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Ringing of Bells

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The first snowflake had hit the castle’s cold roof that very morning. 

Princess Jung Eunbi had been expecting it for a couple of weeks already, the weather indicating that the winter would be colder than usual. She didn’t really mind it. Being the youngest princess of the Royal Family, if there was one thing she had, it was comfort. Her room was covered with expensive skins, warm sheets and decorated chandeliers. It didn’t matter if it was snowing outside, she would never feel terribly cold.

Mind filled with the somber thought of richness and how her people were not so privileged, she stood up from the window seat. Eunbi ran her hands through her long and red velvet dress, straightening some creases. It was mid-afternoon and she had nothing to do besides reading and watching the snow fall. In simple words, she was awfully bored.

Eunbi wanted to do something, but she was afraid of acting on it. It was almost Christmas and some servants were sent home to spend the holidays with their families. 

The king did that every year, sending a different group each time so that the castle wouldn’t be left unattended and everyone would still have the opportunity to spend time with their relatives. Eunbi knew for a fact, having memorized a certain knight’s schedule, that the person she so much thought of was around.

Kim Sojung never went home. The knight had joined the castle’s Guard when she was seventeen and Eunbi, fifteen. For Sojung was so young, even if highly trained and talented, she was basically put as Eunbi’s chaperon. 

At first, neither of them were very keen on the idea. Eunbi didn’t like having someone on her tail and, as Sojung left that clear as soon as they met each other, the knight wanted to be on the front line and not stuck with the princess.

But, as time passed, something evolved between the two. They didn’t share common interests, but they’d had such different life experiences that what could only be described as fascination grew between them. Eunbi was also forbidden to leave the castle at that time due to threats from nearby kingdoms, so they spent quite a lot of time in the castle’s library, exchanging stories and talking about memories.

Two years were spent like that and when they were over, Eunbi and Sojung had not only shared experiences, but also created new ones.

The princess had plastered a wide smile when her mother announced Sojung was old enough and now needed at the Royal Guard. Eunbi would never forget that morning. 

The two of them had eaten breakfast in her room, Sojung not being allowed to, but Eunbi insisted, and were chatting about a book, when the queen knocked on the door and elegantly entered the chamber. Eunbi faked happiness as Sojung’s face lit up with the news. The princess knew that had always been Sojung’s dream and she couldn’t bring herself to let the older girl know how hurt she was.

Eunbi was already twenty and she still couldn’t let Sojung know about any of that. Truth be told, she was not only hurt by the fact she was losing a friend, but Eunbi tried her best to not think much about that. 

The princess knew it was a lost cause. Her parents would probably be wary of the idea, but her older sister had just married a woman who had absolutely no ties with any royal family, so Eunbi knew they wouldn’t be strongly opposed to it. The real problem was Sojung’s feelings. Eunbi knew for a fact that the knight didn’t have any romantic feelings for her. After all, why would she?

Eunbi was a princess, sure, but Sojung didn’t care for titles. The knight was a brave person with a taste for adventure. Sojung had countless times told Eunbi her dream of travelling through the outskirts of the kingdom, crafting her own map and leading an army of her own. Eunbi sincerely wanted all of it became true for Sojung, she whole-heartdly wished Sojung would be able to fulfill her dreams. But she knew that none of those dreams included her.

Sojung, on the one hand, made an effort to see Eunbi. Even after she was given the title of Superior Knight, she still made time between meetings and training sessions to say hello to Eunbi and make sure the princess was all fine and dandy. On the other hand, Sojung talked to Eunbi as if she was still a teenager in need of constant protection. It was clear to Eunbi that the knight didn’t see her as anything more than a friend. 

Eunbi would never deny that she liked the protection… that she liked the care with which Sojung treated her, but she desperately wanted more. She wanted more than just the platonic love Sojung demonstrated. Eunbi wanted to hold Sojung’s hand and intertwine their fingers with the mindset that Sojung was hers. She wanted to go back to her chambers and not find an empty room filled with expensive beddings. She wanted… she wanted Sojung, all of her, all the time.

And, in the short-term future, Eunbi wanted to spend time with the knight. Sojung had been working non-stop for weeks now and they barely had time to have a meal together. More than anything, Eunbi missed her friend. She knew Sojung was around, probably at the strategy meeting room, but she was afraid to bother.

