Chapter Thirty Two- Sleepless Night
The Prime Minister’s residence…
The Sang household servants were steering clear of the master’s chambers.
Quite a number of them had felt the force of his current anger.
He had returned from the Palace the previous evening like a devil, lashing out at any servant who offended him in the least way possible, and ordering the offender to be beaten in the mat.
It was the middle of the night, and he was still pacing in his chambers.
They did not dare sleep, or they would feel his wrath, if he needed one of them for something…
Sang Yoo Jin was the angriest he had been, for a very long time.
So the King knew his plans?
So he had the Head Shaman and the deities on his side?
Yoo Jin smiled coldly.
He did not fear the deities.
So what, if they had been reborn.
They had no power as mortals.
‘Besides,’ he angrily remembered. ‘I know who they are now.’
Three years ago, he had told his daughter, Hye Su, that she was to be his eyes and ears in the Palace, and she had done well so far, even though she remained in the Side Palace.
When he had returned to the Palace Hall, she had approached him with her aides and after he paid his respects, (bowing to his own child angered him, but it was necessary for now), she had told him the King had summoned three young nobles.
She had named only three, but he had seen the fourth.
It angered him that they had been right under his nose for years!
Daegun and his friend, young master Choi.
Lord Kim Dae Hyeon’s daughter.
And the worst, his own niece!
Did the King think he would keep still? He would eliminate them all.
“Come in here!” He called his new personal Aide. The man had been Chung Jae’s apprentice. He was not as good as Chung Jae with the sword, but he was an unknown face, and he had learned all the tricks of getting around.
“Daegam.” The young man said, bowing in as he came in, and Yoo Jin looked down at him coldly.
“Go and tell Priest Joo we need to meet.”
“Ye. Daegam.” He bowed, exiting the room.
Yoo Jin resumed his pacing. He would have to hasten his takeover.
It was time for Jang Tae Min to take the throne.
Lord Kim Dae Hyeon’s temporary residence…
The King, Jang Tae Yong, sat in disguise, with Kim Dae Hyeon and Pal Wol, in Kim Dae Hyeon’s bed chamber.
As was custom, Kim Dae Hyeon had given up his seat to the King, and he and Pal Wol sat before him.
Jang Tae Yong looked resplendent in a stylish dark blue and grey hanbok, a magnificent gat on his head, and a wide regal fan in his hand.
Outside the door, Eunuch Eun and the King’s head guard, stood waiting.
“What manner of greed is this?” The King was asking no one in particular.
“It is understandable if one is ambitious for the throne. Perhaps, if I had brothers, I myself may have done atrocious things to rule. He is my ancestor after all.”
He noted the instant denial on Dae Hyeon’s face, but he simply gave a small smile.
Dae Hyeon was too loyal, so he would refuse to believe he was capable of such acts.
“If Sang Yoo Jin’s ambition was merely to take the throne, I would understand. But caring nothing for the Kingdom, he is reliving his past life, and seeking immortal power again.
“A move that would plunge this Kingdom into darkness. It is really too selfish!”
“Jeonha. If your servant may speak?” Pal Wol bowed before the King, and he nodded.
“Jeonha has indeed been wise in forcing the enemy’s hands, instead of waiting for an unpredictable action.
“However, now that Lord Sang has been pushed, he will become more ruthless. The children, including this Kingdom’s Prince, Jeonha’s own child, will be in danger.”
She paused here, as if considering her next words, then said in a rush.
“This servant also thinks Lord Sang will attempt to kill Jeonha very soon.” She finished, bowing to the ground, but was surprised to note that the two men were calm.
“Ah. Ye.” The King said with humour. “The Magical Body, which he succeeded in getting into the Palace, will begin to work now.
“This kingdom’s Wang (King) will take suddenly ill and die, leaving the throne to the Crown Prince.”
Kim Dae Hyeon chuckled, but Pal Wol blanched, bowing.
“Jeonha! The heavens will not allow such an evil thing to happen!”
