Chapter 10

* * *

– Ugh-!!!

 

In a place once filled with overwhelming silence, desperate screams continued.

 

The white marble of the hallway leading to the boss’s office on the first floor of the square was stained with blood.

 

Before the blood had even dried, it was joined by more viscera spilled from people being dragged across it like luggage. Leaving no room for cleaning.

 

It’s already been 3 days.

 

To be exact, it had been like this for 72 hours.

 

“Wow, what kind of fuss is this?”

 

“Why did you say the young lady was kidnapped from the party?”

 

 “Someone that arrogant said that at the boss’s place?”

 

The organization members were busy whispering about this rare event their boss personally took part in, and rumors began to spread regardless of the truth.

 

These two people, who normally were not able to set foot in the square, continued talking and looking around since they didn’t know when they would be able to visit again.

 

“But was the relationship between the boss and the girl a good one?”

 

“I thought so, but with all this chaos after the young lady was kidnapped, I guess it was all just rumors.”

 

“Isn’t that just because you’re mad at Utopia? Why is the boss’s mother…”

 

Bang!

 

A gunshot rang out, cutting their words short.

 

The man stared at his boss in disbelief as he fell to the floor like a lie, then froze when he saw the gaze directed at him.

 

“Since when did such a bastard exist in Baekcheon?”

 

Hawon approached with a smile and tapped the body on the floor with the heel of his shoe.

 

His movements were as graceful and imposing as a lion’s approach.

 

Blood flowed and stained his smooth shoes, and only then did Hawon remove his foot and turn his gaze to the trembling man.

 

When they made eye contact, his glare seemed to contain all the darkness of hell unbothered by sunlight. The man’s hand, secretly and deftly extending towards the gun in his jacket, stiffened.

 

He had never seen someone smile like that before.

 

A smile that felt like it could cut flesh with just a glancing blow. Even the air surrounding him was eerily cold.

 

Unlike the calmly raised corners of his mouth, his eyes were shining like a wild beast stalking its prey.

 

It seemed like the beast in front of him was about to sink its sharp fangs deep into the back of his neck and remove his head. Just imagining it made him exhale a chilly, dry breath.

 

Before him, a dark red path was drawn on the marble floor.

 

He couldn’t run away.

 

It was a primal instinct. The man accepted that fact with his whole body and collapsed to a crouch with his head on the floor.

 

“Save me, boss!”

 

Hawon laughed once more at the desperate cry and kneeled in front of the prone man.

 

“If you don’t want a hole through the back of your head, look at me.”

 

The man raised his head at the harsh warning. The black gun barrel flashed before his eyes, the muzzle moving before he could avoid it.

 

“Ugh…!”

 

His mouth trembled, his teeth clashed with the weapon with a clicking sound.

 

“Will you talk now?”

 

He was like a god, smiling as gracefully as the moon at its peak in the night sky.

 

“Eup, eup!” Hawon’s eyes shined eerily as he looked down at the man, who was howling like an animal around the barrel of his gun. 

 

“About Yu Gyeom.”

 

“…”

 

“Your real master.”

 

* * *

 

“I guess it’s to your taste?”

 

She held her breath as his face approached her.

 

She wanted to look away because of the suffocating feeling that consumed her. But the hand that was gently but firmly holding her chin stopped her.

 

That sly smile that concealed his thoughts was driving her crazy.

 

“I.”

 

She couldn’t come to her senses.

 

There seemed to be a sparkling glow on his face that matched her tastes 999% perfectly.

 

Today, his ecstatically shiny hair and loose ivory-colored sweater made his mood even more languid.

 

She almost nodded when he asked if she liked it, but managed to keep her composure.

 

No, come to your senses. You need to come to your senses!

 

Yu Gyeom was a spider who would weave a web to trap Baek Hawon and make it impossible for him to escape.

 

Yu Gyeom was probably just doing this because her reaction was funny. However, it was nothing more than a mild curiosity that would turn murderous if given the chance.

 

Since she knew the content of the novel, it would be easy to flirt a little, but she had a gut feeling that would be a big mistake.

 

When she saw him in person, it was clear that he was the fox with nine tails.

 

“Huh?”

 

Yu Gyeom urged her to answer with a whisper, and her mouth opened from impatience to get out of this situation.

 

“It is my taste, though.”

 

Too honest, as if her brain didn’t filter it.

 

Yu Gyeom’s eyes seemed to widen, but then tilted his head with interest.

 

She tried not to be conscious of his gaze and muttered in her head.

 

Just a little, just a little flirting.

 

Otherwise she would have no future.

 

All kinds of regrets crossed her mind, but it was too late to linger on them, she was in the tiger’s den.

 

If she didn’t do this, she would lose Yu Gyeom’s interest and end up dying as his hostage.

 

In this case, it would be better to attract his interest despite the danger.

 

“I guess this is your taste…”

 

She wanted to cry, so she forced the corners of her mouth to curl up and desperately prayed her voice didn’t waver.

 

She couldn’t bring herself to make eye contact, so instead she grabbed his hand, the one holding her chin.

 

“Me.”

 

When she raised her head with the corners of her mouth still raised, she saw Yu Gyeom looked at her with dark eyes. His face was shocked.

 

Yu Gyeom burst into laughter, swiped his face with his hand, and took a step away from her.

 

“You really never behave as expected.”

