Episode 7 starts as Gwang Taek arrives in the city, unsure as to what he’ll find. What he finds first is assassins barring his way. He quickly dispatches 4 of them and then 4 more, in a nighttime fight with flashes of swords in the darkness. Then In comes out of the background with 2 more minions. In tells him he’s there to get Gwang Taek’s thumb in retaliation for the loss of his own. Gwang Taek replies, “I’m sorry you wasted the trip.”
The 2 minions attack, and then In. At the end, In and Gwang Taek’s swords are in the middle of the street and they are at an equal distance from them. They both leap for their swords and strike. That didn’t go well for In, as he loses his right hand and forearm to Gwang Taek’s sword. Gwang Taek tells him this was his last chance, and strolls away. In is left cursing him in the dust.
The next day, Jin Ju has tracked down the residence the Qing envoy is using, and starts to plot her raid on it. She sees Ji there, and while Ji knows the place is being watched, she doesn’t see that it’s Jin Ju. Ji, Lord Hong and the Qing envoy plot a scheme to fake an attack on the residence, to make it look like he’s in danger, and add to the pressure on the Crown Prince.
The envoy wants to deal with Chun, but Ji tells him that Chun is off in isolation as is part of their training. The Qing envoy wants to know why he’s bothering, but Lord Hong insultingly says that when Chun returns he’ll meet with the envoy, because a dog knows it’s master. Lord Hong introduces the man who will attack, assuring the envoy that he’s willing to give his life if things go wrong with this plan.
That night, Jin Ju sneaks into the envoy’s residence and makes her way to his rooms. She steals a bag full of items from his cabinet, and he awakens, but since he’s expecting a thief, he doesn’t say anything. As she’s leaving, not only does the real thief arrive for his raid, but her father shows up to make sure she gets back safely.
Meanwhile, the fake thief shows up in the envoy’s room, making him realize that a real thief had been there earlier. He raises the alarm, sending guards after Jin Ki and Jin Ju. They are trapped by the guards, and while Jin Ki manages to fight off most of them, he’s saved by a thrown knife. Ji comes out of the shadows and nods to them. They continue their escape.
Jin Ki sends Jin Ju ahead to the hideout, and as she runs away, she bumps into Dong Soo, who has been out drinking with Cho Rip and Un. Dong Soo takes off after her, with the guards following. Un, on the other hand, spots Chun watching from atop a wall and stops to speak with him. He kneels and Chun asks him what took him so long to report in. Chun looks him over and asks him what he’s learned. At first Un asks what he means, and Chun specifies what he’s learned in martial arts. Un replies that he’s tried his best. So Chun asks him again, what has he learned, what is the difference between an assassin and a warrior? Un replies that it’s the difference in why they hold a sword, whether to kill or not. Chun says, no matter what his intention, Un’s hands are already bloodstained. Un doesn’t quite understand, so Chun tells him to think about it (and then he disappears like the Cheshire Cat).
Dong Soo catches up with Jin Ju, but the guards aren’t far behind. He grabs her and tells her that he finally caught the bandit from the raid. She hides her face and denies it. Just then the guards arrive, and Jin Ju sneaks off. So the guards are left catching Dong Soo, assuming that he is the thief. The fake thief reports in to Lord Hong at the gisaeng house that a real thief had raided the envoy’s place before he got there. Jin Ju arrives home to find her angry father waiting for her, while Dong Soo finds himself locked up in jail.
Lord Hong reports to the King and Prince about the robbery, and gloats to himself that it didn’t really matter if the robbery was real or not. The Prince goes to see the guard trainees, who have passed the first level of testing and the second level of testing is approaching, and tells Commander Im to collect the boys from Sa Mo’s. However, when Im arrives, he discovers that Dong Soo was the one arrested.
