This is the episode where the memories is proven to be as powerful as one’s dreams. Plus, the past is as influential as the future. Most of the characters dream of a better future, but some are still dwelling in their past. For the dreams are beautiful for some, they just mean painful memories for others. A few get to face their past and dark memories, while some are living towards their future,dreaming for a better life.
Instead of acknowledging and consequently admitting to know each other, the master and disciple choose to stay as strangers in front of Jeong Ki-Joon. Chae-Yoon is curious about his master getting to know Ga Ri-On, but the butcher says he’s also his saviour. He quickly heads out after he gets his meat, but his curiosity isn’t going away easily. Lee Bang-Ji is disgusted with the role-playing Jeong Ki-Joon did in front of Chae-Yoon, and Jeong Ki-Joon assures him that the three of them will be on the same side. Although he assures him that it won’t be like that, the fact that their fate are intertwined and they have the same target to get their revenge is something unchanged. Lee Bang-Ji assures Jeong Ki-Joon again: he and his disciple won’t end like that.
He heads out and there stands Chae-Yoon, smiling with the meat in his hand. He smiles, too. He tells Chae-Yoon that his meeting with Ga Ri-On was just one of the various encounters he had during his wandering life. He directly asks Chae-Yoon, whether his target is the king or not. Chae-Yoon, in return, asks about Lee Bang-Ji’s past life and his involvement with Mil-Bon, but he says he doesn’t know anything. He advises him not to divulge in the matter involving Mil-Bon or Jeong Ki-Joon. He feels his regret about teaching him the martial arts, only to have his only disciple trying to kill their king.
Lee Bang-Ji, like a father to Chae-Yoon, suggests him to stop whatever he’s trying to do and live a normal life as a farmer, and more likely as a normal human being. In between his chuckles, Chae-Yoon admits he has the intention to do so, and he has given up his wish to kill Sejong. Instead, he has a new wish and tells his teacher the happy news: his Dam-Yi is still alive.
With his sudden aim to bring Lee Bang-Ji and Chae-Yoon to their side and strengthening their legion’s force, the Mil-Bon members are curious about Jeong Ki-Joon’s plan. He’s willing to do anything, even becoming a traitor to prevent the publication of the letters, and discloses his plan: assassination of the king.
Lee Bang-Ji lends his ears to Chae-Yoon’s stories, but in the middle, he interrupts. He suggests him the best option: run away from this madness and starts anew with his woman. Chae-Yoon says he can’t do so, as what is important to Dam-Yi has now become his too: the letters. He imagines his how happy his life would be with Dam-Yi and their children: the kids would know how to write like everyone else. Lee Bang-Ji chases away his dream, asking him about his action if he is to lose everything that’s precious to him. Although Chae-Yoon insists that he’s different from him, he manages to point out some of the similarities they have in their lives.
Sejong learns about Chae-Yoon’s journey to find Lee Bang-Ji from Moo Hyul. When his bodyguard informs him about Chae-Yoon’s determination to find Lee Bang-Ji and Jeong Ki-Joon, he knows the man will eventually succeed, as he has something in his mind that drives him to do his best: So-Yi.
He doesn’t stop from trying to make Chae-Yoon give up his mission or anything and just gets focused on what is precious to him. Lee Bang-Ji doesn’t want him to end up like him, although he’s to live like a coward for the rest of his life. When he starts to question why a commoner must live his life cowardly, Lee Bang-Ji throws another question to Chae-Yoon: what if he is to lose the precious thing to him for the sake of his mission? If he’s willing to do it despite of whatever might happen, he’ll let him know about Jeong Ki-Joon and eventually help him.
Yoon Pyeong reports about Lee Bang-Ji and Chae-Yoon’s meeting to Jeong Ki-Joon. The Root tells him to find out Lee Bang-Ji’s whereabouts.
His teacher’s words send Chae-Yoon brooding about it, and he goes to meet So-Yi. He looks at her from afar and still pondering what Lee Bang-Ji said to him, he wonders about the possibility of him living in a world without the person he cherishes.
The words written by Park Se-Myung before he committed suicide was plastered by the Sungkyunkwan students around the city as a sign of their protest towards the letters. Sejong urges Sam-Moon to read the content, and the dead student’s voice reads along, voicing out his grievance over the matter. Sejong wants the students who got captured for pasting the notice to be released, but the ministers, even the Prime Minister, feel that giving up his letters would be the best way to resolve all the conflicts happening around them. Suddenly, Sejong hears a voice outside the room.
He goes outside and finds Scholar Choi kneeling, with a scroll of his arguments placed beside him.
