S02_E08: Deep EndBlack Gold [discontinued]
Previously on Black Gold:
Taeyeon: I-I didn’t say anything—I didn’t tell Fany anything!
Taeyeon’s mother: You just…you don’t understand, honey. This has to work. A-and no one can know, okay? No one can know, no one can know…
Taeyeon …You really think it’s possible that they were treating me and not experimenting on me?
Tiffany: I hope so. I just…I can’t imagine them hurting you.
Tiffany: What’s wrong? Did you find something?
Seohyun: Since we found the evacuation notice in the headmistresses’ office, I went back there to see if I could find anything else…and I think the Headmistress Li left her documents about Taeyeon here.
Seohyun: I…I-I don’t think Taeyeon-unnie really knows what her parents were doing. I don’t think she really knows who they are.
“, , ! Is this for real?!” Tiffany shrieks in a harsh whisper as she finishes reading the papers in hand, again. “Tell me my reading comprehension is !”
Seohyun sadly shakes her head, upset that there’s no way to settle the older girl’s hysteria. “Taeyeon’s parents are...researchers,” she confirms.
“Researchers,” Sooyoung scoffs before she sets down some papers. “They’re spies. They’re helping North Korea make biological weapons in the wizarding world! They’re going to expose us!”
“Keep your voice down!” Tiffany hisses before double checking that their shared room door is closed and locked.
“They’re spies,” Sooyoung dramatically repeats, this time, only punctuated with wide eyes and a whispered voice.
“I don’t believe it,” Tiffany whispers back. “This is crazy!”
“W-we should tell Taeyeon about all this,” Sooyoung suggests.
Tiffany fervently shakes her head, horrified at the thought of telling her friend about this. “No, no, no.”
“Wouldn’t you want to know if your parents were threatening to expose the wizarding world? Oh yeah, and don’t forget that they might be arming one of the most volatile countries in the world!”
“Oh my God. This is going to kill her, you know that, right? I’ve been telling her for weeks that the headmistress and Professor Choi might’ve been wrong about her parents, but now we drop this on her?!”
“Unnie, we have to show her all of this.”
“Hasn’t she been through enough?” Tiffany snaps. “She’s be experimented on, abandoned, alienated—and don’t forget that she freakin’ died!”
“And you think withholding information is going to do any good? We’re her friends,” Sooyoung tries to reason. “I know you must have good memories of her parents too, but you and I both know that Taeyeon deserves to know everything.”
“Wait, just wait!” Tiffany presses her fingertips against her brows and temples, trying to massage the ache that’s beginning to form inside of her head. When she finally exhales and looks back at the other two witches, she suggests, “Not tonight. L-let’s just sleep on this, go over the files again tomorrow morning, and make sure we’re not telling her a bunch of bogus information.”
Seohyun purses her lips as she deliberates her own opinions as well. “Maybe Tiffany-unnie is right. We should make sure we’re not getting our facts wrong before we tell Taeyeon-unnie.”
“Fine,” Sooyoung caves. “But if this pisses her off though, I’m not going to be held responsible.”
“Okay so...everyone just sleep on this for now!” Tiffany declares. “We’ll talk to her tomorrow.”
“How long have you guys been holding onto this?” Hyoyeon snaps as she lowers the papers.
Seohyun frowns as she looks between Tiffany and Sooyoung. “About…a week.”
“Look, we were gonna tell you sooner, b-but there are notebooks and like a stack of folders, and each one is packed to the brim,” Tiffany defensively claims.
The blonde witch sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. “Oh god, okay...okay, s-so you guys read everything, right?” Hyoyeon asks, sinking herself into the corner of her soft bed.
Hyoyeon frowns as she looks over the old photographs again. As she tries to search for familiar faces in the classroom of children, dressed in pressed white shirts and iconic red scarves, she finds it nearly impossible to recognize anyone in the grainy, old photo—especially with children at this age with such soft features. It’s no doubt that she’s staring a picture of children from North Korea, but her mind finds it difficult to bridge the evidence to her old pediatrician. “And...you guys really think her parents are spies?” she asks once more, still wholly unconvinced of the scandal.
“Yeah, but instead of infiltrating a normal country, they’ve targeted the wizarding world. The regime knows about us…and they’re getting these crazy chimeras out of it!”
