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|“||If you want me… You will have to try much harder.||”|
–To Yi Won
Nabi was a former renowned gisaeng who worked in Yu Hyang Ru, widely regarded as the "most beautiful" woman throughout Hyang Ju during her time. She was also considered the companion and later partner of Yu Hyang Ru's musician Yi Jeok. Her true identity was Yi Hwi until he relinquished this persona after their successful rebellion.
Nabi is a beautiful fair-skinned, black-haired young lady with distinct jade eyes. There were many outfits that she wore, though her hair style is constantly half-tied topped with a large butterfly pin on her left side whose center is light turquoise and its wings are silver which attaches a pair of dangling strings, one filled with tiny crystals while the other is a strand of string with simple designs. On her right side, there is a flower pin which resembles a cross. A tiny red crystal is embellished in the center. Occasionally, she wears a jeonmo alongside her chima jeogori during her excursions with her hair simply laid down. She occasionally carries a fan with her.
In general, Nabi is considered as a very beautiful woman; coupled with her refined personality and artistic repertoire of talents and skills, many men get attracted or even obsessed towards her, a significant example of which is Yi Won. Nonetheless, she once even made a lady such as Yoo Dan Ah "make her female heart beat so," evident of her sublime beauty and magnificence. Nabi also greatly resembles Hwi's biological mother, Ahn Young, as hinted by both Yoon Yeon Lee and Yoo Ja Gyeom.
Nabi is a decent and reserved gisaeng who has proper manners. She is sometimes cold towards other people, but she has a calm demeanor to her peers. She is also intelligent and is quite famed for her lovely poems and letters. When someone is in trouble, she comes to solve the conflict through negotiation, and when she is able to somehow relieve the situation, she does not seem to need the gratitude of the people involved. Nabi is also slow to anger and rarely becomes mad. As a member of Deung Ha Bul Myung, Nabi is goal-oriented and aims on reclaiming the throne for the Crown Prince.
Nabi is a good teacher to her student Yoo Dan Ah and eventually becomes attached to her. At first, they are uncomfortable with each other because of Nabi's status as a gisaeng. According to Dan Ah's father, no teacher lasted long with teaching Dan Ah because of her quirky attitude and stubborn nature, but Nabi is the only one who lasted and is able to teach Dan Ah the proper art of being a woman before she enters the palace.
Nabi is the object of obsession of Yi Won when he is on his excursions outside the palace. She does not reciprocate her feelings though to him because she thinks that he is a dangerous man. She also somehow mocks him and wants him and Dan Ah to get along each other though Won initially dislikes Dan Ah because of his feelings for Nabi.
It is unknown when Hwi donned the persona Nabi, but she later earned the moniker of the "most beautiful" through her famed shadow dance (影舞 / 영무, young moo), a dance of seduction.
Fateful Encounter Arc Edit
During the commotion at Ga Guk's festival, Nabi throws a fan at Nam Yang Heon's face and causes him and Yoo Dan Ah to tip over Won. She then apologizes to them and insults Yang Heon. She explains that she knows him very well as a bright and has a great self-esteem amongst the people, but she contradicts this statement because he is more comparable to a bug rather despite his family's popularity. Yang Heon then slaps her hard, but she tells him that they are equal in status as human beings. Won then laughs at approval and attacks Yang Heon, who then orders his subordinates to kill them all. While Won beats Yang Heon alone, Nabi secretly escapes with Dan Ah away from the place. She assures Dan Ah that Won will be fine since one of her men is present in the location. After escaping, Dan Ah thanks her for her great help and introduces herself, but, instead of doing the same, Nabi only bows down to her as a sign of goodbye, since she thinks that her name is not worth knowing.
The next day, Won arrives at Yu Hyang Ru and presents her a bottle of alcohol. She rejects him right away, explaining that even grand gifts such as a pavilion did not favor her much. She advises him that if he truly wants to have her, he should try much harder. Leaving empty-handed, Seol Hwa thinks that he must have been a wealthy person. Nabi theorizes that he gives off a rather dangerous scent despite "not knowing him," saying that it is best to be careful.
Compact Heist Arc Edit
Later on, before changing into Nabi, Hwi and Jeok talk about the compact and their plan of stealing it as evidence for the burning of the palace ten years ago. She then goes to Yu Hyang Ru with Jeok to work. One night, some members of the rebel army hold a meeting regarding the compact's location. While waiting, Wol Young Hwa asserts that they are the world's two most beautiful women, contradicting Baek Ho's response. Nabi then reprimands Seon Woo Seo In that he is late, to which he apologizes. Despite Young Hwa's warning to them, Nabi agrees to steal the compact regardless of the tight security in Yoo Ja Gyeom's residence and the compact's current location. As preparation, Nabi volunteers to go steal the compact since her specialty is blending in with darkness. As the others try to volunteer, she allows and orders everyone to go out and be part of the group.
