{ nine }

Ethereal

“Chaeyeon! How are you feeling? Are you sure you can come back to class?” Sakura immediately asked when she saw Chaeyeon walked into the class. 

 

“Yeah I’m fine.” Chaeyeon gave her a small smile before sitting at her seat. She looked around, there were only 11 of them. Eunbi unnie isn’t here…

 

Chaeyeon sighed and absent-mindedly flipped through her math notes. The other girls noticed how down Chaeyeon was, yet, they weren’t able to help her as Eunbi hasn’t talked to them since yesterday’s event. They had never experience Eunbi ignoring them for such a long period of time, they too did not know what to do. 

 

“Hey! Wanna hear a joke?” Yena tried to lighten the mood, and to cheer Chaeyeon up. “Which days are the strongest? Sunday and Saturday, because the rest are weekdays! Get it? Weak days!” Yena laughed. The other girls gave polite laughs, either to try to lighten the mood, or to be polite to Yena who sincerely thinks the joke is funny. 

 

“Hm..” Chaeyeon muttered. She didn’t really find the mood to laugh, especially when Eunbi was angry at her, and how she almost killed everybody yesterday. Perhaps if things went wrong yesterday, they wouldn’t even be here, sharing a stupid joke and laughing together. Chaeyeon sighed. I ruined everything…

 

Class passed uninterestingly and the girls went for lunch, with Eunbi nowhere to be seen. 

 

“Hey, you alright? Wanna talk about it?” Sakura nudged Chaeyeon when they sat down at the lunch table.

 

“Its just… I feel terrible about yesterday.” 

 

“You don’t have to, I understand why you decided to come out to the battleground. I appreciate it.” Sakura smiled.

 

“But I put everyone in danger because of that. Like what Eunbi unnie said yesterday, they’ll come back, and they’ll hurt us. They’ll hurt you.” 

 

“Hey hey. We are the strongest users remember! Some snakes can’t hurt us!” Yena beamed as she flexed her arms to show off her muscles. Chaeyeon couldn’t help but to let out a chuckle when she saw the contradiction of Yena’s cute face and her muscles. “Don’t be sad now! Let’s get some food now! I’M STARVING!” Yena quickly said when her stomach let out a loud growl. 

 

Chaeyeon smiled a little at Yena inappropriate hunger in the middle of a serious conversation but was thankful for her anyway. 

 

 

Eunbi, on the other hand, woke up feeling like crap, whether it was from feeling sorry, or that throbbing headache she had, she just wanted to go back to sleep. She turned over to her clock to realise that it was already 10.30a.m. She was late for school. She sighed and got out of bed, only to feel her entire body ache when her feet touch the ground. 

 

Must be from the intense battle yesterday, she thought. 

 

She quickly washed up and wore her uniform, she could still make it for afternoon classes. She tried her best to speed walk to class despite her terribly aching body and her mysteriously dizzy state. Eunbi convinced herself that it was because she just woke up not too long ago and was just feeling groggy. She wasn’t going to let anything stop her from getting to class and clarifying matters with her Chaeyeon friends. 

 

She walked into class, only to be greeted with an empty classroom. 

 

Ah right, they are having lunch now. Eunbi let out a breath she didn’t realise she was holding. At least she had more time to mentally prepare herself. She laid her head on the table and went through the lines she wanted to say in her head. 

 

“Hey I’m sorry for yesterday!” Nah, too insincere. 

 

“I would like to apologise for the events that happened yesterday.” Too formal.

 

“About yesterday-“ Her train of thoughts were abruptly cut off by the sound of laughter heard outside the classroom. She can recognise that laughter anywhere. 

 

Choi Yena.

 

“You should have seen that! It was hilarious-“ Yena laughter died down when she saw Eunbi sitting on her usual seat, shock etched on her face. She obviously wasn’t expecting to see Eunbi after what happened yesterday and Eunbi’s absence from school in the morning. Eunbi’s eyes moved to look at the person next to Yena. Chaeyeon. Chaeyeon was frozen on her spot and stared at Eunbi. 

 

Then, something caught Eunbi’s attention. 

 

Her eyes moved down to see Yena’s holding Chaeyeon hand, hands intertwined. Eunbi stared at that sight and raised her eyebrows, it irked her. 

 

No Eunbi, this isn’t the time to get jealous. 

 

“Unnie…” Chaeyeon mumbled, but Eunbi heard it. She wanted to run to her and hug her, and tell her she was sorry, when the teacher walked into class at that moment. 

 

“Everyone, please return to your seats.” Nice timing Mr Kim… Best timing ever. Eunbi rolled her eyes.

 

Chaeyeon went to sit at her seat next to Eunbi and instantly tensed up from the awkward tension between them. She hated it, how did they end up in this situation? It was all because of her stupidity and naiveness. She tried her best to concentrate on classes but couldn’t when Eunbi was sitting so close to her. Eunbi seemed to be doing fine and was copying her notes well. Was she the only one affected by this? Maybe Eunbi didn’t care about her as much as she thought she did.

