sharl (sharl) wrote,
sharl
sharl

Suju Fanfic : A Thousand Beautiful Things (8/22)

Title: A Thousand Beautiful Things
Main Pairing: Kangin x Leeteuk
Side Pairing: Siwon x Kyuhyun; Yesung x Ryeowook; Yunho x Jaejoong; Hangeng x Heechul
Rating: PG 13 for now, NC-17 in later chapters
Warnings: male x male relationship, slightly violent language
Disclaimer: I do not own either Super Junior/DBSK/JYJ
Summary: Mafia AU. Kangin didn't expect to find a child when he led his Family in an assault towards a rival family. He also didn't expect the child to be someone he treasured most of all.

Beta-proofed by angelic_0! Thank you so much dear!! *hugs and kisses*

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Author’s Note: Hi all, sorry for the late update, but as promised, I give you a massive 13,000 words long chapter! Hope you will like it! Please note that my knowledge on guns, bullets, etc. is only based on Wikipedia as having these weapons is considered illegal in my country, only few licensed people are allowed to have them. So please forgive me if there are any mistakes or misunderstandings or even misconceptions on the subject.

This chapter is rated M, but before any of you squeal for some long awaited smut, the rating is due to GRAPHIC TOTURE in some scenes, and they are not sex scenes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you as graphic torture might be disturbing for some people. If you don’t want to read it, just skip the part and read on.

Well, without further ado, happy reading! And don’t forget that comments = love = fuel to write! :D I have made this chapter a freaking 13,000 words long after all! xD


A Thousand Beautiful Things
Chapter Eight
By: zielddhy/Sharl




It was a cold, dark winter when Hangeng finally got a chance to take revenge under the name of his now-perished clan.

Or so he thought.

He still remembered that day, the day when he came home to find his mother in a devastatingly panicked state. The woman had frantically dragged him from their front gate and pushed him to a room that could only be accessed through a secret door. Hangeng hadn't even known there was such a room in the house. He tried to ask what had happened, desperate for an explanation, but his mother hadn't answered him.

Instead she had only given him a single command, “Whatever happens, whatever noises you hear, don’t say anything. Don’t make any noise either, and you can only come out after three nights have passed. I have stacked some food in that cupboard over there, so you won’t get hungry. Wait three nights, do you understand?” She had then gone out, but not before hugging him tight and placing a kiss on his cheek, “Remember darling, I and your father love you very much.”

And then his mother had left him alone, leaving the twelve year old boy in the dark, cold room. There had been some light streaming from nearby window, and from it Hangeng had been able to see the familiar landscape of their land. He had walked towards the tinted window, realizing that nobody could look in from the outside unless they pressed their nose to the glass. However there had been a deep trench directly outside the window, so it would have been impossible for anybody to look inside. On the other hand, Hangeng who was inside the room had been able to see clearly towards the scenery out there and he had known he'd had to count for three moons until he could come out, just like his mother had said.

He had wondered, what had happened that his Family was in such state? Were they being attacked? But by whom? Why didn’t they fight back? And why did he have to hide like this? He might be young, but he wanted to fight! He had already learned martial arts as soon as he could walk after all. His mind had begun to wonder, conjuring different scenarios in his head especially the bad ones, with each becoming more tragic than before.

That night, his worst fear had come true.

He hadn't known what happened exactly, but from the noises he had known they were being attacked. No, massacred would be more appropriate. Bombs blown up, gunshots, he had heard people shouting and screaming and at one point he had been almost sure he heard his mother. He had tried to unlock the door once, but then he remembered what his mother had said and so he had stayed in the room. He could only hear as the noises grew with each passing second and his tears had rolled down before he realized it.

And then it had gone quiet. So quiet, until he was afraid to even breathe properly. He hadn't dared make any noise, knowing that whatever sound he made could be heard clearly from the outside. Few moments had passed and then he could hear footsteps and some people talking. Hangeng hadn't recognize the language they were using, but he had been positive they weren’t talking in Chinese, English, Cantonese or even Japanese. He had listened closely, trying to memorize the dialects and tones and maybe some words, knowing it was the only clue he could have to avenge his Family later.

Three days later he had opened the door. What had greeted him was a sight that would haunt his nights for years to come. His father’s decapitated head had been put on top of a small desk and his mother’s naked body had lain in front of it, her dead eyes staring at the head as if someone had forced her to watch. A scene like that was obviously too much for a child to take in, and Hangeng had felt nauseous all of sudden. He had retched violently on the floor, his vomit mixing with the dry blood.

