It's a round of Yeong-ji vs Ryun-gae. Who'd come out tops?
We picked off from last week where Ji-sang interrupted the quarrel and examines the gisaeng closely. He's suddenly in fortune-telling mode, wowing everyone with his accurate predictions. Jong-dae immediately smells a money-making venture, wraps his arm around Ji-sang and claims that he's the father. It's "show-me-the-money" and I'm your daddy. Heh.
Outside, Jong-dae is curious about his "clairvoyant" power. But apparently he didn't develop supernatural powers after his near-death experience (or was it death-then undeath experience?) but it's more because of his keen observation and deduction skills. A ring mark on her finger indicates she wore the ring for a long time. For her to remove the ring suddenly must mean she's in need of money urgently...and the reason is most likely someone close to her is in trouble. Likewise she has pomegranate juice stain on her clothes, so one of her client must be a fruit trader from Yuan because pomegranate is an expensive fruit imported from Yuan. Ji-sang is still very weak and he faints mid-sentence.
Jong-dae brought him back home and even had a doctor come look at him. The doctor prescribes some medicinal herbs to neutralize the poison in his body. The stingy scrooge pays him reluctantly, grumbling about the easy cure. He even deducts the doctor's consultation fee because he didn't provide the medicine. Hah.
No-suk's investigations reveal nothing about the almighty Purple Land (it's too tedious to type it's entire name) so Seong-gye thinks it's better to ask someone - a higher ranking official in SeoWoonGuan. They ride off to find this someone, with No-suk permitted to ride a horse again. Yay promotion. LOL. I love how Seong-gye teases the poor guy.
That someone is none other than No Young-suk, whom they entertain at the Gibang. After plying him with women and expensive wine, Seong-gye asks about the Purple land. Young-suk is immediately sober and excuses himself in haste. But that only raises Seong-gye's curiosity that much more.
The King summons Seong-gye and ask an unsuspecting Seong-gye if he desires the throne. Why else would he be searching for the Purple Land? Seong-gye asks innocently if it's something he can't look for. Crap. Doesn't he know that just the mention of the Purple Land is mutiny? Seong-gye is alarmed by the accusation and explains that he thought that it was related to the assassination. Proof? Suddenly all the cards are stacked against him : He was the first to report the assassination attempt. How did he know? From a kid in the Gibang. Where's the kid? Missing. Now the suspicious King levels all accusation towards him - he'd conspired with Coldfeet and when thing's gone wrong, had sold him out. Seong-gye swears his innocence but the King orders his residence searched.
The King questions Yeong-hi next. Was she the leak? Did she tell Seong-gye about it? She pleads for his trust. She was the one who gave him the Purple Land (her hands were trembling as she says this). The King is determined to find the leak. He orders Seong-gye's quarters and working place searched thoroughly to determine if he is planning a revolt. Yeong-ji links the name to the Seong-gye who saved her and Dong-ryun in the past. She looks worried.
Seong-gye is pissed that his loyalty is being questioned. (Caption indicates Somberface is Lee Ji-ran of YeoJin tribe, sworn brother of Seong-gye, plays an important role in the formation of the Joseon Dynasty). Everyone is scratching their heads over the significance of Purple Land. The fact that Seong-gye's being vilified over something he has no inkling of actually scares him. He can't decide his next move if he doesn't know what he's fighting.
Jong-dae coaches Ji-sang on the psyche of ladies (their potential customers) for their money-making scheme. The ones in their twenties are usually in a hurry to get married. The ones in their thirties usually have problems with cheating spouses. So Ji-sang must tell them he'd catch their cheating husbands and they'd willingly part with their money. How? He shows Ji-sang a white packet of something.
They passes by Ryun-gae's residence but Jong-dae warns him not to mess with them. Ryun-gae alights from her carriage and Ji-sang stares at her (does he recognize her?). Jong-dae thinks he's checking her out and hits him on the head. They turn to leave just as Ryun-gae glances back so she doesn't see him. Ji-sang brings up the mysterious person with the hat and the sketch but doesn't elaborate.(Omo he doesn't have amnesia? happy to be proven wrong here...) Jong-dae is only concerned about the bounty and warns him against keeping it to himself.
Yeong-ji plans to stay in the Queen's chamber for the night to find the source of the poison. The Queen will secretly sleep in another room. Thus Ryun-gae still believes she has everything under control. Eun-bei reports that the Queen are taking more naps than usual but they're out of stock. She will get more.
The next morning, Yeong-ji wakes up tired but more importantly the poor little bird she brought for this experiment died. The Queen orders her to capture the culprit. The King is already much troubled by recent events so they will not informed him for the time being. Yeong-ji promises to do her best. She instructs people to follow the movements of Ryun-gae's servants and the people in SeongSukCheong (aka the Shaman headquarters).
Meanwhile, Jong-dae gets ready for the drug delivery. He's overcome by a sense of foreboding, worried about the delivery. But he can't afford to mess with these people so he's got no choice but to stick his neck out. Ji-sang frowns in worry.
Ji-sang is thrown into prison where we hear his thoughts through a voiceover. He tells dad that he's found a way to work with those people and he believes they are the key to finding mum.
The Royal doctor confirms that the drugs they confiscated are the same as the one which poisoned the bird. However, the plants to make this sedative is only available in Yunnam, Yuan. Yeong-ji joins the General in the interrogation. Eun-bei maintains her innocence by explaining she was only buying cloths. She calmly rebuts all of Yeong-ji's queries and denies knowledge of the drug.
