Wonbeom shifts his gaze from one opponent to the other. Yul Mu and an unknown man move in different directions, forcing Wonbeom to carefully watch them both. He can take on the two of them with ease, there’s no problem with that, but Soyong, who’s hiding behind him, is his weakness.
“When the fight starts you have to run,” he whispers without taking his eyes off his two opponents.
“Don’t be ridiculous. I won’t leave you,” she proclaims from behind him. Of course his stubborn Queen will oppose his commands; he barely remembers any time when she actually listened to him.
“You will help me if you leave,” Wonbeom tries to reason with her. “Don’t be a burden, Soyong- ah. Now is not the time to show your temper.”
She doesn’t answer him, and he feels he will have to apologize for his words later, but for that they must both survive.
Yul Mu attacks first, drawing Wonbeom’s full attention toward him. Their swords meet in a series of lunges and blocks. The traitor is a very skilled nobleman with a strong swing, but Wonbeom is in a rage and his force is equal to Yul Mu’s. His other opponent tries to reach Soyong, and Wonbeom has to shift his attention to him, pushing Soyong out of the way and blocking the other man’s sword.
“Run!” He shouts in desperation, hoping she will listen to him this time. He can’t protect her like this; he must be free from worrying about her safety so he can focus on the fight.
Yul Mu and his ally attack him at the same time, and Wonbeom uses his sword and the sword’s sheath to block them. It seems as if Soyong has really fled as Wonbeom doesn’t feel her close presence anymore. The unfamiliar man tries to go past Wonbeom, probably to get to her, but is stopped in his tracks by Wonbeom’s sword.
The two strong opponents tire him down even more than he already was after the fight in the camp, and they do not give him any opportunity to catch his breath. They are both skillful, have nothing to lose, and are full of hatred towards Wonbeom.
But having a family to fight for is Wonbeom’s advantage. He must win so Hyun-ki and Soyong can live safely. He must win so his efforts as King do not vanish under the hands of old-fashioned ministers.
Yul Mu attempts a series of strikes while the other opponent tries to shuffle past Wonbeom once more.
Suddenly, the unknown man cries out in pain. For a second, Wonbeom doesn’t understand why the man drops his sword to the ground but then sees him pulling out a small knife from his upper arm.
“You bitch!” he shouts, clutching his wound to stymie the flow of blood. “You will pay for this!”
“A threat from an incompetent assassin is nothing more than a waste of air.” Soyong’s mocking voice is heard.
The distraction gives Wonbeom a needed opening to attack his already wounded foe. The man attempts to jump to the side, but he’s not quick enough, and Wonbeom’s sword slices through his thigh.
Unfortunately, Wonbeom doesn’t have time to finish him as Yul Mu reenters the fight, drawing Wonbeom away from the other man.
Soyong is now in Wonbeom’s view, and to his horror, the unknown man, wounded but not defeated, heads toward her. Wonbeom makes a move to get closer and stop him, but Yul Mu’s attacks impede his path.
“Let them be. They have unfinished business, just as we do.” Yul Mu smirks. “But don’t think she will die quickly. You see, my friend doesn’t forgive humiliations easily.”
They trade sides in the midst of their fight and Soyong is lost from Wonbeom’s view. The sound of swords clashing fills the air, preventing Wonbeom from at least hearing what is happening on the other side of the yard.
“I can’t lose to a woodcutter…” Yul Mu hisses when they cross swords. His face is contorted in disgust as he puts his full weight behind his sword. “To a fool in charge of this great country!”
“That is your problem, Minister Park. You can’t see what makes the country so great,” Wonbeom growls back and pushes against Yul Mu’s sword with his own. “It’s the people. From the woodcutters to the King, from the seamstresses to the Queen… Everyone from the lower to the upper class forms this country, and everyone must be heard!” Wonbeom shouts. “People like you won’t understand. People like you are stuck in the past.”
Rage takes over Yul Mu, so much so he makes a mistake and lets down his guard, which Wonbeom easily uses to his advantage. He strikes Yul Mu’s leg, forcing him to drop to one knee. Then with one forceful slice, Wonbeom cuts Yul Mu from his chest to his stomach.
Blood bubbles up from Yul Mu’s mouth and runs down his chin. In a state of shock, he looks down to his chest where even more blood pours out.
Wonbeom decides Yul Mu needs no further attention and is about to leave him so he can save Soyong when Yul Mu calls for him:
“Your Majesty!” Yul Mu’s voice is hoarse as he coughs in blood. Wonbeom turns to look at him, only to see him getting up on his feet and stepping closer. The wounded, dying man wants to say his final words standing straight.
It happens too quickly: Wonbeom notices the glint of the knife’s blade too late. He feels a sharp pain on his right side, and his breath catches in his throat. He was not cautious enough, thinking Yul Mu would just say something pathetic before leaving this world. But even without a sword in hand, Wonbeom’s opponent is shifty enough to pull out one last trick.
“Did you really think I would leave by myself?” Yul Mu wheezes in his ear mockingly. “Your Majesty…”
He falls to the ground, eyes wide open and a mad smirk on his bloodstained lips.
Wonbeom holds his breath and pulls the knife out, holding back a painful cry. He presses his palm against the wound, tightens his hold on his sword, and turns around. His vision is blurry, but it instantly clears when his gaze focuses on Soyong.