He had then staggered to the doorway, eyes blurring with tears. He had been almost out of the room when he had stumbled into something that had sent him spiraling down a few steps. He'd looked back up and seen a body in the door way. It hadn't taken him long to recognize who it was. And if the clothes the body wore hadn't screamed that at him, the non-existent head had.

Hangeng screamed.

He'd felt like his soul had been wrenched out. He had curled into a ball, not caring about anything else and just crying his heart out. He hadn't known how long a time had passed, but vaguely he'd sensed an arm holding over him, lifting him up and taking him away. The next thing he'd known was some police officer trying to talk to him, but he didn’t hear her.

Then a few days later Hangeng had found himself in an orphanage. It had been one of those government-owned institutions that housed more children than was their capacity and Hangeng had been treated as a new kid in the house. There had been few bullies, but as soon as they'd learned that he could do martial arts and was more than capable of defending himself, they'd left him alone. The old woman at the orphanage had sent him to school, probably to mingle with other kids, but Hangeng hadn't liked it, not when his brain was refusing to let go those nightmarish images.

It had only taken him one week at the orphanage to make him realize that this wasn’t how his life supposed to be. He was still a part of his Clan and apparently, the only survivor, and he still had his duty to follow: taking revenge on those that had annihilated his Family. One day when he had been on his way home from school, Hangeng had run away.

Nobody had tried to look for him, he imagined it was because the government couldn’t care less about one orphan, they already had too many to handle; losing one kid wouldn’t make a difference. He'd lived on the street; scraping food from whoever felt empathy towards him, the scrawny kid with unshaven hair and dirty skin. He'd made friends with few other kids, most of them orphans just like him, but they had just been regular civilians, none of them had been from Clans or Families like him.

Days passed, months went by and seasons changed.

Hangeng was older now, his body taller and leaner. He was still skinny though, there were only a few things you could eat on the streets after all, and as he grew older, less and less people took pity on him. But still he survived; the only thing that fueled him to stay alive was the knowledge, the random words those people who murdered his Family had spoken. Initially he'd thought it would be hard to remember a language he'd never heard before, but countless nightmares and images kept the memory fresh.

It was a particularly cold winter day when he heard it again. At first he thought it was just yet another nightmare, but then he realized that his eyes were open, it must be real. He looked up to see a few men clad in black suits standing in a corner not far from where he was. Hangeng strained his ears, desperate to catch the language they were speaking. Then his body froze; yes, it was the same language. Suddenly the cold, almost forgotten desire slithered again in his blood, like a snake that was awoken from a long winter of hibernation.

Hangeng stood and walked towards the men but before they could see him, he had sneaked into a corner, safely hidden from view. He was a smart boy, he knew he couldn’t fight them all, especially seeing how big and buff those men were. He needed to find the leader and kill him. And for that, he had to be patient, carefully trailing them until he found out who the leader was.

He didn’t have to wait long. After only a few moments, a charismatic looking man appeared and the others bowed to him. He talked to them for a few minutes before going into a black SUV. The exchanges were short, but Hangeng was able to catch a few words that enabled him to know the man’s plans for the night.

A few hours later Hangeng was hidden in the backdoor alley of the restaurant. The leader and his men were still inside, probably stuffing themselves up with delicious food he couldn’t even imagine. Hopefully they would get drunk too, it would be so much easier to kill the leader then.

Then the front door opened and Hangeng stiffened. He reached into his pocket, fingers curling familiarly around a knife. He realized it probably wasn't the best weapon for killing someone, but it was the only sharp thing he had and at this point, he had to use whatever he could. The men poured out and soon the leader’s silhouette was also seen. The night was dark, and although they were still in the downtown area, the street lamps didn’t provide enough light and the shadows were enough for Hangeng to move closer.

And he did. He got closer and closer and closer, fingers tightening while slowly pulling the knife out of his pocket. He was only a few steps away from the leader when he took his chance to strike.

Maybe it was because his footsteps were too loud, or his breathing too harsh, but at the last second the leader turned around just in time to see a kid, maybe only twelve, thirteen years old, running at him with a knife. He dodged just in time, and a second later his fellow members lurched forward, successfully pinning the kid down on the ground, knocking the knife out of his hand in the process.

