Absence makes heart grow fonder but separation makes the heart in pain all the time.
That being said, part of me is truly wishing that Yoo will be reunited with Seung-nyang as soon as possible, because it’s heartbreaking to see her yearning for his presence when she’s basically at the lowest point of her life. I want to see her blissful smile and her genuine happiness as I feel like it’s been a while since she showed us that side of her.
Episode 13 picks up from where episode 12 ended: Ta-hwan asked whether Seung-nyang followed him there just to laugh at him for his weakness and dared her to do just like what she did to him back then: hit him or push him into the pile of horse dung, whatever she liked. Seung-nyang shot him her death glare, stating that she would not do it and would never do it, plus he should stop anticipating any kind of action from her. Golta arrived to inform him about the confirmation regarding Lady Park’s pregnancy and at the same time, Lady Park was dragged away from her room by Tanashiri’s court ladies. Tanashiri met Empress Dowager, who was back in her imperial robe and said triumphantly that the latter looked rather worn out. Empress Dowager replied in her usual confident tone, thanking the Empress for her concern. Dangkise knew that Empress Dowager was someone who won’t back up easily but Tanashiri was confident that she would win and Empress Dowager would be forced to leave the palace.
Lady Park was forced to kneel in front of the royal family for the confirmation about her pregnancy. Ta-hwan questioned why should they conduct the confirmation like this, but Yeon-chul just wanted to make sure that everyone involved in the ruse would be penalized accordingly while shooting knowing glance towards Empress Dowager. All of them displayed various expressions when Lady Park’s pulse was examined by the same doctor before and Seung-nyang’s sly smile was super awesome.
The doctor stammered when he wanted to report his findings, unable to believe what’s happening in front of him and Yeon-chul ordered other doctors to examine Lady Park. Amidst the nervous faces, Dok-man looked exceptionally calm and the result was announced: Lady Park was really pregnant! The baddies were shocked and Seung-nyang’s aftermath smile = priceless. Dangkise and Yeon-hwa were also confused at the sudden turn of the event.
In a series of flashback, we were shown that Seung-nyang told Dok-man about the whole ordeal about Tanashiri and the tree powder, hence he was able to switch the herbal used for the infusion in order to prevent Lady Park’s miscarriage. Her child was safe but Seung-nyang was the one who proposed switching the pulse with hers, just to defeat Tanashiri properly in the war the Empress herself created in the beginning.
Yeon-chul couldn’t do anything about the fact and proceeded to congratulate Ta-hwan (just like that!) but Empress Dowager wasn’t going to let it go easily. She wanted the person who wanted the person who caused the rumour to be penalized and Tanashiri looked nervous. Ta-hwan wanted to know why Tanashiri was so quick to believe the rumours, but Yeon-chul was quick to suggest kneeling for forgiveness as Tanashiri’s penalty and he won’t accept more than that. Dangkise realized that Seung-nyang was behind the whole thing and she kept smirking at him just to make him angrier. Ta-hwan noticed their exhanged glare and felt that something was going on between them.
Dangkise didn’t wait for too long to confront Seung-nyang about the but she’s ready with the wild card in her hand: the papers that Tanashiri wrote to release her from her maid duty that could be an absolute proof of Tanashiri’s involvement in the matter, complete with the Empress’ seal. Dangkise tried to snatch it away but failed and he wondered whether this was her way of avenging Yoo, but she retorted, saying that it was her own revenge: she wanted to get back at him, the person who killed her mother with his arrows. She told him to send her out of the palace if he wanted to stay safe, his family included. Seung-nyang left….and did Dangkise had tears falling down from his eyes?! Yeah, he’s surprised that he seemed to really care about her….OMG! The fact that he cried is just something that can’t be described with words! And both of them didn’t realize that there was someone eavesdropping on their conversation: it was Golta!
Tanashiri was getting ready to kneel down, begging for her forgiveness. She stopped her court ladies from crying, saying that as the Empress of the nation, she didn’t want to see her servants pitying her. Golta went to report to Ta-hwan presumably about what he heard earlier and Empress Dowager informed Ta-hwan about Tanashiri’ arrival to beg for his forgiveness. The weather turned dark and it was raining as Tanashiri knelt in front of the throne hall while admitting her mistakes and begging Ta-hwan to forgive her. Ta-hwan wanted it to stop since he’s afraid that she would get sick, but Empress Dowager stopped him, saying that it’s their way of teaching their enemies a lesson. She continued to persuade Ta-hwan into making Lady Park his official concubine. Yeon-chul also stopped Dangkise from protecting his dearie little sister to give her a lesson. Tanashiri continued to kneel through the night and she vowed not to cry until she avenged those who made her kneel like that.
She suddenly fainted and her servants ran towards her. Dangkise, who was still standing there quickly carried her back to the quarters. At the same time, Lady Park received the royal edict, appointing her as an Imperial Concubine of the fifth rank. Seung-nyang smiled encouragingly at her as Lady Park received the edict. Dangkise later reported Tanashiri’s condition to his father and Yeon-chul was affected that his baby daughter was treated like that. I noticed that his hands were shaking when he drank from the cup and I was wishing that he got a sickness that would make him die soon. Hahaha! evil cackle Dangkise admitted that all the things happened because of his lacking self and Yeon-chul got all enraged. He threw that cup towards Dangkise, telling his son not to admit his weakness easily in front of others, especially to him. Ack, Dangkise’s forehead was bleeding!
