15.196.A Celebration with Magic Ribbons

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 196
“A Celebration with Magic Ribbons”

“Happy birthday, Father! How old are you today?”
“Thirty-three,” he sighed.
“That seems old! But I guess it isn’t really for a Warlock, right?”
“It isn’t the oldest…”
“Father, you’re seeming down again. Are you lonely? I’m sorry I don’t suffice…”
“No, Eul-Bok, don’t say that! I’ve spent most of my recent birthdays ignoring the fact that I’m having one in the first place. You saying happy birthday makes my day. I’m sorry I’ve been acting this way.”
“It’s okay, Father!”
“No, it isn’t…”
“Actually, I had an idea for a birthday present for you. Sort of. I don’t want you to know what it is, but I can’t get it without you helping me….”
“A present?” Sale-Dessu was touched.
“Well, sort of…”
“Oh, Eul-Bok, you don’t have to. I’m happy with you here.”
“Father, I want to do something special for you! When my birthday comes around, you will celebrate it, right?”
“Yes, of course.”
“So today it’s your birthday–I wanna celebrate!”
“Alright. I suppose I could make some cake…”
“That’s not what I mean, Father. So, I want to, I want to ask….is it okay if you take me somewhere so I can do something special for you? I know it’s sort of tacky to say it like this, but I’m a V-Puppet, so I do still need your help….”
“I understand, Eul-Bok,” Sale-Dessu said. “Where exactly did you need to go?”
“You may think this is strange, but….I wanted to go to the Cahongyun house.”
“The Cahongyuns?”
“Yes. I know, I’ve said things about La-Iin and her V-Puppet before, but I have an idea, so if you could take me over there….”
“Alright,” he said.
“Will you be okay? Socializing, I mean?”
“Yes.”
“You’re not just doing it to appease me, are you?”
“Of course not. I’m actually genuinely curious about what you’re planning.”
“Well, I guess you would be….okay then, so could you take us there!?”
“Yes. Just let me put on more presentable clothes.”

