Sangria Scandal

The Waterfalls Near The River

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”Wait! ”

She spoke before I could finish my sentence.

”Are you seeing someone? ”

”No. ”

Nope, too busy minding my investigation to do that.

She sighed.

”Okay, you may answer. ”

”Im not sure. But if I can, Ill tell you right away. ”

She frowned.

”And I expected a yes. ”

”If I get in and become a scholar, Im not sure if theyd let me out. ”

”They would. They are required to come. ”

”They are? ”

”So now that you know, you should go to the festival with me, okay? ”

”Uh, okay. ”

She beamed.

”Yay, thank you. ”

She stood up and helped me up. She ran off to the woods and left me.

She left me.

”Hae Cha… I don know the way back… ”

~

”My lady! Lady San needs you in her room! ”

I just finished changing my clothes after being lost in the woods and miraculously making it back. I adjusted my sleeve and walked to Lady Sans room. She has been piling books near the entrance so I don have a way in.

”Some of them are medical books. Knowing what to do with a minor injury would be safe. The rest are etiquette books often taught to Princes before they turn sixteen so theyd know how to act in front of other royals and ministers. Study them and Ill start your last exam tonight. If you miss three questions, Id make you study more next week while waiting for your results and teaching you how to train yourself. ”

I took one book entitled Kim Myeong-So. This is not an academic book. This is the life record of the past King. These books don belong here, they are supposed to be under the possession of the recorder or the historical records of the palace grounds. Why is this thing here? Unless…

”Are you a recorder from the palace? ”

She chuckled.

”Don be silly. I got it from one of the merchants in the black market. They probably stole it without knowing the purpose so they just sold it to the people. Itd be a waste to see this being used to feed off the fire for their food so I bought it without knowing Id use it like this one day. ”

She piled the last five books and exhaled before looking at me.

”Although at second thought, I think itd be more fun to see these things burn rather than using them this way. Such a waste of time and energy to read them thoroughly for no reason at all. They
e great, how amazing. Whats so fun reading how the King slept or how the prince drank his tea? Too full of bullshit, like nobody knew they
e living off the peoples fortune. ”

I took a pile and transferred them to my room. After finishing off, I dusted myself and swept the floor before sitting down and opening one of the books.

Lady San went to my room and studied me from the entrance.

”This is weird. Youd normally mumble curses or rant about how tiring this is yet you are silent along the way. Has something happened? ”

Do I do that?

”Its nothing. Maybe Im just tired from the exam earlier. ”

”What a lie. I heard from those who took the exams. Its just a single question. Whats tiring about that? ”

”Whats tiring? Oh, well, then try going to the exams, being prepared and all, only to find out that the King will ask you a hidden rhetorical question. I even licked my paper! ”

”Now thats more like it. ”

She shifted her position and her face rested.

”By the way, I heard someone almost recognized you. Hes been wandering around the town asking himself if hes seen someone named Chul. What did you tell him to make him go walking around like that? Hes gone crazy. ”

”I told him nothing. I didn even speak or hed recognize me completely. ”

”How would he? Those are sons of high-ranking officials. You wouldn have known- ”

”But I do. That person is my best friend. And since youve mentioned, I could really use voice training for the week. If both of us passed, theres no doubt hed know it was me. We
e so close he knew Ive hidden foams under my bed and wore them when we were kids because I was flat chested. ”

”Unfortunately, I can change the way your voice sounds. I have no idea how to do that. All we can do is hope he won recognize you or you shouldn speak at all. ”

”Okay… I guess thats that. ”

”Okay. Good luck with your studies. ”

She closed the doors and soon left. I exhaled and threw the book. This is not helping. No, not at all. Do I need to ace the exam by tonight? Thats only five hours away. These are like around twenty very thick books. What am I supposed to do with these? Read them or just scan them? Scanning it would be way more possible than the former.

I laid my head on the ground and sighed. This is wonderful. Just how wonderful. Can this day get any worse?

”Lady San! I think my lady just died! ”

Hara yelled.

”Thats interesting. How about we make that a reality, shall we? ”

I whispered.

”Shes fine, Hara. Just do the dishes. ”

~

”What kinds of sitting positions are not allowed if you are an educated man from Joseon? ”

”Its- ”

”Don speak, Mahri. Act. ”

I crossed my legs and sat up straight. This is killing my back, to be honest. After resting my hands on my lap and lifting my chin, I didn move.

”Mother, our lady has been paralyzed! ”

”Hara, are you high? Youve been overdramatic the whole day. ”

She faced me and smiled.

”Very good. ”

”What? I don understand. ”

Hara has been exchanging looks with both of us.

”This is the only sitting position allowed if you are an educated man. Hanging leg crossing, open legs, and curved back are all not allowed. ”

I explained.

”Don you feel stiff? Ive seen educated men in weird positions. This doesn make any sense. ”

”This is the formal way of sitting. Otherwise, feel comfortable. ”

Lady San said.

”Last question. Please be minded that if you fail this last question, you will be studying the same thing for the rest of the week. ”

I gulped.

”First and the last thing you do after being shot by an arrow? ”

”Check how deep it is and pretend nothing happened. ”

”Okay, thats all. You may sleep. ”

”Wait, really? ”

”You don want to? I can extend the exam until midnight. ”

”No, no. Thank you. Uh, have a good night! ”

I ran to my room before she could change her mind and blew my lamp. I laid down in bed, hesitant to close my eyes because Im sure that once I do, the next seven days would fast forward and I would no longer be staying here.

But I closed it anyway. I need to find the truth and this is necessary. Although I won lie, Id miss this place very much.

Sangria scandal*

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