“Actually, I think they’re trying to make naguals,” Sooyoung corrects.
“What’re naguals?” Hyoyeon asks.
“Basically a type of shapeshifters. Naguals can freely shift in and out of their creature and human form, unlike werewolves who are bound to the full moon.”
“Oh Jesus,” Hyoyeon groans as she clutches her temples, trying to help ease the information overload. “You guys are talking about my pediatrician! You think my pediatrician had experimented on her daughter in order to turn her into a biological weapon for…North Korea? Do you guys even hear yourself right now?”
“Don’t you think we know it sounds ridiculous?!” Tiffany snaps. “Why do you think we spent so long combing over every word in these piles of papers before we told someone?”
Hyoyeon scoffs as she leans her head against the wall. “Why turn Taeyeon into a werewolf though?”
“Because werewolves are shapeshifters to begin with,” Sooyoung explains. “If you remove the way that they’re bound to the full moon—seriously, just imagine the ability to freely shift between the two forms. That would make—”
“Something extraordinary that can hide in plain sight,” Tiffany finishes.
“Exactly,” Sooyoung says. “Taeyeon’s not controlled by the full moon,” she says, folding a finger, “is super enhanced, even in her human form,” she folds another finger, “and can perform high-level spells without equipment. Taeyeon’s pretty much a limitless weapon!”
“Our Taeyeon...a human weapon?” Hyoyeon laughs in disbelief when she thinks of the quiet girl. She glances down at another stack of papers in her other hand and tries to decipher the complicated alchemy notes. Even if she doesn’t understand most of a jargon, she can still see the scribbles and diagrams of gene sequences. “So you think they’re trying to make naguals, but they keep ing up and keep making chimeras instead?”
Sooyoung nods. “Yeah. My hypothesis could be wrong, but I think Taeyeon mentioned it before. Maybe it did used to just be a handful of werewolf-chimeras, but those ones are also capable of biting and reproducing their numbers that way. That’s why there’s so many of them out there. Maybe some of those chimeras could have even been fused with multiple creature genes—”
“No, no, no,” Tiffany suddenly mumbles into her hands as she rolls her head back again the chair’s headrest. “This all makes sense,” she groans into her hands.
“What does?” Hyoyeon asks.
“All those trips to Africa! I always thought it was so cool that Tae was going on ‘exotic’ trips as a kid, but it makes sense why her parents were going there.”
“Oh god, you’re right,” Sooyoung gasps.
“Am I...missing something?” Hyoyeon asks.
“African wizards and witches are famous for alchemy and transfiguration. I heard that the students from Uagadou are practically all animagi. And those are just the teenagers, so imagine what other kinds of self-tranation that they’d be capable of as adults.”
“I remember there was a lot controversy with students capable of tranation like that,” Seohyun adds. “There were quite a few complaints lodged with the International Confederation of Wizards, if I’m remembering right.”
“So, you think that Taeyeon’s parents were...?”
“I think her parents were getting help,” Sooyoung declares. “African witches are super skilled with going wandless and teaching self-tranation at such a young age. I think they probably have tons of practices that aren’t known on an international scale too.”
“Like fusing mythical creature DNA to a witch or wizard,” Seohyun mutters. “What if Taeyeon-unnie’s parents aren’t the only ones involved with the regime? What if there are other witches and wizards?”
Hyoyeon sighs before throwing the stack of papers to the foot of her bed. “So…why are you guys telling me all of this? Shouldn’t we be talking to Taeng about this?”
Seohyun sags in her seat, looking horribly sad as she asks, “Unnie…we just…wanted to see if you think that we could be wrong about all this.”
Hyoyeon doesn’t even have to look at the younger girl to feel the same gloom filling her up her own insides. “I think…you guys found some really important things that we should probably show her.”
“W-we should…go find Taeyeon,” Sooyoung sighs, hating this weight that they’ve been carrying for days now.
“A-actually,” the blonde witch suddenly stutters. “Can we tell her…a bit later? I kind of want to run this stuff by Sunny and Yoona too. They were always smarter than me in school. Maybe they’ll get this stuff better than me.”
