(Play THIS before reading. When you reach the gap in the music and story, briefly stop before continuing.)
My name is Hwa-Jae. I have lived over 20 years motherless, and now I’ve become fatherless too. My father was known as the Black Dragon. People feared him, as he was not only the ruler of my clan but a warrior. I would often hear of how he rode dragons into the battlefield and destroyed our enemies, but I never had the chance to hear those stories from his own lips. He was my father second, and my king first.
Growing up, I was raised to be an heir. I learned the art of war and was taught to let go of human emotions. Like one of our dragons, I was trained to kill and it was no surprise I excelled at it. But, despite my upbringing, I still feared my king. I feared him like everyone else, and I feared him so much that it surprised me when a stranger did not.
He was not from my clan, but a traveller or a lost soul as he often called himself. The first time I saw his dark eyes I felt a warm sensation in my stone cold heart. I thought I was only imagining it, but when I found myself sneaking out of the palace to meet him, I knew something was not right.
Why was I stooping down to the level of a commoner to befriend this foreigner? I was a princess, a warrior, and a ruler. If my king knew… I wouldn’t be alive.
It is strange how feelings work. It is unpredictable and inseparable from the soul. I thought I didn’t have any, but his smile, his laugh and his voice would make butterflies flutter in my stomach. Yes, I liked him.
I started to realize that I was willing to give up anything just for an hour with him. Heck, I might just give up my destiny. But those daydreams were shattered the day we ran into a couple of soldiers.
No, they weren’t coming for me; they did not even recognize me. These soldiers were after him. When he told me to run as he drew them away from me, I wanted to be by his side and protect him. But instead of doing just that, I did as I was told.
Safe behind palace gates, I found myself aimlessly walking to wherever my feet led me. It was until I heard his voice echoing down a hallway, did my heart stop.
I watched as soldiers dragged him into the throne room and knelt him before my king. They called him a spy and a warrior from the country behind the mountains. And when I heard it all, I stood at the back of the room unable to hear my king’s call.
I might have been deaf, but he surely wasn’t. When he turned to face me, we stared at each other for what seemed like the longest time. Neither of us said anything, and when the world around us could not wait any longer, he swiftly stood up and painted the room red.
My head was screaming to do something as the soldiers tried to fight him off. The shouts of my inner voice to stop him and to help him were useless when my body refused to move. I just found myself watching it all go down, and only when he planted the blade in my king’s stomach did I utter a cry.
When my king inhaled his last breath, it was as though he had done his work. Pulling the blade out, he slowly turned to face me. He said nothing as he let the blade slip from his fingers. It hit the ground with a loud clank, and crimson blood began to wrap around its edges.
Even as the world around me recovered from the chaos, all I did was wait. I was waiting for him to say something; something that made sense in a situation that did not.
… I really…
… loved her…
The soldiers that were still breathing immediately seized him, and sent him to his knees. None did anything as they waited for my orders. Then, as if my body was programmed to react, I pulled a blade from a dead soldier’s sheath and walked up to him.
I don’t think I have ever been that conflicted emotionally and mentally. And yet, I found myself gripping onto the blade tighter. When I was a few feet away from him, I pulled the blade back and sent it through his chest.
Nothing made sense then, and I didn’t know why I did it. As his body slumped to the ground, I silently asked myself, why Jeong-Sa, why?
But I never had an answer.
He never gave me one… because I didn’t give him the chance.
I guess my heart has to accept that. There isn’t much of a choice now. All I have is a heart broken… with never ending questions.
While you wait for my 20th ‘Thank You’ post, here is a special Sunday short story! Who says there is no post on Sundays, huh?
This is actually another experimental music accompanied short story. I previously did this with one of my fan fictions, ‘She’s Not My Daughter’ and it turned out pretty well.
Unfortunately for this, I could not find a -1 or another violin cover of the song. But hopefully, you guys read and hit the mark… or not, I would have failed. Haha! (Btw, you should visit the violinist’s YouTube channel.)
Anyways, if you have not figured it out, this is actually the answer to Jeong-Sa’s fate. If you have been wondering, you can wonder no more. He’s dead 😦 But if you are still lost and wondering who is Jeong-Sa, read The Root.
As always, let me know what you think of this story and if my experiment was a success. I don’t think this is one of my best short stories so far, but ah… what can I say.
© 2013 Jeyna Grace
(For more short stories, click HERE)