Chapter 7: Help In the Dark Alley
… … …
“Mom, Dad, I’m going out!” Jackson shouted, running out the door then grabbing the bicycle lying on the front yard.
“Be careful, sweetie!” His mother replied.
His father laughed. “Don’t come back at all!”
If Jackson saw the lips of father smirking, the twinkle in his eyes, and the thoughts running through his head, he’d look at his father with blank, straight eyes and say, “You wrong. I’m not being naughty with a girl!”
“I’ll be safe!” Jackson rode his bicycle in the darkness of the night, determination plastered on his face.
Tonight is the night he’ll have to complete his first task as a novice superhero.
Defeat five street villains in one night!
Jackson headed to the park, two blocks off from his house. He locked the bicycle after parking it in the rack. Sweat oozed from his temples and he wiped it off before walking away, entering the streets of Brooklyn, the place where he believed he’d have a higher possibility of completing his task.
The task of defeating five villains in one night.
So what better place than to go to Brooklyn, the city with the highest crime rate.
“System, in order to complete this task, I needed to spend a lot of my own points. Won’t I be reimbursed for this?” Jackson inquired as he walked towards the nearest subway station.
“Well, you spent the money out of your own will. And what do you mean reimbursing you for money?” The System responded with contempt.
“I am only joking. It just took so long to get here. If you’d have given me money, then I could’ve taken a taxi.” Jackson fibbed, somewhat rather embarrassed. He chose not to speak any further.
Sitting on the subway bench, his mood elevated, growing excited all the more. This is the first sort of task he’d undertaken. Previously, the System released tasks similar and comparable to this such as beating up small-time gangsters, but today, today is different.
The mood feels different than the usual.
It’s his first step to becoming a superhero.
… … …
Jackson moved to the outskirts of Brooklyn, heading into the dark alleyway with means to suit up. He breathed deeply, nervousness getting the best of him.
“Shake it off.”
He pressed the bracelet and a light black mist enshrouded his body. The mist faded into thin air mere moments after and revealed himself dressed in a superhero suit, the Phantom Suit.
Jackson’s lips curved, showing a foolish grin.
“Let’s kick some butt!”
… … …
TAP TAP TAP
On the empty road, echoes of rhythmic footsteps tapped the floor endlessly, hinting a bit of irritation and irked mood.
Jackson had been walking back and forth in the streets of Brooklyn for over an hour and he’d yet encounter a villain. Much less a small-time gangster, he hadn’t even seen them. His calm and excited mood gradually turned to mad irritation. He urgently needed a tool to vent such deep-rooted anger in his heart.
“Is it a National Villains Rest Day?! It would be good if I see a car thief robber. @#$%^ I’ve already walked the streets of Brooklyn and I’ve yet to see a bad guy!” Jackson complained, kicked, and vented his anger towards the street lamp post.
How am I supposed to complete the mission if there are no bad guys?!
Although caught in a slight depression, he did not ask the System for help. He knew fairly well the System would not help him during the mission which has in itself been confirmed multitudes of times in the past.
Out of anger, Jackson once more kicked a lamp post on the street corner. He sighed softly, his right foot numbed to the core, ready to head home.
Seems my luck is not good this time.
Meanwhile, he heard some sort of movement down the streets.
“Eh? Is it the cry of a woman?” After carefully listening to the sounds and movement from afar, a flash of determination came to him.
Just like a dog who hasn’t eaten for three days straight suddenly sees a meat for eating, the dog would rush straight towards the meat.
Jackson was like that. He rushed straight towards the echoing sounds and footsteps.
After turning two corners, he finally saw the scene he longed for. The alleyway was pitch black, almost devoid of light yet flickering time to time. It seemed the situation occurring prior to coming here happened at the back door exit of a hotel.
The woman blocked by two cellars on the side of the alleyway looked to be a hotel staff member.
She screamed under the guise of the night, waiting, hoping, just hoping someone to come and rescue her. But she was left all on her own. None had come till Jackson appeared.
“Hey! Shut up! If you don’t shut your f*cking mouth…” An eerie voice trailed off.
Jackson rushed towards the dark alley as he saw the situation growing urgent by the second. The man held a spring assisted knife in hand and raised it towards the woman, the victim’s face.
“Give me the bag! Give it now or don’t blame me for ruining your pretty face!”
“No, don’t! Don’t hurt me!” She the damsel in distress screamed the best she could with hopes someone would hear her plea and begging for help, hoping someone would come to rescue her but it seemed she has no choice now but stay quiet and cower in fear.
Just her luck.
Her bag’s loaded with cash too. She’d just gotten paid.
“Give it, b*tch!”
A pair of wretched hand grabbed and snatched the bag from her clutch then gave a powerful backhanded slap on the woman’s cheek. Her body flew and she fell straight to the ground.
“Let’s go!” After swiping the bag from the woman, the man with long shaggy hair and holding the spring knife in hand hollered back to his partner, all the more ready to leave the scene.
“I think you should return the bag to this young lady.” As the two men were ready to leave, a low tone echoed in their ears.
“Who’s there?!” The sudden appearance of an unseen figure surprised them so, giving them a slight shock but instantly returned to normal.
This is the city of crime, after all. In a place such as this, they rule and have the upper hand in this city of crime.
