Scholar Who Walks the Night: Episode 14
It’s a rough episode for our vampire hero, who faces his worst fear—showing his true face and being feared by the woman he loves. And when our couple’s fate rests in the heroine’s hands, it’s a rare chance to see just how vulnerable he is to her reaction, and how much it hurts him to be apart from her. Who knew the cold, aloof scholar would someday wear his heart on his sleeve.
SONG OF THE DAY
G.NA – “Don’t Cry” for the Scholar Who Walks the Night OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
After newly turned Vamp Hak-young goes on a killing spree at the gibang, Sung-yeol comes to the rescue just as Yang-sun is about to be bitten. It triggers the memory she had repressed, of her father turning into a vampire and biting her as a child. She cries in terror just as Sung-yeol raises his dagger to stab Hak-young, “Don’t kill him!”
She passes out immediately, leaving Sung-yeol torn. But he senses something amiss and stops short of killing Hak-young, choosing to flee with Yang-sun instead.
Ah, it’s Gwi, who’s dressed up for a night on the town. He saunters into the gibang, pleased with the evidence of Hak-young’s dinner massacre, and impressed that he fought Sung-yeol and survived. He deems Hak-young rather useful, which I guess means he gets to live to see another day. Yay for Hak-young.
Sung-yeol takes Yang-sun home and sits by her bed as she continues to relive her nightmare, and when she opens her eyes, she’s overcome with fear and dread.
Oh no… she backs away from Sung-yeol and crouches in the corner of the room, and his face falls to see her so afraid of him. She’s shaking and crying, so he gets up and leaves her alone.
Hunter Baek has recovered, and is eager to go tell the king that Yang-sun has been found. But Sung-yeol stops him and asks what he’d do if the king ordered him to kill Yang-sun, and Hunter Baek says he’d rather offer up his own life than kill the only child of his best friend.
Sung-yeol tells him the royals believe that sacrificing Yang-sun is the only way to kill Gwi, but he’s not about to let them do it. Hunter Baek is shocked to hear that Yoon would resort to a method that makes him no different than Gwi, and realizes now why Scholar Seo insisted on raising his daughter as a boy.
Hunter Baek asks if there isn’t another way, and Sung-yeol says that the diary is clear on one thing—that three components need to come together to defeat Gwi. That tells him that the solution can’t be just to sacrifice Yang-sun alone.
He needs more time to parse the diary’s plan, and says that he’s going to send Yang-sun away where no one can find her. He asks Hunter Baek to help keep her safe until then, and he agrees.
Sung-yeol lingers outside Yang-sun’s room, though he can’t bring himself to go inside. She sees his silhouette and approaches the door, and he reaches out a shaky hand toward her outline. Ugh, why does he do yearning so well?
Yang-sun reaches for the door handles, but backs away in the end, and blows out the candle lighting her room. Sung-yeol thinks to himself, “It’s time to wake up from the dream.” Noooooo, say it ain’t so!
As he undresses for the night, Sung-yeol notices that a part of his black hanbok is torn, which Hak-young was clutching in his hand when Gwi found him. Ho-jin is worried when he hears that Yang-sun recovered her memories, that she might be further traumatized if she sees Sung-yeol feeding on the night of the full moon.
Sung-yeol says it’s probably better this way, though he sounds like he’s just trying to convince himself.
Gwi brings Hak-young back to his lair and keeps him forcibly trapped inside his coffin, despite the violent knocking from within. Su-hyang is horrified, but when Gwi offers to let her go, she says she was bored with her life at the gibang and asks to stay by his side a little longer.
Gwi seems to trust her, though she betrays a hint of recognition when she sees him holding a strip of Sung-yeol’s daylight-protecting hanbok. She can barely mask her worry as he tells her that it’s Sung-yeol’s, and is relieved to hear that he got away. Gwi thinks the fabric is familiar to him though, and remembers the guardian vampire Hae-seo wearing the same thing.
