As soon as the matters in the South Border finished, the General and the others were reported to have made their way home.
However, upon arriving at the Palace, the General was preoccupied dealing with Lord Min's issue after he had been transferred to the Ministry of Justice and the General had to prepare reports on the events before presenting it to the King thus his visit to the King was delayed.
Only after two days being in the Palace now the General has time to visit the King.
"Your Majesty, your subject comes to visit," General Lee greets the King.
"General Lee," the King smirks. "Only now you have time to visit me?"
"My apology, Your Majesty, I had to transfer Lord Min's issue to the Ministry of Justice and they required my assistance in providing information regarding to the event.
I also bring along the reports from the ministry for your perusal and approval. Good news, The Min Clan had surrendered completely and Lord Min had agreed to pay back the money he had stolen, doubled the amount," the General delivers the news.
"Good news?" the King smirks then his face suddenly turns stern. He stands up and ambles down each step from the throne towards the General. The General is still on his knees so when the King crouches down in front of him, he lowers his head down almost to a kowtow.
The eunuchs and all the ministers that present prostrate themselves on the floor for fear the act of treason to be standing taller than the King.
The King lowers his head and whispers to the General, "I heard the people paraded when you came back," the King grits his teeth. "They threw compliments to you," the King says bitterly.
"Brave. Strong. Generous," his eyes fixed on the General's sword. "Long live?!" The King pulls out the sword and put it on the General's neck. With just a little move, the General could die right now this instant.
The King tightens his grip on the sword, "Those words are for me, the KING!" The King's about to cut the General but a few ministers stop him.
"Your Majesty, please refrain your anger," Minister Yun, the Minister of Defense says. "General Lee is nothing but loyal to you and the people have high regards of him. Your Majesty's action will anger the people," he adds.
The King stands up and strides towards Minister Yun who is still in prostrate position. He puts the sword on his neck, "You want to take his place instead?" the King asks.
"Your Majesty, killing your subjects won't make you look good to the people," the Prime Minister interjects.
The King shuts his eyes for seconds then he drops the sword. He sits on the throne and composes himself. He lets out a sigh. "All of you, dismiss. General Lee, you stay," the King orders.
A few of the ministers are hesitant to leave the Main Hall and the King notices this.
"Don't worry, I will not hurt your beloved hero," the King says sarcastically. Only when they hear this, the ministers then dismiss themselves, leaving the King, the General, and me alone in the large hall. And of course my existence is unknown to these two.
The King sits on the throne with his eyes closed, for a minute I thought he was asleep but as he opens his eyes, he stares at the General.
If his eyes shot arrows then the General might have been dead with thousand arrows pierce him. The General is still kneeling with his head down. There is a long silence and as the spectator, I found myself intimidated by it.
"Dear brother," the King breaks the silence. Since the hall is now empty, his voice slightly echoes.
"Do you know why I let you stay rather than mercilessly killing you?" The King asks rhetorically. The General knows better not to answer the question.
"There's no use of keeping this feelings anymore. Let me tell you everything. I don't fancy killing my only brother and rather than sending you away, it is better for me to keep you right beside me. It makes me peaceful to be able to know your every actions. I couldn't afford to send you far away and feel restless every day, thinking what plans you're plotting to take me down," the King looks wary.
"And of course most of it was due to my affection towards you, my only brother," the King stands up and looks directly at the General.
"I let you do whatever you want and despite them telling me," he lifts his hand pointing at something, "They told me to kill because you might vie for the throne but I didn't, because you are MY BROTHER!" he shouts.
"Why did you ask me to appoint you as the General? Why do you want to be the General? Do you really want the throne?" the King asks and this time he demands an answer.
"Your Majesty," the General stands up and takes the sword from the floor. He walks up to the throne holding the sword then he kneels while holding up the sword, presenting it for the King. "You gave me this sword when I came back alive from my first battlefield. This sword is not just your grace but it also serves as a warning for me, that my life is in your hand. I am no more than your loyal subject, I serve you and this Nation, my life is yours."
As the General said the words, I suddenly feel like being stabbed on my chest. I feel like I have heard those words before.
The General is ready to lose his life to the King. He knows well the King has been restless ever since he requested the King to appoint him as the General since the General controls the army and many stories told by their ancestors that armies were often used to revolt.
When their father was alive, he did not mind leaving the Palace and joined wars because he knew that their father will always protect his little brother. However, as soon as his little brother was chosen to carry on their father's duty, he was anxious to stay beside the brother he cherished so much that he made the first request ever in his life. But he has only one motive – to protect his brother from the cruelty that the throne brings.
The King however takes the sword then he stabs the General. Blood drips from his right chest. "Remember the words well, your life is mine," the King pulls out the sword throws it on the floor. I could see the King grimaces when he looks at his brother being hurt but he hides his feeling and walks out from the hall.
The General tries to stand up and walks to the door. He staggers and before he reaches the door he falls to the floor. The Palace Guard on the door sees him and hurriedly takes him to the physician.
He's lying on the bed. The physician had treated his wound and told his servant to change the bandages on his chest every day.
I stay right next to him watching him sleeps.
"How can you sleep peacefully after being stabbed by your brother like that?"
"How can a brother be cruel like that?"
It pains me to see him living like this. He is such a loyal brother but living in the Palace and having a Royal Blood only made him the center of suspicions. Every step he takes leads to scrutiny. People only see him as the person who vies for the throne, even when he never expresses any desires towards the throne. Being silently followed orders led him to being the useless prince but now being capable led to another problem. Now the King is losing his trust towards his own brother.
"Why bother reincarnated if you are going to live this kind of life?"
I run to the King's residence to check on the King. I do not think his action was purely his, there must be someone who instigated it. The Royal Advisor seems to be the main suspect.
As I reached the Residence I could see the current Queen of this Nation also comes to the residence.
The Queen comes inside the King's chamber without even announces her arrival and she greets the King in haste.
"My Queen, what brings you here?" The King looks questioningly at the Queen.
"I heard you stabbed the General?" the Queen asks with a very worried face.
"Even my Queen sided the General," the King laughs bitterly.
"That is not why I come here for," the Queen says with a firm voice. "Your brother is a good man but you've been restless just because someone else said something about him. You both grew up together, you know him longer than anyone else so why the needs of suspicion?"
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The King looks at the Queen with a weary expression.
"I know how happy you are for having a brother that cares about you and you know how loyal he is to you but why every time the Royal Advisor said something about him you went crazy? Don't you see the Royal Advisor is the one that you should banish from this Nation?" The Queen suggests.
Now the King's expression turns grave. "Are you saying that the Royal Advisor has control over me?"
"Stop!" The King grits his teeth. "There's no one having control over me, I am the King and all of you are my subjects. You listen to me!" His eyes are red with anger. "The people keep forgetting that the General is also my subject. They forget that I am above all of you. I stabbed him so you remember that he is my subject and his life is mine."
The Queen tries to say something but she does not want to anger the King no more. She comes closer to the King and takes his hands into hers.
"Never once I forget that I'm your subject, My King. Forgive me if my words hurt you. You rule this Nation with pride and you make us stronger each and every day but I also want you to be a good brother like you used to. Trust me, if there's someone that can give up his everything and even his life just to save yours, it's your brother. You know him better."