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College wasn't something new to Jihoon. It wasn't his first time enrolling in the campus but it sure feels weird and surreal after a while. For the past year, he has done nothing but train and train. It was the only thing he did under the supervision of Yeon's friend; someone who he also grew accustomed to, Daehyun. The niveis was generally cold and aloof, but it didn't take the valkyr long to make him warm up to him with his bright personality. Despite being dismissed for his efforts plenty of times, Jihoon never gave up. Why was he training with Dae for a year? Because one night everything changed for him. Quite literally. He was no longer human and he knew he had to control himself in so many ways, including the way he walks and do things because he had to learn to tone down his own strength for the first two months.
Dae actually had to knock him out a lot because he couldn't succeed the first time. If there was one thing Jihoon did not like and grew to fear, it's being knocked out by Daehyun Stormwind. The other male has a scary aura to him sometimes it actually scared the wits out of him. Yeon came visiting every once in a while too and once the two of them decided Jihoon was ready to rejoin society, the first thing he did was make his way to the city both lived in and enrolled himself in Evermore University. It's the closest thing to normalcy for him. He already moved in a while ago and today was supposed to be the day he joined a campus tour with the rest of the freshmen.
At first he wasn't sure if it was nerves or he's just plain excited at the idea of being able to go back to his life, but now he finds himself walking towards the administration and filling out a few things needed before making his way to the fountain by the building entrance. They were told to gather there and wait for the guide to arrive with the rest. There were not many of them, less than a dozen but it was probably because he joined at the second semester of the year instead of the first like the others. He's a late student. Jihoon was busy staring at the fishes in the fountain and even made faces at them, not realizing he was close to falling in.
She laughed and shrugged her shoulders slightly “What can I say? No point pretending to be something I’m not” she commented and smiled softly, she was smart in other ways and that was what mattered. She poked her tongue out playfully when he teased her for being confident in herself “Plenty, my friends back in the last city I was in, insisted on having game night most weeks so I learned the ropes pretty quick” she even learned how to spot cheaters because one of them liked to see what he could get away with on order to get ahead of everyone else. “You sound pretty confident yourself” she teased and raised her brows towards him.
She grinned slightly “So you’re saying we’re basically both the boring ones” she commented and shook her head playfully, so they were both going to encourage one another to be homebodies if they were friends. “You went to Julliard?” she questioned, her mouth agape for a moment in surprised, she enjoyed dancing but she’d never been that level of good at it, he must be really talented “Then why would you be repeating...I mean you must be really talented if you went to such a school” she pressed her lips together. Perhaps it wasn’t her business to ask but she was pretty surprised. "Maybe you can show me some tips in dancing sometime" she commented in a soft voice, she’d love to get better at it.
“I’ll bet...though clearly not a bad one if you’re still here” she commented with a soft smile, she liked the freedoms that were afforded to people in recent years, she liked being able to choose to live her life however she wanted and work for a living, it was liberating, especially after what she had been through on Unyak. “Guilty” she commented when he said she was more of a bookworm than someone practical “Though not when it comes to cooking, I have that somewhat down to an art” she commented and bit her lip “I love making ice cream, seeing what different flavors I can put together, getting the texture just right...oh and sorbet...cause I love fruit” she commented and grinned. “Well my manager might not like that so how about I make you something separately, I won’t even make you pay for it” she teased playfully “But in exchange you have to give me your full and honest review” she teased, glancing back because she noticed he had fallen behind.
“I am confident, you see… My opponent can be very persuasive and persistent in general. He acts like he couldn’t care less even though I’m pretty sure beneath that tough exterior lies someone sensitive, but anyways he… can be pretty good at what does and once he sets his mind on the board games, well there’s no escaping his clutches. I’m sure he also cheated but I could never catch him in action…” It was impressive, honestly. Upon finding out what Dae worked as, he realized it wasn’t exactly a surprise if someone like him could sneak in and out without anyone knowing, much less cheat unnoticed. Jihoon pulled a face when she described them both as boring, “I wouldn’t say… boring, you know? I think we’re more laidback and not uh… fun-loving?” But he didn’t see himself as someone who would reject the prospects of having fun, not really. He just never really got the chance to bask in them.
