68 All-Nighter

"Ok, here's the plan," Zero told Mii in the most serious voice he could. The strawcherry assistant wanted to roll her non-existent eyes. They'd gone through at least fifty different plans by now and Zero was still far from alpha release.

"I will teleport to the house, knock on the front door and when the old man comes out, I will avoid him and run in from the window!"

Mii wanted to scream. However, Zero's hopeful eyes made her sigh. "Zero, the old man won't simply stand outside while you explore his house. He'll close it and go back in immediately."

Zero pouted. "I know… I'm just trying my luck. Why doesn't the old man leave his house? Truen will reach us very soon too!"

Although Mii knew that Truen wouldn't be reaching them any time soon, she didn't correct Zero.

"Instead of hiding from the old man, why don't you hide from Truen? If you can hide until morning, the old man will leave his house to check on the plants in his field for at least an hour. You can have all the time to explore if you teleport straight into his house."

Zero sighed. "Where will I hide? I've only ever slept in the lamp."

"Then hide in the lamp till morning!"

"How will I get out then? The bell is too high! It's always Truen who rings it. Besides, what if I oversleep? I can't tell the time from inside the lamp!"

Now that was a valid argument. "Have you tried calling Zeus or Hades? Maybe they can reposition the bell. Also, your communicator has an alarm function."

Zero hummed as he went though the functions of his communicator. He hasn't exactly played with the gadget much after En gave it to him. Usually, it was Truen who tinkered with it on their behalf. Now that he wasn't here, Zero realised just how much Truen was doing. When this is over, he will help out more so that Truen doesn't have to do everything. No wonder he always looked tired even after a night's rest!

After setting the alarm at six in the morning, Zero decided to give Hades a call. He was afraid of Zeus' loud greeting and avoided calling the titan as much as he could.

"Hades speaking," the call connected.

"Hades? Zero here!"

"Oh Zero! It's so nice to hear from you. How have you been doing?"

"I'm doing good. I just have a tiny issue with the bell in the lamp. Is anyway to shift the bell lower so that I can reach it?"

Hades hummed. "You can rearrange the bell's height and add or remove anything in there with a little magic. Truen should know how to do it, maybe you can ask him about it."

"Oh… I see. Thank you, I'll ask Truen…"

Disheartened, Zero ended the call. Mii who heard all that decided to remain silent while Zero launched into deep thoughts.

"The lamp is no good… I can't sleep in the forest either because Truen said there could be really scary animals who come out at night to hunt."

"Maybe you could discuss it over with Truen about the plan. I'm sure he would agree if you don't plan to meet the old man."

Zero snorted. "Truen worries too much. Even if I told him that I only wanted to sneak in and explore the house, he would not agree saying it is too dangerous and that the old man would spot us. I'm doing this myself without him."

"But you can't sleep outside or in the lamp… how will you wait until morning?"

Zero beamed. "I'll just not sleep at all! In fact, I wouldn't need the alarm if I'm not sleeping. That's right! I can hunt for those glow mushrooms in the night and maybe collect some other items to remind me of everyone else!"

Mii panicked a little. "Zero? I don't think staying up till late is good for your body. Maybe you should reconsider?"

However, Zero was stubborn as he made up his mind. Mii couldn't do anything and faded away. She only wished that Truen will come sooner rather than later. Who knows how much trouble this boy could land himself in without his guardian.

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