‘Are you scared of the darkness?’ asked Yeong-hwan, while looking back at the girl.
After embarking on this journey, this was their second night traveling. At first, while they were still relatively close to their home, Yu Na did not feel any wave of fear, yet, now it was different. It had been more than a day since they had seen someone on their road, and now, traveling in the dark, while the only sound was cries of the animals, it was indeed scary. Yeong-hwan and Hyun-woo had their swords close to them, yet Yu Na had only a dagger, with whom she couldn’t do much. So, she found herself clinging to Yeong-hwan’s robes, following him like a small puppy.
‘It’s just so that I don’t stray from you. We should all keep close with each other, so that we don’t lose one another.’ Yu Na quickly backed out her response
Hyun-woo giggled upon hearing how the two of them quarreled over. Soon, Yeong-hwan unclenched the girl’s fist and grabbed her by the hand: ‘It’s much better this way.’ he said as he raised his arm that held her hand.
It wasn’t something to be embarrassed about, but in that moment, Yu Na could feel her cheeks blushing and it didn’t get better when she heard the boys giggling over this matter.
‘I think some of us are forgetting that this journey had another mission! Not to enjoy ourselves.’ Hyun-woo cried out
‘What’s wrong with being a little happy when time allows us to? There’s little to no time to be happy, so even moments like those are precious to us and shall be cherished. We may never know if we would get another chance to be happy’ Yeong-hwan was quick to respond, and upon hearing his response, Hyun-woo nodded his head in agreement and let the two of them enjoy the little moments that they had.
On their fourth day, they encountered a relatively small village, and, without a doubt, they were overjoyed. They could eat a warm meal after a long time! Yet their joy was quickly dispersed. People stared at them with an unreadable expression, as if they were judging them. Some villagers cried their hearts out, some were cursing around, but no one seemed as ignorant as the trio.
‘Look at them! We had lost our King and they are here to enjoy a hot meal?! They must be insane.’ whispered a clearly drunk old man. That man would have continued to gossip about them, but his friend shushed him down.
The trio exchanged looks between them. To say that they were shocked was an understatement. The wave of emotions that hit them was unexplainable. Hyun-woo looked down as a curse slipped from his mouth. He couldn’t be happy, he only felt much more worried than before. While the King’s death could bring chaos inside the Palace, making it easier for them to find a lead to mystery, they had to take in consideration that it would be difficult to predict the moves of the Crown Prince that will quickly rise to the throne.
‘Why now… from all the times.’ Hyun-woo said as he quickly ran his fingers through his hair.
‘But… isn’t this also a good thing?’ Yu Na suddenly spoke quietly, as if she was afraid to be overheard, but she quickly drew the attention of the two of them.
‘How is this a good thing?’ Hyun-woo asked
‘This clears me out of all suspicions. If the guards were looking out for me to punish for an attempt to kill the King, now that he died and I wasn’t even remotely close, doesn’t that clear me off the suspects list?’
What she said was true. There wasn’t any reason to blame Yu Na for something that now was clearly determined that she did not have any part in it, and also, because of the King’s death, there will be a commotion inside the Palace, with the Crown Prince having his commemoration as a King. It was sure that now, there won’t be any guard looking for them for a while.
‘That is true, I can’t doubt that, but also, with his death, there would be much more trouble.’ Yeong-hwan said, as he looked into the horizon. ‘The Crown Prince, we don’t know anything about him. What kind of guy can he be, what kind of cards does he have up his sleeves. There’s so much we don’t know, but we can hope that he is different.’ he found himself patting a hidden pocket inside his robes, he was glad that he took precautionary measures.
‘With the King’s death, it will be even harder to unravel the ones behind everything, as the main Puppeteer is dead. Yet we have time to figure it out before our next move, now all we have to do is arrive safely at our hideout.’ Hyun-woo quietly said
This short exchange between them didn’t last longer than a few minutes. They had to leave that place, even if they didn’t eat anything, they already drew enough attention because of their indifference, it wouldn’t be favorable to remain and eat. At least, they found out something important. After this, the trio had begun to walk again on the difficult road. Everywhere they would go, people would talk about the King’s passing. Yet one thing was strange: no one knew the truth behind his death. Some said it was an illness and some said he was poisoned.
Strangely enough, despite the people they would meet occasionally, nothing strange ever happened. It wasn’t that they were hoping to run into trouble, but it was certainly odd that nothing ever blocked their road. As predicted, on their eight day journey, they arrived at the path that led them to the forest. It was a fork in the road. One path would lead them to the forest, while the other would take them to the city.
‘Now it can be safe to travel in the city, as the guards wouldn’t be looking out, don’t you think?’ Hyun-woo asked
‘No, now it’s even more dangerous. They will tighten the security. Let’s continue as we proceed.’ Yeong-hwan replied
Yet soon, they will learn that whatever road they would have taken, all of them will lead them to this terrible outcome.
Not even half a day had passed since they entered the forest, but the danger quickly appeared in front of their eyes. It wasn’t the snowy roads that they were hoping not to encounter, nor it wasn’t the wild animals that could harm them. In fact, this danger came before them in the form of their greatest fear. They were discovered.
They heard in the distance an undetected rumbling. Sonner, that sound got closer and closer to them, as if it wrapped around them, everywhere they looked, the sound echoed. They did not have much time to think and ran into a direction, but they would soon find out they were outsmarted. They were quickly surrounded by the Military Troops. Following that troop, another ten of them came, but those were carrying a palanquin. In that matter of seconds, both Yeong-hwan and Hyun-woo hid Yu Na behind their back, but now, it was worthless.
From that palanquin came out an elegant young man, taller than the two boys, yet not younger than Hyun-woo. He was surrounded by a powerful aura, his clothes were of someone that clearly had all the power he would dream of. When that young man came out, the soldiers suddenly kneeled at his request. That young man quickly met Yu Na’s eyes. He smirked.
‘My Crown Princess, how long do you think you can run away from me?’
Season I finale~
(sometime... somewhere... before everything went down.)