It was a good thing that the woman was unconscious. Only a few people could afford anesthesia and having your scalp cleaned and stitched wasn't exactly a pleasant feeling. Vincent was done with her in about half an hour and the lunch time was almost over.
The big man finally let go of her daughter who rushed to her mother and stared at the bald spot on her head. Her eyes were puffy from all the crying and her cheeks were purple from bruising.
Vincent approached the man and spoke, "She lost quite a lot of blood but should still wake up in a day or two. Sam here will take you to where she can rest. If you don't mind me asking, what happened to her?"
The man gulped once and replied, "Thank you for treating her doctor. She was just out with our daughter when two of our neighbors went crazy and started fighting with each other. It was soon out of control and she tried to separate them. Marcus went mad as he picked up a brick and smashed it on her head. Marcus and Roy both got taken away by the police but they were acting like rabid dogs until a high ranking officer shared a word with them."
'Such an incident can only happen if both the parties are mentally unstable or a supernatural affected them somehow. Both of them lost control at the same time. Very few supernaturals can do this and a Missionary of Desire is certainly one of them. This could be my first lead, I can't let this go.'
"Why would they start fighting all of a sudden?"
"I don't know. But they said they were having an argument when a devil came and talked to them."
Vincent was even more sure that this was the work of a supernatural. "A devil?"
"Yes, that's what they said. A man dressed in a prim manner came up to them and whispered something. They grew angry for no reason and began rampaging."
Sam, who was listening in by the side spoke in a contemptuous manner. "A devil? Those mad dogs probably got scared by the police and lied through their teeth. No way a devil exists and is walking among us."
"No, I know Roy and Marcus since I was a child. They aren't the type to get violent. I believe that devils exist. I have seen a man turn into a wolf with my very eyes." The big man defended his friends.
"Pui, you spineless coward. Your wife got hit by a mad dog and you are defending the mutt? Is that big body just an empty husk? Stop spouting bullshit. As if a man could turn into a wolf." Sam spat on the ground and mocked the man.
"Sam, Let it be. Help him take the woman to a resting ward." Vincent cut off Sam and turned to the big man. "As for you, be sure to take good care of her."
'I need to find out about where this man lives and find what the devil looked like from this Marcus and Roy. I want to ask the man his name and address but doing so might pull me into trouble. The high ranking officer who calmed the two was probably a supernatural working for the police. They will probably talk to this man later on to make sure nothing leaks out. If they learn that I was involved too heavily, I might be investigated as well. I need to be patient about this.'
"Thank you doctor. Thank you very much." The big man thanked repeatedly and his daughter echoed after him. Vincent nodded and went back to his office. Lunch time was over and he needed to get back on his designated spot.
He didn't make any moves that night and waited it out. He was dying to take some action but held himself back. The man might be under surveillance of the police as the supernatural might have taken action against them for a reason. He didn't want to risk anything even if he had the mask.
The next day, Vincent reached the hospital and went to the resting ward. The woman hadn't woken up yet. The man and his daughter were sitting on a chair by the bed. The man looked a little worn out while the little girl was asleep on his arms.
The man stood up slowly so as to not disturb his sleeping daughter. "Good morning doctor."
"Good morning. Did anything unexpected happen?" Vincent asked while putting on a worried expression.
"No, everything was fine. Thank you for your concern."
"Do look for me if something were to happen." Vincent dropped one last line and went to his office. He began pondering about how to dig into the matter without raising any suspicions. The man had probably already been contacted by the police and warned. If Vincent were to hint at anything, he might grow wary. Even if that wasn't the case, there was a chance of alerting the authorities. But this was still the first lead he had and he didn't want to give up.
When it was lunch time, he went to check up on the woman once again. The little girl was bothering her father, "Papa, I am hungry. When are we going for lunch?"
"Just wait for a while more honey. The nurses will be back after lunch and we can go to the cafeteria."
"But the cafeteria's food is bad. I don't want to eat that."
The man was put on a difficult position. He hadn't been going to work since yesterday and taking care of his family until his wife was normal would cost a lot more than they would usually spend. While the cafeteria's food wasn't anything good, it cost little. Opting to eat out would prove to be costly because the hospital was in an expensive part of the city. All the restaurants nearby were quite expensive. Just as he was wondering how to appease his little angel, he saw the doctor who treated his wife approach him.
Vincent crouched by the little girl and spoke in a gentle voice. "What's your name young lady?"
"Anna." She replied in a childish manner. She was no older than eight and was very curious about everything. The doctor was kind and she liked him unlike the other doctors who always looked serious and scary.
"I am quite lonely and food doesn't taste great when you eat alone. So, miss Anna would you like to have lunch with me?"
The girl looked at her father and spoke in a cute manner, "Papa, can I?"
"No, you have been so kind to us already. How could we trouble you any further." The man rejected apologetically while looking at Vincent. He was embarrassed that the young doctor had offered to treat his daughter after noticing his difficulty.
"Please don't think that way. I am new here so I don't have any friends you see. Sharing a meal with such a lovely girl wouldn't be any trouble whatsoever." Vincent managed to convince the man and looked at Anna. "Now then, miss Anna, what would you like to eat?"
"Can I get anything I want?" Anna asked in a voice full of excitement "
"I want to eat plum pudding."
Vincent smiled awkwardly. He didn't think any place would actually serve plum pudding when there were no festivities. But he had given his word and didn't know how to tell the girl that she couldn't have plum pudding. She was already jumping with joy and he didn't want to disappoint the girl.
He tried his luck at a bakery. They didn't have plum pudding as expected. Thankfully, they did have a raisin pie and the girl was happy with it. He lead the happy girl to a restaurant and waited for lunch to be served.
Vincent felt bad that he was using food to get information out of such a little girl. Suppressing his guilt, he put on a kind smile and asked, "Is the pie good?"
The girl nodded and continued with the food. Once she was done with it, she grabbed the napkin placed in front of her and wiped her face. The clumsy action only spread the crumbs around her mouth instead of cleaning it. Vincent took the napkin and wiped the crumbs away. The girl was very talkative and talked to Vincent about a lot of things.
They had a pleasant meal and headed back for the hospital. Vincent used the opportunity to ask about the incident yesterday. "Are Roy and Marcus doing fine?"
The girl shook her head and replied, "I don't know. The police took them away."
"Were they always making trouble? I can't understand why they would do such a thing otherwise."
"No, both uncle Roy and Marcus are kind. They helped us in the past when we were in trouble. It's the devil's fault that they got in trouble."
"What did the devil look like?"
"He was wearing expensive looking clothes. Had brown hair and a burn mark on his right hand."
'Brown hair and a burn mark on his right hand. This will make it much easier to search for him. I should also check out on this Roy and Marcus to be sure.'
"Where do you live?"
"Barber street in the northern bailey district." The girl answered everything honestly and Vincent felt like he should make his inquiry seem like a normal conversation.
"What do your dad and mum do?"
"Dad works for a private investigator and mother helps at a local bar when they are busy. Lately the bar hasn't been getting much customer and dad says we are burning through our savings because of it."
"Don't worry. It will be fine in a few weeks." Vincent lied through his teeth. He didn't want to tell the girl that their situation would get worse now that her mother had been hurt. Trying to end the conversation in a normal note, he continued. "What's your dad's name?"
The girl smiled at his comforting words and answered cheerily, "Elias."