Episodes 17 and 18 of Ruler: Master of the Mask are a give and take. The heroes get in their hands more information to attack the villains, but they have to say goodbye to important things in return. I'll recap them for you now.

Previously on Ruler: Master of the Mask: 01 & 02 - 03 & 04 - 05 & 06 - 07 & 08 - 09 & 10 - 11 & 12 - 13 & 1415 & 16

Ruler: Master of the Mask
Episodes 17 & 18

The episode starts with Hwa Goon visiting his grandfather to ask him to spare the Boss, he is the man she loves and if he dies, she dies with him. In exchange, she promises to become the chief of the Pyunsoo Hwe. Her father walks in right then, surprised to hear her offer, the betrayal in his eyes.

   

Lady Kim is officially presented to the powerful group who question her, but she shows her strong will and personality, shutting them up. She leaves the cave shaken and tired, feeling terrible and wanting to see Crown Prince Sun.

Meanwhile, Ga Eun learns Boss had just been trying to protect her all along because he was fighting the Pyunsoo Hwe. Talking about Pyunsoo Hwa, Hwa Goon’s father wants to manage the poppy fields as his way to somehow control the group.

Prince Sun is with Ga Eun, flirting in their way, being cute, young and in love, with more promises of never turn away from her again, when Hwa Goon shows up. Prince Sun doesn’t release Ga Eun’s hand and even tells her he doesn’t have any sort of relationship with Hwa Goon. Said lady, however, doesn’t even want to feel threatened, thinking Ga Eun to be inferior. Moreover, she’ll have the one thing the prince wants and no one else can give him.

Boss has a meeting with the merchants, telling them about the Pyunsoo Hwe and why they collected for all the debts so suddenly. They swear to follow his lead.

Lee Sun’s royal guard reports to him how the queen and the boss have joined hands when she comes to see him, thanking him for his assistance to stop the Pyunsoo Hwe, asking him again to join hands.

Later, Lee Sun wonders how the real prince would act, musing how he at times wishes he could be a king. His royal guard encourages him, telling him the real prince is dead is he is now the king, he can fight the Pyunsoo Hwe. Lee Sun tells him not to encourage him, he doesn’t want to get greedy.

Woo Bo goes to get another man to join him, a former minister who is reluctant at first. He is introduced to the boss, who exposes how the man is trying to fight the Pyunsoo Hwe in his own way. As the argument goes back and forth, finally persuading the elder, Crown Prince Sun confesses his identity, his way to repay a man who is putting his life on the line for him. Woo Bo seems proud of him.

The next day, at the small market, a young girl shows up, feeble and about to die. She faints and everyone rushes to her side, Ga Eun recognises the young Yang, taking her with Moo Ha to Master Woo Bo to treat her. The girl has been poisoned, she carries in her hand one of the poppy wine the Pyunsoo Hwe make, and they have no idea what kind of poison this is and how to fight it. Young Yang tells them she escaped a place that wasn’t a temple but a field where they worked, and she wants to save the other girls. They ask her for more information and she wants to, but she’s too weak to draw a map to this field.

The group has a meeting where Woo Bo tells them he suspects this is related with the Pyunsoo Hwe, as a while ago people that spread rumours about the group died with the same red spots Yang wears now. That is the power of the Pyunsoo Hwe.

   

Little Yang is trying to draw the map with the little energy she has left, Mae Chang is with her, helping her. Ga Eun goes to get some medicine for the girl when Yang can’t take it anymore and collapses, ruining the map. She cries as she can’t help her friends, Mae Chang holds her and tells her she did more than enough and lulls her to sleep. The girl doesn’t wake up.

Yang’s mother arrives too late, crying out in horror for her dead daughter. Mae Chang hands Ga Eun the map the girl drew and leaves, later Ga Eun realises the map has a name written and is too detailed, which means Yang didn’t draw it.

Ga Eun hands the man to Boss and the others, not sharing anything about Mae Chang, although she considers it. Chung Woon comes while they are deciding to go and find this place, telling them that the Pyunsoo Hwe are looking for Yang and they saw Ga Eun taking her, so she’s in danger. Prince Sun asks her to leave to Incheon for a while to protect herself and her family, and Ga Eun agrees but before leaving she asks one day with the young man.

Prince Sun has decided to confess the truth to Ga Eun and Chung Woon encourages him, saying Ga Eun will forgive him. But the next day, after their lovely walk under the blossomed trees, picking up flowers, he can’t confess when she takes him to her father’s grave. She introduces them and tells her late father Master Chun Soo is also fighting the Pyunsoo Hwe.

As Prince Sun apologises for coming too soon, Ga Eun finally understands why he sacrificed his life for justice, getting what it means to have something she wants to more than life, something she has to do.

They walk back home and he is in a confession moment, exposing his feelings and desire to have her close, but she stops him and makes her promise that even if she’s not next, he won’t be reckless. She clearly has another plan in mind, she’s saying goodbye.

Lee Sun finds out his mother, sister and Ga Eun plan to flee, so he asks his friend help to go see them, hiding from them. But Wiggly shows up and he breaks down, talking to a girl that doesn’t recognise him, asking for a hug she gives him. He’s at that when Dae Mok shows up. The fake king begs for mercy, just in time for the real prince to show. Lee Sun spots him, shocked to see someone he thought dead, so he cries louder to keep Dae Mok from seeng the prince, giving the young man a chance to hide. Dae Mok hints that allowing Lee Sun to see his family was his gift, just like the queen wants to give him something precious. He leaves and Prince Sun sends one last message to Lee Sun before he also goes back to palace.

At night, Prince Sun cries for the horror Lee Sun has to endure because of him. But bad things don't stop because next morning, Ga Eun is going to palace. Lee Sun’s mother comes to warn him and he runs after her, calling her name and begging her to stop, but she turns her back on him, her mind made. The palace’s gates close between them.

   

I have to admit, my heart broke for little Yang on these episodes, knowing an organisation is killing children. I really hope they get to rescue the kids from the poppy field. But there's a lot ahead and the heroes aren't near to defeat the Pyunsoo Hwe yet. Patience, we have to have patience.

Anyhow, I'll be back soon to recap the next episodes.

Until then!

COMING SOON

Ruler: Master of the Mask

Starring Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun

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The selection of scenes and gifs were made by Bel, just a regular fangirl who spends too much time watching K-dramas. Sarcasm is for the sake of humour. If you want to make use of the gifs, please give credit.

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