THEY SAY I WAS BORN AS THE KING’S DAUGHTER/ I WAS BORN AS THE KING’S DAUGHTER
CHAPTER 11: TRAUMATIC COMING OF AGE
My coming-of-age ceremony required me to introduce myself to the twelve queen mothers and approximately thirty-two older sisters, none of whom I had met before. I had heard that a new sister had been born a few days prior, but I had not set eyes on her yet. A girls’ coming-of-age was not a very significant event. I was probably only made to go through the motions because I was nobility. Commoners likely did not bother with such frivolity.
My world was very narrow. The books I read gave me some understanding, but I had never been anywhere except my bedroom, Scumbag’s dining room, and a few other places nearby. For the first time, I was now allowed to stroll around the vast palace grounds. It was a huge estate with many empty rooms.
“Princess Sanghee, introduce yourself. This is the fourth-ranked queen.”
I was already exhausted. The Queens’ rooms were spread very far apart in separate buildings. The buildings were all separated by at least two hundred meters. The buildings were so huge that you had to travel far within them.
You might be forgiven for envisioning the scene with medieval style castles with these modern buildings that have escalators and elevators, all operated by magic. I was completely exhausted by the three-hour excursion. By the time I was introduced to the twelfth queen, I was completely exhausted.
Sujin, on the other hand, was grinning with all this excitement. She said, “Now it is time to meet the princesses. You are so bright and pretty that I am sure they’ll love you.”
Wishful thinking, but unlikely to be true. The odds are that, out of thirty-two older sisters, twenty will hate me.
After my coming-of-age, I would gain the privilege of greater liberty to stroll through the palace grounds and more liberty to interact with the other princesses. They already had formed a social structure I knew nothing about.
“Sujin,” I asked, “I heard rumors about me have spread among the ladies-in-waiting. Is that so?”
“Yes, everyone knows that you’re a genius who would have transformed the world if you had been born male.”
I was no longer seven, which meant that I had to behave differently now. I was too old to be ignorant of the workings of the world, throw tantrums out of frustration or milk my babyish charm.
The highlight of my coming-of-age was the audience with my older sisters. All my sisters under fifteen years of age were gathered. I was the youngest there, naturally.
I said, “Pleased to meet you.”
“So you’re the special Sang-Hee? Stand over there. We have to discuss something amongst ourselves.”
They were obviously hostile. I knew they had heard I was friendly with the princes that they visited me often.
The seventh-ranked princess then initiated the attack. She turned to me suddenly, “Don’t you have any manners?”
“Y-yes?” I stammered.
She had just returned from the bathroom. She looked about thirteen, and she was the first one to speak to me. I reminded myself that she was just a child. I could handle her. I could handle all of them.
“Do you dare talk back to me?”
A chill fell over the room. I reminded myself I had nothing to fear. I could handle these little children. I myself was trapped in a small body though. I needed to find a few allies among the other thirty-one sisters.
They must have heard I have dined with the king. Now they hate me.
I had committed a gaffe by greeting the eight-born princess before the seventh-born princess. Well, how would I know? No one told me who was who. They were seated down the row, greeting each princess.
The coming-of-age ceremony in this Kingdom apparently had strict rules to be followed. I could see they hoped to intimidate the newcomer and reinforce the hierarchy. I was simultaneously cowed and amused. The princesses seemed to be conducting an induction ritual.
“I’m very sorry, I had no idea.”
“Do you know my name?”
“Yes, you are Princess Heeyeong, seventh-born princess.”
She was unable to hide her surprise. I had taken painstaking care to memorize all their names and ranks. You might recall, I had the mental capabilities of a seven-year-old, so this was not an easy task.
Princess Heeyeong stomped to the table and picked up a cup of hot tea. Nervously, I wondered if she’d throw the scalding liquid at my face. None of the other girls made any attempt to stop her, so it seemed these girls had planned this attack in advance.
At first, I intended to stand firm but I ducked right before the water hit my face. Only my dress was drenched.
“You dare to defy me?” Heeyeong slapped me across the face. I had to calm the rage within me telling myself I could not strike a child.
This situation was hardly unexpected because women were second-class citizens here. While I enjoyed the affection of the King and Princes, I could not count on it always being so. It could end anytime. I could not risk alienating all the Princesses. I could only endure hoping that someday, I’d be in a position of power to make changes.
Heeyeong demanded I list my wrongs.
I said, “I apologize for avoiding the cup of tea you threw at me.”
“And what else?” She asked.
I said, “I-I don’t know what else, but if you tell me what I did wrong, I won’t do it again.”
Heeyeong laughed. Then, she ordered the nervously twitching Twenty-fifth-ranked princess, “Siyeon Choi, come here.”
I remembered Si-Yeon was the twenty-third. She continued, “It’s your job to educate her!”
I just got here – geez. Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to say, “I don’t know.” Where was I again? Was I an army recruit undergoing hazing?
Heeyeong then slapped Siyeon. What a festive tea party this was. These preteen girls enforced a military-style discipline.
Heeyeong screamed, “Apologies! What have you done wrong?” Siyeon had no time to answer before she received yet another slap.”
Siyeon stammered, “I shouldn’t have been rude in the way I addressed you.”
Princess no.7. Apparently, she hadn’t accorded Heeyeong the respect befitting her stature. She had not said “Princess Heeyeong” reverently enough (T/n: *rollseyes*). The highest ranked princess, Princess#1, Seah Hwang, clapped her hands to make an announcement, “Our queen mothers will arrive soon. Siyeon will be responsible for the new one.”
Maybe they’d go back to behaving like normal children when their mothers arrived. My cheek was still stinging. I could barely control my rage.
I remembered how Prince Hwan-Seong had defended me from Princess Seohee in the past. He was a major brat, but none of the princesses could challenge him, and I could count on him to support me.
You have to get through this. You need to win them over and make them your allies. I had to make them like me. It would be better if the princes and I were not seen together.
I could not be sure, but it was doubtful they always behaved this way. Whether they were aware of it or not, their envy most likely leads to their bullying.
The door of the hall swung open
Then that voice came, “Fetch!”
The ragdoll came flying, I heard him calling me, Where are you, Mutt?”
….And then that Brat’s voice echoed through the hall.
BWAHAHAHAHA~ AREN’T I ON THE ROLL TODAY? praise me~ praise me. lol. whelp, enjoy it why it last you guys~ ヽ（´∀｀）ノ I don’t know when I’ll get lazy. (☛´∀｀*)☛ nyurufufufu!!
Aaaaand I’m actually contemplating whether to add some snippets of the manhwa for some scenes per chapter. But the thing is, it’s hard to collect them but I’ll try…then I’ll just edit and add them once I have them (>.<). So for now please forgive me for not having posted them.