22.142.Return to Downtown

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 142
“Return to Downtown”

“Why do we have to go all the way downtown just to get some groceries?” La-Iin grumbled.
“Because there are certain things I need that you can only get downtown. And I have a little extra money this week, so I figured I would get them.”
“Money that we could spend on something else…”
“Look, La-Iin, I’ve spent a lot of my extra money on you the past six years. We need some essentials.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever, but how come I have to be strapped to your back!?”
“Because I don’t want you doing something crazy if I leave you home alone. You passed out yesterday because you over-exerted yourself. I’m not going to let something worse happen.”
“You’ve left me home plenty of times before!”
“I know.”
“So how come this time is different!?”
“As a punishment. Besides, you always go with me when I go shopping.”
“I hate shopping for things I don’t like.”
“I know you do. But you like downtown.”
“Only sometimes.”
“Weeeell, maybe if you’re good, I’ll do something special for you. Besides, shopping here shouldn’t take as long as shopping at the store. I have less things to get here, and it’s a Thursday. If it were the Weekend, I can assure you it’d probably be more crowded….”
“It’s crowded every day downtown.”
“Yes, but there should at least be one-hundred less people, I’d say.”
“And I’d say you’re just pulling things out of your ass to make yourself sound smart.”
“La-Iin!”
“Hmph.”
La-Iin struggled against the carrier Mit-Sun had her in, but to no avail. ‘Damn it! If I’m stuck like this, anyone who sees me will stop taking me seriously! That’s the last thing I need! Mama’s going to need a lot of punishments when I’m in charge of her….’
“La-Iin, you’re moving around an awful lot. Do you need to go to the bathroom?”
“No, I don’t! I want to be let down! I should be able to move freely!”
“And you can fly now. How do I know you won’t just fly away from me? After all, it’s not exactly out-of-character for you….”
La-Iin growled. “Don’t do that. Look, I’ll let you down once I’m done. Alright?”
“That’ll be too late!”
“So you do have to go to the bathroom.”
“No, I–” La-Iin smirked. “Yes, you’ve been right all this time, Mama! I have to go! Please let me down!”
“Okay, now I know you’re not telling the truth. You went from saying no to forcing desperation. I know you well, La-Iin, and I’m not stupid. You just want to try and escape.”
“Damn you!”
“Be quiet.”
Mit-Sun head for a strong-smelling area. The many spices made La-Iin’s eyes water. She was sure the smell was much stronger to her than it was to Mit-Sun. Mit-Sun was smiling as she picked up a small basket and started to stuff spices into it.
“Is any of this really necessary?” La-Iin sighed.
“Of course it is.”
“…” La-Iin glared at her. “You’d better not get any garlic.”
“Fine, fine, I won’t. I know you’re sensitive to that one.”
“I’m sensitive to lots of things.”
“Those things won’t kill you.”
“I wish they would. Then you wouldn’t buy them.”
Mit-Sun rolled her eyes. “If it killed you, then one day you might unwittingly eat something with a spice that disagrees with you in it, and die.”
“Hmph.”
“Stop it.”
“No. I don’t even know what you want me to stop anyway.”
“I want you to stop pouting! Do you have to act up anytime I do any sort of shopping? Sheesh. You like observing people’s species traits, right? Then do that!”
“Almost everyone here looks like a Pureblood….it’s not interesting enough.”
Mit-Sun sighed. “Then be quiet. Plot world domination in your head or something. Do anything so long as it isn’t bothering me. You used to fantasize a lot, whatever happened to that?”
“It comes to me randomly, Mama.”
“…..riiiiiight.” Mit-Sun went back to shopping. La-Iin grit her teeth. ‘This is so boring! I want to kill something! Or at least suck its blood! I wish I could reach Mama’s neck! ARGH!’
She started to flail around as hard as she could. While she was, the carrier tightened around her body. She noticed Mit-Sun looking at her from over her shoulder with a disdainful expression and snorted.
‘Stupid Mama.’

