Jin Ki goes running off to find Jin Ju and finds her tied up in a barn. She tries to warn him to get out, but he’s sees the trap too late. Dae Ung comes out and tells him if he moves, the barn will be set on fire and he’ll die anyway. Jin Ki becomes enraged that even though it’s him that Dae Ung wants to kill, he went after Jin Ju. Dae Ung fires the pre-set crossbows, wounding Jin Ki.
Our young Jedi, Dong Soo, is practicing with Gwang Taek and feels a shift in the force. Seriously, there isn’t really any other way to explain it – Dong Soo is practicing with Gwang Taek and then suddenly stops and asks where Jin Ki is. No one knows, but Mi So says he was looking for Jin Ju all day. Dong Soo goes to check the old bandit hideout to see if they are there.
Dong Soo finds only bandits at the old hideout. Meanwhile, Sa Mo also gets worried. Mi So wonders if Jin Ju and Jin Ki just up and left, but Jang Mi points out that Jin Ju wouldn’t just leave Dong Soo.
Jin Ki is just barely holding on, and Jin Ju has endured another beating. Dae Ung picks another person to lure in. This time it’s Sa Mo. Jin Ju struggles to free herself. Jin Ki tells her that she needs to make it out of there alive and make sure Dong Soo and Gwang Taek survive. He begs her to get out alive.
Dong Soo gets back from the hideout, and reports to Sa Mo that they are nowhere to be found. Hong Do, the artist, has also shown up and is panicked that Jin Ju has been missing for more than a day now. They go out to search again, leaving Jang Mi behind in case someone returns.
Gwang Taek, however, is not there. He’s gone off to see a doctor on his own. The results are the same – stomach cancer. The doctor tells him he doesn’t have much time.
Un finds the scroll that has Chun’s list of names. From the list, he asks his underling to look into Jang the bounty hunter and the scholar. He then asks where Dae Ung is. He’s told that Dae Ung left with crossbows and arrows, and hasn’t returned. Un realizes that Dae Ung is up to something and asks where he could be.
He heads off through the woods with two underlings. They get to the barn where Dae Ung is, and Un is shocked to see Jin Ju and Jin Ki there, wounded. He starts, and then gives it some thought. He sends the underlings away.
Dae Ung bribes the same little kid to deliver another message, this time to Sa Mo. The message tells him to come alone or both Jin Ju and Jin Ki will die.
In the meantime, a message arrives to Dong Soo via arrow. Dong Soo reads it and takes off running.
Dae Ung comes in and remarks that they are still alive, Jin Ju tells him that she’ll kill him. Dae Ung smirks that she can’t do anything tied up like that . And in a flashback we see that in her struggles, the little satchel that Hong Do had given her fell out of her pocket, and that Ji’s sharp little hair ornament was in there. She used the ornament as a lock pick to release her wrist shackles. And now she has a honking big knife that she found. When Dae Ung starts to doze off, she puts it to Dae Ung’s throat, but he is holding a knife to release a crossbow that is pointed at her father. She puts down the knife.
Dong Soo arrives as it starts to rain. Un remains unseen outside as Dong Soo enters.
Dae Ung is surprised that it was Dong Soo instead of Sa Mo who showed up. Dong Soo assures Jin Ju that it will be ok. He pulls out his sword and tells Dae Ung that today’s the day he’ll die. (we should be so lucky) Dae Ung points out the trap, and says if he moves, Jin Ju and Jin Ki will die. Dong Soo asks what he wants.
Dae Ung releases one of the crossbows. Dong Soo fails in his attempt to grab the bolt, but Jin Ju ducks in time and it misses her. He releases another, and this time Dong Soo blocks it with his sword. In a panic, Dae Ung grabs another crossbow and points it at Dong Soo. From what is essentially point blank range, Dae Ung tells him no one, not even Gwang Taek, could block an arrow this close. Dong Soo tells him to just shoot it.
Dong Soo tells Jin Ju to close her eyes, when she asks what he’s doing, he tells her again to close her eyes, just wait for him. Then he tells Dae Ung to go ahead and shoot.
She closes her eyes. Dae Ung shoots, and Dong Soo simultaneously throws a small throwing dagger with his right hand, hitting Dae Ung’s arm, and catches the crossbow bolt with his left hand.
Just then Sa Mo arrives yelling for Jin Ju and then Dong Soo.
Dae Ung grabs a torch and threatens to burn the barn down if they get near him. As Dae Ung rants most irritatingly, Dong Soo picks up Jin Ki and Sa Mo helps Jin Ju. They all back out of the building.
