( ( Chapter 6 ) )
Night fell and Min was tired. She ventured the walkway, feeling the cool breeze slap her face. Dinner was in session and she wasn’t to dine with the family. From what she had learned from the little girl, Jeejee, their parents died when she was young and ever since then, Jiwon had taken up the responsibility of running the ship. He hired Hyori to care and breed Jeejee into a fine young woman.
Being at the age of thirteen, Jeejee was playful and Min thought back to her days when she was thirteen. She was so busy preparing for deals and fights with Yoonshi that she never had spare time at hand to play. She climbed ropes and trees like a boy, never wore a dress nor left her hair long. Her mother died when she was only a few weeks old, letting her to the world’s challenge without aid. She loved her mother. Even not having to have met her, she was already in love with all the stories her father told.
Her mother was a beautiful woman. She was warm and charming. The most smartest and nicest. She was from a rich family. Very, very, rotten to the core, rich. Her father robbed. That made the stories funny. He robbed everybody, everything. From ships to shacks. That’s how her parents married each other. He robbed her family and stoled her away from Min’s grandparents. They met in her mother’s hometown. She was to be wed to another man, didn’t know who the sore loser was, but she just didn’t want to be wed to him. She thought of ways to escape the doom of eternity, but with no avail.
Yoonshi was out conducting his business on land. The robbery came down to a high speed chase and to make the situation even funnier, he kidnapped Min’s mother!
She was preparing for bed and all of a sudden her house was under attack. A handsome man, perhaps the most handsome man, jumped through her bedroom window and whispered for her to be quiet. He dragged her downstairs to the fighting scene and demanded attention. Her parents froze, their eyes nearly popping out of their sockets. They begged for the villian to release their daughter and they’ll pay the ransom. They gave him the whole estate, their fortune, EVERYTHING! But he rejected it all. Actually, he didn’t. He forced them to write up a will, right then and there. He had them make two copies of it. One for himself and one for themselves to destroy upon his departure with their daughter. He made them give everything to Min’s mother upon their death. Meaning, having her inherit their fortune, house, money, jewels, EVERYTHING! Yoonshi left as a happy man and boarded his ship, unaware the girl he had kidnapped would turn out to be his future wife!
“Thank you!” she cried as Yoonshi loosened his grip on her.
Yoonshi just nodded and walked away. “Put her in the lower room!”
“No! I mean thank you! You saved me!”
Yoonshi raised his brows. Great. Now he brought home a nutcase. “How did I save you? Aren’t you suppose to be crying and hitting me? Why aren’t you doing that?”
“You don’t understand. My parents are forcing me to marry this man that I don’t even know and I have to live with him for the rest of my life, cooking and cleaning for him! Now you saved me! I can live however I please!”
Yoonshi once again nodded. “Let her sleep in the guest chamber!”
“I don’t have to sleep in the guest chamber. Any ordinary one would do,” she said earnestly.
“Our chambers are all ordinary. Unless you wanna sleep in the prison cell.”
Chaeli shook her head sheepishly and looked away as she blushed. Yoonshi felt his heart beat wildly at the sight. He waved her away and had one of his men show her around the grand ship.
It was the biggest and grandest ship all over Asia. He was sure the men in America who claim themselves as “pirates” didn’t even live in such luxury, let alone own a ship like his.
As days grew into weeks and weeks turned to months, the two fell in love. Chaeli assisted him in fights, supported him through difficulty and deals. They were so happy together they married and Chaeli gave birth to Yoonshi’s first. A baby girl. Kwon Minyi, he had happily named her.
Chaeli fell ill and was unconscious for weeks and slowly, day by day, she diminished. Bites of the sickness bit into her mind, then her soul. Finally it just swallowed her whole. Leaving Minyi to face to the world without a mother’s love. Yoonshi was too heart-broken to find another to replace Chaeli. It took him months to recover from the death of his soulmate. And when it did, he came back strong. He took up the idea of teaching and bringing up Minyi as a boy. Since her mother wasn’t around to teach her and boss her around as to how to be a lady, he was going to teach her to be a boy. It wasn’t a hard task. Minyi was born with the spirit and spark. She learned how to fish when she was five and climbed trees when she was six, something he never learned when he was a child. She learned to cook and clean like a girl and sew and something most of the men on the ship didn’t know how to do. Sing. They were so serious, yet jolly and happy. But when the ladyship fell ill, they were grave - like their Master.
