THEY SAY I WAS BORN A KING’S DAUGHTER/ I WAS BORN A KING’S DAUGHTER.
Chapter 13: It’s a Man’s World
Scumbag usually spoke warmly to his sons, but this time he scolded him, “Son, this is not a dog.”
Don’t you mean SHE isn’t a dog? I would say my pride was hurt if I had not sacrificed it a long time ago.
“Father!” I hugged his leg, giving him my most lovable expression. Progress had been made. While previously he would have kicked me off with “What a nuisance!” he now just looked on. When he was in a good mood, he even patted my head. That I had to be grateful for such a gesture was a reflection of the injustice of this world.
Hwan-Seok bowed his head, “How do you do, Father?
Hwan-Seong was cheerful as ever, “Father!”
Boys were expected to address their fathers respectfully by their titles of nobility after the age of eight, but Hwan-Seong did not heed such rules. Scumbag did not seem to mind. Hwan-Seong was to be a knight, and knights were not bound by rules of court etiquette.
He said, “You’ve advanced a lot in your magical abilities.”
Hwan-Seok answered, “I am still learning.”
Hwan-Seong laughed boastfully, “If I had thrown that, it would have landed all the way over there.”
I found Scumbag actually had some reason for summoning me. At first, it seemed as if he just wants to see me, but he had a letter for me. How odd that the reigning king would take it upon himself to deliver a letter by hand to this child, and a girl at that! What’s next? You could have told me the sky was no longer blue and I wouldn’t have batted an eye.
“It’s from your betrothed,”
Gi-Hyeon and Jin-Su had begun living at the Imperial Institute of Magic dormitory, where they were sharing a room. Gi-Hyeon asked, “Jin-Su. Why do you keep on writing and re-writing a letter? You’ve never written me a letter before!”
“Yes, I have. Once.”
“Only once! You’re making me jealous!” (T/n: where you at my fujoshi fam?( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) )
Jinsu gave Gihyeon a gentle shove.
Gihyeon went flying, with a shriek. No, to be accurate. Gihyeon was levitated and slammed onto the bed.
He said, “That’s not fair! You used magic!”
“But you could have used magic to resist.”
“Against you? How can I compare to you? You’re the top-ranked magician in the Kingdom! No, the Empire!”
Gihyeon furrowed his brow and stared at Jinsu, who puffed out his cheeks like a small child. He sighed loudly.
“I’m busy,” Jinsu said. “Be quiet.”
“I know what you’re up to. You’re writing a letter to your fiancee, right?”
Jinsu flatly denied it.
“It’s her girl’s coming-of-age ceremony, so you are writing a letter now, right?”
Gihyeon walked over to stand behind Jinsu.
“You’re not writing to me, are you? A love letter?”
“Your aloofness captivates me even more.”
Laughing again, Giheyon lay back down in his bed as if to give up. It was as if he said, Fine, Jinsu, just don’t use magic on me.
He continued to write for many hours. Jinsu, who was known in the Empire for his brilliance and whose reputation had taken on heroic proportions for his ability to master complex topics, spent six hours composing this letter.
It was morning. Giheyon rose and rubbed his eyes, “You’re still working?” he asked.
Jinsu asked sincerely, “Do you know that girl’s number?”
Giheyon just stared, He replied, as if dumbfounded, “That’s preposterous. Why would I have any girl’s phone number? First of all, girls don’t have magical powers, so they aren’t even able to use phones. What’s gotten into you anyway?”
I accepted the letter from my father. The serious look on his face made me hesitant to accept it as if it bore something sinister. No, I told myself. I’m only eight. Nobody is plotting against me.
“It’s from your fiancee”
I perked up at the mention of my fiancee. But why would the Royal Scumbag be running such a menial errand? I wanted to ask, but I kept quiet. No female was ever allowed to question a king.
I smiled instead. “I’m so delighted to be summoned by Your Highness!” I said,
He raised his chin haughtily. He, of course, towered above me, and this made me feel even smaller. His whole being seemed to say, “Of course you should consider this a great honor.” At the same time, I was seized with the urge to pummel him too.
“You must have become quite close to him.”
“It would make me so happy for him to become fond of me.”
“Yes, he’s not bad,” he answered
His face wore a displeased expression, in spite of his words. Hwan-Seong seemed to notice as well, and I was secretly thankful when he asked, “Father, why do you look so down?”
This world’s hierarchy was neither a pure absolutist dictatorship nor a monarchy. Even kings and princes did not observe court etiquette strictly if they were not engaged in some official business. The social system was neither a rigid social ranking nor an egalitarian democracy, and there was quite a bit of fluidity. The point I am driving at is that Hwan-Seong’s behavior toward his father wasn’t completely out of the norm.
“I am not pleased.”
“What do you mean, Father?”
Had I finally endeared myself to my father? he didn’t want to give me up?
Well, I was quite mistaken, because he said, “I wish I had a son like him.”
This deflated both me and Hwan-Seong. Hwan-Seong was considered a genius, but even he was outclassed by Jinsu. Hwan-Seong replied, “I will endeavor to apply myself.”
My father demurred, “It is fine. You are part of the elite as well. It’s just that Jinsu is such a shining star.”
I thought he’s a hero, while I’m just a lowly girl!
“I am glad I’m engaged to such a person,” I said.
He nodded. It seemed as if he was still congratulating himself privately for his success in choosing a mate for me. This made me loathe him. He continued, “There will be a feast with the scholars, so get ready.”
“Your Majesty!” I cried out.
He waved his hand as if swatting at a gnat.
I said, “I feel so happy to have been able to see Your Majesty today! I’m overcome with emotion!”
