STORYHansaneega@Lee Jongbeom
Queen Seon-DeokThe sovereign one who connected the earth and the heavens.The queen of Silla, who rose to the highest position with incredible will and wisdom after a childhood veiled in mystery. She built Cheomseongdae, becoming a wise leader who guided her people so they could read their path in the stars, as well as the first queen in East Asia. After proving herself throughout her entire life in a chaotic time, she meets a most cryptic death. Could she be one of the few beings who understand the multiple universes of Syltare, in the world after Stroke, being the woman who informed people of the ancient routes of the stars? -Your Majesty, please understand! -There is no precedent for a woman becoming queen, ever in history! King Jinpyeong had become so weak he couldn’t even sit on the throne. His vassals had visited him every day and begged him. It was all because he chose his daughter to be his successor. -Your Majesty! This cannot be! And of those, Chilsook and Seokpum were resolute. And yet, King Jinpyeong did not bend his will. He didn’t bend his will because he was sure there wouldn’t be a king as great as Seondeok for a teetering Silla. ------- “Father has really gone too far this time,” mumbled Queen Seondeok as she looked up at the sky. Chilsook and Seokpum launched a revolt and her father, King Jinpyeong was forced to behead the two vassals who’d served him for a long time. The reason behind the revolt was kept secret, but if they were pressed to find one in that time period, then Queen Seondeok was clearly the reason.  “I apologize, Your Majesty.” Queen Seondeok was watching a star in the sky. Her eyes could see where that star came from and where it was going. And she could see what effect the star’s path would have on the human world, to a point. Meanwhile, Kim Yushin was just watching the queen’s eyes. No, he watched the stars reflected in her eyes. ‘What is that star saying to her this time?’ They were standing on Cheomseongdae. It was a place to watch the stars, but the only one who actually the “stars” was Queen Seondeok. It was safe to say others just looked at the white dots littering the night sky. It was the same for Kim Yushin. To him, the stars were just stars. “Soon the Tang will strike Goguryeo.” “Your Majesty?” “Why are you surprised? It something you don’t even need to look at the stars for.” “Oh… Yes, Your Majesty. I apologize.” Queen Seondeok tore her eyes away from the sky and looked at Kim Yushin. ‘You are the great man who will lead Unified Silla.’ And what about her? ‘I have a little less than a year left…’ Looking back, it was quite a difficult time. The rebellions were endless, and King Uija of Baekje moved his large forces and continuously invaded Silla. Goguryeo? Of course, the barbarian of the North was rough. Those bastards who couldn’t even do a thing in King Jinheung’s time, but they used Yeon Gaesomun to persecute them. Hopefully, the tide was slowly turning in Silla’s favor. But the queen couldn’t see a good day just yet. The stars told her. That there wasn’t that much time left. “They say we will raise 30,000 troops and strike Goguryeo.” “Your Majesty? But Your Majesty. If we do… “I know. Baekje will invade us.” They would steal the seven castles they’d just barely taken last year. In the end, it meant Seondeok’s contribution would disappear. It wasn’t like she cared much about her contributions. But why was it that she was the only sovereign of all the sovereigns who could read the stars? ‘I have to let go of my greed…’ said Seondeok, with a wry look on her face. “The important thing is, Kim Yushin, is you are to protect your reputation.” “Your Majesty, you are the one who discovered me and used me for important matters. How can I only think of my reputation?” “I am not the only one to use you for important matters. My cousin will also have to use you.“ “What? I cannot bear that.” Seondeok was still a young queen, wasn’t she? She had only stepped into the first forays of middle-age, but already she was speaking of her successor? Of course, Kim Yushin was aware Seondeok had strange symptoms. But he thought it wasn’t enough to worry about death. It couldn’t be. He still hadn’t been able to repay the queen’s kindness. “There are many who know I can read the stars. But not many believe it. Might I believe you are one of them?” “Your Majesty, I always believe what Your Majesty says.” “Good, then that’s fine. Lead the 30,000 troops and strike Goguryeo, distinguish yourself in war.” “But Your Majesty…” “Then Bidam will lead a treacherous group of people and cause a revolt.” “Did you say Bidam, Your Majesty? I will go behead him right now.” Hearing Kim Yushin’s cold remark, Seondeok felt a temptation. Yes, what if he beheaded Bidam right now? If she cut Bidam down right now, while he still hadn’t thought up his plot of treason, then she would be able to live longer. She also wouldn’t have to go through heartache and she wouldn’t have to escape. But she couldn’t accuse him of a nonexistent crime. That was something an unreasonable and unseasoned leader would do.  “What crime would you accuse him of to cut him down?” “Treason…” “He will commit treason next year.” “Then…” “You can punish Bidam then. Right now, distinguish yourself in battle. However…” Seondeok watched Kim Yushin’s wavering gaze and considered things for a moment. This general, honest to a fault, would fight for Silla until he died at nearly 80 years old, and after his death, he would become a ghost of Silla. Then couldn’t she give him one piece of advice? Wouldn’t the stars allow at least that? “Do not be suspicious—not at all. The Silla of your generation will become the brightest, sole star in the world.” “Your Majesty… I will help you attain a reign of peace.” “It will be so even if I’m not here.” “Your Majesty, please, do not say that.” “It’s alright. Now go and prepare.” “I will fulfill your orders.” Kim Yushin left Seondeok and disappeared hurriedly. And even after he left, Seondeok watched the stars for a few moments. No matter how many times she looked at them, her death was unchanging. She would lose the breath in her lungs in a relatively short time. ‘With this… You could say I’ve gotten through a difficult time well, right?’ Thinking about her father, she heard something in her ear. This was also something she had been aware of. ‘What kind of variable will this be…’ But the stars didn’t tell her what came after the sound. No, it would be right to say they weren’t able to. She only felt something like time and space distorting. Seondeok had never experienced something like this in her life, and she was a little scared. ‘I will die only for Silla.’ But she didn’t think fear was the wrong choice, not at all. Even though her death was not waiting for her at the end of the sound, her death was merely moved up just a little. For the first time, she was glad she had seen her death beforehand. So Seondeok waited for the sound. She waited for the distortion of time and space. Honorably.