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    Plum Candy Love

    Vol. 1 Chapter 14


    Translated by Springlila
    Edited by Springlila


     

    The whole class smelled of sweat because of the guys who played soccer. The teachers hated it, too. I told them to turn off the air conditioner and open the window, but they ignored me. “It’s hot,” “I have to study.” There were many reasons, too. Eventually, I blocked my nose and solved the questions. I slightly shifted my gaze to the side, but Dae-han have not returned.

     

    Creeaak- 

     

    Regardless of my worries, Dae-han entered the classroom calmly soon after. I could barely keep the word from slipping out. I focused on the problem as if nothing had happened. No. Nothing happened. Really. It’s not because I didn’t kiss you. Nothing happened.

     

    “Oh, I really don’t have any clothes to change into…”

     

    I heard a grumbling sound from behind. Jung Ji-pil was almost completely naked. He was merely dressed in shorts. It was because Dae-han poured water on him at the drinking fountain. His wet clothes were being dried on the locker in the back. The constantly muttering mouth became even busier.

     

    He murmured to Dae-han who returned to his seat as though he expected him to pay attention. The atmosphere was awkward. Returning to his seat, Lim Dae-han took out the chair. I thought he would talk to me, but he leaned back in his chair and turned his head back.

     

    “Ji-pil.”

     

    Jung Ji-pil, who was grumbling, replied sternly.

     

    “What.”

     

    I also slightly raised my upper body and turned my head. Lim Dae-han didn’t even turn his head. One arm rested on the chair’s backrest, while the other rested on my desk, directly facing Jung Ji-pil. I kept looking at Dae-han, but he only spoke to Jung Ji-pil and avoided making eye contact with me.

     

    Maybe it’s because I didn’t kiss him? So, did Dae-han switch his focus from me to Jung Ji-pil? Is it because  Jung Ji-pil looks so sexy when he’s hot and sweaty?

     

    I kept returning my gaze to the two of them. Without realizing it, the corners of my lips drooped. Lim Dae-han tilted his head with an expression that was not different from usual.

     

    “Let’s talk later.”

     

    “Huh?”

     

    Jung Ji-pil’s complexion did not improve. I got worse. I somehow glanced at  Dae-han to make eye contact with him, but he never looked at me.

     

    Lim Dae-han lowered his voice once more as if affirming.

     

    “Let’s talk during dinner time. Got it?”

     

    “…”

     

    Jung Ji-pil then shut his mouth.

     

    ***

     

    “Hey, let’s go.”

     

    It’s time for dinner. Lim Dae-han went outside first after tapping Jung Ji-pil. Jung Ji-pil stayed still. He grabbed the workbook that he typically didn’t touch and pretended to focus. After Dae-han went out, Jung Ji-pil then raised his face as though he had seen a ghost.

     

    “Hey, Ki Young-hyun.”

     

    “… What.”

     

    I was in a bad mood at the time. It was a continuation of my feelings after physical education class. I wanted to ask Dae-han. Why Jung Ji-pil was called out separately. He hugged his arm pillow the entire afternoon class. I considered waking him up, but instead, I just stared at him as he sleep. However, it was of little use. Lim Dae-han never woke up from his sleep. Then he woke up just before dinner time. It’s like a beast that notices the smell of its food.

     

    However, before getting the food he called Jung Ji-pil first and then left. I was left behind. This was the source of my concern and anxiety. Lim Dae-han, who seemed to be friendly to me in order to get my attention. I didn’t even realize that I was being grumpy. Jung Ji-pil was still holding my hand.

     

    “Hey, Young-hyun-ah, go and stop Dae-han.”

     

    “Huh?”

     

    A voice rang out at the unfamiliar words. Jung Ji-pil touched my hand softly.  I hated it and felt uncomfortable because he sweated profusely. I wasn’t like this when I held hands with Dae-han. But Jung Ji-pil, who does not know my emotion, pleaded with me.

     

    “You go and stop it. Don’t ask me.”

     

    “What…”

     

    “Oh, that bastard wants me… !”

     

    “Ji-pil, aren’t you coming?”

     

    Lim Dae-han’s voice came from the back door. I turned my sight away from Jung Ji-pil toward Dae-han. Lim Dae-han’s eyes were unnaturally furrowed as he glanced at us indifferently. Are you really trying to hit Jung Ji-pil? I didn’t think so.

     

    I withdrew Jung Ji-pil hand, which was still holding my hand. I stood up from my seat after briefly dampening my lips. Jung Ji-pil, like the cat in the boots from an animation, looked up at me with a face pleading me to save his life.

     

    “…”

     

    “…”

     

    I walked to the back door, leaving Jung Ji-pil alone. I locked my gaze on Dae-han, who was leaning against the wall. Lim Dae-han asked,

     

    “Are you going to eat?”

     

    I didn’t respond to his question. I glanced around and asked Dae-han.

     

    “What are you going to do with Ji-pil?”

     

    “Why.”

     

    “… I want to go too.”

     

    Dae-han raised his hand. He shrugged his shoulders and took a step backward on his own. Lim Dae-han patted my shoulder as if there were dust.

