Chapter - 15 Chapter 15. Death is against him.



The head was as heavy as a giant pendulum. I wanted to put my hand up and put it away, but I didn't want to lift a finger, so I had to think about it for several times already. I've always had headaches, and now I'm annoyed because I think I'm suffering from headaches even in my dreams.



I tried to scratch my left cheek because it was itchy, but I also didn't move a finger. When I realized it, my eyes were burning and burning. Even her eyelids were not moving, betraying Seo-yoon's will. I didn't have enough burning eyelids and headaches, so I wondered if I had sleep paralysis.



I was trying to get up, but I gave up. I decided to put up with this headache a little longer, simply thinking that one day it will be released.



The whole body was heavy and drowsy like a watery cotton. My cheeks were itchy and I felt like sneezing. At that time, someone else's fingers scratched his itchy cheeks, whether it was a dream he was dreaming or if it was real.



I forgot my headache in no time, and I felt better simply by that.



When else did I feel so lethargic? I tried to remember, but I couldn't remember.



Was it when I was seven years old? I woke up and my mother was not there. I knew you were out at the restaurant. Mom had always asked Seo-yoon, who had no one to take care of, not to follow a strange person. In fact, she didn't go out well when her mother was away after giving her snacks and rejecting her grandfather who was going to take her away.



The feeling of waking up alone in an empty room after a nightmare came as a scarier fear than I thought.



It was the first time in 60 years that Seoul was in a state of turmoil due to the heat wave. It was hot, scary and annoying.



I cried calling my mother, but no one came. I screamed and cried until my stomach was empty, but no one came. No matter how many times I cried, I only realized in a few hours that no one was coming. I gave up crying since then. That's when I realized for the first time that it was my loss even if I cried out in the midst of the boiling heat wave.



When I thought of the heat wave, I felt like my body was burning up. I could still feel the feelings of that time.



A long sigh touched the itchy ball. That sigh makes you realize that you are not alone in this space.



I thought it was a relief. I'm not alone.



"……it's not very good.



I wondered if it was auditory hallucination, but it was quite a clear sound. He was speaking softly in his ear. The depressed voice belonged to someone Seo-yoon knew.



I thought I had to answer.



If he doesn't open his mouth, will he sigh that long again?



"What……go……?”



Still, I couldn't open my eyes.



He thought he could hear his voice at the border between reality and dreams, so he could hear his own voice. The voice, which was easier than I thought and more relaxed than the body that didn't move, was too easy to ask.



It was that moment.



I felt a lot of pressure on my left hand. Someone was holding his hand tightly. He didn't even know his hand was held from the beginning.



"How I feel."



The pressure on the left hand still hasn't eased. I couldn't help but laugh because nothing changed from that low but firm voice.



"Open your eyes."



"……I can't get it off."



I wanted to ask you if you were blind. The moment I heard Ashan's voice, I already remembered what happened like a flashlight. Shot in the chest, and he was still alive. Unless Ashan was dead and chased to hell, Seoyoon was definitely right to be alive."No wonder my eyes are so swollen that I can't open them."



"……I remember my eyes aren't hurt."



I had a sore throat every time I spoke. Seoyoon replied, thinking that his face from above must be dead from pain.



"You've been crying."



I didn't understand that word. I didn't cry when I almost died in Afghanistan. It hurt a lot, but no tears came out.



Ashan sounded unfamiliar. Obviously, I recognized that word with my head, but I didn't understand it.



"Haeyoon is..."



"He's fine."



In that short word, Seo Yoon no longer asked. If he were safe, he wouldn't have hurt a hair. At some point I had such faith in him.



"I cried to the point where I thought you might die of exhaustion, not because your heart stopped beating."



That's why your eyes are burning. Is it because his eyes are still swollen as Ashan said?



When I realized that I was crying, I felt hot liquid flowing down my eyes. I don't know why tears won't stop when I'm not sad or sick anymore.