Sooyoung’s sure that Tiffany and Hyoyeon are stalling to save their own hearts from hurting a friend. So the tall witch does her best to remind Hyoyeon, “You do remember how upset Taeyeon was when you guys lied to her, right? Even if you did have the best intentions in mind, she was still mad as hell.”
Hyoyeon frowns as she remembers the wolf-girl’s outburst in the forest after she had learned the truth about assaulting Tiffany. “I know but...please...just let her be happy for now. I haven’t seen her like this...ever.” No matter how many times Hyoyeon has made fun of Taeyeon with gagging sounds over the wolf-girl’s grossly sweet crush on the Mahoutokoro student, Hyoyeon’s witnessed the girl in far worse circumstances, for years. “She’s been through a lot. Just let her be happy for a bit.”
Defeated once again, Sooyoung simply sighs, “Fine,” before turning to leave the Gryffindor girl’s room.
Quickly following after her housemate, Seohyun can’t help but you protest quietly. “Unnie,” she whispers, hoping that the older girl will speak on both of their behalves, “I don’t want to keep hiding all this.”
“Just,” Sooyoung sighs, “just let them wait, okay? They knew her parents too, so…just give them some time too.”
“Does everything look okay?” Taeyeon nervously asks, trying not to move as Yoona’s glowing palms continue to hover over her temples.
The healer keeps her milky eyes open as she sweeps the werewolf’s mind once more. She tries not to go searching for any private memories, but it’s hard not to take sneaking glimpses after the bombshell that Hyoyeon had dropped on her the other day. She knows that it’s the older girls’ job to inform the wolf-girl of their findings, but Yoona’s not sure how many more days she can go pretending like something isn’t wrong. Still, she tries her best.
“Nothing seems abnormal. I think everything looks good.” Yoona blinks, returning her milky eyes back into dark umber. Hastily pulling herself away so that she doesn’t go looking for memories of the wolf-girl’s parents, it takes Yoona a moment to collect herself when she finds herself outside of Taeyeon’s mind all of a sudden. “So, I removed that memory barrier that the Headmistress had put in. I know you might be remembering two versions since you’ve seen Tiffany’s memory too, but can you recall that day?”
Furrowing her brows, Taeyeon’s eyes naturally move to the corner of her eyes, as if she were physically searching for the images. “It’s…foggy, but yeah. I can remember it,” she says with a frown, seeing the images of a young Tiffany storming forward to slap her.
“The memory might be distorted from your werewolf side too,” Yoona explains. “It was a legit rage blackout, so if you don’t remember everything, it’s not because of magic, I promise.”
Taeyeon nods. “And everything else seems okay? Nothing weird and…dead-like?”
Yoona chuckles before she assures the older girl, “Your mind looks perfect. Whatever Yuri did, it really was magic.”
“I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but…thank god for Yuri.”
Yoona laughs along with the other girl when she too can’t believe how much the gumiho has grown on her over the past few weeks. “Okay, unnie, now that you mind looks good, let me check on how you wound’s healing.”
“I already told you, it’s healed! You don’t have to worry. It’s been over two weeks! It’s healed!”
“Come on, unnie. Lift up your shirt…unless you want me to go ask Sica-unnie to do it for you.”
Cheeks going pink at the thought, Taeyeon obediently peels her shirt up and reclines her body a bit into the chair once more.
Yoona giggles at the displeased look on the older girl’s face, but spares teasing her further. Leaning forward, the healer can’t believe the condition of the girl’s milky white skin. “It’s incredible. There’s barely any trace of any scarring. There’s a bit here though, just let me try something.”
With fingertips pressed beneath her ribs and gently trailing to her side, Taeyeon can’t help the smile that suddenly splits open. “Yah! That tickles!” she gasps, trying not to squirm too much.
“Unnie, just hold still!” Yoona giggles. “You don’t want to see teeth marks on your stomach, do you?”
Trying to do as instructed, she tries to lie still by focusing on the warmth of Yoona’s white magic, seeping into her skin. “You’re always taking care of everyone else,” Taeyeon mutters. “Someone should be taking care of you too.”
Yoona laughs. “What’re you talking about? You guys were literally fighting for me. I’m just glad that I can be useful like this.”
“No, I mean like…you’ve always been taking care of me.”
The taller girl sighs. “I wish I took more offense spell classes. When we were out there in the forest,