ENGLISH V.A.Cece, Savino
Jang-Hwa & Hong-RyunTwo people who died separately but take revenge together.They were figures of terror who led those who met them to their deaths, but these sisters were simply waiting for someone to listen to them. Listening to someone’s story can sometimes be the beginning of salvation. Jeong Dongwoo sat on the floor of the living room In front of him were his friends, who had come to dissuade him. “Dongwoo, how about changing your mind?” “I think that is wise as well. Everyone who has been appointed there has died. Is there really a reason you have to go?” Jeong Dongwoo burst out into laughter at the sight of them trembling as if a ghost were in front of them. “Look, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.” “No! How does a coincidence occur more than three times?! And they died the day after they were appointed! This is absolutely the work of a ghost!” “Do you still call yourselves Confucian scholars? How are you considering ghosts?” “I’m well aware that you’re brave, but don’t risk your life to prove that rumor.” There was no use in laughing. The rumors had long been floating around and thought of as the truth. ‘Seriously…’ Jeong Dongwoo clicked his tongue and stood up. “Look. It has been more than 10 years since I started reading, and it’s been 10 years since I started using swords. Even if something dangerous appears, there’s nothing to worry about.” “Ghosts are ghosts for a reason! You cannot cut them down!” “Even so, it doesn’t matter.” “What do you even mean?” “I swear on the heavens I’ve done nothing wrong, so why would a ghost harm me without a reason?” “That’s why they’re evil spirits!” “Psh. It’s already been reported to His Majesty, so what good will it do to be chatting amongst ourselves about it? If you dissuade me even more, then that’s disloyalty.” “No…” There was no use, so he even brought up the king. Then his friends had no choice but to retreat. And so Jeong Dongwoo was able to go to Cheolsan, where he had been appoionted. When he got close to Cheolsan, he actually started to get a little nervous. ‘Is there really an evil spirit?’ But he naturally shook his head. ‘How is that possible in this world?’ “W-welcome.” When he entered the government office, Yibang came out and bowed his head. “Did you see a ghost or something?” He was trembling so hard that Dongwoo thought he’d joke a little, but Yibang visibly jumped. His head was darting here and there, looking around. “M-my lord. What do you…” “Who are you tiptoeing around? I don’t see anything. Do you see something?” “N-no. My lord! It will end very badly if you continue!” “It’ll end badly for me anyway if it does. I’ve heard that no one else was hurt while three magistrates died.” “But you never know, truly.” As he was nervous on his way here, he wondered if Yibang or someone else killed them with bad intentions. So he baited Yibang, and the reaction was worth it. ‘It looks like that’s not it.’ ‘Are they really afraid of something?’ He followed the man’s gaze, thinking there would be something, but it was just air. In the end, there was nothing to learn from Yibang. He went to bed without gaining much. But no matter how brave he was, the people all around him were shaking like leaves. He therefore couldn’t simpy fall asleep as if nothing was wrong, so he tossed and turned for a while. -My lord. And as he was about to fall asleep, someone called out to him. “Yes…?” He wasn’t simply being called; he felt himself being shaken as well. He opened his eyes, and a girl appeared before him. Not just one, but two. ‘Dammit…’ For a moment, he felt that he should have listened to his friends. They really appeared. Ghosts! And two at that! He was about to curse when the ghost, with her mouth closed, spoke. - Oh, he’s not dead. A chill ran down his spine. ‘He’s not dead?’ ‘Did she mean for me to die?’ He fumbled for the sword he purposefully kept nearby. - I put that over there. The sword was near the door. “Ah.” “Wow, he’s really not dead.” “Whoa.” He sighed dejectedly, and the two started talking excitedly. Clapping in joy, too. Watching them made his fear disappear slowly. ‘They kind of...cute.’ Instead, he felt something else, and this was also ridiculous. He watched them talk for a moment, before they turned to address him. “Oh, I’m Janghwa.” “I’m Hongryun.” ‘An introduction.’ ‘Right.’ ‘So ghosts had manners, too.’ “I’m Jeong Dongwoo. So what have you come here for?” He wondered how useless discussing age with ghosts would be, but they looked young, so he didn’t bother to mind his manners too much. He wasn’t sure if it was good or bad but they didn’t look that upset about it. “We’ve come to ask you… Please, resolve our grievance.” ‘Aha, so it was a grudge.’ ‘Right.’ ‘It’s fitting for a ghost to have a grudge.’ For some reason, he thought it would be a little odd if a ghost appeared because it was happy. “Speak.” Anyway, he thought he should listen and so he nodded. Normally stories about grudges tended to run long, so he adjusted his position. “Our father is Government Official Bae. For our mother passed away early on… He remarried Lady Heo as his new wife… The story really was long. And it was a tragedy. They lived on, perfectly fine, when they’d abused and killed these young children? If this was true, then even sentencing them to death by quartering would be lenient. “It’s truly an injustice. But I cannot punish people based only on your words. Do you have anything that could help the investigation?” “Yes, we do.” But before he hurried to begin work, he planned to ask for the whole story and get evidence. And after they conversed until dawn, Janghwa and Hongryun left Jang Dongwoo’s chamber. “Sir… Are you alive?” Jang Dongwoo waited for Yibang to come to him on purpose instead of sleeping. Then... “I’m alive.” “Oh my goodness!” He yanked the door open. Then, he ordered another investigation. “You yourself spread the word of your crime.” Lady Heo was a cruel and atrocious woman, but she wasn’t that thorough, so there was evidence all over the place. He ran in with suspicion, but the arrest was quick. “P-please spare me. This was a mistake!” “A mistake? Who kills someone by mistake?” Jeong Dongwoo looked at Lady Heo, then Janghwa and Hongryun, who were standing on either side of her. They only seemed to be visible to him. At least now. “I-I‘m sorry. I‘ve committed a sin worthy of death. If you forgive me just this once…” “Why are you begging for my forgiveness?” “Sir?” “Look to your right and left.” Not anymore. “Oh, ohhh!” Janghwa and Hongryun didn’t even look horrific. They just looked like they did when they were alive. At least, in Jeong Dongwoo’s eyes they did. But Lady Heo was looking at the world’s most horrific ghosts. The shape of her sin started to move at will. “S-sir.” “Stay still.” Other people only saw the criminal Lady Heo writhing alone. Yibang called for the magistrate with half fear and half confusion, but Jeong Dongwoo lifted a hand to stop him. He looked at Lady Heo and Janghwa and Hongryun. In his eyes, Janghwa and Hongryun were simply talking. Talking about how much it hurt, how unfair it felt, and how scared they were. But the words couldn’t reach Lady Heo. “Uwaaah! No!” She was being torn to shreds by her own sin. “M-my lord, how is this… What is happening?” “Doesn’t it seem like a divine punishment?” “D-divine punishment… It couldn’t be the work of g-ghosts, right?” Yibang was trembling like a leaf. Just like on his first day. Jeong Dongwoo laughed, like he did on his first day. “The ghosts are standing there nicely.” “W-what…” “Don’t you see there?” “Sigh.” Yibang fainted at his words, but no one other than Jeong Dongwoo saw. This was because they were busy watching Lady Heo being shredded. A divine punishment. Yes, what else could he call it? The air was filled with what used to be groans but now were Lady Heo’s screams. “Are you satisfied?” Lady Heo wasn’t able to die even after being dismembered. Magistrate Jeong had an idea why so he asked Janghwa and Hongryun. “It’s even more than what we’d imagined.” “Alright. That’s fine.” When they replied, Lady Heo’s groans stopped. Janghwa and Hongryun watched her death with a look of something that appeared to be melancholy in their eyes. Looking at that, Jeong Dongwoo knew. Perhaps if Lady Heo was someone who knew how to listen, she might not have died. But she didn’t listen, and was not able to find salvation. And that was alright. Since there was an adult who listened. Justice was achieved, their story became Janghwa Hongryun Jeon, or The Story of Janghwa and Hongryun, and everyone heard it. -But why… -Why did you do it? This wasn’t the end. Even when their story came out in books, movies, and many different forms, another Janghwa and Hongryun still… They died again and again with the faces of abused children. There weren’t any adults who listened like Jeong Dongwoo did. - I want to end this story too. -So listen, please. That’s what they said, but Janghwa and Hongryun thought the abused children might know. If this kept going, this story wouldn’t end. Instead, endless characters would appear. -Ring At some point, after the eternal deaths of endless characters led to another Janghwa and Hongryun, the two sisters reached the Call of Stroke and then moved to the platform. After changing the world a tiny bit through someone else’s help in a way they could not with their own strength, could the sisters potentially save themselves and have the influence to save others? Janghwa and Hongryun began to dream again. They dreamt of an end to the story.