It’s all happening in this episode. The king learns more about milbon and realises that it’s going to be hard to trust anyone in the palace. He has to stop his secret work for the time being. Chae Yoon continues intensely with his investigation and finally comes face to face with the assassin. There’s another murder and another one planned. But Chae Yoon is inching closer and closer.
The king writes ‘milbon‘ in hangul. Jeong In Ji can’t believe that milbon, Hidden Root, is really behind the murders. But the king has realised that Yun Pil knew that he would be one of the few people who would be able to understand his message. And he says the dreaded name as though he is about to explode. (it must be even more upsetting for him since he even tried to help Jeong Gi Jeon all those years ago). While they are still trying to digest this shocking discovery there’s more bad news – Mu Hyul comes to say that the dead body has disappeared.
Meanwhile, the two young scholars Soong Sam Moon and Park Peng Nyeon are with the dead bodies. Soong Sam Moon has figured out that none of the scholars really knows what they are working on. Suddenly Soong Sam Moon thinks he hears a noise and goes out to check. He can’t see anything but the assassin in the mask is hiding in a doorway. Creepy. ( the assassin’s mask reminds me of a baddie in a comic like Bat Man and Robin, but seeing him hiding there still sent a cold little shiver down my spine!)
Sim Jeong Soo is frustrated that milbon has been outed (even though he can’t actually read the message!) He wonders if this will compromise their plans but the head nobi says that the next step has already begun. She shows him a paper with orders from above. Sim Jeong Soo reads out a scholar’s name – Hae Gang – with surprise. He looks pleased with what he reads and decides to go and see this scholar – they need him on their side. Then the assassin arrives and informs them that the scholars Soong Sam Moon and Park Peng Nyeon are the ones who have the dead bodies and are checking them for tattoos. They realise that the two scholars also have tattoos. Sim Jeong Soo tells the assassin to watch Soong Sam Moon.
Chae Yoon and the other guards are still wondering what happened to the dead body. They try to work out the meaning of the characters on the paper that Yun Pil was trying to burn, but one of them can’t even read the Chinese characters never mind work out the meaning! Chae Yoon just looks at him in despair! He stands in front of them like a teacher with two slow students and hits them on their hats when they don’t get what he’s trying to say! He groups the evidence together but the other two guards just look confused. Looking at all the evidence he has worked out that the dead body thief must be a scholar from the Institute of Learning – someone who wanted to look at the tattoos. Mystery music plays as the camera shows more clues written on the papers: a court lady and a bracelet pattern..
The other guards think they should go to the Institute of Learning straight away but Chae Yoon knows the body won’t be there and if they go there how will they work out who took the bodies? They work out that if the scholars took the bodies they will return them to the families afterwards. So the guards plan to watch the two family homes. Then the captain arrives worried that he has to return the bodies to the families but the bodies haven’t been found yet. Chae Yoon says he’s working on it and walks off!
The nobi taking part in the king’s research (he was doing dog sounds before) is in front of the king doing a demonstration of a musical instrument (I think) The king looks serious and deep in thought. Suddenly he tells Jeong In Ji to get Jo Mal Seng. Jeong In Ji and Mu Hyul look uncomfortable. They must know what he wants to talk to him about. They meet in private. Jo Mal Seng kneels before the king and gives him a scroll with orders from King Taejong who told Jo Mal Seng to help the king if anything weird started happening in the palace. And weird things are definitely happening.
He wants the king to believe that milbon really does exist. So he takes him to Jeong Do Gwang’s old house with the secret underground passage where King Sejong’s father also saw Jeong Do Jeon’s writing on the wall – treasonous words against the king. Mu Hyul suggests Jeong Do Jeon is dead now so there should be no problem. But the king is concerned.
Sim Jeong Soo goes to see the scholar Hae Gang. He wants to recruit him to the milbon. But Hae Gang gets angry at the mention of milbon – since Jeong Do Jeon is dead who could possibly lead the group? It annoys him so much that he sets his guards on Sim Jeong Soo. (I think all the characters so far have had swords at their necks in this drama!) But Sim Jeong Soo looks unconcerned. He tells him that there is still one member living – Jeong Gi Joon. And the fire at the printing building is connected to them too.
At the same time down in the underground passage, the king is asking the same questions. Jo Mal Seng knows that the king is aware that Jeong Gi Jeon is alive and that in fact he tried to save him years ago. Jo Mal Seng hands the king notes on Jeong Gi Joon. It seems he has had him watched all these years. There’s a sketch of Jeong Gi Joon too and the king looks distraught. It’s his old nemesis come back to haunt him.
Chae Yoon goes to see the grieving family of the scholar Ho Dam. They are wearing mourning clothes and he respectfully leaves his sword at the gate. He promises that the body will be returned soon and sees a small boy crying by the alter. It must remind him of his own childhood when his father died. He asks about the parcel given to Ho Dam and is told that is was a book – biba saron. Chae Yoon realises that three people have already died because of this biba saron. But the contents are written in Sanskrit so no one can read it. However, there is someone at the library in Banchon who can read it… The captain is still worried about returning the body to the families but Chae Yoon fobs him off and goes to investigate at the library.
Chae Yoon goes to the library and oooh – a young man, the ASSASSIN (without mask) is working there! Of course Chae Yoon doesn’t know this at first and the young man tells Chae Yoon that the manager is not there at the moment. But as he’s talking, Chae Yoon notices the pattern on his bracelet and realises that he must be the assassin! Chae Yoon tries to act natural while he reaches for his sword but remembers he left it at the gate at the funeral. So he starts to laugh and puts on his ‘I’m an idiot’ act again saying he’s forgotten to bring money, but he’ll be back. Of course the assassin knows the game is up.
