Alchemy of Souls: Episodes 13-14
Caught in the labyrinthine den of murder that is Cheonbugwan, our heroes will have to as soon as once more barter for their lives making use of all their cunning. But, even if they escape, there’s an additional bet to contend with — and the stakes of our hero’s most current challenge against the Prince are about to get a great deal larger.
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
At Cheonbugwan, a storm is brewing — and not just politically. As clouds collect, Mu notes with distaste that rain interferes with soul ejectors. In reality, he recalls Bu-yeon, throughout their fatal trip across the lake, attempted to open the skies and destroy the ice stone she’d found.
Bu-yeon possessed powers unprecedented. So also, it appears, may our heroine, who has unwittingly employed magic to open the constellation space ceiling. It is just like that time with Lake Gyeongcheondaeho, only now with a basin and a pretty bemused Wook. Quiet hug time is more than, as is any chance for investigation: Wook yanks her out of the way prior to lightning crashes against the water bowl.
The two do not have lengthy prior to Mu realizes they’re rather significantly less dead than they ought to be. To add an additional layer of complication, Mu-deok’s eyes are out of commission due to what appears to be magical backlash. Fortunately, Wook, as ever, is prepared to forfeit his pride in exchange for their necks. Prince Won wakes to a spiritual notification ping from the yin jade.
When Mu discovers our heroes’ hiding spot, Wook puts on a clever show. He claims to have planted the yang jade on Eunuch Kim’s physique. If Mu does not act rapidly, Won will stumble upon a freshly petrified corpse. In actual reality, the jade is protected in Wook’s pocket. Nevertheless, this gambit distracts Mu for lengthy adequate for Won to attain Wook in time to hear his story… without having his master editorializing.
The master in query has been struck by a belated realization: Mu-deok in a blindfold bears uncanny resemblance to Bu-yeon. We’re treated to an additional glimpse of the now-familiar boat flashback — studying that when Bu-yeon attempted to destroy the ice stone, Mu seized it, shoving the girl into the lake.
Mu’s not the only 1 dwelling on previous mistreatment of young children. Sitting with Master Lee, Do-joo recalls the events following the death of Naksu’s father, Cho Chung. According to her, Jang Gang, forced to reduce down his buddy for the crime of practicing sorcery, disappeared to search for the daughter he left behind — a activity he has nonetheless not achieved, two decades on. Master Lee replies that the daughter is dead.
Across town, Yeom and Jin rush towards Cheonbugwan, alarmed by the fierce lightning. They arrive in time to join a skeptical Won (who’s rocking fresh-out-of-bed chic with a majestic ponytail) to adjudicate our heroes’ claims: that Mu unleashed a soul-shifter to kill them — a palace eunuch.
It appears like Mu may have backed himself into a political corner. Nevertheless, Wook’s story hinges on 1 essential aspect: Kim becoming dead. And, as it turns out, he is pretty a great deal not. To the room’s astonishment, a smug Queen Ha-sun ushers an inexplicably nonetheless-breathing Kim into the hall. Wook and Mu-deok are forced to grit their teeth and claim they had been lying in order to cover up the harm to the constellation space.
Their exit is not precisely frictionless. Mu demands that Cheonbugwan punish Wook. Nonetheless, he’s no match for the theatrical tour-de-force that is Wook and Mu-deok truly committing to a deception. When Jin insists Wook is Songrim’s duty, Mu-deok flings herself at Won’s feet. Something but that! Wook will be flogged to death! Wook, hardly missing a beat, sobs that if Jin calls for his death, then he will have to of course submit.
Some couples finish each and every other’s sentences. These two finish each and every other’s lies. Just after a great deal whimpering and wailing, they are escorted from the creating.
Kim’s impromptu reanimation through ice stone is brief-lived. He scarcely has time to protest prior to Ha-sun makes use of her energy to extract the stone, as soon as once more rendering him a lifeless statue.
To Wook’s justifiable surprise, Jin believes him wholeheartedly. This incident is additional confirmation that Mu possesses the ice stone — an item Jin’s specific is malevolent in of itself. Just before Wook can argue this latter point, Mu-deok seizes his sleeve although Jin may be their ally now, it is nonetheless the two of them against the planet. Later, Yul will hear of this reaction and draw his personal worried conclusions.
Jin urges Wook to lie low, as per his pretend punishment. Wook remarks to Mu-deok that they ought to go train in Danhyanggok, but Mu-deok admits it is also cold for that to be feasible. When she told Yul otherwise, it was only to spare his feelings — about his pet bird, that is.
Furthermore, she adds, they really should steer clear of becoming alone for safety’s sake. Nevertheless, the energy of the Bridge of Romantic Longing Mark two (now with 99% extra longing) is sturdy. In what constitutes a amazing show of sentimental excess for Mu-deok, she admits that if she had been to devour Wook’s power and kill him, she’d come across it unbearable. Wook, grinning, elects to interpret this as a reply to his like confession. Judging by her expression — which lies someplace amongst that of a thief caught red-handed, and a lady skewered via the heart — he’s not far off the mark.
