It had been two weeks and four days. After that night, Lara hadn’t seen Baekhyun again. The next day, at five thirty in the afternoon, the makeup lady wasn’t in her door. So she grabbed a book and snuck to an empty corner to read peacefully. But at eight, when she returned to her room, a tall young man with golden skin with a small envelope for her. She had to read it while he waited by her door.
With printed words and an impersonal kind of formality, the letter announced that, starting from next Monday, February fourth, Jung Lara would be a special operations agent for the Business. While her body recovered she would be an instructor helper in the Catacombs.
Basically, she had to walk around during lessons to serve as motivation. They thought that if the trainees saw that it was indeed possible to escape, they would be more eager to improve. Lara didn’t understand how seeing a person that had hypothetically escaped back between the dirty gray walls of the Catacombs would motivate them.
But she was getting paid, so she couldn’t complain. Money was never something she needed in her times as an inmate. Now that she had had a little taste of the outside world, she had become aware of what she could do with it.
The young man waiting by her door, a couple or three years older than her, was her assistant. His name was Kai – although Lara suspected it wasn’t his real name – and he had plump lips and sun kissed skin. The letter said that Kai would follow her every order, but Lara suspected that Baekhyun had given him the secret task of keeping an eye on her.
He was the reason why it was harder to sneak out of the Catacombs at night. Lara had decided she wanted to save lives instead of taking them. But in the small nursery, Mrs. Min could only teach her the very basics. With her help, she had enrolled to a big academy people called University. She left the Catacombs at a quarter to six every evening from Monday to Friday, when the dark night already blanketed over the world and the inmates were supposed to be resting, to attend her night-lessons.
People weren’t interested in making friends so late at night, which Lara was grateful for. She had memorized to the last little detail of Jung Lara’s fake life just in case, but the idea of making friends based on a lie didn’t appeal to her. Nor did having a fake smile. Outside the Catacombs she was Jung Lara, medicine freshman.
She had learned a lot from the outside world. The most interesting of them all was their strategy to divide time. Being able to see the sun move with every passing hour and to feel the change of seasons, people in the outside world used what they called dates. Lara had escaped the Catacombs the night of the 31st of December from last year. She had been in the hospital for twenty-six days. Now it was the third week of the second month. Wednesday, to be precise.
The outside world wasn’t close to what she had imagined. She still hadn’t been able to see daylight. When she snuck out of the Catacombs it was already dark. She was fascinated by the little light specks that lit the night and the great silver medal that painted the edges of the world white.
But when she got to the city the stars disappeared and the moon drowned behind a cloud of pollution. What remained was the stench of smoke and the yellowish lights of the lampposts. The silence of the countryside melted with the hustle of the city nightlife: the vendors shouting, the music of the different restaurants and shops, the loud chatting of people, the roaring engines… Somehow, Lara couldn’t find it in her to like it.
She liked the pale color of the dust her feet rose when she walked through the unpatched path that lead to the train station. She liked the slow rattling of the empty train that took her to the city. She liked the smell of wet grass and listening to the rustle of the bare branches when the wind shook them gently.
In the city, though, all the magic melted away. In their place were hard sidewalks stained with murky water, a cacophony of jangling noises and loud voices. There was a foul mist floating around the buildings and reeking from the rear od the cars and people’s mouths as if life was leaving their lips.
If that was actually their life – Lara thought – their souls must have been truly rotten to smell so badly.
On Wednesdays, Lara had a free period on the afternoon for herself. She usually trained. She knew that she had to improve at shooting, but it didn’t relieve half of the pent up frustrations that she literally punched away. The boxing bag had become her loyal partner. The other instructors didn’t even try to use the room when she wanted to.
Lara believed that after making it out of the Catacombs, the instructors that once picked on her had become wary. But truth to be told, no body dared to mess with Byun’s little princess.