After their mission, Hwi changes into Nabi though wounded badly. She continues to work despite Jeok's insistence to let him rest. She becomes dizzy most of the time and does not expect to spread fast. She then meets a drunk Won and coldly rejects him. However, Won notices that she looks pale and grasps her shoulder, leaving some traces of blood on his hand. He insists to look at her shoulder and takes off her clothes, but she immediately puts them back on and thinks that her own secret is revealed. Fortunately, Won only sees the wound and scolds her for working with a huge wound. He then escorts her to see the physician, but she struggles to reject him, only to finally lose consciousness.
The next morning, she finds out that, seeing a physician, her secret is revealed. However, he has no intentions of divulging such information and she thanks him in return. He contrasts her, saying that she should thank Won or else she would already be dead. As he is about to give her medicine, she goes out of the window hurriedly to see the "hurt" Wol Young Hwa. However, Jeok informs her that she is only drunk and, because of this, has twisted her ankle a bit.
Chase Arc Edit
Early in the morning in Yu Hyang Ru, Nabi is informed by Wol Young Hwa that Yoo Ja Gyeom came in person to choose Nabi as a new teacher for Dan Ah. Because of her absence, Wol Young Hwa accepted the offer, much to Jeok's disapproval. However, Nabi considered it as an opportunity to gather information about their enemy. However, he admits that he just wanted the chance to see Dan Ah again. Later, Nabi is on her way to Yoo Ja Gyeom's residence with Jeok. From a distance, Won notices them and angrily grabs her arm. She insists to let her go, but he only holds her tighter. Jeok then grabs her away and gets into a fight with Won. They are then stopped by Baek Ryung and Nabi lectures Won that there are things that cannot be obtained no matter how hard one works for them. He asks her what she wants and tells him she wants "the nation". She and Jeok then continue on their way.
Later at the chief state councilor's residence, Nabi is introduced by Yoo Ja Gyeom to Dan Ah as her new teacher. She then asks Dan Ah if she wants to learn anything specifically. Knowing that Nabi is the most popular woman with men, she asks to teach her how to win over the heart of a man. She asks Dan Ah if she truly loves him, and she answers that he is a person she cherishes because of an incident which happened ten years ago in Bi Hwa Rim. Nabi realizes that Dan Ah does not love Won, but Hwi himself. She then tells Dan Ah that she will teach her how to win his heart. But, she opens up that she heard from her father she is getting married to another man. However, she tells Dan Ah to gain his love first, so she advises her to write him a letter to convey her feelings for him. Immediately, Dan Ah writes a letter and thanks her.
At a pavilion in Yu Hyang Ru, Nabi is visited by Jeok and asks her if she got any information from teaching Dan Ah. She answers that she has not gathered any information yet, but he notices Nabi's "difficulty" in doing their plan on reclaiming the throne. He suggests to give it all up if she thinks it is has become too difficult already. She flinches and chuckles at this remark, stating that they are only some steps away and if they are to give up, the life they have lived to take the last step will have been for nothing. From a distance, an enraged and jealous Won witnesses Nabi and Jeok together and, instead of giving Nabi her medicine, walks out. On the market streets, Nabi visits Won playing the Water Beetle Game. He asserts that today is really his "lucky" day. She clarifies to him that she has only gone to deliver a letter for him from Dan Ah. He grows angry at this and rips the letter. He confesses his feelings for her and walks out angrily. She picks up the letter and patches up the pieces on the floor. She finds out that she will be waiting for him at Hwa Gwi Cheon tonight.
That night, Won rushes to a closed Yu Hyang Ru and confesses his sentiments to Nabi. Inside, Nabi is listening to Won, but Jeok advises her to ignore his feelings. As midnight strikes, Nabi remembers Dan Ah's letter and rushes to see her.
Revolt Procurement Arc Edit
One morning, Dan Ah greets her father like a proper lady and gives him an embroidered purse containing some sweets in order to help him relieve stress. After he leaves, Dan Ah returns to being a vivacious lady and asks her teacher Nabi if she did great in impersonating a respectable young lady. Nabi replies that it was good and asks why she had a sudden change of heart. Dan Ah tells her that she would not be by her father's side much longer, much to Nabi's astonishment. Nabi asks the specifics of her "trip" and if she is going together with "young master". Dan Ah seemingly does not have any odd interest in him, admitting that he runs away because she keeps on following him. She also asks Nabi whether she can come with her if Won does not come with her. A confused Nabi's questions are dodged by Dan Ah who switches the subject and tells her to continue their lessons. Nabi then worries whether Dan Ah will give up on Won, so she tells her that she will come with Dan Ah if the young master refuses to go with her.
Nabi is on her way to the chief state councilor's residence, but is caught by Jeok who is against her going to the chief state councilor's house. He begins to doubt Nabi's real dilemma in going to the chief state councilor's house and implies that he has fallen in love with Dan Ah. He then asks her to promise that if Dan Ah becomes a hindrance to the plan, she will have to kill her and agrees to it. She then asks him why he arrived from the headquarters and informs her that the weapons have arrived from Seo Seo. In Yu Hyang Ru, Jeok and Nabi are visited by Meng Gyeom and Jang Rok Ha to deliver the weapons from Seo Seo. Nabi is seen to serve tea to the servant Rok Ha first then to Meng Gyeom, the master. She then asks Meng Gyeom if they can procure some guns from them.
