Pairings: Kyuhyun centric, there will be various pairing/friendships, main wonkyu though hankyu, eunkyu, kyumin, changkyu also present. Also Hanchul, Eunhae, Minsu, and so many others I can't actually remember them all.
Genre: Historical, humour, angst, romance
Rating: PG-13 (I looked it up!)
Warnings: There will be character death (near the end though), plus some characters will have really sad endings (for spoilers watch the drama!) and also will probably add smut sometime.
Summary: Kyuhyun gets hit by a car and wakes up not in the the body of a 25 year old computer analyst like he expected but in the body of a 16 year old noble boy in the Qing dynasty. Confused and annoyed he then ends up entangled in the lives of the Princes he had learnt about in history class, as well as one of the messiest battles for the throne in China's history.
A/N: This is a SuJu version of the drama Bu Bu Jing Xin. I don't know whether anyone has written one before, if they have let me know, I'd love to read it! I will be sticking to the plot quite closely, I am in no way amazing enough to think up all this, I will change some stuff and add side stories of some characters that I love to bits and wanted developing more. I have no idea why I decided to post this. I think my love for this drama and Kyuhyun one day decided to drive me crazy. Also this is un-betaed.
He was falling. He hurt all over and everything was a blur. The noise of his body hitting the ground as it fell down the stairs was loud. When he stopped falling he heard voices shouting. His head felt like lead and he couldn’t fully comprehend what was going on around him. He’d just been hit by a car hadn’t he? Then why was he falling down stairs? Unable to open his eyes wider than a couple of millimetres and only seeing bright blurry colours surrounding him he quickly fell into unconsciousness once again.
The next time Kyuhyun awoke his vision seemed fuzzy. Raising his head and looking around he saw that he was in a traditional room with no modern day technology in sight. There was a round table situated in the centre of the rectangular room and a sitting bench on the far wall. Cabinets lined the sides, with delicate boxes and trinkets perched on top, calligraphy and lanterns adorned the walls.
‘Where am I?’ he studied the room while shakily getting up off the bed and slipping on some tight slippers left by his bed. ‘Am I in some type of traditional hospital? Why would they bring me here? I don’t even believe in traditional medicine, at least not when I get hit by a car.’ He raised his hands and felt a heavy bandage wrapped around his head. ‘Well, at least I’m awake.’ However he noticed that his hands looked different. They felt different too. In fact his whole body felt strange, like it wasn’t his own, as if he was in a different one. Spotting a mirror, that seemed to just be highly polished bronze, he headed over to it, stumbling over his feet that didn’t feel like his own. His image in the metal, though blurry made him still in shock. His hair which had been short and light brown was now long, well past his shoulders and darker. His face looked 10 years younger, he felt slimmer yet more toned, though he was still curvy in certain places, ‘Even in this weird dream, I have a round butt.’ His skin was paler and smoother to the touch.
This had to be a dream. Maybe he had concussion or was in a coma or maybe he’d just awoken from a coma. This definitely wasn’t reality or at least his reality. Closing his eyes, counting to ten, reopening them, he was still in the same room, in the same body that was his yet wasn’t his.
“Second Miss! You’re awake!” he heard, before a young woman hurried before him. Immediately she started fussing and leading Kyuhyun back towards the bed, “You’ve only just woken; you should get back to bed. You don’t want to hurt yourself Second Miss.”
Kyuhyun let himself be lead until something registered. “Wait. Who are you calling Second Miss? Second?!” He wasn’t really surprised by the Miss, he saw himself in the mirror; he’d probably mistake himself for a girl if he wasn’t 100% sure that he was a man.
“Who are you?” he demanded of the startled girl.
“I… I’m your servant, Sunny.”
Curiously staring at the girl and scanning her head to toe, he realised she may be able to give him answers to some of his questions.
“Where am I?”
“In your room.”
“My room where?”
“On the 8th Princes estate.”
“On the 8th Princes estate? What 8th Prince?” Getting frustrated at the stupid answers he started to pace around the room. “Prince? There are Princes? What dynasty is this supposed to be?” This had to be a joke. A prank.
