King Gwanggaeto eps 57: Enter the Gwanmiseong Siege War

If you haven’t seen it, first check out King Gwanggaeto eps 57 here. Things are definitely building up. Wishing for more fights ^^

Crossing Blades: Damdeok & Asin meet on the battleground

Lights out

The fire rages on with the wood and water as Asin and his crew stand aboard laughing at the bite they gave their new Goguryeo neighbors. 

With the distraction set, the Baekje force decide moving onto their next plan and, within a few moments, the torches on the Baekje ships turn off, causing the boats to blend with the night.

Defeat overwhelms the senses of kings as well

The Goguryeo force, however, continue in their disbelief as their fellow companions and ships go down in fire and water.

Clearly shaken, Damdeok orders General Hwang Hoe to send reinforcements but Ha Muji cautions of the unknown waters and advises instead:

You should bring Baekje naval forces from the prisoners. Put them on the boats. You should send a scout boat ahead, too.

With further thinking, Damdeok realizes this whole event was nothing more than bait and so directs his troops to wait in ambush as Baekje soldiers step foot on the island.

Once again Ha Muji interrupts, advising that that plan is already too late. Instead, Goguryeo should prepare for an incoming attack. The Baekje forces need to enter the Gwanmiseong fortress safely and will use Goguryeo’s disarray to their advantage. Not knowing when or where the attack will come from, Ha Muji suggests luring them by making it seem the main camp is still disorganized.

Landing on your island in secret

Riding on horses towards Gwanmiseong, Asin and his uncle are stopped by news that General Dae Yoseung is also on the island. Scouts are also reporting the Goguryeo camp is in confusion and General Dae1 plans to attack soon. Apparently, Jinsa secretly sent him to commandeer the war campaign.

The next thing we see is Dae Yoseung and his army entering the Goguryeo main camp only to find it empty. Hehe. There’s even a dummy solider made up of hay. 

Just when it dawns to Dae Yoseung they’re entering a trap, Goguryeo troops come out and surround them. And so the fight erupts.

A distance from the fight, Damdeok enters walking and observing the clash. Searching all over, Damdeok can’t find Asin anywhere and instead spots Dae Yoseung leading the attack.

The things you want don’t come by easily

With Dae Yoseung’s army succumbing to Goguryeo, Asin rides in as reinforcement.

Spotting his entrance, Damdeok takes out his sword.

Asin unsheathes his blade, leaps from his horse and meets his rival’s weapon.

I didn’t think we’d meet like this. Did you want Gwanmiseong that badly?

The sword dance then continues until Asin’s men arrive and signal it’s time to go. Asin turns and retreats with Damdeok giving chase right up to when Baekje archers appear ahead and light up the ground. The huge flame engulfs the area and separates both forces.

Asin yells:

Did you think it was that easy to take Gwanmiseong? We’ll finish this at Gwanmiseong.

Unable to overcome the fire barrier, Damdeok watches Asin escape.

Regrouping while licking your wounds

Meanwhile in Gyondongdo, the losses are added up:

  • 40 burned ships
  • 400 soldiers MIA

With Asin’s arrival, their plan to end this invasion quickly is up in the air as Damdeok notes Asin changes the whole situation.

Now with a siege war on their hands, Ha Muji suggests Goguryeo needs to prepare a main camp and expect raids. The only good thing going for them is Dae Yoseung’s presence because it will tie Asin down.

Keeping your house in order

Returning to your seat of power

Eventually reaching the fortress, Asin proceeds to enter the war room where his other generals are waiting on their feet. Upon sitting on the chair, the generals greet Asin in unison with the utmost respect.

Dae Yoseung watches in awe at the loyalty Asin commands, knowing full well his title is of little value.

Are you prepared to fight for me?

This time the troops vocally confirm their commander.

Now turning to Dae Yoseung, Asin introduces the stranger and tells his soldiers to welcome him.

hehe. Dae Yoseung is like a lost puppy here. Did anyone else feel like Asin was throwing him a bone? (⌒_⌒)

The crack in the shield?

Moving to his private quarters, Asin and his close circle are confident in their position.

The fortress has:

  • 10 months worth of rations.
  • Plenty of wells.
  • A large number of troops from the 20,000 stationed soldiers, in addition, to the ones brought from Asin and Dae Yoseung.

Seeing internal division as their one weakness, Asin declares he will not challenge Dae Yoseung but instead fall in line.