Hangeng struggled; the arms holding him down tightened and he let out an anguished cry at having failed his task. He had failed his Clan, his Family, and he had lost his only chance to take revenge for the murderers. His parents would be so ashamed of him; he could feel tears running down his cheek.

A hand lifted his chin and Hangeng gazed into the leader’s face. He didn’t think twice before spitting at him. The bodyguards all shouted at once and the leader shouted back to shut them up. He looked at Hangeng again and asked in Chinese, “What’s your name, kid?”

Hangeng didn’t want to answer, but the man spoke again, “Look, you've obviously failed in trying to kill me,” Hangeng snarled at this, “and you’re currently pinned down by a dozen or so well-built men so I don’t think you have a lot of choices here. You’ve got nothing else to lose so why don’t you tell me your name, hmm?”

“Why don’t you just kill me?” he questioned back.

The leader raised an eyebrow, “I can do that too if you want, but I’d like to know your name first.”

Hangeng thought about it for a moment and answered, “Tan Hangeng, from the Tan Clan.”

The man suddenly gave him a look of recognition. “I knew your father; he was my business partner once. I heard what happened to him and his Family, but I didn’t know that you survived.” He added later, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

However, Hangeng didn’t hear the leader’s apology. His mind went red after hearing that his father had actually done business with this murderer and before he could stop it, the words flew out of his mouth, “You killed your business partner? What kind of a bastard are you?!”

His head was then slammed once again to the pavement and Hangeng groaned. Amidst the hazy black spots that began to appear in his eyes, he heard the leader speak again, “So you thought I was the one who killed your clan?”

“You speak the same language.”

For a few moments it was silence and suddenly the leader laughed. He was still terribly amused when he looked at Hangeng again and replied, “I spoke Korean, and so did your father. But for your information, we were not the ones who killed him. In fact,” his eyes glinted in the dark, “we already took care of the ones who murdered him a couple of months ago.”

Hangeng felt like a fool. He realized it had been very far-fetched to rely on just a language, millions of people spoke the same language. But it was the only thing he knew about his parents’ murderers and so he had hung on to it like a lifeline. Now, after hearing that his clan’s murder had been avenged, instead of relief he felt more like there was something missing. After all, the thought of revenge had been the only thing that had made him stay alive. And now it was gone, he couldn’t kill a dead man.

“Come with me,” the leader said. “it’s better than living alone in the streets. Or do you have a better plan?”

And so his life as a Kim Family member began. He was wrong though, it turned out that the man wasn’t the leader, although he ranked highest among all those men that night. He was a prominent member of the Kim Family, his brother was the Don. He brought Hangeng back to Korea and personally talked the current Don to accepting Hangeng into the Family. There, Hangeng met the man’s son, Heechul, and also the Don’s son, Kangin. Hangeng didn’t mind being in Korea, it was better than living on the streets.

He felt somewhat shy and ashamed, however, especially since he couldn’t speak Korean and it made it difficult to communicate with people. Two of the few people he could talk to were this other kid named Siwon and sometimes Kangin, but they were both so busy with their lessons that they couldn’t spend a lot of time with him. Instead, he was stuck with Heechul. He didn’t speak much with him as Heechul couldn’t speak Chinese. Secretly Hangeng thought Heechul was very beautiful and he also could be very funny when he didn’t act like a prissy princess.

Heechul made fun of Hangeng’s accent, but he always corrected him when he used the wrong words or didn't know the grammar, and this made Hangeng realize that Heechul actually wanted to help him, in his own unique way. He might have laughed at people a lot, including Hangeng, but it was just how he showed people that he cared about them.

And so they spend lots of time with each other. Heechul continued to be friends with him, stayed with him whenever he could, and Hangeng didn’t mind it. In fact, sometimes Heechul could make him laugh and he was very thankful for it. By the time Hangeng was fluent in Korean, he began to teach Heechul some Chinese words. Heechul’s father didn’t seem to mind his son’s relationship with him, or at least Hangeng thought so.

They remained best friends for years to come, until that one day. The Kim Family had just successfully taken over a notable chain of casinos in Hong Kong and they had also gained the loyalty of some Families there. And so that night there was a big celebration in the house, Soju, whiskey and brandy were poured into crystal glasses, or in some cases were drunk directly from the bottle. Everybody got drunk, Hangeng and Heechul included. The two of them didn’t know what happened, but somehow they ended up sleeping with each other and the next morning, Hangeng woke up in Heechul’s bed, his head pounding with hangover.

