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[Drama 2017] Saimdang, Light's Diary 사임당, 빛의 일기

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@liddi It's listed as 28 episodes. So far I've not found any issues with editing. The outdoor scenes are beautifully shot and framed. The subs, I fear, are not the best.

 

So far it has many recognizable sageuk elements but I'm fascinated by the sumptuous artwork, discussions of the artistic process and the making of colours. 

The scene where the poor in the temple were slaughtered made me incredibly angry.

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@40somethingahjumma Sounds like Netflix is airing the SBS reedited version, which then to me, particularly towards the latter part, becomes more lopsided in its narrative, favouring the past over the present. If you are able to, do try to check out the international version. Netflix's subs aren't great? :( Urgh... do they also offer Chinese subs? If so, it might be a preferable alternative, as it is always the case with sageuks.

 

The artwork is gorgeous, and the discourse on art fascinating. Yi Gyeom and his works are based on Joseon painter Yi Am 李巖 - the Mother Dog painting, Falcon on the Perch, to name a few. An Gyeon's (fictitious) Mt. Geumgang painting is actually the amazing work of painter Jang Byeong Eon, while Saimdang (and later her daughter Mae Chang)'s paintings as well as the Portrait of the Beauty that was found in Tuscany are the works of folk painter Oh Sun Gyeong. You can read that and more from @gerrytan8063's posts here, which are an invaluable wealth of information regarding the historical, artistic and cultural significance in the drama.

 

The massacre at Woonpyeongsa would be the turning point in Saimdang and Yi Gyeom's lives. And yes, it is a senseless, brutal slaughter that would set in motion even more tragedy down the road...

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On 5.3.2018 at 1:20 PM, liddi said:

Having no access to Netflix, I am curious if the version aired would be the international (30 eps) or SBS' (28 eps).

Netflix is using the SBS version; see https://www.netflix.com/ph/title/80118179

 

With all the criticisms against the SBS version, I don't understand why Netflix didn't purchase the license for the international version.

 

BTW, the Iran (Farsi-dubbed) broadcast of SLD is now at Episode 12; see https://www.skyfarsi.com/tvseries/episodes/saimdang-khaterate-noor-12/

 

On 5.3.2018 at 2:10 PM, 40somethingahjumma said:

So far it has many recognizable sageuk elements but I'm fascinated by the sumptuous artwork, discussions of the artistic process and the making of colours. 

 

1. For the spoiler-free synopsis by episode of SLD (SBS version) with discussions of the art works and other historical backgrounders with downloadable infographics, surf to https://campusconnection.blogspot.com/2017/01/saimdang-lights-diary-synopsis-by-episode.html

 

2. For the synopsis of the international version, surf to https://betterenglish-rx.blogspot.com/2017/05/saimdang-lights-diary-synopsis-plain-english.html

 

3. Here are several of the downloadable infographics:

 

Saimdang+wedding+ornaments+PNG+1289+by+9


 

Spoiler

 

Two versions of a historical painting by Shim Saimdang: which one is authentic?

 

Twitter+and+FB+Saimdang+with+watermelon+

 

Historical paintings by famous Joseon artist Dan Won depicted in “Saimdang”


Twitter+and+FB+01+Dan+Won+paintings+depi

 

Saimdang leaving her childhood home (Ep. 6, SBS version)

 

Saimdang+leaving+for+Hanyang+1280+by+589

 

 

Edited by Jillia
Please put more than 3 pics/IGs in spoiler tags, thanks!
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On 05/03/2018 at 10:39 AM, liddi said:

@40somethingahjumma Sounds like Netflix is airing the SBS reedited version, which then to me, particularly towards the latter part, becomes more lopsided in its narrative, favouring the past over the present. If you are able to, do try to check out the international version. Netflix's subs aren't great? :( Urgh... do they also offer Chinese subs? If so, it might be a preferable alternative, as it is always the case with sageuks.

 

The artwork is gorgeous, and the discourse on art fascinating. Yi Gyeom and his works are based on Joseon painter Yi Am 李巖 - the Mother Dog painting, Falcon on the Perch, to name a few. An Gyeon's (fictitious) Mt. Geumgang painting is actually the amazing work of painter Jang Byeong Eon, while Saimdang (and later her daughter Mae Chang)'s paintings as well as the Portrait of the Beauty that was found in Tuscany are the works of folk painter Oh Sun Gyeong. You can read that and more from @gerrytan8063's posts here, which are an invaluable wealth of information regarding the historical, artistic and cultural significance in the drama.

 

The massacre at Woonpyeongsa would be the turning point in Saimdang and Yi Gyeom's lives. And yes, it is a senseless, brutal slaughter that would set in motion even more tragedy down the road...

 

Thank you @liddi for posting this in English here! 

I have watched the drama from Brazil at Netflix, I think I will have to re-watch some eps just to be sure if they have some cut off scene,like when Saimdang's husband see Saimdang and Gyeom eating togheter. I really don't remember this and a fill scenes more,but another scene like the painted skirt been burned is in that version. 

Edited by Ana Paula Lima
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On 19.9.2017 at 4:35 PM, liddi said:

Chapter 27 has to be the longest chapter yet, bringing us through MCH's deal with the Japanese, to Saimdang's kidnapping, MCH's death, Gyeom's confrontation with Jungjong and at last, the lovers' reunion at Mt. Geumgang, and the fateful burning of the paintings. The events are familiar, yet dissimilar. Saimdang left no painting for Gyeom on Mt. Geumgang, nor was there any mention of the second Biikjo seal that he carved secretly for her, or any paintings they might have done together on Mt. Geumgang. Here too, we see Gyeom specifically say that he would be like the moon that stayed beside the sun... thus confirming the theory that Gyeom was the moon to Saimdang's sun after all, one who was condemned to be alone. Just as heartbreaking is how desperately Gyeom fought to save the paintings in front of Saimdang, and having to hear her decision from her own lips, without a glimmer of hope that she wished they might be together in the next life, once again reaffirming to me that  Gyeom in the novel suffered even more than in the drama.

 

 

Novel Vol 2: Part 5 Fallen
Chapter 27

 

1. Hwieumdang stared at her haggard reflection in the mirror, bruises at the corners of her eyes and traces of blood on her lips. Since his return from exile, there was not a moment when MCH was like a normal person. If he was not drunk with wine, he would be drowning in drugs. The moment he started drinking, he would either beat her up or destroy everything in sight, leaving her to clean up the mess after him. The costs of wine, drugs, furniture, and bribes to government officials all fell on Hwieumdang's shoulders.
Short of her own body, she had sold everything of value to the Japanese who had infiltrated into Hanyang, including items she secretly stole during her visits to the palace. When she was first appointed as Princess Jeongsun's personal tutor, she thought that everything would be restored to the way it was. However, she was gravely mistaken. There was not even the slightest glimmer of hope to be seen in the man who expected everything to fall on his lap without lifting a finger. Her only hope now rested on her children, and all that they had lost could be recovered if Ji Kyun and Ji Seong topped the state examinations.

 

2. With her reflection in the mirror, Hwieumdang began to apply her make-up. It was almost time for her sons to go to school and she would not permit her desolate appearance to be revealed to them. She applied white loess powder at the corners of her eyes to hide the bruises, and rouge made from safflower flowers to her lips to give it a dazzling red colour, hiding her wounds. Her make-up done, she lifted her hand to her hair to put on the pearl hairpin. Just then she caught sight of a scar on her fingertip, almost imperceptible with the passing of time. Yet, the twenty year old scar on the back of her hand had been the driving force that pushed her to single-mindedly seek revenge on Saimdang and Gyeom.
It mattered not whether it was a person or talent. If it was something she could not possess, she would rather see it utterly destroyed. However, the moment she laid eyes on the royal portrait that Gyeom and Saimdang produced, a crack began to form in her heart once more. That was talent that she could never hope to attain, no matter how hard she tried, and in that instant, she was drained of all energy. Propelled by the fervent cries of the crowd, she had staggered blindly in the direction of her home. However, this time, there was no feeling of fury in her, instead tears streamed down, tears which she herself could not explain, pouring unceasingly from the recesses of her shattered heart.

 

3. After arranging her hair, she put down the mirror and removed a document from her sleeve, the "Warship Blueprint" that she had stolen from the Bureau of Paintings, containing the improved warship blueprints. The Japanese had promised untold riches as long as she could procure this document, and when she opposed MCH's decision, she was reprimanded by him for several days and nights. This was no longer mere theft, but turning traitor and plotting against the country, and she protested vehemently until he held a sword to her neck. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Hwieumdang could only sneak into the Bureau of Paintings and appropriate the document. However, she still could not bring herself to hand the document over to her husband, realising that one false move would cost her and her sons' lives.

