IX

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𝟎𝟔𝟕

𝐈𝐗: 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐩𝐬 𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝

Sae-byeok and I had thankfully stuck with the group of men. They sat huddled on some stairs, with us behind them. It didn't feel that welcoming, but I didn't mind too much. As long as they were able to help and protect us vise versa, I was okay.

"Come to think of it," 456 started, and I lifted my head up to look at him. "We don't even know each other's name." Well that was partly true as I felt Sae-byeok shuffle beside me.

"We should take this time to exchange names." I wasn't too worried about sharing my name, as long as everybody else did.

"I know your name," 199 smiled. His large grin made a small smile grow on my face. He seemed sweet. "Ssangmun-Dong." I felt Sae-byeok's stare burning the side of my head, so I turned from 199 to look at her, sending her a grin. I heard her mumble under her breath.

"Ssangmun-Dong is the town I live in. My name is Seong Gi-hun." He mused, and I kept note of his name mentally.

"What's your name?" 218 turned to 199. "Ali, Ali Abdul."

They all continued to introduce themselves until only Sae-byeok, the old man and I were left. They all turned to us expectantly, and we both shared a glance.

It was silent for a few more seconds befor Sae-byeok spoke. "Do I have to say?" I poked her side, trying to tell her to play nice.

"We're all on the same side now. Knowing each other's names can build trust." 456– Gi-hun said, and I nodded my head.

She glanced at me quickly before answering. "Kang Sae-byeok." She folded her hands on her knees.

"That's a nice name," he replied, "doesn't really suit you though." My eyebrows turned downwards as I frowned. Rude.

"And your name?" He jutted his chin out to me, and I gave him a soft smile. "Y/n L/n."He nodded his head before turning back to Sae-byeok. "How did such a nice girl end up joining with Sae-byeok." We both frowned as I heard her let out a loud scoff next to me.

"Old sir, what's your name?" Ali asked the old man, and finally the attention was away from us, as we all focused on the old man.
"What? My name? Oh." My eyes softened as I continued to look at the man. A man of his age didn't deserve to be in such an environment like this.

"My... My name is. Well it's..." I could see the stress written all over his face, and I felt my heart painfully clench.

Gi-hun let out a breathy laugh. "Sir, you must have been very frightened from earlier." He continued to console the man, trying to humour him with past experiences similar. "It'll be okay once you get some rest."

◯ △ ▢

I groggily woke up in my very uncomfortable bed as I shifted, to find a more suitable spot. I quietly whined as I couldn't fall back, asleep before I felt a hand on my head.

"It's time to wake up." I shifted a bit more before getting up, rubbing my eyes and realising I fell asleep on Sae-byeok's lap.

"I'm sorry I didn't—," my cheeks heat up as she shook her head. "It's fine." I blushed even deeper at her morning voice before looking away.

"Sir. Did you stay up all night?" Gi-hun asked the old man."I was afraid they might attack again." Once again my heart constricted against itself, this poor man.

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