Yeonwang by DarkandLovely
Summary:

She would always be his Queen. In this life and in the next. 

 

 

 

 


Categories: Original Fiction Characters: None
Classification: None
Genre: Action-Adventure , Drama, Erotica, Friendship, Historical, Romance
Story Status: Active
Pairings: None
Warnings: Character Death, Graphic Violence, Original Characters, Racism, Sexual Content , Strong Sexual Content , Un-betaed , Work in Progress
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 47 Completed: No Word count: 156790 Read: 45879 Published: January 10 2020 Updated: January 08 2022

1. introduction by DarkandLovely

2. 하나 by DarkandLovely

3. by DarkandLovely

4. by DarkandLovely

5. by DarkandLovely

6. 다섯 by DarkandLovely

7. 여섯 by DarkandLovely

8. 일곱 by DarkandLovely

9. 여덟 by DarkandLovely

10. 아홉 by DarkandLovely

11. by DarkandLovely

12. 열하나 by DarkandLovely

13. 열둘 by DarkandLovely

14. 열셋 by DarkandLovely

15. 열넷 by DarkandLovely

16. 열다섯 by DarkandLovely

17. 열여섯 by DarkandLovely

18. 열일곱 by DarkandLovely

19. 열여덟 by DarkandLovely

20. 열아홉 by DarkandLovely

21. 스물 by DarkandLovely

22. 스물하나 by DarkandLovely

23. 스물둘 by DarkandLovely

24. 스물셋 by DarkandLovely

25. READ ME READ ME READ MEEEEE by DarkandLovely

26. 스물넷 by DarkandLovely

27. 스물다섯 by DarkandLovely

28. 스물여섯 by DarkandLovely

29. 스물일곱 by DarkandLovely

30. 스물여덟 by DarkandLovely

31. 스물아홉 by DarkandLovely

32. 서른 by DarkandLovely

33. 서른하나 by DarkandLovely

34. 서른둘 by DarkandLovely

35. 서른셋 by DarkandLovely

36. 서른넷 by DarkandLovely

37. 서른다섯 by DarkandLovely

38. 서른여섯 by DarkandLovely

39. 서른일곱 by DarkandLovely

40. 서른여덟 by DarkandLovely

41. 서른아홉 by DarkandLovely

42. 마흔 by DarkandLovely

43. 마흔하나 by DarkandLovely

44. 마흔둘 by DarkandLovely

45. 마흔셋 by DarkandLovely

46. 마흔넷 by DarkandLovely

47. 마흔다섯 by DarkandLovely

introduction by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

Well y'all, I tell you what... 10 days into the new year and my creativity has been BOUNCING OFF OF THE WALLSSSS. I haven't felt this creatively inspired in a LOONG time. I'm lovin it! Makes me feel refreshed! Here's another 2020 story plot. It's one I've wanted to write and I think even attempted to write in the past (though I think it was with a kpop idol). I definitely have a LOVE for Korean history and this will be set in the Goryeo time period (whereas the other story I think was set in Joseon). The Goryeo dynasty lasted from 918-1392. Also, I love learning about African histories as well and our lovely leading lady will hail from Nubia also known as Kush or Cush. Excited for this to begin! Hope you like the teasers! Leave comments below and let me know what you tink! 


 

PLOT:

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)




Tiye 

(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) 






TEASER ONE: 



    “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.





TEASER TWO: 



    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. 

    “I won’t?”

    “You’re not that kind of man.” 

    “Perhaps you’ve been led to believe wrong eolin-i.” Finally, their eyes met. 

    “Have I?”

    “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.”

    “Ah.”

    “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. 

    “Eolin-i.” 

    “Yes wangja-nim?”

    “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.”

    “Challenge accepted.”

    “When I win, I want a reward.”

    “Name it.”

    “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.” 

    “Wangja-nim…”

    “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?” 




TEASER THREE: 


    

    “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.” 

End Notes:

A/N: That was an intense start hehe. I'll leave the terms down below and pictures. FYI: I AM NOT FLUENT IN KOREAN Y'ALL. Mmkay now that that disclaimer has been put out there lol. What y'all think? I personally adore it and can't wait to sink my teeth in! I called it when I said this was gonna be a year of creativity cause baby I been gettin em back to back. See you soon! Love y'all! God bless!

D&L


Wangja-nim means Prince 

eolin-i means little one 

On AFF, y'all already know what hanbok is. For my readers on VC who may not know, hanbok is traditional Korean attire. You may have seen and know Joseon hanbok: 



But this is set in the Goryeo period so the hanbok looked like this:



( Up above picture is what princes' attire during that time period looked like.) 

cheonmin-  the commoners, the folks at the lowest of the lowest of the totem pole. Seen as vulgar and dirty, disgusting even. 

musori-slave girl 

Taewang-nim- means the greatest king. 

-nim is an honorific of high respect. 

 

하나 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

 

Hana 

 

(one) 

 

 

1045 AD    

 

    The wind carried the sound of the drum and it was bittersweet to her ears. Braids loose around her, she smiled down at the sleeping man who rested in her lap. 

    “Shall we go then my love?” Fingers nestled into the man’s onyx strands, she pressed a kiss to his forehead. 

    “Let us go before they try to capture us. Let us go to paradise.” Pulling out a small celadon vial, she smiled again as the man’s eyes opened and looked up at her. For the longest time, they looked into hers and a myriad of emotions traveled between them. At long last, he sighed and turned to press his face against her. 

    “There is nothing to fear my love.” She said softly, lightly scratching his scalp with short fingernails. Humming, he tightened his hug on her hips before laying as he did once before, body stretched out comfortably in front of her. 

    “What I feel is not fear Tiye.”

    “Is it peace that surrounds you? It is the only thing you should feel.” Twisting the small top off of the vial, she looked out across the horizon and with a small sigh, she lifted the vial to her lips, drinking some of the contents. 

    “You are the greatest king this world has seen and it shall remain. Now and forevermore.” She spoke softly as she glanced down at him. 

    “You’ve done so much for your people.” He smiled, eyes soft as they glanced up at her. 

    “Yes but now I must retire. Into your arms I must go.” 

    “And how warm they will be, enclosed around you.” He took a breath, eyes never having left hers. 

    “Welcome me then sarang.” Lifting the vial again to her lips, she took more than before into her mouth. Softly brushing his jaw with her fingertips, she leaned down and kissed him, letting the liquid therein saturate his mouth, coat his throat and travel down into his awaiting belly. Pulling back some, she wiped the excess from his lips and finally his gaze, intense, hard even drew away from her as his lids closed. 

    “In this life and in the next thousand lives, you…my love, my dearest…” Pain began to enter his expression but he fought through, continuing, 

    “You, my wife, friend, held in the highest regard, shall always be mine.” Tears began to well up in his eyes the same as hers but she softly… quietly kissed his away. 

    “As you wish it Taewang-nim.” He was wet with sweat, soaked from head to toe and she could see the light fading from his beautiful eyes. The love however, struck her to the core. He lifted a hand and touched her face, letting his fingers run sloppily across her skin. 

    “My beautiful…beautiful Yeonwang.” His hand fell away from her and she caught it, bringing it back up to her face. 

    “Sweet one… my dearest love…here I come….” Her mother tongue flowed from her lips softly as she began to feel the fiery tendrils of pain as they snaked through her body. At long last, not a moment later her body fell limp, fell forward on top of him, their entwined hands upon the dirt soon growing cold. 

 

***

 

    Theirs was a tale that was intentionally blotted out from the history books. Brought on by a hatred of a King, a King they rumored ruled with an iron fist. A tyrant who murdered babies still in the womb of the mother, cut out the hearts and tongues of innocent men. A King who made a savage a wife, brought her into the palace and defiled all that was sacred. This they reasoned was inexcusable. This they reasoned was unforgivable. 

    They made sure that the oral tradition carried this fact…this rumor proved true.  After all, how could the great Kingdom of Goryeo….now known in modern times as the Republic of Korea allow their way of life to be sacrificed? How could the people in power allow one man to destroy all the founding fathers had died to protect? One man who let his desire for a blood thirsty beast overtake his desire to lead his people, his country into the promised land. As so it was told. 

 

 

*** 

 

1018 AD

 

    A cry was heard as a small body was thrown to the ground. 

    “Seo Jun!” A woman came rushing from the inner corridor, concern all about her face. 

    “Why are you so rough with him? He’s only a child!” The boy watched as his mother stooped low and picked up the younger, cradling him to her bosom. 

    “Mi-gyung! You cannot baby the boy forever.” All three turned to see the King standing there, arms clasped behind his back. The woman swallowed thickly but let go of the child. 

    “Seo Jun is teaching him the way of the world. As he should. Let them spar as they like.” And like that, the two brothers began to spar, a match that would endure the remainder of their lives. 

 

 

*** 

 

 

    All of it was burned. Nothing remained. His entire existence had been removed from history. All because of a choice. A choice that he had to make not only as a King but as a man. Whoever said the ruler of men could not too have love lied. He made sure he had the best of both worlds. In his world, she lived and loved freely. He shaped an entire Kingdom around her and his interest with her kind had most definitely been piqued from a young age. It seemed nothing or no one could separate the bond the two had, even as children.

 

*** 

 

 

1030

 

    A pair of curious brown eyes peeked over the top of the long wooden post, the laborious sounds of the horses drifting into young ears. Small brown hands gripped the post as the sounds continued and the child was in complete awe. 

    “You’re not supposed to be out here.” Jumping, the caught girl lifted her gaze to see none other than Wang Cheol Su standing there, hands on his hips, chastising her with his gaze. She felt all the saliva in her mouth dry up and felt the heat of embarrassment as the once quiet sounds grew louder in pitch before all was quiet. 

    “My apologies Wangja-nim.” The gaze lifted to the two fatigued animals that now desired to rest after their midnight rendezvous. 

    “The horses woke you I assume.”

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” Lifting his arms and folding them across his chest, he felt a smirk come to his face. 

    “And your curiosity got the better of you didn’t it? You had to come see just what the noise was about hm?” Her mouth fixed itself to retort but he instead took hold of it and squeezed, making her pout. 

    “No matter how many times I tell you to stay in your chambers past dark…you never listen.” 

    “I’m…sorry Wangja-nim.” She struggled to get out and at that, he let go of her face, opting instead to laugh.  

    “When Father gave you to me, he didn’t know that he’d given over a handful.” 

    “Perhaps if there was more for me to do then I wouldn’t have to sneak out.” His eyebrow lifted. 

    “I…Forgive me… I wasn’t thinking.”

    “Agreed.” He lifted a finger and poked her forehead. 

    “You are forgiven tonight. But don’t let it happen again.” 

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” 

    “Come. Let us retire.” 

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” Eyes followed him as he began to walk past her and she was in awe for quite another reason. When had Wangja-nim gotten so tall? Just four years ago when she’d been brought to this place, he was the same height as her. But it seemed that his body decided that it would not stay the same. No, it decided that it would grow long like bamboo. 

    “Walk up Tiye.”

    “Yes.”  At fourteen summers, he was losing the infantile fat around his face and instead a chielsed jawline was forming in its stead. Eyes drifted up past shoulders that were growing broad to his hair. 

    He had rebelliously kept it short, soon after learning of her arrival. Rather, of how she arrived. He didn’t much seem to support the idea of chattel slavery even though influences of it existed in his very own country. Though he probably wouldn’t think so. But in her fourteen years on this earth, she’d seen enough about it to know that it was a disease that had spread worldwide. It didn’t care what color you were or what your background was. 

    Licking her lips, she toyed with imaginary braids before stopping herself. That’s right. It had been three years since the King, his father had forbade her to wear her hair as it was and forced his attendants to cut them off. Since then, she’d worn a short coily bush. As they neared his chambers, she swallowed some, grateful for the saliva that had returned. 

    “Tomorrow will be a day you might enjoy.” He said quietly as he let her in. 

    “Hm?”

    “Tomorrow my brother and I shall spar.” 

    “Ah.”

    “For that, we must rest. I’m sure you’ll prove to be a worthy opponent as always. Come.” He’d gone to lay on his bed of furs and soon she joined him, surrounded by his warmth. Sighing against her, he soon grew lax beside her and she took the time to observe him, turning underneath an arm that desired to keep her still. The moon streamed starlight across his face and she took in his eyelashes that fluttered against the tops of his cheekbones. The small short tuffs of air that traveled up from in between his lips. The hair he’d let free fell across a sweaty forehead.

     Closing her eyes, she pressed her face against his chest. Wangja-nim was a good person. Since her arrival, he’d not laid a hand to her, had not tried to take advantage of her or abuse her in any other way. Instead, he had patiently taught her his mother tongue, taught her how to read and write, albeit in secret. He was always there…always close by. With him, she felt safe. Protected. That feeling she hoped would never fade. 

 

 

*** 

 

    Fade it did not. The years continued to pass and in her own way she too decided that she would not stay the same. She’d stayed in her place… for the most part. Only twice had she received the lash for rebellious behavior. Both times of which Wangja-nim was most indignant. He too was reminded of his place. And hers. To the family, to the society in which she’d been forced into… she was dirt. Rather… she was lower than horse shit. And so, his favor while not disappearing completely waned a bit. At least while they were in public. When they were together, well… that was a different matter entirely. 

 

*** 

 

    1033

 

    She wasn’t aware that he had been watching her the entire part of fifteen minutes and counting. He intended to remain hidden for as long as he could stand it. Off alone, she stood by the bath and slowly began to remove her hanbok, a recycled old one that needed throwing away. His breath caught in his throat as she stepped out of it. Turning to face him, she reached up to start to unravel the gold twine she used to adorn her hair. Heat flushed him as his gaze slipped down her body. Pert breasts and small dusky nipples were clothed in smooth dark skin. The same golden twine encircled her waist and draped round hips. A small lush bush of hair the same coily texture as that on her crown hid treasures underneath and he felt his nether regions jolt as she turned back towards the water, her back facing him. 

    “So, this is where you are.”  Startled, he turned to face a grinning brother, arms crossed. 

    “Hyung-nim…”

    “Spying on your girl hm?” His eyes drifted past him and he knew just where they settled. 

    “It must be a blessing and a curse both.” 

    “What?”

    “Having an ass like that.” Anger hit him in the chest. 

    “I’ve never seen one so…plentiful.” 

    “We should leave her in privacy.” 

    “Should we?” Seo Jun glanced downward before smirking. 

    “Judging by the tent you’re pitching, I’d say the last thing you want to do is leave her in privacy.” 

    “Hyung-nim.” Chuckling lowly, his brother’s eyes found her again and this time, his gaze followed his line of vision. She lifted a rag from the water he’d ordered to be laced with perfume and rubbed it across the back of her neck and down across those tantalizing breasts, nipples now erect. 

    “At any moment, should you choose to, you can.” Lowering his gaze, he clenched his jaw shut. 

    “Right this minute you could stop hiding like a little rat, go in there and take her. Bend her over the edge and fuck the temptation out of her.” The anger in his chest had spread to his fists and he wanted more than anything to strike him. His brother glanced at her one last time before a lecherous grin slipped up onto his face. 

    “You’re the second most desired man in the Kingdom, save for myself. She wouldn’t dare refuse you. She knows the consequences she risks by doing so.”  It hurt to swallow but he forced himself to do so, eyes lifting to meet his. 

    “Sometimes, Father and I worry about you. Worry that you’re far too concerned with what that musori thinks. How she feels. Remember who you are Cheol Su. Put no one above you, be it a cheongmin musori or not.”  Finally, he left him alone and he took a deep breath as he heard water splash and feet step onto the ground. Without another glance at her, he left her alone, chest tight with emotion. 

 

*** 

 

    When she found him, he was dressed for a ride. Smiling, she leaned against the ledge as he mounted. Once again, like he always had, he let his hair free; refused to tie it or secure it. Despite the nagging from Wangbi-nim. He always managed to do what he wanted when he wanted. With not much consequence. For that, she had to say she envied her friend. 

    “Are you coming?” Snapping out of her trance, she found him smiling at her, reins in hand, ready to take off. 

    “I would love to…but…”

    “You’ve nothing better to do eolin-i. Come, ride with me.” At his nickname for her, she smiled softly and crossed her arms as she slowly approached him. 

    “What if I don’t want to go?” Like so many years before, his eyebrow lifted. But this time, a most unsettling grin accompanied it. 

    “Are you refusing my order?” Before she could stop herself, she answered quickly. 

    “Perhaps.”  What she didn’t expect was for him to dismount his horse and approach her, taking her cheeks in between his fingers. Squishing them together, he held on a bit firmer than he ever had, making her eyes grew wide. 

    “I’d advise you don’t. Ever.” Leaning down, he brought her face closer. 

    “Whatever it is I ask of you it is expected that you do it with no hesitation.” She kept still as his eyes dropped to her puckered lips before letting her free.

    “Not many are as lenient with you as I am Tiye. You must remember that.” On the onset of her reply, a throat cleared loudly. The two turned to find the Queen, Princess and Queen consort all standing there, looking most displeased. 

    “Cheol Su-ah, I presume you’re about to ride?” The Queen asked, lips tight and thin. 

    “Yes Mother. I am about to practice archery.”

    “Ah. Good. You need the practice.” At his offended expression, his sister the Princess Mishil began to laugh. 

    “What say you of his archery skills musori?” The shrewd eyes of the Queen turned onto her and she kept her head bowed, eyes on the ground. 

    “They are most satisfactory my lady.” She offered no other reply but a grunt. 

    “I think I’ll ride with you Cheol Su-ah.” Lifting eyes but a brief second across the girl, she felt her throat grow tight. Jae-Hwa was her name and she was promised to be wife to Wangja-nim. She hadn’t liked her from the start but it wasn’t her place to voice any opinion. Jae Hwa was from what she had seen a typical Korean noble woman. No guts. No strength. Content to sit by and allow their men to rule both their lives and decisions. 

    “I will ride alone.” A childish pout came across her face. 

    “This is how you care for your visiting guests Cheol Su-ah? I’ve come all this way just to spend time with you.” At no reply, she didn’t need to look at her to know her eyes were on her. 

    “Tell me then… pyeha. Have you heard the latest rumor on the street?”

    “I care not for those sorts of things.”

    “This one you might to hear if not to also correct it.” A devious little smile spread across her lips. 

    “They say you treat your slave better than you do your own family. That you care more for her than you do for your own mother and father.” 

    “Anyone who believes that is a fool.”

    “Are they really? As far as I’ve known her, she’s never known hard labor. You keep her tucked in your chambers at night doing God knows what at unholy hours. She eats only the choicest of foods. And I hear she bathes in perfume every night. It’s almost as if…she is your Queen consort and not I.” 

    “Enough!” The bark in his voice was enough to startle even her and she kept her eyes on the ground as he walked past her up to Jae Hwa. 

    “She belongs to me and me alone. What I do or don’t do with, to, or for her is none of your business.” Jae Hwa grew quiet as he neared closer still, nose almost touching hers. 

    “As for your insufferable jealousy, it would be wise to see it removed.” Turning on his foot, he mounted his horse. 

    “I will ride alone. Stay here and keep my sister company. I’m sure there is something you two can do.” 

    “As for her? Your beloved little musori?” 

    “As of this day forth, she shall sleep in the servant’s quarters. If it will appease you, I will write a public statement to dispel any more rumors of the like. Make no mistake about it, I have not forgotten what she is and who she is to me. Nor has she to I.” With a firm slap of the reins, he took off, leaving a cloud of dust in his wake and it blinded her for the smallest minute. 

    “Girl,” Turning eyes towards the three women, she for the first time since she was a child felt bare, open and vulnerable. Unprotected and susceptible. 

    “The cook needs help. Help her prepare tonight’s dinner.” 

    “Yes Wanbi-nim.” Bowing low, she didn’t get up until their feet disappeared from out of her side view. Eyes teary, she clutched the front of her hanbok and preceded to head to the kitchen.


End Notes:

A/N: Here's chapter 1! hehe. Hope you enjoy it!!  D&L

terms: 

sarang means love. 

As mentioned in the Foreward, Taewang means Great King. 

-nim is a term of respect. 

yeonwang as we know means queen

Wangja-prince

Hyung- means eldest brother or big brother 

musori- slave girl 

Cheonmin as mentioned earlier is a position on the caste system. The lowest of the low. Akin to the untouchables. 

Wangbi- Wife of the King 

Eolin-i- Little one 

Pyeha- Your Majesty

 

 

Seo Jun, Cheol Su's brother:

 

Mishil, Cheol Su's sister:

 

Jae Hwa, Queen Consort to Cheol Su:

 

The King of Goryeo:

The Queen of Goryeo:

둘 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


 


 


Dul 


(two) 

    He’d hurt her. He knew he did. The minute he forced her out of his chamber into the common quarters he knew what it felt like. A ripping betrayal. And he couldn’t sugarcoat it. That’s exactly what it was.. But…no matter how much he cared for her, how much he had befriended her… spoiled her even… he could not forget. He was Wang Cheol Su, prince consort of the Goryeo Kingdom. If he was going to gain the trust of his people… he needed to show backbone. A knock at his door roused him from his thoughts. 

    “Enter.”

    “So you threw her out huh?” Reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose, he set disinterested eyes on the leering grin on his elder brother’s face.  

    “Hyung-nim, I’m very busy right now. Can this wait?”

    “I have a request to ask you.”

    “What is it?”

    “Can I have a go at her?” At that, his writing hand paused and the ink started to stain the parchment. 

    “I’m…I’m sorry?”

    “You heard me little brother. I want to fuck the girl.” Forcing the pen down, he slowly stood, eyes hard as they took him in. 

    “The answer is no.” 

    “Why?” 

    “Because I said so. No. Fuck no.” He growled. Seo Jun frowned, eyebrow raised. 

    “I remember the day Father brought her to you. You’ve kept her all to yourself since that day. Selfish bastard.”

    “You have my answer. Now get out.”

    “She is as good as mine as she is yours little brother. As long as she doesn’t have your name branded on her, I will have what I want.” 

    “Don’t provoke me further Hyung-nim. My word is final.” Other than a chuckle, he offered nothing else as he strolled out of his office. Getting up, he quickly exited and headed towards the servant’s quarters. Entering the large parlor, he scanned the servants for her. She wasn’t here. Inhaling sharply through his nostrils, he went out the back and felt relief come to him as he finally caught sight of her. There she was in the horse stalls, kneeling low with a pail of water. Taking a careful breath, he slowly approached her. She’d cleaned all the horses except one. His. 

    “Need help with that one?” At his voice, she looked up, having set the pail of water down by the stall. 

    “No. I don’t.” Her clipped voice let him know she was still upset. 

    “Tiye-”

    “Go back to the main house Wangja-nim. I wouldn’t want you to dirty your hands. Much less be seen with the likes of a cheonmin musori.” She tried to walk past him but he grabbed her by the waist, stopping her. 

    “Let me explain.”

    “What is there to explain? You made yourself perfectly clear the other day where we stand. No matter how much you ‘spoil’ me Wangja-nim.” 

    “Stop. Please.” He’d whispered the words into her ear and the sharp inhale let him know he had her undivided attention. 

    “I deeply apologize eolin-i. For hurting you. It wasn’t my intention.” She swallowed but otherwise kept quiet. 

    “If I lose you then I’ll have lost everything.”

    “Is that so?” Lifting a hand from her waist, he gently took her cheek in his palm and brought her gaze up to his. 

    “You mean more to me than words can express Tiye. You’re the only one I can be me around. You know that.” Her cheeks grew red and she bit her lip, nodding only once. Letting go of her cheek, he swallowed thickly and she took one step back from him, nothing more. 

    “In that moment Wangja-nim… you…you made me feel unsafe. Something I never thought I would feel around you. In that one moment, I felt as though you would cast me aside for your own benefit again and again if needed. I felt disposable.” Pulling her back against him, he pressed his nose against her hair, the smell of spice filling his nostrils. 

    “You are anything but disposable to me. For having made you feel this way I am deeply regretful. The last thing I want is for you to feel as though you cannot come to me when you need warmth. Protection. Or safety. Of everything else Tiye, I want to be your safe place. Where you too can continue to be you without judgement.” She slowly lifted her arms to press them against his chest and he didn’t let her go until she made him, gently pushing him back with her hands. 

    “Your apology. I accept.” Smiling, he lifted his sleeves. 

    “Dong Il can be stubborn if you don’t work quickly.” Returning his smile with one of her own, she nodded and together they began to clean the beast. 



*** 


    “Look at them. Have they always been that close?” 

    “Jae Hwa-”

    “Just a moment ago he was hugging her as a man would a lover.” 

    “My brother has always had a soft spot for that one. She’s his favorite and therefore he spoils her rotten.” 

    “I don’t understand what he sees in her.” 

    “You speak as though Cheol Su is in love with the girl.” Mishil laughed at the thought before forcing her friend away from the open window. 

    “As Mother has always told me, men have their favorites. Regardless of if they are wed or not. It is simply in their nature and thus we should let it be.” 

    “Hm.” 

    “Enough about them. I want to do something fun.” 



*** 


    

    After cleaning Dong Il, the two leaned back against the ledge, watching as he happily munched on some carrots and lettuce. 

    “He feels much better. Thank you.” She waved it off with a cluck of her tongue. 

    “Dong Il does so much for us. It is only right we take care of him too.” 

    “Mm.” Smiling at her, he observed her as she sighed and leaned her head back, the wind cooling what he was sure was overheated skin. Just as he had then as a boy, perhaps he found Tiye more beautiful now than ever. Sure, she was considerably shorter than he but everything else about her was…was ideal. 

    “Why are you staring at me so hard Wangja-nim? Do I have horse dung on my face?” Clearing his throat, he ran fingers through his hair. 

    “I miss your hair.” She blinked, confusion etching into her features. 

    “My…hair?” 

    “Before Father had it cut, it was fascinating. Remember I used to sit and watch you braid it?” She reached up and ran fingers across her short hair. 

    “Yeah… I remember you near foaming at the mouth with excitement.”

    “I was not.”

    “Was too and you know it.” Chuckling, he turned his body towards her. 

    “They say a woman’s hair is her glory.” 

    “Do they?”

    “Yes.” Coming towards her, he gently laid a hand on top of her head. 

    “Even with your hair gone, your glory shines brighter than ever before.” Her cheeks flushed girlishly but she held his gaze strongly. 

    “My glory?”

    “My Father tried to destroy your beauty by cutting your hair. Perhaps to make me, my brother and all the other men find you repulsive. Inhuman.” Taking hold of the short coils, he grew closer still until he had backed her up flush against the post. 

    “But the contrary has occurred. Your hair was indeed beautiful and I desire to see it long once again. But, without it… even still, you are the most beautiful woman in the Kingdom.” The look in his eyes was one she wasn’t familiar with and it caused her body to react in such an unfamiliar way. Caused her womanhood to throb wantonly. 

    “I….I don’t know what to say… to that.” Letting go of her hair, he swallowed tightly and forced himself back, away from her. 

    “When a man calls you beautiful, one thanks him eolin-i.” 

    “You find me beautiful Wangja-nim? A woman they say is not worthy to even look you in the face?” 

    “If I deem you worthy then you are.” 

    “But I am no Jae Hwa-nim. Nor am I Wangtaejabi-nim. I am Tiye. Just Tiye.” Before he could reply, his father’s advisor approached them. She immediately distanced herself further from him, bowing her head lowly. 

    “Bo Hui-ah, what is it?” 

    “Your father is requesting you Wangja.”

    “I see.”

    “Please if you will follow me.” She watched him leave, and once alone lifted a hand to press against her fast beating heart. Dong Il grunted, pushing his muzzle against her backside. 

    “Hey you! Don’t push.” The animal grunted again, blowing stubborn air out through his nostrils. Smiling to herself, she lifted his head and began to pet his nose. 

    “You two are just alike. You and your Master.” The deep black eyes stared at her before they closed and he began to nuzzle her. 


***




    Stepping into deep red and gold corridors, he met the back of his father. 

    “Father. I have arrived.” 

    “Take a seat.” Sitting, he couldn’t quite make sense of the dread that rose in the pit of his stomach. 

    “Your brother tells me that you’ve grown distracted. You’ve invested so much of your energy into one little girl that you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.” 

    “Father-”

    “Silence!” His voice was deeply angered and he turned to face him. 

    “You have an obligation to this country Cheol Su! No amount of bedding the little bitch will take away from that fact.” He spoke not, throat tight as he watched his father begin to pace. 

    “You know why I gave her to you. For what purpose she serves. Have you been taking advantage of that purpose?”For the briefest second, he thought about lying. Surely, it would please him knowing that his son was a man both in the field as in the bed. But, his integrity would not allow him to do so. 

    “Not as of yet.” The man let incredulous eyes find him. 

    “You are seventeen summers Cheol Su. What man does not want to hone his skills?”

    “If by honing my skills you mean fuck every thing that has a hole then I’m not interested.” His father grew red in the face. 

    “Watch your tone boy.” 

    “I’m not Hyung-nim.” At that, his father was quiet and he began to pace again. 

    “In many ways Seo Jun should be like you. He is immature in a lot of ways. Ways that I cannot allow for the one to be King. Hence why I have chosen you as my successor. You needn’t be reminded of that fact. I’ve done things to upset the natural order and because of that, he holds resentment. As his father, I will accept whatever anger he has.” 

    “How is Tiye related to any of this?” Turning, his father made direct eye contact.

    “I have heard that she spars well. Is there truth to that?”

    “There is.” 

    “Fights better than any man?”

    “Her small size gives her speed and she displays a fearlessness that is unmatched.” 

    “I want to see it.” His mouth dropped open. 

    “What?”

    “If she’s no use to you in the bed chamber then she should be of use elsewhere.”

    “Father…I’m not sure I’m following.”

    “You are set to travel to Tang territory in a few months time. Have you mentioned it to her yet?”

    “No.”

    “I want you to take her with you. If she is as good of a fighter as you proclaim then she can be used well.” 

    “Isn’t the Song Dynasty in threat of being invaded?”

    “As are we.”

    “And what do you hope to accomplish with Tiye going with me?”

    “You need protection Cheol Su. Right now your archery skills are not up to par. Your skill with the sword is admirable but it is not at the same level as Seo Jun’s. Should you run into any problems, you need to be able to fight well and fight hard.” The man sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. 

    “As humiliating as it sounds, that musori might be the only person who can shape you into a King worthy of ruling Goryeo.” He inhaled deeply.

    “When she has fulfilled her purpose then I will consider allowing her to stay in our Kingdom. The thought to sell her has come across my mind on more than one occasion.”

    “You presented her to me as a boy. How can you now say you mean to separate us?”

    “I gave her to you and I most certainly can take her away. It is up to me to see what she is capable of. And at the present moment, she has none. Other than enjoying privileges only a royal would. Eating our food. And angering both the Queen and the Queen consort.” Before he could reply, his father stood. 

    “I expect to see a match between you two within the coming days. And should she fight to my liking then she will accompany you on this mission.” With a wave from a dismissed hand, he grit his teeth as he exited, fury raging through his blood. That bastard. That fucking bastard. Turning the corner, he headed right for his Hyung’s chambers. Pushing past the attendants, he slid open the door, eyes falling to a predictable scene. He had hold of a chamber maid’s backside and plowed into her mercilessly. The high pitched moaning from the woman was quickly muffled as he shoved her head down into one of the pillows. 

    “Are you satisfied?” Lifting eyes from the woman, they turned onto him. In spite of his intrusion he kept going, hips never losing pace. 

    “With what am I satisfied little brother?”

    “Using Tiye as a sacrifice for your agenda.” 

    “What. Agenda. Is. That?” He asked, grabbing hold of the woman’s hair and forcing her head up. He felt disgust as his eyes fell across the woman, now sobbing. From pain, pleasure or both it could not be determined. But, the overwhelming amount of pity he felt for her made his stomach twist into knots. 

    “I will prove you wrong.” Is all he offered and swiftly turned on his feet, the sounds of his brother’s release making bile rise to the back of his throat. The cards had been dealt and he’d go along with this little chess match. He’d present himself a sacrifice first before ever allowing any harm to come to her. That much he knew. Whether he could fight ‘good’ or not, one thing was certain. When presented with life and death, he would most certainly choose life. Fight for it. And he would win. 

     The wind rustled his hair as he stepped out into the warm air of the day. Eyes finding her as she laughed and spoke to his steed, he swallowed thickly. No matter what proved the outcome of this, he wouldn’t let Seo Jun Hyung have her. Not while he still had breath in his lungs. 

 

End Notes:

A/N: Here is chapter 2 <3 :D Thank you for the love so far! I appreciate it and adore each and every one of y'all! hehe. Leave thoughts, comments, concerns as always hehe. Subscribe, tell a friend, upvote even I appreciate it all hehe. God bless! See you soon! 

D&L

셋 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

Set 

(three) 


The seas were always so beautiful at that time of morning. When the sun decided to kiss the horizon and show its love to the expanse, bleeding shades of lilac, reds and oranges as its offering. The gentle lap of the waves always calmed her and mornings like these she enjoyed feeling the sand gather between her toes. 

    “Tiye.” Turning towards the warm voice, the face of her mother appeared. Face painted with a declaration of war, small delicate nubs decorated the length of her jawline, covered in the paint. Her hair, long thick braids had been fashioned as if she wore a crown, some of then jutting from her scalp as to resemble the pointy golden spikes the pale faced royals wore across the sea. 

    “Mama…” The woman smiled gently, reaching to tease her own braids. 

    “It is time to awaken my child. It is time to fight.”

    “Fight? What am I to fight for?” 

    “The one who owns your heart.” Confusion etched into her features. 

    “There is no one who owns my heart.” Her mother laughed and it was deep and warm, like it always had been. Strong but loving. 

    “You shall see child. What it is I speak of. And then you must decide what you will do.” Her heart began to beat faster and before she could reply, the look of before on her mother’s face was one of horror. She was further away than she had been before which struck her as strange. 

    “TIYE!” Turning towards the sea, a man came at her with an ax and swung.

 

*** 

 

    Been taken by surprise, she didn’t have enough time to run and right before it collided with her skull, she awakened. She screamed, shooting up, clutching the pallet beneath her. 

    “Yah! Shut up! You’re too loud!” One of the other servant girls complained, turning away from her. 

    Lifting shaky hands to her face, she felt the sticky sweat. The fear. The confusion. Pulling back the covers, she took her time standing, her chima soaked with sweat. Desperate for the moisture to cool, she slipped outside, quietly taking in the cool morning air. Today was the day. The day she was supposed to spar with Wangja-nim. He’d told her about it days earlier and from the moment he said it, something about it seemed off. He’d told her that it wasn’t going to be a play fight. She’d have to really fight. The seriousness in his face and in his voice gave her chills. Something was not right. 

    “So you are awake then.” Turning, she found him standing in front of her, clothed in his sokgot and an elaborate jeoguri. He appeared to have just awakened himself, his hair messy, eyes heavy as though he hadn’t slept well. 

    “Is it time?” She asked softly, suddenly wishing she’d grabbed her own jeoguri, the air now chilling her bare shoulders. 

    “Not quite yet but soon it will be. Father wishes to commence with this early.”

    “Will you come to get me?” Sighing, he lifted his gaze and their eyes met. 

    “I will.” 

    “Wangja-nim-”

    “You look cold.” Stepping up the few stairs, he untied the small belt to his jeoguri and opened it, inviting her to step into its warm confinement. An invitation she accepted and for a moment, she reveled in his body heat as it chased the shudders and chill away. Closing the jeoguri around her, he wrapped arms around her, holding her close. 

    “This doesn’t look appropriate. Not in the least bit.” She said softly, face pressed against his chest. 

    “Why didn’t you bring your jeoguri?” He asked, completely ignoring her statement. 

    “I…I hadn’t thought about it honestly.” He lowered his chin to rest atop her head. 

    “You’re afraid.” He said matter of factly, glancing down at her as she snuggled closer underneath him. 

    “You are not?”

    “You needn’t fear anything Tiye.”

    “It is not the fight only that I fear.”

    “Hm?”

    “My going with you to Song. The Mongol threat we have to endure. That is what frightens me.” 

    “You don’t think you could defeat them?” Defiance spread in her expression and he delighted in it as she lifted her face, eyes full of sparks. 

    “My abilities should not be doubted.” 

    “I am aware eolin-i. Very much aware.” She finally pulled away from him, lifting fingers to tie his jeoguri closed. 

    “I should get inside before someone sees us.” He didn’t argue that and let her slip away, back inside. Heart beating rapidly against her chest, she went back to her pallet and laid back down, lifting her jeoguri to cover her face. 

 

***

 

    What had awakened him was a nightmare so jarring that it took several minutes for him to convince himself that it wasn’t real. He had gotten up and went as quickly as he could to the commoner’s chambers, not bothering to even dress properly. He had to see her, had to quiet the fear that dwelled in his mind. Seeing her standing just outside the door brought a relief to him that he would be rather embarrassed to admit. Dressed in only her chima, it was apparent that she too had suffered throughout the night, some mystery nightmare that too had disturbed her. 

    “Good rising Wangja-nim.” He bowed his head to the attendants that passed him, wakened and ready to get the machine that was the palace up and running for the morning. Opening his doors, he sighed heavily as he laid eyes on the rumpled disarray of his bed. Even so…. the dream itself was far too lucid to be ignored. 

 

*** 

 

    He’d come back from a ride and from the burn in his hamstrings he was satisfied that it had been a good productive one. He’d gone out early to practice archery and to his chagrin had hit ever mark. Belly howling with hunger, he went in search of Tiye. When his search had been unsuccessful, he drew near to his chambers. Where oh where was the little one? Surely, she had to be hungry. 

    The sound of a woman crying in agony paused his steps. Turning, he faced an empty corridor. A deep masculine rumble drifted into the airwaves and he turned back in the direction of his chamber. Quietly, he approached, step at a time. The sounds grew louder the nearer he grew and once again, a woman screamed out, tears and torture in her voice.

     Lifting shaky fingers to the door, he slid it open cautiously and at the sight within, he grew stiff, every muscle in his body frozen. There on his bed of furs his brother groaned as he thrust into a brown small woman, bound and forced underneath him. His hands had hold of her backside and gave a series of brutally hard thrusts until he climaxed, pulling his member from her and spraying his seed across her abused red cheeks. She wept, face having been forced down into the pillows and at a hard smack to her tender flesh, collapsed completely. Turning, the brothers made eye contact. 

    “If you won’t use her for what she’s here for, I will.” Standing up over the broken abused woman, he proceeded to urinate on her, laughing as she tried to scurry away. When he was done, he calmly tucked himself back into his trousers and faced him completely. 

    “I’ll do it again as many times as I choose. You’re too much of a coward to stop me.” 

 

*** 

 

    Throwing his jeoguri on the floor, he stepped into a bath, fresh and hot. Jaw tight, he punched the basin underneath the water, ignoring the burst of pain that traveled down his arm. Lifting his bruised hand from the water, he gripped the side of the tub and allowed the attendants to wash him. 

    “Wangja-nim, your hand needs tended to.”

    “It’s fine.” He dismissed, motioning for his robe. Stepping out, he was silent as they clothed him. 

    “Will you secure your hair today Wangja-nim?” One of the servants asked, his eyes averted. His first inkling was to refuse. Swallowing, he glanced at his hand, knuckles now starting to swell. 

    “Yes. I will.” 

    “As you wish.” 

 

*** 

 

    She sat in the quiet room, eyes closed and hands clasped. 

    “Musori, come with us.” Lifting, she stood still as the door opened to reveal Wangja-nim. Her breath caught in her throat as her gaze traveled across his appearance. A form fitting grey blue jeoduri trailed down the length of him, a matching belt with gold clasp enclosed around his waist. Navy concealed his arms and up above, his normally mussed obsidian locks were swept up and encased in a metal holder. 

    “Is it my turn to ask why you’re staring at me so intensely?” Feeling her cheeks warm, she composed herself and met his eyes. 

    “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you this way.” He looked every bit a prince and it hurt to even glance upon him. 

    “The hair. I know. It’s been a long long time.”

    “What made you decide to put it up?”

    “Every once in a while even rebellious princes need to show maturity right?” She smiled some but grew still as he lifted his hands to tease her shoulders, bare. 

    “They didn’t find it necessary to clothe you properly I see.” 

    “I must have wide range of movement. You’re lucky I didn’t ask them to hike up my chima.” 

    “So you requested this?”

    “How else am I to fight Wangja-nim?” 

    “Surely not half naked.” He replied, disapproval in his voice. 

    “Well then, perhaps I should be completely naked.”

    “And this is why you’ve gotten the lash twice now.” He took hold of her mouth and made her pout, his childish habit of squishing her cheeks together making him smirk. 

    “You don’t know when to be quiet.” 

    “You’re saying it gets me in trouble?”

    “That’s exactly what I’m saying.”  

    “Well…”

    “You would think after this time you would have learned.” Playfully forcing her lips to poke out further, he chuckled. 

    “What else must it take to tame this tongue of yours?” Whining in protest, she was glad when Duk, a court attendant appeared in the doorway. 

    “Pyeha, it is time to escort the girl to the courtyard.” Letting go of her cheeks, he straightened up with a clearing of the throat. 

    “Let us be on our way then eolin-i.” 

 

*** 

 

    Up ahead, Taewang and Wanbi-nim sat in red and gold chairs and a man whose back was facing her, twirled around a short sword. At her arrival, Wanbi-nim grew pale as she took in her appearance. Taewang-nim sat stiff and tall, lips pinched together. 

    “Your opponent is here Seo Jun.” Turning, he grinned at her, eyes sliding down her body. 

    “So this is how you show up to a fight? Perhaps seduction is what you aim for today musori. In which case it’s clearly working.”  

    “Father, this was not the agreement.” She eyed the man who called himself Wangja-nim’s eldest brother as he licked his lips, feasting on the sight of her shoulders. 

    “Seo Jun is a formidable opponent for your slave. You are not fit to spar with her. Not only will you show bias but you will show mercy. Seo Jun on the other hand will do neither of those two things.” 

    “Father-”

    “Enough! It is decided. Take your place and let the match begin.” Glancing at her, he took his seat next to his father, all the while his clenched fists were losing color. His jaw was tight and he most certainly did not look pleased. 

    “Come on whore of my brother’s. I am ready to get on with my day.” Turning cold eyes onto him, she outstretched her hand as an attendant placed a short sword in her palm. Turning to face him, she watched as he paced on each foot before he charged at her. Lifting her sword to block the attack, she grunted as he kicked her in the stomach, sending her back. Pain spread through her abdomen and she took a harsh breath before getting back up. He charged at her again but this time she ducked and twisted out of the way of his oncoming foot. Darting to the side, she struck him, nicking the sleeve of his hanbok. Licking his lips, he grinned. 

    “That a girl. Come to me.” 

 

*** 

 

    He gripped the arms of the chair so hard he felt like his hands were going to fall off.  At this point, he was sweating and he watched with grave concern as Tiye swerved out of the path of Hyung-nim’s sword. At this point in the battle, she had a few wounds, though shallow, they were there. And Seo Jun had a few to the surprise of everyone watching. She’d sliced his arm and cheek. The wound on his cheek would heal without much delay but the one on his arm was likely to scar permanently. Even in this clearly unfair fight, she was trying to show mercy on him. They played cat and mouse for a bit longer before the unthinkable happened. Her chima had drifted up some, enough to blind her sight as she tried to evade his attack. Seo Jun used it as the perfect opportunity to strike her, punching her hard in the face. She went down, obviously blindsided. At that, he stood. 

    “Enough.” He shouted at them but he advanced upon her and took her by the throat. Lifting his fist, he struck her again on the same cheek, blood now starting to ooze from her mouth. She reached up to scratch him, temporarily freeing herself. Swinging her sword, she made a gash on his back and turned to kick him but he grabbed her leg and pulled her down on the ground. Easily, he overpowered her purely by body weight alone and it seemed to crush her. She struggled, hands coming to grip his forearms as he once again took hold of her throat, strangling her. 

    He darted toward the table and grabbed whatever he could get his hands on, running down towards them. Pressing the blade against his throat, he spoke lowly. 

    “Let her go Hyung-nim.” He however held on, causing her to fight for air, legs flailing out underneath him. He slashed the side of his neck and that caused him to finally free her. She coughed and gasped, holding her own neck. 

    “She’s not worth shit. Can’t be used as a fuck. Can’t be used as a warrior.” Seo Jun sneered, ignoring the blood that seeped down the side of his neck. 

    “She’s better off dead.” In that moment, he lost it. Lost reason. He charged for him and together they fell backwards. Lifting his fist, he punched him in the jaw. They tousled on the ground before he landed another solid hit to his face. The dirt from the ground came up into his eyes and he fell back, having been hit in the mouth. 

    “The little bitch is worthless. And yet you take up for her so passionately.” Seo Jun taunted, kicking him in the side. 

    “You don’t even defend your own sister the way you defend her. It makes me wonder what kind of magic potion she feeds you to get you to act this way.” Before he could land another hit, their father finally stood. 

    “Duk, Hyak, take the-” A foot came out of nowhere and smashed Seo Jun’s face, sending him to the ground, unconscious. Through his mess of hair that had come from his holder, he watched as Tiye fell back to the ground, now panting. Everyone’s eyes fell to her. 

    “Wangja-nim!” The two men rushed to his brother who laid out cold. 

    “Taewang-nim, the girl should be arrested for this offense!” 

    “She will not be arrested. This time, she will be granted a pardon.” His reply caught them off guard.

    “Taewang-nim-”

    “Take my son and tend to his wounds.” Coming down the stairs, he came to stand right in front of her. 

    “Cheol Su.” Lifting, he watched as he turned to face him. 

    “Take the girl to be treated.” 

    “Where does that leave this farce?” 

    “I have seen enough. She and three others will accompany you on your journey.” Jaw tight, his father stepped out of the way as he knelt to lift Tiye into his arms. 

    “Seo Jun’s wounds however shallow they might be may never heal. Being beaten by a woman is a hard pill to swallow.” Eyes landing on his unconscious body being taken into the palace, they soon turned back to him. 

    “She has proven herself. Seo Jun has proven himself. Now, it is your turn.” 

End Notes:

A/N: IT'S FRIYAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! WHOOHOOOOOO! hehe. Can y'all feellll the LOVE tonighttttttt? lol. I'm tellin y'all when Cheollie and Tiye finally make love y'all KNOW it's bout to be on FIRE. lol. Their chemistry is so palpable man. The tension just DRIPS off of them. I LUH DEM! OKAY! Sooo.... Cheollie's daddy tried to set our baby girl UP but you see how that back fired huh? He ain't playin with a full deck and neither is Seo Jun. Cheol Su need to be very careful who he lets in his circle. 

I've got pictures down below for you! Love you and see you soon! God bless!

D&L

 

 terms:

chima- type of skirt worn together with jeogori.

jeoduri-is the garment that covers the arms and upper part of the wearer's body. Think of it likeeee a jacket? Or coat almost?

 

 

Park Taemin providing the visual of our baby Cheol Su all beat up (le sniff):

Cheol Su's hanbok:

넷 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 ** SEXUAL ASSAULT IS WITHIN. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED** 


 



Net 


(four) 


 

 

    “For the last time, I’m fine.” 

    “Quit moving!” 

    “It is but a little flesh wound.”

    “Be still!” Groaning in surrender, he sat in front of her as she inspected him for other wounds, having discovered the one by his mouth. She gingerly cleaned up the blood surrounding his mouth and lightly dabbed at the wound until it stopped bleeding. 

    “Wangja-nim, I need you to remove your-” Standing up, he unfastened the belt to his jeoduri. Sliding it off, he loosened the outer robes until he had them hanging down around his waist. Looking her into the eyes, he sat back down. She gathered her breath and pressed small fingers to his chest. She drifted them down and around his side, glancing at his back. Coming back around, they dropped to his abdomen, lightly gliding across the defined muscles housed on his stomach. He grabbed her hand. 

    “I told you I was fine.” 

    “I-I had to make sure.” He stood, her hand still in his. 

    “You’re the one who needs assessed. Sit.” 

    “Wangja-nim-”

    “I won’t ask again Tiye. Sit.” Pouting, she plopped down in the chair. The taupe coloring of her chima had been soiled with blood and it angered him. Reaching up, he grabbed some antiseptic and pressed it to the first obvious wound on one of her shoulders. She hissed, gripping the chair. 

    “I would never have put you in this situation had I known.” He spoke quietly as he carefully roamed her form for others. There. One right above one of her breasts. She seemed to notice it too and her breath was nervous. 

    “You can get a female attendant to tend to the rest.” 

    “No.” He answered, fixing another pad of linen with antiseptic. 

    “What?”

    “Pull it down just a tad. Enough that I can see it clearly.” He instructed, ignoring her embarrassed eyes. She pulled on the chima a bit, exposing the swell of her breast. He wasted no time pressing the linen to the wound but this time the sting was forgotten. 

    “You are my responsibility. I will do it.” Standing back, he brought a hand to her neck, going over the deep bruises with his thumb. 

    “Does your throat hurt?” 

    “I’ll be okay. Some herbal tea and I’ll be fine.” 

    “Hm.” Her heart near collided with her stomach as he took her face in both hands, caressing her injured cheek with a thumb. 

    “I will not allow him to strike you again.” Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss to her forehead before letting go of her. 

    “That’s the first and last time you spar with Hyung-nim. There will be no more.” Nodding, she clasped her hands together as he went to retrieve some salve from one of the shelves. 

    “Wangja-nim…” They both turned to find one of the medical attendants standing there with more linen and antiseptic. He took in her frazzled state and his shirtless one and cleared his throat, averting his eyes. 

    “I have brought these in case you need them.” 

    “Thank you.”

    “Should I send for the female attendant?”

    “She’s fine.” Lifting his robes, he soon closed them shut and put his jeoduri back on. 

    “Tiye, tonight you will retire with me.” Eyes wide, she opened her mouth to protest but at the lifted eyebrow daring her to question him she closed it. 

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” Satisfied, he smirked and soon left her alone in the room, body warm, hurting and yearning all at the same time. Clutching the salve in her fingers tighter, she swallowed thickly. 

 

 

***

 

    His pride had been wounded. Massively. The fact of that made him want to gloat, chuckle, laugh and rub it in his face. However, he knew he wouldn’t. Bastard. He’d underestimated her simply because she was smaller than him. And the kick she’d landed to his face satisfied him more than any throw he landed with his fists. Served the asshole right. The pain in his side throbbed dully but it was easy to ignore. Turning the corner, he headed towards the horse stalls. 

    “Prepare my horse Byung-ho.”

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” In his hand he held his bow and arrow. Today would be the first of many days to come where he would practice his archery seriously. After the sparring between Hyung-nim and Tiye, he knew he couldn’t allow her to be put in that position again. If he were to  to be worthy of protecting her then he needed to be well rounded. On their journey ahead, he needed to be sharp, quick and lethal. The Mongols gave nothing less. Archery being his weakest area of sparring meant that it had to become his strongest. The boy brought Dong Il towards him and he offered him a small smile. 

    “Thank you Byung-Ho.” 

    “It is nothing Wangja-nim.”

    “You are but a boy and yet you care so well for our horses. I appreciate you. Truly.” Taken aback, the boy could only nod as he removed the reins from his small hands and led his steed away.  

 

*** 

 

    “What is your relationship with Wangja-nim?” Looking up from the chicken she was plucking, she blinked at the other girl who sat Indian style, chicken in her lap as well. 

    “My…relationship?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Why do you ask?” The girl snort and looked up at her. 

    “You can’t be serious.”

    “Serious about what?”

    “You’re the most envied girl in the palace you know. Not even the Queen Consort gathers the same type of affection you do.” Pursing her lips, she grabbed a handful of feathers and pulled, breathing in sharply through her nose. 

    “There is nothing to envy me for. I am simply a slave to him. Nothing more and nothing less.” The girl had stopped plucking and eyed her for quite some time before she smirked. 

    “You don’t wish to be more?” She remained quiet. 

    “The other girls talk of your going to his chambers. When he summons you… do you not share his bed?” 

    “ Let’s work and get on to something else.” She replied tersely, yanking out the last bit of feathers more roughly than was necessary. Again, the girl smiled. 

    “You haven’t answered the question. In fact, your evading it will lead me to assume.” Sucking her teeth, she glanced at the girl. 

    “Do you wish to bed him? Is that why you’re asking me if I do?” Aha, a crack in the otherwise smug expression on her face. Weakness she planned to run with. 

    “Perhaps you sit up and wonder how a man like him could ever lie with the likes of me.”At that her fingers stopped plucking. 

    “That’s… not true.” The girl’s normally pale cheeks were bright red but she tried to compose herself for her sake. 

    “You should be grateful. Thankful that he even desires you.”

    “Is that right?”

    “Cherish it for as long as you can. His affections may travel elsewhere.” She laughed out loud, making the girl grow even more red. This time out of anger. 

    “What is it with you all? You give the male too much power.” Letting the chicken plop out of her hands, she stood before going over to the wash basin to clean her hands. 

    “If only you knew that what exists between your thighs has the authority to bring these so called men to their knees. If you had that knowledge, you wouldn’t envy a woman for sharing his bed.” She turned to face her. 

    “If anything, you might encourage her. Encourage her to shape and mold his mind and his will just as much as the rod that grows between his legs.” Leaving her dumbfounded, she left through the kitchen in search of something else yet to do. Times like these made her ache for home so badly. It was strange enough being here but the ways in which the women thought and acted were foreign to her. 

    “Hey! You there!” Stopping in her tracks, she turned to see a gungnyeo pointing at her. 

    “Wangja-nim is requesting your presence in the horse stalls.” 

    “Yes.” Bowing her head, she headed towards the stall. 

    “Wangja-nim?” Funny that the stalls were all empty except for one. She clutched her fingers together. 

    “Wangja-ni-” Hands grabbed her and pulled her into one of the empty stalls and a knife pressed against her neck. 

    “Scream and I will slit your neck.” The voice belonged to Wangja-nim’s older brother. Even though her heart beat wildly in her chest, she tried to speak calmly. 

    “What are you doing?” 

    “Shut up. Turn around.” Slowly, she did and looked him dead in the eyes. 

    “Wangja-nim won’t be happy knowing you’re doing this.” He lifted his hand and slapped her across the very cheek that took his abuse days before. 

    “I am your Wangja-nim.” He pressed the knife against the column of her throat and drug it down, the sharp point snagging on the rough material of her hanbok. 

    “He’s spoiled you so much you’ve forgotten your place. On your knees.” She didn’t move. 

    “No.” At her defiance, he grabbed her hair and forced her down. She saw it and tried to avoid it but nevertheless ended up falling right into a fresh pile of dung. 

    “On your fucking knees musori.” Thankful that her face had been unscathed, she licked her lips and slowly lifted, coming to rest on her knees. 

    “Your wounded male ego humors me Wangja-nim. Taking defeat from a woman is too hard for you?” 

    “Insolent little bitch!” He hissed, striking her again. The breath knocked out of her as the pain shot sharply down the side of her jaw and into her neck. Everything in her wanted to sweep his feet from underneath him but she stopped herself. She had no weapon and even with her fists, she was at a clear disadvantage. She might be able to do damage but the kind she wanted to inflict would not be possible. 

    “I will teach you to tame that hole in your face. Starting right here and right now.” Reaching down, he exposed himself to her and she felt as though she would retch. Jutting out from his body, his member too appeared angry and bothered, demanding submission. Submission she would not give willingly. 

    “So, this little thing is the women desire.” She laughed in his face but that was a mistake. He shoved it into her mouth without warning and replaced the blade with his hand, gripping her throat tightly. 

    “If you bite down, I will rip the tongue from your mouth with my bare hands.” She honestly couldn’t think of anything to say, not when everything about this was so new, so foreign, so wrong. In her mind, in her deepest desires, she’d envisioned intimacy of this level being experienced with someone else. Someone that she loved and thought worth it. But the feeling of the man inside of her mouth made her stomach heave and she gagged, squeezing her eyes shut. Lifting her hands to his thighs, she tried to push him back but it didn’t work. The grip on her throat tightened even more and she began to struggle to breathe as he groaned loudly, with no shame, no remorse. 

    “I know you wish it were he. My little brother.” Opening her eyes, they filled with tears as he began to thrust into her mouth, nudging the back of her throat each and every time. 

    “I know you desire him. I see it every time you look at him.” She voiced her protest but gagged again as he shoved his entire length down her throat. For a moment, he was overcome with pleasure and his hand left her throat and yanked her head upward, hair gripped by tight fingers. 

    “Let this be a reminder to keep your fucking mouth shut.” Soon, she felt it throb inside her throat and coughed in relief as he pulled it out. Squeezing her eyes shut, he proceeded to spill his seed, spurts messily soiling her face and hair. He took hold of her chin and forced it upward. Eyes watery with liquid fury, she glanced up at him, a sinister grin on his face. 

    “This is the only place where you belong little whore. Don’t forget it.” Shoving her back, he adjusted himself and once he was proper, he brushed past her like nothing had ever happened. She sat there for the longest time before she eventually got up. Not bothering to wipe anything away, she quietly made it to the servant’s quarters. 

 

 

 

*** 

 

    “Good. You’re improving.” Nodding, he relaxed his thighs and came to sit once again on Dong Il. Turning towards the face of the other man who was set to accompany them, he smirked some. 

    “Give it time. I shall be proficient sooner than you’ve bet.” 

    “How do you know I’ve bet?” Chuckling, he urged Dong Il into an easy trot. 

    “I’m not stupid. I know that I’ve been somewhat of a late bloomer when it comes to the ways of archery.” The other man only smiled to himself and joined him in the trot. 

    “But you, pyeha, are improving rapidly. It’s impressive.”

    “Hm.” 

    “But I wonder…what that woman will do.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Fighter or no fighter, she is a woman. What place will she really have on our journey?” 

    “Need I remind you that some of the fiercest warriors we’ll face are female? Mongol women have indeed gathered quite the reputation and it is one I would not like to challenge.” 

    “So I’ve heard.”

    “Tiye carries the same spirit inside of her. It is strange and very foreign to me. That I won’t deny. But that is what I like about her. She is nothing like our women here in Goryeo.” The man, named Yoo-shik grinned. 

    “She definitely does not look like them. Places on her are…abundant.”  Smirking to himself, he continued, 

    “She can be mouthy when she’s in the mood for it. But she can also be a pillar of support. Sometimes, she sounds like an old sage.”

    “Ah. So it is her wisdom that you favor.”

    “Among other things yes.”

    “Other things like her abundant places perhaps pyeha?” He left that question unanswered and the two men shared a laugh as they entered in through the massive gates surrounding the palace. 

    “Pyeha, I trust your ride was satisfactory?” Dismounting from his horse, he handed him his bow and arrow. 

    “Indeed.”

    “Have the servants draw up a bath for me.”

    “Yes pyeha.” Looking towards the servant’s chambers, he swallowed tightly before heading in the opposite direction, towards his own. He needed to spend some time in the library and configure a plan best for travel in the approaching months. When he was alone, he ran fingers through his hair. Soon and very soon, it would have to come to an end. Soon, he’d have to put it all to an end.  

 

 

*** 

 

    Dressed in light chest bindings, a cotton jeoksam and sok-chima, she lowered herself to sit at his table. Reaching up, she began to undo the twine that held her hair in tiny little clouds. The doors to his chambers opened and he appeared, stopping in his tracks at the sight of her. 

    “You are here.” Her hands paused. 

    “You summoned me did you not?” Smiling softly, he entered the room, closing the door behind him. 

    “Tell me what happened today.” He shook his messy strands and came to sit next to her. 

    “It’s been a productive day.”

    “Oh?”

    “I went riding with Yoo-shik. Practiced archery all morning.” Glancing down at his hands, she reached for them. She could tell. They were crimson and starting to swell at the knuckles. 

    “You should take it easy Wangja-nim. It’s not good to push yourself so hard.” She scolded, running fingers across the tender skin. 

    “I have to.”

    “Why?”

    “How else am I to protect you?” There, that gaze of his with the strange look. It was doing something to her. 

    “I need no protecting. I am fully capable of protecting myself.” 

    “And that lies the problem.”

    “What problem is that?” 

    “You are self sufficient and that I like about you. But, once in a while eolin-i it would do well to allow someone else to care for you.” Pulling back her fingers, she forced them still in her lap. 

    “I know your capabilities. I know your strengths. I know you need no protection whatsoever.” Lifting fingers to her face, he brushed them against her cheek. She felt them warm and turned her gaze away from him, heart threatening to come out of her chest. 

    “I also know your weaknesses Tiye. I will do it not because I have to. I want to.” She silently thanked the gods as he distanced himself from her. She watched him as he began to disrobe, pulling the silk jeoduri from his shoulders. 

    “Tomorrow will be a very busy day for us both. As you know, the journey to the Song territory is underway.”

    “Mm.”

    “I want to spar with you. Perhaps even go for a ride.” She didn’t say anything, just watched as he bared his back to her, the last undergarment slipping from his strong shoulders. 

    “I’ve composed a list of suggestions as to the success of our trip. Time should be spent mulling that over as well.” 

    “As you wish Wangja-nim.” She dropped her gaze as he turned to face her. Coming in front of her, he lifted her gaze by way of her chin. 

    “You’re unusually quiet today.” His gaze was intense. 

    “Did something happen?” Her fingers at this point were gripped so tight in her lap that she was losing feeling in them. But she fixed her mouth to lie. 

    “No. I’m just tired is all. My day was spent in the kitchen.” 

    “Very well then. Let us rest.” Heading towards the bed, he laid on his side as he waited for her to join him. Getting up, she soon fell into the big warmth his body offered, pressing her face against his chest. He sighed contently, yawning against the top of her head. Smiling against him, she turned in his arms, facing the door. 

    “Good night eolin-i.” He breathed against her ear as he slipped an arm around her waist, pulling her back against him. 

    “Good night Wangja-nim.” But unlike his eyes that closed and the contentment that drifted across his features, hers remained open for a long while. 

End Notes:

A/N: This was a rough one. I think we all knew Seo Jun was going to do something right? I know y'all got questions as to why Tiye ain't choke slam that a** into the next century. Whew chile but I have answers. That will come later hehe. I will have terms and pictures below! Since it's the weekend (well for me the weekend starts when I get home from work at 7:30 am tomorrow morning LOL) I figured I'd update maybe another time or two! These two have been on my BRAIN so much. Consider this an early weekend present! <3 FRI-YAY post coming tomorrow! I am LOVING y'all comments! I LOVE hearing your thoughts! 

D&L

 

gungnyeo: women that waited on the king and other royalty.

jeoksam: Apart of the sokgot or undergarments for the hanbok, the jeoksam was the worn underneath the jeogori. Thin and light. 

sok-chima: Also apart of the undergarments, it is basically an underskirt. 

 

Here's a visual for you lol. Cheol-Su's visual Park Taemin shirtless AND layin on his side BECAUSE you all need to see what I SEE in my head when I visualize things LOL. Trade the jeans for hanbok...light hanbok baji. <3  When I saw the picture, I was like yep goin in the story lol. Y'all know how I do. LOLLLL. hehehehehe *hides face and runs away cackling* 

 

you're welcome teehee 

다섯 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

Daseot 

(five) 


Sweat poured from her, threatening to get in her eyes. She stood across from him, imitation short sword in hand. Her body trembled from fatigue but she kept her stance. He was fighting harder today. He wasn’t being so careful as he normally would be. It was almost as if he were really fighting her. But she could see it in his eyes. The same fatigue that mirrored hers. But there within existed a fiery passion, a determination that hadn’t been there in their younger years. This time, she might not beat him. This time, he might actually gain the upper hand and cause her to admit defeat. 

    “Come.” He rasped out, jaw tight. She inhaled through her nostrils deeply before charging at him. He parried her attack and stooped low, twirling his body, leg extended. The force of his kick knocked the sword from her hand and she barely blocked another hit from his hand. She took a couple steps back, chest heaving. 


    *** 


    Eyes watched the two spar and a slow smirk lifted onto lips. The two of them were fascinating to watch. He had been right about her. She was indeed impressive. For the tiniest moment, he lamented in the lack of female warriors in his army. Not all women would be welcome. None of them at all. Except her. She’d probably gain the title of Captain fairly quickly. 

    “Yeobo,” Turning, he faced his wife who approached him. 

    “What is it?”

    “The other two men that you requested are here. They await your arrival in your parlor.” 

    “Very good.” The woman’s eyes fell onto the scene at hand. The pair were now on the ground. The woman pushed down on the imitation sword, down upon his neck. He held his sword upward, trying to prevent it from coming closer. 

    “The way the girl fights. It’s… interesting.” She commented as she took in the way the woman sat atop her son, body pressed against his. 

    “Erotic.” He spoke and before he knew it, his tongue had drifted outward to slide across dry lips. His wife’s eyes found him. Yet she said nothing. 

    “With her body she is offering pleasure and seduction. However, her intent is to kill and she will see it realized. She’s coaxing Cheol Su to accept death.” Her interest was piqued. Why did Cheol Su not overpower her? He could easily dominate her but yet he didn’t. It was quiet except for the panting coming from the two. He must have decided enough was enough because he turned her underneath him and pinned her down before she had a moment to react.

    “Good. Now, finish her.” His wife pressed her lips together and left the scene in front of her, hands pressed together tightly.  Sooner or later, he would leave, the excitement would wear off and he’d find his way to the concubines to relieve his frustration. And as for Cheol Su…sooner or later he’d have to make a choice just who he desired more. The woman. Or his future Kingdom. 


*** 


    His proximity had made her breathless and she couldn’t will her eyes away from his. The imitation swords had been tossed aside and forgotten. He’d gathered her by the wrists and had forced them upward. They’d been close before but never like this. He partially rested in between her legs careful not to completely crush her with his weight. Just enough to be effective.

    “What would you do next?” He asked, wet messy hair shielding her view of everything else. 

    “What?”

    “How would you gain the upper hand? How would you kill me?” Dumbstruck, she couldn’t speak for a moment and he tightened his grip on her wrists. 

    “These things you must account for Tiye. Men will use everything they have to gain victory. If they can use their body weight to crush the life from you then they will.” Taking a few more deep breaths, she lifted up her body with all of her strength and forced him back to the ground. Reaching behind her, she grabbed one of the swords and firmly pressed it against his nether regions. The look of surprise soon turned into a grin and he flashed her a smile, chest heaving. 

    “Good. Very good.” With that, she rolled over onto her back with a groan. She turned to look at him, chest full of exhausted air. 

    “Will you now ride Dong Il?” She asked, voice quiet. His dark gaze opened and slid over to hers. 

    “Yes.”Leaning her head back, her eyes found the sky. 

    “I will wait for you. In your chambers.” 

    “Good.”

    “Take care not to over exert yourself.” Her body screamed so many things, loud things that threatened to overwhelm her. 

    “When I return, we shall eat hm?”

    “Okay.” He lifted up and helped lift her to her feet, gently pat the top of her head before heading away from her. 

    

    *** 


    She’d drawn up a bath, shooing the girls away. She knew some of them lingered by the door but at the moment, she didn’t care. Pulling her knees up to her chest, she pressed her forehead against the tops of them. Before she could control it or stop it, she began to cry. For his sake, she’d tried to keep calm. But it threatened to drown her… the reality of what happened. A part of her felt fury…a fury she’d only felt once before. When her Baba had been murdered. That was the first time and she had hoped that it would be the last. Caught up in her emotions, she let out a frustrated scream before sinking underwater, allowing the warmth of the water engulf her. Many dark thoughts traveled through her head and it pained her to entertain them. But even more so… she was more grieved for the reaction of Wangja-nim… should he find out. 

    She knew him. Knew that the two had never much cared for one another, even though they were related by blood. She knew that their friendship was one that he took of utmost seriousness and he valued her well being sometimes more than his own. When he could help it. Sometimes, his hands were tied. Sometimes, his duty and role as the future King of Goryeo outweighed his role as her friend. She understood that. Lifting from the water, she inhaled deeply. 

    She’d been forced into a strange land with strange people, ways and customs. But if she had to choose, she wouldn’t complain. Shouldn’t complain. She supposed that her life might have turned out different depending on where she had been originally destined to. Lifting fingers to massage her scalp, she lifted watery eyes to the wooden ceiling. That bastard would get what was due to him in the end, be it by her hand or not. Life worked in funny ways that way. 

    “Tiye-ah, Wangja-nim is back from his ride.”

    “Mm.” 


*** 


    His knuckles were cherry red and starting to swell. His thighs, hamstrings and glutes all felt like a candle had been lit to them. He’d rode longer than he’d anticipated but his mind was full of many things… many thoughts. Something was not right… with Tiye. The little one he’d known nearing 9 years was never this aloof. She tried to hide it but it was plain as day to him. He could see a discord within her and it worried him immensely. 

    “Dong Il, what do you think hm?” The beast blew air out through his nostrils and shook his mane a bit before leaning down to graze. 

    “What could be wrong with our little Tiye?” Lifting a hand to pet the neck of the animal, he sighed in defeat. 

    “I suppose I should ask her then.” Turning to see a lingering Byung-Ho, he flashed a small friendly smile at the boy and lifted his reins, motioning him to take him. Bowing his head, the boy led the horse away. Smile fading, he bit the inside of his cheek. Whatever it was that was going on…. his gut told him…no…screamed at him that it had something to do with Hyung-nim.       As he turned to leave, a flash of light reflected upon him and he squinted his eyes, before kneeling down to it. Picking it up, he brought it closer only to grow cold. Chills traveled down the length of his spine. Tiye’s hair ornament. Glancing down at the stack of hay, he clenched his jaw. What was it doing here? Gathering it up in his hand, he tucked it into his pocket and stood. Questions needed answered and he’d definitely see to them immediately. 



*** 

    She’d just finished slipping into her sok-baji when he entered. She turned once she set eyes on him but the smile soon faded as she took in his expression. 

    “Wangja-nim, what troubles you?” His jaw tightened. 

    “Too many things to name.” His steps were slow as they approached her. 

    “Well, let’s hear them.” She encouraged, crossing her arms over her chest. 

    “Have you found yourself short of something?”  He asked, growing closer by the second. Confusion bled into her features and she glanced up at him as he finally stood in front of her. 

    “Short of something?” He reached into his pocket and pulled out the long golden twine, holding it up in front of her face. 

    “I found this in the horse stalls.” She tried to show no emotion but the shock that briefly flashed in her eyes sent a confirmation to his gut.

    “Ah.” Was all she expressed, reaching for it. He gladly surrendered it up and watched as she went to put it with her other belongings, neatly folded by the door. 

    “How did it get there I wonder.” He asked with his eyebrow raised, watching as she fidgeted nervously.

    “It must have come off while I was tending to the horses.”

    “Must have? Or did?” At that, she faltered. 

    “Whatever it is that you’re hiding I want to know.” She took a slow breath. 

    “If you knew what happened then you’d forfeit everything just to seek vengeance. Right now, you cannot afford for that to happen.” His jaw grew tight and his gaze filled with dissatisfaction. 

    “Hyung-nim…did something to you.” It wasn’t a question. A stated fact. Taking a breath, she gave a nod.

    “Promise me that you won’t retaliate Wangja-nim.” Her request only quelled the sudden infuriation that drifted across his features. Reaching for his hand, she gave it a firm squeeze. 

    “Please.” He growled unhappily and with a shaky breath, acquiesced, returning her hand squeeze. 

    “I’ll put it aside…for now. At a later date, we will revisit this. In detail.” And like that, he left her to go to his prepared bath. 

    Pressing her head against the small table housed on the floor, she closed her eyes, tears slipping past.  She couldn’t have him sacrifice everything just for her. No, they needed to keep a level head. Seo Jun wangja-nim’s offense was deeper than just any sexual act. He knew what she knew and it pissed him off. Having his birthright stripped away from him and given to his lesser brother was sure to be an ego killer and any way he could reassert his position, his authority, he would. Any way he could hurt Wangja-nim… he would do it. 

    Sighing, she wiped her tears. Mama once told her that sometimes, you had to do things you didn’t want to. Suffer losses that you could have avoided. For the sake of your people, for the sake of the ones you loved and cared for. It would be worth it in the end. Swallowing, she got up and went over to his bed of furs, pressing her face against them. There was a great ruler, a great king housed in him and she’d help bring it out at all costs. Even if she ended up bruised and hurt in the end. 


*** 


    When he returned, she was curled up in a ball, face hidden by fur. The food he'd requested be brought was gone and he surmised that her belly was good and full. He licked his lips and lifted his wet strands back from his face. Even so, she appeared like she was on the defense, even in her sleep. Kneeling, he reached down to straighten out her legs before tucking her against his arm. She let out a sigh and turned to press her cheek against his chest. Lifting a hand, he gently ran his fingers across the short coils, still damp from her bath earlier. 

    “Whatever he has done to you eolin-i. I won’t forgive it. I won’t forgive him.” She responded not, simply drifted further into slumber. He watched her from underneath his lashes and drifted fingers across a smooth brown cheek. Times like this made him remember the first time she’d ever been brought to him. The first time he’d gained her trust. And the first time she’d slept the whole night through, the shadows of her past tormenting her no more, at least… not while he held her close. 


*** 


1026 AD

    

    “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.


***


    Youngest son to inherited wealth, worldly desires and status, he’d always been told that he was God incarnate, God in the flesh and of the world. All of it was his. Lifting his hand away from the sleeping woman, he swallowed tightly. When Tiye had come into his life… his outlook on everything changed. Too young to truly understand the gravity of his life and what it meant, he immersed himself in the libraries, valuing education to that of violence. The kindness and civility that came almost natural to him was strongly discouraged. Told that he was weak, he tried his best to be in their good grace, their favor. Throat tight, he pressed his face against the plushy hair on her head. 

    She’d come to him in chains, brought as a slave, a person without freedom, identity or humanity. At the age of 12 he’d decided to cut his hair, the first direct sign of rebellion he’d ever shown. He’d done it for her sake. She wasn’t an ordinary girl, that he’d surmised then. She was intelligent and witty, wise beyond her young years with an uncanny ability to see the good and bad in people; something that it had taken him years to develop. It’d taken about a good year of training before she could even hold a small conversation but his patience had proven just. He wanted to give her a bit of her freedom back, teaching her how to read Hangeul and write. 

    Chest full of emotion, he closed his eyes. His father, mother, brother and sister even…they couldn’t see the light that shined inside of her. The utter promise, the victory…the good. And now, now they’d reached this point in their lives where he found himself at a crossroads.

    Pulling back from her a bit, he looked at her intensely for the longest while. It was so hard to balance sometimes…the desire to be free in what he felt and who he wanted to be with her. And the responsibility he knew he’d been groomed for his entire life. Sometimes, he wondered how and why life was so unfair. Why did they have to be born into two different stations, two different destinies? Lifting an arm, he brought it around her waist and soon surrendered up to the warm little body snuggled against him and the smell of soothing spice. 


End Notes:

 

A/N: I meant to upload this yesterday but I fell asleep LOL. I came home from work yesterday and spent all day with my grandma so needless to say I CONKED OUT WHEN I HIT THAT BED LOL. I believe I have another update for you guys! Thank you to ALL who have been commenting and leaving their thoughts! I appreciate the love, upvotes, comments and views guys! It means a lot to me that you guys are enjoying this! Now, gon click that next button <3 


D&L

 

여섯 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

Yeseot 

(six)



    Spring 1033 


    Five gathered in the library, an expansive roll of parchment spread across one of the tables. The light of mid morning filled the room. 

    “We haven’t figured out how we are to get our caravan across the mountains. The horses will not survive. Hell, we won’t survive.” 

    “Not to mention the mountains are prime Mongol territory. Thieves, criminals, troupes of ragtag gangs favor them as well.”

    “We must find another way to get to the Palace.” All of them had spoken but one. Lifting eyes from the paper, he spoke. 

    “Tiye, what are your thoughts?” She looked up from the paper. 

    “I shouldn’t have a say on this…it’s not my call.” Standing up, he hadn’t let her escape his gaze, coming to stand right in front of her. 

    “I asked for your thoughts Tiye. Not what you think you have a right or don’t have a right to.” Blushing, she cleared her throat and finally wiggled her tail away from him, coming to stand center of the table. 

    “This territory is as foreign to us as ours is to theirs. But, allow me to ask you all something. How is that the Mongols have successfully attempted invasion in a land they know nothing about?” The men grew silent. 

    “Spies.” She answered with a small smile. 

    “That’s obvious.” The man named Mal-Chin scoffed, rolling his eyes. 

    “So obvious that you remained silent.” He retorted with a glare, one that dared him to show her another ounce of disrespect. 

    “Continue.” He urged, letting his eyes fall on her. She gave a nod of thanks.

    “Our trip is planned for this upcoming summer. Would it not benefit us to have knowledge of the roadways, mountain passes and rivers? Wet and dry land? Where best to hunt and where best to make our camp? Right now, we are doomed before we even start. It’s foolish to charge in there demanding to have an audience with Emperor Renzong. On their home land.” He nodded, coming to stand beside her. 

    “She’s absolutely right.”

    “Wangja-nim, how do you propose we gather up a spy and send them to Song within enough time? If we were going to do that, it should have been done by now.” The other man named Sang-Ook countered, hands firmly clasped behind his back. Glancing at the markers he’d placed on the map, he clenched his jaw. 

    “I will come up with something.” The three men sighed and were relieved when they were dismissed. Lowering herself into the chair behind her, she let out a loud exasperated sigh. 

    “It seems I have a lot to prove being on this team.” She said with an eye roll. 

    “The men aren’t used to you…to a woman with more than a pretty face.” Coming back towards the desk, he leaned down, hands pressed on the wood. 

    “That’s why your voice will be heard every opportunity that presents itself.”

    “Even if they do not wish to hear it?” He smirked some, lifting a hand to rest on top of her head. 

    “Your opinion is valuable to me. That’s the end of the story. Hm?” Smiling at him, she drew her eyes away from him, eying the hands in her lap. 

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” The door to the library opened and to the both of their surprise, the King strolled in surrounded by a host of advisors. 

    “Father,” He distanced himself from her but only slightly. 

    “What is it that you two find yourselves doing this day?” At his question, Tiye created further distance. 

    “We were-”

    “I was asking the girl. Not you.” Palms beginning to sweat, she answered strongly but humbly, eyes never having left the floor. 

    “Wangja-nim requested my presence here. I simply followed orders is all Taewang-nim.” 

    “Your presence was needed for what purpose?”

    “To discuss the upcoming trip to Song.” At that, he laughed. 

    “What place would you have discussing something so private? Surely you lie.” 

    “She’s right Father. I asked her here.” Sharp eyes turned to his son. 

    “Is that so?” 

    “Tiye’s loyalty to me is unquestionable. Rest assured that she will not foil our plans or expose them. If you have enough faith to allow her to go with me on this journey then surely she should be included in the conversations about it.” Lips grew tight. 

    “You’re dismissed.” With a bow, she quietly proceeded to leave. 

