“Trust is more important than life. Kill them all!”
So declares Soseono (소서노) with admirable equanimity on her first outing as the leader of the trade troop owned by Yeontabal (연타발), Chief of Keru and Leader of the Jolbon (졸본) confederacy. Soseono is destined to inherit the troop from her father and this is her first opportunity to prove her mettle as a trader and to freely wield her authority as the troop leader. Responding to the treachery of the Heangin emissaries sent to buy steel swords from her, Soseono orders Wootae to kill them on the spot.
The order seems, at first glance, rather ruthless and overzealous, the mark of a novice overcompensating for her lack of real experience and authority. However, the moment she utters the words quoted above, it becomes clear that her order stems from the unbending adherence to a strict ethical code based on the primacy of trust. By this code, it is not enough to merely exist; one must also be unquestionably trustworthy in order for one’s life to be significant. By extension, this code implies that to be part of a society in which there is no trust amongst its individual and collective members is to be part of a society in which life is not worth living.
Considered objectively, this principal makes a great deal of sense both in theory and in practice since ultimately, trust and trustworthiness comprise the connective tissue of any functional, prosperous society. For in order to do their work, cultivate, and thrive, individuals and groups need to be able to rely upon the declared intentions and promises made by those upon whom they depend. But holding a principle and actually living by it are two very different things. Following Wootae’s refusal to comply with her order, Soesuno resignedly observes with considerable wisdom, “[Wootae] addresses me with respect but I know he thinks I am just a kid.”
The wisdom in this observation resides in acknowledging the difference between youthful idealism – the notion that one can live according to one’s principles – and experienced pragmatism. For his part, Prince Jumong initially sees the situation in purely transactional terms; he even describes Wootae as “merciful” in his refusal not because the young prince considers it a prudent choice, but because he deems it a position with greater potential for profit in the future when the Haengin may “return the favor.” Well intentioned though he might be, Jumong is but a young naive who has much to learn in his journey to becoming the founder of Goguryeo.
It is worth noting that in a subsequent trade, a buyer tries to cheat Soseono by “demonstrating” the defect in her merchandise by sleight of hand and she is almost taken in. Yontabal, however, spots the deceit and immediately orders the primary instrument of the offending party’s deceit, his hands, be chopped off forthwith. Here too, Yontabal cites the unquestionable importance of trust and his allotted punishment is just as ruthless, if not as final, as Soseono’s had been with the Heangin. Seosuno’s declaration focuses attention on the central theme of 주몽 (Jumong): trust is the connective substance of all social structures, from the individual to the institutional, and its practical robustness in a society determines the health of that society.
Time and again, 주몽 (Jumong) will illustrate the detrimental consequences of betraying trust. Where intimate relationships are concerned, the effects of the betrayal have a primarily sentimental expression whereas in utilitarian, transactional relationships, they find expression in the collapse of economic enterprises, military campaigns and political realms. It makes a great deal of sense that in the narrative logic of 주몽 (Jumong), the primary players are traders, soldiers, and monarchs and their courts. In the machine of fiction, these different categories of players provide perfect models through which to explore exemplary instances of the success and failure of social vitality depending on either the conscientious cultivation of trust or its calculated betrayal.
I am watching 주몽 (Jumong) again for (I believe) the sixth time in conjunction with my new regimen of Korea language and history lessons and am rather enjoying my increased familiarity with the language and the knowledge of the story which allows me to watch without subtitles!
And now, this:
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Am watching Jumong for the sixth(!) time and falling in love with it all over again. Other sageuk may be flashier, glossier, even more scandalous… But the ethical and political complexity along with the narrative and structural clarity of Jumong make it the classic that set the bar for the sageuk blockbuster.
I know that by now I should have watched, say, Dae Jang Geum or Hur Jun or even Jejoongwon instead of revisiting Jumong yet again: the DVD sets of the first two have been siting on my bookshelf for quite a while now. However, perhaps starting something new, especially such monster classics, would require more commitment than I am able to afford at the moment. My mind has finally turned to Physics and scholarship again and I am writing an article and a book proposal and I am so happy that those particular neurons are firing again and that their neurotransmitters are reaching the right receptors (wheeeee!). So it looks like it will be beloved Jumong for a little while longer. 🙂
하늘이여, 제발 (인순이)
왠지 마지막 같은 너의 슬픈 뒷모습
끝도 없는 기다림에 너무 힘이 들어도
너 없이 보낼 날들이 난 자신 없는데
사랑아 떠나라 가서 내 맘 전해주고 와
너 다시 돌아오는 길에 내 님도 데려와
하늘이여 제발 외면 하지마
그 없인 숨이 끊어져 버릴 가슴을
세상에 눈을 닫아버린 채
다 잊으려 했죠
자꾸 떠오르지만 지워지진 않는 널
어떻게 해야 하는지
천번 만번 세상 끝에 내 맘 버리고 와도
어느 새 너는 추억으로 내 앞에 있죠
사랑아 떠나라 가서 내 맘 전해주고 와
너 다시 돌아오는 길에 내 님도 데려와
하늘이여 제발 외면 하지마
그 없인 숨이 끊어져 버릴 가슴을
소중했던 우리 많은 추억들이
네가 떠난뒤 아픈 눈물로 채워져만가
사랑아 내사랑 있는 곳에 나를 데려가
내 님도 못내 나를 기다리고 있을꺼야
하늘이여 제발 우릴 지켜줘
또 다시 만날 그 날엔 이별 없기를
Dear Heaven, Please (In Sooni)
Are you leaving? Are you coming back?
I’m becoming so afraid…
Feeling like this may be the last time I see your sad back,
I hoped that this was all just a dream.
Even though this eternal waiting is too hard,
I can’t spend the rest of my days without you.
Love, leave me. Send my heart to him.
And while you’re coming back, bring my lover to me.
Heaven, please don’t ignore my cries,
don’t ignore the heart that will stop without him…
While closing my eyes to the world,
I tried to forget everything.
I remember you all the time and I can’t erase you,
I don’t know what to do…
A hundred times, a thousand times, even though I throw away my heart at the end of the world,
You appear before as a memory.
Love, leave me. Send my heart to him.
And while you’re coming back, bring my love to me.
Heaven, please don’t ignore my cries,
don’t ignore the heart that will stop without him…
The memories that were once so precious…
After you left, they’re filled with painful tears…
Love, take me to the place where my love is.
My lover will be waiting for me too.
Heaven, please, protect us..
So that when we meet again, there will be no separation…
The story that Jumong tells is set in motion by Puyo’s betrayal of Haemosu at a crucial point in his mission to liberate and reunite the Old Choson refugees and reclaim their lost land. I’d like to explore the dynamics of this particular betrayal, especially since it is perpetrated by the King and the Prime MInster who both believe that they are acting in the best interest of Puyo based on the temple priestess’s pronouncements that Haemosu’s success will spell the fall of Puyo.
More on his later
“삼족오가 사라졌입니다” (“The Samjok-o is gone”) — Byeo Ri-ha
The young priestess’s announcement immediately following Jumong’s departure in pursuit of the fleeing governor of Imdoon foreshadows the outcome of Daeso’s duplicity. For no sooner does Daeso hear that Jumong has set out with a band of Choson migrants intent on slaying the governor, he sends his minion Naro to inform the enemy, Yang Jeong, of Jumong’s exposure. Yang Jeong, in turn, summons the Iron Army to go after them. Meanwhile, back at the victorious Puyo army’s base camp, the king lies gravely wounded.
