11.192.Let’s Go on a Date!

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 192
“Let’s Go on a Date!”

Though the day was hot outside, both La-Iin and San-Kyung were forced to stand nearby Dosa-Mina, still wearing his long sleeves and pants. The boy seemed mostly unfazed by the hot weather aside from a small amount of sweat building on his forehead.
“I need water….” San-Kyung groaned.
“We’ll be somewhere you can get water soon, I’m sure,” Dosa-Mina said. “Hmm…..”
“Something on your mind?”
“Oh, I was just thinking of asking something…it’s been crossing my mind a lot.”
“Asking me or La-Iin?”
‘Don’t even try to talk to me!’ La-Iin thought.
“Asking you, of course!”
“If you wanna ask so bad, then do it. I’m not gonna care.”
“Are you really not gonna care? Or are you not gonna care in the same way you’ve not cared about other things only to care about them later?”
“….what sort of question do you want to ask me?”
Dosa-Mina stopped in place and turned to the side. San-Kyung glanced at him.
“So, San-Kyung! Let’s go on a date!”
San-Kyung’s eyes went wide. La-Iin’s wings instantly went into furious-flap mode. Dosa-Mina gave a quiet giggle.
“Rival-booooooy!” La-Iin growled as she flew towards him. Dosa-Mina seemed unfazed by her obvious anger, and instead continued to smile.
“You too.”
“What?”
“You come on the date too!”
“Why!?”
“Okay, now I know you’re screwing around,” San-Kyung said.
“Hey, I just wanted to try it. Morbid curiosity and all that, you know? Other people I’m friends with are not as inclined to these sorts of habits of mine. I didn’t want them to get the wrong idea.”
“I’m one thing, but aren’t you worried about what being on a ‘date’ with La-Iin might look like?”
“There’ll be three of us! At worst they’ll think we’re stealing her. Besides, I had to invite La-Iin or else she’d get the wrong idea by my just asking you. Don’t worry you two, there’s nothing romantic behind my asking for this. I just want to try it! So in a few days, wear your fanciest clothes and let’s go on a date?”
“A few days meaning what?” San-Kyung asked.
“You’re not gonna turn him down?” La-Iin said.
“A few days meaning….um….July eleventh? Yeah, that sounds good! July eleventh at….the stall plaza. Make sure to find the perfect excuse for going out, otherwise we’re screwed!”
“My perfect excuse can just be you…”
“I’ll find something.” La-Iin asked.
“I’m surprised you’re so accepting of this, little Vampire girl! I thought for sure you wouldn’t want to go on a date with me…..
“You must be stupider than I thought. If I don’t go with you, I have no idea what you’ll do to San-Kyung. You say you have no romantic intentions, but you’ve given me conflicting information before! Also, it’s the closest thing I’ll get to an actual date with San-Kyung.”
San-Kyung grimaced.
“Well, whatever your reasons, it works for me! We’ll meet at the stall plaza on July eleventh. Wear fancy clothes and come before it’s four afternoon! I’ll see you two then!”

***

La-Iin had spent a while deciding on a dress fancy enough to wear for the date. She had put Dosa-Mina out of her mind and was imagining the situation as a date between her and San-Kyung.
“La-Iin….isn’t it wonderful? The stall plaza is so quiet….perhaps because we’ve run them all out of business.”
“What they were selling wasn’t half bad either,” she said to him as she drank strawberry milk. “Maybe we could keep them as slaves. I’d like to drink more of this strawberry milk….”
“Good idea. After all, they’d prefer that over being dead, wouldn’t they?”

