So Hae-in explains to curious Ji-sang that those little boxes on the floor contain charcoal to absorb moisture (which would damage the books).
Meanwhile we find out that In-nim got himself another woman - Lady Park (not a mistress but a concubine) who seems like a nice, docile woman. She even seems concerned about Jung-geun.
His real wife, Yeong-ji gets back to fiddling with Princess Noguk's room and its fengshui. She tries to seek permission to look for someone (she doesn't say it's her son) but Noguk tells her to focus on her (Noguk's) well-being. If anything happens to her unborn child, the King would not be pleased.
Ji-sang figures out that charcoal is made by burning the wood, hence fire (the candles) is the key to something. He steals Hae-In's nametag so that he can investigate further on his own later.
The guileless Seong-gye informs the King that Deun-Heung and gang are coming and offers to take on the enemy. King wants to think it over first.
Jung-geun who has been following Seong-gye reminds him of his mission, or rather of poor Ya-suk (my mistake, it's Woo Ya-suk, not Yoo Na-suk).
The undecided King apparently needs to consult his royal shaman first and Ryun-gae delivers a good verdict - the King will win this war.
Yeong-ji tries to enlist a certain department to look for her son.
Bong-chun's ex follower in Seongsukcheong, Dan-ni is a spy for her. She reports to Bong-chun and Shin-don about Ryun-gae - she's currently not seeing him much. Elsewhere, Ban-ya is being measured for new clothes.
General Geol-ryun is back to tagging along Yeong-ji, only this time he's acting on the King's orders to monitor her movements. Yeong-ji wants to retrieve her ring from the library.
Ji-sang stays hidden until Hae-In leaves the library. Then he sneaks back in. Hae-in bumps into real Lee Han-baek outside the palace who's still telling anyone who would listen that Ji-sang is a fake. His mention of the fake Lord Choi does trigger a memory - she saw the fake Lord outside the Gibang looking for Han-baek previously. A quick check with a gisaeng confirms that the Lord was a fake.
He hasn't got any chance to investigate further because Yeong-ji has arrived. He recognizes her as the one who interrogated him when he was younger. He pretends to be a visiting speaker and makes his exit. But Yeong-ji finds her secret code-box-thing tampered and immediately chases after him. She bumps into Hai-in and group. Hae-in tells them that fake Lee Han-baek had wanted to look into the royal genealogy. Now things are really looking bad for Ji-sang because they now think he's part of a bigger conspiracy.
The King has announced that he will leave Gaesung (sort of like fleeing from the enemy). This despite Choi-young's advise to the contrary. The King instead tells Choi-young to raise a rebellion. Oh?
And so, Choi-young presents this option to his general - to choose which King to support. It is of course a ploy from the suspicious King to round up those who are not loyal to him. And one by one the generals show their true colours, all except our dear Seong-gye who's disgusted with the lot. Choi-young orders him arrested. In-nim pretends to follow the majority.
Seong-gye learns the truth from Choi-young but instead of relief, he's insulted and scoffs at the suspicious King. Choi-young forcibly restrains him (to avoid the plan being leaked, the others were told that Seong-gye would be silenced) even as he pleads that his subordinate is being held hostage. It's a no go. There's no way Choi-young would endanger the King's life for his subordinate.
Ya-suk and Hyo-myung tries to escape but they're quickly caught again. Jung-geun brings news that Seong-gye has yet to kill the King. Nasty Envoy cuts Ya-suk's little finger as a "friendly" reminder to Seong-gye. Poor Ya-suk. Jung-geun warns Hyo-myung against trying anything again. Hyo-myung asks him to send word to Hae-in that he's fine.
Meanwhile, Ji-sang is still on the run from Yeong-ji's guards but Jong-dae has also caught up to him. Ji-sang climbs over the walls into the Gisaeng House. Ban-ya is on her way to her mother's grave to pay her last respects (when she's a proper gisaeng she would not be allowed to leave the compounds). She encounters Yeong-ji and her guards on her way out. Jong-dae also crosses path with Ban-ya but doesn't recognize her. And we see that Eun-bei has been keeping tabs on Yeong-ji's actions as well. Wow, it's a merry little party now.
