Yeong-ji bids a tearful goodbye to her newborn baby and slips her gold ring into the baby's blanket. When In-nim finally barges into the right room, he finds her at her sewing, pale but serene-looking. He asks in fake concern about her condition and she informs him that the contractions have begun. During all this, her maid slips out of the room surreptitiously with a basket of clothes. Baby in there?
In-nim is about to leave the room when he gets second thoughts (does that a lot!) and lifts Yeong-ji's skirt to find her underskirts stained in blood. He immediately realizes that the maid has the baby and orders a search. Only after he's left that Yeong-ji doubles-up in pain.
In-nim's trusty sourface sidekick finds the maid just as she passes the basket to Dong-ryun and gives chase. However, Dong-ryun had planned well, evidenced by a ready horse as his getaway means. Ack, Sourface is right on his tail as they ride across town. In between, Sourface even throws a sword at Dong-ryun. Dong-ryun evades it and replies in kind. His flying dagger also misses Sourface but catches the unfortunate henchman behind.
Dong-ryun creates an obstruction and takes off on foot, Sourface and his men in close pursuit. Through and across the buildings they go, threading through the town. At one point, Dong-ryun pushes through the crowd while Sourface follows by skipping fancily on the rooftops. When Sourface finally has Dong-ryun cornered, Dong-ryun tosses the basket at him and runs away. Oh? A decoy! A cat crawls out of the basket - probably seeing stars by now.
A frustrated In-nim is back home but pays no attention to Dong-ryun's healer friend in disguise. Ah, the baby was with him the whole time. In-nim confronts Yeong-ji who reminds him of his promise to save her baby. Now the baby is safe. He in turn reminds her of her promise to give him her heart. She assure him she remembers, with a hint of defiance. He sneers and remarks that she's definitely worthy of being his wife.Compliment much? Heh.
A ceremony is being held to inaugurate the new royal shaman which, no surprise here, is Ryun-gae. And just so we're clear that she's evil, her new shaman wardrobe is black.
In-nim releases his frustration by killing the poor maid when Sourface came back empty handed. Just then, Ryun-gae shows up in her carriage, with her baby in tow. Her lack of discretion alarms In-nim and he's incredulous that she expects Yeong-ji to accept the baby as her own.
She goes to Yeong-ji and wordlessly hands over the baby, not expecting much protest. But she does and Ryun-gae reminds her of the promise she made. Either Yeong-ji keeps the baby of Ryun-gae will leave it to die. No way she'd give up her position as royal shaman. Still Yeong-ji refuses and Ryun-gae plays up her guilt by laying the blame on her if the baby dies.
Ryun-gae places the baby on the ground in the yard and orders everyone not to take care of it - not even the father. She's playing hardball and betting on Yeong-ji's compassion. By any means, she wants the baby to grow up a legitimate child.
The baby cries his heart out till night falls but still Yeong-ji does not consent. Ryun-gae waits in her carriage outside. It starts raining and Yeong-ji is beginning to soften, but still neither makes a move. When the cries stop suddenly, the uneasy Yeong-ji rushes out to check on the baby. Thankfully it starts wailing again. Ryun-gae sighs in relief when she's notified that Yeong-ji has accepted the baby.
Elsewhere, Dong-ryun cradles his baby and tells him about his brave mother protected them both.
Ten years later. 1362. Outskirts of Gaesung. 11 years into King GongMin's rule. In-nim leads an army to conquer Gaesung. He dispatches his soldiers to attack but receives worrying news. They're...too late! LOL. Lee Seung-gye has already taken over the city.
The King arrives in SeoWoonGuan (something akin to the geomancy department) to find it in disarray. He orders everyone out, leaving only Yeong-ji behind. He feels uneasy about the prediction that the "chamiheunguk" should only be revealed 50 years later. The country may have declared independence from the Yuan but they remain weak and vulnerable to attacks from the Japanese. And due to threats from the Red Turban rebels, he was forced to abandon his people and the palace (that's why Seong-gye and In-nim were conquering Gae-sung which was their capital). A guilty Yeong-ji assures it's necessary for him to escape - Goryeo and the people remains protected as long as the King lives. Before he leaves, he asks for the name of the one who first discovered chamiheonguk : Mok Dong-ryun.
At the celebratory party, In-nim gloats at the sight of a disappointed Seong-gye drowning his discontent in liquor. In-nim encourages his assistant to pile on the blows to Seong-gye's ego. Seong-gye holds his own pretty well but loses it when the guy suggests that he stinks like a country bumpkin. Seong-gye is about to pull the sword on him but Choi Yong intervenes by berating the assistant for insulting his superior and advises Seong-gye to cool it. Seong-gye stomps out furious while In-nim smirks.
Seong-gye still wants to kill the guy but Choi Young tells him to stop seeking petty revenge. Battles are not only done in the battlefield. Patience is a battle. Benevolence too. Seems like sound advice but Seong-gye huffs like an annoyed child.
