I'm beginning to accept that it's futile playing catch-up in my state :p
Ji-sang interrupts Jung-geun and Hae-in by explaining that Yeong-ji is looking for Hae-in. Yeong-ji wants Hae-in to keep an eye on Ji-sang. She doesn't trust him much given how Hae-in had mentioned Ji-sang wanted to look at the royal genealogy. Anyone who harbours ill-intention towards the King will benefit from learning the King's time of birth.
Which is precisely what bothers Banya and co. She is worried that her time of birth will not be compatible with the King's. And so it's decided that they shall concoct a fake one. But first, they'll need to know the King's time of birth (t.o.b.)
Ji-sang is introduced to the class formally and Hae-in is responsible for him. Yeong-ji gives Ji-sang an assignment to prove his worth: to find "dongwangdul" (eastern yellow earth) in 5 days or be kicked out. It's an "improbable" task because that sort of earth can only be found in the Southern parts about 5 days journey away. Jung-geun sneers that Ji-sang might be kicked out after all. Ji-sang retorts that Jung-geun is only jealous because he is getting close to Hae-in. He boast confidently that he'll find the earth so fast that it would embarass the SeoWoonGuan disciples. Cheeky.
Shin-don ropes Jung-geun into finding out the King's t.o.b. by threatening to expose his dad affair with the royal shaman. Jung-geun only agrees because Yeong-ji would also be dragged into the messy consequences.
In-nim chides Jung-geun for not coming home. Jung-geun points out that In-nim's got himself a new wife. He doesn't really care and admits right out that he knew about Ryun-gae being his birth mother. All he cares about is worrying Yeong-ji so they should just keep this between themselves. He agrees to keeping up appearances by going home.
Jung-geun looks everywhere for the genealogy records and bumps into Hae-in who is giving lessons to Ji-sang about the yellow earth. Ji-sang starts teasing him about his feelings again while Hae-in remains blur. He leaves the two together but Jung-geun chases after him and denies his feelings. Ji-sang then suggests that Jung-geun doesn't steal glances at the object of his affection or smile to himself when he does (Ji-sang caught him in the act during classes. Hah.)...yunno, to avoid any misunderstanding. Ji-sang adds that he noted that Jung-geun is searching for something secretly and wishes him luck in that. Hah. Hah.
A new envoy is dispatched (uncle of the previous one) to Goryeo to bolster the ties between Goryeo and Yuan. But he requests an inquiry into the assassination of the previous one.
In private, In-nim implies that they may need to "create" a culprit if they can't find the real one. And Lee Seong-gye is the best fall-guy. He's got the motive (Ya-suk was held hostage) and he did led an army against the Yuan's army (but that was on the Kings order!). Lastly, he's an important enough figure to sufficiently satisfy the Yuan. Perhaps more importantly is the King no longer trusts him. Sigh.
However, Jung-geun is already there in the library. An uneasy Hae-in also tracks back to SeoWoonGuan. Jung-geun hides himself when Ji-sang shows up and heads straight to the secret code thingy. He finally shows himself and offers to bring him along into the secret library if Ji-sang can crack the code. They do, with some old-fashioned "fingerprint dusting" and Jung-geun's geomancy knowledge.
Inside, Jung-geun finds the King's details and jots them down. Ji-sang finally locates the ring as well but Jung-geun recognises it as well. Ji-sang almost forgets himself when Jung-geun tells him to return it. He does but they run into Hae-in right outside the door. It's probably a good thing Jung-geun is there because Hae-in thinks twice and speaks for them when the guards came to shoo them.
Jung-geun lies that he knew of the place because he's royalty anyway. Hae-in chases after Ji-sang, wary about his motive. Jung-geun takes the opportunity to sneak back in and pockets the ring. Once she's caught up with Ji-sang, she declares she's going to report him but Ji-sang grabs her and pleads for more time. He doesn't explain much other than he's not planning anything sinister. His urgent pleas seem to affect her because she could not bring herself to tell Yeong-ji about the incident.
In-nim and his men sneak into Seong-gye's camp and arrest Seong-gye and his men on the suspicion of the envoy's murder. Seong-gye is unperturbed until he realises that the King endorses In-nim's actions. Poor thing.
