Chapter 76

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Author: chef

Seohwan, who learned that the abuse continued without stopping for a day while he was away, became angry and reflected on Sehyeon’s cold eyes when she was only seven years old. Even after parting ways with his wife, he felt infinitely sorry for Sehyeon.

 

Sehyeon at the time was harder and smarter than he thought. Far from being broken due to what happened in the past, she understood the situation at the time and quickly accepted it. She said it was unavoidable and said she was fine countless times. Even so, she did not let go of the hand holding a few of Seohwan’s fingers.

 

Like now.

 

“No, I thought I had to.”

 

Just as his second wife, Yoon Jaehee, changed herself and Sehyeon, she also wanted Soohyun to receive that kind of love.

 

Of course, Soohyun’s face appeared in his mind.

 

As he grew older, Soohyun clearly resembled Jaehee. A strong and sweet smell that could only be smelled after she died and her imprint was lifted. And his bright smile that reminds him of her.

 

Yoon Jaehee’s vacancy was too big for Seohwan and Sehyeon, and although there was a will from her, even if it wasn’t because of that, all their attention had no choice but to turn to Soohyun.

 

So, by all means, he tried to marry Soohyun to someone who could fully love him regardless of his position. Just like he did to Sehyeon.

 

Seohwan’s eyes turned to Tae-eon in the driver’s seat.

 

“So, when are you two planning to get married?”

 

Tae-eon’s shoulders twitched as he was concentrating on driving. When he glanced at Sehyeon through his room mirror, she answered instead.

 

“We plan to let Soohyun marry first and then slowly.”

 

“Isn’t it too late? Tae-eon is going to get sick.”

 

“I am okay.”

 

Taeyeon smiled and averted eyes in the mirror. Then he lowered his eyes with a bitter face.

 

“But are you okay? I’m a beta and I’m nothing more than a bodyguard… … .”

 

“Tae-eon, don’t talk nonsense.”

 

A soft but firm voice was heard. Sehyeon stared sharply at Tae-eon’s eyes reflected in the mirror and smiled.

 

“What does that matter?”

 

“Right. It’s okay if you both love each other.”

 

Seohwan also agreed. Tae-eon couldn’t open his mouth anymore at the obvious words of the two people. He just put on a pleasant smile that they can’t see.

 

Seohwan looked out the window again and held Sehyeon’s hand.

 

“If you are happy, that is enough. … That’s all you need.”

 

* * *

 

As the evening drew to a close, Sehyeon’s vehicle arrived near the villa where Joohyuk and Soohyun were staying. A construction site was visible in the distance, but the road to the villa was still full of beautiful trees.

 

“Come to think of it, this is the first time I’ve ever entered the villa myself. I only saw it once, every time from a distance.”

 

Sehyeon was out of luck.

 

The first time she came to this area was to meet Yoon Jaehee’s elderly parents who had returned to farming. Even after Yoon Jaehee’s early death, Seohwan and Sehyeon would often visit Yoon Jaehee’s elderly parents and show her face to them. It was the same with Soohyun.

 

‘I came all the way here in the blink of an eye… … .’

 

Seohwan smiled, thinking of young Soohyun. He had gone away as soon as he had taken his eyes off of him during the conversation. Soohyun was kidnapped once when he was young, so it was inevitable that there would be more uproar. On that day, Seohwan felt a fear that was unprecedented in the world and went looking for Soohyun barefoot, and it was the same for Sehyeon.

 

After a long time passed, Soohyun returned alone only when the day was over. He smelled the scent of Alpha, which he smelled for the first time.

 

Looking at it now, the distance wasn’t even that close. On that day, Soohyun wondered what he was possessed by. He had never left without a word before.

 

He smiled as he looked at the villa that gradually appeared in his field of vision.

 

‘I must have been possessed.’

 

17 years ago, when Soohyun went to the villa to meet Joohyuk, he saw the place once from a distance. Then he soon turned around. Looking at Soohyun, who smiled brightly, and Joohyuk, who was so happy that his expression changed as soon as he saw him, he thought of Yoon Jaehee, who died for no reason, and he felt moved.

 

Like them who knew each other as soon as they saw each other, Soohyun and Joohyuk must have been the same. And in order to inherit it, he wondered if Soohyun was fascinated by the scent of this place and reached Joohyuk.

 

It’s pretty romantic when he thought about it that way.

 

When he arrived in front of the villa, he saw three cars parked. Two of them belonged to Soohyun and Joohyuk, respectively, but the other was an unfamiliar car.

