Also me, listening to the dolly dots.
Also me, listening to the dolly dots.
So I live! Ah the life of the need for a new computer & moving sometime later. I’m going to do a few tester things on this blog to see if I still need to move & if tumblr still likes to torture me. If anyone wants a thing, feel free to tag me, response to this (ic/ooc) & just lemme know which muse.
if tumblr doesn’t still hate me i may just redo the theme on this blog and yolo with the motions.
@scribblesandsorcery tagged me, send help, we're literally currently living in the same house and we still send tag games like up and down the stairs
hot shower or cold shower // texting or calling // earphones or headphones // paperback or hardcover // matte or gel // 12 hour clock or 24 hour clock // blue AND green // sunsets or sunrises // tulips or orchids // candle light or moonlight // sci-fi or horror // pen or pencil // pandas or koalas // gold or silver // sneakers or boots // denim jacket or leather jacket // pink AND purple // wind chimes or dreamcatchers // chocolate or sour candy // deodorant or perfume // drive-in movie theatre or the cinema // pastel colors AND neutral/earth tones // butterflies or honeybees // lemonade or iced tea // past or future // constellations or aurora borealis
gonna tag @greyhavenisback, @boojums-snark (again) and anyone else who wants to give it a try, i guess?
Going into any career as a 30-year-old is like, I'm ok that all my bosses are all younger than I am. This is fine.
Luzity invented gay people
I just got stung by a bee and idk if I'm allergic but I just feel bad cuz now the bee is gonna die
The guy at the Tim's drivethru window today kept handing me more and more handfuls of napkins while I waited for my food so now I have a bunch of napkins. It seemed to be a prank? Either way, it made me laugh.
Thing is, Konaka doesn’t own Tamers.
Tamers was made and written by a huge staff of people, and while we do tend to associate him as “the mastermind” behind Tamers, he doesn’t own it. So many people contributed to the creation of that season--
I absolutely understand everyone who wants to just drop Tamers forever now, when I first found out about this, I did too. And so if you do decide to just never touch it because of this, I get it, and that’s okay!
But Tamers doesn’t belong to Konaka.
Tamers can be reclaimed from Konaka.
Thing is, the fact that Bandai approved the audio drama to begin with means that either A) whoever approved it is on the same side as Konaka or B) genuinely didn’t know any of the (from the POV of a Japanese person) bizarre English terminology and the implications of the story and its message (which, if you don’t know what Konaka’s been up to, may not be obvious)
If it’s A), well, we’re fucked (also if GG is starting right after Psi ends, that’ll be like late September/early October, which means Ghost Game has been in production for a long time now, so whatever work he may or may not have done for it is already done)
If it’s B), well we’re also fucked but it’s not intentionally malicious
i wish i had better relationships with the older women in my life because i really believe it would be beneficial but oh my god they all suck????
wonpil x reader (river god!au, historical fantasy, strangers to lovers, drama, angst, slow burn)
a/n: this fic has been in the works for ages and is loosely inspired by a Spirited Away fic i can no longer find online. there is an index supplied at the end!
tw: mentions of death/drowning
Were that you had been born blind.
This is the bitter thought that crosses your mind as you make your way through your village streets, flanked by soldiers and sweating under the many heavy layers of silk, trudging over the dust of the streets. Were that you had been born blind, then you would not be where you were now, sent to the riverbed that should double as your deathbed. The weights stitched into the hem of your bridal robes ensure this.
Though this may be the end of your story, cut horrifically short, the final chapter is even shorter — less than a month, to be precise. Not even time for the moon to become new again; in fact, you had stared out your window just last night into the bleak black sky, wishing to see it just once more, to no avail. The darkness would be the last memory of the sky under which you had been raised; even the heavenly bodies could not save you now, and turned away their faces in either ignorance or pity.
Even the night has forsaken you now.
The yangban who presided over your village was already in enough trouble, having been exiled to your tiny, dying home after doing something that had been interpreted as insulting. Nobody knew what exactly, but the rumors flew — and now, aside from being a demoted yangban, he would also be known for having a duplicitous, impure wife.
In his anxiety over the worsening drought, the yangban had called upon a number of people, the most recent of these claiming to be a shaman from the hills. He claimed to have traveled far and wide, bringing good fortune wherever he trod with his prophetic visions. But not all men are men of good will, and such was he, and you happened to see it firsthand. Tucked away in the shadows where they thought no one would see, the shaman and the yangban's wife spoke in hushed tones, arms wound one another in a way you could only describe as intimate.
