Lu Han is a vampire.
A bloodsucking creature of the night, ready to pierce the flesh of the nearest victim, to drink it in, to savor the rich, dark taste of human blood. Except Lu Han has never had human blood, has never even bitten a human, nor been near one.
To take human blood means one of two things: either you’ve killed the human you were drinking from, drained them to the last drop, mercilessly. Or you’ve taken the human as a mate, choosing whether to simply drink, or to turn them. The latter is illegal, punishable by a higher council that rules the world Lu Han lives in.
They call it The Night World. A strict order of creatures, not accepted by humans, hidden in shadows, trained to blend in; to thrive in places of darkness.
Overseen by the royal Lamia family, a prestigious group of vampires with the aid of the council, made up of witches and shapeshifters, who spare none in the goal survival, treating humans as an enemy, an ever growing threat.
Lu Han is part of that inner circle, of that coveted family. Not by choice, but by birth. He comes from a long line of Lamia, vampires that can give birth, that can age. Considered above the turned vampires, who are forever stuck in a state of eternity, never ageing, never changing.
Lu Han doesn’t think much of his princely status, or much of The Night World in general. He’s bitter for someone of his age, and lonely. He’s grown up locked away in the palace, guarded, kept secret. A new kind of weapon for the dying night race, a planned birth by his parents, the respective King and his Queen.
Lu Han has never seen a human, has never even stepped foot out of the palace grounds. Sheltered, coveted, and cold, rarely displaying any kind of emotion, any kind of irrational action. He follows orders like a robot, doing what’s needed, when it’s needed, awaiting the day when his final orders are issued, when his purpose is to come to light.
Lu Han doesn’t know what his purpose is, doesn’t know what his final orders will be. He only knows day by day life, the same routine, the same meals of blood soup, and blood wine. As royalty he is served only the best, blood taken from the finest pigs, the finest cows. On special occasions such as his birthday, he’s even served blood from a Giant Panda, endangered and rare, a true treat.
Except Lu Han has always felt something off about his meals, has always craved for something he knows tastes sweeter, richer, that will fill him up more than a pig ever will. He has always lived with the knowledge that something has been hidden from him, that the world outside isn’t a bare wasteland, isn’t the ruin that his parents, servants, and teachers have taught him it is.
Lu Han thrives on these thoughts, feeling less like a robot, and more like a living creature when he gets lost in thought, when he dreams of what the world could possibly have in store for him outside the walls.
Lu Han spends every night planning, wondering, thinking of every possibility, but his thoughts are overwhelmed by ignorance, by lack of experience. He knows nothing. This infuriates him, causes him to wake up screaming from his slumber, crying of dreams he does not remember, of simple touches, warm blood, and the eyes of someone he has never seen before.
On nights when he can’t sleep, when he fears the dreams, when he fears his own ignorance, Lu Han sits outside his parents’ room, and he listens. He does not understand what they talk about, what their hushed voices mean, but he takes comfort in hearing about the outside world; in hearing the things kept from him.
Listening outside a locked door however, does not yield proper results, only infuriates him more when he does not understand, so he takes matters into his own hands.
Lu Han learns. He sneaks into the great library late at night, having figured out long ago how to get past the vampires guarding his door. He teaches himself to read, memorizing the characters, tracing them in his mind. He pours over book after book, and eventually lands on something that changes his life. The book in his hands is old, the edges frayed, the pages discolored, and wrinkling. On the cover of the book is a character he hasn’t yet learned.
It’s a very simple character, composed of only two strokes, and Lu Han is confused as to why he hasn’t learned this before. It’s not in his books of characters, he hasn’t seen it anywhere in the palace. The book peaks his interest, and he stows it away in his room, hidden beneath the mattress. On nights when he knows he won’t get caught, knows that no one will check in on him, he reads, and what he reads changes his life forever.
2015.03.24 Sociology Kim Minseok.
The Soulmate Principle: Should we accept it as reality?