 

When the cars were parked side by side, the door to the villa opened wide as if they heard a sound. Inside, Junwoo came out with an expressionless face and bent his waist toward the car.

 

“Are you here?”

 

After getting out of the car, Seohwan approached him and tapped him on the shoulder. Even though he came without contact, he showed no sign of shock.

 

“Soohyun, is he inside?”

 

“Yes, but… … .”

 

Junwoo looked at the inside of the villa, his words trailing off. A rather raucous voice could be heard vaguely.

 

“The guest… … .”

 

“Oh really! Do it in moderation!”

 

As if to cut off Seohwan’s words, a loud sound erupted from inside.

 

“Kang Junwoo, where is the bandaid?”

 

Haejun, who opened the door wider and came out, hesitated for a moment. Looking at Seohwan with a cold expression and Sehyeon with a puzzled face, he swallowed the words and covered his mouth with one hand. Then he nodded with a puzzled face and went inside.

 

“Joohyuk hyung! Come out here, hyung!”

 

Haejun went back inside and heard another loud noise from inside. Seohwan’s brow furrowed slightly.

 

“Is it really this noisy?”

 

“… It’s just like this today.”

 

“I hope so. If you do this every day, it’s not good for the pregnancy.”

 

Saying that, Seohwan passed Junwoo and headed for the front door of the villa. Sehyeon and Tae-eon followed him.

 

The moment Seohwan tried to open the sloppily closed door, the door burst open and Joohyuk, who was hardened, jumped out. He was taken aback and quickly bent his back. Even so, for some reason, his hands were hidden behind his back.

 

“Are you here?”

 

He greeted him as politely as possible and raised his head when Seohwan grabbed his arm. He yanked it and looked at his hand.

 

“Is this enough to require a bandaid?”

 

Several bandaids were already wrapped around his fingertips, and they were also attached to other joints. It would be nice if that was all, but there was also a cut on the part that wasn’t surrounded by the bandage, and blood was oozing out quite profusely.

 

Joohyuk, who quickly caught the drop of blood that was about to fall on the floor with his other hand, which was also covered with bands, rolled his eyes with an awkward face.

 

Seohwan, who was looking down at Joohyuk’s bloody hands, frowning, brightened in an instant as he saw the shadow appearing behind him.

 

“Are you here?”

 

Soohyun, who greeted him with an embarrassed face, grabbed Joohyuk’s waist from behind and pulled him before he could even hear his greeting.

 

“Junwoo, please take care of father and noona. Hyung, get treated soon. So, how many times have I told you to stop… … . Come in at once.”

 

Soohyun, who lowered his voice, said in a whisper. Joohyuk politely bowed his head to Seohwan as he was being dragged along with a shy smile.

 

As the two disappeared into the villa, Seohwan, who had been standing still in front of the door, stepped inside with a sigh. Sehyeon with a disapproving expression and Tae-eon with a small smile followed him.

 

Upon entering the villa, Seohwan inspected the spacious living room with his own eyes.

 

A soft leather sofa and table with little use, the latest home appliances with no scratches, a fireplace that must have been removed from the existing one and put in a new one, and a few neat flower pots that smell good.

 

Even the old villa building felt new, perhaps because it was filled with new things. It doesn’t feel bad.

 

Junwoo suggested a sofa in the living room, said he would serve tea soon, and headed to the kitchen. Seohwan sat in the seat of honor for one person, and Sehyeon and Tae-eon sat on the long sofa diagonally.

 

They heard a voice from the kitchen.

 

“Hyung is really not good at things like this. Did you know you finished an entire packet of bandaids by myself?”

 

“… sorry. I won’t get hurt anymore.”

 

“Soohyun, hyung is someone who has never turned on the gas stove with his own hands. I knew it would be like this from the moment he stepped out to cook.”

 

“You stop it.”

 

“It was a pretty big cut this time. A bandage is better than a bandaid. And in the future, never pick up a cleaver until I give you permission. I don’t want our meal to taste like blood.”

 

“Sorry. I’ll be very careful this time, so one more time… … .”

 

Seohwan, who had been quietly listening to the conversation, couldn’t help but laugh. They were having quite a bit of fun, weren’t they?

 

Sehyeon laughed softly, covering her mouth with one hand.

 

“It’s a good atmosphere.”

 

He didn’t bother to answer, but Seohwan also agreed with her words.

 

* * *

 

In the end, Junwoo and Haejun decided to prepare dinner. Unexpectedly, Haejun had a lot of cooking experience, which was enough to help Junwoo.

