The La-Iin Series
“Rivalry and Friendships”
“La-Iin, what are you doing?”
“I’ve gotten an amazing opportunity, Mama,” she said, turning away from her table. “And I plan on using this opportunity to my advantage.”
“Just an offer a ‘fellow’ student made me.”
Mit-Sun narrowed her eyes. “This sounds suspicious.”
“It isn’t, Mama. Though what I might ask of him could be, eh heh heh…”
‘So many options, though I can’t guarantee rival-boy will actually listen to me with any of them. He already said he wouldn’t give me San-Kyung naked and wrapped in a ribbon, and even if he did, San-Kyung would probably escape soon after. I need something that rival-boy would do without me having to force him to.’
An idea popped into her head. ‘That’s perfect…’ La-Iin began to laugh to herself.
“Maybe I should go with you to school tomorrow,” Mit-Sun said.
“No!” Mit-Sun rolled her eyes.
La-Iin flew along the path to school, checking for any early sign of Dosa-Mina. ‘With how early I left, I’ll probably get here before he does. That will give me the perfect chance to confront him about what I need.’
“Hi, La-Iin!” Fer-Shi called.
“Hello, Fer-Shi.” La-Iin grinned. “Something tells me today will be a good day for you.”
“Huh?” Fer-Shi seemed confused for a moment, but she soon smiled. “Well, I hope you’re right, then!”
“I’m almost completely certain. I’m going on ahead. Meet you inside.”
A few students were already on the path to Malicerie, and though the crowd wasn’t as sparse as La-Iin had been expecting, it was still fairly thin when she made it there. Most of the students on their way there were from Class A and Class B, with only a few students from her own class mixed in. La-Iin checked around to see if Dosa-Mina was among them.
“Mind explaining why you’re running late!?” The voice was all too familiar to La-Iin. She turned to her right.
“Look, you know about my…scars….well, they hurt like hell today and it took me forever to actually wash them!”
San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina came to an abrupt stop. “La-Iin?”
“I’m curious about your little scar conversation, now. But I’m here for something else.”
Dosa-Mina put his hands on his arms. “No time, La-Iin. Get out of the way!”
“You do realize how early it is, right? Even if you go inside and sit down, it’ll be a while before Mr. Chensu actually arrives. You’ll be wasting time, and anyway I want to talk to rival-boy. Not about that scar conversation…but that might come up sooner or later.”
Dosa-Mina held tight to his arms. “You go on ahead, San-Kyung. I think I know what she wants from me.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be there soon. You won’t have to be too long without me.” He kissed San-Kyung on the cheek. San-Kyung promptly wiped it off.
“Don’t stoke my ire, rival-boy,” La-Iin growled. “Now come on!”
“Alriiight! See you soon, San-Kyung!”
San-Kyung looked uncertain, but he nodded and head off.
“You and San-Kyung are too inseparable. Do you two go any days without seeing each other?”
“Sure we do. We’ve got our own things to do on the Weekends sometimes too. Sometimes we see each other at school but not again past that.”
“Do you go a day without thinking about each other?”
“I can’t vouch for San-Kyung, but when it comes to this year, I don’t think that’s happened yet. As if you don’t think about San-Kyung every day.”
“…you have a point there….but that only nearly proves my suspicions! You are my love rival!”
“Assume what you like, ‘little Vampire girl’. I’m not giving you any answer. So, let me guess. This has to do with me saying I owed you yesterday, doesn’t it? So what do you want? Is it something absurd?”
“Not at all. In fact you may think it’s fairly normal for me.”
“I’m not even sure that’s possible!”
“Besides, as tempted as I was to ask you intimate details about San-Kyung–”
“Who says I’d know them?”
La-Iin narrowed her eyes. “…there’s that, and there’s also that I had something much better in mind.”
“Alright, what is it?”
“I know what you did to Fer-Shi. I know you hurt her feelings. Don’t bother interrupting me, rival-boy. I think you should know by now that your feelings don’t matter to me….except whether you’re in love with San-Kyung or not.”
Dosa-Mina didn’t respond. His expression had become serious.
“I want you to apologize.”
“You want me to apologize? But San-Kyung’s told me how much you hate apologies. And aren’t you worried this could facilitate a friendship?”
“I’m not even completely sure what that means. But it doesn’t matter. I may not like them, but Fer-Shi does. And anyway, she doesn’t like that I’m friends with San-Kyung. I think she deserves this. There will be consequences if you don’t, rival-boy!”
Dosa-Mina blinked. “I know you said you don’t care about my feelings, but she really hurt mine, La-Iin.”
“You said it yourself, Dosa-Mina, I don’t care.”
