King Gwanggaeto eps 61: Baekje starts the joint attack

Check out Damdeok, the Great episode 61 if you haven’t. It just aired and looks like Goguryeo needs to get ready for battle once again. In switched roles, they now need to hold down the Gwanmiseong fortress.

Goguryeo enters a 3 way fight against Houyan, Baekje & Khitan

Killing the general’s horse to kill the general

Following Asin’s capture of Seokhyeonseong and other small fortresses, Damdeok has a court meeting and one private meeting where together they figure:

  • Fighting to stabilize Baekje: Asin is using war to win public opinion and unify Baekje.
  • Remove an enemy out of the equation: With Houyan supporting Baekje, Goguryeo must expect a fight on multiple fronts & dividing their forces to face each one will put them at a disadvantage. They need one victory.
  • Baekje is the main problem: The enemy’s goal is isolating Gwanmiseong like Goguryeo did and must rely on Gwanmiseong’s strong defenses to buy time.
  • Keep troops from landing on Gyodongdo: Because Asin knows the land well, Gwanmiseong will be in danger if Baekje troops surround the fortress.

Goguryeo turns to the Mohe tribes

Seeing Goguryeo will have its hands full dealing with more than one country, Damdeok heads to the envoy quarters to meet up with the Mohe leader.

Damdeok starts out with:

Our relationship began at the slave camp. Do you remember that?

He then brings back memories of their time as Houyan slaves, wanting their relationship to be like before. Ultimately suggesting an alliance between Goguryeo and Mohe.

When Damdeok asks what Seol Doan seeks in return, he replies with a right to shed their tribal ways and become a true nation. Damdeok, of course, coolly answers as though it’s silly to even ask… but in a nice way, in a nice way:

You are the chief of the Mohe. Why would I try to have the Mohe submit to Goguryeo?

And with that, Seol Doan’s heart jumps with glee and both seal their newfound friendship with a heartfelt hold of hands.

☆.::・’゚ヽ(⌒∇⌒)ノ::・’゚☆ Waaaaaaaah, did you see Seol Ji? Did you? Sutiben sure did. She looks upon them as though she’s moments before tears run down her cheeks. Doan’s lil’s sister is so happy they’re finally getting along, almost like her mission is nearing its end.

The fate of Baekje depends on this

From the captial, Asin orders Bu Yeohong to join Jin Mu’s army over at Hyeolgu, ensure their soldiers reach Gyodongdo and recover Gwanmiseong at all cost. Baekje can’t invade Goguryeo without their old fortress. Only then will Asin move forward with the plan to taking out Pyeongyangseong and Gungneaseong.

The new Gwanmiseong lord has an idea and it involves fire

Alerted that Baekje soldiers are coming, Mo Duru must think of a plan to prevent their landing on the island, otherwise Baekje troops will surround Gwanmiseong and block any Goguryeo reinforcements. Going out to Gyodongdo, the only place Baekje can dock, Mo Duru orders his fire arrow unit and ambush unit to prepare for the enemy’s arrival. 

Since Baekje is coming by ships, Mo Duru can annihilate a large number of them with fire. Unfortunately, as the fleet moves closer, rain descends on the island, rendering any fire attacks useless. Faced with hundreds of ships, Mo Duru is forced to fall back and take them on at the fortress.

Baekje attacks Goguryeo’s Gwanmiseong

But Mo Duru’s worst nightmares come true: the overwhelming Baekje numbers are proving too much for Goguryeo’s low troops, even with strong defensive walls to back them. 

When the west gate is in danger of falling and needs more soldiers, the injured Gwanmiseong lord himself goes out to support.

Goguryeo counterattacks: Attacking two points of interest

In the capital Gungnaeseong, Seol Ji informs everybody it’s now pointless to send reinforcements as Baekje is on Gyodongdo and attacking already. Ha Muji, however, still has an ace up his sleeve: destroying the secret military provisions in Samsando will prove fatal to Baekje’s war campaign This is the only reason Asin is confident in recovering their old defensive fortress.

