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CHAPTER I:
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∞⇢

Breathing in, breathing out.

My eyes were on his hands as he tightened his black belt circling his waist. The color stood out against the all-white Hapkido uniform that he was wearing. I shook my head quickly, wanting to clear my head from anything else. Taking a deep breath, I made one quick move to come closer and threw the first kick.

Given his excellent skills in this field, I wasn't surprised how he was able to dodge it easily. Breathing out, I did my best to avoid his eyes not wanting to give him the chance to read me. With my heartbeat beating wildly behind my chest and sweat already forming on my face, I advanced and executed different kinds of hand and leg combinations. Holding my breath as if it could hinder my speed. He, on the other hand, settled with defense, blocking my every move. Every single move.

I was growing frustrated unable to hit him properly.

Why did he have to be good at this?

I could hear him panting too, his heavy breathing loud whenever we got closer. The first time I ever mistakenly met his eyes, there was an absolute confusion in them. He stared back at me as if he had been wanting to since the fight began.

There was no way I would let him get to me right now, so I looked away and surprised him with a kick on one arm which sent him a few steps away. Seeing him back off for a few seconds, I exhaled like I had been holding my breath.

I heard our teammates' gasps as they saw him on the ground which was a rare sight. I, on the other hand just stood on my spot and waited for him to get up. I could almost hear my heartbeat in my ears as I balled my hands into fists, holding them in position.

He looked a bit hurt as his hand was on the part where I hit him. For a second, I thought that he looked betrayed. I gulped as his stare turned into a glare in a millisecond. He was mad and this only meant that I have to get ready.

He was the best among us, he could easily knock everyone out in the room if he wanted to. My black belt status was nothing compared to his advanced skills. Bracing myself as he finally stood, he fixed his uniform before he positioned his fist in front of him. I could feel my sweat dripping down my face as the tension built up between us as we moved around the mat, watching each other's every little move.

We had our eyes fixed on each other for a few good seconds before he startled me with his quick punch combinations. I barely avoided his fists before I did a round kick. The way he dodged it like it was a piece of cake, got me stunned as well as the others in the room. My stupid act gave him the advantage to attack me with his low spinning heel kick. He did it so perfectly and swiftly that it sent my entire body on the mat right away. I felt dizzy for a second and when I opened my eyes, he was already next to me, offering his hand to help me get up.

"Let's stop this now." He said in a low voice, his eyes giving me the implied message.

I took his hand, not having any intention to stop at all. So, as soon as I was back on my feet, I pushed him real hard. My unexpected act took him by surprise as his eyes widened, a scoff painting his face.

I just knew that I had completely gotten into his nerves now. Not wanting to give him more advantage, I advanced with various punches, targeting his arms, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. However, his fists and arms were like machines knowing how to handle every punch I threw as he knew exactly knew what I'd do next.

I grew more and more frustrated yet transformed every bit of it to anger. I was on fire as I backed a step before I did a stepping round kick which successfully hit him. Without giving him a chance to recover, I advanced to execute a defense punch I mastered all these years. I reached for his wrist, twisted it which earned a groan from him before pushing his back with my knee until his face was just inches from touching the floor.

But then again, who was I kidding? He's the hapkido prince. I knew he was intentionally not fighting me back and that he was purposely giving me the edge here. Anyone could tell.

"C'mon!" I said in gritted teeth as I leaned closer. "I don't need your charity, fight me as you mean it."

Even in his pain, I heard him smirk under me as if mocking me which both distracted and aggravated me for a moment. The said distraction allowed him to break free from me. The moment my grip was loosened, he retrieved his arm swiftly and used it to hold my belt as he took my entire weight down. His foot kicked gravity off my own and send me landing on the floor beneath him. The thud my body caused colliding with the mat took over my senses.

The next thing I knew he was holding my wrists tightly. He held my hands on either side of my head, his legs imprisoning my limp ones. I let out a whimper as I struggled to break free from him but with his strength, it was impossible.

My heart was beating loudly, my chest heaving in anger at how this fight turned out. With eyes glaring at him, I watched his face a few inches from mine. His black hair damps with sweat almost covering his eyes. His lips slightly parted as he let out heavy breaths.

I could only throw dagger looks at him.

"You know I would never want to hurt you." He replied, his jaw clenching as he spoke. "I will never forgive you for making me do this."

His gaze was heavy and I was certain that he was really mad at me but I was too annoyed I just had to roll my eyes at him. Before we could even continue arguing, we heard applause from our teammates whom I had forgotten were still inside the gym with us. We both darted our attention to the rest of the group.

