This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things (Daehyun and Jaesung) COMPLETED

Today was like any other day. At least in Daehyun's dictionary, it means it's a day filled with somber, dull and solemn mood. Basically just pouring in plenty of other synonyms that could associate itself with the word. When it comes to him, there's no surprise anywhere if he didn't prefer running around in his current state of mind. Daehyun Stormwind had a look that literally says ‘I'm so done with life' plastered across his face 24/7. It's prominent enough to come as a mask, a permanent one. Could you blame him? He's had a tragic life so far, yes, so far, god help him if there were more to come along next. He simply didn't have the energy to fend off anything that resembles a problem. Or plural. But today defeats it all; it's Valentine's Day, the most hated day ever for him. Well, next to Thanksgiving, probably.

The elder Stormwind has nothing against festivities generally as a whole, but you know what they say, ‘haters hate what they can't have' or something along the lines of it. That's precisely his situation. Daehyun hated knowing while everything is going so well before his eyes, he was missing out on it. He wouldn't have someone to come back to for any of the festivities, or people to celebrate with. It wasn't as if it was a big mood to go around in Unyak too. Everything is ice cold, quite literally. The surroundings, the atmosphere, the mood, everything. As if being ice birds weren't bad enough, things were bad, the tension intensified too much that he was so sure one of those days, he would've snapped and break every string he had holding him back. Sure, he had Mirae. But considering how they haven't been conversing to each other for a century, says a lot about their rusted bond. Nothing he couldn't fix, at least.

Attachments didn't go easy for the pale haired Niveis. He felt as if he's been taking on bigger responsibilities every year that increases his lifetime. How does one live peacefully while hating themselves at the same time? Guess he'll have to find that one out. Running his fingers through his light colored hair that resembles very much like snow, Daehyun sighed heavily before closing the book he's been reading. Now, when the hell has he ever had time to read something that has no relation to his duty? Never. That's why he's been reading Evermore's history. If they were to make their home and settlement comfortably there, the least he could do is make sure it's a potential permanent residency. He didn't wish to move again. Thrice was more than enough for him.

According to the city's history, the peace treaty seemed to uphold their city for years, there has been a few complications here and there but nothing they couldn't solve. While humming to himself, Daehyun placed the thick book back at its respective place and grabbed his jacket before making his exit. At this point, his cabin was filled with plenty of books that really connects A to Z, and yet there was still so much that the young Niveis had yet to find out. So many things to cover, yet so little time. At least his only commitment was to that and nothing else, so he's lucky. The moment he pushed the entrance door open, the cold breeze greeted him square to the face as he actually had to close his eyes for a brief while. Just give them a blizzard and get it over with, could it.

Only he would actually stay inside for the whole day and only went out late at night. He had an excuse for staying inside though. 2 actually. One, it's Valentine's Day. Two, he had some reading to do and couldn't be bothered by any form of interruption and intrusion. It wasn't as if he had anyone to meet anyways. For the next few minutes, he found himself soaring through the skies and stared down at the dimmed lights in the city. It's actually not so bad from above. Landing somewhere between the buildings, he tugged on his jacket before entering the library. He at least had to make it seem that he's not abnormal despite not being affected by the cold weather. Considering the time he picked to go and pick a few books at the library, it was most likely going to be very empty. No idea how he passed the front, but the fact that he found himself between the aisles were good enough.

Until he knocked a few books down, of course. The sound would be barely audible since he was far back, but for someone who was near? It would scare the wit out of them. It did not help when the lights suddenly went out. Great. The young Niveis cursed silently before bending down to pick up the books. Everything was fine, up until he got back up and was greeted by someone. Don't get him wrong, he wasn't scared. Spooked and shocked? Maybe. It send him falling backwards with the books sprawled around him. “The hell-” Come on, it was dark.

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Valentines Day. Jae had never really celebrated the holiday before, or not in the American sense of the holiday anyway, back home this particular holiday was the day where women would give chocolates to men they wanted to show affection to, Jae had received a few gifts in his years but it was nothing like the way Americans celebrated it. He had to admit he kinda liked the idea of having a single holiday dedicated to showing affection that wasn’t gender role dependent.

And then there was the fact that he had spent the afternoon and evening with his boyfriend. Yes, his boyfriend. The word still felt so strange and exciting to him, he still couldn’t believe it was real if he was honest. And they’d just had their first date out in public and Jae hadn’t completely had a meltdown so things were really feeling like cloud 9 for him, though perhaps that was also attributed to all the damn spinning the rides had done to his head.

Jae knew he was supposed to go home and sleep now, dream about the wonderful night he’d had and wake up in the morning ready for a day of lectures but as he walked through the streets of the city, a joyous spring to his step as he did so, he just couldn’t find the will to want to go back to his dorm. He was on such a high after his date with Hanseol but he knew if he went home now, his roommates would still be awake and they would either have company over to drive the dhampir half insane or they make some judgy comment that would tarnish what felt like a perfect day.

So he changed the course of his walking and made his way along the familiar path to the university library. The place was pretty amazing when it came to opening hours, allowing for late night study cram sessions and internet access in case anyone’s laptop or Wi-Fi stopped working. When he entered the building he instantly noticed the place was practically empty aside from a small group of students sitting on beanbags in the corner debating over some kind of group project no doubts.

Jae didn’t really know what he actually intended on doing, maybe some writing or research for one of his modules, he certainly needed to do some reading up on the history of Evermore if he was going to write a story based within in it so maybe he would make a start on that. His mind was filled with the prospects of what he could do as he weaved through the familiar racks of books, he enjoyed the range of material they had here, it was pretty extensive for a modestly sized library.

