Empress Ki: Eps 21-22

Changes can be good but at the same time, it means a new beginning and possibly losing a part of yourself: the old you.

I was happy that Baby Emperor had finally abandon his fear and taking things into his hands, but I realized that I was also afraid; afraid that he would lose his playful self, his innocence, and his smile. Because of that, I spent the weekend re-watching the earlier episodes, just to recall those moments of Ta-hwan during his stay on Daechung Island and the happier moments. I also missed seeing the playful old Seung-nyang, who used to laugh at Ta-hwan’s antics and his tantrums. Ah, maybe it was just my heart’s defense mechanism, considering that we will likely head towards the sadder part, considering that we’re almost at the halfway mark. I’m still hoping, although that hope is getting smaller and smaller, that Empress Ki won’t go down the makjang route because I don’t want to see my Yoo, Seung-nyang, and Ta-hwan being hurt in a makjang-ish way….

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Episode 21. Seung-nyang seemed to have delivered her message well since Yoo and Co. understood the meaning of the white cloth: Yeon-chul was still alive and they shouldn’t carry out their initial plan to get rid of Dangkise and Co. Baek Ahn had no other choice but to attack the Generals, much to Dangkise’s surprise. The battle ensued: Yoo+Baek Ahn versus the General’s side. Seung-nyang even used her arrows to help them! Yoo and Baek Ahn agreed to kill off all the people who knew about their plan in the battle. Meanwhile, Eunuch Bang went into Yeon-chul’s house and found out that the old man’s coffin was empty. Yoo also realized that Dangkise had more soldiers prepared for the supposed small battle and Seung-nyang quickly left the scene.

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Yeon-chul, despite his sickly state of coughing blood, chose to hold the sword to protect himself since all the soldiers had to leave for the battle. Byung-soo arrived to report that they won the battle and Dangkise would soon arrive at the palace. Yeon-chul decided to go to the throne hall. At the same time, Ta-hwan had gathered the (all-black ninja) trained eunuchs with the aim to kill Yeon-chul since the old man had no soldiers beside him. The old man entered the hall but he could hear the eunuchs approaching them and soon, both him and Byung-soo were outnumbered by those men.

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Seung-nyang entered the palace and saw Ta-hwan, who was on his way to witness Yeon-chul’s demise. She told him that the soldiers were on their way there and got to know that Ta-hwan had ordered for the eunuch to assassinate the old man. Dangkise would reach the palace anytime soon and Ta-hwan had no choice but to kill his own men to make himself appear as Yeon-chul’s saviour sobs It’s even more heartbreaking to see Golta, who might have known the eunuchs for quite a long time, apologizing before killing one of them, for the sake of saving Ta-hwan’s life. Dangkise arrived shortly after to hear from Tanashiri that Ta-hwan had saved their father’s life. Seung-nyang witnessed the scene from outside.

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The people from the Generals’ side were brought in for a trial because of the attack/treason and they were asked for their involvement in the rumour regarding the Blood Letter. They didn’t admit it and Ta-hwan, having no other way to escape, had to order their execution per Yeon-chul’s ‘advice’. Yoo, Baek Ahn, and Taltal were all fidgety throughout the trial, afraid that the people would inflict them as accomplices but nothing happened so far. One of the men finally opened his mouth (because he seemed to have made an agreement with Dangkise), accusing Empress Dowager as the main instigator, with General Bang receiving the order to stage a coup from her. She tried to object but failed, resulting in her being dragged away from her seat to kneel on the ground. Yeon-chul cackled victoriously (but ended up coughing. HA) and Ta-hwan looked so nervous to see the Dowager being treated like that.

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It turned out that the Empress Dowager knew about it all along and she had talked with Ta-hwan before, advising him into giving her the sentence without any mercy in order for him to avoid Yeon-chul from suspecting him. He was worried that she would be executed on the spot too, but she knew that Yeon-chul won’t be able to kill her. She’s confident that she could rise from her downfall afterwards and told him not to worry about her; instead, he should protect the throne.

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As Empress Dowager was (acting like she was) pleading to Ta-hwan, Yeon-chul told the Emperor to depose the Dowager from her imperial position and Ta-hwan took a deep breath before saying the order with his own mouth. She was dragged away, but not before reminding Ta-hwan to guard her position well. She also took a long glance towards Yoo’s direction. Rather than inflicting them as accomplices, Empress Dowager chose to sacrifice herself and told Yoo and Baek Ahn to gather the power while she’s absent in order for them to fight against Yeon-chul when the time came. sniff She’s not even dying, but I’m crying for her sacrifice…all for the greater good. She’s a hero! Yeon-chul was in the mood for a celebration but Ta-hwan could only mourn by himself, having lost another person on his side to the old man’s influence. Be strong, Baby Emperor!

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Empress Dowager took off all her ornaments and robes just like when she was about to kneel back then. Lady Park was also there and the Dowager knew that her chance to protect the unborn baby from Tanashiri would end there. She told Lady Park to protect the baby well. Speaking of the devil, Tanashiri dropped by to send Empress Dowager away with a big grin but the Dowager kept teasing her about the pregnancy. Although she’s offended, Tanashiri was assured that the Inner Court was finally hers and she would not hesitate to wield her power shudder

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I can’t stop my tears just like hers when the Dowager had her hair shaved when she was sent to the temple. She still had the fire, refusing to live like a ghost although she’s now a nun and thought that Yeon-chul would so regret it for not killing her. Your Majesty, find some strength!

