100 Days My Prince: Episode 6
Today’s episode turns up the cute to eleven as Yul and Hong-shim continue to get to know each other better. Yul turns out to be a good student when it comes to life lessons, and when faced with a challenge, he tackles it with honest communication and an admirable ability to adapt. These smaller lessons will serve him well when his newfound life faces a serious threat, but for now, let’s just enjoy the fun while we can!
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Moo-yeon and his men gallop towards the mountain, following Minister Kim’s orders to find the crown prince and bring him his head. He remembers the day he thought he killed Yul, and figures out that he was tricked. He visits the spot where his man shot Yul, thinking he was Dong-joo, and when there’s no body, they head to Songjo village.
Hong-shim and Yul duck into an alley to avoid Ma-chil, the loan shark. Hong-shim warns Yul to stay away from Ma-chil, but he just stares at her and says he feels uncomfortable. She thinks he means the alley is cramped, but he says slowly, “It’s not that. I think my memory has returned.”
Hong-shim worries that he’ll know she’s been lying to him. Above her head, a platter of dry beans starts to tip over, and Yul moves close to shield her with his head and arms. He backs up and says that Hong-shim told him his body would remember even if his head doesn’t, and that he thinks his body remembers her.
He tells her to stay put, then walks off without an explanation. He sees the loan shark nearby and follows Ma-chil, an angry look on his face.
Nearby, Moo-yeon and his men rent a room with the lady who runs the restaurant. They discuss the fact that they’re looking either for an unidentified body, or a man who would have needed medical care. Moo-yeon tells his men to question all the morgue workers and doctors in the nearby villages.
Yul confronts Ma-chil, angry that Ma-chil threatened to sell Hong-shim as a slave. Ma-chil makes it worse by saying that Hong-shim is worth almost twice as much as his debt, and offers to sell her and split the profit.
As a “favor,” he even suggests he sell her as a concubine instead of a slave. Yul’s expression never changes, and he ignores Ma-chil’s order to lower his gaze, so Ma-chil levels his dagger at Yul’s eyes.
When Yul doesn’t so much as blink, Ma-chil throws down the dagger and threatens to beat Yul into a pulp. Yul says he’ll drop his eyes, and does, but his manner is clearly disdainful. Ma-chil asks if he’s kidding, but Yul says calmly, “I’m not kidding.”
Hong-shim grows worried that Yul is getting beaten up by Ma-chil, so she leaves the alley and goes looking for him. As she does, she walks within inches of Moo-yeon… her long-lost brother. Something about him draws her, so she follows him, only to lose him in the busy streets.
Moo-yeon also recognized Hong-shim, and he hides behind a building until the coast is clear. But Hong-shim pops out of nowhere, and she tells him tentatively that she’s Yi-seo, but Moo-yeon mutters that she’s mistaken and walks away.
Not about to let him go so easily, Hong-shim grabs a staff from a vendor and goes after Moo-yeon. He parries her attack, envisioning her as her younger self as he disarms her. The unique way he shifts his grip on his weapon confirms for Hong-shim that this is her brother, and when she breathes, “Brother, it is you,” he replies, “You’re still horrible at swordsmanship.”
She asks why he never came to find her, letting her believe he was dead. He just stares, looking heartbroken, then steps in and hugs her tightly. She cries that she’s missed him, and he says he’s missed her, too, then he suddenly pulls her into an alcove when he senses his men approaching.
He tells Hong-shim that he has to go finish something, then he’ll come find her. She’s scared to let him go so soon after finding him again, but he reminds her that they can’t be seen together, since they’re not even supposed to be alive. As he leaves, Hong-shim calls out that she lives in the house with the cherry tree, and it looks like it kills Moo-yeon to walk away from her.
Yul finds her, suspicious that she left the alley to eat gukbap without him. He sees that she’s been crying, but all he says is that he wants his own bowl of gukbap. Hong-shim gives him their entire pay for copying the books and tells him to eat whatever he wants, but he calls out, “It’s uncomfortable to eat alone! You said you’d share a bowl with me!” Awww, how quickly he changes his tune.
At the palace, Eunuch Yang runs full-tilt into Soo-ji, who’s shocked that he didn’t die in the rain ritual massacre. Eunuch Yang says that the prince refused to take him because he had a nasty rash, and begs Soo-ji to tell him that the crown prince isn’t really dead. Soo-ji hauls off and smacks him, and Eunuch Yang falls to his knees, wailing piteously for his beloved prince.
