༺ Oops (2) ༻
It was a hot summer day when the unexpected happened to Tang Soyeol.
After training her poison arts as per usual, she wiped the sweat off her forehead and took a sip of some poisonous tea.
Drinking such tea helped her train her poison art, but there was another major reason why she enjoyed drinking it.
There was this unique bitter taste when she drank it, and a slight tingle to her tongue that was momentarily paralyzed.
The young lord and the older brother of Tang Soyeol, Tang Jooyeok, wanted to strike up a conversation with her.
“Hey, Soyeol, did you hear?”
“I heard Bi-ah is marrying someone.”
“What!?” Tang Soyeol shouted in shock. In her head, she thought, ‘It hasn’t even been that long since we’ve last seen each other, and she’s marrying someone all of a sudden?’.
“Why is sis suddenly marrying someone…?”
“I was also really surprised when I heard the news, but it seems like the news was already spread everywhere by the Beggar’s Sect.”
The Beggar’s Sect, which was connected to many places in the Orthodox Faction, often gave important information away to other clans.
The important news this time was the marriage of the Namgung Clan’s direct descendant.
When Tang Soyeol heard the news, she immediately started to worry.
‘That dull sis is really marrying someone?’
Namgung Bi-ah may not have been known in the world yet, but Tang Soyeol knew that this girl was among the top of the young prodigies when it came to martial arts. Not only that, she was also absurdly beautiful.
The problem was that, unlike the cold Namgung Clan members, her personality was really dull.
‘Hopefully, it isn’t someone bad.’
Tang Soyeol assured herself that Bi-ah wouldn’t marry someone weird since she was from the Namgung Clan which was one of the four noble clans. She asked, “Brother, which clan is sister Bi-ah marrying to?”
“Well, they haven’t tied the knot yet…”
If Namgung Bi-ah got involved with some bad guy, Tang Soyeol would help her.
She had been able to prevent her marriage with Namgung Cheonjun from a tantrum, so she was confident when it came to these kinds of things.
Tang Jooyeok responded to Tang Soyeol’s question.
“But I heard that it’s the Gu Clan of Shanxi.”
“…What?” Tang Soyeol asked once again, thinking she had misheard.
Tang Jooyeok failed to notice Tang Soyeol’s drooping expression and continued to speak in a cheery tone.
“You also know him, right? It’s that guy from the Gu Clan that you met last time who is marrying Bi-ah.”
And that was how Tang Soyeol fainted that day due to shock.
It had taken her four days to finally come to.
‘Yeah, it’s not like we’ve known each other for a long time.’
It was very shocking to her, but she kept telling herself how she was from a noble clan and put aside her dizzy thoughts.
But then, she was suddenly reminded of the boy that truly charmed her.
It was someone who she had barely spoken to, but she was still shaken by his mere appearance.
She thought that she could forget about him right away.
Four days later…
The boy’s eyes kept popping up in her mind the whole day.
She couldn’t believe she had been affected so much just by a boy’s appearance, but she still endured it.
She thought that time healed all wounds, so she convinced herself she would be fine soon.
On the fifth day…
She couldn’t sleep at all.
On the sixth day…
She started to skip her meals. She had no appetite.
It was only then that Tang Soyeol realized she might be screwed.
On the seventh day.
“I thought she said she didn’t like him…”
Tang Soyeol started to resent her beloved sister in her mind. She thought in her head, ‘When I asked you last time, without any emotion on your face you said you didn’t like him…’.
‘She’s just a fox that has a dull face!’
The Tang girl lost her mind and threw her pillow. Tang Jooyeok, who happened to be passing by, was struck by it.
On the eighth day…
Tang Soyeol realized that if things kept going at this rate, she would be screwed for life.
Not only did she have a hard time focusing on her training, but she skipped her meals and even had a hard time sleeping.
She had to admit that the disease she had was lovesickness.
She felt pathetic for feeling this way just because of some boy’s handsome appearance, but there was no other answer. She had to be honest with herself.
Even now, when she thought about his fierce eyes, she would falter her steps as if she was bewitched.
His image was popping into her mind even before hearing the marriage news. But after hearing about his marriage, she couldn’t endure it anymore.
“What do I do?”
She had to find an answer.
On the ninth day…
She found an answer.
It was actually quite simple. All she had to do was just go see him.
That was all she had to do, so she wondered what all that fuss had been for.
Only after she had come up with an answer was she able to enjoy her meals once again.
Her state of mind was already altered beyond repair…
Then, on the tenth day, Tang Soyeol asked to meet the Clan Lord, her father, and spoke with him. She told him she wanted, and needed, to go to the Gu Clan.
Her father initially refused her request, asking her what was all that nonsense about, but Tang Soyeol was a professional in throwing tantrums. She had no intention of losing this argument.
In her mind, if she lost here, her life would be over. She couldn’t back down that easily.