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Yeon-chul was quick to reward his men and Baek Ahn was promoted, but he had to be sent away again. Unlike when he was sent to the border before, this time he received the order with an open heart. Yoo requested for him to be reinstated as the King of Goryeo as his reward, but the old man won’t let the country he was trying to oppress for the past 30 years to fall into a capable man like him, hence he preferred to have Yoo stay in Yuan. Hmph! But then, Yoo was granted the permission to leave for Goryeo for a while to visit his sick father. Baek Ahn and Yoo parted ways, but not before promising that they would gather the power on their respective sides for the big battle against Yeon-chul. I didn’t expect this, but Baek Ahn was more worried that Ta-hwan would be lonely with the people around him disappearing one by one: first the Empress Dowager and now, he himself. Awwwww…you big ole softie! Yoo and his underlings, together with Seung-nyang, left for Goryeo riding the horses.

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Ta-hwan was alone in his quarters (what’s up with the headband?! Glorious forehead, I want to see you~!), looking at a drawing of a butterfly he made. Yeon-chul came to ask about the eunuchs who tried to assassinate him and decided to have Ta-hwan being followed around all the time to prevent the Emperor from meeting wrong people. Urgh. The old man left and Ta-hwan had a hard time to breath, asking for Seung-nyang to be summoned for him. Golta broke the news about Yoo and Co. leaving for Goryeo, and Ta-hwan was mad that Yoo never said his goodbye (I found this line funny but he just wanted to see Seung-nyang). It was all due to Yeon-chul’s planning, who refused to let Yoo meet Ta-hwan, and Ta-hwan felt really lonely with everyone leaving him behind…Seung-nyang, Empress Dowager, and Baek Ahn. Awwww…even Golta looked so sad! He’s always there for you, Ta-hwan!

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Well…Seung-nyang was only sending Yoo away and the current King was gravely ill. Eunuch Bang was all teary to send Yoo away and Yoo tried to persuade Seung-nyang into leaving with him back for a short while, but Seung-nyang put a brave face, saying that she couldn’t leave at the moment: Dangkise was all over the town looking for the Blood Letter and if he found it first before them, Yoo’s effort and her own revenge would be wasted. He hugged her…and held her hands…before letting them go sobs Eunuch Bang bid Moo-song goodbye, reminding him to protect Yoo well (and not to think too much about women, LOL). Yoo took a last look at Seung-nyang and they waved at each other. He left…and then only Seung-nyang let out her tears . Lady…you’re one strong woman, indeed.

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Byung-soo got promoted as the Commander of the Palace Gate’s Bodyguards (the position of the dead Commander) thanks to his effort of protecting Yeon-chul in the throne hall. He’s more than willing to accept it and gloated in front of Seung-nyang, Eunuch Bang, and Officer Park when he met them later. They weren’t that amazed with his new position (and his continuous insults, like “Seung-nyang, did you get tired of being a maid that you returned to this manly look?”). He ordered for the guards to be reinforced and promised to make changes with his power. Wait…why is he so similar to Tanashiri??

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Seung-nyang’s group went to the Goryeo Village, where Eunuch Bang and Officer Park tried to ask the Village Chief Mak-seong about Jeok-ho while she’s searching the chief’s room. The chief acted like he mistook the description of the ‘bald man’ they’re looking for as monk (and even told them to head down towards the monastery. LOL!) but Eunuch Bang explained that they’re looking for an eunuch. Seung-nyang found a spear inside the room, confirming that the chief was indeed the Jeokho they’re searching for. She decided to come again later that night to further confirm the chief’s identity.

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At the same time, Byung-soo reported his findings from the Goryeo Village and nothing was suspicious, except for the chief but he’s not bald at all. He asked for any sketch of the said Jeok-ho and Dangkise showed it to him. The sketch must had been lost all this while for it to appear only now…Anyway, Byung-soo tried to draw the hair and the mustache on the bald sketch..and it matched perfectly with Mak-seong’s appearance. Later, the chief heard someone outside his house and suddenly, a masked Officer Park attacked him. He easily defeated Park but Seung-nyang held her sword on his neck, forcing him to admit defeat. She confirmed it that he’s bald and there’s no doubt that he’s Jeok-ho!