He didn’t know what to make of the situation, for he liked Heechul and they were good friends and all, but having sex with somebody changes the whole thing. Moreover, his hangover made everything worse; even sitting up on the bed made him feeling nauseous and the whole room suddenly spun like a wheel. Add that to the fact that Heechul was waking up and seemed pretty pissed, Hangeng felt like hell.

Thankfully, Heechul was more coherent than him. The beautiful man scoffed and said, “Seriously Geng, it took you six bottles of Soju and three glasses of whiskey until you realized that you love me?”

Hangeng didn’t answer, partly because he felt pretty stupid as well, and because he didn’t even know that he loved Heechul. He opened his mouth to protest, but it was cut short when Heechul locked their lips together. All his retorts were lost as he kissed the beautiful man back with equal fervor; this time he could say for sure that he was relieved because apparently Heechul loved him back.

Nobody said anything about their relationship, but Kangin gave Hangeng a knowing smirk when Heechul came in to the library one day and immediately plopped down on the sofa, placing his head on Hangeng’s lap and practically nuzzling at his crotch as if it was a very normal thing to do. Hangeng bit back a hiss as his cock gave a jump but thankfully Heechul stopped just as quickly as he started. The beautiful man then turned around, looked at Kangin and raised a pair of perfectly shaped eyebrows at his cousin, quietly challenging the other to say anything. Fortunately Kangin took the hint and wisely remained silent, but not before giving Hangeng a smirk.

He discovered later that Heechul, when in the bedroom, was a kink maniac. Hangeng himself wasn’t comfortable with that at all, but the first time they tried it, Heechul was so happy and satisfied and the look in his eyes was so beautiful until Hangeng realized that it was all worth it. Hangeng felt like he would do everything it took to make Heechul look at him like that all the time, any weird sex kinks included.

For the first time in his life since his Family had died, Hangeng felt that there were some things in this life worth fighting for, and Heechul was on the top of that list.



**********************************


Hangeng gained consciousness and the first thing he saw was Heechul’s face laying peacefully beside him. He tried to raise his hand to stroke the other’s cheek but his limbs felt like they were made of lead. His whole body hurt, but his lungs suffered the most; it felt like he took a lungful of fire with every breath.

His brain registered that the room was dark, but whether it was because it was still night time or just because the curtains were closed, he didn’t know. Hell, he didn’t even know where he was, although the IV made him guess it was a hospital room. Hangeng closed his eyes as he tried to access his memory. And suddenly it all came back to him like a whirlwind.

He and Heechul had just finished negotiating with an allied business partner and the meeting went well, they were able to re-secure their allies’ loyalty. Both of them were on their way back to the mansion with a few other members. They had just reached the outskirts of Seoul’s downtown area when the first gun shot hit the man behind the wheel. The car then lurched and Hangeng had just managed to get out with Heechul, just in time before it hit a tree and exploded. The other two cars trailing behind them also came to a stop, but fortunately nobody was injured. As members poured out from those cars, the second gun shot rang and the next thing he knew a bullet hit him. The last scene he remembered before losing consciousness was Heechul’s voice screaming at him as gunshots rang around them as an endless, continuous sound.

Hangeng opened his eyes, this time he looked around and concluded that it was indeed a hospital room, most probably Kim Family hospital. Only a second later, he remembered the possibility that Heechul was also shot and he whipped around to look at the man beside him so fast his chest started to hurt all over again.

Immediately he gave a relief sigh. Although still obviously pale, Heechul seemed fine. He moved his gaze downwards to see if there were bandages on the other’s body, but he could see nothing but the dull blue of hospital clothing. He then looked up and was surprised to see that Heechul’s eyes had opened.

“Hey,” he offered as a greeting.

Heechul’s eyes widened for a moment before a look of relief dawned on them. His mouth curled up into a soft smile as he replied, “Hey, sleepy head.”

“Are we in the hospital?”

His lover chuckled, “Yes. You were shot in the lungs, but Yunho was able to remove the bullet.”

“What about you?”

“In the abdomen, but it's okay now.”

Hangeng hummed in response. Neither spoke for few moments, both of them were content to revel in the fact that they had both survived and were still very much alive. And although they knew they still had a long way to go in this war, at least for a little time, they were grateful for this precious moment. Hangeng was the first to break the silence, “I dreamed about that time when we met.”

Heechul smiled, “Really?”

“Yes,” his lover nodded, “And I remembered the first thing you said to me that morning.”

