“Oh my, my dear sister?”
Yeorum licked her lips with the end of her tongue and gave a coquettish smile.
“U, unni. H, hello…?”
With a frightened expression, the baby chicken looked around. She was in the small dorm, and there was nowhere to hide.
It seemed that the time she spent in her immersive state also remained in her memories.
“You look fine now don’t you? That’s good. Then should we have a little chat?”
Yeorum took a step closer while the baby chicken freaked out and turned around. Her eyes facing Yu Jitae seemed to be screaming S.O.S. and after hearing her shout, Yeorum also looked at Yu Jitae.
They seemed to be waiting for a response and soon, Yu Jitae nonchalantly opened his mouth.
“Do what you want.”
There was no saviour for Yu Kaeul.
After the permission was given, Yeorum walked a step closer.
Her voice dripped with coldness.
Kaeul hid behind Yu Jitae’s back. When Yeorum quickly dashed in and arrived behind Yu Jitae, the baby chicken threw her body to his front. And when Yeorum went back to the front, the baby chicken hid behind his back yet again in fright.
Yeorum made a frown.
“Uahh, don’t wanna!”
“Thirty if you come by yourself, and forty if you get caught.”
“I, I don’t want either…!”
They went around Yu Jitae three to four times.
In the end, Kaeul became a victim of all sorts of wrestling techniques after being caught by Yeorum, and the house was filled with echoing screams. After the baby chicken collapsed in tatters, Yeorum then stood up with a satisfied smile hanging on her face.
“You asked if I enjoyed harassing you, right? It’s actually not that fun.”
When the baby chicken turned her teary eyes at herself, Yeorum let out a moan, “Haang…”
“It excites me.”
Episode 15: Gaze (1)
There were lots of people looking for Kaeul.
– Uh… Mister Yu Jitae, what about just once?
Although he completely ignored the phone calls of others, he still picked up the call from Team Leader Yong of the PR team. She was the person who had given a chance to Kaeul, who had been oblivious.
“If you’re talking about her being Lair’s public model, no.”
– I see. Is there perhaps a reason?
“There are circumstances.”
What could she do after hearing that? Team Leader Yong was extremely regretful.
It was natural. The person she was looking for was the main declarer herself, who had excelled so much that the media called her as the best of the best. This was the best opportunity for Kaeul to give a great change to Lair’s image.
– Aigo. That’s so unfortunate.
But he remained obstinate. Yu Jitae had also checked the reactions from the public on the internet.
That name had entered the top trending topics of Korea’s web portal and related reports as well as comments had exploded out.
Most of the comments had been complimenting Yu Kaeul’s appearance, or her declaration. However, there were seldomly some negative comments and a few of them had vulgar language as if they were swearing at a sworn enemy.
The issue was that she was being mentioned too much. Although there were tens of thousands of compliments, there existed thousands of insults as well.
This, was the borderline.
Taking a step further from here would make things bothersome.
– In that case, what about just one interview?
“An interview, huh.”
– Yes. If you express that she wouldn’t be appearing on television there, wouldn’t it be possible to better convey the thoughts of the Yu household?
That much would be okay. But her offer was most definitely not out of pure kindness.
“…Are you thinking of an exclusive interview from the PR team.”
Team Leader Yong flinched but soon gave out a gentle laugh. It was the cunning laugh of a middle-aged woman.
– In exchange, we will also provide help when needed.
“That would be good. But not from the PR team.”
“When needed, if Team Leader Yong can help us privately, we will agree to the interview.”
PR team’s help and a private aid from Team Leader Yong Dohee were different. There was a connotation that the latter was a bit more secretive.
– Okay. That would be good. Although it’s been some time since I washed my hands of it, that used to be my field of expertise in the past.
Washed her hands?
– Back in the days, I used to be a paparazzi.
He had a feeling that she would become a decent ally.
Q: Hello, Cadet Yu Kaeul.
A: Yes, hello!
Q: Currently in internet communities, Cadet Kaeul’s declaration is going extremely viral right now. I’m sure you know that already?
A: Yes yes.
Q: There are lots of positive comments about…
“Ah, one second.”
Team Leader Yong intervened and stopped the interview.
“I told you to get rid of those things as much as possible, right?”
“Ah… yes, I got it.”
After being scolded by Team Leader Yong, the interviewer fidgeted with the script.
Q: There are many people curious about how Cadet Kaeul spends her day. What do you do usually?
A: I eat delicious food! Macarons, chicken, red velvet cake, chocolate, ice cream, churros, jokbal, bossam, and… uh… and chocolate… (etc).
Due to leaving out all the sensitive and provocative questions, the result was a trivial interview, which Kaeul innocently continued giving answers to. Nothing was problematic until that point and it was exactly the same as how the interview had been planned to be like.
Finally, it was time for the long-awaited final question.
Q: Do you, by any chance, not plan to appear on TV programmes?
Kaeul stole a furtive glance at Yu Jitae and he returned a nod.
The night after the declaration ended, he had asked Kaeul whether she would be okay with that or not. In response, Kaeul gave a nod and said, “It’s alright. We made a promise right?” before closing her mouth shut for a long time.
A: Yes. There aren’t any plans.
Q: I’m sure everyone will agree that that’s a shame.
Q: Is it possible to ask you why?
A: Uh, umm… my mum… Ah, never mind! Can you edit this out?
Mum told me to treasure and keep promises, just as I would with my life.
Kaeul swallowed those words in.
It was the first day of school.
Bom, Yeorum and Kaeul were wearing short-sleeved cadet shirts.
Haytling was slowly getting colder and there was a need to get prepared for the upcoming winter. He should buy warm clothes and a thicker blanket. Although no-one would really need it, that was still the thought that popped up in his head.