"Isn't the surgery wrong?"



Ashan did not move his lips at the place where Seo-yoon's tears passed by.



The consciousness has completely returned to reality. I could feel every wrinkle in the lips that stayed around my eyes. It was too hot for words. Seoyoon's memory revived the fishy sense of kiss she felt. Even then, his lips were burning hot.



"……Please put some ice on the snow."



"It would be faster to cut the swelling out with a knife.”



In an Ashan-like response, Seo-yoon hurriedly stopped him before he took action.



"Oh, just stay put because it'll settle down if you put on a sauna."



I felt like my headache was getting worse. I wanted to bury my head deep in my pillow, but my body still didn't lift a finger. As soon as I realized it, I suddenly had an idea.



"Did you get a bullet in your spine or something like that?”



"Hmmm……."



Seo-yoon also shut up when the person who always talked straight said nothing. In her first coma in Afghanistan, everyone she meets said she was lucky. Are you sure you'really? To the point where you ask yourself that.



But this time it didn't seem so lucky.



First of all, I remembered the faces of my father and Hae-yoon who would blame himself.



"If you were worried about it, you shouldn't have jumped in front of me."



Ashan said in a sulky voice to Seo-yoon, who remained silent without words.



"The surgery went well. The reason you can't lift a finger is because you've been getting fluids for 10 days now. The surgery itself was dangerous."



It was only yesterday that I took off my respirator. The bullet missed the heart, but Seo-yoon's heart stopped once in the middle. Ashan didn't tell Seo-yoon about it, but just said that the surgery went well, putting her worries to rest.



"……Oh, my God. Why didn't you give me some nutritional supplements?"



As Seo-yoon spoke with a hint of anger at his words, a short laugh passed through his ears like the sound of the wind passing by.







***







It was more than one day later that I was "allowed" to see Hae-yoon.



Although Seoyoon was not aware, it was Ashan's bedroom where she was lying, and medical staff were always waiting outside around the clock. Seo-yoon's question of why she was not put in the hospital was brutally chewed, and only after the medical team checked Seo-yoon's condition, who woke up for a day, could he meet his younger brother after concluding that there was no problem.From the moment I entered the room, I felt sorry when I saw my teary deer-like eyes. Hae-yoon couldn't hug Seo-yoon because of her injury and knelt down under the bed where she was lying.



"I thought you were going to die.”



"I thought I was going to die, too.”



Haeyoon shouted at Seoyoon's answer.



"Is that what you're going to say? Were you doing something dangerous every day like this? I thought you were a prince's bodyguard, so I thought of nothing.”



In the end, Hae-yoon burst into tears and said. Seoyun couldn't even hug her like that. Still, his body was uncomfortable to move, and he only tapped Hae-yoon's shoulder with his hand, which was barely moving.



"Not every day is this dangerous.”



"Let's go to Korea, sister. We can make ends meet even if we don'”



Seoyoon did not reply to that.



No one has ever shoved her on the back. Even his father, who is in debt, felt sorry for Seo-yoon, saying that he would get back on his feet soon. She was also a member of the family, so it was only Seo-yoon's choice to leave Korea in search of what she could do.



"Go back to Korea first."



"You!"



It sounded like a bolt out of the blue for Hae-yoon, who was even thinking of taking Seo-yoon to Korea with the medical staff.



"The contract is not over yet…….”



She tried to persuade Hae-yoon while bringing up a story that would not work. Seoyoon was always weak to his brother. When I stood in front of Hae-yoon, I always lost to the point where I wondered if I was this bad at talking.



"Is that important now?”



"Don't talk about it because my father is worried."



"Sister!"



Eventually, he shouted angrily, but Hae-yoon already knew that it was hard to change Seo-yoon's mind. Once she was stubborn, no one could stop her. It was the same when he joined the military, when he said he would go to Afghanistan, and even when he said he would go to this country as a bodyguard. Seo-yoon, who always listens to Hae-yoon's words, had no compromise on what she decided. No matter how much she begged, Seo-yoon wouldn't back down on the decision she made once.



knock, knock



Then a big head popped out through the door before answering with a careful knock.



