1 Prologue I: Master Massagist

Every joint is important, and every stroke has to be a masterclass.


At every opportunity, my fingers press against their skin; I must feel it... it is like every fiber of their skin and even what's underneath can't conceal itself from me.

"There, keep doing it there."


"Yes~ there!"

There is not a person—man or woman—I can't get utterly putty in my hands. I'm the supreme massagist of this world; no one in Hollywood doesn't know my name. I have been invited to the most distinguished parties, and watching my back against those husbands has become a necessity.

I'm the ultimate.

That said, dude... could you stop moaning, please?



It is not like I can say that out loud. I have a reputation to maintain. Carl Peterson, a famous pianist; his sonatas can melt every eardrum, and the one that's supposed to keep those sacred fingers intact is me.

With my earlier words, you may have thought I'm a master in my craft, and that's not a lie. In this world, there is nobody who can boast the capacity to make miracles with their hands. That said, I'm not going to lie to you... I don't know jack-shit about massages.

"It was wonderful today as well, Ray... I have deposited the money in your account already; I'll see you next month. Do you have any more bookings today?"

"None at all, my friend. The year has just started, and I want to take it slow... I know you have a concert tomorrow; I'll be there."

He carried his effeminate self and left my penthouse in Los Angeles just like that. I checked my bank account. Five hundred thousand dollars for a half-hour session of finger-rubbing.

Yes, I'm a master massagist.

'I said I'd go to his concert but...'

I don't have any intention of going; I can perfectly stick to my schedule, and when it comes to explaining, I'll just say I had an impromptu client. It always works.

The thing with miracles is... they don't have an explanation. I was born with these miraculous hands, and they just do their job. I have studied all techniques and all types of massage. Electric, magnetic, acupuncture... every single way to treat the body and skin. Regardless of my knowledge, the miracles still happen, so I just gave up.

It all started approximately twenty-five years ago when I was in college back in Queens. I was giving a massage to my then-girlfriend, Anna.

I loved her quite a bit even though she was annoying; she was my first girl. Very loyal and traditional... at that time, I couldn't ever know how wicked the world was. We were studying law, and she had this problem called scoliosis, which involves her spine being abnormally twisted. She suffered pains from it frequently and even had to take surgery, but nothing seemed to be working.

I have always been very skilled with my hands; my calligraphy is top-notch, and I won several contests when I was a kid. I'm great at throwing the ball; my parents always told me that I could play baseball or any sport, but I wasn't interested. When I met Anna in High School, we decided to study law, and so I followed her. Anyway, back to the topic, I was feeling really bad for her, and so I decided to give her a massage, just trying to show some boyfriend support there.

Alas, the next day she woke up telling me that she felt a lot better. We didn't think much of it... until she went to the doctor to get her routine check-up.

Her scoliosis was gone.

We both have always been very skeptical; there was just no way or so I thought. Moving on... that bitch cheated on me. Can you believe that? I mean, I was cheating on her too, but she was discovered first so that's on her. Nevertheless, this course of events made me realize that my life wasn't following the right track. I wasn't even that much interested in law... so I dropped it all.

My life was a mess, which culminated with me having an accident; I was run over by a car. I had no insurance; my parents had to pay the fees, and they were very disappointed in me, understandably so. I got a fracture in my thigh bone that, according to the practitioner, 'would never recover.'

It was the end of me; I wanted to die.

According to him, I'd always have to walk like a homeless man after he tried to rob his dealer. What bad decisions had I made in life? I was not in a gang; I didn't drink, I didn't smoke... and somehow, I had finished with a life resembling the common Tyrone.

That's when I recalled... I recalled the massage I did to Anna, so I massaged my thigh and lo and behold, I could feel my body regenerating when I did that!

One thing is to have talent... another is to have a blessing. This was clearly a blessing... and so my career as a massagist started. I began by taking in common people.

My massages are not only capable of getting rid of injuries, fractures, and diseases, but they can also recover someone's mood and mental health and all sorts of miracles. I was astonished, to say the least.

The more my business began, the more my fame increased but at the same time, I also earned some unwarranted attention. People were paying me more and more for my treatments before I noticed I was a millionaire, but my schedule was tight... I had to run from place to place. They wanted to take me into laboratories to study me and fuck no, I didn't want that.

