Whoo! Yeon Woo and Hwon finally met in this episode.
Yeon Woo let down the folds of her clothes and told Nok Young that she should at least let her bade farewell. Nok Young quickly placed the folds back over Yeon Woo's head again, and told her not to let any strangers into the house when she's gone, "Don't keep him in your heart, and don't have any ties."
The ship was here, and guess what, Yang Myung was on it. He heard from someone else on the ship that The Majesty would be passing into the village that very day, and wondered if it was Yeon Woo's spirit making sure that he met with Hwon. He got off the ship…
….and walked past Yeon Woo without realising.
Nok Young would be bringing Chan Shik with her, saying that it's because she talked the most, and reminded Seol to bring Yeon Woo home immediately. On the way home, Yeon Woo saw a peasant giving away slips of paper that would allow one to set up a temporary camp to watch the majesty passing by. Yeon Woo was interested and pouted at Seol.
Aww!:P But Seol was not moved, and quickly pulled her away. Yang Myung saw the crowd and dashed in to grab one.
Hwon's carriage had reached the mouth of the village and he instructed Hyung Sun to remove the drapes, saying that he should allow the commoners to have a look at his face since they were out there waiting in the cold just to get one look of him. Hyung Sun did so, and told Hwon that in that case, he should have a smile on his face, but Hwon replied that with his good looks, he had no need to smile, and would look good even with a frown.
Hahahah. Hyung Sun gave a face, while Woon smiled.
In the end, Seol relented and kept reminding Yeon Woo to just have a look before they returned home. They queued up to get into the area where Hwon would be passing by, and a mother and her son were stopped right in front of Yeon Woo because they didn't wear silk clothes fit for meeting Hwon. The guard almost hit the mother, but Yeon Woo stepped forward and stopped him. He wanted to hit her too, for she said that she was a shaman, and he thought her insolent for talking back.
He even made a jibe at Seol, saying that she must have felt good for getting a shaman (he mistook Seol for a guy).
Yeon Woo stopped Seol from taking out her sword, and faced the guard with a scary face. She told him that his wife ran away with a young man because he beat her, and that he was an alcoholic, ending her prediction with a, "If you don't stop drinking…you won't last for more than a year."
Someone at the end of the queue found another way to enter, and Yang Myung ran along with them. The guards quickly ran after them, while Yeon Woo raised the string for everyone on her side to enter.
Seol asked how Yeon Woo could know all that, seeing that she wasn't actually a shaman since she didn't have any witching powers. Yeon Woo explained that she made a deduction from how the guard was antagonistic towards Seol (dressed like a young man), didn't look like a woman was taking care of him, had violent tendencies, and had a breath full of liquor in the bright morning. So all went well, and Yeon Woo waited excitedly. Finally, Hwon's carriage reached and everyone went on their knees. Yang Myung was on the other side of the road and he waited till the carriage was a shorter distance away, before kneeling down.
A butterfly suddenly appeared and danced around Yeon Woo, before flying away. Yeon Woo was distracted by the butterfly, just as she had been in the first episode, and she unknowingly stood up to look at the butterfly. Seol was traumatised at how she dared not to kneel in front of the majesty, and kept telling Yeon Woo to kneel again. But by then, Yeon Woo had caught sight of Hwon.
As the music played, tears started gathering in Yeon Woo's eyes.
Seol got more and more distressed, while Yang Myung gave Yeon Woo a dismissive glance…..before looking up again in realisation. At the same time, Seol grabbed Yeon Woo's hands and ran. Yang Myung ran after them, and different guards gave chase to the three of them. Hwon didn't see any of them though, and only peered out to look at the commoners.
As Seol pulled Yeon Woo along, she had fuzzy memories of running hand in hand with someone else — that memory she had when she first met Hwon. When Seol and her reached a safe hiding place, she asked Seol if they had a similar experience before, but Seol replied that if they had, they wouldn't be alive now. Yang Myung couldn't find Yeon Woo, and after he mistook someone for Yeon Woo, he turned around with tears in his eyes, and asked himself, "What am I expecting…isn't she dead…and long buried in the ground…"
Since Hwon was here for a relaxing vacation, of course he had to be in the saunas. He told Hyung Sun that "Really irritating to the eyes," and Hyung Sun, thinking that he was talking about him, pouted before moving to stand facing a wall (hehe, reminds me of the young Hwon. I want to see him again!) but Hwon told him that he was referring to how all the commoners had nice clothes, good shoes and clean faces, and he said that he didn't want to see the 'chosen' commoners. Hyung Sun replied that it was to give him a refreshing view. Hwon then asked Woon to join him in the sauna and Hyung Sun hurriedly chased all the palace maids out. He was traumatised and told Hwon to stop joking, because there were rumours of him being gay since he didn't want to visit Bo Kyung but stuck with Woon all day. Hahaha.
