Status Quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’
– Ronald Reagan
Does Princess have a death wish? Both men request her to step aside as the fight is over a bet. The voice of reason booms into their brains, Princess stays put and asks SP and MS to protect CP. DH now knows the Princess is on CP’s side, despite the fact she may not feel loved by him. His frustration eases somewhat, and Princess tells CP to get some medical attention. On CP’s command, SP and MS escort DH away from the courtyard. General GD is pacing in the private library, deep in his thoughts, when a bound and gagged DH is brought in and secured to a post. DH and GD exchange glares…
SP and MS help CP make his way safely back to his room, and SP suggests they should inform Teacher of latest development. SP also volunteers to clean up CP’s wound, “Why would you bet like that? You’re being jealous” 🙂 CP just looks at him. SP blithely continues “Jealousy. You’re jealous of DH, so you started a fight with him” 😀 CP denies and doesn’t believe he is capable of feeling such emotion. SP in nonplussed, “Since now you know how you feel, all you have to do is love your wife. If you don’t know how… you can always ask me.”
SP reveals it was his plan to use DH to rile CP and make him realize he does have an affection for Princess. Eunuch announces Princess’ presence at his quarters. CP doesn’t want to see her, but SP prepares to leave and Princess barges into CP’s room anyway. She quickly averts her gaze when she notices CP’s bare torso (hee hee hee!) She did hear CP say to the Eunuch to send her away but how could she leave him when he is hurt? She walks to CP to inspect his wound.
SP: Congratulations, by the way.
Princess: What do you mean?
SP: Your husband finally –
CP: Stop that nonsense! Will you stop joking around? BWAHAHAHAHA!! XD Somebody’s feelin a wee bit shaky 🙂
SP: Stop? (thinking whether he should prolong his teasing)
CP: Yes, stop (his eyes screaming ‘or else I’m gonna whoop your behind So BAD’ ) XD
Princess tells SP to leave, she can handle cleaning up CP’s wounds.
SP: That’s a good idea. It’s the right time,… his heart is blooming –
CP: I said STOP! LOL!!
A handful of Ministers are discussing the precarious situation the Nation is in and the possible outbreak of war which will absolutely destroy the economy. The MIA General GD is definitely not helping their situation either. SP enters and asks for Lord Choi Myeong Gil a.k.a. Teacher.
Once they have moved to a “secured” place, Lord MG notices the secretive nature of SP’s “request to meet”:
Lord MG: Did you make trouble again? [teases good-naturedly]
SP: (grimaces) Yes.
Lord MG: What? Again?! [SP puts his hand up to indicate the need to whisper. Once finished, MG looks concerned]
SP: We didn’t have time to check with you before we acted [his expression full of remorse]
Poor SP gets a beating from Lord MG, “You guys are CRAZY!” (hit, hit, kick, kick) Once he has calmed down, SP informs him GD is currently hiding in the library.
CP’s private library
MS is checking on the ropes tied around DH, who is still starring daggers at GD. Lord, his eyes are getting watery from all the death glares! XD MS sends a respectful nod to GD before stepping out of the library. Unable to do anything, DH reflects on CP’s words before they began their sword fight: DH being jealous of CP having Princess as his wife, not aware of what goes on around him (ie political turmoil) and Princess’ priority on CP despite being in a loveless marriage (but not for long XD )
GD is using his time wisely writing another entry into his journal when he hears sniffling coming from DH’s corner. He walks over to DH, looks at him for a moment before pulling out the gag.
DH: What are you looking at? Am I pitiful?… That’s funny. You should be beheaded. But you’re safe here in this palace. And I’m the one held captive. What a funny world… isn’t it? [GD just studies him during DH’s monologue – and then places the gag back on].
Princess: Where’s DH?
CP: You don’t need to know (Did you lock him up? – Princess) He’s too rude. Don’t worry about it. (Why did you two fight? – Princess) It doesn’t concern you. Dude, you need to loosen up a bit!
