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Jisun Yeong

all are equal in death.

0 · 326 views · located in USA

a character in “encounters”, as played by Korruption

Description

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ImagexxxImagexxxImagexxxjisun yeong xxx影 地仙

dob ; nov 9, 2000 (19)xxxbirthplace ; sinuiju, north koreaxxxgender ; femalexxxorientation ; bisexual / demiromantic
handedness ; ambidextrous (naturally left)xxxhex ; #0064b4 / #cb3254xxxface claim ; yezi (lee yeji)

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XX i n f o r m a t i o n
Imagenicknames ; Jisunie (used by Koreans, partial) / Jisun-ah (used by Koreans, indifferent) / Jiji (hates) / Sunny (used sarcastically in reference to her very not-sunny demeanor, hates).
nationality ; American / South Korean (formerly North Korean).
ethnicity ; 100% Korean.
occupation ; college student / anonymous singer, rapper, and songwriter (on and off; Youtube, Soundcloud, iTunes, goes by hades).
languages spoken ; Korean (native, fluent; standard Seoul accent with slight, indistinguishable North Korean accent) / English (fluent, American accent) / German (moderate, ambiguous accent) / French (moderate, ambiguous accent).

year ; junior.
major ; criminology (criminal psychology).
minor ; business / psychology.
role ; hades.
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XX a p p e a r a n c e
Although not one to go for the perfectly polished look, Jisun does enjoy taking care of how she looks. As a result of her grooming, she is quite attractive, but her beauty only adds to her intimidating aura. Jisun keeps her slightly wavy hair at a shoulder-length bob, and carefully maintains her see-through bangs, giving them an effortless appearance. Jisun's eyes are naturally a dark grey-brown, and she makes sure to apply sunscreen daily to keep her complexion pale. Jisun knows she has a good form and a curvy body; her clothes are typically form-fitting, and she doesn't mind showing skin. Although she has a great variety in what she wears (tube tops, leather jackets, camisoles, turtlenecks, etc.), Jisun only ever wears the color black. She is quite fond of accessories as well, and typically wears chokers, necklaces, and dangly or hoop earrings. Jisun wears makeup regularly when leaving her apartment, but usually only applies eyeshadow and a lip color. Despite standing at a measly 159 cm, Jisun is an intimidating figure with her high-class appearance and particular fashion choices.

XX p e r s o n a l i t y
With her eternally stony expression and her slightly unsavory reputation, Jisun is quite intimidating, and is even considered frightening by some. Jisun is well-known and notorious, but in general, she is not well-liked. However, her reputation doesn't ring on a personal level; practically no one dislikes her for who she actually is, since she's rather mysterious, but most simply find her demeanor unappealing. Granted, Jisun does very little to subvert what people think of her, and puts no effort in being purposefully genial. Although the general public opinion of her is rather negative, Jisun does attract a group who admire her for the very qualities that have made her image so tainted.

While Jisun's reputation doesn't paint the full picture, it does align with her true personality. Jisun is cold and blunt, but she's honest; she sees no point in hiding the truth behind social niceties, and has no intention of running in circles trying to satisfy people with things that aren't there. She is not particularly sympathetic and is rather unpitying; she is not someone to go to for purely emotional comfort. Jisun can be incredibly harsh with her words, to the point where she knows she's be hurting someone. Jisun does not flinch at cruelty, and her surface-level personality gives the impression of a cruel, unfeeling bastard.

Although Jisun can be rather unemotional, she feels quite deeply and is extremely passionate about the few things she cares about. Despite being rather harsh, she is not cruel, and would never bully someone, or speak with the intention to cause harm. However, Jisun feels no qualms about doing things like bringing up someone's assholery in public. Jisun has strong opinions on and is extremely passionate about justice, equality, and human rights, and advocates for such causes unashamedly. Despite having strong morals, Jisun is an objective person, and makes decisions with cold, unflinching logic. Jisun is not evil, nor sadistic, nor a bully; she is incredibly fair and just in her judgment of others, and is unbiased and undiscrimatory. In her head, everyone is given equal chances to prove themselves.

Jisun can come off as almost coldly flippant, but in reality, she is fiercely loyal, even if she doesn't wax poetic about her devotion. She's not one to change courses or jump around with her choices, and is very committed and single-minded, both with her decisions and her relationships. While she believes that reality is the best teacher, she has good judgment and would never leave her friends out to dry. She is fearless and would step in whenever she sees something unjust taking place.

Contrary to the gothic essences in her appearance, Jisun is definitely a nerd, if anything. She's naturally inquisitive and constantly wants to learn more about the world. She enjoys solving puzzles, and approaches everything with a very analytical viewpoint. While Jisun is a rather structured person, she is also open-minded; she enjoys entertaining new ideas and experiences, and is definitely the kind of person who would partake in an intellectual debate.

Jisun is fairly introverted and can be a recluse; she rarely leaves her house for the sake of enjoyment, and is a loner at school. However, while she doesn't enjoy being around a most of the people she meets and quickly tires of social interaction, Jisun does get rather lonely, and just wants one or two companions who can support and understand her.

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XX d e t a i l sImage
quirks ;
surname means "shadow", and given name means "immortal being of the earth" / fascinated with death, but isn't suicidal / owns a large Rottweiler named Dal (달, meaning moon), who is aggressive towards strangers but is really rather affectionate / keeps a photo of her mother in her wallet / donates money regularly to charities / doesn't like to reveal her origins / raps underground at clubs sometimes as Shadoe.
strengths ;
intelligent -- Jisun can easily make connections and use deductive reasoning / singing, rapping, and piano -- as an ode to the Kpop that originally inspired her, after she was adopted, Jisun made sure to take classes as soon as possible / objective and unemotional -- Jisun can make decisions without her emotions clouding her head.
weaknesses ;
can be mean in her brutal honesty -- Jisun doesn't hold back and feels no qualms about not doing so. Being in the upper class, where everyone considers their words carefully, Jisun's habits don't do her any favors / unsympathetic -- although she is quite moral, Jisun does not feel for others easily at all
likes ;
Kpop, specifically Taemin, Taeyang, SHINEE, Girl's Generation, BTS, Red Velvet, and Mamamoo • justice and equality • solving puzzles and crimes • flowers • pomegranate • Dal • mint • horses • iced Americanos • samgyeopsal • staying indoors • bulgogi • the color black • music -- rapping, singing, and playing piano.
dislikes ;
unnecessary violence • politics • the North Korean government • pointless discrimination • fake people • bullies • rat meat • swimming • kimbap • talking a lot • thinking about her sisters • talking about her past, exposing her roots • kimchi • sauerkraut.

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XX b a c k g r o u n d
Born as the first child of a lower-middle class family in North Korea, Jisun resigned herself to a difficult life. Where she was from, even the children of generals couldn't live well; considering that Jisun's family was part of a lower caste, or songbun, their chances would be even worse than that. Jisun's youngest sister, Jihye, died in infancy due to starvation and poor conditions, while her other sister, Jieun, was sickly and malnourished. Jisun herself resorted to eating rat meat and bark when times were the toughest. She hopelessly wished for a better life, but considering how the rest of the world was supposedly even worse off than her, Jisun had to miserably count her blessings.

However, Jisun was quick to learn that the South was far from the desolate wasteland the government described. After the famine in the 90s, the black market grew to be a prominent pillar in the lives of ordinary North Koreans. Jisun's hometown of Sinuiju lied right on the border between North Korea and China, and was consequently a hotspot for smugglers, her father being one of them. Jisun's father would sneak her and Jieun Western movies, Kpop, and K-dramas. Jisun learned that the South was clearly not as poor as she thought, and that the North was not truly a paradise as described to her.

Jisun, who lived her life mechanically before, now dreamt about Western movies and pretty boy groups and excessively cheesy Korean dramas. Now that she knew how well the rest of the world had it, she hoped for a life where she could eat the delicious food she saw on K-dramas whenever she wanted. Sometimes, she imagined dancing on stage with Girl's Generation, even though she had no desire to be a Kpop star. She wished for a life where she could watch all the movies and dramas and music videos she wanted without the fear of a prison sentence hanging over her head. Jisun had hope.

When Jisun was ten and Jieun was eight, their father was arrested and sent to a labor camp for smuggling goods across the border. Jisun's mother knew that their situation was dire, and that officials might come after their entire family. Jisun's mother made the decision to take her two children across the border in an attempt to defect to South Korea; she knew it was extremely dangerous, but they were running out of options. And so, Jisun's family took all the money they had, and the three attempted to cross the Yalu river. Jieun was shot by the guards when they were crossing the river, and Jisun and her mother were forced to leave her behind.

After a few months of traveling through China and trying to avoid the authorities, Jisun and her mother were discovered by undercover police officers, who were miraculously members of an organization that helped North Korean refugees get to South Korea. Jisun and her mother were given forged identification, and joined the other small group of escapees, one of them being the son of a Japanese abductee, in their tumultuous journey to Thailand. Two of them were caught and didn't make it, but the rest of them were able to pass the border and seek asylum.

Jisun and her mother lived in Seoul for a few years -- they were still poor, but their lives were far better than the ones they escaped from. Sometimes, Jisun was bullied and discriminated against again for being North Korean, but she didn't let it get to her -- there were far worse things in the world, and she would not go back to them. The son of the Japanese abductee -- Moon Han-gyeol -- became a famed human rights activist, and kept in contact with Jisun and her mother.