Wang Go arrived with Ja-chom in tow, representing Tapjahae to report that their army at the border had lost and everyone, including Baek Ahn and Yoo, were killed in the battle. Back at the border, in the Turks’ camp, Baek Ahn and Co. were still locked inside the cage and they began to lose hope that the attack last night wasn’t led by Tapjahae to their rescue. Cue Jeombakyi and Eunuch Bang greeting them cheerfully, with Eunuch Bang enjoying the sight of Byung-soo’s miserable self being caught as a prisoner (his face was just gold! These two really love to annoy each other). The Goryeo soldiers surrounded their cage and dragged them to meet Yoo.
Taltal was angry that Yoo was their real enemy in the war, but Yoo retorted, saying that the Yuan was the one that used them as baits at first, forcing him to plan on his own (and used them back) in order to reach their common target, which was to win the war against the Turks. Baek Ahn urged Yoo to kill him and Yoo held his sword high…and swoosh! He cut the ropes around Baek Ahn’s body, releasing him since they were going to return to the capital. Baek Ahn wanted to know why they were saved, and Yoo’s answer was simple: The Yuan troop would kill the Goryeo people if they won, but he won’t do so since he’s not a Yuan person. Brilliant. Yoo also showed the dead body of Batoru that he killed and Taltal removed the mask to reveal that the body was Bi-soo’s assistant.
Bi-soo rode her horse, leaving the Turks’ camp that was littered with dead bodies. Flashback: she wanted to know the reason why she was saved and Yoo said that he’s actually in a war against Yuan and the Turks were his allies, considering that their common enemy was the Yuan. He wanted to create a future together with her, not in the form of marriage but working together to secure the Silk Road in their hands instead falling into Yuan’s power. They exchanged names and Bi-soo rode into the sunset as she promised to meet him again. Woaaaahhh will she return in the future??
It’s a new day in the Yuan’s harem and the maids were getting their morning lecture from Dok-man: Hong-dan got praised for her good job while Yeon-hwa got criticized for her long face early in the morning (“Are you having your period all year long? What’s up with that face?” LOL). Seung-nyang was told to get rid of her maid’s clothes….because she’s promoted to a court lady! Yeon-hwa was super jealous of her, naturally. Seung-nyang was given a room for herself and at the same time…Dangkise ordered for her to be killed. He recalled his father’s words not to show his weakness and assured himself that he won’t have any regret for killing her..but his eyes said otherwise. Are you sure, Dangkise? Don’t you want to ask your heart for one last time?
Seung-nyang was actually planning on using the release paper from Tanashiri because she really wished to go out and find Wang Yoo. Yeon-hwa suddenly came to her room, telling her that Dok-man wanted to see her. I got a bad feeling about this…and a man was following behind her, holding a rope in his hands. He was about to strangle Seung-nyang when two eunuchs grabbed him from behind and stopped him. Seung-nyang didn’t see it and it was actually Golta and his men, who were following her too. Golta approached her, telling that Ta-hwan wanted to see her. She was escorted away as the Commander ordered by Dangkise to kill her sent her away with his frustrated glance.
Ta-hwan didn’t wait for long to let her know that he knew it all along about the release paper and ordered for her body to be searched. He destroyed the paper as Seung-nyang looked at the burning paper helplessly. Dangkise received the news about the failure and Seung-nyang’s meeting with Ta-hwan. Ta-hwan went to interrogate the person who tried to attack Seung-nyang but the man already bit his tongue to death. He decided to transfer Seung-nyang to his quarters to spare himself from worrying about her. Thinking that he should heard the Empress’ explanation, he decided to visit her quarters.
Tanashiri was still sick but upon hearing Ta-hwan was coming to her quarters, she decided to dress up and make herself presentable in front of him. He was taken aback to see her up and healthy but soon started to chide her about what happened before. Tanashiri wasn’t ready to be blamed just like that and she started pouring her heart out, saying that he was the one who started to ignore her since she entered the palace as his Empress, leaving her lonely all the time. He thought that she was just too proud to admit her mistakes and kept blaming him, but she expressed how she wanted to hear nice words from him for once. She hated her father for being the reason why she was stuck in the lonely position and for that too, she hated Ta-hwan. He left her as she cried alone and he sighed when he went out. Gahhh I feel sad for this ill-fated couple…
Seung-nyang started her first day as a court lady attending to Ta-hwan in his quarters and Ta-hwan was nervous but giddy to see her again. He told her to step closer towards him as he’s going to draw her portrait (“Don’t move!”). He started painting as he asked her questions: Why didn’t she come to find him when she was first assigned to the palace? Why didn’t she admit that she was a woman all along? Was it because she resented him? Did she think that if he knew that she was a woman all along, he would embrace her? Did you think that you’re a woman in front of my eyes? Seung-nyang wanted him to let her out of the palace, but he told her to shut her mouth up.
Seung-nyang read him a bedtime poem about separation and he remarked how sad a separation sounded like. She asked him again to let her out of the palace and wanted him to help her, just like how she helped him back then on the island. Ta-hwan wasn’t too happy to hear that the reason she wanted to go out was to find Yoo. He reminded her that she’s with him right now and her master was no longer Yoo; he was his master at that moment. Seung-nyang’s answer was a straight but sad one: even if her body was there, her one and only master was Yoo. She also told him that Yoo was like a mother bird to a newborn chick like her and he told her to leave him alone for the night. After she left, Ta-hwan murmured to himself, saying that Yeon-chul would kill him once she’s out of his sight and that’s the very reason why he’s keeping her beside him all the time. Oh my God, my Baby Emperor is actually trying to protect someone and that’s the real reason why he destroyed the release paper!!
