D-1 before full moon
“Sir, the cart will arrive soon” Siwon whispered to his lord. They hid between shrubs near a lonely road to Mount Sorak. They brought 10 troops with them whom had spread through all direction. Their best troops.
Lord Eunhyuk planned to kill lady Seohyun, to annihilate all evidences, then paid a slave to be accused as Lady Seohyun's killer. He promised to the slave that he would take care his family after he got the punishment. That’s how Lee family always remained clear from any criminal record from whatever they did.
There was approximately 50 meters in distance between lady Seohyun’s cart and them. Except the horseman, there were only 4 people who guarded Lady Seohyun. Lord Eunhyuk gave a signal with his left hand then they rushed to barricade around the cart. The four people quickly raised their sword and fought aggressively toward the attackers.
Eventhought they’re winning in number, the fight quite fierce. Lord Eunhyuk wondered that it took almost 10 minutes to take down the guard one by one. He was sure that the guards skill were almost as strong as main royal guards.
He looked at the horseman who’s remained still in front of the cart. He noticed a gold badge attached on the horseman waist. He jumped and targetted the horseman hat with his sword to reveal his face. ‘Captain Yonghwa??’ he whispered to him self. The said person only answered with smirk made it quite obvious that he noticed who the masked person in front of him.
“Sir !! The cart is empty” Siwon reported.
Lord Eunhyuk gazed back to Captain Yonghwa ‘So this is a trap? Damn it’. Without waiting any times further, Lord Eunhyuk signaled his troops to back off but it’s already too late. Additional royal guards came in 2 platoons1, ready in force to take down Lord Eunhyuk and his followers.
Eventhough they managed to defeat almost a half of royal guards there but still 2 platoons were too much for them. They were trapped and didn’t even have a single slot to pass the barricade. All Lee’s family troops included Siwon made a circle to protect Lord Eunhyuk.
“Siwon, we must do our second plan. 13th plan. Now!” Eunhyuk whispered.
Siwon startled “Sir, It’s you who must do it. We are ready to sacrifice our life for you”
Eunhyuk shook his head “No. Yonghwa already know who I am. It’s too late for me. But not you. You must go. Please. This is your hyung last wish…”
Siwon turned back to face his lord. His eyes got teary “Hyung….”
Eunhyuk smiled at him “Please protect our Sungmin in my place….”
Then Eunhyuk raised his right hand to the air then shouted out loud “In the name of Jonseong shadow.!!!!”
His fellow troops included Siwon copied him with burning up voice “In the name of Jonseong shadow.!!!! Hyaaaa!!!!!!!”
They attacked royal guards in unison with their life…
In King’s quarters
“Eunuch Kang, how is Lady Seohyun?” Kyuhyun asked his eunuch.
Eunuch Kang nodded “She is in a safe place. Phea”
Kyuhyun sighed “I hope this is the beginning of the end…”
“Madam Ok, what the important thing that make you want to talk to me secretly?”
She bowed down to her King “Phea. Forgive me for acting like this but I am here for my daughter Seohyun. I want to protect her. She has suffered too much. As a mother, I can’t handle it anymore. So I take a courage to talk to you even this will cost my life…”
“What do you mean?”
“I have a plan”
King Cho raised his eyebrows “Plan?”
Courlady Ok nodded “Yes, Phea. We will give them a chance to kidnap Seohyun”
“Kidnap? Madam Ok, I thought you said you wanted to protect your daughter” Kyuhyun raised his voice.
Her body looked shaking because of fear “It…it’s … not like that, Phea. We will send an empty cart. When they think they almost win, we capture all of them”
King Kyuhyun held his chin and thought deeply “But Madam, they should have a strong reason to kidnap lady Seohyun”
“That’s why I come here, Phea. I want to ask you something”
“What is that?”
She raised her head a bit to face her King “It’s royal first night. If you agree to do royal first night with Queen Min, they will have a reason to kidnap Seohyun…”
“You know I always make an excuse to reject royal first night, right?”