Reaching the back of the racks he spotted an interesting group of books he hadn’t seen before and bent at the knees a little to lean down and read their spines, he was debating picking one of them up when suddenly they moved and he heard a thud from behind the other side of the aisle. Jae was shocked by the sudden movement and made an audible surprised gasp before he covered his mouth with his hands. And then the lights went out and he freaked out, even more, Jae didn’t believe in ghosts but at that moment irrationally set in and he stumbled back a little knocking the shelf and causing more books to fall.

After he managed to catch his breath rationality set in and he realized what had actually happened, scrambling to get the books that had fallen he piled them on top of one another before heading around to help the other person with their mess, after all, it seemed like they had both caused one another trouble without even trying, Jae spoke softly “I actually thought there was a ghost in the library for a moment” he commented, though the moment he spoke he saw the other male jump backwards, sending more books flying. Jae widened his eyes “Sorry I didn’t mean to startle you” he couldn’t actually really see what the other person looked like in this dark but he could hear the gruff voice of a male. “Are you okay?” he asked as he pulled his phone from his pocket which illuminated the small space around them as Jae offered out his hand to help him up as an apology for spooking him.

The lights were out and the air-conditioning wasn't working properly, probably due to the entire power being out. The sudden interruption in his book searching caused the Niveis to accidentally lower the temperature around him. This is what he meant when he said emotions are vital to their abilities. He didn't even notice the air grew colder and the temperature dropped by a milestone. For someone who's been too used to cold places, the sudden change in their surroundings did not alert him. Though he should bear in mind that not everyone is like them, they were still prone to weather change just as they were prone to heat. To think he was a big fan of fire once upon a time ago. The irony still hasn't set in.

When he was taken aback by the sudden male silhouette before him, he admitted he was really spooked for a brief while. So he talks. Yup, definitely not his imagination. Has he been away from the idea of socializing with people so much that he wasn't able to pinpoint which is real and which is not? Perhaps. Cursing a number of profanities in his native tongue silently, he rubbed the sore spot on his head because truly, he fell backwards and hit the side edge when he struggled to get up. “Nope.. Not a ghost.” Not that he could say much for himself. His hair alone paled a stark contrast in this alone-- light colored platinum blonde hair that could pass off easily as white. It was one of the distinctive physical features Daehyun possessed that enabled others to differentiate him.

The elder Stormwind squinted his eyes slightly when the light from the stranger's phone illuminated him and covered one half of his sight with his free hand. “No worries.. It's not your fault. The power should not have went off and I should've known someone else would be here. I thought there wouldn't be anyone because I doubt today is one day students would like to spend their time in a library. Guess I was wrong.” he mumbled dryly and got up to his two feet as he accepted the hand of help from the dhampir. It was up until then that he realized the air grew significantly colder than usual, oh, right. So sorry about that, he thought. With emotions displaced like that, it could really cause trouble. It wasn't so much different from a phoenix's tendencies to start fire when they are flicked off the spot. The only difference was the element used.

“Are you okay?” he asked and bend down to collect the books on the floor that he had in his grasp earlier. A few moments later, the backup generator got back online and things went back to normal. The lights were on, the air-conditioning wasn't working moderately and Daehyun lets out a sigh of relief. He was never going to be able to do his reading in the dark. "I'm.. Daehyun, by the way." It was only right that he introduced himself, as a form of decent mannerisms and common courtesy. Though the surname he wore now probably was going to ignite a few laughter. 

Jae had been so busy worrying about flying books and loud noises that he hadn’t even noticed the drop in temperature at first but then the chill hit his skin and sent a shudder through his body, Jae had never really done well with the cold, he was the kind of person to layer loads of different clothes in the winter so he didn’t have to worry about being cold. He figured it was probably just the lack of heating from the fact that the electrics had gone off though it was curious that the room temperature dropped so fast. Jae shrugged it off though, there were more important things to worry about than the cold.

Jae heard the string of curses that came from the other male’s lips and chuckled to himself shaking his head a little, why was it that he was making a habit of meeting Koreans in this American city, did Koreans just flock to this city or something. He didn’t comment though, instead of responding to the words the other male spoke “You do look a little bit like a ghost though” he joked with a shrug of his shoulders noting the white colored hair that the other male sported in the cell phone light. Thankfully not a ghost though, Jae wasn’t sure how he would handle that particular revelation, for a supernatural he sure had a fear of the unknown, which was a little silly when he thought about it.

Taking his hand Jae pulled the other male up to his feet and shrugged a little still holding the phone up enough to allow them both to see “It does that sometimes, the fuse box has been on the fritz for a few weeks now” he answered with a shrug of his shoulders “Though this is the first time I’ve experienced it late at night” he wrinkled his nose, it was a little spooky considering how old the place was and how dusty and old some of the less used books could get. When the other male mentioned how he thought no one else would be here Jae laughed “Yeah I try not to make a habit of late night library trips but I didn’t feel like going home tonight” he shrugged a little “Assignment due in the morning?” he questioned, really he was surprised to see anyone in here too, it was usually pretty deserted after classes adjourned for the day.

