Phoenix woke up extremely early one morning sweating. He rapidly blinked before opening his eyes and staring at the ceiling.

"I got to stop watching those horror movies with Maya." he said, "I don't know how many more nightmares I can take."

The man tried to get back to sleep, but it just felt impossible. The strangest thing is he felt like he was being watched. As if there was another presence inside his bedroom.

Nah, it's nothing, Phoenix thought to himself before he heard the sound of something from beneath his sheets. Something moving around, something restlessly wriggling about. Was it a poor attempt at concealment? Or was it trying to escape? Without pondering the details, Phoenix rose up from his bed and checked for the mysterious intruder.

"Dammit, it's way too early for this." he said to himself.

Phoenix searched all over his room. The fact that he couldn't find anything freaked him out even more. He was panicking.

"Maya, this better not be one of your pranks... again!" exclaimed Phoenix.

Unfortunately, something hit him hard on the head, and he passed out.

Phoenix woke up to a strong mustardy smell. He could see nothing but darkness all around, as if someone blindfolded him. He tried moving his arms, only to realize they'd been tied up.

'Where am I?' he thought. 'Who did this, why do I smell something like… beer?'

In desperation, he bunny hopped his way around. A slender hand pushed him back.

"Help! Anyone?" Phoenix called.

"Silence," said a deep voice.

He removed the blindfold. An odd scene greeted Phoenix's eyes: he was in a dusty bedroom, Steel Samurai posters plastered all over, a shocking pink bed just to the right, with a cute desk on the other side. A man stood in the corner… a butler?

"DeKiller?" Phoenix gasped. "Why…?"

DeKiller remained silent. Staring Phoenix down, he kneeled and plucked Phoenix's attorney badge off.

"You won't be needing this." He placed it by an especially lavish Steel Samurai figure.

"DeKiller, where am I?"

"In my ro… my niece's room."

Phoenix tried asking more questions, but DeKiller wouldn't budge. He shook his head and walked out, telling Phoenix to behave. The sound of a lock clicking could be heard, followed by distancing footsteps. Phoenix glanced around the room again; he needed to find a way out, or at least grasp at what was going on. He hopped to the door and used his chin to push the handle down. It stayed rigid. He moved to the window next.

"Here goes nothing." he said.

He slammed his head into it. Nothing. He tried again. A small crack formed. The same felt true for his skull though. He took a deep breath and went in for a final plunge. The window shattered, leaving Phoenix tumbling through the air.

Phoenix barely felt the impact of the pavement, as he lost consciousness immediately afterwards. He came to in the same room as before, but lying on the bed this time. He looked around, first at himself, then at his surroundings. He had been put in a pair of pajamas and could feel something tight under them. They felt like bandages, though he couldn't take a look for himself, as he was tied to the bed, his arms and legs bound.

Okay, so much for trying to escape, he thought. Still, de Killer must need me alive if he bothered to patch me up.

Phoenix looked to the window he had broken. De Killer had boarded it up.

Darn. I guess I can't bet on some passer-by hearing me call for help, either.

He took a deep breath and sighed. It appeared all he could do was wait for de Killer to explain things to him.

"Where did de Killer go?" Phoenix muttered.

He realized he was alone and in great danger. Phoenix knew he'd have to investigate his surroundings on his own. But what? What could he do? He scanned the room, and found a piece of paper on the floor that looked as if it had been ripped out of a notebook. But he was stuck.

"What am I going to do?" he whispered to himself.

After what felt like hours, he was able to free himself, but he was still thinking about everything. While he was lost in his train of thoughts, he suddenly heard a knock in the door. The person at the other side of the door seems persistent as they keep banging at the door.

"Who could it be at this hour..? And why are they banging at the door so loudly? Urp... I hope it's not him or the house lady again..." while he was wondering, Phoenix was very near towards the door.

Suddenly, the banging stopped and he could hear a voice from behind the door. "H-h-hello? Hello? More banging, then the voice again. "Hello? Can anyone hear me, maybe?"

Slowly, he started to recognise it.

"Pearls? Is that you?" he called out in shock.

"Mister Nick! What are you doing here?" the voice replied.

"That's what I should ask you!", Phoenix answered, both confused and worried, "Are you okay?"

"Don't worry about me, Mister Nick! I'm alright, but Mystic Maya... she has disappeared!" the girl responded.

"What?!" Phoenix shouted out, realising that his head was still hurting from hitting the glass.

Suddenly, Pearl's features twisted until she formed into another person.

"Mask*DeMasque? What are you doing here?" said Phoenix.

"Ssh, my friend! I've come to break you out from here. Now,let's see...this is going to be...tricky." answered Mask*DeMasque.

As he was freeing Phoenix, he wondered what was happening. What, this is but a fever dream? What was happening? Then, he was freed.

"Come with me," he said.

"Oh, I don't think you two are going anywhere." said a voice Phoenix had heard before.