King Gwanggaeto eps 69: Catch the enemy by surprise

Watch Damdeok, the Great episode 69 if you haven’t. Asin & Murong Un join forces to take the fight to their common rival… leading to another confrontation. And there isn’t a stalemate!

A guaranteed victory requires a plan to outwit your enemy

When you overreact, people only laugh at you… even if in secret

Finding no large food supply on the premises, Asin immediately points his sword at the kneeling Murong Un and furiously demands an explanation.

Going against the intensity of the room, however, Murong Un calmly refuses to reply until the Baekje king draws away the weapon. 

This boldness only drives up the anger of the Baekje crowd.

Murong Un:

If you trust me enough to make the attack, you can’t panic over something like this.

Face to face with his overreaction, Asin slowly relents, dropping his sword on the table.

Despite the lack of military rations, the Houyan prince explains, the existence of four storage buildings only validates his stolen documents. This means Goguryeo took measures in transporting them elsewhere but with that huge quantity, it can’t be faraway!

( ̄ー ̄)ニヤ Batar can only provide a secret smirk at the king’s reaction. Hehe. He’s just here for the ride.

Don’t trust shady characters unless their interests align with yours

The Baekje group eventually find the Houyan prince writing a long letter. The plan is using the threat of invasion to scare the Silla representative, Silseong, into finding the new location of the army food supply.

After handing Asin the completed message, Murong Un doesn’t wait before abruptly leaving. The rest can’t believe his behavior but the king notes his meticulous and detailed thinking.

Bu Yeoong:

I can’t tell what he is thinking. He will be trouble for Baekje if we let him live.

For the moment, they decide overlooking the risk and instead take advantage of his revengeful mindset.

Grabbing Goguryeo by the food supplies

Two days later, Murong Un’s rude behavior pays dividends when Silseong pegs the supply relocation at Heunganseong.

They wish to attack the fortress immediately but figure it’ll be on its guard. More so since Baekje recently took over Baengmasanseong.

Instead, following Murong Un’s proposal, Baekje cunningly ambushes a Goguryeo unit in route to reinforce Heunganseong, and then, impersonating them, use their passes to open the gates. Undoubtedly, the food supply transfers ownership that night.

Baekje: Water comes first before anything else

Not content with this takeover, Murong Un urges Asin to take Goguryeo’s southern fortress, Gukdoseong1, and avoid a head on fight at Gwanmiseong. Securing that advance base will isolate the Goguryeo army in Baekje and make Damdeok easy picking.

However, Asin strongly disagrees and puts his foot down on the issue.

Gwanmiseong is our strategic fortress. It is the pride of Baekje. If we take Gwanmiseong, defeating Damdeok will be a piece of cake.

Because the Byeonggwanjwapyeong is attacking Gwanmiseong and Baekje has placed the enemy’s military in a food crisis, now is the best time to send reinforcements and recover their former fortress. By doing so, they will also regain control of the waters.

Asin then sends Jang Gongsan to assist in the Gwanmiseong battle. The king will join them as well for the killing blow, once their new fortress is fully secured.

It’s never too late steering a Goguryeo ship in a different direction

Meanwhile, the Goguryeo army climb aboard ships and sail from the Geonanseong inlet. On their journey, Ha Muji convinces Damdeok to change course. Because everybody knows Goguryeo is moving to support Gwanmiseong, Baekje will want to cut off their supply line.

Upon reaching the new destination, Gukdoseong, they finally receive word that the Baekje army now posses Heunganseong, as well as their military rations. The Goguryeo generals voice concerns over feeding the troops. More importantly, because the relocation was top secret, all signs point to a spy.

But Damdeoks puts an end to the panic and decides on:

  • Ignoring the spy issue: They can deal with the espionage later. Right now, the main threat is the enemy’s offensive campaign.
  • Sending scouts: In order to combat Baekje effectively, they need to assess the situation.
  • Moving the battle line to Gwanmiseong: The Goguryeo unit is to make a lot of noise and attract the attention of the Baekje army.

So clever in your ploys you trick yourself

If you can deceive your closest friends, you can deceive anyone?