Nevertheless, while searching for Do Young in the marketplace, Asin finds Dae Yoseung questioning tied civilians for spreading rumors of an eclipse signaling Baekje’s downfall. Seeing the rumors affecting troop morale, Dae Yoseung orders them dead and, for a moment, Asin confronts and asks they be imprisoned and judged later. He backs down when his companions reminds him of his earlier pledge.

Going back to his quarters, Asin is mad and warns they must an eye on Dae Yoseung since he could jeopardize the whole mission.

Houyan entering the pouncing state

Mohe tactic: Tell others what they want to hear

At the Houyan capital, Seol Doan finally reaches his decision and tells his countrymen he’ll accept both Houyan’s and Goguryeo’s offer. Refusing Houyan’s proposal now will only serve to make them enemies and put themselves in danger. Seol Doan plans to play both sides, hoping the Goguryeo-Baekje war ends soon so they satisfy both sides and have an excuse not to attack Goguryeo.

False information is an important strategy

When Mohe’s reply reaches Murong Chui, the Houyan king becomes quite pleased. Murong Xi is even happier and informs the court he will take an army to Goguryeo but his brother, Murong Bao, puts a stop to that plan saying to wait for the right chance.

Murong Xi is annoyed and doesn’t understand why the wait when Mohe and the Khitans are on their side.

Impatient, isn’t he? Maybe having recurring nightmares of when he first met Damdeok. ^^

Ko Un explains Houyan only needs to pressure Goguryeo by shaking the northern area so as to distract Damdeok from his battle.

With a small flap of our wings, we will be causing a storm in Goguryeo.

Suspecting the initial idea came from the Houyan crown prince, Murong Xi asks if Ko Un agreed to this strategy. When told yes, he simmers down but is still irritated.

Looks like the lil’ brother thinks the older one is getting soft.

No decision is made when the king isn’t around

At the Gungnaeseong palace, Seol Ji arrives from Houyan informing the Goguryeo court that the neighboring countries are maneuvering and likely preparing to take advantage of the king’s absence. After a short discussion, it’s agreed Damdeok should be made aware of the current situation and he should decide the next step. And so Ko mu sends Seol Ji to inform Damdeok but stresses to do so in private to avoid affecting army morale.

The siege warfare drags time into this

We’re next taken to Gwanmiseong where the siege war is now going into its 15th day. Goguryeo hasn’t made any progress and the latest attack on the south gate was devastating.

The camp is worrying if siege warfare is indeed the right answer given that the fortress’ gates have yet to open, and damages are increasing and affecting morale.

Almost hesitantly, Ha Muji speaks of a way to open the gates but will only discuss it with the Goguryeo king. The generals step out of the tent wondering why.

Inside, Damdeok goes against Ha Muji’s idea because it’s too dangerous and who knows if it’ll work out. He pushes him to find another way but Ha Muji stays firm asking Damdeok to consider it as there is little time before the eclipse.

The Eureka moment hits once a day

On top of the Gwanmiseong fortress, Asin walks and stares at the sun, wondering how these eclipse rumors connect with Goguryeo.

Turning his attention downwards, Asin notices the display of severed heads in public, the same people Dae Yoseung punished earlier.

Just as frustration begins to hold him, an idea occurs to him.

I see. That’s what Goguryeo wants. That’s what Ha Muji intended. I found a way to beat them!

At this, Asin goes to meet Dae Yoseung and questions the display in the heads of ordinary civilians. Dae Yoseung says it’s a warning to all. He wants discipline. He explains the soldiers here lack respect for superiors and the proper chain of command. Dae Yoseung even goes so far as questioning Asin’s abilities and the fortress’ long standing reputation.

Asked why any of this is brought up, Dae Yoseung blames Asin for the war stretching out longer than it should. If he had helped in the attack in Gyodong, the battle would’ve been over. 

Asin retorts that if it wasn’t for him, he’d be dead. Asin then takes his leave and, now upset, Dae Yoseung vows to make Asin regret his arrogance and contempt.

A letter from the enemy

Back at the Goguryeo camp, their discussion revolves around the displayed severed heads and how something is brewing.

Things are complicated internally despite their victory

This is when Goguryeo scouts report receiving a message from a few Baekje generals wishing to surrender. Could it be true?

  1. Dae Yoseung doesn’t look like a general at all. Though he has the attitude of one.  ↩︎

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