She sighed at the fantasy.
“You’re looking through your dresses more intently than normal,” Bes-Isa commented.
“I’m going somewhere today,” she said.
“Am I allowed to come?”
“No.”
“Why not?”
“You’ll understand when I get back.”
“I want to understand why now.”
“Because I’m doing something that could easily be compromised by having to talk to you.”
“You wouldn’t have to….sheesh.”
“I’m just saying, it will be easier if I tell you later, okay? I promise I will tell you.”
“Not sure I can trust your word on that….but okay, fine. But claim to forget and I’ll force you to tell me. Don’t think I don’t have ways of getting under your skin.”
“I know you do. Now get some sleep.” She snapped her fingers and caught Bes-Isa. She laid her carefully on the bed and pulled a blanket over her.
La-Iin went back to deciding on the dress and picked out the one that looked most fancy to her. Its blood-orange color made her feel even more certain that she wanted to wear it. She put the dress on, checked the time, and head downstairs. Mit-Sun was reading a book in the living room, and she waved to La-Iin as she passed by.
“Are you going out?” She asked.
“….yes.”
“Who with?”
“….San-Kyung. And someone else.”
“Who is this someone else?”
“….someone to watch both me and San-Kyung.”
“Is that so?” Mit-Sun seemed unconvinced.
“Yes. This time it’s true. Go ahead and try and find the phone number of the Molsheis. They’ll tell you.”
“Hm.” She put the book down on her lap. “I’ll take your word for it for now, but remember to return home with those people. Otherwise I won’t believe you. And if you aren’t back before it’s so dark that the streetlights come on, you’ll be in trouble.”
“You’re taking this all mildly.”
“Only because I really doubt you’d lie about meeting San-Kyung and he seems more trustable than I thought. I’m still wary. I don’t mind you going out on your own, La-Iin, but I do still worry…”
“Is this just because I’m not taking Choungetsu with me?”
“Maybe I should make you.” Choungetsu seemed to hear his name being said, as he looked up from the couch and started to wag his tail rapidly.
“No, we’ll be fine without him,” La-Iin said. Choungetsu gave a quiet whimper and put his head on his paws.
“Wish I had a tracking device for you sometimes…” Mit-Sun said. “Be safe.”
“Never. …..oh, okay.”
She flew out the door and towards the path that led to downtown. La-Iin saw the benefit of being able to fly as being able to switch between travel methods easily. When she couldn’t fly, she was always bound to the ground–if she got tired there was nothing she could do. Being able to fly benefit her in that she could switch between walking and flying if she had gotten tired out by doing the other.
The trip there took slightly longer on her own, but it didn’t feel like too long before she had reached the downtown area. It was slightly more bustling now that school was over, but those still working were not present. La-Iin flew around, searching for the stall plaza.
“Over here!” A familiar voice called. It reminded La-Iin all too much that the date was not for her and San-Kyung alone. With a groan, she head for the stall plaza.
The stall plaza was set up with several small stalls. All the stalls had people at the ready; not a single one was closed except for a scarf stall. Yet the stall plaza was relatively inactive, a few small groups of people buying things being the only ones there aside from Dosa-Mina and San-Kyung.
“You’re the latest of us all! But not that late. And don’t worry. We found ways to entertain ourselves while we waited for you…” He grabbed onto San-Kyung’s arm. San-Kyung rolled his eyes.
Both boys were dressed relatively formally, but it was more casual on Dosa-Mina, while to La-Iin, San-Kyung hardly looked any different. He still kept his neck-ribbon even in the new outfit.
“I don’t even know what you’re supposed to do on a date. Didn’t think I’d be on one,” he said.
“Well, I think just whatever is fine so long as we all have fun! I suggested the stall plaza because there’s lots of little trinkets to look at and little snacks to get….but you have to know which ones are using genuine ingredients and which ones will give you indigestion.”
A few nearby food stall people glared at Dosa-Mina. He payed them no mind. “Food is always a good start! There are plenty of tables and benches nearby to sit on. Let’s get something to eat!” Dosa-Mina ran ahead of the two.
“What do you wanna bet that this whole ‘date’ is gonna be Dosa-Mina leading us?” San-Kyung sighed.
“I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Dosa-Mina had stopped at a larger food stall that advertised foods for all species tastes. La-Iin focused on the section describing Vampire tastes.
“Ooh, look, seed smoothies!”
“…”
“What’s wrong? Doesn’t look appetizing?”
“It’s expensive…”
“Huh? Don’t worry about that! I have the vuyong to cover, I think….I’m willing to pay for food. Just not if you guys want to buy a random trinket or anything.”
“Hm…”
“Come on, you don’t have to be so considerate! You too, La-Iin. We’re not going to get anywhere if you two just dawdle all day!”
‘He’s being really pushy….did he really just want to go on an outing, or is he trying to do something? I can never tell with him….’ La-Iin glanced back at the Vampire section. She pointed toward the most expensive product.
“I want that.”
“Sure it isn’t too refined for a six-year-old’s taste?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“No.”
“If you say so…San-Kyung, any ideas?”
“The seed smoothie looks good I guess….”
“What kinda seeds do you want in it?”
“….guess.”
“Pumpkin?” He said playfully. A shiver went up San-Kyung’s body. “No!”
“I’m just messing with you. Although I guess it was a pretty sick way to….how about this one? I hear the seeds of this fruit taste like chocolate.”
“Whatever you pick is fine. I don’t really have a preference when it comes to food…”
“Aw, leaving it up to me? I’ll do you justice then.” Dosa-Mina turned to the stall owner and began to order their meals.
“Why did you leave it up to him?” She asked.
“He knows me well. Besides, I’ll drink pretty much anything.”
“Do you ever eat?”
“Not much. Just enough to keep from looking emaciated….last thing I need is more unnecessary attention.”
“All done ordering! Let’s go sit down!” Dosa-Mina said. He led the two to a small table and the trio sat down around it.
“So! Any ideas of where else to go? Or would you prefer to leave it all in my hands? I can deal with that too.”
“I don’t care,” San-Kyung said.
“You don’t have to be so passive, San-Kyung,” Dosa-Mina said. “Voice your thoughts!”
“….I’d rather not go to a movie.”
“That’s okay. There aren’t any movie theaters nearby!”
“Do you even have a plan, rival-boy?” La-Iin asked.
“Of course I do! If you two leave it up to me, I’ll show you a good time. To be honest, I’ve never done one of these before either. So if there’s any sort of requirement aside from go out with someone and have a good time, I don’t know it. I do know there are optional things some people do on some dates….”
La-Iin glared at Dosa-Mina.
“But since we’re waiting, why don’t we talk? There’s really been nothing going on for me! I hate to say it, but I’m starting to think school is where the most things happen for me.”
“What about when you’re with me?” Asked San-Kyung.
“I guess you have a point there.”