 

Joohyuk, who wanted to stay and help, was dragged away by Soohyun only after his hands were carefully wrapped in bandages.

 

“Let me talk to you for a minute.”

 

As soon as Joohyuk was dragged out, Seohwan said coldly. In response to his reaction, Soohyun worriedly said that he would be with him, but Sehyeon stood up and quickly held his arms and pulled him.

 

“I want to see the fig tree you mentioned before. Show me, Hyuna.”

 

Sehyeon called Soohyun by his nickname and naturally dragged Soohyun to the front door. Soohyun looked back at Joohyuk with a troubled face, but he just smiled as if he was okay.

 

That’s how Sehyeon and Soohyun went out of the villa, and Tae-eon followed them to protect them.

 

A strange air flowed around Seohwan and Joohyuk who were left in the living room. If it weren’t for the faint rattling sound, it would have been nothing short of complete silence.

 

It was Joohyuk who spoke first.

 

“Thank you for coming.”

 

Joohyuk, who clasped his bandaged hands together and spoke clearly, raised his eyes and looked at Seohwan. He was staring at Joohyuk with eyes where he could not read a single piece of emotion with his legs crossed and his chin resting.

 

“Mr. Lee Joohyuk.”

 

“You can talk with me comfortably.”

 

“Then I’ll do it.”

 

Right away, Seohwan sent a cold gaze.

 

“Honestly, Lee Joohyuk, I didn’t like you very much.”

 

Joohyuk lowered his eyes at the expected words.

 

Who could like him? He is the one who nearly killed his beloved son as a child, and inflicted great indescribable scars while not recognizing him. He couldn’t be easily forgiven.

 

He clenched his scarred fingers tightly. He felt a sharp pain, but he didn’t even think it was painful. Can he dare to think that it hurts like this?

 

“He is more precious than life to me. If he was scratched on his body, I felt as if my arm had been cut off, and I would die of pain, and when he cried, I felt like my insides were rotting away. The same goes for Sehyeon. After such a child went to you, he came back so tattered that he couldn’t even talk about it. Who would like it?”

 

“… I’m sorry.”

 

With a dark face, he engraved Seohwan’s words one by one. He realized anew that he was not alone in the pain he had hurt Soohyun. Junwoo, Seohwan, Sehyeon, everyone was angry and heartbroken at Soohyun’s pain. He didn’t just hurt one person, he left an unforgettable scar on those connected to him.

 

His mouth was bitter as if he had drunk herbal medicine, and his throat felt hot as if he had swallowed a fireball.

 

“It’s fine now, so why don’t you separate?”

 

Joohyuk’s head flashed and his surprised eyes turned to Seohwan. All he faced was cold eyes that could not be read.

 

His hands clasped tighter. His head, which seemed to have stopped, moved belatedly thanks to the pain it caused. Joohyuk’s eyes, which had been trembling so much, quickly calmed down.

 

“I know you don’t like me. But I cannot obey you.”

 

“Why? Is it because of the child? If not, what benefits will be gained from the combination? Ah, since there is an imprint, that must be the biggest problem. If that’s the case, don’t worry, I’ll prepare a contract to prevent you from canceling the imprint.”

 

“No, not because of that. Rather, if it is for that reason, you can throw me away.”

 

There was no flicker in Joohyuk’s eyes.

 

“Even if he had no children, it doesn’t matter if Soohyun is an ordinary person. It’s the same even if he was a person who couldn’t imprint, and he can cancel the imprint to his heart’s content. I just want Soohyun to be happy.”

 

A sincere, determined voice penetrated Seohwan’s ears. Even though there was obviously noise coming from the kitchen, it seemed that all sounds were blocked for that moment. In that state, only Joohyuk’s voice could be heard clearly.

 

“I wanted Soohyun to choose me and stay by my side. I want to make him happy.”

 

There was not a single stutter in the voice.

 

“So we can never separate. No matter who does what.”

 

Joohyuk’s eyes were filled with determined light.

 

Seohwan was a little surprised by the look in his eyes, as if he was not only looking straight at himself, but that he would not back down for Soohyun’s sake, no matter who it was.

 

It clearly resembled the one he saw when he first met Yoon Jaehee’s parents.

 

‘I’d believe it even if it was my son.’

 

He laughed lightly, thinking about it. The faint sound of laughter gradually increased in volume, making Joohyuk wonder.

 

“That’s fine.”

