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Settling into a routine in Evermore City had been easier than Sunmin had expected it to be. Ever since he started working at the little cafe, things started to look up, he finally felt like he had some control of his life, even if it was by choosing to serve coffee to the Karens of the world. The money he earned he paid back to his brother, when he refused to take it the younger male would hide in places he would find it eventually, like in his pockets or down the side of the couch. He felt better knowing he wasn't simply surviving off the back of his brother's good graces and honestly the two of them had been growing to know one another better. Perhaps the little nudge he had been given in the right direction had helped.
It had been a long and difficult day at the cafe today though, not only were the customers being extra difficult today but they had a new manager in the store and she didn't seem to understand the first thing about managing. Sunmin thought he was bad with people but she brought it to a whole new level, constantly reprimanding people for the smallest of things and generally making the mood sour. Sunmin had been close to cussing her out a few times but in the end he had decided it wasn't worth it and avoided her by working in the back most of the day. Typically, what made the day a little better was Astraea, she was always this stupidly bright ball of energy that filled everyone with the spirit they needed to get through the day but he could tell even she was feeling the strain of today.
By the time the shift was drawing to a close, he honestly felt exhausted and he hadn't even been working the floor. It made him wonder who had put itching powder in that damn manager's pants because she clearly had them in a twist. She knew better than to challenge him though, by now everyone at the cafe had learned it was better not to be on their bad side and that he could come back with a clever statement before they even managed to full start a fight. Usually Sunmin would wait until the shift ended and then chat to Astraea for a little while before they headed out, turned out they both came from the same way so sometimes he would walk with her to the subway too. He had just finished clocking out when he heard more yelling coming from the front room which made him frown before taking a few steps towards the doorway
It wasn't exactly a secret that Astraea was the star waitress of the store and that the owners loved her so he wasn't all that surprised that the manager had singled her out. Jealous and threatened came to mind in the celestial's mind. Still, he could see that the telling off and nit picking comments had definitely taken the edge off the Aurazin's spirit. He cleared his throat, interrupting their conversation "We're going to miss our train if we don't get going" he spoke bluntly, staring down the head bitch with a look that said he wasn't going to take any of her bullshit. It had been a long day and everyone needed a break from this place before they all went insane.
When he told her the name of the said dragon, which caused her to chuckle in response to his confusion, "Ailward is their family name. Who you met was one of the 8 members. I think she's the Aspect of Magic. Yeah, she helped us with the crops last time. I also heard she's a bit… closed off" which was ironic that Sunmin met someone slightly similar to him when it comes to attitude. She didn't know if he was a bit sad about her knowing about them when he might not so she quickly added a little something to make things better, "And no, not everyone knows about them. So you're not really out of the loop in the supernatural club either. I just happen to know about them since one of them is the Aspect of Realms and well, he's the first person we had to seek out when we were stranded here." She made it clear to Sunmin the other day that he was free to ask her anything he wished to know and if she could provide the answer to it, then she will. Astraea didn't want him to feel like he was an outcast in his own community. Nobody deserves to feel that way.
When he told her the kind of life he lived before this, the Aurazin felt a pang of sympathy but was careful not to show it too much, she knew how much he disliked that. "Home is a relative term. Home is usually where the best people are at. Sometimes it'll take us a while to find it. And even then, you can just refer to yourself as one" she reassured, home is meant to deliver your comfort, after all. This wasn't the first time someone has asked her whether it was tiring or not, but with Sunmin she felt more free to speak her mind, "It is. I would be lying if I said it wasn't tiring. It's a heavy job and honestly working double shifts at the cafe for a week is nothing compared to a day's worth of being an empath." She remembered how it was also a meticulous job. "But making people happy, when you realize you can't find your own or that your time is up, it's nice to see that you could make others feel that way. My clock ended long ago, I'm not even supposed to be wandering around and the fact that I could is more than enough." Astraea thought that there was nothing to focus on herself.
She couldn't help but to chuckle at the threat he gave her, well he was actually encouraging her to follow her heart and that is really nice to hear. "You do?" She blinked in surprise but the smile was still present on her lips. Sunmin is a good friend, more than he would let others admit it and Astraea felt lucky to be one of the said people who could laugh and talk with him freely. "Sometimes it's like getting drunk, other times it's like getting high. I have no idea which is which, but I would rather not suffer from a hangover the next morning. Not sure if an aspirin would be enough to remedy that. I'll test it out in time, when I don't have work and when I feel safe enough." She couldn't avoid it forever, maybe it's better to pace how it's going to go in case anything goes wrong. It was fascinating to see how he doesn't seem to have anything tying him down, he made it clear a few times that rules are made to be broken sometimes. While Astraea wouldn't find herself doing that, she could understand why Sunmin felt free compared to others. He lived according to his own merit.
