Things are really picking up speed and bromance is tested…
Mayhem at Mohwaguan. General GD is now a hunted man. A sword fight between drugged DH and General GD ensues in the bamboo forest. DH is having a lousy first day on the job, but the King’s Order comes before anything else. Hence capturing the General is now DH’s priority – and CP tells his posse they have to save the General instead.
The King’s Army is closing in the bamboo forest. DH and General duke it out for quite a while and all that strenuous moves must have slowly rid off the poison’s after effects. DH’s agility and quick thinking returns although he is yet to fight at full strength.
However, General GD manages to swiftly cut off a bamboo during their fight and turns it into a spear, which he uses to pin DH down to the ground. He walks over to DH with the intent to finish him off – “There he is!” the King’s Army arrives in the nick of time. GD simply picks up his sword’s sheath and departs.
DH instructs one soldier to follow him on the chase, and the other to inform the rest of the troops.
DH’s colorful uniform reminds me of Snow White
Back in the chase sequence. DH’s recovery rate has certainly picked up and we see a steeplechase between GD, DH and the backup soldier lagging a the rear.
Now out of the bamboo forest and into the rough mountainside terrain. General GD still leads in the front, pitbull DH a close second… and I’m expecting the backup to keel over in exhaustion XD
Two ladies enjoying a leisurely walk comes into view, the mistress on horseback. General sees and opportunity to increase his lead. He runs down the hill with sword in hand, like a hawk, he heads for his prey, slashing them in the process – and this senseless killing boils DH’s blood. He asks whether GD can be killed and not just captured? The soldier affirms GD’s death if capture is not foreseeable.
DH takes the rifle, positions himself and aims for GD who is struggling to free the dead mistress’s foot which is caught in the stirrup. Oh my lord, it’s no AK-47 DH has in his hands. Soldier has to create a spark to ignite the gunpowder.
GD’s sixth sense picks up imminent danger from the hill top. He sees DH taking aim at him, unwavering. Now it’s just a matter of timing. Finally the trapped foot is free and he quickly gets on the horse, looking back at DH who pulls the trigger.
And the gunshot sound carries through the forest and through Mohwaguan, where CP is. The captured envoy also heard the gunshot and they fear for their leader’s safety/ mortality. The King in his palanquin, heard it too, anxiously hoping for General GD’s demise.
DH taking shot at GD
The bullet hits a tree trunk, which is just left to GD. DH is puzzled. He knows he aimed correctly, but how did the bullet stray by that much? He looks as the rifle and sees a bolas hanging at the nozzle. Whut? Before the other soldier could say much, he too gets hit by a bolas. DH crouches, searching for the unseen enemy. Within seconds, he is knocked out by the same weapon. GD looks on and worries for yet another enemy to run from. A rider comes in full view: It’s MS.
As MS stands guard at the hilltop, SP chases after GD. DH stirs into consciousness, and MS hits him again. Somebody is going to have a grand headache when he wakes up! But MS feels bad for having to knock DH out, takes out his handkerchief to wipe of the bloody trail on DH’s head and keeps the bolas.
GD is riding at breakneck speed with SP breathing down his back. But SP needs to ensure GD’s safety within Joseon. Still on horseback, not slowing down, SP takes his bow and arrow and does what he can only do to stop GD from advancing any further.
Ministers are in the Great Hall with the King presiding over the critical discussion of GD’s whereabouts. Night has fallen and it has become challenging to track down the elusive General. His MIA status puts everyone on edge, most notably the King. Current situation is rather bleak: the envoys know King had ordered GD’s death. Even if the general is captured alive or not, war will erupt between the two nations. Ministers are arguing the merit between letting the envoys go and capturing GD alive or assume the worse and prepare for war.
CP’s eunuch enters and whispers latest news for him,” It’s from Heo Seung Po” and covertly passes a note to CP.
DH finally wakes up, his uniform is hung, and a his head wound attended to. He’s back in his room? Pan Swe who has been cleaning DH up nearly jumps out of his skin when he turns and realizes DH is staring at him “Oh my God! You need to tell me you’re awake! You scared me to death!”
DH: What happened? Why am I here?
PS: The government office contacted me and said to bring you home. My heart dropped. I heard what happened at Mohwaguan so I thought they told me to bring your body. [continues to attend to DH’s wound] I thought I had to prepare a funeral for my master on my first day.
DH: Yong Gol Dae. Did we catch him?
PS: No. He vanished without a trace. Just like that… Master, are we going to have a war? Again?!
DH: How can a mere officer know?
