(Pictures not mine…
The white hill shone in the full moonlight, seeming to glow like the divine location it was known to be. The woods on the hill bore an unusual silence as an odd gloom settled on the creatures of the night. High on the hill, a thick frost covered the ground and every surface in sight. This unseasonal frost had earned the hill its name of “White Hill”. The wind rippled across a white lake, which, despite the chill, remained unfrozen, and produced the only sounds of the night- a duet with the wind.
They came silently. Very silently, their foot falls making barely any sound on the frost covered ground. The leader of the three darkly hooded figures, gave a signal to the other two. They split up, moving swiftly and silently, approaching a lone house by the lake from different angles. The house, like everything surrounding it, was covered in snow, and the visible parts of it seemed white and brittle with frost. The three hooded figures stole quietly into the house, but emerged several minutes later, having found no one. The leader was about to call for a search of the woods when they heard a sound foreign to the night. Something dropping in the lake.
The hooded figures were at the lake in an instant, surrounding the lone figure that stood before it. It was a woman dressed in a pure white, beautiful hanbok with gold embroidery. Her long silken hair was also pure white, like everything around her, and it fell straight to her waist, flowing slightly in the wind. She was very pale, and would have been difficult to see, if she wasn’t throwing pebbles in the lake. Her actions briefly confused the three silent figures watching her. She was Lady Hayang, the white mountain deity, and she must have known they were coming. They hadn’t really expected to find her in the house, or even on the mountain, but here she was, still tossing pebbles in the lake. Suddenly she dropped the pebbles she was holding. The figures took an involuntary step back.
“You have come to kill me”. She said simply. It wasn’t accusatory. A mere statement of fact. The figures, slightly thrown off guard, drew their weapons. The leader drew a long katana, its sharp edge glinted in the moonlight. Another had two wicked curved blades, one in each hand, and the third had strung an arrow on a huge intricately designed bow, the arrow pointing at her. She turned to face them, her big black eyes gleaming with tears. Other than the tears, her face was a very beautiful, expressionless mask.
“I see you brought the ancient ceremonial weapons, the only weapons that can kill me”. Another statement of fact. A mere observation. “Jeonha does not know where to stop. Isn’t that so, Chung Jae?” She was looking at the leader who winced. He removed the hood of his cloak, revealing his face. The other two followed suit, both of them, young men. The man called Yoo Chung Jae spoke.
“Forgive us, Lady Hayang, we should have known you would recognize us.” They inched closer to her, weapons at the ready. “Now!” He yelled, and the man with the curved blades clasped both hands, so the two blades met. Then he fell on one knee, clapping both hands to the ground, the blades beneath his hands, pointing at Lady Hayang. Written words and strange, unreadable characters crawled out of the blades towards her, wrapping themselves around her and binding her in place, her arms pressed to her sides. The second man shot an arrow at her feet, it’s point flaring up around her, forming a circle with strange markings. Then Yoo Chung Jae charged at her, bringing his katana right through her heart. A slight grimace marred her perfect features and the wind ceased immediately, everything seemed to stop. It had all happened in mere seconds.
The words holding her in place faded away, breaking the stillness. She stumbled into Yoo Chung Jae, who drew out the sword and pushed her away. Blood, stark black, spewed out of her mouth, flowing down to join the rushing wound in her heart. She stumbled back and fell at the edge of the lake, her blood flowing into the ground and the lake, slowly turning it black. She dipped her finger in the blood and drew a strange character on the ground, then looked up at them. They were slowly retreating, each of them puzzled. They had expected her to put up a fight, but she had done nothing at all. They now wondered, for the first time since their arrival, why she had been crying. She began to speak.
“I curse you…” She paused as she coughed up more blood. “I curse all of you.” She drew another strange character beside the first. “Those who have touched what they should not touch.” She began to glow as she spoke. The three men backed away further. “Those who have craved and possessed powers they should not possess. Their souls shall be tied to the land, and you shall forever hunger for power out of your reach and never achieve it, until we return to destroy you….” she sputtered more blood, then there was blinding light, and the three men lifted their arms to shield their eyes. When the light was gone, so was Lady Hayang. The blood on the ground where she had lain was quickly spreading. Realising they were probably in danger, they ran hastily, down the mountain and away from the darkness that was quickly spreading.
It was almost as if dark demons chased them…
From the day the White Hill turned Black, three other hills turned black and lifeless, and the kingdom of Eondeog Mun lost its light. People speculated the cause of the many problems that befell the kingdom, including the sudden death of the King, but none could find an answer. Soon, these times and whatever the four hills might have meant, were forgotten.