‘Alchemy of Souls’: Nak-su/Cho-yeong’s Backstory Ahead of Season 2

At the heart of Alchemy of Souls is a killer assassin who shifts her soul into a weak, blind woman. Go Yoon-jung was briefly introduced as Nak-su, a mage assassin known for making her enemy’s heads fall to the floor. The young woman is unlike any other mage, having mastered the multiple stages of magic. In the K-drama, she goes through a journey of trying to find her magic again and falling in love. But Alchemy of Souls Season 2 brings back Nak-su, but as her former self Cho-yeong with no memories of her past.

Go Yoon-jung as Cho-yeong and Nak-su in 'Alchemy of Souls' Season 2.
Go Yoon-jung as Cho-yeong and Nak-su in ‘Alchemy of Souls’ Season 2 | via tvN

Not many people know about Nak-su’s story in ‘Alchemy of Souls’

Throughout Daeho, Nak-su is feared among all mages. At a young age, she mastered almost all levels of mage magic without a teacher. Her origins are unknown by many, much less how she managed to amass such skill on her own. In the first episode of Alchemy of Souls, fans see her impressive skill while fighting Park Jin. But when she is injured, she has no choice but to perform the Alchemy of Souls and shifts her soul into the blind Mu-deok.

When Heo Yeom and Park Jin reveal her body to Seo Yul, Heo Yeom sees her as a human being and explains, “She must have had a story of her own.”

As the K-drama progresses, fans learn more about Nak-su’s infamous reputation in the Daeho. But they also learn that Nak-su has never eaten meat. She explains being an assassin has made her sensitive to blood. When she agrees to train Jang Uk, she instills her wisdom in mastering levels of complex magic. She is one of the rare few mages who mastered three levels and Tansu, a sword technique.

By the third episode, fans learn Seo Yul knew Nak-su as a teenager. They met by chance, and he fell in love. She used a bird whistle, which is how Seo Yul identified her body as his first love. Due to Nak-su’s purpose, she cut ties with him. But Nak-su’s story as Cho-yeong is soon revealed in Alchemy of Souls.

Nak-su’s real name is Cho-yeong in ‘Alchemy of Souls’

Alchemy of Souls Episode 5 reveals the truth of Nak-su’s past and her path for revenge against the mages of Daeho. Her real name was Cho-yeong. Fans see her as a young child walking alongside her father, Cho Chung, a star recorder for Cheonbugwon. Her life changes on one fateful night. One of the family’s maids puts her in hiding as the people around her get murdered. She watches her father kill until Park Jin, and the other mages stop him.

In the aftermath, she is approached by an unknown man who promises to give her power. The man is none other than Jin Mu. She agrees and is taken to the remote and dangerous Danhyanggok. Cho-yeong was raised in isolation. After spending years crafting her magical power, she returned as Nak-su.

She vows revenge against the mage families of Daeho while fulfilling Jin Mu’s orders. But in Alchemy of Souls Episode 8, Nak-su learns the truth about her father’s death. A petrifying Gil-ju reveals her father was a soul shifter on that fateful night. He had gone wild and began murdering everyone.

He also reveals Jin Mu is not the mastermind but someone else who exploited her and her father for their own gain. As Nak-su recalls that night, fans see a close-up of her father petrifying before being killed by Park Jin.

‘Alchemy of Souls’ Season 2 will have Cho-yeong explore her past again

While fans learn the truth about Nak-su’s past that led her to become the killer assassin, Alchemy of Souls Season 2 will hopefully reveal more. The K-drama focuses on her father, but her mother is never mentioned. In the second season, Nak-su is no more as she will have an amnesia storyline and revert to being Cho-yeong.

But she has no memories of her past as a killer, what happened in the Alchemy of Souls finale, and her love for Jang Uk. Seeking answers, she turns to him, despite not recognizing who he is. Fans are hopeful the second season will confirm multiple theories about the character.


‘Alchemy of Souls’ Season 2: Lee Jae-wook Had Trouble Adjusting to Jang Uk Due to the Time Jump

One popular theory for Alchemy of Souls Season 2 revolves around why Cho-yeong is so powerful on her own. The mystery of her past still has some loose ends. Alchemy of Souls Season 2 will premiere on Netflix on Dec. 10.