“What is this?” MC murmured softly, picking up the lost cell phone. To her surprise, it immediately lit up and she found herself in a strange program. Someone wanted her to return the phone. Everything about it seemed suspicious. She definitely didn’t trust any of it. But she was curious. It had always been her fatal flaw. MC wasn’t good or kind but she wasn’t necessarily bad. Her unending curiosity propelled her to make all of her decisions. It resulted in her losing many of her connections previously. It was hard to keep friends if you’d betray them just to discover some new gossip.
And so, MC found herself in a new apartment and thrust into the world of the RFA. She was beyond confused (and still suspicious) but in a chat room, it was easy to just play along. Playing along seemed the best way to get some answers to her questions. Very quickly, she discovered there was a lot more going on than just a lost phone belonging to a member of a charity group. The one called Yoosung was completely correct. V was hiding things (MC always knew when there were secrets to be sniffed out) and that meant the one called 707 was also involved. The others seemed to know less.
But Unknown. The one who told her to return the phone. He was a complete enigma. Who was he and what was he doing? He made the mistake of texting her and over the next few days, MC endlessly pestered him, wanting any information she could get. She kept her ears open in the RFA. They didn’t reveal a lot but sometimes they’d slip. 707 told her about some dream he’d had about a mother cat. Dream. Sure, it was. He had a dark family history. V rarely came in but she believed he was at the center of this mystery. Mostly, Unknown ignored her but she started telling him things that she’d deduced, wanting a response. There was something BIG going on and she had to know.
Unknown watched the girl, his eyes practically glued to the screen as his fingers danced over his keyboard, hacking endlessly. The redhead was trying to protect the messenger and for the most part, he was keeping Unknown at bay. But Unknown knew far more than anyone thought. He knew everything MC told him but the fact that she was willingly handing over information without being prompted intrigued him. Of course he told his Savior. She instructed him to start responding slowly. He’d reveal nothing but if he replied, it would surely encourage the girl to tell him more. It was unlikely she’d find anything they didn’t already know but this new development was promising.
He obeyed and started communicating to her. As expected, her information was what they already knew. The phone calls she reviewed were the only things he couldn’t get into so there could have been something new revealed in those. But it was more psychological information that she managed to extract from the others. But the Savior enjoyed learning of the phone calls. She said it was all for the sake of saving the members of the RFA.
The truth was that she was starting to get more invested than mere curiosity. Unknown suggested that he was part of something else, something bigger and that interested MC. She wanted to know more and so he was sowing the seeds of Mint Eye in her, though she had no idea what sort of organization it really was. Charity was a nice notion but she didn’t believe it was effective in real life. And she knew nothing of what Unknown was involved in but she felt no real loyalty to the RFA.
Except for one point. There was someone in the RFA that caught her attention. Jumin. He was cold and stoic and while he was close to V, it was obvious he knew less than 707. But she found herself noticing Jumin. He was strangely amusing. He was handsome, sure, and rich but mostly? He spoke to everyone the exact same way. He wasn’t necessarily friendly to anyone in particular, except perhaps V. He was so obsessed with his cat that MC had to laugh. But every so often, he’d show her something that meant she'd weaseled herself into his mind. And that made her sit up and take notice. He was watching her and she was having an effect on him. And those slight moments where he’d let the mask fall, that sparked her curiosity again.
The days passed as MC continued to get to know the members of the RFA. They were supposed to be planning for a party (and Unknown insisted the party must be held) but so far, nothing had been decided. She couldn’t even invite guests with the little information they had. Finally, she caught V in a chat and he announced the date. The party was to be held in a matter of days. That was quite sudden but she knew how important the party was. With the others in the RFA, preparations began again and she managed the guests. Without any hesitation, MC informed Unknown of the updates.
Back at Mint Eye, there was an energy that hadn’t always been present. The Savior was preparing for something big, though most Believers didn’t know entirely what was planned. Just the first step in saving everyone in the world but very few knew any details. Unknown did, of course. He was his Savior’s strongest Believer. He could do everything she asked and make everything happen for her. Hearing the date for the party was exciting for them and Unknown made sure the girl knew how important that party was. But as those fools in the RFA suggested guests, the girl would send their information to Unknown. He wasn’t sure how someone could possibly be that stupid. And yet, she was.
