Chapter 12. Handmaid (2)
Even though the maid was somewhat unfriendly, Eunha was actually happy. To be honest, if her lord… if her lord was such a scary person, the maid wouldn’t have had the courage to sit there.
So Eunha sat as far away as possible, as the maid had instructed. She now looked more reassured.
Soon after, the maid asked Eunha while looking at her with curious eyes.
“Why do you dress in men’s clothes? Your face is quite beautiful, and you seem well.”
“It’s just… a habit of mine. My first name is Eunha. And you?”
“Mine is Gari. I don’t have a last name and have been called Gari since birth.”
“Gari. I don’t know what it means but it’s a pretty name.”
When told her name was pretty, Gari’s cheeks reddened immediately. She turned her head away, and muttered awkwardly as she rubbed at her fingertips,
“No way… In any case, just know that I’ll be the one attending to my lord.”
Eunha looked around Jihak’s room with a calm heart. Perhaps, because she was nervous, she never had a chance to look around the times she was here, but there were a lot of fascinating and eye-catching items.
There were precious glasses used on telescopes, and unusual varieties of tobacco pipe arranged uniformly. Gari, who found Eunha to be even more peculiar, clicked her tongue and swung her head around, moving the side dishes that were on the table, all over the place.
Eunha, who was searching around in wonder, flinched out of her seat as she heard a noise come from outside. The door opened wide, and Gari stood up. Seo Jihak’s shadow was accompanied by the scent of heavy perfume. Perhaps he had taken a bath without a handmaid as Jihak’s long hair was wet and hung low. He frowned as if he had expected to see Eunha next to the door. For whatever reason, his steel cold eyes were like sharp blades.
“My Lord, it is Eunha.”
Frightened, Eunha made sure to make her name known. Then, he turned towards Gari’s direction and reached out a hand to Eunha. Eunha understood his need for support and held onto his hand. But Gari also hurried over to his other side and put his hand around her waist.
“My Lord, it is Gari. I shall assist you. I brought barley gulbi fish and pumpkin sweet potato soup today. Before the meal, may I comb your hair for you?”
Gari muttered unsolicited words as she supported Jihak. He simply stared at her in silence before letting out a snort. Then he stopped and grabbed Gari’s wrist forcefully.
“I told you not to ask questions unless I allow it. You always make me repeat myself.”
“M-My Lord, I’m sorry. I’ve committed a deadly sin.”
“Deadly sin… Do you want to die that badly?”
“My Lord, please spare me.”
Eunha looked up at Jihak who twisted Gari’s wrist without hesitation, his steel eyes looking in her direction.
“From now on, you will take care of me.”
“What? But a handmaid is…”
“Don’t worry. I’ll pay you enough.”
Jihak let go of Gari’s hand which was trembling from the pain and turned back sideways.
Gari looked up at Jihak with tearful eyes before she got up and stood by the door. Her head was lowered and her shoulders quivered while she refused to meet Eunha’s eyes.
As soon as she saw Gari, who looked younger than her, shed tears, Eunha went towards Jihak, who reached out for her.
“The money is not the issue; I have no idea how to assist someone. Gari would be more skilled at helping you than I can.”
After saying that, she took his hand and put it around her shoulder. His bright and beautiful silky nightwear was drenched from his not so dry hair.
“You’re mine, she’s not. Therefore, I want to receive your help.”
He said, almost like a whisper, and then walked towards the cupboard where his clothes hung instead of the prepared table.
Eunha, who noticed he was about to change out of his wet clothes, followed him and pulled out a red nightwear that was closest to him. She had refused but her body still moved on its own.
“I don’t know how to do this properly, My Lord.”
Jihak looked down at Eunha as she cluelessly held the nightwear bigger than her body in her arms. Seeing the red cloth over her fair and pretty skin, started a strange fever within him that made his toes go numb.
“Take it off.”
He spoke in a gentle tone, as if speaking to a child, and placed Eunha’s hand at the front of his night wear. He noticed how rough and cracked her fingers were as she clumsily attempted to pull at the ties.
