Watch Damdeok, the Great episode 75 if you haven’t. What? There’s a traitor in the Houyan palace? When Murong Bao finds him, will wish he was dead. His words.
How loose is Chongmyeong’s tongue?
Spies remove all charges of incompetence
Slamming both hands over the table, the crown prince gives general Fengba an earful. How could he botch the latest attempt to pull in the king? In fact, nothing ever seems to pan out with him.
Fengba explains there’s a spy amongst them since only a select few knew they were going to distance the migrants and the Goguryeo military.
If there are spies, they will get in the way of all your plans
Hearing this possibility, both Murong Xi and Fengba vie for the right to lead the investigation. Only after Murong Un chimes in does Murong Bao agree to trust Fengba one more time.
If people love you, you become untouchable
Yet, Fengba already has someone in mind as the traitor: the wife of the crown prince. This will be problematic only because princess Damju is most loved by the future emperor. One needs ironclad proof to even accuse her.
Soon though, Fengba learns one of Ha Muji’s servant is snooping outside the palace, frequently walking around for no reason. Who better to point out the identify of the Goguryeo spy? At the next sighting on the Zhongsan market, Fengba’s men secretly abduct Cheongmyeong and lead him to torture in a secret prison.
The capture doesn’t go unnoticed as Wang Gye reports this to Ha Muji. Houyan obviously knows there’s a leak. With the tighter security outside, the best course of action is waiting until the right time presents itself to save Cheongmyeong. He relays this to Damdeok’s sister when she comes by.
All it takes is one witness & your life can be over
Moving swiftly, Fengba and a group of troops appear at Murong Un’s quarters to arrest the Houyan prince, Batar, and Do Gwang. Here is the man they are looking for, the one revealing Houyan secrets! After enduring excruciating pain earlier, Chongmyeong sings and singles Ko Un out as the Goguryeo spy.
After all, Murong Un
- is a Goguryeo citizen by birth.
- lived for a time in the village of the migrants.
- swore loyalty to the Goguryeo king in return for his life.
- prevented the Houyan + Biryeo joint attack.
The accusations baffle Murong Un and Fengba points out,
Nobody cares about the truth. People see and believe what they want. Why did you do something to arouse suspicion?
The policy of ancient times: Guilty until proven innocent
Hearing the Goguryeo spy in custody, Murong Bao rushes to the palace prison at night for a confrontation. Imagine his surprise to find Murong Un and his peers tied up. How could he betray the crown prince?
Murong Un won’t take this lying down, however. Denying it all, he pleads everyone not to believe the source. Chongmyeong serves the military advisor. These are people who can think on their feet!
What will you do if he lied? What if he accused me to protect the real spy? He knows I have an important position. What if he lied to have me eliminated?
Although his words carry a sense of reasoning, they can no longer take a chance with him. In order to gain their trust and escape the prison chains, Murong Un must prove his innocence. Until then, he isn’t going anywhere.
As they depart, Batar throws out the idea of using Biryeo. The ex-chief has been making moves for some time now to regain his country.
Biryeo rebellion? Why you can’t ignore the influence of ousted leaders
Back at the Magoseong command center, the Goguryeo generals receive Ha Muji’s letter: The Houyan court knows a spy exists and this can only mean danger for princess Damju.
Even though this concerns everyone, more news arrive concerning the possibility of a Biryeo revolt.
But how can that be, the disappointed Damdeok asks:
What is Yeon Salta doing? How can there be signs of a rebellion?
The whole point of his stay is keeping Biryeo in check. But because there is no confirmation, no one is sure what to do. The rumor might be a ploy to kill the king of Goguryeo once he gets there.
That’s when Ari steps forward: she will travel to her people and investigate. Damdeok hesitates for her safety but agrees only if Ari won’t get involved if there’s an ongoing fight. They will decide their course depending on her status report
Move around long enough & people are bound to notice
Despite told to keep a low profile, princess Damju pays Ha Muji a visit next day to report Ko Un’s arrest and her worries. However, in doing so, Fengba spots her and questions Chongmyeong’s story.
If it’s not Ko Un, it must be her! To this, Fengba sends his men to follow her from now on.
Find the secret Goguryeo agent & prove Ko Un’s innocence
Good thinking comes under pressure
At the Houyan palace, soldiers drag Ko Un in before the crown prince. He now knows a way to prove the allegations wrong and find the real perpetrator.
Ko Un the innocent: Batar’s followers are planning a rebellion and because they already control all roads to Biryeo, they can manipulate Goguryeo’s communication.
When Damdeok unsuspectingly heads to Batar’s country, the king will meet a deadly ambush. Nobody but them knows of this plot. If he dies due to this plan, it shows Ko Un sides with Houyan.
Revealing the true spy: Nevertheless, if the Goguryeo king doesn’t fall for the trap, then that means the real spy warned Damdeok.
Houyan just needs to catch whoever delivers the warning message and extract the spy’s name from him.
The scheme only requires the release of Batar and a supply of Houyan troops.
The lost letter from Ha Muji
However, while Murong Un and the Houyan leaders discuss their plan, Goguryeo manages to save and return Chongmyeong to the envoy quarters. Not only is Ha Muji glad his servant is back but how he moved suspicions away from princess Damju onto Ko Un.
Later that night from the prison cell, Do Gwang secretly writes Ha Muji revealing Biryeo’s aim to kill their king. Add the fact that Batar, Fengba, and some troops are moving out, and Ha Muji begins writing a letter of warning.
The lost letter from Ari
By this time, Ari reaches Agban’s tent and confirms the followers of Batar have not done anything but are moving about more. Slowly it seems like this whole Biryeo rebellion was leaked on purpose. They then decide to 1
- inform the Goguryeo king of the danger.
- move troops to Mt. Hwanggyesan, the likely location of an ambush.
Marching to the Biryeo ambush
Unfortunately, Biryeo rebels capture all the messengers and prevent either warnings from Ari or Ha Muji to reach the Goguryeo camp at Magoseong. Although Ha Muji’s scouts commit suicide when questioned over who sent them, Houyan still sends a fake letter to lure the Goguryeo king. The forged letter claims the Biryeo chief needs reinforcements to quell the revolt. Not hearing from Ari on top of that makes Damdeok pull his army to Biryeo.
During this time, Ha Muji still doesn’t hear back about his letter and ask Wang Gye to look for another scout.
By nightfall, Damdeok nears Mt. Hwanggyesan only to meet flying flaming arrows and the chuckles of Batar,
Damdeok. I’ve been waiting for you.
（~，~） Suti sad … no think fully understand how this went down after here. The other possibility is only Ha Muji sent messengers to warn king but Biryeo rebels catches them. Maybe ‘tis no big problem but just wanna be accurate. Either way, Batar’s followers prevent any warnings to pass. ↩︎