Scholar Choi presents his argument, doesn’t care whether Sejong is to misunderstand him as Mil-Bon or not. He suggests that Sejong’s letters will cause a great chaos. What happened during the royal examination was one of the possible results of the people becoming literate. Sejong refuses to believe such a small reason like his people knowing the letters would topple the stability of Joseon, but it will help them to live better. He knows there’s nothing that will last forever and their nation, too, will fall. He creates theletter as one small hope in his effort to make Joseon last longer than expected. Between his clenched teeth, Sejong admits he can’t get rid all the problems, but the people can; with the help of his letters, his people will look for the solutions, and Joseon will continue to exist for thousand of years.
Back in Gyungsungjeon, Sejong vents out his anger,recalling the words and doubts from Jeong Ki-Joon, Taejong, and Chae-Yoon. He’s upset as he’s so near towards answering Jeong Ki-Joon’s question to him, but the man resorts to violence just like what his father did. He decides that he must meet the man, no matter what it takes for him to meet the long-lost Jeong Ki-Joon. Sejong wants to meet him: to debate about the letters with him, and persuades him to accept it.
Minister Jo receives a news: his man has lost Lee Bang-Ji’s trail, but on his way out, he finds him. He reports it to Moo Hyul and demands him to catch him. Moo Hyul contemplates, but still, he reaches for his sword stored inside his wall.
Inside his dwelling, Lee Bang-Ji is pondering over his conversation with Chae-Yoon and Jeong Ki-Joon. He is thrown into his memories of his failure, but he’s actually the one who caused his master and his woman to be killed. Outside, the guards led by Moo Hyul are ready to catch him, but he’s faster to hear them moving around. He goes out and takes off, with the guards trailing behind him. They stop and Moo Hyul comes forward. Lee Bang-Ji strikes and Moo Hyul is strong enough to block him. Moo Hyul greets him, glad to meet him again.
Lee Bang-Ji doesn’t give in right away when Moo Hyul asks him about Jeong Ki-Joon. He’s quite surprise to learn that the king wants to meet the Root and eventually ends the dispute between them. Moo Hyul defends Sejong’s wish to meet Jeong Ki-Joon, telling him that the king is different from others. Lee Bang-Ji asks for a promise from the king to send Chae-Yoon and So-Yi away once the mission is completed, and Moo Hyul agrees, promising he himself would do it even if the king refuses to do so. He asks for a little time to think about it.
Chae-Yoon is having his meal with his buddies and their neighbors when he suddenly sees Do Dam-Daek walking pass the tavern. He approaches her, demanding to know the truth behind the things going on around. She admits Mil-Bon is behind everything that happens, and Chae-Yoon guesses that they might have known about his teacher’s location. Dam-Daek explains that this is all for him to carry out the mission, per Jeong Ki-Joon’s permission.
Mil-Bon is never late when it comes to obtaining information. One of the guards who went for Lee Bang-Ji reports to Scholar Shim about Moo Hyul’s meeting with Lee Bang-Ji and without hurting the traitor, he let him go just like that. Jeong Ki-Joon is satisfied to hear about Chae-Yoon, but Scholar Shim’s report about Lee Bang-Ji and Moo Hyul rises his suspicion.
Moo Hyul informs it to Sejong, and Sejong is glad to hear the news. He wants Moo Hyul to prepare it carefully in order to make him able to meet Jeong Ki-Joon. Lee Bang-Ji is weighing his decision but he can’t deny it will bring Chae-Yoon a good outcome if he does that. Chae-Yoon stops by for another snack time with his teacher, and Lee Bang-Ji can’t help but to ask his opinion about what Moo Hyul said about stopping the dispute of the upper class. He admits that the king is able to do it, as he’s different from others.
Mil-Bon members are still weighing the possibilities, but they are taking extra care, if Lee Bang-Ji had come into any agreement with Moo Hyul and that might harm them. In the middle of their discussion, Han comes in alarm, bringing a message from one of their members. They have known about the plan Chae-Yoon set up, and Prince Gwangpyeong’s death was falsified in order to trap them into believing him.
Night descends and Lee Bang-Ji is just about to meet Jeong Ki-Joon when the man suddenly appears in front of his place. He doesn’t waste any time and conveys Moo Hyul’s message. Jeong Ki-Joon laughs, telling him he’s betrayed Mil-Bon twice, but he’s relieved he hasn’t joined force with him or Chae-Yoon. Jeong Ki-Joon leaves, and there stands Gaepayi. He introduces himself to Lee Bang-Ji.
While Moo Hyul is presenting his plan to Sejong for hismeeting with Lee Bang-Ji, the man is busy fighting with Gaepayi. They run out of breath, equally bruised. Acknowleding each other’s strength, they start their fight again.
Gaepayi returns to Banchon, reporting that Lee Bang-Ji falls into the river when fighting with him, thus he isn’t whether he’s dead or alive. Mil-Bon members are worried if he goes to report about Jeong Ki-Joon to Moo Hyul, so han suggests it’s the best for the Root to go into hiding for the meantime.
