Updated: Sep 16
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The bedroom trope, Munirang style part 1: untying armour.
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Episode 164. About 10 months (41)
"You, it was so sudden… I didn't know you'd come back this early. The documents I need for tomorrow are here… and my arm…"
I was so surprised that the explanations poured out as soon as I remembered them.
I felt like a thief caught red-handed and my elbow felt weird, I must have hit the funny bone.
But the words that came out of his mouth next forced me to turn my gaze back from my arm to his face.
“Does it hurt?”
A low but clear voice.
Strangely nervous, I continued talking.
“If you come all of a sudden like this… You should have made yourself known. You must think I’m a weirdo again….”
“I didn’t know I had to be careful coming back to my room.”
There was nothing I could say.
“Let me see.”
Hie demeanor changed instantly. As if my elbow was the most important thing in the world, he bent it over and straightened it several times. Heat rushed to my face.
"Uh… Oh! It’s alright. I’m fine, really."
I pulled my arm out of his grasp and took a step back just to find myself immediately blocked by the bookshelf.
“Good news. Wait a minute.”
Kyle reached for the file I was trying to get. A long arm passed over me and easily pulled out the paperwork.
'I never knew a man’s arm could be so beautiful,' I thought, lost in a daze, as I admired the simple yet elegant movement.
I never expected to live a scene like this one day either.
"Here you are."
He took a step back and held out the documents in front of me. I came to my senses just after looking at the documents.
"Ah… Yes. thank you."
I only noticed Kyle’s condition once I took the file in my hands.
Armour partially undone, disheveled hair, a stiff mouth and a somewhat exhausted face. He slowly rubbed the back of his neck.
'Maybe he's stiff.'
He was scheduled to arrive tomorrow, but since he was here, should I say it now ? Oh, I didn't know. I should just leave first.
“Please rest, Your Highness. I’ll be taking my leave now.”
Hugging the file tightly to my chest, I slipped to the side and walked towards the door.
“Can you help me?”
Bewildered, I turned around. His hands were open. A red line crossed his palms.
“I’ve been holding the reins for two days and I’m afraid my fingers are too stiff to pry open the clasps."
He looks at me with his hands outstretched.
"What? What do you mean…?”
"I can’t sleep in my armor.”
"Oh! … Then I’ll get a maid…!”
"It’s too late. I don't want to be a tyrannical employer. If you're an Aide, isn’t this something you’re supposed to do? Or you don’t want to do this?”
Yes. The Prince was also a knight. A knight's Aide was basically supposed to manage their armour and weapons.
On the battlefield, where the Aide followed, it was their duty to take care of it. When there were none, a servant would do it instead.
He was such a hard-working boss that I felt compelled to meet his demands.
Feeling somewhat guilty, I approached him right away, thinking I’d quickly do it and then leave.
"Please wait a moment."
He stood with his arms slightly spread out so that I could access the clasps. My fingertips trembled slightly as I started opening the first clasp.
I felt something wriggling in my heart as I tried to untie the armour of the man who confessed that he liked me.
The room was quiet except for the noise from my fiddling with the armour joints. It was frustrating.
Being over 180 cm tall, his wide chest that slimmed down to his waist in that fabled Y shape caught my eye.
‘Do you swim regularly? It's a very desirable body.’
And armour that fit that body line perfectly…
Whoever made it, I thought that the armour was really well-crafted… And this smell of winter and cold wind from his body… I swallowed.
‘What are you doing! Don’t smell him!’
Why did I keep looking at his body today? Maybe because it was so quiet.
I thought that I might die of suffocation if I stayed silent like this. Besides, this was his bedroom.
We were just beside a large bed covered in grey sheets he would sleep in. Sheets permeated with his scent.
‘What are you thinking! Stop this!’
If I didn't say anything soon, I felt my thoughts would continue to run wild, so I asked the first thing that came to mind.
"I heard it was a sudden business trip.”
“Are you acting as an Aide?"
"Oh. I see. I became the Second Aide. Haha. Ha…
The laughter that came out of my mouth felt awkward to my own ears.
"Yes. You're my Aide now."
'What do you mean by “my Aide”? It’s not wrong, but why does it sound so weird?'
I quickly got back to the point.
“You are under no obligation to answer.”
I loosened the fifth clasp and moved on to the sixth.