"John."



I felt as if I had discovered a savior. If such controversy could be avoided for the time being, even Ashan, who was away for a while, was welcome.



"I came here when you were away."



John, who looked around, said Ashan was likely to come to catch him at any moment, approached Seo-yoon. Hae-yoon, who was crying, sniffed and wiped tears with the back of her hand, perhaps because she was conscious of John.



"I'll talk to you next time.”



Hae-yoon said, showing his willingness that he still cannot back down. Seoyoon nodded.



"Were you talking about something serious?”



"No."



"Hurt? Does it hurt a lot?"



"Maybe it's because of the painkiller.”



The pain rose to the point where I gasped every time I breathed, but it was literally bearable.



"I should have found him sooner.”



John blamed himself for Seoyoon's injury.



"I'd be dead if you hadn't found it sooner."



I didn't mean to blame anyone. John really did his best, and if he hadn't found Sniper, Seoyoon might have died. The second shot was definitely John's."Thanks, John."



"……when your heart stopped, I thought I might really die."



He opened his mouth with difficulty. She didn't know her heart had stopped, so she was listening to the story.



"I was just standing outside the O.R., waiting for the results, and suddenly the medical staff rushed into the O.R. I grabbed a doctor there and asked him, and he said your heart stopped beating."



Hae-yoon swallowed a grieving groan, perhaps recalling that time.



"As soon as I heard that, the prince stormed in the O.R. door.”



"What?"



"Nobody told me I shouldn't be here in that rush."



"And right away, your heart started beating again."



Hae-yoon went on to say John.



"Even after the surgery, no one else was allowed in except the medical staff until she came to her senses for more than 10 days. Even me, your family."



"Why?"



Both Hae-yoon and John shook their heads at Seoyoon's question.



"That's it, I don't know."



When she woke up from hearing that Ashan had stood by her side while she was unconscious, she remembered her held hand.



What did he think for ten days?



"Finished visiting."



As the door burst open, Ashan's determined voice was heard. With her indifferent eyes that she would not allow any protest, even Hae-yoon sneaked out of her butt.



"I just came...….”



As John murmured regretfully, Ashan glanced at him. John slipped away at the look of 'So?'



"I don't like any more conversation with the patient, so get out of here.



In fact, the worst person for a patient now was the person who uttered it. I wanted to pinch it, but I was already exhausted just by saying a few words as he said. Seo-yoon beckoned Hae-yoon to go.



"See you tomorrow."



"Yes, take a rest."



Seeing the man in front of me, the question was whether I could rest or not. In addition, Ashan had a steaming bowl in his hand on a small tray. It was Seoyoon's first meal following the doctor's words that it would be better to simply put food on the mouth since he was conscious.



Passing by Ashan's side, Hae-yoon glanced sideways at the contents inside.



Every time he approached, the savory smell stimulated the tip of his nose. It was so familiar, but it was a smell that I couldn't smell in this country, so Seo-yoon asked, wondering if it was possible.



"Is that…….”



"They say it's a bank."



"……it's porridge."”



Seo-yoon smiled and corrected his words. He was shown a fine line on his smooth forehead, whether he wanted to admit he was wrong.



"In your country, you eat this when you're sick."



"Haeyoon, is that so?"



"Yes."



I endured what I wanted to ask Haeyoon if he asked it directly. There were facts in the world that should not be known. Seoyoon was not particularly picky about food. While working abroad, he did not look for Korean food. I didn't know I could eat porridge here, not any other food.



"Thank you."



Ashan supported one more cushion behind Seoyoon's back.



When I lifted a spoon, I felt a heavy pain near my chest. Seo-yoon frowned and closed his eyes for a while.



