forum "How come you haven't run away from me yet?"//oxo//Closed
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@knightinadream group

"I will, my dear…." Kangdae kept on, but eventually slowed his pace to what is normal for mortals. Defiantly not as swift as he wanted it to be, yet much quicker than the previous evening. The ground underneath his feet felt different from before. A feeling of worry and unknown fears clung onto him as he put one foot in front of the other. One time he looked over his shoulder, feeling as if someone else was there. No sweet aroma of blood from another mortal except for Jimin.

The memory from earlier still haunts him. Even now he cannot shake it off with all his might. It still persists in being overwhelming. While he knew that it is best to not dwell upon the matter, it followed him like an evil spirit. So as he walked over to where Jimin's quarters were, a frown settled on his face. The time he spent holding her close to him was sadly not enjoyed. Soon enough he went back go going as a haste speed before reaching the door.

His eyes gazed down at her. They watered slightly. He shook his head before blinking them away. "Jimin, my love," He cooed. "We are here."


Kangdae’s movements roused her occasionally, but nothing beyond what would be a hinderance to her rest. Jimin stayed on his shoulder, eyes closed, only dimly aware of her lover’s sweet breath as he moved.
She had already been slipping from unconsciousness due to his quickened pace, but still her eyes opened slowly at his voice, as if they didn’t want to open at all. Bringing a hand up to rub them, she tried to wake herself up. “Oh. You can let me down now, I’ll be alright.”
There did not seem to be any cramping now. The claws seemed to have released her at last. Relieved and presumably on the ground, she walked carefully to the door and opened it. Yawning, she went inside, reaching behind her to take out the binyeo, then untying the bun. After a moment, long dark hair spilled down her back, wavy from being braided. Jimin looked back at Kangdae, running her hands through it.
“I… it might be better if you leave now. I need to take care of some things,” she murmured. “But you do not have to leave so quickly.” She at least wanted to have the time for last goodbyes.

@knightinadream group

Soon after she spoke, he gently set her down onto the ground. His eyes started to look around for any signs of people. Silence hung in the air minus the small intricate sounds his ears picked up. There was comfort in it, but it makes him anxious too and he could not help this matter of state. Alas he cannot, not at all.

His pupils widened when they settled on Jimin again. Her hair is down. Still, yet flowing down like a waterfall. A gentle smile tugged at his lips as he watched her run her fingers through it. Kangdae almost forgot to respond to what she said next. The warmth in his face only faltered a little.

Stepping forward, he pulled her into an embrace. With one hand resting on her back, the other was on the back of her head. "I will go in a moment, my love," He promised. "Have I told you that you wonderful this evening?"


She melted at his touch, nearly wanting to fall asleep again. Both hands circled around his waist, but she was careful that her binyeo was not touching him. A soft chuckle came from her. “I cannot recall,” she said, “but thank you, love. You look wonderful, too. I think I told you that already, though.”
Jimin raised her head to look at him, and her brow furrowed. “But… you look distracted. Is it because of earlier, still?” She moved one hand to Kangdae’s cheek, caressing it gently. “It is alright. We will be alright, Kangdae.”
She hesitated, mostly because she did not know if he wanted it, but she pressed her lips to his. It may have been a naive sentiment, but they could not dwell in worry. She had already laid hers to rest before they left, and she did not want to see him dwell in his. His lips were so soft, his breath so sweet.
“I love you, Kangdae,” she murmured. It was all she could really say. The kiss invigorated her, but it did not take away any lethargy. “I will… see you tomorrow?”

@knightinadream group

"Oh, well, you are wonderful. I want to make sure I tell you at least once an evening." He laughed a little. Kangdae made the embrace a bit tighter, although he worried of hurting her, especially knowing of her monthly pain. Lifting his head, he kissed the side of her cheek. "Why thank you, my lady. You may tell me so as many times as you wish."

The sudden change of her expression left him to tilt his head with confusion. "Distracted….Because of earlier?" What does she mean by earlier? So much has happened tonight already. Perhaps she means when his monstrous urges gotten the best of him. The thoughts of it lingered within, although he does not wish to dwell on the matter. The word "no" almost passed through his lips before he suddenly shook his head. "No worries, my love, I will be fine."

