The Eagle Diamond III

hands up (it's a robbery)
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“Rina, turn back.”

 

“Why?”

 

“They’re going to assassinate the Queen.”

 

 

Seulgi isn’t going to lie about how Kuhn’s casual hint of a royal death has blindsided her. All they had planned was about a million ways on how to retrieve the diamond safely, each with increasing difficulty but nevertheless guaranteed a complete get-away. There was no discussion about an assassination. That possibility was not even considered, with Seulgi and Irene too absorbed in maneuvering the limelight away from Karina and Ryujin, while here goes Kuhn promptly flashing a bright red target on the queen’s back.

 

This, unfortunately, changes everything.

 

After giving up their weapons at the front, all that is left of their belongings are some lockpicks Seulgi hides under her tongue and the small blades underneath Irene’s heels. They could have had more but Seulgi didn’t want Kuhn to be suspicious, making sure Irene had gotten rid of any noticeable weapon on her person.

 

(At Kuhn’s request, Seulgi immediately puts down her gun while opening her suit jacket. With a show of hands, she says, “That’s all I have on me.”

 

Irene is more reluctant, eyes flashing before a nudge from Seulgi prompts her to unclasp the gun holstered beneath her dress. She is rushing to move away so Seulgi quickly places a hand on her back to keep her there.

 

“All of it.” Seulgi says.

 

Irene responds with a grunt, unsheathing the large knives she keeps under both of the sleeves of her dress. They drop to the table noisily, making the men jump. The blades were wonderfully decorated and when one of Kuhn’s men attempted to lift it, the blade had never even left the table.

 

“All of it.” Seulgi repeats.

 

She hears a grumble then a swish of leather, Irene untying the belt around her waist and placing it on the table as well. The beautifully crafted steel stars, all thanks to the Japanese weaponsmith they’ve met on a trip to Tokyo, attached to the inside makes for some audible swallowing in the crowd of henchmen. 

 

“All of it.” Seulgi stresses.

 

There’s a hiss directed at her that she pays no mind to, just glad that Irene’s hands move towards her ears, unclasping the earrings and aggressively slamming them on the table. There’s confusion that brews within the men that quickly gives way to panic as Seulgi explains that the earrings were actually tiny grenades powerful enough to create casualties within a 50-meter radius.

 

It’s Irene’s playful smirk that has them sweating, nervously allowing them through the doors of the palace without any further trouble.

 

Yet there is a teasing smile on Kuhn’s face that completely does nothing to calm Seulgi’s nerves.)

 

“So, was there a reason you made me leave everything I needed to get us out of here or you just have a death wish?” Irene complains, immediately calling down a waiter for a glass of champagne that easily becomes two.

 

“I had to. I have a feeling he’s already suspicious that we’re going to make a grab for the diamond and this whole ordeal with the queen is just to make it much more difficult for us.”

 

“But we have the diamond anyway. Why not just make a break for it?”

 

“Running now would confirm that we did something. Plus, I don’t want to take a chance and actually see that he’s going to kill off the queen.”

 

Irene sighs deeply before taking a sip of her champagne, looking at the corner of her eye to see Seulgi’s tightening grip on her own glass, face contorting as she thinks of a way out. She places a hand over Seulgi’s.

 

“Hey, we’ve been in tighter spaces before, haven’t we? Think of this as… Busan.”

 

Seulgi turns to her, eyebrow raised. “You mean that time at Seven Luck Casino where they figured Yeri was counting cards and had us play Russian Roulette?”

 

“Yeah! We got out of that without any bullet holes. What’s different with this one?”

 

“The only reason we got out in the first place was because the gun I placed on the table managed to jam at the last minute and Sooyoung came down with an assault rifle.”

 

“Good times, good times.” Irene says as she places her head on Seulgi’s shoulder, a sentimental look on her face.

 

They both settle into the silence by focusing their attention towards the crowd in front of them. 

 

Everyone and their mothers are practically here with the way the entire floor is entirely occupied by someone in a fancy dress or suit. They let the noise and chatter invade the thoughts inside of their mind for just a moment, to clear it out before thinking of another plan that could get all of them and the diamond (and of course, the queen) safe and sound. It goes for a couple of minutes before Irene breaks the silence.

 

“Tell me about the layout.” Irene murmurs, eyes twinkling under the lights of a giant chandelier.

 

“...I’m guessing you didn’t study the map the Shin kid gave us.”

