12.558.Makeshire-Kyung

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 558
“Makeshire-Kyung”

Early Sunday morning at the Dslellular house, a knock sounded at the door.
“I wonder who that is?” Orlin-Aesth said. “Dosa-Mina, can you get the door?”
“Fine, fine,” he sighed, putting his book down. When he opened the door, his eyes widened in surprise at the sight of La-Iin standing there, her expression serious. Close behind her was Choungetsu, who watched Dosa-Mina while lolling his tongue.
“Before you ask any questions, rival-boy, know that I’m not here for any other reason other than having you help me with a…project of mine will benefit me. I need your help for something!”
“How do you remember the way here?”
“Like I said, I retain any information I consider useful. Besides, I’ve been here more than once. Now, you need to listen up. I have a plan for something I want San-Kyung to do, but I don’t think he’ll do it without your goading…”
She beckoned to Dosa-Mina to crouch down. He decided to oblige. “Huh? …oh, that does sound interesting. Well, you definitely came to the right person, La-Iin! If anyone has a chance of convincing San-Kyung to do something, it’s me. Though I can’t guarantee he’ll go along with that.”
“Any extra percentage I gain from you is a good thing. But don’t think I like this arrangement one bit!”
“I know, I know. If you keep denying it it makes it sound like you actually do like this arrangement.”
La-Iin narrowed her eyes. Letting Choungetsu lead the way, she and Dosa-Mina walked away from his house to discuss their plan.
“Oh, if I’m going to go somewhere, I better tell my Dad first. He’s used to me leaving without notice but I’d rather he knows I’m going off.”
La-Iin scoffed, but didn’t protest. Dosa-Mina head back to his house. Choungetsu tried to follow him, but Dosa-Mina quickly outran the leash’s length and he was pulled backwards.

***

After the recent dispute La-Iin had had with Mit-Sun, a feeling had stirred inside of her and prompted her to leave the house that Sunday morning under the guise of visiting Sale-Dessu for some advice.
“Sale-Dessu, I need you to do something for me, ally to ally.”
“What’s that, La-Iin?”
“I need you to pretend that I’m here if Mama comes over,” she said. “I need to do something important, but Mama doesn’t like me going off on my own unless I’m going to see someone. And I am, but I don’t think she’ll agree.”
Sale-Dessu’s stare gave no indication of how he would respond. “Are you sure you should be doing this?”
“You’re not my Dami. You’re my ally, so cover for me!”
“I might not be your father, but I am a father, so I can understand some of your mother’s concern,” he said. “Besides, I really don’t know how I would cover for you. What if Mit-Sun comes inside and starts looking for you? Eventually she’ll find out you’re not in here.”
“Disguise Eul-Bok as me, then. You’re a Warlock. You can do things like that. Don’t tell me you can’t, if you can glitch the world you can do that!”
“Eul-Bok doesn’t act anything like you, La-Iin, and I’m pretty sure she’d be able to tell something was off. Besides, I can’t risk her looking around and finding Eul-Bok in his state. I trust your mother, but not that much.”
La-Iin huffed. “You’re a shitty ally sometimes, you know!?”
“What!?”
“Fine, I’ll go with Choungetsu! At least he’s stupid enough not to care.”
“I-I’m sorry, La-Iin! It’s really only because I’m worried about messing up! I’ll owe you, I promise!”
“How funny to see this powerful man cowering to a little girl. I must be stronger than I thought. Fine, you’ll owe me, and you’ll owe me big time. But I understand, I guess. Mama can be violent sometimes and I wouldn’t want her kicking you in the crotch.”
Sale-Dessu paled. “She would do that? La-Iin, I’m sorry, I really am going to have to owe you…”
La-Iin snickered. “Oh, she probably wouldn’t do it to you, but we shouldn’t take those chances. Prepare yourself, my ally!” She closed the door and head back to her house, then beckoned to Choungetsu.
“Oh, so you’re taking him on a walk yourself for once?” Mit-Sun asked, looking up from her book.
“Yes, I am. Mama, you’re fine to spend time with and all, but it’s constantly, day after day and after what you did yesterday I’m still mad at you! So, I figured since Choungetsu hasn’t been bothering me I both owed him and he would be the least annoying to spend time with.”
“Don’t walk into any suspicious neighborhoods. Or go adventuring across Bledger on your own.” Mit-Sun said with narrowed eyes.
“I might not do either of those things but you won’t stop my path! Let’s go, Choungetsu!”
“What does that mean?” Mit-Sun asked, though she got no response as La-Iin and Choungetsu head outside right afterwards.
“It’s good that you’re stupid, Choungetsu. You’re the best dog to keep a secret for me.”
Choungetsu didn’t respond. He walked ahead cheerfully, his tongue lolling.
La-Iin found that it was often after Uil-Cur came up that she had a desire to see San-Kyung not long afterwards. This time was no exception, though she had some concerns about her plan for what to do.
‘Fer-Shi finding out I did one of our special things with someone else is one thing, but will there even be an incident for her to find out about?’
La-Iin had her doubts that San-Kyung would agree to act out a Makeshire play script for more reasons than one–the primary one being that San-Kyung generally seemed to dislike doing far more things than she did.
“It’s because he’s a teenager!” She could hear Fer-Shi saying those words, but she knew there was another explanation, simply that it was in San-Kyung’s nature.
Still, she was desperate both to see San-Kyung and to see him acting out the play script and could find no other excuse for going to visit him. She had stewed on the idea until walking outside with Choungetsu, but once she was outside she was certain she knew what her best chance at having him accept once.
‘I really am just going to have to swallow my pride and ask rival-boy for help.’
The idea disgusted her, but the thought of having her wish fulfilled was more pleasant than the disgust she felt from the former. With that in mind, she thought back on the path she had taken in the past to Dosa-Mina’s house, then ran ahead of Choungetsu, who was hot on her heels and eventually overtook her; after that point, she let him take the lead, only pulling him back when he tried to send her down the wrong path.

***

On the way to the neighborhood, La-Iin, Choungetsu, and Dosa-Mina were silent, though La-Iin scoffed at Choungetsu when he would stop to sniff something or for a quick bathroom break. Only once they entered the neighborhood did Dosa-Mina speak.
“What’s it like, having a dog?”
“Don’t talk to me.”
“I was just curious.”
“Aren’t you basically part dog?”
“Part Werewolf, La-Iin. Some Werewolves might act dog-ish, but that’s just their personality. We’re descended from wolves, not dogs.”
Dosa-Mina knocked on the door to the Molshei house. Unsettled, La-Iin opted to stand outside the line of sight of the door.
She gave a sigh of relief when she noticed that Del-Kyuus had answered the door.
“Hello? Oh, hello, Dosa-Mina! Are you here to see San-Kyung?”
“Yeah, I wanted to ask him if he was up for doing something. It’s perfectly innocent though, Mrs. Molshei.”
Del-Kyuus gave a wry smile. “What made you think I thought it wasn’t?”
“That’s just how you are sometimes, Mrs. Molshei!”
“Well, I’ll ask him if he’s up for it, but he’s busy doing his Summer homework right now.”
Dosa-Mina slapped his forehead. “He’s got a head start, then…”
“Ah, don’t worry. School doesn’t start again until September, right? You have time to catch up! In the meantime, would you like to come inside?”
“Nah, I think I’ll wait out here. Thanks, Mrs. Molshei!”
Del-Kyuus nodded and head back inside.
“He’s doing his homework?”
“I’d be surprised too, but it’s like San-Kyung to do that. He doesn’t have much to do most of the time. Makes it easy to get him for something.”
“He really does spend a lot of his time doing nothing, doesn’t he?”
“Oh, he doesn’t spend it doing nothing.”
“Does he fantasize?”
Dosa-Mina shrugged. “I wouldn’t know. If he does he doesn’t share those fantasies with me. But he mostly preoccupies himself with things he has to do. So sometimes he does errands for his parents or chores around the house, things like that just to keep himself preoccupied.”
“Hm…”
“I think your dog likes the way I smell,” Dosa-Mina said, glancing at Choungetsu.
“He likes the way San-Kyung smells better. And I mean this legitimately.”
“How does he know what San-Kyung smells like?”
Having begun to talk among each other about mundane topics, both La-Iin and Dosa-Mina almost failed to notice San-Kyung come outside.
“And besides, I don’t think you should let–oh, hello, San-Kyung! It’s good to see you.” He walked over to him and hugged him. La-Iin narrowed her eyes.
“It’s good to see you too, but it’s too sweaty for your affection,” he said, gently pushing Dosa-Mina away. “Mom told me it was you at the door. She didn’t mention La-Iin.”
“For all her bluster I think La-Iin is more wary around strangers than you are! The stranger-danger mentality probably would be stronger in a seven-year-old than a sixteen-year-old anyway.”
“Hey! San-Kyung’s Mama just reeks of goody-goody, that’s all. She’s nothing like you, and it disgusts me.”
“You knew that already. Besides, haven’t you complained about your own mother being good?”
“At least she has a jackass factor.”
“Jackass factor?” Dosa-Mina questioned.
“What are you two here for anyway?” Before Dosa-Mina could respond, an unreadable look crossed San-Kyung’s face. “You’re not here to recreate that date from last year, are you?”
“No way. That was fun but I’m not looking to do it again anytime soon, especially not with how annoying La-Iin’s been lately.”
“Try looking in a mirror, rival-boy.”
Choungetsu walked up to San-Kyung and began to sniff him intensely. “And you brought your dog, too…” He groaned.
“You know, being caught up in the moment of there being more people here than you expected distracted me. We’re here because there’s something I want you to do.”
“What’s that? And what does La-Iin and her dog have to do with it?”
“I had to bring Choungetsu or else Mama wouldn’t let me go.”
“You could sort of say it was her idea…she provided the supplies we needed. San-Kyung, how’d you like to do a play?”
“No.”
“Aw, come on, San-Kyung, it might be fun.”
“No. I have better things to do with my time.”
“Do you really?” La-Iin asked. “Or are you just going to keep doing your homework until it’s done and then do chores and errands for your parents!? What sort of future world ruler does that with his time!?”
San-Kyung was surprised to see that La-Iin’s wings were flapping rapidly.
“Sorry. I kind of told her you spend a lot of time doing…well, that.”
“So? Why should I do this stupid play? Let me guess, it’s some romance and La-Iin wants to play one role in the couple and for me to play the other.”
“Actually it’s a violent play about Sirens. I actually was considering bringing Varinis et Sol-Kiut, but I knew you wouldn’t go along with it.”
“Aw, just give it a shot, San-Kyung. We could only do one act. I don’t know much about Makeshire’s plays but I’m sure one act isn’t three hours.”
“Three hours is the full length of some of his plays. But not one act.”
“What has you two so desperate?”
“We want to see you act.” Was the response both of them gave.
“This play has lots of evil roles! You get to do violent things! But you also have to sing.”
“Remember when we were younger we used to act out violent scenarios? Come on, it’ll be just like that, except you kind of have to follow a script.”
San-Kyung had begun to look uncertain.
“Aw, come on.”
San-Kyung sighed. “Fine. I’ll do it. You have a point that I don’t have much to do. But I’m not doing any good role.”
“I told you, this play has lots of evil roles. So long as you’re one of the Sirens you’ll be okay.”
“Aren’t Sirens usually female in fiction?”
“Yes. That’s the case here too. But that’s where modification comes in!”
San-Kyung looked uncertain. ‘Fer-Shi would be so mad if she found out I was doing this with San-Kyung. I’ll just have to act out another play with her instead!’