Feeling embarrassed with how he was able to easily defeat me by just doing the bare minimum, I pushed him off me using my whole remaining strength. Successfully getting him off me, I stood in front of everyone as he did the same thing. Glancing at him, I saw how he raked his damp hair with his famous beautiful fingers as a handsome smirk took over his mouth.

I bowed in front of everyone before I asked permission from our coach to leave early. He, including everyone else, gave me curious stares. When coach Choi nodded, I did not hesitate to leave my spot. I was inches away from the door when I heard the others make inaudible remarks.

"Now what did you do this time to piss her off like that Baekhyun?"

It was coach Choi's question that I heard before I stormed out of the room.

∞⇢

I hurriedly went to the locker room and got changed into the clothes I wore earlier today. When I was about to fix my ponytail, I noticed how my fingers were slightly shaking. Looking up, I caught sight of myself in the mirror. All of a sudden, that sinking feeling in my heart resurfaced as I remembered what happened earlier today. Not wanting to entertain it, I shook my head and shut my locker closed.

Not wanting to bump into anyone, I rushed out of the room. I directly headed to the rooftop of the building, desperate for air. I took the stairs as I wanted to distract myself from my thoughts. When I reached the door, I was already gasping for air. Walking towards the edge, I dropped my bag on the ground, took one deep breath before I shouted atop of my lungs.

I felt tears pooling in my eyes because of anger, frustration.

"I hate you." I hissed after a few sharp breaths. "You piece of !" I added in a louder voice.

Realizing that I was already crying, I immediately wiped my cheeks. I shouldn't be crying. I shouldn't let what happened to get to me.

I looked up at the clear early afternoon sky, knowing that it will help me to calm down. It was early spring and the sky was a beautiful azure. When I somehow felt okay, I roamed my attention down below. I saw students walking from and to different directions, wondering if even one or a few of them felt the same way as I did right now.

Closing my eyes, I concentrated on the pain emanating from the different parts of my body due to the sparring I just had. Pain that I had somehow gotten familiar with and knew would go away in a matter of hours. However, there was one pain that seemed to stand out and I didn't like how it was ruling every part of my body especially my mind. It was as if it was commanding my hands to cover my face to break down and cry, my feet to run and look for him and ask him why. Maybe beat the out of him.

The moment I opened my eyes again, I caught sight of the huge library building from afar. The sight inevitably brought me back to what happened this morning.

∞⇢

"Why did you do this to me?" I asked Jinseo, my boyfriend of three months, in a controlled voice since we were in between the shelves on the farthest side of the huge library.

"I didn't mean it okay?" Jinseo said, sounding a bit defensive. "It just happened."

I scoffed at the absurdity of his words, the urge to punch him on the face was strong.

"Don't give me lame excuses Jinseo. If you're going to lie at least make it believable." I told him in a controlled voice.

He sighed, brought a hand to his forehead. I was expecting him to explain but proved me wrong when the next thing he did was confess.

"As I said, it just happened." He swallowed. "One day, I just saw her in a different light. She's sweet and clingy and little do I know, I'm falling for her. She's all I could ever think-"

"Shut up, shut up, shut up." I intercepted.

His words came like a stab in my chest. I gulped as I stared at him, my hands balling into a fist as I again resist the urge to hit him right here.

"You fell for her when I'm your girlfriend?" I asked him unbelievably. "Are you for real?"

I closed my eyes as this was giving me a headache.

"You're fine Seol, you're beautiful and I still think your smile is really pretty. And I liked you then..." He took a deep breath as he tilted his head down. "But lately I just get so frustrated at how you seem to be someone who doesn't need anyone to protect you. When you beat those guys' asses in front of me two weeks ago, I felt so small. And I don't like that."

"Are you telling me that I shouldn't have intruded and let them beat you?" I smirked at his ridiculous remark.

Now I knew why of all the places on the campus, he asked to talk to me in the Library. He didn't want me to cause a scene. He didn't wanna get to be embarrassed.

"You know what I mean Seol." He insisted. "You're too fearless for me. I want someone soft and someone I can tell to depend on me. Not someone who will rub in on my face that I'm useless."

Anger was building inside of me and I was too focused on it to even cry because I knew where this conversation was heading.

"." I hissed. "Should've known about your giant ego."

He was silent for a couple of seconds, glaring back at me as if I had hit the nail on the head.

"I'm telling you this now because I don't wanna cheat on you." He stated, sounding like he had the right.

"Why?" I mocked. "Are you scared that I will beat you to death when I find out?" My jaw clenched as he looked away.

"That's not what I mean. I just don't want to put her in a difficult position."

He didn't want her to be in a difficult position, huh. I swallowed as my heartbeat started to beat fast.

