Webcomic / In Full Bloom
One ruler... One schemer... and... one assassin.
A Naver webcomic, with an English translation available here
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Assassin Outclassin': Kangyul tests Dan Hyang's skills by hiring several other assassins to kill her. It does not go well for them.
- Black and Gray Morality: The prince is a backstabbing, manipulative schemer who is entirely willing to sacrifice innocent lives to advance his own agenda... but he's trying to replace his father, who starts wars and slaughters his own citizens for fun. Similarly, Dan Hyang wants to kill the monstrous emperor, but it is purely for the sake of her own revenge, and she's willing to kill innocents to do so.
- The Caligula: The king, although normally he manages to put up a better facade of sanity than most.
- The Chessmaster: Both the Prince and his father, although it's more obvious with the Prince because the Emperor rarely needs to use convoluted schemes.
- Deadly Decadent Court: Naturally, since the emperor's cunning brutality affects the entire system.
- Deuteragonist: Dan Hyang and the Prince share this role. Dan Hyang is the the most sympathetic character, and the viewer is privy to more of her thoughts, backstory, and motivations than anyone else, but the plot often spends more time following the manipulations of the Prince from his own point of view instead.
- Establishing Character Moment: The Emperor is introduced by callously beheading a messenger who dared interrupt him while he was with a courtesan.
- Conversely, Dan Hyang is introduced via the assassination of a wicked landlord on behalf of someone whose life he'd ruined.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick : Having Kangyul as a retainer is a big part of why the prince is so effective.
- Legacy Character: Dan Hyang inherited the name and role from her mentor. Since she retrieved her mentor's corpse in her first act in the role, Mun-Jung describes it as if Dan Hyang came back to life and killed the people guarding her body as she escaped.
- Motive Rant: Mun-Jung is goaded into one by a left parliamentarian during his trial; even though it's his motive for something that he wasn't directly on trial for, it ultimately sealed his fate.
- Posthumous Character: Dan Hyang's mentor is long-dead by the time the story begins, but serves a major role in her flashbacks.
- Professional Killer: Dan Hyang. She's shown as a Hitman with a Heart to an extent, but is not above killing innocents for the sake of her revenge.
- Revenge: Dan Hyang's primary motivation to try and kill the Emperor, and her main reason for becoming an assassin in the first place.
- Cycle of Revenge: Dan Hyang's mentor warned her against this, but she refused to listen.
- The Uriah Gambit: Mun-Jung used this to eliminate his politically-problematic special forces soldiers near the end of the war.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Played with. The prince looks like he's going to do this with Kangyul, and gives that impression to Mun-Jung; but he ultimately manages to Take a Third Option and save Kangyul while condemning Mun-Jung instead. Years earlier, Mun-Jung himself played this straight with his own secret army by invoking The Uriah Gambit to kill them all... which, ironically, he'd intended to include Kangyul.