Dara cannot believe her eyes. Everything seems to be a dream...a nightmare, to be exact. Jung Il Woo? God, what's happening?
Panic enveloped her body and she used all her strength to free her wrists and ankles while whimpering but to no avail. Il Woo seemed to be amused by her futile attempts as he stepped down from the chair and sat at the edge of the bed near her. A fresh stream of tears cascaded at the side of her face as she stared at him in horror. She's now deeply regretting why he asked GD to pull out his men who were supposed to guard her during office hours.
Her heart was hammering painfully inside her chest when Il Woo reached out and started peeling off the duct tapes on .
"SSSssshhhh...Sssshhhh....Hush now. I will only ask you to do three things and they're all easy because we're friends!", he excitedly gushed.
He's a freaking psychotic bastard! Dara thought she's a good judge of character but she's clearly way off the mark with this one. As soon as were freed from the duct tapes, Dara started screaming for help hysterically but instead of stopping her, the crazy bastard just joined her and began shouting at the top of his lungs as well.
"HELLLLPPPP!!!!!", she screamed.
"Help herrrr!!!", Il Woo yelled and started clapping his hands while bouncing up and down, laughing loudly like a maniac.
When Dara stopped, Il Woo smiled at her and tilted his head in amusement.
"You now realized no one's going to hear you", he said and sat on his legs on top of the bed while facing her. He then traced the drawing of the Queen of Hearts in her stomach, making her flinch.
"S-Stop it...Let me go...Please let me go", her voice was trembling as she pleaded. Il Woo pouted and pulled down her blouse to cover her body and mumbled, "Okay. But you have to do what I say"
Dara's eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Seriously, he's letting her go? As if reading her mind, Il Woo chuckled as he explained what he expected her to do.
"Don't be surprised. I told you we're friends! But just to make sure that you won't betray me, I planted a bomb on your office building so if you don't fulfill all the three things that I will ask you to do by the end of the day, your office will go KABOOMMMMM!!!! together with whoever's in there. And don't try to warn anyone as well, I will know and you wouldn't want that to happen", he wiggled his forefinger in front of her face.
"The lives of many people are in your hands Sandara Park, so make sure you accomplish everything", he said and started untying her ankles and wrists. Dara sat up and cowered at the corner of the bed away from him while nursing her aching wrists.
"Awwwwww...don't be like that. You're always smiling when you're with G-Dragon. Why can't you smile when you're with me?", Il Woo crawled on the bed and occupied the space near her, resting his head on her shoulder. Dara scooted away but Il Woo linked his arm on her arm firmly.
"H-How did you know G-Dragon? Who are you, Il Woo?"
"I'm G-Dragon's victim. He robbed my childhood away from me. Now, I will rob him of his future", his playful voice sent shivers down her spine.
Il Woo straightened up and leveled his eyes on hers.
"If you inform G-Dragon or anyone from the Triads about this, you won't be able to accomplish your three missions and you know what will happen", he whispered conspiratorially as if someone will hear them. He really has some loose screws up there.
"W-What three missions?", she asked hesitantly.
He started enumerating her tasks, holding up his fingers at each count, "One - at exactly 6PM today, bring Sulli alone to the rooftop of your office building. Two guys dressed as delivery boys will be waiting there. I don't care how you'll do it, just make sure you'll accomplish it. My men wasn't able to capture her last night because she's heavily guarded but you're free to move around her so you can use that to your advantage. Doo Joon, the one who abducted you and who was dressed in a messenger's uniform, will be following you around to guard and assist you"
"Two - after ensuring that Sulli is in the hands of my men who will be waiting at the rooftop, Doo Joon will drive you to where G-Dragon is. You have to personally deliver two white envelopes to G-Dragon"
"Three - once you deliver them to him, you have to ride the car immediately and come back to me. Once I have you and Sulli by the end of the day, I promise you that I'll ask my men to remove the bomb hidden in your office building. See? I told you they're easy!!!"
Bring Sulli to the rooftop? He will abduct her? No way. Sulli's life is tied to GD! There's no way she'll let him have his hands on Sulli despite how much she despises her!
"Don't drag Sulli into this! You already have me as your hostage!", she protested.