In his own excitement, Unknown was starting to reveal more to MC. And the more she learned, the more she found herself interested. She found what she learned of Unknown’s organization to be a better fit with her. She wanted to join. She asked him over and over and he’d give her cryptic responses or he’d tell her to be patient and she would “soon join them” but for MC, that wasn’t enough. So while she chatted cheerfully with the RFA during the day, MC was arguing with Unknown behind the scenes. Making threats that she’d tell the RFA what was going on. She’d trash the phone they gave her. Mostly, Unknown ignored her threats. Until she talked about trashing the apartment. She had no idea but certain drawers and locks were rigged to explosives and would detonate if she tried to force them open. They contained very private information that the Savior could not let MC know about. When Unknown revealed how serious the tantrum was getting, the Savior insisted bringing MC to Mint Eye immediately. It was too much of a risk to leave her alone any longer.
MC was speaking to Jumin alone late one night. She loved calling him in the middle of the night. He was more honest after he’d had some wine. She was giggling at something he’d said while Unknown hacked the surveillance Seven had arranged in the building containing MC’s apartment. He killed the lights as he heard the girl’s laughter. He simply rolled his eyes. She was a fool. She told Jumin she’d have to call him back and the minute she hung up, Unknown grabbed her. It was easier to knock her out than to sit there and explain. An unconscious MC was much easier to deal with. Imagine.
She was brought to Mint Eye and when she awoke, she was given an elixir. The hours blurred together in the compound and MC lost all concept of time. She seemed to be more forgetful and tired and would sometimes have headaches. But she still didn’t fight any of the Believers. When Unknown came to her room to speak with her, she understood more. She still felt a bit foggy but when he mentioned that she would meet the Savior, MC became visibly excited. It took another day before MC was brought before the Savior. MC didn’t recognize her as the original founder of the RFA, Rika, and only saw a leader. Rika was charismatic and had a way of speaking. It was easy to win over MC but Rika spent extra time picking MC’s brain for any remaining RFA information. Taking MC before the party may have ruined their plans but Rika wasn’t done yet. Unknown hacked the phone again, blocking location and making sure nothing Seven did could reveal the truth of what happened to MC. And once Rika was certain MC was a true Believer, she was allowed to access the messenger again.
MC had been gone for days. Some were worried but most of the RFA had been talking about Jumin. He was struggling with his father and the news that he was to be married to the student of his father’s newest fling. He had requested MC more than once in the chats but she had never showed up. He spiraled down a bad path and seemed so lost. The plan was that MC would apologize and continue to try to plan the party with the others. And eventually, she would bring the RFA to Mint Eye. But the elixir hadn’t erased her feelings, especially for Jumin. The RFA hadn’t heard from him in days. MC marched to the Savior, showing her the chats.
“We can bring Jumin here! He’s ready! I promise! Please let me go get him,” MC pleaded.
“Jumin is V’s closest friend. He will not be so easy to convince.”
“Trust me, Savior! I know him. I know he will join Mint Eye without trouble.”
“I shall send you with my best Believer to ensure this goes smoothly,” Rika finally allowed.
And Unknown and MC made the long journey back to C&R and Jumin’s penthouse. By the time they arrived, it was nearly the day of the party, though the others in the RFA were planning on canceling it. Obviously, for Mint Eye, they would not allow the party to be canceled but MC first had to save Jumin. Show him how happy he could be with her in Mint Eye. He’d be a truly worthwhile Believer with all of his influence.
Unknown couldn’t enter the building with MC. He was too suspicious. But she was bugged and he had several options available should her visit go wrong. MC boldly walked up to the security guards, announced herself as a member of the RFA and insisted on speaking to Jumin. They knew not to turn away anyone who mentioned the RFA for Jumin was not known as a member of the organization. So if anyone came asking for him and spoke of the RFA, security was instructed to inform Jumin immediately.
No one had heard from Jumin for days. Even the personnel in his penthouse hadn’t seen him. But they still tried to ask for Jumin if he’d like them to allow MC of the RFA to see him. There was no response. But Jumin’s chief of security rushed down and collected MC. Jumin rarely spoke of anyone but he had heard MC’s name more than once. If anyone would save Jumin from his funk, it would be her, The chief was risking his job but he assured MC was unarmed and allowed her inside Jumin’s quarters. It shocked MC to see Jumin’s penthouse looking so different from what she expected. A large cage sat in the middle of the room with the beautiful Elizabeth the Third inside. Windows were shuttered and barred with extra locks. Outside were nets extended from every window. It almost looked like Jumin was preparing to raise the cage off the floor or make a moat or something around it. It was almost a terrifying altar.
