Jinhan had expressed his feelings to Hee-soo in the previous episodes of Captivating the King, and he was ecstatic to find out that she was a girl. As of then, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to enter into a matrimonial alliance with her, but that didn’t stop the king from playing baduk with her every day and enjoying her company. The Qing contingent was going to arrive in Joseon, and a lot of conflicts awaited Jinhan. He knew that the principal director would want to use the situation to his advantage, and he was mentally prepared to tackle him and protect his people. So let’s find out what happened in Captivating the King episodes 9 and 10 and if the king of Joseon was able to play his cards well and carry out his agendas.
How did Jinhan plan to save Hee-soo?
The principal director, Park Jong Hwan, was adamant about banishing Hee-soo since the previous episode of Captivating the King, and he had told the queen Dowager that he would make that happen at any cost. Park Jong-Hwan made a bet with Jinhan and told him that if Yoo Hyun-bo came back with the Qing contingent in 3 days or less, then Hee-soo would be banished from the empire. Jinhan agreed to it, but he had a plan in mind in case things didn’t work out as per his plan. He told Hee-soo to trust him, though he didn’t reveal to him what the plan was. Podan, who was heading the Qing contingent, had a letter with him about the king’s ascent, but there was another letter that was being sent by Prince Rui that no one knew about. That letter from Prince Rui was with Jung Je-pyo, and only he knew what was written in it. As soon as the envoy came, Jinhan welcomed them, and Podan was surprised that he was present there, as earlier he was informed that Jinhan was feeling unwell and wouldn’t be able to attend the ceremony. Podan asked Jinhan about Hee-soo, as he had heard about how good she was in the game of baduk.
Podan expressed his desire to play a game with the fabled player, and that’s when the principal director came and told everybody that the person they were talking about was a criminal who was accused of committing treason. Jinhan was aware that such a demand would be made by Podan and that the principal secretary was going to counter it by telling everybody that Hee-soo was accused of a crime. But Jinhan played it well, and he said that it was his duty to fulfill the demands of his guests. Hee-soo was called to the arena, and that’s when Podan said that if he won the game, then he would decide what would happen with her, and if he lost, then it would be up to the principal director to decide her fate. So basically, Hee-soo was in a tight spot, and she knew that neither outcome would be good for her. But the gods were on Hee-soo’s side that day, and the game of baduk ended in a tie. In their entire lives, neither Jinhan nor Podan had ever seen a tied game of baduk, and they considered the occasion to be very auspicious. Park Jong Hwan was not left with much of an option, and he had to let him go. While going, he told her not to be very happy, as he would come after her in the future and not leave until and unless he got what he wanted. Hee-soo also didn’t know how it was a tie, and she sighed in relief as she knew that she would be left at peace, at least for a few days.
What was Prince Rui’s demand?
Podan and Jinhan met in private, and that’s when the former revealed to him that there was another letter that he had come to know about. Prince Rui had asked for Jangryeong’s hand for marriage, and once again, the king was in a fix as he didn’t know what he should do. He didn’t want to send the poor girl because he knew the kind of impact it would have on her, but he was not left with much of an option. Podan told him that if he declined the offer, then there would be a ban on the repatriation of people, and additionally, there was a possibility that the Qing empire would wage a war on the kingdom of Joseon. Princess Jangryeong went to meet Jinhan, and she begged him not to send her there. The king was very sympathetic towards her, but he told her that he wouldn’t be able to help her cause because, as the ruler of the nation, he was not allowed to think with his heart. He knew that the security of his people was at stake, and he needed to protect them at all costs. He told Jangryeong that she would have to make the sacrifice and go get married to Prince Rui. It was not that Prince Rui was a bad man, but Jinhan didn’t want to put Jangryeong in such a situation. He knew that she wouldn’t be at peace, and sitting with Joseon, he wouldn’t be able to look out for her safety. Hee-soo witnessed everything, and she wanted to do something about it. She had a plan in mind, though she was well aware of the kind of risk she would have to take to accomplish it successfully.
How did Hee-soo save the princess?
At the end of Captivating the King episode 10, we saw that Hee-soo went to Jangryeong, and she told her that she would substitute her with some other woman, and as neither Price Rui nor his subjects had ever seen her, they wouldn’t be able to know that the woman who was sent was not the real princess. Grand Prince Munseong expressed his doubts, but he had full trust in Hee-soo, and he knew that if she was proposing something, it was for the welfare of the family and, more importantly, of the people of the empire. Queen Dowager and the principal secretary decided to replace all the women of the princess’s court with her own guards so that the entire process could be carried out in a hassle-free manner. Bun Yeong, at the very last moment, wore the princess’s clothes and took her place.
The next day, Bun Yeong, pretending to be the princess, went with Jung Je Pyo, and the entire contingent followed. At the very last moment, one of the maids of the queen Dowager saw the princess running with her belongings, though she wasn’t able to see her face, so she wasn’t sure who she was. But they went and informed Queen Dowager and the principal secretary about it. Park Jong Hwan was a conniving politician, and as soon as he heard about it, he knew what must have happened in his absence. He took Yoo Hyun-bo with him, and he rode towards the Qing contingent, as he wanted to see the princess with his own eyes. Captivating the King episode 10 ended on a cliffhanger, and in the subsequent episodes, we would get to know if he was able to find that a substitute had been sent on the princess’ behalf, or somehow Bun Yeong manages to hide herself and reach the kingdom of Qing.