Chapter 14. Bath (2)
Feeling faint, Eunha collapsed on the floor in surprise when she saw Seo Jihak suddenly come in. She closed her mouth and watched him undress, breathing heavily like a man caught stealing.
He took off his clothes as if he hadn’t noticed her presence, filled a large pail with hot water and poured it over his head. A crimson stream of water ran down his body and pooled around his feet. The sight of the blood was the reason for Eunha’s shock.
He looked like a bloodthirsty demon covered in blood. He roughly swept back his hair, revealing his cloudy, unfocused eyes. In addition, he was breathing heavily and seemed very angry
‘Well, this bath wasn’t intended for me… Is this his bathhouse?’
A cold sweat dripped down her back. Fortunately, he was unaware of her presence. Maybe it’s because of the scent of blood. The terrible scent had paralyzed her sense of smell, preventing her from smelling the scented oil on her body.
Feeling fortunate for a stroke of good luck during a troubling situation, Eunha crept back and hid herself in the corner of the bathhouse.
Cloudy steam rose from the water as he settled in the bath. He looked up at the ceiling embedded with night crystals and sighed. Then, he suddenly looked in the exact location Eunha was hiding.
‘Oh my God!’
Their eyes met. His eyes gradually focused, and soon sparkled. However, he turned away as if he hadn’t seen her.
From the moment their eyes met, Eunha froze, unable to breathe.
‘He’s blind. He shouldn’t be able to see me… He’s really blind, right?’
But whose blood was he covered in? Did the warrior wield his sword again this time?
Eunha hugged her knees as she trembled in fear. She was warm from the steam and the heated floor, but she couldn’t stop shivering..
She pressed her lips together and closed her eyes when she heard him moving in the bathtub.
After a brief sigh, there was a long silence.
After a while, Eunha opened her eyes and stared at his back with a fairly calm expression. She didn’t know how he acted outside, but inside the house, he was as fearless as a man with sight.
‘Maybe it’s because he’s in a familiar place?’
There was a herbal medicine doctor who was very skilled in acupuncture even though he couldn’t see. He was well respected in the town.
Eunha pressed a hand to her heart, and thought,
‘I shouldn’t have these foolish doubts. The moment he becomes suspicious, is the moment he will put a knife to my throat.’
Eunha recalled the words of the book she had read to him a few hours ago. It felt like she was reading something intended for a king. It was a helpful distraction for a situation like this.
Eunha continued crouching, and didn’t raise her head even at the sound of him climbing out of the bathtub.
He came closer and reached over her head, perhaps in search of a towel to dry off with. Startled by the shadow on the floor, she lifted her head, and saw his fierce erection was close to her face.
She covered her nose and mouth with both hands, because she was afraid he would feel her breathing. Eunha tried to move back as far as she could, but the sizeable c*ck eventually brushed against her cheek.
Her heart began to beat violently at the touch of the soft yet firm flesh.
Trapped against the wall, she knew her life was now in the hands of God. Eunha looked up at him with eyes full of tears. However, he just smirked and walked away from her without saying a word…
‘I’m still alive? Am I being tricked?’
Eunha took a deep breath and relaxed only after Jihak opened the door and left the bathroom.
She was so tense that her thighs were numb and she urgently needed to use the toilet. Desperate to leave the bathroom, Eunha stood up and quickly gathered her things. Then, she glanced at the bathtub he had soaked in.
‘How is the water clear…?’
The bathtub was filled with hot, milky white water, and showed no signs of blood. There was only a faint metallic smell.
It had to be a hot spring, something she had only heard rumors of.
“No one is allowed to enter the master’s bathhouse! How did you manage to find it? Oh my. You are supposed to be smart! Couldn’t you tell? It doesn’t even look like a place for people like us?”
Eunha knew she would be scolded.
Eunha blamed herself for admitting how she had gotten lost last night. Gari, who had been angry about her sudden disappearance since morning, had left her a message to come eat in the kitchen from now on.
