Vol 13: Chapter 12-1.
Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun were sitting on the sofa quietly. Imhotep didn’t need to consume any food while Anck-Su-Namun was enjoying a cup of coffee and cakes. When Xuan turned to them, Imhotep refused. “I have no obligation to help you. We haven’t come to any terms yet.”
Zheng asked. “I have been curious. Why did you come to New York with the others? Are you seeking the mask too? You can’t even turn into a monster since you are not a normal human. What would you need it for?”
Imhotep nodded. “Yes. I don’t have any use for the mask but Anck-Su-Namun could. If we use the diamond on the mask, she won’t turn into a monster. Otherwise, she is growing older day by day. I can help you fight the monster but the mask must belong to me.”
Evelyn coughed to get their attention. “What the murals depicted is only a possibility. You should be aware that the monster and the vampires it made will burn to dust upon contact with sunlight. Yet, it says to shine concentrated sunlight on the mask’s forehead. Are you sure about taking this risk?”
Anck-Su-Namun looked hesitated. No normal person would want anything to do with the mask after seeing the experiments on the flesh even if the mask brought immense power. Especially a woman as beautiful as her. However, Imhotep didn’t seem to get her feelings and acted stubborn.
Zheng had to enlighten him. “Imhotep, stop acting so selfish. Is it fine turning your lover into a monster just so you can be with her forever? Do you love her or yourself?”
Imhotep turned to Anck-Su-Namun with doubts. She looked back at him with a pair of pitiful eyes. He hesitated before saying with difficulty. “At least let me experiment the mask on an animal. If it really turns into a monster, I will give the mask to you. Give me that piece of flesh.” He held out his hand to Xuan.
Xuan handed him the bottle with the largest piece. Imhotep opened the cap then the flesh instantly shot out at his hand and trying to dig its way in.
Everyone was shocked. The women screamed and the men all stood up. Imhotep waved his hand and said. “Not a problem. My body is different from yours.” His whole arm transformed to a wave of sand then back to an arm. On his palm was a piece of dehydrated flesh.
Imhotep smiled at them then tore the flesh in half. There was no sign of regeneration anymore.
Xuan took over a piece and pondered for a moment. He opened the saline solution bottle and threw it in. The thin slice that was originally inside the solution surrounded the dehydrated flesh. As it absorbed the solution, the dehydrated flesh grew back up and in the end, merged with the thin slice.
“Dehydration only takes away the cells’ ability to move but not kill them. The only methods we know that can destroy the cellular structure in a short time are strong acid and base, fire, and sunlight. Silver will poison the cells and disable the cells’ ability to split, but won’t kill them.” Xuan shook his head and said.
Zheng breathed out. “That’s enough. Not all battles have a perfect solution. Just like you said, 50% chance of success is worth taking the risk. I will assign the roles now. Imhotep and I will be our main attackers. Since the monster already fought me and absorbed some of my blood, his strength and speed are exceptionally fast. Firearms aren’t fatal to him but if he gets inside your body, you will turn into a vampire. So the two of us are the only ones that can get near him.”
“Zero will support us from afar. Your first targets will be his legs. It takes him time to regenerate. So if he tries to run, blast off his legs. I will use Explosion or even Destruction to beat him down. Imhotep then take the chance to dehydrate him, every single cell. Afterward, we will just have to wait for sunrise. Which means our attack starts at before dawn!”
Once their strategy was decided, they were left with determining the time and how to find the monster. Even though the flesh were alive on their own but could they still return to the main body when they were separated so far away? No one knew but they decided to test this possibility at 4am.
“Kampa can come with us to help clear the vampires on the side and offer fire support when needed. Everyone else stay in the hotel. WangXia, Xuan, and O’Connell protect them. Lan keeps our communication in place. Any questions?” Zheng finished talking then asked.
The others shook their heads and Jonathan said with excitement. “Don’t worry. We will stay in the hotel and won’t interfere with your fight in any way. I promise.”
Zheng smiled bitterly. “Why do your words feel like a thorn to my ears? Like some accident is prone to happen to make you mess the fight up.”
Xuan frowned. “There might be an accident. I seemed to have missed something in my calculations, something critical. Let me go over my thoughts again. A person obtained the golden mask, turned into a monster then killed the group of archeologists and everyone in the town. You escaped by luck. Jonathan stole a fragment of the mask. The monster wanted to retrieve this fragment and obtain the diamond so he chased after you and kidnapped Alex on the way. Then he followed you to New York.”
O’Connell and Evelyn looked at each other then nodded. Xuan rubbed his temples. “Which means he had two chances of killing you but he didn’t. While you managed to steal a fragment from him. He also has a sense of connection to the fragment but you mailed it to Cairo instead of carrying along. That was why he kidnapped Alex. So I was wrong since the beginning. This monster has a high level of intelligence. He let Jonathan steal the fragment so he could follow you to the diamond. Yet, after you mailed away the fragment, he had to kidnap Alex instead.”
Xuan bit his finger. “I know the reason the mission includes protecting Alex’s life and preventing him from turning into a vampire. The monster had already injected his cell into Alex’s body. He can easily find our location and ambush us. Once the cell grows, Alex will turn into a vampire! F*ck. He might be in the hotel already.”
The sound of glass shattered came from the room Alex was sleeping in right as he finished talking.