“Oh yeah I’m fine, I was just surprised more than anything” Jae admitted as he ran a hand through his tousled hair, though he was glad when the light came back on because it meant he wouldn’t have to leave the library, he still wasn’t feeling like heading back to his dorm night, maybe in a few hours once he could be sure his roommates would be asleep. When Daehyun introduced himself Jae smiled “I’m Jae” he responded with a bright smile “or Jaesung, whichever works for you” he didn’t really mind what people called him as long as it was polite. Picking up one of the books he had been studying before the altercation he turned it over to read the back “Are you doing some research on the city history too?” he asked curiously noting the section they were in. Absentmindedly Jae ran his hands over his shoulders “I’ve never seen it get so cold in here before” he commented and shivered a little.

When he came to the library so late at night today, his intention was solely on trying to gain more knowledge on the city's everything; from the future plannings and its initial roots back in the day. Of course, Evermore had to come from something. He'll find that out. And where better for him to begin searching and reading if not the library? He would've opted for the local library, but the Niveis thought that the university library would give a lot more revelation on the said matter. You never know, if there's anything he's learnt throughout the time he lived, it's that most of the important stuff are hidden in plain sight.

What he did not expect however, was suffering the consequences of a burnt out fuse box and a mental bruise to his ego that will forever haunt him for the next week maybe. If there was no one to witness his fall, maybe it wouldn't bother him as much. But there was a witness. A student who looked younger than him, physically. When the male commented on how much he bore a striking resemblance to a ghost, he shrugged absentmindedly. “It's the hair, isn't it?” he mumbled, as his free hand went over to ruffle his bright locks. God knows how his hair was able to withstand this bleaching. But the weather change was helping. Slightly. “Though I can say that this is the first time someone ever said I look like a ghost.” he chuckled dryly. Hey, he wasn't always serious.

Daehyun was taken aback when the latter asked if he'd here to finish a last minute assignment work. Right, that's what students do. He wouldn't know, he's been home schooled his entire life once upon a time ago, and he practically stopped studying at any institution or anything regarding the academic records, after he was forced to flee his home. It wasn't like he's got much of a choice on that matter. Though he had to question himself. Did he really passionate off as a university student? “Ah, no. I'm not a student. So, no for assignments.” he shook his head. So the guy was Korean, thought so. He looked like one. “Yeah,  I was going to do a few readings, just so I could get familiar with it. Though, I'm not sure where to start. There's quite a lot. Are you originally from here?” Following Jae's remark about the sudden temperature change, he chuckled nervously. Yeah, sorry about that.

Jae wasn’t really the kind of person that judged people, especially for falling considering how often he did it, he swore in the winter when it was icy he spent more time slipping and sliding than he did walking normally, so much so that his brother had actually bought him snowshoes one year “Yeah it’s definitely the hair” Jae affirmed with a laugh but shrugged “It suits you though, not many Koreans can pull off such a bold hair color” he decided to go ahead with his assumption, he’d already heard the other male cursing in Korean so it was a fair jump. Jae had a thing for hair colors, he changed his own often, the blue he’d previously had was slowly starting to fade to a mint green so he knew he was overdue a change already.

“Hey I think being a ghost would be pretty cool, especially if it was one of those that could pick up objects and stuff when no one could see” he chuckled, or perhaps more specifically he thought the power of invisibility was pretty cool, he’d always loved the idea of superheroes and superpowers to be honest, even if that wasn’t how the world actually works. Jae was a bit suspicious when the other male looked almost shocked by the dhampir asking him if he was studying. Though he quickly affirmed that he wasn’t a student at the university, Jae pulled face, it seemed like they really need to work on the security in here if anyone could just come in this late at night “Sorry I just assumed cause you’re supposed to use an ID card to get in here” though he pressed his finger to his lips as he did so to imply he wasn’t going to tell Dae’s secret.

The topic of research however was easy for Jae, considering how much of it he had been doing lately, especially when it came to the history of Evermore and the supernatural, though you wouldn’t find much truth about the supernatural in this particular library “No” he answered with a shake of his head “I only moved here a few months ago from Seoul” he admitted with a shrug “But you could say I have done some…” obsessive…”intensive research on the city, even before I came here myself” Jae smiled “I like to focus my works about things that are significant to me personally so” he scanned his eyes over the shelves pulling out a particularly helpful journal on Evermore’s most significant events and politics, it was written vaguely in places but it was easy to piece together where the supernatural was involved if you were aware of it.

“You’re welcome to join my table and ask me any questions you have” he offered as he held the book out towards Daehyun and then he headed over to the table, he reached into his top pocket and took out his reading glasses affixing them onto his face before he took out his laptop and set it on the desk and then pulled up an interesting site he had been using to further research the disappearances of celestials, something Jae had been unable to drop since that first afternoon in here with Hanseol, he was determined to find some answer, some lead.

Daehyun wasn't usually someone you would be able to witness doing anything that would attract the public eye. He's a closed off guy that prefers to surround himself with ambiguity. It gives him a challenge, something he could very well look forward to without having to worry if anything will befall his younger sister or his chief. Despite taking his time to go beyond his expertise, he made sure to keep an eye and ear out for anything. Anything. What can he say, he's a highly protective person who cares more about others than himself, though it's more than what he lets himself on. Everyone seemed to think that the elder Niveis was as cold as his heart, which was a whole myth. He wasn't that cold.

But leave it to others to think whatever they'd like to interpret his meanings. It wasn't as if it bothered him. Not that much, at least. When Jae confirmed it was the hair, he chuckled softly and looked up to the male when he pointed out his nationality. It wasn't that hard to pinpoint honestly. Especially when Jae himself is a native Korean, bred and grown in Seoul itself. He was also sure that the latter was able to hear a few words he cursed out earlier. When was the last time he's spoken his native language? Even with Mirae recently, he's never spoke much in the language. He thought it was mainly due to them leaving their homeland for long and decided to forget the bitter past altogether, so much that they forget what it feels like to be one. It was a refreshing sight to spot someone from his home.

