The La-Iin Series
“Talents for the Future”
“La-Iin, I want to ask you a question.”
“What is it, Mama?”
“You say you’re going to rule the world without a doubt in the future, but what if you don’t get to do that–right away, mind you?” Mit-Sun asked. “What are you going to do then?”
“I strive every day towards my goal of ruling the world, even if you don’t notice it. I’ll keep formulating plans. Trying to get San-Kyung on my side if that hasn’t happened yet. I’ll do stuff with Fer-Shi.”
“What about making vuyong?”
“I can steal.”
“And if you land in jail…?”
“I’ll break out.”
Mit-Sun sighed and rolled her eyes. “Look, La-Iin, my point was, don’t you have anything else you want to do in the future? I’m not going to say give up on your dream, because I know that would be impossible, but even when you rule the world….assuming that even happens…”
“I heard that,” La-Iin snapped.
“Aren’t there going to be times you’re not ruling things?”
“I’ll always be ruling, I just won’t always be destroying. And I’ll have children to take care of, so there’s that.”
“Isn’t there anything else you might want to do alongside that? Just ruling the world and taking care of your children? Sounds like it would get kind of repetitive.”
“And tending to slaves. And spending time with San-Kyung. I have lots of things to do in the future, Mama, so stop worrying, it’s annoying.”
“Well, you like to draw,” she said. “Are you going to do anything about that?”
La-Iin blinked. “I’m sure you could polish your drawing skills until they’re good enough to make art. I’m just saying, why not have something else to do alongside ruling the world? Take this as some advice from me, spending most of your life working and taking care of children can get a bit boring.”
La-Iin hissed, her wings flapping rapidly, but soon sat back down. “I suppose you have a point. I’ll be ruling the world for a thousand years….or at least hundreds…so I guess I should have something else to do. Drawing would be a good skill to hone, because then I could record all I’ve done in works of art. I’d trust myself doing that more than some slave, anyway. Good idea, Mama.”
Mit-Sun gave a quiet sigh. “Glad to hear it.”
La-Iin finished her dinner and ran away from the table before flying up the stairs. Walking into her room, she head for the small table in the middle and began to draw.
“What’s the artiste working on now?”
“My art skills. Mama actually had a surprisingly good idea for once, saying I should hone my art skills. I figured it would be a good thing, even if her reason for telling me to seemed like a bad one. Then I can record all sorts of stuff in art form.”
“Living a thousand years is going to be boring sometimes, so I guess working on this is a good past time.”
“Uh-huh. Considering anything else? Ruling the world, domestic life and drawing seems a little skimpy for someone who will be living a thousand years and hundreds of those a widow.”
“Don’t remind me,” she said bitterly. “And I can find something else if I need to. Besides, I can still polish my powers.”
She began to flap her wings as she drew.
“So what’s the wing-flapping for? Are you irritated? What’d I say?”
“I’m polishing my flapping.”
“That’s not what I meant, you know. There are other things you could do. Finding new ones is fine and all, but if you’re planning to spend a good portion of your life taking care of your children, starting up something new while you’re still doing that might be near impossible. Even if you can balance it, I bet you’ll end up focusing your energy more on one thing than the other.”
“Simple. I’ll just start up something new while they’re asleep. And they won’t always need my care. I’ve always seen Chung-Ae as a reliable older brother. Just very, very judgmental. And in my world, very judgmental is a good thing.”
“Just wait until Chung-Ae ends up as a goody-goody version of Sou-Yu…hey, you said you prepared for that situation, so don’t look at me like that. Anyway, all this conversation about doing other things in the future had me thinking. You plan to have a little girl, Song-Ii, right?”
“That’s right. My one and only daughter.”
“Are you going to give all your old dresses to her? Your answer on this always varies, but unless you stay tiny like this for the rest of your life eventually you’ll outgrow those dresses. Something about you strikes me in the way that makes me think you’re on the way to Normal puberty. You should get taller eventually….though for now I guess it stands that you are a very short seven-year-old.”
