It has been a long time since I watched any of this drama, so with fresh new eyes I’m delving back in! Also, that new opening… ahhhh *angel singing*. It is glorious, intense and I actually made an audible ‘wahh’ when it ended.
Lee JoonGi’s intensity that he brings to his role is phenomenal. I believe every emotion that he portrays. An amazing actor whose work I definitely need to watch!
We begin with the ending of the previous episode. A rather hot and weary SungYeol protests to YangSun’s idea of leaving, and soon after sees a beautiful woman walking down the road. A shocked YangSun watches a dazed SungYeol walk towards the woman and pull her firmly into his arms.
SungYeol’s happiness at believing MyungHee is alive soon turns into confusion and deep sorrow as the woman forces her way out of his grasp and even slaps him. At this point, YangSun and HyeRyeong’s (Kim SoEun), (rather obnoxious) lady-in-waiting run over to the pair. The lady-in-waiting begins to scold SungYeol, while YangSun comes to his defense, saying it was a misunderstanding.
HyeRyeong doesn’t want to make a scene so decides to leave. SungYeol grabs her hand, asking again if she is MyungHee. Suddenly his back is attacked by sticks, where men around him think the lady is in danger. From the hits and his own heartbreak, SungYeol collapses to his knees. HyeRyeong leaves and he slumps to the ground. In voiceover we hear SungYeol saying how much he wanted her to be alive and to say her name, that he would do anything. Meanwhile YangSun holds him, screaming for help.
“Welcome to the world of beasts, Kim SungYeol.”
Smiling, Gwi walks away. A dazed and depressed SungYeol stands and remembers the promises he was unable to keep, he staggers and stares at MyungHee. Noticing his sharp fingernails he blanches and stumbles back. At the guilt, fear and despair of what he has done and become, he runs through the forest, where he falls to the ground, MyungHee’s blood on his hands sending him further into his downward spiral.
Then the sun begins to take its toll and SungYeol holds up his sleeve to shield himself, without much luck. He then remembers HaeSeo’s advice never to take the black robe off.
It’s nighttime and SunYeol walks into a courtyard, however, quickly takes cover when he sees Gwi carrying MyungHee. Gwi calls out to him to collect his lover, but SungYeol does not move from his spot. SungYeol then sobs in despair as MyungHee burns, having been set on a pyre. Gwi smiles over to where he knows SungYeol is hiding.
(Thank you writers, my tear ducts needed that… his past was so heartbreaking the first time, and sitting through a condensed version is no less tear inducing T.T)
A crying YangSun watches over a sleeping SungYeol, who is muttering in his sleep about MyungHee. YangSun reaches for his hand (is the cut from when he saved her?), then moves to lean over him, her tears dripping onto his cheek.
This rouses SungYeol out of his sleep. YangSun hurriedly explains that he’d fainted, while he stares at her and the incense case around her neck. SungYeol grabs YangSun and pulls her to the floor where he leans over her.
YangSun turns her head away from him, revealing her neck which SungYeol makes the disturbing parallel with when he bit MyungHee. SungYeol tries to fight his nature to bite her and it takes YangSun telling him that she’s not who he’s thinking about (believing SungYeol’s shifting his desire for the one he lost to her), to get to him and SungYeol momentarily rests his head on her chest.
While the pair are both silently sat upright, SungYeol notices the incense case is on the floor. He grabs it and wordlessly ties it back around her neck (he looks so ashamed of himself and apologetic). When YangSun begins to speak, he immediately gets up and leaves.
A lone man is wandering through the forest when suddenly misty SungYeol comes charging towards him. However, SungYeol catches and feeds on an animal instead. With glaring red eyes he stares at the man, who promptly faints (HA!)
YangSun heads back to the shop and recalls sending off a man headed to Ganghwa Island. The “Chinese” Ahjussi complains that she should have asked him to find JungHyun’s diary, but YangSun thinks Ganghwa Island (known for rarer books) is a better place to look. Ahjussi gives the impression he knows about the book, but denies any knowledge and runs off.
