After the king and Queen’s love quarrel, Choi walks straight to the kitchen. Man Book asks her “What brings her by?” Does the Queen need something?”
Choi thanks him for his help last time. “Last time?” Manbook does not understand what she was talking about. Choi Says at the Royal Infirmary. “Ah! That happened because…I told you to drink the water infused with poisoned herb.” Well, You did carry fire in one hand and water in the other, says Choi. but I thought I should still express my gratitude to you. She gives Manbook a folded paper telling that she found this on the way here. And leaves without giving a chance for him to utter a word. It is folded in a fancy way just like the Queen does. And Manbook, thinking Where did she find this exquisite thing? puts it inside his pocket.
I am the boss
The Kim Clan is gathered in the building at the lake side, talking about the assassination of the King plot. They blame JwaGeun, telling why he set up such a huge plot without discussing it with them first? Look at the predicament he is in now. Another says Lord Kim JwaGeun must be reaching his downfall. Minister of war Kim Chang-Hyuk gets a flashback that happened between him and JwaGeun
At the minister of war’s place, Kim JwaGeun blames his right hand man, The minister of war, for selling weapons that belonged to them. secretly, JwaGeun says “I understand that you were tempted by money, but how dare you sell our weapons? Are you trying to destroy our empire? You clearly told me that there were no problems.” Minister of War, Kim Chang-Hyuk, tells him “You wish to use people to achieve your agendas, and we need money to do so”. JwaGeun shouts at him, telling “are you telling that you did this for me?” Kim Chang-Hyuk says “ I wanted only to show the results, and keep you out of the process. And I did my best to do that! I did that for you….! And for our clan…! My lord.” Jwageun warns him “you’d better be ready to take all the responsibility in a worst case scenario. I will give you a chance to redeem yourself.”
Remembering the incident, Kim Chang-Hyuk sighs, while Jwa Geun enters the gathering and takes his seat. Asking “is everyone here?” And all of them saying “My lord!” another person says The Queen’s father is not here yet. Jwageun says “he was not invited, we are here because of the mistake he made. He has been keeping books on our clan’s assets.”. Everybody starts talking now. Jwageun takes the ledger out and says “ fortunately the ledger is in my possession.” He tells on, “As long as his influence is intact, The ledger will be useless. So do not worry.” continuing, “but if I am ousted and lose my influence, I will not be able to protect this.” Making his power in the clan clear. “If you protect me, I will protect you in return.”
Someone asks if we decide to protect you, what do you plan to do with the King? Another one asks “If we do not take any action, he may kick all of us out, as we did not impeach you” Jwageun says “ A council was created to resolve the national crisis”. “The border defense council?” Asks another. “An Incompetent King taking over the empire…Is the biggest national crisis. All the decisions, regarding the policies.. Will go through the border defense council.
Get rid of one woman, Two men will be ruined
After the meeting is finished, Jwa Geun and Chang-Hyuk discuss.
JwaGeun is asking, have you prepared the item? Chang-Hyuk says as you asked, we froze the water with the Arsenic in the center. So when the Ice melted the Arsenic would come out as well. Jwa Geun asks “ and now long did it take for the Arsenic to melt?” Chang-Hyuk says it depends on the weather, but it is as short as the time one finishes a cup of tea.
Chang-Hyuk asks JwaGeun who his target is? Jwageun says “If I get rid of one woman from the palace, two men who are threatening my position will be ruined, (Two men who are threatening his position? Maybe Byeong In and the King. sure both will be ruined with their hopes gone.)
We see now the King observing his seven men. Together with Yeonpyeong and Hong, Thanking them for bearing the pain. He says that he will not forget how hard they endured such painful torchers. Now that they are exposed, staying in the palace is dangerous. He tells them that they have to leave the palace now. Telling them it is time for all of them to live their own lives. And he gives them all a farewell hug. Telling that he will ensure that their dream is fulfilled. They Bowe to the king and leave through the back gate. While the King, Yeonpyeong and Hong are watching.
Looking at their quarters, Hong says It feels empty for some reason. Hearing footsteps, Hong looks back telling which one of you is still holding onto…and sees the blind woman again. King says “You are here” to the blind woman. She bows to them while they look on.
Meanwhile Jwageun gives another bag of money to the maid he usually gives his dirty work to complete. “She with fear repeats, “I have to put a honeycomb shaped Ice cube in the Queen’s drink?” Yes, says Jwageun. “You just need to add the ice cube to it, that is all.” The maid takes the money. She will do it.