“Jumin?” MC asked cautiously, as she still hadn’t seen him. Then she saw the figure on the sofa. It was dark without light from the windows and lights were all off. But her eyes adjusted and she saw the person on the sofa, watching the cage. “Jumin! Is that you?” MC rushed forward and sure enough, it was Jumin. Without a second thought, she threw herself into his arms. Or into his chest as he still didn’t move. MC hugged him tightly ending up sitting slightly on his lap. She smiled and pulled away. MC put her hands on Jumin’s cheeks and finally looked at him properly. That was when she saw how...empty he looked. His eyes almost looked sunken in and he seemed pale or malnourished. “Jumin? Are you okay? It’s me, it’s MC. I know it’s been a while but I’ve missed you. What’s wrong?”
Elizabeth the Third offered a sad meow from her cage and Jumin finally reacted. “Are you hungry, my Princess? I wish you wouldn’t worry. Soon your new castle will be built and you and I will never need to leave each other again. We will never be lonely.” He tried to stand and finally noticed MC weighing him down. He met her eyes and finally seemed aware again, though he said nothing to her.
“It’s MC. I’m here for you, Jumin.”
“You left the RFA,” he replied in a hard voice. His throat tightened visibly.
“I-I didn’t, Jumin. I moved. I left that apartment that Seven had me in. I wanted my own place. I would never leave you.”
Jumin blinked but showed nothing else. He felt on edge, like a rubber band that would snap if he was pulled in any direction. He had just started to care about her and she’d left. He had tried to find her. He’d called. Asked for her in chat. Texted her. She had never replied. He had been a fool to think she was different than all the other women he’d known. She hadn’t cared about him.
“I came here because I wanted to see you. To be with you. I like you, Jumin. I couldn’t leave you. You mean so much to me. So I want you to come with me so we can be happy. Together. You, me, and Elizabeth the Third. I found this place. We can be alone together there. It would be just us. No guards, no gold-diggers, no one to bother us or come between us. We can be together,” she stressed. MC pressed her lips against Jumin’s. She tasted wine but he didn’t kiss her back. She backed away slowly but remained close to Jumin. “I want to be with you. I never want to leave you. You and me and Elizabeth can be happy and left alone. No danger. We can… We can be in love, Jumin. We will never be lonely again,” she repeated his line and finally Jumin reacted again.
“I’m not lonely,” he objected stubbornly. She smiled and kissed him again. This time, he truly felt it and returned her kiss.
“Okay. You’re not lonely. But I am. I need you with me.” She slipped her arms around Jumin’s neck and joined their lips again. This time, their kiss turned deeper and lasted much longer.
Quiet smacks were heard in the penthouse and MC giggled softly when Jumin finally put his arms around her. Elizabeth the Third gave a huffy meow and the couple stopped. Jumin looked at MC, seeming tired and empty again. “You left. I can only assume you are here now for money.”
MC seemed hurt. “I didn’t leave you, Jumin. Not for good. Not forever. And I don’t want money. I want you. I am living somewhere by myself and I want you there with me. Leave your money. We don’t need it. We only need each other.”
“MC…” Jumin wasn’t stupid. She sounded suspicious to him, even in his altered state of mind.
“It’s okay, Jumin! I promise! We can be happy there. It’s a great place. It’s a community, actually. But we can be alone. There are gardens and even a church. I’ve found happiness there. I feel… I feel like I can finally be complete there. I can help people there. I can help myself. I know you can be happy there, too. Not just living your life according to other people and what they expect from you. You can be honest with yourself and with me there. And you’ll be complete, too. No more messy thoughts or overwhelming pressure. Just happiness and healing there. Together. You and me. Forever. And Elizabeth, too. We can even bring the cage.” She placed her head on Jumin’s shoulder and snuggled into his embrace. “I’ll teach you what love is and we’ll be in love together. If you come with me…”
Jumin was a smart man. He'd been educated in the best schools and universities. He was intuitive, logical, methodical. There was never a business deal he couldn’t win. Jumin fell for MC’s charms. He followed her to Mint Eye. She personally poured the elixir down his throat while Rika watched from her seat, a smug grin on her face.
“Perfect. Jaehee will soon follow.”
“Yes, my Savior. I will bring the RFA here. And Jumin will be mine,”
A darkness flashed in Rika’s eyes and she smiled a lying smile. “Yes, of course. Jumin is yours.”