It wasn’t like many threats were made to her parents in the past year, so the Royal Guard wasn’t as busy as before, but Sojung had brought up a project to help protect the forests against bandits who were assailing the people and had been pretty busy organizing it all. The king had agreed to it and, as usual, gave carte blanche for anything Sojung would come up with. Eunbi was pretty sure she would disturb the knight.

Eunbi held back a sigh and a pout.

“It’s almost Christmas… I really wanted some time with her,” she murmured to herself, hands grabbing the front of her dress and slightly raising it, giving way for her feet to walk forward without impediments. “Would it be bad if I asked that of her?” 

Eunbi knew she wasn’t being fair with Sojung. The knight was busy and it wasn’t like she had any obligation to spend time with Eunbi. Sojung had better things to do than to indulge an unoccupied princess, no matter if they were friends.

Stopping before the double white door of her room, Eunbi opened one and stepped into the hallway. A cold chill ran down her spine and it wasn’t because of the wind.

Just down the hallway, Sojung walked towards her. The knight’s red hair was loose, two small braids ornamenting the top of her head, merging at the back, a hairstyle she used a lot when she was inside the castle. Eunbi always found mesmerizing how the long wine locks fell in waves over Sojung’s shoulders, how it fit so well with the white and black uniform and her honor medals. 

Sojung wasn’t wearing the uniform now, though. The knight was instead dressed in high-waisted black pants, a white shirt and the black wool overcoat with the kingdom’s crest. Her hands were tucked into the pockets and her posture seemed relaxed, but her sword was neatly tucked into the sheath tied to her waist. Sojung was always prepared.

Eunbi’s hand tightened against the warm cloth of her dress for a second. How could someone be so gorgeous? The princess closed her room’s door behind her and turn to face Sojung as the knight made her way towards Eunbi. She looks calm, Eunbi thought, head slightly tilting as the sides of her mouth quirked up, she looks beautiful. 

“Princess,” Sojung greeted her with a deep bow and a giggle bubbled out of Eunbi. Sojung always did that. “How are you doing in this fine morning?”

“It’s already afternoon, Superior Knight” Eunbi said, keeping with their formality game. “I gather that you have been tucked away in work since early, then?”

Sojung sighed and nodded. “Yes, that’d be right.”

“Why don’t we go eat something?” Eunbi offered, voice maybe sounding a tad too hopeful. “I’m sure you must be hungry.”

The knight looked at her for a second and Eunbi could swear she saw something flicker in Sojung’s eyes; something different. It was gone as fast as it came, however, and Eunbi was left with the doubt of it even happening. “I’d love that. But I wonder if the princess isn’t too busy?”

Eunbi rolled her eyes and grinned. “As if! I was dying of boredom, actually.”

“Well, isn’t this perfect, then,” Sojung took a hand out of her pocket and offered her arm to Eunbi. “Shall we head to the kitchen?”

It was a small gesture, one that many have already done, but that whenever Sojung did, Eunbi’s heart leaped in her chest. The princess gently placed her hand on Sojung’s forearm. “Yes.”

They ate sandwiches prepared by the castle’s chef and made small talk. Soon, Sojung was called by a soldier and she gave Eunbi an apologetic smile, leaving the princess with the promise that they would talk more soon. Eunbi knew better than to get her hopes up, though.

She went to her room and when it was dinner time, she told the servants she was unwell and wanted to rest. Locking the door as early as six in the evening, Eunbi changed her clothes and laid down.

Her head was a mess. Memories and wishes swirling and piercing through her heart like the sword Sojung so much cherished. It’s going to be one of those nights, huh, Eunbi thought to herself, trying to get mentally ready for another night in which she reminisced and cried over possibilities. It is true that she felt dumb and boderline pathetic, but the way her heart hurt and took over her mind was impossible to fight. She had no strength whatsoever. Turning her head to the soft, feather pillow, Eunbi tried to muffle the dry sob that ripped out of her throat. Her eyes weren’t burning for once, there was just this desperate and helpless feeling creeping in her heart and exploding to the rest of her body, making her curl up in a ball. Eunbi hid her face in her hands and was ready to just give into the feeling when a light knock echoed in her room.

Eunbi stopped breathing for a second. She had told the servants that she’d be sleeping early, that she wasn’t well enough to have dinner. Who could possibly be at her door? The knocking became impatient and soon she had her answer.

“Eunbi-yah! Are you really not going to greet your big sister?” 

