Fair Trade - Prologue
Life is beautiful but human life is short. A life where money is a man’s character, power, and center of life. Even if one is born miserable, they want to live in pompously.
The world is unfair anyway.
God doesn’t reach out to everyone, so Sei decided to believe in herself.
‘By the way… what am I doing here?’
Her world tilted obliquely. No, to be exact, it wasn’t the world that had tilted, but it was she who was lying in a bed. The scent that lingered at the end of her nose was familiar. It was the scent of the fabric softener used on all bedsheets of DE:A cruise. But there was also a unique scent of perfume wafting in the air.
It was a dark room. She studied the room without making any movement. She wanted to move, but her tightly bound hands and legs made her completely immobile.
‘Fuck, what the hell…What is this?’
Every time she tried to move, a thin plastic strap dug into her skin. She could tell that it was a cable tie.
‘No way, have I been kidnapped?
This was the first time in her 27 years of life that she had ever faced such treatment, so she was starting to get angry. She thought of the names of all those bugs that might want to harm her one by one. However, she was currently in the middle of the vast ocean. Before boarding the ship, she had made sure to memorize all the names of the passengers boarding the ship, and none of them could have held a grudge against her.
Holding back the surging string of curses, Sei turned her head and found someone sitting at the table in the opposite direction.
A cold sweat rolled down her spine.
The man was staring at the laptop screen with an unlit cigarette pursed between his lips. The screen was filled with graphs and parallel lines that made no sense to her. The screen suddenly blacked out and the corners of his mouth slowly turned up in a small smile.
Sei opened her eyes wide and inhaled sharply.
Rare platinum blonde hair and gray-blue eyes. He was a man who seemed to be far from the filth of the world. From his head to toe, there was no imperfection
It was her ’10th client’.
But something had changed. His appearance, image, and even the dangerous air around him… everything was different. She was speechless. It was as if she was looking at someone else. Nevertheless, the man in the loose shirt was certainly the ‘client’ she knew.
‘By any chance……’
Thinking of the butterfly knife hidden deep in her clothes, she paused and raised her body carefully. Her body wobbled due to her tied limbs.
She knew to escape from here, she needed to act as powerless as a lamb. That’s why she carefully addressed him. She didn’t know what exactly happened, but she didn’t want to die here.
Tying a poor woman with a cable tie. Is he a sick pervert? Or a psychopath?’
“Did you sleep well?”
By the way, was this man’s voice this low?
She looked around confusedly, pretending to be frightened. Whether he believed her or not, he didn’t show it. He approached her with a pitying look on his face and sat down on the bed. Then he lightly grabbed her chin and forced her to look at him.
“How does it feel to be deceived?”
Sei flinched and shrank away from him. The man she saw up close had an unrealistic appearance beyond her imagination. With his indescribable features, it was hard to guess his age.
“How can you just eat anything like that? Without even knowing what’s in it.”
“What are you…”
“If you were hungry, you should have rather ordered room service. If you had, we wouldn’t have met like this.”
Gulping nervously, Sei recalled a plate of high-end cookies on a minibar. The man was looking down at her with an amused smile.
No matter how beautiful his appearance was, she didn’t want to deal with anything that didn’t seem normal. She just hoped he was not some crazy psycho.
‘I have to escape from here.’
After painstakingly squeezing out some tears, she twisted her upper body and showed him her tied hands.
“Excuse me, sir…Please let me go. Hmm? I’m just a housekeeper, so I came here to clean up the room. I think there’s some misunderstanding. Please, hmm? I’m just an ordinary person with nothing! Sir, please!”
As she begged, she moved her eyes ceaselessly in search of a retreat. The cable ties dug into her skin and she felt the man’s hand touch her reddened wrist. All the nerve cells of her body were on an edge. The man while touching her swollen skin bent down and whispered in her ears in a playful tone.
“You seem to have a very different standard of ‘ordinary’ from mine. You’re fearless and bold. Moreover, I saw that your hands are also quick.”
He paused for a moment and stared delightfully at her stiff face. He was so close that she could feel his breath. Sei wanted the man to release her legs at least. If only he did that, she could bite that good looking nose and run away from here.
“Anyway. Before I release you, can I ask you a question?”
He tapped on the cable tie that wrapped around her ankle. Sei felt as if she was out of breath.
‘Who the hell said this jerk was an easy game…!’
Sei silently ground her teeth in anger. Seeing her not answer, the man quietly looked at her side face and then chuckled.
“Yuri Rose, Cecilia Lawrence, Diana Olsen.”
Sei’s eyes widened for a moment at the mention of those names. All the names that the man called were aliases she used. They were all fake names that no one knew.
‘I knew it.’
Her hunch was right. The man had set up a trap and she had willingly stepped into it.
After understanding the situation, Sei’s smile disappeared and her face turned cold. Seeing her reaction, the man’s face had a gruesome and elegant smile.
“Why on earth are you using such odd names when you have a pretty real name?”
At the same time, the muzzle of a gun touched her back. Her whole body stiffened with a chilling sensation.
Is this the end? Am I going to be thrown into this damn ocean as fish feed? What the hell is this guy…!
“Answer me. Miss Jang Sei.”
If there really was a God…she wanted to beg him to let her go back to the time before she ate those darn chocolate chip cookies. If only she could.
“You’re… Giulio Parenti’s mistress, am I right?”
‘Shit! God, save me!’
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