Heaven’s Gate, Moon Garden. August 29th, XXXX year.
Jeon Wonwoo was walking down the hallway along with his maids of honour and a couple of royal guards. The sun outside was already setting. The sound of waves breaking onto the shore was disrupting the eerie silence that followed the company. Wonwoo was uncharacteristically furious. The Small Council was unexpectedly assembled and Wonwoo was not notified prior. One of his maids snuck into his room and delivered the news of the Council offhandedly excluding him from the assembly, and that some high-ranked guest was involved. Wonwoo was livid. How dare they exclude him, their Lord, from an important meeting! Junhui was right by his side, hand on his sword. He was looking at his lover friend with worry. It was not the first time that the lords of the Small Council dared to disrespect the prince, and especially now when a high-rank person was involved. Upon reaching the giant, carved wooden door Wonwoo instantly burst opened it, walking into the wide room and startling everyone inside. Old Lords instantly stood up, shock evident on their faces.
“Young Lord-“ tried to begin Lord Sohn.
“Good evening, milords,” Wonwoo interrupted whatever Lord Sohn wanted to say. “I see you have a small gathering going on but something really peculiar happened today. Let me tell you an amusing story. So I was sitting in my chambers, reading through some books, enjoying the nice sunset. The weather outside was extraordinarily pleasant. The sun was warming my skin, the light breeze wafted through my gorgeous chestnut locks,” Wonwoo sat at the head of the table, hand combing through the hair. His servants gathered behind him. “And I thought, what’s my little Council is up to! So, I send a little birdie to investigate, and guess what, milords, my little Council was apparently assembled and I was not invited!” Wonwoo fake-pouted. “So here I am, clueless, as to why you all, great lords, collectively decided to disrespect your prince, and as of now, the Lord of the Heaven’s Gate,” Wonwoo observed every old man sitting in the room and saw a man who he has never seen before. The man was handsome, his skin was flawless and glowy, his dark hair looked soft but there was something malicious in his eyes that Wonwoo couldn’t read. One of his maids bowed down to him and quietly whispered in his ear. Wonwoo’s eyes widened but he quickly managed to return his face to the previous unreadable state. Lords were still silent until Lord Ahn spoke.
“Lord Jeon, today’s meeting was not intended for you, indeed. However, your majesty misunderstood our actions as we wanted to interrogate this man,” he pointed to the handsome man. “And meant no harm or disrespect. We thought, that being omega, you would prefer to quietly spin in your room or have a tea party in the gardens with your maids, your majesty.” Lord Ahn quickly shut his mouth the moment Wonwoo raised his hand.
“Are you that ignorant or idiotic to assume that all omegas just love to sit and spin in their room?” Wonwoo stood up, Jun helped him get out of the table. “Me being an omega is none of your concern, however, your primary duty as a member of the Small Council is to provide me with advice, escort me to the meetings, whenever such is assembled, and provide me with the information of what is going on inside and outside the Heaven’s Gate. You failed every single task you were assigned to.”
Wonwoo looked at Lord Ahn apathetically. “You are dismissed, Lord Ahn, leave the room immediately. Your punishment will be decided tomorrow.” Wonwoo waved his hand at the guards in a silent command to escort the audacious lord out of the council room. “Anyone else wants to assume what I would have preferred to do instead of ruling the island?” Wonwoo stopped at the other end of the table, Jun next to him. “So, would anyone like to explain to me why Lord Kim decided to pay us an unexpected visit?”. The handsome man, Lord Kim, chuckled.
“If your majesty would allow, I want to explain myself.” Kim stood up and nodded at the prince.