“Ye. But people like Sang Yoo Jin like to defy the heavens. Right?” He said, but noted her genuinely worried expression. He spoke seriously.
“I and Kim Dae Hyeon have discussed his motives at length. The children have been protected for now. We have involved the current Head of Military, so they have people watching over them.
“The children will be moved to Nam Guk, since that is where it all started. To think my own son, in that land…” He left the statement hanging, but they both knew what he had been about to say.
Nam Guk was the Black Deity’s original home, where the blackened Foggy mountains stood till date.
It was amusing that the White Deity had chosen Nam Guk as her home in this life, and the Black Deity had been born in the Capital, the North.
The White Deity’s original home.
When Pal Wol had told the King that his legitimate son was the elusive Black Deity, she had expected him to halt the ‘birthday’ plan.
But the King had merely asked her- several times- if she was sure, and then, seeming suddenly tired, he had addressed the summoning letter for his own son, stamping the seal with finality.
She came out of her thoughts, when the King continued talking.
“As for my ‘impending murder’, I won’t let Sang Yoo Jin have his way. Pal Wol.” He turned to face her.
“Ye Jeonha.” She bowed.
“I will need you to act seriously now, to block the activities of the Magical Body within the Palace.”
“We ourselves should start moving. I will also need you to select a group of trustworthy shamans and priests.” He smiled. “He made a mistake in attacking the Royal family eleven years ago. I now know my enemy.”
The King did not intend to underestimate Sang Yoo Jin ever again.
Da Yeong was trapped in a haze of confusion. She was not sure if there was a ground beneath her feet, and it felt like any movement would send her plummeting into a bottomless pit.
She stood absolutely straight, refusing to move.
The images whirled around before her eyes.
All around her were familiar faces, but different.
Familiar places, but different, and for some reason, she felt disturbed.
She forced herself to wake…
Da Yeong sat up on the strange bed, after laying awake in the darkness for a while, thinking about the things she had seen.
‘Is this like that time? That time with the Silent Monk?’ She questioned herself, but the visions steadily sank in with clarity.
These were not ordinary visions.
They were memories.
Still, she could not make sense of what she had seen, as they were like scattered images in her head.
But there was one thing that clung to her mind.
The white haired lady, that perfect person in her dream looked exactly like her, and more shocking, the striking man who was usually beside her, looked exactly like Daegun!
“Omo!” She clapped her hands to her cheeks. “I’m not going mad, am I? Am I beginning to see him everywhere?”
Another memory entered her mind. “Geom-ah…” She whispered softly, not even sure why she was saying it.
It was a name…
It felt familiar…
It tugged at her…
She shook her head, noting her surroundings for the first time.
It was an unfamiliar room and she looked around in slight confusion, then reached for a bowl of water, which was beside the bed.
She drank the whole thing, realizing she was very thirsty. The sounds woke Mi Ju up.
“Da Yeong-ah.” She slid over to her, Da Yeong nearly jumped, then relaxed, as she recognized her.
“Mi Ju-ah! What are you doing here?”
“Are you alright?” Mi Ju ignored her, placing a hand on her forehead.
“Ye.” She replied simply. “Where am I? Did Daegun move me to another room?”
“Tsk tsk tsk! Aigoo… You’re not in Daegun’s house! Tch! Acting like a homeless person…” She was refilling the water as she spoke.
“Drink.” She handed the bowl to Da Yeong, who collected it gratefully. “This is your father’s temporary residence in Gwang Guk.
“He allowed me look after you. Daegun suddenly returned from the Palace very angry. He sent me over here at once.”
“Ah. I see.” Da Yeong nodded, dropping the remaining water.
She was remembering the events of the previous evening. She wondered why she had reacted to the noble man who had come in, but her mind drifted right back to Daegun again.
She wanted to see him.
Mi Ju cut through her thoughts.
“Gijibaeya (girl). How many times do I have to come running to look after you, huh?” Da Yeong looked surprised at first, then scoffed.
