The Mystery of the Burning Plum Tree
Episode 9 of Our Blooming Youth begins with the Crown Prince watching the burning Plum tree while the King angrily questions some of the court officials in his room. The King suspects that one of them in particular, Right State Councilor Jo Won-bo, is responsible for the curse.
The King reminds Jon won-bo that he was in charge of arresting Song, the leader of the bandits ten years ago. He was heavily rewarded for suppressing the rebellion so he’s confused as to why the name of Song is cropping up again.
The King believes the Jo family has been adding to their wealth instead of helping him govern the country, so he tasks the court officials not to speak of shaman interrogation to anyone.
Elsewhere, Myung-jin and Ga-ram save Min Jae-yi but the culprits escape. Min Jae-yi runs back to the palace to quickly check on the Crown Prince. She promised she would help him bear the load of the ghost’s curse. Even though she was kicked out, she intends to keep her promise.
Court officials from the Han family meet to discuss their thoughts on the shaman’s interrogation. Han Joong-eon believes it was not a curse and wants to ask the King to reinvestigate the Byeokcheon case from ten years ago. He thinks that there is a chance the King will agree to their request since he is currently angry with the Jo family. Joong-eon is hoping this will be their opportunity to weaken the Jo family but another official doesnt share his sentiments.
Outside the palace, the rumours are rife that the Royal Family has been cursed by a spirit from the Song family. Tae-gang runs into Myung-jin and Ga-ram and they tell him Min Jae-yi already rushed to the palace.
At the palace, Min Jae-yi inspects the burnt tree and deduces that someone used gunpowder and Sulphur to make it look like the tree was burnt by the will of the gods. The Crown Prince is sure that they mixed the two ingredients with something else to make the tree burn longer. Min Jae-yi promises to go to Myung-jin the next day and find out. Min Jae-yi also shows the Crown Prince the red letters which were spread outside the palace.
Concurrently, Sung-on is also investigating the prison soldiers who were on duty the night before the shaman’s interrogation. Unfortunately, he finds all of them were bitten by a poisonous snake and died. He visits the Crown Prince and informs him of his findings. The Crown Prince is also interested in finding Oh Man-shik and Sung-on tells him that he has a lead on him.
After Sung-on leaves, Min Jae-yi and the Crown Prince discuss Sim-yeong suicide note. Min Jae-yi reads the report of Sim-yeong’s death and finds it odd that Sim-yeong had white hair. She also thinks that Sim-yeong had something to do with the shaman. The Crown Prince is suspecting surviving bandits from Byeokcheon might be involved in the curse.
As the Crown Prince chases down leads to find the truth, Prince Myungan has a hard time as he is still shocked by what’s happened. The Queen tries her best to calm him down. Meanwhile, Han Joong-eon ponders silently in his home about the events that happened ten years ago. After the bandits were subdued, Song was tied to a stake in the capital and left to die.
The next morning, Jo Won-bo is visited by a distressed Jo Won-oh. Jo Won-oh is worried after seeing the red letters but calms down after listening to Won-bo. It turns out that Won-bo believes he is safe from the curse as he only executed the King’s order. Currently, he is more concerned about the way the King spoke to him in the meeting. He reassures Won-oh that he has everything under control.
The Crown Prince disguises himself as Scholar Park and heads out with Min Jae-yi to meet Myung-jin. They ask about the third ingredient used in burning the tree and Myung-jin believes the culprit used beeswax. Before they leave, the four of them share a meal and Min Jae-yi whines about how the Crown Prince starves her.
Unbeknownst to them, one of Jon Won-bo’s henchmen followed them and reported the meeting to his master. After hearing about the meeting, Jon Won-bo asks his henchman to spy on eunuch Go Soon-dol. He also meets with his nephew who is a Confucian scholar and pays him to start an appeal outside the palace for the King to repent before the heavens punish the royal family.
This puts pressure on the King and the court officials from the Jo family request the king to apply Gamseon. Gamseon is when a King leads his people by example and reduces the dishes for the King’s probation. Han Joong-eon is against this but the King has no choice. Even the queen is shocked to hear her uncle asked the King to apply Gamseon.
In the end, the King repents and sends a message to Jo Won-bo that he has understood the message. Jo won-bo wanted to punish him for his anger towards his family. Jo Won-bo wanted to remind him that he is the King because they helped him; the King is merely a puppet to the Jo family.
The Crown Prince and Min Jae-yi return to the palace and plan their next move. Through their conversation, we learn that Min Jae-yi bet on the Crown Prince during the polo game. Min Jae-yi offers to visit the relevant merchant shops and ask who bought the ingredients that set fire to the plum tree. After collecting the ledgers from different merchant shops, Min Jae yi is troubled by the findings.
All the ledgers point to Sung-on’s family being the culprit. She contemplates asking Sung-on but decides not to when she sees him. Min Jae-yi is too worried and she fails to notice a man following him and when the ledgers are exchanged, she bumps into a merchant in town. She discovers this too late when she shows the Crown Prince her findings. Jo Won-bo took the ledgers and presented them to the King and called for the destruction of Han Joong-eon’s family citing they are traitors.
Luckily, the Crown Prince arrives in time to stop the soldiers from arresting Han Joong-eon and prove they are innocent. He points out they needed the ingredients for other uses and orders the soldiers to check the family’s storage room. It turns out they needed the ingredients to make fireworks and scented candles among other things in preparation for Sung-on’s marriage.
After the soldiers leave, Sung-on thanks the Crown Prince for his trust in his family. This was not an easy decision for the Crown Prince to make, at the back of his mind he thought about the ghost letters. Fortunately, he made the right decision and trusted Sung-on. He asks Sung-on to be his friend again and Sung-on says they never stopped being friends. Sung-on is deeply moved by the Crown Prince’s actions and can’t stop crying.
The Episode Review
This episode marked a change in the relationship between the Crown Prince and Sung-on. The Crown Prince is being influenced by Min Jae-yi and this is helping him trust other people. Had he chosen to throw away Sung-on’s hand and stand by while his family is labelled a traitor, things would have turned ugly. Sung-on would have lost his loyalty and embarked on a revenge mission. It was so heartwarming to see their reunion and you can tell that the Crown Prince’s trust means a lot to Sung-on.
Jo Won-bo is an enemy that the Crown Prince needs to be careful with. Jo Won-bo is ruthless and has power over the king. He has been plotting for more than ten years. I don’t believe Song was the leader of the bandit. It is possible that Jo Won-bo and Jo Won-oh lied and used the king to do their bidding. Only time will tell but it might be too late by then.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!