Jung-geun changes the details of the King's t.o.b. before handing it to Shin-don. Shin-don assures him he's not after personal glory but he's trying to save Goryeo.
Ji-sang asks Jung-geun about the ring but he denies any knowledge of it, Jung-geun wants him to leave quietly but Ji-sang reminds him that they're in this together. Hae-in asks Jung-geun about Ji-sang's actions in the secret library. Jung-geun tells her that Ji-sang did not look into the royal genealogy or steal anything (Jung-geun did!). Relieved, Hae-in asks him to keep this quiet. But that in turn makes Jung-geun uneasy - why is she protecting Ji-sang? She says that he looks like he's got troubles of his own.
Ya-suk is raving mad but Seong-gye is quiet. He's upset and couldn't come to terms with the fact that his beloved King has chose to sacrifice him / betray him.
Shin-don creates a compatible t.o.b. for Ban-ya.
Jung-geun finds Ryun-gae with more questions. Why did Yeong-ji leave home if she's already aware of the affair? Is it because of the ring? Ryun-gae tells him of Yeong-ji's son, who shares his birthday, and how he died of an injury. Jung-geun is surprised to learn that Yeong-ji had another man.
Ji-sang sees a frantic Yeong-ji looking for intruders and mistakes Yeong-ji as the culprit behind dad's murder! No.......!
Yeong-ji reports the intrusion to Young-suk. She worries that the timing might be related to the people who wants the wedding to go through. Young-suk would rather wait and see - can't let the King learn of their security lapse.
A henchman sneaks into the prison to see Seong-gye. His men are planning to save me when he's being escorted to Yuan. Seong-gye disapproves - he doesn't want them committing treason by going against the King.
Da-ran and Ya-suk beseeches Seong-gye to reconsider, heedless of the consequences. Seong-gye finally consents and tells his men to ambush the travelling party.
In-nim is at the door, asking for Yeong-ji, thus cutting short the "reunion". He lets himself in when Yeong-ji doesn't answer. He's curious about Ji-sang but Yeong-ji covers for him - she explains that he's a disciple here and dismisses him, reminding him about his assignment. After Ji-sang has left, In-nim conveys the envoys request and Yeong-ji puts Hyo-myung be in charge of that.
Hae-in urges Ji-sang to step it up. Ji-sang teases her concern - is she attracted to his pretty face? Heh. Hae-in explains that she's in charge of him - if he messes up, she gets the blame too. So they set out together.
Yeong-ji cries alone, overwhelmed by emotion that her son has come all the way to the palace to find her. She vows to protect him by making him leave the palace (a decidedly dangerous place), even if it means never seeing him again.
Hae-in and Ji-sang are up in the hills still looking for the elusive yellow earth. Hae-in warns that it's getting dark but Ji-sang would rather stay and continue his search. Hae-in is wary of him ditching her again and getting embroiled in more mischief so she opts to stay behind as well.
Day. Hae-in wakes up alone.
Ban-ya tells Moo-hak that she's seen Ji-sang in Gaesung. Moo-hak laughs at that but he's not anxious to ind him. They will meet if they're fated to.
Hae-in is back at SeoWoonGuan looking for Ji-sang. Hyo-myung berates her for staying out all night so she lies that she spent the night at Jung-geun's place poring over books. Fortunately, Jung-geun plays along with her story. Hyo-myung then excuses himself - he's supposed to oversee the envoy's request. Jung-geun is surprisingly calm about her spending time with Ji-sang because he thinks Ji-sang will fail and gets kicked out.
Ban-ya surrenders herself to the authorities by admitting she is the one illegally occupying the Land of the Kings. Yeong-ji interrogates her and she freely admits her doings. She insists that during the long period of time her mother's remains were buried in that land, she must have been blessed by the spiritual essence of the land. How else could a lowly girl like her save the princess? She asks that Yeong-ji conveys this to the King and if he still intents to punish her then, she will accept her due.
The King didn't even blink as he orders her mother's remains exhumed and her to be punished accordingly.
Moo-hak dreams of Dong-ryun in SeoWoonGuan attire. Dong-ryun tells him to save someone at ChaNam Hills. Coincidentally(or not), the new envoy also hopes to bury his late mother's belongings there. Moo-hak interrupts Hyo-myung's consultation with the envoy to share his dream and the news about Ji-sang. Hyo-myung is surprised and promises to keep a lookout since he's headed there himself on official business. Moo-hak asks to tag along and was granted permission.
