Chapter - 16 Chapter 16. Sea without land.



I intentionally avoided the hottest time of the sun, but I was quickly exhausted when I walked around a little without any reward. I felt like my physical strength, which had always exceeded, had dropped to below the bottom. This lethargy has easily worn one out. I didn't feel so good that it wasn't my body.



John saw Seo-yoon sweating in front of the pool, and he got a big fan from somewhere and caused a wind.



"Stop it."



"It's okay, isn't it hot?”



"It's hotter because of the hot wind. So stop it."



I didn't sweat easily, so I felt that I had run out of stamina in this area. I sweat a lot even if I do a little bit.



Seoyoon saw the water in the blue pool in front of him and thought he wanted to jump in. Then he glared at it.



"Do you want to jump in?”



John asked, seeing her stare at the water.



"If it were up to me. But if I jump in, I'll drown."



I didn't have the confidence to swim. I like swimming, but I didn't like the feeling of water coming into my nose. John, who once kicked his tongue when he saw Seoyoon still staring at the water in the pool, hugged her.



He sat Seoyoon on the edge and dipped his feet in the pool water up to his knees, and shook his hands.



"Oh, that's a fair compromise."



Even before Seo-yoon could say thank you, applause was heard from behind as if it were excellent.



"Dear Asuka."



The touch of the water on my calves was good. And it was cool.



In the back, John was holding out firmly, perhaps as a shade.



Asuka has always been welcome to them. But it didn't seem as good as it is now. It was easy to notice that John's shadow, which was guarding Seo-yoon's back, shook for a moment. Anyone in this palace knew that Ashan and Asuka were now at odds over the Sultan's seat.



Seo-yoon shook his head as John was on alert.



"It's all right."



"However...."



John hesitated whether Ashan had already ordered anything.



"You're not here to hurt me, are you?”



I didn't know how to beat around the bush. Seo-yoon asked in a quiet voice, looking up at Asuka directly approaching him.



"Of course."



Asuka smiled generously as usual. The smile, which had always felt bright, was overcast. The weather was still clear, but there seemed to be a storm around them. Seo-yoon waved his hand, forgetting the coolness coming from the tip of his toes.



"Your face is very damaged."



"It's the same with Hani. When I heard that I was hurt, I was very worried.”



As Seoyoon said, Asuka's face was not a horse. On the contrary, he was worse off than Ashan, and very tired. Dark circles that came down deep to the eye could be seen without telling him what hardships he was experiencing.



"I'm sorry, I couldn't come sooner.



"It wouldn't have been easy to get here."



"The Sultan probably won't last long.”



Asuka opened her mouth in a monotonous voice.



"Wasn't that supposed to be happening? What happens to Ashan?”



"He said he'd stick it on for now. As long as the Sultan is alive, no one can say it."



"Sure…"



"Yes, that's the problem."



"Do you want to be a Sultan?”



Asuka grinned at Seoyoon's words."That's not a bad thing.”



He sat in the pool with his shoes on and dipped his feet like Seoyoon. I felt like time was going by slowly. When no one opened their mouth hastily, I felt as if the world had stopped.



"Ashan will be back soon.”



"I heard that Mr. Asuka can't get out of the palace."



"Certainly, after the death of the head of the Presbyterian Church, the momentum has been visibly dampened. I'm just saying no to Ashan. Since the Sultan is not far away, it means that I should at least get more eye prints."



He leaned his head on Seoyoon's shoulder as if he was tired.



"I've barely slept and stayed with the Sultan until now. My own son is next to me.He left a message that he would go hard at night and disappeared into my palace.”



Up to that point, I felt like the situation was being portrayed in front of my eyes.



"How did you get here now?”



"I don't have to do that anymore. Three hours ago, the Sultan wrote his will before he completely lost consciousness."



"Then the Sultan...….”



"My doctor declared me comatose.”



My head is blank. The sultan's condition was somewhat foreseen by Seoyun, but it was much faster than expected and imagined. There's not much time left in a coma. I felt like my skin was freezing so hard that I couldn't feel the heat.



"What happened to the will?"



"The Sultan will be released in less than 24 hours. No one knows what the will is about yet."



The will determines Ashan's fate.



With a tired face, Asuka closed her eyes leaning on Seoyoon's shoulder.



"The Sultan asked me what Hani asked me. Do you want to be a Sultan?"



Asuka was crying for a moment because her voice was locked. Seoyoon's hand stole over his face, but he could not feel the bite. What is he so grieving about?