“It’s the Qing Dynasty, Second Miss.” The girl, Sunny, said panicked. Her master seemed to have lost his mind.
“This is joke, right? A tv show? Where are the cameras?” He started looking around the room more hurriedly, trying to see a camera but not finding a single thing that looked less than 300 years old, or rather it was new but not modern, his modern, 21st century modern. What the hell was happening? “You’re acting, right? You must be acting!” Running up to and starting to examine a distressed Sunny.
“Second Miss, what are you saying? Why are you being like this?”
“What time is this?”
“It’s just gone noon.”
“No, I mean what day, what month, what year.” Kyuhyun was starting to become as distressed as the servant girl.
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Who is the Emperor?”
“The Emperor is Kangin.” A different, smoother, more melodious voice spoke.
A tall, slender, delicate looking man, dressed in fine clothing, with an ornate coiffure had entered the room followed by a man who wore traditional physician’s clothing.
“Mistress” Sunny exclaimed. “Second Miss woke, but he’s acting strange. He asked who I was! Do you think he’s damaged his head?”
“Shush, don’t say that” the well-dressed man cautioned. He approached Kyuhyun cautiously and grasped his hand, instantly calming the agitated boy. “You are Kyuhyun and I am your Gege, Zhou Mi. I’m here now, don’t be afraid.”
Kyuhyun felt complete trust for ZhouMi the moment he saw him. He didn’t know why and he didn’t understand it but he nodded at the older man as he was led to the bed. The physician drew near and grasped the wrist of the hand that was not being held by ZhouMi. After taking Kyuhyun’s pulse the physician turned and addressed elder brother. “He’s in shock. His mind is disordered and his thoughts are jumbled. Let him rest, take his medicine and with time he should return to a normal state.”
“Thank you doctor” ZhouMi bowed as the physician left the room. “Sunny, follow the doctor and get the medicine.”
“Yes madam.” Sunny hurried out after the doctor leaving Kyuhyun alone with his ‘brother’.
Slowly raising his hand and pointing at the other man, Kyuhyun said, “ZhouMi.” The older swiftly nodded while watching the younger with anxious yet calm eyes. “Gege” again the older nodded letting the younger know that he was correct and trying to reassure him that everything would be fine. “What happened? Why am I like this?”
“You fell down some stairs and banged your head. You have been asleep for 2 days and we were worried you may not wake.”
“I definitely remember being hit by a car though” thought Kyuhyun, but he was too tired to argue right now. He said aloud “Thank you gege.”
ZhouMi smiled softly down at his younger brother, happy that he had awoken and seemed to be alright, but realising that his brother needed more sleep; “Sleep, Kyunnie. You need your rest.”
Kyuhyun was bored. He sped up in his walking, hoping break his monotony of walking around and around the 8th Prince’s estate. It had been 2 weeks since he had woken up and had discovered he was 300 odd years in the past. He missed his games, he missed pizza, he missed tv, he missed normal clothes and normal shoes, he missed, he missed, he missed a lot of things. If his whole bizarre scenario taught him one thing it was that he now appreciated his previous life a lot more or his future life or whatever or wherever he used to have his life.
He considered his gege while he marched around the estate followed by a wheezing Sunny. ZhouMi was kind and considerate to him. He paid attention to everything Kyuhyun did and was a perfect sibling. He made sure Kyu had eaten, that he had nice clothes, that he was feeling okay, he smothered Kyuhyun with affection and Kyuhyun was glad that he had his newly acquired brother to look after him in this new environment. His brother spent nearly half his time reading and studying Buddhist scriptures and praying. He was a pensive and calming influence. Kyuhyun had realised, with annoyance, over the past 2 weeks that his brother had not been visited once by the Prince. This 8th Prince, the eighth son of the Emperor, was married to his brother, however he had not once contacted ZhouMi, who was apparently the ‘secondary spouse’. Kyuhyun was frustrated that his brother was left alone all the time. What would his brother be like if he wasn’t there? Keeping him company and giving him someone to talk to and fuss over?