The kiss left him with wide eyes at first, but he quickly welcomed it. He could feel the hesitation at first. The caution melting away with his worries, even if it was for that single moment. Her lips were gentle as they were warm and breathtaking. Just like the rest of her, it left his soul ablaze. Her words, her smile, they made everything better.

Kangdae gleamed with giving a solemn nod. "I shall see you tomorrow, my dear." Moving his lips closer, he placed a kiss on the side of her nose. "I love you, Jimin."


There did not seem to be any noticeable cramping now, so even the small squeezing did not hurt her. Jimin laughed a little with him, though the sound was low and lethargic. “Of course, darling,” she murmured, welcoming the kiss.
When she saw his confused expression though, she hung her head, thinking she had made a mistake. “Nevermind,” she said. “I’m tired. You looked…” she trailed off, raising her head again. “Alright. Good.”
Her eyes closed at the kiss to her nose. Opening them again, she allowed a flash of a loving smile, then laid her head against his chest.
“I’ll miss you,” she murmured. “But I won’t keep you any longer. Goodnight, love.”
She raised her head to give him her own kiss on the cheek, then loosened her arms and stepped away.

@knightinadream group

"I'll miss you too, my love….Good night, Jimin." His murmur easily breezed past his lips, but the words were barely audible. He didn't want to say them. He doesn't want the night to be over. The same feeling he has been having every night recently was sinking in. Another evening passing by means another to look forward to; he just has to remind himself that.

Kangdae smiled as Jimin kissed his cheek. Even a small low laugh rose from him. Letting his arms drop to his side, he watched as she stepped away from him. "Please rest well tonight."

Soon after, he began to step away himself. He stepped away before the desire to run up and embrace would swallow him whole. Eventually, he was on his way back to his chambers.


Jimin let out a shaky breath, then moved to close the door. Before any emotions could take over, she focused her mind on the task at hand. Crying over him was unproductive, and missing him and thinking about wanting him to come back was wasting time. She had things to do.
Pushing her hair over her shoulder, she went over to her shelves and cabinets and dug through them, eventually producing sleepwear. After setting it aside, she undressed, careful to keep her legs pressed together as she did so. After putting on fresh undergarments and getting into her sleepwear, she looked over the dirty clothes. The outer clothing was simply dirty due to being worn all day and smelling a little at the armpits, but she could probably save it and then wash everything… soon? Her sleep deprived mind could not remember what day it was, but she usually did laundry at the end of every week. However, the lower layers were stained with blood. That, she could not leave alone.
The way to the servants’ hall was not far, and Jimin had made the journey before for reasons like this. She made her way quietly though, this was to be a private matter. Some servants would be out, attending to nightly duties, but many would already be asleep at this hour.
She stopped outside one of the sleeping areas. As quietly as she could manage, she opened the door. A few dozen young women and girls were inside, lined up in their beds, asleep. Jimin scanned the room, then slowly stepped inside. She trembled slightly, her mind alert despite sleep deprivation.
“Lady An.” The whisper was barely audible. The sleeping girl, who looked to be around sixteen or seventeen years old, did not stir. Jimin gently placed a hand on her shoulder. “Lady An,” she whispered again. The girl then shifted, and her eyes opened. She blinked at Jimin, then sat up.
“Lady Hwang?” There was something like wariness in her eyes, as if she was worried that she was in trouble.
“I need your help with something,” Jimin murmured. “It will be quick, I promise.”
“Should I get dressed?”
She shook her head. “No, no need. Just come with me.”

@knightinadream group

Kangdae wandered around the palace grounds for a while to keep his mind off of all the troubles plauging him. The strange familiar blood that lingered outside when they were together, his monstrous urges, and everything else on top of that, he wandered in an attempt to forget them all, but to no avail. He could escape the palace grounds for guards somehow stood about outside, barring him. Out of shameful defeat and exhaustion, he wandered back to his chambers.

Souls tend to wander about despite the growing presence of guards. Welcomed or not, they fond their ways through. Some can lay underneath the sun's warmth while others are like Kangdae and can only bask in the moonlight. The one who was outside the crown prince's chambers during his meeting with Lady Hwang shines underneath the sun. He bares the uniform of a high ranking military official with daring matters that led him to wander outside Kangdae's chambers. A smirk swept across his face as he heard the silence. He knows….