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He guessed that it was them who made the rumour about the curse regarding the blood letter and then proceeded to tell them about it: the letter was currently not in his possession. He received a secret order, as the late Emperor’s head eunuch, to retrieve the letter when the late Emperor passed away and it had a drawing of a butterfly, the same one with what Ta-hwan drew earlier. Yeon-chul only realized that the late Emperor wrote a blood letter when the body was brought to the throne hall and ordered for all the maids and eunuchs to be killed. Jeok-ho/chief witnessed all of this and in the midst of his escape, he hid the letter at a place only he knew. But then, the letter was missing from that place when he sent another eunuch to retrieve it, and he decided to tell them about the person who might have taken the blood letter away…

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…only to be disturbed by Byung-soo’s voice calling for the chief. Sheesh, what a killjoy, this rat-like man! The trio had to hid upon realizing that it was Byung-soo. Mak-seong/Jeok-ho/the chief recognized the armour that Byung-soo was wearing at one glance, something the latter knew that not anyone could do so except from living inside the palace for a long time. Dangkise was also there and Jeok-ho was surrounded by the soldiers in no time. They couldn’t find the letter anywhere inside the house and he was dragged away to the palace. The trio could only witness him being arrested but they couldn’t do anything yet. Jeok-ho was tortured but he didn’t spill anything about the letter. Yeon-chul reminded Byung-soo that they had to keep him alive in order to find the letter. Seung-nyang made a decision to take Jeok-ho away and although knowing that it’s dangerous, both Eunuch Bang and Officer Park knew that it’s the only way to save the chief and followed her plan.

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Without Empress Dowager in the palace, Lady Park offered her morning greetings to Tanashiri but the Empress was not glad to see her face, let alone her belly. Tanashiri was extremely pissed off when Dok-man kept answering her questions instead of Lady Park herself and accused her of vying for the top position in the Inner Court since she had the backing from the Empress Dowager. Lady Park had to leave and Tanashiri suddenly felt nauseous and craving for spicy things. Court Lady Seo also noted that she had missed her monthly visitor for two months and that could only mean….she’s pregnant! Empress Dowager found it weird that Tanashiri could get pregnant, considering her constant intake of the infertility medicine in the form of the perfume…and also the red lipstick paper. Wow, I never thought that paper was also part of her plan! Was it a false alarm??

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Seung-nyang, Officer Park, and Eunuch Bang went to the prison dressed in black and managed to bring the chief out from there. The guards were alerted and the trio were soon being chased, forcing them to escape in different directions. Seung-nyang went with Jeok-ho towards the secret door, but Dangkise blocked their way. He fought with the masked Seung-nyang and in one glance, he recognized her eyes. She was wounded by him but Jeok-ho blocked Dangkise for her to run away before he himself making his escape.

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Ta-hwan was taking his night stroll when Seung-nyang ran into him. He was surprised to see Seung-nyang still inside the palace and upon hearing Byung-soo’s voice looking for her, Ta-hwan decided to save her despite Seung-nyang being worried about his safety and brought her to the place where he took his bath. Her wound was quite severe since she left blood trails when she walked away. Ta-hwan stopped the blood temporarily (so that’s the use of the headband?) and wondered what was she doing for her to end up in a situation like that…

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Meanwhile, Dangkise and Co. were following the blood trails where it stopped right in front of the Royal Bathroom (I’m going to call it like that). Namu, one of Ta-hwan’s bodyguards, were watching them closely…and cut his own palm to make a new blood trail. Ouch!!!

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Seung-nyang was getting weaker and to make things worse, Dangkise was heading towards the place. Although Ta-hwan ordered Golta to block Dangkise from entering the place, he knew that it would be impossible to stop him and proceeded to scatter (just dump the whole thing! Yeah, he dumped all of them) the rose petals into the bath tub. Just like what he predicted, Dangkise didn’t wait for too long to barge into the place….

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…and Ta-hwan was having his broody time in the tub filled with rose petals while Seung-nyang was hiding underwater inside the same tub. Dangkise wanted to wait until he finished his bath to conduct a search around the place but at the same time, Ta-hwan realized that Seung-nyang was running out of oxygen underwater. She soon passed out and Ta-hwan saw it. He took a deep breath and immersed himself inside the water….

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…and gave her a CPR kiss. Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa~~~!!!!

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He rose from the water but Dangkise was still there, waiting patiently for him to get out from there. Ta-hwan remarked that he was rude (“Even Yeon-chul had never done something like this!” I bet he won’t ever do it) and nervously anticipated him to leave and luckily, Byung-soo informed him that the trails led to another place. Dangkise left the place and Ta-hwan pulled the unconscious Seung-nyang out of the water. He hugged her while calling her name, telling her to wake up…..

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*

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Episode 22. Dok-man was heading somewhere in a hurry when he met Dangkise. He gave the excuse that  he’s on his way to escort the Empress and soon, Dangkise received the report that the intruders had escaped using the secret exit/door. Dok-man was actually summoned by Ta-hwan to treat Seung-nyang and she told Ta-hwan about her quest for the blood letter but the letter wasn’t in Jeok-ho’s possession. She had her wound treated but Dok-man had this weird look on his face since the first time he looked at Seung-nyang’s face. He examined her pulse and looked so surprised but only told them that her pale face was caused by the amount of blood she lost. Ummm..I don’t think so. Ta-hwan suggested that Seung-nyang was to be hidden inside the harem since she couldn’t make her escape through the secret exit anymore. It wasn’t easy to bring her from there to the harem, but Dok-man had an idea.

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Using a palanquin and disguising Seung-nyang as Lady Park, Dok-man escorted her through the gate and prevented Byung-soo from looking at her face. Phew! She was brought into an abandoned quarters and Dok-man decided to send Court Lady No there to live with her, together with Hong-dan. He was about to tell something to Seung-nyang but decided against it since Hong-dan was also there.

