I asked Antonio to prevent Preston and Park from seeing me in my new form after all that’s happened. Distracting the two by letting them have the night off to play their so-called video games was a smart move. While they were occupied with that, Antonio helped me catch up with what’s happened while I was stuck as a child. The Prefect’s visit, the kidnapping by Malefica, and most importantly, Don Antares’ recent movements.
You see, with all this commotion about me turning into a child, House de Guzman was not able to rally the other Houses like it did in Windenburg. The Don has a diabolical plan that is most admirable, but I oppose it for it involves the destruction of the current order of vampires. We’ll be discussing that later this meeting.
It took a bit of time for Antonio to accept my new form, but I’m glad he’s now composed himself. Antonio looks over the reports made by our lowly henchmen who were keeping an eye on Antares’ movements.
“Archon Malachi was also reported missing, Doc.” Antonio turns to the next page. “According to our sources, he was reported missing after an unscheduled trip to Windenburg.”
Archon Malachi. A buffoon of an Archon who won’t shut up about how he saved a wealthy sultan during his travels. A story that is highly doubtful, considering his foolish character. My guess is that the Don offered him something, but what it exactly is, I am not sure.
“So after the recent string of Archon disappearances, that fool Malachi was the latest, hm?” I scratch my chin and feel my neck, feeling a bit strange without my Adam’s apple.
Antonio nods and gives me the next report on how our assets have been faring. Not good. Without me around running things, our collections for protection money have fallen, and our current partners have pulled out of deals temporarily until my return.
“The Asahi yakuza groups and other human mafias won’t be pleased if they see a woman at the helm of House de Guzman in my current state.” I ponder.
“I think they’d be more surprised than offended, Doc.” Antonio comments as I notice someone knock on the door.
“Come in!” Antonio calls out as Park enters first with Preston trailing behind him in a sluggish manner, obviously lacking enough sleep.
“We’re excite to see Doctor.” Park looks at Antonio but widens his eyes when he sees me.
“Yeah, and here I was thinking we were only being–” Preston stops mid-speech as his head focuses on me and turns red. He starts hyperventilating as his chest pulsates in an almost cartoon-like manner. His armor then starts to shake, making sounds.
“Doc, what’s happening to Preston, exactly?” Antonio leans over to ask me.
This is exactly why I do not allow any female members in our House.
All I could hear is Preston’s annoying breathing. I can see him making an effort to calm himself down, but he just covers his face where his mouth is supposed to be.
“This is like dream. Still can’t believe Doctor is now Girl Doctor.” Park comments as he seems to have a better grasp of the situation than Preston.
“But why is Preston acting this way?” Antonio asks.
“This is what happens when he meets a girl he fancies. I’ve seen it happen throughout our long partnership when I still had female members in the House.”
Preston seems to be trying to say something, but he becomes quiet again after I explain.
“So does this mean that he’s attracted to you?”
“Not necessarily. He just has extreme difficulty talking normally to almost any female, exalting them to the highest degree and reverting to his chivalric ways, which is more annoying than you might think. Aside from Gran, Malefica, and a few others, this is how Preston acts around women.” I explain as I look at Preston again.
“You’ll see in a moment.”
Park raises his hand. “Is that also why no girls allowed in here?”
I give him a quiet nod as Preston finally speaks up.
“AND- AND H-HOW SHALL I AID THEE TODAY, M-M-MILAAADY?” Preston stutters with each syllable.
“Preston!” Antonio scolds him as I raise a hand.
“That will not be enough. The only way he’ll snap out of his chivalric persona completely is if I return to being a man.”
“To be honest, Doc, he sounds like one of those superheroes in comic books with heavy good guy overtones.” Antonio comments, not understanding half of what he meant.
I just nod to acknowledge what he said then look at Preston and speak to him in a calming manner.
“Preston, dear.” I begin, talking in a sweet voice. “It would please me greatly if you act in the manner of a noble, dignified knight.”
As soon as I say that, Preston shakes in his armor and speaks up.
“AND SO IT SHALL BE DONE, MILADY! Your most loyal and noble knight, Sir Preston of Farthington and Rottingham, Rightful Wielder of Chickenbane, Guardian of the Ancient Fridge of Samsung, and Slayer of Neophytes in Online Combat shall humble himself and act in accordance with the chivalric code of the Order of Knights of House de Guzman (which has only but one member)!” Preston shouts in a dignified manner and stands from his chair to give me a salute with his sword, and I raise a hand to signal him to put it down.
