Chapter Eleven

In Another Life (Descendants Of The Sun)
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Chapter 11

 

 

*hmmmm....*

 





After quite sometime of walking around the busy streets, window-shopping in some bookstores, and eating snacks from different restaurants, both Yoo Si Jin and Kang Mo Yeon ended up riding on a boat freely sailing along the long, beautiful Han River. The sunset's rays reflected and glimmered through the tranquil waters of the river, making her blink her eyes and furrow her brows occasionally whenever the light beamed through her hazel-brown irises.


Si Jin seemed to take delight of the view—both the woman and the river pleased him.



"What's so funny?" Mo Yeon asked as soon as she noticed the young minister grinning from ear to ear.



"Nothing, you're just..."



"Funny?"



"Amusing," Si Jin corrected, though Mo Yeon thought that only meant the same thing. "You ate a lot at the last shop we went into,"



He didn't have to bring that up again, she felt embarrassed after downing five bowls of rice and eight rounds of side dishes in the fancy, prestigious restaurant they recently visited before deciding to enjoy a boat ride down the river. I may have been hungry, but it must've been so unladylike and improper of me, she thought.



"It's not like you never eat that much," she scoffed, looking away, only to hear Si Jin chuckle more.



"You're right. I don't eat that much,"



"But you're a man,"



"You're right about that," He pointed out, "But not all men could eat the way you perceive us doing,"



"Heol... You’re really a weird one," She shrugged, but had her eyes all perked up when she saw the familiar building perched a few meters before the riverside. It was the local healthcare center, and she could see a few familiar faces walking nearby. She came to notice that they were uinyeo, particularly her friends, Nurse Ha Ja E and Nurse Choi Min Ji, sitting by the edge of the hill. "Omo! My friends are over there,"



"Who?" Si Jin peered outside the boat to see where Mo Yeon was pointing at and recognized the two nurses that he had encountered back when he visited the health center.


"Ya! Both of you!" Mo Yeon wildly flung her hands in the general direction of air, calling the attention of the two ladies, who in turn waved back as soon as they recognized it was Kang Mo Yeon. "Eonnie!"



"Do you want to visit them—"



"Ne!"



"Aish, kkamjagiya," He jolted, and Mo Yeon giggled, seeing that the minister looked cuter when he was startled. "I know you're thrilled to see them after a long time, but I'm sorry you can't see them now,"



"Huh? Why not?"



"You're a witness, and any interaction with someone or anyone will surely be a factor for extreme danger," Si Jin explained, and saw Mo Yeon's expression change from ecstatic to a disappointed one. He tried to make her feel better by explaining to her the downside of things if she decided to step out of the boat and meet her dear friends, "You see, if the perpetrators see you interacting with your friends, they could take advantage of them, or get them as hostage,"



She sadly nodded, "I know,"




"Mianhe. Maybe next time, you can meet them," he told her, in which she replied with another tired nod, "I know it's tiring to be stuck with me always, but—"



"Ani, please don't misunderstand! I'm not complaining about being with you," Mo Yeon worriedly explained to Si Jin, "I'm actually glad. I never got to do so much after a long time,"

 

I actually like being with you, she said at the back of her mind.



Si Jin looked back at the health center which their boat passed by, and then back at Mo Yeon, "How long have you been working there?"



"Ever since I escaped from…who-knows-where, I started to stand on my own feet. I really loved to be a physician, so I went in with hopes that they'd train me,"



"But they didn't,"



It was sad, but it was true. Mo Yeon nodded at that, "Sadly, yes. However, Nurse Ha and Nurse Choi were kind enough to teach me a few skills on needles, as well as how to treat patients. It was a hidden thing, since the head nurse did not want me to perform it because I was just a mere..." She hated the term, "Errand lady."



"How does she expect you not to do anything when she and the others left that building in your care?"



"Are you talking about the time when you were rushed in?" Mo Yeon saw him nod, "What was the reason of it?"




