Pig Bride Volume Four, KookHwa Huh/Sujin Kim
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We open with a flashback to the first meeting between Si-Joon and Ji-oh. It turns out that they first met and became roommates in elementary school. Because Ji-oh’s mother was allergic to any kind of animal Ji-oh had an imaginary pet dog (whom he got expensive dog biscuits for). Ji-oh quickly discovers that his new roommate has a doglike appetite and decides to make Si-Joon his pet best friend. We see them grow up and watch Ji-oh continuing to buy Si-Joon’s friendship (and cooperation) with treats and snacks.
Then we flash forward to the present situation, where Ki-Ryong has decided to make the entire “guess which one of us is the real Mu-Yeon” contest more interesting by hanging Ji-oh from a tree and poisoning him with snake venom. Si-Joon has to guess correctly or there is no way they will be able to give him the antidote, which is inside a steel ball, which is inside Ji-oh’s stomach. (No pressure or anything…)
After some attempts at asking questions and trying to figure out which of the two girls is the real Mu-Yeon, Mu-Hwa intervenes, giving Si-Joon a way to trick Ki-Ryong into revealing herself. Being less than happy that Si-Joon won by cheating, she attacks. During the course of the battle, Si-Joon gets knocked out. Then learn that Mu-Yeon’s mask had not been to conceal her ugliness, (because she is not ugly) but to “seal” her powers. Mu-Yeon is able to defeat Ki-Ryong but manages to point out that Mu-Yeon trying to prove that Si-Baek Lee loved her via his reincarnation Si-Joon is not exactly a loving thing to do just before Mu-Yeon banishes her.
Ji-oh’s life is saved thanks to the magnetic powers of poor Doe-Doe. She is able to retrieve the steel ball and is able to give him the antidote. The process of steel ball retrieval serves as a partial catalyst for her developing a crush on Ji-oh.
Yes. This entire thing was the Park Bride trying to prove to herself that Si-Baek Lee really loved her. (Of course, I feel that she has a right to feel uncertain, considering he only started treating her nice once the curse was finally broken and she no longer looked ugly. On the other hand Ji-oh almost died.) In remorse for her actions, Mu-Yeon disappears.
Si-Joon is less than happy about this when he wakes up. After a conversation with Ji-oh and an encounter with his mother about the missing Mu-Yeon, he realizes that he has feelings for Mu-Yeon. (Ji-oh meanwhile is missing Mu-Hwa, and Doe-Doe is too busy mooning over Ji-oh to continue her campaign with Si-Joon. Also, she feels a little obligated to Mu-Yeon who gave her a charm that would prevent her from being a human magnet.) Eventually Si-Joon and Ji-oh head out to the general area where Si-Joon had gotten lost in the woods and first encountered Mu-Yeon. After a lot of wandering around, they finally manage to locate the house.
Si-Joon’s mother-in-law scares the crap out of him and Ji-oh because at first they think she’s some kind of ghost or evil spirit. (She had just gotten done killing a chicken for dinner and looked kind of scary.) After talking with the slightly creepy mother-in-law, Si-Joon gets a chance to see Mu-Yeon, who is wearing yet another pig mask. (Causing Si-Joon some understandable panic because while the spell-mask was broken, he was unconscious and hadn’t seen what Mu-Yeon really looks like. The presence of the new mask prompts him to speculate that it has roots and will keep growing back no matter how many times it is removed.) It does not actually have roots; Mu-Yeon is just horribly embarrassed and feels guilty, so she can’t bear to face him without the mask.
After some talk where Mu-Yeon engages in some verbal self-flagellation, Si-Joon tells Mu-Yeon that it wasn’t her fault that she doubted Si-Baek Lee and calls him a bastard for harassing the original Park Bride. (Technically, calling himself a bastard since he’s Si-Baek Lee’s reincarnation.) He then speculates that it was possible that Si-Baek Lee just missed his opportunity to tell her about his feelings before the Park Bride’s curse was broken.
This is all very romantic, but then the mother-in-law interrupts at a pivotal moment and the mood is totally broken. Mu-Yeon slips him some sleeping incense and he wakes up back at his own home. Then he finds out from his parents that his grandfather has come back from a business trip and has completely forbidden his relationship with Mu-Yeon. He throws a fit, but his mother points out that there isn’t a lot she can do about grandfather’s decisions since Mu-Yeon is not around.
Si-Joon returns to school in a very foul mood. The volume ends as he meets a very familiar looking younger classmate. (Well, familiar to the reader and possibly to Si-Joon’s previous incarnation.)