The lost and forgotten queen of the Goryeo period and her narrative was wiped out along with the history of the man she loved, Wang Cheol Su. Set in the year 1033, this tells the story of a man and a woman, a 400 year old dynasty threatened, war, heartbreak and love.
Park Taemin as Wang Cheol Su (14-29)
(Sadly, I could NOT find this queen's name or any other picture of her but this is what Tiye looks like. I will be posting several sistahs with her aesthetic here)
“Wangja, we have a surprise for you.” The 10-year-old boy turned from his studies and found his father, the King standing in his chambers, two of his advisors at each side.
“What is it? I’m studying.” His father motioned a forward motion with his hand and a small girl was shoved forward, hands bound in chains. His breath left his body and his mouth was agape. She was unlike anything he’d ever before seen and the sudden curiosity in his eyes met the fear in hers. Lifting dark watery eyes upward, she turned them up to his father, anger stroking a fire inside of the obsidian orbs. His hand quickly beat the defiance out of her and she curled up into a ball, tears slipping down her deep brown cheeks.
“Why have you brought me a girl Father?” He asked, eyes finding her again. Her bound hands tried to cover her face as she wept.
“She was a gift from the Arabic trader who brought wonders from other worlds.” His father dropped his gaze onto the girl.
“She’s a peculiar one is she not? Skin like the moist dirt of the earth.” The two advisors part the way for the man as he turned his back to him.
“The girl is yours to do with as you please. Consider this an early birthday present.” And like that, he was off, the quiet rustle of his robes soon disappearing down the hall. For the longest, he stared at her, fingers suddenly fidgeting. Not quite sure what to do, he cautiously approached her, face still hidden, still curled into into a ball of defense.
“He is gone now. You don’t have to do that.” But move she did not. Closer he approached until he stood over her.
“Do you understand me?” He asked but no answer was given. Deciding that she didn’t know Korean, he took the time to observe her. Her hair reminded him of thick long ropes and they sprawled out in every which direction away from her. Adorned with gold clips, the strands had a pleasing smell to it. Possibly an aromatic oil used by the trader to make her more pleasing for sale. She wore a light colored robe, dirty and dingy. The ratty ends frayed out from wear and tear. She wore no shoes on her feet and they looked abused and rough to the touch. But as his eyes soaked up the pigment in her skin, he felt a strange stirring in his chest.
Kneeling down beside her, he reached out and with a finger, drug it up the length of her arm. At the contact, she shot up and yanked her arm back. She hissed something to him, tongue heavy with a foreign language. It didn’t offend him and rather, he smiled some, making her blink in surprise. The smile soon turned into laughter and once he’d stopped, he found his way back to the small table where he’d been studying with the shake of his head. She was peculiar indeed.
Wind sliced through the strands of his hair and he let his head fall back, allowing the body of the horse to transport him to another world.
“Wangja-nim!” Lifting his head, he turned to find the only other person he found he could trust riding towards him on a white mare. Smiling as she approached him, he lifted his hair back from his face, strands that were finally growing after so long of having been kept shorn.
“Did you come all the way from the palace to find me?” She pursed her lips and crossed her arms.
“You should be thanking me.”
“Oh?” He asked with a teasing smile.
“Yes ‘oh’. I’m the one who has saved you from a day of boring studies. Don’t you get sick of it? It’s all you do.” He clucked his tongue in a reprimanding manner.
“I don’t believe I told you to speak to me in such an informal way Tiye.” There, through the stubborn pout on her face, a grin teased her mouth.
“I’ve never done what I was told. Don’t you know that by now?”
“Yes and it had gotten you in a fair share of trouble hasn’t it?”
“Tuh.” She dismissed with a wave of her hand, turning her gaze away from him.
“I could have you beheaded for treason. Hung from the gallows.” He said as he observed his stallion nuzzle her mare in a more than friendly way.
“But you won’t.” She replied back, eyes on the same sight as he.
“You’re not that kind of man.”
“Perhaps you’ve been led to believe wrong eolin-i.” Finally, their eyes met.
“If I so chose, I could have you stripped and beaten for your complete and utter disrespect.” She chewed her bottom lip and he watched her lift the reins to her mare.
