Chapter 12: A dream team

Soyong is not particularly surprised with the turn of events; it was expected at some point. Her heart is full of contradictory emotions and she feels like she’s going to explode from them. She had wished for the King to move on and find his own happiness. She wanted him to let go of her, to let go of them. But her heart apparently has a different opinion about it.

Why does this simple bouquet of flowers make her heart ache and grow angry at the same time?

It’s not just envy that the flowers weren’t for her, but it’s also fear. Lady Yul Mee is an attractive and intelligent woman. She is arrogant and stubborn, maybe even charming in some ways. Soyong can easily picture the King becoming bewitched by her as she has seen it before, and it makes her pathetically heartbroken. She had thought the past year would help her get over him, but this unexpected meeting as he courted another woman hit Soyong as hard as before. Yet again she watches before her eyes how another woman receives the King’s charming courtship.

Soyong throws a knife at a target in frustration, trying to chase her sad thoughts away. Her training helps her to calm down a bit and fight the desire to toss that silly bouquet of flowers into a fire pit.

“Hey, hey, go a little easy!” Soyong turns around when she hears Seo Hwi’s voice. “If you keep throwing with such force you can harm your wrist.”

“I… I was lost in my thoughts.” Soyong walks to the target and pulls the knife out from the corner. Her skills aren’t good enough to hit the center quite yet and she has a long way to go. She returns to Seo Hwi and only then notices a single flower in his hand. He smiles and hands it to her.

“In a woman’s hands there should be flowers, not a weapon,” he says gallantly and Soyong accepts his gift. It is a small white daisy, a flower that could be commonly found growing by the roadside. Still, it is a very sweet gesture.

“In a woman’s hands there can be both,” she corrects him. “Thank you for this.”

“It seems to me that you were a little jealous of Lady Yul Mee,” Seo Hwi shrewdly notes. “But I think there is nothing to be envious about.”

“Why is that?” Soyong asks in surprise.

The hosts and their guests must now be sharing drinks, deep in conversation. Yul Mee is likely using all her charms on the King. Soyong wonders if she is challenging him in the way she knows the King would enjoy.

“It’s strange to feel envious of a woman trying hard to please a man who simply doesn’t care,” Seo Hwi explains. “I saw them from afar and I must say, His Majesty could at least try to pretend he was listening.”

“You saw him for the first time and do not like him that much already?” Soyong asks curiously.

If she is honest with herself, she is actually worried for her husband. Wonbeom looks very tired and she remembers the conspirators discussing his poor state of health, but she had thought they were exaggerating. Upon seeing him for the first time since their last conversation, she understands those words were true. Even if she feels jealous, Soyong also hopes he will eat well tonight and maybe rest well later.

“His Majesty humiliates Lady Yul Mee with his disdain.” Seo Hwi shakes his head disapprovingly, and Soyong thinks she can relate if that’s truly the case. “And he instead shows his interest in a maid.” Seo Hwi looks at Soyong meaningfully. “Please, Mi-Ah, be careful. Nothing good will come from a relationship with him.”

“Come again?” Soyong doesn’t understand. “Why are you saying this to me?”

“I saw how he looked at you and now I see you are upset about the mistress sharing drinks with him.” Seo Hwi doesn’t take his eyes off Soyong. “He is the King, the most powerful man in the country. It is easy to feel attraction for a man like that. But Mi-Ah, you are a maid. There’s no future for you in his life.”

“No future,” Soyong chuckles nervously, averting her eyes. His words are true despite the fact Seo Hwi doesn’t know her real situation. She suddenly meets his gaze again, giving him a bright smile. “Thank you!”

“What for?” Seo Hwi blinks, surprised. “For my advice?”

“For looking after me,” Soyong clarifies. “And for liking me for simply being… me.”

“What does that mean?” Seo Hwi looks puzzled with her choice of words.

