The Blood Parasite Conundrum
Episode 7 of Alchemy of Souls season 2 starts with Jang-uk showing up like a boss, ready to lay some Cheonbugwan smackdown. He brandishes his sword and makes swift work of the soldiers, holding Yeom-su up by the throat and learning about the blood parasite.
Word reaches Jin-mu of what’s happening too and he’s taken aback. Elsewhere, Songrim also learns what’s happening, with Park-jin realizing that Uk has essentially saved Yul and taken him to Sejukwon.
Yul’s health is in grave danger and the blood parasite inside him seems to be stuck and there’s no way to release it without killing Yul, at least not according to Physician Heo. The thing is, the consequences should Yul die extend way beyond what’s happening here. If Yul’s lantern goes out, then his father General Seo will march and come to the capital, desperate to gain revenge. A war could break out between the Kingdoms.
Jang-uk is furious, but Songrim are in agreement to support his cause. As for Park-jin, he’s going to head over to Cheonbugwan himself. Jin-mu is already aware of what’s happening and attempts to get the Unanimous Assembly joined so he can speak his piece.
Jang-uk immediately shows up, dispatching guards left and right and heading deep into Cheonbugwan. There seems to be no stopping this guy, who is basically an unstoppable Gary Stu (perfect protagonist with no flaws) now, let’s be honest.
The Crown Prince shows and attempts to stop Jang-uk, not wanting to see his hard work go up in smoke. He even stands in front of him and protects Jang-uk from a flurry of arrows, showing where his loyalty really lies. It’s certainly not with Cheonbugwan, and although the pair don’t see eye to eye, Jang-uk gives the Prince a chance to redeem himself, telling him to bring Jin-mu to him.
Naturally, the Prince heads over to see Jin-mu and encourages him to stick around, pointing out that there’s no way Jang-uk will back down. While our protagonist waits outside, he tasks Park-jin with heading back and taking care of Yul while he deals with this. As for Jin-mu, he summons the Unanimous Assembly, who agree that Jinyowon are the only ones who can help him now. He shows up with the rest of the group and bows on his knees before Ho-gyeong, begging for forgiveness.
Jin-mu apologizes for the issues that have befallen Yul, convincing Ho-gyeong to join him (or suffer sharing the pair of their downfalls together). Although she had initially been reluctant to help, Jin-mu’s cunning ways convince her otherwise. Yul’s life is hanging in the balance and with a potential cure on the horizon, Jang-uk leaves but also promises that Jin-mu will die if Yul does.
However, Ho-gyeong has a stipulation. She’ll help on the condition that Bu0yeon is sent back home to her. Since Park-jin is a witness there too, he consigns this verbal agreement. The key is this fire bird, with which Jang-uk and the Prince will enter Jinyowon together and face this fire bird, using its energy to ultimately remove the blood parasite. Before that though, he tells Bu-yeon the bad news. She agrees, but admits she’s doing this for Yul not for Jang-uk.
There are two issues – moving the bird or moving Yul, while the other is breaking the barrier encasing the bird. Heo comes up with the idea of extracting the blood parasite and mistaking Cho-yeon’s core energy for Yul’s. However, given Cho-yeon might be pregnant (given Dang-gu and Cho-yeon’s night together at the house), they try to come up with an alternate vessel. That vessel, it seems, is going to be Bu-yeon.
Now, the plan involves placing an orb inside Yul’s mouth, extracting all of his energy and sending it to the Lantern of Life’s water wick. This includes the blood parasite, which manages to stick inside this orb, changing from blue to bright red.
Bu-yeon opens her mouth and holds the orb inside, given strict instructions not to swallow or to open her mouth. If she does, then that could cause huge issues for Yul. Thus with this inside it gives them a chance to head over to Jinyowon.
Whilst there, the situation involving the Crown Prince and Jang-uk are cleared up. Inside, the Blood Parasite is extracted successfully, thanks to the fire bird, slashing Bu-yeon’s wrist in order to take the parasite out. In doing so, they hurry back to see Yul. Bu-yeon opens her mouth and kisses Yul, thus moving the orb back inside his body and returning his essence as it was.
Bu-yeon and Jang-uk part ways, with the latter likening her to a brazier in the summer (useless basically) and the pair end up parting ways. However, Jang-uk is still concerned about her despite putting on a facade that he’s not, wondering whether Ho-gyeong would actually put the tracking thread back in her again.
Yul does recover from his blood parasite ordeal but he’s still quite weak. Yul though is more curious about Bu-yeon and her ties to Naksu, questioning Master Lee Cheol about the time he spent with Mu-deok.
The Lantern continues to flicker on and off, distracting Jang-uk who decides to go and find her. Together, Bu-yeon nonchalantly tells him to throw it out but he refuses, going on to mention how when the lantern is on he’s fine. When it’s off however, he goes out of his mind and finds himself pining for her. Bu-yeon admits she’s decided to turn off the lantern herself, prompting the pair to passionately kiss as the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
Happy New Year dear readers! Alchemy of Souls is back and right on the cusp of a new year upon us, we get a pretty passionate kiss right at the death, as Jang-uk and Bu-yeon solidify their feelings for one another
For the rest of the episode, we get this extended hunt for the fire bird and a big mission to save Yul. In the end, he’s absolutely fine and not going to die after all, but it was of course touch and go for a while.
With Bu-yeon’s memory loss still being dragged out, it would appear that the final episodes are going to actually lean into this a lot more, which makes sense given the romance between our two leads has been solidified, finally.
This chapter is much more serious than what we’ve received the past few chapters, which managed to maintain some comedic levity. Beyond the reveal about the Prince and Jang-uk’s misunderstandings, there’s really not much else. Instead, this is very much a more serious and dramatic affair.
Either way though, that ending leaves things wide open for tomorrow’s episode and like many others, I can’t wait to see what happens next!