"Ah ah ah. I need both of you", he shook his head dramatically and leaned back on the headboard, his arm still firmly linked with hers.
"Stop this Il Woo!", she furiously wiped her tears as the initial shock subsided.
"Hmmmm...You don't seem to be taking me seriously. Shall I show you what I'm capable of doing?", he stood up and grabbed her hand, dragging her towards the floor-to-ceiling window that is covered by blinds. He pushed a switch at the corner and the blinds automatically parted, revealing a view of the city. He pointed at a small building in a distance.
"Watch this Sandara Park!", he enthusiastically said and pulled what looks like a remote from his pocket.
Ignoring her protests, he glued his eyes on her and pushed a button on the tiny gadget. Dara screamed in fright as she witnessed a certain part of the building exploded and being engulfed in a big ball of flames. She covered in shock while shaking her head, too stunned to believe what she saw. It makes her shudder just thinking that her office building will face the same fate if she doesn't comply to his commands. Her officemates, her friends, Bom, Donghae, her team...they're all going to die if she fails.
"Oh my God...", her knees wobbled but Il Woo immediately stood behind her and caught her by the shoulders, urging her to look at what he's done.
"Guess what...some people are inside that building", he said.
Dara took a sharp intake of breath and her eyes grew wide with disbelief.
"M-Murderer", a small cry escaped .
"Don't forget your missions. And never tell anyone about this", he whispered on her ears.
Il woo smirked at her faint reflection on the floor-to-ceiling window. His hidden card, the Queen of Hearts - Sandara Park, will finally play his game.
"Your time is running out, Sandara Park", Il Woo inclined his head on the side while smiling at Dara who was sitting at the edge of the bed, fiddling with her fingers nervously. She tried to come up with something to be able to escape but her mind is blank. There is absolutely nothing she can do.
Il Woo pulled out two white envelopes from his backpocket and gave them to Doo Joon.
"What's inside those envelopes?", Dara asked.
"Hmmm...oh well. Here, take a look", his eyes were twinkling with excitement as he handed her the envelopes.
One is addressed to the Dragon Head and one is addressed to GD. Dara felt like vomitting as she read the messages inside. Her hands were trembling as she set the envelopes on her lap and looked at Il Woo.
"W-What's the meaning of this?", she asked.
"Sssshhh...you're my friend so I'll tell you a little secret", he merrily said and explained about the messages afterwards, pausing once in a while to wait for Dara to compliment his brilliant idea like a child craving for attention.
Dara massaged her head, trying to ease the throbbing pain. Il Woo is really sick. If she can't save herself, then she has to think a way of saving her officemates, Sulli and GD.
Doo Joon, the one who dressed as the new messenger and who brought Dara to Il Woo, was the one instructed to be Dara's shadow.
Dara was driven back to her office and Doo Joon will be following her around to make sure that she will not do anything unnecessary. He will also assist her in carrying out whatever her plan is to lure Sulli to the rooftop.
Upon reaching her office building, she noticed a number of unknown faces lurking at every corner which could possibly be Il Woo's men on the lookout. When Doo Joon and Dara arrived at her workfloor, she immediately locked herself inside the cubicle in the ladies' room while Doo Joon stood outside, still wearing the uniform of the company's messenger. She put down the toilet cover and sat there, trying to gather her thoughts. She didn't know why Il Woo is confident enough to let her go but she can definitely try to contact Jiyong and tell him about the situation. Even though Il Woo confiscated her phone and Doo Joon is guarding her, she can surely get a phone secretly and ...
"Start moving", Il Woo's voice filled her ears, making her jerk back in surprise. Her eyes grew wide as she peeked outside the cubicle, expecting to see him.
"Haven't you noticed it yet, Dara? Your new earrings?", he said.
Dara scrambled out and looked at her reflection in the mirror. There were new earrings on her ears and that's where she was hearing his voice!
"C-Can you also hear me?", she asked uncertainly.
"Of course. And I can also see everything you see since it has minicam in it. Don't remove the earrings, Sandara Park. My fingers might twitch and you'll end up toasted together with your officemates", he chuckled. Damn it, that's why he's confident to let her freely walk around! He can monitor her every move!
Her breathing became ragged and she leaned on the wall to steady herself. God, everything seems like an amusing game to him!
