My name is Kim Jihyun but most people these days call me V. The start of my life was simple as it could be for being born into a wealthy family. People tell me I was always a quiet child, left to my own devices I would sit and enjoy the peace surrounding me. I think it was mostly because I was so lonely. My father was always busy and my mother was never around but I think I was just used to it and aware that's what it was even at that young an age. My most vivid memory at that time was when Jumin Han crashed his little toy car into my home.
I don't remember saying anything and I'm sure I didn't as I watched this child who was my age get out and ask me very matter of fact what he needed to do to pay back the damages. Bear in mind that there was little to no damage to my home and the car was actually smoking a little bit. After thinking for a moment to answer his previously asked question I told him simply that it would be fine so long as he became my friend.
Such a strange encounter that started a life long friendship that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. So young we spent so many nights at each others homes, sleepovers were the best and I'll always look back at them fondly. Honestly they never really stopped as we got older just the things we did as we grew changed. Jumin was always the one I told everything, as we got to be teenagers we shared similar personalities if you could even believe it.
Up to that point my father was the one raising me and I hardly saw my mother. I never questioned it before, my father was successful he clearly knew what he was doing so I just trusted that. My mother was different, an artist and honestly...an angel. After a few discussions about my curiosity when it came to her turned into Jumin telling me to see her. To take the time to get to know her and actually try to understand the situation. How could I turn down what was sound advice? Jumin had never steered me wrong before, so despite being a little nervous I took the step.
Up to them my father was the man to go to for anything but meeting her and learning her own struggles that's when the chasm between us started to grow. Every minute with her made it wider and I didn't regret anything. Thanks to her I saw the world in a new light and found a love for new things. Sadly I was still an unsure young man feeling I hardly knew myself and felt pressure from the expectations that were already placed on my shoulders from everyone else.
Painting became a new love for me but at that point I could hardly enjoy it. My father spoke so poorly of the arts and those that pursued them. So that being said I kept that between myself and my mother. Occasionally showing Jumin a piece here and there as I couldn't keep that from him either.
I often wonder what my life would be if I had actually pursued that as a career. When my mother put my art in a competition I was furious. I shouted at her destroyed the piece she entered. I couldn't believe she would do that to me despite my asking her not to do it.
There's so much regret in that action and if I could turn back time and do it again I'd change everything. Not long after that fight there was a fire that started and my mother gave her life to protect me from the flames. I screamed at her in that moment I'm sure I did but I can't recall the words. All I can remember is the guilt I felt as I read the recovered journals that she had diligently wrote in every day. Going back as far as when I was born and her talking about me and my achievements as I grew up.
I had decided then I would do what I wanted and live the life that would make me happy. Sadly I couldn't pick up a brush any longer that didn't make me happy anymore. Instead I picked up a camera and began that journey and what a start it was. My previous mentioned talent in painting helped when it came to composition for photography and before long I had entered competitions and started to be noticed by the community.
Then she noticed them during one of my solo exhibitions.
I remember the day I first saw her thinking how beautiful she was, she was as bright as the sun I enjoyed being in. Though I couldn't bring myself to talk to her that first day. She was back the next day though. Spent hours there and spent most of it looking at a single picture. I needed to know her thoughts as she seemed so intense as she looked at it. I still stand by my statement of falling for her as she told me the picture warmed her heart and I felt the least I could do was give it to her. She turned it down though multiple times but what a shame it wouldn't go to another who would love it as much as she did.
We compromised and she bought me a coffee later and that was our first date and how wonderful it was. At first everything was so great, we spent all our spare time together and she even took me to some of her volunteer work to help. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to be with such a gentle and kind soul.
Time and time again she just proved that and did it again by bringing to my attention a young boy we saw at church. He was always alone and over time we got to know him. Saeyoung was such a bright boy so often he surprised me with what he could accomplish. So when we learned of his home life it broke our heart and we worried both him and his twin brother would only find more sadness by staying there. Using my own connections I was able to obtain information to use against their mother. While it wasn't the most savory thing I could do I don't regret my choices. We became the boys legal guardians and while Rika watched over Saeran I did whatever I could to help Saeyoung reach a higher goal. It was a noble goal and mostly revolved around his brother so I couldn't help but find a place for him to start working.
I never forgot Jumin as we got older, in fact Rika fell in love with him and they became close friends. It warmed my heart that my best friend and now fiance become friends it was just another facet of my life that I could share with Jumin. It was a discussion with Rika that we decided to give him a gift, as Jumin had always seemed to be a lonely soul we got him a friend.
Now not everyone would agree that a pet is a good gift but we spent so much time making sure we picked the right one for him. A beautiful white cat with the brightest blue eyes just seemed to call out to us when we saw her. The tiny mewing that started when we presented her to him was a clear indication we made the right choice. Jumin was hesitant but I convinced him to take her all the same and when he didn't want to name her I did. Elizabeth 3rd was what I chose and honestly I expected him to change it as it seemed so ridiculous. I'm both amused and touched that he kept it after all these years.
