Haeyoon only slept for a couple of days.
Seo-yoon stayed by her side the whole time, not just because of the time difference, but because it seemed to tell her the unbearable reality. Seoyoon woke her up every meal, but she was barely able to eat one meal a day. In addition, Hae-yoon's fever has been unusually severe since he was a child when he had a stomachache.
It was Seo-yoon who put on a fever relief patch because Hae-yoon suddenly had a fever yesterday evening. I woke Hae-yoon up after lunch, but I was having a late lunch alone when I saw him fall asleep again after shaking his head.
"Sister...… Give me some water."
Hae-yoon, who came out of the room rubbing his eyes, found water. Seoyoon handed Haeyoon an untouched glass of water, and she emptied it out at once.
"Oh, I think I'm going to live. I've been thirsty for a while, but I fell asleep too much. I guess I'm jet-lagged."
Hae-yoon, drooping on the couch, babbled.
"I can imagine how hot it's going to be outside. Wow... look at that blazing haze."
"You're going to eat, aren'
"I don't have much appetite."
"Sister, do you know what's best for women to break up? That's what makes you want to lose your appetite. I gained 7 kilograms while dating because of Eun-Kang, but since we broke up, I'm going to lose that again. There's nothing like breaking up on a diet.”
"I gained five kilograms after breaking up."
"Ah……. My sister……well, I must have felt empty inside. There are times when I gain weight, of course."
As soon as the words ended, Hae-yoon and Seo-yoon burst into laughter at the same time.
"Is everything okay in Korea?"
"Yes. My dad's store is doing so well that I found two more women working. Kanghee has a wedding day in two months. She lost her cell phone and couldn't contact me."
Kang Hee was Seo Yoon's best friend. Seo-yoon was also busy these days and couldn't contact him, so he nodded thinking that he should congratulate him soon.
"I can't wait for you to come back."
Haeyoon said to himself.
Since he has yet to talk to his family about his life contract, Seo-yoon shut up like honey.
"It's still nearly half a year away."
To Hae-yoon, who lay down on the couch and shook his legs up and down, he couldn't even take out the "bell" of a life contract.
I had to break the contract somehow, or run away. Running away was the second best thing, but the problem was how Ashan would turn out if he really ran away.
"Haeyoon, the truth is...….”
"I want to go there!"
When Seo-yoon was about to bring up the story, he cut the sentence and Hae-yoon jumped up and shouted.
"Where you told me on the phone! Where the desert meets the sea!"
Sometimes, when I talked to Hae-yoon on the phone before I went to sleep, I talked about the royal estate. At Seoyoon's expression that he lost what to say when he first saw it, Haeyoon said he really wanted to go there someday.
I slowly opened my mouth to my younger brother who suddenly said he wanted to go there as if he remembered it.
"It's a royal estate. Not everyone can go in.”
"Let's go somewhere else."
"That's too bad. I missed you so much.”
Hae-yoon closed her eyes with a face full of regret.
The persimmon could not be asked to its face why it broke up. If you bring it up, it will become a dagger and pick up your brother's chest again.The doorbell rang as he breathed another quiet sigh. When Seo-yoon tried to get up in a hurry, thinking that time had already passed, Hae-yoon moved first.
"Who is it? Did you order room service again?”
While talking, Haeyoon burst open the door. Then Ashan walked in as if he had waited. After that, Kei and Salmon, who seemed to have a glimpse, winked at Hae-yoon who opened the door.
Earlier, when Hae-yoon was asleep, he came and popped out the first aid kit. Although he was excluded from Ashan's security duties, he was not excluded from dressing yet.
Ashan called Salmon standing at the door, he rushed with a first aid kit and held it out to Seoyoon.
"Prince, are you hurt?”
"Haeyoon, get out for a second.”
Seo-yoon interrupted Hae-yoon. Having seen the face of serious Seo-yoon once, Hae-yoon left the room after Salmon without further asking.
"You must have been eating.”
"No, I'm done."
Looking at the table where he hardly touched the food, Seo-yoon shook his head and answered.
Seoyoon, who naturally took off Ashan's top, kneeled. His eyes naturally descended on her face.
Ashan tore off the expressionless face that knew what he was looking at, but did his job honestly.