"It must be freeing to live your life the way you want it. With no one to tell you what to do." The way he demonstrated how he jumped earlier made her remember how she would also try to climb the mountains when she was younger, the details were blurry but it wasn't completely gone. "You're really inspiring, you know that? I don't think I've met anyone more free than you. It feels exhilarating. I'm sure this blanket and you go way back huh?" she jested and stared at the sky with a smile. Upon hearing that he didn't bring company whenever he does this, Astraea grinned cheekily and nudged his shoulder gently, "I should consider myself lucky then." The clouds were slightly darker, indicating that the sun would be setting very soon. "You asked me earlier if it was tiring right? It's tiring because I have to wipe their memories of my existence once I'm done fulfilling their wishes. No trace of me left. Like they never met me. And it's upsetting because you know you'll never be important to anyone. I know I'm a ghost but I guess it's really tiring."
He raised his brows when she explained how there were 8 dragons and all of them had the same surname, well that made a little more sense, Malva had been pretty secretive about what she was and how all of that worked, though she was forced to reveal things in order to gain his trust “That girl talks in riddles” he grumbled under his breath remembering how when she as telling him things he had no idea what she was even talking about most of the time, he didn’t have much patience with people who purposely tried to confuse others like that. She knew by now because he had expressed a few times that he hadn’t felt all that welcome when it came to the supernatural world, so her follow up comment wasn’t entirely surprising “Just when you think the supernatural world is confusing enough, there’s secret collections of people within it” he commented and sighed under his breath, it was overwhelming to say the least, he had been trying to introduce himself to this side of the world piece by piece as to not completely overload on information.
He nodded slightly “I guess home for me is just finding somewhere I can feel safe for a while” he might not glow but the celestial had plenty of other reasons to be on edge, especially because he wasn’t always in with the best crowds and often found himself targeted. “The best people though” he commented in a thoughtful tone “Can’t say I know that one” there were a few people he had let into his life recently but it still felt to him like it was a trial basis. He told Han he would give this family thing a chance but that didn’t mean that he necessarily thought it was going to work out. There were some topics she seemed to hold back on at first but now she seemed okay with whatever he asked her, though there was one topic he didn’t dare to bring up, he didn’t come with the intention of upsetting her and so he never mentioned her death or questioned how it happened, he didn’t feel like it was his place to even know that. “Sounds kinda unfair if you ask me” he commented and shrugged slightly “Surely you of all people deserve to live” you’d think if there were gods who could make these supernatural empaths they could also make them something else, give them the second chance they deserved.
He tilted his head curiously when she explained what the experience of having sugar was like for her “Sometimes getting drunk or high can be fun though, it’s exhilarating” he commented under his breath, was that his admission he had tried both? Perhaps. “None of the hard stuff though, seen too many people fall trap to that” he was very careful about what he chose to consume but that didn’t mean he was completely boring. He was sure that his free-spirit mentality was a little different from what she was used to, from the way she explained life as an aurazin she was basically led by the instructions she was given and she wouldn’t even be able to have a life of her own if she hadn’t gotten stuck here. “It is...though it can be lonely sometimes” he responded and shrugged “Trade-off I suppose, you can’t have everything” he would rather be free to make his own decisions than constantly pushing himself to fit into someone else’s expectations.
He did pause into silence when she called him inspiring though, he’d never been called that before “I don’t think anyone aspires to be homeless for most of their life” he commented with an amused chuckle, though she was right, he was free and he could do what he wanted with that freedom “That’s why staying is hard for me I guess, part of me is ready to be onto the next thing, starting the next life” but Evermore was different, he didn’t have to run from here. “You have no idea” he responded with a chuckle as he glanced down at the blanket “Don’t worry though, Han insisted I wash it about a dozen times” he laughed, he could smell the soft fragrance of fabric softener on it. He was staring out at the sky as he listened to her talk about her duty and how she had to remove memories, he bit his lip, that was sad, never being able to really influence them fully “They’ll remember the way they felt” he commented and nodded “And I’m sure they’ll go forward on a brighter note because of that” he nodded but grimaced slightly “Does that mean one day I’m going to forget you?” he asked curiously.
When he expressed his grumpiness towards the Aspect of Magic talking in riddles, she couldn't help but laugh because honestly that was cute and expected of him. "They can be very cryptic when they wanna be. You know the fact that you talked with an Ailward is beyond me, you're going somewhere Sunmin" she teased, she didn't mention the part about how Celestials feel about the particular family because she didn't think it was right to involve the strain and conflict. Not for him who is currently learning more. "There's always going to be a secret society everywhere" she whispered softly, "don't be too discouraged by it, it just happens. Honestly speaking, you shouldn't even know that my family and I exist. Knowing about the Ailwards is something, knowing about the Aurazin is also another thing since we are not of this realm to begin with." Their duties may stretch here but there's a reason why people don't know of their existence. When he said home is where he felt safe at, Astraea nodded in agreement, that's the easiest way to word it. "You'll eventually meet them" she reassured, "you know what they say, the best things always come when you least expect it, right?"
