41.

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Taehyung looked on at Jimin, who stood before the entrance to his cell with eyes widened by sheer shock. The elder couldn't believe the sight set in front of him.

The immediate thing Jimin noticed first was his eye. His left eye no longer appeared normal. In fact, the dark purple constellations etched around it, along with the intense bruised puffiness surrounding it almost prevented the younger from being able to see. It was evident someone had used so much force to punch his eye that Taehyung's eyebrow was split open, revealing a dark, thick red liquid which trickled down the side of his head.

"Tae?" Jimin breathed out softly, attempting to fight the urge of completely breaking down in front of the boy. He knew he had to keep his facade up in the dungeon to prevent the guard from catching on and dragging him out the room: away from his friend.

Taehyung winced slightly, his position curled into the likes of a foetus as he leaned against the side wall of his own cell, fixating his other eye upon Jimin. The boy's face was etched with utter fear and he made no attempt to hide it.

"Jimin?" he croaked out, stray tears littering his pale cheeks. "What's going on?"

"Jungkook's gonna sort it out, Tae," the elder whispered, clenching his fists as he did so. Especially now after seeing the intense state the boy was in, Jimin knew there was simply no time to waste. He knew the second he left the dungeon, him, Yoongi and Jungkook would need to proceed with their formulated plan no longer than tonight.

"He can't," the beaten boy mumbled, wiping the side of his face with his palm, withdrawing it seconds later only to be met with his own blood staining his hand. "It's too late. They've sentenced me to death."

Jimin shook his head fiercely, clutching onto one of the metallic bars comprising of the cell. He stuck his arm through, clasping one of Taehyung's as he rubbed comforting circles into his friend's palm, mustering up a convincing smile although internally he was crumbling.

"It's not, trust me. You have to trust me, okay?" he urged, waiting for the slight nod from the other boy which never came. "Jungkook won't leave you in here. He promised to save you."

Taehyung felt a lump arising in his throat at the mention of the Prince's name. "Tell him," he whispered softly, unable to raise his voice louder due to the lack of water he'd received in the past hour. "Tell him I love him, and that no matter what happens none of this is his fault. Please."

With a nod, Jimin sent Taehyung one last look of consolidation, before he withdrew his hand, standing up in the process. His eyes said it all. His silent promises to the younger were enough for the servant to know the Prince would do anything to rescue him, although Taehyung couldn't fizzle out the terrible feeling seeping into almost every vein of his body.

He very much doubted Jungkook would be successful.

As Jimin left, Taehyung took one last look at his friend, internally hoping it wouldn't be the last time he would do so.

-

After informing the two boys about the state and vulnerability of Taehyung, Jimin left a white-faced Yoongi, as well as a sobbing Jungkook, who had his face buried into the shoulder of his brother.

Yoongi also held back tears, partly due to the wreck the raven-haired was in. He'd never seen Jungkook like this, in all his years of existing. As the younger cried into his neck, Yoongi wrapped two protective arms around his muscular frame, looking ahead at his boyfriend with determined eyes.

"Nothing's going to happen to him. I won't let it happen," he vowed, certainty laced between his words. "I swear to you, Kook. I won't let Father get his way."

Jungkook barely heard his brother's words. In fact, all he could focus on was the description Jimin had given him. After hearing that Taehyung had asked the boy to let him know he loved him, the Prince felt sadness beyond measure. It killed him knowing that even though Taehyung's very life was in danger, he still wanted to soothe Jungkook.

Taking in a ragged breath, the Prince pulled away from Yoongi, an enraged glint present in his eye. "I'll make them pay," he said softly, setting his jaw as he did so. "I'll fucking kill the person who damaged his eye, and I'll destroy Jeon while I'm at it."

Jungkook simply realised what he had to do. Rather than sitting in confinement amongst his luxurious room, the Prince stood up, looking at both Jimin and Yoongi as he did.

"I'm leaving, you two. Once I rescue him, I'm leaving the country and I'm not ever coming back. I'd pick him over the responsibility I have towards the people in a heartbeat."

"We'll come with-" Yoongi began, before his cut his brother off with a raised hand, simply shaking his head.

"You can't. I can't guarantee your safety out there. They might even find us once we escape," Jungkook said, sending his brother a knowing look. "You know what you have to do."

And Yoongi did. He knew it from the determined look his brother had etched over every facial feature.

He knew he had to stay. The elder Prince, fortunately wasn't blood-related to Jeon, hence why he couldn't take the throne. With Jungkook gone, he could deter his Father away from finding both Taehyung and his brother as much as he could. Staying under the radar with Jimin would be simple, since he wouldn't ever be forced into the prospect of marriage in his lifetime.

Even if the reality of him needing to stay far away from Jungkook was nearing, Yoongi only wanted to know his brother was happy.

"This won't be our last goodbye," he murmured, placing his hand against Jungkook's shoulder.

"I know it won't be."

A/n: I'm sorry I haven't updated in two days. sixth form has been harder than I first thought lmao, so I'm being piled with loads and loads of work. anyhow, it's the weekend tomorrow so I'll be posting double updates as much as possible (:

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