“Onnie? Onnie, tell me what’s wrong,” InKyung continue to whisper to Min Hee’s ears as she hugged her sister-in-law closely. “Why are you saying things like that all of a sudden?”
No replies were heard. Min Hee’s shoulders continued to hunch and shiver. She hadn’t stop crying.
“Onnie, please don’t cry. I’m here for you,” InKyung continued to console her, but it only made Min Hee cry louder. “Please Onnie, we must keep silent. They must not know that we’re down here. Please...”
“I...” Min Hee tried to speak, only to end up choking on her own tears. But she fought it. She needed to get this out of her chest, no matter what the current situation was. She was on the verge of an emotional breakdown. “I l-love your brother, b-but I d-don’t unders-stand...”
With each memory that came back to her, no matter how much it has answered most of her questions, her trauma will always get the best of her. She was starting to go crazy. Literally. If only she can find the last missing piece to the puzzle. Or maybe… just maybe... death is a better answer for her.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Changmin limped silently down the halls of his home. His weapon was clutched tightly between his fingers, his conscious alerted. Gunshots were heard fired in random intervals and cries of pain could be heard echoing through the walls. He was now very near to the battlefield.
He glanced at where he came from momentarily, gulping down his worry. Yes, he had made sure that the entrance to his private office was tightly closed and protected. He had even informed InKyung about hidden exits out of the house in case they needed them, in case he won’t be able to come back alive to save them.
“Where’s your damn boss?” Changmin suddenly heard Junsu’s distinctive shout. “The sooner he appears the sooner we can get this over with!” His attention was then brought back to his destination as he continued moving forward, dragging his feet. A hiss escaped his lips each time the cuts on his body were disturbed by his movements. He put a hand on his stomach momentarily to help his breathings calm. But the memory of how Min Hee acted in front of him earlier wasn’t helping him one bit.
“Shit,” he mumbled between gritted teeth.
“Oh! Hello there, Milord. I didn’t know that you’ll be at home.”
Changmin gasped and quickly turned. Out of reflex, his gun was immediately pointed towards where the voice came from. However, the shock of the sudden intrusion wasn’t as terrifying as the shock of meeting another him in an extremely close proximity. Who... ?
Is this... Shim Choikang?
“Please, Milord. Forgive me. I didn’t mean to scare you, honestly. I am Shim Choikang, pleased to meet you,” the man smirked, not wasting his time beating around the bushes at all. Though, his actions totally contradicted his words, for he was now pointing a revolver right on Changmin’s nose.
“You... You’re Choikang?”
The man chuckled and lowered his revolver only an inch away. “I thought you’ve at least figured this one out by now. Really, that woman is a corruption to our world.” He tsk-ed and shook his head side-ways, mocking a disappointment.
Changmin didn’t understand any of his words, or maybe he chose not to. And in seconds, the revolver was pointed back at him, now right between his eye-brows.
“Let’s go to the heart of the battle now, shall we? There are plenty of audiences who came just to watch you die.”
Then, Changmin was forcefully dragged towards where he presumed the others were at. No words could come out of him. He was just too amazed to see his own clone in real life. But silence doesn’t mean that Shim Changmin’s mind has shut down its operations. In fact, Changmin’s consciences were just too busy linking various events at an enormous speed that left his mouth agape and body unresponsive.
“Hey people! Look at what I found!” Choikang shouted across the hall as he dragged and pushed Changmin to the center of the hall, one of the parts that connect the living room to the rest of the house. “A stray dog that had lost its way.”
The gun-fight instantly paused.
Another hiss escaped Changmin’s lips as he pried away from Choikang’s grip on his blood-stained shirt. Slightly stumbling on his feet, Changmin pointed his gun back towards Choikang’s direction. His other hand clutching the surface of his previous gun-wound on his stomach which seemed to have its stitches tore open and bleeding. While focusing his attention on Choikang, Changmin could still catch the sight of several lifeless bodies lying scattered on the marble floor of his home which some of them were his men.
“You…” Changmin muttered as he took a few steps closer towards Choikang. He could feel that many guns were pointed at him from various directions. “You caused all these. You son of a bitch…” he continued to limp over.
