In this world, everyone is born of bloodlines, family and blood before anything. Without them, you are nothing. This is a world of aspects, that are run by the bloodlines they are given too. Each aspect with a legend line, and sometimes a secondary legend line. It was always odd, letting the world be run by those who were the originals of that aspect. The descendent's of the ones who helped create and give us everything we needed. In this world, you’re only allowed to be with those of similar aspect, in fear of tainting bloodlines. In fear of poisoning the bloodline, in ruining the heritage. In this world, if you cannot use your aspect, you are a black sheep with poisoned blood.
There are the lucky bloodlines and the unlucky ones.
The lucky ones normally are born into comfort and wealth, while the unlucky ones are happy just barely passing by.
That's what Na Taemin was. An unlucky one. A black sheep of his bloodline. The boy born of poisoned blood with the aspect of the dark. The boy who couldn’t do anything for his family. The looked down on people and practically disowned. Although his parents were skilled in the aspect, along with his elder sisters; he wasn’t as gifted or lucky. It wasn’t until he was seventeen when a study was released to the public that most third borns and any born after will be black sheep, as there aren’t enough essences left to be shared to help that child be fully blooded. At that point in his life, he hadn’t reached where his aspect would’ve been fully developed which had made sense for why he wasn’t able to do anything. But once that study was released, it was clear to his parents.
He was watched more, tested more, tried more. To see if his blood was poisoned if he was going to be an official black sheep. And to his blood belief, when he reached 20, it was official, Na Taemin was a black sheep. It was dishearting, but not surprising. As the third born after two girls, they should’ve been it coming. Taemin had nothing going for him in life. No Aspect, and no supporting family. He wished the world would’ve gone away at that point. But it didn’t, it wasn’t easy being a black sheep. He got the worst jobs and no respect. But he tried to make the most of it. He worked hard, harder than anyone. Some people gave him praise for over-coming the disgust of black sheep's. He wasn’t anything special still. He was an about average guy, working hard to pay for schooling, to pay for himself to support himself. Sure sometimes his family would chip in. Sometimes he didn’t feel completely alone. But it was there, the title, the hate, the words were spoken when he was forced to leave him home. He remembered it all well. Every single detail, from the word, shouted at him by his father. The syllables his eldest sister could hardly choke out because he adored Taemin, and felt absolutely terrible for having to turn him away. The way his own mother looked at him like she never knew him. As if he was some stranger that broke into their home one night and they were one sentence away from calling the police on him.
It was all so clear to him still. And it all still hurt too much. Even after all those years. After the grace period, he was given to pack up everything, to find a new place and a job. Placed that would take a black sheep like him. It was hard, and at first, he didn’t think he’d be able to manage such a task in two weeks. It was such a short period, and jobs normally take forever to call back. But this time was different. The flat he rented out was run by a family that had a black sheep their own. A young girl about his age. The family wanted to marry her off to him, but he insisted they were too young and hardly knew each other. The girl, Eunha hardly took that well. After him turning that offer down, she seemed to shut down.
Taemin didn’t know Eunha long. They were residents in Eunha family's flat complex for almost a year before her death. Apparently, for the last few years, she had been dealing with her own inner demons. How she thought she wasn’t worth enough, how she didn’t see herself doing anything as a black sheep, even as a second born. It was rare, but it happened sometimes. Black sheep came randomly. It was confirmed it was most commonly third borns and after. But on rare times it could’ve been the second or first. Which only occurred towards the end of a bloodline. Eunha was worked to her end, to her core with all the things piling up. Taemin was the finale.
Taemin didn’t reject her out of not liking her. Eunha was caring and pretty; really pretty. But she wasn’t really his type. He personally didn’t know is a type, but Eunha didn’t fit the cut. Which he felt even worse for when he learned of her passing. Even if it was done by her own hand in a way where it was fast and easy. He was hoping she didn’t suffer too much in her final moments. But as Taemin was Eunhas Finale.
She was his Finale. Or at least, what was bringing him to his Finale. She was the last stepping stone. The stone that met him with his fate. Where the climax of his story would begin.
