Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bride of the Water God

Okay, so other than studying and working and the usual, I have been reading Bride of the Water God by Yoon Mi-Kyung. It is a manhwa series, and it is 18 volumes ongoing, with 16th volume currently being scanlated, so it is rather up to date.

So, the story is about Soah, who is sacrificed to the Water God in the hopes that her village would end the drought that it slowly killing them. After being told by everyone that the Water God is a monster, she is surprised to learn that the Water God is a small child name Habaek. It turns out Habaek is cursed and can only appear in his true form during the night as Mui. 

The first part of the story is just about Soah meeting the people of the Water Country such as Hoo-ye, Mura, Yo-hee etc. and revelations such as how Soah was not meant to be the sacrifice and Habaek only ever loved his first wife, Nakbin. Soah is led to believe that Habaek and Mui are two different people, and the story begins to deal with how Soah feels for Mui romantically and yet feels like she is betraying Habaek as she does not know they are one and the same. 

As others start to realize what is going on, Habaek sends Soah back to her village, where she is shunned, before being sold off again by her father. Mui takes her back to the water country the day before she was to get married. Back in Water Country, Soah and Hoo-ye seem to be getting rather close, but it turns out to be more than unrequited love on Hoo-ye's side. Mui also formally proposes to Soah (she still doesn't know that him and Habaek are the same). Before Soah can respond, a second sacrifice is sent to Water Country, with Soah requesting that Mui saves the sacrifice. 

The sacrifice bears a striking resemblence to Nakbin. Yeo-wa (the sacrifice who looks like Nakbin) plots to becomes Habaek's true wife. It is later revealed that she is in fact a pawn of the Emporor of the Imperial Country in his schemes against Habaek, and is only made to look like Nakbin, to the point she actually believes she is Nakbin. Yeo-wo then drugs Habaek with a love potion which makes him fall for Yeo-wo but forget Soah, although it was only meant to be a love potion. This allows Hoo-ye to take Soah to the Emperor at the Imperial Court while Habaek takes Yeo wa as his 'wife'.  

It is also revealed that Hoo-ye and Nakbin were siblings, with their father being the Emporor. In a brief flashback arc, we are shown how Nakbin and Mui met, although it is still unclear how Nakbin died. At the Imperial court, it turns out Mui was playing everyone, and actually didn't forget anything, but pretended to do so to protect Soah. This is conveniantly revealed when Mura (who is the witch of Chung Yo mountains) pushes Soah into a lake which will trap her forever (Mura as an unrequited love for Habaek and does this out of jealousy). 

At the Gathering at the Imperial country, it is revealed that Nakbin is somehow alive! And Soah is finally told the truth about Habaek/Mui being the one and the same. Ju-dong and Bu Ryeom in their rebel attack try to kill the emperor but are unsuccessful. They 'kidnap' Soah and take her to the Lunar Palace. There, Soah meets a man who looks like Mui, who is later revealed to be his father. In the Meanwhile, Mura, who is obsessively in love with Habaek/Mui, burns the rare tree which bears a fruit that blooms once every 3000 years and allows a human who eats its fruits to live for 18000 years. 

Back on the Moon, Mui requests to see Shin Nong, but he would only be allowed to do so if he formally marries Soah (vow to the marriage god, and I am disappointed that this was done so hastily!!). Mui and Soah leave to go to Chung Wo mountains where Mura is with the bando (apparently thats what the fruit is called). Mura requests that Mui kills him in order to obtain the fruit. He refuses and Bi Ryeom kills Mura then himself. Then Soah refuses to eat the fruit and tells Mui to become human for her. 

Through Mura's friend, Mui is able to become human, however he can only be in his adult form if he is away Soah. Back in the human world, Dong Young (the man Soah was sold of to the second time) reveals that he knows that Mui is Habaek. In the meanwhile Woo Hui, Dong Young's younger sister tries to make Mui fall in love with her. Mui's mother hears of her son's troubles and intends to kill Soah, instead injuring Mui, and basically that is where it ends in the English, with Mui on the brink of life and death in his mortal form.

So thoughts? Well, I thought Mui felt something from the first time he met Soah. Whether he actually loved her straight away or just thought she was interesting. He revealed the fact that they were the same person, I think that was perhaps because he was embarassed of his childish daytime form. But also, Mui tells Soah his given name (Gods have 3 names, Mui is the one given by his parents), which only a few people may call him. Everyone else calls him Habaek. 

Anyway, that's about it for now, until next time :)

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