Chapter 27:

Drunken Cat

Annika Says No!

I couldn’t get myself to believe it at first, but that’s definitely them, for sure.

But I still couldn’t process it.

Why was Annika walking together with Suvi? What business did they have with each other? It might not be any of my business, but all I saw were red flags. I don’t remember those two being that close.

I had been tailing them from behind for a while now, hopefully they haven’t noticed me yet.

Nothing about Annika has changed, she was just as gloomy as earlier. Suvi, meanwhile, was the opposite. She was happily laughing and chatting with her as if they were best friends and even placed her arm around her back.

This is definitely wrong. Should I approach them now? Or should I wait to see what Suvi and Annika are up to? It might be best to know their intentions first, so I’ll just continue to follow them for now.

After a few minutes of walking, I watched them turn towards a blind corner in the city. I laid my back against the end of the wall and took a peek on the street they were on. I observed the direction they were headed towards, and realized they were moving towards a certain establishment in the middle of the street.

Wait a minute.

My heart dropped when I saw its name on the sign.

Black Cat’s Bar.

That was where Max invited me out for drinks.

Suvi opened the entrance door with a smile and offered to let Annika in first. The white-haired beauty didn’t hesitate, going through the door without any hesitation whatsoever.

W-Wait! Why did she go in there?! I thought she didn’t like to go to places like that. Did Suvi convince her somehow?! Annika’s not planning to go in and drink, is she?

I have to get to the bottom of this!

I marched over to the bar and made it in front of the bar’s entrance, stopping right in front of the door. Holding the handle, I took some deep breaths.

This place is way too dangerous for me. If I ever get a whiff of alcohol, my brain’s probably gonna go nuts. But I’m willing to risk it. There’s no way I’m allowing Annika inside that place without someone reliable looking after her. Who knows what that vixen Suvi is planning?

I exhaled my last bit of air, and made my way into the bar.

Luckily for me, I was wearing a hoodie today, so I was able to conceal my identity with the hood. There was also a good amount of people inside, which made it easier to keep all the attention away from me.

I’ll have to admit, I loved the atmosphere here. The place was filled with dark tones, dimly illuminated by glowing neon lights of red, blue, and purple. Behind the counter, where the bartender stood, was a wall decorated by a fine collection of different beers and wines, all varying in colors and shapes associated with their brands.

Marowalker, Kazesenken, Fondness, Dracors, Feyblue, Moripanda, Kozuzu……

My throat gulped at the sight of my favorite drinks.

At the very middle of the wall was the neon sign of a red cat, with its tail wrapped around a bottle of alcohol. Annika and Suvi sat on the stools by the edge of the bar counter, so I decided to sit at a table away from the counter, but close enough to make out what they were talking about.

“I’ve done what you asked me to, now tell me exactly what happened last night,” Annika said.

So she does know that Suvi was in my room last night! She probably overheard our conversation outside!

Suvi raised her hand. “One Cosmo, please.”

The bartender nodded. “Alright, one Cosmo, coming right up!”

He proceeded to pick up a couple of drinks and started pouring them on the cocktail shaker. Annika looked at Suvi in annoyance.

“Quit wasting time. I’m not here to play around.”

“Come on, Annika. Relax.” Suvi tapped her shoulder. “You’ll get your answers. I just wanted to order a drink! Would you like one too?”

“I don’t drink.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. Of course Annika wouldn’t do such a thing.

“Aw, what a bummer. It doesn’t hurt to try, you know?” Suvi flicked her eyebrows.

“Not interested.” Annika looked away and crossed her arms. “Just get straight to the point. What were you doing with Kwan last night?”

“Do you really want to know?” Suvi stuck out her tongue.

“Tell me already.” Annika glared at her.

She better not be making up any lies….

Suvi leaned closer to her ears and whispered something to her. I couldn’t make out what she said, but I quickly assumed it wasn’t good, as Annika’s complexion had suddenly turned completely pale. She bit her lip and quivered in place.

“A-Are you serious?”

“Yep! And I definitely…..won’t…….stop…..heehee!” Suvi gave her a foxy grin.

Annika slammed her fist on the table. A sharp chill ran through my body when I saw the expression on her face. It was her terrifying icy death stare. Pointed straight towards Suvi like a sharp blade.

What the hell did Suvi tell her?!

However, Suvi didn’t budge and maintained her smile.

“Ooooh, scaaaary!” she giggled.