Where he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, meeting all the qualifications.
-Black Sheep (Second child or beyond)
-The early Twenties
-Mentally Ill (Anxiety, Depression, Etc.)
All disguised as some passing survey.
Taemin didn’t know what the survey was for. He was just on his way to school, he was just on his way to try to live normal again after shutting himself away for a while. Even if it was simple and sweet and quickly made his way off to class, he didn’t have time for that, but he still did it. It was insisted, and he didn’t think he was going to be left alone anytime soon if he didn’t take it. He didn’t ask about it at all, he didn’t care. He was far more focused on getting to class. And the class was the same boring thing. But something seemed off. Even as a black sheep, he still was connected to his aspect. He could’ve done anything intense with it. But he could sense things people could’ve, he could notice details other missed. Shadows were his friends, and often showed him the real person behind what facade they had up. At least sometimes. He wasn’t strong in his aspect so it was reliable all the time. But right there, in that stupid foreign studies class, something felt off. But he couldn’t place it. And he was glad he couldn’t. Taemin never understood how his family was able to handle such powers like that. It seemed like such a bother, so troubling. Constantly living on the edge when the shadows wouldn’t stop screaming about something bad happening.
Even as the day went on, that feeling never left his system. However, the whispers from the shadows began to fall silent, which was a large relief and allowed Taemin to focus more on his remaining classes for the day. Of course in a few, it did leave him wondering about the feeling from before. Mostly in his Psychology and History of Bloodlines classes. Neither were ever really interesting, and today was no exception. His mind was far more focused on trying to place where that feeling was coming from. What was making the shadows that rowdy? But, when he left class and found nothing after briefly exploring the campus.
He really shouldn’t be letting that bother him. But the feeling that someone was watching him wasn’t unsettling and very apparent. Even walking home it was there. Nagging at the back of his brain, begging and pleading to be noticed. For him to go search. It was like an itch he couldn’t reach. Irritation was slowly seeping in at that point and it was sickening. Taemin assumed this feeling would’ve dispersed by now, after the countless hours. But it was persistent. He felt like he was drowning if he wasn’t able to get out of his own head anytime soon about this damned feeling. He should’ve gone straight home. He shouldn’t have hung around campus after classes. He should’ve just tried to forget it all happened and rushed home like normal, back to the comfort of the small flat. Back to the comfort of the place that's been home for the last 4 years. But Taemin was curious. He wanted to know what it was. Even if he found nothing. It was unsettling, but when he was back at the place where he took the survey he regretted everything.
“Mr. Na,” A women spoke, she was on the short side, thin, hair in a messy bun as if she struggled to put it up. “You are Mr. Na Correct?”
Taemin was a bit shocked, he didn’t know this woman, but she seemed to know him. Or at least, know what he looked like. “That is Correct. Na Taemin?”
“Yes, Na Taemin. My fellow associates didn’t get to thank you this morning for doing our Survey. And When I saw you walking through here again, I had to do it.”
“Oh, it wasn’t a problem. Really. You don’t need to thank me at all.” Taemin was on edge. Why? Because the presence of this women was slowly matching the one that was following him all day long. He wanted to run and hide away. Times like this were the ones where he wished he wasn’t a black sheep. Where he could just vanish into the shadows and travel about without being seen. To easily escape. But he wasn’t that lucky. Na Taemin was caged in his own mind and body, which constantly reminded him how useless he really was.
“No, it was very enlightening. It will help with our studies.” She spoke, it was calm, reserved and seemed very practiced. Almost Forced, as if she was hiding something. “I’m Doctor Choi Mijin. Can I ask you a few further questions about your Survey?”
His mind was screaming run, but he couldn’t move. He was frozen in front of her, and he couldn’t figure out why. What about this damned interaction and damned women was keeping him just turning tail and getting the hell away from her? “Y-yeah, what do you want to ask?”