 

4. Furious at the realisation that Ji Kyun had skipped school and gone to Yangryu Paper Mill, Hwieumdang hurried over. Festivities were underway to celebrate Saimdang's achievement, and Hwieumdang looked around, fervently hoping that the servants were mistaken. At the sight of her son laughing happily with Saimdang's children, Hwieumdang's blood shot to her head and she stormed towards the boy, who stiffened when he saw his mother approaching. Grabbing ahold of his wrist, she dragged him out without a word while Ji Kyun, stunned, did not even realise that he had dropped a shoe, merely complying dumbly. Saimdang who was busy distributing steamed rice cakes, stopped when she saw them.
"Are you insane? What are you doing here instead of going to school?" Hwieumdang berated Ji Kyun the moment they stepped out of Yangryu Paper Mill.
"I came to offer my congratulations!"
"Whatever for?"
"What's wrong with congratulating a friend on a happy occasion?" Ji Kyun shook off his mother's hand and retorted in anger. 

In the three years that he was tossed from one relative to another after his family fell out of favour, Ji Kyun had had to endure all kinds of taunts in the Central District School. Those who once stood by his side and claimed to be his friends, now turned around and sneered at him all day long. He no longer cared about his education, until one day, just when he began entertaining thoughts of suicide, it was Hyun Ryong who held on to his hand.
"Friend?" Hwieumdang could barely speak out of anger. Three years ago, Ji Kyun and Hyun Ryong were arch-enemies at the Central District School, and it was because of this that she had Hyun Ryong removed from the school. To think that they now called each other friends! What exactly had happened to her son that things turned out this way!
"Do you know what I want, Mother?"
"What on earth are you talking about?"
"Do tell me."
"Passing the state exam, of course."
"You know nothing at all, absolutely nothing!" Ji Kyun stomped his foot in anger.
"For whom have I endured so much up to now!"
"I never begged you for anything! We never sat down to have a peaceful meal together... are we truly a family? My wish is to have a happy, peaceful meal with my family, that is all!"
"You brat!" Hwieumdang raised her hand up in fury.
"Excuse me! You dropped this!" Just then, Saimdang approached with Ji Kyun's shoe in her hand.
Shocked and embarrassed, Hwieumdang's hand froze in midair and she glared. Seemingly oblivious, Saimdang walked over to Ji Kyun then kneeling down, brushed off the dirt from the shoe and wore it on the boy's foot. At her actions, Hwieumdang's hand fell weakly to her side. Gasping out of breath, Hyun Ryong who had rushed out, carefully watched Hwieumdang's expression before pulling Ji Kyun's hand and running off. Hwieumdang was disgusted to see her son run off without a backward glance, leaving her with no way to face Saimdang.
"It is such a comfort to see Ji Kyun and Hyun Ryong getting along so well," Saimdang quietly spoke as she brushed the dirt from her hands.
"What are you trying to say?" Hwieumdang's anger remained unabated.
"Come to think of it, the children are better than us adults. I too have many faults, unable to set aside my grudge towards you, never even trying to understand what had caused you so much hurt. If I had hurt you in the past, please forgive me. I too will try to do the same."
"Is this your compassion towards someone weaker?" Hwieumdang snorted in contempt.
"I am very sorry if you feel that way, please forgive me! Flowing water would often encounter potholes in its path, which it has to fill to the brim before continuing its flow, isn't that right? No matter how wide the gap between us, we should try to bridge it. Let us think of our children only. You and I are both mothers after all, aren't we?"
Hwieumdang knew that Saimdang's words were sincere, for thus was her nature, one who would still risk her life to save others despite facing grave danger herself. And it was exactly her character that incurred her utmost hatred. Not waiting for her to finish speaking, Hwieumdang spun around and walked off, eyes filled with tears. She wanted desperately to scream and let out her anger, but as the gaping hole tore at her heart, her tears would not stop falling. Terrified of being seen crying in such a manner, she dared not even reach out to wipe her tears.
At last, having sufficiently calmed down, she returned home, only to be met by the sight of MCH's drunk state and the destruction he had wrought in the home. Ji Kyun's words "I wish to have a happy, peaceful meal with my family" immediately resurfaced in her mind.

 

5. Each time dusk fell, MCH's emotions began to boil, unable to control his fury. It was these moods that drove him to drink and drugs, without which the unbearable pain he suffered was equivalent to throwing himself against the wall to kill himself.
As autumn drew to an end, the fields had transformed into a vast expanse of land, the falling leaves leaving behind bare branches on the trees. Soon winter would be upon them and the seasons would continue to change. However, MCH's experiences over the past three years had etched the cold of winter deep within his heart, which remained even now.
The subtle fragrance of alcohol and cloying scent of rouge from the gisaengs filled the streets. Like a vagabond, MCH staggered along, until he suddenly came face to face with shadowy figures, the gats shielding the faces of Jungjong and the Royal Security Attaché. MCH followed them into a secluded lane.
"Another person's hand is needed in order to lure a snake from its den. This time round, I want to use yours," Jungjong spoke up.

 

6. "Ah! Ah! Ah!"
A woman's piteous cries broke out from the back alley of Soojinbang, followed by the sounds of running feet and someone being dragged off, yet no one could be seen leaving the alley. It was thus that Saimdang was kidnapped by MCH and the Japanese.

 

7. Hwieumdang, her face covered by a veil embroidered with black peonies, watched from afar at the brightly lit courtyard of Biikdang. The rustle of dried leaves falling in the wind was akin to the faint sounds of weeping by someone sitting desolately among the trees. What loss could have brought about such grief; what missed opportunity could have caused such sorrow? Hwieumdang reached out to grasp the branch beside her tightly then released her hold, causing it to shudder momentarily before returning to its original position. She slowly controlled her emotions as the tears that welled in her eyes fell. Then, drawing the bow, she shot an arrow into the air.
Carried by the wind, the arrow lodged itself in the pole of the pavilion in the courtyard. Gyeom who was taking a walk by the lily pond under the moonlight was shocked to discover the arrow and the message tied to it. "MCH has kidnapped Saimdang as a trap to lure Prince Euisung there. If you fell for it, both of you would die. The Japanese pirates are also involved and the stolen Warship Blueprints will soon fall into the hands of the Japanese." As Gyeom read, his hands began to tremble violently. Summoning Hoo, he ordered him to deliver the message to the Crown Prince, after which he drew his sword from the study and flew off on horseback.

 

8. "The one who sent you to kill me, was His Majesty?" Whatever answer MCH might have given was lost when an arrow shot threw the air and pierced his heart, cutting his life short. MCH's eyes rolled backwards, and blood spurted from his throat, his body shuddering violently before falling backwards. Seeing the man who had lived his life with greed meet such an end, Gyeom could not help breaking into a cold sweat. 
From the hands of the Japanese, Gyeom retrieved the warship blueprints and instructed the soldiers to search for Saimdang. As night fell, thunder rumbled and rain began to pour in torrents, against which the burning torches began to wan. Where could Saimdang be? Was she still alive? Stretching out the fingers that he could not even see in the pitch black darkness, Gyeom continued to call out her name.
Stepping over muddy terrain, the deafening thunder reverberating in the ears, Gyeom traversed the mountains multiple times looking for Saimdang. At last in the depth of the mountains, he discovered an encampment. His sword outstretched, he approached the camp only to be met with bodies of Japanese pirates who were shot down by arrows. Could the solders have already covered this area?
With unhuman strength, he pushed open its doors. Apart from a Japanese slumped against the wall covered with blood, there was no sign of Saimdang. Rope once tied around the pillar was strewn on the floor, evidence that Saimdang had been held captive here before. An arrow protruded from the neck of the man.
"Where is Saimdang?" Gyeom threw the question to the man.
"Saimdang! The woman who was here, where has she gone?"
"Hwieumdang... saved her... help me." The Japanese coughed out blood as he replied.
Gyeom raised his eyebrows in disbelief. Suddenly he recalled the message on the arrow in Biikdang and recognised its head to be identical to the one on the Japanese. Could that woman really have saved Saimdang?
As the man continued to beg Gyeom to save him, the latter reached out and pulled out the arrow without hesitation. His body jerked in pain for a moment, then his eyes slowly closed. After covering his body with a straw mat, Gyeom turned and walked out. The storm that raged earlier, had finally stopped.