For a moment there, he totally forgot how prestigious Juilliard is, he had forgotten about the mundane affairs, which made him wince internally. This is a good reminder. “Yeah, I got in a few years ago, my school recommended me to the board and I passed the entrance examination.” He’s also top of his class plenty, going as far as winning the annual dancing competition twice in a row. “I mean… Juilliard is a performing school, right? I love dancing and I still do, but I also have other things I like too… something like cooking. I used to love cooking for my mother and sisters. I thought since I have already graduated from that place, why not do something else in my interest?” Once upon a time, Jihoon wanted to be a professional dancer or choreographer. He wanted to be like Yeon in that sense, minus the whole businessman part. But to be someone famous, which he also had the ambition to, because who doesn’t want to be known for their skills? To be someone famous in his current status as a valkyr is just not possible.
Not when his face might be documented in history and everyone can just go to the internet to search it up. “Did you want to attend Juilliard too?” Perhaps a while ago, like him. “I’d love to, what kind of dancing do you prefer? Contemporary? Hip hop?” His eyes lit up almost instantly when she said she is good at cooking, “Oh! I have always wanted to have a cooking battle, you know. Are you better at desserts or appetizers? Or I don’t know, the more savory cuisines?” To say he’s excited at the potential of having a friend who is also good at culinary would be an understatement. “You know, my friend loves sorbet. Dae always likes the sour ones and I always tease how it’s because he’s also a sour person himself” he chuckled, yeah he definitely misses the niveis. “We can do that, you do mine and I’ll do yours, how does that sound? I want another person to review my dishes too.” It could be an equal partnership.
Freyja raised a curious brow when he spoke about his opponent in games, it was interesting because the way he described this person seemed a lot like someone she used to know “When I was younger I used to play chequers with someone sneaky like that, I’m pretty sure he stole pieces off the board when I wasn’t looking” she laughed and shook her head, it had been one of those games her and Dae played to pass the time, though they were both pretty competitive about it. She giggled slightly when he said they weren’t boring but just more laidback “I can see that, though we’re here in college, it couldn’t hurt to have a little...fun...right?” she commented with a wry smile.
She widened her eyes a little as he talked to show her interest in what he was saying “That’s amazing...you must be very talented for them to scout you like that” she commented with a half-smile “Julliard is...a lot of work to go through not to choose it as your career path” she pointed out thoughtfully, she wondered if maybe he had gone through some sort of injury or setback which meant he couldn’t pursue it any further. “Cooking has always been something I wanted to get good at, though I haven’t been able to pursue it until lately so I’m kinda throwing everything I have at it” and she wasn’t understating that, there was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time for her.
She gave a wistful smile but shook her head “I don’t think university was even in the picture for me until a few years ago” she confessed with a shy smile and shrugged “You could say my home life was pretty complicated and I didn’t have a lot of time to focus on what I...wanted” she murmured it softly. “I’m definitely a fan of modern dance, I’ve actually been learning a little bit on the pole because it’s great exercise” she confessed and blushed slightly because she knew the implications of such a thing. “Mostly my focus has been around desserts, I’m known for making a pretty epic ice cream mochi” she teased playfully and smiled “But I wanna cover all ground where possible” she nodded a few times.
The more he talked about his friend, the more familiar he seemed, she had to admit, she raised her brows “Daehyun Stormwind?” she questioned curiously, wondering if the world really was small enough to bring her to someone who knew Dae around. Though she had to admit that Jihoon wasn’t the kind of person she would guess Dae would choose to befriend. “Oh it’s on, can’t complain at a bit of sharing here and there” she commented and grinned playfully, she was actually quite excited for it. “So what about you? What’s your cooking specialty?” she questioned curiously.