“‘What you fail to realize, fair Lien, is for the world of Sirens, the rules are doled differently. All the rules are that survival of the species is key. Accept this, escape it, but do not try to change it! Your methods of survival vary from ours, Lien, and that I will grant respect, but oppose me and I shall make of you my next meal. I am, after all, a lover of rabbit’s meat…'”
La-Iin had expected to enjoy watching San-Kyung act, though she had been concerned about his acting ability. Soon enough she found that there was no need to be concerned, all except for the behavior of one Siren towards a character of Dosa-Mina’s.
‘I wish I had a camera. I would record all this. I’d let rival-boy do all the other parts if I could just record this.’
“La-Iin, it’s your line next,” Dosa-Mina said.
La-Iin snapped out of her daydreams and began to read the script. “‘Mes-Iri, why spare the rabbit at all? Why give him a chance at life when his would better benefit our own kind?'”
“‘It’s simple enough, isn’t it, to have just killed him then and there with my song as opposed to letting him go, but I enjoy the thrill of the hunt as much as the spoils. So I anxiously await Lien’s return to our island. I’ll chase him for as long as need be until the moment his sanity is shattered, till the moment I see its effects reflected upon his physical body. Any names you might call me as a result are acceptable, Niciera. Young Sirens are told not to play with their prey. But where’s the harm in playing with it before it is, officially, prey?'”
What made her even more anxious was hearing San-Kyung’s singing voice. Though she knew a song for his character Mes-Iri was in the script, it did not occur until the end of the first act. Perhaps because she was both enjoying her time and feeling anxious, it felt like it had both taken forever and just a short time before they reached the end of the script.

Watch the empire front of me fall,
watch the place so civilized show all its flaws
Say your prayers just one more night
For tomorrow, the worth of those prayers will be lesser than nothing!

After the song, San-Kyung lowered his head as if embarrassed.
“Can’t we do another act!? Please!?”
“No!” San-Kyung snapped. Lifting his head up briefly, La-Iin felt she could see him blushing. His yell caught Choungetsu’s attention, and he turned away from the butterfly he was watching to bark at San-Kyung.
“You did pretty good there, San-Kyung. You seemed like you were getting pretty into it.”
“Well, it was nice to do that and all, but I should probably finish my homework.”
“We have until Septemberrrr!” La-Iin whined.
“Yeah, well, I’d rather get it over with early!”
“Don’t worry, San-Kyung, I won’t bother you anymore. But there is something I’ve been meaning to ask. Watching you act and after having a conversation with La-Iin earlier, there’s something I’ve been wondering about.”
“What now?”
“You seemed to enjoy doing that a bit. I’ve seen you enjoy doing certain things but you don’t do them often. You don’t even go out and use your car as much as you used to.”
“…”
“The car’s another thing, but San-Kyung, if there are things you enjoy don’t just bury them because they came about because of the world or people. You might not like either, but where’s the sin in enjoying them? Well, rather, if there is a sin why aren’t you embracing that?”
“I draw, San-Kyung. Creative outlets can be good for evil.”
“What makes you think I enjoy any of this stuff?”
“Just watching you. Besides, it’s a waste. Your acting’s good and all, but I’ve seen you dance. You have a natural talent for that. I’m not saying give up on your main goals, but what’s wrong with having a hobby?”
San-Kyung blinked. “I think you’re misunderstanding.”
“If you don’t want to talk about this in front of San-Kyung then we can talk over the phone later. But really, San-Kyung, if you enjoy other things don’t just stop yourself from doing them. Go on and do them. But, well, that’s enough for now, and I should be getting home. It was fun you two! I’ll be seeing you!” He gave San-Kyung a kiss on the cheek, waved, then began to head home.
“I hate to agree with rival-boy, but creative outlets really are good for evil. But you do your homework, then. Choungetsu looks like he’s getting antsy.” She pulled on Choungetsu’s leash.
“I’ll show you, San-Kyung. Sooner or later I’ll get you to do the rest of this script! See you!”
She flew off, Choungetsu for once unable to catch up to her. San-Kyung sighed. He head back inside.
“What took you so long?”
“Nothing important. Not really, anyway.”

—–
As he came to the end of his homework, San-Kyung found himself thinking back on La-Iin and Dosa-Mina’s words from earlier.
‘What makes them think I like any of this stuff? Wishful thinking?’ The thought made him let out a sigh. ‘I don’t know about La-Iin, but Dosa-Mina knows me well. Maybe he’s seeing something I’m not seeing in myself…’

12.528.The Days of Makeshire–Part 3

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 528
“The Days of Makeshire–Part 3”

La-Iin opened the door cautiously and quietly, and closed it just the same.
‘It’s just the end of Makeshire’s story. I heard all about his success and a lot about his plays. I know more things now, and what I really want to know I’ll never know. Today has to be the day I conduct my blood tests, it has to! Of course Mama would never understand that, so…’
She tip-toed through the house, hiding and trying to keep her breathing, footsteps and occasional wing-flaps as quiet as possible. Once she made it to the kitchen, she immediately noticed Mit-Sun sitting there, the book open to a late page. Cautiously she began to sneak through the kitchen, thus far going unnoticed by Mit-Sun.
But this time, someone else noticed her.
Choungetsu began to bark happily and ran up to her, wagging his tail and pressing against her. “Damn it, Choungetsu!”
“La-Iin? What are you doing under the table?”
La-Iin stood next to Mit-Sun. “Mama, I like Makeshire. I really do. But this is the end of the book. He’s an old man who’s almost dead. I want to do something else! Don’t make me listen to your droll reading another day!”
“Droll?” Mit-Sun questioned. “Come on, La-Iin. Look at how few pages there are! You’ll definitely have time to do whatever it is you want to do.” She narrowed her eyes. “And if it’s nefarious I don’t want you doing it in the first place.”
“You’ll never stop me! And I don’t believe you! You took too long two days in a row! There’s a definite trend here, Mama.”
Mit-Sun sighed. “Let’s just finish it, alright?”
Choungetsu whimpered. La-Iin glared at her, then shook her head. “Fine, but Mama, if I don’t have any time to do what I want, there’ll be hell to pay!”
Mit-Sun narrowed her eyes further. “Well, at least you’re listening, for once. Aaaaanyway, as you said, this is near the end of Makeshire’s life. He had his big burst of success, he’s still popular, but the man is an elderly Vampire, and his prime is long past, though still more present than some other notable people…”

***

Centuries had passed since the beginning of Makeshire’s career, even moreso since the beginning of his delve into stage plays. His parents, as well as his siblings Nillion and Aletta, had been dead for so many years living without them felt normal now. And Makeshire had written several plays which had been produced several times and translated into many different languages.
He had lived through nearly all of the 1000s, and soon the 2000s would begin. Still he went to showings of his plays. He could remember much from his career, both good and bad–and even today he was still working, writing what he suspected would be his final play: The Angels and a Conundrum.
The play had been inspired by thoughts of his siblings Nillion and Aletta, and the two main characters shared many personality traits with them. Even after so many years he could still remember clearly Nillion’s strict yet fair behavior, the kindness he had shown him when he was having trouble making his way in the world. He could remember Aletta’s gentleness–his sister had continued working and making treats for him even as she deteriorated in health. Thinking on Aletta was particularly painful–she had never even known that he had begun to write stage plays in the first place.
Still, Makeshire was determined to see through his final work. And he had already written a dedication to his family as the first page. ‘Writing has certainly improved over these years,’ he thought. ‘Before I was stuck using just paper, but now I can use a typewriter, and computers are on the horizon…’
Makeshire was happy for his success. He was happy that he was able to spend so much time doing what he loved, to the point he could make a living off of it. But he was done. He was ready to join his siblings and be nothing more than part of the world’s history.

“Mr. Makeshire? Is it true that The Angels and a Conundrum is going to be your last play?”
“Yes, it is true,” Makeshire sighed. “I’m an old Vampire. Even with the means of writing having improved–and not a moment too soon, those hand cramps of the past were a pain! But I am an old Vampire. It’s time the young people of the world took the helm from me and made their own stage plays that everyone will remember.”
“Nobody can make the kind of stage plays you do, Mr. Makeshire. You have a talent no other will share.”
“True. But so do those young people. And if I were to write a stage play that is similar to one of theirs, they would be accused of copying me when in truth neither of us would be copying, most likely. And I am not as well-inclined with the new happenings of the world as I was with the old. You must realize I have outlived much of my family. Vampires do not often do so by such a large margin of centuries.”
“I suppose I understand in a way, Mr. Makeshire. It has been a long career.”
“Indeed. But, I do not regret a single moment of it.” Makeshire smiled. “I know this is what I was meant to do–this was my purpose in life. I contributed to the world. I will be considered a part of history. And even moreso I have made people happy. I never expected this sort of outcome when I was a young man. I’ve done what I love for so many years. But death no longer scares me. I’m ready to embrace it whenever it comes. But be it tomorrow or in fifty years, this shall most likely be my last play. So I do hope you all enjoy it.”
“I’m sure all of us are hoping that as well, Mr. Makeshire. Thank you for the hundreds of years of plays. We hope that the rest of your life is filled with peace and relaxation.”
“I do too. I’d hate to be witness to the fifth World War when I don’t have the means to fight.”
“We’re looking forward to your last play.”
Makeshire gave another smile. This time, he said nothing further.

The seasons of that year passed. Halloween came and went, and Animated Pumpkins everywhere celebrated. Makeshire visited Manemica during Thanksgiving. Christmas came and went and Makeshire was showered with gifts. The Angels and a Conundrum opened to wildly positive reviews, with some saying it was Makeshire’s saddest play but also one of his best.
Makeshire completely retreated from the public eye after that. Many more people wondered about him after his last play, but Makeshire opted to spend his days in silence and peace, reading the works of others and his older plays. He felt lonely. All these years he had spent his time writing plays, watching as he garnered fame–and all of it had helped to bury the sadness he felt.
He missed his parents. He missed his siblings. He missed his niece and nephew. He longed for the simpler days of his youth. He was ready to die. But passing the time reading the various writings of the world and of his own wasn’t too bad.
‘Soon enough, my family, I will join you.’
His career had been an exciting one. He had never expected it to happen.
A few days into the new year, Makeshire checked into the hospital. The doctors warned him that if he wasn’t cautious, he could easily die–his organs had grown fragile over the years and could shut down at any moment. They warned him to come by if anything at all felt strange.
He was glad he had gotten to write all that he did. He wished Nillion and Aletta could have read the works and come to the showings. They would have had such fun, and would have been so proud. He could imagine Aletta, a kindly mother raising her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and further on. He could imagine Nillion, a successful businessman. They should have been able to pursue their goals as well. It wasn’t fair.
Makeshire was dismissed from the hospital, though he could tell the nurses were still concerned about him. They gave him medication. Makeshire put it on a shelf someplace in his house and forgot about it immediately after arriving home. Not two days later, one of the nurses called him and asked how he was doing, and if he wanted to be moved to senior care.
All those people he had touched over the years, many of them were gone too. Perhaps he would have more confidence, be more social when he met them in the afterlife. He had always wondered if writing so many plays had made him a bit of a recluse.
Pain wracked his body to the point where he couldn’t stand. It was laboring to breathe, and even an involuntary twitch felt like agony.
He hoped that even after he was gone, his plays still made people happy.
Makeshire opened his eyes. The pain was subsiding. At the edges of his vision, he felt he could see Nillion and Aletta. They looked at him with smiles, the perfect picture of health. They seemed all dressed up for a fancy event, and Makeshire wondered where they might be going.
“I think he can see us,” Nillion said to Aletta. “Hello, Makeshire.”
“Would you like to come to a special showing of your play? We helped direct it!” Aletta said cheerfully.
“My children will be there as well,” Nillion said. “It’ll be like a family reunion. Come on. Let’s go.”
“You helped with one of my plays?” Makeshire rasped. His siblings nodded. Makeshire smiled.
“Certainly. I’d love to go…”
Makeshire closed his eyes, yet the vision of Nillion and Aletta did not seem to disappear. No matter how much darkness flooded his vision, they were always standing right there at the corner of his vision, reaching out their hands and waiting for him to join them.