Speaking about hair colors, he saw the mint colored hair that the dhampir sported. That's unusual, this was probably the first time he's actually seen someone else who picked such a color. “You do too. I don't think I've ever found anyone else who could pull off that color.” Though that's probably because he hasn't met anyone else but his tribe until 40 years ago where he was granted the freedom to go on recon missions. But Jae didn't need to know that now, did he? Upon hearing that Jae originated from Seoul, he pursed his lips slightly and nodded in affirmation. “So you're a city boy. Huh, I've never actually been to Seoul. Spent my whole childhood in Daegu.” Which explains his slight accent that came across as a slur whenever he trailed his words. It wasn't that prominent to allow others to point it out, but when you hear it now, you just get it.

He had to give him a slightly judging look when he spoke of ghosts. Damn, he really did meet quite a someone tonight. Maybe it could bring a light into his life, other than Mirae, Jae was quite possibly the only person who doesn't rely fully on pessimistic nature. And in this age and era? That's saying something. “I guess the idea of ghosts being able to do that is cool. Though I'd say they get tedious after haunting people who can't even see them. It gets boring afterwards, no?” He got the impression that he wasn't the first who got access into the university library without the use of an ID. “I mean I would've sneaked in.. But doesn't seem like it was harmful enough to be doing that so I didn't. I think at some point, the security's just tired for today and didn't see anything with me wanting to scour more information from the library. Either way, the security needed to be upgraded though.” What if a mishap was to happen? Someone could be planting bombs at such a public place and they won't even know.

He knew Jae wasn't human the first time he laid his eyes on him. But he wondered which category of the species he fell under. There were 8 species living in the eternal city, 9 if they were going to count the Niveis too. Which one was Jae? Human is definitely off the record, something about him doesn't scream normal to him. Not that it's a bad thing. His train of thoughts were derailed when he offered him assistance on the subject. He is going to need help navigating the chronological events and others. Why not. “I appreciate you lending a helping hand.” he thanked him vehemently and followed him to his spot before placing the few books he had within his grasp on the table.

But he couldn't seem to shake this one question that has been pounding his head for a while now. “What's the deal with the peace treaty in the city?” He already knew Jae wasn't human from his intuition, which was a big contribution to his actions, the one he decided to trust. “Has anything major happened? I just moved here a little over a month and wanted to see if I missed out on anything. Y'know.. Because I'm not alone.” he quipped inquisitively. He had a tribe to look out for, every sliver of information was his to treasure. "I heard about a peace treaty while reading about the history but never really understood it. Was it a figure of speech or something?"

Jae was starting to feel a sense of deja vu, it seemed like meeting other Korean natives in dark places was becoming a habit for him, what did that say about him? Was he a Korean magnet? He shook his head a little at the thought, he wasn’t really complaining, it was actually really fun for him to mix with other natives, the chance to be reminded just a little of home. Though Daehyun didn’t give him a strong Korean vibe, his English pronunciation almost sounded as good as native speakers aside from the slight accent, he figured he must have a lot of practice with it.

Jae laughed when the other male commented on his hair, naturally, Jae reached up to run his hands through the strange green colored strands “It was blue originally but the dye fades pretty quickly” he commented with a chuckle, he liked bright colors and looks that stood out, they made him feel more confident. What he didn’t like was the attention and staring that tended to come with his fashion choices but he was starting to get used to them. “Thanks though” he commented with a laugh, it was nice to have someone say something kind about it instead of whispering about him from afar. “I’ve never actually lived outside of a city, some people say that makes me uncultured” he chuckled and wrinkled his nose “Though I went to different areas of Korea when I was younger” he nodded slightly as Daehyun mentioned he was from Daegu, now that he listened for it, the hint of the accent was there “Your English pronunciation is amazing” he commented with slightly wide eyes, Jae was slightly jealous, to be honest.

Jae tilted his head to the side a little when Daehyun spoke about being a ghost getting pretty boring quickly and the dhampir shrugged “Well that really depends on how much you enjoy watching TV shows, cause you could literally just watch the story of the world unfold forever” Jae laughed and shook his head, okay it would be a really fucked up TV show with a lot more heartache than anything “I think I’ll stick with being alive” he commented pulling a face. When Daehyun commented about the library’s security Jae shrugged a little, he didn’t think anyone would really do anything to this place, it was too small and was mostly empty aside from a couple people most of the time, Jae liked it here because of that, it was a place where he could have peace and quiet.

Jae was still wondering as he looked at the silver-haired male whether he was human or not, Jae was leaning on no because he was still pretty sure the chill from earlier wasn’t just from a lack of heating for a few minutes. Not to mention the male talked like he was older than he was. The dhampir remembered reading about beings that could control ice...perhaps he was one of those? Jae didn’t bring it up directly though, he knew the rules, you don’t talk about the supernatural to those who aren’t and under he was certain, Jae wasn’t going to risk getting himself in trouble “No problem” Jae stated with a bright smile “I mostly came here to distract myself, helping someone else is a great one” he chuckled as he leaned one elbow on the table and tapped at his keyboard pulling up an article he had read half of the other day.

