She tried to act cold, but he acted colder. Before stepping in the Yuan palace, she’d told herself that she’d never shed a single tear for him anymore, but subconsciously, she cried in front of that person. Lady Ki was tough. Despite all the difficulties she experienced in staying in such a scary place as the Imperial Palace, she’d learned not to cry before she saw him again. The man she’d sacrificed…she wanted to make it easier for him to hate her, but in the end, she didn’t only hurt him, she hurt herself even more.
There’s been a lot of discussion about everything Seung Nyang has gone through, the catastrophe that turned her into Lady Ki and would eventually lead her to becoming Empress Ki. But only a few talk about Wang Yoo’s part. Seung Nyang might have suffered a great loss—her friends, her child and most significantly her love, which was her own choice to sacrifice, but we shouldn’t forget that Wang Yoo did feel great pain as well. He left her for a good cause but not without asking if she’d like to go with him. She chose to stay in Yuan to search for the infamous Blood Vow. He sent her a letter to let her know that he had to stay in Goryeo a little longer, but the letter never reached its destination. Days, weeks, months had passed, they lasted that long without seeing each other. Feeling that something wasn’t right, he sent his man to pick her up, only to hear a word that she was dead. Despite the bad math in the drama, we could say that it was about 9 long months ago since he last saw her, and then all of sudden, she was gone? It was too much of pain for anyone to keep in his heart, but still, her death wasn’t a crack of doom to him, it just ended the days when to dream was still possible. I adored Wang Yoo for doing a valiant act. He could just have chosen to die and be with her, but he never did, instead it was always clear to him that he had to live to avenge his beloved’s supposed death. He had to marry the enemy’s clan for the same purpose. Marriage doesn’t always equal love, anyway. He might looked like a man with a lost soul, but he never lost track. Then, after all those times, Seung Nyang turned out to be alive, the most unexpected but best news to him. The tears of joy that came out from his sad eyes spoke how happy he was. The man who had suffered a great loss finally saw a glimpse of hope within him again. But that ounce of hope in him was soon snatched away by the cruel fate upon finding out that all those times he thought she was dead, she was just in the Yuan palace not as a palace servant or a court lady but as the Emperor’s concubine, favorite concubine, to be specific. To sum up, it wasn’t only Seung Nyang who experienced the pain but Wang Yoo also. They were even.
“The one who puts an ending is affected with more pain than the one who wants to fix the relationship.” —Bang Shin Woo
When Eunuch Park told Seung Nyang that Eunuch Bang was there to talk to her, the mention of Eunuch Bang’s name sank into her right away that he was there because of Wang Yoo. She was near to crying, but she held back her tears and faced Eunuch Bang. She forced herself to act cold to him. She even mentioned that she was the Emperor’s concubine and referred to Wang Yoo as some other man. She broke down in tears when Eunuch Bang left because of doing something she never wanted but believed she had to. Clearly, she did it to make it easier for Wang Yoo to hate her, but her own behavior hurt herself. Eunuch Bang conveyed Seung Nyang’s words to Wang Yoo as they were, that she referred to him as some other man and that he had to arrange a meeting with the Emperor first if he’d like a word with her. His men thought that Seung Nyang had changed after tasting power, but Wang Yoo defended her and said that they just didn’t understand her. It was poignant to see how deep Wang Yoo’s faith in her. He knew her very well, that’s why it wasn’t easy for him to believe with what he heard from Eunuch Bang. He wanted to see Seung Nyang so badly, so he followed what she had said and met the Emperor for him to be able to meet her. It was painful to hear from others that she had changed, but what was even more painful was when he was already the one seeing that change. For the first time, Seung Nyang called Wang Yoo by the name Wang Yoo gong. There was nothing wrong with Seung Nyang calling the King by the name, I actually liked it. It was just to show that she wasn’t inferior to him, BUT that’s if she was his Queen. She used to be unofficially but not like this that she was calling him by the name because she was now a Yuan subject and couldn’t call him Jeonha (Your Majesty) as much as she wanted to. In front of Wang Yoo, she asked for Ta Hwan’s permission to talk to Wang Yoo in private and even said that she’d not do so if he wouldn’t allow her, making it clear to Wang Yoo that his men were right that she had changed.
—You look lovely.
—Thank you, Wang Yoo gong.
—Do you blame me?
—Blaming someone is only possible if there are feelings left for that person. In my heart, Seung Nyang died long ago.
