Dinner was awkward, to say the least. Jin ate her rice in silence, trying her best to not clack her spoon against her bowl. She also tried to avoid looking at the not-unconscious figure of the stranger named Hwa Woo Sung lying on her bedroll in the room behind her.
Jung Min wasn't helping matters, she noticed with some irritation. Her younger brother kept sneaking sly glances between Jin and Woo Sung, as though he suspected that there might be more to Jin's story than having just found the man on the beach.
Jin's ears burned at the memory of how close they had been right before they had been interrupted by her family's arrival. She rubbed at her neck, where she could still feel the ghost of her knife as Woo Sung had held it against her skin there. If she had known what trouble he would cause...
"Are you feeling all right?" her mother asked. Jin gave a start, nearly upsetting her food into her lap. Across the table, Jung Min snickered.
Jin shot him a glare before turning to her mother beside her. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you," she said. "Just...distracted."
Jung Min took a large scoop of rice, leaving his spoon in his mouth for longer than necessary and grinning around it.
"Don't mess around, Jung Min," their mother scolded. "You look like a goblin when you make that face."
Jin watched as the spoon popped out of her younger brother's mouth, sending a grain of rice flying onto the table. "What's wrong with being a goblin?" he asked.
"Well, you'd have to live in that spoon, for a start," their mother replied.
Jung Min frowned. "Hey!"
"Oh, come on," Jin said. "I think he'd rather take on the form of a lump of pumice." She laughed at the way her brother's face had lightened for the first part of her sentence, thinking she was coming to his defense, before returning to a frown.
"I'm not a lump of pumice!" Jung Min protested.
"Well, if you were a broom-goblin, you'd be more useful to me," their mother said. Jin chuckled before her mother turned to her. "Both of you."
"Hey, I work hard!" Jin protested. "I've gone diving every day this week!"
Her mother raised an eyebrow. "And the house is still a mess."
"Gah!" Jin yelped, turning to find that Woo Sung had risen from his "sleep" and snuck up behind her.
"You're a little jumpy today," Jung Min commented, smugly taking another bite of his meal.
"You would be too, if you had someone creep up behind you," Jin snapped, stabbing her spoon into her bowl. She glared at Woo Sung. "Sit."
"Jin!" her mother admonished. "That's no way to treat a guest."
Was that a grin on Woo Sung's face? Jin turned sharply to face him, but he quickly sobered his expression and looked around innocently.
YOU ARE READING
Battle of the Sea DragonFantasy
The Kingdom of Joseon is at war, and they're losing. Terribly. The invading Japanese are equipped with advanced weapons that the Koreans' own bows and arrows are no match against. And now, with the best Joseon Navy admiral in prison for treason...