While episode one introduced us to the Three Musketeers and protagonist Park Dal Hyang, episode two does a great job in not only setting up a few conflicts but also introducing us to a few other minor characters that will play a big role throughout the series. Feelings and thoughts are conveyed and communicated in this episode and misunderstandings and problems arise as things aren’t always what they seem to be. Episode two had a whole bunch of things happening I wished this was what episode one could have been like. Suspenseful and intense, but emotional and stirring.
Episode 2 begins with an anxious and nervous Princess Yoon Seo awaiting news and results about the military service exam. She is then informed that Park Dal Hyang, who she had required one of her servants to look after, had caused a mistake at the exam that ultimately resulted in the King and Ministers getting injured and many of the musical instruments being broken. However, unlike the King and Ministers, luckily the Crown Prince did not get injured which brings a relieved smile upon Yoon Seo’s face (aww, how adorable). Yoon Seo also finds out that the King and Ministers are deciding whether or not to eliminate Dal Hyang from the exam for causing all the chaos and commotion for his mistake.
The King, a few ministers, and Crown Prince argue on Dal Hyang’s mistake and whether or not to eliminate him because of it. The King and the ministers agree that they should disqualify him, but Crown Prince Sohyeon isn’t so quick to think the same way. He defends Dal Hyang and gives them his reasons as to why Dal Hyang should be the winner of the exam (since ya know, he did place first in almost all the different activities). The king remains conflicted about what to do with Dal Hyang.
Park Dal Hyang awaits the results of the discussion between the King, the ministers, and Crown Prince. To his surprise, Dal Hyang is told that the King has forgiven him and that he has passed. However, the down side is that he will be assigned with the lowest position with no stipend or official title until further notice. As to who he should thank, the informer tells Dal Hyang that he should be thankful towards Crown Prince Sohyeon who had defended Dal Hyang against his dad and the ministers.
While in his room, Dal Hyang receives a letter from The Three Musketeers that reads, “From The Three Musketeers to Park Dal Hyang, congratulations on passing the exam. I feel sorry that you’ve lost your first place ranking because of us. We’d like to buy you a drink to make it up to you. Will you come out tomorrow? Minister Heo Seung Po, Minister Ahn Min Seo – those are our real names. We’ll see you tomorrow.” Dal Hyang hides the letter in his clothes for the time being while he begins a writing a letter of his own…to none other than his parents. In his letter, he informs them that he has passed the exam. However, his writing comes to an abrupt stop when he receives a surprise visit from princess Yoon Seo.
Yoon Seo confronts Dal Hyang about the letter that she wrote him five years ago and calls him foolish for still having it. She apologizes for breaking her promise and explains that she had no choice but to get married. Yoon Seo also reveals that she’s burned the letter and wishes for Dal Hyang to forget about her. Before leaving, she congratulates Dal Hyang on passing his exam. She walks away with a few tears in her eyes that she refuses to let out while Dal Hyang watches her walk away also with a few tears in his eyes. Ahhh, such a sad and bitter farewell and ending to a possible love story.
Dal Hyang goes back to writing his letter for his parents that he had been writing earlier before Yoon Seo’s visit. After explaining to his parents about the exam, he tells them to not look forward to having Yoon Seo as their future daughter-in-law anymore (OOF, this is so painfully heart-breaking!) and gives his reasons as to why. He ends the letter by stating that it’s too difficult to sleep because he’s too happy and also that that day is the best day ever (or is it?).
It’s the year of 1636, the 14th year that King Injo has reigned. Yong Gol Dae, the Qing Dynasty’s general, and his army of men await for the results of a discussion going on between a representative from his group and a rep from another. His rep comes back to tell him that a man named Kim Ja Jum, who is the head of the Northwest Province, would like to meet with Yong Gol Dae and his men before they head off to Hanyang. The general decides to go talk to the messenger that Kim Ja Jum sent himself so he and a few of his men approach the messenger.
Upon arriving, General Gol Dae asks them about Kim Ja Jum, but one of the two messengers, Jo Mi Ryung (played by Yoo In Young) clarifies to the general that they are just merely messengers and that they aren’t on anyone’s side. This leaves the general feeling suspicious and confused.
Dal Hyang arrives at the location that Seung Po and Min Seo had requested to meet at to have some drinks (according to Dramabeans, it’s a gibang so they’re meeting up a gibang. Thanks Dramabeans!). While Seung Po is off gambling, Dal Hyang hangs out with Min Seo first. He explains to Dal Hyang that they had to pretend to be the police so that they wouldn’t get caught sneaking out, especially Sohyeon who is the Crown Prince. As to why they sneaked out that night that they encountered Dal Hyang, Min Seo is clueless himself. He was just following Sohyeon’s orders. Dal Hyang then points out that he noticed that Seung Po and Min Seo were talking to Crown Prince Sohyeon as if they were all friends…which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. That’s when we learn that Seung Po is the first son of Army General Heo Suk (who I might add Dal Hyang admires a lot).
