A good follow-up episode, more jovial, but still keeping the dark thread that was set in place in the first episode.
Episode two certainly does well to introduce us to our female lead, I enjoy her character so far. However, after that powerful cute love in episode one, I am not strictly on board with the main pairing just yet.
It seems that the plot is being set up very well, and even though I’m not quite sure where it is headed, I’m looking forward to it all unravelling!
Also, whoever does Lee JoonGi’s eye makeup needs an award! Oh and the special effects people need to change some things, mainly making the special effects look less fake and cheesy… (I mean the running smokey thing is good, but the jumping… nope).
This episode opens up with a succinct and nicely edited overview of the first episode and once again we follow YangSun into the Gisaeng House.
Instead of leaving Lee Yoon’s room immediately, this time we see that she saw the drawing which sparked her interest. YangSun praises his work saying that he has captured the part of an obscene picture: arousing the desire to touch.
She even gets out a book from her bag, showing him the “hottest obscene picture” at the moment, which is based on a book by the Lustful Student. Lee Yoon (looking rather confused) asks YangSun her name, startling her a little. He introduces himself (with rather a lot of emotion). YangSun goes to reply, but ends up stumbling over her words.
Thankfully she is called to her meeting with the Scholar. She shuffles out, leaving Yoon looking longingly and upset at her departure.
Again we see YangSun entering SungYeol’s room as the blind rolls down between them. We experience the short conversation concerning if she can find Crown Prince JungHyun’s record books and the squirrel (which now, I’m not so sure is a squirrel, but maybe a chipmunk…) debacle.
The Gisaeng, SooHyang (Jang HeeJin) steps hurriedly forward, telling YangSun that she wishes she leaves, SungYeol says that it is fine as he reigns himself in. YangSun begins to gush and tells him that he is a beautiful man (fangirl alert!) He tells YangSun to seek treatment for her injury before she goes and then leaves.
YangSun tries to follow him, but ends up losing him as he slips into another room. SooHyang hands YangSun a list of books which she wants her to bring back in three days. YangSun looks over the list and thinks about the Crown Prince record books, thinking out loud that there is no such thing, she then wonders if it’s a novel.
SungYeol, SooHyang and HoJin (Choi TaeHwan), are talking about the record books that contains the plan to get rid of Gwi. HoJin raises the point that he thought they had been destroyed by Gwi, so why is SungYeol looking for it. SooHyang answers, saying that in order to know the plan and whether or not it was destroyed, he has to look for it.
SungYeol then takes out two books, one written by JungHyun and the other, a recent publication plagiarising the Prince’s work and using his pen-name. We find out that JungHyun’s name was wiped from history, as were his novels. This means that someone, other than SungYeol, has one in their possession.
HoJin asks if this new ‘Lustful Student’ could have the secret plans, SungYeol doesn’t know, but will most definitely try to find out.
In a side-street YangSun is enticing people to buy said plagiarised book. She plays the crowd well, but her business is cut short when guards accuse her of selling books illegally. The crowd and YangSun scarper.
Meanwhile, Yoon is being given the rundown of who YangSun is. He is disappointed to hear that YangSun is not the person, a male named Jin, he has been trying to find for ten years (her older brother maybe?). Even so, as his companion says, being the son of a convicted criminal he would be arrested, so could not easily reveal himself.
Yoon wonders if Jin knows that he is looking for him, and whether he has not revealed himself because he does not trust Yoon. The companion gently says that slave hunters are also searching for Jin, and he may not be alive. Yoon is adamant that this is not the case and that he will wait (intense friendship feels!!).
Later in the evening, YangSun returns home, happy to report that she will earn more from now on. The mother is less than pleased with the news, as we learn that she feels embarrassed at depending on YangSun and does not wish to welcome YangSun into her heart, who we find out is not biologically hers.
YangSun retreats to the room she shares with DamYi (Park SoYoung). The two are drawing and YangSun begins to gush over SungYeol’s appearance. She imagines that the ‘Night Scholar’, a myth concerning a vampire, would look like him.
DamYi asks if she believes in those stories and YangSun delves in storyteller mode. Around 100 women of all ages were being taken to be sold into prostitution. One night when they were all camping, the men in charge were attacked, by the Night Scholar:
“The idol of the powerless people, a hero of women forever.”
YangSun then wonders if she could ever meet the Night Scholar, that he could maybe read her novel and try to find her. DamYi, her illustrator suggests drawing the Night Scholar as SungYeol, getting a good reception from YangSun.
