Like it was just a dream, Minho woke up and found himself in a rather peaceful place. It was still in Hell but a more peaceful version of it. Kind of like Hell’s Paradise. The clouds were still dark and red but nonetheless, the atmosphere of the place he was in was quite okay compared to the previous ones where he had to fall flat on his face and wake up to see something unpleasant. This right here, was beauty in the bad.
Minho looked around and saw a bountiful garden. Wow! Since when was Hell even bountiful or even beautiful? Well, except for the goddesses that ruled the circles, there was nothing beautiful about Hell! It was hot, it reeked of blood and death, and there was violence everywhere! What was to love. Well this place was entirely different. It was peaceful. Minho looked at what was beneath him and saw a huge leaf that was floating in a pond. In fairness to the leaf, it was soft and comfortable.
Maybe Lucifer had mercy on me and decided to give me a short break while he thinks of more punishments to give me. Minho lay down comfortably and even folded his arms behind his head, closing his eyes and peacefully sleeping, the waves and ripples on the pond making the leaf sway slightly, much to Minho’s liking.
Peaceful? That’s what he thought!
While Minho was relaxing and doing nothing, a hissing sound came from underneath. The sound was soft at first so it didn’t disturb him that much. All he did was open one eye and go back to sleep. The hiss got louder and louder and when it was so close to him, that was when he woke up.
“What the hell is going on this time?” Minho demanded an answer, obviously annoyed with the commotion that was going on under his leaf. Minho bent over and checked whatever it was that wanted to get him off the green bed but horror greeted him when he came face to face with it.
“OH MY FUCKING!” he yelped as he saw a hissing tongue before him. He thought it was a snake but when he backed up a bit and took a closer look, turns out it was the tongue of the leaf hissing like a snake. What in hell’s name is this? A leaf with a mouth?
“What the hell are you?!” Minho backed away from it even more. The leaf’s stem had a tongue and a freak of nature it was, it even had fangs! The leaf’s stem grew longer and longer, ready to devour him. Minho jumped into the pond and swam around trying to get as far as he could from the killer leaf. He didn’t notice the color of the pond that he had just jumped into. The pond, which was once a clear blue slowly started to turn thick and slimy, like mucuous. Even the color was like mucuous. The blue faded into a dark green and the garden started to turn into a swamp.
“Woah! Woah! Get me out of here! Get me out of here!” Minho yelped as the green slime slowly started to eat him up. It was sucking him from the feet up to the head until he was covered fully in slime. The green slime made a disgusting slurping and sucking noise as if he was eating Minho up and savoring his every fiber. Minho soon disappeared from sight.
Where did Minho go? Was he totally eaten up by the slime? Minho found himself sliding down a soil tunnel all the way to a garden underneath. That garden was a far cry from the garden he had encountered when he first got here. It was dark, muddy, and moist. The insects made a disturbing noise that could deafen Minho.
“Come!” came a whisper from another tunnel. Minho turned his attention to the tunnel on the right which seemed to be emminating a bright pink light. Minho’s eyes were temped to peer through and look at whatever was glowing from afar. Pink seemed like a tame color so it didn’t intimidate Minho at first.
“Come to me, dear boy.” whispered the sweet voice. Minho couldn’t resist it. Could this finally be an angel sent by God from Heaven to save him? Or was this another one of the Devil’s tricks?
“Who are you!? Tell me your name!” he called back. The pink glow got brighter and blinded him, making him cover his eyes with his slime-stained sleeve. His entire body, as a matter of fact was stained with slime. Even his hair had bits of slime hanging on them.
“Come to me, dear boy.” said the voice.
“Are you a fairy?”
“I am your goddess of luck.” the voice was very inviting. It must’ve come from someone who was extremely beautiful and regal. Minho dove into the tunnel and tried to walk slowly but found himself slipping and sliding flat on his chest. The mud tunnel was very long, far longer than the first tunnel so Minho expected a really hard landing so he closed his eyes, bracing himself for the worse but it didn’t come. His landing was soft and comfortable, just like the way he landed on the leaf when he was sent to this circle. Minho felt the surface beneath him and opened his eyes to see that he was in a bed of gigantic flowers. They were pink, purple, orange, red, and blue in color. And without a doubt they were beautiful!
“Goddess! Fairy! Fairy Godprincess!” Minho called her all sorts of names as he didn’t know who she was. “Where are you?!” The bed started to disappear, dropping Minho butt-first on the ground.
