Episode 18: Welcome Back Imperial Prince Tae Hoon!
Episode 18: Welcome Back Imperial Prince Tae Hoon!
These words surprised the mom and dad of SeonHo so bad that they weren’t able to talk!
“But how can that be?! How could I be Prince Tae Hoon?!”
“Your Highness, all will be explained by the Emperor at the Palace. Please change into suitable clothes now. That also goes the same with your foster parents. This is the order of His Majesty himself.” said Mr. Kwon.
“SeonHo, let’s go inside and change now.” said Mr. Kim.
“Dear!” said Ms. Kim.
“We have no choice. Let’s just do what His Majesty orders us to do. Let’s go. Um, please come inside our house for something warm to drink.” Mr. Kim said to Mr. Kwon and the driver.
“Thank you very much for the offer. We would gladly accept it.”
“Although, the power’s out so, we’re sorry for the inconvenience.” said Mr. Kim.
“Ah yes of course. While we’re on our way here, we saw the lights in nearby buildings go out and so we deduced there was a brownout.” They were all going inside the house now.
“What about the Palace?” asked SeonHo.”
“Oh don’t worry Your Highness! We have backup generators whenever these kinds of things happen.”
“Um, what is your name again good sir?” asked Ms. Kim.
“Oh yes, how inappropriate of me not to introduce myself. I am Mr. Kwon, the Imperial Family’s Butler. said Mr. Kwon as he sat on the sofa.
“And the other?” asked Ms. Kim who was motioning at the driver who was by the doorway looking outside.
“Oh him? He’s just an extra.”
“Here you go. Something warm to drink! Please just give this to the driver when he decides to come in. We’ll go get change now.” said Mr. Kim.
They all went upstairs to get changed.
“Oemma, what should I wear?” asked SeonHo.
“Here this one it’s…”
After a while, they were all set to go.
As they went through Seoul, they saw how bad the rain was in the city proper itself for there was a lot of stranded commuters waiting in nearby buildings so that they may go to work or go home.
“So um, Mr. Kwon, does the public know about this already?” asked SeonHo.
“Not yet Your Highness. We plan to announce it later this evening or by tomorrow morning.”
“I see though Mr. Kwon, I’m not that used yet to being called as Your Highness ‘cause, I need to really see it or discover for myself the truth and how it all came to this so, until then, may I ask if you could call me SeonHo for now?”
“Understood, Mr. Kim SeonHo. You have raised him well Mr. and Ms. Kim.”
“Why of course! We are his parents after all!” said Ms. Kim.
Finally, they have arrived at Changdeokgung Palace where the Imperial Family is currently staying. They then got out of the car and were escorted inside the Palace itself. While walking, they went through some palace maids and footmen who all bowed at the sight of SeonHo and his family.
“Wow, I can’t believe this! We’re inside Changdeokgung Palace!”
“This way please. The Imperial Family is waiting at Huijeongdang Hall.”
They went through a lot of rooms and hallways until they finally arrived in front of Huijeongdang Hall.
“I would be announcing your arrival. Please wait here.”
Mr. Kwon then opens the doors and says in a loud voice: “The Kim Family has arrived Your Majesty.” He bowed and then let the family inside the room.
As soon as the Imperial Family saw them entering, they all stood up (they were all sitting down) to meet with them.
The Kims then bowed respectful but with a little bit of awkwardness due to them being nervous which caught the attention of Mr. Kwon so he whispered to them: “Don’t worry! They are all nice people! SeonHo, you and JoonSe are friends right?”
“Yeah but meeting his family in short notice, this is just so huge to take!”
“Please, come here and sit down with us.” Emperor Gojo said with a smiling face.
The family then walked slowly towards where their hosts are and then sat down with them.
The setting is like this: The Emperor is sitting at the north, the Crown Prince on the west which is the Emperor’s right while Prince Dong Hwan and Princess Che-Rin is on the east. The Kim Family was seated at the south which is directly in front of the Emperor.
“Dong-saeng-nim…” muttered JoonSe silently.
“Mr. Kwon has told you the reason on why you are here, correct?” said Emperor Gojo.
“Yes Your Majesty.” answered Mr. Kim.
“Then, we would like to explain everything then.”
“Yes. Please do. We ourselves are very confused.” said Ms. Kim.
“I understand. For I myself am a parent also. Now then, A few days ago, my son, Crown Prince JoonSe and his friends as well as SeonHo and his own friends all went to the private villa he owns in Gangwon Province and I followed them secretly. Then, when I revealed myself to them, they all bowed and I saw on SeonHo’s neck something familiar.
Mr. and Ms. Kim’s eyes widened and looked at each other while SeonHo reached for the back of his neck where the mark is.
“Um, Your Majesty, is that the time when you didn’t continue what you were saying?” asked SeonHo.
“Yes my s... I mean, yes SeonHo. You’re correct. You see, my younger son, the missing Imperial Prince Tae Hoon has the same mark on the back of his neck. Because it has taken me eighteen whole years in searching for him, I decided to waste no time and ordered my eldest son, JoonSe to extract even one tiny bit of your hair.”
“Ah! I see now! Hyung! So that’s why you were acting so weird back then! Me and the others were worried about you.”
“Since he failed miserably at what I had asked him to do, I ordered the Special Espionage Division of the Imperial Guards to do the extraction. They extracted three things: a strand of hair, a sample of his saliva and his blood. But, we also did an extraction on both of you, Mr. and Ms. Kim to determine if SeonHo here really is your son. I know that you have every right to be angry and complain to us but, as a parent looking for his lost son, I’m ready to do and risk everything just to find him. Please do understand.”