Jisun's mother passed away from cancer when Jisun was thirteen, and Jisun reached an all-time low. Yes, she lived in South Korea now, but she was still poor, she was discriminated against, and now she was alone. Jisun was sent to an organization that helped orphaned North Korean children with integration into South Korean society. She was pleased to be around people like her, but Jisun was still concerned with what kind of life she would be able to lead in the future.

When Jisun was fourteen, almost fifteen, she was fortunate enough to be adopted -- and by a wealthy family at that. Her new family -- the Hostetlers -- were rich Americans with old money from their German ancestors, and were one of the biggest names in the hotel industry, and make mountains of money through their investment company. Her adoptive mother always wanted a girl, but after becoming infertile, they decided to adopt a North Korean girl in need. Once again, and not for the first time in her life, Jisun struck out extraordinarily with her luck. She came from a poor background -- where she had to eat the rats running around her home out of desperation, where the only taste of a better world was given to her through smuggled goods, where Jihye starved to death and Jieun got shot by their own military. Now, she was in the top 1% of the economy. She could wear the most expensive brands and eat caviar for breakfast -- anything she wanted to do, she could, because now she had the money. She had two older brothers -- Niall and Percy -- and she could attend any school she wanted. Even though she doesn't advertise her origins (even to her adoptive brothers), Jisun has not forgotten her roots, and still keeps in touch with those from her childhood, Moon Han-gyeol in particular. She is an anonymous activist for North Korean human rights, and donates generously to organizations that can help.

Strangely enough, out of the entire ordeal that was her life, Jisun has developed a morbid fascination with death. Life was so unfair -- there were people who lived in poverty who would die from a shot in the back, and there were people who lived in the laps of luxury and never had to work a day in their life. In death, everyone is equal. Jisun hopes her mother and her siblings -- and maybe her father -- have found peace in that equality.

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cs by Korruption / inspired by cl.love.

So begins...

Jisun Yeong's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
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#, as written by nations
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anastasia
dialogue - #6c0102
thought - #d0a9a0

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The private chauffeur drove up to the building that would be Anastasia’s home for at least the next year. She looked out the window, through the raindrop-dotted tinted glass.

Through the phone, her mother’s voice was a reminder that, even though she would be living alone for the first time in her life, she would always be a there to remind her of the inevitable future that awaited for her.

"Yes мати, I have arrived," Anastasia answered as the chauffeur ran around to open the door for her. Anastasia stepped out, her kitten heels making contact with the wet sidewalk. The chauffeur helped her to the door, holding up the umbrella to make sure that the soft rain didn’t touch her.

Anastasia thanked the old man as he opened the door for her and she entered through the glass doors. Inside, the building lobby was elegant and had a porter to whom she waved to on her way to the elevators. She was too eager to see her apartment and too tired from the previous days’ flight from London.

It seemed like her mother would never stop talking. As the elevator reached her floor, she stepped out. Her things had arrived a few days prior and Anastasia expected everything to be ready, waiting for her.

"Yes, I will tell Leo that I have arrived," Anastasia reassured her mother, resting the phone on her shoulder as she took her keys out from the purse. They looked so shiny and new, she felt her heart skip a beat as she inserted them into the keyhole and heard a click. "Do not worry, now please rest. I know it’s getting late there. I will speak to you tomorrow. Надобраніч.”

With the farewell, Anastasia hung up and put her phone away. She took a deep breath, closing her eyes for a moment, trying to slow down her fast-beating heart. Her first home, all for herself.

You can’t mess this up, she thought to herself. Letting go of the breath, Anastasia pushed the door open and stepped inside.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
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Sometimes, Jisun forgets how wealthy she is. Which honestly sounds really idiotic; of course she's conscious of her wealth -- she grew up relatively poor in North Korea, for Christ's sake -- but sometimes she'll see things and realize, oh yeah. This is the world I live in now. Wow.

It's not like Jisun lives like she did before. She buys clothing from luxury brands, goes out to fancy dinner parties, and she even chose to rent out a luxurious apartment when she definitely could've been happier with a simpler place. She embraced her wealth.

Honestly, the apartment thing was definitely one of Jisun's most questionable decisions.
Was I drunk when I did this? Jisun had wondered, horrified when she realized she had to . . . share her apartment with another girl. Jisun was an introvert, through and through -- she didn't have social anxiety or anything, so while social interaction was painful, she could handle it. But living with someone? Horrendous. Absolutely horrendous.

Jisun miserably understood that she had made the stupid decision, and now had to deal with the consequences. Which comes back to why she was contemplating her wealth earlier. Apparently, Jisun's . . . roommate had hired designers to decorate her apartment. Rich people were a marvel. Jisun thought she had seen it all, but encountering such sights reminded her that she was a mere child in this world of wealth.


It must be a freshman, Jisun thought, miserable once again. They're always so bright-eyed and eager before the shit reality of college slaps them in the face.

Jisun could attest to that. She was nineteen -- a little young for her year, but not absurdly -- and she was a junior. She had already been through two years of college, and while she was immensely grateful for such an expensive and high-quality education, college was no paradise. It was a paradise compared to living under the regime of Kim Jong-un, though, but that's not a high standard anyway.

Jisun had stonily glanced at the designers, before nodding briefly and retreating back to her room. Dal had growled at them aggressively --
ah, silly doggy, always one to intimidate -- before trotting after her. Jisun was sure that the designers were pointedly ignoring her and Dal, which was honestly a blessing. She was sure that they were wonderful people, and Jisun respected anyone who had to work for rich people (yes, a lot of them are actually decent, but the ones that aren't really stick in your mind), but she hated small talk -- she shivered at the thought of having to endure that with her roommate's designers.

Jisun walked into the living room with Dal hopping behind her, meeting the eyes of the roommate's designers once again. They nodded politely at her, but hurried to turn their gaze away. Unfortunately, Jisun had to walk through the living space in order to get to the kitchen and feed Dal. It was poor timing that she had to encounter the designers.

Immediately after Jisun's interaction with Roommate's Designers, the door opened and Jisun mentally curled into a ball. How could such poor timing be immediately followed with an even worse incidence of it?
Toughen up, Jisun. It's literally just another person -- you have to interact with them on the daily, unfortunately. Yes, you have to room with her, which sucks ass, but stop complaining -- you literally crossed a river to China with soldiers shooting at you when you were ten, you can handle this.

Jisun glanced up at the girl who entered the room. She had an innocent face. Jisun nodded in acknowledgment, and Dal immediately started growling again.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
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#, as written by nations
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anastasia
dialogue - #6c0102
thought - #d0a9a0

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When Anastasia stepped in, it was not exactly what she expected. Instead of finding an empty apartment where she could celebrate her first day of freedom in silence and privacy, Anastasia walked into several people doing the finishing touches on the decoration.

Her eyes widened slightly at the scene. The apartment had been decorated in grays and golds with light wooden accents, a contemporary Ukrainian style of interior design that was elegant but functional. For her, it was perfect— anything was better than the dormitories she had live in back at the Academy.

After a moment, she spotted Jisun. The young woman stuck out from the crowd, both in her dark demeanor and clothing choice. She didn’t look like the design crew at all and Anastasia couldn’t help but wonder who she was and what she was doing in her apartment, especially with a dog.

Seeing her, the woman in charge smiled brightly. Anastasia, how are you? I apologize for this mess," she motioned to her workers to leave and they all made their way out. "We expected you a little later."

Anastasia nodded, "No worries, Rachel. The apartment looks wonderful."

"Well, I’ll leave you and…" Rachel looked over her shoulder at Jisun, her expression worried for a moment before she smiled brightly again, "Your roommate alone. If you need anything else from me, please do not hesitate to call me. And don’t forget to leave a good note about me to your mother."

Rachel gave her a kiss on the cheek before waving goodbye, leaving Anastasia confused with her mouth slightly opened. As the door closed behind her, the apartment immediately fell into a silence.
Roommate? This must be a mistake, her mother hadn’t told her anything about a roommate. Less one that looked as intimidating as the young woman who stood a few feet away.

With the noise down, Anastasia finally heard the dog growl and her eyes looked down. A small gasp left her lips; Anastasia had never had a pet nor did she have many chances to be around them. Albeit looking scary, Anastasia couldn’t help but be fascinated by the creature.

With a small smile, she bent down, putting her purse on the ground. "Come here, sweetie," she said in a sweet voice, patting her knees to call the dog over to her.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
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Dal immediately started barking and snarling at the girl -- Anastasia. "Dal! Anj-a!" Jisun ordered Dal to sit in Korean -- Dal did not do well with English, and why speak it if you didn't have to?

Dal seemed to give Jisun a really? look, but sat obediently, although he refused to stop growling. Jisun sighed -- Dal had a mind of his own, but he was a good dog and a good friend. She learned down to stroke his neck before gruffly chiding him, again in Korean.


"Dal, you're a good boy, and I know you want to protect us. But look at that girl! Look at her innocent face -- she probably doesn't even know how to drink, besides champagne at a fancy dinner or something. She can't do anything. And if she did, I know you'll fight back for us." Dal seemed to be appeased by the words and stopped growling. He slowly turned his head towards Anastasia and plopped it on the ground.

