Prologue: Where Things Stand
It's been a week since Lea went to the party that Julie threw for the whole house. During that week, Lea has been resting from her match against Payton, trying to recover from all the damage that she received. Now, Lea was feeling more than ready to go back to work and to her training. She knows that the money that she donated to Julie's house was not enough to pay the debt, so Lea has to get back to business. Today was a new day and Lea gets up early to go and open the gym, just like she does every day that she has work. Ever since Lea won the tournament, things have been a little different around the gym. First of all, the members have started to look at Lea in a new light, as if they have more respect for Lea. Second, the equipment in the gym is looks brand new; thanks to the money that Lea and her group of friends are getting in their matches. While working, Lea is told that the coach would like to talk to her in the office, and just like all the times that the coach calls for her, Lea stops what she was doing and heads to the office. When Lea goes inside, she finds Alonso Rodriguez, owner and one of the coaches of the gym, already waiting inside, sitting behind his desk.
"Hello coach, is there something you need?" Lea wasn't sure if it was to give her more work, or to start training.
"Yes, take a seat, please." Lea heads to one of the couches and sits down. "Before we begin our discussion, how are you feeling today?" Alonso was still concerned for Lea's well-being, but his serious tone of voice didn't show it, or his face.
"I'm feeling like new, I don't feel any pain in my body." Lea answers while stretching to prove her point.
"Good. Now, let's get down to business." Alonso starts with a business-like tone, and gets Lea's full attention. "First, let me congratulate you on your victory in the last tournament, you did a good job." Lea feels proud to hear that from the coach. "Still, there's much more to learn, so be ready for anything. Second, as far as I remember, you're fighting to help someone financially, correct?"
"Yes." Lea answers with all honesty.
"Then, this will make it a little hard to say." Alonso doesn't show it, but Lea can tell that it might be some bad news.
"Say what?" Lea can't imagine what could be so hard to say.
"Well, right now, you can officially fight on 6-round matches, meaning that you will earn more money. As far as I can guess, it won't be that much to you, considering that you will get $750 dollars for each match."
"Well, is not much, but at the very least, is a rise on my paycheck." Lea tries to look at it in a positive way.
"Yes, it is a good rise, but it would be a better rise, when you enter into 8-round matches. When you reach that level, you will get $1,000 dollars per match."
"Whoa, I can just imagine the kind of prizes that I could get from tournaments in that level." Lea can just imagine it; she could see her goal even closer than before.
"That's…what I wanted to talk about. There's a problem about you getting in tournaments right now." Lea did not like to hear that, at all.
"W-what's the problem? Did I do something wrong? Did I get suspended?" Lea was already trying to figure it out a solution for those kinds of things, but wasn't coming up with anything.
"Don't worry; it doesn't have anything to do with you. The thing is…that there's no tournament right now. Not even plans for any type of tournament at the moment."
"No tournament! That was my greatest source of income. Let's see…" Lea starts to make calculations in her head, and she doesn't like the results. If Lea fights and gets hurt, she would have to rest, before she can get into another match. Even if she saves up all of her money from her part-time job, it wouldn't be enough. At the worst, she might do less than last year.
"Believe me, I wish that there was some tournament, it could get us a lot of money and fame for our gym. Unfortunately, there is none, and that brings me to my solution, which it might be asking a lot from you." Alonso was feeling uncomfortable about what he was about to say.
"I don't mind, if it can help me get the money, I'll do pretty much anything." Lea was getting desperate to hear any kind of solution.
"First, hear what I have in mind, then you can decide if you want to proceed or not, okay?" With that said Lea quiets down and starts to listen. "Now, if you want to make a lot of money, you're going to need a national title match, but right now, your rank is not high enough to challenge the national champion. So, the only idea that I come up with, is that you have two matches, in one month." Alonso can see that Lea was somewhat surprised at what she just heard.
"Two matches in one month? That's a lot, there's barely any time to rest, if any. Is that even possible? I haven't heard of anyone fighting two matches in one month." Lea can't imagine something like that.
"It is pretty much unheard of, but let me tell you this. It has happened, and those that managed a feat like that, where boxers of legend, boxers who were destined for greatness, boxers who left their mark in the history of the sport. Those, where great boxers, but it doesn't mean that there's no risk. Doing something like that was insanely dangerous, and I don't want you to end up dead, because you have a future ahead of you, just like every single boxer in this gym. Now, with all that said, I want you to think carefully about this, I don't want to see any type of hesitation in you when you give me your answer." Alonso quiets down, giving Lea some time to think it over, but it would seem, that he won't have to wait long.
"There's no need to think about it and I won't hesitate. If it means getting closer to the national title, then I'll do it. I'm ready to start when you are." Lea doesn't see any reason to wait; she knows that she has no time to wait, even less for hesitation. Alonso could see that the question might have been pointless; Lea was determined and was ready for any challenge.
"All right. With that decided, it would mean that you will have to focus more on your training, and less on work. Of course, you will work, but I'll have to reduce your hours, okay?" Alonso wanted to let Lea know of the changes that they will have to make.
"No problem." Lea really have no problem with that, she will have to train as much as she can if she want to make it in time. After that was said, Alonso gets up from his seat and heads to the door.
"Then, let's no waste any more time, let's get you ready for your next fight." Lea gets up from her seat and answers.
"Yes, coach!" Both boxer and coach get out of the office, knowing that this might be even more difficult than before, and they are more than ready for it.
The bank was working as usual, with people opening bank accounts and investing, but there was one person that was standing out of the crowd. To be more precise, a male Cyclops was walking to a female worker there.
"Hello, I have an appointment with Mr. Cox." The Cyclops informs the worker.
"Pierce Griffin." The Cyclops answers.
"One moment please." Then, the worker makes a phone call to her boss. The call was short, she said who it was, confirmed something and hang up. "Mr. Cox is ready to see you, go to the hallway and is the last door straight ahead."
"Thank you." Pierce leaves the worker and heads straight to the office. When he reached the door, he knocks on it.
"Come in." A voice answers from the other side, and Pierce enters. Inside, he finds an ogre, who could be around 7 to 8 feet tall, with dark grey hair, hazel eyes and red skin. By the looks of it, he looks like he could crush someone with his bare hands, even in his old age. "Good day Mr. Griffin, I thank you for coming today." Cox thanks from the other side of his desk. "Please, take a seat."
"Thanks." Pierce takes a seat in front of Cox. "Now, you wanted to hire my services, what do you need me to do?"
"Straight to the point, I like it that way. The job is very simple; I need you to find someone."
"Is it a relative, a spouse, a missing person?" Pierce interrupts.
"None of those, this might be something different for you. I need you to find a donor."
"Okay, do you have anything that can help me on my search? Do you know the looks of the person, the last time that the person was seen, anything?" Pierce doesn't need to ask why a donor, he's not paid to know the reason after all.
"Unfortunately, nothing, the only thing that we know is that the person donated $21,000 in cash to a home group in the state."
"I can imagine that the person doesn't have an account in this bank."
"No, or we wouldn't have need of your services, detective."
"I was hoping for a yes, and if the person didn't use a check, it will make this job even more difficult." Pierce can already imagine how difficult this will be if there's not that many clues.
"Do what you have to do, and if you need something, let me know. I can call in some favors to help you."
"Thanks, is there anything else you need me to do?"
"No, that would be all. Nice doing business with you." Cox had work to do and won't waste it anymore on this.
"Same goes to you Mr. Cox." Pierce knows when a conversation is over and gets up from his seat. Then, he heads to the door, already thinking on how to find this mysterious donor.