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It was about an hour before midnight in Evermore City and Sunmin was wide awake. He’d always been this way, feeling as though night was the time when he was supposed to be awake and doing something.…Continue
Sunmin stared at the painting placed up on the counter with intense eyes. He thought he was past stealing random things he found but the moment he had seen this particular canvas outside as he walked…Continue
Sun, Min, Sunny, Minnie
Looks 18 | Real 21
In a strange turn of events, Sunmin stole a painting which resembled the mark on his chest only to be hunted down by the owner of the painting. It was through Hanseol Sunmin found some of the answers he'd been looking for his entire life. What he didn't expect to discover though, was that Hanseol might be his brother. Overwhelmed, Sunmin had run away but he gets the feeling it's not the last time he will see the elder Celestial.
The same recurring dream every night. It’s hot, to the point he can barely stand it and he can barely bring himself to open his eyes. The sense of momentum tells him he’s falling, at quite the speed too, it makes him want to flail and kick from the panic but his body remains completely still, as though he was frozen in time for just a while. And when he finally feels the impact against the ground, his eyes fly open and he sits up in shock. The same dream every night, never changing, never giving him any answers as to why.
The first time he remembered waking, it was in a hospital bed in Busan. He was confused as he sat up and looked around him, nothing was familiar but then, he wasn’t sure what familiar was. The young male was quickly noticed by a nurse who told him to lie back down and then began to question him about who he was and what had happened. And he didn’t have any answers. He stared at her with a blank expression as he tried to recall something, anything about who he was and what his life was like before this, but there was nothing. They called him Hong Gildong (홍길동) for the first few days while they tried to find out more about his past.
There must be someone out there looking for him right? Someone who could answer these questions about who he was because he didn’t remember any of it. They diagnosed him with dissociative amnesia, a condition which caused you to forget not only your past memories but also your own identity along with it. It was something most patients suffered with for a few days until their mind kicked in again. But after over a week of waiting, he still remembered nothing. The young male was able to function normally though, despite having no recollection of ever learning it he could speak both Korean and English fluently, he could read and write and had decent social skills, always joking around with the doctors and nurses.
But after a while, it became evident that no one else was going to come for him. There was no one looking for him and without any way of identifying himself, they had no way of linking him back to the person he was before. With no support and no knowledge of his own life, the hospital made the decision to get him a DNA test to help link him back to his heritage. He didn’t know what it was about the test but something in his chest told him he couldn’t let them make it and so for the first time since he had awoken, he took his fate into his own hands.
Sneaking out of the hospital seemed easier said than done but he planned it out in his head, waiting until nightfall when there were nurses checking in every so often but not regular attention, he took the coat from another patient on the ward who he knew wouldn’t miss it all that much and before anyone could notice he was gone, he was out into the night. Everything was unfamiliar and staying hidden was hard but he had never been a majorly noticeable person. He was confused as to what was happening but something told him he wasn’t going to be able to escape forever, that someone was going to find out who he was and that very thought seemed to be sickening to him.
He laid low for a few days in an abandoned warehouse just trying to gather his bearings. He managed to borrow a stranger’s phone on the street to check if there were people looking for him only to find his face on posted all over missing person websites. He found clothes hanging up in one of the nearby residences and took those so he could disguise himself whenever he needed to leave and he found food in the garbage of the nearby bakery which he could eat but he knew it was all temporary. One day someone was going to find him and he needed a plan before that happened.
A few weeks later he was sleeping, propped up against the wall near the back exit to the warehouse when he heard the sound of forced entry to the front door. He didn’t need to wait around to know that someone must have seen him going into the warehouse and disclosed his location and so he opened the door and took off running. It wasn’t long before the police were on his tail and he was running at full speed through the back alleys of the city. Thankfully he had been smart enough to case them in the past few weeks and so he knew where led to dead ends.
It was pure luck, that he managed to spot a light of glimmering purple in the distance that night and found himself running towards it. He had no idea what he was doing, what the light was or even why he was so drawn to it but without hesitation, he ran towards it and after a few moments of feeling his whole body feel like it contorted and then expanded again he found himself standing in a field. He fell to the ground with a shocked look as another figure appeared next to him with a knowing smile on their face. They simply told him they were an ally to the skies before they disappeared again, leaving him dazed and confused as to what just happened.
