The information Mr. Han brought back to the Queen was satisfying, in her royal opinion. The Queen browsed through every single documents that were in the folder, looked into pictures of Sooyoung and her family (where did Mr. Han found all those shall remain a mystery) and read all the academic achievements Sooyoung had achieved through her studying life. From the biodata on the front page of the folder itself, the Queen had already known most of the personal information belonging to the young lady that had stepped into the palace two weeks ago.
It may seem prying and really disrespect for going through information of a young lady they barely knew, but to the Queen, it was only the right thing to do. She had to make sure the Prince was mixing with the correct type of people, and from what she had gone through, this young lady was alright.
In fact, she was just as perfect as how the Queen would have imagined a non royal blood to be. Her academic achievements and certificates of honors had clearly impressed the Queen, because she actually gave a smile while browsing through the separate folder containing only Sooyoung’s certificates.
Shutting the folder with a soft thud, the Queen took out her spectacles and started thinking. She sat there on the couch for a few minutes without saying anything, although her mind was clearly at work. Then, she summoned for the presence of Mr Han, who arrived in a span of 5 seconds.
“What are her daily activities?” The Queen asked as she pointed at the bundle of pictures on the coffee table—the one Mr Han had gave her along with the two folders.
Mr. Han cleared his throat softly. “Miss Sooyoung attends her lectures and classes everday. Before reaching the University, she will stop by the bakery—“ He pointed at a picture of Sooyoung going into a bakery shop. “—to buy breakfast to eat.”
The Queen nodded.
“Sometimes she stays for an extra hour or two after her lectures in the University, to practice for her performance for the University’s Annual Charity Concert which is going to be held in three to four months’ time.”
The Queen raised a brow. “Performance?”
“Yes, Your Highness. They’re performing the classic theatrical play of Swan Lake.”
This made the Queen even more interested as she leaned closer to the coffee table. “Are there any pictures?”
Mr Han scanned the scattered pictures on the coffee table before pointing at a few. The Queen picked the pictures up and studied them.
“Majoring in Biology and Minoring in Performing Arts, this girl is really something.” The Queen mumbled to herself but her eyes widen suddenly as she spotted something in one of the pictures. Rather, someone.
“Isn’t this…?” She pointed at the young man in the picture beside Sooyoung, his eyes on a booklet (the Script) as both of them seemed to be reciting something together in the picture. The Queen gasped so loudly that even Mr. Han got a shock.
“Oh, yes, Your Highness, I forgot to mention,” The calm Mr Han said, “Prince Siwon is also participating in the play.”
The Queen was stunned for a few moments before regaining her composure and asking Mr. Han to continue his story.
“At night, Miss Sooyoung will return home to cook dinner for her father who finishes work at 6.30pm. As you know, Your Highness, Miss Sooyoung lost her mother at a young age, and her older sister is still studying overseas...”
“So it is only the both of them in the house.” The Queen said and Mr. Han nodded. “Not only is this girl clever, she’s also filial. Anything else I ought to know about Sooyoung?”
“Every Saturday, she visits the Old Folks’ Home and brings them homemade cakes, Your Highness.”
The Queen’s eyes caught a picture of Sooyoung smiling brightly among the elderly, and she gave an internal sigh. “And she is also a kind hearted person. Plus she knows how to bake. Okay.”
“And every Sunday, she goes to Church with her father.”
This time the Queen sighed out loud, unable to comprehend how simply perfect this young lady was. “So you’re telling me, Mr. Han, that she’s religious as well?”
“Yes, Your Highness. Miss Sooyoung is indeed a religious person as well. She often prays before she eats her meals too.”
The Queen placed the folder on her lap. “Is there anything else?”
“No, Your Highness. There isn’t anything else. But Your Highness can browse through the pictures for any other additional information.”
The Queen nodded as she picked up all the pictures one by one. “Thank you, Mr. Han.” She smiled gratefully at the older man who has served more than twenty years in the Palace.
“You’re always welcome, Your Highness.” He bowed slowly before leaving the room.
The Queen sat alone in her room for a long time, browsing through the pictures over and over, remembering when Sooyoung had came to the Palace to see her, under her command.
She looked at the picture of the girl smiling as she handed cakes to the elderly, then at the picture of her around them, also smiling, then another whereby Sooyoung was playing the Piano (again, smiling) and the elderly were laughing and singing along. (Or so the picture tells)
Couldn’t help but smiled along, the Queen placed those pictures away and looked at the ones where Sooyoung was practicing in the hall with a few others of her friends. The Queen gave a sigh as she stared at the picture of Sooyoung and The Prince for quite a long time, contemplating how (deep down) they both looked so good together.
