Sitting across his beautiful girlfriend, Mei Yuan, Qinghe smiled stupidly. They were in a restaurant in the capital city and they were having lunch during Qinghe’s day off from his studies.
After drinking her cherry blossom tea, she looked at him from across the table, “Qinghe?” she called grabbing his attention. “Yes my dear?” he teased with a smile.
Mei Yuan took in a deep breath, placing her hands on Qinghe’s hands on top of the table she spoke, “Qinghe you know I love you right?” He pursed his lips, nodding slightly, “Yes, you fell for me pretty hard,” he teased her.
She rolled her eyes at him, “How do you feel about me?”
Squeezing her hands with assurance, he said, “Mei Yuan, you know my feelings for you. Instead of beating around the bush, tell me what is on your mind.”
She looked into his eyes then sighed. Rubbing her hands over her face she said, “My father had someone follow me the other day when we met up and reported to him that we are more than friendly, I had to beg him not to imprison you….” She trailed as tears started swimming in her eyes.
Qinghe’s brows knitted, “What do you mean imprisoned Mei Yuan? Why would your…”
“I wasn’t totally honest with you about who I am,” she interrupted him.
Qinghe felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and let go of her hands. Mei Yuan’s face turned to that of one being wronged. Sighing she looked down at her hands that were now on her lap, “The truth is that I’m not just any daughter from an established family. The influence my father has is far greater than anyone I know.” Her lips trembled as she wiped away the tears falling.
She looked up at Qinghe saying regretfully, “I’m one of the princesses of Goguryeo,” she said. Her face fell with the look of befuddlement as Qinghe’s gaze grew livid.
Gritting his teeth, he got up and leaned over the table, whispering to her in a stone-cold tone, “Well then princess of Goguryeo, you should head back to the palace!”
With that, he straightened himself, bowed to her and turned to leave. Mei Yuan quickly got up and ran after him. Grabbing his arm, she forcefully turned him to look at her. Looking up into his cold eyes she saw that he looked down on her as though she was beneath him, “Get out of my way!” he said harshly.
“Qinghe, what has gotten into you? I know I lied to you but for you to be…” she said frantically as the tears and shock flooded her face.
“If I knew you were a princess… do you honestly think I’d be together with you?” He asked her with mock in his tone.
She looked up at him hurt, letting go of his arm she stepped back holding her hand over her chest, “Qinghe…” she called him.
Qinghe’s heart tightened in anger. He loved her, he really did but the mere fact that she was the child of his brother’s father made things complicated. Sighing he hugged Mei Yuan, kissing her head he said, “I love you but we can’t be together.”
Letting go of Mei Yuan, he walked past her and down the hallway of the restaurant. He made it downstairs and paid the bill at the front desk. Qinghe walked out the front door with a heavy heart making his way back to the pavilion where he studied.
He resigned from his studies leaving a dumbfounded teacher behind. Qinghe returned to his lodging and packed up his clothes, books and equipment. Climbing onto a horse he rode over to his mother’s house where Pei Ji Min, his mother’s servant was now the caretaker of.
Leaving his belongings with Ji Min, he rode off to his parent’s home in the mountains. As Qinghe rode off, a horse stopped in front of the house and the man on the horse looked into the house.
He frowned when he saw Ji Min. His eyes widened in realization as the unexplained events of the past made sense. His head snapped in the direction Qinghe rode off in and urged his horse to chase after him.
After riding for an hour up into the mountains, he stopped outside a farm where there were many children running around outside. He saw Qinghe’s horse outside the home indicating that he was here.
He saw Qinghe running out of the house in different clothes from what he was wearing before. Behind Qinghe, five children came running out after him. Another young man came running out of the house screaming, “I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU HYUNG-NIM, HOW CAN YOU COLLUDE WITH THE ENEMY!? I HOPE YOU FUCKED HER REAL GOOD WITHOUT GETTING HER PREGNANT!”
