From the Imjin War to the Qing Invasion Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Strange Ceiling


I woke up to the sound that seemed to rip my eardrums.

What happened? Oh, I must have dozed off.

I needed to close the gas valve before a fire broke out.

When I opened my eyes, the ceiling that I saw for the first time was spinning round and round.

“Ugh, ugh!”

But where was I? My room didn’t have this vintage interior.

“Sangseung! Have you regained your senses?”

Where am I? Is this a dream? I’ve been studying so much about Joseon that I’m even dreaming about becoming a Joseon person!

Is this novel going to be a real hit?

An old man with a strangely familiar face was looking at me.

His eyes were so full of sorrow that it seemed as if this was not a dream but reality.

“Wh-who are you?”

“Ah, how can you not recognize even this old man?”

“Sangseung, I’m your mother. Do you recognize my face?”

From the looks of it, the noblemen in this room seemed to be my family.

Ah, but this seems like the introduction to the novel that I often use.

How stressed must I have been to even dream about the introduction scene of the novel?!

“…I’m sorry, but I don’t remember anything.”

“Sigh, what should we do? Abeom[1].”

“Yes, Father! I will call the best doctor in the town.”

My body was heavy and my head ached as if it would break.

I don’t know why I have to feel pain in a dream, but maybe in reality, I hit my head on the table while dozing off.

Sigh. Honestly, it’s my first time having such a dream while writing dozens of novels, so I’m quite flustered.

But I can’t resist my curiosity.

“Ahem, where am I? And who am I?”

“This is Ulsan, the main house of Gimhae Kim clan. You are Kim Sangseung, the 56th descendant of the Samhyeon branch of the Gimhae Kim clan. Do you really not remember anything?”

For now, my surname is Gimhae Kim, which is correct.

And Samhyeon is also correct.

But I should be the 73rd generation. So how far back did I go if I’m the 56th generation?

“…I’m sorry.”

“Ha ha, what should we do about this?”

The man closest to me, who looked like my grandfather, was difficult to guess his age, but he seemed to be over 70.

My grandfather’s eyes were full of sorrow, as if he was genuinely worried about me.

Just by looking at his eyes, it seemed as if I was truly loved even in my dreams.

Behind him was a man who looked exactly like my father.

Of course, he looked much younger than the father I remember, but he still resembled him.

The character who looked like my father was also looking at me with deep sympathy, just like my grandfather.

Next to them was a woman who I presumed to be my mother, wiping away her tears secretly.

But why does only my mother’s face look different in this dream? Did my father cheat on her? I’ll have to ask about this secretly after waking up from the dream.

For now, I have collected some information about the ‘characters.’ Let’s find out more about myself.

“Um, how did I end up here?”

“Ahem, it seems you really don’t remember. Sangseung, you wanted to ride a horse so badly, so we let you ride one. But suddenly, the horse named Sopung[2] started to misbehave, and you fell off its back. You have been sick for three days and nights, and today is the day you regained your consciousness.”

So I got injured like this because I fell off a horse while riding?

Well, that could happen.

I once wrote sports novels for a while, and one of them was about horse riding.

I think the title was Uma-Mammoth-Ma.

It was a novel about the protagonist reincarnating as a racehorse, but it was not popular, so it was discontinued before being monetized.

I learned while researching about horse riding for that novel that horses tend to be very moody creatures.

Not just moody, but as moody as a discharged sergeant who’s had their leave cut short.

So, in my opinion, it’s entirely possible that Sopung would misbehave if it didn’t like its rider.

“Then, how old am I?”

“You are exactly 10 years old this year.”

Now, let’s summarize. I seem to be a 10-year-old nobleman named Kim Sangseung.

At least, the house looks old, but it seems to be a well-off house with a vintage atmosphere.

Since it’s a noble family’s house, it must be a prestigious family in this area.

Especially, the noble families of the Joseon Dynasty, particularly the head families, can be considered as chaebols holding land resources and the grains produced from the land.