Another hour past by, and by then, the Queen had came to an inevitable conclusion that Choi Sooyoung was a smart, religious, kind-hearted, filial, not to mention possesses the ability to cook and bake, and a beautiful person inside out.
Siwon returned to the Palace when twilight approaches, happy that everything was going perfectly during rehearsals. Although it had just been two weeks, everything was seemingly clearer and more enjoyable now to Siwon as he acts out the role of the Prince. The hardest part, however, would have to be the ballet dancing routine. Sure, he did learn dancing when he was young, but he had not venture into the branch of ballet. Although difficult, Siwon tried his level best to impress the other students, not just because he was a Prince, but because he was good in Performing Arts as well. With the new friendship blooming between Kris and him, life in the University had been even more enjoyable.
Kris drops in now and then during rehearsals and everyone welcomed his presence. His excuse was to see how Siwon and Baekhyun were doing in their roles, and to give suggestions on how to make the Play better. Though, deep down, Siwon knew what his true intentions were.
The obvious glances he had stolen every minute or two, the teasing of how ‘horrible’ her ballet dancing was, the look in his eyes whenever he looked at Sooyoung; gave him away. It was highly obvious that Kris had a crush on his best friend, and the Prince knows it.
Siwon didn’t know what to react to this. Under every denial of Kris liking Sooyoung was hope to be able to confess his feelings for her; and Siwon could see that right through him. It didn’t surprise the Prince though; why would anybody not like Choi Sooyoung? That girl was perfect even in his royal eyes.
Siwon snapped out from his thought immediately. “Come in.”
The servant entered and bowed before looking back up slowly. “Your Majesty, The Queen, Her Royal Highness wants to see you.”
Although it was supposed to be a serious matter, Siwon couldn’t help but laugh to himself. Wasn’t this the same servant who came in two or three weeks ago and said the exact same thing?
“Okay, thanks.” Siwon said with a smile and the servant retreated away.
What does mother want this time?
“Father,” Siwon bowed quickly, half shocked to see his father beside his mother. It was always rare to see the King as he was always busy with what’s happening around the nation. Ever since he was young, it was always the Queen who took tremendous care for the Prince, and of course, it was no denying that Siwon’s relationship with his mother was better than that of his father.
“Siwon,” The King greeted him back with a huge smile on his face. “Come and take a seat.”
The Prince sat on the seat opposite his parents, a little uneasy but quickly shrugged off that thought.
“Your mother was just telling me how you were doing well in University,” The King’s smile never leaving his radiant face. “I’m really proud that you’re able to mix well with the citizens although we kept you quite shielded from them when you were young.”
“Thank you, Father.”
“Also, your mother said that you’re going to perform in a play?” The King brightened up even more as confusion struck Siwon. As far as he was concerned, he definitely did not tell his mother about him being in a play. Then again, she is the Queen after all; where she could find out whatever he was up to in a snap of her fingers.
“Yes, father. It’s the classic Swan Lake.”
The King smiled and looked at his wife, who also smiled. “Your mother and I used to go to plays when we were younger. We enjoyed them very much.”
Siwon was dumbfounded.
“Are you playing the lead male role?”
“Yes, father. Prince Seigfield.”
“Do you really have to dance ballet?” The King tried keeping his face straight, but the thought of his son dancing ballet was too hilarious to ignore.
“Not all the time, no. Only in a scene or two.” Siwon replied with a straight face.
“And who is the leading lady?”
This time Siwon froze. The tone his father gave made him suspicious. He shifted his weight to another position.
“A student, from the University.” As if they didn’t know!
Mentally slapping himself for answering that, Siwon tried to calm himself down as he looked at the secretive glance both his parents gave.
They were keeping something from him.
“When’s the concert?” His mother asked this time, changing the topic quickly.
“In three months time.” Siwon answered curtly, eyeing both his parents suspiciously.
“When the concert is nearing, tell us, okay?” The Queen said. “We would like to go watch.”
That was the last thing Siwon wanted. “Okay, mother. I will.”
Both the King and the Queen smiled again, somewhat proud of their son. “We’re really excited to see you performing. Plus, did your mother mention that she adores Swan Lake a lot?”
“Yes, I really do like Swan Lake. Especially the captivating scene where Odile changes into a swan—“
“Odette, mother. Odile is the evil one.”
“Oh, right. Odette. I always mix their names up.” The Queen laughed.
Somehow, the uneasy feeling returned back into Siwon.
Watching his parents whispering to each other and communicating through their eyes, Siwon could conclude that there was something up their sleeves, he could just sense it.
They were definitely keeping something from him.
a/n: And the Conflict/Climax BEGINS! Thanks for those who constantly drop by a comment, truly appreciative of your support! And of course to the silent readers as well, thank you! ^^
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