Yoon sits by the king’s funeral bed and asks his advisor to prepare for national mourning rites, but the prime minister bursts in to say that Gwi has banned the usual mourning ceremony, calling the king a traitor to the nation’s true king.
Yoon stews in anger, and silently promises the king that the day will come when he rises above this disgrace and defeats Gwi.
In his lair, Gwi contemplates the scrap of magical hanbok and only now puts together that this material allows Sung-yeol to walk in the light. Seriously, after centuries of living, you’ve only now discovered this? He thinks if only he could get his hands on this hanbok, he could walk in the light too.
The prime minister asks if Gwi really means to let Yoon live and inherit the throne, obviously thinking himself better suited for the job. But Gwi says that he can’t just give the crown to anyone, no matter how powerless the title, and approves of Yoon’s pathetic desire to live. He says that it doesn’t matter anyway—he has plans to make the people forsake their own king.
Ho-jin watches nervously as more and more bodies are carried out of the gibang. The gibang gets closed down, and royal notices are posted everywhere declaring that the king has passed away and Yoon has inherited the throne, and the people whisper in the streets that it must all be the vampire’s doing.
Ho-jin says that there’s even a rumor that Yoon sacrificed his grandfather to Gwi for the crown, and Hunter Baek argues that Yoon would never do that. Still, he wonders why Yoon isn’t mourning the king’s death properly.
Sung-yeol asks after a boat to China for Yang-sun, and Ho-jin says that there is a boat on its way in, but he asks if they really need to send Yang-sun away. Sung-yeol says that she’ll only be in more danger if she stays with him.
But he can’t send her away until he’s figured out a way to defeat Gwi and recovered Su-hyang, and tasks Ho-jin and Hunter Baek with protecting her in a remote location. Ho-jin doesn’t want to leave Sung-yeol’s side, and Hunter Baek worries that Yang-sun won’t want to leave either.
Sung-yeol says that if she won’t go, he’ll have to sever ties so that she will. Oh noooooes, get thee away, noble idiocy! Away with you! Ho-jin asks if he really has to go that far, but Sung-yeol knows what’ll happen if she stays and finds out that she’s the secret weapon—she’ll invariably sacrifice herself to Gwi.
He thinks to himself, “I can’t let the person I love die for me again.” He nearly collapses when he tries to get up, suddenly very weak. Is it because he needs to feed?
Sung-yeol finds Yang-sun sitting outside waiting for him, lost in thought over her declaration that her love would never change. But now she can’t even look him in the eye, and turns away to avoid him. He approaches her and demands that she look at him and see him for what he really is, and she backs away from him in fear. Aw, no.
He tells her not to try so hard, because she ought to know by now—he’s not the night scholar of her novels. He says that they can’t be together, and rips up her slave papers as he tells her to leave.
He turns to walk away from her, and Yang-sun cries as she stoops down to pick up the pieces, muttering under her breath that Sung-yeol is the one who’s trying too hard. At least she knows he’s trying to push her away.
The prime minister passes along an order from Gwi for Yoon to bring Sung-yeol to him, or in the very least to give up Sung-yeol’s location, as a sign of his loyalty. Hye-ryung asks if Yoon is going to continue letting Gwi run this country, and he says dejectedly that his plans have failed.
Yoon tells her about his long-lost friend who was recently found, and says that he’s now supposed to sacrifice that friend to Gwi in order to defeat him. Aack, don’t tell her that! Hye-ryung is smart enough to know that he’s talking about Yang-sun, and says that they need to find this person immediately.
Yoon already knows where she is, but can’t get past his fear that he’ll lose everything he’s fighting for by choosing to sacrifice his friend. Hye-ryung says tearfully that he has a duty to his grandfather, to his faithful supporters, and to his people to do the right thing. She seems to convince him.
Hye-ryung thinks back to Gwi’s passing comment about the legend that the child between a human and a vampire could kill vampires, and she wonders if this means that Yang-sun is Gwi’s bloodline. She tells her spy to keep watch over Yoon’s movements, and to find out where Yang-sun is staying.
