Chapter 16 continuation.
After meeting the officials at court regarding the former King’s official that committed suicide, Hwon got Wol to come over again.
“Come here, your position is in my arms.”(You’re supposed to sit in my embrace)
Wol did not move. Hwon of course, did not change his thoughts. As such, Hwon started nagging again, trying many ways to get Wol to move over, but Wol did not move.
“I went to the Shaman hall to see you today, did you hear about it?”
Wol still did not open her mouth. She regretted revealing too much of her feelings yesterday, and told herself that this kind of thing will not happen a second time. Yeonwoo had died back then, to her. Because Yeonwoo couldn’t live as herself, so she could only be a shaman.
Hwon opened his mouth again:” I thought the shamans there all wore the same white attire as you do, but it is not like what I thought. Only you wear the white clothes. Why? Because you are a shaman that absorbs bad energy? Or it’s because you want to wear it?”
Hwon still did not get Wol’s reply. He turned his head and then looked at the moon. Hwon then gave a sorrowful smile, and said:”When I first saw the white mourning clothes you wore, I thought of something. After the selection of the crown princess, the eliminated girls out of the three must wear white mourning clothes for the rest of their lives. That’s why every time I see a woman wearing it, I think that the woman is mine even if I never seen her before. Just like how I know that a King cannot meet (be with) a shaman.”
Hwon continued to look at Wol. He wanted to see if he would finally be able to see an expression, from that expressionless face. This is because Hwon saw a woman’s expression yesterday, and not a shaman’s, and as such, he was expecting the same today. Hwon carefully observed Wol’s facial expression, but she still did not utter a word, and still presented a calm face. She did not even lift her head up.
“Looking at you like that, I feel a sense of familiarity, as if I’ve seen you somewhere before. From the first time I saw you, I thought you look familiar. Maybe it’s the touch of fate.”
Woon, he was at a corner, also felt that Wol was familiar. It wasn’t something hard for Woon to think who she looked like. Woon realized that Wol looked like Yeom, but Woon tried to deny his thoughts. The more he felt that Wol looked like Yeom, the more he thought that Wol and Yeonwoo was the same person. And he thought:“But it is a true fact that Yeonwoo has died! And the person that buried Yeonwoo was the prince consort!”
When Woon thought of that time, he felt as if he heart had come out. Back then, Yeom wanted to go along with Yeonwoo (Die with Yeonwoo), therefore Yang Myung and Woon guarded Yeom 24/7. Back then, Woon already felt that it was weird. Back then, they did not wait for 3 days to bury Yeonwoo(People back then usually waited 3 days before they bury the person, in case that the person might wake up). Yeom said then: “Yeonwoo was bured in the cold ground. We couldn’t even wait for a day, to see if she might wake up. She was buried immediately after she died. Why?” That was what Yeom said back then. Even though Woon felt something was wrong back then, but because he was young back then and was not familiar with the process of a funeral back then, so he thought it was fine. As Woon was going through his memories and thinking about what had happened, Hwon was continuously conveying his feelings to Wol.
“So what if I had a lot of gold (money)? I cannot even change your straw shoes to a better pair, cannot even change your white mourning clothes to a Dang Yi(An ancient Chinese attire/robe). I feel so sorry.”
Hwon did not think like Woon. His mind was filled with things about Wol. He wanted to give Wol something. Anything was okay, as long as he could give something to her. As long as she will take it. He turned his head and said to HS: ”HS, go and take my Gayageum over, I want to give Wol, at least a melody to hear.”
Wol’s eyes moved vaguely, however Hwon did not realize. Wol(Yeonwoo) knew that Hwon could play the Gayageum well. As Hwon tuned the Gayageum, he thought of Yeonwoo. Hwon finally started playing a tune on the Gayageum. As he played, he took frequent looks at Wol, but Wol remained expressionless. Hwon started to worry that Wol did not like listening to the Gayageum. After finishing one melody, he looked and Wol and asked:”How was it?”
Wol replied. Because it was considered being rude to not answer, she monotonously replied:“It was played very well.” This was the answer a shaman should give.
Wol opened her small mouth, but because she suddenly felt like crying, hence she immediately shut back her mouth. As she could not prevent her cries, she tightly clenched her teeth together and bit her lips close. She did not want to reveal any of her true feelings again. Hwon saw her mouth tightly closed together, and so, he tried to cover the pain that could be seen on his face, and used a gentle voice to say: “Even though the sound of a Gayageum is choked with emotions, no one would cry just for me. Don’t tell me, the people that have been praising me for the sounds of the Gayageum are all lying? From now, the tears you cry are because of the melody I played, I would not ask the reason for your tears.”
At this moment, a tear dropped out from Wol’s left eye. Even though it was just one tear, Hwon was moved. Rather than having none at all, this reduced his grief. To stop him from being sad, he wanted Wol to continue crying, so he started to play the Gayageum again. Even though the tears were Wol’s, the cries were coming from the Gayageum.
When Hwon was sleeping, Wol was guarding by his side. Only until the next morning, Wol went back to the Celestial hall.
Wol came out to welcome Wol. Shaman Jang went to Wol’s room. Wol gave a heavy smile to Shaman Jang, and seeing that smile, Shaman Jang turned her head and said: “I actually didn’t want to come because of that smile.”
Wol still used that smile and said:”I finally realized why you said that being a shaman is worse that the deceased. Why does the feelings of people only grow, and never lessens? I really cannot think of a reason why.”
“If until now, it only grows and never lessens, that means you still have a long time to live. It means that the tears you will cry will be more than what you are crying now. After this period, if your feelings lessen, then the tears you’ll cry will be much lesser than now. So, grieve slowly.”
Wol was afraid that she will suddenly cry, so she did not even dare to sigh, and just looked down to the ground.
“Shinmu, since your powers are so strong, can you help me close my eyes? Can you get rid of the Wol in his majesty’s head and then kill me? Yeonwoo is gone, and if Wol is gone too, his majesty will become really pitiful, so all you have to do is to delete me from his memory, and everything will be fine. If that won’t do, can you also help me remove Yeonwoo’s memories in my head?”
Seol used her rough hands to hold Wol’s smooth hands. She wanted to take a share of Wol’s sadness, but she was unable to do anything for Wol, and hence all she could do was to hold her hands. Wol’s faint voice continued:”In these grounds of Hanyang, I cannot even see my mother and brother that I miss so much. Whether my mum has aged, or my brother turned more handsome, I cannot even take a look. I don’t even know where my father’s grave is. So, if I don’t keep these memories, I will have fewer feelings. So, if you are able to do so, can you please erase these memories for me?”
“If I could do so, I would have erased my own memory first.” Shaman Jang said.
Shaman Jang stood up, and left Wol’s room. Seol too, followed and left the room. Seol then took the ring at the top of the handle of her sword and swung it in the air. Shaman Jang spoke, as if she was talking to the sky:”Gee, how can snow run towards fire? Back then, it was only your feelings. And so, the one that misses is only you.”
Before dawn came, it suddenly snowed. Because the snow accumulated on the ground, they had to clear the King’s route(급히 어도) before the King goes to the hall. When Hwon came, he frowned looking at the snow on the ground.
“When did it start to snow?”
“After your majesty woke up.”
After hearing that, Hwon had a mind of peace. He then murmured saying: “Really? That’s good. That means her feet did not get wet.”
The first thing Hwon thought of when he saw the snow was Wol’s feet. If the snow continued to accumulate, then Wol will have to step on the thick snow. Wol’s straw shoes would not be able to handle this thick snow.
Please credit @redpinkboxes