Chapter 1: 서문 (original)
"Are you sure they're not following us?"
"Just keep driving, damn it. We were supposed to be there half-hour ago!" Park Jimin exclaimed as he pointed his semi-automatic Beretta M9 firmly, checking if anyone else was still tailgating his best friend's car in the streets of Sacheon-si. Before he could settle back inside the vehicle, Kim Taehyung made a sharp turn to the right, almost causing him to lose his precious revolver in the middle of enemy territory. "What the hell, Kim! Warn me when you do that!"
"Yah! Shut up already, I had to do it." The brunette gritted my teeth, already irritated by his co-pilot's short temperament. He pressed the accelerator and sped up through the highway. Noticing that they were finally outside of the enemy radius, he finally sat back down and closed the car window.
"Damn Choi and his fucking 'important' morning call." The dirty-blond hitman leaned back on the passenger's seat and sighed from the distress.
His colleague remained warily, looking back from the rear-view mirror every few seconds. "Why would he call us at three in the morning?"
"I don't fucking know. He demanded to head over to Haeundae-gu and bring you along. What have you heard lately?"
"Not much, Joon hyung mentioned that Master Hwang was visiting the different divisions for the last couple of weeks. There was not much going on. Do you think he is back?" Taehyung questioned.
"If Hakyeon is back, most likely." He replied in almost a murmur. Jimin thought about his boss' direct command, the seriousness in his tone as he briefly requested their presence.
"Do you think we're in trouble?"
"I hope not." He replied as he stared out the night sky. He doubted it was them who were in trouble, but there was always that small 'what if' haunting in the back of his mind.
About forty-five minutes later, the two hitmen reached the main mansion in Haeundae-gu, where they were greeted by two soldiers guarding the entrance. They did not hesitate in opening the gate for them as the two guards were previously instructed to let them in as soon as they arrived.
As they walked inside the building's lobby, an authoritative voice seemingly coming from above them resonated across the hall.
"Park, Kim, you're late."
And at the top of the flight of stairs there he was, Choi Hakyeon.
Choi was known as Head Advisor of the Twelfth Hwang-geum Baekho Pa boss. Considered by many in the family as Hwang Jae-sung's right-hand man, and the only man who could go against any decision the powerful Twelfth boss makes that he believed were not ideal. For Kim Taehyung and Park Jimin, he was considered their boss and mentor. Usually a very kind and humble man, around his early forties, with great amount of intelligence gained both from books and the streets. Often Taehyung would accentuate that they were "the men they are today because of him."
"We had some random Reds following from East of Gyeongsangnam-do. Would have killed them all but we were outnumbered." Jimin spoke up, trying to ease out the tension.
"The fuck were you two doing there?" Choi raised an eyebrow, not a hint of excitement in his eyes at all. He definitely was not in the best mood. Taehyung knew it right away, but his buddy took a while to caught on.
"Wouldn't the correct statement be: the fuck were they doing in our territory?" Jimin gave him a confused look, not liking the fact he was getting lectured instead of being supported.
"PPalgansan-Yong Pa's boss asked for permission to step into the eastern premises for a meeting with our boss, they were heading back to their territory around 8:00 AM." Hakyeon mentioned in a composed manner.
"How the fuck should we know?!" Jimin's short temper was rising by the second. Taehyung slightly punched him on the bicep as signal for him to calm down before all hell broke loose.
"We sent a notification to every member to be aware of the circumstances." The Head Advisor glared at the two young men. That's when Jimin then remembered he left his phone in his room before heading to Sacheon for some extracurricular fun. He then glimpsed at Taehyung, who should have also received the notification, but was probably too drunk to even make sense where they were at the time.
That made Taehyung speak up. "Sir, we apologize. W-We didn't have signal where we were at."
Choi Hakyeon was not stupid. He knew exactly what they were doing in Gyeonsangnam-do and for Kim Taehyung to apologize, he knew they haven't checked their phones at all, and that it was not the enemy clan who sparked fire in the encounter. The Reds knew really well not to mess with their main territory. Though he wanted to punish them for their wrongdoings, he knew there there other things that needed to be done first. "We will talk about this later. The Twelfth is here, and he would like to speak with you."
Well, fuck. Is the only thing that came into Jimin's mind as they both headed up the stairs to the second floor.
"Is... something wrong?" Taehyung asked in almost a whisper as they were near his office. He meant to say if they were the ones in trouble, but he made sure to not raise the tension any higher.
"He wants to speak to you personally." His words sent chills down Jimin's spine, trying to push away any bad thoughts and possibly few regrets, in case it was going to be the last day of his life.
He had never personally met the Twelfth boss. He might have seen him once a few years back in a couple of funerals. The most recent one he recalls was five years ago, at Hwang Sung-won's memorial, his son and heir of the family's empire. Jimin has done a few jobs for Hwang in the past, and supported his ascent to power as the Thirteenth boss of Hwang-geum Baekho Pa. Until one November evening, he was sent to a business trip in Indonesia where instead he was shot several times in the torso, many bullets perforating both his lungs and one grazing his aorta. He died in action along with the rest of his men in service that night. Definitely a heavy blow for the clan, as well as emotional instability for the old man and his blood relatives.
Though Jimin saw him as an intimidating being, he knew that he has gone through a lot in order to reach where he was currently at. For a reason he was considered the 'boss of all bosses' for the past two generations, named best Hwang Baek Pa leader after the founding godfather, in addition to many other organizations -- both allied and opposed -- that respected him. Both lackeys admired Master Hwang for that.
Hakyeon stopped by the door and sighed before opening the door for the two young soldiers to go inside. The first thing that immediately caught Jimin's attention was the peculiar sight of a man behind the desk leaning back on the chair as he read a book. He seemed to be around his sixties as facial wrinkles were thoroughly accentuated by his grimaces at the work he was reading. A mix of dark grey and white hairs all over his head, wearing a classic business suit, and a pair of old glasses to help him scan through the pages. Jimin was reminded of his grandfather every time he would read the Busan Daily Reporter every morning for breakfast, a very long time ago. Minus the fancy attire, of course.
"Sir, they're here." Hakyeon announced monotonously, and he looked up to the three men standing in front of him.
"Oh!" He grabbed a bookmark and placed it on the page he was at. "Thank you, my son." He smiled sympathetically to the three men in front of him, removing the reading glasses off his aged face. "Kids, welcome! Feel yourselves at home."
The duo were in a dumbfounding trance by his welcoming greet, they couldn't help but glimpse at Choi for reassurance. The advisor raised his eyebrows in amusement and signaled them to follow along. They cautiously sat on the two leather futons in front of him. The old boss couldn't help but laugh. "What a bunch of funny fellas, don't worry, feel at ease." He started off looking at Taehyung first. "You are Park?"
Jimin couldn't stop his hand from raising. "T-That would be me, Master."
The Twelfth noticed his mistake and quickly apologized. "Look at me getting names wrong. Sorry boys, it has been a truly long night."
"We understand, Master. It is an honor to finally meet you." Taehyung bowed forward to pay his respects, and Jimin followed so he wouldn't be left behind.
"And a pleasure to finally meet you, I've heard from Hakyeon here about the number of outstanding services you two have provided to our family throughout the years." He smiled at the two youngsters sincerely.