Another wanders about from the queen's chambers to the trees outside Kangdae's. He too basks underneath the moonlight, enjoying the darkness of the night. Whenever the crown prince looks out beyond the balcony, he swiftly hides behind a tree. He keeps his eyes on the vampire prince and his beautiful mortal lover. The nightly one just watches from afar with no intent to harm, but wonders to alert about the other souls lingering either to the vampire prince or to the mortal lover. Something must be done.

Nevertheless, all for the better part is quiet in Pyeonghwa's palace. Autumn is strolling in as do the troubles. Some souls are restless. Some come with intent of malice, to grab power while others only wish to protect the fate of the kingdom from disaster. Then of course, there are the ones stuck in between all of the others, hoping for the best.

Kangdae put his hair back up into a knot. His eyes stayed to floor as his shoulders slumped. A troubled soul confined to the walls of greatness. The memory of shock in Jimin's eyes flashed through his mind. He gripped the sheets instinctively. "I am sorry…"


They made sure there was nothing except for the sound of their own soft breaths. As they made their way back to Jimin’s quarters, she would sometimes catch Lady An giving her something of an awed or uncertain look. Jimin suspected that this was because she tended to intimidate the younger ones, especially if they were lower rank, but she was more surprised that the girl was not dead tired like she was. Perhaps because she was young, and not bleeding herself.
Aejung was her given name. She struck Jimin as rather slight and bony, and her hair was lighter than the other girls. She was often one of the young maids who fetched and prepared water used for all sorts of washing or bathing, which was exactly why Jimin went to her particular.
When they arrived at her room, Jimin explained the situation. A flash of understanding went through Lady An’s gaze, and she nodded. She had to fetch water for situations like this, both her own and others’. As if on cue, she left for the water. Meanwhile, Jimin went through the clothes and folded them up. After which, she found a comb and started combing her hair.
Some time later, Lady An came in with a bucket of water. It looked a bit heavy for her, and she had tied up her robes so that she could move more freely, and as a result exposing the sokgot underneath. Putting away the comb, Jimin moved to help, and together they set it down on the floor. Jimin then rolled up her sleeves and started washing. They were her clothes after all, and she knew what she was doing. Her experience went as far back as helping her uncle’s servants wash his clothes at the end of every week. The water was cold; of course, to warm it up would have been wasting time. Luckily, since they had acted quickly, most of the blood came right off. Lady An offered to add a bit of soap and perfume to the water, and this made the remaining blood fade into a mere pinkish-orange mark. A sigh of relief escaped Jimin’s lips, though, as she worked, she began thinking about the next morning again.
Soon, everything had been washed. After ringing out the excess liquid and drying off her hands, she directed Lady An to dispose of the now soapy, bloodied water. When she left, Jimin went over to the window. She set aside the vase of Kangdae’s azaleas, then attached a thin rope across the window’s length. Then she took the wet clothes and began hanging them over the rope.
What could she say to the Queen? Though her brain was tired, she tried to think about the previous mornings. He did not know where the journals were… Her Majesty had said to take charge during their time together, so hypothetically, if she had done that, perhaps he tried to resist her.
“Lady Hwang?”
And the treatment. If this was a normal sickness, she would assess the symptoms again and then went over the possible treatments that could reasonably be administered. Right now, it seemed she could only go with a weak heart as a diagnosis. It then occurred to Jimin that she was not sure if she had the Queen’s permission to go through with a treatment.
“Lady Hwang?”
This time, the voice cut through her thoughts. Jimin stopped hanging the clothes and turned to face the young girl. Her robes were loose again, covering her legs. “Ah, yes?”
“Would you like me to help?”
Briefly, she glanced back at the laundry, then back to Lady An. “No, it is alright. I have it. You are free to go.”
The girl nodded, but then her gaze fixed on something. “Oh, those flowers are pretty. Where did you get them?”
Jimin stepped down from the window, her eyes also shifting to the azaleas. “Oh… they were a gift.”
Lady An yawned. “Mm, I see.”
Jimin laughed softly. Putting a hand on her shoulder, she murmured, “You have helped plenty. Thank you, Lady An, from the depths of my heart.”
The girl smiled, but it was taken over by another yawn. “Of course, my lady.”

