Deep Rooted Tree Episode 23

Chae Yoon races to find So Yi and the court ladies. It’s only a matter of time before Jeong Gi Joon will discover what ‘the book’ really is. And then So Yi will be in even more danger. Jeong Gi Joon is preparing his final plans to finish off the king and his alphabet, but Chae Yoon and the royal guards are on the way to his hideout… 

Lee Shin Chok looks surprised at the king’s offer. Meanwhile Shim Jeong Soo is with Jeong Gi Joon negotiating the leadership of Milbon in exchange for the ‘book’.

The king reveals why he chose to make the offer to Lee Shim Chok – he’s cunning and able to win people over to his side. The king knows he must have these traits to rise so high in the government which is full of power-hungry ministers prepared to do all sorts to get promoted. The king wants to make sure that the proclamation of his new alphabet will go ahead. So he needs this cunning trait of Lee Shin Chok who is in fact thinking over the king’s offer.

Chae Yoon and Cho Tak are hot on Yoon Pyeong and the ladies’  trail. A boatman recognises their description and agrees to take the guards to the same place he took Yoon Pyeong. Park Po is sent back to give their location to Mu Hyul for backup.

Flashback: So Yi bows respectfully to the king as though this could be the last time she  sees him. He tells her to be happy with Chae Yoon once this is over and that he will get her a house.

The court ladies are locked up in a barn. (Looks freezing.) But So Yi vows that she will (somehow) fulfil her promise to the king and finish her task. Outside Gae Pa Yi arrives with Yon Doo which annoys Han Ga – they don’t want people knowing where the hideout is. But Gae Pa Yi wants to protect Yon Doo. But he’s brought her to the wrong place! Because Jeong Gi Joon remembers that SHE can read and write the new characters. Oh no. He gazes at her but says nothing about this… but we can guess what he’s thinking

The king holds a meeting and points out that not one Milbon member has come forward. He announces the date that he will proclaim his new alphabet and proposes that arrangements be made for government offices which will deal with printing books in the new alphabet. And he proposes that the civil service exam should use the new alphabet too. All the ministers are upset about this and Choi Mal Ri is fuming. But then the king says that this is only a PROPOSAL. And in keeping with Joseon law, it is now up to the three State Councillors to decide whether his proposals should go ahead or not. But Scholar Choi is STILL not happy. So Lee Shin Chok raises his voice and repeats that the king is following procedures so he can’t complain! Does this mean Lee Shin Chok has accepted the king’s offer?

The king is stuck on what to write for the proclamation. He begins by stating his reasons for creating this new writing system – Chinese characters are different to the Joseon language pronunciation so it’s difficult for people to express themselves using Chinese characters. But So Yi is the only one who remembers everything about the creation of the letters. So Jeong in Ji asks what IF So Yi can’t see it through to the end? But the king is sure that she will return to write up the books. But he’s worried about So Yi and with no news from Chae Yoon he can’t concentrate.

It’s up to Hwang Hee the Prime Minister along with the two other party leaders (including Lee Shin Chok) to decide whether to accept the king’s proclamation or not. But they feel they must speak to all the officials to get everyone’s opinion. And Sam Song Moon and Park Paeng Nyeon are busy trying to persuade everyone to back the king! But Choi Mal Ri writes his resignation.

Shim Jeong Soo catches up with what’s going on in the palace. He believes that Milbon must remain a secret society because the king may change his mind about accepting them or who knows what the next king will decide. Suddenly Lee Shin Chok bursts in to his room angrily.

He’s frustrated with Shim Jeong Soo’s lack of trust and he’s worried that their plan to remove Jeong Gi Joon hasn’t worked. But then Shim Jeong Soo announces that he has ‘the book’ and he will exchange it with Jeong Gi Joon for the leadership – Lee’s face turns to delight. There is hope after all.