     

    “You can’t.”

     

    “Why?”

     

    “Because I have something to tell him.”

     

    I pouted my lips. Jung Ji-pil seems to have misunderstood. To be honest, I think there must be a reason other than hitting. There was no way that Dae-han would hit Jung Ji-pil. Although there is a significant size difference, I don’t think he would hit someone considerably smaller than himself…

     

    Lim Dae-han was not such an immoral person. If so… If that’s the case, there must be a different reason.

     

    “Then me too-…”

     

    Before I could finish speaking, Lim Dae-han raised his voice.

     

    “Hey, Ji-pil, aren’t you coming?!”

     

    “Uh, yeah…  I’ll go.”

     

    Jung Ji-pil leaped from his seat when he say those words. I had no idea he was such a meticulous guy. Oh, it was the same when he took me away from Dae-han. Lim Dae-han put his hand on Jung Ji Pil’s shoulder like a real gangster. Jung Ji-pil, who was much smaller than him, shrugged his narrow shoulders even more. Lim Dae-han then said to me, who was standing in front of him.

     

    “Enjoy your dinner, Ki Young-hyun.”

     

    They then walked away, leaving me in the hallway. I stared at the back of the two. Jung Ji-pil looked back on me several times. It was like a cow being dragged to a slaughterhouse. I could see his pathetic face, but I pouted my lips and turned away. If you were going to change like this because I didn’t kiss you, you should’ve ended it now…

     

    Ended what?!

     

    For no reason, I slammed my foot on the floor. “Ki Young-hyun got a lot of heat, and eventually lose it,” a passing guy commented while clicking his tongue as I sat down holding my head. You guys don’t even know anything. My mind was just confused.

     

    ***

     

    “Dae-han? Jung Ji-pil? A while ago, I saw them going down to the main gate.”

     

    “Oh, they were going towards the Moehyang apartment.”

     

    “Dae-han? He was smoking next to the Taesung spot. Jung Ji-pil, uh. That’s right. He was also there.”

     

    I ended up looking for the two of them without even eating. I went out to the main gate, across the railroad crossing where cars were running, and moved to the side where there was a fairly large apartment complex after what seemed like an eternity. I went to the last Chinese restaurant where I saw them after gathering information about them from familiar guys. The door swung open as I was walking around the store, which had a full glass front.

     

    “Hey, Ki Young-hyun, have you eaten?”

     

    And it was there that I came face to face with Jung Ji-pil, who had a lot of black bean sauce all over his mouth. Jung Ji-pil smiled in a way that makes the person in front of him feel bad. He had a face that said he was about to die before, but this time he had a face that said he was living well.

     

    “No, I haven’t eaten. Nevermind… I have something to do.”

     

    Jung Ji-pil called me as I replied with a dejected expression.

     

    “Let’s eat. Dae-han is going to buy me a meal.”

     

    “What?”

     

    I turned around. Lim Dae-han, who was sitting in the center, raised his head and looked at me. I strode inside, putting my middle finger behind my back. There was a lot of food on the table, including black bean noodles, sweet and sour pork, fried rice, red pepper japchae, and flower bread. I pulled out the chair next to Jung Ji-pil’s seat. Lim Dae-han, on the other hand, pulled out a spoon and chopsticks and set them next to him even before I sat down.

     

    “Sit here.”

     

    I sat down next to Lim Dae-han while controlling my boiling stomach. I took a cup of water and drank it.

     

    “What do you want to eat?”

     

    When I was asked, I turned my head to the side and pursed my lips. Jung Ji-pil, who brought me all the way here, went into the bathroom. I exhaled loudly. Only Dae-han and I are left.

     

    “… Why are you eating with Jung Ji-pil?”

     

    Instead of answering my question, Lim Dae-han put out the menu. I’d completely lost my appetite. I can’t believe they’re eating together in this restaurant.

     

    “Would you like some black bean noodles?”

     

    Lim Dae-han put the menu right in front of my eyes. I nodded because I felt like he would ask until I told him. Lim Dae-han raised his hand and ordered a double portion of black bean noodles. I didn’t think I could eat that much, but whatever.

     

    “Why are you eating with Jung Ji-pil? You didn’t even tell me.”

     

    Lim Dae-han didn’t answer and instead frowned. I grumbled without realizing it. I became more agitated and my voice became louder.

     

    “W-won’t you answer?!”

     

    Jung Ji-pil came out of the bathroom before I could ask Dae-han any more questions. He wiped the water off his hands on his uniform. Just in time, the double portion of black bean noodles ordered by Dae-han was also served. I couldn’t hear the answer from Lim Dae-han and only observed the two eating. I just felt sad.

     

    I mixed the black bean noodles with the chopsticks I was holding. Then I hurriedly scooped it up and ate it. I chewed the sweet and sour pork and couldn’t even swallow the noodles properly. I ate it hastily as if I didn’t mind the two of them eating together.