Chae-Yoon’s happiness fades away when he arrives at his master’s place, wrecked from a fight. He follows the trails of blood after knowing that Lee Bang-Ji is not inside the hut. Moo Hyul is still waiting for Lee Bang-Ji, but his absence makes him wonder whether something has happened. Chae-Yoon arrives at a spot where a fight has taken place, blood and broken stone lanterns are everywhere. He arrives at the palace and from Park Po, he gets to know about his master’s meeting with Moo Hyul. They meet, with a similar question for each other: where Lee Bang-Ji is?
Moo Hyul and Chae-Yoon discuss about what they found at his place, and they come to a conclusion: he’s been attacked by the messy man. Moo Hyul is taken aback when he learns about Lee Bang-Ji and Ga Ri-On. He orders Chae-Yoon to check out Ga Ri-On’s place and look out for clues in Banchon while he’s going to search around the mountain.
Chae-Yoon’s search for Ga Ri-On and Dam-Daek meets dead end. He can’t find both of them at their usual places. Do Dam-Daek and Ga Ri-On, on the other hand, decide to go out of Banchon to hide themselves. Han is to stay there, seeking for any information on what is going on. Chae-Yoon is still looking around and he’s wondering where they are.
Sejong is upset to learn about the news of Lee Bang-Ji’s disappearance and amidst his men’s assurance about Lee Bang-Ji’s safety, he’s still looking forward to his meeting with Jeong Ki-Joon to end their unfinished debate they once had. He decides to go out to get some fresh air accompanied by Moo Hyul and So-Yi.
Just as Jeong Ki-Joon is preparing to leave, a voice greets him from outside: Moo Hyul comes over to ask for some meat, but he offers to bring them and grill it outside at the cliff. He decides to bring Gaepayi with him.
While Chae-Yoon is having a chat with Park Po about Do Dam-Daek, Yeon-Du chases a little boy who took her toy into Chae-Yoon’s compound. The toy is from Gaepayi, and Chae-Yoon remembers the branch that was stabbed through a man’s chest is the same as the toy, which is made of a rock stabbed with branches to make an animal figure with four limbs. Cho Tak’s suspicion around Ga Ri-On makes Chae-Yoon and him starts searching around the butcher house for a clue.
Sejong arrives at Junghyungnam with a relieved heart. He shares his dream of being another person in his next life and teases Moo Hyul. They laugh out heartily, not realizing that their enemy is so near to them. Moo Hyul suddenly sees something.
Chae-Yoon searches every corner of the house and as Cho-Tak says he didn’t see Ga Ri-On entered the house, he suspects that there might be another way in. He finds a door to an underground tunnel and goes down to check it.
Sejong and So-Yi are still unaware of anything, but Moo Hyul recognizes the flower ring on Gaepayi’s finger. He attacks him, but Gaepayi is more than ready to fight him. Sejong is alarmed and finally, Ga Ri-On’s humble face is gone; what’s left is a cold gaze from the eyes from Jeong Ki-Joon. Sejong is surprised when he asks him the reason he wants to meet him.
Chae-Yoon arrives at the Mil-Bon’s secret place and the evidence is all there: the books and even the piece of cloth So-Yi wrote the letters to teach them to Chae-Yoon.
Jeong Ki-Joon boldly takes the cup and drinks it without any sign of respect to Sejong. He rises from his bow, delivering his memorable line to Sejong, asking him whether he’s still unable to do nothing. Sejong rises from his seat, asking him back whether he’s really Jeong Ki-Joon.
The king smiles, and so does Jeong Ki-Joon.
[END of episode 18]
The most anticipated reunion is now in front of us. Pretty fast, but Jeong Ki-Joon doesn’t have anything to hold him from confronting Sejong. This also means war, if they are still persistent with their own ideology as they can’t hide from each other anymore.
Enough of the higher ups’ arguments…
This is another anticipated reunion. I always thought Lee Bang-Ji as a cold hearted teacher, but he’s not. That’s why Chae-Yoon respects him so much despite his status as a wandering man, because he’s a father figure to Chae-Yoon. They are so close, to the extent for Chae-Yoon to share everything with his master. The fact that they are so much alike is so endearing, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel uneasy. I even pictured Chae-Yoon being in his master’s shoes, and I shuddered. Please, I beg you with all my heart, show. Don’t trample over my heart this time! Although the signs are showing themselves one by one, I refuse to take any notice of it, for I still have the hope for an ending I wish for. Let him be happy, and the chance to live with his beautiful dreams!
Okay, hopefully nothing bad will happen to Jang Hyuk’s character. Not again, I wish to see him greet the death in front of my eyes, in a drama scene.
Now, to enlighten myself a bit..
Poor Park Po, but his reaction is downright hilarious 😀
Naughty little kid! This boy and his clothes reminds me of the page boys or little servants they have in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. But he’s so cute! And again, Park Po is the unlucky one here. His foot gets stepped on by this kid. LOL