haru_ran: (jaejoong)
[personal profile] haru_ran posting in [community profile] jae_riding_ho
Title: Deep in the Cave of a Toothless Wolf
Beta: sidmaron
Plot: hana_cho
Pairing: YunHo/JaeJoong
Universe: Alternative
Genre: Drama
Length: 01/...
Rating: PG-13
Warning: angst, cross-dressing, bits of fluff
Author's Note: Not based on any historical facts, it is purely fictional. I hope as well, that it is somewhere close to what you imagined, hana_cho. This will also be the introducing chapter to something longer and gives an outlook of the story.

Summary: Facing a new mission, General Jung YunHo found himself closer to his target than he imagined.

We find ourselves in a time filled with fear, poverty, starvation and death. It was the time of a military regime that had lasted for 13 years already and had come over the Korean peninsula in a flash. No one had been prepared for it, no one had expected it and no one had thought that it would bring misery over the general public. Over the time every family had lost at least one member to prison or death. Children were punished as hard as adults, women as hard as men. Resistance, active rebellion and criticism on the regime and the Great King General were the most frequent reasons of prison. Flight from the country and escape from the prison led straight to death.
Head in charge of the escapee problem was a general of 30 years of age whose image was that of a monster disabled of emotions. Unlike his high-ranking fellow generals he lived secluded in a mansion just outside of a small village near Kujang and the river Taedong, employing only a handful of servants. Rumour in the village had it, that General Jung had changed over his ten years of duty from a monster to a toothless wolf. Only when on duty he flashed his sharp teeth and snapped at his targets. His most frequent visitors were other generals informing him of new orders. Other people seldomly found their way to his house.
One day in the early afternoon the doorbell of the old house kept ringing persistently and the housekeeper opened the door a little agitated. She let in a group of officers and their general. By now she knew well enough to know why they had come and she barely hid her distaste upon their arrival.
“If you are so kind as to follow me. Master YunHo is in his office,” she announced without any further greeting and curtly led the group upstairs. Once reaching the wooden door of the office she knocked and entered after a short approval from inside. She left the door ajar before the group could follow her and announced their arrival, “Master YunHo, you have guests. General Jung and his officers.” Rustling of paper could be heard as well as a sigh. “Let them in.”
One by one the general and his companions entered the wide room and lined up in front of YunHo's desk. “Your office is gloomy as always, dear nephew,” the older General Jung declared and settled down in a chair. His right hand man, Lieutenant Kim, occupied the other chair in front of the desk.
“Can I offer you and your fellows something to drink, uncle?” YunHo sighed and leaned back. When the group declined, he paid his attention to his housekeeper, “I'll have the usual, HyunAe, thank you. You may leave.” The elder lady bowed in understanding and left.
“What brings you here, General? I doubt you are here to inspect the insides of my house,” YunHo inquired immediately with earnest and folded his arms.
“Straight down to business and no small talk. Just like I know and respect you,” the general chuckled and motioned for his lieutenant to lit him a cigarette. “Well, to put you out of your misery, I am here because there's an escapee you have to take care of.” With a snap of his fingers an officer stepped forward and handed YunHo a folder. The 30-year-old raised one of his eyebrows and sceptically eyed the greyish file. Whilst examining the documents, General Jung continued to explain the details of YunHo's new mission, “Your target is prisoner 753. A foolish boy, really. Even in prison he couldn't keep his mouth shut over his ridiculous accusations.”
A knock at the door interrupted the general's speech. Raising his hand YunHo halted him from talking further, “Come in.” The door opened at once and in stepped a young maid of quite tall stature. In this part of territory it was not very unusual though to encounter tall females. Due to an albuminous nourishment consisting mostly of eggs, pork, tuna and a high amount of soybeans, the people in the northern territories had grown taller than their fellow peoples of the south. She lifted her gaze shortly, eyes widening a little when the group of officers examined her, and without any further interruption she carried in a tray with a cup and a pot. A silence filled the room when the maid poured YunHo a cup of steaming tea, her black hair falling from her shoulders into her face, which was blemished by a diagonal cut right across her plump lips.
“Thank you, SooYoung,” YunHo muttered and without uttering a single word and a deep bow, the young maid left with a now empty tray. The silence remained for a while in which YunHo took a sip of his tea and read through the documents handed to him.
“I see you have a new maid. And quite a beautiful one at that, too,” General Jung declared with a leer grin and a soft laughter among his officers resounded.
YunHo sighed and put his documents down. “I say it just once, uncle. Keep your hands off her. You already scared off the last five maids and I would appreciate it if you for once could keep to my rules in my house,” he all but snared and glared right into the eyes of his uncle. The elder raised his hands in mocked surrender and kept a grin on his lips. “Coming back to the topic at hand, can you explain to me how it is possible that the missing of this foolish boy, to quote you, was registered not before six weeks have passed and why on top of that it took another two weeks to inform me?” YunHo inquired and gained shrugged shoulders in response.
“You better direct this question to Captain Lee, the head of the prison. He will be your contact person. Your task is to find the prisoner and execute him, as always. I have no other responsibility now that the file is in your hands,” the older general announced and deliberately took a deep drag from his cigarette.
“It is not my responsibility if he already crossed the borders, General,” YunHo countered. Lieutenant Kim made a move to protest but General Jung stopped him.
“Now that the question of responsibility is settled, I will take my leave,” he declared and motioned for his officers and lieutenant to leave the house. “On another note, I am looking forward to your annual festivities,” he leered further and left the room when YunHo barely waved his hand as an indicator for him to finally get out.
Once alone, YunHo sighed deeply, took another sip of his now chilled tea and focused on his new target more closely. “Prisoner 753, huh. Let's see what there is about you,” he mumbled to himself and paged through the documents until he found the page consisting of personal data. “Name: Kim JaeJoong, age 20. Accused the Great King General of murdering his family and wrote about crimes against humanity committed by the regime in public media.”
YunHo blinked in wonder when reading through the committed crime that put said Kim JaeJoong into prison yet he couldn't find anything mentioned about the boy's family. There was no word about who his parents were, whether they had died or not or if he had had any siblings or other relatives. It was a wonder that a date of birth was to be found. “Jailed in summer '24. With 17 then. Quite a young age to already ruin the rest of your life, boy,” YunHo sighed and shook his head at the picture included in the file. “Horrid picture. What are they thinking to assign me to that lost case? First they fail to notice that a prisoner has been gone for six weeks, secondly fail to notify me immediately and then they don't even have a decent picture. How should I recognize someone looking like a dirty and tousled ball of hair in the first place,” he bemoaned and decided to visit the prison first thing in the morning.