The first week he was here he didn’t leave his room. He was convinced this must be a joke or he was dreaming, also he became dizzy and sick if he left his bed for long. ZhouMi visited him everyday and sat with him for hours, reassuring him and calming him. He was scared if he left his room and saw that this was real then he would go mad. He slowly built himself up until he was brave enough to venture outside. He also had to get used to the food and the clothes and the way of speaking. It was all so confusing and if he hadn’t had Sunny and a brief knowledge of history he didn’t know how he would’ve coped. Now after 2 weeks he was exploring the pleasure gardens that were situated around the estate. He was still convinced that this must be a dream; a dream where he lived in the Qing dynasty.
He had also tried to remember as much as possible about the era he was in. He was under the rule of Emperor Kangin, who had the longest reign in the history of China. He remembered being taught about this man who came to the throne at the age of 8, yet didn’t take control until he was 14 and ruled for 61 years. He was a powerful and much loved ruler who brought stability and wealth after years of war, he suppressed revolts and prevented invasions. He also had many sons, some of whom became entangled in a bitter long drawn out war for the throne. Kyuhyun seemed to have arrived a few years before the divides started falling. The Crown Prince was still favoured and there didn’t seem to be whispers of arguments at court.
Stopping by a koi pond, he let his winded attendant catch up to him, knowing that he couldn’t go anywhere without at least her watching him. He looked down at his feet, exasperated that he had to wear these ridiculous platform shoes. The platforms which were 4 inches tall were situated in the arches of his feet, meaning he had to maintain a straight posture at all times. He fell over multiple times in the first few days of wearing them but now he was even able to walk fast, though he wasn’t planning to try to run in them anytime soon. He wore a long traditional Manchurian gown, which only revealed his head, his hands and the tips of his toes when he was standing still. Underneath it he worn silk trousers which allowed him to walk with easy, they were detailed with a pattern around the outer legs, due to them being seen occasionally, through the slits which ran from the top of his thigh to the ground on the gown, when Kyuhyun was walking. Sunny had spent over an hour doing his hair, having it pulled and tugged while he was required to sit still was not fun. At least he wasn’t required to have a fancier headdress, like ZhouMi’s. He wondered how long he was going to be here for because he was already starting to get to his wits end.
“Second Miss, are you tired? You look flushed. You don’t want to over exert yourself too soon.” Sunny interrupted his train of thought and started fussing over him as she tended to do.
“I suppose we could go back.”
“Your brother should be finished with his readings by now.” She encouraged him, hoping to stop this continuous walking. It was exhausting having to follow the Second Miss everywhere, especially since he had been even more restless following his accident.
“Yes, he should be. Maybe we should take him some tea.” Kyuhyun liked to spent time for his brother. It was the least he could do with everything ZhouMi did for him. “I’m going to test you Sunny. Tell me about my father.”
“Don’t you remember your father Miss?” Sunny looked alarmed.
“Of course I do!” Kyuhyun quickly reassured her. “It’s just a test. What’s his favourite food?”
“What’s Gege’s favourite food?”
Kyuhyun continued his subtle quizzing. He did this often to try and learn as much as possible. He didn’t want the continuously babying that he would subject to if either Sunny or ZhouMi realised how extensive his lack of knowledge was. Sunny he had discovered was his attendant and had been serving him and his family since they were both very young. He was apparently 15 years old and the youngest son of a Manchurian General. He had been sent by his father to stay with his older brother, the second wife of the eighth Prince, son of Emperor Kangin. He thought that Sunny probably suspected he was having trouble so told him anything he asked or explained things every quickly if he looked slightly confused but she never asked him about his lack of memory. It was the unspoken question that he didn’t think she wanted to know the answer to.
He wondered if he should tell them that he wasn’t supposed to be here. That he was from the future, that this whole place couldn’t be real. He did the first day, he tried to tell Sunny, but she told him to rest and that he was still in shock. She became upset and told him to try to be good, to not upset the Madam ZhouMi, to get better quickly for ZhouMi sake. So he held in his thoughts because ZhouMi seemed so delicate and thought of how he would feel if his sibling suddenly declared that he was someone else.
It was best just to blend in for now, he didn't particularly want to be called crazy. To try and work out what was happening and if he would be able to go back to his own time and place. There was no need to cause unnecessary trouble that may end up creating problems. At least the was the plan for now.
