The worst outbreak of plague in the history of England since the black death of 1348 is still at large. To combat the epidemic, the city starts hiring physicians to treat the infected patients regardless of their social class. These+
individuals were called Plague Doctors or Black Deaths, as the poor called them, wearing all-leather suits and beak-like masks to avoid catching the fatal disease.
But if you think that the plague was the worst thing at the time, then you are an oblivious fool, my dear.
* * *
At 11:45pm on New Year's Eve, Jeon Jeongguk, a young carriage driver, arrives outside Bangsan Hall belonging to the Mayfair family to pick up one of the guests.
It's freezing cold and the young boy tries to rub his hands together to generate heat.
In 15 minutes, the new year will arrive and the 20yo driver will celebrate it on the street as any other day. Jeongguk has no family. His parents were claimed by disease and he ended up in a poverty house. That, until, a carriage owner listening to the name Min Yoongi, took+
him under his wing and taught him how to take care of the horses.
"Stupid rich..." The young one mutters, listening to the music as the smell of delicious food floods his nose.
It's about to snow, Jeongguk can feel it in his bones. It's not the first time he's been+
out during a snow storm. It's not the best thing in the world. Older carriage drivers have frozen to d/eath waiting for the rich to finish celebrating. Jeongguk dislikes them so much. Sometimes he wishes the plague claims them all.
But well, it's always the poor and the weak who
end up paying the price.
As Jeongguk is about to curse his client, the door finally opens and a man dressed in black storms out. Behind him, another blonde man follows hurriedly.
"Savile Row," the blonde one says and Jeongguk furrows his eyebrows.
"That's around the corner,"+
he complains, confused that they called him out here for a 2-min distance.
"You're getting paid, aren't you?" The man asks, throwing him a shilling. "You'll get the rest in a bit."
Jeongguk doesn't know what to think. Min Yoongi's words echo in his mind, 'The client is always+
right. Don't pick a fight'. And well, Jeongguk definitely needs the money so he can save enough to get the hell out of the gloomy city.
Well, some day... When his debt is paid.
"Fine, sir," he finally says, fixing his hat. The horse is restless, he can hear it but he makes it+
As he and his mysterious passenger leave for Savile Row, the blonde man hurries back inside to join his guests.
The street is empty. The cold is biting Jeongguk's face, making him scrunch his nose. And then, white snowflakes start falling all around them.
The young driver curses no matter how pretty he thinks the snow is.
And then, in the silence and snowfall, an otherwordly sound is heard. It's like a rumbling growl that scares the horse and makes it move uncontrollably.
"Calm down!" He shouts as the sound gets louder yet+
there's nothing or nobody around them.
"I'm so sorry, sir," the young driver hurries to apologize to the passenger when Jeongguk's body freezes. There's something lurking in the shadows. His big doe eyes catch something moving but there's nothing around.
"What—" He hurries+
to say and the next thing he knows is that his carriage is lying on the cobbled street, the smell of delicious food is replaced by the smell of sulfur and rust, his horse is lying dead with a big chuck of it missing and he is trapped underneath, legs crashed and body numbing.
Growls flood the street but nobody comes out to help no matter how much Jeongguk shouts. It's like nobody can listen to him. Nobody cares. Nobody gives a damn about the poor carriage driver.
And then, in the middle of the street, he sees it, a horrific beast with sharp teeth+
that looks like a huge deformed rabbit. On its mouth, it holds a piece of the horse, munching it down with eyes red like blood.
"Help—" the young one tries again when his ears pick the sound of wood breaking. The passenger must be alive, he thinks. "Please—"
But when he turns,+
trying to see the man in black, Jeongguk comes across another weird sight. The man comes out looking like one of those Plague Doctors dressed in a long black coat, a hat and matching suit but this one is different. It's like the mask is a real beak. Not only that but he also+
carries a riffle.
"Shut up," a deep voice then comes from under the mask, sounding too terrifying for anyone's ears. Jeongguk thinks this is a dream. Thats he'll wake up on his bed, scolded by Savannah, Min Yoongi's servant. But this is far from a dream. This is a nightmare.
