CHAPTER 14: MAGIC
I traveled the palace grounds in something called a Magic Bicycle, to describe it in Earth terms, was like the scooter I used to ride when I was little, though it was much bigger. It was a vehicle run by magic, so naturally, it could only be used by men with magical ability.
“How is Your Majesty able to use this?” I asked Hyeong-Seok.
How content I had felt then! Yes, being held by my oldest brother gave me a feeling of serene pleasure. Heyong-Seok looked at me happily, with his hand on the magic absorption device on the dashboard. You’re my only hope, Hyeong-Seok, I thought.
Then he said, “I ingested a Magic Stone.”
I remembered reading something about this in a book. Very, very rarely, boys were born like Hyeon-Seok, with no magic abilities, and they had to ingest something called Magic Stone in order to use magic. Magic Stone was the most valuable good in this world. It is created when men injected their magic into a special metal ore called allon. All of this world’s goods were derived from this Magic Stone. In the same way, you would plug a vacuum cleaner into an electrical outlet, you would plug in a Magic Stone.
Hyeong-Seok stroked my head fondly, and I smiled. My feeling was genuine, and I truly felt completely content. He explained to me, “If you use a special method to purify and ingest Magic Stone, you can use Magic but only temporarily. Have I satisfied your curiosity?”
The second-born Brat, Hwan-Seong, who had rushed ahead of us, let out a bloodcurdling shriek and flew into the air straight up. He whizzed around like a butterfly and spun around in circles twenty times. I clutched at my eldest brother as if I were dizzy, feigning concern for him although I almost shouted, “Look at the brat!” Ooops. That was a close call.
Instead, I said, “Hwan-Seong, be careful! You’re frightening me to death!”
I had a peculiar foreboding, which was soon proven correct.
“Fetch!” And the familiar ragdoll came flying. Hwan-Seong added rather magnanimously, “You don’t have to bring it back to me.”
At least this brat did not expect me to bring the ragdoll to him while he was suspended in the air.
I imagined myself strangling him. The sight of him training impeded my fantasy though. I now understood why he was called a prodigy. One’s power was determined primarily by magical abilities. While one could work hard to hone one’s inborn gifts and talent was most prized.
Hwan-Seong did not think this was adequate practice. He said he might as well do some warm-ups since we were already on the training grounds. Observing his masterful combat. I could not believe that these were just warm-ups.
What was he doing now—dodging bullets? I wondered.
This was not a gun like the ones on Earth. It was presumably a real gun, but the bullets were not visible to me. I was no expert on firearms, but I could tell it was no ordinary gun. I didn’t know what it was called, but I guessed it might be a type of machine gun. I could picture a movie character plowing through his enemies with something like that.
Hwan-Seong became literally a blur as he dodged the bullets or parried them with his sword which I had mistaken as merely ornamental.
I could confirm now the extent of the affection Hwan-Seong must have had toward me. When he ordered me to fetch, he had just been pretending to be throwing the ragdoll with all his might. I knew now that if he had wanted, he could have thrown it so far I’d have run for years to catch up to it.
I vowed to myself then that I would try my best to impress him; I knew then, that my survival depended on it. Now, I decided I would even try to overcome my feelings of indignation. Put into this newfound perspective, I realized his behavior toward me had been practically loving!
In this world, men were supreme, which was confirmed to me over and over again. A stark example of this was the surnames of the princesses. All the princes were Kims, but the princesses had different names based on the whim of the king. My mother’s surname was Kang, but I was a Kim because my father had felt like naming me. If the King had been careless or apathetic, I could have ended up with my mother’s name. Female children were afterthoughts if it’s thought off at all. If even royal women were treated like this, how were commoner women treated? I could not imagine how gruesome the outside world, which I had never yet seen, must be. I had even heard rumors that you might be raped in broad daylight and be unable to accuse the perpetrator. I was fortunate enough to have been born a princess.
But this… I kept reading the letter over and over. The letter was the same on each reading.
The first line was: “That I would personally pen a letter to you is a great honor for you.” (t/n: this sounds like something Bakaburagi would say xD)
To sum up, the gist of the letter was that a supreme being had written me a letter, so I should shut up and be thankful.
He’s supposed to be a genius? His writing had a stunted style and limited word choice. Maybe his only skills were in combat, like Hwan-Seong. Then I shook my head, my senses returning. Even if that were all true, he was right. It was very unusual for a boy to stoop to writing a letter to a girl.
Regretfully, I had conceded that much. It was unthinkable, moreover, that a duke would personally write a letter to a girl—even a princess.
“Princess Sang-Hee, are you there?”
I ran to the door and opened it. Allow me to introduce a new character—my tutor, a seventy-two-year-old scholar named Alex. Sujin had told me Alex was gay. Ahem
With the scant worldly experience I had, I was still oblivious to all of this, but same-sex relationships between men were common. While men needed women to bear children, true spiritual love was reserved for men, who were superior. (T/n: OH MY WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD FOR FUJOSHIS!! BL FTW!!)
