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MsDot2

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  1. Yes, I would think that too. But I wonder if a fair number of people wear masks there, either because of the smog or to reduce the spread of germs. If so, he wouldn't stand out so much. I haven't been to Seoul, so this is just a speculation on my part.
  2. Here is Chapter 2 of my adaptation of Faith (the last part of Episode 1). FYI - It's not an exact copy of the show. I've moved the last two scenes, the fortune teller and Choi Young's introduction to the Woodalchi, to other chapters. I also inserted a few lines about a glass window wall, just for a little variety. Chapter 2, 21st century Seoul (Episode 1, continued) Choi Young found himself on a sort of platform. Although it was nighttime, the area around him was well lit. And it wasn’t just the immediate area; there was a glow in the lower sky all around him. He slowly stood up and looked around for a few minutes. He saw that he was at the base of a very tall statue of the Buddha. Awed by the statue and the light, he put his hands together and bowed, showing his respect and gratitude for having arrived in heaven. Then, reminding himself of his mission, he saw a path leading down and away from the monument, and he took it. As he began walking away, a woman in emerged from behind a large stone at the monument. She snapped a picture of him, causing him to whirl around with his hand on his sword to see what was making the clicking noise and brief flash of light. She quickly stepped back behind the stone to hide herself. After he left, she nudged her husband and whispered, “Over there! Did you see that man?! He just appeared out of nowhere!” Her husband didn’t believe her, but she showed him the photo, and they both stared after him. He walked along the descending path, stepping back into shadow whenever he saw other people. He wanted a little time to learn more before he showed himself. He saw a tall thin tower rising from an adjoining hill lit with colors brighter than anything he’d ever seen. In fact, there were lights everywhere, along the path in hanging lanterns, and lights at the ends of tall poles here and there. It puzzled him that there were no flames visible in the lanterns, and the tall lights were so bright they hurt his eyes when he looked at them. Heaven was incredibly bright. Soon there was a break in the trees, and he was stunned to see row upon row of extraordinarily tall towers rising into the sky. They seemed endless. Many of them were covered with lights. One even had lights at the top that seemed to show a moving painting. A voice was announcing that there were sunspots and they were causing trouble. He thought heaven was a strange place indeed if the sun had spots. Choi Young finally came to the bottom of the hill with a very wide road just beyond it. Nearing it, he was stunned to see a type of carriage that moved very quickly without horses. There were many of them speeding along with continuous noise and blinding lights. The road was so wide that three of them abreast were going in each direction. He stepped closer to observe and was nearly hit by one of them. People on the street started noticing him. Many of them smiled and began pointing at him, and some held out small boxes that momentarily flashed a bright light. Again he whirled around with his hand on his sword, but soon saw that they didn’t mean him any physical harm. Overwhelmed by the clamor and unwanted attention, he retreated into the shadow of a small shrine nearby and sat down to regroup. After a time he saw a monk passing by, chanting to himself. He approached the monk and bowed, saying earnestly, “Excuse me, I am called Choi Young from the land. I know I came to a place I should not have, but can you please help me.” “What can I help you with?” “I am looking for a divine healer.” “A divine healer?” “I heard Hwata came here.” The monk looked puzzled. “Hwata…a divine healer?” Then the monk brightened. “Ah! You mean a doctor!” “Yes.” “Well, there are many specialties among doctors: internal medicine, surgeons, OB-Gyn, dentistry…Where is the problem?” Choi Young thought for a moment, then moved the edge of his hand alongside his neck in a slicing motion and said, “Here.” Misunderstanding, the monk said, “Oh, you want a plastic surgeon. We’re in Gangnam [a wealthy part of Seoul], and there are many of them here. There’s even a big meeting of them at COEX, right across the street. You should go there.” He looked where the monk was pointing and saw a large building not far away. But between here and there was that hellish road with speeding carriages, brilliant lights and tremendous noise. He said to the monk, “How do I go there?” And the monk replied, “You just go there!” Unsure how he would ever survive crossing that space, he repeated, “I…just. . .go?” The monk nodded. After a moment of confusion Choi Young brightened with a big smile. “Oh, I understand! It’s a lesson!” Bowing to the monk, he thanked him for his help, turned and left, leaving the monk a bit confused himself. Once again approaching the busy road, Choi Young paused and closed his eyes to calm himself and focus on his mission. He opened his eyes and said to himself, “I’m . just . going,” and began to walk across it. Some of the carriages went by him, some almost hitting him, others screeched to a halt and made a very loud sound, and one person yelled, “What do you think you’re doing, you crazy bastard?!” He continued to walk, looking straight ahead. Approaching the building, he could see people in the lower part of it. He was puzzled by how the rest of the building could stand up with almost nothing between the upper part and the ground. As he stared at it, however, there was a kind of shimmer along the perimeter, so perhaps something was there. He walked over and reached out his hand, and indeed, something hard was there, some