After they leave, Dae Ung’s arm is hit by a thrown weapon, and he drops the torch into the straw, lighting the barn on fire. Outside, Un walks away and watches the building burn.
They arrive back at Sa Mo’s, and settle Jin Ju and Jin Ki in. Dae Ung drags himself away from the fire to a pond where he cools down his burns.
Next up is a meeting between Lord Hong and Lord Kim. Kim notes that they’ve taken Dong Soo too lightly. Hong admits that he’s a better swordsman than he thought. Kim asks what their next move will be. Now that they’ve blamed the Japanese for everything it will be harder to get at the Prince. Hong says they should keep going before the Prince’s side has time to react. Hong says he’ll think of something.
Ji Sun tells Dong Soo that while Jin Ki’s wounds are bad, they won’t be fatal. Hong Do adds that it must be nice for him, that Jin Ju only called for him when she was in danger. As Dong Soo shoots a look at Ji Sun, Hong Do adds that Dong Soo really doesn’t understand a woman’s heart. (Thank you, Hong Do, for pointing out the elephant in the room. About time! And double points for you since you have a crush on Jin Ju.) Dong Soo, however, was also looking at the note that sent him to Jin Ju. As Hong Do asks what it is, Dong Soo says he’s not sure, and crumples it up. A voice over of Dong Soo asks Un if it was him who saved them.
Sometime later, Sa Mo asks if Ji Sun’s trading license has been returned. She says it has, but Sa Mo is incensed that the confiscated goods were destroyed and not returned. So now they need moneyl to start the business up again. Ji Sun says she’ll find a way. She sets out to the market to find out what she can do, as Jang Mi and Mi So arrive with food for the convalesants.
As Sa Mo serves them the porridge and checks up on them, Dong Soo asks where Gwang Taek is. Sa Mo says there are only 3 days before the duel. So they assume he’s out training, but really he’s out at the doctor’s house. The doctor urges him to drink the tonic, which will give him a few more days. Gwang Taek smiles at that irony, and says a few days will be enough.
He goes out to where he trains and remembers Ji’s last words. He looks over and sees a vision of Ji dressed in white, with a tear on her cheek, then sighing and turning away. He asks she’s already the wind, always following him.
Dong Soo arrives, and when Gwang Taek refocuses he sees him there. Gwang Taek says that he’s already said Dong Soo is Joseon’s greatest swordsman. He says that the title was a huge burden. Even though it’s a title people dream of, it’s also stifling. The title was tiring and difficult. And it didn’t help protect his loved ones. Now all he wants to do is be like the wind. (Echoing, although Dong Soo doesn’t know it, Ji’s words about death.) He says he wants to live like that for the rest of his life, and then he laughs (although again, Dong Soo doesn’t know why and has to take it on face value).
He coughs and starts to double over, worrying Dong Soo, but he smiles and says it’s alright.
In the meantime, Chun is out by the lake, thinking of practicing. However, he’s amused to find himself unable to harm even the dragonfly that settled on his blade.
Dong Soo runs into Ji Sun on the road and accompanies her on her visits to various merchants. They are sorry but refuse to loan her money without collateral.
Chun is out fishing when Un pays him a visit. He recalls Chun’s advice to hang on to Ji Sun. Chun asks him if he finds being the new Chun Joo difficult. Un denies it, but Chun tells him there is no reason to lie. (Ok, slightly complicated Chun philosophy ahead) Chun tells him that while he was in that position, while he felt the burden, he also was bloodthirsty. He doesn’t know if it was in his nature for his blade to want blood, or if it was the rush that made him feel alive. After Ji died, he realized that he might be the best swordsman, but he was already dead. He regrets living that way, and he doesn’t want Un to be the same.
Chun tells Un that it wasn’t Un who killed his father. He says that his father killed himself. Un stutters that he remembers doing it, but Chun says, no, it was him. Flashback to take us back – all three are basically true statements. Un went there to kill his father, Chun threw a knife at the father’s back, and his father took the knife from Un and stabbed himself with it. So, between the three of them, Un’s father was killed.
Chun tells Un that he never had a killer destiny in him. That this destiny Un has always believed in doesn’t really exist.
Un is suitably stunned. He repeats back – you mean my father died because of a destiny that doesn’t exist? (well, forgetting that the father was the one who started the whole destiny thing and firmly believed it existed.) Un gets angry and says that he thought he was saddled with this destiny, that he hated it.
Chun asks if Un blames him. Un says it’s gone to far to blame him, and that he can’t turn back now. He says that to become the next Chun Joo, you have to kill the current one, that’s the rule. He starts to draw his sword, but Chun tells him things aren’t in order yet. He tells him to wait a little.