Startled, Kyuhyun looked up at his brother. “Have I?”
“Yes.” The older smiled brightly down at the painting Kyuhyun. “You used to be like a wild horse that no one could tame. You seem to have calmed down since your accident and become more mature.” ZhouMi softly stroked Kyuhyun cheek as he sat down next to him. “Father has been trying for years to get you to grow up. It’s why he sent you here at first.”
“Maybe he should’ve tried throwing me down the stairs before.” Kyuhyun joked weakly, trying to not think about how much he had changed – he was a completely different person! His gege just narrowed his eyes in disapproval, so Kyuhyun decided to change the direction of the conversation. “How long have I been here Gege?”
“You’ve forgotten?” ZhouMi quickly asked, eyes suddenly concerned.
“Gege, I think when I fell, I hurt my head quite badly. I have forgotten a lot of things.” Kyuhyun wanted to tell ZhouMi more but didn’t want to be deemed crazy. This was enough to worry the older man anyway. Plus ZhouMi would be happy to tell him everything he needed to know now.
“I think you should see the doctor again. I don’t want you to be hurt. Are you still in any pain?”
“No ge. I’m fine, apart from having forgotten some things.”
“Okay. I will have the doctor visit us tomorrow. To answer your question from before, you have been here 3 months.”
“Why was I sent here?”
“Father has submitted your name for the next maiden selection. You were sent here because you needed to learn some decorum before you entered the palace. After our mother died you were left in the care of the aunts and I was sent to get married. You became more and more uncontrollable, you wouldn’t listen to anyone.”
“When are the maiden selections?” Kyuhyun was suddenly alarmed at the thought of entering the forbidden palace and leaving ZhouMi, Sunny and this place, which he had become rather attached to. To move somewhere completely different when he was still adapting to this relatively safe environment scared him. Also what if he got chosen? He knew what the maiden selections were primarily for!
“You have 6 months until then. I will teach you everything you could need to know. Don’t worry, we have plenty of time.”
Kyuhyun wasn’t exactly thrilled at learning about the maiden selections. He had heard of them. It’s through these that concubines are chosen for the Emperor. He didn’t really want to become one. He just hoped that he was selected as a handmaiden, an attendant to one of the many more senior concubines and that he was placed with a kind one as well. He also knew that if he became a concubine he would never be allowed to leave the palace. Handmaidens are only required to stay in the palace for 10 years, though they are often married off by the Emperor to various officials before their term is up. You couldn’t really argue with the Emperor over marriage, what he said was law, if he told you to marry someone, you did. Also your conduct in the palace directly affects your family, their influence and also your future marriage prospects and influence. Kyuhyun didn’t think there was any way to avoid going to the palace, unless he died. Since his name was already put forward, he didn’t see how to avoid it.
6 months. He had 6 months before the selection. Would he still be here in 6 months? How would he return back anyway? Was he dead or alive? Was he in a coma? How had he ended up here in the first place? He asked all these questions silently to himself for what felt like the millionth time.
Kyuhyun was, for the first time since he awoke in this reality, excited. He felt like a child who was celebrating Christmas. He was out. He managed to convince Sunny after several days niggling to sneak out of the estate. He would have never been able to give Sunny the slip so he had decided to take her with him even though she was worrying the whole time.
“What’ll we do if the madam finds out? What if we are discovered missing? I’ll get punished. You’ll get punished. What if we are attacked? No one will know where to look for us.” Even her constant stream of anxiousness couldn’t put a dampener on Kyuhyun’s mood. It was so exciting seeing the city like this. It was like being in an interactive museum. There was so much hussle and bussle as the stall owners tried to hawk their goods to passers-by and people were hurrying to and fro on their business.
Kyuhyun had always enjoyed history and learning in general. He was always one of the top people in the class though he did tend to focus on science and maths more than the humanities. He thought that wherever he was, if he was in this warped history, then he may as well enjoy himself.
“Get back! Get back!” Shouts were heard as a group of guard started to push through the crowds making a clear pathway through the centre of the busy street. “Make way! Get back!”
