HAECHI Overview. “The Indictment Of Virtue.” Epi 5-6

The door opens abruptly.

Geum (lazily):  “Oh My!  How can this be?  That so-called witness…  is here.”

Jeonseok:  “My Lord the Prince Yeoning.”

Geum (holding onto the side not to lose balance):  “I did have a drink, but I am also drunk on a dream.  What did you call me, that dammed witness? (Becoming steady, looking straight at the leaders)  That is right, I am him.  I took the substitute test ordered by Prince Milpoong.  Who can prove Prince Milpoong’s guilt? I, Prince Yeoning, can.”


Park Moonsoo is running in a hurry and bumps into Dalmoon.  Dalmoon helps him and shows him a less busy street.”

Moonsoo (to himself):  “You’re all dead.”

Goontae (to Dalmoon):  “He is Park Moonsoo.  He is a friend of Inspector Han Jeonseok.”

Dalmoon:  “I heard Prince Yeoning showed up at the open court in Saheonbu.”  Looking at the statue of Haechi, “Haechi?  Are there still idealists who believe in justice within the system?”


Chief Lee Yikyum:  “My Lord Prince Yeoning, do you understand what you are saying? Why would Prince Milpoong order someone to take a substitute test for Roh Taepyung?  This is Saheonbu’s Supreme Court.  You cannot be forgiven if you give false statement, even if you are a royalty.”

Geum:  “I am also a citizen of Joseon. Would I not know the danger of false testimony at Saheonbu?  Yet it is true that I took that substitute test ordered by Prince Milpoong, and I am the witness that reported this incident.  (Ironic smile) You have been cornered, so you cannot deny this inconvenient truth.”

Jeonseok:  “The witness you all wanted has come forward. What else do you need?

Leader A:  “Taking a substitute test does not prove Prince Milpoong’s guilt.  How will you prove the connection?”

Jeonseok:  “We need to arrest Prince Milpoong in order to find out the connection.”

Chief Lee:  “What did you say? Arrest?  Are you suggesting that we drag a royal member to Saheonbu?”

Jeonseok:  “Why not?  Royal members are part of Joseon’s people.  This is the reason Saheonbu exists.”  Jeonseok’s inspector friends stand up in solidarity.

Chief Lee:  “What do you think you are doing?

Jeonseok:  “We cannot ignore Prince Milpoong’s crimes.  As Saheonbu’s inspectors, we are going to arrest him.”

Chief Lee:  “Are you going to disobey orders?  How dare you!”

Wi Byungjoo:  “Stop everyone!  As the Inspector Head, I have the final say.” Jeonseok is surprised.  He thought Inspector Wi was his friend and shared his ideals.

He continues, “You are right.  If the testimony were true, Prince Milpoong would have a motivation for murder.  However, how are we supposed to trust the testimony of that one person?  How can we be sure this is not a scheme to bring him down?”

Geum:  “High officials are often convicted on mere rumors, and unidentified sources are enough for Saheonbu to judge.  How strange that now, an identified witness is not enough to prove guilt, even when that witness is a royal member.”

Byungjoo: “That is the problem.  The fact that My Lord, you are a royalty.  We at Saheonbu, are not supposed to get involved in politics and take sides.”

Geum:  “I see.  You are saying that Saheonbu is really just and fair, of course. Ok, then how about this?  What if I bring you one more witness.”


Dalmoon tells Kaedol that Prince Yeoning left the city.  Kaedol is like “he must be scared too.”  Suddenly, he hears screaming.  So he gets ready to escape.

Moonsoo  and Yeoji captures him.  They both carry in their hands the drawing of Kaedol’s face, given to them by Yi Geum. Dalmoon watches them from afar, a twinkle in his eyes.


Yeoji drags Kaedol and shows him to all the Inspectors and leaders.

Yeoji: “I am Damo Chun Yeoji.  I arrested Kaedol, who was ordered by Prince Milpoong to find a substitute test taker.  I got his confession.”

Jeonseok (looking at Geum):  “My Lord the Prince, how did you…?”

Geum, playfully:  “I felt you wouldn’t be good at tricking others.  I didn’t want anyone to find this out beforehand.  So I borrowed your people without asking you.”


Tan:  “That crazy bastard Yi Geum. I should have torn him to pieces long time ago.” He still thinks he can get away from this because the Norons are backing him up.


The leaders are conflicted because they are afraid of public opinion.  The young Inspectors are ready to push back and arrest Yi Tan no matter what the leaders decide.

Inspector Wi Byungjoo tries to convince Han Jeonseok to stop, telling him he cannot go against the Noron’s political power.