When the other male asked him a question about the peace treaty he raised his brows, well there was his confirmation that the male knew about the supernatural, that eased some of the worry Jae had about what questions he asked, the dhampir wasn’t exactly great as lying after all “No it’s not a figure of speech, it’s an actual treaty they have in city hall” he commented with a shrug “At least I assume it’s a piece of paper and not digital” not important Jae, he reminded himself before talking “It came from the war between the phoenix and initia” he spoke in a low tone so that if anyone else did happen to come in they wouldn’t hear what they said “The treaty was drafted up to make sure every faction protected the peace in Evermore, everyone does their part and those who don’t sign…” he grimaced “Well the first one to refuse was kicked out of the city” Jae bit on his bottom lip.

He actually took his time analyzing the hair, his eyes squinted slightly to pinpoint the exact area where the dye started to fade away. It successfully made it look like a pretty mint ombre though, so there was no loss in Jae's case here. “Still, it looks good, maybe better. At least you can tell that if your roots started crying out for mercy.” he chortled, knowing just what the felt like. Daehyun had his time trying out other colors but not too frequently. You really don't want to see a bright cheery colored ice bird flying around like he was carrying some sort of rainbow on his head. That'll be hilarious and when it comes to the elder Stormwind, hilarious has no part in his vocabulary. Not if it involves him. Just no.

The longest hair color he's tried out was his current one, the soft snowy like color that could really make him one with the snow itself. Thank god for winter. It wouldn't be considered weird here as it was perceived by back in Unyak, not that anyone had the courage to muster up and say something about his hair color to him. That was like asking for something from Daehyun, and not in any way pleasant. Shaking his head in response to his statement, Daehyun didn't see it as something uncultured. He's never been outside of Daegu until the day came for him to forcibly leave the place. And he doesn't see himself calling out to it. But that could just be him. Daehyun Stormwind wouldn't give a care in the world, not if he doesn't want to, and not even the world could do anything to change it until he wants to.

“I don't think it makes you uncultured. Seoul city life is great.” Not that he would actually know much about it, but he had the chance to stop by the capital of South Korea a few times in the last 40 years. You can take the country boy outside but you can never rid the nationalism inside him. Hearing Jae complimenting on his English proficiency, he was almost tempted to just blurt out that it was due to him living outside Korea for  about 163 years, and most part of his life. But even if he was revealed to be a supernatural, maybe that can be avoided until the last moments. Being 179 years old wasn't something he was going to flaunt over, it makes him feel old. Which he is. “Thank you. Your pronunciation is actually very good too, especially for someone who's only been living in a foreign country for a few months. I only got mine used because I lived outside Korea after my teenhood.” he sheepishly grinned.

“Being dead is overrated. Don't let anyone say being dead is better.” Oh yeah, it was cold. Colder than he thought when he was a phoenix. But obviously he's not going to show a proof of that. It wasn't something he'd like to remember anyways. Being dead is like not something he wanted to put a plaque over in his memory lane. “Chivalry at its finest, you don't see those these days.” Hey, it wasn't easy to get a compliment coming from this cold guy. He doesn't just compliment anyone. Daehyun was glad there was someone to help him with his research. Despite being used to do his work alone, some company actually makes everything better when they could actually contribute.

So the treaty was legit news. Initially, he wasn't sure about the whole thing. One part of him feels like it was just exaggerated at some point but guess he got his answer now. So,  they're all serious about this. Interesting. At least he could respect that about them. Hearing more about the peace treaty from Jae, he furrowed his eyebrows into a frown. The war between Initia and Phoenix wasn't something new to Daehyun, hell, he grew up hearing all about it because his whole life revolved around it. It was what ruined his life too. Just the mild prospect of being a deviant being, it was too easy. The Niveis was ousted because of it and he's known someone many pain that came from it. The long rivalry running deep into their veins like it was as easy as watching the river. But what surprised him was that there were those who didn't agree with the peace treaty. Surely, he couldn't be surprised knowing just how many toxic people existed.

“I guess there's no point in hiding my identity away since we both are sure this topic isn't something talked between two regular humans. At least for those who didn't have any knowledge about them. So it's safe to say, I can talk comfortably. Is there anyone currently from the factions that aren't within the peace treaty arrangements?” He was curious on how the city operates, and once he gets his head around it, then he'll be able to find any flaws in the system. Just so he was sure that the future of his tribe is secured. “If you don't mind me asking, what are you, Jae? We've established that I'm not human. And I know you're not one too. It just screams it.”

Jae laughed softly shaking his head “We don’t talk about my roots, I’m pretty sure they hate me and my fashion choices at this point” he gave a wry smile, he’d probably regret bleaching his hair so much down the line but right now he was happy with the way he looked, he especially liked the way his boyfriend liked the way he looked, though he was pretty sure Hanseol would say he looked good regardless of the color. “The things we do for vanity” he mused with a laugh, Jae wasn’t ashamed to admit he had a level of that to him, he had gotten multiple piercings because he thought they looked good, much to his parent’s dismay.

He guessed in that respect he had never really been as normal as he thought he had been, though it took him becoming older and moving away from Korea to realize it. He was in college, but it wasn’t for something that his parents wanted him to be there for, he made bold and sometimes questionable fashion choices, he was dating a guy, which was pretty much a refuted idea back home. He really wasn’t normal at all, he realized with slightly wide eyes. But it was immediately followed with another statement that he’d been reminding himself, but it’s okay not to be normal. What was normal anyway when you thought about the world and all the different lives in it, why did there have to be some kind of baseline that people were supposed to conform to.