Im reports back to the Prince, who agrees that it’s unlikely that Dong Soo is guilty, but that it puts them in a tough spot. The Prince puts his faith in the Qing envoy’s being able to identify the guilty party, so Dong Soo is hauled out in front of the tribunal. The envoy says that Dong Soo isn’t the person who robbed him, that he knows by the eyes – Dong Soo’s eyes like a dog, and the robber was like an eagle. Dong Soo rather inappropriately takes offense to that description until he realizes it means he’s been set free. We see a little flashback, in which the envoy has used the identification as a bargaining chip with the Crown Prince to get consulate built.
Dong Soo is released, to find Sa Mo is not very happy with him, and he gets punished along with Un and Cho Rip for being reckless. The next day find Un out practicing with his sword, while Dong Soo is daydreaming about Ji Sun. Dong Soo runs off to the temple, and Un follows him. Dong Soo tells Ji Sun he’s collected more plants for her ankle, when she tells him that the ones he used before weren’t medicinal plants. He’s startled and embarrassed that she already knew that he’d made a mistake, and she tells him not to worry about it.
Un sits outside while Dong Soo follows Ji Sun into the temple. He kneels next to her and prays to Buddha to let him marry a beautiful girl. He follows her out, and she finally asks why he’s following her around. He claims he came because it’s a spiritual place, so she sets him to the task of 3000 bows before the Buddha. When he asks if she’s joking, she asks if he was really sincere about saying why he was there. Thus caught in his own trap, he starts the task. (which, BTW is a traditional one – in normal observance you do 3 bows before a Buddha, but for a meditation ritual, a much larger number is often done, although the number varies in different traditions and ceremonies.)
After a few hundred bows, Dong Soo collapses to sleep in front of the Buddha, as Un sighs at him in frustration. Un, however, quietly picks up a broom and helps to sweep the outside area with Ji Sun.When he awakens from his nap, Dong Soo gets the brilliant idea of painting a mural of himself and Ji Sun on the side of one of the temple buildings. Boys! Graffiti isn’t going to impress little monk girl! On the other hand, the trail of stones leading to the word LOVE written in petals, well, that might do it.
Back at the thieves house, Jin Ju looks through some of her loot. Among other things, she finds a gold scroll in a box. Her father catches her as she tries to sneak out with the bag of loot, but she manages to slip off. Meanwhile, Dong Soo gets punished by Sa Mo for messing around at the temple.
The Norons report in to the King that the Crown Prince agreed that the Qing envoy should have a new consulate built. The King gets very angry, because he didn’t want any negotiations with the Qing, and this makes it look like they are just rolling over for them. He’s especially incensed that this was done to save a nobody. The King tells the Prince that, as a ruler, he needs to know how to give up small things for bigger ones, that this is how politics works. He gives the Prince a day to figure out how to take back the promise of the new consulate.
Jin Ju shows up at Sa Mo’s house and gets Dong Soo’s attention. She leads him off to where she has located the fake thief. They spot him coming out of a building, and follow him. Dong Soo stops him and starts a fight. He is winning, but then the guy pulls out a sword, making Dong Soo retreat up a tree. As the fake thief goes in for the kill, Jin Ju disables him by kicking him in the crotch. (you go, girl.)
Dong Soo and Jin Ju tie the thief up and then start chatting and finally Dong Soo introduces himself, hilariously insisting that soon he’ll have the title of “Best Swordsman.” Jin Ju finally remembers exactly who Dong Soo is, including that she kissed him on the cheek and proposed to him. However, Dong Soo still hasn’t learned who Jin Ju is, other than a bandit.
The Crown Prince has contemplated his solution to his problems with the Qing envoy and concludes that expelling the envoy is better than building the consulate. Commander Im rightly argues that this is very provocative, and will cause trouble, but they can’t find another solution. Just as he starts to announce this plan to the ministers, Commander Im interrupts with the news of the capture of the thief – the fake thief. Dong Soo and Jun Ji have dumped him in front of the palace with a sign around his neck. The Prince asks if this isn’t a subordinate of Lord Hong. In which case, investigations are called for!
