From the Imjin War to the Qing Invasion Chapter 34

Chapter 34

Yi I’s Great Act

“Your Majesty~ Please allow me to report!”

Seonjo made his way slowly to his throne.

The royal council, attended only by high-ranking officials, was a very important occasion where Seonjo was briefed on the happenings of Joseon.

“How is everyone doing?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“Today, the expressions on your faces seem brighter, which also puts me in a very good mood.”

Lately, the royal meetings had felt like walking on thin ice every single day.

But looking at their faces today, it seems there are no big problems.

From the north, there were daily reports of invasions by the Jurchens, and just as they had managed to push them back, the southern pirates had formed large groups to invade, adding to Seonjo’s worries.”

“Your Majesty, I, Yi I, the minister of military affairs, have something special to report to you.”

“…The Minister of Military Affairs?”

Even for Seonjo, who was a political mastermind, Yi I was a particularly challenging subject.

He was so competent that he could handle any difficult task with ease, which was great.

However, his personality was so unbending that if he felt his words were even slightly ignored, he would immediately offer to resign.

Without Yi I, it would be regrettable for Seonjo, so persuading and appeasing him to stay in his position was necessary, as he always spoke rightly.

Because of this, both the Eastern and Western factions disliked Yi I.

Yet, both factions also recognized Yi I’s capabilities to the extent that even during what could be considered the greatest crisis since the founding of Joseon—the Japanese invasions—he had proven himself by resolving the situation cleanly.

Thus, Seonjo could no longer afford to half-listen to Yi I’s propositions.

“So, what do you wish to report?”

It’s probably the usual military strategies, but let’s hear it.

“Recently, I came across an interesting item that I believe would be of great help to the people, and I wanted to present it to you.”

“An interesting item? What might that be?”

“Firstly, it’s a farming tool called the holtae.”

“A farming tool?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“I must see this for myself.”

A moment later, Yi I demonstrated the holtae.

“This tool, called the holtae, allows one person to thresh a bushel of grain in one day.”

“Oh! It seems very miraculous to me as well.”

Indeed, it’s Yi I. There have been reports of a shortage of people to thresh grain because more people are taking up fishing lately!

“But that’s not all.”

“It’s not?”

“Yes. Have you, Your Majesty, ever heard of something called the ‘goblin needle’ used in some parts of Gyeongsang Province?”

“The goblin needle? This is the first time I’ve heard of it. Does any of the officials know about this?”

The officials looked at each other with blank expressions, not daring to step forward.

‘Was there such a thing?’

‘The goblin needle?’

“If Your Majesty permits, I would like to bring in a woman who can use the goblin needle for a demonstration.”

“If it benefits the people, why would I not permit it?”

As soon as Seonjo gave his permission, Yi I revealed the flying shuttle.

Next to the flying shuttle stood a woman named Okja, bowing her head, waiting for Seonjo.

“I am Park Okja.”

“Lift your head.”

As Okja slightly lifted her head, Seonjo asked,

“That looks like a loom, but I see it has an unfamiliar device attached. Can you explain it to us?”

“Yes, when this is pulled, the shuttle moves on its own to weave fabric. Among us, we call this device the ‘goblin needle.’”

“Oh, can you show us?”

Okja, though fearful of demonstrating her skill in front of the king, felt as if she heard Sangseung’s voice encouraging her.

“Okja-ajumma’s craftsmanship is the best in Joseon. Please showcase your talent at the court!”

Trusting in Sangseung, Okja freely displayed her skill.

Lost in the ecstasy of her weaving, Seonjo couldn’t help but admire the scene before him.

“Wow, truly her skill is extraordinary.”

“Of course, her skill is exceptional, but when we taught our servants how to use the goblin needle, they were able to follow along quite well.”

“Let everyone listen. Does the cloth she weaves differ greatly from that of previous looms?”

“It is with great respect that I report, at such a speed, one can produce a bolt of fabric in a day.”

“A bolt in a day?”

“Normally, when pushing the shuttle by hand, the speed is slower, but just by pulling the thread like this, the shuttle moves on its own, so it seems like it would save much effort.”

Indeed, Yulgok had something to boast about!

“How did you come across such items?”

“I have recently encountered a jieum.”


“How bright their discerning eye is, this humble servant can’t even compare to the tip of my friend’s toes.”

“Is that so? There is a genius remaining in Joseon who can make even the celebrated Byungpan call himself foolish?”

It was worth noting that Seonjo’s era was filled with countless historical figures.

Authors like Heo Jun of Dongui Bogam and Jeong Cheol of Gwandong Byeolgok, as well as outstanding generals like Yi Sun-sin and Kwon Yul, all belonged to Seonjo’s time.

Naturally, Seonjo’s greed for talented individuals was no less than that of Sejong.

“I would like to see him once. Byungpan, arrange a meeting.”

“Your Highness’s mercy is boundless.”

The First Butterfly Effect

The court sent someone.

The envoy, seeing me for the first time, had several funny episodes of confirming whether I was indeed the “Kim Sangseung” that Yi I had been searching for.

I expected as much.

To create not one but several technologies that would hardly be conceivable in Joseon?

Even if it were not Seonjo but the foolish Injo, they would still seek me out.

“Just wait here.”


In the past, Seonjo’s interest would have been a tremendous burden.

But as General Yi Sun-sin would say, knowing oneself and the enemy ensured victory in every battle.

