A role model. Everyone has a 'role model'. Whether it's a hero from a book you enjoyed, a friend that changed the way you look at the world, or even a member from your family that guided you to become who you are today, everyone has a role model.
For Hyun-woo, his role model was his own sister, Ji-woo, who was older than him by 7 years. She was always happy, and that happiness inspired him. She tried her best to remain happy and positive, she always treated people nicely and never complained about anything. Just looking at the way she lived her life, Hyun-woo felt motivated. He wanted to enjoy his life as much as her sister did, he wanted to find happiness in every small thing and he wanted to be by her side for a long time. Thinking back on his last memory with his sister, he remembered how, despite her young age of 17 years old, she was a beautiful lady that people admired. She had delicate features, small, black pearl eyes, and long hair. Something he enjoyed about her was that she always wore jewelry, whether it was a ring, a bracelet or a necklace, she wore something to compliment her looks. Wanting to get closer to his sister, Hyun-woo found himself emerging in the crafting of jewelry.
They were from a wealthy family, who could afford to buy every jewelry they would dream of, but for Ji-woo, those little jewelry her brother made were worth a thousand more than the jewelry she could have brought, and for Hyun-woo, being able to give something in return to his role model meant a lot.
They grew together, so, without a doubt, they spent many moments together. That was the wish of their mother, who tragically passed away soon after Hyun-woo was born. She wanted the two of them to grow together, to protect each other and to live peacefully. To honor her wish, their father did his best to raise them, yet there weren't many moments where the three of them would be together, as the father had a job inside the Palace.
Hyun-woo was too little to know what his father was working, but he assumed it was something important as everywhere they would go, people would pay their respects to him. Yet, with that job came a lot of stress, many responsibilities and most importantly, there were many people that wished bad luck upon them.
So, Hyun-woo's father worried about his two childrens. Scared for their safety, scared that in the future, his job could endanger his childrens, He wanted to find a good man to marry his daughter, someone who would be able to protect her and take good care of her future; and for Hyun-woo, he wanted to make him strong, so that no one could hurt him.
Before the little Hyun-woo could barely walk, he was already given a sword and the training began. His father made it his priority to train him personally, so that he could learn from the best. Without a doubt, at the age of 10, Hyun-woo was a skilled warrior, but that did not mean that he couldn't become even greater.
Despite his amazing skills when it came to fighting, his father hated that his only son wasn't attracted to fighting like him, and that he wasted his time on making jewelry. He found that passion of his a waste of time, something no man should do, and as much as he wanted to make him quit, seeing how happy he was to be able to do something for his sister, he couldn't bear to break his joy. As long as his passion didn't affect his training, it was fine.
Wanting the best for their childrens, their father tried his best to guide them to a future where they would live peacefully. Yet his decisions aren't always the greatest, and Ji-woo was the one whose life changed the most.
For his sister, who never wanted to get married, the decision of her father to marry her to someone she didn't even know scared her. She dreamed of a future where she could travel the world, where she could meet many people and be happy. She did not dream to change history, nor anything greater, but she dreamed things that she considered precious adventures. She tried to ask her father to reconsider his decision to marry her so soon, but it was like she was talking to a wall.
It has been some time since their father changed and became much more anxious. His black hair had become gray in a matter of months, and with that, he seemed like he was running out of time. Yet, despite all his worries, he tried to hide it from his childrens. He rushed his daughter into marrying a general from the Palace's troops, and for his son, he planned to send him off to train more, but before he sent him to train, he wanted for Hyun-woo to attend Ji-woo's wedding. He did not know how his daughter's life would change, but he was sure that after her wedding, it would become hard for them to meet her again. So, for the last time, he wanted them to be together.
Usually, on the day of the wedding, the bride would be happy, but this time, the bride was sad. She had to marry a stranger, to move from home and to leave behind her life. It was without a doubt something she found very hard to do.
'I'm sorry father had forced you to marry so soon.' the little Hyun-woo whispered into his sister's ear
The two of them were in her room, there was a bit of time left before the ceremony would start, so this precious time was limited. The wedding attire was glamorous and without a doubt, she was a beautiful bride. Yet as much as she had wanted, her beauty couldn't overshadow her eyes that seemed to be drowned in sadness.
'There is nothing to do about this. At least you're here with me. This makes me happy.' Ji-woo replied back, hugging her brother
Hyun-woo hesitated for a moment, upon seeing the look on her face, but after a moment, took out something from one of his pockets and put it into his sister's hand. He smiled. 'It's my gift for you.'
Looking down, Ji-woo could see that her little brother had crafted a small silver ring. On the outside, the ring seemed simple, without anything extravagant, but on the inside, there was a rose carved. Ji-woo looked surprised and smiled gently. Like her mother, Ji-woo adored roses, and had always taken care of the small garden filled with roses left behind by her late mother. Surrounded by the beautiful roses, Hyun-woo always remembered how happy she was when the roses would bloom. Now, that she had to leave behind the garden full of roses, he was sure that the girl would be devastated, so, he wanted for her to take a piece of memory with her, everywhere she would go, to remember that she was always happy, that she was loved, and that there will always be something beautiful to look at, even in the darkest times.
Now that she had something to remember about her home, she couldn't hold back her tears.
'It's beautiful. I'll cherish it.Thank you.' she replied back, putting the ring on her small finger.
The two of them exchanged happy looks between them. Without knowing, that was the last time they would share this joy together.
Soon, the ceremony started. The two parted ways, and the newly bride found her way towards her soon-to-be husband. She tried to fake a smile, but she failed. The one waiting for her was a stranger, he seemed to be someone strong, with an imposing aura, but, despite her father's efforts, she couldn't feel protected by him, instead, she felt scared of him.
Looking at the crowd, there were people happy for the new couple and there were ones that started indifferently. Yet something no one thought of was that there were people there that had planned something cruel on that day that was supposed to be a happy day for the couple.
Not long after the two exchanged vows, the doors opened with a loud bang. Unfolding before everyone's eyes, troops of soldiers barged in, and with their presence, blood splattered everywhere.