It was a saying the Aurazin likes actually. It felt impactful to her. Initially, she was reluctant to share information with him because she really shouldn't just be spilling but after befriending him for a while, Astraea realized how out of it he felt not knowing about his own community. That made her sad and she decided he shouldn't have to feel that way, not if she could help with it. Surely you of all people deserve to live, those words kept ringing in her ears and if she wasn't already touched by it, the dark haired female might actually tear up on the spot. It felt nice knowing someone felt like this. Sometimes you need someone to tell you things even though you keep telling yourself it's fine. "I like to think so too. Who knows, perhaps after I'm done with this I will be reborn into a better life." Now that she was hopeful. She had to admit though, when he described the feeling on getting drunk and high as exciting and exhilarating, Astraea tilted her head in curiosity, he would know that, wouldn't he?
"Have you… tried it? I mean getting high that is… I'm sure everyone has gotten drunk at some point in their lives." Sunmin seemed to have led a rather wild and free life so yes, she was curious to know. Besides, how would she of all people know about getting high? She may as well ask, right? "So at the end of the day, no matter what you do you'll end up being lonely?" The dejected tone in her voice was clear, this was someone who has felt lonely talking. Perhaps she was trying to find ways to improve her own life but so far it hasn't been showing much of a result. "Not that" she exclaimed bluntly when he said nobody aspired to be homeless, "you know what I mean." Freedom is a high price to pay, she wasn't really shackled down in her past life but even then the concept of freedom felt foreign to her. It wasn't like what she pictured it to be. It didn't fill her with a sense of hope once she returned to Athens a year after departing it in search for her father's connections. "Do you want to stay?" It was an innocent question.
The fact that he felt the need to tell her he washed it plenty of times made her laugh as she leaned in to smell it, he was right, it smelt like fabric softener. For what seemed to be the longest, she knew she had to give him an answer to that. Honestly, lying to him was the last thing she wanted to do. "Yes. You know too much, more than you should. They will want me to erase your memories and that… well that includes me in it. I'll be honest here, I don't want to. I want someone to remember me. No matter how little of a significance I will be to them." She averted her gaze from the sky to him instead and smiled sadly, "The more I forget about my past, the more I felt this need to grasp for whatever normalcy there is. It feels like desperation at some point. The older I get, the lonelier I feel." She could feel her voice getting smaller. "I just don't want to be forgotten."
He shook his head when she acted like it was a big deal to get to talk to an Ailward “Highlight of my life” he commented in an unimpressed tone, if this was royalty in the supernatural world then people really needed to raise their standards because she wasn’t that different to him at all. “I’m not discouraged, just not surprised” he explained and shrugged his shoulders slightly “The ways society set you up to fall becomes easier to see the lower on the scale you are” he confessed and shrugged his shoulders slightly “The truth wouldn’t hurt in a lot of cases” especially for those who knew about the supernatural world but felt like an outsider in it, like him. He glanced over at her with an amused expression “Just wondering, do you ever run out of optimism?” because he swore she could see a bright side to literally everything and it was as impressive as it was annoying.
He did think it was unfair that those who died young and traumatically never had a second chance, if there was magic in the universe which could turn them into aurazin then surely it had the power to give them a better life too. He sighed softly, he never understood how things worked because it seemed so illogical to him “I hope for that, for you” he commented in a soft voice. Anyone could tell that she longed for a life of her own, to be free of the reigns she was currently trapped against. There was nothing he supported more than everyone having the freedom to be what they wanted to be. As long as they weren’t hurting others that is.
“Of course I have” he responded with a low chuckle and shrugged “Firstly, it’s overhyped, people act like it’s this cure-all to every problem because they want to sell it but...it’s..kinda like forgetting for a while..all your problems and worries, fade away for a moment or two and all that’s left is happiness” it didn’t last though and that was the biggest flaw with it, that’s why it was called getting high, because you felt good, on top of the world for a while but that also meant before long you had to crash. “Probably” he responded when she asked if it was inevitable to be lonely “So I guess that means we should learn to like our own company huh?” he chuckled in an amused manner. Her question about wanting to stay made him pause for a moment “Sometimes” he answered honestly “There’s a part of me which hopes to find...happiness somehow” he commented and chuckled “My snark drowns it out most of the time though” he was always the type to cover his emotions with an offhand comment as though to downplay it.
He chuckled when she leaned in to smell the blanket to double check his statement, his eyes remained on the sky as he listened to her talk, he didn’t say anything because he could tell she had more to say about it, so he let her say everything she wanted to, how she knew she would have to erase his memories but that she didn’t want to “You know I happen to be an excellent liar when I need to be” he commented in an attempt to try and cheer her up a little “I mean who even are you and why are you hogging my blanket?” he raised his brows and then softened his expression just a little “I remember this thing a sciency person I once knew told me” he commented as he turned back towards the sky “Nothing in the universe is ever created or destroyed, only converted into something new in a cycle” he nodded slightly a few times “The memories might be gone but they will become something else...maybe a feeling” he shrugged, maybe he was talking nonsense but he hoped she understood the sentiment.