"I'm sorry Seol." I heard him say though his tone was flat. "I hope you don't take this against her. This isn't her fault-OWW!"

His speech was cut short when, all of a sudden, about three or four books behind him fell from the shelves and directly hit his back. I saw him flinch and jumped when one of the heavy books landed on his foot. When he bent to hold his injured foot, I saw someone leaving the spot right behind the shelves. I just had to bite my lip, sure of who it was. I closed my eyes, using every ounce of control I have not to yell.

It only took a few seconds before the culprit revealed himself. He stood in the hallway next to the shelves where we were. Black-haired, wearing a plain black shirt and jeans, hands inside his pockets, his eyebrows furrowed as it was obvious that he was annoyed.

"Oops." Sarcasm was so blatant both in his voice and his facial expression. "Was that an earthquake?" He added as he leaned on the shelf, his focus aimed at Jinseo.

Jinseo, upon seeing him, stood on his feet and walked towards him. He lifted a balled fist as if ready to punch the newcomer.

He neither budged nor moved a muscle despite being threatened. I watched how he smirked and tilt his head at Jinseo's act. He only glared at him, his hands never leaving his pockets.

"Are you sure you wanna mess with me, ?" He asked, his tone mocking, knowing that he could end Jinseo with one swift move. "You better think right or else no one will be able to recognize your face after I'm done with you."

I saw how Jinsoo's jaw clenched as he must have tried to think rationally before retrieving his hand. He turned to look at me, who remained unmoving on my spot. He only stared at me and I could not see any form of remorse in his eyes which aggravated me. His attention then fell on my right hand, still balled into a fist as if I was ready to throw him a punch at any second.

As expected from a jerk like him, he couldn't even look me in the eye once more before leaving. I watched and followed him with a glare before I leaned on the shelves and closed my eyes as I could feel my knees slightly shaking due to the tension. I sighed and gulped not giving in to the urge to hold my chest.

I was then distracted by the movements around me. My eyes flew open, I watched the guy left with me move towards the books on the floor before he placed them back on the shelf one by one. When he was down with the last book, I couldn't help but speak anymore.

"Why are you doing here?" I asked him in a perpetually tired voice. "Why did you do that?"

Hearing my question, he turned around to look at me, the book still on his hand with an eyebrow raised at me as if I just asked the most ridiculous question.

"Well, did you expect me not to do anything?" He responded casually. "He was being a prick and you're not doing anything." He added, in a controlled low voice.

"It's none of your business."

I watched how he closed his eyes, swallowed as if trying to calm himself.

"He was already talking about the other woman and you couldn't even..." He let out a harsh sigh. "Any rational woman in your position would've slapped that jerk for Pete's sake."

It was evident that he was mad frustrated as he glared at me.

"Shut up Baekhyun." It was the only thing I could say before I finally left my spot.

I just had to do it as I felt tears start to pool in my eyes.

"Kang Seol hee." He called in a moderate voice suited in the library which made me stop on my feet.

I didn't turn around, not wanting to face him.

"Don't you dare cry for that ?"

I bit my lip hearing his remark.
"Or I'd find him and make him regret he ever got to know you."

There was both demand and care in his tone which I chose to ignore by leaving him alone. I knew he was just looking out for me but I was embarrassed he had to see that and mad that he had to intrude like that.

∞⇢

Really, was it possible not to cry when someone left you for another woman? I knew the time I spent with Jinseo wasn't that long but it still hurt me, my pride. I had a feeling it would happen sooner or later but I was still not prepared for it. Now, what do I do whenever I see them on campus? God, this was making me crazy.

Resting my elbows on the railings, I covered my face with my hands and indulged in the silence brought by my surroundings, hoping it could defeat the chaos in my thoughts. However, it wasn't even five minutes yet when I almost jumped on my feet when a very familiar voice broke my train of thoughts.

"Hey, what was that about?" He asked in rage.

Turning around, I expected to see the very person I knew would find me sooner or later.

He stood about two meters away from where I was, dropping his backpack on the ground. He was mad, I noticed that right away but I just didn't wanna talk to him right now. I was a hundred percent sure that he would nag and lecture me about Jinseo and the sparring we had back in our Hapkido Session. But then again, if I didn't want him to find me, I would've gone somewhere he wouldn't find me.

"Just leave Baekhyun," I replied as I turned to face the other way. "I want to be alone right now."

However, instead of leaving, he chose the thing he was likely to do whenever we had arguments.

"Yeah right." He rolled his eyes, mocking me.

He walked towards me, stopped next to me, and held my arm.

"I want you to tell me what was that for? Did you have to throw a tantrum like a

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