22.568.Withdrawal from Secret Keeping

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 568
“Withdrawal from Secret Keeping”

“It feels like it’s been a while since I came over here!” Fer-Shi exclaimed. “I think this month we’ve been talking lots over the phone, but we haven’t really been seeing much of each other, huh?”
“During the Summer there’s extra time for things we like to do, so of course we’re focused on those and not each other. Besides, it’s easier to just go straight from school to wherever it is we want to go.”
“That’s true.”
“Now, since the theme of this visit is getting caught up with everything that’s happened over this Summer break so far, I want to show you the many drawings I’ve made over the Summer! Gaze upon my masterpieces!”
La-Iin laid on her table several pictures drawn in crayon. Fer-Shi squinted her eyes at them. Most of them she could barely make out what they were supposed to be, though she could tell by the colors used and the outline that La-Iin had put herself in more than half of them.
“Um, there’s a lot of…red.”
“In case you couldn’t tell, my love for blood has increased recently.”
“I could tell. It’s been increasing steadily since last year!” She pointed towards one of the pictures. “What’s this orange-and-yellow thing supposed to be?”
“None of your business,” she said simply.
“Then why are you showing it to me!?”
“La-Iin isn’t the little Vampire known for being a child prodigy.”
“Bes-Isa, shut up. I let you go in that dollhouse, and I thought you promised you’d be quiet.”
“If you wanted me to actually hold to that promise, you should have snapped your fingers.”
La-Iin sighed. “Anyway, most of these are just fantasies, but some of them do concern certain things I’m not sure I want you to know about…”
“Eheh heh, well, I guess I’m used to that by now. There are certain things I don’t really want to talk with you about either.”
“I would be curious if it wasn’t likely that these are very goody-goody things.”
“Well, I might not consider that…eheh…maybe I shouldn’t say that.”
“Huh?”
“I–it’s nothing. Anyway, how have you been lately? Well, I guess you’ve told me about that. Who have you been hanging out with recently then? Have you been keeping in touch with Sara over the Summer?”
“I haven’t. I don’t know her phone number and her house is complicated to get to. Also, I can’t stand her family. But that doesn’t matter. I haven’t been wanting for company. After all, I’ve gotten to spend a lot of quality time with San-Kyung!”
“…” Fer-Shi gave an uneasy smile. “I see…well, um, I can tell that’s probably been very enjoyable for you.”
“You don’t know the half of it.”
“He hasn’t been the only one you’ve been spending time with though, has he?”
“No, but I haven’t spent as much time with Mama this Summer because of what happened. You might be able to guess that rival-boy was there sometimes when I went to see San-Kyung, so I suppose you can count him as well. Oh, and Dami has come over this month, and then I guess there’s that annoying Eu–”
“Ixnay, ixnay, La-Iin!”
“You?” Fer-Shi said. “No, that couldn’t have been right. Who’s “Eu”, La-Iin?”
La-Iin’s face flushed. Bes-Isa calling her out made her feel humiliated, and now that she was in this situation she could only imagine what would happen if Fer-Shi were to find out about Eul-Bok. ‘Maybe Fer-Shi wouldn’t do anything, but what might Sale-Dessu or Eul-Bok do…no, scratch that. What would Eul-Bok do…’
Slightly scared at the idea of facing his powers, she cleared her throat. “That’s confidential.”
“What!? Why!?”
“Because it’s one of her silly fake future children, that’s why.”
La-Iin flinched. “They’re not silly or fake!” She flung the doll out of her dollhouse and began to swing her around the room, slamming her into walls. Bes-Isa let out shrieks of terror and pain, and Fer-Shi watched on in horror. It was only when La-Iin began to breathe heavily that her assault came to a stop.
“Um–”
“Even if there was someone else I had been spending time with, I bet there’s people you’ve been spending time with I know nothing about!”
“Huh? Oh, well, I guess a little,” she admitted. “I think you’ve heard of Hei-Maj before though, haven’t you?”
“Hei-Maj?” La-Iin said quizzically. “Hm…wait a second, is that the hobo slave!?”
“He’s not a hobo slave! But recently I saw him for the first time in a while.”
“I see.” La-Iin sighed. “If only you were evil and he was your hobo slave. I’d ask you to bring him over here and we could utilize him for future practice.”
“Future practice…? Well, I’m definitely not letting Hei-Maj anywhere near you now!”
“Your little conversation is nice and all but does anyone care that I’m in immense pain!?”
Fer-Shi stared at Bes-Isa with wide eyes. “I do…”
“You’re in immense pain enough that I feel numb about you mentioning it.”
“And whose fault is that!? Aren’t I your best friend next to Fer-Shi!? How come you don’t beat on her!?”
“I can’t fling her around like I can with you. Besides, my preference was to make Normal jokes about her, but unfortunately she doesn’t seem to care about those much anymore.”