    “Are you ready for it?” He asked, coming over to browse the plans laid out before them. 

    “More and more each day.” 

    “Your archery?”

    “Superior to Hyung-nim’s” At that, his gaze lifted. 

    “So you claim hm?”

    “Hyung-nim’s provided a welcome inspiration these past months Father. It is to him that you should thank for my revitalized vigor.” 

    “Perhaps you should use that vigor and put it to good use in the harem as well. It’s been months since you visited.” At that, he grew still. Licking his lips, his fingers drew together tightly.

    “Right now, my attentions are being focused elsewhere.” 

    “I see.” A smirk spread on the lips of the man before he cleared his throat. 

    “All of this is unnecessary.” Motioning to the scroll beneath him, he clucked his tongue in disapproval.

    “Why is that?”

    “You will be traveling with a caravan that I have personally selected. Emperor Renzong will see to it that you make it to him safely and so will I.”

    “Do the people in this caravan know the way around the thieves’ and Mongol territory?”

    “Indeed they do.”  The question he really wanted to ask was on the tip of his tongue but it seemed that his Father was one step ahead. 

    “I didn’t reveal anything to you because I wanted to see how you would lead.” Glancing around the library, for the first time since he was a boy, a pleased smile teased his lips. 

    “You’ve done well thus far and I must say that I am impressed.” He moved not as the man began to roll up the scroll. 

    “There is another path to reach the Kingdom of Song, one that is highly secretive. Only the nobility use it and any outsider that gathers wind is put to death.” Tying it with the small thread, he looked up at him. 

    “You will use it.” Without another word, he made his exit, the advisors hastily following behind him. Taking a breath, he went back over to the table, eyes on the scroll.   His Father’s games were irritating him but he knew that he meant to challenge his mental, emotional, and physical strength. Gathering his hands into fists, he pushed off of the table to head towards the door. He would continue to find out that he was not the weak link. In fact, he would make it his mission to rise above every assumption and doubt he possessed. He would show them all what a mistake it was undermining him. 


*** 


     “Braid my hair.” After spending the later part of the morning in the kitchen, she’d been taken by surprise of a request to tend to Wangtaejabi-nim. She’d been ushered into a separate part of the palace she’d never before seen and she was enraptured by its beauty. Modeled after the palaces of the Tang Dynasty, the grand red pillars and sweeping fan ceilings took her breath away. Once taken past the gate, brilliant red and green surrounded her, painted on the walls and planted in the lush gardens. She wasn’t given much time else to admire anything because she was escorted down one of the long halls to an elaborate set of doors.     

    “Wangtaejabi-nim, the girl is here as you requested.” 

    “Ah! Good.” A female voice answered within and soon the doors were opened. She looked into the face of Wangja-nim’s bright faced younger sister Mishil. And from there, a new adventure awaited her. 

    “Did you hear me?” Snapping out of her thoughts, she bowed her head in apology. 

    “I’m sorry Wangtaejabi-nim.” She watched as she slowly took her hair out of the kept braid it was in. The young woman watched curiously as she part three slivers of her hair and began to weave them together.     

    “Fascinating.” She didn’t say a word, only finished the smaller braid until it hung down her back. 

    “I remember being little and seeing your hair in this manner.” 

    “Yes.” She quietly answered as she started another braid. 

    “I wonder why you wear the style. What purpose it serves.”

    “There are many reasons.” 

    “Such as?” She finished the tail of the second before licking her lips. 

    “I’ve observed the many styles the women here wear. Most show status, age, even if the particular woman is of marriageable condition or not. In my culture, the hairstyles mean the exact same thing. They just look different.” The princess remained quiet as she continued to braid until the style was complete. Face full of delight, she lifted hands and ran her fingers down across the plaits. 

    “Amazing.” She simply bowed her head. Turning to face her, she stared at her for a little while, the intensity of it making her more than uncomfortable. 

    “If only you were Korean.” The girl suddenly lamented before clucking her tongue. At that, she blinked in confusion. 

    “I’m…I’m sorry?” Twirling around, she watched as the braids twirled with her. 

    “You know…my Oppa-nim likes you.” The girl breathed as she stopped and turned to face her again. Her cheeks grew warm. 

    “He likes me you say.” It wasn’t a question but a statement of slight disbelief. 

    “Of course he does. You are his favorite. You are his special one.” 

    “Ah.”

    “He would probably be really embarrassed if you found this out but I’m going to tell you anyway.” Giggling quite girlishly, she came back to her and sat down in front of her. 

    “One of the concubines told me that a couple months ago Oppa-nim came to visit her, drunk from a night of drinking. She said that he thought she was you.” Her fingers began to fidget and as much as she wanted to stop her from continuing, she knew she couldn’t. 

    “He’d never before been so responsive she said. From the moment he entered her, she said he showed her care and tenderness unlike any of her other royal patrons.” As she spoke, her body had grown just as hot as her cheeks and she gripped her fingers together tightly now, knowing that Mishil was toying with her. She had to be. A little grin teased her lips. 

    “She told me pleasure made him unrecognizable, his voice, one she had never heard before, giving her chills. He spoke such sweet nothings to her, dirty things about how her body made him feel.” She lifted her gaze from her lap and eyed the princess, smirk now in full effect, humor laced with disgust dwelling in her eyes. 

    “At the end, he almost finished inside of her but she begged him, pleaded with him not to fill her womb but rather her mouth, a mouth that had enabled his fantasy of bedding a foreign slave. And so he did, superabundantly she added, your name on his lips as he surrendered to her peony scented kiss.”

     “Why are you telling me this Wangtaejabi-nim?” She asked quietly, gaze strong. 

    “It’s humorous is it not? That a man destined to rule as the Dragon of Goryeo would desire someone like you.” Her nails stabbed the skin of her fingers. 

    “Even a common whore would be considered better… more fitting to bear the child of the future God King.” She laughed some and turned to face herself in the large expansive mirror in front of them. 

    “I’ve grown tired of the savage style and my fun is done. Take it out.” She ordered with a sigh. Coming behind her, the desire to yank the hair underneath her fingers out hit her hard in the stomach. But they were gentle, carefully so, as they began to unravel her hard work. The lash awaited her should she do it but not even the promise of 100 lashes could get rid of the desire. 

    “You’re upset.” The girl mused, humor in her voice. 

    “Only because you and those of your kind keep insisting that my culture is related to savagery. It’s incredibly insulting…wangtaejabi-nim.”

    “Ah. Well, only a savage would be given the life you have. Surely the gods didn’t favor you because had they, you’d have a better status…you’d have been given the chance perhaps to be with the likes of my Oppa-nim…in totality and without care like Jae-Hwa.” Her fingers tightened in the girl’s hair and she yelped as she tugged, turning to slap her. 

    “What good will you be to him if you are dead?” She hissed, youthful face turning into something else. Someone else. Shoving her back, she stood up. 

    “For such a young girl, you are filled with evil. It makes me pity you. Such female promise wasted because you’ve been lied to, led to believe that your people, your way and your blood gives you right to harass, demean and ruin other people.” As she turned on her feet, she could hear the girl yell for the guards. Immediately, a host of them entered the room and the girl sneered as she stood. 

    “She has offended me! Take her to the lash!” 

    “Yes Wangtaejabi-nim.” They grabbed her up and forced her protesting body from the quarters. Laughing at her retreating form, the girl stood, hair once straight as silk now curly from the braids. 

    “I hope it was worth it slave bitch.” She grinned before beckoning gungnyeo to come in to tend to her. 




*** 


    It was the rowdy noise that roused him from his studying. Looking up, he knit his eyebrows together. 

    “Wangja-nim!” An attendant came in, face and voice panicked. He recognized him as Byung-Ho the stable boy. 

    “They whip your servant in the main courtyard!” 

    “What?” 

    “Come quickly!” Tossing aside the books, he followed the boy outside. What on earth had Tiye gotten herself into now? Nearing the crowd, he felt his entire body chill as he witnessed the scene before him. She’d been tied up to a post, hands and arms extended high above her. Her jeodori had been taken off and her chima had been sliced straight down the middle, exposing her back, legs and bottom. Already, they were tainted with blood, long narrow gashes littered across the flesh. 

    “I demand to know what is going on. Now.” He bellowed, pushing past the many court ladies and gentlemen who had gathered to watch the spectacle. There up on a dais was his sister, grinning from ear to ear. 

    “Ah, Oppa-nim! Glad you could join us.” 

    “What is this Mishil?” 

    “Let’s call it a little law and order shall we?” 

    “Of what?” 

    “Your slave put her hands on me and shoved me!” An aghast groan collectively gripped the crowd and they all watched in excitement as another lash was delivered. The muffled scream of pain brought his heated gaze away from the girl. 

    “You there! Stop!” But the man, caught in his own form of excitement, delivered another one to her legs, which forced them to buckle and she fell on her knees as new streams of red soon traveled down broken skin, dripping onto the ground. He caught the hand of the man and forced his arm behind him. 

    “I said stop.” He growled shoving the man away from him. 

    “Do not lay another blow to her.”

    “So, is this the example you are to set for your subjects then little brother?” Eyes turned to the scowling man who came to stand to the right of their sister. 

    “This does not involve you.” He said with a voice full of bite. 

    “The dirty little bitch assaulted your one and only sister. Yet you defend her.” 

    “Her punishment is not for you to overtake. You or Mishil.” 

    “Oh?” Seo Jun asked, eyebrow lifted. 

    “Father was very clear when he gave her to me just who she belonged to. He did not name you or Mishil. It was to ME that she was presented.” Yanking off his jeoduri, he wrapped it around the trembling woman, blood soon soaking through the silk. 

    “I will deal with her offense.” 

    “How? How will you do that?” His sister asked, standing, hands pressed to her stomach. 

    “It’s not your concern.”

    “Will it once again be with the concubines?” She sneered, only to have it wiped off her face with a slap, his hand taking her roughly by the chin. 

    “Don’t forget that I am your older brother young one.” Her eyes grew watery but nevertheless she remained quiet, meekly bowing her head before him. 

    “I’m sure there are other things for you all to do. See that you return to your duties.” He demanded to the crowd who immediately began to scatter. Glaring at his brother one final time, he descended the dais and knelt behind Tiye. He helped her stand. Holding her hand tight, he carefully led her to the medicinal quarters, chest burning with rage. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: Mishil is something else...for being as young as she is. Roughly, in my mind she is about 12-13 years old. I imagine her having a sweet serene face but a countenance and behavior that changed depending on her mood. If you upset her then all hell will unfortunately break loose for you. But if you are obedient... no matter what the request is... she will continue to let you live. WHEW. I'd stay far away from that lil girl LOL. Can I just say that I am like... in love with Cheol-Su?! Like... gawd. What a man lol. Okay lol. So... I figured I can't leave y'all hanging like this... so.... one more update? And then I give it a lil while for it to sink in for y'all before I come at y'all again lol. Gon click that next button hehe. 

D&L

 

Terms: 

Wangtaejabi-Crown Princess 

Oppa- Older brother/big brother. Said by females. Hyung is for males. 

Below is Kang Ha Neul as visual for Cheol-Su appropriately seated in what looks like a library LOL Only thing is that he does not have his hair pinned up as Kang Ha Neul does. <3 

His hair accompanied by his visual Park Taemin: 

Tiye's aesthetic:

 

일곱 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

Ilgop 

(seven) 

 


“What happened?” He asked the back of her head, as she’d turned away from him. A medicine woman silently dapped at the still bleeding wounds on her back. 

    “She called me a savage Wangja-nim. She said that only a savage holds the life that I have because the gods did not favor me.” At that, he swallowed thickly and for the first time since coming into the tent, tore his eyes away from her. 

    “I could not allow her to just… say these things and get away with it-OW!” Turning back towards her, the medicine woman now pressed a bit harder than what was necessary. 

    “Chun-hei-ah, thank you for your kindness. I will further attend to her.” The older woman blinked as she turned eyes upward. 

    “Pyeha, she has wounds on her backside and legs…. wounds that only a female attendant should treat.” Smiling softly, he nodded in agreement. 

    “Eun-jung-ah will continue her treatment.” At being dismissed, she blinked but bowed her head before stepping out. A fellow attendant stepped in and bowing her head at him, began to continue where Chun-hei left off. 

    “Tiye,” He said with an exasperated sigh, glancing at the small amounts of flayed skin that rose up on her back. 

    “You have to be mindful…mindful of what I told you. Not everyone here will be as tolerant of you as I am.”

    “I don’t need you or anybody else to be tolerant of me.” He came to the head of the table and gripped her chin, forcing her to look up at him. 

    “Is that so? Then, should I have let them flog you to death?” At that, she swallowed tightly, pain entering her features once more as the girl began to slowly peel the silk away from her rear. He watched with bated breath as the girl carefully pulled, trying not to bring any skin with it until the whole of her behind was exposed. Tiye let out a groan, gripping the edge of the table to filth. 

    “P-pyeha…. if you would like, you may leave the room while I finish.” The girl squeaked, face as red as her jeodori. Letting go of her chin, he leaned down and pressed a kiss to her sweaty brow. 

    “We will finish this conversation later eolin-i.” Letting her go, he smiled in thanks to the attendant and left, quietly closing the doors. 


*** 


    Hours and hours it seemed that she was on that table but when the cooling salve was spread and the linen wrapped around her tender wounds, she felt that she could finally breathe a sigh of actual relief. 

    “Thank you…” She said with a grimaced smile at the girl. 

    “Please take care of yourself Tiye-ah.” Feeling her heart warm, she watched as the girl left. Her whole body was in excruciating pain but even so… even now… she hadn’t regret anything. Soon, she heard the door slide open and in stepped Wangja-nim. Their eyes met and his throat grew tight. 

    “I won’t apologize.” She started, dropping her gaze. 

    “I’m not asking you to.” He replied, coming to draw up a chair next to her. Turning his hand, palm up, he waited patiently until she lifted her hand and placed it into his. Swallowing hers up, he smiled at the sight. 

    “I don’t want you to mistake me Tiye. I am not angry with you.” 

    “Then?”

    “I only ask that you take more heed…. better heed to the circumstances around you. That’s all.” She twisted up her mouth to reply but he squeezed her hand firmly instead. 

    “Listen.” She flared her nostrils. 

    “In a couple months time, you and I will embark on a journey that will shape the rest of our lives. Not just our lives but the lives of the People… my people.” She was quiet as she watched his thumb gently stroke the back of her hand. 

    “These people do not belong to you yet you have willingly decided to protect them… even though those in power have enslaved you, mistreated you and abused you. Perhaps it is for my sake and mine alone that you do it. For that, I cannot thank you enough.” She felt her throat constrict and her eyes grow watery with tears. 

    “For that, I shall give you a reward.” At that, she lifted her eyes to his. 

    “What reward shall I receive?” 

    “A trip home.” For a moment, she grew still and the longing in her heart overflowed into the tears that fell down her cheeks. Leaning forward, he lifted his free hand to brush them away with his thumb. 

    “You… you would do that…for me Wangja-nim?” 

    “If I could, I would do much much more eolin-i.” His voice was warm and soft like the flames of the candles in the room and it warmed more than her heart. It traveled down to her belly. 

    “What is the requirement?” She asked, voice shaky with emotion. 

    “That you mind yourself. Mind your words.” 

    “Even if I am insulted, harassed and abused? That is the price to pay for a trip to my motherland?” 

    “Should you wish to live then yes. Everything I’ve worked for… the progress I’m trying to make with you will all be for naught if you die before it reaches fruition.” 

    “What progress are you trying to make? With me?”

    “Like you, the lower classes of people in this society are also abused, mistreated and put into slavery. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and it is something that I detest. I seek to show the nobility the error of their ways.” 

    “You think they will acknowledge their wrongdoing from one woman? A woman mind you that does not belong to their ethnicity?” A passionate fire rose up in his depths, dark and intense. 

    “Should they wish to follow me then they will.” 

    “And if they don’t?”

    “They will be stripped of their status and forced to live as the very slaves they once ruled over.” Her eyes grew wide and she took her hand back from him. 

    “Wangja-nim… the things you speak of… they’re dangerous. They’re…. revolutionary and… and most certainly can get you killed should anyone hear you.” At that, he stood and gently placed a hand on the crown of her head. 

    “It’s a good thing that I have someone who has taught me to be fearless is it not?” Smiling, he winked at her. 

    “I will visit you again eolin-i.” 



*** 


    

    Over the next month and two weeks, he came to visit her in the medicinal quarter. Most times, he requested a small desk be brought into her room and he studied there until it grew dark. Other times, when the candlelight was dim, he’d sit next to her and read her stories, stories she’d never before heard of.

     Mystical dragons and the birth of the sun. The birth of the moon and the love affair they had for each other, only to be doomed from the start. How the solar eclipse was their moment, their time to spend expressing their love. The force of it making the earth black but for a moment, the corona symbolizing their complete and final union. 

    He’d take her on journeys through the folklore of ancient times and she always lamented in the fact that she never got to hear it end because she’d fallen asleep to the sound of his voice, calm, quiet and soothing. This night he was reading about a powerful female ruler who had led her people to victory only to put on trial for murder. She had healed enough that she could lay on her side and this night she faced him, arm up underneath her head. Lifting up from the book, he smiled at her engrossed expression and laughed some, making her pout. 

    “What?”

    “You are so cute Tiye.”

    “Well? You can’t just leave off at that part! She’s about to be hung for something she didn’t do!”

    “I was afraid this story might be a bit too dark for bedtime.” 

    “I’m invested now Wangja-nim. I must know how it ends.” Chuckling, he closed the book. 

    “I think for now you need rest.”

    “But-”

    “No buts. Come on.” Whining childishly, she sucked her teeth and closed her eyes as he blew out the lamps. 

    “I’ll visit you tomorrow after I come back from my ride.” He spoke quietly, pressing his lips against her forehead. 

    “Mm.” 

    “Sleep well.”

    “Mm.” Hearing his chuckle travel towards the door, she felt a smile of her own come to her face. 


*** 


    Dismounting, he leaned his head back, allowing the wind to pick up on his flushed skin. Taking open mouthed breaths, he closed his eyes, savoring the burn in his legs and glutes. He’d pushed Dong-Il hard today and he was really proud of him. The beast panted just as hard as him and he smiled as his muzzle nudged against his backside. 

    “You did so good today Dongie. So good boy.” He could feel the heat from his nostrils scorch his hand and lifted them to scratch his ears. 

    “Apples and carrots await you my friend.” 

    “May I take him Wangja-nim?” 

    “Sure.” Handing Byung-Ho his reins, he slid the wet hair back from his face. As he approached the medicinal quarters, he was stopped by a few attendants. 

    “Wangja-nim, you mustn’t enter.” Lifting an eyebrow, his expression asked why. 

    “The girl is getting her dressings changed.”

    “Ah.”

    “And she bleeds. We must prepare a bath for her.”

    “She bleeds? She should be almost completely healed should she not?” One of the attendants blushed. 

    “No pyeha…her time of monthly bleeding has started.” This time both of his eyebrows lifted and his lips formed a small ‘o’. Ruffling his hair sheepishly, his cheeks grew warm.

    “A-Ah. Right. Well, I shall return later then.” Bowing in thanks, they smiled at each other at his retreating back. 

    


*** 


    When she fell asleep, this time she didn’t hear Wangja-nim’s voice. She wanted to tell him just how excited she was…in viewing her body. Mishil was wrong. The gods were indeed in her favor because even with the severity of the lashing she’d received, only a few minor scars remained. Scattered here and there in odd places on her legs and back, over all her smooth complexion had returned. She felt proud of herself, of her body. Sighing in the darkness, she turned towards the light of the moon. 

    That one hadn’t left her. The tale of the sun and the moon falling in love with each other. Opening her eyes, she looked outside of the window upwards at it. How lonely it must be. Without its lover. How cruel of a fate it must be. To be teased with your dearest only to be forced away in the end. For centuries… millennia…the same cycle over and over. Turning onto her back, she gripped the light linen placed underneath her. It felt good to be able to be on her back again and even more so to sleep there. Glancing up at the ceiling, she allowed slumber to claim her once again. 


*** 


    

    Sweet smelling dressings were rubbed into her hair, unbraided and down her back. Lifting the large wooden comb, its wide teeth parted the desired sections. Soft brown hands laid a line of grease upon her scalp. She smiled as lips kissed the hair. 

    “Mama…” 

    “Yes my child?” Opening her eyes, she glanced up at her mother, who this time did not wear the paint of war. This time, the small beautiful nubs were each painted with a different color and it made her blush, knowing just what it meant. 

    “Why do you wear the paint of a mother-in-law?” The woman laughed warmly and turned her head forward as she began to comb through her thick coils. 

    “Have you not seen you own face? Have you not asked yourself why you look the way you do?” At that moment, she wanted to get up and see just what she spoke of but knew she’d get popped should she attempt it. 

    “Have you forgotten the way? Our way?” 

    “No Mama! Of course I haven’t.” Making a satisfied sound in her throat, the woman continued to braid before letting her hands pat her shoulders. 

    “Go and put on your garments for your love draws near.” 

    “Mama why do you keep mentioning a love? I have no love.” 

    “There yonder. The love I speak of is there.” Turning eyes towards the sun, a man came towards them. She couldn’t see his whole face but she could see enough to know that he wasn’t one of them. He was something else entirely.

    “You haven’t much time my child. The sun will set and you will rise. Now is the only time you may have together.” Feeling her heart race, she hurried into the nearby tent and stood still as garments of a bride were put onto her body. A headdress adorned her hair and gold bands were slipped onto her arms and wrists. As she parted the fold of the tent, she was met with a hand… the hand of the man. He said nothing and she could only make out his lips, which were curved up into a smile. 



*** 


    

    When she awakened, sweat chilled her and she groaned, turning onto her face. 

    “Tiye-ah,” 

    “Yes?”

    “One of Wangja-nim’s concubines is here to see you.” Lifting her head up from the cot, her brow knit together. One of his concubines? Why was she here? Groaning again, she lifted up and began to bind her chest when a slender hand slipped through the flap and a face peered in. 

    “Are you Tiye?” Looking into the face of a beautiful woman, she blinked. 

    “Yes. I am her.” The woman smiled and to her surprise, dimples appeared in each cheek. 

    “Great. We have a lot to discuss.”

    “Do we?” She asked, finishing her wrapping. The woman came further into the room and grabbed the pin, sliding it in to hold the bindings together. 

    “We do.” 



*** 


    

    Four men gathered around the table, three of which eyed the way the fourth was pacing. 

    “In a month’s time we shall travel to Song.”

    “Indeed.”

    “Are we all ready?” Yoo-shik nodded without hesitation. 

    “I’m ready Wangja-nim.” 

    “Mal-Chin-ah? Sang-Ook-ah?”

    “Ready Wangja-nim.” The men nodded. 

    “I don’t need to explain the severity of this journey for us. What this means for our loved ones. Our people. Our land. An alliance with Song will provide a greater security net for both nations against the rising Mongols. We must ensure that we not give them a chance to take our livelihoods from us.” 

    “Yes Wangja-nim.”

    “By now, I’m sure that each and every one of you are ready to lay down your lives for that cause.” Again, the men nodded, faces of utmost seriousness. 

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” Finally, he stopped pacing and turned to face them all. 

    “Very well then. Let us prepare.” 



*** 


    “Wangja-nim is your lover is he not?” She felt her cheeks warm. 

    “No…he..he isn’t.” Pursing her lips, she smiled. 

    “Are you aware of how he feels about you?” 

    “He feels nothing… nothing at all but platonic friendship.” At that, the woman laughed and she felt insulted. 

    “Oh my dear, I wouldn’t use those words at all. He most certainly has more in his heart for you than just friendship.” 

    “And you know this how?”

    “Because I am the one he bedded that night he was intoxicated, seduced by the moon’s glow and the scent of my peony perfume.” Her eyes bugged out of her head. 

    “Y-You are?”

    “Yes. I know Wangtaejabi-nim told you. She tells all the harem gossip one way or another.” Stepping back from the woman, she swallowed thickly. 

    “What is your purpose for coming to me?” 

    “A couple reasons. One is to make sure that you protect his heart.” 

    “What?”

    “Had I not had a lover before, surely I might have fallen in love with the prince from that night forth. He loved my body the way he wishes to love yours.” At that, she remained silent, watching as the woman glanced around her. 

    “His heart is fragile and like glass. He needs someone who he can trust irrevocably and full heartedly. Someone who can nurture his spirit and give him solace when the Throne becomes too much to bear, too much to handle.” Turning eyes onto her, she smiled in a friendly manner. 

    “I believe you are the person who can do all of the above.” Heart beating wildly in her chest, she let the woman sit on her cot. 

    “Secondly, I came to you because of this: I wish to go with you.” At that, she couldn’t help the laugh that came from her. 

    “Now I am most certain that you have lost your mind. What place do you think you have on this journey?” 

    “My man is going on this trip and I wish to be with him.”

    “Your man?”

    “Sang-Ook.” 

    “Isn’t he a royal guard?”

    “He is.” The questions spun around in her mind before the unnamed woman answered. 

    “Though I belong to Wangja-nim, I belong to him only by body alone. My heart belongs to Sang-Ook and he and I will be together. Whether in secret or not, it doesn’t matter.” 

    “Should you betray Wangja-nim for another man, you’ll be put to death.”

    “It doesn’t matter. For him, I will gladly surrender up my life.” 

    “So you want to go to be with your man but what can you offer us? We cannot be held responsible for you should you perish. Can you even fight?” The woman smirked. 

    “Do you think all Korean women are weak and docile?” At that, she was quiet as the woman came up to her. 

    “I assure you Tiye. We are not all the same. I can and will fight. Not just for Sang-Ook but for my people to be in a season of eternal prosperity and peace. This thing we are facing is bigger than anything we can ever imagine. I come to you woman to woman to ask that we join forces for the greater good.” Looking at the woman intensely, she felt a stirring in her chest. 

    “What is your name?” 

    “Hae. Yi Hae.” 

    “You may come only if you uphold your weight. We’re dealing with four men on this team and they haven’t been too friendly towards me. I can only imagine how they will feel about you, a concubine in the prince’s harem wanting to take up arms.” 

    “Very well. I will prove to you my worth.” 

End Notes:

 

A/N: Alright guys! I have set the stage and all of the actors are upon it. Get ready because it is going to be a RIIIDEEEE. Our Cheollie is revolutionary isn't he? I have pictures, gifs and even a video below because as with all of my other stories, I an VERY visionary BUT for some reason... with this tale I have been very auditory as well! I will include what voice I imagine Cheol-Su having speaking, laughing and even reading to our little Tiye. The person whose voice it belongs to might surprise you? Or not. LOL. Don't come for me when you find out okay? I can't control these things LOL. hahaha. Till next time! Love you and see you soon! God bless! 

D&L


Yoo-shik:

Sang-Ook:

THEEE BEAUTIFUL SO JI SUB *insert droll emoji* 

Mal-Chin:

Our second heroine Yi Hae:

The way(s) Cheol Su be looking at his baby LOL cause he so obvious with it. Tiye tryna not see it but it's plain as day LOL:

Visual: Park Hyung Sik (I will use a lot of him in the future chapters FYI) 

Our handsome prince practicin his archery:


AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: 

Cheol Su's voice... AT LEAST TO ME *prepares for the weave and wigs to fly* 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTe4f-bBEKg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlRimyjvfHc


 

여덟 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


Yeoldeol 


Eight 

 


    Summer 1033 


    It was early in the morning, dusk still in the sky when they’d set out through the east gate. A band of men had met them there, members of the royal guard that had been hand picked by the King himself to escort them. Up until now, he hadn’t focused too much on anything negative but as he observed how Dong-Il seemed nervous, nostrils flared and a shake of his head here and there, ears pointed straight up he began to feel unsettled. 

    “Wangja-nim?” Turning his gaze towards Tiye, he offered a small smile. 

    “What are your thoughts eolin-i?”

    “Nothing….trying to see how you feel.”

    “I’m fine. Ready to get this over with and come back home.” She nodded as she glanced back towards another person who was approaching. Following her gaze, he frowned and stopped Dong-Il altogether. 

    “Who is this woman?” He asked Tiye, voice showing his displeasure.

    “She is-”

    “I am Hae. Yi Hae.” Her face had been hidden in a blue scarf, delicate hanbok traded for a military style, sure to have come borrowed from one of the guards. One such man paled as he turned.     

    “Hae…what are you doing here?” Sang-Ook hissed, lips pinched tightly. Swallowing, he intensely watched as the man trotted over to the woman who was not to be moved. 

    “I will not go back. Not until you are with me.”

    “Hae,”

    “No! I will not leave.” 

    “Wangja-nim…I told her she could accompany us.” Sliding eyes over to her, he tightened his grip on Dong-Il’s reins. 

    “Will she prove worth your vouching?” The slightest pinch of doubt traveled up onto her face but it was enough to increase the unsettled feeling in his stomach. 

    “We don’t have time to turn back. Not now. Woman,” He faced her. 

    “Do not get in our way. Should you do so, I will cut you down.” She swallowed thickly but she nodded, glancing at her man’s upset expression. 

    “Come. Let’s ride.” Slapping the reins firmly, Dong-Il set off into a full run and soon the others followed suit. 


*** 


    It took them a week to make it to the Sino-Korean border and once they made it, they took their rest. Wangja-nim was adamant about making it there in the time agreed between both Kingdoms so they wouldn’t rest for long. Reaching for a small bunch of carrots, she smiled as Dong-Il greedily chowed on them, selecting to munch on the whole bunch rather than one at a time. 

    “Easy now Dong-Il. They aren’t going anywhere.” The horse snorted his answer as he soon ate enough to take the bunch away from her.  The sun was high and by the setting it was high noon. Dust curled up around them, the familiar capital they had left long behind. 

    “Tiye.” Turning, she found Hae behind her, leaning against one of the trees. 

    “What is it?”

    “I have a request of you.” Swallowing, she pet Dong-Il one last time before fully turning towards her. 

    “What is it?”

    “I ask that we spar. In front of the men.” Smiling, she crossed her arms. 

    “Wangja-nim giving you trouble hm?”

    “He doesn’t care much for me I know. Especially since finding out my identity.”

    “He can’t possibly be mad about what happened. It wasn’t your fault.”

    “But in a way… it was.” Her eyebrow lifted. 

    “How so?”

    “I encouraged him. I led him to believe that he had his heart’s desire underneath him. I sold him a fantasy that he clung to. Only to wake up to realize that it was a lie.”  At that, she thought very carefully of her words. 

    “Is that not what you’ve been forced into?” She lifted watery eyes. 

    “We women do not have it easy and any way we ensure our survival we surely take it.” Reaching for her hand, she gave it a friendly squeeze. 

    “Your life is in his hands as well as mine. We all are at the mercy of the King himself. Should we desire to live and live long, we would do well to sacrifice for it. Be it our emotional wellbeing, our physical wellbeing or even for a little while our spiritual wellbeing. In this life we’ve been dealt, in this society we’ve both been forced into… it is all we have Hae. We are all we have.” The woman began to cry, falling into her arms. Throat tight, she tried her best to comfort the woman. In seventeen summers,  she had learned that the world was cruel to women. But only if they let it be. 

    “What of love?” The woman breathed against her, lifting teary eyes. 

    “Love?”

    “Is love a worthy sacrifice? If you were given a choice…. would you give your love to save him? Your prince?” Swallowing a hard lump that had appeared, she glanced oft into the distance at Wangja-nim, who knelt, helping the other men set up their supplies on varying horses. 

    “I know not if I…I love him… But…he is someone I would give everything for. It is to him that I live and live so graciously.” Hae smiled and lifted, wiping her tears. 

    “Very good.”

    “Should you want, we can spar. I will mention it to Wangja-nim.” Nodding, she gave a small smile of thanks and left her. Dong-Il snorted, flicking his ears suddenly, bringing her attention back to him. He smacked her on the bottom with his head, bringing a laugh to her as she tried not to fall. 

    “Stop it you.” The animal neighed in reply and continued to eat his apples and soon worked on a new bunch of carrots. 



***


    “Let’s move!” 

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” Sweat beaded up on his forehead and he thanked the gods for the turban he’d wrapped around his face. The hat that he’d brought stayed firm in the wind. Scanning the horizon, he swallowed thickly. All around it seemed to be a desert landscape. No green. No forms of life. No inch or inkling of a Song.   

    “Which way are we to go?” He asked one of the men galloping next to him. 

    “Northeast pyeha.” The man answered with a shout. A finger pointed to the left of them. The entire week that they had been traveling, he’d been trying to figure these men out. Dong-Il did not like them but then Dong-Il didn’t like anyone much except for Tiye. He was not an easy beast to impress. Giving him a slap on the neck, he picked up speed and he turned slightly to see Tiye not far behind him. 

    They didn’t much talk, except when delivering directions and even Tiye seemed to keep her distance from them. He’d caught her observing them just the same as he. Trying to read them. He must confess that it was hard to. They didn’t have mental walls up as much as they didn’t have anything up at all. They showed no emotion. No commitment. No humanity. 

    The feeling of dread that had persisted a tiny bit in his stomach flared up and it brought with it a feeling of nausea. Feeling his stomach churn, he tightened his grip on his reins. He’d have to ask Tiye her thoughts. For now, he needed to get them far enough out and prayed to the gods that they made it to fertile land, some sort of oasis. The horses needed fresh water and their supplies were sure to dwindle by another week or two. They needed to see something other than desert and quickly. For if they did not, he was going to have a major problem. 




*** 


    Stepping outside, in the cloth of dusk, she lit a candle or two. Going over to the water that had once boiled, she dipped a rag into it, testing its temperature. Hot but not enough to scald. 

    “Tiye.” Twisting around, she found Wangja-nim leaning back against one of the trees and it was no telling just how long he had been there watching her. 

    “Y-you scared me Wangja-nim.” Pushing off of the tree, his face appeared closer, clothed in the glow of the candlelight. His hair once bound and pulled up away from him was now free, teasing his shoulders. His expression was serious, making her draw breath just a little bit quicker. 

    “I’m most sorry for that. Are you about to bathe?” Feeling her cheeks flush, she glanced at the bucket. 

    “Yes.”

    “Ah. Perhaps I should come back then.”

    “No! No…It’s fine. The water is still hot enough that it can wait a little while yet.” Placing the rag into the bucket, she drew nearer to him. 

    “What is on your mind tonight? You don’t seem yourself.” At that, he sighed and all of the tension in his body seemed to leave him. To her surprise, he pulled her closer still, hands having wrapped around her wrists. Laying his head down on her shoulder, he exhaled slowly. 

    “I am worried Tiye. Most worried.” 

    “About?” She asked, voice full of concern. 

    “These men we travel with.” His voice drifted up to her ear, full of whispers. 

    “I can’t read them.” 

    “Do you not trust them? These men your father selected?” Letting go of her wrists, his hands opted to slid around her waist and he pulled her even closer, face now pressed against her neck. 

    “No. I don’t.” He breathed and it sent chills down her spine, Lifting hands, she gently pressed them against his shoulders, drifting them down to grip his forearms. 

    “They are most aloof are they not? Almost mechanic in their operation.” 

    “I have observed that as well Wangja-nim…” Sighing against her, he let her go, hands now loosely around her waist. 

    “What else have you observed eolin-i?” 

    “Let us talk somewhere more privately.” At that, he nodded and led her away by her hand from the bucket of water on the cooling fire, away from ears and eyes of those who may or may not have been listening. 


*** 


    “They seem to not have any loyalty. No sense of commitment to you.” So, it was true then. She’d picked up the exact same thing he had. Pacing in his tent, he slid fingers through his hair, a frustrated look on his face. 

    “I cannot afford for anything to go wrong Tiye. Not now. Not when we are so close to reaching our destination.”

    “I know Wangja-nim.” 

    “If they pledged loyalty to my father than by law they pledge loyalty to me. Yet, it’s the strangest thing. They do not show any warmth, compassion… they do not even dine with us. They stay to themselves.”

    “Wangja-nim…” He stopped pacing and turned to look at her who sat at his desk. 

    “Do not exhaust yourself. You must remain clear about this. Calm. Focused.” Closing his eyes, he inhaled deeply and licked his lips with a nod. 

    “You are right.” 

    “We know that Yoo-shik, Mal-Chin and Sang-Ook are loyal to you. We know that soon within weeks time we shall reach Song and we know that an alliance with Emperor Renzong will most definitely be forged. We also know that on your team you have at least six people who will fight and die not just for you but for Goryeo.” Standing up, she smiled at him. 

    “For now, let’s just rest in that fact. Hm?” For the first time since their trip began he smiled and soon came to take hold of her face, fondly bringing it upward. 

    “I would be a mess without you Tiye. Truly.” Blushing, she bit her lip. 

    “Wangja-nim.” A voice disturbed them. Letting go of her face, he took a step back, clearing his throat. 

    “Take your bath eolin-i. Tomorrow we ride and ride hard. Be prepared.” Bowing her head, she turned to head out when she bumped into one of the men they had just got done discussing. His icy glare slipped down to hers and chills flooded her entire body. 

    “Enter.” Stepping around her, he soon entered the tent, leaving a trail of ice in his wake. Lifting a hand, she pressed it to her heart and for a moment, glanced back at the tent. Just who were these men? Who were they and for what purpose were they really here?

End Notes:


A/N: HEY Y'ALLLLL! IT'S FRIYAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I work this entire weekend so I figured that I would update before I start my shift! Their journey to Song has began and already thangs ain't right. Personally, I love the interaction between our leading man and lady in this chapter so so much. It's so tender and supportive. I was going to wait until next week to update but I think I'll leave you guys with one more (and I mean one LOL) chapter before I go head and bust out this 12 hr. Leave your thoughts, concerns, etc. I love reading them! 

I've got gifs below! 

See you next chapter hehe. 


D&L


Our second heroine Hae lookin ready to rumble (She a bad mama jama y'all): 

 

Our prince and his myriad of expressions this chapter (accompanied by visual Park Hyung Sik): 

(At the fire with Tiye) 

 

(His look of concern) 

 

​​​​​​​

(Him talkin with our ((and his)) beloved princess)

아홉 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

Ahop 

(nine) 


 

The first thing they heard were the rushing waters. From the sound of it, they were close. Excitement traveled through his veins and he grinned as it spread through the group, Yoo-shik and Sang-Ook joining hands together in victory. Smiling fully, he turned to find Tiye and for a moment, his breath caught in his throat. She had a smile on her face but her eyes were closed and her head was leaned back. She held the reins to her mare tightly and soon, slowly stuck out her tongue as if to taste the wind itself.

    “Wangja-nim! Let us ride to it!” Yoo-shik’s excited voice brought his gaze away from her and he grinned boyishly, giving Dong-Il a light rap on the neck. 

    “Let’s!” The group of them headed off in the direction of the water, their sense of sound proving true. Crystal clear, the water spanned as far as the eye could see. A narrow path and ample land for their camp was to the right. Sang-Ook howled in joy and jumped from his horse into the stream, laughing as his woman came to join him, playfully throwing herself at him. Looking up, he was captured by the natural beauty of the mountains, far up as the eye could see, sunlight glinting off of them in all of their various forms. 

    “You did it Wangja-nim.” Hearing her come next to him, he chuckled some. 

    “We did it Tiye. All of us are to thanks.”

    “Agreed.”

    “Come, let’s enjoy this day hm?”

    “Let’s.” Her eyes twinkled and he grinned deeper as she set off ahead of him, only to join the new set of friends she’d made, playfully splashing Hae with water. Smiling at the scene, he glanced towards the men who had led them here. Out of them all, only one or two showed any sort of emotion. Gladness. For that, he felt relief. Dismounting Dong-Il, he pat his neck in thanks and watched as he began to drink the water, the grasses nearby sure to be his next move. From this point, Song was only a couple days away. So they said. Inhaling deeply, he pat Dong-Il’s neck again. After all the hard work they’d put in, perhaps he too could enjoy himself… even a little. 

    


***

    

    The smell of fresh meat cooking over the fire inspired hunger but then the sight that beheld her inspired hunger too. Of another kind. A kind she couldn’t ignore any longer. She’d left the others at the camp, all merry and laughing, even busting out the keg of soju they’d brought on the journey.  She’d gone to find Wangja-nim to tell him that dinner was on the horizon but was stopped right in her tracks. There, amidst the sky set on fire by the setting sun, he stood alone in one of the many streams. His hanbok had been discarded, neatly folded and placed to the side. Lifting thick arms, he tilted a bucket full of water and it took her breath away as it slid down his body. Only his dari-sokgot remained on him and it became translucent, outlining the shape of firm yet soft looking cheeks. He sighed loudly, in contentment and pushed the drenched hair back from his face. 

    A gush of warm wetness between her legs startled her and she bit her lip in a gasp, eyes transfixed by his beauty. His body seemed to shimmer against the setting sun and with the glimmers of light that danced upon the waters, it appeared that in that moment, he was one of the mystical creatures from the tales he’d read; ethereal, graceful, not of this world. Her fingers gripped the bark of the tree as he untied the strings to the dari-sokgot and pulled it away from him. 

    “Are you spying on your prince?” Freezing, she whipped her head around so hard her neck popped. Letting out a soft noise of pain, she reached up to grab her neck, only to have Hae’s hand shoved against her mouth. The woman pushed her back against the tree. 

    “Shh. He looks this way.” Fear sliced through her and as much as she wanted to see more, she feared if she moved, they would be discovered. She didn’t even think there would be anything she could say to explain her being there and watching him. 

    “Whoever is there make yourself known.” His voice had grown hard and cold and his eyes scanned around him. Hae made a quiet noise of approval. 

    “Oh my. Every part of him is on high alert right now dear friend. Even the rod.” 

    “Hae!” The woman quietly cackled and let her mouth go, watching gleefully as she shyly peeked, hiding all but her eyes. He’d turned his back to her but he held a geom, one that he kept tucked in his boseon. 

    “His skin is like shiny alabaster.” 

    “Hae, let us go back.”

    “You desire him.” 

    “N-No! I simply came to tell him dinner-”

    “How much longer can you hide it before it consumes you with its hunger?” She blushed but still she hadn’t taken her eyes away from him. He slowly placed the geom back on his stack of clothes and grabbed a long roll of fabric. Wiping away the droplets of water that still caused his skin to shimmer and shine, he knelt and washed his dari-sokgot, wringing out the excess water. Slipping into his sok-baji and thicker opaque baji, he lifted his hair and wrung out any remaining water. 

    “If you don’t want him to discover you, we should head back.” Hae’s teasing tone finally brought her eyes away and she let the woman lead her back to camp. 


*** 


    He laughed as he took a bite of the meat Tiye had offered him, eyes dancing with merriment and perhaps even a little mischief. His little one had been acting strange for the past few hours and to say that it bothered him would be an understatement. She seemed uptight, fidgety.  Another laugh rumbled in his chest as he watched the two women outstretch their arms and hobble around each other in circles, humorously ugly expressions on their faces. 

    “Who am I?" Tiye asked, her voice lowered intentionally. The men doubled over with laughter, some obviously intoxicated. 

    “I know! I know who you are!”

    “Who am I?” The woman known as Hae said next, voice just as low as Tiye’s. 

    “The cook Myung-hee! She picks from the plates of the royals before she sends them out. That’s why she’s so fat!”Both women pointed their arms towards the man with a grin. 

    “Correct! Eat your fill before I come to steal it away!” They all bust out laughing and he reached up to dabble at the tears that had formed in the corner of his eyes. Reaching down, he intended to take another bite of his meat but a small brown hand came forward and took it from him, biting into it. Lifting an eyebrow, he watched as she lowered herself down beside him, chewing with a grin on her face. 

    “You intend to steal my meal for real hm?” He asked, grabbing her hand. 

    “Perhaps.” He brought her hand up to his mouth and slowly bit into the meat, eyes never having left hers. 

    “I wouldn’t if I were you.” He answered, tone husky and humored. She pulled her hand away from him and took a small piece of linen, lifting it to wipe away the juice that had seeped onto his chin. 

    “My apologies Wangja-nim.” Grinning, he reached across her and grabbed a large skewer of meat, handing it to her. She smiled in thanks. 

    “What’s wrong? Have I upset you?” He asked, watching as she began to eat, linen pressed delicately underneath her chin to catch any leaking juice from the portion. 

    “No…nothing’s wrong.”

    “You sure eolin-i?”

    “I’m positive.” Nodding then in agreeance, he leaned back to lay upon the ground. Closing his eyes, he let out a loud exhale. 

    “What is on your mind?” She asked, coming to lay her head on his chest. 

    “This day of merrymaking must end.” 

    “Hm.”

    “Tomorrow, we must continue our journey to Song.”

    “Hm.”

    “Tomorrow blood might be shed. Tomorrow those we’ve come to call our comrades thus far might perish.” She lifted up and looked at him as he stared straight ahead, up at the stars that twinkled here and there. 

    “Tomorrow-”

    “Tomorrow is another day not yet here Wangja-nim.” At that, his gaze flickered to hers. 

    “Let us worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.” 

    “For now?”

    “For now, let us enjoy tonight.” Swallowing thickly, he observed as she laid her head back down for a while before pulling away from him completely. Going for her piece of meat, she began to eat heartily, laughing at something Hae whispered into her ear. Swallowing a lump that had formed, he watched her with intense scrutiny…for the first time in perhaps a long time.  Here he was…seventeen summers, set to inherit a Throne and Kingdom…future King…a man who was to be warrior, defender and protector of the People. And so far he couldn’t escape the feeling that eventually…he would have to choose. Love for his country. Or…love-……


Love for Tiye. 


    The thought sent a warm gentle pain to his heart. He…he loved her. He’d never admitted it to himself… tried not to even reflect on the budding feelings. But here and now, the strangest feeling came over him as he allowed the thought to cover him like a warm inviting blanket. Tiye was everything he was told he couldn’t have. She was given no opportunity to succeed or increase her station in life. Set to be lower than dirt… lower than shit for the rest of her life. Unless….unless he gave her one. Feeling his cheeks warm, he took a shaky breath. As of now… only one route would guarantee her ascension. It was one that would change the both of them indefinitely. But in that very moment…he decided. He wouldn’t go without either of them. He would have his Kingdom. And…and he’d have her too.





*** 


    The morning had started off roughly. Hung over, the men seemed to want to be lackadaisical and it was to the threat of each and every one being beaten within an inch of his life that they got up. Wangja-nim was dressed and preparing Dong-Il when everyone gathered, apparently sobered as they took in his intense expression. 

    “Check yourselves. Make sure you have your weapons available and handy.” 

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” His gaze flickered over to the small caravan of men who had led them this far. 

    “From here, how many more days till we reach Song?”

    “Three pyeha. Two if we really push it.” He nodded, satisfied with that answer. 

    “Good then. Tiye.”

    “Yes Wangja-nim?”

    “Ride to my right. At all times. Do not deviate.”

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” He took Yoo-shik in his sight next. 

    “Yoo-shik, you to my left.”

    “Yes Wangja-nim.” 

    “Hae-ah, Sang-Ook-ah, you will directly ride behind me. Is that understood?” Both of them nodded.  

    “You have your orders. Let’s ride.” 


*** 


    By afternoon, hunger had set in but they pushed on, forcing it to wait till later. They had much more ground to cover. Looking up, she felt her throat grow tight. Somehow, the protection that the trees had provided had disappeared and as they traveled further and further down this path, they were increasingly being led into open space. One she did not like. 

    “Wangja-nim.” She spoke curtly, drawing his attention. 

    “What is it?”

    “Did you bring it?” 

    “Bring what?”

    “The map. Did you bring it?” Catching her drift, he immediately halted Dong-Il. 

    “Halt!” He bellowed, reaching behind him for a small canister. Pulling out the map, he lifted his eyes to the small group of men. 

    “Where have you led us?” 

    “On the way to Song pyeha.” Gripping the map in his hands, he nearly crushed it as he spoke again.

    “I’ll ask again. Where have you led us?”   

    “On the way to Song.”

    “Draw your weapons!” He ordered his camp who immediately did so. Taking the eldest one in his sight, he pointed a geom at him. The man for the first time since the trip began showed an outrageous show of emotion, laughing until he leaned over, gripping his horse. 

    “This is where our journey ends together pyeha.”

    “Who the fuck sent you?” He barked, teeth grit together.  

    “Wangja-nim!” Eyes lifted upward as a multitude of men began to gather along the tops of the mountains, arrows drawn. 

    “It wouldn’t matter anyway. You’ll be dead before I even utter a name.” The man lifted his hand and an arrow shot through the air, striking him in the side.

    “WANGJA-NIM!”  Dong-Il screamed and bucked, knocking his owner off of his back. And before they all knew it, a sea of black came raining down upon them. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: AWWW SHNAPPPPP IT DON WENT DOWN. WHEWWW. Our Cheollie admits his feelings for our lovely little lady finally. This is unrelated to the chapter but I have noticed that I have a thing for water scenes LOL. I just noticed that after making this chapter. I don't know why lol. hahaha. Okay I will see y'all soon! Love y'all and please stay safe in this time! Prayers for your families and for your health! May you all be covered in and by the Blood of Jesus. I leave these nuggets of love with you on this Friday night. 

John 14:27 KJV

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. 

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

Psalm 27:1 KJV 

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? 

The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

 BE BLESSED. 

D&L 


terms: 

dari-sokgot- It is essentially 'underwear". Consisting of ties on each side. 





OKAY SO I BEEN SAVIN THIS GIF FOR EONS LOL. WHEN I SAW IT I WAS LIKE BRUH THIS IS CHEOL SU BRUH. THIS IS HIM MAD, ANGRY, PISSED OFF AND READY TO FIGHT. LOL. KEEP THIS IN YA MIND. DON'T LET IT GO LOL. 


YEAH WHEN HE WAS CUSSING HIS BROTHER OUT AND CUSSING THIS TRAITOR OUT, THIS WAS THE MOOD, THE ENERGY THE LOOK LOL. (why Hyung-Sik looks so attractive angry I have NO idea but don't mind me ok bye) 

 

Cheol-Su's other expression of utmost seriousness: 

열 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

*GRAPHIC DEPICTION OF BATTLE WITHIN.* 

 

 

Yeol 

(ten) 


 

He heard faint noise, faint white noise. He couldn’t quite distinguish who or what it was. Through it all, he heard crying. Yelling. He groaned and his eyes opened. In slow motion, a dark woman charged at men half her height, splitting open their stomachs and piercing their hearts with her arrow. She was enlivened with complete and utter rage and it showed, in her cry, in her movements. Groaning again, he felt himself come to more and more and soon unbelievable pain shocked his body, chilling it with sweat and heat. Gritting his teeth, he grunted as he tried to stand. Glancing down at the arrow that protruded from his body, he too felt anger. Rage. Betrayal. Taking hold of the arrow, he snapped it in half, gripping the other end tightly in his hand. 

    “He’s alive!” He heard one of the bastards yell but he didn’t give him a chance to talk anymore, jabbing the end of the arrow into the side of his neck, pressing down deep until blood gushed out and his once bulging eyes grew empty. He grabbed the man’s bow and arrow and took out the approaching three men. 

    “Wangja-nim!” Tiye stood behind him, face covered in blood. Tears in her eyes. 

    “I…I thought they had killed you.” He inhaled shakily before coming towards her. 

    “I will not die so easily eolin-i.” 

    “Behind you!” Before he could move, she’d fired an arrow, piercing him in the neck. 

    “We must find our camp and…get the fuck out of here.” He struggled, pain increasing with every breath. 

    “Agreed.” As they turned, two archers stood there, arrows pointed at them both. 

    “You two will most certainly die here.” Neither of them said anything and he moved before they fired, shoving her back into the dust. He fell on top of her, hands trying to brace his weight. Barely successful, he breathed haggardly, sweat dripping from his nose. 

    “Wangja-nim…”

    “We must…abort this mission Tiye. Right now… our lives are more important.” He grit his teeth in a loud anguished groan, reaching for his side. Tears welled up in her eyes and she lifted hands to press against his chest. Taking the cue, he moved his body to the side, laying on his uninjured side. 

    “Stay here. Please.” She spoke softly before turning to get up. 

    “No!” Pulling her back towards him, he sat up, eyes full of fire. 

    “What did…I tell you? Stay at my right side at all times.” Tightening his grip on her hand, he swallowed the pain down, breathing hard through his nostrils. 

    “Do not deviate.” She bit her lip. 

    “Will you forsake my order?” Coming to squeeze his hand back, she shook her head. 

    “No…Wangja-nim.” 

    “Good.” A large man came out of nowhere and punched her in the jaw. Down she went. 

    “Tiye!” 

    “Your little woman will not survive. And neither will you.” He lifted his fist to strike him but instead struck earth as he rolled away. Adrenaline kicked in and blocked the pain as they ran towards each other, colliding with one another. He punched him in the jaw in return and tried to get his hands around his neck but the much larger man turned, smashing him back against the ground. He lifted his knee and pushed at the protruding piece of arrow in his side, bringing an enraged yell from him. He head-butted him once, twice, thrice before he finally repealed, falling on his side.         

    Ignoring the blood that traveled down into his eyes, he wasted no time as he crawled on top of him. Grabbing a nearby rock, he lifted it and began to strike him, crushing his head with each blow. Blood spurt up onto his face but he kept going until a bloody pulp of brain matter and fragments of skull remained. Crawling on all fours, he blinked past the blood, even in the red haze her body remained. Still. Unmoving. 

    “Tiye…” He grunted, tears coming to his eyes, washing them clean…forcing the blood to travel down his cheeks. 

    “TIYE!” She moved not the nearer he got to her and at long last, he pulled himself up against her, grabbing onto her hair. 

    “Wake up.” His hands felt wet and he knew it was her blood that soaked them. He pressed his forehead against hers, the skin underneath him clammy and moist. The screams of the men around them didn’t matter to him… not right now. He needed her to open her eyes and look at him. 

    “Wake up!” He grit out through clenched teeth, lifting eyes to her face. 

    “WANGJA-NIM!” Eyes fell to her lips, normally smooth and supple now chapped and caked with blood. He could feel it…feel it with his pressed so close to hers. The breath that traveled up through them and landed on his mouth. Fresh tears washed him anew as he felt it again. 

    “Wangja-nim.” Lifting up, he saw the woman Hae standing there, blood splattered across her face as well. She held two long geom, each soaked with blood. 

    “Where is Sang-Ook?”

    “He is alive. Yoo-shik too.”

    “Mal-Chin?” Swallowing thickly, she shook her head no. 

    “We must go Wangja-nim.” 

    “Will you take her?” 

    “Yes.” Taking hold of her hand, she helped him stand. 

    “You need to be treated… immediately.” She voiced, concern heavy. 

    “Not now. Not until we’re away from this place.” She didn’t argue as she went to retrieve her comrade, lifting her up into her arms. All around them, massacre laid in their wake. Mutilated body parts, heads severed and carnage littered the battle field. Blood created a thick sea around them and the earth rejected it at first, soon soaking it up. Eyes lifted upward to the horizon, at all the bodies that dangled over or that had fallen and split in two down further the mountainside. 

    Bringing his gaze away, a laugh made him pause. Lowering his eyes to a man who still itched for a fight, he reached into his boseon and placed his geumjangdo into his mouth, reaching behind him to draw his bow and arrow. 

    “You asked me earlier. Who sent me. Who sent my men.” He fired, striking his arm. Taking a step forward, he drew again. The man groaned, mouth still in a smile. 

    “Wang Seo Jun.” His eyes grew wide and Hae audibly gasped behind him. He struck again in his other arm. The man reached up to break the arrow, both in each arm but went down when he struck him in a thigh. 

    “Y-Your own brother put a hit on you.” He struck his other thigh and threw the bow and arrow down, now taking the geumjangdo from his mouth. The man spit blood towards him and he lifted eyes from the mixture at his feet. 

    “He paid me extra just to serve your head on a platter.” Glancing towards the unconscious woman Hae held he smirked, blood starting to seep through his teeth. 

    “Even more for her. Do you want me to…tell you what he wanted from her?” Lifting the geom, he pressed it against the man’s neck. 

    “Be silent.” He hissed, leaning down to glare into the man’s eyes head on. 

    “You’ve talked enough.”

    “Not… until I tell you what he wanted Wang Cheol Su.” Eyes finding her, he opened his mouth in a laugh, twin streams of blood dripping down either side of his mouth. 

    “He wanted her whole lower half, stomach down to her knees. Disemboweled and stuffed with silk. Ask me why pyeha.” He shoved him on his back, eyes growing dark with fury. Lifting his fingers he whistled, the shrill sound bringing forth the sound of hooves. He quietly stepped back as Dong-Il came towards him. Neighing loudly, he lifted on his front legs before bearing down on one of the man’s legs, bringing a series of tortured screams from the man. Then and only then did the smile disappear. He knelt down, taking hold of the man’s hair. 

    “Perhaps it is your head I shall bring back to deliver to him. A job well done for his faithful servant.” The man wheezed and spit out the words, teeth bared, lips curled up in that sick twisted smile.

    “Your little heathen over there….the bitch with skin like tar. He wanted me to deliver this message to you. That he can still feel her lips wrapped around his shaft. And…and he wanted to know…know if the hole between her legs was as tight as the one on her face.” The laughs that sprung up from the man were immediately silenced as he sliced his head clean off. The eyes of the decapitated head watched as he lifted the geom and stabbed him in the heart, his entrails soon spilling free from an opened torso. 

    “W-Wangja…” He slowly stood, entire front half of him covered in blood and eyed the head whose eyes had stopped blinking. Picking it up by the hair, he turned to face Yoo-shik, Hae and Sang-Ook all of whom had grown pale, the brutality of what he’d done shocking them.

    “Let’s go.” He ordered, walking past them towards Dong-Il. Handing Yoo-shik the severed head, he mounted him, arms extended for Tiye. Pulling her into the saddle, he lifted a hand to her face, now warm. Holding tight to her, arms around her waist, they soon set off away from the land that held all secrets, one that would never tell a soul anything. Ever. 

 

 

 

*** 

 

    They’d reached Song two days later to the relief of Emperor Renzong. But as he set eyes on the condition of the motley crew, he felt sick to his stomach. The one they called Wang Cheol Su, said to be of kind character and gentle heart was not who rode into his camp. Slicked from head to toe in dried blood, his eyes were hard and cold and his jaw was set like stone. He held a woman who appeared to be sleeping, a strange woman whose skin resembled black jade. His guards drew their arrows but he lifted a hand to halt them. 

    “Identify yourself young one.” He ordered the man. 

    “I am Wang Cheo Su. Crown Prince of Goryeo.” 

    “Who are these people that travel with you?”

    “The woman behind me is one of my concubines. The two men are members of my royal military guard.” 

    “As for the woman you hold on your lap?” 

    “She is a servant, given by my father.” Coming out from the screened fortress, a fleet of guards went before him and surrounded him on all sides as he approached them. 

    “Xiu Ying, take the women to the female quarters. My daughter will see that they are cared for.” 

    “At once Huangdi.” One of the men approached him and Dong-Il neighed in warning. 

    “Easy Dongie. Easy. She’ll be all right.” He calmed his steed, allowing them to take her. 

    “See that no harm comes to her.” He instructed the guard, the tongue of Song on his lips. Sang-Ook watched as they took his woman and together they disappeared within the palace. 

    “Come Prince of Goryeo. Allow me to welcome you properly to Song.” Dismounting, he swallowed thickly as the men led them into the confines of the Palace. As Emperor Renzong watched the men sit down, he felt a tearing in his stomach. Just what on earth had this boy experienced? 

 

 

 

*** 

    When she came to, she was in a bath. Gasping for air, her once limp body shot up and she grabbed onto whatever it was in front of her which happened to be the neck of one of the attendants. They screamed at her in a foreign tongue and she eyed them wildly, starting to rise up out of the water. 

    “Tiye-ah! It’s okay!” Hearing the familiar tongue of Korean, she turned to see Hae also in the bath, coming towards her. At once she let the neck of the girl go. Hae turned to the women and uttered something in their language. 

    “Where are we?” She asked, glancing around. They were in a large jade tub filled with roses and steamy water. 

    “We are in Song.”

    “I thought Wangja-nim wanted to go back to Goryeo.” She sighed as one of the women lifted her arm to scrub at the dirt, blood and sweat. 

    “He wouldn’t have survived the long trip back and he knew it. He needed medical attention and so did you.”Accepting her answer, she swallowed as she watched an attendant lift her arm. She looked at it curiously but at the stony expression on her face, immediately began to scrub, the blood of days past soiling the water. 

    “Where is he now?” 

    “Resting in the medical ward.”

    “Ah.” 

    “Relax dear friend. We are safe.” Taking a deep breath, she let all of the tension leave her body and while she visibly relaxed, she kept a careful eye on the women who bathed her. Sweet smelling perfumes were poured on her hair and it lathered, sending the dried caked up blood, dirt and sweat down her shoulders into the water. She sighed in relief and some of the women, all strangers to her, smiled as they continued to clean her. Soon, they were ushered out as the water was too dirty to continue and brought into a beautiful bedroom. Dresses of every color were laid out before them. One of the women spoke to Hae and she translated. 

    “She says that during our stay, we are guests of His Imperial Highness by way of Wangja-nim. Therefore, we shall have our desires met. She tells us to pick a dress to wear to dinner.” Feeling her cheeks flush, she gingerly fingered the material and gasped at the feel. It was real silk, soft and lush. 

    “She asks if you like that one.” Soft magenta and sky blue brilliantly popped against her hand and she nodded yes. The woman smiled and selected it for her. Hae also picked one and soon they were dressed and led into the dining pavilion. 

 

 

***

 

    He stood, having his wound freshly cleaned, wrapped and smeared with a thick medicinal paste. 

    "Wángzǐ, would you like to wear the hanfu provided for you?" One of the attendants asked politely, motioning to a gold and black hanfu, dragon emblem weaved all throughout. 

    “I appreciate it but no. I shall wear my own clothing that I brought with me.” Seeming to understand, the servant bowed out of the way, hands leading towards the door. He grit his teeth but held his posture as he followed the three men into the dining pavilion. The sight of his comrades brought a wave of relief that washed over him like a cold sweat. But one person made his heart beat ten times faster. Tiye. Clothed in the hanfu of Song, she took his breath away. She rose from her seat. Briskly walking over to him, she lifted hands to his chest, seeming to roam them across his torso. Before she could brush his wound, he took hold of her hands, stopping her. 

    “Wangja-nim…”

    “I’m so glad…eolin-i. Glad to see you. Alive and awake.” She lifted teary eyes and gave a brave little smile. 

    “You’d be a mess remember? If I wasn’t here?” Squeezing her hands tight, he returned her smile, teeth on full display. 

     “Wángzǐ, please join us.” The voice of Emperor Renzong forced the moment to end but he held onto her hand as she led him to his prepared spot. She went to help him but he refused her gently, telling her that he was all right. His side hurt like a bitch but he’d be damned if he appeared even the slightest amount of weak in front of the Song Emperor. 

    “Is the medicine working young one?” He asked, reaching for his cup of tea, housed in a cup of pure jade and gold. 

    “Yes. Thank you.” He asked, reaching for his own cup. 

    “My apologies for the situation you endured on your way here.” He waved his hand, a dismissal. 

    “We knew the risks we ran by coming. It is something we overcame.” Satisfied with his answer, the man nodded, taking a sip of tea. 

    “Even so, you are but a boy of seventeen phases. One should not be so experienced in battle.” Lifting his gaze onto the man, he sipped slowly. 

    “Perhaps not for an ordinary boy. But I am not that boy Huangdi. I am the future ruler of Goryeo.” The man laughed heartily, startling the group. 

    “If I have offended you I offer my apology.” He gave a small smile, tight as it was. 

    “No boy would have marched into my camp the way you did. This is true. You are young yes but you have proven yourself to be a man. That is for certain.” Turning eyes onto Tiye, he lowered his cup, silently requesting that it be refilled. 

    “The girl. What is she to you?” 

    “She is a servant as I stated before.” He answered, tone not offering any further explanation. 

    “A servant who clings to you like a woman bound by love. How interesting.” To that, he didn’t respond. 

    “Her skin….it is like black jade. How beautiful and mysterious.” He remained quiet as he tapped the edge of his cup on the golden tray before him, signaling dinner to be served. Floods of servants entered the room, each woman carrying a dish that smelled better than the first. 

    “Huangdi, you didn’t have to do this.”

    “You are the son of the Dragon of Goryeo. Anything less would be an insult.” Foods of all different variety were placed in front of them on a long extended table. 

    “You may help yourself.” He bowed, letting his forehead touch the ground in reverence before lifting up, pushing the pain in his side to the back of his mind. Glancing at Tiye, he walked past her to the table. He could hear her get up and follow close behind. She lifted jeotgarak and began to place small amounts of food on his plate that he motioned towards.      

 Handing the plate to him, she bowed as he left the table and headed back towards his seat. Then and only then did she help herself, taking modest amounts of what appealed to her. Yoo-shik went next and Sang-Ook and Hae behind him. When they were all seated, Emperor Renzong motioned for the other members of his court to go. They all gathered plates and sat. 

    “Let us eat hm? Let us thank the gods for your travels here, your safe arrival and your enjoyment during your stay.”They all lifted up their cups in a toast and began to fill their bellies. 

 

*** 

 

    To say that she was relieved would be an understatement. She could, however, see the pain that traveled through his face every time he moved. He did well to conceal it though. She understood why. If the Prince of Goryeo was seen as weak then his people would be considered weak. Here and now, it was all about keeping up appearances. A very beneficial alliance was in the making and she was not going to get in the way of that. He’d never forgive her. Dinner ended after dragging on rather long. She took a breath as the two female servants of earlier came in. They said something to Hae and she turned to face her. 

    “The Emperor wishes that we retire now.”

    “What about Wangja-nim?”

    “My guess is that they are going to continue talking for quite a while.” She resisted the urge to stay and bowed her head towards him. The gentle touch of his hand on the crown of her head made her smile and she pulled away, getting up with Hae. 

    “I’m sure he will request you to visit him later.” She whispered as she linked arms with her. Perhaps… 

 

*** 

 

    It was nightfall by the time he made it back to his chambers. But at his request, there she was, sitting there patiently on the floor. The Song hanfu had been discarded for something more familiar to the both of them…a pair of baji and jeoksam. Smiling, he closed the door loud enough for her to hear it and turned. 

    “Were you waiting long eolin-i?” 

    “Not long at all.” He peeled off his jeogori and laid it across one of the tables in the parlor. 

    “How are you feeling?” With a sigh, he came towards her and sat down, pain fresh on his face. 

    “I’ve been better.” He grit through his teeth and she turned fully, coming to gently press fingers against the wrapped bandages. 

    “You don’t have to be strong. Not here. Not with me.” She said, lifting worried eyes upward. Taking her hand, he held onto it for the longest time, observing the way their skin tones clashed. 

    “Wangja-nim-”

    “It’s finished.” She didn’t need to ask what because she already knew. Swallowing thickly, she nodded. 

    “Tell me something Tiye.” 

    “Anything.”

    “If I asked you what your greatest hearts desire is what would it be?” For a moment, she bit her lips in thought before she answered. 

    “There are a few that I cannot seem to choose between.” 

    “Such as?” Red set her cheeks aglow but she answered just the way he liked…strongly. 

    “One would be to walk the shore of my motherland, eat her fruits and drink from her wells again. To be surrounded by those who look, sound, and think like me.”

    “You’re homesick.” He mused, gliding his thumb across the back of her hand with a small smirk. 

    “Terribly so.” 

    “You shall once again be returned to your homeland Tiye.” 

    “I believe you Wangja-nim. I don’t doubt it or you for a second.” He swallowed thickly lifting his eyes to hers. 

    “What is the other thing you struggle to choose between?” 

    “Staying with you. The desire to never leave.” She answered with no hesitation and at that, his cheeks grew a delightful shade of pink. But his eyes were of a different force altogether. 

    “Should you eventually desire to leave or stay…That choice I leave with you. But for my sake, I hope that you too never leave.” Drawing her eyes away from the intensity of his gaze, she smiled. 

    “I imagine that I have given you a fright.”

    “How so?” 

    “It’s interesting that in battle, we become not ourselves. All former identity fades away and survival kicks in. The desire to live.” She lifted her other hand to pause his thumb’s movement. 

    “Indeed.”

    “I fear that this journey may change the way we are with one another. Do you fear me?” Swallowing the lump in her throat, she matched his gaze, fearless.

    “Never. You are my Wangja-nim. There is no amount of earth, sea or heaven that shall separate me from you.” 

    “Then the time has come that we find ourselves at a crossroads. Do we not?”  Confusion bled into her features. 

    “A crossroads?”  He grew closer and closer until they fell back against lush tester pillows.   For a good solid minute, she couldn’t speak… couldn’t think for that matter. He sighed against her neck and she felt a gentle warmth ignite her heart. 

    “We are at the crossroads of life. The moment is here for us to decide how we shall live it. Together.” Lifting her arms, she wrapped them around his shoulders. 

    “What place do I have in your Kingdom? In this new world that you will create with your bare hands?”  He lifted his eyes to hers.

    “You shall serve many functions.” Her breath hitched in her throat as he leaned down closer, lips terribly close to hers. 

    “For now eolin-i, we shall gather rest. Our trip here had been most exhausting.” He leaned up to kiss her forehead with a smile. Without another word, he pulled away from her completely. 

    “Come. Let us retire.” Lifting, he outstretched his hand to hers and soon they slept in the beautifully ornate canopy bed, clothed in quiet and peace. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: HAPPY FRIYAYYYY!!!! hehee. SO, some of y'all guessed it, called it, sensed it and y'all was RIGHT. Seo-Jun employed those men to take out his little brother. Y'all know why. He's such a coward oh my gosh. Y'all KNOW Cheol-Su gon get that a**. It's coming. Speaking of our prince, he's definitely seen some character development hasn't he? He ain't the ONE and everyone will soon find that out. Even his brother. There is a shift taking place between our sun and moon. Can you feel it? I've got terms, gifs and pictures below!! 

Leave your thoughts, likes, dislikes, concerns, etc. Also in that comment as to how you are doing in the midst of this pandemic! Are your families okay? I love and pray for each of you! AH! I have some exciting news! I will be compositing a volume of short novels/narratives! It is in the works and I will let you know when the book will be for sale! Novels like this such one will be included! 

It's something that I have wanted to do for a while now but never got around to it! <3 Will y'all be down? Lemme know! 

Love y'all! See y'all soon! 

D&L

 

Terms: 

 boseon- Socks that are worn with hanbok.

geumjangdo- A type of small dagger or sword that men typically carried with them for protection.

Huangdi- Emperor

hanfu-traditional clothing of the Chinese. Below are the hanfu Tiye and Hae wore to dinner. (left is Hae. Right is Tiye) 

tester- from the information I found, tester was like a type of padding used in beds way before the kind we have now. 

Wángzǐ- son of a King 

Jeotgarak- Korean for "chopsticks"

 Jeoksam-A thin "jacket" that is directly worn under the jeogori. Below is basically how Tiye appears. 

 

The feast they were gifted with:

Tiye's hair:

 Cheol-Su's bed (rather the shell of it lol):

And lastly, what I imagine Cheol-Su's face to have appeared once finding out his brother's betrayal and his offense against Tiye:

열하나 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

** This chapter will include traditional Korean and Afrobeat performances. Links to videos will be placed at the bottom of the chapter as to not disturb the chapter.** 

 

 

 

 

Yeolhana 

 

(eleven) 

 

The gates opened and in the five of them trotted only to receive a collective cry of joy. He held fast as Dong-Il galloped further inside until he reached the main palace courtyard. There stood his father and there was more grey in his hair and beard than there had been before he’d left. My, how the months had changed him. Changed them both.

    “Cheol-Su-ah…” He stepped forward to hug him. 

    “Welcome back my son. Welcome home.” He didn’t move to hug him back but he leaned onto him a little, accepting the touch. 

    “Oh thank the heavens!” His mother rushed forward and crushed him in a tight hug. 

    “My darling boy…I heard what happened…”  Mishil stood next to their mother, waiting for a turn. There off in the corner stood Hyung-nim. Feeling his jaw grow tight, he leaned down to kiss her cheeks and those of their younger sister.

    “What happened you say?” He asked, lifting eyes to his eldest brother. 

    “We were told that you were attacked by a band of thieves! I cannot imagine the fright you must have endured! I told your Father not to let you go.” Thieves they said. Hm.

    “I went and I returned. Are you not proud of me?”

    “Of course I am! My darling boy.” As she pulled him away, she praised him for finally starting to let his hair grow, the strands nearing his shoulders. 

    “Are you not happy to see your brother Seo Jun? You’ve not said a word since he arrived.” Their father commented, eyes shrewd and lips tight. He looked like a tea pot that was set to boil over, red face included. Approaching him, he outstretched his hand. 

    “Welcome home little brother. It’s good to see you made it back to us unharmed and safe.” Swallowing the lump in his throat, he only gave him a nod, forgoing any form of physical contact. If he touched him, he’d take him down.

    “It’s good to be home Hyung-nim. Very good indeed.”

    “Cheol-Su. Come. Let us talk.” The command came from his father and he pulled away from the rest of his family, chest tight. Oh yes, things most definitely had changed in his absence and they would never again be the same. 

 

*** 

 

    Hae collapsed on her bed with a content sigh. 

    “Thank gods we are home! That bed from Song was hurting my back like crazy.” She chuckled at the woman who lifted a fist to pound her back playfully. 

    “Thank gods for Korean soil hm?”

    “Yes. Gods yes.” Smiling at her, she pushed up her hair that she had fashioned in small single braids. The golden twine she’d weaved through the hair. 

    “So?”

    “So what?”

    “You left here a girl of seventeen summers and you’ve returned now a woman of battle.”

    “Yes and?”

    “When will you too be made a woman in the flesh?” Her face flushed red and her eyes grew wide. 

    “E-Excuse me?” Hae grinned in a quite unladylike manner.

    “It’s cute…the tension between you and Wangja-nim.” She sighed. 

    “I understand. Really I do. About keeping it quiet. Keeping it hidden. But at some point, the two of you will have to cease with the games. It’s not fair to either of your hearts.”

    “And what if we get caught? They would kill me with no hesitation. Would have done so a long time ago if not for Wangja-nim. I’m not stupid. I know that he and he alone is my saving grace for this life.” Hae smirked. 

    “So you do finally admit you feel something for him.” She lowered her gaze and gripped her fingers tightly behind her. 

    “I-It’s not…I’m not…” 

    “Not possible?” The woman smiled and lifted up. 

    “My dear friend, any and everything is possible. Nothing is off limits, at least not behind closed doors. If you so chose, you could be with him every night and no one would know of it. Depending on how quiet you kept yourself.” 

    “No…No I wouldn’t do that. I couldn’t…couldn’t do that. He has obligations. He’s set to be married…I can’t get in the way of that.” 

    “You’re afraid.” Her lips parted. 

    “Rest assured my dear…he’s experienced the same amount of fear as you. Perhaps for years and years now.” Hae smiled and took her hand. 

    “He’s moved past the fear of what could be and what shall not be. Instead, he’s decided that the love he feels for you is more important… more powerful than any sentence fellow man may declare against he or you.” She felt her heart pound against her chest. 

    “Lying to yourself does neither one of you any good. If he has the courage to challenge not just his way of life but the idea of possibly sacrificing his very own destiny for you…then… perhaps…perhaps that is the way you can repay him for giving you this life. Repay him with honesty. And with your love. I’m sure that nothing more would satisfy him.”Squeezing her hand, she pulled away, nothing more of it coming from her. 

    “Tonight they will be holding a grand celebration for the return of Goryeo’s future King. Left a boy now returning a man. I expect to see you there dear friend.” Smiling to herself, she left her in search of good ol Korean cooking, something that her stomach had missed on its journey away from home. 

 

*** 

 

    The sound of the Buk and Janggu created a thunderous clap in the hall; Gayageum and Daegeum created piercing soul shattering sound, filling up the spirit with emotion. Dancers dressed as Cheoyong, the son of the Dragon King, lifted their arms, each covered in an extra long  sleeve, white and graceful. They swayed to the music, outstretching their sleeves towards him, asking the gods for more favor to be granted upon him, more favor and tranquility. Seated on a dais, he closed his eyes for a moment, just breathing in the air. The wood from the fires left a smoky warm scent in the air. Combined with the sweet smells that drifted up from the dancers, he swallowed trying to take it all in. It was good. It was heavy. It was home. 

    “Oppa-nim, I think you should see this.” A line of gisaeng started for the pavilion and his mouth dropped as he caught one holding on to Tiye, arms linked. Seo Jun barked his laughter, eyes filling with condescending tears. 

    “The whores have adopted your little slave. Gods. What are we coming to?” He said nothing as he turned to look at him. Fists tight, they gripped the arms of his chair. His mouth snarled up but he said nothing in return. Now was not the time. He’d have his moment of retribution. 

    Pressing his teeth down onto his tongue, he inhaled deeply through his nostrils and turned his gaze back towards the group of women. The women were dressed as warriors. They were going to perform Geommu. One of his favorite performances since he’d been little. Tiye wasn’t dressed as one and he knew she wasn’t going to perform but the thought tickled him. 

    Licking his lips, he watched her lift her chima and move along beat with the women as the dance began. Her small brown feet lightly stomped into the ground and her body moved different than the others… more fluid…like water. 

    “My, how she moves.” Seo Jun commented, eyes watching the way her hips rolled along with the beat of the drums. 

    “I imagine she rides the same exact way. Draws you into her very soul just before she devours you.” His eyes found his brother again and this time, his nails dug into the ends of the chair. 

    “I’m certain those in the harem would be happy to entice your fantasies Seo Jun.” Their father spoke quietly, his expression signaling his inappropriate comments to cease. 

    “Indeed Father. Indeed.” The sound of the daegeum and piri intensified, silencing all the spectators. Relaxing his fingers, he turned towards the performance. Inhaling deeply, he closed his eyes and let the music drown him. In time all would change. In due time.

 

 

 

 

*** 

 

    The women danced before her, twirling and twisting kal around their bodies. For reasons unexplainable to her, her eyes filled with tears as she watched Hae dance so elegantly and gracefully. The dance… she wanted to know more of it. It was beautiful to see. Women in military dress showcasing their inner power and strength. All to honor and show their humility towards one man. 

    Tearing her gaze away from the women, she looked upwards towards the elevated dais. He sat to the right of his Father, leg crossed, foot tapping against the arm of the chair. His obsidian hair had been lifted and placed inside of a silver holder. Clothed in a mint and dark teal blue hanbok, silver dragon patterns popped on his chest. Biting her lip, she swallowed. His face was stony and his gaze hard. Something she noticed had been a permanent fixture since their journey to Song.

