The La-Iin Series
“Daughter and Dami”
Asul-Zenza soared quickly through the sky, trying to focus on the road ahead of him despite the distraction of so many thoughts swarming in his head.
‘What could Mit-Sun have called me over for?’ He wondered. ‘Is it about La-Iin? Is something wrong? She couldn’t possibly be developing her blood power early, could she? I get that she’s been fairly precocious with her powers, but this would be far too early!’
Resentment at the fact that Mit-Sun hadn’t told him why he should come over overtook him as he landed, and when Mit-Sun answered the door the first thing she saw was the scowl on his face.
“If it’s pissing you off to see me as much as it pisses me off to see you, then you can go.”
Asul-Zenza flinched. “It wasn’t that! There was something else on my mind. Namely, I want to know what you called me over for. Is something wrong with La-Iin? Don’t tell me her blood power’s developing early!”
Mit-Sun raised an eyebrow. “If it was that serious, you’d have known already. But it’s not. Look, I have a lot of work to catch up on because a coworker at my job keeps talking to me during work and it’s starting to interfere with my performance. If I don’t do something about it, I could get fired, and I really can’t afford to let that happen.”
“True that, I suppose.”
“You suppose,” she scoffed. “Anyway, La-Iin’s having one of her hyperactive days and she’s being a distraction. I thought I’d ask if you wanted to take her somewhere.”
“Wasn’t our conversation about this earlier this month? I guess short-term memories run in the Ghneckdo side of the family.”
“Sorry, it’s just, it still surprises me. Especially seeing how angry you are to see me,” he said, a chuckle in his tone.
“I’m less angry at you and La-Iin than I am at the situation. Now, Asul-Zenza, I want to make something perfectly clear before you take her.”
“The latest you can keep her out is seven-twenty,” she said. “A minute later and you’ll be in trouble. And no overnight stays. That will make me reconsider–”
“I get it, Mit-Sun,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting anything that big anyway. But actually, I’m glad you offered today–recently there’s been something on my mind that I want to ask La-Iin about.”
“Uh-huh.” Mit-Sun turned around. “LA-IIN! ASUL-ZENZA’S HERE TO SEE YOU!”
Asul-Zenza heard footsteps almost immediately as La-Iin rushed over to the door. She stared up at Asul-Zenza, panting.
“Hello, La-Iin,” Asul-Zenza said, smiling at her. Quickly noticing the confused expression on her face, he turned to Mit-Sun. “Mit-Sun, you wouldn’t happened to have briefed her on what you’re planning…?”
Mit-Sun blinked. “I forgot to.”
“Mit-Sun’s letting me take you with me for a little day out on the town,” he said. “And I thought we could fly around and talk for a little while before deciding on a destination.”
“Mama offered? Without you saying anything?”
“Yes, she did. I know, I’m surprised too,” he said. “We should get going, though. She has a good reason for letting me take you, and while unfortunately that reason is not that she’s letting me take you for no reason, it’s a reasoning I’ll accept nonetheless.”
“Um, me too.”
Asul-Zenza picked La-Iin up and spread his wings. “Well, I’m eager to go. Be seeing you, Mit-Sun.”
“I guess even with you being more lenient, some things will never change.”
“You know, Dami, I prefer to fly by myself now,” La-Iin said.
“Oh, yes, sorry.”
La-Iin snuggled against his chest. “I don’t mind if you fly me at first, though,” she said. “Then maybe I can get a higher alti…alta….”
“Alright, if you say so.” Waving to Mit-Sun, he turned away and took off into the sky.
La-Iin couldn’t resist the urge to smile. The wind blew into her face strongly as Asul-Zenza flew higher into the sky. Even though she disliked being held, she found something comforting in being held by Asul-Zenza as he flew through the sky.
“Now that we’re a significant distance in the sky, I figure I can ask you what I wanted to now.”
“You had a question for me, Dami? I like this better, but you could have told me over the phone.”
“I was actually going to, until Mit-Sun ended up being kind enough to let us go out together. Now, I hope you don’t mind what I’m going to ask.”
“I’ll mind if it’s something about not ruling the world,” she said.
“Oh, it’s nothing about that. I think the only one who could dissuade you from that now is yourself, and I doubt that’s happening anytime soon,” he said. “Actually, it was about someone you mentioned to me before.”
“No, not her. Someone I barely know about.”
“Do I have to guess? Is it…did I mention Ai-Reia to you?”
“The name’s not all that familiar, but maybe,” he said. “I was actually talking about San-Kyung.”
“Look, La-Iin, I’m not going to pretend I don’t know about him. And it’s in the nature of most Damis to ask about these sorts of things when they come up. Though I’m not sure how I feel about you having these feelings at seven.”
“You said you wanted to ask about San-Kyung,” she said, her tone taking on an edge. “What about him?”