She checked her watch and gasped when she found out she has less than two hours to lure Sulli to the rooftop of their office building. How the hell will she achieve that?
Followed by Doo Joon, Dara hurriedly went inside her office and locked the door. She then sat behind her desk and blankly stared at her laptop. She jerked back in surprise when her office phone rang. Without thinking, she picked it up and answered it.
"Sandara Park. This is Nana of Yakuz-"
Doo Joon slammed the phone and pulled out the line. He silently set the phone aside and eyed her dangerously, "Don't speak to anyone"
She just nodded in fear.
"Tick, tock, tick, tock", Il Woo's voice interrupted her thoughts.
"I-Il Woo. I still have almost two hours left. I need to think of a way to get Sulli alone in the rooftop. It's not an easy task because she's heavily guarded so can you please give me some space to think", she reasoned.
"Fine. Just as long as you understand what you have to do"
Is this it? Will this be her end? She took quick calming breaths and rubbed her face with her palms. What will she do? She's a Project Leader, a geek...not a counterattack specialist! And those two white envelopes, oh my God!
Oddly, her mind drifted back to the happy moments she had with GD. Her eyes became misty as she recalled their bickerings, her embarrassing moments, his sweet gestures... Why must it all end like this?
She pulled her hair and tried to regain composure. She started to piece out the facts together and tried to formulate her deductions based on the information she has.
First, she needs to accomplish the three missions to prevent Il Woo from triggering the bomb in her office building.
Second, Il Woo's men shouldn't see any unnecessary movements within the building or else, they might report it to Il Woo and the bomb might be triggered.
Third, her actions are limited since Il Woo is watching her every move through the minicam in her earrings plus Doo Joon is guarding her as well.
Fourth, she had to do something about the messages in the envelopes. She has to save Sulli no matter what. Once she's in the hands of the Triads, there is no way that the Dragon Head will allow Jiyong to trade Sulli's life over her.
She rested her forehead on her desk and breathed through as she laid out her plans in her mind.
One thing is for sure...after she's assured that the bomb is not a threat anymore, that's her time to strike. But what can she do?
The Dragon Head's warning echoed in her head, "You are the greatest danger in Jiyong's life, Miss Park."
Her fists curled tightly. She has to do something.
She suddenly remembered the Product Demo wherein Krystal signed her to be the speaker but in the end, Donghae was the one who volunteered to do it. The Product Demo was about Signal Processing and she had reviewed the documents even though she didn't do the presentation. She also recalled the topics discussed in the Two-Day Seminar she attended with Donghae.
Her mind was in full speed as she tried to think of a way to use her knowledge to her advantage. The earrings that Il Woo gave her has signals which is transmitted to the receiver. And the bomb! Since Il Woo needs to trigger it remotely, there's a big chance that the bomb is also emitting some signals. But she only has less than two hours left. What kind of codes can she do within that timeframe? And how can she program while Il Woo is watching?
She needs to lie. She needs to make Il Woo believe that she's doing an entirely different thing.
"Il Woo, I need to prepare some codes to shut down the security cameras in the descendant's residence so that Sulli can slip out alone later", she informed him.
"No way! What if you send an email to someone!", he whined like a kid.
Dara swallowed the bile that is rising up and tried to play along, "I-I thought we're friends?"
"YES! We are!", he merrily replied. There's really something about his childish acts that makes her think he is psychologically challenged because of some childhood trauma.
"I won't send an email. Besides, you will see what I'm doing since you can see everything from the minicam. Come on, Il Woo. I need to help out Sulli escape his guards for her to be able to come alone"
"Fine. You know I'll be watching so don't even dare try to sneak an email", he warned her.
When Dara was about to login to her laptop, Doo Joon grabbed her wrist.
"What are you planning to do?", he asked but immediately lets her go when he heard Il Woo's instructions from his earpiece. He then pulled a chair and sat behind her, intently watching whatever she's going to do. Truth is, Dara has an archive of programs she could readily use to mess with security cameras so she really doesn't need to create a code for that. What she's aiming for is something that will ensure that Sulli and GD will survive.
Praying that neither of the two know anything about programming, Dara started typing in full speed. With the timeframe she has, she can only do three codes - one for the bomb, one for Sulli, and one for GD. Nothing for her since time does not permit her.
