Traveling was never easy, especially on a boat and especially if you were sea sick. The wood smelled like fish and so did the people on it. It was also tiring from a mental point of view because there was nothing to do except read and watch the passing scenery (which was always the same). Taking a peek over the board, the waves were mesmerizing and making her head dizzy.
“Are you going to vomit again?” Another passenger asked as he approached the sick woman.
“I hate boats,” she answered grumpily. “I just want to dock somewhere and have a long nap.”
“Too bad, we are still weeks away from our stop.” He added with pity. She looked like she was about to melt into the ship with the way she was standing all spread out as if she was ready to jump. “Why don’t you learn the language? We’ll need a translator if we want to do good business.”
She glanced at him and then at the scrolls he held. They didn’t seem to be heavy or thick so she agreed. Unfortunately, after genuinely taking a closer look at this new language, she started to doubt herself.
“How’s it going?” The same man approached her a few days later.
“Why do they use signs? Where are the letters? I haven’t used signs since the fall of the last pharaoh,” she moaned as she fell on her back. “This is hard...what is this?”
“Hangul. Come on, I’m sure you can get it. You’re a scholar, aren’t you? Merchants like us need someone smart like you.” He tried to use sweet praises knowing that she enjoyed them.
And yet she never gave up. Having known so many languages already, she wasn’t sure she will translate correctly but at least it was better than concentrating on her stomach.
Days and nights she spent learning the little information they had on this new land. She also took out her own journal and wrote down her personal thoughts. This land that they sailed to was in the east. She had been all over the west so she was very curious how the eastern populations lived, what they ate, how they spoke and what type of faith they had. It wasn’t that she was a religious person, because if anything she was just a folk tale. What she did in her life was nobody’s business and everything she promised, she delivered. So now that she had a bit of freedom, she wanted to explore the world.
A month later and she was pretty sure she could speak hangul to a native. When their ship docked, she was given traditional clothing and the men were given some type of hats.
“You look funny, Johan,” she commented from the side as the young merchant glared at her.
“Well, at least it’s good for when it rains.” He mumbled as he tried to put it on properly. “Father, why do we have to do this? We are here in order to show them our culture.”
Johan’s father was an educated man, especially after traveling everywhere in order to do his job. He was a wise man and he was the one to agree to have a stranger come with them.
“For them to understand us, first we have to show that we respect their culture. We are on their land now.” He answered with a smile. His bushy eyebrows and thick moustache made him look like a warm old man but he could be ruthless during trades.
“Are they even going to allow us to meet the king?” Another merchant asked, his age closer to Johan’s father.
“If people will like our trades, they will. I already sent a letter to the king and he will hopefully answer positively. But until then we have to show off our products.”
“Papa Kurm, always one step ahead.”
While they were walking off the ship and onto the land, they could see the difference in culture right away. It was so obvious in everything that it made them feel half giddy and half scared.
“Women here don’t dress like they do at home,” Johan whispered to his father.
“Whatever clothes they wear, they still have to use fabric to make them.” His father replied instead. He glanced at the scholar whose eyes were glistening with curiosity and he slowed down so that he could walk next to her. “Fei, you’re not going to cause trouble right?”
Fei glanced at the old man and for a moment she saw regret in his eyes. It was just for a moment but it was risky to have a total stranger come along during a business trip.
The old man watched her for a bit longer before he smiled, realizing that even if something did happen it couldn’t endanger them.
“Fei, wake up, Fei.” Someone was whispering while also shaking her lightly. Seeing how that didn’t work, he tried another method. “OH MY GOD A SOUL ESCAPED!”
Her eyes opened faster than the speed of light and the first thing she did was to turn her laptop on. Nothing seemed to be wrong, so she turned to the one that dared scare her like that with a glare.
The young man smiled at her innocently. He was dressed in a black suit and his hair was parted to one side. He looked like a brand new dealer at a car shop.
“Wow, Minjae. Have you gone to a salon? Why are you all dolled up?” She asked checking out his whole look.
“You should follow my example and change. We need to go to a wedding today, remember?” He asked crossing his arms in front of his chest.
She stood there a bit confused until she realized what he was talking about. Her eyes widened and she hurried into her room.
Two hours later and they were both walking into the building where the ceremony was held. Most guests were already inside so they quickly went to place the money in envelopes and exchange them for their buffet tickets.
“You could have dressed in a brighter outfit.” The handsome man muttered from the side.
“What’s wrong with this dress?”
“Didn’t we agree that if one of us wears black then the other has to wear something light? We both look like we are grieving not congratulating.”
“We are not doing either. We are here to find the vengeful spirit and drag him back to hell.” She said as they approached the registry. “Hello,” she smiled at the innocent human and signed both their names on the envelope.
“Are you guests of the groom or the bride?” He asked staring at the way her eyes glinted in the light.
“Sure.” She answered interpreting the question as she liked.
“The bride,” Answered Minjae seeing how he knew she wanted to get it over with quickly. “We are here for the bride.”
The human nodded and smiled at them before he pointed politely at the door.
“You two are the last to arrive so you will find your seats easily.”