@knightinadream group

Kangdae shook his head. It's alright. Everything is okay now. Jimin said so. He mustn't dwell too much on it or it will consume him. Consume…..A ringing sound pitched his eardrums as the word overtook his mind. When was the last time he had feasted on blood? Days have been blurring and blending together lately; sometimes he struggles with remembering order of events.

Reluctantly, he forced himself to stand up. The floor creaked underneath as he trudged over to the balcony doors. Sliding them slightly, he leaned toward the left side. His eyes stared ahead. Guards stood around; it's hard to see them, but he can sense them. What he could not sense was the flashing red eyes that looked back at him.

He is not the only one… His eyes widened as he checked again. Nothing was there except for pitch black darkness. Even in seeing them for a second, the image of the red eyes burned inside his mind. Kangdae stood straight, waiting for what felt like an eternity to see them again. Leaning forward, he was ready to step out until….

"Huh? Where's Taewook and Seonghan? They should be here……" A voice outside whispered to himself. It was only Myung, the only servant who was allowed to be somewhat close to Kangdae; well accept for Jimin, but Jimin can be as close as she desires. "Ahh…Your Highness, it's Myung. I have your midnight snack and herbal medicine."

Myung opened the door then immediately bow, carefully holding the tray. He sat it down on the table then glanced at Kangdae, giving a somewhat hopeful grin. The crown prince gestured him to sit down and eat as routine; eagerly, the servant obliged.

"You have news for me? Don't you?" Kangdae asked. The red eyes….the familiar standing by the door…the disappeared guards…He needs to know.

The servant sat down the utensils. Nodding, he said, "Prince Doyun returned to the palace at sunset, so Her Majesty will be spending time with him until tomorrow afternoon. Also, Minister Song's son, Jeonghan, has been promoted and ordered by Her Majesty to be in charge of the palace guards….."

"You mean…The vampire hunter from the north? The Song Jeonghan?" Kangdae felt the timidity falling off his tongue. It grasped him as Myung, who is also timid, nodded again. Maybe he could feed off of the foolish hunter, if only. He sighed, "Perfect."

The servant stopped eating for a moment. Shifting in his spot, he turned to face the prince. "Does Lady Hwang know?" Myung watched Kangdae inclined his head. "Should I tell her, Your Highness?"

"No," Kangdae shook his head. "Lady Hwang needs her rest. So do you, we all have a long day tomorrow."


When Lady An had left, it was back to hanging up clothes. Jimin spent the time in silence, thinking. As she worked, her movements became slower and slower, and she yawned. Soon, however, she was finished. Stepping away from the window, she set the azaleas back in their place.
Her mind drifted. Instead of thinking about the next morning, memories from earlier came back. The feeling of being on fire, his cool body clasped against hers. His laughter, his snowflake kisses. That hollowness in her heart made itself known again, and she sighed. Her mother had once said that love was as painful as it was exciting, she was beginning to see what she had meant. And then there was that breath-stealing moment when he stared at her, red eyes and sharpened fangs. How could they keep each other safe? She asked herself this again and again, but weren’t they already doing all they could? He had not been in control of himself, that was what they could not prepare for. We all have weaknesses, she had said, and she reminded herself of this now. They would do what they could.
But then, she remembered something else. When they left his room… Had the guards been there? She seemed to remember that they had not, but she had been treading on the edge of consciousness then. Were her memories all that reliable?
The azaleas came back into focus. She decided to file that train of thought away. She should not be standing around like this, overthinking. She was sleep deprived enough. Pulling out the comb, she walked over to the bed and slipped into it. She began to move the comb down the length over hair, both to finish combing it and to give her mind something to focus on. When she was done, she simply set it aside.
She settled into the bed, letting out another yawn. For a moment she stayed like that, staring into space, her thoughts blurring together. But then darkness came over her vision, and sleep followed quickly after.

@knightinadream group

Silence hung in the air. The servant finished the food as Kangdae stood there, blankly staring dowm at the floor. He was still as the trees outside. Not even a slight twitch was made. There are so many things to do, and yet, he could get caught in an attempt to solve every single one of them. He has to do something.

"Whatever you are thinking about, Your Highness, do not kill Song Jeonghan…." Myung asked. "He must be working closely with Her Majesty; you'll be damned if you do yet damned if you don't."