Jisun pat his head.
"Now there's the reason I adopted you. You're a smart boy, Dal," Jisun said in a rather monotone voice (although she was quite proud of Dal on the inside). She had realized that she essentially left Anastasia standing there with nothing to do besides listening to a language she probably couldn't understand. Jisun sighed softly, turning to Anastasia and giving her a brief once-over.

Her most prominent characteristic was the innocence in her face -- Jisun had already established that. Anastasia looked to be a couple inches taller than Jisun, and definitely looked rich. Jisun raised an eyebrow when she saw the engagement ring on the girl's finger. It was probably an arranged marriage, poor girl -- as mean as it sounded, Jisun doubted that Anastasia managed to pin someone down for marriage on her own.

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It's not an insult -- I definitely wouldn't be able to do that, and I wouldn't want to.)

Jisun decided to get introductions over with -- after all, they were already in this situation. She lazily offered a hand to the other girl.
"Jisun Yeong," she introduced. "Anastasia . . . what family are you from?"

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Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
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#, as written by nations
Image
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anastasia
dialogue - #6c0102
thought - #d0a9a0

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The dog’s response certainly wasn’t one Anastasia was expecting; she didn’t have many experiences with dogs, but the general reputation was that they were friendly and playful. She immediately took her bag and stood up, hearing as the young woman spoke to the dog in another language and taking a step back.

Only a few minutes in her new home, and nothing was what she had expected. The canine calmed down but the initial interaction had left Anastasia wary, unsure of whether the dog would attack her at any moment. Anastasia watched as the young woman looked at her, silent for a few moments.

Anastasia felt like she was back at a function where people looked at her, trying to find something wrong to criticize. The gaze made her self-consciously pat her soft waves down and pull down her dress. It was usually the hair or the outfit that people liked to target, very rarely commenting on her face which did garner a lot of admiration. Except for her freckles; if she didn’t wear enough makeup to cover them up, there was always someone who liked to chime in about how she should stay away from the sun.

When the young woman introduced herself, Anastasia glanced down at the hand and took it. She didn’t seem too enthusiastic about it so Anastasia gave a small shake, feeling as if she held the hand for too long, there would be some sort of reprimand.

"Pleasure to meet you, Jisun Yeong," she said. She wasn’t used to introducing herself; most people either knew or were told in advance."I’m Anastasia Ivanov."
Jisun didn’t look like the traditional woman in her social class, but Anastasia spotted the high-end clothing immediately, which showed that her family must have good money.

"I believe there’s been a mistake," she said, pulling her hand back. "I wasn’t supposed to have a roommate, but I guess there’s little that can be done now."

She began to walk around the room. Anastasia placed her purse down on the counter, her fingers tracing the cold marble countertops.

"Are you a student at Olympus as well?"

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Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
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Ivanov . . . Ivanov, Jisun thought to herself, wracking her brain for who the Ivanov family was. Jisun was typically not one to immerse herself in the culture and the inner circles of the wealthy, but she was one to want to be knowledgable, especially about the people she had to interact with.

"I believe there’s been a mistake. I wasn’t supposed to have a roommate, but I guess there’s little that can be done now. Are you a student at Olympus as well?"

Jisun snorted under her breath as she filled up Dal's dog bowl. "Oh, this is definitely a two-person apartment. It said so on the description of this flat." Unfortunately, Jisun finished in her head. She let out a deep sigh, once again kicking herself for somehow renting out a two-person apartment. Dumbest moment of my life, for sure.

"Mm, yeah. I'm nineteen, I'm a junior, majoring in criminology," Jisun listed, watching amusedly as Dal stuffed his nose into his food. Sure, she wasn't great at socialization, but Answering Factual Questions and Being Invasive to Others was Jisun's specialty in the Talking to People department. "You must be a freshman. Only a freshman could be so . . . fresh-faced." Jisun glanced at the other girl out of the corner of her eye. "Am I right in assuming that your major ends in the word, 'studies'?" Anastasia Ivanov certainly looked like a girl who would study something along the line of gender studies, women's studies, liberal arts and general studies . . .

Jisun suddenly hit jackpot, whirling around and gazing at Anastasia with her typical stony expression.
"Ivanov . . . your family has that oil company in Europe. Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine? One of those.

"I'm in the Hostetler family. The one with the hotel chain and the investment company."
Jisun was sure that this was the most she had ever spoken with a stranger, but Jisun was the kind of person who openly traded information she didn't care about sharing. She was sure that Anastasia recognized the name; the Hostetlers were a dominant force in hotel industry, and had everything from mid-scale to luxury hotels. Anastasia definitely stayed in one of those.

"My dog's name is Dal," Jisun said off-handedly before Anastasia could ask. Mentally, she had given the other girl points for not flinching at the sight of the large dog. "Rottweiler. He doesn't respond to English, so don't try."

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Anastasia had not been in charge of choosing the apartment and she doubted her mother would have consciously agreed to a shared apartment, or at least one where she didn’t know the roommate, so she supposed it had to be a mistake. Except her mother didn’t make mistakes.

She felt her heartbeat quicken. Her face went pale, although it was barely noticeable under the heavy foundation and blush meant to hide her freckles, as she listened to Jisun speak about herself. Not wanting the other young woman to notice, she moved from her stationary place to the fridge.

"International studies," Anastasia replied, her voice almost too low to be heard. She looked over at the contents, finding that the fridge had been filled with fresh produce, and some pre-made meals with her name. Her mind was running with ideas, wondering if this really had been a mistake.

"Ukraine," Anastasia replied, pulling out a glass container filled with pomegranate seeds, her favorite fruit. She didn’t mean to appear standoffish, she would normally behave in a much proper fashion, but she couldn’t help but be put off by the idea of her mother going as far as to put someone in the house to keep tabs on her just as Anastasia was finally getting some space for her own.

Jisun was giving out much more information than Anastasia had asked for, but she didn’t mind. She had, in fact, stayed in her family’s hotel several times. They were the best the world knew and Leo had actually proposed in one of them.

At the mention of the dog, Anastasia’s eyes fell on the large, dark creature. Surely, her mother wouldn’t have asked someone to live with her and have her live with a dog who had growled at her. It didn’t make sense. That thought made her relax a little more; no, her mother wouldn’t have even allowed a dog into the apartment. Some of the color in her face returned.

"What language does he respond to?" Anastasia asked, opening a few cabinets until she found a spoon. Whether Jisun was really an accidental roommate or not, Anastasia figured that it would be best to get familiar with the dog. After all, she would rather spend hours petting it than being afraid of walking around the apartment.

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anastasia & jisun
XXXXIVANOV XXXXXXXXXXXX YEONG

#6c0102 / #0064b4
#d0a9a0 / #cb3254


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"What language does he respond to?" Jisun raised an eyebrow at all of Anatasia's short, choppy answers. Not that she minded them, but she did not expect such an . . . abrupt speaking style from a rich heir.

"Korean," Jisun replied brusquely. Answering questions was easy, at least. "I'm from Korea. I'm not white, because I'm adopted." Jisun had gotten more than her fair share of strange looks when she was seen standing next to Niall and Percy, so she decided that it was easier to clear it up now. Strangely enough, the adoption thing always confused people, so Jisun always simplified it as if she were talking to a child. But honestly, the rich-family-adopts-poor-North-Korean-defector thing always confused her too . . . so who was she to judge?

"Hey, what's with all your . . . terse answers?" Jisun asked bluntly (c'mon, spare my shit English, world). "Every rich heir from these rich families are always making excessively and unnecessarily polite small talk. But if you don't like that shit, that's great. We'll get along just fine that way."

Anastasia nodded; she supposed that tonight she would have to sit down to learn some Korean phases before going to bed.

As she heard Jisun explain her family tree, Anastasia was indeed surprised. It was odd to see a family in the upper statuses adopt children, especially since people of their status preferred to keep the wealth as close to the bloodline as possible.

Even though she did not know them personally, she had heard of the Hostetler family and had briefly met her parents the day of the proposal since they had personally ensured that everything had gone well. They had seemed nice enough although everyone she met seemed nice enough until you really got to know them or crossed them, her family included.

She scooped some of the pomegranate seeds into the spoon and took a bite. All of her movements were gentle, as if she had rehearsed a hundred times how to take a bite from a spoon. Which she had as part of her etiquette class.


"I apologize," Anastasia said when attention was drawn to her abruptness, her eyes looking down at the cup of fruit for a moment before looking back up. It was important to always look at people in the eyes, she had been taught. "I suppose this is all quite new to me."

Anastasia wasn’t going to tell Jisun about her being suspicious whether she was a spy or not, although signs pointed more towards the latter. She also simply wasn’t one to engage in long conversations; Anastasia was best blending into the background, only speaking when needed or addressed. She put the fruit back in the fridge and the spoon in the sink.

"It’s my first time in New York. First time not living in London since I could remember, actually."

It hadn’t been a long time but Anastasia could already feel herself missing her friends, the only people she had ever relied on to truly be there for her. Now, they were all either married off or studying somewhere else in the world, most having stayed in Europe. Now, Anastasia wasn’t sure who to trust; she wasn’t sure if she had anyone to trust but, whether she was a spy of her mother’s or not, Jisun was the only person she had truly talked to since arriving to the airport last night.