Not even I understand why my hands work the way they do; I was going to be dissected and tortured for nothing. Queens was the first place where my reputation abounded. I left a huge chunk of money to my parents and fled.

I traveled from country to country living my best life and having affairs with my clients... I had a lot of blessings but also a lot of trouble.

Sitting on the balcony of my penthouse, overlooking the city at forty-three years of age, I have come to realize that with my hands I have blessed so many, I have healed countless people, saved countless lives. But I feel disgraced deep inside.

Having to run from place to place, I've developed a severe case of trust issues. Not even my hands can help me overcome it.

There has only been one person that I've wanted to settle down with, and even she abandoned me.


Ten years ago, I had made quite a name for myself in Turkey. Some local gangs were already looking for trouble with me; they tied up my identities and realized my wealth was already nearly in the billions. Their leader had health issues, and they wanted me to help, but I already knew firsthand how forceful gangs could get when they wanted something.

I had to run away again; my destination was Egypt. There were many places I wanted to go in life... the number one was Japan, the number two was Norway, and the number three was Egypt. I wanted to leave Japan and Norway as my final destinations. Perhaps change my name and live a quiet life in the countryside once I'm old in there.

In any case, I went to Egypt, and for the first time, I had some holidays of sorts. I did my business mostly focused on poor and middle-class people. As always, I knew my reputation would eventually catch up, but I took it slow.

That's when I met her... and it wasn't a convenient meeting. This girl... she was lying down close to the Great Sphinx of Giza. Initially, I thought she was a resident and had collapsed due to the hot weather conditions, but upon inspecting her further, I realized that she was injured severely and bleeding.

Was she assaulted? I didn't know. I inspected her closely, and she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. For someone like me who frequents stars and idols, that's a lot to say. Her skin was dark, her hair black... she had... ears?

All I knew was that I had to take her to the hospital in haste, and so I did. She was hospitalized for several weeks but never woke up. I thought it was something more harsh and decided to perform an acupuncture session on her, right in her private hospital room.

I pinched her skin a few times, and a massive cloud of black vapor was released from the orifices, leaving me astounded. I never knew what the hell that was.

The girl woke up the next day speaking a language I didn't even know. I had to bribe the Egyptian authorities to let her go; they thought she was an illegal immigrant. I taught her English during my time in Egypt, and the first thing she said to me was an introduction. 'Elysir'.

She told me she came from a very faraway place and that she wanted to go back but couldn't do so yet. I told her I had enough money to send her back wherever she needed… but she told me it wasn't a 'money issue' and asked if she could stay with me until she was ready.

I accepted, and Ely became my one and only assistant. I fell in love with her… and she fell in love with me, or so I thought.

We spent a year together until my reputation in Egypt had reached the apex. Once again, they wanted to get their hands on my miraculous ones. I had made sweet love to Ely that night; it was our first time together, her first… she was so wonderful it felt like my first too… I thought I was at the top of the world, I didn't even want to continue the business anymore. I had all the money I wanted and the girl I wanted.

I told her we could go to Japan or Norway, but she looked discouraged. I recalled there was somewhere she had to return. I proposed we go there together, but her cold words stopped me in my tracks.

'The place where I'm from… you can't come with me as you are.'

I never understood what she meant. The next day, Ely disappeared without leaving a trace. After spending a year together, she abandoned me like that. Like Anna.

I wasn't the same ever since; I abandoned Egypt and headed to Australia… to continue my vicious circle. I had a lot of bank accounts and properties, contacts, people who would lay their life for me. I reached a billion dollars.

But I was just as empty then as I am now. I never reached Japan or Norway; instead, I returned to the States recently, living in Los Angeles. I attend only a handful of clients; I'm sick and tired of women, so I kept them to the minimum, even though before I didn't even want male clients. I focused on my other investments and decided that when my fame caught up with me, I wouldn't run anymore.


A blast was heard on the main floor of the building, and I even felt it shake a little bit. My gaze fixed down where I saw a convoy pull up and enter the building.

Perhaps that time is now… you know what? whatever, I don't really care.

My name is Ray Lux... and I give up.

I sat back down, taking a bottle of whiskey and gurgling it down. I'm not one to drink heavily, but if I have to go like this, I'd rather my consciousness be dormant, Ely.

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