Chapter 8. Locked Up (2)
Mr. Song waited outside for Eunha to come out, but once the guards closed and locked the gates, he gave up.
He was aware Eunha was thinking about making more money these days, but he never thought that something like this could happen.
‘Turn her into a courtesan?’
He felt disgusted by Simdeok for wanting to force a kid, who clearly hates the courtesan profession, to become one.
Mr. Song wandered around his bookshop, thinking about what he should do. Then he suddenly remembered Eunha’s instructions to deliver a message to the Lord, informing him that she would try to escape as soon as possible.
A commoner asking a noble for a favor was something that wasn’t allowed.
Although it wasn’t her fault, she had broken the promise. In this situation, asking for consideration from the other party was ridiculous. There was no way that an intelligent kid Eunha didn’t know that.
Just in case, Song decided to deliver the message. If things didn’t work out, he might also be affected by it.
Those who saw him running while struggling to breathe, made fun of him. But he didn’t have time for that. Although he was out of breath and his legs hurt, Song just kept running towards Seo Jihak’s house.
“I really wasn’t trying to see Young Master Yoon! Why are you doing this to me?!”
It had been many hours since she was locked inside her room. Eunha kept banging the door while shouting, but there was no answer from the other side.
It wouldn’t feel so suffocating if there was any kind of response from the guards. Not only that, she had been locked in a room with lax security. It was as if Simdeok was daring her to escape.
The moment Eunha escaped, that woman would probably hurt her sister. The owner of the courtesan house was that type of woman.
“Please listen to me! If I don’t go out now, things will get really bad! A very scary person is waiting for me!”
Eunha banged the door and the wall even with her head, but it was useless. The two shadows on the other side of the door did not move at all.
She sat down on the floor in confusion. She was having a hard time understanding Simdeok’s actions. It wasn’t like she was going to become a courtesan.
Eunha laid on the floor and sighed while gazing up at the ceiling.
She was terrified of the Lord becoming angry and taking her life. Also, why is it that her neck was hurting so much?
She closed her eyes, hoping the time would pass quickly…
“Eunha? Are you there?”
She could hear Chunhee’s voice coming from outside the door.
“The Owner has sent me. Open the door.”
“Are you telling the truth?”
“Yes. I’m Chunhee, her personal servant. If you have any doubts, go ask her directly.”
The guards looked at each other and then decided to open the door. Eunha blinked at the harshness of the light coming in from the other side of the door.
People were probably getting ready for that night’s work.
Chunhee approached Eunha and slapped her on the back.
“Why were you trying to escape?”
“I wasn’t! I’d never escape and leave my sister behind.”
“Then why are all your things packed? You packed up everything the moment people began talking about making you a courtesan. It was obvious how she would react!”
“Huh? What? Making me a courtesan?”
“Didn’t you hear? The owner was doing her best to convince Yongi…”
“I’m sure she rejected such a ridiculous offer! Why would she even say yes to such a thing?!”
Chunhee quickly covered Eunha’s mouth before glancing outside, and then shook her head. Seeing how she wanted Eunha to lower her voice, it was obvious that the house owner hadn’t sent her.
“Eunha, prepare yourself for the worst. She has finished all the preparations to make you a courtesan.”
“I don’t even know the etiquette, and I have no intention of living a life of selling fake smiles!”
“I know, but think about it. How many of the girls here actually wanted to become a courtesan? No girl dreams of becoming a flower.”
When she saw Eunha was close to crying, Chunhee grabbed her hand and tried to comfort her.
“First, they humiliate you in front of the nobles. Then, she lets the servants harass you. A low life will try to lift your skirt and touch you. Do you think the girls working here enjoy being treated this way? Every night before they go to bed, I’m sure there’s more than a few who want to bite their tongue and not wake up ever again. But they wake up the next morning to endure the same things over and over again. That’s the life of a courtesan. And the one that allows it to be so horrible is the house’s owner.”
Eunha’s face turned pale. Chunhee was afraid Yongi would get hurt due to Eunha’s rebellious nature.
Eunha was the reason why Yongi had gotten sick in the first place. Also, if she had been a bit more mature, she would have never allowed Young Master Yoon to follow her around.
