Chapter 22

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•• Minhyuk ••

I sat up and immediately began getting ready, jittery as I went over Jiho's plan in my head again, making sure that everything was sinking in. The others were getting up and getting ready too, obviously equally nervous for the day. My quick shower ended with me slipping and falling before I got dressed and put on the best smile I could, trying to look completely at ease when I was actually a ball of nerves.

"Ready for your big performance?" Taeil asked me curiously, patting me on the back. I shook my head, my hands visibly shaking as I picked at my breakfast. The others slowly joined us at the table and everyone stared at my trembling hands.

"Minhyuk-Hyung, calm down, you'll be fine!" Jihoon said reassuringly, patting my hand comfortingly. "You just have to remember the plan."

"I don't think that I can manipulate her that much," I mumbled in protest with a shake of my head. "It's wrong for me to do that."

U-Kwon nodded with understanding. "Trust me Hyung, if it was me, I wouldn't be able to do it either, but think of it this way, if you succeed, we can save her life."

"If you fail, Kyung still has a chance," Jiho told me with a nod. "Just remember that you're doing this to keep her safe. I nodded slowly, swallowing hard as my phone rang.

Jaehyo, nodded encouragingly as I stared at the called I.D on my phone. "Just relax and talk to her. Act completely natural Minhyuk." I nodded again before holding the phone up to my ear.

"H- Hello?" I stammered awkwardly.

"Ah, Minhyuk, I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time!" Hyorin exclaimed with a frantic and apologetic tone.

I waved my hand and awkwardly said, "Not at all Hyorin! I'm actually just sitting and eating breakfast with the others. They're going to leave soon."

"Ah, I see," she chuckled lightly. "I was just wondering what time you planned on dropping by because I need to get ready."

I looked at Jiho for assistance and he held up two fingers. "Let's say two hours from now?"

Hyorin was quiet and then said, "That sounds good Minhyuk! I'll see you then! I'm excited to see what you have planned for today."

"Oh, I think you'll be fairly surprised," I chuckled awkwardly, scratching the back of my head. "I'll see you soon then!" She said a happy good-bye and I looked at the others before slamming my head on the table and feeling the tightness in my chest decrease. A hand comfortingly stroked my head and I groaned, feeling ashamed at manipulating such a nice girl. "I'm competing in the Romantic Division too," I mumbled pitifully.

"You poor thing," Taeil sighed with a frown. "I'm sorry that you have to go against your better judgment, but it really is for the best."

"I know," I mumbled with a sigh. "It really does hurt me to do this, but if it means that she'll be okay in the long run, then I guess it's worth it for now." The others nodded in agreement, each pitching in their own comforting words and supportive pats on the back.

Jiho stood and waved us into the living room. "Boys, today starts the plan to protect Hyorin from her insane family. Let's all try our best and we'll hopefully have the family records by Jaehyo-Hyung's birthday."

"You think we can get them that quickly?" Kyung asked in surprise, receiving a nod. "Alright, let's do this!"

The others all nodded and then looked at me. "Let's do it," I sighed with finality, punching a fist in the air with a determined nod. "Can we do a quick run-though of the plan?"

Jiho nodded and stood up. "Today is the First Phase. Minhyuk-Hyung, you will take Hyorin out and show her a good time. She can't handle her liquor and we all know that, so we're going to get her nice and woozy. After that, you know that you have to ask her whatever you need to in order to get any information about where those family records are."

I nodded slowly, feeling horribly guilty at the thought of interrogating Hyorin for such sensitive information when she would be beyond dizzy. "Phase Two," Kyung said, standing beside Jiho with a determined nod. "I'm the main player in Phase Two. I have to take Hyorin out and keep her distracted while you all search around her apartment for any information on the records."

"Those old photo albums might have something in them," Jihoon pointed out with a nod. "Our job is to find out where they could be while you take her out after the Jesa." Kyung nodded in agreement and sat down, waiting for Jiho to finish.

"Phase Three is the hardest Phase. We just have to locate the records. In Phase Four, we let her family know that we have the records and we can turn them in unless they promise to leave us and Hyorin alone forever. If they do, then we'll give them the originals, but keep copies for ourselves just in case they try something," Jiho murmured with a determined nod.

"All in all, everything will happen and Hyorin won't even know," U-Kwon finished with a sigh. "It's a foolproof plan, but we're not dealing with fools."

"It only has to work long enough for us to locate the records," Jiho said quickly with a shake of his head. "It doesn't matter whether we're dealing with fools or not if we get the records." We all nodded with hard swallows and determined expressions. "Okay, let's start then." I sighed heavily and got to my feet with a nod.

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