Sweet. The next King Gwanggaeto the great ep is out but 64 kinda boring, at least for sutiben. One interesting revelation: Murong Bao has a new son!
The collapse of the Houyan-Biryeo invasion
Ko Mu vs Murong Chui: Somebody has to die?
Between the Yodongseong fortress and the Houyan army, all eyes watch the two aged warriors on their horses with only distance separating them. Without much waiting, Murong Chui and Ko Mu both ride towards each other with weapons on hand.
Though each trying to overpower, both manage to only neutralize and knock the other from their horse.
The personal battle spills over to the ground and yet it continues on equal footing until midway a lung decides to interfere.
Blood comes out of the sick warrior’s mouth in the form of a cough. The fight is decided right then.
Seeing an opening, the Houyan emperor cuts his rival multiples times and soon the Goguryeo commander is barely able to stand. Even Murong Chui is able to easily knock his enemy’s spear away. With Ko Mu on the brink of defeat, the Houyan army roars in cheers.
Look! Goguryeo troops behind you!
Noticing Ko Mu staring at something, the Houyan emperor turns around as huge black smoke faraway catches his attention.
Within moments, a group of soldiers rush in to report the Houyan camp is under attack by Goguryeo from the left and right. Not wanting to lose their base again, the Houyan emperor calls for a pullback and an end to his fight.
But the messenger soldiers don’t move to his command. Upon questioning, they remove their helmets only to reveal it’s none other than Damdeok and his generals. They’re here!
Taking them by surprise, the disguised Goguryeo unit now attack the confused enemy with the support of Mohe riders coming out of the fortress. In the midst of all this, king Damdeok makes his way through the scattered soldiers and stabs Murong Chui with a long flag pole in his abdomen area.
And with that, both opposing forces retreat to tend their wounded leaders. Unfortunately, it’s too late for Ko Mu because death claims him soon after.
The aftereffects of Goguryeo’s defensive victory
Big heroes need big funerals
Taking his friend’s dying wish into consideration, the Goguryeo king goes against hunting down the Houyan army, allowing them retreat.
The kingdom then carries on a grand funeral in Yodongseong where the whole nation mourns Ko Mu’s death. All culminating with weeping at his new shrine in the royal temple.
Goguryeo: Use time to prepare for the future
Next day, Damdeok holds a royal court meeting setting out his agenda:
- Focus on national affairs: Because of the war, national affairs have been ignored. This will no longer be the case.
- Strengthen defense against future Baekje attacks: Ha Muji & Hwang Hoe will lead project to build seven fortresses in the Southern areas like Gaepung, Gangnyeong & Yeongchan.
- Establish a new defense line in the north: Repel future Houyan invasions.
- Keep Biryeo in check: The Mohe will watch over the Khitans.
- Accept the Malgal as a friend: Damdeok will focus on friendlier relations with the Mohe.
Where there are secrets, there is mistrust
To complete his agenda, Damdeok finally meets Ha Muji and secretly gives him Gae Yeonsu’s previous role: information structure manager.
The military advisor will now control Goguryeo’s spy network, where it’s understood it’ll be against the king’s internal & external enemies.
Despite the new assignment, it doesn’t take long before Ha Muji is given his first task to investigate. While going over the official property ledger, Hwang Hoe discovers that Gye Song and his clan oddly own land that Ko Mu previously awarded to families of dead soldiers.
Murong Un: The rise of Murong Bao’s son
The revenge mindset makes you stomp your family name
Over at Zhongsan and in a meeting, we see a doctor still nursing Murong Chui’s injury. Hearing Ko Mu’s death, the emperor decides to send a condolence delegation for his “friend”.
’Twas weird seeing the Houyan emperor slouching. Really made him look sick since that’s something sutiben can’t picture the emperor doing.
Although they fear Goguryeo will kill him, Ko Un volunteers to lead this mourning group. The plan? By becoming Murong Bao’s stepson, Ko Un will become untouchable.
Of course, this move worries Murong Xi since there’s now another prince in line to contend as the king’s successor. So worried, Xi hands Mu Gap and Un Seong a secret mission to kill his new “nephew”.
The murderer pays his victim a visit
As the new stepson of the crown prince, Ko Un sheds his old name for his new one: Murong Un. Add leader of the condolence delegation on top of that and the Goguryeo generals hardly welcome his visit with open arms.
Despite the protests, Damdeok allows Murong Un to offer a glass of royal wine from the Houyan emperor. Reaching Ko Mu’s shrine, everybody senses the lack of genuine sorrow during the ritual performance.
Well, except for Do Gwang, Murong Un’s subordinate, who weeps during the kneeling.
Afterwards, Murong Un privately meets the Goguryeo king in the palace where he boasts of his new royalty position and lays out the things to come:
I will raise power and become the center of Houyan. I will take revenge for my father and control the world.
Damdeok responds only with:
Then do your best. When you reach the top and we meet again, we will see who the foolish one was.
The making of a Goguryeo spy
Next, Murong Un stays at the envoy quarters and after a lil’ digging uncovers Goguryeo’s plan for constructing new Southern fortresses. More importantly, he catches a crooked government official in Yonghyeon.
The last scene we see is Murong Un confronting Gye Song, lord of Nambangseong, and trying to convince him to become a spy.