Giving up means losing the courage; however, doesn’t one need the courage too in order to give up?
We are already in the eight week of the drama Empress Ki and we still have another 17 weeks to go. Such a long way ahead, but the story is just settling in, giving the characters the base for their next development arc. So many things happened in the episodes but we still have a lot of things to be explored, facts to be known, and questions to be solved. Plus…several games to be played. There’s no guarantee that one side can continue their winning streaks but in reality, there are no winners, only survivors.
(Oh wait, maybe I’ve read too much The Hunger Games. Ignore the last part.)
Episode 15. Ta-hwan was still calling Seung-nyang’s name just outside of the room where Yoo and her were hiding. He walked away from the scene and the two were spared from any harm, for the time being. I have to pause the video and let out a long “Awwwww” when Yoo stepped back and looked intently at Seung-nyang saying, “Beautiful.” Awwwww! He noticed that her face looked pale from the cold air and put his outer jacket on her. That’s triple ‘Awwwww’ from me!
Ta-hwan headed to Seung-nyang’s room only to find it empty without its owner. He decided to wait for her there since she would come back to her room eventually. It’s adorable how he’s looking at the room and remarked how lacking it was for a court lady’s room before thinking about additional things to be put inside the room, such as a dressing table and new bed only for his Seung-nyang. Sweet!! He suddenly saw a handkerchief lying on her bed and after ensuring that there’s no one looking, he started sniffing it, drinking in Seung-nyang’s scent. Hehehehehe!! He decided to keep it and put it in his jacket (close to his heart!) while looking so happy for himself. LOL Ta-hwan, how can you become more adorable than this?!
Yoo and Seung-nyang sat down for a session of him telling her about the blood letter. They concluded that Yeon-chul was probably the one who killed Emperor Myungjong and that was the reason why the old man kept trying to kill Ta-hwan back on the island. Seung-nyang realized that his life could end if he make a mistake inside the palace while trying to find the letter, but Yoo stated that he already died when he was deposed. She wanted to help, to the point of sacrificing herself for his sake, but Yoo didn’t want to involve her in the dangerous mission. Seung-nyang didn’t want him to see her as a mere court lady, but a fellow Goryeo citizen..and also his servant (Noooooooo lady, that’s not what he wants to hear from you…). Even if she got caught, she would spare him from the blame, inflicting herself as the sole instigator.
Yoo didn’t plan to meet her to make her do it and decided to leave. She put his outer jacket back on him and he walked away as Seung-nyang sent him away with her teary eyes. Unknown to her, he turned around and send her away with tears as he told her in his mind that if she get caught, neither him nor the Emperor would be able to protect her. Argggghhhh you two, just tell each other what you’re really thinking!!
Ta-hwan was still waiting in Seung-nyang’s room, settling on her bed. He decided to lie on the bed (he sniffed her pillow too! Kekekeke) and held out his arm before urging her to lie down. She complied and looked super tame, unlike the regular untouchable version of her. They took time complimenting each other: him praising her being as light as a feather and her praising his comfortable arm. Hehehehehe. Ta-hwan giggled and told her to move closer towards him, right into his embrace. She was embarrassed and hit his chest with her fists in aegyo. That was the cutest scene ever!!! He was all giggly and holding his arms out….
…when the untouchable version of Seung-nyang appeared, asking what he’s doing at that moment, lying on her bed. LOL he was imagining things and quickly woke up, flustered. Ta-hwan wondered where a woman like her went although it’s almost midnight but she’s more interested to know the reason why he’s there again. She brought up about that time when he came to her room drunk and pestered her but he couldn’t recall anything about that night. Seung-nyang told him to ask the eunuch about it and told him to leave, and he complied without much fuss although he was dying to know about it. LOL he’s following orders from a court lady when he’s the Emperor! Hahahahaha!
On his way back to his quarters, Ta-hwan questioned Golta about the possible mistake he made but the eunuch only knew that he went into her room since he could only wait outside. Ta-hwan wondered about the mistake when Golta smiled at him knowingly and they laughed, before Ta-hwan telling him to cut out the thing that he was thinking about earlier. Kekekekeke!!! Ta-hwan sighed that Yoo was cool all the time and Golta looked at him before he told the eunuch, “I am cool too!” Okay, I’M DYING OVER HERE.
The next morning, Yoo practiced his sword skills while thinking about his plan to get back to Yeon-chul regarding the blood letter. He met with Tutor Jang on his way to the Empress Dowager’s quarters for her invitation and got an idea. Since Ta-hwan was illiterate and the Office of the Secretaries was the one responsible for sorting out the complaints and reports from the officials before sending it to Yeon-chul, he was thinking of using the office to send the message to Yeon-chul regarding the blood letter. Eunuch Bang recommended that he would find the person to do the work and it turned out to be no other than Seung-nyang. She was ready to meet him again if he needed any help and told Eunuch Bang beforehand to keep it a secret from Yoo.
