Watch king Damdeok episode 74 if you haven’t. The persecution of Goguryeo people in other lands must stop!
Houyan: Suppress the riot or prepare to lose something dear
When in desperation, attack on sight even if they’re a helping hand
Riding on the road to Mugoseong, piles of arrows crash on the ground ahead stopping the Goguryeo party from continuing further. An ambush?
Without notice, an axe twirls across the king’s face, moving away and barely evading the weapon by the strand of a hair. Hwang Hoe is ready to engage but Damdeok stops him. These are the very people they’re trying to save!
Soon, Cheongun soldiers step from behind stopping the crowd from engaging further; this is their king.
When asked Yeo Seokgae’s whereabouts, no one is sure.
Think of the bigger picture or get smacked
It isn’t until both forces reach the Magoseong fortress that they meet up with him accompanied by peasants armed with crude weapons.
Sensing the eyes observing them, the Goguryeo military enter the fortress’ command center seeking some privacy.
Already they’re upset with Yeo Seokgae for causing problems and hearing him explain how he lost his temper at the terrible treatment of their people only agitates them. His sole purpose for traveling here was to investigate and nothing more. Yeo Seokgae, though, continues talking and his excuses finally drive Hwang Hoe’s temper as he smacks his comrade across the face.
Holding onto his cheeks, the silenced Yeo Seokgae gets the gravity of his actions.
Because of the rebellion, they have a growing problem that the Houyan court won’t overlook.
- the Goguryeo migrants are detaining the fortress lord in his own room.
- Houyan officials are all locked up.
- Both sides are enduring casualties.
The peasant who dares to live after standing up to royal authority
Suddenly, the migrant representatives barge in the room and Damdeok asks how Song Pil could’ve further endangered his fellow villagers.
With no hesitation, he returns the question:
Since when did you care so much about the migrants?
He replies with such defiance and disrespect, the Goguryeo generals do not fully unsheathe their sword only because Damdeok prevents them.
The leader elaborates some more:
I dare to ask. What country do we belong to?
Fathers are beaten to death and children are starving to death. Pretty women become toys for Houyan men. That’s our life. We can’t even keep a grain of rice that we have cultivated. That is our life because we are not Houyan or Goguryeo citizens.
It doesn’t matter they’re here. The fortress lord will remain in their custody as their last bit of leverage.
Using a cheap trick against migrants for gain
Damju the spy: Working behind the scenes for the motherland
Back at the Houyan capital, the Houyan leaders convene to discuss the capture of their fortress and its lord.
- What does Murong Bao want from all this: For meddling in state affairs, the crown prince will demand the transfer of Yodongseong to Houyan if the visiting king can’t handle the migrant rebellion.
- Alienate both parties: General Fengba must travel there immediately to watch over them and ensure a rift exist between the Goguryeo migrants & their ruler.
What they don’t notice, however, is princess Damju overhearing everything. Houyan will push the migrants into a difficult spot leaving Damdeok no choice but to make great concessions to save his people.
Fortunately, the sinister plan eventually reaches the Goguryeo king via Wang Gye.
Elderly criminal: Using old people for your dirty work
Now 40km away from the Magoseong fortress, Fengba and his men decide how to achieve their goals: They will use the migrant father whose daughter the fortress lord took advantage of and committed suicide thereafter..
Waiting until nightfall, Fengba pays the old man a visit in the village, pretending to also be a victim. Lying between his teeth, he expresses his desire for revenge against the Magoseong lord for violating his own sister. No, the old father wishes to end his life with his own hands. Hearing this, Fengba hands him a dagger to help him along.
Rushing back, Fengba finally reveals himself to Damdeok wanting to check up on the fortress lord but entering the home, they find him tied up and covered in blood. Leaning back on the bed is none other than the old man with a blade drenched in blood.
Fengba questions Damdeok right away,
How was your security that such an old man killed the Lord of the fortress?
Not wasting time, the king quickly orders the arrest of the old man. As they take him away, the Goguryeo generals worry this might stir up the migrant villagers.
The distance between people is far when mistrust enters a relationship
They were right to worry since next day the Goguryeo migrants have lost all faith in their country and decide to take matters into their own hands.
Nevertheless, shortly thereafter they spot a large Houyan army surrounding the Magoseong fortress with Murong Un as their leader. With drums signaling their arrival, the village chief calls for the capture of Fengba and his unit. As they rush to hold them hostage, the Goguryeo migrants meet up with their king.
However, patience has run out as they no longer want to deal with more road blocks.
