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Yoo Ja Gyeom was the former Chief State Councilor (Hangul: 영의정; Hanja: 領議政; RR: Yeonguijeong) of Ga Guk during King Jin Won's reign. A conspirator during the Jeogwa Revolution, he was one of Yoon Yeon Lee's inamicable ally until her son's accession to the throne after their successful deposition of the crown prince.

He was also the father of Yoo Dan Ah, for whom his actions and decisions as part of the king's council were heavily anchored upon in his plan of making her queen. He typically utilized his influence and power over the young and rather inexperienced Jin Won in order to achieve this vision, along with the power that would thereby be granted to him.

PlotEdit

Compact Heist Arc Edit

At the palace of Ga Guk, Ja Gyeom brings the head of the Right Minister severed by the Crimson Moon to Queen Mother Yoon Yeon Lee and explains the actions of the masked vigilante. While being reprimanded by the queen mother, Yi Won bursts in and sings the Crimson Moon song which is completely offensive to be uttered. Yi Won then asks him if the rumor of Jin Yeon's status is true, to which the chief state councilor answers to be quite true.[1]

One midnight, his residence barn is set to fire as a signal for the Crimson Moon and his men to retrieve the compact. He awakens and realizes that they have arrived and orders his servants to extinguish the fire and find out who started the arson. As he goes back to his room, he notices that the compact he has hidden is already stolen. He then orders Baek Yoo Shin to catch the perpetrators who he believes is the former Crown Prince Jin Yeon. He then tells the captain to not worry about the stolen compact since what they have is a fake. However, he finds out that what they have taken is the true compact, so he sends Yoo Shin to capture them quickly.[2]

The following day, the chief state councilor reports to Yoon Yeon Lee that the compact was stolen. However, he enlightens the queen mother that they have confirmed about the Crimson Moon's and Crown Prince Jin Yeon's connection with each other. He concludes that the Crimson Moon is indeed Jin Yeon since he would not take such risks in order to retrieve the compact. He then points out that the compact is merely a scrap of paper; even if the evidence are to be held against them, nine out of ten of his co-councilors are on their side. Contrastingly, she reminds him that those councilors were on their side because the compact was with her, but now that the Crimson Moon has the compact, there is a great chance that those councilors will turn to Crown Prince Jin Yeon's side.

Having one choice left, the queen mother decides to join forces with him by marrying their children. Outside, they are being listened to by Hyun Bin who congratulates him for the marriage ceremony. He then tells her that eavesdropping is not good for her inborn child.[3]

Chase Arc Edit

After the incident at the slums, Dan Ah goes home and expects to be opened by her servant, but she is opened instead by Ja Gyeom himself. He reprimands her for her actions during night and tells her that she will soon be entering the palace to be married to the king. Dan Ah argues with her father, saying that she loves someone else and wants to be married to him. She adds that her father was married to her mother without coercion, but he slaps her, reminding her not to talk of her mother again.

She runs away to Bi Hwa Rim and did not return for the night.[4] The next morning, Dan Ah still does not return home, so Ja Gyeom orders a servant to bring her back.[5]

Revolt Procurement Arc Edit

One morning, the chief state councilor is greeted respectably by Dan Ah and is given an embroidered purse containing some sweets in order to help him relieve fatigue. Despite believing that her own work needs improvement, her father comments that he rather likes it. He tells her to stay docilely at home and leaves afterwards.