The Songjo villagers find a notice posted, announcing the death of the crown prince. Kkeut-nyeo grabs Hong-shim and cries, “The crown prince is dead!” just as Yul walks up to them, ha. Kkeut-nyeo is upset that they were forced to get married by a prince who was soon to die anyway. Hong-shim’s knees buckle out from under her, and Yul catches her, asking if the prince’s death is that shocking.
The palace ministers are allowed to see the partially decomposed body of the supposed prince, which has been secretly tampered with by Minister Kim to make sure nobody will know it’s not really Yul. It’s Eunuch Yang’s job to inspect the body, but he only bursts into loud sobs at the horrible sight.
Later, Eunuch Yang yells at another eunuch who’s baffled that he’s so shattered by Yul’s death. He says that Yul complained a lot, but that he only had a bad temper because he lost his mother and his first love when his father became king. He cries while hugging one of Yul’s beloved books, then abruptly stops when he remembers preparing the prince for the rain ritual.
He’d accidentally trimmed one of Yul’s fingernails too short, and he realizes that something seemed wrong when he was holding the corpse’s hand and crying earlier. But before he can do anything about it, he’s arrested with no explanation.
Hong-shim lies in bed, quiet and despondent, and her dad assumes that Yul got in trouble again. She tells him that she saw her brother in the marketplace, but that he had to leave to sort something out and will return for her. Dad asks her to stay with him, but Hong-shim says they might be discovered, and anyway her marriage is a fake ordered by a dead prince.
It turns out that Yul had seen Hong-shim and Moo-yeon hugging, but he hadn’t been able to hear their conversation, and he wonders who the man was. He visits Gu-dol that evening to ask him something, and Gu-dol assumes that Yul is having a problem in bed, but Yul asks if Hong-shim was with another man while he was away doing his military service.
Gu-dol says there’s no way, because even though several men showed interest, she never gave any of them the time of day. Yul argues that they just may not have known of any other men, but Gu-dol points out that as her husband, Yul is the winner here.
Je-yoon is zoning out when Guard Kwon visits him, curious about the sealed letter from Yul. Je-yoon mumbles that it was a riddle (the hanja for “heel” or “to follow,” not “elbow” as previously written), but he says there’s no point in solving it when the prince is dead. He says that Yul can’t tell him if he’s right or promote him, so he’s decided to stop doing needless things.
Guard Kwon leaves him to his moping, and Je-yoon notices him limping. Guard Kwon says that he has a scraped heel, which makes Je-yoon curious for a moment before he remembers that everything is pointless.
Still, he follows his friend to ask who knows the crown prince best, having changed his mind again and decided to solve the riddle. He asks if Eunuch Yang is still alive, and Guard Kwon says he can’t guarantee it, which worries Je-yoon.
Hong-shim stands outside her house hoping to see her brother, and the full moon catches her eye. It reminds her of Je-yoon’s wish that she’ll see her brother soon, and she says softly, “Thanks to you, I was able to see him.”
Yul returns home and sees her there, and thinks to himself that she looks like she’s waiting for someone. He follows Gu-dol’s advice and advances on Hong-shim, gazing at her in a way that’s supposed to be sexy.
He holds out a bouquet of weedy-looking flowers and says, “I picked these on the way home because they reminded me of you.’” Hong-shim says that all the village dogs pee on those flowers because they stink, and Yul drops them as she tells him to leave flowers to grow where they look prettiest.
She sends him inside, intending to go for a walk. Yul says he’d rather she stayed, and when she keeps going, he stops her with a wrist-grab. He backs her against the wall and steps in close, murmuring, “You didn’t meet my gaze.” Hong-shim looks Yul in the eye, and he backs up and goes to the house.
In the yard, Dad wails that their lips were this close. Yul says that he didn’t want to kiss Hong-shim, he just wanted to confirm a theory by reading her gaze. Dad pleads with him to get it together, and to consider if he seems like a reliable husband from Hong-shim’s point of view.
He sighs that he’s to blame for dragging Yul here to marry Hong-shim. He belatedly realizes what he just said and sends Yul inside to work on his transcription. But Yul is stopped again by a trio of strange men, all holding books. They want him to read to them, and Dad waves them away, but Yul says he’ll read — for a fee.
The men wilt, not having any money to pay him, so Yul is ready to send them away. But Hong-shim returns and tells him to read for free, moved by the men’s disappointed expressions. Yul argues that he wants to fix his mistake, but she tells him that a man shouldn’t exploit the poor.
Even Dad says they need the money, but Yul changes his tune and decides that knowledge should be shared. The men are adorably thankful, and he smiles to see their happy faces.