Not more than ten hours later, the headlines sent shock through several people around the world.
FAMOUS PLAYWRIGHT MAKESHIRE FOUND DEAD INSIDE HOME

—–
“And that’s the end of the book.” Mit-Sun slammed it shut. “…La-Iin, are you crying?”
“…”
“It was a big surprise when Makeshire died. I didn’t know much about him, but seeing those headlines was so weird…”
La-Iin shook her head. She checked the time.
“Mama, you took too long. Again.”
“I’m sorry.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Is that why you’re upset? Because you didn’t get to do what you wanted to? It’s earlier than yesterday! You have more time!”
La-Iin ignored her. She was lost in thought.
‘Now I know why Dami wanted to get that thing. It all makes sense now. And now I know for sure. I need San-Kyung at my side.’
Hearing of Makeshire’s death had made her sad, but she had known the man was dead since she first saw a Makeshire play. The thought of being found like him, dead alone inside her house, was unbearable.
She was even more determined than before to finish her blood tests as soon as possible.

11.527.The Days of Makeshire–Part 2

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 527
“The Days of Makeshire–Part 2”

“Today is certainly the day,” La-Iin announced to herself as she opened the door. “Today of all days I will begin my blood experiments! And I know just where I could get some blood from, eh heh heh…”
‘Yesterday may have been interrupted by Mama, but no longer will I wait! Today I discover the truth about this new power!’
She strode into the kitchen with a confident gait, and once again failed to notice Mit-Sun sitting there with a book.
“La-Iin?”
La-Iin stopped in place, grimaced, and sighed.
“Yes, Mama.”
“There’s still more to Makeshire’s story.”
“Mama, I learn enough stuff at school. Can’t I do my own thing today!?”
“Didn’t you enjoy hearing about him yesterday?”
“I did, but then you took so long it was dinner time when you finished and you still weren’t done! If Makeshire hid so much about himself then why is there all this information on him!?”
“He wrote a lot of plays. That’s what a lot of this information is on. And you noticed some of it is speculation, right? Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll reach the end of the book today. Why don’t we finish?”
“It looks like you aren’t even halfway through the book,” grumbled La-Iin.
“Oh, come on. At least you like Makeshire.”
“I know you’re just gonna take so long that I have to go to bed after you’re done. If you take that long, heed my warning Mama, I will follow through with my task whether you like it or not!”
“Hm.” Mit-Sun looked down at the book. “Don’t worry, La-Iin. Most of Makeshire’s notability comes from the time where he started garnering success. And that’s exactly where we’re at right now…”

***

After the success of his play The King of Marmotts, Makeshire found himself writing more plays than expected for the small performance group. He enjoyed taking the time out of his day to write, and even when he had no inspiration, the sheer number of scripts he had written meant that he could quickly revise any problems he had with one before getting the script out to the group. So far, only one of his scripts had been rejected, and each night he came to a showing, it seemed as if there were a fair few people who enjoyed his work.
“You have a true talent for words, Makeshire. Your work is the kind of which payment would be well deserved.”
“I am fine working for free.”
“Nonsense! Say such things and people will take advantage of you. Here.” He handed Makeshire payment, and though he felt reluctant to accept it, he did so without another word.
Makeshire had barely expected this performance group to like his writings so much, but he was quite pleased. Watching the performances, seeing people who enjoyed his writing and even getting paid for it–it was all a surreal experience. Back when he had been living with his brother Nillion, he had certainly never expected that his cathartic hobby would take off in such a way.
Needless to say, he was incredibly happy.

What would surprise him even more than the performance group’s acceptance of his scripts was an event that happened months after the last performance of his play June in the Meadows. He had recently delivered another script to the performance group and was working on another one he had recently come up with based upon a local story he had heard of a woman who jumped out a window and was currently recovering in a nearby hospital.
A knock sounded at the door, and though Makeshire tried to return his concentration to his work, he failed to do so when the knock sounded a second time. He stood up and head for the door, and was greeted by a tall Vampire man in fancy clothing.
“You must be Makeshire.”
“I am Makeshire,” he said, quieter than he had expected. “To what do I owe the visit?”
“Makeshire as in the writer of the stage plays performed by the Blood Aerial Troupe?”
“I have written stage plays for the Blood Aerial Troupe, yes.”
For a moment, Makeshire worried that the man would begin to yell at him, criticizing his works for overtaking the prior works the Blood Aerial Troupe had performed, but instead the man smiled. “Wonderful, just wonderful! I was hoping I would find you soon. Many a Vampire’s house I stopped by was confused by my mention of Makeshire. You could consider me intrigued by your works, especially your focus on half-breeds. What sparks such interest?”
Makeshire gaped. He tried to regain his composure as quickly as possible. “I find them fascinating,” he said. “particularly because in my childhood, it was thought impossible for two of separate species to birth a child…”
“Ah, many Vampires remember those days, but those of other species don’t tend to, hm?” He said, his smile turning to more of a grin. “Ahem. In this day and age stage plays have taken on some fame as a medium for those who are rich. Troupes such as the Blood Aerial perform in the streets, but I am a man who owns a theatre.”
“A theatre?” Makeshire was stunned. He had heard of how prestigious theatres could be–to find he was meeting someone who owned his own was even more surprising.
“Yes, indeed! And we have been fairly dry on ideas for performances–a rule of ours is never to repeat the same show except on special occasions. So I was wondering, perhaps you would loan a script we at my theatre could use for one of our productions? Naturally, you would be paid handsomely for your assistance, moreso if the show were to end up a success–though most proceeds would, of course, go to the theatre.”
Keeping his composure seemed to be getting harder with each word out of the man’s mouth. “Sir, I am but a humble playwright. Certainly there are other scripts out there ‘twould be more deserving than mine…”
“Nonsense! Makeshire, if you do not wish to turn over a script, that is your call. But my offer stands long as I stand at your door. I have read many a stage play script. I know quality when I see it. Should you be so concerned merely turn over June in the Meadows! I might say that is one of exceptional quality.”
“You would truly wish to perform a script of mine?”
The man nodded. “Your humbleness is endearing, Makeshire, but you must step out of your boundaries. You could achieve great success with your talent!”
‘Great success….’ Makeshire felt as though he could almost hear Nillion goading him on, telling him it was his chance to finally give all his play writing a meaning. After that, his deliberation on the matter was only a moment of seconds.
He extended his hand. “A deal it is, sir. My gratefulness is more than you could know.”
“Fantastic!” He chuckled. “I assure you, Makeshire, you will see: you are bound for success!”

Makeshire had been incredibly nervous about the idea of a theatre performing his works, but the performers of the Blood Aerial Troupe were supportive of his decision and a few even told him they would agree with what the man had said–his talents made him seem bound for success.
Makeshire couldn’t believe their words, but if he could do something with all the writings he produced on his spare time, it would be worth it. He continued writing as the theatre practiced his play, and the owner even invited him to a showing free of charge.
Makeshire had never been in a theatre before, and he was awestruck. He sat near the back and watched as the actors performed his play.
“‘Do you believe that someday we may all live in peace, Caeri? That someday all strife in this world will end and finally we will be left with nothing to pursue aside our dreams?'”
“‘Such words are nonsense. No, I do not believe that someday we may all live in peace. That is why we must keep stable what little peace we have, for the reverse may someday be possible. Our world did not make it here on peace. As we learn from mistakes as children, so do all people who bear witness to events of discord. That is what we must do to preserve this peace, is learn.'”
When the play came to an end, Makeshire readied himself to leave. He was surprised by the sheer number of people who gave applause at the end. Never had he seen so many at any of the Blood Aerial Troupe’s performances.
Normally, he was sure he would be nervous. But today he was just happy. He was reaching out to these people and giving them enjoyment. And to him, that was more wonderful than receiving payment for his works.

As it would turn out years later, the man’s prediction was right.
That theatre’s performance of June in the Meadows had sparked a sudden rush of demand for Makeshire’s scripts. As time went on more troupes performed his works, the theatre performed more of his plays, and a second theatre went on to produce both June in the Meadows and his early work The King of Marmotts.
Makeshire was dumbstruck, but he continued to work as hard as he could. He still had plenty of ideas for plays, after all, and as long as he did he would keep writing, but now he did so not only for himself. Not all of his plays received glowing admiration–he could remember one called Greenery Jubilee that many had not cared for–but the vast amount people were thrilled to see his works. They loved his take especially on the subject of intermixed societies and half-breeds, and after some time it wasn’t only other Vampires who watched his plays.
Makeshire’s popularity was spreading.
“Mr. Makeshire, what is your next play going to be about?” Some would ask him.
“I don’t know.”
“Mr. Makeshire, do you have a wife? Is she an inspiration?”
“No, I do not have a wife.”
“Mr. Makeshire, do you want to have children?”
Makeshire was unable to respond. His popularity had naturally given way to people who wanted to learn more about him. When he would go out in public and be recognized it was overwhelming, and hiding his identity didn’t seem to be working–people would recognize him anyway and it would cause the same trouble.
Makeshire was happy, but he was also overwhelmed. All this caused him to stay inside his house the majority of the time writing play scripts or going about his day–that and the fact that he didn’t much care for being out in the daylight in the first place, anyway. He was better off staying inside as far as he was concerned, though at times he would still grant the wishes of the people who wanted to talk to him.
“Thank you for agreeing to this, Mr. Makeshire. We know you don’t come outside much anymore.”
“I figured it was long overdue. Many have wanted to know more about me, so I decided to give in.”
“Alright then, a question some want to know, have you written anything that is not a stage play script?”
“I initially dabbled in novels, but my interest lies in stage plays first and foremost. I have adapted some of those old novels into stage plays.”
“I see. Have an example?”
“Vampire’s Stabmist…”
“Ah, okay. Here’s another question, then: what is your family like?”
“I would prefer not to go much into it, but I did have siblings. They are both passed on, but they are an inspiration to me.”
“I see. Mr. Makeshire, you have written several play scripts over your career, and as a Vampire though you are now fairly middle-aged, you still have hundreds of years left to go. Just how do you do it? How do you produce so much writing within this amount of time and never lose your ideas? How do you keep yourself interested in it?”
Makeshire had to ponder over the question for a long while; it hadn’t been something he had exactly given much thought to. He mostly enjoyed sitting down to write a play script and didn’t think about why he got so much enjoyment from it.
But that question had made him think, and now he believed he had a response.
“Well…as you know, we Vampires lead long lives, so to find something that keeps us enraptured for a long time can be quite difficult. However, I was lucky enough to be one who is interested in many things in this world, the way they work and why they happen, the bad and the good…when my interest in something is high I develop a desire to make a stage play based around said interest. Therefore, so long as the world keeps turning, I think my inspiration will continue.”
“I see. Quite interesting!” The man scrawled down his words. “Now, mind telling us a little bit more?”
“Certainly. I figured you had more questions to ask, anyway.”
Makeshire found his popularity quite overwhelming, but in the end, when he thought on it, he was doing something that made him happy that in turn, made other people happy and entertained. He had no regrets for following this path, none at all.