As Minyi approached her teens, she did the things her mother did and more. She prepared weapons and made attack plans, guarded the stolen treasures for her father. Led the men into the fights and distracted their opponent when danger was approaching and near. Day by day, she drew closer to being the Chaeli Yoonshi married. Her smile, her thin, pale face. Dimples and the twinkling in her eyes. Soon all the cheery characteristics drifted away when she turned twelve. She was always mature, her mind of someone at least six years of her senior. She would wear a serious, sullen look everywhere she went. Yoonshi would try so hard to have her crack a smile but it was a failure.
“Minnnneeeee unni!” a thin voice called out, interrupting Min’s thoughts.
Min looked about for the source, already knowing it was Jeejee.
“Min!” Jeejee skipped to the older girl and gazed up at her. “Hi!”
“Uh...I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be stuck to me all the time,” Min muttered, her eyes darting from one corner to another.
“Why not?” Jeejee frowned. “I thought you promised - ”
“I did promise. And remember your promise. You may know I’m eh-hem. But other people don’t.”
“Oh, yeah! Sorry,” she whispered.
“It’s okay,” Min murmured softly. “Does your brother know you’re out here?”
“I told him I’m going to my room.”
“Don’t you think he’ll go there and check?”
“I dunno. I’ll tell him I decided to come out here for a breath of fresh air.”
“Heh...smart. Very clever,” Min snickered.
“So, how was your dinner?” Min asked loudly.
Jeejee gaped at her.
“Just talk,” Min said through her teeth. “So people won’t think something else!”
“Oh! It-It was great! Although Hyori forced me to eat the veggies. I hate veggies! I dunno why she won’t eat them.”
“Veggies are good for you. Hyori won’t eat them cuz she’s stupid.”
Jeejee giggled at the reply. “Minnie unni, you’re so funny.”
“What? It’s true! They are good! Promise me you’ll eat them?”
“Hmm...What are you gonna promise me?”
Min halted. “You just love bargaining, don’t you?”
“Promise me...my oppa will find out one day you’re a yuja.”
Min narrowed her eyes.
“Uh...okay! Uhm...I’ll think of sumthin else later! I’ll promise to yours first,” Jeejee said hastily, skipping away.
Min chuckled. The girl was scared of everybody! “I’ll promise you I won’t tell Jiwon you were fooling around when you’re supposed to be in your room.”
The girl quickly agreed. Min picked up her feet and continued walking. Jeejee’s sudden inquiry threw her off guard, “Min, how did you get here?”
“What do you mean?”
“How did you meet Jiwon?”
“Me?” Min blinked. “Uh...He was raiding my father’s ship and then I think he didn’t know it was Yoonshi’s boat. Right at the time when he found me, one of the men was ganging up on me and he rescued me.” Min quivered at the memory as a flash of it zipped through her mind. Dirty Kyungchi rubbing against her body, his hands pinned possessively over her tightly bundled breast. He had already discovered her true identity and had intentions of raping her. Good thing Jiwon raided the ship when he did or else Min would have died in the bum’s hands.
“My father made a deal I didn’t know about and still dunno. One of his most trustworthy men betrayed him and gave out the secrets. It was either that or the stupid bum conducted everything and framed Yoonshi. Well, I think that’s why and how your brother found us. My father was captured and the man was my father’s right-hand man that leaked out the information. He had total control over the ship, so all the men listened to him and not me. He told them my father was scandalous when it was him that did all the dirty work. My father wasn’t anywhere close to being bad - ”
“But your father’s known to be notoriously bad. He’s a criminal. A cheat, a liar, a killer.”
Min shook her head. “I should know. I help him. He does this for a living. But he isn’t a killer. He steals and lies for the good. If he was really bad then my mother wouldn’t have married him and gave into having me.”
“Maybe she was forced.”
Min was silent. She let the anger that elevated slowly ease. She could hear the silent whistle coming out of her head, see the invisible steam coming out of her ears.
“I’m sorry, unni,” Jeejee apologized softly, putting her hand on Min’s arm. “I’m really sorry.”
Min bit her lip from exploding. She couldn’t blame her. She’s still young. Kids can’t control their mouths at her age. “It’s okay,” she managed through gritted teeth.
“Can you tell me more?” Jeejee squeaked.
