A human being is an interesting little thing, it can adjust to nearly anything. If Soyong had understood that earlier, she might not have jumped in the lake in an attempt to end her miserable life. More than a year ago, she didn’t know that she could grow used to her constant sadness.
Now she feels that her life is a well-staged play. She wakes up. Washes up. Eats breakfast. Does her daily duties for the inner court. Eats lunch. Walks in the garden or by the lake. Finishes more inner court business. Eats a late dinner. Falls into a troubled dream.
And this circle repeats over and over again. Seasons change, but her daily schedule does not. Only when her son was born did she feel a sense of happiness. Sometimes Soyong thinks that if she was not distracted with her son or the inner court, she would simply be lost with nothing left to do.
Soyong makes the decision to try to change her life no matter how hard it will be. She doesn’t know where to start and exactly how she’s going to achieve her goal, but she wants to find more light in her gloomy life.
One late summer morning, she wakes up before everyone else and secretly leaves Daejojeon Hall1Daejojeon Hall – Queen of Joseon residence after the wedding.. The sky is only starting to show a light purple hue after a dark night. She goes on a walk in her nightdress in her bare feet. She enjoys the refreshing feeling of the morning dew as it helps her fully wake up. Soyong notes that for the first time in a while she has found something new and pleasant in the palace.
When she finally arrives at the lake, it’s already pretty bright. Soon the palace will wake up and be full of attendants running around with their daily duties. And Soyong’s wonderful moment of silent privacy would disappear.
“Bong Hwan-ah2The ending -aa or -ah is usually used by close people or friends. For example, on the show only Soyong’s father and cousin Byeong-in address the Queen as «Soyong-ah».,” she whispers, sitting in front of the stone where the spirit wrote down his name. “You left such a big shadow. I’m not sure I will ever be able to fill it in.” Soyong caresses her palm over his engraved name.
The past year hasn’t been as happy as Soyong would have hoped for. She thought that she had finally found her own voice, but soon realized no one wants to hear it. Everyone waits for another tone and different actions. She sees it in every gaze from her closest friends. They try to hide their fleeting disappointment when the ghost of the Queen they loved is missing. Soyong isn’t someone’s doppelganger – she wants to be herself and stop thinking that she might remind everyone of the Other Queen they cherished so much.
At least Hong Yeon and Court Lady Choi are ready to accept her no matter what. After all, they were fond of her before the spirit turned up in their lives. Whether she’s bold and scandalous like Bong Hwan or a well-mannered lady, they still love her. Though she notices in their eyes how much they miss the unpredictable part of the Queen they lost.
The King’s feelings on the other hand are a completely different story. For him, accepting the truth was harder than fighting all the rotten clans in Joseon. One day shortly after they won and the spirit disappeared, Soyong gathered up all her courage and told him everything. For the first few days after, she thought that maybe it didn’t matter to him that some part of the woman he loved had vanished forever.
But soon enough they drifted apart from each other. Soyong was mostly responsible for that though. Cheoljong was ready to nobly follow his promise to never hurt her again. But Soyong couldn’t agree to that. They both deserved better. He deserved his Queen he fell in love with. She deserved to be loved as a whole person, not as part of someone who she isn’t anymore. Soyong believed they could not give each other what they wanted.
Now she has made an important decision to let go of all her worries and simply live. She will find new little things to enjoy and she doesn’t need anyone’s approval. She’s tired of living in someone else’s shadow, and it’s time to spread her wings and be happy. She didn’t survive a real-life nightmare to feel regretful for her whole life. Others would accept her as she is, or they could go away from her sight.
“I’ll find my way home, wherever that home is.”
- 1Daejojeon Hall – Queen of Joseon residence after the wedding.
- 2The ending -aa or -ah is usually used by close people or friends. For example, on the show only Soyong’s father and cousin Byeong-in address the Queen as «Soyong-ah».
stickypearls on Chapter 1Sun 11 Jul 2021 08:05AM EDT
Thanks for sharing Orla! This is such a good concept and I’m excited to see where it goes next.
This was my favorite part: “She thought that she had finally found her own voice, but soon realized no one wants to hear it. Everyone waits for another tone and different actions. She sees it in every gaze from her closest friends. They try to hide their fleeting disappointment when the ghost of the Queen they loved is missing.” That’s so grim and I can really imagine that it would be like that for her 🙁
OrlaDark on Chapter 1Sun 11 Jul 2021 11:57AM EDT
Thank you for the feedback!
Well, SoBong was very excentric and so many viewers thought that SY is too boring. I think for people around her it was hard too, they loved them both and they get used to SB and suddenly got SY back. Basically in this story, everyone needs time.
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Lin92 on Chapter 1Sun 11 Jul 2021 08:16AM EDT
Please, don’t jump to the lake again Soyong-a..
Can’t wait for the next chapter authornim
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OrlaDark on Chapter 1Sun 11 Jul 2021 11:54AM EDT
Oh no, she won’t, she can’t do that to herself again. What she learned is that death isn’t the answer.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
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findujeu on Chapter 1Mon 12 Jul 2021 11:04AM EDT
So Yong knowing what she wants shows that she is really intelligent and she will be more at peace if she follows her heart. I can’t wait to know where that “home” really is. <3 <3 Thank you for this, unnie!!
OrlaDark on Chapter 1Mon 12 Jul 2021 11:43AM EDT
Thank you for your feedback! I hope I won't disappoint you 🙂
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findujeu on Chapter 1Sun 25 Jul 2021 08:17AM EDT
Thank you also for the great chapter unnie!!
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bascotaba on Chapter 1Tue 17 Aug 2021 09:52PM EDT
Finally, Chingu, I get to open your work.
And mhan, did it open a floodgate. It's so painful reading through this: "They both deserved better. He deserved his Queen he fell in love with. She deserved to be loved as a whole person, not as part of someone who she isn't anymore."
I'm one of those who felt sooo bad for BH at the final ep. But there was no animosity or ill-feelings toward SY. I just didn't know what to feel for her, until I saw the Secret ep1. Then this. There is really something to be said about, not until we listen to another's voice and really go out of our way to listen and intend to listen esp to what is not being spoken, we will never really know the other side of the story. And there are lessons and opportunities to be missed, such as growing a better heart.
Thank you for doing this. This world really owes a lot to you writer-nims.
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OrlaDark on Chapter 1Wed 18 Aug 2021 04:34AM EDT
Thank you for reading ❤
I always thought we hear SY's voice through BH. As she used his bravery to voice what she thinks. In early eps it was her confrontation with the King, where both she and BH was mistreated unfairly. In later eps it was more of SY herself. Especially in confrontation with her father, it was pure SY and her frustrations because no amount of memories (and BH saw only small portion of it) would lead to that heartbreaking speech.
But it's my opinion, I always cared about SY and always were afraid for her.
Writers really scared me in second half, I thought they going to kill her for good 😭 and when I saw scene where CJ finally give her book I literally cried, his sincere words hurt so much if she really dead. Then it's all just a joke if he never finds out the truth.
I'm sorry for being emotional but finale was the only fair finale I can imagine. No matter if the King love her back or not. It's her body and her life, she deserves both things.
My only problem with it, that they didn't show CJ knowing BH and him with SY talking about him. That would resolve a lot of things. And BH saying goodbye, of course.