Her Mother

Was Seungwan, Is Wendy
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After going back inside to their room, Wendy and Irene lay on the floor bed staring at the blue particles floating peacefully above.

Irene holds Wendy’s hand and continues to stare; the particles tempt her to sleep.

Wendy is on the verge of falling asleep after some moments of silence, but the other girl speaks up after thinking; thinking about what is in store for them.

“Seungwan.”

“Mm?”

Irene turns towards the other girl.

“Aren’t we making it harder for ourselves?”

“You’ve been calling me Seungwan more,” Wendy says. Irene assumes this is Wendy’s way of saying she doesn’t want to talk about the unfortunate things that might occur and smiles back.

“Yeah. Now that I think about it, I kind of like it. I think I’ll name my first born that.”

Wendy raises an eyebrow.

“Yeah?”

“Mhm.”

“Will it be our child?”

Everything is silent for a moment. Irene never thought about the future that could be possible if both of them chose to stay, or if both of them chose to go. She has a hard time accepting it. That future seems so far away, and so impossible.

They search each other for answers. Wendy’s eyes gently ripple along with the movement of her pupils. She waits for an answer that she doubts Irene desires to give.

“Our child,” Irene finally replies. “I’d prefer them to look more like you.”

Wendy grins wide at this; imagining a small toddler who resembles bits of her and Irene crawling around on the floor.

“I don’t think you’re very good with kids though,” she says and Irene takes her hand and pinches Wendy’s cheek roughly.

“Well I took care of you, didn’t I?”

Wendy laughs and it’s the most beautiful thing Irene’s ever heard.

“Hey hey that hurts!”

Irene lets go of her cheek and looks at the smile she’d soon be unable to see.

It makes her excited thinking of such a future.

“Skipping the part of how it would come to be,” she says. “Which one of us would have to carry the child for nine months?”

“Well that’s obvious,” Irene answers. “I would.”

“That would be interesting,” says Wendy.

Irene’s eyes suddenly glimmer and get wide with excitement.

“Yeah and we could set up the nursery together and go shopping for the baby clothes.” She goes on, talking of the many things they could experience together.

“I could sing the baby to sleep and cradle them in my arms,” Wendy’s voice softens as she says this and her excited tone dissipates. “It’d be wonderful.”

Irene looks on with a slight glimmer in her eyes. “It would.”

Wendy places her hand on Irene’s cheek gently, softly, as if she would disappear with anything more.

“If the universe allows it, we can be that happy.”

Irene places her hand over Wendy’s hand.

“Look at us. Talking about the future like we have a clue.”

They both turn and lay on their backs, but their fingers are joined.

Worries about her first kiss, her first love; Irene never would’ve thought that this is how it would turn out. All of it seems so trivial now compared to the erratic events she has been through.

She never would’ve imagined falling in love with someone from the past; someone she never would’ve imagined meeting. It is truly fascinating to her; that she was living life as a typical high school student before all of it took place.

There was little knowledge that all the things that would be revealed to her later on, were right beside her all along. Part of it was in fact inside her and she figures this is the place where everything will be decided.

Meeting Seulgi, meeting Wendy, Miss Hwang, and then being brought into the past with little knowledge from history books; she is sure there is a reason for all of it.

She fears the hurt she caused while in a state of murderous and emotionless possession, and the people she’s killed unintentionally.

It’s a selfish thought, Irene thinks, but she’s glad she wasn’t conscious for any of those horrors.

And then another question comes to mind. Irene forgot about all of it because of everything that’s happened.

Something had been itching at her about it for a while now.

“What happened to Sunghwa?”

Wendy takes a few seconds to answer.

“I don’t know where she went. Something tells me she will come back.”

Irene remembers feeling jealousy and betrayal when she first met Sunghwa, but she understood.

“Why didn’t you tell me about her? I’m still mad at you for that. I didn’t know what to do after she came and told us that she would take you and Seulgi back. Of course I wanted to help you, but for her to suddenly show up like that…”

Wendy chuckles at Irene’s question.