“Hm. Well, if I need any more clothes in the future, I can have Mama make them. She’ll be a slave indentured to me anyway.” La-Iin nodded and held up a picture to Bes-Isa. “What do you think?”
The picture was one of San-Kyung slicing what appeared to be a cleaver through Dosa-Mina’s neck, with his head flying off the page cross-eyed.
“I think it sucks.”
La-Iin glared. She pulled out another piece of paper and began to draw. “I’ll show you…”
“You should be grateful I don’t hold back around you. Other people might have pat you on the back for such a job bad done.”
“I wouldn’t have believed them. And besides, I think it’s a masterpiece, so screw anyone else who says otherwise!”
“…I know Mama probably wants me to think about doing something else in the future,” La-Iin said suddenly. “She doesn’t want me to rule the world, and I think she thinks I can’t do it either. I totally can. …but I’ll give Mama that she has a good reason for worrying. Even if she wants me to do something else in the future and that’s why she asked, I’m still going to keep drawing. I want to have lots of things to do in the future, because I still have a lot of time ahead of me.”
“Don’t go depressia on me, La-Iin.”
La-Iin growled. “I won’t.”
“I guess you make a good enough point, though. It is a long time. In fact, I’m not sure I can stand sticking by you all that time. And not just because I think you can be annoying sometimes. Also because that’s a really long time. I already know a painful boredom thanks to being a V-Puppet, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing soon. I can only imagine how many years I’d be left in the dark if you really do end up having children with San-Kyung…”
“Why would I just leave you in the dark?”
“Because you’re evil and that’s like you. Not that I mind the evil part, but still. So I guess polishing your drawing skills is a good thing. I mean, if nothing else, when stealing fails it can make you a bit of vuyong to get you through the day.”
“I don’t even know if I’d want to sell my pictures. They’re too good for other people. They depict my inner feelings that nobody can understand.”
“People would try to. …so anyway, while we’re talking about this, IS there anything else you might think of doing in the future? Aside from drawing, ruling and domestic life, anyway? Plan on procuring any more Makeshire scripts?”
“Are you going to read anything ASIDE from those? Hey, speaking of, maybe I should write books. I could tell you the story and the dialogue, and you could write it down for me. A way to express my feelings on paper.”
“Are you going to keep being a fashionista?”
“I’ll still have lots of dresses in future.”
“Well I guess you do have a lot of time to think about what other things you might want to do.”
“Are you saying I don’t do much with my life? Part of my world-ruling will involve traveling just like my Dami. In fact, maybe I’ll take him with me.”
“Mm-hm, go ahead, take the goody-goody with you while you rule the world, he’ll totally agree to that.”
La-Iin glared at Bes-Isa. “Say whatever you want, Bes-Isa. For now, I don’t care about focusing on anything else except my drawing and what’s going on with me right now.”
“Yeah, I guess. You’re only seven, so you’ll probably find other things to do with all those years of yours. But if you ever run low on ideas, you’re welcome to ask me. And who knows, perhaps the future in a hundred years won’t be so bad, for you, anyway. Not as much sadness from all that death you’ll be going through.”
“It won’t be that much sadness if you stop reminding me about it,” La-Iin snapped.
“Alright, alright, fine.”
La-Iin went back to furiously drawing.
“You’d make better drawings if you used something aside from crayon, you know.”
Later that night, before La-Iin went to bed, she showed Mit-Sun several pictures she had drawn that day. Mit-Sun had already spotted the ground-up crayons lying on her table, and wasn’t surprised by the number of drawings with blood in them. Many drawings featured San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina in violent scenarios in which Dosa-Mina ended up dead; others featured La-Iin ruling the world, marrying San-Kyung, or keeping slaves. Only a very small amount were non-violent in any way, and they featured characters Mit-Sun had never seen before.
“You said to do drawing, and while I know you had ulterior motives, I think it was a good idea anyway,” she said. “I think I’ve shown considerable improvement. What do you think?”
“…you still have a long way to go,” Mit-Sun said. “But who knows, maybe someday before ruling the world you’ll be a world-renowned gore artist…”
La-Iin flashed a confident grin.