"What do you suggest then? Wait till he stakes me or shoves me into the sunlight? Wait till he arrests you and everyone else? What is it you bastard?" Kangdae's jaw was tense. His eyes burned with fury.

The servant ran his fingers through his hair. He bowed his head. "Do as the snake does. Wait till he leaves his ankle exposed. If he has guards hiding beyond the palace grounds, he must be taking other measures to ensure he will get you when you least expect him. He might try with all his might. He may even fill the court with blood and blame you. We must prepare, and we should find others to help you, my prince."

The rest of their meeting went on in silence again. By the time Myung had to leave, he advised that Kangdae should rest the whole day and stay in bed, denying any visitors except for himself and possibly others like Jimin. The servant may be of illegitimate birth, but he is more noble than some of the officials. Kangdae laid in bed completely restless. In his hand, he held the azalea.

Another night concluded, leading a new day in the palace which means another day closer to the prince's enthronment. Well, that is if all goes well. The queen's chambers had no presence of Queen Seohyun for she was spending time with Prince Doyun. A letter was sent to Lady Hwang stating this, but also that she will be meeting with someone else who will be helping them. Helping more or less.

But, she had failed to mention with whom. The meeting would still be held in her chambers for the person is trusted with protection of the palace and its monarchs after all. To the queen, she believed it be critical in including him in the plan of the crown prince's wellness.


Jimin stared at the letter, eyes hard. An “esteemed and trusted individual” it read. Her eyes then drifted, and she tapped the letter against her leg. She bit her lip. She was not sure how to feel about this. Despite the guilt that came from lying to Queen, it was comforting to know that she would be speaking to, not only someone who knew Kangdae intimately, but the same person that she served every day. But then, what had she told Her Majesty during one of their meetings? Do something that will put your mind at ease. Perhaps looking after her other son was doing just that. She should not be unhappy with this change if that was the case. Still, the letter could have at least given a name or a position.
Her eyes landed on the small pile of underclothes in the corner. They had gotten dirtied in the night, but there was no time to wash them now. She would have to do it when she got a break, but that could be hours from now. Jimin sighed, trying to shake off this general unease that had taken hold.
Once she was ready, she made her way to the Queen’s chambers. Her unease only increased. She would have to rework her entire report, depending on how much this person knew or what he asked. There may come a point where she would have to improvise, but Jimin doubted her ability to do that effectively. As she walked, her hands fingered with her skirts.
Soon, she arrived at Her Majesty’s door. For a moment she was still, breathing deeply and trying to compose herself. Then she raised a hand, and knocked. “This is Lady Hwang, here to discuss matters concerning His Highness, the Crown Prince,” she announced.

@knightinadream group

A jeonrip sat in the middle on the queen's table. Behind it stood a man, wearing black robes, similar to the ones all the palace guards wear, except his were of finer detail. He appeared to be the same age as Kangdae, maybe a few years older. His dark brown hair was put up in a top knot. Small wrinkles sat at the sides of his eyes. While he may appear to be a bit tired, his eyes were lit up with anticipation and excitement.

He is the soul that wanders underneath the sun. The one that walked near the crown prince's chambers around the time the guards mysteriously disappeared. His wandering was on purpose, for he has a plan with the crown prince. Does he care for anything else aside from his ambition? That is a question that even the man does not know the answer too. Maybe he will know the answer someday soon.

The sound of a knock broke him free from the copious amount of thoughts surrounding him. Glimpsing over, a warm smile broke the smirk that had rested on his face. "Ahh, come in Lady Hwang," He responded, cheerly. "Come sit down and relax. We have a lot to discuss and I am so eager to hear from you."


Jimin waited until the man was done speaking before opening the door. Uncertainty still clutched her heart, and so her movements were slow and hesitant. Studying him and the jeonrip, her hand rested over her chest. She was not sure what to make of his expression. She shut the door behind her, then walked over to the table.
“Good morning, sir,” she said. “Yes, I am sure there is a lot to speak about, but I’m afraid that I do not know who you are. Make yourself known to me, please, before we get into anything.”
She did not want to go through this whole conversation without knowing the man’s name. Sitting down, she let her hands fold in her lap. Once again, she was not sure how to feel.