kind of transparent stone. He could even see his own reflection in it, somewhat like a reflection in a water pond. Heaven was an amazing place. He saw some people entering and leaving the building not far away, revealing a doorway, so he followed them. Inside, he went past a line of people, where someone called, “Sir, Sir, you must get in line to register!” When he didn’t stop, the registration person shrugged, assuming he was a performer of some sort, going to demonstrate products for one of the medical companies on the exhibition floor. His costume as an old-time Korean warrior was a bit outlandish, but she’d seen stranger ones. The line of people in front of her was very long, so it was a few minutes before she called security. He still needed to register. He entered a vast hall with hundreds of people in it, as well as many stalls and tables. It was very bright, like daylight. Once again, he quickly became a topic of conversation and stares. He ignored these while still keeping an eye out for a heavenly healer. He was fascinated by more pictures that moved and the many devices, some of them apparently moving on their own. Continuing to move through the hall he finally he spied a sign by door to the side of the large hall. He could read some of the Yuan characters on the sign. Many of the words were meaningless to him, but he could make out enough of it to know that it pointed to a place where people were speaking about healing. Entering, he saw many people sitting in tiers of seats leading down to a large picture at the front of the room depicting a person’s face and neck with some of the skin cut away. The person at the front of the room was saying, “…And here we see a subcutaneous lift, used in the early 90’s… ” She went on to explain how the incisions were made and excess skin removed with little scarring, and then critiqued the technique. Choi Young stood at the back of the room, mesmerized. The speaker was a woman. And she was a beautiful woman with an odd hair color, a sort of rusty red. Since numerous people were in the room listening and taking notes, she must also be a teacher, perhaps one of Hwata’s disciples. He’d never seen anyone like her, nor had he ever seen a woman formally teaching both men and women. Her thoughts were quite different from his. She saw him enter, and almost immediately some of the people in her audience began turning around to stare at the man dressed in odd clothes. She wasn’t happy that he was drawing attention away from her presentation on the history of cosmetic surgery. She was seeking funding to build a new cosmetic surgery clinic, and she wasn’t likely to obtain funders if people were talking about him instead of her presentation. Three security men soon arrived, having finally tracked him down. Choi Young let himself be escorted away from the meeting room while still staring at her. He was taken to the Security office for questioning, and one of the men asked what company he represented. Choi Young didn’t respond; he was looking intently at a bank of windows on the wall. Amazingly, each one showed a different scene. Eventually he spied the flame-haired doctor in one of them, and he walked over to it. He began feeling along the edge of the window, trying to find the opening to that place. The window seemed to be made of similar material to the transparent wall of the building. The frustrated guard said, Hey! Can’t you hear? Look here, mister, quit looking at the TV screens…” and approached the warrior. Choi Young asked him, “How can I go in there? Please open this for me. The doctor in here…I have to meet her.” The security guard chuckled and said, “Are you joking around with me?! We don’t have time for that stuff.” He looked at Choi Young’s clothing, and then spotted one of the dark red stains on his armor. “What is this, ketchup?” He touched it and held it to his nose. Then, noticing his sword, exclaimed, “And look at this!” He tried to touch the hilt of the sword, but the warrior grabbed his arm, deftly turned him and shoved him away as the guard was saying, “Ah wait…Let’s talk.” Momentum carried the guard across the room and into a counter, where his shocked companions looked on. He shouted, “You…you just assaulted me!” He said to one his comrades, “Call the police! Tell them there’s a crazy man in the building and he has assaulted the staff! And that he has an illegal weapon!” Then he asked for a police baton, which another man gave him. Choi Young saw the guard hold out a long black club in front of him while saying, “You are in big trouble!” He had been keeping one eye on the woman in the window and one on the guards. When he saw the guard beginning to move toward him, he put his hand on his sword and turned his full attention there. In less than a second of fluid motion, he drew his sword and sliced through the club, lopping off most of its length. “Gah! Run, run!” shouted the frightened guard, and all three of the guards backed away and ran from the room. Choi Young also left the room. He had recognized the woman’s location as the large hall he had first entered. The doctor had gone to the exhibition hall after her presentation and was examining a pair of surgical lenses. In addition to magnifying, they also emitted a beam of light to illuminate a surgical area. The salesman talking with her noticed Choi Young as soon as he arrived. “Aish,” he muttered, “People are advertising for their company in strange ways.” She looked over her shoulder at Choi Young and sneered, “Oh! He’s working in a costume? He must be an extra or something.” But the strange young man approached her and said, “There is an urgent patient.” “So?” “From what our doctor said, a major vein has been cut. Can you save her?” “Why are you asking me that?” He asked her again, louder, “Can you save her?” Ignoring him, she turned to the salesman and said, “Isn’t this person kind of weird?” The salesman smiled, saying, “I think