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44 HIS DEATH

The Devil's Plans

After taken a rest for a week, one early morning the General heads out in his sport clothes to the Royal Training Ground.

The General and Lieutenant Han start running in laps and after that they continue with sword fighting and after that they practice some martial arts.

After a few hours, they stop and sit at a gazebo near the training ground. A Palace Maid comes and gives them water.

"I'm thinking going back to the North Border tomorrow to monitor some progress," the General says after he finishes gulped down three cups of water.

"We'd only here for a week, we need more rest, we had been in the battle ground for months," Lieutenant Han complains.

The General shakes his head, "My body already feels rusty and I'm only going for a while."

"Well then, I'm going with you," the Lieutenant offers.

"No," the General refuses, "I need you to be here, watch after the King for me."

Lieutenant Han does not refute but just smile and nods his head.

***

As the General prepares his things, I go to the Main Hall to check on my Second Grandson. It has been a week since I saw him and I never trust that Royal Advisor to be constantly near him. My plans to haunt him failed when I found out that he has shamans living in his resident, he is said to be very devoted to his religion and I couldn't risk being exorcised by the shamans.

When I arrive, the King is reading scrolls and discussing some important matters with few ministers so I just sit idly on the steps and hear their discussions.

When I was a 'Queen', I had never involved in assemblies. My time was occupied with the Royal Court matters, which included matters regarding the Court Ladies, Palace Maids and rules and regulations for women in the Palace. The 'King' had never really discussed such matters with me unless he needed some opinions from a different perspective.

After the assembly, the King heads back to his residence but he does not take a rest instead he continues reading books. I guess the hobby runs in the blood.

After a while, Eunuch Moon comes in and says that the Royal Advisor Ji is seeking an audience with the King.

"Your Highness," the Royal Advisor greets the King with a troubled expression.

"Advisor Ji, what's your concern?" The King inquires.
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"Forgive me, Your Majesty, but this is a very bad news," Royal Advisor says.

"What is it?" The King's face turns serious.

"Your Majesty, I am not sure who is the perpetrator but words have been speculating around the Palace and it is making people afraid."

"What words?"

"About the Commander of the Ming's proposition to the General Lee," the Royal Advisor says with a heavy tone.

The King stands abruptly and almost shouts, "Who dare to spread those words?"

The Royal Advisor drops to his knees and says with a trembling voice, "Forgive me, Your Majesty but I have no knowledge of this. I was on my way to the Royal Library yesterday when I heard the palace maids whispering to each other about the matter. When I asked them where they heard such words, they said it has been around ever since the General arrived from the North Border."

The King grunts at his answer, "Are you sure you have investigated thoroughly?"

"Yes, Your Majesty. I even threatened to expel them if they tried to protect the perpetrator but they all did not know how it started," the Royal Advisor explains.

The King sits back to the throne and sighs, "This is not a good situation, if the words spread until out of the Palace, the people might demand the General to be stripped from his title, there will be uproar."

From the way I'm seeing this, the King is surely worried about other things, the one that instigated this might hold hatred towards the General or worse, he is supporting such words and his hatred is towards the King. Both situations are not in favour for the General.

If the person is holding hatred against the General, then spreading those words might cause retaliation of them who had long been restless of his position and how near he is to the throne. They might demand him to be stripped from his title or worse, executed in the name of treason.

But, if the person is holding hatred against the King, then his action is merely to instigate a cold war. Nobody knows of what the King's thinking about the General, only one person… the Royal Advisor. If he is the one that spread those words or there had been no such incidents but merely his stage play, he is using the King's weakness for his evil plans.

Both end with the General's fall.

"Should I execute them, Your Highness?" The Royal Advisor suggests.

"No, they merely heard from someone that might purposely do it due to some personal grudges towards the General. Killing them is unnecessary."

Suddenly the Royal Advisor stands up and says, "Your Majesty, what about we send the General to the South Border," he suggests.

"Why so?"

"The people will be worried if the General stays too long in the Palace and due to the rumours, they will feel restless and concern about you, Your Majesty. Let the General be away from the Palace and during that time I will find the perpetrator behind this."

The King contemplates, "The Jin Clan in the South Border is known for their barbaric nature and their hatred towards the Mings. If by fault these words made known to them, they might retaliate against the General. It is such an unsafe place."

"The South Border is far away from here, Your Majesty, I'm sure that no one have heard of these words just yet, it's probably safer there for the General than here," The Royal Advisor says and then he adds, "I'm sure you are worried about the General's safety as well, Your Majesty, but sending him away is a better choice for now."

Then the King nods, "Alright. Eunuch Moon, call the General."

As I glance over at the Royal Advisor, I could see a smirk on his face but he quickly washes it away.

"What now?"

***

"Your Majesty, I was about to visit you," the General greets the King.

"Of what purpose, Older Brother?"

"I was going to ask for your permission to go to the North Border, I would like to monitor some progress. There were some casualties and destruction caused by the battle with the Mings before and I would like to check how are they progressing with the restoration," the General explains.

The King raises an eyebrow, "Hmmmm."

'He's doubting him.' I thought as I'm assessing the situation.

"There's nothing to be worried about regarding the matters in North Border. I have sent Lieutenant Ji to handle the situation over there," the King says.

The General looks at the King questioningly.

"I have another mission for you instead, General Lee," the King's voice turns authoritative.

"What is it, Your Majesty?"

"Go to the South Border."
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