King Sejong went ahead to elevate Jang Yeong Shil’s status from a slave to yangban and given an official post, despite massive disapproval from most of the court officials. Even with the change in identity, Jang Yeong Shil is still tirelessly pursuing the knowledge of nature and works with a few other mathematicians, under the order of Sejong, to come up with Joseon’s own armillary sphere and other scientific calculations.
Under the pressure of Joseon-born Ming China eunuch Yoon Bong, Minister Ha Yeon decides it is a must to get rid of Jang Yeong Shil because whatever he is doing is endangering Joseon. Yoon Bong claims that if Ming China knows of Sejong’s plans to revolutionalize science and almanac for use on Joseon land, the Ming Emperor will send troops to Joseon and all the Joseon people will suffer endlessly. Ha Yeon decides to rope in Jang Hee Jae, knowing his envy for Jang Yeong Shil’s talent and intelligence. A plan is hatched to stop Sejong from acheiving his dreams.
While these rigid Confucian scholars are planning their nefarious plans, Sejong brings a few of his most trusted aides who’re also interested in math and science to visit Jang Yeong Shil and his team to learn about their progress and research interests. Not one wasn’t in awe from the enlightenment about how nature works from Jang Yeong Shil’s explanations, and how they had managed to calculate a predicted time for eclipses with a difference of 15 minutes or less.
The breakthrough for the eclipse calculations came in the form of an insult, from one of those officials who can’t accept a slave like Jang Yeong Shil becoming a yangban. His ever inquisitive mind ignored the hostile words and only picked up the crucial terms – “abandoning known facts and consider other possibilities”, which made Jang Yeong Shil realise that perhaps the conventional belief then that the Sun revolves around Earth is wrong and it could very well be the other way round. The exhilaration the team experienced when they revised their calculations to a perfect eclipse calculation, was so great that I wish I hadn’t return my math and physics to my teacher and I would have understood all those geometry better. Nevertheless, what I really love about Show is I can relate to each breakthrough Jang Yeong Shil had because he embodies the spirit of science.