"Wild beast ate people! The people-eating beast is back! The frequent incidents have the public complaining that the police isnt doing its job!"
Most of the front page consisted of that big, bold title, but what had really caught Kierans attention and made him pick up the newspaper again was the content under the title.
"Sidneys body was found eaten in Royaljer!"
"Poor Courtneys head and upper body were found on the Andalier Garden lawn!"
"Another tragedy! Pauls arm was found in the Beth Hayes Fountain! The police states that Paul might still be alive!"
Those three sentences had been underlined with a black pen.
If the newspaper hadnt suddenly unfolded when it fell down, the clues might have slipped Kierans sharp eyes while his attention had been captured by the folding lines of the newspaper.
"Why would Leonard underline these sentences? Did he really discover something about the beast?" Kieran looked at the lines doubtfully.
Hed had his doubts about Leonard ever since he had found out that he had been hiding some secrets.
He believed that Leonard had known nothing about the beast attacks and had just been hunted by Sphendix. He had just happened to be near the scene of the beast attack and be discovered by Larry. In a moment of desperation, and in an effort to get Larry to protect him, he had lied to save himself.
The situation before Kieran was a little different than what he had expected.
"Maybe he was doing some homework so he could fool Larry better?"
The thought rose in his mind, but was suppressed fast.
Larry was no fool, and if too many lies overlapped each other, there would eventually be inconsistencies.
Once Larry discovered Leonards lies, he would not let him off.
Although Larry claimed that he was just an informant, what Kieran had seen contradicted Larrys words. When Larry had killed off the remaining attacker, he had shown no mercy. He had actually looked like he was quite familiar with killing people.
Unless Leonard was an idiot, he had to know what people he was messing around with and he would not lie to them.
Leonard really must have known something about the beast attacks.
He must have accidentally come across the beast or at least something related to it while he was being hunted.
Kieran had come up with a new theory, but soon more questions formed in his head.
What had the newspaper been used to wrap?
What was even more intriguing, was how Leonard had had the interest and focus to investigate the beast attacks while he was being hunted by Sphendix.
And why would Leonard wrap the item that had been taken away with those pieces of newspaper?
Before Kieran had discovered the newspaper, he had thought that Leonard had just casually wrapped the item with it, but that that was no longer a valid theory after he had read the new clues. Those papers had not just been there for decoration.
"Was the newspaper hiding any secrets? Or were the two items somehow related?" Kieran said softly to himself.
His brain was working lightning fast, trying to find the answers to the mystery.
Larrys voice came from the first floor, "Kieran, come quick! Now!"
Larrys sudden urgency interrupted Kierans thoughts, and Kieran walked down the stairs.
When he reached the first floor, he found Larry staring at the television blankly.
His eyes were locked on the screen.
"A while ago, there was a gang war at the Yvens Edouard Factory. The death toll had reached 10 people, and the Yvens Edouard Factory had been discovered to be a small military garage. The police has come up with the suspects involved in this gang war, Kieran and Larry!"
"Sphendix Corporation has been concerned about the dangerous individuals lurking in the city, so in order to aid the city in regaining its peaceful state, the company has placed a bounty on the two suspects! A total of 500,000 for capturing both of them! Sphendixs best security consultant will also participate in the operation!"
As the news reporter moved on to other news, Kieran and Larrys pictures were shown on the television.
Neither of them were in the mood to keep watching.
A high enough reward would make the bravest people come forward to claim it.
The two of them understood what that meant, especially Larry, who knew the city like the back of his hand. He realized the severeness of the hot mess they were in.
"Those bounty hunters will be impatient to get their hands on the reward, and anyone who wants to make a fortune will start looking around as well! Were in a tight spot right now! We cant even move freely across the city!" Larry ranted loudly as he pulled at his hair.
"F*cking shit! Not only did Sphendix send out that scary guy and place a bounty of 500,000 on us, but it also rendered our earlier escape pointless! Those f*cking capitalists! What now, Kieran? What about Leonard? He's our only hope now!" Larry looked at Kieran in anticipation.
"If you had really protected him with a decent bodyguard and not with those lackeys of yours, he might have been our last hope instead of the dead meat he is now! The scary guy that youre talking about is the security consultant?"
Larry fell into despair at Kierans words. His face was robbed of any sign of hope, and he did not even bother answering Kierans question.
"Finished! We are so finished! Everything is finished! Without Leonard, weve really become wanted criminals!" Larry said in a sad tone, covering his face with his hands.
Kieran noticed Larrys emotional breakdown, and he did not ask about the security consultant again. He was afraid that Larry might have a meltdown.
Kieran switched to a slightly calmer tone and told Larry, "Even if Leonard was alive, wouldnt we still be wanted criminals? You think Sphendix would have just let us go if Leonard was still with us? No, they wont! Theyll only add another name to their bounty list! Or did you think that if we knew Leonards secret, wed be safer? Well only end up being in more danger than we are now!"
According to Larrys description of Sphendix and their methods of handling their ex-employees, it seemed like Sphendix would use any means necessary to achieve their goals.
In Sphendixs point of view, Kieran and Larry were just two small bugs they could squish without any problem. There was no point in talking sense with such enemies. Sphendix was not concerned with justice. With their wealth and power, they could suppress anything and anyone in the dungeon.
"So what should we do? Should we leave the city?" Larry asked.
"Run away? With Sphendixs wealth and power, plus the bounty they just announced, where would we run to? Everywhere we went would be the same. Wed be like rats, constantly afraid of being caught!" Kiera shook his head in denial.
"Then what should we do?" Larry looked at Kieran in confusion.
"Find someone who knows Leonards secret! It might lead us down a more dangerous path, but things are already as shitty as they can get. How bad could it go? Its the only way we can fight back against Sphendix!"
As soon as Kieran finished lecturing Larry, he walked out.