Happiness – Chapter 3
“A-Pian… well… it sounds like a worthwhile place to visit when one’s old, right?”
Biyeon had paused for a moment, tilted her head back, replied curtly, and then moved onward.
‘There’s no reaction?’
An embarrassed expression ran over Rain’s face. Before her eyes, the face of the old man who had given her this advice flashed for a moment before disappearing. Her first recollection of the old man's image was a gracious face, an older gentleman who was worldly and caring. However, after disappearing from the imperial courts for a period of time, he returned back to the capital with a crumpled expression. Rain’s face also became a little wrinkled at this moment.
What was the meaning of Hanyoung's changed expression? What did he see and learn that changed his expression so much?
‘There must be something else…’
As far as she knew, her mentor was the wisest man in the Kingdom. Wasn’t she also a great talent? At that time, the old man’s strange expression made her feel slightly uncomfortable. The feeling was similar to the anxiety one felt when one knew that more information was available but withheld.
Rain couldn’t even begin to dream the depths of her mentor’s emotions.
What Rain didn’t know was the fact that the wise imperial mentor and the empire's military advisor, Hanyoung, had never had any luck when dealing with this countryside woman, and that she possessed the ability to entangle others to her benefit, and how Hanyoung had toiled and struggled under her influence…
From a distance, San’s gaze turned toward the retreating Biyeon after she had split from Rain. His eyes were calm, but there was something slowly swaying deep inside. After clicking his tongue, he slowly moved to the dining area. The Count’s youths followed alongside him.
“Are you done with your business?” Gun asked with a smile while passing the blankly standing Rain. He was starting to head for Biyeon.
Rain smiled bitterly. Suddenly, she turned her head and looked at another person standing behind her, San. He was a man in a strange outfit. In her mind, he was also a very unlucky guy. From this point forward, he would have a hard time protecting his woman. If Gun chose Biyeon as his next target, the situation would progress terribly for San.
She really didn’t like Gun’s actions, but he was not an opponent she could stop. Furthermore, she wouldn’t have enough of a valid reason to justify reproaching him. Additionally, based on how a low-ranking woman like Biyeon treated her just now, she didn’t even want to help.
‘How can she be so rude even though she knows my identity?’
Rain slightly narrowed her eyes. However, at first glance, there was no anxiety in that ‘ordinary’ man’s face. Rain lightly sighed and moved on.
‘In order to have something precious, one must have the ability to protect it. However, there are also people who have the ability but don’t choose to protect. I’ll have to wait and see. If you can’t solve this problem, you don’t qualify to have a relationship with her. Argh! I’ll have to come up with a compensation plan for Gun's actions. In this world, it’s always the same. Every guy with a swinging di…’
“Biyeon… Your name is very peculiar, no? Is it your real name?” Gun asked while looking sideways. He was sitting and shaking his leg.
Gun stared at Biyeon’s side profile and waited patiently for an answer.
In the dining room, large dishes started being brought onto the table one by one, but the rattling sounds of dishes and utensils were not heard.
The over thirty guests were staring at Gun with their mouths shut. The Count and Countess sat across from Biyeon. San sat in the far-left corner of the room. Strangely, Rain was sitting next to him. In a word, San and Gun’s seat had been swapped.
This layout was different from the originally intended seating arrangement. This happened because Gun sat in San’s seat first. It was considered polite and proper to be shown one’s seat under the guidance of the host, but the Count did not impose any restraint on Gun’s behavior. Actually, it would be more accurate to say he couldn’t. Gun’s official name was ‘Gun Dera’. The surname ‘Dera’ could only be used by the imperial family members of the Empire, the descendants who possessed a direct line to the throne, who were the most powerful political force in this world.
The empire was comprised of various territories and kingdoms. Amongst the territories and kingdoms, the empire’s strongest military power was the First Nation-State. The First Nation-State territory was ruled by the second prince, named ‘Junkyung Dera’. Gun was the second son of this prince. In short, Gun was one of the direct descendants of the emperor. Prince Junkyung was a very powerful man, and if he succeeded his father as Emperor, Gun would become even more ‘untouchable’ and ‘absolute’ figure. Thus, it was a great issue that such an esteemed and important figure as Gun appeared in this northern remote territory.
Gun smiled and waited for Biyeon’s answer. This wasn’t something that he had done once or twice. He knew how to deal with women. He knew very well the level of power his name and title possessed. Additionally, he knew what interesting things would happen when he hid, revealed, and used his official power at the appropriate times. So, in this game of his, it was more enjoyable for him to contend against a woman like Biyeon who acted strong and independent. He felt a sense of achievement whenever he stepped on these types of women and extracted what he wanted.
Instead of answering, Biyeon searched through her small leather bag and pulled out an item.
“Have you concluded your search? So, what did you find?” Biyeon said softly to no one in particular.
Gun opened his eyes wide and tilted his head to the side as he stared at Biyeon. He didn't understand who she was speaking to nor what she was talking about. She was seemingly talking to the air in front of her. She had also placed a small item near her ear as she seemingly spoke to herself.
“Hmm… his name is Gun Dera. Grandson of the current emperor, the second son of the next imperial candidate…? This kid… he has a much higher title than I expected.”
Gun’s eyes opened wider. She was definitely speaking about him. He quickly glanced to his left to see how the others in the room were reacting. In the meantime, Biyeon’s monologue continued.
