The sky cleared after the heavy rain, as if all the sins that were committed that night were forgotten. The stars shone brightly and the moon appeared behind the dark clouds. In that light of the night, slowly embraced by the chilly breezes of the wind, the three of them looked surprised at the new discovery. Yeong-hwan’s emerald green eyes shined brightly as a smile was painted on his face. He hugged Hyun-woo with relief, then after embracing him, he looked to see if his dear friend was hurt. He became grateful when he found Yu Na by his friend's side, as he was also worried for her safety, as he was unable to protect her at that moment.
‘Hyun-woo, what are you doing here? How did you— No, when did you arrive, and how did you find Yu Na?’ he asked excitedly, as if he was a puppy that found its owner, his smile never left his face, but only grew larger as Yu Na approached him and he could hold her cold hand.
‘Yeong-hwan! You’re the one who has a lot of explanations to give, but I would prefer to hear it at your house! My presence was notified by a letter that I sent a long time ago, but it seems like it never reached its destination, seeing how surprised you are to see me. Let’s not forget what’s going on now, we need to retreat before the guards come into this place.’ Hyun-woo quietly replied to his friend, worried that they were still in danger, as just some time ago their lives were hanging on a thread.
Yeong-hwan and Yu Na agreed to his request and hurried home. The night felt heavier after everything that had happened, no one knew exactly why they had to endure such a night, but they were desperately trying to survive that night. They encountered a handful of people on their way back, but they could see on everyone’s faces the sorrow and the fear that they were feeling. At home, Yeong-hwan was shocked to see everything destroyed.
Yu Na hardly managed to escape, and no one knows what would have happened if she stayed inside. The books that Yeong-hwan had worked on, all of them were trew all over the place. Not a single thing was left untouched. For him, the material things didn’t matter, whether he would have to write from scratch every book, it was fine to him, as long as Yu Na was safe.
He looked at her and saw how her legs were still trembling. She was hurt before this night happened, so he was scared that her wounds would reopen. He took a look at her bruised hands, but Yu Na subtly let him know that she was fine.
‘Hyun-woo, I’m sorry you had to find out so many things tonight. I don’t know the source of the raid made by the officials tonight, but I am sure that by the time the sun is up in the sky, we will have a clearer answer. As for my companion, I wanted to let you know this on another occasion, but as you know, I told you long before that I found something that is meaningful to me. That’s Yu Na and I hope you give her a chance to gain your trust. I won’t pressure you into liking her like I do, but it would mean a lot to me.’ he softly spoke to his dear friend, with such words that made Yu Na forget the true relationship the two of them shared.
It was an act. They were playing a role, like those leads on a movie on the big screen, that’s what Yu Na was trying to think to herself, but it was a hard task as her feelings for the boy that 3 days ago was a stranger to her grew stronger. It wasn’t of any help that he was well-spoken.
‘I’m already grateful that you helped me get out from the guard’s evil intent that I do not even wish to ask you to befriend me, but I’m grateful to know that Yeong-hwan is surrounded by someone like you that is both brave and respectable.’ Yu Na’s reply came out as a surprise for the newcomer that was scanning the girl, now knowing the status of her and Yeong-hwan. He smiled in relief
‘Yeong-hwan, you never fail to impress me. I’m sure that Yu Na is a great person, to say that I truly never expected you to make this step into your life after the past difficulties that you had to endure, but I will gladly support both of you, as long as your feelings are genuine.’ he spoke for a moment, then the tone of his voice became more serious, as he was about to talk about a more serious subject. ‘I have heard some rumors on my way here, and I would like to confirm with you, Yeong-hwan, something. Privately.’
Yu Na clearly understood what she had to do so she quickly replied that she would go and clean the rooms and prepare a bed for Hyun-woo to sleep in. Hyun-woo took the lead and Yeong-hwan followed him into a corner of the garden. Hyun-woo looked at the flowers that wittered with the cold breeze of the season. He sighed as he took one of the withered roses.
‘I’m afraid I can’t really trust the story that you had told me, but I’m going to go with it as it seems like your feelings are genuine for that girl. Yet I can’t shake this sensation that is overwhelming my body. I have seen this scenario long ago and it scares me.’ His words resonated with fear, echoing in the night.
Yeong-hwan avoided looking him into his eyes, instead he took a look back, to the house where Yu Na was inside, to the place where he conveyed his true feelings, to his room.
‘I trust that the future wouldn’t be covered in blood and sadness, as I’m already sick of having my hands covered in the blood of innocent people. Hyun-woo, I’ve told you before, but for me there’s no going back. I want to close my eyes and be back to the place I miss the most, but I fear that it’s long gone, so what can I do more than trying? For me the only opinion left is to try.’ his eyes held tears, as his heart ached with pain from remembering the old times.
‘Yeong-hwan, why can’t you be like you used to? It’s scaring me to see the person that you are today. Each and every time I see you, it’s more like you’re heading towards a cliff, as if you’re about to leave me behind. Don’t go, please. I’ll accept whatever you want to do, whether it's this girl or something else, just don’t leave me, remember the promise we made long before? That we’ll become the greatest of our time and that our name will be written in history? You need to keep your promise, otherwise I’ll never forget you.’ determined to find it’s answer, Hyun-woo insisted to remind his friend of their long promise.
Yeong-hwan looked into Hyun-woo’s eyes. The boy was young, the delicate features of his face clearly showed that he wasn’t older than 20 years. His hands had beautiful jewelry covering it. He had many rings on his fingers, something that wasn’t seen in a boy usually wearing, yet Hyun-woo wasn’t going to hide it’s passion.
For him, being able to craft and bring to life jewelry meant a lot. As he thought of his work as a piece of his soul, he was sure that all his efforts would remain engraved in history. After all, there weren’t many people that didn’t hear of his name, or the story of how he confronted the great nobily after someone tried to imprison him for daring to sell such pieces of jewelry to the commoners, when only the nobility should have been able to buy them.
Hyun-woo was known to be a talented young man with a kind heart. Despite his past that no one knew exactly, he was very active in the society. Yet he puts a line between his work and his friendships, Yeong-hwan being the only person in his life that is allowed to know of his past, as both of them share secrets that are meant to never be told.
‘You have nothing to be scared of, my dear Hyun-woo. I’ll work to keep my promise, and for the changes that you see, I have to tell you that I’m now in a brighter place, after finding Yu Na, so please stay with us a little longer to see how I’m these days, I really feel like you’ll enjoy this version of myself.’ with confidence replied Yeong-hwan
‘Then what about that room?’ asked Hyun-woo, pointing directly to the room where Yu Na entered some time earlier. ‘You really think I would feel at ease knowing that that room still exists? Knowing that if people discover your truth, that would mean the end of your life?!’ yelled Hyun-woo, breaking the silence of the night.