Princess: Who’s that woman? The woman who took the letter. Who is she? [CP remains mum] Do you have a woman? (No – CP) Relief for Princess? You can tell me. It’s my duty not to be jealous.
CP: If I did, I wouldn’t need to hide it. So why would I? [Princess is miffed with his standoffish reply that she unconsciously tied the bandage extra tight] AH!
Princess: (Whoops!) Are you alright?
CP: You just said you won’t get jealous. But your actions say otherwise.
Princess: It’s not like that… then… who is that woman?
CP: I have a question too. How well did you treat him during that month in Gangwon-do that he hasn’t forgotten you? You saw it. He was rude to me. (I didn’t do anything special – Princess) Then, you must be really attractive to men? (I guess so – Princess) LOL!! I ❤ you, Princess! And CP laughs. LAUGHS?! 😮
Princess: Why do you laugh? Do you think I’m not attractive at all?
CP: I’m not sure what’s attractive about you, but I’m sure I’ve never seen it.
You need to get your eyes checked CP!
Princess: Because you don’t even look.
CP: Is that so? Then you’ll show me if I ask? [Princess is probably thinking – Whut?] I want to see what it is about you. Show me now. What attracts men. Look at Him! Trying to act all innocent with those earnest eyes!!
Princess: Don’t change the subject. I asked who that woman was. You’re talking about something else.
CP: (smiles) You’ve become stronger. Now you don’t fall for it.
Princess: Who is she?
CP: I can’t answer that. (Please – Princess) It’s better that you don’t know. I mean it.
Eunuch announces SP’s presence. Doors open, SP peeks in from the side and CP’s first words, “I said STOP it! What is wrong – ”
SP: I just met Teacher. He’s going to see the King. I thought you’d need to support him.
Message delivered and understood. CP asks Princess what he should do with DH, to ease any discomfort:
I want you to keep him away from us.
I don’t want you two to get involved.
DH, I want him to do what he wants to do
CP’s private library
CP meets GD, apologizes for his absence and they both continue discussing their plans with DH looking on from his corner. CP explains DH was about to tell the others of GD’s presence, so that is why CP caught him to maintain status quo.
GD has fought with DH before, and thinks he is one of CP’s men. CP is still considering whether to accept DH into his flock. GD commends DH’s fighting skills and reports that DH cried like a girl earlier (HAHAHAHA) guessing he must’ve been upset with something. CP seeks GD’s help to “tame” DH by knowing DH’s weak points so that he can fight him effectively in his injured situation.
CP: Let’s continue with our bet. Right here. Draw your sword. (What?! – SP) (No! You’re hurt! – MS) You guys bet too. Who do you think will win?
SP: I shouldn’t have said it. His temper has returned. (You said what again? – MS) I can’t just let this pass. How much? 10? 20?
CP: You better bet on me.
SP: Well, … I’m betting on my DH. [turns to MS] We can’t bet on the same person. So, you bet on the Prince even though you’ll lose.
CP: Don’t worry. I’ll let you win. What are you doing? Draw your sword! If you don’t attack by the count of 3, I will attack first. [walks backwards] One. Two… Three
GD: His personality is unyielding, so his sword is clean and fast. But, he’s slow with tricks. In the beginning, pretend to be losing. When you attack him later, he’ll be shaken. He’ll be confused by this trick then you can end him when he’s confused. Your left shoulder is hurt, so attack with your right. Then his right side will be open as he blocks your sword. You attack right there, and you end the game with ‘Manghoeunrimse’ (hidden tiger) skill.
DH is disarmed.
CP: I won. You lost the bet. Now, go back home as promised. You’re relieved of your duties. You’re no longer a military officer. So you have no obligation to follow the King’s Order. You can’t threaten me with that anymore or talk about what happened today. You should have thought about that when you accepted the bet. With your skill, even if you won the bet the General would’ve killed you. Be thankful that you’re alive. Do you have anything to say? (No – DH) In that case, leave the palace quietly. Right now.