The beautiful man let out a small laugh, “Well, you were pretty stupid back then.”

“In my defense, I had a hangover that time.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

Heechul bit his lip as his eyes raked over Hangeng’s conscious form. He couldn’t even begin to express how relieved he was to see Hangeng conscious. If he were a sap, Heechul would’ve been weeping and mewling and bawling and basically crying his eyes out. But thankfully he was not and Heechul, when relieved, tended to be speechless. The next thing he knew, he had Hangeng’s hand tracing over his cheek lovingly. Heechul leaned towards it as he looked into his lover’s dark eyes. They spoke of thousands of questions, but Heechul shook his head, choosing not to answer them right now. Hangeng understood, putting his questions into the parking lot at the back of his mind.

Hangeng’s hands stopped their movements and he visibly sagged in the bed. Heechul took in his partner’s tired form and said, “Remember what my father said about not saying it unless you want to jinx it? Well, I totally screwed up that one.”

Hangeng let out a tired chuckle and Heechul said again, “Go to sleep, I’ll tell the others later that you’ve woken up.” Hangeng nodded as an agreement. As soon as his eyes closed, he had fallen asleep.

Heechul stayed awake for a few moments. His mind went over whether his Family had found out who had attacked them or not. But then again, he had full confidence in his Family’s abilities, so he shouldn’t be too worried. He entwined their fingers again, and soon Heechul fell asleep as well, lulled by the sound of Hangeng's steady breathing.


**********************************


Changmin, unlike most people, found his job extremely thrilling. He worked as a researcher, focusing on artificial intelligence in C-NET, the most advanced IT lab in Asia. Conveniently located in the Seoul branch as he had requested, the young genius had plenty of opportunity to keep in touch with his best friend Kyuhyun, although lately he found few occasions to meet the other personally. They were both so busy, Kyuhyun with all his work with the Family, and Changmin with his projects. He had also been a member of the Kim Family once, but after the last war he'd decided to quit and to follow his dream to become a researcher rather than a prominent member of a mafia family.

But this didn’t mean that he was cut off from the entire mess that raged among all the Families. He knew there were three major forces now; the Lee Family who remained neutral, the Kim Family who were still the strongest (thankfully) and of course, the Choi Family who quickly gained grounds among other smaller Families and took them as allies. He heard a rumor of a kid under the Don Kim’s protection, but so far no one could say for sure and so the rumor remained a rumor. He also heard that Jaejoong and Yunho had returned to the Kim family as active members now, although he didn’t understand the reason behind that. As far as he knew, those two guys had decided to retire and had had enough of all the fighting and killing, so why came back now?

Or was the situation now so bad that Yunho and Jaejoong had to rejoin the Family?

His heart laced with worry as the thought of his Family in such danger invaded him, and Changmin shook his head, understanding that it was not his place to say anything anymore. He had decided to quit, and unless they called him back, he couldn’t go back. Right now he needed to focus on his research, with a hope that with his findings he would be able to help the Kim Family indirectly in one way or another.

He was doing a complex analysis of his latest research when his phone suddenly rang; the screen projected a name he hadn’t seen for quite some time.

“Kyuhyun, what a pleasant surprise,” he answered the call as he scrolled down the pages he was reading on the computer. The data his team provided was inconsistent and at some points they were even mistaken; he needed to talk to them in the morning.

“Changmin, I need your help.”

The urgency on his friend’s voice brought Changmin’s attention away from his laptop. “What’s wrong?”

“I’ll tell you everything, but not on the phone. I’ll pick you up at the usual place in fifteen minutes.” Kyuhyun didn’t bother to say anything else for an explanation as he immediately cut off the line, leaving Changmin stared blankly at his cell.

The researcher sighed. Well, it wasn’t like he never saw this coming before. Changmin quickly gathered his things, shut down his laptop after saving his work and backing it up, and walked towards the exit. The usual place Kyuhyun mentioned was a ten minute drive away, and it’d be better to get there fast. He was the only one left in the lab, and except for a few security guards to whom he nodded a goodnight, nobody saw him leaving. He got into his car and started the engine.

The drive was silent as Changmin didn’t bother to turn any music or the radio on. His mind was filled with possibilities as to why Kyuhyun called him in such a hurry and urgency. The worst thing he could think about was that Kangin was dead, but it was highly unlikely as he would have heard something by now. He pulled into the parking place and looked around. Kyuhyun’s car was not there yet and his eyes moved towards the 24 hour convenience store located nearby. Shrugging, he got out of the car and went inside the store; he hadn’t eaten dinner yet and might as well get something while waiting for Kyuhyun.