“Ow!” he said rubbing his behind. He stood up and watched as the flowers slowly floated in the air and lined up perfectly. They were in order and just floated there before him, for his eyes to see. Minho was confused as he didn’t quite understand what was going on.
“What is this?” a great wind blew and the flowers circled around Minho, chanting an incantation. Minho was getting really scared and confused so for the final time, he questioned the presence of whoever was doing this.
“To whoever is controlling these flowers, I demand you to-”
“AVE DEA!” bellowed one flower. It surprised Minho to see that the flowers were talking.
“AVE DEA! AVE DEA! AVE DEA!” the flower chanted while circling around Minho. The pink light shone above him and emminated a ray which extended to the ground. From above came a beautiful goddess clad in a dress made of flowers with a flower wreath. In her hand was a rose bearing no thorns. The rose often changed color, depending on her mood and right now, since she was in no mood for nonesense, the color was bright red.
“What the fuck? Why is my dream fucking with me?!?!” Minho yelled. The exotic face that was in front of him belonged to none other than Kim Hyoyeon.
“AVE DEA KIM HYOYEON!” chanted the flowers over and over. Hyoyeon’s feet touched the ground and she pointed her rose at the flowers, signaling them to calm down and keep quiet.
“Ah! Choi Minho! The boy who cheated on me. Oh, I remember how we were then. We were so sweet.” Hyoyeon blushed, making the rose turn pink. The other flowers changed their colors too but when Hyoyeon remembered the downside of their relationship, an angry look came across her face and the rose turned crimson red. “But then you had to be an asshole and cheat on me. Well, it’s time that you pay for what you have done. You think life is easy? You think just because you have the looks and the brains and the cash, everything comes easy for you now? Well, you’ve got to make some sacrifices, boy. Not everything goes your way!” Hyoeyon scolded. Minho felt intimidated in her presence. She looked very lovely but her demeanor as a goddess scared him.
“Hyoyeon! Please. Have mercy! I’ve been through so much here in Hell already. I’ve learned from my mistakes, I promise you. I have chang-” Hyoyeon had enough of his shit and smacked him with her rose, turning the rose blood red in anger.
“Enough! I do not want to hear anymore of this nonesense!” Hyoyeon ascended once more and the gigantic garden grew dark. Minho backed away and bumped his back on the bark of a tree.
“Listen, boy. You cannot get out of this kingdom and I mean you cannot! You’re gonna have to earn your freedom or else, you’re just going to stink and rot here in Hell under us.”
“Tell me what you want me to do. I’ll do it! I just want out of this place! I can’t seem to get out-” Hyoyeon smacked him with her rose once again.
“You’re testing my patience. That is something you wouldn’t want to do. Now listen up. You have to complete a mission here. Around this garden are trees. You have to get to the Three Greatest Trees, namely the Tree of Courage, Tree of Strength,and the Tree of Wisdom. These trees have exotic fruits that you must eat in order to gain strength for the battle of the Garden. However, you must be careful. There are many equally exotic plants here that I’m sure you wouldn’t want to piss off. So be careful and accomplish your mission to redeem your soul.”
“Battle!?! What battle?!?!” Hyoyeon refused to answer and just faded away together with the flowers that were once the flower bed, leaving Minho staring and hoping for her to come back. The garden was dark and the trees were tall. Flowers and plants around him were exotic, like those he had not seen before.
[song: “Hoot” by Girls Generation]
“Great! This garden is so big! How am I possibly going to make it out of here?!” Minho slowly explored the garden. He bumped into this huge flower which was pink at first but turned gray when he bumped into it.
“Excuse me! Dickhead!” he cursed at the flower for frightening him. The flower screeched at him and spat violet fluid on him. Minho shook his head and left. The other flowers around him were just as weird. Others knew how to cry, others spat, others spewed, others squirted.
On his way, he encountered a giant flower. At first, Minho thought the giant flower posed no harm so he just breezed right through it. That was, until it was the flower that noticed him.
“WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING, PUNK?!” asked the flower with a deep voice. Minho stared at it and shook his head, just to make sure that he wasn’t just imagining things.
“Did you just speak?”
“YOU DON’T QUESTION MY ABILITIES! ANSWER ME! WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?!” growled the flower.
