Part 7: The SmithsPretty low turnout for this vote:
Block 4: 4
Block 5: 1
Block 9: 0
Block 10: 0
Well, before we get into any of the real content, let's go over the Helpful Notes section.
Hey, look! We have a new family tree.
A cliché to remember
Okay, yeah, no.
"Abased?" Seriously? What a complete and utter misrepresentation.
In case it wasn't obvious, that's a completely liberal and messed up translation. Yes, it's a common phrase, but... that's not what it means.
What it really just means is "male superiority". That's all. Fine, it's a cliché that kinda states the obvious, so what? I don't know where she's pulling this "women are abased" nonsense from. It's stupid.
Kim family tree
Ugh, yeah, what a mess. Leave it to her to clutter things up with useless names.
It's no surprise coming from someone as childish as her, I suppose.
Smith family tree
Well, I think that speaks for itself, doesn't it...?
That's what a genealogy is supposed to look like! Hope that's more helpful.
BGM: The Smiths
That insightful advice aside, let's see what *Mute has to say about the Smiths!
A pack of idiots - Sept 18th, Year 315, Smith Kyung-sam
Gotcha, you want to hear about the Smith family? Oh yeah, you're going to love this. Those people had problems like you would not believe.
Technically I belonged to the Ryu family, but, well, I spent a lot of time keeping up on the Smith family's gossip. They used to be the most important noble house, above even the Kims, you know.
I know what you're about to say. Don't worry, we'll get around to it.
Oh, sure. It's all very fascinating stuff.
Okay, looks like you've gotten the decryption sorted out, great! I can, in fact, see everything in that block now.
Where did you even get admin access from, anyway? Only the Ryu family was supposed to have that, and it's not like *Hyun-ae could tell an unauthorized person... weird.
Well, anyway, I've got them! So here you have it, the sordid, sealed files of the Smith family.
It looks like the Smith family secrets were in that block we decrypted before! We have two new logs.
But first, let's go back and present that same Block 4 log again. The reply *Mute gave us was a reply she would have given to any Smiths log we asked about; now, we can get her comments on that log in particular.
It's appalling is what it is! Can you believe his nerve?!
Fine, Sang-jung never married, and he liked to drink maybe a little more than was good for him.
But he was a great man! Clever, charming, filial and respectful... I... look, he wasn't perfect.
He was as damn close as you could get, though.
If you'd been able to talk to him, you'd fall in love for sure. Completely.
Do you want to know what he was really like? Don't listen to a single word from the likes of Kyung-sam: Here's a more fitting depiction.
I've added some logs that actually do him justice. You should really read them.
Three more logs in Block 3!
But I'm going to be methodical here. Back to Block 4.
Contempt - Sept 23rd, Year 315, Oh So-jin
She was an awfully good friend of mine, we chatted a lot.
You have to understand, though, she might not have been a very good wife, it's absolutely not her fault.
It's like what I reported to my mistress, Ryu Jae-hwa: None of the problems in her marriage were her own fault. She was just the wife of a lousy man, plain and simple.
Mostly, she tried to do the best she could.
I don't want you looking down on her, understand?!
By example - Oct 4th, Year 315, Smith Kyung-sam
Oh, yes, him.
Then let me be as clear as I possibly can: Fuck that guy!
I know, I shouldn't say that about a man, not least of all a dead one, but I don't care. He didn't have any respect for the dead, either, so as far as I'm concerned, he doesn't deserve any from me!
There's only one thing related to him that you need to see, and it's not even him. It's a letter to his father, from someone who actually did matter.
All he ever did was complain about the main branch, and trash the good name of a good man.
That's all you need to know.
Hey look, even more Block 3 logs.
Well, *Mute's out of commentary on Block 4, so let's take a peek.
Brought home - Jan 11, Year 311, Oh So-jin
Laughable situation - Apr 6th, Year 313, Oh So-jin
A proper damn gentleman - Apr 18th, Year 313, *Mute
Well, this is what I told him at the time...
I could have maybe, you know, done without the description of her breasts?
