S02_E06: OverdueBlack Gold [discontinued]
Previously on Black Gold:
Jessica: Taeyeon?! Tae—are you okay? Yoona, she’s bleeding! Help!
Tiffany: Don’t you dare die on us, you hear me?! Taeyeon, keep your eyes open!
Hyoyeon: Y-you’re going to be okay though. We’re gonna get you outta here.
Jessica: D-don’t die. Please don’t die. I-I…I love you.
Jessica: St-stay with me. Taeyeon? Taeyeon?! Stay with me! Come on!
“Move!” Yoona shrieks as she pushes through the crowd of girls who are clustered at the first doorway that they arrive at. With arms that are starting to give out from carrying Taeyeon’s small, limp body from the car, Yoona uncharacteristically barks impatient demands at her friends. “Clear the table!”
Quick to obey, Tiffany sweeps scrolls and books from the work bench. “Here!” she yells out, helping her housemate lay the injured girl down. “What do you need?”
“Uh—m-maybe grind up a bezoar?? Maybe get some bicorn powder too?—oh! And grab standard bag!” Yoona says, having trouble remembering any proper formula for a healing elixir right now.
“I-I’ll get them!” Seohyun blurts out before she rushes to the cabinets along the walls of the potions classroom.
Yuri sighs as Seohyun and some of the other girls start rummaging and prepping ingredients while the rest of them stay rooted in their spots, numb from the shock of what’s happening—of what’s happened. “Yoona...” Yuri softly whispers, trying to slow the frantic girl down.
She goes ignored as the healer continues to bark demands at her peers, telling them to bring all sorts of medical ingredients to the table—which is absurd considering that Yoona’s switched from magical care to CPR.
The fox shakes her head and tries to reason with the girl once more. “Yoona, stop. She hasn’t been breathing for hours.”
In tears, the Hufflepuff witch keeps compressing Taeyeon’s chest, hell-bent on restoring the girl’s breathing and circulation.
“K-keep going!” Sooyoung tells the healer.
“You guys are idiots,” Yuri sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose and fighting back traces of tears.
“Just shut up!” Tiffany snaps at Yuri before stepping in to aid Yoona, who’s tiring out. “Let me take over,” she offers.
As Tiffany takes over preforming chest compressions, Yoona returns to using her wand and tries to conjure any form of white magic to fix the wolf-girl.
Sunny sobs before telling the girls, “Yuri’s right. Y-you guys should stop,” she says, worried that the compressions might break Taeyeon’s rib cage.
“N-no...no! Jessica suddenly blurts out. “We have to keep trying. W-what can I do? Yoona, are there any potions that you need help with? Is there anything I can—?”
“She’s been gone for hours already,” Yuri reminds her roommate.
“Shut up! W-we have to try, Yul,” Jessica whimpers from beside her roommate. “We have to do s-something.”
The fox frowns. “Sica…she’s dead.”
Yuri yelps when Jessica punches her in the arm. “Shut up, just shut up! Have some tact, will you?! She’s a freaking werewolf! Maybe s-she’ll heal herself! She’s going to be fine. Just give her a moment!”
“Sica, stop!” the fox gently says, using her own strength to overpower the girl’s flailing arms. “Stop. I’m sorry, okay! I’m sorry, but...just stop.”
Angry, Jessica pushes Yuri away and whirls around, accidentally bumping into the girl beside her. “S-sorry,” Jessica cries between breaths.
“It’s okay,” Hyoyeon plainly replies, drawing the brunette into an embrace. Even though she’s crying too, Hyoyeon takes the time to rub Jessica’s back to help soothe the girl’s sobbing. She makes sure to give a crossed glare to the fox though.
“I hope you remember that she saved your life! You owe it to her to try too!”
Surprised by the moisture on her cheeks, Yuri wipes away her own tears with the back of her hand. Hyoyeon’s right. Despite their differences, Taeyeon’s never left her for dead, even though the wolf-girl had all reason to for the way the fox has treated her in the past. Sniffing, Yuri continues to watch Tiffany and Yoona exhaust themselves over the small girl’s corpse.
She frowns when she knows that they must be so utterly physical and mentally exhausted with the past twenty-four hours where they’ve gone without sleep and food. And even with her super human enhancements, Yuri’s dead tired too, and she’s mesmerized by the way that the girls find enough strength and determination to continue trying to revive their friend. It’s…beautiful.
