Moorim School: Saga of the Brave 무림학교
Episode 12 [The seal is unlocked.]
Shi Woo tests his Gi Chae Sool skill and puts it into action with varying results. Chi Ang angrily challenges him to block his punch. With Sun Ah, Soon Deok, and Tae Ho watching, Shi Woo is able to stop the thrust of Chi Ang’s blow mid-air for a brief second; nevertheless, he did it and others saw. Shi Woo realizes it is a matter of learning control and gathering his energy. In the woods, Chae Yoon continues to look for the way into Moorim School. With Gi Chae Sool power, he suspends a leaf – both father and son have the power of Gi Chae Sool.
Master Tae Ho tells the Dean that he’s heading out. He has helped assess and direct the students and his work there is done. Tae Ho hopes to slip out unnoticed, but he runs into Shi Woo at the school entrance. Shi Woo asks why he left Moorim back then when he was in line as the successor. Tae Ho’s answer is simple: his first priority was to protect his family. So he ran away from Moorim. Shi Woo disagrees that he ran away; rather, he believes that he chose a new path. Tae Ho assures Shi Woo that he is confident that he can protect what is important to him, too.
Chi Ang is doing things his own way. He practices relentlessly with the hope of impressing his father and winning his approval and, ultimately, gaining the power that his father can provide.
Shi Woo tells Soon Deok that he is worried about Chi Ang. She understands that Shi Woo is looking for a way to win so that no one gets hurt. I’m not sure that’s possible.
Professor Daniel treats the students to fried chicken and coke, everyone’s favorite snack. They discuss whose parents are coming to watch the competition, but Soon Deok and Chi Ang aren’t sure their parents will come.
There are still secrets between Dean Kwang and Sun Ah. He asks her if, after the competition, she will go on a date with him. She happily agrees, although it is clear that the Dean has weighty matters to discuss with her. With the chintamani at stake the students discuss what winning would mean to them. Mostly, they are regular young adults with concerns about popularity, acceptance, meeting goals, and holding onto dreams.
Chi Ang walks up on Soon Deok who is sitting on the stairs of the school. She texts her family to make sure they will come to the competition. He stands back and reflects on his promise to become an amazing person and win her over. With that thought in mind, he is determined to win the competition tomorrow.
Professor Kim accompanies Dean Hwang as he unlocks the seal. It is the first time Moorim School is open to the public. No one is sure what this will mean. The students have diligently prepared to show their best performances.
Among the outside participants, Choi Ho has registered. He has been sent there to create havoc by Secretary Chang and Luna. When he shows up at Moorim he is greeted warmly by the Dean.
Furthermore, students have nominated him as a participant by proxy which surprises him and perhaps causes him to pause on why he is really there. But, when the other students greet him he brushes them off and tells them not to mistake him for the person he was.
Soon Deok is nervous that her father won’t show up. Shi Woo comforts her and says they will come for sure. Just then, Chi Ang’s mother runs up and embraces her son. Chi Ang introduces his roommate, Shi Woo, and Soon Deok. Mother grabs Shi Woo’s hand and asks him to take care of her son. Secretary Chang informs Chi Ang that his father has important business and will not be attending. He is disappointed and the others feel bad for him.
Before the competition begins, Shi Woo places the charm necklace that has protected him since he can remember around Soon Deok’s neck. She reminds him that today they are rivals. He replies, “Before we’re rivals, you’re the person I love.”
The Moorim Competition begins! Dean Hwang welcomes everyone and expresses his wishes for a fair and competitive event. Professor Kim spells out the rules: 2 on 2 tournament with 16 teams divided into A and B group. The winning teams of each round will move up the ranks. If one team member gets pushed out of bounds, the team is out. Team members are chosen at random by selecting colored balls. Chi Ang and Soon Deok end up on the same team. As they wait their turn, he notices the charm necklace around her neck and recognizes it as Si Woo’s. Another unexpected rival is Yub Jung’s brother, Yub Poong. Monk, who has his hands in the pot stirring up trouble these days, was seen talking with Yub Poong earlier apparently stoking up the brotherly rivalry and pitting them against each other. I can hardly blame Yub Jung when he isn’t willing to welcome his brother with open arms in this competition. It seems as if no good will come of this, either. To make matters worse, Yub Poong is paired with Sun Ah.
