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I simply believe that the blame for the parents' crimes should not be placed on their children.

–Sa Baek Hwa's motto

Sa Baek Hwa, also known by her gisaeng name Wol Young Hwa (월용화, lit. "Crescent Blossom"), was the owner of Yu Hyang Ru. She was the mother of Seol Hwa and was considered as a mother figure of Yi Hwi and Yi Jeok. She was a member of Deung Ha Bul Myung and ex-fiancé of Seo In Seon Woo.

History[]

Baek Hwa as a young gisaeng

Sa Baek Hwa was the child of Sa Hwa Hyeon, a minister of Ga Guk, and the younger sister of Hyun. When she was seventeen years old, Baek Hwa's father was arrested by Yi Ha under the orders of King Jin Hyul for treason. She, along with her mother and brother, was imprisoned after witnessing the death of her father. While imprisoned, Baek Hwa's mother committed suicide by hanging herself.

Thereafter, she and her brother Hyun were transferred to a prison in the streets where people mock and disgust of them, branding them as traitors. She then planned of committing suicide as well, but she was stopped by her brother, pledging to protect her until they were set free and revealed the truth. Seo In Seon Woo, her betrothed, then found and caught sight of them, but Baek Hwa, wanting to protect him, removed her engagement ring for it to be crushed, ending their engagement.

Baek Hwa on the verge of death

They were later set free (though in exile), holding on to the condition that in ten years' time, they might be able to receive full pardon. Within those times, she and her brother gathered as much evidence to prove their father's innocence. One night, she was threatened by Yi Sae Gi, King Jin Hyul's half-brother. Hyun arrived and attacked his back, but Hyun was stabbed by Sae Gi. As benevolence of the Royal Family, he then gave them an opportunity where either one can stab the other and therefore live. Hyun immediately grabbed the dagger and stabbed his sister as a way of "protecting" her. He then disposed Baek Hwa's body but miraculously survived.

Baek Hwa and Seon Woo reunite

Three years later, Baek Hwa became the most famous gisaeng in Yu Hyang Ru. One usual day at the gisaeng house, she arrived late and got reprimanded by a gisaeng servant. As she asks the latter to leave, she prepared and got ready for her guests. Unknown to her, she unexpectedly came across Seon Woo, one of her guests, much to their unexpected shock and happiness. He introduced himself once again to her, and she did likewise, rekindling their relationship anew.[1]

Jeogwa Revolution[]

Main article: Jeogwa Revolution

Ten years ago, while preparing, Sa Baek Hwa bumped onto her daughter Seol Hwa and was told of the two boys hiding in their house. She went there and judged their appearances, hypothesizing that they are not ordinary children. She found out that they were from the palace when an object of her possession drops from them. She ordered her daughter to call the guards as a way of "testing" the children.

Baek Hwa introduces herself as Wol Young Hwa

Despite an argument with Yi Jeok, she insisted on ordering them to leave immediately, since she did not also like to face the consequences. Because of the gravity of their discussion, she almost killed Yi Hwi to stop the problem, but was covered by Jeok. She finally gave Jeok a knife to end Jin Yeon's life in exchange for their hiding. Instead of killing the child, Jeok sacrificed his left eye, believing he had offended her with his gaze. He once again asked her to save the other child, offering to sacrifice his other eye if necessary. She stopped him and introduced herself as Wol Young Hwa, the one they were supposed to find. She then promised herself to protect them if they were truly fated to live with her.[2]

A week later, Seol Hwa caught sight of royal guards outside their house finding for the crown prince Jeok, taking with them boys aged 7 to 11 and with a mark on their nape. Since the latter and Hwi hid in their house, she informed them at once. Seeing that the guards did not take female children, Young Hwa thought of a plan and had Hwi act as a girl, making Jeok the only boy in the household. Additionally, Jeok had only one eye and his hair was white, making him unsuspicious. At one point, royal guards found the three children, but Young Hwa interfered and stated that the one they must be looking for was not one of the three lowly children. Eventually, they were spared from suspicion, and the guards left afterwards.