“What do I know though, I’m just a lonely star” he commented with an amused tone “With almost as bad people skills as the dragon bitch” he joked as he glanced over to Astraea just as the sun disappeared over the horizon and it started to get dark.
"Maybe not, but sometimes most people can't take that risk, especially if it will cause a big chain reaction if anything goes wrong" she said in a hushed whisper, it wasn't surprising to her coming to their defense but she was also careful to pick her words wisely. "But in a way, you're right. It can be very daunting for you to feel like an outsider to your own community, I agree." She remembered growing up, she didn't even know what she'll end up being, whether a diviner like her mother or a kitsune like her father, but she knew she wasn't normal. When he asked if she ever ran out of optimism, she chuckled and shrugged, "I have plenty of barrels to fuel me for many more days. It's not there forever but I keep feeding it." Positive energy mattered a lot to Astraea. "Why? Do I annoy you because I'm too optimistic?" For the longest time, she never complained about being an Aurazin, she enjoyed being able to help people, knowing she too wished someone like them would have helped her back then too. But because she couldn't change the past, she focused on what she could change and seeing people happy gave her a small insight of the good she has done. It made her feel good about herself.
She admitted that she was taken aback when he told her he tried it before, of course he has. "It doesn't last long but it does sound nice…" she mumbled, feeling happy even if it was just for a while sounded like a trade for most people. "I heard drugs are illegal though, aside from the ones used for medicine, or is it selective? Where do you even get them from?" He seemed to be well-versed about the world they live in, a street smart guy one would call him. Definitely one to outlive most people because his self preservation skills would outwit others. "I quite like my own company but… even I can tell you that won't last forever. You get bored and it doesn't save you from being lonely either. Sanity feels like an understatement then." She was actually surprised by how long she managed to hold onto her sanity but then she was also reminded by all the things she had seen, though she found out the world can be very cruel, she also found the beauty in it.
"Everyone wants to find happiness, you're not an idiot for wanting that. It's not an impossible thing as many painted it out to be." The Aurazin scoffed and narrowed her dark hues towards him, "Your snark drowns a lot of things." Being able to talk about everything felt comforting; it felt freeing. Perhaps that was the reason why she found it easier to talk to him despite the Celestial's rough exterior. His attempts to cheer her up worked like a charm, it made her laugh. "Well Mr Excellent Liar, though your skills are commendable, I am curious to see if you can lie to me" she jested softly. She appreciated that he was trying to cheer her up even when he didn't need to. "Wouldn't it be sad? To know you have this feeling, like something is missing but you can't even remember what it is. You could pass by the park and feel happy because we made good memories there but wouldn't it end up being a void since you know something is missing but there's no way to know what it is."
It wasn't until she realized she dampened the mood that the dark haired Aurazin cleared her throat and replaced her look of wonder with a smile, "Talk about being optimistic." When he called the Aspect of Magic that, Astraea gaped and hit him, "Bad" she chastised and shook her head, though the smile indicated he really did cheer her up. As the sky turned darker, she hummed softly to herself, "Do you ever feel nostalgic when you look up the sky?"
He nodded thoughtfully when she explained how it could be a big risk for some people to expose themselves “I guess that’s just me being bitter for the world letting me think I was the only one” it was frustrating after all, knowing you were different and wondering if you should keep that secret, worrying if someone would want to experiment on you if they ever found out what you were. It made him feel very alone. He laughed, shaking his head when she said she had a lot of fuel behind her positivity, honestly it was refreshing to be around someone who didn’t constantly assume the worst of the world, it made her stand out in his mind. He shook his head when she asked if it annoyed him “Not that, I just wonder where it comes from is all, how you can see the world for what it is and still choose to treasure the best parts” he pressed his lips together.
He couldn’t help but smirk when he noticed the surprise in her expression when he confessed he had tried recreational drugs before. Perhaps she was expecting him to lie about it but he didn’t see the point in telling her something untrue “It is” he responded and chuckled “And it depends on the drug and where you are” he responded and shrugged “Some of them are very harmful, I’ve seen them completely tear people up” he nodded sadly, too many lives were lost to addiction that was sure “But cannabis is legal in a lot of states and is used medicinally in many others” there were plenty of studies on it, he’d heard. “Though I don’t particularly care what the law tells me I can and can’t have” he had his own mortal compass and he wasn’t going to be forced to change his opinions because some guy in a suit said so.
