༺ Border Town (2) ༻
All that Siwoo could see in front of him was the back of Amelia’s head as they walked along the zigzagged cliffside path.
The sweet scent of perfume mixed with her feminine scent that lingered within the inside of their umbrella made his heart flutter with embarrassment.
Compared to Gehenna, which had a distinct medieval aesthetic due to the traditional preferences of witches, Border Town felt quite a bit different due to being disconnected from other cities and the many commodities which were brought from modern times by the smugglers being poured into the area.
As the pair walked through the streets, they could see some sights that would be out-of-place in Gehenna, such as the dock laborers dressed in overalls carrying several shipment boxes and the blue panels on the roof of a chicken skewer-selling street vendor that could typically be found in modern factories.
Speaking of chicken skewers…
Chicken skewers used to be one of Siwoo’s favorite things to eat, back when he lived in Korea.
He especially enjoyed eating the Japanese style of chicken skewers, yakitori, which are typically grilled over charcoal along with some green onions.
Despite his intense craving for the chicken skewers, Siwoo was forced to be content with only the smell since he couldn’t just go out and buy it while he was taking care of Amelia.
Noticing the look of longing on his face, Amelia called out to Siwoo.
“Go and get two.”
He wondered to himself whether it was okay or not to still be getting this excited over food at his age, but he couldn’t help but get emotional.
Even the noblest person to ever live would begin crying tears of joy at the opportunity to eat some meat after having lived a life of only being able to eat stuff that could barely be considered food every day.
He grabbed the penny she offered to him and made a beeline straight to the street vendor.
“Give me two skewers, please.”
The lady gave him a soft impression as she placed the skewers on the charcoal-heated gravel.
With the sound of water boiling in the background, the chicken started turning into a golden brown color, giving off a delicious smell in the surroundings.
“I’ve never seen your face around here before. Where did you come from?”
After all, he was an Asian which could be considered to be hard to find in Gehenna.
His mind was so focused on the chicken skewers that he didn’t notice that the lady cooking them appeared to be a Korean, like him.
“Ah, I’m from Korea.”
“Oh, really? I thought so. Are you a slave?”
The lady’s eyes shone with joy at meeting a fellow Korean.
“Are you serving the witch behind you?”
“It’s similar, but I’m not serving her directly. I’m actually working under City Hall.”
“So that’s it~ Sure enough, it’s good to belong to the City Hall. Slaves that get transferred to the workhouse always end up suffering greatly.”
“It feels good to have met someone from my hometown. I’ll give you another one on the house.”
“Thank you so much!”
Siwoo finally returned to Amelia after having a very wholesome conversation with the vendor, listening to the aunt telling him to take care of his health as he went back.
“Thank you, Miss Associate Professor.”
“Why did you get three?”
Meanwhile, Amelia, who had been using the umbrella alone, took the chicken skewers from his grasp.
“Ah, she gave me an extra since we both came from the same hometown.”
“……We can’t just start eating in the middle of the street, so let’s go eat over there.”
She extended her hand and pointed towards a structure with a long overhang that would be able provide shelter from the rain as they ate.
When they arrived, he folded their umbrella and they began eating side by side, leaning against the wall.
Siwoo noticed Amelia already biting into the chicken skewer and thus bit into the tender meat as well, which was dripping with seasoning.
The fragrant scent of charcoal overlapped with the gravy, oil, and the sweet and salty soy sauce-like dressing deeply soaked underneath the chicken skin.
The food was enticing for Siwoo, who hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast this morning.
“Do you miss your hometown?”
Amelia, who had been quietly munching and eating meat the whole time, suddenly opened her mouth.
He felt like he was getting asked a lot of silly questions lately.
Has she changed her mind in keeping him as her slave?
Or maybe, as Takasho said, this could be Amelia’s approach in love.
“I would be lying if I denied it.”
Siwoo replied while stuffing a ripe green onion into his mouth.
Gehenna was a city created for the purpose of exploiting non-witches for the benefit of witches.
Although there wasn’t any visible oppressions, other than slavery, it was clear enough that it threatened many personal freedoms.