Young Hwa suggests they devise a plan to keep Jeok safe

Seon Woo realized the danger that was still looming over Jeok as crown prince. Young Hwa suggested that a plan must be concocted to get him out of trouble as soon as possible. Jeok himself thought of fleeing to Nam Hyeon, a neighboring country of Ga Guk, but the minister had something else in mind. Initially reluctant, he proposed having Hwi act as Jeok's decoy, but the latter rejected this idea. In the end, however, Hwi volunteered to act as the crown prince in order to fool their pursuers.[3]

As a result, the plan was set: with Hwi taking the title of Crown Prince Jin Yeon, Young Hwa and Seol Hwa were to keep the secret within themselves, Gil Mu Jin and Baek Ho were to serve him with loyalty, and Jeok would serve Hwi as his liege until they reclaim the throne. Seon Woo also burned a mark on Hwi's nape, similar to Jeok's birthmark, to remove any trace that he was not the crown prince.[4]

Plot[]

Compact Heist Arc[]

During an evening rendezvous with some members of Deung Ha Bul Myung, she comments on Baek Ho's statement that he is speaking in front of the world's "two most beautiful women." She later participates in the discussion and comments that events are quite unfolding in their favor, thinking that it is a trap to which Jeok agrees. However, he and the others conclude that they must steal it, much to her confusion. When the others desperately volunteer on stealing the compact, she wonders why they are so eager on stealing it despite being a trap.

Young Hwa and Seon Woo recall their past a decade ago

With everyone else out, Seon Woo tells her that Hwi and Jeok both have become stubborn. She asks whether it is her fault, but he merely thanks her for taking them in despite being a huge gamble on her part ten years ago.[5] They are interrupted by Seol Hwa and leads her to a ruckus outside.[6]

When Nabi was poisoned, Young Hwa had a drinking bet with Yi Won. Jeok and the others are informed that she was "hurt", but she is only drunk and, in line with this, she twisted her ankle a bit.[7]

Chase Arc[]

One early morning in Yu Hyang Ru, Young Hwa informs Nabi and Jeok that Yoo Ja Gyeom came in person to choose Nabi as a new teacher for Yoo Dan Ah and, with Nabi's absence, she accepted it on her behalf. Jeok greatly disapproves of her decision, but Nabi contrastingly considers it as a good opportunity to gather information about their enemy. Accepting it, Young Hwa informs Nabi that she is to start her job immediately.[8]

Later, she is told by Jeok that they have encountered the person constantly following Nabi once again. Young Hwa infers that he is considerably wealthy but dangerous as well. Jeok then orders Baek Ho to investigate the man further and why he keeps on approaching Nabi.[9]

Revolt Procurement Arc[]

Young Hwa and Seon Woo stroll while talking about how many gisaeng are using Nabi's name after she was taken off the gisaeng registers. She then leaves him to have a meeting with the others.[10]

Rebel Army Suppression: Setting in Motion[]

At Yu Hyang Ru, Seon Woo informs Jeok and Young Hwa about the upcoming Royal Army's attack on the rebel army within a week. Jeok reports that preparations have been completed, but a cannon is yet to be procured to enter the palace gates. He adds that Hwi shall acquire funds within two to three days, but he also remarks that each day that passes must not be wasted. Young Hwa suggests selling Yu Hyang Ru to procure the cannon in advance, as the gisaeng house would cost roughly a hundred thousand nyang. Seon Woo thinks it might work, though he worries for Young Hwa about selling the place. She merely asks them to win the battle in order to repay her threefold.[11]

Rebel Army Suppression: Execution[]

Baek Hwa stabbed from behind

As the royal army's forces launch a surprise attack at Yu Hyang Ru, Young Hwa watches in horror as the gisaeng house is set aflame and countless others are slaughtered or captured. As she loathes her cruel fate, she hears Seol Hwa nearby on the verge of being killed by a royal guard. She immediately comes to her aid and sticks an arrow on the guard's neck, seemingly subduing him. She orders her daughter to flee, but Seol Hwa collapses from her previous injuries acquired from the archers. As Young Hwa cradles her daughter helplessly asking for help, the guard she struck earlier impales her with his sword, before being stabbed afterwards by Hwi, who arrives at the scene.

Hwi carries Seol Hwa and escapes together with Young Hwa, informing her that their headquarters seems to be in trouble as well. Young Hwa realizes that the stab wound is quite deep, telling Hwi to go ahead and take Seol Hwa somewhere safe. Amidst Hwi's initial protests to leave her behind, she reckons that she would catch up slowly to him. Hwi promises to return to her, afterwards taking Seol Hwa away.

