Ok, I know, I’m posting a lot of Yona of the Dawn blogs lately, but I’ve been reading the manga and I just keep on coming up with arguments and questions that I want to dive deeper into. I just read chapter 178, and, throwing this out there right now, this is NOT spoiler-free. I WILL analyze every piece of evidence I have to that point (since as of writing this, 178 is the last chapter published on mangareader.net).
Just to catch you up if you don’t remember or you didn’t heed my spoiler warning, at the end of chapter 177, Yona and company are recovering from their latest battle against the Kai Empire in an army camp belonging to the Sky Clan. Hearing that Yona injured her throat when she was trapped in a fire, Kye-sook, Su-won’s advisor who’s present at the battlefield in Su-won’s place, gives Yona medicine that Yun didn’t know about nor had access to. Yona’s throat gets better in less than an hour. When she finds him later, Kye-sook proposes that they make an alliance, bringing up the facts that Yona and her crew are beloved by the citizens of the kingdom, he and Hak had an alliance during the battle they just finished, and foreign countries have shown interest in capturing the Dragon Warriors and their powers at least twice already.
This is a big debate and tough for both sides. On one hand, if Yona accepts Kye-sook’s proposal for an alliance, her group would have constant access to food, shelter, protection, and the castle (which has special properties that speed up the dragons’ recoveries when they get injured). However, with that alliance, the four dragons would essentially be Su-won’s lapdogs. If Yona refuses, they’d reserve the freedom to refuse Su-won’s orders, however, they’d be forced deep into hiding, like the only place they could hope for safe haven would he Gija’s village (if they could even find it a second time), which may also make finding shelter and food much more difficult if they’re out in the wild mountains.
Let entertain the idea of accepting the alliance for a bit. So, if Yona accepts, and Kye-sook is the one making the negotiation and terms of the alliance, she, Hak, Yun, and the four dragons would all go back to the castle with Kye-sook and the Sky Clan army. They may be welcomed in the castle and be presented with rooms and food and Yun would be presented with the library and be able to read to his heart’s content. The biggest glaring issue would be Su-won. Hak still despises him and can’t be in the same area as him without needing to be held back from ripping his throat out. He’d need Jaeha to practically babysit him as they’d wander the castle if they’d have to stay where Kye-sook and/or Su-won could keep an eye on them while they all sit on their hands or use the time to learn all they could about whatever most concerns them; Yun would learn all he could about medicine and anything else he could get his hands on, Hak may catch up and update his military knowledge, Yona would use the extra down-time to perfect her swordsmanship and archery, the four dragons might treat the castle as some museum…or just wander around…I’m honestly not sure what they’d do with all that stationary free-time if they were essentially trapped in the castle unless called on for battle.
If Su-won decides the terms of the alliance, I believe Yona and company may get to spend the majority of their time on the road and continue with their quest to better the kingdom one village at a time as they were, only now they have the castle to fall back on. Su-won has shown a lot of admiration for Yona’s work across the kingdom, from their work as Pirates of Awa, to how they handled the Nadai case, to how they changed the Fire Clan for the better, so him allowing them to continue as they were, only difference being that now they’re supported by the state, is very believable. Su-won may call upon them to assist his armies, which they’d have to answer as soon as possible, or oversee their progress around the kingdom, as well as if the dragons are targeted again it would be more an act of war and would bring in at least one clan’s army to assist rather than just the personal grudge for Yona and Hak that it has been. Aside from that, despite Zeno saying they’d be used by the king for the rest of their lives, I don’t think Su-won would interfere much because he isn’t religious and already said he doesn’t require the dragon’s powers, as well as the fact that if he really wanted to kill Yona, he’s had no less than three times already in which he could’ve killed her with no witnesses. Instead, Su-won is content with knowing that Yona is alive, well, and helping the kingdom however she can, whether that means she’s relying on Hak or divine powers.
Now, let’s see the scenario for if Yona refuses. Like I said earlier, they’d be forced to go back into hiding. Because they’re so loved by the people, Kye-sook sees Yona as a threat to Su-won, so, if they don’t accept the alliance, I’m fully convinced he’d target her. While her logic is “He could’ve easily killed me by slipping poison into that medicine”, I wouldn’t be surprised if he refrained from killing her until after he’d try diplomacy to control her and the threat she holds. If he can’t control her threat, then he’ll eliminate her threat. With this in mind, they’d be forced to go so deep into hiding, they wouldn’t be able to help anyone with anything and have to sit on their hands.
Well, there’s the three options I think are most likely to happen depending on Yona’s choice to accept or reject the alliance proposal, and the terms of the said alliance. I didn’t get into a lot of detail in the scenario of if she refuses the alliance because, at the end of chapter 178, she accepts the offer, so now it’s just a question of who’s making the terms of the alliance; what’s expected of Yona, and what is the extent of Kye-sook’s/Su-won’s influence on what she can and can’t do.
I personally think she made a good call accepting the offer. The castle is the spiritual center of the dragon’s power and they get weaker the further they are, so logically, if they’re at or near the castle, they’ll be at a peek of power. Also, Yun needs to update his medical knowledge and the palace library and by the side of actual doctors is the best place in the kingdom to do that. Lastly, while Hak claims that he can and will protect everyone from Su-won’s armies, the Kai Empire, the Sei and the Xing kingdoms, he’s clearly at the end of his rope. Hak has been fighting to protect Yona on top of more and more people as their little misfit group got bigger and bigger. Yona saw this a long time ago and her counteractions were to ask Gija and the other dragons to protect Hak as well as her, and for her to learn weapons herself. What she didn’t account for was that once word gets out that there are people in the kingdom with powers and abilities similar to those of a dragon’s, then they’d try to get that power for themselves, putting the Dragon Warriors in more danger and putting more pressure on Hak to making sure they keep their freedom. With an alliance, Hak will be able to rely on Su-won again, maybe not as a person yet, but as a king who honors his contracts. Not to mention they’ll be guaranteed access to food and shelter, which is always a challenge when they’re on the road.
What do you think though? Did Yona make the right call accepting the offer, or should she have taken Hak’s advice and reject it? Also, are there any details that I forgot that could change how this could turn out? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!