Watch Damdeok, the Great episode 70 if you haven’t. This is the time where both Goguryeo and Baekje win and lose at the same time.
Jin Mu remembers the great honor in defending those you support
The ritual of great generals
Picking up Asin’s dropped weapon, Jin Mu declares his intention in giving up his life to deny the Goguryeo army passage.
Confronted with defiance, Hwang Hoe slowly reveals his own blade, readying to run down the disadvantaged enemy. But with Damdeok’s arrival, plans change. Instead, with a slight nod, the Goguryeo King silently orders an honorable duel between both leaders.
Is there such a thing as surrendering gracefully?
Stepping forward, Hwang Hoe officially states his name in the tradition of a fight to the death.
Impressed by the respect shown, Jin Mu compliments his opponent.
You are a true general indeed.
and officially introduces himself as commander of the Baekje force.
Not wasting anymore time, they rush towards each other swinging and dancing someone’s last dance. Right from the beginning, the Goguryeo general forces the Baekje commander to drop his ruler’s sword and contend with one weapon.
They fight and match equally well for a short period but eventually the gap between them becomes apparent as Hwang Hoe slices Jin Mu by the right knee and pushes him back with a kick.
Bringing him to his knees, Hwang Hoe offers his opponent one last chance to submit. Given his high position, the Baekje commander will receive the utmost respect as a prisoner.
Jin Mu’s death: Back to the ground from whence you came from
Jin Mu, however, doesn’t know the word surrender and charges one last time. But just as quickly, the Baekje leader finds himself yelling as Hwang Hoe kicks him up in the air. Not done with his attack, Hwang Hoe immediately follows Jin Mu above the ground and plunges the sword into his chest.
The Baekje army watch in horror as their leader returns to the ground next to them.
Getting back up on his knees and choking on his own blood, Jin Mu looks to the victor struggling to mutter his last words.
I will be the last Baekje person to kneel. My death will awaken the spirit of Baekje. Rise, brave soldiers of Baekje.
Raising his hands in a last effort to reinvigorate his army, Jin Mu breathes his last breath and dies on the spot.
At this, the whole Baekje unit charge forward but no emotional outburst will change their fate.
Meanwhile, now awake and in a different location, Asin learns of his uncle passing away. Unable to hold back his sadness and anger, Asin cries to the night, swearing to plunge a sword in Damdeok’s heart.
Regaining what you lost & then some
The roadblocks in seeking strings of victories
Returning in victory to their Gukdoseong fortress, the Goguryeo leaders convene to decide their next move but problems surface.
- Future issue with no food in the belly: The current food supply won’t last the 40,000 Biryeo & Goguryeo soldiers past 10 days.
- Human bodies experience exhaustion: Even with high morale, the soldiers are too tired to be effective.
Yet, Damdeok doesn’t want to stand still and pushes to retake Heunganseong, solving all food issues.
Baekje needs those military rations as well, Ha Muji warns, and will fight to keep them. Even worse, if Asin can’t have it, they won’t have any qualms with burning it to keep it off Goguryeo’s hands.
Just when the mood of the room takes a dive, news of Silseong bringing over military rations from Silla arrives. Suddenly, everybody lets out a sigh of relief.
That’s when the Goguryeo king makes his underlings leave, wishing to privately speak with his military strategist.
I’m going to throw a large bait to catch a huge fish.
The great food gamble
We next see Ung Sim and Noh Sa catching up with the Silla convoy and, through a royal letter, ordering Silseong to transfer the cargo to Heunganseong instead of Gukdoseong.
Watching from afar, Baekje spies report to the Heunganseong lord of Silla’s aid. Ignoring the command not to leave his post, Sa Mayeol leads the Baekje troops out and captures the Silla food supply.
Don’t take your eyes away from a common person
Inside the fortress, Sa Mayeol is content with bringing his country more military rations and pushing down the Goguryeo morale even further.
Then again, the Baekje general doesn’t realize Goguryeo soldiers came along the convoy dressed as peasants and have infiltrated the fortress.
By nightfall, Yeo Seokgae plays the old “prisoner is sick” trick to escape and frees his fellow comrades.
