Chapter 17- Helos, The City of Sun (2)
“Both of you had fun?”
Banu, smiling, looked at us.
“You made a promise with Peter, huh?”
I tried to kick Banu, but he dodged, as if already saw it coming.
“Haha! Looks like Peter couldn’t do it right.”
Banu tapped on Peter while smiling slyly.
“Yes, I made another mistake on Miss Aris.”
Peter made a face, as if he was ready to jump into the river nearby.
“Peter, that’s all right. I’m not bad. I was in the wrong for what happened earlier.”
It was a little bit of my fault earlier. I didn’t realize that I would get so scared from someone else touching my ears other than myself. I had never screamed so loudly. If I were to go back to my past, I would hit myself on the head from embarrassment.
“I appreciate it.”
Peter made a purposeful grin, but he still seemed to be down.
“Bunny, you know where Arberaj is, right?”
Banu suddenly asked me this question, and I nodded.
“Then you should go on and head there. I have got to teach this young man a lesson on becoming a true man.”
Banu winked at Peter. I had no idea why a grown man would wink at another, but assuming that it wouldn’t be something harmful, I nodded.
“Come back quick. If you sleep in tomorrow, I will kick you both.”
So I parted with Banu and headed back to the inn.
“Lady, are you alone?”
“Come and play with us.”
Ignoring all the cat calls from countless men, I finally managed to get into Arje’s room.
“Oh, you took your mask off?”
I thought Arje would be in bed, but she was sitting in front of the mirror and brushing her hair.
“Welcome back, Aris.”
Arje smiled at me, with her bare face.
“You came alone? Where are the men?”
“Banu said that he’s gonna do some project with Peter.”
“Seriously, he doesn’t have a respectful image. Being the imperial swordsman, he should get rid of the image from his past and become a little more calm and serious….I mean, what if he gets caught goofing around?”
Arje sighed. It seemed as if the two of them knew each other from the past.
“Speaking of which, you and Banu have something deeper than a regular princess and guard relationship, right?”
From my memory, I recalled that Arje and Banu were good friends when they were young. They became this way because as Arje grew older, she kept her distance.
“Did I ever mention it before?”
Arje made a surprised face. Of course she never did. She would probably compliment my sense of memorization.
“Wait a moment, I don’t remember telling you this, which means that Banu said it all! Just like his looks, he is so light with his words!”
Arje was furious. I smiled, although I felt a little guilty to Banu for getting the blame.
“Yes. I heard it clearly with my two ears.”
I bluffed, expecting some cute hide-and-seek back story from their childhood, but when I mentioned my ears, I turned red because I was reminded of what had happened with Peter earlier. I cannot deny not to get shy from such things.
“Aris? Why did you suddenly turn red? Did something happen?”
Arje rushed over.
“No, it’s nothing.”
I tried to get out of the situation.
“Aris, although we just met, I want to help dual specimens. Am I not trustworthy?”
From Arje’s stern face, I contemplated a little whether or not I should tell her. But as her eyes filled with tears the more I hesitated, I could not help but tell her.
“It’s nothing serious, actually….”
And I told her everything that happened with Peter earlier.
“That happened to you?!”
Arje had a shocked face. I didn’t think it was something to be so shocked about.
“There’s no need to be so surprised? Nothing happened other than that.”
I tried to calm Arje down, but she shook her head and did not accept it.
“How dare he do such a thing!”
Was what Peter did such an unacceptable thing? I mean, I was a little flustered, but I did give him permission.
“Aren’t you even mad, Aris?”
Suddenly, the anger of Arje pointed towards me.
When I looked at Arje puzzled, Arje’s eyes got bigger.
“Well, I gave him permission.”
“You cannot allow such things carelessly as a woman! If you allow those things so carelessly…..”
And for a while after hearing a lecture on ‘the proper way of a lady,’ my ears felt even more tired.
As I had zoned out halfway through her lecture, I finally heard the end of it, and I smiled brightly and nodded.
“You didn’t get a single thing.”
Arje placed her hand on her forehead, as if she had a headache, but she quickly returned her smile.
“Anyways, it seems that the Peter boy has an interest in you, so you should keep your distance.”
“Okay, will do.”
