Behind a name: Heuksa Chorong, Yeo Woon’s doomed home.
The name of the most skilled assassin’s guild, hired by the Qing’s Dinasty, is strictly related to their purpose and belonging to the underworld of sorts.
Black, being the color of death, and lanterns, something to be used in the darkness. In resume, a tool to be used for death. The darkness in this sense represents not only the killings but also the world where they belong and feel more comfortable, hidden in the shadows, doing the dirty deeds of those in power.
It is run by three leaders:
The Sky Lord 천 (天): the most powerful of the three, highly skilled in combat and killing. They’re in charge of the final decisions when it comes to the organization’s management.
The Earth Lord 지(地): second in command, deadly as the first one. Their opinion is highly respected but they do not hold the final word on the guild’s matters.
The Human Lord
인(人): third in command, generally the youngest one and an apprentice of sorts. They’re the ones who have more jobs ‘in the field’ instead of ruling in Heuksa Chorong’s HQ. They generally run for becoming the future Sky Lord but it all depends on skill (for example, Dae Ung, was quite mediocre as a Human Lord in comparison to Yeo Woon).
To become the next Sky Lord, one of the two remaining must defeat the current one, and the only way to do it is by killing them. When Woon officially enters Heuksa Chorong as the Human Lord, it is stated that he will become the future Sky Lord, meaning that he already knew that he’d have to kill his master sooner or later. As they progress from one stage to another, the complexity of their uniforms aren’t defined, but their belt ornaments are distinctive. For example:
- Yeo Woon’s Human Lord commanding insignia (beginner):
- Yeo Woon’s Human Lord commanding insignia (advanced)
- Yeo Woon’s Sky Lord leader insignia:
It is, apparently, not required for the three leaders to coexist at the same time. For example, when the show begins, the three of them (Cheon, Gah Ok and Dae Ung) are active. When Cheon takes his time to defeat the best swordsmen that exist, it is stated that Yeo Woon, while still Human Lord, has been appointed to be in charge, despite the fact that the Earth Lord (Gah Ok) is still ruling and alive. After the Earth and previous Sky Lords die, Woon commands Heuksa Chorong by himself. It is unknown why he hasn’t taken apprentices like his former master did but, according to the series’ plot, his intention is to disband the guild in a near future.
The Headquarters are at an undisclosed location, and prisoners as well as ‘guests’ are blindfolded to not recognize the path that leads to the fortress.
The training begins at a very early age, for example, Woon being accepted at age 12 (though, I do wonder if they would have taken him while he was even younger, being he a prodigy). There’s an appointed Training Master that teaches the members not only how to kill but also deceive and manipulate.
The “Shadowless World” is the spies branch of Heuksa Chorong, working at the Palace. It’s a network that make an inside job to report later to the Sky Lord using doves or other members of the guild to deliver their messages. Just because they look like normal people, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t as skilled as the rest of the group’s agents.
No task force can be compared to these assassins and they are swift, precise and quick in their killings. Which is precisely why they are so respected among those in the ‘business.’ It is ironic though, that an organization with a no-love principle (’you must leave everything behind, friends, heart, everything to be an assassin’) holds so many tragedies relationship-wise. Still, they are determined to fulfill their missions and do what they do best: play with the kingdom’s strings of destiny.
I have not forgotten, I cannot forget and will not forget.
I’ve hated you and even wanted to kill you before. Even if you hadn’t betrayed us, and hadn’t bound yourself to that bullshit destiny, and even if you hadn’t run away… I would have resented you countless times.
But aren’t you Un? Aren’t you my friend, Un? I do not know what your destiny is. If you cannot resist, I will help you withstand it. So, please do not give up.
A gif spam of Yeo Woon’s sweet and funny reactions to the discussion between Dong Soo, Cho Rip and the Beacon guard/General in episode 11. Yeo Woon talked only once in the whole scene, but stole the spotlight for me with his expressions. I especially like the last gif because this smile is the widest and brightest of them all in this scene. He smiled like this after Dong Soo had spoken. Another proof that Yeo Woon was most happy and carefree only when he was with Dong Soo.