As the autumn deepened, the balsam flowers at the base of the walls bloomed as they trembled in the wind.
Their colors were deep due to yesterday’s rain. Having plucked a bunch of them, MuGyeom was helping EunSeo wind strips of cloth around her fingertips as she dyed her nails. They were out sitting on a bench in the backyard.
“They say that your love will be fulfilled if the dye doesn’t wash away by the first snowfall.”
“What kind of love are you waiting for?”
“I’m not waiting for love. I’m just hoping that it will become fulfilled.”
“Then has that love already arrived?”
“You’re quite mischievous, aren’t you?”
“You’re so well-mannered, my lady, so shouldn’t I be the one to act mischievous?”
After he finished wrapping the final strip of cloth around her dyed fingertips, MuGyeom looked down at his own hands.
They were also covered in red flower water.
He recalled the red blood that had been smeared between EunSeo’s legs last night.
He realized again how amazing she was.
She had shown a greater determination than he had. If not, how could she have given herself to a mere servant?
He needed to take full responsibility and protect this woman who had put her trust in him.
“Look at this.”
EunSeo playfully smiled as she pulled up her skirt.
She revealed her bare feet.
The tips of her toes were slightly moving.
“I can move my toes now.”
It wasn’t just one toe. All ten toes were stiffly wiggling.
“It’s because you received a lot of yang energy.”
MuGyeom decided to be even more mischievous and spoke up.
Didn’t they say that men were yang and women were yin?
“If I put a lot of yang energy inside you tonight, you might be running around the yard by tomorrow.”
EunSeo gave him a coy smile as her cheeks reddened.
“I’d like to go back to my room now.”
The air was still clear, so when MuGyeom heard her say that she wanted to go back, he tilted his head in confusion.
“Already? I wanted to piggyback you and go for a walk. It just rained, so the garden is quite lovely right now…”
“I think I’m going to have to return to my room.”
When MuGyeom saw the way the tips of her ears reddened, he realized what it was.
“Do you need to use the bathroom?”
Her ears had never reddened like this when she had to use the bathroom before.
Because she couldn’t get up on her own, MuGyeom still had to help her go to the bathroom.
Whenever she had to use the bathroom, she always had a blank expression on her face and remained calm. Therefore, MuGyeom thought she only saw him as a mere servant and not a human being.
But now it bothered her.
The things that hadn’t bothered her before they knew each other were now uncomfortable for her.
“Wh-What are you going to do?”
MuGyeom raised the hem of her skirt and stuck his hand inside. He took off her underwear, giving EunSeo quite a shock.
To add to her shock, MuGyeom swiftly lifted her up and began to walk over to an overgrown bed of hydrangeas.
MuGyeom used both hands to open her legs and crouched down.
He held her from behind and kept her legs open as if he were potty training a toddler. Then he softly whispered in to her ear.
“Th-This is not decent…”
He was treating her like a child. The fact that he expected her to go to the bathroom while she was in his arms made her feel incredibly flustered.
“Now, now, my lady. Shhh…”
MuGyeom continued to whisper into her ear mischievously.
However, EunSeo couldn’t endure it any longer and tightly grasped MuGyeom’s arms as they held her legs apart.
When MuGyeom felt her hands tighten around his arms, MuGyeom bit her earlobe.
The sound of trickling water flowed from between her open legs.
Seeing her panting in embarrassment, MuGyeom couldn’t take it anymore and bit down on her earlobe as he inserted his tongue into her ear.
Every time he inserted his tongue into her ear, they could hear the trickling stream grow softer and louder as she clenched.
Every time she felt him, the stream would stop momentarily before starting again. Hearing this, MuGyeom whispered into her ear.
“Are you done?”
“L-Let me d-down now.”
“Hearing you use the bathroom got this guy all riled up. I don’t know how to soothe him.”
Keeping EunSeo in the same posture, MuGyeom stood up and began to grind his groin against her exposed lower body.
His swollen cock pressed up against her from underneath his pants.
He hurriedly untied his pants and began to rub against her wet entrance.
“D-Doing it here is a bit…”
While the walls were tall, doing something like this in the backyard was embarrassing for EunSeo. Although she was obviously taken aback, MuGyeom had no intention of stopping.
Since EunSeo had already called him mischievous, MuGyeom decided he’d take it as far as he could go.
He decided to show her that she needed to watch her words because it may come true.
EunSeo’s hips shook as MuGyeom’s swollen cock plunged inside.