Meanwhile SooHyang tells HoJin not to fuss as the book still needs to be verified. HoJin then finds out that there may a plan to get rid of Gwi in existence.
YangSun catches sight of Ahjussi and follows him but loses him, however, she hears him talking to someone. Walking down a dark backstreet she overhears that Ahjussi does know about the diary.
YangSun rounds the corner and sees that the person Ahjussi is talking to is her father. Both are shocked. YangSun doesn’t understand why they need to hide that he and Ahjussi were Sadong’s booksellers. She tells him that SungYeol needs to the diary. YangSun’s father slaps her, ordering her never to speak of the diary again. He shouts that if people find out what she heard, their family is dead.
As she glumly rubs her cheek while walking down the street, she notices something up ahead which gets her running. SungYeol stands inside the book-shop where they were meant to get information earlier and it has been trashed. He says that her friend, WaeSon (the man who went to Ganghwa Island I guess), has knowledge on the diary. This makes YangSun think about her father’s warning.
SungYeol walks to her, and puts a small bag containing 200 nyang on the table. He asks her, as his personal bookseller, to find the diary. YangSun quickly tries to get out of it, but SungYeol talks over her, saying he has no-one else to trust, that as a favour to him, she will do the task. He turns to leave, but stops when YangSun calls out to him.
YangSun tells him she heard from HoJin that Lustful Student is using JungHyun’s pseudonym. She asks how the diary and Lustful Student are connected and if the diary is about a real person. SungYeol says HoJin must have been confused and tries to leave again, but YangSun isn’t done.
She asks him not to mention WaeSon knowing about the diary to anyone and in turn vows to look for him and ask about the book.
Yoon is with his grandfather and angers him slightly for telling him to repair a palace instead of building another. The King asks for his reason and Yoon explains that the recent drought caused a bad harvest, so people are starving. He says that collecting the higher taxes will be hard and that people are even going to loan sharks.
Instead of taking Yoon seriously, the King shouts at him. According to the King, Yoon finding the Lustful Student should be more important, so he is no longer seen as the “son of a conspirator”. Yoon agrees to do as he is told, but is then shocked to hear the King wants him to host a party on the anniversary of his father’s death.
Ahjussi is casually walking down a small side street when he bumps into a figure all in black, who knocks him out.
A black sack is taken off of Ahjussi’s head and he looks around in confusion. A huge screen distorts who is before him. The man asks if he is DoGwab, a once bookseller for Sadong. He says that it took a long time for him to find Ahjussi.
Ahjussi strongly denies being who the man is looking for and starts rambling, but is silenced when the man tells him that he is Lustful Student; that Ahjussi has been selling his books and that he knows Sadong had JungHyun’s diary. Even still Ahjussi denies knowing anything.
Another figure all in black comes into the room and heads behind the screen, relaying the news about Sadong’s anniversary party. The man simply replies:
“If that’s so, then we must stop that.”
(Who is this man?! And why does he seem so sinister?… or is that just me?)
Cut to scenes of Sadong’s palace being cleaned in preparation. Yoon walks into the
courtyard and is approached by HakYoung who informs him it may be difficult to clean the palace in time as no-one has lived there for years. Yoon tells him to try.
Suddenly, an arrow shoots past Yoon. Guards swarm around him, but the shooter (a man on the roof) simply runs away instead of doing any harm.
Yoon is quick to read the message attached to the arrow:
“If you sin to the heavens, you’ll have nowhere to repent.” – Lustful Student.
Gwi sees this as a punishment, as the idea of having a party at the dead prince’s house on his death anniversary is ridiculous. The council member happily tells Gwi that Yoon looked only to be acting strong, but was actually afraid of death, seeing as how he cancelled the party.
Gwi then insults the council member by saying that if the King were like him, then they would not need to worry. As that isn’t the case, he tells him that they need to watch the King’s movements more closely.
Gwi then looks at where Sadong is trapped in the wall and wonders about who Lustful Student is, commenting that it seems like they come in and out of the palace as if it were their own. He wonders if they have the diary and scoffs at the idea of them trying to kill him with a plan that doesn’t exist.