Round one: Chi Ang and Soon Deok manage to take a win. They move up to the next level. Next, Yub Jung and Choi Ho win their match. The Moorim students move up the ranks. Sun Ah and Yub Poong win as do Shi Wooo and Jenny. The visitors are impressed at the high level of skill demonstrated by the Moorim students. Meanwhile, Chae Yoon is stopped by a man with connections to the Guhji Party who has come to unload his guilt and give Chae Yoon the little information that he has. This man was an eyewitness that day and tells Chae Yoon that the person who took the child was not Hwang Moo Song but Shim Bong San. He was attacked by the Juk Poong and was left blind – this man is the one who knows about the child. *I have a comment here that, hopefully, will clarify who took what child and who saw it. It seems like no one saw Hwang Moo Song take the little girl who was hiding in the cupboard. It was the boy child that the Guhji Party member Shi Bong San ran off with and several others witnessed. The Juk Poong went after them, but Shim Bong San hid the listless boy under the leaves thinking that he was dead. When the Juk Poong came upon Shim Bong San in the woods they attacked him, slashed his eyes, and left him blind. No one of this group of people found the boy and they all have been under the impression that he died. Chae Yoon would likely be asking about either child since he had two, but only one person, namely Hwang Moo Song, knows about the girl – Sun Ah, and no one knows that Shi Woo is the boy who was presumed dead.
Soon Deok jumps for joy to see her father and Bang Suk arrive for the competition. She confesses to Chi Ang that she actually did not get his permission to return to Moorim, so she wants to prove her competence and win his approval. “My dream and the people I care about are all in this place,” she says. With a pleading look, Chi Ang asks if he is among the people that she cares about. “Of course you are,” she answers.
Th second level match begins. Team Chi Ang and Soon Deok compete against Choi Ho and his partner. Having trained under Luna to fight dirty, he carries a switch blade and plans to use it. Student Sang Man sees him in the restroom before the match and reports that Choi Ho has a knife to Professor Kim. By the time Professor Kim reaches the upper balcony to tell Dean Hwang, it’s too late; Choi Ho leaves a slash across Chi Ang’s cheek. Everyone is stunned. It is Shi Woo who stops Choi Ho by shouting his name. As Choi Ho glances around all eyes are on him. At that moment Choi Ho questions that he is there as a “turncoat” and drops out of the match. He has been used and seems to regret that it has come to this. Secretary Chang wastes no time making a call (we don’t know to whom) and saying that he has a Plan B (since Choi Ho dropped out.) I am getting weary of the ongoing backdoor plans the bad guys keep making.
Sun Ah must also feel conflicted to be on a team with Yub Poong, Yub Jung’s brother. They win their match, but Yub Poong isn’t much of a team player and tells her not to get in his way. Hooray for Sun Ah for telling him that she isn’t about to let him get his hands on the key that her father has been keeping safe for years. Yub Jung wins his match as well, which puts the rival brothers in the final match against each other.
Shi Woo takes the opportunity to talk with Shim Bong San in the hallway. He tells him that Soon Deok is doing this for his approval. Bong San asks if he has any memory of his childhood, perhaps a fire or being abandoned? Shi Woo tells him that he was told he was left on a mountain and was found crying, buried under leaves and found by a hiker. Bong San staggers – it is becoming clear that Shi Woo is the same child he rescued and left in the woods many years ago.
Chi Ang is not in good shape. The teachers advise him not to compete with his injuries, but he won’t hear of it. He tells Shi Woo not to go easy on him because he has an injury. Near the end of the competition the old, original chairman – the man in the wheelchair who Chae Yoon went to see – arrives with an entourage. Chairman Hao is among them and introduces himself to Dean Hwang as they have never met in person. When they shake hands the Dean to immediately thinks, I can feel the thirst for blood. Chairman Hao comments that he has come today as a parent, not the sponsor.
