Tea Leaves and Sapphire Earrings

Chung-Ui

Match Twenty-Seven: Chung-Ui:

Im Yong stared at his screen. She’s requesting another call. He shouldn’t be doing this. It wasn’t her fault. Her boss was insane. Mi-Soon could just smile and go along with it to keep the peace. Now, she was trying to get him to come home. The twins danced around the subject for months.

Tonight would be different.

Mi-Soon finally picked up her line on her end.

“Brother,” she said. “I’m so glad you are here.”

“Yeah,” Im Yong said. They sat in silence for a hot minute. He pressed his lips together. “What do you want from me?” Mi-Soon looked desperate.

“Please come back with me,” she pleaded.

“I can’t,” he said. His sister looked ready to cry.

“I don’t want you to die!”

“What do you mean? Why do you keep saying that?”

Mi-Soon eyes shifted away from the screen. Her brother narrowed his eyes at her. Im Yong folded his arms across his chest.

“Tell me the truth,” he said. “What is going on?” She looked back at me, rubbing her forehead.

“Are you familiar with the Woman in Red?” Mi-Soon asked. Her brother rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, yeah,” he said.

“I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation,” she said.

“Enlighten me. What don’t I understand?” Here it came again. The Koran boy braced himself for another lame story. Her face looked so serious.

“She could kill us all if she wanted,” Mi-Soon mumbled.

“What?” Im Yong asked.

“She has taken brother Kiku and sister Sena,” she added. Her brother froze. It was true that their brother and sister-in-law had been acting strange lately. No one could figure out what was wrong. Kiku just came home from the hospital, in fact. The rest of the siblings hadn’t seen them around since a couple of months ago.

“Okay… say that you are right,” Im Yong said. “Why?”

“That’s where she’s been imprisoned,” she said.

“Huh?”

Mi-Soon leaned in with a somber look on her face. “I’m serious. I don’t want to lose you. You are much safer with me.” Her words were acid dipped in honey. He knew what they would mean if he went with her.

“Can I have time to think about it?” Im Yong asked in a small voice.

“There is no time!” Mi-Soon said. “The world is ending. You have to decide now!” Her shouting made him fall out of his chair. Im Yong had never seen her like that before.

“Okay… Right, right,” he said. The Korean boy nodded as he said this. He wanted to shut everything down and run out of the room.

But then she made it worse.

“Are you free on Saturday?” Mi-Soon asked. Im Yong froze.

“Why?” he asked.

“I want to talk to you,” she said. “In person.” Those last two words sent Im Yong into a panic.

“You… want to see me… in person?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said. No warmth in her voice. Im Yong lowered his eyes. His sister breathed out.

“Good,” she said. “I will see you at the I am a Burger at noon.” Mi-Soon looked behind her.

“I have to go,” she whispered. “We will talk on Saturday.” The younger Korean twin hung up before her brother could say a word.

Im Yong was just left sitting there beside himself. He wasn’t sure what exactly happened.


-Tessa-

Sabine wasn’t the only nightcomer looking for a way to break the seven seals.

Tessa had her eyes on Asia. The second seal wasn’t in Europe. She tried to tell Sabine that but her sister wouldn’t listen.

“You just want Mother’s glory,” she said with a snort.

“I am not,” Tessa insisted. “You are just looking around in the wrong place.” Sabine put her hands on her hips.

“And how can you be so sure?” she asked.

“A torn nation shall reunify again,” Tessa said. “Isn’t it obvious?” Sabine thought about this for a moment.

“Probably,” she said. “What is your aim?”

“What are you talking about? I just want the same thing you do,” her sister said. Sabine narrowed her eyes.

“Are you trying to test me?” she asked.

“Look, I just want the same thing you do,” Tessa said. “Do you want me to help you do this or not?” Her sister glared at her. She didn’t want to end up like Lucy but they all needed to pull ahead of Tandeki in this game.

“The Koreas, huh?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Tessa insisted.

“You have your passport ready?” Sabine asked. Her sister grinned.

“You know I do,” she said. The older nightcomer frowned. She would have to put up with it for now.


-Korean Twins-

Here it was.

Im Yong sat alone in I am a Burger. He sat in a booth, looking out the window. On the upside, there were so many people around. The boy made his order, but he wasn’t hungry. He sighed. Part of him hoped that she would show up. Maybe he could just get up and leave. Nobody would notice, right? It should be okay, yes?

“Brother?” a small voice asked. Im Yong froze before turning his head. Mi-Soon stood at the table, eyeing him. No uniform this time. Just traditional clothes. Her brother sat there, blinking with unease.

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