@knightinadream group

The man wore his smile the same way a clown in the streets would wear a mask. As Lady Hwang walked in, he bowed his head. His eyes followed her like a hawk as he stood still. Given his uniform and stance, he is a military man certainly of some sort of prestige given merit or blood. Too full of self-pride to be merit alas.

"Ah, I am so sorry, my lady. I thought we had met before, you look familiar. I take it the queen forgot to mention me in the letter" He stopped then exhaled. Glancing down at the floor for a second, he shook his head. The wide gleam persisted. Lifting his head, he made eye contact. "You must know me for my father is the minister of defense and our family holds several positions in the court. We are almost as powerful as the royal family, just almost."

He continued on just as his cheery mood persisted. "I swear, I must have met you before. You are beautiful if I may say. You have an older brother do you not? Ah yes…" His attention focused onto a tray with a teapot and two tea cups. Picking one up, he placed it in front of Lady Hwang. "My lady, you breathe, please. I am only twenty-five, not that much your senior. We both work for the Chang Dynasty. Let us speak to each other informally, we are friends after all." With grace, he took ahold of the teapot and pour some tea. Afterwards, he returned to his side of the desk then pour a cup of his own. The teapot rattled softly as he sat it down. He chuckled softly, "I am Song Jeonghan, my lady. It is an honor to be meeting with you."


At first, she pretended not to notice that he was looking at her, but when their eyes met, she held his gaze. Gradually, understanding replaced the unease in her mind, though not completely. Questions remained, and the way he smiled still left her unsettled.
“Ah, then, I have heard of you,” Jimin affirmed. “But I am certain that we have never met. Yes, I believe my brother may be one of the men working with you these days…”
Her voice faltered slightly. This was still strange and confusing. Though she was not allowed to leave the palace, her uncle sometimes wrote letters to her, bringing news of her family or himself. She knew her brother, Hwang Taehyun, was currently married and in the military, but never did she dream that she would meet one of his coworkers, who happened to be, well, the man that he was. Especially in such a way.
She was quiet as he poured the tea. As if on cue, a silent and stirring pain rose in her abdomen. Perhaps the tea should help with that, but for some reason she did not drink it just yet.
“It is an honor to be meeting with you as well,” she returned.

@knightinadream group

"Wha-, really, Lady Hwang? A shame we haven't met before, but exciting how this is our first." His eyes were wide with bewilderment and intrigue. As she spoke, he took the small cup and took a small sip before setting it down. He only broke the gaze as he made sure to not drop the cup. "Perhaps I do….Perhaps I do…." His brows furrowed as he was deep in thought. "Hwang….I feel as if his name starts with a T or a D. Definitely a T if I am not mistaken. Please do call me out on my mistakes from here on out."

He took another sip from the cup. The fact his fingers overlapped as they curled around it made him chuckled to himself. As he took a deep breath, a bit of the sincere excitement had died down. It had faded as the wheels in his mind had turned. Nevertheless, the soft grin persisted.

"Since we are friends, I must be honest and say that I am usually not this cheery and I tend to not engage in relaxed conversations on the battlefield. Even gossip too, but I happened to engage in it a little with a servant as I tried to visit His Highness this morning as he was busy last night." Jeonghan paused for a second. His lips pressed together in contemplation. "It all seems childish to be honest, my lady, I thought the servant was just playing a trick on me. Could you explain these rumors about the crown prince to me?"


Blowing over her cup, she raised a hand around it. “You are correct. Taehyun,” she offered. I was probably going to call out your mistakes anyway, she silently replied. The cramping was noticeable, but only annoying at the most. It would probably hurt more later, or if she had to move, but hopefully it would not get to that point. She blew over the cup once more, then raised it to her lips.
Setting it down, Jimin then raised an eyebrow. What did he mean? Were there new rumors going around? What about? But something else was bothering her.
“Perhaps I could, sir, but I do not understand why we are dwelling on rumors and gossip when we should be focusing on His Highness’s health. Has the queen informed you of our findings so far? I’m sure that would tell you that at least half of the rumors you here floating around are untrue. Unless, that is, our findings have somehow leaked into regular servant gossip, in which case…” she shrugged. “It may be old news.”
She sipped the tea again. There was a feeling that the cramping, plus the less amount of sleep that she had gotten last night was making her irritable. Perhaps it was also that Jeonghan was treading into irritation territory for her as well. The tea was quickly becoming the one thing that could help control herself and get her through this meeting.