At ChaNam Hills, there's a sacred land embodied by the "floating lotus" which brings prosperity and wealth. Moo-hak finds the exact rock there and rushes over only to find Ji-sang there, digging. Ji-sang recognizes him right awat but denies being Dong-ryun's son. I just love how Moo-hak's direct questions unsettles everyone. My guess is Hyo-myung's presence made him wary of revealing his identity to Moo-hak. Regardless, Moo-hak instructs him to follow him - in exchange he'll help him find the yellow earth.
Moo-hak wants to tests Ji-sang's ability. He tells Ji-sang to locate a "myungdang" (sacred land - a land with good fengshui) even as he protests that he's merely a disciple. Moo-hak promises to find him the yellow earth if he tries. Even Hyo-myung encourages him to try. Ji-sang approaches the envoy.
Hyo-myung understands Moo-hak's intentions. He must suspect that Ji-sang is Dong-ryun's son. Moo-hak confirms that it's too big a coincidence and he's keen to test his suspicion. (Ji-sang is supposedly naturally gifted at this).
With Moo-hak's encouragement, Ji-sang proceeds with his unorthodox method of asking the envoy to lie down on the ground. The unhappy envoy consents to giving him three chances. After two failures, Ji-sang finally pinpoints an mound. Hyo-myung nervously tries to take over but the envoy is adamant to check Ji-sang's prediction. If he's wrong, all three of them will be held accountable.
Princess Noguk outlines her instructions without mincing her words. Ban-ya's job is only to bear the King's son. She is not to try to win the King's affections. Or else... Ban-ya points out that the King might object but Princess says she'll deal with the King. And her son will be brought up by the Princess. Because tongues may wag, Ban-ya is to receive the King in a private residence.
The mound turns out to be the envoy's mother's grave (he's forgotten the exact location, hence all the trouble) so Ji-sang and the rest are spared. Ji-sang then turns to Moo-hak anxiously (time is running out) but gets a knock on the head - the ground they've been digging consists of the very earth he's been looking for!
Ji-sang rushes back and while Yeong-ji acknowledges he's gotten the right earth, she maintains that he's exceeded the time cap (by minutes...!). Well, it's just an excuse because she wants him out no matter what. Hae-in is upset but Jung-geun looks strange (not sure what his expression means).
That night, over a sumptuous feast provided by the grateful envoy, Hyo-myung muses if Ji-sang is truly Dong-ryun's son. Moo-hak is not sure but one thing's for sure - he's definitely a gifted seer.
Ji-sang coming clean with Yeong-ji about his true identity is the only scene thus far that felt really random and weird. Fortunately, the scene also showcases powerful acting from both actors that sort of glossed over the awkwardness of the scene. I mean I get that Ji-sang would want to confront Yeong-ji after suspecting that she killed his father. But why so careless, why expose yourself to the very person whom you suspect tried to kill you previously. It wasn't even a slip of mouth, he'd practically spelled out his entire situation to her. Granted, she IS his mother but really, it doesn't quite conform to his cautious personality so far. And man, is it frustrating to see her trying to form the right words. It's you...you...you...! I don't even like her turn at being a noble idiot. Sheesh, and to think I'd praised her for being smart.
All other emotional threads being so slow, my only joy is seeing Ryun-gae get rebuffed by Jung-geun at every turn. It's like no matter what she does, Jung-geun can see right through her. And I clap everytime he declares that Yeong-ji is the only mother in his heart. It's so satisfying! LOL. Too bad Jung-geun is not averse to making some questionable choices or else I'd actually be more sympathetic to his plight. He is a pretty pitiful figure with the adults pretty much mucking his life.
I'm sorry to say that even though I love Kim So-yeon as an actress, but I kinda feel she might be miscasted here. I'm not really feeling the innocence of Hae-in from her. Then again, she hasn't had much screen time compared to the males so perhaps I'd warmed up more to her later.
I must admit so far that this drama has been mediocre for me. And with so many other new dramas coming in, my interest is also sadly flagging.