From the Imjin War to the Qing Invasion Chapter 28

Chapter 28

Hanyang Expedition

The formation of the expedition to Hanyang was complete.

The members of the expedition team included Jongil-ajeossi, who would serve as our guide; the youngest uncle, in charge of security; Gyesam-ajeossi, responsible for carrying the luggage; and Okja-ajumma, the best weaver in our home.


Ah, and Picnic, who brought me to this world, was also with us.[1]

Given the long journey ahead, it would certainly be beneficial to have a horse to carry the load.

“Ahaha, thanks to the young master, I’ll finally get to see Hanyang.”

Gyesam mentioned he had never ventured far from the village where he was born.

That’s probably why he was as excited as if going on a picnic.

Ironically, Picnic didn’t seem excited at all.

“As you know, we need to show what you’ve made to my second uncle in Hanyang.”

“Leave it to me! I can make the ‘Goblin Needle’ with my eyes closed now.”

The invention that should be called a flying shuttle in the distant future was known as the “goblin needle” in Joseon.

Okja, the first to use the flying shuttle, struggled with weaving at first.

But as she grew accustomed to the flying shuttle, she remarked it was like having a goblin needle in the loom, hence naming it the goblin needle.

Once Okja started calling it the goblin needle, one by one, the women at the weaving workshop followed suit, and it officially became known as that.

“Okja-ajumma, your role is very important too.”

“Don’t worry too much, young master. With the goblin needle, I can weave a bolt of fabric a day.”

Such confidence fitting of the best weaver among dozens in the workshop.

Indeed, watching Okja weave, one could lose track of time.

Now, depending on how this fact was presented, it would determine the flow of the story I was about to write.

All I needed to do was create a magnificent scene.

The Road to Hanyang

Several days had passed since we set off for Hanyang.

The journey to Hanyang reminded one of marching in the army.

Silently walking end to end on a narrow path, that was both the beginning and the end of this trip.

“Young Master Kim, it seems it will get dark soon, shall we stay in this village tonight?”

There was no one quite like Jongil for a guide.

I trusted him completely.

“Let’s do that.”

“Ahem, is it my turn now?”

The youngest uncle went to find the biggest house in the village.

It was the biggest village before crossing Mungyeong Saejae[2], so although not as big as our house, it was a considerable tiled house.

Oh, that seemed to be where we would be staying tonight.

Naturally, nobles travelled more often than commoners.

However, in the Joseon dynasty, currency did not exist.

The closest thing to currency that played a similar role was fabric.

But nobles didn’t bother carrying heavy and cumbersome fabric.

They created their own rules.

Namely, there was an unspoken rule that nobles provided each other with free lodging and meals.

“Come this way.”

It was a scene anyone who had watched a historical drama would have seen at least once, but it always amazed me.

“Who is it?”

After a moment, a man opened the gate.

“We’re travelers passing by, could we stay for the night?”

“Just a moment, please.”

The man who opened the gate led us to the guest room.

Instead of getting caught in the drizzle, we could comfortably sleep in the cozy guest room.

Early next morning, we resumed our journey.

Mungyeong Saejae was known to be a rugged pass so difficult that even birds struggled to cross, but it was also known to be the most beloved path by scholars of the past.

Regarding other paths to Hanyang, Jukryeong slideded slickly, and Chupungryeong sweeped away like autumn leaves, whereas Mungyeong allowed one to soar like a bird, or so they say.

Anyway, it was fascinating that such superstitions existed even in this era.

“Today’s path will be a bit rough, but since we started early in the morning to climb Saejae, we should be able to cross by dusk.”

The noble family, who provided us with a cozy night, packed rice balls for us early in the morning.

Thanks to them, we could save time eating and managed to cross Mungyeong Saejae.

Indeed, the final gateway to Hanyang was as formidable as it gets.

Why the hell didn’t Shin Rip, that blockheaded idiot, think of blocking the enemy here instead of crawling to the muddy Tangumdae to commit suicide?

Obviously, before the Imjin War broke out, something had to be done about trolls like Shin Rip and Won Gyun.

That’s why I was heading to Hanyang.

“Ugh, ugh!”

Anyway, climbing a mountain with an 11-year-old body was not easy.

Clearly, one needed to build up stamina to wage a war.

There were so many things to do yet having only one body felt utterly unjust.

“Kid, you look tired. Shall we take a break?”

“No, we can’t afford to be delayed because of me. We need to reach Hanyang as soon as possible.”

“…You really do have a fiery personality, just like someone I know.”

Climbing the mountain felt like marching in the military.

I was able to reach the summit of Mungyeong Saejae thanks to Picnic, who carried the baggage that should’ve been mine.

At the summit of Mungyeong Saejae was a gateway responsible for the security of the area.

Passing through the towering gate, which seemed at least ten meters high, we spotted a gazebo where travelers could rest.

The sun was still high above us.

“Since we’ve arrived at the summit earlier than expected, let’s rest at that gazebo for a bit.”

In the cliché of novels, this would be the moment when bandits appear, but from Ulsan to Mungyeong Saejae, we hadn’t encountered a single traveler.