Since if I were to ask her another question why I should, I would suffer from the second lecture of the ‘proper way of a lady,’ so I just ended the conversation there.
“Yes, we should always be careful of men.”
Was there a reason why Arje was so leery of men? I didn’t recall a part in the novel mentioning the reason. Rather, when she was with Jarrod, there was a lovey dovey vibe going on. Although it didn’t get anywhere.
“All right. I will go to bed now.”
As soon as I finished my sentence, I just plopped onto the first bed I saw.
As I tried to fall asleep, Arje called me cautiously from behind.
“You see, I have a request, if you don’t mind?”
“What is it?”
If it was something simple, I would reject it, and if it was something difficult, I would pretend to contemplate a bit and then reject it.
“Let me touch them, too.”
What was that I heard?
When I turned over to look at Arje, there was a type of gleam in her eyes that was unfamiliar. It was that of…what do I say..the passionate eyes of a scholar? Anyways, her eyes were sparkling. Was it possible to make eyes shine as a sorceress of light?
“Those ears. As soon as I saw them, I wanted to ask you but suppressed them because I didn’t want to be impolite, but I ask of you…”
The favor she asked so seriously was unexpected. Was it something to be so serious about?
“I want to refuse.”
I didn’t want the same feeling from when Peter touched them earlier, so I tried to refuse.
“Is that so? I see. I am so sick of myself.”
Arje murmured, as if she really regretted asking. Looking at her like that, I grew weak again.
“Okay, fine. I will let you, so stop making such a sad face.”
I guess it would be all right among women. It’s not such a terrible thing to ask, and she asked out of curiosity.
“Really? You are sure, right?”
Arje smiled brightly. Looking at her excitement made me feel as if I would regret my decision later.
“Please be careful. I think it will hurt a lot if you press hard.”
Arje nodded affirmingly and then got on the bed.
“Of course, there are a lot of veins on the ears and vital points, so you have to touch them lightly.”
The hands of Arje approached my ears slowly. My heart was beating fast. Butterflies? No, there was no reason for me to get excited, but I must have mistaken a feeling of nervousness and fear to getting butterflies.
“Let me know if it hurts, okay?”
And the white hands of Arje touched my ears.
“Heeek! Wait! Wait! Stop that!”
And I should have refused. With the scream from earlier, I tried to stop her, but
“Oooh, this is so soft and squishy…I might get addicted.”
Unlike Peter, Arje had no mercy. She told me to let her know if it hurt, but she did not stop.
It was a different kind of sensation from when Peter was touching. A risky feeling. A feeling of great danger shook my entire body up and down.
And so I had to suffer from the act of Arje for a while.
The next day.
“Did you ladies have a good night?”
As Arje and I stepped outside to the cafe, Banu, who we don’t know when he would have gotten back, waved his hands at us
“No, I could not sleep well.”
There was that thing in the room, and I had to get help from Arje to walk because my legs were sore as if I had run the entire city at full speed. Arje apologized and mentioned that she would treat me to a meal, but I decided to never let her pet me again.
“Did you walk too much yesterday? Do you think you can perform the test today?”
Banu asked, with a short chuckle.
“Of course. I want to hurry up and see that sword.”
After getting help from Arje to grab a seat, I answered Banu. I wanted to confirm the look of that sword with my own eyes.
“Yes, that’s the true spirit of a swordsman.”
Banu spread butter on his bread with a pleased face.
Peter was nowhere to be seen.
“Haha! I guess the path to manhood was a bit rough for him. He’s still in bed. I don’t think he will be able to get up for a while, so I will let him rest today.”
What in the world did Banu make him do?
At that moment, Arje smacked Banu in the back. Banu was drinking milk at the time, so after he got smacked, he started to cough and pound his chest as if he was choking.
“What, why are you doing this?”
Banu was sly enough to dodge my kick, but I guess he didn’t expect Arje to smack him.
Arje was furious. It was probably from thinking that Banu had told me the relationship between the two in the past.
“Why are you acting like this? I didn’t force Peter to do anything dangerous.”
“Is that how you are gonna jump over this?”
Arje did not speak, and Banu looked at me with a confused face, waiting for an explanation. Still, I did not say anything, because I wanted to see him get slapped some more. I just looked the other way.
He well deserved it.
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