However, the fox thinks it’s depressing that they can’t smell death the way that she can. Taeyeon’s gone. Her body’s reeked of death for hours already. She wonders if they would have done the same for her though. If she was the one who had fallen in battle, would they have risked themselves to carry her body away from those chimeras while raising barricades to protect her vulnerable body? Would they have risked dragging her unconscious body around? If it were Yuri, would they…still be trying so hard to revive a trickster spirit?
Yuri gulps as tears freely spill down her face. She doesn’t understand why she’s crying. Something about watching these humans exhaust every last option for their friend warms the fox. It makes her sad when she thinks that Taeyeon would’ve done everything she could for the fox if their positions were reversed.
“What can I do?” Yuri helplessly whispers to herself. “What can I….?”
She her head to the side, curious about an idea. Even though she’s stuck in a potions classroom with seven sobbing girls, Yuri tries to drown out the commotion as she closes her eyes to think.
“Thirteen, fourteen, f-fifteen,” Tiffany finishes counting before bringing down to exhale into Taeyeon’s, inflating her lungs.
“Unnie, come on!” Yoona screams in frustration as she tries to steady her shaking hands that are attempting to conjure white magic. Her wand just keeps on trembling though. “Come on,” she whimpers to herself, hating what the fatigue and cold has done to her body.
“Move,” Yuri suddenly growls, pulling the healer from her work.
“What’re you doing?!” Yoona screeches.
“There’s nothing you humans can do to help her. You too,” she tells Tiffany, plucking her hands off of Taeyeon’s chest before pushing her friend away. Quick to work, Yuri hovers her own palm over the wolf-girl and prays—deeply prays—that this will work.
“What the ?!” Tiffany screeches as she topples back into Sooyoung.
“Get out of the way!” Yoona lashes out, trying to push past the fox, only to be stopped by her inhuman strength.
“Yuri, we’re fighting the clock right now!” Sooyoung screams from across the table. “Just let them—”
In a blazing white flash, the other witches are blown back by the fox cloak that suddenly bursts from Yuri’s body. The swirls of warm, pearl-tinted energy shroud her figure in centuries of powers and her eyes burn their natural ferocious crimson.
It takes a beat for Yoona to shake the shock from hitting the ground, but the blinding light and swirling, hot air force her attention to the source. “Y-yuri?”
“Oh my god,” Tiffany whispers, jaw dropped and eyes wide with awe at the sight of her friend’s spiritual self. “Yuri, what’re you doing?!”
When the gumiho’s fan of tails reveal themselves in a flash of bright smoke, Yuri closes her ruby eyes and in a sharp breath before exhaling slowly. She takes a few seconds to pray to any entities that are willing to listen to her before she summons the courage to gamble on her instincts.
“…Come home, please.”
Yuri lifts her arm, holds her breath, and brings her bladed-hand down to sever her ninth tail.
Guest Artist: Noir0023 [Twitter] [AFF]
And to truly appreiciate this gorgeous lineart [x]
Tiffany tries, she really tries to stay awake, but she can’t help from constantly nodding off. She tries to sit herself upright and even remove the blanket from her lap to keep herself cold and more attentive, but she’s worried that the fatigue and stress might finally be winning.
She looks across the bed that’s separating herself and Jessica, and she notices that that other girl looks like she’s passed out in an uncomfortable sitting position. Poor thing must be tired as hell to fall asleep in a chair that’s this uncomfortable, but Tiffany can sympathize when she’s sure she could fall asleep on a pile of rocks right now.
“Awww, come on you big baby, stay awake, stay awake,” Tiffany murmurs to herself. “You already slept for an hour. Stay awake. Just staaaaaaaaay awake.”
“Okay,” Tiffany replies. Her reaction is incredibly delayed, but after a few seconds pass, Tiffany jolts up in her seat when she realizes Taeyeon’s actually spoken. “O-oh my god,” she softly gasps.
“…I-I…I’m awake?” Taeyeon tells Tiffany when all she seems to remember is every single girl constantly screaming in her face to stay awake. “I’m awake,” she croaks weakly again.