“You can. But you won’t.” She replied again and with a slight slap of the reins, the mare began to trot off. He gripped his set of reins and set off after her.
“Tell me then…what will I do to you?” He asked, horse now trotting.
“You’ll indulge me with your time like you used to when we were but children.”
“You’ll race me and later you’ll spar with me.” Turning her head back towards him, her eyes teased him.
“And I’ll win.” Like lightening she took off suddenly, laughter sweet and light as the wind rustled her hanbok. He felt his own laughter respond to her and commanded the horse into a run, catching up to her. Forcing it in front of her mare, he took her in. The braids that had traveled down her back like black rope were no more and hadn’t been for a long while. Her soft coily hair was short and fashioned in tiny little puffs, having been tied with gold colored twine. Her mahogany skin seemed to radiate and shimmer in the sun’s glow. Her lips were smooth and plump and they were begging to be kissed. The sliver of her exposed neck glistened with visible perspiration and he wanted to lick each and every drop of it away. Instead, he licked his lips.
“It would be in your best interest not to tempt me.” A slender eyebrow lifted.
“Tempt you? In what way do I tempt you my lord?” The way her voice softened at the end sent chills down his spine and he inhaled sharply through his nostrils.
“Enough now. Let’s ride back.”
“Only if you race me.”
“When I win, I want a reward.”
“Meat. Meat and my first taste of rice wine.”
“Should you win…you shall have what you desire.” Her face lit up and for a moment, a boyish grin came to his face.
“If I win, however, I want something from you Tiye.”
“You won’t win but name it.”
“A kiss.” She twisted her head towards him and the girlish delight faded. Shock replaced it.
“S-Surely I didn’t hear you right.”
“You heard me correctly eolin-i.” Smirking at her loss for words, he slapped the reins and took off, not giving her any time to prepare herself.
“WAIT! WANGJA-NIM!” The sound of her mare whinnying drifted up behind him and he forced the stallion into full speed, not allowing her to catch up.
“WANGJA-NIM!” Chuckling loudly, he eased the horse into a steady trot as the gates of the palace neared. Turning, he found her out of breath as she approached, a look of unhappiness on her face. Smirking, he dismounted the stallion and rubbed its shoulder as she came closer.
“You cheated.” She said with a dissatisfied grumble.
“You shouldn’t allow yourself to be so flustered.” He shot back with a deeper smirk. Coming to the mare’s side, he gently thanked her for the ride, petting her neck. Glancing up at her he let his hand fall from the animal and instead lifted them to rest on her hips.
“Let’s get you down now eolin-i.” Lifting her other leg out of the saddle, she gripped his shoulders and slowly slipped into his arms. Holding tight, he brought her down.
“Were you serious Wangja-nim? About your reward?” She asked, fingers still tight at his shoulders.
“I was.” A delightful shade of red bled into her beautiful brown cheeks and she glanced oft in the distance.
“If they see?” She asked, locking eyes with the guards that stood at the watch towers.
“Then they see.” Swallowing thickly, she took a shaky breath.
“We…we shouldn't do this. Isn't our friendship enough? Shouldn’t we be satisfied with this?” Leaning down, he pressed his lips against her jawline.
“We should. I should. But I’m not. I haven’t been for quite a while.”
“Is that all I am to you Tiye? Is that all that comes to mind when you think of me?” She bit her bottom lip but soon her gaze was brought upward and her lips were forced apart by his, his teeth soon taking her flesh into his mouth.
“I must change your view of me then.” He breathed before taking her mouth again, kiss intoxicating and deep, powerful and potent and the emotion behind it made her knees tremble. She all but melted against him and surrendered up to his will. When her lips were bruised with rosy passion, he let her free.
“You shall have your meat tonight. And rice wine shall touch these lips of yours before the night is through.” Stepping back from her, he grinned at her dazed dreamy expression.
“Shall we eolin-i?”
“Have you lost your mind?!” The furious eyes of his father threatened to burn him and the humored eyes of his brother taunted him.
“You gave her to me as a gift did you not?”
“She’s a cheonmin musori! How dare you insult me with a proposition like this!”