The council member vows to catch Lustful Student in a day and Gwi wonders if he will be of any help this time.
In SungYeol’s study, he tells HoJin and SooHyang that there is to be a remembrance ceremony at Gwanak Mountain, where they will spread the fake second installment of “Father and Son’s Desire”. Both are shocked and voice their worries. SooHyang worries for the people at the ceremony who will be in danger from soldiers. However, SungYeol is sure that Lustful Student will save those attending from danger due to them revering Sadong. He believes Lustful Student will also appear to see who is copying their actions.
HoJin worries that Gwi may turn up, but SungYeol calmly tells him that the event is in the daytime, therefore Gwi can’t go himself.
SooHyang is still worrying that it is too dangerous, especially with the order of arrest for Lustful Student. SungYeol simply says that he has a plan of his own.
He tells HoJin to spread the rumour, that the place will be given on the day. SungYeol then asks SooHyang if there is any news from the bookshop. SooHyang tells him that WaeSon has not shown up today, nor does she have news about YangSun. SungYeol is sure that YangSun is hiding something from him and asks SooHyang to have people watch her more closely.
SooHyang uses this opportunity to voice her worries on this topic as well. SungYeol tells her that finding the diary is the main priority and even so, the incense box that YangSun wears will protect her from harm (but won’t that only be from vampires? What about human people?).
Even though he says this, he does look a little worried.
While YangSun is waiting for someone, she looks at the incense case and thinks back to when SungYeol saw “MyungHee” (which she writes in her notebook), and she wonders if that is what love is:
“Even when she died, he couldn’t forget her.
Just seeing someone familiar and he falls apart.”
On the same page she writes “Scholar”, crosses “MyungHee” out and begins to write
her name. However, becoming shy and embarrassed she proceeds to cross out basically everything, close her book and look around sheepishly (her crush is so cute :3).
Gwi did some late night snacking and the following morning guards take the body away, leaving the villagers who found it feeling scared because of the bite marks. We find out that this isn’t the first corpse to turn up, and the guards are telling everyone the marks were made by dogs.
A council member tells the head guard to burn the bodies immediately and is then left alone with the King. He assures the King that rumours will inevitably spread, but it will die down soon. The King doesn’t seem so sure and wonders how long they can keep Gwi a secret.
Meanwhile, YangSun and a crowd are surrounding a man with a dead wild animal, who claims to have seen the Night Scholar. You’ve guessed it, this is the guy that fainted earlier in the episode.
YangSun (stylishly attired with those sunglasses!) is in her element, asking questions and scribbling in her notebook with increasing excitement. However, a man who saw a recent body with the same bite marks as the animal believes the Night Scholar is a bad thing. Many begin to agree with him.
While he packs books to sell in a bookshop, he tells YangSun about the arrest warrant for Lustful Student and that he is wary to sell the books, as they might get punished as well. YangSun doubts that will happen and is then further shocked to find out that there is a sequel to “Father and Son’s Desire” and quickly wants all the details.
HoJin is busy spreading the place and time of when the sequel will be distributed, telling those who are attending to wear all white. Having seen and overheard the details, HakYoung relays it to Yoon.
Yoon is concerned about the safety of those going for the actual memorial service and decides to go, even though the council members will probably start another petition to de-crown him.
The King walks in at this point, saying that they will think that Lustful Student and Yoon were on the same side. The King tells Yoon to get the guards to go the service and arrest everyone.
Meanwhile Gwi is casually chatting to Ornament Sadong, saying that with everything happening, it looks to be an amusing day.
SungYeol watches the service from the sidelines and is shocked to recognise a tearful YangSun among the crowd (I like how she is wiping her nose with the face mask haha).
As the memorial continues on, those who came for the book are chatting amongst themselves. YangSun asks several if they have seen WaeSon recently, but they haven’t, causing YangSun to adopt a less than subtle approach of wandering around looking at everyone closely. While doing so, she recognises SungYeol (now in the crowd) from the cut on his hand. Wordlessly he walks away from her, but YangSun is unable to follow as the praying begins again and her way is blocked.