DH retrieves his sword, nods respectfully to CP, pauses at the entryway and continues his way out without a backward glance. SP is suspicious of CP’s sudden improvement in sword-fighting. MS can’t believe CP will let DH leave just like that. Even GD has reservations allowing DH leave the palace without any consequences.
CP reminds him of DH’s personality, and he won’t turn the woman he loves into a widow either. CP and GD resume their tactical discussion.
DH has changed into civilian clothing, a more dignified “Yangban” look compared to the earlier days when he just arrived at Hanyang. Pan Swe is napping by the stable, near DH’s horse and is awaken by DH’s presence. He gives money to Pan Swe who is still has sleepy cobwebs in his mind, not fathoming the idea of being paid for his services. DH tells him to return to SP too. He had a bitter lesson about his position, and he doesn’t deserve a servant. He says thanks and farewell to PS as he leaves Hanyang with his horse.
CP’s private library
GD is still at the discussion table, replaying CP’s words:
If you agree, I’ll go persuade my father. Minister Choi will help me. I’ll ensure your envoy team’s safety. But I need some time. It may take days. Will you trust me and wait for me?
Someone is fiddling with a lock at the library doors. GD stands in the shadows, hand on the hilt of his sword. What is going on?
MS notices someone else is close to the library as well and brisk walks to stop the night visitor: Princess’ Maid, Kim Sanggung. She explains Princess was concerned about DH’s welfare. MS informs her DH has been released from duty and has left the palace. MS returns to his post, but feels something is amiss. He enters the library and checks to ensure GD is safely hidden in the library. That is when MS finds the lock has been tampered with and cannot be opened.
I smell Sabotage! 😮 Spy network has been activated!
SP has re-joined MS at the library. MS marches out and tells him to catch Kim Sanggung. She changed the lock. Cat and Mouse Game in the Royal Courtyard: Begin!
DH and his horse cut a forlorn scene as he sadly walks his way out of Hanyang. With a deep sigh, he allows himself one last look of the Hanyang and caught a female fleeing into the night. He remembers his advice to the Princess: Find the Spy. Oof! That’s very quick thinking DH! He mounts his trusted horse and follows the trail of the suspicious female.
In the dark streets, a male voice calls out to Kim Sanggung, “Did you find it?” She darts toward his direction and passes the key to “Eye Patch” guy. She voices her reluctance in continuing the covert activities for him. He assures her he no longer needs her services. She may have been caught in the act though, an officer questioned her presence near the library, so what should she do now? Eye Patch gets closer and slits her throat. Okay. That’s one way of silencing her
DH trots into the same street and sees Eye Patch at the end. The latter simply takes the inner lane instead, and DH gets off, sword unsheathed and begins his hunt for Eye Patch, but he trips over Kim Sanggung’s body. He abandons the chase and helps her instead. She’s not dead yet!
GD is still in the library and realizes his predicament. SP and MS report to CP of the lock swap, deducing that whoever planned this is a warning to them, “letting” them know GD will not be allowed to be used by the selected few in the Joseon echelon. The question is, Who are They?
Kim Ja Jum walks into the Great Hall, to the surprise of a few Ministers. He bows in reverence before the King and states he had just found out about the situation (ie GD being MIA). The King is slighted at JJ’s arrival without giving prior notice. JJ apologizes, but he knew this calamity would happen, so he was busy gathering information from his network of spies all this while.
JJ: However, I heard something hard to believe. That… there’s someone in this palace cooperating with Yong Gol Dae and promising their loyalty to Later Jin. It’s hard to believe… but it’s true.
The tension is palpable between CP and Lord MG. The King (must be cocooned in a Joseon bio dome) is appalled that someone would pledge allegiance with the enemy.
JJ: Actually, I contacted the General before he got here and had a meeting with them to figure out which side to betray. (The King demands their names) I’m sorry, but I lost them that night during a fight. So, I don’t know who they are.
Lord MG: Then, what are you trying to say here? You shouldn’t say things that aren’t substantiated. What you’re saying is very dangerous.