She bowed down again “Yes, Phea. I know. Please forgive me to say this bluntly but this is for Seohyun”
Kyuhyun was staring sharply toward the courtlady “Are you sure this is safe, Madam Ok?”
“Yes, Phea. This is the only way to end all this hatred and save Seohyun”
“But the date …”
Courtlady answered with an assuring voice “About the date of royal first night… please leave it to me”
End of flashback
Kyuhyun was deep in his thought again then stared at the sky through a big window beside him. He saw a morning star “Venus, why does it not shine brightly?”. He sighed then Queen Min face popped out in his mind, suddenly made him remembered something that he got this afternoon. “Eunuch Kang”
Eunuch Kang walked closer to him “Yes, Phea”
“Have you known already what the reason Queen Min visited Lady Seohyun’s pavilion?”
“Yes. Courtlady Taeyeon has told me. Aside from making a young courtlady fainted, she brought a bucket of persimmon fruits and gave it to lady Seohyun”
The King chuckled “Persimmon? Friendship? It’s not like her…”
Back in the forest near Mount Sorak
“Jungshin, how many all of them? It’s 12, right?” Captain Yonghwa asked his fellow guard.
“ Yes, included 4 person who have been killed, there are 12 person in total, Sir”
Yonghwa walked closer toward Lord Eunhyuk who knelt to the ground with hand tied tightly on his back “What a really strong troops you have, Lord Eunhyuk. They have taken down more than 1 platoon of royal guards. But after all, this is the end of your enormity, Lord Eunhyuk. Lee Faction will follow you later”
Eunhyuk just smiled lopsidedly “You really don’t know the meaning of Lee Faction to royal family, Captain Yonghwa”
“What do you mean?”
Eunhyuk chuckled “I doubt your (stupid) King will understand what I mean. We are Jonseong shadow. And Jonseong can’t betray their shadow”
Captain Yonghwa looked being annoyed “You ‘re speaking of non sense, Lord Eunhyuk. You can talk all you want in your jail… or even hell just in case if you get a death punishment”
Lord Eunhyuk didn’t answer him but instead he gave a mocking smile toward the captain.
In the morning, soon after captain Yonghwa and royal guards cameback from Soraksan. The news spread all over the Kingdom about Lord Eunhyuk who was captured because trying to kidnap the King’s special gungnyeo. There were mix reactions among nobles. Some of them especially Choi faction near jumped to the air hoping this was a signal of Lee Faction's fall. They even hoped he got a death punishment because of his crime. In the other side, prime minister Leeteuk and his fellow nobles from Lee faction were busy worrying their position in royal court. Some of them blamed Lord Eunhyuk for acting ridiculous, but the prime minister knew that Lord Eunhyuk wasn’t stupid. He ought to be trapped by the King. He assured Lee faction members that this wasn’t their end yet. They still had Queen Min by their side.
“I want to meet my brother!” Queen Min rushed to royal guard quarter as she received the news. She cursed herself that she should have predicted this would be happened since he discovered about King and Lady Seohyun's affair. But it’s already too late.
“I am sorry Min Mama. This is King’s direct command to prevent anyone to meet the suspect after our investigation finished” Captain Yonghwa said.
Sungmin winced “Suspect? You call the King’s brother in law a suspect? How dare you!!!”
Captain Yonghwa bowed down “Please forgive me, Min Mama. I just follow royal police protocol. My fellow members will guard you to your pavilion”
Sungmin managed to act cool. She really wanted to curse them in anger and yell it out loud to them. But her position as Jonseong Queen prevented her. “Come on, Sunkyu. We have to go back” she said to her courtlady then walked away. Sunkyu followed her.
She walked passing her rose garden. She approached the peek and searched the melodic sound that she yearned for. She closed her eyes but nothing heard. She needed that sounds again to calm her. She felt loss.
“Gongjunim2!” Someone called her from behind. There was only one person who still called her Gongjunim eventhough she’s already become queen. That person was Siwon. Chief of Lee’s family soldiers. Although, they barely talked to each other, Sungmin thought of Siwon as her childhood friend since her brother saved him.