Were that you had been born without legs, so that they would not have heard your footsteps. But, as it is, they did — and you knew you stood no chance. Beneath the glaring eyes of the so-called shaman, who shielded the yangban’s wife as if you wouldn’t have known even from her clothes and adornments who she was, you turned back the way you came.
As you work, heart thundering from both fear and anger, you contemplate what to do. In all honesty, you are a nobody — but a part of you feels it would only be right to tell the yangban what you saw. A woman like that… would it bring further misfortune to keep her here, in your village? Surely the shaman would cause more damage—
Your repairing of the laundry is interrupted by another maid, who grabs your arm and pulls you into the hallway. You notice that everyone is flooding towards the main gate of the yangban's estate, the yangban himself at the center of the commotion, the ‘shaman’ beside him, eyes closed and face upturned to the sky. You have a sinking feeling in your stomach,
“What’s going on?” you ask Minyoung, the girl who had pulled you from your work, tugging lightly at her sleeve. She looks at you with excitement glinting in her eyes, but behind it you see her anxiety.
“The mu is having a vision about the drought.” Your heart drops, and you mutely turn to face him, watching as he sways and pretends to be overcome, chanting words you don’t understand. Everyone gives him a wide berth as he moves blindly, until eventually he lets out a gasp which ripples through the crowd.
“A sacrifice,” he says, pausing dramatically. Whispers break out amongst the crowd, and he turns to the yangban. “A bride for the river god. That will solve your drought.”
“A sacrifice?” The yangban repeats, seeming both confused and frightened at the prospect. Nonetheless, the shaman has his undivided attention, and you watch as every woman in the crowd attempts to shrink back in fear, clinging to each other’s arms. You merely feel numb, even when the yangban asks his next question:
“But who? Did you see her?”
“Yes, yes,” the shaman mutters, closing his eyes. He nods emphatically, then turns to the crowd before opening them again. “She’s here…”
You feel as though your soul has left your body, your feet rooted in place as his eyes sweep across the crowd. You know who he is searching for, and you clench your hands into fists, unable to fight the fury building within you—
For three weeks your fellow seamstresses had worked tirelessly to craft a hwarot, a garment more luxurious than you could ever imagine. After all, the yangban had declared, they could not send a bride to the river god in anything less than finery. And yet, ironically, he had refused to surrender his own wife’s hwarot, instead choosing to spend precious village funds on rolls of brightly dyed red and blue silk, high-quality threads and new needles.
During that time you had sat alone in a guarded room with only one window, forbidden from seeing anyone until the day of your wedding. You would not be allowed to see your family or friends, for fear you would create a plan to escape; you could not leave your room unescorted or be given anything even remotely dangerous, lest you attempt to harm yourself and ‘tarnish’ the sacrifice.
You heard the whispers in the hall, the seamstresses complaining of their aching fingers every day as they left the yangban’s residential compound. The embroidery must be difficult, you know; and the ‘shaman’ had stated that you must be sent before the new moon rose in order to ensure a good harvest. The whole village was preoccupied in gathering all that was necessary for a wedding, though the process had been rushed through almost all of the steps, leaving them scrambling in the process. You had never heard so many footsteps within these halls in all your years of working here, and it makes you anxious, the time dragging on as you pass the days staring at the walls, only interrupted when a meal is passed through your door.
Finally, the day you had been dreading arrives.
Embroidered peonies and lotuses surround a lithe, curling blue dragon, symbolising the god to whom you are meant to be wed, on the back panel of your hwarot; the first thing you see when you are ushered into a new room on your wedding day. Were this not your death dress, you would no doubt be admiring the fine handiwork of all the seamstresses. After all, such imagery as the dragon would be forbidden to you were it not for your chosen husband; only emperors would be worthy, and you were merely a common seamstress. Not only would you never wear such a garment otherwise, you would never see one. However, as with any other offering, you had to be presented with good fortune and grace — and what other motif could possibly serve to strengthen your bond to your husband than the very image of him stitched upon your back?
Were you not so numb, you may have cried. The luxuries you’re experiencing are far more than you could ever have imagined your wedding to be, and the presence of such beautiful and expensive things now feels horrific as the reality of your situation continues to press down into you like a seal into wax. But all you can do is stand still, like a perfect doll, gazing into nothingness as familiar hands carefully paint circles of red onto your cheeks.
