LE V1 (Main) C5-2
Chapter 5 – Pyongang and Nakran – Part 2
The place that Nakran ran to with me in her arms was the castle that I’d briefly been at yesterday. And among the buildings was the most important-looking castle-like building that we were headed towards. To think I who had never gone to a police station would be entering a place like the Blue House.(1)
Of course since I was there as a criminal it wasn’t like I was happy about it.
“The holy district that guards the west of Seoul. Mapo.”
Damn that is one hell of a name.
It’s like the familiarity of when I read chamomile as cha-momile.(2)
“Is there no Jongro?”(3)
Sungju(4) would be Kim Du-han’s patch.(5)
“The district that guards the north is Jongro. The south is Gangnam(6) and the east by Sungdong.(6.5)”
If I’d heard this not knowing anything then I might have actually mistaken it for Seoul. This is one hell of a fated encounter, can’t I be let off? I don’t normally like things like blood ties, school ties(7) and mutual friend ties but moments like this makes me wonder if I really could be let off just this once.
As we went into the building a new face was waiting for us.
“Oh~ so our Nakran already finished up? Five to twelve, you really do do your work like clockwork~”
So you mean that the time we spent just now, was just her wasting time just so that she could clock in at the exact time?
“Me? I’m Pyongang? And who are you?”
Long, straight, ebony-black hair. A beautiful woman with piano-black horn that sprouted from the center of her forehead. No, rather than a woman, a girl? Unlike Nakran, she didn’t have a tail. She looked younger than Nakran, but her sheer strength that she casually emitted caused even my dull instincts to warn me of danger.
This pretty girl was smiling beautifully as if to make me offer up my liver,(8) but why were her sparkling ruby eyes feeling like they’re giving off such a bloody gaze.
If Nakran was a well-trained war dog, then Pyongang is a feral tiger. Although it wasn’t like I could beat either one.
Pyongang wasn’t wearing the Sambulcho’s uniform like the others, but rather, expensive-looking clothes made with luxurious violet silk trimmed with golden embroidery that a ‘princess’ might wear. Ergo, she’s not a Sambulcho?
“How interesting~ No horn, no tail, no wings, and almost no mana presence at all. Was there such a race in the continent? Is it a mutant? Crossbreed? Hybrid?”
I personally felt like having a horn, tail, wings and feeling mana or whatever was weirder, but to be the only sane person in a hall of madness is the same as being the only mad one present.
I don’t doubt that Weltevree(9) would have felt exactly like I was, but that said, in front of this pretty girl who looked strong as heck and backed by authority, I didn’t have the guts to talk to her straightforwardly.
“Your name is a good one. It’s a princess’s name. It feels like you’d have an Ondal as well Hahaha.”
“Hm? Do you know me?”
“No. This is the first time we’ve met.”
“How did you know I was a princess? And Ondal, too.”
She really was a princess?
Now that I think about it, Nakran is a princess, too. Ondal the Fool and Princess Pyongang, Prince Hodong and Princess Nakran(10) are all famous tales. I should get close to them. Wait, if I tried that my head would roll for lese majesty.
“I’ll introduce him.”
When Pyongang spread her arms out elegantly, from out of nowhere a giant golden hawk flew over and carefully perched on Pyongang’s arm. Even though Pyongang wasn’t wearing any arm guards, she didn’t look like it was hurting, and pet the eagle’s head with her index finger.
“My guardian holy bird, Golden Falcon Ondal. Ondal~ say hi.”
The falcon twitched its head as if it understood Pyongang’s words.
This fucking disrespectful bird.
“By the way, it’s a bird famous for hunting dragons.”
Such a dignified appearance, it feels like it’s the word ‘courage’ embodied in flesh.
“Hm? Hm? Tell me, how did you know?”
“It’s just that a famous princess in my country’s history was named Pyongang. Hahahaha.”
At my words Pyongang and Nakran made incredulous faces. As if they had heard something they shouldn’t have heard. No, more like something they couldn’t have heard. Although if you asked me exactly what it was I’d find it hard to describe as well.