Nabi tells Jeok that she should not have acted like she knew about Rok Ha's and Meng Gyeom's real identities, but Jeok replies that it is a good decision or else they would have taken the rebel army lightly. They talk about how they can get 100,000 nyang to pay the Western Nak Cheon Company for the guns they asked; they only have a budget of at least 9,000 nyang. Nabi thinks of some ways on how to get the payment when she suddenly notices Seol Hwa eavesdrop by the window. The latter signals her to keep it a secret, but Jeok nevertheless catches her. Seol Hwa justifies that she only wanted to see the both of them ever since Nabi was taken off the gisaeng registers. They then agree to include Seol Hwa in their "secret discussion".
Nabi is present at a meeting with the other rebel army members. Upon learning that a fraud is posing as the Crimson Moon, she then tells them that she will find this fake, but Jeok interferes and tells her that they should leave it as it is. They then get involved in a heated argument whether or not they should save the people being affected, but Jeok eventually ends the chat, leaving Hwi infuriated.
Plague Arc Edit
One night at the chief state councilor's house, Nabi watches from afar the visitors coming inside the place including Kim Hak Gyu, the Secretary of Treasury; and Wi Ji Hyun, the Secretary of Defense. As she inspects them thinking that their names were not in the compact, her attention is called by Dan Ah's servant carrying a basket of plum blossoms. Nabi asks for some, and her servant compliments Nabi for teaching Dan Ah well. Inside, Nabi serves Dan Ah some plum blossom tea and bids her farewell. She asks Dan Ah to cheer up, so the latter greets her to take care with a grin. As Nabi leaves, Dan Ah hurriedly calls and gives Nabi her perfume case with plum blossoms. Though this is her prized possession, Dan Ah gives it to Nabi and tells her teacher she was happy to met her. Nabi tells her the same, and thinks that she was happy to meet her again.
As she leaves, Nabi is being tailed by Rok Ha, claiming that he is concerned for her safety, being unaccompanied late at night. Nabi reassures him there is nothing to be worried about, since she is accompanied by Mu Jin who instantly appears. She tells him that her destination, Yu Hyang Ru, is not much further away; Rok Ha insists they go together because that is his destination as well and wants to consult about the rumor of the Crimson Moon arming the villagers of Moon's End Village, prompting Nabi to believe it was the fake Crimson Moon's doing. Nabi leaves without Rok Ha and tells him she will just relay it to her master.
Rebel Army Suppression: Execution Edit
In the aftermath of the Royal Army's raids at Bi Hwa Rim and Yu Hyang Ru, Nabi visits Dan Ah's chambers, who was confined all throughout the purge of the rebels. Dan Ah rushes towards Nabi to hug her and weeps out of joy, explaining how worried she became after she could not contact Nabi at Yu Hyang Ru. Nabi asks her if something happened; Dan Ah, not wanting to worry Nabi about her supposed elopement with Won, answers that she is merely happy to see her. Nabi, however, gathers her resolve within herself, thinking that she now has to point her blade at Dan Ah. Nabi requests to be Dan Ah's maidservant for the bridal selection at the palace, which Dan Ah accepts.
Before entering the palace, Dan Ah talks with Nabi over tea on what the latter's greatest wish is. As for Dan Ah, she wants to marry Won, write beautiful poems like Nabi, embroider with proficiency, have a good relationship with her father, learn about medicine from Physician Ma and others, see no citizen in Ga Guk go hungry, and brew a lovely tea like Nabi, among others. Nabi then wishes to walk under the sun simply as herself by Dan Ah's side. The latter then grants her wish, taking a stroll outside under the sun.
Dan Ah notices Nabi walking behind her, so she grabs and holds Nabi's hand and, though Nabi is initially adamant, walks by her side. A shower rain pours, compelling Nabi to cover Dan Ah with her po while the two run back. Along the way, Dan Ah stops in front of a Bi Hwa Rim painting by Hong, which Dan Ah remarks to always warm her heart. As Dan Ah says that she likes the painting, Nabi also agrees with her. The rain stops, and Dan Ah removes a petal on Nabi's hair, which makes the latter's face red. Dan Ah worries that she might be running a fever, but Nabi merely assures her that it is due to the running, thinking to herself how foolish she is. Like before, Dan Ah walks alongside Nabi's side on the way back to her residence.
Bridal Selection Arc Edit
Few days later, Nabi helps Dan Ah prepare in entering the palace. Recalling how Hong once painted her shoes with flowers to take her to her beloved, Dan Ah wonders where those shoes would now take her, worrying if she would be able to smile there. Nabi then advises her that it will be difficult. At the bridal candidates' procession, Nabi walks by Dan Ah's palanquin en route to to the palace. Along the way, Nabi spots Jeok together with Mu Jin and Baek Ho. Amidst Jeok's consistent reminder for her that she cannot save everyone, she instead makes her decision not to save himself.
Nabi and Dan Ah finally arrive in the palace, with a palace servant escorting them to their quarters during the bridal selection period. Still struggling with her leg injury, Nabi assists Dan Ah in walking and advises her not to trust anyone in the palace despite their elegant disposition and polite facade, including Nabi herself.