Dae might not look like it but he's a really good opponent when it comes to playing any games that require the mind to work more than it usually does. Which makes Jihoon respect how perceptive the niveis is. "Chequers? I've never played it before, are they fun?" The thought of someone actually stealing off the board sounds like something that would happen though, especially if they wanted to win badly. He could feel his cheeks flushing when she complimented him, Jihoon rubbed the back of his neck shyly and looked down “It’s just something I picked up as a hobby, and I turned out to be really good at it, that’s what they said. It’s a big thing, but I don’t think I want to be under the spotlight as a professional dancer, maybe I’m leaning more to the low=key ones? I’d love to be a choreographer though, that’s a nice opportunity” it took every strength in him not to say it’s his dream.
“If you pay attention to it a little bit more, you may find yourself working in the kitchen as a chef in the future.” It doesn’t sound impossible, especially if you are a good cook. “But now you can pay attention to what you want?” If she’s here enrolling in the university, then it must mean she finally has time to focus on this aspect of her life. Jihoon probably liked the life of a student, and that’s why he wasn’t too stressed out nor upset at the idea of reentering his college days to pursue culinary instead. He likes to learn. He raised his eyebrows in amusement when she said she did some pole "So you have a good command of your upper body strength, impressive, would it be weird if I say I'd like to see?" Not got any other reasons, solely because Jihoon knew it wasn't easy to do pole dancing because of the commitment and training.
Unfortunately, he wasn't a fan of mochi because he was that picky when it comes to the texture but he could appreciate an ice cream mochi. For a brief while, the valkyr actually blinked in surprise upon hearing that familiar name, did she know him too? "Yeah, Dae… do you know him? He's not exactly friendly to a lot of people…" Maybe the world is smaller than he thought it was. "Let me guess, did he uh… get cozy with you?" Honestly, considering Dae's personality who doesn't like to befriend people in general, that's the only thing he could sum up; his sleeping partners.
"Truffles, I'm good at those, and hors d'oeuvre, I've done a lot of those since I don't dare to experiment on anything that's particularly heavy. Dae's my test subject- I mean uh tester… yeah food tester and he's strict as hell…" Honestly, that's an understatement. Daehyun Stormwind is a food critic.
Freyja shrugged her shoulders slightly when he asked if chequers were fun “I mean...it’s basically a dumbed-down version of chess, it’s fun if you’re good at strategizing” she preferred it to chess simply because it didn’t take as much thinking and pre-planning so it was an easy game to play to while away some time. “I’ll show you how to play sometime” she teased playfully and smiled, she got the feeling he’d probably be good at it. She nodded as she lifted her gaze, she wondered if he had stage fright or something like that which impacted the way he saw his future career “As long as you get to dance in one way or another...that’s what’s important right?” she knew what it was like to have a passion for something and not want to let it go.
She smiled sweetly and looked down for a moment before back up to him “You haven’t even tried my cooking yet, it might be awful” she commented and laughed softly, pressing her lips together as she watched him “But if there is one thing about me...it’s when I set my mind to something I won’t ever give up on it” she murmured softly, she wasn’t the type to quit, she would rather try and fail time and time again than to be seen as someone who gave up on something she wanted. She bit her lip, wondering what went through his mind when she confessed what type of dance she did, she laughed at his response “You definitely aren’t the first one to ask to watch...though you might be the first to seem sincere” she did have to practice a lot because it really did take a lot of strength and control she had no idea how to handle before.
The way he blinked in surprise made her widen her eyes too because she was honestly surprised the world could be so small for his friend to be the same person she knew “We were friends a long time ago” she responded and tilted her head wondering if that meant he knew about the supernatural, if he was close with Dae it seemed likely “How close are the two of you?” shed questioned curiously, she used to be pretty close with him but it had been years, she knew he had changed a lot. She widened her eyes and then giggled at the cute way he suggested she had slept with Dae though “It’s not like that, though knowing Dae, I can see why you’d assume that” she chuckled and shook his head “He does have some friends...even if they’re rare” it seemed like Jihoon was one too.