There is a big commotion in the Palace.  The Norons are telling the Sorons that this is a false scheme to bring Prince Milpoong down.

Soron A: “Why would Prince Yeoning lie?”

Minister Min: “Prince Yeoning is the half-brother of Prince Yeonryeong.  Do you need anymore explanation? I am not saying Prince Yeonryeong was involved.  I am sure Prince Yeoning did this alone, to help his brother.  Otherwise, this would be inexcusable.”

Prime Minister: “Let us just wait for Saheonbu to decide.”

King (walking inside):  “What happens if I cannot wait for Saheonbu to decide?”

Lord Min:  “Are you saying you cannot trust Saheonbu?  That is a dangerous statement, Your Majesty. On what base are you saying this?”

King: “Then on what basis are you saying you cannot trust Prince Yeoning’s testimony? Why would Prince Yeoning lie to slander Prince Milpoong?

Lord Min: “Because he knows he will not be punished for simply taking a substitute test.  Am I wrong, Your Majesty?  Would you punish your son Prince Yeoning, just for this?  But the charges concerning Prince Milpoong are heavier.  They require severe punishment.  What if Prince Yeoning lied just to frame Prince Milpoong?  Even a commoner on the street will find this a little fishy.”

Voice:  “Your Majesty, His Lordship Prince Yeoning is requesting your audience.”

Yeoning (entering):  “I, Prince Yeoning, greets you His Majesty.”  He bows to the king. “I got a little worried.   Some may think that I have ulterior motives just because I am Prince Yeonryeong’s brother.  (Looking at Lord Min)  However, I have no intentions nor reasons to lie.  I have been a wanderer all my life, but by accident, I learned about Prince Milpoong’s crimes.”

King:  “Did you take the substitute test that was ordered by Prince Milpoong?”

Geum:  “I did.  I took the test for the dead Roh Taepyung.  Moreover yesterday night, I followed Prince Milpoong’s men and found the corpse. I am the witness of all of Prince Milpoong’s crimes.”

Lord Min:  “My Lord the Prince, what are you…”

Geum:   “So I want to ask…  to be exiled, Your Majesty.”

King:  “What?”

Geum: “I came here to ask you this in front of all your Royal Officials. Even if I didn’t know what I was doing, I assisted in Prince Milpoong’s crime.  As a consequence of my actions please, send me to Tamra Island.”

King (standing up):  “Exile?  To Tamra? Do you understand what you are asking?

Geum:  “I do, Your Majesty.  More than ever. Until now, the royal families and the  high-ranking aristocrats were never punished for their crimes.  The law was generous towards them, which caused Prince Milpoong to murder innocent people.  He trusted his power was stronger than the law.  But after today, you must show them that the law is fair for all the people in the land.    I myself… will willingly atone for my crimes.  (looking at Lord Min) Will this be enough, Minister of Personnel? Not just high-ranking officials, but even commoners will agree that this is right.”


Prime Minister: “That idiot is mad.  He is asking for self-punishment in order to destroy Prince Milpoong.”

Lord Min:  “He wants to decide the players in the royal house.  Prince Yeoning, how dare you…”


Han Jeonseok and the rest of the Inspectors broke into the house to force arrest Prince Milpoong.  There is a power struggle with the Prince’s men trying to protect their Lord against the inspectors.  Yeoji points her sword against the Prince’s neck.

“Everyone, stop!”  It’s the Saheonbu leader with his men.  He bows to the Prince.

Tan (hitting the leader):  “You son of a b*!  Why are you so late?  Take all this mob away, especially that crazy girl…  Wait, aren’t you that rat?”

Yeoji (to the leader):  “It is our duty to arrest him, Sir.  You don’t have the rights to stop us.”

Leader, punching Yeoji: “You are merely a Damo.  How dare you intervene!”

Jeonseok:  “If you are planning to stop us, you will have to hit me also!”

Leader:  “Who said I will stop you?  I came…  to arrest Prince Milpoong.” And he orders the Prince’s arrest.

Later on, looking at Tan’s fallen hat: “He calls himself a Prince.  The future of our nation?  Give me a break!  (to Jeonseok)  Most of the high officials agreed to this arrest.  From now on, we will handle this case.”  And he apologizes to Yeoji.

Moonsoo joins them, to celebrate the arrest of the corrupt Prince.  “Saheonbu will handle this case justly.  Because this is Haechi!”


King (to Geum):  “Prince Milpoong got arrested.  I thought you’d like to know.”

