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사도연 - Sadoyeon

Side Story Chapter 17 - One-horn (2)

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Side Story Chapter 17 - One-horn (2)

‘…this is crazy.’ Yeon-woo felt anxious and nervous. He felt as though it would have been easier fighting against Sage/Yvlke in the swamp of the abyss/void than to be in his current situation. It was not like he had never dated before… If others were to know how he felt at this moment, they might think that he had never been in a relations.h.i.+p.

Although Yeon-woo had already shared a deep relations.h.i.+p with Edora, that was a long time ago. Yeon-woo had long forgotten how it felt at that time. Or perhaps, he felt that it was more difficult this time around because of his previous experience, as his relations.h.i.+p with Edora was cherished and precious. Yeon-woo had been yearning for this moment for so long. Essentially, this was why Yeon-woo felt so nervous.

Yeon-woo was afraid to touch Edora, as he felt he might somehow hurt her. He was afraid that Edora might crumble like a sandcastle and disappear, as if all this was just a mirage or dream. He was scared that he would lose Edora once more. This ordinary happiness, something he had always longed for… At the moment, everything felt a bit much for Yeon-woo to handle.

“It’s…a little cluttered in here, huh? I was in a hurry to tidy things up…but it hasn’t been easy. Hahaha…” Edora also seemed to be nervous. It was the first time she had invited Yeon-woo into her own bedroom. If Yeon-woo had pretended as if everything was alright, Edora felt she would be able to act comfortably as well, but Yeon-woo’s face had turned beet red the moment he met her, so she felt the same awkward nervousness.

Edora saw her worn socks peeking underneath the bed, so she hastily kicked them further in. She did not want to present anything unsightly. She did not want to show her lover anything that might seem cra.s.s or cluttered.

“Um, uh, um…! My, why is it so hot in here. May I bring you something to drink? Oh right. What was I thinking? I prepared some fruit beforehand. I’ll bring some over right now.” If she stayed in the room any longer, Edora felt like she would explode. While constantly chattering, not knowing what she was talking about, Edora was about to leave the room to go get something. She seemed to have thought that the awkwardness would disappear if she brought something to eat.

“…Yeon-woo?” Edora spoke as she tried to pa.s.s by Yeon-woo. But before she could get past him, Yeon-woo had extended his hand and grabbed Edora’s wrist. Edora looked up at Yeon-woo with a perplexed gaze but soon found herself taking in a sharp breath.

Yeon-woo had pulled on Edora’s wrist and brought her into his arms. Whoosh. Her face fell against his chest. Yeon-woo’s chest was as hard as a wall, but Edora somehow felt that the embrace was soft and warm. And moments later…she regained clarity.

Edora was in Yeon-woo’s embrace. At that moment, Edora recalled that Yeon-woo was a head taller than herself, and his broad shoulders and long-reaching arms held her in his embrace easily. His breath was ticklish and warm.

“I missed you.” Yeon-woo’s voice came through with so much warmth that Edora felt it had reached the deepest regions of her heart. No other words were necessary. Yeon-woo’s three words conveyed the sincerity that was deeply buried within him. Yeon-woo had fought day after day just for the chance to stand next to Edora, so he had rushed over to see her as soon as he could.

“Me too. I missed you as well.” Edora felt the same. No other words were needed. She raised her face, which was deeply buried in his chest, and looked up at Yeon-woo. She reached out and gently stroked his face. Every time her fingertips caressed his eyes, nose, lips, cheeks, chin, and ears, Yeon-woo felt his heart pounding heavier.

“At first, I resented you a lot. How could you just walk away without a word? I wondered how you could just leave me hanging. What girl in today’s modern world just waits for someone…so I constantly thought about you and what may be happening to you several times a day.”

“…”

“Should I just give up on this relations.h.i.+p? Maybe waiting was just stupid. I wondered if it had become a habit and lifestyle choice to just keep waiting all the time. Perhaps I was just repeating a meaningless daily life. However…” Edora’s expression relaxed as she broke into a smile. “I didn’t want to give up.”

“…”

“Sometimes, when I thought of you, I felt annoyed and wanted to meet you at least one last time to express my anger… But after that time pa.s.sed, I just longed to see your face.” Edora wanted to see Yeon-woo, and that hope was the driving force that kept her going. “Having you right in front of me has dispelled all the anger that I previously carried. This is probably why they say one should not like the other more in a relations.h.i.+p. A couple needs to push and pull evenly.”

“…if we did that, it would break my heart. I don’t think I could be as strong as you.”

“I know it probably hasn’t been easy for you as well, but you know that I’ve stewed inside for a long time, right? Now that we’ve gotten this out, maybe we should spar and release our anger a little…”

“Wait, that’s…!” Yeon-woo did not immediately respond as he wondered if Edora was serious. Though he wanted to stop her, Yeon-woo felt that he owed Edora whatever she wanted if she truly wanted to do something.

Seeing Yeon-woo act this way, Edora smiled. Though she heard about his outside actions, such as becoming the Black King, stabbing people in the back, showing his temperamental side, and all kinds of other news, Yeon-woo had always acted weak in front of her. Edora felt that Yeon-woo looked too cute, so she decided to forgive him this one time. “You’re not going to go off somewhere again, right?”

“Of course not. I have nowhere else to go anyway.”

“Why not?” As the mood and tension had been released, Edora started chattering in a relaxed manner. Or perhaps it was because she knew she possessed the initiative between the two.