 

9. With a blood-stained sword in hand and a face as white as a sheet, Gyeom walked down the dark, eerie corridors of 康寧殿 Gangnyeung Palace step by step. The Royal Security Attaché stood at the end of the corridor, blocking his advance.
"Put down the sword." The Royal Security Attaché raised his sword to Gyeom who appeared not to have heard a single word.
"Put down the sword." Rather than complying, Gyeom tightened his grip on the sword instead.
"Let Prince Euisung enter." Jungjong's voice came from within the quarters.
Pushing the doors open, Gyeom entered. Just then the Royal Security Attaché struck Gyeom's sword aside. In that instant, the eyes of the two men met. The Royal Security Attaché withdrew his gaze first, and with a meaningful look, stepped aside.
In the gloomy quarters illuminated by a single candlelight, Jungjong sat on the bed.
"Have you come to claim my life? Or have you come to lose yours?" At the sight of Gyeom who looked like a ghost, Jungjong's eyes were cold.
"Having come all the way here, I had no thought of leaving alive!" Gyeom walked up to the king without any hesitation and sat down.
"Saimdang and I... why do this to us?" Outrage and depression laced his voice.
"Do you really not know?"
"Your Majesty... didn't you once say that I was your closest brother and most precious friend?"
"Yes... we had those times once!"
"Didn't you say that you could not find someone with whom you could let down your guard and discuss state matters with? Didn't you once say that you missed me so much! Didn't you say that I was the only one whom you could confide in? Why did you do it?"
"You went against me with your actions."
"I never had any designs on the throne, nor have I instigated a revolt or planned a rebellion. Isn't that so?"
"I once warned you not to interfere in political affairs. By ignoring my warnings, it was your own careless misconduct that has brought you to this!"
"How could you continue to cover your ears and eyes? Could you not hear the young scholars' counsel and the people's earth-shattering cries!"
"Being surrounded by cunning ministers, I have endured humiliation and fear in order to protect my throne. I have done this for 40 years! Do you know why? This is because of deposed king Yeonsan. Even a king could be dethroned and killed by his own subjects. I saw this with my own two eyes."
"Would you continue to live under the shadow of the deposed king even now?"
"You! What effrontery! How dare you insult me!" At his words, Jungjong flew into a rage and trembled uncontrollably. Reaching under his mattress, he drew out a sword and slashed it towards Gyeom's face. With his bare hands, the younger man caught the blade of the sword and blood began to drip from them.
"You brought this all upon yourself. I was merely trying to protect the foundations of this country, and my dignity as the king."
"That is utter nonsense! Is your dignity so important that it warranted sacrificing the lives of innocent people for it?" With a flourish, Gyeom forcibly snatched the sword away from Jungjong and held it against the king's neck. This was it. There could be no other outcome. Gyeom's face was pale and filled with dismay, tears flowing from his bloodshot eyes while Jungjong glared at him with eyes filled with rage.
"Uncle, please don't!" The doors of the palace suddenly burst open and the Crown Prince rushed in, tears streaming down his face. He continued to beg for his father's life as he stood before Gyeom's sword, and the hand holding the weapon began to shake.
"Uncle! He is my father. Please spare my father's life! I beg you, please stop..." His grief-stricken eyes held Gyeom's gaze and he choked on his tears. The future of Joseon was weeping. The sword fell from Gyeom's hand to the ground, and turning, he dragged his feet into the unending darkness of the outer corridors, like he would never look back.
"I will take back everything I have ever given to you. I will snatch away everything that you want to protect! You just wait and see. Next time, I will let you die a slow, painful death!"
Gyeom's retreating figure cast a long shadow, gradually disappearing like a dream, while Jungjong's spiteful words carried, following unceasingly at its heels.

 

10. Three or four days had passed since the events on Choan mountain. As autumn drew to a close, the weather gradually turned cold, and the wilderness took on a barren appearance, while frost settled on the farmlands. Saimdang stared absently at the grey skies and the clouds that gathered as she walked, looking back every now and again at Hwieumdang's sons Ji Kyun and Ji Seong who tailed behind her with grief-stricken eyes.
"My overwhelming hatred for you even exceeds the pain of death. However, I know that now, you are the only one in this world that I can trust. Please take care of my sons, my poor children." These were Hwieumdang's parting words to her.
"Because of their father, I will not be able to escape death. There is no way I can avoid the punishment for crimes of being in league with the Japanese, plotting against the country. In that case... please bring up my children, and help them obtain a government post!" Hwieumdang wept as she loosened Saimdang's bonds, entreating her to leave quickly without a backward glance, and save her pitiful children. Her heart choked with sorrow, Saimdang went to Ji Kyun and Ji Seong who had become orphans in the space of a night, their faces streaked with tears.
"From here on you are my children. Seon, Mae Chang, Hyun Ryong and Wu will definitely accept both of you." Saimdang reached out and wiped their tears. Perhaps it was the warmth they felt from her touch, for the boys started to tear up once more, upon which Saimdang opened up her arms and held them both in a tight embrace for some time to comfort them. In the far distance of the hills, Saimdang caught a glimpse of Hwieumdang.
"Hwieumdang, if we could meet again in the next life, I hope we could become kindred spirits and closest of friends." Saimdang thought wordlessly as she gazed towards Hwieumdang's direction.
Could the wind have carried Saimdang's thoughts with it, for Hwieumdang seemed to understand and nodded her head. Saimdang then instructed Ji Kyun and Ji Seong to kneel down and bow towards their mother in the distance before leaving reluctantly. If they managed to survive, there was a chance they would meet again one day with the slow passing of time. In that instant of grief and hopelessness, all hatred dissipated, to be replaced by the hope of surviving in anticipation of that reunion.
Seon, Mae Chang, Hyun Ryong and Wu all accepted the two brothers with open arms without asking for any further explanation, saying only that that they should get along like a real family and lead their lives together from here on. Saimdang broke into a satisfied smile to see her children's behaviour and got up, intending to steam some sweet potatoes for the children as a snack. Just then, Hyang burst into the courtyard, out of breath, saying, "My lady, there is trouble."

 

11. In the novel, Saimdang gave the drifters the deeds to lands in their hometowns and sent them on their way after Yangryu Paper Mill was shut down. In the drama, the drifters had already left with their land deeds before Gyeom confronted Jungjong and Yangryu Paper Mill was closed.

 

12. Alone in the mill at last, Saimdang took in the state of destruction that was left, and the tears she had held in for so long finally fell. Collecting herself with difficulty, she turned around and left.
Without realising it, night had fallen and Saimdang's sleeves fluttered in the night wind. A bunch of drunk ruffians staggered towards her. Involuntarily reminded of her plight at the hands of MCH and the Japanese pirates, Saimdang was gripped with fear and quickly leaned face inward against the wall. 
"What was the reward for catching Prince Euisung?"
"But what crime has Prince Euisung committed?"
"They say it is treason, and he even tried to assassinate the king!"
At their words, Saimdang froze. Prince Euisung guilty of treason! Her mind drew a blank at the shocking news, unable to think. She must see him. Braving the cold wind, she hurried towards Biikdang, only to find that it had been sealed off and she could not open the doors. She peered through the cracks of the doors but saw nothing except dried leaves fluttering in the wind.
"Is anyone there? Is there really no one here?" Saimdang collapsed down the steps of Biikdang and began to sob, covering her mouth with her sleeves and weeping bitterly without a sound.
Things had come to such a state all because of me. If I had not started drawing; if I never became the painter of the royal portrait, all these would not have happened. Why was I so competitive? Why must I harbour such ambitions? Why did I beg the king to make this a country where dreams come true? Why did these arrogant, reckless lips utter such words. See what outcome this has wrought. Yangryu Paper Mill has been destroyed, while Gyeom is on the run for his life. Saimdang wept quietly, gasping for breath as she did so, beating her chest repeatedly. She could give up everything - the seeds of her delusional dreams could all be cast to the wind, consumed without a trace by the fire. If she could do this, dear God! Please save my man.

 

