It felt like a guilty pleasure, as if it was okay in the grand scheme of things, to be at that dark place, getting a massage in a shady shop hidden far deep in the maze of a mall. He was sent there not to fraternise with the hires, but to keep a lookout for the hooded girl, and yet the protector saw it fit to be enjoying himself on the chair under the pavilion set inside the hidden shop over the nightbridge and starry mini lake.
'Surely she was doing fine', he thought, not giving a care in the world as the hires talked to him like a pro. They were also called kulas, for they could easily entrance you into doing things you don't want to, just because they want you to, things like paying for their lives, the contract in their bounty, so the owners would treat them that much better. They had a way to move you with their words, a person young and icy always had the best words and the most vicious bite. Yet there he sat on his back, heaving heavily as they pressed onto his back. The dance with danger, such a thrill, such a nightmare that could enfold. The protector smiled, knowing that the girl was likely to be lost in the mall. Suntec does that to you, just as the moon moves the waves, or the sun blazes the trolls, the legendary mall was no place to wander. It was then he heard from the distant outside, that there was someone pesky and irritating disrupting their normal lives. That was definitely her, the hooded girl.
The prowesses of the kulas had no hold on him, and he paid them fast before running past the small bridge, out of the shop onto the massive floor which was lit like day in sharp contrast to the night shop, and he ran towards the screams.
Lux for her part always knew what to do to cause the most trouble, and she was running past the Dragon Mall, knowing full well that she was not to interfere with the workings of the mall. The festivities were lit for the Dragon festival, and the massive statue like lantern of the Dragon was wielded by the pros onward of two floors as they marched around the dome common space in the Suntec. She saw the no-gooders moving things that were questionable to the kitchens just after the parade square, and so she moved silently behind the golden red ornamented pillars of the Dragon way, and she watched but as safe as the girl was then, the protector was to find himself in a fog of smoke, of false ideals and guilt. as he ran towards the crowd, the thoughts of the child left his mind, as the parade took his focus into play. He was hypnotised in the dance, just as a cobra entrances its prey. As if in a dream, he moved upstairs, where the Dragon Lair was, and he found himself inside a room, filled with sleeping bags, and ladies with fans, wearing rouge like cake, and the hairs behind his neck stood with cold sweat breaking out in his back.
Something was not right here, as they smiled with him with a vicious looking set of teeth. They were the greater of the kulas, a bunch of the strong ones who survived the trade. Phantoms, they were called, and they wanted blood from the unwitting trespasser. It would appear that the protector lucked out at least in that room, for the charm around his neck roused him from the trance and drenched him in cold sweat, and he backed off slowly, as the Phantoms and their male muses walked triumphantly towards their meal.
Fuck that girl, seriously, the foolish man thought little than to follow her into such a treacherous realm.
He saw a door behind him, and wanted to run out fast and broke more sweat, but then he realised the backdoor of the room he was closest to, was not the exit but the balcony ten storeys high with nothing else. He had no clue how he got there, and maybe, just maybe they were not eating him, but preventing his escape. He paced against them and strangely, they didn't flux in him. They bided, and waited, and there were no windows in that room. Terrified, he knew he had mere moments to make a decision before something untoward happened. He had to survive..