Her clothes rustled against his chest.
Carrying EunSeo in his arms and keeping her legs wide apart, MuGyeom thrust in to the hilt. Seeing their positions, he felt that if she were a flower, he would be the stem.
It was as if they had fused into one.
“Haa! Ah! Ah!”
Although her legs were wide open, her entrance was tight. As MuGyeom plunged into her, he bit down on the nape of her neck.
He liked leaving traces of himself on her body.
Just like how she had dyed her fingertips with the balsam flowers, he wanted her whole being to be dyed with him.
Just like how her fingernails would be dyed with the flower by the first snowfall, he wanted her to be covered in traces of him even after the first snowfall.
MuGyeom lowered her onto the bench, and EunSeo cried out.
Her skirt was pushed all the way up, and now her face was completely covered by it.
“Ha, nng…! Ah!”
EunSeo panted for breath underneath her skirt.
Having covered her face with her skirt, MuGyeom began to rub her exposed entrance.
When his course, thick finger plunged inside, a sticky sound rang in the air and was carried away with the wind.
His finger was soon replaced by his hot tongue. As he lapped at her entrance, EunSeo’s toes began to wiggle as her legs hung down from the bench.
Every time his tongue reached a place deep inside, her toes danced.
“Ah, nng! Haahng! Ah! Aah!”
His wet tongue twitched inside her, and EunSeo’s hips began to undulate.
Suddenly, her skirts fell down from her face. Her flushed face met his.
MuGyeom pressed down on her shoulders and laughed softly before stealing her lips.
He gazed at her disheveled hair and panting breaths. When his tongue invaded her mouth, EunSeo closed her eyes.
The clean autumn breeze brushed against her body, but EunSeo didn’t feel it.
Because of the man covering her body as he plunged his scorching rod inside her, EunSeo didn’t feel the cool autumn weather against her skin.
The man’s sturdy body pressed down on her.
He was hot and hard.
He held her and led her. This was the weight of a man who told her that she should live… That she needed to live…
When she felt his heat pierce her body, she tightened her arms around him.
She thought she heard a rustle as the leaves began to fall down.
* * *
The new handmaid from Hanyang was a young girl.
She seemed to be a few years older than EunSeo, and she was quick to catch on and even quicker to act.
After she arrived, MuGyeom didn’t serve as EunSeo’s caretaker anymore. He merely went back to the work he used to do before and chopped firewood in order to stock up the furnace in preparation for the winter.
Half of the time, MuGyeom was out of the residence.
Whenever the maid asked him why a servant like him was running around outside, he’d always tell her that he had to go up to the mountains to gather more firewood.
His feet would always be covered in dirt, so it was obvious that he had been in the mountains.
He’d come back with heaps of firewood and some straw he had gathered from the nearby rice paddies.
When she asked him what he was going to do with all that straw, he told her that he had nothing better to do, so he was going to twist some straw and make some rope.
‘If you do your work right, I won’t only emancipate you. I’ll also give you the money you desire.’
Before coming down here, the handmaid received a secret command from her master, Lord Yoon.
‘She is bringing disgrace to our family just by being alive in that state. However, if she commits suicide, then the rumors about the family will only get worse. Therefore, it must look like an accident.’
‘By ‘accident’, you mean…’
The following words that came out of Lord Yoon’s mouth were terrifying.
‘Feed her some drugs and make her fall asleep before setting the house on fire. Fires always burn well in the fall, and since the house is so isolated, no one will be around to put the fire out in time. By the time they find out there’s been a fire, everything inside will have burned down already.’
When she heard him order the death of his own daughter, the handmaid was filled with fear. However, she knew that if she didn’t carry out his orders, she’d also be put to death.
If a nobleman could kill his own daughter, killing a servant was nothing.
So she had no choice but to do as he said.
The handmaid carefully added a white powder to the bowl of soup.
It was the drug she had received back in Hanyang.
They told her that if one took this drug, they’d fall asleep right away.
She planned on setting the house on fire tonight.
The only thing that bothered her was the servant named MuGyeom.
If that man realized there was a fire and put it out, then all this would be for naught.
She needed to take care of him first.
‘I should kill them both.’
She prepared two bowls of soup.
The larger one was for the man and the smaller one was for EunSeo.
Carrying the meals, the handmaid exited the kitchen.
* * *
EunSeo didn’t leave anything behind and ate all her food.
She sure could eat for someone who couldn’t use her legs. The handmaid almost clicked her tongue.
