Prologue 프롤로그


“Showers of peach blossom patter on the door, shut all day.
Autumn is over at the moonlit pavilion; its jade screen desolate.
Frost encrusts the reed island; wild geese roost for the night.
I play upon the jasper lute. No one sees me.
Lotus flowers drop into the pond.”
 ~Heo Nanheoseon


I was ten when my powers first awakened. Most imugi children got their powers at seven, but I had been a late bloomer, awakening my powers after a whole decade since my birth, three years after I was supposed to. Mother was not pleased when she heard. She believed that I would have been better had I just stayed a normal human. At the time, I had thought she had just been ashamed of me—after all, she was a state chancellor, and having a late bloomer as a child lost her face in the public’s eye. I had not known about the worries that had plagued her, not even when she had sent me off to Changdeokgung.

Once imugi children obtained their powers, they were taken out of the human world and into the mirror world our ancestors created. It was an incomplete world, but I had yet to find out. All I knew at the time was that imugi and humans could have only so much contact before the two worlds ripped each other apart.

In my lifetime, there has only been one event so far that has been so threatening—the other events were barely stepping stones in comparison. Remembering it now, I realize that I had been still a little girl, unable to prevent that horrible event from happening and unable to help in any way.

Had I known about the path my life would take, I would have wished to just stay human.

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