"When I said it wasn't bad, he laughed, saying there's no one I can trust."



Asuka giggled quietly while telling the situation.



"Hani, who do you think is more suited to the Sultan?”



"I think it's Asuka."



Seo-yoon answered without any hesitation.



"Me, too."



Ashan was lacking. Seoyoon felt that there was nothing in the world that could fill him. One day, as Asuka warned, he thought that if he became a sultan, a terrible dictatorship would begin.



A country that doesn't love him.



Ashan, who doesn't feel the need to love the country.



He couldn't live here.



"The crude oil made the country rich, but it made the people weak.”



"What kind of country does Asuka want?"



"A country that can stand on its own feet, not relying on anything."



"You'll do well."



"The will hasn't been released yet. Hani is in big trouble."



Asuka laughed out loud.



That was when Asuka, who lost her balance as soon as she heard a "pump!" sound, was thrown over the pool.



Splash!



The spray poured on Seoyoon.



Seo-yoon, who quickly fell into the water, guessed that he was here even if he did not look back.



"Who are you?"



"Your cousin!"



Asuka, who fell into the water, drank water excitedly and shouted angrily.



"Why are you here before me?”



Ashan was standing arm in arm looking down at Asuka as if it was offensive.



"That's it! ……Because I came early.”



As if dumbfounded by the words, Ashan swept up his bangs and laughed 'Ha!'"The one I'm fighting for the throne with has walked into the tiger's mouth on his own.”



How am I supposed to stop this? Seoyun sighed quietly as Asuka looked down at the top of Asuka's head, where Ashan was working hard to survive.



John helped Asuka, who had been struggling for a while, rise to the water.



Now this wasn't a bloody battle for the throne, it was a children's fight.



"Oh...."



Ashan and Asuka closed their mouths as Seoyoon groaned. Both eyes turned to her at once.



"I want to swim…….”



Spitting out words, Seo-yoon once again touched his left chest and frowned.



"As you can see, my body is like this."



Come to think of it, this pool wasn't all about good memories. When I saw Ashan, I thought of it. And it was clear that this ridiculous debate would continue if Seoyoon did not stop anyway.



Ashan's eyes narrowed. Having figured out what she was talking about now, he raised the corners of his mouth.



"Do you know what you're spouting?"



"When I got hurt for someone else, all I could remember was swimming hard. Go for it, swim."



Still in the water, Asuka could only be seen cool in Seoyoon's eyes. If it were up to me, I wanted to jump in myself. As if he was not the only one who was tired of the heat, Ashan's face that looked up was tired.



I knew that the reason he was tired was not necessarily because of the heat. I didn't know how to comfort people. Because Haeyoon was the only one she could comfort. I didn't think the consolation would work for Ashan either. I just wanted him to be able to rest, exhausted.



"Funny."



He threw off Ashan's robes, showing his facial expression that it wasn't the case at all. Slowly, Seoyun looked at the long fingers that took off until the last Sarwal.



Ashan stands with his back to the sun and becomes a shadow over Seoyun's face.



"I don't want to see the same guy's stuff."



Asuka's self-help voice had already been removed, and Ashan, who had taken off all his clothes, stood in front of Seoyoon.



"You can wear underwear."



Even if I said so, I knew I wouldn't wear it again.



"I took it off for you to see.”



Ashan grumbled and replied to Seoyoon.



His naked body was already a bit of a lie and looked at it sick and tired of it was a lie. Seoyoon laughed briefly, realizing that he had seen so many naked bodies without mixing his body.



"Should I take it off?"



Asuka still asked in the pool, pleased with Seoyoon's smile.



"No, one person is enough."



I didn't want to have a hobby of enjoying naked swimming of two men.



He dived coolly into the water, creating a huge splash. Watching him swim all the way to the end at once, I thought I could become a swimmer.



"I'm sure he's the worst person in the world right now.



"I know."



"I'm glad to hear that."



Asuka opened her mouth with melancholy.



He was a Sultan, a distant relative to himself, but a father to Ashan. No one knew what he had in mind for the Sultan he is now. Seo-yoon could not know except that he was doing the best he could while he remained in the world."It's not that I don't have Ashan's side at all. After the death of the head of the Presbyterian Church, it is said one by one that the orthodox heir to the Sultan's blood should take over."



"However, it's all about thinking about the benefits that will eventually come back to you.”