Prince Daeso’s actions constitute the gravest ethical sin a man can commit: the manifold betrayal of brother, country, comrade and commander, thus striking out on all four counts of Cocito’s core spectrum of ethical transgressions. Nor is it this Daeso’s first time committing any of those sins; it just happens to be the first time he fells four ethical birds with one duplicitous act. Oh Daeso! You are SO going down to the Ninth Circle of Hell! Brutus and Cassius may even have to make room for you in Lucifer’s gnashing jowls!
In any case, the point, in this context, is that Daeso offers a running illustrative case study of Soseono’s assertion that “Trust is more important than life,” especially if interpreted as “Trust means more than life.” It is actually not even possible to just live and let live in Daeso’s world. He happens to be the most untrustworthy AND untrusting individuals in the story and all around him people drop dead depending on his mood precisely because his world is devoid of trust. Furthermore, his mother maintains a self-indulgent persecution complex and is consumed with the desire to avenge the indignity she has had to endure watching others love and be loved while she was overlooked. Her other son, Daeso’s younger brother Youngpo, is, well, a fool – to put it kindly. So, the raw material Daeso has to work with is not really very good to begin with.
Does that mean that he has no choice – that he had no choice but to grow up to be a deceitful, fratricidal, misogynist, “arrogant prick” (again, Soseono’s words)? I am of the Free-Will vs. determinism school of thought and I believe that how we turn out is the complex result of all the small and big arbitrary choices we make throughout our lives. By this thinking, each choice defines the ethical direction along which we proceed in our lives: the more consistent the choices, the more persistent the path, until such a point as we are no longer aware of having a capacity to choose, so we attribute a certain inevitability to the path we have set ourselves upon.
But I submit that every single choice, even the ones made when we are bound in a groove and at the mercy of gravity, can still alter the path we take. If we choose to counteract gravity in the middle of what seems like a vertical drop, obviously the effort necessary to alter our direction will be herculean, the change in direction fractional. But a fractional change in angle along any itinerary means arriving at a completely different destination further down the road.
The sad thing, I believe, is that we are generally quite short-sighted: all we see is the fractional change that came of out otherworldly effort and we grow discouraged, thinking so little change is not at all worth the effort exerted. It is so much easer, then, to just give in to gravity and surrender to the vertical descent.
For reference only – multiple online sources
According to the Samguk Sagi, a 12th century Korean history, Jumong (posthumously called King Dongmyeongseong) founded the state in 37 BCE in a region called Jolbon Buyeo, usually thought to be located in the middle Yalu and T’ung-chia river basin, overlapping the current China–North Korea border. However, Kim Busik, the chief compiler of the Samguk Sagi and a direct descendant of Silla nobility, is widely thought to have been justifying Silla’s unification of the Three Kingdoms by retroactively claiming Goguryeo was founded later than Silla.
Many modern scholars believe Goguryeo was actually founded in the 2nd century BCE. . In the Book of Tang, it is recorded that Emperor Taizong of Tang refers to Goguryeo’s history as being some 900 years old. In 75 BCE, a local confederacy which may have included Goguryeo made an incursion into China’s Xuantu commandery west from the
Amnok River valley.
The Goguryeo people originated from Bukbuyeo, integrating with existing chiefdoms. In the aftermath of the disintegration of Gojoseon and Buyeo, various small tribes coalesced into five chiefdoms along the banks of the Yalu River, and these five were eventually led by the king of Goguryeo.
Goguryeo was founded by Jumong, who migrated south from Buyeo.
Jumong is a Korean name transcribed in hanja as 朱蒙 (Jumong, 주몽), 鄒牟(Chumo, 추모), or 仲牟 (Jungmo, 중모). Although his family name is recorded as Go (meaning “high” in Hanja), this is thought to be a posthumous change from the original family name of Hae, the royal surname of Buyeo.
Jumong is said to be descended from Hae Mosu, the son of the Sun-god (hae in modern Korean means sun). According to legend, Jumong left Dongbuyeo (“Eastern Buyeo”) for Jolbon Buyeo, where he married the daughter of its ruler. He subsequently became king himself, founding Goguryeo with a group of his followers from his native country.
Goguryeo maintained close early relationship with Dongbuyeo until it was absorbed into Goguryeo. Jumong is recorded to have conquered the states of Biryu (비류국, 沸流國) in 36 BCE, Haeng-in (행인국, 荇人國) in 33 BCE, and North Okjeo in 28 BCE.
For reference only – various sources
In 180 B.C., after enjoying its golden age for 2100 years, the Gochosun Kingdom finally falls as the result of a year-long war with the Han Empire. The Emperor of the Han Dynasty divides the territory that previously belonged to Gochosun into four different administrative districts (Nak Rang, Jin Beon, Im Doon and Hyeon To) and deploys his military. People of Gochosun strongly stand against the Han Dynasty. Hae Mo Soo is the central figure of the resistance.
The king of Bu Yeo, Hae Bu Roo, is very pleased with the fact that people of Gochosun are settled in Bu Yeo with the help of Hae Mo Soo. However, he’s deeply concerned when Bu Deuk Bool tells him that protecting people of Gochosun might invite the Emperor’s anger.
Meanwhile, Yeo Mi Eul, oracle of Bu Yeo, sees a three-legged crow appear in the Sun. She knows that the two legs represent Hae Bu Roo and Geum Wa, but she isn’t sure who the other person is.
The governor-general of Hyeon To calls a meeting for all the tribal chiefs. Geum Wa goes to the meeting in place of his father. There, he meets Yu Hwa. The governor-general warns that whoever harbors Hae Mo Soo will be severely punished. He kills innocent Gochosun refugees in front of the tribal chiefs. Geum Wa gets enraged, but for the fear of future troubles, he can’t do anything. All of a sudden, Yu Hwa comes in and calls out to the governor-general to stop.
Accused of harboring Hae Mo Soo, everyone in Yu Hwa’s tribe members gets killed except her. However, Hae Mo Soo manages to sneak away. He happens to meet Yeon Ta Bal and his group. He’s shocked to hear that the whole tribe was murdered because of him. Yeon Ta Bal Soon realizes that the man who seems very shocked about the news is Hae Mo Soo. In order to turn him in, he hires Hae Mo Soo as his help. Later, someone attacks Yeon Ta Bal and his group, but Hae Mo Soo helps them escape danger. That night, Geum Wa rescues Yu Hwa and runs away with her. She tells him that Hae Mo Soo is still alive.
Meanwhile, Yeon Ta Bal’s wife gives birth to a baby girl. Yeon Ta Bal names her So Seo No. He pledges that he’ll raise his daughter stronger and wiser than any other man in the world.
Geum-wa hears from Bu Deuk Bool that his father lured Hae Mo Soo into a trap. He is devastated. He plans to help Hae Mo Soo escape. With the help of Geum-wa and his soldiers, Hae Mo Soo manages to escape. However, he’s struck by an arrow and falls from a cliff.
