There is a horrifying story passed down in the generation of palace ladies. That every night during the full moon rises once the Majesty’s sleeping schedules is set, a scary man will appear.
So when the Majesty is eagerly awaiting for King’s arrival, this man will enter her room instead and drink her blood while the King helplessly witness the incident from outside. It’s said that whoever covets the King’s women must ensure there’s pain when they die. The man who possesses the fatal beauty, the one who drinks living human’s blood… a vampire!
The story about the vampire who covets the King’s Women is written into a novel by popular writer Lustful Student aka Crown Prince Jung Hyun (Lee Hyun Woo) who asks scholar Kim Sung Yeol (Lee Jun Ki) if his novel will be more popular than the most popular novel. He doesn’t want to hear Kim Sung Yeol’s honest answer obviously. Unlike Lustful Student, Sung Yeol is more interested to history and administrative work hence he prefer to write about these subjects. Talking about vampires, he think there’s an unprecedented love story between a King and the vampire.
As Sung Yeol leaves the bookstore, he spots one mysterious man in black in the rooftop. On the way, they’re attacked by armed soldiers sent by the King to follow the Crown Prince to call him back to the Palace because he’s been wandering around in disguise for three days and while Sung Yeol promised to protect him, he doesn’t have any bodyguards. But his skills are so much better than a group of bodyguards!
Lustful Student is already thinking about his next piece of novel – a romance novel about an obscene scholar of Hongmungwan (Joseon Dynasty education institution) who spend the night together before marriage. A man and a woman came down from a mountain on a rainy night of the last day of Buddha’s coming, a man & a woman came down from the mountain. Sung Yeol insists they only escaped from the heavy rain and nothing happened (ohhh this is his story?). But the Crown Prince keeps teasing him. To shut him up, he promises to write a book review as the Crown Prince asked.
Sung Yeol’s mom can’t believe the girl Lee Myung Hee (Kim So Eun) she raised like her own daughter will become her daughter-in-law soon. It’s upsetting and she can’t accept it but she’s still and will always be her daughter.
Sung Yeol prepared a lovely surprise for Myung Hee in the separate quarters, the place they’re not allowed. Cheeky Sung Yeol suggests to go to her room before they’ll get kicked out so she replies it back cheekily that this cat aka him has a bad habit hence he’s not allowed in her room.
He surprises her with a beautiful bouquet of flower, back-hugs her before sweetly kisses her. She stutters saying the man sneaked into unmarried woman’s room every night then… ? She doesn’t want to say anything else so she walks to go to her room. But this cheeky wild cat who really missed her doesn’t care. He almost wakes everyone with his scream before he let her go with a sweet I love You.
The King warns the Crown Prince that he should never get on the vampire’s nerves to prevent the same thing happening to his woman. It’s his choice, he’s the next King. This evil vampire is at the palace, sitting in the King’s throne!
Sung Yeol comes to the palace to find out why the Crown Prince was looking for the books about vampires in the same time the royal concubines got killed? And why they hid their death by burning their bodies as soon as they died? The Crown Prince explains his novel and the concubines death aren’t related, they passed away because of epidemic death but Sung Yeol saw the bite mark on their necks when they accidentally dropped the concubine on the way to the burning procession!
The Crown Prince is hesitating to tell him the truth especially because his friend of 15 years will get married in 3 days! But Sung Yeol insists to find out if there are vampires roaming around in this Kingdom. Just based on the Crown Prince’s expression, he gets his answer.
Sung Yeol is fighting almost helplessly with a mysterious man in black with amazing agility and cannot be killed. It’s clear he’s not a human! When he’s trying to kill this man, the Crown Prince requests Sung Yeol to drop his sword for his sake.
In front of the King, the guards’ bloods are dripping to a bowl – they lost their lives because they attacked the evil vampire with their swords, sarcastically points out their foolishness resembled the King they served. He then drinks their blood before threatening the Crown Prince is his next target. He already shown his real identity three months ago but the Crown Prince stays still meaning he doesn’t have any plan to serve this evil vampire. The King begs the evil vampire not to get upset, his son needs time to accept him. But nooooo…. He brings up the King’s ancestor from Goryeo who came to him when Goryeo almost fall and promised his generation will serve him forever. Therefore, he killed and will kill anyone who’s against the King’s ancestor.
