King Gwanggaeto eps 77: The end of 3 year peace

If haven’t seen, watch Damdeok, the conquering Goguryeo emperor 77 before reading the spoilers. Move aside peaceful times. The moment of patience for Goguryeo & Houyan is over!

In the tavern, Goguryeo troops gather for a get together to discuss state matters. Three years have passed since Houyan’s peace treaty and people everywhere enjoyed the good times. However, in anticipation for change, it is said Goguryeo’s cavalry soldiers can become infantrymen and vice versa.

Looks like Ari no really like the brute strength but dummy kind of men, not giving them a chance at all. While sitting together, Yeo Seokgae offers the sweet girl a piece of chicken which Ari places right back on the plate … in disgust. o((*^▽^*))o hehe. She keeps looking at him strangely. When asked for a drink, Ari grudgingly pours — which makes Yeo soooooooooooo happy — only to drink from it soon after. Everybody just laughs at him.

Poor Yeo Seokgae. He’s left sad with wine all over his mouth & beard.

The war that serves to break family ties

A wife belongs either to her husband or her old family

In Zhongsan, the years of preparation are complete with Houyan amassing an army of 200,000 trained elite soldiers. Eager to launch their invasion, they wait only for military rations from Liuju.

The Goguryeo princess, while entering the emperor’s quarters carrying clothing, stumbles upon a map detailing the coming battle against her home country. Worried over what happened last time, princess Damju leaves things as is only to return after remembering the consequences of war. Grabbing a brush, the princess transcribes everything until hearing approaching footsteps.

By the time the Houyan emperor and his group enter, they find Damju innocently, but oddly, presenting the new nightwear she has sewed and asking her husband to wear at night. When she leaves the room, the emperor’s aides push to halt the princess’ free reign in his room, suspecting her loyalty. Murong Bao, though, refuses to heed their advice.

Too late. During the night, Wang Gye receives the enemy’s battle plans and rushes to transmit them abroad.

Later that night, Murong Bao joyfully puts on the gown his woman made but panics when dark ink sports its head. Trembling, he thinks, “Could it be?” Going to his desk, the emperor mumbles “My plans to attack Goguryeo…” at the discovery of a recently used brush. So, that’s what she was doing? Immediately, the irate royal leader throws the plans in the air and marches to confront his queen.

Reaching her room, Murong Bao smacks Damju across the face on sight. How could his wife betray him like this? Grabbing her hand and pulling it up, he further confirms the spying with ink on the sleeves.

In tears, Damju attempts to stop the coming war

If I abandoned Goguryeo just like that and was submissive to you, would you have value to me? I might not be conceding but neither are you. Why do you only ask me to give up for the sake of love? You’re the one who betrayed me.

But her tender words bounce right off. Before the husband, there’s nothing but a traitor. Commanding the closest servant, Murong Bao confines Damju to her quarters, barring her from seeing their son.

The past color your current considerations

Over at Gungnaeseong, the Goguryeo leaders finally receive Damju’s intel on the Houyan invasion including the direction of the attack & any military operations.

Yet, Hwang Hoe and Ha Muji don’t easily buy into Yodongseong being the primary target, questioning how Damdeok’s sister attained such information. No doubt she has been under suspicion all these years and this could be a trap like before.

Regardless, they decide in moving troops to strengthen the defenses of Yodongseong, after all, Houyan can’t guarantee victory without it.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Bu Yeohong covertly meets Hong Wu, a Baekje messenger, and hands him a letter to deliver. However, the Goguryeo king and the military strategist are well aware of Bu Yeohong’s duplicity.

Word is Asin is raising power and lies in bed with its trading partner, Wae (Japan). Because Wae relies on Baekje, this partnership could spell major trouble if they decide to join Houyan. In order to cover Baekje’s eyes and ears, Damdeok plans in keeping Bu Yeohong close by to limit any free time to send back secrets. Damdeok also hints at another use for him in the future.

Eeeeeew o(><@)o三=−=三(@><)o Did you see Ha Muji? He has white ends on his mustache, looking like a kitty…. hehe maybe because he so cunning.