Later that night, even with the combined forces of Jang Gongsan and the Byeonggwanjwapyeong, the attack on Gwanmiseong rages on without much success. 

And soon the horn sounds the call of retreat, surprising even the injured general Mo Duru.

Hearing of the failing campaign, Jin Mu offers to personally leave Heunganseong with Bu Yeohong and turn things around. But Asin dismisses that idea and instead orders a fleet of ships to standby at Chiljung.

Moments later, news arrive of Goguryeo ships traveling in Gwanmiseong’s direction. That’s when Asin’s deception is revealed: All the recent moves were meant to trick everyone but, from the very beginning, Asin meant to follow through with Murong Un’s initial plan!

With Damdeok rushing to backup their fortress, they’re vulnerable to being cut off from their closest base, Gukdoseong; Asin’s real target. To this effect, the king orders Bu Yeohong to move the main naval force to the river estuary and Jin Mu the main forces.

Going on at this time also, we only see Yeo Seokgae riding in a hurry to a fortress south of Gukdoseong and delivering secret military orders to the lord of Taeaanseong, Kang Dae. What could it be?

This is for violating our land

Traveling along the Chiljungha2 river for over half a day, king Asin and company are glad the thick fog is hiding their movement. With full confidence, the Baekje naval force reach Gukdoseong at last.

Suddenly, a flaming arrow screeches through the night sky, across the white moon. Startled at this strange event, the naval crew look up. What is the meaning of this?  

As the fog dissipates, rows of lit torches across the rocks catches their attention.

The Goguryeo trebuchets-like devices are ready and, with no hesitation, the fire command, “suara!” is yelled at the top of their lungs.

Within seconds, fireballs rise into the air before falling right back down upon the Baekje fleet. Catching the launched items, the Baekje ships burst into flames and naval crew members drop into the water.

Looking all over in a total confusion state, Asin asks:

Why do they have such attack weapons?

The realization hits the Houyan prince hard as he points out the root cause: Damdeok. The Goguryeo king knew which fortress they were targeting. Similar to their own plan, the Goguryeo ships traveling to Gwanmiseong were a ruse!

With every word from Murong Un’s mouth revealing the bitter truth of the situation, Asin’s blood boils. “I ought to…”, the Baekje leader angrily shouts right before an explosion shakes his vessel.

Commander Jin Mu: When your nephew is too stubborn, hit him

The barrage of explosions continuing, Jin Mu calls for a retreat and steers the now burning naval fleet towards the cliff.

Unfortunately, a long line of archery units step forward to let loose their fire arrows. In almost perfect unison, the small flaming missiles crash down wiping out men onboard and further setting the wrecked boats ablaze.

Asin can only frighteningly look around trying to grasp what’s happening, almost as though time is moving way too quick for his eyes and brain to understand.

Mixed with rage, confusion, and humiliation, the Baekje king questions the heavens:

How can I be played by Damdeok again?

The surviving Baekje crew rapidly reach land, leaving behind flames and any ship remains on the water. Yet, the danger follows and continues hitting the Baekje army without rest as Goguryeo soldiers appear all around and the reality sets in: they’re not all going to escape in one piece.

General Hwang Hoe immediately calls for their surrender.

At this insult, Asin grabs hold of his weapon and begins unsheathing his sword until his uncle physically stops him. The army will stall the enemy while the king escapes and fights for another day.

Not this time. Not today.

No, uncle. I’m going to fight if it means I have to die here. I won’t back down anymore.

Bringing out his blade in full view, Asin shouts a war cry right up to the point when a big hit lands behind him. The decision is no longer left to the nephew. Falling back unconscious, Jin Mu orders the rest to take the king away and turns to Murong Un.

Get out of here and get revenge for me. Survive and help His Majesty. Go! Now! 

Seeing soldiers carrying Asin away, Hwang Hoe and his unit rush after but Jin Mu’s step forward stops them. This will be Jin Mu’s last stand.

  1. Gukdoseong is better known in Korea today as Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi-do. ↩︎

  2. Koreans would know Chiljungha by the river name of Imjingang. ↩︎

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