Early the next morning YunHo already occupied his seat in the dining room. He was reading the newspaper his servant MyungSoo had handed him and deliberately watching as his housekeeper HyunAe and his new maid SooYoung were preparing the table for breakfast. His eyes mostly followed SooYoung around. He wouldn't deny that the maid of 19 years, as HyunAe had told him, interested him more than he would have imagined. When he had hired her barely over four weeks ago, she had met his gaze only once and had never spoken a word. HyunAe herself didn't know either why the young woman didn't speak a word but had suggested that it might have to do with the scar running across her lips. YunHo hadn't questioned it any further. He was content enough that after all the scandals happening in his house between his five former maids and his uncle General Jung JaeKyung, HyunAe had found someone willing to work for him. He would be a liar if he didn't register SooYoung's unique beauty either.
“HyunAe,” he announced over the newspaper and the elder woman halted her movements in arranging his dishes.
“Yes, Master YunHo?”
“I will be gone for a few days, at most a week. I am sure you can imagine why,” YunHo declared and earned a nod in response.
“Do you want me to prepare your luggage, Sir?” the elder woman asked. A clattering resounded when SooYoung came in with a mobile tray and placed a selection of food onto the table.
“That won't be necessary. I prepared it last night already and arranged a ride with the soldiers. I would like to ask you to take care of the house, as always, and let the other servants know of my departure and their days off. Also I would like to ask you to take preparatory measures for the annual festivity in two weeks time.”
“Of course,” HyunAe replied and bowed. When ushering SooYoung out to let YunHo enjoy his breakfast, the brown haired general called after her, “SooYoung, may I have a word with you?”
A little astonished the young maid nodded and turned towards YunHo whilst HyunAe closed the door behind her. YunHo motioned with his hand for SooYoung to sit down but the black haired declined by shaking her head. As she was cocking her head in an inquiring manner about what YunHo wanted to talk to her about, strands of her black hair lightly fell off her shoulders and framed her slender face. The hands folded before her stomach let YunHo have a glimpse of her slim figure clad in a black long-sleeved and high-necked dress with a lightly flared skirt.
Clearing his throat, YunHo put down his newspaper and shifted his seat closer to the table. “I have a request for you, SooYoung,” he announced and found the young female staring at him with furrowed eyebrows. He laughed a little at her earnest expression. “You do not have to make such a strict face, really. I just want to ask of you to take care of the library.”
SooYoung blinked surprised at that and opened her lips a little. YunHo's private library was a room not everyone was permitted to enter after all. Normally he even cleaned it himself. She didn't response immediately, but after another inquiry whether she would be willing to take over the task, she nodded and bowed in departure soon afterwards. With a light smile on his lips YunHo devoured most of his breakfast and readied himself for his ride to the prison right afterwards. It wouldn't last long for his assigned soldiers to come by and pick him up.