“What’s going on?” Kyuhyun asked as he was pushed along with the crowd.
“The Emperor is coming,” whispered Sunny. “Or someone very important is.”
“The Emperor” Kyuhyun whispered back in awe. “Let’s see,” Curious to a fault, Kyuhyun pushed forward to look between the wall of guards arms.
As he heard the sudden clatter of a galloping horse he was suddenly shoved forward by the crowd. He struggled to regain balance in his platformed shoes and fell forward through a gap in the guards and into the middle of the street.
The horse was above him on its back legs as it stopped just before it trampled him. The horse was pulled backwards and the owner looked down on the trembling Kyuhyun.
Sunny rushed forwards as the guards fell on their knees begging forgiveness and she pulled Kyuhyun into a kneeling bow as well.
“Please forgive us 4th Prince. Your Highness, we come from the household of the 8th Prince.” Sunny called.
Kyuhyun was in shock. The horse had been right above him and he’d felt as if his soul had left him for a second. He had been nearly killed again and he had been terrified, but at the same time if he could get his soul to leave this body maybe it would return to his previous one. When he heard Sunny’s plea he looked up at the dark and fierce looking man on the horse. This was the 4th Prince; the one he knew would be the next Emperor. He would win the battle of for the throne, one of the fiercest and longest fights for succession. It led to unhappy endings for many. This man would go down in history as a strong willed, harsh and despotic emperor. Kyuhyun saw a well built, handsome man who was gaining control of his upset horse. The man glared at him, his eyes seeming to see right through into his soul and he quickly lowered his head to look at the ground. The horse was yanked around and then the 4th Prince was gone. He was already cantering towards the palace, having not said a single word.
“Miss, Miss. Second Miss. We should go back.” Sunny quickly pulled Kyuhyun up and proceeded to drag her stunned charge through the crowd, back towards the estate of the 8th Prince.
Sneaking in through the way they had left they were greeted by Luna, one of Zhou Mi’s servants. She hurried over to them. “You’re back! You were gone too long,” she chastised.
“What do you mean too long?” Kyuhyun queried.
“It was discovered that you were gone. I told them that you were resting in your room like you told me to but your brother went looking.” Luna looked close to tears.
“What happened? Did you get punished?”
“No. But the guards…” The frightened girl trailed off.
“What about them?” Kyuhyun was suddenly frightened for what could have happened while he was away.
“They are being beaten.”
Kyuhyun ran towards the servant’s quarters where he could hear the strangled cries of a man and the steady smack of the wooden paddle used to his back. Hurrying around the corner he saw one man huddled on the ground writhing in agony, having already gone through the punishment and another held down to a board while being systematically beaten with a wooden plank.
Before he could get any further towards them, Luna and Sunny grabbed hold of him. “They won’t listen to you Second Miss. They will only listen to their master and if you interfere you will make it worse.”
So Kyuhyun swiftly turned towards his brother’s quarters, wondering how his gentle brother could have ordered the barbaric beatings.
“Gege, how could you order the beatings? It’s inhumane and cruel. It isn’t like you to harm others.” Kyuhyun gushed as he ran into the main room towards his elder brother. ZhouMi’s eyes widened in relief but quickly turned to alarm.
“Hush, Kyuhyun. We are not alone,” Nodding towards an occupied chair.
The person looked delicate but the cat like eyes showed a fierceness that slightly scared Kyuhyun. He was delicately made up and was incredibly beautiful. He could easily pass for a woman and had probably been mistaken as such before. He wore a red gown with silver blossom sown along the edges and his hair was made up in an intricate coiffure with several exquisite jade pins. Kyuhyun took an instant dislike to the arrogance that cloaked the man. He looked at Kyuhyun sharply and spoke softly yet full of danger. “I suppose that means I am inhumane and cruel.”
“Di’fujin, gege, Kyuhyun did not mean to offend you.”
“Stop,” the beautiful first wife told the second. He then addressed them both with a sweet smile, “If a servant does something wrong, then he deserves to be punished. The master should also be punished for not teaching the servant correctly don’t you think? The servants did something wrong so they have been punished. What should your punishment be for sneaking out?” The eldest in the room looked maliciously at the youngest.