Soyong shrugs casually. After voicing it aloud, she understands how true the words are. She likes being the Queen and following court etiquette, but right now she doesn’t need to do any of that. Without her duties and away from the many watchful eyes of the palace, Soyong can relax and clear her mind. Stripped from her title, she feels like her true self, someone she is at her core, and that feeling is refreshing.

“It’s just…” she tries to find a way to explain it without giving away too much information. “Because of my memory loss, I feel like I was reborn.”

“Mi-Ah… Mi-Ah!” the young maid with whom Soyong shares a room at the estate runs towards them. “The mistress is searching for you!

“Have the guests already left?” Soyong asks and the maid only nods, seemingly out of breath.

“There can’t be anything good waiting for me,” Soyong mutters, shaking her head. If Seo Hwi is right in his observation, Yul Mee’s pride was damaged today and she won’t let it slide easily.

She finds Yul Mee pacing in circles in the yard, barking at the servants as Yul Mu tries to calm her. But Soyong feels he is not trying too hard as the situation appears to amuse him.

“You!” Yul Mee finally spots Soyong and points a finger at her.

Very uncivilized… Do true ladies behave like this? Soyong wonders to herself.

“Do you think you’re special because my brother and his best friend favor you?” Yul Mee raises her voice, slowly approaching Soyong. “Do you think you even deserve royalty giving you full attention?”

“With all due respect, my lady, I didn’t do anything wrong. I just did what I was told. It is not my fault that your guest showed more attention to me than he should have.” Soyong feels annoyed with the whole situation. It is all the King’s fault; why is she being punished? Who would Yul Mee blame if Soyong was not here? The King is hard to please, as Soyong learned a long time ago.

“You lowly scum, how dare you to talk back?” Yul Mee hisses, stepping dangerously close to Soyong. “After we were so kind to you… After we saved you and gave you a home, clothes, work…” She examines Soyong from head to toe with contempt.

“Sister, please, there’s no need to lose your temper on Mi-Ah or anyone else,” Yul Mu finally intervenes, turning serious. He moves towards his sister, ready to restrain her if needed. “The brides of the royal family are chosen for political agenda only. There are no real feelings. Perhaps you should be angry at me for not getting a higher position in court?”

“Do not protect her, brother. Not today.” Yul Mee looks angrily at her brother and he steps back after a moment of hesitation.

It is all so ridiculously unfair that Soyong wants to yell. Maybe this is what the servants felt when she lashed out at them to save herself from the palace. She’s disgusted she had to pretend to be someone so cruel. But unlike Yul Mee, Soyong was just acting; it’s not who she truly is. And she remembers the words the spirit spit into the King’s face: it’s easy to find satisfaction in punishing those who are weaker instead of addressing the anger to the one who’s really at fault.

“Do you want to hear the truth, my lady?” Soyong stands proudly with her back straight, strong even in the face of Yul Mee’s demeaning words. “You’re accusing me because I’m easy to be angry at. Would you say those things to the other women His Majesty has visited? And how many women did he visit before coming here?”

Soyong defiantly looks her straight in the eye and feels satisfaction at Yul Mee’s shocked face. Soyong won’t tolerate such behavior not only because she’s actually the Queen, but because it’s simply not right.

“You would never say your true frustrations to the King or to other ladies he might like because they are in your class or even higher. So you yell at me because I’m just a servant in debt to your family. But my lady, I’m human first and no one deserves injustice like this.”

“I’m lashing out at you because you stole all the King’s attention tonight!” Yul Mee yells, red from anger.

“How could such a thing be stolen?” Soyong argues. This is truly ridiculous.

“Get out right now!” Yul Mee commands.

“Mi-Ah,” Yul Mu approaches Soyong and pulls her to the side before she has a chance to argue again. “I’m afraid you have to leave today.”

“You’re sending me away?” Soyong can’t believe that her undercover plan is ending before she has found anything worthwhile. “But Master Yul Mu…” she can’t help but whine.

“It’s just temporary, alright?” Yul Mu nods to the servants to open the gates. “She will calm down soon. Let’s see if you can get back in a few days.”

