Title: Bu Bu Jing Xin (Startling By Each Step)
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
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 unbetaed.
A heavy mood had settled over the palace. The Emperor wasn’t happy with anything that anyone did and everyone felt the tension that inhabited the court. Kyuhyun and Leeteuk were waiting at either side of Kangin’s desk for any order their master might give. Both were concerned about the ruler’s health since he had been under constant stress since the trip to Mongolia, the death of Luhan and the deposition of Yoochun. His desk was stacked with missives which he read from morning til late into the night and yet the piles seemed to grow. His temper was fraying and many were concerned with the lack of a Crown Prince. If something should happen to the Emperor the country might once descend into the chaos it had every other time no Crown Prince had been selected.
Kyuhyun and Leeteuk flinched and looked at each other as the Emperor pushed a pile of letters off of the desk. He then proceeded to push more off the other side, clearing the desk in seconds.
“Your Majesty?!” Leeteuk spoke quickly, nodding for Kyuhyun to pick up the papers from his side.
“Do not touch them.” Kangin growled lowly at seeing both of them kneeling to clean up the mess. “Do you know what all of them say? All of them tell me to reinstate Yoochun as the Crown Prince.” His servants rose nervously at the foul mood that the Emperor was emanating. Kangin ranted while stalking over to the window leaving Leeteuk to indicate to Kyuhyun to carry on picking everything up.
Later that night Kyuhyun thought of all the pressure that was on the Emperor at this time. He thought about what he knew about this period of time and cursed himself for not studying this period in more detail when he was at school.
As Kyuhyun approached the Emperor’s chamber he was waved to a stop by Leeteuk who shook his head indicating that the tea maid should wait until whoever was in the room left. Muffled voices started to louden.
“You think I will listen to this advice? You must think me a fool if you didn’t realise your ambitions have been obvious all these years.” Kangin was shouting. Kyuhyun’s eyes widened as he wondered who could be in the room with him. The Emperor sounded furious. “You’re scheming in court, planting greater ideas of treason about the Second Prince in people’s ears.”
A thud was heard. The voices dropped to a murmur.
Kyuhyun and Leeteuk stood silently outside the doors when Heejoon the First Prince strode out. His face was red and his expression dark but he didn’t look at either of them as he walked swiftly away. Both servants then slowly entered the room, bowing and greeting their master.
“Your Majesty, some tea,” Kyuhyun offered the refreshment to the clearly agitated Kangin.
“They are all my sons!” He exclaimed, his hands shook slightly as he raised the cup. “I will not willingly harm any of them. Nor allow any of them harm each other. They are blood kin. They should protect each other.” He sighed deeply as he spoke to his most trusted servants. “I do not know what to do with them.”
Kyuhyun watched as the older man seemed to age before his eyes. His shoulders sagged, his face become weary and his eyes sorrowful. The young boy declared his loyalty to the Emperor once more in his heart; he wouldn’t take a side, much like his Emperor wouldn’t. He would support and aide the Emperor as he tried to prevent bloodshed among his children, all of whom he loved.
Kyuhyun was present for another visit that occurred, however this time it would have a greater consequence.
Shindong rushed into the room and knelt before Emperor, brushing his arms in the process. “The Third Prince Seungho is here to see you, Your Majesty.”
“Let him in. Kyuhyun serve tea.”
Kangin received his Third Son after a day of having been badgered by various courtiers and advisors about the lack of a Crown Prince. The man seemed harried and deeply concerned as he didn’t sit when gestured to. Kyuhyun wished he could have been present when they spoke but he went to quickly fetch the refreshments and hoped that he would catch the tail end of the conversation and know what was going on. To know half the facts and to know the outcome did not ease his curiosity and worry. The outcome would play out over a period of several years. What was going on now happened to be more worrying as he fretted about all the things that could happen.
He opened the side door to the Emperor’s chamber with his tray and heard Kangin’s shocked voice. “You are saying that the Second Prince is only behaving the way he is because of the First Prince’s scheming?”