Well, it was not like going to Hanyang was common as taking a test in the past.

The toughest part of our journey was indeed climbing Mungyeong Saejae today.

Thus, the road to Hanyang was uneventful.

This was the journey I had wished for.

If only my life had been as uneventful as this…


Yeah, regrets were just the ramblings of losers.

“Shall we get going again?”

We energetically continued our walk to Hanyang.

Arrival in Hanyang

“Here we are, this is Hanyang.”

Indeed, Hanyang was an enormous city, incomparable to Ulsan.

Seeing the endless rows of Joseon era houses that I had only seen in folk villages, it seemed at least a hundred thousand people lived here.

“Youngest uncle, what kind of person is the second uncle?”

“Hm, the second brother? A truly terrifying person.”


“Yes, unlike the gentle eldest brother, he was a demon who couldn’t stand not being able to gobble me up when we were young. When he passed the civil service exam, the family couldn’t have been happier.”

Ah, so they were just typical siblings.

Unlike the frivolous youngest uncle, Gyesam shared more about the second uncle.

“The second young master was quite mischievous, often bullying the physically weaker youngest master.”

This monster? Ah, Grandpa had mentioned that the youngest uncle was frail as a child, so he focused on teaching him archery.

Whenever I thought of Grandpa, memories of that day would come flooding back.

But I shouldn’t be sad forever.

Grandpa wouldn’t have wanted me to be sad.

As we talked about the second uncle, we soon arrived at his residence.

Compared to our house, the mansion was modest with just a main house and an annex with tiled roofs.

Was real estate expensive in Hanyang too?


“Second brother, are you here?”

“Ah, right here.”

If father was the default, then while the youngest uncle was like stretching father sideways, the second uncle was like stretching father upwards.

“You seem to be growing more handsome by the day.”

“And you, brother, seem to be getting thinner.”

“Try living in the court, every day is a battlefield.”

“Ah, that’s why I quit my official position early.”

“If you could even hold your tongue!”

“If you can’t speak up, you’re no better than a beast, not a person.”

Watching the youngest uncle get teased, I understood why the second uncle used to treat him like catching a mouse.

In front of father, he was somewhat meek, but in front of the second uncle, he truly felt like the youngest.

“I might as well die than be sick.”

The two uncles had a lot to catch up on, chatting away for a while.

Then, the second uncle’s gaze turned to me.

“Hmm, are you Sangseung? How old are you this year?”

“Eleven years old.”

“I see, you’ve had it rough.”

Though his face was stern, the warmth in his tone as he greeted me was unmistakable.

“Please take care of me.”

“But did you really create that fertilizer?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Ha, that’s truly astonishing. Hyeonseong, what were you doing at Sangseung’s age?”

“Ah, I was also called a prodigy in my youth. And you, brother?”

“Ahem! Never mind. Why bother talking to you about it? Thanks to Sangseung, I can walk with my head held high in the court. You wouldn’t believe how many are secretly contacting me for that fertilizer.”

Ah, so that’s why the second uncle welcomed me so warmly.

On our journey from Ulsan to Hanyang, we received much kindness from many nobles.

And such kindness became an intangible debt that must be repaid.

And the second uncle, already entrenched in politics, surely owed more of these intangible debts than we do.

“Politics certainly requires the support of the family.”

“Exactly! Our eldest grandson knows the score! I did reach out to elder brother early on…”

Given father’s personality, he probably cut it off sharply.

“…It didn’t work at all.”

That figured.

But wasn’t it true that in life, what goes around comes around?

Especially within a family, this should be even more certain.

“However, transporting all that fertilizer to Hanyang would be difficult without the help of official ships.”

I realized this after crossing Mungyeong.

Carrying heavy, smelly fertilizer all the way to Seoul? Even if you ordered the Republic of Korea’s soldiers, it would cause a coup.

“Don’t worry about it! His Majesty has already ordered to secure more fertilizer.”

“Word travels faster than a horse without legs.”

“Indeed, it does.”

“But there’s a condition. If it’s given away too easily, it’ll only cause more trouble for the second uncle in the future.”

Is this kid really eleven?

“That’s true. Let’s hear it then.”

“First, I’d like to speak with the most powerful person in need of the fertilizer.”


Using the well-connected second uncle’s background was a must.

So far, the purge beam of our ancestors hadn’t targeted our faction.

Then, shouldn’t we fully enjoy the position of the ruling party?

Pushing the second uncle away from our faction was a matter for later.

“It just so happens that a great lord, favored by His Majesty, has shown considerable interest in the fertilizer.”

Favored by His Majesty? Who could that be? Ryu Seongryong?

“Who is that person? Please, I wish to meet them.”

“He is Yulgok-daegam, the Minister of the Military Affairs.”

What? Wasn’t that gentleman supposed to be on his deathbed about now?

[1] Picnic is the horse that caused the original Sangseung to have an accident.

[2] Mungyeong Saejae is halfway between Busan and Seoul, east of the modern-day city of Sejong.

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.
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