Yoo Hwa gives birth to a boy. She names the boy ‘Ju Mong’. She tries to leave Bu Yeo with her baby. However, Geum-wa insists that she stay and raise Ju Mong in Bu Yeo. In order to protect the baby, whose father is Hae Mo Soo, Geum-wa decides to raise him as his own son.
Meanwhile, Yeo Mi Eul has a vision that the three-legged crow in the Sun flew away. She believes that it’s an ominous sign. She tells Bu Deuk Bool about the omen. He suddenly realizes that Yoo Hwa’s baby might be the son of Hae Mo Soo. He orders Jeok Chi to kill the baby. Yoo Hwa becomes aware of the danger and flees with the baby. Soon, she’s caught by the Han soldiers. Jeok Chi shows up and gets rid of the Han soldiers. However, he tells Yoo Hwa that it was Hae Bu Roo the king of Bu Yeo who wanted Hae Mo Soo dead. He’s about to kill Yoo Hwa and Ju Mong with a sword raised overhead.
Twenty years later.
King Geum-wa’s continuous conquest almost doubles Bu Yeo’s territory.
King Geum-wa realizes that Ju Mong didn’t attend Young Go Je (a ritual when people celebrate the harvest and thank God). He finds out that Ju Mong is locked in a barn for harassing Bu Young. He’s very disappointed with Ju Mong. He orders that Ju Mong receive twenty lashes. However, Dae So asks the king reduce the punishment, saying that the following day Ju Mong and he are supposed to go looking for Dae Mool Hwal (a legendary bow that the founder of Bu Yeo always carried with him). Geum-wa grants Dae Soh’s request.
Ju Mong promises himself that he won’t do anything inappropriate. He also promises that he’ll never disappoint his mother. Dae Soh, Young Po and Ju Mong leave the palace to look for Dae Mool Hwal. Ju Mong takes the lead. While passing the foggy mountain paths, Ju Mong gets separated from his friends and gets lost. He tries to look for his friends, but he gets stuck in a swamp. So Seo No and her group pass by and help Ju Mong. Ju Mong is surprised that the leader of the group is a woman. He’s very impressed by her leadership and beauty.
Meanwhile, Dae Soh and Young Po arrive at the Founder’s Mountain. They find an old poem on the map indicating the location of Dae Mool Hwal. However, they can’t figure out the meaning of the poem. After dark, they manage to understand the meaning and rush to the cave where Dae Mool Hwal is located.
Dae Soh is surprised to see Ju Mong alive. He orders Young Po to keep an eye on Ju Mong’s every move. Yoo Hwa tells Ju Mong that he should become the king of Bu Yeo and accomplish a very important task. She introduces Moo Song, a master of martial arts to Ju Mong. Seeing Ju Mong’s baby-like soft hands, Moo Song tells Ju Mong to climb up and down the mountains. Ju Mong gets impatient and annoyed because Moo Song only makes him climb the mountains instead of teaching him real martial arts. One day when he confronts his master, Moo Song takes him to a prison cell located inside a dark cave.
Ju Mong finally starts learning the basic moves of the martial arts. His skills are improving every day.
King Geum-wa hears that they successfully made a new weapon from iron. Excited by the news, Bo Deuk Bool and the king go to see the new weapon. When they’re about to test the new weapon, Dae Soh volunteers. He suggests that Ju Mong and he fight with the new swords. Hesitant at first, Ju Mong agrees to fight with him.
Meanwhile, So Seo No and the group of merchants come back to Jol Bon from Ok Jeo. Yeon Ta Bal is very happy about his daughter’s successful deal. He tells So Seo No, Gye Pil and Woo Tae that he will make every effort to obtain Boo Yeo’s secret method of iron weapon manufacturing. He emphasizes that it’ll be the only way for Jol Bon to survive among other surrounding countries.
Bu Deuk Bool hears that Hae Mo Soo is still alive. Yeo Mi Eul and he go see Hae Moo Soo who is locked in a prison. When Moo Song brings them to the prison, Ju Mong hides himself and overhears their conversation. After confirming that Hae Mo Soo is alive, Bu Deuk Bool asks Moo Song not to tell anyone that he came.
Dae Soh finds out that Ju Mong secretly leaves the palace every night. He takes Ju Mong to the training field and gives him a sword. He volunteers to teach Ju Mong how to become a good swordsman. Ju Mong is surprised, but he accepts Dae Soh’s proposal.
In the middle of the night, Ju Mong visits Mo Pal Mo at the weapon manufacturing yard. Ju Mong asks Mo Pal Mo to make him a sword as strong as Dae Soh’s. Mo Pal Mo doesn’t know what to do because he knows he needs the king’s permission to do so.
Meanwhile, the Xianbei (nomadic people residing in modern Manchuria and eastern Mongolia), who acquired the steel weapons, keep invading Hyeon To. King Geum-wa hears that the newly appointed general-governor of Hyeon To will visit Bu Yeo. He has a bad feeling about his visit and calls up all the statesmen.
Yang Jeong, new general-governor of Hyeon To, sends King Geum Wa a letter. In the letter, he informs the king that he’ll regularly check on Bu Yeo’s weapon manufacturing facility to make sure that it remains closed. Insulted by Yang Jeong’s arrogance, King Geum Wa orders to burn the letter. Beol Gae suggests that the king proclaim the Prince Royal to the throne as soon as possible, in order to strengthen the royal authority. However, King Geum Wa tells him that this isn’t the right time yet. He orders not to bring up the same subject again. Won Hoo hears that the king delayed Ju Mong’s investiture. He believes that King Geum Wa is hesitant because Ju Mong isn’t qualified to become the king. Young Po decides to get rid of Ju Mong. He sends an assassin. Ju Mong is stabbed by the assassin in the street. Ma Ri, Hyeop Bo and O Yi happen to find Ju Mong who is injured and unconscious. They take him to Bu Young.
Meanwhile, Yeon Ta Bal plans to raid the smuggler, Do Chi, in order to seize control of the salt market. However, while making a surprise attack on Do Chi, So Seo No is kidnapped by Do Chi.
Ju Mong finds out that So Seo No is captured by Do Chi. He helps So Seo No escape. At first, So Seo No didn’t trust Ju Mong, but she soon realizes that he’s trying to help her. Yeon Ta Bal and his soldiers come to rescue So Seo No, as well.
O Yi, Ma Ri and Hyeo Bo find out that Ju Mong released So Seo No. They try to kill him. To save Ju Mong’s life, Bu Young can’t help but tell everyone that Ju Mong is the Prince of Bu Yeo.
King Geum Wa gives Dae So and Young Po access to the weapon manufacturing facility. He orders them to find out the secret method of iron weapon manufacturing.
While looking for a place to hide, Ju Mong remembers the prison inside the cave. Searching for Ju Mong, Lady Yoo Hwa and Moo Deok finally find him in the cave.