Kyuhyun stilled as to listen for a while before entering properly. He didn’t want to interrupt the conversation and maybe a small part of him wanted to know what would be said.
“Yes, Imperial Father.” Seungho had his head down as if uncertain whether he should be saying this. He looked harried and concerned. Kyuhyun knew that the Third Prince shunned the courts and only came in when he needed to as a prince. The royal disliked the palace and was an academic who immersed himself in the sciences and literature. The Emperor even placed him in charge of the university he opened.
“Do you have any evidence? That is a heavy charge.” There was a warning in Kangin’s speech. No person could accuse a prince, not even another prince, lightly.
“I heard from a eunuch in First Brother’s palace. First Brother and a few Lamas have been meeting in secret. And he has been using Lama witchcraft to hurt Second Brother. It has caused Second Brother to lose his mind.”
“If you knew about this, why didn’t you say anything sooner?” Kangin interrogated his son.
“I was foolish not to have. I thought I shouldn’t have such spiritual beliefs. Also I didn’t expect big Gege to be eying the Crown Prince position. It’s why I didn’t think anything of it when First Brother and the Lamas were close. That was until second ge started to lose his mind.” Seungho swallowed nervously. “I got this information from a eunuch in First Brother’s palace. Only then did I think to report to you.”
Kangin looked deeply disturbed by the idea of one of his children trying to harm another in this way. Kyuhyun knew that the Emperor was a deeply spiritual person who would was suspicious of all kinds of omens.
“If what you say isn’t true, I won’t spare you from punishment.” Kangin informed one of eldest sons. Even though he knew Seungho disliked the court, he happened to remain closest to Yoochun. Both had studied together when they were growing up, Seungho joining Yoochun in his personal lessons with the best tutors as well as with their father. If this was one of Yoochun’s ploys Kangin would not allow it.
Seungho fell to his knees at the accusation. “If I lied to Imperial Father I welcome punishment.”
“Send out my order to have the residence of the First Prince searched.”
“Yes Your Majesty,” Leeteuk bowed before turning sharply and exiting the room, his eyes meeting Kyuhyun’s as he left and he motioned for the younger man to go about his duties serving the Emperor as he went to do his.
Shindong rushed into the tea quarters searching for his younger friend. “Kyuhyun!”
Kyuhyun had been waiting for news since hearing that something had been found in the First Prince’s residence. All the princes had been summoned and Kyuhyun had been unable to enter the court as he was set with the task of preparing for the Emperor when he left. Shindong had promised to tell him any news as soon as he could. All the senior palace servants should know what was happening anyway. Especially the ones who had access to the Emperor as much as Kyuhyun did.
“What happened?” Kyuhyun rushed to greet the eunuch.
“The First Prince has been imprisoned.” Shindong looked flustered.
“They searched and found a doll with the Second Prince’s birthdate on. The Emperor was furious. He sentenced the First Prince to be imprisoned for the rest of his life within one of the lesser palaces for trying to bring harm on his brother as well as greed for the throne.”
Kyuhyun nodded. He knew something like this would happen. He remembered that Heejoon was locked up for some crime that he committed. He hadn’t been aware that in had been because of the suspicion of witchcraft, though the intention and plotting was obviously what would upset Kangin the most.
“Also the Third Prince put forward that the Second Prince should be pardoned because it is clear that the First Prince was the cause for all for his indiscretions.”
“They were hardly indiscretions.” Ryeowook muttered as he neared the two elders. “The Second Prince has been misbehaving and embarrassing the Emperor for years. Any other prince would have been punished 100 times while the former Crown Prince was always forgiven.”
“I suppose. The fact that this has been discovered will be used by the Second Prince’s supporters as an excuse for his misdemeanours and they will push for his restoration to Crown Prince.” Shindong added.
“None of us know what will happen.” Kyuhyun spoke. “Everything is still in motion.”
“That’s true. We should all continue with our serving of the Emperor. It shouldn’t affect us.” Shindong continued readily while by unspoken agreement they split up and went on with their work; Shindong heading back to Leeteuk, Kyuhyun fetching a drink to take to the Emperor and Ryeowook heading for his room.