 

Fortunately or not, there was no need for her to set such a goal as winning the ml’s favor like in other romance novels. It was clear that she didn’t plan to do so in the future.

 

Seeing him smiling at her like that made her heart flutter because of his incredibly handsome face. But in the end, she knew he would become Baek Hawon’s man and looked forward to their love.

 

In order to do that, you must live… !

 

The will to live burned in her again.

 

Yu Gyeom continued to move away from her and before she knew it, he was sitting on the desk, burying his face in his hands and looking at her with one eye.

 

Like a child observing something new, his eyes were half wary and half curious.

 

“Do you know where this is?”

 

Utopia.

 

She rolled the syllables in her head but couldn’t say them out loud.

 

An organization that rivaled Baekcheon. But in reality, they were always pushed back by, and in order to beat Baekcheon, they became dirtier and uglier.

 

“That’s right, you knew who I was.”

 

“…”

 

“But how much do you know?”

 

Those fierce eyes pierced through her.

 

If she told him that she knew everything from him being an illegitimate child to what kind of life he was leading, Yu Gyeom would kill her without hesitation.

 

Although everyone knew it quietly, no one who spoke of it out loud in front of him survived.

 

When she remembered that she got goosebumps, but she hid it and smiled brightly as if she didn’t know anything.

 

“You are famous for being handsome.”

 

There were so many questions she couldn’t answer so she decided to just keep being shameless.

 

“You said you were curious why I liked you?”

 

While Yu Gyeom was still in front of her, she barely managed to get her body off the wall and walked closer to him.

 

When she stopped right in front of Yu Gyeom, her heart was pounding like crazy.

 

Every moment felt like she was walking on thin ice, wondering if she would live or plunge into the icy depths below with each step.

 

“Will you tell me?”

 

Nevertheless, she took another step.

 

The smile on the corner of Yu Gyeom’s mouth deepened as he glanced at her feet, she had stopped at just the right point for her to run away before he could touch her if he stretched out his hand.

 

“I thought that was an unexpected excuse.”

 

“Well, th-that’s absurd.”

 

As expected, it was too clumsy.

 

She barely responded when he hit the nail on the head.

 

“Then let’s hear it.”

 

She was internally relieved by his words. She wasn’t used to lying.

 

In the original story, what happened to Cha Yeon-byeol while she was kidnapped?

 

What did she do that got her killed when Baek Hawon came to save her, while he should have been negotiating?

 

while Cha Yeon-byeol was feeling frustrated about being a villain who died when the main characters first meet, Yu Gyeom spoke up.

 

“Why is it in past tense?”

 

Her mind was spinning as Yu Gyeom’s questions repeatedly deviated from her expectations.

 

What did he say?

 

“I heard you liked me.”

 

“…”

 

“I guess you don’t like me anymore?”

 

When she said she liked him, she meant that she liked him as her favorite character as a loyal reader.

 

But she couldn’t answer like that.

 

‘You said you were curious about why I liked you?’

 

She had used the past tense because she was so distracted, and felt something was wrong.

 

What happens if I say I lost my mind?

 

“When I saw you in person, you were less handsome than I imagined.”

 

It was a joke, but to her it wasn’t funny.

 

No matter how bloody the plot was. In the end this was a noir story, not a romance genre.

 

It wouldn’t be strange at all if he killed her.

 

She wondered what kind of face she was making and whether she should correct herself, by saying he was even more handsome than she had imagined.

 

Pop-!! pop!

 

She heard an explosion and turned her gaze to see the scene unfolding outside the window.

 

Why are fireworks exploding now?

 

Colorful fireworks decorated the night sky.

 

She watched with a bewildered expression.

 

It couldn’t have been meaningless to have such large and colorful fireworks in the city’s night sky.

 

“Oh, I guess today was the eve.”

 

The Eve Festival.

 

Something suddenly occurred to her at Yu Gyeom’s words.

 

“The Founding Day event starts tomorrow”

 

How did I forget this?

 

Utopia had a unique custom of holding something like a festival for two weeks, which included the date of Utopia’s founding.

 

They say they hold competitions to become better at shooting for the purpose of unity. She didn’t see why an undercover organization needed such a big event, but she could understand to an extent.

 

But in the original, that wasn’t all.

 

“Out of 100,000 people, you must be the first and last person to participate in the founding ceremony.”

 

This year is the last year of the construction festival.

 

On the last day of the founding festival, Baek Hawon invaded Utopia, as if deliberately targeting that day.

 

Originally, Baek Hawon and Yu Gyeom should have met each other that day, and on that day.

 

Cha Yeon-byeol died.

 

She was out of breath as the story unfolded exactly like the original.

 

“Do you really not like me because I’m less handsome than you imagined?”

 

She came to her senses when a cold, large hand grabbed her own. She turned her head away from the window and looked at Yu Gyeom.

 

Pop-! pop!!

 

In the room where only moonlight entered, fireworks continued to sparkle and rise above the dark shadows.

 

Colorful light covered Yu Gyeom’s face.

 

With the romantic fireworks that should have marked Yu Gyeom and Hawon’s first meeting, his soft voice engulfed her ears.

 

“Because it’s okay to lie.”

 

“…”

 

“Can’t you tell me you still like me now?”

 

Even though the fireworks exploding seemed to signal another beginning, they sent a bloody warning.

 

The moment she let her guard down, she would be devoured.

——♦ ⋄· 🜲· ⋄ ♦——

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