Pondering her options for a moment, Soyong concludes she doesn’t have any choice in the situation. With her head held high, she walks out onto the street. She hears the gates close behind her, but she doesn’t turn back. Maybe it is better this way. She had been planning to sneak out to meet her husband at Hwa Jin’s home anyway, and now she won’t have to risk her cover. She will explain everything to the King and convince him to let her come back to the estate. If Yul Mu was sincere with his words and Seo Hwi asks on her behalf, then she can continue her mission in a few days.

Soyong is about to leave when she hears Seo Hwi’s voice:

“I will walk with you to the guest house,” he says, catching up to her. “Just to be safe. And do not worry too much. We won’t leave you.”

It’s a bit awkward since Hwa Jin’s home is in a different direction, but she has to go along with him for the sake of her fake identity. She appreciates Seo Hwi and his care, but she could do without it at the moment.

“Do you think Master Park will allow me to return?” Soyong asks while they walk side by side. “Lady Yul Mee is right. I get away with a lot.” The thought that Soyong will probably have to beg for forgiveness from Yul Mee makes her shudder in disgust.

“Yul Mu is the head of the family, so he has the last word in all decisions. And he loves teasing his sister, so he will surely want you back,” Seo Hwi laughs and Soyong smiles back hearing that. “He will not be bothered by what transpired tonight. He doesn’t actually want Yul Mee to join the royal family. He even asked His Majesty to reject Lady Yul Mee.”

“Oh, so he rejected her at her brother’s request?” Soyong can’t hide the disappointment in her voice.

Forbidden love, just like she had read about in novels. The young lovers usually come from opposing families, but the main characters always find their way to each other. After painful rejections and humiliation from each other’s families (which typically includes monetary bribes or buckets of water to the face to shoo them off) the lovers still end up together, stronger than before. Maybe it’s this type of story brought to life?

“No, His Majesty isn’t interested in her either,” Seo Hwi replies. “There are rumors circulating within the palace that the Queen is terminally ill, and the ministers are starting to fuss about it. So Yul Mu suggested distracting them with a fake selection of concubines. It seems like His Majesty decided to follow this advice…”

Soyong stops abruptly. So the King put on an act in order to protect her position in the palace? Just like he did with the false story of her departure to the royal villa. She feels so embarrassed for misunderstanding his intentions and thinking the worst. She catches up with Seo Hwi, listening to him gossip some more.

“… people talk, it’s hard to find the King in the palace these days. When his duties end, he leaves to be by his wife’s side… Such loyalty…” Seo Hwi slows down so Soyong can keep up with him. “On the other hand, why is he flirting with a maid, right Mi-Ah?” He finally looks at her. “Mi-Ah? Why are you so happy all of a sudden?”

“Why shouldn’t I be?” Soyong laughs. Her husband is not seeking her replacement or new lovers as she had previously thought. Despite their cold relationship, he still protects her, just like she is trying to protect him with her undercover plan. “I didn’t know you like rumors so much!” she teases happily.

“I just know what Yul Mu shares with me.” Seo Hwi can’t help but smile brightly at her. “Sometimes I think I know too much.”

“I actually wanted to tell you something,” Soyong carefully starts. “It’s alright not to side with someone close to you if they are doing something wrong.”

“What are you implying?” Seo Hwi becomes serious in an instant.

“I’m not blind…” It’s too late to back off and she’s stepping into dangerous territory. “All those late secret meetings…”

“Stay away from it, Mi-Ah,” Seo Hwi warns her, and she feels a chill run through her. She has never heard him speak so severely to her before. “I don’t want to hurt you…”

“What could a mere maid do?” Soyong tries to make a joke. “I’m just giving you advice like you gave me before. Just because it’s your family and you love them doesn’t mean you have to participate in something you don’t believe in.”

Soyong knows that from experience. She loves her father and respects her clan, but when they did something so disgusting as leaving an innocent boy to die she could not stand by them. Now that the rotten parts of her clan are gone she has to work hard to clean her family’s name and regain the respect they have lost.