HoJin runs to where the “sequel” is stacked in boxes, exclaiming that there is big trouble coming, that guards are coming through the forest. SooHyang leaves to fulfill a pre-planned order on SungYeol’s request. He then tells HoJin to spread the books immediately.
However, YangSun confidently defends Lustful Student, saying that the book is a fake. The cover and lettering can easily be faked, but the sentence structure is not the same according to YangSun.
HoJin and SungYeol watch on and when everyone starts rushing to get away from the approaching guards, HoJin is unsure whether Lustful Student did come. SungYeol tells him to check the entrance to the mountain to see if anyone is fighting the guards.
Turning away to go into the forest, YangSun grabs his wrist, telling him there is a route she knows which can take them to safety. She pleads for him to come with her, but SungYeol shakes her off and tells her to go. As he walks away she asks about the one he is looking for, but when he turns around, YangSun is being dragged away by a guard. SungYeol notices that her incense case in on the ground (but he doesn’t do anything…).
The “fake guards” detain them for a short while at a cottage, but HoJin and his helper cannot find Lustful Student among them, so they are lead back to the village. SungYeol watches as YangSun breaks from the flow of body traffic and runs out into the forest in search of SungYeol (thinking that the guards are real).
YangSun’s search goes into the night and is only stopped when she trips over a rock and injures her foot. In true SungYeol fashion, this is when he decides to casually walk up to her (she looks so relieved though, bless her ♥). Instead of reciprocating her relief at his being okay, he starts to chastise her and when he notices her foot he says:
“You can’t even take care of your own body so who are you to worry about me?”
Even though his words are harsh, he still bandages her foot (after quenching his thirst) and picks her up into his arms. YangSun, who is verging on the brink of tears, doesn’t want his help. SungYeol tells her that he would have helped anyone who was in her position and if he doesn’t carry her then they would have to spend the night in the forest. YangSun grumbles but lets SungYeol continue, and even tightens her grip on him (cue floating cherry blossom and music~ and a slightly bemused looking SungYeol)
While looking at him, YangSun says in voiceover:
“A person who even hates my worries towards him, why is it that every time I’m in danger, he saves me, helps me and is good to me? Why? Because of what?”
Meanwhile, Ahjussi has been stuck in that same room and is adamant that the man has the wrong person. Just then, a familiar face walks into the room. Yoon recognises Ahjussi straight away and tells him that he is Lustful Student… (woah my brain may have just exploded from not having seen that coming. I mean is this good writing, or am I just stupid? Either way I’m intrigued to see how this works out!)
YangSun is walking on her own now as they are nearing her home. SungYeol gives her the incense box and asks if she has heard from WaeSon yet. YangSun is ready to go to his shop and try to find him, but SungYeol tells her to wait until the morning. As he is about to leave, flyers start raining down on them.
Yoon’s voice reads:
“There is a King living on top of the King in the palace.
He is a vampire who lives off human blood.
10 years ago, Crown Prince Sadong was killed when he tried to get rid of him.
And there is one more prince who was killed the same way.
It is Crown Prince JungHyun who died 120 years ago.
Although it is the vampire who killed both Crown Princes, the King and officials who hide and support him are no different from him.”
YangSun is shocked to see that this is the story of the book which she gave to SungYeol and she asks again if JungHyun was a real person. SungYeol, who looks rather irritated at the whole affair, tells her to leave. He then ignores her calls as he walks away with purpose.
Yoon finds it strange that this is the first time Ahjussi has heard the story. Ahjussi still refuses to agree that he is the bookseller in question. Yoon then tells him about him, that the bookseller got into trouble and would have been executed if not for Sadong (am I the only one who didn’t notice that he only had one arm? Please let me not be alone… ^^”).
Sadong helped heal his child and set up the bookshop for him (he seemed so lovely, I’m sad he died!). HakYoung steps forward and relays that because of his false testimony, several others were persecuted (including HakYoung’s father). Yoon then informs Ahjussi that it was Gwi who killed them, and he wants JungHyun’s diary so he can kill Gwi. Ahjussi physically reacts and has to be held down.