Seung-nyang walked out to Golta waiting for her. He heard her talking about Yoo being her one and only master/owner and broke the news to her: Yoo was dead. She couldn’t believe it but Golta told her to ask Tutor Jang for confirmation. He warned her not to disappoint Ta-hwan again or he won’t leave her alone. Awww….bromance! Ta-hwan was shocked to hear that Yoo, Baek Ahn, and Taltal were all dead but he was more concerned about Seung-nyang, sighing that her scars were getting bigger with that news.
Just like Ta-hwan predicted, Seung-nyang was crying alone, reminiscing about those times she spent with Yoo. She wondered how would she live from now on and sobbed at the thought of him. Ta-hwan went to check on her and his heart was breaking at the sight of her crying. Even Golta looked somehow guilty for breaking the news to her..
A few days had passed and Seung-nyang looked like a zombie. Ta-hwan looked at her and he’s worried that she might have skipped her meals all along after hearing the news about Yoo’s death. He ordered for Seung-nyang to be the one who perform the food tasting for him, defying the custom. Ta-hwan told her to taste the food and ordered her to eat more of the dishes served in front of him. He even told her to eat a whole chicken thigh to confirm whether there was any poison inside it, just to make her eat. He reminded her that she couldn’t follow Yoo to the afterlife and she wished that him not to care about his life of death. Ta-hwan replied that she had to ask for his permission to die since he’s his owner right now.
Seung-nyang had to accompany him for a midnight walk and he warned her not to fall back more than three steps further from him. He kept walking back and forth and turning around just to tease her, closing the distance between them (Please stop with that smoldering stare Hwannie!!!). He freaked out when she was nowhere to be found when he turned around and he was surprised when she suddenly showed in front of him. She chuckled at his reaction and Ta-hwan was so happy that he managed to cheer her up. Hehehehehe
Wang Yoo, Baek Ahn, and their respective minions were riding non-stop for two days and Yoo didn’t show any sign of resting, telling the Yuan to stop if they wanted to do so. Byung-soo suspected that he couldn’t wait to see Seung-nyang and Baek Ahn was surprised to learn that Seung-nyang was a woman. LOL he’s late to know about the hottest news in town! Yoo reached the capital at midnight and they decided to wait until tomorrow since they couldn’t enter the palace anyway. They wanted to stay at a courtesans’ house but got to know that Wang Go was also there.
Wang Go was causing a ruckus while he’s drunk, complaining that even the courtesans were ignoring him despite his status as the King of Shimyang. The palace’s commander and his men were also there and Wang Go realized that he might be watched by those Yeon-chul’s minions. Yoo and Co. entered the place and Ja-chom was surprised to see that Yoo was still alive. Their lines were just priceless:
Wang Go: If you’re a ghost, scramble away; if you’re the man that I know (Wang Yoo), come here and have a drink.
Yoo: If you’re a drunkard, just go away; if you’re the King of Shimyang that I know, come here and have a drink.
What a ‘royal’ way to invite someone to have a drink, huh? 😉 Although he’s been fighting against his own nephew, Wang Go was still kind enough to remind Yoo about the dangerous palace, but Yoo had no thought of living quietly there.
The next morning, Ta-hwan was looking for Seung-nyang right after he woke up but he was soon informed by Golta that she had fallen so sick and unable to get out of the bed. That sent him running to her bedside as she was unconscious. Yoo was in her dream (I’m not going to complain since he’s in the capital too now~), all safe and happy to return to him. However, a figure came from behind and killed him. He fell down lifeless, revealing Dangkise laughing crazily behind him. I bet the dream happened because she realized that Dangkise would harm the people she treasured the most and the only one she had right now was Yoo.
Seung-nyang’s hand reached out in reality and Ta-hwan grabbed it, thinking that she was looking for him. Then, Tutor Jang came in to report that Baek Ahn was safe all along and the news before was fake. However, Yoo was also alive, something that didn’t bode too well with Ta-hwan as he watched over Seung-nyang, who kept calling for Yoo and realized that she was yearning for her king…
Episode 14 , the days after. Seung-nyang was getting ready for her work when Dok-man came to see her. She thanked him for sending a good medicine for her but she’s surprised to hear that it wasn’t from him; Ta-hwan was the one who ordered it specifically for her from the royal doctor and took care of her during her days of being sick. Ta-hwan was drinking alone, recalling what Tutor Jang told him about Yoo: the deposed king was the real victor in the war with the Turks, defeating the enemies with his own hands. Did he feel intimidated and/or challenged by Yoo’s presence? Then, Seung-nyang arrived to serve him for the day but he ordered her to take a leave for the rest of the day (“Don’t step out of the harem until I order you to do so!”). She left and Ta-hwan threw his cup in frustration. Why, Baby Emperor…why?
The news about Yoo’s arrival reached Tanashiri (who’s sporting a new hairstyle with new accessories) as well as the rumours about him being a womanizer. She thought of sending Seung-nyang to ‘serve’ Yoo to get back at her. Cue all the maids and court ladies from Goryeo gathering around when Yoo and his entourage arrived, gaping and struck in awe at the royal finesse that was Wang Yoo. Yeah girls, drop your jaws in unison while he’s walking like a model through the prying eyes of the women! Unknown to them, he was looking for his one and only Seung-nyang, who was nowhere to be found among the ladies and suspected that she might have missed the news about his arrival. Darn, he’s looking mighty fine, rocking that colour and that hairstyle!!