"Well gentlemen, first of all I would like to apologize for calling you at this early in the morning, I was hoping to speak with you more but I have to fly to Japan in a couple of hours along with so many things to do in the agenda." He exhaled deeply. "I believe you don't know why you're here, though."
"I believe not, Master." Taehyung decided to reply this time.
"Good, I will tell you then." He paused as he readjusted himself on the chair. "As you all may know, I'm not as young and lively as I used to be back in the early days. My body can't hold as much as it used to years ago. I have been in the Hwang Baek leadership for the past thirty-eight years, and I love my job, but eventually my time on Earth will come to an end, and I'll have to succeed my position to someone who is apt for this amount of leadership. As you already know..." He paused once more, his expression lost in thought before resuming with his explanation. "My son Sung-won was the former Hwang Baek heir before he was brutally assassinated five years ago."
Silence haunted the room for a moment, until he continued. "In the past five years, I have been working on settling everything before I could announce my retirement and pass down the position to my new heir, but this young individual is yet not conscious of the power they will be holding, which is why I called you here."
"It's still very unclear to me, sir." Jimin suddenly blurted out. He felt Taehyung tensing next to him, likely for the honorific he just addressed the ultimate authority. However, the old man did not wince or reacted from the mistake.
"Well, Mr. Park, I have had a heir candidate in my mind for the longest time, but I was very hesitant in handing over all the responsibilities of a Hwang-geum Baekho leader to this particular descendant. It was not until I was able to get a hold of my late son's testament that I finally made up my mind on it. If Sung-won and I managed to agree on something, it was best to follow along even when other members would completely oppose to it." He averted his eyes to his advisor just for a few seconds and then directed back to the young hitmen. "The reason why you're both here is because I request of your service in mentoring the next Hwang Baek boss through the ways of leadership, loyalty, and of course, the organization."
The duo glanced at each other, taken aback by his entreaty. Deep down inside they were glad they were not dying that same night.
Jimin cleared his throat. "And in what division is he from?"
The old man took a few seconds to process his sentence, and then smirked rather delighted. "The Hwang-geum Baekho Pa will be going through some interesting changes throughout the transition. For starters, my successor lives in Seoul and has no idea of the organization, nor the amount of power the young one will be inheriting, so you will need to have a lot of patience when dealing with the new Thirteenth."
Jimin looked at the Twelfth completely baffled, mentally revising the clan's commandments in hopes to decipher what he has been trying to say. He wanted to tell him to get to the damn point as he grew impatient by the old man's speeches going in circles, but bit the inside of his cheek just so that he could see another day.
"We're changing history, if you want to put it that way." He chuckled like nothing has happened. Jimin was not against a change of history, but he did not wanted a repetition of what has occurred five years ago, especially if he was going to be in charge of the new boss' safety.
"With all due respect, Master Hwang..." Taehyung finally spoke up after remaining quiet for a while. "Will this heir be strong enough to handle the position as leader of the Hwang Baek?"
"Another reason why I have called you tonight. I am well aware of your strengths, as well as your weaknesses." He opened a drawer from his side of the desk and exposed a manila folder. "I believe-- no. I know that you are capable of protecting the next boss. There will be difficulties along the way, all of you will need time to adapt... But Jimin, Taehyung, I want you to be part of Hwang-geum Baekho Pa's Thirteenth generation alongside my successor. Hakyeon and I entrust the boss' life to you."
As Taehyung grabbed the manila folder to check what was inside of it, Jimin peeked to his right and saw his superior leaning against the furniture with a glass of whiskey on his hand. Hakyeon was not looking at them, but was definitely hearing the conversation without a single word said.
"Very well! I know everything will turn out perfect, so there is no need to worry. The heir is a tough one. Am I right, Hakyeon-ssi?" Twelfth smiled at his right-hand man, whom stared at him with a rather somber expression.
"Absolutely correct, sir."
"Choi... Haneul..." Taehyung read the first page of the document out loud. "That's his name?"
"Flip to the next page, Kim." Hakyeon said as he poured himself for a second round of whiskey.
The brunette did just as told, revealing a photographic head shot of a young girl in her school uniform. The girl seemed to be on her last year of high school.
"Her name, yes." The Twelfth finally corrected him.
Taehyung froze on the spot, unable to process what was going on. Jimin on the other hand, impulsively snatched the photograph from his partner's hand and analyzed it. Then slammed it on the Master's desk. Taehyung gasped from shock. Hakyeon with the glass on one hand while crossing the other, closed his eyes in anticipation. Master Hwang didn't even flinch at his reaction.
"Are you telling us that the next leader is a... a... girl?!"
The old man stood up from his chair, and fixed the cuff of his white shirt.
"History is about to be changed, Park."
47. ID 0970409 - 39 pts.
While several students were either celebrating or ranting about their latest grades on the Chemistry midterm exam, Choi Haneul could only stare at the tragically low score she had received even after studying her soul off for almost two weeks prior. In a class of fifty-two, she was within the last ten.
She felt her heart drop as she came to realization that she has failed the exam, and was at huge risk of failing the class which would lead to a delay in obtaining her diploma, in addition to failing at life. But instead of crying right on the spot, she snorted so loud it got the attention of a couple of people around her.
She walked away from the crowd as she was starting to get anxious, her claustrophobia slowly threatening to swallow her alive. Exiting the building with the uncomfortable feeling of the sun rays hitting on her sleep-deprived face, she noticed that her phone has been vibrating for a while. She glanced at the screen and saw 143 message notifications and 5 missed calls. It wasn't needed to check who was desperately trying to reach out for her when she only had three people outside of her family who had her phone number.
She barely had time to press two out of the four numbers for her security pin when another incoming call appeared. She took a deep breath before picking it up.
[[She finally answered!]] Her best friend, Kwon Nari, was heard from the other side of the line. [[Han, did you finish? Where are you?]]
Haneul did not reply, and Nari knew right away. [[Oh no, we need to find her quick before--]] And just like that, she disconnected the call. She didn't need yet another indirect confirmation that she was a 'good-for-nothing'.
She looked around the university's campus for a place to settle and be by herself. Aside from contemplating her life once more, she just wanted to take a small nap and recover from the unnecessary stress. Fortunately for her, she found her favorite lonely tree unoccupied, so she dropped her things and leaned against the trunk.
As she closed her eyes, she felt the cold breeze hitting her face. Her body gradually relaxed with every breath she took, slowly handling and pushing away any negative thoughts for once and drifting herself off to the dream world.
She heard her name, or rather nickname somewhere far from where she was at. Or was it far? It was peculiar for her, because only two people on this planet would call her by that. One was Nari herself, but this grave tone matched to the other candidate that was usually not around.
She opened her eyes slowly and her heart skipped a beat when she saw the proximity of her other best friend of many years.
Haneul was raised in Seoul for a great part of her life, but was born in Busan like the rest of her family. Even though she could pass out for a Gyeonggi-do native, the Gyeongsang dialect would naturally come out when she was annoyed or angry.
Especially when Jeon Jungkook decided to grab her cheeks and pinch them in order to wake her up. Finally coming to sense of what was happening, she was also becoming conscious of the pain on her face, and was definitely not liking it.