The state prison YunHo's newest target had escaped from, was the heart of the town Chuncheon, located in the middle of the peninsula. Aside from the prison there were only mines and a delf occupying only the prisoners, deliberately exploited by the regime as cheap workers, and a handful of wooden houses populated by a small amount of citizens left in the town.
Even with a military vehicle the ride towards the prison took half the day and led straight through the busy delf and past busy mines filled with inmates and wardens monitoring them. Upon YunHo's arrival, one of his soldiers immediately hurried to a warden to notify the prison authorities of their visit. It didn't take long for the captain to hurry out and welcome YunHo personally, who didn't fail to notice the nervousness and respect pouring from the wardens and the captain barely daring to look at him. He was a well-known man upon all military ranks of the regime. A fame he now, ten years later, really could go without.
“General Jung, it is a pleasure to have you here,” the captain spluttered and eagerly shook YunHo's hand. The brown haired pulled it back quickly.
“I doubt it will be a pleasure for you, Captain Lee,” he countered coldly and with a mask on his face. The captain's face fell immediately.
“Of course, Sir. Excuse my foolishness,” the older captain shied away and bowed in respect.
“Enough with the small talk. I believe we have something more important to talk about,” YunHo declared and was led into the prison. His soldiers followed him suit. Captain Lee provided him with an office to work and sleep in as requested whilst most of his soldiers were stationed in a small inn for the night. Only two stayed with him in the prison and guarded his office. A precaution matter his soldiers had insisted on ever since they were assigned to him.
“I would like to see the cell of Kim JaeJoong,” YunHo announced once he was done with setting up his accommodation and got hold of the greyish file put to his care. He sighed deeply when he looked into the stupefied expression on Captain Lee's face and massaged the bridge of his nose when he felt an upcoming headache. “You honestly can't even remember the name of the prisoner you let escape?”
The captain shrugged his shoulders and countered nonchalantly, “They don't have names when they come here. Only numbers.”
“I believe you don't realize the dimension of your fault, Captain. Thanks to your lose leadership and low range of monitoring a prisoner, as far as I am concerned, successfully escaped. To make myself very clear, if my soldiers and I fail to capture this Kim JaeJoong, it will be solely your responsibility to take for this lax supervision and late notice of his missing. To give you an example of what will await you in that case, I remind of the captain of the prison in Iksan I am sure you have heard about.” The captain nodded furiously at that, swallowed hard and the colour of his face had turned ashen. He didn't dare to response any further. “I see you understand. To make it easier for you, I would appreciate it if you led me to the cell of prisoner 753 now.”
The cell YunHo and his soldiers were led to was a one-man clink, really, and just wide and high enough to move from a raunchy toilet to a just as raunchy and creaky bed. “At least you were clever enough to not canton another prisoner in here,” YunHo commented and slipped into the cell without any response from the captain. He barely fit inside and wondered for a moment how the boy had moved around in here. “Before I take a closer look at the cell, I would like to know how you missed the boy being gone for six weeks. I need a detailed report of what happened and whether you started your own investigation in that matter, though I honestly doubt it. No offence, Captain.”
The captain gnashed his teeth in anger and breathed deeply before he answered, “The officer on duty at that time, Officer Park HyoungMo, reported a death case in this cell on his matutinal round through the cell block. The dead body was bloated and deformed and it suggested itself, that a few other scrappy inmates had pummelled that little foulmouth to death. It wasn't a surprise and certainly not the first time that something like this happened.” YunHo listened intently and deliberately took notes he found to be helpful in finding his target. It weren't many that far.
“If you found a dead body in his cell, then how come that six weeks passed before you noticed that the body was not that of Kim JaeJoong?” the brown haired general inquired with a raised eyebrow and mentally made a note to inform the authorities of thinking over the employment of Captain Lee for this prison.
“The pathology of our medical wing is understaffed, to be perfectly honest, and it is confronted with a wide range of death cases per week. I can't even give you reasons for this unusual dying,” the captain spluttered and deep down YunHo could imagine why so many people were dying so fast in here. It wouldn't be his first encounter with inmates punished and tortured to death for disciplinary measures, starved due to excessive work day by day, beaten to death both by inmates and wardens or simply due to illnesses.
“I do not need your pathetic excuses, Captain. Just give me the facts and keep your uncalled-for comments to yourself. Please show officer Choi the way to the pathology. He will get me the report of the doctor in charge of the dead body found in the cell of prisoner 753,” YunHo requested and motioned for the mentioned officer to take over the task. The younger man nodded curtly and immediately made his way to the medical wing once he gained the desired information.
“Since it took another two weeks before the case landed on my table, I blatantly assume that you looked over the cell and whatnot to find out where he went. If not, dear Captain, I advise you to set up your will,” YunHo spoke further and let a cold smile grace his lips. The captain swallowed very hard at that and was tongue-tied for the beat of a second.
“Yes, we did. There was nothing specific found. I swear, I have no idea how that little cockroach came out of here. There is not a single tiny hole he could have escaped through!” the older man desperately tried to explain himself and had sweat gathering on his forehead.
“I see. Well, then I and Officer Park here should get down to business. Not that I want to criticise your formidable work any further, Captain, but I can assure you that we will find the hole that helped the boy to successfully make a fool out of you and your wardens,” YunHo declared and with a motion of his hand cut any attempt of response from the Captain and motioned for him to get out and better hide in his bureau.