Back at the Assassins HQ, Gu Hyang reports in. Suddenly, a merchant arrives at Sa Mo’s offering his help to Ji Sun. Ji Sun questions why he’d offer money and ginseng to help them. He says his help isn’t free, he wants to have the processed red ginseng that Ji Sun gets and he wants their Qing trading rights. Ji Sun agrees, and he hands over a staggering amount of funds.
Sa Mo is suspicious of such an easy deal, but Ji Sun points out they have done business in the past. Of course, back at the market, we see the merchant approaching Un. (I have wondered just how much of that assistance Ji Sun and Dong Soo are supposed to have figured out. Ji Sun knew about Un’s earlier interventions. If you were her, wouldn’t you guess he was behind this one as well? Dong Soo, otoh, has just realized just how closely Un is watching them, and Ji Sun in particular.)
Okey dokey. Back at the palace, the Prince argues with Cho Rip about a plan to change his ancestry. Long story short – since his father was a traitor, this is a stain on his lineage and therefore threatens his position. So, the plan is to have the Prince’s late uncle, a Prince who died young, “adopt” him. It’s a paper transaction, since both Princes are dead, but the Prince objects on the grounds that it would dishonor his real father. Cho Rip tells him that he should accept the change in order to become king, and when he is crowned, declare that Sado was his father.
Cho Rip then goes to the King to suggest the change. The King is not pleased at all with the idea, but Cho Rip argues that it would help ensure the Prince’s safety and rise to the throne.
Lord Kim meets with the Queen and Lord Hong to discuss this plan. The Queen points out that the Prince has some decent help if they thought of this. Kim tells her that it will make their lives difficult if the Prince does get the throne. Hong, however, tells her that he may have a plan.
In the council, Lords Hong and Kim praise this plan to the King, which makes Seo suspicious of them. Then they suggest that it would be appropriate for the Prince to travel to his new “father’s” grave to pay his respects. The King agrees.
A load of ginseng arrives for Ji Sun’s trading group, and it looks like all will go well with that venture. Cho Rip comes to tell everyone about the proposed ancestral visit. Gwang Taek thinks it’s too dangerous, but Cho Rip says the Prince would have to do it eventually anyway.
Gwang Taek takes Dong Soo to the palace to ask the King to postpone the trip. The King refuses.
So both sides discuss the problem. On one side are Lord Kim, Lord Hong, Hong1, Hong2, Kenjo and Un, as well as their forces. On the other are the Prince, Dong Soo, Cho Rip, Hong Do, Jin Ju, Sa Mo and the former bandits, as well as the guards and their forces. Each group has essentially the same map and plan. They know where the Prince is going, several good ambush spots that need defending and all the escape routes. As a slight trump card, Gwang Taek gives Sa Mo a pendant from the King to help protect the bandits.
Gwang Taek reminds them all that the safety of the Prince is the most importanat point.
On the other side, Hong tells Un that it’s time for him to strike at the Prince. When Un doesn’t answer, Hong starts to threaten Ji Sun again. Un slams down his cup and tells Hong that the next time he threatens Un about Ji Sun, Un will kill him on the spot. Un says he’ll keep his side of the agreement and leaves. Kenjo asks if Un is really that good a fighter, and Hong tells him that he would have an interesting fight with Un.
On this way out, Gu Hyang stops him to tell him that he should take Ji Sun and leave, that Hong is using them. Un tells her that she knows too much, not to interfere.
Hong’s toady keeps tabs on the Prince’s side, and when their processions leaves, Hong sets his men out after them, and everyone gets into position.
The first ambush comes just as they expected, in the woods. However, Sa Mo’s group was ready for that, and gets to the attackers before the ambush can start. However, it turns out that was a feint, and another ambush is close by and they attack the guards.
As the procession continues, they pass through the ghost town, with yet another ambush waiting. Sa Mo’s group attacks another group and suddenly Hong1 and Hong2 show up with guards to arrest Sa Mo and company as assassins.
Lord Hong tries to follow along what is probably happening via a map, and wonders where the final attack on the Prince will be. It is planned for when the Prince goes through the ghost town.
Sa Mo and Hong1 exchange insults and Sa Mo says there is still no way Hong’s side will beat off Dong Soo. However, at that moment, Hong1 points out Un on his way to attack the Prince.
The assassins stop the procession in narrow street. They are first attacked by one man on foot, and then more attackers join in. As Un charges forward towards the Prince, slicing through the mountain boys and other guards…we end episode 22.
Well, it picked up there some at the end, didn’t it!
The fighting at the end was a nice variation for a change.
But for heaven’s sake, someone needs to land a house on Dae Ung and make sure he is really dead, not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.