"Ouchhh!!", both Il Woo and Dara shouted as they both heard ear-shattering static noises. Dara immediately removed her right earring and talked to Il Woo using the left earring.
"What was that? Should I still wear this right earring?", she asked.
"The other one is fine but the right is.. OUCHHH! OUCH!!", Il Woo immediately turned off the right monitor in his headquarters since it's still producing static noises and blurry images.
Dara pocketed the right earring, her heart thumping wildly inside her chest. So far so good. She deliberately injected garbage (noises) in the signal of one of the earrings and it worked. The images and sound that the earring transmits is now blurred and Dara has successfully converted it into a tracking device by using the signal it transmits. She just hopes that Il Woo wouldn't think too much about why the right earring malfunctioned.
"Are you still there?", she asked.
"Yeah. Hmmm... That was weird... Sandara Park, you only have less than an hour left.", Il Woo reminded her. Dara stiffened. The program for Sulli, s.exe took most of her time as expected so she really cannot do another one.
Dara grabbed the LAN cable and connected it to her laptop. Even though she is connected to the office wi-fi, her laptop will need to connect to the internet through wired cable later once her plan kicks in.
"I need my phone to contact Sulli and Jiyong", she said to distract Il Woo and Doo Joon and triggered the program b.exe and g.exe simultaneously while the third program s.exe remained dormant. She then spun her swivel chair to face Doo Joon behind her. She looked past him and stared at her reflection on the floor-to-ceiling window, making sure that her face is devoid of emotions.
"But I just have one request regarding Sulli", she continued.
"What is it?", Il Woo curiously asked while Doo Joon eyed her quietly.
"Once she's in the rooftop, I want to personally duct tape her filthy mouth. I hate that girl", she firmly said, hoping that she sounded as y as she wants to be.
Il Woo's loud laugh resonated on her ears.
"Whoah! I didn't know you have that in you, Sandara Park! You never fail to amaze me! Do you want to cut her fingers? I'll let you do it!", he excitedly suggested. Dara's stomach almost flipped but she held herself together.
"No, that's too messy. I just want to see her scared face as I duct tape . That's enough for me."
"Okay. Doo Joon will hand you your phone but you have to put it on speaker"
Doo Joon pulled out her phone from his pocket and assembled it since he pulled out the battery and the sim to avoid phone tracking. He then handed it to her, "Don't try anything stupid, Sandara Park. I will snap your neck the moment I feel you're trying to relay a hidden message to them."
Without saying a word, Dara quickly dialed Sulli's number which she got from TOP last night and placed it on speaker. She checked the time and assumed that Sulli and Jiyong might have already arrived in Seoul, at the descendant's residence.
"Hello", Sulli answered the phone in just a few rings.
"Sulli, this is Dara. I need to see you alone. Make sure that Jiyong will not accompany you", Dara calmly said.
"What's this about?", she asked suspiciously.
Dara inhaled deeply before continuing, "I'm planning on leaving Jiyong but you know how he is. I know you want him for yourself, now is your chance but I need your help to be able to escape him. Meet me at my office around 6PM so we can talk. Come here alone"
Dara hopes that Sulli will take her bait. She knew that the girl will do everything to have GD.
"You finally came to your senses, huh? Alright, let's talk about this. I'll be there but I'm not sure how to leave the house without GD tagging along with me since he's downstairs"
"I'll call him now and tell him to meet me at his headquarters. You have to go downstairs while he's at the phone and tell him you're not feeling well so you won't be leaving the house for the rest of the night", Dara suggested.
"Hmm..okay, that will work", she replied.
"Make sure no one will know that you'll meet me or GD will know you helped me once I disappear from his life", Dara reminded her.
"There are a lot of guards around me, Dara. I won't be able to come alone"
"At exactly 5:30PM, the security control room will lose all visuals from the security cameras. It will just be a ten-minute intervention so make sure you get out of there unnoticed within that timeframe", Dara instructed.
The moment they hung up the phone, Dara called GD. When he answered, it took all her courage not to burst into tears upon hearing his voice.
"Jiyong, can we meet at your headquarters later? We need to talk", she asked and bit her trembling lips.
