"The king exists." The coarse rough voice spoke flushing through the silent atmosphere.
It was this time of day, almost everyday in the kingdom that everyone came rushing down to the storyteller in the village.
He was always so intent to tell his "fictitious tales" of the mad king that lives with his many maidens and servants to tend to his every needs.
Of course no one believed him, he was just another old man who needed spare change to buy himself some alcohol to get himself wasted so he can wallow in his misery at nights.
"He exists," he yells again, extending his neck and voice so the new comers who came to hear his unusual but interesting story about the mad king.
"I am telling you, he lives by himself but he is never alone." This time he spoke soft and low, almost in awe as he tried to convince the almost 50 villagers that circled around him on the ground.
"There he goes again." A woman wearing a rich blue and red hanbok spoke, "always making up words along the way."
She stretches her hand to cover her lips as she whispered into a another woman's ear to her left
What she said was barely hearable but as soon as she moved away and dropped her hand, the other woman snorted, almost disrespectful in a way
but never intended.
Its always like this around this time of day in the village. People gossip and mock the storyteller, but yet they always come to listen.
No one believed a word he was saying, he once told them that he once worked in the palace, he was a guard who was always by the king's side through everything, since birth till adulthood. But he was cast out for no reason.
They all laughed and clowned him for years because of these stories, that he so desperately wanted people to believe.
Everyone turned around to see a child looks about 12 years old, running with a huge smile on his face. His hands were filled with red berries that often grow before summer is about to start.
And then they saw him, the guy everyone so desperately admired but never really knew anything about.
He was almost too mysterious for anyone to ever ask him a simple question such as, "what is your name?"
He too seemed very interested in the old man's stories, seeing that he is always in the town square at this exact time.
He is always well dressed in well worn fabric, laced with perfect thread and had never been seen with a speck of dust on him.
He looks almost important, as if he could be of noble blood.
But he couldn't possible by of noble blood, if he was, he would travel with the other sons of the noble families.
Thats the way it has always been, the rich sticks with the rich, the poor with the poor and the wannabe rich often hangs around with these children of important families, not because they enjoy their company. But simply because they want to be of good use to them so that one day, they might be moved up in status.
This can happen. The lower class men can move up to the middle class, and the middle class can jump to the upper class and can sit at the table with all the noble families that usually dine in the palace with the king.
Unfortunately, this has only happened once, years ago, maybe long before the children of this generation of noble bloods were born.
There was this man, really young, maybe in his late 20s, he was called the bastard of the kingdom, born out of a wedlock.
No one knew his family, only that he was often looked down upon because of the rumors of his father, who entangled himself with many women.
Though this was not the only reason why he was shunned and looked down upon.
This is a time where men laid with women, where anyone one of the same sex were caught holding hands with each other were automatically looked down upon, they were automatically assumed "homosexual"
Shunned, bullied and beaten by their families. 5 days before the announcement of his status change, he was allegedly caught having sexual intercourse with a man, even so a man with high status. People believed he swayed the man's mind to make him believe that it was ever so right to ever think about another man this way. They called him names for this, taunted him, saying things like, "he was only with him because of who his parents were." "How can a man fall for another man?"
They would spit at his feet when he walked by, throw terrible words at him, that eventually made him vow to get his status changed so the people of the village would look up at him, and he would look down at them.
There was a name for this, a name they would call "his kind" as to how they referred to him as. "Pincher."
No one really knew what it meant, they could only guess. Mothers would often warn their sons to be careful, "you don't want to become a pincher
Some would explain to their kids who has come of age as it means "some one who likes to pinch the sheets as he is being penetrated."
Everyone knew of this story, they used it to scare their sons who they say are "acting up."
This guy, he looked nothing like noble blood, they often carried a sense of ignorance and arrogance whenever they entered and walked around the village. He looked quite innocent, as if he was not use to the village and its people, but yet he's no stranger, he's been coming and going for months now.
There is, that voice again.
This time it was closer, the boy ran up to the well dressed man, who those two ladies from before can't seem to avert their eyes away from.
The well dressed guy turned around, ignoring all the eyes that are focused on him and not on the old man. He seemed legitimately interested in the story being told.
"How many did you get?" Smiled the guy, standing with a perfectly formal stance.
As soon as he spoke, the crowd of people staring all took a step back from shock but they mostly awed. Shocked at the lowness of his voice, deep almost scratchy but perfect.
No one ever heard him speak before, he was always quiet and by himself, the only person anyone has ever seen him with is that little boy that came running up to him.
They've never heard him speak. But they surely did not expect his voice to be that low, he sounded older than he appeared. He looked like he just turn 21 not a day older. He could have innocently passed for 18 years old as well
"I got 14 this time." The boy spoke, he had a similar smile as to the older guy, square with a little roundness, which also made him look younger than he appeared to be, they did look similar and had the sane bone structure as well. They could possibly be related but not brothers, there is too much of a difference to be brothers.