“I do better alone” he responded in reflection to her statement “But even I’d go insane if I didn’t talk to someone every so often” he commented nodding his head slightly, just because he kept people at a distance didn’t mean he didn’t have social and intimate needs. He nodded when she said there was nothing wrong with wanting happiness “Yeah...the part that’s hazy it figuring out what happiness is supposed to mean” was there a specific path he was supposed to be moving down? Did it matter if it veered in another direction? He raised his brow when she pondered whether he would be able to lie to her. He pulled a surprised expression “Oh...there’s a bug crawling in your hair” he responded, his expression was convincing ever if he was making the whole thing up.
He shrugged slightly when she asked whether it would be sad to feel like something was missing and not be able to reconcile what it was “!n my case I’m not sure life could feel any emptier” he responded in a blunt tone and then shrugged “Good memories, even if I don’t fully remember them, would be worth holding on to” perhaps that made him sound sad and perhaps he was. It had been a long time since he could name something that truly mattered to him. “Don’t get so hung up on the ending when you’re still in the middle of the story” he commented and chuckled “The best ones always have plot twists anyway” who knew what would happen, life was unpredictable that was for sure.
“Made you laugh though, didn’t it” he commented when she chided him for the name he called out, he pulled his knees towards his chest, hugging his arms around them as he looked up to the sky “Not so much nostalgic, I don’t remember my time up there so it’s impossible for me to miss it but” he shrugged “Familiar, like they’re trying to tell me something I guess” he glanced over at her for a moment “So where are you from? Your name would imply you’re Greek but you don’t look like you’re from Greece” he was curious to know a bit of her story.
She couldn't help but feel sorry for everything he had to go through but a part of her thought it was a big factor to what makes up himself, it was clear that from a glance alone, Sunmin wasn't your average guy. And by that she meant he wasn't one to stick by the rules or status quo, your expectations will always be derailed when it comes to him because he would prove you wrong at the end of the day. It makes him unique to her. She initially thought her endless positivity would annoy him like it does to a few others, namely their manager but then again she is always a pain to everyone, so when he confirmed that it wasn't the case, Astraea let out a huge sigh of relief. "I guess it came with experience. I've lived a long life, my duty is to comfort people who needed it so I got around a lot. Most of the time, it's during those heavy times… wars and all. But I still got to see the beauty the world had to offer. You have to admit though, despite the cruelty, it's a pretty place." Just like how a bug is eaten by their predator, sad but the cycle of life makes it beautiful because it was balanced.
She probably shouldn't have brought that topic up but in all honesty, Astraea was curious to know how it goes. She was sure she heard about cannabis before while she was doing her reading on the Internet. "Right, you don't follow the rules, do you?" She chuckled in response to that, anyone would've told him off or maybe that's what she should've done but the Aurazin didn't see the harm in it. As long as no one is hurt. "I bet the idea of authority makes you gag" she added teasingly. She wasn't going to judge how he lived his life, if anything Astraea was more curious to know more because while she has been around for several bad deeds done before her eyes, she hasn't been on earth for almost a century and there were things she missed out on. She only nodded in agreement to his remark, nobody truly wished to be alone forever. It would drive one crazy to be that way.
"Sometimes you don't even need to know what it's supposed to mean. It's an emotion I think everyone wants to be equipped with. It gives them momentary satisfaction, who cares what it means if you manage to feel it at some point in your life, no?" She found that asking and questioning a lot of things that might not have an answer was a complete waste of time. When he told her she had a bug in her hair, she narrowed her eyes slightly because if he was telling a lie, his facials were pretty convincing and if it wasn't due to the fact that she knew he was 80% blunt and poker faced the entire time, she would've believed it 100%. His colors didn't change much which meant he was holding onto his emotions pretty well, which was impressive. Still, what if there was a bug? So she cleared her throat and shook her head a few times, whining softly to herself as an attempt to get rid of whatever might be there even though she had an inkling that he was just saying it. Better to be safe right?
"Impressive. Your colors didn't change. Still pretty" it wasn't the first time she told him she found his colors pretty, considering she associated people with their colors most of the time. He sounded sad, it seems that he was holding onto certain emotions but never truly letting it get to him fully which was both commendable and sad. "Are we really at the middle of the story?" she raised her eyebrows questioningly, it didn't feel that way. Astraea liked to believe that her chapter as Huifen Wu ended a long time ago. But as Astraea? There was no knowing when the end will be. "You're the type to throw the lemon back when life gives you lemon" she exclaimed bluntly, pointing out the remark he did earlier about life having plot twists. He did make her laugh, that was right. "I missed mine" she murmured softly, "but then again I had a whole other realm as one and it's like being kicked out after living there your entire life. Well… I guess that's literally the case for me, got kicked out with no way to get home." It did make her feel useless for a brief while.
Thankfully, Astraea wasn't the type to dwell too long on things she couldn't change. When he asked where she was from, she chuckled and decided to lie down on the blanket as she made herself comfortable, "I mean I was technically born and lived my entire life in Athens. So nationality wise these days I am Greek but while their culture and religion is also mine, both my parents were not Greek no. My mother's Chinese, she was from what you people call Hong Kong today and my father… I think she told me he lived his entire life in Siberia but is Chinese too. My name was Huifen so… Chinese." Now that she thought about it, she knew so little about her biological father. "You? Where did you fall at?"