“Maybe she beats on you, but it shows she trusts you if she’s willing to talk with you about things she won’t even talk with me about,” Fer-Shi said. “I really do wonder if you trust me sometimes, La-Iin…”
“So jokes about your species don’t hurt you anymore, but her not wanting to talk about an acquaintance does?”
“I’m not that sensitive,” Fer-Shi said.
“I’d beg to differ, given what I’ve seen of you.”
“Do I really seem that way? I don’t mean to…”
Seeing the expression on Fer-Shi’s face, La-Iin had begun to feel conflicted. Fer-Shi seemed genuinely upset, though she could tell she was trying to hide it.
‘You know, what do I even care about Eul-Bok anyway? I shouldn’t be worrying about him getting mad. I guess I should be more worried about Sale-Dessu getting ruined…I need my ally for the future. But Fer-Shi can keep a secret, this I know! She’s kept other secrets about me before! And even if Eul-Bok somehow found out and got mad, I can overpower him anyway.’
“Maybe I’ll tell you a little bit about this ‘Eu’ now that I’ve thought on it more,” La-Iin said.
“Y-you don’t have to do that! I wasn’t trying to make you feel bad for me. I just get jealous sometimes. But you know that already. And I don’t want to butt into your secret future plans…”
La-Iin sighed. “He’s not one of them. He’s already been born. In case you didn’t hear Bes-Isa, he’s an acquaintance of mine. And he’s pretty annoying. You could say I see him more as useful than an actual friend. But he’s really annoying and he’s younger even than me!”
“Younger than you!? Wow, that’s pretty young! Is he a Vampire too?”
“No. He intrigues me because of a certain something he has. But I care more for Sara than I do for him. Bes-Isa hates him even more than I do.”
“Bes-Isa’s met him?”
“I was there once when she met up with him. I wish I wasn’t.”
“Huh…”
“Anything else you want to know?”
“No, not really. And, um, sorry if I made you feel bad for me. Really, I wasn’t trying to do that.”
“So you say, but you seem to question me on my friends often despite the fact that you have plenty of friends, including that hobo slave, who I have never interacted with and have no intention of interacting with. Besides, he’s just an acquaintance and most of my other friends I can’t even plan nefarious deeds with anyway.”
“I said I was sorry!”
“Well, this conversation is over,” she said with a huff. “Anything else?”
“Um, how has your blood power been coming along?”
La-Iin’s eyes widened. “My blood power! Damn it, I haven’t been giving it the focus I need!”
“Really? It seems like you mention it daily.”
“Now you’ve given me a taste for blood. And a taste for discovering more. Damn it, Summer is the best time to focus on this and I’ve already wasted twenty days!”
“I think it’s the twenty-second,” Fer-Shi said. La-Iin sighed. “Shit.”
“Well, at least you remember now, so you can do something about it soon.”
“Soon is never soon enough.”
“…what does that even mean?”
“Hey, speaking of remembering things, that reminds me of something. La-Iin, how’d you like to go somewhere with me soon? I’d like to walk around Bledger for a nature walk. Nothing like that adventure we had, just looking at nature.”
“That’s all? It sounds boring.”
“There’s plenty of interesting and violent stuff in nature, you know. That’s not what I’m looking for, but I figure it might make you want to come along.”
“You just think I’m that shallow, don’t you?”
“I know you like evil!”
“True. Evil is my passion and my calling. But there’s no guarantee we’ll find anything evil. I’ll go with you anyway. My tolerance for Mama varies and this month it has been very low. I’ll take any chance to get away from her.”
“Okay then! Does tomorrow sound good?”
“Alright.”
“Hey, La-Iin, since I’m here, would it be okay if I drew a picture?”
“What for?”
“I wanna see if I can draw better than you. I haven’t drawn in a while, but when we were little I think I drew a little better than you.”
“Is this a challenge!?”
“No!”
“So you say.” La-Iin narrowed her eyes. “Challenge accepted.”
“Why do I get myself into these kinds of things…”

—–
“You know, La-Iin…”
“What?”
“Eul-Bok coming up during your earlier conversation with Fer-Shi reminded me how much I want to beat that guy to a bloody pulp. And after you flung me around the room both of those things gave me an idea. The day I become autonomous is the day I get revenge on you for the way you treated me! And this includes drooling on me as a baby, I hope you know!”
La-Iin sighed. “Like a Normal could beat out a Vampire who can use her blood powers.”
“Who said I’d be a Normal!?”
“Have you looked at yourself? Mama obviously designed you as a Normal, the stupid fool.”
“You underestimate my physical strength!”
“You have none,” La-Iin said dryly. “Don’t even bother trying, Bes-Isa. I know for certain I would overpower you. It would just be sad.”
Before Bes-Isa could respond, La-Iin snapped her fingers and her doll fell out the sky and into her hand.

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