I run around the Japanese mafia headquarters with the grace of an enraged goose. All action, no thought. My arms are trapped behind my back in electro-cuffs, and my body still hasn’t fully recovered by intentionally shocking myself for an extended period, and anyone watching me can see that pretty plainly from my stupid waddle.
A few dudes with sunglasses (indoors) short swords barrel down the hallway at me, yelling out the Japanese equivalent to “Charge!” or “En garde!” or something.
I spin around and swerve and dodge all their slices until I’m past all of them.
Then I keep on running.
No time for a cool fight scene. Not that it’d be cool anyway, considering how I look when my arms are tied behind my back.
Sadly, these guards don’t give up. They chase me all the way to the end of the hallway, where there’s a fork and I can’t decide which way to go. They both look exactly the same, augh!
They’ve caught up to me. Crap. And their swords are perilously close to my body.
I jump against the nearest wall, kick off of it, and spin around with my left leg colliding into as many heads as possible. When I land, I pull back my right foot and throw it upwards, right into one dude’s groin. He drops his sword and falls over.
Now that’s the kind of combo you get in a good fighting game! The Morgan Harding Tournament Saga or something.
The others are a little bit intimidated now. One dude already beaten up by a scrawny kid with their hands bound, and they wonder if they’ve really got it in them to do what their buddy couldn’t. For a second, it seems like they might just turn tail and get out of here.
Unfortunately, they suddenly remember that, oh yeah, they have swords that can stab and slice the scrawny kid. So they charge once again.
And so I pick the left path in the hallway and keep running as fast as I can.
Seems like I chose correctly; I hear some loud voices through the wall, right by the oversized door that is probably Ohata King’s underwhelming palace room.
I enter through the door without a second thought. You’re probably questioning my reasoning here, and the only one I can give is that I’m running way too fast to think things through. Maybe I can capture the leader and hold him hostage until he tells me a way out? That’s a horrible plan, you surely think, but it’s the only one going through my slow-to-process mind.
And your instinct proves a lot better than mine.
As soon as I enter, I’m greeted with a bunch more mob dudes, as well as…
MOTHER OF DAMN.
Ohata King, for what it’s worth, is sitting at his throne kind of area just like I predicted. His sniveling advisor guy is standing there by his side, too.
But on Mr. Ohata King’s other side…
Next to him is that suit-wearing, giant metal arm sporting, scarred up face with a scowl known as Yuri Motokawa.
“Morgan,” she says softly. But not with the tone of friendship.
“Uh-huh.” Guess I’m dead.
You see, I have been extremely lucky these past few months when it comes to Motokawa, the Mercenary Prince. She works for hire and works without regard to ethics or morals. She owed me a favor the first time, when we crossed paths during the Social Media Killer investigations. The next time we met, it was for mutual revenge against Donald Blyth.
Well, let’s just say that I’m not the one who paid for her personal protection.
It’s not a half-second before she crunches her fists in and bolts in my direction.
“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” I scream at the top of my lungs. My feet stumble for just a second as they turn around, and I very nearly trip and fall.
She’s one precious second closer to me. Please, please, please make her go away!!!!!
I turn completely around and run out in exactly the direction I came. I don’t even care about the dudes with the swords coming at me; I am NOT facing Motokawa with my hands literally tied behind my back like someone heading for execution.
I jump clear over the mob dudes’ heads and take myself as far as my little legs’ll let me.
There’s so many doors, so many hallways, and no windows to speak of. I can’t find my way around this place because I just do not know where anything is. This is exactly why I said I WOULDN’T be breaking out of here until that Nami chick egged me on. This is what I deserve, I guess.
Motokawa catches up to me about as soon as I expected, and she does it in the perfect way—by grabbing the back of my shirt and yanking me back violently. All my forward momentum stopped in an instant and reversed into a very sloppy tumble onto the floor.
The carpet burn is indescribably horrible.
She punches in my direction with her metal arm, and I just barely roll out of the way before my skull is pulverized into dust.
I get back up onto my feet. “Hey, hey, hey. Yuri, I thought we were friends!”
“I thought, uh, you’d want the honor of fighting me on equal footing, so you want to remove my restraints?”
“Well, dammit. Those were my only two options. Wait, you wouldn’t happen to be really susceptible to electric shocks with that arm of yours, would you?”
She throws a rapid series of punches that I find increasingly difficult to dodge.
No talking this out, and no surviving this if I dilly-dally any longer.
So I roll underneath her, do a jump kick against the wall, and jab her right in the face with my shoe. But instead of following that up with anything else, I turn tail and keep running again.
That was just a delaying tactic. She’s faster than me, and she’s going to catch up way too quickly unless I can—
A supply closet next to me suddenly opens and an arm reaches out.
I’m yanked once again, right into the closet.
It slams shut, locks about a dozen times, and now I’m in a pitch-black room with… someone.
Kinda cut my fight too short, didn’t you, whoever you are?
A tiny LED light flickers on and lights up my face… as well as his.
“Nice to meet you,” the man with the pointy nose says. Wait, that advisor for Ohata King? This is weird. “My name is Kusata. And I’m here to rescue you.”
“Oh, that’s great,” I say. “Please take off these damn handcuffs.”
“I will, after we have a talk.”
Follower progress report:
Royal Road: 994
Oh my, this is getting closer by the day.
This week, read Invisible Werewolf Dracula meets Vampire Mummy Frankenstein.
Also, way back in Crossword Conundrum Chapter 3, I made a crossword puzzle. Today, I discovered that you can also play it online! Click on the old chapter to take a time portal back to good old days.