He nodded as he watched her, she seemed pretty honest about herself and the way she saw the world, he’d never gotten the impression she was being anything but her true self with him which he could respect, most people put on a front when others were around but she was quite easy to read. “It is” he commented with a nod of his head, the world itself was beautiful, even he couldn’t deny that, especially not when he was here staring out over the building tops at the sunset “It’s the one thing which makes sense in this crazy world” the sun always rises and sets, the stars were always there if you couldn’t see them. It brought him comfort. He smirked to himself and shrugged “I don’t specifically break rules for the sake of it, but I do the things I want to do, regardless of what others say is wrong” he shrugged “I know what’s right” he nodded, he wasn’t a bad person, he didn’t hurt people unless they deserved it.
He laughed when she spoke about authority “Something like that” he commented with an amused shake of his head, he could be selfish and impulsive at times but he liked to think when it came to it, he was on the right side of karma. Her thoughts about happiness made him ponder for a few moments, tilting his head slightly as though he was processing how she saw it “Maybe I’ll figure out what it means to me one day” he commented and nodded, he never really had the chance to explore any passion inside of him because he didn’t have the financial means to do so. His hobbies made him happy but they were mostly just for him. Today was the first time he had actually shared this particular one, climbing.
He noticed the look in her eyes when he commented about the bug, despite the fact she didn’t want to believe what he said he could see the worry in her eyes, questioning whether he might be telling the truth in that moment. He had to laugh when she eventually gave in and shook her head just in case “Staying calm in the midst of chaos is kinda my superpower” he commented with a chuckle. Pretty, he pondered the meaning of that for a moment after she said it. She’d told him before she could see people in colors, like she could sense their moods or aura “What do the colors mean?” he asked curiously, he wondered if she would even be able to explain it. Sunmin chuckled when she questioned his analogy “Well you’re here right? I’d say that means you’re on an adventure” it could be the most boring story ever but it was still a story and it was hers.
He pulled a face when she mentioned throwing lemons “Never really did like the taste of lemons” he responded shaking his head slightly. He turned his head towards her as she talked about the other realm and how she had been kicked out “You’re here, don’t waste the chance to be alive” he commented bluntly. It seemed like she was too busy dwelling on going back to realize she was still here. She seemed excited to talk about her past and heritage so he was quiet as he listened to her explain it “Huifen” he responded, now that was a name which sounded like it matched her face. But he did like her chosen one more, it was pretty, sounded otherworldly like her “What made you pick the new one?” he questioned curiously.
He was a little surprised when she turned the question back on him but let it roll off his shoulders “Busan in South Korea” he answered in a much shorter explanation than hers “Though I didn’t get to stay there long, most of my life has been in America” lucky he somehow knew both languages he supposed.
She was glad he was able to see the truth in that. Which meant he knew how the world operated but isn't entirely negative on everything. Perhaps if he was exposed to more good than bad, his perspectives might change, who knows? She wasn't there to change it but the idea of promoting kindness to him feels like a good deal. She wouldn't lose anything anyway. Except maybe her patience but fortunately for the Aurazin, she has a way of keeping her temper in check for a long while now. "Go big or go home huh?" She was sure she heard that phrase before and it seems suitable to be applied in his situation because Sunmin proved to her countless times that he only did things for himself, which wasn't necessarily selfish either. It was hard to describe it but he's a survivor. Survivors are always the highlight of the story. They're the ones writing the history, after all. "Of course you do" she mumbled as a response to him saying he knew what's wrong and what's not. Astraea knows a bad person when she sees one. It was practically impossible to hide that facade from her unless they're a real seasoned sociopath that might be able to trick her.
She hated that she was this close to believing him which made her surprised, he kept his head clear of any shift and that would've tricked her easily if she didn't already know he was going to lie to her. "Who knows if there are any bugs here… I'm just being safe… especially those wretched spiders" she grumbled to herself defensively as she shook her head. God she hated spiders. Astraea was sure she's arachnophobic. "Your superpower? Well then I have to commend your… acting skills because it was very convincing." It really was. "It almost had me fooled and I've only been tricked twice in my entire lifetime" Considering the amount of people she met throughout the centuries? It was a record. When he asked her what the colors meant, Astraea pressed her lips together to form a smile, she told him plenty of things already, this shouldn't stop it anyway.
