The Doc’s words from earlier still echo in my head.
I must admit that what I did was stupid. I never should have trusted a guy who was working with the enemy to begin with. The elevator ride down was quiet, and we followed Preston from a distance, with the Doc waiting for Preston’s signal and Park and I watching the rear.
Preston did a good job distracting the thugs, so we were able to navigate the alleyways to Cherry Feng’s condo quite easily. We’re almost there. The sooner we get to Cherry Feng and end her, the sooner we can go back to Newcrest and away from my old life here in San Myshuno. I’m also a bit worried about Dominica, with her being the Doc’s daughter and all. We still have a lot of mending to do.
Then I see Preston coming back towards us.
“Preston’s heading this way, Doc.” I report as the Doc looks at him.
“He must have something to report.” the Doc says as Preston finally arrives and catches his breath for a moment.
“The group up ahead only has three guards, Doc. But I think something’s off. The ones from earlier also got distracted easily.”
“Either these Fengs are stupider than we thought, or it might be a trap.” The Doc ponders on the last thought for a moment. “In any case, we’ll have to deal with what’s coming.”
“I’m at my limit, though, Doc. I need to eat something to regain my ghostly powers.” Preston says, and I recall seeing him munch on granola bars before.
The Doc turns to Park. “Park, do you still have one of those granola bars we brought on the way to the hotel?” He asks in Koguryeon as Park frisks his pockets for something.
“Only one bar remain, Doctor.” Park replies in Simlish, using it more frequently as of late.
Preston takes the granola bar as Park brings it out and finishes it in two bites.
“Well?” the Doc asks Preston with impatience.
“Still not enough, Doc. I need two more. The least I could do is bring out Chickenbane and wield it, but complete invisibility will take more work.”
“Then it looks like we’ll have to fight them from both sides. We could keep on the defensive.” I tell the Doc as he seems to be thinking of a plan.
“We can do that, Antonio. But there is a way to distract the group behind us while the three of you take on those thugs ahead. I won’t be able to lead them away, but I should be able to buy you enough time to take out the group by the door. To think that it would come to this…” the Doc sighs as I wonder what he’s talking about.
“Oh, that. But I thought you hate doing that, Doc!” Preston says as he extends an arm to stop him.
“We have no choice. Be glad that I haven’t taught you this yet, Antonio.” the Doc says as a dark smoke starts to surround him.
And where the Doc once stood, a small bat appeared in his place.
“Now go, while I distract the thugs. The three of you should be able to defeat the thugs ahead easily.” the little bat squeaks in an almost comical voice that makes Preston snicker. It sounded as if the Doc inhaled some helium and talked. I also try to refrain myself from laughing at the little bat.
“What are you waiting for?” the Doc speaks again.
Preston’s snickering turns into laughing, and Park joins in.
“SEE? THIS IS WHY I HATE TURNING INTO A BAT!” the frustrated little bat harasses Preston and Park by flying around their heads.
“Stop talking, Doc, or I’ll laugh more!” Preston tries to calm down as the Doc grumbles and flies off. Seeing the Doc fly off as a little bat makes me wonder if I’ll gain unique vampiric powers aside from the ones that all vampires have. Turning into a bat seems to be a rare ability for vampires, the Doc told me before.
“Well, I guess we should get going then.” I gesture Preston and Park to follow. “Why does the Doc hate turning into a bat, Preston?”
“It’s a long story, Tony. Best I tell you about it over a drink someday.” Preston laughs. “But in short, he was stuck as a bat for a week and was almost kept by an old ghoul as a pet. Sorry, it’s just hard to take him seriously in that form!”
“I’d love to hear everything that happened.” I chuckle a bit.
“Doctor become very funny bat.” Park quips as Preston laughs again.
“Haha! Good one, Park!” Preston replies as we see the thugs up ahead. We take cover behind a few bushes and trash bins. The ghost knight stops laughing and takes on a more serious tone. “There they are, Tony. Only three of them. Do we just charge in?”
The three guards are all dressed in black, like any other Feng goon we’ve seen. They don’t appear to be armed, but they might be hiding guns or knives inside their coats. We have to be careful since it might be a trap.
“But I can no fight. The Doctor give me gun, but not know way of use.” Park speaks as he takes out a gun from his jacket. “What do?”
I almost forgot that Park has no combat experience. He basically carries all our supplies in his jacket as well as other essentials. Making him use the pistol might lead to misfires. What would the Doc tell him to do in this situation?
“If you don’t know how to use the gun, don’t use it, Park.” I tell Park as he nods and hides the gun back in his jacket.
“So what do we do then, Tony?” Preston asks. “Do we just charge in?” Again with the charging in.
I shake my head in disapproval and see that the thugs have a foldable steel chair behind them. That gave me an idea.
