Ji-eum’s first life in See You in My 19th Life explained

In See You in My 19th Life, Ji-eum was cursed to remember all her past lives because of what happened to her in her first life. 

When Ji-eum touches the shaman bells in Min-gi’s room, she sees visions from a recurring dream of hers. Min-gi, who also remembers all his past lives like Ji-eum, tells her that touching the bells will help her remember her first life.

Ji-eum needs to find the relationships from her first life, which she does not remember well, to figure out why she remembers her past lives, even after being reborn multiple times. 

When Ae-gyeong falls sick, it becomes imperative for Ji-eum to know what happened in that life, as she can only save Ae-gyeong and become a normal person if she remembers her first life. Ji-eum then starts piecing together her first life.

The death of an innocent

A thousand years ago, Ji-eum was named Su. Seo-ha, Cho-won, Do-yun, and Min-gi were all part of Ji-eum’s first life. Cho-won was named Seol, and she was Su’s older sister. The two sisters dyed clothes and lived a good life.   

However, Seol was sick, and her condition was getting worse. Su procured medicine for her, but nothing was helping. One day, she was told that a medicine reserved for the royals in Seorabeol Palace might save Seol’s life.

She is also told that it is not easy to obtain that rare medicine, but if she manages to get the shaman bells from the local shrine, she can get the medicine in exchange for the bells, as the palace is gathering sacred items to end the drought in Seorabeol.

Min-gi was Master Cheon-un, the priest of that shrine. Seo-ha, who was named Master Han-ya, and Do-yun were his companions. Cheon-un was going to perform a ritual with the shaman bells, and he had asked Su to prepare the cloth that would be used to form the knot of the bells.

Su delivers the cloth and hides near the shrine. At night, when no one is around, she enters the shrine and steals the bells. She then tries to take the bells to Seorabeol Palace with Seol, who does not know anything.

See You in My 19th Life Ji-eum's first life
Su steals the shaman bells from the shrine

However, Su and Seol are caught by Cheon-un and his men. Su begs Cheon-un to let her take the bells to the palace to save her sister’s life. Cheon-un refuses, as he is unwilling to delay the ritual.

Su questions Cheon-un’s gods, who do not have mercy on a helpless human being. Han-ya tries to save her life by trying to convince her to stop resisting. At that moment, Cheon-un, who believes that Seol cannot be saved anyway and that death will bring Seol peace, kills her.

Cheon-un tries to kill Su as well, but Han-ya stops him. Cheon-un takes the bells and goes to perform the ritual, leaving Su sobbing uncontrollably without a second thought. Su then makes up her mind to avenge her sister’s death

The desire for revenge

That night, a furious and grieving Su attacks Cheon-un on the bridge with the fireworks, but it is Han-ya who gets stabbed, as he comes to stand in front of Cheon-un to save him. Han-ya asks her not to take a life for a life and to take care of herself.

See You in My 19th Life Ji-eum's first life
Han-ya gets stabbed

Blinded by anger, Su does not listen, but before she could attack Cheon-un, she is shot in the back. In her last moments, Su admits that she just wanted to save a life. She picks up the shaman bells and swears to remember this day forever.

She tells Cheon-un that she will be born again and get her revenge, even if it takes hundreds and thousands of years. Su dies, clutching the shaman bells, followed by Han-ya. What Su does not realize is that she has cursed herself, and this curse will haunt her for a thousand years.

The curse is only broken when Ji-eum goes to the bridge with a carefree heart and tells her past self, Su, “It’s all good now.” Ji-eum then becomes a normal person who does not remember anything from her past lives.

Also Read: Kang Min-gi: See You in My 19th Life character explained

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