 

 

Meanwhile, to say that Eunbi was extremely nervous was an understatement. Her hands were shaking and she could not even hear what the teacher was saying. She copied whatever was on the board to try and occupy herself and not think about how she was going to talk to Chaeyeon later on or how close Chaeyeon was to her. Oh how she missed the younger girl. Her hands were shaking, heart beating fast, body aching and her head spinning, she wondered how she could even accurately copy what the teacher wrote on the board. She looked down at her notes to realise that her accuracy in copying notes were at a solid 10%. Scanning through her whatever gibberish she wrote, the word HELP stood out to her. I can’t believe I wrote that subconsciously. 

 

After a long, boring, nervous class, the bell finally rang and Mr Kim had already left the class. The class was now waiting for the next teacher but Eunbi decided that the talk with Chaeyeon couldn’t wait any longer. Any longer and I’m going to die of anticipation and fear. 

 

 

Eunbi stood up and grabbed Chaeyeon’s hand, pulling her out of class.

 

“Where are you going? Class is starting!” Eunbi heard Sakura call out but she didn’t bother to respond or look at her. Eunbi held Chaeyeon’s hand tightly and dragged brought her to the rooftop. 

 

“Unnie…” Chaeyeon called Eunbi when they reached the rooftop. 

 

“Sit down, let’s talk.” Eunbi patted on a ledge and motioned for her to sit. Chaeyeon obeyed and sat down next to Eunbi. Awkward silence enveloped them as none of them spoke. 

 

“About yesterday…” Eunbi plucked up her courage and decided to be the first to break the silence. Eunbi looked up to monitor Chaeyeon’s reaction. 

 

“I’m sorry for raising my voice and blaming you.” Eunbi continued. 

 

“No, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have ran out-“

 

“No, you weren’t in the wrong, you just wanted to help us but I blamed you instead.” Eunbi looked down in guilt. “Don’t blame yourself Chae, you shouldn’t. I was the one in the wrong to have act up like that yesterday. I was just so worried that something might happen to you. I won’t forgive myself if I failed to protect you and if you got hurt. Seeing that you were almost captured yesterday… I just couldn’t help but to let out my frustration and fear on you and Yena.” 

 

“Don’t be sorry unnie! I know you were just worried for us, I’m sorry for what I did too.” Chaeyeon held Eunbi’s hand and gave her a smile. Eunbi smiled back at her.

 

“After almost losing you yesterday, I have come to terms with my feelings. Chae, I really like you, I really do. This may explain why I acted up yesterday. I like the way you smile and the way you pester me to teach you math, I cannot imagine life without you. I was so angry when you were almost taken away from me. Chae, I know this isn’t the best timing for a confession but, I just wanted you to know that I really do like you. A lot.” Eunbi mustered up all the remaining courage and confessed. Her heart started to race when she received no response from Chaeyeon, who was just staring blankly at her. 

 

“I understand if you don’t feel the same way,“ Eunbi stood up in embarrassment from pouring out her feelings and was preparing to walk away. “I just-“

 

“No! I like you too, unnie.” Chaeyeon grabbed Eunbi’s wrist to prevent her from walking away. “I was distraught when I thought you were upset with me, I couldn’t concentrate the whole day. I love being with you and I cannot imagine not having you by my side.” 

 

Eunbi’s tense shoulders relaxed and a smile crept up on her face. She turned around grabbed Chaeyeon by her waist and pulled her into her embrace. 

 

“I missed you.” Chaeyeon whispered. Maybe it was happiness, or it could be from relief, tears started to fall from Chaeyeon’s eyes. 

 

“Why are you crying, don’t cry.” Eunbi chuckled as her wiped away the tears rolling down Chaeyeon’s cheeks. 

 

“You are crying too.” Chaeyeon laughed when she saw Eunbi’s red, glistening eyes with tears threatening to fall. Chaeyeon did the same and wiped the tears from Eunbi’s eyes. 

 

“You are really hot unnie.” 

 

“Oh? Am I?” Eunbi smirked teasingly.

 

“No no no! I mean,” Chaeyeon panicked. “You are burning up. Are you sick?” Chaeyeon used her hand to feel Eunbi’s forehead. 

 

“You are really pale too.” Chaeyeon noted with worry. 

 

“Explains the aches and dizziness.” Eunbi mumbled as she felt her own forehead. 

 

“This can’t do, let’s go to the clinic!” Chaeyeon frowned and pulled Eunbi to the infirmary. 

 

 

“39.5 degrees.” The nurse (who was there for once, thank goodness) read off the thermometer. “I’ll prescribe you some medicines, take a day or two off, eat your medicines and rest well, you’ll be fine after.” 

 

“Thank you.” Chaeyeon thanked the nurse as the nurse went off to get Eunbi’s prescription. 

 

“How could you come to school with such a high fever?” Chaeyeon nagged. “Why didn’t you stay in your room and rest when you were feeling dizzy and pain?”

 

“I was determined to clear up my mistake with you today.” Eunbi took Chaeyeon’s hand and smiled. 

