Chapter 5: Il Minjoon

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It was different. Very different from the original plot.

Hae Gi was supposed to sob, her shoulders shaking. Her blood trailing to the door. She should be seen on the floor, begging Daehyun to stop and listen to her. Her tears trailing down her cheeks. Her voice whaling, screaming. Holding Daehyun's robe like her life depended on it. She was supposed to be tossed to the floor, her head hitting the cold cement rendering her unconscious. The baby left in the bed and was to cry. And the man outside was supposed to be saddened and chose to ignore the scene infront of his eyes.

Yet in this life, It changed. She sat, wounded but full of dignity and pride. She did not crawl but instead looked head-on. She did not abandon but instead offered protection. Maybe that's why Youngjae became fascinated by this woman. While sitting at one of the branches of the old acacia tree in the Blossom courtyard, he saw the scene of his friend Daehyun and his wife in an argument. He couldn't help but be confused. Why would his friend pick a fight with a woman who was still weak and drained from pregnancy? At the very least, he should give some time for her to rest before talking.

It was very strange.

He shook his head. He swung his sword again at his disciple, making his opponent stumble from being caught off guard. All this thinking made it hard for him to concentrate. He couldn't help but think back to the mother and child. It made him feel guilty like he should've done something.


He said. The boy in front of him stood straight and formed a stance. He was about to say start when he saw the woman again from before. In the east hallway, Hae Gi was with her maids, transferring her things to the desolate blue courtyard.

The blue courtyard was well known due to the people who stayed there. All the concubines and empresses that were unfavoured or stood against the past Emperors once lived here. In this silent courtyard, which was located farthest from the Emperor's chambers, stood an ancient acacia tree. There were only a few acacia trees located in this palace since it's mostly covered with cherry blossoms but this was the oldest, the first tree that was planted by the first Empress of the Il Kingdom.

It was a very sturdy tree. But Yoonjae liked cherry blossoms more.

He saw Hae Gi walking slowly, her legs unstable. She was being supported by a doctor, along with many maids in tow. The woman held a baby in her arms. She seemed to be laughing merrily despite her condition. A small chubby hand can be seen caressing her cheeks, clapping very wildly. Her gaze befalling on the infant in her caress. The baby looked very happy, with moist eyes sparkling with joy, his lips opened and turned upwards, forming a gleeful smile. It was a wondrous scene, perfectly portraying a loving family, minus the father.

He felt desolate. Yoonjae also wanted that. A family. He was envious of his friend, but at the same time he couldn't help but feel appalled by his friend's actions. That guy had everything, but he threw it away. Wait, no- It was more like-

He had it all, but he couldn't see it.

Yet this woman, who he expected to be miserable, with a gloomy cloud in her head, was smiling and laughing in front of him.

It mystified him greatly. So he followed her. He dismissed his student and silently watched Hae Gi approach her destination. After a while, she stopped. Droplets of sweat can be seen on her forehead. She was breathing hard, her face pale.

Yoonjae cursed that stupid mongrel. A few days have passed since then, It was too early for her. She should be bedridden for goodness sake.

Due to his thoughts, he unconsciously paced back and forth. He was suddenly seen from his hiding spot. It was too late before he realized this. Hae Gi had already seen him.

He stood on his spot. Yoonjae didn't know what to do. He was panicking in his mind. Thankfully, he had a good poker face. After a while, he decided a formal salute. With a straight back, he formed a fist with his right hand and placed it in his heart. A salute for soldiers that stood in the frontlines. Only meant for the bravest and selfless.

Hae Gi seemed to understand this. Her lips lifted, but only for a second. She silently nodded and went on on her path.

Yoonjae thought at that moment, that that gaunt and weedy back, although poised and refined, looked a little bit lonely from afar.

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