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Yona asks her father if he finds her hair weird, to which she receives an answer that describes her beauty as surpassing a gem. Even though she agrees with her father’s answer, she’s unsatisfied with her unruly hair, and wonders why it is a different color than her parents', who both had black hair. Il continues to assure her that there is nothing wrong with her hair and even asks Hak for assurance of his statement; however, the latter thinks that her head is the one in question. In annoyance, she tries to silence Hak, but he reminds her that she must prepare to look her best, as Soo-Won has already reached the palace to visit. Upon hearing this, she rushes outside to greet Soo-Won and eventually bumps into him in the castle hallways. They have a little talk, but she notices she is still being treated as a child by him, which irritates her. The next morning Yona goes to Soo-Won’s room to invite him for snacks, however, she only finds Min-Soo, who is currently cleaning the room. Min-Soo tells her that Soo-Won is together with Hak on the training grounds and she immediately goes there. On her way, she meets up with her father. On the grounds, she and Il watch her childhood friends competing against each other in archery while on horseback. While watching Soo-Won, she suddenly becomes motivated to learn archery, which makes Il worry. Il tells her to not use weapons and that he did not want Hak or Soo-Won to use them, nor wanted to use them himself. Yona admonishes Il for being a coward.
Soo-Won then invites Yona to come down and ride a horse with him, assuring Il that he will not give her weapons. As they ride a horse together, Yona asks Soo-Won about his engagement proposals, leading to an awkward moment between them where Soo-Won tries to quickly end the conversation and Yona lies about being engaged to Hak as an attempt to make him stop seeing her as a child. To her surprise, Soo-Won congratulates her and she ends up sulking about his cluelessness in her room afterwards. Il tells her that she may also have to discuss about future engagement proposals soon, but Soo-Won will not be an option. Yona is strongly against this, but her father insists that he will be the one deciding her partner, for the sake of Soo-Won, another member of the royal family, not meeting the same fate Il has, losing his wife and potentially his own life to insurgents.
In disbelief, Yona runs out of her room and stays in a hallway while contemplating the things she has heard. All of a sudden, an unknown man looms at her and, fearing that he is an insurgent, Yona dashes away from him. She goes into a room, which luckily belongs to Soo-Won, who calms her down. However, remembering her father's words, Yona becomes worried over the chance that Soo-Won will also be attacked by insurgents if she stays with him any longer. Yona tells Soo-Won that she shouldn't be in his room with him, and Soo-Won misunderstands that she wants to be by Hak’s side, as he believes they are engaged. This forces Yona to confess that she lied about being engaged and that she actually has romantic feelings for him, not Hak. Soo-Won tries to dodge Yona's confession, believing that he misunderstood her, but Yona confirms her feelings once more and asked what his reaction would be. Soo-Won admits that he had always seen her as a little sister and suddenly was seeing her as a woman, and although he was not able to imagine getting engaged with anyone at the moment, he would no longer be able to hold hands and sleep with her as they had done as children. Yona is still satisfied with the outcome of her confession, as he is now at least noticing her a little.
Five days later, Yona celebrates her 16th birthday, but her hair is still the only thing weighing on her mind, much to her father’s disappointment. Soo-Won beckons her over, and Il tries to stop Yona from meeting Soo-Won, who looks back at him, concerned, but continues to walk over to Soo-Won. Soo-Won gives her a hairpin as a gift, as he thought it suited her. Yona replies in disappointment that her hair was too curly and red for it to suit her. Soo-Won in turn compliments that Yona's hair was a beautiful red, like the dawning sky. Because of this compliment, Yona suddenly finds herself falling in love with the hair she didn't like, and smiles tearfully. In the midst of their conversation, Hak appears and tells her that her father is looking for her. Later that night she decides to fight for her love and goes to her father’s room to talk to him. But upon arriving there, she witnesses the murder of her father at the hands of Soo-Won. Unable to process what she has seen, she asks Soo-Won to call a doctor as she hugs her father’s corpse, but her cousin coldly tells her outright that he killed him as revenge for the death of his father, Yu-Hon. Shortly after, Kye-Sook and some Sky Tribe soldiers enter the room. Without hesitation, the former demands that Soo-Won must kill Yona. Terrified, she escapes from them, but she is eventually caught and pinned down by the soldiers. As she is about to be killed, Hak comes to her rescue and defends her, though in the end he is also cornered. Suddenly, an arrow shot distracts everyone and Hak grabs her to flee.
