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43 THE GENERAL PART VII

Serves as a Warning.

The King sits on the throne while the Royal Advisor stands next to him.

'We' are waiting for the arrival of the General. He just arrives from the North Border and is on his way to the Palace, an informant reported a few minutes ago.

I hear horses galloping from the North Gate and stop in front of the Main Hall. A Palace Guard announces the arrival of General Lee together with Lieutenant Ji and Lieutenant Han; both are second in command of the Royal Soldiers after General Lee.

"Your Majesty," they greet the King. The King tries to form a smile on his face. He looks happy to see his brother comes back alive but deep in his eyes I could see his wariness.

"Older Brother, welcome home," the King says. "I am delighted to see you. You managed to bring victory to our Nation," he congratulates them.

"We humbly accept your compliments, Your Majesty," they say in sync.

The King calls Eunuch Han. Eunuch Han comes in with tray on his hand. On the tray is the sword the King wanted to give to the General; the sword that said the previous King used to kill his subject.

I witnessed the said event and I knew the 'King' did not kill General Sun but General Sun wanted the 'King' to say he killed him, to save me and most importantly it was to protect the 'King' and his name.

How hurtful was it for the 'King' to tell them that the General was a traitor? What happened after that day? Why did I not remember any of the events? Even I looked different in the vision, was it a vision?

I guess the 'King' said everything as according to the General's last wishes. The General sacrificed his life for the sanctity of the 'King' and he even protected the honour of the 'Queen'. Maybe that was why everyone thought the General was a traitor and the sword awarded to him was used to kill him.

It saddens me that I couldn't tell anyone about his sacrifice and he was nothing a betrayer but a loyal servant.

"General Lee, come forward," the King orders. He takes the sword from the tray and slowly descends from the throne towards the General. The General stands up but his head stays low as he takes a step forward.

The King stops in front of him. "Lift your head, General Lee," he orders. He hands the swords to the General, "This sword has been passed to the Kings before me and Father had handed down it to me before he left this world. This sword was used by the Great King III when he fought with the Mings and subdued them. Now, I'm giving you this as your award to have won the battle that we had long desired."

The General drops to one knee and accepts the sword, "Your grace is immeasurable, Your Majesty."

The King also rewarded the other soldiers and granted them three days banquets to celebrate their victory. He attended the first day but left early, the same went with the General. The General went back to his residence after he greeted all his comrades and excused himself by saying he was feeling unwell.

I followed the General back to his residence.

He's in his chamber. I thought he was going to get a rest so I didn't follow him into his chamber but after a few hours, his chamber still bright with light.

I enter his chamber and see he sits with his back leaning against the wall. His eyes closed and the sword lies on the floor in front of him. His jaw tensed and his brows furrowed.

"What are you thinking, First Grandson?"

Then there's a knock at the door, "General Lee, can I borrow a bit of your time?"

He opens the door and let the man in. It's the Lieutenant Han.

"Why aren't you in the banquet?" the General asks.

"What about you? You went missing minutes after the event started," Lieutenant Han is speaking informally to the General, more to like friends having a conversation.

"I'm just…tired," the General's giving excuses.

"You are not, I know," the Lieutenant says as his eyes linger on the sword.
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The General notices the Lieutenant's gaze and takes the sword and put it on the table.

"What are you thinking, General?" He suddenly turns formal.

"This sword serves more than just an award, that it serves as a warning for me," the General spills his thought.

"How did you arrive to such scary thoughts? I believe that His Majesty has no other meanings behind that," the Lieutenant's looking at the General with a puzzled expression.

"He's the King of this Nation, nobody knows what he's thinking," the General says. "But, as his General, I know exactly what this sword means and I'm thankful that he decided to arrive to such conclusion - to not believe easily. That is what this sword means that my life is his and I'm more than willing to offer him that. But as a Brother, this sword means that I am too under his control and that also means, he does not believe in me anymore, even as his Brother," the General looks pained.

"I know I shouldn't let personal feelings getting through my relationship with him but before I serve him as the General, I was his Brother. I wanted him to believe me as his Brother that even the world turns back at him, I will still by his side. I don't want him, to be wary of me. I know that he's restless because of my position and what the people had been saying about me. I could let go of this position anytime but I couldn't do much as his Brother without a position, this place is a scary place and I don't want him to face it alone."

The Lieutenant just sits there silently and hears the General's concern.

"Forgive me Lieutenant, I shouldn't say any of these to you."

"No, General Lee, I'm happy that you're willing to spill everything that's been in your head," the Lieutenant smiles. "You're always on restraints and less words. Sometimes I feel frustrated to guess what's on your mind," the Lieutenant complains.

A thin smile forms on his mouth, "Thank you for your understanding, Lieutenant."
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