DRAGON PEARL - The curse

After all what happened, Lucy felt really tired. The abduction, Monik's crazy explanation,… it was too much for her in one day and she didn't even realize, but the whispering voice in her head was getting stronger. When she was waiting for the boiling water in the kitchen, she got into an apathetic state and she clearly heard two words - kill him - and she knew that she couldn't let Ren leave the apartment alive.

She pulled out the biggest knife from the wooden knife-holder and she suddenly felt really calm. She didn't feel tired anymore, rather happy. Her mind was clear and she didn't doubt her determination to kill Ren. She went to the corridor, where she heard how Monik was talking in front of the apartment with their neighbor. Monik tried to convince old Mrs. Ivičič, that the stairs, from which Jaro fell, are not life threatening and she doesn't have to call the manager of the building.

Lucy quietly walked through the corridor. She passed some hanged coats, where were also Ren´s weapons, which he had on his back before. He didn't have them now, because Monik forced him to take them off, so he will not destroy the couch. Ren was examining the damage in Lucy´s room, which was caused by the kidnappers and he was just squatting back to the door, when Lucy saw him. She smiled, because of the great opportunity and she attacked without hesitation! But Ren sensed it and he did a somersault through his shoulder, avoiding the kitchen knife. His fighting expression was replaced by surprise, when he realized, who his attacker was. Lucy didn't give him much time to process the situation, because she attacked again by running to him. Ren avoided her strikes without any problems, but he was confused. He didn't want to harm Lucy, so he just continued dodging her attacks.

After a little while, Ren realized, that when Lucy missed, her next strike got faster. He saw this behavior before, in his world,… but somehow this was different,… she didn't have a mad expression, rather calm… Suddenly, Monik walked into the room and when Lucy peripherally registered her, Ren used her distractibility. He blocked her hand, grabbed her wrist and twisted her arm till she dropped the knife. Without any hesitation, he grabbed her hair and slammed her head into the wall - she lost consciousness immediately.
"What is going on here?!" ran Monik to them horrified from what she saw and kneeled down to Lucy. Ren did the same and he started to look for something on Lucy´s body. First he raised her head and he looked at her neck from behind.
"What are you doing?"
"If I am not mistaking, then your friend has somewhere on her body engraved a curse, that is why she attacked me…" then he took her right hand and he looked at her wrist, where the rope torn up her skin. Monik saw that he was looking at it with his strange sight, when his pupils widened to the point where you couldn't see his iris.
"Those kidnappers infected her with Samelin´s curse," said Ren, while he was looking at her wrist, where he saw engraved his name with writhing from his world. Monik saw just the torn up skin on Lucy´s wrist, but she didn't doubt Ren. A moment ago, she witnessed how Lucy attacked him with a kitchen knife and that had to have a - normal - explanation.
"I have to talk to the old man," said Ren and took Lucy on his hands. He carried her into Monik's room, which was in better shape that the other one and he put her on the bed.
"Explain to me, what is going on," asked Monik nervously, because she felt that it wasn't just the curse that worried him.

Ren clenched his fists, when he looked at Lucy´s body and then he started calmly: "It is a curse, where they engrave on the victim the name of the person, who she has to kill and she will not stop, till she does so. I saw this once, the infected is overcome with the desire to kill its target. When her attack misses, the next one becomes stronger and more aggressive… The mind of the victim is overcome by madness and when she loses the fight… she will kill herself…" Monik lost all the color from her face.
"And I think, that I activated the curse…" he added and his words horrified Monik. Ren was still looking at Lucy´s motionless body and she heard the guilt in his voice: "The abduction was just a trap, they knew, that I will question that man, they needed his blood for the curse… that´s why they left him there alone!" Ren then turned away from Lucy with anger on his face and went to the corridor, where he attached his weapons to his back.
"Where are you going?"
"I have to go after the old man, he can maybe tell me how to break the curse…"
"What if I call him?"

Ren was confused when she pulled out her phone from her pocket. At first, Monik didn't understand his face-expression, but then, when she unlocked the screen and the mobile phone lighted up, she realized that he probably doesn't know, what's she holding. She found the number for the restaurant in her phone, which Jacky gave her before he had a Czech phone number and she called it right away. She asked the waitress to give her Mr. Long and when she heard his voice on the other end, she put the call on speaker.
"Mr. Long, here's Monik,… we need your help…" and she looked at Ren, but he was still looking at her like on a fool and he didn't say a word.
"Á, Miss Monik,… yes, yes,… was the rescue successful?" said cheerfully Mr. Long, like he was just asking on a formality, because he didn´t doubted the success of the mission.
"It was a trap,…" answered Ren with sadness in his voice, "that girl was infected with Samelin´s curse,… she is now unconscious, but they engraved my name on her wrist..."
Suddenly, Monik interrupted the terrible silence that occurred.
"Mr. Long, can we somehow break the curse?"
"The infected has to kill the person, whose name is engraved on their body, there is no other way… If she doesn't do that, then the madness will take her…" Monik´s hands started to shake and Ren took the phone carefully away from her. That was exactly what she needed, now she could nervously walk around, which helped her to feel more calm.
"And what if the girl wasn't affected by madness? During our fight, she was very calm, her attacks strengthened, but she wasn't aggressive,…" continued Ren.
"That is interesting,…" said Mr. Long and he started to think out loud. Monik stopped and without a breath she waited, if he will figure out something.
"This world is protected from magic,… it is possible, that the curse is weaker… But, what started with blood, has to end with blood…"
"And is some blood enough? Or someone has to die?" asked Monik anxiously.
"If it goes right to the engraved name, then it could be enough. But Ren, if this was a trap, it is possible, that they wanted your blood all along,…" said Mr. Long with worries.
"It is just blood, or am I missing something?" looked Monik to the phone with confusion in her voice.

Ren gave her the phone back and he approached the bed, on which Lucy was lying.
"Miss Monik, those, who came for you, are also looking for Ren´s brother, with that difference, that they don´t need him alive, like you… If this curse is linked with the other world and they obtain Ren´s blood, they can easily track him down…"
Monik was frightened, she couldn't even began to understand what Ren was going through. If he gives his blood, he will save her friend, but at the same time, he will doom his own brother.

After a while, Ren took out a knife from behind his back and he cut his left hand´s edge, and he rubbed his blood onto Lucy´s wrist, where the writhing was. He turned to Monik, holding his cut hand and when she got out of the shock, she gave him a few tissues from the tissue-box, which was on the commode.
"I have to go back and see, if my brother is all right…"
"While that girl is unconscious, you cannot go away Ren,… if this would not work and you would be back in your world, she would hurt herself, because she would know, that she didn't finish her task…" said Mr. Long through the phone. "But I will find out everything that I can about your brother. You just stay where you are, that girl will maybe need your blood again. I will take care of the rest," and with that, the call ended.

Monik put her mobile on the commode by the door and she looked at Ren. She saw, that he was broken inside, when he went and sat down on the chair by her desk. Her heart was pounding, she didn't know what to say to him. What he did for Lucy,… she couldn´t find the right words…