PS: Aish! Why was I born to this time (era)?
DH remembers someone had interfered with his aim. Who threw that bolas? And who was the rider who knocked him out cold? His deduction: Someone is helping General GD. But who would that be? PS breaks his train of thought when he took out the needle he found in DH’s uniform. He quickly knocks the needle off PS’ hand and decides to meet someone immediately.
Princess walks over to meet CP halfway, but somehow trips over her voluminous skirts, and he catches her in time 😀 He notices her maids have turned their faces away from the “romantic” scene, “If you keep this up, they’ll think the talisman is really effective. Do you keep falling to be a good daughter?” LOL!! XD
Princess: I waited the whole day for you… I didn’t get a chance to…
CP: What is it? [Princess turns to her Maids, they quickly take a few steps back. And so does CP’s men]
Princess: Actually… I made a mistake.
CP: Mistake? What kind?
Princess: That’s… (clams up again)
CP: I guess it’s a big mistake.
Princess: Actually… (cringes and voice grows even smaller) It’s nothing…
Princess: Well, I’ll tell you later.
CP: Later? You said you waited the whole day.
But she totally changes her mind, even barring CP from coming over to her place later to chat about it. She walks to another part of the palace and sees DH there as well. She asks the reason for him being in the palace. DH wants to meet CP and he cannot tell her the reason (she thinks it has something to do with the day’s episode at Mohwaguan). She takes her leave.
DH: By the way, did you lose the letter? (Princess whirls around, eyes bulging)
Panic stations! Princess has a plan. She asks Kim SangGung to clear the other maids from her wing and to inform DH of her need to talk with him. He enters her room, pays respect and waits for Princess to begin her inquiry from behind the screen.
Princess: How did you know I lost the letter? Was it… you?
DH: No [Then?] I saw who has it. [WHO? WHY?!] I can’t tell you whom. But I’m sure it’ll be used against you. I’m telling you to be careful of your people. One of your servants is a spy. You need to find the spy. (Princess is shocked and shaking) Why… didn’t you burn that letter? You said you burned it.
Princess: Don’t dare to think otherwise. I just wanted to keep it for a while because I missed my youth. Does the Prince know?
DH: I’m here to tell him… I have to tell him. I can’t tell you the reason though. Please hurry and find the spy. This is for your own safety (Princess tears up).
DH: Your highness, are you listening? I said you have to find the spy.
Princess: How dare you!
DH: Why are you crying?
Princess: I hate it here. It’s always been like this here. You can’t trust anyone. It’s all a secret. There are walls everywhere..
DH: You’re not… being loved? OOOOHHH!! Don’t go there boy!
Princess: Love? What is that? You’re talking nonsense now… What should I do now? If I get kicked out of here, my family will be in trouble too. And you… Why am I so stupid?
DH: It’s not your fault. Find the spy. That’s your first task. I’ll take care of things outside. Trust me.
Kim Sanggung: Your Highness! (CP walks along the corridor just outside Princess’ room – Oh Noes)
CP: Is she inside?
KS: No… yes… [No? Yes?] Yes, she is inside…
CP: Tell her then.
KS: Your highness! The Prince is here to see you!
CP walks in, Princess is already waiting to greet him. He notices the tassles are swinging and looks pointedly at the screen behind her.
CP: You seem flustered. Now I’m curious. What mistake did you make? Let me hear it.
Princess: That is… (CP suddenly reaches out to wipe a damp trail on her cheek)
CP: Were you crying? (Princess shakes her head No) What mistake could be so bad (touches the tassle) it would even make you cry? (walks to the screen) Is something like this? Something like bringing a man to your room? (pushes the screen aside, revealing DH who probably held his breath the whole time)
CP: That’s why I can’t let you on my team. What did I tell you? I was right. [It’s not like that -] Wait. Let me think about this time before I make a decision. For the letter, I forgave you with mercy. But instead of being grateful, you complained. Saying how I had a problem because I wasn’t jealous. Then, I should show what a husband would do this time.
Princess: That letter… someone stole that letter. It’s my mistake, I didn’t get rid of it. I was going to tell you but I was too scared. That’s why I went to see you before. And he… came to tell me that. It’s all my fault.
CP: Who stole that letter? [That… I still don’t know…]
DH: It’s the woman you were looking for. (Oooo! Cat’s out of the bag!) I had to check with the Princess first. I didn’t want to cause her trouble again so I hid here. That’s all that happened.
Stare down between CP and DH, and Princess is curious about “the woman”. CP doesn’t answer but tells DH to get out of Princess’ room. DH assures Princess CP will not make a big fuss out of the night’s event because CP is the cause of the brouhaha from the beginning.