Jae laughed and nodded when Daehyun spoke about Seoul life “True, I have nothing but good memories of the city itself” he responded with a nod, though Seoul didn’t feel like a place he needed to be anymore, which was strange considering he had spent the first 21 years of life there. It wasn’t the city per se but more the life he’d had there, right now he felt like he wanted to leave the person he had been there behind, because that person, while it had been a version of him, he didn’t feel was the best version of him. Jae gave the other male a genuine smile when he thanked him and he bowed his head a little, something he was still doing out of habit even when it was expected in America “I have been working really hard on it” he admitted with a half smile “I want people to be able to understand me clearly when I speak English, that’s why I try to speak it even when I feel intimidated by it” he chuckled and scratched at the back of his neck.

Jae raised a curious brow when the other male talked about being dead like it was something he had experience with, he didn’t look like a valkyr if Jae was honest, though he wasn’t sure how he would really know, dhampirs were pretty blind when it came to detecting other people’s species so unless there were obvious tells he was mostly in the dark. When Daehyun commented on Jae being kind with the offer he shrugged a little modestly “I’ve been trying to branch out and make friends lately, kinda sucks being the loner guy” he chuckled and smiled, not that he was pressuring the other male to be his friend or anything he was just explaining his rationale.

Jae knew it was slightly risky talking about the supernatural with Dae but for some reason he felt like he could trust him, he seemed like he was in the know about the city anyway and Jae had a suspicion he was some sort of supernatural being “Well you kinda gave it away the moment you mentioned the treaty” the dhampir chuckled and shrugged “There is one” he responded before tilting his head “technically two” he added before pursing his lips “The first is the celestials, from what I know they outright refused to sign because of their differences with the Ailward Guard” Jae knew he would sound like a crazy person to anyone listening in so he kept his voice low.

“I heard about a new faction coming to the city too and I don’t think they have signed it yet, though the information on who they are right now is limited” he shrugged a little, if the information wasn’t out there it wasn’t like he could relay it after all, though it did make him wonder why the media was keeping it under wraps. When the other male asked what he was Jae smiled softly, the first time he was going to say what he was with pride “I’m a dhampir, half human and half valkyr” he affirmed with a nod “And you are?” he squinted his eyes a little Daehyun’s direction.

Daehyun couldn't help but to relate well to the talk about hair roots. His were probably starting to suffer already, especially when he's always surrounded with cold atmospheres that will certainly freeze and make them stiff as they leave it at dry. He instantly ruffled his hair just to be sure and furrowed his eyebrows to form a frown, yup, it's dry for sure. Guess who's going to start conditioning again. “I think our hair could actually be friends at this point.” Speaking of fashion choices, the niveis didn't forget to take a look at what the dhampir was sporting. Nothing out of the ordinary for him so he couldn't see just where the younger male got that logic from. “I think your fashion is okay. Better than me who literally just cover himself with leather jackets and all black attires.” At the sudden mention of it, he flinched involuntarily. He really needed more variety in his closet for sure. Too much black, Mirae even commented on it.

Shrugging absentmindedly at the topic, vanity was something he was used to, believe it or not. He just didn't impose much on it because it never bothered him what other people thought of him. He lacked a bit of freedom before today, well- until 40 years ago at least. He enjoyed trying out something new to fit himself into the society while still maintaining his own style and twist to it. “Nothing wrong with being vain sometimes.” he assured, offering a small smile towards the mint haired dhampir. Dae didn't meet a lot of people so to see him getting just well with another person is comforting for the male, much less start a decent conversation with another living being that was not an animal. He's.. A bit complicated when it comes to that. Although it was definitely just preferential matter.

When he saw the latter bowing slightly to him in a respectful manner, a soft smile crept up to his lips, indicating just how much he actually missed Korean culture. Things were never the same as it was for him. To differentiate between 2019 Korea to 1840 Korea. When he was born, Korea was still known as Joseon and things were so much different than it was today. Especially regarding the events occurring afterwards, from the royal family assassinations by Japanese assassins to the Japanese colonisation. Sadly, he wasn't even surprised the Korean War happened in the 50s. Perhaps, it was good that he was able to get him and Mirae out of the country, even if things didn't look good for them in elsewhere just as well. At least he wouldn't be suffering a heartbreak from watching his beloved country tore themselves apart. “I actually miss Korea. A lot.” That he did.

He patted Jae's shoulder reassuringly, something that was not usually like him, but still a rarity is not obscure. “Don't worry, it's a big deal for a bilingual to be able to obtain native-like proficiency. You should give yourself a lot more credit, Jae. Especially when you know Korean and English are the most distinctive languages to date. We're syllable-timed while English is stress-timed. To be able to reach this level when you've lived your whole life in Korea, it's impressive.” Daehyun Stormwind is a proud Korean, regardless of what people might tell him just how much they country has been through. It won't change his standing. Assuring a fellow student about it was the least he'd actually do. Besides, Jae seemed like a kind soul. Dae knew they don't see a lot of those these days.

This was the first time he actually let out a laugh and not just a chuckle or chortle. But it wasn't boisterous or loud enough to attract attention, just enough for the two of them to hear. “Been there, still there.” he quipped, although Dae wouldn't mind about it. He's used to being alone. Being forced to be alone. It didn't mean he had to like it. But was he able to stand them and allow the numbness to stay? Sure. “If it makes you any better, now you might have another to add to your acquaintance list.” Jae exuded bright persona, and it was just endearing for Dae to watch. There's so many toxicity in the world, so much in his life, that he actually forgot there were people who's like him once upon a time ago. Jae was probably someone Dae would've been if he wasn't so pressured with the whole living up to expectations and identity crisis issue.