Sinseong conquest: Capturing Goguryeo fortresses couldn’t be easier

Success comes to those who know when to change with the time

Receiving all their rations by now, Houyan is ready to launch their offensive campaign. Except in their last meeting, Murong Bao springs a change of plans: they will no longer assault Goguryeo’s advance base.

  • Go for the quick kill: The Houyan emperor does’t want a drawn out battle, opting instead to advance quickly towards the capital.

    Murong Huan once brought Goguryeo to its knees when he took out Singseong.

  • Surprises are alway good in battles: The enemy expects an attack on Yodongseong & have likely beefed up troop numbers. What better way than take advantage of their over planning?

Hearing the abrupt change, the generals question the last minute plan. There are dozens of fortresses to take before even reaching the capital. Furthermore, the area nears the Biryeo border.

Murong Bao can’t believe their reluctance and chastises them,

If you’re afraid because there are dozens of fortresses along the way, how do you expect to take Gungnaeseong?

Simply sending 30,000 soldiers to the border will cancel out any opposing Biryeo force. From there, conquering both Sinseong and Namsoseong1 will leave Gungnaeseong ripe for the taking. At this, Murong Xi volunteers to lead the attacks.

Japan & the untamed Baekje fire forge an alliance

Over at Wiryeseong, Asin receives Bu Yeohong’s latest report on the happenings in the Goguryeo court and exclaims, “The heavens haven’t abandoned us yet”.

Meeting the Wae general secretly, Soga Sen and Asin discuss their plan and come to an agreement. Unlike in the past, Wae must attack Silla cruelly and attract Goguryeo’s attention via reinforcements. While Wae conquers Silla, Houyan and Baekje will advance to Goguryeo. With this distraction, Damdeok will divide his military and be forced to manage three battle fronts. To help their allies, Baekje agrees to teach the Japanese their advanced shipbuilding skills.

Later, the Baekje king relays the scheme to his war generals, explaining the need to rebel.

Damdeok has recognized our autonomy, but with more power, Baekje will be completely absorbed by Goguryeo. Baekje will disappear into history.

Murong Huan’s old tactics threatens Goguryeo once more

Word soon reaches the Yodongseong command center of Sinseong’s fall. Caught with their pants down, the Goguryeo army rapidly moves to defend Namsoseong.

In utter shame, general Kang Dae comes before the king and asks for forgiveness, explaining his soldiers lacked preparations. Ever since they neutered Biryeo, they haven’t seen any action.

Damdeok can only listen furiously at the excuses. What was the point of the command to prepare for war during the past three years for? More embarrassingly, Houyan conquered Sinseong in a single day! Did they even put up a fight?

Directing the focus of the room to solutions, Ha Muji offers his counter plan: to attack, subscribing to the idea that offense is the best defense. Yodongseong is ready to destroy Houyan’s advance base, Sukgunseong.

Houyan: Bring Namsoseong to its knees, whatever it takes

Unwilling to wait for the enemy’s surrender and wanting to damage the enemy, Fengba takes the main unit to the small river streams to ruin the water supply. Hundreds of Namsoseong soldiers soon fall ill with diarrhea and stomach pains, forcing Goguryeo to rely on the water stored in the camp.

That’s not the only problem they have though. While assembling together to discuss tactics at night, Silseong unexpectedly arrives requesting help: Wae attacks Silla. Not only are the Japanese attacking government buildings and threatening Geumseong, but they are slaughtering Silla’s citizens. They aren’t just here for plunder.

Taking a break, Damdeok steps outside to think with his military strategist, recognizing the dilemma of stretching oneself too thin.

Returning back to the war room, hard decisions are made.

  • Despite disagreement, Goguryeo will help its ally. Apparently, there is a way to save Silla & thwart Houyan.
  • Damdeok designates Hwang Hoe commander of the Goguryeo army, to take control of all Northern military operations.

By next day, Houyan has cut off the main river stream as well ensuring no water for the enemy. The last scenes we see are the Houyan army breaking through the gates of Namsoseong and confronting the king of Goguryeo.

  1. You could find Sinseong & Namsoseong in China’s Northeast region. Guess the map above helps a lot but just for reference. ↩︎

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