After getting split up from Quinn and his group, the remaining three needed to decide what they would do next, making Lucia and Minny stare at Peter for answers.
“Well, we don’t know when they will come back, so I guess our best bet is just to stay in this town.” After saying those words, standing in the middle of a busy street, Peter folded his arms.
The two girls waited for a while and noticed that some of the Travellers were still looking towards them—some of them pulling something up on their wristwatch and other devices, perhaps comparing the bounty posters with the faces of the three.
In the end, the girls looked at each other and then looked towards Peter like he was meant to do something, but he had yet to move from the same spot; in fact, he didn’t even blink. He just stood there with his arms crossed.
“Is he dead?” Lucia whispered, to which Minny shrugged her shoulders and started to run up to Peter climbing on top of his back until she eventually sat on his shoulders. It was quite a thing for a young girl like her to do, but then Lucia realised that she was, after all, a vampire.
Tapping Peter’s forehead, Miiny was waiting for a reaction but still managed to get nothing out of him at all.
“Okay, I can’t take it anymore, all these people staring at us… I need to go into a shop and get some clothes to cover myself up.” Lucia said as she stormed off towards a clothes shop, not bothering whether Peter was coming along or not.
“Hey, Uncle Peter, I think we should follow her and go along with her. Remember what daddy Quinn said? That we should protect ourselves as best as we can. I think that included her as well.” Minny said in her childish voice.
“You might be right; she is the one with the money after all.”
Following into the clothes shop after Lucia, the two noticed that the clothes were similar to what the people in the town were wearing. It was a single piece of clothing that covered the legs and upper body part, with a piece that tied around one’s waist.
Although they all looked the same, the design and pattern on each of them were different. Even the colours, among other things, had variations, and there were with hoods too, the types which Lucia now had in her hands.
On top of that, when she went to the table, she had already picked out two more that looked to be a fit for both Minny and Peter. After turning around, she paused in surprise to see that Peter had moved from his spot and followed her.
“I thought you were going to stand there even if the world was to end.” Lucia joked as she handed him the outfit.
“Is this for us? I didn’t ask you for one, and you didn’t know we were in the shop and bought one for us anyway?” Peter replied.
“Of course she did!” Minny said, grabbing her clothes as well. “Lucia is a kind aunty.”
“I think you mean sister, but I’ll let it go.” Lucia smiled.
It was the first time that Peter had seen her smile, and for him, naturally seeing her face, he had decided to smile back at her as well.
“Oh, the zombie can smile.”
Upon hearing those words, Peter’s smile quickly disappeared. Although he knew that she meant nothing by those words as Lucia had no idea what Peter was, it made him realise once again that he was no longer a human.
The three of them quickly changed clothes, and Peter still placed his armour and weapons carefully under the arm compartment. Wearing the armour made him look bulkier, but at the same time, it didn’t make it too apparent that he was a traveller.
Coming out from the changing rooms, Peter saw Minny hustle out in a red styled dress with golden dragons rising to the top. She didn’t wear her mask, as she had recently learned to control her shadow powers and had hidden it in there for the time being, but Peter had to admit that the red dress along with the mask was quite the stylish set.
Then Lucia came out. Honestly, the clothes weren’t too different from what she usually wore. However, the dress was more tight-fitting around her body. At the same time, it was white with a golden dragon pattern running up both sides. It looked like she had somewhat sorted out her hair as well. Brushing it out, she allowed it to flow down the sides.
“How do I look?” Lucia asked.
“You look…good,” Peter said, and nothing else, which for some reason embarrassed Lucia a bit as she quickly left the shop and tracking her closely was Minny. Peter stared at the exit for a moment, and then he too walked out. Soon, the three of them were strolling down the street.
They wouldn’t leave the town, but now with different clothes, they could still explore a little without the stares. Peter also wondered where exactly had the clothes from before gone. After asking Lucia, Peter learned that she was using a storage ring.
It had a limited capacity, but it worked similar to Quinn’s dimensional space. It allowed one to store items inside a ring, necklace or more. This had become quite common after the discovery of a new crystal in the vampire solar system.
Eventually, while they were walking, they suddenly heard a growl.
“Are you hungry?” Peter asked. He had forgotten that Lucia was a human; in other words, she could succumb to these things.
“I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to grab a bite.” She replied.
The three had entered a large restaurant that was two floors high. There were around fifty or so round tables with customers occupying most of them, and it was bustling with food and drinks shared all around. Still, they managed to get a seat quickly, as Peter had run over to one as soon as it was empty before anyone else, claiming it.
There were a few annoyed looks, but Minny smiled at them, conveying sorry, which let the other customer ignore the group and mind their own business. After looking at the menu, Lucia ordered food for herself, and the waiter, with a small notebook in his hand, scribbled Lucia’s order and then glanced towards the other two.
“I’m okay, thanks. I won’t be having anything,” Peter answered.
“Same for me!” Minny said with a smile.
“I didn’t realise that the two of you were going to make me eat on my own. It’s quite embarrassing.” Lucia added, “You know, they do serve blood at this establishment. Times have changed now; they won’t look at you strangely for drinking blood.”
Although Peter had seen blood on the menu, he couldn’t see something that he could eat. At the same time, even if it was on the menu, it wasn’t something he would have wanted to eat in front of Lucia, though he didn’t know why he thought about this.
“I don’t drink blood, and I’m not a vampire,” Peter replied. “If I did eat in front of you, it would just make you sick.”
“Not a vampire, so what are you?” The second Lucia had finished asking her question; she noticed a large man walking towards their table, towering above them. He had already swung his hammer, which was already above his head, coming towards them too fast for her to react.
It was then that she saw the hammer hit right into Peter’s side, crushing the bones in his shoulder and arms, and the next second he was gone from her sight. He crashed through several tables and right into the restaurant wall on the other side.
As the onlookers looked at Peter, they could see the strike had utterly crushed the right side of his body. There were screams from all around as they were sure that he was dead and not just that, but several people whom he had crashed into had died as well.
It was clear that the man with that hammer was not an ordinary one, and behind him, there were other people as well.
Upon raising her head, Lucia noticed red tribal tattoos that ran down his face, and they continued up to his wrist.
“No…it’s the Triple A-Rank traveller group…The Behemoths.” Lucia said, shaking in fear.
The traveller groups had ranks assigned to them just like before the war, and although they weren’t large factions like there used to be in the past, their ranks gave a proximate evaluation of their strength.
“That’s right.” The large man with a hammer chuckled. “We couldn’t believe that those with such a large bounty would come to a town like this, and now that you have come, how can we simply waste such an opportunity?”
Lucia looked towards Minny, who was still at the table. She wondered what to do; even the original vampire she feared couldn’t face such a group if he were here.
“AHHH!” Just then, everyone heard a scream coming from the side of the room. Turning their heads for a split second, they saw the man struck by the hammer was moving from the wall, and at the same time, in front of their eyes, his body was healing.
The crushed bones and the torn flesh were getting back to normal, except for the clothes on his body; this led to the robe only covering three-fourths of his body.
“How is that possible? What is he?” Someone whispered, but in the pin-drop silence, everyone heard it.
Glancing towards the man that just hit him, Peter rushed off from his feet, his fist covered in a strange aura, and before anyone could react, it slammed right into the large man’s face, pushing him through several of the tables, chairs and the wall of the building.
They saw a big hole when they looked at where the man had gone – he went through the building and was now lying on the other side of the street.
“Just think of me as a Zombie,” Peter spoke, answering Lucia’s earlier question as the last few scratches on his arm healed.