Choi Mijin just smiled, an actual smile. Not something forced or practiced like her previous expression or tone. “As a black sheep, have you noticed anyone treating you differently? Unequal treatments? Dirty looks? Anything that you think could’ve helped to result in your, what did your markdown. Depressive state and disassociating?”
Choose your words carefully, don’t make it seem as bad as it was. “I don’t think any of that actually ties into either of those. At least not completely. Maybe there were a few instantness with my family that could’ve helped result in it. But otherwise, I think it’s just the average stress of life that helped form those mental illnesses. Just like any other person.” Taemin smiled a bit, his own forced smile. Weary of her reaction, hoping he didn’t speak too much. Didn’t give too much again.
“What kind of instances with your family?” She was relentless.
“Oh,” Shoot, He didn’t think she had more questions. “If it isn’t too much trouble, can you um, follow me back to my Flat? I’d feel more comfortable speaking about those in private.”
Choi Mijin nodded. “How about I give you my card, and you can stop by my office tomorrow. And we can do a follow up there.”
“Yeah that works too.” He replied rubbing at the back of his neck as Mijin handed him some sort of business card.
“I appreciate your corporation, most people just brush off conversations such as these and try to escape them. Lots of people think Doctors like me are in the bad light.” Doctors like her?
“I understand that,” More than she even knew. “But I’ll be seeing you Tomorrow Doctor. I’m glad I can help.”
Mijin had nodded once more being giving a short and sweet bow before hastily walking away. Even if her form was gone and she wasn’t in sight the unnerving presence was stronger than it was before. Something was off about that women. And he really wasn’t looking forward to going to see her tomorrow. He exhaled a bit annoyed before looking at her business card.
Doctor Choi Mijin
Head Doctor at Walkers Institute of Mental Health
Chairwomen of the Lucky One Project.
Lucky One Project? He quirked a brow scanning over the listed phone number and address, before flipping the card over. Words are written on the back in a deep black ink that left Taemin shivering.
‘I hope you’ll be a lucky one Na Taemin.’
This was planned, and before he could do anything else, his body felt as if it was on autopilot. He wasn’t moving, someone was moving him. The soft sound of chuckles rang in the back of his head. He was so foolish to believe that someone like her was just there to get follow up questions on some short survey from the morning. Even though he wasn’t controlling his body, it knew where to go. It knew where his flat was, it knew the gates code, the flats code. As if it was some leech in his mind playing with the memories while taking control of him. His flat looked the same, almost. Some of the chairs and couches in the living room were filled with strange new faces and once face he hated.
“Welcome Home Na Taemin. I’m glad you finally arrived.” Mijin seemed a lot brighter than before, standing from where she sat to walk closer to him. “I didn’t think it’d take too long for you to look at the card. Which had me worried about Seunghyun’s ability to be able to find control in such a short period. But he is continuing to be talented as always.” Her true smile was back. “I don’t have a lot to say to you, but I do want you to understand that what we’re doing is for your own health and prosperity as a being. Black Sheeps are so depressing, we just want to help that.”
Taemin quirked a brow, he couldn’t control how his body moved, but he was still in control of expressions and his voice. “What are you talking about.”
“The Lucky One Project of course. We want you to join it. You exceedingly meet all the qualifications, and I think someone like you could help bring life back into the other participants.”
“Like the other two sitting on my couch? Who I assume are more of your participants.”
Mijin just glanced behind her to the two males sitting on the couch, each had a small choker like ring around their necks labelled with a number. Each looked sombre and completely numb. Were there also being held hostage by the control of Seunghyun? “The one with blond hair is our transportation. The light brunett makes sure everyone stays safe. They’re both currently not fully here since they weren’t behaving too well before. But aren’t they just angels right now? They the most recent descendent's of the twelve legends. They’re good boys when they want to be.” Mijin paused for a minute before placing a finger to her lips. “I’m unsure why I’m informing you of so much when you really don't remember any of this by tomorrow. But maybe I just enjoy making small talk.”
Taemin had been at a loss for words, just listening and watching. Out of everything that had happened so far today, being in a room with two from the legend bloodline was most likely the most insane today, besides having his body control snatched and being talked to by some absolutely insane doctor. “What are we doing?”