"Perhaps you could help me get acquainted with the city?" she asked, "If it’s not too much trouble, of course."

Jisun raised an eyebrow at Anastasia's request. "I don't leave the house much," she said drily. "So I can't say if I wanna help you. New York is pretty big, anyway."

Dal suddenly started pacing in a circle, whining slightly. Jisun sighed, knowing that it meant that he was demanding a walk. Jisun's gaze flickered over to the girl again. Maybe she should go against her natural instincts and help Anastasia out.

I hate that shit, though.

You should force yourself to socialize more. You might get used it then -- it's not like you can avoid it. Human interaction is inevitable.

Jisun sighed. "Maybe I'll be a little generous today," she commented. "You can follow me and Dal to Madison Park. I don't like small talk, so if you have a question, don't beat around the bush. No time for that. If I want to answer them, I will, if not, then don't push it."

Anastasia felt a pang in her chest at Jisun’s curt response. She didn't like to ask for help; she had planned to take on New York on her own as soon as she got here, but the thought now frightened her. She could tell that Jisun wasn’t one to bother pretending to be kind; she had several girls like that back at the Academy and they were not ones she often mixed with. Anastasia couldn’t decide if she preferred this over fake niceties. She supposed she did. However, she didn’t have much choice now since she didn't know anyone. Her mother had agreed for her to come to New York because the Fates sisters studied at Olympus University as well. Anastasia didn’t like them much, she found them to quite frankly be bullies, but she hadn’t said anything to her mother in fear that her only chance would be taken away.

She was about to head to get room, thinking that at least she could get some rest if she wasn’t going to go anywhere, when she heard Jisun change her mind. A small smile appeared on her face but she didn’t let it go on for too long, nodding.


"Let me grab a different pair of shoes," she said, quickly heading down the hall, where she supposed her rooms were going to be. She saw different doors and paused, not wanting to go into Jisun’s by mistake.

"Which room is mine?" she asked. "Also, do we have separate bathrooms?"

"My rooms are all on your left and yours on all on the right," Jisun called out. "Yes, we do have separate bathrooms. How could you come live in an apartment you know practically nothing about?" Jisun did not like walking into unfamiliar situations, so the fact that Anastasia didn't even know how many bathrooms the apartment had was mind-boggling.

Anastasia nodded and went into her room, finding that it had been decorated in a similar style to the rest of the house, except there were more personal things. Seeing a frame on her night table, Anastasia went to pick it up and get a closer look. It was an image of her and Leo at a dinner. Although she had gotten used to the ring, she felt its weight as she looked at the image. Without a second thought, Anastasia opened the lower drawer of the night table and put the frame inside.

With that, she went to her closet and changed out her shoes to more comfortable flats and took a thin raincoat in case it was still drizzling outside. Before stepping outside again, Anastasia made sure to check herself in the mirror. Her dress had wrinkled slightly from bending down and she tried to flatten it out with her hands but found it impossible to. Out of habit, she was tempted to go and change out her outfit but reminded herself that Jisun was out there waiting for her and Anastasia wouldn’t be surprised if her new roommate left if she took too long.

With a deep breath, she made her way out again.


"I didn’t have much say in all of this," Anastasia said, responding to her last question. She took her purse from the counter. The words were said simply although there was the slightest hint of sadness behind the controlled tone she was so accustomed to using. "A lot of things are not much of a choice for me."

As much as she hated herself for saying those words out loud, they were the truth.

"But that’s what life tends to be, no?" Anastasia asked, looking in Jisun at the eyes. They were all words so conditioned into her that, eventually, she had begun to accept them. "We must accept what we are given."

Jisun scoffed. The girl is unbelievable! How can she live like this?

"Fuck no," Jisun said immediately. "God, that's honestly the shittiest thing I've ever heard. Imagine applying that to someone a lot poorer than you. Hell no, if they want to live a good life and be able to go to bed without being hungry every night, they're not going to accept what they're given.

"You're probably just wandering around, listening to your parents, aren't you? Yeah, a lot of people are like that, I know. Look, parents are great and all that, but there's a difference between, I don't know, respecting their advice and being their drone.

"Honestly, what's the point of being as rich as you are and not being able to make your own decisions? We're privileged as fuck, Anastasia. Imagine having so much privilege and just saying, 'a lot of things aren't really a choice.' Well, this is your life, and you do have a choice. You can't listen to someone else forever."


Anastasia was taken back by the response. Of course, Anastasia couldn’t know what it was like to have no food in the fridge or roof over her head. She was aware she was part of a privileged class. However, this also came with expectations and responsibilities that meant she couldn’t do whatever she pleased. Her mother had made it very clear to her from the beginning; Anastasia had nothing without her. Her family name meant nothing without the support of her family and she had nothing she could really her own, including herself. That had been made very clear when her marriage to Leo was chosen.

She didn’t know how to feel; it had been so long that Anastasia had fought feelings of anger down that she didn’t know what they were so she was left with a burning feeling across her chest.


"Perhaps it’s best I take the walk myself," Anastasia said after a moment. Her breaths were heavy and she felt unable to control the heavy rising and falling of her chest. Jisun didn’t know her mother, she tried to tell herself in order to calm down, but it wasn't working.

"What do you really have without your parents?" Anastasia asked as she made her way to the door, "I doubt you would have anything left."

Jisun reeled back in genuine shock -- which rarely happened, as nothing ever really fazed her. "You're sick -- my entire family is dead," she responded coldly, barely able to keep the angry tremor out of her voice. "Don't bring up my parents -- you don't know what I've been through to even have a chance of a life that you wouldn't be able to survive through with your rich crap. I know my privilege, *mkae," Jisun swore in Korean. "When you're ready, you can stop whining and open your eyes to the fact that your inability to make your own decisions and be an adult is nothing compared to the problems most people have."**

Anastasia wasn’t thinking about Jisun’s parents when she said her last comments and the words made her freeze, her hand holding tight to the door’s knob. Jisun was completely right in that she didn’t know how to survive on her own.

To think that she had moved an ocean away to find peace and freedom and here she was, getting cursed at by a complete stranger in what was supposed to be her own home. Of course, the words stung her, even the one in Korean. She could assume what it meant by context. Anastasia could feel the tears burning at the back of her eyes. She internally screamed at herself to not cry, not right now.


"I didn’t know about your parents nor your life, it was never meant to be an attack against them," Anastasia replied in a leveled voice. "If the ones you were given loved you, you were a very blessed child. It isn’t always like that."

She took a deep breath and added before stepping out, "I’m sorry to have upset you, it wasn’t my intentions."

**Profanity censored and removed.

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Thankfully, the rain had stopped by the time Anastasia stepped out of the building, even though the sky was still gray. She began to walk even though she didn’t know where she was going, her eyes clouded by tears. It was until some time that Anastasia finally stopped, the bottoms of her feet starting to hurt. Looking around, she found that the buildings did not look anything like the ones near her building. Her heart started to pound until she saw, ahead, a small park.

With a deep breath, Anastasia walked into the park. There were a few people, some trotting by and others walking their dog. The ground beneath had become mud, but Anastasia didn’t mind. Taking a seat on a bench, she closed her eyes and leaned back, feeling as some of the raindrops that had got caught on the leaves on the way down hit her face. For that moment, she didn’t care that makeup was going to get washed away or that her hair was going to lose its delicately crafted curls.

Jisun’s words came rushing back and Anastasia realized that she had made a mistake. She couldn’t believe that she hadn’t even been here and hour and she had already messed everything up with the person she would have to spend a whole year living with.

There was always the option of never talking about the situation ever again; either it would roll over, which Anastasia doubted, or she the two would just have to ignore each other. However, the thought didn’t sit well in Anastasia.

Like her, Jisun’s response was more telling about what she was going through than anything else. Anastasia didn’t know her past but she couldn’t even begin to imagine what it was like to lose a parent who loved you, less two. Anastasia had never met her father, she didn’t know anything about him, but that also meant that she had never lost him in the first place. There was nothing to miss or mourn.

Anastasia spent some time sitting on the bench, looking out at the world around her as the time passed. Eventually, she stood up and began to walk again. She could always look at her phone; her apartment had been marked on her phone’s map so she could always find her way home but Anastasia didn’t want to go back, not just yet.

It was her first time in New York City. Even with the events that had occurred back at the apartment, there was still the fact that she finally had the chance to walk around without some professor waiting for them at a meeting point.

So, Anastasia kept walking. She stopped in several places. First, a small coffee shop where she bought some herbal tea and an oatmeal cookie. Then, she came across a boutique jewelry store, where she purchased a small gold necklace with a small flower in commemoration of her first day in the city.

Finally, Anastasia came across a flower shop. She saw it as soon as she crossed the street and, with a quick look both ways, Anastasia ran across the street. Inside, she breathed in the different perfumes, her eyes gently brushing against the petals. Anastasia had always loved flowers and had a green thumb, but had never been allowed to have any in the Academy. She supposed that, with an apartment, it was her moment to buy all of the flowers and plants she wanted. She could buy some pretty pots, grow some fresh herbs and sweet-smelling flowers… the possibilities were endless.

The person at the front desk said hello and Anastasia greeted her back. It was then she she saw a pot with purple hyacinths. The flower of forgiveness. Anastasia immediately thought of Jisun. She kindly asked the employee for them and, in a few minutes, the flowers had been repotted into a white clay pot.