The Crown Prince finally admits the vampires are living in the palace and reigning over the King. They drink the blood of the living, including the concubines. The mysterious man points out the vampire is Gwi who took the King’s women before a new King is appointed to fulfill their promise in front of the King. But who are you, mysterious man?
He introduces himself as the guardian vampire who exists to punish vampires who broke the rules. Chasing out the vampire also require human’s will so he can’t punish him while the King is blinded by the throne and has decided to be the vampire’s servant! He believes troubled times will create heroes.
The power of vampire will be weaker during the total moon eclipse because the sun cuts off it’s power. It’s the perfect time to do the secret plan he’ll prepared for them.
The Crown Prince doesn’t want to be King who serves the vampire. How will he tell his son about this absurdity. He can’t face Sung Yeol and share this heavy burden to him either.
Sung Yeol reminds the Crown Prince about his vision to make a world ruled by the power of people and he wanted to do it with Sung Yeol, a promise he made years ago. It was one reason why Sung Yeol gains more knowledge, expanding his horizon to understand the world. This reminder is enough to change the Crown Prince’s mind as he invites him to join this dangerous secret plan. He’ll write his secret plan on his notes and if anything happens to him, these notes will be passed on to him. Sung Yeol promises he’ll risk his life to protect him so nothing bad will happen to the Crown Prince.
The guardian vampire is ready to fight with Gwi but he’s too weak. He loses his arm. Gwi is so much stronger. But after Gwi finds out the guardian vampire is his teacher who he killed 200 years ago and his body is almost gone, he’s shocked! The teacher begs to return with him but no, Gwi wants to live in this human world as the humans’ ruler because it’s more fun that living as his disciple killing vampires. His teacher warns humans are stronger than he thought and he’ll die from the humans’ will power. Gwi then kills him with sunsa wood dagger his teacher used to kill vampires.
The wild cat sneaks in to Myung Hee’s room again, admiring her beauty. His expression looks dark, clearly he didn’t sleep at all last night. He’s worried if he can help Crown Prince and do well. Myung Hee encourages him to believe in himself because there’s nothing he couldn’t do like marrying her. He’s a superb scholar, loyal subject and her husband so he’ll do well. Awww.
Gwi finds out the secret plan and the names of people who’ll help the Crown Prince to achieve his goal. He can easily kill them and the Crown Prince as well as he orders the Eunuch to capture the Crown Prince now!
Without wasting any time, the Eunuch closes the Crown Prince’s quarters & instructs the guard to arrest traitor Kim Sung Yeol! Fortunately, Sung Yeol who’s nearby overheard it so he hurriedly rides his horse to find the guardian vampire as he hopes the Crown Prince will endure until he’s back. Meanwhile, Myung Hee pricks her finger when she’s sewing. Something’s bad will happen!
Sung Yeol arrives at the guardian vampire’s house where he bites Sung Yeol’s neck to transfer his ability! He hopes he’ll acquire his strength because he’s the only one who can compete with Gwi! He orders Sung Yeol for never ever taking off the black robe. Sung Yeol resists, fights hard but he can’t fight with the inner strength as he transforms into a vampire! Then he collapses.
When he wakes up, he wears the black robe which will protect him from the sun / light. The guardian vampire is now just a dust. Sung Yeol walks in confusion and disbelief that three days has passed. But in a more shocking news, he finds out the Crown Prince is dead due to treason. Five heads are hanging in the village, one of them is Sung Yeol’s dad! He cries out, breaks down in tears, fights with the guards until his fangs appear before the guard knocks his head & he collapses on the ground.
They tie him down with a strong sunsa wood so he can’t escape. But when he regains consciousness, he sees his beautiful bride & the young Crown Prince laying there 🙁
Gwi notices the bite mark on Sung Yeol’s neck as he asks why he hasn’t drank human’s blood because they’ll die if the blood is not consumed within a half day! His body will be on fire. How can he’s still alive?
After realizing it’s Gwi, Sung Yeol erupts in anger promising he will never let him get away. He will kill him, cut him piece by piece with his own hand! Gwi offers the young Crown Prince to Sung Yeol to drink his blood but he rejects his kind offer. He then offers him to be his disciple and he’ll give this nation to him where he can be the King and reigns forever.
