Episode 9 of Alchemy of Souls starts with Jang-Uk handed his uniform and welcomed into Songrim and Jeongjingak. He’s a mage now, and he’s also in possession of his own Spirit Plaque. Jang-Uk has access to everything here, including the Book of Regulations which he must adhere to or suffer a nasty punishment.
As part of the celebrations, there’s a big party where the inhabitants are encouraged to drink. Outside, Master Heo hands over a Raisin tree pill to Park Jin, encouraging him to eat his before the festivities. At least that way it’ll give them an edge and they can keep up with the drinking. Funnily enough though, so too do Mu-Deok and Jang-Uk.
In the middle of all this, Jin-Mu continues to scheme, determined to get his hands on the ice stone. He needs more power, but for now he’s going to bide his time.
Back at the party, Yul ends up a bit tipsy and heads outside for some air. Mu-Deok follows and offers to take him home. Instead, he tells her he’s gone astray and now, while holding her hand, he doesn’t know what path to take. “You will follow me”, Mu-Deok says confidently. She encourages him to focus on just one thing – her – and let her guide him.
It’s a really beautiful chat and it’s topped off with Yul picking her a flower as a token of his gratitude and heading back home.
Outside the party, Master Hemp Lee and Maidservant Kim end up entangled together – quite literally – and share a cute moment. When she rips the string with her mouth, Lee is shocked and eventually hurries off, his heart thumping inside his chest and breathing heavily. Is it the chaste herb tea? Probably not, but Master Lee tries to convince himself that it is!
Over at Sejukwon, the new arrival to the royal infirmary, Heo Yun-Ok, prepares to leave with her assistant, Sun-I. These two happen to be the women last episode who accused Jang-Uk of following them. Yun-Ok very clearly has taken a fancy to him though and dreamily wonder if she’ll ever see him again.
After their previous fight, tensions are high between the Crown Prince and Jang-Uk. The latter shows up and keeps his guard up as the Crown Prince offers him some alcohol. He also tells Jang-Uk that he’s the best mage he’s seen. Jang-Uk drinks the alcohol and in exchange, pours a bowl for the Crown Prince and hopes that he’ll become a great leader one day. There’s clear respect between the two as applause grips the hall.
In the wake of all the festivities, we get a look at a mysterious mage who shows up from a boat, blindfolded, claiming to be Mu-Deok’s “friend”. After stealing from the other passengers, she makes her way to the fortress and appears to have the Jinyowon emblem on her clothes. She’s turned away (After slapping one of the guards in the face and promising she’s “gone easy” on him because she hasn’t used her energy.) The guard feeds back that Jinyowon may be sniffing around.
As the night wears on, Jang-Uk ends up blind drunk and he’s separated from Mu-Deok. We soon learn that not a single Jeongjingak mage is given the right to a personal servant and as a result, she and Jang-Uk are separated. As Jang-Uk is now with Songrim, he needs to abide by the rules – and that means Mu-Deok can’t visit him.
Mu-Deok is on her own again but as the rain pours, Yul decides to stay with her, offering an umbrella and some words of encouragement. As for Mu-Deok, she’s determined to gain entry to Songrim no matter what.
In the morning, Jang-Uk learns that Mu-Deok isn’t around and instead, he’s greeted by Sun-i. Heading out, he tracks down Heo Yun-Ok and takes her aside, pleading with the young lady not to mention anything about the soul shifter he fought from before. She also happens to be Heo Yeom’s granddaughter.
Meanwhile, Mu-Deok goes on the hunt for a Spirit Plaque to try and bust into Songrim. Unfortunately, she comes unstuck in her mission. She’s approached by Maidservant Kim in the midst of this though, who reveals that Jang-Uk is in love with Lady Heo. He’s not, of course, as we cut back to Jang-Uk one more time, who comments to himself how much he misses Mu-Deok.
The Episode Review
With Jang-Uk now inside Songrim, the attention shifts to a big celebration for his accomplishments and, of course, the arrival of romance into this tale. In fact, this is the episode that really starts to double down on the crushes and potential pairings, with everyone from the Crown Prince to Maidservant Kim being struck with cupid’s arrow. It certainly makes for a nice change of pace, and although there isn’t much in terms of plot development this time around, it’s clear that this chapter is being used as a bridge for bigger things to come in the future.
The show certainly has a decent balance of genres, and the cinematography is gorgeous throughout. Quite what Jin-Mu has planned though, and who will pair up with whom, remains to be seen. However, this certainly sets the foundation for what should be a dramatic follow-up chapter.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|