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Emperor's Heir - Chapter 2

by shieldmaiden


Chapter 2

“Where have you been!?” Grandma’s anxious voice greeted me as soon as I had stepped through our small wooden door, the smoke from the hearth filling my nostrils.

“Sorry I’m late, Grandma,” I apologized as I walked into the kitchen to where she stood, “But you will never guess what happened to me today!”

Grandma heaved a long sigh. “What happened this time, child?” She asked.

Dropping, my weapon, I told her of how I ran into a courtier, someone from the palace.

“My,” She exclaimed when I’d finished, “That must have been exciting!”

“I was terrified at first,” I confessed, “I thought I was about to have my head chopped off for bumping into royalty. Who do you think it could’ve been?”

Grandma’s brow furrowed in thought.

“Gold means a member of the royal family,” She muttered, “But I always get mixed up between Yosae’s royal family with Baesinja’s.”

Just then a floorboard creaked. Grandma and I both turned suddenly. There was just Grandpa, smoking his pipe, and grinning widely at us.

“Look at you two,” He said, his old, weathered voice crackling with a chuckle, “Gaggling like a bunch of old crows. What has your feathers so ruffled? The newest gossip in the Capitol?”

“Who are you calling old!” Grandma cried, thwacking Grandpa with a towel as he tried to dodge her fury, taking the pipe out of his mouth as he skipped over the floorboards and out of her reach.

“Grandpa, how many members are in the royal family of Yosae?” I asked.

“Yosae?” Grandpa replied with a cheeky grin at Grandma, “Well, I believe that there are only two members. Prince Iyagi and his younger brother ...” He paused and lifted his head with surprise. “I’ve quite forgotten his name … Heaven’s child!” Grandpa cried as I collapsed to the floor. He put the pipe back in his mouth and reached down, pulling me up. Giving my shoulders a quick brush, he asked, “Might you explain why you fall to the ground like a rag doll?”

“I think I bumped into a Prince today,” I whispered breathlessly.

Grandpa felt my forehead. “She doesn’t have a fever,” He whispered over my head to Grandma, who only shook her and turned back to her stew. “Have you been practicing your drills too long in the sun?” He asked me, looking me hard in the eye, “You know what I said after the last episode. How many times do I have to tell … ”

“No, no – she’s quite alright,” Grandma said, turning away from her stew. With a huff, she explained to Grandpa what I had told her.

“My granddaughter – meeting royalty.” Grandpa clasped my head to his chest. “You should have swept him off his feet and carried him home with you, my dear,” He said, pulling away with a wink, making me giggle. Then His face dropped it’s smile and he gave my shoulders a hard shake. “My own granddaughter doesn’t remember who the leaders of our country are!” He sighed and rubbed his face. “And me a retired Imperial guard,” He groaned.

“I remember Grandpa,” I protested.

Grandpa crossed his arms. “Really? Then what’s our Country and it’s states?”

“The Empire of Geodaehan with kingdoms, Yosae and Baesinja, dwelling within,” I replied quickly.

“Ruled by?”

“The Emperor Taeyong rules all of Geodaehan,” I answered, “The territory of Yosae is governed by the Prince Iyagi and the territory of Baesinja by King Gumeong.” I paused. “Grandpa?”

“Yes.”

“Why does the Emperor allow others to rule under him?” I asked, “Can’t he rule the entire Empire by himself?”

“Yes, he could,” Grandpa agreed, “But years ago, when His Majesty was a young man, he agreed to let the leaders of those territories he’d conquered to keep their kingdoms – provided that they swore undying fealty and loyalty.”

“Seems fair,” I nodded, “And the Emperor is a just, kind ruler and all the kingdoms have prospered mightily since. Who wouldn’t want to pledge undying loyalty to someone like that?”

“Well, whoever doesn’t have better watch out for the Emperor’s stoutest defender,” Grandpa chuckled merrily, with a tug of my braid before muttering, “Speaking of which.” He eyed Grandma, making sure that she was occupied before motioning me to join him outside. Following him, we stepped out onto our makeshift porch and sat down, our feet dangling off the edge.

“Any escapades today?” Grandpa asked with a raised brow.

I looked around cautiously. “Only a thief.” I said in a low tone before going on to describe all about today’s events.