I don’t know how great this family is, but basically, being a head family in the Joseon Dynasty means that they hold tremendous power in the provinces, similar to medieval lords.

Of course, from the standpoint of the Joseon Dynasty, local forces were prevented from growing by appointing local magistrates to govern each village.

What could he do? A governor was a temporary position, and the nobles held the power of land ownership in the region! Even the kings of Joseon tried various means to reduce the power of the noble families but mostly failed, didn’t they? That’s why, in historical novels, protagonists who possessed the bodies of kings couldn’t wield vast power from the beginning and were instead controlled by ministers – because the nobles’ power was immense. This was because the local noble families gathered their strength within their clans, sent their talented members to the royal court, and strengthened their positions.


Ah, it felt like he should wake up from his dream by now, but there was no sign of him waking up. No way, this couldn’t be a ridiculous plot twist where I suddenly possess my ancestor who lived in the Joseon era that I was planning to write about, could it? Well, it would be a little funny, wouldn’t it? What if I used this as the prologue of my novel? How would the readers react? Maybe they’d comment that it’s baseless because it’s not about being reborn after getting hit by the reincarnation bus.


Ugh, tinnitus again? Come to think of it, the headache that hasn’t disappeared yet and the numbness throughout my body were too realistic to be attributed to a dream.

“Mother, please look at Sangseung’s forehead.”

“Boy, why are you dilly-dallying? I’ll have to run to town and fetch the doctor right away. It seems like a fever, but if we leave it like this, it’ll undoubtedly escalate into a severe illness.”

“Alright, I’ll be back soon.”

My father hurriedly left the room.


Even the small sound of the door closing brought a headache that felt like my head was splitting. Ah, my consciousness was getting increasingly hazy. If I pass out like this, will I return to reality? Or, if by any chance, this pain was real, had I fallen into the Joseon era? If this was a novel, it could be the perfect beginning for a noble’s historical novel, couldn’t it? Hahaha!



Although I gritted my teeth to endure the pain, I couldn’t stop the groaning. “Sangseung, you need to regain your senses.” My grandfather seemed restless, as if I were about to lose my life at any moment.

“Oh, Sangseung.”

My mother, who had been wiping away her tears, now sobbed like a faucet had been turned on in her eyes.

“Father, why don’t you try asking Sangseung something to help him regain his senses?”

“Ah, right! Is there anything else you’re curious about?”

Are they trying to hold onto my consciousness through conversation? Well, I don’t want to end things like this either.

If this situation isn’t a dream, the most important question remains. So far, through our conversations, I’ve learned about the ‘characters’ and the ‘incident.’ If my ‘setting’ was that I ‘possessed’ my ancestor in the Joseon era, the novel’s ‘background’ would be more important than anything. It couldn’t be related to the ‘worst generation of Joseon’ that I was planning to write about, could it? It would be nice if it were the era of King Sejong or the sweet honey-sucking era of King Jeongjo.

“… By any chance, which number is the current king? You have to include even the kings who ascended the throne temporarily.”

I had to include this just in case. In this d**n Joseon country, they sometimes didn’t count Kings Jeongjong (2nd), Danjong (6th), Yeonsangun (10th), and Gwanghaegun (15th) as kings when calculating. If you don’t include them in the calculation, the difference can be as little as one or as much as four generations.

“Let’s see. If that’s the case, the current king is the 14th king of Joseon.”

The 14th, so it would be around the late early Joseon or mid-Joseon era! Let’s see, Taejong Taejo Sejo Seongjong Yeonsangun… Seon? Seon! Seojeon?! Shit?! It’s Seon!

I wish I had passed out, but hearing that King Seonjo is the current king is like having my mind cleared by a bucket of cold water. Why does it have to be Seonjo? Well, it’s not that Seonjo is such a significant problem. He was a king who showed above-average skills in ordinary times. But the ability Seonjo will show in the upcoming war is beyond frustrating. It’s like a person who should have been a chairman of a small domestic group at best is now the chairman of the Federal Reserve, the world’s economic president. The king seems like he could manage internal politics and run the company well with the employees in the group, but unfortunately, he cannot handle the IMF. The problem is that the IMF is coming no matter what. I want to pass out right away, but I have to ask this. It’s been 25 years since Seonjo ascended to the throne, and the IMF, oh no, the Imjin War, will break out. So if I’m lucky, I have 25 years to prepare for the Imjin War.

