when i was young i wished for a war (this is the only way to rise up)

surprise, this is part of the same universe as we’re headed straight for a meltdown enjoy.


“maniacs,” they say, the words whispered carefully between snatches of hushed conversation.

“the kim family consists entirely of maniacs.”

because of course it does, with a body count skyrocketing into the hundreds despite being entirely new, with no prior connections to the underworld.

and consisting entirely of two people.

which, while out of the ordinary, isn’t actually too difficult to deal with. not for a family as large as the hwangs.

except what men they sent to get rid of the kims, by luring them into a quick an easy trap, didn’t come back.

interestingly enough, the warehouse where they’d thought to get rid of the two troublemakers in, had caught fire. even stranger still, was that it had caught fire while it’d been raining heavily.

some eyewitnesses would say lightning struck it, that it was just pure, unfortunate coincidence that it’d been struck by lightning. that the warehouse happened to be some sort of black market munitions cache owned by the hwang shipping enterprise did not make it into the news, of course. courtesy of some greased hands and pockets.

after all, there was nothing in the warehouse. nothing except a couple of charred men that don’t exist, and some two hundred and fifteen million won worth of weapons and munitions that don’t exist.

all in all, a small loss, really.

the hwangs were ready to write the entire venture off as a failure. let the maniacs run around until they’ve exhausted themselves, allow the other families a chance at sorting them out. until kibum’s radio crackled to life, and an exhausted voice, teetering on the edge of pleading, says “boss,” and “the kims would like to speak to you.”

“speaking,” mr hwang says.

his underling’s relieved shout is prematurely cut off by a loud crack, and the feedback of the radio rings shrilly into the quiet room. kibum’s eye twitches, when they can still hear the underling whimper through the radio.

“send someone to collect your man,” a soft, girlish voice replies through the static.

mr hwang raises an eyebrow. “and to whom do i owe the pleasure?”

“hang-dong 7-ga. jung-gu. incheon,” she continues, and the connection cuts.

“how polite,” tiffany says.

“indeed,” mr hwang sighs. he hands the radio back to kibum. “if you would be so kind, miyoung?”

tiffany bows. “of course, daddy.”

which brings them to this point.

tiffany, chosen of ares, with her eyes a brilliant red, marching an army into a warehouse that belongs to neither family. the two kims, sitting on the containers inside (one of them…loafing), and the hwang underling a limp, bloody mess on the floor.

“that’s a nice welcome party,” the loafer says, careless and cavalier. all tiffany sees of her are her legs, feet covered in a pair of obnoxiously coloured beat up sneakers, propped against each other, and a tumbled mess of blonde hair spilling off the red container she is lounging on.

“are you the pick up,” the other kim says, her voice quiet, but clear in the quiet stillness of the warehouse. she is slight. just a small slip of a girl, looking smaller still in a baggy t-shirt and an even baggier jacket. her long, platinum blonde hair and dark eyes make her look all the more waifish.

the both of them don’t quite look like maniacs.

“i am,” tiffany says.

the other kim gestures at the underling. “there he is.”

tiffany and her men do not move.

the other kim tilts her head, her expression unchanging. “something wrong?”

tiffany’s eyes glow brighter, and the sea of men she brought to the warehouse part down the middle, making way for her. “you must want something,” tiffany says, crossing the divide, coming to the forefront of the group (and the very convenient middle of the warehouse). “why go to the trouble otherwise.”

the loafer laughs, the sound bright and cheerful, and so very at odds with the name they’ve carved for themselves. “yah taengoo, she thinks we’re up to something.”

the other kim smiles. “aren’t we?” she replies.

“hey, it’s your plan, not mine. i’m just here because you promised food.”

“oh shush, don’t give it all away now, after all the fuss we made just to get someone down here.”

tiffany waits for them to finish. their nonsense was not unentertaining.

“so,” tiffany says, “your ‘something’?”

“ahh,” taengoo hops off the containers, landing across from her, the bloodied mess of her ex-underling sitting between them. “we’d like jobs.”

tiffany blinks.

“pardon?”

taengoo nods. “we’d like jobs. me and her. as bodyguards, if we have a say,” she says, gesturing up at the loafer who’d turned onto her stomach to watch. she waves.

tiffany eyes them, considering. “and if i say no?”

taengoo shrugs. “we kill the men and take you hostage till someone agrees.”

tiffany laughs, the sound rising out of her, unbidden, but so terribly amused. “you’ll kill them. all by yourselves?”

“yup,” says the loafer, hopping off the container she’d been lounging on. “the same way we did everyone else.”

tiffany laughs, and taengoo smiles at her, the expression strange and baby-like on her young face. tiffany stops laughing.

“try it.”

the moment the words leave her mouth, both kims’ eyes flash blue.

and what follows is carnage, pure and absolute in all it’s terrible glory.

the men she’d brought were flung around like they didn’t weigh a thing. the loafer punched several of them through their chests, like their sternums and ribs meant nothing to the sheer enormity of her strength, and they crumpled like paper. taengoo broke them at the knees with swift kicks, and laughed when they bent, before moving to the next one.

and by the time the kims were done, they had killed almost two hundred men over the course of twenty minutes.

tiffany claps.

