panic… the Neo-Gaia will kill him as well if he did not follow. These thoughts fused in her mind as she watched him breathed heavily as he held the gun on her. She could run away, just like what she did before, but she didn’t. “It’s my fault… I should have thought of him too in the first place.”

For minute the two stood still in the midst of the forest. The dense shadows turned into darkness as dusk finally arrived and rain slowly pours down like tears falling from heaven.

“Alright,” she starts, the rain dripping on her face conceal as a mask from the tears that streamed from her eyes. “Kill me.”

Three gunshots were heard in the air, and the crows flew in fright, arising from the thick forest as the rain started to pour heavily at the setting of the sun.

“The Mirage was put up as a barrier between the real world, and the Veil. Inside the Veil, people will leave happily and peacefully. Never knowing that in reality, the Anarchy war has destroyed almost of the whole planet. It is a deception, but it is just what people need, or at least want. But for the Mirage to continually exist, an illusion of a perfect place must exist, and who else could create that other than Syn?”

The leaders of Neo-Gaia agreed. However, all of them knew they had her killed. It might have been a wrong move, and some regretted it, for Sir Nathaniel Wright says,

“The data for Veil is continually consumed. If nobody takes over Mirage, the barrier will be destroyed.”

“The only thing I have is Syn’s Memory Orb.” Reagent, one of the Mirage’s creators, answers. He held the orb tightly in his hands as if it was something he treasured. “For now we cannot change the possessor properties of Mirage—it still recognizes Syn as its owner. We could feed it to Mirage until we find a replacement.”

“At last. The rain stopped.”

The rays of the sun beamed over a body lying on the cold ground in the forest of Harpsha. The harsh storm has passed and now gentle breeze blew away the leaves that covered the forsaken one. The winds quietly touched the cold face, as the traces of blood and tears still wet from sorrow are seen.

There is a white reflection kneeling upon the ground, enveloping the body. As clouds turned the reflection walked to what seemed like corpse. Long silver hair flowed in the air as she pressed her ears on the body’s chest. There was no heartbeat, but amazingly… it was still warm. The white maiden smiled and touched the girl’s face.

Her lips twitched… feeling the cold hands on her cheek. As her eyes slowly opened, a fair lady in white came into view. “At last,” the lady says in greetings. “You’re awake now.”

Syn held on to the lady’s hand, as she is pulled from her deep reverie. As her eyes wandered she realized she is in the same forest where her friend had shot her in the head last night. She looked at her body… the traces of blood were still there, but curiously there was no pain.

“Am I alive?” she asks herself, but she couldn’t be. Three shots were fired—the last in her head… it’s impossible for her to be alive.

“Yes, and no,” The lady answers, shaking her head.

“I don’t think I understand…” Syn mutters. “Which am I?”

“Both.” The maiden answers calmly. “You see, in reality, you are already dead. But here, your feelings kept you alive. That is why… you are both alive and dead.”

“Wait a minute,” Syn groans, very much confused. “Here? Where am I?”

“In my wings. Don’t you remember who I am?”

Syn stared at the woman for a second, trying to find anything familiar that would make her recognize who she is. But there was nothing. Clueless, she looked at her with confusion, and the woman smiled at her unawareness.

“I’ve brought you here because I cannot let you die. Because,” The woman says complacently, “you are my possessor.”

“Possessor?” Syn exclaims in surprise. She looked around her and knew that it is the same place where she had died. But then, a realization came into her heart. As piercing as the thought can be, it is the only way she can stay alive. The Veil. “This can’t be,” she says inaudibly. “You’re the Mirage!”

The silver-haired maiden nodded and smiled. “Yes.”

“Why? Why have you kept me alive?” Syn asked.

“Because it is your will.” The woman answered mildly. Out her hand soon appeared a crystal sphere, with movements inside like that of a small screen. As Syn looked closely she realized those scenes were familiar. It was her memory.

The Mirage made the orb vanish into thin air, and held her master. “Here in the Veil, you are the one true thing. People live in deception, but what you feel is true. And with that, I will stay alive.”

She puts her arms around her owner, and embraced her, even though there was no warmth in their both of their bodies. “Here I will protect you. I will keep you from harm. The feelings you feel, I will feel too. We will be one.”