 

“But still!” Chaeyeon pouted at the older’s stubbornness. They collected the medicines and went back to Eunbi’s dormitory. 

 

“Wait here, I’ll go get some porridge for you.” Chaeyeon said as she settled Eunbi down in bed to rest. 

 

“It’s fine, I can get it myself.” 

 

“No, you need to rest. I’ll get it.” Chaeyeon stopped Eunbi from getting out of bed. 

 

“You need to go back to class.”

 

“You really think that class is that important after pulling me out of class and making me skip math lesson?” Chaeyeon narrowed her eyes at the older, making sure she stayed in bed. 

 

“Alright alright, I give up. I’ll wait for you here. I can’t believe we are spending our first day like this and not on a fun date.” Eunbi groaned. 

 

“What first day? I didn’t agree to anything. You didn’t ask me anything.” Chaeyeon blushed and feigned ignorance, she was a shy girl, mind you. Or perhaps she just wanted Eunbi to ask her the official question. Chaeyeon quickly out of Eunbi’s room and ran off to buy porridge. Eunbi was left stunned in the room. 

 

“That girl.” Eunbi chuckled. Eunbi quickly looked around her room to see if there was anything she could put together. A rose in her vase. A little shabby but that was the best she could do for now, she couldn’t put this off any longer. She picked up the rose and waited for Chaeyeon to return. As soon as she heard the sound of the keys fitting into her lock, she quickly got down on one knee and held the rose in front of her.

 

“Unnie!” Chaeyeon exclaimed in shock when she was greeted by the sight of Eunbi NOT on her bed as she was suppose to but on the floor on one knee. 

 

“I know this is probably the shabbiest confession ever, but I can’t wait any longer to ask you this question. Lee Chaeyeon, will you be my girlfriend?” 

 

“Of course.” Chaeyeon grinned and took the rose from Eunbi’s hands. She helped Eunbi up and sat her down on her bed. “This rose looks awfully familiar. Can’t be that rose from the vase at the corner of your room that looks like its on the verge of dying right.” 

 

“You must be mistaken dear.” Eunbi laughed awkwardly and looked away from Chaeyeon’s eye. 

 

“I was joking. I’ve been yours since the rooftop confession” Chaeyeon chuckled. “Thanks for the dying rose though.” 

 

“It is not dying.” 

 

“Thank you unnie.” Chaeyeon smiled and pecked Eunbi’s cheek. Eunbi turned red almost instantly. 

 

“Also, what’s so bad about chilling in bed for our first day?” Chaeyeon said as she climb onto bed with Eunbi. “Here, have some porridge before you eat your medicine.” 

 

“It , we could be having a cafe date and eating macarons or I could be showing you off to the whole school by holding your hand down the corridor of school.” Eunbi pouted and shoved a spoonful of porridge in . 

 

“But we could also be cuddling in bed the whole day.” Chaeyeon s her arms around Eunbi’s waist and hugged her. 

 

“On second thought, this is better.” 

 

 

“Why are they not back yet?” Sakura asked worriedly when the 2 girls had not come back to even collect their belongings when school ended. 

 

“What if Eunbi unnie knocked Chaeyeon unnie out?” Yujin gasped. 

 

“Maybe Eunbi unnie is now cooking Chaeyeon over her fire.” Yena gulped. 

 

“Either way, I’m convinced nothing good turned out of that, that’s why none of them came back to take their bags! One of them is guilty of attacking the other! And I’m convinced the ‘one of them’ is Eunbi unnie.” Yuri furrowed her brows in worry. 

 

“And what if the ‘other’ is dead… THATS WHY CAN’T COME BACK TO TAKE HER BAG.” Yena added on to the ridiculous story. 

 

“The ‘other’ has to be Lee Chaeyeon.” Hyewon nodded, agreeing to the story that they had just conjuncture. 

 

“Should we report it to the police…?” Hitomi asked in a quiet voice. 

 

“What if we are the next targets…” Wonyoung asked, on the verge of tears. 

 

“We should stick together and defend each other. We can defeat Eunbi unnie if we combine our powers.” Minju suggested. 

 

“Yes! We should stay in the same room as well, incase she comes to attack us in the middle of the night.” Sakura agreed with the them. 

 

“Y’all are overreacting. Eunbi unnie wouldn’t do that.” Nako scoffed. “Calling dips on Minju’s room though.”

 

“Just say you are scared and go.” Chaewon rolled her eyes. “But to join you and your stupid adventures I guess I have no choice but to stay in Minju’s room tonight as well.”

 

The group decided to quickly pack Chaeyeon and Eunbi’s bags and leave it in the classroom. 

 

That night, the 10 girls split themselves into 2 rooms and squeezed together on the floor as they tried their best to sleep on the cold, hard floor. 

 

 

Chaeyeon decided to stay over at Eunbi’s room to “take care of her” for the night. The 2 of them slept comfortably as they cuddled to sleep on Eunbi’s huge, soft bed in each others warm embrace.

 

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amaranth1ne
yikes sorry I took really long for this update;(
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