Geum: “Really?  Did Saheonbu step up?”

“Why did you do it?  I could have protected you.  I could have easily ignored your wrongdoing. But why…?”

“Why would you protect someone like me?  I am useless. If I can become a firewood to be burnt, there will be at least a purpose in my life.”

“Did you do this for Prince Yeonryeong? Is that why you came forward and requested self-exile as punishment? Do you not know, really, what kind of place Tamra is?”

“I have wandered all my life.  That place too, will be another resting place for me.”


“I wished to be a good son to you.  Forgive me for ending up like this.  I guess this is the type of person I am, never living up to your expectations.  Your Majesty…”  And he bows down to his father, as a last farewell.

The king is watching his son walk away, and sadly talks to himself:  “Why can’t you be the one?  You too are a Prince.  And more than anyone else, it should be you.  Why wouldn’t you think that you can become king?  My son…”


Choi Yoonyeong is slapping her servant for daring to smile while telling her that Prince Milpoong was arrested.  “Where you glad, knowing my relationship with him?  What if the old man (Prime Minister) finds this out?  Take her away!”  


Moonsoo: “Can we trust the leaders to interrogate Prince Milpoong thoroughly?” 

Jeonseok tells him Saheonbu is a very proud organization.  But Moonsoo still doubts, saying that for many, their family honor and personal gain come first.  As per himself, he proclaims that he was a key contributor to the arrest of Kaedol.  Yeoji disagrees though, saying that Sir Moonsoo was a hindrance. 

Inspector Jangdal interrupts, telling them to get ready for the chicken soup with wine party, prepared by Mrs. Han.  They get excited, planning to do all-nighter playing inspector-&-thief board game.  

Yeoji:  “Aren’t we missing someone here?”


As the Prince walks inside, he hears his wife wailing.    “Are you kidding me?  Tamra?  Whoever agreed to that?”  She grabs the Prince’s coats and throws them on the floor.  “Do you see this?  I’ve become such a bad woman.  A bad wife who throws her husband’s clothes away.  Have I ever asked you for your affection?  Or asked you for a decent life? Do I have to be expelled all the way to Tamra because of you?  I can’t live like this. (Falling on the floor, crying.) I can’t continue falling so low.”

Geum:  “I’m sorry.  I’ve always felt this way towards you.  There is no need for you to come to Tamra with me. I will divorce you first.”

Wife:  “A divorce?  Are you saying you will end this marriage? (Standing up.)  That’s right.  I will not follow you.  Who am I to you anyway?  Go ahead… by yourself!”

Cho Hong, grabbing the clothes from the floor:  “I heard it’s windy there.”

Geum:  “Cho Hong…”

Cho Hong: “I will pack what’s needed.  Don’t worry.”

Wife:  “What the…”

Cho Hong:  “I will go with him.  If you are throwing these away, can I take them?”

They hear the door opening.

Yeoji: “The door was opened so I just came in.”

Wife, in disbelief: “Who is this girl?”

Yeoji: “If it’s ok with you, would you join us for a drink? If you are busy now, we can come back later. There will be chicken soup too.”


Yi Geum is watching the inspector gang playing the board game.


Yi Geum is outside, breathing the night air. Jeonseok joins him, offering him a drink. “I didn’t have a chance to say this. Thank you for helping us.”

Geum: “I just confessed my crimes. That’s all.”

“I heard what you just did. You requested to be exiled.”

“Let’s keep that between us. I don’t want to ruin this party. (Pause) By the way, I’ve been a loser without goals all my life, so it does not matter how I live. However, why is a Noron from a well known family like you choosing to take this hard road?”

Jeonseok: “Not at all. Actually, I have chosen the easy road. I think that you, My Lord the Prince, did the same. Because it is much easier to fight injustice than to ignore it.”

Ahbong comes out, letting Jeonseok know it is his turn to throw the dice. The inspector asks the Prince to please join them at the game.


Jeonseok: “His Lordship the Prince will join us. Give him a dice.”

Moonsoo gives him one, telling him that he proved himself worthy to be in the group.

Geum: “Should I thank you for that?”

Jeonseok tells him that he can start at the top since he won first place at the Civil Entrance Exam. Jangdal agrees, saying that although it was for someone else, he still aced it. Ahdong gives him another advantage for being a royalty. Yeoji thinks that’s unfair but everyone ignores her.

Geum: “You better watch out. I am good at playing games.”

The dice turned 3, and everyone’s stunned: “It’s a king!”

Geum: “That’s nonsense. There is no king in this board game.”

Ahbong: “We created that position just for fun.”