Her father was a greedy man, but he raised her with love and she understands now how lucky she is to have him. He loves and respects her late mother so much that he couldn’t raise Soyong to be as rotten as their family. She did inherit some bad habits such as bribery, but now she sees how damaging it can be, even if it’s something small. And her father himself was never proud of his deeds, as Soyong learned after she noticed how he shudders whenever he sees the well. And so she forgave him eventually.

They finally approach the guest house and Seo Hwi pays the hostess for a couple nights’ stay. They still smile at each other while saying goodbyes, but Soyong feels a bit of coldness and suspicion from Seo Hwi. Still, she believes she’s a good judge of character and he just needs more time to think. At least she voiced her opinion to him for a start.

“Please, if he comes tomorrow, tell him I left early in the morning and didn’t say where I was going. And that I will find him later myself.” Soyong pays the hostess to keep her secret and the woman smirks knowingly before going back inside the house.

Soyong turns around to leave and freezes, seeing none other than the King himself. She feels as if she has been caught at a crime scene. Did he follow her and Seo Hwi all the way here?

“Why are you… I told you to wait at Hwa Jin’s…” She does not finish her sentence. The King hugs her and refuses to let go even when she asks him.

“Please, my Queen, just for a moment longer… I have missed you…” he whispers and Soyong’s heart flutters.

I missed you too, she thinks but cannot form the words out loud. His embrace is warm and inviting; she feels like she is meant to be in his arms forever. She desperately wants to hug him back or laugh at the ridiculousness of their reunion at the Park estate, but she believes it’s for the best not to.

“It’s still just me,” she reminds him, and he lets out a sigh and hugs her even tighter.

“I know. I see it…” Soyong thinks he needs to stop; if he continues to talk like this she might even believe him. But she must stay strong on her decision so she won’t be hurt even more later.

“Are you alright, my Queen? Does it still hurt?” He reaches out to her wound and Soyong pulls his hand down, assuring him she’s fine.

“How can I not worry? I was afraid I lost you!” The King says it so passionately, his voice trembling a bit, and she believes him. Soyong immediately feels even more guilty. She drew a border between them in the past year, but at least they always knew the other was healthy and safe.

“Did you hide from me again?” She hears reproach in his voice, and also sadness, as if they are back to the beginning of their separation. Or maybe they never really left that point of their lives. Maybe she just fooled herself believing they are moving somewhere when in fact they just paused in place.

“Your Majesty, it’s not like that! I just…” Soyong wants to find the proper words to explain that this situation is completely different.

She has been considering how she would defend her point of view and her idea to use herself as a spy. But she didn’t think about how exactly she would explain to the King her choice to keep him in the dark. She had assumed he would start arguing with her, but she didn’t realize how much it would hurt him.

“I apologize for making Your Majesty worried. We’ll discuss everything at your brother’s home.”

“No,” the King refuses in a tone that does not allow debate. “You will explain everything right now.”

He waits for her answer with a stoic face, clasping his hands behind his back. Soyong feels like she’s being scolded like a mischievous child, and it’s not a feeling she is particularly accustomed to. Her father always brags about it, how she was such a calm child and how she never caused trouble to the family. Her stubbornness could cause problems, but still she had never been chided by her easygoing father. And compared to the things her cousin Kim Hwan did, she truly was a gift to her father. The King, on the other hand, is straightforward, and if he feels she has wronged him he always points it out.

“Minister Park is at the head of a conspiracy among the noblemen who want to get rid of you,” Soyong says, giving a condensed version of her story. “No one knows my true identity at the estate, so I decided I could stay and find more information…”

“You could’ve told me that the moment you found out about the traitors,” the King points out. His voice is still strict, though the worried trembling is gone, replaced by a fiery intensity. “You could’ve trusted me.”

“It’s not that I don’t trust you.” Soyong feels desperate at this moment. She has made a mess of the situation, and now she understands just how much. “I was afraid you would not let me stay in that house to spy and discover more about their plans.”

