Chapter 03 – V
“[Late evening yesterday, a woman was found dead within the residential area of Andoria. The deceased is Ms. Hikari Lyra, 45 years old, a researcher of the Andoria Astrological Center. She was supposedly murdered from being stabbed by a long sharp material. The motive behind the murder was unclear, but it was suspected to be robbery due to evidence of struggles in the scene.]”
The news reporter from the television hanging on one corner of the restaurant continued reporting as I took another sip of my root beer. Most of the customers are either enjoying their food alone or talking with the friends or family next to them, so not many people were paying attention to the news.
The police made their move a lot faster than I expected. I am still not sure why mom said I should not trust them. But judging how this got on screen so fast, I bet that murderer must have some relationship with the police.
The question is why would the police cooperate with that murderer?
And why would they want mom and me dead?
Did mom discover some sort of confidential information – a dark side of the government?
“Oh geez. Why are people so cruel these days?” the bartender mumbled as he passed by my table, “What kind of sick bastard would murder a helpless woman? These wicked bastards deserve to be burn, dontcha think? That’ll make our world a lot lighter.”
He looks at me and laughs jokingly.
“Oh. Yes…You’re absolutely right,” I agreed wholeheartedly.
That’s right. That bastard needs to pay.
“[…At the same time, Ms. Lyra’s daughter, Hikari Viola, age 20, a student of the Andoria University has also gone missing].”
My university ID card photo appears at the bottom left of the TV screen, urging me to move my white beanie down out of instinct. At the same time, my eyes roll around, checking to see if anyone recognized me. I really do not understand why ID card photos can make some one as pretty as me looks like a runaway criminal on the screen. But in a situation like this, it might actually prove to be convenient since it would be harder to identify me. Now the problem is that my outstanding purple hair is also an attention attractor. Even though people might not remember my face, one glance at my purple hair and they will surely recognize me.
I also should mention that aside from this white knitted beanie, all the belongings I currently have on myself include this light cream sleeveless one-piece dress with detached white sleeve extending down to my hands, a light grey sweater tied around my waist, and a small hip-purse. I usually wear this attire when going outside with mom on a long trip since it is light and a fairly comfortable.
My other belongings inside my hip-purse include my cell phone (with new number), a flashlight, a handkerchief, a pocket umbrella, some pocket money remaining in my account, and, of course, my trusty MP3 player companion.
“[The witness is Ms. Alis Rockwell, age 20, Viola’s colleague].” The news reporter continued.
My head instantly turns over to the television, where Alis’s face was shown to be in the middle of several reporters pointing the microphone at her.
“[I just want to talk to her about the movies this weekend. I called her, but she would not pick up. So I went to her place…And…And…]”
The scene was cut off due to her letting out a cry in public. A sudden urge to cry out loud slowly builds up inside me. I want to tell her that I am here. I want someone to be beside me so I would not have to face this reality alone.
I miss Alis.
And I miss mom too.
I leave the money on the table and hurry out of the restaurant before someone notices my eyes welling up. I cannot back off now, not until I know everything. And of course, not until that bastard pays for his crime.
I briefly look at my pocket watch, where the short hand is pointing at 7. This part of the town gets dark really quick right after the sun sets since there are not many streetlights. I walk out of the restaurant and make a right for two or three blocks until the alley where I hid my weapon comes into view. Since I do not want to attract any attention, I cannot carry the lance with me as I move around the town while researching for the whereabouts of the Cancerian Laboratory.
I picked this alley to hide that lance because it is pretty isolated. Not many people pass by this alley, even during the day.
However, as I stepped into the two-meters wide alley, my legs halt as my eyes spotted three men loitering within the alley. The alley is dark so I cannot clearly describe their appearance. From a rough scan, these men appear to be teenagers. All of them appear to be taller than me, and they seem to be a couple of years older than me as well.
The smoke of cigarette and the smell of alcohol emanate from within the alley. I have never really smoked nor drank alcohol, but the reason I know the smell was because I had to walk pass the smoking area at the university often. As for the smell of liquor … well, technically, I tried a sip of liquor back when I stayed over another friend girl’s house. Never really enjoyed it. It is bitter and does not taste good one bit.
