Rejoice my friends. Some fans at MingEn’s facebook have ripped DF subs and reuploaded them onto youtube. Check the videos here. Now you don’t have to read this recap. 😉 I’m serious! Why would anyone choose to scroll through still images when you can watch MingEn in motion? Enjoy watching and please keep all discussions related to the current episode!
From last episode, we left off where Father Lu leans in to tell Le Er a secret. Among the people, there is a group of warriors wanting to wage war by subverting the current tyrannical King. They want to restore peace and order, and Father Lu lends a hand in this meaningful battle by providing them with weapons. Impressed with her dad’s ambitions, Le Er wants to undertake the task but is turned down because no matter how ambitious she is, in the eyes of the people, she’s a just woman. And tough women are not acceptable in this period of testosterone overkill.
Busy looking over the business reports, Father Lu is annoyed with Mother Lu’s insistence that he spends more time with new mistress, Yu Nu, in order to give the Lu’s family a son. He doesn’t think having a son now will take the weight off his shoulder (you go man! I support your thinking!) On the other hand, he seems to love his wife more than she thinks, enough to repeatedly say no to sleeping with another woman. Instead of waiting for the son to grow up, he has more percent of success by putting his hopes into Le Er’s marriage. hah.
He keep refusing, they keep urging, so Father Lu ends up spitting blood. He’s sick in bed and his assistant, Uncle De, rushes in to see how things are. He’s hesitant to tell Le Er but she’s adamant to know about their business. They have to deliver the last batch of weapons today, but with Father Lu sick in bed, Uncle De is afraid there’s no one to negotiate the prices. Delaying the appointment might stimulate these warriors to seek out other manufacturers.
Like the last time, Le Er adorns men’s clothing and goes out as the Lu’s Young Master. The leader of the warriors complains that her prices are too high, but Le Er says that she’s merely buying insurance for her family because if this trade is ever found out, her whole family can be executed. Still, he tries to play hard by declaring that he could easily go to other manufacturers. Le Er scoffs, “If you could, you wouldn’t be here in the first place.”
When he suggests they play nice or else these weapons might go to waste, Le Er opens the chest and casually throws a couple of swords down the mountain, stating clearly to the Leader that her family could afford such losses. His eyes widen and he agrees to pay the prices but since she has fewer weapons now, she wants 600 taels. Girl knows her hands.
Then she slips out a sensitive question, “Buying so many weapons, are you ready to assassinate the Emperor?” Seeing the tense reaction from the leader, she adds, “The people are living in destitute, I’m merely in awe of your spirit.” Impressed, the leader reveals that it’s General Yun’s eldest son (Yun Er) who is buying in large number of weapons as he’s the leader of this uprising. After they leave, Le Er exhales a big sigh.
She might think she has done a good deed for her father but the latter smashes the cup he’s holding, “I already told you, you’re a girl so you can never act as the eldest son!” Le Er’s patience thins out and she asks him why but he gives her no concrete explanation. She continues to question him, “Why? Why?” and receives a slap, sending her to the ground, a trail of blood running down her lips. Ow. Mother Lu and Uncle De quickly jump in to restrain him as he spits out, “I’m doing this for her own good!” He orders to have her locked within the four walls of this residence from now on. Angry and confused of what she did wrong, Le Er dashes outside the room. Father Lu thinks it’s time to get her ready for marriage while Mother Lu can only look down in sorrow.
Settling down in the middle of a wide grassland, Le Er’s face is nothing of joy. She’s joined by good sister Miao Ge, who asks what did she do this time to get slapped, but Le Er shakes her head, “It involves father’s secret so I can’t say.” Miao Ge looks up, envious, because Le Er has a father to share secrets with. Le Er turns to Miao Ge and wonders whether she still doesn’t remember her family. Although Miao Ge sees the details of that unfortunate day, she lies that she doesn’t and calls herself an orphan. Feeling bad for running her mouth, Le Er puts an arm over Miao Ge and assures her that the Lu Residence will always be her home.