Technically, the correct phrase was “not fighting unprepared battles”, but wasn’t General Yi Sun-sin a person who faced and won every battle he fought?

While some scholars argued that battles like the Battle of Busan should be seen as draws since the war’s objective wasn’t fully achieved, draws were for sports like soccer.

In war, the side that suffered more damage was considered the loser.

Thus, I believe that every naval battle General Yi Sun-sin participated in was a victory.


That’s not what was important!

I didn’t know what kind of person Seonjo was.

After seeing what kind of person Seonjo was, I’ll decide how to act.

Seonjo might be a piece of trash, but if he was redeemable, he would be more bearable than a madman, right?

Yet, the reason I was considering fixing Seonjo was that Gwanghaegun was unimaginably incompetent.

In some ways, Gwanghaegun might suit my taste in kings.

At least he was not like Seonjo, irresponsibly abandoning his people.

Yet, the reason I considered reforming Seonjo was because Gwanghaegun was unimaginably incompetent.

Or should I say stubborn?

Gwanghaegun was a war hero.

And he understood how dangerous the northern barbarians were.

But this dumbass decided to focus on building his palace, and thus draining the national treasury.

And he did this right after the greatest national crisis of the Imjin War, without regaining his senses?

No sane person would do such a thing.

In such a situation, he purged the Northern Faction, his political base, to stop the construction.

Even if Seonjo had a messed mental state, who would want to work with such an idiot?

Especially when there was a war coming?

War wasn’t like a group project in college.

There was no way I would think of fighting the Jurchen with such an idiot in charge.

And to quickly replace this idiot Gwanghaegun with Injo?

Gwanghaegun might be crazy, but at least he showed some brilliant moments.

But Injo?

This guy starting a coup to dethrone Gwanghaegun was the first step toward Joseon becoming a Neo-Confucian Al-Qaeda.

If Injo became king, wouldn’t it be better to emigrate instead?

So, I had no choice but to go for the smartest bastard among the three utterly unselectable options—Seonjo, Gwanghaegun, and Injo.

“What are you thinking so deeply about?”

Just then, a somewhat familiar voice reached my ears.

“Ah, General. How did you come here?”

“Isn’t it my duty to guard the palace as part of the Sang Hogun? I came to check because my men told me an interesting guest had arrived, but I didn’t expect to find you here.”

Ah, right, Sang Hogun were those responsible for maintaining peace in the capital, weren’t they?

“That is so. Have you been well all this while?”

“It seems I will soon be appointed as the Naval Commander of the Gyeongsang Left Naval District. Perhaps we’ll meet in Busan next year.”

Oh, fate really worked in mysterious ways.

To think that Singak, who instilled in me the need to meet Seonjo, would now become the Naval Commander of the Gyeongsang Left Naval District.[1]

Though the Naval Commander of the Gyeongsang Left Naval District didn’t play a significant role during the Japanese invasions, if someone as capable as Singak took charge, wouldn’t there be some hope for a better outcome if anything similar happened again?

“When I have the time, I’ll visit the Naval Commander’s office in the Gyeongsang Left Naval District.”

“Ahaha! You’d be welcome anytime.”

With that, Singak scribbled something in a small notebook he took out.


“Ah, didn’t you talk about the importance of keeping records? I’m also trying to develop this habit of recording to be a decent father to my son.”

Singak scratched his cheek, appearing somewhat embarrassed.

“That’s truly admirable. They say habits formed at three last till eighty, and to see you making such efforts already!”

Perhaps this was the first butterfly effect I had witnessed?

Meeting with Seonjo

While I was deep in thought about the kings of Joseon, the voice of a eunuch reached my ears.

“Your Majesty, the King!”


In historical dramas, eunuchs had a high, unpleasant voice, but this one had a deep and resonant voice.

Well, it was not like the absence of testicles completely stopped the production of male hormones, so a deep and robust voice was possible.

I quickly straightened my clothes and bowed my head.

“…Are you Kim Sangseung?”

“That I am.”

“Lift your head.”

I remembered hearing that if you raised your head too quickly, you could be accused of harboring treasonous thoughts and lose your head.

So, I only slightly lifted my head enough to see Seonjo’s feet, adorned in luxurious red silk shoes, truly befitting a king.

“Speak further.”

Now, I slightly raised my head to see Seonjo’s face.

“…Didn’t Byungpan said that his jieum was the inventor?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

Sorry, but it seemed the soon-to-be-deceased gentleman had arbitrarily decided to befriend me.

“…Quite interesting. I’ve heard that both the holtae and the goblin needle were your creations.”

What should I say in response to this?

Ah, I was sorting my thoughts about bastards, madmen, and idiots and missed it.

I should just respond vaguely to what seemed like praise.

“Your grace is boundless.”

“Looking at your holtae, it was a very simple structure but efficient for threshing.”

“Watching the servants in my household using flails for threshing during autumn, I wondered if there could be an easier way, leading me to its creation.”

“It seemed to me an efficient tool as well.”

“Your grace is boundless!”

“The goblin needle must also be of great help to the people.”

“That, too, came from watching the servants weave at the loom, struggling with moving the shuttle back and forth; it seemed time-consuming and laborious, so I created it.”

“Such a commendable thought cannot be understated. Having created such items, I must reward you. Is there anything you need?”

Oh, could it be that our dog, no, our King God Seonjo, wanted to give me a gift?

Right, something like the holtae or the flying shuttle would be just the right pickings!

Now, what should I request to not overstep my bounds?

[1] See Chapter 13

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