One autumn evening, Yi Hwon, and his personal guard, Woon, find refuge from the rain under a tall tree. Hwon is dressed in disguise wearing a yangban’s (nobleman) attire. Woon looks undeniably like a warrior, his long hair tied in a braid and two large swords fastened to his back and to his side.
Hwon becomes curious of the lady’s appearance, and asks her to reveal her face. But when she merely responds by requesting him to have a drink, Hwon orders Woon to remove the divider. In one swoop of Woon’s blade, the divider that separates the two rooms falls to the floor. And as if Woon’s sharp blade has also cut across the rain clouds in the sky, the moonlight pours into the room and fills it.
“All creations come and come again, but cannot come all.
I look to see if it has come all, but it comes again.
The things that come again and again come from where there is no beginning.
And so I ask thee from where do you first come?” (-Excerpt from the first verse of Hwadam Seo Kyung-deok’s “Relic”)
“All creations return and return again, but cannot return all.
I look to see if it has returned all, but it has not.
They return and return again until the end, but there is no end to the return.
And so I ask thee to where you return?” (-Excerpt from the second verse of Hwadam Seo Kyung-deok’s “Relic”)