The La-Iin Series
“The Despair Surrounding You”
“I’m so sick of Mama hanging out with Haner!” La-Iin complained. “I don’t think she notices that stupid guy has ulterior motives. Well, I do, and I don’t like them!”
“What exactly are you talking about? What’s a ‘Haner’?”
“He’s a stupid Siren guy who works at the same place Mama does,” La-Iin grumbled. “I’ve seen the way he talks to her and interacts with her. Either he’s in love with her, or he’s trying to kill her so he can eat her. Either one is bad for me, so it doesn’t matter even if Haner is evil, I can’t stand him!”
“A Pureblood male Siren? Aren’t those kind of rare?”
“Focus on that more than the important part, why don’t you.”
“I don’t care about things that have to do with that woman all that much, in case you hadn’t noticed. And I couldn’t care less if she ends up with some other guy or gets eaten by him, although I question this guy’s taste either way. Why would this affect you anyway?”
“Nobody lays hands on Mama except me. I haven’t gotten my payback for the things she did to me yet. But that’s only if he wants to eat her. If he’s in love with her, the last thing I need is for him to try and take Dami’s place. I hate him already. If he’s evil, he’s good at hiding it, and he’s super-annoying just live rival-boy.”
“Didn’t you say that boy was a half-Siren? Geez, you don’t have any luck with male Sirens, do you?”
“I’m gradually becoming convinced that male Sirens are as bad as Normals. Or maybe it’s just all Sirens. Their whole species is built off of being petty evil or acting like victims because they can’t sing. They’re so overdramatic. Either way, I–”
“La-Iin?” Mit-Sun called. La-Iin narrowed her eyes. “Fer-Shi’s here to see you!”
“Fer-Shi? Why’s she here? She usually tells me if she’s coming over.”
“Maybe for a friendly weekend get-together. Maybe she’ll cool your head after your rantings about Haner.”
La-Iin head downstairs, flying part the way, until she had reached the door. Fer-Shi was standing there with a smiel on her face.
“Hi, La-Iin,” she said.
“Hello, Fer-Shi. Why did you come here?”
“I wanted to talk to you, but I thought this was important and I should say it to you in person instead of over the phone. So I asked my parents for permission to come over! Sorry for dropping by uninvited.”
“You’re good, Fer-Shi. At least you called me.”
“I know, but I should have called La-Iin, too.”
“You knew about this? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“You seemed busy upstairs yelling at Bes-Isa and I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“Well, it’s a good thing you didn’t.” La-Iin beckoned to Fer-Shi. “Fine, you can come inside. But I’m starving. Letting out your anger can be pretty exhausting.”
“What are you so angry about?”
“I’ll tell you later.” She stared at Mit-Sun. “Make us a snack, wench!”
“Try talking to me nicer and maybe I will.”
“Then no deal.”
“May we please have a snack, Miss Cahongyun?” Fer-Shi asked.
“I know you probably want that snack, Fer-Shi, but it’s not going to mean anything unless I hear it from La-Iin.”
“What, ‘May we please have a snack, Miss Cahongyun?'” She said in a mocking tone. Fer-Shi glared at her.
“…no. But that might be the best I’m getting out of you.”
“It is now that you’ve said that.”
Mit-Sun groaned and rolled her eyes. “Fine, I’ll make the stupid snack. But you have to quit treating me like garbage.”
“I’ll do that when you quit letting yourself be treated like food!”
Both Mit-Sun and Fer-Shi looked entirely confused, but La-Iin was too furious about the thought of Haner to care.
La-Iin led the way upstairs, a bowl of cut bananas in her arms. Fer-Shi followed close behind her.
“Fer-Shi, I’ve been meaning to ask you something about food.”
“Do you like druggy mushrooms too?”
“Mushrooms are your favorite, right? Do you like druggy mushrooms?”
“Would you like a mincemeat pie with dog poop in it? Of course not!”
“Druggy mushrooms and pooped-in mincemeat pie are two different beasts.”
She opened the door to her bedroom and set down the bowl of bananas, popping a chunk in her mouth. Fer-Shi did likewise.
“Fer-Shi, while it’s nice to see you, I don’t have any blood to drink to show off my new power if that’s what you wanted to see. And anyway, I have to make plans with that power first, so I wouldn’t have anything to show you anyway.”
“Plans with…your power?” Fer-Shi looked genuinely confused. “Um, anyway, that’s not why I wanted to come by today. It has nothing to do with your new power. It just has to do with talking.”