It doesn’t truly hit home until the hwarot is donned and you feel the weight lining the hem and the cuffs of your sleeves. You feel suddenly ill, cold as if the waters have already swallowed you up, knowing there is no hope you will ever resurface. While normally you think you would be flinching in pain at the way they have to tug at your hair, pulling it back into a sleek braid and pinning the daenggi into place, you instead sit perfectly still, staring blankly into space. The jokduri comes last, a crown for your common head, and you keep your chin level as they fix it in place. When you catch a glimpse of the ends of the daenggi, you’re a bit surprised to find them devoid of pearls. Clearly, some things were out of the budget — though the embroidery on it is equally as detailed as the work on the rest of your wedding garment, still making it far more beautiful than anything you would have had in a common wedding.
And yet, the only purpose of all this lavishness is to weigh you down alongside the smooth rocks in the riverbed.
You wish that the red of your hwarot and yeonji gonji would ward off the evil spirit that is the false mu and his new mistress, whose dark eyes seem to mock you as you walk slowly towards them. All your life you had envisioned the good fortune following you into your marital home, and now you are merely a vessel for your village’s wishes; the fortune you tout is not your own, and never was to begin with.
When you reach the bridge, you can smell the iron scent of blood in the air — how ironic it is, you think, that your village has chosen to carry out so many of the groom’s traditional steps in lieu of you. No other steps had been followed; there was no proposal, no agreement, no meetings between families or trousseaus to be made. There was no groom to journey to her family’s home with the offering of a goose, and so your village had slain the goose themselves and you had performed the task of travelling the distance of your village for your wedding.
At the middle of the bridge is your wedding table, draped half in red and half in blue. Upon it are all the traditional foods and the candles, one red and one blue; somehow, your village even managed to find a hen and a rooster to place upon the table, both wrapped in red and blue silk. You are led to the western side of the table, and when you arrive you lift your chin up high. There is no groom to face you, and so you are merely staring off of the bridge’s edge into the muddy waters, lower than you have ever seen them in your life. Your heart clenches a little, reminded of the drought and the pain it has brought upon your village. As much as you want to hate them, you feel their desperation for a solution as your own, the twisting knife of hunger and the sting of dust in your eyes and nostrils. With this thought, you kneel upon your designated cushion, your legs grateful to be relieved of the weighted dress, if only for now.
You bow to the water, your husband of the murky depths. Attendants help you wash your hands, and then the candles are lit before you are led in yet another series of bows by the honju, your village’s officiant; a man you recognize, who looks at you with pity even as his voice does not waver. There is nobody to reciprocate your promises of devotion, not even your own reflection to be seen in the silty waters. The food is served; your husband’s serving of dates dropped into the river along with their plate, and your own of jujubee left to be eaten before you. The eyes of the entire village can be felt on your back as you slowly chew. Your last meal, you think, and force yourself to swallow before you can begin to cry at the thought. His serving of wine is poured into the water, swept away quickly before the cup is handed over to you.
And then comes the cruelest step of all. When the wine has been consumed, you hear the shuffling of footsteps. You’re hesitant to turn, but the honju and attendants prompt you.
Across the bridge are your parents, gazing at you with glossy, empty eyes. They look so frail, so much older than you had ever thought them before; haggard and thin. You feel your jaw tremble as you bow to them, what is meant to be an act of reverence now the only goodbye you are allowed to have.
As you press your face close to the ground, a single tear falls onto the wood of the bridge and is absorbed eagerly by the dry material. You bite down on the inside of your cheek, willing your body to stop trembling.
When you raise your head, your parents have been removed from your sight once again. As you bow to the ancestors, you hear your guards stepping up behind you. For your final bow, you must turn to your entire village, your guests, and when you do you see the thinness of them, the hunger and the pain, the suffering. Not a single person looks as though they have not shed tears for you; not a single person looks relieved by this solution. You feel their grief as your own, weighing more heavily upon your back than your wedding gown, as you bow to them.
The honju steps aside as the guards step forward. There is one to hold each of your arms, and another to stand behind you. You face the railing once more, where your husband should have stood, and step forward. The hands of the guards squeeze tight just above your elbow, maintaining your balance for you as you step up onto the top of the railing. You clasp your hands together within your sleeves, concealing them, and force yourself to keep your eyes open. You stare headlong into the water as the guards let go at once, sending you plummeting like a baby bird from the nest.
