Chapter 1. Precious Possession
Over golden silk bedding, you could hear frantic breaths, followed by a hiss and then moaning. Eunha closed her eyes as the obscene and promiscuous sounds resonated throughout the room. The sons of noble families were playing with courtesans until a little while ago.
But the owner of this place, who was seated on the edge of the table, was silent. He was smiling while listening to what seemed like an animal groaning.
Eunha tried to convince herself that she hadn’t seen or heard anything. But it was useless. She wanted to throw up.
She slowly opened her eyes. Eunha focused her attention on his feet. He smiled while grabbing the cigarette that was on the floor.
“You’re very stubborn.”
The smoke of the opium coming from the cigarette, the scent of recently shed blood, and the smell of flesh wet with the seed of another, were all mixed together and made her hold her breath. While trying her best not to throw up, she opened her mouth.
“Does my lord enjoy things like this?”
He let out the smoked he had inhaled and laughed at the question she had asked.
“It seems that you’ve forgotten that I’m blind. I want my ears to be delighted since my eyes can’t see. I gave you money and bought your voice.”
She was intimidated by his eyes, which resembled a tiger hunting for prey. That’s why she was usually afraid of making eye contact with him. But today, she had to be brave. She grabbed her skirt and lifted her head.
“You’re right. You’re the owner of my voice. But those people haven’t paid for it. That’s why I’m not going to say a single word from now on.”
“You’re not going to say anything at all?”
“If you’re not going to listen to my voice alone, I’d rather stay silent.”
His beautiful eyes expressed annoyance, reflecting his readiness to tear down his opponents. For a second, she had forgotten that he was blind.
His features were elegant. It was as if a very talented artisan had crafted his eyes. They were deeper and darker than anyone else’s. How could a person with such beautiful eyes be blind?
She bit her lips and tried to bow down, but he used his cigarette holder to lift her head.
“If I kick all these people out, are you going to entertain me?”
A bright smile blossomed from his lips. Since what he said could be interpreted in many ways, she remained silent.
“Answer me. I’ve asked if you’re going to entertain me instead of them.”
He used his cigarette holder to pull down her clothes. Even though her chest had become visible, his eyes were fixed on Eunha’s eyes.
“I’m not a woman that sells her body.”
“I know that. I’ve only bought your voice.”
“I don’t understand why you’re doing this if you know it.”
With trembling hands, she grabbed her clothes tightly. She felt scared and humiliated.
She was chosen by Seo Jihak, the prince who lost his position. His lustful eyes were now directed towards her, a girl who had pretended to be a storyteller, which made her tremble with fear.
“You’re right. Why am I doing this to you? Why do I want to be angry with you? Why do I want to hear you crying? Whenever I’m near you, I can feel something very hot burning inside of me.”
The man’s voice pierced her ears. While looking down at her, Seo Jihak coldly gave an order to someone.
“Hey, Yulje, take out the eyes and cut off the tongue of everyone that has seen what is mine. I think that it’s a fair punishment to those that have seen my precious possession.”
After Seo Jihak finished giving his order, someone that was standing in the corner like a shadow pulled out his sword.
Feeling miserable, Eunha closed her eyes.
‘People have died because of me. Again…’
Screams echoed from all directions. The scent of blood and the sound of people begging for forgiveness made her cry.
Seo Jihak remained surprisingly calm. After putting his cigarette holder down, he leaned down and grabbed her neck. He placed his lips against her pulse.
“Don’t cry. After all, I’m not going to kill you until you’ve paid the price for trying to escape from me.”
Beyond the gates, you could see a storm approaching.
– 1 Year Ago –
Early in the morning, in a snowy mountainside, you could hear people making a lot of noise with percussion instruments.
“Make it go north!”
“It’s as big as a bear’s thingy! Be careful!”
“Brother, if it’s as big as a bear’s thingy… Is it a wild boar? It’s not like it’s like the tiger’s, so there’s no reason to fear it!”
Behind the chasers that were joking around, you could see a group of guys with guns and bows.