Yoon tells his advisor that he plans to attack Sung-yeol, but his advisor warns that they shouldn’t make an enemy of Sung-yeol or think of him lightly. Their goal is to get Yang-sun away from him, so Yoon agrees to send a lookout to ascertain Yang-sun’s whereabouts.
Ho-jin spends the day busily booby-trapping the woods surrounding the house, and Hunter Baek finds Ho-jin’s meager strength so pathetic that he helps, though he sighs that it won’t do much good.
Ho-jin only wants to buy some time for Sung-yeol to escape with Yang-sun, and that he’ll throw himself at the enemy if it comes to that. Hunter Baek says that he’ll die, but Ho-jin is more than willing to die for Sung-yeol, who rescued him from starving to death and gave him a name, a family, and a job.
Hunter Baek notices the royal lookout spying on them and gives chase, though they miss Hye-ryung’s spy spying on the spy in the distance. They tell Sung-yeol about it, though Hunter Baek doesn’t think that Yoon will strike hastily.
Sung-yeol says the problem is that he’s severely weakened because he hasn’t been able to feed, and thinks that they might have to send Yang-sun away first. Ho-jin flails because Sung-yeol refuses to leave because of Yang-sun, but will die if he doesn’t feed by the full moon. Hunter Baek heads out to bring back an animal for now.
Hye-ryung’s spy reports that Yang-sun is likely at Sung-yeol’s house, and she plans to tell Gwi where they are so that he’ll kill Sung-yeol and then feed on Yang-sun and die, thereby ridding the world of all vampires and letting Yoon become the true king.
She heads down to Gwi’s lair, where she notes Su-hyang suspiciously and asks if Gwi intends to keep her alive. Hye-ryung doesn’t want it getting out that she comes down here regularly, but Gwi just asks how she’s enjoying the position he so graciously gave her.
Hye-ryung says that she’s found out where Sung-yeol and Yang-sun are living, but she’s taken aback when Gwi doesn’t want to go after him right away. Instead he orders her to bring him Sung-yeol’s magical sunlight hanbok, which would ensure an easy victory.
She doesn’t see how she’d take Sung-yeol’s clothes off (I can think of a few ways…), but Gwi makes it clear that this is the only reason he has any use for her, and threatens to make Su-hyang the queen if Hye-ryung doesn’t comply.
He tells her to seek Sung-yeol out during the full moon while he’s weak and not in his right mind, and to help her appear more like his first love Myung-hee, Gwi chomps down on her neck, leaving a fresh wound there.
Hunter Baek returns to the house with a deer slung over his shoulder, and Yang-sun is horrified to see the trail of blood he’s left behind. She follows the path of blood all the way to Sung-yeol’s inner room, where she creeps up quietly and witnesses him red-eyed and drinking blood (though thankfully out of a bowl, not straight out of the deer).
He notices her there but keeps drinking anyway, and she gasps to see him as a frightening monster. He hurls away the bowl angrily, then seeks her out in the library to drive home the fact that this is his true form, and he could kill her at any time.
She trembles as she asks how he hasn’t shown her this side of himself until now, and what his reason is for taking it this far. When he sees that he hasn’t scared her enough, he pulls her close and growls that he’s a beast that lives off of human blood, and there’s a limit to denying his true nature.
He struggles against himself as he leans in towards her exposed neck, and tamps down his bloodlust. But instead of backing away this time, she cries in sympathy, saying that it must’ve been hard for him. And then she closes her eyes and turns her neck to him.
He immediately thinks of Myung-hee’s sacrifice, and his eyes change back as he lets go of her and backs away. When Yang-sun opens her eyes, he’s gone. She cries as she remembers how tender he was when he kissed her, and that he’d said she’d find out someday why they could never be together.
Sung-yeol stumbles through the woods, barely able to stand on his feet and growing weaker by the second. He collapses in a clearing, and is startled to see a figure approaching through the fog.
It’s Hye-ryung, but she comes close and calls him oraboni, and he calls out to her, “Myung-hee!” She reaches out a hand to him, and he takes it, shaking.
