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    Ryu Jeong-hyun, along with the obstinate conservative scholars who refused to acknowledge the superiority of the new order, were eliminated, giving Sejong the opportunity to enact his reform. As these scholars were removed, the balance of power undeniably shifted in favor of Sejong, allowing him to govern state affairs as he wished.

    As summer arrived, Sejong gathered his advisors.

    “It seems Princess Jeonghye is now of age. Should we start the search for a suitable husband?”

    “I believe it is indeed the right time.”

    “Then, let us commence the search.”

    “We accept your command.”

    The ministers responded enthusiastically to Sejong’s directive, conscious of the need for some good news to divert attention from recent unfortunate events. The main figure of this upcoming event, Princess Jeonghye, was a darling member of the royal household.

    News of the search for a spouse for Princess Jeonghye reached Hyang, who responded with a smile.

    “My sister is to be wed? The elders must feel somewhat sorrowful.”

    Hyang’s view of his sister, Princess Jeonghye, was straightforward.

    “Maxed out sociability. The insider among insiders[1].”

    Princess Jeonghye’s outgoing personality was such that it initially baffled the reserved Hyang, who was surprised by her ability to charm adults.

    ‘Could she really be from the 21st century?’ 

    Rumors began to swirl that the scholars of the Royal Secretariat were starting to compile a list of potential suitors, which triggered Princess Jeonghye to lash out at Sejong.

    “Father, mother! I want to continue living with both of you!”

    Despite Princess Jeonghye’s outburst, Sejong remained calm and affectionately comforted his daughter. “Don’t I feel the same? However, it’s natural to meet a partner and start a family when the time comes.”

    At Sejong’s words, tears began to well up in Princess Jeonghye’s eyes. “All I want is to spend a little more time with mother and father if I have a wish.”

    “Hmm!”

    Even though Sejong attempted to maintain a stern facade, Princess Jeonghye continued her protest with her tear-stained eyes.

    “I don’t want to! I will keep living with father and mother!”

    “Hmm! This child! Why is she throwing such a fit?”

    “Father, I hate you!”

    With that, Princess Jeonghye stormed out of her seat.

    “Jeonghye!”

    Sejong called after her, but Princess Jeonghye didn’t turn back.

    Seeing this, Sejong turned to Queen Soheon with a downcast look.

    “Oh dear…”

    Queen Soheon offered him a comforting smile and defended the princess. “She is still a young girl, isn’t she? Plus, she spent more than half of the year living at the house of Hanjae[2]. She must want to avoid being apart from her parents.”

    In the Joseon royal family, it was traditional to send young princes and princesses to live in the homes of ministers, and as per this tradition, Princess Jeonghye was living in Lee Myung-kyun’s house.

    Seeing Sejong’s crestfallen face, Queen Soheon reassured him, “Don’t worry too much. I’ll calm Jeonghye’s upset heart.”

    “I’m relying on you. Ah~. It’s always difficult when things with children don’t go as planned…”

    Despite Queen Soheon’s intervention, Princess Jeonghye remained steadfast in her refusal.

    “The princess refuses to eat!”

    “Oh dear!”

    ※※※

    Upon hearing of Princess Jeonghye’s hunger strike, Sejong was profoundly alarmed.

    “What is the queen’s take on this?”

    “She is trying to reason with the princess at the moment, but the princess appears unyielding…”

    “Oh dear… Sigh~.”

    Upon receiving the report from the Chief Eunuch, Sejong let out a deep sigh.

    “When one quiets down, now another one starts…”

    The following day, within the quarters of Princess Jeonghye at Gyeongbok Palace, an event unfolded.

    “Your Highness, the Crown Prince has made his arrival.”

    When the court lady announced the arrival of Hyang, Princess Jeonghye responded with an almost dying voice from inside.

    “Let him in.”

    “Yes, Your Highness.”

    As Princess Jeonghye gave her consent, the palace servants opened the door and greeted Hyang with deep bows.

    “You’ve endured much.”

    “You are overly kind, Your Highness.”

    As Hyang entered, the door was sealed behind him. He quickly approached the blanket under which Princess Jeonghye lay, and heavily sank into a seat, addressing the princess.

    “My goodness! Sister, you are really having a hard time.”

    Upon hearing Hyang’s words, Princess Jeonghye abruptly sat up, throwing off her blanket.

    “Enough of that! Hand it over!”

    “Well, well… Tsk!”