But there was one thing he knew now. It came to him the moment he stepped into that light and now it was ringing around his head like an alarm. Sunmin. His name was Sunmin.
He didn’t have long to sit and celebrate the fact he finally knew a small part of his identity though because he had quite literally just been sent through a portal and he needed to gather his bearings. Once Sunmin made it into the nearest city he was able to get a map and figure out that he was in America. Thankfully Sunmin had knowledge of the English language and he spent the day listening to all the people around him in a little cafe, learning to mimic the accent they spoke with and the timing of their speech in order to be able to pass himself off as an American.
It was scary for him, he had nothing to his name, he didn’t know anyone and he didn’t have the first idea of how to start a life with all of that. He ended up scouring the city, finding a tunnel in an underpass under the road where he could sleep for the night, it was cold and reminded Sunmin of that fact that he was very much alone. The only person who had ever done something kind for him disappeared into thin air and left him here with nothing. He knew he couldn’t expose who he was because there would be questions he couldn’t answer so he needed to figure out how to do this alone, how to survive.
So survive is what he did. He spent his time walking the distance of almost the entire city before he eventually found an abandoned house he could make his home, it was small and not kept well at all and he needed to keep a low profile while there but it was someone dry and safe to spend every night. Whenever he left, he did his best to case the streets of San Jose and namely those involved in criminal activity. He became very good at stealing to get the things he needed in life and in turn he earned the respect of those who also lived their life in the grey area. Sunmin was young and sweet looking, which often fooled those around him into believing he was innocent which also played into his favor.
He did have a code of honor though, only taking the things he really needed, like clean clothes, food and water and other essentials which allowed him to stay alive. He used the money that he gained from flipping small items to gangs to be able to get himself a fake ID, which took several months of saving along with some sly talking on his part to earn enough trust in both his buyers and those who would sell to him. Having an ID did allow him access to more things but he generally became accustomed to the life he lead. But slowly his priority turned from simply surviving to figuring out what it all meant. Who was he? Was he like everyone else he knew?
Sunmin knew he couldn’t expose himself and sign up to a school or anything crazy like that but he managed to use the ID to get himself a membership at the local library which had all kinds of books on different hobbies and life skills. He became a little obsessed with learning how to do things which was only spurred further by the membership allowing him to use computers and have a world of knowledge at his fingertips. He taught himself many things using the library, in fact, he practically lived there. Always sitting quietly with his hood up as he was studying some book or website. He learned maths and writing following online courses, he learned sleight of hand which helped him fuel his existing lifestyle and he also found a passion for graphic art, finding he was really good at making drawings and sketches using the computer.
He would have loved to have a computer of his own so he could sell commissions of his drawings to people online but the place he lived in didn’t have any electricity, it didn’t even have running water, he had to use communal showers to keep himself clean. It was a hard life but it was also a life he somehow made work and through his time on the streets, he also made some friends. Other people who were in similar situations to him. He told them all that his parents had kicked him out of his home to avoid suspicion but he related to them. Related to the hardship of having to take care of yourself first and always rely on yourself.
Sunmin began asking around the few contacts he had about magic and the supernatural, mostly he got laughed off by whoever it was, thinking he was completely insane and high on drugs but the odd person seemed to know more about it than others. They would tell him about strange things they had seen and things happening they couldn’t explain. And Sunmin slowly began to realize that perhaps he was more directly involved in this world that he thought. Because it had been three years since he first arrived here in San Jose and he still looked exactly the same way that he did when he first arrived. Sunmin began to worry that his friends might notice the fact that he didn’t seem to age but he said nothing about it and just continued his research.
While it was a hard and complicated life for the young male, it wasn’t an unhappy one, for the most part, Sunmin spent his time joking around with others, he shared the home he was living in with a few others, they took care of one another. He used the library to learn new things and he applied those to his life, he started getting parts he could use to fix up broken parts of the house bit by bit, at night when no one thought to see or hear them. Other nights he would sneak out just so he could head out onto the streets of Evermore.
It started with abandoned building sites which he would sneak into at the dead of the night just so he could climb to the top of the buildings and lay on the roof, stare up at the night sky and ponder why it brought him so much comfort. Why this was the one thing that made him feel most himself. Perhaps it was because of the mark on his chest which had an uncanny likeness to the Gemini constellation in the sky or maybe it was because of all of those dreams he had about falling, with the sky rushing all around him.