The Soulmate Principle, a popular scientific theory, states that for every person, there is another half. Upon meeting your other half, common symptoms are dizziness, nausea, overwhelming emotion, heightened heart rate, decrease in coherent thought, slowed motor functions, fainting, uncontrollable crying, hot flashes, and vision problems. Many have described it as the feeling of being on a “bad drug trip.” These symptoms reportedly do not dissipate until an exchange of saliva occurs (usually mouth to mouth, but methods vary).
A soulmate can feel the other’s intense emotions, and read how they’re feeling at the moment. They are also hypersensitive to the touch of their soulmate. Most report feeling intense bouts of depression, anxiety, and insomnia when separated from their soulmate for a long period of time. In a study done in 2013, it was found that one in four people will find their soulmate by the age of twenty-five.
In most cases, the soulmates report dreaming about each other in the weeks leading up to their meeting, getting the feeling that something is about to occur, often becoming anxiety ridden and irrationally emotional, with little or no reason at all.
After meeting your soulmate, resisting the pull can make one ill. Symptoms include weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, uncontrollable crying, and oversleeping. In one case a woman separated from her soulmate before initiating the pull was reported to have slept for three days straight.
Sexual intercourse between soulmates is amplified, and is said to utilize the mind, as well as the body.
It was also speculated that there are a handful of people who never meet their soulmate, or refuse to believe in the existence of such a thing, and date normally.
These relationships without the soulmate connection can prosper and even thrive, but will eventually end due to conflict. All of this is, of course, pure speculation and theory. There is no scientific fact behind soulmates, and nothing has been proven.
I, personally, am very skeptical about this idea. The way I look at it, people get the idea into their minds that they have a soulmate, and trick themselves into believing they feel a certain way. A lot of the ‘symptoms’ listed above could be a simple anxiety attack. Soulmates claiming to feel the other’s emotions, and suffer through depression, are most likely just extremely attached to their significant others. The soulmate principle to me is most likely just a placebo effect, much like when people read their daily horoscopes, and attribute happenings and facts to their daily lives. You want to believe in it, and therefore, it becomes real in your mind.
Finding your hypothetical soulmate is just you falling in love (I’m also very skeptical about the idea of love itself). As for the saliva-exchange part of this theory, well, that’s easy to explain. When you kiss someone, chemicals are released into the brain that reduce anxiety and raise happiness levels. Obviously, if under the stress of an anxiety attack, such an act would calm the sufferer down, leading them to believe that it was necessary to believe the “pull” of a soulmate.
Perhaps one day, I’ll experience this myself and my views will change, but as of now, I have not had that privilege, so I’m going to continue living my life logically, without straying off the my path into theories and fantasies. That’s not saying it couldn’t be true, however. We live in a complex world, inhabited by things you would never even begin to dream about, undiscovered things. Beneath the ocean, hidden in rainforests, maybe even living in the house next to you.
Minseok frowns at the screen in front of him, unsure of how to continue the essay he’s working on. It's badly worded, centred on the page and somehow in awful italics, but his head is pounding. The brightness of his laptop is the only light in the room, his roommate snoring loudly on the bed across from him. Minseok really wants to throw a pillow or three at the boy, but he knows Jongdae has an exam first thing in the morning, and Minseok is mean, but not that mean. Plus, Jongdae is a good kid. A little naive, but cute. He’s the kind of kid Minseok could have a crush on if he tried, but he can’t go down that path. He really can’t.
Minseok has to be this way; get close, but not too close. Let no one in. To do that would break more than one set of rules, anger more than one set of people. It’s a shame, because Minseok likes people, he likes making friends, craves the touch of a lover, but he can’t. Minseok can count the amount of people he trusts on only one hand, maybe less.
Minseok is a vampire hunter. A slayer of bloodsucking demons, ready to pierce flesh with wood, to watch as the remains crumble to dust. Except Minseok has never actually killed a vampire. He is the catcher of his team, slinking in the shadows, armed with traps, with items made to slow any vampire in its tracks.