“Please leave Kwan alone. Whatever relationship you had with him in the past doesn’t matter. He’s not that type of person anymore.”

Wait what….? Leave me alone?

Suvi shrugged. “Don’t worry. I will.”


She raised her finger. “But only on one condition.”

What do you plan on making her do, Suvi?

The bartender juggled the cocktail shaker around and caught it from behind his back. He poured its contents on a Martini glass and placed it in front of the two opposing women.

“Here you go, one Cosmo.”

Despite how obvious the tension was between them, the bartender was completely calm and casually walked away without looking back. I guess he’s used to this sort of thing.

Suvi pushed the cranberry-colored drink and offered it to Annika.

“Drink this thing whole in one sitting.”

“H-Huh…?” Annika staggered back. Then she glared at Suvi.

“I already told you, I don’t drink.”

“Don’t you get it?” Suvi tilted her head. “I’m asking you to drink it all. And in exchange, I’ll leave Kwan alone. How about it?”

Annika looked at the drink in disgust, but she didn’t take her eyes off of it. Her face told me that even if she hated it, she was actually considering it.

That sneaky fox! This is getting out of hand! I have to stop he-”

I tried to stand up, but a heavy force pushed me back down on my seat. Looking upwards, I saw a muscular man with giant hands planted on my shoulders. Suddenly, a group of four men decided to sit with me for some particular reason.

“Hey.” I glared at them. “What’s the big idea?”

“Just stay seated, loverboy. The missus wouldn’t want you to disrupt this moment,” one of them said.


I caught Suvi sneaking a glance towards me. She gave me a smile and placed her finger on her lips.

Looking around the bar, I realized that it wasn’t just these five men. Everyone had their eyes on me, watching my every move. Even the bartender was in on it.

No way…..she’s in complete control of the bar….?

“What’s wrong? Can’t do it?” Suvi asked in a taunting manner. “That’s fine. You don’t have to force yourself. But that would mean that I get to visit Kwan as much as I want!”

“Why are you making me do this?” Annika looked at her in discomfort.

Suvi looked up for a while. Then she leaned towards Annika to hold her chin.

“I want you to understand how Kwan feels.”

Annika moved Suvi’s hand away. “How does it have anything to do with alcohol?”

“You think you care about him, but do you think you can truly empathize with him? You’re nothing like him.” Suvi poked her finger on Annika’s chest. “All you’re really doing is forcing him to bend to your ideals. But he isn’t perfect! You can’t expect him to follow everything you want!”

“I’m not forcing him to do anything!” Annika furrowed her eyebrows. “He was the one who chose this path. I’m just trying to help him become a better person!”

Suvi covered her mouth. It looked like she was trying to contain something, but she couldn’t hold it any longer. She burst out with a maniacal laughter that spread throughout the room, clutching her stomach as she gasped for air. Annika was flabbergasted, confused on how she was going to respond.

“He chose this path because he loves you! So he has no other choice but to force himself to change! Kwan is just doing this to please you!”

That’s not true!

I tried to speak out, but the muscular man kept my mouth shut with his hand.


“Keep quiet or we’re kicking you out of the bar.”

“K-Kwan…is just forcing himself?” Annika muttered.

“Don’t you understand how much pain he is in trying to resist his shadow? You don’t understand what it’s like to have an addiction because you’ve never had one, yet you expect him to fight against all of it. Every single day. Can you imagine how hard that must be for him? He’s suffering because of you!”

“B-Because of me….” Annika covered her mouth, with her crystal blue eyes about to sparkle into tears.

“Yes.” Suvi nodded. “In order for you to comprehend him, to be able to truly empathize with him, you must walk the same path and suffer with him! Only then are you allowed to stay by his side as equals!”

Don’t listen to her Annika! She’s obviously gaslighting you! Get out of here now!

I tried to resist, but the muscular man’s grip was too strong for me. The person beside me elbowed me right in the liver, sending an excruciating pain deep inside my torso. I dropped to the table helpless, my vision flickering into the darkness.

I forced myself to keep my eyes open, only to see Annika with the drink in her hand.

“It’s just one drink, Annika. And I’ll finally leave Kwan in your hands.”

Stop it! Don’t do it!

“Promise me that you’ll leave him alone.” Annika looked at her firmly in the eyes.

“I won’t make any promises. But. As long as I believe you deserve to be by his side, I’ll leave him. That is enough for me.”


Annika swallowed the drink whole and dropped the glass on the table.


F.C Fondness