“That’s an empty excuse!” the King snaps. “You couldn’t trust me to hear you out and make the decision together, as a team. And just how much did you find out this way?”

“Not much,” Soyong admits, lowering her gaze in shame. “I was wrong, Your Majesty. Please forgive me.”

“And why have you arranged the meeting at Hwa Jin’s home?” His interrogation continued, and from Soyong’s silence, the King guessed the answer. “So you told everything to her?

“I needed her assistance.” Soyong starts feeling irritated, mostly because he’s justified in his anger and nothing she says will make it better. “I wanted to see our son!”

“So you visited the royal villa in secret?” he asks, his voice emotional again. “You met your father and your friends, our child… Everyone you cherish… Everyone except for me…”

Soyong meets his eyes and sees in front of her not the King, but a deeply wounded man. The man she didn’t want to hurt more than necessary. Even the distance she insisted on was her way to help them both move on. But once again she has failed and made a poor decision. Her husband lowers his head and shakes it in disappointment.

“Your Majesty.” Soyong takes a step forward, but he still doesn’t look her way. “Wonbeom-ah.” He freezes as she uses his given name, and finally his sad eyes look at her. “Didn’t you repair the rabbit’s ear?” A shy smile appears on Soyong’s face and after a moment Wonbeom mirrors her.

She wants him to know that even though she didn’t meet him at the villa, she still thought about him. In this simple question is everything she refuses to admit out loud. I miss you. I still have feelings for you. I still see you in my dreams… Moving on from her husband seems like an impossible task and even after meeting someone like Seo Hwi, a funny and caring man, she still can’t stop thinking about Wonbeom. This is how deep her affection runs.

“Let’s go and discuss what to do with everyone,” the King says in a much calmer voice.

They walk in silence the whole time, stealing glances at each other and shyly looking away when they are caught. Soyong wonders how she can fix everything and still stay a part of the team, as the King put it. She had not made a very convincing argument in favor of her working as a spy. And if he asks her to stay at the royal villa or at the palace while he works on everything his way, she can’t make him change his mind without starting a new fight.

Although… This fight wasn’t something bad. It was the longest conversation they had had in the past year, and she may be strange, but she likes this. She hopes he will hear her out and they make a decision together despite his overprotectiveness of her.

A table laid out in the gazebo awaits them at the estate. Hwa Jin, Prince Yeongpyeong, and Director Hong are already sitting there discussing news over drinks and pastries. It has grown quite dark and the servants light up the lanterns, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere for the evening.

The moment Prince Yeongpyeong detects them, he jumps on his feet and rushes to the King:

“Your Majesty, Hwa Jin didn’t know anything until today!” he immediately starts to defend his wife.

“This is true,” Soyong confirms. “I came to her this very morning. And mind you, Hwa Jin advised me to come clean to you immediately.”

The King doesn’t look angry but just rather irritated.

“I never thought I would ever witness you protecting Hwa Jin.” Wonbeom rolls his eyes. “What is done is done. Let’s discuss what we all know and come up with a plan.”

They all sit at the table and Soyong recounts her story from the beginning: how she was attacked and then woke up at the Park estate, the names of the conspirators she recognized, their meetings at the estate and Oktajeong1Oktajeong is a kisaeng house.. Director Hong listens in awe at her adventure in the kisaeng2Kisaengs were women from outcast or slave families who were trained to be courtesans, providing artistic entertainment and conversation to men of the upper class. house while the Yi brothers shake their heads in disbelief. Some questions are asked and clarifications are needed, but in the end, they grasp the entirety of her story.

“What we have is an assassination attempt against the Queen and a conspiracy against me,” Wonbeom concludes. “And they seem to be unrelated to one another.”

“Did you make an investigation for the attack on me?” Soyong asks. They must know more than her.

“We assumed those who were exiled from the Kim and Jo clans wanted revenge. But they don’t have the resources to organize an assassination,” Director Hong explains.

“Could it be the Dowager Queens?” Soyong suggests.