—–
“Ohh…”
“What’s wrong, La-Iin? We’re getting closer to the end.”
“I’m starving….again. Mama, you failed me!”
“I’m sorry!” Mit-Sun closed the book. “Come on, we’re not on a time limit. We can finish this book anytime we like. Maybe tomorrow.”
La-Iin’s eyes widened. She wanted to protest, but no words would come. All she knew was that it was very likely that Mit-Sun was going to put her through the same thing tomorrow, and despite her interest in Makeshire La-Iin was desperate for the book to be over with and for her to have the freedom to finally conduct her blood tests.

10.526.The Days of Makeshire–Part 1

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 526
“The Days of Makeshire–Part 1”

After arriving home from school that day, La-Iin strode into her house with confidence. ‘Today is certainly the day! Now I know what way would be the best to determine the true extent of my blood powers. I’ll head out today and finally begin the true work on my plan towards world domination!’
She walked past the kitchen, failing to notice Mit-Sun beckoning to her. When she realized she wasn’t getting her attention, she called, “La-Iin, come over here.”
La-Iin turned around. “I’m busy, Mama.”
“You don’t look very busy to me. And if you’re going to get busy, maybe it can wait? There’s something I want to tell you about.”
The look in La-Iin’s eyes grew dark. “I certainly hope it has nothing to do with a Siren named Haner…
“Why would Haner be a part of this? Although, he did–never mind, you don’t need to hear that.”
La-Iin’s wings began to flap rapidly in agitation. She turned to leave the kitchen.
“Wait, La-Iin! Don’t you remember when I would teach you details about species study after school?”
“I learn lots about species study now at school! Though not as much as I would if Hyungdarou wasn’t such a hack. So what could you possibly want to tell me that I don’t already know?”
“For starters, there’s always lots to learn about the species. For instance, I barely know anything about Seahorsemen or Groundisers, and they’re not the only ones. Skeletaltypes don’t make much sense to me either, but aside from that, it also has nothing to do with species study. It has to do with the history of a Vampire I know you’re quite interested in.”
“Dami?”
“No, not Asul-Zenza. I don’t know nor care enough about him to give you a history lesson, and besides it probably wouldn’t be all that interesting. No, I was going to talk to you about Makeshire. Not only is he notable, he lived for over nine-hundred years, you like him, and you did tell me once your school doesn’t often talk about him.”
“More like they get interrupted if they try.”
“Huh.” Mit-Sun opened a book. “Well, his story is a long one, and like you know there isn’t a lot known about him since he wasn’t all that social. But I thought I’d tell you some about his plays, and perhaps both of us can gleam some details from there.”
“How could we? His plays don’t always make sense.”
“This is a history book on Makeshire, La-Iin,” Mit-Sun said, pressing her hand down on the book in front of her. “Makeshire’s notoriety began hundreds of years ago, back when he was still a fairly young Vampire. Though he wasn’t too young a Vampire–I really doubt he could have done everything he did back in the 1100s…”

***

“What might ye be writing, fair brother?”
When his brother’s voice broke into his silence, Makeshire felt as though he had lost some of his concentration. He heaved a sigh and attempted to return to his work, writing slowly and carefully and trying to achieve the concentration he had before.
His brother seemed to have other ideas. “Makeshire, in times where parchment is scarce, ‘twould be courteous to speak of your reason for its usage.”
Makeshire was reluctant to answer. His brother sighed. “This silence leads me to believe the reason is nefarious or otherwise frivolous.”
“…I will replenish our store of parchment,” Makeshire responded quietly.
“And so we learn the reason truly is frivolous. Makeshire, you will not be able to escape to the realm of parchment forever. War looms constantly on the horizon and ye are an adult Vampyre. Understand, my reasons for my judgment.”
“That I do,” sighed Makeshire. “My sincerest apologies, Nillion.”
Nillion gave no further response, and Makeshire could only assume that he had left the room. He breathed a sigh of relief and went back to work on his play.
‘Whatever Nillion might say,’ Makeshire thought, ‘these writings of mine are a cathartic exercise.’

“Makeshire, the count of these writings is fantastic, though my meaning is nowhere near the positive sense.”
“I could imagine, Nillion…” sighed Makeshire.
“How much free time must a Vampire have in order to accumulate such a large number of writings? What all are they about? How could you manage it all? Does your hand not cramp?”
“Nillion, are ye upset, or intrigued?”
“The combination of both, be there a word for it! How does one make all these? A waste of parchment, but the tales told upon them are lost otherwise. A conundrum of the highest order you have created.”
“I do enjoy writing stage plays,” admitted Makeshire. “I have writings of other types, but the stage play format fascinates me.”
“Stage plays?” Questioned Nillion. “Why Makeshire, you’ve barely seen any! Why would your fascination lie with them?”
“I…I am not sure.”
“This is all not meant to judge ye, Makeshire. But the paper excess is astounding. To utilize more of this parchment in my care, ye must earn it first. I will then support your pursuits in such a case.”
“Truly, Nillion? Your judgments seemed stronger in the beforehand.”
“Who am I not to support my younger brother? Though I still question your choices, if it has you doing something, then pursue it. But use less parchment, and focus on other aspects of life. Taking a spouse is uncommon within our family. You would do well to join the ranks of those who have. Young though you may be, no longer are you in a Vampire’s prime, so do not wait it out forever.”
“…” Makeshire could give no respond, but when he noticed Nillion was smiling, he felt slightly more confident about his works.

Years of living had left Makeshire feeling as though he was wasting his many years. While the few people of other species he met worked as hard as possible and made the most of their life, Makeshire felt he barely contributed anything to the world. Always he was anxious, the world always feeling like it was on the precipice of war–and what felt like constant deaths in his family only heightened that anxiety.
So much went wrong in this world that was still learning to stand–Makeshire had heard tales of great conflicts that he was grateful to have never been alive for. In hindsight he had many things to be grateful for, but as he stood at Nillion’s grave that day, he hardly felt as though the world had anything in it that was worth forgiving.
All except his writings. All there was in the world gave him many ideas. When he made something horrible into a story, it felt as though it was slightly less horrible, because he could sense the hope that his characters had, could give them a happy ending as opposed to one filled with mass death. Perhaps Nillion would not have found the idea comforting, but aside from his brother his plays were all he had to think about.
‘Perhaps I shall do something about them,’ thought Makeshire. ‘Stage play performances have been going on in the nearby city. Would a submission from an unknown be accepted?’
His tales were filled with so many grim events up until their ends, and sometimes, he realized, even past their ends if he felt the tale he was telling could not, under any circumstances, reach a happier conclusion. The people who performed stage plays nearby often performed them for the rich and more well-off. Makeshire was nowhere in their league. Would anyone really want to perform his plays if he suggested them?
The idea itself made him feel anxious. But what did he have to lose from trying?

“You say that this writing was produced by ye alone?”
“Written,” Makeshire said.
“Ah, understandable. The writings of outsiders we had not considered, but perhaps we will review this and see if it fits within our guidelines. May we hold it for this time? It shall be returned in pristine condition, God as our witness.”
“I have faith it will be,” Makeshire said, spreading his wings. “So be a good day to ye all, and gracious thanks for your acknowledgement of my work.”
“Gracious thanks for your assistance!” Called back the man. “Return to this area in two morning’s eves and we shall deliver a final opinion!”

And he did return, his curiosity too strong to stay away for long. To his surprise, the performers had graciously accepted his writings, and invited him to a showing of the performance. Makeshire had felt a mixture of anxious and timid at their acceptance. He tried to imagine how Nillion might react to this news, though the thought only made him feel sad.
The performance, held for five nights, was of his play The King of Marmotts, a play about a king presiding over a kingdom of “Marmotts”, mixed-breed people who were outcast and shunned by all societies. Few people had shown up to the performance on the night he had come, and he was slightly distracted throughout the showing both of thoughts on his family and of the opinions of the other people, especially as he knew “Marmotts” were often thought of negatively, contrary to his script.
But as well as his concerns he was also entranced by the performance of something he had written. Reading it had been one thing, but to see actors performing his roles and speaking lines he had written amazed him.
After the end of the play, one Vampire woman approached him.
“I heard from an actor that you are the author behind this script,” she began. Makeshire tried to remain collected.
“Your perspective intrigues me. I look forward to seeing further works out of you.”
Makeshire was stunned. The last thing he had expected was to hear that someone had liked his work. It gave him a thrill.
If he could interest this woman, perhaps he could put a foot in the world that way–by giving people some entertainment.
After all was said and done, he approached the man behind the performers once more.
“I do not mean to be imposing myself upon you. But in any time you may need a script to perform, I am willing to provide.”
“How strange you would bring this up! I was wishing to talk with you about your scripts as well. Why don’t we speak over tea?”
Makeshire nodded. “I would like that.
It felt like the start of something big–though Makeshire didn’t dare get his hopes up.

—–
“Mama, all this about Makeshire is fine, but I’m staaarving.”
Mit-Sun checked the time. “Oh, it is getting pretty late. I suppose we could leave the rest for tomorrow.”
La-Iin sighed. “How long is that book?”
“Pretty long. Why?”
La-Iin rolled her eyes. “Never mind.”

31.396.Tickets to Makeshire

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 396
“Tickets to Makeshire”

Mit-Sun sighed. Work was coming to a close for the week, and she was ready to be done.
‘Not like La-Iin will want to do anything fun over the Weekend,’ she thought to herself. ‘Well, at least I don’t have to be here…’
“Cahongyun!”
Mit-Sun startled. Uil-Cur was half-running, half-fluttering over to her, his expression one of excitement.
‘What does he want now?’ Mit-Sun wondered. Though he hadn’t come up to her since that day they walked together, he always said good-bye to her and seemed to watch her from afar. She had to admit, his behavior was confusing her.
“Hello, Haner,” Mit-Sun said.
“Please, Mit-Sun! You can call me Uil-Cur! Trust me, once you get used to it it feels as natural as breathing.”
“Uh…yeah?”
“Now, you might be wondering why I came up to you today. Well, that’s because I have something to give you!” Before Mit-Sun could ask what it was, Uil-Cur thrust two tickets in her face. “Here.”
“Huh?” She took the tickets. “Summer and Winter Fantasies…”
“I hope you like Makeshire. That is one of his greatest works, if you ask me. People know it quite well although it does feel like sometimes other plays get more time in the spotlight despite this being the second-best Makeshire play. …in my eyes, I mean.”
“Why are you giving this to me?”
“After hearing your story I felt you needed something to take your mind off the stresses of work and motherhood. So I say go see Summer and Winter Fantasies, take your parents, daughter, just a friend, and have fun!”
Mit-Sun stared at him in disbelief. Uil-Cur’s cheeks turned a dark shade of pink. “Wh-what?”
“Don’t you want to see this?”
Uil-Cur seemed to nearly freeze in place. He started to flail about and shiver. “Ahaha, no, I’m fine! I love that play but you should go see it with someone you care about. Although, I don’t mind going if you don’t know anyone else who’s interested in Makeshire…in that case, I wholeheartedly accept.”
“La-Iin is into Makeshire,” Mit-Sun mused. “Maybe I’ll take her.”
“Ahaha….good choice. Either way, I just hope you enjoy your time. If I have alleviated your stresses any by sending you off to see that play, I will be happy. So tell me if I have next time we see each other!”
“Monday then?” Mit-Sun asked.
“Oh no, I don’t work on Mondays. You’ll have to get me on Tuesday.” Looking both disappointed and happy, Uil-Cur waved to Mit-Sun. “See you, Cahongyun!”
“Um…see you?”
She watched him walk off, then turned back to the tickets.
‘That was really nice of him,’ she thought. ‘I hope La-Iin will be willing to come with me….’

