Wuxiaworld > The Brothers Kim > 4 The Cheeky Brat Pt.2

4 The Cheeky Brat Pt.2



Subin trudged along the dirt path glumly. If I really did die, heaven sucks, she kept thinking. As she finally drew near the town, the doubt in Subin's mind grew even more.

In front of her were rows of what looked like traditional Asiatic buildings that had sloping tiled rooves and heavy wooden doors framed by decorative archways. As Subin continued to walk along, she couldn't help being fascinated by the hubbub that lay before her. The people in front of her wore robes of varying colours and textures; some wore silks that had intricately embroidered patterns while the less fortunate, wore simple garments which looked like it was made of scratchy material.

The sound of chickens clucking caught her attention as she looked to her left and saw caged animals, mostly fowls and smaller creatures, being sold. While on her right, she heard the clanging of metal as a blacksmith hammered molten metal against an anvil. But all around her, she heard the overlapping of voices as merchants screamed their voices raw in an attempt to persuade pedestrians to purchase their product.

Amidst the business of the scene before her, Subin blinked numerous times. She couldn't believe what she was seeing: it was like she was suddenly thrown into a historical K-drama. Subin rubbed her eyes and blinked again. Maybe she was in a K-drama. Which one could it be? 'Scarlet Heart Ryeo'? 'Hwarang'? 'Queen Seonduk'?

Subin didn't mind dying as long as heaven was like a K-drama. Who knows, maybe she might find her prince in this weird paradise?

She decided to try her luck with one of the locals. "Excuse me..." she said meekly to a well-groomed gentleman. The man took one look at her and stuck his nose up in the air before continuing to walk away.

"Well, that went well" Subin muttered to herself sarcastically. "I guess even arseholes exist in heaven."

A moment later, another person was passing by and Subin attempted to ask again. This time, the person didn't ignore her. "Excuse me," she began. The young man stopped at his tracks and gazed down at her. "Erm, do you know where I am?"

He looked at her quizzically. "You're in the capital" he replied.

This baffled Subin. "The capital?" She searched for a sign that indicated she was in London but found none. "The capital of what?"

The man shook his head, "You poor confused, young woman." He handed her a crude piece of silver which resembled a coin. "Here, take this and buy yourself something to eat. You must be so hungry that you can't even remember where you are."

Subin accepted the coin and the man walked away tutting, completely dismissing her question.

"Well, at least I have money," she told herself as she studied the coin in her hand. Just as she was closely inspecting it, a delicious aroma suddenly wafted to her nostrils making her mouth water and her stomach gurgle. Subin sniffed the air and her feet started moving towards the tempting smell as if an invisible fishing line was reeling her in.


By God, that smells so good...

Subin took a few steps towards the aroma, her nose leading the way, as she breathed in the enticing vapours that made her stomach grumble demandingly. She didn't even know how hungry she was until her stomach started gurgling as if it had a mind of its own. Subin patted her stomach as if it was a separate entity, "Calm down, stomach. I'm gonna get us something to eat now." She peered down at her measly coin. "I just hope this is enough to get us something."

Hurriedly, Subin crossed the busy dirt road that was ladened with traffic, avoiding carts filled with fresh vegetables and fruit. The hot-tempered merchants yelled at her but she couldn't care less. Once she had set her mind to something, she was determined to get it done. And anyway, living in London had taught her not to fear traffic. After all, she had life insurance- well, it might not matter now if she really was dead.

Subin peered up at the establishment before her and saw that it had, what looked like, cursive Chinese characters. Not that Subin can tell the difference between Chinese, Japanese and Korean anyway. But that didn't matter when her eyes spied the source of the delectable odour that had tempted her to cross the road. In front of her were freshly made steam buns, so plump and perfect, that it made Subin's mouth water.

She could almost feel the steam bun in her mouth: her teeth sinking into the soft texture of the dough and her tongue being caressed by the sweetness of the seasoned meat inside. Her stomach growled.

But just as she was about to catch the attention of the steam bun vendor, a sudden force caused her to topple over. It all happened so fast. In one instance, Subin was facing the vendor but in the blink of an eye, she was suddenly facing the ground, with her palms outstretched to soften her fall. Subin grimaced as she tried to get up, only to find that something heavy was pinning her down.

"Ugh..."

Correction, she thought to herself. Someone.

"Ugh..." she heard the person groan again.

Subin tried to shuffle from underneath whoever was on top of her and she was surprised to find that the person wasn't as heavy as she first thought. "Get off me!" she grunted.

The person rolled over and Subin discovered that it was a young boy. He was wearing scruffy, discoloured rags that were tattered around the edges. The boy peered down at Subin and then his face scrunched up in disgust as he put his hand to his nose. His crescent eyes narrowed, forming a scowl as he said to her, "Ew. You stink!"

Subin was bemused by the boy's remark.

He looked around wildly and saw that the fruit he had been carrying in his hands, before colliding into Subin, were scattered everywhere. They appeared to be persimmons. Quickly, the boy started gathering the fruit back into his arms, not bothering to apologise to Subin.

Subin's first instinct was to reprimand the boy but seeing him gather the fallen persimmons reminded her of her coin. Where did it go?

"My steam bun..." she muttered dejectedly as she realised her coin was nowhere to be found. It must have rolled away when she had collided with the boy. She glared at him, "Hey, you owe me money!"

The boy looked at her incredulously, "What?"

She got up from the dirt floor and towered over him. While standing up straight she realised that she was about a head taller. "I said, 'you owe me money'. You bumped into me and now I've lost what little money I had."

"I do not owe you anything, peasant" he snarled disdainfully.

"Peasant?" Subin repeated, baffled by the boy's sharp tone. "Who are you calling peasant, you cheeky little shi-?"

"There!"

"Stop him!"

"Stop that thief!"

The boy's head jerked to face the direction behind him and saw a group of ruddy-faced men fast approaching. His eyes rounded as he swiftly barged past Subin and started running.

Subin, still sore about losing her coin, pursued him. "Hey! Get back here!"

The boy kept running and Subin watched in surprise as the boy peeled away his rags to reveal the vibrant silk robes he was wearing underneath. He turned to face her and smirked as he slipped into the crowds, blending in with the richer folk who wore similar attire.

That cheeky brat was actually a rich kid in disguise!

"Got him!"

With a steely grip, Subin felt the arms of the ruddy-faced men clamp down on her as they pulled her to the side.

"Wait!" she shouted at them. "You've got the wrong person-"

"You thought you could trick us, eh?" one of the men barked. He peered at Subin and inspected her closely. "Well, we're gonna make sure a street rat like you gets the punishment it deserves!"

Subin struggled against their clutches, "You don't understand, I wasn't the one who stole the fruit!"

"I bet you were accomplices with that runt!" another man exclaimed.

"No, I'm not-"

With a violent tug, the tallest of the three men grabbed Subin by the collar. He scowled at her, "Whoever steals from us must be punished." He turned to the other two men. "Tie him up. We're gonna flog him till he bleeds."