CP is still calm and asks for details of DH’s observation at Mohwaguan. MR is a hostage of General GD and she entered Mohwaguan as a wife of vice general. However, she escaped swiftly after. DH confirms it is the same woman and she did introduce herself as Hyang Sun, just as CP had predicted. She also knew CP would send someone to her, and she has dug up background information on Princess and DH as well. DH tried to stop MR, but was unexpectedly pricked by the poisoned needle. “She’s a scary woman” DH ends his report.
CP has put on en expressionless mask and asks DH whether MR mentioned anything else.
DH: Remember that feeling of poison spreading through your body. Be sure to tell the Prince about it. Because he’ll be next [CP seems to anticipate such a response from MR and asks for more details]
Want some advice? You don’t have to be loyal to the Crown Prince. He’s not worth risking your life for. You’ll become like me in the end.
But DH didn’t share that last portion with CP, instead he reports MR copied Princess’ letter and was planning to do something with it. DH wants to know exactly who this female adversary is. Someone even CP was willing to eliminate. And the situation has also changed for the worse as Princess’ safety is also at stake.
CP warns DH to stay away from Princess’ affairs. It is his responsibility, not DH. Although the letter was DH’s, is he claiming the Princess’ heart as well? Stand down, officer. Know your place. Eunuch announces the arrival of officers (likely SP and MS). CP dismisses DH and says their conversation will be continued at a later time. CP’s priority right now is not MR.
Outside at the courtyard, CP gives tells his eunuch to search into backgrounds of Princess’servants, including their friends and families. The spy must be found ASAP, but to be done discreetly.
CP returns to Princess’ room, and resumes apology mode, blaming herself for the problems they may face because of her letter. This time CP says it is his fault, so she needn’t worry about any repercussions and he will defend her should anything bad come out of it. He asks her to trust him. Princess has calmed down somewhat, but then CP just HAD to ask her if DH’s said such words of comfort to her, “Don’t worry. Trust Me.” Princess purses her lips. “I guess he did.”
DH is still thinking about how unhappy Princess is in the palace and doesn’t see the officer coming from the opposite direction. They bump into each other, a white cloth falls to the ground, DH looks up to apologize and sees MS instead. Oh? And then SP emerges right after.
DH and Team SP & MS are running secret missions for CP, but they do not know that fact. Both sides are curious of their presence in the Palace. SP thinks DH came a calling because the Princess asked for him (which is partly true – and it showed on DH’s face XD ) “Is it lonely living in the city? The pull of love -” SP is on a spiel and DH cuts him off. He says he just made a report to CP. “What report?” SP is piqued. “Ask him.” and that’s that!
They go their intended ways, and DH picks up the white cloth from the ground. What’s this? MS and SP turn around. The white cloth had faint stains on it… washed off blood stains perhaps? MS runs and takes the cloth “It’s mine (smiles)” and keeps it in his jacket.
DH rides out of the palace gates, but pauses for a moment. Thinking furiously… and touches the wound on his forehead. Is he putting the puzzle pieces together?
General GD and CP
General GD is bound and gagged in a dark cavern. Dark cloth is placed over his head and escorted to an unknown destination. They reach a room filled with books and scrolls. Head cover taken off, gag unbound. GD adjusts his sight to take in the strange environment.
CP: Long time no see, General. I’m sorry for the rough transport. The situation was a bit urgent.
MS and SP take of the ropes that secured both GD’s hands in the back. SP returns GD’s sword to him.
CP: They’re my friends who brought you here (signals to SP and MS to leave them) General bows to CP in gratitude, but still wary of him.
CP: I didn’t know I’d see you like this. Are you not hurt?
GD: I didn’t know you spoke our language
CP: I’ve studied for a while now. I thought it’d be more important than the Ming language. You know how our government is. If a Prince speaks, later Jin’s language I’ll have to make an official apology or, I’ll be withdrawn from the position. So now you know my weakest point. And this shows my position on today’s incident as well. I kidnapped you to protect you. If you’re looking for an ally in Joseon, I’m better that Kim Ja Jum. I wanted to tell you this.
GD: I’ve known of you for about 10 years [About that long, yes – CP agrees] But I’d never imagined you’d talk about this.
CP: I told you. I do not want to be kicked out of the throne before I even gain the throne. And I don’t want an unnecessary war. I believe you met with Kim Ja Jum for that reason.
GD: Where are we by the way?
CP: Where do you think?
GD: It’s… a library.