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Yeon-chul already knew about Tanashiri’s pregnancy and congratulated her during their meal together with Ta-hwan (who looked so bored all the time). Dangkise dropped by, asking for a permission from Tanashiri to conduct a search inside the harem. However, Tanashiri refused to allow it since it was against the rule of the court and Ta-hwan gladly suggested that the search was to conducted by the court ladies. Yeon-chul also heard that Jeok-ho had made his escape but first, he told Dangkise to find animal blood to make a fake blood letter. Sneaky old man. He made it that the late Emperor was apologizing to Ta-hwan and telling his son to trust Yeon-chul. Pfft. He put the imperial seal on the fake letter, something that was different from the original butterfly sign…

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Hong-dan brought a basket full of food for Seung-nyang and Court Lady No. She took a bite of the tangerine but found it too sour; however, Seung-nyang found it delicious. Uh-oh. Even the court lady sensed that something was off with Seung-nyang! Ta-hwan could only ask  Golta for any news regarding her and he didn’t want to meet her, afraid that his greed would lead her towards danger. Golta suggested that he went to the harem with the excuse to visit Lady Park and meet Seung-nyang, and off he went there later in the night. Unfortunately, he ran into Tanashiri, who wasn’t too happy to see him paying more attention towards Lady Park when she herself was pregnant with his child too. He had no other choice but to leave and Tanashiri was angry that Lady Park would have a son, so she summoned a physician to find out about her child’s gender. Well…isn’t it too soon for it, dear?

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At the same time, Seung-nyang was vomiting and Court Lady No saw her. She asked whether Seung-nyang received grace from the Emperor since there’s no doubt that she’s pregnant, based on her observation. Oh! Dok-man dropped by to give her a change of clothes and some medicine. She wanted to know why he was so surprised when he examined her and Dok-man asked her: the child wasn’t Ta-hwan’s but Wang Yoo’s, right? Seung-nyang got to know that she’s pregnant and asked whether the baby was okay, in which he replied that her pulse was beating so fast, indicating that it was safe. Knowing that she’s on the run, he promised that would protect her until Yoo came back. Ahhh! Seung-nyang, despite looking so pale, had never looked so blissful like this.

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Tanashiri was getting examined by a physician and asked whether her baby was a boy or a girl, but received a bad news: she wasn’t pregnant and only had a false pregnancy. She didn’t want to believe it, but the physician thought it would be impossible for her to have a child since her body was infertile. Tanashiri couldn’t accept the news and passed out. Meanwhile, Seung-nyang was deep in her thoughts and Court Lady No asked what she was thinking about. She never thought that she would have a child growing inside her and right now, she didn’t know what to do in order to protect her child.

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Lady No:Every woman who is having her first child has the same feelings as you. But then, a mother with a child is the strongest person in the world. Heavens give her the strength.

Seung-nyang: I will be able to do it…right?

Lady No: What about your mother?

Seung-nyang: My mother…my mother..for my sake, sacrificed her own life.

Lady No: That’s a mother’s heart. If it’s for her child’s sake, she won’t be scared of anything. That’s a motherly instinct. The life is a gift from the Heavens and you should be thankful for it. For the child’s sake, only think of good thoughts.

Seung-nyang: Yes, I understand..

Lady No: Child, don’t worry about anything. You’ll be out in a few months’ time. If I’m still okay, I want to show you a good grandma’s image.

That was so beautiful ㅠㅠ

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Byung-soo went to the Goryeo Village and took away all the villagers, knowing that Jeok-ho was hiding there. He told the chief to surrender; if not, he would kill the innocent villagers. Jeok-ho wanted to appear in front of him but Officer Park stopped him by knocking him into unconsciousness. Eunuch Bang already heard about Seung-nyang being hidden inside the harem and they decided to wait until she could be send out of the palace before telling Yoo about it. Tanashiri, on the other hand, refused to tell the truth to others and chose to undergo the painful procedure of treating her infertility.

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Dok-man came to tell a good news to Seung-nyang: she would be able to go out when Lady Park would travel outside the palace. However, she had to wait for another four months before she could escape to Goryeo and raise her child. Seung-nyang was more than thankful and promised not to forget the people who helped her. Lady Park didn’t hesitate to help her since they’re from the same origin and remarked how Yoo would be so happy to hear that she’s pregnant.

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Yoo had reached Goryeo’s capital and although he was happy to be back in his hometown, he got to know from his father that Yuan’s fake currency was circulating around the country and a Yuan envoy was also killed. Yoo decided to trap the people responsible for the fake money. Moo-song disguised himself as a nobleman to meet the person responsible for distributing Yuan’s money but failed to prove anything yet. Yoo wrote a letter to Seung-nyang, expressing how he missed her and told her to hold on for a little longer since he had something to do. But then, the letter arrived at the Yuan palace and interjected by Byung-soo, who gave it to Dangkise. They realized that Seung-nyang haven’t reached Goryeo yet and told Byung-soo to reinforce the guards inside the palace.

