27 Mark My Words Pt.3

    "And where is he now?" Namjoon questioned as he carelessly glanced over a few scrolls that the tutor had left open.

    The elderly man sighed despondently as he continued to tidy things away in his classroom. "I have not the faintest clue. The Young Master has not been attending his lessons for the last couple of days and in truth, Master Namjoon, I am at my tether with him."

    Namjoon chuckled at the elder's ramblings.

    "It is not a laughing matter, Master Namjoon! That child is beyond help. Why, one time, I caught him spiking my tea with ink." He bared his teeth to reveal his blackened dentures. "It is taking weeks for my teeth to return back to their natural colour!"

    Namjoon's eyes widened with amusement. He replied, "Taehyung is not a bad child, Tutor Wentai. He is just-"


    "Yes, I guess that is the right word for it" Namjoon eyed another set of scrolls that referred to the human anatomy. "He is just going through a phase. You know what boys are like. He will grow out of it soon."

    The elderly man hummed doubtfully as he finished putting away the scrolls that he had been using earlier that day. "If only the Young Master could be like Master Jongin, such a model student."

    Again, Namjoon chuckled. "Tutor Wentai, not everyone can be as bright as Cousin Jongin."

    The tutor agreed. "Indeed. Well, there still might be some hope left for the Young Master. After all, if I recall correctly, you were quite the trickster when you were his age."

    "Not this again" Namjoon muttered under his breath.

    "Why, when you were a lad," the tutor reminisced, "you used to pull tricks as ingenious as the Young Master."

    "That was a long time ago," Namjoon whined while rolling his eyes, "I have matured since then."

    "Exactly!" the tutor exclaimed. "But this profound change in your character was not realised until much later. Even in your teens, you were a carefree person." The tutor continued to amble around the classroom as he stacked away scroll after scroll, "You used to always sneak out of the household to paint and do all sorts."

    Namjoon rubbed the back of his neck. "Yes, I did use to do that..."

    "Perhaps," the tutor suggested while inspecting a piece of paper in his hand. "You became more mature after entering the military. Maybe, the Young Master should do the same when he is of age."

    At this, Namjoon was quiet as he contemplated the elder's words. He was indeed right that that time of his life was when his outlook on life had changed. Joining the military had worked for him: it had made him more aware, more thoughtful and most of all, more disciplined. Could the same be done for Taehyung?

    Namjoon thought about this as he busied himself with eyeing the opened scrolls. He still couldn't find what he was searching for. "I wish there was some sort of way to keep all these scrolls in order," he said to himself.

    The elder snickered. "That is what I say to myself every day. Be grateful that the medical journals you are searching for are kept in here rather than the old library: that place is a labyrinth."

    "Tell me about it" Namjoon agreed. "I wish uncle would hire someone to organise it-" Namjoon suddenly stopped midway his sentence as he came across something that caught his eye.

    The tutor approached Namjoon to see what had made him speechless. "Ah, do you remember this?"

    Namjoon nodded as he continued to gape at the painting of a magnolia tree. Its delicate hues of pinks and greens gave off a mystifying and surreal ambience despite its life-like resemblance. Something within Namjoon stirred as his eyes took in the beauty of the artwork.

    "Yes," Namjoon managed to reply, his voice somewhat breathless. "I painted this a long time ago."

    The tutor nodded, "That is right. You gifted it to me when you finished your studies."

    Namjoon's eyes traced the brush strokes of the painted branches, his mind subconsciously recollecting the flicks of the hand as if he was holding an invisible paint brush like it was an extension of his body. It had been so long since he last painted anything yet his body tingled at the memory. Suddenly, his trail of thought wandered into an area of his memory that he didn't want to touch. Memories of her long ebony hair, her bright smile, and her silvery voice resurfaced, triggering both fond and painful thoughts that made his heart ache. He looked away.

    "I-I should- I should probably go" Namjoon mumbled as he hastily covered the painting up with the scrolls again.

    Tutor Wentai eyed him understandingly. "Yes, it is getting late. You are off to the sanatorium again?"

    "Yes- yes, I am" he replied, still slightly perturbed.

    The tutor stared at him intently and wondered if he should pry. Instead, he said, "Well, if you happen to come across the Young Master, please remind him that he has homework to turn in."

    "Right, of-of course" Namjoon murmured. He turned at his heel and hurriedly paced towards the door.

    "Oh, but before you go," the tutor called, "I have found the medical journal you were looking for."

    Namjoon halted at his step and doubled back to the tutor. He handed him a large scroll. Namjoon opened it eagerly and beamed when he saw that it was indeed what he had been searching for: it was a scroll on reviving techniques.

    "Thank you, Tutor Wentai. I will make sure to return it to you once I have finished with it."

    The elder smiled as he watched Namjoon leave the classroom with a relatively cheerful appearance compared to the one he was exhibiting earlier. Once he was gone, Tutor Wentai turned his attention to the piece of art that was buried underneath several scrolls. He sighed pityingly as he glanced down at the beautiful painting.

    "That poor boy" he whispered to himself. "I hope that he too will grow out of it." He breathed out heavily once more, "It is time that he moved on from loving her."
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