    Taking a deep breath, she gathered up some of her chima between her fingers. For her comfort and hers alone, she’d tried to keep him in the safety net of being Wangja-nim. The gentle hearted and wide smiled boy who did his best to make her laugh when tears met her. The boy whose eyes danced with humor and mischief when they roamed the lands, playing until they both grew fatigued. The boy who held her close every single night, chasing away the nightmares of her former handlers. 

    Lifting her gaze from the ground, she found him again. That boy had grown taller. That boy’s once slender formless body had changed, hard defined muscle and broad shoulders now clothing him. Thin reedy legs now shapely and toned. His hair, once cut close to his scalp in rebellion now neared his shoulders. Within a month’s time or two, she guessed that it would travel past his shoulders. His hair always grew so fast. In the haze of the drum, in the delicate beauty that existed in the swirling bodies, she admitted a truth. The boy that he once was had now come into his own. And now, without a shadow of a doubt…he was now a man. 

    The tinkle of the kal triggered something in him and at the moment the women stopped dancing… their gazes locked. There, the hard countenance faded and curiosity instead drifted into his features. Lifting an eyebrow, his silent question would remain unanswered. Because she found that she didn’t have the courage yet to answer with her mouth…the way her body answered. Dropping her gaze, she closed her eyes and let the applause from the crowd cover her. Feeling a hand on her arm, she opened her eyes to see Hae grinning as they left the stage. 

    “Your prince looks this way dear friend.” Taking in her laugh, a small smile teased her lips as she pulled her away from his presence. 

 

 

***

 

 

    “What happened?” Lifting firm eyes up to his father, he licked his lips. 

    “Do you not believe what was told to you Father?” The man’s jaw tightened. 

    “Some parts of it remain questionable.”

    “Is that so?”

    “The men I employed to accompany you. Why did they not return with you?”

    “Did they ever accompany me at all?” At that, his Father began to pace. 

    “I didn’t see them off the morning you left.”

    “What then could have happened I wonder?” 

    “Cheol-Su. Enough with the riddles and rhymes.” Pressing his hands upon the table, he leaned forward.     

    “Tell me what happened.”

    “Your eldest son knows the answer to that. But he will never tell you the truth. It’s a good thing though that I know.” Standing, the next words out of his mouth sent chills down the man’s spine. 

    “Everything will come to the light sooner or later. I’ll make sure of that.” Feeling his Father’s eyes burn holes into his back, he slid open the door and left him to wonder. Throat tight and jaw clenched, the sting of fury teased the side of his belly and as he went in search of Tiye, it only increased. 

    “Cheol-su-ah!” Pausing, he turned to see Jae-Hwa heading towards him. 

    “You’ve returned.” She commented, a smile on her lips and a blush on fair cheeks. 

    “I have.” He answered blandly, his emotionless gaze making her swallow thickly. 

    “Thank goodness you’ve come home safely.”

    “Indeed.”

    “Cheol-Su-”

    “If you’d excuse me…” He started to turn around but she grabbed his hand, gripping tightly. 

    “I know where you intend to go. To the musori. Right?” He didn’t answer. 

    “You’ve grown heartless in your time away. The woman who you shall wed has waited for you to return this whole time. Anxiously. And yet you have no more to say but you must go.” He took his time facing her, jaw still clenched. 

    “Do you not think I’ve suffered? In your absence? Not knowing if you should return to me alive?” 

    “Jae-Hwa,” She tightened her grip on his hand, the force bruising. 

    “Please. I am not one of your men. I am me. It is me.” At that, he with a breath, released all the tension from his body and his facial features softened. Firm but relaxed.

    “My apologies.” 

    “Will you stay with me tonight? Please?” It took him the longest time before he answered. 

    “Fine.” 

 

*** 

    “Sometimes you have to teach men how to please you.” 

    “The royal accountant has been trained well thanks to me. He’s become quite the expert with his tongue.”

    “The only one still needing training would seem to be Wangja-nim.” At the mention of his name, she looked up, having Hae’s fingers gently combing through her wet hair with her fingers. 

    “Wangja-nim?” The small group of women who had been talking grinned at her. 

    “Hae how was he the last you had him?”

    “He was spectacular.”

    “Oh?”

    “He wasn’t for you?”

    “He laid there like a limp board. No movements. No reactions to anything I did. Quite boring.” The women shared laughter. 

    “It’s not that he doesn’t know what to do. It’s just that he doesn’t want to.” The women agreed. 

     “He truly is impressive otherwise. His member is a beauty to witness. It grew up like a big tall tree the more I stroked him and I must say that it was fascinating to watch. He has perfect girth and length.” Her cheeks grew warm and she coughed, tightening her grip on her hands. 

    “You gotta get him drunk. When he’s drunk he’s much more participatory. Right Hae?” Pulling her fingers from her hair, she hugged her close. 

    “Ladies you forget that some of us are still innocent in the bedroom area. Calm it down some.” Eyes turned to her. 

    “Tiye, you’ve never been with a man before?” Not trusting her mouth, she just shook her head. 

    “Not even with Wangja-nim? We’ve heard stories.”

    “N-no.” The group of women crowded her. 

    “That’s hard to believe. You’re always with him. Under him I’m told.”

    “Where are you hearing these things?” She shot back suddenly indignant. 

    “Those are just rumors Jae-Ri and didn’t she just tell you she’s never been with him. You’ll believe anything.”  The woman pursed her lips and backed off, leaving the younger girls to take her from Hae. 

    “I think it’s cute. That you’ve never been with him.”

    “Yeah, I remember my first time. It wasn’t pleasant.”

    “Well mine was. I got lucky to fuck one of the guards that stands watch in the North gate… the one I had a crush on? Turns out that he liked me too. That made our first time pleasurable.” The girls all looked at her. 

    “Will you bed him someday?” At that her eyes grew wide and her mouth flopped open. 

    “Girls enough. Come on now, let’s clean up and get ready for tonight.” Hae shooed them away with a laugh. 

    “Hae…”

    “Don’t listen to them dear friend. When it is time…you will know. Come, let’s get ready for the feast.” 

 

*** 

 

    Eyes watched the woman fill his cup with soju. If he had it his way, it would be laced with poison. Watching him drink made his insides twist. This was not how it was supposed to go. This was not the plan. Myung-Dae had failed in the most gravest of ways. How hard was it to kill the bastard? If he knew like he did, it wouldn’t take much. The little son of a bitch had always been a cry baby and found solace in their mother’s bosom rather than in the sword. Tightening his grip on his cup, he swallowed his infuriation. So his plan had been foiled. And he knew that he knew what he’d attempted to do. For now, they both had to play it cool. But for how long that would last he wasn’t sure. 

    Turning eyes onto the woman, he licked his lips. He lamented in the reality that he couldn’t have had her stuffed lower half situated around his shaft day and night. But then perhaps her living form was better. She couldn’t hide from him all the time and not for long anyway. She might have had fun in her little fantasy world the time they’d been gone. But he’d be glad to reacquaint her with the reality of court life. Smirking, he watched as she stood up, hanbok accentuating her curves. It would most certainly be his pleasure. 

 

 

*** 

 

    Watching the pair, she gripped her chima so hard her knuckles grew white. If she could, she would create a vast distance between them. He smiled at her as a form of thank you and she quietly kneeled back away from him. Sujecheon filled the room and most of the court were contemplative, full with food and drink. The delicate sound that existed in the arrangement was said to be the most beautiful. But, there was only one thing… one person rather that she felt was most unwelcome. It was unnatural to have someone like her here. Gripping her cup, she pinched her lips together. 

    “You’re seething.” Turning towards Mishil, she took a sip. 

    “Why is she here?” Mishil chuckled, lifting her cup. 

    “She is a servant is she not?”

    “Her presence offends me to the greatest extent. All over him.” His sister said not a word, only smiled to herself as she too observed the pair. She sat off by the door, eyes down as was appropriate. 

    “WHERE ARE THE GISAENG?” Humored eyes found their brother eyes aglow with intoxication.

    “Jae Hwa.” Turning fuming eyes towards his sister, she scowled. 

    “Are you not his future Queen? Are you not his future wife? Surely, you aren’t going to allow a cheonmin to upset you.” Inhaling sharply, she glanced over at her again. 

    “YOU!” The woman made a sound of protest as Seo Jun strolled over to the girl and roughly grabbed her up. Her heart sunk as Cheol Su stood, features dark with fury. 

    “Let her go Hyung-nim.”

    “I want to see her dance. Don’t you? Hm? She is good at everything else. Warming your bed. Sucking me off.” Shoving her towards the middle of the room, the instrumentalists suddenly stopped playing as she fell in front of them. 

    “Surely, she’s good at shaking that gigantic ass of hers too.” Adorned with slender cylindrical gold beads, her short braids rattled against the floor as she stayed low and still. 

    “WHERE ARE THE FUCKING GISAENG? BRING THEM HERE.” He hollered towards some of the gungnyeo that lingered by the doors. Jumping, they quickly exited, going in search of the requested women. All was still and quiet as the noble men and women held their breaths. 

    “Sit down son.” Turning furious eyes onto their father who sat on a seat of jade and gold, he moved not. 

    “Is she not a person?” He asked, eyes gliding across the men and women who appeared comfortable, privileged and without care. 

    “She is cheonmin.” Jae Hwa spoke up, sneer on her face. 

    “You heard him musori. Dance. Entertain us.”  

    “Tiye, you don’t-”

    “Sit down Cheol Su. Now.” His father ordered, gaze stern, lips beginning to pinch. Clenching his teeth and jaw, he slowly sat back down, nails digging into his palms. The girl finally moved and slowly stood to her feet. The door slid open to find several of the gisaeng that had been forcefully roused from their sleep. They quietly entered, reverent bows towards the King, Queen, and members of the royal family. 

    “Play.” Seo Jun ordered the musicians and at once, they began to beat the buk and janggu. The holy sound of the gayageum and daegeum filled the room. She lifted her chima slightly, exposing her ankles and held it at the waist, bunching it slightly. A chill ran across her as she watched the woman begin to dance, pointing her toes outwards on the beat. Suddenly, she let the chima go and lifted her leg slightly before starting to sway her body along the melody of the strings. Seo Jun grinned, licking his lips before lifting yet another cup to his mouth. 

    “Good. Very good.” He praised as she turned, rolling her hips. In that moment, every eye was on her, captivated as she twirled. Her chima created a cloud of elegance about her small body as it funneled out. Bending low, she made a popping motion with her derriere and some of the women gasped, covering their faces with small delicate fans. The men, however, greedily soaked up her sensual movements like water in rice. When at last she stopped, the air was tense, tight and uncomfortable. Breathing heavily, she didn’t move, awaiting a response, an order, something. 

    “You’ve done enough for tonight. Retire.” The King ordered her and at once, she bowed, rushing out of there. She didn’t even acknowledge Cheol Su, who looked so many things. Taken aback. Surprised. Angry. Impressed. Even… a tad bit aroused.

    “Gisaeng, entertain us now.” Taking their places and their fans, they began. For the first time since the evening started, a sense of normalcy, civilization and order crept back up. For the first time since the evening started, she was comfortable again. But as she glanced upon her future husband, her stomach began twisting in knots.

End Notes:

 

A/N: HAPPY HAPPY. Y'all know what day it is hehe. FRIYAYYYYY!! Whoop Whoop!! Whew. One: This chapter took A LOT of research. Hopefully it reflects that. I literally spent HOURS UPON HOURS on youtube lol. I have pictures, videos of performances and gifs below. Two: SEO HUN A UGLY HATIN A** BIH. Three: I also have another surprise... ANOTHER UPDATE! lol. Being a nurse aide, amid this crisis we got going on, things have so far been kinda slow but I've been told that it is the calm before the storm. The hospital I work at is preparing for an mass influx projected within the next week or two SO with that said, understandbly I may or may not have the energy or time to update after my shifts lol. Just a heads up! Leave your thoughts below guys! Love you! God bless each and every one of you reading! 

D&L

 

Instruments:

Buk:

Janggu:

Daegeum:

Gayageum:

Piri:

 

Performances

Geommu (I've also seen it spelled Geomgimu):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw98FGHZWIc

 

Kal: Knives used in Geommu:

 

Cheoyongmu:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kcq0Mg0ZHoM

 

Sujecheon:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4WNGhueYIs

 

Tiye's dance (BY THE AMAZING MALAIKA..Y'ALL SHE IS AMAZING): 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHwZ6ef1ESI

 

The way Cheol-su looked at his brother upon arriving home:

 

His fits this chapter:

How I imagine him to have been looking at Tiye at the end of the chapter:

 

 

 

열둘 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

Yeoldul

(twelve) 


Sweat beaded up on pearl skin and moans once soft now drifted past the doors into the hallway. A pair of brown feet stood by said door as she listened to the grievous sounds, heart twisting painfully in her chest. Months had passed. Since the festival. Since the rage of the Wangja and her humiliation. Over the course of those months, Wang Cheol Su had turned eighteen summers. He’d seemingly let the rebellious phase of his younger years go and his reputation was now widely known in and out of the Palace. A man who cared for his People. Would not hesitate to shed blood for his People.

    The sounds from the woman increased in pitch and tempo before they grew silent. And it was at that moment that she pulled herself away from the door, throat so tight it hurt. Much had changed since they’d returned. Dignitaries from Song had come and gone, the alliance between the two Kingdoms solid. All that remained was the coronation. Set to take place the following year, moves were put in motion and much planning had begun to take place. 

    It had been months since anyone had seen him. Her. Together. The glimpses she had caught of him were with Jae Hwa and she tried not to interfere much. His consort forced her away…demanding that other female servants attend to him should the need arise. She couldn’t protest, complain or dare challenge the orders. Instead, she found herself crammed into the kitchen or spending time in the harem with the other women who she’d come to know fondly. They had taken her in their care if you will and in the time that had passed, she had learned things about the art of femininity and her body that she hadn’t before. Korean femininity and that of her people were different and yet parts remained remarkably the same.

 

***

 

 

    “You’ve got it right.” 

    “Like this?”

    “Yep.” Holding a multicolored fan, she mimicked the movement of one of the gisaeng. 

    “Good Tiye. The way you dance… it’s mesmerizing.” 

    “Is it?”

    “Yeah. You move differently. Like you hold water in your hips.” At that, she bust out laughing and covered her face with the fan. 

    “Hips that hold water hm?”

    “If I moved like you, perhaps I could own my own brothel. Or own a small farm in my hometown.” One of the other gisaeng commented, watching as she swayed back and forth. She grinned, closing the fan and handing it to Hae. 

    “How many of you are set to start your cycles?” The one known as Jae-Ri asked, lips pursed. A few raised their hands. 

    “Make sure you mark it down! Let us pray that you’ve cleaned their male fluids from you thoroughly.” Hae pouted, wrapping an arm around her. 

    “I don’t know about you but I’m about to eat a horse.” 

    “I second that.” She said with a laugh, her stomach growling in agreeance. 

    “You want to see if Myung-hee has spared any scraps?”

    “I’m not eating after her. She’s a pig!” Sun-Mi replied, nose scrunched in disgust.

    “It’s a wonder that she hasn’t been arrested or taken to the lash yet.” Hae snorted, linking arms with her. 

    “Myung-hee has been with this family for years. They’re not gonna get anybody else that they trust to cook their meals. She’s as good as it gets around here. Even with her swiping food.” As they were about to head out, some came through the door having just got back from excursions and work related activities. They took off their jeoduris, collapsed on their pallets, some even squat over a bronze pan and flushed water up into their insides to clean themselves. 

    “Bring us back something good hm?” They had stepped out and were coming down the small set of steps when a servant came bum rushing them, nearly knocking her over. 

    “Help me…please.” Her face had been beaten savagely and tears fell down swollen cheeks. 

    “Dear gods…” Hae whispered, reaching for the woman. 

    “Who has done this to you?” She asked, attempting to take her hand but when she recoiled sharply, she withdrew her hand jaw tight. 

    “It is because of you that I have been brutalized.” 

    “What?”

    “And it is because of you that they fight.” At that, she lost all the color in her face she would have. She grabbed the woman by the shoulders. 

    “Where?”

    “West Gate.” Swallowing tightly, she gave the woman a hug, in askance for forgiveness and perhaps understanding. Taking off, she dodged people here and there on her way. 

    “Tiye!” She heard Hae shout behind her but she kept going. Feeling panic rise up in her chest, she turned west and as she got closer, she felt the panic increase. Up ahead, she saw Dong-il still tied to his post. It appeared that Wangja-nim was about to go for a ride and was interrupted by Seo Jun wangja-nim. They had swords drawn. 

    “You think fucking Jae Hwa will erase her from your mind?” Seo Jun. 

    “Mind your fucking business.” Seo Jun smirked. 

    “You should’ve taken her that night while she bathed. If you had, you wouldn’t be tormented little brother.”

    “You don’t care what torments me Hyung-nim. You and I both know that.” Eyes took in the two brothers, Wangtaejabi-nim, Wangbi-nim and Jae-Hwa not too far away. All of whom looked frightfully concerned. They charged for each other and their swords created a harsh clash, metal scraping metal. 

    “You can’t interfere with this.” Eyes found Hae next to her and she gripped her hand tightly. 

    “I know you wish to. But it is not your place.”

    “Am I to let him be killed?” She asked quietly as the brothers fought, Wangja-nim narrowly escaping a rough kick to the face. 

    “We are cheonmin Tiye. We have no place but that which is given to us.” Leaning to the side, she pressed her lips against her temple. 

    “Should you stay still…he shall give you your rightful one.” Blinking in confusion, so many questions bled into her features but at the sound of pain, her eyes dart back to the scene before hand. Seo Jun had been struck, a deep gash across his face. 

    “You little shit!”

    “You believe that you are exempt from any form of punishment no matter what you do. It’s arrogant. It’s disgusting.” Wangja-nim growled, pressing the tip of the blade under his chin. Blood had started to seep down into his jeogori but his eyes burned with intense hatred. 

    “You are the one to render that punishment little brother? The boy who can’t even decide which is more important to him…a cheonmin whore or his future wife? You lurk in the shadows lusting after a woman you’ll never have the balls to take.” His grip on his sword tightened but move he did not, forcing his head back further, the column of his throat fully exposed. Seo Jun laughed some, adam’s apple bobbing. 

    “I could do it right now. Slit your throat and leave you to die in this very courtyard.” At that, their mother started for them. 

    “Cheol-Su-ah….don’t do this. Please.” A dark wave of fury spread across his features and it gave her chills.

    “Come my boy. Let us calm down now hm?” Their mother cajoled, reaching for his arm, the one that pressed the blade against her other son’s jugular. Drawing back his sword, he allowed his eldest brother to stand. His normally kept hair had started to come a loose, wet slick strands framing his face. 

    “The power you covet comes for a price Hyung-nim. The pathway to becoming a King is not simply won by brutality and blood. The pathway to becoming King must start within the self.”

    “What the fuck are you talking about you sack of horse shit!” He sneered, trying for him again. Their mother screamed and was shoved out of the way. He ducked and to all those who watched, surprise drifted up as the youngest knelt low, knocking Seo Jun to the ground. The sword loudly clattered upon the dirt and he grabbed his arm and pulled it back, forcing him to lie on his stomach. 

    “You take, pillage, rape and abuse. You’re a savage beast who has no self control or conviction. So simple minded you think that the measure of manhood is by how many women you fuck or raise a hand to. You’re not worthy to be King of Goryeo. You’re not worth anything at all.” Leaning down, he spoke roughly against his ear. 

    “By the Gods above, if it were not for our mother and our grandmother’s memory, I would wring the breath from your very lungs. Brother or no brother. Blood or no blood you would be cut down. Spend time in the temples thanking her spirit for their mercy.” Letting go of him, he stood and sheathed his sword. Glancing up at the faces of his mother, sister and consort, he took a rough inhale and soon joined them. 

    When it was all said and done, the crowd dispersed and Seo Jun remained lying on the ground, face buried in the dirt. Ego too wounded to face anyone. Lifting her eyes, there she found the King standing not too far away from the scene and for the briefest moment, their eyes met. Feeling her heart race, she immediately dropped her gaze and Hae drew her away. 

 

 

 

*** 

 

    It was chaos. Complete and utter chaos. Stray dogs, chicken and other livestock roamed the streets, trailing under their feet a combination of their own waste and that of the inhabitants. The smell was nauseating and the grime and dirt that covered the passing human bodies infuriated him. Babies cried while others nursed openly from mothers who stood by horses, houses and husbands, breasts unashamedly bared. Pulling his rough straw hat further down to cover his face, he began to enter into the melee. 

    “That damned King sits on his Throne while the rest of us suffer down here! It’s bullshit!” 

    “His sons aren’t any damn better! The eldest boy I hear has fathered three secret children and has had them all put to death.”

    “And the youngest boy?”

    “Still sucking his mother’s titty they say. Hasn’t weaned from the milk nor have his balls dropped.” The pair of men laughed, one shaking his head. 

    “We’re better off without them. They don’t give a shit about any of us down here. Not while they sit on their golden thrones and eat six times a day.” Throat tight, he watched as they went on about their business. Nausea twisted his stomach but he forced himself to stand still and observe the daily lives the people… HIS people endured. Jaw clenched he began to move with a small crowd of people, careful not to walk too close to any of them. It broke his heart to see innocent men, women and children in such deplorable conditions. They were completely uninhabitable. 

    Entering into a local tavern, he sat down, the rough burlap of his hanbok rubbing against his skin irritably. He’d never worn anything so rough and unrefined but it was all for a reason. If he were to be King to these people, he needed to understand just where they came from. He needed to experience what they did. Hearing a small commotion behind him, he lifted the small glass of soju that was given to him by the barmaid. It was interesting the rumors that circled around. Some of them brought a smirk to him. Others unsettled him as he listened to the obnoxiously loud chatter that increased in decibels the more soju that flowed. One, however, caught his attention. It was two men and two women. He could ascertain that they were prostitutes, comfortably seated on the men’s laps, jeogori open to expose their breasts. The men looked rough around the edges, dirt clumped in messy topknots. 

    “Have you heard?”

    “Heard what?” 

    “They say that the youngest neglects his future wife.” He smirked against the cup. Neglect wasn’t the right word. 

    “Wait, the feminine son of a bitch? The one who puts on women’s clothes?”

    “I don’t believe that shit. Not for a minute.” 

    “Mm.”

    “What do they say?”

    “They say that a little black bitch stays up under the whiny boy of a prince.”

    “Black? Like how?”

    “I hear her skin is really dark like jajangmyeon.”

    “Ah, so he has a non-Korean as a servant?”

    “So I’ve heard.”

    “Is she pretty?”

    “I wouldn’t know. I’ve never seen her.”

    “Well then she ain’t shit either.”  

    “I hear that his consort is the prettiest girl in the land and is envied by all the women in court.”

    “I’d take a Korean to a girl who has skin the color of jajangmyeon any day.”

    “You got that right.”

    “Enough talking already. I’m ready to get shit faced and fuck these titties. Let’s get on with it.” One of the women giggled loudly as said man shook his face against her chest. Lifting his cup to his mouth, he watched as they ordered another round of rice wine. Reaching into his pocket, he placed a few coins on the table top and stepped out of the dark stinking place. The way they talked was interesting indeed. Some of it humored him. Some of it irritated him. But all of it was important. At the end of the day, the underlining message was clear. The people wanted abundant land to farm, food to fill their bellies and a peaceful country. With rulers that were just and encouraged equality. 

    Pulling his hat down to cover his eyes, he walked further into the filth of the cheonmin sector, fists tight. He was set to ascend to the Throne in a year and it had been time to focus. Get his priorities straight. Get his vision clear. That’s why…why he’d distanced himself completely from her. He knew it hurt her, knowing that he willingly chose to separate himself. Truth be told, it hurt him just as much… perhaps more. But… all of it would be worth it in the end. She didn’t know what he had in the works. When she did, she would understand. 

    Licking dry lips, he lifted his eyes and glanced up out of the numerous loosely woven holes of his hat. The sun was hot today and it would prove to be a muggy night. Jae-Hwa was work and oftentimes, it exhausted him to even be around her. She required entirely too much. Too much attention. Too much affection. Begrudging physical activity. The thought of it made his stomach curl up. Every single time he laid there, sick of hearing her beg him and whine, fingers clawing the furs beneath him. He didn’t object to her being on top simply because he didn’t have the energy to put in any effort. When he could stand it, he watched her go through the motions of pleasure and closed his eyes when he couldn’t take it anymore.

    Losing himself amidst the crowd of people, hollering babies and the smell of sweaty must, he sighed to himself. She’d hug him close afterwards, hair sprawled out to cover his skin in a silky black curtain, breath slowly returning to normal. And yet, even still, her desire for closeness… her need for intimacy was not met. He never hugged her back, never even touched her in the first place. All the while resisting the urge to throw her off of him and send her out. He’d have what he wanted. He’d have who he wanted. All he had to do was be patient and trust the process. Even if he had to suffer in the meantime.

 

 

*** 

 

    Coming from the steamy innards of the kitchen, she lifted to wipe her forehead with a sigh. Sliding open the door to the servant’s chambers, she quietly stepped inside. For the most part, it was empty save a few girls who had time of leisure. They rested on their mats, jeogori covering their faces. All except one. She sat on her mat which happened to be by hers. At her arrival, the girl looked up and quickly resumed whatever she was doing. 

    “Cheol Su Wangja-nim came by here not too long ago looking for you.” Her heart began to beat faster.

    “Did he?”

    “Mm. He left you a small parcel. I put it on your mat.” Blinking, she knelt down and picked up the small package. Wrapped in a pretty golden silk fabric, it was neat and ornate. Feeling her cheeks warm, she unwrapped it aware and uncaring of the girl’s prying eyes. A small letter fell out along with three pretty embroidered pouches of gold, pink and purple silk, stitched in a floral pattern. Plucking the letter, she eagerly soaked up the words. 

 

 

오 문, ’이 올라가

멀리 “게 빛납니다.

당신은 시장— 있습니까?

아, –은 …— 밟지 마십시오.

모“ 것이 무—이“ 그대로 ‘십시오.

아, –‘이 그…를 ””하지 않을 수 있습니다.

 

    O moon, rise high, 

    And shine far and wide. 

    Are you at the marketplace? 

    Ah, may you not step onto wet ground. 

    Leave everything, whatever it is. 

    Ah, may darkness not overtake her. 

 

 

    나의 ‘은 ‘은 하나, 나” 오늘, 당신의 탄생의 날을 위해 신“—게 감사합니다. — —덟 —름 지금 당신은 내 축복을 받았습니다. 나” 당신이 의도적으로 당신과 거리를‘고 나—게 분…해야한다” 것을 알고 있습니다. 내가 왕철수—, 당신을 —전히 내 마음— 크게 존‘합니다.

우리가 송—서 고려로 돌아 오기 전— 내가 한 말을 기–하십니까? 나” 내 왕국—서 많은 기능을 수– 할 것이라고 말–습니다. 첫 번째로 가장 ‘”한 것을 공개하겠습니다. 

친구. 

    —기 내가 당신—게 큰 기쁨을 가져다 줄 것…니다 생각합니다. 그“이 당신을 ‘으로 생각 나게 할 것…니다. 자존심이 ‘은 것을 착용하십시오. 그“이 당신의 아름다움을 –상시키고 강”시키기를 ”랍니다.

 

    My sweet eolin-i, I thank the gods for this day, the day of your birth. Eighteen summers you are now and my have they been blessed. I know you must be furious with me for my intentional distancing from you. Know that I, Wang Cheol-Su, still hold you in great and high regard in my mind. 

    Do you remember what I told you before we came back to Goryeo from Song? I told you that in my Kingdom, you would serve many functions. Let me reveal the first and most important one. Friend. 

    Here is something I think will bring you great delight. I’m sure they remind you of home. Wear them with pride eolin-i. May they only enhance and intensify your beauty. 

 

        왕자님 (Wangja-nim)

 

 

    Feeling her eyes well up with tears, she reached for the golden pouch. Beautiful gold beads spilled out into her hand. They glittered like sunlight on glass and took her breath away. They were gorgeous. Opening the other two, copper and bronze peeked out. 

    “What did he gift you?”

    “Nothing that concerns you.” She shot back at the nosey girl and put the pouches and letter in one of her pockets. Sniffing, she cleared her throat and bit her lip in a smile. He hadn’t forgotten. She took a deep breath before getting back up. She had to find him today. Stepping into the sunlight, she scanned the horizon, at all the servants, scholars, priests and court attendants scurrying to and fro. Humming with activity, they seemed oblivious to the bittersweet joy she felt in her heart. 

    Heading towards his chambers, she felt butterflies flutter in her stomach as laughter from within drifted up from the doors.Voices chatted eagerly and she could only catch bits and pieces of it. After a while, she wasn’t sure how long she’d been outside but her pride begged her to leave, begged her to show some self respect. Fidgeting, she for the millionth time tried to convince herself not to forget it and scurry away. Finally giving in, she withdrew, heading towards the harem. She wouldn’t stay too long, knowing that at any moment men could come in and desire to have their way with any one of them. Her mat in the servant’s quarters were her safety… for now at least. 

 

*** 

 

    Dusk set the setting sun ablaze and it bled all throughout the sky, the beauty of its death enchanting. He leaned back against the wall facing the harem, arms crossed as he continued to listen to the conversation. He missed her voice. Her laughter. He smiled to himself as he listened to them talk. Frankly, at any moment, he could have walked in and interrupted them. But, he decided not to. It pleased him greatly to see her have friends, female friends. Lifting his eyebrow, his smile turned into a smirk. What oh what were they talking about in there? Whatever it was, Tiye’s voice was loud and embarrassed and she tried to deny whatever they had accused her of. Her voice grew closer to the door. 

    Before he could hear anything else, the door opened and she began to step out, only to be surprised by his presence. Her eyes were wide and a charming little blush adorned her cheeks. 

    “W-Wangja-nim…what are you doing here?” A slew of sarcastic responses shot through his mind but he chose the appropriate one. The honest one. 

    “I wanted to talk. For a moment. Would that be okay?” She cleared her throat and at giggling, turned behind to see two or three heads poked out of the door. She hissed with her teeth and the girls slammed the door, giggling loud and obnoxious. Joining him as they began to travel away from the harem, she let her arms fall behind her back, hands clasped. 

    “Did you receive my present?” He asked as they walked along the quiet yet expansive path, moon full and beautiful. 

    “I did.”

    “Did it please you?” Stopping, she turned to face him. The quiet lap of the water hit against the rocks. 

    “Yes. It did.” Smiling softly, he cleared his throat as she entered into the pathway towards the secret garden, led seemingly by the moon’s light. He followed a little ways behind, watching as she came to stand by one of the pillars, deep dark red even in the night. Leaning her head against it, she spoke quieter this time. 

    “Does she know you’re here with me?” At that, his throat grew tight. His silence urged her to continue. 

    “I understand. Your obligatory duties to your country must not be forgotten.” He drew nearer and his once tight throat finally loosened up.

    “I apologize for my distance. I will not apologize for our being here. My wanting to see you.”  Sliding hands up across her shoulders, he pressed his face against her hair. 

    “I’ve missed you…eolin-i.” He whispered, his fingers gripping her a bit tighter. She inhaled shakily but move she did not as his hands left her shoulders to be replaced by his arms. 

    “Today you are eighteen summers. Have you made a wish?” 

    “What wish is there to make?”

    “Whatever your heart desires.” Lifting her fingers, she breezed them across his forearms. 

    “If it is to stay with you? Would it be granted?” His heavy sigh as a response she grew stiff. He opened his eyes, staring out across the water bathed in silver. 

    “For you, tonight it will be.” Pulling away from him, she wrapped arms around herself. 

    “Wangja-nim…I do not wish to cause you trouble.”

    “You were there long before she ever was. And you shall remain.” At that, her eyes lifted and they were suddenly filled with tears. 

    “How can I be at peace knowing I am the cause of the future Queen’s enmity? I can’t do that to you.” 

    “Tiye,”

    “No. Our distance is necessary. For now.” He watched as she went to the ledge, back turned to him.

    “I saw you in the courtyard that day. You and Seo-Jun wangja-nim.” Tightening his jaw, he came to stand next to her, opening his hand. She bit her lips, eyes never leaving the shimmering waters. Her fingers inched closer to his and soon they gripped together. 

    “What was it you two were talking about?” He didn’t answer, only tightened his grip on her hand. 

    “It was about me. Wasn’t it?”

    “…Yes.”

    “Wangja-nim,”

    “He’s lucky that I was stopped. If I hadn’t been…. I would have cut him open.” She withdrew her hand.

    “Don’t allow him to change you Wangja-nim. He’s not worth it. Not worth your hardened heart. You’ll be no different than those brutes in Song. You’ll be no different than him.” 

    “I cannot…I cannot allow him to get away with it.” 

    “Away with what?” 

    “What he did to you.” Her breath hitched in her throat. 

    “H-how…”

    “Does it matter how I know?” He asked quietly, eyes burning a hole into her. 

    “The desire to spill his blood. I see it in your eyes.”

    “He will pay for putting his hands on you. And any other part of him.” Chills shot up and down her spine, his hiss low and vehement. She couldn’t speak… didn’t know what to say…how to say it. Heart thumping wildly in her chest, the only thing she could do was turn and look at him. She lifted her hands, placing them on his chest instead, on his heart. Words that should have been said, wanted to be said were not, eaten up by the water which now crashed against the bottom of the pavilion.

    “Wangja-nim…”

    “Yes?” He replied, voice low and soft. 

    “Should you wonder why it is that I lied to you… it was to protect you.” She lifted her gaze to his, wavering with a myriad of emotions.  He took her face in his hands. 

    “Your desire to protect me Tiye…it is far too precious. But it is I that wishes to protect you.” She smiled softly and for the first time ever, pressed her cheek against his palm, openly accepting the touch.

    “On this path that you desire promise me that you won’t forget my sacrifice.” Taking her lip in between her teeth she pulled away from his arms.

    “Before you become King, remember that you are still at the mercy of the current one. As you’ve told me in the past…take heed. For your sake and for mine.”  She began to head back up the path to the harem, bathed in silver and fragrant blossoms. Soon, however, she felt his hand grab hers and hold on tight as he joined her, their walk encased in silence. 

End Notes:

A/N: CAN YOU FEEEELLLL THE LOVEEE TONIGHTTTTTTTT? Y'all... I think it's safe to say y'all know what's coming lol. Their love for one another is so dang on beautiful. It's special and most definitely transcends space and time don't you think? hehe. There has been a bit of  time skip. Two or three months time skip. Our prince and princess out here just growed up and stuff. By American standards they grown but I'd like to remind you that back in those times, I'm sure by the time you were 18, you were probably getting...old? The age of death was really stinkin young like thirties and fourties and even then by that age you were probably considered ancient lol. 

 

OH! Another thing! Let me reiterate. I AM NOT FLUENT IN KOREAN! I ain't gon front with y'all. I got this offa Google LOL. The poem is a real Goryeo era song called Song of Jeongup. I'll borrow from more. Posting the link below to give credit:

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2009/06/246_23684.html 

 

Okay that's all for now. (HOPEFULLY) See you next week! Love y'all! 

D&L

 

Our prince out and about:

The cute lil bags Tiye's beads were in:

Her hair at this time (beads included as she'll wear them later): 

The two Wangja of Goryeo fightin:

The way(s) Cheol-su looked at his baby this chapter y'all... and yes now the hair actually is that length (whew):

If ya man ain't lookin at you like THIS somethin wrong LOL.

And other expressions he had this chapter:

'kay bye!

열셋 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

Yeolset 

 

Thirteen 

 

 

 

A man stood off in the distance, pale skin now bronzed and tan from the sun. A mask covered his face, one that resembled a lion, large bushy mane extending outwards towards his broad shoulders. His back faced her and she admired him, gaze open and full of unashamed desire. The paint of a chief decorated his skin, long narrow lines that traveled the length of his torso, back and legs on each side, brilliantly red. Red and white. Up across the backs of his shoulders, he carried the scars of his deification, long narrow strips of raised scarred over skin, each complemented above by small individual nubs. Taking them in, her mouth began to water. She wanted to dig her nails into them, wanted to feel his hard muscles shift and flex beneath her fingers. 

    “My child…” Turning her gaze from the sun, she found her mother who had come up beside her. 

    “Mama…” She smiled prettily, welcoming the gentle brush of her hand against her braids. 

    “You desire him.” At that, her cheeks grew warm. 

    “It’s quite all right my daughter. You can exist in the yearnings of a woman.” Feeling the smallest amount of shame hit her in the stomach, she licked her lips. 

    “He is desired by many.” Her mother pulled her close. 

    “But you are the one that he wants.” Looking up into her tender brown eyes, she felt the heat from her cheeks travel down to her belly. 

    “Your feelings are reciprocated my child.”

    “But-”

    “He will set soon. Do you not wish to enjoy your wedding night with him? Your Sun? Your King?” Looking up, her breath caught in her throat as she found the man had turned towards them and slowly began to lift the mask from his face. Slowly it inched up past pouty lips. Up past an elegantly straight nose. Right before his eyes were revealed, a flash that like lightening rumbled, drawing his attention away from her. His voice was heard and it sent chills down her spine. He uttered one simple word in a language not her own. 

    “Rain.” 

 

*** 

    Jolting up, she gasped for air. Her chima was soaked with sweat and her fingers gripped the mat beneath her tight enough to hurt. The chill of the morning traveled through her and she reached for her jeoksam, putting it across her shoulders. It was nearing late fall and the summery conditions were fading. Instead, the chill and promise of an encroaching winter teased the air. Lifting a hand to her pounding heart, she tried to calm and quiet her breathing, aware that all the other women were sleeping, the day sure to start sooner than they would like. So, her gut had been right. She’d been right all this time, afraid to admit it. The man…the sun in her dream… was Wangja-nim. She didn’t need to see his face to know. Everything about his mannerisms…she knew them well. 

    Laying back down on her mat, she covered her eyes with her arm. 

    “How much longer can you hide it before it consumes you with its hunger?” The words of Hae spun around and around in her mind. Perhaps it had finally claimed her as its meal, consuming her until nothing of her former self remained. Knowing it was no use going back to sleep, she got up and slipped out of the servants’ chambers. To her surprise, her feet met cold wet ground. It was raining. Clutching her jeoksam closer she tried to avoid stepping too much into the rain, knowing that her heated body would soon grow cold with chill. Speechless, she watched the drops that fell from earth’s eyes meet the ground. 

 

 

*** 

    “Will you ride today? It’s raining.” 

    “I will.”  Doors to the chambers were smashed open and all those in attendance looked up as the eldest son of Goryeo came in, face set in stone.     

    “Seo Jun, what do you want?” He didn’t reply, instead he turned his sights on the sniveling little shit who sat next to him, eyes mocking him. Pushing the other attendants out of the way, he drew back his fist and punched the tiny little smirk off of his face, one that would have been missed had he not been paying attention. He fell out of his chair. 

    “Seo Jun!” Grabbing him up by the collar of his jeodori, he punched him again. His father tried to to pull him off of him. 

    “What is the meaning of this! Explain yourself!” He didn’t reply, trying to hit him again but this time he blocked it. He was hurled back by other attendees and fell to the floor with a grunt.  

    “Get out! NOW.” Their father hollered, face red, shoving him as he tried to stand. Falling again, he glared at the self righteous little fuck, who even with blood trickling down his chin had the nerve to smirk, wider than before. Upturning the empty chairs, he made his exit, his voice yelling at the servants loud and thunderous as it faded down the hall. 

    Turning towards the subjects that had been taken by surprise, he bowed his head. 

    “I’m deeply sorry for my son. Cheol Su-”

    “I’m fine Father. Continue.” He held up a hand and reached into his pocket, retrieving a handkerchief. Lifting it to his mouth, he dappled at the blood that seeped from his busted lip. Swallowing thickly, his father took his time sitting down and the meeting continued as planned. 

 

***

 

 

 

    The smell is what hit him first and it smacked the drunkenness right out of him. Groaning, he covered his nose and slowly opened his eyes. Looking over into a pair of glazed over eyes, he shot up. Flies crawled around inside of a decayed nose and mouth and he yelled, nearly tripping over his desk to get away from it. Coughing, he began to retch. Eyes filled with teary rage. What the fuck was this? Lifting his rumpled jeoduri from the floor, he covered his mouth as he neared it. His heart dropped as he began to recognize the face the severed head belonged to. Throat tight, he watched as the flies consumed it, covering it in a sea of squirming black. 

 

*** 

 

 

 

    Opening the doors to his chambers, he leaned back against them. All morning, he had been entertaining Jae Hwa’s parents and talks of their marriage had increased to a sickening high. His father and mother had agreed that come Spring of the upcoming year, after his coronation they would wed. They would then make their first public appearance as King and Queen before the Summer. The thoughts of it made him nauseous. 

    But one such thought took it right out of him. He’d finally given his brother the gift he’d been saving. He’d entrusted the head to the most skilled mummifiers in the land. He’d had it stuffed with coin and jewels, a promised contract that he could honor and see finalized. The flies had come, drawn to the mummified flesh and open air. The buzzing surely woke him and once it had, he got the message loud and clear. 

    Smirking to himself, he reached up and pulled his hair out of the topknot. Sitting the silver holder and pin on one of the tables, he sat down at his desk. Their heated conversation came to mind, one that had only just occurred a few days ago. 

 

*** 

 

    “Move out of my way.”

    “Fuck you…Hyung.” For the first time ever, he refused to show him respect, deciding that the bastard wasn’t worth it. Had never been worth it but oh for the tradition. The man sneered and shoved him down the small set of stairs. 

    “Still angry hm?”

    “Still tucking your tail?”

    “What in the fuck are you talking about?”

    “Admit it. I beat your ass and you can’t handle it. Can’t take defeat from your little brother.” 

    “Pah. So you won one fight. Big fucking deal.” He stood up.

    “I know what this is really about. And frankly, I’m disgusted that you’re still carrying on like a pussy.” 

    “Excuse me?”

    “You’re still mad that I took what you wanted away from you.” Seo Jun smirked. 

    “Time and time again, you prove to me that you’re still the weak whiny cry baby that never departed from our mother’s womb. Don’t you know that if you be a man, you show it? If you want something, you take it? Is that not the way our father taught us?” 

    “Taught you. And look where it got you.”

    “That’s right. You laid up under grandmother, too busy in your books to really man up.” He swallowed thickly, watching as Seo Jun slowly descended down the steps. 

    “Admit it little brother. I’m more man than you’ll ever be.” 

    “You’re no man. You’re an inhuman piece of shit.”

    “One that made your little musori bitch behave. And all it took was a little hard dick to put her in order. Shame that you couldn’t see the look on her face. I think she somewhat enjoyed sucking me off. If you trained her properly, she’d make one fine whore.” He ran towards him and sent him back against the wooden walkway. 

    “Shut up talking about her. Disgusting fuck.”

    “My, what language you’ve acquired. She may not have taught you how to make use of a pussy but she sure has taught you how to be cheonmin.” His reaction was one that he hadn’t been expecting. He laughed in his face and it caused him to turn red. 

    “So, that’s what you tell yourself to make yourself feel better.”

    “What?”

    “That’s why you sent that cowardice fuck to assassinate me. All so you could regain your birthright, one stripped from you by our father. Kill all of your birds with one stone. The brother you’ve always hated. Influenced by a cheonmin musori. And anyone else with ties to me. You’re pathetic and so was he.” He laughed again and punched him in the jaw, bringing silence to him.

    “I know the game. But then so did he. He exposed you so easily, exposed you with pride. Had you picked the right vessel, a loyal vessel he wouldn’t have said anything. He would have gone down with pride not for you but for his country. Take your loss like the so called man you purport to be. And one last thing,” Kneeling down, he lifted him by his hair, the strands spilling out from his top knot. 

    “When it comes to Tiye. Should you desire to breathe this Godforsaken air another day you will leave her alone.” Getting up and turning on his feet, he left his brother on the ground, struggling to get up. Still clearly taken aback from the hit to the face. 

 

*** 

 

    That day he had made one thing perfectly clear. The crying little boy that ran into the arms of his mother was long gone. Lifting fingers to tease the tender spot on his jaw, his lips drew into a small sneer. When it came to those he cared about, not even blood would spare his anger.

    “Wangja-nim, Jungjeon-nim is requesting to speak with you.” Gritting his teeth, he soon slid open the door and peered into Jae-Hwa’s face. 

    “What?” He asked tone monotone. 

    “I heard what happened.”

    “And?”

    “Don’t be like that Cheol-Su-ah. Please.” Pushing past him, she came into the room and sat down in a cluster of pillows. 

    “Why do you provoke your eldest brother?”

    “Perhaps you should ask him why he provokes me.” 

    “Ah, so this thing between you… it is tit for tat.”

    “No. It involves a deep rift that you would not understand. One that is irreparable.” 

    “Help me understand pyeha.” 

    “What can explain the desire to see your own blood dead and buried? What is there but jealousy? Hatred? A severe distain for one’s life that you employ animals to crush it.” Coming over to her, he leaned down and placed his hands on the table behind her, forcing her to lean back.

    “That is my brother and I… that is our history and our legacy. He’s nothing to me.” 

    “You can’t mean that Cheol-Su.”

    “I mean every single word of it.” Pushing off of the table, he inhaled sharply. 

    “Did you come to annoy me?”

    “No actually… I came to help you relieve your stress.” 

    “You can’t be serious.” Standing, she began to shrug out of her jeogori. 

    “I know what exists in your mind. When we are intimate.” She said quietly as she untied her jeoksam. 

    “You wish it were that slave girl. I know you do.” She peeled off all of her sokgot until she stood in front of him completely naked. 

    “She will not wed you. She will not be your Queen. She will not carry your seed. It is in this body that you shall produce a child. It is within this body that you shall learn to find pleasure.” 

    “Jae-Hwa…”

    “You may play with her all you like. But you cannot run or hide from your destiny. When it is all over, it is I that will be by your side. I and only I shall remain.” Coming toward him, she pulled him to her, kissing him firmly. 

    “Here and now Cheol-Su-ah… I invite you to use me. Use me however you see fit. Do whatsoever you desire.” She breathed against him, welcoming his hard kiss. For the first time, he reacted of his own volition; he took hold of that invitation full heartedly. Forcing her down onto the furs, driven by anger, he took what he wanted, the willing body under him eagerly complying. 

 

*** 

    “Pyeha! Pyeha!” Groaning, he slowly opened his eyes, sleep still heavy within them. The night was unusually icy and he could see his very breath as he exhaled. 

    “What is it?” He grumbled, forcing Jae-Hwa’s arms away from him. 

    “Come quickly! Your servant nears death!” At that, he shot up, hastily putting on his jeogori and baji. Ripping open the door, he looked into the face of one of the concubines from the harem. She had been crying, her eyes, nose and cheeks flushed pink. 

    “Tiye?” He asked, voice gruff. 

    “Someone found her in the lake by the secret garden.”

    “What?” He asked, teeth clenched. 

    “They say that she had almost drifted to the bottom. Someone jumped in and rescued her.” 

    “Where is she?” He asked, grabbing onto her shoulders. 

    “She’s by the lakeside still. No one in the medical ward has been alerted yet.” 

    “Cheol-Su-ah! Don’t go!”  He didn’t stop to hear what else she or Jae-Hwa said, taking off in a full run towards the lake. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: HAPPY FRI-YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!! SO just when we thought our lovely two were going to finally get off to a good beginning step, THIS HAPPENS. Tiye always finding herself the brunt of somebody frustrations and it ain't fair. But, it's... the life she's given at this present moment. Fear not though, it will not last always! How y'all doing family? With news circulating every day,  99% of it depressing, bad and sad, it's hard to find some semblance of happiness and/or joy! Lemme know how y'all doing! I got another update for y'all... and a special little somethin that I AIN'T TELLIN Y'ALL WHAT IT IS. But... I'M SUPER EXCITED ABOUT IT AND I KNOW Y'ALL GON BE TOO LOL. Hold ya horses for a while hehe. 

Love y'all. Take care. God bless! 

D&L 

열넷 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

Yeolnet

(fourteen)

Feet ran after him and by the time she got there, her heart dropped. He barked orders to the small crowd that had gathered, the commotion sure to awake other members of court. The bitch laid limp on the side of the lake and she felt her chest grow hot as she watched him start to lift her into his arms. 

    “Prepare a room in the medical ward. Now!” He ordered some attendants that had been forced out of their sleep to his side. 

    “Yes pyeha.”

    “Make sure that there is plenty of blankets and furs. Anything and everything needed to provide warmth I want it there.” 

    “Yes pyeha.” He started her way and she clutched her jeogori as he neared, face stony. His eyes were watery yet he didn’t shed a tear. 

    “Cheol-Su-ah…”

    “Not now Jae-Hwa.” He dismissed, pushing past her. Her feet helplessly turned to follow him and all the way back in silence, her tears forming icy trails of pain down white cheeks. Once inside the tent, she watched as the shaman and doctors examined her, eyes dead set on his face. 

    “She will die before morning pyeha…” He grabbed the man by his collar. 

    “What must we do to save her?”

    “Her body temperature has dropped drastically p-p-pyeha. She won’t survive.” Shoving him back, he began to unbuckle the belt to his jeogori. 

    “Cheol-Su-”

    “Get out! All of you get out!” He ordered as his flesh was bared to the inhabitants inside. 

    “At once pyeha.” The servants, medical attendants and shaman all bowed their heads, inching back towards the door. Only she remained and she could feel her heart break into a million pieces as she watched the baji hit the floor and his naked body near her form. He for a moment hesitated, hand paused right above her jeogori. But he pushed that aside and began to pull the wet clothing from her body. 

    “I told you to leave.” He rasped, turning eyes towards her. She couldn’t find any words to say and slowly…slowly she backed up, leaving them in absolute privacy. 

 

*** 

 

    In her dreams, his arms held her close, warmth bleeding into every sense. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up each and every time, the feeling of premonition surrounded him… them. It was the same one… it happened the same time. Her dreams had evolved and now… now he’d leave her. After the eclipse…their eclipse, after they were forced to part come dawn out of no where a sword would come from the darkness and strike him. She’d scream out for him, scream for it all to stop. And there Mama would be… a deep sadness ruining her otherwise beautiful features. She’d scream, cry and beg the gods to save him… not to take him from her… after all… they’d just become free…free in their feelings.. their love. 

 

    *** 

 

    Bright white light blinded her from behind her eyelids and she forced them back into darkness, hot breath fanning back up against her chin. Groaning, she tried to make sense of it all… where…when…how… She felt hot, sticky and sweaty but it was a feeling she appreciated. For once. The last feeling she’d experienced was one of deep dark cold and it possessed her entire body into black. Finally willing her eyes open, she grew stiff. An arm was strewn across her, large hand dwarfing hers, their fingers loosely entangled. Breath tickled her neck and it made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. Swallowing thickly she turned around. Blinking to clear her vision, her mouth fell open at what beheld her. Wangja-nim.

    Her eyes slipped past his chest and drifted across the defined muscles that littered the expanse of his abdomen. He was…fully naked…. Her cheeks grew warm as her sight was brought to a pause right below his belly. A fur had tangled up and spread across his hips, her body and the mat they laid upon. But, just seeing the small amount of silky obsidian hair that peeked up from underneath the fur had her heart about to come out of her chest. 

    She finally forced herself away from his seductive warmth. He moved not, still seemingly sleep, his hair covering his face, mouth slightly afar. Lifting a fur she covered herself and surveyed the scene around them. Their clothes had been discarded, roughly she might add, disarray and a sense of urgency about them.         

    She felt a warm rush of wetness rise up from in between her thighs as her gaze drifted back to the sleeping man a few finger lengths away. What on earth had happened? Fear sliced her belly at all of the possible situations and she slowly stood, carefully and quietly as to not disturb him. Stepping over the mixture of wet and dry clothes, she found a hanbok neatly folded, seemingly meant for her. Slipping into it, she glanced back at him one last time before she high tailed it out of there, eager to be away. 

 

 

***

 

    When he’d awakened, he had found her gone, her lingering heat and scent still in the fur next to him. He’d laid there for quite a while and just reveled in the fact that she was alive. For the second time in the span of some months, he’d almost lost her to the clutches of death. He wasn’t sure how to direct his anger at that fact but he knew that he needed to thank the gods for their interference. He finally got up and got dressed, a sage green hanbok neatly folded and pressed. Tying his hair up into a ponytail, he had left the medicinal ward, seeking solace away from all in the libraries. His sister had discovered him and for a while kept him company and eventually left. But not before answering an unasked question. She had revealed that Hyung had been the cause of her almost drowning. In a fit of drunken rage, he’d followed her and gone after her, pushing her into the freezing lake himself. He’d almost gone after him but Mishil stopped him. 

    “Oppa-nim…don’t give him what he wants.” Furious, he brought a hand down onto one of the tables. 

    “This will forever be a never ending game between the two of you. If you continue, your musori will unfortunately see her demise.” At that, he swallowed whatever spit remained in his mouth. 

    “You care?” Mishil sighed heavily. 

    “For her not entirely. But… what I can’t ignore is the way you react when she is harmed. It makes me think that she might be of good use after all.”

    “Is that so?”

    “She will always be a cheonmin. And a musori at that. But…perhaps this once I can extend some understanding towards her. Some…grace. For the actions of our brother.” He took his seat, eyes intensely on her. 

    “Seo Jun oppa has descended into a state of madness the women in the harem say. I am inclined to believe them. He has fallen even further from our Father’s graces and he may never get back into them again.” Bowing her head, she left him alone. His finding the decayed head of the one he had employed to kill his own brother had altered everything about him they said. The battle he lost, the humiliation he suffered too great to recover from they said. Getting up, he closed the scrolls he had been reading and neatly filed them in their proper place. On this day, with the sun shining bright despite the chill, he would ride. Ride until he floated away from the Palace itself, her enemies, danger, hatred and lurk of death that hid behind every corner. He’d lose himself. 

 

*** 

 

    “He was naked?”

    “Aigoo!”

    “Did you two do it?”

    “Yah, that’s a stupid question! Of course not! She was on the verge of death Min-Ah.”

    “I’d have woken up, nice and toasty and sucked the soul out of him.” At that the women all bust out laughing. 

    “What? He’s the better looking one of the two brothers. And he’s not as rough.”

    “Min-Ah! Shut up!” 

    “Yah yah, stop pestering the poor girl! She almost died. Woke up finding herself naked in the arms of the man she loves. And now, she’s in shock. Leave her alone!” Sitting by the mirror, she’d picked up a fan and its air spritzed across her face. 

    “Tiye, how do you feel?” Hae had reached for her hand and grabbed it tightly. 

    “I…I don’t know what happened like…”

    “You almost drowned last night. You don’t remember anything?”

    “The only thing I remember is being pushed. I didn’t see who.” 

    “Rumor has it that it was Seo Jun wangja-nim.” At that, she grew tight with anger and lifted her eyes to the woman who spoke. 

    “Come again?”

    “It’s all over the servant quarters that he pushed you. The girls are all frightened now, wondering if he is going to stalk them at night and push them to their deaths should they cross him wrong.” 

    “I see.” She replied, voice quiet and contemplative.  

    “Did you do anything to upset him? He’s known to be a loose cannon out of the two brothers.”

    “I have wronged him not. But then perhaps him pushing me was not because of me.” The women blinked in confusion as she got up. 

    “I’m…I’m going to find Wangja-nim.” Hae gave a thumbs up and a wink, playfully motioning for her to leave with her hands. Throat full of emotion, she slid the door closed. Something told her that even in the midst of the rain, he was with Dong-Il. Before the day was through, she’d find him. 

 

*** 

 

    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 Tiye riding towards him on a white mare. Smiling as she approached him, he lifted his hair back from his face, strands that after so long of having been kept shorn now inched past his shoulders. 

    “I was wondering when you’d finally come out of hiding.” Panting, she pressed a hand to her heart. 

     “You come all the way from the palace to find me?” She nodded, cheeks warm. 

    “Considering how you woke up this morning, I know it all is confusing to you.”

    “Yeah.”

    “You were dying Tiye.” At that, her throat grew tight. 

    “I had to save you the only way I could think of.”

    “I’m… I’m glad you did. It saved me.” 

    “I’m glad too.”  He replied with a teasing smile. 

    “I’m sure.”  She answered with pursed lips. He clucked his tongue in a reprimanding manner. 

    “I don’t remember telling you to speak to me in such an informal way Tiye.” There, a grin teased her mouth. 

    “I don’t remember needing you to tell me what to do and what not to do.” At her haughty remark, his mouth formed a smirk and he lifted an eyebrow. Always the same and yet…yet it was different. 

    “Is that the way you thank me for saving your life?” 

    “Tuh.” She replied, tone full of sass. It brought a chuckle from him. Kisses once given on the hands and forehead now drifted much closer to lips, always in a teasing manner. Close but still so far away.

    “Perhaps you need reminding of just whom you speak to.”

    “Tuh.” She orated again, dismissing his statement with a wave of her hand, turning her gaze away from him. Smirk deepening, he licked his bottom lip. 

    “I could have you beheaded for treason. Hung from the gallows.” He said as he observed Dong-Il nuzzle her mare. 

    “But you won’t.” She replied back, eyes on the same sight as he. 

    “I won’t?”

    “You’re not that kind of man.” 

    “Perhaps you’ve been led to believe wrong eolin-i.” Finally, their eyes met. 

    “Have I?”

    “If I so chose, I could have you stripped and beaten for your 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. 

    “On this day of rain, you’ll indulge me with your time like you used to when we were but children.”

    “Ah. Will I?”

    “You’ve been running the events of the past 24 hours over and over in your head since you woke up. You could use a break and you know it. Just forget everything for just a moment.” Turning her head back towards him, her eyes teased him. 

    “Play with me.” 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 Dong- Il into a run, catching up to her. Forcing him in front of her mare, he took her in. The braids that had once traveled down her back like black rope had made their reappearance to his pleasure. Her hair had been braided in single plaits and tied back with that alluring golden twine. Her mahogany skin seemed to radiate and shimmer in the sun’s glow. Her lips were smooth and plump and they begged 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. 

    “Eolin-i.” 

    “Yes wangja-nim?”

    “What would my world be like without you? I dare not even think about it.”

    “What good is it to think about it if it is not so?” The way her voice softened sent chills down his spine. 

    “I know you know. That it was your brother who did it. And I know that you shall retaliate against him. I know all of these things.” Leaning forward a bit on her mare, she buried fingers into her mane. 

    “We shall deal with it all… together.”

    “Indeed.”

    “Right now… I’m simply asking that you let it all go. Allow the wind to move you. Allow the rain to soak into your skin. Allow yourself the freedom to be as you once were with me.” 

    “If I don’t wish to be?” She laughed, delight dancing on her features. 

    “Then I shall ride away on this here mare and your life will return to what it once was.” She joked, eyes twinkling with mischief. But his gaze was intense. 

    “Perhaps I don’t want to go back. Perhaps I want to be something more.” A slender eyebrow lifted. 

    “Something more?”

    “Do something more?” Smirking, she rolled her eyes. 

    “That’s not what you said but okay.” Grinning, he steered Dong-Il right beside her. 

    “We’re doing an awful lot of talking for two wanting to play.”

    “Then shut up and let’s spar.” 

    “That’s what I thought you’d suggest.”

    “You know me too well hm?”

    “Very much so. I also know you now keep a eunjangdo.” He lifted his hand to her shoulder. 

    “Though you keep it well hidden, knowing you, it’d be kept right here.” He’d dropped his hand, skimming her sternum. Lifting his eyes, his smirk grew even deeper. She playfully pushed his hand away from her.

    “Think of your Queen Consort Wangja-nim. Surely, she would not be happy knowing you tease me so brazenly.” Dismounting, she indeed reached into her chima and pulled the small dagger from the pocket near her breast. He soon joined her on land and took hold of his geumjangdo, sheath remaining. 

    “How will she know if you nor I tell her?” Pursing her lips, she charged at him. The wind picked up her braids and the familiar scent of spice and slight sweetness wafted across his nose. He parried her attack, grabbing the wrist that held her weapon. Unsheathing her weapon, she swung at him with her free hand, making a tear in the sleeve of his jeogori. Jumping back, he chuckled. 

    “You’re not playing fair.”

    “Is battle fair?” This time he came at her and blocked her attack. But this time, he took her by surprise, sweeping her feet out from under her. Before she could get up, he straddled her, holding her wrists. Reaching up, he plucked her weapon from her fingers and sheathed it. 

    “Is this about nostalgia? Or something else?” He asked, voice low and husky. 

    “What something else is there?” Her breathy response. 

    “You tell me.” Lifting up her hips, she used her strength to turn him on his back. She lifted up, pulling her hands away from his.

    “I have no idea what you speak of. This something more…what does it entail?”

    “Things I fear you might not be ready for eolin-i.” Sitting up fully, she let those hands slip down his chest until they paused near his stomach. 

    “How are you to know what I’m ready for? You might be surprised to find I’m ready for a lot of things.” Her words stirred his loins and he licked his lips. Lifting up, he kissed her forehead and down to her nose. Her breath caught as he gave her one last kiss, this time dangerously close to her mouth. 

    “When I saw you there on the bank, cold and grey…it did something to me Tiye.” He whispered against her. Lifting his eyes to hers, they trapped her. 

    “As I held you close, desperately trying to give you my heat… my warmth, it made me think….made me wonder if the fear that still clings to my chest is really worth it.” She pulled away from him, coming to stand. He followed suit, lifting a hand to her hair. 

    “We should ride back now hm?” Taking her cheeks in between his fingers he squished.

    “Yah…” She complained cutely, making her lips poke out more. Chuckling, he let her go.  Mounting her mare, she waited until he climbed into his saddle. 

    “For all this trouble I want a reward.” Picking up his hair in the wind, the strands wetly breezed across his face.

    “Name it.”

    “Meat. Meat and my first taste of rice wine.”

    “You shall have what you desire.” Her face lit up and a boyish grin came to his face. 

    “However, I want something from you Tiye.” 

    “Name it.” 

    “A kiss.” A blush, having already formed, intensified, a gorgeous red color spreading across those bronzed cheeks. 

    “Have you not given me three already?” Reaching forward, he part her lips with his thumb, gliding across her plump bottom one. 

    “This place remains untouched.” Leaving her speechless, he withdrew his hand, slapped the reins and took off.

    “W-WANGJA-NIM!” The sound of her mare whinnying drifted up behind him and he forced Dong-Il into full speed, not allowing her to catch up. 

    “WANGJA-NIM! WAIT!” He eased into a steady trot as the gates of the palace neared. Turning, he found her out of breath as she approached, cheeks ablaze. Laughing gently, he dismounted and rubbed his shoulder as she came closer. 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. 

    “Come, let’s get you down now.”  Lifting her other leg out of the saddle, she gripped his shoulders and slowly slipped into his arms. Holding tight, he brought her down. She swallowed thickly, eyes at his chest. 

    “About your reward…your request…surely you were just playing.” Her voice was soft, fingers gripping his jeodori. 

    “That was not a playful request.” Taking a shaky breath, 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 Wangja-nim. We can’t do this.” 

    “Give me a reason why we shouldn’t.”

    “For one you’re set to take the Throne. Set to be married to one of the Kingdom’s most desired beauty.” Leaning down, he pressed his lips against her jawline. 

    “Give me another reason. A better reason.” 

    “W-what about our friendship? Isn’t it enough? Pressing soft butterfly kisses across her jaw, he sighed deeply against her. 

    “Is this honestly friendship?” Her eyed fluttered closed as his lips roamed up across her cheekbone. 

    “It’s traveled far past being platonic and the realization of that has scared you. It’s scared me too.”

    “Wangja-nim…”

    “Isn’t it time we were honest with ourselves? Don’t you tire of lying to yourself about what you feel?” 

    “I…” 

    “I’ve wanted something more. Deep down I know you have too.”

    “…Wangja-nim-” 

     “Is that title all I am to you? Is Wangja the only thing 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 perception of me then.” He breathed before taking her mouth again, kiss intoxicating and deep. The earth shifted underneath her feet and she felt her spirit drift up into the very clouds. The soft groan that came from his throat rocked her entire being and the emotion behind it made her knees tremble. Whimpering against his mouth, she melted against him in complete surrender. When her lips were bruised with rosy passion, he let her free.

    “Tonight, you shall have your meat and rice wine. Tonight, we shall finally live in our truths.” Stepping back from her, he intertwined their fingers, bringing her hand up to be kissed.

    “Shall we eolin-i?” 

End Notes:

A/N: Alas, we have come to the place where our prince and princess not only admit their true feelings but ACT on those feelings. *dreamy sigh* A lot went on in this chapter man. There we go with water scenes again LOL. I swear I think I have them in every one of my stories?? LOL. hehehehe. Okay, please leave your comments, thoughts, likes, dislikes, concerns, etc. I love y'all! I'm doing JUST fine everyone! Taking precautions as best I can and leaving the rest up to God! I know He goeth before me! Amen? See you next week! <3 

 

D&L

열다섯 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

*traditional Korean performance and an African inspired performance will be attached below as to not distrb the chapter* 

 

*explicit depictions of love making within. Be forwarned.*

 

 

 

 

Yeoldaseot 

 

(fifteen) 

    Her earrings were light in her ears and her chima had been tailored just right to fit her shape. The full skirt billowed out every step she took and she left her feet bare. Her braids were pulled up away from her face, the gold beads he’d gifted her adorning them. Anklets produced a sweet soft tinkle when she took a step. 

    “Tiye-ah?” Looking up, she saw Hae standing in the doorway and smiled toward the woman.

    “Hm?” She replied, soft inviting smile on her lips. 

    “Everyone is enjoying themselves. Will you not too?” 

    “I intend to.”

    “On this night of a full moon, your prince awaits you.”

    “As does his consort. The King and Queen and his relatives. I shall entertain them all.”

    “Yes but when you dance, dance as though he is the only one in the room.” Hae took her hand. 

    “Give yourself permission my dear friend.”

    “Permission for what?” Smiling, she began to lead her towards the door. 

    “Permission to let yourself feel what you know in your heart to be true.” As she pulled her into the room full of royalty, of officers, their wives, King, Queen and their courts… only one stole her breath and she feared that on this night, she might never get it back.  

 

 

*** 

 

 

    “So you’ve trained her as a gisaeng?” They all watched as she sat on the floor, gayageum soon placed on her lap. 

    “This is completely laughable. How can you think that someone like her understands our culture? Our way of living? Our music?” Jae-Hwa scoffed, lips pinched tightly as she began to tune the instrument. 

    “Why not?” Mishil countered, eyes lighting up with interest. 

    “I thought you hated her too.” Jae-Hwa complained, pouting childishly.

    “While I don’t care much for her, I must say that her spirit is admirable.” They all turned to look at her again. 

    “She’s made do with what she has been given and Oppa-nim has rewarded her for that.” 

    “Hm.”

    “She’ll never be one of us. But she is the one who helped bring him back home to us all from Song’s disaster. She’s even tamed his temper wouldn’t you say?” 

    “What temper?” He teased, smirking at his sister.  Jae-Hwa narrowed her eyes but said nothing more as she began to play suddenly, stroking the strings delicately. To her displeasure, he’d had her attend gisaeng training. The idea had tickled him until it had to be put into motion. She learned fast and dance was as natural to her as breathing. He’d entrusted Hae with the training and had secretly attended some of the trainings himself. To say he was pleased would be a vast understatement. He was shaping her into someone she had always been destined to be… from the start. Full of intellect and beauty, wit and charm, grit and endurance. 

    “I think she does well. Does she not?” He mused, welcoming more soju. 

    “Hm.” The ensemble ended and she bowed her head before them all. 

    “She’s actually somewhat good.” The praise came from their mother of all people and the look of surprise humored him. He enjoyed proving them wrong… in more ways than one. Tiye was no ordinary woman and he’d do his damndest to show them all that. 

    “The musori would like now to dance for you.”

    “Dance how?” Hae looked proud as she continued, 

    “She originates from a far away land, a land that is rich in both culture as well as movement. It is her desire to share some of that movement with you.” All eyes fell onto the King. He lifted his hand in approval. Slowly, she reached up and began to untie her jeogori, a beautiful cream and red one, sleeves adorned with golden trim. As it drifted to the floor, audible inhales were taken. She lifted her chima up, up past the tinkling anklets. Up to her knees. 

    Duk and janggu began to sound, a thunderous rumble that drifted up. The familiar sounds of Ganggangsullae began and some of the attendants started to clap as she began to roll her hips. Some of the gisaeng stood and started to dance in small circles, hands joined. The tinkling from her ankles appropriately matched the beat and she began to crouch low, somehow still moving her rear to each individual strike of the janggu.

    “It’s hypnotizing…” Even Jae-Hwa had to admit, her mouth dropped open. She lifted and her chima came up even higher, now around her thighs. It was at that moment that she began to gyrate slowly, body resembling a smooth wave of water. Moving her head to the side, her braids flipped the opposite way, cascading slightly past her shoulders. The beads clattered together, producing a beautiful sound all on their own. Licking his lips, he reached for his cup of soju, eyes drifting down her body. 

    “She’s provocative is she not?” He spoke as their eyes met. Thrusting her hips back, her eyes found his again. Taking a sip, his groin responded to her bewitching movements, her body seeming to speak a language he wanted to indulge in. Her gaze lowered and the clatter of her beads rustled behind her back as she lifted her hand, pushing them away from her face. When at last the frenzy of the drums stopped, she lowered on her knees and bowed before them all. Chest heaving, she allowed the gisaeng to cover her with her jeogori as slow applause began to sound. 

    “Incredible.”

    She bowed low, turning her body towards them, face touching the floor in reverence and highest form of respect for the King and the Queen. Lifting, their gazes met once more. His followed her to the door and only when the door was shut did it drop. 

    “You’re drooling Oppa-nim.”

    “Am I?” He asked, clearing his throat. 

    “After a performance like that, I think the harem is going to be very full tonight.”

    “Indeed.” He said quietly, drinking his remaining soju. 

 

*** 

 

 

    “Did you see Wangja-nim’s face?” 

    “I haven’t seen that look since I last bedded him.” Hae said with a grin, pulling her close. 

    “You’ve awakened the dragon dear friend. Are you prepared to tame him?” She whispered into her ear with a giggle. Feeling flushed, she felt herself smile. 

    “Ladies, I think we need to freshen up. We’re about to be very busy thanks to Tiye here.” Jae-Ri complained with an eye roll, lips pursed. Sucking her teeth at her, she ignored her vehement gaze, reaching up instead to take off her earrings. 

    “Something is different…between you two.” Hae said softly as she observed her in her taking down of the minimal makeup. 

    “I’ve…I’ve decided to stop hiding what I feel.” 

    “And Wangja-nim?” 

    “He’s decided the same thing.” Hae squealed and wrapped arms around her, jumping around happily. 

    “Thank the gods! Finally!” Biting her lip, she blushed. 

    “My heart, as foolish as it may be, cannot stop what it feels. And whatever consequences that may come…I….I’ll face them.” Hugging her tightly, she smiled against her temple. 

    “I believe that Wangja-nim desires to see you by his side. In a way that even you haven’t comprehended.” Letting her go, she proudly watched as she stood and gave her a look. One of thanks. One of solidarity. And one of deep love and respect. Swallowing up the conflicting feelings in her chest, she forced the fear that lingered in her mind away and opened the door, letting her feet lead her towards his chambers. Tonight, she’d live in her truth. Tonight, she would allow herself to be just the tiniest bit selfish. 

 

*** 

 

    His heart leapt inside of his chest as he neared the doors to his chambers. A sweet spicy smell permeated in the hallways and he licked his lips, knowing just who it belonged to. The sound of a woman humming came from within and he swallowed down the doubts, the anxiety and thoughts of fear. Behold, who existed behind the door was not just a friend. After this night, she’d be much more come morning. Lifting fingers to the door, he slid it open slowly. Stepping inside, the burn of the soju in his belly did nothing to combat the burn of passion, the rush of blood that shot below his navel, with such an intensity it paused his steps. She stood by one of the windows, jeogori off and folded. Like always, baji, jeoksam and a bound chest appeared in his visage. Feet bare. 

    “A part of me thought you’d be in the harem. Hiding.” Lifting her gaze, she smiled softly. 

    “I thought about it.”

    “What made you change your mind?” 

    “A memory.” Slowly, she came towards him, lifting hands to press against his jeogori, silk vividly red and smooth. 

    “What memory was that?” He asked, caressing her cheek with his index finger. 

    “Do you remember when we were but children…that night the moon was high? What drew us both from our sleep?” His manhood suddenly throbbed as the memory flittered across his mind. Her a girl. Him a boy. Both fourteen summers. Drawn to the horse stalls by curious sounds. 

    “I remember.” His voice was guttural. 

    “I’d never seen anything so primitive.” She continued, having been made bold by the rice wine.

    “But still it fascinated you.” Smiling, she bit her lip and let her hands glide down taunt biceps, the jeogori soon wafting to the ground. 

    “The way they moved… the sounds of hard intense passion…I’ve never forgotten it Wangja-nim.”  Slipping hands inside of his sokjeodori, she paused them right above his heart. Reaching down, he cupped her cheeks. 

    “It is not a wangja that stands before you sweet one.” He whispered, pressing his lips against her cheek. Catching her chin between his fingers, he brought her lips to his in a kiss. 

    “It is I, Wang Cheol Su.” Taking her mouth again, he gently tasted her with his tongue, coaxing her shy one to play. Humming against her mouth, his hands left her face and slid down across her small brown shoulders. Pulling away from him, she took shaky breaths, mouth almost gasping for air. 

    “Am I to call you by that name my lord?” She breathed, lifting heavy lidded eyes upwards. He urged her body back against his desk. Leaning down, he pressed a kiss to her shoulder, jeoksam slipped to her elbow.

    “Should you wish to stay in my good grace it is the only name that will pass your lips tonight.” 

 

*** 

 

    The hushed low conversation of earlier had turned into something else… something that stabbed her heart the more she listened. Soft whimpers and mewls now pierced the airways and it made her throat tighten. Lifting a shaky hand, she opened the door just a tad, eyes desperately needing to affirm what she heard. He had her pressed back against the desk, her jeoksam completely discarded. Her chest wrappings had been removed and the light linen had slipped to the floor. Jealousy zipped through her, observing how passionately he kissed her, tongue confidently stroking hers. Their fingers entwined on the desk. He roamed his tongue across her neck, soon taking the flesh between his teeth. He seemed to take his time, tasting his treat with gentle yet seductive contemplation. 

    “How long I’ve wanted this…dreamt of this.” His voice was quiet but husky, a tone she’d never before heard. Lifting a hand from hers, he part her lips with his thumb. 

    “From the moment I happened by you, standing by the bath…I wanted to have you.” Her breath was shaky and uneven but even so… the yearning and desire that existed in her eyes spoke louder than any word could. 

    “So many nights I laid tormented. Only to awake in the morning with nothing but intense ache in my loins.” She nibbled on her lip as his fingers dropped, skimming her sternum. Taking her other hand, he lifted it and slipped it downward, toward a quite obvious bulge. 

    “Ache such as this.” Guiding her hand, he carefully teased the erection that begged to be freed, drawing a hiss from him. She leaned up and kissed him, taking in the small soft little groans that vibrated against her lips. Hands suddenly freed, she slipped fingers into his hair, the feel of the silky raven strands luxurious. 

    “Now you shall ache no more…” Fingers gripped the edge of the door so hard that fingers turned white. For a moment, they both moved not, eyes staring into each other’s very soul it seemed. Slowly, the silent conversation ended and of her own accord, she brought his hand up to her breast. Gently, he leaned down and pressed his lips against the shapely mass, fingers coming to grip her side. Soon, his lips kissed the smooth skin and a tongue inched out between pillowy lips to tease the small erect nipple. Her moan was clear and breathy but it gave him the okay he needed to continue, choosing to enclose his mouth around the engorged bud. 

    Leaning her head back, mouth slightly ajar, she opened sleepy eyes to watch the same thing she saw…a man eagerly devouring the delectable flesh beneath him, letting it go with a soft wet pop. As he kissed the other lonely breast, he took the shiny nipple between his fingers and gently pinched, bringing a surprised little mewl from her. She arched her back, body jolting as he did it again, this time rolling the bud around. 

    “Does that feel good?” Her stomach rolled around in knots and she felt her eyes well with tears, taking in the breathy moan of the woman. Pleased with her answer, he attacked the other breast until he found its state acceptable and too let it go with another soft suck. Pulling her even closer, he kissed licked and nipped his way up her neck and soon adorned her bruised lips with a soul shifting kiss. Without another word, he lifted her up into his arms and turned, heading for the bed of furs that would soon see their passion released. 

    Feeling the tears come down her cheeks, she bit her lip to quiet herself and slowly shut the door, unable to stomach any more of what was going on. Turning, she ran, heart heavy with so many emotions. 

End Notes:

A/N: HAPPY FRIDAY FAMILY! Okay so before we dive into the chapter... I'll tell y'all a bit of what I'm working on with a VERY TALENTED AND BEAUTIFUL WOC artist. She goes by te-al-latte on tumblr and I've commissioned her to draw three of our favorite couples. Cheol-su and Tiye being one of them!! She's been in the works of the piece and I have to tell you guys... it is BEAUTIFUL! It is PERFECT! I am so in love and I hope y'all like it too when she's finished! One other is Joon and Kira from Forever Sea. The third I won't say yet lol. OKAY, now that THAT is done, commentary for chapter is underway LOL 

Sooooo our prince and princess have done a lil boom boom lol. boom boom BOOM lol. I had this WHOLE chapter in my head for WEEKS y'all. WEEKS Y'ALL HEAR ME lol. I love it. I love THEM. I love everything about it and I want to give the two of them more beautiful moments... for as long as I can. Jae-Hwa is AH-NOY-YING. Likeeeeeeee she so threatened by our little lady SO MUCH and if her life wasn't in the balance it would be funny. PAH. 

As with each chapter, I do my very best to do as much research as I can prior to creating. From my research, a couple things elude to the intimacy of Cheol-Su and Tiye in this chapter. With it being a full moon, ganggangsullae performed (fertility, etc), him wearing red (which I read was a color that of many things represented male virility) ALL THIS WAS A RECIPE FOR THE BOOM BOOM LOL. 

ALSO! I'd like to make a distinction here. Gisaeng were N-O-T prostitutes. However, there were levels of gisaeng and Hae and the other women being cheonmin are at the lowest of the totem pole. Having said that, they could not refuse any advancement from male counterparts and often found themselves victims of the nobility. They had no power, no authority and no say to refuse. This is why they reside in the harem and are seen as "whores" by members of the court and Seo Jun. Because to them... that's exactly what they are.  

Okay, I have another chapter update for you hehe. 

Enjoy hehe. 