“Silence,” Wonwoo said looking sternly at the foreigner. “You will talk when I will allow you to but right now I want to listen to what my ‘trusty’ advisors can say since they kept your arrival in secret.” Lord Kim smiled and sat down. “So, Lord Sohn. You are all quiet all of a sudden. Would you mind telling me what Lord Ahn failed to.”“Your majesty,” Lord Sohn bowed curtly. “Lord Kim spend weeks trying to get to the Heaven’s Gate…”
“So, you are trying to tell me that the first thing you decided to do is to interrogate the man who spends weeks upon weeks travelling, to get to the Moon Garden instead of showing him our hospitality and providing him with the chamber to rest at?” Wonwoo sceptically raised his brow. At this point, he was taunting the Lords just out of pettiness because no one dares to mess with Jeon Wonwoo. “Let Lord Kim rest and assemble the Small Council tomorrow at dawn. And whilst I am still at it why was I not notified of Lord Kim’s arrival?”
“Your father, your grace, was notified about Lord Kim’s arrival and he forbid me from telling you anything about it.” Lord Noh looked at the prince.
“Of course, who else but my dear Father.” Wonwoo scoffed. “You are all dismissed. Escort Lord Kim to his chambers and place guards outside.”
Lord Kim stood up and smiled bashfully. “I don’t need any guards, your grace. I am skilled enough to protect myself.”
“Nonsense. I am placing guards not for your sake but for the sake of my own safety. I have no idea of what you are up to, Lord Kim, and I am not willing to take a risk. Rest well. We will talk at dawn.” Wonwoo said. He turned around, the veil of his dress got instantly caught by his maids preventing it from getting stuck in the furniture and getting dirty. Junhui quickly got to his prince’s side and, with last farewells, young Lord left the room.
Heaven’s Gate. Moon Garden. August 30th, XXXX year.
The maids surrounded the young prince, helping him to get ready for the Small Council meeting. Wonwoo was sitting in front of his vanity, his long chestnut hair was released from the grip of the ribbon and they freely flowed down onto his shoulders. One of the maids instantly started combing through his hair with the ivory comb while others started prepping his face, applying lotions and powders. Maid Moon came out of his closet room with a pearly white dress and a pair of golden ballerinas. She bowed before her prince and left his dress behind the embroidered screen. Maid Song, who was combing his hair got into styling it, braiding golden ribbons in between the strands. Wonwoo was feeling uneasy. Something about Lord Kim’s arrival was bothering him and the most dubious part of it all is that his father purposefully left him in the dark. Knowing the current situation over the sea, at the mainland, Wonwoo was more than sure that Lord Kim came here, to the Heaven’s Gate, to persuade House Jeon to assist their Dynasty. Whilst his father is away, he is the Lord of the Heaven’s Gate, therefore, his decision would be final and it could either save them from unwanted troubles or attract said troubles to their island. Wonwoo never felt that pressure, he is even a little bit shaken. His decision will mark a countdown and he does not want to bare such a heavy burden on his shoulders. He nervously looked at the door. “Call sir Moon. Tell him I need him.” Wonwoo said looking at his maid through the mirror. The woman slightly bowed and instantly left the room. Wonwoo shakily exhaled. He desperately tried to stop his knee from bouncing but nothing seemed to be working. He doesn’t even know what is going to happen, and yet he is having an anxiety attack. Wonwoo had his fair share of anxiety attacks, they started when he was eight. That day he will remember forever.