There was a handful of hot sunlight in the afternoon dominated by the sun. The sun reflected on Seoyun's face and shone.
Ashan slowly closed his eyes.
His chest was hot with his palms on it. It was a body that was always cold enough to go too far. Seo-yoon's hand, which was about to change the bandage again, paused for a while before pointing to Ashan's forehead, who was closing his eyes.
Ashan half-awakened by the sudden act. Seoyoon replied with a look of asking what it is.
"I have a fever.”
As Seo-yoon guessed, he had a fever.
Today's Ashan was not in good shape, so that Seo-yoon's hands with moderate body temperature were clearly felt. I thought I'd let it slide because it didn't show on the surface, but my conscience wouldn't allow it.
"I think it's better to call a doctor."
As far as she knew, there was no one in this country who could piss him off. Even though he knew who was pointing a gun at him, he ignored it. So it was right to be sick. Polar bears living in the tropics were also very sick.
It's too hot. Did you get hot? Ashan said when Seoyoon was thinking nonsense.
"Do your job."
Some of the things I realized while being next to Ashan were the fact that doctors and nurses were extremely reluctant to touch themselves. Maybe that's why he left his body to Seoyoon, the only one he allowed.
Seoyoon woke up from his seat, realizing that he would die rather than suffer from that temper.
When I went to Hae-yoon's room, the thing she was looking for was still at the bedside. Hae-yoon had always carried it as a standing medicine since he was young. When he came out of the room again with one piece of it, Ashan remained motionless no matter what Seoyoon did.
Seoyun, who found the frown between the eyes closed again in a bothersome way, tore off the package of what she was holding."What?"
Suddenly he opened his eyes, showing displeasure with Hani sticking to his forehead.
"I like fever."
"Shall I call the doctor?”
With a square fever patch on his head, Ashan looked at Seoyun as if he was speechless.
"Are you crazy?"
"No way. My liver must be swollen. If you don't put this on, I have a duty to call a doctor."
A serious conversation went back and forth between each other.
Some expected that he would tear it apart immediately, but Ashan unexpectedly closed his eyes annoyingly at Seoyun's last words, and was calm.
The goosebumps kindness of putting on a wet towel was no good for Seo Yoon, no good for Ashan. This was simplicity and less kindness in the middle of it.
As she said, Seoyoon was obliged to report to her doctor about her employer's health. So far, no "bo" of the report has been brought up, but now he is definitely right to be sick.
"What are you going to get me for this?"
"Should I count this?"
Ashan smirked at Seoyoon's silent voice.
Despite changing the gauze and re-banding, Ashan did not get up. Somehow, he looked stubbornly closed his eyes, and he didn't want to see anything.
"I have nothing to say."
"Don't look down on me like that, but if you want to say something, say it."
Ashan said if he felt the gaze even if he opened his eyes and didn't look.
Since the first time I saw him coming in, I hesitated whether to speak or not, but I kept my mouth shut because I decided not to speak soon. However, a man with a ghostly sense was rushing such Seoyun.
"I guess it's a favor."
This was more like an animal.
When Seo-yoon did not answer, Ashan tapped his forehead with his finger, still closing his eyes.
"Let's trade it for this. Tell me the count."
"……I want to go there.”
I didn't know what it was called. All Seoyoon knew was that it was royal property.
At Seoyoon's words, Ashan asked back after a long time of no answer. His stiff mouth seemed to speak for his feelings. Seo-yoon, who thought it was a presumptuous request, said.
"That was a slip of the tongue."
"I'll tell the concierge. Visit there whenever you want."
It was like a sigh.
Ashan did not stay long.
At the end of the sentence, he got up from his seat and soon returned to Seo-yoon.
He put a fever patch on Seo-yoon's forehead, which was attached to his forehead, and he went back.
"Sister, are you sure you'really? Don't you have a fever?
When Hae-yoon returned to the room, she saw Seo-yoon wearing a fever patch on her forehead and kept asking about her condition.
The scene was unfamiliar to Hae-yoon, who saw Seo-yoon sick enough. It seemed inevitable that he/she was worried even if he/she answered that he/she was okay with the constant questions he/she was asking from the side.
For some reason, I couldn't say that Ashan was sick and put it on.