She raised her brows when he said Dae was his food tester “Tough crowd then” she commented and shook her head slightly “But I think that’d probably do you pretty well, at least you won’t have him telling you it tastes amazing when it doesn’t” Dae was nothing if he wasn’t bluntly honest. “Maybe I should make him try my food…” she commented thoughtfully.
Maybe he could also play it sometimes with Freyja, she looks like she would really put up quite a fight, the valkyr could sense somewhat a competitive spirit inside the blonde. They can exchange things, isn't that a healthy way of doing it nowadays? He grinned at the thought of just being able to dance, when you have that passion in you, there wasn't much you wouldn't give up for it. "Yeah, you can't really forget your roots either way, it just kind of stuck with you. Even if you don't pick up dancing for a while, the moment you start following the beat the next time, your body will naturally flow seamlessly." He didn't know how to properly describe it but he always found himself lost when he had his earphones plugged in and danced in an empty space alone.
"Most people who say their cooking could be awful usually turn out to be quite the opposite. You know? As opposed to those who are confident their food will taste amazing" no offense to said people but it was funny how things turned out that way. "But I'm sure it won't be too bad, worst case scenario I get food poisoning which thankfully has never happened to me in my entire life. I call it my lucky streak and I'm confident it won't be broken now." Or maybe he was being a little bit too confident, but that's Jihoon for you, sometimes he would be insanely optimistic. He was curious to see her dance, sometimes not because he thought it makes a person more beautiful but because he thought you could know more about a person from the way they carried themselves, which evidently gets displayed in their choreography.
"I may not be the first to watch but I can tell you I'll be one of those who will continue to cheer on you" he made a fist pump and chuckled, Jihoon is a very supportive individual. When he found out that Freyja might be connected to his grumpy former roommate, he was excited because he didn't think Dae had any friends honestly. Aside from a few others because the niveis keeps people at arm's length. "I was his roommate for about a year and a half? He took care of me when I came to Evermore so yeah, as close as two individuals sharing the same living space for a year or so, I guess?" He wouldn't say they're best of friends, he's definitely closer to Yeon for it but the valkyr was able to tease and crack jokes without facing the bitter consequences. "How close were you?"
She seems pretty nice and had that warm persona going on which probably makes her hard to be disliked so it was possible to have a friendship with Dae, considering how selective he is. "Dae is… interesting, you only get to know him once he allows you in so I can see why it's rare to see him mingle with people in general, unless they come with the carnal pleasure package. Believe me, being his roommate meant I had my fair share of him and his activities" How much has he lost count how much Yeon and he transpired? Plenty. "He actually likes to eat, I was surprised when I found out his appetite is quite interesting. He doesn't prefer sweets so I always make him savoury dishes instead. He doesn't like the spice too much but can brave himself through pickles like it's a snack. He likes bread a lot."
She smiled softly “There’s a reason we all are so fascinated by dancing...why we all start to move a little when we hear music” it was a natural thing to enjoy music and dance to it, she hoped that everyone got to have the experience of enjoying dancing because it felt so natural and freeing to her. She laughed and looked down for a moment when he pointed out that most good cooks were from those who doubted their skills “I think it’s about a continual sense of improvement...we want to always do our best...but that means we keep setting our standards higher and higher” which ended up improving the thing they were making overall.
“You’ve never had food poisoning?” she questioned and raised her brow “I wish I had been that lucky, you must have a stomach of steel or something” she teased and grinned slightly. Still her cooking had never given someone it, she always made sure to prepare food the proper way and she was very diligent with ensuring everything was cooked. Of course, that meant sometimes her food was a little overcooked but she was working to improve that. She smiled when he said he would cheer her on “You would?” she commented and smiled “It would be nice to have someone on my side” she murmured softly and grinned slightly.