"Jeon, the fuck 're ya doing 'ere." She grumbled as she slapped his hands away.
"Oh shit, the seagull is coming out of her." She recognized her other best friend commenting behind him. Haneul glared at her while Nari pressed her lips to restrain her laughter.
"Class got cancelled, and since I was bored I came to visit so we can hang out. I called you but you didn't answer so I contacted noona* instead." He gave a brief explanation as he sat next to her. Nari settled herself in front of them.
Haneul sighed. "Sorry, I was taking another midterm, so I had my phone off all morning." She leaned her head over his shoulder, something she would do every time she did not feel well in any way, shape, or form. Jungkook had an idea of what was happening thanks to Nari's knowledge on their mutual friend, but he preferred to hear the story from her.
"I'm tired." She whined as her eyelids shut closed once more.
"How come?" He asked, quickly giving Nari a glance to remain quiet so they didn't piss her off any further.
"I studied for nothing." She mumbled, she didn't want to say anything else because she might have probably let out a sob if she tried. Favorably enough, Jungkook knew right away what she was talking about, since he has seen her every once in a while for the past week or so with books on her hand.
"What'd ya get?"
"... A thirty-nine."
He raised his eyebrows and looked at the blue sky, he knew what was coming after saying this: "Well, it wasn't for nothing. At least you studied for that thirty-nine..."
As expected, she punched him on his bicep. "Do you want to die?"
"Ow. Okay, I'll shut up."
Nari finally intervened to ease the situation. "Here, I got you strawberry."
"You are a blessing." Haneul grabbed the bottle of strawberry milk and stabbed the straw at the top, then went back to lean on Jungkook's shoulder. They remained quiet for a while until she finally spoke up again. "What am I going to do now?"
"Right now you are going to rest so you can regain energy after all the stress you went through." Nari instructed her like a mother would do to her child. "Then you think about a new game plan to pass the semester. You still have two exams to take, it's not a big deal."
Though Haneul felt a wave of relief by her best friend's words, it did not last as long as she wanted it. Haneul knew it was a big deal. She hated chemistry with a passion, but unfortunately she had to take the course in order to fulfill her academic credits to graduate from her International Studies career path. Dumb as it sounds, it was inevitable for her to take the class since her advisor had previously screwed up her schedule for the next two semesters.
She wished any of them were knowledgeable about the subject so they could help her studying, but Jungkook was a Film major, while Nari was studying for Psychology. She basically had no one, unless she hired a random person to be her tutor.
"... Han." Nari called her.
She looked up at her. "What?"
"I asked if you're going to Karaoke Night at Norae-Yang**." Nari repeated herself. "Kook is coming along as well."
"Oh, when's that?" Haneul asked, sitting up from her leaning position.
"Tonight." Her friend replied.
She thought about it well, she loved singing and karaoke was something she would do religiously after exam week, but her exhaustion and depression was getting the best of her. "I'll see if I can, I'll first have to run some errands for my mother."
"Okay, no problem." Nari understood, since Haneul's mother was someone you should never mess with. "Let us know if anything, we're meeting up at 6:00 by the seven-eleven near Jungkook's house."
"Mom, I'm home!" Haneul shouted across the hallway while removing her shoes by the entrance. She didn't get a reply back, so she figured that her mother was still working. She walked to the kitchen, seeing nothing on the counter but a blue sticky note with a message written down.
"Eggs, green onions, raddish..." She read from the piece of paper. Haneul exhaled deeply, coming to realization that she had to get out of the house once more to get these groceries for dinner.
The trip to the convenience store wasn't far, but she did regret not grabbing her bike. Fortunately for her, the weather was nice outside, so she tried not to complain much and get her shopping done quickly.
It didn't take her long to get what she needed from the market, she might have spent less than ten minutes finding the items her mother asked for her to buy. She knew where everything was by heart, to the extent that she knew the old cashier enough to address her by name. "Mrs. Song."
"Miss Haneul, good evening." She smiled back. "I see you are alone tonight, how's your mother?"
"She's doing well, working." She tried to carefully keep the conversation short.
"Poor woman, working at such unholy hours of the evening." Oh boy, here we go. Haneul said to herself. "You need to find yourself a job my dear, so you can help your mother--" Before she could say something else, she grabbed her bags from the counter and bowed respectfully. "Thank you, Mrs. Song. Have a good evening."
It was not because she didn't like the aged woman, but Mrs. Song was prone to giving lectures about life and at that moment it was not what Haneul wanted.
What she hated the most about the old hag's comment is that she was right. She needed to get a job to support her mother financially. Haneul knew her mother was going to prefer continuing her studies, but if she failed another exam and the Chemistry class overall, there would be nothing more than pure disappointments.
Her train of thought was interrupted as she bumped into a random stranger. Her face slammed against the person's back, hurting her nose. She was about to say something, when she noticed the side-shaved styled hair, very common -- and dumb in Haneul's opinion -- on the thugs in Yangcheon-gu. The guy turned around and glared at her in a way that if looks could kill, she would have been long gone.
He looked rather young, and probably about 5'10 tall. He was wearing a white long-sleeve t-shirt with black pants. Similar to a school uniform but scruffy. His companion was another one of his kind, same level of intimidation, similar haircut, only difference that he was smoking a cigarette.
"Can I help you?" He spoke in a grimacing tone.
"Well, kind sir, you could help me by getting out of the way." Haneul sarcastically replied, smiling innocently and holding an urge to use her Taekwondo techniques on him. She was definitely not going to let an idiot scare her just for walking home.
There was a small silence before he let out a half-ass laugh. "And who are you to tell me what to do?"
"That's none of your concern, actually. Please move."
"Oh, but it is my concern. What if I don't want to?" He smirked and paced towards her. Every step he took closer, she would reciprocate by stepping back, trying to keep the distance as much as possible. "What will you do? I have an idea on what to do with you..."
"Get the fuck--" Haneul marched forward and pushed him with all her might, taking him by surprise. "--away from me."
The thug took a moment on the floor to make sense of what just happened. His friend was also in shock by her sudden offense. "You fucking bitch!" He shouted as he stood up from the ground with the help of his partner. "Just how fucking dare you?!"
"That should be my question, you dipshit!" She screamed back, anger building up inside of her by the second. "I told you to move the fuck away, didn't I?!"
"I'm going to kill you--" He launched himself to her to hit her, and she tried to jump back to grow distance but he was quicker in charging forward. So instead she panicked and shut her eyes tightly waiting for the pain.
Yet the pain was never felt.
"It's not right to hit a woman."
Haneul slowly opened my eyes and the first thing she found was another arm intercepting the thug's. She averted her eyes to where the arm connected to, and found a pretty-looking boy with a built frame. Dirty-blonde hair, around 5'9" in height, with sharp yet delicate face features that were almost took her breath away. Dark orbs that gave off a spine-chilling vibe. He was wearing a long sleeve gray button-up tucked in black skinny jeans.
Where did he come from?
"You never lay a finger on a woman." He twisted the man's arm in the most strangest way Haneul could never imagine a limb doing so, making him scream out of pain. Then he pushed him back and he fell to the floor. "Is that clear?"