As he gazed towards the rows and rows of bento boxes, the researcher couldn’t help but be reminded of Jaejoong, and of course his delicious cooking. Jaejoong’s homemade food was one of the few things he'd missed terribly when he had just quit the Family. That man could cook a feast fit for a king out of meager ingredients.

Suddenly a bottle of chilled green tea was shoved to him. Changmin looked up and smirked seeing Kyuhyun standing next to him with an amused look on his face. “I saw your car there, should’ve known you would be in here, looking for food,” Kyuhyun explained.

Changmin shrugged, “I was hungry,” he said in reply. He finally chose a bulgogi bento box and walked towards the cashier, Kyuhyun trailing behind. After paying for their meal, the two went out and got into Kyuhyun’s car.

“You might want to eat along the way, I imagine you will be very busy once we get there,” the technical analyst advised.

Changmin only nodded in response and split his bamboo chopsticks before beginning to eat. After a few mouthfuls, he realized that Kyuhyun still hadn’t said anything as an explanation. Waving a piece of bulgogi, he said, “You know I am perfectly able to multitask, so I can listen to your explanations while eating.”

Kyuhyun gave him an amused look, but began to speak nonetheless. “Heechul and Hangeng were shot last night.” The chopsticks lost their movements for a few seconds, the only sign he knew that Changmin was shocked and so he continued, “Fortunately the two of them will be alright, but we haven’t been able to catch the one behind this,” Kyuhyun’s hand on the wheel tightened slightly, “we managed to catch the shooter but their DNAs don’t show up in Ryeowook’s database.”

The researcher frowned, “I thought he had every single human on the planet in that data.”

“That’s what Kangin said,” Kyuhyun sighed, “We don’t know what went wrong, but they are not in the database. We tried to track the guns they used, some .22 riffles, but you know how hard it was to track those.”

Changmin nodded again, “Almost bordering on impossible.”

“Exactly.”

Changmin huffed and was silent for a moment. “So I assume the reason you want my help is because you faced a dead end? And you are hoping that I would be able to find out who's behind all this mess via the bullets and such?”

Kyuhyun sent him a quick satisfied glance, “Smart boy.”


*********************************************************


As Kyuhyun had said, the .22 caliber couldn’t provide them with a single clue, so Changmin requested that they looked into the attack scene once again. The road was still blocked; some of the Kim Family members dressed in suits and a few police officers stood guard –one of the perks when the government officials were your close friends. The site was left as it was before, only some yellow police lines barricading the exact location of the shooting.

Changmin crouched over the pavement, carefully looking down at the ground, obviously searching for something. Yesung was about to ask when suddenly the researcher shouted out triumphantly before pulling out a pocket knife and few plastic bags. He then began to scratch out the pavement, trying to pick out something and put whatever it was that he found in one of those plastic bags.

Changmin looked at Yesung and scowled, “What the hell are you doing just standing there, hyung? Help me look for every gun shells those bastards fired last night.”

Ah, so that’s what it was.

Knowing what he had to look for now, Yesung began his own search. Fifteen minutes later, the two of them had gathered all the bullets’ casings they could find. Changmin and Yesung left the perimeter, requesting a few members to re-canvas the scene again and looked for more shells.

Yesung drove them back to the mansion, with three cars in front and two others trailing behind. Since the incident with Hangeng and Heechul, Kangin gave a very strict order that nobody among the main members was to travel alone, they must be accompanied by at least four other cars.

“What are the gun shells for?” Yesung asked.

“Well, since the guns can’t give us anything, these shells are the next best thing. I don’t know what we'll find later, but hopefully we can find something to start our search with,” Changmin answered.

Yesung gave his companion a quick glance. The last time he saw Changmin, it was right after the last war ended and although he wasn’t close to the other man back then, he always respected him. After all, this man was in the same league with Yunho and Jaejoong, but a different type. If Yunho and Jaejoong were best with guns, Changmin was a genius. If Kyuhyun and Ryeowook were the software, Changmin was the hardware. The man could make anything out of nothing. Add to that a wealth of knowledge of the latest technology, he could create everything from building dynamite to weaponizing anthrax.

Kyuhyun definitely did the right thing asking for Changmin’s help.