As she walks Dan Ah to meet Yoon Yeon Lee, Nabi advises Dan Ah to walk independently and hide her weakness in front of the queen mother. While waiting outside, Nabi encounters an unexpected person, who turns out to be Rok Ha. He tells her about his and Jeok's meeting the previous night, but Nabi remains steadfast in her cover, avoiding her cover to be blown. However, Rok Ha shows her Young Hwa's knife from ten years ago, proof that Jeok has put his trust in the crown prince of Seo Seo.
They then plan to attend the palace banquet that night, with Nabi set to have a performance meant to attract the king. At that point that the king is to approach her, she is given one chance to kill King Jin Won. Hence, by nighttime, Nabi presents the famed shadow dance at the banquet hall. As the doors open and the shadows disappear, Jin Won approaches the dancing figure. Noticing the king behind her, Nabi takes out her binyeo and points it to the king, who, much to their surprise, turns out to be the red-haired man chasing her outside the palace.
As Nabi quickly hides her binyeo, Jin Won suddenly collapses out of intoxication, managing to only grab her norigae before completely becoming unconscious. As his servants and guards rush to him, Rok Ha instructs Nabi to flee at once for her safety and abandon the plan.
The next day, Nabi accompanies Dan Ah around her quarters' premises. They sigh at the same time, shocking Dan Ah and making her ask whether Nabi is worried about something. The latter reassures her that she merely met someone unexpected in the palace, which Dan Ah states is also her concern. Just then, Dan Ah stops speaking and notices the king himself visit them. Nabi finally understands why she always felt uneasy around him, who turns out to actually be her enemy. Dan Ah clutches on to her, while Nabi realizes that Dan Ah does not know about Won's and Nabi's unrequited relationship. Nabi subtly turns her back on the king, which angers him. He then grabs Dan Ah and walks away with her to spite Nabi.
Later, Nabi puts a cloak over Dan Ah who slumps under the pouring rain. She tells Nabi how foolish she was when she pursued Won, finally understanding why she did not know where Won lived nor what he did. However, she is still puzzled why he agreed to elope with her and why he needed to confirm that she is the chief state councilor's daughter. Dan Ah then opens up about her past with "him", musing how the kind child she met at Bi Hwa Rim grew up to be an infamous tyrant.
Continuing how conflicted her feelings are, from nostalgia to frustration and puzzlement to anger, Dan Ah confesses that she cannot hate any of the truths finally revealed. Nabi asks her whether she would still love him if he is not the boy she met at Bi Hwa Rim; Dan Ah answers that, regardless, her feelings for him will still remain even if it hurts. Nabi thinks how foolish Dan Ah is, saying that she is alright when she is obviously suffering inside. Dan Ah thanks Nabi wholeheartedly for her company in the palace, claiming that she apparently holds a special place in her heart.
Nabi returns to her quarters and thinks about the foiled plan, considering everything to be finished and seemingly irreparable. Even though he abandoned everything but a sword to assassinate King Jin Won, hoping to escape the past that binds him, he still could not steel himself to kill Won, knowing that doing so will only hurt Dan Ah even more. However, Hwi still questions why it has to be Won that he needs to slay, when he merely wanted to protect his love and for that love to protect whom she loves. Merely laughing at all the trouble that he caused, Hwi is now clueless and pleas for help, especially from Jeok. As he remembers the people who have supported and believed in him, as well as the future of the country, Hwi steels his resolve not to hesitate anymore.
Sometime later, Nabi accompanies Dan Ah to a gathering with the other bridal candidates. As Dan Ah compliments Hyun Bin's baby prince, the consort asks for her nursemaid to bring forth her son to Dan Ah. The nursemaid turns out to be Seol Hwa, under the alias "Baek Hwa", whom Nabi remembers to be the subordinate to be placed inside the palace that Rok Ha talked about. As Hwang Se Ryeon arrives, Hyun Bin asks for Baek Hwa to take the child. Baek Hwa also secretly gestures to Nabi that she shall contact her in a while.
Se Ryeon's maidservant serves them valuable tea, whose scent Se Ryeon commends. She notices Hyun Bin lower her teacup after smelling the tea's aroma, seemingly suspicious of it. Afterwards, Hyun Bin pulls the tablecloth to prevent Dan Ah from drinking the tea, but due to her leg injury, Nabi instead shields Dan Ah from the spill and acquires a burn on her arm. Amidst the commotion, Jin Won arrives and spots Nabi's injury. Frustrated, he postpones the gathering and orders them to return to their quarters.
Upon the king's order, the royal physician attends to Dan Ah in her quarters and finds out that her injury is slight. On the other hand, Nabi's injury is far more severe. However, she flatly rejects treatment to avoid giving away her identity. Instead, Dan Ah applies first aid herself on Nabi's burnt arm.
At night, Jin Won pays a visit to Dan Ah's quarters and asks how her condition is. He offers her some medication for her burn, but she says she is fine. Nabi takes her leave to prepare some tea, but Dan Ah interrupts her and insists to make the tea for the king herself. With the two left alone, Jin Won tells Nabi that she should also apply some of the medication for her burn. She announces her leave, but the king immediately grabs her hand and tells Nabi how much he wished not to worry about her.