“Yes, I loved her dearly, but after she killed someone, I set up boundaries. I detested her after finding out about what she had done. I was disgusted to almost no end,” Wendy’s solemn expression during her answer changes into a smile as if she finds the story humorous.

“But can you believe it? As time went on, my feelings for her would continue to pester me until I gave in, again and again. I had no will to leave her, because I felt like there wasn’t any reason for me to go through the trouble of trying to forget about her. I did let her know that I would not open my heart up to her ever again, and that our relationship would never go back to the way it was.”

Irene listens intently. Of course Wendy would have someone she loved. It would be selfish of her to expect Wendy to not have been romantically involved with anyone.

“Why didn’t you feel like there was a reason for you to leave her?”

Wendy closes her eyes for a brief moment, then she opens her eyes back up. She’s not sure if she wants to say this to Irene, even though Irene most likely already figured it out herself.

“Because I too have killed, Joohyun. There’s no sense in blaming someone for something that you’ve also done. It’s hypocrisy.”

“But you had your reasons, didn’t you?”

Irene looks into Wendy’s eyes and searches for any innocence that might’ve left during their time together.

“Right or wrong, everybody has their reasons. I decided to bring Sunghwa back into my life because I had come to terms with what we would both eventually have to do as we grew up,” Wendy answers patiently. “I can’t say we’re good people. Good people don’t bring suffering to others and I’ve done quite the opposite in many situations.”

“But you’re on the good side, right, Seungwan?” Irene asks earnestly. Of course she knew Wendy lives a life of violence. Of course she knew Wendy killed people when she had to—and she’ll have to kill many more in the future. Of course she knew all this, no matter how much she wanted to deny it. She wants to make sure Wendy will still have a part of herself after all this.

Wendy blinks and nothing more. She doesn’t exactly know the answer to that.

“Everybody thinks they’re good, no matter how wrong their morals may be. Everybody has a standard for right and wrong depending on which side they’re on. I don’t really have an answer for that, but…”

She pauses for a moment, choosing her next words carefully.

“—but I know I’m on my mother’s side. I’m on Miss Hwang’s and Seulgi’s side.”

Wendy places her hand on Irene’s cheek.

“I’m on your side.”

Irene closes her eyes and smiles.

“Always come back to my side, please.”

Wendy stares at Irene momentarily and closes her eyes.

 

“Sleep, Joohyun.” she gives her a brief kiss on the lips.

“Goodnight, I love you.”

“I love you, sleep well.”

 

 

-

 

A scream wakes Wendy up. She opens her eyes and jerks up. To her right, is Irene turning from side to side and whimpering. Perspiration is forming on her face.

“Joohyun, Joohyun!” Wendy strains a whisper and attempts to gently shake Irene awake. The whimpering and gasping continues.

Wendy lets her particles peel from her skin and surround Irene’s head gently. They float against her skin as if to soothe her. She then leans in to kiss the girl gently.

With this, Irene calms down and then her eyes abruptly open. Wendy sees just the slightest glint of pink in the other girl’s eyes.

Wendy brushes back Irene’s loose hairs in worry and circumspect.

“Are you okay? Was it a bad dream?”

Irene is panting, and tears form at the rim of her eyes.

“I don’t know. Everyone was just dying,” Irene looks at Wendy with wide eyes. “You were—dying or disappearing and Seulgi was—I-I don’t know.”

Wendy sees Irene’s face grimace and she just knows Irene is about to cry. She wraps her arms around Irene to comfort her.

“It’s okay, It’s okay,” Wendy whispers when Irene weeps. “I’m still here. Everyone is still here.”

Seulgi bursts into the room after sliding the door open. Her wide eyes are glowing a fierce orange and she looks at the two.

“What happened?”

Wendy looks back. “Bad dream.” She caresses and pats the crying Irene. Seulgi sits on her knees next to the other two and comforts Irene with a soft touch on the back.