Soon Deok recognizes two people among the group with Chairman Hao: Secretary Chang and Luna. In a memory flash, she recalls seeing them that time she was kidnapped. Now, they are here with Chi Ang’s father. What’s going on? When she says they kidnapped her, Shi Woo recalls seeing them out of the corner of his eye as he dashed into the building to rescue Soon Deok. He angrily turns to Chi Ang and asks if he knows anything about all this and if his father involved. Chi Ang is bothered; he really doesn’t know what his father is up to and he hates being put on the spot like this. What is his father keeping from him? What does his father know about the kidnapping incident? Chi Ang has trusted Secretary Chang all along, but now it looks like he hasn’t been straight forward with Chi Ang. At the same time, he doesn’t like that Shi Woo and Soon Deok suspect him of knowing something. He storms off.
Privately, Soon Deok tells Shi Woo that even though she doesn’t know what’s going on, she wants to believe Chi Ang doesn’t have anything to do with it. Shi Woo is willing to give Chi Ang the benefit of the doubt for Soon Deok’s sake. Plenty is at stake in the final match between team Shi Woo/Jenny and Chi Ang/Soon Deok.
With Chairman Hao in the audience, Chi Ang wants his father’s approval by winning the match. He fights hard, but he is injured and angry. He’s watching. My father is watching me! is all Chi Ang can think about. There is no doubt that Chi Ang is strong. When he comes at Shi Woo with angry might, Shi Woo uses Gi Chae Sool – life energy force – to stop his friend. The energy is powerful enough to repel Chi Ang backwards. He hits the mat hard and rolls off the platform. Not only is he injured, but his pride is hurt as well. Everyone is speechless and those who know of it recognize Gi Chae Sool.
Soon Deok runs after Chi Ang but he lashes out and tells her that she can’t possibly know how he feels. Chi Ang is shaken, angry, and disappointed. To him, it was a complete loss. Above all, he is upset that Shi Woo has never fought him with all of his stregth. “It was alwasy me who tried to beat him,” he tells Soon Deok. Chi Ang seems so defeated.
At the prodding of Chi Ang’s mother, Chairman Hao goes to find him. Chi Ang asks his father if he ordered the kidnapping and sent Secretary Chang to do his dirty work. He wants to know what his father is hiding from him. Shi Woo and Soon Deok walk up during the conversation. Chairman Hao admits he knew about the incident, but it wasn’t Soon Deok he was after. He wanted to get to Sun Ah to tell her something.
At this point the story turns upside down. According to Chairman Hao, the seal, Moorim School, the key, keeping students safe – it isn’t like that at all. Rather, it is to keep everything and everyone else out so that a certain dark secret can be hidden. He continues: a family member who was protecting the key to the chintamani was killed eighteen years ago. Someone orchestrated the whole thng – the fire, the death, stealing the key, the kidnapping of a four-year-old girl. A person hid the girl and the key. That person, according to Chairman Hao, is Hwang Moo Song. “Am I wrong, Dean Hwang?” he calls out. With that, the Dean steps into the hallway and stands before them all.
While Chairmna Hao tells this story, the Jung brothers fight each other to the death in their match. Teachers have to pull the apart – it is completely out of control. Outsiders have entered the competition for ulterior motives and chaos reigns at the Moorim Competition.
- As much as a dark pallor is being cast on Dean Hwang, I don’t buy that the good guys are really the bad guys and the bad guys are really the good guys. I do think there was animosity and jealousy on the part of Dean Hwang towards his friend Chae Yoon. And, he admitted he was in love with the woman his friend married. But, my guess is that everyone thought his jealousy caused him to do whatever it took to get the chintamani key and suspected him of orchestrating what happened that night and hanging with the Juk Poong. But, that was a set up and somehow Hwang Moo Song knew of the Juk Poong plan and went to intervene, but it was too late to do anything. He could only save the little girl and the key. He may have been blackmailed by Chairman Hao. So, he went into hiding thinking that Chae Yoon, his wife, and little son died in the fire.
- But then again, I’m worried for Sun Ah. I hope Shi Woo and Sun Ah become close siblings and good support for each other.
- I’m sorry things are so hard for Chi Ang. He only wants to protect those he loves and has to go through his father to do so. At least, that’s what he thinks at this point.
- I think Yub Jung’s family has something to do with Chae Yoon’s wife who was killed eighteen years ago. Maybe she had the key and she was part of the Hong Kong Martial Arts family. If that is the case, that’s why Yub Jung is at Moorim and that’s why his brother showed up. They are not a happy family, are they?
- The story has gone half way into the deep forest with only 4 episodes to get out. Can the story end well?