Eunbyul stared at the Star Flower for what seemed like an eternity. It seemed to shine as if to support her for what she was about to do. Her home was barely furnished to begin with beside the couch, bed, tv, wardrobe, and a table. There wasn't much to pack that she could besides her clothing. UKISS was still asleep since it was only 4 in the morning. Eunbyul had to sneak and pack all of her things in case things didn't go as planned.
The Star Flower seemed to sparkle in its multirayed lighting as if to say
Don't worry... It will go as planned.
Eunbyul gently clutched the Star Flower and put it in the safest place in her rucksack.
Eunbyul closed her eyes and inhaled the soft scent of the house before leaving her smart phone on a table.
She slung the duffel bag onto her shoulder and stepped outside. The cut was halfway healed but straining them was still not a risk. She didn't care, today she had to give everything she can possibly give to get her freedom.
She walked the dark streets of Seoul with a baggy jacket and cargo shorts that were to her mid thighs. The gold cross glinted in the street lights as she walked.
Kevin awoke with a gasp, it was still dark but his senses were wide awake. His eyes adjusted to the dark as he ruffled his bed hair. He felt strangely hollow for some reason as he tried to go back to sleep. AJ was sleeping soundly next to him while Dongho clutched his body pillow and drooled.
Something feels off....
He had only felt this empty when he was holding onto Eunbyul while her blood soaked his shirt.
He remembered that undeniable fear that she wouldn't wake up. Her lips pale and blue, her skin a sickly white. Never seeing her alluring eyes ever. Kevin shook off the thought.
It's all over. She's fine....
He assured himself, but his body seemed to urge him to heck on her. With a discontent groan, Kevin got up to his feet and stepped into the living room. She was suppose to be sleeping on the couch.
I'll just see if she's there.. That's all...
He went into the living room and looked around, only to find it completely empty. Eunbyul was no where in sight. Not a trace of where she was.
Maybe she's in the bathroom
The lights were all off.
Kevin's breathing seemed to speed up as he walked around the dorm.
Maybe she went out for a walk
With all of her things?
All of her clothes were gone, her toothbrush, her shoes. Kevin's heart began to race as the hollowness grew and grabbed his phone. He dialed her number and prayed she would pick up as his phone did the characteristic ring.
" The person you are calling right now is unavailable."
Now he was freaking out.
Where could Eunbyul be?
He made up his mind and grabbed what ever clothes was in his wardrobe. AJ awoke to his searching and rubbed his eyes.
" Kevin... Do you have any idea what time it is?"
" She's gone...."
" Wait..What?" AJ was wide awake now and uprighted himself.
" Everything... Her clothes, bag... Gone... She's not answering her phone."
Kevin rushed out of the room and put on his shoes as AJ got out of his sheets.
" Wait where are yo-"
" I'm going to find her." his tone left no room for reasoning as he shut the door.
AJ wondered with sigh if Kevin was in his right mind to go looking for someone in the dark in Seoul, and went into action. He woke up the rest of the members who, at the information of Eunbyul missing, immediately got up. They scrambled around and began to make their own phonecalls.
Kevin called his last hope as he stepped out in to the cool dark air of dawn.
" Riiing ring ring..."
" Cmon pick up..."
" Rii- hello?" Jessica sounded absolutely groggy as she croaked into the phone.
" it's Kevin. Do you know where Eunbyul is?"
" Kevin? What? Ugh... Do you know what time it is? Why?"
" She's gone." Kevin ruffled his hair in frustration. He didn't have time for her questions.
" ... I'm sorry what?"
" Lee Eunbyul is missing. Her stuff isn't here and she won't answer my calls."
Jessica was wide awake now.
".... I'll text you Eunbyul's address. Meet us there."
She hung up immediately and awoke Seohyun next to her.
" Yah.. Did Eubyul say she was going anywhere?"
"Mmm... What? No..."
Jessica's voice grew urgent as she arose the others
" Eunbyul's gone.."
Kevin ran to a dreary, poor part of Seoul in front of a small apartment complex.
This is where she lives?
He saw a group of people running to meet him.
Jessica, Seohyun, Yuri, and Taeyeon all panted hard as they met Kevin and put their hands on their knees to recover. They all wore simple clothes from being woken up so drastically early but none of it mattered to them.