Baek Ahn (I’m so used to see him in armour that it feels weird to see him wearing the officer robe), Taltal, and Yoo went to greet Ta-hwan officially and there’s no sign of happiness in Ta-hwan’s face at all. Baek Ahn was offered a drink from the Emperor as his reward for the victory but he credited Yoo as the real victor. Yoo replied, saying that their side had won the war and they all deserved the honour to be rewarded. Yeon-chul, in his fake laughter, praised Yoo for being a loyal servant of Yuan but he’s momentarily caught off-guard when Ta-hwan appointed Baek Ahn as the Commander of the palace bodyguard. This scene is so winning for three reasons: Yeon-chul & Sons’ long faces, Ta-hwan and Yoo’s stare down, and Dangkise brief stare towards Yoo. Oh, not to forget….Taltal!!
Seung-nyang was walking around the harem when she noticed that the air was different on that day, considering that everyone looked so hyper (and spazzing around, heh) and most of the palace ladies and maids were not around. Hong-dan broke the news to her about Yoo, telling her that he (the one who’s melting the girls left and right) returned from the war with victory. Seung-nyang’s face lit up at the revelation~! She dashed towards the throne hall and coincidentally, Yoo was on his way out from the hall.
She tried to catch up with him from the sideways, behind the (excited and agitated fangirls a.k.a) ladies.
Your Majesty, I am here.
Over here, turn your head over here, Your Majesty.
Seung-nyang was happy that he’s still alive, right in front of her eyes. She continued to hope that he would see her there and Yoo stopped for a while to look around for Seung-nyang one last time (he seemed to recognize her but looked away in a split second). I feel so upset when Seung-nyang realized that he didn’t see her and how her expression changed from one to another. He walked away as she tried to contain her mixed feelings.
Eunuch Bang didn’t see her among the ladies, but Yoo did saw her!! But then, he intentionally ignored her to avoid the prying glances of other maids. Eunuch Bang decided to ask for Dok-man’s help for Yoo to meet Seung-nyang since they were old acquaintances. Suddenly, Moo-song came in to let Yoo know that Ta-hwan had summoned him for a one-two-one audience.
Ta-hwan didn’t wait for too long to remind Yoo of what he did to him when he first set his foot on Goryeo: telling him, the weakling that protecting him was for the sake of Goryeo’s people that he couldn’t protect. He mused over the fact that their fate had reversed: he’s an emperor and Yoo was now a humble hostage in front of him. Seung-nyang’s name was brought into their heated argument when Ta-hwan stated that Yoo wasn’t the one who saved him; his savior, who was once a skillful lad, turned into a court lady in his palace. Yoo was clearly affected with the mention and avoided answering when Ta-hwan asked whether he’s missing her or not. He wanted Ta-hwan to let her go back to Goryeo since she would be happier living in her hometown rather than spending her lifetime working in a foreign place like Yuan, although she would be considered worthless once she went back to Goryeo.
Ta-hwan: I’ve thought over it carefully if it’s about that child (Seung-nyang)’s happiness.
Wang Yoo: Do you think that’s what the child really wished for?
Ta-hwan: I’m this nation’s emperor. Heaven or hell, that child’s fate is in my hands!
Wang Yoo: If that’s the case, who’s holding Your Imperial Majesty’s fate?
Wang Yoo: For someone who couldn’t even take care of his imperial body, who are you to hold someone’s fate in your hands?
Ta-hwan: That mouth..shut it up.
Wang Yoo: Seung-nyang..I know her better. In the end, it won’t go according to your wishes.
Yoo excused himself and Ta-hwan was left alone, frustrated that he lost again to Yoo. That was AWESOME.
Eunuch Bang and Dok-man were so happy to see each other again after a long time (in case if you’re wondering: Dok-man was from Goryeo too!). Dok-man was all laughing merrily and smiling, unlike his usual demeanor but when Eunuch Bang asked for his help about Seung-nyang, he switched into his Inner Court’s Head Eunuch mode, stating that she’s now part of the Yuan’s harem. It’s impossible for her to meet another man in her position but Eunuch Bang continued to plead him into agreeing to his request as fellow Goryeo people. Is it weird that I found them adorable, addressing each other as Shin-woo and Deok-manie?
Seung-nyang was thinking about Yoo, whether he saw her or not, or he was just ignoring her on purpose. She was interrupted by Eunuch Bang, who was happy to see her and cooing on her looking cute as a woman. He momentarily forgot about the reason he was there: he set a time for her and Yoo to meet! She’s excited but also nervous at the same time. Eeeeeeep!
Tanashiri, with a bulkier wig, went to meet the Empress Dowager for her evening greetings. She was reluctant but it was his father’s order for her to do so. Empress Dowager was suddenly encouraging her to get pregnant too, since bearing a son would be a definite way to secure one woman’s position in the court. They started poking at each other’s sore points and soon showed their true colors: Empress Dowager told her to put more effort (into getting pregnant. HA). Tanashiri wasn’t too happy to be bugged with the matter and she hated that the rumour about her unable to get pregnant would spread in the inner court if she prayed for a son just like Court Lady Seo suggested to her. For her, pride was more important compared to becoming a pregnant lady. I’m sure that’s not a sight everyone’s looking forward to, judging from her virgin temper alone…
Hehehehehehehe. The night came and Yoo was preparing himself for his date with Seung-nyang. It’s so funny but cute at the same time, seeing how adorable he was in front of the mirror, different from his usual wise self. Eunuch Bang and Moo-song continued to tease him and he chased them out of the room…before sitting again in front of the mirror to practice his smile. OMG can I hug you, Wang Yoo??!! At the same time, Seung-nyang was also getting ready, all smiling and nervous to see him after a long time. She’s glowing with happiness and I’m so giddy for these two!!