There is a tense silence that follows Wendy and Seulgi. They are thinking of the same things, yet only Seulgi dares to speak about it.

“She can’t stay here and watch this escalate anymore.”

Wendy keeps quiet and looks at the floor as she holds Irene in her arms. She knows fully that her world of chaos will only trouble Irene.

“I’m well aware,” says Wendy. “But I have to be honest. There is this part of me that can’t seem to let her go. I have to, but I don’t want to.”

She looks at Seulgi, who is staring intensely. “Is that selfish of me?”

Seulgi no longer has any patience to beat around the bush, or to be careful. She wished to leave after killing Wendy’s father and go home. It has taken a toll on her and Irene. She can tell Wendy is starting to get weary too.

“Yes. It’s selfish, but I understand. You love her. I’ve felt that.”

Wendy nods. She agrees more than anything, but when Irene goes, what will become of her?

She would have to fight war after war, until she catches up to Irene.

“You’ll be fine. You’ll be okay. I just want you to know the consequences of feeling such things,” Seulgi states. She stands up with a soft grunt after seeing that Irene has fallen asleep again.

“Good work earlier Wendy. I don’t know what you did, but those are questions for tomorrow.”

Seulgi opens the doors before stepping out. “Also, I was too lazy to tell you, but your mom and Miss Hwang have gone out to look for Gyeongsun and his group,” she says.  

“Night. Keep Irene warm.”

The doors close and Wendy is left alone with Irene again.

Her eyes are filled with unease and restlessness as she lays Irene down carefully. Wendy lays down next to the other girl with a soft sigh. She stares at her momentarily, before planting a soft kiss on her forehead.

 

“I love you.”

 

-

 

The morning is met by festivity and boisterous laughter from the women. They’re all still dressed in their battle clothes, but food and rest are priorities at the moment.

“Hey Yeongweol, are you witnessing how much this girl eats? Seems like an endless pit!” Miss Hwang puts an arm around Wendy’s shoulder.

“Will you let me eat in peace?!” Wendy removes Miss Hwang’s arm from her shoulder and continues to eat. Miss Hwang’s arm finds its way around Wendy’s shoulder again anyway.

“Wendy that’s no way to talk to your elderly,” Seulgi playfully scolds and Miss Hwang fires back.

“Hey who are you calling an elderly?! If anyone’s an elderly, it’s madam Son here.”

All eyes are on Yeongweol, who has been quietly eating. She sets down her teacup after taking a sip.

“Leave me out of this.”

She receives loud laughter after and the others continue to laugh and talk loudly, trying to forget about their problems for a short while.

 

-

 

After they eat, a silence falls upon the women. Everyone looks at Yeongweol, expecting answers.

The events that took place are still confusing to them. It seemed like it took just one second to see the heads of their enemies fall to the ground.

“…I know what you all want to ask, and the shorter explanation is that Seungwan has the rare power to stop time,” Yeongweol says. “However, this power can only be used at night, when the moon is out.” Her turquoise eyes flicker over to Wendy, who is beyond shocked. The rest of the women stare at each other, more bewildered than ever.

“Seungwan’s power flared up so greatly that it managed to turn day into night, which is extraordinary to say the least.”

Miss Hwang raises her voice in disbelief, because such a power can belong to only one group.

“How? That power, it got passed down to Wendy? It can only belong to—,”

“Direct Lunar Wisps,” Seulgi cuts in and says. “The original Wisps with the strongest ancestor. Solar Wisps followed after that.”

Miss Hwang clicks her tongue. “Yes, thank you for rudely interrupting me, Orange Girl.” She clears . “As I was saying, the power belonged to a particular Lunar Wisp who was suspected to be the first Wisp, before others appeared. His powers passed down through his bloodline, so Seungwan possessing such powers could only mean…”

Everyone is now looking at Seungwan, who is still trying to figure out what Miss Hwang said. She’s sure that if her direct ancestors are the mighty Lunar Wisps, then she would’ve known.

