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Always In My Heart – Chapter 14

Chapter 14

Joy And Sorrow Within The Palace

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That summer, as Shin had promised to Young-ah, the Royal family and Chae Kyung’s immediate family went on a camping trip. *(Camping is not promoted by the government or tourism but it is becoming more popular) They spent two nights and three days relaxing in Gangwon Province near Mangsang Beach.  Shin’s parents and grandmother even came to join them.  Shin made sure to rent two big recreational vehicles for the Royal family and Chae Kyung’s family.  Chae Kyung’s parents, Chae Joon and Chae Kyung shared one of the vehicles.  Sleeping in tents would be too inconvenient for the Royal family.  Even Chae Kyung’s parents wanted to sleep in a luxurious recreational vehicle rather than inside a tent.  Shin said that he would camp in the tent with Young-ah and Ji Woo, because it would be a good experience to “rough it” so to speak.    Of course the children loved sleeping in a tent.  Shin regretted sleeping on the hard ground, but he saw how happy the boys were having that he just accepted it.  Chae Kyung had to give Shin a back rub each evening in the RV before he went to sleep in the tent.

As Chae Kyung rubbed Shin’s back she said, “Omo, Shin goon why don’t you ask Seung Jo to sleep with the children instead of you?”

“Seung Jo already sleeps in the tent next to us.  Gwenchana (It’s okay), it’s only for one more night.  As long as you give me a nice massage, I’ll be fine,” smiled Shin with his eyes closed.  After a few minutes of being rubbed, suddenly Shin flipped over and grabbed Chae Kyung and hugged her tightly.

“I miss sleeping with you next to me, Bingung.  Next time, we’ll just get our own RV and let the kids sleep with the grandparents.  Does that sound good to you?” Shin grinned from ear to ear.

“Yah!  Our parents are right outside roasting marshmallows with the children.  Don’t you try anything, Paehya!”  Chae Kyung said nervously.

“Wae? (Why?) Do I make you weak in the knees?” grinned Shin.

“Andae! (Don’t!) Not now…I’m too nervous with everyone outside,”  Chae Kyung got up to point to the door.

Shin just shook his head back and forth and thought in his head, “Only you would make me so frustrated.  ‘Araeso, araeso… (fine, fine…), but next time I won’t let it go,” grumbled Shin.

Everyone had so much fun that Shin decided that they should have an annual camping trip every summer at the same campground.

The summer and fall seasons came and went by so quickly.  Shin was busy with his Royal duties.  Shin decided to also work on tourism and opening up more campgrounds for people to enjoy. Chae Kyung continued with her charity work and continued designing clothes for her Fashion Design degree part-time.  She mostly enjoyed watching Young-ah and Ji Woo grow up so quickly before her eyes.  They had private tutors to help them get ready for preschool the following year.

Right before Christmas, Kang In had finished his military duty and had arrived back home to be with Hyo-Rin and Suzy.  He went back to work for his father’s company as the Vice-president in marketing and sales, but he wasn’t happy working in the business world.  He mainly worked in his father’s company to please his father.

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At Christmas time, Yul came home for a reprieve to enjoy time with the Royal family.  Ji Woo was so excited to see his father.  Yul missed Ji Woo so much that they spent most of the days playing on the Palace playground with Young-ah and Chae Kyung.  Yul’s mother and his in-laws spoiled Ji Woo with so many gifts that Christmas, but Ji Woo only wanted to play with his father.  He didn’t care about the toys.

“Appa, when will you be coming back home to stay with me for good?  “Bogo shipuseoyo. I miss you,” pouted Ji Woo.

Yul felt terrible having to leave Ji Woo, but he knew it was his duty to finish his military service.  He tried to console Ji Woo by letting him know that he thought of his son everyday and that he needed to be patient.

“Good things happen to those who wait, Ji Woo.  That is a proverb that you must learn,” said Yul.  “Try to be patient for your appa, okay?”

Ji Woo only nodded his head yes with a sad expression.  He loved his father very much so he listened to Yul’s every word.

Kang In worked in his father’s company for three months.  By the following year, he handed in his resignation by the end of March.  He told his father that while he was in the military, he truly enjoyed working in the espionage department.  At first, his father was disappointed in Kang In, but realized that Kang In needed to be happy with his life decisions.  Eventually, his parents accepted Kang In’s new role as the Supervisor of the Security Division for the Palace.  Kang In was in charge of security within the Palace and in making any arrangements that needed to be done outside of the Palace.  He made reference checks for all new bodyguards and handled their training and schedules within the Palace and whenever the Royals had to leave on their engagements outside of the Palace.

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Kang In was Seung Jo’s supervisor and after Song Min Joon was done with his training under the government for the NIS, he was hired to work in the Palace to assist Kang In with security.  He became Princess Hye-Myeong’s personal bodyguard whenever he wasn’t busy helping Kang In.  Princess Hye-Myeong was so happy to see Min Joon again as a Palace guard and also as a friend.

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By April, Young-ah’s third birthday came and went.  Although, Shin and Chae Kyung had initially agreed to get fertility treatments after Young-ah’s third birthday if Chae Kyung was not with child, they changed their minds.  The doctors suggested that Chae Kyung keep track of the days she was ovulating and to plan their “alone time” between those days.  It became cumbersome for both of them because they had such busy schedules.  They didn’t want to have shots to increase ovulation and they definitely didn’t want to go through invitro-fertilization.  They wanted to have their baby naturally, so they refused to go through any more tests.  They agreed that their main focus was their immediate families and taking care of their Royal duties.  Chae Kyung and Shin were happy with having Young-ah as their only child.  Raising both Young-ah and Ji Woo satisfied both Chae Kyung and Shin as parents.