I am barely restraining myself from using you as a shield, too.
The king of Goguryeo urges the village chief to reconsider. He has set up a meeting with the Houyan leader to settle matters once and for all. Relenting, Song Pil agrees but insists on seeing first hand Goguryeo’s so-called support during the talks.
Ko Un & Damdeok: The undying rivalry continues
When things are planned, news travel fast
With the enemy gathered together at the fortress command center, Murong Un and his entourage make their way inside. Seeking an explanation for the army’s involvement, Murong Un responds with concern over the Magoseong lord’s death. Yet, how could he know when Goguryeo never notified Houyan. Fengba told them? That’s interesting.
Looking Murong Un in the face, Damdeok suggests the events were all staged. The Houyan prince returns the accusation with a confused look.
Did you lose your intelligence since you joined the Houyan court? How can you use such a cheap trick to fool me?
Still not budging, the Goguryeo king reveals how the Houyan court created this whole situation.
- Overly abusing the migrant village with no restraint.
- Using one of the migrants to kill the fortress lord in order to make their crimes heavier.
- Trying to personally benefit from all the chaos they themselves created.
Damdeok then pulls out and tosses a Houyan dagger towards Fengba asking if he recognizes the object. Putting the nail in the coffin, Seol Ji and Ari soon arrive with the Magoseong fortress lord.
“He’s alive?”, the Houyan group ask themselves.
Knowing the enemy’s intent, the king of Goguryeo convinced the old man to play along and allow Damdeok to take vengeance for him. Before Fengba’s arrival, they knocked unconscious the fortress lord with special food and spread animal blood all over his body.
Hearing the mountain of evidence against them, the Houyan group remains speechless. Asked if there’s anything more to add, Murong Un immediately leaves the room embarrassed.
Pointing out general Fengba’s fail moment for all to see
Outside, the Houyan soldiers pester the prince not to relent.
Didn’t you see how Damdeok played us?
No, the only thing they’ll do right now is withdraw the army. Fengba is still in disbelief at Damdeok’s preparation which Murong Un immediately retorts.
He wasn’t well prepared. You lacked preparation. You gave them clear proof. What kind of strategy is that?
*cover mouth tightly with both hands* (*^日^*)゛ hehe … he’s right! That was pretty dumb!
Giving the Goguryeo migrants what little peace they can get on Houyan land
Ignore the needs of your opponents & make their choice easier
Although, the rebellion is now under control, the Goguryeo king knows nothing has been solved. The migrants will continue to suffer unless he speaks with the crown prince.
Getting together once more at the Houyan palace, Murong Bao denies knowing much of anything. Those migrants are Houyan citizens and he can do whatever he pleases with them. If Bao wants them near the border of Beiwei, that’s where they’ll be.
With his stubborn attitude at the helm, Houyan will never admit doing anything wrong, much less correct them, and so Damdeok moves onto his trump card: If the crown prince won’t permit those Houyan “citizens” to return to their old land with autonomy, the migrants will surrender to Beiwei. Houyan’s enemy would be more than happy to swallow Magoseong and the nearby land.
What difference does it make to the Goguryeo migrants if they’re under Houyan or Beiwei rule?
Easily losing territory to their neighboring enemy without a fight? No! Holding back his rage, Murong Bao agrees. But he’s not done, Damdeok adds to put it in writing and to punish the Magoseong fortress lord as well.
When a man has nothing, everybody takes turn pushing him around
After the meeting and while walking in the palace, Murong Un meets general Fengba and tells him the existence of a spy in their ranks. It’s the only reason Damdeok was well prepared to foil his plan.
Murong Un then nastily addresses the general,
Find out who it is. You have no more pride to be stepped on. All you have left is your life.
Fengba knows exactly who the Houyan spy is and bitterly mumbles he’ll pay everybody back for treating him so lowly.
The promise of a Goguryeo conquest signed with blood on the ground
Reaching the Magoseong fortress, Damdeok is met with a cheering crowd but rapidly gets off his horse and kneels before the migrants, asking for their forgiveness.
Because he can’t take them all back to Goguryeo territory, returning them to their old location is the best he can do. The Goguryeo king then hands them Bao’s royal letter to defend themselves in the future.
Yet, Damdeok promises to return and plant Goguryeo’s three-legged crow flag here. Pulling out a sword, Damdeok slowly cuts his palm allowing blood to drip on the soil.
Making a blood oath, he swears to everybody
I will make this land a Goguryeo territory with all my will.