It was a day of the Moon Ball, the annual celebration of the Moon Goddess, Diana, when people make sacrifices to the first full moon of the spring. The White Castle of Heaven’s Gate hosted a marvellous gala that his mother, Lady Jeon, spend months upon months to prepare for, and she outdid herself. The Grand Ballroom was richly decorated. The Golden Chandelier incrusted with diamonds was a centrepiece of the room, heavily hanging from the mural-embroidered ceilings. Diamonds reflected the lights from the candles creating a star-like shine all across the floor. The sweet smell of moonflowers lingered all around the Grand Ballroom, heavily blooming vines stretched all across every single flat surface and wall. Those flowers were to bloom with the first rays of the full moon, and are considered sacred at the Moon Garden. They are deemed to be messengers of Diana. Marble floors were highly polished almost reflecting. The large stained glass window has a view of the east side of the Cosmos Sea. That specific placement was arranged by the ancient kings so that people can witness the glory of the rising, full Moon, and bow before it’s grandeur. Wonwoo was so happy to be able to attend the Moon Ball as his parents finally deemed him old enough to participate in the annual sacrifice. His little brother, Jungkook, was throwing a fit whining about being left behind. Wonwoo kneeled before his little brother and ruffled his hair, promising that he will bring him lots of treats from the Ball and a vine of the moonflowers. Jungkook barely agreed to the offer and, crying softly, he let his hyung go. Wonwoo was so excited to walk with his parents and meet the nobles of the Heaven’s Gate, to eat delicious treats and dance under the Moon rays. He was dressed into a pretty light-blue suit with frills on sleeves, wide golden ribbons on the waist, and gemstones decorating the shoulders. His hair was fancily braided and a diamond tiara, that shone like stars on the night sky, was placed atop of his head. Wonwoo felt beautiful. He hugged his nanny and happily ran off to meet his parents. Junhui saw his little prince hurriedly exiting the room, and instantly followed after. Junhui was only 16 and he was already undergoing his knight training. Lord Jeon was a good friend of his father, an old man wanted his bastard away from his house, so he placed him in the White Castle using his influence to persuade the Jeons. Jun was never mad and never did he blame his father for sending him away because he finally found himself at home. Wonwoo snuggled next to Jun happily humming. “Are you excited, Junnie?” Wonwoo asked, looking at his guard.
“Of course I am, my prince. I have never been to the Moon Ball, so I am thanking you, milord, for giving me such an opportunity.” Junhui smiled and pinched Wonwoo’s cheek.
“Ugh, Junnie! Stop pinching my cheeks! I am not a baby anymore!” Wonwoo stomped and puffed his chubby cheeks. “You better dance with me or I am gonna be really mad at you, Junnie.”
“Ow, my baby is threatening me.” Jun chuckled, “I will dance with you, Wonwoo.”
They entered the Grand Ballroom. There already were a bunch of people in fancy suits and dresses, shining with gold and diamonds. He looked in awe at amazing decorations and tugged Jun’s sleeve. “Look, Junnie! That thing shines so brightly!” Wonwoo wonderingly exclaimed pointing at the chandelier. Jun hummed and lightly pushed the boy to get him going. Some people stopped to greet the young lord, complimenting him and making him blush. Each time Wonwoo would hide behind Jun and quietly mumble ‘thanks’ at cooing elders. They finally reached Lord and Lady Jeon. Jun bowed down to the Royal Family. Lord of the Heaven’s Gate nodded and looked at his son.
“What are you wearing, omega?” He said disapprovingly, calling his son ‘omega’, disregarding his name. “My heir looks like a cheap whore.”
“Doyoon!” His mother exclaimed scandalized.
“What, Sohye? My son, my heir is an omega, and you keep constantly reminding me of this disgrace,” Lord Jeon hatefully looked at the little boy who was trying to hold back his tears. It was not the first time his father insulted him but at least his father never raised his hand on him. “You keep accenting his deformity, and I will not allow it anymore.” Their commotion was noted by the nobles around them and they started listening on what Jeons were talking about. Suddenly the whole room’s attention was on Jeons. One of the Lord’s personal guards came up to him and pointed to the crowd. Lord Jeon cleared his throat and turned to the crowd.