Hwon asked if Hyung Sun wanted to join too, and Hyung Sun left the sauna, very distressed and covering his chest with his arms.
This interaction is just so cute:PP Hwon then looked at Woon, "Now we are finally alone."
As Hyung Sun worriedly paced outside the sauna, he muttered about the possibility of Hwon's tastes changing over the years. Yang Myung turned up, and Hyung Sun called to Hwon that he's here to see him….after calling out a few times, and getting no replies, Hyung Sun opened the doors to an empty sauna and cried out. On the streets, Hwon tilted his head and said that he could almost hear Hyung Sun's wails. Hah.
Hwon turned into a side road, and there, he saw the poor people cuddling up to a small fire, lying on the ground with no mats, and some even came forward to beg for money. As Woon and Hwon continued to walk down the road, a young child ran into him and fell. Hwon picked the child up and learnt that he's rushing home to give his sister food — a bowl of ill-looking vegetables. Hwon asked about his parents, and he replied that his mother died in a plague, while his father was dragged off to build a pavilion. Hwon promised the child that he would find his dad and send him home, and even gave the child a few coins.
Yay. I really like Hwon.
After the child ran off, a dressed up man poked his head out, and Woon realised, telling Hwon that there's a spy. Hwon told Woon that since the spy followed them for so long, they should reward him — by running off suddenly. They ran into the forest and lost the spy. Woon told Hwon that they should return soon, and then, there was a slight drizzle. Hwon smiled and said that meant that it's 'yeon woo'. He turned his head to a side, and saw the young Yeon Woo who smiled at him. He ran after her, with Woon tagging behind him.
Nok Young went to meet with the man who helped her years ago to get Yeon Woo away from the palace. She asked why he must meet her that day of all days, when Hwon would be passing through, and he replied that the girl who should be staying by Hwon's side was leading another life. Without Yeon Woo, Hwon's health deteriorated each day, and he needed to see Yeon Woo. Yeon Woo's and Hwon's fate might have ended, but their feelings for each other hadn't, and it's the will of the heavens for the two of them to meet again. Nok Young didn't want Yeon Woo to go through all that chaos once more, but the man didn't make any reply.
Yeon Woo sat in the house and told Seol she finally figured it out — the memories she suddenly had belonged to the majesty and that she finally had her shaman powers, that was why she could see other people's minds. She decided to go out and wait for Nok Young, who had yet to return. Hwon and Woon got lost in the fog and it was night already. Suddenly, Hwon saw a round blob of light and was stunned, asking Woon if that wasn't the moon. Then, a young Yeon Woo appeared with a lantern, saying that she had waited for him for a long time. Woon's hands tightened around his sword, showing that he could see someone too — the adult Yeon Woo. Hwon blinked, and there, the adult Yeon Woo stood facing them.
Seol asked why she took them back to the house, knowing very well who the both of them were. Yeon Woo replied that she couldn't very well leave helpless strangers in the lurch, and brought warmed wine into the main house for Woon and Hwon.
Hwon requested her to stay, and asked gently and despite himself, hopefully who the owner of the desk was and who she was waiting for (he felt that she was waiting for him). Yeon Woo replied that she's waiting for her mentor. He pulled back from this mood, and questioned in a more cynical tone about her being a shaman, seeing that the house was filled with books of philosophy. She bowed her head and said that she didn't learn about all those philosophies for selfish gains. Instead, she learnt in hopes of helping others, and because she enjoyed it so much, she couldn't stop.