D&L

 

 

Tiye's hanbok:

Cheol-su's hanbok (Visual is the beautiful Kang Ha Neul who I used as Cheol-su's visual in the Yeonwang trailer):

Her braids (bringing this picture back):

Things I thought fit this chapter lol:

 

Tiye's performance:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3XAn01Dsk6/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

 

Ganggangsullae:

A folk dance performed only by women during Chuseok or at night under a full moon. It is a dance of fertility, harvest and I would say even freedom. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtXMvWOzwI4

 

 

열여섯 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


Yeolyeoseot 


(sixteen)


 


 

 

 

 

Fire set the world ablaze, devouring the expanse of the atmosphere in its wake. The waves lapped against the shores and a gentle breeze teased her skin, drifting in from the flap of the tent. Suffocated by the warmth of a male body she smiled as the wind once again urged her to awaken. Slowly, she opened her eyes, finding her face shielded by hair. It covered her like black silk and she pressed her nose up against it. Soon, he would wake and they would have to part. Fingertips danced light as air down his pectorals and down past his abdomen. Perhaps before the sun, her sun completely dominated the sky, he could once again dominate her. Her womanhood clenched at the thought. Those same fingers slipped down under the furs and a gruff groan responded to her teasing. An arm lifted, having been strewn across her bottom and fingers soon took her hair in-between them, pulling her head back some. 

    “Be careful what you do this rising little moon.” He rasped, a smirk on his face. Her hand stopped its movement below them. Withdrawing it, she lifted it to sift through his hair, desperate to see his piercing gaze. Smoothing the strands back, she got her wish as intense eyes glanced down at her. Beautiful they were, shaped as cowrie shells. Sienna when the light graced across them, now however they were deep dark and nearing black with arousal. 

    “Should I not heed your warning, great god of the Sun? What then shall you do to me?” She asked, voice lilting, eyes coquettish. He answered with a kiss, one that made her entire spirit shiver and quake. Easily slipping in between her legs, he entered her taking her breath in a silent scream. Still holding onto her braids, he helped himself to her mouth, swallowing the titillating moans and sobs that erupted from her. 

    His hips increased tempo and the sound of his body bringing hers under submission sweetly pierced the atmosphere, wind eager to carry it to the waves of the sea. She begged for release, fire burning her insides and he obliged, deep fervent strokes bringing her to climax. Before she could savor the press of his body heavy and slick against hers, a hand appeared between the flaps, fingers gripping the fabric. 

    “Tiye. It’s time to awaken my child. The time to part is now.” 

 

*** 

 

    “Tiye! Tiye get up!” Jumping, she awakened sharply, disoriented eyes trying to focus on the many sets of eyes that surrounded her. Blinking, she groaned and lifted her hands to push back the braids that had blinded her. 

    “You’ve been sleeping all morning. It’s time to get up.” 

    “Have I?”

    “Yeah. And curiously, you’ve also been moaning in your sleep too.” Cheeks warm, she peeked out from her fingers at a grinning Min-Ah. 

    “This wouldn’t have anything to do with Wangja-nim would it?” 

    “Min-Ah, stop teasing her.”

    “Do you even remember coming back here early this morning?” She asked, grin growing wider. 

    “No…” She admit, her cheeks growing warmer by the minute. 

    “Love bites litter your neck and your lips are still bruised from what I assume were kisses of fire.”

    “Oh gods…” 

    “I’m sure that’s what you were screaming.” A hand slapped the girl on the shoulder. 

    “Enough now! Come, let’s not crowd her. Give the girl some air.” Hae instructed, firm gaze daring the other girls to question her. Dissatisfied pouts appeared but nonetheless the girls scattered, beginning to talk amongst themselves. 

    “Hae-ah…in what manner did I return?” She asked, fingers still hiding her face. The woman chuckled. 

    “Put in order. By Wangja-nim no doubt. Slightly wobbly. Lips slightly swollen and rosy. You appeared as though you had drunk from the cup of love and tasted the sweet taste of passion.” 

    “I…mm.” She couldn’t even think of anything to say. All of it… was true. 

    “Did he make sure to pull out?” She asked boldly, sitting down next to her. 

    “We were not yet connected that way. I…made him stop before he could.” Curiosity struck her friend and she asked why with her eyes. 

    “For some reason… I couldn’t… couldn’t stop seeing his brother…perhaps it was the alcohol but their faces had begun to blend together and I couldn’t do it.”  Hae was quiet for a while before taking her hand. 

    “Just as he has gained your trust in life… he shall gain your trust in bed. I know he will in due time.” Smiling at her, she gave her hand a gentle squeeze. 

    “Stay close to him. Allow him to nurture and heal your open wounds.” Eyes following as she left, she gripped her fingers together tightly. 

    “Tiye-ah! Come bathe with us!” 

    “Okay..” Standing, she soon joined the women and the laughter and teasing of the previous night commenced, leaving her with cheeks full of fire but a small knowing smile on her lips. 

 

*** 

 

    “What are we to do?” 

    “Concerning?” 

    “Seo-Jun pyeha.” Eyes all turned onto the King who sat on a Throne dripped in red and gold. 

    “What has been his offense?”

    “He’s beaten several of the gungnyeo to death my lord. Attempted murder on at least three in the harem.” He waved his hand in dismissal. 

    “They are but a small expense.”

    “The maids Majesty? How are we to explain to their families?”

    “They are all servants. Theirs is a place well know prior to coming to the Palace. As long as Seo Jun remains in my good grace, he is free to do what he wishes.” Mouths dropped open and some jaws tightened but his verdict was undisputed. 

    “Let’s discuss something more important. The Mongols.” 

 

 

*** 

 

    He’d just finished putting the last pouch of gold into the chest when he heard the door open. Nostrils flaring, he watched as his Hyung came into the library, sneer on his face. 

    “I heard you fucked her. Finally.” He didn’t respond, eyes still on his face. Taking in the papers, books and other materials scattered across the desk, he picked one up. 

    “Planning for a trip little brother?” Still, no response given. Whistling at the projected expenses, his eyebrows shot up. 

    “Wherever you’re going… it’s pretty damn expensive.” He remained quiet, not desiring to give him any satisfaction of seeing his feathers ruffled. 

    “You know…while it might be easy to get lost in between her legs right now…I think you need to remember what you should be doing here.” 

    “And that is?”

    “Keeping a close eye on your consort.” At that, he lifted an eyebrow. 

    “Jae-Hwa is it? She came to my chambers last night. Lovely girl.”

    “Ah.”

    “Rambled on and on about that musori… how you sucked at her tits until they damn near fell off. How you betrayed her blah blah blah.” Leaning forward, he pressed his hands on top of the papers, intentionally crushing them in between his fingers. 

    “Have your fun little brother. Get your dick wet. And then…return to business. Your business.” Gathering his plans, he took his time rolling up the scrolls and gathered his small chest. 

    “Good talk. If you’ll excuse me.” He walked past him and soon left the room, charged with invisible electricity. Only when he made it back to his chambers did he relax. Licking his lips, he fell down against his furs, still tinged with the sweet smell of spice and arousal. Humming, he pressed his face into them deeper. Last night was one of many firsts but it was one he wouldn’t apologize for. Not to Jae-Hwa. Not to any fucking body. Last night, he’d finally given himself permission to express just how he felt, his body a willing participant. 

    Emboldened by the soju and the painful throbbing manhood between his legs, he’d tasted the sweet saltiness of her flesh. Licking his lips, he stabbed his bottom lip with a tooth or two. His fingers had neared the cavern between plentiful thighs, abundant excitement having soaked through her dari-sokgot. Groaning, he felt a stirring down below and slowly stood. 

    Even though they’d both been intoxicated from both desire and wine, he could see the moment that her eyes changed. Having been sleepy and half lidded, a sliver of fear passed across them and it was then that he knew he couldn’t go any further. She didn’t need to say anything, didn’t say anything as she pressed her face against his shoulder, embarrassment decorating her cheeks.  He knew. Knew that in that moment, she saw his brother. And it pissed him off… royally. If he could, he’d have flipped that table over, shoved him to the ground and choked the life out of him. 

    Inhaling deeply, he closed his eyes, trying to calm his rising anger. He’d held her close, until she fell asleep and for the longest, he’d watched her rest his features soft with tenderness. When he had decided that it was time, he gently woke her. Groggy and still very much drunk, she whined and pouted, lips poked out childishly. He couldn’t help kissing them once or twice as he helped clothe her. When her appearance was acceptable, he had pulled her close and together they had walked towards the harem. When she had gotten close enough, he’d let her go and only when she made it inside did he leave. 

    Coming around to his desk, he sat down and buried his head in between his hands. A quiet knock sounded on his door and he slightly lifted up. 

    “Enter.” The woman who was causing him severe headaches as of late slipped into the room, lips red as blood. 

    “I trust your night with the girl was satisfactory?”

    “And I’m sure the arms of my brother were even more so?”At that, she looked away. 

    “It wasn’t like that Cheol-Su-ah.” Snorting, he spoke again, voice chilling. 

    “I’ve said this before to you Jae-Hwa but perhaps I need to reiterate.” Standing, he came to the front of the desk and leaned back against it, arms crossed. 

    “What I do with Tiye is none of your business.”

    “Why? Why should it not be?” His lips pressed together tightly. 

    “It’s not… not fair.”

    “Life isn’t fair.” He growled in response. 

    “If I had it my way, you would not share my bed at all. However, I know that it’s bigger than what you or I want. We’ve both been chosen… tasked with overseeing an entire Kingdom. I don’t think the gravity of that has fully grasped you yet. If it had, you wouldn’t be pouting like a child over something outside of your control.” She appeared as though she wanted to say something but refrained, straightening up nice and tall. 

    “Pardon my intrusion pyeha.” Bowing her head, she quickly saw her way out, leaving him once again in silence. 

 

*** 

 

    The tearing in her heart threatened to rip her in two. She had been banned from even happening by his chambers, the jealous woman he was to marry commanding guards be placed there at night. Talk in the harem was that with winter grew the intensity of their wedding planning, coronation and plans for immediate rule. She understood that he was busy with all of the above and knew she couldn’t get in the way of that. But it didn’t lessen the pain she felt in her chest. It was cruel. With love and desire having both been awakened in her, nights she spent tossing and turning desperate for his touch. His kiss. His presence. Other nights she grew wet with sweat from nightmares, the intensity of them much like the ones she’d experienced when she first was forced into this land. The premonition that clothed them in her dreams seemed to increase and she would wake with tears in her eyes.

 

    *** 

 

    When she stood, feet in the water, she lifted her eyes, lined with kohl. Her face was painted with the paint of war and in her right hand she held a bow and arrow. 

    “Daughter,” Turning to face her mother, she tightened her grip on the weapon. 

    “What will you do?” 

    “I must end the torment that weighs my soul down. I must get rid of the fear I feel towards my love.” 

    “And how will you do that?” Her mother asked, voice warm yet firm. 

    “I have to eliminate him.”

    “The brother.”

    “It is the only way I know how to fully walk into my happiness.”

    “What a warrior you are, my Daughter…my moon.” 

    “It is you who has birthed me. It is your strength that runs through my veins Mama.” Full lips smiled against her forehead and they kissed the smooth brown skin, identical to hers. 

    “Go then. Use caution.” She pulled away from her arms and lifted the bow, stretching it tightly. Before she fired, a pair of male hands came to cover hers, helping her pull it even tighter. When she looked up, his eyes glanced down at her, gaze strong and piercing. 

 

*** 

 

    Feet lightly danced upon the ground and her shadow softly played upon the stone walls.  It was quiet in the halls, the rustling of hanbok occasionally disturbing that peace. All was still. Tonight would be the night she put it all to an end. Her spirit demanded retribution and whether she lived or died tonight was of little concern. She would see it realized. Up ahead, the body of a man almost tripped over his feet as he neared his chambers. So it seemed lady luck was on her side. She recognized his form, the uneven steps, the reek of soju. He was returning from the harem. Her stomach turned at the thought of the unfortunate woman who had to entertain him.

 Ripping open the door, he clumsily stepped inside and began to rip off his very own hanbok. Tossing his sokgot every which way, he fell face first into his bed of furs. Sighing loudly, he turned to see her standing there in the doorway. A big sloppy grin danced on his lips, his eyes aglow with intoxication and tendrils of lust.

    “So you’ve finally come to me.” Lifting his hand, he beckoned her closer. Grinning, he watched as she approached, lifting her chima up around her thighs. 

    “Good. Right to the point. I like that.” She was silent as she straddled him, leg sliding across his hips. He slowly lifted into a half seated position and grabbed her hips. A rough groan pierced the air and he pressed his face against her bound chest. Urging him back onto the furs, she slowly moved her hips. He tangled his fingers in her hair and attempted to press his lips onto hers. She turned her head and he chuckled, tightening his grip in her braids.

    “I won’t tell him of what you’ve done. This will be our little secret.” She breathed a silent sigh of relief once he closed his eyes. Taking his hands from her chest, she forced them back against the furs. Reaching up, she slowly pulled out her eunjangdo. Quietly she unsheathed it. Aiming right for his clavicle, she felt her heart pound against her chest, sweat starting to form on her brow. It was now or never. One strike. One shot. Lifting it up, a hand shot out and took her wrist suddenly, making her jump. She turned to see Wangja-nim behind her and her heart jumped up into her throat.

    “Get up.” He mouthed, tightening his grip on her. Eyes watery, she grit her teeth, reluctant. 

    “Get. Up.” He mouthed again with a slight yank on her wrist. 

    “Why have you stopped musori? Draw me into your mouth.” Slowly she lifted up. Pulling her away carefully, he moved quickly, placing something over his eyes and mouth. He began to protest, thrashing to and fro until he finally went limp. Breathing heavily, he motioned towards the door. 

    “Go.” He mouthed. She obeyed and soon, he made it out, sliding closed the door. 

    “You mind explaining to me just what the fuck that was?” He hissed, voice quiet. She crossed her arms, a defiant look breezing her face. 

    “What did it look like?”

    “Now is not the time to talk back Tiye.” Tearing her eyes from him, she swallowed thickly. 

    “I have reached my limit of tolerance with that pig. No one seems to want to handle him so I figured I would.” Tightening his jaw, he grabbed her hand.

    “Come.” Pulling her into the dark, they rounded the corner and slipped into one of the private libraries, empty and bathed in moonlight. Throat tight, he leaned forward onto one of the desks, hands gripping the edges. 

    “What did you promise me?” He asked, voice low and angry. Again for the second time, her gaze drifted away from his. 

    “Answer the question Tiye.” Taking a shuddery breath, she closed her eyes. 

    “That I would mind myself.” 

    “And have you? Does this equate to keeping your promise?” She rolled her eyes. 

    “I haven’t seen you for days and when I do you bark at me like I am an animal.” He let go of the desk and came around it, eyes boring into her. 

    “Tiye…” 

     “You want him dead just as much as I do.” He didn’t answer, his eyes holding her captive. He came to her and lifted her chin, touch gentle but firm.

    “Do you trust me?” The question made her shiny eyes widen. 

    “What?”

    “You heard me.” Licking her lips, she gripped her fingers to filth behind her. 

    “Of course I do.” Leaving her chin, his fingers instead teased the golden beads on the ends of her hair. 

    “If you trust me as you say then you will not attempt anything like this again. Is that clear?” She swallowed. 

    “He has to pay. Pay for making me afraid. Pay for his abuse of power and his intrusion upon my body.” He lifted a hand to breeze fingers across her cheek. Her eyes fluttered closed.

    “As much as I want it…as much as I want you….it is his face that taunts me…. it is his face that blends with yours and I find myself paralyzed.” Opening her eyes, she looked up at him strongly. 

    “He will not ever lay another hand to me. Should he, he will lose his life. By my hand.”

    “And what will that earn you? The lash?  Torture? A noose?” At that, she grew quiet. He leaned down, pressing his forehead against hers.

    “You are as maddening as you are beautiful.” That caused her heart to beat faster and she felt her cheeks warm. Her lips trembled and the tears that had welled up in her eyes threatened to spill forth. Pulling her to his chest, he tangled his fingers in between the braids, lifting his other arm to hug her close. Pressing his lips against her ear, he spoke softly.

    “I will do what you ask of me. Should it be to give protection. Should it be give vengeance. Whatsoever is your heart’s desire, I shall give it to you. But you have to be willing to let me.” Taking her face into his big warm hands, he pressed his lips against hers, a light whisper of a kiss. 

    “Will you let me do that? Will you let me take this burden of yours as my own?” She inhaled shakily and nodded softly. Finally giving in to the emotion that swelled in his chest, he kissed her fully, tongue coming to possess hers. She let the tears that had welled up in her eyes slip down her cheeks and groaned softly into his mouth, welcoming the arms that pulled her flush against him. Unbeknownst to them, the light from the moon extended into the room, surrounding them both in soft shimmery light. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: CHEOL SU IS SUCHA MAN OH MY GAWD I CANNOT DEAL RIGHT NOW. WHAT THE HEY YOOOOO. lol. Tiye don got tired of Seo Jun's mess (as have we all) and she was like look if y'all gon punk out, I take care of it. HA! MY GIRL! But, it's not smart... not when so many wish to see to her demise. Unfortunately, the belief that the King has was widely accepted and adopted. It's sad but it's what it was. *sighs* 

I thank you guys for the comments and love hehe. I see y'all next week kay?

D&L

열일곱 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

** GRAPHIC SEXUAL CONTENT IN THE CHAPTER. BE FOREWARNED** 

 

 

Yeolilgop

 

(seventeen) 

 

 

 

He held her close, body relaxed as she nestled against his chest. Pressing his cheek against her sprawled out braids, now nearing the small of her back, he felt contentment spread through him like a ray of sunlight. 

    “Cheol-Su-ah.” Stirring, he groaned pulling away from her. Slowly he stood. The door slid open and in stepped his Queen Consort face pinched and white. 

    “You could have waited.” He snapped quietly, reaching for his jeogori and tying it closed. She didn’t say a word, her eyes fixated on the sleeping woman tangled up in his furs. 

    “What do you want?”

    “It’s not what I want pyeha. Your father. He summons you.” Finally, she lifted her gaze and when they met, hers was shiny with tears. Yet they did not fall.

    “Very well then. I will see to it that I go to him immediately.” Her throat tight, she glanced down at her once more before leaving the two of them alone. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he sighed heavily.  

    “Is it time already?” Her voice was soft and full of sleep yet and he turned to view her sitting up, furs around her waist. Taking in the braids that covered her chest and alluring gaze, he licked his lips. 

    “I’m afraid it is sarang.” Coming to kneel in front of her, he lifted her chin and gave her a kiss. 

    “I take it you slept well?” He breathed, taking her braids in between his fingers. 

    “Yes. Very.”

    “Good then.” Laying another kiss to her lips, he leaned down to press his lips against a breast. 

    “Do you wish to come with me?”

    “Where will you go?” She asked, lifting hair back from his face. 

    “I have some business to attend to with some of the governors from the neighboring sectors.”

    “Mm.”

    “I will be but a moment with my Father.”

    “Then wait for you I will.” Smiling softly, he lifted his face and took hold of her mouth again, leaning her back into the furs. 

 

*** 

 

    Stepping into the room, he faced all of the members of court, his brother and his Father.

     “Good rising son.” 

    “Good rising Father.” 

    “Sit.” Taking his seat, he sat straight and tall. 

    “I’m sure you’ve heard about the rumors.” Chest growing tight, he gave a curt nod. 

    “I have.” 

    “Some members of court have gathered information that prove them to be true. Rumors they are not.” At that, the entire room fell hush. 

    “You are 20 summers now and after the scare we had two years ago, we were delayed in proceeding as planned. A week from now we were to have your coronation. However, now it must unfortunately be put on hold. Again.” 

    “Understood.” His father sighed heavily and the action brought the visible lines of stress and age forward. 

    “Song has been taken by the Mongols.” He let that statement travel through each man before he continued, 

    “Our alliance has been forfeited and now we are on our own.” 

    “How did it happen Taewang-nim?” One of the advisors asked, face set in stone. 

    “They slipped past the Great Wall.”

    “That’s impossible. As many guards stand watch and as many watch towers they have….the distance of the wall itself! It’s impenetrable.” 

    “Obviously not because they made it past.” Seo Jun remarked, scowl on his face. 

    “Where does that leave Goryeo?” He asked, steepling his fingers. 

    “Fucked.” Seo Jun sneered, eyes taunting him. 

    “We must begin to set in motion a plan to gather all of our allies, near and far. Goryeo, should we help it, will not burn.”

    “Agreed.” 

    “Cheol-Su, commence with your meetings today. Report back anything you find questionable. Any loop holes must be eradicated immediately.”

    “Yes Father.”

    “And what am I to do?” Seo Jun asked, leaning back in his chair, arms crossed. 

    “As of now, nothing.” Dissatisfied with that answer, he pursed his lips as their Father stood. Soon, they all stood and bowed as he left. Without delay, he follow suit, heading back to his chambers. 

 

*** 

 

    Holding the gold twine in between her teeth, she gathered her braids and began to twist them, making large ropes. Bringing the twine down the length of them, she tied it to the ends tightly. Just as she finished with the last one, the door to his chambers opened and in he stepped. 

    “Are you ready sarang?” He asked, leaning back against the door. 

    “Yes.” Smiling at him, she came towards him, taking the outstretched hand he offered. Lifting it to his lips, he kissed the back of it and soon they were off. As she climbed up into Dong-Il’s saddle behind him, she held tight to his waist as they began to leave through the West Gate. Pressing her face in between his shoulder blades, she sighed. 

    Time had once again passed them by as it did when they were children. She wasn’t sure where the time went but she wished it would slow but for a moment. Feeling the body of the beast beneath them she lifted her face from his back, glancing up at him as they rode. His body was firm and his gat provided welcome shade from the sun. She bit her lip as she continued her observation. There on the back of his neck, sweat was beginning to form. His skin flushed a healthy pink, likely from the heat. He captivated her even as he did mundane things. She satisfied the urge in her belly, pressing kisses to the nape of his neck. Two years had passed them by and with turning 20 summers she’d left the girlish ways of her youth behind her. With him, she had finally become a woman. 

    Over the course of the two years, he’d seen enough of her for them to be comfortable with each other. He’d pleased her with his fingers, his mouth and his tongue…all over. Even to her surprise between her legs. Stunning her with pleasure as he roamed and explored her, he left her breathless as he coaxed her into climax. The memory hit her with a force that made her womanhood clench. He had most definitely spoiled her, seeming to enjoy it as much as she did.

 

 

*** 

 

    She waited for him in his chambers, palms slick with sweat. She grasped them in her lap and eyed the door anxiously. Even though she told herself that it was all right, somehow the nervousness still stirred in her belly. At long last, the door opened and his quiet footsteps entered. Gripping her fingers tightly, she began to stand as he came into the room further. 

    “Were you waiting long sarang?” He asked, reaching up to remove his gat. 

    “No, not long.” 

    “Good.” Coming to him, she lifted hands to press against his chest. 

    “I trust your day was satisfactory?” She asked, sliding fingers down to untie the belt to his jeogori. 

    “Mmhm.” She welcomed his kiss and it burned her sweetly, stoking a fire between her legs. 

    “Will I share a bath with you tonight pyeha?” She breathed as he parted the jeoksam and slid it down her shoulders. 

    “That and more eolin-i.” He hushed, taking the skin of her neck between his teeth. Sucking lightly, he brought his hands up to her breasts, squeezing gently. Her nipples tightened in anticipation.

    “You’ve been waiting for this haven’t you?” She refused him not as his fingers pulled the linen from her chest, soon drawing one dark bud into his mouth. Moaning softly, she arched her back as he pinched the other gently. 

    “My waiting has not been in vain sarang.” He spoke, finding and taking her lips. Pulling the jeogori down taunt shoulders she slowly removed the sokjeogori, feeling a wave of desire hit her at his revealed flesh. Carved from marble it seemed, defined and pronounced muscle covered him. He took hold of her below her waist and gave the cheeks a firm squeeze before walking her back towards the nearby desk. Licking her lips she turned, making him face her. 

    “How you hunger my love.” She murmured, the hands on his chest nearing the erection that protruded outward, demanding her attention. 

    “Tiye-” Any other words on his tongue ended with a soft hiss as she gently massaged it. 

    “Let me end your suffering. Please.” She near whispered, slowly sinking to her knees before him. His breath had begun to grow heavy and he gripped the desk behind him tightly, enough to bruise. 

    “Tiye…” The blush in her cheeks matched the one in his and his tone of voice suggested uncertainty. He never pushed her past what she was willing to experience. Never took more than what she allowed. Lifting her gaze, she slipped her hands up across his on the desk. 

    “With you, I’ve feared nothing. With you, I’ve experienced joys…pleasures I hadn’t thought possible my love.” Gripping his hands, she pressed a kiss to the engorged phallus, now twitching with impatience. 

    “Please…don’t deny me this…please.” She almost begged, taking in the way he swallowed thickly, breath panting. He said nothing and moved not as she began to untie his baji. They pooled around his ankles and she pulled them from around his feet. Soon the sokbaji met the floor and at the sight of his aroused member, just a dari-sokgot away she felt excitement wet her below. Leaning forward, she pressed kisses to his hip bones and further up to his belly button.  The ties to the underwear grew slack and soon it met the pile of discarded clothes. 

    For a moment, she was too stunned to move, enraptured by the beauty of it. The desire to explore it sent another gush of wetness in between her legs and she inched closer, pressing her thighs together. 

    Slowly, the tip of her tongue peeked through her lips and gently ran across the sensitive quivering skin, taking with it the pearl of liquid that had gathered at the tip. The contact made him jerk, fingers on the desk now growing white from gripping so hard. A velvety groan escaped his throat and those beautiful cowrie shaped eyes, dark almost black rolled back as she teased him again, another gentle lick. Following the thick veins that clothed him, she kissed him appreciatively as he twitched again, more of that translucent liquid now drooling from the head. Intertwining their fingers, she ran the flat of her tongue across him before taking him into her mouth slowly. 

    “Fuck…” He groaned, gripping her fingers tighter. She closed her eyes and succumbed to the sensations that flooded her, moaning as she took more of his shaft. Another smooth sound of pleasure rumbled from his throat and she let go of his fingers, opting instead to grasp the firm round cheeks of his rear. She took her time as she inched closer and closer to the base of his shaft, pausing to lick and suck as she pleased. Feeling fingers slide into her hair, she opened her eyes and glanced upward. The blush that was in his cheeks had traveled down to his neck and those sensuous eyes of his made her soak through her dari-sokgot. His lips had been bitten and now the forms were slightly swollen and pouty. 

    He took hold of her braids just a tad tighter as her head began to bob gently, eyes still trained on his. For the second time, his gaze rolled away as he leaned his head back. Deep open mouthed groans soon drifted into her ears and she lifted hands to his belly, the tightening and release of his muscles beneath her fingers signaling impending climax. Beads of sweat formed on the throbbing muscles and she dug her nails into them carefully as his groans grew in number. His fingers tightened even more in her hair and the pull of her head back sent a rush of pleasure to her womb.

    “Oh fuck I’m gonna come jagi….” His stomach clenched hard as release and pleasure overwhelmed him and he panted harshly as he filled her mouth with his seed. Letting go of her hair he gently cupped the nape of her neck as she slowly withdrew; a thin string of saliva billowing from her lips. Panting, she slowly steadied herself and stood, only to have his lips possess hers, tasting his release on her tongue.

 

*** 

 

    Dong-Il’s hooves, having been in a run, now trotted as they approached a home. Beautifully manicured gardens encased the perimeter and many servants rushed to and fro there in the horizon. Waiting for them stood a man, dressed in a grey taupe hanbok, the length of it shorter than that of Wangja-nim’s. A round gat sat atop his head. When they finally reached him, he gave a reverent bow. 

    “Wangja-nim, welcome.” He dismounted from the saddle and reached for her, bringing her down. Turning to the man, he nodded his head in return. 

    “Thank you for making time for our meeting.” 

    “It’s nothing pyeha. Truly. I am honored to have you.” 

    “Hm. Shall we head in?” He motioned with his hand, bringing another low bow. Servants started for Dong-Il and she could see that he was starting to grow uneasy. 

    “You’re safe and so shall your Master be.” She reassured the beast, scratching his ears. 

    “We will be but a moment Dongie-ah.” He nudged her with his muzzle in reply and let the stable boy take him. Turning, a servant awaited by the door and led her to the place where the two men sat down, mists of hot steam rising from cups of tea that sat in front of them. Sitting next to him, she smiled in thanks at the cup that was placed in front of her. 

    “The woman. Must she be here?” The man asked, running eyes over her appearance. 

    “Get used to her. She’s not going anywhere.” Sharp eyes appeared over the rim of his cup and man shifted uncomfortably. He cleared his throat and at the concentrated gaze from his visitor, he began to speak of the topic at hand. 

    “You’ve heard no doubt. That Song has been captured by the Mongols.” At that, he put his cup down. 

    “Yes.”

    “It’s terrifying to think that those brutes slipped past the wall.”

    “I think it speaks to more than pure savagery Jisa-nim.” Reaching up, he removed his gat, allowing it to fall against his back. 

    “The Mongolian people are highly intelligent. Brutal in nature…yes but they should not be underestimated by any means.” He spoke firmly, eyes never leaving the man’s face. 

    “A-Ah…”

    “The people you govern. Have you thought as to how you are to protect them should they seek to plunder your municipality?” 

    “Ah…that is sir…what I wished to discuss with you.” His response startled him. A laugh.

    “You need me to tell you how to lead your people? My my…that’s concerning Beom-soo-ah.” Opting to use the man’s first name, he smirked as the man started to visibly sweat. 

    “We are…are not prepared pyeha. We have no backup resources…. no backup reserves…nothing.” At that, he lifted his eyebrows. 

    “Any reason why?” The man hesitated. 

    “Could it be that you’ve spent it all on this lovely abode? The gardens? The servants? The silk hanbok you’re wearing?” 

    “S-Sir..”

    “Contact your treasury and send a detailed report to the Palace…directly to me. I will assist you in keeping your people safe. After all, they are my people too. And under no circumstances are we to let any one of them be taken by the ever growing threat. Especially not for our own sake no?” 

    “Y-Yes pyeha.” 

    “Good.” Sitting the empty cup back onto the saucer, he sighed. 

    “Now that that is addressed, I have one more question to ask you.”

    “Sure my lord.”

    “There were two men from your district who were charged with accompanying me to Song three years ago. They never showed up. I want to know why.” 

 

*** 

 

    Two bowls of dangmyeon and mandu were placed in front of them. 

    “Tiye, what are your thoughts?” He asked, reaching for his jeokgarot. 

    “Would you like the polite answer or the frank one?” She asked back, lifting a cup of cold tea to her lips. Her eyes danced with amusement and there a tiny smirk teased his lips. 

    “The frank one as always.” Accepting his request, she set the cup down. 

    “The governors are all like toads. They jump and flee when you happen by them.” At that, he chuckled, the action shaking his whole body.  Smirking, she picked up her own eating utensils and began to eat. 

    “Am I really that intimidating?”

    “Apparently…” He snort.    

    “The first one…I don’t know if he would be so bold as to participate in an uprising. I’m sure you and your father frighten him entirely too much. Now…the other two seemed to fit the bill. Call it a hunch.” 

    “Hm. It deserves more investigation.”

    “Mmhm.”  His gaze was soft upon her as he observed her, reaching to take her hand in his as she slurped her noodles. Pressing the napkin against her mouth, a blush painted her cheeks at how loud she was being. His smirk deepened. 

 

 

 

*** 

 

    Fingers intertwined in the furs above her, down below his mouth had ahold of her, having taken her nipple in between his lips. Humming against her, he softly let go of the fleshy globe and trailed a thin line down the center of her abdomen with his tongue. Taking a hand, he pulled the ties to her dari-sokgot a loose, taking in her sigh of relief as he pulled it away. The sweet tangy scent of her arousal drifted into his nostrils and he groaned, pressing his face against her triangle. Her fingers slid into his hair and he pressed kisses to her mound before taking hold of her thighs, spreading them wide. For a moment, he admired her, feeling his groin throb with ache. She, to him, resembled a flower. Petals, pink and silky were in bloom already, spread open and glistening with dew.

    “So pretty.” He murmured, eyes lifting to hers. She blushed and bit her lip. 

    “You’re so beautiful my sweet…” He hushed, dropping his gaze once more. He lifted the beads that encircled her hips and pressed his lips against a delightful discovery, a line of raised nubby scars that traveled down the length of her pelvic bone and ended at her inner thigh. Softly he kissed them, running his teeth across some of them. The closer he got to her entrance, he pressed butterfly kisses to them. He brushed the engorged little button with a thumb, making her press up against his touch. She moaned a bit louder than before, arching her back.

    “Joha?” He breathed in question, breath warm against her, a tease in and of itself.  Panting, she took a shaky breath and tried to speak. 

    “Mm…Joha…” 

    “Tell me what you want.” He kissed around the quivering pearl, a smirk forming on his lips. 

    “M-more…please…” 

    “More of what?” 

    “Y-your…your touch…please….Gods please…” Giving her exactly what she asked for, he gripped her inner thigh and let his tongue run up the length of her. She tossed her head back, breath soon turning into moans as he drew one petal after the other into his mouth, sucking gently. Lightly flicking the nub, he groaned against her, trapping it inside of his mouth. 

    Soon, wet slurping and sucking sounds met the air, coupled with his occasional groan of appreciation and it all formed a heady cocktail, one that brought release to her…something she’d never experienced before. She tried to muffle the noises tumbling out from her mouth but he forced her hand away from her face, engulfing it against one of the many pillows. 

    “I’d advise you not to do that.” Lifting up, he kissed her with a hum. 

    “I want to hear every little sound you make my sweet.”

 

*** 

    

    “What were your findings?” 

    “The governors are all incompetent and unfit.” Snorting, his Father, the King chuckled as he watched his son pace back and forth through the room. 

    “Cheol-Su… sit down. You’re going to give me anxiety.” At that, he stopped pacing…slightly. Turning on his foot, he took in his Father, looked at him good and hard. Once obsidian hair now was peppered with white, gathering at his temples. His eyes were firm but oh how tired they were. His brow had wrinkled with age and while the skin was still relatively smooth, it showed vast depth, stress and age. 

    “Father.” Lifting his eyes, a warmth he hadn’t seen since he was a very small boy spread through his gaze…only for a moment. 

    “Yes my Son.”

    “You asked me what happened… On the way to Song.” He didn’t reply, simply waited for him to continue. 

    “I told you that your eldest son knew the answer. Did you ask him?” 

    “I did. He refused any such answer. Denied to even speak.” Coming closer to him, he pressed hands down on the desk. 

    “I will tell you what happened. But, I fear you will not like the answer.” 

    “Out with it then.”

    “Seo Jun tried to have me assassinated.” At the revelation, he grew stiff and his eyes grew wide. 

    “W-Why…would he-?”

    “Surely you know why. You know why Father.” The man swallowed thickly. 

    “I need not the governors to answer as to why their men did not meet me. We know what happened. I know what happened.” Leaning forward, he spoke, directly looking into his father’s eyes. 

    “Seo Jun paid them off. Paid them to keep them quiet and comfortable. He never imagined that he would fail, much less imagined to see me coming through the gates of the Palace once more.” 

    “That fight between you…it was more than a brother’s scuff.”

    “Indeed.”

    “The talk of the girl. The musori. It was all a farce.”

    “Not entirely. He seeks to take everything from me that I hold dear.” Pulling away from the desk, he began his unfortunate pacing once again. 

    “The friendship I share with Tiye. Our…bond of sorts. He would see it crushed if he had a choice. He’s gathered nothing but the scorn of both our Mother and our late grandmother.”

    “You were her favorite…their favorite.” Waving his hand in dismissal, he scoffed. 

    “Favoritism means nothing now. It’s irrelevant.” 

    “What of your consort? Do you think he shall drive a wedge between the two of you as well?” 

    “I imagine she will be the sole person responsible for that.” 

    “These matters….these accusations… they are very serious Cheol-Su. All of them threaten your position as our next King.”

    “Precisely.” 

    “I will talk to Seo Jun again.”

    “And if he admits? What will be his punishment?” At that, the King grew ashen. For he knew the price that came with actions such as the ones described. 

    “I’ll…I’ll consider an appropriate one.” Tightening his lips, he watched as the man got up and slowly left him alone, the candlelight shining a golden ray across his face. 

 

 

*** 

    

    “My lady! Please don’t! His Highness specifically requested to be alone this night!” 

    “Damn his requests! I am his future Queen! I need not ask permission to enter his chambers!” Pushing past the girl, she took off in the direction of his chambers. As she drew nearer, a sound stopped her. A moan of pleasure. Female. Her stomach twisted up in knots and she quietly approached, fingers outstretched to slide open the door. What met her eyes made her legs tremble. He had that cheonmin bitch underneath him, having placed her on top of his desk. He leaned down and kissed her before taking hold of her ankles and pulling her closer to him. Allowing her legs to drape around his hips, he gently lifted his manhood and teased her entrance, bringing a needy whine from her. A low chuckle escaped him and he took her mouth again. 

    “Patience Tiye. I don’t want to hurt you.” Slowly gyrating against her, he began to enter her, taking her breath. 

    “O-Oh…Oh Gods…” Any other words died on her tongue as he continued his entry. Her eyes watered and she gripped the door to filth, fingers growing white. She knew the feeling. What she was experiencing. Cheol Su had a girth that filled you, in such a delicious way that your toes curled and you were blinded by pleasure. It was a feeling that she and she alone should have called hers. A combination of their groans drew her away from her thoughts. He must have completed his entry, his entire length now caressed in a warmth that was not hers. Her back was arched, fingers gripping his forearms tightly. Leaning down, he draped his big long body across hers, size swallowing her up. 

    “So fucking tight for me jagi…fuck.” She answered him with a kiss, lifting to slide arms around his neck, moaning against him at the slow sensuous pace their combined hips moved. His hair had been taken down from its topknot and it draped the both of them, silky and lustrous. At once, his hips began to pump into her, deep penetrative sounds soon rising between them. She’d never heard the girl moan so wantonly before but then neither had she of him. A mixture of groans, husky moans and curses drifted from his mouth as his body forced hers under his submission. Reaching for her hands, he pulled them from around his neck and hair and stretched them upward, fingers tight together. She caught a glimpse of their lips meeting, their tongues in a passionate dance. Pulling her lip into his mouth, he sucked on it slightly. She breathed a slight sigh of relief as he suddenly slowed. 

    She didn’t understand it… didn’t understand how they came to be so intricately entangled in each other…didn’t know when it happened or how. They both seemed too alert to rule out intoxication. No, they were very much sober and it sent a sharp pain traveling across her heart. The other thing she couldn’t quite understand was why she felt wet warmth in between her legs at the sight of them. Biting her lips to shreds, she forced the door shut and pressed herself back against the door, her eyes taking all they could tolerate. 

    “Tell me darling little moon…to whom do you belong? Who is your master?” A labored breath replied and it quickly turned into a lewd little sob. 

    “Answer me…” He rasped, the sound of a wet kiss soon following. 

    “No one.” A moist warmth soaked her below and she once again came to the door, slipping it open. He’d lifted up to his full height and held her by the waist. As her answer caused, he began to snap his hips into her, deep piercing strokes. The bitch’s eyes rolled straight back, open mouthed moans and cries pleading a second chance. 

    “Wrong answer my love.” He panted, taking hold of her jaw. 

    “To…whom do you…belong?” 

    “The sun…the sun owns me…” She whimpered out, voice breathy and filled with unexplainable ecstasy. 

    “And who is this sun?” She opened her eyes, drawing his gaze. 

    “…you.” Pleased with her answer, he let up but not all of the way, thrusting lazily with an occasional hard one. 

    “And who am I my sweet?” She gasped at one such hard meeting of their bodies before she found the will to speak again. 

    “Wang….W-Wang Cheol-Su….” Groaning against her mouth, his lips possessed hers. 

    “Good girl. Say it again.” 

    “W-Wang…C-Cheol….Cheol…” His hips had picked back up in intensity and she felt intense jealousy and envy ravage her as she watched the girl struggle to speak. 

    “Louder Tiye. Who am I?” The poor girl’s eyes appeared to have tears in them but they reflected not sadness. 

    “Cheol Su…oh gods….Cheol Su….” 

    “Yes sarang?”

    “Please….oh gods please….” 

    “Only…only if you tell me it too is mine….” She could see the way her muscles tensed up and from the way the cheeks of his rear were tight she knew he too was close to climax. 

    “It’s…it’s yours….I’m yours…” At that, he seemed to lose it and his moans, beautiful and smooth in pitch ran faster, closer now, exciting her. One final hard meet of their hips and the two of them grew still, mismatched flesh shiny with the sweat of passion and breath uneven and ragged. 

    Lifting shaky fingers back from the door she shut, she took a step back, filled with an anger she’d never before felt. Somehow, even though she tried to stop herself, her feet turned in the direction of his brother’s chambers. Sliding open the door, she slipped inside. 

End Notes:

A/N: HEYYYYYY Y'ALLLLLLL! IT'S FRI-YAYYYYYYYYYY WHOOP WHOOOP!!! So, our lovebirds have officially done the boom boom lol. Over the course of two years. Cheollie gained her full and unequivocal trust in that time and I think that their scenes speak to that and his trust in her as well. *sniffs dramatically* THEY SO BEAUTY-FULLLLL. I love them. I love them SO much! And here we have Jae-Hwa being both a creep da deep AND a thotty at the same time. *severe EYE ROLL* I can't stand her. Y'all can't stand her. And y'all really ain't gon like her in a minute. SEO JUN GOT THAT *** POPPED HE DID. HAHAHAAAAAAA. GOT EMMMMMMM! Okay, I'm done. I got another chapter for you hehe. Cause I LOVE Y'ALLLLLLLL! Terms and stuffs below! Love you, stay safe, healthy and BLESSED above all! 

D&L

 

TERMS:

sarang-love 

jagi or jagiya- love, darling, sweetie/sweetheart, the list of romantic pet names goes on and on LOL. 

jisa-governor 

gat-hat worn with hanbok. Y'all seen em. The cylindrical sheer hats the wangjas wear haha. However, in the Goryeo period, some of them were round as I learned. Which is interesting <3

Joha?- Do you like it? You like that? You like this? All forms apply. Goin on a limb and saying even "does that feel good?" would be a meaning in English. <3

 

Tiye's hair:

With twine:

Governor Beom-soo's get up:

Cheol-su's threads: 

Tiye's waist beads:

Tiye's threads:

Expressions Cheol-su had this chapter:

(by the handsome and let's just be honest fine as wine God took his time on this man Kang Ha Neul)

Anddd more cheeky expressions when that fire be LIT and he be lookin at his baby before they boom boom LOL:

*this the exact smirk he has on his face cause he know he bout to rearrange her guts LET ME SHUT UP LOL*

(^ this last one sends me EVERY TIME because he just radiate BIG FREAK ENERGY playin with the earring and ish LMAO. TALMBOUT BIG D*** ENERGY BRUH. I cannot with Ha Neul. lol) 

열여덟 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


Yeolyeodeol


(eighteen) 


 

 

    “Tell me of your homeland.” Smiling against his bare chest, she lifted her head slightly, eyes teasing his. 

    “You want to know where it is I come from?”

    “Of course.” She pressed kisses up across the spans of his pectorals and further up until she pressed a sweet one against lips, lips stained with passion, the taste of her arousal still lingering on them. 

    “I come from a far away land my love.” Lifting a leg, she gently climbed on top of him. 

    “A land rich with wealth. A land rich with plenty.” His fingers took hold of her hips as she slowly began to roll them against him, a slow erotic tease. 

    “There, gold is abundant. There, beauty exists in the hearts of the people.” 

    “Mm.” His fingers grasped the cheeks of her rear now, giving them a firm squeeze. 

    “From this land known as Kush Kings come. Queens are born. Royalty whose lineage dates back the same length as yours, perhaps further.” Lifting slightly, he drew a breast into his mouth. Tangling fingers in his hair, she bit her lip in a slight moan as he nuzzled her, small kisses and nips attached further up to her neck. 

    “Tell me more…” He breathed, teasing the lobe of her ear with a soft lick. 

    “There the women are equal to the men. They rule lands, they have dominion over Kingdoms. So much so that even Pharaohs desire them.” 

    “And what is a Pharaoh?”

    “It is an Egyptian King. In some cases even women rule as such.” 

    “Ah.” Skimming her jaw with his lips, he smiled softly before kissing her. 

    “A woman King. That sounds fascinating.” Returning his smile, she bid him to lay back, hand pressed firmly on his chest. 

    “Does it?” She asked, reaching behind her to take hold of the aroused member that prodded her bottom. His answer was a delightful groan as she took him in slowly. 

    “Yes…” He breathed, opening those intoxicating eyes of his. 

    “I wonder then…my love… what manner of woman you are…” He panted, allowing her to entwine their fingers. 

    “I am a woman with both a Kingdom to rule as well as a Throne.” His fingers took hold of her hair, bunching the braids up in his fingers. Slowly, he pulled her head back, licking the sweat that accumulated at the nap of her neck. 

    “Indeed a Throne you have my sweet.”

    “Where then is it my beloved sun?” She breathed in a moan as she rocked against him, opening half lidded eyes to look at him. 

    “You sit upon it little moon.” 

 

*** 

 

        

    “You’re not afraid…that he might find out?” 

    “Fuck him and what he may find out.” Fingers took hold of long onyx hair, gripping it tightly. 

    “You came to me. And what did I do? I satisfied every need and desire you have. Even the ones you didn’t know you had.” The woman licked plump pink lips, lips swollen from his bites and nips. 

    “It’s a shame that he doesn’t treat you better. He’s too occupied fucking that little rat to see what he’s missed.” The woman didn’t reply, simply let him hide his face against her bosom.

    “T-This…can’t…g-go on.” At her soft utter, the man lifted eyes. 

    “You’re not going to leave. You’ll come back again and again. Just as you’ve been doing.” Yanking her head back sharply, his teeth took hold of the pearly white skin beneath him. 

    “So long as he remains your betrothed. So long as she remains the one who will inherit all you deserve.” 

    “No…he’d….he’d never do that. It’s inconceivable. It’s impossible.” A twisted grin teased the man’s lips and with his body, forced her under him. 

    “Is anything impossible for a King sweeting?” 

 

 

 

*** 

    It was nearing dawn when she pulled away from him. She’d awakened early, content with watching him sleep beside her, arm comfortably around her. She’d gently lifted her fingertips and pressed them against his lips, enjoying the soft warm air that teased them. Quietly, she’d sung a lullaby or two, smiling as he tucked himself against her chest, slipping a leg up around his hip to keep his still. She’d kissed his brow and smoothed his hair back from his face. When she had set and he had begun to inch across the skyline, that was when she knew she had to go.         

    Lifting up onto her feet, she stretched, lifting her arms above her head. Taking her braids, she gathered them up and moved them across one shoulder, intending to braid the collection of them into one big plait later.

    “Tiye.” His voice was thick with sleep and delightfully husky. Turning partially towards him she set her eyes on him. He sat up with a yawn. 

    “Don’t leave so soon…come back to bed.” She wished she could… she wanted to. But she knew better. 

    “You know I can’t…” A dissatisfied grumble escaped him and she smiled to herself as she began to tie her dari-sokgot. She heard a rustling behind her and soon his big warm hands slipped around her hips. 

    “The night is not long enough.” He hushed against her, pressing a kiss or two against the side of her neck. 

    “Yes…but it is all we have.” Reaching for her chest wrappings, she bit her lip as his hands left her waist, instead taking her breasts in each palm. The morning flow of blood had reached his groin and his manhood poked her invitingly.

    “Cheol-su…”

    “Let me help you.”

    “Only if you promise to just help.” Smirking against her jaw, he squeezed her gently. 

    “I shouldn’t make promises I cannot keep eolin-i.” She couldn’t contain the giggle that escaped her as he playfully pulled her mouth closer, kissing the puckered lips with a grin. 

    “Come now, look how the sun is rising! I can’t be here.” Finally releasing her, he exhaled a long drawn out sigh. Taking the linen from her he gently placed it underneath the hand that held her. Slowly, he brought it around until he removed his hands. Taking the pin from her offered hand, he pinned the wrappings together. 

    Pressing a kiss to her forehead, he pulled away from her and sifted fingers through his hair, a sea of black covering his back. He slipped into his baji from the previous night, coming to cover his upper body in the matching sokjeogori.

    “I’ll walk you to the harem.” He said, tying his hair back into a sleek ponytail. She opened her mouth to protest but he gave her that look, the lifted eyebrow and she fell silent. 

    “It’s bad enough I’m being denied of you this morning. The least I can and will do is escort you. Jae-Hwa won’t be here until later so for now we will be undetected.” Coming to take her face in between his palms, he kissed her, slow and sweet, tongue stirring heat between her legs. 

    “Let’s make haste sarang.” Sliding open the door, they began to walk towards the harem, fingers tightly intertwined. 

 

 

*** 

 

 

    The sound of horses drew nearer and at their whinny he looked up, having been seated inside of the library, nose in betwixt a book. 

    “Pyeha, there are men outside requesting an audience.” Slowly, he put the book down. 

    “Send them in.” The frightened governor of before entered into the library, three men behind him. 

    “Jisa-nim, good afternoon to you.” The man bowed his head low and when he lifted it, he nervously met his eyes. 

    “P-Pyeha.” He let his eyes fall across the men who stood behind him. 

    “Who are they?” 

    “They are those of my men your Father chose to accompany you to Song.” 

    “And yet they didn’t.” Slowly standing, he came around the table. 

    “I assume they are going to tell me why.” At a motion of the hand, the men came forth, heads bowed. 

    “We were approached by the eldest prince my lord.” His throat grew tight but his gaze grew intense, hands drawn into fists. 

    “That I’m aware of.”

    “He paid us sir. Told us that the King had relieved us of our mission and that his new orders were to remain at home and assume our regular lives.” At that, his eyebrow lifted. 

    “Is that so?” The men nodded before him. 

    “Yes pyeha.” 

    “Have you any of this coin he gave you?” 

    “I never quite felt right…so I saved a bit of it.” One of the men reached into the pocket of his baji and retreived a small pouch. Handing it to him, he swallowed as he opened the pouch. What was inside made his blood chill. Instead of the face of his father resting on the coin…instead it was in the likeness of one Wang Seo Jun. 

    “He told us that it was the King’s intention to see him ascend to the Throne once more and that the coin proved his high favor, an issue ordered by the King himself.” For a moment, he couldn’t move, fury stroking his belly like a hot intense fire. Jaw clenched, he lifted his eyes to the men.

    “Should I have need of witnesses for a trial… would you take the stand to testify?” Sweat beaded on their foreheads but they complied with a bow of their heads. 

    “Please Wangja-nim…please make sure our families are kept safe. Should he retaliate it will be devestating to us.”

    “I will see to it that you and your families are provided protection. You have my word.” 

    “Thank you great Wangja-nim.” With a nod of his head, he motioned for them all to leave and when they had, he gripped the coins he held in his hand, now shaking with the desire to strike something. 

    “Did you get it? All of it?” He asked the quietness. Soon a head popped out from behind one of the hidden nooks, paper and tablet in hand. 

    “Yes pyeha.” 

    “Good.” Resuming his seat, he watched as the sunlight caught one such coin, retracting its light and in doing so produced a prism. The rumor of war…the threat of a Mongol invasion was sure to be feared. But then he had an enemy much closer to home that needed to be erased. He would see to that erasure. By any means necessary. 

 

 

 

 

*** 

 

    “Tiye, you’re glowing.” 

    “Ah…am I?” 

    “Share the prince’s bed did you?”

    “None of your business if I did or didn’t.” She shot back haughtily. Min-Ah nudged her. 

    “Just make sure you are careful my sweet little friend. Are you using the sponge?” Feeling her cheeks warm, she pinched her lips shut as to not answer. 

    “Hm…”

    “Tiye, Min-Ah! Come on, some of us are going to head into town today. Get out of this hot hell hole for a chance.”Hae beckoned with her hand, grinning at them. 

    “You going?”

    “Are you going?” The two teased one another as they got up. Coming to the door, they all were stopped by none other than Jae-Hwa. Blinking, the women bowed their heads towards her. 

    “My lady, what are you doing in this part of the Palace?” Hae said kindly, head lowered. 

    “I came for her.”

    “Her my lady?”

    “The one who shares my future husband’s bed.” 

    “We’ve…all at one point shared his bed my lady…” At the frosty glare from the woman, Min-Ah quickly shut up. 

    “You mean Tiye.” 

    “Yes. Her.” A wave of anger hushed against her but she slowly came forth, eyes strong and unwavering. 

    “I have a name my lady. I would appreciate it if you use it.” At that, she found herself struck, a hard slap to the face. The women around her gasped. Lifting watery eyes, she looked into the very face of jealousy, rage and perhaps…insecurity. 

    “The only name I shall address you as is whore.”

    “…M-My lady…”

    “Silence! You weren’t asked to speak.” Turning furious eyes back onto her, she turned up her nose at her. 

    “Come whore. My betrothed requests you to serve us tonight.” She didn’t move, hands now drawn as fists. 

    “What are you going to do? Strike me?” 

    “Bitch.” She hissed in her mother tongue, gathering up what saliva she held and spit at her feet, making the girls cry aghast. 

    “I will go to him. I will serve him. But you? It will be a cold day in hell before I ever serve the likes of you of my own free will.” 

    “Impudent little slut!” She reached up to slap her again but to everyone’s surprise, Hae’s hand caught her wrist, a bruising grip on it. Taken by surprise, she grew still. 

    “My lady… please. It is not becoming of you to act this way. Especially over the likes of us. Please. I beseech you. Show grace and humility.” She yanked her wrist away from her and sending a chilly stare her way, turned on her heel. 

    “Come musori.” She called, voice hard and flat. 

    “Tiye.” Turning eyes near threatening to spill with tears, she clenched her jaw. 

    “Mind yourself please.”

    “I can’t. I…I grow tired of accepting this…this place where I am to kneel and grovel at the feet of those who are less than dirt.”

    “For the sake of man you love…you must.”  Lifting hands, she wiped her eyes. 

    “She will be his Queen. And that gives her authority not just over you but over us all. Should we incur her wrath, only death awaits us.” Coming to hug her friend, Hae sighed heavily. 

    “You’ve had so much to endure…so much to sacrifice. That is the price you must pay to love him. Remember that dear one…” Letting go of her, she gently pushed her towards the awaiting consort who was starting to grow red in the neck. By the time they got to his chambers, more tears had silently fell down her cheeks before she hastily wiped them away, not wanting to  give any satisfaction or misunderstanding. Taking a shaky breath, she entered behind the woman…his consort. His betrothed. 

 

*** 

 

 

    “Tell me pyeha….did you take her here? Where we eat this very meal?” Her fingers tightened on the stem of the ewer. She felt her neck grow hot and drew back, soon eying the very table at which they sat. Her womanhood throbbed. Indeed, he had. 

    “Jae-Hwa, I will not entertain this kind of talk. Not now.”

    “Then when? When are we to talk about your fucking her?” A hand slammed down on top of the table, making them both jump. 

    “I said not now.” She scoffed, rolling her eyes. 

    “I don’t know who in court you’ve been associating with but I will have you watch your mouth when speaking to me.” At that, she was quiet for the longest before,

    “Musori, more wine.” Fingers growing tight again, she didn’t move, just looked at her. 

    “Did you not hear my order?”

    “Tiye,” At his voice now quiet, she turned to look at him. He placed his cup to the right of him, motioning for it to be filled. She obliged, coming to that side and filling his cup to the brim. He outstretched his hand towards Jae-Hwa and as much as she wanted to pour the remnants all over her, she begrudgingly slid to her side and filled her cup too. 

    “Thank you.” He said with a small smile. 

    “It is nothing Wangja-nim.” She dismissed, slipping back to her place by the door. 

    “Have you heard the talk from court?”

    “No. I haven’t.”

    “They say you are a tyrant.”At that, he lifted his gaze and upon looking into her eyes, an uncanny feeling breezed across him. Licking his lips, he continued to eat, speaking along the way. 

    “Is that what they call a man who desires to see his people cared for? A tyrant?” 

    “They say you’ve hidden below us a chamber of horrors where you take unlucky victims to be tortured and bled.” 

    “I imagine there is a lot of talk in court about me.”

    “And none of it bothers you?”

    “Why should I allow non truths to bother me?” 

    “Because. There is such a thing as reputation pyeha.”

    “Yes and mine has spoken louder than any rumor thus far.”  At that, she pursed her lips and resumed eating. 

    “You’re far too concerned with what everyone else is saying.”

    “You’re far less concerned than you should be.”

    “And why pray tell is that?”

    “They say you take your female slave, strip her down and take her on your Father’s throne. They say in spite you leave your fluids of release there for him to sit upon.”

      “I have heard enough Jae-Hwa. Cease this foolishness.” She turned her gaze onto her and for the briefest moment, a chill passed through her. 

 

***

    That night, she did not share his bed. That night he once again descended into a hell he wanted to escape. Eyes looking up at the writhing woman on top of him, his mind running a million miles per minute, reflecting on the conversations he’d had…the revelations he’d received. At last, she finished and assumed her position on his chest, face pressed against his neck. Finally, he was able to peel his fingers away from the furs beneath them. 

    “What is it about her?” 

    “What?”

    “What is it about her that you like so much?” He didn’t answer her. 

    “There’s nothing spectacular about her. And yet you adore her so much.” Sighing, she closed her eyes. 

    “You’ve tried so hard to make her conform….but your efforts will be wasted.” 

    “It’s funny how entitled you think you are.” 

    “What?” She lifted her head, bringing her eyes to his. 

    “In the midst of your jealous rage, you still can’t see where your fault lies.”

    “What are you talking about?”

    “It is not beauty alone that entices me. It is not a pigheaded self righteous attitude that draws me. You may seduce man with your body and your face…but deep down in the depth of your soul you are hideous.” At that, she hit him on the chest. 

    “Don’t insult me Cheol-su!” Giving him the leverage he needed, he lifted up and threw her to the side, forcing her body off of him. 

    “It’s the truth you know and I know so there is no sense denying it.” Lifting his hair back from his face he glared at her; a chilly stare. 

    “Tiye is not the problem. You are.” Getting up, he slipped into his sokbaji. 

    “If that’s all you wanted then you are free to leave.”

    “No. I’m not leaving just so you can slip her in next for round two.” He laughed to her surprise, turning to lean back against his desk. 

    “She bothers you so much. It’s actually quite funny to me that you allow her such authority over you.”

    “And what of you? You get so lost in-between those thighs of hers that you fail to see reason.”

    “So they say right? No, so you say. So my sister says. Even my brother who has betrayed me. All of you say the same thing. All of you have the same infection inside you and you can’t see how it is killing you.” 

    “Wha-”

    “You will have everything you and those like you want. Power. Prestige. Wealth. I shall make you a Goddess to the people. Your name will forever be memorialized and always remembered. And yet the one thing you will never have is my love, my affection or my intimacy.” Pushing up off of the desk, he slipped into his sokjeogori. 

    “That, my dear, is the price you shall pay for the life you so greatly covet. To call yourself my wife, you must too make sacrifices.” Her eyes welled up with tears as she watched him sit at his vanity, picking up a jade comb. Anger bled through her like fire. A conversation with the King was most definitely long overdue.


End Notes:

 

A/N: What is this heifa bouta do? She so threatened by Tiye it's highkey funny. But it's not because Tiye isn't in a position to really combat her or challenge her. She tried and I MUST SAY that it did its job! I'm proud of our little moon for standing up to the UGLY. That's okay, that time coming for her honey. TRUSTTTTTTTTT. I know it's frustrating that Cheol-su keep layin down with Jae-Hwa knowing he good and darn well don't like, love or want her. But, the only explanation I can give is that he understands that royal marriages are not made or born of love. He understands his role and duty as a future King and is prepared to suffer for the sake of his country. But he also ain't suffering too much cause he got his sweet little moon shine LOL. He's playing the game y'all. Playing the game till he gets all his pieces in JUST the right place. Because if y'all don't know by now, my male characters tend to beee...savage? LOL. 

SEO JUN JUST KEEP GETTING POPPED HAAAA. It's funny. He's only digging a grave for himself. I'm at work right now so I can't comment much any more. Gotta go do my vitals! Lemme know what y'all think! 

 

D&L <3 

열아홉 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


Yeolahop 


(nineteen) 

 

 

A pain in her side woke her. What happened next was something that even her dreams hadn’t prepared her for. Two men stood over her, one of her legs each in their hand. Dressed as the royal guard, they drug her brutally upon the ground, tiny rocks and pebbles scraping and tearing her skin. 

    “What’s….what’s going on? Why are you doing this?” She protested, sleep fading from her with each passing second. At the sound of her voice, the men stopped and looked back at her. One of them let her leg go and it hit the ground harshly, drawing a cry of pain from her. She tried to move her hands but found them tied together, the rope that bound them starting to make her wrists raw. He reached for his sword when a voice familiar to them all stopped him. 

    “I said unharmed.” Slowly, a woman appeared in her peripheral vision, a sinister smirk on her face. 

    “We don’t want to bring them damaged goods do we?” 

    “What the hell is going on?” Turning eyes onto Jae-Hwa, she felt anger light her like a match. 

    “I’m eliminating the problem.”

    “Wangja-nim will never forgive you.”

    “That’s something I’m willing to risk. After all, we’ll have our whole lives to work this out.” 

    “It has to be done.” To her surprise, Taewang-nim stepped out from the corner and soon joined Jae-Hwa. 

    “T-Taewang-nim?”

    “You’re becoming too much of a distraction to him. He’s placing you above his priorities. That is unacceptable.”

    “But-”

    “I will deal with Cheol-Su. As for you, you have fulfilled your requirements. You will be returning to bondage.” At the lift of a hand, the men gathered her legs and began to drag her on, ignoring her screams and cries. 

    “TAEWANG-NIM! PLEASE….PLEASE DON’T DO THIS. PLEASE!” But it fell on deaf ears as he stood there, face as stone. Jae-Hwa’s devious smirk grew and when she was out of their sight did the wind carry her laughter her way. Men dressed like the men who had captured her all those years ago stood by a wagon. Bending down, they attempted to grab her but she fought as much as she could. With one good solid punch, she fell limp. Tossing her body into the wagon, the men received their payment and began on their long journey. 

 

*** 

 

    Sitting inside of the court library, all was quiet until the doors burst open. He lifted his eyes to see a host of gisaeng flooding in, tears and concern all about them. 

    “Wangja-nim! Wangja-nim!” Putting his book down, he frowned at the faces that peered up at him. 

    “What is the matter?” Some of them were filled with so much emotion that they could not answer, instead their tears flowed in anguish. 

    “It’s about Tiye Wangja-nim.” At the sound of the voice, he watched as the woman Hae entered, fingers tightly clasped in front of her. She appeared as though she had just finished crying, eyes puffy and watery and her nose and cheeks red. 

    “What about Tiye?” He asked, starting to stand. 

    “She’s…she’s gone my lord.” 

    “Gone?” He asked, confusion wrinkling his brow. 

    “She’s not in the harem nor is she in the servant’s chambers. No one has seen her all morning.” 

    “Perhaps she is out running errands. You yourself have done so several times before.” He attempted to smile but it slowly faded as the woman started to cry. 

    “I’m…I’m afraid…not m-my lord.” At that, he dropped the book and rushed past them all, his Father’s chambers his target. When he reached the inner courts, he pushed open the doors to find every member of his family comfortably seated playing a card game. 

    “Where is she?” He asked, voice low and menacing. 

    “Who?”

    “Don’t play stupid.”

    “My, is that any way to greet your mother in the morning Cheol-Su?” 

    “Mother, perhaps he slept on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”

    “It’s woke up on the wrong side of the bed Oppa-nim.”

    “Whatever.”

    “Father.” Lifting his eyes, the resignation within them unsettled him. 

    “She was proving to be much bigger of a problem than we anticipated.”

    “We?”

    “Have you even thought of a strategy to combat the Mongols? What if they show up on our doorstep tomorrow? In a couple hours’ time?” 

    “It has been in the works yes.”

    “By now it should be completed. By now I should be looking it over. And yet, I am not.” His jaw clenched. 

    “Your Queen consort tells me that you’ve forgotten your place. She’s concerned about you. We all are concerned about you.” 

    “What did you do?”

    “Sold her back into slavery dearest little brother. Some Arab traders came in the wee hours of the morning while you were still sleeping and took her off of our hands.” 

    “And you didn’t think to consult me about any of this? Am I seen as so insignificant?” He  was so full of anger that he couldn’t even yell. It was just monotone and flat. 

    “The King rules over us all. You’ve seemed to forget that.” Tears began to well up in his eyes and he stared blankly, hands curling up into fists. 

    “With her gone, now you can return to your obligations. You are to be King of Goryeo Cheol Su. Act like it.” He stood there silent, tears threatening to spill. 

    “Aww here he goes. About to cry like the baby he is.” His brother taunted with a sneer. But when he lifted his eyes to his, even he grew pale. Without another word, he turned on his foot and swiftly exited the chambers. Almost from a dream, it began to rain as if the earth too shed her tears. He stormed into the servant’s quarters startling the women inside. 

    “Where is Tiye’s mat?” He demanded, voice hard. One of them pointed to his left and he quickly advanced upon it. The jeogori that she had used to cover her had been ripped away and the mat appeared as though she had only just recently gotten up. A small pouch peeked out from underneath the makeshift pillow. One of her bead pouches. Plucking it up, he stuffed it into his pocket and without another word headed to his chambers. 

    Pushing open the doors, he went right to the small chest he kept in its safe. 

    “What are you going to do?” Lifting furious eyes to Jae-Hwa, he lifted and grabbed her up by the neck, shoving her back against the wall. The gaze that looked up at her made her grow cold with chills that flooded throughout her body. His grip tightened on her throat, her feet dangling below her. Embedding her nails into the skin of his wrist, she began to grow red in the face as he progressively choked more and more air from her. He suddenly let her go and watched as she sunk to the floor, holding her neck, gasping. 

    “You don’t get to ask me any fucking questions. Not now and not ever.” Leaving her on the floor, he went back to retrieve the chest. Placing it up onto the desk top, he turned around and for the longest time stared at her. 

    “It’s time don’t you think?” He asked, voice low and chilling. 

    “Time for what?” He left the desk and took her up by the hair, bringing a yelp from her. 

    “Your hand had a major part in this. You know it and so do I. And now I think that we should lay everything onto the table.” Forcing the weeping woman up he shoved her in the direction of the King’s chambers once more. When they made it there, he pushed her inside. Before entering, a concerned Yoo-shik made his appearance, there yonder. 

    What has happened my Lord?”

    “Tiye’s been sold.” His eyes bulged in surprise. 

    “What-”

    “Go and retrieve her. Please.” The last bit was softened and at that emotion that breezed up on his face, Yoo-shik nodded in understanding. 

    “Of course my Lord.”

    “In my room, there is a chest. Take a pouch or two of it out and use it to bid for her sale. When you’ve retrieved her, have her wait for me in the inn. I will come to you both tonight.” The man bowed his head and watched as the prince slowly opened the door and entered, closing the door behind him. 

 

*** 

 

    Small streams of blood slipped down her wrists from the heavy chains that bound her. The hanbok had been ripped from her body and instead a rough burlap shift was put on her, complete with a hijab to cover her hair. 

    “No man will want an unholy woman.” They said, Arabic strong on their tongue. The sun near blinded her and she kept her gaze down, down as she observed the small ants that teased her flesh, drowning in the large droplets of rain that splashed near her feet. 

    “Where have you come from?” Looking up into the face of a frail looking woman she licked her lips. 

    “Gaeseong.” 

    “Oh…the capital.”

    “Mm.”

    “In the Palace or?”

    “Palace.” That’s all she was in the mood to say and as the women prepared to ask her more questions, she turned away from her, hoping she got the message. She had to get out of here…somehow… someway. She would not go back into slavery a willing participant. 

    “Be quiet! You women talk too much!” The overseer, a big sloppy brute of a man hollered, eyes flashing dangerously. At that, they closed their mouths. The woman afraid. She furious. 

    “We will be on our way in a moment. Good news for us. Unfortunate for you.” She bit the inside of her cheek as she watched the heavy feet trail away from them. 

    “Are we to accept our fates then? Are we not to at least put up a resistance?” She questioned quietly to the eight or so women around her, some Korean, some not. They all blinked at her, tears, fear, and defeat in their eyes. 

    “What?”

    “If this be the day I die, at least I will know that I went fighting. I can’t accept this. I can’t go back to this hell. Not like this.” The two nearest her sucked up their tears. 

    “I was sold by my father to relieve a debt. I have no husband or children. What am I to go back to? Their filth can’t be any worse than the filth I just left.” The one who had spoken was a pretty girl, seen as plain and homely by aristocratic standards. Beautiful strong eyes, long black hair and tanned skin. 

    “Cheonmin?”

    “Yes.”

    “Hm.”

    “Shh.” 

    “Up you wenches! We move further into the city square.” Begrudgingly, the women got up and they moved from the outskirts of the port, drawing closer into the center of the marketplace. As they moved, a pain traveled through her chest. By now, with the sun at its highest setting of the day, Wangja-nim must have found out what happened. A myriad of emotions flickered through her at that thought. She knew he would be furious. Beside himself with fury actually. A hand roughly shoved her. 

    “Move.” Clenching her fingers together to avoid turning and hitting the man, she kept her eyes straight, taking in the surroundings foreign to her. She’d never been here before. To this port city they called Byeokrando. From the sounds of it, it was busy, chaotic and intensely strenuous with activity buzzing to a high screeching pitch. The scent from the seas wafted across her nose and it brought a feeling of longing along with a false sense of contentment. Gods she missed that smell. It was fresh, clean, open and the blue spanned as far as she could see. The man pushed her again, this time shoving her into one of the other women who walked ahead of her. They collided and tried to prevent from each other falling. Through a multitude of sweaty stinking bodies they maneuvered, ear splitting heckling and smells of mystifying foreign incense, trinkets and fresh seafood. 

    “There! Let us try to sell some of these wenches. The ones we’ve acquired from this land first.” Made to line up in single file, the men began to speak the tongue of Goryeo and it was strange hearing it from them. It didn’t sound right, didn’t sound genuine. 

    “Who here would like a woman?” At first he was ignored but he tried again, raising his voice louder. 

    “Who here would like a woman? One that can cook, clean and satisfy your every need?” That seemed to be the winning pitch because some of the traveling men paused, interested eyes peeking up from under their gats

    “Men, in these times of uncertainty, you should rest assured that you will be able to overcome with the servitude of a willing vessel.”

    “How much?”

    “Which one strikes your fancy?” A man stepped forward, dressed as a commoner. But, she recognized that face. He was one of the members of court. He was looking at the girl who had been sold by her family. 

    “Her.” He pointed, the action making her grow stiff. She tried to stand strong but she could see her ankles shaking from where she stood. 

    “100 Dongguk Tongbo.” The man whistled. 

    “A bit pricey for a woman don’t you think? Can she do all of the above as you say? Cook? Clean?”

    “She can even warm your bed kind sir.”

    “80 Dongguk Tongbo.”

    “75.”

    “Lower.”

    “How much lower kind sir?”

    “50.” The trader laughed. 

    “Please don’t insult me.” The man clenched his jaw. 

    “69.”

    “80 is the lowest I will accept. I’m sure there are plenty of others who will be willing to pay for a fine vessel like her. She’s young, fertile and hard working.”

    “Fine.” The man tossed two gwan at him. 

    “80 Dongguk Tongbo for the woman.” The woman glanced at her and an expression of fear worried her face as the man grabbed her. She nodded at her, her face strong and unmoving. She was to go to the palace. If she worked hard…she’d perhaps find the good grace of someone. No matter what her fate held, the Palace was surely better a place to reside than the hell she’d just left. And the awaiting hell for those who weren’t sold this day. 

    “Who else would like to purchase one of these fine bodies?” Her breath caught in her throat as a man stepped up, pouch in hand. He tightened his jaw as they made eye contact. Yoo-shik. 

    “I would like to buy a woman.” Lifting his finger, he pointed to her. 

    “That one.” 

 

*** 

 

    “What the hell is this about?” Turning narrowed eyes towards his brother, he snarled up his lips to reply. 

    “You shall soon see Hyung.” At his very blatant disuse of the respectful honorific, their mother grew pale. 

    “Cheol-Su…sweet boy… what is this about?” Reaching into one of his baji pockets, he pulled out a small pouch. Tossing the bag on the table, he directed his gaze again towards his brother. 

    “This should answer your question.” The fingers of their father picked up the pouch and reached inside, taking a coin or two out. Under intense scrutiny, his eyes grew wide and he brought them to his eldest son. 

    “What is this Seo Jun?” 

    “What is what.” He replied, voice not in a question but in a bored flat statement. 

    “This.” Throwing the pouch his way, the way his face changed sent a euphoric rush of pleasure through him. He couldn’t help himself, couldn’t help the slow smirk that drifted up on his lips. 

    “I can most certainly explain.”

    “I would most certainly hope so.” Their father rasped, face starting to grow a warm red. 

    “It was simply a political ploy.”

    “Political indeed.” He agreed, pressing his hands flat against the surface of the table. 

    “Where did you retrieve this?”

    “I think you and I both know the answer to that. It seems that the men you’ve employed for your political… race….have all betrayed you Hyung.”

    “What is it dear?” Their mother asked, deep worry etching into the lines on her face. 

    “A coin. With the likeness of our son. In the possession of other members of court.” Their father’s tone was dark and furious. 

    “Come now father… let us both be honest here. The title of Crown Prince should go to me. It is in the natural order of things. I am the first born son. Cheol Su second and lesser than.”

    “The only lesser son I see is you.” He barked, making the women jump. 

    “You know what this could imply Seo Jun? Tell me you know.”

    “Prowess. Hunger. Passion for what is rightfully mine.” He answered, skirting around the more obvious answer. 

    “And all of that drove you to this. To lie on the name of the King. To lie to the men our father hired to accompany me, your brother, to Song. Do you wish to know what it is that he told them given with a pouch of this filth?” 

    “What was it?” Mishil asked, expression neutral. 

    “He told them that the King had relieved them of their mission; That he was to restore to him his birthright and ordered his likeness be put upon a coin to showcase his favor.” At that, he laughed. 

    “That sounds awfully treasonous to me Hyung.”

    “Who are you to lecture me you spoiled little shit?” At that Seo Jun stood up, fists drawn up tight. 

    “This is the way you retaliate against me? So angry that Father sold your little bed whore that you come up this bullshit? Pah. Pathetic.” 

    “You are one mad son of a bitch.”

    “And you’ve forgotten that it is to the allegiance to the King that you are sworn! He governs all. Even you. Should he desire your wellbeing, your focus for our country, for these people he has called you worthy to rule over…thank him. Instead of whining like a little pussy over a woman. A cheonmin woman at that.” 

    “Seo Jun.”

    “I’ve had enough of his ungrateful ass behavior! Yet again, he proves just how unfit he is to rule the Throne.” 

    “And you’ve proven your worth?” At the voice of their father, they both looked at him. He sat there, fingers steepled, expression unreadable. 

    “You’ve proven your worth by having a coin secretly minted behind my back and without my approval. You’ve proven your worth by discarding your royal seed carelessly. Putting some under the ground I’ve been told. You’ve proven your worth by arguing with your little brother and berating him when you as eldest should guide him and support him. Is this man-child worth the Throne of Goryeo?” 

    “If you deem once and for all that I am not to have a hand in political matters then should I too give up the pleasures that I desire? Am I not your son? Have you not told me that I too am a prince of Gods…of dragons?” 

    “That’s not the point.”

    “I wasn’t talking to you little brother.”

    “What Cheol-su brings up are very grave accusations. I would hope that you are not found to be guilty of them.”

    “I have only attempted to show you that I am serious Father. Unlike Cheol-su, I am not overflowing with distractions. Had you asked me for a strategy for how to combat the Mongols, I would have surely given it to you. Like you, I want the best for Goryeo. I just want a chance to prove it.” Twisting up his lips, their father eyed him long and hard before letting his hard gaze fall to him. 

    “I have a lot to consider after these revelations. As of now, my decision has not changed. I stand by the decision to have you as my successor Cheol-su.” At that, his brother grew red in the face. 

    “Should you continue this game with your brother, you will find yourself under my most intense scrutiny Seo Jun.”His jaw tightened. Bringing his eyes back to him, his father spoke again.

    “I know you are upset at what has occurred today Cheol-su. I made the decision because she was distracting you.”

    “That should have been a decision that I made.”

    “Sometimes, one cannot see how destructive his actions are unless a loved one points it out.”

    “And Jae-Hwa is that loved one?” His steely gaze drifted towards her and his nostrils flared. 

    “This comes from a woman so jealous, it leads her straight into my brother’s chambers. So threatened by a musori, she forgets both her duty and oath to not just our family but to our country. She forgets that without me, without our family, she would be lower than shit. She also forgets that her offense against me could very well get her hung from the gallows.” At that, she paled. 

    “Cheol-su…”

    “Perhaps with that humbling thought, she ought to thank me for dealing with her and still offering her right to the Throne and to life. Let it be heard that until our wedding night she shall not enter my chambers.” He snarled as he took his brother in his sight, feeling his chest burn with unquenched rage. 

    “Do with this what you will. Form your own assumptions, opinions and perhaps start more of your rumors. I don’t care.” Turning from them, he let the door slam on the way out. 

 

*** 

 

    “You’re…going to get her back…aren’t you?” Looking up into the face of his sister, he tightened his jaw. She must have followed him on his way back to his chambers. 

    “You’re going to abandon us all. For a woman.” 

    “I’ve never asked any of you for anything. But this one fucking thing.” He hissed lowly, throat tight. Now at 15 summers, his youngest sister had grown into a beauty so they said. Cheeks still full of baby fat however, the youth of her appearance did not reveal just how much of a force she could be when she felt the need. 

    “You love her. The musori.” She spoke as if she had accepted it as fact. For a while, she didn’t speak but when she did, her voice was quiet. 

    “I’ll cover for you oppa-nim. This once.” At that, he blinked in surprise, mouth slightly ajar. Wang Mishil never did anything nice unless it was for her own benefit. 

    “Why are you doing this?” Her jaw tightened. 

    “Need I remind you that you were the one who had her stripped and beaten in an abusive public display of power?” 

    “She is the only one who has and can tame you. She is the only one who can bring out the King we need in this country.”

    “So you say.”

    “I don’t like it. Let me be very clear about that. But…the woman has a power over you that Jae-Hwa could only wish to obtain. I can’t deny that and neither can our father. Perhaps now he will see that removing that which you hold dearest will only backfire. Keeping you happy means keeping the Kingdom happy.” 

    “You make me sound like a bratty little child young one.” At that, she smiled some. 

    “Who is the bigger brat I wonder? You or Seo Jun oppa.” He poked her forehead. 

    “Watch it.” Her smile faded and she took a step back from him. 