A flashback takes us back to when Seung Po was still a young boy. He grew up being around the Prince, studying and learning martial arts together. Fast forward many years and seasons and they are still practicing martial arts together! We learn that Seung Po acts extremely rude towards the Prince sometimes because…well, he grew up with the Prince so they can play and joke around with each other. As for Min Seo himself, he was originally a monk who was taught martial arts under his master. When a war broke out, he and the other monks were assigned one task: to protect the prince. Once the war ended and the prince was protected, Sohyeon came himself to the temple to hire Min Seo to be his guard. Ever since then, he’s been Sohyeon’s royal guard.
Seung Po finally arrives at the table to join them (quite wild btw) and the first thing he mentions is about gambling and teaching Dal Hyang (who I might add has no interest lol). He goes on to reveal that he liked Dal Hyang the very first time he saw him and also that he used Dal Hyang as a tactic to improve Sohyeon and Yoon Seo’s relationship, but his plan backfired on him. After hearing this, Dal Hyang assumes that Sohyeon and Yoon Seo’s relationships isn’t actually all that happy so he asks about it. But Seung Po dodges Dal Hyang’s question by revealing more about himself and his life, like how he lives a very pathetic and sorrowful life because he was forced to marry at such a young age (where he was crying hysterically at his own wedding I might add lol) to a woman who he claims is ugly and…well, ugly. Hence why he was always running about with Sohyeon and Min Seo or hanging around the gibang – because he hates returning home to his ugly wife (eyyy, that’s so mean). While Seung Po and Min Seo are clinging onto one another, Dal Hyang can’t help but think about Sohyeon and Yoon Seo’s relationship.
After visiting Dal Hyang, Yoon Seo returns to the palace only to visit her husband Sohyeon. She voices her concern and opinions on Dal Hyang’s letter and feels as if, because Sohyeon never questioned or doubted her about it, he doesn’t love or care about her. Yoon Seo grows angry at the thought of this and confronts Sohyeon on it. If he cared about her, he would have done something about the letter and he would have done something about Dal Hyang, like you know maybe hate him out of jealousy. Since Yoon Seo is dissatisfied, Sohyeon jokes that he’ll arrest Dal Hyang the next day and overthrow Yoon Seo as the Crown Princess which infuriates her even more for she thinks he’s joking around (and there is no time to joke around!).
It’s all fun for Sohyeon until Yoon Seo brings up the past and how she knows that he loved the woman that was chosen as his wife before Yoon Seo was and how their marriage was a decision that the neither of them wanted or made. That’s when we return to a flashback of Yoon Seo receiving the news from her mom that she has been officially selected as the Crown Princess due to the former selected Crown Princess killing herself. Although Yoon Seo is reluctant to become the princess because of the promise she made with Dal Hyang, she has no choice for she has been selected. We return to the present where she continues to cry out her feelings saying, “It’s not my fault that she (former Crown Princess who killed herself) is dead. You and I got married by destiny and not by anyone’s fault. I’ve accepted it as it is now, but I didn’t want it either. But I obeyed and tried to do my best. But you…” Sohyeon has to explain himself to Yoon Seo so that she will no longer misunderstand. It’s not that he’s cold as she is claiming – it’s because she’s too sensitive. This shuts Yoon Seo up and she eventually leaves the bedroom, still feeling hurt and miserable.
Seung Po answers Dal Hyang’s question about Sohyeon and Yoon Seo’s relationship and how the lady that had originally been selected as Crown Princess had killed herself so Yoon Seo was the next lady to be selected to marry Sohyeon. As to why that lady killed herself is still unknown, but something doesn’t quite add up since Sohyeon and her were quite in love with each other. Seung Po and Dal Hyang’s attention is then diverted to Mr. Kim Ja Jum (the man who sent the two messengers) who has entered the same building that they are currently in. Along with Min Seo, they watch him enter a room and question why he’s in Hanyang when he shouldn’t be.
We find out in the meeting that Kim Ja Jum has discovered the reason as to why the ambassadors from the Qing Dynasty is planning to come to Hanyang. They plan to change their King’s title to Emperor and along with that change the relationship between the Qing Dynasty and Joseon as alliances to master and servant (oh shiiiitttt). Seung Po overhears all of this by listening in on their conversation from another room and informs Min Seo of the information. Min Seo then asks Dal Hyang to watch out for Seung Po as he heads to the palace to update the Prince on this news. After communicating to Sohyeon the news about the Qing Dynasty and their plans, they agree to NOT tell the King about any of this and to instead find out what Kim Ja Jum plans to do about this matter.