Carried away by Hae Mo Soo’s splendid demonstration of swordsmanship, Ju Mong begs Hae Mo Soo to teach his swordsmanship to him. Hae Mo Soo, getting Ju Mong seated near, sweeps Ju Mong from head to waist. With his hand on Ju Mong’s back, Hae Mo Soo asks him to stop breathing. The moment Hae Mo Soo takes his hand off Ju Mong’s back, Ju Mong gets his breath back but falls on the ground unconscious. Dae So and Young Po, with their soldiers, head for the cave prison to murder Ju Mong when King Geum Wa, at the same time, under escort leaves for the prison to see it for himself. Into the prison where Hae Mo Soo and Ju Mong are in training move Dae So and Young Po launching harsh attacks. Ju Mong’s tensed look becomes dismayed when the disguised assassins, including Young Po, reveal themselves. In the meantime, King Geum Wa’s guards, who arrived at the cave prison later, report to the king on the site of the scattered corpses and he furiously gives an order to investigate the case thoroughly.
King Geum Wa after hearing the news that Hae Mo Soo is still alive looks up in the air and falls into a deep thought. Lady Yoo Hwa visits king Geum Wa and breaks into tears thinking of Hae Mo Soo, when the king starts to drink and talk about him. Gye Pil approaches Mo Pal Mo, who was drinking alone, and treats him to free drinks. While Mo Pal Mo strolls outside the Bu Yeo Palace, Ju Mong appears and asks if any swords are available.
Hae Mo Soo takes out a bamboo letter, hands it over to Ju Mong and tells him to deliver it to King Geum Wa without revealing his status. Ju Mong calls for Moo Deuk’s help to deliver the bamboo letter, and King Geum Wa, while reading wooden letters from Yeon Ta Bal, finds the bamboo letter and gets nervous.
Ju Mong visits So Seo No and asks her to take O Yi, Ma Ri, and Hyeo Bo in Yeon Ta Bal’s commerce band, but So Seo No refuses. Dae So and Na Ro visit the commerce band to Ju Mong’s surprise, but Ju Mong greets them with courtesy. While Ju Mong, Dae So and So Seo No together have a tea break at Yeon Ta Bal’s office, Dae So treats Ju Mong as if nothing has happened between them. After asking So Seo No to excuse himself for a while, Ju Mong approaches Dae So, kneels down before him and begs for his life. Dae So, infuriated by the past 20 years of miserable memories of Won Hoo and himself, promises not to forgive the insolence again. King Geum Wa calls General Heuk Chi and an orders him to find Hae Mo Soo, the runaway from the cave prison. Bu Deuk Bool, from a distance, watches with a worried look.
Meanwhile, Hae Mo Soo suddenly pulls out his sword toward an approaching object.
Hae Mo Soo reunites with Yu Hwa as arranged by Yeo Mi Eul. Yu Hwa tells him everything she had kept buried deep in her heart during the years past as tears keep flowing from her eyes. After an emotionally charged meeting with Yu Hwa, Hae Mo Soo returns to his mountain hideout to find Ju Mong soundly asleep. As he quietly lays his hand on Ju Mong’s cheek, tears fall from his face.
Back at the Palace, Yu Hwa confesses to Geum Wa that she has met Hae Mo Soo. Utterly shocked, Geum Wa tells her that he, too, has been desperately looking for Hae Mo Soo and asks her to tell him Hae Mo Soo’s whereabouts.
Ju Mong learns archery from Hae Mo Soo in the grasslands near his mountain hideout. Saying a master archer must be a fast shooter, Hae Mo Soo astonishes Ju Mong by firing a second arrow even before the first arrow reaches the target. Determined to leave Buyeo, Hae Mo Soo sends off Ju Mong telling him to go visit his mother.
Meanwhile, Dae Soh approaches Hae Mo Soo’s hideout on the mountain leading some two hundred soldiers as Geum Wa and Yu Hwa in disguise leave the Royal Palace secretly, under the protection of armed guards.
Ju Mong hurries back to the Palace at the news of his mother’s critical condition. Tears well up in his eyes the moment he sees Yu Hwa’s thin and haggard figure. Meanwhile, Dae So and Won Hu are struck speechless when they hear from Young Po that Geum Wa personally brought Ju Mong back to the Palace from outside, but they struggle to get their poise back.
Mo Pal Mo says he has something very important to tell Ju Mong and takes him to his quarters, where he says Young Po and the palace messenger are smuggling weapons out of the iron workshop. Stunned by the news, Ju Mong mulls over for a moment and suggests that they had better pretend that they know nothing about it as divulging the fact would endanger their lives.
King Geum Wa calls Ju Mong to his quarters. He asks Ju Mong for the identity of the assassin who tried to kill Ju Mong, but Ju Mong answers he doesn’t know. A moment later, Geum Wa inquires Ju Mong about his exceptional martial arts skills, and Ju Mong answers that he acquired them from a teacher named Hae Mo Soo while he was living outside the Palace.
Meanwhile, King Geum Wa calls up all the statesmen, Won Hu, Yu Hwa, Ju Mong, Dae Soh and Young Po to his quarters, and drops a bomb that he convened the meeting because he wanted to discuss what they should do about proclaiming the Crown Prince.
Ju Mong leaves the Palace and goes to Yeon Ta Bal, and asks him to hire him. Yeon Ta Bal, in response, says he needs some time to think it over, and collect the opinions of So Seo No, and Woo Tae. Oh Ma Hyeop, who thought Ju Mong’s return to the Palace would give him an opportunity to get a good position in the Palace, is disappointed by Ju Mong’s sudden announcement.
Upon hearing that Ju Mong is working for Yeon Ta Bal, King Geum Wa relays the news to Yu Hwa who becomes worried about Ju Mong, not knowing what her son’s motive is.
Dae Soh and Bu Deuk Bul go to Hyeon To’s Palace to settle the salt trade matter on behalf of King Geum Wa. Yang Jeong says that he has nothing to say to the two and that the only way to resolve the issue is for King Geum Wa to come to him and receive the order of Han’s Emperor. To this, Bu Deuk Bul suggests to Dae Soh that they should return to Buyeo and seek other options rather than endure such insult, but Dae Soh is determined to resolve the case before returning.
Meanwhile, Yeo Mi Eul visits Geum Wa after much deliberation and expresses her resentment at Geum Wa’s sole decision on how to install the Crown Prince. Geum Wa says he can’t discuss state affairs of Buyeo with Yeo Mi Eul, for she is responsible for Hae Mo Soo’s incarceration for twenty years and his death.
Yeo Mi Eul summons the priestesses from Buyeo’s all four regional districts and says that King Geum Wa is trampling on the authority of the oracle, stressing that they must stop him. Hyeon Mu, one of the priestesses listening to Yeo Mi Eul, relays the unbelievable news that she has seen the Da Mul Bow (a legendary bow that the founder of Buyeo always carried with him) broken in the cave in the Mountains.
Yeon Ta Bal has been watching Ju Mong practicing with his bow and says he has never seen a better archer than Ju Mong in his whole life. Remembering Hae Mo Soo who once saved him from trouble with his superb martial arts skills, Yeon Ta Bal is quite surprised to find out Ju Mong was trained by none other than Hae Mo Soo himself.
Meanwhile, So Seo Noh, upon hearing the news that Dae Soh has returned after settling the conflict with the Han Empire, visits him in his quarters. Delighted by her visit, Dae Soh brings out a wooden box on to the table. Precious stones are inside the box.