And with the mindset of being able to live if I just endure the Imjin War, since around the time I die, I’d have to deal with the likes of barbarians from China during an invasion like the Byeongjahoran[3].

But what if there isn’t much time left till the war?

It might be better to make an extreme choice in order to live an easy life.

“Th-then, how much time is left until the Imjin War?”

“Let’s see. This year is the Year of the Horse, so we have exactly 10 years left.”

Just 10 years?!

The shocking news that a foreign invasion would happen in 10 years tormented me more and made the ringing in my ears even stronger.



D*mn it! Suddenly the sky turned yellow and my vision blurred.

I don’t know whether it’s because of the ringing in my ears or the bleak future that awaits.

“Sa, Samhyeon!”

I can feel my grandfather and mother, whom I met in my dream, getting confused.

If this is a dream, I wish I could open my eyes after tightly closing them and see the cozy interior of my workspace.

No, it must be like that.

Hehe, if I close my eyes and open them, my dear readers would complain about the lack of consistency, but I’ll use this dream as a prologue today.

Even if I close my eyes and open them, I’m still in Joseon

“… Ah!”

I opened my eyes.

Instead of the familiar ceiling I was hoping for, the slightly familiar ceiling from my last dream came into view.

“Samhyeon! You’re awake. Are you feeling a bit better?”

The unfamiliar woman who claimed to be my mother had a worried look on her face.

“Why am I still here?”

“Well, your father brought the best doctor from Eonyang. That doctor said you’ve passed the critical point and won’t die..”

My so-called mother seemed to be explaining something in detail, but honestly, I couldn’t understand any of it.

To sum up, it seems that I’ve really ended up in Joseon.

“Is that so? I’m really relieved. But Mother, my head is a mess right now. Can I lie down a bit longer?”

“Of course. Don’t worry, I’ll be right here by your side.”

Let’s review the situation.

I fell asleep while researching material to write an alternate history novel that experiences the Imjin War and Jeongyu War.

And when I woke up, I had arrived 10 years before the Imjin War broke out.

This is a very clichéd beginning for a novel.

It’s usually the starting point of a story where the protagonist with knowledge of the story becomes an extra, a misfortunate heroine, or an evil woman in a romance fantasy.

The slightly different fact is that while the romance fantasy protagonist knows the future through the novel’s content, I only know the fact that the Imjin War will break out in the future based on historical facts, right?

Oh, and another difference is that while the romance fantasy protagonist knows all the information about the other supporting characters, I don’t know who this ‘mother’ character is or what kind of person she is.

In other words, I have to survive the Imjin War with just my scant knowledge of the future and a sloppy scenario written for my novel.

The conclusion is:

“This can’t be real….”

I have to write an alternate history novel with my body.

The fortunate thing amidst misfortune is that there are no readers who would bother me like sadists or detractors, right?

As if that’s fortunate!

A novelist survives on attention.

How fortunate it would be to have such readers!

This means that I’ll have to suffer alone without anyone knowing and die in the process!

[1] A respectful way to address an older man or a man with higher status

[2] Sopung can mean “a gentle breeze” or “a small outing” in Korean.

[3] The 2nd Manchu invasion of Korea (1636-1637)

Love the series? Share your thoughts on Novel Updates by rating and reviewing it now!

From the Imjin War to the Qing Invasion

From the Imjin War to the Qing Invasion

Score 9.1
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: ,
In order to write an alternate history novel, one must study the respective era. While setting up the world of the work through studying, I fell asleep and when I woke up, I found myself in the Joseon Dynasty. Coincidentally, it matched the historical background of the novel I intended to write. The problem is, it was 10 years before the Imjin War.
Don't forget to rate and leave a review on Novel Updates!



not work with dark mode