As per usual, a slight rewind brings us back to the Gibang where Prince On-Nyung is bidding farewell to the rest of the party. Everyone is obviously in high spirits, more drunk on their imminent victory than the alcohol they consumed.
SY with some really smooth ninja moves stalks On-Nyung right back to his room (seriously, I think PSH looks real good). Anyway, with his blade on On-Nyung’s neck, SY reveals his face to a terrified On-Nyung. Interestingly, when On-Nyung utters his name in shock, SY announces that that person no longer exist before killing him.
In contrast, GP Suyang is reveling in his success with Han declaring that GP Suyang would be invincible now.
SY leaves a bloody message on Prince On-Nyung’s clothes which reads, “Great Tiger” (A nickname of Kim Jong Seo, his father) before leaving the crime scene.
GP Suyang is welcomed home by Lady Yoon, Seyung and Song. Lady Yoon congratulates him on his impending accession to the throne. Seyung could hardly mask her eagerness in becoming a princess by rushing his father to accept the King’s decree. Song is less enthusiastic but duly accepts.
Meanwhile, SR who has faked a headache to avoid joining the welcoming party is still trying to digest the fact that her father is a ruthless and ambitious man who has been eyeing the throne all these time.
SY returns to the Gibang but is rattled to find a waiting Jo. Jo does not comment on the reason for his night excursion or the blood splatters on his face, he simply asks him not to venture out on his own anymore or he will be sent away. SY agrees easily, perhaps not wanting to raise Jo’s suspicion.
In the quiet of the night, JaBun’s loud banging of the door disrupts everyone’s rest in GP Suyang’s household. He was sent by Shin Myeon to deliver an urgent message to GP Suyang. Yeori overhears JaBun reporting the death of Prince On-Nyung and the blood message and relays the information to SR. The nickname is not unfamiliar to GP Suyang as we can see from his expression. SR immediately suspects SY to be behind the murder from a previous conversation.
The public whispers excitedly in hush tones about the murder and its association with the late Kim JongSeo, lauding the greatness of Kim. GP Suyang shows up at the crime scene understandably upset by the rumors.
GP Suyang and his cronies deduce that the blood message is to confuse the public or a warning to them and that whoever is behind this may also be responsible for SR’s abduction. GP observes that he is their main target. Shin Sukjoo tells Myeon to protect GP for the time being. Myeon complies and pledges to send soldiers from the Capital Bureau to guard the others. Shin advises GP to accept the King’s decree quickly to avoid further complication and dismisses the murder as a desperate attempt to undermine them by some weak opposition forces.
In the palace, a group of Ministers, including a very vocal Lee Gae is protesting en masse for the King to retract his abdication. The sight of GP Suyang and his cronies arriving further agitates Lee Gae who boldly criticizes them for framing Prince GeumSung and Jeong. Lee Gae also plays the guilt card by reminding SukJoo that he sent his son, Myeon to him so that Myeon would be learned and honorable. Lee asks Shin how he intends to justify himself before the late King SeJong and King MunJong. Everyone just ignores him.
GP Suyang declares magnanimously (as if !!!) that he accepts the King’s decision and promises to only exile Prince GeumSung and exonerate Jeong. King DanJong asks for his word in guaranteeing the safety of Prince GS in exile. GP agrees on the condition that Prince GS stays out of his way. Satisfied, King Danjong asks for his Imperial Seal from the hesitant eunuch. In a symbolic gesture, King DanJong passes the throne to Suyang by handing over the Imperial Seal to him, amidst loud protests by the Ministers.
At home, Lady Yoon informs her children of their father’s imminent accession to throne and their upcoming formal inauguration as Prince and Princesses. Seyung is excited and Song as usual, duly accepted. SR abruptly takes her leave without responding to her mother. Song catches up with her in concern.
SR: Song ah…do you like being Crown Prince?