     

    Lim Dae-han frowned and handed me a cup of water. I took the cup and drink the water. I pushed the food in until my cheeks burst, then chewed it. Jung Ji-pil gazed at me with an uneasy expression on his face before shifting his gaze to Dae-han.

     

    “Why are you eating like that? Make me lose my appetite.”

     

    “Just let me eat. I must have been hungry.”

     

    I, who usually didn’t have a habit of overeating, groaned throughout the night self study. I couldn’t study at all. I sat for an hour and 20 minutes, clutching my stomach. Eventually, when the first period of night self study was over, I packed up my things. Lim Dae-han, who was sitting still with a workbook open next to me, saw me and also packed his belongings.

     

    “Give me your hand.”

     

    “…”

     

    We walked silently even after we left together, and Dae-han was the one who spoke first. I walked away quietly. I had no idea why he was doing this. When I didn’t say anything, Lim Dae-han pulled my hand out forcibly. Then he grasped the palm of my hand between his thumb and index finger and pressed it down firmly. The pain was so intense that my scream came out on its own.

     

    “Ah, it hurts…”

     

    He pressed it harder.

     

    “It hurts. It really hurts. Don’t do it. It hurts.”

     

    I tried to pull my hand back, but I couldn’t have matched Dae-han’s strength.  Lim Dae-han pressed hard on my palm. To be honest, I felt like my skin was going to be completely ripped apart. I knew he was strong, but I’ve never had this much pain.

     

    After kneading my hand for a long time, Lim Dae-han asked.

     

    “Do you have an upset stomach?”

     

    “Y-yeah…”

     

    “Let’s go to the convenience store. Let me buy you some medicine.”

     

    Then, before I could say anything, he went into the convenience store by himself. He comes out soon after, holding a black plastic bag in his hand.

     

    “This.”

     

    “…”

     

    I didn’t take what he gave me and just stared at Dae-han. Lim Dae-han touched his cheek and tilted his head.

     

    “What’s wrong?”

     

    “You, you know that… Dae-han…”

     

    “Yeah.”

     

    I looked at the surroundings. The employees at the convenience store were uninterested in us. However, I took the lead and took a few steps further. I walked out to the place where the convenience store’s lights were dimmed.

     

    “You have to be honest.”

     

    “Yeah.”

     

    “Are you mad at me because I didn’t give you a kiss?”

     

    “What?”

     

    Lim Dae-han’s voice rose after a long time. My tone of voice was similar when I asked, and I sounded confident. Oh, isn’t it. Did I get it wrong? I gripped both of my fingers and said in a creaking voice.

     

    “N-no… I, that’s right, since I didn’t kiss you… did you change your interest… to Ji-pil?

     

    He drew his chin closer to his body, then raised his eyes, and mumbled. “What kind of bullshit,” Lim Dae-han replied, without filtering his response to me. I felt embarrassed. I pressed my lips and looked up at Dae-han.

     

    “Hey, Ki Young-hyun.”

     

    “Y-yeah…”

     

    “I’ve already said it several times. If Jung Ji-pil had not been a friend of yours, I would not have spoken to him.”

     

    “Ah…”

     

    “But what? Do I change to Jung Ji-pil?”

     

    Lim Dae-han put his hand on my cheek as he said those words. He tightened his fingers and pinched my cheek. My voice just came out of nowhere. It seemed that the goal was to rip my cheeks out.

     

    “Ouch. It really hurts, it hurts so much.”

     

    I grabbed Dae-han’s wrist. Dae-han finally placed his head down after reducing the strength in his hands.

     

    “Haa…”

     

    He sighed deeply and rested his hand on one of his cheeks. He let go of it once again and looked me in the eyes.

     

    “Ki Young-hyun.”

     

    “Yeah…”

     

    “I want to look good to the people around you.”

     

    “Huh?”

     

    “Whether it’s Jung Ji-pil or your older brother, I want to look good to them.”

     

    After finishing his speech, Dae-han raised his hand. It was the same hand that had been squeezing my cheek for quite some time. His hand stopped in mid-air. It seems like a buffering video, then paused, move again, repeatedly, until the back of my hand was close enough to touch me.

     

    “…”

     

    “…”

     

    Lim Dae-han tapped my cheek and walked away. I looked at Dae-han’s back. I pressed my lips and pouted. I felt like my stomachache had gone down. I can’t hide my feelings. I exhaled deeply. Then I sped up my steps and followed Dae-han, who was a few steps ahead of me. I shifted the plastic bag from one hand to the other. I tightened my fist, then let go, and entangled it with Dae-han’s fingers.

     

    Dae-han, who was standing still, turned his head and looked at me. I strengthened the hand that was clutching Lim Dae-han.

     

    “You didn’t hold my hand today.”

     

    “…”

     

    “Let’s go.”

     

    If the heart was called a flower, then the bud in my heart writhes as if it were about to bloom.

     

    It’s also nice for the blunt and fierce Dae-han to follow me a little and soften his personality because he wants to look good in front of the people around me.

     

    I suddenly had this thought. Even if it’s not as much as Dae-han, I think I might like him a little bit.

     

    ***


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    Springlila

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