Or she should’ve been told, but she’s only half. She doesn’t understand how she has the right to hold such a power.

“Yes, I am from that same direct bloodline, but Seungwan has the power and yes, she is only half, but long ago, I met a Lunar Wisp who had the same power. When I was pregnant with Seungwan, she said she had a desire to repay what I had done for her, and her particles rushed into me,” Yeongweol explains.

“She disappeared shortly after without an explanation as to what she did to me; however, when Seungwan was born, I knew from her silver eyes that she would be no ordinary Wisp.”

Irene sees a look of longing and nostalgia in Wendy’s mother’s eyes; like she’s reminiscing about great and exciting memories that remain untold.

Irene also doesn’t know if Wendy having this power is a positive thing. She has never heard of Lunar Wisps, or Solar Wisps until now. She wishes she could learn about all of it, but she pushes aside her questions for now.

 “Why didn’t I know about this? How come you weren’t affected by it?” Wendy asks her mother in genuine curiosity.

“I too had doubts. I thought that she would want to possess me later on, but she was too kind of a soul to have such intentions. I suspected she gave her powers to you,” Yeongweol replies. “To answer your second question, only Wisps of great power can resist the force of the pausing of time, but I doubt even I have such power. Miss Hwang and I are of equal footing when it comes to power. So I don’t have a clear answer.”

“…Maybe because you were pregnant with Seungwan. Some of those powers were entrusted to you too…maybe,” Irene finally cuts in hesitantly despite having little idea of what Lunar Wisps are.

Her statement has everyone in the room thinking about what may have happened.

“If I read correctly, there’s only one Wisp who can be chosen to inherit that power. So this makes Seungwan a direct descendant of the Lunar Wisp, right?” Seulgi asks.

Back in her world, powers aren’t so complex. No matter how much she reads, there’s still much to learn in Wendy and Irene’s world about Wisps.

“Whatever it is, Seungwan’s powers will aid us in bringing that balance we desire,” Miss Hwang says and she gives a cheeky smile. “I knew those silver eyes meant something.”

Seulgi sighs and joins her fingers together on the table. She’s glad to know Wendy has this power, but she doesn’t want Irene to be dragged into this any longer.

“I—,”

“I think we should take Seulgi and Joohyun back. The longer they stay here, the more likely they will be dragged into our chaos,” Wendy says before Seulgi can say it.

Irene stays quiet at this. She knows Wendy is right and she knows Seulgi wants to get out of this mess.

Yeongweol nods and smiles. “Yes, have your things ready by tomorrow. It may take longer if Gyeongsun’s soldiers arrive at a certain time, however.”

Irene swallows a nervous feeling in .

Tomorrow?

 

-

 

Irene draws back the arrow against the string of the bow and aims. She releases the arrow and it goes flying into the tree, but it doesn’t meet her target. The other arrows too have hit every other spot in the tree, but she can’t seem to hit the target.

She’d been doing this ever since she washed herself and changed into a light pink and white hanbeok.

Her brown hair is also tied with a long pink ribbon that falls and splits down to both sides of her neck.

“Funny because when your eyes are flashing pink, your Toxotis skills are much sharper. Well, I only did train you for a short while,” Miss Hwang says and Irene turns around to look at her. “You can keep the bow by the way.”

“Sorry for taking it,” Irene says.

Miss Hwang chuckles and sits up from the deck. “It was only for show. An old friend gifted it to me.”

Irene lowers her bow. “What happened to them?”

“You know, the usual. They all end up dying one way or another,” Miss Hwang answers with a cheery voice, but Irene can’t help but sense just the slightest sadness.

“Death is a common thing in our world. You didn’t witness such things in your time and seeing it all face to face for the first time must have been terrifying for you.”

Irene sits down next to the woman and looks off into the distance. She looks up at the sky and though it is dark and cloudy, she is still amazed by its beauty. It is a beautiful world indeed, and a beautiful time.