Yeong-ji asks for the boy to prove she's lying. He exchanges a look with Eun-bei who gives him a slight shake of the head. Ji-sang claims he's never seen Eun-bei before. He only took the package because he thought it was something expensive. He didn't know who's it for. Even with Yeong-ji offering him reward and warning that the drug was used to poison the Queen, Ji-sang steadfastly pretends to know nothing of it. Oh dear, thwarted unknowingly by her own son. A guard whispers something to Yeong-ji and she leaves with a dark expression. My guess would be : Ryun-gae?
Yeong-ji is back to interrogating Ji-sang. He insists he knows nothing even after taking a heavy beating. When asked about his father, he claims he's abandoned by his parents from birth. The guards flag him somemore and he calls out to mummy. His cries resonate with the mother in her and she softens, and orders that he is given treatment.
Elsewhere, Moo-hak gatecrashes a dubious monk's fortune-telling session, sending all his visitors (all ladies by the way) fleeing. He calls him out as a fraud. He is unabashed about the sham, since he's only interested in finding a woman who could breed a King. And then they fight it out. This fraud believes that he can contribute to the prosperity of Goryeo by producing an heir. If that doesn't work, they could shift the capital. He's an idealist who wants to create a country where all the citizens are treated equally (he's Sin-don, the son of a slave). Moo-hak wins the fight - he thinks Goryeo is rotten beyond help but Sin-don is free to try, but he'd better hurry, because people are already dying of hunger before his ideal is achieved.
Ban-ya manages to free herself from her ropes and kicks her way out of the makeshift prison after struggling away from the man standing guard. She runs and hides from her pursuers, bumping into Sin-don. He directs the baddies elsewhere, and she thanks him. He seems to see something in her features (he must have some ability after all) and tells her to follow him down the hills.
The General reports that Ji-sang is still tight-lipped and wonders if he really doesn't know anything. But Yeong-ji thinks that makes him even more suspicious. He'd withstood so much beating that even an adult would have given a false testimony. His unusual resolve could mean that he's on Eun-bei's side, or he's being threatened, or something else more complicated. A palace maid curious appearance from the interrogation room raises her suspicions. She rushes into the room to find Ji-sang with some food. She immediately checks for poison with her silver hairpin and it turns black. She berates the guards for their slack. The maid claimed she was here on Yeong-ji's orders. Yeong-ji wants her found. Then she turns to Ji-sang and tears into him for keeping mum . He still opts to maintain his lie. Sigh. All I can think of is : So near!! Look at her ring!!
The maids' quarters are searched. The guilty maid quietly slips away but she is not unnoticed. Yeong-ji instructs her to be followed. She's bound to find the ones who gave her orders for help. As expected, the maid goes into Ryun-gae's residence!
Ryun-gae is furious that the maid is here. She assures Ryun-gae that she wasn't followed (heh) but she didn't manage to kill the kid because she was discovered. Just then, the servant announces that Yeong-ji and the General Geol-ryun is here. Ryun-gae is pissed and glares at the maid for leading them here.
Yeong-ji reports her finding to the Queen who promises to get the permission she needs from the King. But Ryun-gae is working fast as well. She begs for forgiveness for not recognizing that the Purple Land he owns is a fake. Crap. As expected, instead of blaming her, he's more fixated with Yeong-ji's part in this. And just as Yeong-ji is accompanying the Queen to see him. Oh terrible timing, I can't watch this. Yeong-ji is arrested and thrown behind bars. Dang.
With Yeong-ji imprisoned, General Geol-ryun has no choice but to retreat. Ryun-gae tells the maid to leave Goryeo. The maid promises to hide in Yuan where her brother is and will never breathe a word. Hmm...she'd let her off that easily? That's quite unlike Ryun-gae.
Seong-bok and gang are packing Yeong-ji's books in SeoWoonGuan on the teacher's orders. Jung-geun and Hae-in confronts him and hears that mum is imprisoned. He quickly runs to find General Geol-ryun who refuses to let him meet mum.
The maid is killed on the run...by Sourface. Eh, In-nim knows?
But In-nim is not as confident. He knows her. Yeong-ji is someone who'd swallowed her pride and married him for the sake of her lover and son. Now that she's lost both, there's no telling what she'd do. She could be as cruel as her. In-nim is convinced she'd seek revenge on them. That gives Ryun-gae pause. She remembers how Yeong-ji declared she's no longer Jung-geun's mum the moment she learn of her son's death and how she might not save Jung-geun and worries for the first time. But she still believes Yeong-ji is not that kind of person. Duh, it's ironic how much faith she has in Yeong-ji's character. There's only so much a woman can take.
Jung-geun is still unsuccessful in his attempts to visit mum in prison. Ryun-gae offers to help but he must keep it a secret. He's ecstatic and holds her hand in gratitude. And she's affected by perhaps the first real contact after she'd abandoned him.
Ryun-gae manages to get them in by bribing the guards. Jung-geun is nervous about the dark and stinky prison. Ryun-gae offers him a chance to change his mind but he insists on meeting mum.
Yeong-ji is surprised to see Jung-geun and asks how he got in. Behind him, Ryun-gae reveals herself by lifting her hood. Jeez, she's really pushing her buttons. But how would Yeong-ji decide?
Haha. Glad to know the amnesia is no amnesia. This makes things that much more interesting. I can totally see where Ji-sang gets his stubbornness. Dad spent ten years in captivity and would rather die than surrender the Purple thing. Mum spends years as wife to someone she clearly dislikes. His single-minded to find mum is what's driving him. Although I'm not sure how long that would take. And to what price.
I've mentioned that I really like Yeong-ji's character and I still do. She's self-sacrificial without being a tragic figure. I love how she counters Ryun-gae openly now that she believes she's lost all the ones she care for. I love how they traded comebacks and love it even more that she had rattled Ryun-gae. And even though I'd like to see Ryun-gae get her comeuppance, I also dread seeing her lose her humanity and become as cruel as Ryun-gae.