The plan is too risky and literally everything can go wrong. But Soyong holds on to the thought that no matter what, Yul Mu needs her and Hwa Jin alive. So the guard, who was changed a while ago, must have been instructed that the hostages should remain unharmed.
“This is all your fault, Your Highness!” Hwa Jin starts their fake argument. “I shouldn’t be here. This is all your doing!”
“Oh, stop this nonsense,” Soyong responds in an annoyed tone. “You volunteered for this plan because it is your only chance to return to society and be respected again. No one dragged you here unwillingly.”
They continue arguing loudly and shouting insults at each other until eventually Hwa Jin drops a rack to the floor. Soyong screams as if she’s in pain, promising to behead Hwa Jin later. That finally catches the attention of the guard, and they hear the door unlock and open.
Soyong doesn’t hesitate when she jumps on the man’s back and wraps her arm around his neck. Meanwhile, Hwa Jin hangs on the arm that wields his sword, using all her weight to prevent him from lifting it for an attack. The man furiously tries to get rid of both of them, using his other hand to attempt to pry Soyong off his back. His hand comes close to Soyong’s head, and she catches his fingers with her teeth and bites hard. He wails in pain and surprise, giving Soyong a good opportunity to strengthen her grip.
The guard weakly fights back until finally he stops. Soyong lets go of him and he falls to the floor. He lies so still Soyong is afraid she might have killed him. She had just wanted him to lose consciousness by using a technique she saw her orabeoni do in training, one that she had also seen from a distant memory of Bong Hwan’s military days.
“Did you…” Hwa Jin doesn’t have to finish the sentence: Soyong is also frightened by the idea she might have just become a murderer.
Soyong moves closer to the body and slowly takes the sword out of the guard’s limp grasp. She knows absolutely nothing about sword fights, but it’s better than staying armed with only two pocket knives. She then carefully walks to where his head lies and checks his pulse.
“Oh, thank goodness he’s alive.” Soyong lets out a relieved sigh. “You scared me, you bastard!” She wants to hit him but is afraid he could wake up, so she steps back.
“Let’s go,” Soyong addresses Hwa Jin. “I know where Yul Mee’s bow and arrows are stored.”
They close the doors and use a broom to barricade their former confinement. Fortunately for the two of them, the armory is nearby and no one impedes their way. Hwa Jin takes as many arrows as she can and tests the bow a few times by stretching the bowstring.
Soyong feels as though this conspiracy sounded much better in theory than it actually was in execution. Yul Mu is nothing more than a peacock: he described a glorious plan, but he can’t even retreat properly with all the winning cards in his hands.
“Are you ready?” Soyong asks and after a quick nod from Hwa Jin, they peek outside the room.
It’s still very quiet in this part of the estate. They are quite fortunate that the estate is so big; if it was smaller they wouldn’t have the opportunity to hide so easily. They step out slowly, trying not to make any noise and looking around to see if anyone approaches them. Their path out forces them towards the same storage room where they were previously held captive, and unfortunately they hear something happening there.
As they slowly tread closer, they can start to hear several voices up ahead. Soyong first makes out Seo Hwi’s voice:
“They couldn’t have gone far. Let’s find them before it’s too late…”
When she hears footsteps approaching, both she and Hwa Jin get ready. Soyong bares her blade from its sheath, finding it much bigger than she had expected, and Hwa Jin gets ready to shoot an arrow if it’s necessary. When Seo Hwi’s footsteps get closer, Soyong dashes out, putting the blade to his neck.
“Careful. I have no idea how to use this properly and can hurt you by mistake,” she warns him. Stretching out her arm with a sword is much harder than she had thought, but she uses all her strength so that her hand does not waver.
“You are so alike, I must admit,” Seo Hwi lets out an annoyed sigh.
Soyong narrows her eyes, not fully understanding what he means until she hears the familiar voice:
“My Queen!” the King’s voice calls for her. Slowly she turns her head to look in his direction, still not lowering her sword. It’s really him, with a faint smile on his worried face and seemingly unharmed after his part of the mission.
“Your Majesty!” Soyong exclaims. Her hand holding her sword becomes weak and she hears Seo Hwi grumbling for her to be careful. “Your Majesty is here!”
Soyong lowers the sword and lifts her skirt with her other hand to run towards him. She falls into his welcoming embrace, breathing in heavily and almost crying from happiness. He wraps his free arm around her, his cheek resting against hers:
“I was so worried, Soyong-ah,” he whispers into her ear. “Are you hurt?” He pulls away to examine her from head to toe.
“I am alright, Your Majesty,” Soyong says, smiling from ear to ear. “If only we weren’t caught… I did not wish to put Your Majesty in a difficult position like that.”
“Do not worry about that,” he smiles back at her.
“We need to get you both out of here,” Prince Yeongpyeong reminds them. Soyong was so consumed by the sight of Wonbeom she completely forgot about Hwa Jin and her husband. The two of them hug tightly as if they can’t be separated anymore.
Seo Hwi, who apparently is on their side now, leads them out. Wonbeom’s warm hand does not leave hers as they run after Seo Hwi, while Hwa Jin and Yeongpyeong lag a bit behind all of them. They have almost reached the east wall when Yul Mu’s men cross their path.
Without any hesitation, Seo Hwi bares his sword and attacks their opponents. Wonbeom is forced to let go of Soyong’s hand, but he tries to shield her as he fights. An arrow flies past them and hits another man who was about to do battle with the King. Soyong looks back and sees Hwa Jin standing on an empty crate, shooting arrows left and right. Prince Yeongpyeong never leaves her side, protecting her from any enemies who approach her. He whistles loudly, and a few moments later more people join in the fight on their side.
Unfortunately, the group is separated during the battle: Soyong loses sight of Seo Hwi, along with Yeongpyeong and Hwa Jin. Soyong tries to help, but one of their adversaries swats the sword out of her hand. She feels useless watching Wonbeom fight all alone, but thankfully he wins against all his opponents without a scratch.
“Your Majesty the King.” Soyong hears Yul Mu’s mocking voice, and both she and Wonbeom turn to look at him. “Don’t you know that showing up uninvited is bad etiquette?” Yul Mu smiles wide, looking somewhat deranged.
“I needed to bring home my wife.” Wonbeom moves in front of Soyong. She can only peek around his wide shoulders at what’s going on. She notices that apart from the assassin by Yul Mu’s side, there’s no one left to fight.