Thanks for the reviews, guys. I honestly didn't think it's a funny fic. Awkward, yes. But not funny. Glad you find it funny though.
I was supposed to finish this after test but I couldn't resist.
Right, disclaimer. Zeno's partner is an unknown entity. I don't know if it's a he or a she, but seeing as this is a medieval story in shojou manga, I'm leaning towards the later. What he did with his spouse is still unknown too. That is to say, I only based on Zeno's inability to stay in one place. So on and so on.
Credit goes to those people in Sorasan's tumblr page, in which they're the ones whose headcanons I used to make this fic.
Putting almost stalkerish Zeno aside, Jae-ha was the only one in the group who wasn't there when Yona, Hak, and Yoon went to get Shin-Ah (translation, he's the only one who hadn't seen the eyes of Seiryuu, but who cares right?). But it didn't mean Jae-ha knew nothing about Shin-Ah and his life in his village. He'd heard that he wasn't exactly accepted there, and was ostracised since he was a mere child.
Since he could still be called a toddler even.
(Shin-Ah didn't seem like the type who could talk elaborate enough to tell the others about it, but apparently the villagers ranted to Hak like they needed someone to say 'poor you')
(Hak said they're monsters, and that's sugar coating it, because he said he pretty sure he included every dirty words and curses he knew, though it's kinda hazy since he was rather occupied with digging and they were just talking and rambling, and not helping)
(Jae-ha decided then that Hak was the best man ever lived in Kouka)
Hak had commented that it's like a miracle he turned out fine.
Well, granted, Shin-Ah had some (major) confidence issues, but really, it's a miracle that he only got that out of everything. Hak thought that if it's him, he'd use his power to get back at them for everything or something along the line of that. Jae-ha agreed with him. His village was all about 'DON'T LET THE DRAGON GET AWAY!' and so when he was told that Shin-Ah's village was all about 'WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE DAMMIT?!' he wondered why he decided to stay.
Opposite. Reverse situation, he supposed. What appealed to him might not be appealing to others.
But still nothing could change his opinion that Shin-Ah was better off leaving his village. And that it'd be even better if it's earlier.
Maybe if he had, he'd get to meet someone like Captain Gigan who would then teach him about everything necessary in life.
The bird and bee talk would be one of those.
Granted, Shin-Ah only asked about marriage, but the implication was clear. He was genuinely clueless about it, and there's no doubt in Jae-ha's mind (and the others' too, he thought) that he's probably still don't know where babies come from.
Jae-ha groaned again.
He'd never thought he'd hear that kind of question out of someone that... that big. It's surprising. Mindblowing. He needed brain bleach. Obviously, there's no such thing, but he thanked the heaven that he had his secret stash. The (admittedly low quality) sake was better than nothing.
When he returned, after gulping a full flask in one go, Zeno hadn't said anything. His face was exactly as Jae-ha remembered before he left. Kija was also still pink, even more so in fact, and he was struggling for words. Like he was trying to answer Shin-Ah in Zeno's place.
"That is- how should I put it... Uh... It's to... "
Yeah, that's what Jae-ha thought too.
Kija couldn't possibly be able to say 'it's tying yourself to a special someone so you can't copulate with others'.
He sat on his earlier spot again with a sigh and then smacked Zeno's back, making him cough in surprise.
"Spare the youngsters and just tell them why you married your spouse."
And hopefully, he thought as he prayed to the heaven, Shin-Ah would find it sufficient. It's obvious that the best person in the group to tell him about the bird and bees would be Yoon. He practically begged anyone up there, even Hiryuu or whoever he'd normally not pray to, to let them stall. He promised he'd ask Yoon to tell Shin-Ah later.
Just spare him.
Zeno seemed to have read his mind, because Jae-ha felt like he could sense nervousness in his immediate response.
"Hahaha, well, it's because Zeno wants to be with her."
Jae-ha supposed it's safe enough.
"... Marriage is... to be with someone?"
"To be exact, marriage is like a ceremony, Zeno think? Well, only the rich does it though. Zeno didn't have it grand. Just exchanging vows in front of a priest, and then we're married. Heard that in some places even that's not necessary. There's not that many priests around, you see?"
Jae-ha should have realized it then, but sadly he didn't.
"After that, well. Zeno can't exactly stay in one place, so she travelled with Zeno until she couldn't anymore."
Granted, he'd realize later that it's because he already knew what marriage is, and so the things that came to his mind would be related to those known facts. Shin-Ah, on the other hand, was completely clueless.
His mind was a blank slate, so to speak.
The others waited with bated breath as they waited for Shin-Ah to process the new information, seemingly dazed. His head tilted slightly, and Ao mirrored his movement with a squeak.
"Yona... said I can be with her, even if with my power."
Really he should have noticed. Perhaps Zeno has at this point. He'd went stiff again.
"I can travel with her... and with everyone too."
It was only at this point that Jae-ha realized.
"So... I'm married to Yona? Everyone else too? We're all-"
Jae-ha cursed under his breath. Kija was a mess, almost red and was mumbling incoherently, while Zeno had heaved a sigh and covered his face with his hands. He was shaking slightly, but Jae-ha didn't know whether it's because he was crying (Jae-ha felt like crying at the moment) or because he actually laughing.
