WAAAH! I'm so sorry for the slow update :(( I kept forgetting about uploading the next chapter. I already finished it MONTHS ago but there's so many things I'm up to right now that I always forget converting it to Word and uploading it .

A big thanks for another fan who submitted a review yesterday. If I haven't seen your email, chap 6 would still be on that murky folder in my laptop rotting with my other files. A big thanks to you, whoever you are :3

Oh, correct me if I'm wrong but just the other day, Aug. 25, is the date when FF3 was released. So you can say happy birthday to Rei, Reika, Kei and Ruri! (You don't get second birthdays, Miku XD) All these characters and the main story belongs to TECMO ^^

Also, I'm very curious of the remake of FF2. Is it good or bad? 8D Will watch Let's Play on youtube as soon as I have a free time for the Wii-less me :'(

Anyways on with the story. Will try to write chap 7 maybe later if I managed to survive through my dissertation (it's a major pain in the ass)

Enjoy!

CHAPTER 6:

Kei reached the hospital for only about ten minutes, not bothering to shower or shave clear stubbles in his chin. He just put on some new clothes, combed his bed hair in a decent enough manner, and brushed his teeth before jumping in to the car in and driving it in an astonishing speed.

At the hospital lobby, the police are already waiting for him. Quickly they showed him to the room where Mio was in. According from their reports, they have just found her on a deep part of the forest, unconscious, and alone. Kei stopped at the door of the room, feeling strangely afraid of what he may see behind, just like when he first visited Mayu in the hospital for what seemed to be a lifetime ago. Taking a deep breathe, he slide the door open.

Mio was wearing the same clothes that she had a week ago, only they are dirtier and more crumpled. Her slightly dirt stricked face was pale, too pale, under the bright hospital lights. Her eyes were closed, and for one awful moment, Kei imagined that one of the two nurses tending to her would come to him and say it was already too late.

But they only looked at him and smiled faintly. They gestured him to come closer. Kei's eyes never left on his niece. Tentatively he touched her cold hand and leaned closer to her. "Mio?" he whispered, a part of him still unable to believe that she's there, alive, in a bad condition yes, but definitely alive. He remembered thinking if he's dreaming but the weak pulse in Mio's hand told him that he's not.

Mio remained unconscious but Kei was content to just hold her hand. He turned to one of the officers behind him. "Have you found any traces of her sister? of Mayu?" he asked, feeling a little force of strength pouring into him. If Mio is alive, surely they can also find Mayu..somewhere on the forest, probably unconscious though. He firmly ignored the small part on his mind that Mio wouldn't separate from her sister whatever happens.

The officer shook his head grimly. "We only found her alone. There were no traces of someone with her." they informed him.

"I understand. But I will continue searching for her." He resumed his eyes to Mio. "Maybe Mio can tell us something, anything about Mayu's whereabouts. We'll just have to wait."

That same evening, when Kei was bringing some clothes for his niece, the hospital called that she's already awake.

Kei went to the hospital, bringing a tray loaded with Makis to slightly cheer her up. Once she heard they haven't found her sister yet, she'd probably insist on getting discharged and searched for her herself. The officers quickly greeted him in the lobby.

"Your niece is awake," one of the officers said, "But she didn't tell us anything about her sister. She wouldn't answer to us. The doctors said she must have suffering from a Post Traumatic Syndrome."

"You could have waited for me before questioning her any further," Kei snapped, "She's just recovering from everything that happened. Leave the questioning to me."

Kei reached her room when a nurse had just emerged. She quickly came to Kei. "Are you her uncle?"

He nodded and the nurse continued. "She was asking for you a few moments ago," she said with a troubled expression. "She refused to speak to anyone other than to you. I would advise that you speak to her alone first."

Kei smiled slightly at that, but it was a humourless smile. He dismissed the officers and went to the room alone. "Mio?" he whispered after he slide the door open. "It's me, Uncle Kei."

When Kei saw her, his heart went up to his throat. Mio wasn't wearing her dirty clothes anymore, instead she was clad in white hospital dress. She was sitting in the bed, her knees up against her chest, one leg slightly straight on the mattress. Her shoulders hunched, her face half hidden between her knees. She didn't move a muscle even when he approached her bed.

"Mio?" Kei sat in one of the chairs and put his things in the table beside him. He suddenly felt as though it wasn't his niece he is seeing right now.

Fortunately, she raised her head to look at him. Kei swallowed at the blank brown eyes staring at him, and he frantically searched his mind any word to say to her. In the end, he managed a sheepish "Hey" and then "How are you feeling? Anything hurting?"

She slowly shook her head and averted her eyes away from him. A spot in the mattress seemed to catch her interest her suddenly.

"I've brought you some makis," he said lightly but there was no response. Kei decided to change tactics. "Look, Mio, I don't know if you're aware of this but you and Mayu-" she slightly jumped at the name "-went missing a week now. I just want to know...what happened to both of you? Were you taken or something? Please, you are the only key on finding Mayu. She's still out there on the forest, I know it."

There was a very long silence and Kei thought she wouldn't say anything at all but as soon as he opened his mouth, she spoke in a tremulous voice, as if holding something within her. "Uncle," she didn't meet his eyes. "I don't think..I don't think you're going to find Mayu anymore"

Kei leaned closer to her. He was tempted to put his hands in her shoulder and demand her why but he knew it wouldn't do both of them good. "What do you mean?" he persisted gently, "Please, Mio, I need to know. What happened to you and Mayu?"

"She's dead," she replied flatly. "She's dead..I don't mean to.." She put her hands in her ears and hunched her shoulder. "She's dead, she's gone. It's all because of me..I'm so sorry..So sorry.." And then before Kei knew it, she began to cry gently, her whole body racking with tears. Kei went into his feet and put her arms around her, cradling her and whispering everything will be alright, that they are going to find Mayu alive, that she didn't need to cry, even though he's about to break apart too. No, he shouldn't cry, Kei firmly told himself. It will make her cry more. Him crying would always make the twins cry harder. All he can do now is to hold her close and wished that she wouldn't think he's about to cry too.

"We're going to find Mayu," Kei stated when she's beginning to calm down. "You'll see, Mio. We will. We're going to see her again, I promise you that."

And thus, the family drama begins! XD *Just borrowed this line from the AskProjectZero on Tumblr. It's a funny blog. I highly recommend it. Brings back memories...XD