Yerin’s voice was muffled by the wooden door, but her playfully upset tone was very clear. Yerin was often like that. Eunbi threw her covers down and ran her hands through her face, silently grateful that she hadn’t cried. Her mind provided that her face was probably a wreck anyway and Yerin would surely notice it, but Eunbi decided to ignore it.

She made her away to the door and unlocked it with a soft click. 

Yerin’s expression was gleeful, lips ajar, probably ready to make another remark. Eunbi watched as her sister froze, taking in her expression, and saw the other’s slowly fall, giving place to a worried frown. “What’s wrong?”

Eunbi quickly looked behind Yerin, checking if Yuna was behind her.

Her sister took a step forward, forcing Eunbi to back off, and wordlessly closed the door behind her. “Yuna is at the dinner table with Mom and Dad. I told her to stay there while I talked to you. Guess it was the right call, huh?”

Eunbi looked down to her socked feet. She wanted to greet her sister, wanted to properly say hello after months of just exchanging letters. However, she found her voice stuck in her throat, suddenly unable to do anything but purse her lips out. 

“Hey, did something happen?” Yerin’s voice was growing increasingly worried and Eunbi swallowed. The younger princess opened her lips to come up with an answer, but Yerin beat her to it. “Was it the Superior Knight?”

Eunbi’s heart raced inside her chest. She looked up with wide eyes to Yerin. “What do… what do you mean…?”

Yerin stared at her for a second, analyzing Eunbi’s face, and released a sigh. “Come on, little sis. Let’s seat down, ok?”

Hesitantly, she followed Yerin to the cream sofas to the right of the room. It was a set of furniture that she rarely used. Her parents had put the two sofas and coffee table between them against her will and Eunbi was very adamant about having it off her room. But Sojung reasoned with her that it was just furniture and her parents just wanted to spoil her a little. Eunbi tried to argue that she was spoiled enough and did not require them, but, in the end, Sojung wore her off.

Yerin sat across her, leaning against the backrest and seeming relaxed even if her expression was heavy with something Eunbi couldn’t quite pinpoint. The younger princess wrung her hands on her lap, getting uncomfortable with the silence for a few seconds before Yerin’s sigh filled the room.

“Eunbi-yah, I think we need to talk about something… or, as I should say, someone.”

A chill ran down Eunbi’s spine. “I’m… not sure what you mean by that.”

And, then, Yerin gave her a look. A look full of pity but also understanding and it made Eunbi squirm in her seat.

“Eunbi. I’m your older sister. I’ve taken care of you more times than I can count. I’ve been watching the way you look at that knight since day one. I’ve seen how cheery you get near her, I’ve seen how you smile when talking about her, I’ve seen how stars sparkle in your eyes every time someone praises Sojung. Moreover, I’ve seen the way you defend her. Ah, ah, no use trying to deny it, little sis, I’ve seen it.”

Eunbi was at a loss of words. Of course, she knew to what Yerin was referring. There was a time in which Sojung’s abilities were highly recognized and it caused not only admiration but also envy. Nasty rumors were spread and those usually didn’t get to the ears of a princess. However, Eunbi had a sixth sense when it came to Sojung and the first time she caught a couple of soldiers whispering mean names and horrible stories about the knight, it made her flush with anger. It was such a strong and unknown feeling that it left her nauseous for a second and, then, she reacted to it. Eunbi had marched towards the group and watched with wicked pleasure their faces blanche. The things she said that day… it ended all rumors and made sure none of the sorts would rise again. Sojung didn’t know about it and, in all honesty, it wasn’t Eunbi’s intention to let anyone know. But, her big sister had witnessed it.

Yerin didn't make a big deal out of it at the time, just teasing Eunbi about how fierce she looked, but that was it. Eunbi didn't know Yerin would bring that up again.

Yerin reached a hand and gently squeezed Eunbi’s.

“You have always looked radiant beside her, you know? And for years I’ve thought the two of you would sort it out on your own, that it’d be just a matter of time… but recently I’ve read misery in your letters, little sis. And I can’t take that anymore.”

I thought I wouldn’t cry today, Eunbi thought, feeling the back of her eyes start to burn. 

Her sister offered a comforting smile. “You’re scared, aren’t you?”

What could Eunbi do besides nod? Her throat was clamping up with a knot that wouldn’t go away that soon. The feeling inside her chest painfully clenched her heart and Eunbi just wanted it to go away. She just wanted things to be alright. But it wasn’t as easy as that, now was it?

So, she said. “It doesn’t matter. It’ll never become anything else.”