And when he opened his eyes again, he saw Ashan scoop up a spoonful of porridge and put it around his mouth."What is it?"



I can't get used to it.



"Open your mouth."



These days, I think I listen to the sound of 'open mouth' more than 'clean up'. Come to think of it, when Ashan was injured, Seo-yoon realized that he had been in a similar situation.



This wasn't so bad either.



Seoyoon opened her mouth gently and a spoon came into her mouth.



It was savory rice porridge with only a little seasoning. I didn't even remember when the last time I ate porridge.



"Hands..."



"Ah... the doctors sewed it back."



The reddish scar remained intact. Although it has not healed yet, the scar was visible whenever he moved his hand, as if the bandage had been loosened as if it were troublesome.



"Why didn't you leave me?”



Seoyun, who was bedridden, knew that Ashan was not the time to be like this. What he did was by no means a small thing. They openly attacked the head of the Presbyterian Church, and engaged in gun battles. No matter how Sultan was, he could not overlook it. Hamad was Sultan's brother and Ashan's uncle.



I didn't hear what was going on, but it was easy to conclude that it wouldn't be a good situation.



Ashan, who tried to protect himself from something, leaving everything behind.



Asked by Seoyoon, Ashan said the obvious.



"Death escapes me."



The second spoon came into Seoyoon's mouth.



"If I'm next to you, you'll get away with it."



This man always spoke directly.



His sincerity was beyond measure. I couldn't swallow the porridge that was circulating in my mouth. I couldn't breathe properly as if something was clogged on one side of my chest.



Does he know what it sounds like now that he didn't leave because he was afraid death would come to her?



The heart that started beating again when Ashan came in.



Does death really deflect him?



I managed to swallow everything in my mouth. Still, my heart was blocked, my hands and feet were numb.



Ashan stole Seoyoon's cold sweaty head from his hand and stood up to call the doctor.



"That's a terrible confession.”



His words were more unbearable than the pain of his body. Perhaps the man in front of her is a person who handles people better than anyone else, and Seo-yoon finally raised the white flag.







***







The recovery was smooth.



More than a week later, I didn't get tired easily even if I sat down. Seoyoon tried to get up from her seat thinking that she should get around in a wheelchair from tomorrow.



"Why, do you feel suffocated?"



"Yes, I'm going to get some fresh air."



Since Seo-yoon came to her senses, Ashan has been so busy that she can't even show her face properly as she expected. The face, which seemed to be called from the palace all the time, seemed a little pale. While he was away, Hae-yoon stood by her side. And there was always John outside the door.



Hae-yoon helped Seo-yoon when she said she would get some air.



Lying down all day was a problem for Seoyoon. It was better when I sat on the terrace three or four times a day.



"The moon is so beautiful."



Hae-yoon said when he saw the full moon hanging right above the desert.



"Yes.""I think the moon here is different from the one I saw in Korea.”



It was as Haeyoon said. It looked so close as if it would reach out and reach the moon if it walked.



"Do you like it here?”



I've never thought about whether I like it here or not. For Seoyoon, it was just a workplace and a place to stay.



"Well...."



"I think you don't like Korea.”



"Why, because you're out all the time?"



"Or are you and I uncomfortable?"



"Haeyoon, you know I never thought that way.”



"Do you know what I regretted the most when you got hurt?"



As if I still remember that time, I was young to bite Hae-yoon's voice.



"I cried in front of my sister because my dad's business was ruined and I couldn't marry Eun-gang."…. I remembered that. I think it sent my sister here...….”



I felt like I put too much burden on Haeyoon. I didn't know that Hae-yoon would be hurt by Seo-yoon's choice. Even if he knew, Seoyoon would have made the same choice again if the situation came back.



"My house was ruined, and Eun-gang's mom told me to break up. You were so nice to me when I lived well...EUN KANG insisted that it was me, so he had a meeting with her right after she left? But that's what they said to me. I heard you're doing something dangerous, and if you're disabled, should I take responsibility? My sister said, "Will you be my burden forever?"