However, thinking it over, Le Er says out loud, “What’s the point of having parents? I am all but trapped in this place. If I can’t go out, I’ll never know about the outside world and how big it really is.” She’s against carrying out the traditional duties of women and dreams of leaving this place. Yet she can’t do it now because Father Lu’s still ill and she doesn’t want to upset him any further. A smile plays on Miao Ge’s lips, “Now you have a valid reason to leave. Godfather found a man to marry into the family!” The news makes Le Er jerks up from her sitting position, “What?!! He’s really going to marry me off to someone? I won’t like anyone picked by others!”
Miao Ge: “Then what type of men do you like?”
Images of Yun Er kicking bums fly through Le Er’s head. “I want to marry a hero. And I’ve already met him.”
Not wanting her life-long happiness to be ruined in the hands of others, Le Er comes up with a plan to discourage the potential groom, Lin Bo Nian, from marrying into the family. He shows up at the house to formally meet the parents and she presents herself as Le Er’s elder brother, Lu Long, and is here to personally thank the groom, “We are indebted to you forever.” Her sigh and tone unnerves the poor boy but she assures him, “My sister is elegant and sophisticated. You don’t need to worry!” Suddenly, Miao Ge runs up to them, acting the role of crazy Le Er, complete with a flower clipped to her hair. heh. The poor boy is clearly freaked out and can’t wait to get out of the house, rejecting the marriage proposal in his rush.
The girls burst into fits of giggles but Father Lu huffs from behind them. Can’t you two hold your laugh until you’re clear of trouble? Tsk. Tsk.
They kneel down and Father Lu threatens to spank Le Er with a cane. Miao Ge speaks up and says it’s her idea but Father Lu knows better. Not stepping down from the argument, Le Er finds nothing wrong in her pursuit of the right husband but her father calls her method nonsensical and immoral. He holds the cane menacingly and Mother Lu has no choice but to kneel down, requesting that she be punished for not bearing him a son. Uncle De and Miao Ge follow suit, pleading with Father Lu to stop his physical threat. He relents momentarily and commands Le Er to kneel in front of the ancestors until she’s clear-headed.
Sensing that Father Lu must have been exhausted these last few days, Miao Ge makes some soup and means to bring it to him. The maid calls her filial and thinks she’s better suited as the real daughter of this house. Elated by the words, Miao Ge heads over to see Father Lu and overhears his conversation with Uncle De, “Le Er is my own flesh and blood. I reprimand her for her own good. Miao Ge was adopted so I could only hint when she’s at fault.” I never understand this line of thinking. Why can’t he be honest and say that Miao Ge has always been an obedient child so there’s no need to reprimand her as strongly as Le Er?
Then to make her feel worse, Uncle De figures that Miao Ge could be Le Er’s replacement in the marriage. Father Lu refutes the idea because as far as adoption goes, Miao Ge is still an outsider. They can’t even call her a maid. Ouch. How could anyone be so mean to someone they have watched grow up? I’d understand if she were a rebel, but she’s docile and nice, especially to his own daughter.
Anyway, Miao Ge brings snacks to Le Er and the latter chides her for being daring, visiting her when she’s ordered not to. Immediately after, Le Er pleads Miao Ge to let her go knowing that even if her father finds out who did it, he wouldn’t punish Miao Ge. The gentle sister recalls her godfather’s harsh words and agrees. After Le Er’s gone, Miao Ge hits herself with a lamp and falls unconscious. Yikes. I’m hoping she wants to create a legitimate excuse but one would have to know Le Er’s personality to assess how far she would go in this case.
Wandering down the street in her men’s clothing, Le Er stumbles into…Yun Er. It’s fate. These two are always running into each other. Care to explain HOW HE BROUGHT her home the other day?
The Emperor (of one of the states?) makes his way down the street but his soldiers on horses continue to march despite seeing a child in the middle of the road. Yun Er rescues the child in time and grumbles that they won’t be arrogant for long. He’ll replace them soon. He leaves and Le Er stalks him gleefully. But stalking a warrior is not an easy task, he spins around on her, asking, “Who sent you? Why are you following me?” Earnestly, she replies that she admires his skills and chivalry, hoping that they could be friends. His eyebrows furrow, “I don’t make friends. Don’t follow me. You might get killed.”
