If you haven’t seen Gwanggaeto the conqueror eps 59, make sure to watch before reading the spoilers. The Baekje-Goguryeo war reaches its end!
War leaves a mix of gain and pain to both winners and losers
The death of Sagal Hyeon?
With that anger stored up, Asin’s rustic voice speaks his, now victorious, rival’s name, “Damdeok!”.
Not far away, Sagal Hyeon spots Asin standing still with a spear in hand oblivious to his presence and an easy target.
Picking up his small blade and moments from killing the Baekje leader with a throw, Sagal’s injured arm fails him and the blade meets the floor. The previous skirmish has left him injured and unable to use a weapon.
Continuing to watch Asin, Sagal soon realizes why he is still: Asin is aiming and waiting for a clear path to throw the spear at the Goguryeo king.
If Asin is to lose, he won’t have Damdeok alive.
The eclipse’s departure leads a soul away
Without much notice, the spear quickly launches into the air and pierces flesh.
No time to warn or do anything else, Sagal’s body intercepts the missile, protecting his master. The spear, however, impales Sagal Hyeon from the back to the front, causing blood to burst out and bringing him on his knees.
At this, the Goguryeo king rushes to hold him while Asin curses his luck. The fight seemingly stops as the rest of the Goguryeo generals watch in horror at the sacrifice before their eyes.
The Goguryeo king asking his security guard why he did it, Sagal responds:
I dreamed of a death like this since I first met you… I fulfilled the duties my father1 couldn’t… Will you engrave my name here at Gwanmiseong?
Your name will be engraved in my heart forever.
Struggling to continue talking, Sagal Hyeon speaks his last words:
I will serve you even after I die.
Hit with the brightness of the sun, Sagal looks up at the sky as the eclipse leaves the island. Unable to hold on any longer, Sagal’s head lowers to his chest and so dies the king’s friend.
*turns head around* T_T)
Holding onto his beloved security guard and growling, Damdeok mourns his friend for a short period before getting up and commanding his generals to capture Asin at all cost.
Love is one cure for your stubbornness
Asin and his unit, however, are nowhere near the area, having escaped soon after the failed assassination. They’re instead regrouping and planning their next step.
This is where Jin Mu informs Asin that Goguryeo opened all of Gwanmiseong’s gates. Being at a disadvantage, a soldier says it’s time to abandon the fortress but Asi balks at that suggestion. He’d rather die defending the fortress than seeing it take over.
I lost my father at a young age and lost the throne to my uncle. I need Gwanmiseong to get my status back.
His maternal uncle’s passionate pleas somehow clears away Asin’s stubbornness and convinces his nephew to fight another day. They then fight their way out towards the inlet and board the ships, taking with them any remaining soldiers, a few Baekje people, and Doyeong as well.
The chase to the inlet
Right on their trails is Damdeok rushing to catch up to the fleeing Baekje unit but he reaches the inlet too late. His anger lights up his determination as he asks for a bow and orders his archery unit to rain down arrows on the departing boat.
Asin and the Baekje raise their sword bracing for the air attack.
Damdeok pulls back on the bow string and aims at the cursing Asin. Then Seol Ji’s eyes catches Doyeong on the boat in white-pink clothing and accidentally speaks her name out loud. Yeon Salta is next to spot her.
By now, knowing her presence uncovered, Damdeok’s first wife hides.
Thrown off by his old wife’s name, Damdeok looks around but fails to see anyone. Seol Ji backtracks, denying seeing Doyeong and Damdeok appears confused. This distraction buys the Baekje ships time to distance themselves, leaving both leaders to fight another time.
The changes to Gwanmiseong
Back at Goguryeo’s conquered fortress in Gwanmiseong, Damdeok quickly outlines his plan before his return to Goguryeo:
- New lord of Gwanmiseong General Mo Duru will stay behind as temporary lord and prepare for enemy surprise attacks.
- Gwanmiseong will be the new main base for the naval force: Goguryeo will bring ½ the naval forces of Jangsagot here to defend the island.
- Repair the defenses: General Hae Mowol will be in charge of repairing damaged walls & gates.
- New citizens: Following Damdeok’s policy, the Baekje citizens/prisoners will now become Goguryeo citizens.
Hidden problems always rises during bad times
A defeated general shouldn’t return
Next we see Dae Yoseong somehow managing to escape with his tail between his legs. Upon reaching Wiryeseong, King Jinsa is frustrated with the manner of his return.
Dae Yoseung tries to ease his worries with news that northern pressure will likely prevent Goguryeo from attacking Baekje further. For now, they are safe.
He then pushes the king to take advantage of the situation to take both Asin and himself down for losing Gwanmiseong.
What if Jinsa was forced off the throne?
At Hyeolgu, Asin is frustrated with the loss blaming the incompetent Dae Yoseong. No longer having Gwanmiseong as a base of power and seeking to take the throne, Asin considers taking drastic action.
Given many still hold loyalty to his deceased father, King Chimryu, and the fact he’s the oldest son, Asin’s close circle assure him 40% of the lords will support him if he rebels.