The drive back to the mansion was quick and as soon as he got there, Changmin immediately went to the lab, asking Yesung to find Kyuhyun and bring him there as well. Yesung quickly located the technical analyst and told him Changmin’s message. After Kyuhyun left, he wandered off to find his boss. Kangin was in his office with Siwon, Yunho and Jaejoong.

“Where’s Jungsu?” he asked Jaejoong.

“With Ryeowook,” the author answered, “maybe in the kitchen. I think the kid senses that something’s wrong, because he's not as talkative as usual.”

Kangin frowned. “But he’s okay, right?”

Jaejoong sent him an amused glance at the fact that Kangin was worried about Jungsu, but he didn’t say anything about it. Instead he replied, “Yes, I’m sure. Ryeowook is with him anyway, and he can make him some chocolate cookies in case he’s getting hungry or something.”

“If you say so,” the Don shrugged. He then said to Yesung, “Hangeng is alright now. He gained consciousness a few hours ago and now he’s in the recovery room with Heechul.”

Yesung gave a sigh of relief. At least with Hangeng and Heechul recovering nicely now, they could all focus on the search and quickly get the culprits behind this. A couple hours passed with Siwon updating them on the latest situation with their allies. Many had heard about the attack, but none of them repositioned their loyalties to the Kim. Kangin and Siwon had done a good job convincing those guys in the first place. On the other hand, although they had questioned anybody who might be remotely connected, they had no further information on the attackers. Yunho suggested contacting Kibum as the Choi Family was one of the main suspects here, but Kangin said they couldn’t risk Kibum being exposed. Changmin and Kyuhyun’s were now their only hope to at least get a clue.

As if on cue, the researcher called Kangin. They all went downstairs to the lab and were greeted with the sight of Kyuhyun working on his laptop. Changmin was on the other side of the room; he had his glasses on and in his hand was a small bullet.

He didn’t bother to offer them greetings and immediately explained, “This, my friend, is a specially made bullet – commonly known as the rat-shot. It usually used to kill snakes, rats and other small animals, hence the name. These bastards are pretty smart though, they packed this into a normal cartridge to make it looked like a normal bullet.”

Changmin removed his glasses and then smirked. Usually Yunho disliked it when Changmin smirked, because it was so damn smug and often infuriating, but this time he prayed that the smirk was an indication that the researcher knew something. His hope was answered when the other spoke again, “But of course, I’m smarter than them, much smarter. You see, with this rat-shot, you need to use a kind of special design of a long rifle. The modification is usually made just on the length of the rifle, but some people also change the handle to make it shorter and easier to use.”

“Just get to the point, will you?” Kyuhyun interrupted.

The researcher scowled and glared at his friend, “Shut up. Just focus on what I asked you to find out.”

Kyuhyun rolled his eyes but didn't say anything. The others watched in amusement how the two friends worked together; they might be throwing insults at each other all the time but they were efficient nonetheless.

Changmin continued, “Kyuhyun and I have dismantled all the guns they used and one of them is this specially designed rifle, the handle is different from normal ones. Now, not many manufacturers make this kind of rifle, so they put all of them on a kind of watch list, people that purchase this have to register and everything. Plus in case any of the guns go wrong, the factories also put a tracking number to know which rifle and where it’s made. It also serves as some kind of password between the gun owners and the manufacturers. They say the number and their name, the company crosschecks the data and if it's all correct they can ask the manufacturer to repair any malfunctioning guns.”

“To put it simply, you know the number, you know who the attackers here,” Changmin smiled.

Kangin visibly relaxed. At last there was a clue now. He nodded to thank Changmin and asked, “So do we know who they are?”

“Kyuhyun is hacking to each manufacturer's database to get the names, but it shouldn’t be long now,” the researcher answered. Kyuhyun hummed to show that he was working on it, his fingers typing furiously on the keyboard.

A few minutes later, he let out a satisfied shout, “Found it! The gun was manufactured somewhere in the United States, and the owner’s name is Jung Yon Jin, he used to be the top hit man from the Jung Family.”

“Jung Family? I thought they were all dead. Maybe the real culprits only used the guns they stole from the Jung by accident?”

“I don’t think so. Maybe some of them survived, somehow.”

Yesung cursed, “This actually makes sense. No wonder their DNA didn't appear in Ryeowook’s database, it only contains the data for the living.”

“Ask him to compile the data of the dead ones to the database, we might need them again in the future,” Kangin ordered.