“Well, I think everyone here has gotten used to it. I know I have,” Miss Hwang says.

Irene slowly shakes her head. “I don’t know how you could get used to it. After seeing just a glimpse of it, I couldn’t take it.”

She wonders how someone as seemingly innocent as Wendy went through years of such things.

“You learn ways to cope with the pain that follows. That’s the only way we’ll move forward.”

Irene is speechless to this.

“…You should be with Seungwan. After all, it is your last day here. Enjoy this ancient air as much as you can.”

Irene doesn’t know what to do. What should she say to Wendy? There’s not much to say or do when she’s leaving tomorrow—such a short amount of time she has left to spend with her.

How should she cover up her desire for Wendy to come with her? She bites her lower lip and stares at the strong wooden bow in her hand.

A Toxotis. An archer. Irene wonders where these abilities of hers were before this ordeal.

“Thank you for all your help Miss Hwang. Really.”

Miss Hwang scoffs while letting out a laugh. “You should be thankful. I’m getting far too old to be running around with kids your age.”

Irene lets out a laugh. “You look healthy though. I’m sorry for the trouble.”

The older woman lays back down with her hands joined under her head.

“But if there ever comes a time in the future where I must protect you all again, I would. With no doubt.”

 

-

 

Irene heads off into the village and the people stare at her in suspicion. They recognize her because of Miss Hwang and Gyeongsun, but her appearance as a human make them extremely doubtful.

Ignoring the stares, she looks at the small houses, the stone steps, and people cooking outside on makeshift stoves as she walks.

There are women and girls dressed in simple, but pretty hanboks walking around or sitting and having tea. Small children chase each other; some are helping their parents with food. The men also have tea and discuss things while some are drinking and laughing loudly.

She walks through the bustling market and it smells like delicious roasted meat and smoke.

All the food stands are lined up next to each other as well.

Even though it sounds noisy, Irene can tell this is a place meant for people who no longer want to fight.

Because when she looks closely at these people (people she dares not to look at for too long), she sees scars etched into their skin. Their colorful and vibrant eyes show pasts that are clouded with violence and pain, but she can tell there are also beautiful and everlasting memories.

They have a variety of hair colors that also amaze Irene. In a place like Korea, you can clearly tell the difference between Wisps and normal humans.

It’s still hard for her to believe she’s in the past; the same past she could only learn about in history books.

She stops in front of a larger building and opens the doors that lead to the training centers. There are high ceilings and weapons set on the wooden walls for, Irene assumes, inexperienced young Wisps to use.

Young kids, all varying from ages ten to sixteen are sitting in small groups at tables, chattering and laughing about. It’s break time for them.

When some of them notice her, they stop to stare at her. Irene’s nervous under their scrutinizing eyes, but she looks around anyway.

Wendy can be seen coming from a corner and Irene’s relieved to see her. She notices Wendy’s wearing a hanbok also. Her upper garment is a light yellow color with a pink bow, while her long skirt is pink.

Wendy sits down at a table on one end of the large room as Irene walks up to her.

“Oh hey. Finished with business?” Wendy chimes when Irene sits parallel to her.

“Eh yeah. I talked with Miss Hwang for a bit and came to see you,” Irene replies and observes Wendy, whose hair is in a braid. Her hair is starting to lighten, and Irene finds it beautiful. She can see the bits of blonde that Wendy first had when they first met.

Goodness. She finds it hard to believe such a beautiful person actually loves her back. It amazes her how it’s all led up to this.

“You look cute,” Irene says.

Wendy chuckles and looks away shyly. “Ah, this is nothing. You look cuter.”

Irene laughs at Wendy’s response. “Stop acting all shy when you’re the one who kissed me first and started this whole mess of feelings.”

“Well it’s technically not my fault because if you weren’t so pretty then maybe I wouldn’t fallen for you,” Wendy retorts and gives Irene a wide smile.