JJ: It’s because it’s at this point, that I’ve come all the way here. I lack hard evidence but I have circumstantial evidence. I have witness statements about what happened in the city a while ago.
The other ministers who were previously on Team JJ are quaking in their shoes.
This, gentlemen, is called Covering-One’s-Ass-While-Spinning-the-Truth-and-Warning-Opposing-Team-of-What-He-Knows-About-Them.
JJ has been spending much time figuring out an iron-clad way of saving his hide and turn his misfortune into a weapon against CP and his men. He tells the King to look close to home for the betrayers and even implies CP being part of the sect. JJ = 1, CP = 0.
Bustling streets in the city
DH didn’t leave for his hometown. He walks through the crowd thinking back on the information he managed to glean from Kim Sanggung.
KS: I was afraid the woman would hurt her. (Hyung Sun? -DH) No, MR.
Apparently, MR and Princess met on the day DH was installed as a Military Officer. KS senses malice from MR and cuts short the brief introduction with the Princess. As their entourage continues on, KS remembers who MR resembled. MR is the daughter of Minister Yoon, who was selected to the CP’s wife then. In order to keep MR away from the Palace, she agreed to do a favor. CP loved MR a lot, and he knows she’s alive, he will absolutely abandon the Princess who will then lead a very lonely life in the Palace. KS eventually dies due to massive blood loss 😦
DH does his investigation at the marketplace area where she last met MR. He asks a shop owner if he remembers seeing MR on the day of the ceremony. Of course he has, but hasn’t seen her around lately. DH feels he lucked out. However, she did place a big order at his shop and he is supposed to deliver her goods to Seryungguan at that moment. Whoa! Great luck DH! 😀
CP’s private library
GD’s pacing worriedly. What in the world is happening? Aren’t you even hungry, General? Your blood sugar level must be hovering on almost empty by now
MS stops by and slides a note under the door. It’s from CP:
I have a small problem.
I’ll solve it quickly.
Please be patient.
CP along and SP and MS visits JJ at his home, and what a piece of real estate he has. SP and JJ throw jibes at each other before CP requests MS and SP to stand guard outside. He wants a private chat with JJ.
JJ recalls that fateful night outside Club Joseon. It was a turning point because they both learned of each other’s true intentions. “Are you here to find this?” he holds up the key that was taken by KS. He puts it in CP’s hand. That’s saying I know you’re harboring GD and I’ve turned the tables on you, boy.
CP wants to know what JJ has in mind. The latter is confident a war will break out no matter what, so whatever he does now is just to increase his odds of surviving that event. JJ shares the one thing he regrets most in his life was to make his father King of Joseon. CP is containing his temper:
CP: How dare you keep breathing after saying that to me?
JJ: It’s true. I persuaded your father and made him king. You probably remember too, although you were very young. It’s all we did. It was a quick and successful rebellion. But, do you know what I’m thinking right now? The previous king was better!… Then, where do we go from here?
We removed the troubled King but the next one’s worse. And the CP has no potential. So, there’s no hope for us. Ministers? They’re even worse. What’s so important about politics and reasons? Their view is so narrow. Ming Dynasty? It’s a dead country now.
So that’s why I tried to meet YGD. The only thing I could look forward to next is Later Jin. That’s what happened. Do you understand now? I think you do too. I was that desperate to work with the enemy. But, after that night, I found some hope. Maybe there’s a person with the same goal as me in the palace. We can’t avoid the war, Your Majesty. And if it happens, we’ll lose. No. We will HAVE to lose to open the world. The new world will need a new leader, and Later Jin will help. Your Majesty, you and I can be the leaders of the next world.
The reason I’m giving that key to you is that we three are in the same boat.
What. A. MONOLOGUE!
CP: What are you talking about? Lawdy CP! You got lost in translation too? 😀
JJ has replaced a King before, and can do it again. Sounds like a gameplan: Later Jin supports JJ and CP is a legitimate heir. JJ weaves his honeyed words about CP being the rightful King sooner than expected. The ball is now in CP’s court: Either they go together, or someone perishes.