I was on my way right away with Ashan's permission. I wanted to show Haeyoon the sea of the desert where the sun sets.
On Seoyoon's first day on duty in Oman, Ashan took her there.I just stood still behind Ashan's immobile back and looked at the sunset. The feeling of seeing the sunset between the seas and another scarlet sea in the desert was indescribable.
I wanted to show the most beautiful scenery in the world that Seo-yoon saw to Hae-yoon, who is struggling more than anyone else now.
"What a dry country that is without biting."
Hae-yoon said with admiration in the dry weather that she could even hear the sound of burning flesh. The dusty sand outside the window looked amazing.
Ashan's offer of Maybach to use during his stay here, meaning that he was his guest, seemed to have strengthened Hae-yoon's mood.
Leaving Muscat's downtown area, it became increasingly deserted and the cars passing by disappeared.
"Now that I'm out, I feel more and more relaxed. Who knew I could run on a desert road like this?”
Listening to Hae-yoon's laughter, which seems to be really fun, has made Seoyoon's heart feel at ease. Soon after, Hae-yoon closed his eyes when he passed without any restraints from the management office.
"Tell me when you get there."
"I want to see it when I open my eyes. The ocean that waves in front of my eyes. And a dry desert."
Seoyoon, who found Haeyoon's child-like side, replied with a smile and nod.
I wonder if we ran for about 30 more minutes. I saw my destination before my eyes.
Until now, when Seo-yoon came here with Ashan, there was no one, so I thought there was no one. But there was a Maybach who had come before. At the moment I thought it was Ashan, but the guards waiting next to him looked familiar.
"Here comes Asuka."
Hae-yoon, who opened his eyes without realizing it, screamed at Seoyoon's talk to himself.
As soon as he stopped the car, Hae-yoon opened the car door and bounced off, covered his mouth with his hands and shouted again and again.
Whenever the distant horizon and the distant horizon turned away, they alternately unfolded in front of me. The fine sand of the desert was replacing the sandy beach. Hae-yoon's blue ankle-length cotton skirt fluttered in the wind.
The beach was quiet at the time the sun was about to set.
I looked around, but I couldn't see Asuka. Seoyoon, who thought he was probably walking on the beach, followed Haeyoon, who was already walking around.
Before I knew it, Hae-yoon was playing with water barefoot with his sneakers off and folded in one hand. The waves that came without much flexion gently brushed over the ankles, bursting into a childlike laugh. Seoyoon looked at it quietly.
Hae-yoon didn't walk much and sat on the sand in the desert, still full of hot heat.
"Sister, can you leave me alone for a minute?”
Hae-yoon asked for a smile while looking up at Seo-yoon.
Seoyoon, who realized it was time to organize his thoughts, nodded lightly and continued to walk along the beach.
At every step, a scarlet sunset slowly eroded the surrounding area. It was hard to escape no matter where I looked, as if I were trying to get the whole world into my own light at once.
I liked the beauty of nature. Asuka was seen when Seo-yoon moved to a curved sand dune, recalling someone's words that the best artist was nature.Sitting alone a little far from the beach and staring at the sea, he kept his seat like that without knowing Seo-yoon was approaching.
It was not until he stood right next to her that he recognized Seo-yoon's existence that he looked up at her.
"Long time no see, Asuka."
"How can you be here...Did Ashan come with you?”
Asuka looked around as if to find traces of Ashan.
"No, I'm here with my brother."
"Did Ashan... grant you permission? Today?"
When Seo-yoon looked at Asuka, wondering if there was something wrong, he laughed helplessly. Today's Asuka was a little strange. And Ashan I met at the hotel was strange too. Only then did I remember asking if Ashan would go today.
"I'm sorry if I shouldn't have come today."
"No, no. That's not it."
Asuka waved her hands at Seo-yoon's polite apology.
"It's just that Ashan really likes Hani."
No matter how much I heard it directly for the second time in a row, Seoyoon's poker face had to wriggle. Come to think of it, I'm sure Asuka doesn't know what everyone noticed.
Seoyoon sat next to him.
"What a beautiful place, huh?"
"Yes, I thought it was a beautiful place from the moment I first came."
I thought it was the driest place in the world and the place where I could see the most water.
