“It’s the imperial decree from Father about our exile, in case you still don’t believe us. And no, I’m not reading it to you.”


Song unrolls the massive scroll, sees Kiin’s stamp (or as the Purgers call it, the ‘Imperial stamp’), and tosses it aside.


“You didn’t even read it,” Shu remarks.


“Yeah, but since you didn’t complain about what Shen said, I guess it must be true. At least I know it’s real; Kiin’s stamp is there!”


“Idiot…” Shu sighs.


‘But more importantly, what do we do next?” Song says, giving one last look at the Shadow Palace. “The only lead we have is to escape to another world, and I can’t even imagine how we’re supposed to do that.”


“Seek out the Void Seeker which you spared, the one that started this all for the both of you,” Shu murmurs monotonously, as if reciting a book.




“That’s what Father told me after our battle,” Shu explains. “His hint makes sense. Maybe Rei knows something about interdimensional travel since he’s a Void Seeker as well.”


“Oh. That’s pretty smart.”


“Everything is smart to you, Song.”


“Geez… why is everyone being so mean to me since I woke up? Especially you.”


Shu chuckles to that. Now, it’s Shu’s turn to look back at the Palace. Even now, the massive complex in the forest still exudes a vibe of mysteriousness to them. Despite all they’ve been through in that accursed place, the Shadow Palace has always been a place they reluctantly called ‘home’, where even the most negative emotions are paired with an unspeakable sense of familiarity.


Now, they’ll have to part with this familiarity, and face against the world and the Blossom. It’s everything Song had wanted since he was a child, and yet for some reason, he still feels painfully anxious about the journey ahead.


“I know that look,” Shu says.


“Then you know what I’m about to say.”


“And you know how I’ll answer you.”


Song looks at Shu, and they both share a grin. With that, the boys dart into the woods, no longer looking back, on a journey they don’t understand.


About the author


Bio: Pen name: Han Sung Chul

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