The La-Iin Series
“Children for a Cause”
“La-Iin? Did you say you wanted to have kids someday once?”
La-Iin blinked at Fer-Shi. “Where is this coming from?”
“Oh, I was talking to my Mom and Dad about families. They asked me what kind of family I might want in the future. I think I have a pretty hard time imagining what my future might be like, but I thought it might be nice to be a Mom. You seem to have an easy time imagining your future, so I wanted to know…I could have sworn you said something about it before.”
“What’s with that look?”
“I thought you knew the answer to that already.”
“Hm, well, I guess I should. After all, it is pretty obvious you want to have kids with San-Kyung.”
La-Iin hissed. “Alright, I’m kidding!”
“I am going to have children in the future,” she said. “It’s only natural to want to continue on the bloodline. Who knows if there’s anyone aside from me to do it? …well, I guess there’s Ei-Tio, but I plan on making a family of evil royalty to reign dominion over the world for all the years to come.”
“What if you had good kids?”
“Does everyone want to ask me this?” She scoffed. “No matter. I’m sure there are ways I could convince my children to become evil while they’re still young.”
“It might not work,” she said. “After all, Miss Cahongyun is good, and you’re evil.”
“It would work with me. I know how to convince children better than Mama. …besides, she betrayed me when I found out Dami existed.”
“I’ve actually planned for children for a long time now,” she said. “I have names for them and everything. And everyone thinks when I daydream it’s all about ruling the world and Sa-Kyung, but it also has to deal with my children, too. I know things could always end up going not the way I expected, so I intend to plan for as many scenarios as possible just in case. And yes, that includes having goody-goody children.”
“I see….well, would you still have kids even if you couldn’t have them with San-Kyung?”
La-Iin’s eyes widened. “Even if San-Kyung somehow died or didn’t join my side, there would still be ways I could impregnate myself with his children, I’m sure.”
Fer-Shi shuddered. La-Iin looked almost crazed to her. “Well, whatever you say…”
“I have a lot of good reasons for wanting children aside from the bloodline and San-Kyung,” she said. “The more evil companions I have by my side, the better. I think my family has too many goody-goodies in it. Mama is a little evil but she considers herself good. Dami and all my grandparents are too. Ei-Tio’s still little, but her parents seem so goody-goody I think she might be doomed….maybe I should try and see her again soon. I might be able to change her.” La-Iin grinned. “She seems like she would be an innocent type of evil. Those types are easy to manipulate. If only you were like that…”
“I’ll stick by your side, La-Iin, but I’ll stick by your side still being good,” Fer-Shi said dryly.
“I expect nothing less…although that can be frustrating sometimes. Anyway, I want more than one child, so I’m certain one of them will end up evil. Or at least, maybe neutral. Then I might still be able to convince them to do evil things, and maybe eventually they would come over to the dark side completely.”
Fer-Shi glanced at La-Iin’s face. As she talked about her plans, something had struck Fer-Shi and she found herself so curious that she had to ask.
“Is part of this also because of your lifespan?”
La-Iin gave Fer-Shi another wide-eyed look.
“Well, I was just thinking, they’d probably outlive you…”
La-Iin glared and turned away from Fer-Shi. “So what if it is? Who am I going to have in the future? You’re going to die, Mama’s going to die, Choungetsu’s going to die, even San-Kyung is going to die. Dami will probably die before me too. Always point out the obvious, why don’t you.”
“Sorry…I was just curious.”
“I don’t think I can take having just Bes-Isa all that time, even if she is evil,” La-Iin said. “She can be annoying sometimes.”
“Well, I know about that part of your relationship…”
“…actually, I was thinking about that recently.”
“Thinking about what?”
“Will you promise not to tell anyone else that I told you this? I’m trusting you with a really personal detail that I’d only ever want to tell maybe San-Kyung or Bes-Isa if I felt like it.”
“You know how sometimes because someone tells you you shouldn’t do something, you do it anyway?”