It came from the bottom of her heart and a second later she thought of it being incoherent, but by the way Yerin retreated and looked at her with surprise, the princess had understood it.

“Wait. Are you scared of… rejection?”

Eunbi wasn’t sure of what she expected to hear, but sheer incredulity definitely wasn’t it. She frowned at her sister’s phrase and how it was so bewilderly put. “I…” her voice trailed off as Yerin’s lips quirked up in a playful smile. “What… why are you laughing?”

“Oh, my, and here I thought you were scared of our parents’ or even the kingdom’s opinion. Amazing, really,” Yerin giggled and it only increased Eunbi’s confusion.

She was getting a tad irritated too. “I don’t understand why is this so funny.”

“Oh, little sis. Please, if that’s what you’re afraid of, then it really has no basis. Sojung has loved you ever since she put her eyes on you, for Heaven’s sake!”

Yerin was openly laughing now and Eunbi had no idea of how to react.

“Damn, you really didn’t notice? Oh, Eunbi--”

And she was really getting irritated.

“Don’t. Don’t ‘oh’ me,” Eunbi rose from the sofa and Yerin’s smile slowly died out. “You don’t… how can you say that? I’ve been by Sojung’s side for, for all these years. I’ve been watching her, admiring her, loving her. You can’t just come… come and say these things.” Her breath was quick and she barely noticed how warm the tears were on her skin. “Sojung is… Sojung is…”

“What? A knight? A goddess?” Yerin crossed a leg over the other, causing her warm dress to ruffle. “Sojung’s human just like you, Eunbi-yah. She’s not some unreachable deity. She’s human and, yeah, sure, I’ve not been close to her as you’ve been, but I have eyes. And if there’s one thing I notice is when someone is pining for my little sister.”

Eunbi breath hitched. Yerin pressed her lips in a tight line before standing up and circling the table to stop in front of Eunbi. 

With a softer tone, she started, “I know this feels scary. I was afraid once of Yuna not loving me back too, and that’s why I can affirm to you, baby sis, that we get blind by our insecurities. They cover our eyes and they make us doubt ourselves. But… that’s why I’m here, right? I’m your older sister. I’m here to… get your head out of the sand and show you that what you’re feeling is beautiful and even when it has its bad moments, it should not make you feel miserable. I can’t stand reading your letters, your words filled with this desperation, I just can’t. I’ll even beg if I have to,” Yerin gently smiled, brushing her hands on Eunbi’s cheeks and wiping off her tears. “But, please, if rejection is what is holding you back, then… be free for once. Go to Sojung and tell her how you feel. I know for a fact that it will end well.”

Eunbi quietly sobbed. “How…? Are you a seer now?”

Her sister chuckled. “No, Eunbi, I’m just your sister.”

Yerin had left her alone after that talk. Eunbi didn’t even need to ask for it. After the worst of it was over, Yerin had a maid bring a tea and left the porcelain cup in her hands before kissing her forehead and promising to meet her at breakfast.

Eunbi wanted to go back to bed and try to sleep for real, but she was too uneasy, her sister’s words now adding up to the confusion in her head. Eunbi wasn’t sure if she was to believe Yerin, but… she wanted to. The truth was that now a sparkle of hope was burning in her heart and Eunbi knew that was dangerous, but still… I want it to be true, I want Sojung to love me back.

There it was, her diverging roads. One, she didn’t believe Yerin and continue to keep her feelings at bay, preserving their friendship; two, she believed Yerin and confessed to Sojung and her sister was right; three, she also confessed but Yerin was not right, therefore ruining everything.

There’s so much to lose. Sojung is too much for me to risk, Eunbi ran her hands through her face, taking a deep breath. She tried convincing herself again and again how much of a bad idea it was and she slept. Fitfully, hopelessly, restlessly.

It was Christmas eve. The castle was all decorated, there was a gigantic table set at the ballroom and the royal family plus the few servants who had stayed over for Christmas were all reunited there, drinking and eating and laughing, sharing the good and the bad memories of the year that was soon to pass. 

Eunbi, with her purple velvet dress, was leaning on a pillar. Beside her was a forgotten plate of food that Yerin had given her. The older princess was in the middle of the room, laced arms with her wife who was entertaining a couple of servants with animal imitations. Eunbi reached for a cheese cube and mechanically ate it as she watched her parents talk to  the Governess and a couple of new maids. The scene brought her to the day when Sojung was introduced to the king and queen. It wasn’t Christmas and they weren’t inside the castle, but their mannerisms were the same.