" Follow me." Seohyun spoke urgently as she ran into the complex and up to the highest floor. Seohyun looked around and saw the flower pot she knew all to well, and lifted to see a tarnished old key to Eunbyul's home. They heard the click of the lock and Seohyun quickly opened the door. Nothing... No one. No sign of their star. The place looked emptier than usual, and not even Eunbyul's family portrait was there.
" Where did she go?" Seohyun wondered.
Eunbyul kept walking to the sight. It was in he less populated parts of Seoul where the city mixed with nature. An abandoned box like building stood there in solace. Vegetation wrapped itself around the building's windowless walls and cracked concrete. It was an ancient place with concrete stairs by the side that lead to the barren flat roof top. The sky was beginning to brighten as the sun rose as if to spectate the scene that was going to take place here. Eunbyul remembered this place all to well from the time her mother decided to take a family vacation to Korea like a normal family.
Eight year old Eunbyul was sniffing and observing the sights of Seoul curiously as she stood perfectly straight like a statue. Her bright eyes flickered around as she caught sight of movement. The city was indeed nice as her mother explained it, albeit a bit noisy but that's how all cities were. Her father stood next to her with the same stance as he looked at the faraway skyscrapers that stood out in the bustling city. A calming beauty was watching them from afar with a bemused expression. Her soft brown hair waved around with the breeze of the summer as her warm brown eyes observed her family. She arched a graceful brow as her cat like eyes grew a bit wider. A soft smirk played on her pink lips as she controlled the urge to giggle. Her husband's imposingly tall and statuesque figure was more prominent then ever.
" I swear Skylar... The kid acts more like you every second."
Skylar turned around to see his beloved woman, smooth rosy cheeks and all, smirking at him. His ebony hair rustled with the wind as his deep dark eyes met her light ones. His high cheek bones and tall lanky figure gave him a charismatic aura as his young and angled face raised an eyebrow at her amusement.
" You say that like it's a bad thing Annabelle."
Annabelle rolled her feline eyes and sighed.
" Yeah it's a bad thing. She's too much like you. Not so much like me. Darn your bossy genes Sky."
Skylar let out a rare chuckle as he shook his head at his wife's assumptions.
" What makes you say that?" he shoved his hands into his pockets and rested on one leg with his head tilted lazily. He wasn't usually this casual. More military like and pristine but his wife always brought out the better of him.
Annabelle crossed her arms and scoffed.
" Hey Stella!"
Eunbyul turned around and shoved her hands into her jacket pocket and rested on one foot while tilting her dark head slightly. She raised her eyebrows as her jewel like eyes stared back at her mother.
" Yes mother?"
Annabelle gave Skylar the look and gestured to Eunbyul's little figure, while Skylar was beyond amused.
" See what I mean?"
He let out a small snicker as he looked at Eunbyul. Her eyes were bright and curious about the world around her as she seemed unaffected by the cut she had on her thigh from jumping through a glass window.
" On the other hand... She's a lot like you."
Eunbyul looked at her father with wonder and shrugged as she walked off to explore her great grandparent's home. Her mother spent her childhood here and insisted that they used this place as their spot for their stay since Skylar had no relatives here and all of her's passed away. They had a surprisingly simple yet good time here as father cracked more smiles than usual and her mother seemed more relaxed.
Now looking at the old place, Eunbyul missed her mother more than ever. She missed the simplicity of their life as they travelled together. The simple wooden flooring that once shone had rotted away, the sliding door that would shelter her from the outside world was torn and mangled as it laid a few feet away from it's true place. The white walls were washed with a dull gray as small fissures crawled their way around the walls. It was a pretty big house despite the design. Her great grandparent were able to afford more than the average Korean was able to. They had placed the house on a small mountain near the outskirts of Seoul and carved a land table for their house.
Eunbyul stood in front of the dreary building as the cold morning wind blew hair into her face. She took heavy steps to the roof stairs and dropped her luggage with a soft thud.
Skylar listened to the rustle of the treetops as he stood near the edge of the vast roof top. It was a place for a roof garden but was abandoned soon after Annabelle's parents passed on. Now it was just an empty table land set for what was about to occur.
Am I doing something wrong Annabelle?
The wind suddenly gave him a large gust in response as if his beloved wife was responding to him.
