Watch Damdeok, the Great episode 72 if you haven’t. There will be no turning back. Today, Baekje must go down!
396: The year Baekje learns what total defeat means
Losing in strategy: Hurting yourself with your own moves
Rows upon rows of Goguryeo soldiers line up just outside the walls of the capital ready to spill blood, Baekje blood.
Hand on the side armor, King Damdeok observes the beauty of Wiryeseong.
How did the day of Baekje’s imminent defeat ever arrive?
Piecing together all that has occurred, Asin bitterly admits the king of Goguryeo has outwitted him once more, this time merely with clones of that tainted golden armor.
And he’s not the only one to swallow the pill of embarrassment. No, it finally dawns on Bu Yeohong how far Gal Samu pulled the military advisor into the ploy.
All those failed attempts to retake Gwanmiseong led Baekje into thinking Goguryeo was desperate and had no other choice but attack from Horogoruseong.
Now, Asin finds
- half the Baekje army at Horogoruseong
- the other half marching to ‘help’ Gwanmiseong. It’s pointless to rely on this recently dispatched army since it’ll take them at least half a day to return. By then, the war would be over.
- the remaining soldiers inside the walls of Wiryeseong are barely enough to hold down the fort.
Bu Yeohong urges the king to flee but Asin will not have any part of this cowardice act. No, they will fight to defend Wiryeseong. What else is there to defend if not the capital? There is no other way!
Losing in battle: Abandoning the main fortress
Regardless of the determination, the Baekje defence doesn’t hold out for very long as Goguryeo soldiers quickly dispose of the archers above by throwing oil pouches and setting them ablaze with fire arrows. No air attacks to worry about and minimal soldiers blocking their path, Goguryeo rapidly takes over several fortress towers.
With the Baekje defense crumbling before their eyes, the generals finally convince the king to pull back.
Yet, it doesn’t take long before the main gates open wide and allow the outside troops passage, an army ten times larger than the one inside.
Running for their lives and reaching the closest gate, Asin and his unit yell to their comrades to open the door.
A fight between Damdeok & Asin: The battle between large forces is over
Suddenly, the men at the back of the group fall dead to the ground with arrows piercing their back.
Too late. Damdeok’s force is here and have stolen Baekje’s last chance to escape.
Pointing their weapons at each other, Damdeok calls for the enemy’s surrender but Asin won’t go out like this. This last fight must be decided between the two kings.
For all the embarrassment and humiliation, Asin charges and swings his sword without restraint. But no matter how hard the Baekje king tries, Damdeok blocks all attacks and manages to scratch his left arm. This doesn’t stop Asin as he continues on the offensive.
For a short while, both swords strike in perfect rhythm, that is until the Goguryeo king makes more cuts to both Asin’s arms and back. Recoiling back to his unit, Asin holds onto his body in pain.
Damdeok mocks his opponent:
How will you beat me with such a weak arm?
The Mexican stand off: When everybody just looks at each other
Clearly, the gap between them is large. Under the armor, blood slowly covers Asin’s body but the king is unwilling to yield.
Just as Asin begins yelling another war cry for the next round, someone shouts “stop!”.
Turning to one side, everybody sees Bu Yeohong and Doyeong together. But this is not to return her back to her husband. While no one was looking, the military advisor kidnapped Damdeok’s first wife. Now holding a sword to Doyeong’s neck, Bu Yeohong calls for Goguryeo’s retreat this instance less the girl gets it.
Disgusted, Damdeok turns back to his adversary.
Asin. Were you this much of a coward? … Where did your confidence to fight boldly disappear to?
You’ve lost in battle, strategy and justification.
But Asin can’t believe this.1 Everything has been fair thus far and this certainly isn’t part of his plan. And to prove it, he orders his military advisor to release lady Doyeong. Bu Yeohong, however, will not comply. Not this order. Not when his king’s life is on the line.
King Damdeok’s eyes fill with hostility watching the cowardly act before his woman.
On the other side, Bu Yeohong stares back at the enemy king, waiting for the invading army to disappear.
Asin can only look in disappointment at his disobeying servant.
And so a stalemate is achieved.
Saving your last family member transcends all other matters
Right then, Murong Un finally hits the scene and watches in horror as a despicable soldier plays with the life of his precious sister.
Rushing closer, Murong Un throws down his sword, picks up a bow left by a casualty of war, and pulls back on the bow string. That coward will let go of Doyeong if it’s the last thing he’ll achieve. All concerns over the life of Damdeok or his own is pushed to the side.
Holding a perfect aim at Bu Yeohong, Murong Un releases the bow string but not before feeling a sharp pain in his hands. Let loose, the arrow cuts through the air and scrapes Damdeok by the left cheek bone instead, barely sparing his life.
Moments before, Seol Ji spotted the traitor with a long range weapon and threw her hidden dagger thinking to stop Murong Un from achieving his revenge.
Not knowing where the attack came from, both forces step forward surrounding their leaders, forming a human shield. Quickly, Murong Un’s posse pull their leader away before they find out the culprit.
Yeon Salta: Doyeong’s worst lucky charm
As Damdeok stands up alive, Bu Yeohong calls for an all out attack. They just need to bring down the king of Goguryeo. The fight quickly erupts which is perfect as Damdeok has rage to unleash upon Baekje foot soldiers.
Asin joins in and finds himself against Yeon Salta. Even with acrobatic moves, Asin overpowers his opponent and stands ready to deal a killing blow.
Damdeok sees this and rapidly pushes his current foes away, not having time to deal with petty soldiers.
Borrowing a bow and a pair of arrows from a nearby soldier, the Goguryeo king pulls on his weapon intent on saving his servant on the ground. Today, Asin will meet his end!