he’s flirting with you.” She put down the lenses and tried to walk down the aisle, going around Choi Young, but he moved to block her path. She moved to the other side of the aisle, and he blocked her again. Then Choi Young, the doctor and the salesman all looked up as the previous security guard approached, now accompanied by a police officer. “That’s him over there!” the guard shouted, “And that’s a real sword!” Not wanting to be taken away again, Choi Young drew his sword. The young police officer drew his gun and pointed it at him, exclaiming, “Look here! Put it down! Put..it..down!” Most people encountering what Choi Young had been seeing and experiencing would have been completely overwhelmed and distracted. But he possessed the ability to remain calm, rational and persistent in the face of a confusing situation, solving problems one step at a time to complete his mission. And here was another problem that he needed to solve. He saw the metal object pointed toward him, and from the man’s tone of voice he thought it likely it was some type of weapon. He held the sword by his side, not wanting to appear more threatening than necessary, and became very still and alert. He turned his head just enough to ask the doctor, “Is it possible to save that patient?” Now very frightened, she replied, “I-I’d have to see the patient first, of course. I need to know where and how the patient is hurt…” He muttered to himself, “How much she’s hurt…you have to see for yourself.” He was furiously thinking of how he could show that to her. Then he knew what he needed to do. He faced the young man again, who repeated, “Put your sword down!” With his left hand holding the scabbard, he darted forward and swung it into the man’s arm, knocking the weapon away. The man staggered back, losing his balance as well as his weapon. With his right hand, Choi Young put the sharp edge of his sword against the side of the guard’s neck, paused momentarily to gauge his blow, and slashed. In a few seconds blood began to flow from the wound, staining first the man’s collar red and then his shirt. People nearby started screaming and began to run away. The wounded guard looked at him in shock and disbelief, then slowly toppled toward him, losing consciousness. He shouldered the man, holding him up, and muttered to him, “Why did you have to keep following me?” Behind Choi Young the doctor and the salesman cowered behind a display table. The police and guards now saw that he had multiple hostages, one of them wounded. They retreated to clear the exhibition hall and call for more backup. The warrior lifted the wounded guard over his shoulder and carried him over to the table next to the doctor. He laid the man down and pulled back the man’s collar to expose the bleeding wound. He addressed the doctor. “The cut was made just like this, and about as deep… Is it possible to save him?” With a look of horror, she turned to the salesman and cried, “Ambulance! Call 911! Hurry!” Choi Young continued, “If you can’t save him…”, and pointed to the salesman, “I will try again with him.” The salesman began to beg for his life. The doctor looked up at the warrior and saw the serious expression on his face. She didn’t doubt that he’d do it. She stood up and said, “You want me to save him? This person…here? Right now?” He replied, “It is urgent. Please start.” She pushed her own emotions aside and assumed the role of doctor, briefly examining the wound. Then she moved out from behind the table, saying, “I need to have tools.” The warrior allowed her to brush by him in order to quickly gather tools from the exhibit tables such as a surgical mask, gloves, antiseptic, clamps, bandages and so on. She put on the magnifying lenses she had been viewing earlier. Choi Young blinked at the bright light coming from them. Meanwhile, more police arrived and began spreading through the building. Security tried calling a nearby phone to try to reason with him, but Choi Young, surprised by its loud ring, smashed it. The guards could see what was happening on closed circuit television, and described the warrior to the arriving police as a crazy man with a sword and hostages. The salesman was now on his knees frantically praying, and Choi Young, seeing that the doctor could use some help, tapped his scabbard on the table in front of him to get his attention. “If this man dies, it will be your turn.” Getting the point, the salesman stood up. The doctor reminded him to don a mask and sterilize. She had the salesman pull the wound open with hooks, found the pieces of vein and began stitching it back together. Finally, she stitched the outer wound and placed a large bandage over it. Observing her at work, Choi Young was impressed with her skill. She worked quickly and confidently. When she had finished, he held his fingers to the guard’s neck. He was surprised to find that the guard was still alive. He had found his Divine Healer. Now he just had to bring her back to the Queen. He told her that she had to come with him, that there was someone she needed to save. He gathered up the tools and equipment she had used, wrapped them in a cloth, tied the ends of the cloth together and hung it over his shoulder. She protested, “Mister! It’s been a while since I stopped being a surgeon…” But he had already seen what she could do. He told her, “It may be difficult for you to enter into my world. Please follow closely behind me.” Choi Young began to walk toward the building entrance. As soon as he turned his back, she crept in the opposite direction, clutching her large purse to her chest. When he looked back and saw what she was doing, he strode toward her. She saw him coming and began to run, but her high heels slowed her down. He easily caught up, took her by her jacket’s collar and moved toward the building’s entrance. As he dragged her along, he said, “If I tell you to follow me, you should be carefully following me. Why be