98 Sphere of Influence Pt.2

    "Ouch!" Jimin hissed as Zeren slapped his bruised face with a cold, wet cloth. "You are pressing too hard!"

    Zeren retracted his arm away. "I'm not good at this, Your Majesty" he grumbled. "We should get one of the royal maids or even the royal physician to tend to you."

    Jimin snatched the cloth from his hand as he gently dabbed at the corner of his lip. "No" he responded moodily. "We do not need to cause a fuss."

    Zeren sighed as he let Jimin tend to himself.

    The pair were finally back at the palace grounds and were presently hiding away in the royal physician's apothecary. After parting with Gyuri and the rest of the group, Zeren and Jimin had snuck back into the palace to avoid being noticed. Jimin knew, as well as Zeren, that his injured appearance will more than likely attract unwanted attention.

    "I am certain there must be something in here that can help cover up my bruise" Jimin pondered aloud while glancing at the wooden encasements that surrounded them. "Zeren, do you know anything about medicine?"

    "No, Your Majesty" Zeren replied. "And anyway, the herbs here are for medicinal purposes only" Zeren informed him. "Not cosmetic purposes. The best remedy for your bruise would be the balm of time."

    Jimin frowned. "I cannot return looking like this. My sister will definitely scold me if she sees."

    "And she will berate me more for not protecting you."

    Jimin looked up from where he was sitting and met eyes with Zeren's mournful expression. "I'm sorry, Chim. It was my fault you got hurt the first time. I got too excited when I saw the ball."

    Jimin laughed lightly. "You have not changed at all, Zeren. You and your mighty horse kick."

    "But I guess my horse kick was nothing compared to that lad's punch."

    Immediately, Jimin's face soured.

    "He got you good" Zeren continued to say as he inspected Jimin's purple bruise and cut lip. "He hits hard for a young'un."

    "Do not speak of him" Jimin snapped. Memories of Taehyung's threatening glare was etched at the back of his mind. "How dare he assault me!"

    "Well, I guess I don't blame him for punching you."

    At this, Jimin swerved around. "What?"

    "Don't misunderstand" Zeren explained, "but from anyone's point of view, seeing you on top of Gyuri did look like you were taking advantage of her-"


    "But I know what you're like, Chim. You're not forward at all." He turned his face away as he mumbled under his breath, "It's actually a shame. I thought your hot-bloodedness had finally awoken and you were rid of your irrational fear..."

    Jimin glowered at his friend. "I heard that."

    "But at least you were not in dire trouble" Zeren consoled himself. "I am glad it was not as threatening as your encounter with Kim Namjoon."

    Jimin scowled at the sound of that name. Had Gyuri not mentioned that Namjoon was a physician, he would not have learned that the cousin that his brother-in-law spoke of was no other than Namjoon himself. Jimin was more than bitter when he realised that he owed it to Namjoon for treating the Waekugin ambassadors as soon as they arrived.

    "Regardless of whether that lad posed a threat or not" Jimin retorted, "I should not have been hit unlawfully."

    Zeren nodded in agreement. "But you know what, Chim?" He began pacing the cramped space that was filled with all sorts of wooden boxes that contained dried and aromatic herbs. "For some reason, the lad that punched you looks kinda familiar."

    Jimin grunted dismissively as he continued to delicately dab at his split lip.

    "Where have I seen him before?" Zeren mused as he continued to pace. And just like that, he remembered. "Ah! I remember now!"

    Jimin jolted at Zeren's startling voice and accidentally knocked his bruise. "Ouch!" he hissed. "Stupid Zeren look at what you made me do!"

    "Chim! I finally remember where I've seen that boy from" he said excitedly. "If I am not mistaken, he is Kim Taehyung. The youngest of the Kims."

    Jimin stopped what he was doing and stared. "Kim Taehyung?"

    Zeren nodded.

    "That child... is one of the Kims?" Jimin uttered in disbelief.

    "Yes, I remember seeing him in the Kim household on the night of the wedding ceremony."

    Jimin narrowed his eyes. "I see." He scoffed as memories of his encounter with Namjoon and Taehyung replayed in his mind.

    "I will not forgive you for touching one of my people."

    "How dare you try and take advantage of my person!"

    A wry smile crept up his lips. "It seems that the Kims care deeply about their servants" he muttered under his breath.

    "Pardon?" Zeren spoke. "Did you say something, Chim?"

    Jimin looked up, a hollow smile still plastered on his face. "No," he lied, "nothing." He glanced down at the cloth and squeezed it tightly.

    I do not think I will get on with any of the Kims at all.
Previous Index Next