~4 months later~(where everyone got new clothes and Ta-hwan only got a headband)

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Empress Dowager received a letter from Taltal, reporting the latest news from the place Baek Ahn was assigned to. They were training the soldiers and gathering the power while managing the local ministers. There were obviously corruptions everywhere and the main problem was money. Taltal asked for Empress Dowager’s help but with the country’s treasury under Yeon-chul’s influence, it would be hard for her to do something. She was also gathering people on her side and knowing that her nephew was alone all this while, she told Ta-hwan to be patient for a little while until she could rise back to her position.

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Court Lady No made a baby jacket for Seung-nyang’s child and Seung-nyang was so happy to see the small jacket. Tanashiri, on the other hand, continued to receive the painful treatment while acting like she’s pregnant, using a pillow to make her belly bigger. Ta-hwan and Lady Park went to her quarters to ask permission for Lady Park to go out of the palace before her delivery and Tanashiri, in between her death glare towards Lady Park and sweet smile towards Ta-hwan, agreed to it. She also asked for the permission to go to a temple outside for the rest of her pregnancy to pray for her child’s safety.

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Golta assumed that it would be safe for Ta-hwan to meet Seung-nyang without Tanashiri’s prying eyes but Ta-hwan didn’t think it’s time yet. He realized that his lack of power won’t guarantee Seung-nyang’s safety if she was found out to be living inside the palace all this while. Awwwww, Golta looked so proud of the matured Ta-hwan! But I bet he didn’t know anything about Seung-nyang’s pregnancy all this while….

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Tanashiri was visited by Dangkise and she pleaded for her brother to get rid of Lady Park since she couldn’t stand the sight of the lowly woman having Ta-hwan’s child before herself. Dangkise was reluctant at first but chose to do so, but with the condition that it was kept a secret for their father. He hired a group of thieves for the job. Uhhhh….

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Although they have grown closer in these few months, Court Lady No was still protective over her mirror and told Seung-nyang that she would die if she touched it. The owner of the mirror was not her and she couldn’t die, probably before giving it to the real owner. Dok-man came over to tell her about the journey and Seung-nyang told him to inform Eunuch Bang about the plan. She already thought about the things to do after she went out of the palace: to go back to Goryeo and meet Yoo. Seung-nyang was relieved and assured the baby that he would be able to meet his father soon. Awwww!

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Yoo got to know about the next transaction involving the fake money and he’s set to trap the criminals. He eventually succeeded and captured the Yuan officials responsible for it. The official had to confess about the origin of the money: it was from Yeoyang, the place where Baek Ahn was stationed for the time being. Maybe Yoo will go there and meet Baek Ahn for the case!

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Empress Dowager still thought that Tanashiri was just faking her pregnancy and staying at the temple until her due date, but at the same time, she found it weird that the Empress easily gave the permission for Lady Park to leave the palace. Seung-nyang was getting ready to leave and thanked Dok-man for his help, again, promising that she won’t forget his deeds. She took a long around the room for the last time before leaving. Ta-hwan saw Lady Park’s carriage and she greeted him before she left. Unknown to him, Seung-nyang was also inside there.

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The group, together with Byung-soo escorting them, had reached a remote forest and the thieves were already on standby, following them closely. Eunuch Bang and Officer Park had been waiting at the set place for Seung-nyang, with Eunuch Bang berating Dok-man for not telling him about Seung-nyang’s pregnancy sooner. He knew that Yoo would be so happy to hear the news! Lady Park gave the sign and Hong-dan told Byung-soo to leave them for a while since Lady Park would like to have her toilet break. He was more than eager to leave and the maids all helped Seung-nyang to go out of the carriage. They passed their letters for Seung-nyang to send to their families. Court Lady No even gave her the mirror and after saying her goodbye, Seung-nyang left them in tears.

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But soon, a maid was hit with an arrow and the band of thieves attacked them. Seung-nyang witnessed the massacre and decided to help them. She was nearly attacked but Court Lady No took the blow for her. Daaaaaaarn! The lady urged her to leave in order to save her child and Hond-dan escorted her away. Even Lady Park was stabbed and the thieves ran after Seung-nyang and Hong-dan. Tanashiri was praying at the temple as Seung-nyang was trying with all her might to save herself, sending Hong-dan to another direction. Hmmm…girl, you should give a long thought why you’re not given the chance to get pregnant…

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Seung-nyang was nearly caught but Eunuch Bang and Officer Park came to her rescue. Their reunion was cut short with Byung-soo’s appearance, who’s crazy with happiness to see the people he’s looking for were in front of him. Officer Park fought with Byung-soo and he was so close to killing Byung-soo (love that crazy glint in his eyes when he told Byung-soo to go and meet Commander Ki in the afterlife!)….but then, the other soldiers shot him with an arrow and Byung-soo took the chance to stab him in his crotch. Darn, you rat-like jerk!!

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Seung-nyang tumbled down a hill and hit her stomach against the ground. Eunuch Bang had to distract the soldiers away and she was left alone, only to realize that there were blood stains on her skirt. Ta-hwan only got to know about Seung-nyang’s escape later. She took shelter inside a cave while apologizing to her child for her inability to protect him. Suddenly, she felt the sharp pain in her stomach and she started screaming alone inside the dark cave….