"Nice," the older one smiled once more, the two women that were still staring couldn't help but smile as he did, he had such compelling facial features, not to mention how perfectly fit he looks.
"Give me some." He said, towering over the younger boy.
"I spent such a long time trying to pick these." The boy frowned, which only made the older one smile even wider, "i was calling you to help me reach the taller ones."
"I'm sorry." He chuckled lightly, giving the younger boy a few pats on the head, "forgive me?"
The way he asked was more along the lines of "he already knew he would forgive him," rather then a question of accepting the apology.
"Fine." The younger boy sighed and dropped a few from his handful into the other guys palm.
"Come listen with me." The guy said, walking even closer to the crowd who seemed to still be in awe of his presence. Though he doesn't seem all that surprised.
Once they got closer, everyone turned their heads away from his direction, pretending to not notice him at all. Which only made him smirk, he knew they were watching, he always did. He just never cared enough to tell them not to.
"He's merciless and kills for the pure pleasure of it." The old man said again, more eagerly this time, looking straight in the guy's direction. It seemed as if he was looking directly in his eyes, but a moment later four men dressed in thick armor approached the crowd.
The old man genuinely looked terrified of the sight of these men, they had long black hair that was tied into a bun and heavy silver swords attached to the back of their armor
"Thats enough." One of the men said, now aggressively gripping onto the old man's wrist.
The old man suddenly clawed at the man'a face causing him to stumble backwards, the old man then jumped off the platform that he stood looking down at the crowd from.
The man rose to his feet, two long scratches across his left cheek.
"Take him." He yelled coarsely, his eyebrows furrowed and lips pressed tightly together.
But by time the other three men went to capture the old mam, he was already running to the town square's exit.
"Don't let him get away." The other man yelled with anger in his eyes. Not soon after he spoke the other three men, ran after the old man who disappeared in a crowd of people.
"Hyung, whats happening?" The little boy suddenly asked, looking up at the older one, that stood with a calm but intrigued expression.
"What are you looking at?" The man scolded, his face bleeding from the two scratches left by the old man
"Nothing much." The older guy then says, he spoke using formal language, but his expression was not very polite, the man then paused and looked him up and down. Causing a fuss of gossip behind them from the crowd of people.
"Name?" The man hissed. But the older only just snickered only infuriating the man even more.
"Kim Taehyung," He said, as he spoke he looked deadly into the man's eyes with a full smirk, his hands interlocked behind him.
They only stared at each other silently for a few seconds before Taehyung felt a tug at his fingers, pulling his gaze away from the man who looked less frightening but more shocked, as if he just figured out the answers to the world's largest problem.
"It't alright, Lee Oh." Taehyung reassured the younger boy. Who only gripped tighter onto his fingers.
Taehyung then turned back around, his eye brows raised and eyes steadily peering into the other man's.
"Excuse me, Sir." Was the only thing he said before walking away, his hands clutching the heavy metal of his armor.
Taehyung then smirked and looked at see everyone totally shocked and whispering back and forth to each other.
He even heard one person ask, "is that who I think it is?"
Taehyung only smirked and looked at them only to have them break their necks away to the pretend they haven't been staring down his throat this entire time.
"Why are people looking at us?" Lee Oh asked, clinging to the older as if he was afraid that someone would take him away at any moment.
*2 Hours Later*
"Go change quietly." Taehyung spoke as he opened the door to a cottage looking building thought it was bigger than your usual cottage, much bigger, but was too small to be a house.
Yes. This is where Taehyung lives, him, his brother and mother, they moved here about 5 years ago after his father's death.
They had a lot of debt to pay back due to his father's gambling problem. They once lived in a much bigger house, with a field of the greenest grass you would ever see, tall skinny trees that would blow perfectly during a storm that oddly always mad him feel protected. It was Something he always thought that made him so different from other people.
Suddenly things changed, one day he was enjoying his mother's lotus flower soup when a few of his father's friends came to their house and told them the news. His father had died.
To this day he had no idea how is father died. All he knew was that from that day, everyone started treating him differently. Thats only if they knew who he was of course, they ones that did looked at him as if he had a tale and glowing eyes. He never knew why, at some point he thought they were being pitiful towards him, but he when they look at him, he saw fear in their eyes, not pity.
With his former friends, thats stopped talking to him about 4 years ago and his mother's friend's that usually came over and gave them bread whenever they could.
And again, at the town square with the man in armor. He was afraid of him. Taehyung knew his reaction would be the same as others, thats why he stood up to him the way he did earlier.
He strolled into the room his mother usually spends most of the time, sewing and making new fabric, this is how they lived, his mother would make outfits, grow vegetables and cook food that people would request, and he would go to the market and sell them.
When he opened the door, she was asleep next to her fabrics and needles. He looked at her saw that her clothes were covered in flour, she was overdoing herself again, too many requests but such little time. And for what. To pay off his father's debt from 5 years ago that possibly got him killed?