so difficult?” She continued to protest, “Where are we going? There are probably policemen everywhere outside. How are you going to get out?” He turned to her and replied with a slight smile, “Breakthrough,” then took her by the wrist and continued pulling her along. Before the entrance doors, they confronted a small cordon of police with shields and batons. Choi Young stopped, studied the scene briefly, let go of the doctor, and then extended one hand toward the row of police. As he did so, energy that looked like small bits of lightning began crackling around his hand and arm. When he thrust his hand at the police, the energy expanded and leaped into the police line, knocking them down and breaking the wall of glass behind them. Then he did the same thing to another group of police standing just outside the building. Too scared to move, the doctor was crouched down behind him and stared at what he had done to the police line, unable to believe her eyes. He turned to her and bent down, saying, “Please excuse me,” then lifted her up and put her over his shoulder. She cried out in surprise and protest, but his grip on her was very firm. He also picked up one of the large transparent police shields. Then he left the building. The police were slow to reorganize themselves, and the people Choi Young encountered on the street took one look at the expression on his face and the sword he carried and gave him a wide berth. He quickly made his way back up the hill to the monument. He could see that the doorway was still open, roaring and swirling. He set her down on some nearby steps. She was frantic. She pleaded with him, “Please let me go!” He could understand her fear, but he had a mission to complete. Looking at the portal, he said to her, “We have to go there.” The swirling energy terrified her. “Let me go! Please!” He tried to reassure her, “I won’t kill you. If you save that person, I will bring you back.” She sat down on the steps and cried, “Liar! I’ve seen your face. I saw in movies that when you’ve seen the kidnapper’s face, you get killed...” She began to sob. He tried once again to reassure her. He knelt down in front of her, one hand on her shoulder, and looked directly into her eyes. “I am Choi Young, a warrior of Goryeo. For my name and life, I will help you return again. I promise you.” She didn’t look reassured, but the time for talking was over. The queen’s life was ebbing away. He helped her up, took her by the wrist, and pulled her after him through the door.
  3. Thanks for your kind comments, @SophieH. I'm having a good time doing this!
  4. Thank you for your positive comments. I especially appreciated your feedback, @Lindyloo421 since you have extensive experience with reading books for authors and a publisher! Here's the rest of Chapter 1, which covers the first half of Episode 1 (I've divided most Episodes into two chapters because of their length). I'll try to post a chapter at a time, spacing them out a little so I have time to keep ahead of the postings with my writing. Again, I appreciate your feedback! [See previous posting for first part of this chapter] One man finally got through. He ran toward the Queen, who was at the back of the room, and to everyone’s horror, slashed open the side of the queen’s neck. Choi Young had seen him from the corner of his eye as he was finishing off another opponent. He turned and threw his sword like a knife at the queen’s attacker, skewering him. But the damage was done. The rest of the attackers immediately ran away. Their primary target hadn’t been the King after all; they wanted the Queen. Choi Young and the doctor ran to the Queen’s side. She had collapsed on the bed, unconscious and bleeding profusely. Dr. Jang immediately got out his acupuncture kit and inserted two needles in order to slow her heart and the bleeding. The Doctor knew that Choi Young had a special inner power, so he said him, “I’ll need your help here,” pointing to the needles he’d used on the Queen. Choi Young nodded, then extended his hand toward one of the needles. From his fingertips came a line of energy reaching to the needle. It enhanced the needle’s effectiveness, slowing the bleeding even more. He did the same with the other needle. The doctor placed thick pads on top of the wound and pressed down, but not too hard. It wouldn’t do to stop all the circulation there; that might kill the Queen by itself. The King asked Dr. Jang if he could heal the wound. The doctor said, “I think a vein has been severed. I’ve slowed the bleeding but I’m afraid I’d rupture it further if I tried to repair it. I’m not a divine healer.” After assuring himself that he could do no more for the queen, Choi Young returned to the front of the room and sat down to rest, closing his eyes. Some of the Woodalchi pursued the retreating attackers and found two wounded men in the street. But they were already dying from poison they’d taken to avoid questioning. The rest escaped. Back at the inn, the king’s retinue was in consternation about what to do. If the Queen died, it was likely that Yuan would directly annex Goryeo in retribution. For the past 80 years Goryeo had been a vassal state of Yuan, sending annual tributes of slaves and goods but still hanging onto its separate identity. The king said, “If that woman dies…our country will die.” Addressing Choi Young, he asked, “Woodalchi Commander, do you also think that?” Choi Young, without opening his eyes, replied, “I am a mere military officer who does not know anything about politics.” This statement was patently false, as no one survives in a royal court without acquiring political knowledge and skill. But it was true that Choi Young wasn’t interested in politics, or for that matter, much of anything else. He was known to sleep overmuch, and he usually didn’t engage with anyone unless it was in the line of duty, or to protect his own honor or that of his Woodalchi. The King looked