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The outsiders’ perspective of the cryptid that is Sung Jin-Woo

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Yoo Jin-Ho wanted to go home. Tears welled up in Jin Ho’s eyes despite trying to blink them back. He was already 9 almost 10 and he shouldn’t be crying like a baby anymore but he was scared. His curled-up body shook with the movements of the van he had been shoved into. Next to him one of the men who’d grabbed him and wore a face mask snorted, “stop crying, it’s annoying”.

“Oi, shut up,” a gruff voice called out from the driver’s seat of the van, “don’t talk to him we don’t want any identifying features”.

Face Mask snorted, “how would he identify us? and you just talked just now”.

“Just shut up” was the answer-back but Jin Ho was emboldened by the discussion. They didn’t want to be identified? That means they’ll let him back home right?!

“I want to go home”. Jin Ho pleaded, trying to hold back his tears so he wouldn’t make the masked man even more annoyed. Unfortunately, Mask Man did not take Jin Ho talking to him well, “Shut up! Who said you could speak! If you keep talking we’ll never give you back to your family you stupid rich kid”. As if to prove a point he rose his hand as if to whack Jin Ho. The kidnapper meant to scare Jin Ho into silence and he succeeded as Jin Ho squeaked and curled up into a ball.

What the kidnapper did not expect was a cool voice saying, “That’s not very nice”.

Suffice to say the sound the masked kidnapper made could only be described as a shriek. The man driving cursed and slammed the brakes and the van’s occupant jerked towards the front.

“What the fuck! Are you craz-“ the driver shouted as he spun around to look at his accomplice but then choked on his words as he saw something that should have been impossible.

There was a child in the van and not the one they kidnapped.

“Where the HELL DID YOU COME FROM”. The driver’s voice started low and then rose to a yell as he took in the kid who looked disturbingly calm for being in a van with hostile adults.

The kid ignored him and turned to Jin Ho who was looking more shocked than scared, “Don’t worry,” he said softly his weirdly cool expression lightening up into something kind, “I called the police before they took you and they’re tracking my phone right now”.

Jin Ho stared in awe at this unexpected savior but the kidnappers took issue with their plans being ruined and conveniently forgot the fact that this kid had been sitting in the van the entire time without being noticed.

Mask Man yelled, “drive I’ll get the phone,” and leaned towards the still calm kid, “come here you little bastard just because we don’t want to kill anyone doesn’t mean that I won’t hurt you”.

The child’s face had turned expressionless and his eyes seemed to turn a luminous blue when the kidnappers started talking but now that Mask Man was approaching him with threatening intent he turned towards the man and his lips split and curled up. It was a smile in the barest sense of the word but the kid’s expression was unnatural as it turned his face into something that was not human. There were too many teeth and it should not have fit his face yet it did. Even more disturbing was when a voice whispered in the kidnapper’s ear, “I warn you that putting a hand on me will not go well for you,” all the while, the child’s stretched lips did not move an inch.

“What-?” The masked man paused before his partner yelled, “WTF is wrong with you! Get the phone!” Jolting forward towards the boy the kidnapper stopped again as his eyes caught on movement behind the boy. It was as if there was a fire in the van throwing the boy's shadow into flickers of blackness but then started to separate from the child, like oil from water, slipping towards the kidnapper.

“The shadows are mo-!“ like a silent wave the shadows devoured the occupants of the van.

Jin Ho did not know what happened. One moment he was watching incredulously as another kid appeared and started threatening his kidnappers the next everything was black. Not black like being in a dark room. Black like nothing. Jin Ho could not feel, he could not even sense his body. Yet…, he was not scared anymore. Even though Jin Ho could not physically feel anything he could somehow feel a comforting presence that wrapped around him. Time seemed nonexistent in the darkness and Jin Ho was starting to think he might have died when a literal disembodied hand appeared grabbed him by the ankle.

Jin Ho was dragged kicking and screaming into the world by his deeply unimpressed savior.

“Calm down, you are fine” the boy’s smooth voice sighed while Jin Ho looked up at him from the ground unable to stand since his ankle was still in the other boy’s grip. That is how the police, who had been closely following the van, found them. Jin Ho’s savior looked even more done with everything.

A few hours and a police briefing later, Jin Ho threw himself sobbing into his mother’s arms while his father frowned severely as he put his hand protectively on Jin Ho’s shoulder. Jin Ho’s father shifted, his attention moving from his son to something else. Jin Ho turned and saw the boy. Now that Jin Ho could get a good look he realized that the other boy only looked a few years older than him.

Dodging out of his parents’ hands Jin Ho ran up to the boy, “Hyung! What’s your name. My name's Yoo Jin-Ho! I’m 9! How old are you? What did you do with the dark stuff! It was like there was nothing and then…!”

“Slow down,” the blue eyed -wait no now he had black eyes- boy murmured, “My name is Sung Jin-Woo it is nice to meet you Yoo Jin Ho”. Jin Woo Hyung then ran his hand over Jin Ho’s hair and Jin Ho felt deep warmth explode in his chest as he looked at Jin Woo as if he hung the stars.

“Jin Ho” a cool voice instantly squashed the warmth as Jin Ho turned towards his father as he asked, “who is this?”

Straightening his posture, Jin Ho gestured with all of the poise that had been trained into him towards his Hyung, “Father, this is Sung Jin-Woo the person that saved me”.

Nodding, Jin Ho’s father eyed Jin Woo, “Tell me young man have you awakened?” Jin Ho jolted and looked at Jin Woo. It made sense of course his hyung had awakened, what other explanation could there be for the shadows to act on their own like that? Yet, Jin-Woo tilted his head and hummed, “Maybe? Probably it would make sense but I don’t know”.

‘What does that mean???' Jin Ho thought and his father was obviously thinking the same thing with the frustrated confusion on his face. Quickly smoothing the wrinkles between his eyebrows, Jin Ho’s father smiled, “no matter, thank you for saving my son. The entire Yoo family owes you a debt”.

Jin Ho was already gaping at his father but almost fell over when his father even deigned to give a nod to Jin Woo.

“Don’t worry about it,” Jin Woo said waving off a debt from one of the richest families in South Korea- heck Southeast Asia- as if it was no consequence to him, “he’s a cute kid and I couldn’t just turn away when I saw him kidnapped”.

“But Hyung!” Jin Ho whined, “there must be some way I can repay you!” A Yoo always paid their debts! Jin Ho was certain that was one of their family mantras…or maybe it was that mafia family’s mantra on TV… it did not matter the point still stands!

But Jin Woo was already shaking his head then paused looking at Jin Ho, “actually there is something you can do for me”. Jin Ho and his father waited for whatever favor Jin Woo would ask, “can you be my friend?”

In a rare moment, both Jin Ho and his father reacted the same, “What?”

Looking like he was negotiating a business deal Jin Woo said, “my mom said I need to make friends. She’s worried about me and I hate making her worried so I need a friend.” It took a moment for Jin Ho to reboot but when he did he was jumping around his hyung, “Of course! I would love to be friends! What’s your number? Here let me put my number in your phone!”

“Settle down Jin Ho,” his father said then turned to Jin Woo, “although your favor is not what I expected it is acceptable. You are now a friend of the Yoo family and of Jin Ho’s.” With a sharp smile, Jin Woo answered, “thank you sir I will take our friendship seriously.” And that is how Yoo Jin Ho became friends with Sung Jin Woo to the absolute confusion of Jin Woo's family.