It’s the complete opposite for Ta-hwan, who’s getting himself drunk alone while thinking about what Seung-nyang and Yoo said before to him. He vowed to do everything according to his wishes and turned the table of servings upside down. Tanashiri went to pray for her pregnancy but poor girl didn’t know that no matter how many times she’s going to kneel, she won’t be able to conceive, like what Empress Dowager was bragging to Tutor Jang. He wondered how was she going to ensure that but she didn’t tell him the exact plan that she executed from the start that was the infertility incense.
Seung-nyang was about to leave her room when Ta-hwan barged in. She wanted to know the reason why he came looking for her, in which he replied: “Is there any place inside the inner court that he couldn’t go?” He approached her, forcing her to step backwards…
Tanashiri was diligently praying for the Emperor’s grace and a son when someone was seen coming towards the place. She murmured angrily, stating that she did tell her servants to keep everyone away from that place. She decided to hide to see who the person was and it turned to be Wang Yoo. She decided to hide and secretly peeked at him praying. Suddenly, he head hit the bells and ran behind the statue to hide while giggling at her suddenly racing heart (NO, GIRL…NO, SHOW…you just didn’t…..please tell me I’m wrong about it….). She went back to realize that he had disappeared, only to have him secretly sneaking behind her. She was surprised when Yoo was standing right in front of her when she turned around.
Yoo wondered if Tanashiri was a court lady, judging from her decent attire compared to a maid. In her usual commanding tone, she told him to leave since the area was restricted to men but he knew that it’s not the curfew time yet. She was about to leave when he grabbed her arm, trying to ask her something (possibly about Seung-nyang). Unaware of the trope of wrist-grabbing, Tanashiri slapped him for touching her. She warned him to leave at once or she would scream, but Yoo knew that it would put her in a difficult position too, staying with a man at night like that. She was about to raise her hand for another slap but he caught her hand, stating that she’s pretty rude as a mere court lady and a hot-headed personality to top that. She walked away but not before anticipating his reaction if he would know her real identity. The hour passed by and Yoo was waiting for Seung-nyang to arrive.
Well, Seung-nyang was struggling with Ta-hwan, who pushed her onto the bed. He asked her the most painful question for him: would she become head over heels if it was Yoo in his position at that moment? She managed to push him away he told her not to go, since he won’t be able to let her go to Wang Yoo. He expressed how he saw her as his mother bird and Seung-nyang looked rather affected, but she was more concerned about Yoo and ran out towards their meeting place as Ta-hwan was left alone in her room. She reached the place to find it without him.
Yoo was drinking to nurse his broken heart while Eunuch Bang assured him that Seung-nyang must had her own reasons for her to break her promise. He asked how she looked when Eunuch Bang met her earlier and after hearing that she looked fine, Yoo didn’t want him to set another meeting, afraid that he’s causing a problem to Seung-nyang who was probably living comfortably inside the palace by now. Although he was curious on how she was faring so far, he didn’t want to make her uncomfortable. No…..go and meet her…please, Yoo-gun! *sobs*
Baek Ahn was greeted by the commander we saw a few times before: Geopseol, who congratulated him for the appointment. Taltal, wearing a new set of armour, invited him to a feast later but when the guy left, our Inseparable Duo gave him a rather judging look…
It turned out that Yeon-chul was searching for a blood letter written by the late Emperor, Ta-hwan’s father. Yeon-chul personally delivered the poison to the late Emperor and right after hearing that Yeon-chul would assist Ta-hwan to ascend the throne, the Emperor drank the poison and died as Yeon-chul saw his bloody finger. The letter was nowhere to be found and Geopseol was tipped by someone telling him that there’s another person looking for the letter. He went to Baek Ahn’s so called feast and met his demise there after knowing that the person who tipped him was also dead. Taltal and Baek Ahn were also looking for the blood letter, after all, and now they had to deal with the commander’s dead body.
Tanashiri was rather picky while choosing her outfit for the day, which turned out to be a feast day. She wanted her clothes to be able to impress someone who was rude to her (Guess who…..). She also learned that Seung-nyang was working in Ta-hwan’s quarters but she didn’t really care about her at the time being and had something more important to think of. Girl, it’s good to be careful all the time!
Empress Dowager and Ta-hwan were also on their way to the feast and she talked about the rumour of Wang Yoo’s good looks among the ladies of the inner court, prompting a smile full of pride from Seung-nyang. He started talking bad about Yoo’s appearance out of jealousy and Seung-nyang found it funnier, chuckling silently. Hahahahaha petty jealousy!! Empress Dowager told him that Yoo would be someone that could be useful to him, something that he’s not too fond of. Hehehe!
The Yuan officials were gathered for the feast and Yoo was not in his best mood, looking out of place amidst the cheerful atmosphere. Wang Go soon joined the bad mood group when Yeon-chul told him to leave Yuan’s capital and go back to Goryeo, giving up on the throne for good. Ta-hwan’s arrival was announced and he walked in, followed by Seung-nyang among his court ladies. Love love love it when Seung-nyang noticed Yoo there and he saw her, and they smiled at each other!!! Love it when he completely changed at the sight of her smiling (lighting up like a light bulb!) but their silent reunion was cut short, considering that they were in the midst of the Yuan people. Seung-nyang held her head down and Yoo continued to show respect to the Emperor’s procession in front of him.
Empress Dowager was glad to meet Yoo, remarking how he looked exactly like the rumour suggested. Yes, he’s handsome! Ta-hwan was burning with jealousy and it’s not getting better when he caught Yoo and Seung-nyang looking at each other again. Then, Empress Dowager suddenly talked about Yoo’s marriage with one of the Yuan’s princesses since Goryeo was considered as Yuan’s son-in-law nation. The air was tense between the trio and Yoo exchanged knowing glance with Ta-hwan. Ta-hwan thought that it’s not the time to talk about such thing and Yoo added that he’s not ready yet.