The pale haired niveis listened intently to every word the dhampir told him. His eyes squinted slightly and attentively to make sure not one detail was left out from his hearing. He's heard of the celestials. Though it's safe to say, he actually didn't know anything about them other than that they're a group of fallen stars and very powerful. The name Ailward rarely left his mind. He was sure almost everyone who bothered to learn more and in depth about the supernatural world would come across them. Rumors, or reality, either way, the name will stick. However, for Daehyun, he's the type who needed to see to believe. So, they did know of their existence and arrival to the eternal city. This only confirms everything.

When Jae revealed himself to be a dhampir, he gaped briefly and nodded. It makes sense. He looks human yet not human, if that says anything. No harm in telling him what he is, right? “I should be one of those you talk about new faction moving in. Hence, my tendencies to search new information. So I can help my faction altogether.” Flashing the dhampir a smile, he extended his hand out to him. “I'm Daehyun Stormwind, a 179-year old Niveis. We're.. Uh, basically ice birds. You know about the phoenixes, we're basically them but the opposite. I guess now I should apologize for the whole chilly temperature earlier.” he sheepishly scratched the back of his head while still maintaining a wry grin. “That'll be my fault. I got surprised earlier, and my instincts went straight to lowering the temperature for everything.”

Jae couldn’t stop the laugh when the icy-blond male spoke about their hair being friends, well he wasn’t wrong, Jae knew he was long overdue a visit back to his natural hair color to give it a chance to recover from all the bleaching he did but part of him liked having bright hair and standing out a little, his natural dark brown hair didn’t compare to that “I keep telling myself I’ll stop and then I see a new color I want to try” he admitted with a chuckle, like a magpie to shiny objects was Jae to hair dye. Looking down at the slacks he was wearing Jae chuckled “Oh these are just me...I should probably be in bed but I’m not, lazy clothes” he admitted with an innocent smile, they weren’t actually his clothes either but that was a story for another day “Black is a staple anyway, you can’t really go wrong with black” he defended with a sharp nod, though it did make Dae look a bit like a ghostly ninja.

“True, there are much worse things in life than taking a little pride in your appearance” he admitted as he pressed his lips together, perhaps he could be a little shallow at times but not everyone was perfect. What he did enjoy was being able to talk to someone else, to be honest, Jae had been starting to worry that he wouldn’t be able to make friends here, especially in the first couple of months he spent in Evermore where he barely spoke to anyone at all. But since then he had met Hanseol, someone who had essentially turned his life upside down, Donovan, who had become a mentor type role for Jae and now Daehyun, a mysteriously calm stranger.

Jae still carried a lot of habits and tendencies from his home, it was ingrained into his brain by now really and it did feel strange to him to live in such a different culture, he was doing his best to adapt and thankfully he had done a lot of reading and knew what to expect in general. Hearing the other male comment that he missed Korea, Jae echoed his tone and expression “Me too” he admitted with a shrug “But then I also don’t at times” he added followed by a slightly nervous laugh, here he was venting to someone he just met, how strange “I don’t think the person I am would be accepted there like it is here” he admitted with a half smile, he didn’t expect the other male to get what exactly he was talking about “I miss my family a lot though and the family dog” he smiled softly, after the scare with his mother Jae was still tempted to go back and visit but he knew how complicated that could get and he couldn’t really afford it.

The dhampir was a little surprised when Daehyun reached out to touch his shoulder but Jae smiled gently, the elder male gave him the same sort of vibe that he got from his elder brother, someone who was wise beyond how they looked and generally a good person behind their seemingly icy attitude “Thanks” he responded as he reached up to run through his bluish-green hair “It means a lot to hear that, even from someone I barely know, you have no idea” he chuckled softly feeling the need to explain “I’m an English major so…” he pursed his lips “I really want to be good at every part of it” he nodded, it only made him more determined to get better at it, especially after seeing what experience with the language had done for others.

Jae laughed too in response to Dae’s slightly witty remark, it was the first real joke the other male had made since they started talking which Jae took as a sign that the other male was comfortable with the conversation “It does” he affirmed with a laugh, any proof at all that he wasn’t completely hopeless at socializing here was appreciated, he didn’t really count Hanseol because to him the fallen star was in a whole social bracket of his own. In his everyday life, Jae didn’t really get along with his obnoxious roommates, barely spoke to most of his reserved classmates and tended to make friends with the middle-aged librarians. Imagine being a college student whose only friends were staff members of the university, pitiful. “If anything it’s just nice to have a conversation with someone that isn’t about iambic pentameter” he rolled his eyes, English student problems.

Jae did feel a little strange talking about all the things he was, here of all places, but he wasn’t breaking any rules by telling Daehyun this stuff if he was supernatural himself, which Jae had already affirmed enough to score out that worry. All the stuff he spoke of came from his personal research along with what he had read and seen in the Evermore Daily supernatural edition which he purchased on occasion to keep up with what was happening in the city. It was a must read if you were bothered about alliances and the likes.