Anastasia kindly thanked the employee, knowing that she would have to come back to get more flowers. Outside, she pulled over a cab and read out her address.

She came back home a few hours later, when the sun was started to make its journey down the sky, even though in such a cloudy morning it seldom made a difference. This time, before going up, Anastasia took her time to stop at the front desk and introduce herself to the door porter Sharon, an old man dressed in a black suit and tie. He looked tired but seemed sweet, and Anastasia told herself that she would have to bring him down some treats.

He stood up and offered to help her with the flowers. Anastasia insisted that he didn’t have to worry so he walked her to the elevator and helped her with the buttons. Once she was on her floor, Anastasia made the slow walk down the hall.

She paused outside the door to gather the courage to go in. When she was finally ready, Anastasia opened the door.

"Annyeong, Dal," she said, greeting the Rottweiler in Korean, or at least the best she could do after repeating it endless times at the park after having Googled the translation.

Anastasia saw Jisun sitting on the couch and she went over, taking a seat so there was space between them. Her heart was pounding fast. The walk had done helped her clear her mind, but it was clear that her appearance was not as perfect as when she had first walked in. Her makeup had begun to wash away, her freckles beginning to show under the various layers she applied every morning and her light brown hair was damp, falling down her shoulders without the waves.

Anastasia didn't know how to begin. She feared that Jisun would lash out at her.

"I brought you purple hyacinths," she said softly, holding the pot out. She was trying to control her expressions, but she was clearly upset. "To ask for forgiveness. I got them potted so we can keep growing them instead of having them die in a few days."

She paused for a moment. Her eyes looked down at the flowers. She was so used to giving out apologies, but they rarely genuine, always lacquered by formalities and expectations. However, this was nothing like that. Anastasia felt a pang in her chest as she spoke.

"I just met you and already messed up everything. I hope we can begin again."

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Fuck you, fuck me, fuck everything, Jisun collapsed onto the living room couch, staring at the ceiling. She was mad at herself for losing her cool -- yes, maybe Jisun insulted people, but she wasn't hot-headed -- and she was mad at herself for realizing that she overstepped the line, because fuck, her blood was still boiling and she didn't want to feel bad for someone who grew up with a silver spoon and didn't know what struggle was.

Jisun knew she was privileged too, probably even more so than someone like Anastasia; after all, she was originally born into a shitty position. She starved, had no freedom of speech, watched her sister get killed and her father get arrested. Jisun knew she was already fortunate enough to even survive getting into South Korea. After her mother died, she thought that her luck ran out -- but no, she was lucky enough to be adopted just a year later, and by a notably wealthy family at that. Yes, Jisun considered herself the luckiest and most privileged person in the world, because she was probably the only person to rise to a position of such prominent wealth from such disgusting beginnings, without doing anything. Being born into a position of privilege like Anastasia did, and going through the crazy stunt Jisun did were two completely different kinds of luck, and Jisun knew hers was far rarer.

Jisun didn't need anyone to tell her how fortunate and privileged she was; she was probably more aware of it than anyone else. In fact, one of the things that she was so privileged to even be bothered by, was the fact that all of her rich peers assumed that she was the same as them. She had no right to complain; after all, she chose not to reveal her true origins to anyone -- even her adopted brothers -- and it's not like she wanted to be ostracized for her poorer beginnings.

(Honestly, the second point was moot. People who knew which family she belonged to already knew she was adopted, and those who wanted to ostracize her for that already have.)

So perhaps Jisun set the situation up that way, but she felt so angry when it was assumed that she was the same as every other rich kid -- that she grew up in the laps of luxury as well, that she never knew struggle, or hunger, or death. Jisun herself had very little sympathy for "rich kid problems"; logically, she knew that money didn't make life utopic, but she couldn't help feeling bitter when she heard people complain about their arranged marriages, or how they had to manage their family businesses when they grew up. Every time she would hear someone complain about their controlling parents, she would think about her father who got arrested and sent to labor camp for smuggling foreign media because kids like her weren't supposed to know what South Korea was really like.

Jisun couldn't say much about typical rich kid problems -- although her own rich parents wanted her to contribute to their business, it was mainly Niall and Percy's responsibility, and Jisun would probably only have to take up the mantle after the Hostetler couple died. But she couldn't help the hungry North Korean child, the one who was always on edge when watching K-dramas or American movies because she knew she'd be punished severely if she was caught with them, inside of her from thinking,
I would do anything if it meant I could be rich.

"Annyeong, Dal," Anastasia's voice called out, and Jisun's anger lessened into a barely-there ebb, because she really couldn't be angry at the other girl if she was willing to learn some Korean for Dal.

Jisun glanced at Anastasia when the other girl sat down, holding a pot of what looked like hyacinths.
"I brought you purple hyacinths," she said softly, clearly upset. "To ask for forgiveness. I got them potted so we can keep growing them instead of having them die in a few days."

Jisun's inner flower-lover appreciated the gesture.

"I just met you and already messed up everything. I hope we can begin again."

Jisun accepted the flowers, her pride conceding to her inner morality calling out at her to apologize. "I apologize too," Jisun muttered, "but not for my honest opinion. I will never give that up, nor will I stand down from defending and anything that is . . . personal to me. But I acknowledge that I went overboard by lashing out at you personally. I realize that I don't understand your situation, therefore I have no right to criticize it, so I apologize for that. Even if I find it difficult to empathize with something, that doesn't mean it's insignificant, and I should remember that.

"We're cool, I guess. Let's start over.
There's no point in fuming over one argument forever, especially with someone I'm living with -- unfortunately. "I appreciate the flowers."

Jisun paused before continuing. "If you still want that tour . . . I'll show you around sometime. I'll even tell you about who to look out for and who's . . . okay."

Darn your inner conscience, Jisun. Now you have to hang out with someone and talk to them.

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Anastasia relaxed a little when she heard Jisun speak. No one ever really apologized to her so this was something quite new and it felt great. Even though she knew that she would still have to be cautious, Anastasia felt that they had reached a sort of middle ground. For now, she was okay with that.

Jisun wasn’t the kind of person she often hung out with. So outspoken and bold. Cold, even. There just really weren’t any girls like that at the Academy. Mean ones, yes, but something told her that Jisun wasn’t mean. At least not for the sake of ruining someone else’s life.

"I understand," Anastasia said with a nod. "To stand up for the people that you care for is so brave and loving of you."

She found that bravery admirable. For a brief second, her eyes glanced down at her ring. She had never truly asked herself who or what she loved.

Anastasia smiled brightly at the offer. She hadn't expected that at all; honestly, she had gone in hoping that at least Jisun wouldn't curse at her every time they crossed each other. The words brought a mix of happiness and relief. Even if they didn't end up being close friends, Jisun helping her get around meant a lot to her. Without a second thought, she set down the flowers on the coffee table and reached over, giving Jisun a soft hug.

Don’t ruin it again! A voice in her mind warned and she quickly pulled back. Jisun was probably not someone who cared for physical touch from strangers. Anastasia wasn't one to give around hugs either, but the brief emotions had caught up to her.

"Sorry," She gasped. Anastasia quickly added, before the offer was taken off the table, "That would be wonderful, thank you."

With that, she stood up, not wanting for there to be another chance for her to do something that would make Jisun take back the offer.

"I'm going to get out of these wet clothes," she said, looking down at her muddied flats. It was also almost eight, which was when Anastasia went to sleep due to curfew and she hadn't even eaten dinner. She wasn't sure if she would be able to sleep tonight due to the difference in time zones, but she supposed she would have to do her best. Classes were going to start in a few days and she needed to get her sleeping schedule together. With that, she gave Jisun a small wave and, taking her purse, she hurried to her room.

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Anastasia smiled brightly at Jisun's tentative offer, and the next thing she knew, Jisun was being hugged. Wow, that was easy -- whaaattt. Jisun flinched a little, but let the other girl continue.

"Sorry," Anastasia gasped, clearly registering her actions. "That would be wonderful, thank you."

Jisun nodded shortly, before responding to Anastasia's previous statement. "It's not really brave at all. It's just something one does, isn't it?"

Afterwards, Anastasia retreated to her room with a brief wave. Jisun stood up after a few moments, going to her room as well to change into more comfortable clothes before making dinner. She opted for an oversized black graphic tee and a pair of black shorts, tossing her old clothes in her hamper before going to the kitchen.

What to eat today . . . I'm feeling lazy, how about some ramen? Jisun grabbed a package of Shin Ramyun, her favorite spicy ramen, from the twenty-pack she had carried in a few days ago. In North Korea, Shin Ramyun was known as the expensive shit. One package cost around 2500 won in the black market, which was way too much of one's monthly salary to consider eating. Jisun never had package ramen as a child; it was funny to think that the drastic 2500 won from her childhood was now only two dollars that Jisun could throw around without a care.

Jisun dumped the entire spice packet into the pot as the water began to boil and the noodles cooked. She then tossed in some of her leftover tofu and vegetables, cracking an egg into the mix as well. After the ramen finished cooking, Jisun plopped onto the couch, flicking through Netflix until she landed on her current favorite -- Crash Landing on You.