“Haha, so it turns out to be a little clown who doesn’t dare show his face! Why? You scared, little boy?! Heh, you wanna act like a hero and save the beauty?! Save the damsel in distress?! Pwahaha!”
“Well, sure. You could say that. That’s a nice classic line.”
The footsteps grew louder and louder with each step taken, Jackson’s figure appearing before them. The men anticipated themselves in fear but after seeing his appearance, they chuckled somewhat, not taking him seriously.
“I said to return the bag to this young lady.” He said coldly, his tone low, eyes sharp and features blocked by the hooded mask.
Jackson’s not usually the sort of person, the sort of hero who’d save a beauty every chance they see the beauty—damsel in distress but for such an instance to occur where the small time villain beat the damsel without care, Jackson would not turn a blind eye.
He’s not human if he ignores it.
And seeing such sights caused his suppressed anger to burst forth.
“Ha! You’re really asking for trouble, clown! See if you have the courage!” The man with a spring assisted knife sneered and said in disdain as Jackson slowly approached them.
In the next moment, the villainous man suddenly threw the woman’s bag to his companion. He tightened the grip on his spring knife and rushed straight towards Jackson.
“This clown, how about I shed some blood to last for a memory!”
The villainous man donned a sneering smirk. He felt confident in himself. He’s done this game far too many times to count and he could consider himself a street veteran. With the spring assisted knife on his right and his left hand raised across his chest for the momentum, he threw his body towards Jackson, preparing to stab him.
Much to the man’s dismay, he’d not expect Jackson retort back.
Though Jackson had not practiced the Middle-Grade Fighting Essentials technique to a point of expertise given the limited time he had, his previous Beginner Grade Fighting Essentials technique had already developed to a point of proficiency and mastery.
Jackson swiftly raised his right hand, the speed much faster than the average person and grabbed the man’s right hand that was spread across his chest. At the same time, Jackson tightly gripped on the man’s other wrist where he held the spring knife.
Jackson’s cold eyes looked directly towards the villainous man. With a slight force, Jackson’s grip tightened. The man groaned painfully, his hold on the spring knife loosening and thus fell directly on the ground moments after.
“Gah! Agh!” Jackson freed his grip on the villainous man. He screamed as his body fell to the ground but there was a subtle fierceness hidden deep within and the man immediately waved his left fist towards Jackson.
“Oh?” Jackson raised his brows and snorted as he saw the injured villain try with utmost failure to attack him. Jackson used his right hand to block the punch then raised his left hand and punched the injured villain’s chest.
A muffled sound echoed throughout the midnight sky. The injured villain groaned and staggered backwards. Unable to maintain his balance, the injured villain fell backwards.
Jackson had no intention of letting him go so easily. Jackson grabbed his right arm, pulled him forward, and a direct jab on the injured villains face.
The injured man swayed back and forth
A jab in the abdomen.
The after sound of the two consecutive jab was much louder than before and he flew a few feet away. Jackson did not pursue any longer and stepped backwards.
As Jackson backed up, there was a flash of movement rushing to the side. Under the dim flickering light stood the injured man’s companion in crime.
“Jason, are you okay?!” The accomplice asked his companion sincerely.
“Yeah…” The injured man named Jason replied weakly, his body aching all over from Jackson’s whirling gut punches. Short seconds after, Jason fell back and lost consciousness.
“F*ck!” Jason’s companion cursed as he saw his friend’s current state. He gripped the sharp knife in his hand. With the knife in his grip, it brought him a pseudo effect of confidence, ready to move any second.
But before Jason’s companion had the chance to move, a black shadow quickly flashed in front of him. Jackson had not the time to play with this thugs. He’s on a time limit.
Jackson smiled smugly. He successfully defeated a low-leveled villain in the dark alleyway in less than two minutes.
The two men blacked out from consciousness, their body laid comatose on the cold ground. Later on, they’d awake with great aching pain wondering what they’ve put themselves into.
“M’am, this is your bag.” Picking up the bag lying on the corner, Jackson walked towards the lady and spoke in a soft, gentle voice.
‘…Ah? Ah! Yes! Thank you…! Thank you!” The woman bowed her head and responded as quickly as she grabbed the bag. She thanked Jackson sincerely with her tears running down her cheeks.
“You should leave here. And perhaps… change your job. It’s not safe.” Jackson whispered as his eyes swept back at the back door of the hotel.
This woman was this close to getting robbed. Moreover, it was so close to the back door of the hotel. She’d been screaming, begging for help… yet no one appeared after several tries. There might be something deeper than this…
“Thank you! Thank you very much, sir!” Although the woman did not understand the hint he gave, the last words spoken, she swiftly stood up and left right away. She held her breath, not letting go until she was far away. Though the guy saved her, she did not have any good impression of him.
“I should also leave but these people…” Jackson glanced at the two men lying deathly still on the floor. As he did so, his eyes suddenly chilled.
… … …
A minute later.
Jackson had left the dark alleyway street where the two villainous thugs were knocked out senseless by him. He had long recovered from the Phantom Suit and is now dressed in civilian clothing. No one would be able to recognize him as the masked guy beating up random people for reasons unknown.
As for the two robbers who beat women without care, Jackson had no care for them. At most, they’d only need a few months to recover fully.
To Jackson, they got off easy.