“well done, you’re almost as fast as kibum-oppa,” she says. taengoo looks up from drawing her fist back to punch another flunky, her eyes bluer than the sky – blue where they’d been brown before.

tiffany smiles. the red in her eyes pulse.

“let’s see how long you take to tire then.” she raises her arm, and the broken men – with their appendages twisted at angles, their innards half spilt over the floor – put themselves back together.

the loafer whistles lowly. “yah, i think we messed with the wrong people, taeyeon-ah…”

taeyeon clicks her tongue. “you don’t have to tell me, i’m starting to regret this a little, hyoyeon.”

tiffany drops her arm, the previously dead flunkies are all on their feet, some of them with their chests gaping open and hollow, others with their knees still bent the wrong way, and some others still with half their faces collapsed in on itself.

“go on, waste them,” tiffany says, flicking her fingers delicately, as if shooing away a small child to go play.

the not-men lurch into action, and taeyeon grits her teeth, rips a hole into the two closest men with a fist wreathed in electricity.

“ohh, acolytes of zeus, i presume?”

hyoyeon grunts, backhanding the head of a man with half his face clean off his body.

“or perhaps heracles,” tiffany muses aloud, folding an arm under her breasts and tilting her head against her palm in quiet appraisal.

“fffuuuuck, taengoo, she’s making fun of us, hurry up and fry them already,” hyoyeon yells, wrenching an arm off a half-man, whirling around to swat another with his buddy’s severed arm.

“s-s-ssssssshhhuut-t-t-t up,” taeyeon says, the blue glow of her eyes eclipsing the whites completely. she is shaking, her movements jerky in bursts of sudden speed and lulls of sluggishness as she punches through three torsos in quick succession before struggling to slip free of a bear hug.

the men they tear through, like so many flimsy paper dolls, keep coming back at tiffany’s will. for every two they cut down, she brought back three more, slowly filling the warehouse with malevolent spirits of war.

the two kims are tiring, their movements not as sharp or as light from when they first dispatched her men an hour and a half ago.

“taeyeon!!” hyoyeon roars, forcing back a half-bone-half-flesh body with a kick.

“i-i-i- ssssaid sh-sh-shshshhhuuttt upp!!” taeyeon screams, her eyes bright and wisps of her hair standing on end. she is glowing, as if lit from within, and the inside of her mouth is a disturbing shade of fluorescent blue.

“i-i-if you kkkeep nee-e-ding piecccesss of them to b-bring back…”

tiffany blinks, and the windows explode when lightning bends and arcs through it, raining molten glass shards all over them.

taeyeon is levitating off the ground, straining against the enormous power she’s struggling to bring forth.

“th-th-then i’m nnnnot gonna g-g-give you any.”

lightning strikes, and it’s as if the very air of the warehouse had become electrified. lightning leaps around the room, from container to container, body to body. incinerating the men faster than she could piece back together. faster and faster and faster until all she had left to work with was ash.

and when she’s done, taeyeon falls to the ground with a loud thump.

“hyoyeon-ah,” she whines, still face down on the floor. “why didn’t you catch meeee.”

“you hit me too, you asshole,” hyoyeon says, sprawled on her back, her entire body smoking where she’d been struck, but otherwise did not appeared to be damaged. “why is your aim so bad.”

“it’s not, i made sure the hostage was fine, didn’t i?”

tiffany looks down and scowls. there is a circle around her, the lines of it scorched black and glassy, and molten in some areas, but taeyeon was right. she had not been struck even once.

“are you for real,” hyoyeon gripes, lifting both her arms in a show of indignation. “how is she still a hostage when both of us can barely move. she could be carrying a gun and we’d both be dead.”

taeyeon rolls over onto her back, spreading her arms in a starfish position. “she isn’t. she likes playing. if she was serious, we’d both already be dead.” taeyeon looks up at her. “right, miss hwang?”

tiffany smiles, squatting and folding her arms over her knees, resting her chin. “you underestimate your own power, taeyeon-ah.”

“oh!” taeyeon’s face lights up. hyoyeon looks up, wide eyed.

“wow, taengoo how’d you charm her so quick?”

“i’m just that good,” taeyeon shoots back with an eyebrow wiggle.

and tiffany laughs at the absurdity of it all. these two had just killed over seven hundred people in the span of two hours, and here they were, lying around telling jokes and squabbling like a pair of childish punks. “where did you two come from?”

“nowhere,” hyoyeon says.

“we’re orphans,” taeyeon says when faced with tiffany’s raised eyebrow.

tiffany nods. it makes sense that they would be. most gods don’t come to reclaim their children after raping their parents after all. not if they can get away with it.

“i mean, i’m zeus’ kid. there’s no way i’d be the first,” taeyeon laughs, pressing her palms to her eyes. there are traces of lichtenberg figures, faint and reddish, spread across the back of her hands and up, under the cuffs of her jacket.

tiffany looks away. “are both of you his children?”

hyoyeon shrugs. “kinda, yeah. i’m heracles’. that’s like… his kid’s kid, or something dumb like that.”