But that kind of story was definitely pretty common for him. The part where he cleaned up after his family's mess, I mean, not the details about immoral-looking common women.
And... well, the drinking too.
But look, that part, he had good cause for. Sure, it was his ruin, but you can't blame a man for that.
I mean, the stuff he had to put up with... if your brother had it like that, I'm sure he'd do the same.
It wasn't all that bad, really. We'd spend a lot of evenings drinking together, talking long into the night... well, he would, anyway. Obviously not really so much drinking on my part.
But he was the kind of man who'd still pour a glass for you all the same.
So that whole sarcastic thing about him being a proper gentleman? It's not sarcastic, he really was! Well, he was being sarcastic. But still.
He totally, absolutely was the best damn gentleman around.
Daughter - Jul 10th, Year 313, Oh So-jin
High Magistrate, Smith Sang-min, huh?
Well, as High Magistrate, he was one of the highest ranking officials until just before the end.
I don't want to paint a misleading portrait: As I understand, he was a very just man, and performed his function quite well.
It was politics that caught up to him in the end. It's like I reported to my mistress Ryu Jae-hwa: He might have been a good magistrate, but his family conduct was... less than the pinnacle of virtue.
How many wives a man takes is no business but his own, and he never did anything illegal, but...
Knocking up courtesans owned by the court? Man, that's just bad politics.
And just completely unfair for his primary wife. Ugh, can you imagine?
So that's why he lost his position. Years of embarrassment in the family finally culminated in him turning into a real liability for the emperor.
But... it wasn't always like that.
Here, let me try to paint an even portrait of him for you. I've added an assortment of logs about him.
I hope this gives a good idea of what I mean.
Between Blocks 3 and 4, that's five new logs. There's actually a lot in here on the Smiths!
For now, I'll stick with Block 3.
I'm sorry - Sept 18th, Year 313, Smith Sang-min
No luck - Feb 20th, Year 314, Smith Sang-min
I know it sounds like Sang-min is just being harsh on his little brother, but I assure you, his characterization of him isn't wrong.
I... honestly, kinda tended to avoid him. I was friends with his older brother's wife, and his younger brother was an absolute gentleman, but he was not a very nice man.
He was the sort of person that the court exams were supposed to keep out in theory. Didn't work, of course, he studied just as well as his brothers, or so Sang-jung told me.
Here... You want to see the usual sort of behavior that you'd get from Smith Sang-kyu? I've added another entry, this one by the Kim son.
A new entry, all the way over in Block 9! That title is not reassuring.
Moving on, let's get back to Block 3.
Visit from Sang-jung - May 30th, Year 314, Oh So-jin
*Mute's ideal of the perfect gentleman, folks.
Man, reading that... I just can't believe that's her. She used to be so timid!
Thinking of me as having a "shocking crass" manner, or being afraid of her brother-in-law at the door? Well, it's all what I expected from her at the time, she just changed a whole lot as she got older.
...honestly, maybe not as much as I thought.
She might've gotten bolder behind her husband's back, but in front of him? That never really changed much.
Yeah, I'm sure you would say that. You're not only outside of home, you're off in the middle of space!
So don't you dare look down on her for that! Don't you dare.
I mean, I'm not judging. If you really think that's an appropriate thing for a woman to do... then, well, whatever.
But look, So-jin wasn't like you. She did understand her place, ultimately, and she was interested in being a good wife.
Either way, well... she did change, in some ways. Would you like me to show you what I'm talking about here?
SPILL IT, SISTER
Okay then. Oh, this isn't for the faint of heart, but I think you'll see what I mean.
I'm warning you right now, it does get a little bit gross. But... well, wow, just see it for yourself.
It's... definitely a pretty big fall for her. You'll see what I mean soon enough.
And another new block opens! That was a lot of information to take in, so I'm taking a break.
Where to next?
Block 2: Oh So-jin's big scandal
Blocks 3 and 4: The rest of the background on the Smiths
Block 5: The Pale Bride
Blocks 9 and 10: The other families and Sang-kyu's conduct
One day of voting seems to be enough.