    “When you come to know what love is Mishil…I will protect you.” Her cheeks grew warm and for the first time, she appeared as the little rosy cheeked girl he’d looked after since she was born. 

    “Should he be a cheonmin man? Should he be that of the dirt? Will you still protect me? Will you not throw me to the ravenous wolves and allow them to devour both he and I?” Taking her small face in his palms, he gently nuzzled her nose, something he hadn’t done since they were small children. 

    “I mean what I said yodongsaeng.”

    “And why do you?”

    “Because you are born of our mother’s womb and it is my job to protect you as your oppa. It’s also my job to protect your heart. Should it decide on someone that is not who our blood deems worthy…I shall always be in your corner. No matter what. No matter when.”  She gave a small nod and lifted teary eyes to his. 

    “Retrieve her and return to us.” Lifting to place his hair in a high ponytail, he pressed a kiss to her forehead and left her standing there, eyes sad and solemn as they watched his retreating form. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: Happy Friday!!!! How are y'all doin? hehe I've been good. Resting on my off days and I have to work the weekend starting tonight so y'all know I'ma get my updates together first hehe. So, the lil rat Jae-Hwa retaliated against Tiye in a HUGE way, getting her sold back into slavery. What doesn't surprise me is that Cheollie's father was in on it too. He's never liked Tiye truth by told and he doesn't like that she's "getting in the way". Cheollie obviously was NOT going to be happy and he handled everything like a boss.

I tell you what. These people better stop sleeping on him. He is a COLD MOTHER SHUT YO MOUTH. His mother tries to coddle him and baby him like she did when he was younger and he is NOT I repeat N-O-T having that. He may be the baby of the two brothers but he definitely is not a baby. The quicker his mama get it, the better off everybody'll be lol. He fried Jae-Hwa AND his good ol Hyung HAHAHA MY MAN! But you see how slick Seo was weasling his way out of that?He gon get what's comin. So will his consort. So will they all. Now he goin to go get his baby.

I have another chap update for you hehe. Hope you enjoy it! 

Stay safe, healthy, blessed and HIGHLY favored! 

D&L

 

terms:

yeodongsaeng-younger sibling

Dongguk Tongbo-This was a type of currency during the Goryeo period.

Byeokrando-an ancient port city located near the southern tip of Korea. No remnants of it remaining, it is said to have been like that of the Port of Busan today. One of major trading hubs and entryways into the country of Goryeo.

 

 

Pictures: 

Mishil ( now aged 15) 

Cheollie's expressions: 

(visual Park Hyung Sik) (if I used this before oh well LOL I'm balancing a couple stories so I forget LOL)

(visual Kang Ha Neul) 

스물 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


Seumul 


(twenty) 

 

    “How did you come to find me?” 

    “Wangja-nim of course.” Clutching her fingers together tightly, she eyed the man who she called comrade. 

    “I see.”

    “He will come to you. Just be patient.”

    “Why?” 

    “Why? Why what?”

    “Why did you follow his orders? Why didn’t you try to convince him to let me go?” The man frowned at her questions but eventually relaxed his features, handsome and charming otherwise. 

    “Had it been Hae…I believe he would have done the same thing.” She let that fact dwell in her mind for the briefest moment. 

    “Can you be so sure? This after all is the man by whom Hae-ah is bound to by law. Do you not resent him for taking your woman when he so chooses?” At that, he laughed some, the action shocking her. 

    “Have you no faith in the man you love?” She eyed him as he sat back comfortably against some cushions. 

    “I’ve known Wangja-nim for a short while now. In that time, I’ve seen that he has a heart for people. For those in need. For his country.” She swallowed thickly as Yoo-shik continued, 

    “He and I are more alike than you’d think.” Looking down at his hands, he opened the palm of his hand and looked at it.

    “He does not intend to hurt me by bedding Hae. She and I both know that his hands are tied just as much as hers are. It is not my place to object or intervene. Besides, it is not her heart or her body he desires. It is yours. Of that I am certain.” Feeling her cheeks warm, she looked away. Lifting his eyes, he fixed an intense stare on her. 

    “He loves you and he will do whatever he must to keep you by his side. Of that I too am certain.” She licked her lips but gave a little nod which brought a smile to his face. 

    “You trust me on the battle field. You think you can find it within yourself to trust me on home land too?” He asked with a laugh. Pursing her lips playfully, she sucked her teeth. 

    “Hm. Well…I thank you for coming to save me. I appreciate it.” The two paused at the sound of the door opening. Her heart beat faster as she was met with another set of eyes. His eyes. 

    “Are these the people you seek to find sir?” The inn keeper asked beside him. 

    “Yes. Thank you.” Butterflies danced in her stomach as he approached, lowering a hand over and across her braids. 

    “There you are eolin-i.” She brought his hand to rest upon her cheek, overcome with sudden emotion. Her eyes watered and her chin trembled but she didn’t withdraw her gaze. 

    “Here I am.” Throat tight, he turned eyes onto Yoo-shik who upon witnessing the scene before him smirked with his arms crossed.   

    “Thank you.” 

    “You’ve no need to thank me…Cheol-su-ah.” Slowly standing, he brushed imaginary dust from his clothes. 

    “I suppose I should make it back to the Palace now.” 

    “It’s dangerous to venture back to Gaeseong at this hour. Stay with us until morning. ” He looked between them. 

    “You sure I would not get in the way of your…evening?” His cheeks grew a lively pink but he smiled in a friendly way. 

    “Not at all. Come, sit down once more hm?” 

    “As you wish.” 

 

 

*** 

 

    Eyes watched as she slept, warm and soft. The light from the dim candlelight created relaxed shadows on the walls and doors and the inn was quiet. 

    “What will you do? Will you return to the Palace?” Turning towards Yoo-shik, he sighed quietly. 

    “My brother seeks to dismantle our entire family structure. The discord within the inner courts is just as terrifying as the panic on the street.” 

    “Mm. This I have heard.”

    “What are they saying Yoo-shik? The men you call your comrades?” The man swallowed thickly, letting his eyes fall again to the sleeping woman. 

    “They say that the Mongols rest on our heels, Goryeo in their hungry sight.”

    “Hm.”

    “They demolished Song. You’ve heard. I know you have.”

    “Yes.”

    “And what will you do with her? Tiye?” 

    “Need I do anything?” Lifting fingers to his hair, his friend tucked some strays behind his ear. 

    “I presume you will use her to fight should the time come.”

    “Tiye will fight because she wants to. There will be no force involved.”

    “But you will be the motivating factor behind her actions.” Now, it was his turn to swallow. Unbeknownst to his father, he had indeed been planning… plotting…thinking. The wheels turned over and over in his head and as the time grew and waned, so many ideas had been cast aside in frustration. 

    “Will she be enough? Will our two women be enough?” 

    “I will request additional aid.”

    “From where?” He smiled to himself as he glanced back to his sleeping little one. 

    “You shall see.” Snorting, Yoo-shik blew out the candle and laid down on his mat. 

    “Whatever it is you are planning my friend… I hope it will succeed. I hope you return to us safely. You are after all the only hope that I have left for this damned country.” 

 

*** 

 

    When the fire lit the sky ablaze, she was awakened. 

    “Come eolin-i. Wake up.” Pouting, she slowly got up, reaching up to scratch her scalp. 

    “What time is it?”

    “Just after 6 in the morning.” 

    “Why so early?” She asked with a yawn, opening her eyes, the two men in sight. 

    “It is time for me to go back to the palace.” Yoo-shik said with a small grin as she lifted her arms upward in a stretch. 

    “And you Wangja-nim? Why have you awakened me this early?” His grin was wider than Yoo-shik’s and his eyes twinkled with a slight case of mischief. 

    “That my dear will be a surprise.”

    “Hm.” Both men laughed at her obvious displeasure and found themselves attacked with a pillow each. 

    “I’ll take that as my sign to go now.”

    “Mm.”

    “Stay out of trouble Tiye-ah. For Wangja-nim’s sake.” 

    “Hm..” He lifted a hand and the two men clasped each other by the forearm. 

    “Stay safe Wangja-nim. Stay well.”

    “You too. Keep that woman of yours in line.” 

    “God knows what she will do without this one here.”

    “Yah! You needn’t worry about us. Worry about yourselves!” Tiye shot back with a suck of her teeth. Yoo-shik smirked and placed his gat on his head. 

    “Good luck Wangja-nim.” And like that he left the two of them alone. 

    He came in front of her and let his fingers breeze across her braids. 

    “Why don’t you bathe and get dressed? We’ll find something to eat after that.” She reached up and gripped his forearm, lifting her chin up. Smiling, he leaned down and gave her what she silently requested, a sweet little kiss. 

 

*** 

 

    “The little shit.”

    “He is our brother.”

    “I don’t give two fucks about that. Not after what he pulled today.”

    “Well…didn’t anyone tell you to try to assassinate him.” Shrewd eyes blinked, taking in his little sister.     

    “How do you…know about that? Who told you?”

    “I won’t expose my informants.” 

    “Little brat. You’re a cunning little chit.” The young woman didn’t reply, only pursed her lips. 

    “What’d he do, go and get the bitch?” 

    “I don’t know where he went. I would assume so since he hasn’t been back yet.” 

    “Bastard. Let him throw his temper tantrum. He’ll be back.”At that, she gave a nod, bringing her eyes towards him. 

    “Oppa-nim…”

    “What?”

    “Is it true that you and his consort are seeing each other?” 

    “Is it true that you and the stable boy are fucking?” At that, her eyes grew wide. 

    “What?” 

    “What?”

    “Why would you ever think that I would do something as dirty and disgusting as that?” 

    “You didn’t answer the question Mishil.”

    “The answer is a solid no Oppa-nim. I’m insulted that you would even ask such a vile thing.” The man laid across large plush pillows and lifted a pipe to his lips, soon blowing cloudy white smoke into the air. 

    “Rumors are funny aren’t they?” 

    “Indeed.” Turning to glance out of the window, she sighed. Soon, the opium would ignite his blood stream and he would be lost to the world, instead  existing in one of his own. Her question to him unanswered but known anyway. And as for her other brother, only the Gods knew when he’d return. Something told her it would be a while before she saw him again. 

 

 

*** 

 

 

 

 

    It wasn’t everyday that she got to see him in civilian clothes and the sight took her breath away. In a simple black hanbok, a plain white jeogori and hair tied back from his face in a topknot he stood tall, firm and confident as he spoke to another commoner. He glanced at her and winked, turning away to focus once more on the man. Heart set ablaze, she felt her cheeks grow warm. Soon, however, their conversation ended and he came back to the table, just as the serving girl had refilled their bowls with more jjigae and cups with more makgeolli. 

    “Thank you.” She said with a friendly smile and the girl managed one back even though it was tight. 

    “Were you waiting for me to start eating?” He asked, small grin on his face as he sat down. 

    “Lucky you I was. Only you I might add.” Laughing softly, he helped himself to some of the kimchi and bap. 

    “What are you up to?” She asked, pursing her lips. 

    “Why do I have to be up to something?” He asked, mouth full. 

    “Because we haven’t gone back. It’s as if you’re avoiding the return.” 

    “I really can’t get anything past you. Damn.” He complained with a sigh. 

    “Start talking.”

    “After you’ve eaten.” He teased, motioning towards her food with his jeotgarak. Biting the inside of her cheek, she ate some obediently, suspicious eyes making him smirk. 

    “Don’t look at me like that Tiye. You’ll like what I’ve planned.”

    “Oh?”

    “Yes my sweet. You will.” 

 

*** 

 

    She was as astute as ever and it never failed to impress him. He watched as she finished up her breakfast, taking another sip of makgeolli. Smirking to himself, he watched as she took a few more. Any more and his little one would be drunk before noon. 

    “Alright, I think I’m as full as I’m going to get.” She said softly, patting her belly. Sitting back, she smiled at the full stomach and her eyes thanked him. 

    “Now will you tell me what you’re up to?” He chuckled at her rosy cheeks and gave a nod. As promised, he would. 

    “Come. It’s better that I show you.” Getting up, he placed some coin on the table and nodded towards the girl who had served them and soon they were in the hustle and bustle of the city. 

    “I assume you know. How this all happened.” He looked down at her as they walked amongst the bodies, animals and filth. 

    “Yes. I know.” He answered, lifting a hand to pull her closer by the waist against him. 

    “And what will you do about it?” He didn’t say much… at first. The stench of the centre of the city was dizzying… nauseating and he wanted to get her closer to the water. She was quiet as he led her lead her away from the people, the hawking and the dirt covered children and shitty animals.  At her intake of breath, he bit his lip in a smirk. 

    “Cheol-su…” Turning, he took her hand and led her down the secluded docks, the lap of the water against the banks intoxicating. 

    “I will reveal that at a later date eolin-i. For now…something else is at hand.” Her eyes grew watery and she tightened her grip on his fingers as he drew her closer and closer to a docked boat. 

    “My promise…my reward…” He brushed fingers against her cheek. 

    “You know what my desires are for my country. What I seek to put in place.”

    “Yes…” She agreed, eyes fluttering closed. 

    “I’ve revealed the first role you are serving.”

    “Friend.” Pulling her closer, he brushed lips against hers, teasing them. 

    “And now lover.” Taking her lips finally in sweet captivity, she leaned into him. 

    “So much more yet to come sarang.” He breathed, gently taking her flesh into his mouth. She hummed softly and felt as though her knees would collapse should he proceed any further. Thanking the Gods when he withdrew, she felt her heart flutter as he turned to meet an approaching small crew of men, three or four of them. 

    “Gwi-ah, you’ve come.” She knit her eyebrows at the name they addressed him as but quickly fell relaxed. Of course he couldn’t have them know that it was to the Crown Prince of Goryeo they spoke to.  He smiled at them with a nod. 

    “Yes, just as I’ve agreed with your captain.”

    “Is that the girl you wish to return?” They all looked at her. 

    “She is.” He grinned proudly as he gazed upon her. 

    “She was brought by force into our land. It is only right that she be given the opportunity to go home.”

    “Ah.”

    “How long do you think we’ll be at sea?”

    “Give or take a month’s time. It’s a long voyage but it is one that will be beauteous to behold.”

    “Da Hwi, you’ve ventured there before?”

    “Of course I have! Being a sailor takes you everywhere… one reason I cannot leave her… the sea.” 

    “Should we get a good start, I think we’ll make good ground come dusk. Get into good waters.”

    “Agreed.”

    “Do you and the girl have everything you wish to bring with you? We’ll likely be stopping at many ports on our way. Have you clothes, money?”

    “I’ve got everything covered. Don’t worry about it.” He replied confidently, winking at her once more. 

    “Well then, shall we prepare to set sail?” The men all watched with curiosity and slight discomfort as he came to her lifting her gaze by way of his hands on her cheeks. 

    “Are you ready Tiye?” Chin trembling, she lifted hands to press against his chest. 

    “I’m ready.” 

End Notes:

 

A/N: Short I know but hopefully it is satisfactory <3 Cheol-su is finally keeping his promise to Tiye and they are to set sail, destination Kush. Ideally, this isn't a very good time to do this... but he has his reasons as well as his word to his lady. It will all work out according to his plan. I'll see to that. Seo wants to play crown prince so Cheol is letting him. For now. These two need quality time away from Goryeo and with each other (READ AWAY FROM JAE-HWA) so I'll give them that hehe. He's so dreamy man... Lawd. It will be a pleasure to write the upcoming chapters and bring Tiye to be reunited with her motherland. 

I'll see you next week guys! Love you! God bless! 

D&L

 

Expressions:

** I am not going to lie. When I see this, my own dang on heart flutters** 

Cheollie's threads: 

스물하나 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

Seumulhana 

(twenty-one)


 

    A sturdy hand helped her step down the docks and she took in the warm air and golden horizon. The familiar scent of spices filled her nostrils. Eyes watched as people varying in different shades of brown moved to and fro some standing at stands with exotic foreign goods, others with fresh caught fish and more local fares. It was a sight she never thought she’d see again. 

    “What is this place?” Turning towards the men who had brought her to these shores, she felt emotion rise in her chest and smiled. 

    “Adulis. The port city in the Southern most part of Kush.” 

    “Ah. Busy place. I guess all port towns are like this huh?”

    “I suppose so.” 

    “Tiye.” Facing her love who emerged from the ships’s lower bunk, she felt her heart thump against her chest. 

    “Hm?”

    “We are in the right place yes?”

    “It’s not too much further out.” Pleased with her answer, he clasped hands with the captain. 

    “Thank you.” 

    “It is nothing Wangja-nim.” At that, both of them paused and a grin slowly formed on the faces of the men. 

    “No common man would have the wealth to stock our hold with as many goods as you did. Nor would they have the royal seal stamped on such fine celedon.” 

    “I…thought I kept it well hidden.”

    “Just how long have you been planning this?” She asked, bringing her eyes up to his. 

    “Long enough.” He answered, grin forming. 

    “We figured this was the rumored slave you took in your care.”

    “Her freedom has been given to her. Slave she is no more.” At that, tears welled up in her eyes and her throat grew tight. 

    “Why have you traveled all this way to see that your servant be freed? Have you no more need for her?” A strange look came over him and it sent a pain straight to her heart. 

    “The decision you’ve feared has come sarang. The choice you must make.” 

    “Don’t be foolish.” She spoke firmly, making the men around him stiffen. He, though, only stood there amongst his countrymen, eyes intense. 

    “You will come with me. To my home. You will see my brothers. My sisters. Drink of my land and enjoy her spoils. All this in thanks for having kept your promise.” 

    “Is she allowed to talk to him like that?” One of the men whispered in surprise. 

    “She’s still standing so I guess so.” 

    “Tiye…”

    “You,” She addressed the men of the ship. 

    “Take these.” Reaching up, she unraveled three or four of her gold beads, pressing them into the hand of the captain. 

    “These should enable you and your crew to have comfortable accommodations while here as well as eat a good meal. Have no fear, people from all over dwell here in Adulis. Someone from Goryeo will be here. All you have to do is look.” Smiling at them, she bowed in thanks. 

    “Under normal circumstances, I know you would not have cared one way or another for my fate. Were it not for your prince, you would not have taken on this journey. I am glad that you did. May the Gods be ever in your favor.”  The men bowed in return and bowed even lower towards their Wangja. 

    “Travel safely on your return home.”

    “You as well pyeha.” The men began to wander a ways from them and yet they stood so close together, eyes locked. 

    “The opportunity to leave was given and you didn’t take it.”

    “You should have known I wasn’t going to.” At that, he lifted his eyebrow. 

    “The moment I shared your bed I made my choice.” Reaching for his hand, she brought it to her cheek. 

    “To remain in your captivity, I will be a willing participant. It is not just my body that is in your possession Cheol-su-ah. It is my heart. My very spirit. It all belongs to you and it will not be loosed so easily.” He said not a word as he closed the distance between them, taking her lips firmly in a passionate kiss. 

    “Come dearest one.” She breathed against him, smiling against his lips as he pressed softer gentler kisses against her. 

    “Let us go.”

 

 

***

 

    Sandy wind whipped around them and he was glad for the scarf she’d had placed around his head. She too wore a scarf of sorts, a long burgundy orange fabric fringed with golden patterns placed over her hair, one long end wrapped across her face. The body of the horse upon which he sat was strong and shiny, the hair black and mystifying. All about them was desert, sand dunes rolling with the wind. Occasional trees and shrubs passed them but the brutal sun beat down on them. Beads of sweat dotted his hairline and slipped down his back. 

    “There.” At her voice and her finger pointing ahead, he breathed a quiet sigh of relief. It appeared a mirage, a massive fortified city ahead, surrounded by lush greenery. 

    “That is my home.” He could hear the excitement in her voice, the longing, such painful longing. He stayed quiet as they neared and at the guards that stood at the gate, his throat grew tight. They spoke in a tongue foreign to him but he watched as Tiye dismounted from her stallion. She returned the language with ease. At the arrows suddenly drawn against her, he quickly dismounted and withdrew his own. 

    “Put it down.”

    “Not a chance in hell.”

    “My love.” Turning, she lifted a hand to his bicep. 

    “Please. It’s all right.” Slowly withdrawing his weapon, he kept his gaze steely as they peered into black irises. She pulled her scarf away from her face and at once shock and disbelief fell upon their faces. They spoke something he couldn’t understand and immediately fell to their knees, hands outstretched as if she were to give them something. For the longest time, he stared at her, gaze stunned. What…what was this? 

    “Tiye…what are they…doing?” She didn’t answer yet her eyes were humored and a teasing smile formed on her plush lips. 

    “Come.” Reaching for his hand, she led him past the men who stood firm like stone, tall as giants. Skin black and smooth, just like hers. Their eyes, equally black followed him yet they spoke not a word as they resumed their post. Past the gate, a network of small dwellings and houses circled around a large deep pool of water. Women knelt by the pool, dipping gourds to the brim. Children played. Laughter sprung up. All of that activity stopped once everyone set their eyes on her. One woman dropped her gourd and it smashed against the ground, fragmented with her shock and open mouth. 

    Like a sea, the multitude of black bodies dropped to their knees, some pressing their faces against the dirt. In the same manner that of the guards outside, they stretched their hands up and out towards her as if to receive something from her. The sound of crying sounded and it took him a minute to realize that the women, some of them were crying. She knelt in front of one such woman and lifted her face, tears having run down shiny cheeks. The woman grabbed hold of her hanbok and began to sob as she pressed kisses to each cheek. 

    Pulling her head against her bosom, she cradled her close. Caught up by a strange emotion, he found he could not speak as a sharp anguished yip came from the crowd, the sound jarring and stirring the spirit. The yipping grew louder and some of the women began to sway, song on their lips. It seemed to travel through the crowd until it was a collective voice, one of worship and thanks. Pressing one last kiss to the woman’s forehead, she slowly stood. She said not a word as she took hold of his hand and led him through the parted crowd, the hands of the women slipping across her hanbok and feet. 

    They came to a corridor, massive statues standing guard on each side. In the likeness of a woman, long wings painted jade, pink and gold fell down on either side of her. Her eyes were lines with a thick gold design and her body had been painted a deep dark brown. Men clothed in white came forth, knives and arrows drawn tight in their bows. They spoke with a demanding tone. It all stopped as a woman came to push herself through the thick wall of bodyguards. Clothed much like the statue of the woman outside the corridor, her eyes were instead lined with black and her lips painted red. At the sight of Tiye, her eyes grew wide and filled with tears. She spoke something and Tiye responded, tears in her voice. The two women collided, arms wrapped around each other. The other fell against her, legs given completely out. She wept and the sound of it crushed his heart into a million pieces. 

    For the longest, Tiye didn’t say anything… only wept silently as she held onto the woman. When she turned to face him, her eyes were wet. 

    “My younger sister.” She spoke, the sound of his tongue sending relief through him. Throat tight, he gave a nod. The woman identified as her sister stood and said something else before rushing back the way she’d come. When she returned, she brought with her another woman. An older woman. Face clothed in smooth satiny black flesh, her eyes were large, brown and strong. Her cheekbones were high and prominent. Lips bare, they were full and alluring. Long thick braids traveled down her back and they were fashioned in big spikes, jutting from her head as if her very hair was itself a crown. At the sight of the woman, a sound of jubilation escaped Tiye and she ran towards her, not stopping until the arms of the woman swallowed her up.

     The two women began to cry but Tiye was louder, her emotion spilling freely and uninhibited. The scene before him brought tears to his eyes and without his control they slipped down his cheeks. The pain in his heart increased and he bit his lip as his throat filled with unshed tears. The guilt he felt…then and there…was immeasurable. He needed no assumption about her. Knowing that the woman who held her… was her mother  tore him up inside. She had been robbed of her daughter. Her sisters and sure to be brothers had been robbed of their sister. Robbed and kept in chains… in captivity by his family. Lifting eyes, he felt a chill go through him as he met the eyes of the woman who must have raised them from her weeping daughter. Though filled with tears like his, her gaze was steely and cold and most importantly, they held the most important question…Who are you? 

 

***

 

    Her warmth was one she never thought she’d feel again in this life. Set to be content by it only in her dreams, she had forgotten what it felt like to have her mother’s solid warm fragrant body pressed against hers. Even now, the familiar sweet spice of her perfume drifted into her soul. Her fingers gentle yet firm drew her face up away from her bosom. 

    “My darling child, you’ve returned to us…” Chin trembling, she spoke. 

    “Yes Mama… I have come home.”

    “Oh how I praise the gods for your return. How they have protected you my sweet child. My how you have grown.” Feeling her cheeks warm with rouge, she smiled softly as the thumbs of her mother wiped away her tears. 

    “That strange man. Who is he?” Swallowing thickly, she cleared her throat as her mother let her hands fall to her shoulders, holding them as if to protect her from him. 

    “That man has given me so much in his land. The land I was forced into.”

    “What is this land?”

    “It is known as Goryeo.” 

    “And he? Who is he in this land of Goryeo?”

    “He is the one who shall ascend to her Throne and lead his people with a just and wise hand.” Her mother was quiet for a while yet before,

    “I see.” Kissing her forehead, she smoothed back the braids from her face. 

    “Let’s get you clean and out of those strange clothes. We shall talk once you have done so.” 

    “Mama… he is no threat to you or our people. Please don’t let any harm come to him.” Clucking her tongue, she pursed her lips as servant women came to take her. 

    “Anat, please see to it that this man is treated as an esteemed guest. Provide him a bath and clothes should he want them. Have him meet my mother and I later this evening.”

    “Yes my lady.” Glancing back at him, she felt her heart pound. He looked terrified. Even though he was trying to appear put together. She could see it. The fear that spread across his features at her retreating form. 

    “Tiye…”

    “They won’t harm you my love. Go with them.” She gave a nod of reassurance and soon disappeared from his sight. 


End Notes:

A/N: HAPPY FRI-YAY Y'ALL! Another short one! I started workin on the next chapter and then BAM my creativity slipped over to 0:00 lol. Well and I've been working like a mad woman since this past weekend so ya girl is TIRED. This whole week was ROUGH.Next week I hope to have two chapters to update for Yeonwang as usual hehe. Tiye is home y'all and oh does it feel so good!! Everything is so vivid and fresh this chapter hehe. I'll see y'all next week! Love y'all! God bless!! 

 

D&L <3 

스물둘 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

Seumuldul 

(twenty-two) 

 

 

Song: Aphrodite-RINI 

 

He stood by the large pooling waters, the multitude of people once there now gone. Having been bathed, he declined to wear any of their foreign clothes. Declined anything and everything except one thing. To see Tiye. His mind raced a thousand miles per minute and he had begun his unfortunate pacing before a voice stopped him. Turning, he found the woman Tiye had called her sister earlier. She spoke in a language he didn’t understand but the tone suggested friendliness and dripped in curiosity. Swallowing, she lifted a hand and beckoned him towards her. He moved not, jaw tight as he observed her. Where was she to lead him?

     Laughing softly to herself, she pursed her lips and it amazed him just how much like Tiye she appeared. 

    “Tiye?” She asked, voice humored. At that, he blinked and slowly gave a nod. 

    “Tiye.” He answered, swallowing tightly. She pointed towards a long corridor and he quickly put two and two together. She was going to take him to her. Again, he nodded. Smiling gently, she beckoned him forward with a hand and he slowly inched his way towards her. 

 

***

 

    Golden paste trailed down her arm, the consistency that of a cream, full of shimmers. 

    “That strange man you brought with you. Who is he?” Lifting her gaze, she found one of her sisters, Aahhotep standing by the door, arms wrapped around herself. 

    “He is a prince from far away.” She answered, watching as careful brown hands smoothed the golden highlight into her legs. 

    “From where?”

    “Goryeo.”

    “Ah.”  The woman observed as the servants placed an ornate bronze neckpiece on her shoulders and lifted a matching chain to be placed on her hair. The chain hung across her forehead and the bridge of her nose and traveled down the length of her hair, braids having been tied back and plaited into one big tail. 

    “How I’ve missed you little sister.” Turning eyes towards her, she felt her eyes grow misty with tears. At long last, the servants were finished and backed away, heads bowed. 

    “I’ve missed you also dearest. All of you…it has been….hell to say the least without you.” Taking a shaky breath, she smiled as her sister came into the room, brushing away the tears that had leaked from her eyes. Pressing a kiss to her forehead, she smiled against her. 

    “What matters now is that you are home.” 

    “Yes and oh what sweet home it is.” The two women laughed quietly and Aahhotep withdrew her shoulders. 

    “What hell have you endured that makes you shine as an ember of the moon?” At that her cheeks grew warm and she dropped her gaze. 

    “My lady.” Conversation cut short, the two sisters turned towards Anat, who stood humbly by the door. 

    “Our guest waits for you with the Queen Mother. She beckons you.” 

    “Thank you Anat.” 

    “It is my pleasure my lady.” 

 

    *** 

 

    To say that he was surprised would have been an understatement. He was utterly flabbergasted. She had entered but a moment ago and he still had not managed to pick up his mouth from the ground just yet. Laid beneath her feet were petals of flowers and those he assumed were servants laid a spray of them as she neared the group of them. The sharp yip he had heard before sounded and all those except the other members of her family bowed before her, hands outstretched in that peculiar fashion. He felt that strange emotion of before come across him and his eyes began to mist with tears. Gods she was breathtaking, the very air in his lungs now hers to command it seemed. There was no other way to describe her but in relation to something ethereal, something not of this world. A series of humored laughs couldn’t even bring his attention away. She drew nearer and before he knew it stood in front of him. Giggling, she lowered a hand and gently closed his mouth. 

    “Does B’sst have your tongue my love?” She asked, voice soft and humored. Swallowing thickly, he felt his mouth soon after grow dry once more. 

    “Sister.” Turning towards the gathering of women, she smiled at them. 

    “Come, sit. Let us talk.” Withdrawing from him, she sat down on lush pillows. 

    “You finally return to us and not as a girl like you left. But a woman.” At that, her cheeks grew warm and she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, an action not going unnoticed by the group of women. 

    “A beautifully strong woman. Ah our sister… how full our hearts are at your return. “ Eyes growing watery, her sisters enclosed her with a multitude of arms. 

    “You must tell us what you life was like… in this Goryeo.” Swallowing tightly, the smile she had on her face didn’t wan or waver but she instantly started to think on what to omit.     “Goryeo took some getting used to. Everything about it was foreign. The language. The food. People. But, the life I lived in that land is thanks to the man who stands before you. Thank you for not placing him in chains.” At that, her mother’s gaze slid over and up to him. 

    “He shall be seated in our presence. Tell him that.” She requested, tone authoritative. 

    “Of course.” Turning, she spoke to him and the ease in which his mother tongue flowed from her lips impressed and alarmed the women. 

    “My love… please be seated.” He nodded, tears now dry in his eyes but his entire body language suggested he was on high alert. Slowly, he came to sit, now on the same level as the rest of them. 

    “Good, now we may continue.” 

    “What life did you live in this land? Tell us honestly.” The voice of her mother was warm but firm, eyes once again falling to the man who sat tall and still as stone, his face of utmost seriousness. 

    “Mama…I…hesitate to tell you for fear that you shall see to it that he is punished for wrongdoings not his own.” It would not benefit her to lie… not to her mother. For her mother was connected to her in the most intricate of ways. Not even her sisters held the same connection. 

    “Speak freely child.” Taking a deep breath, she clutched her fingers tightly in her lap. 

    “When the traders came and stole me away from you… I was destined for the Arabian nations. However, the King of Goryeo, desired a servant for his then 10 year old son. And thus I was purchased and taken to the palace.” The women listened as she continued, 

    “This man, son to the King is who is before you now. He from the time we were children has only shown me the most tenderness and care.” Now, all of their eyes fell on the man. 

    “Forced into a role less than that of even a slave, had it not been for his intervention and proactive watch, surely I might not be here before you today.”

    “So, they made you a slave.”

    “Anippe.”

    “No, it’s insulting. It’s disgusting to think that my sister…. OUR sister was made to be that of a grain of sand beneath feet of filth.” 

    “It is not his fault and he shouldn’t be held responsible.”

    “If not him then who? Though you defend him earnestly, someone should be responsible for this offense towards us. Towards you.” For a moment, she was quiet and she lifted her eyes to his. At such ferocious glares from the strange women before him, she was sure that he had already decided what he would use to defend himself. Though, she think they both knew that it would not end well. Still, he would put up a fight to the death. 

    “Cheol-su-ah…” 

    “Who are you?” He asked, gaze never wavering from hers. His voice wasn’t hard or rough… but it was full of apprehensive curiosity. 

    “Have I not answered that before my love?”

    “Not in great detail. That I want now.” 

    “What does he say? What do you say Tiye?” 

    “He’s asking my identity.” 

    “So, he’s never before seen you in this way. Of course he hasn’t. He’s been comfortable with you being his slave, in chains, bond and without free will.”

    “Don’t speak for him.” The sisters all turned towards their mother who sat higher than any of them on a bed of elevated luxurious pillows. 

    “Let him speak for himself. Tiye shall translate.” She bowed her head beneath her. 

    “As you wish it to be Mother.” 

    “Resume. Speak freely.” Taking a deep breath, she resumed her turned body towards him. 

    “You wish to know who I am and I will gladly tell you. Anything you wish to know it shall be yours to have.” He swallowed thickly, hands drawn up into fists. But, he spoke not. He waited for his answer. 

    “You’ve never been told of my full name so I shall give to you. To this land, to this Kingdom, I was born Tiye Aminat Khaliset. Both by blood and by destiny, I am charged princess  of these humble yet strong people. We are a people of peace and yet we can undoubtably be a people of war should you cross us wrong.” He sat there, trying to digest the information she threw at him. 

    “Tiye…Aminat….Khaliset.” He repeated, lifting his eyes once again to hers. 

    “Yes. You sit before a royal woman. Like yourself, a future ruler.” 

    “I see.” 

    “Have you told him who you are?”

    “Indeed I have.”

    “And what is his reply?” Before she could answer, he spoke, voice full of reverence and respect. 

    “It is only proper then that we greet each other formally. Allow me to show my sincerest gratitude for your hospitality Gongju-nim.” He lowered his body, pressing his forehead against the warm sandy ground in a full bow, a bow only fit for a King. The action seemed to please her sisters but it sent heat rushing towards her triangle. Licking her lips, she smiled carefully, knowing the eyes of her mother were that of a hawk. 

    “You are not only a guest here in this house of mine. But you are one dearest to my heart. Who would I be not to ensure that you are provided the finest care my love? Come, lift your gaze to mine.” That he did and they mirrored the inner turmoil she felt inside herself. She knew the look well, dwelling inside the dark intense eyes of his.  

    “Man,” The voice of her mother broke their connection and they both turned to her. 

    “Are you as she says? Are you prince of your lands?” His eyebrows knit together but once she translated, he nodded, lowering his head before her. 

    “It is true. I am.”

    “And what is your name?” 

    “It is Wang Cheol-su at your feet Your Highness.” 

    “Lift your eyes.” Without hesitation, he did so and for a while, the woman looked into them, deeply. She made no other sound other than a ‘hm’, drawing the curiosity of the daughters around her. 

    “Let me now hear how you have treated my child…from your own mouth.” 

    “Tiye has been, in my care, shown humanity, adoration and friendship. Though it is true that she was brought to the doors of my palace in chains, I assure you that she did not exist, dwell or remain in them.” 

    “Is what he speaks of true, my child?” 

    “In his care and only in his care yes.”

    “So, what should we do with the rest of his people?”

    “I’ve come to know many good people in the land of Goryeo. Ones, like him, that do not share the sentiment that chattel slavery is acceptable or appropriate. The common people are themselves made slaves, sold from their families just the same as I was. Only the nobility reaps the lavish pleasures of comfortability and wealth.” Again, all the woman said was a jarring ‘hm’ and turned eyes back onto the man. 

    “I will allow him to stay here unharmed. But, should he get out of line… even once, he will be sent back to his shores.” 

    “Yes Mama.”

    “He is free to roam the palace so long as he is with you.” At that, she nodded, gratitude overflowing from her.  

    “Your Highnesses,” Her sisters having stayed quiet too turned their attention to the foreigner, lips all pressed tight. 

    “If you will allow me to further show my thanks to you. I have brought gifts from Goryeo that I pray you will accept.” At Tiye’s translation, the woman sat back against the pillows and lifted a hand, beckoning his gifts to be brought inside. Gorgeous jade colored and white blue celadon ewers, elaborate vases and incense burners were brought in, each placed to the side of her. Next, a host of various silk and ramie hanbok were brought in and some of them made even her sisters gasp in surprise. 

    “What are those Tiye?”

    “They are called hanbok.”

    “Some of them are pretty. Strange but pretty.” Jangot were ushered in next, some matching the hanbok, others not. Each one individual and beautiful. Cases of jade rings, earrings, norigae, jokduri and binyeo were what next met their eyes. At the beautiful ornaments, her sisters got up to observe them all, murmuring amongst themselves. Her heart beat sped up as his eyes found hers. They didn’t leave hers, even as palanquins were brought in and lastly the finest of bows, arrows and weaponry. 

    “Tiye…” That forced her eyes away from his and she too stood, smiling as they asked what some of the ornaments were and what its function was. 

    “You are full of surprises little sister. You were kidnapped from our shores only to return so many years later with a man…a foreign man at that.” Surveying the overabundant gifts that seemed to fill the inner chamber, their eyes were wide with shock. 

    “A foreign man who brings such finery with him. A prince at that. One who is sweet on our dear sister.” Zahra, one of the middle sisters grinned, wiggling her eyebrows. 

    “No man would go to such a length as this unless he wanted to prove a point.” 

    “Well whatever point he wanted to make, he’s made it. Boldly and with such fine taste.”

    “So you all like him now hm?” She teased, pursing her lips. 

    “But a moment ago, you were ready to have him gutted for the offense of his family and now he’s in such good graces. You pitiful wenches.” The group of women giggled and eyed him. 

    “Now that I look at him better, he is quite handsome. With wealth such as this, he’d make a fine husband.” 

    “And that will be for Mother to decide.”

    “Indeed.” Her voice broke up the girlish chatter and all straightened up as the woman finally got up from the pillows. All of them was quiet as she stepped down the small plush ladder and gave each of them a kiss on their forehead. Hers though remained longer than any other of them and when she pulled away, she gave a soft gentle smile. 

    “I’m sure you’ve had quite the journey darling child. Bathe, eat and rest. Tomorrow will be a busy day.” 

    “As you wish it to be Mother.” Giving a vocal sound of approval, she turned her head towards the man still kneeling beneath them all. 

    “Prince known as Cheol-su.” His gaze was strong as it lifted. 

    “I accept your gifts. I accept your presence. For now. Stay with my daughter this night.”

    “Yes Your Highness.” And with that,  she stepped through the doors, after having openly appreciated the palanquins and armor. A host of servants and bodyguards followed closely  behind and soon her sisters followed. Leaving them two alone, amid the luminous candlelight, her heart began to beat heavily. She watched as he stood, shadows of his tall figure expanding up over the walls as he approached until it met and blended with hers. 

    “All this time I was in the presence of royalty and didn’t perceive it.” He spoke quietly, eyes roaming across her body. 

    “Had I, you wouldn’t have endured what you did. You have my word on that.”

    “It was better that you didn’t know.” She spoke, feeling butterflies slam into her stomach as he lifted his eyes. 

    “Your treatment of me would not have differed one way or another. Because of that omission, what blossomed between us was allowed to be both real and uninhibited. Had you known of my identity beforehand, can you honestly say that I would not have met the same fate as Jae-Hwa?” At that he laughed and it sent warm flutters to her womb. 

    “Silly girl, you ask questions that have no merit or importance.” Lifting his hand, he gently skimmed fingers across her cheek, teasing the slender chain that laid upon it. 

    “It would not have changed the course of actions leading up to this point. That is true. I still would have been transfixed by your beauty as a boy of 10. At 14 I still would have fallen in love with you. The thing that would have changed was this: Had I known of your identity before you most certainly would be the one I would have insisted to take as my wife. Jae-Hwa would not have been in the picture at all. I wouldn’t have allowed it.” Her eyes fluttered closed as his lips replaced his fingers. 

    “And if your father had of said no? If he had of refused me?” 

    “Then perhaps here I still would have found myself.” A smile fell across her lips, teeth soon embedding themselves into the plump flesh as his lips kissed down the column of her neck, tongue trailing her collarbone. 

    “I have always regarded you as my equal.” His breath neared a breast, concealed under her neckpiece. 

    “However, it brings me great pleasure to know that we not only share moralistic equity   but equity of blood as well.” Laying a kiss to the shapely flesh to the side of her ornament, he smiled as she took a deep inhale. 

    “You alone are worthy of that equity Tiye. Jae-Hwa can’t compare to you and shouldn’t even be discussed. She is irrelevant to the present situation at hand.” Lifting up slightly, he finally kissed her lips, a slow sweet promise of passion. 

    “Tell me Gongju-nim…will I share your bed this night?” Lifting her arms to wrap around his neck, she answered with a kiss, one that made her spirit dip into his, her tongue dipping deeper. 

    “Should you wish to stay in my good graces then you shall Wangja of Goryeo.” He licked his lips, a tiny little smirk appearing as she took his hand and pulled him towards her, feet leading to what would be another paradise, too rich in treasure. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: HEYYYY Y'ALLLLL! WHEW WEE LOL. So, finally our princess introduces herself (formally of course hehehe) to our prince! Y'all, I was lauis ghin because Cheol-su's expressions to me in my mind were funny as heck LOL. He was SHOOKETH lol. I love the role reversal a bit... mad fire lol. I got another chapter update for you! I work this entire weekend so yeah lol. terms and such below. Beware...I am gonna add a lottta pictures lol. I ain't letting my hard searchin go to waste LOL 

D&L

 

terms: 

B'sst (aka Bast aka Bastet) was an ancient Egyptian goddess, originally of the sun and then of protection, the moon, fertility, pleasure and cats. 

Gongju-nim- means princess. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if Gongju was used in Goryeo period so I had to borrow from Joseon era. Still, in my mind, Cheol-su saying it in his low deep and husky voice is possibly the sexiest thing ever? LORD JESUS WHEW. 

ramie- was a type of fabric that only royalty and those wealthy enough to afford it would wear. 

jangot- y'all know in joseon dramas the beautiful hat like things that have a veil on them that the court ladies and gisaeng wear? Yeah those. Except these were smaller in size...hat wise. 

jokduri- traditional Korean coronet worn in formal events, weddings, etc. 

 

binyeo- a traditional hairpin. Wealthy and royal women had realllly nice ones. Like these that Cheol-su gave to the princesses of Kush:

Norigae- intricate decorative tassels hung from hanbok jeogori strings or chima. This is another Joseon thing but I thought it was too pretty to be left out hehe. 

Celadon incense burner:

Jade rings:

Palanquins:

Hanbok:

 

Tiye's outfit: 

 

 

Cheol-su's expression (LAUGHING MY BUTT OFF): 

스물셋 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

 

Seumulset 

 

 

twenty-three 

 

The sun was not yet in the sky and already sweat beaded up on her flesh. Turning, she faced her love and roamed her gaze across his figure appreciatively. He’d opted to leave his hanbok behind this morning and wear the offered clothes the servants had placed for him. His tall lean form resembled chiseled marble, the defined muscles of his biceps, pectorals and abdomen on full display. A light linen skirt draped around his waist, sitting comfortably on his hips, a dangerous peek of his adonis belt teasing the eyes. Toned calves flexed as he walked and on his head he wore a white turban. She’d requested his hair to be braided in a single plait and it traveled down the length of his back. 

    “My, he cleans up well.” Shen-pe-uts-neter, her second eldest sister complimented as she too roamed her gaze across his form. 

    “Don’t sink your claws in him sister Nettie.”

    “I wouldn’t dare. He’s nice to look at but he’s not my type.” Instead of an offended look, a humored look instead graced her face smile right behind it. 

    “His appearance pleases me.” The grouping of women turned to find their mother standing behind them all, lips pursed. As he finally made to them, he bowed before the Queen Mother. 

    “Good morning Your Highness.” 

    “I trust your evening was satisfactory?” Though his cheeks blossomed in faint pink, he nodded, keeping his eyes at his sandal covered feet.

    “Very much so.”

    “Good then. We shall set out for Lower Egypt this day. There you shall meet the Pharaoh, my son and Tiye’s eldest brother Diogenes in Memphis.” 

    “Of course. It will be my pleasure.” 

    “Good then. You shall ride with Tiye. We hope to make haste for the sun will grow brutal.” 

    “Yes Your Highness, as you wish.” Dare she say it but it appeared a ghost of a smirk had drifted up onto her mother’s face but like a mirage it was gone and she was mounting her steed. They all followed suit and when she felt his firm arms enclose themselves around her waist, they set off. 

    “Where is Memphis my sweet?” He asked, lips pressed against her ear. Smiling, she kept her gaze forward. 

    “It is the capital of Egypt, one of the wonders of the world. This day you shall taste her fruit and enjoy luxury even Goryeo could not offer.” He hummed against her but otherwise kept quiet as they continued on their journey. After a few hours ride, they stopped at a nearby oasis, allowing the camels and horses to drink. 

    “Drink my love. The sun only grows more dangerous.” She urged, lifting a pouch to his face. Nodding, he took the offered pouch and drank his fill. Already, his skin was a healthy pink and she worried that perhaps it would burn should it be exposed further to the harsh rays. 

    “Need you a scarf to cover yourself with?” 

    “Concerned eolin-i?” At his teasing, she sucked her teeth. 

    “There is such a thing as sun burn and it most certainly does not feel good. Stay then, toy with your rays longer if you like.” He laughed, coming to press the pouch against her teal covered chest. 

    “Worry not little moon. I’ll be just fine.” 

    “Hm.” She dismissed though a playful grin rested on her face and she left him to refill the pouch nearly empty. 

 

 

*** 

 

    She was comfortable, having been reunited with her element. And what element it was. He thought the deserts they’d crossed to reach Song were intense but he had been proven very wrong. These deserts were different. Deadlier. Harsher. They determined to see just what kind of person you were and if in the end you survived them then you could survive anything. Leaning back against a palm tree, he watched her intensely as she knelt, opening the flask to allow clear water to flow in. A strip of dark teal fabric bound her chest and a matching skirt draped across tempting hips until it hit her ankles. Thick gold bracelets adorned her upper arms and four or five slender gold rings enclosed around her dainty neck. She was something that too resembled a mirage, a cruel apparition brought on by the severe heat. 

    “You like her. My sister.” Turning towards a warm voice, he found one of her sisters standing there, dressed in the same manner as Tiye just in a different color. Knitting his eyebrows, he made it perfectly clear with his expression that he did not understand a word she said. She seemed to understand and grinned, pointing at her. Bringing her two pointer fingers together to meet by the tips, she then pointed to his chest above his heart. To her surprise, he smirked some and nodded, getting the gist of it. She returned his smirk, glancing at her sibling one more time. 

    “Tiye, Mama wants to get going!”

    “Alright…I’m coming.” Closing the flask she came towards them with a smile. 

    “Ready?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Ready?”

    “Ready.”  Before they mounted the horse again, she reached into a satchel and pulled out a white scarf. 

    “Lean down some please.”

    “I told you I’d be fine.”

    “And I know these lands better than you. Bend down please.” She replied with a teasing purse. Swallowing up any argument, he did as she bade and she wrapped the scarf around him, shielding his neck, torso and back from the heat. Tucking the remaining into the sides of his skirt, she appeared satisfied. 

    “Okay, now we’re ready.” Once they’d mounted, he smiled against her cheek and pressed a kiss to it as they continued their journey. 

 

*** 

 

    It was not much longer that they reached the palace. Large statues of Horus decorated each side of the building, standing guard over the Palace. Motifs of her brother were painted further down on each smaller section on either side respectfully. Grand doors painted red, blue, gold and even green met them. A servant of the Queen Mother rode up ahead of them, dressed in a long white tunic. He approached the guards and showed them the royal seal, their eyes hard as they drifted over the camp. Accepting the request to enter, the gates opened. 

    “Welcome Queen Mother. Welcome Daughters of Isis.” Bowing before them, they let them pass, riding further into the inner corridors. Cheol-su’s arms withdrew from around her waist but his hands held still, fingers gripping her smugly. 

    “Gods…what is this magnificent place?” He asked, drawing her attention.

    Smiling, she bit her lips in a smile as she turned slightly, looking up into his expression of awe. Indeed, he’d never before seen anything…any place such as this. As far as the eye could see, up above were massive pillars telling the stories of the pharaohs, of Kush, of victory. Painted in vivid colors, they were truly a treat to the eyes for anyone who had not before seen them. Shielding them from the sun were large multicolored tarps and the hall once busy with activity now grew quiet as they entered. Relieved to be in cool shade, her stallion blew out through his nostrils and fluttered his ears. All around stood people of every shade of brown, all dressed in various robes, skirts and wigs.  Her eyes watered at the sight of it, nostalgia tickling her belly. 

    “Halt.” The raspy voice of a man ordered ahead. She immediately recognized him as the vizier Humai. To that, they did and she dismounted. 

    “What place do you have here little girl?” He asked, lips thin. 

    “How dare you-” Lifting a hand to silence her sisters, she approached the man and lifted back her scarf. 

    “Do you not recognize the sister of the Pharaoh?” The cafe au lait colored man leaned down, much taller than she and peered into her face. His eyes grew wide and he immediately distanced himself, instead falling on his knees hands lifted up. 

    “My sincerest apologies Daughter of Isis. I meant no offense.”

    “Where is my brother?” She asked, a displeased gaze on her face. 

    “He is in the courtyard with the Lady of the Palace and the future king.”

    “Lead us to him.” This time it was not she that spoke but their mother and she was not in the mood for impertinence. 

    “At once my Lady.”  Bowing his head once more, the man straightened up and cleared his throat. 

    “Nofre, Kau, take the Royal Highnesses to the wait chambers to greet the Pharaoh.”

    “Of course.”

    “You.” A jagged tawny finger pointed at him. 

    “We must verify your identity and purpose here. Stay back. ” He lifted his gaze from the pointed finger at his chest to the face it belonged to, eyes steely. 

    “This man is with our camp. His place is with us. That’s all the explanation you need.”  Tiye spoke up, stepping in front of him, forcing the finger to drop. He didn’t seem happy about whatever it was she had said but he had no choice but to acquiesce, drawing his jaw tight as he lowered his head once more. As they passed him, his gaze met his. In his gut, he knew that whoever the man was, he’d prove to be a problem. And at this present time, problems were the last thing he wanted or cared for. 

    The group of them left the now rumbling hall and instead were ushered into a corridor. Tall rectangular pillars held drawings of man and beast, mysterious symbols etched into the stone. Towering palm trees and ripe lush green encouraged a welcomed breeze to hush across their flesh, still hot from the sun. At long last, they were brought to a beautiful sitting room, chairs of gold awaiting them. 

    “Here you may wait. The Pharaoh will be but a moment. I shall notify him of your arrival.”

    “Thank you.” As they sat, she observed him as he preferred to stand, going over to one such pillar and running gentle fingers across the inscriptions and artistry, afraid as though if he touched with a firmer hand it would disappear. 

    “He must learn hieratic should he wish to stay here. You cannot continue to translate every single communication between us.” Drawing her eyes away from him, she found her mother’s. Simply nodding in agreeance, she kept quiet as her gaze found its way back to him. 

    “Stand for the God of the Nile enters!” He turned towards the voice and they all rose to their feet as a host of servants entered, sprinkling petals upon the ground for feet too holy to glance upon. Such large feet they were, clothed in flesh akin to hers, sandals of the finest thread underneath them. 

    “Lift up your heads.” The familiar voice boomed, heavy with bass and power and it brought tears to her. Slowly, she did and when they set eyes on one another, he visibly faltered, taking a step back. 

    “T-Tiye?” 

    “Y-yes…it…it is I brother.” Forsaking the woman and child who stood next to him, he quickly advanced down the stairs and took her up in a bruising hug. 

    “You’ve returned to us little reed.” At his childhood nick name, she felt her cheeks grow warm and he pressed his forehead against hers, lifting the thick pads of his thumbs to brush away stray tears. 

    “I’ve prayed to Horus…I’ve prayed to Ra….even to Isis…to return you to us.” 

    “And here I stand before you.”

    “Here you stand before me indeed.” His thunderous laughter echoed through the chambers and his gaze was friendly and warm as his eyes roamed across the other members of his family. 

    “Mother, you look well. Beauty has only increased with you.” 

    “And you, my son, look well too. How has fate been treating you Akarkhentkats? And my grandson Houteoiri?” The beautiful woman smiled as smoky brown eyes took in her mother. 

    “He fares well Queen Mother. Thank you for always showing concern for this little one.” 

    “And you dear?” She blushed prettily and lifted a hand to her stomach. 

    “I fare just fine. Another son of Gods rests in my womb.” At that, her sisters ran to her and hugged her, beginning to talk excitedly. Diogene’s eyes lifted from her and fell across to the man who had stood pressed against the pillar that had captured his fascination before. He stood still and quiet, eyes observing everything happen. 

    “Who is this?”

    “A visitor from far away shores. He is the man responsible for bringing your sister back to our shores.” Her mother answered before she could and it seemed to satisfy him, though the two locked eyes far longer than she felt comfortable. 

    “I assure you he shall receive treatment well deserved for his deed.”  Looking between them, he smiled some. 

    “He will sleep in the guest chambers and you little reed shall keep me company this night.” 

    “But of course.” Like that, he withdrew from them, son and wife soon following. 

 

*** 

 

    Having spent several hours in the presence of her eldest brother, she found herself standing by one of the many fountains throughout the palace, this one dedicated to the goddess B’sst. In front of her statue, her mother stood, clothed in a white linen dress. 

    “Mama…” Turning, the woman smiled as she approached, a soft meow drawing her gaze downwards. A small black kitten nudged her ankle, bringing a smile to her. 

    “And hello to you little one.” She said softly, picking up the animal. 

    “My child…”

    “Yes mama?”

    “About the man… the prince.”

    “Yes?”

    “He owns your heart.” It wasn’t a question. Smiling at the tiny little head that pressed against her chest, she swallowed and nod. 

    “Yes. He..he does.”

    “He is very strong. Great, mighty and most certainly dangerous when angered.” At that, she laughed some, coming to lean her head on her shoulder. 

    “Very true.” Her mother smiled as she glanced down at her. 

    “That is why you are so important to him. He needs you… needs your energy to center and ground him.” She stayed quiet and the only sound was that of the soft purring and the trickle of water. 

    “He will be a powerful ruler Tiye. One the world has yet to see.”

    “Has B’sst revealed this to you?”

    “No. That is what his blood reveals… told through his gaze.” 

    “Ah.”

    “And you shall help him.” At that, the kitten jumped from her arms and scattered into the moonlight aways from them. Lifting her head from her shoulder, she looked up into her mother’s eyes. Jest she was not. That otherworldly gaze… that wisdom given to her by the Gods…peered into her soul and it gave it a shake, sending chills up and down her spine. 

    “I shall… help him?” 

    “Yes. And you shall rule with him by your side.” She was quiet as gentle fingers lifted to tease her braids. 

    “This is his greatest desire. Amun Ra. Your God of the Sun.” 

End Notes:

 

A/N: What y'all think about Tiye's Mama? I personally think she likes Cheol-su... likes his spirit. As for Diogenes? What of her sisters? I am diggin this arc if you will haha. Plenty of pictures and everything haha. I'll see y'all next week. I'm gon to bed. 

Love y'all! 

D&L

 

terms: 

Ra-God of the sun 

Isis- Ancient goddess of life, said to protect women, children and heal the sick. 

vizier- like an overseer, his job was to make sure the country, the Kingdom ran smooth 

Tiye's sisters:

Zahra:

Anippe:

Aahhotep:

Shen-pe-uts-neter:

Diogenes, Pharaoh of Egypt and eldest brother of Tiye: 

Adonis Bosso:

His wife, Akarkhentkats, Queen of Egypt 

Zoe Kravitz:

 

Palace:

Inner corridors:

courtyard:

Wait chamber:

 

READ ME READ ME READ MEEEEE by DarkandLovely

Okay y'all... soooooooo......this is very out of the blue. Random and completely unexpected. But.... um...I'm getting ready to go on a smallll hiatus??? I'm feeling like I need to draw closer to God right now and this time is pressing on me. This week I haven't been focusing on Yeonwang...I've been thinking about my own personal walk with Christ and that's when I knew...this time needs to be with just me and Him. I'm so dearly sorry y'all. Believe me when I say that this was not planned and was very unexpected. But, this to me is more important guys. I have to roll with the punches and the flow and tide. I'm not expecting to be 'gone' that long but however long I need is how long I'll take. 

 

You guys can keep up with me on my blog 

https://sunrayyellowhalo.tumblr.com/

and other socials (for now... I'm going to step away from those too)

INSTA: https://www.instagram.com/prettygrlcc/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/prettyblkgrlCC

Keep up with me and please stay tuned. I'll return refreshed! <3 

 

Love y'all family! Thank y'all for all y'all love, support and encouragement! I will definitely see y'all soon! and I MEAN soon. 

Sunhalo17 <3 

스물넷 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

Seumulnet 

Twenty-four 

 

1039 A.D

 

    A loud yawn filled the hall and tired disinterested eyes scanned the many court officials who had unceremoniously roused him from his sleep. 

    “Seo Jun Wangja-nim…should we begin the meeting?” Pursing his lips, the man sat back in his chair, one clothed in the finest silk and a plush pillow. 

    “Let’s get this over with.”

 

*** 

 

    “He’s not done a bad job so far hm?” Young but calculating eyes turned onto a man, a man who had cast his bid for her hand. 

    “Who?” 18-year-old Mishil knew who. However, she was loathe to say his name. 

    “Your oppa-nim.” 

    “Hm.” 

    “Come now little flower. It’s been three years and you’re still upset at him? He did you a favor.” Pinching her lips, she eyed the man whose gaze grew more and more lascivious every time they crossed paths. 

    “Instead of bothering me, I suggest you get back to work. Whatever that may be.” Grinning at her spike in attitude, he winked at her and drew away from her. Lifting hands to the freshly painted red banister, she curled her fingers around it, nails soon embedding themselves into the wood. Indeed it had been three years. Three since Cheol-su had vanished with the slave woman. Three years since Seo Jun had risen to power in the military, using his connection to the King to exploit, pillage, murder and take hold of every female he could get his hands on. And a year and half since he’d taken away the very thing she’d treasured most. Of which, she determined she would never forgive him. 

    “Highness,” Turning she found a gungnyeo standing there, head bowed before her, hands pressed stiffly against her abdomen. 

    “What is it?”

    “Her Majesty the Queen summons you.” Swallowing up the resentment and pain, she adopted a blank expression as she was ushered into her mother’s chambers. Bowing before her, she kept her eyes at the floor. 

    “Lift up your eyes daughter.” Tightening her jaw, she did. 

    “How have you need of me Mother?” The woman smiled and her expression was of the greatest fondness. Fondness she knew would be erased should she know just what she’d done. 

    “Are you done playing with the fish?” 

    “The…fish Mother?”

    “Toying with that young man.” Her breath caught in her throat. 

    “What…young man?” 

    “Seok-jae-ah.” Releasing it, she once again bowed her head. 

    “You have taught me not to play with my food dearest Mother. Toy with him I do not.” At that, she laughed. 

    “It’s been three years Mishil. When are you going to concede? He’s a nice boy.”

    “He has gotten this far from the connections and the position of his father. Rumor has it that he is a drunk and womanizer. Should he wed me, he has that much closer view of the throne, Seo Jun oppa-nim and Cheol-su oppa-nim.”Her mother grew quiet. 

    “We agreed that that name would not be spoken.”

    “He is your son.”

    “He abandoned us!” Her mother hissed, eyes filled with two conflicting emotions. One of anger. One of sadness. 

    “He abdicated his position as Crown Prince when he left to be with that slave woman.” 

    “As far as I know, only the King can approve an abdication. Father has done no such thing.” For a moment, her mother stared at her before smiling, humor devoid from the expression. 

    “Where did I go wrong? Am I that bad of a mother?” She reached across the tray, the heat from the food still warm against her skin and gently took her hand. 

    “You’ve done well Mother. It is to you that my brothers and I have been able to survive this while.”

    “It is natural for a Mother to see her sons well. The desire to see her daughter wed.” She could offer no promises on the matter. 

    “Cheol-su oppa-nim will return. He will put Seo Jun oppa-nim back in his place.”

    “Do you think your father fears him?”

    “Greatly.”

    “And you do not?”

    “I fear what he will do to this country should he takes the Throne. Those who are not on his side he will slay them. Family by blood or not. It will be a path trailed in blood.” Her mother contemplated her words as she let go of her hand. 

    “He will come back. He will not leave us to die by the hands of the Mongols or his brother. I believe that.” With a nod, her mother began to eat, no more pressing her on the matter of marriage, war, or her brothers. With a humble bow, she lifted and slowly left her chambers. 

 

    *** 

 

    “No mentions of him yet?”

    “It’s been three years. Do you really think he’d come back?” 

    “It doesn’t matter anyhow. I’ve done just fine without him.”

    “You can’t truly believe that Taewang-nim.”

    “How dare you!”

    “He is your son. And he is the fated Crown Prince. Something that Seo Jun wangja-nim will never be. You know this to be true.” Aged almond shaped eyes took in the advisor closest to him, one that he’d known for quite a long time. Should he have not, he surely would have been beheaded. 

    “Jeon-ah,”

    “With all due respect sire, I have watched the two of them grow up but only one has the destiny to rise as a phoenix.” The King stayed quiet as the man continued, 

    “Though he be the youngest son, Cheol-su wangja-nim has the empathy, compassion and the maturity to bring this country past the Mongol empire, past the plagues ripping us apart. He has the necessary heart and soul required to be one of the greatest Kings we have yet to see, save for yourself Taewang-nim.”

    “And Seo Jun?”

    “He lacks respect, ability and drive.”

    “He is incompetent.”

    “Yes sire.”

    “Do you think he means to depose me?” That was a tricky question and the answer even trickier. As he lifted his eyes to his King, he knew that the man already knew the answer… deep within. A part of him feared his son…feared them both. Feared the threat they posed to him and the Throne that he’d killed for, coveted and secured for so many years before their birth. 

    “I cannot answer that pyeha. I dare not insinuate something so dangerous.” Pleased at that, the eyes of the man drifted past him for a while. 

    “Should I forgive the son who has abandoned his family and his country? Should I give him a second chance?” The question was unanswered as the advisor only bowed his head further until his forehead touched the ground. 

    “Very well Jeon-ah.” 

 

*** 

 

    Water trickled down the side of the rocks and the spray of mist dared to saturate her cheeks with moisture. Lifting, she turned her eyes towards the heavens. 

    “My lady, shall we return?” Smiling at the young girl, she gave a gentle nod and allowed her to grasp her hand. A cyan blue jeogori was placed across her shoulders and she welcomed the warmth of it. 

    “Did your praying go well my lady?”

    “Yes. It did.”

    “Perhap the Gods will return him to us soon.”

    “I hope so.” The sun blazed bright and ferocious but down here by the mountain the air was cooler aided by the rushing roaring waters. 

    “Let us go.” Smiling at the parasol being lifted above her head, the woman headed towards an awaiting palanquin. 

 

***

 

    “What do you propose we do pyeha?”

    “Ganbaatar and his brutes have been quiet. Too quiet.”

    “I thought they had their sights set on Goryeo.”

    “They haven’t attacked. Perhaps they aren’t interested any longer.” Finally, he had spoken and he sounded even more bored than he had at the start of this meeting. The advisors nearest him looked incredulous. 

    “S-surely you don’t believe that p-pyeha. Ganbaatar is rumored to have Goryeo in his sights, our women said to be prized possessions.” 

    “Perhaps he needs a woman who can pleasure him with all of her orifices. Should he be a man about it and approach me properly, I would certainly give him as many a woman as he desires to have.” 

    “P-pyeha…”

    “Of course the cheonmin and gisaeng would be the first to be offered. They’re animals anyway.” Grinning at the horrified expressions on the faces of those around him, he chuckled. 

    “Should he want gold, celadon, or any other treasure, I will provide that too to him.”

    “You’d give Goryeo to the Mongols without so much as a fight?” The major thorns in his side Yoo-shik and Sang-Ook challenged him, eyes defiant. 

    “Should it prove to save us then yes. I would.”

    “If you think that war is not on the horizon then you are fooled.” Yoo-shik countered, arms crossed. He, however, laughed. 

    “At the absence of his master, the dog grows bold with his barks and howls.” 

    “Pyeha, please. We implore you to think rationally about this.” Sang-Ook tried, tone careful and respectful.

    “I implore you to shut your mouth. Don’t question me you piece of shit.” At that, he bowed his head. Yoo-shik frowned deeper and made no attempt to hide his quite obvious contempt. 

    “It’s been three fucking years. Those bastards are not going to attack. If they wanted to, they could have and would have by now. They are too busy sucking the breast of Song, having now renamed her Yuan.” Grinning, he sighed. 

    “Speaking of breasts,  I’d like to suckle on some so are we finished with this little…gathering?” Everyone bowed their heads as he rose up from the silk pillows. Smirking at his brother’s lap dogs, he pushed past them, deciding to surprise one woman in particular, one who hadn’t been claimed in quite a while. 

    Nearing her chambers, he stood outside and curiously listened to the females within chattering away eagerly. Her laugh he immediately recognized and it sent a warmth straight to his groin.

    “My lady, you have a visitor.”

    “Who?”

    “The firstborn prince.” At that, her laughter ceased and she grew quiet. Soon, the doors slid open and he was granted a view of her. 

    “It’s been a while Jae-Hwa.” She swallowed and beckoned him in. 

    “What do you want?” Leaning back against the wall, he smirked. 

    “Don’t be like that. You act as if Cheol-su is going to stroll in here at any minute.”

    “He might.” The gungnyeo bowed their heads and quickly excused themselves, leaving them in privacy.

    “Having doubts? Feeling guilty sweeting?” He asked, voice laced with humor as he came to kneel behind her. She turned her head away from him but her body relaxed into his touch. 

    “No.”

    “Yes you are.” His lips began to kiss her on the neck. 

    “He left you. You know that right?” She didn’t respond. 

    “He left you to be with an ugly black bitch from another land. He doesn’t deserve you.”

    “And you do? With your string of multiple whores?”

    “All of whom don’t warm my bed quite like you do.”

    “That’s supposed to be a compliment?”

    “Come on now Jae-Hwa.” She pouted as he began to pull her jeogori down her shoulders. 

    “You know I like it when you play hard to get.” A slight smile danced upon her lips but she said nothing as he moved on to her sokjeogori. 

    “You’ve avoided me far too long. Now, I will have you just the way I want.”

    “Is that right pyeha?” 

    “You were and will continue to be my woman. Regardless of my little shit of a brother. He can never take care of your body the way you want and need. That privilege is for me only.” Her pinched fingers were grasped so tightly they had lost color but as he continued his assault, she closed her eyes with a shuddery sigh. Tonight, she’d have him. And he’d be exactly who she needed him to be. He’d be replaced with her heart’s desire. That was the only way she’d survive. 

 

 

*** 

 

    Feet stomped into the ground and the sound of drums was fervent, the fingers that beat upon them seeming to be in a trance. Melodious voices cried out in anguish and impassioned women danced on one accord, ample hips and arms swaying in a seductive manner. Meant to stimulate the blood within the male body, this night and their dancing seemed to be a call upon fertility. He lifted eyes from his cup, having brought it to his mouth. All of the women suddenly threw their bodies down before one woman who made her way towards them. She commanded the breath to exit his lungs, eyes to gaze hungrily, blood to indeed drift below his waist.

    “Sekhemrekhutawy.” Only the voice of the Queen Mother could draw his eyes away from the woman. 

    “Tonight we honor you for your great service to our Kingdom.” He bowed his head, leaning to press his upper body before her in reverence. 

    “Of that I am not worthy Your Highness.” Smiling, she lifted his gaze by way of his chin. 

    “I will honor your requests. Whatever they may be. All you must do is simply make them known.” Swallowing, his eyes found the woman again as she joined in with the others dancing and a soft deep laugh forced them away once more. 

    “Should you wish for her hand, perhaps I shall grant it.” 

    “I am not worthy. Truly.” She took her hand away from his chin and lifted her cup to her smiling lips, those eyes full of a thousand and one years of knowledge and wisdom. 

    “I will determine that. Not you.” Once again, his head bowed.

    “Of course Queen Mother.”  Pleased with his answer, she gave another short chuckle and beckoned him to eat, drink, enjoy the festivities. As he turned back to face the animated dancers, his gaze caught hers. An unexplainable emotion tightened his throat and sent a warm flutter across his chest. It was finally here. He’d have everything he wanted. 

End Notes:

A/N: HEYYYYYYY Y'ALLLLLLLLLLL! WHEW CHILE IT'S BEEN WHAT TWO MONTHS? I HAD TO TAKE A BREAK LOL. I want to thank the K-Drama My Country: New Age for the inspiration that struck me to write! If you have never heard of it, y'all... seriously. WATCH IT. It's  set in late Goryeo period (PERFECT RIGHT? I COULDN'T HAVE ASKED FOR A MORE FITTING DRAMA) early Joseon. It's starring two 'rookie male actors Yang Se Jong and Woo Do Hwan (both of which are scrumptious lol). They left a powerful impression on me in their protrayals of Hwi and Nam Seon-ho. 

We have skipped three years and we start the chapter with jerkface-I mean- Seo Jun being vomit worthy as usual. He makes no sense and I'm convinced that his brain is completely FRIED from all that opium he be smoking. He wanna be King but he doesn't care about his country at all. The King still being a wimp (and it's going to cost him should he continue) and Cheol-su been living his best life in Kush y'all lol. He even has a new name? *cue wide eyed emoji* Whew. I had a vacation this the prior week so I've literally been writing my booty off lol. Like a chapter a day almost lol. The creative bug hit me hard lol. This month I start school on the 24th so hopefully before then I will write more! 

On Wattpad, they are hosting a writing contest where the winner will have an opportunity to have their winning piece published (among other things) and I've entered Forever Sea into it! I am also considering entering Yeonwang into the contest too but I am also planning to add Yeonwang and Forever Sea into my anthology series. So, not sure what will happen. Either way, pray for me y'all hehe.  

I am gonna add a couple more chapters for your reading pleasure because it's been so long hehe. See you there!

 

D&L

스물다섯 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seumuldaseot 

twenty-five 

 

    “Sister.” Turning, she found Aahhotep and Shen-pe-uts-neter behind her, both looking quite worried. 

    “Yes?”

    “Are you not concerned? Your man could die.” Smiling, she rose form her position of prayer before the Goddess B’sst. 

    “Sekhemrekhutawy is strong. I think you mean to underestimate him.” 

    “It’s not that…it’s just…. he’s going to wrestle a whole beast. What if he’s not quick enough?” Aahhotep furthered, brow worried with concern. 

    “Sister, I side with Tiye on this one. Just because he is foreign does not mean he is less than.”

    “Obviously I don’t care about him being foreign. Those concerns died three years ago. We have adopted him into the royal family as a son of Ra. We’ve christened him, given him a name, even taught him our language. He is one of us. My concern is his mortality.” 

    “Fear not. Sekhemrekhutawy is full of might. I have witnessed his strength with my own eyes. He will prevail.” 

    “Should he desire Tiye’s hand, this is something he must do anyway. Diogenes is King. Mother is Queen. He must prove his worth and his place.” Aahhotep was quiet, sighing in defeat. 

    “This I know Eldest Sister.”

    “Good.”

    “I’d say you’ve grown fond of him haven’t you?” 

    “Tuh.” At that, the sisters laughed and teased Aahhotep more, drawing her up in their arms. 

    “Tiye, it’s time to go and paint his flesh.” 

    “Then go I will.” 

    “We shall see you out in the arena.”

    “Alright.” Pulling away from her, they left her be. 

    “Anat,”

    “Yes my lady?”

    “Let’s go.”

    “Of course my lady.” Licking her lips, she part the tent flap and met the sun’s rays, feeling their vigor and stinging heat. 

 

*** 

 

    He sat in silence, skin still warm from the mists of the saunas. Eyes closed, he focused on his breathing, concentrating on his flow of energy. 

    “I should have known you’d be up.” Eyes opening, he lifted his eyes to a large shard of glass, pleased in the reflection that faced him. 

    “Mm.”

    “Are you nervous?” She asked as she entered his chambers, elaborate and graciously gifted to him by way of the Queen Mother. 

    “Should I be?” She laughed at his bravado and softly clicked her tongue. 

    “Today you will be battling a great beast.”

    “I’ve done worse to humans.” He teased, eyes full of light and mischief as she drew nearer. 

    “This I recall so well my love.” He got up to face her. What a lovely vision she was, a welcome temptation ushered in by the sun’s heat. Gold draped her body in the form of a dress, seductive, feminine, and regal. Ruched around her chest, the material fit just right against her, larger flat strips overlapped upward in a sort of halter up and across her shoulders, the tops dusted with fine golden powder. The remaining crossed straps fell down an exposed midsection and draped across round hips, held in place by a thick ornate belt made of the same fabric. 

    Long panels created a skirt that teased her ankles and upon her neck was a neckpiece, the length of it resting upon her sternum. Her hair was unbraided, a rarity in and of itself. Thick, long and healthy, the strands reached her thighs having been fashioned in two twin bulbs towards the top, the bottom left alone; all fastened with a heavy gold holder. 

    “With a sight so beautiful, I am with increased motivation. No matter the beast, I will slay it sarang.” Blushing, she bit her lip as he took hold of her face, placing soft little kisses upon her lips. She for a moment forgot everything around her as his kisses grew deeper, tongue claiming her mouth as his, a soft throaty sound of approval thereafter making her knees weak. Lifting hands to his chest, she gently created distance that of a hairs length between them. 

    “I-I have come to paint you.”    Beckoning Anat in with a hand, she held steady a bowl of various paints, one a striking white, a deep dark blue, a jarring yellow and the other a rich red. He reached up to remove his sokjeogori and once his body was exposed save for the dari-sokgot, she dipped her fingers first in the white. 

    “For purity. To cleanse the spirit.” Pressing her finger tips onto his skin, she allowed her fingers to draw lines down the flesh, now nicely bronzed and tan from the sun. Anat provided her a handkerchief to wipe her fingers. Next, she dipped them in the blue. 

    “For love. To motivate your actions towards me.” Tracing his collarbones, she made a ‘u’ shape right underneath his Adam’s apple and pressed the shape of her palm on his heart. Yellow next covered him, adorning his high cheekbones, jawline, across his broad shoulders and down the length of his arms. 

    “To us, this symbolizes beauty and that of preciousness. But, today I use it to remind you of your birthright. You are royalty both in body and spirit.” Lastly, she coated her fingers in the red. Starting at his pectorals, she trailed lines down across his stomach, the brilliance of the red popping against his skin; emphasizing the well toned abdomen he possessed. The sight of it dipped into the creases and ridges of the hard muscles made her mouth water. Stopping at his hips, she gladly dipped more on her fingers and continued at his knees all the way to the tops of his feet, streaking all that would be visible.  

    “It’s a color representing bloodshed, spirituality and that of sacrifice. Appropriate for the day at hand.” Smiling, she lifted and wiped the last of it from her hands. 

    “How does he look Anat?” She asked, glancing at her servant who quite frankly looked at a loss for words. She blinked, mouth slightly ajar as she took in the beauty of his male body. 

    “H-He looks ready my lady.” 

    “Beautiful too does he not?” At that she only gave a nod, too embarrassed to utter anything else. 

    “Style your hair as you see fit my love. When you’re ready, meet us in the arena.” Nodding, he gave them a slight bow of his head as they left him. 

 

*** 

 

    A large black hand gently laid atop her hair and she looked up to see Diogenes standing above her. 

    “How are you faring little reed?” 

    “I fare fine brother.” Answer accepted, he took his hand away and came to sit beside her, looking out at the arena, empty save for one chained beast, one known as the King of the Jungle. His roar was deafening and it reverberated off of the cool stone walls. 

    “I always had a feeling that this day would come. I knew the minute I saw him those years ago.”

    “Hm.” She said, smiling otherwise. 

    “My, how time has passed us by. Here I find myself about to witness the marriage of my youngest dearest sister.”

    “It has not been decided as of yet. You know Mama has the final say in the matter.” 

    “But it has been decided. It was decided before he set foot on our lands. It was decided when I met him. It was decided the moment he took the name Sekhemrekhutawy.” Her smile grew deeper and still she said nothing, only turned her eyes towards he who sat on his ornate golden Throne, the Great Pharaoh of Egypt. 

    “Do you remember the first time I tested him? How he passed with such agility, grace and ferocity. I thought to myself if only he were Nubian. I’d have him in my army in a heartbeat.” 

    “I remember merne.” 

 

*** 

 

 

    He awakened early, finding himself looking into many sets of eyes. Jolting up, he reached for his geumjangdo, puzzled at the childish laughter that sprung up from the men and women who had invaded his chambers. They scurried out before he could open his mouth to ask anything and once alone, he visibly relaxed. Some. 

    “Did you just awaken?” Turning towards the voice, he felt his entire body grow warm. Tiye stood there dressed in a dress made of sheer light linen. Sleeves resembling fans caressed and fell across her small shoulders. A brilliant red sash outlined her petite waist and draped down the front of her. Hair fashioned in braids, a gold bulb attached to the ends he knew they would cascade down her back. Thick golden sandals adorned her feet and a gorgeous red, blue, green and gold neckpiece covered her shoulder to shoulder. But it was not nearly enough to hide the tempting globes of black flesh and lush little bush of hair resting at the apex of her triangle, all bared in an unashamed manner. Upon his gaze, the small buds hardened. 

    “I have. And now so have other parts of me.” He spoke, voice low and husky as their gazes met. 

    “I thank the Gods for your risings.” She spoke, voice teasing as she entered, coming to stand above him. 

    “All of them.” She said, lifting a hand to caress his cheek. He lifted hands to grip her hips. 

    “I see you’ve come to seduce me Gongju-nim. Are you prepared to accept the consequences of your actions?” Lifting his chin, she leaned down to press a kiss to his lips, smiling against them. Slipping fingers through his hair, she pressed butterfly kisses up his nose and across his forehead. 

    “I have not come with the intention to seduce or tempt you. I have come to dress you for an outing with my brother.” 

    “Your brother?” He asked, opening smoldering eyes. 

    “Yes. It is the desire of the Pharaoh that we accompany him. He wishes to show you his Kingdom.”

    “Ah.”

    “Though I wish to join you in your current state of dress, I can’t.” 

    “And why can’t you? Are you not a co-authoritarian of this habitation?” 

    “We are all at the mercy of the Pharaoh. Even his siblings.”    

    “Hm. Sounds awfully familiar.” Startling white teeth flashed at him briefly before she went to his provided vanity, picking up his jade comb.

    “Come my love, let’s get you ready.” 

