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Chapter 27

My Platinum-Blonde Childhood Friend is Too Pretty

WE TRIED TRANSLATIONS

Translator/Editor: Ryuu
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◈ My Platinum-Blonde Childhood Friend is Too Pretty

Chapter 27: Preparing for a Date with a Childhood Friend (1)

 


With Elli's slender arms pulling me close as if she'd never let go, and her soft, sweet lips unwilling to part from mine, I found myself enveloped in the embrace of her delicate body, unable to suppress my smile.

I could feel it.

My longing to see Elli that day was matched by her own feelings towards me.

No, it was more than that.

Elli's eyes, unwavering as they gazed into mine, shimmered with a radiance beyond the predatory glare of a safari's white tiger, more akin to a raptor's fierce gleam, as if she was ready to pounce at any moment.

Yet, nothing further happened.

Despite our lips being pressed together for what seemed an eternity, Elli made no move to deepen the kiss.

How could I not know?

She was waiting for me to make the next move.

'I need to hurry.'

With that thought, I made a new resolve.

To hurry up and close the distance for Elli, who was waiting for me to take that next step.

For Elli.

And for me.


***


On the day Elli went for her fitting model part-time job and I was busy with Min-ah's freelance request, there was no significant change in our interactions after that intensely intimate bijou with Elli.

However, there was one noticeable difference.

Elli's gaze towards me had become more predatory, as if she was a hunter eyeing her prey.

Though she had shown glimpses of such intensity before, the frequency of these looks seemed to have increased.

"Elli, why are you looking at me like that?"

"…It's nothing."

Her intensely scrutinizing gaze, followed by a shy diversion of her eyes when questioned, was telling.

Yep, something was definitely up.

So much so that...

"Do-yoon, if Elli tries anything strange, you tell me, okay? I trust my son…!"

"Why are you like that, Ji-eun~ Someone might think Elli is up to no good~"

"Can you really say your daughter isn't acting odd lately? Put your hand on your heart and tell me."

"Huhuhuhu..."

"See, you have nothing to say and just laugh! Son, you really need to be careful!"

Even Mom and Mrs. Ji-eun had such a conversation by my side one day.

But aside from that, everything remained the same.

As usual, we shared bijou in the morning and evening, and in between, whenever we felt like it, our lips met.

As the midterms approached, we focused more on our studies, sticking to our rule of dedicating the last 20 minutes of study hall strictly to studying.

During those 20 minutes, we either held hands or shared a quick kiss. So-yeon, knowing our routine, always watched us from a distance, making sure not to intrude just before we finished.

And on days when Elli and I spent time apart...

I seized those moments to secretly make preparations.

"Mrs. Ji-eun."

"Yes? What is it, Do-yoon?"

"Do you happen to know Elli's ring size... um, for her ring finger?"

"Huhuhu... Is our Do-yoon planning something cute? Keep it a secret from Elli, okay?"

"Please do~ But Elli's ring size... of course, I know. It's the same as mine. She even tried on my ring as a joke once, so I'm certain."

With a mischievously amused smile, Mrs. Ji-eun provided me with the ring size I needed.

That was a relief.

While researching couple rings, I had learned that everyone's ring size is different, something I hadn't considered until then.

Buying the ring was one thing, but getting the size right without Elli knowing was another challenge entirely.

If Mrs. Ji-eun hadn't known, keeping the surprise would have been much harder.

And there was another aspect of the ring that I pondered over.

"A ring workshop... could that be a good option?"

I had been set on buying something decent within my budget, but the idea of making our rings together seemed particularly appealing.

I was sure Elli would love it too.

So, during one of our weekend outings to relieve some study stress, including So-yeon, I quickly asked for her opinion while Elli was away at the restroom.

"So-yeon, So-yeon."

"Yeah? What's up?"

"Listen, I'm in the middle of preparing a couple ring."

"Really?! Show me! What kind are you thinking of?"

"Not yet. I'm still deciding on the type... But what do you think would be better? Buying a branded ring or making one at a workshop?"

"Making one? Like at a jewelry workshop? Going on a date to make them together?"

"Yeah."

So-yeon pondered my question seriously, furrowing her brow, then said...

"…?"

"…?"

"…?"

"…Um, So-yeon?"

"Sorry, it's just such a tough choice... I can't decide. Both options sound amazing! Wouldn't Elli love either one?"

"Hmm…"

"What if you do both? Buy the couple rings and also make something like a pendant at the workshop. It doesn't have to be a ring."

"A pendant... might not be a bad idea."

"Right?"

Her surprisingly plausible advice was more than I had hoped for when I casually asked for her opinion.

As I nodded in agreement, So-yeon leaned closer, her eyes sparkling with excitement, and asked:

"So, are you guys officially dating now?"

"That's the plan. Elli is waiting for me to say something. We're practically dating already."

