Friday, September 23, 2022

The World Under The Oak Tree.

click to enlarge
To my dearest friends and followers,

Do you see the little red-haired girl in the garden outside her father's castle? She is crying, crying as she desperately holds onto the black hound for comfort.
The boy notices her. He is nothing more than the illegitimate son of a farmer and now an apprentice black smith. He notices her, only the little red-haired girl doesn't know it. He stands silently in the distance, watching. Someone like him would never be allowed to speak to someone like her, but still he stands, watching, wondering, "is she as lonely as I am?"

And in that moment, his heart felt what her heart felt. He felt connected to her. He had never felt connected to anyone or anything before.

He would come back to see her. He even rescued her one time from a vicious monster, held her small body in his arms. She patted against his chest, begging him to save her "puppy". Once she was no longer in danger, he went back to the brave black hound, who had died trying to protect his girl.
The boy left her wondering why her four-legged companion had not returned to her. How could he tell her he had buried her best friend?

Fate would take him away, to far away places, in search of a better life - a life to make something of himself. He would become a mercenary. He would become the greatest swordsmen in the continent and he would be knighted, granted land and a castle, and placed as the commander of the Remdragon Knights.

In his darkest times, he could remember the only happy memories he had. He would remember her, the little red-haired girl from his boyhood. He would remember her in the garden, surrounded by lush green grass and bright fragrant flowers. He would remember blue skies and white puffy clouds. He would remember her sitting amidst it all, picking up shiny pebbles he had left for her the day before. He would remember the smile on her face and the light in her eyes as she added them to her collection of trinkets she found in the garden.

He remembered her so often, that he wished for his visions of her to be real. One day, fate brought him to her father's castle again. And he saw her, recognized her by her long red locks tied neatly behind her back. She had grown into a beautiful young woman. And she did not remember him. After all, why would she? He was no one. A mere servant. A blacksmith.

His heart aching, he would leave once again. He would face many hardships, fight many battles, and raid countless monster lairs. He would spend the harsh winter outside with his comrades, in the name of his duty as a knight. Eventually he would have the chance to marry her. And marry her he reluctantly would, for though he loved her, he hated the way she looked at him, like she feared him, saw him as some sort of monster.

He had wanted her for so long, but not like this, not unless she wanted him too. He didn't want to be forced into it, manipulated, humiliated, his life endangered because of it. She was scared, feeling exposed and violated during their wedding night and he was to blame. While she slept, he left for three long years, fighting in a battle that had earned her as his wife.

During his absence, he sent many to escort her to his castle, but he heard she did not want to leave. Why would she? She was the daughter of a duke and could not possibly be expected to leave her life of luxury to live in his old castle.

If only he had known she was abused by her father during those three years. If only he had known she had been abused by her father since she was a small child. If only he had known she sought comfort in the black hound because no one loved her, no one cared for her. But the hound did. The hound comforted her in her darkest times and then died saving her.

If only he had known. If only he knew...

Yours Truly,
Me

(This is the story Under the Oak Tree and Riftan's POV by Korean author, Suji Kim.)
I kept seeing the comic version advertised on Facebook and Instagram. Finally I started reading and was immediately hooked. Once I finished comic version, I discovered it was adapted from a webnovel, so I had to read that too! It's so so so good. It's very well written and well translated if you read the English version, and it's possibly some of the best character-development in a story that I've ever seen. I might write a post entirely on that...
I highly recommend reading Under The Oak Tree. I proudly give this ⭐⭐!!

ADDITIONAL:
- Under the Oak Tree (webnovel - official English translation)
Pay by chapter. Costs somewhere around 70usd

- Riftan's POV (chapter 195 -webnovel - official English translation)
Pay by chapter.

- Under the Oak Tree (novel version, same as webnovel version)
Buy part 1-5 on Amazon. Costs about 20usd

- Under the Oak Tree (Manta comics - comic version)
Pay by monthly subscription. Costs 3.99usd

- Riftan's POV (ridibooks)
Not sure how to use this site haha, it's in Korean