I watched Grandpa swallow it all up as if it was his life’s bread. In a way it had been. When I was a child, every evening he would tell me stories of when he was a younger man – an Imperial guard. With me at his feet, I would watch his face light up as he relived the memories of his glory days. And with a child’s imagination, I watched the smoke puff out of his pipe, weaving into bloody battle scenes and armored men, swords clashing as each side fought desperately till one finally attained victory. Those stories, filled with adventure and excitement, fed my soul.

However, Grandma did not approve. But she humored us to please Grandpa, even though she believed ardently that such tales were not right for a young girl to hear. So, she was terribly shocked, when at the age of ten, I firmly declared that one day, I too, would become an Imperial Guard.

At first Grandma laughed it off, believing it to be childish fancy. But she worried when I begged and begged Grandpa to teach me everything he knew. Weakening under my persistence, he gave in.

The first week he came down on me hard to test my perseverance. But I proved sincere and did everything he ordered me to do, from fighting fruitlessly with a tree, to remaining in a stance for an entire afternoon. But he was a fantastic teacher. Though, because of his old limbs, we couldn’t spar very often, he taught me the techniques and forms, which I would practice for hours, till I was soaked in sweat. And Grandpa would watch with a proud smile.

We couldn’t afford a sword, not even a wooden one. Instead I used a long staff made from a branch I’d carved myself. Grandpa made sure that it was the right length and weight of a real sword. It served its purpose. But I would always end up with blisters and splinters after every session, even after my hands had grown as calloused and hard as those of a real soldier. Grandpa joked that I had the toughest hands of any woman he’d ever known.

When I was twelve, Grandma took action. She was an herbalist and wished to train me as her assistant. At first, I murmured and complained. But then Grandpa took me aside and gave me an important lesson.

“Harmonizing with Nature is a gift – not to be taken lightly,” he said, “The greatest warriors knew how to make use of her benefits in times of peace, and her monstrosities in time of war.” Raising my chin, Grandpa whispered, “Make your Grandmother proud.”

After that, I stopped sulking and worked hard. Surprisingly, I grew fond of it and learned quickly. I found that I enjoyed the feel of crushing herbs in a bowl as their sweet, musty scent would waft up my nose, tickling it till I sneezed. And as I watched Grandma, I realized that she carried a heavy responsibility.

Though she wielded the power to heal even the deadliest of diseases, her battles were not always won. Every time a patient was lost, I would watch Grandma bend under a burden of grief. A longing grew in my heart to aid her in carrying that weight and remind her that she was not alone. So, I dedicated myself even harder to learning anything I could to ease Grandma’s load of work. After a few months, I knew enough to be sent to the woods and gather herbs by myself. It saved Grandma extra time and was an adventure for me.

So, under the guidance of both grandparents, my hands learned to serve two purposes. To inflict injury. And to heal.


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26 Reviews


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Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:26 am
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LewisPencastle2 wrote a review...



I have not commented in a while, but reading this again has really interested me and i can only say it seems really good. The chapter is succinct in telling a lot about the character and her background as well as skills (With the skills of fighting and healing being really juxtaposed, another nice touch.). I guess only more description will better it further.




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks so much. Glad you liked it :)



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Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:41 pm
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TropicalRain wrote a review...



Hello! It's been a wile, but I am finally here with a few things to say about your chapter. I will try and make this quick.

So comparing this to your last chapter I really can see that your writing is getting A LOT better, it's quit amazing really. I'm busy trying to write a story at the moment, and I'm reading your story and it's helping me see what I need to do to make my story better.
I would say I would like to have a little more description, but I'm only into the second chapter, so I'm sure I will get to see lot's of description later on.
I think your dialog is really great, it fit's the characters quit well, and it let's me know how grown up they are.
I think the plot at the moment is coming along great, and I have a feeling it's only going to get better! So keep writing.

Over all this was yet again another amazing chapter, and I can't wait to see what else you have in store, so I am onto the next chapter.

TropicalRain




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Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:03 am
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Pomeroy wrote a review...



Hey, I'm already back for chapter 2! I might even get to chapter 3 tonight... This story is so fun, and I love the world you're building. I love Kkachi's narrating and building the world and her relationships in it even more. It's just enough to give me even more of a scope of what you're building here, especially with Kkachi, but you don't exhaust me with a huge info dump. It's a really nice balance, congrats!

Okay, so just the nitpicks real quick...

"Dropping, my weapon," You accidentally put a comma after "dropping."

"Grandma and I both turned suddenly. There was just Grandpa," Instead of "turned suddenly" you could replace it with, "spun around." It holds the same effect, in my opinion, but instead of TELLING that they suddenly did something, you're showing it. Also it would flow better if "there" was "it," I think.

