Chapter 9:

Still My Bro

Annika Says No!

[You: Frey! Send me your location now!]

[Frey: Give me a sec]

[System: Frey sent a live location.]

[You: I’m on my way!]

I dashed through the city streets in the heat of panic. Beads of sweat trickled down from my forehead as I shuffled my way through the crowd. My heart raced against my chest, dancing along the cage of my ribs. If it weren’t for this, I would have been happily enjoying my iced matcha latte with Annika, all well and relaxed.

The picture Frey sent me……

It was that of Max being dragged along by a bunch of unrecognizable people. I don’t think he’s ever hung out with them before, and the looks on those faces seem like trouble to me. My instincts scream red flags.

Even if he’s an idiot, he’s still my bro. I need to make sure he’s safe.

I made my way through a lone alleyway and checked my phone. The tracker seems to suggest that he should be around here somewhere. Where is he?

I felt something touch my shoulder, and I swiftly grabbed the hand behind me.

“Damn it, Frey! You scared me!”

“Ah, my bad.”

The first thing I noticed about Frey was his signature gray beanie, which had raccoon ears sticking out for some reason. Messy crimson bangs stuck out from the beanie, with lone strands of hair sticking out like rebels. His eyes looked rather gloomy, as if he was lacking in sleep. His dark themes continued downward to his clothes, in the form of a black hoodie and pants. I would have expected his shoes to be the same, but they were a clean pure white instead.

“Nice to see you again, Frey.”

“Nice to see you too,” Frey moved forward. “But now isn’t the time to catch up. We’ve got an idiot to rescue.”

“What exactly happened to him?” I caught up with him.

“Well,” Frey scratched his head. “After that whole drama sequence between you and him, he went straight for the pub early and drank away all his sorrows.”

I winced. “How can that guy be so stubborn….? Wait a minute.”

I stopped and watched Frey move further into a turn. Frey stepped back and looked at me.

“Hurry up, we’ll lose them.”

“How do you know about what happened?” I said as I followed Frey.

“We’re classmates,” he said as he hid behind a dumpster.

“What?! Really?!”

“Keep your voice low and get down here,” Frey gestured at me.

I crouched down. “How did I not notice you?”

“I’m just invisible to the class, that’s all.”

“You could have at least said hi.”

“Eh. Too much of a hassle to do.”

Lazy bastard…..

Knowing Frey, I bet he didn’t bother trying to stop Max from running out of the bar and doing who knows what. That’s why he decided to call me.

“Shhh, look,” Frey pointed with his thumb.

“Hahaaaaaaaa, where are you bastards taking me…? The submarine?” Max said as he was being dragged over to a dead end.

There were 5 guys surrounding the poor drunkard, leaving no room for any escape. I could tell that they were hoodlums basing from the way that they spoke, the typical punk-like accents you’d hear straight up from a movie.

Max was thrown against the wall like a ragdoll, which triggered my nerves, but Frey held me back.

"Not yet, we need to understand the whole story."


I noticed that one of the men looked familiar. A man with a buzzcut, with tattoos on his shoulders. Then it clicked. He’s the boyfriend of that one tanned chick! What is he doing here?

“You got a lot of nerve messing with us,” he said. “You really think you can get away with this?”

“Huuuuuuuh? Get away with whaaaaaat? Did you remember the five bucks I owed you? Sorry!” Max laughed.

Ugh, he’s completely wasted.

It’s funny when we’re hanging out, but not when he’s on the verge of possibly getting beaten to death.

“Apologize for bumping into us. Then repent by licking my boots, hahaha!” the buzzcut dude said as he lifted his foot.

Seriously? All this for an accidental bump? It’s not that big of a deal. These guys are total sissies.

“Feeeeet? Did you say I get to lick your feet? Sorry, I only lick the feet of hot women, no thanks.”

I planted my palm on my face and shook my head.

“What? He licks feet? Gross,” Frey said in the most monotone voice possible.

“Don’t judge other people’s kinks, it’s rude,” I said.

“This guy’s totally intoxicated,” another man said. “He isn’t listening to you.”

“I don’t care,” the buzzcut man said. “I’m beating his ass.”

“Beat my ass? I don’t swing that way….”

I hissed and came out of our hiding spot. Frey gestured his hand towards me to come back, but I shook my head and crossed my arms.

“Fine,” he rolled his eyes and got up with me.

Instead of screaming at them and telling them to stop like idiots, we took steady steps, sneaking our way forward. They had their backs facing us, so all we had to do was get close enough for a surprise attack. Unfortunately for us, Max had other ideas.

“Oh! It’s Kwan and Frey! Hi guys!” Max waved.

Both of us flinched. The five thugs turned their heads towards us, which took out our one and only advantage.

Damn it, Max!

“You saw nothing,” one of them said. “Go mind your own business and get the hell out of here.”

“I think they’re his friends,” another said.

“Wait,” the buzzcut man said. “I remember you.”

He pointed towards me.

“You know that guy?” Frey asked me.

“Yeah, just some guy I beat up yesterday,” I cracked my knuckles.

“That’s him! That’s the bastard who hit on my girl!”

A vein popped out of his forehead, and his eyes bulged as he glared into my eyes. His friends did the same and started warming up for a fight.

“So you’re that insanely handsome and tall guy he was talking about,” one of them said.

Of course I am.

“I appreciate the description, buddies,” I scoffed.

“You think this is funny? Mess with one of us, and you mess with the whole pack!”

“Pack? What are you? A bunch of furries? Give me a break.”

“Screw this,” he cracked his neck and approached us. “Let’s beat him up.”

The rest soon followed after, leaving Max alone.

“Now’s a good time to run,” Frey said.

“No way!” I snapped at him. “We’re not leaving Max!”

“I’m joking.”

“Now’s not a good time to joke,” I lifted my arms.

“Ok, maybe half joking. There’s only two of us, and I don’t even practice any martial art. How are we winning against 5 guys?”

“You don’t seem to be afraid of fighting though.”

“I am. I just can’t express it very well.”

“Whatever. I can take them all on.”

I breathed deeply and observed everyone’s movements. Two of them are approaching me from the right, the closest one is coming from the left, and the last two seem to be targeting Frey instead. None of them seem to have any experience with martial arts like Frey, judging from their sloppy fighting postures. They left too many spots wide open.

I got it all under control. Let’s do this!

Before I could initiate my attack however, a woman’s voice yelled from the back.


We stopped our movements and looked behind us. My jaw dropped almost immediately right after seeing who it was.

What is she doing here?!

Annika stood before us, with her chest perked up and her arms crossed, showing no signs of any fear.

F.C Fondness