Ji-sang rushes back to his room to pack but Yeong-ji and guards are closing in on him. They think he's escape through the window but one of the guards sees him clinging to a beam over the hallway. Caught?
Nope. Not so easy. Ji-sang knocks the guard out and disguises as a guard. He manages to escape from the Gibang but Jong-dae ruins his escape. The guards see him but suddenly masked men appear and engage the guards. Yikes, it's Eun-bi's men, Ji-sang is knocked out and taken by Eun-bi's men.
Choi-young finally releases Seong-gye. The King wants to meet him now. An annoyed Seong-gye ignores the summon, opting instead to save his subordinate instead of catering to the King's doubtful nature.
In-nim reports Choi-young's rebellion plans to the King, thereby saving his own neck. The King, satisfied now with his show of loyalty, expresses his doubts about Seong-gye's loyalty (especially since an annoyed Seong-gye refuses to answer the King's summon). In-nim sows more doubt and the King instructs him to keep an eye on Seong-gye.
Ji-sang is tied to a tree, dangling over a cliff. Ryun-gae wants him to tell her the location of the previous grave (he must know, since he told Young-suk about this place). Ban-ya chooses this very moment to reach, and is duly captured. Ji-sang recognizes Ban-ya and warns her not to tell. But when Ryun-gae threatens to kill her, Ji-sang finally offers to tell.
Seong-gye returns to his army base but there's still no news about Ya-suk. Jung-geun shows up with the "friendly" reminder and Seong-gye aches for dear Ya-suk. Sourface (who was tasked to monitor Seong-gye's movements by In-nim) catches up with his young master, Jung-geun when he leaves the base.
Ji-sang identifies the grave's location and Ryun-gae's people start digging while Ban-ya cries in anguish. Soon after, they found Ban-ya's mum's remains. By now, Ji-sang has managed to cut loose the ropes binding his hands.
When they're taken away to be killed, Ji-sang fights off the two guards and drags Ban-ya to safety behind some rock. This triggers the memory of a similar situation when they were younger. Ban-ya has again twisted her ankle. Their reunion is short but they're each thankful that the other is alive. Ji-sang quickly instructs her to seek help at the Gibang where there are sure to be guards (Yeong-ji's). And if they ignore her, to mention the name Lee Han-baek. They promise to meet up at the cave.
Ji-sang distracts their pursuers and hides underwater, with a straw-like stem from some plant to breathe. Ban-ya finds Yeong-ji at the Gibang and explains that someone is out digging up her mum's grave. Yeong-ji is unconcerned until she mentions seeing Lee Han-baek.
In-nim tells Jung-geun to quit whatever he's doing and return to China. Jung-geun is still frustrated and angry about mum's departure - the only thing he knew is everything started from that blasted ring he took from dad's study. In fact, he's only participating in Deuk-Heung's plan to gain enough power to protect mum and kick Ryun-gae out of Goryeo. In-nim looks so satisfied at this that I wonder if he's actually forgotten who's the real mother of his child.
Well, turns out In-nim is with the bad guys as well. The envoy shows up at his place and they make plans to discredit Seong-gye and assassinate Princess Noguk. Jung-geun also learns for the first time that Ryun-gae has been serving the Yuan emperor for a long time (there goes his plan to kick her out).
Ji-sang is almost found out at his underwater hideout but luckily Jong-dae distracts the pursuers and sends them on a wild goose chase. Well, he actually cares more for his money but for that, Ji-sang must live (he's fainted).
Hae-in receives news that her father has been kidnapped. She returns to her home all depressed but finds a surprise visitor - Jung-geun! He assures her that dad is fine but Hae-in wants to confirm that personally. Jung-geun agrees to bring her along but disappears when she heads in to pack.
Ryun-gae is still waiting for the right time (dusk) to bury her mother's remains but Ban-ya and Yeong-ji's people are on their way up the hill. Their progress is greatly hampered by Ba-ya's limp so by the time they arrive, the grave is completed and Ryun-gae has left. Yeong-ji recognizes the place as the Land of the Kings so Ban-ya would not be allowed to bury her mother's remains on this ground. In fact, the local magistrate will be informed to deal with the new grave as well.