He muses how much his heart ached and about the emptiness it brought him when he thought that she died with the rebels. Nabi asks why he is saying such things to her, to which he also asks her who she really is. As she rejects him amidst his continuous pursuit for her, he reasons out that she is the one who returned to him, finding it useless for her to try and send him away. He then decrees to have her by his side from then on, but she continues to reject him. As the king angrily repeats himself, Nabi hears a clatter nearby and rushes to look for the person in the shadows. It turns out to be Dan Ah, who has heard the king's confession to Nabi. As Jin Won asks Nabi if there is anyone out there, Nabi tells him that she does not see anyone. In truth, Dan Ah covers Nabi's eyes, asking her not to look at her expression.
They leave the quarters without telling Jin Won; Nabi quietly follows Dan Ah from behind. Suddenly, Nabi asks Dan Ah to send her away if her presence is making her uncomfortable. Amidst her confused emotions, Dan Ah tells Nabi that it is not her fault for being desired by the king, though she admits that she herself desires him. The following morning, she sees the king leave the chambers, wishing that her heart be frozen like the moon that has yet to set.
As Se Ryeon approaches Dan Ah in her small garden of medicinal herbs, Nabi stares blankly at Dan Ah and recalls their conversation at night. Due to her occupied thoughts, she is unable to notice Seol Hwa quietly sneaking behind her. Nabi reprimands her for entering the palace as dangerous as it is, but Seol Hwa tells her that she cannot just do nothing unlike the others. Besides, she assures Nabi that she is a mere messenger for the Crown Prince of Seo Seo to inform how his aunt and cousins are faring. Moreover, the palace people are quite busy and therefore do not pay much attention to her. In any case, she tells Nabi to stop worrying too much. Seol Hwa then relays her message from Hyun Bin to Nabi wishing to summon Dan Ah to the consort's quarters.
Along the way, while Nabi offers her arm to assist Dan Ah in walking, they both remain awkward with each other. As they arrive at Hyun Bin's quarters, a flock of maidservants are gathered for what seems to be a merchant sale. Seol Hwa ushers Dan Ah to Hyun Bin's quarters, while Nabi stays behind and is met by Rok Ha. He voices out his relief during the foiled assassination attempt on the king. He then grabs her towards the merchant table, where Jeok greets her as a disguised merchant.
Minister Retrieval Arc Edit
Nabi chides Jeok for entering the palace that might risk finding them together, but he assures her that the merchant sale robs the attention from the two of them. Jeok then voices his concern for Nabi, who seems worn out after only a few days in the palace. Hence, he persuades her to leave the palace instantly, since it is not too late for them to regroup and start again.
Though Nabi agrees with him, she worries about their mentor Seon Woo, whose whereabouts could not be traced following his capture. Jeok informs her that he has been taken away from the prison and could not be found even after they have searched for him throughout and beyond Hyang Ju. Believing that Jin Won is using him as bait for the remaining rebel forces, Nabi conjectures that Seon Woo may be hidden somewhere in the palace.
After planning their mission to retrieve their mentor, Jeok gestures to Gyeom to conclude the merchant sale and leave the palace. Rok Ha approaches her and tells her of slipping two of their group to the palace to aid in finding the ex-minister. Afterwards, he hands Nabi some perfume as he promised her before, but King Jin Won fires an arrow from afar and shatters the perfume out of anger.
Later, Nabi heads to the garden and observes a butterfly on her finger. Suddenly, she is grabbed from inside by Jin Won, who has drunk quite an amount of liquor. Still holding on to her arm, he asks if she took Rok Ha's present, but she states that it was destroyed. Jin Won then flatly states how he is hurt after she rejected him the previous night but smiled at another man like the Seo Seo prince. He then removes her arm bandages and applies some medication for her burn. As she tries to remove his hand, he asks whether she really hates him so much, since she does not necessarily mind the company of other men.
After some silence, she tells him that she shall stay with him in her next life as a friend, which Jin Won subtly rejects, telling her that he does not wish to meet her again if that would be the case. He marvels at her butterfly-shaped scar, though he tells her not to get hurt next time since he, too, would suffer seeing her hurt. Afterwards, his head servant finds him and fetches him back for his ministers' meeting.
Later that night, the Crimson Moon is unable to head to their escape route after retrieving Seon Woo from the king's chambers. Hwi decides to return to Nabi's quarters and changes into her chima jeogori, though he eventually passes out completely due to his injuries. Unbeknownst to him, Dan Ah heads to Nabi's quarters and finds the unconscious Nabi. Dan Ah soon finds out about Nabi's real identity as Hong and, much to her horror, the Crimson Moon after she grasps the rebel's mask nearby in the room. Despite being frightened of the wanted rebel, Dan Ah recalls the time when he rescued her from assassins, convincing herself to nonetheless help the injured man. Eventually, Dan Ah tends to his injuries herself amidst her confusion. In the morning, Hwi awakens with Dan Ah by his side, who asks him who he is.
After Dan Ah finds out about the truth, she gives Hwi a day to leave the palace out of gratitude for all the help he has given her, after which she shall tell the king about everything she has discovered. Hwi later assumes Nabi's persona, following Dan Ah from the shadows. Upon arriving at Hyun Bin's quarters, Seol Hwa grabs Nabi and asks her what happened with him and Dan Ah.