Choikang chuckled leisurely, still securing the hold he had on his own weapon. “You really are something, Shim. I thought I’ve already told Micky to knock you out. Though, it’s still a pleasant surprise to see that you could join our little gathering here. But you have to know something before we get on to business. We are the sons of the same bitch.”
The surprise in Changmin’s eyes couldn’t be hidden any longer. Same physical appearance, same level of intelligence and similar attitude… It can’t be… He immediately side-glanced at his surroundings to find SongSun. Somehow he knew that only that old man could provide him with answers. SongSun must know something. But sadly, he was nowhere to be found.
“That stupid old man knows nothing about me,” Choikang answered for him as if he knew what was playing in Changmin’s mind. “He hadn’t seen me since I was a baby, which was also when I had been thrown out deliberately by this ungrateful family. You want answers? Ask him.”
No words could come out from Changmin’s lips. He only looked over at the direction pointed by Choikang and was immediately greeted by a guilty look on his best friend’s face. Everyone else was still on their stand-by position with their weapons at the ready even as the conversation commences, but Junsu was already standing out of his hidden spot, his arms in a surrendering position.
“Milord, don’t listen to his words. He’s poisoning you.”
“Yeah,” Choikang agreed. “Just like how he betrayed you. Thanks to him, I finally get to have a glimpse of a place that could’ve been my home.”
“Shut it, Choikang. You’ve done enough damage already,” Junsu spoke bitterly.
“I can speak as I please, you ass. Besides, how dare you back out of the plan at its most crucial stage? You’re such an ungrateful brat.”
The hold on his weapon loosened as Changmin turned to look at Junsu who was on the 1st floor. His facial expression slightly begging for Junsu to tell him that things aren’t what he thought it was. But his face immediately fell as Junsu gave him the perfect answer by turning away from his gaze.
The compressed anger from inside him was immediately brought to the surface as he pointed his gun towards the roof and released a few shots out of pure disappointment.
“Damn you, asshole! I trusted you with my life. I even trusted the life of my wife on your hands! Bastard!!” Changmin shouted. “All these while you were the one I’ve ever wished to kill, yet I’ve given you all the priority and privileges of being my best friend!”
Choikang chuckled his satisfaction.
“And you!” Changmin said as he turned to face Choikang, gun pointed directly at him with a more determined look on Changmin’s face. His eyes showed that he won’t regret to kill. “WHO ARE YOU?!”
“He’s your twin brother,” a mature voice rang through the silent hall. Changmin didn’t bother to look. He knew SongSun had just arrived at the scene. “The late master had ordered to get rid of him at a very early age so that there won’t be any struggle for power when both of you grow up. The late master didn’t wish for either of you to be dead in the process, so he decided to separate you two, and keeping the older between you to resume the family’s tradition. But it seemed that it’s a useless effort now…”
“Yeah, that was very stupid of daddy,” Choikang snickered.
“You don’t have to do this, boy. We are family. You can always return to us.”
“Wait!” Changmin immediately cut in. “How would I know that he’s telling the truth? Looking the same doesn’t always mean that we’re twins!”
“But he is, Milord. No one in this world would dare to pose as a family to the powerful Shim clan like this.”
There was a painful silence that followed SongSun’s words. Changmin was angry and disappointed. He didn’t care as much if the assassin that has been disturbing the peace and quiet of his married life is his own twin, but he was greatly disturbed by the fact that Junsu had been part of that plan to screw his life.
He had a lot to comprehend in one day, and a lot more decisions to make within moments. He glared at SongSun, Junsu and Choikang in turns, tyring to make a wise decision that will best fit the future of his family and the Shim clan.
“Fine,” Changmin muttered at last, guns lowered and breathings steadied. “I don’t have much strength left anyways. What do you want from me, Choikang? Do you want to return to the family? With open arms, please do,” he added sarcastically.
Choikang sneered and shook his head side-ways. “No Milord. I’d love to have even more than that. I want to destroy you.”
And with that, a muffled cry could be heard in a distance, getting clearer as the second passed by. Changmin’s eyes bulged as he began to recognise the voice. He looked at Choikang in utter disbelief.
“I hope you don’t mind me starting with the most precious possession your heart has ever held on to.”
The smirk on Choikang’s lips was the death of Changmin’s consciences.
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