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Shin’s father, King Lee Hyeon was becoming weaker with each passing day.  That summer in July, the Royal family were able to have their second annual camping trip.  King Lee Hyeon and the rest of the Royal family and Chae Kyung’s family had another enjoyable time camping and fishing, especially the children.  Yul was still finishing his military duty.  This time, Kang In, Hyo-Rin and Suzy came along as Shin and Chae Kyung’s friends.

The Royal family shared an RV with Princess Hye-Myeong, Chae Kyung’s parents shared an RV with Chae Joon and Shin and Chae Kyung had their RV to share with the boys.  Shin decided that this summer, he didn’t want to sleep on the hard ground.  The boys were just happy to get out of the Palace to go have some fun time with their families.  The Royal family had rented two additional RV’s.  One was for the male bodyguards, Seung Jo, Min Joon and two others.  The second RV was for Court Lady Choi, Court Lady Kwok and Court Lady Park.  The court ladies helped watch over the children and the Royal family.  Chae Kyung’s father, Nam-Kil and mother, Ye-Jin enjoyed making the meals for everyone since Nam-Kil was still the chef at the Palace.  The court ladies also helped with cooking as well as Chae Kyung and Hyo-Rin.  There were so many people on this Royal family camping trip that they needed as many people willing to help.

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Kang In and Hyo-Rin brought their little dog, Nun Mungchi (Snowball).  After going on a short hike with the children, everyone sat down for a break while having milk and cookies.  Young-ah was having so much fun with the little dog that he was asking his appa if he could have a puppy.

Chae Kyung liked the little dog too.  Whenever Young-ah and Chae Kyung went to visit Hyo-Rin and Suzy, they loved playing with Nun Mungchi.

“Shin goon, let’s get a puppy too,” pouted Chae Kyung.

“Yah!  Bingung Mama, do you really have the time to take care of a puppy?  Besides all of your duties as the Queen, you must be a devoted mother to the Crown Prince and a devoted Aunt to Ji Woo,” argued Shin.

Chae Kyung made an unpleasant face for being scolded.  Chae Kyung knew Shin was right.  She scrunched her nose and sighed, “Araeso.  Young-ah, your appa is right as usual.  We will have to wait for a puppy.  Maybe, when you are a little older, then you can take care of the puppy all by yourself.”

Young-ah made a pouty face too.

“Listen to your appa, Young-ah.  He is right about taking care of a puppy.  They need  lots of attention and love, which your eomma feels she needs to give to you and Ji Woo,”  Chae Kyung hugged Young-ah to console him.  “Gwenchana? (Okay?), smiled Chae Kyung.

Young-ah pouted but said sadly, “Gwenchana.”

Suzy chimed in to say, “Young-ah you can come over to my place and play with Nun Mungchi anytime.  This is better for us because then we get to see each other more as friends, okay?”

Young-ah smiled and said, “Maja (Your right).  I like going to your house to play.  You’re so smart Suzy.  You’re my best friend.”  Young-ah then walked up to Suzy and gave her a big hug.

“Hey!  What about me?” Ji Woo cried.

“Ji Woo, your my best friend too,” said Young-ah.  “We will always be the best of friends.”

“Ne (Yes).  We will always be friends…together…forever!” laughed Suzy while raising both her arms in the air.

All three  children put their arms around each other and went to get Nun Mungchi a doggie snack.

After their milk and cookies break, those who brought bikes went riding around the campground.  Shin made sure to help Young-ah learn how to ride a bike while Chae Kyung helped Ji Woo with learning how to ride his bike.  The boys were at first very wobbly, but after many tries, they were getting the idea on how to ride  the bikes.  Having the training wheels was especially helpful.  Young-ah wanted to have them taken off, but Shin said when they had more time he would take them off at the Palace.

Later that evening, everyone got together to have a big barbecue dinner.  Nam-Kil had grilled lots of beef and chicken and made some of the side dishes the day before to bring on the trip.  Everyone enjoyed lettuce wraps and then the children enjoyed singing songs and roasting marshmallows over the campfire.

After a few hours of eating and talking over the campfire, Shin told the boys that they needed to go to bed early if they wanted to go fishing the next morning.

“We have to get up just before the sun comes up to catch the best fish, Young-ah and Ji Woo.  Gaja! (Let’s go!)  Bedtime!”  said Shin as he slapped his knees to get up from sitting.

“Okay!”  both boys said excitedly.

“Bingung Mama and I are going to go to bed early too.”

Shin pointed to Chae Joon and said, “Chae Joon agreed that Young-ah and Ji Woo could sleep with him,” said Shin.  Chae Joon looked confused and mouthed, “I did?”  It would be something that Shin would do to boss his younger brother-in-law around.

“Yay!  We get to sleep with Uncle Chae Joon.  He likes to play wrestling with us.  Let’s go have some fun with Uncle Chae Joon, Young-ah!” said Ji Woo happily.  The boys were jumping up and down and grabbing Chae Joon’s arms to get him to go to their RV for some wrestling fun.

Shin grabbed Chae Kyung’s hand and they walked to their RV with just the two of them sleeping in it.  Chae Kyung was dragging her feet slightly because she knew what her husband was up to.  When Shin closed the door behind them, he looked sheepishly at Chae Kyung.

“Yah!  Shin goon…how could you be so bold in front of everyone?”  Chae Kyung said nervously.

Shin came up to Chae Kyung and grabbed his wife by her waist to bring her closer to him and said, “Don’t you remember last year I told you that I was going to get my alone time with you,” smiled Shin.