Several guards walk out of their office and are shocked at the flyers, the main guard orders his men to get the figures throwing the flyers from the roofs and also report to the main city guards.
The King orders his head guard to collect every single flyer, and is again left with his closest council member. The council member tells the King that he told them to handle it secretly, but the King knows that Gwi will not stay silent on this matter and that there will be a “bloody storm” to come.
SungYeol is stressed by the amount of flyers, but it eases slightly when he overhears several people thinking the contents of the flyer is ridiculous. Suddenly he hears shouts and looks up to see the guards running down the street after the ‘ninjas’ on the rooftops.
One is shot down and the street is left clear as the guards charge onwards. SungYeol goes over to the body, but is intercepted by another ninja. The man gets out his sword and SungYeol expertly ‘dances’ round the sword and man with ease. Through watching him move, SungYeol realises that his skills are those of Palace guards.
After skilfully taking his sword, SungYeol tells the man that he has no wish for killing and to tell Lustful Student that he has the book written by JungHyun. Before SungYeol can finish his sentence about wanting to meet Lustful Student, the man cuts his throat with a dagger (why didn’t he just listen?!).
Gwi has a copy of SungYeol’s fake sequel and is bothered that SungYeol is protecting Lustful Student (where does he get that idea from?! I would say searching for, not protecting).
He believes it is time for HyeReong to step up. While she hands him a cup of blood, dripped from the body hanging over them, Gwi grabs her hand and marvels at how she looks identical, as though the dead girl has come back to life.
HyeReong asks if he is talking about ‘MyungHee’. He asks if she has met a man who has called her by that name, but she lies, saying there has not. Gwi then asks after her health and she politely says it’s better, thanks to his care. Gwi looks at her closely again, remarking she has turned into a woman since he last saw her. He moves forward, as though to bite her, but refrains from doing so. Instead he bluntly tells her that the reason he kept her alive was for the purpose of getting SungYeol, so if she sees him, she must bring SungYeol to him by whatever means possible.
Instead of going home, YangSun went to the bookshop, where SungYeol finds her sleeping at a desk. He notices a piece of paper and picks it up. YangSun wrote “Do not look for me again” and after which “mean scholar” and “bad guy” (she is too cute!).
YangSun then wakes up, shocked at the time and wondering how long she slept for. She stretches and stands, crying out in pain as a reflex. However, YangSun is confused to find that her foot doesn’t hurt at all (not even when she makes ‘owww’ noises haha).
Taking off her sock, YangSun is astounded to find that her wound has fully healed, unlike SungYeol, who now has two cuts on his hand.
In his study, SungYeol, pours a powder over the cuts and grimaces in pain as smoke
comes off his hand. He reads YangSun’s words again and his expression is one of conflict. Is the Night Scholar gaining feelings he doesn’t really want at the moment?
The players are all starting to come out now even if we may not now their strategies, but it is only episode 4.
The fact that Yoon is Lustful Student, is still blowing my mind. I mean on hindsight, it makes total sense and is something he would do. But still! I’m very glad that they introduced that knowledge to us so early on and I’m very excited to see how that plays into the rest of the drama.
The pacing, plot wise, is something I enjoy about this drama. Nothing has seemed to drag so far *touch wood*
I think the love is also progressing quite nicely. YangSun has an evident crush on SungYeol, whereas SungYeol seems to only just be starting to actually think about ‘feelings’ of any positive kind. Seriously, SungYeol has one of the best ‘shoot me now’ faces!
There is definitely going to be a conflict within him due to MyungHee’s doppelganger and just the idea of love after losing MyungHee in such a horrific way. I also assume they are going to bring in some conflict with YangSun, in the form of Yoon. Not quite sure I’m excited about that though, why can second leads never be just friends? Oh well, it will add to the already high drama of this production.
Talking of MyungHee, that scene made me cry… I love YangSun, she is adorable, but MyungHee! That first episode got me right in the feels and just seeing Kim SoEun’s face made the emotion come back. I feel that I’m going to be doing a whole lot more crying because of Kim SoEun’s face and Lee JoonGi’s intense acting!
Thank you for reading~