After Rayven grilled the girl named Rina, I moved over toward them. This was my first time seeing her. Well, technically, I saw her briefly on the Halloween Dance. She and Rayven were having a conversation before I interrupted them.
She looked flustered after admitting to everyone that she was the owner of Out of Order Blog. When I stood beside Rayven, she averted her eyes away from me.
I felt Deena moved also and took a seat closer to Rina.
"Hi! I think we haven't officially met. But I'm Yuno del Luna," I smiled and offered my hand to her.
She glanced at my raised hand and took it. "Rina Cruz," she said weakly.
"So, what you can tell us about Chad Abad? Did he receive the same black paper like Raymond and Monica?"
Rina looked at us with her careful eyes. "Unfortunately, no."
My brows creased at her answer.
Before she continued her talk, she glanced at Deena and rolled her eyes at her. "First of all, my source is a co-worker of Chad. I took interest in this when a student from L.O.M.S. namely Jane suddenly skipped town just like with Raymond's case. I was doing my grocery for my mother at the store when I overheard the staff there talking about their youngest member suddenly not appearing for work. It was a surprise to them since he's a diligent employee, never missing his work hours. I pretended to be part of the academy's newspaper and asked about their co-worker's disappearance. They told me that prior to his disappearance some of them saw Chad hanging with some gang. Well, the word they used was surrounded. It happened once or twice. But no one filed a missing person case since he has no immediate family here in La Orden. But some of his friends are thinking about doing it."
"How about his things in his workplace?" Dylan inquired.
Rina just shrugged at him. "Sorry didn't ask about that. This was my first time hearing that the victims received a black paper. We will need a police search warrant for that."
"Thank you for that information, Rina. I guess we can all assume that a certain gang appeared to all the victims prior to their disappearance." I cupped my chin with my fingers pondering on the details available to me right now. I looked around the room just to look at it from a different perspective. Then Rayven tapped my shoulder.
"Hey, Yuno, if you don't mind, can I take another look at the black paper?"
Arching my brow at him, I gave it to him. He scanned the paper when suddenly his eyes widen from a sudden realization.
"Rayven, what's wrong?"
"Look!" He pointed at the black paper, and that was when we all took a look at what he was pointing. But we couldn't make sense of what was it.
"Care to enlighten us, smartypants?" Deena commented.
I gave a pointed look at her, but she just waved me off.
"The font style of the text," Rayven started. "If you notice, there are two font styles at present. All letters except the letter B have the same font style. At first, you can barely notice the differences since the font style looks the same. But look closer on the letter Bs."
We squinted our eyes, but we can't differentiate the font style from each other. It looked the same way from how I see it.
"Dude, I can't see it," Tay complained at Rayven.
"Well, if you took Calligraphy as an elective class, you would know," Rayven explained. "Anyway, since I'm the only one who can differentiate it, let's move forward to my next insight. I've seen this letter B before, same font style."
"Where?" I asked. This could be our biggest lead about these missing students.
Rayven thinned his lips then looked at Tay. "Remember, Caden? I saw this same letter B emblazoned on his pin."
"W-Wait! Now, you've mentioned about the pin. It was the same pin with the Black Order representatives from the tree planting activity last weekend, right?" I looked at my stepbrother to give me the confirmation I needed.
He nodded at me. "Yes. And here's the catch, if our assumption is correct, Caden is a member of the Black Order, right? Don't be surprised but he's trying to recruit me in their gang. Sorry, brotherhood."
I gaped at this revelation. "When did this happen? I mean when he tried to recruit you?"
"I think it was around your first day of school here."
"Hate to break it with you guys," Dylan intruded. "But do you think Rayven is the next target? I mean we don't know yet if the other missing students were also recruited by this – Black Order. But it follows the pattern."
"Have you received any black paper? Please be honest with me, Rayven," I pleaded at my stepbrother. My heart was beating faster from the sudden realization that he might be the next student who will go missing.
Thankfully, Rayven shook his head. "Nope. So far, no black paper inside my locker, only my colored papers for my calligraphy class." He gave us a tense laugh.
"So what's your next move, Yuno?" Rina asked. I was startled when she suddenly addressed me.
I looked at Dylan looking for some answers from him, but he was also looking at me expectantly. Releasing a huge sigh, I looked at my companions in the classroom. "I guess my next move is to ask around about Jane. We have to confirm her story and to check also if she received the black paper."
"Don't forget about Chad also," Dylan pointed out.
"Yeah. But we need help from the police."
Then Dylan looked at Deena's direction. We all followed suit giving her a look.
"W-What?" she asked.
"Can you help us or not, Deena?" Dylan inquired.
She paused for a moment and crossed her arms over her chest. "Fine! But I'm only helping because it concerns me also. What if I'm the next target? Though, I have to ask my mother about Raymond's and Monica's case. I might found some details that you 'missed'. Also, I will ask my mother to check on Chad's case."
"Thank you, Deena," I can't believe that I will be saying my thank you at her.
"I guess I will have to join the Black Order," Rayven said.
"Are you crazy?" Tay and I exclaimed in unison.
"What? It's the fastest way to get the information you need."
"But it's dangerous. What if Dylan is correct? What if you're next?" I protested.
"Of course, it's dangerous! But we have the name of the main suspect if I've gone missing."
"That's a suicide, dude," Tay looked worried at his best friend.
"Please. I have to do this. You are all working on something about this case. Plus, I will be careful. I'll keep you updated always."
We all looked at each other.
Unanimously, all of us thought Rayven's plan was crazy. But he had a point and also risky.
"Fine. But I will only agree if Tay will accompany you. He has to join the Black Order also. Two is better than one, right?"
Tay's eyes almost poked out from its socket, but then he sighed in resignation. "Okay, fine! But if I remember correctly, I think Caden hates me."
"We will convince him to recruit you also," Rayven answered.
"It seems we all have our assignments." In a way, this was the first time I felt jubilant after hearing the news about Monica. We had to find and save her. We also had to find the Black Order's agenda from this. They were a bunch of teen looking individuals. I was pretty sure there was a mastermind behind this, not them.
Then someone cleared her throat, I turned around and found Rina looking at me.
"How about me, Yuno? Is there anything I could help?"
"Umm… Oh yeah! Dylan and I will be going to Jane's residence. Could you find a way to look at the place where Chad is staying and ask around about him?"
Rina's face brightened after I gave her a task and enthusiastically nodded at me. "Sure!"
"So when are we going to reconvene again?" Deena asked while her hand rested on her hip.
"Since its Friday already, can we meet next week, Monday? Same time?"
They all nodded at me. Right on cue also, Mrs. Cruz arrived in the classroom where we quickly returned to our seats.
But this time, a new camaraderie had formed between us.
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