“Hey guys, check that out.” One men nudges both of his friends and points at me. They didn’t really try to keep it down because I heard their voice just fine even though I am a few meters away from them. Flirtatious whistles echoed throughout the alley, building up the anxiety within me. Mom always taught me to ignore all the flirting attempts from random guys and just quickly walk away from them as fast, but natural, as possible.
However, that is simply not any option for me today.
The lance is still placed on the very same spot I left it. I know because I can see its pure white color, reflecting the moonlight brilliantly. I try to come up with a solution. If I just quickly walk in to fetch it and leave, there should not be a problem.
Come on, Viola. Stay calm. You can do this.
“How ya doin’ babe?” One of the guys calls out to me as I start strolling into the alley. Of course I continue on without a care.
“Can we help you, hm?” another guy asked with a creepy flirtatious voice and blocked my path.
A concise but firm statement should be easy enough for these bullies to understand.
“Woah man, she doesn’t like you!”
The third guy teased his friends. All of them then laughed amusingly. I quickly step aside and attempt to continue forward. The lance is only a few meters away from my current position.
Suddenly, the same creep quickly blocks my path again.
“What’s ur name, gorgeous?”
I forcefully push him away and continue on. However, he swiftly grabs my wrist and swings me against the alley’s wall.
“What’s the hurry, honey? Why don’t we have some fun?”
Two other creeps start laughing at the implicative question. I could just feel my whole body trembling in fear and anger at the same time. Their actions are downright disgusting. Luckily, I think I can shake loose of his grip. These junkies are drunk and dopey, so if I strike them fast enough, they would not have a chance.
“Let. Me. Go.” I threatened them with a sharp and angry look.
“Come on girl. Let me see your face!”
Ignoring my threat, they go ahead and remove my white beanie, freeing my purple shoulder-length hair.
“Woah girl. Now that’s a killer color you got there!” The creep who is holding me teased.
“Yeah man. She’s pretty cute!” another guy added.
Thanks, but your compliment does not make me proud one bit.
“I’ll count to three,” I threatened them again.
“Oh. Getting angry now, aren’t we?”
“…1.” I begin counting while they continue to tease me.
“Come on. Let me have a closer look!”
The two other creeps move closer to me.
My fists are clenched and ready to smack something.
“Can I have a ki—-.”
In a blink of an eye, I flick my wrist off the thug’s grip and smack him in the face. After that, I throw a direct jab right into his guts, forcing him to stagger back a few steps.
“Why you little bitch!!!!” one of the creeps yelled and lunged at me, provoked from seeing his friend being attacked. I bend aside, effectively dodging his lunge, and kick right into his right shin, making him drop to the ground crying in pain. After that, I smack the third creep rushing at me with my left fist at his chin, causing him to fall backwards.
“Damn you little bitch! Come back here!”
The creep that gripped my wrist earlier rushes in to get a hold of me again. But I bend off and swing him against the wall, just like how he did to me earlier. With everything out of the way, I quickly continue my way into the alley and grab my lance.
“Come back here you bitch!! I’m gonna—-!!!!”
“You’re gonna what?”
I point the lance at his throat before he could reach out to me. The other two cowards are horrified. They cry and run out of the alley, leaving their helpless friend in my palm.
“N…No…Lemme go…Pleaseeeeee.” The creep wails loudly like a baby as he kneels down to the ground.
After the remark, I smack the hilt at his neck, knocking him out, before walking to pick up my beanie. The other two cowards can still be seen running with their tails between their legs when I left the alley. They will probably be traumatized for the rest of their lives upon being beaten by a girl.
The town is completely dark now. I continue my way until I reach a lone white bench, settled under a streetlight. Even though I was the one who beat the living day lights out of those punks, my hands are still shaking in fear. I never had any martial arts courses before. But I just know that the reflex I had earlier was not of an average girl. In fact, it felt as if my mind could almost see what those creeps are about to do before it even happened. My movements were agile and swift. Yet it was firm and solid.
It was not me.
Those reflex were not mine.
In fact, why was I even confident enough that I would leave that alley unharmed…?
Right now, I am no longer afraid of those, but rather I am afraid of myself because I do not know who I am any more. I hold both of my hands tightly, forcing them to stop shaking, and at the same time, chasing my tears back before it can flow down my cheek.