Letting go, the arrow flies like a hawk behind Asin and penetrates deeply into the skin.
Turning around, Asin finds lady Doyeong behind him with both arms spread out to cover the widest area. The arrow painfully stuck in her abdomen area, Doyeong barely hears the Baekje king calling out her name.
As the beloved woman slowly hits the ground, Asin looks with shock at Damdeok asking with his face, “What have you done?!”
Damdeok’s first wife dies & ends the war in one move
“No!”, the Goguryeo king shouts as he rushes to his first queen and holds her tight.
Both men are confused as to why she took the hit and saved the Baekje leader. If Damdeok kills Asin, Doyeong explains, the Baekje people will remember and hold it against Goguryeo. Both brother nations won’t know peace. Baekje will want to avenge their disgrace, just the same as when Baekje killed a previous Goguryeo king years ago.
Struggling to breathe, she then looks to Asin
Please end the battle. Don’t leave any grudges for your descendants. Save the people.
Turning back to her husband, Doyeong holds his face with her left hand one last time.
I was never disappointed with you. Let go of all the burden you have because of me.
Soon after uttering these words, her hand drops to the ground and her eyes close forever.
*turns around* ( T_T)
Not wanting this to go on further, Asin yells everybody to stop. Conceding the war to Goguryeo, he orders his head cut off immediately.
Do you still not know why Doyeong died? It was for us to join forces and open up a future for Goguryeo and Baekje…
How dare you take your life so lightly when her intention was so deep?
Picking up Doyeong’s now lifeless body, Damdeok walks away from the battlefield, leaving both Asin and Yeon Salta on the ground with tears.
Baekje falls in line before the might of Goguryeo
Preserving a country’s soul to the end
Next day, both Goguryeo and Baekje leaders come together at the Wiryeseong court. From Baekje’s comfortable golden royal seating, the king of Goguryeo observes the entrance of his now defeated enemies.
Walking in union on the red carpet, the Baekje king and his lead generals slowly approach Damdeok with solemn faces.
I wanted to fight you to the end. But that was just ambition as a general. I have the responsibility to protect my people.
Nevertheless, Asin asks that they do not trample on Baekje’s traditions and beliefs. Baekje’s culture must carry on to the next generation. If Damdeok doesn’t agree to preserve the essence of his people, Asin threatens to rise again and fight to the bitter end. Fortunately, the king of Goguryeo has no intention of obliterating the memory of Baekje.
Hearing this, Asin’s shoulders become lighter.
When the sting of submission paints your face
Gradually but painfully, Asin gets on his knee to acknowledge his superior. His fellow generals behind follow in kind.
At this, Yeo Seokgae takes a royal box from Bu Yeohong and hands it to his king.
Still on his knees but now with pain and humiliation written all over, Asin declares his unconditional defeat and surrender and pledges to serve the victor.
Grabbing the Baekje royal seal with his right hand, Damdeok pulls it up above him.
This isn’t to distinguish a winning nation and a losing nation. It is to forget about all our battles and join forces in taking the first step for the new future.
Asin. My dream is for our three-legged crow flag to hang in the vast continent. We share the same blood. Will you advance to the vast continent with me?
Looking up with a bit of hope, Asin agrees. And with that, the ceremony finishes.
il||li ＿|￣|○ il||l
‘twas kind of sad seeing a proud man kneeling. （ノ_σ） Asin’s face trembled throughout as though he died a lil’ inside.
Houyan empire: The last one standing
Confusion is always good for the enemy
After some time passes, we next see the whole gang back at the capital of Goguryeo. With Biryeo, Mohe and Baekje no longer a threat to the country, Goguryeo can now focus on Houyan. Together they decide:
- War is not the answer: Because the soldiers have been in constant battles, warring with Houyan is out of the question for now.
- Shake the Houyan cage: Ha Muji, Seol Ji, and Chongmyeong will travel to Houyan and check out the situation. And if there is indeed a power struggle between the Murong brothers as rumors suggest, the military strategist will do something about it.
- Biryeo needs an overseer: Although Biryeo surrendered, it’s best to have a Goguryeo general watch over them just to be on the safe side. Feeling guilty over Doyeong’s death, Yeon Salta volunteers to leave.
The power of words can wreck family ties further
Arriving at Zhongsan, Ha Muji doesn’t take long before carrying out his mission.
- Sniffing a stranger’s home: Using Damju’s recent birth to a son as an excuse to meet, Ha Muji confirms the existence of internal dispute. Murong Xi is gaining power each day and meets with Murong Un often to discuss who knows what.
- Bao can’t protect his own woman: Presenting himself to the crown prince, Ha Muji privately angers Murong Bao when he suggests he can’t handle his younger brother. Goguryeo’s concern, Ha Muji explains, is the crown prince’s ability to guarantee princess Damju’s safety. Murong Bao angrily assures that nothing will happen to his wife.
- Provoking Xi’s security: Meeting with the other Houyan prince, Ha Muji tells Murong Xi to worry about his survival. Since both brothers are vying for the throne, what does he think will likely happen once Bao becomes king?
By the time Ha Muji is finished, both Murong brothers are at a heightened alert. However, Murong Chui is well aware of the rivalry and the danger it poses to the country.
On Murong Xi’s birthday, the younger invites the older brother to a feast. Just when Murong Xi is about to offer the crown prince wine prepared especially for him, the Houyan emperor arrives. We last see the father asking Xi to pour him a drink from that special wine.
Asin can only respond with “mora?!” (what?!) as though that’s uncalled for. ‘Tis around 12mins in. The way he says it makes suti giggle ^^ Combined with his face, makes it seem as though Asin is saying “What the hell you talking about?” hehe. ↩︎