Jisun's taste in movies and TV combined thrillers, political dramas, and action-horror films (which people did expect from her) with cheesy romances that may or may not have an actual plot (which people firmly did not). Crash Landing on You was a romance, through and through, but Jisun was fond of it, mainly because in a roundabout way, it reminded her of the North Korean prison guard who escaped with his prisoner and managed to make it to the South.
Ah, the occasional successes of idealism.

Jisun distantly heard a door opening, and assuming that it was Anastasia coming out of her room, she called out, "if you want dinner and don't have anything to eat, you can take my ramen from the pantry. No skin off my back."

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Anastasia took her time getting ready, enjoying that she didn't have to be restricted to a specific schedule. Her closet reassembled more closely the one she had at home, whenever she went to visit, and she was happy to see that she really liked the clothes that had been selected from her.

In her bathroom, Anastasia took a long look at her reflection, at her faded makeup and damp hair. A large part of her was bothered that she had let it get this way but, she reminded herself that things were different here. Here, you don't have to worry about those things as much, she told herself as she found the makeup wipes and cleaned her face.

Anastasia took her time in the shower, enjoying the hot shower and not having to share it with other girls who rushed her to get out quickly. It was the small things that she was quickly seeing made the biggest differences. She changed into a light pink silk dress nightgown and combed down her hair.

Without the makeup, her freckles were a prominent part of her face. They made her face seem even more child-like. No matter how much sunscreen or hats she had put on as a child, the freckles had always been there. She lightly touched them; no one apart from the girls at her school had seen her freckles in years, since she learned how to properly apply makeup. Anastasia wasn't sure how she felt with Jisun seeing them, but she supposed there was no choice.

Stepping out of the bathroom, she heard Jisun speak, offering her something called ramen. Anastasia poked her head into the living room and kitchen space, seeing Jisun eating on the couch.

"Thank you," Anastasia said, walking out of the hall and into the kitchen. The kitchen and the living room were only separated by a counter which meant she could look across and see Jisun eating.

Anastasia looked around and opened a few cabinets, trying to find what Jisun had mentioned, but was unable to. Not wanting to bother her, Anastasia opened the fridge, where she had seen a couple of premade meals for her. One of the glass containers was labeled Töltött Káposzta, which were stuffed cabbage leaves, and a smile of delight appeared on her face. Taking the container, she opened it and popped it into the microwave.

Anastasia poured herself a glass of water and, taking a fork and the food out of the microwave, she looked out into the rest of the apartment. There was a small dining table. However, Jisun was eating on the couch. Anastasia wondered if it was best to sit on the table alone but she supposed that going over to the couch would be alright.

Slowly, she made her way to the living room area. Instead of sitting on the couch, however, she sat on one of the chairs beside the couch, on the other side of Jisun. Putting her drink on the coffee table, of course on top of a coaster, she raised her legs up on the chair so that she could be more comfortable.

"I couldn't find the ramen you mentioned," she quickly said, not wanting Jisun to think she wasn't eating it because didn't want to. "But I warmed up some stuffed cabbage though. It's a traditional Hungarian dish, in case you want to try it."

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To Jisun's surprise, Anastasia situated herself on a chair across from Jisun instead of on the dining table. Jisun was not exactly jumping at cheering at having to interact with someone again, but Anastasia wasn't particularly repulsive (especially compared to a notable few people she knew), so Jisun could deal.

Anastasia had taken her makeup off and looked particularly youthful with her now-apparent freckles. She was wearing a pink silk nightdress as well; Jisun couldn't help but notice how opposite they were, especially in terms of appearance. Anastasia looked fresh-faced and young, while Jisun looked intimidating and hardened. Anastasia opted for lighter colors and more distinctly classy and feminine clothing, while Jisun only ever wore black and usually did not look . . . classy, per se. At least, in the traditional feminine sense. It was almost amusing, their differences.


"I couldn't find the ramen you mentioned, but I warmed up some stuffed cabbage though. It's a traditional Hungarian dish, in case you want to try it."

"It's in the walk-in pantry," Jisun commented, referring to the ramen. "Sure, I'll try some of your stuffed cabbage. I enjoy learning about different cultures. Also . . . you do know what ramen is, right?"

It wasn't like ramen was a particularly obscure Korean dish, like gejang or penis fish. Or the unsatisfyingly unfulfilling meat of scrawny, North Korean rats, Jisun's more morbid side chimed in. Ramen was very international; Jisun would be surprised if Anastasia didn't know what it was.

"We eat stuffed cabbage rolls in Korea too, sometimes," Jisun tacked on belatedly. "Of course, it's not the same as yours, so I'm still interested." Jisun continued watching the show, feeling a very slight pang of nostalgia whenever the North Korean officer came on screen.

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Anastasia nodded. She would have to try it tomorrow; from the look of Jisun’s bowl, it appeared to be a sort of noodle soup with other toppings. When Jisun said she’d try it, Anastasia put her container down on the table and made her way back to the kitchen to get a fork.

She had the question as she made her way back. Anastasia took her food again and took a seat, this time in the couch, although she did remember to keep the biggest distance between her and Jisun.

"I haven’t," she replied casually, obviously not knowing how popular the dish was around the works, being found anywhere from college dorm pantries to high-end restaurant kitchens. "It does look and smell delicious, though."

Taking the second fork, she poked through one of the bite-sized cabbage rolls and held it out for Jisun to take.

"What are you watching?" she asked as she began to eat her dinner. Thankfully, she would be getting some pre-made meals, at least until she learned how to cook well enough on her own.

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Jisun's jaw dropped in surprise when Anastasia said she didn't know what ramen was. Not knowing about ramen was like not knowing about curry or pizza. Does this girl live under a rock? Jisun wondered, genuinely curious.

". . . Interesting." She takes international studies too, right? Ironic.

"Thank you for the food," Jisun murmured, taking the proffered fork and popping the cabbage roll into her mouth. Meat, eggs, rice . . . it was good.

"It's a K-drama," Jisun responded to Anastasia's subsequent question, "called Crash Landing on You. Basically, it's about a South Korean chaebol heiress who crashes into the North Korean side of the DMZ, hence the title. The North Korean soldier patrolling the area decides to assist her instead of leaving her to a worse fate."

I wonder what Kim Jong-un has to say about this. Does it ever manage to get smuggled into the black markets of the North? Are some North Koreans watching this right now? Apparently, an actual defector helped with the writing -- it hits close to home with how accurate the setting can be.

"Do you know what a chaebol is?" Jisun asked, distracting herself from her thoughts. On one hand, Anastasia was part of a prominent family -- perhaps she was educated on other wealthy families and corporations around the world. On the other hand, she also didn't know what ramen was, so Jisun had low hopes.

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Anastasia saw Jisun’s expression and she felt a small pain in her chest.

Most of Anastasia’s education had been very controlled and, quite frankly, outdated in the sense that it focused its education in a Eurocentric approach and abiding by classical feminine roles. Anastasia’s mother had purposefully chosen it to be this way, despite her being a well-read woman herself. She didn’t expect Anastasia to take over the family business and, based on how Anastasia behaved as a child, had seen it best fit to ensure that she knew how to fall in line.

Anastasia knew this, had always known that there was so much more for her to learn, but it was difficult getting access to that information, despite the internet being a thing. Of course, Anastasia did the most to learn on her own. She immersed herself in the culture wherever she went to travel, as much as she could considering that they would stay in high-end European hotels and have her vacation planned down to the minute, and she tried to talk to as many people as possible.

Anastasia knew nothing about Jisun’s past, she figured it was one of difficulties that she would never be able to completely understand, but it was clear that her present provided her with much more freedom to choose and learn than Anastasia had ever been able to get. Until now. That was why she was here, to learn; and she was a rather quick learner. She had come here with the hope that she could expand her knowledge of the world in the way she had always dreamed of.

She was thankful for Jisun welcoming her to try ramen, to show her around, and to explain the show she was watching, but she couldn’t help but feel that every conversation she would have with Jisun would be one where she was going to be constantly judged.

Anastasia had been eating throughout their conversation and she took the last roll, popping it into her mouth quickly and standing up. “I’m going to bed,” she said with a small smile, not answering Jisun’s question. Walking to the kitchen, she put the empty dishes in the dishwasher.

“Jalja, Dal” she said to the Rottweiler, telling him goodnight.

The canine was very similar to his owner but she was sure it would be easier to get Dal to actually like her than Jisun. A large part of her was ready for that challenge, though. Anastasia wanted to be challenged, she was ready to step out of her comfort zone. Although reluctant, something told her that Jisun would eventually open up. However, the other part of her said that she shouldn't allow others to treat her in just any way. Jisun had said that earlier-- wasn't it her choice to decide what she would accept from others? There was little she could do about her mother but, in a new city, didn't she have the choice with those who she brought into her life? For the first time, she finally did have that choice. She definitely had some things to think about.

"Night," she told Jisun before walking to her room.

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Jisun raised an eyebrow when, instead of answering her question and continuing the conversation, Anastasia chose to retreat to her room. Whoo, at least I'll have time to myself now, Jisun thought to herself, relieved. The episode ended promptly as Jisun finished her ramen. She quickly washed up and headed back to her room, Dal trailing at her heels.

