Breakfast and Blood

Winter in the Wilderness
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Minjeong woke up the next morning to the sound of a whistling pot. For a good moment, she had hardly been able to recall where she was or whose bed she was in, but as she slowly peeked her eyes open, her memories instantly came flooding back to her.


The March Hare stood by the stove, her hands occupied with a pot of tea. She was whistling softly, a merry attitude floating on her face as she strode in and out of the cottage. She spied Squirrel near the corner, carefully preparing what smelled like eggs and buttered toast. Minjeong shifted as quietly as she could and turned her body to sneak a peek at the bed across the room.




She furrowed her brows and, after a heavy sigh, rolled herself up from bed. It was unfortunately shabby, and to be honest, it was more of a worn down cot than anything else, but the March Hare had offered it to her last night, and since Minjeong refused to sleep on the floor or anywhere in proximity near the Hatter, she had taken up the offer politely.


The Hatter, she thought cautiously. What a strange girl.

Yawning wildly, she suddenly felt the bruises on her body lining up on her sides, stretching everywhere from her knees to her fingertips. Her bottom, in particular, was unbelievably sore. Rubbing her eyes, she ran a hand over her tousled hair, which had retained its waves after a good night's rest.


Though she could hardly call last night a good night's rest.


There was something incredibly unsettling about sleeping in a tiny cottage with three girls (strangers, nonetheless): two snoring and one miniature. And while Minjeong supposed she liked them well enough (at least the March Hare and Squirrel), she wasn't sure how comfortable she was spending a whole night with them. But alas, she had no choice, and since they had not murdered her in her sleep, everything was actually going along surprisingly well.


The March Hare returned back inside the cottage, the empty pot hanging in her hands. Noticing Minjeong awake, she smiled eagerly and sauntered back towards the stove. "Morning!" she greeted.


“Good morning," she smiled back. Squirrel had noticed her presence as well and waved happily from her spot. Minjeong rolled out from the cot, careful to drape her dress over her legs before she took the comforter off. "It smells delicious outside."


“I can't take all the credit. Squirrel knows how to cook some mean scrambled eggs. Anything else you'd want?"


“You wouldn't happen to have Oreo O’s?”




“Never mind."


After a couple of moments of gathering herself, Minjeong splashed her face in the sink and straightened out her dress, joining both Squirrel and the March Hare outside. While the majority of the table was still occupied with tea cups, random breakfast plates were now also scattered on the table. Sitting herself down, she elegantly crossed her legs and made it a point to avoid being poured a cup of tea.


Luckily, the March Hare did not seem to take offense, and the three of them began lighthearted chatter about simple nonsense and riddles. She was quite enjoying herself, taking delicate bites out of her butter sausages and orange marmalade biscuits. Though several minutes had already passed by, and a certain someone's presence had been missing the entire meal. Minjeong couldn't help but slightly hate herself for noticing. She leaned back in her seat, appearing as casual as she could before she commented offhandedly, "The Hatter's missing a wonderful breakfast."


“Yeah!" the March Hair agreed, beaming obliviously.


Minjeong refrained from rolling her eyes. "Well, she’s rather irresponsible for wandering off at such a time. She’s the one who suggested we should leave in the morning.


“No doubt she's preparing for our trip."


“Oh?" she inquired. "I wasn't aware we needed extensive preparation."


“Well, we can't just go into the woods unprotected. Not with the Queen of Hurt’s minions hidden behind every tree.”


Minjeong furrowed her brows. She had never thought of that. "So what kind of preparations are exactly in order?"


“Oh, you know," the March Hare shrugged as she took a bite of a sausage. "The usual. Provisions, water, weapons - "


“Weapons?!” Minjeong instinctively slapped her hand to the table, which sent Squirrel flying into a sugar bowl.


The March Hare smiled at her curiously. "Of course! You can't expect us to lead an army with no weapons."


She sighed. Minjeong hadn't thought of that either. "Well... what weapons are you preparing then?" She held back a gulp. "Guns?”


“Oh no, the Hatter is more traditional. She uses a bow and arrow."


“And let me guess, you're inclined to ninja stars," Minjeong deadpanned.


“No, I'm a swordfighter!" she proclaimed cheerfully and scarfed down her scrambled eggs.


Squirrel had finally crawled out of the sugar bowl, tapping her ears to shake out the excess. Tossing her hair around, she gave Minjeong a frustrated sigh as she relocated herself further away from her companion. Minjeong, oblivious to the tiny girl's irritation, sighed unconsciously. "I suppose you're a weapons master too, Squirrel?”


“They don't make weapons small enough for me, but luckily, my nails are quite sharp."


“Of course," she sighed again. "I should have guessed."


“How about you? What is your weapon of choice?" the March Hare inquired.


“Unless I can kill anyone with a look, I have none."


“Sounds dangerous!" March Hare grinned.


Minjeong rolled her eyes, but a small smile soon followed. She found it was hard staying mad at the March Hare for long, for she did nothing but look at her so genuinely. And as silly as it was, she had taken quite a liking to it. They continued with the rest of their breakfast in easy conversation (well, as easy as it could be with the three odd characters they were), and Minjeong found herself getting more comfortable within the group. The idea of defending Kwangya and creating a massive uprising almost left her mind completely – almost.


“Aren't we chatty this morning?" a mocking voice approached.”


The Hatter poked through from the sides of the forest. A few small knapsacks were slung over her shoulder, and she tossed the extras towards the March Hare. She caught it with expected ease and she too donned it across her chest. The two girls huddled, handed each other unseen items, and spoke in low voices. As Minjeong squinted her eyes, she was sure she saw the hilt of a blade slide into the March Hare's sheath. The Hatter suddenly slung another article over her shoulder, and she was surely not mistaken this time when she saw several arrows poking out of the lanky sack. Her right hand wrapped tightly and somewhat naturally around the bow counterpart.


As they continued to speak to each other, Minjeong tried very hard not to stare over at them. The March Hare looked just as cheerful as always, and the Hatter donned a hard expression, one that was strangely fitting on her face. As she took small sips of her "light" tea, she wondered where the Hatter had to go to retrieve their stuff. Was there more of their home that she did not know about? Or perhaps she already contacted allies who hid their weaponry? Did she have them hidden in some parts of the woods? Was it key to suppress suspicion? Minjeong sighed and lifted the cup to her lips. They were a curious bunch, she admitted, perhaps more curious than she would like. And if last night didn't prove that already, surely their traveling would.


Last night...


Minjeong fought back the flustered heat rising in her cheeks as she gulped down another sip. Though, to feed her vanity, she took pride in the well-known fact that she was highly sought after back in school. She already thought it would be the same at the company and even in this completely crazy, unnatural universe, she was sure it would hold true as well. And perhaps it was a bit conceited to think so, but she still found herself shocked when the Hatter had leaned forward and stole a kiss last night.


Because even though Kim Minjeong was obviously attractive, as she so put, she was not easy.


And the fact that the Hatter seemed to be oblivious to that made Minjeong determined she was never to think that again.


Not that she would even give her a chance. Hardly.


It was a fleeting moment, she settled. The Hatter caught her completely by surprise, and no normal person had enough instinct to push her away. So she simply did what any normal person would have done in the situation, and as far as Minjeong was concerned, she had as much control in that moment as she was granted. Certainly the Hatter wouldn't think twice to do such a thing again.


She was such a barbarian, Minjeong thought heavily, to have a kiss lasso her in for their quest. And the more Minjeong thought about it, the more she understood that the kiss was even a duty of he

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Chapter 1: stopp this sounds so interesting