THE LEGEND OF VERA
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PAE BYUNGCHA I want to name her... Chayoon.
NURSE Pae Chayoon?
PAE BYUNGCHA Yes, Pae Chayoon.
NURSE A beautiful name, ma'am.
Byungcha glances down at the baby girl in her arms and smiles softly, her eyes lighting up as she takes in her newborn infant. She didn't need Jongshik here to be happy. She had everything that would make her happy right there. The following night, she takes her child home to their small apartment on the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea.
——————————— SIX YEARS LATER
PAE CHAYOON Aish, it's too hot outside. I should hurry and get home.
Chayoon continues down the street, cutting through an alleyway as her hands grip the straps of her fire hydrant red backpack. There is a pocket knife inside the pocket of her skirt in case the six-year-old needs to defend herself in her venture home. Her mother is too busy working to pick her up, so she has learned to walk back and forth between school and home on her own.
PAE CHAYOON This alleyway is empty. Usually, Hyunjin is here but he's not—
Surprised, Chayoon spins around, grabbing for her pocket knife to defend herself against the presumed stranger. Nothing is needed, however, as a fire hydrant behind her pops open and pushes Hyunjin back with the force of its powerful spray of water. Chayoon drops her knife, stunned at everything that just happened.
HYUNJIN What did you do?
PAE CHAYOON I didn't do anything!
HYUNJIN Everything hurts.
PAE CHAYOON I'm sorry! I have to go home, but I am very sorry, Hyunjin-ah.
HYUNJIN Wait, Chayoon—
The six-year-old runs off, escaping the scene and leaving her pocket knife behind. When she returns home, she fixes herself some small dinner from their leftovers, completes her homework and goes to sleep before her mother arrives home from a long day of work. Her younger brother comes home with her mother as well, as he had been staying at the daycare provided by her mother's workplace.
——————————— THREE MONTHS LATER
The young girl shifts while she watches her mother and the mysterious older figure in robes speak. She only hears bits and parts of the conversation, and her young mind processes an even smaller portion of that.
PAE BYUNGCHA She's a what?
MINISTRY WORKER She's a witch. Ma'am, I don't know how many times I have to repeat this but she's a special girl who has the ability to become a highly talented individual in magic if you give her this chance to attend this school.
PAE BYUNGCHA You're calling my little girl a witch!
MINISTRY WORKER This is not a bad thing, ma'am. Magic may seem hard to understand in the beginning with the bad reputation it has on the Muggle side of things, but I assure you, your daughter will be safe and well taught here.
Byungcha sighs, rubbing her forehead as she listens to the ministry worker. Apparently, this 'Mahoutokoro' would help her baby girl develop her 'talents', whatever those were. After much contemplation, she finally agreed when she discovered that during the first four years, she'd be coming back home after classes.
——————————— FOUR YEARS LATER
PAE CHAYOON My name is Pae Chayoon, what's yours?
KAZUKE My name is Saishi Kazuke. It's nice to meet you Pae-chan.
PAE CHAYOON Call me just Chayoon, please.
KAZUKE Chayoon? Are you sure?
PAE CHAYOON Yes, I am sure.
Chayoon smiles at her new friend, not knowing how close they would be over the next seven years. She continues to unpack the few items she had been able to bring with her for her dorm because she could not afford too many day clothes or any personal trinkets.
——————————— SIX YEARS LATER
PAE CHAYOON Look! One million downloads! My game has been download a million times, can you believe that Kazuke?
KAZUKE I watched you work on this every day for the past year, I kind of can.
PAE CHAYOON I didn't need that sass, Saishi-san.
KAZUKE Just Kazuke.
PAE CHAYOON I was just playing. You know me.
KAZUKE I know Pae-chan. Congratulations on your game.
The teenage boy shares a celebratory grin with his best friend, watching her from her bed as she sits in front of her laptop and stares at the download count. He's happy for her, he really is. Introducing her to the world of computer science and programming has really done her some good, but he wished she'd just realize how he felt about her.
——————————— ONE YEAR LATER
PAE CHAYOON Eomma, let's buy you a house.
PAE BYUNGCHA It's your money, you worked incredibly hard for it. Why do you want to spend it on me?
PAE CHAYOON You helped me just as much as anyone else in helping me make my dream come true, and I don't want Youngchan to have to live in such terrible conditions anymore.
PAE BYUNGCHA Chayoon...
The mother tears up as she watches the last of her baby girl grow up and become the smiling, mature woman standing in front of her. She's so proud of her baby girl, even if she isn't truly her baby girl anymore. For Chayoon's sake, she gladly accepts the deed to the townhouse Chayoon bought for her and moves in a week later with her son, Youngchan.
——————————— TWO YEARS LATER
PAE CHAYOON We can move everyone from the warehouse to here. What do you think, Kazuke?
Kazuke looks up at the vacant office building as it stretches into the sky. It would become the new headquarters for Vixen Studios, Chayoon's video game company, which once had been her dream some years ago, come to life. For her sake, he manages a grin and a thumbs up, helping her take the next big step, even if it isn't beside her.
KAZUKE I can't wait to see what you do with the place. You're gonna rock the world, Chayoon.
PAE CHAYOON Thank you, Kazuke. You know, I could never do it without you. If you hadn't gotten me that laptop for Christmas or helped me learn how to program... none of this would be a reality. Thank you so much.
Chayoon doesn't notice how red Kazuke's face gets as she speaks, especially because he turns away and looks back at the vacant building. His cheeks go from a bright pink to a blaring red by the end of it, and he can barely stutter out a:
KAZUKE You're welcome.
——————————— FOUR YEARS LATER
MAIN ART DIRECTOR I'm so excited to be working under you, Miss Pae!
PAE CHAYOON Vera works.
PAE CHAYOON has been renamed VERA.
MAIN ART DIRECTOR Well in that case, I'm so excited to be working with you, Vera. I love your work, and the fact that I get to be a part of Vixen Studios makes me elated. When I heard they were oepning a branch in Lincliff, I just had to apply.
VERA We're glad to have you.