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(I promise)

Jack continued to comfort and assure Beryl. With his undying patience, Beryl realized how much force Jack was placing so as not to hurt her, and maybe, this man really wasn't going to hurt her at all. She finally calmed down gradually.

As soon as Jack felt that Beryl wasn't going to run away, he placed her down and let go of her. He then gave her a reassuring smile once she turned to face him. Despite that smile and the assurance, Beryl knew she still couldn't trust this man.

Once everyone had calmed down, instead of forcing information and details from the little girl, Jack decided to buy her a new set of clothes. They booked a room in a small hotel afterwards where Jack awkwardly helped the little girl take a bath and change into fresh clothes.

Not long after, Beryl was once again the beautiful princess she was straight from a dirty little beggar. Jack smiled and felt relieved that he didn't walk away, because this little girl in front of him was the kid he recognized.

Jack then ordered some take-out. Since Beryl had been hungry for so many days, that was why as soon as Jack placed her share in front of her, she immediately wolfed it down in a flash without even raising her head.

Jack was still holding his chopsticks and watched Beryl almost devour half of her food. When Beryl choked, he immediately expected that and handed her water and said, "Slow down, Beryl. Nobody's going to steal your food."

Beryl drank from the water and finally glanced at Jack before returning to her food, eating properly this time. Jack sighed. Looking at Beryl like this almost broke his heart. How did she ever gotten where she was now? How did she dirft out and wandered alone in the streets looking like an abandoned little girl?

Where did Emily go? Why did she let her kid wander off like this? How about Jacob? Was he dead? He wouldn't let his precious daughter experience this kind of situation if he was still alive unless something really happened to him and Emily rendering them unable to take care of their little princess.

Jack let Beryl focus on her food first while he, too, started to eat. As soon as he noticed that Beryl was done, he offered the rest of his food, knowing that she might still be hungry. When the little girl shook her head, he placed his food and utensils down. He wiped his hands with a napkin and asked in great confusion, "Beryl, can you tell me why you're out there alone in the streets?"

It really was a great wonder, because from the moment she was born, she was an apple to everyone's eyes and almost everyone loved her and adored her. Now, Jack had no idea how she came to be in that situation he found her in.

Beryl blinked and moved her eyes as if she was thinking whether or not she was going to tell Jack. Besides, she still hadn't decided if he could really be trusted.

Jack looked at the little girl and chuckled under his breath.

"You still don't trust me, do you?" He sighed and leaned back on his chair.

"Well, I can do nothing for you now. I already did what I had known I should do. I gave you fresh clothes and food to eat, and now I have nothing. The only thing that's left is that I am sincerely worried about you and your mom. Did something happen to her? How could she let you in this situation?"

Beryl stared at Jack, thinking about whether he was really genuinely concerned. A moment passed, and Jack was about to talk again when Beryl opened her mouth to speak. "If I tell you, will you take me to my daddy?" She asked to sound him out.

"What did you say? Take you to your daddy?" Jack's eyebrows furrowed into a frown, but he caught the key point at once. A strange look flashed through his eyes as he sat up straight once more. "All this time you were trying to find your daddy? Isn't it easy for you to find him?

You can just go to the Gu Consortium, and once you tell them your name, they will allow you to enter and meet your daddy."

Jack wondered in confusion. Beryl hadn't met Jacob yet?

Well, it was true that Jack heard that they, all three of them, left for D Country together. Later on, Jacob returned to Z Country alone and not together with Emily and Beryl. Did something happen in D Country that he hadn't heard about?
If so, then it must explain why Bery was stranded alone on the streets with barely anything to eat and dirty and thin clothes covering her small self. There really was something strange going on.

What had happened in D Country? What had happened to Emily and Beryl?

"If I could go in, I wouldn't have been left alone in the streets." Beryl bit her lower lip and shook her head.

All this time, after coming to this country, the only familiar person she met was Jack. Her defenses were gradually unloading as she thought that maybe this man could give her hope and could help her with her goal.

Without another hesitation, she finally told him the whole story and left no details - from being separated from Anna as soon as they stepped into this country to being abducted and sold and then taken in by Yilia and kicked out of the Gu Consortium.

The more Jack got to know about her whole situation, the more he got confused and at the same time, he felt an admiration at how far this little girl had gone and yet here she stood still safe and brave enough to continue on.

Still, there was still one person left out on her story, so Jack asked, "How about Emily? Where is your mother? How could she let you come here alone without her?"

"My mom… Well… Mommy…" At the mention of her mother's name, Beryl's eyes started to well up. She bit her lower lip and tried to hold back the tears from flowing down her face. She swallowed a lump on her throat and said, "My uncle locked her away, so she asked me to find daddy and tell him so he could save her."

Jack's eyes widened in surprise as if he couldn't believe his ears. "Locked? As in, like a prisoner locked? Why? Why would your uncle do that to her?" If his eyebrows were knitted into a frown, this revelation made it scrunch deeper.

Beryl shook her head and answered, "I don't know. I just really want to save my mom."

All of a sudden, Jack's eyes grew dark and dismal.

He knew how much Emily valued her daughter, Beryl. That was why Jack couldn't believe that Emily would just let her little princess away like this if not stuck in an impasse.

What the hell then was this so-called uncle of Beryl planning to do with Emily?
At the thought of Emily in danger, Jack's adrenaline rose, feeling restless, and that he couldn't wait any longer.

Whatever happened, he was going to save Emily!

However, his hype was once discouraged after remembering what happened to him like a balloon that was popped.

Jacob had expelled him from Gu Consortium and even sent him to jail.

Although he finally was able to escape, right now he was still a man without anything, especially that he spent some of his spare cash for the little girl.