La-Iin gave him a hard stare. Dosa-Mina sighed. “Alright. When I can catch her I’ll apologize for hurting her feelings. Hopefully with her being good, she’ll apologize for hurting mine…”
La-Iin glared. “Just apologize to her. That’s all I want. I’m letting you off easy this time, rival-boy, but next time might not be so forgiving!”
La-Iin ran off. “Next time…?”
Although Dosa-Mina had promised to apologize, he still felt reluctant to. Though it had happened months ago, Fer-Shi’s words still rang in his mind.
‘She has a kind heart–kind enough to at least admit that she just wanted to be friends with me out of pity. It doesn’t change the fact that it hurt. Apologizing to her when she hurt my feelings, though…’
“Yeah, San-Kyung?” He smiled. “Feeling lonely ’cause I’m not showering you in affection?”
“No! I was wondering if you were feeling alright. You look down.”
Dosa-Mina blinked. “I’m fine. I just have something on my mind.”
“I know La-Iin talked to you about something. What’s she pressuring you into this time?”
“Oh, nothing big. Actually, compared to what she could have asked for, what she actually did ask for isn’t all that bad.” He sighed. “It’s just reminding me of something that hurt, that’s all.”
“Di–did you want to talk about it?”
“I appreciate the offer, San-Kyung. But you should know better than anyone by now that talking about myself has never helped any of my problems…”
When classes had ended for the day, though he was prepared for what was coming, Dosa-Mina had no idea how to go about it.
“Fer-Shi. There’s someone who wants to talk to you.” La-Iin whispered.
“Dosa-Mina.” She pointed at him.
“D-Dosa-Mina wants to talk to me? Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. Now go see what he wants!”
Fer-Shi glanced at La-Iin. “Is there something going on, La-Iin? You seem pretty forceful about this…didn’t it make you happy that we weren’t getting along?”
“I’m curious as to what rival-boy might want from you, and if I tag along I might not get to figure that out. Tell me what he says to you so I can decide my next course of action.”
Fer-Shi still looked uncertain. “If you say so…”
Dosa-Mina stood up from his seat. Before he could go anywhere, he caught sight of Fer-Shi.
“Dosa-Mina?” She said. “La-Iin told me you wanted to tell me something.”
“She did?” ‘I guess even she can be forgiving sometimes.’ “Er, yes, there was something I wanted to talk to you about. Let’s go outside for it. I’ll see you in a little bit, San-Kyung. But feel free to go home before me if you want to!”
“I can wait.”
Fer-Shi felt uncomfortable as she followed after Dosa-Mina. ‘The last time we talked didn’t go well. So what could he want from me now?’
That thought still nagged at her mind as they made it outside.
“I wanted to apologize.”
“I hurt your feelings when you asked if we could become friends. I didn’t mean to. But I was hurt myself. I’m not sure there’s anybody who would be happy hearing that someone wanted to be their friend out of pity…well, even if there is, I’m not one of them. But I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings too. So…sorry.”
“I’m the one who should be sorry! I shouldn’t have even bothered. I know you’re not supposed to lie, but sometimes it’s nicer just to do that. You don’t owe me any apology, Dosa-Mina. I’m the one who owes you one.”
“Well, whoever owes who an apology, we both ended up apologizing, so…” Dosa-Mina shrugged. “Anyway, you’re better off befriending other students.”
“I’m glad I got to say that, though. You are a nice girl, Fer-Shi. Even in that situation. Don’t let yourself get so easily discouraged, alright? Just keep working towards being the person you want to be. And make sure to do a better job of yourself than I did of me.”
He waved. “See you, then.”
Fer-Shi stared off.
“…thank you,” she mumbled to herself.
“Fer-Shi, what’s wrong? What did he say?”
“He said sorry for hurting my feelings. He said I was nice and that I should try to be the person I want to be.”
Fer-Shi pressed her lips together. “I really wish there was someway I could help him. Even now I’m still pitying him. But really, what happened? When we came to this school he was all cheerful and affectionate towards San-Kyung. Now he seems kind of sad.”
“I’m friends with San-Kyung. Maybe if I find out anything from him, I’ll tell you.”
Fer-Shi did not respond.
“Dosa-Mina, you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I should be feeling better than I am, actually. But I can’t help but think about the mistakes I made.”
“The mistakes that put me in this situation with Sanyaow and Llanni.”
“They’ll get out of the way. I’ll make sure of it.” San-Kyung clenched a fist.
“If you murder either of them, I’ll cut my entire arm off.”
“I wasn’t planning on doing that! I’ll keep that stuff to my head.”
“So you’re thinking about it,” Dosa-Mina sighed. “Eh, I’m being hypocritical. I’ve had some pretty bad thoughts about those girls recently, too.”