The Seventh King of Gauna

By the lake not in this world or another, a man sits by its frozen banks as water fails to break its surface. In the sky, sun is non-existant. Like his life, it fades. As a symbol of his will, it is bleak. With his Nightsmen he continues his journey along the borders of Xiching and Joseon, rallying his supporters against their Hierarchical rule and the six dynasties of Gauna, but a way to destroy their power evades their grasps and instead they remain prisoners to the shade. When set on the trail of a supposed messenger from others who defied their king in the Taoshi region in no-man’s land, they come across many of the exiled and run-away citizens victim to the regional regime. Among them, a young herbalist named Saeji had sought out the no-mans land to escape the evil reign of Chosheon who had executed her entire family in order to rid their kingdom of traitors.


6. Iterative Cycles

The water laps the surface of the river, gently caressing the muddy sand and turning the crystal clear water brown. The clouds had rolled in long ago and a gentle frost was cascading over the serene setting in pulsating waves.


I had seen this cycle before; it was calm before the storm, the peaceful autumn whether before the harsh winter would attack. Now all I had to do was wait. Wait as the storm came closer and ripped through the daylight, exposing me to the witnesses of my demise. Defenceless, weak, I’d suffer.


Only before I had escaped those cycles, but now I knew I wouldn’t. Because that will to break free had been shattered. So there beyond the hills and the lake was Shinwoo, standing there waiting, beckoning me over, but I had to last it out until the last second. I couldn’t give in now, I couldn’t give in hope.


That hope was ever dwindling. Just when I’d overcome my scars, just when things were looking hopeful. The ice in my boots had vaporised, and my heart had thawed. Now it seemed to roll in reverse, and as the sun set in the distance, Shinwoo’s face gradually disappeared.


I’d reach the hills someday, and by that point I’d be with him, by that point I’d be free.

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