 

“My pretty brain is preoccupied with things.”

 

Seulgi sighs. “We’re on the first floor. Second’s floor is just split into left and right balconies but no guests. Queen’s in the end of the first floor, farthest from the main door on her throne atop a platform. There’s a staircase near the platform that leads to the Queen’s private quarters outside, making that her exit. Guest entrance and exit is right behind us, leading to another set of stairs that reaches the courtyard.”

 

“How many guards?”

 

“One for every window, with four windows on each of the floors making eight. There’s two more that patrol the throne area, intersecting behind it every minute before taking a rest for 30 seconds. That’s ten and not yet counting Kuhn and his two own personal guards by the Queen’s staircase. Forfeiting the ones guarding outside… that would be thirteen people in all.”

 

“Thirteen,” Irene rolls her eyes. “How lucky.”

 

“But?”

 

“But it's more manageable than I would have expected.” Irene snaps her fingers once. “Okay, bet. I’m taking the wheel now and I will not stop until I have that pretty diamond in my hands.”

 

“You mean, in the US government’s hands?”

 

“To-may-to, to-mah-to.”

 

“How do you plan on playing this, my love?”

 

Irene downs the rest of her champagne and places it into a passing server’s tray, the smile on her face reminding Seulgi of their engagement night, where Seulgi’s gift to her wife-to-be was a Bae defector, one that would have left the Baes with a bone-dry treasury if not for a Kang sergeant stopping him, and Irene had taught Seulgi the hundred and one ways one could ever hold a knife.

 

(The poor man stood no chance, with the way his screams echoed in the dungeons for days. Let it be said that hell hath no fury like a Bae scorned).

 

The smile is beyond the term sinister and Seulgi suddenly feels the urge to offer a prayer to Kuhn’s soul for whatever retaliation her harebrained wife has concocted. Add the way Irene’s eyes visibly darken, as if someone is baiting her with something she wants and boy is she going to go after it, no matter what it takes.

 

“It’s a secret. I’m not sure you can even handle it.”

 

“I beg to differ.”

 

“Then beg.” Irene’s eyes flash, and Seulgi could’t stop the flush she feels creeping up her neck.

 

(She’s thrown into a thought of this happening in a different universe, where she’s Kang Seulgi and Irene’s Bae Joohyun and guns and blood are replaced by guitar picks and drama soundtracks).

 

The smile turns into a smirk, Irene smug that she managed to reduce Seulgi into stunned silence while Seulgi just looks at her with a piercing haze. She decides to delve into her swagger, hands coming up to straighten Seulgi’s tie as well as run her hands down the expensive cotton shirt.

 

“Let’s just say,” Irene relents as Seulgi blinks back into reality. “That Kuhn will be the luckiest man on Earth if he ever manages to walk out of this place alive.”

 

 

 “Hey, Shin.”

 

“Yes, Miss Irene?”

 

“Got any bombs on you?”

 

“Well, I’ve made some new ones that should act like grenades but I made them non-lethal.”

 

“Meh, good enough. Got a trigger?”

 

“...Can I at least ask why?”

 

“This party’s a show. We’ll smoke them out… and then some.”

 

 

“Can I ask, what exactly is Plan B?”

 

“Like a contraception plan or Irene-unnie's plan?”

 

“The latter.”

 

“Honestly? No idea. If she tells you to do something, you just do it. And pray that it works while you’re at it.”

 

“Have I told you that your sister is nuts? Because she is.” Ryujin complains, still sullen after being made to sacrifice their newly-made bombs they’ve been tinkering around with to make into some type of firework.

 

(Karina did her best to placate them with a promise that they can have a field day over purchasing raw materials in the next street fair, on the Bae-Kangs’ tab. They vowed to take revenge by buying every little trinket they see).

 

“How is she nuts for asking about bombs? You do know their lives are at stake now, right?” Karina replies as she leads them to the back gardens. 

 

“Absolutely out of her mind. Crazy. Demented.” Rujin continues.

 

She shushes Ryujin for a moment, eyes focused on the scene while simultaneously thanking whichever god is in the big, blue sky right now that the royal lanterns are closed to give way to lighting up the palace. Maybe her sister-in-law is right. With Kuhn dropping his guard the moment he knew the two gang leaders were at the party and never thinking of the possibility of a distraction, he

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gazwashere
ayt! just dropped Part III after so many months in the drafts :") let me know what you think!
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