From the Imjin War to the Qing Invasion Chapter 31

Chapter 31

The Third Reason

The reason I put everything aside and headed to Hanyang was threefold.

First, to ensure Ulsan’s safety.

Would increasing the troops stationed at Gyeongsang Left Naval District make Ulsan perfectly safe?

That made no sense.

Nevertheless, if it made the Japanese pirates think, “Ah, rather than the tough Gyeongsang, wouldn’t Jeolla be easier?” even a little, then it was a success.

It may sound cruel, but Ulsan needed to be as far away from the pirates’ raids as possible.

After my grandfather’s funeral, I asked myself,

What if I were to lose my father, mother, or Soyul to a second invasion by the pirates?

Could I really handle such sorrow?

I, who had contemplated extreme choices upon landing in Joseon, did not think my sanity could take it.

If that happened, the ending of this novel could become as famous as the “Hyung, this guy is laughing?” ending from the legendary web novel, The Shining Path.

I didn’t want to create such an ending with the novel I was writing with my life.

So, if I could just ensure safety, I would have been satisfied with this trip to Hanyang.

I thought I managed to secure some safety through my meeting with Yi I.

Yi I showed interest in my proposal.

According to my research, Yi I was currently the person most trusted by King Seonjo.

And why wouldn’t he be?

He was none other than the Minister of Military Affairs who took charge during the Jurchen Invasion!

Yi I proved his capabilities through the Jurchen Invasion.

Therefore, as long as Yi I was alive, Seonjo would have no choice but to listen to his counsel.

This was unless Seonjo was as foolish as Gwanghaegun.[1]

Surely, he couldn’t be that foolish, right?

Second, albeit somewhat still ambiguous, was technology.

In fact, items like the holtae could also be made in Ulsan.

Then why hadn’t we made holtae earlier?

Honestly, that was my oversight.

I was so obsessed with the much more efficient pedal-powered thresher that I didn’t think of the simpler holtae.

Gyesam-ajeossi, the only person in the family who could make something, was busy making a flying shuttle.

But if I were to come to my senses now, I could create more labor-saving agricultural tools.

For example, the winnowing machine was also one.

It was an agricultural tool that used hand-cranked fans to drop the heavy grains and blow away the lighter chaff, which was also a big help in milling.

And it would be easier to make than a pedal-powered thresher.

At least I knew how it should be structured.

I asked Gyesam about this.

While I might throw ideas about an uncertain pedal-powered thresher, the design for the winnowing machine was already in my head so Gyesam could make it.

This way, we had time to showcase and develop our technology in Hanyang.

Lastly, the reason I came to Hanyang was “recruitment.”

It was the core content and the essence of the alternate history genre.

The biggest problem and advantage of the alternate history genre was the fact that “history is a spoiler.”

Readers could know in advance about historical events that would occur in the flow of the novel.

But knowing in advance could lead to differing feelings.”

For example, what would the readers think about my meeting with Yi I?

“What’s the point of meeting a nobleman who will die in three months? ㅋㅋ!”

“So, who is Yi I?”

Such deflating comments might have been posted.

Conversely, those who knew about Yi I might have thought, “What if Yi I had lived longer?”

Recruiting a named person like Yi I now was impossible.

That was impossible.

This era was not only the Middle Ages—a barbaric age—but also Joseon.

Joseon was a country that had abolished private armies to strengthen royal authority.

To make a living, the nobles must either own substantial lands from birth or pass the state examination to become an official.

In other words, it was difficult for useful characters to join me.

Wasn’t this a world where, like the 21st century, many nobles wanted to become officials?

However, I knew that there were outstanding characters among those who did not appear in history.

“Master Myeongri, did you visit the market again today?”

“Hanyang is practically a treasure trove for merchants, so I must walk the miles.”

My youngest uncle and Jongil-ajeossi were sitting on the porch and chatting.

These two people also didn’t leave their names in history, did they?

Nowhere in history did Kim Hyeonseong and Park Jongil appear.

But my youngest uncle showed a divine presence not inferior to Joseon’s founding king, Yi Seong-gye.

To the point where you’d think it was not Kim Hyeonseong but Lee Hyeonseong, you know?[2]

And Jongil, contrary to one’s first impression, was really an incredible nobleman.

I thought he was a Joseon version of the Illuminati by first impressions, but seeing Jongil’s talents, you could tell he was no ordinary person.

How many people were there in Hanyang, and wouldn’t there be a useful talent among them?

And maybe, just maybe, I could meet someone who could appear in history if I was lucky?

So, I searched and searched for useful talents through inquiries.

A Huge Failure!

I was wrong!

Despite my diligent efforts until the day I met Yi I, because of the useless reality debuff, I failed to recruit any talents!

Darn it!

Damn Seonjo, his eye for spotting useful nobles was so good that all the decent nobles were already in official positions.

Even Gwon Yul, who entered official service late, reportedly got his position in 1582, the very year I landed in Joseon.

Honestly, my plan was not for significant figures like Gwon Yul but to recruit people like righteous army leaders as my retainers.

But all the characters who made their names in history were monopolized by damn Seonjo!

Thinking it would be hard to find a useful noble among the noble families, I looked for a person named Han Myeongryeon from the commoner class.

But how could I find Han Myeongryeon, who only appeared at the forefront of history after the outbreak of the Imjin War?

Even his origins were said to be from Hwanghae Province.

Going all the way to Hwanghae Province to find him wasn’t possible, so giving up was the only option.

