Chapter 7 - Dark Day of the New Moon

This facility was called the Sunlight Orphanage. A lot of children resided here, and the place was filled with their voices. The children cried, fought, and made up as they chattered. An incredible amount of energy could be felt within the orphanage. Most of these children were orphans without any parents, but this was why the teachers worked hard to make their lives better. So, the children were all happy here. However, there were also children that made trouble for others. They got into accidents. Children were children, after all.

But the orphanage was much more raucous than usual that day. Normally, children and teachers were the only ones residing within. But now, unfamiliar people had mixed in with them.

A woman moved forward. She was an old lady past her middle age. She greeted the group.

It was said that one’s genes determined how one looked when one was young. But when one grew old, it was said that one’s face was determined by the deeds accomplished in one’s lifetime. If the saying was true, then she must have lived a virtuous life. She was old enough that half her hair had turned white. But anyone that looked at her face would unconsciously put their guard down. She looked like someone of high morals. She had a warm smile that made one think of one's own grandma, who would always welcome one back home. She had that look.

She was the director of the orphanage. She had been a person of character since she was young. She ran a child care center that reared homeless children into fine adults. She was a woman respected by everyone.

“Hello!”

She was a woman of such stature, yet she personally greeted everyone.

There were 23 people, all looking to be in their early- to mid-20s, in the group. Nineteen of them were men, and four were women. They were a mixed-sex group that was part of a volunteer club from the nearby university.

This group came twice a month to volunteer, so the director was happy as she welcomed them.

“Please come in.”

Like it was the case in all orphanages, the manpower here was also always lacking. The fact that volunteers came twice a month to help out was a big boon.

“Didn’t you say you are the president now, Mr. Minsung?”

“Yes. Please look after us, director.”

“I should be the one saying that. Please look after us.”

The director talked to the man named Minsung, and then she looked at the people behind him.

“There are a lot of people here today.”

“The freshmen are here.”

“I see.”

Still, the director wondered why so many people came. It had been five years since she had partnered up with this volunteer club. The freshmen always bolstered the number of members within the club around this time of the year. But even if one considered that fact, there were still too many people. However, the director decided not to worry about it. They were always short on manpower, so she welcomed the large number of people here. Maybe, she would be able to do a spring cleaning today. She started having ambitious goals.

“I’ll introduce you to the new members.”

Minsung started to introduce each new freshman who had joined the club. In the beginning, she had a benevolent smile on her face as she thanked and welcomed each volunteer. However, her face started to harden a little bit as the introduction continued.

‘They really don’t look like people interested in volunteering...’

She had run this orphanage for over ten years. She could tell a person’s attitude at a glance now. She could tell if someone was interested in working or not. The freshmen introduced by Minsung didn’t look to be interested in volunteering. From her experience, these kinds of people weren’t passionate about working. She would be lucky if they didn't cause any trouble.

Of course, pretenders always existed in a large group. However, the ratio was too large this time.

The director found the cause when Minsung introduced a particular student.

‘It’s because of this child.’

Beautiful. It was the only word that could describe her. Her hair was lightly permed, and it fell down like a waterfall. When she moved her head, her hair moved like water. There wasn’t a single blemish on her jade-like skin. It was so smooth that a bug would probably slip off her skin if it tried to land. She had full eyelashes that were long and curved. Her lips were deep red, and it made one want to kiss those lips. Unlike the other girls present, she didn’t have much makeup on, but this actually highlighted her beauty.

“Hello.”

When she lowered her head, her hair flowed like water as it fell across her neck. If the director had a camera and she had been talented in photography, she would have taken pictures of this girl at that moment. She had the urge to paint this scene. The girl was so beautiful that such impulse arose within her for a brief moment.

In her long years, she had never seen a woman as beautiful as her.

‘Most of the men here are trying to poach this child.’

The director nodded when the girl bowed her head. She also took a peek at the others. President Minsung and all the men were staring at the girl. They had been mesmerized.

The director let out a sigh inside. She didn’t plan on getting involved in other people’s love lives. She knew it was pathetic for these men to follow around this beautiful girl, but she decided not to even entertain such thoughts. She just wondered how hard these men would work for the orphanage today.

‘Still, this child has passion.’

Did she say her name was Jung Jiyoon? At the very least, this girl was passionate about volunteering. This fact made the director relax a little bit.

‘I feel a bit bad for doing this, but I’ll have to use this child for a good cause.’

Most of these students had come to look good in front of Jiyoon. Most of the men in the volunteer group had fallen for Jiyoon, so she would make the men work near Jiyoon. The men would work hard in order to look good in front of Jiyoon. The director was going to use Jiyoon to control her labor force.

After the introduction was done, the students were directed by the director and the daycare teachers on the work they had to do. It was as the director had expected. Very few students had come here with the desire to do volunteer work. Their work stalled as they kept eyeing the flower called Jiyoon. The director had correctly assessed the situation, and, of course, the daycare teachers furrowed their brows when they saw this. However, the director had years of experience, and she was crafty. Her experience shone in situations like this, and she kept asking Jiyoon to do the hardest work. Of course, she assigned these tasks in front of her admirers, and the men completely fell for the director’s trap.

“I’ll do this.”

Jiyoon was about to move a heavy item when one male student cut in front of her. Before she could say anything, the male student took the heavy item as if he was stealing it from her. He put on a bright smile towards her and walked ahead of her with confidence.

‘Is he trying to gain some points doing that?’

His heart was tinged in pink, and he was hopeful. He kept his back straight as if the work wasn’t tiring him at all. He felt Jiyoon’s gaze on his back.

