Chapter 6:

Except anger

The Sequence of Kai

Anticipation bleeds from the door in front of me. When you know you have exactly what you want within your reach, when all you have to do is open a door, you pause.

Once you turn that handle, you have to be ready to make that decision it’ll come at you fast. That’s why you always freeze at the door, the decision before the decision, the one you can dwell on.

The address Elm texted to me led to a block of luxury apartments on the edge of the city centre. I’m not exactly unfamiliar with the location but it looks fairly different by daylight.

I waited a little bit down the road until I saw a resident entering and slipped in after them. It’s one of those places with a passcode on the door and I didn’t want to let Elm know I was here before I absolutely needed to.

The reason to do that was to use the few minutes I had left to check the building, find any traces of minor magic or sequence linking that he isn’t talented enough to hide.

I found pretty much what I expected, he’s used his ‘hand’, the powers afforded to him by the game, to influence the people in this building. Probably something simple, like to ignore any noise from his apartment, would make sense given what he’s using it for. If that is the case it will actually be quite helpful for my purposes as well.

After all that I’ve found myself outside his door, 7th floor of the 10, furthest apartment from the stairs. Going to be pretty hard for him to run. The door really does seem to have some anxious quality to it.

The door is opened only a couple of seconds after I knock.

“There you are, you were nearly late.”

He’s wearing a fucking dressing gown, probably nothing else. He’s not making it any easier to not kill him. I step inside and he closes the door behind me. He grabs me by the shoulders from behind and begins massaging them. I go stiff as a shiver darts up my spine. I know he felt that because he puts a little more into his movements.

“Can I get you anything? A glass of water, maybe some wine?”

“Maybe some wine would help me loosen up.”

“Alright then, why don’t you get ready for me?”

He leads me to the bedroom and then heads out to the kitchen. I take this opportunity to put the switchblade I brought with me under the pillows. That way I’ll be able to get to it quickly even with my clothes off.

I strip down to my lingerie and cover myself with a blanket. He’ll want me to take something off so I leave my tights on, I don’t want to get completely naked in front of this creep if I can help it.

I survey the room with my eyes, I don’t want him to catch me snooping. I cross my eyes just in case he’s written anything anywhere. Nothing on the walls, nothing sewn into the sheets or covers.

Up on the ceiling, there it is. I don’t try to make out what it says, I just need to make sure he doesn’t get on top, if it ends up going that far.

Casting my gaze downwards I find a very poorly hidden camera on the bookshelves up against the wall across from the bed. Probably more than one of those around, he seems like the kind of guy to want that. I know he doesn’t need to hide them given his position but it’s a poor effort nonetheless.

“I hope you like red.”

He hands me my glass and sits down on the bed beside me. I can tell by the difference in hue that he’s poured me a cheaper wine than he’s poured himself. Not even classy enough to shell out for the girls he’s taking advantage of. If Trish knew what he was doing she’d be furious.

He puts his left hand on my thigh and starts groping me. It feels horrible, I can’t let him take control of this situation.

“So Kai, you seemed to know a lot about the going’s on in that bar. Do you have some kind of… relevant experience?”

He moves his hand up a bit.

“Why don’t I show you just how experienced I am?”

I down my wine in one go and then grab his glass and do the same. His was a lot better tasting, unsurprisingly.

I put both glasses down on the floor, take his gown off and then push him lightly indicating he should fall back on the bed.

Thankfully he does, I figured a man like him might have some trouble refusing assertive girls, he’ll probably get off on the idea of turning the tables on me, not that I’ll let him.

I tease the blanket off as seductively as my disgusted body will let me before climbing onto the bed and straddling him just above the groin, my hands on his chest to support me. The less actual work I have to do the happier everyone involved will be by the end.

“You’re a real tease, aren’t you?”

He grabs my arms by the wrists, too self-conscious to fully give up control I bet, too obsessed with his self-image.

“It’ll be better this way, trust me.”


As he says this he skillfully unhooks my bra with one hand which then falls directly onto his chest. It takes everything I have to not break his nose on the spot but somehow, I resist. He’s staring at my chest, right at the middle, exactly where I thought he would.

“That’s an interesting tattoo you’ve got, is it your only one?”

“It is.”

“Then why’d you get it? You don’t see a tattoo this large on otherwise clear skin.”

He traces a finger over it, the rose and the masquerade mask below my collar bone, between my breasts. I wince, it hurts to the touch.

“It’s a mark to say that this body isn’t mine, it belongs to the whims of someone else.”

I don’t have to tell him the truth.

“Wish I could find the guy who made me get it, I think I’d be up to the task of killing him now.”

Not the whole truth anyway.

Elm stays transfixed on the Rose. It gives me a rather unpleasant idea but a good one.

“You don’t just have to stare.”

I lower my chest onto his face and hug the back of his head. Just as he’s about to grope my breasts I grab the hair on the back of his head with my left hand, reach under the pillow with my right and flash the switchblade to his neck.

“One inch closer and you’re fucking dead.”

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, drop that thing right now!”

I push the blade in just enough to make a cut in his neck just above his Adam’s apple without causing serious damage. At least not yet.

“I’ll drop it straight through your neck if that’s what you want.”

“Kai, listen to me right now, you wi-”

I push in a little deeper this time, this time deep enough that I might leave a scar. He inhales deeply as blood starts dribbling off the sides of his neck but somehow, he manages to suppress his scream.

“I’m listening and all I’m hearing are the pathetic whimpers of a man who wants to die. Get your hands away from me, right now.”

The situation finally sinks in, as he puts his hands down on the bed and even spreads them out to the sides as to be as far away from me as possible.

“Good, you can listen too. You’re lucky it was only my bra you got off or you’d already be dead.”

K̷i̶l̴l̶ ̷h̶i̴m̵.

Is this about coming on to you? I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.”

“Of course you won’t do it again, you don’t have to say that, I’ll make sure you don’t.”

I tilt the blade slightly, not in a way that will make the wound deeper but just enough so that he can feel it moving under his skin.

“Oh god, I’m sorry! Whatever I did I’ll stop, if it’s about Trish then-“

K̵i̵l̷l̴ ̶h̶i̸m̴ ̷r̸i̵g̵h̷t̷ ̸n̷o̵w̵.̷

“Shut up.”

“Please don’t kill me....”

“Shut the hell up!”

I’ve concentrated so much on making sure my right-hand doesn’t kill him that I’ve ripped out his hair with my left. The blade doesn’t feel as steady in my mind as it is in my hand.

“You won’t speak unless I tell you to, if you forget that I won’t hesitate to slit your throat. Got that?”

He nods his head so slightly that it’s barely noticeable. I suppose it’s somewhat hard to do with a blade in your neck.

“And don’t try anything stupid, I know exactly what your hand can do, I won’t fall for it.”

His eyes widen in terror when it becomes known to him that I know. He probably thinks I’m with the Kohsan institute, a reasonable assumption given their virtual monopoly at the table, they’re the closest thing this game has to a ‘house’.

“I’m not with Kohsan, this is a personal visit.”

The fear in his eyes dissipates ever so slightly. As scared as he is of dying, if he’s heard the same things about Kohsan that I have, he knows there are fates far worse than death.

“What are you doing in Brighton? Why did you think it was OK to come and mess around in the place I live?”

K̸i̴l̵l̷ ̶h̸i̶m̷ ̶n̴o̶w̸,̸ ̶w̸h̷i̴l̸e̸ ̸y̸o̸u̵ ̷s̴t̸i̵l̷l̸ ̴k̵n̴o̵w̶ ̷y̸o̴u̶ ̸w̶a̴n̸t̶ ̸t̶o̴.̶

I pry the blade back from his neck to allow him to speak.

“I didn’t come here for anything; I’m just passing through.”

“Been passing through for a while then haven’t we?”

“Yes! Yes! Far too long!”

He’s practically pissing his pants. This is great, exactly where I want him. This is going to be easier than anticipated.

“Next question, where are you storing all of the books you have listed on your site? Don’t even try lying to me.”

“The church, they’re all hidden in the back room of Saint Ambrose’s church.”

He’s so pathetic, letting all the answers slip out without resistance, I’d feel sorry for him if I could. His weakness tempers my bloodlust somewhat, there would be nothing gained from killing such a feeble soul.

“One more question, then I might let you go.”

But there might still be reason to kill him, just for personal satisfaction.

“Did you do anything to Trish? Did you touch her, feel her up, make her fuck you? If you so much as made her breathe at you in a way she wouldn’t have otherwise, I want to hear it.”

I couldn’t help myself. I don’t want to know but I can’t go without knowing. We made a promise to share our pain, a promise I won’t take lightly. Anything done to her might as well have been done to me, so I can’t turn a blind eye if something might have happened to her.

“Nothing, I never got the chance!”

“Never got the chance? You mean you were going to?”

“You told me not to lie, I didn’t lie.”

“Then why you didn’t do anything? Didn’t take you long to make a move on me.”

“That’s because she’s a far better woman than you. I delight in punishing sinners such as yourself, she never did anything, told me of anything that warranted repentance.”

“I completely agree.”

I crudely slice off his left earlobe and as he goes to clutch the wound, I get around the back of him and put him in a chokehold. I lean in towards his wounded ear so that my words will sting the cut.

“You’re lucky I’m feeling generous today, I usually work on a policy of intent for an eye.”

I poke around the raw flesh of his ear with my blade, hoping that his squirming will be enough for me. A couple cries of pain later and my desire dulls.

“Two more things and then I’m out of here, OK?”

He nods.

“Hold out your right hand, extend the index finger.”

He does as he’s told. I use my blade to slice open the top of his finger. Another cathartic scream.

“Use the blood to write ‘Never Obey Elm’ on that pillow there, make it legible or I’m going to assume you’re really left handed.”

It takes an absolute age for him to write the message with his entire body shaking so violently but eventually, he gets it done and for the first time in years, I have a pillow I can find a use for.

“Good job. Last thing now, I have an order for you this time.”

“I’ll do whatever you want, just please, don’t kill me.”

“Alright then. You’re going to leave Brighton. In fact, you’re going to leave England altogether. The only way to stop me from killing you is to get as far away from me as possible, you understand that? I’m barely holding myself back as is.”

“I get it. I understand.”

“If you ever try to contact Trish or anyone I know, if you so much as accidentally walk on the same street as her ever again, I will slice your body up so small that I’ll be able to feed you to the ants.”

“I’ll be out of the country by tomorrow, I’ll never come back.”

“You won’t if you know what’s good for you.”

I suddenly let go of his body and punch as hard as I can into the back of the head to knock him out.

There’s no point in hanging around here so I go to grab the pillow. I notice now that he forgot the full stop he was so scared.

I pick up his limp hand and press his index finger in to finish the sentence and then I head back to Paul’s.

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