They meet up with Min-Soo, the person who shot the arrow, behind the bushes. While they are hiding, Yona cries as she expresses her regret of being unable to express her gratitude to her father. Min-Soo then tells them that he will disguise himself as the princess so that they can get away from the castle. As they carry out the plan, she and Hak manage to escape, but Min-Soo is shot by an arrow. They continue to hide in the mountains, but at one point she loses the hairpin she got from Soo-Won. She frantically looks for the hairpin, but during her search she ends up in a snake’s den. She is quickly saved by Hak, but he suffers a venomous bite in the process. After that she receives her missing hairpin from him.
The next day Yona checks Hak’s condition but the latter tells her that he is alright. She then asks him where they are going and learns that they are going to Fuuga, the capital of the Wind Tribe and Hak’s hometown. Upon arriving there, she collapses from exhaustion and is brought into a room where Tae-Yeon, Hak’s younger brother, continually checks on her. After she awakens, Tae-Yeon feeds her and asks her about her relationship to his brother to which she answers that they are friends. Shortly after giving her answer, Tae-Woo and Han-Dae comes into the room while laughing about Hak’s unrequited love. Hak follows, beats Tae-Woo and Han-Dae, and asks her about the “friends” she mentioned. Yona is about to rephrase her answer when Hak stops her and tells her to keep a low profile and tells her to go by a new identity, Rina (pronounced "Lena"), a court lady in training. Following this, chaos ensues between Hak, Tae-Woo and Han-Dae, though it's more like the casual joking between family members. This makes Yona smile for the first time after her father’s death.
When she finally regains her strength, she is asked to do laundry and Hak guides her to the river. However, she is unable to do her chore as there is no water in the river. Hak immediately orders Han-Dae to investigate. Soon after, Son Mundok returns; she immediately goes to his side and he gives her a hug. However, her moment of happiness is quickly cut off when Han-Dae comes back and reports that the Fire Tribe is blocking the water stream on their river. She learns from Mundok that this is a warning from the Fire Tribe as they are trying to make Soo-Won the next king.
That night, Tae-Yeon suffers an asthma attack. To make matters worse, the merchant who is supposed to bring Tae-Yeon's medicine is attacked by the Fire Tribe. She worries about Tae-Yeon, but she is soon calmed down by Han-Dae who volunteers to run to the east forest to buy the medicine from the healer living there. After everyone’s anger is subsided by
Hak she asks him what she can
do, but he tells her to rest. The next day, Tae-Yeon has recovered thanks to the medicine Han-Dae brought and they are all relieved. Yona then goes to the infirmary to see the injured merchants. When she sees them, she questions the Fire Tribe's and Soo-Won’s reasons for doing such horrible things to their people. Han-Dae accidentally bumps into her and notices how she is close to tears. He comforts her by telling her that Hak and Mundok will protect them all as they are all part of their family. Upon hearing these words, Yona finally cries. However she decides to leave Fuuga at once as she doesn't want anyone else to get hurt.
She goes out to search for Hak. She finds Tae-Yeon first and sees him talking to his brother, though Hak leaves just as she arrives. Before setting out to follow Hak, she first thanks Tae-Yeon for everything he did for her. Tae-Yeon then cries and she can’t help but hug him while saying that she will not forget him or the others. She continues her pursuit of Hak and manages to catch up with him at the entrance gate. She orders him to let her go with him, but Hak refuses as he already surrendered his title and his surname. She persists in asking him despite his efforts to make her stay at Fuuga, and in the end she wins their little fight. Mundok appears before them and bids them farewell, but not before telling them that somewhere in the mountains along the Wind Tribe's border with the Fire Tribe lives a priest from whom she can seek advice.
As the two of them set out to find the priest, they encounter Tae-Jun and his troops on a cliff; Hak protects her from them. During the fight, Hak uses himself as a shield to prevent her from getting shot by a poisoned arrow. She is then hidden behind some bushes and is ordered to stay put. However, she sees Tae-Jun and his subordinate near her hiding spot and overhears their plan to kill Hak. At first she remains still, believing that Hak will manage by himself; however, she remembers the reason she left Fuuga, and finds the resolve to take action to stop Tae-Jun’s plot. She pushes his subordinate off the cliff and confronts Tae-Jun. He attempts to persuade her to go back to the castle so that they can dethrone Soo-Won. Instead of listening to him, she questions his reasons behind his decisions to attack innocent people just to get her, to which Tae-Jun tells her that he is merely following orders. This prompts Yona to tell him that, despite her ignorance, she has not yet become a mindless person who blindly follows other people’s orders.
Hak continues to fight below; however, as the poison gets the better of him, he loses focus and is successfully attacked, wounding him and leaving him hanging on for dear life to the edge of the cliff. Yona runs to help him but is stopped by Tae-Jun grabbing her hair. She refuses to let this stop her and takes Tae-Jun’s sword to cut away the portion of her hair that is holding her back. After she sets herself free, she goes down to the cliff and tries to drive away the soldiers who are attempting to kill Hak. She then grabs Hak's hand and tries to get pull him back up. Unfortunately as Tae-Jun’s soldiers are approaching to separate the two of them, she loses her grip and they ultimately fall.