“Noble and elegant impression? Are you kidding me? He’s like a little, oily rat, so slimy and sleazy…”
Gun turned his head towards her again. He was now biting his lips tightly and clenching his fists.
“He’s twenty-two now? He’s a little kid who doesn’t even know how his brain works… Does he have a lot of money?”
Gun stopped shaking his leg. Before he made a move to stand up and draw his sword, he scanned the other people at the luncheon with a chilly gaze. However, their reaction wasn’t what he expected. No one was nervous, and no one looked at his face with fear. Even Count Essen, who knew of his lofty status, was staring at Biyeon with a distant expression.
Even though his imperial background and title came out, no one seemed to care! Did everyone go mad or lose their grip on reality?
Rain put her spoon down. Her hands were shaking and her eyes trembled. Her eyes slowly lost focus. Even in the midst of their surprise, Biyeon’s solo conversation continued unhurriedly. Her voice resonated clearly throughout the quiet space.
“He also misused his status for personal gain? How much? At least 4.2 million Tongbo? Wow, he’s very rich…”
“He’s openly perverted towards women. There’s no one he hasn’t touched around him… hmm…? And there are even relatives among the women he’s touched? His personality is arbitrary and evil, and he’s killed people as he pleased… there was also his younger brother among them?...”
“He’s smart but frivolous, so his words and actions have no credibility… Damn, aren’t there any redeeming points to this human being?...”
“The conclusion is that he’s closer to an animal than a human. Huh? What do you mean? No… it’s too early to judge. I’ll make the judgment on my own. Rain? She’s here. Let’s talk about her next time. Yeah, that retarded animal you’ve been telling me about is sitting right next to me. Huh? Fee for providing this information? Is five hundred enough for a god?”
Biyeon closed her flip phone with an audible clap. Gun had already gotten up from his seat, his breathing ragged. Biyeon also took a deep breath. One was breathing heavily from anger, the other from frustration…
Rain also stood up. Her eyes were quickly moving about, looking at everyone at the luncheon. Her body shivered like she had a cold. This kind of situation never happened before.
‘We arrived yesterday. Coming here was almost like an impulsive decision. But how does she know us? Even in terms of her information’s accuracy, even the imperial information squad I manage can’t compare...’
“I’m twenty-six years old. My age isn’t suitable for you. Also, a promiscuous child like you isn’t my taste. Will you stop your approaches? This isn’t a place where a child like you can freely approach me,” Biyeon said in a low, cool voice.
“Who are you bitch? How… How do you know about me?”
Gun’s voice was trembling. His hands were trembling so much that he couldn’t pull out his sword. He was barely able to hold onto the handle…
“That’s a trade secret, so I can’t tell you. Now go along. I don’t like repeating myself. Nothing will happen if you don’t continue making a scene. Go along.”
“What if I don’t?”
“Then you’ll put yourself in a very unfortunate position. It won’t be difficult to bury you in this local village on the outskirts of the empire.”
Biyeon slowly turned her head toward Gun. She released an ‘overwhelming’ aura. It was a concise message. A confirmation. Biyeon had on a careless, delicate expression, but for Gun, it was the first time he had felt such a violent energy and aura…
Gun couldn’t remember what happened next. Someone supported his back while he fell. The last thing he recalled was the constant chatter and playful conversation lingering around his ear.
“Aren’t you scaring this young child too much? He was so scared that he pissed in his pants.”
“I really wanted to kill him! If he went a bit further…”
Gun chose to fully pass out.
The luncheon continued smoothly without a hitch. The rude guest suddenly passed out and was carried away. The meal was pleasant, and the conversation flowed refreshingly. Surprisingly, none of the Count’s guests recounted Biyeon’s tragic act of blasphemy against the empire.
Rain was regaining her cool. Her head was already working overtime. She needed to revise her own thoughts and understand this situation in a calm, collected way. However, even for a genius like her, it wasn’t easy.
She soon recognized the cause. The biggest obstacle in judging these ‘two people’ was Rain’s common sense. She decided to abandon her common sense. With that, a new ‘common sense’ began to form. Listening humbly, speaking reasonably, and showing favor to others first… That was the common sense she observed in their conversation and behavior. Rain started taking notes.
‘Day one, first question: Where does their intelligence come from? Is the empire’s information safe?
(Fact 1) In just one day, they found out the identity and past history of an individual.
(Fact 2) Long-distance communication may be possible.
(Fact 3) The origin of Facts 1 and 2 is not verified. The two know more than they’re letting on.
Second question: Who are they?
(Fact 1) The imperial advisor, Hanyoung, stated that they were Awakened Warriors. This may be an understatement.
(Fact 2) Their ideas and thoughts go beyond common sense… However, they seem to always reach the correct conclusion. There are no exceptions.
(Fact 3) Alliances: Han-Sung Clan, Dark Guilds, various intelligent organizations, and other... sources… others have not been identified or verified.
Other questions: What is their purpose? Build and expand their own estate? 20% possibility. Why? What’s their goal? It doesn’t seem to be for the pursuit of power.
Conclusion: I can’t tell. Inconclusive.
Damn it… Why are such capable people living in such a rural area?’
The thirty-second daughter of the current Emperor, the Second Secretary of the Interior who oversaw all documents and information for the Empire… Rain Dera’s first chapter of her great memoir started here. It started in this place.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter