At Naryehee Festival, the soldiers give a demonstration of their sharpshooting skills
but San (actor Lee Seo-jin), Chae Je-gong (actor Han In-soo), Nam Sa-cho (actor
Maeng Sang-hoon), and others become very nervous. When nothing happens after
the firearms are fired, San and his servants let out a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) is certain that there is a
conspiracy to assassinate San during the fireworks display and so he sends a
captain to convey a warning to San, which ends up in the hands of Kim Gwi-joo
(actor Jung Myung-hwan).
Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) goes to Eugeumboo to find Dae-soo but when she
hears that he isn’t there, she goes to meet San (actor Lee Seo-jin). Song-yeon tells
San that she cannot find Dae-soo anywhere in a worried tone.
Meanwhile, Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) is kidnapped and he asks his captors
who are led by a government official where they have taken him. But the government
official orders Dae-soo to be quiet in an icy voice. Someone appears out of the
corner of his eye...
When a deputy official turns up dead, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin)
becomes gravely worried about the upcoming day when King Young-jo (actor Lee
Sun-jae) will keep his promise. San (actor Lee Seo-jin) observes Hong Guk-young
grappled with the issue and advises him that they need to cut off their enemies’
oxygen supply. After hearing San’s words, Hong Guk-young orders the palace
guards to surround the homes of Jung Hoo-gyeom, Choi Seok-joo and other officials
aligned with the Noron faction...
Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) lays a trap by forging a message to trick Jung
Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon-woo) into believing that it came from a low-level official
of a provincial governor. Jung Hoo-gyeom relays the contents of the message to Oh
Jung-ho and the Park Cho gang who are hiding in a hut in Mt. Cheonjang. But the
prince’s bodyguards ambush them and flush them out.
Meanwhile, Jung Hoo-gyeom meets with Hong Guk-young to save his own skin and
tells him that he’s just a tool in the bigger scheme of things...
Kim Gwi-joo (actor Jung Myung-hwan) is imprisoned in the Eugeumboo and
Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) goes to see him to hear his story. After
hearing the truth, she is overcome with rage towards Princess Hwa-wan (actress
Sung Hyun-ah).When Empress Jung-soon sees Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon-
woo) escorted into the Eugeumboo, she slaps his face. Jung Hoo-gyeom
apologizes for what he did but defends his actions by saying that his side had no
other choice but to do such things and this enrages her even more. Stricken with
fear and terror, Empress Jung-soon goes to Daejeon to see the king and when she
announces her arrival at the door of the king’s chambers, the king does not
Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) considers Empress Jung-soon to be
neutralized and tells Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon-woo) that she wants to
proceed with her grand plans. When Jung Hoo-gyeom asks Princess Hwa-wan
what her plans are, she tells him that he could ascend the throne with her influence.
Meanwhile, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) falls into despair and has a drink with his
childhood friends Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) and Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-
min). He returns to the palace in a drunken state. When Princess Hye-bin (actress
Gyeon Mi-ri) learns that her son is drunk, she calls Song-yeon...
Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri) orders Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) to
join the envoy that will make a diplomatic visit to China and become an art student at
Yebu Temple, which is also in China. When Song-yeon is told that it will take five or
10 years to complete the program, she gets teary-eyed. But Princess Hye-bin
explains to her that her son is in a precarious situation in the palace and one little
mistake could derail his chances of becoming the next king. So she pleads with
Song-yeon to leave if she doesn’t want to become a burden to the prince.
Meanwhile, San is glad to see Song-yeon again at the palace and tries to talk to
her but Song-yeon ignores him while fighting back her tears.
San (actor Lee Seo-jin) finds out that Minister Hong Bong-ha (actor Shin Chung-
shik) recommended that Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) be sent to Yebu Temple in
China and he inquires about this to his mother, Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon
Mi-ri), who tells him that when she learned that he had a close relationship with
Song-yeon, she decided to help Song-yeon achieve her dreams of becoming a
better painter. When San hears from his mother that Song-yeon jumped at the
opportunity to go to China, he becomes disappointed in Song-yeon.