The climbing became a thing for him, somewhat of a challenge he gave himself to see how high up he could get before he eventually got caught, it started with houses, then it became taller office buildings and then it became cranes and skyscrapers. Sunmin got a certain thrill out of it that he couldn’t describe every time he reached a new height and he would often just stay up there for hours and enjoy the view. He was more content with being alone than he ever thought he would be and even though he knew he knew what he was doing was dangerous, it was in those moments he felt most alive. Most in touch with the person he was.
Another two years passed and nothing much changed, including Sunmin’s face. But one night after he broke into a building site and started to climb up the side of one of the cranes he had heard the alarm going off. Scared he had quickly climbed back down and took off running from the property but before long he realized he was blocked off. Sunmin was terrified as the security guards came running towards him knowing it would be game over for him if they took him in, they’d want to know who he was and where he was from, where he lived. All things he couldn’t answer but just as the man was about to grab his arm. Everything stopped.
He could move, he could see the male in position about to grab onto him and yet nothing happened. He didn’t stay around to question it for too long instead taking off running into the night. But the male had seen his face and he knew it wouldn’t be too long before they tracked him down. He also knew he wasn’t getting any older and soon people would notice and as much as it pained him to know the truth. He knew he needed to leave. Before long the world started spinning around him again but Sunmin was already sprinting towards the house where he immediately headed inside, packed up his things and got ready to say his goodbyes.
It was hard, letting go of the first people he’d ever cared about but the last thing he wanted to do was compromise them or the home they had built because he had been reckless and a security guard had gotten a picture of his face. He took every penny he had managed to keep, the few belongings he had in a duffle bag and went to the city bus depot. He found the furthest traveling bus he could afford, bought a ticket and he was on his way out of San Jose and off to the next location in his story. Las Vegas.
Vegas was a whole different ballpark for Sunmin, the city ran on nightlife and people out on the streets, no one even thought to question his wandering or his inquisitive eyes as he looked up at all the bright lights and tall buildings. Frankly, it was the perfect place for someone like him, someone who knew sleight of hand and could impress the tourists for a few bucks here and there. Someone who didn’t really stand out in the massive crowds and therefore went under the radar for the most part. And after a few weeks of spending his nights on park benches or the entryway to a few shops he was scouted out by one of the casino bosses, Cassandra Riot.
He had been hanging outside of the casino for a few days and showing the local tourists a few card tricks for money, he was getting really good at it and earning in a few bucks here and there which helped to pay for his food. But the Casino bosses weren’t exactly happy with him intercepting their customers and one day Cassandra had demanded her lackeys come and bring him in for a talk. Sunmin had explained that he had nowhere to go and he was just earning his next meal ticket. And she actually listened to him, told him that if he wanted a role swindling tourists he could have one in the Casino, as long as he gave the money back to her, then he could have the room in the back of the place to lay his head at night and enough money to pay for his food.
It seemed like a decent deal to him and it ensured he had somewhere safe to stay so he agreed to it. For the next few years it worked well for him, he worked in the casino every night, dealing the cards in a way that didn’t work out too well for the customers, helping them to fake wins every so often so it looked as though the place was fair. The place was raking money in and every night he had somewhere to lay his head, he found friendship in Cassandra who looked out for him and made sure he was eating properly. He even made friends with some of the other people who worked at the Casino.
It wasn’t a decadent or particularly glamorous life but it was more than he ever had before, the wages he got from the Casino were enough to afford a few treats here and there and feel like he actually existed as a real person rather than a shadow on the streets. Sunmin, however, would meet his downfall in Emilie Riot. Cassandra’s daughter.
She had come into the casino to see her mom a few times and it was evident from the start that she had a crush on Sunmin, she would always come to his table and play a few rounds just so she could chat with him, even though she knew it was rigged. He liked talking to her and they’d joke about silly things, she was a sweet girl but he knew she was off-limits. The problem was that she didn’t seem to get the hint when he tried to keep his distance for her and kept making excuses to see him. He was in a tricky situation because he knew upsetting her would make her mother angry but he also knew giving in to what she wanted from him would also make her angry.
