Title : Cinderella and His Joker
Type/Status : Chaptered (2/~) on going
Pairing : KyuHyuk (Cho Kyuhyun/Lee Hyukjae)
Side Character : (girl!)Park Jungsu – Choi Siwon – Kim Heechul – Kim Ryeowook – Kim Junsu – Shim Changmin – Choi Minho more to come
Rating : PG-13
Genre : Romance – AU!19centuries - slight!humor
Summary : He’s a young man from an aristocrat family. Being told to work in such an early age, leading a big trading company on his back, he’s life is no different with Cinderella. But different from Cinderella, instead of pushing him away from his prince charming, his step mother want something else… But he didn’t want a prince charming… he wants a joker instead…
fic requested by alexanderfannie
Anxious… That was what Hyukjae felt when he knocked on the door of his mother’s room and opened it after he heard his mother gave him the permission to do so. It was rare to have his mother calling him for a talk and Hyukjae somehow felt something fishy was going on.
Everything seemed to be fishy on his eyes since his mother and brothers went home from their trip. His mother’s annoyed expression, his brothers’ regretful one… It was weird.
His mother was sitting on the couch next to the big glass door that connected the room with the balcony and Hyukjae saw her gestured him to sit across her. Hyukjae sat on the single couch that was placed facing his mother’s couch while his mother poured some tea for him.
“Is there anything you want to talk to me, mother?” Hyukjae asked as his mother placed the cup of tea in front of him while she smiled as she said nothing about it.
“Want sugar?” She asked as if tried to change the subject but Hyukjae didn’t seem to be interested with the tea. “I just want to talk to you about…things…” She said while Eunhyuk raised one of his eyebrows but he chose to just do what his mother wanted.
“Okay.” He nodded in understanding and he saw his mother grinned at him. “So, how’s the trip, mother?” He asked. “Did you have fun?”
“No, actually. It was horrible…” His mother said bluntly.
“Did the party disappointed you, mother? Or someone was being disrespectful to you?” Hyukjae asked again, being a good son he was while his mother shook his head. It has been years since his father left them but there were still times when other nobles looked down at his mother being widow for two times already. Leeteuk might be not his birth mother but Hyukjae promised his father that he would take care of her.
“The party was fun… It’s just… What do you know about North Kingdom, Hyukjae?” His mother asked back while Hyukjae recalled what his teacher once taught him about the others kingdom. He remembered his teacher taught him that there were four kingdoms that ruled all part of the land, North, South, East, and West Kingdom.
Each one of the kingdoms has it own territory but the outer part of the land like the ocean was excluded and it belonged to none of the Kingdoms. Each kingdom lived with the rules that were created by each kings but there was some rules that were made based on agreement that the kingdoms made together due to the fact that each kingdom couldn’t live independently and they needed other kingdoms to survive.
North kingdom who ruled the north side of the land was one of the richest and independent kingdoms he knew. The leaders of the north kingdom were well-known as the smartest leaders ever lived and the kingdom itself was famous as the center of education and knowledge. Even thought Hyukjae was proud with his kingdom which was the South Kingdom, he couldn’t lie that the North Kingdom was better from any other kingdoms in some aspects, including his own kingdom.
Kingdom that was rich with both human and natura resources. Strong kingdom that could even ruled the other three kingdoms if they wanted to. Good ally and reliable partner… North Kingdom was sure the best kingdom of all.
Hyukjae had been there for twice or thrice for his company’s sake. He recalled that most of his colleagues were come from the North Kingdom and they had big deal in the growth of Hyukjae’s company.
“Not much, mother.” Hyukjae said after a while and his mother nodded a bit.
“Have you met the royalties?” His mother asked and Hyukjae shook his head as an answer. “But, you know them, right?” His mother asked again and Hyukjae shook his head for the second time.
“Mother… What’s with the North Kingdom that bothers you so much?” Hyukjae dared himself to ask. “Is this related to your disappointment on your trip?”