"who only shook her and turned back to her stew." I think you meant to add "head" after "her."

"Then His face dropped it’s smile" Three things: "His" is incidentally capitalised, "it's" should just be "its," but I think the sentence would flow better just saying, "Then he dropped his smile." The way you have it now sounds a little awkward, to me.

There are quite a few other grammatical things I think are off, but admittedly, punctuation and such aren't really my strong suit, so I wouldn't want to give you false advice. But I think it's worth letting someone who's good at that just proofread it for you and polish it up a bit, so that it keeps your reader from halting here and there to ask, "Wait, does that comma/period/etc go there?" Again, it's not a HUGE deal, but it just helps your story pop out as far more professional, I guess.

I don't have any complaints aside from that! I really enjoyed this chapter, being able to see the fun dynamic between Kkachi and her grandparents. I'm excited to learn more about the royal family, and what happened to Kkachi's parents!

- Pom!




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Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:25 pm
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Gnomish wrote a review...



Awesome!

Firstly, I would like to say that I did find the whole thing about the royalty very confusing. ALthough, I do tend to skim through things and I'm not that interested in it. I hope it doesn't play to much of an important role in the future.

Second of all, I really like the end (again), the last sentence seems so perfect to me. I'm excited to learn about what happened to her parents, and how she got her scar, so I guess I'd better keep reading!

On to the next chapter!
-Gnomish




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Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:54 pm
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Horisun wrote a review...



Great chapter! I like how you're expanding your characters, and I can't wait to see how this all comes into play later. Although, there are a couple things I'd like to point out. First of all, your titles for your chapters are all the same. If you just put "chapter one" or "chapter two" after the title, it will be easier to navigate the story. Also, there were a few grammar errors. For example, right at the end, you have "To inflict injury. And to heal" The period should be a coma. There are also a few other things here and there, like, "The greatest warriors knew ho to make use of Her benefits in time of piece, and Her monstrosities in time of war." The H in her should be lower case. If you just go through this, and maybe read it out loud, you might catch some of these errors.

Overall, this is a great chapter, I can't wait to read more!




shieldmaiden says...


Oh, thanks I didn't catch those grammar errors. And also thanks for the tip about fixing my title. I'm really new to this and want to make it easier for others. Thanks for helping a newbie!



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Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:09 pm
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FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...



Hello, FlamingPhoenix is here again on this lovely day with a review for you.

Okay so I'm going to get right into the review.

Things I saw that could be fixed

As as I was reading I did see you did put some description in, and it was nice. But I didn't quit get a clear image in my head. You see when you walk into a hows that has something on the stove, it normally smells, doesn't it? So maybe as a little description in the smell. Like it could go like this.

“Where have you been!?” Grandma’s anxious voice greeted me as soon as I had stepped through our small wooden door, the lushes smell of the food on the stove filling my nose.

I know it's not much, but it will add quit a bit.

The next thing is that you don't really describe the house that much. Well I guess they were in the kitchen quit a bit, but even then you could as more. But I'm not going to dwell on that, because I think I have said quit enough.
But before I move onto something else I just wont to share something with you that helps me write my book. Sight, smell, sound and feel, these are the very things I try and keep in mind when I'm writing. Just add one of two in, or all of them in you can. But it you do it will make your story a lot better, not like it good now anyway, I think your story is coming along really well.

Over all comments

Over all this was a really sweet chapter, and I got to see a lot more of your characters. It was nice that you explained the past, it was nice seeing what life was before. I really like the two grandparents. I think there really cool and wise characters.
To be honest with you, I don't see many chapters that just form the relationship between characters, I mean I don't think I even do that with my story, so it was a really great chapter to read.
I also hope to see more of the grandparents in future chapters, because seeing them in this chapter was really cute, and I have forms a rather good bond with them, and I really do hope nothing happens to them in the upcoming chapters.

I really loved reading and reviewing your chapter for you and I hope to get to the next chapter soon. I hope you never stop writing and have a great day/night.

Your friend
FlamingPhoenix. :D
Reviewing with a fiery passion.




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks for the great review! I really like your tip about description. I really struggle with that a lot and keeping in mind about the senses will surely help me to improve. Thanks my friend.





I'm really glad I could help. I used to have a hard time describing things. So I like to pass on what tips I have picked up along the way.



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Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:52 am
Honora says...



Hello my friend...;)




shieldmaiden says...


Why - hello :)




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