“I said the same thing!” Hong triumphantly hits the table with his palm, happy to have someone share his thoughts.

“They have no connection with the outside world, and, moreover, all their correspondence is inspected,” the King reminds everyone. “I don’t think they could be behind it.”

“You were attacked on the road back from the temple?” Hwa Jin interrupts. “Queen Dowager Jo is very spiritual. Is she allowed to visit the temple? Or perhaps the monks visit her?”

“The monks would not participate in something so sinful,” Prince Yeongpyeong voices his doubts.

“She’s sly, and she even managed to secretly bring a shaman into the palace,” Hwa Jin reminds him. Among them all, she knows her relative the best. “She could easily deceive a monk or use him for secret correspondence with the true culprit.”

“Both Dowager Queens would love to see my head on a pike,” Soyong agrees. “The exiled ministers would most likely target you, Your Majesty.”

“Or someone wanted to hurt me through you, my Queen,” the King points out. “Nonetheless, we did not take this possibility into account,” he agrees. “Director Hong, please work on this theory.” Hong nods in response.

“Now, about the conspiracy…” Soyong moves on to the next topic. “Is there any chance to find their camp in secret?”

“We would just scare them away,” Wonbeom shakes his head, “How do you imagine a secret inspection of the entire forest would go?”

“This is why I wanted to steal their map in the first place, but it’s always locked away,” Soyong says in disappointment. “And I can’t pick the lock,” she pouts.

“The Queen shouldn’t know how to do such things,” Wonbeom chuckles, but he looks intrigued about the idea of his wife picking locks.

“Maybe we should look at this a different way. The Parks were frequent guests in my home, and then suddenly they became enemies and were exiled. Maybe my father knows what exactly happened back then?” Soyong suggests. “This will help us learn more about them. That humiliating exile was something personal.”

“Good idea, my Queen. We will speak with your father tomorrow at the royal villa,” Wonbeom agrees. Soyong gives him an examining look, growing suspicious at the ease with which he agrees with everything tonight.

“And then I will go back to the Park estate,” Soyong declares.

“Not a chance,” Wonbeom says firmly. “It is too dangerous, and if you insist too hard they might suspect you.”

“No, they will not!” Soyong argues, rising to her feet. She knew it, she knew he would protect her too much.

“This is not open for discussion!” the King insists, rising too.

“We can’t send anyone else inside!” Soyong tries to reason with him. “That would definitely raise suspicions!”

“With all due respect, Your Highness,” Prince Yeongpyeong interrupts. “I think His Majesty is right. And we can visit them unnoticed at night as we have on our previous missions…”

“The house is full of servants. If someone notices you, everything will be in vain!”

“I agree with the Queen,” Hong says, to everyone’s surprise. “I agree on any plan that means less work for me. You two will make me investigate their names or something…” The Yi brothers both throw evil glares at him.

“Thank you!” Soyong says, smiling in his direction.

It seems like it’s two against two, and that means…

Everyone turns their heads in Hwa Jin’s direction and she nervously squirms in her seat. She slowly drinks the wine she had been testing while everyone was arguing and puts the cup on the table.

“I agree with,” she hesitates for a second, “Her Highness.”

Soyong turns her smug face to the King again. This is victory! But of course, he is not happy with the outcome.

“We do not vote here,” he grumbles.

“Why not? I suppose it’s the basics of democracy. Didn’t you like that idea?” Soyong doesn’t miss an opportunity to jab him. And it works because the King shakes his head in surrender.

Soyong sits back at the table and pours herself some wine, satisfied with the results.

“We’ll get back to this matter when we find out a bit more about the Parks.” Wonbeom makes a weak attempt to postpone the final decision for later. Soyong nods, but she’s sure she won’t change her mind.

The mood at the table lightens, and Soyong happily drinks one cup of wine after another. To everyone’s amusement, Director Hong even admits this evening is far more interesting than his canceled date.

The alcohol easily erases any awkwardness. It’s the first time this strange mix of guests have gathered together: the King, his wife, his ex-wife, his brother who has married his ex-wife, and his best friend. The latter is the only guest at the table not of the royal family.