“It’s not that! It’s your brothers who annoyed me!” She said as he huffed, forgetting the manners that she should maintain as a noble while Hyukjae found himself amused by his mother’s act. “They disobey my will! What a nice sons!” She said.
“What they did, mother? Maybe I can do it instead of them.” He said and he could see the change on his mother’s eyes. It sparkled in a flash… How fascinating…
“You really will do it?” His mother asked in excitement while he started to doubt his own words. There was this heavy thought in his brain that kept telling him to take back what he said before but he didn’t have a heart to do it as he saw how excited and happy his mother was.
“I’ll do my best to fulfill your wish, mother. Whatever it takes…” Hyukjae said and he found his mother threw her body to him in joy as she pulled him in a big bone crushing hug and squealed like a little girl.
“THANK YOU! THANK YOU, HYUKJAE! I KNOW YOU’LL DO IT FOR ME!” She said in joy while Hyukjae had to ask her once more about what that thing that her mother wanted so badly.
“Hyukjae… What do you think about being weeded to the crown prince of North Kingdom?” His mother asked and Hyukjae’s eyes widened in an instant.
“WHAT?!” He exclaimed in shocked while his mother winced a bit as she felt her ears were hurting due to Hyukjae’s loud voice.
“I was asking you about…”
“Mother, I heard enough.” Hyukjae cut his mother’s words while the lady looked at him with slightly anxious expression. “Are you trying to arrange a marriage for me?”
“It’s not that, Hyukjae!” His mother said almost instantly while Hyukjae only stared at her, asking for further explanation. “Well, they said that the crown prince is searching for a partner and everyone try so hard to impress him since he attended the party as well. I told your brothers to do the same but they refused because they have been in a relationship already! How could they passed that golden chance so easily?!” She explained while Hyukjae ended up recalling his thoughts about his brothers’ lovers.
Heechul hyung was in a relationship with a young noble from the West Kingdom, Hangeng. The said noble was the son of one Hyukjae’s colleague and they met on a party that Hyukjae’s mother held to celebrate the New Year’s Eve. Hyukjae was the first one who knew Hangeng and he was the one who introduced Hangeng to Heechul, so basically he was the one who set them up.
Hangeng hyung was a nice person and Hyukjae wondered how he ended up falling for Heechul hyung because Heechul was his complete opposite. Hangeng hyung came frequently to their mansion when he tried to court Heechul hyung and Hyukjae found him as a nice company to talk about business and others.
Ryeowook, his younger brother was engaged to a noble who was also come from the South Kingdom, Kim Jongwoon. Jongwoon himself was a great friend of Hyukjae and they have been friends since their childhood time. Jongwoon’s father who as the right hand of the king was a friend of Hyukjae’s father and they frequently met each other while Jongwoon and Hyukjae tailed them from behind.
Jongwoon was years older than him but it didn’t stop them from being a great friend and it was funny how Jongwoon fall for Ryeowook the first time he met him. Both Jongwoon and Hangeng treasured his brothers so much and Hyukjae could see from his bare eyes that they were madly in love with their partners. There was no way Heechul and Ryeowook would throw their relationship away just for courting the said crown prince of North Kingdom.
“I only ask you to court Prince Siwon, that’s all!” His mother said and Hyukjae assumed Siwon was the name of the crown prince. “Please, Hyukjae… Do it for mommy, okay?” She pleaded while Hyukjae found himself couldn’t look at his mother’s eyes.
“Please just say yes, hyung…” He remembered what Ryeowook said before he went to his mother’s room and he nodded after a while. Thinking about it… He didn’t have anything to lose too… He wasn’t in a relationship and it was about time for him to search for partner for life. He indeed was too young for marriage but marriage itself was a long progress and it was perfect to be started on his age.
“Fine…” Hyukjae said, finally giving up to his mother’s will. “I’ll do it…” He continued and he was pulled into another tight hug from his mother.
“OH MY GOD! HYUKJAE! YOU ARE THE BEST!” His mother exclaimed while Hyukjae forced himself to show her a smile. “I’LL GO GET THE SERVANTS PREPARE YOUR BELONGINGS!” She said excitedly but Hyukjae stopped her.
