163 Plain and Indecipherable Pt.2

    The scowl on Gyuri's face remained long after she parted ways with the pair. "He is two-faced," she grumbled as she trekked toward Seokjin's quarters alone. "Why don't they believe me?" Her thoughts were interrupted when she finally caught sight of Seokjin's abode. Gyuri frowned.

    Despite still in keeping with the grandeur of the other houses, Gyuri couldn't help but feel Seokjin's was the least inviting of all. Unlike Taehyung's, the sound of wind chimes tinkling in the soft breeze was absent. Gyuri observed that there was no bagua hanging above the doorframe like Namjoon's nor was the garden festooned with flowers and statues. Instead, the dwelling before her reflected its owner's enigma: plain and indecipherable.

    "He's probably sleeping under some Godforsaken tree again," Gyuri grumbled as she rummaged through rows of exquisite silk hanboks. Currently, she was in the room akin to a walk-in wardrobe. Having heard no answer to her call, she decided to proceed with her other chores first. Finding Seokjin will have to come later. "Why do I even bother?" Gyuri let out a long sigh. "He never wears the outfits I lay out for him. Even now he still insists on wearing his old clothes." She shook her head as she tutted, "Such a waste. Lord Minseok had all these tailored for him too."

    Aided by the faint glow of her lantern, Gyuri inadvertently looked around. On the far side, a floor-length mirror stood next to a privacy screen while a chest of draws occupied the corner nearest the window. Everywhere Gyuri turned, she was met with elegant furnishings as opulent and pristine as the finery Seokjin has yet to wear. She whistled in awe.

    "Forget the clothes, he has this entire house to himself! Why on earth does he sleep outdoors?"

    Distracted, Gyuri abandoned her task and strolled about the room. Betwixt helping out at the sanatorium, running the soup kitchen and accomplishing her daily chores, Gyuri hadn't had the chance to admire the splendour Seokjin curiously renounced. As she studied the decor, her eyes fell upon a small gap which led to the next room. Gyuri hesitated. It was the room Seokjin explicitly mentioned for her to never set foot in.

    I wonder what's inside...

    Unable to resist temptation, Gyuri slid the door aside and peered in.

    Unlike the rest of the house, the forbidden room was furnished differently. The desk, which was pushed up against the window, was worn and chipped and the decrepit dresser next to it barely closed. Apart from the mountain of bedsheets missing from Seokjin's private chambers, everything was either old, broken, or shabby. Gyuri was baffled. Had she not known better, she would have thought she was in one of the servants' quarters not one of the Kims'.

    "What is this place?"

    She examined the array of tools enwreathed by wood shavings that sat atop the old desk. Small blocks of wood were piled to one side while on the other were a haphazard pile of carved pieces. Gyuri picked one up. It was cylindrical in shape, like a thin rod, with a butterfly beautifully carved on one end. Gyuri realised it was a hairstick.

    "Did Master Seokjin make all of these?"

    A harsh squawk interrupted Gyuri's train of thought. In her surprise, she had accidentally knocked the vanity table and the hairsticks scattered.

    "Stupid rooster," Gyuri muttered, overcoming her initial fright. She glanced over her shoulder where warm ribbons of amber had started to pour through the windows of the adjacent room.

    It was then that she realised what the hour was.

    "It's already this late?" Gyuri heard the panic in her voice as a string of curses unconsciously left her lips. "If Master Seokjin finds out I was in here, he'll..." She gulped. The thought of imminent punishment spurned her on as she energetically gathered the sticks. "Where is it?" She scanned the ground frantically. "Where's the one with the butterfly?"

    Occupied in her search, Gyuri failed to notice something stirring from under the mound of sheets. It was only when she tripped and fell on it that she realised something about it was amiss. Gyuri grunted as she pushed herself up on the uneven surface. Not only was the mound lumpy, but she thought she heard it... moan.

    "I would be careful with where you put your hand next," said a husky voice, startling Gyuri. "Any lower and I'd think you were trying to seduce me."

    A squeak escaped Gyuri's lips as the owner of the voice emerged revealing an unfamiliar, clean-shaven man with unruly, raven hair. Before Gyuri realised what was happening, he had reversed their position, his large frame hovering above her like a cage of muscled flesh. The man grinned sleepily but upon seeing his captive, froze. He blinked in surprise.

    "You're not Aejeong," he said, his voice croaky from sleep.

    Dumbstruck, Gyuri shook her head in response.

    The man searched Gyuri's face as if debating whether he was still dreaming. "Hey��" he began to say when Gyuri suddenly shrieked and started pummelling him.

    "Get off me!" Gyuri screeched when he managed to pin her wrists. "I said let go!"

    "Cease your wailing and listen!" To his relief, Gyuri eventually stilled. She glared at him through frightened eyes like a hare caught in a trap. "Relax," he said as if to reassure her, "I won't hurt you-"

    "Who are you?" Gyuri interrupted. "How did you get into this house?"

    The man's obsidian eyes showed a flash of disbelief. "What do you mean who am I? You don't...?" He searched Gyuri's eyes which bore no sign of recognition. He scoffed and mumbled something unintelligible under his breath.

    Gyuri fought against his grip but he was too strong. "If you don't let me go right now," she warned, "I'll- I'll scream and wake the masters of this household!"

    "Is that a threat?" In their scuffle, his robes had come undone, revealing his bare torso. Gyuri noticed jagged lines imprinted on his skin. "I'd be surprised if they haven't already woken up with you screaming like a distressed goat."

    Heat rushed to Gyuri's cheeks at the comparison. "I do not scream like a goat!"

    "I beg to differ." He leaned in, seeming to enjoy the way Gyuri squirmed. "But even if you succeed in calling them, what will you say? Wasn't it you who provoked me first?"

    Gyuri retorted, "I- I did not-!"

    "Is that your plan? To have your way with me while I'm not in my right senses and then claim foul play?"

    "N- no!"

    The man whispered to the shell of her ear, "I don't believe you."
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