With no couple’s retreat to Danhyanggok on the horizon, Wook elects to train at house. This time, he assures Mu-deok he will not be ditching his responsibilities to fish with Master Lee. As such, he responds with no smaller quantity of bafflement when she orders him to do just that. But, Mu-deok has her causes: Master Lee has supplied to enable Wook catch a golden fish: 1 of the masses of power formed inside Lake Gyeongcheondaeho. Undertaking so calls for mastery of Chisu, a talent that’ll propel Wook into the magical large leagues.
Back in the Murder Space at Cheonbugwan, So-yi has reached the wardrobe and makeup stage of her transformation into Bu-yeon. A great deal like every single other stage so far, it is nightmarish. Woo-tak himself delivers directions on how to replicate every single minor detail of his daughter’s look. The red mole behind her ear. The scar on her forearm. So-yi bites back her tears as acid is applied to her skin.
Afterwards, we linger on a person who possesses scar and mole each. You guessed it: Mu-deok! The writers have played rapidly and loose on this reveal, but it is incontrovertible — our assassin wears the physique of the original flavor Bu-yeon. Accept no substitutes!
Even though Wook is busy pouring heart and soul into his fishing — sometimes pausing to commiserate with Master Lee about their deeply convoluted like lives — Mu-deok gets an invitation from Do-joo to enable with an essential memorial service. In a gutting twist of fate, it turns out it is for her father — and herself. Ever intent on seeking soon after her personal, Do-joo intends to pacify their spirits, defending the Jang household from harm.
It is 1 point to watch your old physique go up in flames. It is an additional to be a stranger at your personal father’s memorial. Mu-deok keeps it collectively till Do-joo leaves — prior to kneeling down to weep.
Her sorrow does not go unwitnessed. A going to Yul has news for Wook: possessing mastered Chisu, his father will contact him back to Seoho Fortress quickly. There’s a person he desires to take with him. Wook, who came house in time to watch his buddy watch the like of his life as she grieves, has a sinking feeling he knows who it is.
But, let’s backtrack. Why did Wook appear so cheerful returning from fishing, prior to becoming ambushed by Yul and his entire deal? It turns out, he’s achieved the not possible. Just after a couple of days by the lake, he’s place the decade most mages take to master the components to shame, and reached Chisu. As Master Lee tells an apprehensive Jin, some individuals are simply… born wonderful. And Wook, with his volatile destiny, has the prospective to alter the planet — for superior, or ill.
Mu-deok, flush with triumph at her pupil’s accomplishment, overplays her hand a tad with Prince Won — who is not precisely on his greatest behavior. Wracked with jealousy, he gloats at the prospect of destroying the yin jade as soon as Wook loses his tenth duel. Mu-deok is outwardly unconcerned: if Won truly thinks she and Wook share a bond sturdy adequate to bet her life on, it’ll survive the loss of a keepsake. Won, enraged at her deception, flings the jade into the nearby pond.
It is time, he says, for Mu-deok to definitely bet her life. She listens, unflinching, to the new terms he facts — and does not relent. Bluff upon bluff has been known as.
Lengthy story brief, when Wook arrives for his final fight, the stakes have risen drastically. Rather than the usual golden toad, the winner will stroll away with… Mu-deok. And Wook’s opponent will not be the unrelentingly obnoxious CHA BEOM (Lee Ji-hoo), as anticipated, but rather: Yul.
As the only identified Jeongjingak pupil with mastery of Chisu, Won recruited Yul in the hopes of specific accomplishment. And, if Yul has ulterior motives for wanting to win Mu-deok’s contract as servant… nicely, that is amongst him and his immaculate pokerface.
When the two cross swords, it is clear neither intends to let friendship get in the way of a no-holds-barred, bro vs bro showdown. Furthermore, it is no straightforward win for Yul. Wook shocks the crowd with his graceful deployment of tactics gleaned from his prior fights. To cap it all, he fearlessly pulls off Naksu’s signature Tansu, gathering water from the air with his newfound magical mastery and slamming Yul onto the defensive.
But, here’s what I like about Alchemy of Souls: destiny or not, Wook has to operate tough for his wins. And this one… is not a win. Yul sends him flying.
The spectators flock to Wook nonetheless, astounded by his prodigy. Wook, as ever, only has eyes for Mu-deok, but she’s currently gone — initially, to reprimand a royal prince for his sneakiness (as 1 does), and then to negotiate with her new master. Yul has just 1 request. When he returns to Seoho Fortress, he demands her enable taking a person else with him. It is an underhand move that feels shockingly beneath him. Unaware that the particular person in query is possibly her, Mu-deok offers her word.
Back at Sejukwon, Wook tells Jin that Master Lee helped him obtain Chisu owing to a family members matter. Cue a considerable glance, and Jin experiencing very possibly the complete variety of human emotion in a single immediate. But, prior to he can do something ruinous like hold an truthful conversation about what he’s been withholding, Wook finishes: Master Lee likes Do-joo. The whiplash is genuine. Getting identified his romantic rival, Jin is now in agony — all the although, convinced Do-joo nonetheless loves Jang Gang.
