Title: Path Taken
Fandom: 추노/Chuno
Rating: G
Character: Hwang Cheolwoong, Song Taeha
Summary: The path that he had chosen was not the most righteous. Yet it was still the path he had taken.

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

The journey back had been an ardous one. Barely staunching his own injuries, he had paved the journey home. Alone with shame. Throughout the journey, two things were in his mind.

His mother... and Song Taeha.

Any other thoughts were meaningless, no one else held importance against these two people. Yet, as he reached Hanyang... he couldn't even allow himself to see his mother no matter how he wanted to see her. Because he couldn't let her see his current state. He didn't want her to know from who and why had he sustained such dreadful injuries. He couldn't bear the thought of her mother knowing how he'd became a slayer.

Oh, she knew that in his line of duty... as a military soldier, he would have slain many enemies. But, he didn't want her to know how much he had strayed. How his blade that used to slay the nation's enemies, had turned against the ones who had been his own—former—allies. His own superiors and compeers. He didn't want her to know that her son had turned his back from the brave men she had entrusted his safety in the battlefields.

That's why, even though he was so near... he didn't want her to see him like this. Yet... where else could he go to? His father-in-law would not be so pleased with him...

“There's no place to go...”

xxx

“Husband...”

“My father... was a daunting man,”


Lee Gyeongshik. The man who was behind the many conspiracies that brought downfall to the late Crown Prince, Song Taeha and his retinues... as well as the many ministers and officers that stood in his path. The proud and ambitious man that sought to gain power in the courts, in favour of the king.

Indeed he was such a daunting man. Yet that man as well acquired a weakness that he could never overcome. That weakness... he would use to topple the man from his mighty stage. If there were any other price to pay for betraying his allies, defeating that man would be a sweet reward. Compared to Song Taeha, he wouldn't bat an eye over betraying that man. Even if he was the father of his wife. That was a price the man had to pay for making him stray from the rightous path.

Just because he had betrayed Song Taeha, he wouldn't allow anyone else to use him or order him around like mere servant. Even if that man was his own father-in-law. Even if it was slight, he wouldn't let that man belittle him.

How dare his father-in-law sent along some measly slave hunter after Song Taeha; while at the same time giving him the task and mission to stop his former compeer from achieving his goal? Yet, while suffering from this setback... he had the chance to turn Song Taeha and that slave hunter against each other. He didn't even have to lay a finger on Song Taeha...

That man wasn't even aware that he was still pursuing him.

xxx

Meeting them again inside the Board of Punishment's jailcell gave him such a pleasure. He had his amusement playing around with the slave hunter. Yet with Song Taeha... that man was still so prideful. So stubborn to still uphold his loyalty towards a man who was already buried in the earth! Not even flinching at his own predicament, not even showing any signs that he would falter. How could he remained unshakened?

Watching the man about to face his own demise yet still clinging to his pride to die in honour, gave him mixed feelings. Having to witness Song Taeha's demise not under his own blade but on a measly rope, flood him with distaste. He couldn't watch such disgrace.

So he walked away.

And then he found out that Song Taeha eluded his demise yet again. His heart was overcome with joy. Since it meant his blade still stood a chance.

-
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