funny meal

A Flower’s Path

GIF Credit to: @ygo-gx

Pt. 2 | Pt. 3

Pairing: Ban Ryu (Do Ji Han) X Reader

Genre: angst, coming-of-age, slight!romance

Word Count: 2,584

Request: Hi! For the Hwarang scenarios, what about one where you are a great enough fighter that you are asked to be the ONLY female hwarang (but against your will). Once inside, Ban Ryu is constantly complaining about how you shouldn’t be there and how it’s a disgrace for a woman to be in the Hwarang house. The two of you keep bashing heads bc even though you didn’t want to be there, you weren’t going to take that from him. Once the princess gets there she gets jealous that most of the hwarang gets close with the female hwarang and tries to get rid of her. - @starbooks13


Your hands’ grip slowly tightened on the big wooden stick. Standing ground and focusing on your opponent, you lowered the stick enough so that it pointed at your enemy. New beads of sweat formed on your face. Inhale. Exhale. You smirked, full of confidence. Ready.

You let out a yell, striking a blow on the left shoulder, right shoulder, stomach, and then the shoulders again. Your rival refused to move, only dust flying out of him.You dashed around, dodging for any incoming attacks and taking chances of your own to get hits. Loud rhythmic sounds could be heard from your stick coming in contact with the surface again and again. The amount of energy you used up showed when you found yourself starting to breathe heavily. “Miss (Y/N).” A familiar soft female voice of your personal servant caught your attention. You immediately stopped beating the dummy and brought the stick down to your side.

Turning around to face her, you noticed once again that the woman could not have been but more than a few years older than you. There was still some youth in her face, but she mostly look tired, probably from working for so long. You remembered her being there by your side since you were a little girl. “Yes, Soonja. What is the matter?” you asked.

“Your father insists you stop practicing your martial arts for today and dine with him for dinner now,” the servant answered, bowing her head low. “He also wishes to discuss some important things with you.”

“What does he wish to discuss with me?” You slid your stick back into your weapon rack that also included your spear, sword and knives.

“I am not sure, Miss (Y/N). He just wants me to let you know that it is an important conversation, so he is hoping that you won’t skip dinner to practice.”

You smiled. “Thank you, Soonja. Please allow me to clean up as best as I can before we go see Father.”

When you stepped into the dining room, you found the round table filled with lots of food. It was sort of funny because meals usually meant just you and your father eating. “Good evening, Father. How did the meeting with the officials go today?” You took a seat across from the old man. His gray hair tied into a bun. Though his demeanor looked quite rough at first, your father also seemed quite gentle at times.

He was a True Bone. Quite high in the bone rank system, he was of royal blood and worked as an official for the Royal Family. Since you were his daughter, you were of royal blood as well. “Some of the other officials were beginning to feel doubtful about the Hwarangs and their impact on changing Silla for the better,” your father expressed as you picked up a sweet and sour mushroom from a dish and ate quietly. “A few of the officials are worried about their sons who are part Hwarang as of now. They fear that instead of helping to protect the future king, that the young men will become dogs to the queen.”

“Her Majesty has been on the throne for so long,” you agreed, giving a nod. “She still has some control of them. I have a friend whose brother is a Hwarang. She says that they’re having trouble getting along as some are for the queen and some are against. The males are so focused on their ranks among each other that they hardly train their martial arts and performing arts skills. So much for elites…”

“How do you feel about the formation of the Hwarangs, (Y/N)?” your father asked, placing down his silverware. You did the same, putting down your spoon. You tried to read your father’s eyes to see if he genuinely wanted an answer, and when he continued waiting on you, you sighed.

“I wouldn’t want to be a part of a group like that.”

“Why not? Your fighting skills are impressive. Even though I disapproved of you doing martial arts at first, I’ve come to see that you’re talented in that area. You would’ve made a great Wonhwa.”

“Father,” you frowned. “both leaders of Wonhwa died.”

You started to feel the topic of the conversation dissipate and began lifting up your spoon again to eat when realization hit you. The utensil was placed on the table once more. “Wait… Father, does this have something to do with an important discussion you wanted to have with me?”

“Her Majesty and I have come to an agreement that Hwarang could use someone like you.”