The thug's partner grabbed him before he charged at the pretty boy, and whispered something in his ear that was almost audible. Haneul heard something among the lines of: "You dumbass, don't you see who that is?! Let's get out of here!" and just like that, they took the opportunity the man gave them to run away.
Everything got quiet as they were getting further away. Haneul couldn't manage to keep her eyes off the dirty-blond haired man in front of her. Not only because of what had happened, but he was so good looking it was almost surreal for her that he was able to brush them away with just a threatening stare.
He walked to the grocery bags Haneul dropped a few feet away when he encountered the duo, and returned to her to hand them over. She was a little stunned by his move, but shyly thanked him for his action. She then checked one of the bags, and just as expected, there was egg yolk splattered all over. "Aw, damn it. She's not going to be happy."
When she looked up, Pretty Boy -- her new nickname for him -- was already walking away without a word. She felt a little rejected by his sudden departure but ended up ignoring it. Mainly because she became more conscious about the fact that he was heading the same way she was going. Haneul didn't want him to feel like she was stalking, but she had no other choice since her house was in the same direction.
Haneul was so focused in trying to figure him out that she did not notice he eventually stopped his tracks. She froze on the spot when he turned around and looked at her. His stare was not as intimidating as earlier, but rather tedious. What made her more dumbfounded was that he was not saying a word, and instead bobbed his head to the left. It didn't take long for Haneul to realize he was actually signalling to her house.
How the fuck?
"Um, may I help you?" She finally gained the courage to ask him.
That gave him confirmation of what he was looking for. "So, you're Choi Haneul?" He finally spoke to her directly, the mention of her full name giving her a dose of goosebumps. She noticed his voice sounded a little different, it was the accent. He didn't sound like he was from the capital.
"You don't sound so sure about it." He looked rather displeased.
"Do you need my birth certificate to prove it?" She couldn't help throwing witty remarks at him.
"Sarcastic one." He raised his eyebrows.
"Thank you." She forced a noticeably fake smile. "Who are you?"
"Alright, Jimin. Could you tell me how do you know my name and the reason why you are in front of my house?" She crossed her arms as she waited for an answer, but mainly because she didn't want to seem intimidated by him.
Jimin cleared his throat. "I... was sent here to meet the next boss of the Hwang-geum Baekho--"
"Still doesn't explain why you are in front of my place." She interrupted him, challenging for more answers. "What's this Hwang-saek ddong?***"
Jimin squinted at her in disbelief. Did she just insulted the name of the family? He thought to himself as his jaw clenched. "The Hwang-geum Baekho Pa is the name of the biggest and, per se, deadliest organization in all of South Korea. The current boss has been searching for his successor for the past couple of years now, so that when his term comes to an end, he leaves his task to someone who has the right amount of responsibility enough to take over his position." He explained in a rather monotonous voice. "How did he end up here? It's a great question I'm asking myself." He said the last part under his breath, but Haneul was still able to hear him.
"Right." She nodded her head slowly, pretending to understand his explanation thoroughly. "And how -- excuse my insistence -- in the world does this connect with the fact that you know my name?"
He was running out of patience, so he went straight to the point. "Listen kid, the boss chose you to become his successor."
Haneul blinked several times, making some sense to what Pretty Boy has said. "Say that again, because I think I'm partially deaf."
Jimin clenched his teeth, reminding himself about the Twelfth's words. Be patient, Jimin. Be very patient with this idiot. He took a deep breath before walking towards her, closing their gap. Haneul's breath hitched when unannounced she felt his finger poking her forehead.
"You were chosen to be the Thirteenth boss of the Hwang-geum Baekho Pa."
*누나 (noona): means older sister/close female friend to a guy.
** 노래양 (Norae-Yang): fictional karaoke place. Norae means 'song' and Yang comes from where the main character is from, Yangcheon district.
*** 황색 똥 (Hwang-saek ddong): Haneul is partially deaf, so instead of Hwang-geum Baekho [황금 백호; tr: 'Golden White Tiger'] she heard 'Yellow poop'
"You were chosen to be the Thirteenth boss of the Hwang-geum Baekho Pa."
There was a rather long period of silence as Haneul stared at Pretty Boy in awe. She tried to analyze him, making sure he was not a con artist who wanted to mess with her. However, his expression remained serious, and that made her even more perplexed.
Jimin exhaled deeply, the situation clearly getting on his last nerves. "You. Are. The. Successor. Of. The. Hwang. Geum. Baek. Ho. Pa..." He said each syllable with pauses in-between for the information to get into her mind.
"So you are telling me that I, Choi Haneul, is the heiress to a crime organization? Me?"
"Hm..." He puckered his lips and rubbed his chin as if he was in deep thought, but it was clear he was being sarcastic. "Pretty much, yeah."
Haneul suddenly burst out laughing, and Jimin was dumbfounded by her abrupt mood switch. She couldn't help herself, she found everything so ridiculous. Why would a 23-year-old* student with no criminal record be chosen to lead a secret clandestine organization when she couldn't even kill a spider from how much they terrified her?
Once she calmed down, she patted his shoulder in sympathy, which caused him to unexpectedly flinch from astonishment. "Okay, that was hysterical. Thanks for making me laugh." And like that, she walked into her front porch in hopes that the man would leave her place quickly.
When she went to reach for the doorknob, her wrist was grabbed by his soft yet firm hand. She quickly turned her sight to look at his piercing eyes. "Do I look like I was joking?"
"G-Gyeongsangnam-do**?" Haneul blurt out in panic, and Jimin stared at her as if he was looking at an unidentified specimen. He wasn't sure if she was repeating what he mentioned earlier about the mob, or if it was about his dialect.
As he was reasoning in thought, she took the opportunity to release herself from his loose grip, clearing her throat in the process. "L-Listen, Pretty Boy. I could honestly feel the least interested in getting involved in any organization, leave alone an Assassins' Creed. I don't want to get affiliated with criminals and end up in jail for life with various charges of human trafficking."
"That's common in the black market but we don't do human trafficking any longer." He added on bluntly.
Haneul peered at him as if facing a psychopath. "Are you listening to yourself?"
He rolled his eyes, he couldn't believe that he had to explain himself to her. "Look, I think you're getting the facts wrong here."
"The fact that you kill innocent people for the hell of it?"
"The family doesn't kill for fun." Jimin's eyes were glimmering with the only light that lit up the front porch, his seriousness left Haneul speechless. His statement was too broad for her liking and she wanted to confirm if he was admitting they did kill civilians. Before she could mutter a reply, the front door opened.
She quickly turned her head towards the door and saw the person she has been dreading to see all day. In Jimin's eyes, a middle-aged woman marched out in a hurry with the phone by her ear. He figured right away who it was because of the close resemblance the future boss shared with her.
She swiftly acknowledged her daughter's presence. "Hani? There you are! I was going to walk to the store to help--" And then she glanced at the young man. "Oh... Hello there."
"Good evening, ma'am." He bowed respectfully as his whole posture made a complete 180° turn.
Mrs. Choi glimpsed at her daughter for some kind of explanation, which did nothing more but trigger her. "Um... uh... This is..." Haneul barely knew his given name, and she knew she was in a terrible position because her mother was prone to jump into quick conclusions if she mentioned his name in a casual tone.
"Park Jimin." He stepped forward to introduce himself. "Pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Choi. I'm your daughter's high school friend."
