Chapter 49: Night Raid into Stark Industries
Although Saint couldn’t wait to rush into Stark Industries immediately, he had to be cautious. He decided to wait until it gets dark. After all, armed guards should be all over that area, and it would be almost impossible to avoid them in daylight.
After reaching Hell’s Kitchen in the cab, Saint went straight to Colleen’s dojo; he could head straight home. While the two practically talked daily on the phone, there were still some things that are must be done in person…
While he wanted to surprise her, Saint was the one to get startled; after he knocked on the Dojo’s door, the one to open the door was actually Loran!
It wasn’t just the fact that she was the one to open the door that “shocked him. In fact, Lorna he found before him was drastically different from the one he left: Not only was the black hair dye washed off her hair now green hair, her usually plain outfit was also changed into a dark tone-dominated style. The moment Saint saw her, he even felt as if he had crossed space and time, with the 18-year old girl before him transforming into her future Polaris self! It was… a bit scary actually!
“Boss? You’re back!”
Lorna also showed a surprised expression. After over 20 days, it seemed like her grudge against her boss had faded, and that things, at least on the surface, had gotten back to normal!
“I just arrived.” Saint said in a dull voice, pointing to Lorna’s head: “When did you stop dying your hair?”
Lorna unconsciously picked up a strand of her hair, looking at it and murmuring: “Is it not good?”
“It is good; I just need to get used to it!” Saint shrugged as he walked into the door; “Where’s Colleen?”
Lorna remained silent, as if she had some bad thoughts, and then said as if trying not to: “Bathroom.”
Saint remained silent, looking away from both the bathroom and from Lorna’s eye-catching green hair. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t keep the image of what he accidentally saw that morning off his mind…
By the time the Dojo’s door was locked, Colleen left the bathroom to save him from a rather awkward situation. After Lorna nodded to tell her she’ll be going, she went to the locker leaving her alone with Saint.
Colleen nodded to Lorna, and went straight toward Saint. However, she didn’t show the surprise that he expected. She just said to him coldly: “You’re back? I’m really busy right now; you should have called ahead of time!”
“It was to give you… a surprise….” Saint’s weak voice was full of frustration. He looked at Colleen’s white exercise wear and then back to her eyes and wondered: “Are you teaching Lorna right now?”
Colleen nodded, almost laughing at herself: “Now, she’s the only one I’m teaching…”
“There’s nothing wrong with your choice to close the Dojo! You want to protect your students, and that’s the only way! Don’t be discouraged; you can still get everyone back when you destroy ‘The Hand’!” Saint reached for Colleen’s hands to comfort her.
“Huh, you make it sound so easy…” Colleen put her head on Saint’s chest and sighed: “The students I’ve taught before are now part of ‘The Hand’; wouldn’t that mean I’ll have to destroy them as well?”
As Saint heard Colleen and shook his head: “There’s no need to go so far! Just kill the head, and the whole thing would no longer exist.”
“It’s useless…” Colleen smiled bitterly and shook her head: “Actually, there’s something I didn’t want to tell you about because I didn’t want to worry you. Bakuto is dead; he’s been dead for seven days now. However, when I went to his stronghold on the outskirts of the city, I found that everything seemed to be in normal operation, as nothing wrong happened at all!”
Saint frowned slightly, and said: “Was it you?”
Colleen gently nodded, trying to look away. And then, with a complex look she looked at Saint in the eyes and said: “I used Zanzoken, and then finished him with my Katana.”
Saint hesitated for a second, and then said a rather strange question: “Did you stab him? Or did you cut his head?”
“I stabbed…” Colleen started to reply awkwardly, and then was taken aback and said: “You know what? There was something strange! That night, Bakuto’s henchmen fought desperately for his body! It was as if…”
“…as if he could resurrect?” Saint nodded confirming Colleen’s fears and said: “The Five Fingers do use dragon bones to gain longevity through the Resurrection Elixir. They have great vitality and would not die easily. Otherwise, they would not have survived for hundreds of years.”
“He really didn’t die…” Colleen gnashed her teeth and her eyes widened sharply: “No wonder their stronghold still exists… Then, what I understand from you that if I cut his head, he would die?”
“Hmm… cut his head, burn it, I think that should be enough?”
“… Do you think he’s a Twilight Vampire?”
“Almost, they are all immortal monsters anyway.”
“Saint, when can you ever be serious?”
“I’m not kidding! This would truly kill him; I promise!”
“…Roll! I have to give Lorna a class!”
“Well, it shouldn’t be good for her, staying there in the locker room. By the way, I have something to do in the evening, so maybe I won’t come over.”
“Who cares! Hurry out!”
“You know you’re not being honest now!” Saint whispered.
“Hey, hey! No need for the Katana! I’m going!”
At eleven o’clock that evening, Saint drove a “borrowed” blue car from the Park Avenue Viaduct, until he arrived to the factory area belonging to Stark Industries, which was located on the highway. After finding an inconspicuous position, he immediately turned off the car and took out a bundle of black nylon ropes from the trunk and a smiling monkey face mask. (The mask is not that of Sun Wukong, although that would have been fitting!)
After putting on the mask, and leaning on the ropes, Saint arrived to the back of a multi-storey building. Following an arm-thick sewer pipe in an almost inhuman way, they climbed all the way to the top using both hands and. There, he peeked out looking around, not finding any security cameras on the roof. So, he jumped in, and went through the roof following the Six Star Dragon Ball. On the edge, the several stories high building holding both the Dragon Ball and the Arc Reactor immediately caught his eyes…