As he had expected, Jiyoon was looking at his back. However, no favorable feelings were reflected on her face as he had hoped. In fact, a slight disgust had appeared.

This scenario kept repeating itself. If she tried to do anything that was slightly arduous, the male students cut in front of her. They did her work for her. She was like a sack of barley on the side as she watched everyone else do her work for her. She tried to refuse the help of others several times, yet the male students were obstinate. They wouldn’t listen to her. The disgust on her face continued to deepen.

Jiyoon let out a sigh as she moved to find another task she could do. She had come here to help, not to be treated like a princess. She tried to explain this to the others, but the men just ignored her wishes.

Jiyoon knew why they were acting this way. However, they had chosen the absolute worst way to go about this. Her opinions of them bottomed out, and it never rose.

She once again let out a sigh as she was about to open the door to a random room.

She heard voices across the door.

“Hey, are you also gunning for Jiyoon?”

It was a familiar voice. He was in the same club as her and a fellow freshman that had come out to volunteer with her. Moreover, he was the one that had snatched away her broom when she tried to sweep the floor. 

“Of course. Aren’t you hear for the same reason? Is there anyone that joined that isn’t gunning for her?”

It was another familiar voice. He was also a freshman that had joined the same club as her. He had snatched away the microwave when Jiyoon had tried to move it.

Jiyoon was taken aback since she heard gossips about herself. Her hand froze on the doorknob as she continued to hear more voices.

“Oh my god. I froze when I saw her for the first time. How could someone like her exist? Idols aren’t as pretty as her.”

“I’ve had the chance to see a couple of idols in the past. They can’t hold a candle to her. Even if she can’t sing or dance, she’ll become a top idol if she debuted right now.”

“Also, her personality is great, and her body is banging. Isn’t she also from a wealthy family?”

“Her family runs a mid-sized business. She’s got everything.”

“She’s really the complete package. A complete package. It would be awesome if I could date her. She looks great in the day, but I bet she would be awesome in bed at night. She’s quite docile, so it’ll be fun training her.”

“Girls like her are actually more freaky in bed…”

That was all she could take. Jiyoon got out of there as if she was running away.

This was quite common for her. Men always acted nice in front of her. They were gunning for her face and wealth. She could act like a princess, and she could probably live a comfortable life doing that. However, her heart wouldn’t let her do that. There was no way.

“Hey, Jiyoon!”

She heard someone call after her. Jiyoon let out a sigh inside. It was another familiar voice.

“You are here. I finally found you.”

It was Minsung, the president of her club. Jiyoon quickly fixed her expression and erased the disgust on her face as she put on a smile. She wasn't trying to look good in front of him. However, if she looked like she was in distress, men would use that opportunity to get close to her. These types of men would propose solving whatever problem she was having.

“Why were you looking for me, oppa?”

“Nothing much. I’m just wondering if you are tired or not.”

‘I’m not tired, thanks to you guys. In fact, I feel like an invalid.’

She was about to tell him off, and the words had traveled up her throat. However, she was barely able to push it back down.

“No, everything is fine. Many people helped me including you, oppa.”

“Still, aren’t you a little bit tired? The other girls were sent to do easy work, yet you were assigned to do heavy work.”

Minsung was sly as he stood next to Jiyoon.

“I didn’t think the director was that kind of a woman. She’s too much. Has she become jealous in her old age? I guess you are a bit too pretty.”

As he said those words, he took a glance at Jiyoon.

“If you need anything, you just need to say the word. I can help you with most things...”

“No, I’m really fine.”

Minsung was persistent as he stuck close to Jiyoon. This time she was firm in her refusal. It was as if she couldn’t completely hide her feelings, and her words sounded sharp. Minsung was embarrassed, but he just said ‘ok’ before retreating.

Normally, Minsung wouldn’t have retreated. However, he was experienced with women, so he knew how to ‘conquer’ a woman when a woman was annoyed like this. In his head, he already had several plays that he wanted to try right now.

However, he couldn’t carry out those plans. Even if he was experienced with seducing many women, Jiyoon was one of the most beautiful women he had seen. His heart was beating faster, and he was having a hard time talking. He was acting like a virgin in front of her.

“Whew!”

Minsung turned around, and his shoulders sagged a little bit as he left. Jiyoon let out a sigh once more as she looked at his back.

Time continued to pass like this. Several problems had cropped up, but in the end, the work at the orphanage was slowly wrapping up. Jiyoon was also able to find several tasks she was allowed to do.

After Jiyoon washed the children’s clothes, she had decided to take a break. She sat on a bench located at the orphanage’s small playground.

“You did a good job.”

Someone was talking to her again. However, it wasn’t the voice of a thirsty and annoying male she had to hear all the time. It was a warm and comforting voice. It was like her grandma’s voice, who lived in the countryside.

Jiyoon turned around. The director was holding two cans of coffee as she looked at Jiyoon.

“Will you talk with an old woman while you rest?”

The director acted naturally as she sat next to her and pushed the coffee towards Jiyoon.

“Ah! Thank you.”

Jiyoon received the coffee with her two hands. The cold coffee cooled her hands.

The director opened her coffee first as she drank it. Jiyoon followed her and also opened her canned coffee.

“In truth, I came here because I have to apologize to Ms. Jiyoon.”

The bitter yet sweet coffee was going down her throat when she heard the director’s unexpected words.

“What? Why would you apologize to me?”

“I used Ms. Jiyoon today. I wanted to use the men who are in love with you for work.”

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