Sam! Chongsa! CROSS!!
Crown Princess paces worriedly in the garden, knowing that DH had participated in the Military Service exam under conditions placed by her husband. It was because of the letter she wrote to DH 5 years ago that DH is in such predicament. How did he fare? Her maid-in-waiting rushes to her side, explaining that DH had caused such ruckus by hitting a real horse rather than the straw target.
The agitated horse caused much destruction at the scene where musical instruments were trashed, ministers were traumatized, and the King himself was lightly injured. Oh Noes. And the king was further peeved when he caught CP enjoying the spectacle when everyone else was running halter-skelter.
The King and his men are understandably upset with the unexpected turn of events and swiftly decide to refuse DH’s entry into the Royal Army. However, CP respectfully disagrees as DH achieved top position unanimously and also possesses such competence that is difficult to come by. Morever, it would be good PR for the King to allow someone from a Gangwon-do to join the army as a tool to encourage more future applicants from far-away provinces in the coming exams and also to demonstrate the fairness of the exam as well.
DH clearly unhappy with how he ended the exams, reminisces the fateful admission to Undercover CP.
CP: This letter is an important piece of evidence so before you prove yourself we’ll hold onto it.
Ugh! Why? Why? WAE? But then, one of the invigilators came over to see DH.
IV: Have you been waiting long? … We just had a Royal Command
King: I’ll forgive Park Dak Hyang with good grace but he’ll be assigned with the lowest position and won’t have any stipend nor official title for a while and wait for further action.
IV: You’re ranked first place out of 28, however you’re still appointed. You’ll start from the bottom, but still it’s good that it ended like this.
DH: Yes, thank you very much
IV: Don’t thank me. Thank the Crown Prince.. I heard he was the only one who defended you. Follow me, we have to get you registered.
DH: Why?… Why was he defending me?
IV: I’m not sure. He must’ve thought you’re a talented man
DH still couldn’t make sense why the CP would have saved him yet taunted him as he prepared for the final round of the military service exam. Cut to the scene at the hostel where DH is currently staying. The owner was about to enter his property when a horseman (?) mysteriously stops at the entrance. Owner then passes a note to DH.
DH: Who is it from?
HO: I’m not sure. 2 riders gave it to me. Anyways, I hope the room is warm. It was raining, so I put extra heat in here.
Why is be being nice now?
DH: Were you that nice before? I don’t remember it being like that.
HO: I should change it, eh? You’ve passed the exam. Please think of me favorably. Let me know if you need anything (he may just change his tune when he finds out DH is not paid for his services in the army)
The first bromance letter to DH 😀 :
From the Three Musketeers to Park Dak Hyang. Congratulations on passing. I’m sorry that you lost your first ranking because of us. We’d like to buy you a drink to make it up to you. Will you come out tomorrow? Minister Ho Seung Po, Minister An Min Seo, those are our real names. We’ll see you tomorrow.
Not much DP can do then? He proceeds to write a letter to his parents’ informing them of his successful entry into the Royal Army. Brood, brood… opens the door for some fresh night air.
Then, from a distance, he sees a female walking towards him asking if he was PDH of Gangwon-do. It’s the Princess’ maid-in-waiting.
Oh dear… I have a feeling someone is paying him a visit.
He confirms, she steps aside, and in comes Crown Princess gracefully revealing her Royal self. And for DH, it was the first time seeing his sweetheart after 5 years. She has grown into a beautiful woman, who is now the wife of CP.
Princess: Leave us alone for a moment (to her maid-in-waiting)
DH: How did you… ? (Realizes after a moment the Princess is standing outdoors where anyone could see her) Come inside first.
Princess: Sit. I’ll talk from here. I’m going to leave right away.
DH: Why did you come here? What if someone sees you.
Princess: I told them I’m going to visit my mother. The Prince showed me the letter. I heard you were still waiting for me, so I had to come and see you. How can you be that stupid?
DH: You know me. I’m like that.