Hwon recalled the conversation he had with Yeon Woo where she expressed the same interest in the philosophies. He was stunned but told himself that it couldn't be true, that this was only someone that was extremely like Yeon Woo, and that it was just a dream blurring with reality to deceive him. He quickly drank his wine, and invited Woon to join him, but Woon declined. Yeon Woo remarked that Woon didn't do his job properly — in a foreign place, and not knowing who she was, he should be tasting the food first for the majesty's safety — causing Woon to pull up his sword.
Hwon pulled Yeon Woo towards him, and asked in a low tone, "How did you know? How did you know that I'm the father of this country."
The camera cut to Yang Myung, who thought that Yeon Woo's spirit still lingered in this world. He recalled the adult Yeon Woo, with tears in her eyes, and murmured in his heart, that even though she was still gazing at Hwon in this lifetime, he wanted her to gaze at him instead in the next lifetime.
It's so cruel to Yang Myung in a sense. The child Yeon Woo and the adult Yeon Woo were in a way, two lifetimes. She died, and she came back. But both 'lifetimes', she's destined to love Hwon, and to be with him, no matter whether this is a sad, or happy ending. And both times, Yang Myung would get his heart broken.
Cutting back to Hwon and Yeon Woo. He asked if Yeon Woo had seen him before and if she was really a shaman. She affirmed it, saying that as a shaman, she had no possibility of seeing Hwon in the past. Hwon's voice increased in volume, "Then how did you know me? Answer me quickly!"
When Yeon Woo finally told him that she saw him in the carriage earlier on, Hwon looked to a side in disappointment and dropped her hand.
Hwon decided to leave, since the rain had stopped. Standing outside the house, he asked for Yeon Woo's name, and she replied that she didn't have one, since her mentor didn't want to tie her down to any fates. Hwon gave her a name — Moon, and left. When he returned to a fussing Hyung Sun, he realised that Yang Myung had come to see him, after so many years. He told Yang Myung to raise his head for him to see, and commented, "Still as handsome as ever."
And everyone laughed.
Yang Myung and Hwon drank in the house, and they both laughed at how Woon was such a responsible guard, he wouldn't drink during his duty. They had a bet with each other — the first one to get Woon to drink, would be the winner and can ask of the loser anything. Yang Myung tried first, promising Woon great luxuries that he would ask from Hwon and split with Woon later on. No reaction from Woon. Hwon tried next, telling Woon to have a drink, and that was an order. Woon bowed, and came forward to take tiny sip.
Yang Myung laughed and admitted his defeat. Hwon, being the winner, asked, "Till now…do you still remember her? Please reply me…"
With light piano chords in the background, Yang Myung replied, "Even if there's longing, but she's someone who had passed away. Wanting to forget, yet you remember…wanting to remember, yet you forget in a moment…that's the heart. I don't wish to forget, but I don't wish to remember even more…and so I can only choose to remember…that she's no longer in this world."
Hwon repeated his last sentence, and quietly drank his wine.
Hwon returned to his court duties with a renewed vigour, and halfway through, he said sarcastically that he didn't approve of the officials' decision to grab commoners off the streets in the winter to build a pavilion for the Dowager. He questioned over the usage of charcoal and increased budget, causing Minister Yoon's faction to look at one another in panic, and ended the blow by saying that he wanted them to submit a detailed report by the next morning.
Deep in the night, Minister Yoon met up with one of the shaman who had taken Celestial Hall under temporary care for eight years ever since Nok Young left. He promised to raise her to the Head Shaman, and she told him that the amulet placed when Hwon wasn't in the palace could be worked any time. Minister Yoon insinuated that by tomorrow morning, Hwon should be ill.
Unknowing to all this, Hwon recalled the encounter with Yeon Woo in the fog, with her voice saying, "I'm only a shaman girl, how dare I have any ties with Your Majesty?" He came back to the present when Hyung Sun informed him that Bo Kyung had come for a visit. After Hyung Sun and the palace maids whined, "Your Majesty," Hwon relented and allowed Bo Kyung to enter. He asked with a smile about her purpose in visiting, and Hyung Sun left with a smile on his face, thinking that finally, the consummation could happen.
Bo Kyung told Hwon that he should consider having a concubine, since it's imperative that he got an heir. It didn't matter that it wasn't her because she wouldn't implicate personal feelings in this.
Hwon looked immensely pleased, "Now I know why everyone loves you so much," and Bo Kyung smiled, but her plan backfired when Hwon continued, "I shall discuss this with the officials tomorrow about getting another concubine."