Jisun laid down on the bed as Dal curled up near her head.
"People are confusing and difficult," Jisun confessed quietly to the dog, reverting back to her native language. The walls were relatively soundproof, but Jisun wasn't one to have particularly animated conversations. "Especially really rich people -- rich enough to go to country clubs and rich enough to be taught on how to speak. Like my family and like that girl. People who're that kind of rich are . . . different from most average people. They always speak with double meanings behind their delicate politeness and they never say what they mean. Like that girl -- she seems like the kind of person who likes to have conversations, and suddenly she doesn't. It's probably my fault -- it's always my fault, isn't it, for not being good at being this kind of rich -- but how am I supposed to know if no one tells me what problem they have with me? I know these kinds of rich people always emphasize being diplomatic, but I'm not good at seeing through their convoluted webs of words. I'd rather have their honesty than their fake niceties."

Jisun sighed, both frustrated and disappointed in herself. "Maybe it's not a rich people thing, and maybe it's just me. I've never been good at sensitivity. Humans are so delicate, yet they're never upfront about those things. At least I have you, Dal; we understand each other." Dal barked approvingly.

Jisun made the spontaneous decision to go onto hades's instagram and do a Q&A -- she was already warmed up from interacting with Anastasia all day, so why not ride the Human Interaction train while it was still going strong?
Ooh, I've hit 75k, Jisun noted, setting up an ask box on her story. I'll use that as an excuse.

Why did you make your stage name hades?
Because I thought I was going to Hell, but it turns out I've arrived a long time ago.

why do you like kpop so much?
I grew up with it.

how old are u?
An adult.

do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner?
Fortunately for everyone in this situation, no.

What are your favorite Kpop groups?
BTS, RV, Mamamoo, Shinee, SNSD.

where are u from?
My mother.

whos ur fav bts member???
Suga and Jungkookie.

ARE u Korean
Yes.

why can you speak english
I learned it.

"Goddamnit, this is tiring," Jisun grumbled as Dal shoved his head over her arm. "This looks pretty good, right Dal?"

No response.

"Anyway, I'm going to bed. I'm too exhausted to deal with anything else after tonight. Night, boy."

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Even though it was going past her normal bed time, Anastasia decided to stay awake. She pulled out her computer and sat on her bed under the white covers.

Anastasia opened Google and looked at the logo for a long time. The Academy restricted access to what websites could be accessed on their internet servers since not everything was deepened “appropriate,” much like a lot of schools. At home, she had open access but, of course, learning was not necessarily on her mind during those times. Now, she hated herself for not taking every second to read articles and learn instead of spending time out on the garden or figuring out how to sit on the rooftops.

Now, the internet, unrestricted at every second. There was so much left to learn…

After a moment she typed in yabel and then chabel. After a few tries, she finally came across what she supposed Jisun was talking about. A conglomerate of family-controlled firms… she read on the screen. She took the time to click through a few links, learning about the history of the South Korean firms, the different scandals over the years, and the biggest companies. She had heard of companies such as Samsung and was surprised to learn that they were from South Korea; she realized that she didn’t know where most products came from. Anastasia spent some more time learning about different kinds of companies. There was so much information, however, that after some time she went back to the search engine’s main page.

She decided to search up something different Ramen. The images varied from bare ramen soup to more elaborate ones like Jisun’s. After watching a few videos on how to make ramen, she somehow found herself getting lost amongst the videos, seeing how to make everything from no-bake strawberry cheesecake to churros to fluffy pancakes. Some of the videos didn’t have anyone speaking and, instead, focused on capturing the sounds of the kitchen. Anastasia found it both satisfying and unsettling to hear everything from the chopping to the sounds of people eating.

Anastasia ended up creating a playlist of the videos she liked. She finally went to sleep around twelve, which was much later than usual. By then, she felt the weight of exhaustion on her body like a heavy blanket.

The next day, Anastasia woke up around seven. Again, it was later than she was used to and her body was still tired. It took her a while to wake up, thankful that she didn’t have to start classes just yet. Soon, but today was another free day. She wasn’t sure what she would do yet, but she supposed it would work out.

She quickly showered, putting on a knee-long pastel purple dress and makeup, and went to the kitchen to make herself breakfast. She was going to try making dalgona coffee, which she had seen on one of the videos, and some french toast. It took her some time to locate all of the ingredients and utensils, also spotting the ramen in the walk-in pantry. Thankfully, Anastasia did know how to use the kitchen, at least the basics so that she didn’t have to burn herself every time. It wasn’t her favorite thing ever, but she supposed it would be best if she did and learned how to do different things. Following the online recipes carefully, she was flipping a banana pancake over when her phone rang.

“Hello, mother,” she said into the phone. “I’m doing well. Yes, I really like the apartment, thank you. так, the building is wonderful.”

Anastasia, of course, wasn’t going to mention anything about a roommate. She also wasn’t enjoying the long list of questions and realized she hadn't called Leo yesterday.

“Yes, I will be going to the university later to ensure all of the paperwork has been correctly processed. Yes, I’m signed up as a Literature major.”

There was, also, the thing about her having changed her major last-minute during her online orientation. Since her mother didn't have access to her college account, after applications, she hadn't really been looking into it. “Can I speak to you later? I'm preparing breakfast. Of course, I am being careful. Wonderful, goodbye, mother.”

Anastasia groaned after closing off the call. As she placed the cooked pancake on top of a small stack she had already finished, Anastasia added the last of the batter. She wondered if Jisun might want some pancakes… Anastasia knew that she should be acting better around her roommate but it was hard. She was stuck between trying to understand what this new freedom to be whomever she wished to be was and the way she was raised to be. It seemed like Jisun wasn't the kind to particularly like either but she had also tried. It wasn't her fault that Anastasia was so... oblivious to things. Anastasia also wanted a space to grow without feeling like every learning opportunity was something she should feel ashamed about. It was hard for her to communicate these things, however. She had never been allowed to express her feelings.

As she flipped the pancake, she did it with too much force and the raw batter splattered all over the stove and her dress. Anastasia sighed. Perhaps she should've waited until after she cooked to shower.

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Jisun woke up the next morning to Dal nosing at her hand. "G'morning, Dal," she mumbled, glancing at the clock. 7:15. Seemed like a decent time to get up. Jisun preferred to have some structure to her life, and usually woke up around six thirty every morning, but she chose to let loose a little before the semester started.

"Alright, alright, I'm getting up. Don't worry, you'll get your food soon," Jisun grumbled, lightly shoving Dal off of her. The Rottweiler sat down, appeased, as Jisun left to take a quick shower, washing her hair with the custom rose and mint scented shampoo she recently ordered. She changed into a cropped, open back black camisole and a pair of black shorts with garter straps and a silver cross charm. Deciding to continue with the silver theme, Jisun selected a silver-accented belt and a pair of silver dangly earrings. As Jisun walked into the hallway, struggling to force Dal up, who had very inconveniently decided to take a nap (and after waking her up! Hypocrite), she overheard Anastasia, who was presumably on the phone.

". . . going to the university later . . . paperwork . . . I'm signed up as a literature major."

Jisun paused. I thought she took international studies?

When Dal finally came to his senses, he followed Jisun into the kitchen, eagerly awaiting his breakfast. Jisun was quick to note the stack of banana pancakes and the splattered batter, but chose not to bring it up. "You made dalgona coffee?" Jisun asked, surprised, as she poured a sizable portion of dog food for Dal. "That's cool." Jisun herself preferred to have an iced Americano every morning, which she started preparing for herself immediately after giving Dal his food; dalgona was a bit too sweet for her, but the fact that Anastasia was having something Korean did make her a little happy.

"So," Jisun continued, "I may have overheard your conversation on the phone. Not much. Since you're going to the campus today, I could show you around the city. If you'd like." Yes, Yeong Jisun, you go! Being proactive about developing a positive relationship with your roommate. Good progress.

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Anastasia saw Jisun and Dal enter the common area. She was surprised to see her roommate waking up so early; Jisun struck her as the kind to stay late. She supposed they did have some things in common.

Their clothing style, however, were not one of those things. Jisun had opted out for an all-black look, the same color scheme as the night before. It was much more revealing than Anastasia would have worn save for a day at a beach or a yacht. Nonetheless, it looked great on Jisun. Anastasia tried to imagine her in a dress like hers and almost laughed at the thought. Could you imagine?

Anastasia also could not help but wonder how Jisun's bedroom was decorated. Was it all black like its inhabitant? She doubted the designers gotten a hold of it; she hoped not as they would have probably had to face a very fierce Jisun. Of course, it would have been with reason. At that thought, Anastasia briefly looked around the apartment which had been decorated for her. Not one item of Jisun's was in sight. Anastasia supposed that couldn't be too welcoming for Jisun and decided that it would be something to bring up in a conversation soon. After all, this was a shared space, Jisun deserved to have some say in the decorations if it was something she cared about.

She greeted Jisun and Dal, who moved beside his food bowl in order to eat. Anastasia was tempted to offer the dog some of her food but it wasn't her dog and she didn't know if Jisun was cool with that. Another thing she would have to ask, although she figured perhaps not, not wanting to step outside of the boundary.

"I found a bunch of food videos last night," Anastasia replied, taking a papertowel and damping it with some water in order to clean up the batter from her dress and the counter as best as she could. "I rarely drink coffee, but I wanted to give it a try. It looked really cute, but left my arm hurting after all the whisking. There's also banana pancakes. I made some extra in case you wanted to try."

