“I not want to go.” I tell Tony in Simlish.
It has been really difficult for me to communicate with the Doctor stuck as a kid, but maybe this is a good opportunity for me to practice and improve my Simlish.
“Park, without that legendary ginseng, the Doc’s gonna be stuck as a kid forever!” Presto tells me as Tony also nods.
“Why don’t you like your uncle and aunt?” Tony asks me, but I don’t want to tell him the truth.
“I just not like them. Maybe we should try other shop.”
“But it says here that they have the legendary ginseng.” Presto looks from the computer, and I notice that he installed a Koguryeon translation app on the browser. “The other shops don’t seem to be selling it.”
“And since you’re familiar with the owners, they’re our best lead. Please, Park. Do it for the Doc.” Tony pleads, but I still feel hesitant.
“Maybe you should tell us first why you don’t like your uncle and aunt.” Presto suggests, and Tony seems to agree.
I guess I can’t talk my way out of this one. I approach Presto and take control of the mouse and keyboard to access my personal blog online. It should be here somewhere.
If you’re reading this letter, it means that I have run away. Even if I have told you several times, I am not interested in getting an arranged marriage with a woman I barely know. I’m sick and tired of being pressured. I know you’re concerned about my future, but art is my passion. I don’t want to go to a big university, and I don’t want to end up working in corporate like dad.
Mom, I told you not to listen to Uncle Man-shik. He keeps meddling with our family affairs, but I guess you listen to him because he’s your big brother. He’s a crabby old bastard who should be sent to a nursing home. And Aunt Hae-won is no better. Even with that pleasant smile of hers, she seems to be just like Uncle Man-shik but toned down.
I’m definitely avoiding their shop in Koguryeo Town. Nothing will make me come back. I know what you’re thinking as you read this. You’re planning to disown me and give control of the family business to my more ambitious younger brother. Go ahead and do that. Don’t bother looking for me.
“And that’s what it says, according to the translation app.” Tony finishes dictating the translated letter of my private blog entry. I don’t know why I kept my farewell letter hidden as a draft in my account, but something told me to just let it stay there. I don’t know. I’m not sure.
“Your first name is Shin-jae?” Presto asks me even though he has already seen the name in my passport.
“But you already know.” I tell the ghost.
“Anyway,” Tony looks at me. “At least I now have an idea why you dislike your family.”
“Especially my uncle. Hate him. He also hate me, so might not sell ginseng to us, even if we pay.” But he’s also the kind who would do anything for a single simoleon since he has no morals I know of.
“That is indeed a problem.” Tony goes deep in thought as Presto raises his hand.
“I’ve got an idea!”
Tony and I both look at Presto at the same time.
“While you keep your aunt and uncle distracted, I’ll look for that ginseng and steal it from them.” Presto explains. “You know, with ghost powers!” The ghost then becomes more transparent until he becomes invisible and laughs.
“That does seem like a brilliant idea. Even the Doc might praise it if he were here.” Tony adds.
“Isn’t stealing a crime?” My sense of morals manifests for some reason.
“Park, we’re criminals. We steal art for a living. You forge art for a living.” Presto tells me as I almost forgot the nature of our business. “So stealing that ginseng will be a piece of cake… or kimchi, in your case.”
But the feeling of meeting my uncle and aunt is still making me anxious. How will I stall them long enough for Presto to find and steal the ginseng? Can’t Tony just use his vampire magic to mesmerize them while we ransack the store? Yes, I think that’s what I really want to do. Ransack the store.
“How about you use the vampire hypno power?” I ask Tony.
“I have to stay here and keep watch over Miggy, so it’ll be only you and Preston.” Oh right. I almost forgot that Miggy is the Doctor. Maybe it’s because I’m so worried about meeting my relatives again.
But how do I stall those two? Uncle Man-shik will probably tell my mom that I visited the store, and Aunt Hae-won will probably guilt trip me into returning to Koguryeo to continue the arranged marriage.
“Well, Park? Sound good?” Presto asks me.
Now that I look at it, this is all for the Doctor. And he has given me a place here to continue my art, learn more Simlish, and be away from Koguryeo for good.
And I can’t run away from my family forever.
“Okay.” I take a deep breath. “I do it.”
“Good morning, Park.” Presto appears with a half-eaten plate of pancakes. “Starting the day early, I see.”
“Ah, good morning Presto!” I look at him and see that he has no helmet on today. “Wait, no helmet again?”
“Oh, yeah.” Presto chuckles. “The Doc has only seen my real face once. The other vampires like Tony haven’t.”
“Ohhhh.” I end up staring at Presto’s face since this is the second time I’ve seen it. “But why show me?”
Presto shrugs. “Eh. Maybe it’s because I feel more secure with my helmet and armor on.”
How I wish that I had some sort of armor to keep me safe from the dangers of this job. Especially the wrath of my uncle.
After Presto tells me a few more jokes, I finish my food and get ready to go to Magnolia Promenade with him.
It’s already dawn and I still haven’t stopped browsing through the catalog of children’s apparel. The thought of getting my very own child excited me in the past, but I was quite disappointed when that backalley pseudo-gynecologist declared that I won’t be able to bear any children of my own. Turning humans into vampires is one thing, as I’ve done for decades, but I want children to continue my legacy; the Malefica line. Even if it means having to adopt or abduct a child.
Looking for a potential mate has also been an arduous task, considering that almost every eligible vampire bachelor in Newcrest is far too ugly for my standards, has some kind of personality disorder, or suffers from a weird defect that only a physician might be able to diagnose. I mean, who ever heard of short fang syndrome? That’s what got Archon Villaluz removed from my list of potential mates.
I open another tab of my browser and access a document file that contains all of my remaining possible mates:
Grand Archon Leclerc (TOO OLD) – rich but weird old fop/ full of himself/ struts around in underwear at random
Archon Matthews (EHHHHH) – hisses too much at the end of every ‘s’/ boasts too often about how great the varnish on his coffin is/ handsome enough but too eccentric for me
Archon Valmonte (SNEERS TOO MUCH) – he’s a good dancer/ he likes to heckle other Archons at Gatherings/ has recently switched to drinking purely from plasma fruit (red flag)
Archon Rembrandt (A MAYBE?) – a softie/ a bit too cowardly to be an Archon/ shows kindness to vampire children (this is a plus point but ehh)
Archon de Guzman (UMMM) – he’s a shady doctor/ handsome but I think he’s gay? (almost all of his lieutenants are handsome vampire men omg wow)/ divorced (red flag?)
So I’m down to those last two Archons at the bottom of the list. The Association has many other eligible Archons, but these are the ones who don’t look like ugly ghouls.
Now let me confess something. I spy on all of these potential Archons with tiny little cameras disguised as flies equipped with the EspritCam app. This is so that I can monitor how those Archons are like during their nightly activities.
But one footage caught my attention last night, and I was able to save this image.
This was taken in Archon de Guzman’s hideout, and I never knew that the backalley doctor had a child! Might this child be his son or nephew? Here I was, thinking that vampire children weren’t allowed in hideouts like his. He’s such a cute little boy, and if I take him under my wing, he shall grow up to become the finest vampire of the Malefica line. Domingo de Guzman does not deserve to have a fine young boy like that as part of his retinue! I should teach him a lesson for calling my womb a dark abyss that won’t bear any life in the foreseeable future.
Why, maybe a little kidnapping should be in order.
That should teach that backalley doctor a lesson for insulting the Crime Queen of East Newcrest, Countess Margaret Malefica!