“…I know I shouldn’t get so attached to people who are just going to die someday. I probably should have just made friends with Vampires and Groundisers and Vampire-Groundisers and half-Vampires and half-Groundisers and….you get the point. I’d be better off if San-Kyung and I were the same species, or if he was an Animated Pumpkin-Vampire or something like that. I know it probably was a mistake, and I’ve known I’m going to live a long time ever since I was littler than I am now. I couldn’t change Mama, but…”
La-Iin’s expression was a sad one as she continued on. “I’ve gotten too attached to the people I care about when I know I shouldn’t have. Somebody smart told me once I shouldn’t let love make me weak. And yet I did. If I have my children, I have to focus on them and they’ll live a long time. I don’t even know if I believe in ghosts or anything like that, so it’s not like I even have that to think about…”
“Living long has its benefits. I’ll be able to rule the world for so many years that the world would probably never recover. It would be broken beyond all repair and not even a world full of goody-goodies could probably change that. But I just go and think about the downsides that shouldn’t even be downsides to me. I want to rule the world. I should be prepared to turn against so many people. And yet I’m not.”
La-Iin sighed. “…I didn’t mean to say all that. Try and forget it, Fer-Shi.”
“How can you just ask me to forget something like that?” Fer-Shi asked. “I know you’ve been having trouble with the idea of living long for a lot of your life. I can’t even imagine how you can think so far ahead that you’re hundreds of years old. I bet lots of people do, well, maybe except for people living in societies where they’re all the same long-lived species…but even those people might break away and meet more people.”
La-Iin glanced up at her.
“Even if you’re evil, you can still have emotions. I think there’s probably nobody in the world who can’t love people at all, well, maybe a few…but there’s not many. It makes me sad to think that you’re going to have to live all that long, especially since you’re planning to rule the world and even if you have kids, that might get lonely if they don’t want to help…”
“I’d prefer if you try and forget all I said,” La-Iin said. “Even if you tell nobody, I don’t think I want you to know that. Evil people are supposed to be stronger than good people. There’s no reason for this.”
“Well, I can’t forget it. La-Iin, I’m your best friend. I know I’m going to be one of those people who dies really early on in your life, but while I’m still alive, since I know this now you can talk to me about it whenever you want. I want to do whatever I can to help. After all, I care about you too. I don’t want to see you so sad.”
‘Fer-Shi is sickeningly kind,’ she thought to herself.
“Maybe. But I’d still prefer you forget it.”
“Not happening, La-Iin.”
‘What’s wrong with me…’
“Mother, are you ever lonely?” Chung-Ae asked.
“Why would she be lonely? She has us, and she has Bes-Isa!” Song-Ii said.
“Yes, but remember, a lot of her old friends died, and so did Dami…” Hun-Seuth said.
Her children fell silent.
“Loneliness is an emotion for the weak,” she told them. “Every now and then I feel it. But only when I have the time to. And I let my disgust at that weakness make me stronger. There are ways to push past such things. Someday in the future you four may have to do the same. But always remember that no matter what, there is always a way to use something to your advantage. Even such disgusting feelings as loneliness and grief.”
“I don’t think they’re disgusting…” Sou-Yu said.
“Think what you will, Sou-Yu. Either way, do not let emotions stand in your way. Do not let anything stand in your way, or things will end up imperfect or in failure. Your father used an emotion I used to think was weak to his advantage, and in the end he did many great and evil things while alive. He is the one who taught me about using weak emotions to make you strong; without him I would not be at the point I am now.”
“You really loved him, huh?” Song-Ii asked.
“…I did. But now is no longer the time to dwell on his memory and grieve over it. No, I will take the things he did into account and best him in each and every way. I have moved on. This is a lesson the four of you need to know with your lifespans.”
She spread her wings. “So learn it soon.”
She swooped down and flew across the ruined area.
“I think I already have,” Chung-Ae sniffed. “Come on, let’s go after her.”
His siblings nodded. They too spread their wings and took off after their mother.