There were not many places to see the horizon and horizon. A mountain of desert sand dunes stood behind, and there was a horizon on the other side of the world that seemed to never end. The acrid sand dust and the salty smell of the humid sea poked my nose.
"You know what?"
Asuka turned to Seoyun and said.
"After coming here with someone, it's hard to come alone?"
"You came alone."
"So I'm having a hard time."
Asuka said with a playful smile, but Seoyoon noticed from his vain look that it was no joke.
"Our Hani, do you know if Ashan likes Hani or not?"
More and more people are asking that these days.
Asuka put her hand around her shoulder when she didn't answer.
"I knew it. But you didn't do anything? They ask me to buy everything they want. If you ask for oil, they'll give it to you.”
"I used it on my own."
Seoyoon confessed without hesitationally.
It was against my own promise not to play with people's minds. In the first place, it was not a permission to get just a fever patch. Knowing that Ashan has a favor for him on the basic base, he must have asked him to come here. It was on my mind the whole time.
"What, did you really ask for a genetic thing?”
Asuka opened her eyes wide and asked back.
"Allowed to come here. I asked you even though I knew you couldn't refuse.”
He burst into laughter at the words and rolled around his stomach with his arm around Seo-yoon's shoulder.
"Oh, my stomach."
Seoyun, who looked casually at the sand dust digging into Asuka's black hair, said bluntly.
"Stop getting up."
"Hahahaha, is that all that hurts Hani's conscience?”
"You could have asked me for it. I'm a royal, too."
Asuka didn't miss the emotion on Seoyoon's face. Asuka tapped the next seat, looking pleasantly at the face of the mistake, which he apparently did not even consider."Hani was only thinking about Ashan?"
"……no. I've never seen Asuka come here, so I didn't realize it."
Asuka closed her eyes for a moment, teasingly talking. The figure overlapped with Ashan's image from the hotel.
"Lie down—the sky you lie down and look up is more amazing."
Without opening his eyes, Asuka said. Seoyoon laid down next to him at the words.
As Asuka said, I could feel all three things when I saw the crimson sky.
Everything in the sunset sky, the salty smell and the murmur of desert sand in my ears.
I could feel it all at once.
Asuka breathed a deep sigh as Seo-yoon exclaimed.
"I'm glad I have Hani this year."
"I'm glad Asuka is lucky."
"My heart was pounding until Hani came. I might have cried my eyes out if I had come a little later.”
There was water on my voice. I couldn't bring myself to look at Asuka's profile. This was a good thing to pretend you didn't hear.
Seo-yoon was just looking up at the sky without saying anything.
"It's more comforting to be with someone than I thought."
It was not a word that asked for an answer, but just a word that was heard in Seoyoon's ear. Mixed with the sound of waves, mixed with the sound of wind blowing sand.
"Today is the anniversary of the man I love the most, whom Ashan cared about the most."
Asuka slowly opened her eyes.
"That's weird, isn't it? When you close your eyes, you can't see them."
I felt like I had been told something I shouldn't have. Today, when the two lost their favorite person, Seo-yoon was here now.
I remembered Ashan's sighing words. And asuka's words, mixed with water.
"It's not for Hani to apologize. This is the place he loved the most. I loved taking pictures."
Asuka's hand disturbed Seoyoon's lying hair.
"I knew from day one that Ashan liked Seoyoon. I was surprised to hear you brought me here. After she left the world, Ashan never came here. Actually, I only come on time."
I couldn't imagine what kind of woman would be loved by both men at once. It was hard for Seoyoon to accept that the icy polar bear loved.
"You must have been a beautiful person."
"Beautiful? No way. He was a tomboy. He ran around here and there, so his nickname was a foal.”
Thinking of it, Asuka giggled low and laughed with bated breath. But he clenched his fists to show his veins. Heaven was the only place for Seoyoon to look at, who didn't know what he was so angry about. Then he wrapped his fist around the back of his hand.
"Don't be so angry."
"……I'm still so angry."
"It's not Asuka's fault."
If he was precious to Ashan, he would have protected him no matter what he did. However, he failed to protect.
"I'm so angry that Ashan must be chilling."
Seo-yoon replied to the words, muttering to herself.
"……you have a fever. You stopped by the hotel and your body temperature was high at that time.”