Minseok is armed with the skill, the expertise and the knowledge to successfully bait and capture any vampire, But killing the vampires isn’t his job. That title belongs to Kris and Kyungsoo. Kris is tall and imposing, but as sweet as pudding, whereas Kyungsoo is small and delicate, but lethal.
The two girls, Hyoyeon, and Irene, are in charge of interrogating the vampires they catch, using some pretty interesting methods. Minseok doesn’t like sticking around for that part, horrible creatures of the night or not. He’s not too fond of hearing bloodcurdling screams that ring in his nightmares for weeks after.
Their team is named The Snowy Owls.
Minseok doesn’t really consider himself by any means close to The Snowy Owls. He sees them in more of a work setting than a friendship setting despite sharing classes with Chanyeol, and sitting with the girls at lunch. Minseok doesn’t really see the need for anyone to help him, but he joined the team out of sheer necessity on both sides - He needed someone else to do the killing, they needed a tracker. And Minseok is a good tracker, considered the best in the vampire hunting circles, infamous for his ability to dispel vampire persuasion, and distract them with conversation. Minseok has never failed while capturing a vampire, has never not once had one get away.
Until now that is.
The Snowy Owls current prey is an infamous turned-vampire named Chen, notorious for hating humans.
The vampire is under fire from the Lu family council, who oversees the entire Night World, and Chen has gone into hiding. The Snowy Owls are, of course, very interested in knowing why. Minseok has been hard at work for nearly a month trying to track and locate the elusive vampire.
Chen is the first vampire Minseok has ever had this much trouble finding, and he silently curses himself because fuck Chen’s good. They don’t even have a visual on the vampire, which makes it increasingly difficult to find him. They have to go by clues, stories, accounts. Minseok knows that Chen is charming, good-looking, with a feline smile that can break a girl or boy’s heart from twelve feet away.
Minseok is curious about Chen, wants to find him, and learn about him, learn what makes him so wanted, learn what makes vampires tick. He’s always wanted to know what separates vampires so much from humans, what separates them so much from witches, and shapeshifters, and werewolves.
Outside his double-life, Minseok is a college student, good-looking, if not a little short, with sharp features, curved blossom eyes, and an air about him that causes girls to whisper, and boys to scoff. He chooses to keep to himself, keeping a few close friendships here and there. Minseok is quiet, soft-spoken and guarded, but he’s also warm, hard-working and generous; the kind of child every mother wants.
Minseok doesn’t realize he’s been sitting motionless, staring into his laptop screen, until he feels a soft weight settle onto his bed, and a hand rest on his shoulder. He jumps, and turns to see Jongdae sitting beside him looking concerned.
“Hyung, you’ve been looking like death frozen for the past fifteen minutes, please go to sleep.” Jongdae whines.
Minseok pouts dramatically, running exasperated hands through his hair, and slumps into his roommate groaning.
“I can’t go to sleep I need to finish this and it’s due in two days and I’ve barely started and I don’t want to fail and-”
Minseok struggles to get free from the hand Jongdae has clasped over his mouth, and thrashes when Jongdae pushes him onto the bed, releasing his mouth, but holding him down with one arm as he closes Minseok’s laptop and puts it, along with his books,on the bedside table.
He looks sternly down at Minseok - well, as stern as one can look when you’re Jongdae- and covers the still rambling boy with a blanket.
“Minseok, go to sleep before I smother you with your pillow. It’s 4am and some of us need to be up before noon.”
Minseok gives in to his not-at-all-cute roommate and begrudgingly drifts off into a fitful sleep, thoughts in overdrive.
The problem with Jongdae is that he’s not only distractingly good looking, but charming too. He’s sickeningly kind, with infectious laughter, sharp wit, and a warm smile. Everybody loves Jongdae.Everybody.