“how about you, miss hwang?” taeyeon asks.

“tiffany,” tiffany says absentmindedly. “my mother was chosen by ares.” and her father gave her to him. she doesn’t say it, but the accusation is there, hanging in the air between them. three demigods. three bastards.

taeyeon laughs, the sound dry and mirthless. “here’s to shitty fucking parents then.”

tiffany gives her a wry smile. “so, what are your plans?”

“fuck bitches, get money?” hyoyeon offers, rolling over and pillowing her chin in her hands to better watch them.

tiffany levels her with the flattest look she can muster, the force of it undercut only by the small uptwitch of the corner of her mouth. hyoyeon grins.

taeyeon laughs again, a forceful cheer to her voice that tiffany knows is faked. what she doesn’t miss is the undercurrent of anger. there’s a weird kind of honesty in the anger, and tiffany thinks she understands. “if i tell you, i’d have to kill you miss- tiffany.”

“then you wouldn’t have a job,” tiffany replies evenly.

taeyeon purses her lips. she hadn’t thought about that.

“she’s got you there, taengoo,” hyoyeon says.

“whose side are you on anyway,” taeyeon snaps.

“whichever side has food, of course.”

“you lucky i can’t move, otherwise i’m gonna kick your butt.”

“try it, midget.”

tiffany watches them argue. taeyeon, still on her back and craning her neck to look at hyoyeon with extra furrowed brows, and hyoyeon laughing like it was the most entertaining thing in the world.

she thinks about the adults who called them maniacs, these girls that look no older than herself. thinks about her too-faithful father that let his lord ares take her mother and leave her behind like an afterthought. thinks about the burden of power and of being sought after but so unwanted and we are fed on war, miyoung. as long as there is strife, our might will only grow, and stands.

the kims stop arguing.

“you’d have to work your way up to bodyguards. maybe if you learn to drive, chauffeurs,” she says, brushing off her skirt primly. like she didn’t just share in their moment, curled in on herself like small children sharing secrets.

“daddy has kibum, so you both can be mine.” she examines the lace of her gloves, checks her nails for any chipped polish. “and i will make sure the both of you are fed and clothed for as long as you serve me.”

taeyeon stares at her. “not ‘the hwangs’?”

tiffany looks down. her eyes are red, the colour of fresh spilt blood. “you heard me.”

taeyeon grins, her eyes flashing blue for the briefest second.

“as my lady commands.”

tiffany smiles.

“wonderful.”

“you guys are fucking insane!!” the baek family’s driver yells shrilly, his back against the wall as he continues to scoot backward on the carpeted floor.

taeyeon brushes glass off her suit jacket and out of her hair while hyoyeon upends a heavy desk with one hand.

the opened suitcase falls off the desk, and its powdered contents with it. a bag falls to the floor, bursting on splintered wood and glass.

“this is why i hate dealing with you people,” tiffany sighs, standing to cross the room, over to taeyeon standing by the windows. the blonde is short without heels, her eye line constantly drifting low when they stand together as of late. tiffany clicks her tongue.

hyoyeon advances on another bodyguard, grabbing the man two times her size and putting his head through the wall. the spineless coward in the corner screams for athena’s mercy.

“i should have known when you said no to paying the 50% up front.” taeyeon takes her by the waist, gently guiding her away from another charging bodyguard as she presses the point of her index against his neck and burns a hole straight through his throat.

hyoyeon puts another man through a supporting beam, and his head explodes into a macabre flower of crushed bone and meat pulp against the unyielding material.

“what should we do with the screamer, miss hwang?” taeyeon asks pointing at the snivelling man in the corner who had wet his pants.

tiffany hums, resting a lacy gloved hand on the door handle, her free hand rummaging through her purse. “let him go back and tell the rest of the family what happened. maybe then they’ll grow some brains and understand that cash means cash.”

taeyeon drops her hand, dips her head obediently.

“we’re done here,” tiffany says, pushing down on the handle, swinging the door open and promptly firing a bullet into the face of the baek bodyguard on the other side without turning to look.

taeyeon slides past her, while she looks down to put the pistol back into her purse, and slams her fist into the other bodyguard behind the door. he goes flying, off the hand-carved banisters and down into the hall below.

“c’mon, leave them.” tiffany says, stepping towards the winding staircase leading down, and hyoyeon stops throwing the men about, stepping through the door to accompany them to the door.

“the kims are fucking maniacs, they’re not normal.” the baek driver says to his employer, his hands shaking as he tries and fails to drink his water.

“and now the hwangs are holding their leash.”


A/N: i’m not sure if i should make this a chaptered or leave it as a multishot. what do you guys think?

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2 thoughts on “when i was young i wished for a war (this is the only way to rise up)

  1. YES!! Finally another chapter in this universe. AAAAHHH! I love the Hyo Tae dynamic and freaking Tiff….😂

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