13. Saimdang had no idea how many days and nights she walked, relentlessly continuing on despite stumbling, falling, tripping over sharp tree branches. With muddied feet and a tear-streaked face, unaware of night or day, she walked in the direction of the summit of Mt Geumgang, each step taking her closer to 毘盧峰 Birobong Peak. Vast, majestic, filled with a mysterious aura, Mt. Geumgang and its twelve thousand peaks unfolded beneath her feet; the sight of the steep, savage mountains and wide, sweeping realm before her moved Saimdang to tears.
"I wish to visit Mt. Geumgang. It is really unfair that I cannot go there just because I am a girl." In her mind, the obstinate words she uttered in her youth when she first saw An Gyeon's Mt. Geumgang painting resurfaced. How true that for every beginning, there was an end. So this was the end of the road for everything! Saimdang wiped her years and gazed at Mt Geumgang with a resolute expression. The mountain breeze at Birabong Peak wrapped around her body, and it seemed she heard Gyeom's voice in the wind that caressed her cheeks and fluttered her sleeves, saying "It is okay. Everything will be fine." Was it her imagination? Saimdang slowly turned around, to Gyeom standing behind her like a dream.
"Prince Euisung..."
The tears that she had managed to dry with great effort welled in her eyes and began to fall once more. Eyes filled with compassion, Gyeom gazed at her and slowly walked towards her. Was this a dream or reality? As Saimdang reached out a trembling hand towards him, he broke into a sad smile and caught her hand, placing it upon his face, his hot tears flowing down her cold cold hand.
"Are you okay?"
"I am fine."
"Are you really okay?"
"It does not matter anymore."
They stood facing each other amid the quiet mountain breeze and the scarlet sunset that gradually descended. Then, taking the darkened mountain trail, they went up the mountain and came upon a small temple concealed within a lush forest. A monk approached from the temple and put his hands together in greeting, and led them to a room at the furthest end of the temple. He opened the door for them, revealing a darkened room with two pillows and two blankets neatly arranged, obviously mistaking them for husband and wife. Saimdang began to blush furiously while Gyeom let out an awkward cough. Things being what they were, they were too ill-at-ease to disabuse him of his misconception, so Saimdang walked resolutely to the furthest end of the room and unloaded her bundle. After a momentary hesitation, Gyeom followed and closed the door.
"Let me light the candle." Gyeom stuttered, as he sat hesitantly beside the door.
"I will prepare us some food!" With that, Saimdang got up and walked out of the room, upon which Gyeom finally breathed a sigh of relief. Never in all his years of wandering had he ever lost his presence of mind or been as nervous as he was right now, he who was unmoved even when a sword was held to his neck. As he lit the candle, he drew several deep breaths in an effort to try and calm himself.
After being accused of high treason and placed on the wanted list, Gyeom had managed to hide out in this place temporarily with Baek In Geol's help. However, in spite of a bitter hatred for Jungjong's betrayal, his anxiety for Saimdang made it impossible for him to flee. Upon receiving word that Yangryu Paper Mill was shut down, he had hurried to Saimdang's home, driven by a sense of impending doom.
Just as he was torn by indecision and dared not approach, worried that his appearance might cause awkwardness, he had suddenly noticed Hyang who was on her way back from doing the laundry. The moment she caught sight of him, she immediately threw the laundry basket aside and ran over to pour out all that had happened, sobbing as she did so. At the same time, she also told Gyeom how Saimdang had packed all her painting tools and headed for Mt. Geumgang.
Upon hearing this, Gyeom had immediately borrowed a horse from Baek In Geol and raced to Mt. Geumgang. No thoughts passed his mind save that he had to see her one last time before he died, properly look at her, and engrave her in his heart.

 

14. Saimdang pushed the door open and entered, carrying a simple meal of soft barley rice, and wild vegetables mixed with pickles. Since the soban (portable dining table) was meant for only one person, Gyeom did not pick up the spoon but lifted his head and looked at her.
"Please eat first! I will wait..." Saimdang rearranged the goreum on her clothes and stood up.
"Let us eat together! Like a normal couple." Gyeom quickly reached out and grabbed her hand.
Indecision wracked her for a while before she finally sat down by the soban. Smiling, Gyeom emptied the wild vegetables into another bowl, before taking half of his own rice and putting it in front of her. Then, appearing dissatisfied that Saimdang's rice had remnants of the gravy from the side dishes, Gyeom swapped his rice with hers. Faced with his unpretentious behaviour, still as straightforward as ever, Saimdang could not stop herself from laughing. At her laughter, Gyeom too joined in, and this time, they were able to settle themselves down.
In an instant, the perilous life of yesterday seemed to fade away into the distance. Had he braved the treacherous mountains and stormy seas, taken a journey fraught with danger just for this simple moment, to be able to sit down for meal with her under a single flickering candle light? The silence between them was precious, and they communicated wordlessly, as if any spoken word would shatter the bliss of the moment.
When dinner was over, they sat side by side below the balcony of the temple, admiring the moonlight. Time relentlessly moved on, and the brilliance of the full moon overlooked the treetops, looking almost like a sketch.
"What beautiful moonlight," Gyeom noted quietly.
"The moon suffers such loneliness, facing the dark night all by itself to light up the world." Her words were veiled with sorrow.
"Do you know that the moon is always waiting by the sun's side? I too will always stay beside you." Gyeom said teasingly. The words were meant to make her smile and ease her pain, but instead, her tears began to fall, crystal-clear tears streaming uncontrollably down her cheeks.
"Saimdang..."
"Please get some sleep! You've been busy the entire day." Hastily wiping her tears, Saimdang walked back into the room.
"You are such a disappointment..." Gyeom scratched the back of his head and let out a sigh.

 

15. The moonlight that crept through the paper of the window shone on Gyeom's face where he sat, leaned against the wall. His body felt like it was being set on fire, his breathing laboured and rapid. Yet no movement could be detected from Saimdang who had turned in much earlier, not even the slightest breath was audible. Surely she was not dead? With extreme caution, Gyeom moved to where she slept and reached out his hand to check her breathing. Right at the moment, he felt her body start violently and stiffen. Narrowly knocking into her forehead, Gyeom withdrew his hand in a rush and fled back to lean against the wall with his knees drawn to himself once more, rubbing his face vigorously as he did so. The surrounding sounds seemed deafening, like the passion that both shamed him and left him at a loss. Abruptly, he got up and went outside. As he gazed at the moonlight, his heated body began to gradually cool down at last.
The mountain wind moaned amid the seemingly shifting landscape of the mountains. At the sound of the wind, Gyeom's eyes shot open in shock, and the robe slid off him onto the ground of the balcony. From the looks of it, Saimdang had covered him up yet he never even realised it, having fallen into such a deep sleep. He alighted hurriedly and picked up the robe, his gaze unconsciously falling on the stone stairs. Saimdang's shoes were gone. His mind went blank and he immediately threw open the door to the room. The room was arranged neatly, and there was no sign of Saimdang's bundle that had been placed in the corner. She had left! She was gone, just like that! Stumbling backwards, Gyeom whirled and dashed wildly into the darkness.
"Saimdang! Saimdang! Where are you? Saimdang!"
There was no light in the sky as Gyeom ran and cried out for her in panic and anxiety along the dark mountain trail. Just then, he saw pale smoke billowing upwards from Birobong Peak, and he ran without stopping towards its direction, uncaring of the branches that slashed his face as he ran.
There she stood in front of a blazing bonfire, throwing painting upon painting into the flames and watching them turn into ashes in an instant.
"Don't!"
Gyeom tore past her towards the fire and reached into the licking flames with bare hands, trying desperately to save the paintings, just as if he was saving her from brink of death.
"What... what are you trying to do? Why are you doing this?" Gyeom roared as he gripped the partially burnt Mt. Geumgang painting in his hands. Tears flowed down Saimdang's pale face.
"I have to go back. That is the life I have chosen. I thought of taking your hand and running away with you, but if I did so, my children would always live their lives in shame. I don't believe I would be able to live as a mother who longs everyday for the children she abandoned. I choose to live as a mother, and I will never regret this decision. Therefore, please forget me! Saimdang the painter, is dead."
Saimdang took one step, two steps backwards, then with a gaze that conveyed her respect, she turned and departed. Just like that, Saimdang was gone, leaving Gyeom standing there, stunned and at a loss. With tears pouring down his face, he watched her retreating figure slowly disappear into the darkness until it was a mere dot in the distance. At last, he lifted his face to the heavens and howled in desolation.

 

 

Oh my gosh this scene at the novel is 10 times more sad for Gyeom, what big pain he felt by seem she burning their love story. The drama scene with the letter and the paint let everything softer. 

Netflix subs call him "Lord" not "Prince" ,now I can understand why the king's children call him uncle. He acctualy is his brother, @liddi

On 19.9.2017 at 4:35 PM, liddi said:

Chapter 27 has to be the longest chapter yet, bringing us through MCH's deal with the Japanese, to Saimdang's kidnapping, MCH's death, Gyeom's confrontation with Jungjong and at last, the lovers' reunion at Mt. Geumgang, and the fateful burning of the paintings. The events are familiar, yet dissimilar. Saimdang left no painting for Gyeom on Mt. Geumgang, nor was there any mention of the second Biikjo seal that he carved secretly for her, or any paintings they might have done together on Mt. Geumgang. Here too, we see Gyeom specifically say that he would be like the moon that stayed beside the sun... thus confirming the theory that Gyeom was the moon to Saimdang's sun after all, one who was condemned to be alone. Just as heartbreaking is how desperately Gyeom fought to save the paintings in front of Saimdang, and having to hear her decision from her own lips, without a glimmer of hope that she wished they might be together in the next life, once again reaffirming to me that  Gyeom in the novel suffered even more than in the drama.