No one complained even though there was so much snow. This group was composed of hunters. They were strong-spirited people whose height surpassed 6.5 feet.
During the cold winter, tigers came down to the village and attacked civilians due to the lack of things to eat in the mountains. That’s why the country had placed huge rewards in exchange for tiger skins.
That’s why people gathered in groups to hunt. The tiger’s skin and its claws could be sold for a very high price. The meat was divided among the hunters. This helped them go through the harsh winter.
“Hey, brother… Do you know who that person is?”
Manbok, who was leading the way, stopped playing the percussion instrument, and glanced at someone among the group of hunters. Duksoo, whose cheeks were completely frozen, frowned at the question he was asked.
“You don’t know Eunha? She’s the little sister of the number one courtesan, Lee Yongi.”
He couldn’t believe that the person dressed up as a boy was actually a girl.
“She’s the little sister of Lee Yongi? Courtesan Lee Yongi?”
“Why is she here? Has she lost her mind?”
“The one that has lost its mind is you. Do you know who the person is that’s standing next to her?”
“Of course, I know who he is. He’s the son of the minister. Is there anyone that doesn’t know the son of the Yoon Family?”
Manbok patted him on the shoulders. Duksoo turned around while lowering his voice.
“Yes, she’s the one that he’s been taking care of. He gave her food, raised, and even taught her many things. And among that, there’s hunting. He probably thinks of her as his little sister, but…”
“Brother, what you’re saying doesn’t make any sense. Why would he take care of a girl? Also, it looks like they’re almost the same age. Is he maybe…”
Duksoo got angry at Manbok.
“Be careful with your words. A lot of guys picked on her, thinking that she was weak and were beaten up. Just keep your mouth closed.”
“Okay, I understand. It surprises me that she’s carrying a gun. Also, maybe it’s because of her clothes, but she really looks like a pretty boy.”
Even if Doksoo got mad at him, he couldn’t take off his eyes from Eunha. Manbok had never seen a girl as pretty as her. A face as white as the moon with a small nose. Her eyes were shiny and as clear as water.
He was so distracted with Eunha that he didn’t notice that a wild boar was looking at him.
“The more I look at her, the prettier…”
The wind blew away the snow that had accumulated on the tree’s branches. Everyone’s sight turned white. Even though Manbok could see the wild boar charging towards him, he couldn’t move or do anything.
His head had frozen. Even his instincts weren’t working.
The sound of a gun and the smell of gun powder made him come to his senses.
The wild boar running towards Manbok fell to the ground. Its blood spraying all over Manbok’s face.
Manbok threw the percussion instrument on the floor and grabbed Doksoo’s hands. At that moment, he finally felt relieved. Tears started to fall from his eyes.
Someone approached from behind Doksoo as he was hugging Manbok.
“Are you okay? You almost died.”
The owner of the sweet and soft voice was Eunha.
Doksoo and Manbok, with a vacant look on their faces, both exclaimed,
“”Thank you very much!””
“Don’t worry about it.”
Eunha replied as she calmly reloaded her gun.
Judging from her appearance, one wouldn’t think that she had just shot a wild boar with incredible precision.
“Hey! Manbok! If it weren’t for Eunha, you would’ve been killed!”
The captain of the group approached Manbok with an angry expression. He was furious because Manbok had been distracted in the middle of a dangerous situation.
While asking for forgiveness, he couldn’t help but stare at Eunha.
‘How did she manage to kill a wild boar with just one shot so easily when she had such a delicate body? She isn’t an ordinary girl. She is much braver than most people.’
“Eunha, are you okay?”
Yoon Shihoon asked as he walked towards her.
Manbok noticed Yoon Shihoon’s menacing gaze directed towards him. He got up from the ground while looking down. Even then, Manbok tried to listen to their conversation. But he couldn’t hear anything because of the noise around him.
“It’s too frustrating.”
Manbok found Eunha too pretty. She also seemed to be around the same age as him. Now he understood why Yoon Shihoon cared about her so much. Which, at the same time, made him feel worse.