“Mr Harren, do you find these conditions favourable?” asked a deep, slow and monotone voice. The owner of the voice was leaning back into his padded leather armchair, his large frame causing the worn wooden frame to creak under his weight. He wore a matte black cotton long coat, soft rubber boots to muffle the sounds of his footsteps, leather gloves and a black plain akubra which covered his facial features except for his blonde goatee. His cigar lit up in an intense illumination of red, lighting up his intense blue eyes which were scrutinising the middle aged man sitting across from him. His customer wore a light grey suit with a plain white shirt underneath, hiding a relatively thin and underdeveloped body underneath. His jawline was long and pointed, and his eyes sharp and clear, searching and probing every corner of the dark unlit room. The only source of light was a single wall of windows with half closed office blinds. White shafts of light shone through the blinds partially illuminating both men. He breathed out a puff of smoke, watching it float across the glass coffee table separating Mr Harren and himself.
“Can’t you do any better? 3000 serans*per head is still a lot for this breed of people”, Mr Harren replied rather casually. “If you not going to be more reasonable with your price, your merchandise better be top quality. I came on recommendation… Mister…”
“Ghost” the man in black replied.
Mr Harren frowned for a moment, but quickly reset to his impassive expression. Despite making up for his lack of physical presence with his extraordinary abilities of manipulating and fishing out peoples deepest and darkest secrets, he could not get a firm control over this mysterious man dressed in black. What made him even more uneasy was that he didn’t even know the real name of the man he was dealing with. ‘Ghost’ was what he was referred to as, and ‘Ghost’ is how he knew him. For the first time in his professional life, he was powerless against a business partner.
Ghost smirked, sensing the uneasiness within his prospective client. He stood up and walked towards the back of the room until he was completely swallowed by the darkness of the room, letting only the periodic cigar glow give away his position.
“I’ve studied your clients Mr Harren. I assure you my merchandise meets their tastes. But of course, don’t take my word for it.”
On cue, 2 men opened the main door to the room dragging a small girl dressed in a high cut china dress between them. The girl looked no more than 10 or 11 years old, her silky dark brown hair hanging down over her panicked and fear stricken face. She shuddered a little as she caught sight of Ghost, or more accurately his cigar.
“She’s the sample. If you agree to the price, she’s yours to take now. Feel free to check.” Ghost said casually.
Mr Harren got up and grabbed the girl’s wrist, signalling the 2 men to let go, and threw her onto the couch he was sitting on. Before the girl could even react, he gripped her jaw with one hand and brushed the hair away from her face with the other. He traced the outline of her face, neck, body and legs with his free hand, all the while keeping her from facing away from him. Tears were streaming down the girls face but she made no noise.
“Now now… don’t be scared” Mr Harren whispered into the ear of the girl as he started feeling up her dress. The girl tried to squirm away, but Mr Harren held on tight. He stared into the eyes of the girl before suddenly letting her go and standing up.
“You have yourself a deal” Mr Harren announced.
Ghost smiled, extinguished his cigar and walked over to Mr Harren extending his hand out. It was met with eagerness from Mr Harren who was not hiding a large grin.
“My clients will be very happy with these. 30 to the designated address, I’ll send you the payment as soo…”
Mr Harren was cut off as a huge explosion erupted outside, throwing both men off their feet and shattering the glass windows on the front of the room.
No thoughts could collect in Mr Harren’s mind. He lay on the ground for what seemed to be an eternity, waiting for the pain in his head to subside. He stumbled to his feet, uneasy on his footing, grabbing onto the back of the couch he was using only moments ago for balance. The whole world around him was different. There was a heavy glow of oranges and reds flooding into the room, which now fashioned one less wall and concrete blocks lay strewn around the room, remnants of the destroyed wall. Looking around, he noticed Ghost was missing and the girl who he was supposed to take was bleeding profusely from the gash in her head.
“Shit…” he gasped.
He stumbled out of the room where the front door used to be, pausing for a moment to fully regain his balance before navigating the complex array of suspended walkways over the tonnes of stolen military munitions. He needed to get to safety and attempt to work out what just happened.
He managed to walk about 100m along the walkways before he felt a chilling sensation down his spine. He slowly turned his head to see a small figure, silhouetted by the fires burning around it, looking right toward him where he was only moments ago, piercing him with its glowing red eyes. The figures lips moved, and all of a sudden he felt all the strength he had managed to recover drain from him. ‘What the fuck! Move! Run! Why are you just standing there?!’ he thought to himself. The small figure started walking towards him. He immediately felt his vigour return to him and did not hesitate to turn around and run.
Greys, blacks and blues streaked passed him as he sprinted along a metal suspension bridge. His sole thought, just survive to see another day. Whatever was chasing him was of magical decent, and he was not prepared to deal with anything overly powerful in magic. He only had a few magic charged bullets loaded in his pocket handgun, something that’s only effective if the target is caught off guard.
‘Like hell am I going to catch THAT off guard’
He could see it, the front roller doors to the storage facility. ‘Almost there… almost there…’ he thought. At that moment, he heard a cracking sound, followed by the sensation of falling, then darkness.
The world was blurry, and all sounds were dampened and incoherent. He could see orange, red, black, gold. Long dancing shadows cast by the flames of hell danced as the building around him burned. His body was numb all over and his head felt extremely heavy. He looked up to see the small figure which had been chasing him standing about 15 meters away, looking at something near the roof. 12 bodies were littered around the floor, each sporting deep slashing and stabbing wounds. He stomach hit the floor as he realised who those bodies where. His 12 bodyguards which he had left at the entrance of the facility all lay dead around him.
“Please no! Please!! Spare me! Please!” his trembling voice cried. A small young girl turned to face him. The girl had flowing black hair long as her waist, a face so pretty and refined that it would’ve been mistaken for a dolls, and eyes of dancing fire burning with unconstrained blood lust. Her figure was slim and malnourished, her limbs covered in bruises and scratches. She wore what once was a fine red silk dress, embroidered with flowers and a clan symbol now undiscernible through the rips and blood stains. “Please… I beg of you…” he pleaded. He tried to back away from the girl, but his body wouldn’t stop shaking. Any physical strength he could’ve had counted towards nothing in this situation. He groped around for anything he could use to drive away the terror now walking towards him. His hands only found the bare concrete floor.
The light from the fires around him glinted off a seemingly oversized sword, wielded inhumanely by the demon of a child who had swiftly and mercilessly slaughtered all of his bodyguards, the best of the Dol-Han clan’s armed division. Silently and slowly the girl advanced on him, a dead expression was across her face hinting at no emotion. The blood started to drain out of his face as the realisation that he was going to die sunk in. In what seemed like an eternity he was face to face with her, staring directly into her eyes. He couldn’t look away. Those glowing eyes of red and black, like smouldering coal, had him transfixed. He was paralysed with fear. No thoughts, no sounds, no chance of escape.
“Stay away! Go.. go away! Please!…“, he stammered.
“Die”, the small child whispered.
A sharp cold pain sheared through his chest, and blood started flowing into his mouth. He looked down to see that cold steel the demon was wielding buried deep into his chest. He tried to scream but all he let out was a gurgle of blood. He was blacking out, his vision fading. He looked up to see the impassive face of an 8 year old girl splattered with blood, and the tears of an innocent child screaming to get free from behind those dark, dead eyes.