Chapter Thirteen: A time in in the Village.
After trekking for a month in the wilderness and scavenging, we finally reached a village that was not too far from the mountains. The village was really small and secluded, which had a creek on one side, and a pond on the other.
We walked in and was met by what seemed to be a leader of the town.
“Who are you?” The man asked. He had signaled for 3 other men and they were standing by him, and watching me and Bo-A.
“I am a lost general of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.” I said, and showed him my ID, and from the looks of it, he believed it.
“How did you end up here? This is Russian controlled land now.” The man said, and looked at me in confusion.
“Well, when the Russians attacked up there about a month ago, I think it was anyways, and so we got flung into the mountainside because of a shell, and so we’ve been in the countryside for a month trying to find some sort of settlement.”
The man nodded, and motioned for his guys to back off.
“So you’re the famous Hu-Ku?” he said, and shook my hand.
“Yes sir. However, I don't feel like I am going to be able to return because I am unsure of where the lines are.” I said, and looked at the ground.
“We are unsure either. You are more than welcome to stay here until either war’s end or the army comes back.” The man said, and turned around.
“Thank you, sir.” I said, and we followed him to a little building, looked like a little guest house.
“We have had people killed in this village, and so we’ve had extra living quarters here. You are more than welcome to stay here.” He said.
I nodded, and asked him where we could bathe.
“We have that creek there, you can go to the bathing pond, which is a whole different section. Be careful to not get the water awfully dirty.” He said, and pointed in the direction of the pond.
Me and Bo put the bag into the house and we walked over to the pond. My uniform and undershirt was dirty worn out so I needed to wash them off. We reached the little pond and I got in.
“Oh my lord, it has been awhile since we could stay in the clear from the Russians.” I said, and sat down.
“It has been, but luckily we are safe.” Bo said, and sat down as well. I took off my shirt, and put it in the water, and let it soak. Another group of people walked over and met us.
“Hello. Welcome to the village, we see you have met our leader, Gyeong. He has told us about you two, and we want you to know you are highly welcome and we will help you both out.” The guy said.
“Thank you.” I said, and nodded at them.
“We have clothes if you would like.” another said.
“No, no sir. Those are your clothes. You do not have to do that.” Bo said.
“What she said.” I said, and smiled.
“You guys are guests. Go fetch them some clothes.” The man said, and shooed them off.
“You know it doesn't have to be done.” I said, and the guy looked at me.
“You will receive clothes.” he said, and gave me a scorning look.
“Okay. Thank you, sir.” I said, and looked down at the water.
So after a good twenty minute bath, and receiving clothes, we were done bathing, and we went over and sat in what seemed to be the middle of the village.
Other people were doing their daily activities and chatting around the center, and we sat down by what seemed to be a tool maker.
“Hello, you guys must be the two army people.” He said, and introduced himself as Hwan, which meant bright.
I nodded, and asked him what his skill was for making objects.
“Its pretty okay, I suppose. I do make spears and fishing stuff for some people. I havent made a sword in a while, but I can if you request.” he said.
“Oh no, I was just wanting to know if you can sharpen my knife.” I said, and laughed.
“Oh, yeah yeah. I can do that.” Hye said, and I handed him my knife, which I had cleaned but I knew it had been used for worse reasons.
“Yeah I can do this. Come back in 15 minutes.” He said, and proceeded to start the process of sharpening my knife.
So I walked over to our house, and sat down in the little living space, and opened my bag.
We had gone through a month, used 7/12 clips for the AK74M and used 65/100 of the Ariska bullets. The pistol had used ⅖ clips and we had been able to make our food supplies last, as we had scavenged abandoned buildings.
We had 2 cans of beans, 7 bags of bread, and 2 cans of soup left. I placed my food on the desk, and sat down on the little bed still there. The building was not much big, and was only one story.
Bo-A came in and sat down by me.
“We are safe. At last.” and she put her hands on my shoulders.
“I know.” I said softly, and laid back and she did the same.
“Why are you still tense?” She said, and rubbed my face.
“Cause we’ve been on the run for a month, evading the Russians, and unable to find anyone close to the North Korean army. Hell, I don't even know if the war is still going.” I said, and looked up.
“The war can still be very well going, Jong. You know it can be. And you know, if they are able to reach here, we will be back in North Korea’s hands.” She said.
“Its not that, it's the fact I’m able to have peace instead of fighting. I’m not used to it, and my head is killing me from it.” I said, and looked at the wall, a ton of things going through my head since I was able to think.
“Jong. Look at me. We are safe. You have nothing to worry about. We will be fine.” She said.
“I know! Calm down.” I said, and she looked at me.
“I think I have stress on me, since I havent been fighting, I been able to focus and the war has been getting to me.” I said, and grabbed her hands, and put her fingers intertwined with me.
“I love you, Bo-A.” I said, and hugged her still damp body.
“I love you too, Jong.” and she kissed me.
We laid there for a long time, just silent and looking up.
“You know, I may be being a jerk, but I am not trying to be. Its just the toll of this war on my mind.” I said, and she ran her fingers through my head.
“I know. I can understand what you are saying.” She said, and kept stroking my hair.
We stayed there for the rest of the night, and just enjoyed eachothers company.
The next few weeks we made friends within the village, and I started to calm down a lot. Finally, the war lines started to get near, and we knew the possible reconciliation with the army was near.
I couldn't believe it and we could hear gunfire and shelling in the distance.
“Jong. They’re probably going to find us.” Bo-A said, and we laid as the war got closer and we laid down the night before the army would stumble to our village.