"I was..." He gulped, searching for a good alibi, "...overworked,"




"Geureokuna," Mo Yeon slowly nodded, "Please take care of yourself then,"



He chuckled, "I'll try my best. Take care of yourself too, Lady Kang,"



She looked at him and replied with a mere, simple nod and a smile. Behind that beautiful face was a perplexed mind and a confused heart, for Mo Yeon could not tell what this—all of this—truly meant.



He is being kind, but I learned from Myung Joo he treasures someone else...



...and here I am, falling for him every single second.



If that's the case, then what's the point of all these? His kindness... The kiss...



What was it to him?



Who am I to him?



Who is she to him?





----






As the night began, they both noticed the city gleam in warm, yellow lights. They sat on the boat, watching lanterns being lit one by one from afar, slowly illuminating the dark atmosphere. The boat finally reached the dock after hours of smoothly sailing, and enjoying the view.



Si Jin helped Mo Yeon out of the boat, thanked the boat's driver, and started walking to the nearby town, "Have I surprised you enough?"



More than enough. "No," She chose to say; if he still had other plans in mind, then she wanted him to bring it on.



He chuckled, "You're really hard to please, agassi,"



"Are you giving up?"



"No," He laughed, "Do you want to see something beautiful?"



"Who doesn't want to see something beautiful? Of course, I'd love to,"



He smirked, reaching for her hand, "Follow me, then,"



Si Jin led the way as they walked down the well-lit streets of the city—though this time, the place was more peaceful than downtown, since it was just a few blocks away from the palace.



Mo Yeon also seemed to notice that they were already walking towards the wide, huge Gwanghwamun Gate, the main entrance of the majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace. "Yoo Si Jin-ssi, are you even allowed to go in?"



"Of course. I'm an official," He softly spoke as he pulled Mo Yeon closer to his side.



"Geundae—"



"Byeongjo," A voice greeted them from a few meters away. Mo Yeon glanced towards that side and saw the soldier, Seo Dae Young, walking towards them, "It's unusual for you to go to the palace at night,"



"I couldn't agree more," He chuckled, "I had a bet with Lady Kang. She asked me to surprise her, and so I'm taking her here,"



"Is that even allowed?"



Si Jin looked at Mo Yeon and gave her a smirk, "If she tries to do steal, or do something unusual, I'll personally punish her,"



Gulp. Did she hear that right? "Ya...what are you talking about?"



"I'll go in now," Si Jin waved at the soldier, while the other palace guards opened the gates for the young minister. Si Jin struggled to pull Mo Yeon in, since she was quite hesitant to even go inside the huge gates of the palace. Unfortunately for the woman, Si Jin was forceful and strong to pull her in and eventually, she found herself standing on the stone floors of the palace. She looked around and saw the place was well lit at night, and just like what Si Jin had told her, it was a view too beautiful to behold.


"His Majesty the King is going to kill you, for sure," she sneered.


"Hey, jeonha likes me a lot. He wouldn't punish me for crashing in the palace at night," He laughed, "So, are you surprised enough?"



I am, so can we just get out immediately?! "N-No... Not yet,"



"I knew you'd say that, even if your face says otherwise," He pointed at her astonished expression, "Anyway, I still have more to show you. Come with me,"



"Where are you taking me this time?"




"You'll see,"

 

 

She couldn't object to his call in any way, since it was only him who knew where to go in this enormous palace; if she tries to run away, she'll surely just find herself lost inside the royal residence.



They ambled down the quiet hallways of the palace, and all Mo Yeon could hear were their careful footsteps, and the sound of her heart beating fast. It felt like she was breaking some rule, doing something reckless and insane with this man. "Are we there yet?"



"Almost," he huffed, and after a few moments of walking, Si Jin halted right in front of one of the entrances of a separate building. He gently opened the door, and as it slowly creaked open, Mo Yeon could not believe what she was seeing as the door slowly revealed what was inside: a few beds and mattresses neatly lined up on one side of the huge hall, tables filled with jars and ceramic bowls of different sizes, plants and herbs neatly bundled on one side of the long table. There were books, and small, wooden boxes stacked up on another long table—those that were similar to what Myung Joo had g

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