That was how harsh Eunha’s life had been.
Eunha must have noticed how his gaze was directed at her fingertips because the way she tried to cover up them as she untied his clothes was very frustrating. Perhaps she was suspicious.
Perhaps she suspected that his eyes were fine but keep silent because she didn’t want to die.
“Please forgive me if I make a mistake.”
After she had quickly untied the chest ties, the strong firm body of the naked man reflected in her eyes. Eunha bit down on her quivering lips as the wet nightwear fell to the floor and hurriedly put the new cloth around his shoulders.
She had lived in Buyeong up until now and had seen all sorts of things. She had seen a drunk man sprawled out on the ground with his genitals out and even a couple mating like animals under a maple tree. However, the body of the men she had seen back then did not look like this. Eunha couldn’t take her eyes off Jihak’s slim and well-crafted body.
How could someone, who couldn’t even see, have a firmer body than even warriors?
The water from his hair dribbled down between his hollowed abs. Her eyes followed the trail, holding in a breath as she saw the huge bump that showed in his underwear. For some reason, his member was upraised and bulging out of his underwear.
“Your hands are slow.”
Startled by the words that came from above her head, Eunha took her hands away, and then looked up.
Her cheeks were as flushed as someone suffering from a high fever.
“I-I’m done. However, I do not know how to help with your meal…”
“Don’t worry. All you need to do is put it in my mouth.”
“My Lord, I know how to perform as a reader, not serve as a handmaid…”
“Do you perhaps not want to?”
Jihak turned around after skillfully tying on the nightwear. Eunha followed behind him as he walked fine without support.
“You have a handmaid. So how could I…”
“Are you talking about that thing?”
Jihak said with obvious hostility and grabbed Eunha’s hand to sit in front of the food table.
“Do you have an idea where that thing came from?”
Jihak gently closed his eyes and reached out to Eunha. Eunha glanced at Gari’s pale and trembling form as she slid eating utensils into his hand.
“Eunha, allow me to tell you a very amusing story.”
“Yes, My Lord…”
“I wasn’t born blind. My eyesight just happened to gradually become blurry one day… Just before a particularly important day, I became completely blind. The physician said I had been poisoned. Someone who detested me caused this blindness. But thinking about it, perhaps they were too afraid to take my life. So instead, they impaired my vision and placed someone close to me.”
With shaky hands, Eunha used the chopsticks to spread out the fish.
What kind of nobleman would use poisonous herbs to try and harm another nobleman? For what reason? What kind of dreadful life did her lord live for him to lose his eyesight from poison?
He didn’t say another word as he put the food in his mouth. The sound of melting wax falling from the candlestick filled the silence. Even the way his long and beautiful fingers held the utensils looked dignified.
“That’s why I cannot trust anyone else but you. Eunha, I don’t trust anything that isn’t mine.”
Gari fell completely to the floor at that moment, face downwards as she trembled. Eunha on the other hand was doubtful and confused at why Jihak trusted her. There was nothing special about her. Plus, had it not only been 3-4 days since he started talking to her?
Also, why did he keep calling her ‘mine’.
“Can you… really trust me? I haven’t done anything to deserve your trust.”
After witnessing what happened to the people who were rude to him last night, Eunha made sure to openly but carefully. Jihak burst into laughter, dropped his utensils, and opened his previously closed eyes.
“You’re different… You have something you wish to protect. You know very well that there is no one else who can grant your wish besides me.”
She raised her head up this time as she was placing some vegetables on top of his white rice.
His words pinpointed exactly what she was curious about. He knew too well that she was desperate enough to beg on her knees in front of him.
He also knew why she wouldn’t betray him. Well, if there was still hope at least…
“If you’d tell me how, I… will be your handmaid.”
Eunha said in a faint voice and suddenly gazed up at Jihak.
“But I don’t need more money. I shall be my lord’s hands and eyes, but in return could you please help me out later on?”