In the next scene, we see a terrified and panicked King looking around for someone to help him as he seems lost in the forest. Just when he thinks he’s found people to help him, they turn out to be his enemies – the ambassadors from the Qing Dynasty. General Yong Gol Dae aims and shoots his bow and arrow at the King which wakes him up from his nightmare. The King grows paranoid from his nightmare and calls out random people to take comfort in, but none of them are available at that moment infuriating the King even more. He can’t help but recall what happened in his nightmare and continues to grow paranoid about it.
The King’s Eunuch tries to hold Sohyeon back from leaving, but Sohyeon leaves regardless to head to the Gibang where Kim Ja Jum is at.
Back at the Gibang, the two messengers that Kim Ja Jum had hired also appears and enters the same room that Kim Ja Jum entered earlier. Dal Hyang witnesses all of this while pretending to be drunk (lol). At the meeting, Kim Ja Jum reveals to his team members his plans in response to the Qing Dynasty’s plans. He wants to tell the Qing ambassadors that some of the people in the government (which is them) is already on their side since they don’t want their current King to be king anymore since he’s not fit to be one and because he’s going to start a war that they’re not going to win. Right at that moment, the two messengers enter the meeting room. While Kim Ja Jum explains to his team members the messengers’ jobs, one of the messengers (the guy messenger, let’s call him that for now since I don’t know his name) hears a sound coming from the room Seung Po is in. Seung Po had leaned in too close to the wall so he made a small squeak that the guy messenger heard. After examining the wall, he grows mad at Kim Ja Jum for hiring a spy on them, but Kim Ja Jum remains clueless as to what he’s referring to. The guy messenger kicks the wall open and exposes Seung Po to everyone. The meeting quickly ends and everyone leaves the building.
Seung Po leaves Dal Hyang behind to fight the guy messenger to chase after Kim Ja Jum, but he finds himself in some trouble with a group of Kim Ja Jum’s men. Both guys are left to defend for themselves. BUT YAY! Crown Prince and Min Seo arrive in time to save their friends and the day! I knew it! I have never felt any happier seeing their beautiful faces.
While escaping, Kim Ja Jum finds out that the man that had been spying on them the whole time is none other than Seung Po, General Heo Suk’s son (yeah! you got that right!) which causes him and his men to panic a bit. Escaping also takes them quite a bit as Crown Prince Sohyeon catches up to them after rescuing Dal Hyang. He’s able to take down the five men’s faces before watching them run away. He also catches sight of the lady that Dal Hyang had warned him about.
Dal Hyang is no match for the guy messenger for the guy messenger manages to beat Dal Hyang up to the point where he’s given time to escape. Meanwhile, Sohyeon goes up to the lady who’s preparing to run away and grabs her wrist to turn her around. However, unlike what the both of them expected, they are both left in utter shock and surprise at the sight of each other. Mi-ryeong is in tears while Sohyeon is in total disbelief. The guy messenger sneaks up from behind Sohyeon and manages to slice Sohyeon’s arm. He takes this opportunity when Sohyeon’s injured and none of his guards are around to escape so together the two messengers run away on a horse. Dal Hyang follows them on a horse of his own while Min Seo and Seung Po stay behind with the calm and unaffected Prince to care for him. They decide to just head back to the Palace.
Mi-ryeong tells the guy messenger while they’re on the horse that the person he just stabbed was the Crown Prince which surprises him. Dal Hyang continues to remain persistent and follows them.
Back at the palace, Yoon Seo is informed that the Crown Prince had to take care of some urgent business so he went out. They panic even more when they find out that the King himself is heading to the Crown Prince’s room himself. NOOOOO!
Yoon Seo and the King’s eunuch try to stop him from entering Sohyeon’s room but it’s unsuccessful. But once the King enters, it’s unlike what Yoon Seo and the King’s eunuch had expected. Sohyeon is in his room (MAGIC)! After a small talk, the King leaves and Yoon Seo enters the room. She sees blood dripping from Sohyeon’s injured arm, but he demands for her to leave while the King’s Eunuch enters his room. Sohyeon brings up Mi-ryeong and how he saw her back at the Gibang. How was it possible that he saw her? What exactly happened?
This leads us to follow up on Mi-ryeong who is still being chased by Dal Hyang. After a few minutes, the two messengers stop running away which causes Dal Hyang to believe that they’ve stopped because of him. However, it turns out that the reason as to why they’ve stopped is because they’ve gotten some help…none other than from the ambassadors of the Qing Dynasty who has showed up. General Yong Gol Dae finds out that Crown Prince Sohyeon knows about their plan and that Dal Hyang belongs to the Crown Prince’s group which just poses more danger for Dal Hyang. He orders his men to shoot their arrows at Dal Hyang who watches as all the arrows aim down at him.
The narrator of the drama explains to us that that night was the night that all four heroes finally got together (to kick some butts!) and that the real story has only begun now (I’ve felt like I’ve heard that so many times already lol). The drama goes on to introduce each character and their names.
The episode ends with a lonely and miserable Dal Hyang watching a countless number of arrows coming towards him. How is he going to escape this exactly?