Eunuch Yang begs to see the king, yelling that he has to tell him something important. Minister Kim is brought to his cell instead, and when Eunuch Yang agrees to do anything he asks in return for his life, Minister Kim says that when he asks him a question during his trial, he’s to answer, “The queen.”
That settled, Minister Kim asks what it is that Eunuch Yang needs to tell the king. Eunuch Yang whispers that he doesn’t believe the body in the palace is the crown prince, explaining that the fingernails don’t show the mistake he made. Minister Kim asks if he’s told this to anyone else, and Eunuch Yang says he hasn’t. Minister Kim chuckles that he might have been in big trouble, then coldly slits Eunuch Yang’s throat.
After Eunuch Yang dies, Minister Kim leaves the knife in his hand and goes to see his daughter. She looks smug and asks him why he seems upset. He grabs her face and growls, “On the day I stabbed the heart of the former king, my friend, I promised myself that I would never kill anyone with my own hands. But all my determination was in vain because of you.”
He continues that he’s lived like a butcher, gaining his position through bloodshed, but now he’s about to lose it because of her. He demands she tell him who her baby’s father is, disbelieving her claim that she killed him since nobody has died recently, but she asks for time to deal with things her own way.
Minister Kim gives her four days, warning that if nobody dies in that time, then he’ll make his own move. So-hye says she’ll do her job, and he should focus on his task of framing Queen Park and Prince Seowon.
As Minister Kim leaves the crown princess’s rooms, he’s seen by a court lady. She goes straight to Queen Park, who sent her to So-hye’s rooms to look for something. The court lady sobs that the crown princess never leaves her rooms, so the queen says she’ll lure her out so the court lady can find whatever it is, because if she can’t, she and Prince Seo-won will die — after she kills the court lady herself.
Prince Seowon had been outside waiting to see his mother, and had overheard what she said. He realizes that she’s out to get the crown princess and leaves without seeing her.
By now, Yul has a table set up in the yard and people are lining up for him to read their documents. He gives them advice, even helping them find loopholes out of unfair contracts. One woman learns that she’s been freed from slavery, and she grabs his hand and yells her appreciation for the whole village to hear.
At one point, Hong-shim steps in to help repair a man’s broken plow, looking a little proud of Yul. He stares at her, mesmerized by her smile, and when she asks what’s wrong, he says in wonder, “Your smile is pretty.”
Town Official Park runs in, yelling that the palace has ordered them to hunt sable fur as a tribute. Hong-shim points out that no sable have been seen on the mountain in five years, and Yul says he’s uncomfortable that they’re expected to catch sable in a place where there are none. He tells Town Official Park that he should ask what they can offer instead, but Hong-shim says the king is greedy and doesn’t care about this subjects.
Yul protests loudly, “He’s not such a person! He is… his majesty is… “ He stops, confused by his own outburst, and Town Official Park rounds everyone up to go hunting.
He’s told by Hong-shim to stay home, because she needs him there in case someone comes looking for her. Yul asks if it’s a man and Hong-shim says it is, and she instructs Yul to have him wait if he shows up.
That night, Moo-yeon visits the local doctor to ask if he’s treated anyone with an arrow wound. The doctor says he doesn’t remember and couldn’t tell Moo-yeon even if he did. Moo-yeon flings a dagger close enough to slice the doctor’s cheek, jogging his memory.
The book Yul copies that evening is about a woman who shuns her husband and lusts for a slave, making him wonder about the relationship between Hong-shim and the man who might be coming to see her. He finds it strange that she would ask her husband to wait at home for her lover.
His thoughts are interrupted by little Meok-goo, Hong-shim’s peasant boy admirer. Yul eyes him accusingly and decides he’s not tall enough to be the man Hong-shim hugged in the marketplace, hee. Meok-goo says that Hong-shim asked him to bring Yul something to eat, dropping off a handful of rice wrapped in a lotus leaf.
Awww, Yul handles the food like it’s something very precious. He asks Meok-goo if the rice is really from Hong-shim, but the boy is gone, and someone in dark clothing is standing there in his place.
While sitting around their campfire, the villagers wonder if Yul was right to ask if they can offer something else, since there’s no sable to be found. Hong-shim impatiently says they have to find something, so she sends everyone to gather edible arrowroot. She falls as she searches, and while she’s on the ground, something catches her eye.
Yul’s advice to the peasants causes problems for Master Park and Magistrate Jo, who don’t like the fact that the villagers are discovering that they’ve been swindling them. Town Official Park and Hong-shim approach, and Hong-shim presents them with the wild ginseng she found on the mountain, enough to trade for the requested sable fur in the city.
