Chapter 17: Distancing

Hyun-ki slowly blinks his eyes and yawns, drifting asleep to the sound of his mother’s soft voice. Soyong can’t take her eyes off of her precious boy as she hums the lullaby for him. It is a song her nanny used to sing to her when she was little. A song about a place where dreams come true and troubles melt like lemon drops1The lullaby is “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. You can listen to it here in Meet me halfway fanmix..

Way up high
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

She wishes for her son to grow up in a country where he can fulfill all his dreams. But for that, she and Cheoljong must succeed in their mission against the conspiracy plot.


Why does she always make one mistake after another with him? She wanted to give him Jang Bong Hwan’s portrait because she felt it was unfair for her to be the only one who knows his face. It seems right to continue to remind people of him in one way or another.

Cheoljong knows of his existence, but Soyong doesn’t dare speak about him with anyone else, afraid her friends would think she’s going insane. Instead, she tells Hong Yeon how pretty she is, because it’s what Bong Hwan would say, and Soyong agrees. She teases Man Bok over his cooking skills, and while her memory of Bong Hwan was fresh, she shared all his recipes and tips for Man Bok to write down. Bong Hwan would probably feel guarded about his recipes on instinct, but she knows he would be pleased with her decision deep down.

Sometimes she, Court Lady Choi, and Hong Yeon make a game night of tujeon2Tujeon are the traditional playing cards of Korea used in the latter half of the Joseon dynasty. They are also known as tupae., and they warmly remember her “phase” that created a mess in the quiet palace life.

Knowing her friends love both versions, she feels more comfortable discussing her past behavior with them. There are times when Soyong suddenly remembers something bizarre from the future and shares it with them. But mostly they spend their time together discussing their lives or a new novel.

She wants Hyun-ki to know about the spirit too. Maybe she will one day write a fairy tale about Bong Hwan for the prince to connect with him.

The prince finally closes his eyes and starts to snuffle in his sleep. Soyong carefully places him in his crib and continues humming the melody until she is certain he’s sleeping deeply. The rabbit Soyong and Cheoljong made for him is in the crib too, and surprisingly the new ear is still intact. The toy drives Soyong’s mind back to her husband again.

What should she do to make both of them happy and still stay faithful to herself? She deserves to be loved and valued for who she is after all.

“They do not know you the way I do! They never see you the way I do!”

Her discerning husband had spilled the truth again. Kim Byeong-In failed to understand her and listen to her. She loved him like a brother and misses him dearly, but he never knew the real her. Not entirely. After all the years they spent together he couldn’t recognize what kind of person she was. Meanwhile, Cheoljong thoughtfully rose to the challenge to solve the mystery of her nature. She almost finds it ridiculous how sometimes it is as if he knows her better than she knows herself.

And Seo Hwi, as sweet as he is, can’t give her the love she craves. In honesty, she sees him only as a friend and possible ally. She wants to convince him to change sides because she sees the good in him.

Should she just step forward without seeing what’s waiting for her? After all, in life no one knows the right answers in advance. She doesn’t want to live her life regretting not trying at all, and like she had told Cheoljong, she is so close to giving into her feelings. She wants to fall into his arms and stay with him as long as he is willing to let her stay by his side.

Who knows… Maybe I will fall out of love first?

Soyong lets out a sigh. That definitely will not happen. Her feelings are too deep. But life is unpredictable and if she’s going to be cautious all her life, she’s never going to live in the first place.

“Hyun-ki-ah,” Soyong whispers. “Should I try or should I not?”

He doesn’t answer, looking heart-wrenchingly cute as he continues his slumber. Soyong caresses the top of his head and bends down to kiss his forehead.

“If your appa3Appa – informal for father aka daddy. is ready to forgive me for hurting him so much… I will…” She hesitates for a moment. “I will make sure he never regrets it.”

It is easier said than done though.

  • 1
    The lullaby is “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. You can listen to it here in Meet me halfway fanmix.
  • 2
    Tujeon are the traditional playing cards of Korea used in the latter half of the Joseon dynasty. They are also known as tupae.
  • 3
    Appa – informal for father aka daddy.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 17: Distancing

  1. orladark December 22, 2022 / 11:12 pm

    Elf Bls on Chapter 18Sat 08 Jan 2022 11:19AM EST
    Ahh soyong, when are you going to realize this guy who loves you more than anything else. but he wouldn’t be soyong if it wasn’t for soyong’s stubbornness lol. I feel sorry for Wonbeom, he loves her so clean and purely. I guess that’s what binds us to Mr. Queen, their love. I hope they will accept their love for to each others as soon as possible and we will read about their sweet moments. Many thanks for the update author-nim.

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 18Sat 08 Jan 2022 11:31AM EST
    The guy literally recognized her through possession and she still doubts him lol Their love and devotion to each other even when they are on the “arguing” stage is what makes them so unique and their love so strong.

    Do not worry, they will sort things out soon. Thank you for your comment and the feedback! <3

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    Ukhoehong on Chapter 18Sat 08 Jan 2022 02:47PM EST
    This chapter is so frustrating and painful in many ways 😖. Yul Mee is awful and cruel. I have a feeling that she will do anything to ein CJ’s favor and she will hurt SY badly for that 😔.
    And SY, girl, seriously what is going on in your mind? What else do you need to understand that your husband loves you so much? This is so frustrating 😤.
    But there is one thing that makes me happy. It is when HJ defends the royal couple. It is very kind of her 😍.
    I don’t know but I have a bad feeling…..

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 18Sat 08 Jan 2022 03:29PM EST
    I really loved writing HJ defending her family, she's like "I shade them, you can't!" haha

    SY is typical SY in her stubbornness and denial but I like that CJ doesn't want her to give up to him, he wants real feelings too T_T

    Thank you for reading and commenting! <3

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    Freyja_Lawliet on Chapter 18Sun 09 Jan 2022 08:08AM EST
    SY's hesitation really torments both of them but CJ doesn't really explain his feelings and love for his wife. Poor CJ, I want to be your concubine 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 18Sun 09 Jan 2022 11:23AM EST
    Now I feel anxious whatever I wrote his confession heartwarming enough in future chapters lol
    As the King he can have 100+ concubines, so you have a chance XD

    Thank you for your comment <3

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    Cheoljongieee on Chapter 18Sun 09 Jan 2022 06:36PM EST
    sy when will you stay stubborn? The guy clearly loves you 😭

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    OrlaDark on Chapter 18Mon 10 Jan 2022 11:59AM EST
    He must confess ASAP and in a way she won't misunderstand him XD

    Thank you for reading <3

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