Tanashiri got to know that Empress Dowager invited Yoo for a meal together with Ta-hwan but she was the only one left out. She decided to invite herself there and prepared herself for the session. Ta-hwan attended with his usual long face as the Empress Dowager showered Yoo with endless praises. Tanashiri made a snide remark about Yoo (Ta-hwan was so happy to hear it and praised her. Heh) and asked Yoo about the rumour of him indulging in drinks and girls before this. He admitted to it while looking straight into her eyes. She even wondered if he saw her as a ‘pretty woman’ just like what he described. LOL
Ta-hwan was so elated that Yoo finally showed one of his weaknesses and proceeded to recite a poem in front of them, but met with judging questions from the ladies (Empress Dowager, ” You’re going to recite a poem?” and Tanashiri, “Your Imperial Majesty, can you read?”). Our Baby Emperor cleared his throat and told Yoo to answer the poem before beginning to recite it. It’s super cute when he was nodding to Seung-nyang as if she’s giving him the cue to start. Hehehe!
So Ta-hwan recited the poem…which turned out to be the one Seung-nyang read to him when he was sulking (A Song of a Prince Deposed). Our Baby Emperor had exceptional memory! But then, he stuck on one of the verses and Seung-nyang tried to tell him but to no avail. In the end, Yoo completed the poem (Tanashiri’s judging face towards Ta-hwan at this moment is just priceless) and Tanashiri wanted to know the meaning behind it, only to have Ta-hwan struggling to explain it to them (“The crow is white-headed and…it’s crying ‘kak-kak!’ in the middle of the night” – so literal) . Their expressions were just funny but I feel bad for Ta-hwan, who hastily passed the baton to Yoo to provide the reply.
Yoo’s reply (Spring View) about the plight of a broken country was describing the condition of Goryeo, sending Seung-nyang back into the memories of her childhood and their shared sufferings on their way to Yuan. Tanashiri tried to give her compliments although she didn’t seem to understand the real meaning of the poem but Empress Dowager knew the poem Yoo recited was by Du Fu, proving that he was well-versed in literature too. Ta-hwan didn’t seem to happy with the outcome since the limelight that was meant to me his went to Yoo (he even thought that Empress Dowager was saying ‘dubu’ – tofu instead of Du Fu! Hahahaha!). Eunuch Bang sent Seung-nyang a secret message on her way out while escorting Ta-hwan to meet her later but Moo-song saw them.
Tanashiri walked out with Yoo’s group falling behind several steps and she stopped, but he just walked away. She wanted him to apologize for his mistakes when they first met that night but Yoo didn’t want to do so, saying that they both didn’t know their respective identities at that time. He left without any apology but she couldn’t say anything in reply, knowing that what he said was true. Somehow it’s good to see her tongue-tied in front of someone…
Seung-nyang met Eunuch Bang again in the library and he told her to look for the way to infiltrate the secretary in between the secretary’s office and the Emperor’s place. They were discussing about it when an eunuch came in to retrieve a book and they had to act like they didn’t know each other. Knowing that meeting there every day would be dangerous for both of them, he decided to sent her the message through one of the books there. Eunuch Bang told Seung-nyang not to be mad at Yoo, but at the same time, he’s also worried about her carrying out the mission.
Ta-hwan couldn’t sleep at all out of his annoyance towards the event earlier. He wanted to know if there’s something that Yoo couldn’t do, but Seung-nyang was straightforward to say that there’s nothing that her king couldn’t do. Golta was quick to the rescue, flattering Ta-hwan by telling him that he’s excellent at playing football. Ta-hwan was grinning and started to brag about his skills (SO ADORABLE!) but he was sulky again when Seung-nyang told him that Yoo would do well. Hehehehe…that competitive spirit of him! Golta suggested that Ta-hwan competed with Yoo in a football match and the court ladies would surely cheer their respected Emperor (I bet they won’t!). Ta-hwan decided to practice right at that moment and without any choice, Golta and Seung-nyang had to join him in the arena.
The poor eunuchs and bodyguards were gathered outside in the freezing cold night to join Ta-hwan’s football practice while Seung-nyang stood there watching them. Ta-hwan (LOVE his outfit over here!!) was focused on impressing Seung-nyang but he got the skills alright. It’s just that his minions were intentionally going out of his way towards the goal and Seung-nyang knew it. Hehe. He was so proud when they praised his remarkable, unrivaled skills and told them to play better. But then, the ball rolled towards Seung-nyang when one of them accidentally headed the ball. Ta-hwan told her to pass the ball to him using hands, but Seung-nyang gave the ball a strong kick…and off it went flying outside of the arena, to the guys’ suprise. You won’t dare to mess with the iron lady!