So when it came time for us to start the RFA, a long time project we had been discussing I brought Jumin into the fold. His influence would be paramount to making this work. That and at the same time Rika had been experiencing some troubles that I had to attend to so when there were times the both of us were unable to Jumin would be the one to help us without question.
Rika became convinced that she had a devil in her and that I was trying to get rid of it. So at that time unsure of what to do I just did whatever she asked of me. Sometimes it would placate her and other times it would just infuriate her more. I'm only thankful she never showed that side to the others, I was convinced I could fix this. I realize now it was naive but in the moment it felt like the right path. I didn't want to stress her more than she was already.
Admist that struggle the RFA was growing, I was able to bring in Saeyoung, who went by Luciel or 707 at that point. He had grown into a much stronger hacker and proved to be so useful when it came to security for the new organization. Rika brought along her cousin Yoosung, such a sweet boy who adored her so much. I hadn't expected Zen to join our ranks either but Rika just had a way with people and even though the young man didn't seem particularly thrilled about the offer he became as integral a member as any of the others. Lastly Jae Hee was introduced when Jumin hired her on. Such a capable woman and Rika seemed thrilled to have a gal pal so to speak.
Everything went well, the parties were successes and we always made sure all profits went to the charity of the night. You'd think that this would have done something to ease Rika's burden and put her mind at ease but it did the exact opposite. Her condition worsened and I became the enemy, she wouldn't leave me though and despite the escalating abuse I wasn't going to leave her. I loved her after all.
Even after a particularly rough night where she hurt me, my eyes specifically. She was convinced I was out to destroy her and the devil she had telling me how she needed him to truly live and survive.
The final straw came when Sally died. Sally was a dog she had taken in and fallen in love with. She was so sweet and innocent but just ran out into the street and didn't notice the car. The depression that came after that was the worst she had ever been. Even her cousin couldn't bring her out of it completely even if after a while she pulled herself together and seemed to have moved on for a little while.
Though like before she didn't let the others see what was really happening. As the days went on she talked more and more about being some sort of savior to the innocent. How she would rescue others from the pain of the world. This was wrong. I knew then I had to stop this but one day she was gone. Gone to start Mint Eye.
How do you tell her loved ones that she left to start a movement? How do you tell them she hadn't been well for so long and you just let it happen? How do you stop them from getting involved?
I told them she died. Killed herself by throwing herself off the cliff near our shared home. The sea sweeping away her body before rescue could get her, that's why we don't have a body. They trust me. Well most of them do. Yoosung slowly developed an intense distrust and hatred for me, and never once would I try to change that. It's fair as far as I see it but I never change my story as I spend endless days looking for Rika.
I do find her though and I'm amazed at what she had accomplished in that time, a building in the mountains with followers on top of it. One of which is Saeran, the poor boy who knew nothing but pain was in more pain than before. How could I have just let his happen? I get into Mint Eye with little issue. I'm a low-level follower not one good enough to see the savior yet and that's fine by me. I'm able to get the information I need to make sure that the other RFA members stay off her radar.
Then the unexpected happens. I get a call from Luciel about a new woman in the chat. A woman that came from nowhere breaking past all of Luciel's firewalls. How?
My fear was it was somehow involving Rika though the woman seems unaware of who Rika is. She's either a good actress or just another innocent soul being brought down this deep hole of despair. I let her in to keep an eye on giving instructions to Luciel to keep me updated as I will be taking a trip where there will be no signal for me to chat. The story is believed and I am able to get updates without being there able to focus on Mint Eye and it's movements.
I catch glimpses of Rika every now and then and she looks as beautiful as I remember but something about her is different. Her eyes no longer are full of love but are lost to her twisted desire.
As time has gone on I've seen doctors as my world gets blurry, I tell Jumin what happened that night but leave out so many other details. He doesn't need to know all that, he doesn't question it but does push for me to get surgery for my eyes. I don't deserve that. Only after I fix everything else can I get that surgery to help me see the world again.
The only reprieve I get is knowing the party planning is starting again and our new member is welcomed with open arms for the most part. They're warming up to her, they're accepting her and I have to do my part to keep her safe as I am doing for the others.
I think I dream of the party and how it went, sometimes it's the best one we've ever had. Full of such joy from everyone there that from there the RFA go on to host more parties. Sometimes it's a nightmare of Rika taking them all for herself and twisting my friends into what she is now.
So how did it go? I don't know. I remember going to bed one night and the next being in Elysion. The world isn't any clearer and it won't anytime soon. I was never able to achieve what I set out to do so I've let it progress despite the help I can get for it. Some days are better than others and those days I take advantage getting to work as a photographer. This world provides such amazing sights and people for me to meet. None of it puts my mind at ease though as I often think back to home and if I'll ever go back.