Jeonseok: “How irreverent! (To the Prince) They did it just for fun.”

Yeoji, stunned: “Yes, we created that position, but it was actually impossible to get there.”

Moonsoo: “Anyhow, since you got there, go ahead! Be our king! It’s just a game, isn’t it?” He puts the chip in the king’s position. “The king can do anything he wants. Just give us your decrees.”

Geum: “Okay… it’s just a game, right?” He promotes everyone to high government positions and they all laugh and have fun dreaming. “What do you think? Am I a good king?”

Moonsoo: “Your favors are inscrutable, Your Majesty!” They all laugh.

Geum: “The problem is… this king looks extremely too handsome, doesn’t he?

Moonsoo: “Arrest him!”


The Noron leaders are gathered to discuss what to do now that Prince Milpoong has been arrested. Dalmoon spies on them from outside.

Minister Min: “There was a nail that sprouted unexpectedly. However, we can adjust to the new situation and still come out as winners. Because we know how to win all the time.”


Hwon, waiting outside under the rain: “Brother Prince Yeoning.”

Geum: “Hwon!”

Once inside, Geum tells Jadong to bring change of clothes and hot drink for his brother. But Hwon apologizes for the late visit and tells the servant not to bother.

Hwon: “Hyungnim, please call off your request to be exiled. There is still time.”

Geum: “I will not. I will move to Tamra as planned.”


“Do you know why I requested to be exiled without hesitation? Because you will become the king. And once you become the king, you will not let personal feelings to interfere by calling me back. You will be that kind of king. Just like the way you treated me… You will embrace the lowest of people, those everyone else despises.”

“No, stop it.”

“Hwon… The people of this nation deserve to have such a king, for once. I also want to live in that kind of Joseon. (Holding his brother’s hand) So you shouldn’t look for me anymore. They will try to fight back for sure. Do not lose this fight.”


Lord Min gives some documents pertaining Inspector Han to Inspector Wi: “Can I trust that you would do a good job?” Wi Byungjoo promises he will succeed in destroying his colleague at all cost. He leaves.

Dalmoon appears suddenly. “Indeed, the entire Capital is in your hands, My Lord.” Minister Min has an assassin with him, an old man who has no feelings of pain. Dalmoon tells the Minister he knows all about them and that please, do not shed blood in vain.

He introduces himself as a beggar with power to spread rumors like a wildfire. He tells him that he was responsible for spreading the recent rumors regarding Prince Milpoong’s misadventures. He is offering his services to the Minister, in exchange for the Minister’s protection of his people.


Geum scolds Moonsoo for coming late. Moonsoo is surprised to see Yeoji there.

Yeoji: “Did you get the message also, Sir?”

Geum: “Let’s hurry. We have a busy schedule today.”

Moonsoo: “Wait a minute. We need to clarify something here?”

“Clarify what?”

“I am not your dog, My Lord the Prince. You can’t just call me with a piece of paper and tell me to go here and there. I need to study! I’m very busy…”

“Untie this rope and quit your studies. You will flop.”


“In life, there are people who fail no matter what they do. Not everyone can ace it taking a test thoughtlessly like I did.”

“Excuse me, My Lord the Prince. You should watch your mouth.”

“If you ever ask for it, I can substitute test for you.”

“Wow, are you trying to pick a fight? You think you can say anything just because you are a prince?”

Yeoji: “Stop whining and let’s go.”

Moonsoo: “You heard him, didn’t you? What a jerk.”

“He is rude and too straightforward. He thinks he is all that.”

Moonsoo: “He is, right?”

Yeoji: “Without thinking of the other’s feelings, he says things as they are, all the right things.”

Moonsoo: “That’s not what I mean.”

Yeoji: “However, I do not think he is a bad person. Just do as he says. He will leave soon.”

Moonsoo: “Where is he going?”


The King is being secretly escorted outside of the Palace. He meets an Uigeumbu officer who gives him confidential information about Prince Milpoong. Uigeumbu is another judiciary court which belongs to the king, while Saheonbu was supposed to be politically neutral (although they were run by Norons). The officer promises that their meeting will be kept a top secret.


The Uigeumbu’s officer is meeting Lord Min, updating him with his latest meeting with the king. He gives the Minister confidential information about Prince Yeoning. Lord Min assures the officer that he will not get hurt. He has found a beggar who will do a fine job at spreading information around.


Dalmoon instructs the troubadour to spread the stories everywhere. “Make them sound as filthy as you can.”

Goontae: “Are we finally going to be able to live comfortably, as you have always dreamt of?”