1 year later. 1363. Gaesung. Ji-sang (our young hero) grows up streetwise and clever. He's acquainted with peddler/swindler Jong-dae (Lee Moon-shik) and seems to be on familiar terms with the Gisaeng girls (he waltzed into their room while the girls are in all sorts of state of undress. The girls turn to him for advice and divination. He can predict if customers will show that day. He blows a pinch of powder and announces that it's a no-show. Because it will rain. And he's bloody confident in his prediction.
Cut to another youngster, Jung-geun eavesdropping on his mother, Yeong-ji and her young female guest, Hae-in discussing on herbs and their medicinal values. Mum calls for him but he rushes in before the maid can blow his cover. Yeong-ji can see that he's fond of Hae-in and tells him to help her with her studies.
In the study, Jung-geun wonders why Hae-in is so studious when she's already of marriageable age. Hah. Testing the waters already. He frozens up adorably when she tells him that she meant to speak to her father on the matter. Alarmed, he tells her to stick to studies. LOL.
HyeoWang temple. Choi Young advises the King to return to the palace as the temple has poor security. King is more concerned about the threat posed by the Japanese. Seong-gye requests to be of service in the capital. Hah. Still brash and immature as ever. He's still complaining about being posted at the borders when Choi Young reproach his attitude.
Ryun-gae is still in cohorts with the envoy. She helps him enlist supporters of the Emperor. But the one he's most keen on is In-nim, whose allegiance is still ambiguous. She's still In-nim's lover but it's clear she doesn't have him under her thumb. She prods him about his sex life which he claims to be nonexistent but she thinks he's lying.
She's also concerned about Jung-geun burying his nose into books which she feels is useless for his future. In-nim tells her to stay out of it because the mum will see to that. Ouch, the way he phrases it implies that Jung-geun is Yeong-ji's son and I bet she's already regretting her decision. She ignores that and insists it doesn't matter what Jung-geun does now since he'll ultimately serve the Emperor, just like his father. In-nim tells her straight up that he's not going to participate in the latest plan to assassinate the King. The risk is too high. He won't stop her but he's out.
Jong-dae wants Ji-sang's help in smuggling something, supposedly a mythical item useful in battles to determine direction and finding exits. Jong-dae is particularly anxious but Ji-sang waves off his worry, the two of them having collaborated on numerous occasions with no trouble.
Unfortunately, security is tighter than usual as the guards are looking for a runaway palace maid meant for tribute to Yuan. There's a girl that looks like her in the queue, fidgeting nervously as she awaits her turn to enter the city. Ji-sang slips the item into her baggage. She manages to pass the interrogation after explaining that she's here to bury the remains of her mother.
In the city, Jong-dae and Jung-geun waits anxiously. That thing is for Jung-geun then. Jong-dae grabs hold of a distracted Ji-sang who loses sight of the girl in the crowd, and with it the smuggled item. Jung-geun accuses him of being a thief. Annoyed, Ji-sang challenges him to go to the authorities. Between smuggling and thievery - which is the bigger crime? They set aside their differences for the moment and continue to search.
In-nim meets the envoy, but does not hide his wariness of a trap. Mr Envoy laughs it off. He's not interested in killing him. He reveals that he knows about the fake chamiheonguk and threatens to spill the beans. What will happen to his beloved wife if it was known that she presented a fake chamiheonguk? Which is it? Wife or King?
The maid shows the new clothes made for Jung-geun to Yeong-ji. She keeps a set to herself along with everything else she's saved for her biological son so far. Aw.
Meanwhile, Ji-sang finally spots the girl. Jong-dae impatiently grabs her belongings for a closer inspection resulting in her mother's bones scattered on the ground. The anxious girl starts speaking in a foreign language which is overheard by the guards. She's taken away while Ji-sang remains rooted in shock.
He feels sorry and starts gathering the scattered remains. Jong-dae and Jung-geun are just relieved to get retrieve their goods back.
In-nim returns to see his wife tutoring his son. He tells Sourface to gather some men - they are heading to HyeonWang Temple.
In-nim confuses the hell out of me. Am I to believe his motivation to assassinate the King is based purely on the fact that he loves his wife so damn much? What about his grudges and dissatisfaction against the King in previous episodes? Are those all gone now that he's promoted? And why does he keeps going to Ryun-gae when he clearly doesn't like the woman all that much? Was Seong-ji cold to him? If so, why does he still protect her? It seems Ryun-gae might have planted the idea in Envoy's head though - she must have realized that In-nim is truly fond of Yeong-ji despite himself. And since no amount of frolicking between sheets can get him to agree on switching allegiance, a change of tactic is necessary. There's still one thing I don't understand, why is Ryun-gae so intent to join forces with the Envoy. Perhaps she wants to make In-nim King or something. Sigh. Wicked motivations are so hard to comprehend.
Seong-gye is still very much like a spoilt brat at the moment - definitely not King material. So I guess at least there will be some character growth for him. Maybe when he finally meets his advisor, Ji sang. Then again, Ji sang is still in teenager mode right now. I can't wait for the adult cast because really, that's what I came for.