“Good evening, dear guests. We welcome you today at the Grand Ballroom at the White Castle to celebrate the Moon Rise!” The crowd erupted in cheers. Wonwoo once again hid behind Jun’s back. His mother briefly looked at him, expecting her son to seek comfort in her but what she saw hurt her. She sadly smiled. Sohye lightly patted Wonwoo’s head and averted her attention back to the nobles. “We are celebrating the beginning of the new year! Almighty Diana granted us another blessed year and let’s all pray that she will bless us with more! Today we are celebrating the Full Moon, so let the celebration begin!” Lord Jeon hugged his wife. “Today we are joined by my firstborn. It is his first Moon Rise.” The crowd loudly cheered. “Though, I must admit that I would rather spend it with my pride and glory, with a blood of my blood, my true heir— Jungkook, who is still too young to attend. However, Almighty Diana demands every child of age to attend the Moon Rise, much to my disappointment.” Lord Jeon finished his speech, a fake smile plastered on his face. Lady Jeon was falsely cheering with him and warily looked at her husband who pushed Wonwoo to the front. The poor boy was barely holding his tears, trying to smile and not breakdown in front of the crowd. The moment music started playing people instantly scattered all over the Ballroom. Some went to grab appetizers and refreshers, others went dancing. His parents walked down the marble stairs to join the rest. The moment they left, Wonwoo scurried for the door leaving Junhui behind who got distracted by an old lady trying to flirt with the handsome guard.The young boy ran as fast as he could. Tears brimming his eyes, blinding the sight. Wonwoo ran till his breath got ragged, and he stopped in front of the old wooden door. He quietly opened it and discovered a storage room. He quickly went in and shut the door behind himself instantly snuggling into the far corner and letting his tears flow down. He cried so hard, he couldn’t breathe. Young prince couldn’t understand why does his father hate him, what has he ever done to him to receive so much hatred. His tears ruined his beautiful dress, snot ran down his face, his braids got dishevelled, and diamond tiara fell of the head, fortunately, nothing broke off. He was a mess. He didn’t know how much time passed but suddenly the old door opened with a loud creak. Wonwoo got startled and he quickly hid behind the shelving unit.
“Wonwoo?” It was Jun. Wonwoo got out of his hiding spot and Jun’s heart broke upon seeing his prince looking so miserable. “Oh, baby.” Jun quickly got to him and embraced the boy. Wonwoo started crying again, sobs racking his little body. He dug deeper into the guard’s chest, smearing his snot into his shirt. Jun ignored the wetness on his shoulder and stickiness on his chest and continued to gently massage prince’s back, whispering soothing words. When Wonwoo finally stopped crying he looked at Jun.
“Why does father hate me?” He looked so broken and sad, Jun’s heart pained upon seeing his ever so bright prince looking so hurt and shattered.
“He doesn’t hate you, Wonnie,” Jun said. “He is just…”
“Please, don’t lie to me, Junnie, please,” Wonwoo begged. Jun tiredly exhaled.
“I don’t know, Wonwoo. I don’t know.” He said quietly, pressing Wonwoo closer to his chest, hand combing his soft hair.
“I am so tired, can we go to sleep?” Young boy wearily asked, looking at his guard.
“I promised you a dance, my moon prince.” Jun lightly smiled. “May I have the pleasure of dancing with you?”
The little prince blushed a little and nodded. The guard stood up and stretched his hand, encouraging the young lord to take it. Wonwoo took his hand and placed his other hand on Jun’s hip. They swayed in the small room with no other music but the beatings of their hearts. The Full Moon shone through the small window, illuminating young prince and his guard. Two lost souls united under the divine Moon, witnessed by the Ancient Celestial, Diana, who has blessed their unity and lit the darkness around them.
Wonwoo suddenly pulled out of the memory and blinked. He was in his chambers facing the mirror, looking at his own reflection. A lonely tear escaped his eye, making its way down his cheeks.
“Are you alright, my lord?” Maid Moon came closer to the vanity, worry written all over her face.
“Yes. Yes, I am fine.” Wonwoo carefully wiped it away, smiling tightly at the maid.
“I am glad, my lord.” Maid reverenced and quietly went back to her previous spot.
The door to his chambers loudly opened. Junhui entered the room with maid Song in tow, his face void of emotions. He came closer to the vanity inspecting Wonwoo’s face.