She‘s surprised “Siwon? I thought… I thought you went with Orabuni. You…you.. shouldn’t be here. Royal guards will…”
“It’s okay, gongjunim. I managed to escape with our second plan. They thought we attacked them with only 12 people of us but actually we had a hidden troop. We were 13. At first, this was for saving Lord Eunhyuk but he rejected it, instead he commanded me to escape alone” Siwon’s head dropped in regret “I…I should protect him, Gongjunim. I am so sorry”.
“What is it in your hand?”
“Gongjunim2. I want to give you this. Lord Eunhyuk’s letter”
Sungmin eyed the taller with surprise “How…how did you infiltrate the royal guard security?”
“I have my way. We have a lot of spy in this palace”
She took the letter and opened it. As she read the letter, her hands started shaking. Siwon was not sure whether it was just a drizzle of rain or a drop of tear from the Queen's eyes. He couldn’t see her face. Gongjunim….
“Min Mama, what has Lord Eunhyuk written?” Sunkyu asked.
Sungmin didn’t answered. Her hands seemed to lose their strength and let the letter fell to the ground. She walked away back to her pavilion. Sunkyu picked up the letter. As she started reading it, tears suddenly rolled from her eyes….
To My Cherry Blossom
As this maybe my last letter. I want to get rid of any honorific words to you.
Sungmin. My Sungmin…
Eventhough you are my sister, I couldn’t call you just with your name because of our family rules.
Just once, I really want you to call me Oppa instead of orabuni.
My sungmin, My adorable sungmin
I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness but please forgive me.
Please forgive me for being a stupid brother who always causing you so much troubles.
Please forgive me for not listening to you
Sungmin-ah, I am so sorry…
If a next life does exist, I don’t want to be born as your brother, but your best friend.
A best friend who always be there whenever you need
A best friend who always offer his shoulder for you to lean on whenever you feel pains
I always want to say this out loud
Oppa, nol noemu saranghae...
Courtlady Sunkyu rushed to Queen Min's chamber and found the latter sat upright staring at a dragon painting on the wall. A Black Dragon. Lee’s family symbol. Sungmin remembered what her mother said to her before she died. “Sungmin, there is a reason why you can’t hate him. Why you’re forbidden to hate him”
Sunkyu knelt down behind her and burst into tears again “Min Mama…Min Mama…” It panicked her to face a silent Sungmin. She would rather choose her Queen released her anger instead of going silent like this because Sungmin looked like breathless as there’s no sign of her chest moved up and down. It scared her. She kept calling her name and sobbing hard.
Then she noticed a little bloods rolled down from Sungmin’s lip. She’s not sure whether it was because Sungmin bit her tongue or cheek fat but for her, neither of that choice was any better. “Min…Min Mama, your lip” She took her handkerchief to rub the blood from Sungmin’s lip but Sungmin prevented her. Instead she pulled the courtlady into an embrace.
“Thank you, Sunkyu-ah. Thank you for crying instead of me…” she whispered.
Sunkyu was shocked with Sungmin's sudden action. At first, she wanted to tell the latter that everything was gonna be fine. She wanted to say that there would be a way to save Lord Eunhyuk, but her lip couldn’t enunciate the words. She was just crying more out loud like a child and kept calling her queen’s name.
11 platoon : 30-55 guards
2 Gongjunim : princess
A.N : I am sorry this chapter must be split into two. If any part of this story confuse you, please don’t mind to ask ^^. I give you a teaser about next chapter.
“Queen Min, I trust you as much as I trusted your mother. Please give Jonseong a little prince.”
“As you know I won’t forgive your brother, My Queen. In case whether I can make an excuse for you or not about this crime. It depend from what you could say right now”
“Lady Seohyun, why are you crying?”
“I am scared”
“You can hate her all you want, but don’t ever make her leave you. Because She is your shadow….”
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