With the king now on his deathbed the government officials argue over who should be his successor. The king’s written order mysteriously vanishes and Heo Jun is told that if he keeps quiet about it then his life will be saved ….
Lord Jung barges past Heo Jun and insists on seeing the ill king even though Heo Jun tries to stop him again and again. (The selfish men are only worried about their own skins if Prince Gwang Hae becomes king). They force their way in to see the king and beg him to change his decision about the crown prince. Their argument is that Prince Young Chang is the son of the queen and Prince Gwang Hae is only the son of a concubine and so will not been accepted so easily by Ming as the rightful successor.
The king refuses to make Prince Young Chang the crown prince
But the king refuses to change his mind because Prince Young Chang is only 3 years old. He hands Lord Jung his written command naming Prince Gwang Hae as his successor. But even with the written command, Lord Jung refuses to give up – only Heo Jun and the nurse saw the document so if they can keep them quiet then ‘there is no document’.
FIrst the nurse is threatened to keep quiet. Then Lord Jung heads to see Heo Jun and tries to bribe him – if he keeps his mouth shut and backs Prince Young Chang the prince will save his life and help him finish his books. Heo Jun is angry and refuses to entertain the idea of going against the king’s order. He insists he would never break the law just to protect his own life or his life’s work. (Why do they keep trying to bribe him? It never ends well! 😕 )
Heo Jun is furious that Lord Jung is trying to ignore the King’s order
The king takes a turn for the worse and the queen is called to his bedside to say her goodbyes. But she is asked to leave before the king takes his final breath as it’s not the done thing for a queen to be present when the king passes away. So she leaves in tears. The king in his dying breath calls for his son Prince Gwang Hae. The officials look worried. Is he going to tell him he is the next king? But the last words from his mouth are ‘Young Chang!’ Confusing. Then he’s gone. NOOOOOOOO!
Now dressed in mourning wear, the government officials continue to argue over who is the legitimate crown prince. Lord Jung announces that he will go and ask the queen to make the decision since there was ‘no written royal order’. When Heo Jun hears this he is furious and refuses to remain quiet – even though he will now be blamed for the king’s death. He reveals the truth and then pays a visit to his library as if to say goodbye. And he asks Oh Gun to look after his mother and wife. Oh dear.
Heo Jun reveals the truth about the king’s order and waits to be punished
The baddies Lord Jung Sung Pil, Moon Seung Hoon, Lee Tae Sung, and Kim Gong Nyang are all arrested and lose their jobs for trying to change the king’s order. But since Heo Jun refused to support either political faction, they don’t support him now either and so the king has no choice but to ‘punish’ Heo Jun for not saving the king. But he doesn’t want to punish him. He has no choice and so gives him the lightest punishment possible: exile.
Heo Jun’s family don’t even get a chance to say goodbye and they have to stand on the side of the road with everyone else and watch him marched away with his hands tied.
So Heo Jun remains honest until the end. His punishment is relatively light – it could have been a lot worse – but it seems a bit harsh that he couldn’t say goodbye to his family first. After all, he has worked hard as a doctor at the palace for many years! And this is the thanks he gets. Oh dear. I wonder if it was really like that or exaggerated here for dramatic purposes.The next episode is the last one. And I’m expecting a tearjerker.