Title: Retribution
Series: 군주-가면의 주인 | Ruler - Master of the Mask
Characters: Kim Hwagun, mentions of Crown Prince Lee Seon, Daemok
Summary: Hwagun has had enough. She would hesitate no longer.

--------------------------------

"Tell me... how do I dissolve the Pyunsoo group?"

It's strange how things started coming back at you after you reached a point of no return. Of the choice not taken that could have changed the events that had happened. Of the things that she could have done to have things happen differently.

How strange that her mind only started to see things clearly, after suffering a great misfortune. After days of slumber, trying to convince herself that her worst nightmare wasn't real.

"You must not have wanted it badly. If you did... you should have tried to get it yourself."

She had hesitated for too long. She should have attempted to destroy the Pyunsoo group from the very beginning. From the moment when she witnessed how Pyunsoo group actions had caused the Crown Prince terrible grief. She should have attempted to destroy the group much earlier, the feat that should be easy for her. Since she should be able to know what could be done to take away the power wielded by the group. And she was in the best position to do so.

Yet, she hesitated because she couldn't bear harming her family. Her father. Her grandfather. As well as those other people that she had grown up knowing for so long.

There's no point to start regretting now. She could not do anything to change what that already happened. But she could try to do something to change the situation from this point onwards.

She had hoped that the Crown Prince could dissolve the group in her place. How had that turned out? So this time she should take the matters into her own hands.

Hwagun bit her lips. Her grandfather had gone too far. He probably thought that she would be defeated again like before. He probably thought that she would never dare to fight against him.

She would prove him wrong.

She would get stronger.

xxx

She started by giving a reason for her to approach the poppy fields. She needed for her grandfather to still believe that she still is loyal to him. And for her grandfather to not take away the Pyunsoo leadership from her. At least not too soon.

And then, her grandfather asked that question.

"Hwagun. Do you still resent me?"

If only she could spat at him and divulge her whole fury at him. But she needed to remain composed.

"Have you ever lost someone very dear to you?"

"What did you do?"

"I expanded my power," he said, "Then I took more than what I lost from the people that took away the person I hold dear."

Not surprisingly, that was exactly her thoughts

"I guess, I do take after you."

Hwagun left immediately after. She had already decided what she needed to do before she walked out of her room. But her grandfather's answer had strengthened her resolve.

Yes. She would take away what was most important to the Pyunsoo group, and ultimately what was most important to her grandfather. She would take away the most treasured thing her grandfather cherished... and more.

This would be her revenge. This would be Daemok's retribution.

This would be what she could do for Crown Prince Lee Seon's sake.
.

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