Irene didn’t expect to get hurt this much. Miss Hwang’s merciless.
“Too slow, Joohyun. Remember what I told you,” Miss Hwang says. She doesn’t have her bow or arrow out; just her legs and fists as a weapon. She stands in a threatening fighting stance that Irene is very much afraid of.
“Think about how fast your opponent’s movements are, and act quickly before they can strike. Be aware, fighting takes up both mental and physical strength,”
Miss Hwang moves quick.
The next thing Irene sees is Miss Hwang’s foot coming straight for her face. Irene frantically moves back to dodge, but a fist also comes for her face.
And this time it hits.
Irene grunts at the contact and stumbles back, but she doesn’t fall. Placing her hand against her cheek, she spits out blood from . She wouldn’t have expected anything less from Miss Hwang.
To think that Wendy has put up with pain far worse than this her whole life; she finds it crazy.
“You can’t expect the enemy to stop attacking after you’ve dodged merely one hit.” Miss Hwang sighs, but then she smiles. “Alright, well, I think today’s session is over.”
She walks towards a tired Irene with bruised cheeks and a frown. “I’m not healing you because I need the pain you’re experiencing right now to be engrained inside of you.”
Irene groans and rubs her cheek. It doesn’t feel like she’s making any progress and it’s the third day since her first training.
But for what is she training? Perhaps to control her involuntary desire to get rid of Wendy? These are her thoughts. There is also something that has been itching at her for a while.
“Say, if I’m a Wisp, doesn’t that mean my parents are Wisps?” Irene asks and follows Miss Hwang as she walks back.
“Well, yes, but I didn’t feel anything from your parents, which is odd. Your parents must not be your biological parents. That would make the most sense,” Miss Hwang replies. Irene sighs nonchalantly, and this surprises Miss Hwang.
“You don’t seem surprised, Joohyun.”
“Well, my parents can’t be Wisps, they’ve always been normal parents. It could be that they adopted me because I had the same last name as them. At the end of the day, they’re still my parents. Me being adopted doesn’t change that.”
Miss Hwang stays silent for a second, but then she smiles. “I guess you’re right.”
She doesn’t hear what Irene’s next words are. Who could Irene’s biological parents be?
If they are Wisps, where were they in Irene’s time? She shrugs it off.
That issue will have to wait until everything in this time gets resolved.
“They’re back,” Seulgi says and Wendy looks up, immediately smiling when she sees Irene and Miss Hwang. She walks towards them, leaving Seulgi to heal herself from training.
“You didn’t have to go that hard on her,” Wendy states and rubs Irene’s cheek. Miss Hwang shrugs and heads back inside.
“It’s training after all.”
Seulgi gets up and stretches her arms, cracks being heard from her bones.
“Let’s eat. It’s been a long day and it’s night out.”
“She kicked me first when I didn’t react fast enough! And then you know what she did?” Irene, who is healed up, clenches her fist. “She kneed me in the stomach and she laughed.”
Wendy and Seulgi laugh at Irene’s summaries of her day. Miss Hwang threatens to make the training even harder, shutting Irene right up as she grumbles with food in .
It truly is a meager meal; baked potatoes, rice, and just a small amount of roasted meat. Nonetheless, they find comfort and satisfaction in each other’s presence. They find warmth in this small home.
“I’ll give you one more day of physical training before mental training. Summoning your particles is key to forming your weapon and healing yourself,” says Miss Hwang.
A question appears in Irene’s mind as she swallows her food. “Wendy can summon her particles, so why can’t she heal herself?”
Irene gets an implication that Wendy is more powerful than what she has shown in her previous fights.
“Her particles are weak for now and the least they can do is form her weapon. I don’t know what happened to weaken her this much. Han’s soldiers, perhaps, but humans couldn’t have done that much damage,” Miss Hwang explains and holds the cup up to her lips, but pauses to look at Wendy for an answer.
Wendy sets her chopsticks down and huffs, trying to remember the events. “Wisps work for him. I was caught off guard and couldn’t take on both species because my healing took too long. After fighting with deep wounds, I was transported into another time. Who sent me to Joohyun’s time, I do not know.”
Irene is incredibly bewildered as to why Wisps would work for a human and who transported Wendy. Whoever did must’ve sought to protect her.
“When Wisps are very weak, they can’t heal themselves anymore because their particles and other internal bodily functions are too busy trying to repair themselves.” Wendy explains.
Seulgi nods in agreement with this. “That’s why Wisps should heal themselves as soon as they get cut severely, and buy time for themselves. The particles are like their internal doctors. If their enemy is too strong, then it’s over for them unless they’re powerful enough to heal themselves quickly.”
Irene’s eyes are wide in curiosity. There’s not a dull thing about being a Wisp. Everything seems like an open door to adventure and thrill. It’s all fascinating to her, and finding out she belongs to this excites her.
But does she really want this life?
Irene groans when she feels Seulgi’s legs and arms on her body. Her snoring makes it insufferable to sleep as well.
“Damn it. No one can sleep like this,” Irene silently grumbles.
“I could ask you the same thing. Seriously, why’d we all have to sleep in the same room tonight?” Irene asks and then chuckles at the heavily breathing Miss Hwang, who has her limbs sprawled over Wendy.
“I don’t know, but I kind of like that we’re all in here together,” Wendy answers. The two stare at each other for a few seconds.
“How powerful are you, Wendy?” Irene asks. Wendy’s round eyes blink and she lets out a heavy breath.
“I don’t know, not powerful enough.”