High school what?! This little f... Haneul grimaced at him, and though she didn't like where the circumstances were leading to, she preferred going along with the act to keep it less suspicious. "I met him at the store earlier and we were talking."
"I offered to walk her home." He gave the older woman a smile, and Haneul felt something strange in her stomach. "I figured it would be dangerous at this time of the night."
Ironic, when you were the one stalking me. Haneul felt her eye twitch and held in her snort so she wouldn't blow up the cover. After all, he did help her out from those thugs, and her mother seemed like she was buying all the show.
"I see, well, pleasure to meet you, Mr. Park. Thank you for your assistance." She offered her hand to shake, and he immediately grabbed it with both hands to reciprocate. "I'm Choi Na-eul, Haneul's mother."
"I beg your pardon, Mrs. Choi, for a moment I thought you were Haneul's sister. You look very young." Jimin chuckled, leaving Haneul in complete shock. She couldn't believe the bold kindness he was portraying in front of her own eyes, when just a few minutes ago he sent nothing but menacing vibes.
"I like this kid already." Na-eul pointed at him as she directed the statement to her daughter.
"Ha." Was all she was able to say.
"Well, Jimin-- is it okay if I call you so?" Her mother asked.
"Of course, not a problem." He replied.
"Great. Would you like staying for dinner? I'm making beef curry tonight."
"What the-- Mom!" She whispered to her, finally snapping. "What are you doing?!"
"It's all good, ma'am." He smiled halfheartedly. "I don't want to interrupt the only time you have with your--"
"Nonsense!" She cut him off. Haneul crossed her arms while pouting at her exclamation, feeling rather offended. "C'mon, another plate on the table won't hurt. Take this as gratitude for bringing my daughter back safe."
Jimin glimpsed at Haneul for a moment to analyze her annoyed expression. He originally intended to say no. However, he was finding rather amusing bothering the boss-in-training, he couldn't help but accept the invitation. "If it's not of any bother."
"Of course not! Come on in!" She opened the door wider as a gesture to welcome him in. Haneul couldn't help but scoff as her mother was walking back inside. Jimin gestured for her to enter the house first, and as she did, she stopped in front of him. "Park Jimin, you're going to pay for this."
He couldn't help smirking at her statement, he was definitely looking forward for dinner. "Exciting."
She scowled at him and stomped inside in annoyance. "Lock the damn door." He followed along, doing exactly what she instructed and cautiously looked around, analyzing everything that the house has.
Haneul's mother spoke to him like he was already part of the family, and Haneul was not liking that at all. Any questions she would ask, he would answer it without hesitation like he had some script memorized. "Where are you from, Jimin? I hint a little satoori*** in your way of speaking."
"Ah, I'm from Busan."
Na-eul glanced at him. "Another fellow native? From what area?"
"Geumsa-dong..." He took a sip of water from his cup, making Haneul become more suspicious of him. Every move Jimin made was dubious in her eyes. "in Geumjeong District."
"Nice! From Haeundae-gu here. How long have you been in Seoul?"
"Not that long." He replied. "Came for a job opportunity."
"What do you work as?"
A hitman in the works of kidnapping your daughter.
"A tutor." He said, and that caught the 23-year-old's attention. Don't tell me he knows about--
"Oh, weren't you struggling on a subject lately?" She asked Haneul, who froze on her chair. A lot of things went through her head. A debate on whether she should: straightforwardly tell her the truth, cry hysterically, make a run for it, or beat the fuck out of Jimin for reminding her. Though she found the last one awfully entertaining to go along with, she had to go with the first one. There was no way she could lie to her mother when it was about her studies.
Na-eul continued cooking but asked as she noticed the tone in her voice. "What is it?"
"I... I failed another Chemistry exam."
She dropped the plate in the sink, and stared at the wall. "Haneul--"
"I know, I know-- Please Mom, let's talk about this later..." Haneul begged as she felt too self-conscious of Jimin's presence. Her mother sighed, and took off her latex gloves.
"We will speak of this later." She pointed at her kid. Then she turned to Jimin, who has been listening to the conversation all along, and slightly changed the subject. "What about your education?"
He shifted from his seat when he realized she was referring to him. "Oh, after high school, I did a year at Seoul National University but I didn't like it so I transferred to Busan National instead to be closer to the family."
Both mother and daughter looked at the young man, even though their face expressions were the same of fascination, each meant different aspects. Na-eul was intrigued by how she was facing a person who has attended two of the best top schools in all of South Korea. On the other hand, Haneul was fascinated by how confidently he spilled what she considered the biggest lie of the century.
"You must be truly smart, then." Her mother accentuated, causing Haneul to roll her eyes as she filled her cup with water. "How are you on teaching?"
Haneul slammed the glass bottle on the table, she already knew where her question was leading to.
"Well, I don't have any experience, but according to... people, I'm somewhat good at it." He shrugged, glimpsing at his future boss.
"I see, and how would you like to tutor my daughter?" As soon as she heard that, Haneul sat up from her chair to protest.
"Mom, what are you doing?!" Haneul raised her voice out of impulse.
"Haneul, you need someone that can help you out with that subject so you don't end up repeating it." She replied sternly, mainly because of Jimin who was witnessing the whole argument. Haneul couldn't defend her cause, because she was a little scared to blew his cover and get her in trouble. There was also the fact that her mother was right. If Pretty Boy was as smart as he said he was, then maybe she could use the help.
"So what do you say, Jimin? Are you up to help her?" She asked him one more time. "How much is your quote?"
Jimin was very thoughtful about it, he didn't know what to say because he was not expecting the drastic turn of events. He honestly did not wanted to be stuck all afternoon with a stubborn and annoying kid who did not understand basic equations. However, he thought about his mission, and what his current boss has personally requested him. This was a door opening exclusively for him, and he knew he couldn't let it go to waste.
He let out a breathy puff, eventually forcing a smile. "There is no need, Mrs. Choi. As long as you can offer us this space to study, I wouldn't mind at all."
"Where were you yesterday?"
Haneul broke her blank gaze from the closest bookcase near her table in the library and looked at her not-so-happy best friend in confusion. "Where was I--?" Then she remembered. She was invited to go to Norae-Yang with Nari and Jungkook and due to the circumstances of the previous night, not only she did not go, but completely forgot to let them know. "Shit. Oh my God, Nari. I'm so sorry I forgot to message you."
Nari huffed in disappointment. "At least you are apologizing."
Haneul sighed, placing her head on the table. "I'm really sorry. I swear. I had a very hectic night at home and didn't check my phone at all."
Nari's expression changed to a more concerned one when she heard her best friend's genuine apology. "What happened?"
"Where can I start..." Haneul mumbled though she was able to hear it.
"Did you tell your mother about the exam?"
Haneul nodded with a frown on her face. "An hour lecture, and to put the cherry on top, I got a stranger as a tutor."
"I don't understand." She shook her head. "Aren't all tutors strangers until they have a class with you?"
"I am talking about a 'stranger danger'. I never met this guy before, he originally helped me out with some idiots I bumped into, then he came up to me with some... outrageous offer. Next think you know, he was in my house eating dinner with my mother." She grabbed her forehead in exasperation as she recalled the events of the previous night.