“You are such a caveman, Shin goon!  You make me feel so embarrassed in front of my family and friends,”  Chae Kyung said angrily, but before she could say another word, Shin kissed Chae Kyung’s lips passionately and forcefully.

Chae Kyung suddenly stopped herself from thinking about her embarrassment and followed Shin’s lead.  His kissing always made her melt in his arms.

In another instant, Shin and Chae Kyung were lying on the bed looking at each other intently, then Chae Kyung spoke, “I don’t know what it is about you that makes me so hypnotized.  I think it’s your eyes and your cute smile.”

Shin started kissing Chae Kyung’s neck and unbuttoning her blouse.

“Or maybe it’s the way that you make me smile instead,” giggled Chae Kyung because she was feeling ticklish from Shin’s kisses.

“Yah!  Ms. Airhead…you talk too much,”  Shin said in his deep sexy voice.  “Your spoiling the mood.”

“I’m sorry, I won’t say anything again,”  said Chae Kyung.

Shin knew how to make her feel relaxed and comfortable.  Although, Chae Kyung  couldn’t promise Shin about not saying another word while making love to each other.

That summer’s camping trip was one very memorable family trip for everyone.

The camping trip was a month ago.  Coming back to the present, Chae Kyung was sitting in a chair in her bedroom remembering about the past four years of her marriage to Shin.  It was another hot day in August just like in Macau.  She couldn’t believe how much had happened in the four years since she was with her husband, Shin.  Instead of coming back to the Palace as two college kids, Shin and Chae Kyung became parents and within three years, Shin became the new King.  Chae Kyung stood up to place their wedding photo back on top of her dresser.  She was getting ready for their anniversary dinner at an exclusive restaurant that Shin arranged.  It was located not too far from the Royal Palace.  Seung Jo and three other bodyguards were assigned to join them.  There were no more threats since Young-ah’s Dol and everyone in the family was well, except for Shin’s father.

Shin and Chae Kyung were having a romantic dinner in the restaurant when Seung Jo got an emergency call from Kang In.

“What!” screamed Seung Jo.  “Ne, we will bring the King and Queen immediately back to the Palace.”

“Paeyha, we must leave now.  Yugamimnida (I’m sorry; sympathy), but your father, King Hyeon was watching one of his favorite movies, when he fell unconscious,” Seung Jo said with great sorrow.

Shin and Chae Kyung immediately got up and ran to the Royal limousine with two bodyguards in front and two bodygards following from behind them.  Seung Jo drove the car to the Palace as quickly as he could without causing an accident.

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Both Shin and Chae Kyung were very worried.  Chae Kyung held Shin’s hand in hers as they drove quickly all the way back to the Palace.  Shin and Chae Kyung were dropped off at the front of the Palace.  They both ran as quickly as they could to be by their father’s bedside.  Yul was still serving his time in the Navy, but was sent word on the King’s condition.

Kang In was already at the King’s bedroom door when Shin and Chae Kyung came running.

“I’m sorry, Shin,” said Kang In. (Kang In called Shin, Paeyha only if he was in front of others who were not close family or friends.  Even Hyo-Rin called Chae Kyung by her first name, unless there were others not in their circle of friends or family.)  “We will wait outside.  Let me know if you need anything.”  Then Kang In and Seung Jo waited outside the door, as Shin quickly opened the door.

When Shin walked into his father’s bedroom, he saw his mother, his sister, Princess Hye-Myeong and his grandmother weeping quietly sitting on one of the couches in the bedroom comforting each other.

Shin and Chae Kyung stood by his father’s bed.  The doctor who was there gave the sad news to the King and Queen.

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“Yugamimnida, Paeyha and Bingung Mama.  Your father the late King Lee Hyeon most likely passed away while watching a movie.  At least he had no pain when he left this world.  He just fell asleep,” said the doctor.

Shin looked at the doctor and then he looked at his father’s face.  His father did look as if he was just sleeping peacefully.  Suddenly, Shin fell down to his knees and Chae Kyung knelt down beside him to help comfort him.

Between his tears he cried, “Saranghaeyo, Abeoji.  I will try my best to make you proud of me as your successor.  Now, you can rest in peace with Halabeoji.  I will miss you dearly.”

Chae Kyung cried with Shin.  All she could do was be there for Shin.  Chae Kyung held Shin in her arms to let him cry out his tears.  She wept quietly with him on the floor.

After a while, Chae Kyung and Shin walked up to Jeungjo Halmeoni, Omeoni and Eonni to pay their respects and to give them hugs too.

“Yugamimnida, Jeungjo Halmeoni, Eomma and Eonni,” cried Chae Kyung as she bowed to  all three women.  They in return nodded to Chae Kyung to thank her for showing her respects.  Then everyone hugged each other and cried quietly for King Lee Hyeon. Shin hugged all three women also.  He held his mother in his arms for quite some time.  Poor Hwang Hoo Mama was in such deep sorrow.

Shin and Chae Kyung thought it would be best to not let Young-ah and Ji Woo see their grandfather.  They thought it might be too traumatic for a four year old to see their grandfather lying dead. They preferred that the children remember their grandfather when they spent wonderful memories of him alive.

Later that evening, Yul was able to leave his Naval station to see his father, the late King.  Shin and Chae Kyung left the King’s bedroom when Yul came.  They said their hello’s and gave their sympathy’s to each other.  Chae Kyung still did not know that Yul was Shin’s half brother.  Before, Yul left for his military duty, he and Shin agreed to tell halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama and Shin’s mother that Yul knew King Lee Hyeon was his biological father.  Halmeoni and eomoni were both not surprised.  They both said they had a feeling that Yul was Hyeon’s son because of his past with Hwa Yeong and Yul’s uncanny resemblance to Paeyha Hyeon. They decided to give Yul his privacy to pay his last respects to a father, he hardly knew.