Hae-yoon did not say anything for a while, as if he was guilty of saying that. I was grateful and sorry for Seoyoon who never asked me about the breakup with Eungang.



"That's where I woke up. You're my family. I've never thought you'd be like that, but since others say that. Oh, I didn't think this marriage would work. How did you raise me? My dad didn't say anything, but he got up and came out right away. Looking at the back, I thought I was crazy...… I felt so sorry for my father and sister...….”



Seoyoon took Haeyoon's hand. I always held Hae-yoon's hand when he cried since he was young.



"I missed you so much……. I'm sorry, sister. I'm so sorry.”



I felt sorry for my brother who couldn't tell me why he broke up with Eun-gang in front of him.



"I understand you wanted to nitpick somehow, but you're not bringing it up. I should have sprayed some water. I'm still so upset."



"It's not your fault. It's not anyone's fault. Don't cry, Haeyoon."



"Let's go back. Let's go back to Korea. Let's go to Korea as soon as you get better. Don't do this anymore."



I heard the sound of water.



Seo-yoon turned his eyes away without answering Hae-yoon's words.



From Ashan's room, the outdoor swimming pool he enjoyed swimming in was clearly visible. Seoyoon smiled as soon as he saw the man of Nassin swimming quickly across the current.



"Why do you laugh when I tell you to go back?”



"I just thought you'd seen it."



Why didn't I remember until now that I could see the pool clearly from Ashan's room?



Sometimes I thought I'd seen myself swimming here at night.



Sometimes, or every day.



Even though the wound has not healed yet, I thought I would jump into the water as soon as I returned like that. The scar, which still remained reddish, revived in memory."What are you talking about?"



"Haeyoon."



"Huh?"



"Go back first."



"How can I leave you here alone and go first?"



"Maybe it was inevitable."



Hae-yoon has been staring at Seoyoon, who only says things that are not known in English.



"Sister..."



"I have you and I have my dad.”



Seo-yoon's face, smiling while saying that, looked calm and calm. I've never seen her sister smile like this. I was laughing, but I always felt like there was one empty somewhere. The vacancy was something neither Haeyoon nor Dad could fill.



"Just, there's someone I think I need to protect.”



Even if Seo-yoon didn't say who it was, Hae-yoon seemed to know where her eyes were facing.



Seoyoon quietly stared at the back of the man who came out of the water and stood still for a long time. His eyes turned to the sky. Stuck in the desert, I looked at the moon, killing time.



Are they looking at the same thing?



Haeyoon was still looking at Seoyoon's side.



When she returned to Korea, she realized that she couldn't tell her sister who wanted to fill what she couldn't fill.



There was a quiet time going by.







***







It was past midnight when Ashan returned to his room soaked in water. The moment I saw Ashan already in the pool, Seo-yoon, who sent Hae-yoon back, was lying on a couch on the terrace with her eyes half closed.



The hand coming in behind her neck was cold. She opened her eyes as drops of water flowing through his hair fell on Seoyoon's face.



She smirked as her eyes bumped into the position she was hugging.



If John saw it, he would say it was a bear in the water. He said it in front of him.I bit my lips hard because I felt like I was going to have liver trouble. Ashan, who was trying to pick her up and move her to bed, saw it and put Seoyoon back on the couch.



The thumb swept through Seoyoon's lips.



"You don't want to tell me what's going on?”



"Yes."



Not even the light-mouthed John talked to Seoyoon about Katabuta. Everyone kept quiet about Ashan's situation as if they had promised. Asuka, the only one who would tell Seo-yoon the truth, could not be seen after she was injured. I heard from John that he was no longer staying in this palace.



"Do you eat?"



Still, his face was dripping with cold air, but he was definitely more emaciated than Seo-yoon's memory. I felt I wasn't even allowed to come here like this.



