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His mind was tired from everything his father had managed to cram into their lesson today, so many desultory dates that he already knew from past readings.

Though he looked forward to whatever was to be served at dinner soon. He thought a nice stew could suit the rainy weather that greeted him when he looked out a large window in the hallway.

Then he remembered of Jihye's rush departure and the note he carried in his pocket. Sunoo had an idea of what it would say but he crossed his fingers and hoped it was just a simple and harmless favor she wanted him to do for her. Once he was sure he was in a secluded spot in the castle, Sunoo reached for the note and unfolded it.

Teleporting to Acacia.
Make sure no one realizes I'm gone.
Especially Sojung.
Thank you!

Sunoo nearly fainted as he read the note over and over. Once again Jihye was dragging him into her little escaping plans. Leaving him behind to clean up the mess as best he could. But at least this time she told him before actually doing it like she had promised.

He pulled out his pocket watch to check the time. There were five minutes till six o'clock. Five minutes till dinner. Jihye had given him the note nearly an hour ago, surely she must have returned by now.

And so Sunoo just about ran through the castle to Jihye's bedroom to make sure the Princess had least made it back safely and without any blunders.

With no hesitation, Sunoo pounded on Jihye's bedroom door once he arrived panting and expectant. "Jihye?" There's no answer when he calls out her name in a hassled tone. He shifts his weight from one foot to the other as he waits for Jihye's voice to return his calling and tell him she'd be out in a minute. It never came.

He reaches forwards again, but this time his hand grips the doorknob to enter. But it only twiddled in his grip, not fully rotating to unlock. Sunoo huffs out. At the minimum she was smart enough to lock the door before leaving.

"Jihye!" Sunoo shouts in a whisper once more, he wasn't sure why he did as it was obvious Jihye wasn't in her room. Sunoo leaned his forehead on her door as he sighed. What could he do now? Dinner was mere minutes away and at any second a servant would waltz over to escort Jihye to the grand dining hall. But since there would be no Princess to escort, there's no doubt all havoc would break loose.

His ears suddenly caught the sound of movement and he felt a flicker of hope bloom in his chest. It must've been—

"Sunoo, what are you doing here?"

His heart nearly lurches out of his body and a flare of panic quickly spreads. Sunoo snaps his head to look behind him, afraid of who would stand there to greet him. Of course it had to be the person he least wanted to see him at that moment. "Sojung—" He swallows, mouth suddenly dry, then gives her a tight lip smile.

She points at the door with a questioning look. "Is the Princess in there?"

Sunoo quickly nods, not taking his hand away from the doorknob. "Of course she is." He positioned his body so his back was against the wooden door as he tried his best not to look too dubious.

"Why isn't she opening the door then?" Sojung crosses her arms, her classic affirmative stance and tone pressurizing Sunoo in every way possible. "Dinner is ready. She should already know that."

He's sweating in trepidation at this point, his palms were now clammy so he wipes them against the back of his pants. He clears his throat with a cough as he brings his right hand to his head in deep thought. "It's silly really."

𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐑𝐂𝐇.  enhypen Where stories live. Discover now