AHA. You sneaky Bo Kyung are no match for Hwon please.
Bo Kyung was taken aback and Hwon dropped his pleased demeanour. He smiled sarcastically at her,
and said, "I hate such hypocrisy the most, and I also hate trying to get sympathy by saying words that your heart does not believe in." Bo Kyung, humiliated, turned to leave but asked how long Hwon wanted to reminisce over a dead person, and when Hwon would let a live person take over the place in his heart. Behind her, Hwon suddenly clutched his heart in pain and he gasped for breath before collapsing on his table. Bo Kyung still yammered on, and turned around in hurt anger, before realising that Hwon was unconscious.
Dowager felt that only Nok Young's powers were strong enough to treat Hwon's illness, and only she could dispel the grudge between Hwon and Bo Kyung, so she was determined to find Nok Young back.
Lying on his bed, Hwon instructed Woon to find Yeon Woo again, saying that he wanted to question her himself once more, "If that child was still alive, she probably looked like that." Woon rode hard to Yeon Woo's house, only to find everything all gone. He picked up a coloured button on the floor.
Princess made a fuss over her swollen face, and said that now Yeom wouldn't want her, she would be abandoned, with no chance of getting a child that looked like Yeom.
Hmmmmm. A young Princess doing that was cute, but I'm not so sure about an adult Princess doing that.
Yeom's mother learnt of that, and returned home to tell Yeom to stop treating the Princess like a sister.
He said that the Princess might have grown up, but she hadn't matured yet. His mother reminded him that they had a fate of husband and wife, not siblings, and that the Princess was of age to carry his children.
Yeon Woo wondered about Seol, who couldn't be found, when three officials came to look for Nok Young. Nok Young hurriedly asked Chan Shik to get Yeon Woo to somewhere else, but one of the officials already noticed Yeon Woo. Turns out that the three of them had pooled their powers together, to find Nok Young's location, and informed her that Dowager wanted her back. She refused, and the official who had noticed Yeon Woo asked if that was the girl registered under Celestial Hall with Nok Young's name. Nok Young was shocked, but hid it, and invited them out. When they left, the official said that they couldn't leave without getting anything.
Yeon Woo went to the place where Seol was most likely to be — where the blade makers were. However, she still didn't see Seol, and tried to use her shaman powers.
Realising that she still had no idea about Seol's location, she wondered if her powers were gone again. She walked off, only to be kidnapped by three gruff men. The three officials rode back to the palace, with Yeon Woo trapped inside the carriage. She hit the sides repeatedly, just as she had when she was in the coffin eight years ago, and as she had flashbacks of those claustrophobic moments, she murmured, "Whose memories are those?"
I'm so glad that this is released with two episodes every week! We see a tinge of rising action, and I really hope that some huge conflict will appear soon.
Usually, in most shows that I've watched, the first male lead needed to grow in terms of mentality at the start of the series. That's the whole 'point' of the show — the female lead helped the male lead to become a better person, while the second fiddle helped the female lead overcome anything. Perhaps this is also why I love second fiddles so much, because I can't possibly see how in many cases, a girl could fall in love with a childish, flawed, disturbing, irresponsible person when there was someone else beside her, not necessarily perfect, but already in love with her. Of course, there are exceptions, and I guess this is one of the shows!
From the start, Hwon wasn't this stupid Prince that had no idea he was entangled in the crazy politics. Nope, he was a very astute, sharp guy who, granted, fought so hard for 'equality' partly because he wanted to marry Yeon Woo, but also because he had true, genuine intentions of wanting to rule well. He didn't like to study, but that was because he didn't think any of his teachers was worth his attention, and he did like Yeom with his whole heart. He knew that no one in the palace, other than Woon, was on his side any more, and that cuts him a very lonely figure. But he still fought hard, in his own way. There might be no significant bildungsroman here, but I still think that if he should become stronger, with Yeon Woo's help, that will be perfect to watch.
Yang Myung also calls for my liking. A second fiddle; how could I not love?
I can't wait for more Hwon-Yeon Woo moments! In the next episode, Yang Myung gets to meet Yeon Woo.
For recap on Episode 8, it's here! http://thoughtsramble.livejournal.com/93143.html