Chapter 2.1-1: Back to Life

I guess I’m back! Sort of. I am so sleep deprived again.

“Please stop,” he whispered. His best friend since grade school had been rambling without a breath and he was sure that one of two things was about to happen: One, the sort of tiny Asian mix next to him was going to pass out due to lack of oxygen reaching her brain, and Two, his brain would hemorrhage from the garbage he was being forced to listen to.

“But you asked, and you’re obviously not getting it. Kylie set up the robbery! It’s all right there!”

“OH MY GOD, I DON’T CARE. While I’m impressed you managed to take a break from your dramas and K-pop gossip column fire hose long enough to even hear about something that happened in this country, sort of, since when do you even ‘keep up’?”

“Hey, when it’s juicy you kind of don’t care where it comes from. Anyway, So, at her party—”

“That happened months ago, and I still don’t care.”

“How do you know when it happened if you don’t ‘keep up’?”

“Shut up.”

“Do you want to hear about the latest release date debacle?”


“Oh this K-pop band just dropped out of a tour that was supposed to pass through here, and there is going to be rioting!”

“Who is it? Wait! No! Just.. Enough with the gossip rag for five seconds.”

“Fii~ne,” she groaned. They walked in an awkward silence while Ally bit her lip to keep any more details fell out of her mouth. After an excruciating twenty seconds, she spoke up again, “What do you want to talk about?”

Benjamin groaned and rolled his eyes. “I just want to grab a bite before work!”

He was a few steps ahead before he realized that Ally had fallen behind. “Hey? Are you okay?”

The girl had her finger and her thumb massaging her eyes. “No, it’s just… I thought I heard something, and now I have kind of the worst migraine.”

“You never get migraines.” He sighed again and went over to his friend, hand to her forehead. “Well, you aren’t sick. When was the last time you ate something that wasn’t just formed up sugar and caffeine?”

“I eat fine, mom.”

“Seriously, your mom will murder me if you get home messed up.”

“Fine! I will eat with you if it will make you stop nagging me!”

“Like you weren’t going to eat,” he mumbled before heading to the nearest tea shop. He stopped in his tracks, seeing a commotion ahead of them. “Huh. Shenanigans outside of the Temple. There’s something you don’t see every day.”

Ally could barely focus. “Yeah, yeah. Let’s just go around. I don’t feel like getting into a tangle with Buddhists today.”

“I think that is literally impossible.” His friend was gone again, this time ducking into an alleyway causing the hairs on his neck to stand on end. “What is it with you with alleys?! Are you a fan of being murdered?!”

“What can I say, it’s in the name.” Ally leaned against the wall, the pounding in her head getting worse.

“Whatever you say, Miss Murder Bait.”

“That’s Princess Murder Bait to you.”

公主? [Princess?]

“Oh my god, it was a joke,” she groaned as she moved further in the alleyway.

“What are you talking about? I didn’t say anything.” Benjamin followed her, growing more concerned as she became more distracted.

She began to argue when a dark clad man seemingly dropped out of the sky, blocking their exit.

公主! [Princess!]


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