“I told her that I loved you too much, and that’s why I wanted you all to myself.”
After Saehee took Rangii to wash her face, I asked Narae what it was that she told Rangii. I then found out that it was possible to do a spit take despite not having a drink in your mouth.
“…Please forgive me.”
Narae wiped my spit off her face with a handkerchief and continued to speak.
“That’s what happened. I just wanted to make sure you knew.”
“Ah, um, yes.”
I was currently kneeling in my room, my arms up in punishment. Sitting on my lap was a heavy encyclopedia that Narae had, for whatever reason, decided to bring with her.
“Seriously, how did you get Rangii to fall so hard for you?”
“That wasn’t my doing.”
She was like that since the beginning.
“Whatever. Your sincere confession from before. I didn’t give you an answer yet, did I?”
My heart sank to the bottom of my chest; I never even imagined Narae would bring that up. It was already nighttime, but sweat began to crawl down my back.
“W-wait. I need time to prepare my own feelings, too, so bringing this up all of a sudden is a bit….”
“I’ll give you an answer later.”
Completely forgetting what Narae said earlier, I spoke as if questioning her.
“Later? But you told Rangii that….”
Narae’s punch landed on my cheek.
“You dummy! I was obviously just trying to trick Rangii!”
The truth was, I was extremely disappointed.
“Wait, but more importantly! Confessing to me like that is seriously weird! I figured you had me go behind the gym with you when vacation started so that you could confess! Tell me. Was that why you called me there?”
My childhood friend is frightening.
“What happened today was the worst confession of my life. I mean, you said you liked both Rangii and me. And on top of all that, you said you planned on two timing! There’s something wrong with you. Seriously wrong.”
I couldn’t say anything. I lowered my head and waited for Narae’s guillotine to come crashing down.
“…And there’s something wrong with me for still liking you.”
“Never mind. You complained about eight years, well I raise you my ten.”
“What does that mean?”
“I-it’s a saying!”
There was no need to hit me; you just had to say that.
“So I’m not going to give you an answer yet. Do you think any girl would respond with an ‘okay’ after being told that she’s only one in a pair?”
I suddenly thought of Rangii.
“If I were to say no, then Rangii might start crying again, so make sure you keep your story straight: I was consumed with jealousy because I loved you too much.”
I worked up my courage and spoke.
“D-doesn’t that basically boil down to a no?”
Wouldn’t this be carelessly covering up the situation just like Saehee said? But, for some reason, I didn’t get a bad feeling from this. Because her postponing giving an answer was likely to give her the time to think of her answer.
“I’m just asking for more time; why are you overthinking it? What, you don’t like it? Would you rather I just tell you no right here?!”
I waved my hands in front of me in a panic.
“Of course not! Not at all! Take all the time you need!”
Narae huffed indignantly before continuing to speak.
“So make sure you remember that.”
“Hm? Remember what?”
This was perhaps the first time that Rangii opening the door caused me so much surprise. Narae and I practically had to force our racing hearts to stay within our chests before we could say anything.
“Nothing, don’t worry about it.”
“Yeah, don’t worry about it.”
Rangii tilted her head to the side and formed a question mark with her hair. She then stopped thinking about it and trotted to sit between Narae and me. When I was able to calm down, I realized that, for some unknowable reason, Rangii was dressed not in her usual clothes but in a white button-down dress shirt.
Actually, to call the reason unknowable was wrong. There was only one reason why she would be dressed like that.
“Sunghoon, Sunghoon. I’m sleepy.”
I guess crying must have really tired her out.
“Oh, r-really? In that case….”
Rangii moved her tail and stuffed it in my mouth. Ubb?!
“I’m going to sleep here!”
Y-you little brat. I could bite your tail if I wanted to.
“Wait, Rangii. Why are you dressed like that?”
I don’t think that’s the question you should be asking right now, Narae.
“Ah, you mean this? Sunghoon told me to use it as pajamas!”
Rangii proudly puffed up her utterly lacking chest as she took her tail out of my mouth, and Narae began to bear a striking resemblance to a demon newly risen from hell. I quickly explained the truth to Narae.
“It’s true that I told her to use it as pajamas, but Saehee’s the one who forced this on me!”
“Then why didn’t you say something back then?!”
I couldn’t bring myself to complain because Rangii looked too cute in a dress shirt. Of course, the same held true now. I kept quiet, searching for a convincing lie I could tell Narae, when Rangii’s ears pricked up and she said:
“Saehee prepared pajamas for you, too, Narae!”