“It’s fun you know to live without boundaries.” Junsu said. “You have nothing to tie you down and in the end you’ll rely on your guts and brain to take your decisions. You have no one rely on you and if you fail no one is disappointed to you. Make friend with everyone you want… Even now the only thing that keeps me around is my contract as your private tutor.”
“I’ll do it in one condition, mother…” Hyukjae said.
“Anything, sweet heart! Anything!” His mother said in excitement, waiting Eunhyuk to reveal his wish.
“I want to go there by myself…” Hyukjae said.
“Are you sure about this, hyung?” It was Ryeowook who asked him when he was stuffing his bag with his clothes while Hyukjae only smiled as he nodded a bit.
“It’s been a while for me to have a break, Ryeowook-ah…And I always want to travel like this.” He said as he placed the gold coins that his butler prepared for him down on the bottom of his bag, under his clothes. He didn’t bring food on his trip because the food couldn’t be kept for the long trip and he preferred to buy food every time he wanted to eat.
The sun hadn’t rise yet but he already finished his breakfast and he was ready to start his trip. His mother and his brothers sent him off from the mansion and Hyukjae bid his good bye to each one of them. His mother pulled him into a hug as she whispered him to be safe on his trip while his brother smiled gratefully at them as he talked to them.
“Take care of the company while I’m away, okay?” Hyukjae said to his right hand who also send him off from the mansion while the said man nodded in silent. Hyukjae knew he couldn’t rely on his family when it comes to the company and he had no choice other than handing it to his right hand. The middle aged man has been working for the company even when his father was still around and Hyukjae knew he could rely on him when he was away.
The sky turned brighter and Hyukjae knew he had to go anytime soon and he did. He made his way leaving the mansion, following the path that would lead him to the city hall. The city hall was crowded with people as he arrived there, people started their activities and the market was opened already.
He went there to buy some breads and fruits for the day and he took his time on asking the seller how he could reach the North Kingdom by walking. The seller told him that it would take a long time for him to reach the North Kingdom because the road was awfully long. They said that some of the sellers who went to North Kingdom to buy their supplies used horse carriage to shortened the time and it would be better if Hyukjae ask them for a ride but Hyukjae refused politely, saying that his plan from the start was travelling to the North Kingdom by feet and he didn’t really mind the time that he would spend.
They told him that most part of his way was forest and they warned him not to wander in it during the night, even on the early evening after the sun set. They didn’t warn him about that beast that he could possibly meet there… They warned him more of the bandits that were hiding in it. The said criminals were famous for attacking the traveler who passed the forest by night and some of the sellers claimed that they once be their victim.
They said the bandits attacked in a large number, leaving no chance for the victims to fight back because he was outnumber and he would take everything that they brought, food supplies, money and left him with nothing but their clothes. They would tie their victims on the tree and disappeared, leaving the victims alone, hoping the other travelers would pass and helped him the next morning.
They didn’t hurt their victims or kill them but the sellers said they rather died than being left alone, tied in the trees. They said it was too frightening to be true, knowing they were defenseless against the beast that could approach them anytime possible and the quietness of the forest made him crazy to the core.
They told Hyukjae that if he walked fast enough, he would pass small villages each night and he could stay there before he continued his road in the morning. They said the villagers were already used of having the travelers in their house and it would be easy for Hyukjae to get a place to stay the night.
They packed Hyukjae breads and fruits for his lunch but refused when Hyukjae offered them money while Hyukjae thanked them for the nth times before he left. He made his way to the Kingdom’s entrance gate and by the time the sun appeared fully from behind the mountains, he already out of the kingdom.
He followed the path that would lead him to the forest and he passed some of the sellers that were on their way to the South Kingdom. The sky was bright and the air was really fresh… He breathed the air deeply, liking the way it freshened up his lungs. “Air of freedom…” He mumbled as he kept on walking to the forest.