 

As he swallowed his laughter and said it, Joohyuk made a puzzled face.

 

“It should always be that way. If it’s not that, I can’t forgive you.”

 

He had no intention of breaking them up in the first place. It was a decision Soohyun chose after knowing everything, and he was well aware of how much Joohyuk had thought of him. That’s why he didn’t have any thoughts of splitting them up or wanting them to split up.

 

Seohwan reached out and covered Joohyuk’s clasped hands. The hands were so tightly intertwined that red blood was seeping through the bandages.

 

“Make him happy for the rest of his life. Don’t forget that’s the only reason I accepted you.”

 

Joohyuk also answered as if it were obvious to the sincere words that erased the laughter.

 

“Of course. I’m only here for Soohyunt.”

 

Everything was for Soohyun.

 

Because he just wanted him to be happy and not sick anymore.

 

Seohwan smiled calmly and removed his hand. He rubbed his hand, which was slightly stained with his blood, and suddenly with sharp eyes he spoke.

 

“This time I’m asking the question on behalf of my wife.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“The last time we met at a party, you smelled like cigarettes. Do you still smoke?”

 

“No, I quit right away when I found out that Soohyun was having a baby.”

 

“Good thing. Do you know how to drink?”

 

“It’s on the strong side, but I don’t enjoy drinking it.”

 

“Yes, Soohyun doesn’t like alcohol, so don’t drink in front of him. Instead, sometimes with me…”

 

Seohwan, who brought up the topic of alcohol, gradually lowered his voice even though Soohyun was not around. Thanks to that, the distance between Joohyuk and Seohwan, who were trying to listen closely, was getting pretty close.

 

* * *

 

Entering the forest, Soohyun kept looking back.

 

Several times he waited for a worried gaze to reach the villa over the shoulder of Tae-eon, who was following him. Sehyeon, who was leading with her arms folded, let out a voice mixed with laughter.

 

“Don’t worry too much.Father won’t eat him.”

 

“Still… … .”

 

Soohyun couldn’t help but worry.

 

Seohwan had a deep conversation with him and said that he would respect his will, but he couldn’t be sure that he would have a good feeling about Joohyuk. Now that he knows how he has been by Joohyuk’s side for a year, what is Seohwan thinking?

 

As if disturbing Soohyun’s complex thoughts, Sehyeon grabbed his arm and pulled it harder.

 

“Believe in your choice. That’s the only thing you’re going to do right now.”

 

Soohyun flinched at those words, and only then did he look away. A small smile crept across his lips as he remembered someone.

 

To believe in one’s own choices. What could be easier than that?

 

“I know. My sister is right.”

 

Sehyeon stared blankly at Soohyun’s face and leaned her head lightly on his shoulder.

 

“You’ve really grown up. You know how to smile like that.”

 

The smile that seemed to trust the person he loved only tickled Sehyeon’s heart. It was enough to look back at Tae-eon, who was following them.

 

“Does he smell that good?”

 

“Smell?”

 

“You said it a lot in the past. It was the first time you had smelled such a beautiful and refreshing scent. That’s why you said you fell in love.”

 

To Sehyeon,who was the same Alpha, it was just the scent of a fellow alpha that aroused vigilance, but to Soohyun, Joohyuk’s mate and omega, it must have been more enchanting than anything else.

 

Sehyeon, who has smelled the sweet scent of many omegas, but none of them have been able to capture her. A few years ago, when she wondered if she would ever find someone to mate with, she concluded that there was nothing special about the pheromones.

 

So she was more curious. About the pheromone scent that completely fascinated Soohyun.

 

Soohyun kept his mouth shut with eyes as if retracing the past. Then he opened his mouth slowly.

 

“It’s very good. He smells like this forest that breathes through your whole body.”

 

He inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly.

 

“When I inhale his scent, my whole mind seems to be sucked in, and when I exhale, I feel like I’m going to be ecstatic. Being possessed by something probably feels like that.”

 

Sehyeon couldn’t fully comprehend it, but she knew one thing for sure.

 

The expression she made while thinking of her Tae-eon and his face are very similar. And it was the same when Seohwan recalled memories with the dead Yoon Jaehee.

 

Sehyeon was attracted to Taeeon’s body odor, and Seohwan was attracted to Yoon Jaehee’s pheromone scent.

 

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Comments (1)

  1. So when do Soohyun and his family grovel and apologize for what they did to Joohyuk and his family?

    Massive retcon: he never intended to break them up, huh? Could’ve fooled…. literally everybody. For 17 straight years.