Eunha sighed at Gari’s cold attitude, but it was better than being hated.
Since that day, Eunha tried her best to not make eye contact with Jihak. When he raised his hand, she lowered her head like any other slave, and when he lifted her chin, sometimes she would even close her eyes.
As a result, he would tease her, often asking her to reread a passage while his fingers lightly touched her eyelashes and caressed her cheeks.
But that was it.
On sunny days, Jihak sat in the pavilion while Eunha read him books, and when he went to bed, she would tell him fairy tales from books she had read before. He would quietly smile and immediately fall asleep.
She would often stay up all night because whenever she tried to leave, he would grab her hand tightly and wouldn’t let go even after he had fallen into a deep sleep.
Somehow, it didn’t feel like 15 days had passed since her arrival.
Eunha was looking down at the garden behind the mansion, a sight which she had become accustomed to over the past 15 days, and sorted through her troubled thoughts.
“Will my sister try to look for me… ?”
She was worried because last night the owner of the courtesan house sent a request for her to come to Buyeong and visit her older sister.
Either way, she also wanted to see her sister. Their abrupt parting had bothered her, and it was also distressing that she hadn’t heard from her the entire time she was here.
However, she believed that the owner of the courtesan house cared for her sister and wouldn’t harm her.
“Are you done packing?”
‘Was it time to leave already?’
Gari had come to clean her room, but started scolding her for going outside instead.
Eunha packed her things with a bitter expression.
“I’m going, I’m going. I won’t see you for three days. Won’t you be bored without me, Gari?”
“Uhh, me? I’ll have a pleasant time. I’m going to take care of my master while you’re away.”
“Do you really enjoy taking care of your master?”
Gari chuckled at Eunha’s innocent question, then clicked her tongue,
“I heard you were raised in a courtesan house, so why don’t you know anything? Is this what I like to do? He’s a blind man. If we get along, it’s only a matter of time before he reaches for me. Since he can’t see, my looks won’t matter. If we’re compatible, I could even become his wife.”
‘How can she be so brazen? Shameless, but confident?’
Perhaps that’s why Gari wasn’t spiteful towards her. Eunha sighed as she removed her thin pajamas and put on men’s clothing.
“Do you only have men’s clothes?”
Gari asked while casually watching her.
“Yes. I’ve rarely worn a skirt, and it’s so hard to put it on without help…”
“But courtesans wear…”
Gari realized her mistake and quickly corrected her words.
“It’s difficult for courtesans to wear as well. The clothes we wear are rather comfortable. It’s suitable for our work, and you can sit with your legs wide open. Besides, don’t people find it strange when you wear men’s clothing?”
“Maybe, but… Is there anyone in this town who doesn’t know me? If I walk around wearing a skirt, they’ll point their fingers at me, saying, ‘That bitch has finally gone crazy’.”
“Oh my. How could they do that? You’re still a woman so you can wear a skirt.”
“Well, it’s not a big deal. Anyway, I’ll see you when I get back. I will be fine for three days. Now there’s no one for you to nag.”
Gari looked at Eunha with a dull expression, then lifted her packed luggage and personally escorted her to the door.
“He left early this morning. So just go. I will let him know when he gets back.”
‘Early this morning?’
Eunha looked around the quiet residence and nodded her head. Strangely, the sight filled her with disappointment. Somewhere along the way she had grown attached to it. She had experienced many things here, so it would be rather strange if it didn’t bother her.
Nodding at Gari, Eunha picked up her luggage, and walk towards the gate. Outside the gate, there was quite a lot of snow that hadn’t melted yet.
The reason there was no snow on the estate was due to the servants who worked morning and night to clear it. Just thinking about it made her feet feel colder.
“Hey Eunha! Lee Eunha!”
Just as she exited the gate Eunha turned towards the familiar voice and saw Shihoon running from afar.
“Young Master Shihoon!”