55 The Flirty Turd Pt.2

    Taehyung blew on his fringe for the third time. He was so bored. "Ugh," he groaned. "I hate banquets." He watched as the snobby guests laughed and cheered as the jesters made a fool of themselves with the same ridiculous routine he had seen time and time again. He frowned. "They are not even that humorous" he mumbled to himself.

    Just as he was about to leave the entertainment grounds, he suddenly noticed Gyuri offering the guests tea. He stopped and waited for her to come around to his side. When she finally did, he tried his best to address her as usual.

    "I see you are at tea duty again" he spoke, his tone somewhat nonchalant.

    Gyuri's eyes rounded, evidently surprised that Taehyung had initiated conversation after two weeks of silence. Taehyung observed how her mouth opened as if she was about to say something but then, she closed it again and her brilliant eyes dimmed in resignation as she assumed her lifeless demeanour. She briefly glanced at him before pouring tea into his cup without uttering a word.

    Taehyung watched her expectantly, awaiting her usual snarky remark but, none came. Alas, once his cup was full, she bowed to him politely before moving on to the next guest.

    Taehyung was baffled. Why had Gyuri ignored him?

    "Wait!" Taehyung called after her once she had finished serving everyone on his table.

    Gyuri turned to face him, the teapot still in her hands. She had already walked away from the entertainment grounds and was on her way back to the kitchen, to refill her pot, when Taehyung had stopped her.

    "Yes, Young Master?" she said in that infuriatingly polite tone.

    Taehyung chose to ignore it. "Why did you ignore me back there?"

    "I apologise" Gyuri replied innocently. "I did not wish to keep the other guests waiting."

    He narrowed his eyes. "But that is not the only reason... is it?"

    Her eye twitched. Taehyung could see that she was exercising her best efforts not to break her composure. Eventually, she answered in a low voice, "You're one to talk."


    Gyuri searched her surroundings before audibly huffing. "I should be asking you why you've been ignoring me" she clarified.

    At this, Taehyung remembered his and Namjoon's conversation from two weeks ago and he blushed. "I-I-it is complicated" he mumbled while shuffling on his feet.

    Gyuri arched her brow.

    "But I am talking to you now so can we just... talk?"

    Gyuri hmphed in disbelief. "Fine," she snapped. "What do you want from me?"

    Taehyung's lips thinned at her uninviting tone. "To talk. Like we used to."

    "But what about?" she retorted impatiently. "Look, Young Master, if you haven't noticed, I'm actually working right now-" Gyuri turned to leave but Taehyung stopped her again.

    "Wait!" he urged. "Why are you being like this? Have I done something to upset you?"

    Gyuri scoffed in disbelief. Seriously? This kid must have a memory span of a goldfish. "You don't remember?"

    "Remember... what?"

    Gyuri sighed. She searched his face and seeing no sign of recollection, she divulged, "You're a complete idiot."


    "Two weeks ago, you almost drowned and you scared me to death!" she half-shouted. "Not to mention the fact that the orphans were scared out of their wits!"

    Taehyung watched in consternation as Gyuri unbottled her pent-up anger from two weeks ago; unleashing a torrent of words that spouted out of her mouth like word vomit. By the time she was done, Taehyung was stunned speechless at having been scolded by a maid.

    "Don't you dare do that again" she added sternly. "If you don't know how to swim, don't go in the water at all."

    "I promise you, I will not be reckless again" he calmly assured her. But inside, Taehyung couldn't help bubbling with glee that Gyuri had been worrying over him. Even though it was humiliating to be scolded by someone beneath his station, he couldn't help but bask in the attention Gyuri was giving him. Briefly, he looked away to hide the smirk that was creeping up in the corners of his lips.

    "Good," Gyuri curtly replied, satisfied that she had got the message across. "Well, if that's all, I should probably go-"

    "Hang on," Taehyung cut her off. "It is my turn to speak."

    Gyuri eyed him expectantly.

    Taehyung cleared his throat while fidgeting with the cuff of his sleeve. As bravely as he could, he began, "How would you- how would you feel about becoming my..." he looked up at her shyly, his face reddening, "... becoming my personal maid?"

    Gyuri blinked. "...What?"

    "I have- I have been thinking of asking Madam Zhou" Taehyung resumed in a flurry, "to assign you over to me." He added hastily, "This way you would not have to do grunt work anymore. You will only have to look after my needs."

    "Young Master..." Gyuri murmured, still stunned at his sudden proposition. "That's- that's very kind of you."

    Taehyung smiled.


    "But?" Taehyung repeated, his smile slowly slipping.

    "But, I'm gonna have to decline" Gyuri finished. "I can't be your personal maid."

    Taehyung was bewildered. "Why not?"

    "Because you already have a personal maid" Gyuri explained. "You have Kalyani."


    "What do you mean 'so'?"

    "So, what if I already have one? If it bothers you that much, I can have her dismissed-"

    "No!" Gyuri immediately protested. "That's not what I meant."

    "Then what do you mean?" Taehyung huffily asked. He narrowed his eyes at her before nodding in acknowledgement. "I see" he sneered, "it is because of Cousin Namjoon."

    Gyuri was taken aback. "Huh? Master Namjoon?" Why's he bringing him up?

    Taehyung scowled at her as he spoke, "You do not wish to be my personal maid because you prefer Cousin Namjoon's company." He furrowed his brow as he added, "You have become smitten by him, just like the other maids!"