There was a small moment of silence before Nari spoke up. "What the hell? What was the offer?"
"That was exactly me last night." Haneul gave her a tight smile of suffering. "I... still don't know exactly. But now he managed to convince my mother with the biggest lie of the century that he went to Harvard and Yale to study and he is now my tutor--"
"Wait, did he though?"
"Nah, I'm exaggerating." She sighed. "Apparently he went to SNU for a year and then moved back to Busan for the National University there."
"Another seagull?!" Nari exclaimed, getting the attention of the librarian who immediately shushed her in-sync with her best friend. "Sorry. Anyway, this guy sounds like he is quite young. Is he cute?"
Haneul recalled his pretty face features but didn't want to tell her thirsty fella. "He's young, but unsure if he's even younger than Kook and I. I didn't get the chance to ask him, but for sure Kook is taller than him."
"Interesting..." Nari rubbed her chin, causing Haneul to roll her eyes from the goofy act. "Oh, speaking of Jungkook--"
Nari was interrupted by Haneul's phone that began vibrating uncontrollably on the table. They both glanced at it, and saw the screen displaying an unknown number. Haneul squinted in confusion, and signaled her friend to give her a moment to answer. "Hello?"
[[We're starting the lessons today and you're already running late.]] She could hear the calm but rather chilling voice that came from the other side of the line. Her face changed quickly from his vexatious reply.
"How the hell did you get my number." She almost asked in a rather monotonous tone.
"Of course." She gritted her teeth. "So what do you expect me to do again?"
[[I'm waiting at the front of your house.]]
She averted her eyes to Nari, who figured out it was the tutor calling, and was anticipating for her next response since she couldn't hear what he was saying on the other side. "You do know that I'm in campus at this moment, right?"
[[According to your schedule, it says you have nothing else to do right now.]] He retorted.
Haneul could feel her eye twitch. "The bus will take an hour to get me back home, so you'll have to wait there."
She heard him groan. [[Fine, hurry up.]]
She hung up the call and inhaled deeply to maintain her scream and not get kicked out of the library. "I have to go back home."
"I still have a lab left so I have to stay in campus. I'll talk to you later, and remember to call Jungkook by the way." Nari reminded her as she grabbed her things and headed to the exit.
Just like Haneul predicted it, about an hour has passed when she was finally able to get to her house. When she reached the gate, she was taken by surprise by Jimin still sitting in the front porch. He was wearing a white tee with a black blazer and dark ripped skinny jeans. She had to admit, he looked great.
"You're still here?"
"I was called down to tutor, remember?" He looked away from his phone to give her his attention for a few seconds. "I'm here to do my job."
"I don't need you to tutor me." She scoffed, walking past him towards the front door.
"That's not what your mother said last night, Hani." He got up from his position and followed her inside.
"Don't call me that." She sent him a death glare, which he completely ignored.
Jimin walked over to the dining table and grabbed a chair to sat on, keeping his eyes on his cellphone. "Alright then, Haneul, let's go over this quick because I have an appointment to attend with a very beautiful lady in about an hour."
"So you're pressuring me into studying because you have date to attend soon?" She dropped all of her books on purpose in front of him while grimacing.
"You could call it a date, if you want." He was not bothered by her attitude, instead he smirked mischievously, sending Haneul the usual masculine vibe of excitement that something else was going to happen aside from just a date. She made a face of disgust as she caught on, and he couldn't help to snort at her gesture. "You wanted to know, princess." He shrugged innocently.
"Shut up and don't call me 'princess'." She scowled.
"God, you're fucking irritating." He sneered with the unavoidable Busan dialect creeping in.
"Thank you, I'm trying my best."
"Doing a great job." Jimin replied. "So, where's the homework?"
Haneul passed him the handout she received in her chemistry class earlier. She didn't understand what the professor was talking about during class, so she was already assuming that Pretty Boy was not going to get anywhere near the correct answer to the problem.
Jimin examined the paper for a few minutes, his eyebrows furrowing as each second passed. He then glanced at Haneul. "This? It's one of the easiest questions she could have ever given you."
"There's no need to balance anything else in this equation because it's already balanced." He passed back the worksheet and plopped his chin on the palm of his hand. "So the answer would be Pb(NO3)2(aq) + 2NaCl(aq) → 2NaNO3(aq) + PbCl2(s)."
"Well excuse me Einstein, but would you mind explain to me how the hell did you get that?" She crossed her arms and waited for him to give out a valuable example of his random answer.
He asked for a pencil and Haneul gave him one, and he started working on it right away. "For starters, you need to find whether these two compounds are solid or aqueous. In order to find out if so, it's important that you should know the rules of solubility. NaCl, which is commonly known as Salt, and Pb(NO3)2 are both aqueous. After that, you have to check the table, which says that any compound with Na+ is aqueous while Cl- is insoluble since it has Pb, so that is the solid. Since it's already balanced, there's no need to do anything else."
She stared at the work he wrote down to understand it better, and replayed what he had explained. She found it rather interesting, because as she was going through, everything was slowly clicking in her mind, and was able to comprehend it a lot better now. At the same time, she couldn't help but feel dumb because she took forever on a question that took Jimin a minute or so.
"You really are smart." She raised her eyebrows in astonishment.
"I'm aware." He pushed his fluffy dirty blond hair back. "You thought I was joking when I went to SNU?" He smiled slyly.
"You might have not lied about that, but I still don't trust you." Haneul pointed at him accusingly. "At all."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. By the way, can I get a glass of water?"
"For what exactly?" She squinted suspiciously.
"To drink it, you idiot." He replied annoyed.
"I knew that..." But I still don't trust you. She finished the sentence to herself. She went to the fridge and grabbed a cold bottle of water.
"So, what other question do you need help with?"
Haneul hands him the bottle. "Well, technically the rest of the handout."
He dropped the pencil for a second to look at her. "Do you even pay attention in class?"
"Yes, I do. It's just that my professor speaks gibberish when she goes over a lesson." She sighed.
"You know, you need to try your best on this. Especially if you're going to be the next-in-line at the Hwang Baek--"
"Stop bringing that up already. I am not going to join any crime cult." She interrupted Jimin in a harshly manner. Haneul was already getting tired of his insistence for her to join the organization. She just did not wanted to get involved in any way.
Jimin stared at her intensively, and she tried not feeling intimidated by it. For her, it did not look like an angry expression, but rather expectant. Haneul didn't want to continue the conversation because she was feeling too uncomfortable with his presence in the house, so she stood up and walked to the fridge once again in search of anything edible to calm her anxiety.
*Haneul is 23 years old in Korean age, but 22 years old internationally. Since the main character is Korean, as well as the BTS members, in addition to the plot, I decided to stick with the customs.
** 경상남도 (Gyeongsangnam-do): translates to "South Gyeongsang Province". Haneul recognized Jimin's dialect and in a state of panic, she blurted it out.
(NOTE: Busan is not a part of Gyeongsangnam-do anymore. However, they still speak the South Gyeongsang dialect.)
***사투리 (Satoori): Korean word for 'regional dialect'. It's a set of words, phrases, grammar, pronunciation patterns that are unique to a specific region of Korea.
