Like always, if you haven’t seen King Gwanggaeto the conqueror eps 56, check it out here first. It’s war time!
The long march to Gwanmiseong
At the outskirts of Gungnaeseong, we finally see the Goguryeo soldiers march. Given it will take over five days to reach their naval camp in Nongyeonseong and then sail to Gwanmiseong, they speed up their pace.
The confusion that comes when you’re in battle
From their spy network, reports start trickling down to the surprised Baekje leaders, alerting of Goguryeo’s 40,000 troops, led by the Goguryeo king himself.
Anger, panic, and excitement set in on Jinsa and the other leaders attempt to calm him. Jin Mu reassures the Baekje king that Gwanmiseong is an inpregnable fortress and the most important priority is stopping Damdeok’s invasion. Apparently they are notifying the nearby fortresses to prepare a counterattack.
Stepping out, Asin and his small circle wonder what Damdeok is up to:
It’s basic strategy not to reveal the target. Isn’t it strange that they leaked information they’re attacking Gwanmiseong? I think they have other intentions.
Jinsa & the eyes of clarity in the thick of it all
In the meantime, at the King’s office, Jinsa figures the leak is another war ploy and Goguryeo’s real target is Wiryeseong. He then orders the Baekje forces to gather at Horogoruseong to defend the Baekje capital, leaving Gwanmiseong to Asin since he loves that region and will defend it regardless if he’s no longer the lord of it. Even if Goguryeo attacks Gwanmiseong, the new person in charge of Gwanmiseong will earn all the praise and merit.
Waaaaah, all the Baekje king thinks about is “Asin, Asin, Asin”. Just give him a hug already. ^_^
No fortress is too small
Soon, however, rumors reach Baekje that Damdeok is taking over the small fortresses of Jangsansoseong and Gogoksoseong, North of the capital.
Hearing this, Asin asks himself why the small fortresses.
That’s when Asin rushes out of his quarters and warns Jinsa of Goguryeo’s trickery. He explains Damdeok is using a small number of soldiers and conquering the northern fortresses to spread rumors that troops infiltrated Baekje. All this to make everyone think he’s coming from the North and to hide their real target: Gwanmiseong.
A lil’ reverse psychology, eh?
Once again, Jinsa pays no attention, suspecting Asin just wants back his lord status in the region. *whispers* it’s like banging your head on a wall
Goguryeo vs Baekje: The fight for an island
The war strategy revealed
Reaching Goguryeo’s naval camp, Nongyeonseong, 1 Hwang Hoe explains their offensive strategy.
- Lower public sentiment: The short time Ha Muji was Jinsa’s adviser, the state coffers were exhausted in meaningless construction. Any war will make the people suffer.
- Open up a water route: Leak false information in attacking Gwanmiseong by land.
- Conquer Baekje: For Goguryeo’s future plans, Gwanmiseong is the first target. The shoe in the door.
The battle ships shake an island
Hearing the enemy fell for their trap and the Baekje naval forces are leaving Gwanmiseong2 open to “protect” the capital, the Goguryeo troops get on their boats and sail.
By nightfall, the Goguryeo naval fleet reaches Gwanmiseong and bombard the water coast, setting the night sky on fire.
With relative weak opposition, the Goguryeo forces eventually set foot on the island, fight their way inward, and set up a camp northwest of Gwanmiseong.
This is where Sagal Hyeon and Seol Ji reconnect with Damdeok, bringing forth a message from Ha Muji.
When you attack Gwanmiseong, you must be concerned about the north. There is a way to stop Houyan. Have the Mohe take Goguryeo’s side. Seol Ji is with Goguryeo. User her well.
Seol Ji, eager to help in any way, agrees to ensure Mohe doesn’t side with Houyan.
When you betray others, you never hear the end of it
Doing nothing is also a decision
At Zhongsan, Murong Chui learns Damdeok personally led the attack against Baekje. Seeing an opportunity, Houyan wants to attack Yodongseong while Damdeok is busy. The court ministers Yanyou and Weiyuan discuss but eventually caution to wait and see how the battle goes. After the Khitans incident, Houyan doesn’t want to ruin their friendly relations.
Murong seems a very cautious man. Either he likes Goguryeo pottery or he fears Damdeok and too embarrassed to say it. Hehe
Instead, they decide to use neighboring countries to do their dirty work. How fortunate Mohe tribe leaders are in town looking for trade.
The deal of a lifetime
At this, Murong Xi visits the Mohe lodge asking Seol Doan to attack Goguryeo.
But Seol Doan brings up the past:
Houyan is really brazen. You’re always using us and you want to hold hands again?
That comment, however, bounces off Murong as he takes out and presents the Mohe leader with an official letter written by the Houyan emperor.
That’s how important this deal is. So don’t be upset anymore and help Houyan.
In return for attacking Yodongseong, Houyan promises, so Murong says, to give the Mohe tribes whatever they want.
When Murong leaves, Bang Cho speaks up saying Houyan is untrustworthy since they always have excuses for breaking promises.
Seol Dan is unsure though as he’s mesmerized by the royal letter. He figures an official document shows how desperate they are.
As Seol Do An is about to continue arguing his position, his sister enters.
After all that betrayal, do you still believe Houyan? Are you going to fall for a royal letter? … I’m working hard to settle the bitter feelings with Goguryeo.
Seol Ji then hands her brother Goguryeo’s own letter.
A pie in the face is in order
Back at the Baekje kingdom, the military leaders learn Goguryeo indeed is attacking the island. The Baekje capital is safe as it always has been.
Jinsa’s eyes turn to Asin.
Asin looks at Jinsa.
The time to turn the tide is tonight
Asin then volunteers to rectify the situation as he heads to Gangwado. Once there, soldiers report Damdeok is northwest of Gyodongdo but nowhere near Hyeolgu, leaving an open passage.
When is the high tide? We’ll take 20 boats when the tide begins to recede… They don’t know the water route around Gwanmiseong. We should be able to avoid them by using the tides and even cause damage to their army.
And that’s exactly what they do. During the night, Asin boards his ships and turns on bright lamps to alert the nearby Goguryeo ships.
In the island, Ha Muji appears before Damdeok to warn of the danger but it’s too late.
As the Goguryeo ships give chase, Damdeok can’t help but watch as his ships get stuck in the waters and are openly attacked by Asin.