***

Mit-Sun talked to La-Iin that night about the tickets.
“I’ve never seen that one before,” La-Iin said. “But I don’t like going to see plays. That’s boring. I like acting them out instead.”
“If you don’t want to go, you don’t have to,” she said. “I could always have my father or someone else watch you for the night….but then, who would I take?”
“You could also have Dami watch me,” she said.
“No. But, really, who would I take…? I’m not sure a play would be up Leirhyn’s alley…I’d have to ask, but I don’t think I could ask her tomorrow. I guess Haner did offer, so I could take him up on that. It is his ticket, after all.”
“Is Haner that guy who gave you the tickets?” La-Iin asked, her eyes narrowing.
“Yes. He works with me at Eteibreit Data Storage, though he works a different shift. He’s a nice guy, though he’s a little….flirtatious,” she said. “I think that’s just in his nature, though.”
The idea of this man being interested in her mother made La-Iin’s stomach turn. Though Mit-Sun seemed unconcerned by what she had just said, La-Iin felt uncertain, and at that moment she decided on her answer.
“Take me with you!”
“Why? I thought you didn’t want to go.”
“I was just thinking, maybe if I see this one, me and Fer-Shi can act it out later,” she said. “That’s always fun.”
“Are you sure that’s why?” She asked. “Because you sound pretty angry.”
“Yes, it is. I’ll go with you.”
Mit-Sun felt that there was another reason for La-Iin’s sudden change of mind, but she decided not to continue pressing.
‘Why mess up this chance to spend time with her?’ She thought.

And so the next day, La-Iin and Mit-Sun left the house early to head to the theatre where Summer and Winter Fantasies was playing. La-Iin was shivering almost the whole way, and looked irritated as if she didn’t want to be outside.
On the inside, however, she was much more furious.
‘How long is this gonna be? How long am I gonna be stuck in the same seat? How many hours? How much of my time am I gonna be wasting? Valuable time I could spend doing something much better than just sit there and watch a play. I could act out this play and let Mama watch it that way instead of going because some stupid guy gave her tickets.’
Remembering Mit-Sun’s description of ‘Haner’ made her even more furious. Her wings started to flap wildly; Mit-Sun gave a curious glance in her direction when she heard them.
‘Who is that guy anyway!?’ She thought as she and Mit-Sun approached the theatre. They entered it and Mit-Sun presented the tickets. ‘Mama said he was flirtatious. And he gave her tickets even though she said he hadn’t even been working there all that long. I bet he just wants to marry Mama.’
That one thought made her incredibly nauseous, and she staggered into the theatre, her stomach churning wildly. ‘But wait, she said he was a Siren, didn’t she? Maybe he’s just doing what ancient Sirens do. He’s going to entice Mama, then sing to her and eat her. I can’t let that happen! If anyone kills Mama, it should be me! But even I wouldn’t do that, because it would just be cheap. Killing her to eat her…Mama wouldn’t taste good….’
La-Iin tried to suppress the thoughts that were horrified by the idea for a different reason as she and Mit-Sun took their seats in the middle of the rows. Mit-Sun glanced at her as her expression changed mildly, first from anger, then to sickness, and then to sadness.
‘What’s going on? Is she alright?’
‘Mama shouldn’t trust that Haner guy. He’s one of those useless evil people like San-Kyung said. He’s only evil because he wants to eat Mama and not because he’s actually evil. Maybe he’s not even evil and he’s just neutral. Actually, he probably is! Someone like him doesn’t even deserve to be called evil!’
“La-Iin?” Mit-Sun’s voice broke through her frenzied thoughts. “Are you alright? The play’s about to start, so calm down a little.”
“Why should I?” She snapped. Mit-Sun glared. She leaned closer to her and whispered, “If you didn’t want to come, you didn’t have to.”
“I couldn’t let you go with that Haner guy!” La-Iin snapped. She then covered her mouth.
“Is that what this is all about? You didn’t want me to go with Haner? That’s so–”
Before she could finish, a Cicadin man tapped a microphone and glanced around at the sparse crowd. He sighed, then put on a smile and stared upward.
“Welcome all to the Dreamin’ Stories theatre. My name is Geu Shin-Kah, and I am the director of this theatre’s production of Makeshire’s Summer and Winter Fantasies I see the Winter weather must have kept a lot of people from showing up…but that’s alright! The actors will put on their best performances for those of you who actually attended. Now, let me tell you, I am a huge fan of Makeshire’s work. This one is particularly near and dear to my heart because of a fond memory I have of it….so I hope all of you enjoy it as much as I do! Now, Dreamin’ Stories Theatre Productions presents, Makeshire’s Summer and Winter Fantasies!”

“Dearest Beizu, why do you treat destruction the same as play between children? These such events are disastrous for I and the people I love. I feel at times that all this is my fault. To see you, treating all this so lightly…”
“There is good reason for that, my dear! Because if you take each event smiling, your life will be infinitely less stressful and infinitely more fun. I have learned this from all my years experience dealing with such events, and thus my faith in this method is strong!”
“Have you too dealt with immense tragedy before then, Beizu? Having heard your standpoint I am wondering now if that is the case…in such a case, though you say to take each event, good or bad, with a smile, I do wonder, do you not understand why I feel the way I do about the strife in my fair land?”
“A…ahahaha….what would make you think I’ve felt any negative feelings in my life, Ija? I am nothing more than a happy sprite. Take offense to my smiles if you will, but perhaps this time you will take my stance into consideration next time you feel as if you are to be crushed by sadness, hm?”
Summer and Winter Fantasies was a play about the challenges of marriages in a land called Kirsce, a society where all species lived together in peace. A major character in the play so far had been Beizu, a Fairy who lived on the outskirts of the land. Having observed the situation, Beizu had decided to make a game out of it; Ija, a young village girl working towards the goal of marriage being for all, took notice of his behavior and began to try and drive him out of Kirsce, seeing him as an obstacle in the way of her goal.
La-Iin wasn’t a fan of sitting and watching the play be acted out by people she had never met before, but she was intrigued by Beizu’s character, and could already imagine herself in his role and Fer-Shi in Ija’s role. Mit-Sun seemed to be thoroughly captivated by the play, as she hadn’t taken her eyes off it once.
‘I wonder if we can get a script for this one too,’ she thought. Still, despite her thoughts that the play would be fun to act out with Fer-Shi, there was still one thing that was bothering her.
‘That Haner guy gave her tickets to a play that’s all about marriage,’ she thought. ‘He’s up to something! I can feel it! You can never trick a Maniac of Evil, Haner! We’re all about plans!’
Those thoughts about what this Haner’s ulterior motives behind giving Mit-Sun tickets to a play about marriage might have occasionally distracted her from the play, but nevertheless La-IIn felt like she saw all that was important.
“You don’t understand, Ija, and you never have, not since the moment you tried to drive me from Kirsce. My smiles to avoid all stressors are because I cannot deal with the sadness in life. Others are capable of moving past it, capable of using it to make them stronger, but I, I see sadness as what it truly is. How one could take that I cannot imagine…so when my mother told me to see each life’s event as play, to take all lightly, I tried it. And she was right, it alleviated my stressors quite well. So I continued to do it so I could live out my natural lifespan. Should anything happen to me that ended it before it was due up, I was certan that whatever it was would not be in any way a fault of mine. I feel differently now, Ija. Because you have helped resurface all sorts of emotions I never wanted to experience again. And now, I…now, I don’t see any way to return to the way I was before.”
“Beizu, I never intended for it to reach this point! I had wanted you to respect why I felt the way I did about Kirsce’s situation. Understand this, Beizu, that if you do what you intend to do now, it will be something you can no longer take back!”
“I no longer care. For you see, Ija, I simply cannot cope with sadness like everyone else can. It’s impossible for me. And I believe that somewhere, somewhere out there, be it in the sky or in a space separate from ours, contained within the Earth or not, no matter where it is, I believe there is a Heaven out there. And, for what reason would I, who has lived a fair and honest life, not make it there…?”
“Beizu! NO!”
‘That’s Makeshire for you,’ La-Iin thought as she stared wide-eyed at the stage. The actor playing Beizu promptly flung himself off the top of a prop shaped to look like a cliff. He disappeared from sight before landing.
Despite Beizu’s suicide, however, the play’s ending was fairly hopeful, and La-Iin couldn’t help but be bored by it as Ija’s goal for marriage equality was met and the land of Kirsce became one of ideals.
“Beizu, if somehow you survived that fall, it would be my hope that you would find the desire to fly by Kirsce again. For this is a place now like Heaven, but contained within life. I think you would very much like it here.”
The play then came to a close.

—–
“That was quite a dramatic play, wasn’t it?” Mit-Sun asked. “I thought it was going to be a comedy the whole way through because of the way it started, but once Ija appeared it got pretty serious.”
“I wish they’d shown Beizu’s corpse.”
“Makeshire probably didn’t write that into the script,” she said. “Still, it’s a pretty old play to deal with suicide.”
“Makeshire’s plays have all sorts of violent stuff in them.”
“I guess…still, it was nice to see a mixture of tragic and hopeful like that. Usually he seems to just stick with one or the other.”
“I wish the ending had been tragic.”
“You would, wouldn’t you?” Mit-Sun sighed. “Still, I’m glad you came with me, La-Iin.”
‘I’m glad I came too,’ she thought. ‘Who knows what Haner would be doing to you right now if I didn’t?’