When Magistrate Jo yells, Hong-shim calmly explain that there’s been no sable on the mountain for years. She asks him to petition the palace to ask for tributes they can actually fulfill, and Master Park says he’ll give it some thought. After Hong-shim leaves, he tells Minister Jung that this could become a problem, but that luckily, peasants often suffer untimely deaths.
Hong-shim rushes home to ask Yul if anyone came looking for her. He says that a tall, handsome man showed up, but left without a word. Upset, she runs off to ask around, and learns from the restaurant ajumma that the three tall men have left, but that she heard them mentioning Mount Chunwoo.
Hong-shim runs into Ma-chil as she searches, and he’s suspiciously polite. He says it’s because of “Won-deukie,” and we finally see the end of their earlier confrontation. Yul had quoted the Ming Criminal Code at Ma-chil, saying that loan sharking is illegal.
He’d promised not to turn Ma-chil in as long as he never threatens Hong-shim again, calling it a favor from one man to another. His obvious devotion to his wife had impressed Ma-chil enough to agree, and Hong-shim is gobsmacked to hear of the deal Yul made for her sake.
It grows late, and Yul goes looking for Hong-shim when she doesn’t come home. He finds her sitting alone, drunk as a skunk despite the ban on alcohol in the wake of the crown prince’s death. She tries to stand, and Yul catches her when she stumbles, but she jerks free and says, “This is all because of you. I asked you to make whoever came by stay.”
But Yul snaps that the man she’s looking for didn’t show up, and that he lied to confirm a theory. He accuses Hong-shim of falling in love with another man while he served his military duty, but that she was forced to marry him due to the crown prince’s edict.
He assumes her lover returned and she’s feeling conflicted, which is what led her to drink. Sadly, Hong-shim admits, “He’s my brother. I lost touch with him ten years ago and I haven’t known whether he’s dead or alive. We recently found each other. He said he has unfinished business and promised to come back when he sorts it out. That’s who I’ve been waiting for. You don’t know how much it hurts to desperately wish to see someone again.”
Yul tells her that he does know, because he feels like he’s been waiting for someone his whole life, too. But he chuckles, happy to know that she’s waiting for a brother and not a lover. He holds out a hand, imperiously giving Hong-shim permission to hold it, but she just turns away, leaving him yelling, “I gave you permission!”
He chases after her and grabs her hand, and they stand looking into each other’s eyes for a long moment. Yul starts walking home silently, still holding her hand, and she follows him without protest.
When the queen learns that So-hye is visiting her father, she sends her lady to the crown princess’ rooms to find… whatever she’s looking for. Meanwhile So-hye hides a letter on her way out, which Minister Jung, her father’s archenemy, retrieves.
Guard Kwon shows Je-yoon a spot at the palace where Yul would always stop. He says that Yul planted a cherry tree here on the day he became crown prince, but now there’s only a stump. The men imagine the tree alive and in full bloom, and when Je-yoon asks, Guard Kwon tells him that the crown princess had the tree cut down.
Alone later, Je-yoon climbs the wall into the crown princess’ quarters. He hides when he hears someone approaching, accidentally choosing the same bushes the queen’s lady is hiding in, but it’s not long before they’re caught and arrested.
The king is deep in the throes of grief as he sits in his rooms, blaming himself for sending Yul to perform the rain ritual. He’s informed that suspects in the prince’s death have been arrested, and that they’re believed to have connections to the queen.
Yul practices rolling straw to make shoes, and he asks Hong-shim’s help when she finally leaves the house. She wonders how someone so smart can be so inept at physical work, but she encourages him to keep trying, leaning close and putting her hands over his to help. Yul gets stuck staring at her pretty face, and Hong-shim stills when she notices, a little stuck herself.
When the tension breaks, Yul asks Hong-shim how she became separated from her brother. She gives him a vague, “it just happened,” then changes the subject, asking him where the money pouch is. He looks guilty and says he’s not sure, but his hand goes unconsciously to his pocket.
Hong-shim tips him over and gets grabby with him, and HA, he looks almost disappointed when she finds the pouch and stops groping him. The pouch is empty, and Yul confesses that he bought a book. LOL, his sheepish expression is so cute.
A lady interrupts them, asking for the solution agency. She offers to pay whatever Hong-shim wants, then gives Yul a suggestive eyebrow-waggle, making him very, very nervous.
Hong-shim dresses Yul in the fine clothes of a noble, and she goes a little slack-jawed to see that he’s even more handsome when all dressed up. He’s not the least bit happy that Hong-shim is willing to sell him for money, even when she says she’s getting enough money to pay off most of his debt.