 

 

*** 

    When they entered into the waiting chambers of the previous day, the one she called brother drifted his eyes across his attire, hand picked by Tiye herself. Royal and cobalt blue paired with intricate gold adorned his linen shirt, showcasing his firm strong legs. His torso was bare but upon his neck rested a matching neckpiece of the same colors, an azure scarab resting in the center. 

    “You’ve dressed him as a noble.” He commented, taking in the braided hair that she’d had tied back, small golden decorations adorning the plaits. 

    “Who stands before you is no servant or slave. He is a prince to his land.”

    “And what land does he hail from?”

    “Goryeo.”

    “Ah. So, it is to a foreign prince that I thank for bringing my sister to me.”

    “Indeed.” 

    “Very well. It is acceptable. Let us go.” Taking his wrist, she pulled him in the direction of the retreating form. Outside, horses were tied up awaiting the mount. 

    “I want to talk with this prince Tiye. Alone.”

    “He doesn’t know of our language.”

    “So you are translating.”

    “Yes.”

    “That won’t do.”

    “For now…it cannot be helped.” 

    “Answer me this little reed.”

    “Anything.”

    “Why is he here?” At that, she blinked. 

    “Should he not be?” Smirking, he glanced between the two of them much like he did before. 

    “You didn’t answer my question.” Taking a deep breath, she pursed her lips. 

    “Is it not appropriate to see the face of the man who returned me to you? He did not have to do so. I could have remained in his land never to set foot here again.” 

    “Is that all? Is that the only reason why he stands before me?”

    “What other reason could there be?” This time, the two men locked eyes. 

    “He has the look of a man who would shed blood should any one look at you wrong. A look that comes only from a lover.” 

    “You surmised all of this from yesterday?”

    “Even now, he’s trying to judge my purpose…my intention…” Diogenes sounded quite humored. 

    “Seems you are only my little reed in spirit.” Her cheeks grew warm but she refused to answer, watching as her brother chuckled. 

    “Come, I want to show him around.” They began to follow behind him and at the hand that pressed against her back, she turned her head towards him a bit. 

    “What was it he was saying?” He asked, lifting his gaze. 

    “He wishes to speak with you alone.”

    “I see.”

    “He means to test you Cheol-su.”

    “Test me how?” 

    “You are a man whom I have brought home. He has suspicions and he will see them acknowledged.” At that, he smirked. 

    “Suspicions hm? Should he suspect that we are lovers then he proves correct. I’ll gladly tell him that.” She hit him on the chest. 

    “No you won’t.” That roused a quiet laugh from him. 

    “What is the harm Tiye? He wishes to speak to me in privacy. Let him.” 

    “And should your temper arise?” 

    “Come now sarang, I need no baby sitting.” Leaning down, he brought her to a pause, pressing his lips against her ear. 

    “I will behave jagi. I promise.” 

    “Hurry up you two.”  Sighing, she reached behind her to grasp his hand and tugged on it, drawing them closer to the awaiting man. 

 

*** 

    

    “I didn’t make it easy on him. And yet he took everything I gave him, dealing with it with quick wittedness and tact.” 

 

*** 

 

    “Good job little reed. You haven’t lost your touch.” Releasing, the arrow struck the straw man in the heart. A sound of approval came from her brother and he grinned quite boyishly, sending nostalgia crashing into her. The thrill of the ride zipped through her veins and for a moment, she was caught up in sheer rapture. Lifting her bow, she pulled it back nice and taunt. Releasing it once more, it struck the man in the face. 

    “Impressive sarang. I didn’t know you were an archer.”  The surprised voice of Cheol-su drew her away from the target. 

    “Of many things darling one.”     

    “I want to see him shoot Tiye.” At that, she commanded her gelding into a slow trot. 

    “Don’t do anything rash brother.” That mischievous smirk on his face said otherwise but yet she acquiesced, withdrawing to a small elevated platform. Though they could not yet understand each other, they seemed to understand the common language of the bow and arrow, of which Diogenes provided him. He dismounted his horse and her brother urged the steed away from him. There he stood on foot, fresh targets being placed behind him. Soon, he joined her, grin growing deeper by the second. She watched him for a little while, turning eyes to see Cheol-su preparing his bow. Out of nowhere an arrow came whizzing past him, embedding itself into the straw man. At once every muscle in his body grew tight and pronounced and he turned to look up at them, his eyes narrowed in on Diogenes. 

    “Brother! Are you trying to kill him?”

    “Kill him no. Test him yes.”

    “Test him of what?”

    “He has an ulterior motive for being here Tiye.” Before she could protest once more, another arrow shot out and struck dirt, his body having been there but a moment ago. 

    “If it is to ruin our family then I wish only to send a message to him. A warning if you will.” Attaching the arrow to his bow, Cheol-su drew back nice and tight, the arrowhead aimed right for her brother. 

    “He has guts to aim at a Pharaoh.” He said monotonously, not praising or criticizing him. Simply a voice of observation. 

    “Diogenes… stop this.”

    “Calm down. He won’t fire.” Her heart pounding against her chest said otherwise and her breath caught in her throat. Before he let the arrow fly, he quickly turned it around and released, striking the target bullseye. Quickly reloading, he was about to fire when a myriad of arrows came flying at him, prompting him to duck and dodge them, taking shelter behind one of the straw men. Diogenes sat on the edge of his seat, fingers curled around the arms of the Throne, smirk now gone. All was still for a moment before he reappeared, releasing an arrow towards one of the archers on their side, obviously wanting to be seen. The weapon lodged near his feet, forcing the man to swivel out of the way. Attaching another, he fired, forcing two others to get out of his way. At the clear intent of harm, the archers soon disappeared from view.  Cheol-su pulled three arrows from his pack and drew them up tight, the muscles in his upper back and arms quivering from the strain. Soon, he released and to the shock of them all, struck three of the straw men each in fatal points. No more arrows would fly as her brother lifted his hand to signal halt. 

    “Impressive.” 

    “Tell me you’re finished playing with him.” She demanded, voice not at all happy. He opened his mouth to reply when an arrow came towards him, lodging deep into the wood above his head. Another whizzed by his face, narrowly missing his cheek and still one more found its target right next to him, sticking out nearest his shoulder. At that, he didn’t move, only met his eyes. The two men stared each other down for what seemed like the longest before Diogenes began to laugh, the bass and force shifting the ground beneath them. 

    “Very good. My, he is quite the archer.” To that, he was met with a bow, eyes slowly lifting now to meet hers instead. 

 

 

*** 

 

    “Now, here he stands before us a comrade, a brother.”

    “What did you surmise was his ulterior motives brother?” At that, he smirked as the beast roared once more. 

    “He intended to make you his wife.” The seats below them had begun to fill with the people from the village and excited chatter reached an all time high, sure to split an eardrum if not careful. 

    “This he mentioned to you?”

    “You can say that little reed.” Smirking at the man who had started to enter the arena, he sat back in his chair as he approached, stepping into the sunlight for all to see him. 

 

*** 

 

 

    He watched as the man known as Cheol-su stripped naked, his focus on that of his bathing sister up ahead. Letting his hair loose, it tumbled down his back like shiny black obsidian. Up ahead, his humming sister had no idea of the approaching intruder, for as big and tall as he was, he was light on his feet, slowly drawing into the water. The array of female musicians continued to play their instruments though they looked undoubtably perplexed. Lifting a finger to his mouth, he bid them to silence as he drew deeper into the bath, full of luxurious rose petals, honey, lavender and a healthy helping of goat milk. Closer and closer he came until he hovered directly behind her. Humming, she sighed loudly in relief, lifting hands to cover her neck and shoulders with the fragrant water. Shoulders that were instantly covered with his hands, the size of them making hers seem minuscule. 

    “So this is where you’ve been hiding.” Gasping, she jumped in his arms and turned slightly, her gaze full of surprise. Upon recognition, she relaxed and he lifted his hands from her shoulders to her face. 

    “Here I’ve been.”

    “Rude of you not to invite me.” Laughing, she lifted small hands to his chest, rubbing the petals of the roses against the skin. 

    “Need I offer the invitation when you know it’s yours?” 

    “I suppose not.” He answered, leaning down to press a kiss to her lips. Biting her lip, she turned towards the musicians and kindly excused them. Bowing, they gathered their instruments and quickly hurried out of the bath chamber. A comfortable silence filled the room as his lips kissed the fragrant flesh of her neck, tongue coming to taste the honey infused sweetness dwelling on her body. Gently biting into the flesh, he felt his mouth fill with drool. How he wanted to devour her from head to toe, to become drunk from the sweetness covering her body. She moaned softly as his hands came to take hold of her breasts, the softness of the petals contrasting nicely with the flesh of his fingers. 

    “Cheol-su…” 

    “Yes my sweet?” 

    “Will you make my love pour out upon you in this place as perfume?” 

    “I shall give you wings that you may fly high into the heavens sarang.” Humming, she lifted a hand from the water and slipped her fingers into his hair, turning to meet his lips. 

    “Shall you allow me to transport us to a world not of this realm?” Opening her eyes, she met his dark intense one, hooded cowrie shaped eyes filled with deliciously palpable desire. 

    “I shall.” 

    “Will you bestow upon me the gift of pleasure?”

    “I will.” Inhaling through his nostrils, he quietly entered the chambers and when he spoke, his voice shook them apart. 

    “So he is your lover.” She pressed a hand to her heart and the level of flustered embarrassment on her face humored him. But what impressed him was the unashamed manner in which the man known as Cheol-su behaved, face unbothered. He turned towards him, shielding her with his body. 

    “How long have you been physically intimate with him Tiye?” He asked, eyes locked with his. 

    “Is that important?” He heard her muffled reply and by the sounds of it she had her face pressed against his back. 

    “Fraternization with a member of the royal family is punishable by death. You know that.”

    “He’s not some slave off of the street brother.”

    “Ah, yes…as you’ve told me…he is a prince from lands far from here.” The man swallowed, the desire muted in his depths, now the need to protect dancing within the slanted orbs. 

    “I wonder, does he know the gravity of your little…trysts? If he did, surely he would show respect. Screwing my sister in my house is punishable by something worse than death.” 

    “Diogenes!” Snorting, he twisted up his mouth, challenging the man. 

    “He looks as if he wishes to kill me.” 

    “You’re being unreasonable right now!”

    “How hungry he is to wring my neck.” Taking a step towards the pool, he sneered. 

    “Try it if you can. Let’s see how far you can get.” Hands reached out to grab his arm but Cheol-su had already begun his way towards the large towering Pharaoh. Eyes locked, he didn’t let up, even as he ascended from the bath’s depths, the milk having made his skin glossy, wet and smooth. He couldn’t help but drop his eyes at the manhood seeming to jut up and out from his body, flushed the same red color as that in his cheeks. He said nothing as he advanced upon him, face so close that he could feel his breath. 

    “I am not your subject. I do not fear you. Nor will I ever bow before you.” Spoken so clearly in hieratic, his voice sent involuntary chills down the man’s spine and for the first time in a very long time, he was uneasy. 

    “She deems me worthy of her, her body, her affection and her time. Your opinion and those of others does not matter.”

    “How dare you, you bold bastard.” He smirked some to his shock and though fire blazed in his eyes, he simply bowed his head towards him. 

    “If I have unknowingly caused any disrespect, I sincerely apologize. But I only offer apology for that. Nothing else.” Bowing again, he slipped back into his garment and left them both. 

 

*** 

 

    

    “I explained to him later that when a woman from Kush shares a man’s bed, she is not only giving him her body but she is giving him her life. For a woman who shares herself with a man has chosen to be bonded with him in body, mind and spirit. She takes him as her husband just as she takes his seed into her womb.”

    “And what was his response?”

    “He seemed impressed. Reflective. In awe.” She smiled to herself.

    “He then told me that from the time you were fourteen phases, he had been in love with you. At seventeen phases, he determined that he would make you his come hell and high water. One way or another.”  

    “True.”

    “Hm. Yes well I must say that you have indeed picked a formidable mate.” At that, she lifted her eyebrow, genuinely surprised. 

    “You approve of him now? Has it taken you three years to admit your consession?”  His eyes roamed the body of the man, having been in a formal skirt, lower body now only covered in an undergarment of some sort, foreign to him. 

    “One day you shall reign over these lands Tiye. The man you take as both husband and King must be able to carry the burdens, sins and requests of the Kingdom. I had to be sure that he was the one.” Smiling once again, she felt her chest fill with pride as she took in her beloved, bowing before them all. A spear and short sword were thrown at his feet and he knelt, picking up the spear first, tucking the short sword into the ties against his hips. After this was all over, should he slay the lion, he would not only be seen as worthy as her husband… but he’d be seen as a chief, pillar of strength and most importantly as a God. Once the chains were taken off of the beast, it attacked. 

End Notes:

A/N: Frankly, my most favorite part has been writing the 'Egypt/Kush' arc and I hope it shows lol. I've done so much research to try to make it appear as historically accurate as I can. I have a lot of sensory details and outfit descriptions going on and I hope they translate and read well <3 Our prince and princess are gettin ready to get married! Finally! It took them making a break for it to Kush for it to happen. It's sad really. It shouldn't have been this difficult but then again, there was a lot that Cheol-su didn't know about Tiye...nor did any of his family members. Had they, perhaps things would have changed... maybe lol. Diogenes don't play as a big brother lol. He was really tryna take our mans out LOL. Be prepared for a lot of pictures ahead! Y'all ready for one more chapter? I think I can do that for y'all hehe. See you there~ 

~DL

 

Sekhemrekhutawy is Egyptian. It means 'mighty Re, He who protects the two lands." Re is another name for Ra, God of the sun. 

OUTFIT TIME: 

Tiye:

Cheol-su

 

The musicians by the bath side:

The Bath:

 

스물여섯 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

 

 

Seumulyeoseot

twenty-six

 

 

WARNING: GRAPHIC DEPICTION OF BATTLE


 

 

    Fatigue was starting to set in but he would not allow it to deter him from the current task at hand. A long narrow gash traveled down the side of him, streaming blood in rivulets. His entire body was covered in sweat and the hair from his once neat topknot had started to come a loose, messily framing his face and neck. The beast stalked him, circling him, teeth bared in a menacing snarl. But yet it too had cuts and wounds inflicted by his geom. Neither let the other out of its sight and the beast decided it would try to attack, lunging at him. He lifted the spear and shoved it outward, piercing the side. One of the paws swiped him, sharp claws digging deep into him. He let out a pained growl and shoved the spear deeper into the side of the beast. Removing the provided geom, he panted and huffed as the beast snapped the spear in half with his jaws. 

    The eyes of the spectators were all on him, up above sat the royal family, Tiye, her brothers, sisters and Queen Mother. They all watched, some with concern, some with fascination…all at the edge of their seats. This time he didn’t waste any time, running head on towards the beast. He took it down and wrapped his legs around it. Burying a hand into its mane, he tightened one arm around its neck while with the other he used to stab the beast. He roared and thrashed around but he continued to impale him. Embedding the geom into him, he forced the blade to cut through the skin of the belly, forcing hot blood to spray up onto his hands. Leaving his belly he pierced his neck, ignoring the gush of blood that drowned his face. He felt the beast weakly growl before it took its last breath, soon relaxing against him, surrendering its defeat. 

    He let the knife fall out of his hand and let go of the now slain lion, soon coming to hover over it. To the surprise and shock of the crowd, he encircled it with his arms and buried his face into the mangled mane. He felt tears seep out of his eyes, emotions too many to name all hitting him in the chest. Panting harshly against the beast, he whispered something against it before finishing the kill and cutting the head from the body. 

    Slowly, he lifted up onto his feet and drifted his gaze up to the Pharaoh and that of his brothers. Finding the eyes of the Queen Mother and the other princesses of Kush, he bowed his head. Lastly, his eyes found Tiye’s. Her gaze roamed him from head to toe before one of them brought her vision away. Applause, yipping and sounds of thanksgiving soon filled the arena and a few awaiting servants beckoned him to follow. 

    “Come this way brother. Let us clean you.” Nodding, he let them take him into the Palace where a warm welcomed bath and physicians awaited him. 

 

*** 

 

    To say that she was beyond pleased would have been an understatement. Days later, her sisters were still talking about it. Had she been given the chance, she would have went straight to his tent and demanded he take her right then and there. Injuries, sweat and blood be damned. Seeing him fight the beast had brought about an almost animalistic hunger that set her womanhood on fire each time she dwelled on him. Though desire wasn’t abnormal, the ferocity of it concerned her. In talking with the priestess, she revealed that a solar eclipse was approaching. Because of it, the energy of the moon was intensifying within her, her feminine force seeking out the sun and masculinity in him. The perfect time she reasoned for them to wed. 

    Mama had given the approval and with Cheol-su recovering from the battle still, she had been busy trying to prepare herself mentality, spiritually, emotionally and physically for the night to come. 

    “Do you think it’s time for him to receive his scarification?” Lifting from her posture of prayer, she turned to face Zahra and her brother Bienra. 

    “When he is ready to receive it then it will be time.” She answered, feeling a chill go through her. 

    “It’s been over a week since anyone has seen him. The word from the physicians is that he is recuperating well.” Nodding, she smiled as a soft little head pressed against her ankle.       

     “Hello my little friend.” Leaning down to pick up the kitten, she kissed the purring little creature. 

    “My how big you’re growing!” Lifting eyes back onto her siblings, she spoke again. 

    “I will visit Sekhemrekhutawy this evening to determine if we should proceed. Though frankly, I don’t see what’s the rush of us getting married.”

    “The priestess concurs that you must wed on the solar eclipse. She is predicting peak fertility and names of children as we speak.” Bienra spoke, voice laced with seriousness. It wasn’t appropriate to joke so she was going to hold off, at least until Mr. Stone Rock was out of the picture. 

    “She’s eager isn’t she?”

    “Mother has told us all that Sekhemrekhutawy will bring great victories to Kush. His blood is stronger and life blood even stronger so she is most definitely going to be expecting children.” Her eyes fell to the big beautiful golden eyes that peered up at her. 

    “I think for now you should go to him. Visit. I’m sure he misses you sister.”

    “I will.” Smiling at them both, they left her alone and soon even the kitten decided that it wanted to explore other areas of the Palace, leaving her be.

    When she went to him that night he was asleep. She’d gently kissed his brow and smoothed the hair back from his face. Eyes fell to the wounds he’d received from the lion. The claw marks were healing well and didn’t look as though they would leave too badly a scar. However, the long narrow gash that had been torn into his side was stitched closed and while it too was healing, she could tell that it would scar permanently. He sighed in sleep and turned towards her, breath falling on her knees. Smiling, she leaned down and pressed soft gentle kisses around the healing scar. He sighed again as if the action soothed him and pressed his forehead against her. Lifting up, she laid down next to him, nestling her head against his chest. Feeling his heart beat strongly against her palm made her calm and brushing her lips against his shoulder, she let slumber fall upon her. 

 

*** 

 

    The next few days had come and gone, filled with blood, pain, joy and excitement. He’d bared his back to her the day of his scarification and though the wounds were fresh, weeping blood, she found them desirable and beautiful. He’d pulled her to his chest in spite of the pain, asking her to explain just what it meant to have the perfectly aligned rows of puckered nubs and lines adorn the spans of his back. Proudly, eyes full of tears she told him that he had been made God in the flesh. It asserted his status as royal blood, chief, future King and deification as Amun Ra, god of the sun. He lifted his hands to caress her face and wiped her tears away with the pads of his thumbs. Smiling, his teeth shone as pearls and he kissed her again and again until the pain came to be too much. 

    That night he had just finished dressing when she’d come to fetch him. Her mother must have selected the ensemble and oh how good it looked on him. A golden breastplate sat atop his chest, precious stones embedded into the setting from front to back. A matching neckpiece emphasized his broad shoulders and on his biceps each laid an azure and gold armlet. The startling white skirt wrapped around his waist, drawing an envious hum from some of the women and cascaded to his calves, deep red and blue pattern, ties and fringe. His hair had been pulled half up into a ponytail, the remaining framing his face and traveling down his back. 

    She wore a form fitting beaded dress, a thin linen shift underneath. Upon her neck was a blue-green neckpiece, the ends having beautiful white beads and cowrie shells attached at the ends. Her hair had been braided, fashioned like her mother and her sisters, in the shape of a crown, a gold cast providing and holding the shape. The remaining braids were left to hang down her back, two across her shoulders. Gorgeous golden leaves were clipped at the front of the plaits, lining alongside her hairline. For the longest time, he’d just stared at her, too stunned to move. She’d breathed life back into him by way of a kiss and she welcomed his arms that encircled around her. 

    Together, they joined hands and approached her family and those of her village. Tears welled up in the eyes of the women and they threw themselves down at not just her feet but his as well, raising their hands up as to receive blessings. Smiling against her, he looked out over the multitude of black swaying bodies and felt his throat grow tight with emotion, much like the time he’d first arrived there. But this time… this time was different. This time, these women, men and children no longer felt like strangers. They belonged to Tiye and now in a way to him as well. 

    “Come Sekhemrekhutawy. Let us dine and celebrate your approaching union.” The Queen Mother said, outstretching her hand to him. Letting go of Tiye, he grit his teeth and inhaled through his nostrils as pain rippled through his back. Bowing before her, he brought her hand to his lips. 

    “As you wish your Highness.” 

 

*** 

 

    Sienna eyes looked out across the horizon, chest was tight with unspoken emotion. 

    “You’re deep in thought. Didn’t sleep well hm?” Turning, they took in the sight of Tiye’s mother. Smiling softly, he sighed deeply. 

    “I didn’t rest well at all.” 

    “That’s to be expected. Today you shall take my daughter as your wife.” Swallowing thickly, he bowed his head, eyes once again finding the horizon, the sunrise outlining and painting his beautiful beckoning colors of the world upon the shapes of the pyramids. 

    “What troubles you Sekhemrekhutawy? Your spirit is heavy.” He hadn’t realized just how much Tiye took after her mother. Both of them had an uncanny ability to read him top to bottom without him even having to say so much as a word. They could see inside his soul it seemed… read the tablet of his spirit heart. 

    “I…I miss my home.” At that, the woman reached across and took hold of his hand. 

    “You will return there. Sometime in the foreseeable future. You shall leave us and take my daughter with you.” Blinking, his mouth dropped open. She continued, her eyes also on the horizon. 

    “There is a great threat to your homeland. One that will wipe out every man, woman and child should you not return.”    

    “Your Highness-”

    “Your duty to your motherland is just as important if not more than the duty to Kush. I understand that very well Cheol-su.” At the use of his name, he felt his cheeks grow warm as his eyes found her. 

    “I will not get in your way. It is something you and Tiye must do. Together.” 

    “I don’t wish to cause you heartache. You, your daughters, sons…except Diogenes… have been so kind to me. Welcoming in a stranger and embracing him as one of your own.” Smiling, she turned those mystifying eyes back onto him. 

    “Diogenes was hard on you yes but you must understand that Tiye is his youngest sister. He in his way wanted to protect her. To make sure you were the one deserving of her.” Nodding, he tightened his jaw. That he could understand. Very well. Should Mishil be in the same position, he’d probably have done something similar. Though he had striven to make his days hell initially, Diogenes had warmed up to him…slightly. The Queen Mother sighed, bringing him away from his thoughts. 

    “It is true that you are now like a son that admittedly I will miss. However, it is not my place to get in the way of destiny. Your fate is to be in Goryeo. Ascend to the Throne and rule. That much I know.”

    “And Tiye?”

    “She will be happiest wherever you are. Be it here or there, her place will be found with you and only with you. You are her Amun Ra, her guiding light. Where you shine, she will follow, the moonlight behind her.” He swallowed again, holding onto her fingers a bit tighter.     

    “Kush will always remain my second home. It will forever be dear to my heart.” The woman smiled and for a while just looked at him, those eyes of hers sinking into the depths of his soul.

    “Come now, I’m sure you hunger. Fill your belly and ease your mind. You will be gaining a good thing today.”

    “Mm.” He moved to pull his hand back but the woman held tight to him and he let her, helping her into the cool shade of the palace where his love sat waiting for him, food covering the tables. Sitting down, he winked at her and they began to feast. 

 

*** 

 

 

    A small soft tipped brush glided across her lips, staining the flesh a soft red. Hands carefully dapped some golden shimmer at her tear ducts as others finished unbinding her hair, having been stretched with twine. A dressing made with lavender, honey and mint soothed and moisturized the thick plentiful strands and a comb with wide teeth glided through them. Gathered together, two holders held it all together, one crystalline blue and another jadeite and gold.

     Upon her body was placed a sheer linen dress, dyed black from iris root. A similar fabric bound her chest and covered her triangle, hips and buttocks. Large thick gold hoop earrings were fastened into her ears, thin rings around her neck and a plethora of smaller bangles covered her entire forearm. A radiant red scarf wrapped around her head and shoulders. Lastly, a crown made of dried leaves, flowers and berries painted various shades of blue and dipped in gold sat atop her head. 

    “My lady you are magnificent.” Anat praised, bowing her head. She took in her reflection in the floor length shard of glass and for a moment, even her breath caught in her throat. She’d never before felt so beautiful and it made her eyes tear. 

    “My Gods Tiye…” Turning, she faced her sisters. They all hugged one another, watery smiles on their faces. Sister Nettie came forward and lifted her hands to her cheeks. 

    “If only Baba could see you now menre.” At that, tears fell and Nettie was quick to wipe them. 

    “You would have made him very proud. Such an honorable daughter you are. Incarnate of  Isis herself.” Her smile was unsteady and the gentle thumbs of her sister continued to bat the tears from her weeping eyes. 

    “Let us go visit him. He must see you now, no longer a child. Surely he will rejoice seeing you now as a woman, one to be married.” She nodded and swallowed any remaining tears, a pretty smile following. 

    “I for one can’t wait to see your groom. Mother told us he is dressing in the style originating from his country.” She felt her heart blossom. That would make for a treat to the eyes. It had been so long since she’d seen him in hanbok. She couldn’t wait to see him. 

    “Yeah much like when he first arrived to us. I forget what you call them.”

    “Hanbok.” She answered with a grin. 

    “Ah…yeah well… Such strange clothes. They resemble a dress.”

    “I much prefer him in our style. That way you can tell he’s a man. There’s no mistaking that body of his.”

    “Nettie!”

    “I only speak the truth. Besides, I have told you before that he is not my type. Simply eye-candy.”

    “Hm.”

    “Sure.”

    “Think of what Ioassê would say if he heard you.” Nettie sucked her teeth. 

    “Tuh. I most certainly am not going to give up the pleasures of life for one man.”

    “Okay daughter of Hathor.”

    “She always was my favorite Goddess any how so thank you.” The sisters joined in laughter as they headed towards the entrance gate, their brothers, mother and other members of their party waiting.

    Upon sight of her, her mother’s eyes grew soft with love. Her lips remained pursed and she quickly resumed her stern countenance. Her brothers all smiled and their eyes turned to the same person hers did. Her breath whooshed out of her as if someone had struck her. He stood by his stallion tall lean and firm, back facing her. The wide brim of his gat cast a shadow of shade upon his shoulders but what it did not cover shone like rubies in the sun. Sure to be seen as plain back in Goryeo, his hanbok was anything but as it traveled down the length of him. A beige and grey jeonbok covered his immediate person, a soft blue-purple dopo accented nicely underneath and a matching saejodae was neatly tied around his waistGods she hadn’t even seen the front of him but already he looked so handsome. 

    “Are you lost in your thoughts dearest?” She asked, the tongue of Goryeo coming easy and tasted bittersweet. At that, he turned and his eyes grew wide as they traveled down her body. His mouth fell open and he appeared as if he had been encased in ice. At his reaction, Chem-tat-ef and Aimenamun chuckled, whispering amongst themselves. He cleared his throat and swallowed thickly, allowing his middle finger to appear behind his back. 

    “None too pressing to be of concern.” Smiling, she approached him, lifting hands to press against the smooth soft silk of the jeonbok

    “Good.” He lifted his hands to lightly press against her waist. 

    “You look stunning.” She felt her cheeks warm and she bit her lip in a small smile. 

    “You also.” 

    “Alright alright. We best get a move on. The longer we wait, the more intense the sun will grow.” Chem-tat-ef obnoxiously interrupted, a playful smirk on his face. Hissing her teeth at him, she pursed her lips and mounted an awaiting mare. Her mother set off first followed by Diogenes. The rest of them followed closely, the sun already starting to scorch. 

    Looking out across the lands, she smiled to herself. Meroe was a half a day’s journey and by the time it was finished, she would be his wife. Turning her eyes towards him as he trotted next to her, she felt her heart melt. It had taken three years and coming to Kush to make it happen. Was she even certain that she wanted to return to Goryeo? Of that she wasn’t sure. Would things change in his homeland? Would she be forced to assume the life she once had? What she did know what that she would cherish these moments with him in the present now…this slice of paradise they’d happened upon…If it never ended she’d be happy for the rest of her life. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: OKAY FIRST AND FOREMOST CHEOL-SU AND TIYE ARE BEYOND CUTE AND THEY DESERVE THE WORLD LOL. That fight with the lion was intense guys! Whew! We all know what our prince is made of and he did so well...even showing respect for the beast which he had slain at the end. WOW. My favorite bit this chapter is the interaction between Cheol-su and Tiye's mother. Love that bonding time! Okay guys, next chapter they finally get married!! I thought about uploading it but then I'm like well....do I really want to upload ALL of the chapters I worked on this past week? I think I'ma hold off and let these three marianate lol. I love y'all and thank y'all for y'all continued support! I got a lot going on with teasers and I know it can be dizzying to keep up with them all lol. But for now, my main story of focus is this one. Once it is finished, I will move onto something else <3 I will see y'all soon hehe 

God bless! Hope y'all stayin safe and healthy! 

DL~

 

Terms:

menre- beloved in Hieratic 

jeonbok-a sleeveless vest of sorts

dopo-outer robe or coat. It is mostly associated with seonbi or Confucian scholars in the Joseon period. 

saejodae-a tasseled cord used as a belt. 

Hathor-is said to be the goddess from which Isis derived. Goddess of the sky, love, fertility, motherhood, dance and music. 

 

OUTFITS: 

Tiye (accompanied by a visual of her physical aesthetic)  

 

 

(I've been waiting until it was time to bring these out. When I first saw these pictures I immediately saw and thought TIYE. OMG IT'S TIYE. lol. The model is absolutely gorgeous and the outfit is simply divine.)

 

Cheol-su 

스물일곱 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

Seumulilgop

twenty seven

 

 

 

**WARNING:  EXPLICIT DEPICTIONS OF LOVE MAKING.** 

soundtrack will enhance the experience. recommended to listen. 

 

Musical selections: 

Title: Korean Traditional Music (Part Six) 

Title: [율객1회] 2018. 4. 3 _ 시나위 합주

Title: 김영길_흥타령을 주제로 한 "恨타령"(뉴힐하우스콘서트 …창…인—전 시즌1 '전통의 원형을 찾다' 김영길…인편)


 

The smell of burning wood lit up the night air, the embers drifting up to the sky. The sky itself was a black blanket, clouds passing over the moon like the breath of the Gods. He sat at a table, filled with offerings of every kind. Food, dress, gold and ivory laid out in front of him, gifts given of many by the Queen Kandake herself, wishes and prayers of luck, favor and virility upon them both. Up ahead, a heavy drum began to sound and black feet began to stomp into the ground. Voices of every range melted the inky sky into liquid onyx and stirred the spirit. Female bodies began to approach those who sat, bare and naked, startling white paint covering them in various mysterious designs. The faces of the Queen Mother and the sisters of Kush were painted in a similar fashion and they responded to the voices singing worship with rhythmic shakes of the shoulders and guttural yips. 

    The hair on the back of his neck stood up as he watched her enter, only her feet seen from behind large fans of white ostrich and peacock feathers. The women around her twirled and twisted their bodies, throwing their hands towards her. 

    “Sekhemrekhutawy.” Turning his head, he found Diogenes standing in front of him. 

    “The moon shall appear to you. If it be in your will to receive her then go to her.” Swallowing, he slowly stood. The light from the fire danced upon his skin, highlighting the red and white designs that had been painted onto his body. Upon his head sat his crown, the thick tawny mane magnificent and golden. In the midst of the dancing bodies, swaying with hypnotic movements, there she stood, awaiting him. As he came around from the table, the bodies of the women threw themselves down to the ground before him, hands above their heads. Yipping grew louder and sharper as he stepped past them and the sound of crying pierced the night sky. At last, he stood before her, the fans still blocking her from view. 

    “Amun Ra,” Dipping his eyes, a small woman covered from head to toe in white looked up at him. She was elderly, wrinkles covering her entire face and her voice was rough. 

    “We have thanked the Goddess for giving us the Moon, that she graces us with her presence in the manifestation of Isis. Now, it is time to set the sky on fire with your corona.” She reached forward and took his hand. 

    “Receive her as your wife, as your true half. May the god spirit in you birth a million more years within her womb.” Taking Tiye’s hand, she brought them together. 

    “It shall be done.” Is all he had the power to say as he felt his chest well with emotion. The fans were pulled away and there in front of him stood his love, his woman, symbols painted all across her nude body. It seemed the stars had materialized as flowers and they covered the whole of her head. Silver specks made up freckles that travelled across the bridge of her nose and a large ornate neckpiece of gold clothed her otherwise naked flesh. White paint kissed the peaks of her breasts, capping them in shimmery snow, snow he wanted to melt with the heat of his mouth. His entire body felt warm to the touch and he was sure steam was sure to mist out from his nostrils. He pulled her towards him and the women around them began to dance once again, moving to form a circle around them. She lifted her eyes from their conjoined hands to his eyes and he swore on the Gods the entire universe was there, dwelling within her depths. Lifting his hand, she pressed it onto her cheek and began to smile, frosty liquid cold as the moon’s dust traveling down from her eyes in the form of tears. Opening her mouth, she began to sing alongside her sistren, slowly moving her body along to beat of the drum. He brought his other hand up to caress her other cheek and soon brought their brows together. 

    “Earth or sky, heavens or hell….none of these shall separate me from you Tiye Khaliset.”  The first meeting of their lips threatened to shift and shake their equilibrium and he panted, suddenly his breath needing to merge with hers once again. Pressing another kiss against her, he brushed her ear. 

    “Having chosen this lowly form of man to take as your mate…I most humbly thank you. How lucky am I to have a Goddess in my midsts, one to cherish, love and worship for the rest of my days.”  She smiled prettily, lifting eyes to meet his. 

    “From the first moment we met in the sky, from the first moment we took of each other, I was yours. None other will inhabit or take hold of me…body, soul or spirit. I am your willing vessel to use and have as you freely wish. So long as I have your love and your blessing, I shall live forevermore.” Her hands slid up and across his shoulders, fingers gently grazing the scars upon his back, having healed enough to touch. A shudder of pleasure shook him and chills wracked his entire body. 

    “Much honor you’ve brought not just to me but to my land. For that, she has given you me. Written in the stars as memoriam, here and now I stand ready to receive you as my mate, husband and King.” Teasing his lips, hers smiled. 

    “Let your rays be upon me until the end of time great God of the sun. Shine your light boldly and there I shall be. We will always be together, never to part or be separated. So it shall be.” The tips of her fingers brushed the scars again and again he shivered, opening those eyes of his now full of fire, sunlight and smoke.

    “I love you.” His lips took hers again, the liquid lava and heat on his tongue burning her sweetly. 

    “I love you too.” He replied, hieratic smooth and rich. Closing her eyes, she turned around, back facing him. Sighing with contentment as his arms enclosed around her, she smiled as their bodies began to dance and gyrate, the drums as thunder claps before the rain. 

 

*** 

 

     As the sun and moon glided closer to each other in the heavens so did hands, lips and teeth as they gnashed together in the utmost urgency. It had only been a little while yet since she’d led him away, laughter, food and drink having filled their bellies. As she had taken his hand and tugged him into the pathway of the nearby oasis, she found one more need of hers was still unmet. 

    Pulling him past the threshold of the prepared dwelling, she licked her lips as the shadows from the flames danced across the planes of his sun kissed chest. His eyes were nearly black, intensity and desire making them hooded and fierce. Things they did to her indeed, the moon shine that wept from her womanhood now coated her inner thighs as nectar, sweeter than honey and ready for him to taste. The way he neared her was predatory and as he lifted the head of the great beast from his shoulders, he trapped her within his gaze. He untied the red sash from around his hips and tossed it away from him. With nimble fingers he removed the skirt and it met the sash on the ground. 

    Her womanhood throbbed as she feasted upon his breathtaking anatomy, red and white lines covering him from the neck down. His proud manhood, hard as marble and clothed in thick healthy veins, bobbed upward toward his belly making her gush profusely. The masculine energy surrounding him left her speechless and it demanded her submission, something she was dying to give. Reaching up, she unfastened the neckpiece, ravishing as his eyes traced the symbols and shapes painted upon her body. She let her hair free,  some of the flowers falling to the ground. 

    He neared her step by step and each one set her heart pounding against her chest. His touch was gentle as he took hold of her face. Leaning down, he seared her with a kiss, liquid passion and desire bleeding into her being. Already she found herself weak, gripping his forearms for balance. A deeper, wetter kiss followed and teeth pulled her lip even closer to him, small teasing nibbles making her sigh. Taking a hand away from her face, he skimmed them with his fingers. 

    “Wet them.” His voice, low and silken commanded. At once, her tongue gently licked the fingertips. 

    “Take them into your mouth.” Obeying, she began to suck on the digits, eyes fluttering closed. Small moans drifted up from her throat and once they were wet enough to his liking, he pulled them out. Sliding the hand down her body, he slipped the fingers in between her legs. Slowly, they entered her and she let her head fall back.

    “So wet for me already jagi?” To the knuckle his fingers stroked deep, drawing needy little sighs and moans from her, ones that he devoured as his. Feeling the onset of a climax, her stomach grew tight and warm. He seemed to sense it too because he stopped at once. Panting unevenly against his mouth, she hummed as their tongues tangled. 

    “Go and lie down on your back.” His voice was gentle but throaty as he watched her turn, laying on the pelts of leopard and cheetah,. Approaching, he slid his fingers into his mouth. 

 

 

*** 

 

    She shivered underneath his touch, one of his hands grazing her calf.  Kneeling, he pressed kisses up the skin. He could see the need in her eyes. He could hear it in her voice and he could taste it on her tongue. As he neared her mound, he inhaled deeply. She smelled so good and just from the taste on his fingers, she was sweet and ripe as dew. Lifting his large hands, they took hold of her hips and brought her closer, her part thighs a tease. He grabbed them and spread them, revealing those gorgeous glistening petals. 

    “Pretty.” He praised, kissing them softly. Her chest heaved as he began to suck on them, tasting the wine of the Gods there on her folds. A soft mewl of delight left her lips. 

    “Divine.” He spoke, breath warm as his tongue gently circled her small bundle of nerves, making her buck up against him. 

    “Mine.” Finally, he laid an open mouthed kiss upon the engorged little massHe lifted those seductive eyes of his to hers. 

    “Do you mean to intoxicate me Gongju-nim?” She gasped as his voice vibrated against her.

    “Look at me.”  Forcing her eyes downward, she slid fingers into his hair, pulling apart his ponytail. 

    “If I say yes will you drink your fill of me?” That wicked tongue of his dipped into her entrance and she arched her back, eyes rolling back. He groaned his answer against her as he penetrated her deeper. Fingers slipped past his shoulders and gently embedded nails into the raised nubs on his back, half crescent moons stabbing into the flesh. At that, he groaned again, burying his face against her triangle. 

    Lewdly sucking and slurping up her offering, he licked his lips before giving attention to her button with fast little flicks. Pleasure possessed her and she climaxed, moans loud and sweet. Slow sensuous kisses drifted up her stomach as he lifted up.         

    “So fucking beautiful.” Gently squeezing her breasts, he took one into his mouth. Wrapping arms around him, she bit her lips as he suckled the other. Sliding his hair back from his face, she lifted her legs to encircle his waist, melting as his lips possessed hers. 

 

*** 

 

    Lusty moans and the sound of bodies meeting filled the tent. A muscled arm took hold of  hers, fingers pulling them back tightly. His free arm wrapped around her, hand gripping her breasts. Completely under his mercy, she had no choice but to take his bruising thrusts, crumbling into pieces as yet another climax ripped through her. Never before had he been so rough with her and it pleased her beyond words. Having been obedient, now her reward came with slow deep strokes, his long girthy length stretching her sweetly. A curse or two left his lips and he breathed against her hair, lifting his hand from her breasts to her jaw. 

    “Have I hurt you my sweet?” Pulling her gaze upward, they melted under his intensity. 

    “No…” She replied weakly, her voice quiet and breathy. 

    “You’ve only pleased me my love.” Accepting her answer, he kissed her gently, the soft roll of his hips a reinforcement to his tender care.  Allowing him to softly explore her mouth with his tongue, she felt her heart blossom into a million butterflies. He released her and sprinkled kisses along the backs of her shoulders and neck, sucking gently on the flesh until it left a love mark. She was pulled against his chest, those thick arms of his circling her in a net of safety. Sighing contently against him, she smiled, biting her lips in a slight whine of protest as he withdrew his shaft from her. 

    Laying on his side, she joined him pressing hands against his pectorals. Fingers took hold of her hair and pulled her head back. For the longest time, he stared down into her eyes, lips occasionally tasting hers. Roaming the makeshift freckles of moon dust littered across the bridge of her nose and cheeks, he kissed them. Blushing, a quite girlish giggle bubbled up her mouth and she lifted fingers to press against his full bottom lip. 

    “What power you have over me beloved sun.” 

    “And you over me.” He agreed with a kiss, lips now smirking. 

    “Should you demand I bring you the universe and make it to be in the palm of my hand, I will have no choice but to comply. For you are worth more than gold, silver and rubies.” Bidding him to lie on his back, she climbed on top of him, welcoming the gentle squeeze on her buttocks. 

    “For that, my love…allow me to give thanks.” Slowly, she rolled her hips against his, teasing the twitching manhood under her with promise of entry. A velvety moan rumbled from his throat as she took in his shaft. His hands gripped her hips with a firm hand. 

    “Fuck aegiya….fuck fuck fuck…” Pleasure sent a shudder through the constricting and contracting muscles on his stomach. Gently digging her nails into them, she lost herself for a moment, the energy from his body making her womb quake. How their completion was upon them, nearly conjoined in the sky above. A satisfied moan left her belly as he filled her to the brim. Oh how stuffed she felt…how full.  Her hips swirled and gyrated against him and soon his hips thrust up into her, forcing loud moans to fill the tent once more.  Their joined flesh produced the most beautiful sound; in it abandon. Ecstasy. It infiltrated her soul and she shattered, squeezing him tightly as she climaxed. 

    A growl of approval came from his throat and he turned her to her side, draping his long hard body across hers. Lifting her leg to rest across his thigh, he buried his fingers into her hair. Sweat beaded on his hairline and it covered his body with a light sheen. His hips gyrated against her, pace smooth, slow and relaxed. She let go of his biceps, instead wrapping her arms around his neck just as he pressed his forehead against hers. 

    Lips kissed and tongues meshed and after a while he lifted. Grabbing a pillow or two he placed them underneath her back to support her and lift up her hips to align with his. Running the length of his trunk in between her juicy folds, he lifted both of her legs, hooking them around his upper arms. Without a minute wasted he entered her and gave a few sharp thrusts, taking both her breath and her voice. Those fingers of his found their home around her neck and squeezed lightly as he began to pump into her, strokes hard deep and fast.

    “Joha? Hm? You like how hard I’m fucking you? Hm?” He licked the drool that had formed at the corner of her mouth as wild frantic moans and tears answered him, her nails now stabbing his back.

    “I asked you a question Tiye.” Slightly strangled, her voice answered him immediately…almost desperately.

    “Yes…I-It feels so good my love…please don’t stop….please…” His hair billowed down around them and he groaned into her mouth as white-hot pleasure made them grow tight…light headed…lost. Slowing, he forced her to look him in the eyes. Their breaths mingled into conjoined moans as he pulled out slightly, only to fill her again. 

    “You’re so fucking perfect…” Pleasure creased his brow and drew open mouthed pants. 

    “Made just for me. Only for me.” As the sun and moon became one in totality, he brought her into the threshold of godhood, pleasure taking her high up above the universe. For a moment, the earth stood still and not a creature stirred as the corona of the sun’s light blazed bright in the night sky. Hard again, his thrusts now demanded completion and it built up swiftly in her belly. 

    “Come for me aegi.” Her climax hit her hard at once, snapping like a rubber band. A scream left her lips and her womanhood gushed like never before, an intense stream of arousal ejecting outwards to saturate their joined sexes. 

    “That’s it…good girl.” Not too soon after he withdrew from her, climax sending long forceful spurts of his seed onto her chest and belly. With such an intensity, it left him seeing stars, body trembling. Breathless, he relaxed against her.

    “You did so well my little moon.” Pressing small loving kisses to her lips he settled one on her cute little button nose. 

    “You took me so well.”  He pulled away from her, leaving her to lay weak breathless and satisfied. Going to grab a cotton handkerchief, he gently cleaned between her legs, laying a kiss to her mound. Wiping his seed from her belly, he used his mouth to clean it from her breasts, giving a final soft wet suck to her nipples each.

    “I love you.” Her breath was shaky and voice quiet against his forehead. With a soft little smile, he laid against her,partially laying on the furs as not to crush her. Her legs wrapped around him and soon so did her arms.

    “I love you too dearest one.”

 

*** 

 

    Morning rain wet the earth and the smell of it fresh and clear wafted into the humble dwelling by which they spent their night together. A cool welcomed breeze had extinguished the candles. The world was quiet and it would have been uncanny…eerie if not for the events of the former night. Sharp brown eyes watched the marriage tent with unrivaled attention. She had woken up hours ago, her spirit once full of joy now wracked with uncertainty. Of what she was not entirely sure. Lifting her eyes to the sky, she took in the clouds that rolled in, soon to bring more rain with them. She would have to go to the seer and have her decipher the dream that had roused her from her slumber. 

    Sighing, her gaze fell back across the tent, forbidden by anyone else to enter except the bride and groom. Her daughter had only once been this happy and that was when her father was amongst the living. When he had been taken by murderous hands, she’d seen a change in her that was most upsetting. Now, however, it seemed that the man she now could call wed had returned the missing part of her that she feared would always be lost. For that, she would be eternally grateful. Even so… even though her heart was full, her spirit was vexed and she could not help but feel as though a grave omen hung in the balance between the two. She prayed to the Gods that she was wrong. She prayed that they could always remain just as they did now. In love. Happy. Free.

End Notes:

A/N HEY FAM! SO FIRST LEMME SAY THAT THIS INTIMATE SCENE IS PERHAPS ONE OF THE NASTIEST I'VE WRITTEN IN A LONG...TIME. LOL. UM. IT'S UM... YEAH OUR MANS SNAPPED LOL. CHEOL-SU'S I'M GON BLOW YA BACK OUT TILL YOU CAN'T WALK TOMORROW MODE SWITCHED ON. WHEW CHILE. I FELT THAT LOL.  Oh a less....spicy note lol... I love their vows... their adoration and bond. I... honestly don't think I've written anything this... spiritual...mystical?...um...otherworldly...maybe ever? I've linked the music I listened to when creating it. It will literally take you to another place lol. (in the story I feel like it brings everything into focus and makes it that much more tangible.) 

Everything about it is beautiful and out of this world...just like our lovely couple. Uh-oh...what Queen Mother picking up at the end? I think I'll upload my last chapter written over my vacay next week! I start school on the 24th so I don't think I'm going to write until I get into the swing of things there first! 

 

Leave y'all thoughts, comments, concerns, anything y'all wanna say even if it's a HI! I love hearing from y'all! Tell me how y'all doin! I'll see you soon loves! 

D&L

 

Pictures:

 

 

 

 

스물여덟 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

Seumulyeodeol 

twenty-eight 

 

*WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, DEATH AND SEXUAL CONTENT. PLEASE BE WARNED.*

 

 

 

Screams rippled through the air and she shot up, eyes wide and full of fear. There was a loud commotion outside in the hall and she quickly shot up and went to the door, opening it up just enough to peek out. There upon the floor laid a woman, blood oozing from her head and spreading in a fast pool on the wooden floor. Her breath caught in her throat and she shut the door, back leaned upon it chest heaving. Her eyes misted with tears and she tightened her hands into fists. He’d done it again. When would he be tamed? 

 

    *** 

 

    1036 A.D

 

    Two bodies writhed against each other and a female moan of pleasure filled the small lit room. Sweat dotted the hairline of the two but lips met with fervor, desperate not to part for even a moment. 

    “Faster my darling….faster…” It amazed her how strong he was to be able to lift and hold her for so long, fingers digging into the wooden shelf behind her. Faster he obliged, his thick heavy length growing even deeper inside of her. She was close to climax and he was too, she could tell by the way his moans grew closer and closer, his body harshly colliding with hers. A book or two plopped down onto the floor, not being able to withstand the rattling and it was then that she reached the pinnacle of pleasure, allowing her voice to fill the room with it. He gave two or three more hard strokes before he too followed her to paradise, spilling his seed within her, hot thick and copious. Hissing softly, he buried his face against her hair with a moan. 

    “I’m sorry…” Drifting fingers into his hair, she calmed him with a soft little kiss, her gaze warm. 

    “Don’t be.” His cheeks grew pink. 

    “What if you become with child?” Shivering as his excess leaked out of her, she bit her lip. 

    “Then I will raise it with love.” She whispered, her own cheeks growing a shade of rose. Though he was normally bashful, quiet and kept to himself, this time a serious look graced his face. He cupped her cheek and made her look at him. 

    “Mishil. Don’t be foolish.” Carefully he put her back onto the ground and began to dress himself. 

    “What is foolish about wanting children with you?” He sighed, lifting hands to rustle his hair. 

    “It’s not possible. It can never be. You know this.” Helping to tie her sokjeogori he kissed her temple. 

    “Please…let this be the last time.” At that, she pouted and grabbed hold of his durumagi. 

    “Do you really want it to be?” Displeasure spiked on his face but he swallowed. 

    “You are who you are Mishil. I am who I am. We must not get in the way of destiny.”

    “My destiny is mine to decide Byung Ho. And I will have you in it.” Slipping into her jeogori, she tied it closed and pushed the sweaty hair back from her face. Quickly, she braided it. 

    “No matter what happens, you will always have my heart. We must remain close.” Pulling him in for a kiss, she smiled as he seemed to relax against her, putting up no further argument. 

    When he’d slipped out of the library nook, she waited until she felt the coast was clear. Coming out, she froze. Standing there with a twisted grin on his face was none other than Seo Jun oppa. Clucking his tongue, he tsked, grin growing wider. 

    “My, what a little liar you are.” Adopting a poker face, she clutched her hands together. 

    “Of what have I lied about Oppa-nim?”

    “Fucking that horse rat.” Her stomach turned to and fro but she remained calm. 

    “Am I not allowed to have my playthings? You have yours. Plenty of them.” Chuckling, he tsked again, drawing closer to her. 

    “What would Father think if he heard his youngest daughter was a slut?” 

    “Aren’t you the biggest one of them all? Don’t judge me Oppa-nim.” That earned her a slap across the cheek. 

    “Bite your tongue little one. I can’t be replaced but he sure can.” At that, fear broke through the barrier of her face mask. 

    “What are you talking about?”  That twisted grin was back. 

    “Let’s pray to the Gods that you behave. For if you don’t, he shall pay the price for it.” Sinking her teeth down into the tip of her tongue, she swallowed any defiance and bowed her head. 

    “My apologies Oppa-nim. I meant no disrespect.” He sneered and brushed past her, leaving her alone, the night covering her with quiet. 

 

*** 

 

    

 

    Things changed when her cycle never came. She was nervous of course, scared of what the King, her father would say once he found out. If he found out. Both of them had been careful, changing their meeting places and times but even still, she felt as though the eyes of her brother lurked overhead. She had determined that this would be a secret that only she and Byung-Ho would share. Her father would never find out as long as he lived and she’d make sure that the child would be impeccably educated and taken care of. She’d sworn her maids to secrecy, threatening to have them beheaded should loose lips open. 

    He had been just as nervous as she when she’d revealed it to him one late August night. Having shed her hanbok, she stood in front of him bare, the swollen belly bump starting to be visible. He’d stood still, staring at her as if truly seeing her for the first time. But as she took his hands and placed it on her stomach, she could see a myriad of emotions take over him. Tears welled up in his eyes and he silently shed them as he pulled her against him in a hug. That night, his seed again filled her womb but this time it was given and received with warmth and love. If only he could have stayed locked inside of her for a thousand lifetimes. 

    A few days after their last night meeting it happened. She’d done well to conceal her growing bump and got prepared to go for a horse ride. Her darling always took such good care of her mare and she was thirsty for a sight of him any how. 

 

*** 

 

    Leaving, she made her way to the main staples when she was met with a crowd of people. The gungnyeo all flanked around her sides, as if to protect her from the other nobles. 

    “What’s this? Why are you blocking my path?” She questioned them, voice already filled with irritation. 

    “My Lady perhaps we should go another day.” 

    “Move.” The woman in front of her did not and for that she was struck. 

    “I won’t ask again.” She hissed, eyes flashing dangerously. Though she was reluctant, she moved aside and so did the other members of court. Up ahead a man had been tortured and beaten, stripped naked. His arms and legs had been tied to two opposing horses who awaited command. She felt as though she would vomit and everything in her told her that it was Byung Ho. Grabbing hold of her chima, she ran towards him. 

    “What is the meaning of this?! Who is responsible for this?” She demanded, wildly eying the government officials and courtiers who stood by. 

    “My Lady, it is the First Prince, Second Crown Prince who has made the decree.” As if on cue, said man belted out a laugh, one so evil it sent chills down her spine. 

    “Oppa-nim…”

    “Come now yodongsaeng. Don’t make a scene.” He chided, crossing his arms as he came closer. Leaning down, he whispered the words sealing his fate into her ear. 

    “Think about the child.” Freezing, she lifted wide tear filled eyes to his. 

    “How…How did you-” Smirking, he walked past her. 

    “This man dares to steal from the royal family. It is imperative we make an example out of him.” 

    “What has he done?” Some of the noblewomen asked, curiously peeking at him from behind their veils. 

    “He attempted to steal my sister’s hairpin. Set to give it to his own.” Disgusted cries traveled through the crowd. 

    “One of the gungnyeo found him in her chambers and appropriately reported it to me. Therefore, what must we do with thieves? Deliver a punishment just and rightfully deserved. Turning her head, she eyed the woman who dared to interrupt her earlier. Bitch. Traitorous cunt. 

    “She’s lying. He’s done no such thing.” 

    “And why would she do that? Why lie on you, me and our father?” For that, she could not answer and the once nausea now turned into lightheadedness. Swallowing thickly, she took a shaky breath and lifted up to take hold of her brother’s jeogori. 

    “Please…please don’t do this Oppa-nim. I beg you…Please.” 

    “If only he’d been born a different man hm? Even as an illegitimate son, he would have disgraced you.” Turning, he lifted his hand and signaled the horsemen to move.

    “Consider this a much needed sacrifice.”  With a slap to the bottom, they guided them into a run and they began to take off in opposite directions, bringing forth screams of pure agony from her love. Soon, he was silenced as his entire body ripped in two, innards, arm and legs all plopping onto the ground. His blood was the last thing she saw as she fell faint into the arms of one of the gungnyeo. 

 

 

*** 

 

    Soon after that, she’d been given medicine, told it would help with her nausea and dizziness only later to discover that it was an abortive cocktail. By then, it was too late. Blood soaked her bedding, crippling pain followed after. Blood seemed to be one of the things her brother craved for, lusted after. And now with his murder of another woman…she feared that she would give up all hope. 

    Tears welled up in her eyes. She knew that she was fortunate. She knew that she lived a life more than half of the country could only dream of. She was spoiled, coddled and was used to a certain lifestyle. Of which those things she didn’t deserve to be blamed for. Byung-Ho’s murder showed her quite a few things. One: life was not as sweet as she’d been made to believe. Two: her brother did not care about her or any of his family members. Should he not have use for them, he’d discard them ruthlessly without a care in the world. Three: If she could, she’d ask the Gods to either grant her one wish… to make him a nobleman. A prince from another land even… it didn’t matter. Just… just as long as they could love without any status or rank getting in the way. Lifting hands to wipe her cheeks, she sniffed and soon placed them on her belly. She’d demand something be done about Seo Jun oppa-nim. Enough was enough.

 

 

*** 

 

    “Those invaders didn’t stand a chance against Sekhemrekhutawy’s arrow.” 

    “Yeah, he’s awesome!” Lips smiled and tender eyes took a bunch of boys in sight as they sat on the fountain edge, swinging their feet to and fro. 

    “Yeah but why’s he got that weird dress on?” 

    “Mama said it’s not nice to make fun of someone else’s culture.”

    “He’s got an Egyptian name so doesn’t that make him kinda like us?”    

    “But we’re not Egyptian Piankhy. We’re Kushites.” 

    “Hm.”

    “Hey, we should go ask him if he can teach us to shoot an arrow!” The boys jumped off of the edge and ran towards the man dressed in a coral and dusty rose colored ensemble, a large brimmed black hat on his head. He had been talking to Royal Sister Tiye, his fingers playfully squishing her cheeks. She began to laugh, lips in a deep pout. At the tap at his back, he let go of her face and looked down at three young boys, all of who were staring at him, curious fascination aglow in their eyes. 

    “Whoa, it’s even cooler looking up close. He’s got jade beads on his hat string!” A chuckle came from him as one of the other boys elbowed the speaker in the chest. 

    “Ow!”

    “What can I do for you young ones?” He asked, kneeling to look at them eye level. 

    “Um…w-we wanted to k-know if you can show us how to shoot an arrow.” Smiling handsomely, he lifted his hand to the boy’s head. 

    “I think I can. Where’s your Mama and Baba? Are they nearby?” The kids turned, pointing at the set of observant eyes. 

    “There’s my Baba. Piankhy and Taharqa’s Mama and Baba are in the Temple.” 

    “Ah.”

    “What is your name little one?” This time, eight pairs of eyes turned to look at Royal Sister Tiye. 

    “Whoa you’re pretty…” Again, said boy was jabbed with an elbow. 

    “Ow, stop doing that!”

    “Um…Kashta…is my name Great Royal Sister.” She gently pinched his cheek. 

    “I will speak with your Baba to let him know where you will be Great Future King. I’m sure he will inform the other boys’ parents should they inquire.” She replied to the chagrin of the boys, each one’s cheeks growing a dark red. 

    “I’ll return with them safety. I won’t be too long.” The man said, his voice warm and kind sounding. 

    “Take as much time as you like dearest. I’m sure they will learn a thing or two from you.” Pressing a soft kiss to the man’s cheek, she waved goodbye to them and headed over to his parents. 

    “Come on, let’s see what you boys are made of hm?”

 

*** 

 

 

 

    The sound of drip drops roused him from his sleep. Distant at first, they had grown increasingly louder and louder until they echoed right upon his eardrums. Getting up, he slipped into his sokjeogori and slowly headed towards the door. Judging by the light outside it was approaching midday. It wasn’t like him to sleep till then so he was slightly confused about why of all days today was it. Lifting a hand, he rustled his hair, the strands messy and unruly. The urge to check on Mishil hit him deep in the stomach and he slid fingers across the wood door, opening it. Peering out into the hallway, he found it empty. Quiet. How strange. Taking a tentative step forward, he inched his way down the hall and turned the corner. No signs of life were had and other feelings soon met his belly. Dread. Fear. Confusion. 

    “Mishil?” He called, eyes watching for signs of gungnyeo. Nothing. Swallowing thickly, he happened by the harem. Rapping softly against the door, he opened it. Empty as if the women inside had just left. Afternoon tea still steaming. Layers of hanbok, shoes and other accessories scattered around. 

    “Hae-ssi?” Nothing. The feeling of dread intensified as he went next to his brother’s chambers. He was not inside and there was no sign of him having been there for a while, the room stripped of all of his belongings. 

    “What the hell is going on…” He whispered to himself, turning to view the empty courtyard. Before he knew it, he had started running, prying open doors to rooms and searching for anyone anywhere. Libraries. Empty. Kitchen. Empty. Servants quarters. Empty. Concubine’s quarters. Empty. It made no fucking sense. Even the King and Queen’s chambers were empty and it sent a chill down his spine. His gut told him to go to the Throne room so he headed that way, hesitantly approaching long columned corridors. Drip. Drop. 

    Creasing his brow, he slowed his steps. Drip Drop. Drip Drip. One more step and he froze. The corridors were brightly lit thanks to the sunlight and the almost dizzying colors of red, green, and jade seemed to provide an etheral pathway into another world. Admist the beauty, horror lied ahead. The bodies of the inner court had been strung up, each column serving as a gallows. Their gwanbok had been stained with blood and it dripped down from the posts, some having slid down their feet, bare and ashen. Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop. It met the ground, pooling beneath them. His heart thrashed wildly in his chest and the breath came harsher as he hurried past. 

    “Father! Mother! Mishil!” Frantically ripping open the doors, he felt immediately sick to his stomach. At his feet lay complete and utter carnage. Bodies of guards, court officials, gungnyeo and other noblemen and woman lay strewn the floor, arms, feet, fingers, ears, even heads thrown about. He couldn’t control the nausea coming up and out of his throat and began to retch violently. He fell to his knees, spilling more vomit that seemed to mingle with the blood beneath his hands. Tears streamed down his cheeks and he lifted his head, eyes up ahead. There lied his mother and sister, bodies naked and mutilated. Nipples had been cut off and a large blunt object hat been shoved up into their vaginas. 

    “No…No please…” He begged, trying to will himself to stand. Further up laid the body of his father. He appeared to have been shot with arrows, his eyes missing. 

    “Hyung! Hyung, where are you?” 

    “It took you long enough.” He turned his head around so quickly his neck near came off. There he stood, the cloth of a King upon his body. Behind him stood a horde of men dressed in furs and armor, all wielding swords, bow and arrow and other crude weapons. He grinned, shaking his head as he let his eyes roam across him. 

    “You’re pitiful.”

    “W-what have you done Hyung? Who are these men?” He asked, eying them. 

    “You took your sweet time and abandoned it. I grew tired of waiting and took it.”

    “I didn’t abandon anything…I-”

    “This is all your fault. You’re the blame for this.” Seo Jun kneeled down, looking him straight in the eye.

    “You killed them. It was your doing. And for making my job easier, I truly thank you.” Standing, he said something to the men in a language he didn’t understand and they drew closer. 

    “Hyung, don’t do this! Wait, WAIT!” Before he knew it, a sword came flying towards him. 

 

*** 

 

      With a startled yell, he shot up in bed, slicked head to toe in sweat. His chest heaved and his eyes were wild. Tiye roused, slowly sitting up. 

    “Cheol-su?” Turning those eyes onto her, for a moment he was too disoriented to respond. His breathing filled the room, deep heavy and labored. Gasping almost. Her eyes filled with concern and she reached out to caress his cheek. 

    “What’s wrong?” He didn’t move for the longest time, body stiff and hard. She said not a word as she pulled him to her in a hug, arms wrapping around him slowly. Instantly, he relaxed against her, nuzzling up against her. He pressed his face against her bosom as she stroked his hair. Voice soft and gentle she quietly shushed him. Lips kissed his forehead and his breathing soon resumed normalcy. Eyes drooping, he fell asleep once more, this time feeling safe and warm…protected. 

    She still had him close when he awakened, watching intensely as his eyes opened. Gently, she traced his bottom lip with her thumb and leaned forward to allow their foreheads to touch. Her eyes fell downcast on her softly teasing thumb. 

    “Grand rising my love.” Sighing, he bit the inside of his cheek before answering. 

    “Grand rising.” The teasing of his lips stopped and instead she brushed his cheek with the back of her finger.

    “Do you want to talk about it?” She asked, voice whispery and soft. Lifting up, he leaned his head down upon her shoulder for a moment before kissing it. A heavy pressing disturbed the otherwise peace of the moment and he knew they would have to.

    “Tiye…”

    “Hm?” Taking her small face in his hands, he looked into her eyes, his filled with an intense seriousness that suddenly made her feel queasy. 

    “I think it’s time to return to Goryeo.” 

End Notes:

A/N: Whew so this was intense.... it seems that there is underlying trouble in paradise....something set to only increase as the time wans on. A lot happened this update and it may take you (or not hehe) by surprise. Byung-ho.. y'all member him? The cute (in my mind) little stableboy that Cheol-su thanked time and time again for taking care of Dong-Il way back in the beginning? Yeah well he grew up and....unfortunately...fell in love with the wrong girl. Wang Mishil. 

Now I know y'all asking me... MISHIL? OF ALL CHICKS IT GOTTA BE HER? LOL. Yes.... member also when Mishil was talkin to her Oppa-nim those years ago and she asked him would he abandon her should she fall in love with a cheonmin man? Talkin bout Byung-ho. Now, realistically I know that somethin like this would not typically end well (and it didn't.) and might not even have happened for real for real. The hierarchy system was soo rigid... princesses were most definitely not in a secret relationship with stable boys. (or perhaps they were and we'll never know about it. I'm sure they had forbidden loves too shoo lol). 

What I wanted to show was some character development for Mishil? An evil brat when she was younger (still got them evil tendencies. They ain't went nowhere lol), now she's experienced hardships and tough life lessons. It has in a way sobered her up and matured her. She still can and will be a force to be reckoned with. She always was keen wasn't she? She sees the picture just for what it is and she knows what's up. Will she prove to be an opposing force? Will she be an aid to our couple? (as crazy as that sounds based on how this whole entire thing started LOL) We'll see. 

WANG SEO JUN IS EVIL INCARNATE. There's no other way to describe him but likened to the devil himself. He's a disgusting excuse for a brother, son and human being. How you just kill people for the enjoyment of it? Just cause you can? Just cause you wanna destroy every happy thing around you? Listen, Jae-Hwa better be careful cause this dude ain't the one to play with. 

WHEW. Our prince's spirit has been shaken and now he know that it is time to go back home. But I wonder what will await them when they return? How y'all feelin lol 

 

I hope y'all enjoy hehe and I'll see y'all next week with my last saved chapter update written while on my vacation *inserts a million heart eye emojis* Love y'all, hope y'all well! Thank y'all for rockin with me hehe. Take care and God bless.

D&L

 

18-year-old Wang Mishil 

**this girl plottin somethin. lol. Look at that expression on her face lol** 

 

Our handsome lovely innocent stableboy Byung-ho. Visual: the beautiful Kim Ji Soo

 

*starts sobbing* HE DID NOT DESERVE WHAT HE GOT. HE WAS A KIND HEARTED HARD WORKING MAN WHO JUST WANTED TO LIVE SIMPLY WITH THE ONES HE LOVED.

스물아홉 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


Seumulahop


twenty-nine

 

    The smell of the seas refreshed her lungs and with a smile, she inhaled her fill of it. Looking out across the spans of it, she sighed. The wind whipped her hair, unbound and unbraided, around taking with it the scent of sage and honey. 

    “Tiye,” Turning, she found her husband behind her, dressed in a crimson and cream hanbok, gat hiding his face from the sun. 

    “I’m…I’m sorry that this…that we-” He struggled, eyes falling away from her, guilt flashing in them. 

    “Why do you feel guilt? You’ve not wronged me.” 

    “I know…it’s…it’s just that we’re heading back into hell when we’ve fought so hard to have the heavens.” At the analogy, she smiled and drew close to him. Fingering the multicolored beads that hung down from the horse hair hat, she lifted her eyes to his. 

    “My heavens is anywhere you are. There…there will be fine so long as I remain in your possession.” He swallowed thickly and took hold of her hands, pressing them against his chest. 

    “You left Goryeo enslaved. You will not return that way.” Lifting on her tip toes, she pressed a kiss to the corner of his mouth, accepting a full one a moment later. 

    “I have trust in you dear one.”

    “Shall we return to the others?” He asked, a hand tenderly gliding across her hair. 

    “Mm.” His arm encircled her waist as they drifted back into the ocean of people, the heckling and cat calling soon growing distant. 

 

 

*** 

 

    

    “So, the time has finally come when you shall leave us.” Sitting there in the wait chambers, much like he did when first arriving he bowed his head below the Kandaka. 

    “It is with deep sadness and regret that I do so Queen Mother.” The woman sat above them on elevated pillows, eyes drifting from him to her daughter. She said nothing for a while, simply observing them. 

    “Why? Why do you leave at all? Must you return to the land that cast you both into oppression?” Though she asked, she knew the reason…his sense of duty…homesickness….his desire and destiny to lead his people. She knew it all. And yet, a part of her couldn’t help but be the tiniest bit selfish. 

    “My people need me Highness.” The simplest answer he could give and it was one that she accepted. With a very small sigh. 

    “I trust your judgement on the matter. I trust your abilities. However, there is one thing I demand of you.” 

    “Yes Highness.” 

    “Give me your word that my daughter will not be placed back into chains.” For a moment, he remained bowed but when he did lift his head, his eyes were fiery with conviction. 

    “I give you my word. Tiye will no more be an enslaved woman. Her destiny is greater than that.” Understanding formed between the two and she clicked her tongue, signaling the end of that topic. 

    “I will be sending Anat and some other servants with you on this journey. She and Tiye are the same age, have been raised together and can attend to her needs. I doubt the women in your lands know how to care for her hair, body and well being. It is so ordered.”

    “So shall it be.” He agreed, bowing his head once more. 

    “This…threat to your lands. In what way can Kush be of assistance?” At that, he licked his lips, eyes lifting to her feet which were clothed in gold. 

    “I dare not ask you to involve yourself in the affairs of my people Highness.” 

    “Nonsense.” She dismissed with a wave of her hand. 

    “While marrying Tiye was an action motivated by the rarity of love, it was also a political move. You have inherited Kush by way of her. Have you need, we will answer the call.” Both mother and daughter watched as he once more lifted his head and this time, he sat upright, eyes firm. 

    “I trust you have heard of a people called the Mongols?” 

    “I have not. Who are they?”

    “They are a civilization known for their brutality, lack of compassion and disregard for humanity. In the Asian region, they are very well feared and are wreaking havoc amongst other civilizations.” 

    “How is this related to your motherland?” 

    “They have wiped out our once ally of Songchao. Desiring to further their expansion, they have next had their eyes on my country of Goryeo.” Nodding, the Queen motioned for him to continue. 

    “The Mongolian people are highly intelligent and they are masters of guerrilla warfare.”

    “Thus?”

    “Should you be so gracious to grant it…I would humbly ask that you allow warriors of Kush to enter Goryeo. Our similarities as well as our differences will benefit both Kingdoms should we allow their causes to be one and the same.” Pursing her lips, the Kandaka glanced at her daughter who for the first time bowed her head before her, pressing her face to the ground on behalf of her husband’s request. 

    “Very well. I shall accept your plea. It is so ordered on the condition that they too exist outside of chains. Once their mission is complete, I expect to receive them back into Kush’s bosom.”

    “As you wish it Highness.”  

    “Good then. Tiye, how do you feel on this matter? About it all?” At that, she lifted her head and sat upright, comfortably. 

    “Goryeo is a land that produces bittersweet emotions. However, she has given me Cheol-su and for that I will forever be indebted. I am glad to say that the people I’ve met and befriended there…they are a special part of my life and I wish to see them prosper. It pleases me that Kush and Egypt opened up their arms to receive Cheol-su…just as those of his people opened their arms to me.” Eyes falling onto him, her cheeks grew a becoming shade of red. 

    “My place is with my husband. Should he go to the ends of the earth there I will be behind him. Should he go to the underworld I will follow him.” Her statements produced butterflies in his stomach and he felt an intense love melt him. 

    “When it is that Osiris weighs his heart, he shall see that Cheol-su has lived as a man of honor, truth, strength and fairness. His heart is good. His spirit is good. And therefore, he shall be blessed.” 

    “Your words, my love, are sweet as honey. I humbly accept them into my heart with gladness.” His own cheeks produced a light pink coloring and it humored the Queen. She didn’t take him as one to blush like a boy realizing his first love. It was endearing to see that the love he felt for her daughter was solid, strong and visible. 

    “I shall make the proper arrangements for your journey ahead. You two should prepare as well.”

    “Yes Highness.” As she watched them leave, a deep sadness pierced her spirit. There would be joys, victories and bliss that the two would share. But, heartbreak, sorrow and death would follow in its wake. Of that, she felt grieved. They were young, in love and had power unlike anything the world had seen…when together. Because of that, there would be those who would try to break it, break them and sever all ties between them. She could only hope and pray as a mother…that Tiye knew just what she was getting herself into. She prayed that they would overcome all the odds, predictions and omens. Tears began to wet her face and in silence, she wept. Protect them Amanikhatashan. Guide and cover them my dearest love. 

 

 

*** 

 

    

    It took three weeks to prepare. Provisions had been made for the servants, soldiers and all else who would accompany them. Several of the provided ship routes were weeded out and only the safest was chosen. Strenuous competition between Kush’s best archers, those with knowledge of the spear and sword took place as well. Only the best of the best were going. As for the sisters, they dutifully stayed in the Temples, praying for their safe passage and well being. When the day came, they all made their way to Adulis. Lips kissed her face, tears fell upon her cheeks and arms wrapped tight around her as if to never let go. Her younger sisters wept while the eldest ones glanced upon them eyes strong yet teary. 

    “Sekhemrekhutawy.” Eyes full of emotion, they rose to meet Shen-pe-uts-neter. 

    “You will return. Won’t you?”

    “It is my desire to do so. However, I can’t say when that time will be.” He answered honestly, throat and jaw tight. 

    “We are entrusting our sister to you. Protect her with every breath you breathe.” 

    “I will.” Satisfied with his answer, she gave a nod. 

    “Now that you’ve gotten everything you’ve come here for you’re leaving.” Diogenes scowled as he came forward. 

    “Still don’t trust me hm? Here I thought we were at least making progress as aquaintances.” The large giant of a man hissed his teeth and to Cheol-su it humored him which was the complete opposite of the effect he was going for. 

    “Return to us my sister in one piece. For if you do not, Osiris will not even be able to save your soul.” Cheol-su grinned, bowing his head.

    “Duly noted Great Pharaoh of the Nile.”

    “Hm.” Was all he was given as he gave Tiye a last hug and kiss to her temple. 

    “He’s going to miss you. He just doesn’t have the guts to say so.” Chem-tat-ef and Aimenamun grinned, coming to clasp hands with him. 

    “Take care brother.”

    “Yeah may the Gods protect you in your journey.”

    “Thank you brothers. Take care of the sisters and the Queen Mother.” Lastly, they made way for the Kandaka who approached them with her shoulders held back, head high and lips pursed. In the sunlight, her skin shone like the finest ebony. 

    “Sweet one, don’t let this be the last I see of you.” Tears welled up in her eyes and at once, she pressed her face against her bosom. 

    “It won’t be Mama. I will only be gone for a little while yet.” 

    “Promise?”

    “I promise.” 

    “Very good.” Kissing both of her cheeks, she smiled and let her go, choosing to hug Sekhemrekhutawy. His hands politely pressed against her shoulders and she closed her eyes, feeling the language of his heart bleed into her body. 

    “Be well son from another breast. Be well and return well.” 

    “I will Queen Mother.” His voice was strong as it replied, gentle enough to make her smile. Letting go, she made a hiss with her teeth, signaling her countrymen to begin boarding the vessel. Obediently, they all filed aboard. At last, they all watched as Sekhemrekhutawy took hold of Tiye’s hand. Together, they bowed and he began to help her up onto the boardwalk. Once she disappeared past the entrance, he turned one more time and before them all bowed deeply. Then, he too disappeared. 

 

*** 

 

 

 

    “Do you doubt your brother? Is that why you are here yet again before me?” Clutching her fingers together, she moved not, having pressed her face against the floor in a bow. 

    “Oppa-nim has not shone examples of his trustworthiness. Instead, he chooses to be a drunkard, gambler, womanizer and lover of pleasure.” All were true, therefore, the King could not refute. He eyed his daughter who had requested him to demote Seo Jun from his position in the military. 

    “Do you doubt me then, as your King, to make intelligent decisions?” She was slower to answer. 

    “No, pyeha. Please don’t mistake me.”

    “Why is it that my beautiful daughter has her face to the ground? Lift up your eyes. Look at me freely.” She did at once and he breathed a sigh of relief. 

    “Your concerns. I understand them. However, Seo Jun has done no wrong by me. He may be getting a bit out of hand and for that I will reign him back in a tad. He should not be denied pleasures of the world. He too is a son of dragons.”

    “And if his love of pleasure is at the expense of Goryeo?” He leaned back in his Throne. 

    “Elaborate dearest.” 

    “It is no secret that talk of Oppa-nim’s activities swarm the halls of court like angry bees. It is a wonder what is being said throughout the ranks.” Lowering her chin, she dropped her eyes. 

    “My concern Father…is the disgrace and embarrassment he brings to you. He is a direct reflection of you. Should you continue to allow him to behave with no consequences there will be no respect for you as King. The people will begin to lose respect and obedience. Thus, putting you at risk.” Of dethronement. It was not said. But it hung in the air like a wisp of wind. 

    “You are filled with such filial love my daughter. I appreciate you for coming to see me out of concern for your older brother.” His tone of voice suggested that the conversation was done and she bit the inside of her cheek as she bowed her head once again. Gathering her chima in her hands, she left, eyes filling with a cold determination. 

 

 

*** 

 

    In the wee hours of the morning, guards patrolling spotted a figure lurking just outside the Palace. Still dark in the sky, eyes squinted as breath formed as mist in the air. A light snow had fallen through the night and with it brought the first snow of winter. 

    “Dwi, should we make the official alert?” Dwi roused, eyes that should have been open had been closed and he groggily rubbed at them, blowing hot air from his mouth into his hands. 

    “Who?” 

    “Wake up you bastard. Should Chief catch you, we’re dead meat!” The hard slap to his head woke him up and he groaned, sucking his teeth. 

    “Hey! You wanna die prick?!” 

    “Look, there it is again!” Turning angry eyes towards Han-gyeol’s finger, he squinted. 

    “Did it multiply while I was sleeping? It looks like two figures now.”

    “No, I saw one before.” 

    “Before we alarm everyone, let’s try to take care of it ourselves. We’ll see what they want.”

    “Wait… Send one of the younger ones.” Dwi grinned suddenly. 

    “Sure, send them to their death first. Fucking jerk.” He said with a chuckle, reaching for his bow and arrow. 

    “That just wouldn’t be nice now would it? Besides, if they die, that’ll leave more of a mess for us to clean up. We’ll handle this. Come on.” They stepped down from the watch tower with a few of the other guards, heading towards the East gate’s doors. 

    “Draw your arrows. Do not fire until I give the command.”