The conversation turns serious, with YangSun promising to take care of DamYi’s leg when she has earnt enough money.
Meanwhile, the Night Scholar myth is not so much of a myth. One of the men (the leader) killed in the story YangSun heard about is in a coffin before SungYeol. SooHyang tells him that the women and children are all safe and will never go without due to land he gave them.
SooHyang then brings up YangSun. She says that her research into the bookseller revealed nothing suspicious. A nice avenue for SooHyang to reveal her surprise at SungYeol’s near lack of restraint (which has to mean he has a good control when it comes to blood).
SungYeol confesses that a scent he can’t resist has appeared (ah a huge obstacle for our leads to climb has appeared! You know as well as the vamp thing…) and that if he had lingered any longer, there would have been no stopping him from ripping out YangSun’s throat. He begins to wallow slightly, which causes SooHyang to confess something as well. She sees him as the most superb person she has ever met and that if he gave her eternal life, she would always stay by his side.
SungYeol instantly shuts her down, saying:
“I crave the blood of who I love and once I fall in love with her, I bite her without realising it; that is the instinct of a vampire. Do you want to live like that?”
He asks her if the reason she is seducing him is because she wants to live that like. This evidently shocks her, but she remains silent while he continues. SungYeol goes on to explain that he is human, but his body craves human blood, which he resists, but needs to fulfil the desire at least once a month to survive. Lastly he asks her how many people he has killed over the years, angry and frustrated at the situation, but seemingly more so by his life.
He raises a dagger above the dead body in the coffin, ignoring SooHyang’s warning of the moon light and stabs him. The corpse’s eyes open and fangs extend in his mouth, but clouds cover the moon and SungYeol kills him. He then sets the corpse on fire.
As if sensing the creation or demise of a new vampire, Gwi opens his eyes. Upon the rooftops, he breathes in deeply and commends SungYeol for hiding so well, just like HaeSeo. He then wonders what he has been doing for 120 years before chasing SungYeol across the rooftops.
Once he is in hearing distance Gwi asks SungYeol:
“By the way, by hiding and killing homeless vampires, can you resolve the sorrow of your lover who sacrificed her life for you?”
SungYeol’s mind instantly goes back to the night he killed MyungHee. Full of grief and anger he flees from Gwi across the rooftops, but is closely followed, but never too close.
As SungYeol cries, he speaks, as if to MyungHee, that what he did was gruesome and painful, but he will endure so that he can kill Gwi.
They take her to one side in an empty grass courtyard and inform her that she has to repay the money that they leant her. YangSun tells them that they can have their money by the end of the month, because she has a new scholar customer who is known to buy many books. However, she is shocked to find out her debt has increased from 80 nyang to 200 nyang and that she only has three days to pay them. They threaten that if she passes the deadline they will sell her and the rest of her family.
Meanwhile, HoJin is showing SungYeol where the book by Lustful Student was recently made. They find no one there, however materials for making books are all laid out and the pot is still hot, meaning they are not long gone.
However, HoJin makes a shocking discovery. Under a cover there are several corpses laying in water (how do you not instantly smell three dead bodies? Especially if one of you is a vampire!). The pair notice marks on the necks and HoJin asks, shakily, if it was done by Gwi. Nope. The marks were made by a sword, which causes SungYeol to remark that he isn’t the only one looking for the Lustful Student.
We are then transported to a darkly lit room, where a minion is telling an older man that when they had arrived, the people were already dead, bar the son who they can’t find. The man tells him to find the boy as he knows their faces and that they must distribute the flyers sooner than they had planned (and is that a letter sent from Lustful Student?! The plot thickens!)
YangSun is having difficulty selling some books to a group of Gisaengs, however soon earns a nice sum when she whips out the romance books!
One of the Gisaengs then remarks that she wishes to share her bed with the Scholar, however the others tease her for this as no one has been able to seduce him. Not even SooHyang.
YangSun asks who they are talking about and obviously they are all ‘burning after’ our resident vampire, SungYeol. One of the Gisaeng’s puts their lack of luck down to his ‘single minded devotion’. Relaying the rumour that he lost his lover many years ago but still can’t get over her. Another pipes up that there is also a rumour that he has lost his ‘manly function’ (pfffft that’s hilarious!).
YangSun says that having such a beautiful face, it makes sense for their to be many rumours following. Just then the doors open and Yoon pokes his head in, asking if they are talking about him. YangSun is happy to see him, even if she does say his name wrong.