“Yes you are,” Tiffany whispers through a teary smile. For a moment she contemplates about reaching over to shake Jessica awake, but decides not to bother her exhausted friend. So Tiffany just tries to keep her voice to a whisper. “Welcome back,” she says as she leans over and gently Taeyeon’s black hair. “Do you want some water?” The wolf-girl weakly nods and Tiffany helps prop the girl up before retrieving a glass of water with a straw in it. “Easy, easy,” Tiffany warns her as Taeyeon rapidly gulps down mouthful after mouthful. “You’re going to puke if you drink too much.”
Taeyeon hisses when she can’t hold up her own weight on her elbow, so she abandons the straw and lies back down in bed.
Taeyeon’s eyes fly wide open once she realizes she’s lying on a mattress. In fact, she’s staring up a ceiling. “Wh-where…?”
“We’re home,” Tiffany whispers.
“Yeah,” Tiffany says with a thin smile.
It’s not only Tiffany’s unusually soft voice that’s worrying Taeyeon, but she can also easily see some sort of sadness and anxiety in her friend’s smile. “…What’s wrong?”
Tiffany sighs before telling her, “It’s…empty.”
“Nobody’s here, Tae. The place was completely abandoned when we got here.”
“…Th-they…they left us?” Taeyeon squeaks.
“Yeah,” Tiffany tells her sadly. “We found a mandatory evacuation notice in the Headmistresses office. It was the council’s orders to get all the kids out of here and off the island. They know what’s happening.”
“…They left us,” Taeyeon numbly repeats.
Seeing the worry and sadness all at once in Taeyeon’s big expressive eyes, Tiffany reaches out to pat the girl’s head and tries to calm her. “You know what? We’re safe now. That’s what’s important.”
“...How...how did you guys...?” Taeyeon weakly asks, still struggling to find her voice.
“How did we...get away?”
The wolf-girl nods.
“Jessica built a wall out of…dirt—or something,” Tiffany softly laughs when she can barely even remember what the alchemist has done in the chaos of that fight. “We were barricaded, so we punched back through fence. We went all the way back to that shed and…that hatch in the floor tunneled into an underground facility.”
Taeyeon furrows her eyebrows. “…What?”
“It was like…a bunker. We didn’t stay long enough to search every nook and cranny, but I think we know where all those chimeras were being made.”
Taeyeon feels nauseous. “…I don’t underst…what?” she mumbles.
“You know what? It’s a long story. You should rest,” Tiffany whispers. “We’ll tell you everything we know after you’ve recovered a bit more, okay?”
The more she stares at Tiffany’s exhausted face, the worse Taeyeon suddenly feel. “...Are you tired too, Fany?”
Tiffany doesn’t know why she starts to tear up. “Yeah…I am,” she sniffs.
“Okay. We’ll...talk later then?”
“Yeah. Wake one of us if you needs anything, okay?”
Yuri contemplates about returning to the Slytherin dorms to go to her room to retrieve some of her own clothes, but the last thing she wants to run the risk of is encountering another chimera that may have wandered into the academy. At least they’ve swept the Ravenclaw dorm and cleared it for safety. Besides, after sleeping on the ground for the past two-ish weeks, Yuri certainly isn’t complaining about the mattress that she’s now melting into.
She had deliberated between showering and sleeping, but now that’s laid down, it’s hard to find any motivation to get back up. But when she hears soft footsteps coming down the hall, which suddenly stop outside her room, Yuri open her eyes and props herself up on her elbows. She finds Yoona peeking in through the half-opened sliding door.
“There you are,” Yoona says, wandering into the bedroom. “I was looking for you.”
Panicked, Yuri jolts upright into a sitting position. “Is something wrong? D-did it not work?!”
The other girl holds out her hands once she realizes why the fox is so worried. “I-I don’t know! Nothing’s changed yet. Last I checked, she was still out.”
“…But she’s still breathing, right?”
“Yeah,” Yoona confirms, nodding and smiling. “Taeyeon-unnie’s still breathing.”
“Good…that’s good. Are Sica and Fany are still with her?”
“Yeah they are. But I, um, I just wanted to come check on you. Are you feeling okay? That wasn’t…normal thing for a gumiho to do, was it?”
Yuri shifts around on the bed to cross her legs under her body before shrugging. “I’m not sure. I’ve never done that before…but I feel fine?”
“Okay,” Yoona says with a nod. “You let me know if you feel weird though. Maybe I can make you an elixir. I made one for Hyoyeon earlier. She said her body was in a lot of pain from all that running and fighting.”
Once the fox realizes that the healer has been running around, nursing al