“Well (looks at his wife who’s giving him a positive answer through her look), I guess we could understand what your intentions are and since there was no harm done we could forgive you Your Majesty but, how sure are you all that our son SeonHo really is the missing Prince Tae Hoon? Besides the mark you saw on the back of his neck, what else?” said Mr. Kim.
“Mr. and Ms. Kim that was the purpose of why we extracted the hair, saliva and blood from you three so as to determine your DNA. When the scientists compared your DNA with SeonHo’s, it was shown to be very much different in fact, very far from his own DNA. When they compared it with JoonSe’s it was exact!” said Prince Dong Hwan.
“Meaning, Kim SeonHo, you are the once missing Imperial Prince Tae Hoon! I can’t believe this is happening! The youngest member of the Imperial Family has now been found! If only our son is…” Princess Che-Rin didn’t continue what she was saying and burst into tears.”
“There, there now honey. Ssshhh…” said Prince Dong Hwan as he hugged his wife.
“SeonHo, do you know the reason why I asked you to be my pretend younger brother? It’s because the qualities and attitude which you have is something that I always wished Tae Hoon has once we found him. And now, I’m just so glad to finally find you Dong-saeng!” JoonSe then rushed towards SeonHo and hugged him tightly!
“My son, welcome back…” said Emperor Gojo as he shed a tear while looking at SeonHo.
“Dear, I think it’s time then.” said Mr. Kim.
“You’re right. It is.”
“Mr. and Ms. Kim, what do you mean by its time now? Time for what?” asked Emperor Gojo.
SeonHo, JoonSe, Prince Dong Hwan and Princess Che-Rin all looked at the couple.
“For the truth.” Mr. Kim’s words stunned SeonHo to the very core!
“Ahpah, what do you mean?”
“That you SeonHo, really is the missing Prince Tae Hoon.”
“Oemma, what do you mean?”
“Eighteen years ago, the day the Imperial Family was ambushed on the way to the airport and also, the day Imperial Prince Tae Hoon disappeared without a trace, me and your mom were preparing to leave for Japan to find a job when one of our friends whose name was Mr. Im, a young man back then came to us in our old house and had a baby with him…”
“Mr. Im! Is that your baby?!” asked Ms. Kim.
“Aniyo! I have no time! May I come in please?”
“Of course! Of course! Please do!” said Mr. Kim.
“Mr. and Ms. Kim, do you remember the job I told you I recently got into?”
“Yes. Please go on. I have a bad feeling about this.” said Mr. Kim.
“Anyway, I thought that as a bodyguard, I would only be stationed somewhere or will be guarding my boss but, it turns out we were all part of the party that was sent by or boss who by the way we don’t know his name, to ambush the Imperial Family who was going to the airport an hour ago!”
“WHAT?! YOU DID WHAT?!”
“Shush! You two please keep it down! Anyway, our commander asked me and a senior member of our group to take the two baby Princes and get them out of this country!”
Mr. and Ms. Kim’s mouths were both opened wide!
“Right now, the baby with me is Prince Tae Hoon. Now then, I know that both of you wanted a child for so long and that both of you could be trusted so, please, will you please take him with you?” asked Mr. Im.
“Wha… what?! Taking care of a Prince?! But how?!” asked Ms. Kim.
“Please hide his true identity until the right day finally comes to reveal him to the world. It may be done by you two or by someone else. Please do heed my request.”
“Well… What now dear?” Mr. Kim looked at Ms. Kim. She then looked at the baby who was sleeping soundly.
“Well, we just can’t say no then… We will take him then.” said Ms. Kim.
“Thank you! Thank you so much for this! Actually, by concealing his identity, you’re also protecting him from those who want the throne for themselves.”
“You mean, your boss wants to take over the country?!” asked Mr. Kim.
“It looks like it though I’m not sure yet. Also, I don’t know if they would be able to capture the kidnapper who has Prince JoonSe but I do hope they do.”
“So, where are you going now?”
“I have to hide for a while. I’ll only resurface once little Tae Hoon here is now back at the palace once again, with his real family. Until then, please take care of him as if he is your own son. Raise him up to be a fine and responsible person, truly a Prince from top to bottom. I must be off now. Goodbye my dear friends. I hope we see each other again. And thank you for this…” With that, he shot out of the house and was never seen by the couple ever again.
“Mr. Im… So, what should we name him then?”
“Hmm… SeonHo, Kim SeonHo…”
As if the baby heard, he suddenly smiled at his new parents…
“So, we tried every means to make sure no one suspects us of anything. We thought of every possible question the people around and close to us might ask about SeonHo and we all answered them carefully. Fortunately, we were able to convince them all. We never got to Japan now that we have SeonHo with us. We decided to continue working here instead then. That’s it. The whole truth… SeonHo, from now on, you’ll be using your true name which is Yi Tae Hoon, Imperial Prince of Korea. Okay?”
They then hugged SeonHo/ Tae Hoon tightly while crying. It also made the Imperial Family shed some tears too. Emperor Gojo then stood up and then walked towards where the three were including where JoonSe was (he was sitting beside them when Mr. Kim was telling the story). The three stopped hugging and let go of SeonHo/ Tae Hoon. He stood up and faced his real father.
“My Tae Hoon, my dear Tae Hoon… Welcome back!...” The Emperor then hugged him tightly as he could and he did the same thing too. Soon, the rest of the Imperial Family were now hugging Tae Hoon as well.
“Now, you really are my Dong-saeng, Tae Hoon.” said JoonSe as he patted Tae Hoon on his head.
“Hyung, neh! I am!” answered Tae Hoon with a smile and some tears on his face…
The strong rain outside was now starting to weaken…
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