Another dead body is discovered with a clear message from milbon 밀본 密本 which sends alarm bells ringing around the court. But it seems that the members of milbon don’t even know who the other members are so it’s going to be tough to catch them! The king turns his attention back to ruling the country and causes uproar in the assembly when he wants to talk about the tax laws again. He still blames and questions himself over how he is ruling the country. Chae Yoon softens to So Yi as he finds that they have something in common. It even looks as though they might discover each other’s real identities when the king arrives and sees them together…
Finally face to face, Chae Yoon and the assassin chul sang sul 출상술 into the air and fly at each other for a full-on sword fight. Oooh the assassin has had it is SO EASY so far and he can’t believe there is someone else who can do chul sang sul. He gets knocked to the ground and they are both out of breath. But Chae Yoon is in control and is getting ready to take him in when they hear Mu Hyul and his men approaching in the distance. While Chae Yoon is distracted, the assassin grabs his opportunity and chul sang sul away but not before dropping Scholar Chang’s book.
Chae Yoon grabs the book and follows him but then they come across Cho Tak who is still injured. The assassin stabs him again with his sword – not to kill him but just enough to force Chae Yoon to stop and help him. Sure enough Chae Yoon stops and the assassin escapes.
He goes back to Chang’s body which is lying on the ground. The assassin has a scar now across his forehead and looks ruffled after his meeting with Chae Yoon. Meanwhile, Chae Yoon is carrying the wounded Cho Tak when he meets Mu Hyul and his men. Mu Hyul asks after Scholar Chang and Chae Yoon suspects he has been murdered already and suggests where they will find the body. But when they arrive at the location there is no body only a blood-stained leaf and some clothing to prove anyone was there. They conclude that the assassin must have taken the body away.
Cho Tak is convalescing when Chae Yoon comes to see him. The coroner/butcher is there with the other guard, Park Po, who jokes to Cho Tak that he shouldn’t have saved his worthless life. The two men are always calling each other names after all. And he is always making fun of Cho Tak calling him a country bumpkin. But this time Chae Yoon is upset and the atmosphere gets cold in the room. Chae Yoon grabs him by the collar saying not even the low classes – chon-in – are worthless. He has obviously hit a nerve and the others are surprised by his sudden anger.
Then the captain, Official Jung, arrives in a daze saying something about the lake. They rush to the lake where a body is discovered on a small boat. The butcher takes off the covers to reveal Scholar Chang’s body. So Yi faints. Then when they lift the dead body from the boat they see a message written underneath it -a flower (ie. the king) can’t have roots. There must be several of the onlookers who understand that this message is from milbon, including the king. His expressions shows that he knows it’s referring to him.
The king still doesn’t want to believe that this really is the work of Jeong Gi Jeon and milbon. He tells his men that he’s tired and retires to his chamber for a nap. Mu Hyul is especially surprised at this and explains to the others that the king can’t even sleep at night and he has never taken a nap like this before.
The king tosses and turns worrying about milbon and Jo Mal Seng’s advice not to trust anyone. He remembers his father telling him on his deathbed that the path he was choosing (peaceful leadership) would be much harder than the one he had taken himself. In a rage the king shouts out that he is different to his father. He clasps his chest like he’s about to have a seizure. At the same time, So Yi is in bed with a fever. The other ladies scold her for over-reacting at the sight of the body. But they are really worried about her.
In the aftermath of the discovery of the dead body and message, everyone is still shocked. Jo Mal Seng worries about milbon’s words being revealed in public. Lee Shin Chok 이신적 is shocked too, but for a different reason – he must be a member of milbon and has now discovered that they have started up again. Song Sam Moon 성삼문 tells fellow Scholar Park that he went to meet Scholar Chang the night before but he was killed before he could give him any answers. Now he wants to take a leave of absence and go and pursue his own investigation. So Yi packs her writing stuff and leaves the palace. The other ladies try to stop her but she’s determined to find the book Scholar Chang was going to give her. But on her way out she’s spotted by Park Po.
Chang Eun Song meets Lee Shin Chok and discusses the meaning of the message left in the boat with the body. He recognises the words and recalls the rumour that Jeong Gi Jeon wrote them. Lee asks him if he believes in milbon but Chang only laughs thinking this is just a joke. Then Lee reveals that he is a member of milbon and was ordered to get a high position in the government and wait for further instruction. Jeong Gi Jeon said he would hide as an ordinary person – so he could be anyone…
Chang is surprised but he swears his allegiance to Lee. Lee has waited 20 years and now the order has come – he believes that the fire in the printing building and the message on the boat are signs from milbon. Chang Eun Song realises that the scholar Chang was murdered by the milbon.
The head nobi and Shim Jeong Soo catch up with the assassin. They wonder who Scholar Chang was going to meet that night they killed him. Shim Jeong Soo always sits with his back to the assassin and talks to him without looking at him. But he’s happy enough for him to do their dirty work, isn’t he? But he turns around to see the cut on the assassin’s face and asks if it was Chae Yoon who did it. He lies and says no it was just an accident.
The assassin calls a nobi and tells him to go to find the chul sang sul Master Lee Bang Ji. Meanwhile Song Sam Moon continues his own investigation and finds out that Chae Yoon has found out it was he who took the bodies.
Chae Yoon is with the butcher/coroner looking over Chang’s body. The coroner says the cause of death is poison. Chae Yoon looks thoughtful (unconvinced?) As he walks away he realises he’s being followed. We see someone’s sweet little feet following him! Chae Yoon isn’t worried and lets himself be caught and even pretends to struggle! So cute. It’s Song Sam Moon in a mask and he wants answers. He’s quite feisty for a scholar but we all know he’s no match for Chae Yoon. I love the music that’s playing while we see Chae Yoon pretending to struggle inside the sack that Song Sam Moon puts over his head. Does Song Sam Moon really think he’s unrecognisable in that mask? He’s been watching too many dramas!