King Damdeok hesitates sending his military strategist to the south but Ha Muji explains he owes Sagal Hyeon and the other soldiers who died because of his previous plan to prevent Gwanmiseong from switching hands. Relenting, Damdeok gives him full command of the battle, along with Hae Mowol’s central army and Yeon Salta’s Cheongun elites at his request. 

Reaching Gyodongdo together, Ha Muji presents his war tactics:

  • Yeon Salta and Cheongun will travel via a disguised Baekje messenger ship between Gyodongdo and Hyeolgu and infiltrate Samsando.
  • Soldiers from the central army will perform a surprise attack elsewhere though.

A better strategy than everyone defending the fortress

Taking no time to relax, Ha Muji and Hae Mowol land on Haeumsanseong, Hyeolgu before a fortress. Despite most Baekje reinforcements in Gyodongdo, this fortress is still heavily guarded.

Fortunately, they capture Wiryeseong messengers going back and forth, and plan to user their special seals to easily open the main gates. But general Hae Mowol protests it’ll be dangerous afterwards for those who’ll try to keep the gates opened.

Things go as feared. With the gates open, the troops from the central army rush inside and defeat the fortress’ defenses but at the cost of Hae Mowol’s close subordinate.

Walking up to Hae Mowol, Ha Muji finds him weeping over his friend. Regardless, Baekje needs to know the fate of the base here and so Ha Muji tells the mourning general to light up a signal fire. Upset, Hae Mowol tells him to wait but Ha Muji doesn’t have time and reminds him there will be more sacrifices if he doesn’t move. 

The upset general asks:

Was this the only strategy?

Ha Muji replies King Damdeok ordered this and the slightly surprised Hae Mowol backs down.

Lighting up the second fire

In parallel, Yeon Salta’s unit reaches Samsando by nightfall and, from a hill, set the storage building on fire.

Cutting off the supply line ruins everything

Over at Gyodongdo, Asin’s uncle is caught off guard when he notices the big flames at their secret military storage. Moreso when moments later, Haeumsanseong is taken over as well.

With all supply lines cut off, their food rations won’t last past five days. Furthermore, the Baekje army can be attacked from three different directions. Despite this, Jin Mu refuses to retreat counting on Asin to send reinforcements from the capital.

Houyan and Biryeo finally make their move

A sick old man can still lead if he asks for it

Three days later, messengers arrive to the Goguryeo capital to report Houyan and Khitan have invaded Baegamseong and other nearby fortresses. With the defense line collapsing so easily, Damdeok regrets sending his military advisor away.

Ko Mu then appears asking to send him to defend Yodongseong as Damdeok needs to control everything from the palace. Although he’s old, Ko Mu wants to end his grudge against the Houyan emperor. Seeing his firm resolve, Damdeok lets him go but tells Ko Mu to add the Mohe to his plans.

Before leaving Ko Mu promises:

I will not return unless I defend Yodongseong.

However, just when Ko Mu departs for Yodongseong, Yakyeon reveals his long kept secret: Ko Mu has had a serious illness in the lungs since Jin died. For now though, Damdeok let’s it go.

It’s like the first battle all over again

At the Biryeo camp, Houyans and Khitans are seen together in a good mood after blazing past Goguryeo’s defenses. Not present, however, are the Mohe and the Houyan Emperor begins to wonder. But given the distance, it’ll take two more days for their arrival. Even still, Murong Chui is cautious and pledges to carry out on his earlier threat if Seol Doan betrays them.

Right before setting out again, Houyan learns general Ko Mu will defend the last Goguryeo fortress once again. Knowing Yodongseong well and having lost the last time they were here, Murong Chui’s high confidence is tempered until Ko Un steps in to suggest a way to improve their odds.

As the Houyan-Khitan alliance move in front of the fortress, Ko Mu learns something strange is happening to the horses: they’re collapsing and can’t seem to stand all of a sudden; most have have diarrhea and lack energy. With no means to send messengers to ask for reinforcements or defend against such numbers, panic slowly sets in.

And with that, the Houyan emperor rides closer to Yodongseong.

Ko Mu, it’s been a long time. I’m here to conquer Goguryeo.

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