Princess: I’m sorry. I didn’t keep the promise. But I didn’t have a choice. It was out of my hands. So don’t blame me.
Yeah, VERY convenient reason, Your Highness 😡
DH: I understand
Princess: I burned that letter.
DH: (Initially hurt) Good. I was nervous about that too. (Continues to look at her, memorizing every line before officially letting her go from his heart).
Maid: We should go now.
Princess: This is the last time. The Prince won’t tolerate it twice. Don’t ever think about me again.
Hmm, methinks it would Princess being unable to forget DH 🙂
DH: Of course
Princess: I’m glad that you’ve passed. Your parents must be so happy.
DH: I think so.
Princess: Don’t come out. People will see us.
He watches the Princess retreat into her waiting sedan with sadness. His long-ago Sweetheart came to say goodbye, he shot a horse rather than a target and that caused him a good position in the army, he is redeemed however, but start at the bottom rung with no pay. And it’s raining. Will things change for the better for our DH?
His states in his letter that he will receive his badge personally from the King himself, but apologizes for not having them witness such a commemoration and that Yeon Soo will not become an addition to their family. His heart is shaken because there are too many pretty girls in Hanyang. He’s excited with his new life in and can hardly sleep because if it. That day was the best day in his life. Awww 😥
14th Year of King Injo
General Yong Gol Dae from Ching Dynasty with his army pays a visit to a couple of riders by the river. His right-hand man returns to the flock after a brief discussion with the riders.
Seems that a Joseon government official from the Northwest Province wants to meet up with the Chinese envoy before they arrive in Hanyang. Political intrigue begins. GD is curious as to the request for a covert meeting. He takes off to speak to the riders himself. One rider is from Joseon, with an eye patch, the other, a female who speaks GD’s language. She states that any communication will have to go through her and they are merely messengers.
In Club Joseon, a group of raucous men are happily gambling. It’s a literal wheel of fortune where one places bets on the flat surface, the wheel is then spun, and wherever the winning symbol stops in front of, that person wins the whole lot.
SP the lothario is enjoying every minute gambling and being in the company of gisaengs, and who walks into this club? DH has agreed to meet the two musketeers for drinks 🙂 MS has also been waiting for DH for he has been nursing his drink, well tea and snacks, on the upper floor while watching the show on stage.
MS invited DH over and the latter inquired about SP. MS just points downwards towards the loud party. MS begins to congratulate DH, but DH quickly interjects MS wanting to get an explanation of their “trick” played on him.
It was SP and CP’s plan from the beginning. CP can’t easily leave the Palace Grounds, so he has been sneaking out of the palace with the two of them and by chance met DH on that fateful night. They couldn’t possible turn down DH’s plea for help but, they also could not possibly reveal their true identity either. MS thought their involvement ended with the capture of those thugs, until he found DH’s letter under the saddle.
We learn that SP comes from venerable lineage. He is the first son of General Heo Suk, and due to his family’s position, he enjoyed the privilege of learning alongside the Prince. MS, however, was a young monk at Suhjin Temple. DH’s eyes grow into round saucers in disbelief. He learned martial arts during his tenure in the temple and was sent out to protect the Prince during times of war. When the war was over, the Prince personally requested for MS to be his guard.
SP finally waddles over to their table, orders a round of drinks and proceeds to speak informally since they’re now friends. In his drunken stupor, SP explains that it was his idea to reveal the letter to CP hoping that it would create jealousy, thus igniting a more passionate relationship with the Princess. Turns out CP is more interested in DH instead. LOL!! XD
DH picked up on the not-so-rosy relationship of the Royal Couple, inquired about that situation, but SP realizes he has let slip more than he intended.
Princess meets CP in his quarters to inform that she went out to visit her mother (yeah, ehem) and CP inquires Princess’ mother’s health. All’s good? That’s good. You may return to your room. Very cordial, and very lacking any heartwarming feelings towards Princess. She remains in standing, wanting to say something to the CP. She explains she was too shocked to say anything during the time he confronted her with the letter.