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When Yul looked at his father, he started to cry and was saddened to know that he wasn’t able to get to know his father better.  He wanted to thank him for everything that he did for him and his mother.  Yul knew that King Lee Hyeon cared for him from remembering the times that they had spent together from their personal walks and conversations.  He could imagine how hard it was for his father to not be able to see him.  Yul missed seeing Ji Woo everyday while he was doing his military duty.  He realized that his real father probably felt terrible for not being able to see Yul also.

King Lee Hyeon’s funeral was a very sad day indeed.  Just as Eun-Hee’s funeral was over several days, so was King Lee Hyeon’s.  The first day the public could go to their own personal places of worship to say prayers for the King.

On the second day, King Lee Hyeon’s body was taken from the funeral home to be cleansed and then taken to a temple in Seoul.  Many dignitaries from all over the world came to pay their respects to the late King.  Shin gave a very touching eulogy for his father describing his father’s undying love for his country and family.  His father  worked very hard in helping to establish the country’s fine arts in the visual and performing arts.  He loved going to art museums, listening to Opera and watching movies that reflected the country’s culture.  Shin vowed to continue his father’s endeavors in those areas as well.  The citizens of the Republic of Korea were also touched and surprised when Shin mentioned that King Lee Hyeon enjoyed fishing and camping with the family.  He was so glad that his father could join them on the last camping trip just one month ago.  Shin wanted to emphasize that his late father was just like any other man with a family.  He loved and cherished his time with his family and wanted nothing more than success, love and happiness for his children.  Shin vowed to be a hard working, dedicated and humble King, just like his father.  Yul also gave a eulogy to thank the late King as a loving Unlce.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t tell his secret that King Hyeon was also his father.  That hurt Yul more than anything.

From the temple, King Lee Hyeon’s casket was taken in a hearse down the main streets of downtown Seoul to his final resting place at the Palace burial grounds.  The Royal limousines followed the hearse to the Palace, while crowds of people watched from the sidewalks.  Only a few close friends and family were invited to the burial.  Afterwards, there was a luncheon for the guests in the Royal dining room.  All the staff were on hand to help watch over the family and guests.

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When everyone else left after the burial for the luncheon, Shin stayed behind to say one last prayer for his father and to thank him for being a good husband to his mother, a loving father to him and his sister, a loving grandfather to Young-ah and Ji Woo and for embracing his wife, Chae Kyung from the very first day he met her.  His father loved Chae Kyung and had secretly told Shin to always keep her in his heart.  The first time that his father invited Chae Kyung to watch one of his favorite movies, he knew that Chae Kyung was a very special girl.  After the movie was done, the King asked to speak to Shin privately.  Chae Kyung had already walked back to her room.

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“Taeja, I can tell that Bingung Mama will be a loving and devoted wife and mother to you and your children, just like your eomma.  Even though your eomma is not as…should I say  ” informal” with her words, Bingung Mama is neomu gwiyeowo (so cute) just like your eomma. Bingung Mama makes me smile when I see her cuteness.  You should help her to adjust to the Palace rules, but try not to change her cute personality.  I think this is what makes her charming,” smiled King Hyeon.

Shin was smiling to himself when he remembered his father’s conversation.  Just then, Chae Kyung came from behind to give Shin a back hug.  Shin turned around to hug his wife back.

“Did you know that my father loved you dearly?” asked Shin.

“Ne(Yes)…he has told me many times that he was so glad that I accepted the marriage even after seeing how you treated me in the beginning of our marriage.  Your father may be a very quiet man, but he was very observant of everything that was happening in the Palace,” she said.  “Your mother is the same way.  She notices many details.”

*(In Korea, one year is added to the actual age because the thinking is that when the baby is born, he/she is already a year old.  The year is added at the beginning of the New Year and on your actual birthday, it is just considered a celebration.  Not like in other countries, where the year is added on your actual birthday.)

Although it was still Summer, the atmosphere and feelings in the Palace felt very cold with King Lee Hyeon being gone.  By early September, Young-ah and Ji Woo were considered four years old already.  Shin and Chae Kyung wanted to put the boys in a private preschool and then from there they would go into Kindergarten.  Since Kang In worked for the Palace, Suzy’s schooling would be paid for by the Palace as part of a benefit for working in the Palace.  Hyo-Rin and Kang In were happy to have Suzy join the boys because they knew that the Princes’ personal bodyguards would help to watch over their own daughter as well.

Shin asked Kang In to reassign Seung Jo as Young-ah’s bodyguard and Min Joon was Ji Woo’s new bodyguard.  Princess Hye-Myeong would have a different bodyguard assigned to her.  Princess Hye-Myeong was sad to lose Min Joon, but she knew Ji Woo should have one of the best bodyguards possible and she was confident that Min Joon was the best, besides Seung Jo.

Chae Kyung’s high school friend, Kim Soon Yeung had just finished her degree in Early Child Development and was certificated to teach preschool.  She got hired as a new teacher at the preschool that the children were going to attend.  Soon Yeung was so excited to have the young Crown Prince and young Royal Prince attending their school.

When Chae Kyung went to enroll the children in the preschool, Soon Yeung was wondering where the children were and if Royal Prince Eui-Sung was coming to visit.

“Yul goon is still working in the Navy.  Shin and I have guardianship of Ji Woo until he comes back on leave from the Navy or when he comes back permanently to the Palace,” said Chae Kyung.  “Wae? (Why?) Are you interested in Yul goon as a possible boyfriend or something?” asked Chae Kyung with a bit of an attitude.

