Part 31: The Dancer
content warning: prostitution mention
[BGM: The Darkness]
At the southeast corner of Hong Kong island sat the largest and most secure prison in the city.
Hong Kong Central Prison.
I gave the guards at the entrance the name Warden Criss.
They glanced at my stripper outfit, casually flipped through the stuff in my tiny handbag and let me through.
[BGM: A Mexican Girl]
No one else was in the warden's office except Criss.
There was a radio placed next to the sofa. It was playing some unknown Latin music.
Warden Criss's special hobby was likely the only weakness in this concrete fortress.
He liked Latin music. Moreover, on the last day of every month, he would invite a young female dancer into his office.
None of these girls had ever been seen again.
Some people had suggested that they might have gotten new identities, to start new lives somewhere else. Others insisted that they were dead.
In any case, that was the only information I had managed to gather. The uncertainty made the mission tonight a little risky. Nevertheless, it was the only way for me to approach him.
I ignored the warden's leering looks and started dancing to the music.
I didn't know the song, but the familiar melody still made me feel nostalgic.
For a brief while I felt like I was back in Mexico.
I could imagine myself strolling down the street of the lovely Coatepeque, bathing in the warm sunshine.
Waving hello to everyone, saying Buenos dias.
I extended my hand towards the warden and shot him a passionate and inviting look.
He grabbed my hand.
[BGM: The Darkness]
I felt a sudden pain in my stomach. I had to run into the bathroom.
For some reason, my stomach suddenly started hurting.
It gave me a bad feeling about tonight.
If I proceeded with the mission, it was probably not going to go smoothly.
My instincts had never been wrong before.
A few minutes later I escaped through the bathroom window.
Never force yourself when you are feeling uncertain.
------ Ray had taught me that.
However, Warden Criss had already seen my face, which meant that I couldn't attempt this mission anymore.
But even if we sent someone else, it would be much riskier to follow the same strategy.
I screwed up, Ray...
[BGM: What You Saying]
Officer Ji-Yeon was still in the hospital.
Meanwhile, Officer Min-Jun had not shown up to work for a few days, either. Lieutenant Kang had mentioned that he had been absent for health reasons.
So he and I were the only active members of Unit 4 at the moment.
We were in Room 403 of the Sunshine Apartments.
But there was no sunshine at all.
The room had no furniture except a fridge, a microwave, a simple gas stove, and some bowls and dishes that had not been used in a long time.
The thick window shades had blocked all of the light out for months, too. The whole room smelled like mold.
However, it was a perfect location for surveillance.
I quickly set up the telescope and pointed it at a window in the middle of the third floor of the opposite building.
I could see through the telescope that a full-figured woman was having breakfast.
Her lover was a drug dealer in the Yuseong Team of the Musun Gang, who oversaw the transportation of all their goods.
He was also an important suspect in a murder case from a few days ago, and he hadn't been seen in the past few days.
This was my first time partnering with Lieutenant Kang.
I had not been in Unit 4 for long, but I had come to learn that it was nothing like the rumors that I had heard.
Unit 4 didn't have a lot of people, but it had abundant talent.
An amazing marksman, a master of transfiguration, not to mention the Lieutenant himself, who was a hidden beast.
Lieutenant Kang had told me the truth about what had happened to him during our fight after Officer Ji-Yeon was stabilized.
He told me that I had met his other personality, named Yong-Geon. He was a different person altogether.
Yong-Geon was very violent, and he didn't have access to Lieutenant Kang's memories.
Therefore, for the safety of his colleagues, he would usually only go on solo missions.
I couldn't believe it at first.
I had suspected that Lieutenant Kang was just yanking my chain because he didn't trust me yet, and he didn't want me to know the true source of his strength.
However,w hen I later went to visit Officer Ji-Yeon, she had told me about her own experience when she first joined the unit, including the same story about the Lieutenant.
That was when I finally realized it was all true.
Multiple personalities were not common, so the Lieutenant had always kept it to himself, especially about where it came from.
In any case, this small quirk did not stop me from feeling closer to him.
Although he was a weird person with an even stranger temper, he cared about us deeply.
Just the other day, he had gone screaming at Unit 3 because their men wouldn't shut the bathroom door properly, and it was making my seat smelly. It was so awesome!