As Chae Yoon walks away slowly humming towards the door, a sword is thrust to his neck but Chae Yoon merely comments about the young man’s unusually deep voice. The sword is pushed closer to his neck and draws blood. But why is there already blood on his collar? There’s a horrible squidgy sound effect as the sword goes even deeper into Chae Yoon’s neck. Just in time Cho Tak arrives and uses his little metal balls (I don’t have a more technical term for these yet!) to hit the assassin. The assassin leaps out of the window and escapes using the art of chul sang sul. Chae Yoon wants to follow him but Cho Tak stops him saying there are too many people there watching. But Chae Yoon explains that he’s Yun Pil’s murderer so they all chase after him.
The coffin arrives at the funeral place but the men carrying it almost drop it saying it’s so heavy. The captain is shocked since he didn’t think the body was in there. Cho Tak and Chae Yoon lose the assassin and Cho Tak suggests they try to find Chae Yoons martial art master since the assassin is so good at chul sang sul. But Chae Yoon doesn’t think he can find him and believes he was his only student. The captain comes to say that the body has been found. Chae Yoon vows to himself to catch the murderer as he touches the wound on his neck.
Meanwhile, the king is alone in the pyeongjeon and thinks back to the writing on the wall in the underground passage. He’s got a lot on his plate now that he knows that not only Chae Yoon but also milbon are against him. And then there’s all the other murders too. He gets in a rage kicking things and shouting to himself as So Yi watches sadly from a distance. Then we see him with the prince and So Yi. He wants to stop their secret work for the time being. So Yi confirms that she is going to meet the scholar Chang Song Soo at the library in Banchon in the afternoon. The king wants her to pass on a message – burn the evidence of what he has been working on.
The kyomsa guards go to the library and trash the place demanding to know where the young man (the assassin) is. Another manager is there now and says he has no idea. Meanwhile, outside the nobi are busy preparing food for a party. A message comes that the kyomsa guards are trashing the place so all the nobi grab weapons and go to see what’s going on.
The head nobi (she’s not to be messed with) demands to know what’s going on. The guards tell her that Yun Pil’s murderer is there and that Chae Yoon was nearly murdered too. But the head nobi merely demands to know if they have permission to be there. They don’t of course and the nobi prepare for a fight.
So Yi arrives to see the nobi gathering around the guards. Chae Yoon comes out and demands again to know who the young man is. But he gets no answers. Then he spots So Yi nearby and one of the scholars, Chang Song Soo and he frowns. So Yi meets the scholar secretly. Chang Soo Song will meet her that evening and give her what he has been working on. Chang Song Soo leaves first but on his way back he gets stopped and surrounded by some dodgy men in green.
The king hears what happened at the library and that the kyomsa believe the assassin is there. Jo Mal Seng arrives to talk about what happened too. He believes the milbon are everywhere and he doesn’t trust anyone. Not even the scholars. He wants to be in charge of the investigation. But the king laughs – if he can’t trust anyone, that includes Jo Mal Seng. But Jo Mal Seng is not offended. He WANTS the kiing to be less trusting. Jo Mal Seng has grown on me recently. At least he does genuinely seem to want to protect the king.
On his way out he bumps into Lee Shin Chok who seems very interested in why Jo Mal Seng visits the king so often. Jo Mal Seng asks him if he believes in the milbon. Lee’s expression changes for a moment, very suspicious, but then he laughs and says the milbon was just a rumour from long ago. But Jo Mal Seng says the milbon do exist. Lee just laughs saying that’s a good joke but after Jo Mal Seng has gone, his expression changes – he looks worried.
The king is lying down on the floor thinking. Mu Hyul rushes over thinking that something is wrong. But the king is reflecting over his conversation with Jo Mal Seng and trusting people. He seems to have a heavy heart.
The head nobi can’t understand how Chae Yoon recognised the assassin. She orders him to not make any mistakes with the next murder – Soong Sam Moon. Meanwhile, the head scholar Choi Man Ri has a bunch of books that belong to Chang. He angrily throws the books on the ground saying Chang should be ashamed reading stuff like this. The books are obviously not appropriate reading for a Confucian scholar. But in amongst the papers is something that looks like it could be related to the biba saron. Chang starts to cry but it looks like he’s putting on an act.
Chae Yoon and Cho Tak go to see the old man who got the dead bodies for the scholars. He is with his grandson but Cho Tak takes the boy away pretending that they will hurt him if he doesn’t tell them who asked him to get the bodies. The trick works – Cho Tak even smears chicken blood on the door to make it look like he has hurt the boy – oh that was mean. The old man is so upset and tells them what they want to know – Soong Sam Moon ordered it.
Chang is on his way to meet So Yi when he finds Soong Sam Moon waiting for him. Soong Sam Moon has ideas about why people are being murdered but Chang pretends not to know what he’s talking about. Then Soong Sam Moon sees the tattoo on his neck and shows him his own tattoo. This seems to surprise Chang and finally he agrees to tell him what he knows later.
But the assassin is waiting for them in the trees. Chang who is carrying the book for So Yi comes face to face with the assassin and manages to shout a warning before he is killed. Chae Yoon and Cho Tak have heard where Chang is and have come to look for him. They hear his warning and tell So Yi to go back.
Cho Tak gets injured by the assassin. Then Chae Yoon comes face to face with him too. The assassin has the book. So Yi hurries to the palace and tells the king what happened – Chang Song Soo is dead. The assassin tells Chae Yoon that he’s not interested in him and chul sang suls away but Chae Yoon follows him. Chae Yoon’s sword slices the assassin’s mask in half leaving a scar on his face. They have a chul sang sul fight. “Who are you?” the assassin demands to know. “I thought you weren’t interested in me”, Chae Yoon replies. Are you a little bit interested now?? Ha Ha Love it. They take out their swords ready to fight.