“Ani (No),” Soon Yeung shook her head feverishly.  “I just thought he might be interested in seeing the preschool before bringing Ji Woo here.”

With a straight face Chae Kyung told Soon Yeung, “Well, just give me a tour of the school and I’ll think about bringing my precious babies to your school.”

Soon Yeung bowed to Chae Kyung when she saw one of her bodyguards approaching the two of them.  “Of course, Bingung Mama.  Come this way.” Soon Yeung was forgetting that Chae Kyung was the Queen of their country.  She had to remember to talk to her friend formally in front of others.

“I’m just teasing you, Soon Yeung.  Show me where Young-ah and Ji Woo’s classroom will be,” joked Chae Kyung.  Chae Kyung then grabbed her friends arm as they walked around the school grounds with Soon Yeung feeling more relaxed seeing her friend as just her old school friend again and not the Queen of their country.

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“Yah, Chae Kyung!”  yelled Soon Yeung.  “Quit playing with my emotions.  I am going to be your children’s teacher.  I get to decide whether they go onto Kindergarten or not,”  Soon Yeung was being serious with Chae Kyung.

One of Chae Kyung’s bodyguard looked at Soon Yeung strangely as if to say,”Should I trust this girl?”

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By the following week, all three children were being dropped off in front of the preschool in the Royal limousines with Chae Kyung and Hyo-Rin.  It was just like when Shin was being dropped off at the high school.  Everyone was staring at the children as each one came out of their limousine.  The first limousine had Chae Kyung, Young-ah and Ji Woo with Seung Jo as the driver and Min Joon, sitting in the front passenger seat.  The second limousine had Hyo-Rin and Suzy with the extra bodyguards as driver and passenger in the front of the car.

All the children and parents were looking in awe.  Chae Kyung came out of the car and then she held Young-ah’s hand with her left hand and Ji Woo’s hand in her right hand as they went walking.  Hyo-Rin and Suzy came out of the second limousing and Hyo-Rin held Suzy’s hand as they walked to their classroom to meet their teacher, Ms. Kim Soon Yeung.  The children were excited, but also scared about meeting their teacher and schoolmates for the first time.
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Young-ah, Suzy and Ji Woo

As Chae Kyung and Hyo-Rin went walking with the children to their classroom, the other mothers and fathers took pictures of the adorable children and pictures of Chae Kyung, the Queen and her friend Hyo-Rin.  There were like celebrities or KPop idols.

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At first, Young-ah and Ji Woo were afraid to be left at school.  They asked Chae Kyung to stay just for awhile.  Suzy was not afraid at all.  She was very confident and already had made friends with another little girl in class.  Hyo-Rin had to wait for Chae Kyung because only one of the bodyguards could leave to take back the Queen and Hyo-Rin.  Seung Jo, Min Joon and Ki Woong (a new bodyguard that was hired) had to stay to watch over the little ones.

“Eomma,” whimpered Young-ah.  “Please stay here with me and Ji Woo.  “Jamsi gidalyeojuseyo (Please wait.)” said Young-ah.  Ji Woo nodded his head in agreement with Young-ah.  Please, Auntie?”

“Arasoe (okay).  Don’t worry.  I will stay until I see that you are both happy,” smiled Chae Kyung.

It took less than a half hour for the boys to feel comfortable in the classroom.  Chae Kyung told the boys that she had to go home to help the King.

“Young-ah and Ji Woo, Bingung Mama has to go now.  Appa needs eomma to help him with his work.  I’ll see you in a couple of hours.  You have Seung Jo, Min Joon and Ki Woong to watch over you,” smiled Chae Kyung.  “Saranghaeyo,” and Chae Kyung blew kisses to Young-ah and Ji Woo.  She waved goodbye to all the other children and her teacher friend Soon Yeong.

“Annyeongheekaesaeyo (Goodbye),” said Chae Kyung.  The children and Soon Yeong waved to the Queen as she was leaving.

When Chae Kyung and Hyo-Rin were in the car, Chae Kyung had tears in her eyes.

“Why are you crying, Chae Kyung?” asked Hyo-Rin.

Chae Kyung was sniffling back her tears as she realized that her little Young-ah and Ji Woo were growing up so fast.

“Moolyah (I don’t know), I guess I just realized that the boys are growing up so fast before my eyes,” cried Chae Kyung.  Hyo-Rin said she understood how Chae Kyung was feeling.  She was thinking the same thing about little Suzy.  Both women had to get a handkerchief from their purses to wipe their tears.

The car went over a few bumps on the road that made Hyo-Rin feel uneasy.  She almost felt like throwing up.

When Chae Kyung saw Hyo-Rin make a face as if she was going to throw up, Chae Kyung started feeling the same way.

“What’s wrong, Hyo-Rin?  Are you sick?” Chae Kyung asked with concern in her eyes.  “Seeing you want to throw up made me feel the same way.”

Hyo-Rin just smiled and said, “Gwen cha na (I’m okay).  I wasn’t sure when to tell you Chae Kyung, but I’m pregnant.  I am feeling a bit of morning sickness, especially when I smell certain foods and because of the bumpy roads.  The sudden motion is making me feel sick to my stomach and I feel like throwing up,” replied Hyo-Rin.

“Yah!  Hyo-Rin!  How long were you going to try and hide it from me.  When your stomach is as big as a basketball?  Chukaehaeyo! (Congratulations!),”  Chae Kyung laughed and hugged her dear friend at the same time.

“I wasn’t sure when I should tell you, but now that I’m not feeling well, I figured I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore,” she said.

