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    Loves Error

    Chapter 5

    “If only every day could be like this.”

    “You’re asking for trouble with such talk.”

    Despite Hayun’s rebuke, Mookyeong just laughed. After hesitating briefly, Hayun asked why he felt that way.

    “Why else? You’re always by my side.”

    “…”

    “And it makes surveillance easier.”

    Hayun glared at the ridiculous Mookyeong. He claimed to conduct ‘surveillance’, but it was more akin to snooping. He constantly checked his desk drawers and opened any gifts or letters before he could lay hands on them.

    The school was teeming with espers. According to Mookyeong, given the current tense atmosphere, there were suspicions about various forces leaving items around with ulterior motives. In his view, personal privacy took a backseat to safety concerns.

    Additionally, Mookyeong constantly stayed close to Hayun, keeping watch for any students from other classes or grades approaching him. While he had always done this covertly before, now he was blatantly obvious about it.

    “You’re too naive. There’s so much darkness lurking here.”

    Mookyeong referred to various nefarious elements as ‘darkness’ regardless of age and gender. He lightly smacked Hayun’s butt, which he’d been supporting until then.

    “Oh come on.”

    “No, seriously. It’s not a joke. Today’s letter contained hair strands and a talisman drawn with a syringe. Can you imagine how annoying it would be if psychic-type espers start hounding you?”

    “Forget that. I agree it seemed suspicious at first glance, but there wasn’t anything else wrong.”

    “Everything seemed off to me.”

    “Hey, ease up! If I meddled in every little thing like you do, wouldn’t you find it irritating?”

    “What? Fine, I’ll do it too. No, seriously, let’s both do it.”

    “……” 

    Hayun pursed his lips tightly together. The point of retaliation was to annoy and irritate someone, but Mookyeong seemed to welcome it, leaving Hayun at a loss. Feeling frustrated, he bit down on Mookyeong’s shoulder. Despite the painful bite, Mookyeong didn’t react.

    When Hayun finally released his grip, Mookyeong swiftly turned his head, baring his teeth as if mimicking a cheek bite. Startled, Hayun flinched, causing Mookyeong to giggle.

    From behind, Hayun glared at Mookyeong and grumbled, “…So why are you escorting those kids home anyway?”

    “It’s not like I’m doing it by choice. How could I refuse when asked? Besides…”

    “Besides what?”

    “If needed, they could serve as bait.”

    “Wow, Baek Mookyeong, you’re scary. How can you talk about your classmates like that?”

    “They would likely think similarly, right? If any problems arise, they’ll expect me to step forward. It’s all the same.”

    “You sly fox.”

    “Thank you for the compliment.”

    Hayun felt better after scolding Mookyeong. He pondered who the truly cunning one was before dismounting from Mookyeong’s back. They had arrived at Hayun’s room. As he opened the door and entered, Hayun gently pushed Mookyeong away when he tried to follow.

    After shooing Mookyeong out, Hayun closed the door. Now, no one could enter without his permission, even Seo Iju with her identical ability and ownership of this house.

    “…..”

    Hayun removed his bag. It felt heavy as if Baek Mookyeong had been levitating it using telekinesis all this time. He tossed the bag aside and lay down on the bed. While feeling cramped with Mookyeong around, he now found the space somewhat spacious alone. As he stared blankly at the ceiling, he heard the doorknob turning again.

    “What?”

    “Hurry up and wash yourself. Then come out to eat watermelon.”

    Mookyeong kept twisting the doorknob despite knowing that mere words would suffice, fully aware it wouldn’t open regardless of how many times he tried. Hayun was about to insist he wasn’t hungry but opened the door instead. Instantly, Mookyeong wedged Hayun’s bag between the door, then walked straight towards the bed and inserted his hands between Hayun’s arms.

    “Why?”

    “You’ll fall asleep once you lie down. Wash up first while it’s hot out. Then we can eat watermelon.”

    “Then why did you bring me to my room? We should’ve stayed in the living room.”

    “I know. I should’ve done that.” It seemed things weren’t going as Mookyeong had planned.

    Instead of pressing further, Hayun got up from his bed. Prompted by Mookyeong, he went to wash himself in the bathroom. After changing clothes and returning to the living room, he found Mookyeong slicing a watermelon. His hair appeared damp, likely washed during Hayun’s absence.

    Mookyeong cut large squares from the massive watermelon, then placed the discarded rinds into another container.

    “Why don’t you just throw them away instead of keeping them?”

    “For my father.”

    “…I see.”

    “Just wait there; sit tight. Don’t go to your room yet. I’ve already laid out all your schoolwork.”

    As Mookyeong mentioned earlier, books and a laptop were placed on the table in front of the sofa. Hayun reclined on the couch and picked up one of the books.

    Due to recent kidnappings and murders targeting underage espers, school hours had been shortened. Despite this, there were always defiant students who refused to listen. Some would pair off safely but sneak out later. Teachers anticipated this behavior and assigned heaps of homework, hoping it would keep the students too busy to think about going outside. However, they seemed unaware of a crucial fact: disobedient students often ignored their assignments as well.

    Hayun sighed, “Tsk, only the good and obedient ones suffer. It’s so unfair.”

    For example, there were children like Kim Hayun. He shook his head with a sigh. There was so much homework that he couldn’t figure out where to start. Hayun found some printouts wedged between his textbooks. As he stared at the words with tired eyes, Mookyeong chuckled from the kitchen. Disliking being laughed at, Hayun turned over and hid his body. Pretending to look at the printout, he covered his face while listening to the sound of Mookyeong removing watermelon seeds. The seeds continuously fell onto the tray with a tapping sound as Mookyeong used chopsticks.