Meanwhile, Yoo was writing down a phrase directed at Yeon-chul to mock him and he told Jeombakyi, who didn’t know how to read or write, to copy the writing in order to hide his penmanship. Jeombakyi copied it, treating it as a painting instead of words. It was completed and Yoo passed it to Eunuch Bang, who assured him that the person helping them, Dok-man, was trustworthy.
Well, the real person who would lend them a hand was busy tying her skirt up, ready to go against Ta-hwan in a one-to-one football match. She was to block him and he displayed his dribbling skills (look at that gaping minions of him! LOL), but she’s capable of tackling away the ball, tripping him in the process. He won’t give up and told her to try scoring a goal. Seung-nyang accepted the challenge and Ta-hwan failed to block her, but he resorted to his secret method…which was to pin her against the ground. That’s not fair! Hahahaha! He was happy that he managed to block her, but she told him that she still won, pointing towards the ball inside the net. Kyahahaha! Ta-hwan walked away in a huff as Golta secretly threatened Seung-nyang in his usual, adorable way.
A court lady, Court Lady No, was walking towards the arena, holding a mirror and mumbling about her escorting the Emperor when she saw Ta-hwan. She hid herself at first and when he walked closer, she launched herself towards him. The old lady told Ta-hwan to hug her and he was too surprised to do anything. His minions pulled her away but when Dok-man came searching for her, she ran away. Ta-hwan asked why a mad woman like her was still inside the palace but Golta didn’t answer him.
Seung-nyang was attending to her scraped knee when someone choked her from the back. She managed to free herself and it was Court Lady No, but the lady kept prattling about her being untouchable because of the Emperor. Dok-man came in to fetch the lady who kept begging them to let her live inside her room over there and Seung-nyang took the chance to ask him about her. The lady received Emperor Myungjong’s grace and got promoted to a higher court lady, but soon the emperor passed away, causing her to lose her mind. Dok-man decided keep her safe inside the harem instead of sending her away. Even Seung-nyang found it somehow fishy…Hmmm…
Eunuch Bang went to the library to deliver the paper and put it in the promised book and shortly after, Seung-nyang arrived to retrieve it. However, Dangkise saw her sneaking into the library and followed her inside. She acted like usual, saying that she’s there to pick up a book for Ta-hwan. Dangkise told her that he had killed more court ladies before and her mother was just one of his victims. Plus, it’s not that he couldn’t to kill her, he just didn’t. Seung-nyang thought to herself that he would get killed one day by her own hands.
Oh, hello there, Yeom Byung-soo. I don’t miss you at all. He was busy torturing the deceased commander’s underlings, investigating about the death. He didn’t look well but his evil streak was still there: he wanted to force the people into admitting that they killed the commander so that he could show the result to Dangkise. Baek Ahn and Taltal (I miss you!!!!) went there to check the progress when Taltal realized that Byung-soo didn’t look too well: he kept shivering and trembling. The resident doctor Taltal examined him and concluded that he was infected with the plague, the same one infecting the Goryeo village. Byung-soo didn’t go out of the palace even once but Taltal realized that he got it from the dead body, who might had contracted the plague when it was thrown at the village.
The condition at the village was getting worse, with the death toll kept increasing day by day and the pests were everywhere. The leader told the deceased to be reincarnated as dogs or pigs in their next life rather than spending painful life again as Goryeo citizens. Yoo and his underlings came by again, this time with some money to help them. The money was the reward from his victory in the war and he was willing to give it to them, but the leader still refused to accept his help.
Yoo bargained with them: how about him visiting the village and with each step that he would take around the place, he would give them the money as a toll? He walked into the infected village without any protection (that’s dangerous, Yoo-gun!) and soon, the villagers were picking up the money. They ran out of the money and Yoo wanted to discuss something with the leader, but the leader refused to accept him in his house and told his men to count the steps taken by Yoo on his way out before putting the amount in their account book, treating it as a debt Yoo had to pay later.