“So when are you due?” Chae Kyung asked.

“I’m about two months along.  The baby should arrive sometime in March,” smiled Hyo-Rin.

“That’s when Yul comes back from the Navy,” said Chae Kyung.  “I wish I were pregnant now too, so that we could raise our babies together again,” Chae Kyung sounded disappointed.  It still bothered her that she couldn’t be with child.  She loved holding babies and enjoyed watching Young-ah and Ji Woo grow.

That evening  Chae Kyung noticed that she wasn’t feeling well either.  At dinnertime, she didn’t feel like eating and then she asked Court Lady Choi to give Young-ah his bath because she felt very tired.  When she woke up from a nap, she made sure to kiss Young-ah goodnight.  Chae Kyung also realized that she hadn’t had her monthly period for the last two months.  She couldn’t believe that she could be with child because nothing had happened for over a year.  She decided that tomorrow morning she would go to the Palace doctors before letting Shin know for sure.  She didn’t want to be disappointed from the other times that she had thought she was pregnant. Shin was at a press conference to promote Korean dramas with one of the popular television stations in Japan at a five star hotel.  Chae Kyung decided that she wouldn’t tell Shin if she was pregnant until Dr. Moon could confirm it positively through tests.

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The next day, Chae Kyung went to the Palace doctors to have a blood and urine test.  It didn’t take long for the doctors to give her the good news.  Chae Kyung was in deed with child.

Chae Kyung was in disbelief.  She kept asking the doctor, “Are you positive?  I’ve been feeling a little nauseous, but not as much when I was pregnant with Young-ah.”

“Every pregnancy is different Bingung Mama,” smiled Dr. Moon.

“Jin cha? (Really?)”  Chae Kyung was in shock, but when it did finally sink in, she texted Shin that she had something important to tell him.

Shin was busy, but he said he could meet her in his office.  Chae Kyung ran all the way skipping and throwing her arms in the air.

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When she got to Shin’s office he was busy at work.  Chae Kyung ran up to Shin and told him that she just got back from seeing Dr. Moon and he confirmed what she had thought to be true.

“Guess what, Shin goon?” smiled Chae Kyung.

“Wae?  I’m busy…so make it quick,” grumbled Shin, while he put his hand over the mouthpiece so that Secretary Kong couldn’t hear him talking to Chae Kyung.

“Yah!  This is important!  Hang up the phone and look at me,” pleaded Chae Kyung.

“Aish…okay.  Listen, Secretary Kong I’ll talk with you later this afternoon.  Okay. Goodbye,” said Shin.  When he hung up the phone, he looked at Chae Kyung with a blank expression.  “What is it?”  Shin was annoyed, but he put down his phone and looked at Chae Kyung’s happy face.

Chae Kyung clasped her hands together and said, “I talked with Dr. Moon and he said I’m pregnant!  We’re going to have a baby next April!  Can you believe it!” cried Chae Kyung.

Shin didn’t want to believe her at first, so he looked at her suspiciously and said, “Are you sure?  Jincha? (Really?).  There were other times when she thought she was pregnant, but she would have her monthly period the next month.

“Jincha!” replied Chae Kyung.  “Jincharoo! It’s really, really true!  We’re going to have another baby!” cried Chae Kyung.

Shin immediately got up from behind his desk, to give Chae Kyung  a big hug.

Shin had the biggest smile that Chae Kyung had ever seen in a long time.

“I’m so happy Bingung!  I don’t want you to do anything until the baby comes.  You are under strict orders to take it easy.  You don’t know how much I want to make sure that everything goes smoothly.”  Shin was serious.

Chae Kyung was so happy that she agreed with whatever Shin said.

“Arasoe. (Fine).” Chae Kyung nodded her head up and down.  “I think this will be an easy pregnancy because I really haven’t been feeling as nauseous as I did with Young-ah.”

“I don’t care.  I want you to be careful and watch what you eat.  Whatever you need, you let Lady Choi and anybody else know,”  Shin was so ecstatic that he jumped in the air and yelled, “Daehanmingug!”  Shin hugged Chae Kyung tightly in his arms and said, “Saranghaeyo, Bingung.  You have made me the happiest man in this whole world.  I love you so much!”  Then Shin gave his wife a passionate kiss to let her know that.

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Shin and Chae Kyung knew that the first trimester was very important as to whether the baby would continue to grow in the womb.  They didn’t want to tell anyone until the first trimester passed.  Chae Kyung pleaded with Shin if she could tell Hyo-Rin because Hyo-Rin was also pregnant.  Shin agreed that she could only tell Hyo-Rin and Kang In.

“If your two months pregnant, I’m thinking you got pregnant while we were on our camping trip,” Shin smiled deviously.

“Yah!  Who cares?  I’m just glad that I’m pregnant.  But, your probably right Shin goon.  You were so passionate that night,” Chae Kyung said sheepishly.

Shin smiled proudly and was thinking, “Umm…I know…I’m the man.”

That evening at the dinner table with the Royal family, Chae Kyung didn’t feel like eating again.  She only wanted to have some bread and water.  Bland food made her feel better.

Jeungjo Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama noticed Chae Kyung’s eating habits and immediately grinned at Chae Kyung.

“Bingung Mama, are you feeling well?  I noticed you haven’t been eating these past couple of days,” said Great-grandmother Tae Hoo Mama.  “Are you pregnant?”

“Aniyo (No.)”  Chae Kyung shook her head feverishly.  She looked at Shin for support.

“Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama, we will let the family know if she is with child,” replied Shin.  “Don’t worry.  Bingung will let everyone know if we are positively having a baby.”