CP: It’s my private library. I brought you to my palace. [it is the Sigangwon – Department for Prince’s Education]
CP couldn’t just leave GD in the mountainside as the search intensified. Flashback to when eunuch passed the note to CP: “Captured Alive”. SP and MS with a small team carrying CP’s palanquin, leave the city gates much to the dismay of guards who are on the lookout for the fugitive. SP and MS run into the cavern and covered the General before helping him board the palanquin. As they make their way back into the city, CP actually chastises the guards for not doing a good enough job hunting down one man. WHOA! CP WAS in the contraption?!
CP: Don’t worry. The palace is the only place they have yet to search. It’s the safest place for you right now. If you’re comfortable why don’t we sit and talk?
Outside Prince’s Library
SP and MS are standing guard late into the night. DH approaches them to check on something. DH recalls earlier that day when he had the best vantage point to kill GD, he was interrupted. He was hit by a stone, but he feels that the person who did it is someone he knows. How? When he was about to lose consciousness, he felt someone wiping the blood off his forehead. And the cloth looked a lot like MS’.
SP tries to make light of a dangerous situation. DH brings up yet another point: Why would CP make a trip to the fields in the middle of the night? Without any reason? AND why the two of them are standing guard in front of a darkened library? Oof! You quite sharp there, DH! 😮
DH: “Let me check if Yong Gol Dae is here” OH. MAI. GAD!! SP and MS probably had their hearts in their throats!
SP had to let DH know that the two men are in deep discussion in the library. MS warns DH to keep it on the down low as it is extremely dangerous to let such news out. DH doesn’t care. He insists that the Kings Orders should be carried out no matter what and it is of the highest priority. DH fought alongside SP and MS because he thought they were fighting off traitors, but what they and CP are doing now are no different than what Kim Ja Jum and his men did before.
SP: Politics isn’t that simple. It’s to protect our country. So, let it go. [but DH can’t. He draws his sword]
DH: Whatever the reason is, you’re not following the King’s order. It’s treason. Move.
SP: AISH! This dude really doesn’t get it! I like you because of your personality, but this is too much
But DH stands his ground and makes it obvious he is serious about fulfilling the King’s order, no matter what. Darn, are they going to fight to the death?
Prince’s private library
GD states his position: War is futile with Joseon at the moment. The emperor wants to invade Joseon, but he is against it. What GD wants is proper treatment and reply to the letter from their king. CP is glad that they both see eye to eye on this matter. But before CP could share his plans moving forward, clashes of swords outside his study breaks the calm.
CP steps out to see his three musketeers fighting against each other, well DH against the duo. CP orders them to stop fighting and walks toward DH, “What are you here?” DH repeats his mission of carrying out the King’s order and he is confident GD is currently in the CP’s library and he needs to go in and check.
CP: Stop [DH pauses for a bit but walks on] Stop! That’s an order!
DH: The King’s order comes before yours. As you told me. The King’s order is the first. I’m doing as you told me. So, please step aside.
CP : If I don’t, are you going to attack me? Your eyes are telling me you could.
DH: If you’re going against the King’s order, I will have to.
CP takes of his hat, unsheathes his sword, “Fine. Then beat me first. How dare you. You’re not carrying out the King’s order but going against me.”
CP: No, you’re disobeying me with an excuse of the King’s order because you lost a girl to me. You’re being childish, not knowing what’s going on around you. Isn’t that so? Am I not right? [You’re not making sense – DH] I am right! Let’s do this. Yes, the General’s inside. If you beat me, here I’ll hand him to you. Then you’ll be recognized and succeed. But, if I win, all of the kindness I have shown you will be cancelled. Your passing the exam will also be cancelled. You can just go back home right away. How’s that? Isn’t that a good bet as we live an unpredictable life?
SP: It’s not a time for a bet…
MS: If we make noise here, someone will come…
CP: Draw your sword.
DH: I can’t fight against you. Please step aside.
CP: You don’t want to fight?
DH: Even if you fight well, you’re not a soldier who fights for a living.
CP: Yeah? Then how about being killed by a non-soldier? WHY the Heck is CP egging him on?
SP: Why are you doing this?
CP: Step aside. That’s an order… Am I still funny? Right. This is your real intention. Do you want to accept the bet?
DH: If you say so, I will.
SP: I can’t help it. Stop it! We have to protect you. If you don’t stop…
Princess runs in the middle of their fight, “STOP… What are you doing?!” They both refuse to answer her, yet not ready to give up their fight. And Princess refuses to budge an inch, staring down on both
From Seung Po’s wise words…