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*

(There is no preview at the end of episode 22 but MBC has released the video preview on Empress Ki’s official website.)

OMG, I still can’t get over the ending of episode 22…wait, the whole episode 22, because so many things happened in such a short span of time. What a mind-boggling episode, indeed!

For me, this week’s episodes were more on plot development rather than the character development. There were so many happenings and the characters only show slight changes as their reactions to the happenings. Last week witnessed the big character development and while I was a little wary of the changes, I can cope with it. Hehehe.

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Ta-hwan showed that he’s capable of planning on his own but he learned a valuable lesson: he didn’t have enough power in his hands yet. He had to witness his own people being killed right in front of his eyes when moments ago, he was the one who gave the order to them. Plus, with Empress Dowager’s sacrifice, Ta-hwan was now aware of the importance for him to be meticulous with his plan but he should be extra careful with his actions since he could be ousted at any given time. He had to succumb under Yeon-chul’s power again but at the same time, he’s maturing a bit. He knew that his actions, if he’s not careful enough, would lead to disaster and even caused someone’s life to be taken away. At least he’s brave enough to protect the important person to him that is Seung-nyang. Yeah, that Rose/CPR/ Whatever-you-call-it kiss was so swoon-worthy, all because of the settings and the background music. So breathtakingly beautiful. Even if it’s an emergency situation, Ta-hwan got his share of kiss! 😉

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Seung-nyang took the limelight this week as she returned to the old Seung-nyang in action and boy, she was so cool shooting arrows and wielding the swords! I love it when she’s in her plotting mode because I know she’s capable of doing so even by herself. The guys respected her and followed her, knowing that she’s got excellent brain behind her pretty face. Although Seung-nyang showed slight changes in herself, she’s still the focused and stubborn Seung-nyang like before and it was evident in the scene where Yoo tried to make her leave with him (and his expression when saying his goodbye ㅠㅠ). She’s willing to sacrifice her time with him because she realized that she had a more important thing to do – that was searching for the blood letter – instead of giving in to herself. Her stubborn self would surely make her all eager for more revenge in the future, especially after seeing how the people she cherished for being killed in front of her own eyes.

I admitted that I didn’t like the love child plot since the first time I heard about it (from the novel spoilers) and I kept hoping that the writers won’t include it in the drama. But then, I realized that it’s going to happen anyway, and I was hoping for Seung-nyang to have a miscarriage before I saw episode 22. Yeah, I know that I was cruel, but I didn’t want to see Yoo’s child being raised without him knowing that he had one with Seung-nyang, and Ta-hwan forced to accept the child as his own for the sake of Seung-nyang. I didn’t want to see this cruel fate for our Emperor and King, and it would be a makjang drama in an instant.

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After watching episode 22, I felt guilty for wishing the bad thing to happen, because Seung-nyang looked genuinely happy, talking with the baby inside her. She, who probably never thought that she could live as a normal woman, was carrying a life inside her, and she was so blissful. I was torn in between seeing her happy with her child and witnessing the two men living a cruel fate afterwards, but I don’t think the child would survive. It’s just my hunch, but losing the most precious thing to her at the moment would push Seung-nyang to the edge…and that would cause her to be hell-bent for the sake of avenging her unborn child. Sageuk always has the ability to make me a heartless person! Poor Yoo, he didn’t even a clue about Seung-nyang’s real condition and had to stay away from her. Argh!

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Somehow I miss seeing Empress Dowager in her imperial robe. If only she was inside the palace when Tanashiri announced her pregnancy, I bet the Dowager would try her best to prove that Tanashiri was faking it. Although the Dowager could be a threat for Seung-nyang later, she’s undeniably a great figure. I truly respect her with her bravery to sacrifice herself for the sake of protecting the throne and she was a true hero! Tanashiri, on the other hand, was originally a pitiful character but she dealt with her problems using a simple method: kill whoever she didn’t find to her liking. So..I can sympathize with her inability to produce the heir and get Ta-hwan’s affection, but at the same time, her sadness doesn’t mean that she can do anything according to her feelings. Ahhh…what do I do, dear Empress?

Officer Park won’t die, don’t worry! I know that Golden Boy (blergh) Byung-soo won’t die in the nearest time; the latest might be alongside Dangkise. Yeon-chul’s demise would come when the blood letter is found, and my guess is that the letter is inside Court Lady No’s mirror. I’m still sad over Lady No’s death, especially after her bonding time with Seung-nyang and the child *sobs* I have no doubt that Seung-nyang would be one ruthless woman after this…and nothing can stop her.

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85 thoughts on “Empress Ki: Eps 21-22

  1. Bet Danashiri is faking <<

    She hasn't been knocked up from the marriage, or knocked up at all.

    And that perfume….making her go mad.

    We'll see.

    1. Yes, he is. As soon as I realized that, I started consciously noticing how often they put his face prominently in the background or how often he got a close-up. I’d say the ratio between both bodyguards is 80:20 in his favor.
      They do a lot subtle stuff to promote his face in this show.