***

“Okay. I got all the spices I need and a special meat that I think you’ll like. I only have one more thing to get down here and then we don’t have to shop anymore. So be good.”
‘I don’t want to be!’ She wanted to whine, but she kept silent. In the area the two were in, there were hardly any other people, and she wanted to scream while nobody was looking, but then she remembered that there were no people around and Mit-Sun would probably spank her.
She had stopped trying to struggle against the carrier by now since she had gotten tired out. Instead, random thoughts of other people popped up in her mind.
‘I bet everyone else is doing something more interesting than I am. I bet I’m the only one who’s bored right now. Choungetsu is probably going crazy in the house on his own. Maybe he even went upstairs to play around. I’m glad I closed my bedroom door. I might even come home to a package with how long we’re taking. Bes-Isa is used to being stuck not being able to move, but she’s probably got more interesting things to do. Probably listening to the radio, so she at least has something good to listen to. I bet Fer-Shi is having fun too, doing some sort of stupid activity or at least doing something more interesting with her Mama and Dami. Speaking of Damis, I bet Dami is having the time of his life, probably traveling somewhere super interesting that I’ll never be able to go ’cause Mama never takes me anywhere. San-Kyung is probably committing acts of heinous evil somewhere, burning towns to a crisp! ….or at least having more fun than I am. Stupid rival-boy might be with him. For all I know he could be making his move! ….no, don’t think about him. Ai-Reia might be doing something to improve her smarts, or maybe since I set her on the right track, she’s working towards that. Sale-Dessu is probably doing fun experiments that only Warlocks can do….everyone is probably having more fun than me, even Mama, because she can at least move around. Maybe Bes-Isa isn’t having as much fun as I thought, or maybe she can at least listen to the radio….but being stuck in one place sucks!’
“La-Iin?”
“What do you want?”
“Hey, you don’t have to be so rude. I was just wondering why you were being so quiet.”
Mit-Sun had turned around and was focusing on La-Iin. “Mama, I don’t lie to you about these sorts of things, so I’m just going to tell you. You know, sometimes when I get mad at you when you want to spend time with me, it’s because it feels like this is all we ever do! Every now-and-then we spend time in some other way, like the Wednesday tradition–which we haven’t been doing every Wednesday like we used to!–and those are fun, but most of the time we just stay home and do nothing, or eat the same dinners together, or go shopping. Meanwhile, when I spend time with other people, I have the thrill of the chase, an exciting conversation, some fun place to go or something fun to do, like going to the park or flying around! And it’s not fair. I live with you, Bes-Isa, and Choungetsu. Most of the people I have the funnest times with I don’t live with. But with Bes-Isa, I can talk about all sorts of things, and I can take Choungetsu on walks to lots of different interesting places. But then there’s you. You know I don’t hate you even if I don’t really like you–”
“Hey!”
“–so I wish we’d do more fun things. I have to live with you until I’m nineteen or something, if you won’t insist that I stay longer because I’m half-Vampire and I’ll probably still look sort of like this at that age. I want to do more fun things with you and not just these things all the time. Don’t you want to do fun things with me?”
Mit-Sun stared at her with an empty expression, then smiled. “Thank you, La-Iin.”
“For what!?”
“For telling me that. I needed to hear it. I’m sorry I’m always the person you have to do boring things with. You’re right, I don’t want to be the only person you never have fun with. And if I was a different person, I might argue that we’ve done fun things before that I know you like. But yes, we should do more fun things together. Not only because I don’t want to be the person who’s boring to you. But also because, who else do I have? I have my Father, but he doesn’t live in Bledger. You might say I have Asul-Zenza, but I don’t like him. I have Choungetsu, yes, but I wouldn’t have him without you. There are a lot of people I have bonds with, but most of them are hard to keep up with, or aren’t really significant…you’re my child and the person I’m closest to right now. Days I might be lonely otherwise, I’m not because I have you. Even when you piss me off so much and I feel like punishing you for every little thing, I still have to count myself lucky. Because if I had never had you, I would have still broken up with Asul-Zenza, and I don’t know what I’d be doing with my life. It’s weird, because growing up, I never wanted to be a mother, but now it’s the thing in my life that makes me happiest.”
“…?”
“Oh, but that’s getting too much into things. You’ll just call me sappy for getting so emotional….and I’m not crying, so don’t even try it. I still have some groceries to get, but what say you and I spend the rest of the day doing something fun? Maybe go somewhere you like or do something around the house. It’s your call…..so long as it doesn’t cost any money!”
Mit-Sun walked on. La-Iin stayed still, thinking on what Mit-Sun had said. At those same words that made her feel happy that her mother was grateful for her, it also made her sad. She almost felt like it was her fault that her mother felt that way.
“….you’re not San-Kyung, Mama. You can make more friends and have other bonds. You should try harder to get along with your coworkers.”
“I guess I should,” Mit-Sun sighed. “Thanks for the advice.”
Against her better judgment, La-Iin whispered, “You’re welcome.”

—–
“Gyah! How do you even play this thing?”
“You just got the Protagonist killed, Mama! It’s game over!”
“Damn it! Oops!” Mit-Sun covered up her mouth. “I don’t get Haven in Dystopia, La-Iin. I’m glad you like it, but I guess video games aren’t really my style…”
“Maybe you’re more of a casual,” La-Iin sighed. “I can play that boss battle just fine. Watch me.”
“Alright….still, I like the storyline. It’d be nice if they made a book or something to go along with it…”
“No way! The best part of Haven in Dystopia is the gameplay! If you make it just the story, you lose that!”
“Alright, alright….”
La-Iin smiled. ‘This is how I should see you, Mama. You should be happier than you were earlier. I won’t let it slide otherwise!’

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