Meanwhile, a Chinese official refuses to let Song-yeon come to China on the
grounds that Yebu Temple does not accept female students. However Hong Bong-
ha sternly tells the official that Song-yeon cannot return to Joseon either way.
At Onyang Palace, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) has a private talk with Minister Choi
Seok-joo (actor Jo Gyeong-hwan). Choi Seok-joo tells San that if he stopes
investigating the Na Rye-hee incident then the partisan fights could be ended. He
also requests that all investigations against the Noron Faction be halted as part of
the deal. San asks the minister what he can offer for him in return if he satisfies his
Meanwhile, Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) secretly brings a doctor with
her after becoming suspicious of the cause of King Young-jo’s (actor Lee Sun-jae)
illness. After examining the king, the doctor’s initial diagnosis points to Alzheimer's
disease but he needs to submit the king to a test using arrowroot to be certain.
Empress Jung-soon gives orders to have a trustworthy court lady from the royal
kitchen brought to her...
After learning that Minister Choi Seok-joo (actor Jo Gyeong-hwan) joined San’s
side, Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) tells Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo
Yeon-woo) to send Park Cho to assassinate him. But when Park Cho and his
assassins try to eliminate Choi Seok-joo, they are met by Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-
soo) and the prince’s bodyguards who defeat them.
Meanwhile, San (actor Lee Seo-jin) learns that Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min)
didn’t volunteer to go to China in the first place and that she is actually being
banished from the palace. This deeply shocks San and puts him at his wits’ end.
San (actor Lee Seo-jin) decides not to attend an important meeting with the king in
order to be with Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min), who barely survived a threat to
her life. Dae-soo (actor Lee Jong-soo) sees how much San cares for her and
gloomily returns to the palace after telling Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon)
that Song-yeon will certainly live because the prince is caring for her so attentively.
Meanwhile, King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) pardons Kim Gwi-joo (actor Jung
Myung-hwan) and when Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) hears this,
she becomes worried about herself since it is obvious that Empress Jung-soon
(actress Kim Yeo-jin) used her influence over the king to have Kim Gwi-joo released.
Princess Hwa-wan (actress Sung Hyun-ah) holds a Noron Faction meeting and when she enters Park Cho’s room, she sees Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) sitting at the head of the meeting room. Princess Hwa-wan freezes in her place. Empress Jung-soon gives Park Cho a signal and they escort Princess Hwa-wan out of the room. Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) hears that King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) is memorizing a map and suspects that King Young-jo is suffering Alzheimer’s disease...
San (actor Lee Seo-jin) grieves over the sudden change in King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) and suddenly remembers the painting that his father Prince Sado asked him to show to the king. Nam Sa-cho (actor Maeng Sang-hoon) and Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) examine the painting to see if it has any hidden meaning. Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young (actor Han Sang-jin) checks the herbal medicine that King Young-jo is taking to see if it is a prescription for Alzheimer’s disease. Dal-ho (actor Lee Hee-do) takes on the dangerous mission to disguise himself as a palace servant and inspect the prescription...
King Young-jo (actor Lee Sun-jae) gets ready to hand over the crown to San (actor Lee Seo-jin). King Young-jo summons Minister Choi Seok-ju (actor Cho Gyeong-hwan) and tells him to identify the number of Noron faction members who hold high military posts. He then orders that all military soldiers be sent away from the palace except for the palace guards to ensure that no one attempts to stage a coup. Meanwhile, Empress Jung-soon (actress Kim Yeo-jin) realizes what King Young-jo is trying to do and tells her faction that either the king or Prince San has to die in order to ensure their party’s survival.
San (actor Lee Seo-jin) unravels the mystery of the painting and calls his palace guards to find a critical piece of evidence. After figuring that Prince Sado hid something behind the turtle rock, which appears in the painting, Prince San and his troops comb Mt. Inwang all night to find evidence that will solve an important incident. Meanwhile, Jung Hoo-gyeom (actor Jo Yeon-woo) gets nervous about the actions of Prince San and plants a spy among his palace guards...
Empress Jung-soon calls a meeting to show the solidarity of the Noron faction and she announces to everyone that she will not let Prince San be crowned the next king by using military force. Under Empress Jung-soon’s plan, the palace guards surround the East Palace and battle the bodyguards. The royal bodyguards defend the palace from the palace guards but they are outnumbered.