18.383.Advent of Death

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 383
“Advent of Death”

“Many people around the world are spending today in memorial as another January 18th arrives. Today is the anniversary of famed playwright Makeshire’s death. The Vampire was known for his large repertoire of plays covering a variety of different genres and subjects, and his long lifespan led him to create many works starting at the age of–“
La-Iin left the room before the broadcast finished. She head downstairs to the kitchen, where Mit-Sun was preparing breakfast.
“Today’s the day Makeshire died?” She asked. Mit-Sun glanced at her over her shoulder.
“Yes, it is. You’d think you, knowing how much you like his plays, would know that.”
“I just knew he died before I was born.”
She sat at the table. “What year did he die in, Mama?”
“I want to say 2000 or 2001, but I might be wrong. Maybe a little bit before that. Either way, when he died I didn’t find out right away. I just remember being surprised when I did.”
“Did he die before you met Dami?”
Mit-Sun snorted. “Yes.”
“So he’s been dead for a while now…”
“Yep.”
“What age did he die at, Mama?”
“Are you going to keep asking me questions about this?” Mit-Sun sighed. “Nine-hundred and something. I want to say….nine-hundred and…fifty-five? He lived a long time, but people say he looked fairly young even in old age. I wouldn’t know, though. I’ve never seen any later pictures of Makeshire, and apparently he didn’t like getting his picture taken.”
“So I might have been able to meet him, but he died before he reached maximum Vampire lifespan,” La-Iin grumbled. “There’s always been a lot of things I’ve wanted to ask him. Does anyone know if he was good or evil?”
“No, he never told. So everyone assumed neutral or good.” Mit-Sun had stopped looking at La-Iin by now and had her eyes focused on the food. “Breakfast is almost done.”
“Does Makeshire have any children?”
“No,” Mit-Sun said, evidently a little exasperated by her daughter’s questions. “Unless he had children way back before he was notable, he doesn’t have any. And if that is the case, he would have been keeping it a secret, because I’ve heard he told anyone who asked him that he didn’t.”
“So I can’t meet any of his children either, and ask what they know about their Dami…” La-Iin scoffed.
“Well, there’s nothing you can do about it, so there’s no point in moping,” Mit-Sun said. She began to serve breakfast. “The man died before you were born, La-Iin, and even if he had children, there’s no guarantee they would have known much about what went on in his head. Male Vampires can have children long into old age, so he could’ve easily had a kid even younger than Asul-Zenza when he died. But that’s highly unlikely.”
She placed the breakfast on the table. La-Iin stared at it curiously as Mit-Sun started to eat.
“Does he have any siblings?”
“They say he did, but that they died before he became relevant. So don’t go thinking you can hunt down his siblings.”
“Maybe his siblings had children, though. And maybe those children were in touch with him.”
“It’s possible, but it sounds unlikely coming from someone as desperate as you.”
La-Iin sighed. “Well, what does everyone know as a fact about Makeshire? I just like his plays, Mama. I never really looked into him, and it seems like something goes wrong every time they try to teach us about him at school.”
Mit-Sun gave her a quizzical look. La-Iin took a bite of her breakfast, then wrinkled her nose. “What did you put on top? Poop flakes?”
“Oh, stop being disgusting!” Mit-Sun snapped. “It’s fish flakes.”
La-Iin stared down at the dish, nose still wrinkled.
“Now, if you’ll stop being crude, I’ll tell you what there is to know. He started writing when he was younger, before he moved out of his parents’ house. All his existing works are plays, but he said he initially dabbled in novels before deciding to focus his energy on that. He also said something that, quoted exactly, is a popular line….I don’t remember the exact quote, but I’ll try my best to give you the jist.”
La-Iin rolled her eyes.
“It was something along the lines of, ‘We Vampires live long lives, so finding something to keep us interested the whole time can be difficult. I was lucky enough to be born interested in many things, and when something interests me, I develop the urge to make a play based around it. Therefore I believe I will never be bored so long as the world keeps moving’.”
La-Iin blinked. ‘Maybe I should keep that in mind.’
“They say he wasn’t very social, so the few times people interviewed him in later years is practically all everyone got. He didn’t like getting his picture taken, and preferred to be painted by an artist. They say he also had a hard time speaking with more than one person, and that when he tried to, he’d usually get derailed.”
La-Iin kept her eyes focused on Mit-Sun as she ate more of the breakfast, wrinkling her nose when the taste of the fish flakes hit her tongue.
“He was also a nocturnal Vampire, unlike a certain someone I know.”
“What choice do I have? School’s in the morning.”
“I know, I just think it’s weird,” she said. “Anyway, he would only come to night showings of his plays. He apparently didn’t come at all in his later years. He said it was because he was aging and it was harder to fly out to wherever the performance was being held, but people assumed it was also because the crowds were expecting to see him so they could talk to him after the play.”
“I hope I can still fly when I’m old,” La-Iin said, flapping her wings. ‘But then, who knows. Maybe I’ll never have to worry about it if the world ends before I’m old. It could happen.’
“Do you know where Makeshire came from and what language he spoke, La-Iin?”
“…” La-Iin gave her a blank stare, hoping she would think it meant she knew, but Mit-Sun sighed and shook her head.
“He was Shitosh, La-Iin. And in Shitosh, they speak Enlash,” she said. “So all those play scripts we have in the house are translations.”
La-Iin began to look slightly indignant; since she didn’t say anything afterwards, Mit-Sun wasn’t sure if it was because she had given her the answer, or because the scripts were translations.
Once she finished breakfast, she asked another question. “He was a Pureblood Vampire, right?”
“Yes? He was born in a time anything aside from Purebloods was uncommon.”
“What was his favorite type of blood?”
“Who knows!?”
“Darn, another thing I’ll never know because Makeshire is dead.”
“I don’t think anyone ever saw him drinking blood in the public eye, and even if they did, unless he was drinking from someone directly they wouldn’t know what kind of blood it was,” Mit-Sun said.
“I wonder if he was one of those Vampires that only drank prepared blood,” La-Iin mused. “He sounds like he kept to himself a lot, and also like he stayed around Vampires a lot…”
“Well, it’s not important to know. He probably drank blood. But he never talked about his diet with the people who interviewed him.”
“It doesn’t sound like he really talked about himself at all,” La-Iin said. Upon saying that, Dosa-Mina popped into her mind.
‘Why?’ She shook her head to clear it of him.
“He didn’t. I’ve heard if someone asked him deeply personal questions, he wouldn’t respond. People asked him if he had children, and he said no. But when people asked him if he wanted children, he wouldn’t respond.”
“Do you think that’s because he was shy?” La-Iin asked.
“I wouldn’t call him shy. He didn’t seem it. More like, he’s not social because he spends most of his time writing plays. Nobody knows much about his personal life aside from all the play writing he did. It’s not known if he had a job aside from play writing, if he ever had a lover, what he did on his spare time–save for coming to night showings of his plays, anyway. There are a lot of theories about him.”
“I could’ve gotten him to tell me about them if he was only still alive,” she sighed.
“Why do you want to know so much about him, anyway? You’re such a fangirl sometimes.”
“Because I can’t understand him, that’s why,” La-Iin said. “I’ve read so many of his plays and I still can’t understand him. I want to know if he was good or evil. I want to understand how he kept going and writing plays even when he got really old and the world kept changing. I–”
“Is that it? You want to hear more about Makeshire because you want to know how he survived?”
La-Iin stared up at her with wide eyes. “I just want to know things about him!”
Mit-Sun smiled, though she felt it was inappropriate for the situation, so she forced it down. “Well, then, whether you want to know how he survived or just want to know things about him, never forget what he said: ‘We Vampires live long lives, so finding something to keep us interested the whole time can be difficult. I was lucky enough to be born interested in many things, and when something interests me, I develop the urge to make a stage play about it. Therefore I believe I will never be bored, so long as the world keeps moving’.”

—–
“Hm…”
“What’s on your mind now? Imagining naughty stuff about San-Kyung?”
“No…” La-Iin said. “Just, I was wondering what the world has to offer.”
“Huh?”
‘Maybe I’ll be able to find a way to keep myself entertained. After all, what’s not entertaining about ruling the world? And if it takes a while, the payoff will definitely be worth it.’
She turned over in her bed. ‘Though, sooner is better.’

31.31.Makeshire’s Play

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 31
“Makeshire’s Play”

“‘Hell hath no fury like a Vampire scorned!'”
“La-Iin, look at the next page! It’s got a ton of swearing on it!”
“Oh, would you get back into your role, Fer-Shi? It’s annoying to stop every five seconds for your nitpicking.”
“I’m not nitpicking! I’m just pointing out all the cursing!”
“Makeshire’s plays are infamous for their copious usage of swear words. If you worry about them, you damage the spirit of the play. And in any event, he writes a damn good play, even if his supposedly-cool lines are less than stellar.”
“Even so….how do you even pronounce this one? See? I can’t even pronounce them all! What’s the point?”
“Which one? I can probably tell you how to say it. Bes-Isa used to teach me new swears every day.”
“The one that starts with C. Do you pronounce that with an accent, or–”
“Not with an accent! Just say it how it looks. That’s how it’s pronounced.”
“Can’t you just say it outright?”
“Look, Mama’s going to come by any minute now with snacks or something stupid like that, not to mention our swords! Without our swords, the fighting scenes so far have been, well….awful! You can’t act a sword to save your life!”
“I’m trying my best!”
“Anyway, I doubt she’d be happy hearing you use that. Her image of you is of a flowery little maiden girl. It pisses me off. Here she has her own daughter to love and cherish and she cares more about her daughter’s friend than–”
“I hear footsteps! I think she’s coming!”
Creeeak. “Here are your swords.”
“Thanks, Mama.”
“Ouch!”
“Sorry, Fer-Shi! I shouldn’t have thrown them. Here’s some snacks in case you two get hungry. Don’t stay up here too long, alright? Your parents want you back before nine.”
“I’ll be back before then.”
“She will be. Vampire’s Stabmist is one of Makeshire’s shorter plays. It’s also not one of his best, so we could end up quitting halfway through. Not to mention Fer-Shi can’t handle six roles.”
“I don’t have six voices for all the characters!”
“Stop worrying about voices! Just read the damn lines!”
“La-Iin!”
“Mama, this play uses damn a lot. I’m just trying to get used to using it.”
“……..riiiight. Anyway, you girls have fun.” Slam.
“So, let’s get back to things. Now where were we? Oh yeah–” Crunch. “Fer-Shi!”
“But I was hungry! And they looked so good!”
“Yes, but–oh, give me one of those.”
“Sure!”
Crunch. “I juf wanna myake sure ee hinish ‘efore your parents get here.”
“We will. Promise! A snack break shouldn’t distract us so much.”
“Maybe we should just start from the top…..”
“We aren’t in too far yet. You tell me what you think!”
“Hm…..maybe we should. Okay, snack break’s over! We’re going back to page one, this time with swords in tow! That should make the beginning more interesting.”
“Maybe. But before we start, I have a question.”
“Yes?”
“How come you asked to do this? Don’t you hate plays?”
“I hate watching plays, not performing them. And Makeshire’s plays are really good. I wish I had gotten to meet him…..they say he lived long, but even those with long lifespans die eventually.”
“Oh….”
“And anyway, do I need a reason to ask you over? You’re one of the few Normals worth anything.”
“Aw, thanks! Although I wish you’d be a little less biased.”
“Never. Anyway, grab your script, your sword, and let’s do this thing, Dás-Lís!”
“You got it, Malbe!”