 

 

Novel Vol 2: Part 5 Fallen
Chapter 27

 

1. Hwieumdang stared at her haggard reflection in the mirror, bruises at the corners of her eyes and traces of blood on her lips. Since his return from exile, there was not a moment when MCH was like a normal person. If he was not drunk with wine, he would be drowning in drugs. The moment he started drinking, he would either beat her up or destroy everything in sight, leaving her to clean up the mess after him. The costs of wine, drugs, furniture, and bribes to government officials all fell on Hwieumdang's shoulders.
Short of her own body, she had sold everything of value to the Japanese who had infiltrated into Hanyang, including items she secretly stole during her visits to the palace. When she was first appointed as Princess Jeongsun's personal tutor, she thought that everything would be restored to the way it was. However, she was gravely mistaken. There was not even the slightest glimmer of hope to be seen in the man who expected everything to fall on his lap without lifting a finger. Her only hope now rested on her children, and all that they had lost could be recovered if Ji Kyun and Ji Seong topped the state examinations.

 

2. With her reflection in the mirror, Hwieumdang began to apply her make-up. It was almost time for her sons to go to school and she would not permit her desolate appearance to be revealed to them. She applied white loess powder at the corners of her eyes to hide the bruises, and rouge made from safflower flowers to her lips to give it a dazzling red colour, hiding her wounds. Her make-up done, she lifted her hand to her hair to put on the pearl hairpin. Just then she caught sight of a scar on her fingertip, almost imperceptible with the passing of time. Yet, the twenty year old scar on the back of her hand had been the driving force that pushed her to single-mindedly seek revenge on Saimdang and Gyeom.
It mattered not whether it was a person or talent. If it was something she could not possess, she would rather see it utterly destroyed. However, the moment she laid eyes on the royal portrait that Gyeom and Saimdang produced, a crack began to form in her heart once more. That was talent that she could never hope to attain, no matter how hard she tried, and in that instant, she was drained of all energy. Propelled by the fervent cries of the crowd, she had staggered blindly in the direction of her home. However, this time, there was no feeling of fury in her, instead tears streamed down, tears which she herself could not explain, pouring unceasingly from the recesses of her shattered heart.

 

3. After arranging her hair, she put down the mirror and removed a document from her sleeve, the "Warship Blueprint" that she had stolen from the Bureau of Paintings, containing the improved warship blueprints. The Japanese had promised untold riches as long as she could procure this document, and when she opposed MCH's decision, she was reprimanded by him for several days and nights. This was no longer mere theft, but turning traitor and plotting against the country, and she protested vehemently until he held a sword to her neck. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Hwieumdang could only sneak into the Bureau of Paintings and appropriate the document. However, she still could not bring herself to hand the document over to her husband, realising that one false move would cost her and her sons' lives.

 

4. Furious at the realisation that Ji Kyun had skipped school and gone to Yangryu Paper Mill, Hwieumdang hurried over. Festivities were underway to celebrate Saimdang's achievement, and Hwieumdang looked around, fervently hoping that the servants were mistaken. At the sight of her son laughing happily with Saimdang's children, Hwieumdang's blood shot to her head and she stormed towards the boy, who stiffened when he saw his mother approaching. Grabbing ahold of his wrist, she dragged him out without a word while Ji Kyun, stunned, did not even realise that he had dropped a shoe, merely complying dumbly. Saimdang who was busy distributing steamed rice cakes, stopped when she saw them.
"Are you insane? What are you doing here instead of going to school?" Hwieumdang berated Ji Kyun the moment they stepped out of Yangryu Paper Mill.
"I came to offer my congratulations!"
"Whatever for?"
"What's wrong with congratulating a friend on a happy occasion?" Ji Kyun shook off his mother's hand and retorted in anger. 

In the three years that he was tossed from one relative to another after his family fell out of favour, Ji Kyun had had to endure all kinds of taunts in the Central District School. Those who once stood by his side and claimed to be his friends, now turned around and sneered at him all day long. He no longer cared about his education, until one day, just when he began entertaining thoughts of suicide, it was Hyun Ryong who held on to his hand.
"Friend?" Hwieumdang could barely speak out of anger. Three years ago, Ji Kyun and Hyun Ryong were arch-enemies at the Central District School, and it was because of this that she had Hyun Ryong removed from the school. To think that they now called each other friends! What exactly had happened to her son that things turned out this way!
"Do you know what I want, Mother?"
"What on earth are you talking about?"
"Do tell me."
"Passing the state exam, of course."
"You know nothing at all, absolutely nothing!" Ji Kyun stomped his foot in anger.
"For whom have I endured so much up to now!"
"I never begged you for anything! We never sat down to have a peaceful meal together... are we truly a family? My wish is to have a happy, peaceful meal with my family, that is all!"
"You brat!" Hwieumdang raised her hand up in fury.
"Excuse me! You dropped this!" Just then, Saimdang approached with Ji Kyun's shoe in her hand.
Shocked and embarrassed, Hwieumdang's hand froze in midair and she glared. Seemingly oblivious, Saimdang walked over to Ji Kyun then kneeling down, brushed off the dirt from the shoe and wore it on the boy's foot. At her actions, Hwieumdang's hand fell weakly to her side. Gasping out of breath, Hyun Ryong who had rushed out, carefully watched Hwieumdang's expression before pulling Ji Kyun's hand and running off. Hwieumdang was disgusted to see her son run off without a backward glance, leaving her with no way to face Saimdang.
"It is such a comfort to see Ji Kyun and Hyun Ryong getting along so well," Saimdang quietly spoke as she brushed the dirt from her hands.
"What are you trying to say?" Hwieumdang's anger remained unabated.
"Come to think of it, the children are better than us adults. I too have many faults, unable to set aside my grudge towards you, never even trying to understand what had caused you so much hurt. If I had hurt you in the past, please forgive me. I too will try to do the same."
"Is this your compassion towards someone weaker?" Hwieumdang snorted in contempt.
"I am very sorry if you feel that way, please forgive me! Flowing water would often encounter potholes in its path, which it has to fill to the brim before continuing its flow, isn't that right? No matter how wide the gap between us, we should try to bridge it. Let us think of our children only. You and I are both mothers after all, aren't we?"
Hwieumdang knew that Saimdang's words were sincere, for thus was her nature, one who would still risk her life to save others despite facing grave danger herself. And it was exactly her character that incurred her utmost hatred. Not waiting for her to finish speaking, Hwieumdang spun around and walked off, eyes filled with tears. She wanted desperately to scream and let out her anger, but as the gaping hole tore at her heart, her tears would not stop falling. Terrified of being seen crying in such a manner, she dared not even reach out to wipe her tears.
At last, having sufficiently calmed down, she returned home, only to be met by the sight of MCH's drunk state and the destruction he had wrought in the home. Ji Kyun's words "I wish to have a happy, peaceful meal with my family" immediately resurfaced in her mind.

 

5. Each time dusk fell, MCH's emotions began to boil, unable to control his fury. It was these moods that drove him to drink and drugs, without which the unbearable pain he suffered was equivalent to throwing himself against the wall to kill himself.
As autumn drew to an end, the fields had transformed into a vast expanse of land, the falling leaves leaving behind bare branches on the trees. Soon winter would be upon them and the seasons would continue to change. However, MCH's experiences over the past three years had etched the cold of winter deep within his heart, which remained even now.
The subtle fragrance of alcohol and cloying scent of rouge from the gisaengs filled the streets. Like a vagabond, MCH staggered along, until he suddenly came face to face with shadowy figures, the gats shielding the faces of Jungjong and the Royal Security Attaché. MCH followed them into a secluded lane.
"Another person's hand is needed in order to lure a snake from its den. This time round, I want to use yours," Jungjong spoke up.

 

6. "Ah! Ah! Ah!"
A woman's piteous cries broke out from the back alley of Soojinbang, followed by the sounds of running feet and someone being dragged off, yet no one could be seen leaving the alley. It was thus that Saimdang was kidnapped by MCH and the Japanese.

 

7. Hwieumdang, her face covered by a veil embroidered with black peonies, watched from afar at the brightly lit courtyard of Biikdang. The rustle of dried leaves falling in the wind was akin to the faint sounds of weeping by someone sitting desolately among the trees. What loss could have brought about such grief; what missed opportunity could have caused such sorrow? Hwieumdang reached out to grasp the branch beside her tightly then released her hold, causing it to shudder momentarily before returning to its original position. She slowly controlled her emotions as the tears that welled in her eyes fell. Then, drawing the bow, she shot an arrow into the air.
Carried by the wind, the arrow lodged itself in the pole of the pavilion in the courtyard. Gyeom who was taking a walk by the lily pond under the moonlight was shocked to discover the arrow and the message tied to it. "MCH has kidnapped Saimdang as a trap to lure Prince Euisung there. If you fell for it, both of you would die. The Japanese pirates are also involved and the stolen Warship Blueprints will soon fall into the hands of the Japanese." As Gyeom read, his hands began to tremble violently. Summoning Hoo, he ordered him to deliver the message to the Crown Prince, after which he drew his sword from the study and flew off on horseback.