Jeungjo Halmeoni Tae Hoo Mama just smiled to herself and was thinking in her head, “I know I’m right, but I’ll just let it go until you make your announcement.”

Fall was beautiful that year.  The leaves changed into beautiful colors of red, orange, brown and purple.  By the end of September, Shin and Chae Kyung were at Seoul Hospital to have an Ultrasound.  Since Chae Kyung had difficulty getting pregnant, Dr. Moon wanted her to have her Ultrasound by the end of her third month.

“We just want to make sure that the baby is growing properly and that we can hear a good heartbeat,” Dr. Moon said kindly.

Shin vaguely remembered the first time he heard Young-ah’s heartbeat.  It brought chills up his spine and he remembered having tears in his eyes from knowing that there was a life inside of Chae Kyung’s stomach that was a symbol of there love for each other.  He remembered seeing the tiny head and odd shaped body.  Young-ah had his thumb close to his mouth.  He was already a thumbsucker like Chae Kyung.

When Dr. Moon and the nurse had everything in place, they turned on the sonogram monitor and looked at the machine.  Everyone could hear the, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh sounds beating very fast.  But then Dr. Moon had a concerned look on his face as he was looking at the monitor.

Chae Kyung noticed Dr. Moon’s expression and said, “Wae gurae? (What’s wrong?)  Your making me feel nervous, Dr. Moon.”

“Look at the monitor Paeyha and Bingung Mama,” Dr. Moon said smiling.  “I see two separate heads and two separate bodies.  You have twins, Bingung Mama!”

“What!!!” both Shin and Chae Kyung screamed at the same time.

“How can that be?” said Shin.  “We didn’t take fertility pills or did anything differently.”

“Well, I know twins does not run in the Royal family, but Bingung Mama do you have twins in your family roots?  (*Twins are normally passed down genetically on the maternal side of family.) “Do twins run on your mother’s side as well?” asked Dr. Moon.

“Oh, maja (that’s right).  My grandfather had an identical twin brother, but so did my mother.  She has an aunt and uncle who are fraternal twins.” replied Chae Kyung.  “Omo…I’m going to have to carry two babies in my tummy?” cried Chae Kyung.

“What about me?  I’m going to have to try and carry two babies in my arms?” Shin said in shock.

“Don’t worry…you both will adjust and you are both lucky to have so many people who will help you,” laughed Dr. Moon. *”Since you are pregnant with twins, your actual due date will be in March because with each multiple, the gestation period is shorter.  There’s not enough room for the babies to grow full term.  We will be keeping a watchful eye on your pregnancy, Bingung Mama,” replied Dr. Moon.

Both Shin and Chae Kyung hugged each other and were crying tears of joy.  Shin and Chae Kyung were too excited to keep the news to themselves.  They called Secretary Kong to ask the Royal family and Chae Kyung’s family to come to the Palace living room.  They wanted to make an important announcement and then to have a huge banquet to celebrate with both families in attendance.

That evening Shin and Chae Kyung had everyone in suspense.  Jeungjo Halmeoni already had a suspicion on what was going to be announced.  She was smiling from ear to ear.

As soon as everyone was sitting in their chairs including Young-ah and Ji Woo, Shin and Chae Kyung held hands as Shin said very calmly with a big smile, “Bingung Mama is pregnant with twins.  They will be due to arrive in the middle of  March.”

“Omo…omo!”  Chae Kyung’s father Nam-Kil was saying over and over.  “This is exciting news!”

Shin’s mother nodded pleasantly and stood up to hug her son and daughter-in-law.  “Chukaehaeyo, Paeyha and Bingung Mama,” she said as she hugged them one at a time.

Shin and Chae Kyung thanked Shin’s mother as they hugged her back.

Jeungjo Halmeoni beamed with pride and said, “I knew you were pregnant, Bingung Mama.  I made sure that Secretary Kong put a stimulant in Paeyha’s tea every chance he could.”

“Yah!  Halmeoni, not in front of the children,” Shin said with embarrassment.

“Eomma, does this mean that you are going to have two babies in your tummy?  Am I going to be a big brother?” asked Young-ah.

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Chae Kyung nodded with a smile to Young-ah and said, “Ne.  Are you happy?”

“All right!” Young-ah said excitedly.

“I’m so happy for you Auntie,” smiled Ji Woo.  “Can I help take care of the babies with Young-ah?” he asked.

“Of course, Ji Woo-sshi,” smiled Chae Kyung.  “I’m going to need all the help I can get in taking care of two little ones.”

Princess Hye-Myeong and all the Court Ladies said their congratulations to Shin and Chae Kyung also.  Everyone was so happy for Shin and Chae Kyung.

Jeungjo Halmeoni was so glad that the Monarchy was growing even more.  She decided that her husband, King Sungio had chosen Chae Kyung not only for her exceptional and normal upbringing, but maybe also to have a better chance of having more Royals to be born in the family.  Her husband was very smart, indeed.

The Royal couple made a public announcement to all the citizens by Chae Kyung’s fourth month of pregnancy.  Chae Kyung was already showing quite a bit due to her having twins.  As the news spread of Chae Kyung’s pregnancy and that she was carrying twins, the whole country was very supportive and excited for their King and Queen. Shin and Chae Kyung were in the newspapers and on television almost on a daily basis.  Shin would only let Chae Kyung attend a few engagements as a couple.  He didn’t want to take any chances with his wife and unborn babies safety.

Chae Kyung had to stop going to school and even had to limit how much she could help at the hospital and school she liked to spend time at.  Shin was worried about diseases and possibly Chae Kyung getting sick from the children’s colds and flus.