Tanashiri arrived late and she stood right in front of Yoo, anticipating his reaction towards her real identity. Yoo was flustered and she was truly enjoying it, acting like meeting each other for the first time. Seung-nyang seemed to be aware of his nervousness around Tanashiri. The feast went on and Ta-hwan, forced to witness Yoo and Seung-nyang stealing glances and smiles at each other, chose to drink, one shot after another. Meanwhile, a maid entered the library to find Geopseol hanging dead from the ceiling.
The dance ended and Empress Dowager urged Yoo to show his skills playing geomungo in front of them. Ta-hwan (partially drunk by now) and Tanashiri also encouraged him to do so and he didn’t have any other choice but to flaunt off his women’s magnet: the mighty geomungo. The women were all ‘enamoured’ by Yoo right now, including Empress Dowager and Tanashiri, who had this slight sign of admiration plus obsession in her eyes.
What follows next was most probably the saddest scene in this episode, as Yoo’s attention was on Seung-nyang all the time and he continued playing, when tears welled in his eyes. Same went for Seung-nyang and they probably thought the same thing: the moments they share being close to each other without realizing their feelings back then and now, acknowledging their undying yearning for each other but separated by a short distance that seemed to be like an eternity.
Dangkise realized that Yoo had been looking at Seung-nyang all this time while Ta-hwan could only stare at Seung-nyang, unable to change her heart.
Suddenly, Dok-man announced with regret that Geopseol had been found dead. If this is a crime drama, it means ‘NEW CASE!’, but we are officially starting a new arc with the death. The standard reaction from everyone was shocked and surprised, except for a few people: Dangkise and Yeon-chul exchanged questioning glance, Taltal and Baek Ahn dumbfounded and a little off, Ta-hwan looking uninterested at all while Wang Go looked extremely calm amidst the news.
Taltal and Baek Ahn headed towards the crime scene and told Byung-soo (is he an inspector now? Hehehehe) not to let anyone in after them. This was news to them as well since Taltal threw the body somewhere else in a place plagued with disease, only to have it making its way into the palace. He sure has his own ways of dealing with the corpses. Dangkise joined them and he could see that the dead was strangled twice: one by the hanging rope and the other was from a man’s force strangling him with a rope. Taltal thought that the case could cause havoc and suggested that the investigation to be done secretly.
Ta-hwan was informed about the case as being a mere suicide case but Dangkise told Yeon-chul about the strangling that actually caused the death. The drunk Emperor couldn’t care less and dismissed everyone, announcing that the party had ended before leaving. It’s so out of place watching him went “Let’s go, Golta!” amidst the serious atmosphere in the hall. Seung-nyang and Yoo exchanged one last glance for the day on her way out, followed by Tanashiri’s unfathomable stare at Yoo before she left.
Wang Go suddenly went all friendly with Yoo although he wasn’t too happy about leaving for Goryeo He told Yoo about the Goryeo village near the capital but Yoo couldn’t stand him prattling about Goryeo people’s plight. Yoo told him to send his regards to his father. A mention about the dead commander sent Yoo into confusion but he couldn’t quite catch what Wang Go meant by that, plus Wang Go wanted to meet him later. Yoo decided to visit a place where Goryeo people were living in Yuan.
Byung-soo sneaked into the room with the corpse, trying to play detective on his own. He heard people coming and hid behind the shelf to see Baek Ahn, Taltal, Yeon-chul, Dangkise, and Tapjahae entering the room. Baek Ahn was assigned to find the killer (ironically, he‘s the killer he’s looking for) while it’s actually a ploy to distract him from searching for the blood letter, which Yeon-chul was very sure to be hidden inside the palace. He told his sons to find it as soon as possible and Byung-soo, having heard the whole conversation, thought that it’s finally his chance to shine and to steal the limelight from others, which sounds impossible for him. Heh.
Yoo went to the said village and it was plagued with disease: people were dying but the village head (Hello there, Jae-in’s father a.k.a.Song Kyung-chul!) was composed, sitting there calmly. He wasn’t interested in talking with Yoo and even doused him with water (NOOOOOOO not that hair!!) when introduced as the king. He didn’t want to see people like Yoo, whom he regarded as filthier than the plague. Yoo was about to leave when he heard the old man nagging about a certain man coming to their village to take away a corpse from the well.
Yoo was reminded of Wang Go’s words from before and went to meet him, just like Wang Go thought he would do. He asked why Wang Go told it to him and it was because Wang Go was trying to get back at Yeon-chul. After all he had done for the old man, Wang Go was abandoned just like that: no Goryeo throne, no status, nothing. When asked about the murder, Wang Go told Yoo that he didn’t kill the commander; he just brought the dead body into the palace. He told Yoo about the blood letter left as the late Emperor’s last will and it would be the most effective way to fight Yeon-chul with the letter.
Meanwhile, the late Emperor’s son was busy cracking nuts on his bed. Seung-nyang wasn’t allowed to say anything except reading the book until he felt asleep, but Ta-hwan was just afraid, assuming that she would ask for her to be sent to Yoo. Awwwwww dear. Seung-nyang made faces towards him when he’s not looking but still read the book as Ta-hwan’s bedtime story.