So Seo Noh pleads to her father Yeon Ta Bal to let her and Ju Mong lead the merchants to the nation of Go San, and Yeon Ta Bal decides to see what his daughter is capable of. Ju Mong, So Seo Noh, Oh Ma Hyeop and Sa Yong make their preparations for the journey to Go San. Ju Mong visits his mother in her quarters and tells her that he is going to Go San for the salt trade. After thinking for a moment, Yu Hwa takes off the jade ring that she wore around her neck and hands it to Ju Mong, telling him to give it to the woman he loves. Yeo Mi Eul sits at the same table with So Ryeong, the youngest priestess in Bu Yeo, who says that she’s been pressed under a mysterious power ever since she entered the Palace and Yeo Mi Eul remembers how Byeo Ri Ha fainted in front of Ju Mong.
Ju Mong and So Seo No fight off masked men who raided the group. So Seo Noh gets mixed feelings after discovering that one of the fallen men was a military official whom she often encountered while trading weapons with the nation of Haeng In. While Hyeop Bo and Ma Ri insist on continuing the journey, Ju Mong says he will follow So Seo No’s decision since she is the leader.
Geum Wa is troubled by the Han Empire’s request to dispatch Bu Yeo’s 10,000 soldiers for its battle against the southwestern barbarians. To prevent his achievement from being wasted in vain, Dae Soh proposes negotiations to Yang Jeong, saying that Bu Yeo will send its troops conditionally, but Geum Wa decides to prepare a war with the Han Empire.
So Seo Noh is determined to abort the journey but decides to wait on account of Ju Mong who asks her to give him two days of time. To carry on the journey, Ju Mong sneaks into the mountain hold of the bandits, but ends up getting caught, and So Seo Noh enters the hold to make a deal with the bandit leader.
Risking her own life, So Seo Noh jumps into the enemy hideout to rescue Ju Mong and proposes a deal to Bae Mang. Ju Mong and Oh Ma Hyeop, both locked in a cell, are dumbfounded to see So Seo Noh so unexpectedly.
Upon hearing from Do Chi that Ju Mong and other members of the merchant group will be soon killed by Bae Mang, Young Po runs to Won Hoo’s quarters and relays the news with a huge smile on his face. However, Dae Soh scolds Young Po for blabbing about things he has only heard at second-hand.
Bu Young meets with Yu Hwa, and tells her that Ju Mong is in grave danger. Driven by misgivings, Yu Hwa decides to report the situation to Yeon Ta Bal.
Meanwhile, as people crowd each and every street of Bu Yeo to get salt, and fights amongst them ensue, Geum Wa feels increasingly troubled.
Ju Mong and So Seo Noh stand before King Geum Wa. Ju Mong proudly says that Bu Yeo does not need to go to war with Ok Jeo now that he has found a salt mountain that will ensure a sufficient salt supply for generations to come. Highly delighted by Ju Mong’s announcement, Geum Wa says he will hold a banquet to celebrate. Dae Soh and Young Po watch them with a devastated look on their faces.
So Seo Noh says she should go back to the merchant group but Ju Mong suggests that she pay a short visit to his mother with him. The two and Yu Hwa talk over tea at Yu Hwa’s residence. Ju Mong says that So Seo Noh saved his life by striking a deal with the bandits and it was also So Seo Noh who helped him get out of a swamp long ago. Quite impressed, Yu Hwa smiles warmly as she looks at So Seo Noh.
Dae Soh is troubled to hear from Oh Yi that Ju Mong is trying to figure out the secret of making stronger iron. Young Po goes to Do Chi to thank him for saving his face.
Ju Mong, back at the Bu Yeo Palace from Hyeon To where he was dispatched as King Geum Wa’s special envoy, says he has delivered Geum Wa’s message to Yang Jeong that the Han Empire has frequently intervened with Bu Yeo’s affairs and Bu Yeo will be prepared to go to war if it continues to meddle with Bu Yeo’s business. While all statesmen are stunned at Ju Mong’s announcement, King Geum Wa laughs heartily and praises Ju Mong.
Dae Soh calls in the blacksmith’s assistant director Dok Gu to ask him on the progress of the iron weapon manufacturing. Trembling with fear, Dok Gu confesses that not long ago, he accidentally made a sword that could easily stand comparison with the strong iron swords of the Han Empire.
Ju Mong pretends that he let slip some important information in front of Young Po.
King Geum Wa has his three sons compete their martial arts skills against one another.
The three princes practice their skills for the upcoming match.
Dae Soh invites Soh Seo Noh to the contest.
At the archery contest, the first round of the competition, Ju Mong shoots arrows with his eyes blindfolded.
At the second round, a fistfight and sword contest, Ju Mong and Dae Soh are evenly matched.
After the competition, Ju Mong earns trust from the statesmen who used to regard Ju Mong as a mere headache of the royal family.
Depressed, Dae Soh visits So Seo Noh and demands an answer for his proposal.
Dae Soh, enraged by So Seo Noh’s answer, reports to King Geum Wa that it was Ju Mong who broke the Da Mul Bow.
Won Hu’s plan is foiled because of Yeo Mi-eul.
Under orders of Young Po, Han Dang kidnaps Bu Young. O Yi loses his temper and says he will beat Do Chi to death and rescue Bu Young at once. Ju Mong, Ma Ri and Hyeop Bo dissuade him, saying that they shouldn’t act recklessly at a critical time like this.
Yu Hwa and Ju Mong are very worried to hear the news that an assassin broke into the Shrine and that Yeo Mi Eul’s safety is unknown at the moment. Geum Wa is furious with the Shrine’s poor security. Geum Wa orders General Heuk Chi to ascertain Yeo Mi Eul’s whereabouts and track down the assassin.
Yeo Mi Eul discloses the secrets of Ju Mong’s birth.
Utterly confused, Ju Mong talks to Yu Hwa and King Geum Wa.
Using Bu Young as his hostage, Young Po threatens Ju Mong to withdraw from the contest, which will eventually determine who becomes the Crown Prince of Bu Yeo.
Ju Mong says to King Geum Wa that he wants to drop out of the contest.
Ju Mong decides to leave Bu Yeo for a while to track his late father’s activities with Oh Ma Hyeop. After telling his mother about his plans, Ju Mong embarks on a journey to locate the Da Mul troops.
In his sleep, King Geum Wa sees Hae Mo Su chased after by the heavy cavalry and hit with arrows. Disturbed by his dream, Geum Wa goes to Yu Hwa’s quarters. Yu Hwa was having trouble sleeping as she keeps thinking about what Ju Mong had said to her. She is surprised to see Geum Wa visiting her. Yu Hwa is taken aback when Geum Wa asks if Ju Mong resigned from the Crown Prince contest because of Hae Mo Su.
Bu Deuk Bul and all the statesmen suggest that Dae-so must be designated as the Crown Prince, since the contest between the remaining two princes is meaningless now that Ju Mong has dropped out, but Geum Wa emphatically states that he will wait and see. While Dae So’s face goes rigid at the king’s remarks, Young Po smiles with relief.
The Han’s heavy cavalry march captures the Gojoseon people when Ju Mong and Oh Ma Hyeop appear on the scene, vanquishes the troops and sets the people free. Yang Jeong, the governor-general of Hyeon To hears from his security officer that the Han’s troops were annihilated and the displaced people were set free. Enraged, Yang Jeong orders to send troops immediately to catch all of the prisoners back.