Eunbi couldn’t help but think of how confident Sojung had grown. At first, she had kept her head low like those new girls, but now the Superior Knight talked eye to eye with anyone. It was endearing to watch. And painful to remember. Eunbi took a deep breath and forced her eyes to be strained on her lap. Sojung wasn’t there. There was no point of scanning the room again and again and again. The phantom of a knot in her throat made her swallow and push another piece of cheese inside her mouth. I thought I’d see you today, Eunbi closed her eyes for a second, where the hell are you?

The princess slowly exhaled. She knew it’d be best to put a smile on her face and mingle or else someone would definitely notice her at the corner, moping around, and she was not up to give explanations. Eunbi took her plate and walked forward one, two, three steps before the burning feeling of wetness running down her right cheek stopped her tracks.

At that moment, Eunbi could only thank all heavens that nobody was paying attention to her. She whirled on her heels and quietly yet quickly made her way out of the room. Her shoes uglily echoed in the empty halls, reminding her of how alone she was and how it would never change. Eunbi fastened her pace, almost running now and tears freely falling down. A sob wrecked through her body and it was such a painful sound that she almost didn’t recognize herself.

Eunbi didn’t even know where she was going to, she just kept going forward and forward and maybe Eunbi would’ve gone to her room if she hadn’t stumbled across someone.

The plate in her hands fell to the ground, scattering all over the marble floor.

“Oh, no,” her voice came out strangled and a tiny sob erupted from her lips. “T-the food.”


And as if her heart was that plate, it shattered.

Eunbi slowly raised her head to be greeted by a very confused Sojung.

“Are you crying?” The Knight’s face morphed into despair and Eunbi’s shoulders were soon covered by her large hands. “What’s wrong? Did something happen? Are you okay?”

Eunbi blinked, a couple of tears catching on her eyelashes and making her vision blurry. She took a step back and another, making the hands on her fall down. Sojung asked her, this time with a bit of hesitance to her voice if she was alright. Eunbi swallowed and she felt numb.

It was weird, yeah, it was. The way her body just relaxed and she felt disconnected from it all.

“I…” her voice was no more than a whisper. “I dropped the plate.”

“Huh? Eunbi, you… what’s wrong?” Eunbi leaned forward to catch the plate pieces and Sojung’s hand flew to hold her wrist. “What are you doing? Don’t touch that, you’re going to cut yourself--”

Harshly, Eunbi pulled her arm free of Sojung’s hold and realized that maybe she was feeling something. As her teary eyes met Sojung’s, Eunbi’s chest was boiling hot with a mix of confusion, fury and so, so much tiredness.

“What do you care?” Eunbi barked and Sojung’s forehead creased. 

“What do… of course, I care. I don’t want you to be hurt--”

“If you don’t want me to be hurt then why weren’t you at the ballroom?” Eunbi’s voice exploded and reverberated in the cold walls in a way that she had never heard before. “Why weren’t you there?!”

“I… I was taking care of something else, I was about to--” Sojung said, voice slowly increasing in volume.

“Always doing something else!” But Eunbi didn’t care for what the other wanted to say. There was this pain crushing her chest, this pressure that was compressing her heart and her feelings that had reached its limit. She couldn’t stop it. “You are always so busy now and, fine, I get it! You’re the Superior Knight and you obviously have so much to do! But even, even when things are calm, even when there isn’t anything to worry about, you always have something to do! It’s always ‘I have to go, Eunbi, let’s hang out next time’, it’s always ‘let’s talk about that book later’, it’s always later and later and later! I told myself to understand it! I told myself that you have such an important position and that I shouldn’t get in your way, but… but goddammit!” Eunbi’s tears were fully back, rushing down her cheeks and making it nearly impossible to see Sojung, but she didn’t care. “You know, I’m fine with it! I’m fine with, with being friends and not having you, I’m freaking fine! But I miss you so much, I miss you all the time! I barely see you anymore and I’m just so tired. I want you, at least as my best friend, I want you!”

Covering her face with both hands and sharply inhaling, Eunbi cried. “I sound like a spoiled brat, I know,” her voice cracked, “but… it hurts so much, Sojung-eonni. So, so much, and I don’t know for how long I can take this anymore…”

Her voice trailed off and for two long seconds nothing filled the air but her silent sniffling. 

Then, Eunbi was being pulled into a tight embrace.

