My First Day
I was very tired on my first day. My family has lived on the island of Cheju for ages, and a few group of adventurers (myself included) had left the island to pursue our fortunes in the grand kingdom of Koguryo. The rumors of Koguryo's wealth and prosperity were great back then, almost sixty years ago, and were used even as bedtime stories for young children. Tales of King Yuri's great wisdom, M'huls valor, and the tragic undoings of the two other sons of the King, the Great Princes who had died heroic deaths in battles. We also heard tales of the hidden Princess, whose name could not be spoken, and how she was isolated inside the palace walls due to her great beauty. The women of Cheju would paint themselves thinking how this unkown princess would paint her face. We would try to walk with the same grace and elegance she had been instructed to use. We pretended we were her.
The boat we took brought us to a small port in Nagnang. We all boarded the new land, impressed with its structure and silent power. An escort lead us through the mysterious land, as strangers were regaurded as lethal and untrustworthy. The power contained in someone one does not know is a very great thing.
After trekking through the entire Kingdom of Nagnang, on foot, we were all quite tired. We tried to bribe our escort into letting us spent the night in one of the inns, but he just gave us a nasty chortle in reply, and spoke of the beautiful inns in Koguryo, with a hint of sarcasm. Once we had set foot outside of Nagnang's north gate, we were in an uncivilized, broken land. The only knowledge we had of this land was that it was a forest south of Koguryo, and if we were to keep walking north we would find our dreamy new home.
The sun was setting, and we debated on whether to make camp or to continue walking, braving the dusk and coming darkness. We chose to keep walking, as this land was foreign to us, and at least inside the walls of Koguryo we could depend on the protection of the King.
In the dead of night we arrived at Koguryo's south gate. A guard kindly let us in, and told us that we could find a Tavern a little ways north. My first glimpse of Koguryo was unsettling. It was a rich kingdom as I had been told, that was obvious in the polished glimmer of the walls and buildings. The wealth was more evident in the citizens, as they shined while they passed, their jewels and garments sparkling in the moonlight.
We continued north, and took in the sights around us. The rivers that wove through the city like a tapestry amazed me. My only exposure to water was that of the great Sea between Cheju and the mainland, and the idea of a river (although I had read about them in story books) was amazing to me. After much walking, we finally reached Walsuk's Inn. She wasn't altogether a kind lady, but more tolerant of us. She had a mind to kick us out, as we were strangers, but she knew the value of a coin as much as we did, and gave us a few rooms upstairs.
I quickly changed into my night clothing and climbed into my temporary bed. It felt as though it were made of straw, but I did not care. I pretended to sleep while the rest of the group talked, as my mind was swimming with the all the prospects the city held for me. Tomorrow we were to go to the Palace and register ourselves as citizens of the King. No longer was I a meager peasant of Cheju. I would make a name for myself, and I longed to make a great legend that would spread throughout the lands, and have my name live on after me.
"Solmundae. . . "