Jae’s lips parted a little in surprise when Dae revealed himself to be a member of the new faction, there was very little information out there so far about who these people were which instantly made the dhampir curious to know more. When he spoke his age it suddenly made sense why Jae had gotten a wise aura from the other male along with the confirmation that he was connected to ice, which explained why it had gotten so cold after the lights went out earlier “Wow” Jae commented still looking a bit dumbfounded at the snowy-haired male “I have to admit I was not expecting that” he added but then smiled softly, what an exciting opportunity to know something most didn’t about the city “So you’re an ice phoenix?” he asked with raised brows “How does that even happen?” didn’t that defy the whole idea of phoenixes and burning up, his head was spinning with curiosity, his word really had just expanded once again. Looking from side to side he reached out to poke the other male’s arm gently “Woah you really are cold” he exclaimed with a shocked look on his face.

Daehyun was glad he wasn't the only guy who actually liked to try a variety of colors to experiment on his hair, despite knowing how quick his hair will dry to the weather he's always surrounding himself with. Life is all about risks, right? Yes, even when it's something simple like hair. Hair maintenance isn't something easy to take care of, okay. It's very harsh if you don't pay enough attention and pour a sufficient amount of commitment into it. “I think there hasn't been a color I haven't tried yet. Right. Purple, I haven't done purple. Most people in my tribe probably looked at me weirdly but I never got any criticism. Though I know that's mainly because of people who feels like it's safer for them to continue on with their lives a lot longer if they don't piss me off.” Make no mistake, Daehyun still has that phoenix fire of temperament in him. Much like his previous element, he enjoyed playing around with his current one.

He had plenty of time on practicing. It is somewhat a surprise to see him not freezing anyone else. Yet. Well if they would count out the times he actually used his element during sparring with the others. Though that one didn't come by as often too since the older niveis preferred physical combat instead of making use of his given abilities to the max. He hated being dependent. “Speaking of, why aren't you in bed again? It's quite late. I don't think you're finishing any assignment, you don't seem the type to do things so last minute. Or am I wrong?” his tone was mildly inquisitive, but that was just his usual demeanor. Dae's been a spy for a while, his eyes and ears are almost everywhere he wants them to be so it was just natural for him to sound that way.

Black, the only color that can never go wrong with him. Although Mirae had noted in some occasions, the niveis looked presentable when in white, much to his chagrin since the color means too careful and if he got any stain on it, it's a day washing it off for him. Good luck trying to find him sporting anything that's not black. “I can understand why. I might miss Korea in general, but I don't miss my place. Where I was born, it was pretty much dull. I was homeschooled and never actually got to witness the outside world until I ran away.” Jae seemed like an affable guy. Dae knew his instincts would not lie to him about that. There was a certain air that the dhampir exuded that just gave him the feeling of being laid-back. It was relaxing, which was a change in his air.

“Sometimes, you should just stop giving a damn about what others say no matter how hard it is. In time, you'll get used to it. It's not exactly the best advice, but it's a life probable one. I suffered a lot of pressure while I was growing up and it had to take me years until I fled to notice how just much it held me back from my own potential. I'm sure I'm not the first to tell you this.” Someone like Jae should have friends, the friendly and warm nature he radiated was almost impossible not to sense. He's the kind of guy Dae thinks a lot of people would want by their side. “A bilingual who's an English major, look at that. You in it for journalism or something? More to academic or contemporary writing?” he quipped, wanting to know more about the younger male despite only just meeting him under rather peculiar circumstances.

Raising his eyebrows questioningly at the dhampir, he almost had a fit of giggle right here and there. “Do you guys really go around with iambic pentameter all the time? And I thought that was a myth.” It wasn't like it was frowned upon by the male, it's just funny to see how it became a form of hobby for some people. He's highly amused by the likes of them. When Jae asked how a phenomenon could even occur to create another deviant species from an already deviant one, he had to pause and shrug because he had that same question long ago. He wasn't even sure how it even happen. Not thoroughly. “The world doesn't adhere to logic.” pursing his lips softly, he took a seat across Jae and sighed. That story wasn't really something he liked remembering. No, Dae just had something against reminiscing his days under the tyrannical rule of the man he once placed every sliver of hope on.

“Our first Niveis would be my previous tribe chief, his name is Coldren Frostbourne. Once he was a phoenix, just like any of us. Just like me. As usual, the Initia found us and we were forced to flee but it wasn't without sacrifices being made. At some point he got ill after his wife was killed in the fight. We moved to an island, it was cold there, really wasn't the place for warm-blooded beings like us. I think it was somewhere near Alaska. I remember most of us were ready to pack up and leave but he wouldn't budge. Eventually, he died from it. Instead of being rebirth, he emerged stronger than ever, but not quite a phoenix that he once was. I guess all of that just overwhelmed him and he got this crazy idea on turning everyone just like him. I was 100% against it because there was no telling if we would come back from it. He told me I was free to leave but I should've known better than to trust him. A literal stab in the back, if you will interpret it.” Dae involuntarily shuddered at the mention of it, he could still recall how the sword pierced his flesh and went straight to the heart. And from the back, really it was the worst betrayal he's ever experienced. He never saw Coldren the same way again.

“They said he dumped my body in the cold ice water. So all I know was that when I woke up, I could feel the cold coursing through my veins. Instead of the usual warmth I once basked myself in, it was replaced with the cold. Every muscle and joint in me, they felt frozen, if that was even possible to describe. The next thing I know, I could control ice. It was an overwhelming procedure, I can tell you that. Imagine growing up as an Initia, then finding out you're a Phoenix.. Then a whole new species called Niveis? Just when I thought we might actually led a normal human life there.” His resentment drives deep and it was still there. 40 years has passed but Dae still needed more time to comprehend it. When Jae commented how cold he was, he formed a small smile. “I get that a lot.”


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