What do you think?
He sighed as he shook his head. It almost feels like she was watching them from heaven.
The leaf rustled harder and he could've sworn her heard a soft voice whisper with the wind.
He heard the quiet footsteps of his daughter coming up to the rooftop and turned around.
" Ready to go?"
Eunbyul stared at her father. Never had he looked so dominating and powerful as he stood a distance away from her. The wind seemed to grow aggravated and blew even harder as father and daughter stared at each other.
Kevin sat on Eunbyul's old couch rubbing his hands together apprehensively as everyone else also fidgeted. Seohyun was biting her lips as she waited for Eunbyul to come in at any moment, Taeyeon was praying for Eunbyul to be somewhere safe, Jessica called up Eunbyul's other friends through her abandoned Cellphone. Minwoo came sprinting here as fast as he could along with the Jo twins as soon as he heard the news. Mika came in along with Hyunseung, and L. Joe as the other members of their group went on a scouting search for Eunbyul. They already tried everywhere and came back to her house to retaliate. They sat together for about ten minutes in silence as the clock ticked by.
Minwoo suddenly remembered something.
" How would you feel if I disappeared?"
Kevin twitched his head up in confusion and desperation.
Minwoo squinted as he remembered their conversation.
" Noona... She asked me out of the blue... Talking about her vanishing or leaving."
Jo twins frowned even harder as they had a look of sadness along with confusion.
Kevin clenched his fists until the knuckles were white as he closed his eyes. He suddenly rose to his feet, causing everyone to jump and stormed to the door. Mika grabbed him and gave him a pitying look. Kevin merely shook his shoulder out of his grip and slammed the door open. He turned slightly to the others.
" I'm not going to just sit here and wait."
" You should trust Eunbyul to come back."
Kevin unclenched his fist and sighed.
" I trust her. I don't trust myself to just wait here though."
He ran off to the streets as the skies darkened and clouds began to form at a rapid pace.
He ran into the streets and his breathe came out in shaky rasps as he fought the urge to scream in frustration. He stared up at the gray sky.
Eunbyul... Where are you?
Eunbyul stood there, her jacket firmly zipped up as she looked at her father.
Her father raised a dark eyebrow.
Eunbyul whispered softly.
" I can't go..."
Skylar looked at her determined figure with an analytical look in his cold eyes.
" I didn't ask for your opinion in this decision."
" Well my opinion does count in this decision because it's my life." her voice grew firmer.
" You know how our arguments usually go Stella... Listen to me." he talked dangerously quiet and the wind howled even further as ominous storm clouds rumbled.
"....... You were wrong..." Eunbyul whispered.
" You were wrong about the world.... Wrong about it's cruelty..." she spoke as she remembered her time spent involved in the Kpop business. "There are those that are good. They brighten up life and give it purpose. They already gave me purpose."
Skylar narrowed his eyes and reached into his back shirt and pulled out a strange rod.
" You know what will happen now..." he whispered.
" It's almost as if they really have changed you... Do I have to beat you senseless to see reason Stella Caelanox Lee?"
She flinched at the sound of her full English name.
" Yes. This is how it has to be. I can't see reason to leave this."
She spoke softly with sorrow.
Skylar expanded the condensed rod into a full on pole and broke it into a three part staff. It's chains were scarred from frequent use, but was as dangerous as ever. He was the master at this triangle staff and expertly twirled it around him.
Eunbyul merely stood there unmoving and spoke .
" I.. don't want to fight you dad...."
Skylar struck first as he lunged with incredible speed to Eunbyul and swung the chained staff to her. Eunbyul leapt and did a horizontal flip as she jumped above the swinging weapon, but he was faster and curved it on his back to hit her other side. Eunbyul used her forearms and blocked the oncoming weapon but was too slow to block her father's kick. He sent her flying and rolling painfully near the edge. Eunbyul grunted in pain as her stitches burned and her stomach lurched from the force. She jumped to her feet and barely had time to readjust her bearings before he struck again. He sent a kick to her head and she ducked it narrowly before punching him in the kidney. Skylar barely flinched from the punch and swung the pole under her feet. Eunbyul tripped and fell on her back with a thud and quickly rolled out of the way as the pole smashed into the place she was in. She distance herself and they stood looking at each other with ferocity.