“San-Kyung!” La-Iin interrupted. San-Kyung sighed. “Yes?”
“I wanted to know if there’s a power you ever wanted but don’t have!”
San-Kyung looked unsure at first, but he gave a quick response. “I’d want the power to change my form at will. I’d use it only once and then never again.”
“What about to hide your identity?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“I guess there’s that…”
“I wish I could give you my power, San-Kyung. I certainly don’t need it with how often I’m in Normal form.”
“Yeah, I wish…”
“Then we could both be happy!”
“That’s something that still doesn’t really make sense to me. Why do you hate your true form so much, Dosa-Mina? I don’t get it.”
“Ooh, she actually used my name! I like it when she does that. And I don’t like it because I don’t. I think I explained it to you somewhat once before. It’s not something that really needs to be talked about.”
“But it doesn’t make sense.”
“Maybe not to you. If you had a less-common Dualbreed species like me, you’d probably want to flaunt it. But the less common the species, the more curious onlookers tend to be. ….among other things. It’s just a difference in personality that makes it hard for you to understand.”
‘I think he’s trying to avoid it….’
“Here you are, sirs and madam,” said a waiter. He put down the meals in front of each person.
“Thank you!” Dosa-Mina said. He tipped the waiter, who gave a smile and left.
“Blood!” La-Iin screeched. She dove at the meat and began to suck from it. Dosa-Mina watched her as he ate, then focused his attention to San-Kyung halfway through.
“Is that seed smoothie good?” He asked.
“Yes. But it’s a little cold…”
“Really? Can I try?”
“Here, go ahead and see!”
Dosa-Mina sipped from the straw. La-Iin noticed when she looked up and the meat dropped off her fangs. Her wings began to twitch. She handed San-Kyung her piece of meat.
“You can drink from this too!”
“….how?”
“I made puncture holes! Drink from there!”
“Silly Vampire girl. It’s more convenient to suck blood from meat as a Vampire. Vampires have specialized fangs for that sort of thing, after all. The rest of us just have normal canines! Mostly, anyway.”
“Stop trying to show off,” La-Iin said.
“I’m not!”
The trio finished their meals soon after. Dosa-Mina returned the dishes and then went back to his group. “Shall we move on? I want to go out of the stall plaza now. I want to take you two somewhere.”
“Alright,” San-Kyung said.
Dosa-Mina led the way out of the stall plaza.
“I wonder where he’s taking us…” San-Kyung said.
“Hopefully not somewhere stupid,” she said.
“He has better taste in places than someone else I know,” San-Kyung said.
“I doubt it,” La-Iin said.
“Alright, here we are!” He said. San-Kyung and La-Iin looked up. Dosa-Mina had taken them to a center filled with many different activities.
“I figure there will be plenty to do in here. Let’s get going!”
The inside of the center was darker than all three of them had been expecting. Dosa-Mina continued to lead the way into the center.
“Have you been here before?” He asked.
“No. But I looked into it. There’s a few particular rooms I’d like to try.”
The first room Dosa-Mina stopped at had a lavender door. He opened the door to reveal strange contraptions sporting wings dangling from the ceiling. La-Iin was confused.
“I’ve always wanted to try a flying simulator!” He said. “Come on, San-Kyung, you should try it too!”
“So, this has nothing in it for me, does it? I see what you’re trying to do, rival-boy.”
“I’m not trying to do anything.” He grabbed San-Kyung’s arm and went to talk to a tall Vampire woman nearby, who instructed the boys on how to use the device and strapped them into it.
‘A flying simulator could never beat actual flying.’ She flapped her wings and flew above the ground as if to prove a point.
San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina began to dangle around in mid-air. Dosa-Mina spread his arms and started to laugh. “Look, it’s like I’m really flying in the sky!”
“I don’t like this so much!” San-Kyung called.
“Don’t worry, it won’t last forever!” He reassured. As she watched them, La-Iin kept above the ground, glaring in their direction.
Once the simulator ended, Dosa-Mina spoke with the Vampire lady one last time and the trio left the room.
“If this is supposed to be a date for the three of us, then how come you picked something I couldn’t be involved in?” La-Iin asked.
“You could have joined us if you wanted to, you know. I wasn’t saying you couldn’t.”
“Something like that could never top actual flying.”
“That’s what I thought you’d say. Alright, then, why don’t we try this!”
The next door he opened was cerulean. Inside was a simple shooting game. A group of small children and an adult played together before moving away.
“These things are pretty standard for an area like this,” Dosa-Mina said. He picked up one of the guns. San-Kyung followed, holding the gun as if it were a real one.
“Planning to shoot someone?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“No.”
“Good.”
Dosa-Mina’s comment sparked an idea in La-Iin’s mind. She grabbed a gun as well. Dosa-Mina pressed a button to signal that all the players were present. The game then started.
As soon as it did, La-Iin fired at Dosa-Mina.
“Ow!”
“Heh heh.”
Dosa-Mina lost track of his aim and began to fire wildly. San-Kyung was also firing wildly, but he seemed to be enjoying the game as he ruthlessly shot down targets. La-Iin continued to shoot at Dosa-Mina.
“Stop that!” He yelled. He shot back at La-Iin. The false bullet inside the gun made a large impact.
“Ow…”
“Hurts pretty bad, doesn’t it?”
The game ended. La-Iin and Dosa-Mina were classified as LOSERS, while San-Kyung managed to rack up a high enough score to pick a small prize. He automatically went for a keychain and handed it to Dosa-Mina.
“Aw, thank you!” Dosa-Mina cooed. La-Iin growled.
“I wanna try again. Seriously this time.”
“I’d love to let you, but it looks like someone’s behind us,” he said. He led La-Iin out of the room, then ran to San-Kyung’s side.
“Thank, San-Kyung.”
“You’re welcome.”
“Though I wonder where I could put a keychain?”
“Up your–” La-Iin started before getting cut off. Dosa-Mina head for a fuschia door.
“I’ve been wanting to try this,” he said.
“What is it, anyway?”
“It’s a bouncy room.”
“A bouncy room?” La-Iin questioned.
“Yes. A bouncy room.” He opened the door. Nobody was inside. He took a single step, then fell over.
“Please join me,” his muted voice said. San-Kyung and La-Iin followed him in.
The bouncy room proved to be incredibly so. The walls, floor, and ceiling of the room were bouncy. Not a single one of the trio could control where they might bounce next. None of them could even stop or steady themselves.
“Why did you want to try this again!?” San-Kyung asked. Dosa-Mina was silent, bouncing around with a smile on his face.
La-Iin tried to fly to escape the room, but she ended up bouncing all around. The three crashed into each other, which they thought at first would stop them, but instead sent them bouncing even more than before.
Dosa-Mina broke out into laughter as he bounced to a far end of the room. La-Iin couldn’t help but start to laugh as well. She could have sworn she even heard a chuckle come fron San-Kyung.
As trapped as they were in the bouncy room, Dosa-Mina’s laughter was contagious.