"I don't know how to explain it, even when I first became an Aurazin, it just comes to me and I guess along the way I learned to understand it unconsciously in my mind. I don't think all of us see the colors the same way, or if there was a certain color code for every emotion possible. Though the colors for certain main emotions are there, I think it depends on the person itself. One can't feel one emotion the entire time only, right? So it's mixed. I like to think each person had their own unique color that's supposed to be a representation of everything that they are." She turned to her side to stare at him and pointed her index finger, "For instance, I've never seen your color before. Yours is a soft shade of orange and beige, a bit yellowish like the bright sunset which is kinda surprising given your… personality. But when I study it longer, it makes sense. And no before you ask, sarcasm doesn't have a certain color or else I wouldn't take your words literally every single time."
Maybe he was right, maybe she is on another adventure this time. "So what do you like? You don't like sour… and judging from your talk about milkshakes last time, you're probably a sweet one." Whereas, Astraea was a sucker for sour things. A small chuckle escaped her when he chastised her to just take the moment to enjoy now when she's given the opportunity. "I haven't heard anyone say that name in a very long time." As far as she's concerned, Huifen Wu died that day. "Astraea? Well, at first it was the first name that came to me when I thought about a new name. She was my favorite goddess. The virgin Greek goddess of justice, innocence, purity and precision. I grew up idolizing her. And because I disliked that my mother named me Hera when registering for the family registry." She cleared her throat and grinned sheepishly. The location made her eyes lit up in awe, "I've been there. I mean, it was in the same province, Gyeongsang-do during Joseon Dynasty. So you travel a lot… any particular places in America that you felt comfortable at? You must had a favorite."
He chuckled at her use of the analogy in this situation “Something like that” he agreed, when it came to looking out for himself, it always came first. The truth was that no one else in the world was ever going to put you first and so if you didn’t look out for yourself then it would end up being detrimental to your own wellbeing. He chuckled tilting his head slightly when she expressed her concern for there being bugs only for her to point out how much she hated spiders “Creepy little things huh” he commented, he didn’t have a fear of them himself but he didn’t particularly like them or want to be around them either so he could understand her disdain.
He chuckled “Plenty of practice, I’ve basically had to lie my way through life” he responded and shrugged “I mean I could hardly tell anyone I was only 4 years old when I look like an older teenager or early 20s” he commented with a shrug, an immortal’s life was built on a foundation of lies, they didn’t have a choice but to tell them. “Only twice?” he responded with raised brows, then her life detection abilities must be pretty accurate as that was quite the record “I’m curious to know who else can compare to my superior lying skills” he teased with a low chuckle.
He leaned his chin against his knees as he listened to her talking about her aura detection and how she understood it, the way he interpreted what she was saying was basically like a language which only she personally understood and therefore it wouldn’t make sense to explain it to others. It was a curious thing to process, the way she could get a feel for the type of person she was facing simply by seeing colors. He nodded a few times as he took in what she was saying, explaining what colors she saw in him which had her curious “Damn, so even the magical color detection doesn’t save you from your own cluelessness huh” he teased when she said she couldn’t detect sarcasm “I’ll take sunset orange though, sounds pretty” it did make him a little curious about what that said about him though.
He shrugged and chuckled sheepishly when she surmised that he didn’t like sour things and seemed to like sweet things “I can definitely be swayed by sweet things” he responded with a chuckle “I think that’s like the one main thing that me and my brother share” they were both big fans of desserts and would always scoff anything sweet they could find. He looked up at her when she confessed she hadn’t heard her old name in a long time “I guess everyone who knew it is…” he didn’t finish the sentence because he didn’t want to upset her any more than she already seemed to be “I like your new one more, it suits you” he responded nodding his head slightly. Not the whole virgin goddess thing because that honestly seemed too crazy for his mind but because the name sounded friendly and approachable, much like her. “I’ve seen a lot of places but honestly they all felt the same to me, I never got to stay in one place long because of my age” he pondered it for a moment though “Salt Lake City I guess, I got to make a life there for a little while” it was the only time his life really felt like it was on the up.
She couldn't help but shudder when the talk of spiders came around, oh how much she would run for the hills if she saw one tiny one. "I don't hate them as much as I'm scared of them but they're… scary" even in said situation, Astraea feels that it wasn't really dramatic enough to use the word hate. "Are you afraid of any bugs? Or animals? Any phobias?" He has asked her plenty of things about herself and the Aurazin realized she hasn't asked him half of what he has to her. She does wish to get to know him better of course. The timing just never matched before. Though that doesn't hinder their attempts now when their only company is the sky and his blanket that smells devastatingly good. To lie your way through life, she wondered how that turned out for him, most of the ones she saw didn't end up well since they were so used to the idea of fooling others they eventually fooled themselves too into believing the same.
"Wonder how it's like to miss out on growing up though, do you wish you had the chance to go through normal growth like everyone else?" She wasn't sure if he was content with the state he was presented with, it wasn't as if he could do anything about his physical appearance. The dark haired female nodded and hummed softly to herself when he asked who was on the same par as him when it comes to lying, "I've met a lot of people from all walks of life. Not all of them are good unfortunately but you just can't help but want to help, you know? I wasn't sure if I was just too naive or desperate to believe he was telling the truth or he was really a good liar, but this Confederate soldier I met during the American Civil War tricked me." she sighed, clearly it wasn't really a stamp to her good book. "The other one was during the Spanish Flu… so yes you're the third, a Celestial. Doesn't seem like a pattern."