    Hayun subtly lowered the printout covering his face. Feeling embarrassed for no reason, he turned on the TV. Since it was daytime during a weekday, all channels showed reruns or home shopping programs. After flipping through several channels, he stopped on a movie channel.

    It was an action movie that had been rerun several times during holidays. A monstrous creature burst out from the sewers, splitting the road like a piece of chocolate cake. Cars on the street flew through the air before crashing and bursting into flames. 

    Kroowooo!

    The monster’s roar prompted a determined hunter atop a nearby building to leap into action. At that moment, the senior hunter who initially disapproved of the protagonist rushed toward him calling his name. The senior hunter embraced and passionately kissed the protagonist as the camera circled around them, capturing the scene. Meanwhile, the monster let out another roar—Kroowooo! Its mouth glowed red, ready to spew acidic substances just as the protagonist broke off their kiss and propelled himself off the building towards it.

    “I’ve seen this before.”

    “There’s nothing else to watch.”

    “H-Here, eat some watermelon. I removed all the seeds for you.” Mookyeong handed Hayun slices of watermelon neatly cut for easy consumption.

    “…..”

    As they enjoyed their sweet treat, the movie reached its climax with the protagonist facing certain doom. In that instant, as his mentor succumbed to death at the hands of the villain, the protagonist realized the meaning behind his dying words and underwent a transformation. However, just then, the monster swallowed him whole.

    After a brief silence, the awakened hero burst forth from the creature’s body, tearing it apart. As he dealt with the remaining monsters, the villains who had lured the protagonist into danger captured the senior hunter.

    The senior hunter sacrifices herself by jumping off the building with one of the villains, insisting she doesn’t want to burden the protagonist further. However, awakened to his true power, the hero moves at lightning speed and rescues his senior just in time. The villain, lacking flight abilities, crashes to their death, but that’s not shown on screen.

    The protagonist lands safely atop another building with the rescued senior hunter, and overwhelmed, they share a passionate kiss once more.

    And so, thanks to the newly reborn hero’s efforts, the city is saved from crisis.

    “I always think about this whenever I watch it: Those protagonists have such great timing.”

    “They’re too busy being horny to care,” Mookyeong scoffed, eliciting a laugh from Hayun.

    “What’s so funny?”

    “It’s just… funny hearing those words come out of your mouth.” Mookyeong shrugged, subtly lifting Hayun as he tried to recline again.

    “We finished watching the movie, so it’s time to do homework now.”

    “Oh, hang on. Just give me a minute.” Hayun extricated himself from Mookyeong’s grip and lay down with his head resting on his thigh. Mookyeong chuckled softly as he gently brushed back Hayun’s hair.

    “You’re trying to fall asleep again, aren’t you?”

    “Nope.”

    “Sure, sure.”

    Unlike earlier, though, Mookyeong didn’t make him sit up this time. Instead, he continued stroking his hair or lightly pressing down on his eyebrows, almost like he was coaxing him to sleep.

    ‘Whenever he treats me like this, I can’t help but feel…’

    His emotions were all over the place. He loved Mookyeong yet felt uneasy around him; he needed him for stability despite that unease. Although his attention sometimes weighed heavily on him, he couldn’t stand the thought of him focusing on anyone else. On one hand, he wanted to explore relationships with others, but at the same time, he hoped Mookyeong wouldn’t stray.

    His mood swings and teenage angst were all connected to Mookyeong. Yes, it was entirely his fault.

    ‘Why is this happening?’

    Hayun reached out and fiddled with Mookyeong’s neck. He felt an urge to smack his handsome forehead for no reason. Instead of clenching his fist, he opened his mouth:

    “Have you ever kissed someone?”

    Mookyeong looked at Hayun without answering.

    “A kiss?”

    “Yeah, I’m asking if you’ve done it before.”

    “…”

    “What? Why aren’t you answering? Have you? When?” Assuming his silence as a positive answer, Hayun abruptly stood up and grabbed Mookyeong by the shoulders. A sense of betrayal washed over him. How dare you, when, where, and with whom?

    “With you.”

    “Hey, not those pecks from kindergarten! If that counts, then I’ve done it too. No, I mean with tongue involvement.”

    Mookyeong’s eyes darted around aimlessly. In a sudden move, he grabbed a piece of watermelon and tried to feed it to Hayun. He flicked the forkful back onto his plate.

    “You seriously haven’t kissed anyone yet?”

    “I should’ve let you do it first.”

    “What?”

    “If I did, it would have been only with you. Honestly.”

    Hayun grasped Mookyeong’s face, staring deeply into his eyes from mere inches away. Uncharacteristically, instead of wrapping his arms around his waist, Mookyeong clenched and unclenched his fists repeatedly.

    “So why does this interest you?”

    “It’d feel unfair if you had experience while I didn’t. It seems like I’m always lagging behind.”

    “Oh? Ohhh.”

    “Give me a sincere answer.”

    “Alright. Let’s do it together, and I promise not to until you’re ready.”

    “Let’s see.”

    Mookyeong vigorously nodded his head. However, despite having eaten watermelon earlier, he got up claiming thirst.

    “Where are you going?”

    “To drink…water.”

    “Eat this instead.”

    Hayun picked up the fork he had been twirling moments ago. Mookyeong obediently took another bite of watermelon from Hayun.

    “Why did you ask about kissing?”

    In movies or novels, kisses often symbolize the pinnacle of affection, expressing emotions so intense that they can’t be contained otherwise. Conversely, wouldn’t sharing a kiss reveal just how fervent one’s feelings truly are? At least, it could indicate whether someone feels strongly enough to warrant a kiss or not.

    “Try practicing.”

    “Practicing?”

    “Don’t you think it’d be embarrassing if you don’t know what to do when kissing someone else later?”

    “…Someone else?”

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