“Ya. Why are you blaming me for something Daegun did?” She countered, standing up. “Daegun sent you over here. I did not do anything.”
“Ya! You are still responsible! Aigoo! Either getting stabbed or fainting!” Mi Ju got up as well.
Da Yeong acted like she was dizzy.
“Omo! Who bothers a sickly person like this?”
“Aish! I can see through your acting clearl-.” Something hit the window.
‘It is him!’ Da Yeong thought. She was not sure how she knew, but she suddenly wanted to go outside.
Mi Ju grabbed her arm as she headed to the door.
“You can’t! Wait.” She went to open the window, then jumped back at once. “Omo! Gabjagi!” She exclaimed, her hand flying to her chest
“How can you stand right below the wind-!” She noticed the look on the Grand Prince’s face, bowed, then turned to face Da Yeong.
“Ya, gijibaeya. Daegun is outside.” Da Yeong was laughing silently, her shoulders raising and falling.
“I know.” She said, still laughing. Mi Ju shut the window and glared at her, but quickly helped her into a simple hanbok and a blue vest.
“Where you going to see him like that?!” She chastised, gesturing at the white sleeping clothes Da Yeong had removed. “You would have looked like a virgin ghost!”
She said, as she bound the front of the vest together. She caught Da Yeong’s loose hair and pulled it back a little viciously, binding it simply at the nape of her neck.
“Tch! Komawo, ‘Omma’.” Da Yeong said, heading out quickly, before Mi Ju could successfully grab her.
Tae Jun and So Yeon had arrived at the compound, having no idea where they might find Da Yeong.
Tae Jun had planned to listen intently at the major regions of the compound, but he did not even have to try hard before finding them.
‘Noisy!’ He had thought when he heard them, and he had gone in that direction at once.
So Yeon heard nothing, but he was used to simply following Daegun at times like this…
Now, Tae Jun blocked out what they were saying, while he waited for her to come out.
He stood a little straighter, when he heard the sliding door open and heard her giggle.
He was definitely not dreaming this time, but her voice still reminded him of the most delicate of music.
She turned to face him.
“Ahem! Kim Da Yeon-.” Before he could continue, she had run to him, throwing her arms around his middle again, her head to his chest.
“Hyeong-nim!” She said.
He was shocked at first, standing absolutely still, then he relaxed, grinning.
“Ya. Don’t call me ‘Hyeong-nim’ while doing strange things like this.” He looked down at the top of her head. “Tch! Should a lady even do things like this? Did you miss me that much?”
“Ye.” She replied immediately, then felt her face go red.
“Aigoo, how troublesome. A woman that clings to you can only cause trouble. Tch! And we just saw each other a few hours ago too.”
“Ah. Ye…” She started to leave him, but his arms went around her waist, and pulled her back against him.
She looked up at him in surprise.
“Wae? I never said I did not want it.” He said simply, and pushed her head back down, resting his chin atop her head.
“Ye.” She smiled happily against his chest. Then she realized something. She raised her head to look up at him.
“But Hyeong-nim, what are you doing here in the middle of the night?”
Tae Jun blanched at the question.
“Oh ho! What an impertinent thing to ask. Ahem! Did you think I came all the way here to see you? Aigoo!” He pushed her head back down, and she laughed. “‘Hyeong-nim’ simply had business in the area.”
“I understand, Hyeong-nim.” Da Yeong felt safe here, and had a new sense of being.
Whatever the visions might mean, Da Yeong was not interested.
In this time and place, she was Kim Da Yeong, daughter of Lord Kim Dae Hyeon.
And future wife of the man she loved.
After a few moments, Tae Jun gently lifted her head to face him.
“Da Yeong-ah.” He said, images of the little child that had unconsciously awoken him, flashing through his mind.
“Thank you.” He lowered his head and kissed her before she could ask ‘what for?’
As Daegun kissed her, the thought to ask ‘what for?’ never even crossed Da Yeong’s mind…