Back in the palace, Seung-nyang was serving the tea and Ta-hwan was looking at her when he got an idea. He ordered her to clean his ears and this reminds me of the scene in which Seung-nyang had to undone his pants. LOL. She had never cleaned anyone’s ears and he never cleaned his ears himself. Ahahaha! She had to do it and he took the chance to lie on her lap. Sneaky boy! He was enjoying it while Seung-nyang’s expression said it all when it was announced that Yoo was there to meet him. She tried to leave but he refused to let her do so. Cue awkward moment between Yoo and Seung-nyang…
She pulled Ta-hwan’s ears to make him move and excused herself, but not before exchanging glances with Yoo on her way out. Ta-hwan summoned Yoo because he wanted to have a football match with him, or rather Yuan versus Goryeo. Yoo was thinking about it and agreed to do so, if Ta-hwan agreed to have a bet. Ta-hwan didn’t have any reason to oppose and asked what Yoo’s bet was…
Seung-nyang prepared the paper as one of the scrolls and started to think about the way to sneak it into the scrolls sent to the Emperor so that Yeon-chul could see it. The cold wind gave her an idea and she counted the steps on the hallway heading towards the Emperor’s office. She asked Hong-dan to clean the floor and the latter agreed to do so although she was worried that someone would get hurt from the freezing water. Yeon-hwa, who was always there to hear everything, saw them talking about it.
Tutor Jang walked by bearing the scrolls and Seung-nyang was anticipating him, counting his steps towards the point…and off he went slipping down because of the slippery floor, sending the scrolls flying in front of him and Seung-nyang. She took the chance amidst the chaos to replace on of the scrolls with hers. No one saw her and she successfully carried out her mission.
The scrolls reached the Emperor’s office, where Ta-hwan couldn’t wait for his duties to end since he wanted to go for his match. Yeon-chul dismissed him, much to his delight and he left in a hurry. The old man was left alone with the scrolls and the royal seal as he took over Ta-hwan’s seat and began reading the scrolls.
The maids were all prettied up and chattering merrily on their way out of the harem and Tanashiri wondered where they were heading to. Court Lady Seo informed her about the match between Yoo and Ta-hwan, but Tanashiri chose to read the books instead of spending her day outside. But then, she ran back to her quarters, putting on make-up secretly because she wanted to watch the match too while prattling that no one told her about it. Hahahaha..she’s such a cute closet fangirl! However, Court Lady Seo saw her and she said that she was going to support Ta-hwan. Hehehehe. You’ll never do so, even in a thousand years’ time!
The players were warming up…oh wait, Ta-hwan was warmed up by his minions! Kekekeke! Seung-nyang sent the signals that she had completed the mission to Eunuch Bang and he told Yoo about it. Yeon-chul was busy stamping down the seal as Ta-hwan was planning his tactics with his team. Yoo told his team to play for Goryeo while Ta-hwan reminded his boys to play for him. Yoo took a look at Seung-nyang, who smiled as an encouragement for him but he didn’t return it. He caught Tanashiri’s eyes looking at him while smiling but he looked away. Empress Dowager was surprised to see Tanashiri there but the Empress just wanted to watch the game between Yuan and Goryeo. Both of them didn’t exactly know the bet made between Yoo and Ta-hwan but Empress Dowager assumed that it was money. The rule: the first team that scored three goals would be the winner. The game started when Dok-man the referee blew the horn whistle and Ta-hwan kicked the ball around with his minions blocking the Goryeo side.
He was about to shoot the first goal when Yoo tackled him and he fell onto the ground. The Yuan people were worried about Ta-hwan but the maids were all swooning over Yoo’s amazing move. Tanashiri jumped out of her chairs to cheer for Yoo but she realized her position and acted like she’s surprised to see Ta-hwan’s falling down. Yoo smiled briefly at Ta-hwan and the latter stood up to run after him. At the same time, Yeon-chul read the scroll sent by Yoo and wondered to himself: who dared to sent such a thing to him?
The arena was a mess, with the players starting to play dirty and Eunuch Bang even blocked Dok-man! Yoo managed to guard the ball and reached the goal, with Ta-hwan waiting in front of him and Seung-nyang probably wishing for him to score a goal. The question still lingered on Yeon-chul’s mind: who was the sender?
Episode 16. Yeon-chul decided to join the others in the arena while assessing the people he suspected sending the scroll to him: Baek Ahn, Tutor Jang, Wang Yoo, to the point of suspecting Ta-hwan for a moment, but he knew well that the only person who would dare to go against him was the Empress Dowager. He couldn’t be sure of anything since he didn’t have any concrete evidence yet.
The match continued with Yoo scoring a goal (Tanashiri was so happy there) and Ta-hwan also scored one for his team (LOL at Seung-nyang’s disappointed face). The score came down to 2-2 and both teams were eager to win. We finally got to know what the two team leaders were betting for: Seung-nyang’s fate inside the palace! If only she knew about it, she won’t let it go so easily!
Ta-hwan’s bet: Yoo won’t look at Seung-nyang in the future, while Yoo was betting for Seung-nyang’s freedom if he won the match. Ta-hwan refused to keep his promise and stated he could do so, since his words were the law. That made Yoo more eager to win and he was about to kick the ball towards the goal when Ta-hwan appeared in front of him, ready to guard the goal. Yoo kicked the ball…and it hit Ta-hwan right on his face. Ouch!
