47 Kanji's Rules of Love: Rule 2

A while later, they reached an upscale Italian restaurant in the heart of the city. Gayoon was a little awed by the classy place. It was a two storey building but designed in a crooked pentagonal shape with brown and black walls. Inside, the golden lights illuminated the interior while a lovely melody of the piano resonated around them. 

Minho handed the keys to the valet who bowed and proceeded to park the car.

"This place is beautiful," Gayoon said in awe. "I didn't know such a classy place existed in this city. It's always so wild around here."

"It's owned by a world renowned Italian chef, Burtolleni," Minho commented. "He is known for his culinary highlights and is often cited as the maestro of Italian cuisine. Now, shall we?"

He held out his arm for her to hold but Gayoon cried out, "Is that a wishing well?" 

She darted forward, leaving Minho confused with his elbow in midair. He cleared his throat and straightened up. That was awkward, he thought. 

Gayoon was leaning over a fountain made of marble which had the bust of a very beautiful statue of a long haired woman in the middle. She stared in wonder. It was a simple bust of a girl who held a mirror in her hands staring at it like it was some sort of curse. There was a small slab in front of it which contained some writing in Italian which Gayoon could not understand. 

"What does it say?" she wondered out loud.

"Lady of the Shallot," Minho said. "The woman who wanted to be free."

Gayoon turned to face him.

"You can read Italian?" she asked in surprise.

"Of course!" he scoffed. "I know six different languages. It's necessary for me to communicate with foreign investors! After all, it helps me make money."

"I should have known," she muttered. "Money lover through and through."

"What was that?" 

"Nothing!" she said quickly. "So what's written on this slab?"

"There was once a beautiful woman who was trapped in a tower next to a river named Shallot," he read out loud. "The tower had only a window and a mirror. She lived there alone, without any contact with the outside world. No one knew of her existence and she lived in that tower in misery, longing to go out. But she could not step out of that tower. The beautiful lady lived with a punishment which could kill her."

"Punishment?" Gayoon asked.

"A curse," Minho said. "The girl was born with a brutal curse. She saw the world through that mirror. It was placed in front of the window and through it, she used to see the world. But she could not look directly out of the window. If she ever dared to see the outside directly through her eyes, then she would die."

"But one day, while she was looking into the mirror, something happened. Something unexpected. A knight appeared outside of the window, lost on his way. He took off his helmet and the lady's resolve was broken."

"The most handsome knight of the realm had appeared in her midst," Minho went on. "The greatest knight of them all, Sir Lancelot of Camelot. His beauty was unmatched and he was unbeatable in any duel. He was the best of the lot and there was none other like him. The man who was the subject of many legends had appeared in front of the Lady of Shallot. Millions had died because of his deeds and beauty. Then what chance did the poor lady have? Unable to withstand the knight's appearance, she turned to look at him. And the curse activated."

Gayoon was immersed in the story, feeling the pain of the doomed girl. The girl who wanted to see the world, yet was prevented by a curse from doing so fell into her doom for love.

"What happened to her?" she whispered. Her voice was a little shaky as she held back tears.

"She knew death was upon her," Minho read on. "So she built a beautiful raft and set sail on the river to see what little she could of the world before she died. They say her body floated down the river, never to be seen again."

"Sir Lancelot...did he ever find out about her?" 

"No," Minho sighed. "He never knew of her existence. For him, she was nothing more than a strange tale. Now if you're done with the story, let's go and-"

He turned towards Gayoon to lead her inside, but to his shock, she was crying. 

"W-why are you crying?" he asked, feeling extremely confused.

"This story is just too sad," she said, choking back her tears. "These things get to me a lot! I really hate tragic stuff. Poor Lady of the Shallot!"

She was crying loudly, attracting some curious stares. Minho was clueless on how to console her. 

"It's not fair!" she wailed. "Why was she cursed? What was her fault? For being born?"

Suddenly the flashes of her own miserable childhood were rushing by her head. The times she had to spend alone because of the spirits which haunted her. She was treated as an outcast by the people around her, thrown into a dark abyss where the ghosts grabbed onto her. Whether it was daytime or nighttime, she was trapped with the dead who would not let her live. 

And now her daughter was out there somewhere, suffering the same fate.

Minho was at a loss. How was he going to stop her from crying?

"Uhh…" he quickly took out his handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her. Gayoon hiccupped and dabbed her eyes.

"I'm sorry," she apologized. "It's just, I get a little sensitive over these things. I think that's why I got so close to Jina. I'll stop crying."

Her eyes were still red and tears stained her eyes.

"It's alright," Minho said hastily. 

"No, I'm being stupid," she sniffed. "Let's go inside-"

"No!" Minho exclaimed. "We can't go in there anymore."

"Why not?" she frowned.

Because this restaurant has live entertainment and they are about to present a play on Romeo and Juliet, he winced inwardly.

"Someone just texted me that the food here tastes disgusting," he lied. "World class chef, my foot! His food is not good. My business partner got salmonella after eating here."


Before she could register his bizarre words, he grabbed her arm and led her back to the car.

Rules 2: Ultimate failure.

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