Later in the evening they decide to call it a night and head to sleep. Hwa Jin and Prince Yeongpyeong are gracious enough to invite everyone to stay at their house for the night.

Soyong realizes she has had too much to drink only when she gets up on her feet and everything starts spinning. Wonbeom manages to catch her by the elbow in time so that she does not fall.

“I will walk you to your chambers,” he suggests.

Wonbeom holds Soyong by her hand and his other hand rests on her waist. He guides her to the guest room, but Soyong resists because she hasn’t felt so cheerful in a long time. She usually doesn’t drink so much because it’s hard to look like a proper lady when she’s so inebriated. But she has felt so many strong, contradictory emotions today, and she couldn’t stop herself in time because she needed to relax.

“Almost there,” the King says, persistently leading her to the room.

“I don’t want to sleep!” Soyong whines. Why is whining so much today?

“I’m certain you will fall asleep the moment your head meets the pillow,” Wonbeom jokes.

They walk to the bedding prepared by the servants, and Soyong turns to face the King but only sees his chest dressed in the hanbok she gifted him. She suddenly realizes this is the first time she has seen him wear it, and he looks very handsome in it.

She raises her hands and straightens the fabric that is not actually out of place in any way. But she revels in the gesture because she can feel his solid chest under her palms. He trains a lot, she thinks, remembering how she sometimes caught him on the practice field. She often made some flimsy excuse to take a huge detour to that section of the palace. Soyong smiles foolishly at the memories of how she secretly watched him sparring with his brother, observing his agile moves and the sweat running down his temples.

“What are you doing?” She hears his hoarse voice somewhere above and she raises her head to look into his eyes. He looks puzzled with her actions and she feels him tense under her touch.

“What do you think?” Soyong takes a step back from him, and with one smooth movement, she unties her goreum3Goreum – the ribbons on dangui or jeogori that tie in a knot.. Wonbeom looks down at the now open jeogori4Jeogori – is an upper garment. Also could be named dangui. and back at her face but does not move towards her.

“You should go to bed,” Soyong mutters, turning around in disappointment.

She must be going mad, humiliating herself like this in front of him. The alcohol must be to blame. She cannot control herself when she is drunk, all her buried feelings rising up to the surface.

Suddenly Wonbeom grabs her wrist, pulling her towards him. He slides his foot beneath her, and with a squeak, she falls on the bedding with him on top of her. She doesn’t have any opportunity to react as he quickly pushes her thighs apart with his knees and lays comfortably between them. He presses both of her hands to the bedding above her head, his gaze never leaving her face. She sees the determination in his eyes, as well as a bit of discontentment. Soyong feels blood rushing to her cheeks and she takes a deep breath, suddenly remembering she has to breathe.

“Soyong-ah,” Wonbeom whispers, his face so close to hers. “When we do this again you will be completely sober…” he promises and angles his head as if to kiss her, but stops inches from her lips, his hot breath fanning over her. He’s so close to her, yet torturously not close enough. “You will be aware of everything that happens,” he continues, moving to her exposed neck, and then her collar bone, as if tracing the path he will take with his lips when the time comes, refusing to give her the touch she craves at present. Soyong gasps sharply when he pushes his hips against hers and she feels his evident arousal. “And you will beg…” he finishes, looking straight into her eyes.

Soyong bites her lower lip to stop herself from begging right now. Wonbeom smirks at her reaction, and in the next moment, he moves away from her. Soyong immediately feels cold without his warm body pressed against her. Her chest heaves as she tries to catch her breath, and she focuses on looking at the ceiling. Soyong doesn’t dare look his way and only hears the door closing behind him.