That afternoon, like many others, Lara was punching her frustrations away against the innocent boxing bag. The pain in her ribs was still there, but she could live with it. She wasn’t sure if she was really healing or if she had simply grown used to it. But she was sure that if she kept on training constantly like that, it wouldn’t take her long to recover.
Her fists and legs hurt. Exhaustion bit her muscles mercilessly, but she didn’t stop. She hadn’t seen Baekhyun since their last fight – two weeks and four days ago – but remembering the dark eyes of the inhumane monster that had taken over his body was enough for rage to move her body.
She leaned to the side and kicked the bag as hard as she could. Harder than ever. Baekhyun had taught her that kind of offensive. He wasn’t nimble enough to manage it, but it was perfect for her. During the Split second she wondered if that kick could take Baekhyun down, the bag went back forcefully and once again towards her. Too tired, Lara couldn’t react on time and it hit her hard. She fell on her panting, struggling to ignore the burning pain in her ribs.
A vaguely familiar voice called her name, but she couldn’t find it in her to answer. Until a pair of arms hoisted her up. Her legs felt wobbly and her vision was a little blurry but she managed to keep standing.
“Jung”, called Kai, “I’ve been calling you for five minutes straight”
“I focus when I train”
She stepped away from him and took off her boxing gloves, throwing them towards her bag. Picking up her towel, she wiped the sweat off her forehead and her neck. Kai stared at her carefully, taking in all that she was. Until he reached the scar on the inner face of her left thigh that her shorts exposed.
“Is there anything wrong?” she asked
Kai looked into her eyes and shook his head ever so slowly, completely serious. He looked upset, but it didn’t surprise Lara. Kai was a talented fighter, she had seen him. Yet he was stuck as Lara’s assistant and he did little more than acting as a messenger between her and Baekhyun.
“Byun wants to see you. He’s waiting for you in his office.”
They stared for a few seconds until Lara crouched and reached for something buried deep inside her bag. A gun.
“Tell me something, Kai”, she began, “do you think the boxing bag can stand without one of the hinges?”
Looking at the gun she was fiddling with, he swallowed nervously and took a step back tentatively. For him, Lara was one hell of a brat. Byun Baekhyun had told him to follow her, but she always disappeared without a trace at night and he had to endure Boss’ anger. But even though he saw her as a crazy child, he was somewhat scared of all the mysteries that surrounded her and her boss.
Lara didn’t notice how he stepped away form her, her eyes were glued to the ground.
“I don’t know” he answered finally
“Let’s check then”
Before kai could react, Lara turned around and shot without taking more than two seconds t aim. The screw on one of the four hinges flew to the ground, to the other side of the room. Kai wanted to swallow, but his mouth was dry.
Lara threw the gun at him and he caught it with trembling fingers. He watched in silence – completely dumbfounded – how Lara put on the gloves once again and her petite frame approached the boxing bag with a deadly glare. He registered how her body moved for a short second in a fast, swift movement. The next thing he heard was the metallic clank of the chain breaking free from its hinges and the thundering thud of the boxing bag falling limply on the concrete floor.
The boxing bad was a few meters away from Lara, the force of her kick had sent it flying away. She approached Kai with an icy stare, he couldn’t stop his body from stepping back. She picked up her bag and hung her towel around her milky neck.
“Remember, Kai: guns are useful, but they’ll never finish things as a good kick does. You can keep the gun.
the first time, Kai understood why that 18 years old petite girl was a special operations agent and he wasn’t. As he watched her leave, for the first time since he had been tasked with taking care of Jung Lara he felt he was in greater danger than her.
Hello everybody! No Baekhyun in this chapter but we have another EXO member. Introducing to you all: Kai! Lara's new PA
AHAHAHHA I'm sorry. I don't follow real ages. Kai is older than Lara and Baek, around twenty or twenty one. Next chapter won't involv Baekhyun directly either but there will be some drama (I guess I can call it drama ???)
Bye for now