Jinki rushed into the room later that night as Kyuhyun was back from attending to the upset monarch, Ryeowook was also working at another counter having attended the Emperor earlier in the day.
“Gege, did you hear that the Second Prince only committed all those acts because the First Prince had cast a spell on him?”
“The whole palace will have heard about it by now.” Kyuhyun told the younger.
“It’s scary. I didn’t know that magic could turn a person mad,” Jinki’s eyes were wide as he watched his master go about his work. Ryeowook looked up in amusement at the youngest of the servers.
“I don’t think the Emperor believes in all the superstition; however I think he was more upset by the intention. In my opinion the Emperor just wants to find an excuse to forgive the Second Prince so he can reinstate him.”
“The Crown Prince is going to be reinstated?” Jinki gasped.
“I’m just theorising. Don’t take it to heart,” Kyuhyun said quickly. He didn’t think before he spoke and he slipped. He had been thinking too much recently and his filter was obviously faulty. He had been lucky enough to never say anything that had gotten him into trouble before and he hoped that Jinki and Ryeowook would forget about this. “We have a new tea. Shall I brew some for us?”
“I’ll do it Gege,” Jinki smiled, easily distracted. “You are so strange sometimes. You’re our master; you shouldn’t be making us anything.”
“I just want to be a Gege. Looking after my younger brothers anyway I want.” Kyuhyun sat down as Jinki started to buzz around preparing the tea. Ryeowook moved to sit beside Kyuhyun.
“You do make sense though Gege. His Majesty asked to see Minister Mun Junghyuk.” Ryeowook said.
“I overheard them discussing the election of a new Crown Prince earlier. Minister Mun suggested the Eighth Prince.” Ryeowook spoke lightly as Jinki handed out the tea cups.
Kyuhyun paused in thought at hearing that. His cup halfway to his mouth as his mind raced at this news. If the Emperor was set to reinstate the former Crown Prince, know was not the time for Hangeng to push for the throne. He will just get himself into trouble and anger his father, especially with the mood that the Emperor was in.
As Kyuhyun struggled to get to sleep later that night he debated with himself other what he should do. He couldn’t see by and watch Hangeng get into trouble. The Emperor still loved and favoured the former Crown Prince, Kyuhyun knew this, as well as that the Crown Prince would be reinstated soon. If Minister Mun recommended Hangeng then the Emperor may come to suspect him and turn against him just as he turned against Heejoon. Kyuhyun didn’t think he could bear to sit by and do nothing.
Kyuhyun got out of bed and lit a candle, he knew that he shouldn’t be doing what he was doing but he had to remind Hangeng not to make a move, that to do so at this time would harm him. He sat at his desk and hurriedly wrote out a letter in his neat calligraphy.
He paused as he reread the letter and sighed deeply. History is history.
He slowly folded the thin paper into a paper airplane, breathing on the nose before launching it across the room. No one can change history.
The next day the Emperor summoned the Second Prince. Yoochun entered the room contritely and with an air of humility that he hadn’t previously had. It seemed the few months away from his father’s affections had deeply affected the former Crown Prince. The Emperor waved to Leeteuk to dismiss the servants. As the eunuchs and maids were leaving Leeteuk told Kyuhyun to wait outside rather than go back to the tea quarters.
“Imperial Father, I know my mistakes now. I have thought of them deeply.” Yoochun pleaded on his knees for his father’s forgiveness as Kyuhyun exited the room behind all the other servants, the last to leave and the one to guard the door along with Shindong.
Even as a wise Emperor, he is still a father. Kyuhyun thought to himself as he waited outside. His Majesty will forgive Prince Yoochun sooner or later.
A few days later the Emperor’s mood was still depressed. Kyuhyun knew that the issue of Yoochun and the vacancy of the Crown Prince were weighing heavily on his mind.
“Your Majesty, this summer you declared your like for lotus flower. So I specially dried and ground some into powder to make these snacks. It contains the light and elegant fragrance of the lotus flower.”