 

8. "The one who sent you to kill me, was His Majesty?" Whatever answer MCH might have given was lost when an arrow shot threw the air and pierced his heart, cutting his life short. MCH's eyes rolled backwards, and blood spurted from his throat, his body shuddering violently before falling backwards. Seeing the man who had lived his life with greed meet such an end, Gyeom could not help breaking into a cold sweat. 
From the hands of the Japanese, Gyeom retrieved the warship blueprints and instructed the soldiers to search for Saimdang. As night fell, thunder rumbled and rain began to pour in torrents, against which the burning torches began to wan. Where could Saimdang be? Was she still alive? Stretching out the fingers that he could not even see in the pitch black darkness, Gyeom continued to call out her name.
Stepping over muddy terrain, the deafening thunder reverberating in the ears, Gyeom traversed the mountains multiple times looking for Saimdang. At last in the depth of the mountains, he discovered an encampment. His sword outstretched, he approached the camp only to be met with bodies of Japanese pirates who were shot down by arrows. Could the solders have already covered this area?
With unhuman strength, he pushed open its doors. Apart from a Japanese slumped against the wall covered with blood, there was no sign of Saimdang. Rope once tied around the pillar was strewn on the floor, evidence that Saimdang had been held captive here before. An arrow protruded from the neck of the man.
"Where is Saimdang?" Gyeom threw the question to the man.
"Saimdang! The woman who was here, where has she gone?"
"Hwieumdang... saved her... help me." The Japanese coughed out blood as he replied.
Gyeom raised his eyebrows in disbelief. Suddenly he recalled the message on the arrow in Biikdang and recognised its head to be identical to the one on the Japanese. Could that woman really have saved Saimdang?
As the man continued to beg Gyeom to save him, the latter reached out and pulled out the arrow without hesitation. His body jerked in pain for a moment, then his eyes slowly closed. After covering his body with a straw mat, Gyeom turned and walked out. The storm that raged earlier, had finally stopped.

 

9. With a blood-stained sword in hand and a face as white as a sheet, Gyeom walked down the dark, eerie corridors of 康寧殿 Gangnyeung Palace step by step. The Royal Security Attaché stood at the end of the corridor, blocking his advance.
"Put down the sword." The Royal Security Attaché raised his sword to Gyeom who appeared not to have heard a single word.
"Put down the sword." Rather than complying, Gyeom tightened his grip on the sword instead.
"Let Prince Euisung enter." Jungjong's voice came from within the quarters.
Pushing the doors open, Gyeom entered. Just then the Royal Security Attaché struck Gyeom's sword aside. In that instant, the eyes of the two men met. The Royal Security Attaché withdrew his gaze first, and with a meaningful look, stepped aside.
In the gloomy quarters illuminated by a single candlelight, Jungjong sat on the bed.
"Have you come to claim my life? Or have you come to lose yours?" At the sight of Gyeom who looked like a ghost, Jungjong's eyes were cold.
"Having come all the way here, I had no thought of leaving alive!" Gyeom walked up to the king without any hesitation and sat down.
"Saimdang and I... why do this to us?" Outrage and depression laced his voice.
"Do you really not know?"
"Your Majesty... didn't you once say that I was your closest brother and most precious friend?"
"Yes... we had those times once!"
"Didn't you say that you could not find someone with whom you could let down your guard and discuss state matters with? Didn't you once say that you missed me so much! Didn't you say that I was the only one whom you could confide in? Why did you do it?"
"You went against me with your actions."
"I never had any designs on the throne, nor have I instigated a revolt or planned a rebellion. Isn't that so?"
"I once warned you not to interfere in political affairs. By ignoring my warnings, it was your own careless misconduct that has brought you to this!"
"How could you continue to cover your ears and eyes? Could you not hear the young scholars' counsel and the people's earth-shattering cries!"
"Being surrounded by cunning ministers, I have endured humiliation and fear in order to protect my throne. I have done this for 40 years! Do you know why? This is because of deposed king Yeonsan. Even a king could be dethroned and killed by his own subjects. I saw this with my own two eyes."
"Would you continue to live under the shadow of the deposed king even now?"
"You! What effrontery! How dare you insult me!" At his words, Jungjong flew into a rage and trembled uncontrollably. Reaching under his mattress, he drew out a sword and slashed it towards Gyeom's face. With his bare hands, the younger man caught the blade of the sword and blood began to drip from them.
"You brought this all upon yourself. I was merely trying to protect the foundations of this country, and my dignity as the king."
"That is utter nonsense! Is your dignity so important that it warranted sacrificing the lives of innocent people for it?" With a flourish, Gyeom forcibly snatched the sword away from Jungjong and held it against the king's neck. This was it. There could be no other outcome. Gyeom's face was pale and filled with dismay, tears flowing from his bloodshot eyes while Jungjong glared at him with eyes filled with rage.
"Uncle, please don't!" The doors of the palace suddenly burst open and the Crown Prince rushed in, tears streaming down his face. He continued to beg for his father's life as he stood before Gyeom's sword, and the hand holding the weapon began to shake.
"Uncle! He is my father. Please spare my father's life! I beg you, please stop..." His grief-stricken eyes held Gyeom's gaze and he choked on his tears. The future of Joseon was weeping. The sword fell from Gyeom's hand to the ground, and turning, he dragged his feet into the unending darkness of the outer corridors, like he would never look back.
"I will take back everything I have ever given to you. I will snatch away everything that you want to protect! You just wait and see. Next time, I will let you die a slow, painful death!"
Gyeom's retreating figure cast a long shadow, gradually disappearing like a dream, while Jungjong's spiteful words carried, following unceasingly at its heels.

 

10. Three or four days had passed since the events on Choan mountain. As autumn drew to a close, the weather gradually turned cold, and the wilderness took on a barren appearance, while frost settled on the farmlands. Saimdang stared absently at the grey skies and the clouds that gathered as she walked, looking back every now and again at Hwieumdang's sons Ji Kyun and Ji Seong who tailed behind her with grief-stricken eyes.
"My overwhelming hatred for you even exceeds the pain of death. However, I know that now, you are the only one in this world that I can trust. Please take care of my sons, my poor children." These were Hwieumdang's parting words to her.
"Because of their father, I will not be able to escape death. There is no way I can avoid the punishment for crimes of being in league with the Japanese, plotting against the country. In that case... please bring up my children, and help them obtain a government post!" Hwieumdang wept as she loosened Saimdang's bonds, entreating her to leave quickly without a backward glance, and save her pitiful children. Her heart choked with sorrow, Saimdang went to Ji Kyun and Ji Seong who had become orphans in the space of a night, their faces streaked with tears.
"From here on you are my children. Seon, Mae Chang, Hyun Ryong and Wu will definitely accept both of you." Saimdang reached out and wiped their tears. Perhaps it was the warmth they felt from her touch, for the boys started to tear up once more, upon which Saimdang opened up her arms and held them both in a tight embrace for some time to comfort them. In the far distance of the hills, Saimdang caught a glimpse of Hwieumdang.
"Hwieumdang, if we could meet again in the next life, I hope we could become kindred spirits and closest of friends." Saimdang thought wordlessly as she gazed towards Hwieumdang's direction.
Could the wind have carried Saimdang's thoughts with it, for Hwieumdang seemed to understand and nodded her head. Saimdang then instructed Ji Kyun and Ji Seong to kneel down and bow towards their mother in the distance before leaving reluctantly. If they managed to survive, there was a chance they would meet again one day with the slow passing of time. In that instant of grief and hopelessness, all hatred dissipated, to be replaced by the hope of surviving in anticipation of that reunion.
Seon, Mae Chang, Hyun Ryong and Wu all accepted the two brothers with open arms without asking for any further explanation, saying only that that they should get along like a real family and lead their lives together from here on. Saimdang broke into a satisfied smile to see her children's behaviour and got up, intending to steam some sweet potatoes for the children as a snack. Just then, Hyang burst into the courtyard, out of breath, saying, "My lady, there is trouble."

 

11. In the novel, Saimdang gave the drifters the deeds to lands in their hometowns and sent them on their way after Yangryu Paper Mill was shut down. In the drama, the drifters had already left with their land deeds before Gyeom confronted Jungjong and Yangryu Paper Mill was closed.