ZhouMi fell to his knees and begged, “Please gege, Kyuhyun has learnt his lesson. He doesn’t need to be punished.”
“But you should be punished as well Mimi didi. You were responsible for Kyuhyun yet he has been misbehaving. This reflects badly on you and your control of him. As the Ce’fujin you should have a harsher punishment because of your neglect of your duties - letting your brother bring disgrace to the household.”
“I will take any punishment Heechul gege deems fit. Please let me take full responsibility for all under me.”
Kyuhyun had heard enough. “No. You should not be punished for my behaviour gege. No one should be punished. Besides if my brother takes responsibility for me, surely you should take responsibility for him since you are the Di’fujin and therefore responsible for everyone.”
Heechul started rising up. “You are dishonouring both me and your brother with your insolent attitude.” He raised his hand as if to strike the glaring boy before him.
“No!” ZhouMi sprang up and grabbed Heechul’s arm before it hit Kyuhyun and held onto his hand. Heechul pushed ZhouMi off on to the nearby table.
“Gege,”Kyuhyun hurried over pushing Heechul away while he rushed to his brother who had cried out on his impact with the furniture. Heechul also fell, off balance due to just pushing ZhouMi, however he fell back against the chair, hitting his head against the wooden back.
“Blood!” A maid of Heechul’s screaked, pointing at Heechuls forehead. A pin had been pushed into the skin due to his awkward fall. Several maids rushed to Heechul while Luna and Kyuhyun helped ZhouMi up.
“Get the doctor and take him to his quarters,” ZhouMi calmly ordered while Heechul was helped away but not before he glared at them with a gaze full of promises.
“Gege” Kyuhyun tried to assure ZhouMi but the elder brother had turned and leant on Luna, letting Luna lead him from the room and blanking
his apologetic brother. The younger hurried after his brother. “I am sorry. You are limping. You hit your hip hard on that table; let me tell the doctor to visit you as well.”
“I’m fine. I don’t need to see the doctor. Also don’t worry about the guards; I have already instructed that they are to be tended to by the other servants.” ZhouMi carried on walking towards his rooms flanked by Luna and Sunny, with a remorseful Kyuhyun trailing behind.
When ZhouMi was seated on a chair in his room, Kyuhyun rushed forward kneeling at his brother’s feet. “Gege, please scold me. I deserve to be told off by you. I made Heechul mad at you and I got the servant punished.”
“It’s fine Kyuhyun. Please don’t worry about it.” However Kyuhyun couldn’t help but feel burdened, nibbling his lower lip as his brother tugged him up off the floor and guided him to sit next to him.
“Heechul was so angry though and I just made it worse.”
“The Di’fujin has always made life difficult for Mistress ZhouMi.” Luna helpfully supplied from the corner of the room where she was stationed. “If you don’t mind me saying Mistress,” she quickly added when the brothers turned towards her. “He has never been kind in any way.”
“Hush, Luna. You shouldn’t say things like that about First Madam.” She was quiet after the cautioning words of her Mistress but she was still upset at how he was treated by the older wife.
“Why do you allow yourself to be bullied, Gege? You are talented and beautiful. Why do you live like this? You share your husband, who never visits you and the rest of the household shows you no respect due to the Heechul’s influence.”
“Kyuhyun.” The elder tiredly and weakly tried to stop the youngers ranting. “Please stop.”
Kyuhyun stilled and looked at this weary older brother. “I just wish it was different. You deserve a better life than this.” The elder smiled weakly at his brother’s stubbornness.
“I understand how you feel Kyuhyun. We grew up in the north, in the home of a General, where we could act as we pleased but we are in the capital now, living on the 8th Prince’s estate, part of his household. Everything we do will be reflected on him and we have to follow the rules. Please don’t fight them, it just makes everything worse.” ZhouMi reached out for the youngers hand, squeezing it slightly. “Thank you for trying to defend me, I know you were coming to help me when you pushed Heechul. You can behave however you like in my wing of the estate. You just have to be appropriate outside. I will always let you do as you like but I cannot protect you outside my area.” The words the older man uttered made Kyuhyun happy and sad at the same time. That he was blessed to have this amazing brother who guided and protected him but at the same time uncertain as to where he was or how he ended up here, would ZhouMi love him as much if he knew that Kyuhyun wasn’t his younger brother or at least aware that he was his younger brother. Kyuhyun decided that he would try to be well behaved for this gege he had acquired, this gege who doted on him so much.