He fell down to the ground and passed out with a bloody nose, with everyone shocked with the thing that just happened in front of them. Yeon-chul took the opportunity while people were focused on Ta-hwan to tell Dangkise to capture the officials from the Office of the Secretaries to be questioned about the scroll. Ta-hwan was brought to his quarters while Yeon-chul and Co. went to interrogate the officials.
Yoo paid a visit to Ta-hwan’s quarters and met the Empresses on their way out. Empress Dowager informed him that the Emperor had just regained consciousness, while Tanashiri suspected that Yoo meant to hit Ta-hwan with the ball. She also noted that Yoo’s expression was full of fury as well back in the arena, but Yoo replied, saying that she must had paid close attention to him to see his expression. She couldn’t say what he said was wrong, though…Empress Dowager assured him that since Ta-hwan was the one who came out with the idea of the match, he didn’t need to feel apologetic with the accident as it was just a game.
Just like what Yoo predicted, Yeon-chul was seething with anger and suspected that the person responsible was someone close to him. Taltal knew that the scroll was written using a red ink used for talisman and the person who wrote it was illiterate since the person didn’t have distinct penmanship in order to hide the real writer. Yeon-chul thought that the person must be associated with the late Emperor Myungjong and he recalled that he didn’t see only one corpse among the late Emperor’s people whom he had killed: the bodyguard Jeokho. Plus, that bodyguard was from Goryeo. Uh-oh!
Dangkise recalled Byung-soo telling him about the plague: the poor Byung-soo got it from the corpse of the commander and suspected that the corpse was thrown in the infected Goryeo village before brought into the palace. Yeon-chul ordered them to look for the clues about the blood letter starting from the village.
Ta-hwan was curling on the bed, refusing to let Golta apply the medicine on his bruise (he got a black eye and he looked like a Silla Dynasty’s Hwarang with make up! Hehehehe). The grumpy Baby Emperor chased everyone out except Seung-nyang, and Golta passed the medicine to Seung-nyang before he went out (“Make sure you apply it to him. Gently.” LOL!). She threatened to leave when he refused to budge and he had to give in to her. He wanted to know whether she was happy to see him lost the match and complained that he saw her cheering for Yoo. HA. Ta-hwan asked her if she really wished for him to win and she avoided answering the question, but then she gave the answer that he wanted to hear even if she lied: she wished for him to win the match.
He was satisfied and his mood instantly changed; however, he ordered to massage his leg. Hahahaha! He can’t stop bullying her! Suddenly, Empress Dowager arrived and Seung-nyang was sent out, but not before she overheard the Empress Dowager complaining about Yeon-chul’s going crazy over a mere scroll from the Office of the Secretaries.
Empress Dowager told him that his late father didn’t die because of sickness and Ta-hwan was aware of that, but the blood letter was something new and shocking to him. She knew that by finding the letter, it would be the ultimate proof of Yeon-chul’s treason and Ta-hwan cried, imagining the pain his late father went through while writing it with his own blood. She told him it’s not the time for him to wallow in sadness and he had to be stronger. She wanted him to feign ignorance and refrain himself from finding the letter for now.
Seung-nyang headed towards Yoo’s quarters with his clothes but she’s there to meet Eunuch Bang. She saw Yoo practicing the sword with Moo-song and had a brief fangirling moment there. Jeombakyi saw her and told Yoo that she met with Eunuch Bang instead of meeting Yoo. She was about to leave when Yoo entered and they had no other choice but to spill the beans.
Seung-nyang explained that she was the one who offered to help since she didn’t want to risk Yoo’s life by exposing himself to the dangerous mission. Ack! Yoo was just trying to protect her, but she couldn’t see through his intention (Talk, people…talk!) She didn’t see it as a big problem since she had succeeded, but Yoo told her not to appear in front of him, search for him, or think of him; in return, he won’t even think about her (NOOOOOOOOO~!). He told her to leave but deep down, he apologized for his inability to protect her. Ahhhhh Yoo-gun….you’re breaking my heart~
Seung-nyang walked out with tears and ran into Dangkise and Co. Bad timing. Dangkise saw her red eyes and stopped her. She didn’t have any mood to talk with him at the moment but he warned her not to cry for anyone but him (Heol~) and since he couldn’t have her, he would try his best to ruin her life. Playing the role of the overly protective boyfriend, aren’t you, Dangkise?
Dangkise and Co. went down to the Goryeo village and Taltal stole a glance at the well nervously. The leader was brought to meet them and we learn his name: Mak-saeng. He admitted that he saw someone dumping a dead body in the village but his poor eyes made it hard for him to identify the person. Baek Ahn was getting impatient and threatened to kill him off in an instant if he lied. Taltal asked about someone who went to the village and one of Mak-saeng’s men admitted that the Goryeo king suddenly dropped by a few times trying to get friendly with them. Oh noes! Even Dangkise looked rather distracted…worrying over Seung-nyang’s safety maybe?