“Oh, Eunbi…” Sojung’s calm voice was heavy with something that Eunbi couldn’t describe. The Knight tightened her arms and Eunbi could feel Sojung burying her face on her hair. “I’m so sorry.”

Sojung’s long fingers combed through her hair and Eunbi could only wrap her arms around the other’s waist. She let herself be held until her sobs became nothing more than sniffs and her chest didn’t feel like ripping open. Eunbi inhaled Sojung’s scent for a couple of times before gently pulling away.

Eunbi was about to dry her cheeks, but Sojung beat her to it. Cold fingers ever so gently wiped the tear streaks and caressed her red skin. Eunbi looked up at Sojung, mind filled with confusion and a weird giddiness that she hadn’t felt for a long time.

“I…” Sojung seemed to hesitate, but took a deep breath and looked into Eunbi’s eyes. “I’m sincerely sorry, princess. I had… I had absolutely no idea you were hurting this much. If I had known…”

“What?” Eunbi humorlessly laughed. “You would’ve rejected me sooner? Please, eonni.”

Sojung’s eyebrows quirked up and for a second she looked offended. Soon as it came, though, it was gone and replaced by a tiny smile. “That’s… really not the case, princess. Really not.”

That stupid sparkle her older sister had planted on her heart shined in her heart. Eunbi tried to push it down, tried to tell herself that she was jumping to conclusions and would be so disappointed… but it was helpless, especially when Sojung was so pressed against her, face just centimeters above hers. Eunbi just stared at the knight’s face with wide eyes.

“I know I’ve been absent,” Sojung began, voice low and with a tingle of emotion, “sure, I've been busy with the operation against the bandits, but… the truth it that I don’t have an excuse for it. I have free time, I have it, I just… thought… I sincerely thought that it’d be for the best. I was being selfish.”

“Eonni… what are you talking about?” Eunbi all but whispered.

Sojung’s smile grew. “I was being selfish, princess. I thought that if I distanced myself from you, these feelings of mine would go away and I wouldn’t have to suffer when you find love in someone that wasn’t me. I see,” and she was grinning now, “that I was very wrong.”

Does… does this mean… Eunbi could only stare at Sojung as the older chuckled.

“I like you too, princess. And I want you more than a friend as well,” there was a faint blush on Sojung’s cheeks and Eunbi just couldn’t hold back anymore. “I’m sorry for--”

Jumping on her tiptoes, Eunbi clashed their lips together. 

Trying to ignore how her heart hammered against her ribs, how her head was light, how her limbs were becoming numb, Eunbi pushed against Sojung. The knight took one second to react, but when she did… Eunbi’s knees weakened and if it weren’t for the arms surrounding her waist she probably would’ve fallen.

After the initial shock, though, it was soft. Softer than Eunbi had ever imagined. Sojung took control of it, guiding Eunbi through it with such gentleness that made her blank out. Eunbi had dreamed about that for so long and now that it was happening, it didn’t feel real.

Sojung pulled back and smiled at how Eunbi chased after her lips.

The princess felt hot all over and, looking at Sojung through her lashes, she felt like her face was about to melt.

Sojung licked her lips. “Princess, why don’t we…”

“You can stop right there!”

Eunbi whipped her head to the side, being greeted by a very smug-looking Yerin. At the moment her eyes fell on her sister’s face, her heart sank. Oh, no... I’m definitely not hearing the end of this. 

“Where do you think you are taking my little sister to, Superior Knight?” Yerin put both hands on her waist and quirked an eyebrow up, making up a ridiculous scolding voice. 

“I… uh…” and Sojung stuttered.

Eunbi rolled her eyes and snatched on Sojung’s hand. “Nowhere,” Eunbi answered for her, voice tone more than giving her out annoyance.

Which, apparently, just got Yerin to poorly hide her smile. “Huh. That’s what I thought. Now come on the two of you. My parents are searching for you,” Yerin smirked and before turning around and leaving, she said, “oh, and maybe you should clean that lipstick smudge off your face, Eunbi-yah.”

Rolling her eyes again, but with her cheeks dusted pink, Eunbi faced Sojung. “Don’t worry about her, you know how my sister is.”

Sojung nodded and sighed, “but I do think we should head to the ballroom.”

“Ah, why,” Eunbi whined, “I want to spend time with you!”

And the smile on Sojung’s face made butterflies swirl in her stomach.

“We’ll have more than enough time for that, princess. Don’t worry.”

Eunbi would definitely look forward to it. And for all the future ahead of us.