King Gwanggaeto eps 78: Break the enemy's fighting spirit

Before reading the spoilers, watch Gwanggaeto Dae Wang episode 78. Goguryeo faces three fronts in the war as Baekje and Wae join the fight. Asin hasn’t forgotten how it felt to kneel before Damdeok.

The decided fall of Namsoseong

Abandon the gateway to Gungnaeseong

Breaking open the gates of Namsoseong, the Houyan military scour the insides and eventually find the defeated enemy king. Hearing this, Murong Bao rides quickly to face Damdeok. After bottling years of frustration, both country rulers ready to go beyond staring at each other. However, the influx of more Houyan soldiers causes Goguryeo to call a full retreat, leaving the fortress to its new owner.

Intent on capturing the Goguryeo king, Murong Bao gives chase until midway Murong Un stops them, warning they’ve been at this before. There wasn’t much resistance back at Namsoseong and it could be the rest of their army await ahead. They’ve been ambushed too many times and allowing it to happen again will only lower the army morale after a huge victory. Instead, they send scouts.

Up ahead, Damdeok chuckles learning Houyan isn’t biting. They’re thinking before acting now. No more to do here, the king of Goguryeo takes his leave to Silla, handing Hwang Hoe the role to stall the invaders.

Others don’t discard things without a good reason

During this time, the Houyan forces return to their new acquisition in high spirits only to meet news of Sukgunseong is under attack. No wonder Damdeok pulled back.

They suspect Goguryeo united the armies of Yodongseong, Geonanseong, and Ansiseong to destroy their advanced base. If Sukgunseong falls, Houyan will be stranded in enemy territory. However, Murong Bao removes retreat as an option from the table, not when they waited so long for this and are only 5 days away from Gungnaeseong. No, they will continue their full force attack.

Preparing to keep the Houyan army busy

Now at Mokjeoseong, Ha Muji and Hwang Hoe explain their moves.

  • Help yourself: Questions arise over Damdeok’s southern trip but all is put to rest when the Goguryeo generals learn the implications of a defeated Silla. Silla will surrender to Baekje, thereby removing worries of a hostile neighbor and permit Baekje to launch an assault on Goguryeo right away.
  • The golden armor trick again: Chongmyeong will don Damdeok’s outfit to hide the fact the Goguryeo king is away.
  • Guerrilla warfare: The northern army will attack in short bursts and pull back in a coordinated fashion so as to tie down Houyan.

Sailing to Silla to meet the Japanese that crossed the ocean

Hindering progress: The deceit of Bu Yeohong

Meanwhile, the Wae army has invaded Ahyehyeonn1 and forced the Silla army to flee 120 km. General Soga Sen pushes the ongoing attacks, wishing to overrun Geumseong except Damdeok finally arrives by boat.

(゚▽^*) hehe. While sailing south Damdeok says, “We will show them there is no place that isn’t under Goguryeo rule” and the camera passes by Silseong … showing no reaction.

Arriving at Ahyehyeon, Damdeok asks Bu Yeohong to propose a plan since he knows the Wae kingdom best. He comes up with the idea of splitting the Goguryeo army in two.

  1. One half will join the Silla force in defending the capital.
  2. The other half will push the Wae army out of Ahyehyeon and into the shores. They will have no choice but return to their country the way they came from.

Silseong protests claiming the strategy can’t succeed since the divided army won’t be effective against Wae’s large army. Regardless, the Goguryeo king approves. Taking advantage of the commitment, Bu Yeohong leaks the plan during the night.

Yet, it’s all a ruse.

Sweeping your house in one night

Next morning, Damdeok changes the go to strategy, knowing Bu Yeohong’s plan will take too much time and serves only to keep them busy while Baekje attacks Goguryeo. Even if the Japanese flee, they’ll just come back another time.

With the wrong information delivered to the enemy, the Goguryeo-Silla force launch a surprise attack at night instead.

  • Yeo Seokgae leads Cheongun in the main attack against the Wae headquarters near the ocean.
  • Damdeok & Hae Mowol take out any troops leaving the inlet.
  • The Silla army, on the other hand, kill any Wae soldiers escaping the battle field elsewhere.

By the time Soga Sen meets Damdeok, the joint force are close to surrounding the Japanese invaders. To buy time for his subordinate to find boats, the Wae general challenges the Goguryeo king.

I will kill you and show the whole continent how powerful Wae is.

The fight doesn’t last long as Soga Sen rapidly finds himself on the floor2 but it’s enough time to have a retreat route ready and escape.

A knelt Baekje must meet the floor again

A chance to fail or rise again?

The foreign invasion thwarted, Damdeok makes his plan known to go after the main Wae base. Silseong and Bu Yeohong, though, must stay here and work together to root out any remaining Wae soldiers.

As soon as Damdeok boards his ship, Bu Yeohong secretly travels to Baekje and informs the king of the new development 3. Because it’ll take at least a month to conquer Wae and only the minimum number of troops reside at other Goguryeo fortresses due to the wars, Asin and the private army ride out to Pyeongyangseong next day.

Although they take over the base, they catch wind of a Goguryeo army moving behind them. At this, the Baekje force quickly do a 360 and march back to Wiryeseong.

Too late.

All Asin’s eyes can see are Goguryeo flags and soldiers over his capital.

Earlier, Damdeok had sent general Hae Mowol and half the Cheongun army to continue sailing onto Wae with orders to stall them. The rest the Goguryeo king took to occupy the vacant Baekje capital.

Defeat enters when you open the door

Despite still having his naval army at his disposal, Asin finally grasps the bitter reality of his world and orders everyone to surrender.

Our skills and wisdom are lacking compared to Damdeok.

Going inside the royal palace, the Baekje king finds himself kneeling before the Goguryeo ruler once more. Goguryeo didn’t come to conquer Baekje nor do they view them as the enemy, Damdeok explains.

Do people who share the same blood have to fight like enemies?

Having given it a second shot and seeing the futility in challenging his nemesis over and over, Asin pulls out his sword and breaks the blade in two over his knee. At the same time, breaking Baekje’s aggressive stance towards their northern brothers.

We last hear Damdeok allude to the future in his final command to Asin,

As the king of this land, I order you: save Baekje’s strength.

After I conquer Wae, I will unite the Baekje and Silla armies to attack Houyan. Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla can’t be separate when it comes to protecting this land.


  1. Can be found in Pohang, Korea ↩︎

  2. Is it sutiben or is this whole battle scene… *shakes head* no, whole episode symbolic? Seemed a lil’ different from usual. ↩︎

  3. No sure if director pulling another Dolbisoo here but when Asin briefly asks “What about Ko Chang and the other Goguryeo ministers?”, apparently they’ve been arrested & locked up. Uh oh. Hope no mean they no appear in drama again… ↩︎

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