“And get me some hot late-night tea while you’re at it!” I swipe my phone with frustration and ignore Sam and Sum’s meaningless apologies.
I look at what the Dimsum Brothers brought over from the lab earlier while overlooking the Fashion District from the balcony of my penthouse. In this little bottle is the bubbling essence of a new vampire.
The vampire we captured from the rat hole was only a two-week old fledgling, and I remember that man telling me that their essence is one of the best since they’re still young in vampire years. That should be able to make me more beautiful.
No one else deserves to be more beautiful than me, and there’s still a particularly pretty vampire out there that I want to turn into essence. I must have her. I guess I have to thank Daddy and Mommy’s connections for getting me in touch with that man. When I first met him, he taught me much about vampires and how to get their essence.
And to think that all I have to do is burn them with sunlight or fire and mix the ashes with water and a few other chemicals. I look at the bubble machine that he gave me to use to inhale the essence.
I sit in front of the machine and press a button to activate it. I struggled at using this at first, but after getting the Dimsum Dimwits to figure it out for me, it started to work well.
When the lights come on, I empty the little bottle of its essence. I wait with impatience as the bubbles form and the essence gets primed. It takes time, that man said.
Inhaling the essence makes me feel more youthful, and I think that it’s starting to remove my horrid eyebags and wrinkles. It took me around a hundred or more vampires to create this much essence, and it was totally worth the billions of simoleons I spent with Daddy and Mommy’s money.
It came with some kind of bullshit warning though. That man told me something about drinking it all in one gulp, but I wasn’t paying attention. I’m only focused on using the essence to make me look younger. I’m already past 30 and I don’t want to get ugly wrinkles like Mommy.
If my family had only given me more money! And then Daddy and Mommy try to guilt-trip me into having a more successful crime ring just because my elder siblings are more successful. It’s not my fault my achi runs her own money-laundering business and ahia has his own big gang in Bridgeport. But look at me, family, Cherry May Feng, the youngest of the Uptown Fengs, just tore apart San Myshuno’s vampire underbelly!
My angkong and ama should be proud of me. They have given me much advice as my grandparents, after all.
I throw the little bottle with rage to a nearby wall. It doesn’t break since I forgot that it was made of plastic.
But enough rambling. I shall enjoy what remains of the night by inhaling more essence.
*COUGH* *COUGH* *COUGH*
Damn it! The bubbles went into my lungs. I grab a bottle of water nearby and gulp it down. I think that’s enough essence for tonight. That man did say that inhaling essence once or twice a night should do. That man has been of much help, and I should probably give him something as a token of gratitude.
But I can’t seem to remember his name. I know what he looks like, but his name just seems to escape from my mind, like how I forget that my goons have names. Maybe I should ask Daddy again.
Getting that man out of my mind, I get up from my seat and go to the basketball court that I converted into my Room of Self-Admiration.
I always make sure that the mirrors are at just the right angle so that I can admire every part that I like about my body. I’ve got the curves, the looks, and the make-up knowledge to trump over any skinny supermodel. Daddy always says I’m her prettiest daughter, so it must also be true that I’m the most beautiful woman in San Myshuno!
Maybe I should think of a spiel to say when I join Miss Simiverse. It would probably go something like this:
Hello, everyone! I’m Cherry May Feng from San Myshuno, East Simia! My hobbies are putting on make-up to admire myself, shopping for luxury bags, and publicly berating people in the service industry! I’m also the daughter of the most powerful family in San Myshuno, the Fengs! So you’d better hand me that crown, my dear judges!
That will be a brilliant plan. If bribing the judges doesn’t work, putting pistols against their head will do. Daddy always says that it’s standard procedure.
But now, it is time for my beauty sleep. A beautiful Feng like me needs to rest. And a Feng needs a lot of energy to run a big city like San Myshuno. That’s what Daddy always says.
It took several hours, but I finally got out of the sewers and sneaked into Cherry May Feng’s building. The guards seem to have focused on guarding outside the building but only left a few guarding its halls. After knocking out a guard or two in my way, I took the elevator to see if Andre was being kept here.
Avery told me everything before I went off without Papa’s permission. Andre, our safecracker, was kidnapped by those Feng bastards. Preston told me to wait for Papa, but I knew I had to get through this shitstorm by myself. (It was a literal shitstorm when I went through the sewers, though.) I never forget what Papa told me about running my own gang. Every henchman of yours is your responsibility. Andre is the first human friend I turned, so he is my responsibility.
And losing Andre to these creeps will mean that I have failed my responsibility as the gang’s leader. I approach the only door on this floor and turn the knob. It’s locked, as expected, but I take out a lockpick from my pocket and get to work.
After a few attempts, I manage to break the lock and open the door as quietly as possible.
The first thing I notice is the strong scent of lavender coming from a nearby air diffuser as well as the smell of incense. I look at the penthouse’s foyer and see what appears to be a basketball court full of mirrors. Is this where that Feng wretch admires herself? She doesn’t even look that great, in my opinion. This is probably what happens when a person’s head is full of narcissism.