Despite what he had said to Eul-Bok, Sale-Dessu felt slightly nervous as he put on an outfit he hadn’t wore in ages. He still felt wary about socializing. He tried to remind himself that he would only be talking to La-Iin and her mother, and possibly her V-Puppet–yet still, he felt slightly scared.
“Are you ready, Father?”
“Yes,” he squeaked, his voice shaking.
“Are you SURE you’re ready?”
“Yes, I am,” he said. “I can do this.”
“That’s the spirit, Father! All right then, let’s get going!”
Sale-Dessu levitated Eul-Bok close as he buttoned his last button and head out the house. The sun was starting to set. Sale-Dessu figured it must be getting late. He picked up his pace slightly before stopping in front of the Cahongyun house.
“Go on and knock,” Eul-Bok said. Sale-Dessu took a deep breath and knocked on the Cahongyun’s door.
There was no response.
“Are they not home?” He peeked into one of the windows. Curtains covered it. Sale-Dessu sighed.
“They’ve got to be home. I don’t think it would make much sense if they weren’t!”
Sale-Dessu was about to reply when the door opened. Mit-Sun was standing there. “Hello? Oh, is that you, Astineth?”
“Y-yes. Hello.”
“What brings you over? Did you need something?” Mit-Sun started to glare. “Did you do something to us again?”
“N-no, I haven’t. Actually, my V-Puppet asked that I come over here because he has something to say……”
“Hello, Miss Cahongyun! My name is Astineth Eul-Bok. I’m my Father’s V-Puppet.”
“Nice to meet you, Eul-Bok?” Mit-Sun sounded confused.
“Nice to meet you too. As my Father said, I requested we come over here because I wanted to ask you something. I wanted to know if you could do a favor for me.”
Mit-Sun didn’t respond, but looked at Eul-Bok expectantly.
“Today is my Father’s birthday. May he please celebrate it with you? He’s usually alone and I’m the only one he has, and I can’t do anything for him. I want him to be able to celebrate with others.”
Sale-Dessu became flustered. He hadn’t expected Eul-Bok to say that. “Eul-Bok….!”
“This was my plan all along, Father. Please, let her respond before you get upset.”
“….today’s your birthday?” Mit-Sun asked.
“Yes…”
“And did you want to spend it with us? We don’t know you very well….”
“That was just Eul-Bok going off on a tangent, I’m sure….”
“Please, you have to! I can’t do anything special for my father aside saying happy birthday because I can’t move. My father gets lonely really easy sometimes. I want him to be able to be happy and have this birthday feel like an actual birthday.”
Sale-Dessu cringed. Eul-Bok was flustering him even more than before.
“….could you two wait here for a moment?” Mit-Sun asked.
“Yes, of course!”
Mit-Sun nodded and closed the door. Sale-Dessu turned to Eul-Bok.
“Why, Eul-Bok?”
“Because they’re people you know and your next-door neighbors. I figured they might be accomodating of celebrating your birthday with you.”
“Yes, but–!”
“Father, admit it. You might like it if she comes back out here and says yes, it’s fine if you come inside.”
“I–regardless of whether I’ll like it or not, Eul-Bok, you shouldn’t have…”
“Is that the good ‘you shouldn’t have’ or the bad ‘you shouldn’t have’?”
Mit-Sun opened the door once again.
“Come on in,” she said.
Sale-Dessu swallowed hard. She was inviting him in.
“Let’s go, Father,” Eul-Bok said. Sale-Dessu gave one more sigh before taking his first step in.
The Cahongyun house was tidier than Sale-Dessu would expect for a house that had a young child in it. Books were neatly put away in bookshelves, and he saw no toys lying on the floor. Sitting on the couch was a Pomeranian, who looked up at Sale-Dessu before wagging his tail. He seemed almost intrigued but somewhat scared.
Sale-Dessu found himself curious just by the entrance of the house. He kept looking around at the various things sitting around.
“Why did you come here?”
A familiar voice hit his ears. La-Iin was standing at the entrance to the living room, Bes-Isa in her arms and a confused expression on her face.
“Oh, it’s you. Father’s here because I asked him to come here. Today is his birthday.”
“Ooh, like that matters. So because of that you decided to have him and you intrude in our house?”

Bes-Isa sounded mad. Sale-Dessu held Eul-Bok close. “Don’t start any fights,” he said.
“I wasn’t trying to. She was.”
“Pin the blame on me, of course, even though YOU’RE apparently the one who forced him to come here. Your ‘father’ sounds like a pushover.”
“He can be….I mean!”

Sale-Dessu grimaced.
“You’re not going to stay here all night, are you?” La-Iin asked.
“No, I don’t want to….your mother, she said it was okay if I came in, so I’m leaving it up to her…..”
“Nothing should be left up to Mama,” La-Iin said.
“At least Father’s better behaved than that child,” Eul-Bok said.
“At least she and I are evil and at least I don’t call her mother, you creep.”
“Eul-Bok….please.”
“If it were any other day, Father, the answer would be no, but for you…..alright.”
“This means I win, doesn’t it, La-Iin?”