It all seemed too preposterous to believe. I had only heard this from Sujin, and I had to be discriminating about what I picked up from her. Sujin had said, “I heard they’ve sent Alex to look after you because they think you’re too precious to give away to a man!” Sujin loved repeating gossip, and she tended to pay selective attention to suit her fancy. A lot of what she said was quite suspect.
I said, “Alex!”
I was able to open the door to him by bearing down on the handle above my head for half a minute. It was also extremely heavy. The doors were meant to be opened by magic. Hwan-Seong did not even have to touch the door. It would just swing open easily. No thought was given to how such a door would be open by one without magical abilities. There were constant minor reminders of how little women and girls were worth in this world.
Alex taught me a great deal. We dedicated a great deal of time to learning history.
I marveled, “You truly know everything there is to know!”
Alex said humbly, “Oh no, I’m practically a fossil.”
He was grinning from ear to ear, in contradiction to his modest stance. While I had to concede that the men in this place were all-powerful and brilliant, they almost universally had this Achilles heel; they were susceptible to emotional manipulation. Perhaps they were so susceptible because it was the first time they ever had flattery from a girl. If this was what I could do at the age of eight, what I might do with my feminine wiles when I had reached the apex of my power? If I just sprayed on some perfume, they would bend to my every whim. I had to keep reminding myself that I was only eight before I got ahead of myself.
“If you had been born a boy, you would have rivaled Jinsu Han as a famous genius worldwide”
At this moment, Alex spotted the letter. He noticed something unusual about it. He asked, “Can I look at that more closely? There’s something strange about it.?
He analyzed the self-aggrandizing letter and then chuckled.
He noted, “He must have agonized over this.”
I said, “What?”
“I don’t know who wrote it, but can I restore it for you?”
I said, “I am so awed by you. How can I become as great as you, Alex?”
Go right ahead, whatever that is. Already, you are not even fazed by the flattery. No matter. I’ll continue to debase myself, however much it humiliates me.
Alex restored the letter using magic.
—The weather’s very cold, so bundle up when you go out!
—Congratulations on your coming-of-age. Sorry I couldn’t be there.
—There’s said to be an unspoken hierarchy among the princesses, so be on your best behavior to avoid problems.
Although the letter started out very blandly, it ended quite peculiarly.
There was some gibberish.
Sanghee, my love XOXO
Why am I acting like this? I have to stop! Am I a pervert!
I’ve gone completely insane. Why am I writing this?
All this lay bare his unhinged mental state. His state of mind was clear. He must have assumed I would never see this and had scrawled this with heedless abandon.
Even Alex was discomfited after restoring the letter, “Hmm…..” he said, “He even scrawled his signature like this because he thought you would be unable to use magic to see it. It is quite a shock to see this side of Jinsu Han,”
He narrowed his eyes, “He took six hours to write this letter, It has traces of furious effort. He must love you greatly.”
How odd. It made me feel puzzled, rather than happy. I remembered his words.
“There’s someone else I love.” He had certainly not meant me. But this letter showed that he cared for me. This was practically a love letter.
Then, reality reasserted itself. No, it can’t be. He isn’t the Jinsu of my heart. I remembered Jinsu, in my former life, had always said “Bundle up! It’s cold out!” Maybe all boyfriends say this to their girlfriends. No, that was something unique to Jinsu. He even had said this in summer. I would grumble with annoyance over his overprotectiveness, grumbling I wasn’t a baby.
“Is it already winter in the Empire? It’s still so hot here,” Alex mused.
My thoughts were jumbled.
Alex then said as if concealing his true thoughts, “You’re eight now, and the last he says, you were four!”
I don’t like what you’re implying!I thought.
*DOES SLIDING DOGEZA* AAH~ I’M REALLY SORRY I WAS PLANNING ON UPDATING UNTIL C.15 BUT MY LONG AWAITED CARD CAPTOR SAKURA WAS RELEASED!!
—–> FROM HERE ON IS THIS LAZY BLOB’S EXCUSES AND FANGIRLING SO YOU CAN JUST IGNORE THIS
I thought its gonna be tomorrow AND I JUST HAD TO FANGIRL SO MUCH. I watch the new ep. 5 times and then out of nowhere I had this URGE TO REWATCH and do a MARATHON of THE WHOLE SERIES OF CCS (+2 movies) !!. As CCS is the sole reason why I turned into an OTAKU♥*♡+:｡.｡ ｡.｡:+♡*♥ gaaaah Syaoran and Sakura’s fluuuuuff is gonna give me diabetes!!~and like how most of the characters’ voice actors are still the same, the new animation is on point (new keys and spells and cards ufufu~ are so cool and cute) but I do find it weird that they’re now using smart phones instead of the one with antennas -v- overall this new seaons is making me all dokidoki~♥*♡gaaah I’m swooning over them~ which now leads to why I can only do until chapter 14. *teehee~((ヽ( ᐛ )ﾉ)
REALLY, I’m sorry!!
☆♬○♩●♪✧♩((ヽ( ᐛ )ﾉ))♩✧♪●♩○♬☆