Deep Rooted Tree Episode 18

Everything has been going well for Jeong Gi Joon so far. But suddenly he finds his plans going pear-shaped and he’s getting desperate. First he tries emotional blackmail to try to force Lee Bang Ji to help Chae Yoon assassinate the king. He thought he could trust Chae Yoon and Lee Bang Ji. He was wrong. Meanwhile, the king decides that it’s time to meet Jeong Gi Joon face to face. And this turns out to be easier than he thinks! 

Chae Yoon stares at Lee Bang Ji trying to work out why he’s visiting Ka Ri On! And Jeong Gi Joon watches the two men with glee as he prepares the meat for Chae Yoon. He must be thinking his plan is working nicely and soon Lee Bang Ji and Chae Yoon will be working with Milbon. Chae Yoon has no need to go on his trip now as he’s already found Lee Bang Ji! But he pretends to go anyway. After he leaves, Jeong Gi Joon tells Lee Bang Ji what his mission will be:  kill Mu Hyul so that Chae Yoon can kill the king. But Lee Bang Ji wants nothing to do with Milbon and he refuses.

Outside, Chae Yoon is waiting for him. And the heavy mood becomes light as he holds up the bag of meat with a smile. The next thing we know they are both sitting on the roof eating and chatting. (a nice chul sang sul touch there) They are relaxed but not totally open with each other at first as questions need answering –  Is Lee Bang Ji in Milbon? How does he know Ka Ri On? Does he know Jeong Gi Joon!? Does Chae Yoon really plan to kill the king?

Chae Yoon reveals his new goals –  kill Jeong Gi Joon, then settle down with Dam after all this is over. But Lee Bang Ji tries to persuade him just to leave now with Dam in case things go wrong. But he wants to complete his mission and see the king’s new alphabet in use first. So finally, Lee Bang Ji agrees to tell him where Jeong Gi Joon is so he can complete his mission – as long as Chae Yoon accepts that he could lose everything in the process …

Jeong Gi Joon’s orders are making the other Milbon members nervous especially when Han Ga guesses what he’s planning – 대급수 to have the king assassinated. This will make them all BIG TRAITORS. 😕 Even bigger than before..

Meanwhile, Chae Yoon remembers Lee Bang Ji’s words as he walks back to the palace. He stops by to see So Yi who ‘just happens’ to be on kitchen duty tonight. So he secretly watches the domestic scene as she prepares supper. (She doesn’t look very experienced the way she’s slicing that leek though .…) So Chae Yoon is just dreaming of a normal married life – what most people take for granted. Oh!


The suicide speech from the scholar has been put up everywhere and now it’s read out to the king and ministers. It criticises the king and the government for allowing the king to go ahead with his new writing system. Glum faces all around but there’s a slight smirk on Minister Lee’s face! The ministers try AGAIN to get the king to stop his project and then the head of the Institute comes to kneel before him and show his EXTREME displeasure with the new alphabet too. And he isn’t even a Milbon member!

The head of the Institute is worried (as all the noblemen are) that the class system will break down if the king goes ahead with this. The king argues that being able to read will give the lower classes a better life. But the scholar is only worried about the nobility losing power. He doesn’t seem to care about the lower classes! The king tries to explain that the class system will change over time anyway and he wants to stop corruption and stop history repeating itself by making sure more people can read. But his argument falls on deaf ears.

The king is getting more and more frustrated about the opposition to his plans. So in the end he decides that he must meet Jeong Gi Joon. Then he can try to MAKE HIM understand. But Mu Hyul can’t believe that the king wants to meet a traitor!


Jo Mal Seng discovers that Lee Bang Ji is still in Hanyang (Seoul). So he orders Mu Hyul to catch him. Mu Hyul looks serious as he goes to his ‘sword cupboard’ and takes out the special one that’s all wrapped up like a mummy. This must be a psychological challenge for him as Lee Bang Ji is the ONLY ONE who has EVER beaten Mu Hyul in a fight.

Lee Bang Ji thinks back to the night Jeong Do Joon was murdered. He remembers going to Jo Mal Seng with his sword still dripping in blood. Jo Mal Seng was calmly sipping a cup of tea. And told Lee Bang Ji to kill him. Because he felt ashamed that a woman –  Jeong Do Joon’s wife – was involved. But he also pointed out that it wasn’t his fault that Jeong Do Joon and his wife were dead. It was Lee Bang Ji’s fault for hesitating to save his master (because he was in love with his wife).

Suddenly he hears Mu Hyul’s soldiers surrounding the hut. He bursts out and flies over their heads and away into the mountain with the soldiers hot on his heals.

Long time no see, he says to Mu Hyul casually when he catches up with him!

They have a little sword fight greeting but Mu Hyul has not come to fight. Instead, he tells the other soldiers to back off. Once they are out of earshot he tells Lee Bang Ji to pass on the message to Jeong Gi Joon that the king wants to see him.  And in return Mu Hyul promises that after all this is over, Chae Yoon and So Yi will go free. At first he is sceptical, but then Lee Bang Ji has a little hope – perhaps if the king can talk to Jeong Gi Joon then they can avoid any trouble..