However, Eunha only thought of him as an older brother. That’s why they were always so close.
Nevertheless, Chunhee knew that it had been only a matter of time before Simdeok eventually exploded.
“I don’t want to… I really don’t…”
“If you really don’t want to, then you shouldn’t. But be prepared for the worst. She’s willing to do whatever is necessary to make you a courtesan.”
Eunha was visibly trembling as she closed her eyes. Although she was shaking, she still hadn’t given up hope.
Seeing this change in demeanor, Chunhee knew it was useless to continue trying to talk to Eunha as it only served to make her angrier than before.
When Chunhee finally left Eunha’s room, something seemed off in the courtesan house, but she didn’t see anything strange. Just as always, there were men dressed in silk robes crossing the gate of the courtesan house with the courtesans running towards them while trying to look cute.
Chunhee tilted her head and was about to walk toward Simdeok’s room when Seohee, one of Yongi’s servants, came running towards her from a distance and grabbed her sleeves.
“S… Sister! She isn’t here. An important client came, and she went out to personally greet him.”
“What? She went out to personally greet him?”
‘Did the minister come to pay a visit?’
If he had come here, it would explain the current weird atmosphere. It wouldn’t even be necessary to ask which room was picked. She had probably taken him to the biggest and most luxurious one.
Although she supported Simdeok, Chunhee began feeling uneasy. Simdeok was probably going to get mad at her for going out without saying a word.
Chunhee left Seohee behind and walked toward the secret room, which was located in the deepest part of the courtesan house. From a distance, she could see the servants taking food and drinks there.
“Is the house owner here?”
Chunhee asked the servants serving the food and drinks.
The oldest of the house servants pointed at the room with her chin.
“An incredibly important person came. He seems to be blind. He came here accompanied by a knight and appears to be someone of higher status than the minister. Therefore, you need to be careful, Chunhee. Understood?”
‘Someone blind and accompanied by a knight?’
“Is he someone young?”
“Very young. It’s also my first time seeing someone so pretty.”
“Yes. He’s way prettier than the average courtesan here.”
With a nervous expression on her face, she accompanied the people delivering the food and drinks.
Beyond the half-moon-shaped door, she saw Simdeok sitting down with her face looking down. On the other side, there was a man sitting and smoking.
The moment the man looked at her with his eyes half-closed, she felt fear. She instinctively knew that she shouldn’t look him directly in the eyes and bowed immediately.
He was smiling. Was it because he saw Chunhee bowing?
“There’s a courtesan here called Yongi, right?”
The man asked with a low and grave voice. Simdeok bit her lips.
“My Lord, I’m sorry, but Yongi is currently sick, and will be unable to attend you…”
“No, I’m not looking for her. The one I want is her little sister. She’s called Eunha, right?”
“Yes? How do you know Eunha?”
The man’s gaze was directed at the edge of the table as he took a sip of the alcohol offered by the knight.
“I don’t need to explain myself to you. Just bring her to me.”
The man’s neck moved up and down as he swallowed. Even the way he drank alcohol showed dignity.
“My Lord, that kid hasn’t debuted yet. She still hasn’t put her hair up. But once she debuts, I will give you a call.”
She had seen many people who had fallen in love with Eunha at first sight. Every single one of them offered themselves to put her hair up.
‘Is this client also an admirer? But how could a blind person know about her?’
Chunhee felt like something odd was going on. She glanced at Simdeok and watched her fists turn pale.
“If she hadn’t put her hair up, I’ll do it myself.”
The man set his cup down, which caused the alcohol to overflow and wet his hand. Simdeok reached over in an attempt to clean it up.
“Yes, My Lord.”
“Cut this woman’s tongue. She’s making me repeat myself.”
Simdeok’s face became pale. The knight stood before her and drew his sword. If she made the wrong move, he would cut her tongue.
“I… I’m sorry, my Lord. I’ll bring her right away. P… Please forgive me. I have sinned… Chunhee! Bring her immediately!”
She screamed in desperation.
Chunhee got up and ran away from the room.
After seeing that, instead of a cup of alcohol, he picked up the cigarette. An intense smoke filled the room.
“Soon, the alcohol will taste sweeter.”