Akatsuki no Yona Chapter 2
‘All right, all right, put an end to that stupid yelling. Voices echo in a cave.’
'Ah! Princess, I’ve remembered!’ shouted Ki-Ja with his usual good timing.
'I just said not to speak so loudly!’
Yun’s harsh words made Ki-Ja’s shoulders droop.
'I-I apologise. I didn’t do it on purpose.’
'Of course you didn’t. If you did, I would have bound you and thrown you out.’
'What? Now I’m jealous – there’s a special service like that?’
Jae-Ha’s words never failed to disappoint. Yun offhandedly replied, 'Sit down, you pervert.’
(Isn’t this just the same as usual?)
Yun grumbled inwardly as he felt his consciousness growing further away.
Jae-Ha had called this Big Brother Jae-Ha’s Counselling Room, but it was clear he had no intention of doing anything about the troubles by himself, and Yun was actually the only one responding. It was down to Yun whether this ended well or not.
’… That said, ending this in a shambles is also one option…’
'Yun? Did you say something?’
Yona’s worried voice made Yun hesitate though.
Yun encouraged himself and took control of the situation.
'It’s fine, Yona. More importantly, right now we need to listen to Ki-Ja’s troubles.’
The conversation turned to Ki-Ja, who began to curl up on the ground.
’… Is it something hard to say?’
Ki-Ja silently shook his head.
'I see… If you don’t want us to hear, maybe you could just tell Yona?
’… No, actually I want you to hear this, Yun.’
'Eh?’ Yun half-stood up in surprise at the sudden designation.
If Ki-Ja was asking for him instead of Yona, it was probably an injury or sickness…
Hak and the others seemed to have noticed that possibility as well. Their gazes were sharp.
'Actually, er… It just hurts…’
'Where? In what way?’
'My chest hurts, like something is pressing down on it. What kind of sickness is this?’
'I can’t tell from that. There’s too little information. When does it hurt?’
Yun couldn’t say anything that would too easily put Ki-Ja at ease or make him anxious.
Yun pressed a hand on top of his clothes against his loudly beating heart as he asked Ki-Ja this question seriously.
Ki-Ja thought about this for a while and then answered quietly, 'When I gaze upon the princess’s smile.’
'When I gaze upon the princess’s smile, it makes me happy as well. However, sometimes my chest hurts.’
Yun was exhausted. He responded in a tone that could not be any more offhand, 'Ah, that incurable disease.’
'Wha! Incurable… disease…? Will I be unable to accompany the princess!?’
That was the first thing Ki-Ja worried about after being told he had a disease?
Yun was half exasperated and half impressed as he looked at Ki-Ja.
Then, Yona gently took Ki-Ja’s hand and smiled to calm him down.
'It’s fine, Ki-Ja. Yun will definitely find a cure.’
'P-Princess! Those words are enough for me to… for me to, hic…’
Even as Ki-Ja said that, he was clutching his chest, looking like he was in pain. Then, he collapsed to the ground right there.
'Ki-Ja!? What should we do, Yun…!’
Yona grabbed Ki-Ja’s hand and looked with trembling eyes at Yun.
'Yona, leave it at that. Ki-Ja will ascend to heaven.’
'Is it that bad!? Ah, but… he looks kind of happy.’
Yun looked past Yona’s shoulder and saw Ki-Ja, asleep with an expression that suggested he couldn’t be any happier.
'It’s that expression. “I have no regrets about my life!”’
'Is the White Dragon dreaming about food or something?’
'Honestly, what a troublemaker…’
Suddenly, Yun’s head was put in shadows as Jae-Ha, Zeno and Hak each made their own comments.
Shin-Ah was silent as usual, but he had in his hand a blanket he had taken out of his belongings.
'You’re so kind, Shin-Ah.’
Yona smiled at Shin-Ah as she helped him pull the blanket over Ki-Ja.
Somehow, the scene had turned heartwarming. Yun let out the breath he had been holding.
Now that he looked outside, it was brighter than it had been before.
There wasn’t as much rain hitting the puddles. They would probably be able to go out of the cave soon.
'Come to think of it, we haven’t heard Jae-Ha’s troubles yet.’
Yona’s comment made Jae-Ha’s voice tremble, which was unusual. It was obvious that he hadn’t expected the conversation to turn to him if he was the one who brought up giving advice.
'Isn’t there something? You can say anything.’
’… Really anything?’
Yona hit her own chest, as if to say 'Leave it to me!’.
Then, Jae-Ha grabbed Yona’s hand, pulled her up, and of all things, pulled her into an embrace.
