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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Since there was no possible way to make a chapter in between two different chapters, I decided to place it under high numbers that I know will never be used. But this side story in fact is written between chapters 4 and 5. Please make sure to read the side stories. They are just as important as the actual story. Because they will be important later to explain certain things about certain characters. ^^ ~ Alison

Chapter 40 (v.1) - Chapter 4.5: Side Story

Submitted: May 09, 2017

Reads: 111

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Submitted: May 09, 2017



She carefully slid her gentle blue binyeo, also known as a traditional Korean hairpin, out of the tiny jewelry box which lied at the foot of dresser. As she peered into a tiny hand mirror sewn with beautiful blue birds at the back, she let out a giggle of excitement. It wasn't just any old hand-made mirror that most girls in the village carried with them. A street vendor specifically told her it was especially made for maidens of the court, but given away because of it's undesirable size. After all, upper-class women all preferred much larger and expensive mirrors. The best part about it was that he sold it to her for only 30 mun. She tied her hair into a cute bun and fastened it in with the binyeo. Her arms then quickly reached over and picked up a beautiful silk woven embroidery that she created on her own. It was that of a summer flower that she normally would see out in the garden, blossoming each year in early spring and dying before the fall. Onto the Hanbok, also known as a traditional Korean dress, that was spread out on the floor, she carefully began to weave her needle in and out of the front of it. She hummed a soft song as she worked through the hot lamb hours of the afternoon.

Surely mother must be pleased with me after I've completed such a beautiful dress!

"Agassi!" screamed the elderly women from the garden front. "Agassi!"

The young woman quickly dropped her sewing needle and stood to her feet. "Grandmother? Grandmother, what's wrong?" She rushed on over to the small door and crawled out of her tiny room and into the yard, carrying both sides of her dress with her. Of course the woman wasn't her real grandmother, but a neighbor whom she knew very well. It was normal that she would address her in such a way.

"There are more children that have been rushed in at the temple. You must make haste and see to them." She bent her head back and grabbed hip as she wobbled to the front step of the yard for a quick rest.

"What?! Do they carry the same marks as the rest?"

"Seo-yeon-ah," she said with pleading eyes and out of breath, "You must go now!" 

Han Seo-yeon wasn't just any familiar face in the small village outside Chunchong, she also helped grow herbal medicines for the locals. She was a very smart young woman. In her early twenties, yet she had already studies numerous books of Korean traditional medicines and native ingredients used by both in Korean and even old Chinese traditions which are normally forbidden in most of the country. Still, even if seen as forbidden by most physicians, the importance was that she could help the suffer recover without the need of a real doctor. Most people were poor so they couldn't afford any real doctors to travel to their underpopulated village. Therefore, Seo-yeon was used to neighbors approaching her for their urgent support in great times of need. She quickly slipped on her shoes, grabbed her box of needles, jars and other varients and set out onto the dirt path road which lead to the small temple just up the hill to the left. Laborers, Basket makers and other merchants greeted her as she strode past them. Unable to politely greet them all, she quickly bowed and moved on without stopping. Just as she made her way though a series of wooded areas, her eyes finally set upon the temple straight ahead of her.

"She's here!" One of the elderly men called out. Many of the civilians and worried mothers stood to greet her as she passed through the entrance.

"Grandfather, are you doing well?"

"Yes, young-miss. Please, this way will you."

Seo-yeon found herself knelt down next to a young boy around the age of five. He wasn't crying, but he appeared quite lethargic and pale. She reached down to check is pulse and examine him thoroughly from head to toe. His body temperature was quite cold and the opposite of what is normally expected of a sick child. Something was terribly wrong and she was once again finding herself stuck in a similar predicament as she had been faced for the past several weeks. Children had been delivered more than a dozen times to the temple with the same two bite marks on their necks. There were obvious puncture wounds towards the base of his neck as well, not just on one but both sides. She decided to wrap the boy's neck with a gentle fabric and poke him with several needles along his arms and neck.