Author’s notes

WB in the previous chapter is jealous that Soyong is smiling a lot with Seo Hwi. Soyong in this chapter is happy to hear the King is loyal to her. These dorks, really XD

Idk how it happened, but Seo Hwi is like: xoxo gossip girl, in this chapter lol

Goodness, this is the long f* day! I mean, it started with SY and HJ visiting the royal villa together then SY\CJ reunion from 2 povs, and it is all still the same day! It’s insane! I’m afraid the final battle chapters will be very long T_T

PS in the last part I tried to make Wonbeom more like him from a dream on the show, hot and seducing as hell. I don’t know if I describe the unresolved sexual tension these two have right.

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    Oktajeong is a kisaeng house.
  • 2
    Kisaengs were women from outcast or slave families who were trained to be courtesans, providing artistic entertainment and conversation to men of the upper class.
  • 3
    Goreum – the ribbons on dangui or jeogori that tie in a knot.
  • 4
    Jeogori – is an upper garment. Also could be named dangui.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 12: A dream team

  1. orladark December 22, 2022 / 11:09 pm

    hafizatulsufiahyaacob on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 05:37AM EST
    Make soyong beg.. girl, make it filthy

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 09:18AM EST
    Who will beg who is up to question 😛 roles can be reversed >_>

    Thank you for reading, I will think about the last part 😉

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    hafizatulsufiahyaacob on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 09:28AM EST
    As long as it’s filthy enough that it can make a whore blush, I’m good

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 09:33AM EST
    The bar is so high XD I will try to not disappoint 🙂

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    Freyja_Lawliet on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 07:57AM EST
    this chapter makes me happy, thanks Author-nim.
    I hope our royal couple get stronger together.
    I wonder how Seohwi will find out about SY’s identity and I hope that Seohwi can side with SY even though he will be heartbroken. there will be another woman for seohwi, right?

    thank for ur update.

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 09:21AM EST
    I didn’t plan any romance for SeoHwi yet. But I plan to make this fic part of the series, so who knows 🙂

    Thank you for reading and commenting! <3

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    Ukhoehong on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 08:18AM EST
    I really love it. I love to see CJ and Sy together. Please don't make them apart again. They belong together. And the adventure that are waiting for them is so exciting. Can you also please make them kiss soon? And SY should hug her husband. She is so stubborn 🙁

    Last Edited Thu 11 Nov 2021 08:19AM EST

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 09:25AM EST
    Will see, will see, the adventure is waiting for them, the investigation first and then the final battle. It's not going to be easy, so they need each other even more now 🙂

    SY's walls slowly breaking and CJ won't step back. So she should get used to her hubby being clingy again XD

    Thank you for reading and supporting this story! <3

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    Cheoljongieee on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 08:49AM EST
    and what if SY beg on that exact moment, will CJ resist???

    I miss this horny couple so much!! Thanks for the updat
    e 🥰

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 09:31AM EST
    Good question, I think he would refuse. Look at this from his perspective: they conсieved a baby while she wasn't sober and developed deeper feelings while she was possessed.
    He just wants it to be clear so it has to be him and her and no one else and 10000% consensual.

    They definitely horny for each other, I mean, they resist for a year! This is the dam that is about to break through XD

    Thank you for reading and commenting! <3

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    White_Orchids on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 07:55PM EST
    Nerves of steel from CJ. 😆

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 14Fri 12 Nov 2021 07:24AM EST
    With a wife like SY when he doesn't know what will come into her mind the next moment? Yes, he needs those.

    Thank you for reading!

    Last Edited Fri 12 Nov 2021 07:25AM EST

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    Jinnie on Chapter 14Thu 11 Nov 2021 08:41PM EST
    Wow seems like Hyunki is gonna get a sibling soon!!! Heheheheheheh. Thanks a lot for the update, Author-nim!

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 14Fri 12 Nov 2021 07:25AM EST
    Ahahaha, CJ won't mind working hard on it XD it's up to SY now 🙂

    Thank you for reading!

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    blip on Chapter 14Sat 13 Nov 2021 03:46AM EST
    oooboy hahaha UST went through the roof <3<3<3

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 14Sat 13 Nov 2021 05:41AM EST
    I'm glad you like it 🙂
    Thank you for reading! <3

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