“Well if you—never mind, whatever,” Irene says and looks away for a moment, trying to hide her obsession with Wendy’s smile.

It’s absolutely stunning.

“—So, we leave tomorrow,” says Irene.

Wendy’s expression seems to slightly drop from this, but the mood remains the same somehow.

“You two would have to leave sooner or later. I didn’t expect any of this to happen, but things work in the most peculiar of ways.”

“Yeah that’s weird. I didn’t know things would end up this way either. I thought you’d just leave and I’d stay in my somewhat peaceful time.”

“Well aren’t we all glad the universe gave us even more time? And then we started to have feelings for each other, and then found out you were destined to kill me or something?”

Irene laughs and shakes her head at the absurdity of it.

“Seems like it I guess. I still don’t understand how or why a part of me is like, programmed to try to kill you but you’re still alive so that’s good.”

Wendy doesn’t consider Irene to be Irene during those times of her “possession”. She just can’t find Irene when her eyes are glowing that dull and empty pink.

Until Irene can control her powers, Wendy prefers Irene’s brown eyes; the ones that look at her instead of staring right through her.

Irene groans and lays her head on the table.

“Uugh I don’t know what I’m gonna do. How am I supposed to deal with this?”

“Well, you can deal with it by kissing me,” Wendy says with a grin and tries to lighten up the mood again.

Irene buries her face in her hands after Wendy’s sentence. She knows the other girl is just trying to make the topic a little lighter, but she can’t help but feel something heavy in her heart.

“That’s so cheesy, I hate it.”

“But don’t you like it?”

“No!”

Irene lies.

“Are you guys done flirting?” an irritated voice from above says.

Wendy and Irene look up to see Seulgi standing with a child who has his arms tightly around Seulgi’s leg.

“Alright what’s with this kid? He won’t let go,” Seulgi says and attempts to shake him off.

He looks to be about four or five years old with his short black hair and sharp hazel eyes. His figure looks small and frail, but Irene can tell he’ll grow into a strong person. He’s also wearing blue baggy pants and a light blue vest that overlaps a long-sleeved white shirt.

“She ate my bread!” the kid whines and Wendy takes a good look at him.

Irene scowls at Seulgi. “You took food from a kid?”

Seulgi sighs. “Well I didn’t think it was his, yknow? By the time he came back, I’d already eaten it.”

“Jinheung, get off of her,” Wendy says with a laugh. The kid, upon hearing her voice, listens and lets go of Seulgi’s left leg.

“Finally. Well good luck to you kid. May great things come upon you or whatever you guys say,” Seulgi says monotonously before walking off.

Jinheung breaks into a grin after Seulgi leaves and immediately goes to sit in Wendy’s lap.

“Guess what I learned today noona!”

“You’re finally paying attention?” Wendy asks and chuckles.

“I always do!”

“Sure, sure. What’d you learn?”

Irene watches how gentle Wendy is with the child and rests her chin in the palm of her hand, her elbow on the table.

She’s smiling and listening attentively to Jinheung, but she’s also giving Irene quick glances here and there.

Irene’s memory directs her back to the conversation they had last night. She wonders if in another world, they have the future they talked about.

It’s a future that doesn’t ensure a happy ending, but if it’s with Wendy, Irene wouldn’t mind.

“Who’s this noona?”

Irene pauses her thoughts and realizes Jinheung is now looking at her.

“Ahh, that’s Joohyun. Isn’t she pretty?” Wendy replies with a cheeky smile to Irene and Jinheung nods immediately.

 “You’re very pretty!”

“Thank you,” Irene replies, shy and happy.

“Alright everybody! Break time is over! Get back to your sections now!” Yeongweol yells from the other end of the room and the children start to disperse, getting into different groups and making their way around into a corner that leads to a hallway.

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wenverland
Hi everybody! I’m graduating school this month so I can start working on finishing the next chapter soon! Thank you for all your patience ^^
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