Without enough money and without his own men to do tasks for him, how could he save Emily? Being in such a situation, how could he be able to save Emily?

For sure, before he could leave this country and go abroad, Jacob's men or the police would be able to catch him back again.

Jack crossed his arms and thumped his foot on the floor, thinking. 'What to do? What to do? What should I do? More importantly, what could I do?'

Closing his eyes, he leaned back on his chair and sank in disappoinment. Beryl's hope started to slowly fade as she noticed how helpless Jack looked. She gasped in surprise when Jack suddenly opened his eyes as if a light bulb lit on top of his head and a great idea on his mind.

Before Beryl could ask, Jack spoke with great conviction. "Well then, Beryl, I will take you to Jacob."

Although he knew that there was a great chance of exposing himself by doing so, it would be nothing for the sake of Emily.

He still remembered the time that he wished for her to live well and live happily.

Knowing that she was being controlled by other and her freedom taken away, placing her life at stake, Jack knew that this was definitely not what he wished for Emily to happen.

Hearing this from Jack, Beryl showed no surprise at all. Instead, there were doubts on her eyes and a little form of mistrust. As if his being able to help was the least of her expectations. Finally, she asked, "Really? Will you, Uncle Jack?"

Jack looked at the vigilance on her face and thought that her defenses and boundaries might had been put up thicker and stronger because of what she had suffered after coming here. It felt like he was stabbed multiple times by a sharp knife. Oh, how he wished he could punch and tear all the people that had hurt this little girl into pieces!

Beryl surely didn't deserve to have been treated this way, but those who did all this to her certainly deserve whatever he thought he could do once they get a hand of them. Then again, right now, he could do nothing about what happened to her before he met her, but he could do something about right now and the rest of the days until Emily was saved.

"Of course, I will. I won't deceive and lie to you. I promise. I won't ever do what others did to you. Will you trust me, Beryl?"

Beryl heaved a deep sigh, and after a moment, she said in a low voice, "Thank you, Uncle Jack. I will surely repay you in the future."

Jack smiled and said, "Knowing that you and your mom live well is already the greatest reward for me." He then stretched his hand out to reach for Beryl's hair and stroke it, but before he could, he noticed how Beryl flinched and move away subconsciously.

Jack froze for a moment, and with a bitter feeling in his heart, he retreated his hand.

Beryl's big black eyes widened as she stared at him nervously. Her hands crumpled the hem of her shirt restlessly and stammered, "I… Uncle Jack, I'm s-sorry."

She was afraid that Jack would be angry at her for doing such a thing. Especially now that he was the only person she decided she could rely on.

Oh, what would she do if he backed out of his promise and decide that she wasn't worth helping?

Beryl had never thought that she would be able to taste and experience that warmth and the cold in the world and also appreciating the darkness and ugly truth of human nature in just a matter of days.

Because of that, she had began to have trust issues, making it instinctively hard for her to trust others and easy to lose belief on the people around her, which then resulted to the rise of her defenses and the slow loss of the sense of reliance and trust on those who actually weren't bad.

Jack noticed this look on Beryl's eyes and understood where they were coming from. He sighed under his breath and assured, "There's nothing to be afraid of, Beryl. I will do what I have promised you, okay?" As his eyes glittered with murky light, he engraved that promise into his heart and took it seriously, hoping to see that happy smile on the little girl's face.


Now that it was settled, Jack thought of a plan as Beryl rested on the comforts of the bed. She let her gain her energy back while she could. Of course, since he just did a jailbreak, the police was sure to do an investigation to find him, so he dared not show his face in public. That meant that he couldn't send Beryl to the Gu Consortium.

Instead, he decided to take Beryl in Jacob's residence late at night, where Jacob would be definitely home after work.

As soon as the sun set, Jack bought a black suit and mask with the rest of his money. He came back and changed into his fresh outfit and right after he saw Beryl waking up from her comfortable slumber. Then, with Beryl in his arms, they set off and sneaked into the well-off area where Jacob lived.

"Uncle Jack, why are we hiding? Why do we have to come here in a sneaky way?" With a puzzled look in her eyes, Beryl asked in a soft voice as she nested in his arms like a kitten.

Jack thought about it for a moment. He could not explain everything that had happened to her for she might not understand adult situations, so instead, he said it in a way she could understand and accept. "It's just that when your daddy sees me, I am finished."

Beryl's heart skipped a beat all of a sudden and could not help but ask, "Then, why are you sending me there yourself?"

"It's simple. It's because I am worried about you, and I can't just let you wander off again. I have to see you go in myself.

Didn't I promise you that I will help you? I am acting up on that promise," Jack replied. Deep inside his heart was already beating fast, but for the sake of the little girl, he tried and pretended to stay calm.

"But Uncle -" Beryl wanted to protest more. She wanted to tell him that if he was risking himself by helping her, he could just leave her here and let her go near the house herself. Before she could say more, however, Jack stopped her.

"It's okay. You don't have to worry about anything else. Just be a good girl, okay?" He stroke her hair as he reassured her. Beryl's heart started to surge with warmth, and now the warmth was spreading all over her body.

Although Uncle Jack hated her daddy, he was still willing to help her and send her to her daddy despite the risk of being discovered. Why would he do that for her? Who was she for him?

Beryl couldn't understand or even guess what Uncle Jack was thinking, but all she knew was that she was deeply grateful to him.

Jack was the first person after coming here in this country, who didn't deceive or hurt her. He had been doing her good and helping her all the time.

"Thank you, Uncle Jack." Beryl said under her breath enough for only to be heard by her. "I won't let my daddy take you away. That's my promise to you."

Although Jack didn't hear what she said, he didn't ask any further and continued to move forward. Suddenly, he frowned and froze on his tracks.

His keen intuition had made him feel that something behind him was wrong.


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