 

12. Alone in the mill at last, Saimdang took in the state of destruction that was left, and the tears she had held in for so long finally fell. Collecting herself with difficulty, she turned around and left.
Without realising it, night had fallen and Saimdang's sleeves fluttered in the night wind. A bunch of drunk ruffians staggered towards her. Involuntarily reminded of her plight at the hands of MCH and the Japanese pirates, Saimdang was gripped with fear and quickly leaned face inward against the wall. 
"What was the reward for catching Prince Euisung?"
"But what crime has Prince Euisung committed?"
"They say it is treason, and he even tried to assassinate the king!"
At their words, Saimdang froze. Prince Euisung guilty of treason! Her mind drew a blank at the shocking news, unable to think. She must see him. Braving the cold wind, she hurried towards Biikdang, only to find that it had been sealed off and she could not open the doors. She peered through the cracks of the doors but saw nothing except dried leaves fluttering in the wind.
"Is anyone there? Is there really no one here?" Saimdang collapsed down the steps of Biikdang and began to sob, covering her mouth with her sleeves and weeping bitterly without a sound.
Things had come to such a state all because of me. If I had not started drawing; if I never became the painter of the royal portrait, all these would not have happened. Why was I so competitive? Why must I harbour such ambitions? Why did I beg the king to make this a country where dreams come true? Why did these arrogant, reckless lips utter such words. See what outcome this has wrought. Yangryu Paper Mill has been destroyed, while Gyeom is on the run for his life. Saimdang wept quietly, gasping for breath as she did so, beating her chest repeatedly. She could give up everything - the seeds of her delusional dreams could all be cast to the wind, consumed without a trace by the fire. If she could do this, dear God! Please save my man.

 

13. Saimdang had no idea how many days and nights she walked, relentlessly continuing on despite stumbling, falling, tripping over sharp tree branches. With muddied feet and a tear-streaked face, unaware of night or day, she walked in the direction of the summit of Mt Geumgang, each step taking her closer to 毘盧峰 Birobong Peak. Vast, majestic, filled with a mysterious aura, Mt. Geumgang and its twelve thousand peaks unfolded beneath her feet; the sight of the steep, savage mountains and wide, sweeping realm before her moved Saimdang to tears.
"I wish to visit Mt. Geumgang. It is really unfair that I cannot go there just because I am a girl." In her mind, the obstinate words she uttered in her youth when she first saw An Gyeon's Mt. Geumgang painting resurfaced. How true that for every beginning, there was an end. So this was the end of the road for everything! Saimdang wiped her years and gazed at Mt Geumgang with a resolute expression. The mountain breeze at Birabong Peak wrapped around her body, and it seemed she heard Gyeom's voice in the wind that caressed her cheeks and fluttered her sleeves, saying "It is okay. Everything will be fine." Was it her imagination? Saimdang slowly turned around, to Gyeom standing behind her like a dream.
"Prince Euisung..."
The tears that she had managed to dry with great effort welled in her eyes and began to fall once more. Eyes filled with compassion, Gyeom gazed at her and slowly walked towards her. Was this a dream or reality? As Saimdang reached out a trembling hand towards him, he broke into a sad smile and caught her hand, placing it upon his face, his hot tears flowing down her cold cold hand.
"Are you okay?"
"I am fine."
"Are you really okay?"
"It does not matter anymore."
They stood facing each other amid the quiet mountain breeze and the scarlet sunset that gradually descended. Then, taking the darkened mountain trail, they went up the mountain and came upon a small temple concealed within a lush forest. A monk approached from the temple and put his hands together in greeting, and led them to a room at the furthest end of the temple. He opened the door for them, revealing a darkened room with two pillows and two blankets neatly arranged, obviously mistaking them for husband and wife. Saimdang began to blush furiously while Gyeom let out an awkward cough. Things being what they were, they were too ill-at-ease to disabuse him of his misconception, so Saimdang walked resolutely to the furthest end of the room and unloaded her bundle. After a momentary hesitation, Gyeom followed and closed the door.
"Let me light the candle." Gyeom stuttered, as he sat hesitantly beside the door.
"I will prepare us some food!" With that, Saimdang got up and walked out of the room, upon which Gyeom finally breathed a sigh of relief. Never in all his years of wandering had he ever lost his presence of mind or been as nervous as he was right now, he who was unmoved even when a sword was held to his neck. As he lit the candle, he drew several deep breaths in an effort to try and calm himself.
After being accused of high treason and placed on the wanted list, Gyeom had managed to hide out in this place temporarily with Baek In Geol's help. However, in spite of a bitter hatred for Jungjong's betrayal, his anxiety for Saimdang made it impossible for him to flee. Upon receiving word that Yangryu Paper Mill was shut down, he had hurried to Saimdang's home, driven by a sense of impending doom.
Just as he was torn by indecision and dared not approach, worried that his appearance might cause awkwardness, he had suddenly noticed Hyang who was on her way back from doing the laundry. The moment she caught sight of him, she immediately threw the laundry basket aside and ran over to pour out all that had happened, sobbing as she did so. At the same time, she also told Gyeom how Saimdang had packed all her painting tools and headed for Mt. Geumgang.
Upon hearing this, Gyeom had immediately borrowed a horse from Baek In Geol and raced to Mt. Geumgang. No thoughts passed his mind save that he had to see her one last time before he died, properly look at her, and engrave her in his heart.

 

14. Saimdang pushed the door open and entered, carrying a simple meal of soft barley rice, and wild vegetables mixed with pickles. Since the soban (portable dining table) was meant for only one person, Gyeom did not pick up the spoon but lifted his head and looked at her.
"Please eat first! I will wait..." Saimdang rearranged the goreum on her clothes and stood up.
"Let us eat together! Like a normal couple." Gyeom quickly reached out and grabbed her hand.
Indecision wracked her for a while before she finally sat down by the soban. Smiling, Gyeom emptied the wild vegetables into another bowl, before taking half of his own rice and putting it in front of her. Then, appearing dissatisfied that Saimdang's rice had remnants of the gravy from the side dishes, Gyeom swapped his rice with hers. Faced with his unpretentious behaviour, still as straightforward as ever, Saimdang could not stop herself from laughing. At her laughter, Gyeom too joined in, and this time, they were able to settle themselves down.
In an instant, the perilous life of yesterday seemed to fade away into the distance. Had he braved the treacherous mountains and stormy seas, taken a journey fraught with danger just for this simple moment, to be able to sit down for meal with her under a single flickering candle light? The silence between them was precious, and they communicated wordlessly, as if any spoken word would shatter the bliss of the moment.
When dinner was over, they sat side by side below the balcony of the temple, admiring the moonlight. Time relentlessly moved on, and the brilliance of the full moon overlooked the treetops, looking almost like a sketch.
"What beautiful moonlight," Gyeom noted quietly.
"The moon suffers such loneliness, facing the dark night all by itself to light up the world." Her words were veiled with sorrow.
"Do you know that the moon is always waiting by the sun's side? I too will always stay beside you." Gyeom said teasingly. The words were meant to make her smile and ease her pain, but instead, her tears began to fall, crystal-clear tears streaming uncontrollably down her cheeks.
"Saimdang..."
"Please get some sleep! You've been busy the entire day." Hastily wiping her tears, Saimdang walked back into the room.
"You are such a disappointment..." Gyeom scratched the back of his head and let out a sigh.

 

15. The moonlight that crept through the paper of the window shone on Gyeom's face where he sat, leaned against the wall. His body felt like it was being set on fire, his breathing laboured and rapid. Yet no movement could be detected from Saimdang who had turned in much earlier, not even the slightest breath was audible. Surely she was not dead? With extreme caution, Gyeom moved to where she slept and reached out his hand to check her breathing. Right at the moment, he felt her body start violently and stiffen. Narrowly knocking into her forehead, Gyeom withdrew his hand in a rush and fled back to lean against the wall with his knees drawn to himself once more, rubbing his face vigorously as he did so. The surrounding sounds seemed deafening, like the passion that both shamed him and left him at a loss. Abruptly, he got up and went outside. As he gazed at the moonlight, his heated body began to gradually cool down at last.
The mountain wind moaned amid the seemingly shifting landscape of the mountains. At the sound of the wind, Gyeom's eyes shot open in shock, and the robe slid off him onto the ground of the balcony. From the looks of it, Saimdang had covered him up yet he never even realised it, having fallen into such a deep sleep. He alighted hurriedly and picked up the robe, his gaze unconsciously falling on the stone stairs. Saimdang's shoes were gone. His mind went blank and he immediately threw open the door to the room. The room was arranged neatly, and there was no sign of Saimdang's bundle that had been placed in the corner. She had left! She was gone, just like that! Stumbling backwards, Gyeom whirled and dashed wildly into the darkness.
"Saimdang! Saimdang! Where are you? Saimdang!"
There was no light in the sky as Gyeom ran and cried out for her in panic and anxiety along the dark mountain trail. Just then, he saw pale smoke billowing upwards from Birobong Peak, and he ran without stopping towards its direction, uncaring of the branches that slashed his face as he ran.
There she stood in front of a blazing bonfire, throwing painting upon painting into the flames and watching them turn into ashes in an instant.
"Don't!"
Gyeom tore past her towards the fire and reached into the licking flames with bare hands, trying desperately to save the paintings, just as if he was saving her from brink of death.
"What... what are you trying to do? Why are you doing this?" Gyeom roared as he gripped the partially burnt Mt. Geumgang painting in his hands. Tears flowed down Saimdang's pale face.
"I have to go back. That is the life I have chosen. I thought of taking your hand and running away with you, but if I did so, my children would always live their lives in shame. I don't believe I would be able to live as a mother who longs everyday for the children she abandoned. I choose to live as a mother, and I will never regret this decision. Therefore, please forget me! Saimdang the painter, is dead."
Saimdang took one step, two steps backwards, then with a gaze that conveyed her respect, she turned and departed. Just like that, Saimdang was gone, leaving Gyeom standing there, stunned and at a loss. With tears pouring down his face, he watched her retreating figure slowly disappear into the darkness until it was a mere dot in the distance. At last, he lifted his face to the heavens and howled in desolation.