down, dejected. His confidence had been shaken by 10 years as a hostage in Yuan. “As soon as I became king, I couldn’t even protect my country. What a great king I am.” Suddenly Il-shin’s face brightened, and he slammed his fist on the table, saying, “There is a way, Your Majesty! There is a divine healer near here. Er, what I mean is…he is in a land in the sky. There’s a way to the skies!” At the king’s disbelieving look, Il-shin went on, “It’s there.Our only hope is to pray to the heavens.” “If we plead to the heavens, will they save her?” “The fact that we are pleading is what’s important. If you ask the heavens with all your heart, people will say you look so sad and filled with grief. They’ll say, ‘He was fasting for 3 days to pray to the heavens…’ Those are the words that should be spread in Yuan!” “So, that’s how we should restrain Yuan’s anger?” “Yes, Your Majesty…for the sake of Goryeo.” The king was skeptical but had no better idea. He told Il-shin to find the location and prepare an altar. Il-shin left to question the villagers and make the preparations. Choi Young went to leave as well, but as he left the room, the king spoke to him. “Woodalchi. You have traveled with me for the long trip from Yuan. What did you think about on your way here?” “I don’t normally think too much.” “I am asking you what you think of me, as your King.” Looking off to the side of the King, he replied, “To have such a wise and kind-hearted king, I thought we were very lucky.” And then, looking at the king, “Do I have to say more?” Knowing the Commander’s answer for the evasion it was, the king walked closer to him, saying, “You…dislike me, right?” “Me?” “From the beginning…you’ve disliked me even before you met me, right?” Choi Young, with an uncomfortable smile, replied, “For me to answer that, I would have to die.” The king pressed on, “Why do you dislike me? Even when I am your king. Please tell me sincerely from the heart. If I ordered you, will you tell me?” The Commander’s smile faded and he looked directly at the king. “Your predecessor, Kyung Chung, was only 14 years old. Because he was too young as a King, the Yuan Dynasty had him abdicate.” “I know.” “Your Majesty is 21 years old. Whether 14 or 21, I think they are both young. Also, you have lived in Yuan territory since you were 11 years old. So, you’ll only think in the same way as the Yuan do. To have a king like you is unlucky for the Goryeo people…That’s what I thought.” The king paused and then asked, “Everyone thinks that way, right? The Goryeo people.” “In the past 11 years, you are already the fifth king. The people won’t be too interested.” The king’s struggled to keep his feelings from showing on his face. Then he looked up at the Commander, saying, “Thank you…for speaking your mind.” The king turned to go back to his room, then turned back as Choi Young said, “And your Majesty…I don’t particularly dislike you.” The king smiled ruefully, then turned away again, thinking that the Commander was right; he could have him killed for such blunt talk. But would anyone else have had the courage to be so honest with him? And that person had also just saved his life. The king’s party, including Choi Young and several of his men, used torches to light their way to what they had been told was Hwata’s door to heaven. It was in the hills next to a grassy meadow, not too far from the village. There, they saw a swirling cloud of energy around a space between two short stone pillars with a stone lintel resting on them. Servants had set up an altar on the lintel and offerings on the ground in front of it. Il-shin greeted the king as he arrived, saying, “I firmly believe this is Heaven’s gate. One thousand years ago, Hwata went up to Heaven right here, through this door. In the kingdom of heaven Hwata had many disciples that he nurtured. I’m told that his disciples still come through Heaven’s gate once every 300 years.” The king replied, “So, we pray into the opening, is that what you’re saying?” Il-shin clarified, “This is not just an opening. To get into heaven, you must go throughHeaven’s door.” Suddenly, the swirling cloud grew larger and brighter, accompanied by a loud roaring sound. Choi Young immediately moved in front of the king to shield him and deployed his men to protect the King. Il-shin excitedly pointed, “The door to heaven is open, Your Majesty! Please order him to go there and bring a divine healer back. Either Hwata or his disciples! Hurry! Before the door to heaven closes, Your Highness!” Choon-sik, recognizing that this was a highly risky venture, shouted at Il-shin, “If you know Hwata so well, go there yourself!” But Il-shin ignored him and continued talking to the king. “The Doctor of Heaven, the Divine Healer, is right in there, Your Majesty!” The king thought for a moment, then turned to his Commander. “Even though I can’t believe all those words…” Choi Young looked at him and replied, “Please give me an order.” “I think we have to try.” “I will come back,” said the Commander, bowing deeply to the King. Then he gathered himself, took a big breath and let it out, then set his face toward the pillars. As he walked to the opening, shading his eyes from the intense glow, Choon-sik grabbed his shoulder to stop him. “Commander!” He simply replied, “It’s the king’s order. Stay here,” and walked on. Those who watched Choi Young go into the opening saw him disappear in a twist of dark smoke. The door continued to roar and swirl, but he was gone.
  5. Thanks for your kind request and also thanks to @syntyche. I've placed the first few pages of Faith, Episode 1, on the Faith thread. I'd love to hear your feedback. Do let me know if you'd like to read more. I think I could either post it on that thread, a little at a time, or I could send chapters in a Soompi message. Don't feel bad if you're not interested in reading more; I'm writing it for myself and just happy to share if there's interest.