With a gloomy expression, Nabi tells Seol Hwa that she is "fine", which Seol Hwa obviously does not acknowledge. Seeing that Nabi is quite exhausted with all the burden he has to carry, Seol Hwa decides to tell the others especially Jeok about his misery, more so because he has never complained even before despite his hardships. She asks him to vent out, to which he cries and admits how hard he has repressed his emotions. For the sake of his revenge, he willingly accepted to perform arduous tasks, but, in the end, he still ends up disappointing and hurting Dan Ah. He regrettably tells Seol Hwa that he would have never given in to his selfishness if he only knew it would merely hurt him — most especially Dan Ah — so much in the future.
Persecution Arc Edit
Due to the Queen Mother's sudden illness and the baby prince's tragic death, the palace gates are shut closed. People inside the palace are prohibited to leave until the culprit behind the baby prince's poisoning is found, leaving Nabi and Seol Hwa trapped within their enemy ground.
Several days later, the bridal selection is postponed. Along the way, Nabi encounters Dan Ah and thanks her for not reporting her to the king. As gratitude, Nabi promises to stay far from her so that she would not be afraid, after which Nabi takes her leave.
That night, when Hyun Bin has allegedly thrown herself to the palace lake, Nabi follows Dan Ah and finds Ja Gyeom secretly conversing with another man, who turns out to be a co-conspirator in setting up the incident by deliberately placing the baby prince's blanket on a basket with a log inside. The man remarks on their luck after Hyun Bin has indeed jumped off the water, otherwise the ministers that Ja Gyeom had gathered to witness her "insanity" would have been for naught.
Ja Gyeom then asks his cohort to move on with the next phase, which is to take away the baby princess from Hyun Bin, a climactic feat to ensure Hyun Bin indeed goes insane to make things easier for him in the bridal selection. Nabi then leaves after hearing the incriminating conversation.
At her quarters, Nabi reads a letter from Jeok, while Seol Hwa tends to her wounds, which have worsened lately due to her lack of rest. Nabi promises her that she shall not die until they win their war, with which Seol Hwa remarks if she has turned into an immortal. Eventually, Seol Hwa leaves some medicine for Nabi to apply regularly.
Seol Hwa also notices Nabi's paintbrush and ink stone both wet, inferring that she recently painted. Nabi also claims that the activity has helped her clear her mind. After Nabi burns Jeok's letter, Seol Hwa asks her for their next course of action as secretly written by Jeok in the letter like a code. Nabi grins and gives Seol Hwa some instructions for their next plans.
Nabi instructs Seol Hwa to light a single explosive at the main gate during the night of their revolt, which shall be the signal to light the fuse for the others to follow. Seol Hwa reminds her that it is Nabi's task, though the latter tells her to do so in case anything untoward happen to her.
The day after Dan Ah's arrest, Nabi informs Seol Hwa that she shall surrender as the one who murdered the baby prince for the sake of saving Dan Ah. As Nabi reasons out her rationale behind her confession, Seol Hwa hits him and realizes that Nabi gave her the instructions before because Nabi knew all along that something would really happen to her that might render her unable to perform her task for the revolt. Nabi promises her that she shall not die until the revolt, lastly requesting Seol Hwa to look after Dan Ah by then.
The next day, Nabi ends up accompanying Dan Ah on an excursion outside the palace with Won. Dan Ah merely slumps and remarks that it is not what she actually meant. Throughout their excursion, Nabi remains silent, letting the two converse along the way. As Won later grabs Dan Ah's hand and takes her along the market streets to where she wishes to go, Nabi senses a familiar person nearby.
She meets with Jeok, who informs her that he placed someone to camp out by the palace gate to keep an eye on her. As per his letter, he consults with Nabi if she is fine with the date that he and Seon Woo have discussed. Though he feels they may be rushing their plan, Nabi agrees with their planned date, especially amidst the bridal selection that is currently plunging the royal court into chaos and after Ja Gyeom tried to have Hyun Bin evicted which has worsened his relationship with the king. She confirms that they shall proceed as soon as possible according to their plan.
Nabi asks Jeok about Seon Woo's condition; Jeok informs her that he has been busy trying to secretly persuade those who have turned against the king, which could prevent the court from taking action against them on their planned uprising. Though he admits that they have already persuaded quite a few, Nabi cautions him to be wary of them, lest they turn against them once again. He also informs her that Rok Ha has been finally allowed entry to the palace, who has been difficult to calm down after hearing of the news regarding Hyun Bin, even providing loads of weapons and demanding them to revolt at once.
Nabi asks Jeok for a paper and bites her thumb to place Hong's fingerprint on it. She instructs Jeok to head to the gallery and collect the payment for Hong's last painting on the latter's behalf to have Jeok procure some items of large volume from the Western Nak Cheon Company. Lastly, she asks Jeok to visit Physician Ma.