"Yes, a prince who kills the head and is not punished. Most people now think the next Sultan will be Ashan. Otherwise, he couldn't have been punished."



It was obvious even if you didn't see it. I wondered if he was about to transfer from Asuka to Ashan.



In such a peaceful and, in fact, unpeaceful country, Seoyun was facing these two people.



"What do you want to tell me, Asuka?"



Asuka, who cared about herself particularly, must have been true that she was worried about her wounds. However, Seoyun noticed that she walked all the way here because she wanted to say more than that.



"Run away before the Sultan ascends."



"Why?"



"Ashan's enemies, in other words, my allies will not let Hani off the hook."



Seoyoon laughed because he expected it to some extent, but he was dumbfounded by asking again.



"Are you thinking of kidnapping again?”



"I'm a puppet, Hani. I've got plenty of substitutes for me, if not me. Ashan is the only child left of the Sultan, but he has many cousins like me."



Asuka said bitterly.



"So I don't have a voice. I can't stop you.”



"It's not Asuka's fault."



Seoyoon said, sweeping his wet hair. From a distance, Ashan was seen swimming back this way. The sun shone through the gently cleavage of the sun shone.



"Whether Ashan becomes Sultan or not, Hani will be in danger. They'll do anything to kill Ashan."



"I see."



I have already confirmed that fact through Haeyoon. That they won't hesitate to do anything for their own ends.



"What a complicated country this is."



At the same time, Ashan's head popped out from under Seo-yoon's feet. Before I knew it, I was under her feet, and my toes hit his upper body.



"One more round."



Seo-yoon put a finger in front of Ashan.



His forehead was slightly wrinkled. It was clear that he felt deja vu, too.



"You want to swim?"



Before answering, Ashan, who dug between Seoyoon's legs, put his legs on his solid shoulder.



"What……!"



"Huh……"



After Seo-yoon's protest, Asuka's ridiculous exclamation erupted.



He took Seoyoon on his shoulder and began to stride through the pool. The current that stayed in Seoyun's calf was burned and scattered every time he moved. I held Ashan's head tightly so as not to fall off.



"I can't see."



Ashan, who stopped halfway through the pool, tapped Seoyoon's thigh he was holding.



"You'll blame me if I leave it out here."



"How much?"



Is it only her misunderstanding to think that her voice was mischievous as if it would be fun?



"For the rest of my life, I'll dwell on this."



I was seriously wondering if I should remind this man once again that his wound had not healed yet.



"I'm glad you didn't become a diplomat.”



"Why?"



"I can't negotiate dirty."



I felt like the strength of my body, which was tense for a moment, was escaping. I wasn't sure if I was holding him.



"Well, I think I'm going to fall."



"Don't worry, I won't die.""I don't think it's a matter of life or death."



Seoyun muttered like that and said it again.



"If you don't have a good shoulder, will you drop me off?”



Seo-yoon, who passed by like a flashlight to see what he suffered from Ashan's injured shoulder, used it as an excuse.



"It was a disease."



"I knew it."



When Seoyoon's hand lost strength, Ashan's hand, which was holding her thigh, climbed up and held her waist tightly to support her. I felt much easier.



The bridge was still gently swaying back and forth in line with Ashan's steps in the water.



Seoyoon laughed loudly as the heat went away a little in the cold water.



His strong legs never lost balance even in the water. Even if Seo-yoon stumbles, Ashan's arms support him. When I thought I wouldn't be stuck in the water unseemly, I felt like I had to do what I had to do. My fingers were shaking and my senses returned, and I unconsciously grabbed Ashan's hair in front of me. Thin golden hair wound between fingers. Seoyoon clenched her palms a few times, thinking that the feeling was like silk.



"That's good."



This kind of swimming.



He didn't bother to say anything behind his back, but he understood.



Even today, Seoyoon didn't hear from Ashan about his proposal.







***







Only after seeing Seo-yoon get up on his own from his seat did Hae-yoon leave the country with confidence. Seo-yoon sent her off, urging the child, who must have been hurt and scared more than anyone else, to seek psychotherapy. It was also uncomfortable to comfort my younger brother who cried again because he couldn't get away. But Seoyoon had to stay here and chose it.



"You're not motivated because your brother's leaving?”



John has become more talkative than she remembers. Seo-yoon replied, deliberately recalling that his mouth was restless for his own feelings.



"No, I've been having indigestion lately."



I thought I'd ask my doctor to put some digestive medicine in the evening. The early morning I ate with Hae-yoon seemed to be blocked near my stomach.



