Watch Damdeok, the Great episode 65 if you haven’t. An episode of pure backstabbing all throughout.
Planting the two seeds of betrayal for tomorrow
Fear of discovery: Controlling corrupted government officials for ages
Looking into Gye Song’s eyes, soothing words and a ray of hope shine upon the wavering Goguryeo general.
Doesn’t strong past loyalty to your country count for anything? Why would one choose the path of death because of a lil’ corruption when there’s a way out?
Prodding further, Murong Un1 explains there is no chance to escape harm without help. More so with a strict king who will make sure the corrupted one’s family pay a dear price as well.
Sensing confusion on the opposite end, Murong Un finally reveals the rope to use to pull himself out: Gye Song must become a spy! There is no other way.
Before the inconclusive meeting ends, Gye Song is left thinking if it really comes down to turning his back on Goguryeo. Will he cross the line from corruption to traitor by stealing information on all fortresses and national documents with military secrets and domestic affairs?
Pretend not to care when somebody wants something
Simultaneously, over at Ko Chang’s house another nightly meeting is taking place. Noticing the sincere weeping earlier from Murong Un’s subordinate, Ko Chang invites Do Gwang over.
Ko Mu’s youngest son:
Houyan could abandon you at any time. I wish Ko Un Knew that too. It’s too bad.
He is being treated like a prince now, but how long will that last? When you’re of no use, the both of you will be killed in some battle.
The bitter reality hits Do Gwang in the face and attempts to numb himself with another cup of wine.
With further pity comments, Ko Chang slowly manipulates his guest to open up and then learns his true story: Do Gwang is a victim of being in the wrong place and in the wrong time. When Gae Yeonsu betrayed Goguryeo, Do Gwang was delivering a message to Ko Un and found himself stuck in Houyan.
Although Ko Chang tried to downplay it, he ultimately agrees to help him return to Goguryeo.
The weakening of the Baekje-Houyan-Biryeo alliance
When your teams loses, the fingers come out pointing
We next see Baekje and Houyan sitting together discussing their failed invasion. Straightout, the Baekje military advisor, Bu Yeohong, is distrustful of their so called ally accusing Houyan of:
- Late to the battle: Houyan didn’t attack Goguryeo at the same time, buying the enemy time to deal with each attack.
- Lacking control of their alliances: What does it say when your own ally betrays and attacks you? Baekje agreed attacking Gwanmiseong on the assumption Houyan would have Biryeo and Mohe on their side. Ideally, this would’ve kept Damdeok too busy in dealing with the Southern invasion.
Murong Bao and his crew dismiss the accusations saying Baekje moved too quickly without taking into account that Houyan has to organize their movement with two other countries. But in trying to keep the peace, the crown prince offers to show his sincerity by
- Sending an envoy to Baekje keep communication channels open.
- Sharing any information they have on Goguryeo.
- Dealing with the Mohe betrayal in an orderly fashion. Uh oh.
Strange. Murong Bao was acting all calm and cool while confronting Bu Yeohong. That’s not like him! hehe.
Steering the Baekje ship after a loss
Over at Wiryeseong royal court, Asin highlights the fundamental reason for their continuous defeats: Despite having the upper hand in maritime warfare, they keep fighting on land.
Even with their military advisor smoothing out their alliance for additional support, they must help themselves. To which Asin lays out his plan:
- Increase national budget: The court ministers will increase the state coffers. For without money, the country won’t be able to fund the war against Goguryeo.
- Strengthen military power: Given their huge losses from the previous battle, general Jin Mu will replenish the army troops. Even if that means pulling private soldiers from nobility in the regional areas.
Those Houyan rats that never fulfill their promises
After returning back to Biryeo from Houyan, a group of Khitan warriors enter Batar’s tent empty handed. Apparently, Biryeo will not receive their agreed bonus. Angered by Houyan’s broken promise, the Biryeo chief starts beating them until Seol Doan enters to put a stop to it. Why hit the messenger?
Seol Doan then tells Batar the dangerous path Biryeo is on since Goguryeo won’t let their involvement slide.
Doan basically says, “I told you so” ^^
However, because Batar keeps ignoring the big picture and resisting, the Mohe leader offers him advice:
A general’s wrong decision only results in the loss of soldiers but a ruler’s wrong decision results in the loss of a country. I had to shed a lot of blood to realize that. Don’t you understand what I’m saying? … Think about what Biryeo should choose even now.
As Seol Doan leaves, we last see Batar staring at the ground thinking.
During this whole exchange, ‘twas funny how Batar acted like a baby; always having a fit. Hey, that’s almost how sutiben i… never mind ^_^;
Gye Song’s decision: Steal & betray or die?
Mu Gap the snitch
After following Murong Un, Mu Gap and his assistant, Un Seong, finally learn what the new Houyan prince is up to: grab national secrets via a Goguryeo traitor. Quickly seeing an opportunity, Mu Gap visits Yeo Seokgae’s house to snitch.
The birth of the Goguryeo traitor
Later that night, Gye Song sends his servant to the envoy quarters and informs Murong Un of his decision. Learning the Goguryeo general will hold hands with Houyan, the prince spills the beans on his plan and tells Fengba to prepare an escape route.
By the time Damdeok sees conclusive evidence that Gye Song is a corrupted official, the Goguryeo spy has stolen from the confidential documents repository and is on the run. Damdeok quickly orders all fortresses sealed and rides out with a unit to capture everybody.
Reaching the designated meeting area, Gye Song hands Murong Un a box containing half the secret documents. The other hidden part will be given once they’re in Houyan territory. Although this bothers some, Murong Un quickly accepts the safety condition and tells him to join general Fengba. From here, Murong Un and Fengba split up for safety reasons.
Not long after they separate, Damdeok arrives with his army and also divides his force to chase after both groups.
Drop them the millisecond they’re no longer needed
Reaching the Goguryeo border with the heightened security, Fengba tells Gye Song to remain still for a moment while they deal with the new gatekeeper. However, the Goguryeo traitor witnesses Fengba speaking with the gatekeeper and pointing in his direction, all the while the Houyan unit passes the gate.
The confusion doesn’t last long as the gate soldiers soon chase him down.
The congregation of all forms of betrayal
Meanwhile, riding out on his horse to Ogolseong, a blade comes forth striking Murong Un down to the ground. Within moments, ambush troops attack the unsuspecting unit.
Unbeknownst to them, however, it’s none other than his fellow “countryman”: Mu Gap. Tagging along the snitch is Yeo Seokgae who rushes to the battle towards Murong Un. While they fight, Mu Gap takes the box of secret documents and runs away. The last scene we see is Damdeok’s arrival with his sword pointing to the now captured Murong Un.
Remember, Murong Un is Ko Un’s new name ↩︎