Chae Yoon cries out to be saved! So funny when his voice goes really high. Song Sam Moon seems to think that he is in control of the situation (how naive he is) but when he produces a book, Chae Yoon calmly throws aside the ropes that he was tied up with and takes the book from Song’s hand! Song is shocked that he has ‘escaped’. Next we see Song rubbing his face – he’s got marks where he must have been beaten – and now the tables have turned and HE is being questioned!
Chae Yoon demands to know what Song wanted with the dead bodies. He doesn’t want to answer but Chae Yoon grabs his arm and sees the tattoo. Then he shows him the paper that Yun Pil tried to throw away and wants to know what it means. Song doesn’t want to help at first but Chae Yoon promises to give him the book that Scholar Chang was trying to give to So Yi before he was killed in exchange for the information. Song agrees but needs time to work it out.
The king is throwing things on the floor in a rage. He tells the prince that it’s time for an assembly. Jo Mal Seng sees the aftermath in the king’s room – broken ceramics all over the floor – and wonders if now the king will start to fight against the milbon. At the meeting the scholars and ministers sit sombrely waiting for the king to speak. After all, they have a lot of serious problems with murderers on the loose killing scholars. But they are not prepared for what the king has decided to talk about in the meeting: today’s topic is … the tax law. Oh!
Everyone stares at the king in disbelief. Jo Mal Seng is quick to voice his opinion. Why on earth does His Highness want to talk about tax when there are so many more pressing things to discuss? Nobody saw this one coming, that’s for sure. But the king is adamant – the country won’t rule itself, will it? And the murders are a separate issue.
The king says he is concerned about corruption by local officials that is going on with the taxes. And he’s discovered that a previous census carried out with farmers to find out their opinion was not carried out properly – the farmers were simply told by the local officials which Chinese character to write on their ballet papers. They probably had no idea that this character meant they were voting against the proposal. Perhaps they didn’t even know that they were taking parting in a census. Now we can see why many officials don’t want the common people to be able to read. Because if everyone can read, they will be harder to fool.
So the king has decided that this time the census will be carried out by the Institute of Learning and the person in charge will be the scholar Nam Sa Chol. The scholar looks as shocked as everyone else to hear this news!
Jeon In Ji can’t understand the king’s timing either. He tries to get him to change his mind because he is upsetting the ministers. But the king says that when they did the census 13 years ago they also collected research on regional accents for the Institute of Learning. He’s put Nam Sa Chul in charge of the census this time so does he want to carry out more research again at the same time? And is this another reason why the ministers are against it?
The ministers discuss the issue themselves later with the prime minister.They don’t want to change the law as it’s not in their interests. The prince timidly asks his father if there is another reason why he is doing something about this law now? Is it because he knows this will shake up the ministers and they can see whose side they are on? The king simply tells the prince not to try to read his thoughts. Mu Hyul tells the prince that the king asked him to keep an eye on the officials after the meeting. This seems to confirm the prince’s fears…
Meanwhile, So Yi has gone to the mountain to search for the book. But Chae Yoon has the book and plans to put it back to see what will happen when So Yi gets hold of it. Then they can see if she is on the king’s side or on the side of the murderers – depending on where she takes the book. Chae Yoon still doesn’t trust her. He plants the book and sure enough she turns up and finds it. She looks through each page and memorises what’s written there. Then the two guards watch in surprise as she rips the book up and sets fire to it and cries.
The guard from Internal Affairs turns up to see the king. He has been watching the officials and tells the king that they have meetings to discuss the tax issue as well as secretly contacting local officials too. The king looks annoyed. Meanwhile the officials sit together criticising the king and they debate whether he is against the teachings of Confucius as his tax reforms will hit the student scholars of Confucianism the hardest. Joseon was built on the teachings of Confucius so this would be a strong criticism indeed.
Mu Hyul comes to the king. He seems frustrated that the king is focusing on tax when he should be concentrating on catching milbon. The king is going over all the times the ministers have opposed him in the past. He is frustrated and demands to know what he has done wrong. He is only trying to make the country better. Mu Hyul says just because the ministers oppose his views doesn’t mean they are members of milbon.
Frustrated and upset, the king goes into the Institute of Learning by himself where he meets his young self. He’s angry with himself for being so arrogant to think that he could rule with words and not the sword. He even spits at himself and blames his young self for killing his people. But when his young self suggests he go to his father’s grave to say he was right and beg for forgiveness he loses it and grabs his own collar in a rage! So he’s not prepared to give up yet!
Chae Yoon and the guard follow So Yi to the corner/butcher’s. After she leaves they go in and Chae Yoon puts a sword to his throat demanding to know what she was doing there so late at night. She came to get some medicine. Chae Yoon discovers that just like himself, So Yi can’t sleep at night.
While a modern ballad plays in the background, Chae Yoon watches So Yi with more sympathetic eyes. We’ve gone into a romance all of a sudden. But when she sits down and is about to take some more of the medicine, he goes over to stop her – she’s taking the medicine so that she won’t sleep and that’s bad for her. He asks her if she is scared to sleep.
Suddenly the king arrives and Chae Yoon drops to the ground to bow. The king demands to know how he knows so much about the medicine. Chae Yoon admits that he had nightmares after his father died and was afraid to sleep too. So he decided to take revenge on the person who killed his father. But since this decision he has focused on this so much that his condition has got even worse not better. Chae Yoon clutches his sword and the king steps towards him. Mu Hyul worriedly tries to stop him. The king realises the depth of Chae Yoon’s hurt and determination and finally tells him to follow his own path. As he walks away the king says to himself that he will follow his own path too.