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 trail ran cold. As much as he could read Song Taeha's move he could not anticipate his next destination at the moment. Yet he knew what could be his intention. That man would go looking for his woman and the Royal Successor. Yet, there was another problem. He didn't know that woman nor could he read her movement. Where would that woman take the Royal Successor to?

Right now he could only rely on the patrols that were sent to look for that woman. How could searching for a mere woman who knew nothing of military tactics be so hard? Yet, that woman still managed to remained undetected.

Until the reports came about two individuals intervening on a questioning of a woman, who happened to carry a child that fits the description of the Royal Successor. Why won't he jump to this chance to retrieve the trail of Song Taeha?

His father-in-law already considered Song Taeha and the Royal Successor to be of no importance, having successfully sealed the Royal Successor's fate by branding the child a traitor. Yet, to him... with both of them still alive, they would remain to be a threat. His father-in-law may think that the threat had ceased to matter but considering his own political ambitions, he could never overlook such things. And even if he didn't care about all of those political matters, there was still Song Taeha. He would not let that man any chance to get the better of him.

Pursuing Song Taeha was better than having to pursue a former minister...


And an interesting twist. Lee Daegil, the slave hunter that initially was sent to hunt and capture Song Taeha; ended up working together. It was a development that he had not expect. But through Lee Daegil the trail led him to Worak; before his pursuit was diverted again due to Song Taeha change of actions. What a frustrating turn of event; if he did as told and gone to Sowon, he would have been a step ahead of Song Taeha.

It was a surprise to find out about Hanseom's demise. Considering the man managed to fend him off long enough for Song Taeha to come to their rescue. But considering how the odds had been against the man, he wasn't surprised that Hanseom met his demise. Even his obstinancy would not allow him to fight off throngs of soldier on his own.

He haven't gone after Hanseom again since Jeju partially because Hanseom had chosen to leave separately without being accompanied by any scholar. Another reason had been... if he had fought with Hanseom again, he wouldn't be able to go after the other former compeers and slay them. That man's obstinancy knew no limit, it would be hard to deal with him in a short time. Hanseom would have refused to die so easily. Yet he did.

In the end, of the former compeers that he'd betrayed... Song Taeha was the only one left.


It was unquestionable to think that Song Taeha would go back to Hanyang to see the crown prince. With the deaths of his former compeers and his father-in-law tightening the noose on the faction that tried to oppose them, Song Taeha had only one last thing he could do to save the Royal Successor. A pardon. Yet he could not get that directly from the king. It was the only reasonable thought.

If ever he wanted to catch Song Taeha, that was such and opportunity.

Seeing Lee Daegil fighting alongside Song Taeha gave him an uncomfortable recollection. Since with every move that man made; supporting the man who used to be a compeer, filled him with dread. Since it made him see a shred of his own past. The past that he himself had abandoned.

How could this paltry slave hunter; formed a bond to Song Taeha—in such a short time comparable to his own—yet able to display such capability that he himself used to have? How could a mere knave... be taking a path so similar as the path he used to tread?


His father-in-law's demise meant nothing. Stopping Song Taeha was all that mattered.

He didn't care that he fought the man using underhanded means, as long as he could win. And it seemed it didn't even matter, Song Taeha seemed to have lost half of the fight since the last time they clashed. Defeating him would not be too hard.

And the man reappeared again, to save Song Taeha. Like a shadow, not straying far behind. Quite pertinacious... to cling onto a belief to want to defeat him. Quite like many of Song Taeha's retinue that he'd slain.

“What is the reason you're doing this?”

It could not be because the petty slave hunter was so self-righteous to want to save someone like Song Taeha! The two of them did not appear to have known each other too long—Lee having had pursued Song Taeha for the price on his former compeer's head. The two of them shouldn't have been that close to have formed any kind of camaraderie. (Yet both of them had been running together since the day they escaped from being hanged.)

Although it would seemed a connection did exist between those two through that woman that tagged with Song Taeha. That man's wife.

“That fool saved me once,”

It could not be right. There shouldn't be a point in time prior where either of the two would have met! Since for almost two years... he had served as a government slave and years before—he was not in the country. How could there be a time where Song Taeha could have given that slave hunter such life-debt? Unless...

Suddenly he was hit by an enormous irony. That war. The one that led to the two princes being sent to Qing as hostages. As well as the one that led Song Taeha and a few of his men to accompany the two royals to Shenyang!

The same war... during which, General Song had saved his life. How could there be such coincidences in life? Back then, they had moved erratically. Chasing after the Qing soldiers that terrorized the common people. How the odds could happen that Lee Daegil would be amongst the people Song Taeha had saved?

“Even you...”

“Even you bring me misery,”

To think that he... had abandoned his saviour yet this other man, even went so far as to give up his own life to save the man! Just because Song Taeha had saved him. Just because the man had aspired to change their worlds!

“I won.”

This time he was the one that spared that man's life. By stopping his pursuit of the man; letting Song Taeha escape with his wife and child.

Yet looking at his empty abode with an impaired wife who had been attepting in vain to try kill herself; yet recalling that said wife had lost her father just recently, he collapsed before her. How could his victory felt so shallow?

He hadn't won.


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