Growing up in Los Angeles as Korean-American, Tae has seen rough times, but he has always had the legacy of the Hwarang as an anchor and foundation to see him through.
But not all of the young Korean-Americans have had this foundation to see them through the challenges of growing up in an alien culture. Tae at one point begins to associate with a young, misled and unruly street punk named Ed-K.
In Korean Culture, only men of the same age can be friends. Otherwise, the older of the two assumes the title and responsibility as Hyung (Big Brother). The only exception is if the younger man challenges and defeats the older in a fight to submission.
Ed-K, unwilling to yield to Tae and acknowledge him as his big brother, challenges him to a fight to gain his respect and earn the title of Hyung. Ed-K loses the fight and therefore yields to Tae. Tae accepts the title of 'Big Brother'.
Tae thinks that in order to be of greater service to his people and not bring shame to his father and his legacy, he must cut his ties with the family and Hwa Rang Do.
His ultimate goal is to lead Ed-K to this right path. But in doing so, he finds himself being drawn by Ed-K into a dark world where consequences are an afterthought, and life is lived by the moment.
Tae must now risk losing everything, including his life or abandon his honor and commitment to Ed-K, so that he may live.