S: Sis, I’m not as brave as you. I’m only obeying our father’s wishes. However, given the chance, I will not kill people indiscriminately like our father…
In the Gibang, SY is going berserk after hearing that Suyang is to be crowned King. He rushes out despite admonitions from Madam ChuHee. Jo intercepts SY outside. SY is annoyed by Jo’s interference and threatens to kill him when he refuses to give way. SY raises his sword to Jo who easily disarms him. Jo tries to reason with SY.
Jo: Someone who has no qualms in killing his own brother and seizing the throne from his own nephew…Do you really think you can take his life with your sword in your current state? I won’t let you go tonight…Listen to your hyung !
Jo drags SY inside and he does not resist. (Phew…thank goodness for Jo). Jo continue to talk sense into SY.
Jo: Attempting to kill a King! Sheesh....I’ve rescued a scary person. Is revenge all you have in life? If so, your life is truly meaningless…No laughter…no happiness…what a dull life. Why are you even living? If that is the case, you should’ve died on that island…
SY: After I kill Suyang, then I can die…
Jo: You live in order to die…Why don’t you..and that woman run away? If he is King, his daughter would be Princess! Princess…is such a high and prominent position. To people like us, she is beyond reach. That is why, before that happens, abduct her, just like the last time, to a faraway place. Forget everything and start anew with her. When you have children, with time, you will no longer be obsessed with revenge. Let us live well…
SY: Forget everything and live…only in dreams will that be possible.
Gradually they tire and sleep. The next morning, SY awakes first and reflects on the irony of the situation. SR whom he met as a princess is now truly a princess. We see SY in more sword fighting exercise alone while brooding. No naked torso this time though. But his hatred for Suyang and his cronies does not diminish at all, much to the exasperation of Jo.
Tis the day. Lady Yoon is moved to tears that Suyang is finally going to be King. They congratulate each other for being King and Queen. (Ok…I’m not sure if it’s intentional but I feel nauseated watching this…).
Yeori is anxious because SR is taking a long time to emerge from her room. The expressionless SR takes her place with her siblings as they gather to send their father on his journey to the palace. Myeon is also present, to escort him. Suyang happily tells his children that they are his motivation and to join him in the palace when they are formally inaugurated later. He gives them all a fatherly pat and Lady Yoon watches anxiously at SR who speaks just as he is about to leave.
SR: Are you satisfied now? Seizing the throne from your young nephew…are you satisfied? The Princess was right…in the end you killed or exiled your brothers because you were coveting the throne…you force your young nephew to abdicate…Do not say it’s for our sake. In the end it’s your greed and desire that is causing grief to innocent people.
Suyang: How could you misunderstand your father…? Time will prove me right…
SR: I heard there are oppositions. If General Kim is alive, you would not be this unrestricted …
Suyang is flipping mad and warns her not to test his patience and to prepare for the inauguration quietly. SR announces she will not become princess…much to the surprise and ire of Suyang and Lady Yoon.
Myeon drags her away trying to diffuse the situation. Even as she is leaving SR declares that KH is this country’s only princess. Suyang is frustrated to be treated thus by SR. SR frees her hand from Myeon’s grasp and warns him not to touch her ever again. Myeon tells her not to waste her time fighting Suyang because her being princess is inevitable as she is daughter to Suyang who is to be King. He tells her that even if she runs away, she’d still be princess and he’d still be her husband (oh. ..the nerve of this selfish idiot). SR haughtily tells him not to dream of marrying her, she’d rather die.
Jeong and KH are waiting outside the palace for King DanJong when Suyang arrives, escorted by Myeon. KH offers him a congratulatory speech littered with hostility. Suyang chooses to overlook her impertinence. Jeong encourages her to be strong for her brother’s sake.
Simultaneously, we see scenes of the lonely forlorn figure of King DanJong making his way out of the palace alternating with scenes of Suyang (henceforth known as King Sejo) being garbed in Royal attire and holding his first court, each absorbed in their own reflections of the past. King DanJong is greeted by KH and Jeong in a muted reunion.
Conversely, King Sejo celebrates with his cronies. Shin SukJoo warns that they should not let their guards down as there are still remnants of the opposition in court. King Sejo agrees with his opinion but suggests that they take a deserved break and just enjoy themselves today. King Sejo is saddened that Prince On-Nyung is not present to join them and reflects that many lives have been sacrifice for him to achieve his ambition.