As for the rumor about how no one wanted to join Unit 4, that was a total lie.
They must have all just been sent away by the Lieutenant, because they had been too weak. Yes, that must be the case.
This was my first surveillance mission since joining the force.
The more I thought about getting to be with the Lieutenant alone for the next few days, the more excited I felt.
I wondered if he would be willing to spar with me.
Actually, how about now?!
Lieutenant Kang, would you like to exercise a little?
The doorbell buzzed with terrible timing.
I opened the door and a young woman was standing outside.
She said she was a freelance writer who lived next door.
She saw that there was a new neighbor, so she wanted to come by and say hello.
The writer then asked me what we did.
She kept asking me a lot of other random questions. There were so many that I became completely lost.
I liked beautiful women, but I couldn't handle them!
Just as I was stuttering hopelessly, Lieutenant Kang came to the rescue.
He explained to her that we were brothers, and we had just moved into the city.
He was a journalist, and I was his little brother who was a chef.
I couldn't help but give him a look when I heard the last bit.
After spending some more time with him, I learned that Lieutenant Kang, while extremely strict most of the time, also had lots of tricks up his sleeves.
The writer had not stopped ogling the Lieutenant ever since she had first laid eyes on him.
See, that was our Lieutenant, attractive in every possible aspect.
He quickly got rid of her, then told me to keep a close eye on the room that we were watching before he left.
He must have gone grocery shopping in preparation for the next few days.
I used to hear Officer Min-Jun tell stories about how they'd always had nothing but kimchi-flavored ramen.
It wasn't particularly healthy, but as part of the mission I was perfectly fine with ramen.
Besides, I loved kimchi!
However, 20 minutes later all I could see in front of my eyes was an entire grocery bag of ice cream.
My heart was bleeding.
How did I forget that the Lieutenant ate nothing but high-calorie junk food?
Officer Min-Jun must have bought that ramen himself.
I sat next to the lieutenant and resigned myself to my fate.
I kept an eye on the mistress while munching on ice cream.
I ate an ice cream cone while she was watching TV.
I ate an ice cream cone while she was watering the flowers.
I ate an ice cream cone while she was making lunch.
I ate an ice cream cone while she was taking a nap.
I ate an ice cream cone while she was ice creaming.
When it was almost sunset, the ice cream was starting to make the ice cream for the night, and my ice cream began to rumble...
Aaargh... ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream ice cream...
The doorbell buzzed at an inopportune time once again.
I opened the door. It was the writer again!
She was carrying a bag of groceries.
You guys haven't eaten dinner, have you? Shall we eat together? I have some extra food. Besides, I would really love to witness the chef's skills.
She walked past me and went straight into the house. She changed into a pair of slippers while standing in the doorway, and kept peeking around the room.
I could tell that dinner was not her real purpose.
However, my stomach full of ice cream had me on the edge of a meltdown.
Looking at the bag of fresh vegetables and meats, I couldn't help but salivate over it.
Wait a second, the chef?
Was she referring to me?
Well Lieutenant, shouldn't you be responsible for your lies?
Just as I was thinking about him, Lieutenant Kang came up to the doorway, too.
He slammed one hand onto the wall with a bang.
At the doorway, Lieutenant Kang stared at the writer with a lustful look.
What a shame, we've just eaten.
(...Sure. Ice cream.)
Although, I usually go to bed later than my brother here.
(Wait, what? Who between us always starts setting up his bed before 7PM?)
Can I come over later? I'm not a bad cook myself.
(Who can cook a milkshake? Well, you could just take the stuff out of the fridge and set them aside for half an hour.)
To my surprise, the writer seemed really into the idea.
In that case, I won't bother you now, then.
(Well, goodbye, but leave the food!)
As for tonight, I don't sleep until late either. You're welcome to join me for a late night snack~
(You look so excited that I think you could go on for days without sleeping at all.)
At last, the writer finally left.
I let out a sigh of relief and went back to the window.
The person at the bottom of the building was the drug dealer we had been waiting for!
He was about to take off!
We rushed downstairs, but there was no sight of him anymore.
For the next few days we never saw him show up at his mistress's place.
Considering that he had left in such a hurry, he probably would not be coming back any time soon.