He certainly enjoyed flattery. His reputation as a just king was undeserved. I guess being a king makes you get used to sycophancy and then I bowed before taking
“Wait,” he said.
“Yes, Your Majesty”
Weighing his words for three seconds, he spoke then, “You are no longer required to call me ‘Your Majesty’ by the order of the King. The term shall be erased from the lexicon.”
Hwan-Seok explained, “He wants you to address him in another way.”
For just a brief moment, I was thrown into panic. Why suddenly was I not allowed to address him by that title?
Softly, I tried out “Da-Daddy?”
Scumbag gave a dismissive wave of his hand. His body language seemed to be saying, “You nuisance. Be gone with you.”
What did that mean? I was left wondering.
He was as good as his word. Daughters of the king were no longer required to call the King, “Your Majesty.”
The scholars and I met sometimes on which occasions I was called upon to share my meager knowledge. Thankfully, all I had to do was broach a topic and provide the barest information when they would take over the glean whatever useful information was there.
Today I was telling them about Adam Smith’s invisible hand.
They marveled, “What a formidable genius you are, Princess Sang-Hee!”
“The law of supply and demand? How true that is!”
The scholars had grown up with magic. In this world, nothing was unachievable with magic. Some even used magic to fly through the sky. I have heard Scumbag did so as well although I have never seen it myself. The availability of magic had delayed the advancement of other subjects. All of them were quite clever, so they immediately grasped any concept I introduced.
Scumbag and other scholars were gathered to dine.
“Your Majesty,” one said, “The princess should be enrolled in school.”
“If not that, we should give her private schooling.”
“I would be honored to be her teacher.”
However depressing it was to admit, I knew my place and remained silent. Just to be allowed to eat with the men was an honor. Each scholar pressed his opinion as though expecting the king to resist with the expected “Why does a worthless girl need an education?” The King surprised all with his apathetic response, “Do as you please.”
That was how I became the first princess ever to receive a formal education. I was quite taken aback, although I probably should have been able to predict this, given the progress I had made with him.
I learned this after the fact, but the many scholars in the Kingdom squabbled with each other to teach me. The knowledge I had brought from Earth was apparently startlingly new to them and each wanted to gain access to me. A professor named Alex fought off the competition and became my teacher. Before I get to that topic though, I’ll describe something happened before.
There were three princes, the younger two, Hwan-Seok and Hwan-Seong, I had dubbed “brats” for all the reasons I have illustrated earlier. The oldest prince, Hyeong-Seok, was on a plane all unto his own due to his thoughtful manners and kind disposition. Also, he was very handsome.
Hyeong-Seok was a hostage of the Empire and was allowed to come home to the Kingdom about once a month. When he did, he always came to my room for a visit. Hwan-Seok who had been reading in my room was so engrossed that he did not notice how Hyeong-Seok had entered.
I ran up to the eldest Prince and embraced him. Ah~ I felt blissful. (t/n: yup, our female lead knows how to fangirl UvU)
Accepting my embrace, Hyeong-Seok walked surreptitiously behind Hwan-Seok.
“Oh, hello,” Hwan-Seon greeted his older brother. “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”
When Hwan-Seok’s eyes took in the sight of me in Hyeong-Seok’s arms, he broke his
Hyeong-Seok smiled. “Oh, I see what you’re thinking. Do you want to hold her too?”
“No, Hwan-Seok grimaced, “She’s germy.”
“Hyeong-Seok, still smiling, asked. “Then, why did you break the tip of your pencil?”
“It was just a coincidence. She’s just a dirty dog.”
I’ll kill you. Hwan-Seok stubbornly refused to let go of the humiliating nickname for me.
Then, the door flew open.
I braced myself for what was to come. Sure enough, I heard “Fetch!” The ragdoll came flying.
“Oh,” Hwan-Seong said, noticing me and the eldest prince. “You’re hanging on to Hyeong-Seok. When did you arrive, Brother?”
I truly loved my oldest brother, who was so steadfast and handsome. I was grateful he was so different from the others.
Hwan-Seong scooped up the ragdoll. He suggested to me, “Let’s go for a walk outside.”
“Father said we could. We’re not allowed to go outside the palace, but we can go as far as my training areas. Since Hyeon-Seok is here, we can all go together!”
I felt my world expanding a little. I had been restricted to the confines of my bedroom, the Scumbag’s dining room, and a few other areas.
Hyeong-Seok patted Hwan-Seong’s head and said, “Let’s go”
Upon seeing this, I grumbled, “Pet me too, Hyeon-Seok!”
Hyeon-Seok smiled indulgently. I am sure to take out my frustrations on my blankets tonight, but I took solace in the contented expression on my brother’s face. Well, I am actually older than he, I reminded myself letting the hurt feelings dissipate.
“I can walk so well now! I’m such a big girl!” I gave my most endearing look.
I pretended to fall, expecting Hyeong-Seok to reach out to rescue me. Instead, Hwan-Seong, eager to show off his growing powers, set me upright in an instant with magic.
I started to thank him but screams came to my throat as that brat, Hwan-Seok, knocked me down again! I wanted to smack him right in his smug face as he chortled in glee. I vowed to get him someday.
I was soon to realise just how premature I had been. This was nothing compared to what Hwan-Seong did a bit later as it became clear to me then, that he had been relatively lenient with me.
Eunie: WHOOOOOA DAEBAK!! Doesn’t that older brother
definitelytakes the cake out of the three princes!!!! But in the end I feel like it is all because of the good genes of the King and LOLOL, just how desperate was the King to have her call him “Daddy” pfft.
viva~ King and his youth and bottomless stamina!! (ง ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)ง