“I know something better. Here’s what we’ll do.” I gesture Preston and Park to lean in closer as I describe the plan I thought of.
I did not totally understand Tony’s plan even if he used simple Simlish for me, but I got the gist of it, at least. After we agreed on what to do, I start sneaking around by the side of the plaza as Tony and Presto distract the guards. Presto walks behind Tony and claims he won’t be seen. He said that it was some sort of passive ghost ability that he can use to stalk people unseen in plain sight. Comparing his ability to my favorite character in a MOBA game really helped me understand.
I find the garden that Tony told me to pass through and creep through the bushes and watching the rocks that I might trip over. While carefully making my way through the garden, I hear Tony start talking to the guard.
“What do you want? Are you a resident or a visitor?” the brusque guard confronts Tony and crosses his arms.
“I am here to visit Miss Primrose Mower on the 14th floor, unit 1407. She is expecting me.”
“Never heard of her.”
“You’ve never heard of her? She’s a philanthropist with an award for being the Nicest Person in San Myshuno. I have an invitation here.” Tony speaks in a tone that makes him sound like a rich person.
I wait for the signal and see the steel chair that Tony spotted. That should be hard enough to knock one of them out cold. I pick up the steel chair, fold it, and hide behind a pillar as the three guards are still distracted by Tony. He then hands the guard a piece of paper.
The guard opens the folded piece of paper and scratches his bald head.
“This is just a handwritten ad for a flea market sale at the park.”
“What was that last word you said?”
“I said, this is just an ad for a flea market sale at the PARK!”
“At the park?”
“Yeah, the PARK!”
And with that word, I spring into action and swing the chair to hit the guard to Tony’s right on the head. The guard collapses from my hit as chaos ensues.
“CHAAAAARGE!” Presto appears behind Tony to subdue the other guard with his sword, Chickenbone. The guard attempts to deflect Presto’s sword, but Chickenbone is no match for him as he gets hit in the gut with the hilt and is punched right in the face before falling down.
Tony then locks the guard holding the flyer in an embrace and starts draining his blood. He attempts to struggle from Tony’s embrace, but he struggles less as I see him turn a bit paler every second. The guard drained of blood falls to the ground, dropping the flyer that was in his hand.
The guard I hit with the chair tries to get back up, but I hit him again on the head. And then another. And then one more to be sure.
“I think that’s enough, Park.” Tony stops me before I land another hit. Now I think the guard’s knocked out.
“Well, that went easier than expected. My plan lacked finesse, though. Good job, Park.” Tony says.
“My ‘Park‘ actually pronounced ‘Pahk,’ but sound different in Simlish.” I tell Tony. I still find Simlish pronunciations are quite odd. Simlish speakers often mispronounce Koguryeon names like mine.
“Let’s get these guys out of the way first. We should tie them up, too.” Presto suggests as I nod and bring out some rope to bind the thugs with. It was just laundry rope that I found in the hotel earlier, and I thought it might come in handy.
As we finish binding the hands of the three thugs together and conceal them in the garden, a small bat comes and creates black smoke in front of us. The Doctor steps out of the smoke, back in his original form.
“At least you went back to your original form this time, Doc.” Presto says as the Doc approaches us.
“Thank Malefica and her anti-curse runes. Anyway, we have to get inside quickly. The goons I distracted called for reinforcements.”
I look behind us and see at least ten people in black suits, walking towards us armed with steel crowbars, crossbows, and pistols.
“Um, Doctor? They’re already here.” I speak to the Doctor in Koguryeon.
The Doctor’s eyes widen.
“Blast! They were faster than I expected. Inside, hurry!”
“I’ll hold them off, Doc.” Tony speaks and moves towards the incoming goons.
“No. You have to come with us, Antonio.” the Doctor puts a hand on Tony’s shoulder.
“Leave this to me, Doc. I’ll make up for my mistake.” Tony takes a deep breath. “Go inside, Doctor! Hurry!”
And then we hear laughter. It didn’t come from the Doctor or any of us, which made me a bit wary. Then the doors of the building open.
“I’m afraid you won’t be getting through these doors, my friends.” a man steps out of the doors while making a gesture.
Upon revealing himself, I see Tony seethe with anger.
“KARIM!” Tony shouts at the pale-skinned man who just appeared and clenches his fists.
“Ah, you must be the traitor I’ve heard so much about.” the Doctor says as he looks at the vampire named Cream and the thugs who’ve already surrounded us.
“Wait, that creepy guy’s the traitor?” Presto looks confused as I also scratch my head.
Why would anyone name themselves Cream?
“This time, I will kill you for sure.” Tony threatens Cream, but he just raises a finger and shakes it.
“No no no, my friend. That is my line.” Cream raises a hand as the thugs around us also raise their weapons.
And we find ourselves surrounded by heavily-armed Fengs and a vampire named Cream.