xviii. the woman who changed history

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Yesterday was one of the worst days that could happen. Why would Court Lady Oh ever cover up for me? And now she had to die in such a bad way. Her wasn't supposed to be yesterday.

After the death of Court Lady Oh, it started to downpour hard. The Heavens must now that Court Lady Oh's death is unfair. I stayed as I watched her lifeless body getting hanged. The woman who raised Eunha like her own child....

All of a sudden I couldn't feel the rain anymore pouring in my head, the shadows turned dark as well. I looked up, and saw So covering me with his cape while he lets himself get soaked under the rain. He may be a prince, but why is he doing this...

Little did Eunha know, prince Jung, Won and Crown Prince Moo watched her from the veranda. Prince Jung already had an umbrella in hand but he was stopped by Won. Instead, prince Jung kneeled down on the ground just like Eunha and let the rain get him drenched. Followed by him was crown prince Moo who did the same beside him. But Won could only look at them in disbelief before retreating back inside the castle.

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Spring slowly faded and the cherry blossoms stopped blossoming. Instead, the cold breeze was replaced by heat and cherry blossoms were replaced by tulips. Tulips started to grow everywhere, mostly in the southern parts. Tulips have become another main attraction of the people now.

While I on the other hand, still mourn for the death of Court Lady Oh. Ji-ae and Eun have endlessly tried to convince me to step out of the room and get some air and sunlight. But I refused and instead, locked myself up in Court Lady Oh's chambers and pretend she was still here.

When Ji-ae and Eun would give up, I would read the old and dusty books that she had left behind. Most of the books were about ethics and politics. If Court Lady Oh was still alive, she would have scolded me for skipping meals and being a restless pig. Instead of mourning, I have replaced it with learning about the new politics that is being implemented and discovered and still pursued to study about medicine.

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"My lady! Thank goodness you finally came out! Would you want to eat something?" Ji-ae asks, her eyes were examining my body.

"My lady, because you keep refusing having meals...you lost a lot of weight." She spoke worriedly, I could only give her a small smile and plant both of my hands on her shoulders.

"Please prepare me pine nut porridge and quince tea. I will eat it deliciously!" She spoke. Instantly, Ji-ae had a bright smile on her face, bowed before me and ran off into the kitchens while I sat down on the dining table.

A few moments later, Ji-ae came back with a wooden tray filled with the food I had asked her to give me.

"My lady, the heat is not helping. The people in Songak are asking and praying for rain." Ji-ae says as she sat down on the floor.

"What is the King's plan?" I asked, taking a spoonful of the food.

"He was here before last night, Court Lady Park told him you should attend the rain ritual." She says.

After being framed of poisoning by someone in the palace and as for someone who agreed to let Court Lady Oh be convinced that she did it, would want me to come to the rain ritual? I no longer have a face to show to them. And because of that, I have also stopped serving tea as Court Lady Park have told me to.

"I won't go." I said firmly.

"My lady?"

"I said I won't go." I spoke once more. "I don't want to show my face to anyone else, and besides, King Taejo may forgive me but the Queen? She would never." I said, finishing the bowl of pine nut porridge.

"But have you heard? It was the fourth prince that was chosen to lead the rain ritual!" Ji-ae says. This suddenly made me choke on my tea. Did the Heavens chose him?

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After much convincing from Eun, I really disliked how I am standing outside in a white hanbok, standing beside Eun and Baek-ah while the rain ritual happens. I could feel dagger being sent to me. But I didn't want to turn around and see who was staring at me. If only the ground would open up and swallow me, I would have let it do so.

A felt a hand on my shoulder, I looked up and it was Baek-ah who gave me an assuring smile as if he was telling me that everything is alright.

Not long, I could hear the cry of the people outside the gate. It was not a cry of prayer or cry of mercy, it was a cry for justice.

"Have you turned your back on us?!"
"Why is a monster leading the ritual?"
"Have you forsaken us?"

I turned to look into the direction and found So being covered in earthly dirt holding the vase and the leaf. Because of his mask, people called him a monster. I couldn't look away, the looks of his eyes wanted to go give up but his body refuses.

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"I see you finally came out of Damiwon to come here." So says as I enter his study room. Yesterday had ended horribly, but I was here to change all of it.

"I came here to help you." I said plainly, holding on to the box of cosmetics in hand and placing them in the table.

"You lost weight."

"That's not the topic I'm here for." I said. It was a good minute of us looking at each other's eyes before he breaks it.

"So what are you here for?" He asks.

"I'm here....to remove your scar, temporarily." I said. He looked at me with mixed emotions. But his eyes tell me that he wanted to hear that for so long.

He sat on a wooden chair and I slowly lifted my hands to remove his mask. Upon removing it, I took a good look on his scar. Whatever kind of pointy or sharp object must have been used against him really dug deep in his skin. I pressed powdered foundation on the affected area. When I was done, I took one more look into his face. Now the people of Songak will no longer call him a monster.

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Wook, Baek-ah and Eun had been looking around, noticing that the space between them was empty and missing. They have been asking themselves over and over in where Eunha could be.

Alas, the gates to the castle opened. And they were much surprised than before. The people were praying for rain and So had removed his mask. Queen Yoo looked at him in disbelief. She looked up at the castle, and there she found Yo. And she looked at him in disbelief and anger.

And on the other side was Eunha who was up in the castle and was witnessing ritual from above. She was pleased with what she had done. Soon, droplets of water came pouring down in her head. It had rained.

Eunha extended her hand out and felt the rain drops in her palms. But she was struck horrified and looked back at So.

"Gwangjong...." she whispered to herself. And that was the moment she knew, So is the rightful one next to the throne.

{ Sorry for not updating lately. The bed weather is making me lazy. Also, I wanted to ask you guys if you wanted me to do Baek-ah next for Book 2? I have a really good plot in mind already actually and I can't wait to publish it. If you want me to do Baek-ah's story next, please tell it the comment section! } -a/n

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