It doesn’t take long before they set fire on a storage building, distracting Baekje soldiers as they rush to put it out. All the while, the main gates open allowing the outside army to enter.
Recovering the heart of Baekje
A total defeat can open up cracks in the enemy’s shield
Meanwhile, back at Wiryeseong, Asin states how bad of a loss Goguryeo dealt them. And although the Naesinjwapyeong tries to blame Murong Un, and thus have him punished, the king rejects that accusation and instead sidelines the Houyan prince from future participation.
Baekje will deal with Goguryeo by itself.
Going along that line of thinking, Bu Yeohong asks to meet the king in private. Alone with Asin, he states the importance of controlling the seas since it will allow Baekje to focus solely on land operations afterwards. Only then can they bring in outside help via Dongjin and Houyan. And to start this series of chain events, Bu Yeohong claims he will recover Gwanmiseong himself.
Bu Yeohong: Achieving what thousands couldn’t
Back at Gwanmiseong, Mo Duru hears of the great victory at Gukdoseong. Add on top of that the sight of Baekje ships withdrawing from the island and you have a whole fortress rejoicing.
The enemy gone and scouts finding nothing strange, Mo Duru gives the exhausted soldiers the night off, along with plenty of food and alcohol.
Unfortunately, the Baekje force return by the evening with Goguryeo soldiers in a drunken state. With little resistance, they climb the fortress’ walls, capture general Mo Duru, and return Gwanmiseong back to Asin.
Excited over the results, the Baekje king promises to reward the generals greatly. As for Mo Duru’s wish to be killed, Asin has other plans:
Do you think we’ll let you die because you want to? … Don’t kill him. If Damdeok left Gwanmiseong to him, he must care for him. I’ll kill him in front of Damdeok.
Standing still: Taking neither a step back nor a step forward
Going for the brain of Baekje
Over at the Heunganseong fortress, the Goguryeo force is ready to advance onto the Baekje capital but news of Gwanmiseong shocks everyone. They quickly wish to turn their attention there but Ha Muji convinces them otherwise. They need to resolve this at Wiryeseong. With Ha Muji’s plan, Gwanmiseong won’t matter.
If you mess up in Baekje, the king is willing to give you another chance
Leaving Jang Gongsan in charge of Gwanmiseong, along with elite soldiers, Asin takes the rest of the army back to the Baekje capital.
In a court meeting, Asin decides making Gwanmiseong an advance base to lead the attack on Goguryeo. But to get ready, sends the Naesinjwapyeong to Dongjin and the Byeongwanjwapyeong to Houyan for reinforcements.
Suddenly, the general supposedly guarding Heunganseong enters the room. When Sa Mayeol reports the fortress loss, the Baekje king slams his hand on the table in total disbelief. Just when things were turning around!
Asking what of the food supply, Asin cringes at his response.
How could you let them have all the rations?
Not only did he allow the enemy to retake the base but also gave Damdeok the supplies back. Why didn’t he burn it?
Unable to bear more of Sa Mayeol’s incompetence, Asin points outside and orders him to be killed right now.
But with Goguryeo marching here, Bu Yeohong tries convincing the furious king they’ll need every able body in defending the capital.
With fiery eyes, Asin looks to Sa Mayeol and gives him another chance.
You had better achieve merit in the battle against Goguryeo. If you don’t, I will kill you myself.
^_^ Poor Sa Mayeol… he can only look at the floor. But he meant well! hehe
The return of the 1st queen
Alone with his thoughts, Doyeong arrives with a tea set and pleads Asin to stop the battles and consider the people who will suffer.
Wasn’t it enough to fight your own people? You are involving other countries…
Don’t you know why Dongjin and Houyan are willing to help you? They will help Baekje. But what they really want is to expand their territory.
Her words reaching deaf ears, Doyeong meets her brother to convince him as well but with the same results. Both men set on their ways, she orders Wonbong to take her to Heunganseong immediately.
Unbeknownst to Ko Un’s sister, however, Bu Yeohong was listening in on their entire conversation at the envoy quarters.
Nevertheless, we last see a strange person cloaked in black appearing before Damdeok. Da dun dun.