“You lived with him” she commented and widened her eyes slightly, Dae didn’t seem like the kind of person who would take on a roommate, he was more of a lone wolf which made her wonder what his motivation must have been “That must have been pretty intense...he’s quite the private person” she commented thoughtfully, but she supposed they must have found a way to get along if they’d made it that long without fighting too much. “We were good friends in the past, though I hadn’t seen him in a while, life got complicated as it always does” he was one of the people she had missed most honestly.
She laughed “You could say we were neighbors for a while I guess” she had to be vague in case he didn’t know about the supernatural, but if he was living with Dae for that long she was fairly certain he must know. “Yeah I can’t say that sounds like the most peaceful living situation” but others were probably just as bad, everyone had their needs after all. “So basically you became his personal meal provider” she teased and chuckled, at least he would be an honest critic when it came to the food “Bread is a good staple, it took me a while to get the hang of making it, one wrong step and it comes out wrong” it was definitely challenging.
He chuckled and tilted his head slightly to the side while eyeing her “You sound like one of those students who were so inspired by music to dance, gotta love those, they know how to speak and use their words” Freyja looked like she’d be an eloquent speaker. He could relate when she related perfectionism to cooking because he was often the same, though he never did beat himself down if he failed to perfect a certain dish. He always tried to keep his head up and be positive throughout the entire time before trying again. “That’s the reason why we don’t dare taste our own dish before giving another time to criticize and give their feedback. Mine can be so mean but he’s a good eater, so that works out well.” He just needs to remind himself not to give him anything too spicy because god knows the niveis would fling the entire table.
"My mother was very particular with my food when I was growing up and I developed that habit so I always check what type of food I'm digesting… hell sometimes I even have this annoying habit to calculate the nutrition. It was just something I used to do to pass the time." It became addictive. "Why not? Like you said, it'd be nice to have someone by your side, right?" He didn't see why that should be weird. Her reaction wasn't one he expected, especially knowing they had another thing in mutual, or more specifically, a person they both know. "Yeah… my uh, friend… he knew Dae, well he still does. Anyway, they're close and he asked him to take care of me for a while and Dae kind of did?" To be honest, at first when he heard the news, he was surprised the niveis was fine with it, considering how cold he looks. He looked as if he wouldn't care about anyone else aside from those he had carefully selected.
Jihoon was wrong to think like that. Dae was warmer than he thought. "He's very private, yeah… he tolerates me. I mean he threatened me a lot, I think every day he managed to come up with a new one. He's very creative." That's one way to describe Daehyun Stomwind. "I broke through though, who knew food was the answer?" They weren't lying when they said the way to a person's heart is through their stomach. "Have you two met one another recently then? I have his number is you need it" he offered, there was a part of him that wondered if the two were really just friends. Could their relationship have been more than just that? "Neighbors? You lived in the same place he did before moving to Evermore?" That's quite the coincidence.
"It's not as bad as it sounds honestly, he's not too picky but he's the perfect picky to be my food critic. Unfortunately, he couldn't handle spice that well, he just really dislikes them so I can't test that one on him. Or he'd have my head… literally." No matter how friendly he is with Dae, he'd be an idiot to casually poke the pale-haired male. Don't poke the sleeping bear. Or bird. "I tried so many times to perfect it and get the right amount of rising for it, I know he was sick of me trying out bread. He actually begged me no more bread for a whole month." Okay, maybe he could ask. "So… how close were you two? Did you date?"
She smiled softly “Music has always been special to me...especially lately, it’s comforting to me to listen to anything and everything, people have so much talent” and music often just made you want to get up and dance, especially ones with fast rhythms that made you want to tap your toes the moment you heard them. “Of all the things people have brought to the world, it definitely has to be one of the best” she was definitely the type of person who had a deep respect for arts. “Well you have to taste your own dish, otherwise who knows what you could be serving to others, it might be overseasoned or even not properly cooked” that was how she had been taught anyway, taste first before offering.