When you force your eyes to open, all you see is red. Red as your blood, red as your fury as you sink helplessly into the murky depths. All the beautiful detail of the hwarot is lost as the silt rises to meet you, cloaking you until you disappear. You try desperately to continue focusing on the colors of the fabric, but it’s to no avail. Your arms and legs thrash violently, trying to push you towards the surface you can no longer see, but the weights in your sleeves and hem cause the fabric to tangle around you, rendering you helpless. Eventually, you surrender yourself to the current, unable to see the light any longer through the sand kicked up below you. The bubbles of your breath disappear before your eyes, and you can’t reach them, though you try fruitlessly to do so in a last-ditch effort by your dying mind to survive.
In the end, you succumb to the chilling embrace of your husband, the river, and the darkness of his depths.
It is a surprise to you when you open your eyes once again. The sky above appears shrouded in clouds, but not dark — simply a pristine white veil over the sun. You can hear the babbling of water rushing over rocks, and when you move your fingers damp pebbles clack together beneath them. Had you… washed ashore? Was that possible? You open your mouth and take a deep breath, shocked to find that you don’t even feel the need to cough; the air moves freely through your lungs and out again, as though you’d never been underwater in the first place.
Slowly, you try to sit up, feeling dizzy and overwhelmed.
“Just wait,” a voice calls, though the command is gentle. You look across the river to see a small group of people, all donned in pristine clothing, all shades of blue and white. When you make eye contact with a woman who had spoken, she smiles kindly, then beckons a small group of men forward from their post by a large stone gate. You watch as they walk across the river towards you, seemingly unconcerned for their clothing, almost skimming across the glittering water. Two of the men offer you their hands, and you accept both, uncertain if you can trust your legs to bear the weight of the gwarot, especially after it’s been soaked. However, as soon as they begin to walk, you realize the gown is no heavier than it had been on the bridge, as though you’d never been in the water at all. You stare down into the crystal clear water and see small, golden fish swimming around one another, not noticing your presence in the slightest.
The woman who had smiled at you bows as you reach the shore on the other side, and all those around her follow suit. She is taller than the rest of the group, thin and graceful as a willow tree. You can’t help but wonder if she is not in charge of all the other seeming gungnyeo surrounding you. Confused, you bow back, though she responds with a light laugh.
“You must be tired,” she says, looking into your eyes. Somehow, you feel as though she can see straight through you, though it doesn’t unsettle you as you think it should. “Come. It’s not far now.”
As she leads the way, the men remain flanking you, though not in the same threatening way your village’s guards had. In fact, despite how strange the situation is, you don’t feel the slightest bit afraid. You take in some of your surroundings as you walk, finally realizing that you seem to have washed ashore in a wealthy person’s garden. All the plants appear to be full of life, not so much as a browning leaf in sight, and some of the flowers almost seem to glow from your vantage point. You wonder who could be so wealthy, to live in a place as beautiful as this. Despite the large number of people with you, you can still hear the river flowing behind, their footsteps barely audible on the stone-paved path.
A glint of gold catches your eye between the trees, but before you can ponder it too long it is revealed as you round a curve in the path: a gold-roofed palace compound sits amidst the trees, glimmering unobtrusively. Somehow, rather than looking gaudy, it almost appears warm. As you near it, you can feel your heartbeat quicken — regardless of who you are about to meet, your fate will change from this point on. It occurs to you, rather suddenly, that maybe you did drown after all, but you focus on the sound of your heart and try to calm yourself down. Who ever heard of a corpse with a heartbeat?
You’re led without any hesitation into a throne room, the most impressive space you’ve ever seen in your life. Everything seems to shine from within, looking untouched and fit—
Fit for a god, you find yourself thinking. And then, you consider, you really must be dead, to be seeing such a place.
They bring you into the throne room, which is unlike any space you’ve ever seen before. Prior to now, you had never left your small village, and the yangban’s compound was not nearly as intricately decorated. Everything shines, as though it’s been freshly polished and never touched. The other gungnyeo are dressed in pure, beautiful robes, not a single one looking at all like you had in your work attire — they look ethereal, otherworldly, and regard you with a mix of kindness and pity. You find yourself unable to focus on them, however, gazing at the architecture around you. You’ve never seen so much gold in your life, but you wouldn’t call it ostentatious. Somehow, everything has an air of delicacy to it, an elegance you can’t imagine ever finding anywhere on earth. Surely, you’re beyond your mortal world, now.