The man watching them watched on in horror. This boy was most definitely referring to the princess. He was just about to run out and apprehend them for disrespecting Mei Yuan’s name but then a pregnant woman came waddling out of the house with a wooden sword in her hand, “RONG CHANGLING! DON’T CURSE YOUR BROTHER OUT, HE DIDN’T KNOW AND NOW HIS HEART IS BROKEN! COME BOTH OF YOU, LET MAMA BEAT YOU.” She yelled.
The five children running after Qinghe ran in different directions towards the other children playing about the yard. This Changling stopped in his steps and turned back frightened.
His long hair fluttered in the wind then he ran towards Qinghe and they both ran off yelling in panic.
“I’m pregnant for fucks sake!” Chushan yelled making the other children laugh.
“I don’t appreciate you watching my wife and children,” Yifan said from behind the man. He spun around in shock. He didn’t hear Yifan’s footsteps approach him.
Yifan raised an eyebrow and asked, “So what brings the emperor’s bodyguard here? Shouldn’t you be protecting his majesty Dong Woo?”
Dong Woo looked at Yifan curiously. He turned his head back to the woman waddling with the wooden sword in her hand.
“If you want to come in then I will allow it but you’ll be paying for watching my family like a prying lecherous man,” Yifan said and motioned for Dong Woo to step out from behind the tree and walk forward following him.
When the children saw the unknown man walk up towards their home they all turned hostile making the hairs on the back of Dong Woo’s neck stand up, he had never seen children of their age ready for battle before. But the minute they saw their father step out from behind the unknown visitor they all smiled.
The little ones ran past Dong Woo when they reached the gate, “Papa.” They ran up to hug Yifan who accepted the many hugs and kisses from his sons and daughters.
Chushan raised her hand covering her eyes from the sun. Her eyes narrowed on Dong Woo who was overwhelmed by the number of children pushing him out of the way to get to their father who was lying on the ground laughing.
Chushan walked up to them waving the wooden sword around, “Get the fuck off my husband, go away you evil humans.
Dong Woo turned around the minute he heard her voice. His eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw her, “C-Chushan?” He asked in disbelief.
“Oh Dong Woo, how have you been?” She asked nonchalantly while swatting her horde of children away.
Yifan got up from the ground dusting himself off. He stepped closer to his wife trying to kiss her but she looked at his appearance in disgust, “Go clean yourself up, we need to talk and by the looks of things, since Dong Woo is here, it’s related.”
[Back at the palace]
Princess Mei Yuan stomped into her father’s throne room in tears, “Can you see what you have done?”
Emperor Wu Yong looked at his daughter unamused. This child of his was acting more spoilt by the day and it was all his wife’s fault. Turning his attention to her from the request letters, “What is it?”
“Father, Qinghe left me after I told him that I am your daughter!” She said between sobs, she looked ugly from all her crying. She stomped her foot in anger and cried into her hands frustrated.
Emperor Wu Yong raised a brow at his daughter, “Well that’s good, I don’t care that he is General Rong’s son and I don’t care that he didn’t know who you are. As long as he is out of your life that is for the best but he and his father need to be punished for your mistake.”
“Father you can’t do this!” She said angrily, she couldn’t believe that her father was adamant on punishing him, “Just punish me!”
“You are going to be punished, go to your room and don’t show your face before me unless I call for you. Don’t even think of leaving your palace, understand?” He stated turning back to his work.
Princess Mei Yuan swallowed her sobs, “Do you know what he said to me before he left?”
“No and I don’t care, his words are just nonsense,” the emperor dismissed.
Ignoring her father’s words, she told him, “He said he loved me and that he’d be with any of the other princesses from the other kingdom’s but not your child. Father, I hope you are happy about this, you ruined everyone’s lives including mine!”
She turned around and left his throne room. Emperor Wu Yong knitted his brows, ‘So my daughter isn’t good enough for him?’ He frowned feeling that something was off.
That kid, he always smiled in front of him even when he was younger but it seems like Rong Qinghe didn’t like him that much.