01 | the boy in the tower
Jeongguk sighed as he stared out the wooden framed window, nonchalantly, fiddling with the luminous pendant around his long neck. He was bored, and he had done everything there was to do in this lonely tower. He would clean, sweep the floors until it was clean enough to dine off of, read a book or two, he wrote a poem, and painted. He did everything. His mother would not be home until later, so he was on his own.
Jeongguk wished he could leave this dreadful tower, however, it was all he had ever known, and his mother never allowed him to go anywhere.
He had been in this tower for as long as he could remember. His mother told him that she kept him in the tower to keep him along with his special necklace safe, protected and secure — the ebony-haired boy believed her. After all, who would not want a magical necklace with the power to heal and provide eternal youth at the simplest of tune?
Mother Rosé was Jeongguk's best friend, as she was the only person he ever spoke to. He loved her and tried his best to fulfill her expectations, but it was elusive when she insisted he had to be strong and muscular and like girls. That just was not Jeongguk's thing. He preferred to sneak on his mother's pretty pastel clothing and wear flower crowns he made from the flowers growing outside the tower window, and he secretly liked to look at pictures of the heroic princes he read about in his books. He believed something must have been wrong with him.
When he was younger and he first told his mother about the feelings he felt in his tummy when he gazed at a picture of one of them, she would scold him and confiscate his books. When she returned to the tower the next night, she had new books, and these had girls instead of boys. However, Jeongguk managed to find where his mother had hidden his pretty princes, and he daydreamed about them in secret.
What Jeongguk did not know was that he was the lost prince of Corona. Eighteen years ago, he had been stolen from his cradle in the royal nursery by none other than Mother Rosé herself.
Every year, on his birthday, the kingdom of Corona released thousands of lanterns into the darkness of night, hoping their lost prince would someday return home.
Taehyung was the exact opposite of Jeongguk. He did not have a home, and he spent his days hidden in the woods while he planned careful heists and spent his nights orchestrating them. He was the most wanted criminal in Corona.
Of course, he had a tragic backstory like all villains usually do, however, no one bothered to hear it, and frankly, Taehyung liked it that way. He did not want people to know about the other side of him, the vulnerable side. He was and will always be known as the notorious Kim Taehyung, thief of everyone's hearts and their wallets too.
In just a few nights was his most daring heists yet; he was planning to steal Jeongguk's crown. Little did Taehyung know, that little glimmering tiara of Jeongguk's would change his life forever.