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At first confusion had settled into his pupils before they lit up. Hwang Taehyun….Hwang Taehyun…."Oh, yes! I do!" He laughed. "I do remember now. Oh thank the gods on that."

Jeonghan nodded in response to her question. The first he had done after making sure Prince Doyun had returned safely was meet with Her Majesty to discuss His Highness. Mainly he wanted to discuss with her about the bloodthirsty bastards in the north, but it took an interesting turn. He rarely said nothing throughout the conversation, but he hid his curious look as Queen Seohyun talked about Prince Kangdae and his strange illness. What a peculiar one to have…

Rumors are what run the courts in the palace. Whether they be true or not, that is up for others to decide. Partially he detests them as some have ruined his family, and yet, he knows they can be of great use to him. He has a point to be made, but how should he go about making it?

"Her Majesty told me everything from when he first fell ill all up to now….I am just lost in that, it all is strange," He nodded. "Ah…." His shoulders dropped as he glanced down at his hands. A few seconds passed by until he decided to look back at her. "She told me that he is always exhausted, doesn't have any pigment in his skin, rarely seen outside, never eats, and then there's the lack of detection of a heartbeat. I am not sure if it's coincidental, but, they seem to align with some of the rumors."

Jeonghan exhaled deeply, as if what he said was foolish or whatever he was thinking is foolish. He sipped the tea. "No one aside from the utmost elite knows about what I am going to tell you, and I trust you enough to say this, but I know the monsters your fellow servants talk about are real. Currently they only are near the mountains up north which is the same place where Prince Kangdae had stayed for awhile three years ago and returned from around the time he fell 'sick'. I may be foolish, but it's highly pure coincidence, I believe. I just want to sweep all them away first."


Warm tea slid down her throat, combating the strange feeling she felt, this strange freezing of the blood. She began to understand why this man, a military leader, was chosen to be apart of this investigation into the prince’s illness. Though alarm bells started ringing in her mind, she strangely did not feel afraid. In fact, this only reinforced her irritation. And by the gods, was this annoying.
“Yes, that’s about it,” Jimin nodded. Again, there was an uncertainty. How was she supposed to feel about this? He knew as much as the queen did, that was how it seemed. Perhaps even more. He made it sound as though he had been to those mountains in the north.
Her eyebrow rose. “Even if these creatures are real, it is much too far of a stretch. I have seen him myself, and that makes no sense to me. However, perhaps we should take his location those three years ago into consideration. If I may ask, sir, is there anything else you know about the region that may be of use in this case?”
Lying to Jeonghan was easier than Queen Seohyun. And the more she lied, the easier it became. But of course, it very well may be fruitless. He was so close, anyway. Jimin was reminded of the inevitability of something like this coming. It was so annoying and inconvenient, to happen now. Soon an overpowering feeling washed over her. She had to protect him. He may have his fangs and his title, but she had information. She could protect him inside these walls, at least, that is what she wanted to think.

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"Ahhh, is that so?" With his lips jutted out, he inclined his head. Lifting up the tea pot, he poured some more tea into his cup. Jeonghan listened to Jimin as he did so. A faint smile formed. "What a clever idea, my friend."

He shrugged. "Well, given the fact that they're so far away from the capital, it's harder to control every little thing. That's why my clan practically rules it. Vampires run rampant, though there's not that many I believe. Peasants know as much as the servants and everyone else here really." Touching the top of his lip, he went into thought. "Off the top of my head, I do not see His Highness contracting anything while being up there. Weather is normally lovely, except for the effects from monsoon season. Master Yi told me he normally was at the residency. Everyone there seemed to be well at that point in time."

"Which is why I-" Jeonghan stopped himself then shook his head, but quickly went on. "Which is why I think it's all too coincidental. I am not saying His Highness is a vampire. I most certainly hope he isn't. Do you understand what I mean, Lady Hwang?"

Fabricated concern dropped over his face like some sort of curtain. Even with wide pupils and slightly parted lips, there was not much he could do to make it any more real. A mask is all it is. He knew it is fake and he knew that she knew it is fake, but that is not the point of their meeting, now is it? They have much better things to worry about.