But this country, the people, the King, they are not under Gwi’s feet! Sung Yeol mocks that Gwi cannot even stand under the sun! He continues living his monstrous life by drinking human’s blood. People who needed his power probably followed his order and pretended to be afraid but they were waiting for a good opportunity to kill him!
He strangles his neck threatening that nobody, nothing in this world can get rid of him because he’ll kill them himself. The crown Sung Yeol risking his life to protect. But Sung Yeol warns back this isn’t over only because Crown Prince Jung Hyun is dead because Gwi will disappear at some time. Humans will definitely get rid of him!
But Gwi still has his Plan B, Lee Myung Hee! He slashes her arm in front of her future husband before stabbing Sung Yeol in front of her. He’ll die if he refuses to drink human’s blood so will he drink his lover’s blood?
If he still insists, Gwi will turn him into a vampire because there’s no way she will sacrifice her life when she sees with her own eyes he transforms into a vampire! Because… humans are weak.
Brave Myung Hee gets up, stabs herself with Gwi’s knife! Upset Sung Yeol throws & almost smashed Gwi! Yeah.
Myung Hee cries out begging Sung Yeol to take her blood, to survive, live well and fulfill his ambitions. She kisses him, forcing him to drink her blood.
Flashback to their sweet date when Sung Yeol asked why she never told him she loves her. She replied words don’t necessarily fully support her heart. She kissed him under the rain then he kissed her back.
I love you is her last word :'( Sung Yeol bites her neck, drink her blood until she passes away :'( He cries out in indescribable sadness.
Time passed – 120 years later
A cheerful book seller Jo Yang Sun (Lee Yoo Bi) is running around the village, greeting the kids, so happy she finally found a way to meet Scholar Eum Seok Gol. If things are going well, he’ll be her regular customer.
She goes to the pub house where she can find Eum Seok Gol where she realizes book isn’t the only thing he looks upon fondly. She mistakenly went to Crown Prince Lee Yoon‘s (Shim Changmin) room and is told she’s in the wrong room making her relieved that Scholar Eum Seok Gol isn’t the kind of person who’d entertained with this kind of scandalous hobby so she apologizes and leaves the room.
The reason why Yang Sun eagerly wants to meet him is because she heard he bought hundreds of book in the last 3 months he’s been here and he has many bookshelves at the palace so it’ll be good for her business.
She finally gets to meet Eum Seok Gol but she can’t see his face clearly because there’s a black curtain separating them.
Eum Seok Gol is Kim Sung Yeol! He requests her to find Crown Prince Jung Hyun’s record books but she never heard about this book.
Suddenly, her pet is crawling out and running straight to Seok Gol so she chases it until she finally catches it. In the midst of this chaos, she gets to see his face and her heart flutters.
When the pet bites her finger and Seok Gol sees the blood on her finger, he suddenly becomes very restless. Fangs appear and his eyes turn red. He resists hard suppressing his thirst for human blood!
What an awesome action packed pilot episode. I haven’t read the webtoon so I was surprised to find out Kim Sung Yeol became a vampire because of the guardian vampire. I think he wasn’t originally born as a vampire but acquired the strength as a vampire to kill Gwi, the most powerful, evil, wicked vampire who’s hungry for power.
Sung Yeol’s friendship with Crown Prince Jung Hyun is very precious, they trust and understand each other but above all, they are willing to risk their lives for their nation. They wouldn’t kneel down and fulfilled the vampire’s request, they would never become his servant! Although it’s upsetting he couldn’t save the Crown Prince but his death will not be in vain.
Sung Yeol’s tragic love story breaks my heart. It serves as a warning to Gwi that not all humans are weak. There’re humans who are brave enough to risk their lives to save their loved ones, like Myung Hee. There’re humans who aren’t scared of his demands. There’re humans who’d rather die than to be his slaves!
Lee Jun Ki and Kim So Eun match well and have beautiful chemistry. I don’t mind to see more of this couple in the future episodes 🙂
Lee Yoo Bi only appeared in the last few minutes of this episode and although it started with her cross-dressing character, I’d and will still refer to both her characters as a she. Hopefully it won’t cause any confusion.
Lee Jun Ki’s acting impressed me the most especially when Sung Yeol transformed into a vampire – shivers down my spine.
So far this drama ticks all the boxes (for me) although I hope the music director will read viewers’ feedback. I’m already missing Lee Hyun Woo though 🙁