Chae Kyung was sad, but she understood that these two little ones in her stomach were very important to her and Shin and the future Monarchy.  She spent many days playing with Young-ah, Ji Woo and Suzy.  Hyo-Rin and her spent many days together talking about their pregnancies and playing with their children while they could.  Once the babies came, the children could possibly become jealous from not having as much time with their mothers.

At Christmas time, Yul was able to come home for almost a whole week.  He celebrated a belated birthday with Ji Woo and he was able to spend Christmas at the Palace.  Yul was also able to watch the children perform Christmas songs at the preschool.

After the performance, Yul made it a point to see Ji Woo’s teacher, Soon Yeung to thank her for everything that she had taught him so far.  Ji Woo always mentioned to his appa how much he loved his teacher.

“Appa, I want you to meet my teacher the next time you come home.  She is so yeppeoda (pretty).  I think she will be a good eomma for me too.  I love her sooo much.  I think you will like her, appa,” smiled Ji Woo.

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Yul met Soon Yeung after the performance was done.  He walked up to her to thank her for teaching and taking care of his son at school.  Soon Yeung was so shy and nervous when Yul/Royal Prince Eui-Sung came to greet her.

“Gomsamnida, Ms. Kim Soon Yeung,” said Yul and then he bowed to her.  “Thank you for all that you have done for my son while I have been gone working on my military duty in the Navy.  Ji Woo speaks highly of you.  He especially likes how you have helped him to learn his alphabet.  He is actually starting to read, which I am so proud of.  I understand that you are also teaching the children English.”

Soon Yeung bowed back to Yul.  “Ne, I am just teaching simple conversational English such as hello and thank you,” she said.  “I am still learning English myself in the evenings after work.”

“I know English pretty well, since I lived in England for over thirteen years.  We can practice our English together if you’d like once I come back from my military duty.  Would you like to meet for coffee sometime?” Yul asked.

Soon Yeung couldn’t help from being excited.  “Sure!  Just tell me when and where and I’ll be there,” she said with enthusiasm.

Yul was smiling from ear to ear.  Although, he didn’t notice Soon Yeung during high school, he liked her devotion to her friends and her students.  He also liked her determination in learning the things that interested her.  Yul could tell she put her whole heart into whatever she wanted to accomplish.  She was actually cute in her own way.

It was already early March when Yul came home for good to the Palace.  He was given a few weeks to just relax and then he would begin helping Shin with Royal duties and engagements.

Kang In had to help with planning the security for an awards banquet at Seoul University.  Shin was to present awards to students film projects who received accolades from other professors and students in their film department.  Unfortunately, for Kang In, Hyo-Rin was very close to having the baby any day.  Chae Kyung was also expecting the twins.  Shin demanded that Chae Kyung stay home at the Palace.  Shin wanted Kang In to stay home with Hyo-Rin, but Kang In refused saying that if Hyo-Rin did have her baby, he could get Seung Jo to take over.  If he needed to meet Hyo-Rin at the hospital, it was very close to the film department.

As Shin was presenting the awards at the banquet, Shin received an emergency phone call from Secretary Kong.  Chae Kyung was complaining that her back hurt and that she was feeling contractions every five minutes.  Shin said that he would be on his way at Seoul University Hospital immediately.  He told the Dean of the Film Department that he had no choice but to leave the banquet in the Dean’s hands to finish.  He kept saying he was sorry, but his wife would be arriving at the hospital to deliver the twins.  Shin needed to leave as soon as possible.  The Dean wasn’t upset at all.  He was very understanding and wished the King and Queen good luck in the delivery of the babies.

“You must go to be with your wife, Paehya.  I understand completely,” the Dean said kindly.  “I can take over from here.  When I announce why you have left the banquet, everyone will be cheering for you,” he smiled and bowed to Shin.

Since Shin was leaving with Seung Jo to meet Chae Kyung at the hospital,  Kang In went home to be with Hyo-Rin and Suzy.

As soon as Shin arrived at the hospital, he saw Chae Kyung being wheeled into the delivery room.  Dr. Moon didn’t want to take any chances with the babies.  They would try to have Chae Kyung deliver the babies naturally, but just in case, there were doctors on stand by for a cesarean.

No more than a minute later, Seung Jo popped his head into the delivery room.

“Paeyha, I just received a text from Kang In.  He will be arriving with his wife, Hyo-Rin to have their baby right now!  It looks like the both of you are going to have babies on the same day,” smiled Seung Jo.

To be continued…

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8 Comments
  1. O.O!!! Omo!!! Twins >.<!!!! WOW!!! Nice Chapter bigungmama… I really liked the story…..

  2. Nella permalink

    Yeayy!!! Finally Chae Kyung got pregnant again. Hahahahahha

  3. julyssa permalink

    Oh Gosh I am soooooooooooooo EXcited! yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  4. I’m so happy that everyone is anticipating the twins. Will they be fraternal or identical? Boys or girls or one of each? Should I post a poll?

  5. I bet it’s fraternal: a boy and a girl… hahaha…
    Yes bigungmama, try posting a poll…. let’s see what others think about it too… ^_^ i’m sooooooooo excited for the next chapter…. >.<

  6. novchime permalink

    Hello Bingungmama, I liked this Chapter. Finally pregnant and with twins! Also nice account of their camping activities and of course the special time in the RV when the baby was conceived! And compliments on Young-ah… he looks very cute. Good luck with the next chapter.

    • I was going to wait until my poll end on Sunday to start on the next chapter, but it seems unanimous on what the twins will be. I’ve come down with a bad cold so hopefully the next chapter will be done by next weekend. Thanks again for everyone’s nice comments.

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