Yoo got summoned to meet Yeon-chul,who wanted to know the reason he went to the village. He explained that he was just trying to help his people by donating his reward money. Yeon-chul wanted him to stay away from there since something happened there and he didn’t want to suspect Yoo but he refused to disclose the details to Yoo. Dangkise wondered why his father was so keen on protecting Yoo, but the old man was trying to keep Yoo for future use since he’s brilliant and at the same time dangerous. Are you grooming Wang Go ver. 2.0 out of him?
Since Yeon-chul didn’t really look shaken by the scroll sent by him, Yoo thought that he would need something else to scare them. Pitiful sickly Byung-soo was still locked inside the jail because of his plague (Eunuch Bang will surely enjoy mocking his name if he gets to know about it!) and he was eager to know more about the village, but Jo-cham wasn’t going to talk a lot with an infected person like him. The latter even refused to bring Byung-soo out and Byung-soo had to stay alive in order for him to get to the bottom of the matter.
Ta-hwan was asking for his tea to be refilled but Seung-nyang was too immersed in her own thoughts to realize that he was staring at her. He wondered if she was currently in the same situation as him: sad, angry, and complicated feelings in one complete package. He suggested for a drink (darn that voice!!!!) and told her to sit together with him. Golta smiled knowingly when Ta-hwan told him to leave them alone since he would spend the whole night drinking with her. Seung-nyang didn’t say anything and emptied her glass since she herself was feeling rather down.
At the same time, Yoo was also having his drink alone as he thought about the method to scare off Yeon-chul’s side. Eunuch Bang told him about a magic trick he saw outside the palace, where the words could disappear from people’s sight.
Golta told Ta-hwan to send Seung-nyang away since it’s already late, but he stopped when Ta-hwan threatened to cut his tongue should he continued nagging him. LOL. The two drunkards Seung-nyang and Ta-hwan were wasting themselves with the drinks as he kept complaining about his life while she’s constantly helping herself with the alcohol. She was too drunk and he even fed her (so cute!) when she couldn’t use her chopsticks properly. He wanted to let out everything since he was drunk and suddenly got serious.
Ta-hwan: Since I am drunk, I want to ask you something…so answer me truthfully.
Ta-hwan: Are you still thinking of returning to Yoo…or here…do you like staying beside me?
But then, Seung-nyang started to imagine him as Yoo sitting in front of her and she poured her heart out, disappointed and sad that Yoo didn’t seem to understand her real feelings and her true intention of helping him. She passed out and Ta-hwan carried her to his bed. He told her to rest comfortably on his bed for the night when he saw a tear escaping her closed eyelid. She suddenly called out for Yoo. And here I am, crying for Ta-hwan who could only stare at her.
Ta-hwan: As expected..it’s Wang Yoo (that you chose). But then, there’s no use. I will never send you away. I will never let you go.
And he wiped her tear. (ㅠㅠ)
He moved closer and closer and closer….until he stopped halfway, when he was thisclose to kissing her. Ta-hwan really wanted to do so but decided against it, knowing that he shouldn’t act like a coward: stealing a kiss when she was unconscious. He settled down with a kiss on her hand for the night, but he was so happy with it..and it seemed that he wasn’t that drunk. Oh, boy…please don’t make me cry anymore!
Yoo chose to deal with his complicated thoughts with his wooden sword as Moo-song and Eunuch Bang looked at him from the side. They knew that he was worried about Seung-nyang, the one that he truly cared about. Show, can’t you spare me from more heartbreak??
Seung-nyang stirred awake on the next morning to find herself lying on Ta-hwan’s bed, with him holding her hand in his sleep. She wondered what had happened the night before when Tanashiri suddenly dropped by without any notice. Golta intentionally spoke louder to warn Ta-hwan and Seung-nyang, but the Emperor was still sleeping soundly. Lucky for him, his eunuch managed to send Tanashiri out for the time being by saying that he’s answering the call of the nature (Tanashiri’s gross face is priceless!). Ta-hwan even thought that it was Seung-nyang who woke him up and kissed the hand, when it’s actually Golta’s. Hahahahaha! He was surprised with Tanashiri’s sudden visit and woke up hastily.
Tanashiri went in but paused for a moment when she saw Seung-nyang, recalling Dangkise telling her not to bother Seung-nyang anymore because of the release paper. She walked into the room and realized that Ta-hwan spent his night drinking with someone, but he didn’t tell her who that person was. On her way out, she could smell the alcohol coming from Seung-nyang but Seung-nyang said that she was just drinking with him. Tanashiri left without saying anything, but Seung-nyang knew that she should be careful from now on.