It was certainly strange that she’s talking to him all of a sudden, but since the time he met her she was always the one to start and end the conversation.
Conversation is supposed to be something to be enjoyed, but Amelia only ever said a few words at a time and then remained silent afterwards.
Even though it was quite a large serving, in the end it was still just chicken skewers.
Even if Siwoo eats two of them, they would barely be able to fill his stomach.
The moment Siwoo finished the chicken skewer and Amelia was about to open her mouth again, a loud noise suddenly rang out.
Could it have been because of the heavy rain?
The roof that had been sheltering the two of them from the rain suddenly collapsed.
In an instant which was too quick to react, Amelia’s shocked expression could be seen in slow motion with her mouth and eyes wide open.
Siwoo instinctively reached out and covered Amelia’s head with his body to shield her from the oncoming debris..
Several pieces of wood repeatedly struck his back, head, and arms as he continued to shield her.
If she asked why he protected her, should he reply by saying that his body reacted before he could even think?
Siwoo covered Amelia as soon as he sensed something dangerous.
The clothes he had on had gotten wet because of the water on the roof spilled onto him.
His bruises made it look like a piece of rotten wood had fallen onto his head.
The intense pain he felt made Siwoo feel so sick and dizzy that tears began to well up.
When the pain had finally subsided enough for him to crack open his eyes a bit, he could see the adorable sight of Amelia’s shocked expression.
Now that he had overcome his dizziness and came back to his senses, Siwoo finally recognized the awkward position they were currently in.
Siwoo had both his arms stretched against the wall on both sides of Amelia’s head, tucking her into his shadow.
Perhaps it was because he had subconsciously remembered not to touch witches carelessly, but when he thought about how he somehow never touched Amelia directly throughout the entire ordeal he made a bitter smile.
Speaking of, the distance between their faces had narrowed as a result of their current position.
They were so close that if Siwoo were to stretch his tongue out as far as he could, he would easily be able to lick her round forehead with some room to spare.
The only thing he could see were Amelia’s wide-open eyes, her eyelashes fluttering as if she was about to tear up even though her mouth was shut.
His eyes were then drawn to her lips, clearly able to see them quivering even as she exhaled adorably.
Siwoo never would have imagined he would ever end up in this kind of love-comedy scenario with Amelia of all people.
As they continued to stare at eachother like statues, Amelia was the first to open her mouth.
“Janitor, you’re too close to me right now.”
“Ah, I apologize. I had no intention of doing anything unusual to you. This just happened without my knowledge, somehow.”
Siwoo began spouting gibberish as he leaned back away from her and swallowed his spit once more what he saw next.
While he was able to stop the falling pieces of wood with his broad back, it was impossible to prevent all of the rainwater that had piled up from soaking the both of them.
As a result, Amelia’s fancy clothing was soaked as if it had a whole bucket poured onto it.
To make matters worse, the dress Amelia chose to wear today was very thin and pale.
So when rainwater got poured onto it, the fabric began to tightly cling onto the body and turn translucent, revealing not only her subtle curves, but even the black bra narrowly wrapped around her modest breasts, which were just big enough to be held with one hand..
Amelia averted her gaze from Siwoo, confused from his strange stare, then to herself, slowly.
After seeing the current state of her outfit, she suddenly froze like computer inflicted with lag.
Hearing her call out his title as he was making a half-baked attempt of looking away, Siwoo quickly turned around to face her.
Indeed, it was definitely Amelia standing right before him.
Even when driven to this point, he couldn’t so much as blink from her intense stare.
Siwoo believed that it had to be but a momentary hallucination that caused him to think she, a witch, was worried about him.
However, when he looked closer, he could see her lips trembling, along with her usually pale cheeks being extremely flushed.
“Did you get hurt anywhere??”
Amelia gently raised her arms in order to cover her exposed body and inquired about Siwoo’s condition.
He couldn’t believe that Amelia, who was usually so cruel to him, was actually concerned about the condition of a mere slave.