As snow falls, the creature's attention is drawn to the young boy. Blood. The creature wants blood and Jeongguk's senses are slipping away.
"Die semon," the voice continues when the Plague Doctor or whatever he is charges at the creature as snow starts setting on the stone and+
Jeongguk's unconscious body.
* * *
"Jeongguk! Wake up! I'm not going to say it again!" Savannah's voice echoes in his ears and the young boy finally opens his eyes to come across the old ceiling.
"I am—" his voice is hoarse and when he recalls the horrific incident, he springs
from his old bed to check his body. His legs are fine and there's nothing indicating that he got injured.
"Savannah!" He then calls the servant and the woman appears from the stairs, looking at him confused.
"Your highness is finally up, I see."
"Am I dead?" He asks.
"Not yet. But you will be if Mr. Min catches you slacking off again. The horses need to be fed and you are late."
Jeongguk rubs his eyes, trying to get his thoughts in order.
'Was that a nightmare?' He wonders.
"Is Peanut in the stables?" Jeongguk has to confirm.
"Are you being funny or something, Jeongguk?"
"Stop playing games and go wash your face. It's freezing and I need to make breakfast. Mr. Min is expecting a visitor."
"Wait! I'm not! Savvie! What happened to Peanut?" Jeongguk yells, still unable to remember anything.
"His heart couldn't stand yesterday's cold. Poor horse was too old. May he run free in fields of endless grass," the woman brings her black hands together before she yells back at Jeongguk to get ready. When she finally leaves, Jeongguk tries to understand what is going.
"Of course..." He whispers, trying to convince himself that he must've had a very bad dream. "I must be forgetting things..." He continues, finally leaving his room in the attic to get ready for another busy day. After all, it's January 1, and everyone is going to+
need a carriage to get around. Jeongguk can't miss a day's work cause the more the earns, the closer he'll be towards his freedom.
Jeongguk always wanted a house in the countryside. One day he will buy one. It will be small and cozy. And his.
Unfortunately... he never did.
* * *
England, Present Day.
It's night in the still gloomy city of London. A figure clad in black walks towards one of the old house that survived the Great Fire of London starting on September 1, 1666. Everyone knows what history has written. But the truth is very different
and only a few people know what really happened one day before the fire began on September 1, 1666.
"I'm here for Mr. Sugar," the deep voice speaks when a girl with strawberry blonde hair answers the door.
"Of course," she bows, unaffected by the weird-looking person in front+
of her and the crow mask he has never removed in his long and dangerous life.
The man walks inside the house. Nothing has changed. Last time he was here it was on January 1, 1665 when he had breakfast with the owner of the house regarding a very peculiar matter concerning one+
of his carriage boys.
"Mr. Sugar," the girl says as she opens the room to the living room to reveal a man dressed in a black coat, dragged out of another era.
His hair is long and black and he looks beautiful and unaffected by the flow of time. Maybe he is Time itself and he's+
hiding his scythe somewhere in his closet. Maybe... Just maybe. "Your guest is here."
"Thank you, Marianne," the man named Sugar replies, walking towards the window with a glass of whiskey in hand. "Let the crow come in."
"Do you need anything else, sir?"
"No. You can go."
As the girl leaves, the man in the mask sits on the leather sofa and lights a cigarette, holding it between his gloved fingers.
"Smoking will kill you," Mr. Sugar says, having a sip before he grins, making the man grunt in discontent. "That's what I should have said," the man+
continues. "If you were actually alive."
The man in the mask lets out a sound between a grunt and a giggle.
"I am neither," the crow whispers. "You made sure of that, your highness."
"Your highness..." Mr. Sugar continues with another smile before he turns to the man in the+
mask. "I'm no highness. I am just..." The man's form changes, hair flowing in the air liek black waves. His skin become transparent as the bones underneath become visible. Half of the skin of his face disappears, letting the bones show. In this form, every living soul trembles+
him. Cause he is... "inevitable."
