The first Kim arrived on the war torn continent on dragon back, the first dragon rider the continent has ever seen. With his dragon and his army, he conquered the lands, uniting all different banners under his name.
For hundreds of years, the Kim family ruled over the Kingdom of Mamamoo. Some reign brought prosperity and greatness like none other, while some brought nothing but misery and pain.
Kim Yongsun was born during the reign of madness.
Her father, King Kim the VI, was not a good king. He was obsessed with rebirthing the dragons. For you see, for the past few reigning monarchs, no dragon hatched and all living dragons had died out. Without dragons for close to 200 years, there were talks of an uprising, the other banners and families no longer wanted to be ruled by a family of ‘false dragons’, as they whispered in the night, fearful of being heard.
King Kim the VI knew his family dynasty was on the brink of collapse, and so he was desperate for the dragons to hatch. But as the years wore on and the eggs remain dormant, King Kim the VI started to fall from sanity. He was convinced that the eggs needed more blood sacrifices to hatch.
“BURN THEM!” he would shriek to his frightened knights, commanding them to burn innocent lives in hope of hatching the eggs.
Tens of thousands.
And still, no dragons.
His people live in fear, and his knights plot against him and his family.
On that fateful night, his own army storm his castle, killing him, his wife, and his children.
Except Kim Yongsun.
One of the knight tasked with killing his wife and newborn child hesitated. He looked down and see a newborn baby, no more than a week old. How could he live with himself if he killed an innocent baby?
And in that moment, fate smiles on the Kim family once more.
The knight abandoned his post, stole the baby, and ran away with her, raising her in exile across the sea, far from their homeland.
He raised her as well as he could, teaching her of her family, their successes and failures, and everything else he could.
They were not wealthy by any means, and when he died of sickness, when Youngsun was merely a child of 7 years, she was alone, with no one to help her, and no money to carry her.
She lived on the street, on the kindness of strangers, hiding her name in fear of her father’s enemy coming after her to finish the job.
As she grew up, she learned how to fight, she had to, in order to survive the harsh condition of the streets. Her fighting skills eventually capture the attention of a visiting merchant, who employed her to travel with him and protect his daughter during the journey.
On one of their trip, a hired assassin went after them, killing the family, including the daughter.
Except Kim Youngsun.
The assassin’s target did not include Youngsun, thus, she was spared. But Youngsun is not one to back down or go back on her words. She told the man she would protect his daughter, but fail, so now she wants revenge. She attempted to fight the assassin, who amusingly fought back for fun.
It’s not every day a street hire with no relationship to the deceased decides to take on a trained assassin and thinks they can win.
“Will you stay down?!”
A sharp laugh cuts through the air, “why would I do that?”
“You killed them!”
“What’s it to you? They’re nothing to you.”
Youngsun threw a punch but the assassin caught it in her fist, “Spunky, I like you.”
The princess growled, attempting to yank her hand back but the assassin held tight,
“What’s your name girl?”
“Why should I tell you?”
“I’m Ahn Hyejin, at your service,” she smirk, still gripping Youngsun's wrist tightly.
Youngsun stares, “Do other assassin give out their names as well?”
“Nah, just the good ones,”
“Well you're not that good,”
The assassin, Hyejin, grin and with one movement, had Youngsun on the ground lying on her back, the pointy end of the blade on her neck.
“You were saying?”
“Come on, I gave you my name, tell me yours,”
The princess grinds her teeth, knowing she’s truly at the mercy of the assassin now, “Lee Mina.”
Hyejin quirk an eyebrow, “that’s a lie,”
“It’s my name, how would you know if it’s a lie or not?”
“Suspicion, but that response confirms it,” Hyejin press the blade down a bit more, so close to piercing Youngsun’s neck, “real name?”
If looks can kill, Hyejin would be dead a thousand time over,
“Kim Youngsun” she gritted out,
Hyejin stares for a few second before pulling back her blade and flop down next to the princess.
“See, that wasn’t so hard was it?”
“What are you doing?” Youngsun asks, standing up rubbing her neck, and staring down at Hyejin who decided to lay down in the middle of the road all of a sudden.
“Resting. Hard day at work ya know?”
“You're blocking the road!”
“Seriously? That’s what you're focused on? Me blocking the road and not the two dead bodies?”
She turned to walked away, only to freeze when she heard Hyejin’s farewell, “See ya around...princess.”
She looks back but Hyejin was already gone, along with the two dead bodies. The only thing left behind is their wagon still full of stuff, and their one horse.
Fearful of Hyejin knowing her status, Youngsun rummage through the wagon, looking for something small and expensive to steal so she can start over in another city.
She noticed a chest and opened it, freezing upon seeing the content. Two eggs. Dragon eggs to be more specific.
She quickly shut the chest, and blindly grabbed a few gold necklaces, then got on the horse and left the scene.
She rode for hours, not having any destination in mind, just the need to get away, until it was dark, only then did she stop.
She found cover in the forest and made herself a small fire for the night, but still, she was restless. Dragon eggs. Her family legacy. She must protect it.
So lost in her thought she didn’t notice another person coming up to her,
Youngsun jumps, holding her fist out as if to fight,
A light chuckle rings through the night, “princess, if i wanted you dead, you'd already be dead,”
It’s the assassin, Hyejin, again, “What are you doing here?”
She shrug before looking at the chest intently. Youngsun steps in front of it as if to shield it from Hyejin,
“Heard your father killed a bunch of people trying to hatch those,”
Youngsun eyes narrow, “How do you know,”
“Hm...are you going to try?”
“I’m not my father,”
“No, but some old masters says dragons just need fire to hatch,” hyejin points at the small file, “and you got one right there”
“I don't think this small fire is going to do anything,”
Hyejin smirk once again, “Maybe not, but what’s the harm? Either they don’t hatch and you carry on like nothing, or they do and you got dragons.”
The princess looks at her, then back at the fire.
Kim Youngsun decides to risk it. Hyejin was right, there’s nothing to lose here.
Youngsun kneels down and gently pulls out the two eggs, then gently lays them in the fire.
Hyejin plops down onto the ground, staring at the fire with great interest. Youngsun sat down a bit away from her, also staring at the fire.
“Why did you come back? How did you know what’s in the chest?”
“I got bored, and i peaked at the chest when you weren’t looking,”
“What??” Youngsun turns to look at her so fast she got whiplash, “ WHEN?!”
“When you weren't looking,” Hyejin draws out, the unsaid “duh” ringing loudly in the air.
Youngsun opens to reply but got cut off, “What are you gonna do if they hatch?”
“I … I never thought I'd see dragon eggs,” she paused, then looked at Hyejin, staring right in her eyes, and declared, “I want my family throne back.”
Hyejin simply nod. Then declare, “If they hatch i’ll go with you,”
The assassin shrug, “well, you're going to need a bodyguard, no?”
“I don't trust you,”
“Good, you'd be a fool if you do. No, I don't care about your throne - I care about your dragons. I want to see them grow. If they hatch, I assume you'd need to be there to raise them, so I need you alive.”
“I don't even know if they’ll hatch,”
“That’s why i said if they hatch, do try to keep up princess,” Hyejin gently snark back,
“Fine, if they hatch, i’ll let you come with me,”
“Let? I would follow you regardless,”
The conversation naturally died there, as the two sat in silence, finding a rare kind of comradery between them. Even though they don't trust each other, they know they’ll be on a long journey together.
When the fire starts to die down, they both lean in, anticipating, hoping, dreaming.
“Holy . You ing did it.”
There, looking back at them, two baby dragons.
The Kim family is reborned.