Irene’s eyelids are droopy, but she forces herself to stay awake, wanting to talk to Wendy more. She still can’t stop thinking about the kiss they shared and how intimate it was.
“Hey, what do you say we go outside?”
Wendy shrugs Miss Hwang’s arm off.
“That’s what I was gonna suggest.”
The night is quiet, with the moon shining and leaves rustling due to the wind. Wendy’s head rests on Irene’s shoulder. They sit on the front deck, staring into the darkness of the forest.
“If you’re half of a Wisp, doesn’t that give you a disadvantage?”
Wendy sits up. Her silver irises are rippling again, a constant reminder that she is only half. She looks at the moon.
Irene faces the other girl, who stares back.
“When this is all over, we should go back and go to an amusement park,” Irene says and Wendy tilts her head.
“Amusement park? A park for amusement?”
Irene laughs and slowly nods her head. “Well, something like that,” she answers with a smile. “Then we could eat ice cream, watch tv, maybe have Sooyoung and Yeri and Seulgi sleep over.”
Wendy smiles, imagining endless possibilities if she gets to be with Irene in the end. She shakes off any doubt and decides to just live in the moment here with the girl next to her.
“That would be nice, wouldn’t it?”
Irene nods. “I mean, you--.” she stops her sentence when Wendy puts up a finger against her lips.
Wendy looks around, suddenly cautious. She slowly gets up and holds on to Irene’s hand. Irene is bewildered, but she knows what this means.
“Someone’s here,” Wendy whispers.
“Damn right someone’s here,” a voice comes from the left, but before they can react, something crashes into the deck.
Seungwan grunts and jumps back along with Irene. Blue particles rapidly appear and Wendy lunges forward with her sword in hand.
She raises her sword. In no time, there is an explosion of blue and green particles.
“So you’ve returned.”
Aera smiles and stares at Wendy in between the swords.
“I’ve returned for your death, yes.”
Wendy exerts more pressure against Aera’s sword. They both jump back with another spark of blue and green.
Irene’s eyes flit up when the two take their fight on the roof. The doors suddenly slide open, revealing Seulgi’s frantic orange eyes.
“Is it that Aera again?” Seulgi questions, to which Irene nods out of fear.
“And here I thought I would get some peaceful sleep. It seems a rat has appeared in our midst.” Miss Hwang yawns, her bow already formulated. “I’m going back inside.”
Irene and Seulgi stare at each other in disbelief, clueless as to what Miss Hwang is planning to do.
Wendy holds her own against Aera’s monstrous strength.
Damn, Wendy thinks with each clash. Aera suddenly looks down and jumps far back almost to the edge of the roof.
An arrow comes flying up from where she was previously. Miss Hwang appears out of the hole her arrow created with a faint smile.
“You destroyed my deck, ,” Miss Hwang says, but amusement is still shown on her face.
“You destroyed your own roof.” Aera’s green eyes glisten. Her green particles rearrange themselves to form a familiar bow.
There is a dramatic pause, before Miss Hwang shoots the first initiating arrow to start the fight.
From down below, Seulgi knows exactly what her role is; to protect Irene should other Wisps appear.
Seulgi feels a sharp feeling travelling inside of her, and it’s just what she expected. Three Wisps appear rushing out of the forest; purple, amber, and blue eyes threatening to kill.
Seulgi looks around, realizing she can’t fight in this small closed off space. Arrows and swords are fighting up above, so from down here, she also will have to draw her sword.
“Damn!” She quickly takes Irene’s hand and runs, away from the battle on the roof.
They only get far enough to get to a slightly open area. Seulgi’s golden particles get to work. She stands in a protective stance with Irene behind her.
Seulgi blocks off the purple arrow coming straight for them with her sword.
“Great. Fighting against arrows and swords. Just what I needed,” Seulgi says sarcastically and spits. “You stay here Irene. I won’t let any of one them slip past me.”
Irene watches when Seulgi runs off, soon clashing with the three other enemies. She feels useless, just standing here, watching her determined friend fight so desperately, switching between enemies vigorously without having enough time to even take a breath.
There are sparks of different colors throughout; Irene is seeing a lot of Seulgi’s golden particles.
Seulgi comes stumbling back with blood dripping from almost every part of her body; it’s truly a miracle to Irene that the former is still alive.
“Seulgi, stop fighting. At this rate, you’ll-,” Irene stops her sentence when the area around them lights up with golden flecks.
“Shut up Irene. We dragged you into this mess, and we’re gonna protect you from this mess. As I am from another world, there’ll come a day when we’ll have to part ways.”
Seulgi turns her head just enough to show Irene her childish smirk. “I won’t let you die.”
Irene, after looking at the smile Seulgi had on her face before entering battle again, can only look down at the ground. She grits her teeth in anger; not at anyone else but herself.
Damn. I’m so useless.
She’s away from Wendy, meaning Wendy is completely vulnerable to injuries she cannot heal herself. Still, Irene knows Wendy is fighting even if she does have the disadvantage.
She thought all she had to do was get Wendy back home. And now that that’s accomplished, what is she still doing here?
Irene wonders herself. She’s helped Wendy come back, so why? Why didn’t she just leave? She also wonders why Seulgi also remains here, fighting, getting cut down minute by minute without time to heal.
Damn damn damn damn damn! Irene curses, and her fists clench up. She looks up one more time at Seulgi’s blood being splattered all over the grass and mud.
Irene isn’t sure of what her brain is telling her to do, but it is as if her body is moving on its own accord.
Pink particles peel themselves from her skin. Th