题记： 邪恶或许隐藏在昏暗的阴影下，但多数都会在光天化日下在你眼前一闪而过。他们像同迷雾般的噩梦一样若隐若现，你不可能将其一网捕尽。 ——摘自一位无名猎手的笔记 Evilnessmight be shaded in dusky shadows, but most will be flashing in broad day light right before your eyes. You can’t hunt them all down, for they arelike misty night mares. —from the Sketches Of An Unknown Hunter
Chapter One A Flawless Theft Sometimes, borrowing things secretly weren’teasy. Especially when you’re stuck in the kitchencupboard, eying longingly through the gaps at the food placed right in-frontyou, but with a fat lunch ladyblocking your every single movement. Yep, that’s thesituation I’m in, happy? I was hiding in the kitchen of theorphanage, spying tightly on a chance to steal some eatables. That was myday-to-day life. Grab some food, consume them hungrily without any guiltyconscience and pretend I was a great kid. I know it’sagainst the rules, but if the regulations of the orphanage were bound to makeyou suffer starvation, you can’t just sit around and donothing, right? Anyways, I was just concentrating on pilfering the loaf ofbread on the counter, so… well, just don’tdisturb me. I ran my tongue along my lips. Juststaring at the fresh baked bread made my mouth drool, it was the real thing,not the hard-cold buns we orphanage kids eat that could smack harder than yourfists. Crispy and burnt golden on the crust, with the fragrance of the perfectamount of cream and grains, the warm and tender bread loaf was unbearablydelicious looking. Aargh, the smell! It’sreally irritating that I can sense its presence so closely but was stuck andunable to move an inch. The kind of bread this good can onlybe served for Mrs. Tristia, the orphanage manager. I gritted my teeth hard. My stomach was grumbling grouchily,like a storm of sympathy rumbling in my inside. The hunger was more intensethan I anticipated. It could bring me in to a whole lot of trouble. So, I hadto act fast. I peered at the lunch lady. Her plumpbody was leaning against the stove, trembling as she hummed a tune and waitedfor the clear ding of the oven.Perfect. I slid the cupboard door open butquickly retreated. Someone had entered the kitchen. I backed away in to theshadow of the cupboard, shrinking my scraggy body amongst the rows of flavoringtins. A pair of electric fierce eyes shone around the room. They were thelazar-sharp eyes of Mrs. Tristia, the orphanage manager. I gulped and shrunk mybody as if a gust of cold wind had blown past. She was looking for me, withouta doubt. I cursed under my breath. If she wasgoing to participate in my game of Borrowingthe Bread, things were going to be a lot thornier. I narrowed my eyes.Fine, if she wanted to join, then let the fun and games begin. A mischievousglint flashed across my eyes as I plotted an escape plan to get myself out ofthis and to conveniently grab the breadon the way, just as simple as that. I spied on their movement through thegap. A cold chill rose up my spine as my eyes stared in to Mrs. Tristia’s coldgray ones that looked like electric cameras. Though I doubted she saw meclearly, but an uneasy bump still formed in my throat. This was going to be thetrickiest theft I’ve ever envisaged. “Haveyou seen Francis lately?” Mrs. Tristia asked thelunch lady, her voice was stern at the mention of my name. “Oh, no,is he causing troubles lately?” “Always,” Shemuttered, and I nearly laughed with pride in my hiding place but quicklyrecovered, “We’re looking for him now.” “Whatdid he do this time?” The lunch lady asked curiously. Mrs. Tristia’s eyesdarted dangerously, her face stiffened a little. “That’s notyour concern.” She answered hoarsely. As if Iwanted to know what punishment I’ll receive. I snorted loudly out ofdisdain at her comment. Both women turned their heads around. Mrs. Tristia’s eyesflashed toward mine but didn’t catch a glimpse of my frightenedexpression before I closed the gap. My heart thudded crazily. I didn’t dareto breathe. “Musthave been some kids outside,” Mrs. Tristia muttered. My heart sank in relief, and I nearly snickered.If there’s anything Mrs. Tristia had to learn from me, itmust have been alertness.