She goes to Queen Dowager Jo, with fear telling her that she has a very important piece of information. Remember she was the maid planted by her to get information on the Queen. And she tells her the news and asks please help me. Queen Dowager Jo Calmly asks What is it? The maid tells her “if you promise to spare me first, and the court lady says “how dare you?” The Queen dowager tells the Court lady, Han, to stop. And tells the maid “ I know you are a brave girl. But you seem terrified in fear. I do not know what this is about. But I will do everything in my power to help you. The maid tells her what Kim JwaGeun asked her to do.
Meanwhile the Queen, Bong Hwan, is battling with thoughts about what happened in the morning and contemplates “ If he was going to like her, he should have liked her at first. Then Kim so Yong wouldn’t have tried to kill herself. and I wouldn’t be here either” she thinks “But more importantly, I thought I went through every thing there in the world. But apparently, there was a world I haven’t been introduced to. How could I explain the feelings I had last night?” “If the world I was used to is a soft piece of bread, this was…suddenly realising “No it was new. I was intrigued because it was new.” Get a grip, Jung So Yong. she mixes Kim To Jung and makes her name into a sup. “Darn, I am even confusing the names now”.
Choi comes in, calling “your highness the Grand Queen Dowager wan’s to have Brunch with you” “ah! Brunch at this hour, Why?” she hesitates. Saying I am not in the mood to go to the kitchen and make brunch now.” Choi says “Grand Queen Dowager has prepared everything” Queen is happy now and asks “am I going to Tongmyeongjeon Hall? She says she has been running around the whole day so she is quiet hungry.
Now the king in the empty training quarters thinks “They are planning to eliminate the queen?” They are thinking “Kim Jwageun has gotten the ledger now. Hong says “Who Knew it was at Daejojeon Hall? How?” the King thinks he should return to the palace now. And he runs followed by Yeong Pyeon. Hong shows the blind lady her way back.
We see the three maids carrying the drink. The one with arsenic is a little bit slack in her fear. She opens the ice to check whether it is honeycomb shaped. The other two unaware of this, shouts at her saying hurry what are you doing? An Ice cube falls to the ground. A little dog belonging to the little girl comes running to taste what has fallen. And the little girl maid comes running behind the dog.
Telling you are ditching me again. You are really making me angry, and she runs after the dog. And she kneels down to see what the dog has smelled before. She notices the ants moving away from the melting cube.
Next we see the Queen is seated with the Grand. Ready to have brunch. She says “Thank you, your highness. We are having brunch next to this beautiful view.” Grandmother Queen says since she ended her regency, now she has a lot of time on her hands.” She suggests that they should often have brunch. Yes your highness. And the drinks arrive. The grand says brunch is not brunch without some drinks.”
Meanwhile the Queen Dowager in her praying room says the Queen is the one who will die in the palace today. According to her reading in the morning, someone is going to die. It should be a woman. All set to the bigger fish. And she is waiting for the good news. Calling to the dead King’s Picture, and saying “I can finally get my revenge”.
The maids start serving the drinks. And the Ice is put in the drink. And Choi tastes the drink. Ice is not melted yet. So she is safe. Grand says I have specially prepared ice which is more precious than gold today. Bonghwan the Queen thinks it is the first time she is seeing ice after arriving there. She says “The weather is so hot today, it is a perfect time for a cold beverage”
The brave act of the little maid
King runs to the Queen’s quarters looking for her. But she is not there. “Thinking My Queen Please” He runs back desperately to the lakeside building. The maids leave, and the little girl comes running. She climbs the stairs, while the Queen is about to have the drink. An Eunuch stops her telling “how dare you” The girl persists saying I have something to tell the Queen. The Queen’s attention goes to the little girl. The girl says she has to tell something very important. The Queen calls her by her name, “Dam Hyang?”
JwaGeun comes asking what on earth is so important? Seeing him, she is frightened. Grand asks the Queen, “do you know that court maid?” The Queen replied that she is a girl she sees often in the Royal Kitchen” She asks what’s wrong from the girl. The girl says “in that…” looking at JwaGeun she hesitates, and says “that is….” and she is going to say something while she was taken away by the Eunuchs, apologising.
JwaGeun comes in, and says “I am here to attend the Grand Queen Dowager’s meal” Grand says “I told you it is ok since this is a gathering of women” Jwageun says it is his first time visiting the queen in a gathering like this. And he asks forgiveness for intruding. The Queen says it is an honor for her.