  2. isnt that guard who left the fake blood trail Junsu’s brother? I heard he was going to play a role in a drama…unless I’m seeing things…

  3. OMG. what a beautiful episode 🙂 love tw & sn ❤ ! & wth ???? tanashiri preggo????? when the hell did the emperor sleep with her ? or did I miss something ?! lol …. I doubt it tho….but we will see ..! …. hopefully SN isn't preggo….. by wang yoo….. !

  4. Something is off withSN pulse? Yesssssss she is preggers!! WY I knew he was a powerful man 😜 I am giddy hoping she is. I know she will end up with TH but I want her to have WY baby. I don’t think she will love TH but will come to care for him as a friend.

    As for TS how can she be preggers I thought Th refused to sleep with her?

  5. Omgahhhhhhhhh that bath tub kiss was soooo hot dang!!!! Yes Emperor puppy!! I’m so glad he managed to save SN yet again!! I love this new emperor puppy!! I don’t care what you WY/SN supporters think, always trying to downplay everything about our puppy and SN moments! She’s falling slowly for our Emperor but she doesn’t realise it yet! Her love to WY is more first love/admiration territory because he saved her first from when she was a little girl and that was imprinted into her memory but her real love is with our Emperor even though she doesn’t know it yet. There’s tell tale signs such as her sad teary moment when she was pondering about WY’s proposal, her fear of letting our Emperor save her incase DK finds out. How she’s softened towards our puppy since she told him about his involvement in her father’s death. SN was tearful when she told our puppy about how he indirectly killed her father. She lingered for a few moments crying when she saw how broken our emperor was with that knowledge. If she still blamed him she would’ve just left straight away! WY shippers only see what they want and always put a dampner on everything refusing to see the scene for what it is hence my refusal to go on soompi. It’s basically turned into a WY appreciation thread barr a few TH supporters. Too biased!! Thanks for the recap!! Love it!!

    1. I am a Wang Yu and Seung Nyan Shipper but I agree, the bath tub scene was great and will indeed make TH-SN Shipper very happy… just keep it cool and let ‘s enjoy the roller coaster ride like scenes here in Empress ki

      1. @pesojiwon
        yeah it’s awesomely romantic! especially if we didn’t know the girl(SN) actually just passed out.
        the rose petals and the light coming from above is just perfect!

      2. I wondered why some were so happy with that scene when it was only a “kiss for life”. In fact the recipient of it was unconscious. If there’s a reaction, I’m sure it was only one-sided.

    2. hmmm, i must disagree to some point. SN had already started having affection with WY before learning that WY is the crown prince. Like during Gayegeum playing after the arrow shooting or when he carried her after taking the arrow shot by the traitor. She only knew at that time that WY is just an officer and not the crown prince.
      On the other side, her feelings for TH is still uncertain. She cried maybe because she is really developing feelings to him as a man or her feelings towards him is an affection of camaraderie. Because she knows that accepting WY’s proposal will be a devastation to TH and also she may regret not appreciating TH efforts while she’s with him.

      i just checked soompi and so far i still saw a lot of TH-SN supporters there, it’s just that they are the mature ones to have discussions with SN-WY shippers and no shipper (as they call it), without being obnoxious, thus still maintaining the peaceful environment.
      I have read how TH supporters everywhere calling WY and SN immoral even the writers so
      saying “haters gonna hate” also only justifies and reflects the one who said it. maybe learn to see the other side of the coin as well 🙂

      btw, i think i have read your comment in soompi as “susan___”, right? you still linger there even though you said you hate it LoL!

      @Gabrielle, I agree with you too, but calling them mad and crazy will just continue the bickering of both sides. peace!

      1. I mainly go on there when the live recaps are going on mon & tues because I’m very anxious to know what’s going to happen. I haven’t posted much since because the WY shippers on there are just as bad as some TH shippers. I couldn’t resist lurking because i didnt want to abandon my ship as TH supporters have decided to not go on the thread because like me found it upsetting that it was becoming a WY appreciation thread. Maybe what you have said is right but I’m still sticking to my theory (if that’s ok?) Lolz and I will be lurking now and then on Soompi to stick up for my Emperor if need be but I won’t be active as much because I can’t be bothered with it as much as I was when i first went on there 🙂

      2. I agree the first time they met she noticed his goodlooks but she just said the oppositewhich made maksoong and the rest reacted

    3. sure 🙂
      opinion is an opinion and there’s nothing wrong with it!
      as long as we don’t rant when we say it 😉

      let’s just continue to be brain twisted with this drama’s plot LoL 😀 hoping the ambiguity of Episode 22 will finally be resolved on the next episodes.

  6. Oh, I love the new look! It’s getting harder and harder to remain in the middle of these ships, right? (LOL) Thank you so much for this recap, I hate waiting for subs. UGH. It feels like all the women are pregnant? Ahahaha! *big squishy hugs*

    1. Thanks! You’re right, I want to jump on one ship but I can’t; I think I love all three of them equally – SN, WY, and TH! I can’t choose!

      As expected for a sageuk with Inner Court fights…pregnancy can’t be abandoned! *hugs back* We’ll support each other until the end…and I hope no extension for this drama!