A sudden noise breaks you from your stupor, and all the attendants turn towards the doorway behind the throne, where a sound like rushing water or a great gust of wind appears to be emanating. In fact, you swear it’s drawing closer, and you find yourself shrinking back slightly in fear as the palace floors rumble beneath your feet.
Suddenly, a great flash of white shrouds your vision. When the motion finally settles, you find yourself in the presence of an enormous, serpentine dragon, its body almost too large to even fit in the throne room. Its mane and whiskers remain in motion, its claws tap against the wooden floor as it comes to rest. It pierces you with its dark gaze, huffing out of its nose. You stare at it, unable to take it all in, its pearlescent scales shimmering and reflecting the gold of the room, its blue-green mane still flowing gracefully. Somehow, the creature is both terrifying and oddly endearing. After a moment, you find yourself shifting towards it, more curious than afraid — but as you do you are blinded once again by white light. You raise your hands to shield your face, feeling the weights in your sleeves bump against your hips, but as you peek through your fingers you see the dragon’s scales fluttering all about. Hurriedly you look down at the ground, but there are none to be found; as they make their descent they seem to evaporate into nothing before your eyes. You stare, dumbfounded, at the floor, until you hear the attendants moving. When you lift your head there is a man standing before the throne, adjusting his clothes. The attendants swarm around him, murmuring, but he ignores them, lifting his head.
He — the dragon? Man? River god? — stares directly at you, his eyes widening as he looks you over. He looks less like a dragon and more like a rabbit, his eyebrows drooping in concern and pity as he takes in your appearance. At least, you think that's what you read in his expression, but at this point you half expect everything to simply disappear as quickly as the dragon’s scales.
One attendant approaches him again, and this time he leans down to hear what they have to whisper in his ear. You take the moment to admire his clothing — you've never seen such delicate, detailed needlework in all your life, or such shimmering golden thread.
The words aren't meant for you, but the sound of his voice shakes you from your thoughts back to the situation at hand,
“Prepare a room for her, please.” His voice sounds slightly strained, almost stressed, but the sound of it is lovely nonetheless. You can't deny the way it soothes you, despite the absurdity of the situation.
He casts one last look at you, brows knit together in concern, before he turns to exit. The attendants all bow, and it takes you a moment to do the same, watching the way he moves. His clothing seems to be ever-flowing around him, and although he moves rather quickly there's a grace, a fluidity in his steps you can't deny.
By the time you remember to bow, he is out of sight and the handmaidens are suddenly herding you down an opposite corridor. Before long you are back outside, and you register with faint surprise that they are leading you to another building entirely.
“This building has never been used,” the woman who had led you to the palace says, regarding you with warm, gentle eyes. “But hopefully it will be comfortable for you.” You nod slightly, only to let her know that you’ve heard her, but you feel dazed as they lead you down another set of lavish corridors. Suddenly, the attendants come to a stop, opening a door for you and parting to allow you to enter.
You stop on the threshold, stunned by the beauty of it. Certainly, such finery can’t be meant for you? However, the attendants continue to gently usher you in, and the one who has been leading you bows politely to you once you have entered.
“You must be tired after your long journey…”
“Y/L/N Y/N,” you supply, bowing back to her. She smiles at you once more, expression warm.
“Y/L/N-nim,” she says, and you find yourself stunned. Nobody has ever referred to you with such a distinguished honorific in your life, but before you can correct her she is speaking once more. “Would you like us to draw you a bath?”
“Yes,” you say, without really thinking. Honestly, it feels as though your brain is on autopilot, unable to comprehend what’s happening — but since it’s been suggested, a bath does sound nice. Your body aches from stress and the weight of your gwarot, and your scalp hurts from the tight styling of your hair.
The various gungnyeo move quickly, and all you can do is stand still as they present you with a pristine set of bathing clothes before passing you off to the sesugan. You’ve never had a bathroom attendant before, but the sesugan welcomes you with a kind smile and quickly helps you out of your more elaborate items of clothing before ushering you behind a screen to change. The delicate, sweet smell of orchids wafts around you, and when you exit you find a tub far larger than any you had seen in your village sitting before you, flowers gently floating on the top. The sesugan helps you to sit down in the tub, and as soon as the warm water touches your skin you let out a contented smile.