“What lessons are you taking unni?”
Kaeul asked during breakfast.
“Un. I’m studying superhuman studies, humanities, magic studies, societal studies, aesthetics…”
Bom had mostly chosen non-combat subjects. Of course, there were some compulsory combat subjects she was taking.
“What about Yeorum-unni?”
“PE, swordsmanship classes, barehanded fight classes, combat experience, military science, history of wars, gender and growth, criminal psychology…”
Yeorum spoke while chewing on her sandwich. Her subjects were mainly focused on combat.
“What’s gender and growth?”
“Sex. What else would it be.”
The baby chicken looked at Yeorum with a sour expression.
“Then what lessons are you taking, ahjussi?”
“Ahjussi is our guardian.”
“Guardians don’t take lessons?”
“Un. He will probably visit and observe during lessons.”
Just like what Bom said, guardians had the right to freely visit during the lessons of the cadets.
In Lair, the title called a guardian had a rather unique position.
Taking care of children was a given, while they would also form connections with other households, families and guilds. Even Yu Jitae had received a few letters from professors due to Bom, and had received several phone calls from study groups asking for Yeorum.
After Kaeul stood on the entrance ceremony, it became even worse. Even right now, there were messages hitting his watch periodically, every five minutes, from agencies, management team, A&R staff members, large guilds and renowned households.
Yesterday, he had also received a message from a social gathering of guardians. Apparently, it was a place where various data were shared in order to nurture the top 1% of cadets.
He didn’t return a reply as he was planning to wait and see for the time being.
Due to that, he might be busy during the semester.
He was busy during the day as the children’s guardian, and there were numerous things to take care of during nighttime as well.
“Let’s go to school.”
After finishing their meals, he was about to leave the house.
That was when a pitiable gaze approached and pierced through the back of his head. No matter what, he judged that it wouldn’t be possible to take Gyeoul along today and thus, Yu Jitae crouched down and met his line of sight with Gyeoul.
“Let’s stay with that cleaner over there for today.”
“Are you fine with that.”
She formed a startled expression and hesitated.
Gyeoul’s thoughts were complex.
She didn’t want to be separated from Yu Jitae. Therefore, she wanted to shake her head and insist on following along, but didn’t want to be a nuisance to him at the same time.
The blue-haired child was caught in a dilemma.
With an anxious expression that was moments away from breaking out into tears, Gyeoul nodded her head. Yu Jitae took the unnis out and cold-heartedly left through the door and left alone, Gyeoul sat down in front of the door and hugged the blue teddy bear with her two arms.
She then watched the door for a long time.
“Umm, my lady. Should I read you a fairy tale?”
After finally reading the mood, the protector came up with a fairy tale in its hand. It was thinking of imitating Bom, who would sometimes read a book to Gyeoul.
But Gyeoul did not even spare a glance at the protector.
“Umm… my lady?”
“Then, I will get on with the fairy tale.”
“The name of the book is, ‘My dad is a fairy!’.”
But after hearing the title, Gyeoul looked back at the protector with a slightly intrigued expression. With the voice resembling the screeching sound of metal, the protector started reading the book.
“A long long time ago, once upon a time… It seems that it is set before the era of the demons. Anyways, Dolsun was living with her father… Hmm, it appears that her mother is dead.”
“Before going to sleep, her dad told Dolsun old stories… Interesting. Before the era of demons should have been the great war of the primeval forest. Anyways, Dolsun would listen to her dad’s stories before happily going to sleep… Dolsun must have been a war addict.”
“But the next morning when she woke up, her dad wasn’t in the house… Ahh, did he go looking for a new mum? I heard that there was a culture of making prisoners of war into concubines back in the days. Anyways, so Dolsun…”
The protector stopped its words. It was because it could feel a terrifying gaze.
Carefully lifting its gaze from the book, it found Gyeoul glaring at itself. As if she was looking at a detestable thing, she appeared greatly upset.
“…What happened, my lady? Did you perhaps not like the book?”
Gyeoul, who had been hugging the teddy bear with her two arms, reached out with one of her hands. She was demanding the book.
When the protector handed the book over, Gyeoul hid it behind her back. She then pointed at a location with her finger.
Following the tip of her finger, the protector looked at the place she was pointing at before turning back to her in confusion.
The baby’s expression was serious.
Her finger was pointing to the corner of the living room, where the protector stood still like a statue whenever it was night.
The protector, was banished.
The Yu household entered the academy district. They were unlucky in the sense that none of their first lessons were shared in common. Their rooms were different and they had to therefore separate and go their own way.
In front of a crossroad, they stopped their feet.
From this point onward would depend on themselves.
“See you later.”
“Call me if there’s a problem.”
“Okay. What will you do, ahjussi?”
Since it was the first day, he decided to follow Yeorum.
What do you mean, why.
“I don’t cause any problems. I’ve been pretty docile recently right?”
“How shocking. Is that how you see me?”
“Don’t follow me! It’s annoying.”
Yeorum walked off first while grumbling and he stood on the spot, all alone.
Thinking back, she did change a little. Even when reporters followed her, she avoided them after swearing for a few seconds and when someone picked a fight with her, she would stick to profanities without relying on her fists.
Wouldn’t it be fine to leave her alone?
It was when he was about to change his plans.
Yeorum, who had been walking up, threw a glance behind. When their eyes met, she gave a frown and continued walking forward, but soon glanced at him again.
“What are you doing? Will you take responsibility if I’m late?”
You told me not to follow.
After some contemplation, Yu Jitae’s thoughts led him to a reasonable suspicion. It was a suspicion that she might not know the way to her class.
He stood next to Yeorum, but when he did, Yeorum faced him with a frown.
“The guardian should be taking the lead!”
It appeared that she was clueless.