Because the joint went from the chest to the side, the lower I went, the more I had to bend my body to the left.
My posture stiffened when I thought that others would see this as me hugging him.
Whether he knew about my feelings or not, he just spread his arms to the side, giving me easier access.
“I received a report that the a mercenary from the 28th Mercenary group has appeared. It was speculated that he was the leader of that summer night's invasion of the coast.”
My hands stood still. Then I looked up at him.
Those familiar, still expressionless eyes. But why did they look so sad?
"Are you alright?" I asked without realizing.
Kyle immediately felt his heart tighten for a moment.
Her worried eyes and slightly drooping eyebrows filled his vision.
"Are you worried?" Kyle asked, pretending to be indifferent despite his husky voice.
He was curious about her answer.
"Yes. It's something to be concerned about. If anyone knew what Your Highness went through, they would be worried as well. That's normal…"
“Of course not.”
“In the Palace, one has to hide their emotions and pain as much as possible. So should you. Don’t let anyone know you feel that way. Most certainly don’t anyway.”
Tara’s head tilted slightly to one side at the calm yet firm remark.
“My reaction is a very natural one that every human being has.”
“This place, the Imperial Palace, is a place full of people who can and will use your weaknesses against you. There isn’t a more unnatural place than this one in the Empire.”
Tara slowly nodded, as if she understood. Then immediately asked the same unexpected question.
“So, are you all right, My Lord?”
“You’re asking me…”
"Ugh! Don't move! This clasp is so tight that I can’t hold onto it well… That's right. As your Aide, I think you should always be aware of your surroundings to some extent. But here, if you're not uncomfortable, please tell me."
“Will you act as an Aide?"
“I am a woman of my word. And the best way to heal pain is to express and acknowledge the emotions appropriate to the situation. Of course, since this is a question from an Aide, you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to.”
Tara concentrated on loosening the clasp again. The small, white fingers didn't seem to have any aptitude for delicate work, but the feeling of being pinched by his armour wasn't too bad.
Her words easily knocked down the walls he had built up. More so probably due to the accumulated fatigue.
"Well… I'm angry."
“I can feel the helplessness of that time as well.”
When she heard no more answers, those round eyes gazed back up to him and stayed. Under that concerned gaze, Kyle looked away and said more bluntly than ever.
“I couldn’t protect her…”
When the blur in his mind ended, he looked down again.
"I’m sorry," came her calm reply.
Then she looked up at him for a moment without saying a word.
“It is not your fault.”
She lowered her gaze again and focused on the sixth clasp. No, she pretended to be focused.
"Is it over?"
“I was wondering if you'd like to comfort me more."
"Do you want me to comfort you more?"
"Well, let me know if you'd like to be comforted, again. We can drink consolation drinks. I'm pretty good at playing hooky."
“With good wine, of course.”
If he really asked to share a drink, she would be scared and run away, so he satisfied himself with the fact that she comforted him.
"Yes, if you're willing to, next time," he continued.
“So, Your Highness, what is the probability that the suspect is the mercenary commander from back then?” She asked with a quick smile.
A smile that caught his breath. Kyle had to clench his hands tightly behind his back.
“We won’t know until the investigation is over.”
"I'd like to hear your thoughts, Your Highness."
"Most of them are correct, Your Highness."
He raised the corners of his mouth without realizing it.
“I'm getting more flattery.”
"Hehe. Maybe it's the virtue of the 2nd Aide. Whoo… There's one more thing left. So, what do you think, Your Highness?"
"They are trying to test me."
“Now that you are my Aide, you should know. I'll talk to the team leaders when I get information from Nick. You’ll listen then and judge.”
"Yes, Your Highness.”
Slowly nodding, she caught the last joint at his left waist.
Now that he was completely to her left, Kyle had to turn his head to look down at her.
At first glance, he saw her forehead, the bridge of her nose, and her smooth lip line. Kyle asked the question he had wanted to ask since he saw her in his bedroom.
When I had just loosened the last clasp, Kyle asked that without explanation.
As I looked up while holding the clasp, I met his eyes, looking down at me, head on.
'Oh, my... He's too close.'
Then I saw it. A spark flashing in his eyes.
I tried to take a step back, but my arm was caught straight away. My arm in his big hand.
He seemed to be holding it lightly, but I couldn't move. I looked up at him, full of embarrassment, and he asked the question without giving me time to prepare again.