    Hyang, making a light clicking sound with his tongue, rummaged in his sleeve, and produced a paper bag containing hard candy and another with rice cakes. Hyang had purchased these from the market after concluding his palace duties.

    As Princess Jeonghye bit into the hard candy from the bag, Hyang clicked his tongue in jest. “Really, enjoying these market treats in a palace filled with culinary delights, is that royal conduct?”

    “Quiet! Do you think our parents would yield if I didn’t resort to this?”

    “Just marry a decent young man. If you don’t, people will call you an old spinster.”

    “Silence! All I do, I do for you!”

    “What?”

    Taken aback by her surprising declaration, Hyang appeared puzzled.

    After having her fill of candy and rice cake, Princess Jeonghye spat out the candy remnants. “Hmph! I think I can survive now.”

    “My! A princess without a shred of dignity…”

    “That’s enough!”

    “Okay, let’s drop it. But why am I suddenly dragged into this?”

    “Even if I leave, that damned rascal Yu (reason, Grand Prince Suyang), I’ll make him human before I go.”

    “Good gracious…”

    At the pronouncement of Princess Jeonghye, Hyang couldn’t help but force a strained smile.


    In the annals of history, Princess Jeonghye was originally documented as Princess Jeongso, the first offspring of Sejong. Later, her posthumous title was changed from Princess Jeonghye to Princess Jeongso as it was identical to that of her aunt. She was expected to pass away the previous winter, but survived through Hyang’s successful vaccination, adding an unforeseen variable to events.

    Given her status as the eldest and only daughter, Princess Jeonghye held a significant place in the royal family. Among Sejong’s yet unborn children, Princess Jeonghye was the eldest and thus was especially loved by Sejong and his wife.

    Princess Jeonghye’s personality also contributed to this.

    Princess Jeonghye was so sociable that Hyang called her the “insider of insiders.”

    The Taejong couple (Sejong’s parents) also adored her until they died, and even Hyoreung Daegun, and Grand Prince Yangnyeong (Sejong’s elder brother), who had an awkward relationship with Sejong, found her cute.

    While Princess Jeonghye monopolized cuteness among the adults in the royal family, she was a bit different to her siblings. Hyang evaluated Princess Jeonghye like this.

    ‘Military commander’


    “Perhaps due to her Sejong lineage, Princess Jeonghye was also quite unique. Her vivacious nature, likely attributed to the addition of Yi Seong-gye’s (King Taejo, founder of the Joseon dynasty) bloodline, was quite prominent. However, from a young age, Jeonghye, who had learned her place and responsibilities, would scold her younger siblings harshly if they misbehaved.

    For such siblings, the most unfortunate thing was that Jeonghye’s standard was the somewhat impeccably behaved Hyang.

    “I’m well aware that Hyang is not ordinary, but even taking that into account, you guys are way too unruly!”

    Whenever her siblings showed even a slight deviation, Princess Jeonghye would scold them sternly. She was so strict that Queen Soheon, upon seeing her scold her siblings, would scold Jeonghye herself.

    “I’m not against you disciplining your siblings. But aren’t you being too strict?”

    At the Queen’s claim of her being excessive, Princess Jeonghye responded with a firm voice.

    “Mother, while these children are your precious offspring and my adorable siblings, they are also, concurrently, esteemed princes and princesses. How can I just ignore them causing trouble, far from setting an example? As the eldest daughter of the royal family, I cannot overlook this!”

    At Jeonghye’s firm response, all Queen Soheon could do was sigh.

    “Sigh~”

    The image of her eldest son, who would argue with Sejong even if it meant getting kicked, overlapped with the sight of her eldest daughter. Queen Soheon sighed and placed a hand on her forehead.

    “Sigh~. It’s either Jeonghye or the Crown Prince…”


    The one who got scolded the most by Princess Jeonghye was Yu (Prince Suyang), followed by Yong (Prince Anpyeong).

    It was difficult to deny that Yu’s circumstances had a significant environmental influence. Yu’s immediate older sister, Princess Jeongyi, entered the palace with Sejong and his wife, and Yong, his younger brother, was born in the palace.

    However, Yu was too young to travel far at the time, so he had to live outside the palace until he turned five. Thanks to his status as a prince, there were few who dared to reprimand him, thus developing a quite carefree and reckless disposition.

    Being of such a nature, it was commonplace for Yu to stir up various troubles even after entering the palace. As time passed, Yong also started participating in these mischiefs.