The delivery men arrives at MR’s current place of residence with her significant order of luxurious fabric. DH had tailed them from the city, and now knows which room she’s in. He backtracks to the end of the corridor when the delivery men leave her room. Once the coast is clear, he nimbly makes his way to MR’s room, slides open the door (DH is not shy about barging into a stranger’s room ) and the delivered goods are no where to be found. WHOA MOMMA! Things just don’t poof into thin air 😮
He’s confused. He knows this is the room, but where did – wait a minute, what is that sticking out of the frame? DH touches the “fob” and starts pulling on it. Within seconds, the entire wall along with the shelving units placed “against” that wall move to one side. Dang! It’s a secret entrance to a – whole other connecting staircases to even more rooms! What is This place about?
DH walks down the flight of stairs, scanning the hallway and adjoining rooms, and finally reaches the end of the hallway. This must be the room. He unsheathes his sword, and calmly enters the room where he finds MR tending to the just-delivered bales of fabric. She’s not surprised to see him at all. DH senses another person in the room and brings up his sword against the ever-ready-fight Eye Patch. MR signals EP to step back. MR had plans to meet DH again… Dun. Dun. Duuun!
CP and his men
CP has revealed the outcome of his discussion with JJ. SP had a feeling a man like JJ is like a reed in wind. JJ is no mere betrayer, he is some one very dangerous to the future of the entire nation. Oh! JJ gives CP till the end of the day to make a decision on which camp he will side with.
SP suggests to partner with JJ first, and then worry about the man later. CP disagrees. JJ is one man he simply can never work with. So, what can CP do? His deadline is that night itself. SP spots DH’s horse by the side of the path. What is he doing in this part of town?
DH is in a conundrum, obviously given a task by MR to complete. Deep in thought, he did not see SP and MS walking towards him. SP calls out to him, DH smiles – happy to see them both. MS thinks DH came all the way there looking for them. CP joins in a while later and inquires DH’s presence.
DH: I still have a mission to finish [looks at CP] I figured it out.
DH updates CP that he has found MR and he wanted to capture her but the situation did not permit him to do so. MR would like to meet CP though.
MR’s instructions to DP:
Tell him to come find me if he doesn’t want to be played by JJ. I don’t work for anyone, neither GD nor JJ. And I don’t care what happens to Joseon. But [picks up an envelope] JJ still doesn’t know that. He thought I was his and showed his weaknesses. If he wants to know them, he needs to come alone. We owe each other. After we pay that, I’ll help him.
Initially DH did not want to inform CP, however MR was his first mission. He warns CP not to meet her for it is too dangerous. CP finds it rather funny DH is worried about his safety, yet they were fighting the previous night. Aren’t you embarrassed too, DH? CP wants to keep this between the two of them, and no need to rope in SP and MS. Both of them make their way towards MR’s location.
Eye Patch is waiting at the Faux room. DH and CP arrive and promptly shown the hidden staircase to MR’s room. EP tells CP to continue alone while DH stays upstairs with him.
DH: (whispers) She could harm you. I should go with you.
CP: Stay here. Do not come down there. That’s an order.
CP: It has been a while.
DH recalls MR’s parting words at Mohwaguan – Remember that feeling of spreading poison. And tell the Prince. Since he’s next. And then CP’s response to his question on what he’d do when he sees MR again – I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll know once I see her. It’d be either way. I’ll kill her again, or run away with her for love.
Suddenly there’s a crashing sound. DH quickly makes his way downstairs to MR’s. Broken porcelain from the tea set are strewn across the floor. He looks up and sees MR in CP’s “arms”. DH averts his gaze at first, but he looks again at CP who is actually incapacitated and finally finds a red spot spreading fast on his chest. MR had stabbed CP.
CP: Stop. Get Out. Whut?
Key players have made their move.
One has become a conundrum for Crown Prince.