“Gege, what if I told you that I wasn’t the Kyuhyun you used to know?”
“I told you. You’ve changed.” ZhouMi smiled widely. “You have grown up and I am so proud of you. I am so happy.”
Kyuhyun couldn’t say anything. He had grown strong feelings towards ZhouMi and he could even say he loved him. Kyuhyun didn’t want to upset the other man who lavished him with love and attention even if it felt like he was lying to him. No one would believe him anyway, they would all think him crazy. So Kyuhyun decided he would look for a way back while trying not to disturb or upset ZhouMi and his life.
It was a few days later that Kyuhyun left his room to see the servants rushing around the courtyard going in and out of the rooms that made up his brothers wing. Everyone seemed to be occupied so he didn’t disturb them while he set off to search for his brother. He found ZhouMi talking with Luna, telling her what to tell the kitchen to cook for dinner. It seemed a lot more food than the two of them could eat.
“Gege, what’s going on?” Luna bowed slightly at Kyuhyun as she exited the room to complete her errand.
“Oh Kyuhyun, you’re here.” ZhouMi smiled slightly at seeing his younger brother. “The Prince is coming for dinner.”
“The Prince? The 8th Prince?”
Nodding, ZhouMi said, “It’ll be the first time you have met him. Please be on your best behaviour, the 9th and 10th Princes will also be eating with us.”
“So we will have 3 Princes eating with us?” Kyuhyun was becoming nervous of doing something wrong. What would happen if he accidently offended one of them? They were royalty and wouldn’t hesitate to have him punished if he did something wrong.
“You need to remember your manners. And also you need to be dressed appropriately. Sunny and Luna will make sure you look perfect,” Gesturing towards Sunnny who had silently entered the room behind Kyuhyun. “Go now. It will take you a while to get ready. I want you to leave a good impression to the Prince.”
The entire day was hell for Kyuhyun. He was dragged to the bath house where he was scrubbed all over and rubbed with scented oils. It was embarrassing to be treated like a ragdoll by a couple of tiny girls. They had massaged him and stuffed him in a constrictive gown which had too many layers (eight!!) and then having his hair pulled until it hurt enough that he thought his scalp might bleed. They luckily didn’t cake his face in too much makeup, apparently he didn’t need it; his skin seemed to be a lot better in this reality causing him to remembered his previous acne affected youth. He was feeling very put out when he got dragged by Sunny to be inspected by ZhouMi.
“You look good,” ZhouMi said in approval.
“I think I might die.” Kyuhyun tried to send his ge a pitiful look. “I’m boiling. Please can I take some of these layers off?”
“The Princes will be here soon. Besides you have the right amount on.”
“Please ge. I’ll be really quick.” Pouting and sending his best puppy look towards the older man.
ZhouMi just laughed in exasperation at his whiney brother.
“The Princes are here,” Luna came running in a moment too soon for Kyuhyun who was a second away from winning over his brother.
“Looks like you will have to suffer then Kyuhyun,” laughed the elder. He then quickly raised himself onto his feet and dropped into a bowed as the Princes entered the room. Kyuhyun followed as all the servants lining the room bowed as well.
“Rise” called the bubbling 10th Prince, letting everyone relax out of their deferential pose. “What were you laughing about brother-in-law?”