  6. As I mentioned in the Lee Min Ho forum, I've begun writing the story of Faith in detail, following the show relatively closely, with a few changes here and there. To respond to your kind interest in reading this, @gtLmh0622 and @syntyche, here are the first few pages of Episode 1. Chapter 1: 1351 a.d., Borderlands between Yuan and Goryeo (Ep 1) It was raining as the small caravan slowly made its way along the road. The young King of Goryeo was returning to his country after 10 years as a virtual hostage in Yuan [a Mongol dynasty of China]. He rode in a small carriage and occasionally invited others to ride with him for company or to discuss matters of state. The Queen, a Yuan princess, rode in a separate carriage with one or two attendants. Everyone else in the King’s retinue rode horses or walked. The road wound its way through verdant hills and along a river that divided the two countries. Looking at the countryside as he rode, Jo Il-shin, the king’s advisor, noticed an unusual cloud above one of the hills, moving like rising smoke. But unlike smoke it was a peculiar pinkish color. He muttered to himself, “Could it be…Hwata?” Hwata had been a legendary healer who entered a mystical door to heaven rather than serve a corrupt king. The door to heaven was said to be in that area. Around the same time, Bae Choon-sik, the vice-commander of the Woodalchi, the king’s bodyguards, approached his Commander on horseback. They were both dressed in black, the primary color worn by the troop. “We’re being followed.” The commander of the Woodalchi, Choi Young, sat astride his horse with a blue cowl over his head to ward off the rain. His hair hung over his forehead, dripping wet. He didn’t even look at Choon-sik. He simply said, “I know.” “I don’t think they’re just bandits.” Impatiently, Choi Young replied, “I know”. What he didn’t know was who they were and who was paying them. He only knew what his scout had told him, that there was a sizeable body of men following them who were dressed in plain clothes. Large bodies of armed men on horses didn’t usually travel together without a hostile purpose. Shortly thereafter, Oh Dae-man, the youngest Woodalchi, returned with bad news from the riverside village where they were headed. There were no boats to be had that day to cross the river from Yuan into Goryeo. They’d only be able to cross it the next day. Choi Young pulled his horse to a stop, slid off one side, approached the king’s carriage and spoke to him through the side grill. Il-shin, riding next to the King’s carriage, listened in on the conversation. When he heard what Choi Young was saying, he blustered, “What do mean, stay the night here?! We only have to cross the river. Look, Commander, wait!” Choi Young ignored him and focused only on talking to the king. The young voice inside gave him approval to stop in the village for the night. Then the Commander swung himself back onto his horse and the caravan continued to the village. There was only one inn in the village, but it was a good one, with a large common room on the main floor, sleeping rooms upstairs, and a balcony overlooking the common area. The Woodalchi rented the entire inn, telling the owner that their lord had just married, and that he and his wife were hard to please. Their own servants would take care of them. Giving the owner a large purse, they had him turn out the current guests and then go home himself. The king and queen wore cloaks and hats to hide their royal identity. They entered with their retainers and went upstairs to separate rooms. Tired from the long ride and yawning, Choi Young entered with his men, found a bottle of wine, and took a long swig. Choon-sik said to him, “If they want to stop us, they probably took the boats and they’ll be expecting us to stay at this inn. Do we have to stay here?” His Commander replied, “Do you want to stay out in the open, with our flag planted in a field?” Choon-sik sighed. The Woodalchi Commander stretched himself out on a bench in the common room. It had been a long day of travel, mostly in the rain, and he thought they were sure to see action as soon as it was dark. They would likely be heavily outnumbered, as he had only 15 of the Woodalchi guards with him, but they had successfully fought long odds in the past. He closed his eyes and pulled his cowl over his face to shut out the light. Choi Young was an expert at sleeping wherever and whenever possible. He directed Choon-sik, a loyal and competent man, to set up their defenses and prepare for an attack. The Woodalchi closed the doors and windows, piled up tables and chairs to further block entrances, and stationed themselves on both floors of the inn. In the king’s room, Il-shin was distrustful of how the Woodalchi were managing the King’s journey. “As soon as we get to Goryeo, you must get rid of Choi Young! I knew it as soon as they sent him with the excuse to escort you. This is a conspiracy! It’s taken 10 years for you to return to Goryeo. And now that you’re returning as our king, you should be accompanied by an army with flags raised high. But what is this? You can’t wear the royal robe nor show your face. No one can call you ‘Your Highness.’ It’s disgraceful…!” The king listened with one ear while drawing a picture of a horse with charcoal. He loved to draw and was quite good at it. He often ignored Il-Shin’s overblown speeches, but he kept him as an advisor because he was sometimes right, and he was an expert in protocol. As twilight approached, Choi Young arose from the bench and went upstairs to see the king. Without knocking and still yawning, he entered the king’s room. Il-shin was scandalized. “You dare to enter without asking..!” Ignoring the indignant Il-shin, he addressed the king. “Your Highness, we are likely to be attacked tonight, as we have been followed all day by a large group of men. We don’t know who they are or who has sent them, but we need to be ready to defend Your Majesty and the Queen. I have asked the Queen to come to this room. It’s harder to protect you if you stay apart.” At the king’s unhappy look, he continued, “I know your relationship with the Queen is not good, but please understand.” Il-shin was scandalized anew. “You dare…” Choi Young turned to Il-shin, interrupting him, and asked, “Can you fight?” “Wh-what?” The commander took out a knife and handed it to Il-shin, then pointed, “Guard that window.” “G-Guard that window?” Choi Young impatiently shoved him toward the window. Il-shin began to shake as he contemplated the knife. The Queen and two attendants entered the room and the Commander bowed respectfully. The king gave her only the barest recognition. Once night fell, a Woodalchi lookout spotted men approaching the inn and gave warning. The attackers wore bandanas around their lower faces, with no insignias or other marks to indicate who they served. They attacked the inn in force, and soon pushed their way through the blocked doors and into the inn. As they entered the darkened common room, the Woodalchi cleverly dropped a powder containing phosphorus on them from the second floor. The phosphorus gave off a soft glow wherever it fell, so the defenders could more easily distinguish friend from foe. The Woodalchi fought fiercely with swords and whatever else came to hand on the common room floor, but it soon became apparent that they were heavily outnumbered. Choi Young went upstairs to the king’s room, saw him sitting at a table and knelt before him. He looked directly at the young king and said earnestly, “It looks like others have joined them so they are more than we thought. You must not run away. Stay close to me. Can you do that?” The king looked around nervously as the sounds of fighting rose from below, then looked back at him. “I will not run away.” “Good, I will protect you.” Choi Young drew his sword and stationed himself just inside the doorway to the king’s room. Wearing thick leather armor, he stood nearly a head above most people and towered over the small king. He would be the king’s last line of defense. It wasn’t just bravado for him to take that position. He was an outstanding swordsman, a deadly hand-to-hand fighter, and he wielded a wicked knife. His looks were deceiving. He was 29 years old but looked younger. Most soldiers wore their hair up in a tight bun to give opponents little to grab at, but Choi Young wore his hair carelessly tied at the back of his neck; loose strands fell around his face and forehead. He was very handsome, some would even say beautiful, with a face that was relatively unmarked for a warrior. It only bore some nicks and a short slash mark just below one cheek. His appearance led women to sigh over him and opponents to underestimate him. He ignored the women and made opponents pay dearly for their misjudgment. In serving Goryeo’s kings, he had killed so many men that he had lost count. As the fight below continued, invaders started climbing to the second floor. At the top of the stairs they encountered more Woodalchi with cross bows who drove them back. But as the invaders’ bodies began to pile up, it actually gave the rest of them more cover. Using their comrades’ bodies as shields, they began making their way past the defenders to the King’s room. There they encountered Choi Young, totally focused, assessing them for the kill. When the attackers first saw the tall warrior, they hesitated, then gathered their courage and went for him as a group. He felled the first two coming through the door in one broad slash of his sword, knocked out a third one by pounding his head with the sword’s pommel, then sliced the throat of a fourth. In a just a few seconds, four men lay at his feet. A fifth attacker came through the door while another swung through a window to Choi Young’s left. He slammed the one attacker against the wall, crushing his throat with his elbow, then turned to the other and threw him to the floor, stomping on his ribs. Yet another man came through the doorway and went for the King. The commander took him from behind by the scruff of the neck as the man’s sword slashed the air just inches from the King’s face. He pounded the man’s head on the table twice, knocking him senseless. Meanwhile, other attackers were being engaged by the queen’s two serving women and Dr. Jang, the King’s doctor. One woman was killed, but the other managed to push one of the attackers aside. The doctor stopped one as well. But more kept coming. If you'd like to read more, let me know.
  7. I'm hesitant to even post this, but here goes. I like to read a lot, and I truly love the story and characters in Faith. So I decided that I'd also like to be able to read the story of Faith in addition to watching it. I know there were two books written by the screenwriter (in Korean) and I own them, but I don't speak or read Korean, and I'm still only moderately conversational in Spanish after years of classes. Also, the brief excerpts that I've read from translations of parts of those books didn't stand out to me, although I'd still like to read a complete translation of them. So, I decided to write down the story of Faith myself. I'm doing it almost as a transcription, closely following the show, I'd say about 95%, with a few deletions/condensations and minor additions to clarify events or emotions. So far I've written down the first 7 episodes. They are long, about 10-12 pages of single-spaced type for each episode. It's been a lot of work so far, but also a fun learning experience, realizing how much dialog and action they packed into every episode. It has also taught me the incredible amount of work a screenwriter does, creating the whole story in their head in addition to writing it down with interesting dialog. I've done this solely for my own enjoyment, and I'd be happy to share this with others, but I don't know if anyone would be interested in reading this story, or if I'd run into copyright issues if I published episodes on a fan fiction site. Thoughts?
