After the wedding, the couple planned to spend one night at the hotel before departing the next morning for their honeymoon in Namhae.
In the evening, Siyeon, who had gone up to the P.Suite room, stood at the entrance, slowly turning her head from left to right, taking in the interior.
The room was famous for hosting presidents, sports stars, or top actors on special occasions. It was spacious and luxurious, even having a separate room for attendants.
Although Siyeon and Ijun entered the room to spend their first night together as a married couple, neither of them seemed particularly excited. Ijun was the first to speak.
“I’ll take this side.”
Before Ijun could finish his sentence, Siyeon pointed towards the room with the luxurious sofa, fireplace, and a study. She had work to complete in the study that night.
“I was thinking of using that side too.”
Ijun, standing beside her with a weary expression, spoke up. He had anticipated Siyeon might suggest staying in the attendant’s room, but it seemed like she also had a desire to use that space.
“It would be nice if you yielded it to me tonight, Oppa.”
“I’d rather… you not call me that way.”
He said, looking down at Siyeon. His voice was tired, but his gaze was clear. He found it uncomfortable when Siyeon called him “Oppa” as she used to in the past.
“…Then what should I call you?”
Siyeon, quietly meeting his gaze, asked. His face was filled with fatigue.
“Everyone except family calls me ‘Sir’.”
“Then… I’ll call you ‘Sir’ from now on.”
“And I’ll give up the room, so let’s leave it at that.”
Ijun, with a subdued voice, extending his hand before turning his body to the right. Siyeon spoke to his back.
“One more thing. I think we should talk about our future life a bit. For instance, business trips like today… We should discuss basic schedules.”
“If you’re curious, ask Manager Kim. If Manager Kim doesn’t know, there’s no need for you to ask me.”
Ijun turned around and walked towards the room on the right.
Siyeon lingered in that spot for a few more seconds then turned her body to the left, pulling the handle of her suitcase after Ijun’s figure disappeared from her sight.
While the wedding took place, people whispered quietly or exchanged glances among themselves.
The groom, said to have been in a minor accident, appeared with bandages on his face and hands, his expression so stern as if facing a long-standing enemy.
They must have speculated a lot while observing Ijun and Siyeon, some possibly edging closer to the truth that the groom wasn’t particularly pleased with this marriage.
Entering the bathroom, Siyeon meticulously removed her makeup before sinking into the bathtub, immersing herself in the hot water seemed to alleviate some of her fatigue.
“Siyeon, I couldn’t even properly fulfill my duty as a parent, and now you’re already leaving my embrace.”
The previous evening, her mother had seated Siyeon in front of her and handed her a jewel case with a hairpin inside.
“This… I told you I’d give this to you when your son is born.”
” That’s why you should have it. Keep it well. When you have a son, pass it on to your daughter-in-law, and if you have a daughter, she’ll pass it on to her descendants.”
Siyeon thought about mentioning that Ijun had given her the same hairpin, but she didn’t. She didn’t received it as a proposal from Ijun. In reality, it belonged to Gwihyeon.
“Later… I have something… to tell you… You need to know.”
Her father could now slowly say what he wanted to say. It took some time for him to finish his words, but even so, Siyeon was grateful for the gradual improvement.
He expressed his desire to have a calm conversation with Siyeon when she returned from her honeymoon.
“If it doesn’t work out, come back. I’ll help you get a job as a full-time employee, not just a part-time worker.”
After the wedding, Yoonsoo, with a somewhat annoyed expression, said to Siyeon. Looking at the groom who hadn’t smiled once, it was hard to believe he felt anything at all.
Siyeon was beyond grateful to him, who protected her father, like a son, there was not only gratitude but also an indescribable sense of indebtedness.
The same was true for Manager Yang and Team Leader. During the ceremony, Siyeon felt sorry for them as they awkwardly looked at her.
Lost in thought, Siyeon suddenly felt the water in the bathtub turning cold. She stood up from the bathtub. By the time she had finished washing and come out, an hour had already passed.
Dressed in a white bathrobe, Siyeon roughly dried her hair with a towel before retrieving her laptop from her bag and heading to the study. The well-arranged study was spacious enough for several people to work comfortably together.
She sat in front of the desk, turned on the laptop, entered the password, and clicked on a file within the folder named ‘Five Wings of the Dragon.’ It was a manuscript she had written about 70% of but hadn’t finished yet.
The ongoing series was a sequel to her early works, ‘Dragon’s Wing’ and ‘Dragon’s Heart.’
