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3 THE CROWN PRINCE

Crown Princess Consort

I was seventeen years old when I was first entered the Palace.

Among twenty-five daughters of the high-ranking officials, I was selected with two others for the final selection process of the Crown Princess Consort.

My father was not an official, he was only a teacher for the King and the King found out that he had a daughter and asked him to make me participate in the selection process.

Study Hall, King's Residence

"Teacher Kim, I heard you have a beautiful and a very smart daughter," the King heard from Eunuch Song, the one that liked to gossip.

"I'm flattered by your description of my daughter, she is still young and has many things to learn, Your Majesty," Teacher Kim was feeling uncomfortable at the mention of his daughter.

"The Crown Princess Consort selection process will be held in a few days," the King observed Teacher Kim's face while sipping his tea. "I want your daughter to participate in it."

Teacher Kim was shocked by the King's demand but hid his expression it then he knelt with his head down. "Your Majesty, I am sinned to have say this but my daughter is used to live in the rural and has never been taught the etiquettes of the Palace, I am afraid that she is not a suitable candidate for the Crown Prince."

"Raise your head, Teacher Kim," the King cleared his throat. "I have known you for many years and I know what kind of a person you are. You are a very loyal subject of mine; you watch your action and carefully select your words. There is no one else in this nation that I know of is well knowledge as you are and I am sure that you are more than capable to raise a good daughter."

"Your Majesty, since you have a very high regards of my daughter, I could not afford to reject such compliments, however, if you allow me," Teacher Kim raised up his head and looked directly at the King which was a taboo in the Palace.

Eunuch Song saw this and almost scolded Teacher Kim for his action but the King stopped him.

"What is it?" Asked the King.

"Your Majesty, I know well that if a candidate is not chosen to be the Crown Princess consort, she will have to stay in the Palace as she is labeled to be the Crown Prince's woman, here I hope that – if my daughter failed – let her leave the Palace."

"Absurd!" The Eunuch Song was appalled by Teacher Kim's request. Again, the King stopped him and dismissed him from the Study Hall.

"If she is chosen?" The King asked.

"If she is chosen, let her live her life as if she is not restricted by the walls," Teacher Kim pleaded.

"Walls?" The King laughed. "Teacher Kim, I know why you rejected my offer to live in the Palace. You said the same words few years ago – the Palace is a safe place but the people inside have never aware what happens in the outside as these walls guarded them so well that they don't even know if it a safe place or actually a cage," the King stood up and walked towards Teacher Kim. The King bent down and held Teacher Kim's shoulders to make him stand.

"I granted your wishes," the King smiled.

"I am much grateful, Your Majesty," Teacher Kim said while holding his tears.

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