He wouldn't put it pass Zeno. He seemed to be the type to be able to smile and laugh through anything even if it's out of despair.
"... Sorry, Ryokuryuu. I didn't think it'd be this bad."
"I didn't think anyone could draw that conclusion from your story either."
He'd been told that he's a pervert, but even he couldn't. To think that it's the innocent ones that has to be looked out for...
Shin-Ah was stroking Ao, who had chosen to hide on his fur because she was startled by the men's outburst. Even if he hadn't said anything, and most likely wouldn't, Jae-ha felt like he could hear the unsaid plea for them to elaborate.
"Shi-Shin-Ah... You see, in marriage, besides exchanging vows, there're lots of other things need to be done! And so, no, you're not married to Princess. We're not... married..."
Kija sounded like he's close to tears, and Jae-ha didn't blame him.
Admitting that would be the hardest on him, Jae-ha supposed. He placed a hand on Kija's shoulder and chuckled humorlessly.
"That's right, Shin-Ah. Just because we're together like this it doesn't mean that we're married. For example, in marriage ceremony, a kiss is a must. If you haven't kissed, then you're not married yet."
Shin-Ah looked down, and after a moment, he nodded curtly.
The bad feeling still hadn't disappeared.
"I don't think Big Brother has kissed the Miss too. So, they're not married too. And even if the Lad sleeps with the Miss, and that's what married couples do, they're not married either. We sleep together and we're not married. There's nothing that we've done that'd make us married... Well, Zeno'd say couple, but we're more than two, so... people?"
He glanced at Jae-ha, and the green haired man nodded.
Shin-Ah nodded again, silently saying that he understood.
Zeno heaved a relieved sigh, but just as Jae-ha thought, it's not over yet. His every fiber was screaming at him to make excuse and just get the hell away from Shin-Ah, but he knew it'd be useless. Determined Shin-Ah wasn't someone he could evade for long. If he's lucky, he wouldn't be stalked, but it wouldn't take long either for someone to can't take being followed by him around and drag him to have a joint discussion about this kind of thing again. A smaller part of him, the one he usually trusted more, told him that the best course of action at the moment was to deal with it like a man and get it over with quickly.
"... Well, that's the gist of it. You can ask more of it to Ik-Soo when we visit him. I mean, he is a priest. Or maybe to Yoon. He'd know about what should be done in marriage ceremony."
And one way for that was to direct Shin-Ah to other source of information.
Zeno and Kija nodded enthusiastically, apparently agreeing with his tactic.
"Do you understand, Shin-Ah?"
Shin-Ah nodded again.
He opened his mouth though, as if wanting to say something before shutting it once more. Then he looked to his surrounding, then to Ao, then he opened his mouth again and apparently reconsidered before he could say anything.
Jae-ha screwed his eyes shut, sure that he's going to regret this.
"What is it, Shin-Ah? Don't be shy, and tell us."
He's not surprised when Shin-Ah asked what's a kiss next.
Kija stuttered, and was so taken back that he answered with some strange gestures and the only words Jae-ha could register from his rambling was 'and then you go in!', and briefly he wondered if there's another poor uneducated soul here that needs some enlightening.
Zeno then decided that apparently it'd be better to show him by doing it, so he stood up, and kissed Shin-Ah on his cheek. His smile was kind and not unlike how the fishermen Jae-ha knew back in Awa would smile to their children.
"That's a kiss, Seiryuu. It's done to show our affection. Ah, but sometimes it's considered vulgar, so make sure you always ask before you do it. Do you understand?"
Shin-Ah nodded, and he could tell that a smile almost bloomed on his face.
That's when he could feel relieved, because that'd mean that Shin-Ah's more or less satisfied. Nothing could make him smile other than Yoon's delicious cooking anyway. For the time being, it's all over.
Jae-ha told Yoon then, as soon as he could, that Shin-Ah was in dire need of some education. The self-appointed genius raised an eyebrow at him and asked him to elaborate next. Predicting that somehow, telling the truth would make him refuse, he decided to just say half truths.
"Poor Shin-Ah wasn't taught anything in his village, and so he can't understand many things. Like reading, for example."
He then proceeded to point out possible scenarios in which Shin-Ah's non-existent ability to read would probably be a game-changer, and Yoon was convinced. To tell the truth, Jae-ha didn't know if Shin-Ah could or couldn't read. He just put it out there.
Yoon said something that it's mostly true though, and so with a wide smile he then ask him to teach him stuffs. If it's Yoon, it'd be likely that he'd tell him to 'ask him anything', just because he had a passion for learning and teaching was a form of learning too, he'd heard from his Captain Gigan.
The sight of said boy genius coming out of the tent one day with bright red face while stomping as he called for Hak didn't escape Jae-ha. Yoon's murderous glare didn't escape him either. Or the fact that for a whole week after that, he was given less food and Hak refused to respond to his advances.
Jae-ha thought it's small price to pay.