The fact that Sunmin always seemed to pay attention and listen to her talk intently made Astraea feel appreciated, she has plenty of stories to tell and usually never got to divulge them to others because there was no point befriending people who were alive back then. Not unless she was carrying out her duties. "In my defense, sarcasm is… hard to detect. You seem to be a master at it though, I swear you're more fluent in that than English." It wasn't a bad thing, of course. The fact that they could hold a casual conversation without him snarking 24/7 meant he tolerated her better than the others. To Astraea, that's a good start. "Mhmm… you're pretty" she mumbled, the longer she knew him, the more pleasant it was for her to study him. It wouldn't be an understatement to say he's an enigma that she wants to unroll bit by bit. "Maybe one day I'll figure out what's your combination, that'd be a fun challenge… it could take me days, weeks, months or even years." Depending on how fast she could decipher it.
"See… bittersweet person" she stuck out her tongue and chuckled, she always teased him about being a bittersweet guy since he seems bitter about almost everything but is actually a fan of sweet things. Eventually, it became an inside joke between them. She noticed that he didn't finish the sentence and gave him a small smile, she appreciated the gesture. It wasn't often that the Aurazin like seeing people pitying her because it makes her feel pathetic. However, it doesn't feel like that when he said it. "My mother's a dark witch. My biological father a kitsune long dead before I was even 3 months old in my mother's womb. My step father a dhampir who probably didn't want to live an immortal life without his wife and my half sister… God knows if she decided to turn on her switch or not. Arcadia's the closest person I have to family." And even she didn't call her Huifen except the day they met. "What does your name mean?" Everyone had a meaning, don't they?
He chuckled when she expressed her fear of spiders “You do realize they’re literally tiny and are much more likely to be squished by you than do you any harm” he gave her a pointed look, Sunmin wouldn’t exactly say he was completely fearless but there wasn’t much that scared him. Not anything in the traditional sense anyway “I have a thing with guns, though honestly you’re probably dumb if you’re not afraid of guns” he shrugged “I like animals” he commented honestly in a factual tone “Though I was stung by a jellyfish once, that sucked” so perhaps he was afraid of jellyfish...or more specifically, he avoided them.
“I think in a way you can’t really miss what you never had, it wasn’t like I was some kid jealous of other kids, you know” he was different and always had been different, he had known that from the moment that he opened his eyes in this world “I think it was being alone that bothered me more...babies...kids...they all have someone to show them the way” he kept waiting for someone to show up in that hospital and say they were going to bring him home but they never did. He learned a harsh lesson about needing to take care of himself first that day. It was interesting to hear how she had tried to help people who had lied to her in return, he wondered if she felt betrayed by those lies “So it’s the beginning of a new era then” he responded with a slightly smug smile “Don’t worry, I will use my power wisely” he teased with a smile.
“If it sounds like something I don’t mean, I probably don’t mean it” he commented in a matter of fact tone, shrugging his shoulders as though to point out that he wasn’t that serious most of the time and lived on making sarcastic jokes “Don’t take anything I say too personal and you’ll survive” he could be harsh he knew that, but he was never outright mean to anyone unless they deserved it. He chuckled at the way she said he was pretty “First time anyone has called me pretty” he noted in a sarcastic, surprised voice. Couldn’t say he went around chasing for that kind of compliment but Astraea did seem like the type to give it anyway. “My combination…” he commented as he looked up at her “Am I some safe that needs to be cracked?” he tilted his head “Cause if so I might need to get one of those super techy locks which no one can crack” he grinned, being mysterious could be a good thing right.
He wrinkled his nose but let it fade into a smile when she called him bittersweet. She had addressed him like that a few times now and he was getting used to it, the way she explained it was that he was bitter on the outside but had a weakness for sweet things “Stop outing my weakness to the world, they’re up there listening you know” he pointed up towards the sky where he could see a small littering of stars across the backdrop. He definitely got the feeling they were looking out for him sometimes, but he wished he could actually hear them. When she took then opportunity to talk about her family he figured that meant he hadn’t overstepped before when he mentioned how no one would use her old name “Sounds...complicated, I take it back, I’ll stick to my idiot brother” at least they were the same and lived similar lives. Her family sounded like a hell of a gathering. “Arcadia is like you right?” he remembered her mentioning that name a lot, he could tell Astraea looked up to her.
He chuckled out of irony when she asked what his name meant “Korean names doesn’t really have poetic meanings like English names do...it quite literally could mean many things” he paused for a moment “선 could mean good or kind, while 민 could be translated as smart or quick-witted” he chuckled “Not really sure why that name was given to me but” he shrugged, it was his.