The sky thundered loudly and soon, a heavy rain drop fell to the roof and stained the concrete dark gray. The broad leaves of summer plants dripped with the tears of the sky, as if it were in anguish at the sight of father and child fighting.
Soon a torrent of merciless rain began striking them as if it were trying to deter the showdown between the two. It soon began to drench them both to the skin but both seemed indifferent to the storm as it raged.
Eunbyul felt her baggy jacket grow weighty with the added weight of the water.
It'll slow me down... There's really no use in hiding anymore...
Skylar seemed to allow Eunbyul to ready herself for another attack as he waited with obsidian eyes evaluating her movement.
Eunbyul felt the discomfortable burnin protest of stitches as she unzipped her jacket slowly. She brushed the damp hoodie off her shoulders to reveal a simple red sports top that revealed her midsection. Her father's eyes twitched as he saw the blackish stitch line that covered the thin pink line of healing flesh, but continued to remain impassive. He noticed something else as she folded her arms behind her back to reach for something. Eunbyul unclasped a part of her top that locked two odd baton like objects behind her back. They were tonfas: batons that were about the size slightly longer than of her forearms and had a perpendicular handle jutting out from it, allowing for a full grip on the twin weapons. They were one of the weapons she was best at.
Skylar recognized the weapons anywhere and went rigid.
So she intends to go all out? For this?
He couldn't understand why his daughter would make such an unbelievably blasphemous decision.
Eunbyul looked at him differently than ever. Her eyes were not enraged but somewhat sad as she twirled the tonfas with experience and skill. They stared at each other for the longest time and the enraged sky suddenly castes down a bolt of lighting near a tree that stood between them near the edge. Eunbyul cliched and jumped backward while Skylar hardly moved with his martial training coming into play. The tree smoldered as it fell, a single branch seemed to make a futile attempt to split them in half as if to stop the fight. Eunbyul felt strange. As if she was being watched, but she paid no heed.
Skylar looked at the mark with curiosity and looked back at Eunbyul, his iron pole arms clinking excitedly for the fight. Eunbyul made the first move as she charged seemingly recklessly to her father. He swung the pole arm out, confident that it will meet it's mark, but was surprised as Eunbyul kneeled and slid under the assault, limboing her head as water made small waves from her slide. Eunbyul slid past him and struck him behind the knee with her tonfa as she used her weight to spin a 180 in motion and reface her opponent.
The move was admittedly graceful of his daughter but he could not admire and be proud of her as she struck again no sooner. A ribbon of scarlet streamed from her side as she reopened the stitches. Drops of blood met the water as it puddled and echoed.
Kevin ignored the dampness of his clothing as the rain began it's siege upon Seoul. His footsteps caused large splashes as he continued running around to places, desperate for any sign of Eunbyul.
Why now? Why are you gone?
A sudden lightning strike bolted down in his line of sight near the more rural parts of Seoul. An earsplitting boom was heard as he stared at the spot strangely. Something seemed to urge him to go there. The wind suddenly gusted as if frustrated, pulling him towards the place.
Kevin suddenly had a renewed sense of hope and confidence. He obeyed the strange storm and took a step towards the place. Soon his feet began to take him in a full on sprint as he prayed that he would find what or who he wished to seek.
Eunbyul knelt on the flooded ground of the roof top panting with the strain of her every fiber of being. She still hadn't regained all of her energy from the loss of blood from Kangsoo's assault. Her stitches were opening wider as blood came in more of a river than a ribboned trail. She gasped for air at the strain of her lungs and at the now sharpening pain.
She was battered, bruises were forming, her stamina was low, her muscles were protesting, and her ribs were aching. Yet she still felt the will to move on. Her shoulders shook as she stared at the echoes of the water beneath her. Her own tired reflection stared back up at her, but she also glimpsed the cross sparkling strangely.
Mirrored eyes stared back up with determination and she gained a renewed sense of strength.
Keep fighting.... For them... For yourself...
Skylar looked down upon his daughter's battered and beaten figure as she refused to meet his gaze. Her hand was limp at her side while another was trying to slow the flow of blood leaking from her side.
She can't go much further.
He debated whether to stop this madness, but his pride got in his way.
He sighed and used his weapon to lift up her sunken chin as his mouth parted to speak.
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