Clink! Clink! Clink!
“‘You’re letting down your guard, I see? What’s the matter? No match for me, I presume?'”
“‘Nay! I’d not disgrace my honor as a Beast by losing to a Vampire!'”
“‘Perhaps you shan’t worry about losing more than the fact that your strength is lacking!'”
“‘How dare you! For that, Dás-Lís, prepare to fall to my sword!'”
Clink! Clink! Clink! Crash!
“‘How did you–‘”
“‘Never underestimate a Vampire, Malbe the Beast!'” Shing!
“‘Agh! I admit defeat!'”
“”Tis too late!'”
“‘Nngh….although it greatly shakes my honor, I ask of you, please–allow me to go free. I shalt not challenge you again if you would spare my life.'”
“‘And how can I tell if you are being truthful? I cannot! Therefore, there is truly no reason for me to spare you.'”
“‘Truly? If that is so….'” Smack!
“‘Argh!'”
“‘Really now? I ask honestly to be spared and the “righteous” Dás-Lís refuses me? Then has the nerve to fall to a weakened kick from a supposedly-weak Beast? You are pathetic.'”
“‘I was caught off-guard! There is no other reason I would fall to a kick as weak as that.'”
“‘Perhaps I was right. A Vampire truly is no match for a Beast. And now that you are down, I can end you right here.'”
“‘Wait!'”
“‘Ha! Begging for forgiveness after you so rudely denied me? What reason do I have to hesitate?'”
“‘If you allow me freedom–‘” Cough! “‘I shalt prove to you that I am the stronger one, and we will meet back in this arena to have a decisive duel.'”
“‘It does sound intriguing….yet how do I know that you will keep your word? And what other prompt might I have to allow you to do this? I do not believe for a second that you will not turn tail and flee.'”
“‘Perhaps I might prove it to you with a body count.'”
“‘Oh?'”
“‘I will slay several of the strongest in this country, and mark them with a Vampire’s Bite. That will be my sign to you. Once I have slain these people, I will return, and then we will learn once and for all who is the stronger of us two!'”
“‘If not for the idea of a body count, I would slay you myself right here. But this is interesting enough to warrant my attention. Perhaps you will agree to other terms?'”
“‘And what might that be?'”
“‘You shan’t slay Beast nor Vampire, and doing so would illicit automatic failure on your part. Nor shall you slay your enemies with a Vampire’s innate powers. Utilize anything else, but your powers must stay unused at all times, except for making the bite-sign.'”
“‘I’ll accept. It adds more of a challenge, and the more I challenge myself, the stronger I shall be when we meet back here again! I shall slay fifty enemies, then!'”
“‘Nay, that number is too small! Are you telling me the great Dás-Lís would stop only at that number? I suggest instead, you slay seventy enemies!'”
“‘Seventy? Already at fifty, a mass murderer ‘twould be hunted for the sheer amount of casualties. At seventy, the country would hardly be what I’d call calm! How do you know the arena will not be closed from it all?'”
“‘We have other locations we may duel at. But if you disagree, I will have to consider this a win on my part–and you will owe me your life!'”
“‘Graah! Very well then! I shall slay seventy enemies, mark them all with a bite, and return to you for a duel to the death!'”
“‘Very well! And know this, you must keep your word. Should you go into hiding, I will give your identity away to those researching the murders. Then, you truly won’t be safe.'”
“‘I understand. I assure you, I shall keep my word.'”
“‘Ha! Playing the righteous act now? I’d hardly call your current goal righteous!'”
“‘Fool! Have you not stated that I shalt slay seventy enemies? Those causing trouble for our country ought be slain in any event, including you, Malbe. Make no mistake, I will have your blood on my hands!'”
“‘Hmph. We shall see.'”
“…..”
“…..”
“I have to go to the bathroom!”
“Now? But Fer-Shi, we just passed the first scene!”
“Yes, but do you want Dás-Lís to wet himself during the play? I’ll be quick, promise!” Slam!
“…she’d better be. Ah….in any event, much as I like this play, Malbe and Dás-Lís speak awfully similar, don’t they? It’s almost like they’re brothers….or the same person. Yech. At least we’re getting to the part where swearing comes in! And as much fun as it is to play Malbe, I’m looking forward to being someone else for a change…..”

“‘Thank you for the flowers, Milady. They are truly beautiful, as are your eyes.'”
“‘But Dás-Lís, what is so beautiful about eyes that cannot see? I have been told that I am ugly, and I will believe that I am.'”
“‘Yes, but despite your blindness, you still rank as a powerful foe to many. Pray tell, what made you decide to fight in such a way?'”
“‘I hold nothing but contempt for a world which serves only to mock me.'”
“‘And you are sure you cannot find a single redeeming factor?'”
“‘I’ll put it, as you say, pray tell–what love should I hold for a world which hates me with a fiery passion?'”
“‘When you put it that way, Milady, it makes sense. But if I may ask for assistance…..'”
“‘If it has nothing to do with sight, I might be able to help.'”
“‘Nay, sight is not involved at all. I merely wish to know of the location where the Groundisers sleep. I have heard that they are quite a trouble for our country, and I wish to speak with them.'”
“‘But speaking with them is not something for you to do.'”
“‘Milady, I do not intend on taking the place of our country’s leaders. I only wish to visit to see if I cannot calm them before they are spoken with. I do not wish for a war.'”
“‘And how do you know that going there yourself won’t start a war? Dás-Lís, righteousness and foolishness usually come hand in hand, and it seems no exception with you.'”
“‘I might be a fool, but my intentions are pure of heart.'”
“‘I will tell you the location. However, you must swear to me that if things sour, you will return here.'”
“‘I swear, Milady.'”
“‘The location of the Groundiser’s sleep is just beyond The Mountain of Beasts. From what I have heard, travel by wingflight is the most recommended method, given that the Beasts from the mountain tend to be nasty and violent creatures and will not hesitate to attack you.'”
“‘I know firsthand how irritating they can be. I shall leave right now, so that I may be done with this as soon as possible. Please hold these for me. I will return for them within at least two days. I don’t intend on staying long.'”
“‘If you do say so…..be safe, Dás-Lís! I do not wish to hear of your death anytime soon!'”
“‘Milady, I assure you, you shalt not! I will stay safe, and return to you and my lovely flowers.'”
“‘Perhaps now is the best time for you to go….'”
“‘Yes, perhaps! Wish me luck!'”
“‘I wish luck upon you. Stay safe!'”
“…..”
“…..”
“How do we do the flying scene?”
“It’d be easy if I was playing Dás-Lís. I could just fly around the room.”
“You can’t even get off the ground yet!”
Sigh. “Do you have to remind me?”
“How’d they do it in the actual performances anyway?”
“Dás-Lís is typically played by a fully-grown Vampire man, and fully-grown Vampire men have a large wingspan, like Dami! So they can just fly around until the cue is given to land.”
“Has anyone else aside from fully-grown Vampire men played Dás-Lís?”
“Fully-grown Vampire women. Wingyrms. Birdmixes.”
“But all those species can fly!”
“I’m not sure if he’s been played by someone who can’t.”
“Seriously? Did Makeshire write this play with the intention of Dás-Lís legitimately flying around?”
“Ugh! Pay attention to the script! It says ‘flies around or simulates flying around’. Just pretend! It’s a play!”
“You don’t have to get so angry! I’ll do it!”
Flap-flap-flap-flap.
“Why are you flapping your wings?”
“For sound effects.” Flap-flap, flap-flap-flap.
“Hee-hee! Is this what it feels like to fly?”
“You know my only experience with flying is being held by Dami. And I can’t feel what you feel. Now back to the script! Ah….here we are! ‘Do you hear that? The sound of the flapping of wings! One of the winged ones is here!'”
“‘Perhaps it would not hurt to land slightly earlier than expected….'”
“‘Do you see it? What is it?’
“‘It does not appear to be a Winged-Arm Creature, Nauslaven!’
“‘Nor does it appear to be a Birdperson!’
“‘Its wings are black!’
“‘But what does that mean?’
“‘Black wings are the signifying mark of the Vampires. But for what reason would a Vampire wish to visit Gourdsleep?’
“‘Shall we shoot it down?’
“‘Nay! I shall summon it here. …….. Halt, foul Vampire! For what reason are you so callously intruding the sacred sands of Gourdsleep?'”
“‘My greetings, Master! I am Dás-Lís, Vampire of the neighboring country of Mixan. I have come to quiet your misgivings about my country.'”
“‘From Mixan, he said?’
“‘The country of Half-Breeders, more like it!’
“‘Silence! Dás-Lís, was it? I am Benyar, holy royal of Gourdsleep’s lands. You may refer to me with the words of my people’s language–Nauslaven. Do you come here as representative for debate?'”
“‘Nay, Nauslaven. I come here only to quiet misgivings, as I originally stated. I have no intentions of debating, for in my country, I am merely a simple Vampire, integrated into society as an equal of my brothers and sisters.'”
“‘Bah! Quiet misgivings? About what? The nature of your country? No Groundiser worth himself would have anything to do with a Mixan traitor!'”
“‘Traitor? But we have not done anything to provoke Gourdsleep!'”
“‘Nay, that you have not. But we are not fools. Mixan is a country of various species, separated from their tribes and homelands. This ‘home’ of yours has taken one of our own, and damned him within the moment he stepped sand in that hell.'”
“‘I cannot claim to understand your religion, Nauslaven, for I am a Dslée, not a Grousia. But I would doubt that your Groundiser friend is damned in Mixan. All species are equal there. I only wish for you to understand that.'”
“‘And the longer your Half-Bred grounds exist, the longer Gourdsleep has losses to suffer. Perhaps you are not Grousia, and I would not expect a non-Groundiser to be. But given your status as a Dslée follower, it proves you are as foolish as the leaders of your disgusting “country”.'”
“‘Do not treat the people of Mixan as cravens!'”
“‘You are worse than cravens, young Dás-Lís. You Mixans are foul beings, not worth your short and pathetic time of existence. Taking up space is all you do!'”
“‘How dare you spew such hateful words! We are a peaceful country, only hoping to build equality for all species!'”
“‘And in your journey for equality, what have you gained? Half-Bred children!’
“‘Vile!’
“‘Disgusting!'”
“‘If I cannot change your mind about Mixan, Nauslaven, that is fine. I shall take my leave and allow the leaders of our fair country–unlike your own–to discuss it with you.'”
“‘As if the country’s leader could convince me otherwise! Go on, return to your disgusting home grounds. But know that you will not last long!'”
Grit. “‘State what you will.'”
Grooooooowl!
“……..”
“……..”
“‘A-Ahem! Nauslaven!’
“‘What is it?’
“‘Beasts spotted in the distance, Nauslaven! Several of them!’
“‘Hm? What? Why!? …….Mixan scum! Did you bring them here?'”
“‘I would never! I despise Beasts more than you know, Nauslaven.'”
“‘Bah! Empty words. The Beasts do not appear to have a specific target! We shall leave this ass to fend for himself. All the rest of you, evacuate and retreat!’
“‘Yes, Nauslaven!'”
“‘Mayhaps I might help you, residents of Gourdsleep. Your impression of me mayn’t be good, but I can prove myself. I assure you.'”
“‘We’ve no need for assistance from Mixans! Leave these grounds!'”
Aaaargh! Noooooo! “‘With all the chaos around, I could easily take out Benyar and make it appear an accident. ‘Twould be what he deserves–no longer will he terrorize Mixan by spreading ill rumors, and anyone who calls one such as I an ass quite honestly deserves it!'”

“‘Milady, I have returned, safe and sound.'”
“‘Ah, is that you, Dás-Lís? Wonderful. How did it all go?'”
“‘I shan’t have ever tried. Their holy royal, Nauslaven Benyar, was ridiculously unreasonable. I left before things escalated too high. Still…..in the time I was there, I was horribly insulted.'”
“‘I knew I should have persuaded you to stay more. Ah well, it’s all done and over now. But you must have been flying for a while. You may come inside my house if you wish.'”
“‘Truly? Oh Milady, you are too generous!'”
“‘No, I don’t think so. I am doing this merely out of courtesy. And, Dás-Lís? May I ask one question?'”
“‘Hm?'”
“‘I had heard rumors going around about a Beast attack in Gourdsleep….they say quite a few died. A few of my neighbors have gone as far as to state the death of this Benyar man. What exactly happened to you there?'”
“‘I cannot answer that, Milady, for if there truly was a Beast attack, I was not there for it. If I had been, it would have been the first thing I informed you of, and for that you have my word.'”
“‘I believe you. Still, think of how lucky you are to have avoided it!'”