The lights were dim and they had to use their reflexes in order to see the remaining two seats. Unfortunately they were quite close to the front. Once they sat down she couldn’t help but sigh at the person she was seating next to.
“Why hello there auntie,” she said with a fake nice smile.
“You’re late. And why are both of you dressed in black? This isn’t a funeral.” She replied coldly.
“It could be,” Fei mumbled to which she got hit under the table by Minjae.
“Nice to see you’re doing well, auntie.” He interfered in a more gentle way. The auntie rolled her eyes and scoffed at the pair.
Once the ceremony begun, every eye moved on the happy couple. As the music started and they walked up the aisle towards the legal representative (because that was definitely not a priest) Fei turned her attention to the people in the room. Most of them were happy but there was one little prick who was there to bring chaos. Fei wasn’t quite sure which one he was because she only saw a picture of him alive and he probably looked slightly different now.
“To your 4 o’clock. He is standing next to a woman wearing a huge hat.” Minjae informed her since he had the vision of a raven.
She nodded and swiftly walked towards that table with her fork. Once she got relatively near him she dropped her fork.
“Oh, excuse me,” she started as she bent and took it before she stuck it into his thigh. His eyes widened and he looked down at her in shock and anger.
“What are you doing?” He asked through gritted teeth.
“A reaper is just outside waiting for the package. Don’t dare make a fuss, I hate it when I have to use force.” She replied grabbing him by the neck.
“I am not leaving until I get to say what I want.” He hissed and suddenly balloons started to fall from the ceiling.
Everyone looked up in delight but not anymore after they all blew up, some next to the lights.
Fei’s attention was drawn to the balloons and the spirit grabbed something from his pocket. When she turned to him he sprayed something at her face and she couldn’t help but fall on her bottom.
“It stings!” She couldn’t believe how he actually used pepper spray on her.
Minjae inspected the room from his seat but couldn’t locate the spirit. Instead he noticed Fei on the ground rubbing her eyes. Then his eyes widened when he saw a shadow figure crawling in the darkness towards the couple.
“Bora! Lee Bora!” He yelled grabbing the attention. “I-”
Without thinking twice Minjae ran and pushed the spirit on the ground.
“Sorry, he drank too much! Go on!” He came with the easiest excuse there was but they bought it. “You be silent and come willingly.”
“Or else what? You’ll kill me?” he mumbled grumpily. The spirit got angry and pushed Minjae off him, making him land on a table.
People got up and the spirit succeeded in grabbing the bride and pulling her towards him.
“You wench, this is what I receive for being a loyal husband for so many years?!” He asked aggressively holding her arm.
“I didn’t do anything, let me go!” She screamed not at all surprised that her former husband, who was very much dead, was there.
“You crazy woman how dare you! I gave you years of my life just so that you could live longer!” He continued screaming. “If I go to hell, you come too.” He hissed, his whole expression growing more like a ghostly apparition.
The poor groom was confused but he grabbed his wife’s other arm and pulled her towards him.
“Let go of her!”
The spirit exceeded his breaking point. He was full of hate and that heightened his powers. He only growled lowly and every glass on the tables broke in tiny pieces. The guests were already scared enough so most of them decided to just hurry outside.
With so many people running out, Fei was caught in the whole fiasco. The crowd led her towards the door, more or less stumbling from side to side since she couldn’t see anything.
She was trying to feel what was happening around her but nobody was bothered to help her. A man or a woman ran past her and pushed her enough to make her fall on her face but somebody caught her right in time.
“Are you alright?”
“No. I have pepper spray in my eyes and it stings like hell. Does it even look like I am alright?” She was already annoyed so the question only came as fuel to the fire.
The man, because she grabbed him by the chest for support and noticed he did not have breasts, didn’t say anything but he didn’t let go either.
“What can I do to help then?” He finally asked.
“Help me get near the wall, please.”
It was so strange because he really kept her safe among that crowd and once she felt the cold stone wall he still kept a firm grip on her.
“Is there someone to call?”
“No.” She answered feeling the itch to open her eyes but not being able to. “Thank you. I can manage now.”
She didn’t look like she could even find the bathroom in her state. The man watched her with worry and was ready to wrap one hand around her so that he could guide her to a place where she could take a seat. However, a strong person caught his hand and pushed him away, lightly enough to appear polite.
“Thank you for the aid but I’ll take it from now.”
“Minjae? That asshole had the guts to use pepper spray on me!” She hissed completely aware that the man who helped her might still be there.
Minjae was a tall man who in that moment looked rather dependable and authoritarian so the helper decided he could leave. His friends were waiting for him anyway so with a curt nod, he left.
“What happened?” She asked after a short pause.
“I got him but auntie is angry. She has to wipe a lot of memories because of us and apparently this incident will be added on your record.”
“What record? I am their slave anyway. Besides, what type of deity decides to marry after having had a jealous husband before? Pff,” she scoffed at the whole situation. “How do my eyes look?” She asked able to barely open one eye.
Minjae’s eyes widened when he saw that her whole orb disappeared.
“Come on, let’s go to the hospital.” Minjae whispered.
He couldn’t help but glance over his shoulder in case the man that helped Fei was still around. It was luck that she didn’t see his face or else she wouldn’t have been as chatty now.