  8. I got Faith (titled, The Great Doctor) from Malaysia as well, with English subs. So far I've found just one error, about 10-15 seconds skipped, but it's from one of my favorite scenes (the one where she tells him to lean on her shoulder to rest (Ep 7)), so I'm disappointed. I obtained another copy of Faith from eBay (not sure where from; I suspect it was recorded it off someone's tv) and so far it's fine, but I like the picture quality and translation in the Malaysia version better. The translation is quite good in the Malaysia version, more everyday English phrasing. I like it better than the Viki translation for most of the dialog. At any rate, I hope they keep it on Viki for forever, so there continue to be numerous options to watch it. Thanks for the heads up, @Lindyloo421, about Personal Taste being available now on Viki. I can see it (from Mexico), as well as Faith, Boys Over Flowers, Heirs and LOTBS. Still can't see City Hunter, though - not licensed for my region, and it's one of my faves. Maybe they'll add that at some point; soon, I hope!
  9. LOTBS, ep 10 I'm late posting my thoughts on this episode, but it gave me a chance to read everyone else's comments first! I agree that we saw some first-rate acting from LMH in this episode, much of it nonverbal. He's really a master at showing thoughts and emotions without a word. I generally don't like drunk scenes but he was quite funny. And it was such a tease when she got drunk and was about to reveal her secret but then suddenly sobered up due to her mermaid's constitution. He was especially gorgeous to look at as the financier; all his con man scenes have been great. I liked the scene where he reveals he's a con man, quite defiantly. And then gets more than he bargained for when he learns her secret. Lastly, I'm glad he (finally) has all of his memories back, feeling the full impact of how much he cares (and has cared) for her.
  10. Thanks for posting this, @syntyche. Re instagram live video: "'I don’t usually go outside' (Minho is a homebody)." Can you imagine the crowd if he did decide to go out for casual dining?! I imagine that's one of the downsides of celebrity. We often see pictures of him eating outside in other places, like Paris. He can probably get away with that in those countries, although that may be shrinking if he continues to get more famous.
  11. LOTBS, Ep. 9 I really enjoyed this episode, too. In addition to the scene with his father, I liked the shopping trip where they're setting up their mark. And the discomfort they all feel in the car talking about a con man. My favorite, though, is after he sees his father. He says some really mean things to SC but she knows he's really hurting. The scene between HJJ and SC where he cries is so sweet, sad and moving. My husband was watching this with me and commented that LMH's nonverbals are really outstanding and what good instincts he has as an actor. And I laugh every time when HJJ later denies he cried, but SC assures him that he can tell her anything and she'll forget, and then he kisses her. Lovely.
  12. I made a similar comment awhile ago. His lip coloring is quite heavy in LOTBS. I think it must be his personal choice. He's so famous that I'm sure he can do whatever he wants in terms of makeup! I do think he has almost perfect lips and probably wears more lip color to emphasize them. He doesn't wear much lip color at all in GB but that was a much more realistic film. These are just my speculations based on what I've seen in his work.
  13. LOTBS, Ep 8 What a lovely, sad, sweet episode this is! It just tugged at my heartstrings all the way through, from the sad conversation on the bed, when he denies his feelings because of his own heartbreak as a child, to the merman's death and his former lover's grief, to Dam Ryeong's learning of his own coming death and saying goodbye to his love, to HJJ's coming clean that he has feelings for SC at the end. And he just looked beautiful all the way through. Great acting too. I enjoy the combination of humor and drama in this series. I was particularly amused by the conversation about how to treat a mother-in-law, and the wanna-be-his-girlfriend's declaration of how well she'd treat his mom while she is actually treating her like dirt. Change of topic: I have my own question for anyone that cares to answer. I've been fascinated by the fact that LMH has fans all over the world. So I'm curious about which countries people are living in on this thread. Probably more of us from English-speaking countries since that's the language of this thread. I'm originally from the U.S. but now live happily in Mexico. I was happy to discover that Mexico has such an active Facebook LMH fan group (Minoz Mexico Official). I hear that young people in particular in Mexico are very much into K-drama and K-pop (so no wonder I found that LMH pillow in Puebla!). Great fans here, who just held a Hallyu festival in Mexico City.
  14. Yes! It's one of the things I most like about him. There's a sweetness about him that is so attractive when combined with his masculinity.
  15. So we don't have any idea when this show will be shown on Viki or Netflix, etc.? The recent Arthdal Chronicles was interesting because there was only a one-week delay from broadcast in Korea to Netflix (didn't much like the show itself, however, except for the SJK eye candy). Just wondering how these things typically work.
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