“I’m headed for the Tree of Courage.” said Minho. The flower growled angrily.
“YOU DO NOT GET TO THE TREE OF COURAGE WITHOUT GOING THROUGH ME FIRST!” The great flower extended its stem and reached out for Minho. Minho jumped out of the way and rolled over to the other side so as not to get hit. The flower tried to locate Minho and found him hiding behind a tree. It extended its stem and finally coiled the green part around Minho, hoisting him up like an elephant lifts its trunk. The flower threw Minho around, making him hit barks and stones and whatnot only to pick him up and do the same thing over and over again until he was dizzy.
Meanwhile, the goddess Hyoyeon watched over her minions as they tortured Minho. She waved her hands a little bit and this strengthened the flower. The flower had more powers now! It oozed red slime which could make one dizzy and lose balance as well as concentration.
“Fuck! What is that horrible stench?!” Minho complained. The flower threw him against the tree and with a little bit of finger snapping and hand waving, Hyoyeon gave the flower the stench gas power. Not only did it prespire sticky red fluid, it also emitted a visible, noxious gas that had the same effect. Confusion. Minho, however refused to be swayed. He grabbed a stone and threw it at the flower, hoping to injure him. Fortunately, he was able to hit the flower’s strongest point: the center.
“ARGAHARHGAHRAHR!” growled the flower. What Minho didn’t know was that the giant center of the flower was actually a huge mouth with fangs. The flower bent over and tried to chomp Minho but Minho lunged a rock in its mouth.
“Choke on that you bastard!” he screamed. The flower felt a slight choking but returned to normal. The flower grew bigger and swayed slightly over to the left and to the right, like it was dancing to the breeze. Minho felt even more confusion than what the gases and the stinky slime gave him. The flower started to sway violently and even shook its head. Turns out that one of its defense mechanisms was the petals. The petals started to come off but upon falling from the head of the flower, they turned into sharp daggers, ready to stab Minho.
“Oh holy shit!” he said as the daggers started to rain upon him. He ran and rolled out of the way, trying to come up with a plan to get past this garden monster.
Then it hit him.
“What if I cut you and burn you down?!” Minho said. Minho smirked and did just that. He grabbed two sticks and behind the tree, obscured from the flower’s view, he quickly rubbed the sticks together, creating friction between them. The friction resulted to fire. Minho carried the torches and called on the flower.
“Hey! Hey you big baby!” he taunted it. The flower looked at him and saw that he had fire in his hands. Hyoyeon saw this from above and feared the worst, but loved the sight of it.
“Want some food? Huh? Well eat this!” Minho threw both scorching torches at the flower, burning it in an instant. The flower screamed for help as the fires started to eat it up. With the flower close to death, Minho ran for his life and stumbled over a hill, landing flat on his butt once again.
This time, he didn’t see just an empty space.
There it was before him. The first of the four trees that he needed to eat the fruit of. The Tree of Courage. Sure enough it looked courageous. The tree was huge and its bark was thick, sign that it had been around for more than 50 years. The leaves of the tree were burning and the single fruit, an irregularly-shaped one, hung in the middle.
“Climb the tree to get your fruit.” Minho looked at it and did as told. He inched his way up the tree quicker than a monkey and sat on the branch. He grabbed the fruit and ate it, his first real taste of food since falling asleep. Once he had finished it, he embarked on his second mission.
The Tree of Strength was hard to get to. He needed to have the agility of Tarzan in order to get there. Sure enough, the once beautiful garden was transforming into a jungle with this next challenge. He came face to face with the scariest looking jungle he had ever seen. The trees were tall and mossy, there was a swamp, and there were vines that he needed to swing on.
“The Tree of Strength is all about your phyisical abilities. Test them here.” said Hyoyeon from above. Minho looked at it with a determined stare and gave it a try. He climbed one tree which proved to be a challenge as the mosses were just too slippery. Minho couldn’t avoid falling and slipping but he still tried until he got on the branch. Looking at the swamp from above was scary not because there were animals or that it was dirty (though that was a factor) but because the exotic piranha flowers were swimming around, ready to rip his skin off his body.
“Alright. Here goes.” Minho took a deep breath and held on tightly on the vine. He jumped and wrapped his feet around the thick vine, swinging from this tree to another.