La-Iin wasn’t actually all that irritated with her father, but the mention of San-Kyung coming from him set her on-edge. ‘I don’t know how Dami will react to anything I tell him. San-Kyung at least made himself appear positive in Mama’s eyes, but San-Kyung and Dami haven’t met, have they?’
“Oh, I wanted to just ask some general things about him,” he said. “What he’s like, how you met, that sort of thing. I know a little bit about him from what I saw at the graduation ceremony the other day. He’s an Animated Pumpkin in the eleventh grade. …to which I can say I really don’t approve of the age gap.”
“We met at school,” she said simply.
“Oh, I see. I figured that.”
“He doesn’t talk to most other people at school, except for me and his stupid best friend.”
“Who is that? Are they in the same grade?”
“Yes. He’s Dosa-Mina.”
“Which one is that again?”
“The Normal with the brown hair.”
“Oh. Why does he talk to you, hm?”
La-Iin froze. ‘This is a make or break situation, La-Iin.’ “Because…I wanted to be friends with him and he just caved. Also his friend studies species and he’s curious about my power ’cause he saw it before.”
“How did he?”
“I transformed at school.”
“Is that it?”
“No.” La-Iin sighed. “I know you’re probably getting irritated, but I can’t help but feel interested. I want to know more about this boy my little girl is so interested in.”
‘You seem pretty mad about it,’ La-Iin thought. Looking at Asul-Zenza’s face, he wore a calm expression, but La-Iin couldn’t help but feel that she saw a flash of anger in his eyes.
“Is he evil?”
“Y–I–I think so.”
“You know, you could just say yes. I wouldn’t be surprised. Actually, I would be really surprised if you said you were interested in someone good.”
“Dami, if you’re worried about it, San-Kyung doesn’t even like me that much anyway,” she said. “He gets mad at me a lot and he used to say he hated me. So you can stop being so mad about it. After all, when someone at school called him a pedophile, he got really mad.”
“Did you really think I was mad, La-Iin?”
“You seem mad,” La-Iin said bitterly.
“I’m not actually. More surprised. Now, granted, I would have been mad if you said he was reciprocating those feelings in any way. But so long as they are on your side only, I’m fine with it.”
“Sorry, but it’s true. I don’t think Mit-Sun would be particularly thrilled in that case either. Speaking of, has she met this boy before?”
“Maybe someday I should take the chance to meet him, perhaps whenever your next school event is.”
“That one isn’t anything special,” La-Iin said. “Mama doesn’t even go to the introduction of new students.”
“I figure you have nothing to do with that one, then.”
“No. Except when I was one of the new students.”
“I see. But really, La-Iin, I wasn’t trying to embarrass or upset you. I was genuinely curious. I suppose this happens a lot with Damis talking to their children about these things.”
“I don’t care, I just wish you hadn’t sounded so calmly mad.”
“I know that. Are you trying to say you were being passive-aggressive!?”
“No, just asking what you meant,” Asul-Zenza chuckled. “Sorry, La-Iin, I suppose I really owe you after all this. What do you say to crepes? I see a stand down there. In fact, there are a lot of stands down there.”
“Crepes are okay,” she said. “Dami, do you think they have bloody crepes? Or mincemeat crepes?”
“Who knows? We’ll just have to see. I admit, the idea of a bloody crepe intrigues me as well!”
Asul-Zenza and La-Iin’s day past that had been mostly a calm one consisting of flying and talking about mundane things, though they occasionally stopped for light snacks and the subject of San-Kyung did come up a few times more, though in those later times Asul-Zenza broached the subject differently, and in a way La-Iin appreciated.
By the time the two returned to the Cahongyun house, the sun had started to set. Asul-Zenza knocked on the door, then glanced down at La-Iin, who was eating a hotteok.
La-Iin glanced up at him. “Yes.”
Mit-Sun answered the door almost immediately. Both Asul-Zenza and La-Iin were startled to see the disheveled shape she was in.
“Mit-Sun, has something happened?”
“Everything’s fine except my sanity,” Mit-Sun said. “Mrs. Eteibreit is a sadist boss. Welcome home, La-Iin.”
La-Iin nodded and continued to eat the hotteok.
“You spoil her.”
“Well, if you don’t, I’m glad to be the one to do that. Though, honestly, the snack is an apology for bringing up something she didn’t want to talk about.”
“Did you bring up her lifespan?”
“Heavens, no. Just something else that’s a secret between us two.”
“I don’t care if you keep it a secret or not,” La-Iin said, walking into the house.
“In that case…Mit-Sun, what’s your impression of San-Kyung?”
“He seems like a very polite young man. Where’s this coming from?”
“Consider it related to that ‘secret’ conversation La-Iin and I had,” he said. Then, he spread his wings. “Well, I must be off. Good-bye, La-Iin! Until next time!”
“Bye, Dami!” She called, peeking her head out the door.
“See you, Asul-Zenza. I know I will,” Mit-Sun said. Asul-Zenza flashed a smile before taking off into the sky.