Jung-geun bumps into Ryun-gae on his way to meet Yeong-ji (he heard about her release from Hae-in previously). Ryun-gae is overcome by emotion to see him all grown up but Jung-gae still harbours a grudge at her. He won't reveal their affair as that would implicate dad as well but he still intends to create her downfall.
Princess Noguk insists on going to the temple for prayers despite Yeong-ji's unease. And she had also overruled Yeong-ji's instructions to search for someone with a one-eyed father. Eun-bei is keeping an eye on them in the shadows.
Therefore, Jung-geun is a step too late because mum has accompanied the princess for prayers and he quickly realizes that mum might be in danger. Ryun-gae also learns of the assassination plans from the Envoy and of course she wants everyone (Yeong-ji most of all) in the entourage killed. Dan-ni overhears this. She bumps into Eun-bei on her way out. Luckily, Eun-bei suspects nothing at the moment.
So the spy girl reports to Bong-chun and Shin-don. They deduce that Ryun-gae must be planning a rebellion. Shin-don thinks it might be a great opportunity to them. But first, they have to find the still missing Ban-ya.
Ban-ya has wandered to the cave, waiting for Ji-sang. Her mind keeps replaying Yeong-ji's remark about the ground being the place to breed kings. Seized by overwhelming ambition, she heads back to the hill and starts digging Ryun-gae's mummy grave with her bare hands. She digs right through the rainy darkness, obsessed. Elsewhere, Moo-hak wakes up from his sleep, disturbed.
Ji-sang wakes as well, and finds himself chained to Jong-dae. He unlocks the chains and escapes back to the cave but finds it empty. Ban-ya has returned to the Gibang, all muddied-up. She asks Bong-chun if the powerful man in Goryeo is the King and she is to be his gisaeng. Then, she collapses from exhaustion.
Sensing her new resolve, Shin-don declares to Bong-Chun that the time has come. Bong-chun argues that Ban-ya is not ready but with Ryun-gae making nefarious plans, there really is no better time.
Moo-hak finds Shin-don who informs him that he's found the girl who'd give birth to the next King. Moo-hak says it would be his last chance to save Goryeo.
Jung-geun slips a knife into Hyo-myung's hands, who's with Ya-suk. He tells them the King will die soon. Then, he joins the band of assassins ( to save mum).
Shin-don explains the situation to Ban-ya. He's arranging for her to meet the King through an assassination attempt. Not only is she not cowered, she seems to glow with renewed confidence and resolve. She will save the princess and meet the King.
Ji-sang goes back to the Gibang but couldn't enter because of the guards. He doesn't see Ban-ya who leaves in a carriage. He does however spots dad across the street. Hah. This is unexpectedly funny. Dad sure is persistent.
The Envoy swings by the palace but receives a rude welcome. The King practically declares war before all his generals. The Envoy leaves in a huff - so be it. The King anxiously asks for Seong-gye. In-nim smirks.
Seong-gye is already in the palace - to kill the King? Da-ran offers to take his place but he insists it's something he'd have to do himself. Right after the King gives a rousing speech to his generals to fight, Seong-gye shows up but is immediately cornered./Choi-young tries to speak for him but it seems In-nim has already informed the King that Deuk-Heung's spy is seen in Seong-gye's camp. King orders him captured but he retaliates?
Even as he stands accused, Seong-gye spots the suspicious looking guards inching closer to the King. He throws his sword at one of them, alerting everyone of the assassin. Seong-gye asks the (ungrateful) King if he's alright before turning his attentions to the dying assassin. He demands to know where Ya-suk is taken but receives no answer. He does however finds a map to GukJeong Temple. Now it occurs to everyone that Princess No-guk is in danger!
Their plans leaked, In-nim instructs Sourface to hurry ahead and assassinate the Princess but if that falls through, then he must kill the assassins so that Jung-geun's involvement remains a secret.