    “Yes sir.” Two of the underlings opened the door. The figure was still dark but he could make out the outline of a gat and hanbok. 

    “What purpose do you have here? Identify yourself.” He ordered, having drawn his sword. 

    “It is I, Wang Cheol-su. I have returned home.” The man answered and he took a step forward, causing the guards to draw up their arrows tighter. 

    “Don’t move!” Yet the man ignored the command, stepping into the light, given by the fire’s light. It cast an orange glow across his features, drawing gasps from the men. 

    “Sir…” Dwi walked up to him, needing to get a good look at his face. When he had, he immediately sheathed his sword and commanded the archers to disarm. Voice shaky and full of disbelief, he fell before him in a bow. 

    “F-Forgive us p-pyeha. We didn’t know it was you.”  

    “The security surely hasn’t slacked off since I’ve been gone. That’s a relief. Tiye, you can come out now.” To their shock, the woman came out from amongst the shadows. 

    “I know it’s unexpected to see me like this. You’re forgiven. Will you move aside that we may enter?” 

    “A-At once pyeha.” The men moved out of the way, heads bowed. 

    “Come Tiye. Let’s retire.”

    “As you wish.” Eyes watched as the Crown Prince and his woman made their way past the watch tower and neared his chambers.

End Notes:

A/N: I know it's short lol. But here are all of my updates I had so far!! I started to work on chapter 30 and am continuing as we speak hehe. Hopefully, the next time I update, I can treat y'all to two (maybe even three hehe). Alas, our Prince and Princess have returned to Goryeo and it is met with bittersweet emotions. The King is as cowardly as ever and soon it shall catch up to him. There are those who will rejoice at Cheol-su's return and those who will inwardly loathe it. Mishil is up to something and we will see what she has up her sleeve. And as for Seo Jun and Jae-hwa? We'll catch up with all of our characters in this return to Goryeo arc soon!! I gotta head out and head to the time clock!! Love you guys and thank you so much for the support, comments, love and everything! Y'all so beautiful! God bless y'all!! See y'all soon! 

D&L <3

 

Pictures: 

Cheol-su's fits 

 

서른 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

Soreun 

 

thirty 


 

    “Is it true?” 

    “Is what true?”

    “That the Crown Prince has returned?”

    “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him myself. But, talk in the courts is that the first born interrogates him in the hold.” 

    “It would be a wonder if he returned as claimed.”

    “Do you think that the King will strip him of his position?”

    “Ahem.” The gossip ceased immediately as the huddled men turned to face a Head Official. 

    “Instead of gathering together your noses in gossip, you should all return to your posts.”

    “Y-yes sir.” The younger men all scurried along, eager to escape the reprimanding shrewd eyes of the man. Keeping his lips pursed, he straightened up and continued on with his stroll. Indeed it would be interesting to see what happened to the prince. He too would wait in anticipation. 

 

*** 

 

 

    Blood splattered across the cold cement floor, haggard breath following. 

    “Pyeha, perhaps this is enough. The King must still have his audience with him.” 

    “I decide when I’m done.” He answered, kicking his little brother in the chest. 

    “You find this funny you little fuck?” Answering with taunting eyes, his lips coated with blood opening to show teeth stained with red. 

    “I wouldn’t… expect any other welcoming…from you.. but this.” He breathed, blood and saliva oozing down his chin as his smile grew wider. 

    “It’s good to see you haven’t..changed…Hyung.” 

    “Fucking bastard.” That earned him another kick, this time to the side.

    “P-pyeha…please…your father will not be pleased finding him like this.” Nostrils wide and flared, he twisted up his mouth in contempt. For a moment, the servants grew cold as he lifted his gaze, one eye starting to swell and blacken. 

    “Let us get him ready for his audience.” Sneering, the older male left him to be lifted by the servants and taken to the medicinal sector. 

 

*** 

 

    Inside his chambers sat the King and the feeling of unease grew in his stomach. Not only was he uneasy but he was full out furious. Word had reached him that Cheol-su had returned some time in the previous night. Seo-Jun had immediately went to address the returning prince but with it being half past noon he worried that things between the brothers had grown violent. 

    “Pyeha, the Crown Prince is here as you’ve requested.” 

    “He may enter.” The doors opened and in he stepped, his appearance making his chest grow tight. The left side of his face was turning black and blue and one of his eyes were starting to swell shut but the ferocity that dwelled inside of them seemed to paralyze even him for the briefest of seconds. Dressed in a red and gold hanbok, the shoulders resembled armor as if he’d just returned from war. A strong pattern was woven into the sleeves and further down the length of the robe. Delicate patterns of gold silk decorated the top and bottom half of the waist, leaving room for the ornate belt secured around his mid section.

     Two decorative tassels hung down from the belt and with each step, they gleamed and shone brightly as a ray of sun in the room at midday. Hair having been put into a neat top knot, a matching head band hung down around his shoulders and teased the last bit of decoration on his person. A necklace, gold and heavy adorned his neck and chest, a circular disk in the middle as the focal point. He stood tall and firm, intimidation and power surrounding him as he approached them. 

    Swallowing, he stood as his youngest born slowly kneeled, eyes downcast at his feet. 

    “Arise.” At once he did so, eyes lifting to his calves.

    “So you’ve finally decided to return.” His voice was filled with anger and it boomed and rasped like that of thunder. 

    “I have.” Cheol-su answered, voice steady, calm yet firm. 

    “Having forsaken your country, your people and your family I must ask: was it worth the time away?”

    “Not once have I forsaken you pyeha. The entirety of Goryeo has been on my mind this while. Still now and forevermore while I draw breath.” That warranted a laugh from the King, his father but therein lied no humor. Stepping down from his throne, he stood but a couple steps away from him. 

    “Was the heart of Goryeo there in between her black thighs? Did you defeat our enemies with the heat of her body?” At the unusually uncouth inquiry from their father, Seo Jun smirked. He, however, only lifted his gaze, a stony stare not offering any such answer. 

    “Your brother has indeed had his way with you. While I can’t say it’s not deserved, I will say that it is inappropriate Seo Jun.” That smirk drifted away from his mouth and instead he sneered. 

    “Only by your grace was he spared of more Father.” Before either man could speak, the once closed doors of the room were cast open and in rushed his mother, a flood of gungnyeo behind her. 

    “M-My Lady…please wait!” Feet carried her away from the protesting women towards the gathering of men. 

    “Cheol-su!” Swallowing thickly, he lifted to his feet and turned to face her. A gasp ripped from her throat as she took in the bruised swollen flesh and once bloodied nose and lips.  

    “So you’ve returned to us at last Oppa-nim.” Lifting his eyes away from the conflicted face of their mother, he set eyes onto Mishil who had appeared not too long after their mother. Setting eyes on her, he felt a deep pain rip his stomach apart. Who stood before him was not the innocent little girl of their childhood…nor a spoiled girl child. In her eyes existed what seemed like a thousand years and unspeakable horrors seen. Though she averted her gaze in an attempt to hide it, he had seen more than enough to know that in his time away something had happened…something that had changed her forever. She let a smile dance on her lips and bowed hefore him. 

    “Welcome home Oppa-nim. It hasn’t been the same without you.” Her words seemed full of weight and double meaning but he kept composure, allowing a soft crooked smile to appear. It was wiped away with a hard slap and he for a moment stood still, lifting eyes to his mother. 

    “Do you expect everything to go back to the way it was before?” 

    “Mother-”

    “How dare you abandon us for a woman who doesn’t deserve to even breathe the same air as you!” At that, he swallowed thickly, his silence nerve rattling. 

    “Here I’ve been away for three years and not one thing has changed in my absence.” 

    “What are you talking about?” His mother inquired, hurt filling her teary gaze. 

    “Only Mishil has rejoiced in my return. The rest of you accuse me of abandoning my people, my duties and my position as Crown Prince. Am I now to be treated as if I am no more a common criminal? Is that the impact Hyung has had in my time away?” His father and mother both appeared taken aback, he red faced and she dropping her eyes full of guilt. 

    “Hyung must have done an amazing job while I was gone hm? Let me hear of his feats then.” 

    “Unlike you, I gathered a plan to protect the country against the Mongol bastards. While you were in paradise, I made sure our military forces were strong enough. I’ve done my part.” He felt anger hit him like a strike against his belly but calm he remained.  

    “I see. Father,” Turning eyes on him, he spoke with his head bowed, 

    “Will you now strip the position away from me?” 

    “C-Cheol-su…”

    “I haven’t been able to show all that I’ve accomplished while away. I haven’t even been allowed to talk with you. Should this be what you want…then I will respect and honor your requests.” Seo Jun’s steely gaze narrowed in on him as he lifted his eyes. 

    “What request do you have the guts to ask for? After all you’ve done?”

    “The request is pertaining to Tiye.” 

    “You’re back…” They all turned to find Jae-Hwa standing in the doorway, eyes teary and hands shaking violently. 

    “What request is there pertaining to the woman that you haven’t already fulfilled?” Hard emotionless eyes stared back at the woman who he once would have called wife…for the sake of  the kingdom… his beloved country of Goryeo. She looked pale and nervous and averted her eyes as if in his existed the mirror to broadcast her sins. 

    “I wish you would grant her to be my royal concubine.” At that, Seo Jun doubled over with laughter and his father’s face grew red as a ripe cherry in summer. 

    “Surely you’ve gone mad.”

    “You leave us for three years and the first thing you do is ask for her to be a legal wife? You haven’t even fulfilled your duty yet to Jae-Hwa. Remember those agreements were long since established before that little insect came along.” He taunted, a wicked smirk dancing on his lips. 

    “Let us talk in private. Jeon,” His advisor nearest him bowed his head. 

    “While we do, bring the woman to me.” 

    “Yes, pyeha.” Once the advisors and other court attendants left the room, his father once again spoke, his voice now bellowing with rage.

    “Have you lost your mind?!” The furious eyes of his father threatened to burn him and the humored eyes of his brother taunted him. Licking his teeth, he stood strong and firm. 

    “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 inhaled sharply through flared nostrils. 

    “Will she save us Cheol-su?” It was Jae-Hwa who had spoken but her eyes still had not reached his. 

    “Can she hold the future of Goryeo in her womb as you seem to think? This little slave bitch of yours?” His eyes darkened with fury and his nails dug into the center of his palm. 

    “If you have enough balls to insult me to my face then the least you can do is look me in the eye while you do so, woman.” He growled, making her stiffen up. Seo Jun grinned at the exchange between them and decided that moment was right to intervene. 

    “You know little brother, our father, the great King of this country actually saved her life. Have you heard what dwells in other lands? A dreadful cruel life of forced servitude under the Arabic empire. Women, men and children are all split apart, forced to work until the day they take their last breath. Beaten, abused and raped. But, instead of that life destined for her, our father took in the pitiful wench and gave her a life of wealth and leisure; a life you’ve thanked him for with an insult. A grave one at that.” As he spoke, in stepped Tiye and an unknown woman to them all. Once they’d entered, in stepped more of them, large giant brutes of man, all clothed in black flesh, their magnificent physiques bared proudly. At the intrusion, every member of his family gawked, some mouths drawn open in confused horror. 

    There she stood in all of her divine glory, clothed not in hanbok but as a member of her royal family and future Queen of Kush. Her hair had been twisted and its thick healthy length trailed down her back. Anat had pulled her hair up on each side of her face and secured it with a gold clasp. In her ears were medium sized gold hoop earrings and upon her neck rested a large ornate golden neckpiece, narrow strips of the metal drifting down into individually fashioned bulbs. It spanned the entire of her neck and covered her bare shoulders. Scandolously, she exposed her midsection, a handmade garment of cowrie shells and precious stones hugging her chest and a gorgeous linen skirt fashioned in sheer white and gold fans with a jarring blue rim.  

    “What…what is going on?” 

    “Pyeha!” The court attendants and members of the royal cabinet rushed back in as did guards with arrow and sword at the ready.

    “We have no understanding of how these unexplainable beings came into the Palace but should they harm you we will protect you.” He couldn’t hold in the laugh that escaped his belly and it was one that chilled all who inhabited the room. 

    “Cheol-su explain yourself.” 

    “The woman standing before you is no cheonmin musori.” Glancing at her, the throat of his father 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 didn’t dare hide his quite obvious curiosity and blatant desire upon glancing at her. 

    “Well, this is not how I remember you musori.” 

    “In my presence, address me with respect or address me not at all.” Her reply was hard and relentless, bruising even as she glanced upon the man who dared to call himself brother to her future King. 

    “C-Cheol-su…who…what is she?” His mother inquired, throat tight, skin pale. He took great pride as he said his next words, his chest filling with great pleasure and gladness. 

    “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. For the longest moment, the two locked eyes and he let go of her, letting his eyes travel down the length of her. 

    “Is what he speaks true?” 

    “Yes.” The hand that had been gripping her chin a moment ago suddenly licked her across the cheek, the hit loud. The men that had entered with her withdrew weapons and bows, arrows aimed at him.

    “Ha! These beasts dare threaten the King! How bold of you little brother. Bringing them here only proves how animalistic they and you really are.” 

    “Silence!” The King bellowed and at once it drew quiet. Except for a soft but firmly spoken command from the struck woman, her hand lifted as if to halt their assault. They seemed to obey, once again resuming a stiff posture, bows and weapons put away. 

    “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 narrowed his eyes into slits and sneered. 

    “You think I would have considered you as Queen for my son? You of all people?” She didn’t answer, gaze still upon her feet. 

    “A perfect soldier you would have made for my army and I would have used you well. But you only would have served the purpose of a pawn. Nothing more and nothing less.” He turned steely eyes to him. 

    “So, you come to me with the 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, his hand shook desiring to slap her again but he didn’t. He had enough sense to know it would be a mistake. The red faced father to the man she’d fallen irrevocably in love with clenched his fists and forced his low gaze towards him. 

    “While I celebrate your return, it indeed is bittersweet. You have obligations to another woman that you must first fulfill. The duty you have to your country still stands valid. We have enough to deal with right now with the Mongols. This is not the time to be greedy Cheol-su.” 

    “I am simply asking that you keep your word Father. That I may do with her what I wish.” 

    “Seems you’ve done that already.” A hard jab to the side shut up the grinning first born prince. There was a long withdrawn sigh and the man pinched the bridge of his nose with fat swollen fingers. 

    “These people? Who are they?” 

    “They are the ones who will save your country, your people and your way of life.” Tiye answered, lifting her head, the geometric crown on her head glittering in the sunlight. 

    “What makes you think we need your assistance?”

    “Can you honestly say that you have enough men and arms to defeat them Taewang-nim? Surely your pride cannot be that inflated.” 

    “Watch your mouth you dirty whore!” Jae-Hwa hissed, mouth twisted in disgust. 

    “Enough Jae-Hwa.” Eyes now humored, the King went to sit back on his Throne, taking in the abused face of his son and the proud one of his slave. 

    “What will you gain from this exchange, alleged princess of Kush?” 

    “I gain the satisfaction knowing that I helped the Crown Prince of Goryeo obtain victory against colonizing intruders. It is his love, respect and adoration for his people that drew him to my shores. You may think he ran away to be with me and I won’t feed or deny any such claims. That right is his alone. But what I can say is that the entire time he dwelled in my house he had you in mind. Of that I can be sure.” 

    “And you? Do you not wish the Throne for yourself by way of him? I wouldn’t dare want you to get any ideas in your head.”

    “It is no secret as to the feelings I have for the Crown Prince. Everyone in this room knows that I love him. It is from this seed of love that I act. I humbly acknowledge his lordship over my life and will do what I can to help him obtain his greatest desires. That is my vow and my pledge not as sovereign over Egypt and Kush. But as a woman.” No longer humored, he looked down at the woman from his high place, eyes drifting over to his son who though bruised and beaten stood tall and confident, sure and powerful as the last day he had last seen him. Biting the inside of his cheek, he glanced across the many black bodies that stood in front of him. All waited with bated breath for his word; which he gave with a tone of concession. 

    “Very well then Cheol-su. You shall have what you want. 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 once promised Queen Consort Jae-Hwa. 

    “The title of Crown Prince still remains in your possession. You shall sit at my right side and will have supreme advising rights granted also to you.”

    “Father! You can’t be serious! I’ve worked hard to ensure that our military is the strongest it’s ever been and you’ve yet to reward me for my actions! How is it that he can waltz in here after three years and be granted such favor?”

    “Bite your tongue Seo Jun! I have the final say here. Not you.” It was Cheol-su’s turn to glance upon him with a sick sense of glee, eyes filled with humored hatred. 

    “Pyeha, I implore you to reconsider this! Please!” His mother begged, falling on her knees before him. To such actions she was ignored. 

    “Sneaky little slut! How can we trust you? Prove to us that you are who you say you are!” Jae-Hwa snarled, breaking past the arms that tried to restrain her furious form. 

    “Mind your place!” He snarled back, advancing upon her like a lion. 

    “She will never be your Queen pyeha. Mark my words.” 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, confirmations or assurances. He’d seen it with his own eyes. He’d lived it for three years. Her people’s swarm over her, the baths of love and agonized worship. Her in all of her glory, in beautiful gold and bronze headdresses and neck pieces. Golden shimmers pressed and rubbed into  her organic sienna skin.  Her strength, determination, love, passion and her will. Whether they comprehended it or not was no concern of his. For in their presence existed a goddess…a true Queen.

    “Tiye.” At long last, her watery eyes met his but they weren’t filled with sadness. They burned with a fire. 

    “Let us retire.” 

    “As you wish.” She bowed her head before him and soon followed him. He stood by the door, watching as she smiled and laughed at the many hugs and kisses those in the harem bestowed upon her. Glad teary overjoyed eyes met his and for a moment the woman known as Hae and he shared a silent conversation. To which he nodded with a smile. Anat stood by humbly, eyes curiously glancing over the women who doted on her mistress, not quite sure what to do. The women praised and gawked her appearance, taking note of the finery of the fabrics… the health, length and shine of her hair. The brilliant glow in her skin, smile and eyes. Even inquired of the stranger standing oft by the door, looking at them with the same confusion. Coming behind her, he inhaled the sweet smell of jasmine and coconut from her locks. 

    “I shall see you in our chambers.” Smiling up at him, she nodded, blushing at the kiss he placed on her forehead. 

 

*** 

 

    “What in the heavens has happened to you two? Is he no longer ‘wangja-nim’ to you?” Hae teased, knowing eyes twinkling. 

    “He…he’s much more than that now.”

    “Spill it!” Jae-Ri hollered, nearly tripping over a jar of powder and lip tint in her haste to sit by her. 

    “While in my homeland…we married.” The truth sent a rippling wave of shock, joy and excitement through the harem. 

    “Dare you call him husband now?”

    “Wait so what does this mean? Are you really as they say? A princess from a foreign land?”

    “It’s true.”

    “Woah…..so all this time we’ve been in the presence of royalty…And look how we’ve behaved… oh Gods….” 

    “Ah-no please don’t think of me any different. I am the same Tiye that I was before.” 

    “W-will you be our Queen then?”

    “I hope to God so because I can’t stand that cheating bitch Jae-Hwa!” Jae-Ri was silenced with a pinch. 

    “Ow!”

    “Hush before someone hears you!”

    “At this point… I don’t care! Someone has to say it! She’s a rotten dirty slimy snake and I don’t trust her. She was using Wangja-nim and now his brother in his absence. If anything, I would gladly serve you as our Queen Tiye-ah.”Blushing prettily, she shook her head. 

    “I don’t think our marriage would be seen as legitimate being that it was not approved by the King or held here in Goryeo.” 

    “But wait… didn’t you say that he asked you to be royal concubine?”

    “Yes. He did…”

    “That technically means you’re his wife…well….second and lesser wife.”

    “And Jae-Hwa?”

    “Well being that she’s first and actually promised to him as Queen…she still has precedence.” 

    “But think about this… what if Tiye-ah bares him a child first?” To that, everyone was silent. 

    “Should she bare him a child… more importantly…a son? He’d be a fool not to accept it as his heir.”

    “But if he’s not first King yet?” 

    “You guys…” She laughed, feeling her cheeks warm. 

    “Don’t you think it’s too early to talk about…children?” 

    “Listen, you’re lucky you haven’t swelled with child yet. All the times you’ve happened by his bed without using a sponge.”

    “We did too! Every single time! I’m no fool and neither is he!” She shot back, bringing a grin to Jae-Ri’s face. 

    “Um…m-may I interject?” Anat quietly spoke, drawing the eyes of the loud, excited and boisterous women. 

    “Who is that Tiye?”

    “She’s served me since she was very small and we’ve grown up together. Her name is Anat.” 

    “Ah…that’s pretty! Strange but pretty. Anat-ah, please join us! We didn’t mean to leave you out!” 

    “What are they saying?” Tiye warmly beckoned her over. 

    “These are my friends Anat. Come, they won’t harm either you or I. It’s okay.” Slowly, she came and sat next to her. 

    “Whether or not your King approves of their union… one thing is most certain. They are wed and they both inherited the Throne and Kingdom of Kush and of Egypt. Brother Sekhemrekhutawy should be given the highest of honors. Both in our land and in yours. He is a good man. He is a fearless warrior with a heart of both steel and gold. And he is good to Mistress Tiye.” 

    “Uh, Tiye-ah… what’d she say?” Smiling, she reached next to her and grasped Anat’s hand. Giving it a gentle squeeze, she smiled. 

 

***

    He sat at his vanity, just having taken his hair down from his top knot when she entered from her bath. He wiped the last of the makeup the medical attendants had used in attempt to hide his bruises. Glancing at her reflection in the mirror, he felt his breath hitch as she drew nearer, clothed in a beautiful lavender ramie sokjeoksam and sokchima. Her hair had been braided in a single plait and she carried with her the scent of peony and waterlilies. Quietly, she sat behind him and pressed her face against his back. 

    “Why must this be so difficult?” She asked softly, face muffled. Lifting her face, she drew his gaze away from the mirror, lightly caressing his face, bruises now black, blue and in some spots yellow. 

    “Why have they brutalized you my love? Why have they met you with violence instead of thanksgiving? Is it not you who has showed up to the doors of Goryeo with a entire army at your disposal?” 

    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. We must be wise and bide our time well.” She licked her lips before wrapping her arms around his neck as he took her mouth again. Fingers were eager and slowly pulled the delicate sokjeotsam apart, lips, teeth and tongue gently biting, licking and kissing the sweetly perfumed skin. Her sighs of acceptance, pleasure and delight spurned him on further and he pressed her back against the thick plush bed, lush pillows of warm feathers.  Slipping her legs around his waist, he allowed her to breeze small fingers down the toasty chest and abdomen exposed by the open sokjeogori. Soon it slid down his shoulders. 

    “To make you King of this land…I would do anything you ask.” Humming against her lips, he unbound the silk wrappings to bound her chest and pulled the sokchima away, leaving her in only the dari-sokgot. Removing his own sokbaji, he untied the undergarment and tossed it away. 

    “You’d do anything?” He asked, finally removing the garment from her. When he was satisfied with her naked body underneath him, shimmering in the low light of the lit candles, he spoke against her again. 

    “Even if what I asked seemed preposterous?” 

    “Anything.” She breathed, moaning as he took a breast into his mouth. 

    “Then hear the final role you shall play for me my love…” He hushed, eyes intensely trapping hers. 

    “Goryeo will see a change. Our lands both shall be forever changed.” Entwining their fingers, he pressed his forehead against hers. 

    “That change will start here with you. As its Queen. As my Yeonwang.” 

End Notes:

 

A/N: Hello BEAUTIES! It's taken a long while but see the way Cheollie and Tiye was set up in my brain this was BOUND to happen sooner than later lol. What an explosive update! Wow! This speaks volumes to everything and to everyone. The pieces have been placed on the board and now family... the game shall begin. hehe. I gotta hear your thoughts on this one! Please let me know in the comments hehe. Hopefully the update was worth the wait lol. I hope to have another chapter update by next week because I missed writing Yeonwang!!! With school and work, I hadn't had the time guys! And to top it off, whenever I wanted to write, t just never seemed 'right'. I'm not writing until it feels right haha. hehe I'll see y'all soon hehe. Thank y'all for the love, reads, comments, upvotes (on AFF and Wattpad), patience and support!  Love you all! God bless! 

~sunhalo <3 

 

PICTURE TIMEEEE: 

Tiye's outfit because Y'ALL. LOOK AT THIS BADDIE. Can you imagine what they faces looked like when she stepped in the Throne Room looking like THIS:

WITH THIS HAIR?! 

Yeah see they got used to seein her all frumpty dumpty and subservient and ish and she stepped in there like SIKE! GOTCHA! ACTUALLY THAT'S OVER AND GON STAY OVER. I DON ARRIVED AND I AIN'T GOING NOWHERE. *claps and snaps* LOL. 

And let's not forget about Cheol-su folks. All of the gifs above is the mood, the vibe and intention the LOOK okay?! 

EVEN WITH HIS BUSTED UP FACE HE SAID I'MA GET THE LAST LAUGH YOU DUMMIES CAUSE I GOT ME A WHOLE ARMY. I'M THE REAL KING HERE AND Y'ALL GON KNOW IT. lol. OMG let me stop because I'm getting hype lol. Whew.

Oh one last thing... a picture of Tiye's 'lingerie' lol. Back in them days it's exactly what it was lol. Sexy. Classy. Feminine. Erotic. Delicate. Meant to be taken off and discarded like a bra at the end of a long day's work lol. 

TEAM CHEOL-SU AND TIYE. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY! I LOVE THEM. 

See y'all next chapter! LMAO!

 

 

 

A/N: Hello BEAUTIES! It's taken a long while but see the way Cheollie and Tiye was set up in my brain this was BOUND to happen sooner than later lol. What an explosive update! Wow! This speaks volumes to everything and to everyone. The pieces have been placed on the board and now family... the game shall begin. hehe. I gotta hear your thoughts on this one! Please let me know in the comments hehe. Hopefully the update was worth the wait lol. I hope to have another chapter update by next week because I missed writing Yeonwang!!! With school and work, I hadn't had the time guys! And to top it off, whenever I wanted to write, t just never seemed 'right'. I'm not writing until it feels right haha. hehe I'll see y'all soon hehe. Thank y'all for the love, reads, comments, upvotes (on AFF and Wattpad), patience and support!  Love you all! God bless! 

~sD&L <3 

 

PICTURE TIMEEEE: 

Tiye's outfit because Y'ALL. LOOK AT THIS BADDIE. Can you imagine what they faces looked like when she stepped in the Throne Room looking like THIS:

WITH THIS HAIR?! 

Yeah see they got used to seein her all frumpty dumpty and subservient and ish and she stepped in there like SIKE! GOTCHA! ACTUALLY THAT'S OVER AND GON STAY OVER. I DON ARRIVED AND I AIN'T GOING NOWHERE. *claps and snaps* LOL. 

And let's not forget about Cheol-su folks. All of the gifs above is the mood, the vibe and intention the LOOK okay?! 

EVEN WITH HIS BUSTED UP FACE HE SAID I'MA GET THE LAST LAUGH YOU DUMMIES CAUSE I GOT ME A WHOLE ARMY. I'M THE REAL KING HERE AND Y'ALL GON KNOW IT. lol. OMG let me stop because I'm getting hype lol. Whew.

Oh one last thing... a picture of Tiye's 'lingerie' lol. Back in them days it's exactly what it was lol. Sexy. Classy. Feminine. Erotic. Delicate. Meant to be taken off and discarded like a bra at the end of a long day's work lol. 

TEAM CHEOL-SU AND TIYE. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY! I LOVE THEM. 

See y'all next chapter! LMAO! 

서른하나 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

Seoreunhana 

 

thirty-one

 

** WARNING: RAPE. If triggered, you are free to skip the chapter** 


 

The cold of winter chilled to the bone, the wind whipping violently through the small dilapidated houses. But one such person was up. His feet were quiet as he walked, following another set of footsteps laying a path further up ahead. Silky black hair drifted into his face and white icy frost coated his thick long lashes. Feet much bigger than those of the one who travelled here before, his footprint ruined the otherwise delicate shape in the snow with a slight crunch. Shimmery white glimmers twinkled up all around him and for a moment, he reveled in the beauty of the season. It was a shame that soon the beauty would turn to bloodshed. 

 

*** 

 

    “Where is Tiye?” Looking up into the friendly yet rosy face of Brother Sekhemrekhutawy, Anat smiled in return to his. 

    “She decided to go into the people’s sector.”

    “To do what?”

    “To feed the children Brother.” Accepting her answer, he relaxed and leaned back against the pillows to his seat. 

    “Why didn’t you go with her? I’m sure you would have enjoyed the early morning walk.” To that she smiled deeper and shook her head. 

    “No. It’s too cold. How Lady Tiye has endured this cold so far from home is beyond me. It’s unnatural.” He laughed, pretty white teeth gleaming. 

    “Give it a while. You will adjust.” She sucked her teeth and pursed her lips. 

    “So you say.” 

    “Eat Anat.”

    “But this is not for me.”

    “Don’t be ridiculous. Between you and I there is no station, no status to separate us. We are friends right?” 

    “Yes…”

    “And now family. So the food I have is for you. Eat.” He pushed some fresh godeungeo-gui, miyeok-guk and bap her way. Watching as she slowly accepted, lifting the shiny silver spoon of broth to her lips, he felt pleased in the look of approval that drifted up on her face. Anat had not been easy to please; the food, clothing and way of life much harder to accept. It had been but two weeks since their arrival back home and already she had complained to Tiye that she wanted to go back home. Smirking as she twisted up her nose at the miyeok, he resumed his meal as well, soon escorting her to the door. 

    “Stay with the women in the harem. Perhaps they will take you out to the market today.” Nodding, she welcomed a soft pat to the top of her head before leaving in the harem’s direction. Smiling to himself, he watched until her figure disappeared around the corner. Anat was strong like Tiye and she would survive. That he was certain of. Now that his belly was full it was time to attend to his schedule for the day. 

    He began to dress, slipping his feet into nubi beoseon. Tying them to his jeoksam, he put on black hwa lined with rabbit fur. A deep wine pair of baji were next tied closed. His jeogori was a plain beige color and lastly, a plum and gold durumagi adorned his top half, lined inside and around the collar with fleece and brown grey rabbit fur. A matching nambawi laid on his vanity along with his jinsarip.

    “Pyeha, if you are ready for the meeting to begin, I shall escort you.” The voice of one of the attendants sounded through the door and he swallowed. Let the day begin indeed. 

 

*** 

 

 

    The winter cold whipped around her and she clutched her hands tighter together as she went on her way. She was sure that the children were sure to be freezing. She didn’t have much to contribute other than this but it was something she felt in her heart she had to do. She knew what it was like going to bed hungry. For a child to starve…to die from hunger was heart breaking. Inexcusable. Cold clear wisps of crystallized air exhaled from her mouth and she felt the wind cut into the exposed skin of her cheeks. This winter was the coldest it had ever been to her memory. Colder still. And colder still. 

    “Poor thing…why are you out here all by yourself?” The sudden male voice made her jump and she turned around to find a stranger standing behind her. He appeared as if he’d just come behind her. Hands now tighter than ever before, she looked behind him to see no one else. Her heart began to pound into her ears and she swallowed, bowing her head. 

    “I travel to the village up ahead.”

    “Perhaps then I shall accompany you. It’s not safe for a young woman to be alone.” 

    “I will be okay. I promise.”

    “Do you reject the proposal of a nobleman then?” Once cold cheeks grew warm and her eyes roamed across his dress. Bowing her head lower, she folded her body forward in a deep reverent bow. 

    “Please forgive me…I mean no disrespect.”  Indeed, his clothing told his status and it was a sentence of death to those who offended a nobleman. God forbid he be a member of the royal family. 

    “Good then. Where about do you live?”

    “There yonder.” She pointed to a string of black houses up ahead, sure to be identical to the slum he’d just passed through on his journey. 

    “Shall we go?” His smile was friendly and dare she say it charming. Bowing her head, he began to lead the way, she reluctantly following. 

 

*** 

 

    The library was in an uproar when he walked in and it immediately gave him a headache. 

    “You can’t expect us to listen to him! He’s not been here three years! It’s with allegiance to Seo Jun Wangja-nim that we’ve served His majesty.” 

    “Have you forgotten your place? Kneel and beg for forgiveness! Lest the Crown Prince take your tongue!” 

    “Seems I’ve entered in on a very interesting discussion.” He remarked, eying his Father who sat in the center of the large rectangular table. He too sat back, watching as the men argued back and forth, mouth silent. Sitting down at his right side, he leaned back in his chair and lifted his hand, waving it in the air. 

    “By all means, continue.” Some of the men lost their bravado, paling as his eyes cut into them gaze firm and intense. 

    “A-Ah…p-pyeha…welcome…”

    “You were saying Minister of Accounts?” He grew ashen and his lips grew pinched. 

    “Ah…nothing of importance Majesty. I was simply stating-”

    “He was saying that you aren’t to be trusted.” The King admitted, shrewd eyes leaving the bumbling man in favor of his son. 

    “I see.” 

    “I…beg your pardon M-majesty…I didn’t use those…quite those words e-exactly…”

    “Did you not imply that Cheol-su’s three year expense report was gargantuan in number? Did you not suggest that he was irresponsible in his leaving Goryeo?” The man began to stutter once more as the King leaned forward, steepling his fingers. 

    “Did you not stand here and say that you’d die before you served the likes of he that sits at the table with beasts from another land?” 

    “Pye-p-p-pyeh-h-ha…I….” 

    “Tell me Han-gyeol-ah…how is your daughter faring?” Confused yet fearful eyes focused on him, his eyes like that of fire. Yet he remained so composed… so calm. And that the men reasoned was more frightening than to explode. 

    “G-Gyunhui-ah? She’s…she’s just fine…pyeha. Why do you ask?” 

    “Suppose I hadn’t returned when I did. Suppose I hadn’t commissioned the help of another nation’s army. Imagine today…being the very day the Mongols decided to attack us. Unassuming. Naive. Without warning. What do you think would happen to her?” 

    “I-I-I beg your pardon…pye-pyeha?” 

    “What do you think they’d do to her? She’s young.. beautiful… comes from money… she’s valuable. Very much so. What do you think they’d do first? Rape her? Kill her? Or sell her?” The question made the hair on the back of their necks stand up. 

    “Pyeha what is this? Why do you ask these alarming questions?” 

    “Answer the question Han-gyeol-ah. What would you do…if you were one of them? What action would you take?” The man by now was sweating and his eyes had started to grow teary. It was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. 

    “Answer!” He suddenly barked, making the man whimper. 

    “I’D…I’d….r-rape her…sir….” At that, he leaned back, eyes dangerously narrowed, intensity crackling in them like bolts of lightening. 

    “Sure, I’d accept that. Long months of travel without a woman will do that to you. Seems only natural that you’d want some relief hm?” 

    “Y-yes pyeha…” 

    “I have another question for you then.”

    “Yes pyeha…”

    “Who is more of a beast? You or them?” 

    “I…I’m not…understanding-”

    “You understand very well where I’m going with this. Answer me. Who is more of a beast? You or them?” 

    “I…don’t know sir…”

    “I’ll spare you the torture and answer for you. The Mongolian warriors who have stalked the outskirts of our land, sniffing at it like a hungry dog… we know of what damage they can do. We know they are mighty. Dangerous. Brutal and barbaric. They exist openly in their barbarism, not caring what opinion others hold of them. For they too have allegiance to their country… their King… their way of life. They too have daughters, sons, mothers and fathers that they desire to protect. Likewise, the same can be said of the warriors I’ve brought so far from home. They are ruthless and strategic, nimble and powerful. They are the best Kush has to offer and she has offered them to us.” Even his father listened keenly as he went on, 

    “The men you call beasts are brothers, uncles, fathers, cousins…they have families too just like the Mongols. Just like you. But what differentiates them from you and those like you is that they don’t hide behind false smiles and assurances. The worst kind of animal is one who will destroy his own in order to continue prospering. One who will sell his daughter, sister, mother, even his grandmother for a golden coin.”

    “Pyeha, I’d never d-do such a t-thing…”

    “It’s true I’ve been gone for a long time. It’s true that I’ve brought foreigners into Goryeo. It’s true that I’ve spent large sums of money to leave home. But, look what you’ve gained. You’ve gained an entire fleet of soldiers ready and willing to die for those they know nothing about. They’re willing to put their lives on the line to save you.” The man gulped as he spoke once more, 

    “And this is thanks they get? This is the thanks I get for thinking about you? While you stand here and slander my name? While you proudly proclaim that my brother is the one you will serve until the end of your days. By all means, Han-gyeol-ah… follow him into the pits of hell if you wish. The blood of the people will be on your hands. The blood of your daughter will rest in your mouth. Like master like pupil.” The man trembled like a leaf, mute and ashen gray as the Crown Prince stood, eyes drifting over each and every one of them. 

    “Let me make one thing perfectly clear to you. Right here and right now. I am not my brother. He’s allowed you to exist in your world of pleasures without consequence. That ends today. Should you object, I will personally see to a trial of which you can voice your complaints. But be prepared. That which has been done in the dark will be brought to the light. Even that which you’ve sacrificed blood and bone for. I will find it. Challenge me if you must. I accept gladly.” A clearing of the throat sounded in the deadened room. 

    “Now, if you’re done with this foolishness, I invite you to sit down. We’ve wasted so much time already.” 

 

*** 

 

    Her mouth was ajar, pretty supple lips covered with a thin film of blood and saliva. 

    “So trusting. So obedient. So naive.” He spoke, tightening his grip of her hair. The black pungcha that had been atop her head had been tore from her and her once neat braid had been unfurled, the long silky black hair now roughly strewn across her face. Lifting a hand, he smoothed it back from her face, the scarlet ribbon symbolizing her girlhood… her untouched maidenhead too cast against the snow. 

    “So pretty.”

    “Please…please don’t…” She struggled to speak but the cold had forced her quiet, shivers shaking her pale petite body. Her cheeks were almost cherry in color and now the smooth thatch of hair covering her triangle drew his gaze. 

    “Offer yourself to me little one. In return you shall have pleasure unlike anything you’ve ever known. I promise.” She began to scream as he pulled her legs apart and tried to hit him. Her strikes were weak and it humored him. If she was going to fight him, at least she should do it right. 

    “Don’t anger me. Be still.” He commanded, striking her in the face with a fist. At once she grew limp. Good. Better. Taking the daenggi he stuffed her mouth and untied his baji and sokbaji. Positioning himself at the entrance of heaven’s gate, with one thrust he found himself in rapture. 

 

*** 

 

    

    “Who are you?” Untrusting eyes peered at her. 

    “I’m a friend.”

    “Go away…” Smiling, she took out a persimmon. 

    “I come in peace. I promise.” The eyes eyed the fruit with such longing but fingers did not reach for it. 

    “Do you have a hyung? Noona?” 

    “Hyung-nim…”

'    “Where is he?”

    “Here.” Turning her head, she found a young man appearing to be 15 or so standing behind her. Eyes stony, he eyed the fruit she held in her hand. 

    “Why are you here, woman?” The lack of respect didn’t surprise her and she took no offense to it. Standing, she lifted the small basket she held. 

    “I know what it’s like to starve. I know what it’s like to be oppressed.” Turning soft eyes back towards the small boy, face gaunt with starvation, she knelt once again. 

    “I look funny don’t I?” The boy blinked, surprise all in his expression. 

    “I’m not from your land. I’m from far far away.”

    “How did you get here?”

    “Really bad people took me from my homeland. They brought me to this place.” The boy looked down at her hands as they pressed the fruit against his palm. 

    “There were many nights I was scared…missing my parents…my oppa-nim and eonnie-nim. So many nights I laid cold and hungry…many nights I fought for my life.” She lifted a hand to caress the boy’s face. 

    “Though our skins are different colors, we are more alike than you think.” This time, the boy accepted the fruit, watching as she went to give the basket to the boy’s brother. 

    “I want to return the kindness I’ve been shown. I want to help those who were once like me live and be happy.” The young man glanced at his little brother who had begun to ravish the fruit, eating it like a child possessed, its juices and flesh all over his face. Slowly, he took the basket from her. 

    “What…what is your name?” He asked, hard eyes now softened but a bit in thanks. 

    “It’s Tiye. And yours?” 

    “Young-ho.”  Smiling again, she bowed her head. 

    “It’s nice to meet you.” 

    “Mm.” 

    “Eat… please. I’ll try to come again.”

    “Are you at the palace? Your clothes…” 

    “I have to go now.” Taking off her pungcha, she put it on the boy’s head and removed her tail of fox from around her neck. Placing it around the young man’s neck, she gently laid a hand on top of his head. 

    “I’ll be back okay?” Before he could say anything else, the strange brown woman went back the way she came, leaving the two boys stupefied. 

 

*** 

 

    

    When he came through the gates, blood misted across his skin, the gungnyeo nearby quickly bowed their head, bodies stiff. Grinning at them, he stopped walking and lifted a finger to lift one such head. Her countenance was plain and homely and yet there was a beauty there in the midst of it all. Her eyes as fearful and big as they were stroked the fires within his loins. 

    “What a pretty face you have.” Fear paralyzed her and she couldn’t find the words to reply. Smirking, he let go of her face and winked at her before continuing into the Palace grounds. 

    “Pyeha…what…why are you covered in blood?” 

    “I’ve been hunting.” He answered with disinterested eyes, lifting his hands to take off his ayam

    “Were there plenty of game out today sire? I would imagine it would be too cold for any good catch.” Chuckling, he turned to look at the man. 

    “You’d be surprised. All you have to do is look well. You’ll find it.” 

    “A-Ah… of course pyeha…”

    “Tell the servants to warm a bath for me.”

    “At once sire.” Entering through the courtyard, he smirked to himself as he watched the girl of earlier flit and flutter away from his observant eye. Two catches in one day would make him a very lucky man indeed. 

 

    *** 

 

    Her feet were tired and her ears cold as ice when she came across the doors of the North gate. Looking up into the face of one of the watchmen, she withdrew a dwikkoji. Granted entry, she slipped it back into a discreet pocket in the lining of her vest. Heading towards the harem, she sighed in relief once she’d taken a seat, crashing into one of the folded up futons left by one of the women. 

    “Long day hm?” Hae teased, chuckling as she reached up to withdraw her hwa. 

    “Yes but fulfilling.” 

    “Good.” Taking off her vest, she neatly placed it and her wet snowy shoes by the door. 

    “Where is Anat?”

    “Ah, she left with some of the other girls running errands.”

    “Mm.”

    “In my spare time, I’ve been trying to teach her our language little by little.”

    “And how is she doing?”

    “She’s… not. She refuses to learn anything I try to teach her.” At that, she frowned some. 

    “I see.”

    “She’s so abhorrent to anything here. It’s kinda disheartening.”

    “Well.. give her some time. I wasn’t too fond of life here when I first came. She’s like me in that sense.”

    “Too much like you.”

    “Yah!” The women began to laugh and Hae came to lay down beside her, hugging her close. 

    “I missed you so much Tiye.”

    “I missed you too.”

    “Now that you’re home, stay with us. Don’t leave again.” She only smiled and sighed against her friend’s warmth, yawning against her chest. 

    “Let’s take a nap. It’s nice and warm here.”

    “Yes, Cheol-su wangja-nim made sure that the floors were heated. We haven’t felt heat here for three years and now suddenly it is most welcome and in abundance.” 

    “Hmm…” Yawning in return, Hae snuggled up against the smaller woman and together the two fell asleep. 

 

*** 

 

    Eyes watched him leave the harem. Fingers gently crushed up into the palm of her hand and nails stabbed the flesh. What a dog. A dirty filthy little rat with no self control. Word had reached her that Minister Han-gyeol’s daughter had been found raped and murdered, her head they said smashed in with a rock. Word also had reached her that he had returned two or three days prior with blood on his face. All of it sounded like his doing. Fury spread through her chest. If she could, she’d kill him here and now. But, alas… she couldn’t. Infuriated eyes turned to find the newly appointed royal concubine as she too left the harem not long after that pig of a man she called brother. She no longer wore the tattered cheaply made clothing the other cheonmin wore. No, her brother made sure his favorite was dressed in finery…even down to her shoes. She appeared comfortable but a bit out of place…not quite knowing how to use her new found authority.             

    Smiling to herself, she chuckled. It was endearing to say the least. Watching as the woman spoke to her servant, clothed in the same brown skin as her, the two headed towards the library; where she was sure her other brother was spending the day.  Perhaps she could do nothing as of yet. But the former musori could. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: Welp... that didn't last long. Whenever I start writing Yeonwang again I also end up writing a whole bunch of chapters lol. I finished this one in a day and I'm already starting another lol. Things are getting juicy. First off, CAN. WE. TALK. ABOUT. CHEOL-SU'S. ROASTING. SESSION. I MEAN. MY MANS SAID I'M BOUT TO DESTROY YO WHOLE LIFE, CAREER, BURN THEM EDGES AND THAT TOP KNOT RIGHT OFF. LOL. DUDE WAS COOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. 🥶🥶🥶🥶 HE SAID HE NOT THE ONE. Our (let's just be honest..).KING (cause he don upgraded okay in my book lol) said all y'all can get this work. lol. 

I don't know if you can tell but doesn't it seem like Seo Jun's getting more and more... crazy? His little brother has triggered something in him (perhaps his inferiority complex lol) and now he's acting EVEN MORE crazy than normal. And what oh what is Mishil plotting? She has her sights on our lovely little princess. But for what purpose? We'll all find out soon because I'm writing while I got the juice lol. 

I love you guys! I'll see you guys soon! 

 

PICTURES TIME: 

Tiye's outfit while on her outing: 

 

Inspiration for Cheol-su's look came from this picture: 

 

there are a LOT of terms this chapter! They are: 

godeungeo-gui- grilled mackerel

miyeok-guk- seaweed soup 

bap- rice 

nubi beoseon- a type of sock that protects the foot against cold weather 

jeoksam- male underpants that were worn under the jeogori. I'm not sure if this was like a "onsie" or not. I haven't seen pictures of what it looked like. But It was made to be worn under the jeogori and what's what I'm sticking to lol. Winter gear only! In the summer/spring time sokgoui were worn (over the dari-sokgot) which were like shorts. I like to think about it like tie up boxers in today's lingo. 

 hwa- boots. There are several different types according to gender and status. I didn't go into great detail this chapter but to keep with the historical accuracy, later on I will.

nambawi- a type of winter hat. To be noted for females, the hat was ornamented with a tassel. Male hats were not. 

jinsarip- a specified gat. It was worn by the King, noblemen and members of the royal household. Cheol-su's gats have always been jinsarip. 

pungcha- a type of winter hat. Female hats were ornamented with a tassel.

daenggi- the red ribbon maidens would wear on the ends of their single braids. It signified unmarried status. Married women wore two braids and had them tied up. Also, daenggi came in many colors (for nobility).

ayam- A type of hat. They could be worn in spring/summer and fall/winter. The ones for the winter were thicker. As with the other two types, females only had hats with tassels. 

dwikkoji- a decorative pin with a sharp point.

 

서른둘 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

Seoreundeul

 

Thirty-two

 

 

 

 

Deep black ink sloshed against crisp white paper, soiling the floor. That bastard. How dare he? 

    “My Lady…shall we go for a stroll? Perhaps to put your mind at ease?” In her fury, her hair had come loose from her low ponytail and it spilled every which way around her face, giving her an unhinged and disheveled look. Turning wild eyes up at the servant who had spoken, she bared her teeth. 

    “Get out.” The young woman blinked, mouth opening to offer some rebuke of her request. 

    “I said get out!” She screamed, turning and throwing another cup of ink, this time intending to soil the girl’s hanbok. She missed narrowly and wisely, the girl scurried out. Inhaling harshly, she threw the whole of the table onto the ground, producing a loud crash. How dare he. She’d suffered this entire while… taking his brother as a replacement….and this was the thanks she got for her wait? It bruised her ego when he’d run away with the little bitch. But she had never anticipated that he’d spend three years with her…living in what seemed to be heavens …cozied up with that dirty black rat. 

    At his return, it seemed their relationship had only grown stronger. Something about the two of them was different. They lived with no fear of consequence… no heedance to the present decrees or laws. It was as if they lived outside of the current society and it all but pissed her off. Whatever fairytale he’d lived while in her savage land was now over. He was back home now. Things would resume to normal. 

    Licking her lips, she smoothed the messy stray hairs back from her face. She didn’t care what she was. Princess or no princess. This was her land. Her terms. Her way. And she would not willingly give it up to some heathen. 

    “Lady Jae-Hwa, Cheol-su wangja-nim is here to see you.” Just the person she wanted to see. Good. 

    “Send him in.” Clearing her throat, she reached for her hair and put it into a neater ponytail when he entered, eyes downcast on the ink all over the ruined floor. 

    “Throwing a fit?” He asked, lifting steely eyes upward. 

    “It’s called the rage of an artist pyeha.”

    “Seems that’s one thing to have changed about you. Not once have you ever painted.” 

    “We’ve both grown haven’t we?”

    “Indeed.” 

    “Come in. Sit. Please.” A few gungnyeo came in, bringing with them tea and small treats on beautiful plates she’d selected herself. He reached up to remove his gat and eyed the tea placed in front of him. For a long while, he watched the wisps of steam waft up from the boiling tea mouth mum. 

    “Aren’t you going to drink?” She inquired, a slight sneer on her face. Then and only then did he lift his eyes and they seemed to cut into her, deep into her eyes, her face, every little imperfection she had she felt he could see right through and it made her dangerously uncomfortable. 

    “The little stunt you pulled the other day. I won’t have it happen again.” 

    “I did nothing wrong. I simply called her what she is.”

    “You did everything wrong by offending me. If you are wise you will not do it again.” His voice growled as he watched her lift the cup to her mouth and take a sip. 

    “It’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. And we meet with animosity between us.” Still he hadn’t taken a sip of his tea and it was starting to irritate her. 

    “If we can be mature about what has happened then I believe we both can move forward.”  For the first time since their meeting began, he laughed but it didn’t sound humorous. 

    “Move forward?” Putting down the cup, she took him in. He looked even more intimidating than he had before he left. Somehow, the last shreds of boyhood had been erased and in front of her now was a man hardened by experience, hardened by will. Ambition. Determination. Her mouth grew dry and yet another place on her body borrowed the moisture, drenching the dari-sokgot hugging her body. Gods…as furious as she was…she wanted him to take her and break her…ruin her from the inside out…make her crash into tiny little hard rough pieces to the point where she could only beg and cry and whi-

    “I recall my words to you those years ago…after finding out that you had participated in the selling of Tiye. I told you that you were dead to me. And I meant every word of it.” Anger and hurt blossomed in her chest.

    “And now here you’ve come home faced with a quite difficult situation.” His lips pinched as she again took another sip. 

    “I’m truly hurt Cheol-su… hurt that even after all this time and our knowing each other that you would continue to put that woman before me. Nevertheless….I’m prepared to tolerate it. And her. For a small askance.” His eyebrow lifted. 

    “Askance of what?”

    “I’ll go along with this…situation…only if you give your word that the contract between the two of us be fulfilled. The words your father swore to my father and mother before bringing me here…intent on being wed to you. I want it realized.” His eyes grew dark with fury. 

    “You’re in no position to request anything of me. How dare you.”

    “You have obligations pyeha. Obligations that you are bound to by honor. And knowing you so well… I know that you will see them through. Whether you want to or not.” His cheeks, once reddened now blazed bright and cherry. As if fire itself lit him up from the inside. But no explosion came… what she expected was not to be. 

    “I assure you this Jae-Hwa. The foolish boy ruled by familial duty died within me long ago.” His words sent chills down her spine. He leaned back comfortably, eyes blazing with heat. 

    “This game you’ve played with my brother…continue if you like. But hear me very clearly. Should you get in my way… I will destroy you and everyone else who helps you.” Her throat grew tight and she felt as if he had taken his own hand and choked the air from her lungs. 

    “Who shall wear the crown as my Queen will do so only by my desire. Don’t forget that.” 

    “P- pyeha…” 

    “I came to you today with a request of my own.”  

    “And…that is?”

    “For you to go to Deoksugung.” Her hand stilled from lifting her cup. 

    “Excuse me? Go where?”

    “You heard me.”

    “Why?”

    “Because I want you to. I owe you no other explanation. You are to be nothing but obedient to my wishes and go.” 

    “And the woman you claim is a princess? What will be of her?”

    “That is none of your concern.” 

    “Cheol-su you can’t possibly think I-” 

    “End of discussion. We’re done.” She watched incredulously as he stood, placing his gat back on his head. 

    “You have your orders. I will see my way out.” As she watched him leave, the cup which she held began to shake most violently. 

*** 

 

 

    The day was cold yet clear, not a trace of clouds anywhere. White sky and white snow, white hands and white cheeks looked back at her. 

    “On an outing are we?” Everything about this moment had her stomach feeling like worms were crawling around inside. But as she looked up into the deep dark playful eyes, she swallowed up her fear.     

    “Yes. You’re in my way.” She was no longer the girl forced powerless who had to bow and grovel. Lips grinned, a sick twisted smile. 

    “Am I now? I offer my apology.”

    “Don’t patronize me.” He chuckled, running eyes over her appearance. A grey black chima covered her bottom half and a pretty pink jeogori adorned her top half, cut to end at her hips. A olive green knot ensured it stayed closed, neat and prompt. On her head a silk pungcha finished the tasteful yet feminine look, black with red lining and ash grey fox fur. 

    “Allow me to offer my apology once again. Had I known you were of royal blood.. my treatment of you would have been… better. More… appropriate.”

    “Royal blood or not it is disgusting. And so are you.” 

    “Tiye,”

    “Don’t. Don’t ever say my name again. Now, move.” She hissed, baring her teeth as if a cat about to bite. He smirked as she began to walk by. Smirk turning up to a sneer, he reached forward and grabbed hold of her little heart shaped face. 

    “Now now little one… don’t forget your place.” 

    “Let go of me!” Squeezing her jaw, he brought her closer, leaning down to draw her face closer. Eyes dropped to her lips. Finding her eyes once again, his tongue inched across his own. 

    “You may be a princess. But you have been cared for. Spoiled. Pleasured. Fucked. Under my roof. Show respect where it is due.” Anger traveling through her veins like liquid fire, she grit her teeth and grabbed him down below the waist bringing a surprised little grunt from him. 

    “You don’t deserve my respect. You deserve to be flayed like a fish by my soldiers.” Closer his lips drew to hers. 

    “Dangerous words from such a endearing little mouth hm?” For a moment, he closed his eyes and inhaled her, a little groan of delight slipping past his lips. The sound, the action, the man himself chilled her to the bone and the repulsion in her belly tossed and rolled like the sea. 

    “You’re a tempting little bitch. Were you anyone else, I’d skin them until nothing but bone remained.”  Her hand’s grip tightened, making him furl his eyebrows, pain drifting into his features. Even so, the harder she squeezed…the more pain that entered his eyes the more he seemed to glow with arousal. 

    “Had it not been for your brother I would have sliced your throat, cut open your chest and ripped out your lungs. Even now, it is thanks to him that I don’t crush your sad excuse for a manhood. Unhand me.” He did, at once, lips grinning. She was slow to withdraw her hand but when she did, she did so quickly. 

    “It doesn’t matter where you go or where you hide. I will finish what you started. I will make you my pet.” Her answer came in the form of spit and it landed on his mouth and cheek. Without another word, she left him, feeling his unblinking eyes burn holes into the back of her head. 

 

*** 

 

 

    In the library was where she found him and she breathed a silent sigh of relief, glad to be away from that monster he had for a brother. Leaning against the entryway, she watched him as he dipped his quill into another helping of ink. Whatever he was doing, by the look on his face it was of grave importance. He wrote meticulously face of utmost seriousness. She took in his hair which was half up secured in a gold holder and the remaining down, drifting down across his back and shoulders. It wasn’t everyday that he wore his hair in that way and she wondered if it was due to stress. Since returning, he was away most if not all of the day with his Father and court and the past couple of nights she could tell he hadn’t been sleeping well. Quietly, she cut through another opening, wanting to surprise him. Back now facing her, she admired him openly, biting her lip as she traced the shapes and lines of his broad back and shoulders, hair like black silk. 

    “I thought I’d find you here.” She spoke with a smile, pressing her body against him. He grew still but she could see his lips smile in return. 

    “When am I not here is the question isn’t it?” He teased back with a frustrated laugh. Sliding hands down the folds of his jeogori, she wrapped arms around him and pressed her cheek against his. Eyes took in what he’d been writing. A proposal of sorts. 

    “Take a break Cheol-su. You’ve been at this all morning.” 

    “It can’t wait.” Lifting up, she began to gently massage his shoulders, biting her lips again at the soft delighted rumble that drifted from his throat. 

    “You’re so stiff my love…”

    “I’m…mm…” Leaning his head back against her stomach, she leaned down to press a kiss to his lips. 

    “Temptress.” He breathed against her mouth, smiling into another sweet kiss. 

    “I’m sure whatever this is can wait until after lunch time. Right?” Opening his eyes to look up at her, he sighed. 

    “Right.” Nuzzling his nose, she withdrew as he set the quill back by the ink. Getting up, he stretched some, lifting his arms above his head. 

    “Shall we eat in the pavilion?” Blushing, she nodded, cursing her breathlessness. Offering his hand, he waited until she intertwined their fingers before heading out. 

 

*** 

 

    Through the cloudless sky, the sun attempted to break through, kissing the atmosphere with coral, orange and pale pink. Its light guided their way as they made imprints of their feet in the thick snow. Fingers kept her steady as they travelled past the courtyard. Eyes twinkled at her as they walked past the lake, now frozen. Lips, lush and playful smiled as they stood together, a long stretch of bridge ahead of them. The crisp sharp air swirled around them and for a moment, they both were silent, the beauty of winter’s blessings all around. Here, the water hadn’t frozen solid but the promise of chilling temperatures arose in its quiet lull. 

    “Come.” He began to pull her forward and she followed him, in awe of the way his hair seemed to sing with the breeze, dance with the waves of the water tapping the bridge beneath their feet. Soon their footprints led them to the beautiful pavilion. This place he hadn’t taken her before. Rich green, red and white all around and up above. 

    “My mother used to bring me to this place when I was a child.” He spoke, nostalgia on his breath. 

    “We’d sit and play and talk. Sometimes with my halmeoni-nim. Even now I can hear her rich hearty laughter. Her eyes twinkling like stars.” Tightening her grip on his hand, she offered a gentle smile as he drew her further, up and into the structure, past the vibrant doors. 

    “I’ve always wanted to share this place with you Tiye. But, the time was never right.” 

    “It’s right now. Here I am. Here we are.” 

    “Mm.” 

    “May we play? Before we eat?” 

    “Do you need to ask?” Grinning, she turned to the beckoning snow and he followed, bringing a loud joyful scream to her as they met the ground. Laughing, she lifted a handful of snow and smushed it all over his face. 

    “Yah!” Giggling, she lifted up her hands to protect her from a much larger handful of snow and soon they tumbled down the small hill. Hair full of thick puffy white, he turned to look at her, cheeks rosy and bright, teeth fully exposed. She couldn’t help it… couldn’t help the kisses she pressed to his lips. He smirked as she pushed him back against the cold with a hand, coming to sit on top of him. 

    “How lucky am I to have a wife so beautiful.” He praised, lifting a hand to caress her cheek. Feeling her own cheeks blossom in color, she leaned down to press her head against his chest. 

    “Do you think she would have liked me? Your halmeoni-nim?” Large arms came around her and held her tight. 

    “Had she met you and gotten to know you…I think she would have loved you as if you were one of her own.” Humming, she nuzzled his neck and closed her eyes, the sharp chill no longer bothering her. 

*** 

 

    As they ate, he told her of his plans…those he had put on paper. He wasn’t sure when they would strike. But when they did…he wanted to be ready. That was why he would request that the gisaeng start defense training. It sounded silly…laughable even. And in fact not only did he father laugh but those in court. Why spend money to train useless cheonmin women? Why give them a hope…a dream that they could do anything other than entertain? But they were under the watchful leadership of Hae. The women there trusted her and would follow her should she ask. Enjoying the sight of his lovely wife eating her warm filling soup, he smiled. 

    The noblemen of court were money-hungry fools. They didn’t see that even a woman could be lethal.. dangerous…deadly. She was worth far more than a hole to fill. She could be a warrior on top of the many other hats she already wore. Mother. Sister. Lover. Wife. Queen. Yes, Tiye and the women in her family had given him inspiration.. motivation…even hope. And for as long as he drew breath, he’d make it so that the women in his Kingdom were given agency…an opportunity to have leadership roles, roles of influence and that of the like. It contradicted everything he’d believed and been taught. Even the religion he practiced. But, if Goryeo was to be the greatest nation on the earth, they had to lead by example. Hold on to tradition yes. But pave the way for the future. 

    “I think it’s a great idea my love. The women here can be just as fierce as the ones back home. Should she desire to be so and be given the tools to be successful.” 

    “Hm.”  

    “Would you like me to lead the initiative?”

    “Along with Hae.”

    “As you wish.” Taking her in, admiration, respect and desire blossomed like a winter rose and he knew that on this day…in this place… he would have her. The reoccurring desire to fill her womb with his seed hit him in the stomach. In time he reasoned. In time he’d plant a thousand year seed into her soil and watch as abundant fruit grew within. Cheeks red, he bit his lip in another smile. In time they would have everything they wanted. He’d make sure of it. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: HI GUYSSSSSS!!!!! How have you guys been? The semester is done and I'm glad of this rest period. I will take this time to create, work and align goals for this upcoming year hehe. I decided to treat you guys to a Christmas present! THREE chapter update. I hope you enjoy them hehe! I've already started to outline the remaining chapters so sadly soon our lovely Yeonwang will be drawing to a close. But no time too soon hehe. So we have time to enjoy the story as it unfolds! 

I call this both premonition and peace before the storm hehehe. Jae-hwa is losing her mind which really isn't surprising considering who she's letting into her body and space... *eye roll* Seo Jun will get his comeuppance. Take my word on that while he up here trying be all ugly. His obsession for her has led to very dangerous actions and unfortunately( or very fortunately depending on how you lookin at it keke) for him will lead to even more dangerous consequences. 

End of story is that Cheol-su is a man that is ahead of his time. His generation... his time period can't handle him and his 'ideas'. He's simply TOO BIG to be contained and his ideas are both revolutionary and unorthodox. I LOVE A WOKE MAN LOL. 

Please share your thoughts hehe. I have pictures down below and as always thank you for reading, supporting and loving my humble work! 

God bless and see you next chapter! 

D&L~

 

Pictures: 

Though it was not mentioned in the chapter, I imagine Tiye and Cheollie's stroll out to have been accompanied by outfits exactly like THESE: 

HOW CUTE ARE THESE MATCHING OUTFITS OMG. lol. Of course Cheol-su had his winter hat on and Tiye had her hands covered. hehe. Oh and her jeogori was a lot longer than this. This is a Joseon fit. Pretty and gorgeous hehe. 

This was our Future Queen's fit when she bumped into the Great Rat of the Century: 

The pavillion where our two lovebirds went to eat (and play hehe): 

서른셋 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

 

Seoreunset 

 

thirty-three

 

 

    Fingers were pulled back but not tight enough. The digits began to tremble and the string of the bow threatened to snap. 

    “Pull back harder! You must pull back harder…tighter.” 

    “Tiye eonnie….it’s…it’s hard…” Without warning, the bow snapped, bringing a shriek to the girl. Blood oozed out from her finger and began to drip onto the ground. At once, the older woman pressed the end of her sleeve against the wound, squeezing hard to prevent any more blood flow. The expression of the woman was that of defeat and shame. Smiling down at the girl, Tiye shook her head. 

    “Don’t do that now. It’s a mistake that we all at one point make. Keep going. You’ll improve.” Pouting, the woman nodded, eyes teary.   

    “Tiye-eonnie….can you help me please?” Turning towards another novice, she smiled some. 

    “Sure.” 

*** 

 

    Two men stood by, watching the women as they trained…as they taught. 

    “Sang-Ook has betrayed you pyeha.” Eyes took in two women in particular… expression serious. 

    “Has he?”

    “Somehow the first born has convinced him to forsake our friendship and our camaraderie. That time in Song…”

    “Has he exposed your relationship with Hae-ah?”

    “Not yet…I’m grateful to him for having kept our secret…but that may indeed change.” 

    “Mm.” 

    “Do you not worry pyeha? All around you there exist enemies desiring your end.”

    “It is not my end that I fear Yoo-shik. It is leaving my country knowing that my dream for the people was never realized.” The gravity of his words struck his friend deep in the chest. 

    “And this pyeha? This is a part of your dream?” Smiling softly, eyes took in the little yet fierce brown woman nearest him, demonstrating how to hold a bow. 

    “Yes. It is.” 

*** 

 

    That winter had to have been the coldest winter in her memory… one or two rival to that of when their grandmother died. The second one being after her love had been murdered. That was the coldest yet… and even now… yet again here the winds were like knives, cutting through blood, bone and skin like a blade. Eyes looked down at feet, pressed neatly on the cold concrete. Passioned sounds from within the quarters behind her made her stomach turn. That whore. She howled like a stray cat and barked like a dog. Yet again, on another night when she should be in her quarters she found herself a slave to her lust, pleasured by the great beast that was her brother. Lifting eyes upward, they fell across the horse stables, of which were clothed in a thick blanket of snow. 

    “My darling…can you see the snow? How heavy it is tonight. Surely you’d have made sure the horses were warm and ready for slumber.” She whispered quietly, eyes now misting with tears. Biting her lip, she lifted a hand to her stomach. 

    “Our child would be so big now…”  Lip wobbling, she felt unshed cries rising with each breath in her throat and knew it was time to go. Tonight was a night of sadness and grief. But when she composed herself… there would only be hell to pay. 

 

*** 

 

    

1040

 

Early Spring 

 

    In place of snow now were lush green trees, cherry blossoms and ripening fruit dangling from the branches. Instead of icy white cold, sometimes chilly wet rain chose to paint the earth in colors of grey, damp and dark. With the change in season brought fruit of yet another kind. Through tedious hard work and long grueling hours the women that called the second born prince’s harem home had finally reached a moment where they could protect what they held dear. Whatever that was for them… they had grown from weak defenseless girls to determined strong willed women. Given agency and voice by their trainers, they felt as though they could do whatever they put their minds to. 

    Their prince, blessed man was he, had gifted their eonnie Hae a newly built quarter where she and the rest of them could live, given gracious luxuries otherwise not afforded to mere gisaeng as them. The once harem had been turned into a school of sorts and he took care to make sure they were educated, learning to read and write. He’d taken the foreign men that guarded his royal concubine and kept them sharp and tough; both in body and spirit. Even they had seen of their might and felt safe in their midst. 

    With the change in season came peace….a rarity that hadn’t been seen for years. It felt nice… made them forget the looming threat that had moved in the shadows, inching closer and closer to Goryeo’s borders. Men moved in secret… stealth and quiet, the overhanging promise of death traveling like black mist out from their nostrils and eyes. In this season of growth, beauty and rebirth, some things too were also underway. 

 

    *** 

 

    “Is the plan coming along?”

    “Yes sire. I’ve made contact with the leader. He has agreed to meet with you.”

    “Very good.”

    “Yes sire.”

    “As for the old fool? Have you gotten in touch with the shaman Yira?”

    “Yes my lord. She has been making serums as soon as you requested it.”

    “Good.” Dark disturbed eyes lifted from their inspection of long clean nail beds. 

    “It looks as though I will have to take what I want by force. God have mercy on the poor souls who shall come under my wrath.”

    “Indeed my lord.”

    “And you? Will you swear to never let this secret reach open air? I won’t have to cut the tongue from your mouth will I?”

    “I’d never betray you sire. You have my word.” Appeasing words but the man didn’t trust him… didn’t trust anyone. 

    “You believe in my vision for this country Young-hwi?”

    “I agree that the old way should be retired pyeha. The way of the present King is ineffective and protects only his wealth and gains. That of the people is of no concern.”

    “Indeed… the people….should be protected at all costs shouldn’t they? After all, hasn’t the Gods charged us leader over them?” 

    “Yes pyeha.” Lips twisted up into evil smirk. 

    “And as the Gods humble servant and vessel, I must do my duty. It’s time for a new era to be born.” The servant only bowed his head lower, inwardly glad at his being dismissed. At his promise of gold, wealth and security he would keep his majesty’s secret. After all, should things go to plan and he successfully overthrow the King, his father…his promised reward was that much closer in sight. He needed no man to be leader over him. He was to be his own leader and his own master. 

 

    *** 

 

    “Your strokes here. They are too harsh. Soften your hand.” Eyes lifted up to find the Crown Prince standing above him, curiously critiquing his work. Eyes grew wide and at the meet of their gazes, the older man smiled. 

    “Young-ho is it?” 

    “Yes…pyeha.” Nodding in a positive manner, the man sighed. 

    “You are as she says. Bright. Stubborn but a quick learner.”

    “She pyeha?”

    “Your sunbae-nim. Tiye.” At the mention of the woman’s name, the young man blushed. Lips pinched, he avert his gaze away, back onto the task he’d been charged with. 

    “Ah. So she speaks highly of me.”

    “Would she not?”

    “I don’t know. I don’t know what to think or what to say. I am after all a lowly rat compared to her.” The man lifted his eyebrow. 

    “You fancy Tiye?” The boy’s cheeks changed in color, going from a soft pastel pink to a angry red. 

    “N-not at all pyeha… don’t put words in my mouth or misunderstand me.” Knowingly, the man smiled and clucked his tongue. 

    “She is enchanting isn’t she? Her way with words, the way she carries herself… even the way she walks. She’s the definition of a true Lady isn’t she?”

    “Ah….I guess so.” Resisting the urge to further tease the poor boy, the man only grinned. 

    “Keep studying. Perhaps she’ll take notice and praise you.” Chuckling to himself at the way the lad’s shoulders tightened and bunched, he drew away from the library. On his way, he spied Mishil up ahead by the horse stalls. Feeling the giddy lightheartedness of before fade, instead a more somber and melancoly emotion drifted into his chest. He’d been so busy as of late that he had yet to really talk to her… sit down and pick apart her brain… should she surrender it up to him. There was something that was gnawing at her, he could see it as a spool of thread, slowly being unraveled. 

    “Since when have you liked horses?” A surprised little breath escaped her and she turned to look up at him. 

    “Oppa-nim…” Lifting his fingers, he gently pinched her nose between his index and second finger. 

    “I apologize for not spending time with you yodongsaeng.” A pretty blush spread into her cheeks. 

    “I-It’s okay…really.” Sighing, she attempted to smile but it looked sad. 

    “Only a couples months back and already you’ve changed things around here for the better.”

    “You think so? I never thought I’d see the day when you’d be praising me.” For a moment, there was a semblance of the girl he knew, big bright haughty eyes and a pouty purse on her lips. 

    “We all have had to grow up haven’t we Oppa-nim? I’m not the same little girl I was before.” And there it went, a solemn distant gaze taking over her as she glanced oft at the horses being prepared for ride. 

    “I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse.” She said quietly, intending to be under her breath but he heard every word of it. Clenching his jaw, he lifted a hand and gently laid it atop her hair. 

    “I think it’s time we caught up. I’m sure there is so much you have to tell me hm?” Slowly, they began to leave from the stalls and into the safe confines of his private library. 

 

*** 

 

    “Who is that boy?” 

    “That boy?” 

    “The one you’ve brought to the school… to be educated.” Curious eyes looked at her friend. 

    “You have interest in him?” Brown cheeks the same color as she flushed a deep pretty red. 

    “I’m not saying that Royal Sister Tiye. I just want to know if I can trust him.” 

    “Trust him you say?”

    “Yes.”

    “His name is Young-ho. And I’ll let you decide that yourself Anat.”

    “W-what? Why? Your word is enough for me.” Lips smiled as fingers began to unravel her hair, having been stretched with twine and softened by warm honeyed milk and ginger paste.  

    “Sometimes we must be our own judge dearest friend.” Biting the inside of her cheek, she swallowed down a retort and began to help her mistress, combing her ends gently with a wide toothed wooden comb. 

 

*** 

    “We have a student…one who Tiye had taken under her tutelage… one she feels strongly towards. He reminds me a lot of myself as a boy. But yet, what perplexes me most is that he looks identical to another… one I haven’t seen the entire time I’ve been back home. It’s as if he’s disappeared into thin air and no one speaks of him at all.” 

    “Who oppa-nim?” Small hands lifted a kettle and poured fresh tea into his empty cup. 

    “Byung-ho-ah.” Her hands paused, fingers now gripping tighter than before. This of course didn’t go unnoticed by his observant eyes. 

    “Ah.” Is all she offered, having to remind herself of the hot liquid she held and placed the kettle back onto the table. 

    “Given your apparent interest in horses in the time I’ve been away I figured you would have come in contact with him.” She looked pained, her body tight and full of distress. He said nothing yet, watching as a myriad of emotions played on her face, ones too telling to mention. 

    “Mishil.” At his voice, she jumped slightly and blinked teary eyes. 

    “Ah…yes o-oppa-nim…ah…”

    “Calm yourself.” Reaching for her hands, he gently squeezed them. 

    “Take a breath. Center yourself.” She took a shaky breath and bit into her bottom lip. 

    “Now….tell me what holds your spirit in grief.” Lifting eyes that already had began to leak tears, she did as he bade.

    “This lowly creature…this lowly animal of a woman…forgot her station in life. Sold it and her heart to the devil himself for a taste of love. Which he gave her in all its rich glory and reckless abandon.” That was how she started and yet he sat quiet, expression soft but serious. 

    “I didn’t mean to Oppa-nim… I didn’t…didn’t mean to fall in love with him. But….I did. He was the forbidden fruit I knew I shouldn’t ever have come across but gods I wanted it. I wanted him. And I did whatever I had to to get a taste of him.” 

    “And he? Did he share the same sentiments as you?” 

    “…yes. He…he was as taken with me as I was with him. Of course he couldn’t say so openly. But he’d been watching me for years. I had never known of his wandering eyes but soon I began to become sensitive to it… I began to ache and desire it.”

    “What was he like? How did he treat you?” 

    “He was kind. Gentle. Like a soft sapling. A baby bird. Soft in nature, quiet yet observant. Calm. Cautious. Honorable and respectful always. He was also strong. A man who worked best with his hands. He showed his affection most fixing things for me…taking care of my mare the best way he knew how. He had a heart for other living things and desired to see them too prosper.” 

    “What was it about him that drew you?” Lifting hands upward, she bat away stray tears. 

    “He wasn’t like the noblemen. He wasn’t like those who held power and wealth and prestige. He was completely untouched by greed, selfishness and hunger for money. Because of that… I knew that I could be safe with him… I knew that he would see me just as I was. Not the King’s daughter. Not a woman prize to be given along with money and a possible seat on the Throne. B-Byung-ho-ah…he…he didn’t care about any of that. He loved me in all of my imperfection.” Watching his youngest sister break down filled him with a deep sadness, even more so with the next question he asked. For his sake he had to know what had become of the man who would forever hold her heart. 

    “Where is he now?” At that, she crumbled and began to sob uncontrollably, hands lifted to cover her grief. 

    “S-Seo-Jun-oppa-nim….he….he….” Sniffing, she took another shaky breath before swallowing. Her voice though teary hissed the next words with malice, hatred and fury. 

    “He murdered him right before my eyes.” The revelation sent a sharp pain through his heart and he clenched his jaw tightly. He had looked at the boy favorably too. He too could see the boy’s gentle spirit and tender heart.  Woefully, he lamented briefly in the fact that the boy hadn’t been blessed to be of noble birth. A perfect mate he would have made for Mishil and her happiness would have brought him contentment. 

    “He found out that I had conceived.” She hesitated before continuing, looking guilty but for a moment. 

    “Yes… Oppa-nim…I had become with child. In my youth, I…I was such a fool but I didn’t care. I wanted the child as much as I wanted the man. I’d have crossed over hell and frozen the entire world to have them both.” He swallowed on her truth and nodded at her to continue. 

    “Having discovered this ugly abominable secret, our oldest brother began to plot. His desire to see Byung-ho-ah dead became reality and before us all he’d tied his naked body up and commanded the very horses he’d taken care of to tear him apart.” The pain cut into him deeper than ever, forcing tears to mist his vision. 

    “It wasn’t long after that that I suffered yet another heartbreak. It was he that ordered an abortive concoction to be added to my morning tea and it was thanks to him that I lost my baby…the…the only thing left I had of Byung-ho to call my own.” 

    “Mishil…”

    “So….so you see O-Oppa-nim…I thanked the Gods the day you returned. I wept in my chambers when I found out that you have come home. Finally I thought. Finally he comes to make the wrongs right. Finally that which had been taken from me can be avenged.” 

    “I….I can’t…bring him back. I can’t give you what you desire yodongsaeng.” 

    “What I desire I will take of it with my own hands Oppa-nim. And I will gladly suffer the consequences. All I want you to do is continue to be the star of prophecy….the light of this world. Blot out all of his sins. Banish and destroy them until they are permanently removed from our history and our bloodline. That’s the only request I ask of you.” At that, he slowly lifted to his feet. Coming in front of her, he fell to his knees and lifted his hands to cradle her head. Pressing his lips against her forehead, he embraced her, chest tight. 

 

*** 

 

    He should have turned back but damn his feet they couldn’t move. They seemed to be permanently rooted into the ground and his breath grew shallow as he watched with curiosity. There ahead stood his sunbae-nim…and…and the Crown Prince. He had heard rumors of a relationship between them but he had chosen not to believe it. He thought that she knew better, knew that her place was better suited to be with the likes of one such as he…Idiot….even you are too stupid and lowly to be with a woman like that. You are but a little boy to her… with nothing to offer her. 

    “What vexes you my Lord?” Her sweet voice sent blood to his cheeks and he swore he stopped breathing the moment a response came from the older man. 

    “Mishil. She’s…suffered greatly while we were away.”

    “And you wish to take her burden on your back… like an honorable big brother.” The man…sighed and leaned down, having once dwarfed the woman and laid his head upon her shoulder. 

    “I wish I could fulfill her wishes. But I can’t.” The woman with a strange name, the one who had captured his heart lifted her arms and wrapped them around him. To do such was very bold and forbidden but yet the two of them seemed not to care. In broad daylight they showed their affection openly and very physically. 

    “Perhaps tonight you will leave your worries in a bath I shall draw to calm you. And bury them within me deep enough that you never feel them again.” Her words stirred the observer and his cheeks blazed an even brighter red. So… it was true. They… they did have something going on. The man lifted his head and glanced into her eyes briefly before closing the space between their mouths, lips fully touching hers. His heart felt fresh pain and the sting of it washed across his body. It was then that his feet decided to depart from their rooted spot and they chose to run. Rounding the corner, he smashed into another person, a loud yelp of protest startling him. 