Do you want me to get you some digestive medicine?”



"Yes, please."



It was lunch that I promised Ashan soon. Seo-yoon remembered the place with Asuka after a long time.



"I'll go back to my room first."



"Yes, yes. I'll pick it up right away."



I wanted to show Hae-yoon a healthy appearance for the last time, so I was not feeling well and tired.



Ashan has always been in the palace since the Sultan fell into a coma. Asuka didn't leave the palace and remained as she used to be, wary of Ashan. Everything felt like it was going back to the past except for the guards guarding the outside.



When he opened his door, he saw Ashan opening the book that Seo-yoon was reading at the table.



"Why are you in my room?”



"I thought you'd come here if you walked on your own."



He raised the corners of his mouth as if it were nothing.



It was so natural that I thought maybe Seo-yoon knew her better than herself.



"You don't know Korean.”



"Yes."



Coincidentally, the book he was holding was a book that Seo-yoon brought from Korea. I asked him because I thought he was staring at the letters he didn't even know.



"Are you having fun?"



"Quite."



It was so natural.



"What part?”



"Letters."



"Letters?"



"Pretty."



Seoyoon burst into laughter after a beat of rest because he didn't know that the word pretty would come out of Ashan's mouth. I thought he was a person who can say "pretty" again.The calluses on the fingertips covering the book showed that they had never lived a smooth life. There will be more scars on the body, and who can guess the wounds on the chest?



"Come here."



Ashan flicked his finger at Seoyoon, who was still standing at the door.



As he walked there gently, he reached out his hand and pulled back Seoyoon's hair, which was quite long before he knew it.



"You look pale.”



"You must have an upset stomach."



"He looked like this when he was eating with me."



"I had an upset stomach then, too."



Looking back on that day, I wondered if I could live now.



I knew Ashan hardly slept well these days. I had to stay in his room due to injury and I saw him unable to sleep for a short time.



I always knew he was a man of no distractions, but he was in front of me with an overly fine face even though he didn't sleep a wink.



And the problem was that he was too fine. In her experience, it was rather more precarious. It was noticeable that his whole mind was focused on the Sultan.



"Are you worried?"



Ashan looked at Seoyun with languid eyes as if he was saying something.



"Stay by the Sultan."



That is why he always wears robes so that he can get right into the palace.



Seo-yoon, who knows why he can't get out of here, grabbed Ashan's shoulder.



"What worries me is."



Ashan drew Seo-yoon's waist, speaking in a low voice that seemed a little locked. He buried his face in her chest.



He breathed out a deep breath and said nothing for a while.



Seoyoon's hand, which was holding the firm shoulder, slowly swept Ashan's back, who was holding him.



"It's you."



The tip of my stomach aches.



"Protecting someone is such a difficult thing."



I came here just to see the money. I thought I might risk my life here, just as I did when I was in the army risking my life. The two jobs were considered similar. He considered his ability to take money, or to abandon his life.



It was the first time I thought it might be difficult to keep someone alive until the end.



"I came to my senses, and I became a soldier, and I was dishonorable discharge. I don't think I was that sad then either. I was just wondering how I was going to make ends meet."



I just left my body in the direction of the flow of water and reality. Even though I didn't have two lives, I endured every day on the battlefield without knowing it was so scary. It was rewarding, but it was also frustrating.



"Ashan."



As a bystander, he never tried to blend in with them.



He was the one who left in a year anyway.



Draw a line and don't cross it. I was always ready to back out at any time. It was just a place to stay and leave for one year of her remaining life. To Seoyoon, the country of Oman.



"I will protect you alive."



I don't say I'm risking my life to protect it.



Neither this man nor himself was life light. Neither of them wanted it. Both of you have to live to see the same thing."Don't worry about the back."



But when I realized that I was the one to look back on, I laughed again.



As soon as Seo-yoon's chest rang small, Ashan closed his eyes.



"……I knew if you survived in Afghanistan, you would be my weakness."



He hugged Seoyoon more tightly. To the point where even breathing becomes uncomfortable.



When Seo-yoon reappears in front of him alive, the emotion engulfed.



Kill or save.



It was clear that every living moment would be his own weakness and would come back to haunt him. Having her around was considered like running away with a giant pendulum.



He killed dozens of times with his head and revived dozens.



"You're so weird."



"You're weird, too."



Seoyun refuted without losing.



Soon, the two began to laugh, giggling without anyone saying first.