Chae Yoon and Cho Tak are on the mountain searching for the Milbon hideout. Jeong Gi Joon gets more desperate when he hears the day of the proclamation has been decided. But he knows that the king doesn’t have ‘the book’ so Jeong Gi Joon still thinks he has a chance to stop the proclamation by getting hold of ‘the book’ first. And then he will kill everyone who can read the characters so that it will never spread!  He plans to attack the proclamation ceremony too killing everyone with poisonous arrows. Then he will hand the leadership over to Shim Jeong Soo …

The court ladies are tied up in the barn wondering how they can help the king when they notice Yon Doo playing outside nearby. They try and get her attention by waving white silk out between the gaps in the wall. But just as she sees it, Yoon Pyeong comes for So Yi…

The king is STILL stuck on what to write.

So Yi is to have tea with Jeong Gi Joon! It’s creepy since he obviously intends to kill her eventually. He says they are similar as both their families were murdered by the king. And they both blamed themselves. She agrees they have similar histories but have dealt with them in different ways. Now we see how Jeong Gi Joon really feels – he’s jealous of the king and bitter because while the king is popular and admired, Jeong Gi Joon has had to live like a lowly butcher for 20 years while rebuilding Milbon in secret.  He wants revenge.

As she is led back to the cell So Yi sees Yon Doo. Their eyes meet and Han Ga asks the little girl if she knows So Yi. She must sense the danger and says no. So Yi walks away without a word. But later Yon Doo comes to see them at the barn. So Yi asks Yong Doo to help them escape. She refuses, so So Yi has another request …

Yon Doo is caught hanging outside their barn and she runs away – straight into Jeong Gi Joon. He watches her carefully and sees the characters 엄마 (omma, mum) written on the stone… this is bad.

He crouches down and takes her hand and apologises. She’s confused. His eyes well up with tears and he lets her go. She runs off. This is very very bad… Sure enough Jeong Gi Joon gives the order to have Yon Doo killed (painlessly) Even Yoon Pyeong looks shocked at this. So the Milbon soldier leads her away pretending that Gae Pa Yi is looking for her. As she looks around the soldier gets his rope ready.

On the mountain Chae Yoon and Cho Tak have been searching in vain until they stumble over an alarm trigger near the Milbon hideout. Their spirits are lifted hopeful of finding So Yi and the others. They are getting closer …

As the milbon soldier puts the rope around Yon Doo’s neck, he stumbles (blood pouring out of his mouth) and he falls to the ground with a knife in his back. Chae Yoon and Cho Tak have arrived just in time. phew!

Gratefully, Yon Doo draws a map with twigs to show them where So Yi is. Meanwhile in the palace Mu Hyul and Jo Mal Seng are getting their men ready to backup Chae Yoon.

Chae Yoon and Cho Tak enter the Milbon camp, but So Yi has already been taken away by Jeong Gi Joon for the meeting with Shim Jeong Soo.

Shim Jeong Soo arrives and Jeong Gi Joon hands him the Milbon Scroll. And now he wants ‘the book’. They are unaware that Mu Hyul and his men have now joined Chae Yoon on the mountain. Shim Jeong Soo reveals that ‘the book’ is not actually a book. He glances at So Yi. But just as all is about to be revealed,  a dart flies through the air and hits him in the chest. Suddenly they are surrounded by the Ming agent and her men! Shim Jeong Soo has been drugged by the dart and he collapses on the ground and is tied up and taken away. The Ming agent doesn’t want to kill him because he has information about ‘the book’ that she wants. Jeong Gi Joon runs away with So Yi while Yoon Pyeong fights the soldiers.

But as he is led away, Shim Jeong Soo manages to get away by headbutting one of the soldiers and jumping off a cliff!

Jeong Gi Joon and So Yi are surrounded by the Ming agent and her men. Just then Gae Pa Yi turns up. Gae Pa Yi tells the soldiers that if they run away now they can live. They laugh at first.

But when the Ming agent sees who he is, she changes completely and backs off. Gae Pa Yi is upset because Yon Doo is missing. But Jeong Gi Joon is only concerned that the palace guards have arrived…

Chae Yoon finds the court ladies in the barn, but to his disappointment So Yi is missing. Meanwhile, So Yi tells Jeong Gi Joon that it’s over for him since the guards have arrived and he can’t even find ‘the book’. But her words seem to give him an idea – he thinks back to everything he has heard about ‘the book’ and about So Yi. And he puts two and two together. Then calmly he orders So Yi to be killed. But Chae Yoon is on his way ….



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