You froze. A heavy weight set on your shoulders, and your stomach started to twist, ruining your appetite. “You don’t even like the queen…”

“But I respect the Royal Family. I also want the best for Silla. The king has not shown his face in years. We are not sure of what he can or can’t do as a ruler of the kingdom. I support our king, and I feel that it would be an honor for you to serve and protect him, (Y/N). Do you understand me?”

“I do, Father, but I don’t want to do this. Hwarang? My fighting skill is just a hobby. It’s also used to protect myself and the people around me, but nothing more than that. I don’t want to risk my life.”

“(Y/N),” your father said in a stern voice, and you knew he was serious about that decision.

“Besides, Hwarang already had their admission ceremony. They’re most likely not accepting anymore members. Hwarang is a group of young elite males. I’m a lady… Please don’t make me join.”

“Keeping your skills as a hobby only is pathetic. You can put those skills to greater use. As for Hwarang being only for males, you will be an exception. Her Majesty adores strong young women, and the chief instructor has also allowed you to stay in Hwarang House with your own small room.”

“You’re not listening to me, Father. I don’t want-”

“Almost all of the officials have a son who excel in sword fighting or literature. Meanwhile, I’ve raised a daughter all my life. I have heard people badmouthed me and you and how you’re only good to be married off to…”

You tried to speak up almost interrupted him, but knowing that arguing with your father would not help with your decision, you remained silent. At this point, you knew there was no way you could win.

“I know that you don’t mind being talked about to like that,” he continued, “but I do not approve of a True Bone’s royal blood being spoken about that way. My daughter is special, and if she doesn’t want to be seen that way, then she’s just going to have to continue living with it because she will be escorted to the Hwarang House tomorrow morning to stand next to the other elites.”

Tomorrow morning?! Already?! Feeling unfairness, your eyes began to burn with incoming tears, but you held them back. “Yes, Father. My apologies for trying to talk back.” You bowed your head down, and your father picked up his silverware and resumed his meal as if nothing happened.

Like your father said, when you headed out the next morning, you found a tall, handsome male dressed in Hwarang uniform waiting for you on a horse. Another horse without a rider was right beside him. “Miss (Y/N),” the male greeted. “My name is Ji Dwi, and I have been assigned to escort you to the Hwarang House.”

You hurried to climb on the other horse and then looked over to Ji Dwi. He cracked a smile which confused you. “My apologies, Miss (Y/N),” he said, an amused look in his eyes, “you just don’t look all that excited.”

You grinned the most sarcastic smile you could muster. “Better?” Then, you showed an honest laugh. “I’m sure you didn’t imagine a female Hwarang, either, huh? Please just call me (Y/N).”

The two of you whipped the reigns lightly so that your horses could make their way back to Hwarang House. “I think it’ll be interesting to have you,” Ji Dwi replied. “I didn’t imagine there would ever be a lady who was spectacular in fighting. It’s as impossible as the king living in the Hwarang House, disguised as a Hwarang.” He glanced over at you again and shared a playful smile.

It was not long until you reached the home of the Hwarangs and found the chief instructor as well as his assistant instructor waiting on you. Being a gentleman, Ji Dwi helped you off of your horse. “Thank you,” you told him before walking over to the chief instructor.

The chief instructor hummed, observing you. “Why, you must be (Y/N). I am Chief Instructor Wi Hwa. It is our pleasure to have you. Hopefully, you were able to get acquainted with my nephew on your way here.” When he gave you a short bow, you returned a deeper one.

“Ah, Ji Dwi is your nephew? I didn’t know that. I was wondering which family he belonged to as I’ve never met him before.”

“He lived overseas,” the old man affirmed. He then nodded his head over at his nephew, and Ji Dwi headed back into the Hwarang House. The chief instructor then held out his hand in the direction of the building. “I will be happy to show you around and answer any questions you may have, (Y/N).”

You paid attention to the view of your new residence as you listened to the chief instructor guide you through the area. You didn’t spot any other elites around, probably because they were having lessons or something. Beautiful flowers were grown in all of the green grasses, pleasing your eyes. The walls were painted of a rich, bright red and some gold. You soon found out ways to important places such as your own room, the bathhouse (you were assigned a different time from the other Hwarangs, of course), the dining room and the area where the young warriors practiced their fighting skills. It was nice, but you still felt quite uneasy about being here.

