Chapter 25 – Reverse harems are annoying
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After safely returning to Inich town. A wooden table stood with sewing materials sprawled over it. A dim candle lit the small working station with all its might, the light gently enveloping the two figures drinking tea in the awkward atmosphere.

“So… partners huh…?” I started, gazing into the reflection of myself in the clay tea cup. “If I own you... Can I cut your hand and balls off...?”

“If you want to. But I’ll defend myself.” He conscientiously moves his hands to hide his crotch.

How the hell am I supposed to cut your hand off if you defend yourself with your broken specs?!

“Can I sell you off to manual labour?”

“You can try. I’ll still come back to you.”

I feel like vomiting all 5 litres of my blood. Why is he doing this? How do I find my way out of this absurd ML?!

(Д)ノ︵┻┻·

“… Alright. Since you’re so persistent.” I sigh, pinching the nose bridge between the furrowed eyebrows. Ahhh… I’ll die early from stress.

Other people may find persistent people romantic, but they’re just really fucking annoying. Sure perseverance shows dedication, but learn to accept NO for an answer!

“Then let’s start making some things clear. I can’t continue working with a person I barely know much about. We can start with what broken powers you have since mind reading isn’t your only cheat. If I know what you can do, we can use it to our advantage.”

“I can shape shift into different species.” He fiddles with the strands of his hair near his forehead. “Ah, but they always have black hair and gold eyes. Can’t change that aspect.”

I recall the yellow bird I’ve been seeing quite often. So it was just a normal bird? Then how did this guy know where to come?

“I found where you were because of that” He points at the gemstone pendant dimly glowing red on my neck. BRUH. So my privacy was being invaded since a long time ago with this GPS tracker? ‘Leaving me alone’ my ass!

I glare at the dude shamelessly sipping on the tea. I hope you gloriously choke on it and die.

I look out the window, the cloudy night skies didn’t allow even the moonlight to peep through. Within this darkness, with a heavy heart, I shot the cold tea down with one smooth gulp and poured myself another cup. There will be a long talk tonight.

><><><><><><

Two weeks after the kidnapping incident. I walk down the busy market street buzzing with travellers and traders. A variety of colours splatter the busy tourist hot spot; let it be the bright orange evening sky, the red stall roofs, the dazzling spring flowers decorating the stalls, or the fresh fruits which survived the winter on display for sale.

I’m here to buy cotton fabric. Since summer is approaching, people are looking for lighter, thinner and more sweat-absorbing clothes. With an empty cloth bag hung over my shoulder and a rattan basket in hand, I head towards the stall selling a variety of local and imported fabrics.

After buying several metres of cotton cloth folded and packed in my backpack, I carry myself to pester the usual bread store lady.

“It’s you again?! You might as well extort all the money I have!”

“I’m so hurt.” I shed some fake tears. “It’s just a bit of expired bread I’m asking for a cheap price. I’m even paying for it, not taking for free.”

“Take it take it. Take my whole shop away while you’re at it!” She huffs. “1 copper coin for 3 loaves.”

“4 loaves.”

“Do you want this old woman to die from anger?!”

After settling at 3 and a half loaves, I put the bread in the rattan basket and carefully cover the basket again with a tea towel.

You’d better not touch any of my bread.

The small black hamster in the basket slumps in despondence.

If you can wait till we get back home, I’ll make an extra egg sandwich for you.

Regaining the spark in his eyes, the basket rumbled as the little guy jumped around. Hmm yeah let me go smack my past self who described this male lead as “cool, mysterious and aloof”.

When I reach back my neighbourhood after buying some groceries, I face someone I have forgotten for a long while - my neighbour Aria. A picturesque sight of a solemn girl sitting on a bench under the tree, her pretty blue eyes shedding tears as she looks hugs a certain letter to her chest. Her pink hair gently flows with the breeze, her translucent cheeks apparent with a red handprint.

Yeah no. I'm not getting involved in that. I walk towards my house feigning ignorance.

“Uhuu… *sob* huu”

Nope. Not involved.

“Huuuuuu *SOB* *SOB*”

Why is the crying getting louder!?

My eyes twitch, the veins on my forehead probably bulging from annoyance. Ah really can she stop making me feel like an evil woman for ignoring her? I close the door to my house, and draw the curtains for the windows looking out towards the tree.

The small black hamster silently climbs out of the basket and peeks outside from between the closed curtains.

“That’s Aria. She’s a female lead.” I explain, slicing the ripe melons I recently harvested from my backyard. “I think she got 4 people chasing her the last time I counted.”

“Four?” The small hamster transforms into a man in black robe, but his eyes still fervently observes the pink haired FL. "She doesn't look like a loose woman though."

Hahahah of course not. That's the lovely innocent doe-like heroine. What loose woman? She can have 10+ dudes chasing her and kissing the ground where she stepped and she'll still appear righteous.

“She regards everyone of them as ‘friends’ while they offer their hearts for her. Every time they make a move she just think of it as ‘kindness’. Everyone of them knows she’s got three other dudes, but they don’t mind. They’re contented to be her ‘friends’. It’s a convenient label for their relationship because the dudes who are engaged can pursue 'friendship'. Any fiancee who are against this are called narrow-minded. ”

I place the plate of melons on the windowsill, and pull a chair to sit. “Eat some melons. Wait and see. I’m sure one of her ‘friends’ will come console her soon.”

The two people eating melons observe a male person urgently running towards the girl. His expressions crumples upon seeing the stray tears and the red swollen under-eyes of the fragile girl.  When he hugs the girl, she accepts his embrace, woefully crying into his chest and staining his shirt with her big drops of tears.

“It’s that man’s fiancee who slapped her, right?” I asked the guy beside me while casually biting a piece of sliced fruit.

“How did you know?” He looks back at me with wide eyes. 

“I bet he’s thinking about breaking his engagement with his fiancee soon.” When I look at the golden eyes staring at me with shock, the corner of my lips twitch upwards. “That’s the way this world works. You have much to learn, partner.”

I pat his shoulders like a senior would to a junior and walk towards the kitchen.

“You’ll see more of her harem members this week. There’s spring festival coming soon. It's a big event.”

I start scrambling the eggs to make a egg sandwich. 6 eggs sit in the rattan basket beside two remaining loafs of stale bread.

Hmm... I’ll make bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast tomorrow.

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