In the end, though, Sunmin found it hard to resist her charms and the two of them started up a secret relationship, mostly in the nights when her mother wasn’t around. Emilie was a bit of a rebel because of the strictness her mother had forced her to live under, she didn’t really have many friends so she latched onto Sunmin. He helped her to sneak out a few times and they would climb up onto the casino roof and watch the stars together. She collectively became his first everything, first kiss, first time making love and first love. But he knew it would never last, she was human, he was not and she was the daughter of his boss.
So after about a year of being together, when Cassandra pulled him aside and threatened him because he seemed to be getting too close to her daughter. He did the right thing for both their futures and told Emilie they couldn’t be together anymore, that while he cared for her, his desire to get out in the world and make something of himself was greater. It was all a lie and it broke his heart a little to do that to her but he had told her from the start not to fall in love with him because he was only going to hurt her. And so, after 5 years of living in the back of a casino, he made the decision to move on with his life yet again, though this time it was his call to make and not a rushed decision to find somewhere new.
He had also managed to put aside a lot of his wages from the Casino, enough that when he arrived in Salt Lake City, he could afford to pay a few months rent on a small dingy apartment which he called home. Having a home and a fake ID then meant that he could get himself a job, a real job where he set himself on the right path and did the right things. So he got into bartending, something he had done a little of in the Casino bar and so knew enough to get himself the job. It was minimum wage and he constantly got questioned on whether he was old enough to serve but it worked out well. No one really noticed you when you were just another worker.
Salt Lake City was where Sunmin really started to believe in himself, it was an average life but it was one he had managed to earn for himself. It offered him the indulgence to have a TV and a computer of his own, it allowed him to make friends and live a life he wanted. He was still pretty wild though, but he did it on his own terms, went to the mountains on the weekends so he could continue to feed his addiction for climbing and heights. He even got into base jumping.
He avoided things like relationships because every time he thought about one he thought about Emilie and how she could never know he wasn’t getting older and that everything was temporary, it was always in his mind, that every life he lived was one where he had to lie about who he was. It made him start asking questions again about what he was, why he didn’t get older but no matter how many questions he asked or research he did, there was nothing. Nothing about his mark. Absolute silence.
He spent the next 7 years in Salt Lake City. It was a good time for him and though he lived from check to check, he was happy to be able to build something real, even though his rebellious and self-preservation streaks never really disappeared. And then one night when he was headed to bed he had caught a strange sight of himself in the mirror. He stared back dumbfounded into it as he saw the way his skin was glowing, it was actually luminous and he almost fell over with shock. He had no idea why it looked like that or what it even meant but he got the feeling it was related to his mark, to the person he was.
That kicked him back into his need to know more about himself, he started asking around at one of the local herb shops whom he knew the owner was rumored to know magic. Of course, most people dismissed it as crazy but knowing he hadn’t aged a day in 18 years, Sunmin was willing to press for answers and he got some. They weren’t about himself but he did learn that he wasn’t crazy when he insisted that magic was real, the owner of the shop they were a diviner and while they had no idea what he was. It was pretty much guaranteed he wasn’t human.
The owner gave him some contacts of other diviners who he said might be able to provide more answers and Sunmin was faced with a decision. Stay in this stable life, with his tiny apartment and safety net for a few more years until people began to realize he wasn’t aging and he was forced to move on or use all the money he had to seek out the answers he had been looking for his entire life. So he sold everything he owned aside from a backpack full of clothes and his phone and he left. To seek out answers about who he was, where he came from and if there was anyone out there who would truly understand him.
It was mostly a wild goose chase at first, each new contact knew a little more than the last but not quite enough to satisfy his need for answers, he stayed at hostels on his travels which meant he met many interesting people. He ate bread or beans most evenings which didn’t taste all that great but was enough to keep him going and now swallow too much cash. He eventually found out some rumors about how some stars fall from the sky and become human. How they forget everything about their life before, never age. It seemed like after 2 years of traveling he had finally found what he was looking for.
And even better. Clues led to the fact that a crater, made 3 years ago in Evermore city, might be one of these fallen stars. The idea of finally meeting someone else like him scared but also excited Sunmin. What would they be like? Would they be able to explain to him all the pieces that were missing? Why had it taken it him this long to finally find them? When he arrived in Evermore City, his cash was running extremely low, to the point he often opted for a park bench over a hostel but he was so close to his goal that he didn’t want to stop chasing it. So he didn’t.