“Leave us please.” Young Lord said, his knee bouncing attracted Jun’s attention. Maids nodded and went out, face down. As the door closed, Jun crouched down to Wonwoo’s level and looked right in his eyes.
“Are you alright, my lord?” Jun quietly asked, his hands unconsciously cupping the prince’s cheeks. Right then and there, Wonwoo’s lips trembled and tears raced down his face.
“I am so afraid, Junnie. I—” Jun hugged him quick to whisper reassurances. “I am so scared, Junnie. I don’t know… I don’t even know why I am scared! Haha haha, aren’t I pathetic.” He hysterically laughed, full on experiencing a meltdown. Jun was scared, he never saw Wonwoo in such a disastrous state. The moment his parents left Moon Garden, all responsibilities were passed onto the prince. Jun will never be tired of saying that his Lord is only a child. Being responsible for the whole island is too much for him. Pair it with nasty glares and disrespectful behaviour from his advisers, and the sudden appearance of Lord Kim completely stressed him out. The royal guard just sat on the tiled floor tightly holding his Lord and lover in his arms, pressing him to his chest, muffling his loud sobs and gently petting his hair trying not to ruin his beautiful braids. He didn’t know how much time passed, he never stopped comforting the boy. Eventually, Wonwoo calmed down. Eyes puffy and red, lips bloody and bitten, breathing uneven. Jun pried him off his chest, anxiously looking in his eyes.
“Tell me, Wonwoo. Tell me what’s burdening you?” Junhui grabbed is shoulders ultimately preventing Wonwoo from looking away. Jun knows that Wonwoo tends to disregard his emotions and he hides them well under a stoic mask. Moments such as this are rare and that makes it a thousand times worse. “Please, Mi Amor, tell me. I want to help you. I can’t help you if I don’t know what is troubling you.”
“Let go, sir Moon. I have a meeting to attend to.” Wonwoo weakly tried to get free, ignoring Jun’s stern gaze.
“Stop distancing yourself from me, I want to help you!”
“STOP!” Wonwoo screamed, using Jun’s moment of shock to set himself free. He instantly stood up, guards barging into the chambers with maids in tow. “Escort sir Moon out, please.” He looked at guards who stood by the door, hesitantly looking at the Royal Guard. “What are you waiting for? Escort him out. Now!” One of the maids got to Wonwoo, wiping the blood off his chin and lips while guards helped Jun to get up off the floor.
“My lord—” Junhui started.
“Get him out!” Wonwoo was hysterically adamant. He was slightly shaking, eyes glassy.
Jun just shook his head. He roughly pulled his hands out of the guards’ grip and huffing left the room. Maids gathered around the young prince. They sat him down and started to fix his face and hair. Wonwoo was emotionally exhausted, blankly staring ahead. He became a doll in the hands of his maids. They fixed his appearance, put his clothes and jewellery on, and when they were finished maid Song awkwardly coughed.
“Your majesty, you are ready to be escorted to the Small Council room.” Maid Song said, bowing. Wonwoo merely nodded. Heavily sighing, young lord left his chambers and, accompanied by his guards and maids, he made his way to the Small Council’s room. His day only started but he already felt like going back to rest.
The Small Council and Lord Kim were already present, impatiently anticipating young Lord of the Heaven’s Gate. The moment old wooden door creaked opened, everyone stood up bowing to the prince.
“I am sorry to have kept you waiting, lords. I faced an unexpected issue. I am all ready now so let’s start discussing the matter.” Lords bowed, some of them barely containing their annoyance at the arrogant prince. Lord Kim interestingly looked at the omegan prince. Lord Sohn stood up.
“My lord, we are gathered here to discuss the business Lord Kim of the Golden Sunrise is trying to persuade at the Heaven’s Gate, and how can we assist him.”
“Very well, Lord Sohn. You are definitely doing a better job than Lord Ahn. Have his punishment been decided yet?” Wonwoo uninterestingly raised his brow.