Kyuhyun talked as Leeteuk offered one of the small pastries from Kyuhyun’s tray to Kangin. Leeteuk and Kyuhyun exchanged hopeful glances. The Emperor had not been eating or drinking, both of his senior attendants were worried about him. They both held a deep loyalty for the Emperor and cared for him more than others. It was the reason that Kangin trusted Leeteuk as his personal aide and why Leeteuk trusted Kyuhyun enough to let him be the personal server to the Emperor.
They both looked at each other in concern when the Emperor returned the snack after only a small bite. Leeteuk instead offered the tea, hoping to tempt Kangin to drink.
“What did you add to this tea? There is a bitter taste in the dry sweetness.” Kangin looked quizzically at the young boy.
“Your Majesty, Kyuhyun asked me if he could add gingko to your tea.” Leeteuk interrupted the tea maid. He knew that Kyuhyun was not good at explaining his concern aloud. “When I asked him, he told me that he had noticed that Your Majesty had been a little feverish and had a cough. Since it’s not serious you probably weren’t paying attention to it. So we decided to use gingko to make your tea. It’s simple and effective, allowing you to focus on your work and us to care for you. I also consulted the Imperial Physician too. He said that it was alright to do this. That’s why I approved Kyuhyun’s suggestion.”
Kangin looked up at the faces that were drawn with concern for him, all affected by his mood and felt thankful that he was blessed with such good servants. “Kyuhyun, you are really observant. If you show such concern over myself, I’m sure you treated your parents with such diligence and care. With a child like you, your parents are really blessed.” Kangin looked sad at the mention of parents, his might preoccupied with his own unfilial children.
Kyuhyun smiled as Kangin drank his tea and eat the small snack even though he did so slowly. Leeteuk also had a small smile on his face when he placed the teacup and the plate back onto the server’s tray.
“Ever since First Brother has been accused of witchcraft more and more ministers have petition Imperial Father to reinstate Yoochun as Crown Prince.” Sungmin paced Hangeng’s study as they gathered to discuss what to do.
“If Imperial Father wanted to reinstate Second Brother he would have done so already,” Eunhyuk said from his seat at the table in the centre of the room. “He wouldn’t give Second Brother his position back.”
“None of us know Imperial Father’s mind,” Hangeng stated from his position at the side of the room. “If we guess wrong we will make a wrong decision. We shouldn’t make assumptions.”
“Eighth Brother, I just got some news,” Yesung hurried into the room calling for his older brother. “A few days ago, Imperial Father met with Second Brother alone, behind closed doors.”
“What did Imperial Father say?” Sungmin asked, stopping his pacing to stare at his elder brother. “Will he reinstate the Crown Prince?”
“I don’t know. Imperial Father met with him with only Eunuch Leeteuk present. Second Brother was sent back to his residence straight after. Since then; nothing.”
“Does Imperial Father mean to reinstate then? We should enter a petition to stop him,” Eunhyuk cried out as he jumped from his seat in excitement.
“Tenth Brother, don’t be rash,” Hangeng cautioned the younger.
“Eighth Brother, this is important!” Eunhyuk exclaimed loudly. “We should take this opportunity. We can’t lose it! We have been waiting so long!”
“I agree Eighth Brother, we can’t let this go,” Yesung agreed with Eunhyuk.
“If Imperial Father wanted to reinstate Second Brother he would have done so already.” Hangeng told them.
“What Eighth Brother means is that Imperial Father is still undecided,” Sungmin interpreted for the other brothers.
“That doesn’t mean we should wait. We will lose the position of Crown Prince!” Yesung cried out loudly, just short of a yell.
“Eighth Brother didn’t say we shouldn’t try not to change Imperial Father’s stance. Just that he doesn’t think it should come directly from us.” Sungmin defended the eldest brother from the annoyance of the two middle ones.
“Go to the palace and gather news. See which ministers are unhappy with Second Brother. We will give them a gentle push,” Hangeng spoke decisively. “Get them to write petitions opposing the Second Brother’s reinstatement. This will make Imperial Father reconsider. That will give us more time.”