He asks lastly “How are things about keeping an eye on your husband?” The Queen says Ah! Since the king has just woken up, I will do my best to do so” she says to the grand, ” you should go ahead and drink it before the precious ice melts.” Grand Queen Dowager, taking her drink, starts drinking. She takes a sip. Jwageun asks her how it tastes. She replies so refreshingly…, She puts the drink down a bit and tells the grand, that she was carried away by the drink being so refreshing. She is about to drink it now. The little maid comes with a stone in her hand, at the same time the king comes running. He calls “My Queen” and she takes the drink down a bit to look at him. Same time a stone comes flying and lands on the drink making the queen drop the cup. Spilling everything.
Jwageun shouts at the little maid saying how dare you do that? And the king comes running to the Queen asking are you alright? The Queen is shocked and she stays there not knowing what to do. She says she is ok.
Grand blames the girl for throwing a stone at the Queen. It is a severe blame. The Queen quickly tells that she is ok. And she is concerned about the girl. Grand orders to imprison that maid right away. An Eunuch takes the girl away. While YongPyong stands watching. He is the king’s guard.
The Queen says, She is a girl I treasure greatly, I am really ok, so do not be mad. Probably they are mad, for not being able to poison her. The Queen asks for the girl’s release. And the grand says this is not the Queen’s job. “ She has created disorder in the internal court and she has demolished the discipline of Joseon.” She is just a child, says the Queen. I am sure she had a reason. She would not do such a thing for no reason. Now the grand is barking at her saying “if the Queen continue to act this way, she, the Grand Queen will add the charge of misconduct…and give the girl a bigger punishment”
Now JwaGeun asks the king why he did come in such a rush? “Did you already know that child would try to hurt the Queen? Now the King is asking him “are you trying to involve me too?” Jwageun says “It is because the timing of your appearance is too perfect” the King says “I ran here because I was anxious as the person who was planning treason is at the place, where the queen is having a meal.”
Grand Queen now says, since the meal has been ruined. she will return to Tongmyeongjeon hall. While walking with Jwageun to the Tongmyeongjeon hall, the Grand says JwaGeun that she will make sure to punish the child that ruined their plans. You should take responsibility too. She says, That way it does not compromise our family name.
The Queen now asks the king what would happen to the child? They won’t flog that little girl would they? Are you really ok? The king is concerned about the Queen. “Does your tongue feel numb or your heart beat too fast?” Queen realising now, “What are you talking about? It sounds like you are saying…” the King suggests that they go somewhere else and talk. He Tells Yeong Pyeong and the others that he will go to Doejojeon Hall with the Queen. He looks at the spilled poison.
In the Queen’s quarters, he tells the queen from now on be careful of what you consume, be it a meal or a beverage. The Queen is asking now, is someone coming after her? King says that he believes Kim JwaGeun and the Grand Dowager tried to poison her.
You are lying. I didn’t do anything. Is she trying to kill me because I helped with the banquette? The king says that a ledger was found in Doejojeon hall. Ledger? Then she remembers and tells the king “The object that Kim JwaGeun and her father has being asking her about…”Why is everyone making such a fuss about this ledger? Now the King asks her “Didn’t you bring it here from your home? “I have no Idea that such a thing even existed” I never saw it at home let alone in Doejojeon Hall. I see!
Then she realises that they tried to kill her than dethrone her. Realising that Dam Hyang saved her. King believes it seems that way. She now thinks that beverage….But I already drank it? King tells her that he will ask Dam Hyang himself. She wants to ask her herself. Will Dam Hyang be okay? She has to be okay. Those who tried to take your life, will not let her get out of this unscathed says the king.
The Queen taking his hand now all no touching gone, asks him to save the child. The king smiles and tells her I will do my best.
The maid who delivered the ice is packing her stuff in a hurry and she goes somewhere sneaking out of her quarters. Suddenly she is confronted by Yeonpyeong. Who recognizes her from the sketch. The maid says she has done nothing wrong. I did not steal this money, she says. Telling that she has been saving up for years for her younger siblings release from slavery.
Yeong Pyeon draws his sword. And she begs for her life. Then Yeong Pyeong shows her the Norigae. She recognises it instantly. He tells her to tell everything she knows about the norigae.
Meanwhile The Queen goes with Choi to see the little girl. She calls the kid by her name. And she is happy to see the Queen. She asks your highness, are you all right? I should be asking that Question from you. She says Thank goodness your highness, the Ice has not properly melted when you drank the beverage. “The Ice?”