“He didn’t think you’d actually want to make her a royal concubine Cheol Su-ah.” His brother sneered, dragging his eyes across her.
“This vile thing was given to serve simply as a body to fuck. Something used to harness your male virility and gain experience. Who knew she’d turn into something more.” He inhaled sharply through flared nostrils.
“Can one musori change you so much Cheol Su?”
“She is not a cheonmin musori.” Glancing at her, his throat tightened.
“Little did you know when you presented her to me that you’d give me a princess Father.” At that, everyone in the room fell hush but his Tiye stood strong and proud. Her head lifted and shoulders pulled back. His brother’s laughter echoed in the silent hall but soon that stopped. He lifted a hand to wipe away his tears.
“Now I know you’ve lost every inkling of intellect you possess.”
“She is Tiye Aminat Khaliset, princess of the land known as Kush.” Another hush fell over the room and his father still furious stood. Coming down the steps, he towered over her taking her chin in between his fingers.
“Is what he speaks true?”
“Yes.” The hand that gripped her chin suddenly turned and licked her across the cheek, the hit loud.
“And you dared to hide this from us? Why?”
“Would it have mattered Taewang-nim? Would you have acknowledged my non-Korean status?” She kept her voice quiet and reverent, jaw clenched and eyes down. At that, the man withdrew his hand and narrowed his eyes into slits.
“So, you wish to make her royal concubine…a princess from a savage land.” At that, she lifted her eyes.
“My land is no land of savages nor are my people. It is thanks to us that you have your gold, incense and ivory.” At that jab, his hand shook desiring to slap her again but he didn’t.
“It makes sense why she is so good at sparring. I’ve seen their matches on more than one occasion. She’s definitely not an ordinary woman. ” His brother said with a smirk, standing. The red faced father to the man she’d fallen irrevocably in love with clenched his fists and forced his low gaze towards him.
“We have enough to deal with right now with the Mongols Cheol-Su. It isn’t the time to be playing with ideas of love.”
“I am simply asking that you keep your word Father. That I may do with her what I wish.” There was a long withdrawn sigh and the man pinched the bridge of his nose with fat swollen fingers.
“As of today, she will be royal concubine as per ordered of the King.” An aghast outcry came from the other officers in court, his mother, his sister and importantly, his promised Queen Consort Jae-Hwa.
“Prove to us that you are who you say you are!” She hissed, breaking past the arms that tried to restrain her.
“Mind your place!” He snarled back, advancing upon her like a lion.
“She may warm your bed but she will never be your Queen pyeha.” At that, she turned and left through the crowd of shocked courtiers.
Following the disappearing flutter of her hanbok, he tightened his jaw and turned to look at his little one. She needed no proving. He’d seen it with his own eyes. He’d witnessed the way her people swarmed her, bathing her in love and agonized worship. He’d seen the way her mother had sobbed over her return, having been stolen from them. He’d seen her in all of her glory, beautiful gold and bronze headdress and neck piece adorning her organic sienna skin, golden shimmers pressed and rubbed into the flesh.
“Tiye.” At long last, her watery eyes met his but they weren’t filled with sadness. They burned with a fire.
“Let us retire hm?”
“As you wish Wangja-nim.” She bowed her head before him and soon followed him towards his chambers. In that time they’d spent in her motherland, it had been one of the most transformative moments of his twenty three years. He’d seen her laugh, smile and blossom like a hyacinth. He’d come to know of the beauty of both Kush and the neighboring Egypt. He’d tasted the inviting nectar of love that dwelled in abundance betwixt those shapely legs of hers underneath a sky of a million stars; A confection more addicting than opium. Reaching for her hand, he gently pulled her against him, taking her face in his hands.
“One step at a time sarang.” Softly kissing her lips, he sighed against her high cheekbone.
“We must be patient. Bide our time well.” She licked her lips before wrapping her arms around his neck as he took her mouth again. Lifting her up into his arms, he slipped her legs around his waist.
“Goryeo will see a change. It must.” When he was satisfied with her naked body underneath him, shimmering in the low light of the lit candles, he spoke against her again.
“It will start with you as its Queen. As my Yeonwang.”