“Yes, my Lord. Lord Ahn will be serving at the Moon Temple for an extended period of time. Is the punishment worthy of his actions, my lord?” Lord Sohn blankly looked at the young prince.
“I don’t really care. The longer I won’t be seeing him the better. Bring me the scroll, I will sign it immediately.” Lord Sohn quickly made his way to the prince and presented him the scroll with the ordinance. “Well now, Lord Kim, what is exactly your business here, at Moon Garden?”
“You are very straightforward, my Lord.” Amusingly said Lord Kim. “My name is Kim Seokjin, I believe you already know who I am. I am a second heir to the Kim Dynasty’s throne.” Seokjin stopped to look at Wonwoo, wanting to see his reaction.
“Go on, Lord Kim. I don’t have all day to sit here and listen to your life story.” Wonwoo tiredly said, waving his hand.
“I am going to get straight to the business then, Lord Jeon. The situation in the Realm is going out of control. Dynasties are at each other’s throats. The Park Dynasty, your neighbours, have finished building the fleet. The Choi Dynasty gathered the barbarians of the South, and as of now, they are allied with House Hong and House Yoon. The Lee Dynasty, your other neighbours, are already raiding free lands.” Seokjin once again looked at Wonwoo. Young Lord only gestured for him to continue. “I am going, to be honest with you, young Lord. Your House is in danger. Our Dynasty is more than willing to help you. Your House is to pledge it’s loyalty to our Dynasty and in exchange, we will provide you with the protection.” Lords of the Small Council instantly stood up shouting and cutting Seokjin off.
“Silence!” Young prince exclaimed. Wonwoo looked at every Lord present and continued. “Is it a threat, Lord Kim? Are you threatening me in my own castle on my own land? Our House had stayed neutral in all of your mainlander’s affairs for thousands of years and we are not willing to change it any time soon. If that’s all you wanted to propose to me then you are free to stay in my city for as long as you wish but you are no longer welcome at the Small Council meetings.”
“You need us, Lord Jeon. Don’t make such rash decisions.” Seokjin said almost threateningly but covering it up with a sweet smile.
“No, it is YOU who came to US. Who needs who, Lord Kim. And, don’t you dare threaten me again in my castle. Another slip up and your stay will no longer be pleasant.” Despite his age and secondary gender Wonwoo could easily intimidate a strong, grown alpha-man. The aura surrounding him was as dark as the night and as cold as the night air. The true Moon Prince. However, Seokjin was fuming inside, looking at the young Lord in annoyance. He tried to talk again when Wonwoo effectively cut him off. “You are dismissed. Escort Lord Kim to his chambers.”
Guards came up to Seokjin, looking at him expectantly. Lord Kim just chuckled in disbelief and left the room not waiting for the Guards. The moment Seokjin left the room the Small Council started arguing with each other much to Wonwoo’s dismay. He said in his chair quietly observing angry lords. The fear became evident on his face. He started to fidget, his knees started to bounce. He realized he was having another anxiety attack. His breathing got uneven, distress became evident on his face.
Jun was staying by the doors when he noticed the crown prince’s condition. He wanted to believe that he is just mistaken and Wonwoo is actually fine but the moment he saw his knees uncontrollably bounce and hit the underside of the table he knew, something was wrong. Jun observed the room. No one seemed to be paying attention, too engrossed in whatever they were arguing about so he quietly left his post. Unnoticeably, he got to his prince’s side instantly starting to rub his back in soothing circles. Jun was worried. It was prince’s second anxiety attack of the day and was not even noon yet. The more he rubbed the less fidgety Wonwoo appeared to be. The Royal Guard gently petted prince’s shoulder silently telling him that he is here and everything is going to be fine. However, everything went downhill when Lord Sohn announced:
“We came to the conclusion that we are to pledge our allegiance to the Kim Dynasty.”