Dae So is back in the Han Empire to make a deal with Yang Jeong. Yang Jeong says that he will transfer Han’s iron weapon manufacture techniques to Bu Yeo by dispatching the head of his armory. Dae So beams and expresses his gratitude. At that moment, Yang Jeong’s daughter Yang Seol Ran who has incredible beauty and poise comes into the room and the two exchange greetings.
Meanwhile, priestess So Ryeong visits Yu Hwa in her quarters with Byeo Ri Ha, and tells her that Ju Mong must leave Bu Yeo at once. Surprised, Yu Hwa says Ju Mong is not in Bu Yeo at the moment, but to Yu Hwa’s shock, Byeo Ri Ha warns that if Ju Mong does not leave Bu Yeo, he could get killed.
Dae Soh and Na Ro test the sword newly crafted by a blacksmith of the Han Empire. The two compete against each other with one holding the new sword and the other the old one. Bu Yeo’s sword breaks in two by the new sword. Watching the match, King Geum Wa is very impressed and pleased, and gives an order to have a banquet to commend the workers at the armory. Young Po’s face becomes rigid with jealousy and envy.
Discovering that Young Po has taken away all the trade records while Yeon Ta Bal was away with the merchant group, So Seo Noh goes to Dae Soh to demand that he tell her why on earth he wanted to put her family through such a humiliation. Completely taken aback, Dae Soh seeks Young Po out and asks him with fury what was on his mind when he acted so thoughtlessly. Dae Soh tells Young Po to settle the situation because it was Young Po who caused the mess in the first place.
Ju Mong and Oh Ma Hyeop are back in Bu Yeo. Ju Mong first goes to his mother and then to King Geum Wa’s sleeping quarters. With Ju Mong, King Geum Wa reminisces about Hae Mo Su and brings up what it was like when he and Hae Mo Su were in the Da Mul troops. Ju Mong listens to Geum Wa without saying a word and confesses that while he is eternally grateful to Geum Wa for having raised him, he can’t forgive Dae Soh and Young Po who hurt his innocent father, Hae Mo Su .
King Geum Wa once again rejects the statesmen’s request to designate Dae Soh as the Crown Prince. Overwhelmed with anger, Won Hu can’t suppress her rage despite Dae Soh and Ma Wu Ryeong’s efforts at dissuading her. Yu Hwa advises Ju Mong to take extra caution because the Queen and Dae Soh are extremely distressed and Ju Mong could become an innocent victim of their rage.
Ju Mong says he will attack Jin Beon and Im Dun to rescue Gojoseon refugees. King Geum Wa expresses his apprehension over Ju Mong’s determination, saying that Ju Mong will face strong opposition from the statesmen. Ju Mong tells Geum Wa that if the king opposes his plan, he will leave Bu Yeo along with his mother.
Mo Pal Mo shows Yeon Ta Bal the sword manufactured at Gye Ru’s armory. Ju Mong evaluates the sword to be either equal or slightly superior to the one developed by Dae So. Mo Pal Mo pledges that he will soon make much stronger swords than those of the Han Empire, now that he has found a clue to making stronger iron.
Meanwhile, So Seo Noh asks Ju Mong to take extra caution with the ironworkers whom Dae Soh brought along, since Dae Soh made a deal with Yang Jeong on the condition that he would marry Yang Jeong’s daughter. So Seo Noh seeks her father out and entreats him to let her lead a merchant band for military supplies if Bu Yeo decides to go to war with Jin Beon and Im Dun.
Sa Chul Do’s Ma Ga sends a messenger to King Geum Wa, who delivers the head of the official dispatched to Sa Chul Do under Geum Wa’s orders and a message that Ma Ga won’t send a single solder from Sa Chul Do for Bu Yeo’s war. Geum Wa and Ju Mong are appalled to see the head. Overwhelmed with rage, Geum Wa orders the general to make preparations to go to war immediately but is soon faced with rather formidable opposition from the statesmen.
Yang Jeong sends a note to spies that he planted in Bu Yeo. Their faces turn serious after reading the note, and they throw the note into an incinerator soon after.
Ju Mong and Oh Ma Hyeop are out in the market to investigate sentiments of the people. Passengers are in groups of twos and threes, talking about how the people at Sa Chul Do decapitated the official from Bu Yeo. Right then, the displaced people of Gojoseon, whom Ju Mong and Oh Ma Hyeop rescued before approach them, saying that they heard about the impending war, and ask the two to let them join in. Moreover, dozens of Da Mul troops flock to the Bu Yeo Palace to make an earnest request to Geum Wa to let them fight for Bu Yeo.
Dae So declares to King Geum Wa on bended knee that he will lead the campaign against Jin Beon and Im Doon. Geum Wa names Ju Mong commander of the vanguard, and directs Dae So and Young Po to aid Ju Mong in achieving certain victory in the war. Ju Mong goes to King Geum Wa and asks him to withdraw the appointment, saying he cannot have his older brothers serving under him. But Geum Wa stresses that the treasonous ambitions of Sa Chul Do and the Queen’s relations can only be quieted if he and Ju Mong lead this war together. Later, Yeon Ta Bal, accompanied by So Seo No, visits King Geum Wa and offers his services as a military supplier. When Geum Wa asks how in the world he plans to purvey enough food and munitions for the entire Bu Yeo army, So Seo No replies that they have long known about the impending war through Ju Mong and that all preparations have already been completed. Greatly pleased by So Seo No’s explanation, Geum Wa asks her and Yeon Ta Bal to make sure everything proceeds according to plan.
Having learned the attack route of the vanguard troops through Dae So, Yang Jeong busily prepares a countermeasure. While leading his men across the fields, Ju Mong observes that their movements have likely become known to the enemy and searches for a new position. As Bu Yeo’s soldiers engage in close combat, Dae So appears in full battle regalia and personally leads them in combat. After watching awhile, Geum Wa orders Dae So to take over the main force until Ju Mong arrives to join them. Meanwhile, Yeon Ta Bal’s merchant band assiduously prepares for war. So Seo No and Sa Yong suggest that it would be better to move before the main force and establish a camp; Yeon Ta Bal assents and declares that he will go to the palace to discuss the matter. Dae So suddenly appears and threatens So Seo No, saying that he will not be made to wait forever.
At Yu Hwa’s orders, Moo Song rounds up the fortunetellers from the market streets. Yu Hwa discovers that the Queen and Priestess Ma Wu Ryeong are behind all the fortunetellers who have stirred up the populace with the same lie. She summons the Queen and Ma Wu Ryeong. She declares that inciting the people in wartime is tantamount to treason and warns that she will not tolerate another such attempt from them.
Yeo Mi Eul seeks out Bi Ryu’s leader Song Yang in order to free So Seo No. Declaring that Bu Yeo will come out victorious in the war, she tells him to release So Seo No immediately and reconcile with Yeon Ta Bal. But Song Yang, blinded by his own obstinacy, turns a deaf ear to her words. When the appointed hour arrives with no word from Yeon Ta Bal, Song Yang resolves to execute So Seo No. Just as Song Yang’s man lifts up his sword to kill So Seo No, Ju Mong, O Yi, Ma Ri, and Hyeop Bo appear on the scene and rescue her. Stepping toward So Seo No, Ju Mong rests his gaze upon her, and her eyes overflow with tears. Meanwhile, Dae So hears that the supply unit captured by Song Yang has returned safely. He rejoices, believing the unit to have been rescued by Na Ro. With hurried footsteps, he goes looking for So Seo No, but is astonished to find Ju Mong by her side instead of Na Ro.