King: I’ve asked myself many times…Why do I desire this throne so much?
A single tear falls from his eyes but it seems that even he himself have no answer to the reason for his obsession.
NohGul was being rebuff by Sooyoung for making an indecent proposal when ChilGoo’s men show up. He informs Jo of the situation and the coward proceeds to lock himself in the room. Jo and Mooyoung face off with the men. Suddenly all the men kneel and beg to follow his lead again. Jo’s wide-eyed expression of surprise is darn comical. On the other hand, the upset Chilgoo decides to take up Myeon’s offer. (uh-oh…).
JaBun reports that a certain mentally unsound person came to Prince On-Nyung’s place looking for the relatives of Kim JongSeo a few days back. Myeon is disturbed by this piece of information. He seems to have some inkling on the identity of the killer.
SY’s next target is ShinSukJoo. Just when he had Shin at his mercy, Myeon shows up. Myeon manages to nick SY’s face but SY eventually disarms him by wounding his forearm. JaBun arrives in the nick of time with reinforcements. SY escapes for fear of being recognized in the brightness of the torches.
Lee Gae tells Jeong about Myeon being injured by a man who attempted to assassinate Shin SukJoo and believed to be responsible for Prince On-Nyong’s death. He is relieved when Jeong denies any involvement for he’s afraid of losing Jeong. Jeong realizes SY may be the killer and is about to tell Lee when they are interrupted by a knock. Jeong excuses himself.
Jeong sees the cut on SY’s face which reaffirms his suspicion. He tells SY not to take his words too literally as they were spoken in the heat of the moment. Jeong advises SY to give up his revenge because he is worried for his safety.
Apparently, curiosity got the better of Lee Gae who overhears their conversation. Lee is astonished to find SY alive. Everyone is overwhelmed as an emotional Lee embraces the precious student he thought he had lost.
Lee bemoans the fate that has led to SY being a killer. He persuades him to stop but SY refuses. Lee feels that he has somehow cause SY and the rest to carry this heavy burden because he was unable to stop King Sejo. Lee tells SY he will make an effort to try from now on and again persuades SY to stop endangering himself. SY is adamant he must kill King Sejo.
Myeon reports to King Sejo about the attempted assassination of Shin SukJoo but maintains he’s still clueless over the identity of the man. King Sejo wants the family to enter the palace as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, SR obstinately insists on not being inaugurated. Lady Yoon warns that if she tries to pull the same stunt (threatening suicide with a sword) as before, she(the mother) would follow suit.(*This is quite a literal translation - it simply means that the same threat won't work because this time the mother is prepared to use her own life as leverage. If SR is the slightest bit filial, which she is, SR would not let Lady Yoon harm herself because of her). Lady Yoon tells SR about the attempted assassination and advises her to treat Myeon better.
The next morning, Lady Yoon almost fainted when Yeori informs her that SR is missing. She left a note saying she needs to go somewhere.
Myeon is still thinking about the masked assassin when Chilgoo arrives. He tells Myeon that he knows of someone suspicious who has survived from the ship to KangHwa Island in a place called Bing-Guk Gwan (the Gibang where SY is).
SR finds her way to MaBu dock and sees Myeon and his men surrounding the place. Jo also sees Myeon from the window. SY is away at the forge to repair his sword. Jo instructs NohGul to exit from the back door, find SY and don’t let him come back to the Gibang.
NohGul does not notice SY in his hastiness. SY sees him but do not make much of it. On the other hand, Jo makes a run for it. ChilGoo leads the chase with Myeon and JaBun following close behind. SY is just nearby. Just as Myeon is about to glance in his direction, SY is dragged behind some cloths. He stares in surprise at SR….!
Ok that was like only seconds of OTP moments. The only silver lining is SY is not looking at her with hatred….and phew that was such a close call.
*I tend to translate the dialogue literally and sometimes the meaning might be lost in translation. Please feel free to voice your doubts. I will edit or explain.