Yoo was still thinking about Wang Go’s words earlier: the commander’s death would be the beginning to Yeon-chul’s suspicion towards the people around him and Yoo could take the opportunity to bring him down, as well as gaining himself his lost throne. Wang Go also stated that that was his last gift for him. Thinking that he would need to have someone who knew the palace well in order to find the blood letter, he thought of Seung-nyang. He asked for direction from Eunuch Bang to sneak into the harem and find Seung-nyang since she should know the area well befitting her status as a court lady of the Emperor’s quarters.
Ta-hwan couldn’t sleep at all since he kept thinking about Seung-nyang’s words that she couldn’t say earlier but he’s also assuming that it would be related to Yoo. He couldn’t contain his curiosity anymore and decided to go to her. What a great timing for both men. Yoo entered the harem’s compound and saw Seung-nyang but the sight of Ta-hwan running behind her made him hide. Ta-hwan saw Seung-nyang from afar and called her name.
She heard it and turned around, but someone suddenly pulled her into an empty room. It was Yoo and she was surprised to see her there. Ta-hwan was sure he saw her just a moment ago and stood there confused, while Yoo and Seung-nyang were standing on the other side of the door…
Right now, I think I’m in the phase of extreme addiction, completely into Empress Ki that I chose the drama over sleep. That’s too much (I know, I know!) but I just can’t help it: when I fall for a drama, I fall deep into it. The love is so deep that I regret picking it up so early instead of waiting until it finish airing, but the regret turns into a session of “Thank God I picked this up!!!” each time I finish an episode. True story.
This week’s episodes provide conclusions to the story arcs involving the pregnancy issue and the war with the Turks. Both provide the characters with some development and we get to know more about them with their ideologies and changes happening to themselves. My favorite for this week is Lady Park’s issue, where Seung-nyang displays her intelligence and wits. As for the war, only Yoo, Bi-soo, and the writers know what they are planning to do in the future but if they want to proceed with what they have hinted us: the possibility of Bi-soo returning as Yoo’s ally later, I’m okay with that! I feel that the cooperation between them is too short and I want more. Yes, I want more of these two, who seem to have similar ideas and strategies at the same time. I wish to see them playing a game against Yuan’s resident genius Taltal in the future!
The new story arc: The Curse of the Blood Letter. Hehehe. I am excited for it, simply because most of the main characters are in the same place and the hunt for the blood letter of the late Emperor will involve the characters, either directly or indirectly. When Yeon-chul states that the letter is hidden inside the palace, I foresee that this is going a big scale treasure hunt but done discreetly, including a murder mystery to be solved. Our characters are already forming allies left and right and next week, we will see how many teams will ‘participate’ in the hunt…and how many people will be sacrificed this time. I find it funny that Taltal has to deal will dead bodies twice and despite his scholarly background, he’s used to it. Maybe he has his dearest uncle Baek Ahn to thank!
Moving on to the characters…
Seung-nyang. Oh, my sassy Seung-nyang. She has her own limitations, be it the rules and also the people around her but she’s bending them according to her will, whether they realize it or not. I don’t blame them for falling for her, because she is sure full of charms that can lure people into liking her. I love to see the smartypants Seung-nyang and she’s the coolest when she’s in her scheming mode. Can you imagine how amazing she will be in the future with more power? Even without the authority inside her hands, she manages to pull the strings to actually cause the authority to switch from one side to another, proving her awesome planning skills. Mind you, she is an expert when it comes to push and pull strategy and I wish my girl Seung-nyang to get what she deserves: love and admiration, trust and respect. Talking about her charms…I can’t wait for her to realize that men are falling for her left and right (she needs to tone it down! Hehehe). She has different types of relationships with each of them and that’s refreshing about her: it’s not solely about love. Yoo is someone who has her admiration and affection, Ta-hwan gets her sympathy and protection, and Dangkise is the least fortunate one: he only receives her hate all the time.
As for now, we can’t be sure about she truly feels because Seung-nyang is still a mysterious character to me. She rarely has any moments of her lamenting about herself, probably because of her busy schedule nowadays as a court lady. I notice in her monologues, she tends to think about these things: worrying about Yoo, telling herself to put up with Ta-hwan when she really wants to kill him, and reminding herself to kill Dangkise again and again. You see, she doesn’t really express what she’s thinking about herself and tends to focus on what she is doing at that moment. Because of that, I see Seung-nyang as someone who prefer action than words. Her feelings are mostly translated into her actions, and that makes it harder to decipher her true emotion at that particular moments. Although Seung-nyang is our main character, we don’t really know what she’s thinking and the only way to judge it is based on what she’s doing. I somehow find it interesting, because I am intrigued to learn more about her. Curiouser and curiouser!
Being a true king that he is, Wang Yoo has started to plan his strategy to help his Goryeo. I just realized something: Yoo used to be so selfless, willing to give up his own life for the sake of his beloved country and people, but after the promise he made with Seung-nyang, he tries to protect himself, staying alive in whatever condition it is. He keeps thinking about her and to me, that shows how his feelings are towards her. His life goals have been altered: one is to keep doing his duties as a king despite his deposed status and the other one is Seung-nyang. He seems to be thinking about her a lot more than his duties, but I think that’s merely because he has to act out secretly, avoiding any suspicion from Yuan. Plus, he’s now in their territory and it will be crazy of him to do anything without proper planning, because it’s like a suicide mission.
