Chapter 6

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On the second and third floors of the cruise ship were countless rooms for parties that lasted until the morning.

 

The hallway was dark and quiet, with minimal lighting. The atmosphere was eerie, but she wasn’t worried because Jiwoon was with her.

 

She watched the back of the man walking ahead of her carefully and followed behind him slowly.

 

The person who had stumbled and pushed her was walking in a straight line without any deviation, creating the illusion that he wasn’t walking. The white jackets worn by the waiters as they glided through the darkness of the hallway, gave off an eerie and artificial presence.

 

The man stopped at the end of the hallway, in front of the most ornate door studded with sparkling crystals, took out a key, and opened the door.

 

“Because a room is not available yet. You can use the sink on the terrace. I’ll just unlock the terrace door and head back first.”

 

When she looked at Jiwoon, he was leaning in front of the door and nodded as if telling her to enter.

 

The room she entered after following the man was unexpected. It was so spacious and extravagant that she couldn’t take it all in. It was amazing that there were such luxuries on a cruise ship.

 

A gorgeous chandelier floated precariously on the vaulted ceilings. A group of unlit crystals sparkled white in the moonlight.

 

Hung on the largest wall was a brilliant painting, on either side of it were streams of water gushing from fountains decorated with ornate engravings.

 

The night sea was clearly visible beyond a large glass window. Seeing as this was a multi-story structure, it seemed like the terrace the man was talking about was on the second floor.

 

She thought he would climb up the stairs first, but the man turned around and looked down at her, curling the corners of his mouth.

 

“The stairs are steep, so hold on to my hand.”

 

She felt it from the first time she heard his voice, but it seemed so sweet that he could captivate people with that alone.

 

As she held the man’s hand, she felt a strong grip through the soft fabric of the glove.

 

When she went up to the second floor, she saw the door leading to the terrace beyond the glass wall next to the luxurious fireplace.

 

“Are all the waiters originally from Baekcheon? Or is it a part-time job?”

 

“We can’t just let strangers in. I think you know very well what kind of place Baekcheon is.”

 

The man smiled slyly and opened the terrace door.

 

She passed the man as he smiled and nodded, as if telling her to go in, and went out on the terrace.

 

The terrace had beautiful rocking chairs and a marble table. On one side, there was a bathtub and sink, perhaps to enjoy a bath while looking at the sea.

 

After washing her hands, she walked over to the railing and leaned against it. She looked down at the black waves beneath her feet, then raised her gaze upward and let out a held breath.

 

“Woah…”

 

The night sky seemed to fill her eyes with starlight, conveying a dizzying dream-like scenery.

 

A cold wind blew along with the faint sound of music.

 

At this unrealistic sight, she realized once again that this was a different world.

 

Of all the things that surrounded her, there was nothing that could be said to be part of her old world.

 

Separated from the rest of the scene, she felt like she was outside looking in. Even if she wore something flashy, she felt nervous that she would be caught at any second.

 

Looking away from the beautiful sky, she looked down at the endless sea.

 

And the moment when the sound of the waves almost swallowed the music, her field of vision turned black.

 

“…”

 

The cold wind stopped in an instant and a shadow appeared.

 

The music disappeared. However, it was not the black waves that swallowed up the sound, but a voice.

 

“You look cold.”

 

A jacket was placed on her shoulders along with a soft voice.

 

She stared at the man, a smile appeared on his drowsy mouth.

 

“Actually, you look lonely.”

 

She stared indifferently at the light-colored eyes that moved as if they could see right through her.

 

“Are you staying out here?”

 

She felt a tickling sensation from her hair blowing in the wind. It wasn’t a bad feeling, just like being discovered.

 

The reason she didn’t tell him to leave was just a whim created by that sensation. She smiled and a lie came out of her mouth.

 

“How can you be lonely on a day like today? My beloved brother even threw this party for me.”

 

It was just a thin mask, but it was difficult to read his expression behind it.

 

The man leaned against the railing and tilted his head.

 

“Is it because you are on good terms with each other?”

 

“It is because we are family.”

 

The moment she gave an answer that was so funny she struggled to admit she made it up, the corners of his mouth seemed to harden.

 

However, after a split second all that remained was a softer smirk, as if she had been hallucinating.

 

The man extended his hand to her. He tucked her flowing hair behind her ear slowly.