    The eldest brother, Hyang, was already involved in important matters with Sejong and the ministers. It was because Yong was also at an age where he enjoyed stirring up trouble, and he got along well with Yu.

    And Princess Jeonghye was not one to overlook such a situation.

    “You guys!”

    As soon as she heard that Yu and Yong were causing trouble, Jeonghye scolded them. Knowing well that they would be severely scolded by Jeonghye, the two tried to escape immediately, but each time, Jeonghye chased after them, clutching the hem of her dress.

    “Stop right there!”

    And of course, if they were caught, they were severely scolded, it was a natural consequence.

    Through such repetitive incidents, Princess Jeonghye became a tiger-like figure to Hyangi’s siblings, who wouldn’t dare move when she stood before them.

    As soon as she heard the rumors about arranging a husband, Jeonghye set a single goal.

    “I will correct Yu’s habits before I get married!”

    Anyhow, due to Princess Jeonghye’s sudden protest, the decision about the prospective husband was postponed. It wasn’t only because of the protest, but also because Sejong himself was reluctant to marry off Jeonghye too soon.

    “We still have some time until Jeonghye’s rites of passage ceremony. Let’s postpone it a bit.”

    “As you command.”

    At King Sejong’s decision to delay the search for a husband, the ministers gathered in groups to discuss.

    “The King is indeed lenient with his children.”

    “She is the princess he dearly loves, isn’t she?”

    Since Jeonghye had a good image even among the ministers, there were none who objected. The only worry was…”

    “If this goes wrong, we could be caught up in the royal wedding preparations.”

    “That’s correct. Once the selection of the princess’s consort is over, the crown prince’s wedding will be imminent.”

    Meanwhile, Yu, who received the news that ‘The selection for Princess Jeonghye’s consort has been postponed!’ turned pale.

    He was the one who cheered the loudest at the news of ‘Looking for a consort for Princess Jeonghye!’.

    “Just a little longer, and the world is mine!”

    The news that the one who treated him most strictly would soon be leaving the palace made Yu feel as if he had the world. However, when he heard the news ‘The selection of the consort has been postponed’ not long ago, Yu felt his world darken and his body began to shudder.

    “I’m done for… What am I to do?”

    Yu’s nightmare had not ended yet.

    * * *

    Even Hyang could tell Yu was panicking. This was because as the rumors of the ‘consort selection’ were circulating, Yu, who had shown signs of relaxing a bit, turned right back into the model student he had been.

    “It seems there really is such a thing as a natural enemy.”

    Hyang chuckled as he watched Yu and Yong, studying their texts diligently.

    Hyang had no complaints. Though history had changed, it was a good thing for him that there was definitely a figure that could instill fear in Suyang.

    “So… If my sister gets married, am I next?” Hyang leaned back in his chair after putting his pen down. “The conclusion… This is really troubling. How do I exercise choice? I can’t just get married three times like in the original…”

    Hyang fell into deep thought about the massive event named ‘conclusion’ that was fast approaching. In the midst of his various thoughts, Hyang suddenly grew curious.

    “But I wonder. Did this gentleman in the original mess up his married life because he was a playboy? Or did he become a playboy because his married life was a mess?”

    Hyang started to wonder, recalling the stories he heard in Korean history class. However, there was something Hyang failed to realize, or rather, refused to realize.

    That is, even when Hyang was living in the 21st century, he was a playboy in the ‘terminal phase’, except, him being with no luck with women.

    During his school days – especially in college – his legendary behavior made female students refrain from approaching him, and afterward, he built a wall between him and women due to the so-called ‘sour grapes syndrome’ – to put it coldly, ‘psychological victory’.

    ‘Sour grapes syndrome’ was a common symptom among playboys in the terminal phase. It was a reference to the racoon in Aesop’s fable ‘The Racoon and the Grapes’.

    “The reason why I don’t have a girlfriend is that my standards are too high. I need to lower these standards, but it’s not easy? Hahaha!”

    This was the same for the Hyang in the 21st century.

    And, it was the same even now that he had reincarnated in the Joseon era. Until just now, Hyang was worrying about his own marriage, but once he established his research institute and started his antics in earnest, thoughts about marriage were thrown far away to Andromeda.

    1. Basically it means popular kid, smthg like that.[]
    2. Hanjae (漢齋) is a pen name for Lee Myung-kyun, a minister in the Joseon period.[]
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