They discuss the key will be winning over the rest of the ministers and nobility. And they ultimately settle on using the current excessive tax and public sentiment against Jinsa.
Houyan begins looking at Plan B
Over at the Zhongsan capital, word reaches Murong Chui on Goguryeo’s stunning win over Baekje.
The news stuns everybody and the Houyan king looks to grasp the situation.
Only Murong Xi has something to say:
We lost an opportunity waiting for the right time. We should have attacked then.
(^ ^) hehe that sure sounds like an “I told you so”.
Despite the setback, Ko Un puts forth the idea that there’s still an opportunity. Now powerless, Asin will hold a grudge against both kings: Jinsa and Damdeok. This is a situation Houyan can take advantage of.
Ko Un then looks to the Mohe who, based on their actions, don’t seem to be true allies and suggests to check up on them.
Don’t you know what happens if you refuse an order from Houyan?
Next we’re taken to the Mohe territory where the tribe leaders are congratulating Seol Do An’s decision in not attacking Goguryeo like Houyan asked.
The praises goes through his ears though.
Damdeok is really something.
Like the Houyan king, Seol Doan is just amazed at Damdeok’s win. Eventually he snaps out of it and considers which kingdom to side
Houyan gives orders but Goguryeo makes request. A conversation is possible with Goguryeo, not Houyan.
Suddenly, general Fengba barges in, echoing in agreement. In Seol Doan’s own camp, he threatens to use the combined armies of Houyan and the Khitans against the Mohe if they side with Goguryeo. This on top of ceasing all trade relations.
Waaaaah, Fengba is serious! Attacking with money and the sword. Small people are always pushed around. Makes sutiben feel for Seol Doan (-｡-;
Seol Doan explains Houyan never went to battle either. Then, trying to turn the tables, he brings up Houyan’s past broken promises but Fengba doesn’t care.
The representative mentions that since Houyan never attacked, going against what they reported to Damdeok, Goguryeo will feel betrayed by the false information. Because of this, the Mohe are now forced to side with Houyan.
We’re left with Seol Doan’s troubled face.
The world looks better after a win
Warring to get more than land
On the more positive Asian region, riders on horses spread the news of Goguryeo’s victory across the Gungnaeseong market.
Hongmae, the tavern woman, and her best customers point out that with Gwanmiseong becoming Goguryeo territory, trading will greatly improve since it will create a huge opportunities to sell and buy goods.
Around this time we learn the Goguryeo queen is likely pregnant when Danbi, her assistant, points out her vomiting gestures.
Receiving a reward makes people feel tingly
At the capital, the Goguryeo court congratulates the king on winning the war.
Going with tradition, Damdeok names the generals who achieved the highest merit and, thus, will receive both land and treasures.
- Hwang Hoe
- Hwang Mowol
- Mo Duyeong
- Mo Duru
- Yeon Salta
- Yeo Seokgae
Before leaving, the king also designates Ha Muji as military advisor, to the displeasure of the court.
Komu and the court ministers soon follow Damdeok into a private meeting where they advise him not to put much power in the military.
For a powerful military, the country has to be stable. A powerful military also comes from an abundant state coffer. The people who manage that are the ministers when all of this is in balance.
If you focus too much in one area, it will be hard to achieve stability.
They then try to make Damdeok reconsider Ha Muji by saying he could be a spy but the king doesn’t seem to budge.
People coming out of nowhere aren’t to be trusted
Damdeok then privately meets with the man of the hour: his new military advisor.
Despite not receiving a reward earlier, Ha Muji isn’t really upset. Both know the court ministers doesn’t fully trust him.
Asking if he fears Ha Muji’s new power, Damdeok replies with wise words:
It’s not that I don’t trust you, I don’t trust power.
Ha Muji says it’s fine to keep a close eye on him but adds to do the same with the whole Goguryeo court.
Waaaaah, Ha Muji’s whole demeanor is way different. He actually looks cleaner and comes with a deeper voice. (｡-_-｡) Gonna miss his shady eyes and rusty voice. *throws pillow across room* suti wants silly Ha Muji back!
A previous love always worry girls
Later that night, Damdeok’s top and close military leaders meet at Gungnaeseong in the Cheongun command center to find a new chief of security. While agreeing there isn’t anyone like the deceased Sagal Hyeon, the discussion takes a distraction when Seol Ji confesses to seeing Damdeok’s first wife, Lady Doyeong.
Yeon Salta tells everyone to keep this quiet; only Damdeok should know of this secretly. They then go to meet the Goguryeo king.
Coincidentally, Queen Yakyeon sees them and decides to now spread news of the newborn prince to the king and his audience. Reaching the outside of her husband’s quarters, she overhears of Doyeong survival.
(=^x^=) Cat fight? Hehe
Who is Sagal Hyeon’s father? ‘tis Sagal Ung. From what can gather, Baekje killed the previous Goguryeo king during a war. Sutiben no 100% sure yet but think Sagal Ung was the royal security guard who failed to protect him. Do you know by chance? ↩︎