Seoyoon was on the terrace because he could be seen to a certain extent when he was here. The number of guards guarding the palace was more than three times, and every time Ashan moved, it felt like an entire military unit was moving. The problem was that it was not intended to protect the Sultan's successor, but to monitor him because of fear of escape.



Without answering Seoyoon's question, Ashan sat under the couch.



The wind was blowing moderately cool.



"Eat up."



There was a clear sign of annoyance, but Seo-yoon's sincere answer returned to his question.



"Is Asuka not coming back to the palace?”



"He's got to be on both feet by now.""To the Presbyterian Church?"



"Yeah, they're awful old people.”



"Isn't it hard to get out of it's hard to get out of?"



"I said I'd cut off all the hands that hold my feet.”



The problem was it didn't sound like a joke, this guy.



"How about the Sultan?"



"It hasn't been announced outside, but it's unconscious. Sometimes when you come to your senses, you hear things from time to time."



Ashan's fingers touched Seoyoon's hair.



"You asked me today. What are you trying to do?"



Killed my uncle. Nevertheless, what is the Sultan's intention not to blame Ashan? As the gap between Seoyoon's eyebrows narrowed, Ashan pressed it with his finger.



"What do you want to do?"



Ashan's lips didn't open at the words.



"Do you want to be a Sultan?"



"Do you want me to be a Sultan?"



Suddenly, I remembered Asuka's words. Things that would happen if he became a Sultan passed by realistically. There was a huge warning in the blood that he would purge all those who had rebelled against him.



And after the purge?



Will he be alone again on the spot?



Still, he spends his entire life being blocked by enemies all over the place, not even feeling himself.



Seo-yoon reached out and grabbed Ashan, who was pressing his forehead.



"If I stay here, I'll keep getting hurt."



Ashan stared at Seo-yoon's strong and firm eyes.



"Do you mean you're leaving?"



"I don't want my precious family here. I'm sure I'll leave here someday."



My throat is getting hot. Spitting this out, I thought I could understand someone's mind.



Ashan's brother must have opened his mouth to his poor brother with this heart.



"……you don't have to be here either."



He said nothing.



The view of Seo-yoon was reflected in the moon shadow. She had a look that she had never seen before. Several emotions hung over his face. It was like a turnaround, a joy, or a bitter setback. Nothing could express him. I felt like I saw his world curled up in a tiny cocoon.



"This is not the whole world you see."



I couldn't even think of what to do and how to fit in a world that was broken into pieces. The hot thing kept on filling up.



This is the face his brother saw.



I could tell everything without him saying anything. It just ran like a waterwalk and passed on to Seoyoon.



"What do I look like now?”



Tears dripped down on the white ball. Ashan asked when he saw it flowing through Seoyoon's cheeks.



I shook my head at the question. I couldn't stop talking.



"He said that, and he kept crying at my face."



It was the first time that Ashan brought up his sister's story with his own mouth.



Even if we were apart all our lives, we couldn't help but love each other. He couldn't have turned a blind eye to her, who came up to him unselfishly and gave him her first heartfelt affection.



I knew for the first time that the wound in my heart hurt more than the wound in my body. Seoyoon shook his head when he first realized that his upset wife was not sick. I couldn't imagine his hurt if she did this.It was a very scary and deep scar. Cover it, cover it, and it will last forever.



"……you're welcome to follow me."



I could take the lead if I needed to be confident in coming out to the new world.



Instead of answering Seo-yoon's words, Ashan's lips approached. In an instant, the lips that licked her tears cracked and opened Seoyoon's dry lips.



Deeply, and gently soothingly, soothing her mouth. Seoyoon inhaled, and he exhaled again. The hand holding him was cold, but the warmth in contact was frantic. The tears he wiped were mixed with saliva.



Seoyoon's eyes trembled.



In the end, the answer to that was not heard from Ashan.