Ji-sang is still in a merry-go-round chase with dad when they spot Eun-bei. Both try to sneak away but Eun-bei notices Ji-sang and goes after him. Ji-sang surrenders himself to the authorities instead. Less of two evil?
The assassins and Jung-geun encroaches upon the temple. Several other masked men aid their entry by shooting down the guards. The ambush is finally discovered but it's too late. Yeong-ji is left protecting the Princess alone. Just as Yoo-sun is about to strike, Jung-geun intercepts and throws her into confusion. Jung-geun escort both ladies away while the remaining guards engages the assassins.
They hide in a building but they have to crouch near the altar when arrows come flying in. Suddenly, Ban-ya appears from a secret compartment below the altar and tells them to hide in there. Jung-geun is struck by an arrow so Yeong-ji pushes him inside with Ban-ya and the Princess, and closes the door. Then she stands guard and faces the assassins who finally decide to barge in. Jung-geun wants to help but Ban-ya warns that it will reveal their hiding place. And the Princess "helpfully" adds that if she's harmed, Yeong-ji would not be spared.
Thankfully, Seong-gye shows up before anyone is harmed. Even In-nim is here, surprised to see Yeong-ji, and maybe not-as-surprised to see an injured Jung-geun. Seong-gye chases after Yoo-sun and her men but Sourface shoots them dead before Seong-gye can get them to talk.
Hyo-myung is still sawing his rope with the knife Jung-geun gave him when the Envoy is back, unhappy with the turn of events. He orders them killed and left. Luckily Hyo-myung finally frees himself and chips in when Ya-suk attacks the two guards left behind to finish them off. They run for in but gets caught in a booby trap instead. Sigh. These two!
Ji-sang asks for Young-suk through the guards who arrested him. He negotiates a deal with Young-suk : He won't reveal Young-suk's knowledge of the Land of the Kings (not reporting that land to the King is amount to treason). In exchange, he wants to be released and accepted as a disciple of the SeoWoonGuan.
Jung-geun thinks dad collaborated with Ryun-gae to kill mum. Dad blames him for ruining his plans. Jung-geun doesn't care - he only cares for mum, And now that he's back, he will protect her.
Seong-gye is surprised to see Jung-geun and asks for Ya-suk. In-nim stops him from interrogating his son, a fact which now confuses the hell out of Seong-gye. Swords are raised but the King's arrival put a stop to that. Ban-ya and Jung-geun are brought before the King. Princess Noguk explains that they saved her but surprisingly the King orders them captured. He will interrogate them personally in the palace later. Yeong-ji and In-nim tries to plead for Jung-geun but the King ignores them. He orders Seong-gye and Choi-young to vanquish the Deuk-Heung's army.
Ryun-gae worries when she hears about Jung-geun's inury. She approaches In-nim but her concern was rebuffed. He does warn her to leave the country for Jung-geun might reveal her involvement with the Yuan. Naturally In-nim will be spared because he IS the father.
Ryun-gae goes to the prison to visit Jung-geun but is greeted by a heartwarming exchange between Jung-geun and Yeong-ji. She turns away without showing herself. Oof. Serves you right.
Guards come looking for Shin-don (he's Ban-ya's father apparently). Shin-don is amazed by the King's level of distrust but believes behind all that, is a man who craves for someone to trust wholeheartedly. And he would be that someone.
Ya-suk and Hyo-myung are rescued by Moo-hak (how come he's everywhere?). Ya-suk finally returns to base where Seong-gye immediately gives him a punch of love. Hah. Bromance - so cute! Ya-suk requests to join the upcoming battle despite losing his little finger.
Young-suk vouches for Ji-sang who has supposedly created all that mischief because he was just so... keen on learning. Plus he's gifted. Yeong-ji protests, sensing there's more to meet the eye but the Head of department agrees. However, Ji-sang would be Young-suk's responsibility. And so Ji-sang is accepted as disciple of SeoWoonGuan.
He reintroduce himself to a bewildered Hae-in. How did he go from a fraud to a disciple? Just then, Hyo-myung makes his return as well. Hae-in hugs daddy in relief. Ji-sang recognizes Hyo-myung but introduces himself as Hung Dae-bok. Lordy, am I to call you Dae-bok now?