It’s not an easy thing for Yoo to do when he has to live inside the Yuan’s palace just like his younger days: he had to dress like them, respect them, and bow to the emperor of the country that causes his own country to suffer. But then, what choice does he have at that moment? Imagine how hard it is for Yoo to see Ta-hwan, because the young emperor is the reason why he’s dragged to his lowest point in his life. I am amazed that he’s so composed, probably because he’s aware of the consequences if he decides to harm the emperor (just like what Seung-nyang was planning) and it will be wise for him not do anything for the time being. Sometimes I just want to give him a big hug because I feel bad for him when he has to show respect to the Yuan…but maybe a hug from Seung-nyang is what he needs the most? Hehehe
The only good thing for Yoo to be back in the palace is that he gets to meet Seung-nyang. FINALLY! It feels like years ago (when it’s actually few episodes hahaha) since the last time they were together in one place and it’s happening! They don’t meet instantly but I feel good seeing them breathing the same air. I’m so happy for them! But that scene when Seung-nyang chases after him and he can’t see her….gahhhhhh, that was one heartbreaking and sad moment, plus with Junsu’s voice in the background, I can’t help but cry for them. So close but he can’t see her!!! I blame the kdrama tropes for it. The writers are playing with my heart when they set up Yoo and Seung-nyang to have a possibly dreamlike reunion during their night date, only to have fate deciding to go against them. Argh!!
Luckily, they see each other during the feast and it is a swoon-inducing and swoon-worthy scene. I have no doubt that if there is no one but them, Yoo will run towards Seung-nyang and hug her tight. Just take a look at his happy face and her relieved expression. However, they have to restrain their emotions and resort to exchanging glances secretly, but that’s not so safe either. I am screaming “Yahhh! Be careful, you two!!” when they look at each other, because there are people around who will see their exchange and both Ta-hwan and Dangkise witness them. So dangerous, yet I can’t really blame them as they deserve to do so: it’s their first time seeing each other in
several episodes months! I have no exact words to describe the breathtaking geomungo scene, with Yoo displaying his talent of attracting girls and playing geomungo while reminiscing the time he spent with Seung-nyang. Beautiful but at the same time heart wrenching.
While Seung-nyang is elated that Yoo is still alive, her knight Ta-hwan is not happy to see her drifting away from him. Baby Emperor is growing up and he is proactive when it comes to Seung-nyang’s well-being. He’s quick to realize that Seung-nyang is exposed to danger of being harmed by Dangkise and decided to keep her close to him. I am proud of him when he’s finding the courage to protect someone other than himself and it is a remarkable progress! I love it when he can only think of Seung-nyang’s feelings after hearing about Yoo’s death and he looks troubled when he sees her crying. Awwww…if only he can offer her his hug, that will be perfect! It’s super sweet when he sneakily makes her eat and cheer her up when she’s wallowing in her sadness, and he’s proud of himself! Don’t worry Baby Emperor, you deserve to be proud there! I am proud of you too!! I can’t get over his long stares…so dreamy! And the food testing scene…yeah, I love him. Hehehe
But it takes a different turn when Yoo is confirmed to be alive, and Ta-hwan starts to act defensive. Despite his position, he’s still insecure towards Yoo’s presence when it comes to Seung-nyang. I hate to see him moping around and grasping at straws, trying to make Seung-nyang stay by his side but to no avail. He’s hurting (and it hurts me too! sobs) and chooses to get drunk all the time, probably to hide his sadness. But I know, he will pick himself up and recover from the blow. Having an opponent right in front of him might be intimidating at first, but it can also make him strive harder! Go for it, Ta-hwan~ I know you can do it! Bring back your happy self too…I miss the cheerful Hwannie!
Tanashiri…wow. I still find the kneeling scene a chilling one, because it shows that she’s slowly changing into a more ruthless version of herself. She might have realized that it will be impossible to move Ta-hwan’s heart, because the fact that she’s Yeon-chul’s daughter is something that can’t be changed forever. However, she’s still the Empress and she’s set to bear a son in order to challenge the Empress Dowager, so we are going to see more of her scheming in the upcoming episodes.
I have mentioned it over and over again that I can’t truly hate Tanashiri although she’s one of the villains. Maybe it’s because Baek Jin-hee is too adorable to be hated, but it is also due to her status, born as Yeon-chul’s daughter. She was raised to be ruthless, unforgiving, and hate people coming against her. She won’t stand it if something doesn’t go as what she has planned and while it can be blamed on being spoiled as the youngest daughter in the family, to me it’s the matter of her upbringing. She’s like the female version of her brother Dangkise, whom I can’t really hate (yet). Her sudden attraction towards Yoo comes out as a big surprise to me but after thinking about it, it’s to show how Tanashiri’s personality is. She looking at Yoo like a person looking at something he’s obsessed with. Just like wht Dagkise once told Seung-nyang about the foxes:
When they’re caged, some will eat what I feed them while the others will hold out. I will kill and skin those who ate, but the fighters make me want to tame them.
Both Tanashiri and Dangkise seem to have similar response to challenges: they tend to be obsessed with people who are unyielding in front of them and they will try to bend those people. It’s an unhealthy obsession (and I blame Yeon-chul for it!!) but Dangkise has started to feel conflicted when it comes to his latest obsession, Seung-nyang. Is it love? Ask your heart, Dangkise. I’m sure he has one, because he really loves his little sister. If there’s something Yeon-chul has done right with his children, it’s to teach them how to love their siblings, though I think Tapjahae doesn’t really like Dangkise; he’s jealous of his older brother who’s better than him in everything.
It’s going to get crazier in the next few weeks but I have the hunch that Yeon-chul is probably going to die in the upcoming few weeks or in the next story arc. I can’t wait to see his demise because it will be the moment for Ta-hwan to seize the power in his hands. Who wants to see our Baby Emperor turns into a charismatic emperor? Me! Me! Me!
Bring it on, show!