73 Your Irrational Fear Pt.2

    Minseok stretched his legs as he jumped off his horse with ease. It had been a while since he had been back at the Kim household, mainly because he had been occupied with his new role as the emperor's advisor. With a wary stride, Minseok approached the main house swiftly, subtly noticing the increased number of green guards that were surveying the interior.

    Father must have increased security since that night, he thought internally.

    With every step he took, he heard the gravel crunching beneath his feet, the sound somewhat triggering his memories of that night when he heard the thundering of panicked footsteps and the crashing of lifeless bodies.

    Minseok inadvertently shuddered.

    I am fortunate that I escaped with my life, he said inwardly. But who or what could those assassins have wanted?

    While Minseok contemplated this, he suddenly heard strained grunting coming from the left. Curiously, Minseok tip-toed over to the shade, where he spotted Taehyung trying to press himself up from the ground. Minseok stopped on his tracks as he curiously watched Taehyung midway completing a push-up.


    "What are you doing?"

    Taehyung glanced up from the ground and hurriedly got up. With a flustered expression, he dusted his front as he fumbled to explain, "B-Brother Minseok!" He glanced around and tried to disguise the embarrassment in his cheeks. "I-I was just, erm, I was just trying to do some, erm, exercise."

    "I see" Minseok replied with amusement. Since when was Taehyung interested in maintaining his physique?

    "W-what are you doing back?" Taehyung asked.

    "I was going to see Father" he replied. He arched his brow. "What about you? What are you doing?"

    Again, Taehyung fumbled awkwardly. "Just, erm, just exercise!"

    "But why?"

    Taehyung shyly rubbed his neck. "I-I want to grow stronger."

    "Stronger?" Minseok repeated quizzically. Taehyung never used to care about his strength...

    "Yes." Seeing the questioning gaze riddled on Minseok's face, he elaborated, "I want to grow stronger so that I can fulfil my promise to her."

    At this, Minseok grew even more curious. "Her?"

    Realising his mistake, Taehyung clamped a hand over his mouth, his cheeks ablaze. "I-I mean-" he searched his surroundings wildly and settled for the floor. "Forget I said anything. Forget I- it-it means nothing..."

    Minseok eyed his younger brother amusedly. So, now he has secrets too? Only a while ago, he had been reprimanding Taehyung for sneaking out into the village unattended but now, he was keeping secrets to fulfil his promise to an unknown 'her'. Minseok hid a small smile that was emerging from the corners of his lips. Taehyung is maturing, he observed. But just who could 'she' be?

    "If you want to improve your strength, you should practice your martial arts more" Minseok advised.

    Taehyung looked up bashfully. "Will you teach me then, brother?"

    Surprised, Minseok's cat-like eyes widened. Taehyung never used to ask for help. "I am afraid I am far too busy to teach you personally" he responded.

    Disappointed, Taehyung cast his eyes down. "Oh..."

    "But you can ask Cousin Namjoon or perhaps even Junmyeon to help you. In truth, they are much better at martial arts than I."

    "Cousin Namjoon is always away at the sanatorium" Taehyung muttered sulkily. "And Brother Junmyeon..." he scowled, "can care less about helping me."

    Minseok was thoughtful. "If only second brother was here..."

    Taehyung glanced up immediately. "Second brother?"

    "Yes, out of all of us, second brother excelled the most in martial arts."

    Taehyung inspected Minseok's expression closely. He knew from the way his brothers spoke of their exiled brother, that he incited a schism of opinions. While Namjoon and Minseok often spoke fondly of his character, Junmyeon, and occasionally Jongin, did not. There was something about their second brother that eluded Taehyung. As the youngest of the Kims, he hadn't the opportunity to personally bond with him as he was merely an infant when he was exiled. Why he was exiled he had no idea. His brothers, cousin and even father hardly mentioned him, so he scarcely knew anything about him apart from his name and the fact that both of them were born from the same womb. Sometimes, he would forget his second brother even existed until Minseok or Namjoon spoke of him by accident.

    "Brother Minseok?" Taehyung said tentatively.


    With a small voice, he asked, "Will second brother... ever come back?"

    Minseok's feline eyes widened temporarily before softening again. He murmured, "No... I do not think he ever will." His eyes were forlorn as he added, "And it will be unwise to ever ask that question again, Taehyung."


    "It is for your own good" Minseok interrupted.

    Taehyung blinked in bewilderment. He couldn't understand why no one ever wanted to speak about their second brother. What could he have done to have made him an unspeakable subject?

    Minseok fixed his robes before clearing his throat. "I must go now, Taehyung. Father is expecting me."

    Taehyung nodded wordlessly as he bid his elder brother farewell. Second brother... he internally muttered as he watched Minseok leave. I wish I could meet you.
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