Won and Dan Ah end up gambling at the gamemaster where they usually played before. Nabi eventually joins in to gamble whatever it is that Dan Ah wishes to bet on, unlike Won who keeps ignoring Dan Ah's bets. Nabi and Won bicker at each other with Dan Ah trying to stop them, until the gamemaster announces that Nabi has won her bet. After being informed that the money he left at the gallery has been collected, Won calls Dan Ah and suggests for them to find Hong, who might be somewhere within the vicinity.
Before she could answer, palace guards rush to their spot and order for the arrest of Dan Ah for allegedly poisoning the baby prince. Nabi tries to shield Dan Ah from the guards, but she receives a kick on her upper torso, worrying Dan Ah about Nabi's recent injuries. The guards then prepare to arrest Nabi as well on grounds of being implicated with the culprit, causing Dan Ah to surrender. Before being taken away, Dan Ah assures Nabi that it may be a mere misunderstanding.
Nabi tries to follow them, but Won stops her. Nabi asks him to stop them, knowing Dan Ah would never do such thing, but Won blurts out the evidence that implicate Dan Ah to doing the crime. If it is not her, he then asks Nabi if she was the one who did so, but Nabi denies at once. As he expected, Won humors Nabi and says that all she ever does, after all, is reject him.
Nabi helplessly listens from a distance as Dan Ah is tortured until sunset. By nighttime, Nabi waits for Jin Won's return and voices out her concern for Dan Ah who might die soon if the torture continues. Nabi asks him if he truly believes Dan Ah capable of doing such thing, at which the king has no choice but to do so given the pieces of evidence that point to her. However, he admits himself that she could not have done so; instead, he is suspicious of Ja Gyeom, which makes him frustrated with Dan Ah protecting and sacrificing for her father. He then tells Nabi that he shall resort to any means if it would mean catching Ja Gyeom red-handed. That same night, Nabi dons the persona of Crimson Moon to intercept a band of palace guards from killing Se Ryeon's maid. After killing the guards, Nabi heads to Hyun Bin's quarters carrying the maid with her.
Nabi seeks Hyun Bin's aid in catching the prince's murderer, but Hyun Bin reminds her that Dan Ah has already been arrested. Hearing her response, Nabi announces her leave, but Hyun Bin immediately quips that there are two people she suspects: Ja Gyeom and Se Hyung, two individuals who can benefit from the loss of the baby prince and her right to being queen. However, Nabi tells her that Ja Gyeom cannot have benefited from Dan Ah's arrest, leaving the two with no other suspect but Se Hyung's daughter, Se Ryeon.
Hyun Bin asks for Nabi's proof, to which the latter presents Se Ryeon's maid, the one who truly poisoned the baby prince. Hyun Bin instantly recognizes the woman and prepares to spite her, but Nabi calms her down and states that they must expose the puppeteer instead of little puppets like the maid who can be disposed anytime. Nabi then bargains with Hyun Bin: she shall surrender to authorities in exchange for Hyun Bin's protection for the maid until she confesses. As she leaves, Hyun Bin asks why she trusts her, to which Nabi believes that no one wishes to expose the true murderer of her son other than Hyun Bin herself.
The following day, Nabi encounters Ja Gyeom, who seeks out her help. Nabi then requests him to have a few of her men slip inside the paralyzed queen mother's chambers. In that way, he shall not have to bloody his hands when they get rid of her themselves. In return, Nabi promises to take the blame on the baby prince's death and put Dan Ah out of torture. The councilor ponders about her offer and eventually agrees with Nabi's deal that seems favorable to him. Before she departs, Ja Gyeom asks Nabi if the one she serves has a scar on his nape.
Nabi later informs Seol Hwa that she shall surrender as the one who murdered the baby prince for the sake of saving Dan Ah. As Nabi reasons out her rationale behind her confession, Seol Hwa hits him and realizes that Nabi gave her the instructions before because Nabi knew all along that something would really happen to her that might render her unable to perform her task for the revolt. Nabi promises her that she shall not die until the revolt, lastly requesting Seol Hwa to look after Dan Ah by then. Moreover, Nabi clears her quarters, only leaving behind a painting by Hong that depicts Dan Ah and himself walking under the sun, the same wish that Nabi once told Dan Ah. By nighttime, Nabi surrenders herself as the one who murdered the baby prince, thereby putting Dan Ah out of interrogation.
Nabi is initially questioned by investigators, but, per Jin Won's order, special royal investigators are dispatched to force out the truth from her through any means possible. As Nabi is tortured through the day, she is later transferred to her prison cell by late afternoon as the sun sets. By nighttime, Dan Ah visits Nabi in her cell. Dan Ah sobs at the sight of Nabi's tortured visage and apologizes to her for all the pain she has caused her. The latter wipes out her tears and advises her to cry out loud; otherwise, her heart will hurt more. With these words, Dan Ah grips Nabi tight and asks her whether she knows the lullaby she often sings. Not wanting to hurt her with the truth, Nabi shrugs and denies that she knows it.
Nabi asks Dan Ah not to worry about her, saying that she also confessed her crimes out of wanting to protect Dan Ah and something else. Nabi also instructs Dan Ah to trust a girl named Seol Hwa and escape the palace with her for her safety. As her final request, Nabi asks Dan Ah never to return to the palace once she leaves. Dan Ah refuses to leave and let Nabi keep sacrificing herself for her, afterwards telling her not to bear any more pain alone for the sake of others.