"Look, it's been like that since I was a kid. I couldn't stand it if I couldn't beat myself.”
Seoyoon paused when he realized that the fever was not because of pain, but because of anger.I didn't think it was an outrage. I just thought it was because I was overdoing it for the past few days or because I wasn't feeling well.
"Hani, when you're with Ashan, be careful not to be a monster. He's a monster, so don't let Hani be a monster."
Asuka murmured helplessly.
Seo-yoon replied, touching his hand up instead.
"That won't happen."
"If Ashan is a monster, I'm a monster, too.”
Close his eyes again, he breathed deeply.
Once again, Asuka, who was searching for a woman who did not exist in the world in her eyelids, smelled of death. When the smell that can only be smelled on the battlefield, Seoyoon rose and leaned over him. Her fingers tapped Asuka on the cheek.
"Wake up. It's not like Asuka. I don't know her, but I don't think Asuka would want to do this."
Asuka, who was clenching his fist, reached out and hugged Seoyoon, who was looking down at him from above.
"……she was Ashan's brother in winter uniform.”
Seoyun held her breath in the arms without thinking about pushing Asuka away at the unexpected words.
"Ashan was a ghost here. A prince born but not born. A prince in sight but cannot be seen. A prince who speaks but can't hear it. Nobody looked at Ashan and would listen to him."
Seoyoon bit his lips hard. I have never imagined such treatment myself.
"It was Seira who told Ashan to get out of this palace and find the job he wanted. Ashan's birth mother gave birth to him, moved to France, and remarried to a British man. I've been living in England all this time, and when I found out that I had an older brother in winter uniform, I just crossed the channel and flew here."
Asuka's voice as she tells Seira's story sometimes trembled, and sometimes it stings as if she were holding her breath.
"He was the first person to tell Ashan to leave this tomb or something like that. She didn't understand the way her brother was treated here."
Asuka's feelings of wanting to confide in someone have been conveyed to Seo-yoon, so I had no choice but to listen to the stories.
"Out of the palace, the ghost became a monster. He claimed to be a mercenary, and he jumped into it. You don't understand, do you? But I understand how he looked when he was young. That's when Ashan realized he was alive, constantly fighting, hurting, and dying. You have to kill a man and tear your body apart on that blade to realize you're alive. Oh, my God."
"……there is no monster from the beginning. People turn people into monsters."
I felt like my mind was falling apart.
That's all I could say. Seoyoon stopped breathing when he said that he had to kill a person and feel alive until he died.
I've met a lot of people. I saw a person who literally became a butcher of war and went crazy, who let go of himself, who let go of his own spirit in the deaths of countless people, and who left the country to forget the tragedy.
But I didn't see anyone like Ashan. What kind of person throws themselves into danger to make sure they're alive?What was the mind of a child who had to live like a ghost in that big palace that no one had ever seen?
Is it similar to a girl who spends a day alone in a dark room waiting for her mother to return? There was no one to soothe me even if I cried. There was no one to accept it even if I complained. Seoyoon didn't know what to do as a child. I just realized that even if I cried, complained, or angry in the absence of anyone, I ended up getting tired of my own grass.
However, Seoyoon had a mother. There was a mother who opened the front door late at night, hugged her tired body, and found Seoyoon.
Ashan and she were different.
He has no one to talk to, he is invisible to anyone. Everyone denies the existence of a child in the spacious palace.
She could never understand him.
I didn't dare even think of understanding that mind.
"I... don't know."
"Yeah... you don't know. I don't even know. Let's stop here, Hani. If you say any more, you won't be able to turn it around. Hani, I guess you want to go back."
Asuka knew Seoyoon's mind too well. I didn't open my mouth anymore because I knew her trying not to care about Ashan's work.
"Be careful when you want to go back, Hani. If Hani looks into Ashan's abyss, she'll stare at Hani. That way no one can get out.”
In conclusion, Asuka let Seoyoon go. His hands, which fell helplessly on the sand, seemed to tell his condition now. Asuka, who was lying so sadly as if all his strength had been drained, seemed unwilling to leave here for the time being.
The sunset of crimson was setting, and darkness was coming.
The short time she missed and wanted to show Hae-yoon has already ended.
It was time to go back.
Continued in book two.