CHAPTER 16: LETTER FOR MY FIANCE
The seventeenth-ranked princess, Suyeong, had quite a shock that day. She could hardly move. Hwan-Seok’s nasty reputation was well known among the princesses. If they dared say anything to him other than usual greeting he might slap them. He had punched the first-ranked princess, Seah-Hwang, and kicked the seventh-born princess, Heeyeong Kang, at my coming-of-age ceremony. Yet, here he was, getting along amiably with the thirty-third ranked princess, Sang-Hee.
Suyeong had never imagined that Prince Hwan-Seok was capable of speaking at such a length with a princess. Even more shocking was that Princess Sang-Hee had been educated on the poisoning of the 3rd prince, Clion, by the 4th prince, Steven, in the 8th year of the Aures calendar.
To Princess Suyeong, Sang-Hee might as well have been a foreign language. Educating girls was a was of resources. They were expected merely to keep their bodies in good health to give birth to sons but Princess Sang-Hee was different.
Even though Sang-Hee was only eight and still physically small, she studied feverishly every night. She had no other choice If she wished to keep the company of the men who had the advantage of magical skills. Sang-Hee had to work twice as hard.
Sang-Hee answered the question thrown at her without hesitation then asked Hwan-Seok for answers to a few, flattering him in the process. Observing the interaction, Suyeong thought Sang-Hee might actually know all the answers.
Her hunch was correct. Sang-Hee carefully gave just the right number of wrong answers to flatter Prince Hwan-Seok. Princess Sang-Hee could not afford to be seen as a threat if she wanted to survive.
Hwan-Seok began his next question. “Which prince is considering the greates—”
Princess Sang-Hee cut him off, “YOU! You are the greatest prince in history!” Princess Sang-Hee said this with much ardor and with a doting look on her face. Princess Suyeong waited for the punishment sure to follow. How dare a lowly female interrupt a prince? But nothing happened. Princess Suyeong endured one shock after another.
“It’s a letter for my fiance.”
Without waiting for Sang-Hee’s consent, Hwan-Seok read the letter then tore it up. “I don’t like it.”
I had worked hard on that letter! Writing the letter had been an emotional rollercoaster ride with my head flooded with thoughts of my old life with my Jinsu. When I tried to separate the two Jinsus, I recalled the scrawled thoughts of love Jinsu of this world had sent me. These thoughts crowded my mind and pained my heart. As crazy as this sounds, I half hoped that there might be some link between the Jinsu of my old like and the Jinsu of this one. This feeling grew stronger when I recalled his thoughtfulness toward me whom he had only met once at just four years of age. The face I had desperately longed to see as I was dying haunted my thoughts.
The words, “Dress warmly. It’s cold.” repeated in my head. I even saw it in my imagination that he had spent six hours writing that letter! And I had spent over twenty hours. I had to firmly remind myself that this Jinsu was not the one I had loved in my old life and harden my heart.
The first-born brat tore it to shreds, “Clean up the trash.”
Containing my rage was difficult. No matter if I wee his favorite, lashing out at a prince would earn me death.
Chirping, “Yes, Your Majesty. I’ll clean it up!” I did as I was told. I picked up each torn shred, fighting to keep the tears at bay. For eight years, I’ve done everything in my power to anticipate the whims of those around me; no matter how distasteful, how abhorrent I still did everything I could to win the favor of those who held my life in their hand.
Don’t cry! I admonished myself. You can’t give up yet. You still have a long road ahead of you. I felt defeated. I was humiliated before the seventeenth-born princess who had sought my advice.
I am nothing more than a favored pet among the princes; I am without dignity. Self-doubt crept in, and I wondered if I’d ever be able to make an impact in this world.
I said to myself, Sang-Hee, pull yourself together.
Then, to add insult to injury, I heard “Fetch!”
As soon as I saw the ragdoll come flying, I burst into tears. I tried to suppress my cries and be quiet since Hwan-Seok was still reading nearby.
Hwan-Seong with his super hearing noticed my muffled sniffles and turning to Suyeong, glowered. “Did you make her cry?” He turned to me, “Who made you cry?”
Hwan-Seok rose from his chair quietly and walked over to us. “What are you doing here, Hwan-Seong? Can’t you see I am reading?”
Hwan-Seong, suddenly unsure of himself, answered, “I didn’t know you were here.”
“Don’t make excuses.”
Hwan-Seok glanced at Sang-Hee whose eyes were brimming with tears and turned to Suyeong. “Pick that up.”
Hwan-Seok, “Why should my dog pick up the tissue you threw”
Hwan-Seok vanished into thin air and appeared before Suyeong. “Don’t you have ears? Have you forgotten my warning already?”
Trembling, Suyeong began, “Y-Your Majesty…”
Hwan-Seok grabbed Suyeong’s chin, raising it slightly.
“Why did you put that trash on my Mutt’s desk?”
Then he said, without even turning around, “Hey, Mutt!”
Eyes dry now, Sang-Hee chirped cheerfully, “Yes, Your Majesty”
He ordered, “Close your eyes.”
Sang-Hee did not understand why, but she closed her eyes obediently. Hwan-Seok had hardly ever given her an order before. Sang-Hee usually was the first to approach him with compliments or offers of shoulder massages.
“Cover your ears.”
She said, “Yes, Your Majesty.”
She covered her ears dutifully. An odd, prickly hot then suddenly cold sensation washed over. Hwan-Seok had cast a spell to prevent her from seeing and hearing, but women could not always recognize it when it was used.
A few moments passed, and then Sang-Hee heard Hwan-Seok say, “Mutt, open your eyes.”
“Your Majesty, I was so frightened!”
And she really had been. Deprived of her senses, she had felt cast away in the abject darkness.
“Out of my way,” Hwan-Seok pushed her aside, That…jerk. She swallowed her anger. It was clear he had intentionally pushed her harder than usual.
Sang-Hee suddenly noticed Suyeong’s disappearance.
She looked for her Suyeong but she was nowhere to be found. Turning to Hwan-Seok, Sang-Hee chimed, “Brother, I wanted to spend some time with you. Where are you going?”
Hwan-Seok stopped short, “Quiet!”
“Sorry, I was bothering you.”
Before Hwan-Seok left the room, he pointed, “The second drawer of the desk.”
Leaving her with just those word, he turned to go. I heard from a distance, “Finally!”
2ND CHAPTER FOR THE DAY Woohoo >o<
Now, now….just what happened to that 17th princess? and Sang-Hee gambare~ \OvO/ JUST WHAT MADE THAT TSUNDERE, Hwan-Seok snap? Are you guys cuuuuurious???