She straightens his clothes and tells him to do everything the lady asks. He asks one last time if she really means for him to go, then tells her defiantly that he’ll do it.
The lady comes looking for him, impatient, and shoves Hong-shim aside to get a closer look at the pretty. Yul goes with her after one more long, almost pleading look to Hong-shim, and Hong-shim heads home. She wonders how long the lady will be needing his… services, and starts to regret her decision.
Yul bristles when the lady touches his arm, informing her loftily that he’s a married man. She reminds him that she paid well for this and wants her money’s worth. They’re approached by a nobleman, who dismounts from his horse and slumps in annoyance.
Hong-shim goes looking for the book Yul bought with their money, and when she finds it, she’s surprised by its topic. She hides it when she hears a noise, and she’s alarmed to find a group of men chopping down her cherry tree and ransacking her home. One of them accuses her of building a house on Master Park’s land.
She yells that the house is thirty years old, asking why it’s suddenly an issue. One man slams his stick into the back of her head, knocking her unconscious. They carry her off while Gu-dol watches helplessly, instructing Gu-dol to tell Yul about this.
The nobleman confronts Yul and the lady, who, thank goodness, only hired him to pretend to be her lover in order to break up with a cheating fiance. Yul plays his part well, chastising the nobleman for cheating and offering to comfort the lady’s broken heart. It works, and as soon as the noble storms off, Yul pushes the lady off his shoulder by the face, hee.
Gu-dol runs up to Yul, screaming that Hong-shim has been kidnapped. He tells him where to find her, and Yul steals the nobleman’s horse and rushes to her rescue. When he arrives, he finds Hong-shim tied to a tree, her attackers seeming delighted to see him.
Hong-shim yells for Yul to escape, and one of the men slaps her hard across the face. Yul dismounts the horse, his calm expression not quite hiding the fury in his eyes.
I’m so relieved that Hong-shim didn’t actually agree to sell Yul’s sexual favors for money! I get that they’re in debt, but the loan shark has agreed to back off on the threats, so it’s not like anything bad will happen if they pay it back later. But now we have her kidnapping to worry about, which is clearly a setup to get to Yul. I assume it’s Master Park trying to create one of those “untimely peasant deaths” he mentioned, and I’m so ready for someone to put him in his place for good.
I appreciate how 100 Days My Prince moves quickly, so that we never get stuck on any one plot point for too long, and making it feel that we’re much deeper into the story than we are. For example, I wasn’t expecting Hong-shim and Moo-yeon to find each other this soon, but I’m glad they did, because their relationship is a treasure trove of history and emotions to be mined. I’m sure there will be much drama between them before this is all over, and I’m terribly afraid that Moo-yeon may not survive to enjoy happily ever after with his long-lost sister — I’m not even sure he deserves one after all he’s done. But since this show isn’t completely gloomy, I still have hope at this point.
It’s so cute to see Yul attempting to fit into village society and using his skills to pay off his debt. He was never suited for dirty work, and not just because he’s disgusted by it, but because he has no experience and is genuinely terrible at it. But copying books is a great way to make money with the skills he does have, and even though he still seems reluctant, at least he’s growing and is ultimately willing to earn what income he can (and he’s even asking for help!). He’s also learning compassion and generosity, and when those men were thankful that he agreed to read to them is probably the first time he’s gotten a good feeling out of doing something nice for someone else.
It was also good for Yul to feel some real jealousy, even if it was for Hong-shim’s brother, though he didn’t know that. A little healthy competition is always good for pushing a person into confronting their feelings, but in addition to that, it forced Yul to take a look at how he was still treating Hong-shim as if he’s too good for her, and to try to do better. He’s cute as a bug as his feelings for her are growing, and I love the moments when he says things like how pretty her smile is, right in front of the whole town. As I said before, Yul’s unselfconscious honesty is one of my favorite traits of his. It’s unexpected for someone who seems so tightly wound to be so completely open about even his most private thoughts, and I love that, good or bad, you never have to wonder what he’s thinking, because he’s gonna tell you.
I’m equally happy to see Hong-shim beginning to develop some affection for Yul, because despite his faults and his lost memories, the guy is really making a strong effort to please her. Even though he’s a total grump, he always does as she asks, and he’s made several attempts to connect with her on a more personal level. He gives her compliments, confesses his feelings, initiates physical contact when only days ago he refused to let her touch him, and even offered comfort when she told him about her brother. Hong-shim has enough worries that romance is understandably the furthest thing from her mind, but Yul’s openness and honest effort are difficult to resist (not to mention those beautifully expressive eyes), and Hong-shim deserves to feel his positive regard and appreciation.