"Dan, wake up."
Yeonjun groaned. He had been at the library for hours, fell asleep on countless books, and still found nothing about a place where the sun never sets. It shouldn't even be possible, Yeonjun thought.
Beomgyu proceeded to shake Yeonjun awake, which was usually a bad idea. But instead of attacking Beomgyu, he did the opposite. The latter shook his head and stretched. "Sorry, I just... I really want to find this place."
The chestnut nodded. "I understand that, but, you've been here overnight. Shouldn't you head home and call it a day for a while?"
Crap, Yeonjun had lost track of time for the nth time in his life. He had been so consumed on trying to find Soobin that he forgot that he needed to take care of himself. He hated how time moved so fast, how merciless it was. Time could pass and Yeonjun would only notice how his life fell apart little by little.
Yeonjun shut the book with a loud thud! as he stacked them neatly. Beomgyu stood at his side and quickly took each pile. Yeonjun made a mental note to thank the younger later for taking care of him.
"If there's a place where the sun never sets, I'd say it's on the other side of this world."
"Huh?" Yeonjun asked.
Beomgyu sighed. "There's always two sides to every world; its light and its darkness. We have to find a specific place where the sun always sets, then, we have to find its opposite."
"But... where exactly is that?"
The chestnut opened his mouth, then shut it again. "I... I don't know," Beomgyu lamented. "But if I did, I don't think you'd like it."
Just as Yeonjun opened his mouth, the doors flew open. Morning sunlight poured from the doors, making Yeonjun squint harshly from the foreign amounts of light he was absorbing this early. He could barely make out Taehyun's figure from the sea of light.
Beomgyu stepped forward in a panic. "Tae, what's wrong?"
Taehyun inhaled desperately, trying to articulate his words clearly for the duo to hear. "Kai... he's... infirmary..." Taehyun barely gets his message across with all the panting. Fortunately, Beomgyu and Yeonjun understood and together, they began running towards headquarters.
Time seemed to stand still as Yeonjun bolted into Kai's space in the infirmary. It was happening again. Another friend of his was in an infirmary bed, looking as if the light had been taken away from them. Yeonjun flinched violently as he watched Kai's eyes open at an agonizing rate. The pressure from his shoulders began to lift slightly as Kai's lips formed a smile.
"H-hey... Dan, Gyu. I'm sorry-"
"For what? Hyuka, what happened to you? Did someone attack you while you were out?"
The latter chuckled. "Somewhat, but if he hadn't come in to save me, I wouldn't have made it back in one piece."
Beomgyu and Yeonjun's ears perked up as Kai mentioned another person. "Kai, who's 'he?'" Beomgyu questioned.
Yeonjun expected Kai to frown at them, clown them for not knowing what he was talking about. Instead, a frown of sorrow was sketched onto his face. His smiled hung upside down, his eyelids shut slightly, and he bit his lip. "Please, don't be mad at me-"
"Kai, please. Tell us," Yeonjun interrupted.
Kai inhaled deeply. "He wanted me to give this to you," Kai paused as he struggled to grab a piece of paper, folded neatly, from his pocket. Quickly, Yeonjun came to his side and took the paper from his hands. Kai covered his face with his hands, concealing the tears that threatened to overflow. "I couldn't save him."
Yeonjun looked at the younger with pity. At his age, he shouldn't be feeling all this guilt, but Yeonjun knew where he was coming from. But Yeonjun still had many questions running through his mind. Who was Kai talking about?
The fox prayed it wasn't Soobin. He still had to find him. Soobin couldn't have just gone and disappeared when Yeonjun needed to find him most.
With a deep breath in, Yeonjun backed away from the scene as Beomgyu and Taehyun took his place to comfort the wielder. Yeonjun unfolded the piece of paper as his eyes widened at the words written and addressed to him.
It's Soobin, and I'm sorry you've had to receive this. You deserve an explanation face-to-face more than a letter delivered not by me. But, me being the coward I am, couldn't bring myself to go up to you and tell you everything.
I'm a monster, I'm cursed, cursed to always hurt those who I love. I want to be your friend again, believe me, I do. But this curse holds me back, and I can never have happiness.
I'm cursed to turn into a monster, a Heartless monster, and attack those who I love. That day I hurt Taehyun? I had only just begun to take my form. But when you walked in, I didn't want to hurt you, too. So, I ran before I could transform and never forgive myself.
There's a reason why I've only travelled by myself and with Tokki.
It's been hard to stay away from you, right from the very first day I met you at the Dwarf Woodlands. When your friends asked me to join their organization, I couldn't bring myself to say no. Because I wanted to see you again.
But now, our time's up. My time's up. He's come for me again, and I can't run away anymore.
Farewell, Daniel. May your heart be your guiding key.
Yeonjun bit his lip until the taste of metal began to bubble from the wound. His eyes burned with intense heat as tears began to brim. This letter meant Soobin had walked out of Yeonjun's life. But that didn't mean he had disappeared from the face of the world, right?
Instantly, Yeonjun shook his tears away. "Kai, what happened?"
Kai looked at the older with a 'you'll regret it' look, but Yeonjun gave him the stare. Kai sighed, hiccuping from his tears. "An old man, he attacked me... he cornered me and, I thought I was done for,"
"Then Soobin just appeared out of a dark portal,"
"A dark corridor," Yeonjun muttered under his breath.
"And he... he told me to get away. S-so I did... and when I looked back, he was lying on the ground, and his bunny... they weren't moving. Not even an inch,"
"I... I couldn't save him," Kai broke into another wave of sobs. Beomgyu came to his side quickly and hugged the boy tight.
Yeonjun's arm dropped at the words. His grip on the letter loosened, threatening to fall onto the floor where its words would be exposed. But Yeonjun didn't care anymore.
"He's gone, he's gone, he's gone," Kai chanted like a mantra. The words haunted Yeonjun's mind.