Including Minseok. Which is a problem because he’s a secret vampire hunter at night. It’s also a problem because Minseok doesn’t usually crush on people, doesn’t have time to crush on people in between school work and his night job.
The biggest problem though, is that Jongdae has a boyfriend. An equally as ridiculously good-looking, well-mannered boyfriend named Kim Joonmyun. He’s also incredibly smart. And everyone loves him. Minseok is really not bitter at all.
But Minseok supposes his roommate’s boyfriend is a good excuse for him to ignore his crush. He could pretend it doesn’t exist, and go about his life as he normally does, but, as fate would have it, Jongdae lovesbeing naked, and Jongdae loves platonic cuddling. “Oh don’t worry~ Joonmyun won’t mind; he knows you’re straight.” (Minseok is very much not straight, but he’s not about to tell Jongdae this.)
After months of living with Jongdae and seeing his junk more times than Minseok is sure he’s seen his own, he learns to just deal with it. Dealing with it involves lots of cold showers, and lots of shameful incidents which involve his hands down his pants, and him trying really hard to not think about Jongdae’s taken dick while he does it.
Lu Han is looking at a photo of something that looks familiar, but not quite. He runs his fingers over the page, lost in the image, slight confusion showing in the way his eyebrows furrow slightly, and his head tilts to the side, subtle.
Everything about Lu Han could be described as subtle. His movements are fluid, practiced, and precise. He could be described as someone who glides as opposed to walks, someone whose features only change the tiniest bit, unseen by those who aren’t looking to see.
If one were watching Lu Han in this moment, they might not even notice any expression on his face. They might not see the quietly whispered questions through barely moving lips, or the slight widening of eyes as he takes in what’s before him.
On the outside, Lu Han appears calm, collected, and unaffected by what he’s learning, but on the inside, Lu Han is breaking down, in some kind of deep shock.
These people on the pages are almost like him, almost, but not even at all. They are humans, the book says, the commanding race of the world he resides in, and all the Lamia were once human, back in the old days, back when Hecate ruled, the original Queen of the Witches.
The book goes on to say that humans thrive in great cities, with great technology, and are mostly unaware of the “Night World” that lives around them.
Lu Han tests the words on his tongue, having never heard them before, having never known any of this about humans. To say that he is angry would be an understatement; to say that he is livid would be too kind.
It’s in this moment that Lu Han realizes his entire life has been a lie, fed to him on a silver spoon. He is filled with intense spite, an intense feeling of murderous intent, yet he still continues to read, still continues to learn, still continues to teach himself about everything he’s grown up thinking didn’t exist.
Lu Han is intent on finding out the truth. Why has he been raised on lies? Why has he been trained for a goal that would be otherwise pointless?
He picks up the book in his hands and stalks down the hall, through the great palace, and strides into his parents’ room, not even bothering to knock. Upon being awakened, they regard him with confusion and apprehension, and Lu Han talks, screams, fights as they drag him out of the room by force. The spell has been broken and a new breed of personality has been born.
If you asked any of Minseok’s friends - the snowy owls, his roommate and his boyfriend, the barista at a cafe off campus named Yixing- they would probably tell you that Minseok doesn’t have a temper. He’s easy-going, usually smiling, and always accommodating to those close to him's wishes.
Minseok takes pride in being seen this way, in being the calm one in a relatively insane group of acquaintances, but sometimes he just wants to let loose, to explode, and lately the feeling has been growing, and Minseok thinks he’s about to snap any day now.
He listens to conversations around him with growing irritation, punches his laptop while writing things, and snaps at Jongdae and Joonmyun constantly, only calming down when Jongdae puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him he’s just stressed out, and that he really needs to relax.
Minseok’s breaking point comes too soon to be stopped, at the same time he learns about someone he hasn’t encountered yet, but has seen fleeting glimpses of in nightmares. Dreams filled with wintery eyes, glittering lips, and golden brown hair.