Baek Hwa's death

As she reminisces about her first encounters with her foster children, she muses how a heartbreaking fate befell her dearest sons despite their righteousness, wisdom, and foolish kindness. She also closes down Yu Hyang Ru, before getting caught in Bi Yeong Pal Mu's arrows. Succumbing to her death, she contemplates on her beloved Seon Woo, considering him as her only love in her lifetime and telling him that she shall go ahead. Hwi later returns for her, only to cradle his foster mother's corpse.[12]

Legacy[]

Baek Hwa's death proved to be quite a fatal turning point mostly on Seol Hwa, who was greatly melancholy and was quite motionless after her passing. Jeok tried to apologise to her repetitively, later resulting to Seol Hwa to burst out in tears and hit Jeok incessantly. However, Seol Hwa eventually utilised her mother's death to be her driving force to successfully fulfill the rebel army's revolt in hopes of not letting her death be in vain and to ultimately avenge her. Most likely to keep her mother's memory alive, Seol Hwa used the alias "Baek Hwa" when she entered the palace as an inside aid for Hwi during the course of the bridal selection.

Seon Woo visits Baek Hwa's grave

Sometime after the successful revolt, Seon Woo visits Baek Hwa's grave on a hill and notices fresh flowers placed at her grave, assuming that Seol Hwa had visited her before him. Opening some alcohol, Seon Woo apologizes for his tardy visit for her, though he informs her that Jin Jeok has ordered to reinvestigate her father's case. He assures her that his innocence shall finally be proven just like how she wanted, as well as for the sake of their Seol Hwa.[13]

Quotes[]

  • (Referring to Seon Woo) "No, my Lord… Do not approach me. I cannot drag you into this. So please, forget me. This seems to be the end for us. Please be happy."[1]
  • (Referring to Seon Woo upon their reunion) "I thought my heart had withered… and that my tears had all dried up. My Lord. I guess I still have tears to cry."[1]
  • (Referring to Hwi and Jeok) "My dear Nabi, I have never regretted even once. Since the day ten years ago when I took you both in… You were my sons. I truly thought of you as my own sons. So righteous, so wise… and so foolishly kind… to have taken on a fate so heartbreaking."[12]
  • (Final thoughts) "Although I was framed and labeled a traitor's child, although everyone cursed and spat… Although it hurt so much I wanted to die… You still remembered, and came back for me… So I carried on. Like the evening primrose that waits for the moon, I was happy to stay by your side, my lord. My lord, I love you. I loved you. My only love in this lifetime. My lord, I'm going ahead."[12]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 9
  2. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 0.2
  3. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 88
  4. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 89
  5. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 8
  6. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 10
  7. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 12
  8. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 18
  9. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 19
  10. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 29
  11. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 41
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 44
  13. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 89

Navigation[]

Characters of Twelve Nights
Ga Guk
Royal Family Ahn YoungHyun BinJin HyulJin JeokJin WonUnnamed Baby PrinceUnnamed Baby PrincessYi HwiYi Sae GiYoon Yeon Lee
Ministers Hwang Se HyungKim Hak GyuSa Hwa HyeonSeo In Seon WooWi Ji HyunYi HaYoo Ja Gyeom
Bi Yeong Pal Mu Baek AhBaek JuBaek LinBaek RyungBaek SaHeuk Rang
Bi Yeong Ship Mu Baek HoBaek Yoo ShinGil Mu JinYi Ha
Deung Ha Bul Myung Baek HoCrimson MoonGil Mu JinNabiSeol HwaSeo In Seon WooWol Young HwaYi HwiYi Jeok
Yu Hyang Ru NabiWol Young HwaYi Jeok
Others ChungHwang Se RyeonHyunMa Mi SongNam Yang HeonSoriWoonYi Ha's WifeYoo Dan AhYoo Dan Ah's Mother
Seo Seo
Royal Family First PrinceFirst PrincessJang ReiJang Rok HaJang RyunSecond PrincessThree Wives of Jang RyunUnnamed Baby PrinceUnnamed Baby PrincessYeong Bi
Others Gwak Ji RyeonMeng Gyeom
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