At the palace training grounds, he is with Heuk Rang who shows him the confiscated weapons from Ah Ri Sa and Nam Hyeon. In line with this, he explains that trade inspections and security around the borders have been tightened. However, despite the efforts to lessen the rebel attacks, the chief state councilor tells him that those will not be enough and suggests the summary execution on those who will be involved in the insurrections. They are then interrupted by the coroner's servant and talks with the captain. He then leaves after realizing the captain's busy schedule.[6]

At the palace, Ja Gyeom takes care of the piled up scrolls in the king's chambers. He was reprimanded by the queen mother, but the king suddenly arrives. He immediately tells that they should now select three candidates. The king adds that his daughter is automatically chosen as a candidate because it will greatly hurt his image if here were to exclude her.[7]

Rebel Army Suppression: Setting in Motion Edit

Physician Ma deals with Ja Gyeom

Physician Ma makes a deal with the chief state councilor

One morning, Ma Mi Song visits Ja Gyeom at his residence to strike a deal with the chief state councilor. Since the plague has been ravaging the nation for quite some time, it has rendered the physician short on both manpower and medicine. Before it kills half of Ga Guk's population, he asks Ja Gyeom to set up national health clinics all over the country. As the councilor is taken aback due to its expensive cost, Physician Ma agrees to divulge the rebels' hideout in exchange for his request.[8]

Later, Ja Gyeom tails the left minister whom he finds at the Chamber of Eternal Life. He immediately finds him suspicious after not suspecting him for many years due to Seon Woo's loyalty. As he plans to meet with Heuk Rang to relay such information, the captain encounters him amidst the commotion of hurrying ministers. Heuk Rang advises the chief state councilor to also make haste, gesturing towards the king who has attended the assembly on time. Amidst the visible shock of the advisors, Jin Won begins discussing their agenda.

After all have been discussed, Jin Won decrees the last item, which is the mobilization of the Royal Army to annihilate the rebel army once and for all. Smirking beneath his breath, Ja Gyeom requests to have a private audience with the king as he looks at Seon Woo suspiciously.[9]

Ja Gyeom sells out Seon Woo

Ja Gyeom tells the king about his suspicions on the left minister

Ja Gyeom proceeds to tell Jin Won that he suspects the left minister as the spy within the royal court, though he admits not to have any proof to his conjecture. Jin Won finally realizes how the left minister immediately switched sides from Jin Yeon's to his own, shortly after Jin Won was coronated after the Jeogwa Revolution, which was to fool the king in order to protect Jin Yeon. The king turns to the chief state councilor, subtly berating him for not taking action in the midst of the deception by Jin Yeon's vassal. In the end, the king orders Ja Gyeom to find some evidence to confirm their suspicions.

Moreover, the king asks Ja Gyeom what else he wanted to discuss with him in private, to which Ja Gyeom reports about Physician Ma's deal with him that morning. With things running smoothly, the king allows for the national health clinics to be established and gives Ja Gyeom the command in suppressing the rebel forces. Before Ja Gyeom leaves, Jin Won asks him about his daughter, much to his shock amidst thoroughly hiding the news about her injury. Ja Gyeom lies and tells the king that she is doing fine, preparing for the bridal selection.[8]

Ja Gyeom and Hyun Bin exchange glances

Ja Gyeom and Hyun Bin exchange hostile pleasantries

The chief state councilor goes to the king, and the head servant announces his arrival. Hence, Jin Won's previous visitor, Hyun Bin, takes her leave. As the two encounter each other, Ja Gyeom subtly threatens Hyun Bin's standing in the upcoming bridal selection, saying that the king has not yet chosen her as a final candidate. Furthermore, he sends her some gifts in the midst of her nearing due date. Hyun Bin quips that the councilor has been busy taking care of her instead of his own daughter, about whom she had heard rumors that may interfere with her bridal candidacy. The two then part ways, visibly hostile toward each other.[10]

42 3

Ja Gyeom leaves Dan Ah confined until she enters the palace

That night, Ja Gyeom knows of Dan Ah's plans to elope with another man after encountering her nanny who secretly plans of sending a letter off to Yu Hyang Ru. He barges into Dan Ah's room and infuriatingly forbids her to leave her quarters until the bridal selection happens. Dan Ah pleads to him to have her exempted from the bridal candidacy, claiming that she loves someone else. Ja Gyeom orders her to forget him, stating that he shall have the man killed at their supposed rendezvous point for attempting to kidnap the future queen consort. Ja Gyeom then locks her up in her room and leaves, strictly ordering their servants to keep a close watch on his daughter.[11]