She heard his exasperated sigh on the other line.
"Are we going to fight about Sulli again?", he coldly asked. Her heart clenched at his irritated tone but she tried to understand him since their discussion didn't really end well last night.
Dara heard Sulli's voice in the background and GD spoke again, "Alright, I'll wait for you in the headquarters or do you want me to pick you up?"
"Just wait for me at your headquarters", she weakly said.
"Earlier, did Nana phone you? Did you slam the phone down?", he suddenly asked.
"Nana? Yes, she called me but I don't know who she is", she replied, utterly confused by the sudden change of subject.
"So you slammed the phone down? God, Dara! Be careful on what you do! She's the Yakuza princess! Do you want to start a war between the Triads and the Yakuza?", he sighed irritably and clicked his tongue.
She did wrong again. Everything seems to be her fault.
"You're being unreasonable and you know that", her voice was clipped, completely hurt by GD's accusing tone.
"Tch. I'll just see you later"
Dara clasped her hands tightly as a hollow feeling enveloped her. GD and her are still not in good terms...and she's about to risk her life for all of them.
Sulli cocked her eyebrows at Dara who was standing rigidly at the entrance of the office building.
"Let's not talk here. Follow me", Dara said and started walking towards the elevator. Sulli frowned but did what she was told. Something doesn't feel right with the whole situation.
They rode the elevator in silence and climbed the stairs to reach the rooftop. Dara's back was facing her when suddenly, someone grabbed Sulli from behind, tightly held her arms at her back and made her kneel on the ground. She screamed in surprise and tried to wiggle free.
"DARA! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?", she yelled.
Dara turned and faced her, pulling out a duct tape from her pocket while looking at Sulli with deadpan eyes.
"I'm doing what a mobster's woman should do, Sulli", she said and firmly taped Sulli's mouth shut. She whimpered in pain and fought but the guy holding her from behind is too strong. Doo Joon grabbed Sulli's phone from her pocket and threw it elsewhere. He then sprayed something on Sulli's face, making her lose consciousness.
"Time to go to G-Dragon!", Il Woo exclaimed. Dara casted one last look at Sulli just as two other men climbed on the rooftop and placed her in a box to inconspicuously get her in the delivery van waiting at the side of the street. Ki Kwang, who was dressed as a delivery boy, climbed on the driver's seat and started driving towards Sulli's drop off point.
Unknown to them, Dara has successfully planted the right earring on Sulli by placing it behind the duct tape when she taped . She just hopes that the program she ran with filename b.exe will finish soon since the program s.exe is dependent on it.
Doo Joon parked the car at the corner, away from the line of sight of anyone from the Deputy Mountain Master's headquarters. Dara was about to get out but he stopped her. He then dialed on his phone and barked orders.
After waiting for a few moments, more than ten identical black cars arrived and parked near them. They all have a girl passenger at the back seat with the same hair length as Dara and all the cars have the same plate number.
"Meet him at the ground floor and be sure that he won't read the messages while you're there. If he stops you and you don't get back here, boss will trigger the bomb.", Doo Joon instructed her after handing the two envelopes.
Dara nodded meekly and got out of the car. Her breathing became ragged as she started to walk towards GD's headquarters. Since Il Woo still seems excited and happy, she's betting that her program has not finished processing yet. Her chance of being rescued is becoming bleak. The two envelopes in her hand felt so heavy. Remembering the messages written inside them makes her stomach churn.
"Noona!", Seungri happily waved at her when he saw her outside of the gate. All of GD's men who are stationed downstairs politely bowed at her.
"Hi Seungri. Can you tell Jiyong that I'll be waiting for him at the receiving area at the ground floor", she said.
"Why don't you just go upstairs and meet him at his unit? You know the password to the elevator", he asked curiously.
"Uhm... W-We're kind of...awkward right now. Please, maknae. I'll just wait for him at the receiving area"
"Okay. I'll go fetch him. But are you alright, noona? You look pale", he asked.
"Yeah. I'm just tired"
Seungri nodded and went upstairs. Dara paced back and forth while waiting for them, clutching the two envelopes firmly.
When GD finally arrived, he looks furious and was talking hurriedly in the phone. Seungri and Daesung were behind him, exchanging worried glances.