    “You clumsy fool! Watch where you’re-” Words died on the berating tongue and he looked up wide eyed at another such woman, one he’d never seen before. She was beautiful and fresh faced, youth and vitality blessing her. Covered from head to toe in royal apparrel, he pressed his face against the ground and offered a quick yet sincere apology. No answer was given but the stiff tip of a fan pressed against his chin, lifting his face upward. The woman stared down at him with chilling eyes, eyes that made him feel uncomfortable. 

    “What…what is your name boy?” She asked, voice quiet yet firm. 

    “Young-ho-imnida.”

    “Young-ho….”

    “Yes gongju-nim.” 

    “You’re forgiven of your offense. This one time. Don’t let it happen again.”

    “Yes gongju-nim.” Bringing the fan away from his face, she allowed him to get up and watched eerily as he scurried past, eager to get away from her. 

    “Young-ho….Byung-ho…..” She murmured under her breath as she began to walk, her gungnyeo behind her. 

    “Byung-ho….Young-ho…” 

 

*** 

 

    “They are ready to move pyeha. When you are ready.”

    “Very good. Let the game commence.” 

    “At once.” To those who thought that the season would lull quietly forever were fools and they would be cut down. For this season would bring rebirth unlike anything Goryeo had ever seen. And he’d be the one to take the credit. 

*** 

 

    Feet walked on the dirt roads, blood trailing behind them in thin narrow lines, others in messy splotches. Screaming filled the otherwise unassuming morning air and with it fire and death followed, claiming the foolish men, women and children who tried to escape. It had been a long journey and it was thanks to the future King that he could say it was made easier. For their trouble would come a huge gain… a huge reward. 

    “Monster! What are you?” A dirty faced bitch hissed at him, lifting a vase to throw at he who neared her. Smirking, he licked his lips. The feisty ones always did get his dick hard. Upon entering into the second most sought after country save for Yuan, already she offered them great gifts. Taking the woman by her hair, he lifted eyes to two children who stood behind her, holding each other, eyes and cheeks full of tears. A curt whistle pierced the air and soon one of his brothers came towards them, weapon ready for its first taste of blood. Screaming, the two insects began to run, leaving the woman to beg and cry. But it was for naught, as Qadan cut them down, slicing through them one by one. A hand here fell against the dust. Soon a head of one fell. A beauteous spray of crimson decorated the air yet the hooves of the great beast lifted, crushing the other head into a small lump of blood, bone and brain. The woman screamed louder and began to protest but he only tightened his grip on his first prize of the day. 

    “Qadan, consider this our first gift from the Gods. Enjoy our plunder. Have a woman or two. We’ll be here for quite a while.”  Pulling the struggling woman away, he chuckled. 

    “I will teach you to tame your tongue little woman.” He grinned as he began to drag her off into the nearby house. 

End Notes:

 

A/N: IT HAS HAPPENED Y'ALL. THE MONGOLS HAVE FINALLY MADE CONTACT WITH GORYEO. They encroach upon her with each step forward. And already they bring bloodshed and the promise of destruction. Here in this chapter we have so many emotions to sort through don't we? Mishil's grief, sadness, anger and taste for revenge. Seo Jun's blood lust and hunger for power. And Cheol-su's regret at not being able to quell his little sister's pain but hope for the Kingdom he shall build. It's quite explosive. 

I brought back a once minor little character Young-ho. From the previous chapter with his littlest brother? Whom Tiye gave the fruit to in the winter? Yes well Tiye took a liking to him and once Cheol-su changed the harem into a school, Young-ho-ah was one of the first people she suggested be brought. As we can see hehe Young-ho has a wee bit of a crush on our lovely lady hehe. I think the teasing Cheol-su gives out is friendly almost brotherly in nature hehe and is very endearing. 

It seems also that our Anat has developed a slight crush on him in her observing him at the palace lol. I promise you... she did not go to Goryeo thinking she'd fall in love but I desire that for Anat and to a man who will be all of what she wants and needs. I believe Young-ho will be just that. I will include pictures of the two below. 

My heart truly breaks for Mishil. My gut turns at Seo Jun and I too wish to see his end be realized lol. All will come in time friends lol. 

KAY the last chapter of this update is ahead! See you there hehe. 

 

*just an end note... when I was writing the last part... literal chills went down my spine y'all. 

D&L~ 

 

Pictures: 

PSA: I try not to get upset when I find pictures of people I intend to use as visuals and CANNOT FIND THEIR FREAKING NAMES but um lol. It bothers me. Because I feel like I am unintentionally taking away their identity as people. *sigh* anyway here is the beautiful lady I've chosen to be Anat. 

 

And hehe here is Young-ho. 

lookfamiliar?okayletmeshutupandkeepgoing lol kekekekekeke 

서른넷 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

 

 

 

Seoreunnet 

 

Thirty-four

 

 

 

    Nightmare. It’s all one big nightmare. 

 

***

    Blood splattered across earth and life surrendered up to the clutches of death. 

 

*** 

    Open your eyes. See the stars. See the moon and her glow. 

 

*** 

    The shriek of horses jolted him awake and up he sat, heart pounding wildly in his chest. Head to toe he dripped in sweat as if he’d been in one of the hot mists of a Kushite sauna. But as much as he burned, the appearance of gooseflesh prickled his skin, raising every such hair. For the longest time, he breathed heavily but consciously slowed it down, feeling his heart beat slower. There. Again. A horse’s outcry and yet it sounded one of distress… as if the beast was trying to warn him… tell him. Danger. His stomach turned and the urge to vomit rose within his gut but he didn’t. Instead, he turned to find his once asleep wife looking up at him, eyes alert. Eyes so uncanny and mystical and real. She said not a word as she lifted.

     Placing a hand on his chest, she seemed to speak a silent language, one he felt, understood and communicated in return with a brush of his fingers against cheek. She swallowed thickly and at once began to get up and dress. Silently, they both moved, the morning in all its stillness an illusion of peace. Peace was not to become the Palace on this day. As fingers took hold of a geom, his throat tightened. Instead, a new era would begin. 

 

*** 

 

    “Hae..”

    “You heard it too.”

    “Shh.”  Serious eyes darted around her, surveying the many winds and paths around the two women. 

    “I can’t help but feel as though they are here.” Tiye spoke very low and quiet, careful. 

    “I agree.” Hae nodded, lips pinching slightly. 

    “But who? Who has led us to their table of slaughter?”

    “You think someone helped them Tiye-ah?” She knew it didn’t make sense but her spirit never lied. Her gut always lead her right and it told of a conspirator. 

    “We have to wake the women.” She pressed, taking hold of her friend’s hands. 

    “Wake them. Prepare them. Get them ready. Today we shall fight for our lives and for the Kingdom.” 

    “Of course. At once” And at once the two became as separate branches of a much larger tree, the roots every present and strong underneath them. 

 

***

 

    Bodies began to pile and feet callously walked around them as if they were nothing more than mere insects, ants to be crushed underfoot. 

    “I believe our newest conquest awaits us. Let’s go greet them warmly.” Men great in number replied with a loud resounding roar and like a black river, they moved forward toward the Palace gates. 

 

*** 

 

    Dim lights cast an orange glow upon the faces in the watch tower and eyes sleepily drooped, a head nodding to and fro. Oft in the distance, it seemed quiet and still, proving this to be an easy watch so early in the morning. 

    “Han-gyeol-ah…” Said head drooped further, drool starting to gather at his mouth. 

    “Wake up you idiot!” A sharp slap woke him and the man jumped up, in a sleepy stupor. 

    “Yah….why’d you hit me so hard? Huh?” 

    “Shut up.. look.”

    “Look where?”

    “You worthless piece of shit look over there.” Finally the man opened his eyes and with a yawn glanced in the direction the older man. Out in the vast distance, black appeared to move. 

    “Is it moving? What is it?” 

    “You’re still drunk. There is nothing the-” An arrow shot out from the far black and pierced the man brutally, entering and exiting through his head. His eye sickly dangling from the arrow head. Too horrified to scream or protest, Dwi took a step back, watching as the younger man fell first on his knees and then fell on his side, mouth ajar

    “We’re under attack!” He shouted, ducking as another arrow whizzed out of thin air narrowly missing him. 

    “Grab your weapons and alert the King!”

 

    *** 

 

    “Pyeha! We’re under attack!” The very day that the King had feared was upon him.. upon them all. His entire face grew pale and white and he immediately glanced towards him. He stood stiff and stoic, eyes on him just the same. 

    “What are your thoughts? How are we to save everything? Everyone?” What solution are you suggesting to enable that I save myself? 

    “With those bastards Cheol-su brought and my forces we’ll wipe them out Father. Don’t worry.” Seo Jun spoke first, lips sneering at him in what seemed to be a permanent smirk. 

    “Send those heathens to the front lines first. We need our good able bodied men.” His throat burned to retort but at the moment his response was not needed, necessary or required. Every minute they wasted going back and forth was a minute the Mongol invaders drew closer and closer. 

    “The answer is simple Father. We fight. As the King of this country, we all will follow your command and your lead. What are your orders?” He replied smoothly, bowing his head. The man visibly gulped, shock and fear overwhelming him. He’d fallen from the version of the man he’d grown up fearing, loving and even aspiring to be like. The great impenetrable man who had once led Goryeo away from a wicked and corrupt ruler now trembled like a child. His fear of losing what he’d obtained so great it had paralyzed him. 

    “Pyeha!” The sharp impatient voice of their mother cut through the delay. He kept his head bowed but he could only imagine the look on her face. Cold, callous even… impatient and even pitying. As if to say are you really the man I married? Was it worth it? After all, she’d been the biggest opponent to the changes he’d made since he’d been back home. At every turn, she’d rejected every invitation to serve the common people be it with education, food or other acts of service. 

    It was beneath her she said. It wasn’t in the will of the Gods to allow them to mingle with her kind… their kind. But she knew that she had to bite her tongue should the King approve. Approve he did but they all knew it was not for the benefit of the common man. No, in his crazed mind, he desired to use each and every one as a shield, ready to say that they owed him for his ‘service’. That was the kind of man he was. 

    “Will you allow those beasts to take everything from you? Will you sit there fearful and surrender the Throne yourself?” 

    “Watch your mouth woman!” His voice rumbled but there was no power within. 

    “What of our children? Will you let them kill them?” 

    “Of course not!”

    “Then I suggest you un-paralyze yourself and act like the sovereign ruler you used to be.” 

    “If it eases your stress Father, I’ll make the first move.”

    “Cheol-su! You can’t…”

    “Why not?”

    “You’re the next King….err…well….in line to be the next King. The risk is too great.” Lifting his head, he tightened his jaw. 

    “I’m not afraid to fight and die for Goryeo. If she will eventually by the grace of the Gods and my father be mine to rule then I will rule her knowing I fought with everything I had for her.” 

    “Of course pyeha.”

    “Cheol-su.” Eyes lifted to his father, who it seemed had aged ten years in less than ten minutes. He looked tired, weary and fearful. But he had to command his army, had to put his own life on the line. It scared him witless. 

    “Take the warriors that accompanied you home. All this training you’ve given to the gisaeng at my approval. Let it be put to good use.” He bowed his head. 

    “Of course.”

    “Seo Jun, take your military and head to the South and East Gates. Cheol su will go to the North and West Gates. Defend this palace with your lives if need be.” Turning eyes to their mother, he spoke much softer. 

    “I’ll have you and Mishil on horseback at once. I’ll send you both to Deoksugung where the Queen Consort already waits.” 

    “My Lady, please let’s make haste.” The gungnyeo urged and she left them promptly. He too didn't wait a moment longer, turning on his foot. He could feel the eyes of his brother on his back but chose to ignore it. Chose to ignore everything but the mission at hand. What was about to ensue was a battle unlike anything they had ever seen. And to the Gods above, he would make sure they prevailed. 

 

*** 

    She had just stepped outside when she saw it, a black cloud drawing closer and closer. She turned and ran back into the room demanding help pushing one of the tables down on its side. Just as they did, arrows shot through the thin paper screens of the doors, shot into the wood floors, walls, seemingly everywhere. The sound was deafening, likening to one she’d never heard before. Thunderous, loud and dangerously frightening it even shook her a bit. A girl nearest her screamed as one pierced her ankle, her blood the first to spill. Grabbing hold of her hand, she squeezed tight until the damned sound stopped, arrows resembling thick black weeds all around them. At once, she snapped the arrow plaguing the woman in half. 

    “Mistress Tiye…” Turning, she found Anat unharmed thanks to the Gods. 

    “I know. She must go to the medicinal ward. But we don’t have time. More of those arrows will come and should we not move we will die.”

    “Can you pull it out? How am I to walk?”  The woman complained, sweat soiling her brow. 

    “No. You will bleed out.” Ripping a threadbare part of her chima, she tore until she got a nicely sized piece. 

    “For now we have to stop the bleeding and move on. Will you be okay?” Clearly, the girl was terrified and in pain but… bless her she grit her teeth in a nod. 

    “Don’t try to be a hero Yeon-ha. Do what you can and fight for what you love. If you can’t then you can’t. Accept your limit and try to escape. No one will fault you.”  She said gently as she tied the bandage tight around the ankle. She nodded again and inhaled sharply through her nostrils. 

    “Okay… we have to move and quickly. Grab as many of these arrows as you can hold and let’s go.” Once they had sacks full, they carefully headed towards the door and slipped out into the morning. 

 

*** 

 

    Relief washed over him as he saw her. She came towards him, the women of the harem briskly keeping pace with her. 

    “Pyeha…” Turning, he found Yoo-shik in tow with Dong-Il, his reins tightly in hand. Smiling briefly at his friend, he lifted a hand to pet Dong-Il’s ears. 

    “You haven’t abandoned me yet hm Dongie?” The stallion blew out air from his nostrils and pressed his head further into his hand, a testament to his having missed him. 

    “I’ve missed you too.” 

    “Majesty…we’ve arrived.” Eyes filled with warmth turned towards her and he stood, taking the reins from Yoo-shik. 

    “Yoo-shik, take the women and head towards the West Gate.”

    “And you pyeha?”

    “I shall take Tiye and her soldiers to the North Gate.” He didn’t dispute his orders and with a bow, ushered the women to follow him. 

    “Eonnie…” 

    “Wait what will happen to them?”

    “It’s alright. I’m pretty tough! And so is our wangja-nim. We’ll be fine.” She reassured with a confident smile and shooing hands. The women however remained worried but continued on their way following the guard away. For a while the two were quiet and the press of a muzzle into her hand made her sigh. 

    “Hello dear friend.” Turning towards the horse, she scratched his ears the same as his master before her. 

    “Are you ready to follow your master into battle today?” A brief neigh answered her and she laughed. 

    “Then we will be victorious.” 

    “Tiye.” Letting go of the animal she allowed him to lift her up onto his back and soon he mounted the same. Holding on tight, he gave a firm rap to Dong-Il’s shoulders and at once he began to trot. 

 

*** 

 

    An explosion of wall sounded and large jagged pieces burst out like shrapnel, crushing limbs and bodies. Screams filled the air and then again so did blood. And it was beauteous to behold. Indeed, they were the most savage beings in the region. Their reputation far proceeded them. He watched with amazement as soon men short in stature climbed through the hole left by the explosion, strange tawny hats on their heads, long thin feathers adorning them. 

    “You know you could have just come through the front door.” He remarked, taking in the dark murderous gazes that eyed him, the small beady eyes more than humoring him. So, these were the monsters of the East? One or two of them spoke something in a different dialect and a man on horseback strolled in confidently. The commander he presumed. 

    “So you were here.”

    “As promised. Did you not think I would keep my word?” The man sneered and halted his mare. 

    “You know we have no reason to trust anyone. Actions always speak louder than words prince of Goryeo.” Sneering back, he sheathed his sword. 

    “And now they have. So, it is now time for you to uphold your end of the bargain.” The man dismounted and came up to him, though short in stature, his entire aura was one of danger, brutality and bloodlust. 

    Our agreement will be honored. I will slay the King for you. And when you rise to the throne, the Mongolian empire will merge with yours.” Chuckling, he leaned forward, pleased in the fact that the man did not shy away. 

    “Kill as many as you want. They are yours to have.” 

    “But of course.” 

    “And should you see my little brother…slaughter him where he stands. He and his foreign little wench.”

    “Not before I have a taste of her prince.” 

    “And I as well.” The two men chuckled as the forces began to surround the area, men and women regardless of their status cut down like weeds. 

 

*** 

 

    The body of the stallion pushed hard, Dong-Il ran hard per his master’s command and once he was given a reprieve, he blew a short burst of hot air out through his nostrils, chest and heart pumping. The sound of metal sounded as Cheol-su drew his weapon. Behind him, Tiye drew tight a bow and arrow. Before them strange beings had taken hold of a woman. Her hanbok had been ripped apart and her hands were tied. Muffled wails and screams rose from her as a man forced himself into her, helping himself to her unwilling body. Glancing up, slimy brown teeth smirked at them. Tiye let the arrow go, firing a warning shot that landed dangerously close to his calf. 

    Reaching behind him, he took hold of a short sword and at once put the crying tortured woman out of her misery with a deep slit to the throat. Her body shuddered and blood spurt out onto the man’s face. Taking hold of the arrow, the man stood and turned. To their horror, he shoved it up through his chin, lips wide and smile still visible. His own blood soaked his fingers and yet he kept pushing the arrow deeper until he fell to his knees and fell against the dirt dead. Relaxing her arms and fingers, she swallowed thickly as they proceeded onward. 

    Sheer chaos ensued around them, haunting cries of pain, murder and agony traveling through the air. Up ahead carnage lay in their wake, the bloodthirsty dogs entangled in battle with the Kushite soldiers and members of the army. 

    “Can you take him?” Cheol-su asked curtly, back stiff. 

    “Yes.” He hastily climbed down and ran towards the melee, sword ready. He heard her sharp rap against Dong-Il’s neck and the two gallop away from them and was glad of it. 

    “Bastards.” He hissed, slicing the neck of one and kicking the feet of another from under him. 

    “It will be a cold day in hell before I ever surrender Goryeo to you.” 

    “Brother Sekhemrekhutawy.” Turning towards his comrade, he gave a curt nod. The men roared as they pushed forward, piercing hearts, eyes and lungs with their swords and arrows. He grit his teeth as he pushed back against one, metal clanging harshly. The stench coming from the man was enough to peel the skin off of an onion and it made his eyes water and nose burn. 

    “Stinking son of a bitch…” He rasped, reaching for his short geom at his side. Tearing his tawny red armor, blood soon seeped through. Kicking him back, he quickly straddled him and took hold of his neck. Teeth black and mouth slimy, the man gasped for air and further still he squeezed. When he finally stopped moving, he finished him with a final slice across his throat. Sweat beaded up upon his forehead and his breath came in pants. He’d kill every which one he found and there would be no mercy. 

 

*** 

 

 

    Eyes filled with tears at the scene before her. Her sisters… her friends… laid slain. Some of them fought with their last breaths, even though paralyzed with fear they defended Goryeo with everything they had. Their reward was found in the almost peaceful expressions of death despite the slit throats. The tears blurred her vision and she wept as she forced Dong-Il into a run past them. Rest their souls in your embrace Mother Isis. Embrace them sweetly and reward them forevermore for their courage. Lifting hands to hastily wipe her tears, she felt her chest fill with rage. There ahead Hae, Anat and Yoo-shik engaged in a brutal battle with a small band of them. Drawing an arrow, she paced herself with the beat of Dong-Il’s hooves. 1…2…3…4….Releasing the arrow took a man off of his feet and immediately he laid dead, struck through the heart. Drawing yet another, she aimed for the one engaged with Anat. She was holding her own but she could tell that she was growing fatigued. Releasing, the man went down. Thankful eyes met hers. 

    “Tiye-ah!” Allowing herself to hit the ground, she threw one of her shoes in the direction they’d left. 

    “Go to your master!” He turned gracefully and galloped away at once, leaving a trail of dust in his wake. Lifting her arrow, she struck one. Two. Three- Hae’s sword blocked an attack behind her. Dropping her bow, she stabbed through the armor and punctured his stomach, slicing it open. Breathing harshly, she lifted her eyes to her friend, just as sweaty as she, blood already misted across her gorgeous milky skin. 

    “Where is Wangja-nim?” She questioned, quickly darting her eyes around her. 

    “He fights with my soldiers.” Swallowing, she gave a nod. 

    “Where is the King?” It was her turn to question. 

    “He plays coward in his chambers.” Hae hissed, disgust more than evident in her voice. 

    “He doesn’t dare fight with his people? He intends to surrender Goryeo?” A enraged yell cut the conversation short as four or five Mongolian soldiers came towards them. Together, the women slew him, Hae’s swords each embedded in his neck and stomach and Tiye having shoved an arrow through his eye. Arms enclosed around her and threw her to the ground, bringing a grunt from her. Hae lifted one of her sword to help but was forced to abandon the attempt as another one came at her. Yoo-shik came from behind and shoved his sword through the man’s back. The two exchanged glances. 

    “You’ve done well Hae-ah.” 

    “As have you.” 

    “I think…we should….return to….Wangja-nim’s side…” Tiye spoke, finally cutting down her opponent. 

    “Agreed.” Yoo-shik said with a nod. 

    “You three head that way through the courtyard.”

    “What about you? Where will you go?”

    “My place is by the King’s side. I’ve been away too long already.” Hae did not look happy but she had to accept what was. Lifting her chin, he smiled handsomely at her. 

    “We have a life yet to build Hae-Won-ah. Don’t worry.” Blushing prettily, she nodded against his palm and cleared her throat at the teasing eyes of Tiye. They began to part ways and rounded the corner without a moment to waste. 

 

*** 

 

    Fingers trembled as they held tight to a eunjangdo. She sat against the wall, knees pulled up against her chest. Eyes looked out at the man who lay dead in front of her. Pants still down around his thighs, his buttocks exposed to air. The stench of him she feared she would never get out of her nostrils and it was what led to her almost crazed assault. Fingers made slippery with blood let the weapon slide out from in between her fingers. Her breath was fast and uneven and her eyes filled with fresh tears. Glancing down at her bloodied hands, she cried silently for a moment before the cries turned into laughter. It became hysterical and she lifted her hands to slide fingers into her hair. Finally. She’d done something on her own. She’d defended herself without help. She’d completed something and completed it well. She could… she could do this after all. The laughter ceased and she once again took in the man, brutally covered in holes where she’d stabbed. 

    “Gongju-nim?” At once she turned towards the voice and took hold of her weapon. 

    “Who is there?”

    “Young-ho majesty…a-are you okay in there?”  Eyebrows knit together and she scrambled to the door and yanked it open. It was as he said. He stood there, sweaty and appearing as if he’d too had a battle to fight. He didn’t look particularly happy or comfortable to be there but nevertheless moved not. 

    “Why are you here?” She asked, lifting wide eyes upward. He swallowed and took a step back, 

    “Tiye-sunbae-nim requested I come to study today.”

    “Tiye?” 

    “Yes gongju-nim.” What connection did she have with this man? Gods it was if it was he that stood in front of her, their expressions, eyes, posture even voices the exact same. 

    “Why didn’t you run away?” She asked next, wanting to reach out to touch his cheek. 

    “I couldn’t…my honor is bigger than that.” She could have laughed. His honor? 

    “Tell me Young-ho…d-did you…once have a brother?” His entire aura changed just then. He got stiff and tight…face pinched and frozen. 

    “A brother?”

    “Yes.” He looked at her for a while… hesitant to say. 

    “….A brother yes.”

    “Ah.”

    “A twin brother. He was my hyung-nim.”

    “Ah is that….that so?”

    “He was only a couple minutes older than I. He came here…to the palace and I never saw him again.” Her heart pounded up into her ears and she could barely think straight at the revelations unfolding before her. 

    “Why…do you a-ask gongju-nim? Did you know him?” It took her the longest time before she answered. When she did her voice belied grief, sadness and a deep emotion he couldn’t understand. 

    “You can say that.” Before either of them could speak more, a scream rang out startling her and she tightened her grip on her geom. 

    “We have to go gongju-nim. I must get you to safety.” She felt her throat constrict but her feet began to follow him. Her heart breaking with each step she took. 

End Notes:

 

A/N:  This chapter was intense to say the least. So much violence and imagery... I'm still trying to get it all out lol. So, it has finally been revealed that Seo Jun has orchestrated and participated in a coup d'état. He has really had the nerve to welcome to Mongols right into his back yard and offer up his own country to them for an exchange of power. Which they MAY or MAY NOT honor mind you. The risks are incredibly high but his desire for the Throne is so great that he'd kill everyone in his family for it and not think twice. This was what Mishil was trying to warn her father of chapters back but alas he did not listen. Perhaps he knows that his son intends to kill him. Perhaps not. 

Mishil is slowly losing her mind I fear. She's starting to develop an obsession with this man named Young-ho. Having now discovered that her love had a twin brother is devestating I'm sure. Even more so in the fact that they are not just twins but identical twins. So, it's like she's looking at him all over again.. talking to him all over again. She's struggling to separate fiction from reality and I fear it will only worsen as time goes by. Seo Jun just doesn't know (or care for that matter)... when he robbed her of her happiness he killed her. And now she's just a shell of who and what she once was. 

The introductionary fighting was brutal to say the least but it will only get more graphic in the future chapters. Whew lawd lemme get myself together to embark on this LOL. whew. Writing such graphic scenes takes A LOT out of me y'all. So I gotta prepare myself lol. I did a little research on the Mongols and read that they did not bathe. They believed that there were really powerful ancient spirits in the bodies of water and because of that believed that should they wash in them they would taint/disturb their presences. I found that very interesting.

Unfortunately, that meant that um... the stench coming off of them had to be so foul that I probably would have thrown up if I (having not been used to their presence) had been around one of them. I ain't even gon lie. I've smelt a body that hasn't bathed for days okay. I know what my body used to smell like back when I was severely depressed. I know what some of my patients' be smelling like who are unable to bathe themselves and go days without. After DAYS it stank. I cannot imagine YEARS.  I also read that because they did not use water (or consume it) they drank other things like um... horse blood? Horse milk. Some spectulations even go so far as to say that they even drank human blood and ate human flesh. That we'll never know (THANK GOD) but um yeah. The Mongols were the equivalent of the boogie man you used to be scared of when you was a kid lol. 

I hope you've liked the updates hehe. I hope they've continued to be worth the wait! When I next see you it will more than likely be the new year hehe. WOW. We really made it! We really survived 2020! Praise God! I pray that you all have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to making more grand memories with you in 2021. Love you all! God bless you all! 

D&L~

 

서른다섯 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

Seoreundaseot

 

thirty-five 

 

*WARNING: Graphic depiction of battle, language, unedited/unbeta'ed*

 

 

     A sickening crunch sounded and a wail of tortuous agony followed. The sharp blade of a spear was shoved forward, impaling the body in front of it. The metallic smell of blood mingled with sweat, body odor and the stench of death as it claimed the lives of many; bodies strewn carelessly. Pulling back his bow, he fired an arrow striking two men nearest him. Grabbing a cast aside spear, he grit his teeth and lifted the heavy weighted weapon just as a fiercely riding man came towards him, having drawn back an arrow. He fired just before he was impaled, blood gushing violently from his mouth. The arrow struck him in the shoulder making him fall on his back. 

    “Pyeha!” Grunting, he rolled on his side, reaching up to snap the arrow in half.   

    “Son of a bitch!” He snarled, puncturing the ankle of one above him. The man screamed, turning to glance down at his assailant. 

    “Pretty faced bastard! I’ll skin you alive!” The man retorted in a foreign tongue, his breathing haggard as he lifted his bow, an arrow starting to be pulled back. Quick on his feet, he shot up and tackled the man before he could finish drawing. Pain felt warm and wet like a pleasant summer rain, sharp and brutal like the prick of a thousand needles down his side. The man lifted a thick heavy fist, attempting to strike him but he blocked it, instead used the fingers of his free hand to dig into the nearest thing to him. His eye. Throwing his arm away from him, he grabbed hold of his face and dug his nails, dirty with dirt and blood into his eyes, forcing his thumbs deeper into the sockets. The man thrashed around, wailing as though he was a newborn. Blood coated his digits and the soft ruptured cushiness of his destroyed oculus deterred him not. 

    “Brother Sekhemrekhutawy! Behind you!” Letting go of the man’s head, he turned to face a blade, sharp and waiting to taste his flesh. His eyes were cold and beady, his sneer complemented by black rotting teeth. 

    “Stand up Prince of Goryeo.” He moved not, just lifted his gaze from the blade to the man’s face. At his insolence, the man jut the blade outward, piercing the thin tempting flesh of his neck and forced his head upward. Laughing, the man took in this prince. Weak he was not. Even in the face of death he showed no fear. He’d enjoy this kill. 

    “Stand up.” To his displeasure the man now with twin streams of blood trailing down his face spoke, voice gruff and full of agony. 

    “He says to stand pretty face bastard. He shall cut you into pieces before your King.”  Admitting shock to hear the tongue of Goryeo from his lips would never happen but it send a trickle through his belly. Slowly, he stood, gritting his teeth at the pain that saturated his entire side. He kept his face carefully stoic despite the hot and cold chills that now seemed to attack his body, the arrow that pierced him standing out from his body almost proudly as if to say ‘here I have claimed him, your prize’. Pleased in the life force still found in his comrade he grinned. 

    “You are as he says. It will not be easy to kill you. But I shall take my time and enjoy it.” In that moment, the strangest thing happened. Something he never before experienced. Time seemed to slow. It was as if his comrades and his enemies were fighting in slow motion, blood an unfortunate and welcome sacrifice unto the earth it spilled upon. Oft in the distance, he saw his friends engaged in battle, bloodied…tired…yet still pressing on. He felt pride swell in his heart as he caught a glimpse of his Kushite brothers repel the forces that advanced on them. Like majestic lions they moved swift and uniform, graceful like a cheetah of the wild but brutal and merciless all the same. Arrows, halberds and spears cut through the dark flesh of some and some fell claimed into Isis’s embrace. A cry of grief fell upon his woman as she too watched her countrymen fall; crowned warrior, ruler of his heart and of the very land she defended. She bared her teeth like the great cat goddess B’sst, roared like the mighty lioness and charged, retribution and vengeance singing through the arrows she fired. 

    “Come with me.” The man demanded, drawing his gaze away from the many scenes of battle before him. Throat tight and leaking his own sacrifice, his eyes hardened. 

    “If you wish to kill me then do it. Stop stalling like a fucking coward.” He hissed in return, taking a step towards the blade. 

    “He will wear your skin as a cloak pretty faced basta-” Turning, he lifted his foot and crushed his windpipe, silencing the annoying buzzing from the injured fly. The man he presumed was the commander lifted his eyes from the now slain soldier and grinned once more, the action twisted and even more demented than before. 

    “Perhaps you two have more similarities than thought. Perhaps I shall not slay you. Perhaps I will make you my slave and send you to kill for me.” 

    “Pyeha!” Holding onto a halberd, Yoo-shik charged toward them on horse back and swung the weapon, cutting into the back of the man’s thigh. Hissing, he turned towards the attacker which gave him the time he needed. Balling up his fist, he delivered a hard punch to the brute’s jaw, freeing the weapon from his fingers. Grabbing the handle of the blade, he slashed his cheek, a thin merciful line marring rough dirty skin. 

    “Menre!”  To his surprise, Tiye advanced towards him on Dong-Il, having pushed him into a hard run. Holding on to the reins, she extended her hand outward. Grabbing hold of it, she pulled him up, breathing a sigh of relief as he roughly flopped into the saddle. Reaching under her arms, he took hold of the reins as she lifted out of the saddle, thighs tightly hugging Dong-Il’s sides as she drew back two arrows. Up ahead he eyed Yoo-shik who now fought bare handed with the commander he’d freed him from. 

    “Tiye!” She turned her head only slightly, focused on ahead. 

    “Strike to your left.” At once she obliged, releasing the weapons of death. Hitting their target hard and sure, the man hovering above Yoo-shik fell. 

    “Wangja-nim!” The scream of a woman followed and yet who seemed to rise out of the pile of men was Hae, fierce and hardened by grief, pain and disgust. Lifting a halberd, she tossed it towards him. Catching it, he thanked her with a brief nod. Relieving the strain on her thighs, Tiye resumed sitting. 

    “This day will not claim you will it?” He spoke against her ear roughly as they galloped and he could feel Dong-Il’s fatigue, the muscles underneath them growing tight. 

    “Should you desire to surrender then so will I. If not then no. It will not happen in this lifetime.” She replied, breathy and strong. He kissed her right underneath her ear in reply. Ahead, a line of solders drew arrows back seeming to await them. Her sharp inhale of breath gave him chills and he swallowed thickly. 

    “Cheol-su…” For the first time her voice carried worry but he only pressed the reins tighter into her hands, untangling their fingers. 

    “Don’t veer. Keep straight.” He demanded, lifting up onto his legs. Taking the lance, he aimed it and threw it just as two or three arrows came their way. One pierced Dong-Il in the leg, bringing forward an anguished scream from the beast. At once, he went down as yet another struck him in his side. The both of them went flying forward, she hitting the ground first. Then he a ways ahead. He hit his injured side, groaning sharply as the arrow slipped in deeper, fresh blood soaking his hanbok. 

    “NO!” The enraged cry from Tiye made him stiffen and hastily rise to his feet. She knelt over Dong-Il, the blades of swords, arrows and spears enclosed around them in a perfect circle. In her hand she held sabre, most likely stolen from a slain soldier. 

    “Do not touch him! Stay back!” The blood of his dearest closest friend painted the ground crimson and the sight of it, the sight of his labored pained breath infuriated him. Guilt burned his stomach and he charged forward, the hanbok clothing him rife with sweat yet light enough still. He began to cut and slice through them, the actions wild… incoherent…desperate almost. Eager to make distance from them and those he called his.         

    To his relief, some of his brothers flooded him on either side, determined to protect their sovereign. Falling to the ground they swiftly kicked feet from underneath themselves and took hold of weapons, helmets and throats, putting their lives at an end. Relief washed over Tiye and at once she relaxed the sabre and brought it to her side. Gently, stroking the beast’s neck, she assured him that he would be okay. Taking off her jeogori, she cut it into pieces, binding up the injured leg first, tight enough to ensure clotting. Pressing another large part against his side, she felt the stallion relax finally, laying his head against the ground. 

    “The King. Does he still remain in his chambers?” Hae asked, coming to stand next to her man, both for a moment taking in a breath as the fighting continued off aways from them. 

    “I don’t know.” He answered solemnly. 

    “We need to get him medical attention at once.”

    “But who is available?” 

    “We’ll have to figure it out as we go.” Accepting his answer, they all nodded. 

    “I’ll stay with him. Should you find Anat, please bring her to me. Tell her to bring herbs and fresh linen.” 

    “No.” He spoke firmly, taking her in. 

    “You will go with me.”

    “But I-”

    “Tiye.” Biting her lip, she turned her head aside stubbornly but she did not refute his order. 

    “We’ll stay here Tiye-ah. You are needed with Wangja-nim.”  Swallowing tightly, she gave a curt nod. Eying those of her kinsmen, she stood slowly. 

    “Stay with them and protect them.”

    “As you wish it so.” They replied, kneeling before her. Softly, with the touch that of a mother she laid her hand on their heads as if to bless them. Without a minute more spared, she left them, taking hold of her love’s hand. 

 

***

 

    Footsteps echoed as they entered the room and the giddy joy of the hunt was immediately cut short. The throne room, in all of its splendor and glory was empty. 

    “Pyeha… he’s escaped.” 

    “Good observation you stupid insect.” He hissed, forcing the little mouse of a man to draw silent. Anger burned bright like fire inside of his chest. He had hoped that he would still be here. He was looking forward to the moment he turned to see his very own son enter, surrounded by Mongolian soldiers. He could taste the betrayal and fear and wanted more than anything to wrap his hands around his throat and squeeze the ailing old life out of him. Put him out of his misery. Surrender him up to the Gods and take his place…carry the torch in his place and build a paradise on earth. Those desires and wants were now ripped from him. His father had fled indeed, perhaps out of cowardice, perhaps out of fear. 

    “He is not here as you said.” The commander sneered at him. 

    “What are we to do now prince of Goryeo?” 

    “I’ll think of something. Fear and worry not.” 

    “And this insidious plot of yours? If it doesn’t succeed?”

    “Now now commander, have you so little faith in me? Here I’ve given you Goryeo on a silver platter and you still worry. It is not my word you need doubt. I will succeed.” Chuckling darkly, he climbed the steps and turned to see the small sea of soldiers below him all looking up at him. The rush he got was one akin to arousal. Delicious indeed. Slowly, he sat, the seat beneath him still warm. 

    “You mind your soldiers and your camp. And allow me to handle mine.” The small impish man only spit, the glob of it splattering across the intricately designed floors. 

 

*** 

 

    Her feet had grown tired but she kept running, hand tightly clutched by Young-ho. He swallowed tightly and looked around, the path ahead of them empty, bodies already slain. 

    “We have to hide. They are sure to come back.” He said, voice strong and solid…whereas that of his brother had been quiet, soft and almost lilting. Her head still spun around and all of it was making her dizzy. 

    “Gongju-nim…we must go this way.” Pulling her, he began to run towards an empty abandoned quarters, that of her mother. Pushing her inside, he closed the door and proceeded to go about finding a weapon he could have of his own. Settling on a bow, arrow and geom from one of the intruders, he felt better equipped. Taking a short breath, he licked his lips and soon came behind the door, closing it shut. She trembled not because she was cold as he drew nearer, her eyes wide. He opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something but instead closed it. Silence between them was awkward and painful and it was so quiet you could hear their breathing, the trickle of saliva as it went down the throat. Neither moved. Neither looked at the other. Neither talked. Until, 

    “What happened to my hyung-nim?” The question dug into her like salt on a fresh wound and it stung brutally. Her eyes grew teary and she didn’t answer quiet yet. 

    “You said you knew him right? I want to know what happened. He stopped sending money to my brother and I and because of it we both were put out. We stopped seeing him during the permitted holiday break. He just vanished.” No, he was murdered. But she would dare not tell him that. Her thoughts jumbled together like puzzle pieces and she didn’t know where to start. 

    “He…He went away…”

    “Away?” Finally, eyes looked up to hers and they were identical. 

    “He was many things while he served here at the palace. Master of the stables. Blacksmith. Even a tailor.” 

    “Yes my hyung-nim was a man of many talents.” Her face grew pinched as she nodded. She was well aware. 

    “Yes well…he went away.” The man looked at her and for the longest time stared at her, the longest he’d glanced at her yet. No longer was he looking at her with apprehension and timidity… no longer did he look like a scared little kitten eager to get away from the big bad wolf. His expression was firm and serious, his eyes belying his distrust. 

    “I don’t believe you.” Her eyes flashed and she quirked up her mouth in a incredulous smirk. 

    “How dare you.” 

    “He would never leave my brother and I. He was everything to us. He would never have abandoned us.” The nerve. Something his brother would never have done was challenge her. No, he was a submissive delight, one who knelt under her authority and one that she enjoyed caring for and tending to. Between them had never been an abuse of power. He willingly gave her her due right and she repaid him by being sensitive to his needs… his wants… his every such desire.  

    “So I am a liar. This you have nerve to say to me?” She questioned but even still….her spirit wept. Her desire to have him was so strong that she would give a limb but to steal him for a second. Fate was cruel. To be blessed with the sight of the same man twice and yet she could do nothing. 

    “Not for one second can you convince me otherwise.” 

    “Bold of you. Were we in any other circumstance but this I might have your tongue for offending me.”

    “You could take it but not without a fight. And a proper truthful explanation.” He countered, tightening his grip on the strange looking sword.  Eyes left the defiant man in favor of the door and they both drew silent as sounds of steps drew nearer. She took in hand her eunjangdo and he took hold of the geom with both hands, turning to face the door head on. Just as he was about to charge, the door slid open. Two familiar faces blinked at them and they at them. 

    “S-Sunbae-nim?” Tiye gave no answer, instead disarming her bow and throwing herself at him, knocking him down in an overjoyed hug of elation. 

    “Thank the Gods you’re alright.” She breathed against him, bringing his once chilled cheeks to a boil. He wasn’t sure what to do… if he should hug her back…so he just laid there quietly, face blinded by her braids. 

    “Mishil….what are you doing here?” The Crown Prince asked, coming to take her too in a tight hug. 

    “I awaited my palanquin but no one came. When I went to see what was taking so long, I discovered everyone dead. So I hid.” He nodded against her hair and pressed small kisses against her crown. 

    “Thank the Gods you’re safe.”

    “Where is Seo Jun oppa-nim?” 

    “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him. Father dispatched him at the East and South gates.”

    “And have you seen Father?”

    “No.” She exhaled, letting a quiet sigh escape her lips. 

    “You are…related?” The question came from Young-ho who Tiye had finally let up, cheek still rosy. 

    “Yes. She is my sister. The Princess of Goryeo. You’ve become acquainted?” 

    “Not exactly.” The two of them answered in unison and it brought a curious eyebrow from the older man upward. 

    “Hm.” Glancing at his sister, he cleared his throat. 

    “Young-ho-ah, I want you to come with me.”

    “Where are we going?”

    “Somewhere safe. I wish to return you to your brother Do-won.” 

    “And you all? What will become of you?”

    “We’ll be fine. It is your safety that is of concern.” Tiye spoke next with a friendly nod. 

    “Alright then.”

    “I’ll stay with the princess. If I can get her to Deoksugung I will.”

    “Mm. Young-ho, let’s go. We don’t have time to waste.” 

    “Ah, right.” Taking the younger, the two left the women once again in quiet. For the longest time neither said anything, Tiye having decided to move towards the door, bow and arrow ready to be drawn. The younger woman observed her for the longest time, so many things on her tongue to say and yet the courage to say them had perished. 

    “I’m…I’m sorry.” Taking her eyes off of the door, she turned confused eyes onto the royal. 

    “Sorry? For?” Mishil licked her lips and she squeezed her eyes shut as if the words were painful to get out. 

    “What happened…what I did to you.” Realization of what she referred to flickered across her features. The memory of that day would forever be immortalized in her skin, now thin small scars. She didn’t say anything but she gave a nod of acknowledgement. The young woman opened her eyes and blinked a few times, once again taking in the sight of her face, turned to the side. 

    “I realize now how much of a fool I was then. Young, spoiled and ignorant I did not understand anything. I reveled in my power, given to me at birth and I enjoyed using it to destroy things and people I didn’t know anything about.” The woman ahead of her, her brother’s star of light, of hope, of the future blazed bright and true, fingers tensing and relaxing on the bow she held. 

    “I was so much like him then. I never imagined that the tables would turn and everything would shift. The moment I…the moment reality crashed into me…it all changed.” 

    “Who were you like my lady?” The honorific was spoken quietly and yet she felt as if it was she who needed to show reverence and respect. 

    “Seo-jun oppa-nim.” The very name cast a cloud above the woman and her entire body grew stiff. A reaction she both expected and understood. 

    “I see.” She answered, voice careful and apprehensive. 

    “I suppose now that we are both adults we can be frank about it. Let us be open about everything hm?” She took her eyes from the door and turned them onto her. She had her undivided attention now. 

    “My eldest brother has obsessed over you for a very long time. That obsession has driven him into madness, a case unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed before.” Tiye was silent, listening as the young woman went on. 

    “You belonged to Cheol-su oppa-nim and because of that he wanted you even more. Not for any other reason but to say that he had taken claim to you, had you for himself, defiled and ruined what Cheol-su oppa wanted most. It was never quite about you in actuality Tiye-ah. From the time Cheol-su oppa was born Seo jun oppa hated him. Hated the threat he posed to his life. Hated that he was robbed of that which he felt most belonged to him. So, the hatred turned into envy. Jealousy. Destruction. It’s always been that way between them and it will never change as long as they both live.” 

    “You are telling me this why?” 

    “I want you to understand that we both have been made victims of his cruelty, brutality and inhumanity.” 

    “Is that right?”

    “I know what he did to you. In the horse stalls that day. I know that he violated you, took of your body without so much as an askance and vowed to do it again should he wish.”  The woman shivered, an involuntary confession to the pain, betrayal and anger conjured up from that fateful day. 

    “I’ve watched him do unspeakable things to the servants…to the gisaeng. I’ve watched him enact his sick twisted fantasies with women who neither asked for it or wanted it.” Her voice grew quiet as a sound of walking cut through the space. Drawing her arrow, she positioned herself right at the opening of the room and paced the steps. To their relief, the steps began to travel away from them, causing her to relax her weapon. 

    “I’ve bared witness to poor defenseless women being tied up like a lamb to slaughter, poked and prodded with unimaginable objects, violated from every orifice and penetrated, only to be rewarded with death.” Tiye swallowed thickly. 

    “Each and every time it was your name he called out in his moment of release, your name he cursed and spat and worshipped the same.” 

    “Monster.” She hissed, eyes filled with disgust. 

    “His hands drip with the blood of the innocent, the defenseless and the weak. Even now he is a bloodthirsty beast who awaits in the shadows, ready to devour any such soul he can gain.” 

    “In what way has he wronged you? Surely, he wouldn’t harm his one and only sister, fellow royal and of shared birthright.” A mirthless laugh escaped the woman’s mouth and Tiye narrowed her eyes, distrust and curiosity swimming in them. 

    “It doesn’t matter if you are blood to him or not. Seo jun oppa does not care who you are or what station you hold in this wretched cursed life. If he desires your end it is your end he will deliver.” Shiny teary eyes glanced down at the eunjangdo resting in her palm. 

    “I fell in love with a cheonmin man, one believed by the Gods to be but dust in the eye and dirt beneath ones shoe. However, he was none of those things.” Tiye watched as the poor girl became the living embodiment of grief, big fat anguished tears escaping through full long lashes. 

    “He used to tend to the horse stables. I’m sure you remember him.” Shock danced across the woman’s beautiful yet exotic features. 

    “Byung-ho-ah?” 

    “It was he that stole my heart.” The realization of that weighed heavy on her and again she gave a simple nod. 

    “I had given him my heart and my body one preciously forbidden night. I attempted to keep our affair a secret. But he found out and determined to destroy my happiness. When it was revealed to him that I had become with child, carrying seed not of royal or affluent origin, he framed him.”

    “Framed him how?” The question hurt to ask as memories of the quiet shy soft spoken boy flickered through her mind. He was such a gentle soul.  

    “He accused him of stealing a hairpin of mine and had him tortured and beaten.” 

    “Animal….” 

    “He had Byung-ho tied to horses and ripped to pieces. In front of everyone.” Eyes teary she paused for a moment, reliving each and every moment of it she was sure. 

    “Later after his heinous murder, he claimed the like of my unborn child, strangling the life from it with an abortive medicine he had slipped into my tea.” Placing the bow and arrow down for a second, the woman scooted closer and for the first time to the shock of them both wrapped arms around her. Her body stiffened at first, unsure how to react. But soon, the princess relaxed, folding up further into the arms of the spicy sweet scent of her brother’s affection. Weeping, she welcomed the gentle pet of her hair and reassuring rubs on her back. 

    “Sweet child, you have endured so much at the hands of evil. For that I am most sorry.” Mishil sniffled and lifted away from the soft umber neck and wiped her tears. 

    “I regret everything I’ve said or done to you Tiye eonnie. I believe you share a royal bloodline the same as I and my brother would cross hell and earth for you. It is only right I show some inkling of respect to you now in atonement.”The sisterly title rocked her but she smiled. 

    “We both have been wronged by him. We both hate him and I know we both desire to see to his end.” Mishil distanced herself but a hair’s length, looking into the woman’s eyes once more. 

    “I fear I cannot do much as I am given my title. But… But I believe you can.” Taking hold of the woman’s hands, she knelt before her, face pressed against the cold wet wood. 

    “Please help me Tiye-eonnie. Help me avenge Byung-ho. Help me avenge the countless number of women he’s slain. Allow me to help you avenge yourself. I desire to take him down together.” 

    “How would you request I help you my lady?” 

    “Help me by killing him. Exact your revenge by slaughtering him like the pig he is.”  Never in a million years had she ever sen this coming… the day Mishil would be begging her for anything. But, here it was and the sting was bittersweet. Giving a firm squeeze to the young woman’s hands, she spoke with finality, certainty and gentleness. 

    “Alright. I will help you.” 

End Notes:

 

 

A/N: okaysothiswasachapterIhadnointentionofuploadingbutithappenedanyway LOL. SURPRISE?? BONUS chapter to truly say farewell to 2020? Sure! Why not? LMAO! Mishil had finally asked our princess for her assistance in taking down her oldest brother, placing herself in a position lower than both figuratively and literally. Who would have EVER thought that Mishil would become Tiye's ally? That was NOT my original intention for the two of them but hey I am not complaining. The King has fled and Seo Jun's plan has backfired. There are not enough words in the English language to describe ho much I despise his character. But his end y'all I have planned and it is... well... delicious to say the least. oOP that's horrible to say. 

Young-ho is a complete contrast to his elder brother (by a few minutes he will gladly remind you kekeke) intentionally. He's not quiet, not bashful and is not afraid to challenge authority? Yeah, everything Byung-ho was not. Hence why I say that Cheol-su sees himself in him... especially his younger self hehe. As the story continues, we will get to see more of Anat and her personality (can you tell that already she is stubborn? lol.) With writing four chapters in like two/three days I will focus now a bit on Delphine. I wanna update that. I'll be flip flopping back and forth from Yeonwang to Delphine until I finally finish Yeonwang. I was taking a look at some of my other ideas.. some I think I will keep and others I think I'll scrap. Those I feel the urge to write I will list. By the end of 2021, I want to have at least one of my anthologies published as well as Transcendence. Maybe one should come before the other? 

A lot of people still don't know about Accordance *sigh*. I mean at least I think a lot of people still don't know about Accordance. It's hard doing all of this myself lol. I don't know what I'm doing and with trying to balance school, work and my creative endeavors it's a lot lol. So sometimes, I get overwhelmed when I think about just how much publicity I want but don't have the money to pay for and all that jazz. I want my stories to be put on and showcased in/by the best. If you guys have any ideas of how I can spread the word, lemme know please!

Okay I'm done rambling for one night lol. I got home from a long stressful day at work not too long ago and now I wanna relax and chill. lol. 

God bless you all, Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all that jazz. Love you and see you in the new Year hehe. 

~D&L

 

 

Pictures inspired by the chapter (s): 

Cheol-su (visual Park Hyung-sik) 

Hae instructing: 

Cheol-su's energy when ole dude had that blade against his throat lol. He was like aye man do what you gon do and stop bullshittin LOL 

okay I'm done hehe. 

bye~

 

서른여섯 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


 


Seoreunyeoseot


thirty-six


** GRAPHIC DEPICTION OF DEATH** 

 

    “Pyeha, please! Don’t do th-” Blood sprayed across his face and eyes looked down at the wide terror filled eyes, gurgling wet mouth and sliced open neck. Smirking, he eyed another one of his so-called soldiers. The bastard had tried to run. How could he call himself a man? How could he abandon his duty? He wasn’t loyal. None of them were. Turning towards the man, he began to laugh as he attempted to run away. He’d deal with all of these little insects first. And then, he’d move up to the bigger ones. 

 

 

*** 

 

    The sound of a horse brought their attention toward the doors, still under orders to be closed. Slim nervous hands clutched themselves together and breath could not come fast enough. The sound of feet hitting the dirt happened next and firm eyes looked across at the three young women hugging each other, stiff with fear. 

    “Mother,”  That got her attention and she let her eyes fall back onto the closed door. 

    “I will have Mishil brought here to you. Tiye will escort her.” Cheol-su? She bit the inside of her cheek as she listened quietly. 

    “I don’t know where Father is. Or where Seo Jun is. For now, stay here. When it is safe, we will send for you.” Feet walked away and the horse soon left them. With her stern gaze, she bid the young women not to speak. Her own throat tight, she glanced down at her hands. All of this was a nightmare. She’d known it had been coming. But to be so swift and sudden. What would have happened if Cheol-su had not returned to us? What if he had’ve stayed in the foreign land? Swallowing, she inhaled and exhaled through her nostrils and closed her eyes, listening to the breathing of her maids and the occasional step of the guards outside. She’d keep them closed until she was certain that she could wake and all be right again. 

 

*** 

 

    The unnamed stallion’s hooves pounded against the ground and his hair whipped almost wildly around him. Long ago he’d lost his hair ribbon. It didn’t matter. What did, however, was his brother’s location. Something was not sitting right in his stomach. How he had just disappeared. He pressed the stallion in the direction of the east gate. This side curiously seemed to not have any invaders…lest they be the slain bodies he galloped past in his arrival. Licking dry lips, he scanned the scenes in front of him, his heart growing fast. Those…those weren’t Mongols. The labored beast’s breath came fast and hard through his nose and he at once slowed him, a firm pat against his neck. 

    “Good boy. I know I’ve pushed you.” Close enough by the gate, he dismounted and again gave the horse thanks before venturing closer. Fingers slid around the hilt of a geom and he steadied it in his hands as he approached. Looking behind him at times, he inhaled hard through his nostrils. This side had been completely left unarmed, bodies littered the length of the wall. Jaw tight, he knelt beside a cluster and lifted the neck of one. He froze. The man’s eyes had been gouged and his cheeks cut at the sides of his mouth almost to give an eerie sick elongated smile. Dropping eyes down, he recognized the uniform of their army. Letting the neck of the man go, he crouched there beside yet another one of their men. His mouth had been opened, a sword shoved up and out from the back of his head, his tongue sliced clean through there at the end of the blade. Eyes still wide as if he’d just been attacked. His eyes misted with tears as he lifted to close his unseeing terrified ones. This wasn’t the style of the Mongols. None of these men he had come across had died by the hands of the invaders. Throat tight, he stood still and stiff. Setting eyes on the Eastern gates which had been strewn open, his gaze hardened with fury. Seo-Jun. 

 

*** 

 

    “We’ve had to retreat. Do you think to make us an embarrassment?” Lips smiled. 

    “Today we shall give the victory to my pig headed little brother. Let him have his praise.”

    “For what reason?”

    “Now now, don’t become so antsy. We must do things in order and in decency shouldn’t we?” The man grit his teeth, eyes gliding over the Goryeo prince. 

    “Should you not keep your end of the bargain, I shall slice your throat and wear your innards for decoration.” 

    “And should you not keep yours I shall decorate my palace with the heads of your men.” The two of them stared at each other before laughing, hands coming to slap each other on the back. 

    “It is a pity you were not Mongolian. You’d be my best captain.” Grinning, he said nothing as they reclined in chairs made from the skin of sheep and bone of ox. 

    “We’ve done enough. Your soldiers need to rest. We have a bigger battle ahead of us.” Leaning back, he welcomed a goblet of wine and horse blood, Goryeo and Mongolia…graciously accepting it down his throat. Interesting to say the least and yet something about it intoxicating. Grinning, he motioned for another pour. There was yet another day, another chance. He would not stop until he succeeded. When that time came, should he feel up to it, he’d allow the Mongols residency here. Should he not, they too would fall by his sword. That was the thrilling game of life. 

 

 

*** 

 

 

     Sweat slid down her back and beaded at her temples. Another slap to the neck of her mare. They’d gotten far enough from the palace to breathe but not further away yet as to let one’s guard down. Turning her head, she glanced back at Mishil, who like her, rode ferociously on a mare. 

    “Do you thirst?” She shouted loudly over the pound of the hooves. 

    “Let’s keep forward.” Her reply. Very well. Readjusting her sight in front and to the side of her, she swallowed thickly. Their conversation spun like a top inside of her head, over and over again. At first she was hesitant. Untrusting. She couldn’t help but be… not after everything they had been through together. But it was her eyes…they told a truth that not even her mouth could utter. She’d been betrayed. She’d been robbed. She’d had her entire spirit crushed into tiny little pieces. And she wanted to get even. The sheer fury that rested in her eyes had mirrored the same in her own eyes once. The desire to squeeze the life from him rested in her delicate fingers. Now they both understood one another. There was no way that she could in good conscience forsake her. Up ahead, there was a fork in the road on the path and greenery in forms of swirling leaves. 

    “Which way?” She shouted back in Mishil’s direction. 

    “Left.” Leading them left, she gave another slap to the mare. They would have to stop for drink. She could tell that her horse was growing fatigued from the distance. Scanning the distance, she spot a stream up ahead, eyes turning to see Mishil following behind. Guiding the animal into a slowed gallop, she soon came to the water source and the horse all but dipped her head beneath the surface. Dismounting, she gently thanked her with a pat to the neck and turned to see Mishil’s mare drinking to her heart’s content. 

    Things were quiet between them, a tangible tension yet. Like a finely wound thread it was sure to snap until she spoke. 

    “Don’t you think it’s odd that this road was left unaccompanied?” She hadn’t thought to ask the question but she more than sure had thought it. Licking her lips, she watched as the mare continued to drink. 

    “What was his reason for doing so I wonder.” 

    “Perhaps in his rash fleeing he didn’t think that any would come after him.” She assumed she was speaking about her father. She couldn’t be more wrong. Not anyone, not even her own husband knew….but the Gods had visited her in dreams nights before this day. In the dreams she saw Seo Jun. She saw him with blood on his hands. It pooled underneath his feet and at the sight of it all around him he grinned like a demon. Sooner or later he would try to usurp the throne. His greed was so great even she felt it in her slumber.  She didn’t dare share that with Cheol-su… not yet anyway. 

    “How will he handle this? Your father?” Mishil sighed and swallowed thickly. 

    “He is the leader of this country. Naturally, he must take it back.” 

    “How?” 

    “I don’t know.” Her answer was sharp. Frustrated. She left it alone and decided to take a drink herself. She wasn’t any good to anyone dehydrated. Mishil followed suit but soon, the sound of crying sprung up from the splash of the water below. Slowly lifting, she went to kneel down beside the weeping girl. 

    “I’ll get you to the palace safely. Don’t worry.” 

    “Eonnie…I…I just want this all to stop. I want this to be a dream…” 

    “I know. Me too.”

    “What if...what if Cheol-su oppa and Seo Jun oppa can’t stop them? What if…what if they take Goryeo?” Wrapping her arms around her tighter, she closed her eyes. 

    “One thing I know about Cheol su is this: He never surrenders. He will give his last breath to ensure that his people are safe and sound.” Mishil didn’t say a word, she just lifted up and wiped her tears. That a girl. Giving a small friendly smile, she wiped away a stray one. 

    “It’s time to move. The more we linger the more we put ourselves in danger.” Standing, she helped her stand and like before the two were off. 

 

*** 

 

    Death choked the once vibrant colors of the palace. All around his feet laid blood, severed limbs, bodies torn open. Innards and smashed brains. Already the hungry crows and scavengers began to feast, picking at the skin of some and plucking the dangly bits of eyeballs from others. He managed to stomach the sight, barely… 

    As he meandered through he froze in his tracks. It was the women from the harem that made him finally vomit and he in his ferocity nearly tripped over a corpse. Eyes releasing tears, they squeezed shut trying to erase the images crashing into him at the speed of light. 

 

     He fell to his knees, spilling more vomit that seemed to mingle with the blood beneath his hands. Tears streamed down his cheeks and he lifted his head, eyes up ahead. There lied his mother and sister, bodies naked and mutilated. Nipples had been cut off and a large blunt object had been shoved up into their vaginas. 

 

    Fisting the dirt beneath his fingers, he felt his stomach roll one last time before lifting a sleeve of his hanbok to his mouth. What was once a dream had materialized in the physical realm and it sent chills down his spine. He didn’t have time to grieve…didn’t have time to process what was and wasn’t. Gathering the bits of vomit still from his throat, he spit it out and slowly stood.

     Eyes still watery, he glanced down at the female bodies. Their hanbok had been ripped, torn or cut open. Remnants of male ejaculation covered now stiff hard skin, pulled apart braids and lips. Legs had been forced apart and the brutality of the penetration in some evidenced by swollen outer lips and blood still wet. The handles of their eunjangdocould be seen, the blade itself shoved up into their insides. Eyes were lifeless and yet the palpable fear of violation still remained frozen forever in some. Slender necks had been sliced and strangled and hands held air, swords and arrows. 

    Throat heavy and thick with unshed emotion, he knelt and closed their eyes one by one, closing what of their hanbok remained. Taking the cast aside daenggi telling of their innocence and girlhood, he gathered what of their hair he could and tied it once more. Sniffing quietly, he stood and tightened his jaw. Without a second more wasted, he got onto his horse and pushed on. He needed to find Yooshik. To his luck, he spotted him amongst the bodies of slain soldiers. Swiftly dismounting, he ran towards him. 

    “Yooshik!” Lifting a finger he pressed it by his nose. A puff of air warmed his skin. Thank the Gods. He was alive. He was hanging on by a thread. He could see that his arm had been slashed and from the looks of it he wasn’t sure that it would be able to be salvaged. His armor had been split in two and his bare chest was exposed, a deep gash from collarbone to navel. He grabbed what he could to blot at the blood, lifting distraught eyes upward. It hurt to breathe but the relief knowing he was alive lessened the almost jittery movements of his fingers. 

    “You’re not allowed to die. I won’t allow you to leave like this.” He spoke, voice finally starting to belie his emotion. The man didn’t answer but his breath did and that was all mattered. 

    “Pyeha!” Twisting his head, he saw one of Yooshik’s subordinates run towards them. 

    “Are the men safe?” Are they alive?

    “Some sire.” Some was better than none. 

    “Hae-ssi?”

    “She’s alive sire.” Breathing a sigh of relief, he gave a firm nod. 

    “My father?” 

    “Reports affirm that he has made it to the palace hideout.” 

    “Find the medical staff and take Yooshik to get treated.” 

    “As for you sire?”

    “The country will not go a day without a king.” The man’s eyes grew wide as he stood. 

    “Should those bastards decide to venture further in, they shall meet their deaths. Send troops to scour the entire premises. Should you find any alive, imprison them.”

    “Yes sire.”  Turning, he mounted his horse. Once Yooshik had been taken, he set off nice and easy into the bowels of the palace. Dismounting one last time, he grabbed his sword and stepped up each step. Face hard and jaw tight, he shoved open the doors to the throne room. Palace guards and attendants lay dead. 

 

    Bodies of guards, court officials, gungnyeo and other noblemen and woman lay strewn the floor, arms, feet, fingers, ears, even heads thrown about.

 

    It was eerily quiet, the silence threatened to choke him. Fingers tight on the hilt of his geom, he slowly stepped inside. The entirety of the room was empty, no such intruder to be seen. Focusing eyes ahead onto the throne, he only tightened his hand. The rich crimson, breathtaking jades, blues and even yellows stared back at him. The steps upward were pristine and solid and yet the throne itself, tipped with the fierce golden wings of the phoenix was empty. For the first time in his life, he had never seen such a thing. It deeply disturbed him. 

    Lifting eyes to the murals behind it, that of the five hills of heaven and the sun and moon, he slowly let his arms relax. Bringing the sword down slightly, he turned towards the massacre before him. Blood covered the floor; stained the pillows and splattered across the individual tables of court. Letting his arm rest completely, he took a shaky breath. Nervousness thrummed through him like a string of the gayageum. He reached back, feeling the arm of the throne beneath his fingers. Tightening his grip, he took another unsteady breath and took a step back as to sit. 

    “You have some nerve little brother.” Freezing, he met a twisted grin and amused eyes. Instantly, his grew hard and chilly. 

    “Seo Jun…” 

    “Disrespectful little shit. The least you could do is address me properly.” 

    “I respect only those who have earned it.” Those lips sneered. 

    “Is that something you learned in Tiye’s savage world?” It wasn’t the question that caused him to drop his sword and draw an arrow instead…it was the simple fact that he’d said her name… breathed her name. The action humored him so much he laughed, the sound of it condescending. 

    “You’re so predictable. One mention of her and your balls stick together.” He chose not to answer, though the reply was dying to leave his tongue. He simply stood still, arms pulling the arrow back nice and taunt. 

    “Have you heard of our father’s whereabouts?” 

    “Have you?”

    “Obviously not or else I wouldn’t have asked you.” He let that go and hissed the next question. 

    “Why did you murder your own men?” His sneer morphed into something that made his blood grow cold. It was sinister. Devilish, it possessed his entire face. 

    “Is not the punishment for desertion death?” He held fast to his arrow, loosening the pull just a tad. 

    “Those bastards deserved to die. They betrayed their king and their country. I did them a favor.” 

    “You enjoy the kill.” He said voice frosty, watching as his brother’s smile confirmed his statement. 

    “Perhaps even more than the hunt itself. The act of catching one’s prey is…intoxicating.” He felt nausea twist his stomach. 

    “To have them powerless…knowing you can crush them any such way you desire…it’s exhilarating.” 

    “So that’s what this is to you. What they are to you. Animals to be hunted.” He didn’t spare any disgust from his voice and it only made his brother laugh. 

    “You have the nerve to stand there as if you earned it.” 

    “I have. I’ve earned every fucking right.” 

    “I can’t say abandoning the king, your country and your family for three years is earning it.” His face went cold and Seo Jun snickered. 

    “You were living it up in her land weren’t you? It’s okay you can tell me. We’re brothers right? Everyday must have been paradise. Not having anyone to tell you what you could or could not do.”

    “Don’t assume shit about what it was like.” 

    “Ah yes and then there’s Tiye.” He spoke as if his statements went in one ear and out. He clenched his jaw so tight that the muscle bulged out and his nostrils visibly flared. 

    “Away from everyone to oppose you, I’m sure you had plenty of…pleasurable nights.” 

     His arm drew his arrow back nice and tight once more, fury making his eyes glow. 

    “We’re in the middle of a war and yet you waste your breath talking about a woman.” He snarled, the very thought of it infuriating him even more. 

    “She’s not just any woman. She’s your woman.” Those lips teased a smirk. 

    “Enough of this tit-for-tat.” 

    “Oh? I thought we were just getting started.”

    “It’s because of my allegiance to the Princess of Kush that we had the manpower. Think whatever the fuck you want about me. But I will not allow you to disrespect her or her people. You should be kneeling before them thanking them for saving your mistake of a life.” There, for once he was quiet, that disgusting smirk widening on his face. 

    “We both shall stand post here and defend the throne until it is safe for Father to return.” Seo Jun’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline and for once his smirk faltered.     

    “Together?” Standing down, he lowered his arrow with a tight jaw. Was there no other choice in the matter? At the moment, he could think of none. And what a price had been paid.

    “Together.” 

 

 

***

 

    The sound of hooves made them all grow still and hushed, sets of eyes on the door in front of them. 

    “We will not let any harm come to you Your Majesty.” Her guards stood tight, weapons drawn. Waiting. Knowing that at any moment it could go wrong and they would perish. Knowing that they all could. The very thought was terrifying. But she was the Queen of Goryeo. She would not surrender it so easily. 

    “Highness….”

    “Shh.” From the sound of it more than one horse made its way closer and closer to the gates, her eyes drifting closed as she took a deep breath. Ears listened as the beat of the hooves ceased. Yet there was no scrape of sword or whizz of arrow. No loud protest or no other sound of battle. Voices spoke and then it grew quiet. Opening her eyes, her breathing remained calm though her heart began to pound in her chest. She heard the guards move away from the door and clenched her fists. The door slid back and her eyes met not an intruder but…her own daughter. Eyes grew wide and she at once stood. 

    “Mishil?” Poor thing, her eyes were watery but she tried to remain composed, giving a brave smile instead and a nod. 

    “Come child…come.” In she came and the two shared a tight hug. 

    “How did you get here? I waited and waited for you and you never came.”

    “The servants who were to take me were killed and I had to hide in the palace.” At last, her own eyes revealed her fear and worry and she hugged her daughter closer. 

    “Thank the Gods you are safe.”

    “It is thanks to Tiye-eonnie.” At that, she slowly pulled away from her, confusion deeply set in her face. 

    “Tiye…eonnie? Cheol-su’s plaything?”

    “Royal concubine.” She corrected, letting her arms fall away from her. 

    “You mean his whore.” Both sets of eyes turned to see Jae-hwa standing, arms crossed and lips tight and thin. Mishil returned the look with a glance of disgust and pinched lips. 

    “Since when did you two…” Her question was cut short as Tiye walked in. The tension in the room could have been cut with a blade but she only meekly bowed her head in respect of the Queen. One who did not look too enthused. 

    “…get so close?” 

    “She saved me from the invaders. She’s enabled me to reach you safely…putting her own life on the line to do so. I think that deserves respect where respect is due.”

    “You sure it’s not because she’s Cheol-su’s bedwarmer? How can we even be sure that she’s really loyal to anyone but him?” 

    “Shut up.” The hiss came from Mishil and all even her mother looked shocked. Walking right up to her, she leaned in against her ear. 

    “I could air all of your laundry right here and now. With what I know, it would not only embarrass you but ruin your life. If you were smart, you would shut the hole in your face.” Jae-hwa instantly paled eyes averting her own steely gaze. 

    “Well…I thank you musor-I…I mean Tiye-ssi. Thank you for saving my daughter.” Said woman only bowed her head in a deeper bow and soon lifted her head, a small smile sent their way, brief but cold glance towards Jae-hwa. 

    “Have you received word from the King?” She asked, eyes turned back towards the queen. 

    “He is somewhere in the palace. Not even the Queen is to know his whereabouts. Once the threat subsides, he will return to deal with the intruders.” 

    “When do you think that will be?”

    “It is hard to tell.”

    “Make yourself comfortable eonnie. We’ll be here a while.” At the short nod towards her, she swallowed what little saliva was left in her mouth and sat down nearest the door, her bow, arrows and eunjangdo within reach. Closing her eyes, she tried to slow her thudding heart. Anat..she didn’t know where she was… Hae either. Taking a deep breath, she tried to calm herself. Both Anat and Hae were more than capable in battle. She shouldn’t worry. They all would be reunited soon. As for Cheol-su….she had the most faith in him. Sit here she would until he came to fetch them all. That was all she could do at this point. 

 

End Notes:

A/N: HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII GUYSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! OH HOW I HAVE MISSED YOU! So funny story, it took me not having internet for a day to FORCE me to write this. Now, I know that might NOT be funny but listen lol. Y'all know how bad my writer's block get when I'm almost done with a story LOL. It be B-A-D! lol. I've felt so proud of myself and happy to bring you guys some updates to Yeonwang! I know you guys have been asking and I've BEEN wanting to write believe me I have! I have a two chapter update for you hehe. I can't make any promises of course but my goal was to finish Yeonwang by the end of this year. So I have like two and a half months left LOL. No pressure right? lol. I'm not gonna rush it though. If I finish I finish. If not then I'll finish in 2022! haha. I love you guys! Thank you for continuing to support and love on me. *le sniff* 

Can I say that I love this alliance Mishil and Tiye have going? Like two BAMF's together just scheming and plotting LOL. LOVE TO SEE IT. Never woulda thought it but it's happening and I'm not complaining lol. Let's talk about Mishil's complete check of Jae-hwa LOL. That was *chef's kiss* LOL. I know Seo Jun dances on y'all nerves and he dances on mine lol. Trust me. When I tell you his end is so close I CAN TASTE IT and I'm the writer LOL. Just trust the process. 

Okay let's go to the next update hehe. 

DL~


서른일곱 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

Seoreunilgop 

 thirty-seven

 

 

 

 

 

Days. It had been days. They had taken turns keeping watch but by the end fatigue always won. After three days, Seo Jun had refused to go another minute standing guard and complained about his wounded calvary. He awakened the fourth morning to find him gone. His jaw tight as he lifted from the makeshift pallet of court seats and climbed the stairs. Eying the empty throne, he turned to face the entirety of the room. As exhausted as he was, he would not surrender.

    Sitting down, he placed the long sword against his chest and sat still, eyes trained on the entry ways. A bitter taste rose in his mouth and he swallowed it down. Seo Jun would tuck tail and run. He hadn’t expected much out of him to begin with. It was a wonder he lasted as long as he did. The thought almost made him laugh. He coveted the throne so much but he couldn’t even do something as simple as protect it? Bastard. 

    Sighing, he cleared his throat and sat up straighter. God he was so tired. His body begged him to rest…Still fresh from sleep, he blinked his eyes furiously, struggling not to let them droop. They had started to close anyway when his ears picked up a faint bang. Faint. Quiet. He heard it again, this time much louder. The sound jolted him awake and his eyes grew alert. The sound of jing cut through the silence of the morning. Nabal and nagak pierced the air. Daechwita. That meant…The sounds married together so beautifully and yet even in the midst there was an overwhelming sorrow. The sound of feet marching seemed to close in on all four sides of him. He moved not as the instruments stopped. The army was sure to have arrows ready and soldiers with sword in hand… not sure like he of the danger on the other side. 

    He began to get up when the doors were pushed open. He immediately paused as the troops rushed in. They knelt, aiming at him. 

    “Pyeha!” 

     “Who dwells inside?” He heard the voice of his father inquire. 

    “The Crown Prince stands guard over the throne pyeha!” His heart beat so fast inside of his chest he thought that it was sure to come out. He lowered the sword and laid it on the ground, lifting eyes to see those belonging to his father widen on him. 

    “Cheol-su?” Tightening his jaw, he fell to the ground in a bow. 

    “Disarm!” At once the soldiers did and the King passed them all, drawing closer and closer to him until all he could see were his black boots.

    “How long have you been here?” 

    “Three nights and four mornings.”

    “Your brother?”

    “He was here with me. However, it proved too much for him and he left this morning.” He didn’t need to see his father’s face to know that disgust proved heavy on his face. 

    “I see.” 

    “Where are the Mongols?”

    “Word reached me that they have withdrawn their forces completely from Goryeo. It seems as though they have reached a bitter concession.” 

    “They aren’t ones to admit defeat.” He answered, mouth firm. The Mongolian people were persistent by nature. It hadn’t been the first time they’d tried to invade their lands. Kings from before his time had also dealt with the same battle. 

    “I am aware. However, I will take advantage of the situation.” 

    “Of course.” 

    “Stand up my son.” Without hesitation he did. Looking once more into his eyes, his father seemed hesitant…what appeared to be guilt living on his face. He hadn’t intended on returning to the throne so soon. Like a coward, he had run away from his country and its people. He had put his own life above all else. Swallowing the truth down, he took hold of his shoulder. 

    “I’m sure you can understand why I did what I did. I am old and my time as ruler of this land grows shorter each day. What good would I be to die before I see you wed and produce children?” He didn’t say a word, only lowering his eyes. 

    “You are the only one that I can continue to trust.” Giving him a clap on the back, he pushed past him and started up the steps. Turning, he sat on the seat empty for days. 

    “Baek-jin!” 

    “Yes, pyeha!” One of his attendants came rushing up with a frantic bow.

    “Send for the Queen and the Princess.”

    “At once pyeha.” 

    “Cheol-su.”

    “Yes Father.” Kneeling, he pressed his face against the floor in a bow. 

    “You’ve done very well. Now, it’s time to rest.” 

    “I cannot leave the dead unburied or the injured untreated.” He countered, his gaze leaving no room for argument. To his surprise, his father offered none. He simply clenched his jaw and gave a nod of consent. 

    “Very well then. Once the rites have been performed, I order you to rest.” Slowly, he stood and with a stiff half bow, he turned on his heel. 

 

 

*** 

 

    The flames of the fire crackled and popped and the warmth of it spread across the back of her neck. Thankful for it, the cool air of the morning had arisen tiny little pimples on her skin.  She opened her eyes and stared at the dark wood wall in front of her. Not a word. Until the voice of the little boy sounded. He asked what sounded to be a question and a much deeper voice answered…a voice that made her cheeks grow warm. She tightened her fingers into fists and remained still. The little voice said something else and the deeper voice replied once more, this time with a slight chuckle. Stop this. Just get up. You’re going to have to talk to them regardless. Biting her cheek, she slowly began to sit up. With a yawn, she couldn’t help the stretch of her body, now much looser and relaxed than before. It alarmed her to think that she was actually starting to get…comfortable. Spoken words made her shoulders tense up and she turned her head to see the body and face to which the deep voice belonged to squatting in front of her.

     Feeling her cheeks grow warm, she bit down into her cheek in an attempt to calm herself. He watched her the same as she and to her pitiful delight there lived a quite pretty pink coloring in his cheeks. Smiling a simple yet charming smile, he motioned a movement against his stomach, eyes warm. Knitting her eyebrows together, she looked at the motion again. Oh. He was asking her if she was hungry? Nodding, she watched as he gave one of his own… seemingly of understanding and stood up. Sighing outwardly, she lifting fingers to her hair, hair that she hadn’t had the opportunity to wash. 

    She’d been with the boy and the one named Young-ho for a few days now and so many emotions had possessed her in that span of time. Fear. Uncertainty. Disbelief. She wasn’t even sure how she’d come to wake up in their home. A humble makeshift home it was…it spoke to their station in life. Poor and destitute. And yet the two of them were proud of it…proud to live and eat and talk in this earth made shack. 

    “A….Ah-naaaht?” Perking up, she found Young-ho standing above her with a bowl of steaming food. She smiled at his attempt to pronounce her name. It was mostly right. Not so long of an ‘a’ sound. Struggling not to laugh, she lifted her hands to accept the bowl. 

    “I know it’s not much but it is something. I feel embarrassed to have you in our home. I don’t think I’m a good host.” To her it just sounded like fast gibberish and she blinked in confusion. The pink color in his cheeks grew more and more and he lifted his hand to scratch the back of his head. 

    “Right. You can’t understand me. I suppose that’s a good thing. Ah…hm…” 

    “K-Kaah…s-sahhhm…nee….nee dahh.” It was her turn to fumble and she felt a slice of embarrassment cut into her chest. He though only smiled and she watched him walk away to join the little boy by the fire. Pulling the bowl down she saw what looked to be a rice porridge with some green vegetable. Looking up, she saw Young-ho’s eyes on her and blushed, lifting the bowl to her mouth to blow. Taking a small drink, she moved the soft porridge around in her mouth, glad for its soft texture. His eyes hadn’t left her and she gave him a thumbs up, laughing as his entire body fell relaxed. He was nervous about his cooking? He’s cute. Gods…

    She ate quietly, the warmth from the soup drifting down into her belly. Her arm had stopped hurting and she was thankful of that. She didn’t move it much out of precaution. He was the one who tended to the wound, a long slice from one of the Mongol invaders. He must have cleaned and wrapped it while she had been sleeping? Unconscious? In the days that she’d spent here, she had seem minor wounds on him much to her embarrassment. The two didn’t seem to regard her as any different than them and would strip down to bathe in the open. 

    Young-ho tried to provide some sense of privacy by waiting until her back was turned but the boy showed no propriety. There wasn’t much space for privacy in their home so she tried the best she could to give them that. She’d seen the smooth golden skin, the thick hard muscles, scars of past marring otherwise unblemished flesh. 

    “Done?” His voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she glanced up at him, his hand outstretched. 

    “What?” 

    “Si…gsa da…” He said