Should I say it, shouldn’t I say it.
No matter how much I flicked the abacus in my head I lacked sufficient information to make a proper judgement. From a normal perspective, the story of Ondal and Princess Pyongang wasn’t a particularly bad one. If you ignored the ending.
Although, to higher ups it might leave a bad taste in their mouths.
“When she was young, Princess Pyongang was such a crybaby, every time she cried the king said he would marry her off to Ondal, who was famous for being an idiot. Whenever he did, Princess Pyongang would stop crying. And so time passed, and when Princess Pyongang became of marriageable age, she said she would marry Ondal, ignored all protests and left the castle to marry him. But Princess Pyongang was not just a stubborn princess but also a maiden with godlike education skills. After her marriage with Ondal she taught him martial arts by day and taught him to be a scholar at night and eventually made him a general after which the king formally acknowledged him as a son-in-law.”
According to other legends Princess Pyongang was a munchkin strong enough to break the strongest Goguryeoh warriors without breaking a sweat, so Ondal desperately activated his survival instincts to not die, and eventually grew strong enough to beat everyone but her.
Ondal died at fighting at Achasanseong Fortress, but since the coffin his body was in wouldn’t move, when Pyongang came and said ‘do you want to be beaten up’ the coffin finally moved, or so another variant of the story goes.(11)
Thankfully Pyongang didn’t seem displeased. But unfortunately my instincts were warning me of even more danger. What is this? Is this a mine or fireworks?
“A story from your country?”
“To be accurate a story from way~ long ago.” Since the tale of Princess Pyongang was from the Goguryeo era it was from around 1500 years ago.
Of course looking at it realistically there are a lot of points where the story doesn’t make sense, but so the story goes.
Huh? What? What’s this reaction?
Pyongang’s seemed absolutely ecstatic and her face was blushing. But her eyes were unfocused, and it felt like the two hands cupping her face were forcefully holding in her irrepressible emotions.
Nakran beside her was holding the same posture as she had been before, but her eyes kept wavering from side to side without a moment to rest.
“Could have, but did you really? No, was this what you meant?”
What’s she on.
I have no idea what’s going on, but minefields are best left unstepped on.
Random raw comment:
Is Pyongang holding that yandere o-face?
It’s the Gasai Yuno face. May this part please be illustrated…
TN: Yes, THAT Gasai Yuno face.
(1) Korean presidential palace, equivalent of the American White House. Yes, so original.
(2) As in, he mistook the normal pronounciation ‘ka-momile’ as ‘cha-momile.’
(3) Big street of the main 4-way intersection in the heart of Seoul.
(4) District in Seoul
(5) Gang leader-turned politician who was reportedly the greatest fist fighter in Korea of the time.
(6) Yes, that Gangnam
(6.5) Another district in Seoul
(7) As in, two randoms are from the same school and are expected to be friends/act like senpai/kouhai because they’re from the same school
(8) Context: Gumiho (Korean fox spirits), masters of seduction, are said to seduce and hunt humans and eat their livers and hearts, in order to turn human.
(9) Jan Janse de Weltevree, (probably) first Dutchman to visit Korea.
(10) Bit of a tragic tale, this one. Prince Hodong was a prince of Goguryeo, was out on patrol when he was invited to the neighbouring nation by King Choiree, and wedded his daughter Princess Nakran. He later returned to his country, and sent a messenger saying ‘if you destroy the drum and horn that sound enemy invasion,’ I will formally recognise you as my wife. Said horn and drum made noise by themselves when an enemy invaded. So she took a sharp knife, destroyed the instruments and told Hodong. Hodong told the king and led an invasion. Choiree was caught unprepared, and only realised that the drum and horn were destroyed when the enemy was sieging the gates. Realising what had happened, he killed his daughter and surrendered. tl;dr https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Hodong_and_the_Princess_of_Nakrang
(11) I can say that I have NOT heard the last two variants of the story.