    Gyuri fumbled as she replied. "I-I have not!" But she couldn't prevent her cheeks from flaming.

    Lately, Gyuri had been visiting Namjoon in his quarters to bring him snacks every night and she couldn't deny that she enjoyed his company. He was an interesting and handsome, young man who was passionate about many things, most of which were Philosophy and Medicine. Whenever they conversed, he spoke to her as if she was his equal, patiently explaining difficult concepts and telling her tales of his time in the sanatorium. One would think that after two weeks of doing this, one would grow bored or run out of things to say but strangely enough, Gyuri didn't grow tired of Namjoon at all. If anything, she had grown fonder of him and had started thinking about him more than she should.

    "That's absurd" Gyuri continued to deny, "I don't prefer anyone's company."

    But still, Taehyung was doubtful. "Then, I want you to serve me" he declared determinedly. "I will replace Kalyani with you-"

    "You can't!" Gyuri exclaimed, alarmed. Kalyani would kill me if I take her place! "I can't- I can't be your personal maid, Young Master."

    Taehyung's face was as dark as thunder. "You cannot? Or you will not?" he asked contemptuously. "You are my admirer" he stated crossly. "Not his. You should be thrilled that I am offering this opportunity to you!"

    "Is this what this is all about?" Gyuri scoffed in disbelief. "Young Master, like I said before, I'm not your admirer" she spoke sharply. "And I'm not Master Namjoon's either."

    "Then why can you not work for me?" he persistently questioned.

    "Because I don't want to!"

    Taehyung blinked. "You... you do not want to?"

    "That's right. Why would I ever want to work for an immature brat like you?" Gyuri snapped. "You always call me 'stupid' and 'ugly' and you always play pranks on me. Working for you as your personal maid will be like a living hell."

    Gyuri observed as Taehyung averted his gaze as he tried to hide his wounded expression.

    "Fine," he spat, "if being with me is such a living hell then, I will not bother you anymore, stupid Gyuri!" Taehyung swiftly turned tail and marched off before Gyuri could say anything more.

    Once he was gone, Gyuri let out a frustrated sigh, mentally kicking herself for lashing out at Taehyung. "Stupid, stupid, stupid me!" she hissed while facepalming herself. She didn't mean to reveal what had been bothering her. She was just so stressed because of all the work she had been given, not to mention the fact that she hadn't had dinner yet so she was hungry. And whenever she was hungry, she became irritated easily.

    Gyuri sighed once more. "I need to apologise..."

    "Was that Master Taehyung just now?"

    Gyuri quickly turned and found a well-groomed gentleman standing behind her. His long hair was tied up into a topknot to reveal a slender face with a bronze complexion. Gyuri noticed that he was dressed differently from the other guests as he was wearing turquoise robes with the imperial crest of flowers embroidered in green. It didn't take Gyuri long to recognise that the man before her was an imperial guard.

    He continued to gape at her, a playful glint twinkling in his eyes as he scanned her up and down, evidently doing more than inspecting her attire.

    Warily, Gyuri took a small step back from his penetrating gaze. "Yes," Gyuri replied hesitantly, "that was the Young Master." Remembering that she was still carrying her teapot, she offered it to him. "Did you want some refreshment, sir?"

    The imperial guard waved his hand. "Oh, no." He chuckled softly. "Please, call me Zeren" he insisted. "I'm not a guest here. I'm here as Her Highness' personal guard."

    Gyuri regarded him with suspicion. If he really was the princess' guard, why was he asking about Taehyung instead of protecting Her Highness?

    "Oh," Gyuri managed to say. "Is that so...?"

    Zeren nodded. He cocked his head to the side as he inspected her closely. "And what's your name, young miss?"

    Gyuri noticed him take a tentative step forward as he leaned in, trying to close the gap between them. Startled, she took another step back. "My-my name's Gyuri" she stuttered. There was something about him that made the hairs at the back of her neck stand erect.

    "Gyuri?" he uttered her name as if he was tasting wine. "I like it. It suits you." He smiled at her flirtatiously to reveal an imperfect band of amber teeth. "A pretty name to suit a pretty lady."

    Gyuri returned his smile but did so awkwardly.

    "Say, did you know that some people call me cute?"

    "Oh?" Gyuri replied, feigning interest. Why's he suddenly bringing himself up? Gyuri gave him another smile as if to agree but, inside, she was sceptical. To her, he kind of resembled a turd.

    Zeren nodded enthusiastically. "It's true. And if you're pretty and I'm cute then, together we'd be 'pretty cute'." And he winked.

    Gyuri froze as she internally cringed. Oh, my God, she thought. Is this guy trying to... flirt with me?

    Zeren continued to grin at her as he resumed, "You know, for some reason, I was feeling a little off before going to the banquet today."

    Still recovering from her initial shock, Gyuri hummed in reply.

    "But that was until I met you" he purred while wiggling his eyebrows. "You definitely turn me on."

    "Right," Gyuri abruptly said as she inched further away from him. There's no way I want to stick around for any more of his cheesy pick-up lines! "It's been nice talking to you, Sir Zeren but, I gotta go and tend to the other guests-"

    Gyuri turned tail and ran before Zeren could stop her, all the while mentally telling herself to steer clear of sleazy creeps like him.

    In amusement, Zeren watched her leave while quietly chuckling to himself. "Gyuri, huh?" he murmured under his breath. He smirked as he nodded determinedly, "It seems I've found a potential conquest."
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