“It must have been a very difficult day for you,” she says, combing gently through your hair. You merely close your eyes, the exhaustion of the day washing over you like the waters. Now that you find yourself in such a warm, secure position, all the stress seems to have caught up with you at once, and you allow yourself to relax as she untangles the knots in your hair and washes the makeup and perfumes from your body. You nearly fall asleep due to her soft touch and the warmth of the bath, not to mention its sweet smell, but your sesugan gently rouses you when the bath has finished and helps you out of the basin. She presents you with a pristine set of white silk sokgot for sleeping, which you accept in shock but go to put on nonetheless. Once you finish dressing, you find the head attendant waiting for you alone in your chambers.
“Should we prepare food for you, Y/L/N-nim?” Perhaps it was merely because of your bath, but you find yourself answering her more comfortably now.
As you wait for someone to arrive with food, your eyes follow the movements of your main attendant as she moves throughout the room. More than just authority, she moves with an ethereal grace, seeming almost to float and glide above the floor. Dazed, you find yourself speaking without thinking,
“What is your name?” She turns to you, brows arched slightly in surprise. Her expression quickly softens into a smile, however, her eyes holding an almost maternal tenderness that makes your heart ache for your own mother.
“Misun,” she says. When your brow furrows, she only chuckles lightly, “Beings like myself rarely have names, let alone familial ones.”
Before you can question her on her cryptic explanation, a gentle knocking at your door signifies the arrival of your food. Although it is only a simple rice porridge, it smells better than anything you’ve ever eaten in your life.
“We prepared something light for you, since your body has been through so much stress,” Misun says, looking at you apologetically, but you’re quick to shake your head.
“This is perfect, Misun. Thank you.” Her countenance seems to brighten more at the sound of her name being said, and as you eat she continues to prepare your chambers for sleeping. By the time you’ve finished eating, Misun has laid out the most luxurious set of bedding you’ve ever seen, the silk sheets gleaming beneath the candlelight within your room.
As you settle yourself into the bedding, you realize you truly don’t even hear her footsteps as she leaves, only the soft sound of your door closing behind her.
Somehow, you manage to fall asleep. You had thought that such a strange environment would make it impossible, but perhaps your body was truly too exhausted to stay awake after all. When you finally rise, the sun is hanging high in the sky, and you feel better rested than you have in years. You sit up in your bedding and gaze around the room, half having expected it to be a dream, but as you take it in you confirm to yourself that this is, in fact, reality — albeit, one very different from your own.
As you had been falling asleep, you had pondered Misun’s words and come to the conclusion that, by some twist of fate, your sacrifice had actually been a success. Either that, or you were being treated exceptionally well in the afterlife, which seemed less plausible, somehow.
Your thoughts are interrupted once more by a knocking at your door.
“Come in,” you call, reaching up to smooth the stray hairs away from your face. Misun enters with a smile.
“Good morning, Y/L/N-nim. Did you sleep well?”
“Yes, thank you,” you say.
“Good,” Misun replies, smiling broadly. “Your presence has been requested in the dining hall. Would you like me to prepare an outfit for you?” You nod mutely, trying to imagine who would want you in attendance and why, but choose not to question it. Misun doesn’t seem particularly forthcoming, after all, despite her kindness. She goes to the door, waving in a handful of attendants who quickly set to work getting you ready. One gently braids your hair as Misun and another attendant carefully assemble clothing for you, and you allow yourself to be swept up into their work, standing patiently as they prepare you for your day.
The hanbok is beautiful, intricately detailed but still lightweight, somehow. You let your gaze trail over the embroidered sleeves of the jeogori, the delicate pattern of lotus flowers mesmerizing you. Even your shoes are dainty, so beautiful that you almost feel bad to be putting them to use — but before you can dwell on it, Misun is ushering you out of your door and into the hallway.
You find that your destination is set with three tables, a proper surasang, each table covered with a number of foods which make your mouth water. Although you knew that emperors had such elaborate rooms for eating throughout the day, you had never set foot in a suragan yourself, let alone eaten in one. Three female attendants stand within the room, one for each table, and Misun guides you to one side of the room. You realize that, although the other side of the room is set in a parallel manner, there is no food on those tables and no attendants standing by. Before you can ask Misun about it, you find that she has left your side to cross the room, disappearing down a corridor. The three other women, whom you assume to be poison tasters, do little more than glance at you, and so you find your gaze wandering between the various dishes. The sheer amount of food spread out before you is overwhelming, the options more than you’ve ever been offered in your life. And the room itself is just as beautiful as all of the others you’ve seen, although it somehow appears less lively, as though it hasn’t been used for a long time.