 

The fingertips that touched her ears felt horribly cold.

 

Since when did his gloves disappear? 

 

When the barrier blocking his touch disappeared, her body trembled from the cold that was passed along by his fingertips touching her skin.

 

“Do you know what I’m best at?”

 

A low breath slipped past his lips. Her heart sank at that whisper.

 

‘Boss, do you know what I’m best at?’

 

She couldn’t take her eyes off him.

 

Memories came to mind along with her heartbeat that seemed to shake her entire body.

 

A line she had read before. But the page it is written on should not appear until much later.

 

‘It’s lying.’

 

‘Do you still love me?’

 

She shook her head as she looked at him with a passionate desire, almost like desperation.

 

She hoped her intuition was wrong and what he would say next would be different from what she expected.

 

However, as if laughing at her, the man folded the corners of his eyes and smiled sweetly.

 

“It’s lying.”

 

The words he blurted out were the same as she had read in the novel.

 

The words Yu Gyeom whispered to Baek Hawon while confessing his love.

 

No?

 

It shouldn’t be like this.

 

Her mind turned blank and she couldn’t move. As she took a shaky breath and barely took a step back, the jacket draped over her shoulder fell to the floor.

 

The man who was looking at her appreciatively took a step closer to her. A dark shadow was cast over her vision.

 

“But I’m so curious that I have to be able to hold back.”

 

A low, humorous voice drifted into her ear.

 

The moment her breath froze, a cold feeling touched her cheek. The nerves in her entire body became sensitive.

 

No, wait a minute.

 

Is this the feeling people get when they say that their heart feels like it’s going to explode?

 

She really wished her heart would explode so she could die right now. She thought it would be better that way.

 

She could see it without having to move her gaze.

 

“… First snow…”

 

The first snow that fell during Baek Hawon and Yu Gyeom’s first meeting.

 

Of course it comes now.

 

All kinds of curses tried to escape out of her mouth, but a fear greater than all of them combined took hold of her body.

 

“How did the princess of Baekcheon know?”

 

But unfortunately, she wasn’t just a reader right now, and things didn’t stop just because she didn’t understand.

 

“Even Baek Hawon doesn’t know… agh!”

 

At that moment, without realizing it, she instinctively reached out to the man and blocked his mouth, which was constantly moving.

 

The wide, round eyes were clearly visible behind the mask.

 

She felt like crying. But here, the only way to stop the man from speaking was through this crude method.

 

There was no time to think about what would happen next. That was how desperate she was.

 

“Please don’t say any more,” She pushed her weight onto the man, leaning on him, and covered his mouth with both hands.

 

It really seemed like there was no turning back if she went any further.

 

The man wriggled as if trying to escape. There was no more time to endure in silence. She quickly opened her mouth.

 

“Now, wait a minute!”

 

What should I say?

 

What should I say to escape from here?

 

She tried to think, but her mind had already collapsed under the pressure and there was no way she could rebuild her thoughts right away.

 

At that time, the man’s eyes once wide with embarrassment, narrowed and a clear, windy laugh escaped from him.

 

The man grabbed her wrist. The hand covering his mouth dropped, helpless.

 

“Are you going to take off the mask?”

 

His breath tickled against her palm.

 

“Is that okay?”

 

If the human voice could be shaped, it was clear that his voice would become a colorful firework exploding in the night sky.

 

“You might fall in love.”

 

Like a child dazzled by a firework, she couldn’t come to her senses.

 

The man raised the corners of his mouth crookedly, and while still holding her wrist with one hand, he slowly took off the mask with his other hand.

 

His pure white hair, shined glamorously in the moonlight, waved ecstatically before her eyes. His light-colored eyes, half hooded by his eyelids, shined brightly at her.

 

The moment his eyes closed in a soft arc, she felt like her heart was going to drop out of her chest.

 

Skin so flawless pale it was difficult to believe it belonged to a human being. When his red lips were slightly bitten, blood rushed to them and they became even redder.

 

Her tension swelled like a balloon about to burst.

 

“So princess.”

 

“…”

 

“How did you know I was Yu Gyeom?”

 

There was no answer she could give to the question of how she knew.

 

This was how her collection of five trillion death flags had begun.

 

It was a beginning that could never be described.

——♦ ⋄· 🜲· ⋄ ♦——

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