"Prince!"



The door burst open with John's loud voice.



Ashan still held Seoyoon in his arms and wouldn't let go of the hand. It was the first time that John's voice was so urgent that Seoyoon tried to look back, but Ashan gave strength to her hand holding her.



"The Sultan..."



John couldn't bring himself to speak.



The thin ice that was supporting the feet broke into pieces. I felt like I was barely supporting one of the broken pieces.



Seoyoon dropped his head. I could see Ashan burying his face in her chest and not even breathing out.



A good day was never long. The reality that I have been trying to ignore was reality.



Now where is his ship going?



"……I'm sure it'll be okay."



I returned the words to him intact. Because he was most comforted by the words.



Still, Ashan hugged Seoyoon without budging.



"Prince..."



John called Ashan once again.



"I know."



That was an answer to Seoyoon's words.



"I'm glad you know."



At that moment, Ashan relaxed his arm holding Seoyoon. When the arm he supported disappeared, he felt a little dizzy.



He had the same face as usual.



Seoyoon stared at the silent black eyes, not grieving or agitated.



Ashan took a piece of paper out of his arms.



"It's an account in the Cayman Islands. We'll avoid the pursuit."



I had an ominous feeling. And Seoyoon knew that it fit without fail.



"You know how to beat the chaser. Don't spend more than four days in one place continue to take a rest Don't move. Your family will take action."



When Ashan winked at John standing behind Seoyoon, he strode behind her.



"Take him with you."



It was already decided regardless of Seoyoon's intention. As if it had already been talked to John, John's rough hands caught Seo-yoon.



"I'll stay."



As soon as John's hand touched his body, Seoyoon said.



It was a man who was already armed. He has been suffocated by his youthful spirit. He was back to his envoy of the day, when she first met.



"What did you hear? You're my weakness."



"Don't be prepared to die. Don't put anything on the line!"



Anger flared up. Because he's just like what she saw then. My heart pounded as if it would explode at the sight of nothing changing.



"That's a problem."



"Ashan!"



"I die here if I'm a Sultan, or if I'm not."



His lips, telling of his death, were calm."That's why I told you to throw it away! What makes you stay here?"



I'll be chased for the rest of my life.



Seoyun knew that he would never let the heir to the throne live. If you leave after yourself, this man is nothing but a fugitive. Nevertheless, we should live and see.



"Because you're at stake in this war."



It was Seoyoon who left together. Make her a fugitive, too.



"You!"



"If you want to protect me, get out of here."



You were right. It was an irrefutable remark.



If the opponent is strong, the enemy is aiming for weakness.



He himself was Ashan's weakness. You can't take it out.



"……how are you going to find me?”



Ashan tapped her head with his finger.



"I'm following you, you idiot.”







-……you're welcome to follow me.







The man remembered the words of the night.



It hurt. I wanted to throw up everything in my chest.



Now I couldn't move a finger. I felt like I was staying in a dream again. Seoyoon's legs are loose. Ashan never caught her sitting there.



As if she had to stand alone from now on.



"Follow me, tidy up. I'll be very far away, so I'll have to follow quickly."



The meaning of 'protect' was various. To keep by your side and to keep by your side by side.



Ashan and Seoyun chose the latter.



There was nothing for her to take.



"Let's go."



Seoyoon spewed out, but his body didn't feel strong. John carried Seo-yoon on his back as if he could not. Bite his lips with a ball on John's shoulder. I thought I'd scream with all my remaining strength. In this d*mn reality.



"I'll go."



It was John who had already been ordered to guard Seoyoon.



I had to protect her no matter what. Until she can protect herself.



John, who had been baptized, stepped out of the palace.



Preparations had already been completed before Seo-yoon even noticed.



"John."



As I tried to cross the garden and exit the palace, I heard Ashan's voice. Seoyoon lifted his head from John's shoulder and looked back where he heard the sound. Ashan was walking along in the black robes I saw in her room.



"Get off me."



Before Seo-yoon could do her favor, her big hands wrapped around both cheeks on John's shoulders.



The lips with earnest heart licked Seo-yoon's lower lip. Warm saliva was delivered from Seoyoon's lips to Ashan's. Gently, my tongue gets tangled. They couldn't close their eyes as if they were imprinting each other's eyes. Cool, cold eyes made me forget the heat.



After removing his lips and taking a breath, he stepped back.



"Please."



The end of the low voice to John seemed a little shaky.