The pair is then alone at a table and YangSun is looking in wonder and disbelief at an obscene drawing he has done. YangSun asks if it is really a possible position, causing Yoon to brag that he only draws what he has experienced (this guy pahaha).
While YangSun is happily looking at the book and complimenting him, she notices his expression and asks if she has done something wrong. Yoon explains that she looks like someone who ran away from him, with a precious possession of his.
He pulls out a small box from inside his hanbok and says that there are only two in existence.
We delve into Yoon’s memory where we see child Yoon asking his father’s permission to give half the paint brush box to Jin. The father happily agrees and Yoon hands it over to Jin, saying that he is like a brother to him.
YangSun hopes that he finds the other half and Yoon says he will find it soon, but I’m more inclined to think he means Jin and not the box.
The two are then interrupted as a messenger comes to tell YangSun that the Scholar has arrived. Before she leaves Yoon, she tells him that she will see him at the pharmacy at the next market day. When YangSun leaves, Yoon’s friend, No HakYoung (Yeo UiJoo), rushes up to him, telling him that he needs to avoid this place.
Suddenly guards run through the Gisaeng house, grabbing anyone who isn’t a Gisaeng. Outside, SooHyung is looking on worried, while inside YangSun is trying to hide. In doing so YangSun runs into several rooms, retreating each time as they are full.
Finally, she rushes into SungYeol’s room, exclaiming that there is trouble. SungYeol’s doesn’t answer and is hidden behind a screen. After hearing shouts from outside the room, YangSun begins to panic even more. She grabs out a woman’s hanbok from a cupboard where she stashes her things and we watch as she changes clothes. She has a noticeable scar on her shoulder. All the while SungYeol watches on with an intense gaze (this scene felt so long and all I could think was ‘perv’… haha smh).
Keeping calm, SungYeol asks her if she has brought the books he asked for. She lists of the ones she got, but says that she hasn’t got to the Crown Prince’s records yet. No matter how hard she tries, it is as if it doesn’t exist. SungYeol asks her if she thinks he is sending her on a fool’s errand.
The guards voices are getting closer and YangSun asks if he will help her. He asks why should he, saying that she defies the law, dresses as a man and sells books illegally. YangSun, who begins to tear up, explains that she is the head of her family and asks for him to help her just this once. She begs him.
SungYeol surprises her by unclasping her headpiece. He tells her that he will not forget today, causing her to respond that she will do whatever he asks. SungYeol smirks (an expression that he’s been doing throughout this entire scene! This poor baby is scared and you are being smirky mcsmirky pants! sheesh!).
He then leans his head close to hers and asks what she thinks he will ask for.
Outside the room, SooHyang is currently on guard, telling the military guards that they cannot go inside. She says that an important customer is inside and that she doubts they will be able to handle the consequences if they goes inside.
The guard thinks he can, saying they came to see this important customer. He shoves SooHyang aside and goes in.
The guards stop, a little embarrassed by what they see. SungYeol is lying over YangSun, but sits up, remarking that he didn’t invite an audience. A shocked SooHyang regains herself and moves forward, apologises and says that these guards seem to have an urgent matter.
He asks if the person the King is looking for is him, knowing full well that it isn’t. He tells the guard who raises the blind that if it isn’t him, then they should leave as he has to finish what he was doing.
After the guards leave, SooHyang tells him they are looking for the Crown Prince, which he finds amusing and interesting (no doubt seeing parallels with JungHyun). Seeing YangSun’s expression SungYeol stands up and leaves.
YangSun is left feeling self-conscious as SooHyang stares at her (with a look that says ‘is this the boy scholar?! but obviously more elegant and Gisaeng-like).
While walking down the street, HakYoung tells Yoon that he said he wouldn’t be at a Gisaeng House, that he would be in trouble is he had stayed any longer. HakYoung asks if he is going to meet the bookseller again, to which Yoon begins to compliment the Gisaeng House, on a certain Gisaeng, the wine and having someone who looks like his lost childhood friend. HakYoung doesn’t look enthused by the answer.
They reach Yoon’s private home and as they enter a man approaches them telling Yoon the King (Yoon’s grandfather) is waiting for him.
Outside in the courtyard, his things are strewn over the floor. He bows before the King who cuts his words off by angrily telling him that there have been requests for him to decrown the absent Prince. As he says this he throws a scroll before Yoon.
The King then sends a servant forward so that Yoon can read a piece of a paper.