“That would be too much, he couldn’t put them all in a single database,” Yesung countered, “maybe just those who have any remote connection with our world and just thirty years back, no need to go further than that. He can always put the rest of them in a different database.”

Kangin nodded in agreement. “We can do that later. But now we have to be sure whether the Jung Family are the ones who attacked us or not. Kyuhyun, can you cross check the DNA we’ve found from those bodies with the government database? They should have some DNA data of the Jung Family somewhere in the record.”

“On it,” Kyuhyun answered.

Nobody spoke for a few minutes, letting Kyuhyun concentrate on the job. There could be millions of databases he had to access, and hacking into them could take time. Changmin would help him as well, but he wasn’t a genius hacker like Kyuhyun and Ryeowook, so it took longer. They really needed Ryeowook to compile all of the info into a single database that can be accessed anytime they want to make things much easier.

Finally, the technical analyst said, “Yup, they are all Jung Family. They are supposed to be dead, but obviously they are not. I don’t know what to make of this, but I’m sure that the ones that attacked us are Jung Family.”

Jaejoong sighed. This was all so messed up. It begged a whole other set of questions: how did they survive? Why they attacked them? The Jung Family had been an ally, proven by Yunho being accepted by the previous Don almost immediately, so what had changed? Suddenly, a thought occurred to him and he asked, “Who was it that said they had annihilated the Jung Family?”

“The Choi Family,” Changmin replied.

“Of course,” Jaejoong scoffed.

Kangin looked up, “Do you think they were lying?”

The author shrugged. “It’s the only reason as to how this Family survived. We always trust their word when one Family says they have killed another one, not checking the fact is like an unwritten rule.”

Siwon nodded in agreement. “I don’t think it’s beneath them to do something as despicable as this, especially since my father was killed. And with TOP as the new Don there, I’m sure he won’t mind using another respected Family like mere puppets. That man is cunning as a hyena and as slippery as an eel.”

They chuckled at Siwon’s metaphor and Kangin then said, “But what made the Jung attack us? We were allies once and they could always ask for help if they were in such danger with Choi.”

Jaejoong shook his head, “Not if they were at gunpoint.”

The Don sighed. “You’re right. The question remains though, why attack us?”

“Hold on, I think I saw something here,” Kyuhyun suddenly piped in. He typed at his computer and a moment later, a grim smile appeared on his face. “Turns out it’s the Kang Family. If you are supposed to be dead in the government data, you can’t purchase guns using your real name. Apparently the Kang Family is the one who purchased the gun in the first place. They must have sold it to the Jung somehow. Let me hack into the Kang’s purchasing records. And…yes, the Jung actually are ten billion won in debt to the Kang due to some weapon purchases. The new Don of the Kang Family might use this as a stresser to make them attack us.”

“And of course the Choi are only too happy to permit it,” Yunho cursed.

“I’ve had enough of them!” Kyuhyun suddenly shouted, “Let’s just attack and finish those guys off!”

“We can’t,” Jaejoong answered.

“Why not?!”

“Because we haven’t found any undeniable proof that they were the ones behind the attacks. So far we've only made some speculations, but there’s no evidence. The only thing we’ve discovered is that they have falsely claimed having wiped out the Jung Family. And they can always categorically deny it by saying it was a sheer mistake done by one of their older generations and they didn’t bother to recheck the fact,” Kangin replied.

Siwon cursed. “So how do we proceed from here?”

Changmin was the one who answered, “Maybe we can see who it was among the Jung Family who made contact with the Kang. Usually one contact person is enough; he’ll be the one who makes all the deals. And if the Jung don’t want the Kang to know where their hideout is, this person must have mingled with regular civilians, spending his life like normal people complete with apartments, bank accounts and such.”

“Let me check the record again,” Kyuhyun replied, “Found it! The name is Jung Ji Seung.”

“He didn’t change his last name? Who is this guy anyway?” Yesung piped in.

Yunho responded, “I recognize his name. He is one of the best hit men in the Family. And the reason why he didn’t change his last name is probably because he needs the Kang to trust that he is a member of the Jung Family.”

“Can you get his address?” Jaejoong asked Kyuhyun.

“You bet your ass I can,” the technical analyst replied in a firm tone.


****************************************


Part 2
Tags: chaptered: thousand beautiful things, fandom: dbsk, fandom: suju, pairing: hangeng x heechul, pairing: kangin x leeteuk, pairing: siwon x kyuhyun, pairing: yesung x ryeowook, pairing: yunho x jaejoong
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