•• Hyorin ••

"You brought me to a Ho-Ddok stand?" Kyung asked incredulously as I handed him a warm, gooey bun with a smile. "You had to drag me on a train all the way to Chuncheon just to have Ho-Ddok?"

Chewing through my bite of bread, I licked off my fingers and then rolled my eyes while he stared at me. "Oh come on, we used to do this all the time in college!" He rolled his eyes and took a bite into his bun while we walked. "You can't tell me that it doesn't feel nice being out here on such a beautiful day."

Kyung shivered and complained, "It's like 2 degrees, dunce, I'm freezing and of all the places you picked the City of Lakes! It's really, really cold, okay?"

I narrowed my eyes and pouted while we walked before grumbling, "Spoiled idiot." Kyung gasped and then sighed as we walked down towards one of the many lakes that dotted the area in and surrounding the beautiful city of Chuncheon. By the time I looked back up a Kyung again, he had managed to swallow the entirety of the Ho-Ddok and seemed pleasantly satisfied with himself for the time being. I munched on my own bun as I trailed along beside Kyung towards a bridge overlooking a large lake. The biting wind stung my skin as I walked along, leaving me shivering furiously in my thick coat.

We reached the bridge and stood silently on it, peering out over the crystal clear water. A sharp wind shot over my body, leaving me breathless for a moment as I glimpsed the ferry leaving for Namiseom Island. Lake Soyang stretched out in front of me as I watched the sky beginning to shift to oranges and reds. Kyung was quiet as he soaked in the landscape and the silence of the air around us.

"Kyung, do you remember how easy life was in college?" He was silent for some time, mulling over my question while he stared out over the glimmering water of the lake. "I remember how horrible it felt to have my own family- my own flesh and blood- come to me asking for the mob head's power... I felt so betrayed." I couldn't help the morbid chuckle that escaped my lips as I admitted this. "People that I thought cared deeply for me and loved my family, they betrayed my father. Do you know how it felt, Kyung, to have everything you thought was reality, crash down around you?" He released a soft sigh, brushing his wavy bangs out of his eyes.

"I've learned to not put others above me and not feel that others will always be there for me," he eventually stated with solemn finality. "I guess you learn when you go through life."

I bluntly drawled, "If this is life, then I would hate to see what hell is like." He chuckled lightly at my statement and I flinched as I felt a sudden warmth behind me.

If Kyung noticed anything off about my action, he didn't comment and instead released a breath of air that fogged up as it left his mouth. "You honestly think that I'll let you end up in hell?" U-Kwon whispered by my ear. I immediately knew that he had hidden himself from Kyung's lost eyes. With that, the warmth was gone, vanishing like every beacon of life on our world. It vanished like my parents and my brother, leaving me with an empty, lonely feeling.

"Hyorin, would you rather be up there or down here?" I was taken aback by Kyung's sudden question and frowned in reply. "You seem like you don't belong here. I've noticed it since the day your family was killed. There's no light in you anymore... and it worries me because you try to hide it and hope no one will notice, but it's always there inside you- and I notice it and I hope and pray every day that someone can fill that void in your heart. I beg and plead to the stars above that whoever took your loved ones brings you back."

My words stopped flowing and my breath caught in my throat at Kyung's words. "When did you-?"

He cut me off with, "I'm not an idiot, Hyorin. I've known you for almost 10 years. You honestly thought that I wouldn't notice?"

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