Half an hour later the creaky raunchy bed had found its way onto the corridor and Officer Choi found his fellow officer and YunHo crouched on the chilly stone ground upon his return from the pathology with the desired report in his hand.
“General Jung,” he announced and the brown haired shortly looked up from the hole between wall and floor he and Officer Park had discovered barely five minutes after they had started their search.
“Have you been successful?” YunHo asked and upon receiving a responsive nod, he stretched out his hand to accept the report. “Please help MinSoo-ssi by clearing the possible escape route while I take a look at the file,” he requested, leaning against the wall while skimming through the short written report. The two officers found one loose stone in the wall after another and revealed a hole big enough for a slender, famished boy to easily slip through and just narrow enough to smuggle in a dead body of the same height.
“Can you believe that? They seriously needed six weeks to find out that the dead body found in this cell didn't have the branded prisoner number on his left upper arm as every inmate has. Every child would have been able to find that indicator, really,” YunHo bemoaned when he read about the scars marking Kim JaeJoong's body that hadn't been found at all on the body the boy had put into his cell in his place. “I must admit he is a very clever boy. And a determined one at that. He even deliberately killed someone else to take his place,” he muttered when he examined the hole he was sure took Kim JaeJoong every free minute over his three years in prison to create. “Gentlemen, I believe this will be the hardest case we ever had to deal with.”

To be continued …

On his search after the prisoner Kim JaeJoong, General Jung YunHo encounters a strange boy in his house who names himself Shim ChangMin. This encounter will change YunHo’s view on the regime, on his orders and the entity of upbringing in a military family. The question being left answered though is, who exactly is this Shim ChangMin and why was he hiding in his mansion?

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