Byong In comes and announces that she is to be transported immediately to another place. What? Where are you taking her? Byeong In tells her “your highness” you cannot be here. You know this little girl did not do anything wrong. Byeong In says I am not following. “She is only guilty for saving my life.” Byeong In says “ I am not sure who told you what, But please return to your chamber. What if I refuse? That court maid will be handled according to our protocols. If you stay here you will also get into trouble. Byeong In orders guards to escort her to Doejojeon Hall. She frees her from the guard, Choi watching tells them she will take her.
Byeong In tells her please return to your chamber your highness. Causing a scene here will not help that little girl in any way. She goes to the little girl saying that she will take her out soon. At the hall all gathered are blaming the little girl for throwing a stone. At the Queen. All the ministers are saying that she is guilty of treason.
Another person says that her father did not pay the military service tax and also committed treason. Clearly it runs in the blood. King is saying “Ministers, You are overreacting we did not know the full story yet, and why she did such a thing.” Ministers are not a help While the king tries to help the girl, ministers point at the king indirectly saying in his ganghwa days he would have come across donghak believers. Linking the king to the incident. The king asks “is this your new weapon now?” if you try to protect the court maid and refuse to punish her. We will have no choice but to assume that you, your majesty, also support their rebellious thoughts.
All you need to do is to punish the court maid for what she did. Then all of this will be over.
Ministers are still following the grand queen’s orders. Another minister asks if she is taking her anger out of him? For pushing her off the throne? Another says How dare a mere court maid ruin our golden opportunity to get rid of the Queen?
We are showing JwaGeun burning the ledger. At the Grand Queen’s quarters.
Meanwhile the queen is spacing up and down hoping for news. Choi brings unhappy news. The child is given a bowl of poisoned drink.
Ministers take that incident to teach a lesson to others as well. Not to get involved with palace matters. Queen Dowager Jo thinks “I thought we got the bigger fish in the net but Hah! It was this kid, Unbelievable.
The Queen comes too late. The kid is already dead. Hwa Jin comes and says “I suppose You understand how I feel now” while the Queen looks at her thinking what is the problem with her? Now the Queen says “they tried to kill me but she got in the way. That’s why she is dead now.” She is about to make a scene, Cheoljong manages to stop her.
She tells him “This kid didn’t do anything wrong. You said yourself. That they are dumping their sins on this little girl.” Looking at the king she asks “Why didn’t you save her?”
He tells her, with a serious face, “that was a sacrifice that had to be made for greater goals.” “Greater Goals? You mean your own safety?” she looks disgusted. He then plays like an angry man, as he has to get the Queen out of the place without causing the troublemakers eyes on her. tells her angrily “Aren’t you the one who said that this world is an unfair place?” While she watches him in disbelief. What the guy is doing.? “I prevented a bigger calamity with this small sacrifice.” While everyone is watching them.. She takes him by the color. “Small Sacrifice? Because it was a weak little girl?”
She takes her hands off him saying incompetence is a sin. You do not have the power to protect this little kid. She shouts at him. And that is sin in and of itself. Obviously he doesn’t want her to be another object of talk, he turns away and to her disbelief, walks away, after passing the ring of people he turns his hands at his back and makes a sign with his two fingers. While she, remembering their talk of hand signals they should use only to indicate things for themselves. The signal he is making is whatever he says is a lie signal. She watches him open mouthed. Recognizing what he is trying to say. After walking away he turns around to see if she got the signal. Seeing that she did, he walks away.
This drama is still filled with full of energy and laughter. Somehow the writer manages to keep up the spirit high. This episode shows Cheoljong as an understanding person. He is being grinded and chewed up at the royal meetings. But manages to survive. He is not week. he has posted spies everywhere. He is smart enough to chose people that others do not think of using. The blind woman for instance. and the clever method of passing the secret information. The way he dispatches his guards, because it is not safe inside for them, is moving my heart. The way he tries to understand the Queen, and their building relationship is shown in his passing the message to the Queen in her way. And his fake acting to get her out of the scene and passing messages through hand signals.
The Queen is shown in this episode as still evolving little by little. Now she is muddling up her names Jung Bong Hwan and Kim So Yong as Jung So yang. she is analyzing what is happening to her feelings and changes to her bodily reactions being still muddled and wanting to know why? and finally comes to conclusion that they are new, tat’s why. she is finally going in rhythm with the king, gradually evolving. She starts to understand him more. Realizing that she has to be with the king if they need to survive, yet her pride not allowing her to admit it. Her acting is superb.