I was aware that it was a terrible choice, but rose and thorns were much worse.
We scattered around again, when hooded man jumped at us, in the midway stepping on my precious phone and breaking it.
“NOW I’m mad,” I growled.
“Don’t –!” Youjin pulled me back, grabbing my hood. Thanks to that I lived and the knife (that appeared from nowhere, by the way) cut the air in front of me.
“MANAGER-HYUNG!” Heejun tried, running to the door. He wanted to open it, but we were locked in. And, of course, the culprit had the keys.
Wait. But only manager would have them...
“What did you do to him!?” I shrieked. My voice trembled, but I didn’t know whether it was with anger or fear.
“Nothing serious,” hooded man replied. “YET.”
“You bastard –!”
“Hey, calm down!!”
I took a few deep breaths. Youjin was right. I was losing control. That guy was cleverly playing on my emotions and psyche.
“What do you want?” I growled. “I don’t understand what I did the other day, in Hwang-ya, and why you’re stalking and creeping us out.”
“You really don’t understand why?” he asked.
“Yeah. Really. So explain.”
“That wouldn’t be fun,” he hissed and attacked again.
Now we were sure he was a freaky psycho. Heejun hit himself in the head hard, while moving back. Inseong took him aside. Seungjun ran with me to the kitchen and Youjin threw at hooded man a jug of water, but the man didn’t even flinch, when the glass broke and injured his hands. A moment later the culprit returned the blow, cutting Youjin’s leg.
“HYUNG!” I screamed and thoughtlessly (what a bad habit, believe me) jumped in front of Youjin, while hooded man was aiming for his heart.
I felt a great pain in my shoulder, as he stabbed me. He didn’t expect my move, so he let go of the knife and stepped back.
“Jihun –!” Youjin caught me, before I fell on my face.
I sat and tried not to move my arm. I saw that Inseong was guarding nearly unconscious Heejun, who was holding his head. The culprit grimaced unhappy and turned around to Seungjun, who was the only one standing.
“RUN!” I shouted to him, but sharp pain hit my arm, so I shut up. I grabbed the handle of the knife.
“No!” Youjin stopped me. He wrapped a fragment of his shirt around his leg and put his bandana to my wound. “You’ll make it worse! Don’t move...”
He looked like he would faint any moment. I felt the same way. But there was no time for fainting. Seungjun was in trouble, three of us were hurt and manager was still gone.
Then a chicken leg landed beside us. We looked at it confused. When we heard hissing and cursing, we looked toward the kitchen.
Forget what I said about chicken, that it couldn’t be a weapon. Seungjun literally nailed it. He was throwing the chicken legs like a windmill. It didn’t make much damages, but the sauce was really spicy, so soon the culprit was screaming with pain, when the sauce got into his eyes. Seungjun saw the opportunity and put the last two legs, dipped in sauce, directly into culprit’s eyes. Lastly, Seungjun grabbed a frying pan and whacked him with it.
We were observing in silence as the culprit fell down. He didn’t lose consciousness, but was semiconscious from the pain. We had a chance to escape, but before we come back to our senses, he’ll be ready to attack again.
Thank God someone broke the lock in the front door and entered. That was our manager with few security guards and flashlights. There was indeed blackout in all building. Security guards quickly understood the situation and grabbed the hooded man, but suddenly he jumped on his feet and kicked them. One of them fell on me and I screamed, this time with difficulty maintaining the consciousness. Youjin hugged me and slapped lightly my cheek, so I won’t pass out. Manager ran to us. He was holding at the head a material soaked with blood. So that was the reason why he couldn’t help us.
I looked around and saw hooded man, standing next to the window. He looked at me (I thought he did, after all I didn’t see his eyes yet) and moved his lips voicelessly, but I understood from lip reading:
“This time you’ve won. I’ll come back when you solve it.” He smirked creepily. “Then I’ll be thankful and maybe let you and your friends live.”
And he was gone. So was the world around me.