“‘Gourdsleep is in an uproar, of course. Their leader, Nauslaven Benyar, was killed all but three days ago in an unexpected Beast attack. Supposedly several others died while mourning their leader, unable to notice Beasts sneaking up on them.'”
“‘I do hope that Gourdsleep will be all right. I do not wish any ills on the Nauslaven’s soul. However, it does seem as if it was almost karma–the bastard intended on terrorizing Mixan solely because of his close-minded religion.'”
“‘Sir, that seems….awfully disrespectful of his memory.'”
“‘He might deserve it. He called Mixans far worse, constantly saying we were damned to hell and that we were no better than asses, not to mention he’s hurled the bastard insult at us too. Without him in the world, Half-Bred children may be able to rest more easily. That’s not to say that there are not other hurdles, however.'”
“‘There will most likely always be hurdles, sir.'”
“‘That is true.’
“‘Sir, have you taken a look at the information of Nauslaven Benyar’s death?’
“‘I have checked it several times, yes.’
“”Then what do you think of the Vampire Bite reportedly found on his body?'”
“This is getting annoying. When’s my line?”
“Be patient, Fer-Shi! Ahem…..’Vampire Bite?’
“‘Yes, sir. Apparently the teeth of the bite are much too small to be the teeth of a Beast. Therefore, it has been assumed that the Nauslaven was bitten at some point, though for nourishment before or after his death we are not sure. Most likely, this was done without his consent.’
“‘Ah, damn me! How did I not notice? But what was a Vampire doing in Gourdsleep? Was it a Mixan inspecting the scene?’
“‘Perhaps.'”
“‘It certainly seems suspicious. Might not hurt to investigate the matter slightly.'”
“‘Perhaps so.'”
“…….”
“…….”
“Snack break time!”
“Again?”
“I’m hungry! And you are too, aren’t you? I heard your stomach growl!”
“Well, we’ve spent a good half-hour or so on this. I suppose we could take a break.”
“Yay!”
“The Malbe monologue is coming up……I hope I do it well.”
“Knowing you, you’ll be fine.”
“Is that sarcasm?”
“Nooooo!”

“‘Heh! That Dás-Lís is truly violent! He has a point about the Legals getting involved. They truly are starting to panic now that the casualty toll has risen into the decades. But he is sly. I doubt he might get caught unless he slips up somewhere. I can only imagine having him bite them is giving him a thirst for more blood! Of course….true to his word, he has slain only those posing a threat to his people. The Legals are fools if they have not noticed this. Perhaps it is for the better, for if they did notice, their search might turn up an innocent as the slayer. Nay, Malbe, you fool! ‘Twould be a good thing for them to do so. In any event, those bastards are foolish. Just how many Vampires do they think live in the Mixan area?'”

“”Hell hath no fury like a Vampire scorned!'”
“‘Sir, please, calm yourself!'”
“‘You cannot accuse us for the recent killings! We are not an unruly country! We are a peaceful one!'”
“‘And yet you, supposedly one of the country’s leaders, over-reacts to a theory presented by me. How do I know that you are not covering up the misdeeds of a Mixan? In fact, Adoros, you yourself are a Vampire. Do you have any proof that you are not the one who is committing these crimes?’
“‘Sir Fedor, I have proof!’
“‘Oh?’
“‘Sir Adoros was present at the time the first killing supposedly took place. He has been so busy since that time that he has hardly had time to leave at all. Most times when killings took place, Sir Adoros was present in this building, and I at his side. Therefore, I am your living proof that he could not have committed these heinous crimes.’
“‘Since people of your status oft don’t know better whether the truth or a lie is required in these situations, I shall take your word. Still, I remain suspicious of Adoros, given his status as a leader of a country of bastard species.'”
“‘Bastard species!?'”
“‘Don’t think I haven’t heard the tales! Even in Nigatia, stories of Mixan, the fool’s country, are told. Stories of Birdpeople and Lizardpeople procreating, making odd children who would likely have been better off stillborn. These…..bastard children….are the source of many a tale to scare the normal children of Nigatia.'”
“‘Do not refer to Half-Breeds as bastard children!'”
“…..ah, sorry, La-Iin. It’s just, we’re getting close to that page again. Anyway…..’But is that not what they are? You are a fool to suggest they are anything near normal. At the very least, admit that.'”
“‘They are normal in the eyes of Mixan, you disgusting cretin!'”
“‘What did you call me!?'”
“‘A cretin! A damn fool! A being more worthless than a bitch!'”
“‘You insufferable bloodsucker! How dare you insult a leader!'”
“‘I myself am a leader, horrid ass! And do not refer to me by that term!'”
“‘If you would deface one leader, this leader will deface you.'”
“‘Wretched shite!'”
“‘Corrupted cu–‘” Slam!
“What were you about to say?”
“Mama?”
“Miss Cahongyun?”
“Yes, it’s me. Don’t think I didn’t hear that. Skip that line.”
“Huh?”
“But Mama–!”
“No. Buts. Skip the line.”
“But–”
“I said, skip the line!”
“Ohh! Damn you! …..uh-oh.”

“At this rate, we’ll never finish before dark. Nice going, getting spanked!”
“Hey! You have a monologue that you’re supposed to be doing. Look, we made progress even though I was crying for the rest of the argument between Adoros and Fedor. ….and the fact that Mama told us to cut the rest of the swearing.”
“Now that the swearing’s cut, I kinda feel like Makeshire’s being disgraced…..”
“It feels a lot worse to me. It’s almost blasphemy for her to have us do this, but we have no choice. One more time saying a word she doesn’t like and you have to head home early. Besides, we’re in the last act and it shouldn’t be much longer now. Let’s wrap this up.”
“Yes! ‘So I have slain fifty-five enemies…..I do not have many left before I return to duel with Malbe. Once I defeat that bastar–jerkface–‘”
“Ugh! It sounds horrible! Forget Mama for once and just say the damn word!”
“Ahem…..’Once I defeat that bastard, the world might have a temporary peace. But so many of Mixan’s enemies are deceased already…..and their blood is tainted with their terrible personalities. My whole body burns for something……purer…….and, nay, I cannot! How I would disgrace my fellow Vampires by giving into desires deemed common! I would become less than a craven if I scoured the land for the blood of one with their virginity! As if it tastes any different! And yet, my body aches to know if there truly is a difference….but how could I sacrifice an innocent man or woman for my own desires? I am supposed to be righteous, and I claimed only to slay enemies. But perhaps….for this one time, I may take it upon myself to try one who is pure of heart and pure of the corruption of pro-creation….and I wonder….if already, I have killed a virgin? Nay, this is not a search for a virgin. I must find one with purity. ……..’ Okay, what the f@&% is wrong with Dás-Lís!? La-Iin, why didn’t you play this guy?”
“Because I hate the monologue you just did. It’s all over the place. Also because it’s cute seeing someone so innocent say things so horrible and violent. And curse a lot.”
“C-Cute!? Ah….anyway……let’s move on……”

“‘Dás-Lís, as of late you have seemed rather off. Have you given in to a bout of insanity?'”
“‘Milady, for whatever reason might’n you ask that?'”
“‘I do understand that you could be stressed about all the homicides so far. But do not hide your stress to the point where it reflects in your dialogue. Such stress only leads to one ending their life by their own hand. I do not wish that fate upon you. Pah, as if there is such a thing.'”
“‘Milady….you needn’t worry about me. I am but a simple Vampire man.'”
“‘I worry about you because you are a dear friend, Dás-Lís. I would hate to see my friend fall into insanity. Mayhaps you should leave Mixan for a short while? Mingle with a Vampire village and forget the murders. ‘Twouldn’t do if you were healthy in body only and no longer sound of mind.'”
“‘Mi….Milady…..you address that which plagues my heart so. Mayhaps I will indeed leave this country, and distract my thoughts with those more pleasant. But pray, stay safe yourself as well, might’n you? If not for yourself, for me?'”
“‘Dás-Lís, I shall fall only to natural causes. I am far too strong to let the people of this world end my life. And do not flatter yourself with my attention any longer, before what you desire from me becomes twisted with lust. I do not wish for our friendship to be broken.'”
“‘If that is what you wish, Milady. I thank you for the suggestion. I shall come back in a month’s time. Perhaps then, we will talk over tea.'”
“‘Perhaps. I do like the sound of that.'”

“‘Ah….her blood….is all over my hands and teeth….but at last….I have slain seventy persons…..no longer all enemies, but in fact also allies. And now, though my heart is heavy with shame, I must find Malbe and defeat him. Only then can I put my thoughts to a sound rest.'”
“‘Worry not, Dás-Lís the ‘Righteous’. I intended on watching your final kill. I have been with you the whole time.'”
“‘Ah, Malbe. So you intend to duel in the location of my final kill? Should the Legals arrive, I could always accuse you of being the murderer with this evidence.'”
“‘Ha! What evidence? That you are coated with blood and all I am coated with is fur? The Legals would not believe you for even a second. With this many murders, you would be publicly executed. Not only the blood of the enemies of the Mixan people do you have on your hands, but the blood of leaders and innocents, all for a pathetic promise for a duel to the death. And still, you think of me as your seventy-first. You are too foolish to know that I have won!'”
“‘Whatever could you mean? Our duel has not starte–‘” Slam!
“‘Ha! Spit your blood, fool! Stand up and fight me with your sword! You have not realized that from the moment you decided to spare me, my victory was made solid! I have tricked you, and now that you can no longer stand, I see no reason in withholding the truth. You are a fool, Dás-Lís, trapped in a fantasy world where you are the sole hero with the other heroes of the world being only assistants to you. Your friends and family will not miss a killer.'”
“‘Malbe…..I knew you were a bastard of the highest…..order….but truly, here, you have f@&%ed me over…..but with all the honesty in my heart, I ask of you, please, allow me to see my lady one last time.'”
“‘Your lady? Ha. Your mistress or no, she shan’t be seeing you again. Should you bleed out, consider yourself lucky. The Legals have been alerted to this very location. If they find you here, your death is sealed.'”
“‘Ha….you fool…..'”
“‘What for? Can you not see that you have completely and utterly lost?'”
“‘Yes….but before I die….I can have the comfort….of killing–my….my sword…..'”
“‘Nay, you shan’t. You shall go to hell, alone or surrounded by the mocking laughter of those same people you considered comrades. Your heart is as black as this night, Dás-Lís, and it never had to be. But there is no point in saving you now. So this is my farewell. Shall we meet in hell, if you have not burned into oblivion already, I shall give you that duel you so wanted. Perhaps, in justice of you, I too will rot alone. But that you are going first is already enough pleasure for me.'”
“…….” Sniff!
“…….”
“…….”
“‘…..I do wonder, whatever happened to Dás-Lís?'”
“Ohhh! I hoped you wouldn’t say it! You promised to skip that final line! You promised!”
“I keep no promises! For I am Malbe! Mwa ha ha!”
“Okay, wow, way to ruin the mood there, evil dork.”
“Hey! You can’t insult me that way!”
“Yes, I can.” Sniff! “But despite how it ends, I did have a lot of fun doing this with you.”
“Me too. Seriously, though, some of those last lines….”
“They’re just so…..”
“They’re just so…..”
“SAD!”
“Stupid!”
“But anyway, no matter what happens to you in the future, La-Iin, promise me that you won’t rot away alone. If you ever need me, I’ll be here for you, alright?”
“….no, you won’t. You’ll be dead at a certain point, remember? I’ll be living my life for a long time to come, and you’ll be lucky if you make it to a century. You won’t be there to learn if I rot or not.”
Sniff!
“But….you know what? Promise me that there’ll be some part of you still with me, even when you are dead, okay, Fer-Shi? Follow me around as a ghost and all that? Because maybe then, I won’t be so lonely.”
“Aw, La-Iin, don’t cry!”
“Ohh, I can’t help it! Don’t leave me alone, Fer-Shi!”
“I won’t, La-Iin!”
Slam! “What the hell is going on?”

—–
‘Makeshire…..did you base Vampire’s Stabmist on actual events? What made you write this play?’