Princess: Why did you hand it to me? Why didn’t you ask me anything after that? And you even helped him pass the exams even after his mistakes.
CP: I told you (smiles genially) I don’t doubt you and I admire his skills
Princess: But I don’t feel that is natural
CP: What do you mean natural?
Princess: If you’re my husband, you should’ve doubted me after you hear something like that, you should have gotten rid of that letter and hated him, that’s natural.
CP: I’m not that small of a person
Princess: It’s not about that (getting a bit hysterical) It shows me that you don’t even care about me. You get angry when you love me! (tries to calm herself down) Isn’t that true? You don’t love me. You never loved me for the last 5 years
CP: (knows the truth is obvious, but still remains courteous) I thought you were scared of me, but I guess I was wrong. You say everything you want.
Princess: I’m not afraid of you. I just felt you were cold.
CP: (laughs) Is that so? Then, how about this? I hand PDH over to the authorities to lock him up and depose your Princess position. Then it is natural as your husband? Does that make it look like I love you? Then I’ll tell them to arrest him tomorrow. Oh! You said I should get rid of the letter too. Can I have it back then?
Princess: Stop making jokes! It’s tiring! I know it too. You loved the woman who was chosen before me! It’s not my fault. It wasn’t my choice either.
Ooh! I was right about this loveless marriage 😡
Quick flashback: young YS is shocked to find out she’s next in line in becoming the Crown Princess. The one that was picked before her, Minister Yoon’s daughter, had hung herself. YS was distressed as she has he heart set on DH.
Poor Princess. She’s stuck with a husband who doesn’t know how to be romantic or demonstrate gestures of love to a woman who is starving for such attention 😦 CP, you’re gotta work on you EQ, man! But, when Princess leaves his quarters, the cheerful facade he wore swiftly changes to a sombre one. The real face of someone who had to undergo personal sacrifices too.
Gossiping ensues @ Club Joseon!
SP shares that the first Crown Princess committed suicide right before the wedding. It didn’t make sense as the betrothed loved each other very much. MS steps in an nudges SP, who thinks he was outed by MS for telling stories about CP, but he signaled towards a visitor who just stepped into the Club: Kim Ja Jun of the Northern Province. Came with an entourage of bodyguards as well. Interesting…
JJ is meeting a coterie of his followers and shares with them he has contacted the Ambassadors from China. Seems that the envoy wants to change the title of “King” to “Emperor”, so Joseon becomes a subservient nation to the superior Ching Dynasty. This is a covert meeting to collude with the enemy 😡 SP overhears this conversation and passes it on to MS. He then walks over to DH seeking his assistance. The news is a serious one, so MS needs to relay it immediately to CP, and DH needs to keep an eye out for SP. MS hands his sword covertly under the table to DH.
DH pretends to be a drunkard, tottering near the balustrade. In reality, DH was surreptitiously scanning the entire Club for civilians, and exit points.
What do we do now, Boss?
Kim Ja Jun has taken the first step to assemble his men, anticipating a change of allegiance. CP wants to know who JJ’s inner circle members are, and SP is in the midst of gathering such intel. CP suggests to gain more evidence of such act of treason before informing his father. First on the to-do list: find out what JJ’s plans are.
The King is dreaming: he’s staggering aimlessly in the forest, not seeing anyone. He walks on until he sees someone in the distance. Glad to find help, he gets closer towards… General Yong Gol Dae with his army. He raises his bow and arrow, takes aim at the King, and … King screams himself awake. Talk about premonition He has a bad feeling about the incoming envoy this time around.
King’s paranoia rises and asks for Choi Myung Gil and CP’s presence. He is worried he has no one to depend on. CP gets ready to leave for his nightly vigil until the King’s assistant stops him at the gates. King is agitated after the nightmare and wants to see CP. He weighs the priorities before deciding to get more intel instead of being by his father’s side.