Ban-ya is being tortured cum interrogated by the King who's convinced she had ulterior motives for being at the temple. At one point, Ban-ya remarks that the King is pitiful - that he's suspicious of a mere slip of a girl who saved his princess proves that there is no one he trusts by his side. It strikes a raw nerve and she is almost killed for that.
Shin-don tries to force his way into the palace. A guard recognizes him and brings him before the King. Shin-don declares right away that he did in fact told his daughter to pray at the temple where she would meet her destined one. And that person is the King. Dun dun! He explains that he's skilled at reading fortunes from people's facial features and Ban-ya possesses the features of the one who would bear the King's son. *Gulp. That was really direct.
Word quickly reaches the Princess who's upset with Ban-ya's outrageous claims. She's too weak to do anything at the moment.
The King wants Shin-don to predict the first to die among three prisoners. Shin-don picks one but the King immediately sentences another to death (just to disprove Shin-don's theory). Shin-don grabs a sword to the prisoner he picked - who conveniently dies (on his own) - during the standoff. Wow. Shin-don again pleads for the King's trusts and the King is impressed despite himself. He orders that Ban-ya gets treatment. Phew.
The Envoy wants Jung-geun silenced since he knows everyone who's linked to Deuk-Heung. Ryun-gae arranges for Jung-geun to escape but he refuses. He doesn't trust her - she who by his logic should also be one of the people who wants him dead.
Ryun-gae tells him that she's his real mother. And while poor Jung-geun digests this news, someone tries to kill him. Ryun-gae gets cut in his place before Eun-bei comes by and drags her off to safety. Jung-geun collapses in a ball of confusion and shock.
The King is still doubtful but asks Shin-don for Ban-ya's time of birth (to see if it's compatible with what he claims). Meanwhile, Princess Noguk pays a visit to Ban-ya. She warns her to stay away from her man but Ban-ya insists she's here to receive treatment on the King's orders.
Ji-sang is raising a scene in front of the Gibang to force a meeting with Ban-ya. A returning Ban-ya arranges for him to meet her inside. Ji-sang is happy and eager but she's more reserved now. And with teary eyes, she tells him that she's going to bear the King's son. He's dumbfounded by this change in her but realizes that nothing he says will change her mind. He turns to leave, reassured somewhat that she's at least alive. She backhugs him and tells him that they should never meet again. He peels off her arms and walks away while she sobs. That's probably one of the shortest of first love. It's her choice, so I hope she has no regrets.
Ryun-gae gets treated and it seems that the mum-save-son bravado was all an act. I'm disgusted but I do understand why she felt like she had to resort to that kind of trick to win her son back, or at least ensure won't sell her out.
As expected, during the King's interrogation, Jung-geun claims to be a spy and reveals names of people who were accomplices to Deuk-Heung, omitting his dad and real mummy of course. He is declared innocent and released.
Ryun-gae wants Jung-geun to stay at her place. Jung-geun refuses, not wanting to have anything to do with her. If anything, he thinks ever more highly of Yeong-ji who raised him despite knowing his true identity. He doesn't care about Ryun-gae's involvement with the Yuan empire, his main concern is that Yeong-ji would not suffer in her hands again.
Ji-sang is stopped by the guards from entering the palace because he doesn't have a name tag. Hae-in vouches for him but he's not even grateful, blaming her for coming late instead. Hah. He greets everyone enthusiastically, drawing a smile from Hae-in. Later, he reports to Yeong-ji who gives him his name tag. She warns him not to step out of line or risked being kicked out.
Meanwhile, Jung-geun has also reported to SeoWoonGuan. Hae-in thanks Jung-guen for saving her dad but wonders why he's here coz she heard he was offered an official position. Jung-geun explains he's here because of her. Hae-in looks confused. Ji-sang interrupts the moment, already cluing in on Jung-geun's feelings for her and encourages him to declare his feelings. Hae -in looks thoroughly confused.
Oh lord, I've been waiting forever for this stage to arrive...I'll reserve my thoughts for later since I'm still very much behind in my recaps.