“My brother amused me, your Highness.” ZhouMi had adopted a calm mask once again with no sign of his previous cheerfulness. Kyuhyun looked up at the three men who had entered the room and were introduced to him as the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Princes. He had heard about them from history books, they were some of the main players in one of the messiest fights for succession in China’s history. The amount of schemes that all of them were full of would be revealed over the years. He examined them all as they seated themselves around the table and started talking amongst themselves. His eyes were automatically drawn to the 8th Prince, his brother-in-law. The Prince was tall with his hair pulled into a braid hanging down his back. He was certainly attractive, having an aura that drew people’s eyes. His movements were graceful as if every action was part of a never-ending dance. He was soft spoken and his eyes were sharp as they watched what was happening around him, he seemed to be taking in everything and anything. Kyuhyun remembered that Hangeng was known in history books as the ‘Virtuous Eighth’. Kyuhyun watched as the Hangeng’s eyes softened while looking at his wife and as he placed meat in ZhouMi’s bowl, telling the other to eat well. However Kyuhyun knew that this man would fight viciously against the Fourth, he was the only great threat that the Fourth encountered and feared; this Prince must be fearsome to invoke that response from one of the strongest Emperors in history.
“We heard about that a beauty had joined our Eighth brother’s estate, and in seems the rumours weren’t wrong.” Eunhyuk, the Tenth and youngest of the Prince’s addressed Kyuhyun, gaining his attention.
“It’s true, your brother-in-law is very handsome, Hangeng ge,” Yesung, the Ninth complimented.
“Are you enjoying your time here?” the polite yet excited questioning from Eunhyuk earned a smile from Kyuhyun as he wondered what reaction his truthful answer would cause.
Deciding on a more expected and careful answer he spoke, “I am, your highness. It is certainly different to how I used to live. I like spending time with gege yet I wish I could see more of the city.”
“I could always take you out, if Hangeng ge and ZhouMi ge don’t mind,” Eunhyuk’s enthusiastic reply shocked Kyuhyun, who hadn’t expected such an offer but was pleased by it.
“That would please me greatly, my lord.”
“Good!” Before Eunhyuk became distracted by the talk that had started between his two elder brothers.
Kyuhyun took this opportunity to examine the other two younger two princes. Eunhyuk, the 10th Prince was animatedly gesturing, smiling widely flashing his gums, while talking about some horses he’d newly acquired while Yesung, the 9th Prince, listened silently, occasionally giving his input with a low but sharp voice. Both would pledge their allegiance to Hangeng and would help him with his plans. Kyuhyun knew that the battle hadn’t started yet. There was still a Crown Prince - in a few years though he would come into disfavour of the Emperor and be placed under house arrest. The Emperor, angry at his bickering sons would refuse to pick another Crown Prince, leaving the question of who would succeed him open and cause the bickering to turn into full out fighting. Though as they are Princes they couldn’t attack each other in the open, they were still brothers and their father would automatically imprison anyone he caught fighting. So they would scheme behind closed door, plan traps, try and gain support from other Princes, generals, officials, the leaders of the clans that made up the Empire. Kyuhyun wondered whether this was a good thing or not - having a front seat view in one of the messiest in-family battles in history.
In this AU/semi-historical thing I have decided mpreg is possible. Also I have made menxmen relationships and marriages a normal thing. Let’s pretend that homosexuality has never been a problem and that it has always been seen as acceptable.
Also brief explanation about the wives (Kyuhyun would already know this stuff because he learnt about it in history class and I wasn't sure how to put it into the story OTL)
Being called ‘First wife’ or ‘second wife’ doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the first and second to get married to the man (in this case the Prince). ‘First wife’ basically means that they are the ‘head’ or ‘primary’ wife. They are in charge of the whole household, including the Prince’s wing. The ‘second wife’ is the ‘secondary’ or the second most important wife. Di’fujin is the correct title for the ‘primary’ wife and Ce’fujin for the ‘secondary’; I might sometimes refer to them as first wife and second wife (Heechul is the Di'fujin and ZhouMi is the Ce'fujin of Hangeng). The others tend to sort their own rankings, as for their how influential their family is, how many children they have (a son would be a huge boast in standing for instance), how often the Prince visit them as there isn’t a title for third, fourth etc. Concubines would basically be lesser wives. They would be bound to their ‘husband’ as much as a wife would be. Wives tended to be from noble families while concubines could come from lower classes. Also a concubine could be ‘promoted’ to a wife. Children from concubines and wives were given the same status supposedly though who your mother was did affect your standing, as in if your mother was the daughter of a general you got more respect than if your mother was the daughter of a blacksmith.