The handmaid cleared EunSeo’s meal before heading over to MuGyeom to serve him his dinner.
No matter how she looked at it, she felt that it was such a waste to kill off a man like MuGyeom.
She’d probably never meet a man like him again.
He was only a servant, but if he had been born as a nobleman, he would have been well-known throughout the nation.
His looks and physique went unmatched.
No, they were the best.
And it seemed that he even had a good head on his shoulders since it looked like he could read and write. Seeing him do all the housework, she also knew that he was very logical and exact in everything he did.
If it weren’t for the current situation, she would have tried to seduce him herself.
But nothing could be done. She needed to kill her lady, and this man might catch on.
If she asked him to join in on her plan, he might get angry and cause a predicament.
After MuGyeom finished his food, the handmaid took the dishes back and headed to EunSeo’s room.
When the handmaid called out to her, EunSeo was in the middle of a yawn.
Her eyes were drowsy.
It seemed that the drug was having its effect.
“What were you doing, my lady?”
“I was just organizing all my things.”
EunSeo slowly placed something on the table.
There were an assortment of rings and trinkets along with expensive jewelry. When the handmaid saw them, she gulped.
“What are all these?”
“They’re my jewelry that I took with me when I got married. When I was abandoned, I brought them back with me. But I’ll probably never wear these again.”
‘What a waste…’
The handmaid could feel the saliva pooling in her mouth as she thought about how she had to burn those as well.
Seeing all the gold, silver, and jade, the handmaid estimated that it was enough to buy a thatched house in Hanyang.
‘Should I take them?’
She felt that she could.
‘She’s going to die anyway.’
She’d sneak in here before she started the fire. The handmaid watched as EunSeo wrapped them in some cloth before putting it aside.
Time dragged on as she waited for the night.
After making sure MuGyeom was fast asleep in the servants’ quarters, the handmaid made her way to the main building.
The lights were off in EunSeo’s room.
She snuck into the room and shook EunSeo’s shoulders, but EunSeo remained fast asleep.
Her body remained limp due to the effects of the drug.
‘She definitely put it somewhere around here…’
The handmaid went over to the dresser and began to go through its contents.
However, none of the drawers seemed to hold the bundle of jewelry.
‘That’s strange. I definitely saw her put it in here…’
She went through the entire dresser and even looked around it, but she still didn’t see any sign of it.
‘What should I do?’
The handmaid hesitated.
She recalled the glimmering jewels.
However, she couldn’t waste any more time.
If MuGyeom woke up from his sleep, this would all be for naught.
The girl lit the candle.
She waited until the wick was sufficiently ablaze. Then she walked over to the foot of EunSeo’s mattress and set the the blanket on fire near her feet.
The fire burned at the edge of the blanket.
This would be enough to burn EunSeo to death.
After starting the fire, the handmaid hurriedly escaped the room.
She ran across the yard and looked back. The fire inside the room was slowly growing brighter.
‘I should leave before it gets any worse.’
If she stayed any longer, she might get burned herself.
The handmaid exited the front gate and moved a good distance away. Then she crouched down and watched the flames grow bigger and bigger.
Watching a fire in the middle of the night wasn’t so bad.
The small flame grew very quickly. Soon the entire residence was swallowed by the blaze. The fire only died down once dawn arrived.
Once the surroundings were filled with the scent of smoke, a few onlookers began to gather around. The handmaid began to make a fuss as she cried out in despair.
“My lady has…!”
She wiped her tears with the hem of her clothes. When the handmaid told everyone that her lady had perished in the fire, no one bothered to go through the rubble.
Judging from the size of the fire, there wouldn’t even be any bones left behind due to the intense heat.
And like that, just before winter arrived, Lord Yoon’s country home disappeared into the night.
The only survivor was the handmaid. Lord Yoon’s daughter, who had been there to recuperate, and a male servant were unable to escape and perished in the flames.
As the snow began to fall down with the arrival of winter, a small mound was placed at the foot of the mountain near the house.
It was the grave of Yoon EunSeo.
At first, the grave was only covered in dirt. However, soon the mound was covered in a layer of snow. Even as spring arrived, no one came to visit the grave.
Only when summer came did an old woman with white hair visit the grave. With the help of her children, she made her way to the mound and poured a glass of liquor into the grass. There were no other visitors after that.
: Parents often say this to toddlers when they’re being potty-trained. Basically, it’s a type of ASMR to get the kid to urinate.