'Tale of the Nine-Tailed' Episode 2: Lee Yeon finds a shocking truth about Ji-ah and Ae Eum, are they in danger?
The beginning of Episode 2 of 'Tale of the Nine-Tailed' portrayed how a male gumiho called Lee Yeon (Lee Dong-wook) lived like a king about 600 years ago. He was the spirit guardian of a mountain range where he controlled the weather and lived as a free being. Then, one fine day, he meets a little girl called Ae Eum who befriends him despite knowing that he is a gumiho. The two of them spend more time together and as Ae Eum grows up to be a wonderful woman, the gumiho Lee Yeon falls in love with her.
This love story begins beautifully but ends tragically and it turns out that someone actually killed Ae Eum. Initially, that is all that is revealed about Ae Eum's death. We see how Lee Yeon begs for Ae Eum to be reincarnated and in return, he agrees to do the work of a detective for the office of the Afterlife. He accepts assignments that involve hunting rogue gumihos that kill humans and eat their livers, spirits and nightmare feeding monsters. He lives as a human, waiting for Ae Eum to be reborn, but is not even sure she would be a woman or that she would look like she did in the past.
And at that time, he meets Ji-ah, who looked just like his Ae Eum did and that is also how he ended up saving her life all those years ago. Now, after 21 years, Ji-ah has grown up to look exactly like Lee Yeon's lover, but he believes she is not Ae Eum because she doesn't have the fox bead that Lee Yeon had given her before she had crossed the river to enter the Afterlife with Taluipa, Hades' elder sister according to the show.
However, as he helps Ji-ah (Jo Bo-ah) find her parents, who he finds out are not dead yet, the two of them end up at an island that is connected to Ji-ah's parents and also Ae Eum. At this island, there seems to be a weird case of serial deaths where just the skulls of victims are either washed onto the shore or are caught in the fishing net by the men who go out to fish at the sea. It is one such skull that brings Ji-ah to the island and turns out there is more to the deaths than meets the eyes. While tracking down how such deaths occurred over the years since 1954, Ji-ah comes across one man who was on the fishing boat while the skull was caught. This man, however, seems extremely paranoid and ends up getting scared when Ji-ah approaches him.
He even hurts her with a hammer, calling her a ghost and if not for Lee Yeon stopping this man, Ji-ah would have been gravely injured. Interestingly, it is at this time that Lee Yeon finds something extremely strange. He applies a folk medicine on the areas where Ji-ah is hurt, but the moment he touches Ji-ah's skin, her skin transforms and ends up looking scaly, like that belonging to an animal and Lee Yeon is completely taken by surprise. Then, Ji-ah transforms as a person too and she ends up in a chokehold and tells Lee Yeon that she is the person that he has been waiting for all this while. He is confused further when Ji-ah, presumably as Ae Eum asks him why he killed her. What really happened to Ae Eum 600 years ago?
'Tale of the Nine-Tailed' will be aired on tvN on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10.30 pm KST and can be streamed on Viki Global.