"Did you ask Sulli to meet you alone in your office?", GD angrily asked. Oh no, he found out!'
"W-We just talked", Dara said.
"Give him the envelopes and get out of there", she heard Il Woo's voice but she remained rooted on her spot, under GD's furious glare.
"ALONE?! Damn it, Dara! How many times do I have to tell you that danger is always surrounding Sulli! You even messed with the security control room of the descendant's residence! What the fck were you thinking asking her to come out alone?!", he yelled at her, making Dara flinch.
"You're shouting again", she mumbled.
GD sighed exasperatedly and looked away, rubbing his face with his palm frustratedly. Dara inhaled deeply before she breaks down in front of him. She wanted to say a lot of things...savor what might be her last moment with Jiyong...but she's running out of time. She reached at her necklace and tugged it, pulling out GD's couple ring.
"Wear this Jiyong", her voice is barely above a whisper as she stretched her arm, the ring resting on her open palm.
"Are you fcking kidding? Do you think this is a good time? You're obviously not ready for me! You don't understand this...this whole thing!", GD made a hand gesture towards his men and his headquarters to accentuate his point.
"I do", Dara weakly said but GD closed her palm and pushed her hand away.
"Did you make sure that I will be here waiting for you so you can meet her alone? Did you want to talk to her because of us?", he asked. She remained silent and hung her head low.
"Sulli is missing, Dara. I know you don't want me to be always around her but I have to and you know why. Her life is tied to me. I didn't care about my life before...not until I found you. I was doing my best to guard her to protect my future with you but what the hell did you do?", he said in a tired voice.
"I'm sorry", Dara's eyes became misty at the overwhelming surge of emotions that overcame her. She can hear Il Woo's amused laugh through her earring but she ignored him.
"I have to go. I have to find her", Jiyong messed his hair in frustration.
"I'm really sorry, Jiyong...", she bridged the distance between them and was about to kiss his lips but GD looked away, her lips just grazing the corner of his mouth. She choked down a sob, deeply hurt by his cold gesture although she knows that he's mad at her for tricking him so that Sulli can meet her alone. And he also probably thought that she just wanted to talk to Sulli to lash at her. If he only knew...
"I love you... Can I please hear the same words from you now?", she whispered while trying to stop her tears from falling.
Jiyong frowened at her and sighed, "Let's just continue this later, Dara"
"Tick tock, Kaboom!", Il Woo's cheerful voice interrupted her thoughts.
"Okay. I-I'll just go back to my apartment and wait for you. I'll just ask one of your men to drive me back", she said.
Dara took one step backwards and drowned herself with the sight of his face. Just one last look. Will she see him again? Will this be their last moment together? Just the thought of not seeing him again suffocates her.
She then turned around and walked towards the coffee table, placed the two envelopes and GD's couple ring on top of them, and walked towards the door. GD called out her name while fetching the things that she left on the table. His forehead creased when he looked at the two envelopes addressed to him and to the Dragon Head.
He walked towards the door, intending to follow her, while opening the envelope addressed to the Dragon Head.
We have the descendant. Gather all the Triad Officials and await further instructions.
"Dara!", he called out again but she has already exited the gate. He hastened up his pace, hurriedly opening the second envelope addressed to him with furrowed eyebrows.
You are invited to Sandara Park's funeral.
Time and Place: wait for the call on your phone
His chest constricted upon reading the message and he quickly sprinted outside while shouting Dara's name. Funeral? This better be a fcking joke! He was just talking to her a while ago!
When he saw her getting inside the black car parked in a distance, his eyes widened in fear and a dreadful feeling gripped him.
NO...No...Don't do this...
"DARAAAAAAAAA!!!!!", he yelled and kept on running but the car immediately sped away.
This is why the Two-Day seminar with Donghae and Krystal's prank (Product Demo Presentation) are significant. Everything will connect one by one by one.
I intentionally made Jung Il Woo's character a bit of a psycho in preparation for this particular chapter. Just like the Hung Clan Descendant chapter, I've been itching to write this particular part where Dara will hand her own Funeral invitation to Jiyong. Way to go Jung Il Woo for creating a Funeral invitation! However...
Jung Il Woo is smart...
But Dara is smarter.
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