Pursing her lips, Le Er snaps back, “Fine! I won’t follow you! You won’t know who gets killed in the end.” This isn’t foreshadowing, right? GAH.
That night, we witness a bunch of ninjas, each hanging onto a large, well-lit lantern, as they descend into the Grand Commander Court. It’s Yun Er and he’s camping on top of the rooftop, eavesdropping on the conversation below.
The servants carry in large barrels of fermented fish and the Commander asks Eunuch Zhao why they need so much. He merely replies that the Emperor’s intention is not for mortals to understand and dissect. He dismisses them and purposely speaks loud to inform the Emperor of the goods. Before anything else happens, Yun Er and his warriors attack and kill the soldiers in the room. Yun Er goes after the Emperor’s head but discovers that he’s been dead. They retreat as more soldiers swamp the room.
Well, more coincidences. I don’t know about the other warriors, but our Yun Er has found escape at Yun Lai Inn where Le Er’s staying. He entreats for her help, in which she replies, “Well, I thought you didn’t want to be friends…” Before she can finish her mischievous sentence, he picks her up and they hide on her bed. Hilariously, he’s all tense and she takes this opportunity to *pat pat* on his hard chest. 😛
I also love her pissy voice when the soldier disrupts their bed time. She sends them away on the excuse that her wife is naked in bed. Once they leave, he pulls her down and pretends like they’re making love, knowing that the soldier will return to check.
Next thing she knows, he leaves without telling his name. But she lights up when she finds his jade pendant lying on the bed. She clutches it to her heart and smiles merrily.
Back at the Commander residence, he’s worried about the responsibility of failing to protect the Emperor. He might be old but he knows the emperor was dead before he got there. Eunuch Zhao corrects him, the Emperor was not assassinated, he was petrified and scared to death. Slowly, he whispers to the commander, “The emperor has told me his last words. The second prince will be made King.” To pull the old man to his side, Eunuch Zhao relays that the Great Commander shall assist the minister in the new reign.
The next step? Gather all the single girls under the age of sixteen to be buried with the deceased emperor. Because it’s a ceremonious presentation of his grand life. Lordy. Since you folks value men so much, why not bury them instead?
At the Lu Residence, Mother Lu’s stressing over Miao Ge’s head injury because she’s still unconscious. She thinks Le Er uses too much force but Father Lu shakes his head, “Le Er might be a rebel, but she would never hurt Miao Ge like that.” He reminds her that Miao Ge, even as a child, has relied and would do anything for Le Er. For instance, in the trekking incident, Miao Ge almost lost her life trying to obtain a wild flower for Le Er.
Our Le Er brings the jade pendant to a specialist to trace its origins. The specialist tells her it’s a unique style of pattern from the Xue State, most often seen in the royal family. Turns out the specialist works for Yun Er’s uncle, and the bearded man wonders why the pendant is in someone else’s possession.
Along the way, Le Er is kidnapped and brought into a wedding ceremony. What? Don’t tell me they’re missing a groom? Ah, I see. They want to quickly marry their young daughter before she’s buried alive.
Kappy: This episode is on the slow side; I had a hard time finishing it because it felt like a rehash of episode 1 with minor character reveal. It’s also a result of lazy writing. Is MingEn’s relationship built on a series of unexplained coincidences? One is welcome, two is tolerable, but three times and my eyes start to roll, Yu Zheng! The conversation between Le Er and Father Lu isn’t anything we haven’t heard before. I wished the writer had made it less typical and more moving.
On the upside, we see a shrewd side to Le Er, how she jacked the prices knowing the odds are in her favor. And Miao Ge isn’t the always-obedient child. The question now is, will she remain as loyal to Le Er down the road as Mother Lu hopes?
I need more MingEn scenes.