At that moment, as he looked into Edora’s eyes, Yeon-woo discovered a mischievous side that he had never seen in Edora before. It was as if she was a little devil trying to play a funny prank.

Edora grabbed Yeon-woo by the collar and pulled him in towards her. His face got close enough to hers that he could feel her breath. Yeon-woo blushed, feeling embarra.s.sed. And the more Yeon-woo acted this way, the more brazen Edora became.

“Since you’re finally here…”

While saying this, Edora pushed Yeon-woo with all her might. Plop. Yeon-woo landed on Edora’s soft bed.

“E-Edora?” Yeon-woo was at a loss for words. If Yeon-woo did not want to fall backwards, he could have regained his balance with ease. However, Yeon-woo felt that he should not attempt to go against Edora’s lead. No, it was probably more accurate to say that he did not have the wherewithal to even consider any thoughts or actions. And without realizing what was going on, Edora had taken the upper hand and had plopped herself atop Yeon-woo.

Yeon-woo felt that Edora’s face, as she looked down on him, seemed to reflect a more wicked, devilish side of her. It was as if she was a starved person in front of a delicious dinner. Yeon-woo, who was essentially as helpless as a lamb, was driven into a corner. Edora had become the salivating wolf.

“I’m going to tightly tie your hands and feet so you can’t go anywhere anymore.” Edora foretold the fate and future that Yeon-woo had no choice but to go along with, and a seemingly endless and sleepless night had begun.

***

“There’s something I’ve been wanting to ask.”

“What?”

After that one moment that seemed to have no end in sight, Yeon-woo and Edora had a whispered conversation as they continued to embrace each other tightly under the sheets. They talked about what they had been through and shared their thoughts. As a result, naturally, the topic of conversation focused on the memories the two shared.

“When we first met.”

“Oh, in the tutorial?”

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“Yeah.”

Yeon-woo somehow remembered a phrase he often heard in Korean morning dramas back on Earth. ‘You’re the only one who has done this to me.’ It was a cliché…but it rang true for him at this moment.

“Well, in fact, the most important thing in our tribe is ability rather than looks. Anyway…after our first encounter, I went and looked for you while dragging around Phante… That’s when I found a lot of positives about you. You didn’t forget about us either, right?”

If Yeon-woo never encountered Phante and Edora during that time in the tutorial, would things have worked out as they did? Would Yeon-woo have had the resolve to escape from the swamp of the abyss/void? The first thought that came to his mind was ‘I don’t know’. No matter how he looked at it, their influence was undeniably strong. This was also why Yeon-woo could not let this chance slip by. Was it because of that thought? Yeon-woo tightened his embrace around Edora.

***

Tweet! Through the curtains, the sun’s rays came in. Edora slowly opened her eyes to the sound of birds chirping. When did she fall asleep? Looking at the bright sun’s rays flowing in, it seemed that morning had already pa.s.sed… Edora broke out into a smile.

As she chatted happily all night with Yeon-woo, Edora did not realize how much time had pa.s.sed. It was not just continuous idle chatter throughout the night. As they began talking and looking into each other’s eyes, sparks would fly, causing them to rush into another pa.s.sionate, crazy exchange. Thus, time flew by.

As Edora recalled what happened last night, she blushed and scratched her cheek. Then, she realized that Yeon-woo was not beside her. Where did he go? Edora jumped out of her bed in surprise and looked around quickly. Then, belatedly, she found a note lying at her bedside.

I’ll be back. I’m going to go out for a walk.

It was only then that Edora was able to breathe a sigh of relief. She then broke out into another smile. Yeon-woo always left without a word, so she had momentarily been concerned that he had done the same thing this time as well. Though he had said he would not be leaving like that anymore, she was still concerned…

In hindsight, Yeon-woo had made Edora like this. If he did not leave all the time without saying a word, she would not be feeling so nervous all the time…! Edora pouted. She couldn’t help but pout at the predicament that she, a well-mannered, well brought-up, rich, and pretty maiden had to be in.

‘Well, since he took the time to write a note this time around… I’ll let him off this time.’ Concerned that she might be worried, Yeon-woo had taken the time to write her a note. His crooked handwriting was ugly, but he was good-looking, so Edora decided that the two qualities canceled each other out.

The whole time she touched the note, Edora smiled. Then, she suddenly had a thought. Was this a place where he could relaxedly walk around?

***

Outside the Tower, there were many merchant areas where blacksmiths and vendors gathered. Yeon-woo was currently in a crowded place, one as crowded as he recalled in the past. Not knowing that Allforone on the seventy-seventh floor had disappeared or that the G.o.ds and demons on the ninety-eighth floor had been imprisoned, the people’s faces were full of enthusiasm and vitality as they were all seemingly starting their day as usual.

Yeon-woo occasionally glanced at their faces, and eventually got on a familiar road. He eventually made his way to a certain blacksmith shop that had stopped at some point… He looked up at the shop’s signboard for a moment. Was it because he remembered the first time he visited this place? Yeon-woo had trouble moving his rooted feet.

“What are you doing, standing with such a dumb look on your face?”

Yeon-woo heard someone murmur from behind him. Wasn’t he supposed to be inside? Yeon-woo hurriedly turned his head. Like Edora’s, it was the voice Yeon-woo had longed to hear. As he looked back, Yeon-woo saw a frowning Henova carrying a bunch of materials in his arms.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

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