“Skilled boy. Too bad your skill has to be put to the test.” Hyoyeon said. She waved her hands and out came the deadly hibiscus flowers which emitted a wonderful smelling, yet toxic scent. The hibiscus flowers flew around Minho, who was still holding on to his vine, hoping to distract him and make him fall down to the swampy pit. Minho smelled the perfume-like scent but held his breath, refusing to get more than what he should and with his eyes closed, clung on to the other vine. With a great leap of faith, Minho swung from tree to tree, distracted by some insect-like plants. The swinging was working just fine until a giant came along.
The sunflower bug visited Minho that day!
“Woah! What do you want from me?!?” The sunflower bug was as big as an eagle and had deadly petals. It flew very fast and was quite hard to catch. It, however, had stinging abilities that could paralyze someone who was stung. Minho tried his best to avoid it. Whenever it would come near him, he’d jump away from it, swinging on another vine. The tree was just so close he could see the fruit from where he was.
“You don’t get in the way of me and my fruit, you bastard!” Minho said. He clung on the vine and swung towards the sunflower bug, trying to hit it with his feet. Once he was able to, making it bump towards the tree.
“Oh men, there’s got to be something in here somehwere!” the sunflower bug began to spew deadly thorns at Minho who shielded himself with his arm. His arm suffered badly, taking in all the stings of the thorns as Minho searched his pockets for something sharp that he could’ve left in there. Finally, he was able to produce something. A Swiss knife.
“Strength and bravery, it is!” Minho snickered. He held on to the vine and with one mighty swing, he made his way towards the bug and with the Swiss knife ready, Minho stretched his arm and stabbed the back of the sunflower bug. Not only that, he stabbed it multiple times to ensure its death. The sunflower bug fell down the swamp and Minho was finally able to get out of the swamp and run to the Tree of Strength.
The Tree of Strength was glowing green. It had bountiful leaves and just like the other trees, looked very old. Minho wasted no time upon seeing the fruit that was in the middle. He ran to it and after having practiced his climbing skills earlier at the swampy jungle, he climbed quickly and got to the tree, eating the fruit and regaining his strength.
“Great! Only one tree left.”
“There is one problem, though.” said a voice from above. Minho looked up and saw Hyoyeon descending, wearing a rose gown that had different colors. She still had the mood rose in her hand. Upon descending, an army of green-clad people known as the Green Devils came to her side. Minho felt intimidated and didn’t know what to do. He was tired as hell from all of the moving and fighting that he had been doing since he got to Hell and to be facing another goddess’ wrath was just too tiring for him.
“I haven’t gotten to the Tree of Wisdom yet!” he complained.
“That’s because you have to go through me first before getting to that tree.” Hyoyeon turned her rose into a red sword which glowed. The roses on her dress all turned black, signaling death. The Green Devils readied themselves for battle.
“At my command. Ready.” Minho was one person. Hyoyeon was one powerful goddess with Green Devils backing her up. There was no way he was going to win with just his Swiss knife.
“I ate the two fruits. I can face you.” he said confidently.
“But you haven’t gotten to this fruit yet. So don’t think you’d come out successful.” Hyoyeon warned. “CHARGE!” she called the Green Devils. The Green Devils charged at Minho, stabbing him and beating him up. Minho was bloodied but refused to give up, knowing that he had eaten the fruits of Courage and Strength. Using his physical prowess, he punched, kicked, stabbed with his Swiss knife and grappled with some of them. Just when Minho thought he had made his way past the Green Devils, a sharp sword was pointed against his face.
“Not on my watch.” said Hyoyeon. An apocalyptic scene began to take place when the flowers and leaves circled in the wind. Hyoyeon made a great wall rise and pushed Minho using her sword to the wall. She made vines grow and tied him to the wall, his ankles and wrists.
“No! Hyoyeon! What are you up to!?!” Minho begged. Hyoyeon used her powers to tighten the vines and prevent the circulation of blood. Then, summoning all the freaky plants in her garden, they whirled up and began to eat Minho up with their sharp fangs. Hyoyeon didn’t cease at making them attack him, turning the color of the roses on her dress red and black for anger, death, and revenge. Finally, when Minho’s skin was all ripped off thanks to the plants, Hyoyeon walked closer and drew her rose sword.
“Thanks for the shit! I’ll send flowers on the day that you are buried!” with those words, Hyoyeon stabbed Minho in the heart, killing him instantly as he was tied on the wall.
Kim Hyoyeon. Goddess of the Plants.
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