“Are you still really you, Preston?” Antonio asks.
“I’m still me, Tony.” Preston replies using his usual voice.
I get his attention again. “Preston?”
“YES, MILADY? I AWAIT YOUR COMMAND!”
Park starts laughing, probably from the instant personality change Preston has when talking to me and others.
“Presto says many funny words that I not know yet!” Park finishes laughing.
“Yes, we’ll all have to get used to Preston and his funny words for a while.” I tell them as Antonio also starts laughing. Interestingly enough, Preston has a wider vocabulary of Old Simlish than I do, given his long existence.
“Doctor is just fine, Park.” I reply, but he seems to have misunderstood me, thinking that I’m fine.
“What happen now? Is Girl Doctor Girl Doctor forever?”
“I was also thinking about what we will do now that you’re back, Doc.” Antonio adds.
I explain to my three most loyal henchmen in detail about what will happen in the coming weeks. Simple enough, we just have to rally the Houses, foil the Don’s plan, and find out what happened to the missing Archons. Oh, and of course, get the antidote.
Damn it, I almost completely forgot about getting the antidote.
“Sorry if forgot, but what is Don’s plan again?” Park asks as I recall what happened.
I then tell them about what happened over the last year. The Don, after having caused that commotion in Newcrest with his failed vampires and hunters, was removed by the Association and declared rogue by Grand Archon Leclerc. The Don then moved on to San Myshuno to manipulate the Feng crime family into doing his bidding, causing chaos among the Houses there.
After we foiled the Fengs, the Associations of Newcrest and San Myshuno submitted formal complaints to the League, and the Grandmaster finally ordered the immediate arrest of Don Antares. His location was unknown for a while, but after a series of Archon kidnappings and missing person reports, we tracked him down to his hometown of Windenburg and pursued him.
However, he was able to escape, and that was the last thing I remembered before turning into a child… and then waking up as a woman. Perhaps this will be a curious story for future parties.
“There’s also those missing Archons and vampires. We’re not even sure if they’re actually dead or just missing.” Antonio reminds me.
“If they’re not dead, they might have been captured or subjected to experimentation.” I steeple my fingers, remembering how the Don always used to make me seek out victims for his experiments.
“ExperiMENtation, Park. The Don is a creative genius, but a twisted one. He seeks to corrupt anything he sees as long as it will benefit him.” I gesture to myself, having been the latest victim of one of his experimental serums… as well as the ones he made me drink in the past, greatly amplifying my power over time.
“Maybe those missing Archons were turned into children, too.” Antonio guesses.
“Yes, or something far much worse.” I reply.
“LIKE THE DREADED WHISPERING CHICKEN OF BATFORD?” Preston exclaims and stands up on the table as I put my palm onto my face.
Antonio gestures Preston to get off the table. “Preston, I think what the Doc is trying to say is–”
“FOR IF IT IS THIS FOUL BEAST THAT RAVAGES THE LAND, I, SIR PRESTON OF THE LOWER BREECHES, SHALL SEE TO IT THAT IT SHALL BE SLAIN FOR THE SAKE OF MY HOUSE, MY COUNTRY, AND MILADY!”
I gesture towards Antonio to just let Preston do what he wants because there is no stopping him in this state.
Just let him be, Antonio!
But Antonio refuses to give up.
“Preston, get off the–”
“AND NOW, A LOVELY HAIKU FOR PROTECTING MILADY’S HONOR!” Preston produces a small piece of paper seemingly out of nowhere. Ohh, boy.
MY DEAR MILADY
I DEFEND THEE FROM DANGER
AND SWEAR LOYALTY!
I count the syllables of his haiku, and he actually got the right number of syllables this time. Bravo, Preston.
…TO DEFEAT THE BARBARIANS, RUFFIANS, AND EVIL CHICKENS THAT COME TO THEE!
“That’s not a haiku, Preston! You got the syllable count wrong!” Antonio points out Preston’s poetic blunder.
“You’re the one who’s got it wrong, Tony! It’s 5-6-7-8, right?” Preston replies in his normal voice.
“…what does ‘syllable’ mean?” Park asks himself as he brings out his phone, possibly checking a dictionary.
I guess we can say that everything is back to normal… for now.