With her tail now out of my mouth, Rangii was inexplicably holding a dress shirt with her tail. Rangii moved her tail, offering the shirt to Narae. Bewildered, Narae automatically accepted the shirt before blushing profusely.
“W-wait! Why should I….”
“This is a command by your senior. Narae, you will wear these pajamas and sleep here with us.”
“My senior? Why the heck are you my senior?”
“I’m Sunghoon’s wife, and you’re his concubine, right? Then of course I’m your senior.”
Thank you for the simple explanation.
“Wh-who are you calling a concubine?!”
Rangii flinched when Narae twisted the dress shirt in her hands and shouted. Oh no. This is bad.
She’s crying. She’s crying. She’s seriously crying. Her tear ducts are all warmed up, so it’s actually easier for her to cry!
“Th-then what you said before….”
Narae responded in a daze.
“W-wait. Yeah. I’m Sunghoon’s concubine. Rangii, you’re my senior. So stop crying. Come on, stop.”
I was amazed at how quickly she stopped crying.
“Then are you going to sleep with us?”
“Yeah. Let’s sleep together, Rangii.”
“With the pajamas on?”
Narae grit her teeth and nodded her head after glancing at me. This elicited a bright smile from Rangii, and she jumped forward to embrace Narae’s chest.
“Then, Sunghoon! Give both of us your love tonight!”
I nearly had a nose bleed. Seriously. Saying something so adorable should be considered criminal to the extreme!
“Ah, but Sunghoon. Why aren’t you in pajamas? I’ll go ask Saehee to get you some.”
The moment the tiger spoke her guardian ghost’s name, Saehee appeared next to her. I was a little startled, but I didn’t give any indication of surprise. I didn’t want to give her any satisfaction.
“There is no need to do that.”
Saehee reached into her sleeve and took out a necktie. I thought hard about what the necktie was for. Why take out a necktie?
“What’s that for? Wait, are you seriously giving me that to use as pajamas?”
“Men of this era often use this as pajamas.”
“The heck kind of men are you talking about?! I’ll just go to sleep in my normal clothes, then.”
“The master and Narae-nim are dressed in dress shirts, so is it not the Young Master’s duty to provide them with service in kind?”
“What kind of service, exactly?”
This was actually perfect timing.
“Come outside with me for a bit.”
“Are you unsatisfied with a threesome and would prefer a foursome? You are quite frightening, Young Master. Are you perhaps planning on creating a soccer team in the future?”
“I’ll be back soon.”
After I said this to Narae and Rangii, I left the room. As usual, Saehee followed behind me without a single sound to indicate her presence. When I walked some distance from my room, I sharply asked Saehee a direction question.
“What the hell did you do to me?”
Now that I had the time to reflect over my actions, I found it hard to believe that I was able to confess so directly to Narae. I mentioned before that my feelings were that of pure love. I had spent the last eight years unable to confess my feelings, my emotions kept hidden inside me, and I used every excuse I could possibly think of to avoid Narae suspecting that I loved Rangii. Yet, despite that, I was able to convey my feelings honestly. In a manner extremely unlike me. If I were asked to confess again, I would, but I wouldn’t be anywhere near as straightforward about my feelings as I was then. That left only one possibility.
Saehee did something else to my head when she brainwashed me.
But Saehee simply tilted her head to the side and spoke.
“What exactly are you talking about?”
Own up to your actions, darn it!
“Did I not say this earlier? First. I would make the Young Master unaware that I would be filming. Second. I would make the Young Master more honest with himself.”
“So there were two spells!!”
“Did I ever say that I would only cast one?”
I put my hands to my head and sat down. Holy crap. I was considering recording any future conversations I have with her and analyzing them.
“Should you not simply be content that everything ended happily? You should be happy that you narrowly avoided at least one upcoming disaster, not complaining about insignificant details, Young Master.”
“What, do you think underlining that bit and writing in the margins, ‘foreshadowing the perils to come’ makes everything okay?”
Saehee suddenly shook her hands and black smoke formed words in midair.
You should be happy that you narrowly avoided at least one upcoming disaster, not complaining about insignificant details, Young Master.
I gawked, stunned speechless by her ridiculous use of magic.
“Thus, I am foreshadowing the Young Master’s perilous journey. Are you satisfied?”
At this point, I was too tired to quibble over every little thing. Too many things happened today.
“Fine. What was I thinking, trying to argue with you.”
“Though I must admit: the Young Master’s consideration for the Master was quite impressive. You even caused my heart to flutter.”
These words I said with genuine feeling.
“…You should get yourself a hearing aid.”
“Please shut up.”