“Yes, it does,” La-Iin said with a smile.
Sale-Dessu was beginning to feel uncomfortable. He wanted to go back home.
“Have you been practicing any more world-destroying glitches or altering thingies?” La-Iin asked.
“Altering….thingies?”
“Yes, altering thingies. You should know what I’m talking about.”
“Not really….”
“Any more progress on the V-Puppetry project?”
“No….”
“Have you done anything interesting at all!?” La-Iin shrieked. She seemed to be getting frustrated; her wings were flapping at a rapid pace.
“Plenty.”
“Probably only goody-goody things,” La-Iin mumbled.
“…is school off for you right now?” He asked.
“Yes. It’s left me with a lot more free time. Maybe I should go over to your house sometime during the Summer and watch you to see if you really are doing interesting things or if you’re just lying.”
“I bet 12345678943235,2345673123465 vuyong he’s lying.”
“You bet….what?”
“She’s not even counting the number right. She’s just saying the numbers in it. Could you say how much vuyong that is in its actual terms, Father?”
“Even I can’t count that high yet….”
“I can count as high as one-hundred-and-sixteen. I get bored after that. It’s all just the same thing.”
Sale-Dessu blinked.
“Did you ever meet Choungetsu? This is Choungetsu.”
Choungetsu stood up when La-Iin walked near him and started to lick her face. La-Iin flinched and tried to push him away, but Choungetsu continued to be affectionate. Sale-Dessu giggled.
“I wonder why she’s acting like this…”
“She seems the same as always to me.”
“No, she’s acting…nicer. I wonder if she notices that.”
La-Iin eventually managed to push Choungetsu away and growled at him before walking up to Sale-Dessu.
“How much species study knowledge do you have?” She asked.
“….why?”
“I wanna know.”
“…a decent amount…”
“Do you think you’d know more than a teenage boy?”
“That depends…”
“One day I want to pit you two against each other….” La-Iin mumbled. Sale-Dessu started to feel nervous again as she walked over to the couch, still mumbling and sat next to Choungetsu.
Sale-Dessu had no idea how to react to the current situation.
“La-Iin?” Mit-Sun called. “Can you come over her for a second?”
La-Iin sighed and hopped off the couch, walking towards the kitchen. Sale-Dessu was curious to follow, but he stayed behind. He couldn’t hear anything from the kitchen, but a few moments later, Mit-Sun called,
“Astineth? Could you come in here for a moment?”
Sale-Dessu walked through the house and to the kitchen, admiring the various decorations on his way there. Once he arrived in the kitchen, he saw Mit-Sun and La-Iin standing in front of a table. Mit-Sun turned to the table and showed him a cake.
“Happy Birthday, Astineth!” Mit-Sun said.
“Happy birthday,” La-Iin said.
“I know it’s simple, but I figured you might not mind. Of course, I don’t know for sure, but….Astineth?”
Sale-Dessu couldn’t help but feel touched. Before he had realized it, he was crying. Mit-Sun was staring at him with concern in her eyes.
“I’m sorry?”
“No, it’s fine!” Sale-Dessu yelled. “Thank you so much!”
“Thank you from me too!” Eul-Bok said. “He’s not upset by what you did. Like I said, my father hasn’t really celebrated his birthdays lately. I think you’ve made him very happy. So thank you!”
Mit-Sun smiled.
“Can I eat some of that cake now?” La-Iin asked.
“Let Astineth have some first,” Mit-Sun said. “I hope it’s a flavor you like. I don’t really know what sort of things you’re in to…..aside from spells of course.”
“It’s fine.” A knife was sitting nearby. Sale-Dessu used that to cut the cake. He cut three pieces and took one for himself before sitting down at the table. La-Iin lunged at one of the pieces.
“It may be a silly simple thing, but it’s nice to celebrate with people, isn’t it, Father?”
Sale-Dessu smiled wide to keep himself from crying again. He watched Mit-Sun and La-Iin converse as the two ate the cake.
“….it really is, Eul-Bok. We’ll have to do something special for your birthday too. After all, it will be your first birthday!”

—–
Sale-Dessu had fallen asleep not long after eating the cake. Mit-Sun had asked him to relax, but she hadn’t expected him to relax as much as he did.
“Well, La-Iin, I guess we have to carry him all the way back home…”
“Mama–!”
“I’m joking.”
“We’re not going to let him sleep here, are we?”
Mit-Sun sighed. “I have no idea.”
Sale-Dessu’s expression was peaceful as he slept. It instilled in Mit-Sun the feelings of happiness at seeing him relaxed after his birthday celebration and the feeling of anger that he felt comfortable enough to do such a thing.

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