Chapter 4: 삼 (original)
(about Taehyung's profile information)
In Korea, when a baby is born, they are automatically one year old. On January 1st of the new year, everyone automatically turns a year older, but they celebrate it on the actual birthday. In the story (and in real life now that I remember we are in 2019 lol) Taehyung is 25 in Korean age, but because his birthday falls on December 30th, his Korean and normal birthday are 1 year part for just 1 day.)
December 30th - Korean age: 25 (Int'l age: 23 → 24)
December 31st - Korean age: 25 (Int'l age: 24)
January 1st - Korean age: 26 (Int'l age: 24)
~ To put it in simpler words, Korean age changes on January 1st, while International age changes on our actual birthdays, like we all know. ~
Daeyeonie sunbae-nim out, on with the story.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
As day became night, Jimin left his role of tutor and returned to his regular life as a man of the clan. He felt excited as the hours were getting closer for him to hook up with a gorgeous girl he met at the bar just a few days back. It was going to be a relaxing evening for him, the first one in a long while.
As he drove to the meeting place, he received a phone call. He saw the screen and answered it right away. "Hey, are you in Seoul?"
[[Just arrived, calling a taxi. Where are you?]] He heard his best friend's voice on the other side.
"Driving to the date I told you about, remember?"
[[Oh yeah, the one excuse you got to not pick me up in my car.]] Taehyung recalled sarcastically, causing Jimin to instantly roll his eyes. [[I thought you were tutoring the new boss?]]
Jimin took a deep breath at the mention of Choi Haneul. "Yeah, just left her place."
[[Oh, so it was in her house?]] Jimin could feel some strange amused tone in Taehyung, which immediately gave away where he was leading to.
"Nothing happened aside from tutoring." He reassured, feeling rather disgusted at the assumption.
[[Is she hot?]]
"She is the most annoying human creature you could ever meet."
[[Yikes. We're off to a great start.]] Taehyung chuckled. [[Is she at least cute?]]
There was a pause. Jimin tried recalling her features in detail, but he came into realization that he never truly looked at Choi Haneul as a person, let alone a woman. Mainly so he would get through the day without getting into a fight with her. "I... I didn't check."
[[So you are saying Park Jimin did not check out a girl that has been within his 5-feet radius? Can we call this a miracle?]] Taehyung joked around, but Jimin was not laughing at all.
"Shut up, you idiot." Jimin steered the wheel to the next right and began to look for the sign of the motel Ms. Miyoung was staying at. "I am almost here, I have to go."
[[Alright, talk to you later.]]
The motel he arrived at was surprisingly neat. He only visited Seoul a couple of times for his time at SNU (with insistence of Hakyeon) or an assigned mission. So other than specific locations, he was not familiar with this area at all.
He parked Taehyung's Hyundai Palisade somewhere near the exit and immediately got off the SUV, fixing himself and checking if his hair was good.
He walked to the lobby, and noticed it was rather empty, only one lady who was on her phone behind the counter. He felt no need to ask for the room since Miyoung, the lady who was going to accompany him tonight, had already messaged him earlier with all the location details.
"Suite 315..." He scanned through every door he passed by until he found the right one. The door was unlocked, but he decided to knock on it out of manners.
"Who is it?" He heard from the other side of the door.
"Hey, it's Jimin." He said in a husky tone. "Can I come in?"
There was no response whatsoever but that didn't stop him from going forward. There was something in the very back of his mind that would constantly tell him not to go in, but his body impulses told him otherwise.
He was inside of the room, but as he looked around, there was no sign of the beautiful girl anywhere. Rather strange, when she responded to his knock a few moments back. He noticed the red rose petals on the queen-sized mattress, and the lights were dimmed down, creating an erotic atmosphere.
"So, are we playing hide-and-seek now?" He smirked as he expected something wonderful to come out. "No need to hide, babe."
He found her phone on the nightstand on the left of the bed. He walked towards it and lightly tapped it as protocol to check if she has been answering any incoming calls or messages unless she was in trouble.
Jimin stopped his tracks when he heard something odd. He knew she was coming near as he could hear her silent steps, but there was something else following it. Something she was dragging on the carpet that was almost inaudible.
He recognized it right away though, and he quickly assumed that he was not in a great position to stay still. Just as he inhaled slowly, the phone lit up to reveal an incoming message.
Dani baby 🖤
make that rod useful n let me know how he screamed.. cant wait to get down on u x
When he swiftly turned around, the metal rod swung horizontally across his face. He was barely able to dodge it in time so he wouldn't receive the fatal blow, but he still got grazed from it on his left cheek. He lost his balance, falling on top of the bed. He felt a sharp sting for a moment, cursing under his breath for a mere second. However, his adrenaline started to pump when he glanced at the person who did this.
"Ooh, so close." He heard her murmur. "Hello there, handsome." Miyoung placed the metal rod on her shoulder as she held it. The woman wore nothing but black-laced lingerie with her wine red-colored hair flowing down her back. She looked dashing, however, what caught Jimin's eye was the infamous tattoo of the two intertwined dragons decorating the right side of her torso all the way down to her thigh. "Sorry for surprising you, but I figured you'd want to cut to the chase as soon as possible. How do I look?"
Jimin raised an eyebrow in amusement. "Looking as beautiful as ever."
"What a babe." She pouted cutely. "It's a sad thing I'll have to leave no trace of you after tonight." She twirled the rod in her hand, grabbed it firmly, and slammed it towards him. Instinctively, he managed to raise his foot and stop the rod with his shoe sole. He kicked it back, causing her to lose balance, and with the other foot he pushed her away so it could give him a chance to get up from his vulnerable position.
"I am loving the sound of that." He smirked mischievously. "Coming from a Ppalgansan-Yong member sounds even hotter." He stepped on the metal stick to restrain it from moving any further.
"We're on for a very fun night." She purred, slowly getting up and walking towards him. As she did so, she reached for the back of her bra clip. Stopping just couple of feet distance, never averting her eyes away from his, she said: "I like you, and quite a lot. What do you say... We continue the business another day," As she talked, the lingerie top part fell to the floor, revealing her perky breasts just few inches away from his own chest. Miyoung stepped even closer and with her lower limb she slowly brushed it by his noticeable hard-on. "And have fun the rest of the night?"
He stared at her for a moment, eventually letting out a low chuckle and a small rather 'innocent' shrug. "I've already been exposed..." He had to admit, he was very turned on by the beautiful Aphrodite-like figure in front of him.
Miyoung smirked and placed her arms around his neck, her thigh pressing against his apparent erection. Both lips inched gradually closer when Jimin unexpectedly put his two hands on her neck and in a matter of seconds slammed her against the nearest wall.
He held tight enough for her to struggle breathing so she wouldn't attack as he pressed his forehead against her, his dark orbs solemnly dull seething with anger. "But unfortunately for you, I'm not in the mood for two-timing whores."
He strained his grasp as she tried to claw her nails on the back of his hands and forearms. He threw her on the bed, quickly straddling over her back as she coughed for air. He grabbed a bunch of her hair and pulled it back like an animal, making her to scream between coughs. Her commotion did not last long as she felt the gun barrel pressed against her temple and heard the infamous click of the safety.
"Who the fuck sent you." He demanded an answer. "And are there any more of you."
"N-No, and n-no one."