Ju Mong and his advance troops use kites to turn Han’s camp into a raging inferno. Bu Yeo’s main army, led by Geum Wa, advance with a war cry and wreak havoc on the camp, which has been torn by internal confusion. Flustered, Yang Jeong flees the spot with a handful of his soldiers. Geum Wa spots Yang Jeong’s party and pursues them on his horse with lifted sword. After cutting a swath through the enemy troops, Geum Wa gets off his horse and continues to fell the soldiers of Han on foot. Suddenly, an arrow strikes him on the left side of his chest, and he falls unconscious to the ground. Yang Jeong receives word that the governor of Jin Beon has been killed. With an ashen face, he orders his army to retreat. Meanwhile, Ju Mong begins his pursuit of the governor of Im Doon, who has taken flight.
Geum Wa lies unconscious on his bed. Ma Wu Ryeong musters her divine power in order to heal his wounds, but the attempt proves unsuccessful. Even the royal physician states that Geum Wa’s fate is in the hands of the gods. Bu Deuk Bul, observing that the king’s illness must not create a gap in the affairs of state, declares that Dae So should take over Geum Wa’s responsibilities for the time being. The ministers and officials convene a meeting and decide to have Dae So take on all the affairs of state until Geum Wa recovers. Dae So appoints Na Ro as the head of the Royal Guard, a post that had been left vacant. Yearning for Ju Mong, So Seo No sits in a daze with tears brimming in her eyes as Woo Tae looks on in concern. Meanwhile, Dae So and the Queen begin to mercilessly execute all the ministers and officials who are loyal to Geum Wa, in order to cement their power.
To assuage the Queen’s rancor, Dae So places Yu Hwa under house arrest and prevents her from going to see Geum Wa. He also instructs his troops to strictly prohibit Yu Hwa from leaving her quarters and prevent anyone from coming near. Meanwhile, Ma Wu Ryeong, Yu Seong, and Hyeon Mu hold a sacred rite at the altar. Throughout the ceremony, they feel a pressing on their hearts and speculate that Yeo Mi Eul must have returned to Bu Yeo. The Queen directs Young Po to find out if Yeo Mi Eul has indeed returned to Bu Yeo, and if so, to speedily seek her out and eliminate her without fail. O Yi, Ma Ri, and Hyeop Bo decide to get Mo Pal Mo, who is under threat from Dae So, out of the ironworks. Risking danger to themselves, they extract Mo Pal Po and steal him away to Gye Ru. Upon learning about Mo Pal Mo’s escape, Dae So flies into a rage at Na Ro and demands that he recapture Mo Pal Mo at any cost.
Young Po, who has returned to Bu Yeo, visits Geum Wa in his quarters. Geum Wa observes that Dae So’s power will not last long, and entreats Young Po never to get into conflict with his brother again. Meanwhile, Dae So orders his men to keep a close watch over Young Po’s every move, since he may be planning something.
Yang Jeong leads the Steel Cavalry and his troops to the Changcheongok clan and pressures them to increase their production of iron ore. The clansmen respond in dismay, explaining that everyone except for children and the old have been put to work in the iron mine.
Ju Mong, upon visiting Changcheongok to expand his power base, learns of Yang Jeong’s visit. He stages an ambush on Yang Jeong’s party as they head for Jung San. Caught helpless by Ju Mong and his Damul Forces, Yang Jeong flees along with a handful of Steel Cavalry soldiers.
As the sun is overtaken by shadow and the world is plunged in darkness, the people in Bu Yeo Palace and on the streets of Bu Yeo tremble with anxiety. Soon, the sun comes out again and light returns, but the frightened populace finds it difficult to regain their peace of mind.
Ma Wu Ryeong, who had fallen unconscious at seeing the sun disappear, raises herself with difficulty. When the Queen asks what the eclipse might portend, Ma Wu Ryeong replies that it is surely a sign of impending disaster. Ju Mong gathers the Damul troops and the refugees, telling them that the eclipse signifies the beginning of a new nation. He emphasizes that the three-legged bird will soar into the newly-risen sun.
Meanwhile, Dae So receives the report that the common people have been greatly disturbed by the eclipse. Furious, he declares that he will execute anyone, whether lowly or exalted, who confuse the populace with unfounded rumors.
Dae So assigns troops to General Heuk Chi and orders him to capture Ju Mong. However, the general, who has resolved to spearhead the restoration of Geum Wa, leads the troops to Ju Mong and requests his aid. The surprised Ju Mong informs Yeo Mi Eul that Geum Wa is plotting a return to power, at which a shadow comes over Yeo Mi Eul’s face.
Recalling Bu Deuk Bul’s entreaty that once he has regained power, he must improve Bu Yeo’s relations with Han and abandon Ju Mong, Geum Wa falls deep into thought. Bu Deuk Bul convenes a meeting of all ministers and officials and proposes that Geum Wa be restored to the throne, as Dae So’s lunacy has reached its peak. Everyone present becomes overwhelmed with apprehension, but is unable to raise any objections against the adamant Bu Deuk Bul.
Bu Deuk Bul tells General Heuk Chi that Ju Mong must be eliminated if he refuses to give up his Damul troops. Hearing that the Damul forces pose an obstacle to Bu Yeo’s stability, Heuk Chi makes his decision. He instructs Geum Wa’s guard to keep a close watch on Ju Mong and his cohort, saying that they might need to be eradicated.
Ju Mong informs Yu Hwa that Geum Wa has asked him to disband the Damul forces and return to Bu Yeo. Yu Hwa replies that she will support him in whatever decision he makes, but that the Damul forces are already a part of him.
Meanwhile, So Seo No and Yeon Ta Bal meet Bu Deuk Bul to request that the relationship between Bu Yeo and Gye Roo be restored and await his reply.
Ju Mong resolves to stand with the Damul forces and leave Bu Yeo. Yu Hwa urges Ye So Ya to depart with him, but Ye So Ya declares that she will stay by Yu Hwa’s side until the baby is born. At that moment, they hear the news that Ju Mong has been captured by Bu Yeo’s soldiers.
Geum Wa throws Ju Mong and his cohort in prison, pronouncing it an act of treason against himself and Bu Yeo for Ju Mong to found a new kingdom with the Damul troops. When Bu Deuk Bul tells him that Ju Mong must be killed for the sake of Bu Yeo, Geum Wa is assailed with pain and distress.
Meanwhile, Bu Deuk Bul, who has kidnapped Yeo Mi Eul, asks her to convince Ju Mong to return to Bu Yeo. When she refuses, he cuts her down before Ju Mong’s very eyes. Seeing her fall, Ju Mong is provoked to extreme anger.
Time passes. Ju Mong, at the head of the Damul troops, wages war against other clans and continues to expand his territory.