Dalmoon: “Yes. I don’t care what happens with the high and up. Their power struggle is none of my business.”


Geum is showing Moonsoo a land that belongs to Prince Milpoong. Moonsoo is flabbergasted by how huge it is. They go out to drink.

Moonsoo: “Do not splurge your money in wine. You need to save for your travel. (drinking, more seriously) Thank you, My Lord the Prince. Truly, you are the bravest man I’ve ever known.”

Geum: “What nonsense are you babbling? Just drink.”

“So I was thinking… Can we become sworn brothers?” Yi Geum spits the drink all over, shocked.

Moonsoo, sitting closer to the Prince: “At first, I misunderstood you. You looked like a playboy so I didn’t know you were a real man.”

“Hey you, get away. Go back to your seat.”

But Moonsoo, instead of stepping back, he starts searching for the Prince’s name tag. “How old are you? Show me your identity tag…”

Geum: “How dare you touch me?”

Moonsoo decides to add Yeoji in this brotherhood. “She is a man, after-all.” He decides to be generous with the Prince, and let him be the oldest, regardless of age. So from now on, he will call the Prince, Hyungnim. Yeoji will be the youngest. “Btw, where did you send our younger brother Yeoji?”


Yeoji is interviewing town’s people regarding Prince Yeoning’s reputation. They tell her he is a famous gambler and a womanizer. But an old man reminds them that he can be compassionate and generous to the people in need. In times of draught, he had sent lots of rice bag to the poor. “His mother was a commoner. That’s why he understands our plight like no other noble.”


They are interrupted by people running to hear great stories. It’s the troubadour, speaking of Prince Yeoning stealing money from civilians and from state coffers.

Moonsoo and Yi Geum hears people talking about the Prince stealing. They are surprised the rumors are spreading too fast and too far.


Yeoji (to Jeonseok): “Prince Yeoning expected this to happen. He felt the Norons will try to destroy his character and invalidate his testimony. He told me to plan ahead for it.”


People continue talking about Prince Yeoning’s crimes. Yi Geum stumbles upon Minister Min on the street. The old man sends a message for a private meeting.


Yoonyeong visits Prince Milpoong inside the cell. He is happy to hear of the rumors spreading about Yi Geum. But he isn’t happy that they fed him vegetable soup when he asked for beef stew. Hearing this, Yoonyeong is alarmed. She remembers a saying: “Useless dogs will be starved.” Is Lord Min abandoning her Prince?


Noron leaders led by the Prime Minister visit the Prince Yeonryeong late at night. He asks them what is the reason for their surprise visit. They all bow down to the Prince.


Lord Min welcomes Prince Yeoning inside his office. He tells Yi Geum that the Norons are ready to put Prince Yeonryeong to the throne.

Geum: “What about Prince Milpoong?”

Lord Min: “A cracked pot is useless. He will not become a king. We the Norons chose Prince Yeonryeong as the next king. However, in order for that to happen, there is something you must do, My Lord the Prince.”

“What is it? I will do whatever it takes.”

“You will do anything? Oh well, it’s not that big of a deal… just withdraw your previous testimony. You can say that you lied about the substitute test taking. Just say that it was Inspector Han who fabricated all that story.”

“What? Do you want me to withdraw my testimony and slander Inspector Han? Why? What for?” Standing up in anger. “No, I can’t do that. And I will not!” He turns around to leave.

“Then, will you abandon Prince Yeonryeong? What will happen to the Prince who was once considered for the throne but does not become the king? If you walk out now, Prince Yeonryeong will die.”

“Why? Why are you doing this? You already decided to abandon Prince Milpoong. Then why?”


The king has called Minister Lee Yikyum, Chief of Saheonbu, to come see him.

King: “I will share a secret with you that no one else should know.” He tells the Minister that he wants Prince Yeoning to be the next king. “Not Prince Yeonryeong, but Prince Yeoning. I believe he should be the king.”


Han Jeonseok sends Yeoji home for an errand. She finds Mrs. Han waiting for her outside the house, worried. She shows the Damo a box full of silver goods.


Yi Geum is aimlessly walking, recalling Minister Min’s last words: “This is how we win, Prince Yeoning. Can I tell you how we kept our power all along? We put fear in everyone’s hearts. If they hurt us, they must learn about the consequences. If the world sees that, no one will ever dare to stand up against us again. This is our way of winning, Prince Yeoning. We break their legs so they cannot stand up again.”

Yeoji finds him and calls out his name. He just stands there, holding his tears. He leans on Yeoji’s shoulder, silently crying.








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