You don’t hear any footsteps, but all of your attendants suddenly turn towards the corridor Misun had ventured down. Your gaze follows theirs, and suddenly a small entourage enters the room, headed by the man from the night before. His gaze falls directly on you, and you quickly find yourself bowing deeply, mirroring the actions of your attendants. You finally lift your head once he is seated, only to find him still staring at you, brows furrowed slightly. Under his gaze you feel small, as though he can see right through you, but you can’t seem to look away.
“You must be hungry,” he says, and at his words your attendants begin to serve you. His tables remain empty; any attendants he has remain by his side.
“Are you not eating as well?” you ask, unthinking, and immediately shrink into yourself slightly. Rather than angry, he merely looks surprised, his expression resembling a rabbit once more as he gazes at you with wide eyes.
“Oh, I— I don’t—” After a moment of struggling, he takes a deep breath and composes himself, “I have no need to eat. Thank you for your concern.” No response seems suitable, and so you merely turn your attention to your food, finding yourself taking care with each bite. Although you don’t feel judged, you are acutely aware of the eyes watching you curiously, and after only a few bites you find yourself halting.
“Pardon my asking, but, if I wasn’t invited here to dine with you, then why did you send for me?” The man’s eyes darken slightly and you can see his body tense, and for a moment you fear you’ve angered him. However, when he meets your gaze, it isn’t fury you find there, but pity.
“I needed to speak with you. I hoped you would feel comfortable meeting me here.” You nod slowly. After searching your expression briefly, he lets out a sigh and continues,
“Y/L/N Y/N. Your village offered you as a sacrificial bride to their river’s god. To me,” he intones, now refusing to meet your gaze. You find yourself holding your breath as you wait for him to continue. “As you’ve now entered the spirit realm, I’m afraid I can only offer you one option that ensures your safety: staying here, with all of us. Sending you back to your village would put you at risk not only from humans but from vengeful spirits.”
Finally, he lifts his gaze, and he looks so utterly devastated that it almost makes you want to cry.
“I’m sorry that I can’t do more.” Your mind struggles to comprehend what he’s said, and all you can manage to say in the face of his obvious sorrow is,
“The sacrifice worked?”
He blinks at you in obvious surprise before nodding,
“Yes. That’s why you’re here.”
“Then, does that mean the drought is over?” you ask, thinking back to the gaunt faces that had stared back at you a mere day before, the desolation you saw in their eyes. You look up at the river god, feeling a glimmer of hope rise above all of your confusion. Although they had stood by and watched, you couldn’t find it in yourself to hate or even blame your former neighbors — what could they have done? Your death — was this death? — could save countless lives, and had they stood against the orders of your yangban then surely worse would have befallen them.
The river god looks even more taken aback as he finally answers you.
“I— well, I could try. If that’s what you want.” His confusion and curiosity are written all over his face as he regards you, and you almost want to laugh. For a god, he seems so… innocent, almost. You can’t quite find the words. You find yourself smiling, though not entirely mirthfully, as you fold your hands in your lap and bow your head.
“Please, don’t let my sacrifice be for nothing.” When you lift your head, the river god’s eyes have a gleam you haven’t seen before, and the smile on his face is relaxed. He nods his head.
“I’ll do what I can.” You smile in relief and, after watching his expression for a moment more, captivated, remind yourself that it would be rude if you left all the rest of your food untouched. However, as you lift your chopsticks, you find yourself hesitating.
“Could I… could I ask you something…?” you realize you have no clue how to address the god, and he suddenly flushes slightly, as though he’s only just realized it himself.
“Yes, of course. And— Wonpil. You may call me Wonpil.” As you open your mouth to question him about his name, momentarily shocked by the familiarity, you’re reminded of what Misun had said the night before.
“Then, it’s only fair that you call me Y/N,” you say, feeling strange even as you say it. It’s obvious that Wonpil can sense your discomfort, but he slowly accepts your response.
“As you wish, Y/N.” You feel a shiver run down your spine at the sound of your name rolling off of his tongue — not an unpleasant one, but one that surprises you nonetheless. Hurriedly, you avert your gaze, feeling your face heating up as you do. You take a deep, steadying breath before you look up once again, meeting his gaze as your original question falls from your lips,
“Wonpil, am I dead?”
“It’s hard to say,” he says, shifting his weight from side to side nervously. The rest of the attendants seem similarly tense at your question, and you bite the inside of your cheek.
“The best way to put it is that your body has to adjust to the spirit realm. The longer you remain here, the less human you’ll be, and the more divine you’ll become.”