Lord Hong pitches a fit at this turn of events, with his subordinates trying to figure out if there is enough evidence to lead back to them. Lord Hong orders them to just pretend to interrogate the thief, not to let him spill the rest. He then interrupts the interrogation and reminds the thief that he had sworn to lay his life down for him. Lord Hong’s creepy bodyguard kills the fake thief.
Dong Soo goes out to visit his parents grave. He lounges there and tells them he thinks he’s fallen in love. He takes the blue fabric banner that he’s had all his life, and ties it to the grave. As he heads back down the hill, he runs into Gwang Taek, who is headed up the hill to the graves. Gwang Taek notices Dong Soo has a stick with a rope, and asks if he’s been practicing the hopae technique (the use of the id block as a weapon). Caught out, Dong Soo denies it, but then defends himself. Gwang Taek remarks he seems to have improved. Dong Soo says he’d like to spar with him, but not on this mountain. Gwang Taek just laughs at him and they pass each other.
Gwang Taek visits the graves, and apologizes for not protecting Dong Soo. As he’s crying, he sees the blue fabric, and is astounded. This means that Dong Soo is may be alive, when Gwang Taek has assumed all this time that he was dead.
He looks down the mountain, but it’s now covered in fog, so he calls out Dong Soo’s name. Dong Soo stops, as he thinks he’s heard something, but then shakes his head and goes on his way.
Gwang Taek makes his way through town and finds himself at Sa Mo’s butcher stand. They are amazed to find each other alive and well. Gwang Taek asks if Sa Mo knows what happened to Dong Soo. He’s beyond relieved to hear that Dong Soo is grown and well.
The Crown Prince and 2 guards go out to the temple to see Ji Sun. He’s being watched by Lord Hong’s creepy bodyguard. Dong Soo is also headed there, to give flowers to Ji Sun. He sees the Crown Prince’s party and also the follower.
Dong Soo is shocked to see the Crown Prince entering Ji Sun’s quarters. Ji Sun tells the Prince that she finds bearing the burden of the Plan alone difficult. The Prince replies that he’ll do anything to help her. She tells him that there is just one thing she needs to know. If it came down to it, would he save her, or the Plan?
We don’t hear his reply, as we cut to Dong Soo outside stewing and assuming the worst.
Gwang Taek is at Sa Mo’s catching up with each other. Gwang Taek hears out that Un and Dong Soo more or less grew up together, and that Dong Soo is a bit of a brat. Having realized that he must be the young man he met near the grave, Gwang Taek tells Sa Mo that Dong Soo isn’t quite as senseless as he may seem. He hands Sa Mo the blue cloth, and tells him that Dong Soo has been visiting his parents.
Chun shows up at the gate to Sa Mo’s house and calls out for Gwang Taek. As Gwang Taek comes out to confront Chun….we end episode 7.
There wasn’t as much action in this episode, but there was a lot of movement on various parts of the plot. We spent a lot of time with Dong Soo mooning after Ji Sun, and with Un more quietly going along. I suppose that it is necessary for that part of the plot, but I can live without quite that much. (I also wish they wouldn’t have the best scenes set at night, because it makes it very hard to get good screencaps!)
I find it interesting that one theme they keep going back to is the difference between a warrior and an assassin. They have the same skills, and are often doing the same things, but the motive behind their actions is the difference. The assassins seem to adhere to a code that they are strictly neutral. They kill for hire, not for their own purposes. As Chun points out, in the long run, however, they both end up with bloodstained hands. It’s interesting that it’s Dong Soo and Chun that keep mentioning this particular lesson of the day.
Dong Soo still doesn’t know who the Prince is, although he vaguely recognizes him as the man that he saved years earlier. Jin Ju now knows who Dong Soo is, but not vice versa.
It looks like Ji Sun is almost ready to cough up the secrets of the Plan to the Prince, and Gwang Taek is back in town and everyone knows it!