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.


12. Solace of the Mindless

On the banks of a hopeless forever, I contemplate deserting the people; I just can’t take responsibility any longer.


With my head filled with the words of a girl more common than the grass beneath my feet, I didn’t feel like my reasons were valid any longer - brought down by mere words of a rambling girl who knew nothing of what she spoke about.


Peace had set in, like the calm before a storm. I felt safe, though - like I was again in my mother’s arms as a child when I once foolishly thought she would protect me.


The sunset before me reminded me that another day had passed not only physically but mentally - one day down by my lake, and another, and another. Soon enough, I would only fear I might forget it; the soft touch of the blades of delicate grass, the crystal hypnotic water within the lake. It was a sight I longed to see in my reality, but I had a job first before I could even dare do that.


When I imagine my return, I imagine it to be spring, the cherry blossom on the trees would fall around my feet and I’d feel as light as a feather.


Somehow, the vision within my own mental solace involved not only myself - but another. She was there, with the cloak wrapped around her shoulders, but the hood was down. She would stare right back across at me. There was no fire in my chest. No ice in my boots.


It was me, with her. No anger, no blockade.


Something spiked in my chest deep down, something I’d never felt before. The last thought that struck me; is this love?


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