He let go of her hair, harshly shoving her onto the mattress. When she turned around to look at him, she froze in fear as she noticed the infamous Beretta M9 pointed at the middle of her forehead. She knew of Park Jimin's reputation as one of the scariest and most deathly assassins in the entire Korean Mafia. She has heard infamous stories about how reckless he was when he had a weapon in his possession. She knew she was in deep shit and if she didn't give details, chances of her not seeing the next day only got higher.
"T-They sent me to get answers from you-- there's a rumor circulating that you will t-take o-over the Hwang Baek family, since you w-were sent to Seoul..." She spilled out in sheer fear.
Jimin was not stupid, it was already suspected that there was an intruder in the Hwang Baek Pa for several years, but the fact that in a matter few days the enemy already knew there was someone next-in-line for the authoritative position was truly alarming.
"Who told you that?"
She pressed her lips, a clear sign that she was not going to say any more details, and that pissed the hitman even more. He pulled the trigger steadily and a booming noise was heard following by a woman's screech.
Miyoung felt the burning sensation as the bullet skimmed through her left ear, the explosive sound almost leaving her deaf.
Jimin would have killed her, he did not have a problem with the gory part of the job. If so, he wouldn't have been a hitman in the first place. However, someone else's specific words were creeping on him like a parasite.
The fact that you kill innocent people for the hell of it?
Are you fucking kidding me... Jimin gritted his teeth in annoyance as he remembered her words. He never cared about what others said when he stained his hands with blood, so why this time was he hesitating in killing the defenseless prey in front of him?
The Ppalgansan-Yong member took the opportunity to plead mercy. "P-Please don't kill me! I swear I w-was not sent to do anything else a-aside from getting information! I beg you Park Jimin, I don't have anything else--" Her sentence was cut off when he slammed the weapon's grip on her head and her body instantly flopped unconsciously.
"Shut the fuck up already."
It was Friday morning when Haneul woke up to an email notification from her phone that said her only class was cancelled for the day. This meant that she had the opportunity to continue with an essay she had to finish before turning it in online on Sunday, and she could rest a little more.
Her mother had left for work early in the morning, so she knew it was her turn to clean up the house before her arrival later in the evening. It's a rule they have set up when her father technically left the house years ago, whoever was in the house alone had to take care of the house chores.
Fortunately for her, this time there was not much of a mess since her mother cleaned the past weekend and they both were barely home. So she took the advantage of quickly organize all before making herself some breakfast and continue with her homework.
About twenty minutes have passed when she headed to the kitchen. "I should start making food now before cleaning here." She told herself, as she observed the area thoroughly. She head to the fridge, and frowned when she couldn't find almond milk, because it meant she had to drop by the convenience store.
She checked her wallet to see if she had enough Won to buy herself something. She barely had enough for a bottle of strawberry milk, and that made her frown even more. "Great."
She grabbed her varsity bomber jacket and headed out, with a cold breeze immediately hitting her face, shutting her eyes as it sent chills down her spine. When she re-opened them, she caught glance of a black SUV parked across the street. She held her stare as it seemed a little familiar, until it clicked that it was the same car that was parked yesterday when she came from school.
Could it be...?
She slowly walked towards it, mainly to confirm her suspicions. She went around it as a safety precaution and leaned on the passenger's window, seeing a male laying down on the inclined driver's seat. He had the hoodie's cap covering his head, so she couldn't confirm right away if it was her 'charming' tutor.
She chose to risk it, knocking on the glass lightly to get his attention. The person inside shuffled slightly, but didn't get him to wake up.
She knocked on the glass again, this time a little harsher and continuously. He then finally raised his head and barely looked back. When he noticed her, he clicked a button on the door and she heard the door unlocking in front of her. Aha, so it is him...
Haneul opened the passenger door and got inside the Palisade. Once settled, she turned to him and waited for a reaction. She hoped for him to notice quick, because she was starving and had limited patience.
As soon as she thought of food, her stomach began to audibly growl. She patted her stomach from the embarrassment, when she heard him sigh.
She scoffed astonishingly. "It's a Friday morning," She glanced at her phone screen. "10:36 A.M. to be exact, and you're telling me I'm late?"
Jimin finally adjusted himself to face her, stretched and yawned loudly. "Ugh, you can't be this annoying early in the morning."
She leaned on the middle armrest console and smirked. "Oh but I can--" Haneul's expression fell when she saw the wound across his left cheek and the small cut on his lip. "Holy shit, what happened?!"
"Long story, don't want to explain." He looked away from her. She felt like insisting but he clearly was not in the mood to reply. She then remembered he went on that date last night after the tutoring session, so she assumed it was something related to it.
"Let's go inside to get that cleaned up." She opened the door once more to exit the vehicle. Jimin sighed before giving in to her command and following along. As soon as they entered the house, Haneul began to look for the first aid kit as Jimin sat on the dining table in the kitchen. Once found, she grabbed a couple of cotton balls and soaked them with alcohol. "This might hurt a little."
"It's okay, you don't nee-- Fuck!" The Pretty Boy flinched when she lightly patted the cotton over the injury.
She took a few steps back. "Sorry, I'll try to not touch it as much but--"
"D-Don't worry." He interrupted her, clutching from the pain but lightly tugging on her jacket and taking a deep breath in the process. "Do whatever you need to do, I'll handle it."
Haneul hesitated a bit, but he leaned his head back and closed his eyes as a sign of reassurance. They both remained quiet for a while as she treated his cuts, sometimes he would close his eyes tight, so she knew where to go over delicately. "Fortunately, it didn't get infected. Did you wash it before coming over?"
"Barely, because blood was staining the shirt. I didn't notice 'til then."
"I see..." She mumbled in concern. She noticed some hair was sticking on his forehead, so she slowly brushed it off to check if he had any more wounds, sweat, or morning drool. Little did she know that such small gestures gave Jimin some unexpected goosebumps that took him by surprise and caused him to open his eyes.
"Nope, no wound in the head... That's a bummer." Haneul obliviously shook her head in disappointment, though she was playing around to brighten the mood. Jimin, on the other side, began to analyze his future boss' facial features while she took care of his lower lip.
He first scanned through her soft skin, where he spotted a few tiny freckles below her eyes near the temple area. Then her small right ear that would hold back strands of her jet black hair, the lobe decorated with two silver earrings: one loop, and the other one a star. When he blinked, his eyes landed right at her big caramel brown orbs. A peculiar color not seen often in a Korean, but Jimin has seen that color in someone else in the past. He couldn't quite place it where specifically.
Haneul eventually caught glimpse at the young man staring, she held her gaze onto his eyes for a moment, trying to analyze what exactly he was doing. She didn't feel intimidated, but she was definitely feeling something strange. She slightly opened her mouth to speak, but words couldn't come out when she immediately saw him glance down at her likely swollen -- from biting it off for while she was concentrating in aiding the wounds-- blushed lip. Haneul quickly cleared her throat and turned to the medicine kit. Jimin woke up from his trance and averted his eyes awkwardly as he gulped.
What... the hell was that?
Sorry I haven't been active!! College has been the epitome of Hell these past couple of weeks, I had two mental and emotional breakdowns so far :)))
Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback on the story so far! I love seeing your comments as they inspire me to write more, forever grateful 💜