But this. This is narcissism on a whole new level. Mirrors of all kinds welcome me as I enter the room, and I just look in awe. I then examine each mirror to see if one of them has magical properties; I check for my reflection in each one and do not find myself reflecting back. These are all perfectly normal mirrors.
“If it’s a reflection you’re looking for, vampire, you won’t find anything there.”
A pompous and almost bratty voice speaks from behind as I make a guess that it is the Feng wretch. I turn around and validate my guess.
“You must be Cherry May Feng.”
“The one and only, and I’m glad that my name has spread across San Myshuno.”
“Andre the one you kidnapped earlier tonight!”
The Feng woman comes closer and smirks.
“Silly vampire. Don’t you know what happens to all the vampires I capture?” she continues to talk in her high-and-mighty tone.
“Answer my question first. Where is he?”
“If you’re talking about my most recent captive, he has already given himself up to a higher cause.”
The Feng woman starts speaking nonsense.
“A higher cause? What the hell do you mean?”
“To advance my own beauty, of course!”
The Feng wretch laughs as I look around the room to see if she has goons hiding somewhere.
“You see, less-prettier-than-me vampire, all I want from your kind is your essence.”
“Hm? You don’t know what essence is? I didn’t expect a bloodsucker like you to understand anyway.” she explains in a condescending way.
I just glare at Cherry Feng more as she continues to open her big mouth.
“Essence is what I extract from a vampire’s ashes after I burn them alive. Quite simple, really.”
“So that means?”
“You still don’t get it? I turned your friend into essence! Isn’t that wonderful? His life for my beauty!”
The wretch laughs as I stand there with fists clenched, thinking of a thousand ways I could decapitate every last piece of her.
“YOU KILLED HIM!” I shout at her. “I’M GOING TO MURDER YOU!”
“Really now? Do you think you can defeat Cherry May Feng? I’m more than just beauty, you know.” the wretch bluffs.
And then I let out a powerful shriek and shift to my dark form.
I hiss as the wretch just laughs back at me.
“What a freak! A vampire like yourself doesn’t deserve that pretty face if all you’re gonna do is hiss with it aNd ShOw OfF yOuR dArK fOrM!” the wretch mocks with an annoying voice.
I walk towards her as she starts to step back.
“YOU WILL PAY!”
“yOu WiLl PaY!” she mocks again. “I think you’ve got it wrong, dear. It’s the Fengs who make you pay up!”
And with that, I immediately lunge at her with a frenzied slash that she manages to dodge. She counters by attempting to slap my face, but I step back and see that it is a feint for a knee kick. I manage to evade the incoming kick and step back to take a defensive position.
“C’mon, you’re boring me!” she taunts as I close in for a slash which she manages to block with her arm. She uses the weight of her body to tackle me with her shoulder but I manage to dodge it and slash at her.
The slash does not connect and the wretch attempts to grab me with both hands. I get out of the way and manage to slap her right cheek hard.
“Ow, ow, ow, ow! That hurt! Time out !” the wretch steps back as I just give her a puzzled look.
“I thought you knew how to fight.”
“But that’s what I have henchmen for! And they did not appear at the right moment!” she stresses the last three words as if she’s signaling someone to come out and throws a tantrum like a child right in front of me.
“I guess I’ll be killing you then!” I expose my nails and lunge towards her again as she proceeds to defend herself by putting both arms up when suddenly, a bright flash of light stuns me.
“Oh! It worked! The medallion saved me again!” I hear Cherry say as my head feels fuzzy from the light. And at that moment, I hear footsteps coming from the front door.
“Sorry we’re late, Ms. Cherry!” I hear someone say as I fall to the ground. Still conscious, but I cannot move.
“You imbeciles! I order you to get me some late-night tea and not only do you end up late but also fail to defend me from this vampire! I’m not paying you to leave me defenseless!”
“Sorry, ma’am! The line was long! Oh, and we’d also like to report that we spotted a suspicious Lutecean vampire earlier.”
“A Lutecean, huh? Track that vampire down. If a vampire is Lutecean, the essence we can get out of it will probably smell like perfume. Bring all the henchmen if you have to.”
“A very wise plan, Miss Cherry!”
“Whatever. Now lock this vampire in the guest bedroom for tomorrow night. We can only perform the ritual in the lab at night and the sun’s almost up. AND THIS TEA HAS GONE COLD!” the wretch spits out her tea on the henchmen.
I then feel two pairs of arms carry me over to a bed as I start to lose eyesight.
“Sleep tight, my pretty vampire. I closed the curtains to make sure you get your good day’s rest. It’ll be your last one anyway.” the Feng wretch laughs as I hear the door close and get locked.
I can’t move, and I’m losing consciousness. Papa, I’m sorry I went off without your permission. I just thought you’d do the same like when you saved Don Salvi’s life. I wasn’t strong enough…