“Do you think it is strange,” you said, staring ahead at scenery, “that even though I know how to fight, I don’t want to be a fighter at all?”

Chief Instructor Wi Hwa glanced over at you and then forward, sharing the same view as you. “Your father told me, and I can understand why you’re like that. You probably feel like a pawn in Her Majesty’s hand. Please think of this as another path you have to take in life.” He began to move, and you followed right next to him. “Here, I can guarantee your growth, just like these flowers. Though you seem to agree that women should not be seen fighting, I disagree. Embrace that part of you - your natural combat skills like the earthy soil, your soft, yet intense beauty like the waves of water, and your bright character like the sunlight - and you will be strong enough to stand on your own. Maybe, you’ll even start to discover more of yourself here, among the other Hwarangs.”

Before you knew it, you found yourself inside of the household and in front of the doors. You heard chatters inside, and for some reason, your heart started to pick up more beats per minute. Chief Instructor Wi Hwa opened up the doors, and when eyes turned to him and then you, the room became silent.

The boys bowed, and the chief instructor nodded. You walked behind the old man when he started toward the center of room, walking up the steps to higher platform. You dared not to make eye contact with anyone. Only when the man next to you cleared his throat did you glance up. Handsome men in the same elegant uniforms stared at you, a few in a way different from others. Some were in confusion as if they could not believe you were there, and a few in awe, having heard rumors of your arrival but still could not take your presence in. You recognized a few faces.

“There is someone I would like to introduce you all to…” the chief instructor began.

You spotted Ji Dwi who you met in the morning. He smiled which calmed your heart down a bit. Then, there was Soo Ho. You only ran into him a few times when your father met with his, and the two brought up how both of their children excelled in sword fighting. Also, you’ve seen him when he was dating a few of your friends. He gave you a charming smile, as expected of someone who’s been around a lot of women.

You easily found Yeo Wool. His feminine features caught your eye. You heard about his family from your father, and even found Yeo Wool once at Okta. It was embarrassing for you to admit it, but you quite envied his beauty. He had an amused smile on his face. Right next to him was Han Sung. You knew he didn’t like to fight, so you wondered why he decided to join Hwarang. Maybe it had something to do with him being the last True Bone of his family. There was a twinkle in his eyes, and his mouth was slightly ajar. You couldn’t help but smile at his cute reaction.

“(Y/N) will be joining as the only female Hwarang. It is an executive decision made by the queen and myself. (Y/N) is amazing fighter. Even better than most of you,” Chief Instructor Wi Hwa said, muttering the last part to himself. “We believe that she will be a great addition to Hwarang. As I expect you all to treat each other with respect, getting rid of Silla’s bone rank system in the Hwarang House, I want you all to do the same to Jung Young Sik’s daughter. Understood?”

“Yes!” the boys replied in unison.

“Good.” The chief instructor turned to you. “Please head to the physician’s room. Miss Ah Ro has sewn you a uniform that is similar to theirs. After you’re dressed appropriately, you will return to this room and continue the rest of the day with these boys.”

You turned around and began to head down the stairs when a clear, loud voice spoke up. “Wait.” The short hairs on your arms raised from the chill.

Chief Instructor Wi Hwa responded. “Yes. Ban Ryu.”

Your body rotated to where Ban Ryu stood. You have never spoken to him, only heard about him sometimes from your father. Soo Ho might have mentioned once to stay away from Ban Ryu. You were very aware of their rivalry. His face was striking, but at the same time quite intimidating. You had a bad feeling about his next words.

“I don’t believe that she should be here. She doesn’t belong in the Hwarang House. It is a disgrace.”

I don’t know about disgrace… You frowned.

“You said it yourself Chief Instructor, Wi Hwa, that you wanted to form Hwarang with the capital’s greatest male elites. She is a woman. If she is the daughter of an official, then she should be taking on duties of a woman, preparing for marriage. Furthermore, if you accept her, it will be unfair as we already had the ceremony. What if the officials whose son didn’t make it get upset?” Ban Ryu glanced in your direction, a dirty look. “It’ll be all her fault.”