The La-Iin Series
“Thanks for taking the time to see me, you two.”
“It isn’t a problem,” Tei-Sheu said. She put a cup of tea in front of Mit-Sun. “I made sure to put in lots of milk.”
“That isn’t a problem either. Fer-Shi also likes her tea with lots of milk.”
“Does La-Iin like tea? She’s never drunk any at our house.” Den-Matsu asked.
“I…I don’t really know. She mostly just drinks blood and water.”
Den-Matsu and Tei-Sheu glanced at each other, uncertain expressions on their faces.
“Sometimes I don’t know how you do it,” Tei-Sheu sighed. “It’s hard to raise a child even if she’s one as calm and kind as Fer-Shi is. I can’t imagine raising a half-Vampire. Dealing with powers and such sounds hard…”
“It can be,” Mit-Sun sighed. “There’s a lot of things to watch out for and they’re milestones I never had. There was never a big deal about me learning how to fly or getting my first blood cravings. It’s also kind of sad at the same time, since I’ve been told these sorts of things normally happen later in a Vampire’s life….but enough about that. The real difficulty isn’t her being a half-Vampire even if there are hard things about it. It’s her personality that’s hard to deal with.”
“She’s pretty energetic whenever she comes over here.” Den-Matsu said.
“That’s not the problem. You know she says she’s evil, right?”
Den-Matsu and Tei-Sheu blinked. “Ohh, she said something about that once, didn’t she…” Tei-Sheu said.
“Some days she won’t shut up about it. Others she’s a little more quiet. And she could be telling the truth, or she could just be using it as an excuse to act out. She acts out a lot, mind you. And that’s the hardest part about raising her. I don’t hate her, not by a long shot. But it’s hard to deal with her.”
“Well, Fer-Shi acts out sometimes too,” Tei-Sheu said.
“She does it to the point where people have felt the need to tell me about it. Has Fer-Shi ever told you that she got suspended once for pulling down a student’s pants? Or that she stalked said student around the school? Surprisingly now, they’re friends, and I seriously worry about how she treats him. One of these days I should follow her when she goes off with him…”
Den-Matsu and Tei-Sheu glanced at each other again, their expressions still uncertain.
“Also, in March there were new students who joined Malicerie.”
“We’ve heard of them.” Den-Matsu said.
“So you also know that the child prodigy Vampiris Ai-Reia goes there now, right?”
“Apparently, La-Iin followed her around as well. She bothers the students at her school a lot. It concerns me. And school starts again tomorrow, so I can’t help but feel worried…now that she’s friends with that boy, will she still stalk him around the school? She’s gotten into a fight before as well.”
The expressions on Tei-Sheu and Den-Matsu’s faces became concerned.
“There’s just so many things…she does petty things to be deliberately annoying. She complains about my dinners unless it’s something she likes so much that she doesn’t see the point in complaining about it. She’s fed dinners to Choungetsu and cursed like a ruffian. And she’s not always nice to me either. Sometimes she just starts treating me badly for no reason, but if her father comes by she’s always nice to him, no matter what. She takes his side for everything and never gets mad at him, and even begs him to come by sometimes.”
Tears built up in her eyes. “Mit-Sun….”
She wiped them away. “But enough about that. I heard she drank a potion of our next-door neighbor’s the other day and he brought her back passed out. He said he had flushed the whole potion out of her system, but she was acting strange afterwards. He said it was an accident, but I doubt it. ….she probably drank it on purpose.”
“She’s still little though, Mit-Sun,” Den-Matsu said. “There’s time for her to outgrow these behaviors. And drinking potions definitely sounds like something a young child would do…”
“It’s frustrating all the same,” she sighed. “When she was a baby of course she wasn’t treating me poorly. She was a baby. But after she got older, well, the mischievous side kicked in, I guess. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, over these six-and-a-half years what’s been harder about dealing with her than her powers or her Vampire traits has been her personality. If she flew around the house but was cautious about crashing into things, it’d be fine. If she didn’t demand blood and treat me like shit when she didn’t get it, it’d be fine. But she does those things anyway. I just worry. I’ve been trying my hardest to raise her well, and even if she does end up actually being evil, I want her to at least care about other people. So I’m glad she has friends.”
Mit-Sun’s eyes started to water again. “Just thinking back on some things that have happened….it’s hard. Somedays she makes me feel like a terrible parent, whether directly or indirectly, and I just…I’m jealous of you two, sometimes. For starters, you don’t have to deal with Fer-Shi alone, and she’s a lot more nice and a lot more calm, it’s….I’m sorry to stress you two out with this.”
“Mit-Sun…” Tei-Sheu started. She glanced down, then looked back up. “If you ever need to talk to someone, I’m here, you know?”
“Me too,” Den-Matsu said.
“Don’t think we don’t have hard times with our daughter. We’ll get some of your stresses. And what we can’t understand, well, we’ll lend our ears to. Don’t worry about stressing us out. We’ll tell you if you are, but we won’t stop you from talking about it. If we were having a hard time, you’d probably be one of the first people we trusted with our concerns, and I’d hope you thought of us the same way.”
“Besides, raising a kid can’t always be hard,” Den-Matsu said. “I’m sure you have memories of good times with her as well.”
Mit-Sun glanced down. “…we have some fun traditions, the two of us. And there are some days she has concerns and she comes to me about them. If you’ve noticed, she can’t fly right now due to her fluctuating weight and her wingspan, and she came to me about that. We have a sporadic ice cream schedule, and that’s a lot of fun too. And there have been some days I’ve felt like, ‘why do I even worry about whether she loves me or not? Of course she does’….”
“If you think on the good times, the bad times are nothing.” Den-Matsu said.
“So keep trying. Your efforts aren’t for nothing. And if La-Iin can love her father unconditionally, then there’s the chance that she’ll feel the same towards you eventually. Even if she does end up evil, I can tell you that she seems to genuinely care about people. I’ve seen how she plays with Fer-Shi. Even the times she’s mean to her, it’s never horribly cruel. So don’t worry.”
“And we’re here for you no matter what.”
“Thanks, you two. It was a good idea to talk with you about my concerns. You’re the best.”
Mit-Sun smiled at La-Iin at the dinner table that night. La-Iin blinked.
“I’ll keep trying…” She whispered to herself. La-Iin started to feel uncomfortable and began to eat dinner faster.