Anastasia placed the last pancake on the big plate. Taking a smaller plate, she served herself a couple. As Jisun mentioned overhearing, Anastasia drizzled some maple syrup on top of the pancakes. Of course, it couldn't bother her.

You did answer the call in an open space, Anastasia told herself. What did you expect?

The only thing was she had told Jisun about her major earlier and she had probably overheard that part. Did she need to explain herself? Perhaps not. After all, she had to wait for the first week to pass without her mother somehow finding out about her curriculum for the semester.

Jisun's offer made Anastasia smile. Okay, another go at going out to the city together. Hopefully, Anastasia didn't mess this one up. "I would love that," she said with a nod. "Thank you."

She took her plate and cup and walked over to the dining room table. "I don't think the errand will take long. I hope. My mother just wants to ensure I've been properly enrolled and all paperwork is progressed. I just have to stop by the Admissions office."

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Jisun took a fork and sectioned off a piece of the proffered pancake, popping it into her mouth. "Not bad," she commented off-handedly. Jisun assumed that Anastasia was the kind of girl who either exclusively cooked traditional dishes, or didn't cook at all. She was mildly surprised to learn that Anastasia fell into neither of the camps.

"We could go after breakfast," Jisun offered, finishing the banana pancake as she sipped her coffee. "And after your errand . . . I could show you around." I can't believe I'm doing this. "Dal needs his walk anyway." Dal barked sharply at the mention of his name.

"And hey, I'll tell you about the school too. To prepare you." Jisun also had a few questions to ask Anastasia -- what her major really was, who she was engaged to, etc., etc., etc.

"There's something you should know about first, and I'm not gonna tell you about it outside." Jisun did not want to risk bumping into the wrong people at the wrong moment, and be forced to interact with them and deal with their shit. "Avoid the Fates at all costs.

"The Fates are the triplets of someone who so happens to have a shit-ton of influence at the school. You think I'm a bitch? I'm practically Jesus Christ compared to those three. They're essentially your superficial, gossipy high school girls who don't know what life is like. The problem is that they have that attitude combined with an amount of power that they don't deserve. If they dislike you enough, they could get you expelled for any petty reason. That's why so many people suck up to them. I knew someone in freshman year who got expelled because he always confronted the Fates; his family's reputation was tarnished, which is something I'm sure you would like to avoid. As painful as it is to say, the Fates aren't stupid, and they know how to use their undeserved power, even if it's for insignificant reasons. Honestly, I would love to shut their fucking yapping, but the best thing to do for your future, but mostly for your fucking sanity, is to stay away from them."


Jisun was not typically one to bow down to another power against her will. But in all honesty, the Fates were more trouble then they were worth. Jisun refused to put herself through that migraine for absolutely nothing in return, and made sure to keep the Fates out of sight and out of mind. That included making Anastasia stay out of their way; if Jisun had to deal with the Fates through her roommate, she would slam her head against the wall.

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Anastasia smiled when Jisun commented on the pancakes; she figured that was a lot coming from her. There had been very few opportunities for her to cook before, so Anastasia did not have a lot of experience cooking different things but she was excited to do it now that there was the chance. There was already a list she had written down of recipes to try, both sweet and savory, and last night she had added more than a few items to the already-long list.

She was taking a bite of the pancake when Jisun mentioned the Fates sisters. Anastasia froze, the fork stopping between the place and her mouth.

The Fates were the only reason that Anastasia had even been allowed to move here in the first place. Leo’s family was closely acquainted with theirs and the three had always been a threatening presence at the Academy. The very few times that she had been around the Fates, they were not particularly awful since they knew who she was and her connection to the Ainsworth’s, especially after the engagement, but Anastasia knew what they were capable of doing and had never dared to do anything that would test the waters. Even the Academy, who tolerated little from their students regardless of their familial background, had swept some incidents under the rug for them.

Obviously, Anastasia planned to interact with the triplets as little as possible. She only needed to stay out of their way for a year since they were incoming graduating seniors.

As Jisun finished speaking about them, Anastasia took the bite of pancake. Her throat now felt dry and she had to take a sip of the coffee in order to pass it down. Should she tell Jisun?

Anastasia wondered if the young woman would hate her or even completely avoid her if she did. However, it would be inevitable that she’d find out. As much as Anastasia hoped to not interact with the Fates, they knew that she was attending Olympus this semester and it would be best to give Jisun the heads up.

“I know the Fates, actually,” she said a moment after Jisun finished her explanation. “They attended my Academy and their family is close to my fiance's family, so I’m… unfortunately aware of their reputation, but I have no affection for them. I’ve had very little interaction with them over the years, thankfully.”

Anastasia poked at the small piece that was left of her pancake. “They were actually the reason I was able to attend Olympus. My mother wanted familiar faces nearby. I suppose in case I needed help, even though they are the last people that I would go to if I did have any issue.”

A small laugh left her lips and she looked down at her food. Imagine actually approaching the Fates to tell them about your personal issues.

Or in case she needed to check in on me, she couldn't help but think. Anastasia sighed.

“I was basically going to get married after the Academy but I wasn’t ready. I managed to convince my mother to let me study in the United States but it was Olympus or nothing and she wouldn’t budge,” Anastasia said, putting her fork down and looking back up at Jisun. She supposed it was better to explain it than have Jisun suppose things. “I… hope that me knowing them doesn’t make you hate me.”

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Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
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Jisun tapped her fork lightly on her plate as she absorbed what Anastasia had told her. "As long as you don't drag me into their bullshit -- which, considering what you said, doesn't sound like it's going to be a problem -- than it doesn't matter." Jisun was a bit miffed when Anastasia mentioned her acquaintance with the Fates, but the feeling was quickly dissolved when she learned that Anastasia didn't like them either. Imagine if they were friends. How horrifying.

Now that I think about it though, the fact that Anastasia already knows the Fates can be a good thing.
That meant that Anastasia was already personally familiar their reputation -- her negative opinion of them would hold more significance than it would if Anastasia never heard of them previously. Jisun wouldn't have to reign in a curious, ignorant roommate from interacting with those snakes.

On the other hand, there was the drawback of the Fates already knowing Anastasia, which provided an open channel for engagement between them, and consequently, Jisun as well. Jisun wasn't sure if the Fates would try to reach out to Anastasia (
hopefully not). She would just have to pray that they wouldn't, although she was already mentally preparing for the possibility of it.

Hmm, let's not think about that.

"Other than the Fates, Olympus isn't that bad," Jisun commented, before adding drily, "After all, I'm here." In all seriousness however, Olympus University was a prestigious school. A few mean girls still stuck in their "popular high school bitch" phase didn't detract from that.

Jisun put her dish in the wash, before nodding at Anastasia's wedding ring.
"Who's the fiance? It's arranged, right?" Jisun wasn't surprised that she was right in her assumption from the previous day; many old prestigious families were rather traditional. The Hostetlers considered arranging marriages for Niall and Percy, but decided that it wasn't completely necessary. As the adopted child and the youngest, the Hostetlers didn't include Jisun in nearly as much of their traditions as they did for Niall and Percy. After all, any of the old traditions would have less impact if Jisun was involved rather than her two brothers. Of course, the Hostetlers could pull Jisun into their family business at any moment (which she honestly didn't mind that much -- it seemed like something she could find the inclination for), but for now, Jisun could enjoy a level of freedom her brothers did not have.

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Character Portrait: Jisun Yeong Character Portrait: Anastasia Ivanov
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Finishing her drink, Anastasia stood up. She put on the pink kitchen gloves and quickly rinsed the plates and everything she had used to make the breakfast in order to put it in the dishwasher. She supposed it would be easier to just wash it all at once; Anastasia never had to worry about those things before but now it seemed like such a waste of water to rinse and not wash everything right away.

Jisun's question caught her off guard. Even though it was arranged, she had necessarily not thought about it that way since it was something that Anastasia had always expected to happen. She had just thought of it as... marriage. Of course, it had been different when it actually happened; she had been left with emotions she couldn't quite understand but that was a long time ago and Leo was a whole ocean away.

Which reminded Anastasia that she still had to call Leo. Now would be the right time but Anastasia wanted to get out into the city. The weather app had said it would be sunny and she looked forward to a beautiful day. Surely, he would understand.

Taking off the gloves, Anastasia turned to Jisun. "Leonard Ainsworth," she replied simply. The family was old British money so she didn't think Jisun was likely to know them, not when compared to other families.

"I'll be back," she said, walking to her room and quickly changing into a set of clothes that wasn't splattered with pancake batter.

Leo wasn't a bad person; he was caring and had always made her enjoy their time together. Still, he wasn't someone Anastasia actively thought about. Having seen Jisun in shorts, Anastasia decided to pick out her own set. The look was wildly different, clearly, and Anastasia wasn't used to wearing shorts for daily basis. Mostly skirts and dresses. Jisun's style was... nothing like Anastasia had seen before. She wondered what she would look like with a style like Jisun's. Certainly out of place if not outright silly she figured.

"Ready?" She asked, coming back out. The sun shone brightly through the windows and Anastasia was excited; it had been rainy since she had arrived. She was used to cold and rainy weather but had always loved the heat and the sun.