—Don’t remember me. I won’t have you thinking of me.
—You’re just a memory I don’t want to remember. What’s past is past. It has no meaning to me anymore. We should never meet again.
—I’m sorry…I’m sorry.
—Don’t say sorry. I was the one who gave up on you. In this world, no one can blame you, not even me. Don’t be sorry. Don’t shed any tears. Continue on your path with dignity. I’ll do the same. No looking back. No hatred. No regrets. I’ll go on my own path.
“Forget me and find happiness. It’s selfish of me to ask. My last shameless request. I’m sorry, Your Majesty…Your Majesty…”
Seung Nyang and Wang Yoo were given all the time to talk, just the two of them, but Wang Yoo cut off the talk as soon as possible. Both acted indifferent as if everything was okay, but Wang Yoo was of a higher degree. Perhaps there was a slight feeling of guilt in Seung Nyang since she’d left him behind in pursuing her objective, which was why she had the courage to ask him if she was to blame, but Wang Yoo indirectly said that he had no feelings for her anymore. She asked him to forget her, he said she was a memory not to remember, a past he’d like to forget and concluded everything by saying that it had no meaning and that they shouldn’t see each other again. Every time she said a single word, he answered with ten without batting an eye. My favorite part of this conversation was when Wang Yoo said that he was the one who had given up on her, and he was one who had left her. What kind of love he has for Seung Nyang and how deep it is that he doesn’t want her to feel sorry or to blame herself, when in fact, she’s partly to blame since she made that decision on her own? That’s too strong to be described or conveyed in words. Whatever she’s experiencing now, be it happiness or regret, is just a consequence of the decision she made. By saying that she wasn’t to blame, that no one could blame her not even him, right after saying, “I was the one who gave up on you,” he was more likely blaming himself. Perhaps on Wang Yoo’s part, he was a little regretful. If only he didn’t leave without her, if only he chose to stay with her and do their mission hand-in-hand, perhaps, things wouldn’t have turned out the way they are. Though Seung Nyang knew she was to blame, Wang Yoo wanted her to live and go on with what she had started without feeling apologetic to him or to anyone, without feeling regretful. That was it, a tear fell from her eye in front of him, and tears gushed out from her eyes the moment he left. The girl who had been acting like a boss in the palace finally broke down in tears at the sight of the man that would always remind her of the past and of the beautiful dreams that they had once shared.
If there was anyone who had the right to be angry at whom, that would be Wang Yoo at Seung Nyang. I don’t think I should explain, given the reasons on this post and my past posts. But still, I couldn’t see that he was angry at her. For now, Wang Yoo is like both Seung Nyang’s guardian angel and mysterious hero. Seung Nyang may have both the intelligence and strategy to deal with dirty politics, but she needs someone’s assistance, knowledge and wit, someone who’s adept at handling things as such. Wang Yoo is Seung Nyang’s guardian angel since he guides her from afar, but she doesn’t see him and doesn’t even know that he’s there whenever she needs a helping hand. Wang Yoo just helped the people connected to Seung Nyang without her knowing about it. It was all thanks to Wang Yoo that Ta Hwan was able to get the governors on his side and withdraw the abdication. All Ta Hwan did was to learn to read and write, which was still thanks to teacher Seung Nyang. And it was also thanks to Wang Yoo that Taltal is still alive by now. Wang Yoo is Seung Nyang’s mysterious hero since he’ll more likely save her some time in the future. It’s just inspiring and moving how a man can show his love for a woman even when they’re apart from each other. Wang Yoo is too perfect in many ways that I wonder if such a man exists in reality. As a man, he has two options: either he’ll continue to support Seung Nyang secretly from a distance like what he’s doing now or move on and try to forget. As a father, who knows maybe he’ll be the first one to learn about the existence of Byul. He’s Maha, but I prefer calling him Byul since that’s the name given by his mother. And as a King, I’m sure he’ll work harder to retrieve what was his and to gain sufficient power that will bring colors to Goryeo and his people. I can safely say that the only two reasons why I’m still watching Empress Ki are my love for Ha Ji Won as the actress and my admiration for Wang Yoo as my favorite character. I don’t have a major problem with the writers except for the bad math and inconsistent pacing of the drama, I hope they can improve it. Don’t even get me started with the PD because I might end up writing a novel about how poor he is. So close, Empress Ki, you don’t have to exceed my expectations, just live up to them, so that I can send you off with a fond farewell 19 episodes from now.
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