To help Nabi escape, Dan Ah hands her a knife, while she shall go to Jin Won to confess her father's crime of orchestrating Hyun Bin's supposed banishment. Nabi asks her not to do such thing, but Dan Ah insists on helping Nabi escape, more so because she fears that her connection with rebels might compel the authorities to execute her. Finally, Dan Ah requests Nabi to survive in order to live for tomorrow. At that moment, Dan Ah is knocked unconscious by a cloaked figure from behind, after which Nabi tries to reach the knife to free her restraints. Other men, who turn out to be the king's men, stop her and inform her that they shall not cause a ruckus. Jin Won then arrives in her cell, assuring her that Dan Ah shall be taken safely to her quarters.
Jin Won sits idly near Nabi's cell, who has not spared the king a single glance for hours. He tells her that he has done all that he can to at least ease her torture, afterwards remarking on the scent of plum blossoms on Nabi, thinking that Jin Yeon must have returned it to her when he previously retrieved it. Jin Won then asks her for the last time to abandon Jin Yeon in exchange for becoming his woman, and he shall grant her everything she wishes. Nabi breaks her silence and requests the king to hand over Ga Guk to Jin Yeon.
Jin Won laughs at her request, though he nonchalantly agrees to do so if she plans to go to his side by then. Nabi corrects him that she shall never become his, once again earning the laughter of the king. As he remarks on his own foolishness, Jin Won spots a knife near Nabi's cell, eventually realizing that Nabi and everyone else seem to be escaping from him. He grabs the knife and warns Nabi that, to leave the palace easily, either she dies or he does.
Eventually, Nabi is released from her imprisonment after the execution of Se Hyung and his daughter Se Ryeon for being proven as the ones who truly orchestrated the baby prince's murder. At night, Nabi is brought out of her cell and confined in her quarters, where the windows and doors are barred, similar to Dan Ah's situation. Nonetheless, she finds it better that she is finally freed from imprisonment just in time for their revolt. Hwi then discards his Nabi persona to prepare for the rebel army's impending uprising.
- (To Yang Heon) "We are both human. Concepts of lowliness and nobility do not exist! Before you discuss matters of nobility, become a person first!"
- "It's best to be careful. Like this butterfly which flew straight into the poison. Intoxicated by the scent, one must not lose everything. How foolish."
- (To Won) "My lord, they say that a flower can be touched and bent by anyone. But that flower can also understand words and has its own heart."
- (To Won) "What do I want? What I want... If I say 'this nation', would you give it to me?"
- (Referring to Dan Ah) "Lies. No matter how much I try to justify it, I just wanted the chance to see you again. Excuses."
- (Referring to Dan Ah) "I, too, was happy... to meet you again."
- (To Dan Ah) "I wish to walk under the sun... simply as myself... by your side."
- (Reflecting on his mission) "You whom I wanted to protect... You who wanted to protect your love. All of that... I have to end all of that with my own hands. How did it... come to this?"
- (To Won) "I have nothing to say to you, Your Majesty. How am I supposed to understand the feelings of a king? I only know one thing... Your Majesty and I cannot exist under the same sky... So please stop and let me go..."
- The name "Nabi" in Hanja (非) means "butterfly".
- Aside from the numerous gisaeng who adopted her alias after she was taken off the gisaeng registers, at least two individuals pretended to be Nabi, namely a prostitute and Meng Gyeom.
|Characters of Twelve Nights|
|Royal Family||Ahn Young • Hyun Bin • Jin Hyul • Jin Jeok • Jin Won • Unnamed Baby Prince • Unnamed Baby Princess • Yi Hwi • Yi Sae Gi • Yoon Yeon Lee|
|Ministers||Hwang Se Hyung • Kim Hak Gyu • Sa Hwa Hyeon • Seo In Seon Woo • Wi Ji Hyun • Yi Ha • Yoo Ja Gyeom|
|Bi Yeong Pal Mu||Baek Ah • Baek Ju • Baek Lin • Baek Ryung • Baek Sa • Heuk Rang|
|Bi Yeong Ship Mu||Baek Ho • Baek Yoo Shin • Gil Mu Jin • Yi Ha|
|Deung Ha Bul Myung||Baek Ho • Crimson Moon • Gil Mu Jin • Nabi • Seol Hwa • Seo In Seon Woo • Wol Young Hwa • Yi Hwi • Yi Jeok|
|Yu Hyang Ru||Nabi • Wol Young Hwa • Yi Jeok|
|Others||Chung • Hwang Se Ryeon • Hyun • Ma Mi Song • Nam Yang Heon • Sori • Woon • Yi Ha's Wife • Yoo Dan Ah • Yoo Dan Ah's Mother|
|Royal Family||First Prince • First Princess • Jang Rei • Jang Rok Ha • Jang Ryun • Second Princess • Three Wives of Jang Ryun • Unnamed Baby Prince • Unnamed Baby Princess • Yeong Bi|
|Others||Gwak Ji Ryeon • Meng Gyeom|