She had prepared some reasonable excuses to use in her argument, but the Clan Lord wasn’t the one to back down either, so their argument lasted for quite a while.
In the end, Tang Soyeol came out on top.
Acting cute in front of her dad: 5 times. Taking a walk around the lake while holding his hand: 3 times. Not telling her mother where he was secretly hiding his snake wine, and so on.
She had to do many things, but Tang Soyeol was satisfied in the end. Everything was fine as long as she got to see him.
She didn’t have any intention of stopping her friend’s marriage, however.
It was a marriage between two clans.
She knew that it was realistically impossible for an outsider to stop two entire clans from connecting through marriage.
All she wanted was to see him.
Even if she had to give up on him, she at least wanted to see his face for the last time.
Time passed by.
Along with Tang Clan escorts, Tang Soyeol arrived at Gu Clan. It was a long trip, but it wasn’t too uncomfortable as the trip was approved by the lord himself.
The season had changed as well.
Summer turned into fall, and Tang Soyeol lost a bit of fat in her cheeks during that time.
The person that came out to greet them was Gu Clan’s First Elder.
She inquired why the lord himself hadn’t come out to greet them, but she didn’t think much about it.
She might’ve gotten angry if she was in her usual state as she might’ve thought that the Gu Clan was looking down on them, but that wasn’t important to Tang Soyeol in her current state.
The First Elder questioned Tang Soyeol while he was leading her to the guest house. “How did you end up finding out about my Jeolyub for you to come all the way here?”
He sounded like he was in a good mood.
‘My Jeolyub she said?’
Tang Soyeol wondered if Young Gu was close to the First Elder.
‘I guess it makes sense for people in the same clan to be close to each other.’
She didn’t think much about this.
“You know… I just happened to learn about him.”
She twisted her words around as she couldn’t blatantly say that she had been charmed by his appearance as soon as she saw him.
The first elder nodded enthusiastically, clearly happy.
Shortly after, they arrived at the guest house.
“Please relax here for a little, my boy will come soon.”
Tang Soyeol couldn’t control her excitement when she heard that she would see him soon.
She wondered what she should say to him first. ‘I should greet him first, right?’
She wondered if she should ask him if things had been going well for him, and also wondered how she should tell him what she had come there for.
While many thoughts crossed her mind, she felt a presence outside the door.
She immediately felt her heart beating wildly because of the presence.
To cool down her heated cheeks, she pressed onto them with her cold hands.
But even then, it did nothing to dissipate the heat.
‘W…W…What do I do?!’
While she felt nervous, her heart was beating crazily because of the excitement she felt because of the thought that she would see him again.
‘Young Master Jeolyub…’
Along with a screech, the door slid open. In order to greet him as she planned, Tang Soyeol spoke as confidently as she could.
“Y-Young Master Gu, how have you bee-“
Tang Soyeol, who was speaking with a bright voice, shut her mouth when she saw the boy that came into the room.
With a somewhat shy expression, the boy asked her,
“I am Gu Jeolyub. I heard you were looking for me…?”
“Who are you?”
Tang Soyeol then realized, that she had been screwed.
* * * *
I started to sweat seeing the resentment in Tang Soyeol’s eyes.
I had forgotten that I had said something like that to her. I had told her clan the wrong name because I didn’t want to involve myself with Namgung Bi-ah or Tang Soyeol, but my plan seemed to have backfired.
‘I didn’t expect for her to come all the way here, though.’
How could I have known that Tang Soyeol of Sichuan would come all the way to Shanxi for me?
Furthermore, she probably knew that I was the direct descendant of the clan, but I still decided to tell her the wrong name anyway.
I couldn’t have expected that to blow up in my face like this.
“I came here to see you. How confused do you think I was when I asked for Gu Jeolyub and someone completely random came to see me?”
It seemed like she had even met Gu Jeolyub too. I would’ve used a different name if I knew that something like this would happen.
Like Gu Jinjin…
｢It seems like you still haven’t woken up if you’re still thinking like that.｣
I first had to apologize. In the end, it was my fault that she ended up going through with this after she had come to the clan to see me.
“When I checked, I heard that you were still returning from Mount Hua. Your name was different too.”
I knew she had spent ten days waiting for me.
“May I ask why you did such a thing?”
Tang Soyeol asked me for a reason, but I had no other reason to give her other than “I felt you would be an eyesore in the future.”
Nor could I explain why I felt that way about her.
“I had a reason to do so back then…”
“Does sis know as well?”
Sis? Tang Soyeol has a sist- Wait.
Just in case, I asked Tang Soyeol.
“When you say sis, are you referring to Lady Namgung?”
“Yes, does sis Bi-ah know your true name?”
‘I believe I told her when I was on my way back to Shanxi from Sichuan. I think Tang Soyeol was there too when I told Namgung Bi-ah, but I don’t think she heard it since she was a bit far away. ‘
My response caused the girl’s head to droop. It seemed like she was extremely hurt by the fact for some reason.