Upon returning home, Yoon decides to pay a visit to the nearby Kattan village to deliver provisions of food and medicine to the impoverished villagers, like he usually did before he set out with Yona and Hak to find the other dragons. Old man Se-Dol, one of the Kattan villagers, reveals that food has become more scarce and that the officials have increased taxes. He then turns to regard Yoon and asks whether the people behind are friends of his. Yoon turns around to see Yona and the others have followed him out of curiosity and ask to accompany him in helping out the village. Yoon refuses, stating that the group stands out too much and that the village is not a place “a princess should come to” because of the sickly people there. Yona tells him it’s because she’s the princess and the daughter of King Il, that she should witness the effects of her fathers reign. Yoon begrudgingly gives in.
Unfortunately, the Fire Tribe officials pay a visit to Kattan village in order to collect tax. Yoon warns the others to hide and they all watch in horror as the officials take Yoon’s provisions and harm one of the children, despite the villagers explaination and pleas. Jaeha is the first one to step out albeit Yoon’s protest, stating he’d never pardon the use of violence against a child and that it was within his nature as a pirate to always clash with officials. Hak follows suit (donning Shin Ah’s fluff to hide his identity) as well Kija with his dragons hand already enlarged. Finally, with an imitation of captain Gigan to boot, Yona steps out from the group and proclaims that the snot-nosed officials are raving havoc in their territory. When asked by one of them if they’re bandits, Yona says yes. And thus the bandits known as the Dark Dragon and the Happy Hungry Bunch are born.
The group decide that in order to protect the nearby villages, they should assume their newfound roles as bandits properly. Since Shuu village is next up for inspection the group splits, leaving Yona behind and Shin Ah to protect her. She unsuccessfully tries to steal his sword and instead requests for Shin Ah to show her his swordsmanship so that she can learn from it. She notes his strength and speed, and questions why’d he’s learn swordsmanship if had his dragon power to begin with. Shin Ah reflects on his powers and the impact of its use in his past, and has a minor breakdown. Yona is able to comfort him, and wishes that one day she’d be able to look him in the eyes while speaking to him.
Some of the village children appear and run off with Shin Ah’s sword, cashing him to chase after them while Yona attends to another child requesting for some candy. However, a commotion nearby catches their eyes and Yona realises that an actual group of bandits have made their way to the village, and killed a child in the process. In her anger, she’s able to graze one of the bandits with an arrow, before she’s grabbed and taken to them as hostage. Shin Ah, sensing danger, returns and finds that Yona has been taken captive. He fights his way through the group demanding them to give him Yona back, until he’s stabbed in the stomach. With no sword, he’s forced with no choice but to use his dragon power.
Shin Ah is able to paralyse all of the bandits with his power but soon becomes overwhelmed by the power of it. In his state, he even notes how his dragon eyes allow everyone around him to appear small in comparison, and how he’s able to paralyse each arm, leg and even the heart of the person he wishes in his attempt to get Yona back. Yona regains conscience and witnesses how consumed Shin Ah gets, and notices in surprise how he seems to be enjoying inflicting pain upon the bandits like this. Once free of the man retraining her, she runs to Shin Ah and attempts to snap him out of it, to which he simply pushes her away. One of the bandits calls out to her imploringly as to how she’s able to withstand Shin Ah devouring her. Yona realises then the full extent of Shin Ah’s power and meaning if it being a double edged sword. She tries one last time to get through to him, and tells him that if devouring her would bring him satisfaction, she would gladly accept. That ever since she took him out of that cave, she felt as though they should live together freely, and that his powers were evidence of his existence, even if it was something he didn’t wish to use. She wouldn’t let him. She calls out his bestowed name, and promises to protect him just as much as he protects her. Shin Ah is finally able to reawaken from his power and recognise her.
As a consequence of using his power so brazenly, Shin Ah is left paralysed. He tells Yona to stay away because of the monster he sees himself as. He‘s scared of his power and of Yona hating him, he realises, and as to whether she would ever call his name out again. However once again, Yona is able to comfort him, stroking his hair and she gently telling him that his reaction proves how human he is. That she should keep his eyes open and take control, instead of keeping his eyes closed and repressing everything. She wishes aloud for the two of them to get stronger together, to which Shin Ah asks if that means he can stay. Yona smiles at him fondly and takes his hand, reducing Shin Ah to tears. Even though he has no feelings in his hands, he can still feel her warmth. If Yona is to call his name, he will go anywhere. Until he can proud of the name Yona has given him.
Yoon and the others return to find them both.