  7. Possible spoilers…?

    ___________________

    I think that SN is pregnant, and that would explain her “strange” pulse. She “slept” with Woo in an earlier episode (the Korean Drama “wink wink” that they had sexual intercourse). She and Lady Park have to have a similar pregnancy so that the show can kill off Lady Park, add the old baby-switcheroo, and increase the complexity of the love triangle/hexagon (lol).

    I love this show.

  8. I hope that the writers will have SY miscarry because of the time line.It will be more credible for her to miscarry since Lady Park is almost ready to deliver.If she’s about 6 months pregnant,theres no way the child would live.I hope the writers have a liitle bit of an inkling about pregnacy from medical books.If she end up with a live baby[no way] there’s no need for her to go back to Yuan even though she saw the massacree of her friends and Lady Park.Delivering a dead baby will be a better reason for her to exact revenge.I’m hoping that the baby is LP’s child, at least it is more credible because she ‘s full term.They could get the baby from her womb if done if done immediately. So please, don’t pass it as SY baby for it does not make any sense. You’re viewers are not stupid that we cannot count months or figure baby’s gestation.

      1. Then it will still be the same , because if the the baby is only 6mos there’s no way the baby will live and the issue here why would she go back to Yuan if her kid is alive-she needs to go back to WY or Goryeo.

      2. Really? I think SN’s pregnancy was about 7 months. Ok, let’s count it this way: Dokman’s diagnosis was about 3-4 months + 4 months (during her stay in the pavilion). Medically, a premature infant is likely to survive if during his birth he is nearly 37 weeks since almost all vital organs are fully developed this time.

        Well, my guess is that, the child is alive but will be gone missing and that’s one of the reasons why SN has to go back to Yuan Empire to look for her child and the rest is a story to tell.

      3. “Medically, a premature infant is likely to survive if during his birth he is nearly 37 weeks since almost all vital organs are fully developed this time.” It is likely to survive in our era but in Goryeo/Yuan times, very dubious (we’re talking about the 14th century here). Knowing that lungs are the last things to develop, premature babies need breathing assistance, unlikely to be found back then. I’m a premature (born in the 80’s) and I was kept in incubator for a full month…I know many people who barely survived, being born at 7 months gestation. Realistically speaking, it wouldn’t survive but it’s a drama and even the impossible is made possible in dramas. Oh well :/

      4. @lili: That is why it has to be nearly 37 weeks so that the lungs are already fully developed and the need for ventilator is no longer required. As for the incubator, I think it can be replaced with a thick cloth to keep the child warm. There are a lot of premature infants born in the secluded area or places beyond civilization but they survived without incubators.

      1. @Liz: As Lili said medically speaking, the lungs are the last thing to develop.The baby might be over 37 weeks but the lungs are not fully functional so in order to survive respiratory assistance or ventillator is needed.Of course this is a drama, so the writer can do whatever he wants. I just feel like that the plot need to be credible.

      2. @anonymous: this information is taken from http://www.medicinenet.com

        Baby’s Development at 28 Weeks

        At 28 weeks, the baby normally weighs about 2 and one-half pounds and has developed to the point that if the baby is birthed prematurely for any reason, the chances are good that the infant will survive, but usually would require a hospital stay. Your doctor may discuss signs of premature labor and suggest you (and your partner) take classes on what to do at the time of delivery of your full-term baby.

        Note: If SN was 7 months pregnant at the time of labor, then I guess there is no need to explain further.

  9. Whether the child will survive or not depends on reactions by WY vs TH supporters, cos the producers watch the viewers’ feedback for ratings.

    Personally I think the child would be lost, so that SN doesn’t have to be out of action for too long (running ard preggy doesn’t make for nice drama). Plus her losing the child will push her towards the stronger motivation of working with TH to eliminate the baddies. Makes for more crying n heart loss scenes between her n WY, n TH later when he realised she almost had a child w WY.

    1. Much as I like SY baby to be alive,it just doesn’t make sense. you would like the story to be credible .But of course it is the writer’s choice.I just hope that when the next episode comes ,it will all be explain how the live baby of SY end up missing and she knows for sure to go to Yuan looking for it. 7 mos or premature baby need assistance in breathing in order to live.It’s a miracle if the baby lives.A 7th month premature baby thrives better than the 8 mos . ..

  10. I agree with you this is mind boggling and quite tragic…. I still want her child to survive the same with Lady Park’s child….I wonder what month was SN’s pregnancy and Lady Park should be ahead? but whatever I still want SN’s child to survive but I don’t want the story of child taken away from his mother, or father will not meet his child, because it will be like SN’s fate that she met her father quite late…. I am sad that officer park died in this episode, and I wish wang yu found Seung Nyan, but I don’t think it will be easy…

    1. I assume that their babies are 3-4 months apart..taking into account that Lady Park still have another 4 months until her due when Seung-nyang was found out to be pregnant (~2 months or even less). It would be a miracle of the baby survives…poor SN! (ㅠㅠ)

      1. wish they just make the time line like due month of Lady Park, so if 3 to 4 months apart, oh gosh still 6 months pregnancy for SN’s pre mature delivery…. see LOL it’s like we are taking the problem now hahaha. but I hope the child will survive, I know it will be hard for someone being pursued to take care for a new born child, but let’s see how the writers will manage this inconveniences hahaha…

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