"Mm, good thinking. You two are planning to go to the beach this summer, right? If you're officially a couple, you can be more... intense."

"Are you a pervert?"

I teased So-yeon for her sly smile, but honestly, I wasn't devoid of such thoughts.

Elli had promised to wear a bikini this summer, and I was eagerly counting down the days.

As a couple, as So-yeon suggested, we could indeed share more intimate moments with Elli in her bikini.

But, in truth, more than that...

"Let's go."

"You're back? What should we do next?"

"Let's look at sandals. I want to buy a good pair in advance."

"Is it even the season yet?"

"I want flip-flops."

"Are you asking to die? Remember last year when you wore those and hurt your foot?"

"Oh, right."

"I'm buying ones with straps. Just follow me."

What I truly desired was to fully claim her as mine, despite her adorably scolding me for my concern.


***


April was an exceptionally busy month for me.

I diligently studied for the midterms at the end of the month, secretly researched couple rings for Elli, and pondered over our dates.

Money wasn't an issue thanks to my savings, so I put a temporary halt to accepting freelance illustration work. There just wasn't time for that amidst everything else.

During those busy days, Elli seemed to be impatiently waiting for something but stopped showing any signs of it as the midterms approached.

However, on the day of the midterms...

Elli's gaze began to intensely focus on me again, as if questioning why I wasn't making any moves now that the exams were over.

Unable to decide on the type of couple ring and consequently unable to plan anything, I endured her penetrating stares until the last day of the midterms.

Before Elli could say anything, I took the initiative.

"Elli, want to go to the amusement park next weekend?"

"Next week? Why not this week since the exams are over…"

Cutting off her initial retort, Elli paused mid-sentence, seemingly piecing things together, then looked at me with half-closed eyes before continuing.

"...We're going next week?"

"I'd prefer it if we could."

Elli's expression became complex, likely realizing that my specifying a date was unusual for me.

"Well... I don't mind..."

Perhaps because of this, she blushed and started twirling her hair around her finger, giving in more easily than usual.

While I couldn't keep it entirely a surprise, I was thankful I could at least keep this much from her, considering how much time we spend together.

Plus, she probably hadn't guessed it was about couple rings.

"Be sure about it. Saturday or Sunday?"

"Probably Saturday?"

"Okay. Next Saturday. So, what about today...?"

"I have something to do today. Is it okay if I go alone?"

Normally, Elli would have frowned and interrogated me about where I was going and what I was doing before reluctantly letting me go.

Especially on a day like today, when we had ample time to unwind after the exams.

But not today.

"...Okay."

She nodded, slightly disgruntled but surprisingly compliant.

"Elli! Then hang out with me today. My mom's been asking why you haven't visited in a while~"

So-yeon eagerly took Elli with her since I was suddenly free for the day, even giving me a sly wink.

"When will you be home, Do-yoon?"

"I won't be late. Definitely before dinner."

"Got it. Let's go, So-yeon."

"Yep! Oh, let's buy some snacks on the way. Or maybe stop by a cafe for some salt bread and croffles..."

As Elli and So-yeon left the classroom, I also gathered my things and stood up.

Today's separate plans were due to my intention to order couple rings from a physical store since I hadn't found anything satisfying online.

I discovered a jewelry brand popular among girls through So-yeon, and decided to visit their store to make a selection in person.

The custom order would take about 5-7 days, so I should receive it before next weekend.

With fewer customers expected on a weekday, I looked forward to leisurely picking out a beautiful ring.

As I was about to leave the classroom with this in mind...

"What, this punk's not going with Alicia?"

"Headed to the PC bang? If you join, we can do a 5v5 scrimmage."

Though Chae-hwan, Jin-woo, and others invited me to unwind after the exams...

"Sorry, I've got some things to do today."

"Damn, playing hard to get. Hey! If you're free later, come to Leon in Hapjeong!"

"Alright..."

I reluctantly turned down the tempting offer and headed out.

Hapjeong.

That's where I was headed too, to a store in Hapjeong. If I finished early, maybe I'd join the guys since Elli was at So-yeon's and would likely come home late.

Disembarking the subway at Hapjeong, I entered the vast mixed-use complex connected to the station.

Having visited this place with Elli several times, I was familiar with it, though I didn't recall the specific jewelry store I was looking for.

Maybe I hadn't noticed it before due to lack of interest.

'It's in the basement, right? Ah, is that it?'

I wandered, scanning the area until I spotted the store I was seeking on the opposite side.

With a light step and a fluttering heart, I made my way there when...

"Do-yoon?"

Someone called my name from behind.

Turning around at the sound of the familiar yet strangely refreshing voice, I saw...

"Do we meet in places like this?"

A slightly decadent-looking woman in a neat suit, smiling brightly and looking at me as if pleased by the coincidence.

 

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