Prince San persuades the captain of the palace guards to change sides and they attack the guards who are fighting at the East Palace and make them surrender. When Empress Jung hears the news, she turns pale and tries to escape...
King Young-jo orders that Princes Hwa-wan, the devious ministers and every Noron faction member who tried to get rid of Prince San be given harsh sentences for trying to overthrow the government. Prince San asks King Young-jo to allow him to mete out the punishment.
Meanwhile, Minister Choi Seok-ju tells Prince San that unless he punishes Kim Gwi-joo, Gyeomsabokjang, and Woorimwijang over this incident, then his majesty’s ailment will be known forever in history...
Song-yeon is summoned to Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri)’s chambers where the Princess thanks her for the important role she played. Queen Hyo-eui (actress Park Eun-hye) tells everyone that Prince San is at the arrow shooting range and that she will go there to see him.
Meanwhile, Empress Jung tells Prince San to announce her evil crimes to everyone but the prince says he will not do so. This surprises the empress. Prince San tells her to see how powerless she has become and there will be punishment waiting for her. Empress Jung swirls with anger, fear, and shock...
King Young-jo gives a jade ring to Song-yeon to show his appreciation when she paints a portrait of Prince Sado. King Young-jo tells her to stay pure while being at Prince San’s side.
While holding the portrait in his hands, King Young-jo’s hand trembles and they fall to the ground.
Meanwhile, Prince San receives a letter from King Young-jo, telling him not to cry over his death and asking forgiveness for being so cruel. Prince San is overcome with grief and sorrow...
Hong Guk-young learns that the Noron faction are planning something devious and so he orders Kang Seok-ki, Seo Jang-bo and Dae-soo to follow Jung Hoo-gyeom’s personal assistant. They succeed in intercepting a message that was addressed to Jung Hoo-gyeom.
San is visibly disturbed when he reads the message that explains a plan to hire an assassin to assassinate him. Hong Guk-young calls for arresting Jung Hoo-gyeom but San tells him to leave him alone and continue to follow the plan...
When the rebellion ends in a failure, Jung Hoo-gyeom and Princess Hwa-wan try to flee to the Ming Kingdom. But they are captured in Yanghwajin where Hong Guk-young’s palace guards were waiting for them to try to cross the border. Hong Guk-young takes Empress Jung-soo to the courtyard of the Naebyeongjo office and tells her that he will interrogate her for masterminding the revolt and being the leader of the rebels.
Meanwhile, when Hong Guk-yong asks San to leave the interrogation of the rebels to him, San surprised everyone by announcing that he will personally interrogate the criminals.
Princess Hye-bin is shocked to hear from Princess Hwa-wan that Minister Hong Bong-han is trying to lobby for her release. Princess Hye-bin goes to meet Hong Bong-han and asks him why he would do such a thing and he tells her that he is trying to save his brother’s life.
Meanwhile, news that Empress Jung-soon committed suicide spreads and Confucian scholars from across the country raise objections on the way San harshly dealt with the rebels...
Queen Hyo-eui (actress Park Eun-hye) carefully broaches the subject of whether Song-yeon (actress Han Ji-min) would like to return to the royal palace. Meanwhile, Princess Hye-bin (actress Gyeon Mi-ri) and Hong Bong-ha (actor Shin Chung-shik) are very pleased when they are introduced to Hong Guk-young’s (actor Han Sang-jin) sister.
Song-yeon dwells on Queen Hyo-eui’s suggestion that she return to the palace.
Song-yeon is unable to hide her astonishment when Dae-soo reveals his feelings to her...
When a plague starts spreading across the kingdom, San calls a meeting of his ministers and Jang Tae-woo tells him to not return to the palace until he turns everything back to the way things were. Jang Tae-woo then boasts that San will step down from his throne.
Meanwhile, Hong Guk-young meets with Princess Hye-bin and tells her he accepts her proposal to bring his sister to the palace as a palace courtesan. But when Queen Hyo-eui meets with San, she mentions that she will bring Song-yeon back to the palace...