While YangSun walks down the street in a daze, she notices flyers everywhere. Her bookseller hyung hurries over to her, asking if she knew when she was selling those books, that the Lustful Student novel is about the dead Crown Prince Sadong.
YangSun quickly picks up a flyer and is shocked. We then go back to Yoon who is reading out the flyer at the King’s request:
The King then asks if Yoon thinks he killed his father for power. We are then shown a distressing scene where Prince Sadong is trapped in a well to starve to death, calling out to his son. Child Yoon sobs and cries out to his grandfather to reinvestigate.
Back in the present Yoon says that the Crown Prince Sadong is not his father, recalling a time in which the King put a knife to his throat to make that clear. He then announces that he wishes to be decrowned, as he is causing trouble for the King. His grandfather refuses, saying that if he does it shows that he has made an error for excusing him each time to others and that if he is truly worried about hurting his grandfather he should just die (ah family love…). Rightly so, Yoon’s expression darkens.
SungYeol also has a copy of the flyer, finding it interesting. SooHyang tells him that even though the flyers have spread far and wide, no-one knows who wrote them. He notes that a tight-knit group must have done this. However, he says that they are wrong, it was not the King who killed Sadong, but Gwi, a murder of which he was witness.
SooHyang asks whether Lustful Student knows about Gwi, as they say the Crown Princes were killed because of treason. SungYeol is unsure, but vows to find ‘Lustful Student’ to find out and before Gwi does.
In his little lair, Gwi has one of the flyers in his hand. He tells a little girl (who is petrified the poor thing) that 120 years ago people wanted to kill him. He brings up JungHyun, saying that he found the method to kill Gwi and wrote it down, so Gwi got rid of the plan and the prince. However, one of the people who wants to kill him has appeared again.
He tells the little girl to look behind her and she gasps at the embedded body of Sadong in the wall. Gwi explains to the now sobbing girl, that he killed Sadong who stole JungHyun’s records from him and tried to use the plan to kill him. Gwi calls him naive, saying that there is no plan (so the records just contain his diary and not the plans?).
Gwi picks the girl up and carries her into a tub full of water where he has several paper boats made from the flyers. He wonders if this Lustful Student has the records and if so he must be killed. He then offers the little girl eternal life. Suddenly he pushes her into the water and we see blood stain the clear water.
It’s a new day and YangSun is by the river, thinking back to her conversation with SungYeol. We find out that what he wants from her is to find the Lustful Student. SungYeol then picks her up, carrying her to the covers on the floor. He undoes his jacket and leans close to her, moving her face to look at him and moves as if going in for a kiss (his gaze is so intense, what a tease~).
In the present, YangSun is grumbling that her thoughts on him were wrong, that he must be a playboy. She’s frustrated at how he seems to be playing with her, but also a little flustered by how close he was to her. As she walks off in a huff, a blue hanbok skirt comes into view (I’m very worried now!).
After talking a little about the flyers, HoJin hands over the books that YangSun left behind for him. SungYeol is shocked to find a copy of JungHyun’s story exposing Gwi in the stack of books. He explains that all copies were burnt 120 years ago.
It’s now night-time and YangSun walks through the forest to where she believes SunYeol lives. She notices a young girl up ahead, bounds over to her and asks for directions. YangSun’s smile fades when she sees the little girl’s red eyes and fangs.
Running through the forest, the vampire girl suddenly appears before YangSun and lifts her from the ground, holding her throat. After throwing her across the ground, the vampire girl leans in, ready to bite.
Meanwhile, Gwi heads into the forest towards them, happy that his bait has worked.
Thank you for reading~
I hope that throughout this drama, the mythology of the vampires is explained more because at some points, things don’t always make sense, or aren’t explained. I mean, does the moonlight help make vampires?… Why can Gwi not go out in daylight, but SungYeol can? Is it do with the black robes HaeSeo gave him, is SungYeol wearing like 3 layers?
I do like that SungYeol does still have a little playfulness left in him. He may not show it often, but it means it’s there for our female lead to inevitably expose and makes him more “human” so we can root for him.
Also, I really dislike Gwi’s character, he is awful, power crazy and kidnapped a young girl to turn her into a vampire for his own means… but Lee SooHyuk is so pretty and also shirtless in that one scene… This isn’t fair!
Oh and that preview!!!!!! MyungHee! I mean I know that Kim So Eun was playing two roles in this drama, but I was not ready for her to appear in the preview for episode 3! Why do sageuk drama’s always end up breaking my heart, her appearance is only going to hurt me.