"I...I really don't know what to say. This really is peculiar. As you know, something did him wrong. He met with someone committing evil wrongdoings."

The young mother began to panic, "A criminal? Maybe he is living in our village!"

"I..I don't know exactly who. All I can say is this is not a disease or condition that can be explained. Someone is harming these children. I am going to prescribe some natural medicines for him. I think until we find out who the culprit is, we should be careful and watch our children. Not let them run about in these parts without supervision."

The mother nodded in agreement and held the hand of her child. "I told him not to run outside alone. He didn't listen to me. He's normally a good little boy. I found him up on the hill behind the rice field about a mile down the road from here."

A similar story to the woman I met three days ago. Maybe I should have a look myself.

"Not to worry. You have found him just in time. I wish you and you son well and a fast recovery."

The worried mother bowed her head to display her respect for the young doctor and smiled brightly. "Oh thank you, Agassi. Thank you."

"She was one of the lucky ones.." Seo-yeon stated flatly to the elderly man sitting next to her on the floor.

"Mm, yes. Any more blood sucked out of him and he would have become possessed by... by I don't know what it.

Seo-yeon turned her head to look at him. "So you know of it, too. It is something. Some demon who is trying to turn these children. We've already lost so many.... and killed so many. He mustn't be human. It can't be... It can't be human. What is happen-"

"There's another one! We found another child!" screamed a woman from the front of the temple. This time a little girl laid snug in this woman's arms as she raced over to the young doctor. Her condition looked far more complicated than the last child to leave the temple. Seo-yeon quickly took the little girl from her. Her face was as white as a ghosts and her brown matted hair stuck out on all ends of her messy hair bun. Seo-yeon glanced down at her neck wounds and can see that the holes were beginning to close up. She quickly looked up at the woman. "Are you her mother?"

"N-no. I found her. Over by the tall gate outside the rice field. The poor dear..." The woman bowed her head with worry.

"I need some alone time with this child." She didn't want to admit it, but it could very well be one of the unlucky children, judging by the abnormality of the healing. Both the woman and the elderly man stepped out of the temple. The man was quick to send away the people outside and close all doors of the temple to avoid peering eyeballs. He already knew it, too. That something gruesome was about to take place. No one should ever see such a horrible fate and he pitied the young doctor inside.

Seo-yeon laid the girl's body on the floor of the temple and quickly lifted up the top board of the box. Under the needles used for practicing chim, there was a sharp blade tied to the end of a wooden stick. She picked it up and placed it down next to the body in case of an emergency. She then took a deep breath and searched the little girl's arm for a pulse. She examined her height and body features and declared she was roughly around the age of six. There was no pulse, nor was the girl breathing. Her body was not decomposed, but it was quite likely that she had been deceased since before the sun came up. Perhaps it was the disease of whatever the demon carried that kept her in the condition that she was. She turned the girls head and looked at the side of her neck once more. She could no longer find the bite marks. Seo-yeon's heart began to leap. She turned the girl's tiny head back over and took another long breath. She then swallowed as her throat became dry. Lifting up and cupping the sharp tool in her hand, the situation left her no choice but to cut off her head. It was the only way to prevent what was about to happen. She had to do it before she woke up as a duplicate of whatever that thing was that made her. With the girl's heart no longer beating, she did just that.



The sun had set by the time Seo-yeon left the temple. She felt both disappointment and remorseful. To herself for not being able to do anything more and for the children who had already been too many. Weak and exhausted, she was just about ready to head home when she suddenly found herself stop in her footsteps. She turned her head to look towards the north road that led up to the back of the rice fields. A voice echoed in the back of her head. It was calling her. She knew it. Whatever it was, it was looking for her.

"You beast... so you want to present yourself to me now. And what will you do, once you've had me. Will you turn me into those same creatures you've turned many others into? I will not go. I refuse. The children need me. The village needs me." Her voice was loud and fierce. She hoped he heard her words. She picked up both sides of her dressed and proceeded onward to her house just a short way beyond the dirt road, fading into the night.

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