The Test

Story of Us
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In the middle of the pond of the Queen’s Residence, stood a beautiful two-story pavilion. The pavilion displays beautiful architectural features, painted with red and green, with a hexagonal foundation stone and hexagonal hipped roof. The pond was inhabited by various coloured koi and water plants, including lotus flower. On the northern part of the pond, to connect the man-made island to the rest of the palace grounds, a wooden bridge painted to match the pavilion was installed.

The pavilion used to be the place for King’s Concubines to greet the Mother of the Nation. After Kings stopped taking concubines, it was now the place for relaxation not only to the King and his family members, also a great place to entertain honorary guests.

The Queen, her daughter-in-law Grand Princess Consort Hyunjoo, her daughters Princess Mi In, and Princess Jungah, along with their sister-in-law Princess Seyeon were enjoying afternoon tea in the said pavilion. Princess Mi In and Princess Jungah’s children were playing tag and running around the island.

“Children be careful not to hurt your cousin or yourself,” Princess Mi In warned.

“My dear! Not too close to the edge of the island!” Princess Jungah ran to her child.

The rest of the party giggled at the cuteness of the children, “The pond would be more beautiful when the lotus blooms,” Grand Princess Consort Hyunjoo commented.

“Worry not Eoma Mama,” Princess Mi In opened her palm and presented her hand to her sister-in-law, “We have one blooming all year long.” Following her sister-in-law’s joke, Seyeon placed her palms on her jaw like a blooming flower, she titled her head to side, and gave the senior a big a smile.

“It reminds me of Vice Admiral’s speech during her wedding,” the Queen reminiscenced.

“Her name may not sound special, until the explanation made it poetic,” Princess Mi In romanticized.

The Grand Princess Consort placed her teacup and turned her attention to the youngest of the four. “Seyeon, how is your work?”

Seyeon’s smile brightened at the mention of her well enjoyed job, “It is going well Eoma Mama. On the Fundraiser in December, we managed to collect a considerable sum of money, we are thinking of taking the children for a picnic to amusement park.”

“If the plan to be carry out,” Princess Mi In asked, “Is it also part of your job to organize the event?”

Seyeon nodded, she covered while finishing the chewy snack, “It is after all my job.”

“I thought your job was to manage fundraiser?” Although Princess Jungah was on the steps of the pavilion, she was still within hearing distance.

“That is my main job, however I would not mind if anyone ask me to organize the excursion,” Seyeon answered, “Who would miss the chance to spend a day with beautiful children? Albeit their lack of luck to have loving parents, our job is to bring smile to their faces.”

“Spend the day with children?” the Queen rested her elbow on the table, “Organizing a picnic with fifty children at once is one thing, on the other hand to come along is another. You surely will not join, would you?”

“Will I break any rule Mama?” Seyeon asked, a thousand bad scenarios running through her mind.

“No, rather than spending time with other people's children, why not spend time with your own?” the Queen’s question startled the youngest in the pavilion.

Princess Mi In had two children, Princess Jungah had one child, and Prince Chanyeol had a daughter. The King and Queen have four great-grandchildren in total. During the five years Seyeon had been married to the family, after Jongin’s audience with the royal elder, no one asked her about children. Nor have Jongin and Seyeon tried to have one, on the contrary they have been diligently prevent it from happening, with the thought that they have two more years.

“Jongin Gun is the only grandchild of mine who has no child, the confirmation might not be held yet,” the Queen scolded, “If not as Wangsesonbin, it is your duty as wife to give him offspring. The more children he has, the more secure his position will be.”

Not knowing how to respond to her grandmother-in-law, Seyeon kept her head down. It felt wrong to give any answer at the moment. Surely Seyeon would like to have children with Jongin, however they should discuss the matter together before she could voice any statement. It takes two to make a child, and Jongin’s opinion matter as much as hers.

The Queen gave the court lady behind her a signal. Moments later the court lady neared the table followed by an attendant, a yellow box with a cute bow on top laid on her arm. The court lady made space and placed the box in front of Seyeon, bringing the attention of the Princess.

The question in Seyeon’s mind, was written all over her face, the Queen instructed her to open the box. Inside the box were five smaller boxes, varied in size, design, and brand. The boxes have only one thing in common, the function of the content, to test if the user has been blessed with child, or not.

Seyeon’s eyes widen, she looked up to the Mother of the Nation, she received a nod.

 

 

Dressed in blue suit and navy heels, Daeun made sure her appearance was perfect. The white V-neck silk shirt tucked inside her pants, after contemplating for the sixth time, she decided to button her suit and add a silver chain belt, which dangled at the side of her waist, a whisper away from the first button.

Going north, on her neck a black velvet choker with a circle pendant connecting from one side to the other occupy the empty space. As always, her gold SDE necklace peeped out behind the chocker. A simple leave stud clung on her right ear, while a fern stud going up to her left helix.

Her trusty cleared coloured glasses rested on the bridge of her nose. She was thinking of wearing her favourite blue beret, however she figured it would too much for her first day. Shim Daeun was ready for her job as assistant director at MBC Newsdesk.

She felt different emotion all at once, nervous, tense, excitement, yet she only let one emotion showed, confident. She heard her heart beating while the elevator slowly ascending, her heart rate raised parallel to the floor number on the display.

The elevator dinged, indicating she arrived to her destination. Per instruction, she walked to the office of Director Chu. After three knocks and a permission to come from the voice inside, Daeun opened the door, revealing a woman in her late-thirties, her short hair was wrapped in a neat bun, sans few stubborn hair strands.

The director’s attention was still on the paper on her hand, she raised her hand, signaling for Daeun to take a seat. Few moments later, the director flipped to the last page, she went to the right corner of the paper and signed the document.

She looked up and took her glasses off. “You must be miss Shim Daeun,” Daeun replied with a nod.

The director gathered few documents from her desk, she stood up and walked to the door, Daeun followed in haste. Director Chu went through the door first, she held the barrier for the younger journalist, and locked the door after the office was emptied.

Again, Director Chu walked ahead without any instruction. "Woman of few words, pay attention to her every movement" Daeun’s mental note was working hard that morning.

Both of t

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