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Sunoo declared at Jihye— wanting nothing to do with her asinine plans.

Jihye hadn't even finished explaining herself and Sunoo was already shutting her down. All he heard were the words 'Sneak outside the castle' come out of Jihye's mouth and immediately decided he didn't want to hear anything else.

She had waited for a moment in which both of them wouldn't be busy just for the chance to speak with him and even made the effort to come to his room so he could be in a relaxed environment to hear her out. She brought cookies too!

"And why not?" Jihye asked, her arms crossed across her chest.

Sunoo inhales deeply in vexation as a hand brushes his hair away from his forehead. "Look Jihye— Going to Acacia behind your Father's back is one thing. But going to a forest that nearly hits the borders of the East Kingdom? That's too far and dangerous even for you."

"I wouldn't say it's that dangerous..." She draws out, hearing the disapproval in Sunoo's voice causing her face to scrunch into a pout.

Sunoo scoffs at her response. "What do you even plan on doing there?" He nearly barks at her.

Jihye took some time before answering, pressing her lips into a thin line as she thought of a way to open the conversation. "I'm taking Niki— the South Prince's friend, to see the trees..." She says simply and as the words slip past her tongue, she realizes how idiotic and inane she sounds.

Sunoo's face twisted into one of dubiety. He expected a much different answer than that, something related to her magical shenanigans. But she was doing it just to take some Souther boy there? There had to be more Jihye wasn't telling him. "And why would you be taking him of all people?"

Jihye begins to explain everything that had happened yesterday with Jaeyun and Niki. From gifting the South Prince a basket of plum scones to discovering Niki wasn't a Magian nor a Mortal, but an Amalgam. Although neither of them had planned on her finding out the truth, Jihye was willing to help Niki out with the least confrontational approach possible. And she hoped Sunoo would be on the same page as well.

"So? That's none of our concern." Was Sunoo's response to which Jihye wasn't all too pleased to hear. "You shouldn't involve yourself with something like that. Just leave it to do Royal Council. They'll figure out what to do with him."

"Sunoo, you can't possibly be that heartless..." Jihye says slowly, a pinched expression on her face. It visibly stung Sunoo hearing the word heartless directed at him but he wasn't one to surrender because of internal remorse. The Princess jabs a finger at his chest as she speaks. "First of all, he has a name which is Niki. And you know how harsh our laws are against Amalgams are. If Niki were to face the Royal Council he could possibly be arrested for keeping his racial status a secret." She punctuates her sentence with another jab.

Sunoo slaps her hand away. "What do you want me to say? He shouldn't have lied about it in the first place. If he knew what our Kingdom was like then why did he come here on his own accord?"

"Seriously, Sunoo. What is wrong with you? He's just a boy! He shouldn't be treated like a criminal for who he is!" Jihye managed breathlessly, utterly repulsed by the direction their conversation had taken. "And I am not going to hand Niki off to the Royal Council just for him to be ostracized by people who don't see him as an equal!"

He clenched his jaw, taking a breath in before speaking. "You seem very set on this. No amount of common sense is going to change your stubborn mind, huh?"

"No. I have all the common sense I need." Jihye huffs, standing her ground in front of the equally exasperated Sunoo.

"Is that so?" Sunoo said flatly, using his height to an advantage to loom over her figure. But Jihye only craned her neck to meet his daunting gaze. For several seconds, neither of them said anything, both waiting for the other to cave in. Coming to the conclusion that Jihye wasn't going to see the risks as an unmistakable reason not to go, Sunoo finally says, "Well, you can count me out." He turns around without another word and heads off to his bureau to continue the work he started before Jihye had arrived.

𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐑𝐂𝐇.  enhypen Where stories live. Discover now