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He couldn't believe his ears.

“What did you say? You say... Gaksital... is Lord Seon's son?”

Mok Damsari nodded. “Yes, and what a twist of fate it had been. After the death of Lee In and his mother, that child has now taken over the role as Gaksital—while retaining a double life as a Japanese Imperial officer.”

In all his life, he didn't expect to be able to hear such great news. It has been twenty years. To hear that there was still a survivor... and that survivor had been Gaksital—how wouldn't such tidings be the most pleasant? How wouldn't this piece of news gave him new hope?

“Seon's child?”

Yangbaek turned around towards his elderly mother. Suddenly, the elderly mother figure eyes started to glisten with tears.

“Yes,” said Damsari. “It's the youngest son. His name was—”

“Young master Lee Young!” gasped the old madame as she collapsed to the floor, before Yangbaek caught her. “Young master Young survived!”

He could see how this news had elated his mother. He himself was not really that close to Lord Seon, but he knew of his family. His old mother, even more.

“It's a pity that I couldn't make contact with Sir Dongjin. But to be able to make contact with another unexpected ally, that's—”

Yangbaek nodded as he turned his attention towards Damsari. “It's really a good news. And it does seemed that I have more reason to come to Gyeongseong myself. Not just to meet with Dongjin, but also to meet Lord Seon's son.”

“Indeed.” Said Damsari. “I'll make the preparations now,” the man added before turning to leave.

“Baek...”

He turned to his mother.

“You're going to see Young Master Young?” asked the old woman.

Yangbaek nodded as he held his mother's old hands gently.

“Yes... I am.”

xxx

“When you meet the young master, have these potatoes steamed and gave it to him. It wasn't much, but the young master used to love it so much.”

He heard from Damsari that Lee Seon's former bodyguard Baekgeon had remained by Lee Gangto's side. Yet, that wouldn't be enough to fill the hole inside that child's heart. Damsari told him that it wasn't really that long since Lee Gangto's late mother and brother had perished; and that child had become Gaksital since then. The child... must have kept a lot of things buried inside his heart.

“Sir.”

Yangbaek looked up to find the young man standing before him as he walked towards the child.

“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lee Gangto...”

He immediately stopped the child from trying to pay him respect as he embraced the child. Joy filled his heart. He never thought that there were any survivors left of Lord Lee Seon's family. He hadn't even considered that the older son might have been acting as Gaksital.

So thankful, that this child still lives...

“Hong...” he called out before taking his seat.

As he eyed the child, he could see more and more the visage of the late lord in Gangto. Lee Gangto really is Lord Lee Seon's child. Lee Young.

He turned to see Hong already brought the potatoes over. Immediately Yangbaek recalled his old mother's words and insistence that Gangto should receive the potatoes. Certainly, his old mother would have been thinking the same thought.

“It must be hard for the young master. All alone by himself,"

Indeed it must have been.

“Sir! Give it to me, I'll do it,” said Hong as he insisted on peeling the potatoes himself.

It must have been a while since Lee Young felt the warmth of a family. It must have been a while since he allowed himself to be treated as a child. It must have been a while...

“Here. Say... ah...”

He watched as Young slowly bit into the potato... before the child started to cry.

It was a reminder to him. That despite the many courageous things that Gaksital did for the sake of their nation's independence, deep down; Young... Lee Gangto was still a child. And this child braved many dangers and obstacles, while trying to carry a burden of an adult's responsibilities. It reminded him the reason of why he still kept to his mission. To protect and provide a better future for the children of his country like Gangto. Because in the end, it's the chidren that you wanted to protect most. Since children are your hope.

He was glad that the potatoes were good.