Jeombakyi and Officer Park went to meet a magician, who had a special type of ink that could disappear when the paper was soaked with water. They asked for a waterproof ink too and told the magician to leave the capital on the same day. Yoo decided to use the thing that the Yuan people were most afraid of: Heavens’ curse. Even the Heavens seemed to be on their side since it was cloudy with a chance of rain on that day. He wrote it himself since the words would disappear anyway and his penmanship won’t be found out. He alternated between the disappearing and the waterproof inks while writing the notice.
The notice was pasted inside the palace and the maids went to read it. Baek Ahn and Taltal saw the crowd and suddenly, it rained. They were about to walk away when some of the words disappeared because of the rain, leaving a sentence that accused Yeon-chul of being the person behind Emperor Myungjong’s death and cursing the traitor’s family. The old man was furious although Taltal told him that it was probably the trick of a magician. Even Baek Ahn was getting crazy over the things happening but Taltal knew it’s wiser for them to catch the magicians first. Yoo received the confirmation that the magician was sent away and that would spare them from suspicion for the time being.
Byung-soo somehow made his escape from the palace and went to the village, pleading Mak-saeng to accept him as one of the villagers since he’s infected and had nowhere to go. I love how Mak-saeng remarked that he must had been a bad guy to be the person responsible for gathering the tribute women (in your face, man!) but told his men to keep him for the time being and the decision would be made on the next day. His first step was a success and Byung-soo grinned to himself.
Ta-hwan asked whether Seung-nyang remembered what she had done when she was drunk but she couldn’t recall anything, and he started to make faces, implying that she touched him. Hahahahaha! Baby Emperor, you’re lucky she didn’t puke on you! Empress Dowager came to meet him and showed the notice with the hidden message. Seung-nyang heard it all and knowing that it was Yoo’s doing, she went to discuss Yoo about the risk of him attacking Yeon-chul like that, but he refused to talk with her 😥 But then, he told Eunuch Bang to help her.
With the message in his hand, Ta-hwan thought that it was more than enough to make Yeon-chul pay for his crime but Empress Dowager warned him against it, thinking that the war had just started. He was eager to avenge his father’s death and wanted to know if the person behind the message was on their side, but Empress Dowager told him that they had not found the person yet and it’s useless without the real blood letter as the prime evidence of Yeon-chul’s treason.
Yeon-chul got to know about the rumours circulating inside the palace, thus he ordered Tapjahae to call Ta-hwan to the throne hall and Dangkise to gather the soldiers. Ta-hwan entered the hall to find the old man sitting boldly on the throne and he walked towards the throne slowly like a person awaiting his death sentence. The soldiers gathered around Ta-hwan and his minions, ready to strike at any time. Golta warned the bodyguards not to attack first since it could cause Ta-hwan his own life.
Yeon-chul wasn’t interested to know if Ta-hwan knew about the blood letter and the secret message although Ta-hwan acted like he never heard of it, the only thing he cared about was someone was trying to use the weak Emperor against his mighty self. The old man reminded Ta-hwan that he was known as the person who changed the emperors twice, and it won’t be impossible for him to do it for the third time. Seung-nyang witnessed Ta-hwan begging for his life and Yeon-chul told him to live silently like a dead person. YOU are the one who should be prepared to die, old man! Ta-hwan was too weak to walk away and he had to be supported by Golta. He seemed to be pretending, but his sad eyes…sobs
This time, Seung-nyang was on the defeated side and Dangkise gave her a smug half-smile before Seung-nyang walked out with determination in her eyes. With the court ladies and eunuchs overhearing the exchange, Yeon-chul intended for the rumour of him mistreating the emperor to spread, reaching the person behind the secret message.
Ta-hwan went outside to spend his time alone, but Golta told Seung-nyang to go to him since she’s the only one who would be able to console him. She approached him and turned around, but decided to go to him when he called for his late father. I think no one but her understand his grief of losing his father…Seung-nyang sat behind him on the small bridge.
Ta-hwan: I said I want to be alone. What are you doing here? I don’t want to show you my weak side again.
Seung-nyang: I have closed my eyes, and covered my ears.
I can neither see nor hear anything.
Just…just lean comfortably on me.
He leaned on her back, closing his eyes and tears streaming down his face as Seung-nyang sat there silently. Unknown to them, Yoo happened to passed by and witnessed their silent date from afar…
Call me biased or anything but I am still enjoying the episodes although we’re already 16 episodes in. If this is a shorter, standard 16-episode drama, then we would have watched the end but for a long drama like Empress Ki, the story has just kicked in. I admit that it’s not easy to keep the interest up for lengthy dramas but I really hope Empress Ki will live up to its potential until the final episodes, because there are so many stories to be told about these interesting characters.