Enter The Riders
They carefully make their way into Club Joseon. Just be virtue of dark sartorial choice, their presence naturally encourages others to cower and hide. DH makes eye contact with Eye Patch, and quickly goes into act-drunk mode. They both enter the room of Kim Ja Jun. Stakes are getting high now…
JJ finally reveals his intention: send a message to the Ambassadors that part of the [Joseon] government are on their side should war erupt between the two countries. He believes with this Circle of Noblemen, they can achieve such as they are the ones who helped the King sit on the throne. And they too, can take it back.
SP is still in the adjacent room, listening to the conversation, when the two Riders enter JJ’s room. They are there to receive JJ’s group’s reply to be relayed to the General. In SP’s excitement, he made his presence known when touched the wall panel which separated both rooms. Eye Patch looks in SP’s direction suspiciously and remembers looking at DH stationed just outside JJ’s room. Oh Noes… Eye Patch accuses JJ of placing spies and without warning crashes through the wall panel… with SP still in crouching position. DH’s spidey senses picks up SP’s need for back up and he nimble makes his way over, sword drawn.
SP is determined to find out who made up JJ’s inner circle and instructs DH to take care of Eye Patch. Of course it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. JJ has his bodyguards to slow SP down. Fighting sequence, engage! MS and CP arrives in time to help 🙂 The men rushed to their horses, especially afraid because they recognized SP’s face.
CP runs outside hoping to catch a glimpse of the fleeing traitors, and he locks gaze with KJJ. And HE DID see the faces of the others! MANSE! … and, oh? A female member as well?
That Look of Recognition. Time stands still. Eye Patch makes his way towards them.
DH: Watch out! Behind You!
Not enough time to react, Eye Patch nicks CP’s left upper arm, who is still in a daze seeing the female rider. When CP falls in shock, the two riders made haste as the other three rush to CP’s side. DH has that “till hell freezes over” look and goes on a solo chase. CP tells them to escort him back to the palace, knowing his father would be extremely distressed.
EP: Who are they?
FR: Are you crazy?
EP: What? –
FR: Do you know who you just attacked?
EP: Who is it?
FR: He’s the Crown Prince.
Yeah, man! You’re in SOO MUCH TROUBLE!
DH pursues them until it seemed too dark to see in the forest, “You messed with the wrong person today!” But, no! DH has super night vision and chases them like flames from Hell! XD
The King insists on seeing CP and even got dressed to go to his quarters. Oh-oh… not good. Princess is knotted up like a tight wad, worrying of repercussions of lying about CP’s whereabouts. She rushes out to meet the King, pleading that CP is too drunk to meet his father. But the King insists everyone is lying to him and trudges on into CP’s quarters to see… CP donning his Royal Night Robes.
Like a Bauce!
The King is finally assured and at peace after seeing the only person he could trust in the world, his Crown Prince. He returns to his quarters, while we see SP and MS gasping for breath in a shadowed corner of the courtyard. Wooh! That was a close call!
Princess comes in and asks what was really going on. Before she could ask more, she notices blood dripping from CP’s fingertips. CP quickly refuses Princess’ offer to help but requests for one of his attendants’ instead. The wall between them has become thicker especially after his chance encounter with the mysterious Female Rider.
The real reason for having the attendant in his room:
CP: I just saw Mi Ryung. What happened?
The hunt in the forest continues until the duo reaches at a certain point in a clearing. DH believes they were finally ready for a one-on-one combat, but they simply looked at DH. And then, their backup team comes forth, The General and his army. Archers preparing to release deadly arrows, all aimed at DH.
GD: Who are you? How dare you hurt my people? Name.
DH calculates his response. How should be respond? His life will be complicated almost instantly anyway…
FR: I think he is the CP’s person. CP knows our plan. And he (Eye Patch) stabbed the CP.
Hundreds of arrows streak in the night towards the brave, just passed exams, Park Dal Hyang of Gangwon-Do.
And that night, all the people DH met, are the ones who will make history.