He rises to his feet and searches her eyes, but remembers himself and throws her hand aside: “No, no! You’re not Myung-hee!” She shows him the scars on her neck and calls him oraboni again, and this time he’s convinced and asks how she’s still alive.
She tells him that she was taken captive by Gwi and couldn’t help but lie to him, and Sung-yeol breaks down in tears as he asks, “Then have you lived this beastly life as well, because of me?” Ugh, this is cruel.
He’s wrecked all over again as she cries that it was worth it just to see him again. He collapses in her arms, and she takes the opportunity to hold him and check how many layers of clothing she has to get through to reach his magical cloak.
He apologizes to her, but it’s not for the thing she was expecting: “Myung-hee, I’m so sorry. You gave your life for me, but I have another woman in my heart.” He says that he’s going to die trying to protect Yang-sun, because he can’t lose her like he did Myung-hee.
A tear falls as he faints, and Hye-ryung looks stricken, perhaps moved by his words. She waits while her spy retrieves the daylight hanbok, and makes sure that he’s moved to a place where he’ll be protected from the sun.
She says that even as Sung-yeol was dying, he didn’t bite her and only apologized thinking she was Myung-hee. She plans to let him live in case he becomes useful to her later.
Hye-ryung doesn’t take the cloak to Gwi, but instead brings it to Yoon and tells him to go capture Yang-sun now while Sung-yeol can’t defend her in the daylight. Gwi fumes and demands that the prime minister bring him that cloak, while Su-hyang asks why he bothers lording over Joseon when he could roam the world freely and have anything.
The prime minister warns her not to overstep her bounds, but Su-hyang says she can offer Gwi things that the prime minister can’t, and he shouldn’t think lightly of her.
Sung-yeol wakes up in the woods and nearly fries to death when he steps into the sunlight, and realizes that his protective black layer is missing.
Yoon and his men go galloping off to find Yang-sun, and Hunter Baek catches wind of it early enough that he’s able to cut them off in the forest. Yoon is happy to see that his teacher is alive, and Baek asks if it’s true that he plans to sacrifice Yang-sun to Gwi.
Yoon says it’s the only way, but Baek argues that if he does this, he’ll just be making another Gwi. He says that taking Yang-sun away from Sung-yeol means that he’ll have nothing left to lose, and will turn his hatred on Yoon and mankind. Yoon doesn’t care though, because he’s willing to risk it if it means defeating Gwi.
Sung-yeol is so weak he can barely walk, but he keeps trudging forward even as his skin sizzles and burns, thinking only of getting to Yang-sun. Thankfully it seems that Su-hyang has gained enough of Gwi’s trust to be let out, and she rides off on a horse, in a hurry to get to Sung-yeol in time.
Ho-jin and Yang-sun sit at home waiting for Sung-yeol, and Ho-jin wonders if it’s a trend lately to go out and not come home. He grouses that it’s not like he doesn’t have someplace to go either, but then decides, “I guess I don’t really have anywhere to go…” heh.
Yang-sun asks how long Ho-jin has been by Sung-yeol’s side, and if Sung-yeol has ever tried to bite him. Ho-jin says no, but explains that to a vampire, the blood of the person he loves will taste that much sweeter. He says it’s a tragic plight, to crave someone’s blood the more you love her.
They hear noises outside, so Ho-jin tells Yang-sun to stay here while he investigates. But the second he goes outside, Yoon and his men charge up to him, swords drawn, demanding that traitors Sung-yeol and Yang-sun be turned over to pay for causing the death of the king.
Ho-jin refuses to say anything, so Yoon puts a sword to his throat to threaten him. Yang-sun comes running out to intervene, and Yoon is startled by her presence, calling her Jin and remembering their childhood together.
Yang-sun asks if Yoon is the same friend she remembers, because her friend wouldn’t strike his people with a sword. Yoon says that this is all for his people. He asks her not to forgive him, and says that her two fathers died protecting that diary not for the diary, but to protect her.