“Oh,” you say, “I see.” You gaze down at the food in front of you, remembering how Wonpil said he had no need for food, and wonder how long it will be before you cease to be mortal. Truth be told, you want to ask just that — but the overwhelming tension in the room has you holding your tongue. In an attempt to dispel it, you lift your chopsticks once more, reaching for one of the many side dishes, only to be interrupted by Wonpil speaking once more.
“If there’s nothing else, then I’ll leave you to your meal, Y/N.” You feel a shiver run down your spine again, and look up to find he had risen without a sound, his robes fluttering around him despite the stillness of the air.
“Thank you, Wonpil.”
However, as you watch him turn away, you find your curiosity getting the better of you one last time:
“One more question, actually.” He turns from his place in the doorway.
“I— well, I was just wondering,” you say, unable to maintain eye contact under Wonpil's steadfast and curious gaze.
“Are we… are we actually married, then?”
When you manage to glance up, you find yourself almost amused at how bad he is at hiding his surprise at your question. His ears take on a tinge of red as he clears his throat, wide eyes flitting away from you for a moment.
“Well, that's— yes. That's part of why you can't just go back to a normal life.” For some reason, his response makes you shrink down into your seat, casting your own gaze downward.
“Don’t worry!” he suddenly blurts, and when you look up he has that same anxious, rabbit-like look on his face, with his eyes blown wide and cheeks pink. “I’m not expecting anything of you, it just means you’re under my protection. Actually, you’re under the protection of everyone in this palace…” You glance around at all the attendants, who all bow their heads in deference as your gaze sweeps over them. You think of the lavish clothes and bedding; the abundance of food prepared especially for you; the care with which you’ve been treated. His words from before come back to you more forcefully, your impending divinity raising yet another question,
“What does that make me, then?” Wonpil smiles softly at you, his gaze at once luminous and pitying as he delivers his reply:
“The goddess of this river.”
yangban — “part of the traditional ruling class or gentry of dynastic Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The yangban were mainly composed of highly educated civil servants and military officers—landed or unlanded aristocrats who individually exemplified the Korean Confucian form of a ‘scholarly official’ (Wikipedia).”
mu — “The general word for "shaman" in Korean is mu (Hangul: 무, Hanja: 巫). In contemporary terminology, they are called mudang (무당, 巫堂) if female or baksu if male… (Wikipedia).”
hwarot — “a type of traditional Korean clothing worn during the Goryeo and Joseon Dynasty by only royal women for ceremonial occasions and later by commoners for weddings (Wikipedia).”
daenggi — “a traditional Korean ribbon used to tie up and decorate braided hair (Wikipedia).”
jokduri — “a type of traditional Korean coronet worn by women for special occasions such as weddings.”
yeonji gonji — “pink/red dots [worn by the bride-to-be] on their cheeks to chase away ghosts and keep the wedding sacred (Wikipedia).”
honju — “the person presiding over the marriage in the family (The Talking Cupboard).”
gungnyeo — “a Korean term referring to women waiting on the king and other royalty in traditional Korean society (Wikipedia).”
“-nim” — “[as an affix is] used towards someone who is revered and admired for having a significant amount of skill, intellect, knowledge, etc. and is used for people who are of a higher rank than oneself (Wikipedia).”
sesugan — “the department in charge of the king and queen's washing and bathing (Wikipedia)...”
sokgot — “The general term used for undergarments regardless of the gender (Feeding My Procrastination WordPress)…”
hanbok — traditional Korean clothing.
jeogori — “is a basic upper garment of the hanbok (Wikipedia)...”
surasang — “The set of three tables [for the main meals of the day,] usually set with two types of rice, two types of soup, two types of stew (jjigae), one dish of jjim (meat stew), one dish of jeongol (a casserole of meat and vegetables), three types of kimchi, three types of jang (장) and twelve side dishes, or called 12 cheop (12첩) (Wikipedia).”
suragan — “a room specifically used for taking meals, with the king seated to the east and the queen to the west (Wikipedia).”
libertarian longposters get the thog don’t caare
chuck e cheese is not a restaurant ive made up my mind
on hiatus for a bit while I get myself away from negative comments about my body
“I swear, my employees are ridiculous. An island explodes and they just stare slack-jawed at it, as opposed to making the effort to understand why it happened.”
I got IICHLIWP IMAX tickets!! excited :)
AAAAAAAAA I CAN'T FOCUS IN THE CLASS IM SO LOST PLS KFIKEIEKFMFJFNJ