"Call you tits, Thanos," the man in the mask now says, unbothered by the weird sight, enjoying the old and expensive whiskey in his hands.
"You never learn, do you, Crow?"
"Never really. I am maybe more dead than alive to learn."
still have half of your soul. Half human, half dead."
"And you are all asshole, Mr. S.," The crow responds when the skeleton man moves to him, letting his boney fingers wrap around his throat, lifting him up as if he weighs nothing.
Then a scythe appears in his free hand, sharp
"I think you forgot to whom you are talking."
The man in the man chokes, legs and arms fighting to set himself free. "M—y L—ord— D—eath!"
"Imbeciles..." The man mutters, letting the man drop on the sofa as his safe turns back to normal. Then he walks towards the+
armchair, sitting elegantly with the scythe in hand.
Time or Death. Same thing.
"You owe me 10,000 demon souls."
"Fucker..." The crow whispers, massaging his neck. Then he stands up and snaps his fingers, making a red flame appear on his palm. "And here is the last one."
"Hmmm..." Mr. Sugar hums when his eyes fall on it. "That won't do."
"You heard me, Crow," the amber eyes glisten in the room as it gets colder. "The 10,000th soul is the rabbit god's that so carelessly slipped from your hands and ended up in my poor carriage boy's+
body. It fooled all of us. That crafty rabbit..."
The Crow is distraught. It was one more soul. One more to get the other half of his back and finally be free from the burden of being Death's dog. One more... So close.
"That wasn't the deal!" He shouts angrily, squeezing+
his hand to make the flame disappear. Then, he draws a brand new pistol with the letter V engraved on it. These are no regular guns. Death himself had given them to him to trap the tainted souls of humans corrupted by demons and old gods.
"How dare you," Death speaks+
And the earth shakes just a little. "Raise your weapons to your master."
The Crow moves, showing no fear when Death moves his scythe, aiming for the Crows neck. But instead of killing or tearing the fabric the mask disappears, revealing his face for the first time since+
the man behind him that made a deal with Death himself.
"Never raise your gun on me. Or I shall sent you somewhere you won't be able to claw your way out, Crow..." Death's eyes glow gold in the dark. "Or shall I say, Kim Taehyung."
The man fall on his knees, cradling his bare face between his hands. He hasn't felt his own skin in centuries. The mask is his new face. He is just a weapon. Death's weapon to bring back order.
"It— hurts—" he shouts as memories of his life pass before his eyes.
Who is Kim Taehyung and why did he make a deal with Death? Only he knows. But maybe it was for something more than his soul. Maybe it was the soul of his loved one. Maybe... Nobody knows.
As pain and fear make his body tremble, Death takes pity on him and returns his mask.
"The last soul is still out there."
"That's i-impossible. The rabbit demon was burnt in the fire. It's already in hell."
Death smiles. It's an otherwordly sight.
"Then I guess, you have only 9,999 souls. Now leave. I need to think."
The crow hisses as he picks his gun and hides it behind his back.
This is unfair, he thinks, eyes burning with rage. This world is tainted, corrupted, full of evil forces. And he, Lord Death himself is the cause of it because once, even death fell in love with a man who+
called himself the Tailor of Chaos and in his ambition and need for justice he burnt the entire city of London down on September 1, 1666, breaking all hell loose.
But that's something Death has to dela with. And as for the Crow, well, he now has to comb the earth for the rabbit demon... If he wants to finally be free and free with him the soul of his one true love who, unbeknownst to him, was, of course, reinacarnated as the young+
carriage boy listening to the name of Jeon Jeongguk.
Fate and death can play cruel games. And this one has just begun.
Or the #taekookau
where a human turned demon hunter named Crow (Tae) tries to find the last demon soul he owes to Death in exchange for his freedom and the soul of his loved one. Unbeknownst to him, his soulmate was that one boy he met back in 1665 whose fate remains unknown...
Tell me this isn't Tae... Those pics are responsible for everything! Happy New Year with the first prompt of the year!
Leaving this here. Now I need sleeep!