Meanwhile, Jeong Gi Joon’s plans are having major setbacks. First he hears that Mu Hyul and Lee Bang Ji met up but didn’t fight – they just talked and then went their separate ways. And this is suspicious. So can they really trust Lee Bang Ji?

Then he gets a letter from their northern Milbon branch that says the prince is alive and well in the north. SO now they know Chae Yoon has been lying to them! Jeong Gi Joon is fuming and he goes to Lee Bang Ji’s hut. He asks him if he has made his mind up about working with Milbon. But Lee Bang Ji just passes on Mu Hyul’s message that the king wants to see him. Jeong Gi Joon gives a hollow laugh. He says Lee Bang Ji has betrayed Milbon for the second time and they have no more use for him. He storms off and we see the assassin Karupae standing there. Oh dear. 

The king and Mu Hyul discuss how to keep Jeong Gi Joon safe when they meet. Mu Hyul will pass on the details to Lee Bang Ji. But unfortunately Lee Bang Ji is busy with the assassin fighting on the mountain.

Afterwards, the now bloody and wounded assassin comes back to report that Lee Bang Ji jumped off the cliff and the body has not been found (as the assassin doesn’t do water). Meanwhile, Chae Yoon turns up at Lee Bang Ji’s hut to find it wrecked and blood stained everywhere. He follows the clues to the mountain where he sees stone cut with a sword.  And Lee Bang Ji misses his appointment with Mu Hyul so they all realise something is wrong.

Chae Yoon hears from Park Po (who always has the gossip) that Mu Hyul went to the mountain and took his special sword.  Chae Yoon has a flashback to the stone sliced with a sword on the mountain and rushes off to find Mu Hyul. Does he think Mu Hyul fought with Lee Bang Ji? But Mu Hyul also demands to know what happened to Lee Bang Ji. They know there was a fight. But who could possibly cut stone with a sword? They both think and both see the vision of the assassin with the flower ring..

They continue the search for Lee Bang Ji. Mu Hyul returns to the mountain and Chae Yoon goes to Ka Ri On’s place. But Chae Yoon can’t find Ka Ri On or the head nobi even from his lookout on the rooftop!

The king hears that Lee Bang Ji has disappeared and he worries he will not be able to meet Jeong Gi Joon after all. He’s frustrated and wants to go out and get some air. Meanwhile, Jeong Gi Joon is forlorn now that he can’t trust Chae Yoon or Lee Bang Ji and he’s planning to go into hiding for a while. Bu then he hears Mu Hyul’s voice at the door. Mu Hyul tells him to prepare some meat which can only mean that the king has come to see him again on the cliff!  Jeong Gi Joon thinks quickly and calls ‘his assistant’ to help him prepare the meat. OH! Mu Hyul glances at him but doesn’t recognise him yet. Does this mean Jeong Gi Joon will try to carry out the assassination TONIGHT?

Chae Yoon is wondering what’s going on when he sees a toy that the little girl has. It’s an animal but the legs are sticks that have been forced into stone. He realises this must be the work of the assassin and demands to know who gave her the gift – Ka Ri On’s helper. Cho Tak and Chae Yoon rush off to Ka Ri On’s place, leaving Park Po as always in the dark. Cho Tak wonders how Ka Ri On managed to get inside the house when he never saw him enter through the door …


Meanwhile the king feels happy and relaxed to be away from the palace and out in the fresh air. He teases Mu Hyul saying he would rather have his job than be the king since he doesn’t have to do anything. Not sure why he’s brought So Yi out with him though… Jeong Gi Joon and the assassin are ominously preparing the meat while Mu Hyul and the king laugh and joke. BUT then Mu Hyul glances at the assassin again and this time he seems to recognise him …

At the same time, Chae Yoon and Cho Tak work out that the assassin is part of Milbon so Ka Ri On must be too. They search his place. Mu Hyul is still staring at the assassin. He sees his ring made of flowers (that’s lasted well considering all the fighting he’s been doing) and finally recognises him. Mu Hyul leaps over to him drawing his sword warning the king that there’s danger. The king looks up in surprise. Then Ka Ri On stares into the eyes of the king.

So you wanted to see him Lee Do, he says slowly.

The king stares at him in shock.

Chae Yoon and Cho Tak find a secret passage and a room with Milbon stuff in there. They find the silk that So Yi wrote the letters on. So they’ve found Milbon HQ in Ka Ri On’s place.


As Mu Hyul and the assassin are sword to sword, Jeong Gi Joon takes a swig of the king’s drink! Then he stands up.

I thought you couldn’t do much, he says echoing what he said to him years ago. BUT you have done quite a lot. 

So you’re Jeong Gi Joon, the king replies. And there’s a smile on his face.


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