Rebel Army Suppression: Execution Edit

Seon Woo cornered

Ja Gyeom corners Seon Woo

In the wake of the Royal Army's simultaneous attacks on Bi Hwa Rim and Yu Hyang Ru, Ja Gyeom corners Seon Woo and has him captured, telling the left minister that he has deliberately fed him with wrong information regarding the Royal Army's upcoming attack. Ever since Ja Gyeom began to suspect him as the spy, he started becoming cautious of him, sending out spies and feeding him wrong information for him to inaccurately tell the rebel forces. Finally, amidst Seon Woo's apparent speechlessness, Ja Gyeom asks him where Crown Prince Jin Yeon is.[12]

After the attacks on Bi Hwa Rim and Yu Hyang Ru, Jin Won becomes infuriated at Ja Gyeom upon knowing that Yu Hyang Ru was also raided by Bi Yeong Pal Mu. The councilor reasons out that Yu Hyang Ru was the center of finance and contact of the rebels, but the king interrupts and asks him whether all the rebels and gisaeng had been killed. The councilor informs him that those who yielded were merely arrested and imprisoned per his instructions, though they had no other choice but to kill those who resisted.[13]

Bridal Selection Arc Edit

At the evening banquet held for the bridal candidates, Ja Gyeom is showered with compliments and congratulatory remarks by his fellow ministers, save for Hwang Se Hyung, father of bridal candidate Se Ryeon. They also acknowledge how he has contributed greatly in the rebel army suppression and how it possibly made his position favorable in the bridal candidacy.[14] Later, as a shadow dance performance is performed courtesy of Jang Rok Ha's entourage, the king collapses as he approaches her. As the banquet is stopped, Ja Gyeom notices Nabi flee the commotion.

The next day, Ja Gyeom and the Queen Mother are informed by the royal physician that the king has passed out the previous night due to excessive alcohol intake that greatly weakened his liver, coupled with his unhealthy lifestyle and lack of rest recently. The Queen Mother then orders the physician to keep the king's condition secret before leaving.

The chief state councilor recommends putting a pause to the bridal candidacy for the meantime considering the king's state. However, Yeon Lee refuses, ordering for the occasion to push through, lest her son might cancel the engagement if there are further delays. In any case, the Queen Mother discusses her concern with him about the dancer from the previous night. Rok Ha had supposedly brought her from Seo Seo, but Yeon Lee is wary about her striking resemblance to someone that she once knew. Moreover, recalling that the dancer was in fact his daughter's maidservant who came to the palace, she asks the councilor who the woman really is.[15]

Some time later at the royal court, Ja Gyeom attends the assembly as Jin Won rebukes his ministers' careless and unorganized work in failing to catch Jin Yeon. They tell him that the rebels, especially ex-minister Seon Woo, shall soon start to talk due to their torture, but Jin Won thinks otherwise. Given that the rebels still have not tried to rescue their important comrade, the king conjectures that they might be scheming away, since they know that Seon Woo is being kept alive. Therefore, Jin Won orders to stop Seon Woo's torture at once and decrees to have him executed at the end of the month.[16]

Quotes Edit

  • (To Heuk Rang) "Arrogance is unhealthy, Captain. I believe you let him escape once ten years ago. I hope it does not happen again."[2]
  • (Last words to Yi Jeok) "Don't think this is the end. You never know what will happen in ten years just as we couldn't predict ten years ago."[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 7
  2. 2.0 2.1 Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 10
  3. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 13
  4. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 17
  5. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 18
  6. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 24
  7. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 29
  8. 8.0 8.1 Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 40
  9. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 39
  10. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 41
  11. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 42
  12. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 43
  13. Twelve Nights webtoon, part two final chapter
  14. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 46
  15. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 47
  16. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 49
  17. Twelve Nights webtoon, chapter 81

NavigationEdit

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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