Chapter 77 Out Of The Woods
I darted my eyes around, but all that greeted me were sloping hills and farmland. The place I had been kept in appeared to be an abandoned granary.
Julius forged ahead with me in his arms, only stopping when he reached the side of the road. I sensed that he was waiting for someone or a car. Incredulity flooded me.
Isn’t he afraid that someone will see him?
Shortly after, a rackety van came to a stop before us. A tanned and stocky man proceeded to climb out of the vehicle.
I didn’t recognize him, and I initially thought that he was Julius’ accomplice. But after listening to their conversation, I felt that it wasn’t quite the case. Instead, it sounded like a car service.
Julius didn’t talk much to the man before he carried me into the vehicle. The van promptly started moving again.
After some time, it came to a stop. By then, the sky had already lightened considerably.
When the man driving the van left, Julius carried me into a small bungalow.
While we were on our way in earlier, small bungalows such as this littered both sides of the road. It was exceedingly messy, and an unpleasant stench lingered in the air.
Julius placed me on the bed before binding my hands and legs with the rope once again. Then, he left with the tablet.
Hmm… he’s probably going to fiddle with the recording, but I really wonder how he’s going to send it to Dominic. Jeez, I didn’t expect him to demand five million! I don’t even know whether Dominic can save me.
I wiggled slightly, but my hands and legs were securely bound. If only I could move, I’d get to the door and cry for help even if I had to crawl there on my hands and knees!
Recalling my paralyzed condition then, a bolt of fear suddenly lanced through me. Ugh! What kind of drug did he give me? If I’m to remain like this for the rest of my life, I’d rather he just kill me.
I had no idea what kind of place it was, but I kept hearing noises from outside soon after Julius left.
I was thrilled at first, thinking that someone was coming to my rescue. However, not a single soul appeared though the racket grew all the louder.
Oh wow, he actually left me all alone in a populated place and went off by himself!
Laying on the bed, I tried my best to keep my eyes open while my gaze remained fixated on the door. I truly hoped that someone would come in and save me.
Dominic clings to me like a burr that I simply can’t shake off when I don’t want to see him. But now that I need him, he hasn’t appeared even after such a long time has passed. How ironic!
Just then, I heard a click before the room door swung open. Julius was back.
He sat down on the edge of the bed and patted my face. A jubilant smirk tugged at his lips as he sneered, “I didn’t know that he regards you so dearly that he would agree to pay five million without even an ounce of hesitation.”
At his remark, a thousand questions promptly popped up in my mind.
Dominic actually agreed? Then, has Julius gotten the money? Is he going to let me go now?
“Don’t worry, for I’ll certainly let you go after receiving the money.”
For some inexplicable reason, I didn’t feel the slightest bit of joy when I heard him saying that he would let me go. Conversely, a chill ran down my spine.
The expression on his face was too bizarre, and the vicious glint in his eyes made me want to shy away from him instinctively.
Julius grinned, baring his teeth at me. I saw him putting something into the mineral water again, and it was two pills this time.
As before, he yanked on my hair and forced my mouth open, pouring the entire bottle of water down my throat.
The moment he released his hold on me, I slumped back onto the bed as though boneless. I could only watch as he left again.
The first time this happened, I was still aware although I couldn’t move or speak.
Now, however, I gradually felt my head growing heavier. I started seeing double, and despite my best efforts to keep my eyes open, I slowly slipped into the darkness.
I felt as though I was dreaming. Many people were calling out to me in the dream, and someone even shook me.
The voices were very familiar—my parents, Dominic, and also Shannon. Their voices washed over me in complete pandemonium.
Such a dream repeated itself time and again, the voices becoming clearer each time.
In the end, I felt my mother’s presence right beside me, her voice sounding right next to my ear.
“Lili, Lili… Lili, I’m right here… Won’t you please wake up, Lili?”
She seemed to be crying, and that prompted questions to flood my mind. What’s wrong with her? And what happened to me? Why is she asking me to wake up?
On the heels of that, a sigh sounded.
I could tell that it came from my father.
What’s going on here? Why does he sound so sad?
I seemed to see a sliver of light and something hovering on the edges of my vision. Is that… Mom?
My vision cleared, and I saw that it was indeed my mother who was weeping.
“Uh… M-Mom.” I tried several times before I could finally speak aloud.
“Lili?” Tears stained my mother’s face, and it was a completely different look from her usual aplomb.
“Dear, Dear, hurry up and call the doctor! Ask Dr. Baker to come! Lili is awake!”
I didn’t hear my father speak, but a flurry of flustered and urgent footsteps gradually faded into the distance.
My mother threw herself onto me and hugged me tightly as she called my name repeatedly.
“Mom, I-I’m fine.” I wanted to hug her back, but I couldn’t lift my hands.
“Fine, you said? Do you know that you almost died?” She sobbed in anguish, but I could hear a hint of elation bubbling out.
My father then came back with Dominic behind him. There were also several doctors, including Yvonne.
My mother was then pulled away by my father. The few doctors crowded in and started examining me. Dominic was standing right beside my bed, so I could see him the moment I turned my head to the side.
He seemed to be much more haggard, with stubble lining his jaw. Besides, he was also very pale, his eyes alarmingly bloodshot.
After Yvonne was done examining me, she asked my father to step out for a moment. Glancing at me, Dominic followed as well.
Meanwhile, my mother sat down on the chair beside the bed and clutched my hand tightly.
By then, I was almost fully clear-headed. I remembered Julius and the fact that he drugged me.
“How long was I unconscious, Mom?”
I had lost track of time ever since Julius kidnapped me, so I had no idea how long had passed.
“Three days. You were unconscious for three long days. Your father and I didn’t even dare believe it when Dom phoned us.” As my mother spoke, her voice turned choked.
“Don’t cry anymore, Mom. Otherwise, your eyes will become swollen. I’ll definitely be up and about in no time,” I comforted her.
Wiping her tears, my mother nodded and asserted, “That’s right! My daughter will definitely live a long and healthy life, so I’m not crying anymore.”
I instantly felt much lighter when she ceased weeping.
As time ticked by, I threw multiple glances at the door. When Dominic returned, I wanted to ask him whether Julius had been apprehended. Also, there’s the issue of the five million… He’s probably not that dumb, right?