Do-joo, for her component, worries Jin just does not like her that way. She receives ample consolation from Master Lee, a man unashamed of making use of his planet-defying magical prowess to freshen up her flower arrangements in the hopes of producing her really feel significantly less lonely.
Like father, like pseudo-son. Wook himself is feeling something but regular about Mu-deok’s closeness with Yul: the sight of them bonding more than homing pigeons is adequate to drive him to despair. But Mu-deok is no significantly less of a fool for like she spends all evening dredging the pond for her jade charm, reluctant to face Wook without having it.
Elsewhere, Group Evil have been diligently at operate. Below the pretext of presenting her with a new hairpin, Woo-tak pricks Cho-yeon’s neck — in a great deal the similar spot as Mu-deok’s mole — extracting a strange red thread from the wound. Meanwhile, Mu sets about apprehending absolutely everyone who knows of So-yi’s accurate identity. He requires the chance to maintain his protege nicely traumatized by forcing her to watch Ha-sun drain them to death.
Becoming passed about like a jade ornament will have to be taking its toll on Mu-deok, for the reason that the gloves are off this episode. She openly mocks Won while poor, lengthy-suffering EUNUCH OH (Lee Ki-sub) sifts via the pond in search of the actual ornament she’s currently retrieved. When the ever-unpleasant Beom mocks Wook’s illegitimacy, insinuating that he’s taken up celibacy to obtain his magical prowess, she snaps, calling him despicable. Then, when Beom raises a stink prior to Won, she requires wonderful relish in brandishing her royal perfume sachet — although the prince she’s wrapped about her small finger watches, smug.
Only 1 point causes her self-assurance to falter: catching Wook in laughing conversation with Yun-ok — and just as she was about to show him the yin jade, no significantly less. After she gets him alone, in a moment of understandable passive-aggression, she relates the incident with Beom. For all she knows, he could have develop into Master Lee’s pupil.
Wook, unfazed, ponders how he ought to prove otherwise. She meets his eyes, sullen. He hugs her. Unimpressed, she says he ought to go embrace the “pretty lady” as an alternative. Wook asks if she truly implies it. Do it, she snaps.
And. He. Kisses. Her!!
Here’s the glorious point — holy UST, is it awkward. By which I imply, it is flawless. It is tender, and short, and Mu-deok’s eyes are bulged wide open the whole time. Just after all, why on earth would this intricate, passionate game of emotional Jenga collapse with a single kiss? Why would they do something other than try to continue their conversation, as if they hadn’t locked lips 5 seconds ago? Mu-deok’s so flustered, she virtually forgets to show him the yin jade.
Alas, the two have other responsibilities than loudly pretending to have neither described nor acted on their feelings. Mu-deok’s distinctly un-maidlike gutsiness has not gone unnoticed: Jin has positioned the man who initially brought her to Chwiseonru, and has some pressing inquiries relating to her blindness — or lack of it.
But Mu-deok’s cover remains intact: turns out, Jin’s witness has been bribed by Wook to maintain up the pretense that she’s a basic villager. Mu-deok gleans some perplexing facts: a thief named So-yi, robbed the former Mu-deok’s property. Her gisaeng buddy, JU-WOL (Sojin), suspects she might nonetheless be looking for Mu-deok.
Intrigued, Mu-deok visits her former guardian once more in the hopes of studying extra. What she finds as an alternative is his corpse. Worse nonetheless — a person else finds it also. Jin brandishes a sword to her throat, accusing her of murder.
Meanwhile, Wook joins Master Lee to meet King Quickly — who, a great deal like his predecessor, has 1 point on his thoughts: longevity. He asks Master Lee how he manages to appear so young. In a reveal that, in spite of becoming lengthy foreshadowed, hit me like a sledgehammer, Master Lee informs him that his original physique is lengthy dead. He is a soul-shifter… and he’s right here to sniff out the 1 that lurks in the palace.
Speak about intricate plotting! This show under no circumstances condescends. Most of its reveals are expertly foreshadowed in the sense that we’re meant to guess the what, but we’re left on tenterhooks about the why. This 1, even though, was of a various caliber: the breadcrumbs had been there, but we weren’t necessarily anticipated to stick to.
See, I reckon Alchemy of Souls prioritizes cleverness of a unique type — each in its writing and characterization. This is a trickster sort of plot, in the similar way that Mu-deok is a trickster sort of protagonist. And can I just say, I like the latter? Our heroine is a creature of guile — when the odds are against her, she’ll finagle her way out with a clever deception or a inventive gambit. Even superior, Wook’s the similar, and it is virtually totally due to her influence. At initially glance, he appears like your archetypal hero with the effective destiny, but he’s all about practicality and survival.
He and Mu-deok are accustomed to becoming downtrodden, or dismissed as useless — and, as such, they’ve discovered to rely on their wits. They each recognize that a loss is not necessarily a defeat. Occasionally, as with Wook’s ten successive duels, it can be an chance. Find out to fake a smile. Drop the battle, but win the war. Know the worth of a superior lie. That is the rule book Wook and Mu-deok play by — and I cannot wait to see exactly where it’ll take them.
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