Siyeon was currently writing the unfolding part of the long journey the five disciples of the protagonist would embark on through adventures. The readers’ reactions were positive, especially from the fans of her early works who were excited about the sequel.
However, juggling wedding preparations and work quickly depleted her reserve manuscript. Now she had to write almost every day whenever she found some free time.
She actually wanted to take a break today, but the thought of the waiting readers didn’t allow her that luxury. She had written a note promising to upload the next chapter no matter what happened by tomorrow morning, so she had to take responsibility.
When Siyeon finished the manuscript, it was well past 2 AM. She closed her laptop, pushed it aside, rested her cheek on the desk, intending to take a brief moment before heading to bed. However, before she knew it, she had drifted off to sleep.
* * *
As Siyeon stirred from her sleep, a chilling cold enveloped her. Attempting to move, she emitted a faint groan as her body felt stiff and sore from having dozed off in that hunched-over position at the desk for goodness knows how long.
Squinting, she looked toward the window, finding the outside still shrouded in darkness. Even though it was approaching 5 AM, in the midst of winter, morning seemed distant.
Rubbing her sleep-laden eyes, Siyeon made her way towards the area where her bed was, when she sensed a presence from the opposite direction.
She halted in her tracks. The thought that a stranger might have intruded sent shivers down her spine. Holding her breath, she stood still, and slowly, faint noises became audible, gradually drawing closer.
“…Where are you going…at this hour?”
Siyeon asked, bewildered. The source of the slight noise was Ijun, who was dressed as if he were going out, even though the sun was far from rising.
“Something came up. You’ll have to go to Namhae alone.”
It was their 3-day honeymoon trip. She was under the impression they’d leave together after breakfast.
“Then, will you be staying at the house in Samseong-dong in the meantime?”
Her drowsiness vanished in an instant. She hadn’t heard anything about his schedule changing until last night.
“Then, I won’t go either. I’ll come to the Samseong-dong house. I was already busy… This works out fine.”
She would be lying if she claimed she didn’t feel any disappointment. She had hoped to have more conversations with him during their honeymoon. Going alone served no purpose and she didn’t want to send Ijun off to Hannam-dong alone.
“Why aren’t you going?”
“There’s no such thing as going on a honeymoon alone. It’s not worth it, and people will talk. Finish your work and come to Samseong-dong. If you need anything, let me know.”
“I won’t know until I get there, and if you need anything, just call Manager Kim.”
Siyeon remained silent. He was casually saying things that could easily be misunderstood, even though he knew she didn’t like being indebted. Was he hoping she would give in and leave?
“I told you. You’ll regret it.”
He stated firmly, observing Siyeon’s sunken expression.
“I don’t want to regret anymore. So, as much as you may dislike it, I’d appreciate if you could at least try until the end of this year.”
“What will change by the end of this year?”
“Perhaps Sir Ijun’s wishes might come true.”
Am I really going to leave this world without becoming twenty-eight again this time?
“To the one I was grateful for in my past life, I’m granting his final wish.”
“I might return ten years back again.”
Then, I shouldn’t meet Ijun at that time. I won’t create any connection with him.
“Why do you keep repeating such nonsense, trying to get something again this time?”
“Anyway, since we are a couple, I hope you’ll dislike me a little less.”
“Do you think we can live together as a couple for a few more years in your opinion?”
Ijun lowered his gaze and tilted his head slightly.
“What do you mean by that?”
“What will happen if several years pass, and I still don’t have a child? As you know, in our current household, I’m the only one capable of reproduction. Despite you dressing that way, I have no desire to touch you with even a finger.”
As his words came to an end, Siyeon’s face blushed intensely. She had only just realized she was still wearing her bathrobe. Hastily, she adjusted the disheveled collar and tightened the belt of the robe.
“Well, you never know. Maybe you’ll work miracles like the Virgin Mary.”
Siyeon, who was adjusting her clothes, suddenly stopped in response to Ijun’s sarcasm. She turned her head and made eye contact with him.
“Well, you’ve always been like this.”
She spoke with a resigned expression.
“Once you set your mind on something, you’re a persistent person who won’t stop until you achieve your goal. I forgot that and tried to have a conversation with you.”
“It was you who brought this marriage to this point.”
“Let’s live like ordinary people for one year without registering our marriage. If we don’t register our marriage, there won’t be any need for divorce proceedings, so it’s not a bad condition.”
He narrowed his eyes and stared at her silently.
“Then, you might be able to meet the woman you love again.”
“So, just endure for a year.”
If there really is such a thing as a predetermined fate, even if I leave, you could still marry Eunhye.