She raised her brows when he admitted he had somewhat of an obsession with nutrition and smiled softly “Well at least you’ll be well prepared when someone quizzes you on what’s making up your dishes or whether their allergies will be impacted” which was important as a chef because you needed your menu to be inclusive to those with dietary restrictions. She smiled when he said he would cheer her on “I’ll cheer you on right back, we can make sure we both make it through with a smile on our face” which perhaps wouldn’t be easy considering they had a whole course ahead of them which she was sure would be challenging at times.
“Dae took care of you?” she questioned and raised her brows, it was honestly hard to believe they were talking about the same person because the one she knew didn’t tend to take on anyone’s responsibilities but his own “That friend must be important to him” she commented under her breath “No offense but...he’s always been the kind to keep his circle pretty tight” so his willingness to expand it meant something. “I find food can be the answer a lot of the time” it was something everyone shared after all. “I ran into him a couple weeks back, he said he was planning on leaving the city soon” she commented and looked down for a moment, that was a little disappointing.
He chuckled slightly when he explained how many times he had tried to make bread “Sounds like you worked really hard on it, even if the audience didn’t appreciate the effort” she commented and grinned slightly “I hope you managed to get it right after that much work?” she questioned with a bright smile but it faltered when he asked how close they were. “Just friends, which I’m sure is hard to believe but if you know Dae, you’d know he isn’t the dating type, honestly he’s barely even the friends type” she laughed softly “But I think there was a point in time where I was the only one he’d even speak to” he’d definitely opened up since then.
He couldn’t help but allow the smile to form on his face upon hearing that, as someone who has danced all his life, music was essential to his light because he couldn’t possibly dance without anything to guide him and that particular guidance comes from music. He could appreciate other forms of passion too because how else would a culinary major also turn out to be a choreographer or professional dancer? “But if I taste my own dish, then I might not be able to form a proper review for it, who knows if I’ll be extra hard on myself? Or biased because it’s my cooking? I’ll always taste my food either way but it’s nowhere near included for the final review, that’s for sure.”
He could feel the blush creeping up his cheek when he admitted he was somewhat very obsessed with nutrition because he wanted to make sure the ratio between unhealthy and healthy were balanced. His smile grew when she said that. He'd love to get through this with a big smile on his face, feeling very accomplished because he’s done his best. Jihoon has never slacked on anything, he wouldn’t necessarily call himself a perfectionist to the point it’s hazardous but he is very particular about things. “You and I both, Freyja.” It was surprising to find someone else who knew of the niveis because Daehyun Stormwind is not your average man you could just befriend after seeing him at some place, no matter how memorable he could be.
“Yeah, for a year and half honestly… he’s a good caretaker.” Despite how aloof and cold he looks, Dae is just a cat, at the end of the day, and mostly not the big cat kind. He rubbed the back of his head awkwardly when she said Dae isn’t sociable because where’s the lie in that? “Yeah, I got that the first time I met him too. Yeon is… very close to him.” And by close, he means close. His smile disappeared when she said Dae told her he was going to leave the city soon “He did? I thought he was just thinking about it… he said it wasn’t final… but I guess it was” that was upsetting because the valkyr grew to like the grumpy niveis. It would be a loss, he thought. “And you don’t think we could try to convince him to stay?” He really wants to but even Jihoon knows his boundaries. If Dae was set on something, he will go through with it. He nodded with a bright grin when she asked if he finally got it right after so many tries “I did, thankfully. Next time we meet, I’ll bring it for you to taste.” Perhaps he’d find someone who would appreciate it even more.
“Oh I know Dae’s not the type to be the friends friends, his relationship with Yeon is very particular. But I don’t know, I thought because you… uh you’re very pretty and Dae has always had a thing for blondes… and hot people” he mumbled, yeah that much he could see. His ears perked up when she said she used to be the only person the niveis would speak to “He’s very reserved… has he always been like that?” Something must’ve happened, right? People don’t just come into this world feeling bitter.