Slavery had been so deeply ingrained into his body that even common sense behavior like concern was able to make him extremely happy.
“Oh, yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking.”
“Well, that’s enough. I’ll overlook today’s mistake.”
If this were a love comedy, they would go straight to the motel with the excuse of drying clothes and washing rainwater, usually resulting in something else.
Unfortunately for him, this was Gehenna, the City of Witches, so although this situation reminded him of some sort of love comedy it was impossible for something like that to actually happen..
All of the rainwater that covered their bodies evaporated just as Amelia flicked her fingertips.
Amelia’s dress, which had become embarrassing to look at when standing right in front of her, had also softened and dried, as if she had just gotten it out of the dryer.
The smell of soil from the stagnant rainwater that used to surround them faded, and instead, the subtle scent of mint lingered around his nose.
“Let’s hurry up and go now.”
Finished cleaning them off, Amelia gracefully began walking as if nothing had happened moments prior.
She took each step elegantly and precisely as if she were walking on a ramp with her heels on.
“Excuse me, Miss Associate Professor.”
“You only caught a glimpse of me through my clothes because I was wet from the rain. It is nothing to concern myself over..”
Amelia’s unusually hasty tone indicated that she was feeling embarrassed.
However, that was beside the point.
“Yes, I am very grateful for that. But…”
“Then what could be the problem?”
“The blue snake junction is in the opposite direction…”
As usual, Amelia raised her chin proudly and arrogantly.
She responded with a calm tone as if she already knew everything.
“My name is Amelia Marigold. Do you think I would ever be ignorant of such a basic fact? I just wanted to see more of the dock.”
He tried to deal with it as calmly as he could, but Amelia still appeared to be rather embarrassed.
It was quite refreshing for him to be able to see her flustered expression for the first time and most importantly…
She looked cute.
He had never imagined he’d ever feel this way for somebody like Amelia, who he had always despised.
Afterall, it was definitely a worthwhile endeavor to throw himself over her to shield her from the falling wreckage.
“I deeply apologize for saying something wrong. I’ll make sure to be careful next time. “
Siwoo then opened his umbrella back up and stood side by side with Amelia.
The earlier scene then suddenly came to their minds as the awkward silence continued to pass.
He felt pretty surprised..
He never thought of Amelia as the type to wear such a sexy pair of underwear like that.
For quite a while longer, he couldn’t stop thinking about the bra, which was so thin that it was barely able to cover even half of her chest.
The Junction was a wholesale and retail store that sold goods airlifted from the modern outside world by smugglers.
Some shops in the Junction only deal with selling slaves that they kidnapped like Siwoo, while others deal only with selling grain.
Among them, the Blue Snake Junction is expected to be a target for witches, seeing how expensive the items they sold were.
Additionally, the manager was also a very charismatic and sexy older-sister type.
A narrow hallway with a boxful of goods.
The high-quality fur and stuffed items used for decoration were the first to catch his eye, and various pieces of furniture were wrapped in covers and displayed.
These appeared to be too expensive for an old, rusted oil lamp to illuminate.
“It’s been a while since you’ve been here.”
“I don’t come here very often. Yet you still claim to remember me.”
“I never forget a cute guy.”
The manager, who was sitting on the stand smoking an e-cigarette, winked at Siwoo.
Luckily there was a pair of Adidas sweatpants.
He felt glad because it was something he often wore back in the outside world.
The manager spoke to Amelia only after exchanging greetings with Siwoo.
“How did a noble witch end up in this humble establishment?”
She was one of two people who could speak so calmly despite the fact that the person in front of her was a witch.
Either she was a fool or she had nerves of steel.
Perhaps this sister belonged to the latter.
Meanwhile, Amelia, who seemed uneasy for some reason, took a peek at Siwoo and the hostess.
“This is in exchange for what happened earlier, Janitor. Pick what you want.”
It would be pointless to ask if she were serious or not.
Because it was some kind of reward for the good job he had been doing, it was important to take the chance before Amelia changed her mind.
That was the beginning of Amelia and Siwoo’s shopping trip.
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