“We aren’t doing anything right now. You’re going to pack up, only things Seunghyun deems needed, and the rest of us will leave. And then when you wake up, you’ll be in your new home, with your new friends, and you’ll be happy. A bit confused and ill feeling. But you’ll be happy. At least happier. Now chop, chop, we don’t have all night.” She spoke briskly before stepping back to the two boys on the couch. “We’ll be going home now, eighty-eight will be back with Nurse Lee, so don’t worry about not making it Taemin-ssi.” She was gone the second she finished her sentence, the two other men vanishing with her being.
And his body began to move again, how did his life end up like this? Being forced to move around his flat grabbing a small duffel, putting a few changes of clothes in there, a notebook, nothing to write with. Along with his more favoured books and all his self-care items. Even then he moved to find a small backpack, having his laptop, and other electronics placed into it. It wasn’t a long process of packing. But even after he packed his personal belonging the sound of a voice rang through the flat randomly. Another feminine voice. Softer and a bit high pitched than Mijins. Women of a bit large size with short blonde hair had walked into the room.
“I can send you back with eighty-eight now, or you can help me pack the rest of your belonging for moving day tomorrow.”
Taemin didn’t speak.
“Oh, how rude of me. I’m Nurse Lee Yeongmi. The pleasure to meet you, Mr. Na Taemin. I’ll be your attentive nurse during your time with us. And my first duty is helping you move out of here. So you can either stay and help, or leave and get a head start on the project.”
Yeongmi was as straight-forward as Mijin was. But she didn’t seem to force any reactions or expression like the prior had. She seemed completely honest. Open about her wills and thoughts. Hopefully, she won’t be too bad to stay with. “I’ll leave”
“I figured you’d say that. Eighty-Eight.” She called out, the male with blond hair came walking in. He looked the same as before, swollen eyes and limp limbs. He seemed sullen. Crestfallen even. As if his entire being had been ripped away from him and he was just a way to move people from place to place. Taemin couldn’t even begin to figure out how much energy it took to move multiple people from place to place constantly. Yeongmi stepped closer to Taemin, quickly locking a similar collar to the one around Eighty-eights neck on his. A quick shock was emitted from it, and Taemin could feel his whole body locking up, before another being appeared next to him.
“Welcome back Seunghyun, Didn’t want you getting stuck,” Yeongmi spoke happily patting the new male on the back before beckoning for Eighty-Eight to step forth. “Now, Eighty-Eight. We are trusting you to carefully take Mr. Na back to Walkers safely and quickly. Nurse Kim and Doctor Choi will be waiting for you both at the gates. Do you understand?”
Eighty-Eight just nodded, small and lazily. He glanced at Taemin before grabbing only his shoulder softly, a small frown on his face. He must’ve hated doing this all the time. It must’ve been so draining. But before Taemin could even speak, the flat he’d known well, and the faces of Seunghyun and Nurse Lee had vanished. And he was met with the cool air of night time in Korea, along with a happy looking Choi Mijin and another shorter women with braided blonde hair who he could only assume was Nurse Kim. This wasn’t going to be easy. It wasn’t going to be fun.
“Welcome home Mr. Na” The blonde spoke happily. “I’m Nurse Kim Jisue, I work specifically with number Eighty-Eight. But if you ever need anything, and Nurse Lee isn’t in. Please feel free to ask me. Hopefully, Eighty-Eight had been kind to you in your travels.”
Taemin could only nod, as he felt a small pinch in his arm. When did Jisue get so close to him?
“Don’t worry about that, every new patient gets a shot to help them sleep the first night. It's a comfort thing. We hope you enjoy your stay with us until you’re improved.”
Something about it just being a shot to help calm his nerves to help him sleep seemed like a lie, and it wasn’t just because of the whispers from the shadows as they became hazy shapes around him. Mijins words of him not remembering quickly passed by his brain again as he quickly fell into the darkness of his own head and was effectively unconscious, only being held up my Eighty-Eight.