***

“That was ridiculous,” San-Kyung said.
“I heard you giggling~” Said Dosa-Mina.
“I think I might be sick…” La-Iin groaned.
“Wasn’t it fun, though?” He asked, San-Kyung and La-Iin both had trouble giving him an answer.
“Whether or not you two thought it was fun, we should move on now. There are plenty of other rooms in this center. If we want to see most of them, we can’t wait! Come on!”
Dosa-Mina dashed away from the two. La-Iin and San-Kyung glanced at each other before following him.
“….this hasn’t been too bad a time today,” San-Kyung said.
“Today has had its benefits.” La-Iin said.
They caught up to Dosa-Mina, who opened a chartreuse door and led them inside.

—–
“So, how did you like today?” Dosa-Mina asked as the trio walked away from downtown.
“It was a lot better than I thought it was gonna be,” San-Kyung said.
“For something you came up with, it wasn’t too bad.”
“Would you do it again?”
“I don’t know…” San-Kyung said.
“How am I supposed to know?” La-Iin said.
“Well, I’m glad you two liked it. If you didn’t all three of our first dates would have been duds!”
“There were some questionable parts…” San-Kyung said.
“That doesn’t mean the date as a whole was bad,” Dosa-Mina said as he clung to San-Kyung. “Wouldn’t be surprised if all dates have questionable parts!”
“Rival-boy, if you want me to have enjoyed the date, you’ll let go of him…”
“Date’s over, La-Iin, so I can do whatever I want!”
The trio walked home in high spirits despite La-Iin’s irritation.

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