He tells her that she’s the secret to killing Gwi, and that she must die for the country to stand up again. He can’t look her in the eye as he orders his men to take her captive.
But when they make a move, suddenly one of them goes flying into a wall. Woot! Sung-yeol arrives, severely weakened but mightily pissed, and starts throwing the soldiers around. His skin is sizzling in the sun, but he continues hurling himself at the men, and jumps in front of Yang-sun as Yoon swings his sword.
Sung-yeol throws his arms out in front of Yang-sun when Yoon approaches, and Yoon stupidly offers to let Sung-yeol live if he hands Yang-sun over. Does it look like he’s going to do that?! Sung-yeol advises, “You should kill me instead. Otherwise, you will regret it for the rest of your life!”
Yoon grips his sword, then raises it above his head to strike. Yang-sun screams, “No!” and Sung-yeol stands his ground.
Aw man, Yooooooon. I knew it would come to this, but it sucks to see a good character make such a bad decision. I understand why he’s driven to do it, and that in his position as the king, sacrificing Yang-sun for the good of an entire nation is actually what he needs to do. It’s just that he’s going about it in all the wrong ways, by forcibly taking her, by assuming that sacrificing her life is the only solution, and by making an enemy of Sung-yeol, which is frankly really stupid. Hunter Baek had a really valid point that this is a recipe for turning Sung-yeol into the next Gwi—not that he’d suddenly become a basement-dwelling megalomaniac, but that his last shred of humanity would be gone the second they rip Yang-sun from his arms.
The way he throws himself in front of her to be her last line of defense wrings my heart in the best way, and I hope that it simultaneously quashes Yang-sun’s fears that he’d ever harm her. It was necessary for her to see what vampires are really like and to stop romanticizing them, but it was hard to see him feel rejected and feared, after everything they’ve been through. Obviously it’s because she loves him that she’s working through her fears even after seeing Hak-young massacre all those people, remembering what her father became, and seeing Sung-yeol’s bloodlust firsthand. I just want to hurry and get back to that happy place where he got to feel human and loved and not like a repulsive beast to the woman he loves. His reasons for pushing her away are noble and actually not at all idiotic, but I want her to say, to hell with that, and stay with him anyway.
I like that Hye-ryung and Su-hyang are being given more pivotal roles in the story, because the women in this story have been shortchanged for quite a while. Su-hyang fiiiiiinally gets to do something other than be impotently jealous, and is proving to be far more useful as a double agent in Gwi’s camp. I appreciate this use of her character so much more, because it uses her intelligence and her quick wit to advance the story and gain something on Gwi, making me respect the sacrifice she’s making for the good guys, rather than relegating her to romantic spoilsport.
The same goes for Hye-ryung, who plays such a crucial role in the palace now, and knows how to leverage Gwi’s trust (or at least his need for her) to help Yoon. I can’t hate her because her heart is in the right place, and she’s actually a good queen who’s doing what’s best for Yoon. Her methods just happen to clash directly with what I want for Sung-yeol, but the fact that she’s smart and empathetic makes me appreciate her character and where she’s coming from, even when she’s set up to be an opponent. It says something that I’m most afraid when Hye-ryung learns the truth about Yang-sun, because she has the brains to bring everyone down.
And yet, as cruel as it was to make Sung-yeol think she was Myung-hee, it was touching to see that she wasn’t immune to his century-long heartache and regret, or that he was so faithful to Myung-hee’s memory that he’s riddled with guilt for loving Yang-sun a hundred years later. Of course, it would’ve been nice if she had been moved enough not to strip him of his magical daylight hanbok, but there’s a loophole in there somewhere, right? Like he has a spare, or can enchant another one, or it doesn’t work on Gwi because the wearer has to have a pure heart? Please tell me there isn’t just ONE daylight cloak in all of existence, guys. Where’s a witch when you need one?
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- Scholar Who Walks the Night: Episode 12
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- Scholar Who Walks the Night: Episode 2
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