The King and Queen sat on the phoenix throne, looking at the audience kneeling before them.
Grand Prince Joonmyeon and his wife Grand Princess Consort Hyunjoo, had been given the permission to rise after paying their respect to the monarch. Their son, Prince Jongin, and his newly wedded wife, Princess Seyeon unfortunately had not the pleasure to rise yet.
Everyone in the hall knew, why Grand Prince Joonmyeon asked for an audience, nevertheless the King still asked, “For what do I own the pleasure to meet my second grandson?”
“First, I would like to extend my greetings to my royal grandparents for the first time after my discharge,” Jongin started.
“Please lift your head and let me see my grandson,” the Queen responded.
Jongin did as he was ordered and smiled at his grandmother, during the past two years he only saw her three times, twice for the celebration of the King's birthday, the other time was when Jongin along with other soldiers performed for the anniversary of the King's thirtieth year of rule.
“You did so well Jongin, you gave a great example to our people,” the Queen turned to Grand Prince Joonmyeon and Grand Princess Consort Hyunjoo. “Joonmyeon, Aegiya, you raised your son well. Filial sons are treasure.”
The grand prince and grand princess consort bowed to the Queen, “Your grace is immeasurable.”
“What is the second reason for you to seek for audience?” the King asked, his expression showed that he knows exactly what the reason was.
“Halba Mama, Halma Mama, I would like to introduce you to my wife. Choi Seyeon,” Grand Princess Consort Hyunjoo signalled Seyeon to introduce herself.
“Greetings to the King and Queen, my name is Choi Seyeon.”
Jongin continued, “We got married on the day of my military discharge. We have constantly exchange letters during my service, letting each other know how we missed and love each other, the twenty three months of service does not reduce the amount of love we have, instead it gave us a realization how we cannot live without each other.”
“Jongin Gun, you are a young hot-blooded prince, it is normal for you to feel how you feel towards her. But getting married after being away for so long, how are you sure that she has been loyal to you?” the King asked.
Grand Princess Consort Hyunjoo looked at her husband, he indicated that they should not intervene. “I know her since we were nine Your Majesty, my family and her family know each other for almost a decade. Our relationship is not something developed shortly before my enlistment, I know she has been and will always be loyal to me, as do I,” Jongin answered.
“To be quite honest, I have been aware of the existence of miss Choi Seyeon for a while,” the King confessed. “Not only from the story Joonmyeon mentioned, but also from the report I receive daily about you. Is she the reason you choose to enlist in the Navy?”
“In a way yes, I want to impress my future father-in-law, but it was also Seyeon who change me to be a better man. It never crossed my mind to serve for our country, I always thought as a member of the royal family, being exempted from mandatory enlistment is my right not a privilege,” Jongin began.
“Yet she showed me what it means to cherish what I received, because I have been given a lot more than I deserved. Enlisting in the Navy and prolonging my service is a way for me to express my gratitude, to give example to future royal family members to also do something similar.”
Touched by Jongin’s speech, Seyeon wiped a tear that dropped from the corner of her eye.
“Not once a thought of doubt passed my mind that miss Seyeon is not good enough for you, my grandson. I have planned to arrange your marriage by the time you reach twenty five,” the King chuckled in disbelief. “Who would have thought that you were ahead of me!” the King laughed out loud.
“Please rise Jongin Gun, Seyeon Gunbuin,” the King gestured the couple. “You have my permission and blessing to marry, despite the fact that it is a week too late. Nonetheless, you have contravened the Royal Marriage Act, therefore you still have to be punished, each of you will have to engage in six hundtred hours of community service, a hundred hours for each day you withhold the news of your marriage.”
Jongin and Seyeon said in unison, “Your grace is immeasurable.”
The Queen added, “But you still have to hold a wedding,” the couple nodded. “According, to the custom. So, please withhold yourselves from letting the public know of your marital status. Jongin, you rarely show yourself to the public, what the people will see, is a young prince eloped with his young wife. Regardless of the reason. Please make sure everyone who knows to stay silent.”
“We understand Halma Mama,” Jongin answered.
“Seyeon,” upon hearing her name,