“Uh… Lady Tang?”
“Are you okay?”
Was it that much of a shock for her to find out that Namgung Bi-ah knew my real name? Seeing the situation turning weird, Elder Shin suddenly spoke up.
｢What kind of things did you do… for a mantis-like you to have all girls from the world falling for you? Why don’t you just collect all hair colors at this point?!｣
‘Stop saying weird things, Elder Shin. I’ve only known this girl for a few days.’
Furthermore, I had barely spoken to her too. Was there really a point during those moments when Tang Soyeol fell for me?
｢Who knows, maybe she fell for your appearance.｣
‘I don’t think that should be coming from a man shitting on me for looking like a mantis.’
｢I know, right? I don’t think that’s the case either.｣
‘Oh for fuck’s sake…’
He was definitely talking smack because I could hear how pissed off he was from his voice.
I looked at Tang Soyeol. It seemed like she had enlightenment in that short amount of time, as one of her eyes was glowing green.
The most perfect poison martial artist in the Tang Clan’s history.
She may have had a lower martial art rank compared to other young prodigies of the meteor generation, but she was a woman that could display extreme, overpowering strength in a wide variety of battles.
The master that protected Sichuan by poisoning thousands of demonic humans was now sipping tea in front of me in her younger form.
“Lady Tang… Uh, can I first ask why you came to see me?”
When she heard my question, her eyes that were fading away regained their light.
She suddenly slapped her cheeks with her hands.
“It’s okay… It wasn’t something I expected, but it’s actually better this way. You can do this, Soyeol. Something like this is nothing to you, right?”
She started mumbling to herself all of sudden. I honestly felt scared when I heard that, and even backed off a little.
｢It seems like that girl also isn’t that normal.｣
‘Who knows, maybe she also has a ghost in her mind like I do.’
｢Ghost, huh… I wonder if she’s pretty.｣
｢It’s just a joke, don’t take it so seriously.｣
I swear the way you said that didn’t seem like a joke, though.
Tang Soyeol, who was mumbling to herself while rubbing her cheeks, took something out of her pocket.
It was a letter that was tied with a light blue string. I knew what that was just by looking at it.
It was something you would get at least once if you were a clan from the Orthodox Faction, especially if you were a young prodigy.
But I didn’t think she had come all the way from Sichuan just to show me that.
She carefully took the letter in her hand and asked.
“Do you know that the Tournament of Dragons and Phoenixes will be held soon at the Murim Alliance?”
As expected, that was an invitation letter to the tournament. There was still a good amount of time left before it started, however, since it should be happening in winter.
‘I wonder if I got the invitation letter as well?’
There was a chance that I had gotten it, but I wasn’t sure since I never participated in events until I was given the young lord title in my past life.
Tang Soyeol braced herself, took a deep breath, and said.
“…I came here because I wanted to go see it with you.”
I couldn’t understand what she meant.
“Did you really bother to come all the way from Sichuan just to tell me that?”
The tournament would be overseen by the Murim Alliance and held in Henan.
It wasn’t that far from Shanxi, but there was no reason for anyone to go through the hassle of going from Sichuan to Shanxi, and then go to Henan.
Despite that, Tang Soyeol did exactly that and came all the way to the Gu Clan just to ask me to go with her.
Looking at her red cheeks and how she kept trying to avoid my eyes reminded me of what Elder Shin had said to me earlier.
‘Is she really into me or something? Then for what reason?’
No matter how much I thought about it, I couldn’t think of a reason. Nothing in my past life or this life could make it make sense. Curiosity eating away at me, I just had to ask…
“Is there a chance that you like m-“
As I was about to finish my question…
I turned around when I heard the door slide open behind me.
It was Namgung Bi-ah, standing in the doorway.
I was going to ask her why she was here, but instinctively shut my mouth when I noticed the cold expression she sported for no apparent reason.
Namgung Bi-ah stared at Tang Soyeol for a bit, then turned to look at me.
“Go outside for a bit…”
“What do you mean ‘go outside,’ I’m still talking to her.”
Her tone was firm, but even so, I still had to ask for Tang Soyeol’s opinion on this.
Tang Soyeol, who was looking at Namgung Bi-ah with a shocked face, saw my confusion and said, “Sir, it’s fine since I already told you what I came here for… I also have something to talk about with Sis Namgung.”
I guessed she really had come to invite me to the tournament, which was even more shocking.
“Please consider my… request.”
“I… Yes, I’ll consider it.”
I felt like a storm was about to be unleashed
‘I could’ve sworn they were close, so what’s going on right now?’
｢You little shit, at times like these, you should know to shut up and run away to preserve your life…!｣
I listened to Elder Shin and passed by Namgung Bi-ah, making sure to close the door behind me.
It was still too early to be cold, but I felt chilly for some reason, causing me to rub my shoulders in response.
“What the… Why is it so cold?”
It was even harder for me to understand since I practiced flame arts.
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