La-Iin blinked. “What’s so important that you had to come over here for it?”
“Well, I’ve been worried about you. Did I tell you that when you were over at my house? You focus a lot of time on the same few things, La-Iin. And I’ve seen how San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina act sometimes.”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Well, you focus a lot of time on ruling the world and evil, and on San-Kyung and getting him to love you, and you spend a lot of time with him and Dosa-Mina.”
“Not as much time as you think.”
“It’s still a lot of time. You spend time around them and around Ai-Reia. Are you gonna be okay? Or are you gonna let all this negative stuff destroy you?”
“What do you mean?”
“You focus on ruling the world and making it like hell and keeping slaves. You spend time around a boy who’s very angry, a boy who seems sad, and a girl who can’t stand you. Sometimes, anyway. And I’m worried that you’re gonna end up getting depressed. That’s why I wanted to talk to you today, because I’m worried about that happening to you.”
“It’s fine that you’re worried, Fer-Shi, but I’m okay,” La-Iin said. “These are the things that sustain me. If I couldn’t strive towards ruling the world, or towards getting San-Kyung’s love, what else would I strive for? You know how many years I’m going to live. I’m evil and I need a goal that will last me all that time, and what’s better than ruling the world?”
“I don’t know, something a little less…large-scale?”
“You’re not going to live as long as me and you’re not evil, so maybe you don’t see it that way. But I’ve wanted to rule the world for a long time. Not only that, but it’s something I can keep doing for a long time. I can encompass every aspect of the evil I want to unleash on this world by ruling it. So why wouldn’t I take this chance?”
“I could keep up everything without wanting to rule the world or without San-Kyung, or without you and Bes-Isa and even this new power. But the more important things you take away from me, the less happy I am. So it’s not that I’m going to become negative because I spend a lot of time around these people or I focus on my powers. It’s the opposite. This power has made me happier than a lot of things recently, and anyway everyone has days where they’re upset for no reason. I had a bad one, once…but this keeps me going past those. I like striving for this, because it makes the victory sweeter.”
“What about you? Don’t you want to strive for something?”
“…I do, I really do, I just don’t know what I should,” she said. “I came here wanting to help you from getting too negative about all the things that were going on around you, but all it did was remind me that you have all this conviction about your dreams, and I don’t…I don’t know what I should do or what I would have the talent to do. And I know you could never help me with this, but it just reminded me of how I feel. I’m really jealous of you when it comes to that, La-Iin.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be unless you want to rule the world.”
“It’s how certain you are about it, not your actual goal.”
“I’m certain because I know it’s what I want to do. And maybe some people say it’s unrealistic, but I’m going to be alive in a hundred years and further on than that, even longer than most Vampires since I’m half-Normal. I have the time, and with this new power and my transformation, I know I can do it. Maybe think about that instead of worrying about me getting upset.”
“I don’t know if I can…”
“But all I can tell you is, I’m not going to be upset. If I get San-Kyung to reciprocate, that’s all the better for me. When I finally rule the world, I’ll be on top of it. And this new power, once I figure out the ins and outs of it, will be one of my best assets.”
La-Iin popped another banana into her mouth.
“If you say so, La-Iin. I’m glad to hear that I didn’t really need to worry. But the moment you prove me wrong, I’m going to do everything I can to help you, okay?”
“You only need to worry about that if San-Kyung starts dating Dosa-Mina. If you can keep that from happening, I will be okay.”
“You know, I suppose I should have figured another driving reason behind your wanting to rule the world was because of your lifespan, but I never really consciously figured it.”
“Well, you should have. I thought it was obvious.”
“It is, now that I think about it. When you’ve lost most of the people you love, you have something to focus on. Keep making the world suck more. You have big aspirations, La-Iin. And whatever you say, they are pretty unrealistic. You sound like you plan to either go one-woman against the world or with San-Kyung in tow. It sounds doomed to fail. Don’t you think you’ll need more people on your side?”
“I’ll get more people on my side if I need them or if I seek them out. Ai-Reia was actually supposed to be one of them, before she ended up the way that she did. But right now, while I figure out my new power, I don’t have an actual plan. So only time will tell.”
“Just make sure you don’t try to rule the world in this plan-less state of yours.”
“Do you think I’m stupid?”
“Yeah, well, sometimes.”
La-Iin narrowed her eyes before sticking Bes-Isa into what remained of the banana chunks.