148 More of What? Pt.3
jimin rolled to face the other side of his bed while still clinging onto his pillow. he sighed.
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"that's the tenth time you've done that," zeren commented. he hobbled from his seat to the end of jimin's bed. "your majesty, you can't mope forever." zeren observed as jimin hugged his pillow tighter. "what did gyuri say? did she… reject you?"
jimin peered over his shoulder and scowled.
a few hours had passed since the pair had returned from their excursion and still, zeren was clueless. after escaping pho's clutches, zeren had limped back to the storage house only to find jimin waiting for him with a dazed expression. seeing jimin shell-shocked, zeren could only assume the worst.
"i'm sorry, your majesty. it's my fault that she turned you down. i wouldn't have pushed you to confess if i'd known—"
"she did not turn me down."
zeren watched as jimin sat up.
"gyuri," jimin buried his chin deep into his pillow as he mumbled, "did not turn me down… yet."
jimin shook his head. "no."
"then... what happened?"
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jimin planted his face into the pillow. his voice was muffled as he replied, "i do not want to talk about it."
"c'mon, your majesty, you can't just say that and not tell me," zeren huffed. "what did she say?" zeren observed as jimin remained silent, his face still buried in his pillow. "tell meeeee," zeren whined.
jimin's voice was muted as he answered, "can a man not have any privacy?"
"not when he is emperor, no."
jimin turned to glare at zeren.
"need i remind you how important it is that you sire an heir? it is so important that it is always on the court agenda."
"i know," jimin grumbled. "you need not remind me."
"well, it seems that i should." zeren placed his hands on his hips. "your love life, or lack of it, is a trending topic across the kingdom! it is practically a breeding ground for gossip." he shook his head as he ruefully mentioned, "if only the same can be said about what goes on in your chambers..."
jimin's face reddened. "fine! if you really want to know what happened, then i will tell you."
zeren's face lit up as he watched jimin sit cross-legged before him. once he was settled, zeren prompted, "well?"
"nothing," jimin revealed sulkily. "she said nothing."
zeren blinked. "don't be like that, your majesty—"
"no, really," jimin insisted. "gyuri did not say anything, or rather she could not."
"what do you mean?"
jimin rolled to his side while still hugging his pillow. "just as gyuri was about to answer, the door swung open and the orphans arrived. they would not let me anywhere near her, so whenever i tried to continue our conversation, they would pull her away. "
"so, you never got to find out because the young' uns interrupted?" zeren facepalmed himself.
jimin nodded. "i do not know what i did but i think the orphans hate me."
"maybe it was because you attacked gyuri?" zeren mused.
"what? i never attacked her!"
"no, i mean from when we were playing cuju. those orphans probably recognised you from before."
"but that misunderstanding was already cleared up!"
"well, in their eyes they may still view you as the hot-blooded stranger who tried to have his way with their adoptive mother. it's understandable why they wouldn't want you anywhere near gyuri."
jimin planted his face back into his pillow. "i screwed up."
"and you were so close to getting an answer too..." zeren kissed his teeth. "damn it! if only i stopped them on time."
both men simultaneously sighed.
"but it was not all in vain," jimin added, lifting his face. "before i left, gyuri managed to tell me that she would like to continue our conversation again soon."
zeren's eyes rounded. "she did?"
jimin nodded as he tightly hugged his pillow.
"then it's not over!" zeren threw his hands up in the air. "and here i thought you were moping because it was bad news. this is great. if she wants to see you again then there's a high chance it's not a rejection. why didn't you just say so earlier?"
"because there is no guarantee that it is not bad news." jimin rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. "even if she does happen to accept me, i have yet to tell her the whole truth. what if she changes her mind when she discovers who i really am?"
"we can cross that bridge when we get there. the most important thing is that you are finally acting on someone you desire," zeren feigned wiping a tear from his eye. "i'm so proud of you, your majesty. you're growing up."
jimin broke into a smile as he tossed his pillow at zeren's face.
before zeren could retaliate, an urgent knock on the door caught both the pair's attention. "your majesty?"
jimin and zeren exchanged looks before hurriedly tidying their surroundings. "come in," jimin beckoned.
the door swung open and in came an unnerved eunuch.
"thank goodness you are here, your majesty, i have been searching for you everywhere!" the eunuch let out a sigh of relief as he dabbed at the sweat forming above his brow.
jimin and zeren exchanged looks.
"what is the matter?" the young emperor enquired.
"please, your majesty, you must come quickly! there are visitors waiting for you—"
"tell them i will meet with them tomorrow," jimin dismissed. his face soured at the thought of dealing with matters of court so late in the afternoon.
the eunuch nervously dabbed at his forehead. "that may pose a problem, your majesty. these visitors have been waiting for you since their arrival this morning. her highness and advisor kim have been entertaining them ever since."
jimin frowned. sister and brother-in-law have been entertaining the visitors? are they that important? he narrowed his eyes. "who are they?"
"one of them introduced himself as the ambassador of huaxia," the eunuch replied, "and the other…"
jimin arched his brow at the eunuch's hesitance. he prompted him to continue, "who is the other?"
the eunuch nervously revealed, "the other… the other claims to be your fiancée."