“When your brother came, the man was thinking of attacking the next town. He was soiling my father’s name! Like you said, he’s infamous for being a cheat and a liar, but if you go ask around, he wasn’t a killer. There was some scandal involved. I’m sure of it, but I couldn’t get my hands on anything. The man was a clever sneak, too. He hid the plans so well and discussed it with this other guy and I have no clue as to what was happening! I swear, I never thought I would feel so much hate for anybody, but he just...argh!”
“Poor unni. So my brother’s your hero?” she piped, her eyes shimmering.
“Uh...I guess you can say that. Although I haven’t thought of it that way,” Min said slowly.
“Jeejee!” Hyori’s feminine’s voice sailed with the wind as it swept over the deck.
“Coming! Bye unni,” Jeejee whispered, skipping back to where she came from.
Min cast her eyes out on the ocean, letting the wind dance in her hair. She rested her arms on the railing and propped her chin on her palms. Her mind wandered back to thinking about her parents and how she wished she could see her mother. Just once. Her father alway spoke of how she looked like her mother. Her round eyes and the small mouth and the ears. She fought back the tears of frustration she had been fighting for the past seventeen years and willed herself to forget the words. Crying wouldn’t bring back her mother nor have her father save her and bring her back to the realm of his ship.
“Beautiful evening, isn’t it?”
Min grinded her teeth at Jiwon’s quiet voice. “Very. Are you finished eating?”
“Yes. Very delightful. You should go eat now. I’m sure you’re famished by now.” Jiwon strolled up beside her and leaned against the low wall.
“No, thank you. I’m not hungry. I can’t adjust to the food you serve here,” she said politely, staring straight ahead.
“What’s wrong with my food? I assure you there’s no food poisoning.”
“And I assure you there was no accusation when I said that,” she replied just as cooly.
“Why is it you’re so cold to me? What have I ever done to you? Why is it you just can’t thank me for saving you off that ship of your father’s?”
“Maybe because I’m just cold like that. Maybe it’s something you didn’t do, maybe it’s me. Maybe the reason why I don’t wanna thank you is because I didn’t wanna be saved,” she answered tartly.
“You’re a cocky kid. Very cocky. I hope you know I don’t tolerate that kind of attitude.”
“Well, too bad. Kwon Yoonshi taught me to be like that, that’s the attitude you gotta have in order to survive in his world.”
“Well, I’ve got news for you, kid. Kwon Yoonshi is now captured. The only way he could be rescued is me breaking in to help him. You’re not on his boat so now you can drop the attitude. You’re in Eun Jiwon’s world, so get an ass. Yoonshi’s gone and now Eun Jiwon takes over. You get it?”
Min whipped around to face him. “Fine. But remember your words. I don’t have to follow them because I’m not one of Eun Jiwon’s men. I may be here on Eun Jiwon’s ship, but I’m not his. I’m Yoonshi’s and forever will be. I will abide by your rules as long as I’m on here, but once I’m off. You know what that means.”
“I don’t think I made myself clear,” Jiwon said dangerously, facing Min. “That applies to wherever you go. I will not have someone that’s staying on my ship going around making a bad name for me. And that means on land or water! You will follow my rules on both land and water!”
“Really? I don’t think you, Mr. Eun Jiwon, own the land nor the waters! As a matter of fact! I never heard of your sorry, pathetic ass! Who do you think you are? Just because my father’s held as hostage does not mean you take over the world! And I don’t care if you’re my only ticket to free my father because you’re nobody! Get it?! Nobody!”
Jiwon’s nostrils flared at the rude comment. The boy was indeed arrogant. Just like his stupid, infamous father. “Fine. Since I’m nobody. Don’t come crying to me for help.”
Min smiled coldly. “Oh, don’t worry. I had no intentions of asking for your help.”
In the dark, Jiwon could make out the icy, cruel smile. He had seen nasty and mean things. Cold and hot, but not one so-ever chilling. He snorted and walked away to his room.
Min stalked away to her room and locked herself in. She hated dealing with the conceited fool. He was so stuck up and low grade. She simply just wanted to throw a punch in his face to shut him up. So what if he’s Eun Jiwon? Like people are supposed to faint upon hearing his stupid name. “Eun Jiwon...you may think the world evolve around you. Well, I won’t mind being the one to change your mind.”
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