Heart of a Detective

It was a quiet morning of 23 October 1923, well until Lia
started arguing with her mom. They kept quarreling the entire morning. The
whole house was filled with their loud voices not letting Emma sleep.

“Yeah mom, I am doing fine. Can you stop worrying? Emma is
here with me, I’m not a kid anymore. I can live by myself!” stated the 17-year-old Lia trying to convince her mom to let her live with Emma.  “You can’t even take care of yourself! If
Emma wasn’t here, I wouldn’t even allow you to live alone.” shouted her mom.
Like this, they kept arguing for hours on a work morning. But in the end, Lia
convinced her mom to allow her to stay with Emma. She left after preparing them

Emma and Lia had been childhood friends. Emma was 18, a year
older than Lia. Unlike Lia, Emma was an orphan, well as she said. She knew who
her parents were as she lived with them when she was younger. She was aware
that they worked for the secret agency but she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone
about it. She wasn’t really sure about what they did but still followed their
words as she trusted them.  So she always
went by as an orphan.

Seeing Lia argue with her mom reminded Emma of her childhood
when she lived with her parents. “Mom, mom! Let’s go to the rides!” said little
Emma to her mother. “Not right now, I have work to do. We can go another time.” replied her mom. Like this, she always rejected whenever Emma asked her to
play.  Unlike others, Emma and her mom
weren’t that close. Her mom was always busy and didn’t have much time to play
with her.

Suddenly, the door of Emma’s room slammed open, creating a
loud sound bringing her back to reality. “Get up! We have classes today! I
don’t want to be late because of you.” shouted Lia, she was definitely in a bad
mood after that argument. Emma could see that clearly so she quickly got up to get dressed.

Emma’s parents wanted her to attend that academy but she
didn’t know why. They wrote letters to her telling her what to do from time to
time. At first, Emma found it weird but now she had gotten used to it. She was
instructed to burn them after reading them so no one else finds out and she did
as she was instructed. She also didn’t have many friends other than Lia. They
argued a lot but eventually made up every time.

“Did you argue again?” asked Isabella, one of their friends,
not even surprised anymore. Lia rolled her eyes and got ready as class started.
The teacher entered and the class stood up and greeted him. “Good morning sir!”
He instructed them to take their seats and continued where they had left off last time.

3 hours later, they were done with their first 3 classes and
now had break time. They sat in the cafeteria with Isabella and Diana. “Did you
hear about the myth of this academy?” Isabella asked. She could tell by their
clueless faces that they have no idea about it. “Well, there’s a myth about this
place. It says that there were many people in this academy that became secret
agents after leaving. They-” as Isabella was talking she paused when she heard
Emma suddenly choked on her food. “What? Do you want to become one too?” Lia
teased, handing her water. “Sorry, go on!” apologized Emma. She suddenly
thought about her parents. What if they also became agents after leaving
the academy? Is that why they wanted her to attend this place?

Isabella continued “As I was saying, there’s a cave in here
and those who make it through get to become secret agents. It’s like a test to
see if they are smart enough to enter. And the ones who aren’t good enough are
killed! ”

“Have you been reading too many crime novels lately?”
questioned Diana. “I’m serious, you can ask around.” answered Isabella. “Sure,
it’s not like we’re going to there anyway. Stop believing everything you hear.”
Lia laughed.  “Don’t come to me when I’m
right! Also they say that there are ghosts at night in this college-” she gets
interrupted when all of them shouted “STOP!” in union. Maybe Isabella had been
reading a lot of novels.

After school ended, Emma and Lia were on their way back home
when they saw a huge crowd gathered. Due to their curiosity, they went to have
a look. They were startled when they saw someone covered in blood. It seemed
someone was killed. It was Henry, a famous painter in the city. He was a nice
person and had never offended anyone, why would he suddenly be killed?

The police arrived, dismissing the crowd to start their
investigation. The next day when Emma was passing by, she asked the people what
was the result. They answered that it was a robbery and the thief accidently
killed the painter. Was it really that simple? Emma questioned herself. There
was definitely something more to it.

Emma went into his art studio where all his work was
recorded including his last painting. It was a painting of a school with
numbers and equations written on it.  She
noted them down [7+6, 21, 3×6, 4, 5, 4.5×4]. She had heard artists have
many secret messages hidden in their paintings and she figured this could be

She solved them and ended up with the numbers
13-21-18-4-5-18-5-18. She glared at it wondering if it meant anything when she
thought about converting them to alphabets. Her eyes widened in shock, it ended
up as the word ‘MURDERER’. Henry’s death definitely wasn’t an accident. Why did
the police say it was? Her head was full of
questions but none of them could be answered at the moment. 

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