'Jae-Ha…? What is it?’
'Actually, I might have a sickness too.’
(Ah, I can see it. I can see the next development.)
Yun, whose head worked fast, could tell what was going to happen next. He put a bit of distance between him and Yona and Jae-Ha, readying himself for the Thunder Beast’s attack.
'Oh no! We have to get Yun – ’
– to take a look at you right away! That, or something like it, was what was supposed to have come next.
However, Jae-Ha pressed a finger against Yona’s lips, so she couldn’t say anything more.
'That won’t work.’
Jae-Ha shook his head dramatically.
Yona was blinking in confusion. She put her face closer to Jae-Ha’s.
'Because this sickness… Yona-chan, you’re the only person in this whole world who can cure it.’
Yun was sitting a little away when a wind filed with killing intent shook his hair.
He timidly turned just his gaze towards them and saw Hak’s blade at Jae-Ha’s neck.
’… Weren’t your reflexes a bit slow?’
'I thought I’d stop you at the critical moment.’
Hak replied as sharply as his shining blade to Jae-Ha’s confrontational question.
Yun couldn’t interrupt. He just hugged himself with shaking arms.
'Now, now, the lady is surprised.’
Zeno’s one carefree sentence was enough to make the tense air slacken.
Yona took a breath as well and stepped away from Jae-Ha.
She looked at the two of them with unclouded eyes. After a pause, she said, 'So I can cure Ki-J’s and Jae-Ha’s sicknesses?’
'Princess, you don’t have to bother. It was just a bad joke.’
'You say that, Hak, but you have it yourself.’
Jae-Ha chuckled, but Yona looked even more serious.
'Is the sickness contagious…?’
'Like I’d let myself be infected! Those two are just nymphomaniacs,’ yelled Hak, thrusting his sword into the ground as if to say he wouldn’t allow himself to be put together with those two.
However, that message didn’t reach Yona. She still sounded troubled.
’… What kind of sickness is nymphomania?’
'It means that their brains are filled with flowers.’
'Hey! Don’t lie to Yona-chan with a serious face.’
'Shut up. Your brain’s just having a festival all the time.’
Hak and Jae-Ha had started arguing, thoughts of Yona put aside.
Even Jae-Ha, who usually acted mature, would not budge one step for some reason.
Yun stood up, his legs feeling prickly, and he patted Yona on the shoulder.
'In short, we’ve just got idiots here. It’s stopped raining, so let’s get going.’
Though Yona still seemed astonished, she slowly stood up.
'What about the White Dragon? Should Zeno just carry him?’
'Zeno, you’ll just end up dragging him. If he won’t wake up, can you do it, Shin-Ah?’
'Pukyuu!’ responded Ao. Shin-Ah nodded as well.
Then there was Hak and Jae-Ha. They’d probably just follow if they were left behind…
Yun turned around and saw Yona approaching the two of them.
'Jae-Ha, do you have any other troubles?’
'Hm? Should I have had more than one?’ joked Jae-Ha.
'No,’ Yona replied quietly. 'If I’m mistaken, I’m sorry for being insistent, but I just thought that maybe you opened the counselling room because you had something on your mind.’
Jae-Ha’s shoulders shook slightly, as if Yona had hit the point dead centre.
The two just looked at each other for few seconds. The first to look away were a pair of green eyes.
’… Yes. Thanks to some people, I’ve laughed too hard and my stomach hurts.’
After saying that, Jae-Ha smiled at Yona.
It was a perfect smile that brooked no argument.
After they left the cave, a refreshing wind brushed Yun’s cheek.
Ki-Ja had woken up and was at the front. Hak was already making fun of him.
Yun was watching this absentmindedly when he spoke up to Jae-Ha, who was walking beside him.
’… You really wanted to hear Yona’s worries, didn’t you?’
'I just suggested the first thing that came to my mind. Most importantly, do you think Yona would tell us honestly?’
The answer was solid, as if he had prepared it in advance.
Though something made Yun hesitate to nod right away, he wasn’t sure what.
Instead, he just said 'Hm’ and then fell silent.
After a while, Jae-Ha spoke once more.
'They’re interesting, as usual.’
They weren’t words for anybody’s ears in particular. It seemed Jae-Ha was just talking to himself.
Of course Jae-Ha must have known that the words would reach Yun, who was walking beside him.
However, Jae-Ha had still spoken, so Yun broke his silence.
'Things are fine the way they are. They’re fine, for now…’
Yun would brush against the truth of that murmur that night.