Famine and disaster strike Bu Yeo for many years after Geum Wa regains power. The people of Bu Yeo become increasingly destitute and even the royal coffers begin to be depleted. At meetings with the state ministers and officials, Geum Wa continually receives reports of Bu Yeo’s deteriorating circumstances, but is unable to come up with a solution.
Meanwhile, Dae So, who has been banished to a remote region of Bu Yeo, wastes his days in drink and depravity.
Ju Mong finds himself in deep thought at So Seo No’s suggestion that they move the Damul troops’ base camp to Jol Bon and form an alliance. Accompanied by O Yi, he infiltrates the market streets of Hyeon To in order to discover Bu Yeo and Han’s movements. He discovers Dae So, Seol Ran and company there, and begins to keep a close watch on them. At the party thrown in Dae So and Seol Ran’s honor, Dae So asks Yang Jeong why he wishes to attack Jol Bon. The latter replies that after he helps Song Yang vanquish Gye Ru, he will immediately eliminate Song Yang and subjugate Jol Bon. He asks Dae So to lead Han’s reinforcements, but after some consideration, Dae So answers that he cannot abandon Bu Yeo. Meanwhile, Na Ro finds Ju Mong and company in the market. Leading Han’s soldiers, he surrounds the inn where Ju Mong and O Yi are staying.
Along with O Yi, Ju Mong returns to the ancestral mountain to see the Damul Bow he once broke. At the mountain, there is a flash of radiant light and Heavenly Lady Bi Geum Seon appears. She bows deeply to Ju Mong and declares that the master of the Damul Bow is not Bu Yeo but the Damul forces and Ju Mong. Pondering Bi Geum Seon’s words, Ju Mong searches for records of Old Joseon. Together with Jae Sa, he seeks out Cheon Dae In, who informs him that even though all records were lost in the fire when Wang Geom Seong fell, he still possesses an invaluable relic from Old Joseon. In return, he asks Ju Mong to protect his merchant band. Meanwhile, bad omens continue to appear in Bu Yeo. Geum Wa’s face breaks out in black spots, and lightning and thunder split the sky even though it is still daylight.
Despite Yeon Ta Bal’s objections, So Seo No takes a handful of soldiers including Sa Yong and infiltrates the enemy camp to strike Song Yang. Meanwhile, Bu Bun No sneaks into the Damul forces’ camp to spy on Ju Mong’s movements. He is assailed by fear when he sees the ardent looks of devotion filling the eyes of the Damul troops. When the Queen tries to bring in Jae Bu Jo Ui’s daughter as Dae So’s concubine, Seol Ran’s eyes fill with hatred for Ye So Ya. At that moment, Yu Hwa visits Seol Ran in her bedchamber and warns her never to try to harm Ye So Ya and Yu Ri again. Seeing Geum Wa in his quarters, Yu Hwa informs him that someone tried to poison Yu Ri and asks him to let Ye So Ya and Yu Ri leave Bu Yeo. However, Geum Wa refuses. Instead, he sends guards to Yu Hwa’s and Ye So Ya’s respective chambers and orders them to keep a tight watch over them.
As Chan Su is heading for So Seo No’s hideout with medicine for her wounds, a dozen or more of Song Yang’s men block his path and attack him. Ju Mong and his friends rush into Song Yang’s camp to rescue So Seo No. They defeat the enemy soldiers and get So Seo No to safety in Gye Ru. While Ju Mong and company are away from the Damul forces’ base camp, Dae So attacks Mt. Bon Gye. The main force and the refugees have already departed for the new base camp, leaving only old men and children at the mountain camp, but the enraged Dae So slaughters them without mercy. Meanwhile, Ju Mong sets up an ambush along the path that the Han troops, on the way to assist Song Yang, will take.
Na Ro and the royal guards search each and every street for signs of Yu Hwa and company. Yu Hwa and Ye So Ya, with Yu Ri in her arms, flee into the mountains. Spotting Cheon Dae In’s merchant band from afar, they appeal for help. With Yu Ri hidden in a cart, Yu Hwa and Ye So Ya disguise themselves as men and attempt to cross the border. But the border guards sense that something is amiss and block their way. Dae So, who has come to see Song Yang, offers to send reinforcements to Jol Bon to fight off the Damul forces, but demands that Song Yang pay tributes to Bu Yeo in exchange. Song Yang replies that tributes are out of the question, since the
military’s entire food supply was incinerated in Gye Ru’s surprise attack and even the common people are dying from starvation.
To keep his promise to Song Yang, Ju Mong goes to the latter’s camp by himself. Song Yang’s chief officer tells him he must disarm before seeing the commander; after some hesitation, Ju Mong complies. At that moment, dozens of soldiers appear and begin to attack Ju Mong at the chief’s orders. Hearing the news that Ju Mong has subjugated Song Yang, chaos breaks out at Bu Yeo Palace. Geum Wa takes to bed from the shock, and the Queen seeks out Ma Wu Ryeong for advice. Ma Wu Ryeong tells her that the only way out of the crisis is to request help from Han. Seol Ran also urges Dae So to initiate an alliance between Han and Bu Yeo.
In the dead of night, Bu Bun No sneaks into Gye Ru to assassinate Ju Mong. Taking a gleaming dagger out of his shirt, he steals toward Ju Mong’s quarters. At that moment, he hears a noise and quickly hides himself. He sees So Seo No and Sa Yong approach Ju Mong’s bedchamber and urgently wakes him. His opportunity lost, Bu Bun No unsheathes his dagger and departs. When Bu Yeo joins forces with Han and orders a ban on all trade with Gye Ru, the latter faces a serious crisis. Song Yang and the heads of Hwan Na, Gwan Na, and Yeon Na all come clamoring to Gye Ru and demand that the situation be rectified at once. Receiving no word from Bu Bun No, Dae So sends Se Jak for an update on the situation. Infiltrating Gye Ru, Se Jak is puzzled to find Bu Bun No dressed in the outfit of a Jol Bon soldier and warns him not to forget his family back in Bu Yeo.
Ju Mong decides to go south and enlist the help of Eup Ru’s pirates in transporting grain to Jol Bon. Ju Mong and company, who depart on their journey without informing Jol Bon, fight through numerous perils and finally succeed in meeting Bu Wi Yeom, the pirate captain. Meanwhile, Dae So gathers his ministers together and announces his intention to strike Jol Bon. Alarmed, the ministers, including Bu Deuk Bul, object to the proposed campaign, citing Bu Yeo’s current plight. But Dae So stresses that preparing for a war will not be so difficult if all the nobles and government officials contribute their wealth.
When news spreads that Bu Yeo will attack Jol Bon once Ju Mong is dead, the chiefs of the various clans become deeply anxious. Late at night, Ju Mong visits Song Yang in his bedchamber. He explains the reason why he left Jol Bon in secret, and promises victory in the coming war. Dae So puts the spurs on the preparations for war, forming an advance force to strike at Jol Bon and assigning the safeguarding of the supply troops to the border guard. Yeong Po expresses his desire to join in the campaign, but Dae So flatly refuses. Meanwhile, Bu Bun No, who has been assigned to the advance force by Dae So, cuts down the guards stationed in the mountains and hastens toward Jol Bon.
I can definitely see your enthusiasm in the articles you write.
I wish there were more passionate writers such as you who weren’t afraid to say what they believe.
At all times go after your heart!