 

Wow at the novel he really suffers 10x more in this scene. No piant left to him. No letter with hope at all. It's hard to believe that in the novel he could going to try to be with her after this.

*Netflix subs call him "Lord" not "Prince",now it makes sense because the king's children call him uncle. Just to me have sure what exactly is their kinship @liddi?

Edited by Jillia
Please do not quote videos! Thanks! :)
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@Ana Paula Lima

 

"Netflix subs call him "Lord" not "Prince",now it makes sense because the king's children call him uncle. Just to me have sure what exactly is their kinship"

 

Prince Uiseong Yi Gyeom & the reigning King Jungjong are cousins, both of them are descendant of Sejong the Great

 

The title use is Gun (군,君) is Prince & Yi Gyeom does carry a Princedom investiture title of Uiseong-gun (의성군)

 

Jungjong is descendant from the Sejong the Great 2nd son King Sejo while Prince Uiseong Yi Gyeom is descendent from Sejong the Great 4th son Grand Prince Imyeong

 

Just to note that Yi Gyeom is a fictitious character & he is loosely based on the Royal Court Painter Yi Am who is the descendant from the 4th son of Sejong the Great. Yi Am did indeed was commission by Jungjong to paint his Royal portrait. The painting works that Yi Gyeom draws in this drama belongs to Yi Am's works

 

If you have the time, read through this thread, it might enhance your viewing knowledge for this drama

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Thank you very much for the explanation. I started reading about the drama only since yesterday. All these technical, fictional and historical data about this drama are really interesting to read and I will keep learning here, you all have been done a great work by putting all this information together! 

@gerrytan8063

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@Ana Paula Lima

 

I hope that you will enjoy this drama & @liddi painstakingly translation from the Novel published in Chinese & for her to translate the text into English for our readership

 

If you have queries, drop a line & hope that we can answer your queries.

 

For us, it had been a while, since this drama was broadcasted last year

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@Ana Paula Lima

 

Some information from my posting at page 15 on Yi Gyeom

 

"Yi Gyeon has an investiture princedom title "Ui Seong Gun" (의성군 ) although distance to the current Royals, he is still Royal relative. He is the grandson of Prince Gwi Seong Gun Yi Jun (귀성군 이준, 龜城君 李浚 1441-1479).

Prince Gwi Seong Gun Yi Jun is the 2nd son of Grand Prince Im Yeong Dae Gun Yi Gu (임영대군 이구, 臨瀛大君 李璆 1420-1469) who is the 4th son of Sejong the Great & Queen Soheon"

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13 hours ago, gerrytan8063 said:

@Ana Paula Lima

 

I hope that you will enjoy this drama & @liddi painstakingly translation from the Novel published in Chinese & for her to translate the text into English for our readership

 

If you have queries, drop a line & hope that we can answer your queries.

 

For us, it had been a while, since this drama was broadcasted last year

Thank you again @gerrytan8063 :) 

I have watched all the eps at Netflix, but now with the novel in English and with your comments with histical details makes it a complete experience. I hope more people watch this exelent drama here in Brazil this year. I will certainly indicate this novelization.

 

I think I would like to ask @liddi the permission to translate the novel to Brazilian Portuguese because few people in Brazil really know how to read in English, I would give all the credit and put the original links at the translation. Please,would you allow me to do that? Is the novel finally completed here?

 

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@Ana Paula Lima Sure you may do so - do excuse any mistakes or mis-translations that might be in there. Please note though that my translations are not comprehensive - they are mostly just of segments that are different from, or add on to (in terms of description, thoughts, explanations etc) the drama itself. Also, while the prologue in Vol 1 is a complete translation, the first 3 chapters were just overall summaries.

 

The breakdown of the chapters covered so far:

Vol 1

Prologue - complete

Chapter 1-3 - overall summaries

Chapters 4-16 - complete

 

Vol 2:

Chapters 17-29 - complete

Chapter 30 - in progress

Epilogue - not started

Author's Notes - not started

 

If possible, do try to watch the international version (with 30 episodes) which is far better. The author herself mentions in the Author's Notes her shock, frustration and regrets that the original 30 episode drama which was a painstaking 3 year labour of love, was reedited into 28 episodes, losing a lot of the continuity and emotions that were in her original work. Through the writing of the novel, she sought to forget the bitter regrets of that experience. It is truly fortunate that the original drama is available in its entirety through the international version, and we also have the novel as a companion read to the universe that she wove so beautifully.

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3 hours ago, liddi said:

If possible, do try to watch the international version (with 30 episodes) which is far better. The author herself mentions in the Author's Notes her shock, frustration and regrets that the original 30 episode drama which was a painstaking 3 year labour of love, was reedited into 28 episodes, losing a lot of the continuity and emotions that were in her original work. Through the writing of the novel, she sought to forget the bitter regrets of that experience. It is truly fortunate that the original drama is available in its entirety through the international version, and we also have the novel as a companion read to the universe that she wove so beautifully.

Please,do you know any link to watch the international version? I didn't found the 30 eps version on YT 

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@Ana Paula Lima The 30-episode English-subbed international version can be viewed on iflix, which is available in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Maldives, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan and Cambodia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Nepal, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

 

Other international versions I know of are from:

GTV (C-subbed with original Korean audio)

TVB (C-subbed and dubbed in Cantonese)

 

@gerrytan8063 I had a look at the Saimdang DVD / Blu-ray sets and to my utter consternation, it would appear that apart from Japan which offers the full 30 episodes, the SBS version is being marketed everywhere else, including Taiwan. Why?!

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@liddi

 

"I had a look at the Saimdang DVD / Blu-ray sets and to my utter consternation, it would appear that apart from Japan which offers the full 30 episodes, the SBS version is being marketed everywhere else, including Taiwan. Why?!"

 

Oh! Dear

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On 09/02/2017 at 11:59 AM, gerrytan8063 said:

Episode 6

Shin Saimdang makes Hwajeon (화전, 花煎) for Deposed Queen Shin, as they are neighbours

Hwajeon (화전,花煎), is a tteok (rice cake) made from glutinous flour & sugar pressed with edible flower petals then pan-fried in oil

Deposed Queen Shin of Geochang clan (폐비 신씨, 廢妃 愼氏 1476-1537). She was the Queen Consort to Yeonsangun (10th Joseon King). It looks like her longevity had been extended in this drama

@gerrytan8063 

You've done incredible historical research. I'm learning a lot!

Thanks :)

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On 20/03/2018 at 8:16 PM, liddi said:

Vol 1

Prologue - complete

@liddi Please, do you remember in what page (more or less) is the prologue? This topic is so big(101 pages till now) that's a lil bit hard to find it here hehe

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@Ana Paula Lima I had to scour through the pages too since I can't remember either :D 

Anyway, here it is at page 72, so every other chapter should be from here on. 

 

Went back to fix broken links that came about due to Photobucket's change in 3rd party hosting policy last year... work in progress, but the clips that show the differences in Eps1 to 9 of the international and SBS versions should be done (Eps10 onwards are fine). 

Thanks to you, I'm revisiting old pages once more, and falling in love with the journey and labour of love with everyone here that started almost 16 months ago. How time has flown!

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@Ana Paula Lima

 

"You've done incredible historical research. I'm learning a lot!

Thanks"

 

I am glad & thank you for your kind appreciation

 

I have covered South Korea for business since 2002, my Korean culture knowledge gain is from my tenure there. If you wish to know Korean history & culture, I may be able to assist you, but with regards to K-pop is next to naught

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19 hours ago, Ana Paula Lima said:
On 2/9/2017 at 9:59 PM, gerrytan8063 said:

Episode 6

Shin Saimdang makes Hwajeon (화전, 花煎) for Deposed Queen Shin, as they are neighbours

Hwajeon (화전,花煎), is a tteok (rice cake) made from glutinous flour & sugar pressed with edible flower petals then pan-fried in oil

 

Posted below is my infographic on "hwajeon" (Korean rice cakes) from my Campus Connection blog:

 

IWLslfa.png

 

 

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9 hours ago, gerrytan8063 said:

If you wish to know Korean history & culture, I may be able to assist you, but with regards to K-pop is next to naught

THANK YOU! :)

I don't listen to K-pop hehe 'Till now I have only listened to those OSTs from  k-dramas. 

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