Truly, for someone of Han Myeongryeon’s caliber, it wouldn’t just be Hwanghae Province but rather scouring the entire bottom of Joseon to find him.

But lacking the capability was the issue!

Han Myeongryeon was called the Swordmaster of the Imjin War.

So significant were his contributions that there were stories of Gwon Yul becoming enraged when Han Myeongryeon was NTR’d by one of his subordinate generals.

It’s like a four-star general raging over the loss of a single rifleman—that’s the level of importance we’re talking about.

This alone was enough to show you how great a swordsman he was.

Ah, if only there was someone of Han Myeongryeon’s caliber, I would love to learn martial arts under him.

The small obstacle to heading out to sea was the fact that you must at least be a warrior worth one’s salt.

With such a frail body, it was easy to become nothing but a burden at sea.

While nursing the bitter wound of failing to recruit talent, I heard Gyesam’s voice.

“Young Master, the preparations are finished.”

Gyesam’s face was filled with exhaustion.

Seeing his face brought a flood of emotions.

The person who, upon arriving in Hanyang, didn’t rest a moment while weaving fabric on a flying shuttle for me.

And the kind soul who was now wracking his brain to create an unheard-of holtae.

And the person I must protect!

“Oh, shall we go then? Is Okja-ajumma ready?”

“Of course!”

The outcome of this presentation could change the future of Joseon.

No, even if Yi I dies, if only the utility of this item as spread to the authorities, another snowball would start rolling.

How big it would get, no one could know.


The best presenter of the 21st century was said to be Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.

He captured the hearts of customers with his consistent fashion and the catchphrase, “one more thing!”

And he turned Apple, an icon of innovation, from a failing company into the world’s top enterprise.

The flying shuttle, holtae, and matchlock gun I was about to present were no less innovative than Apple’s iPhone.

And when presenting such items, nothing was more important than the order of presentation.

For this presentation, I secured a separate space with the help of my second uncle.

In one corner of the space, a flying shuttle was prepared for Okja.

“Ajumma, from now on, you just need to keep weaving.”

Okja began to weave skillfully on the loom.

Squeak, swish!


Squeak, swish!


The rhythmic sound continued at a consistent pace.

To me, this sound was like a pianist’s solo performance.

No, it was even more beautiful.

I wonder how it sounded to Yi I?

“Young Master, the Grand Scholar has arrived.”

Should we begin the presentation?

From a distance, Yi I was walking towards us.

Unlikely for someone who would die in three months, his strides were wide and his gait was energetic.

Who would think this person would be a corpse in three months?

It was truly hard to predict human affairs.

“Has the Grand Scholar arrived?”

“Yes, I’ve been eagerly awaiting our meeting.”

Squeak, swish!


Squeak, swish!


“Huh? What’s this sound?”

“The sound of weaving.”

“The loom?”

“Yes, please take a seat for now. I found some nice tea when I went outside, so I brought a little.”

During the Joseon Dynasty, the tea culture had almost disappeared.

The flourishing tea culture of the Goryeo Dynasty was trampled upon in every way possible by those who seized power, eager to justify their legitimacy.

It had become a culture enjoyed by some of the nobility and those in the Buddhist monasteries.

But even in the royal court, they drank tea, so there shouldn’t be any aversion to it.

In fact, it was said that he enjoyed tea on a regular basis.

This was a fact I came to know through my second uncle.

When we visited his house, didn’t we see that tea and refreshments were served?

“Hmm, the depth of this tea’s aroma seems quite rich. You must have taken great care in selecting it?”

It was indeed an incredibly expensive tea, something called Woojeon or whatnot.

To think it cost a whole piece of cotton for just a handful, it would have been difficult to procure if not for my second uncle’s connections.

Even as we spent time drinking tea, the sound of Okja’s flying shuttle served as our background music.

“How do you find it, Your Excellency? Don’t you think the sound of the loom can be more pleasant than musical instruments if you listen?”

“Indeed, it seems the woman seated at the loom is no ordinary weaver.”

“Yes, she’s counted among the best weavers in Ulsan.”

“Ahaha, but to think you called me all the way here just to listen to this sound?”

“Would I do that? Given your status, you must be aware of the issues with the fertilizers?”

“The problems with the fertilizers… I do see a few.”

“What do you think is the biggest issue?”

Despite my questioning, his answer was swift and clear.

“It must be the labor force focusing too heavily on fishing, right?”


“With the increase in harvest from fertilizers, if all the men are out at sea, who will thresh the grains, and who will plow the fields?”

It seemed the genius that Joseon produced really was a genius.

A simpleton like me had to ponder for a long while before writing a novel to come up with a problem he saw through instantly.

“So, I’ve prepared something, Gyesam-ajeossi.”

“Yes, Young Master!”

Gyesam revealed the holtae.

Ah, the more I saw it, the more I began to have regrets.

If only this was a pedal-powered thresher, I could have seen him fall over in surprise.


Gyesam placed the rice between the teeth protruding from the holtae and pulled.


And then, the grains poured out!

“As you know, Your Excellency, to thresh the grains, one must repeatedly strike the bundle with a heavy flail. But with this, there’s no need to spend all day flailing.”

“…And the women could easily manage this work as well?”

“You’ve seen right through it.”

“You had a plan all along!”

[1] Gwanghaegun (r.1608-1623)

[2] Yi Seong-gye is the personal name of King Taejo (r. 1398-1408). The last name 이can be transliterated as Yi or Lee.

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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