The Wasteland Forests

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SILIN


From one glance I can tell that soldier underneath his foot will be crippled for the rest of his life.

"Kim Taehyung! Step away this instant!"

The soldiers part. And the instructor, red-faced and breathless, steps briskly in between. He quickly scans the situation— the multiple soldiers either unconscious or moaning in pain on the ground— and Taehyung on top of a sobbing soldier, his foot grinding into his back and forcing his snapped arm in the air.

He ignores the screaming instructor completely.

His eyes are only fixed on me.

And I am furious with him.

"Taehyung," I whisper, my cold voice slicing through the tension. "Let him go."

He immediately drops the soldier's arm. The soldier screams and cries, cradling his crippled limb to his chest. I cannot— cannot believe this.

"Follow me."

He does. I can hear his hushed footsteps behind me as I walk. He keeps an even distance, never getting an inch closer or farther away.

When the instructor orders some soldiers to follow us for the sake of my protection, I whip around and hiss for none to follow. This was between me and him. I didn't want anyone else near.

Besides, he wasn't some feral beast that I needed protecting from.

I finally stop near the entrance of the Palace. Then I turn, facing Taehyung. He stares back at me with that look I recognize all too well.

That look of confidence. As if he didn't do a single thing wrong.

"Taehyung." I say, my eyes alight with suppressed anger. "You crippled a man for life and wounded five other soldiers of the Asura Clan today."

"Is this why I—"

"You're the one who told me to do this."

...what?

"You told me to never let anyone lay a finger on me. Because I am yours." He says, his hands clasped behind his back. His voice doesn't waver for a single second. His eyes seem to swallow me alive, with how he runs his gaze from the lines of my shoulders to my face.

"Only you can touch me."

I'm speechless. And I try to pretend that I didn't hear the last part.

"What do you mean, Taehyung?" I say, stepping closer. Only then do I start looking, for any marks on him. "Did they try and hurt you?"

He suddenly leans down, sharply. I freeze as the heat of his breath wraps around my exposed throat and runs down my back. My outstretched hand instantly stops, near the collar of his shirt.

"They tried to touch me."

He doesn't hold back.

"The five of them came onto me. They pressed swords to my throat and forced me down onto my knees. They told me to satisfy them. No one ever came, so I took it into my own hands."

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