Yoo and Ta-hwan are different, and both of them have different approaches to deal with things. This week’s episodes highlight it up and we can see how both of them manage the matter regarding the blood letter and fighting against their common enemy, Yeon-chul.
I personally think that both are doing what they’re capable of: Yoo chooses to deal with his wits, secretly bothering Yeon-chul with the reminder about the blood letter while he himself doesn’t have an idea where that thing is at the moment. As for Ta-hwan, he opts for waiting while feigning ignorance, ready to strike when the time arrives. His action might seem cowardly, but just like what Empress Dowager says, they can only wait for the officials to flock on their side, because of Yeon-chul’s influence. It may be easy for us to tell him to use his power as the emperor of the nation, but truthfully, there are very few people that would gladly follow his orders and fight against Yeon-chul, who holds the power of both civil and military officials in his hand. That will be a reason for Yeon-chul to get rid of him faster and install another emperor on the throne. Yoo, on the other hand, has countless tactics up his sleeve and his status as the hostage provides him with a shelter from being suspected and with his loyal underlings, he’s capable of doing so. It’s down to their respective experience in both life and being a ruler, and for Ta-hwan, he’s still green…so give him a chance! I can see the fire in his eyes and the preview shows that he’s going to take the matter into his hands. Yeay for Baby Emperor!
As for the love story, it’s kind of unique that we’re presented with three kinds of love towards our Seung-nyang: Yoo’s protective love, Dangkise’s obsessive love, and Ta-hwan’s innocent love. At least that’s what I see from the three men and their affections can be described with many other terms, but for now I’m settling for these. It’s prominent from how they treat Seung-nyang. Dangkise uses forces all the time and feeds her with threats just to justify with himself that he’s not harbouring any feelings towards her. He’s probably defensive, in denial, and trying to live up to his father’s expectation. However, deep down, Seung-nyang is still in his heart and I’m afraid to say that she will lead him down the road towards his demise. I might be one of the few who wished to see Dangkise slightly changing for better because of her, but it will be hard.
Yoo’s playing the silent protective lover type, who prefers to push Seung-nyang away for the sake of protecting her instead of keeping her beside him and telling her his real intention. Please don’t fall down into the black hole of noble idiocy…or are you already living in that hole, Yoo-gun? Come out and tell her the truth! He might want to save her from any possible harm but Seung-nyang is not someone who can be easily controlled, given her fearless personality. Ta-hwan, on the other hand, behaves like a boy who’s having his first love (in fact he is!): enjoying the presence of Seung-nyang and having fun while bullying her around, but at the same time he’s afraid of being left alone and tries to get her attention. One thing that I like is he protects her when the time calls for it and knowing that she is capable of protecting him and also herself, he lets her do so.
After that bridge scene, I bet Yoo is affected with what he has seen and hopefully he will take the initiative to tell Seung-nyang the truth about his feelings! And Seung-nyang…you should do so too! But I also want to see more of Seung-nyang and Ta-hwan’s interactions! Oh, Dangkise should stay as far away as possible! But then, there will be no chance to see his handsome face…
Baby Empress is having her crush on Yoo and while I thought it was a pure obsession, it might be something along that line…but it’s kind of cute when she tries to act nonchalantly in front of other people while she’s probably giggling like crazy to herself. I’m not sure if Yoo can see through her but if he does, I’m looking forward to his action: will he use her against her father? But then, I’m more concerned about Tanashiri finding out that her husband Ta-hwan is pinning on Seung-nyang, who is also the object of affection of her crush Yoo. That will be a big problem on Seung-nyang’s side!
Hero of the week: Golta! He’s so loyal to Ta-hwan although the latter is someone that is not easy to handle. His mocking face behind Ta-hwan is just priceless and I think the people serving the Emperor must be enjoying making faces behind his back. LOL. Golta obeys Ta-hwan’s every order and at the same time, he can be commanding in front of his underlings. I love it when he’s pleading his lord to no avail and the next moment, he’s giving orders to the people below him. The Golta who can’t stop nagging is one precious character, and I hope he will stay beside Ta-hwan until the end!
Ta-hwan once said that he envied Yoo who had loyal people following him and right now, I think he’s gaining some. I like to see him walking around with the small entourage of his closest servants behind him: Seung-nyang, Golta, the two handsome bodyguards, and the other two eunuchs. I hope once Taltal realizes that Yeon-chul is falling out of favour, he will join Ta-hwan…and Seung-nyang.
P/s: I can’t wait to see Seung-nyang in her Empress robe and this scene shows that she can rock those shoulder padding/flaps well!