He looked and frowned, wishing he could make things easier for her and for Lee Oh, he knows things has not been easy for him either, he has no friends, he prefers to stay by himself and talk to himself a lot, which Taehyung isn't that worried about, he did that when he was younger too. But he wanted him to live a normal life where he doesn't have to work so hard at such a young age.
"Lee Oh?" Taehyung called in hush tone, "bedtime."
When he got to the room Lee Oh had already fallen asleep on the floor
He chuckled at the sight of his brother spread out on the floor with his shirt half way over his head, he finds it a but ironic since he has always been so paranoid about germs.
He smiled widely before reaching down to scoop him up, trying his best to not wake him as he does so.
After a while he waited a bit to see if everything was perfect before he headed out again. His mother and brother doesn't know he does this, heads out alone at night to the village.
He goes to watch the night acts and performances by dancers and actors not to mention his favorite, the comedic Clown of the village.
He never gets to enjoy himself in the day time since he usually helps his mother and takes care of his brother most of the time, its not like he hates it. Its just that he wants to enjoy things guys his age usually enjoy.
When he reached the town square, he headed to the huge building where it is all held. People of all classes come here and drink and get drunk. When they are too drunk to remember who they are they usually laugh and joke around with each other, rather than to separate themself into classes.
Taehyung wish it could be like this all the time, social status doesn't exist and everyone is free from the pressure of wanting more.
He smiled as he walked up the steps of the building, the lights shining perfectly, illuminating the brown dirt and decorations everywhere.
People where running around, laughing so hard their lungs could burst. Couples in dark corners fondling with each other's body parts and whispering whatever it is that makes them giggle in that tone.
This Taehyung could never understand, kissing, sex, and relationships and How couples become couples.
He wants to understand this, but something inside him doesn't let him. Whenever he sees a beautiful girl in the village, he can admit that they are indeed beautiful, but thats just not enough, at least he doesn't think it is. How can it be just that, a beautiful girl and thats should enough to start a relationship and sooner or later, a family.
Is that what guys are so found over? Having sex with a girl, that was it for them, thats all it took for them to brag to their friends about. Though its probably more to it than what he's letting himself believe there is.
He has heard other guys talk about sex, sex they've had with girls for a day or a few nights and they would automatically be considered "a man"
Two bodies touching uncontrollably by the attraction of chemistry. Sweat and saliva exchange. The perfect position that enhances the words and sounds of the other's voice when finally "completing".
He's never experienced it before.
How could he possibly judge when he has never even kissed a girl before let a lone have sex to understand why people go crazy over the oddly, sweaty accomplishment of sweet pleasure.
The thing that he finds even stranger, that sets him apart from the other guys in the village is that he never once found it interesting. Never found girls sexually appealing. To him it was just a way for people to escape their real problems by drowning themselves in another person.
But what does he know, he doesn't like to be that person that judges before knowing.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the time had come."
He heard the voice of someone familiar. It was the clown, he was so desperate to go see.
"Tonight we will embark." Said the clown, walking around on a large concrete platform while everyone stayed up on the steps of the building.
"Lets get started shall we." He said, taehyung could almost hear the smile under that huge mask that he's wearing. It fit well with the colorful outrageous outfit that he had on.
"Do you believe in the king?" The clown asked, pointing to the crowd who only whooed in excitement.
"Well!" He yelled and paused for a short while, "he's not who you think he is."
Taehyung walked closer to get a better view of him, smiling with interest. He's always interested in the stories about the king. There are so many stories about him that he doesn't know what is true and whats not.
But he doesn't care, he's always wondered what it was like to live like a king, up in a palace with many people by your side to make sure you are fully satisfied.
It was all interesting to him.
"He's mad." The clown said, leaving a sort of suspenseful feel in the air. Everyone looking shocked as if they haven't heard the stories before.
"He's angry and vengeful." The clown kept walking in circles, slowly looking at the crowd, "he kills because it beings him happiness, because nothing else can."
Everyone gasped, the women held their hands over their hearts while the men only smirked and shook their heads as if they were in disbelief.
Is the only things he said then pauses and look at the crowd again, over towards where Taehyung stood still smiling.
"He kills people because no one loves him." Suddenly the atmosphere changed and Taehyung's smile was slowly fading.
Is there really a king that kills people because he can't be happy? He kept asking himself.
How sad. For a moment, he's ignoring the fact that he murders innocent people for a pinch of happiness. What could have happened to him for him to be that way?
"But. . ."the clown's voice was low, there it is again, Taehyung is sure he was smiling under that mask. "Do you know what happened to him?"
Everyone in the crowd shook their heads and mouthed 'no'.
"My sources says. . .he only kills women who looks quite similar to each other."
"They say he kills them once they try to flirt with him."
Taehyung blinked as his lips curled up almost in a disgusted expression.
"They say. . .they say that he has never laid with a women before. . . Because." He paused and this time, he was staring right into taehyung's eyes.
He stepped forward into his direction, the crowd's gaze following his every move.
"Because he was violated."
. . . . .To be continued. . . . . . .