By the time the sun was up in the sky, he already entered the forest. It was empty and quiet but it sure looked nice and pretty. It was spring and flowers bloomed, decorating the forest in colors. He sometimes saw mountain rabbits or squirrels on his way and once he saw tiger passed a bit far from him but instead of coming closer, he ran away from Hyukjae. Maybe the tiger thought that he was a hunter who was after her and decided to run away.
The sun had gone down from the sky when Hyukjae went out from the forest and he could see a small village that was surrounded by corn field by the upper hill. He smile knowing that he had pass his first day of travel without any difficulty and the sky was still as bright as before when he reach the village and the sellers were right, the villagers welcomed him open handedly as he ask for a place to stay the night.
Hyukjae spent the rest of his afternoon by helping the villagers on their work. He thought working in the fields like that was way more fun rather than sitting on the chair, reading pile of papers full with agreements and digits. The lady that gave him a place to stay at night invited him for a dinner and Hyukjae couldn’t feel better as the whole family of the lady treated him like he was part of them. They were nice person… Hyukjae thought as he excused himself for bed and the family wished him a nice rest as he went to his bed. It was sure a lovely day… He thought.
The sun had appeared when Hyukjae continued his journey. The family that gave him place to stay the night had stated the day before that they didn’t want to receive anything from Hyukjae and they were happy on having Hyukjae in their house but before he left the house, Hyukjae left some gold coins (that was worth foods for more than a week – Hyukjae was rich, okay!) on the dinning table secretly.
He was a bit late as he continued his walk but he was sure if he fastened up his walk, he would catch up by the noon and he could reach the next villages before the sunset. He fastened up his walk but he had to stop by the lunch time because the rain was pouring down and he didn’t want to risk his health by continued walking but he knew he won’t get out from the forest before sunset.
He was right, the sun disappeared from the sky before he could get out from the forest and in a snap the lovely forest turned into a night mare. He searched for dry branches (which were a bit hard since it was raining before) and he managed to make a torch from it, thanked God he learned science and joined the scout from young nobles when he was younger.
He could hear noises from around him, signaling he wasn’t alone there and anxiety started to fill his mind. He started on fastening his walk but it only expand his anxiety because the way out was too far to be true.
Paranoia started to reach him as he saw bats came out from the cave, flying above him and wolfs howling in hunger. Panic occupied his mind every time he heard the noises became louder than before. He was about to run but he stopped instead… Two men were standing in front of him.
“Where are you going… Marco Polo?” One of them asked as he lowered the hood of his cloak. Those guys in front of him were taller than him and both had a long black cloak covering his body from shoulders to toe.
The one who lowered the hood of his cloak had this devilish smile as he scanned him from head to toe. It was like he knew by looking that it would be a feast coming right away. Hyukjae was dressed in ordinary clothes that his butler had prepared him but even it looked different from the clothes that people used, it was still look way more expensive than the averages clothes were.
“What’s with the Marco Polo thingy, Minho?” The other one asked as he lowered his cloak’s hood as well. Hyukjae could see their faces clearly but they didn’t seem to mind it. They both looked way younger than him but still they had this kind of gaze that made Hyukjae gulped a bit.
“No reason… I just want to use it to scare this boy… He’s a traveler too like Marco Polo.” The Minho guy reasoned while the other one just snorted as he rolled his eyes from his friend.
“Marco Polo is a sea traveler, dumbass.” He said as he chuckled as if he looked down at the guy beside him while the other one frowned a bit.
“Don’t act like you’re smarter than me, Changmin!” He exclaimed while they ended up having a glaring competition, giving Hyukjae the opportunity to runaway that he used right away.
Hyukjae tried to step backwards slowly, trying to be as far as he could from the two guys before he run away, dragging his feet on the ground instead of stepping on it to avoid the branches that he could created a crack sound if he stepped on it.
He was late to runaway… He was about to run when his back hit something firm and board that he knew wasn’t a tree and a knife made his way an inch to his throat… AGAIN!