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Border Town Prodigal: Episode 1

Hi guys, I’m a new drama recapper. The name’s tranzgeek, and I am really really really excited to be here!! Most of my motivation comes from sharing the love~ I would like to thank Kappy for giving me this opportunity to share my passions 😉

Anyways, I’ve decided on Border Town Prodigal. It looks like a great drama so far and I am looking forward to the tragic, the conspiracies, Zhu Yi Long and Viann Zhang!! So let’s bring it!!

Border Town Prodigal Episode 1:

It begins with a sandstorm and a few merchants/travelers are talking about how heavy the storm is. There’s even a huuuge tornado in the background. Then they notice a lone figure riding out into the “heart” of the storm. And that person is our main protagonist, Fu Hong Xue (Zhu Yi Long). There are a few flashbacks that go back to his momma, that show her unleashing her full revenge speech. She says something like “If you fail in your mission to get revenge, the whole world will curse you” which really gives me bad vibes. And she is seriously creepy. The merchants/travelers tell him to come away from the storm and ask if he doesn’t want his life anymore…obviously just trying to ruin Fu Hong Xue’s dramatic entrance. 😛

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The scene shifts from Fu Hong Xue to Mu Rong Ming Zhu, the person who’s engaged to Ma Fang Ling (Viann Zhang) the most beautiful woman in all of jianghu. Mu Rong Ming Zhu is currently at a rest stop, since he’s just come on his horses with his men to travel to the Border City (where Ma Fang Ling’s Sect is).

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Mu Rong Ming Zhu is super annoying and such a dunce. He says something like “I like having the most beautiful flower in the world, but I love having hundreds of beautiful flowers around me even more” (flowers, pertaining to maidens). And this is very prominent from the way he immediately captures a random woman in the inn that catches his fancy.

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There just happens to be another person in the rest stop at the same time, and his name is Ye Kai (Yu Qing Bin). He’s pretty much omniscient…knows everything, presumably by deduction.

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He goes to save that woman from captivity and dresses up in her robes. Later, when Mu Rong Ming Zhu comes in to “take care of her properly” he is brutally attacked by Ye Kai and boy does he deserve it.

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Next, Ye Kai takes on Mu Rong Ming Zhu’s clothes and disguises as him. He ties up MRMZ and digs a hole for MRMZ. Hilariously, he smushes mud onto MRMZ’s face later and MRMZ’s faces are tooo amusing lol.

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Then, he puts MRMZ in the hole and under this random Buddha sculpture, extremely satisfied with his handiwork.

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He immediately bumps into a woman who says, “I finally found you!!” She begs him if she can tag along with him across the jianghu (pugilistic world). She idolizes him and talks about all of his tricks that he did in the palace. She thinks he doesn’t know who she is, but Ye Kai figures it out right away.

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In an attempt to dump the perseverant, bright soul, Ye Kai says that he needs to practice using his flying daggers and puts an apricot on her head to use a target. He tries to make her promise not to move, but says that he cannot be ensured of her safety unless she is actually tied up which she agrees to very enthusiastically since she wants to make her hero happy.

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Once she’s tied up, Ye Kai asks her who she really is, and she says that she’s a farmer’s daughter. However, using evidence from the exquisite robe, her hair sheen, and the fact that there’s been a recent rumor about the Ding Family’s seventh mistress running away, he deduces that she is Ding Ling Lin (Gong Mi). Then, he leaves her tied to the tree, telling her to go back home, while ignoring her protests that she wants to go around the jianghu with him. Their interactions are pretty cute, especially the naive Ding Ling Lin.

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Then, the scene changes to a group of assassins (which is what I’ll call them for now). A girl reports to the head of the assassins, Cui Nong, (a little late) that she’s killed the offender of the “Boss” (Vincent Jiao) and that she’s also killed the other nine people at the scene. The head of the assassins compliments her and says “Well Done”.

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By this time, Ye Kai has made his way to the Border City. There’s only one hotel in town and that’s where the assassins are currently stationed to spy since they’ve heard of an excellent martial artist who will come to the Border City and wreck havoc, though they don’t have any specific details. Ye Kai spits out the wine in his impersonation of Mu Rong Ming Zhu and everyone is taken aback. He lets everyone know he’s MRMZ but not everyone believes him…

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Meanwhile, the head of the assassins is giving a seductive dance that draws in nearly all the men at this one table.

Then, Fu Hong Xue makes an appearance. Everyone takes notice when he enters because the waiter person keeps telling him that they don’t have anymore room, but he keeps walking on. When he walks by Ye Kai, Ye Kai randomly smirks at him for no reason. He asks for some food and pays with a peculiar bead.

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He asks for some food and pays with a peculiar bead.

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Meanwhile the assassins discuss their plans before moving in. The head of the assassins goes to pour wine for Fu Hong Xue, but he doesn’t respond at all. She asks a few questions but he only responds to the question inquiring about his name. The only time she is met with some reaction is when she touches Fu Hong Xue’s sword and tries to see it. Fu Hong Xue grabs it away fiercely. Later, when the other people at the inn demand that Cui Nong with them she stays next to Fu Hong Xue saying that she has always said that she will only sleep with the one who has the best martial arts. The men challenge him to a fight, but Ye Kai of course, decides to help out.

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Ye Kai calms everyone down and offers Fu Hong Xue a place to stay in his own room since he has another smaller room inside of his room. Fu Hong Xue agrees.

Later, Ye Kai tries to befriend Fu Hong Xue but is met with no reaction. He offers wine but Fu Hong Xue says “I don’t drink wine.” Ye Kai says that wine is one of the delights in the world and a way to befriend others but Fu Hong Xue says something like “I don’t make friends. After today you’ll never see me again.” To that, Ye Kai only says, “We are definitely going to become friends.”

Ye Kai also gives a full deductive description on Fu Hong Xue; where he’s from, etc. Fu Hong Xue gives a little reaction to this, but otherwise he doesn’t care a bit.

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Ye Kai’s curiosity had been piqued earlier when he refused to allow Cui Nong to touch his sword, and he reaches for it. The two have a little scuffle that ends in Ye Kai’s loss. After Fu Hong Xue leaves, Ye Kai says, “If you won’t let me see it, I must see it.”

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The scene shifts again to the assassins and they find a dead assassin member in the desert. None of the assassin members have died, and this is the first major time someone has actually died. Anyways, Cui Nong sees that the dead assassin actually committed suicide and has a message for them from the way she killed herself. Thus, she pulls a message out of her mouth.

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It reads that there is a new traveler to Border Town who is extremely skilled in martial arts from the Demon Sect (Mo Jiao). It also says that the Demon Sect has been wiped out.

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The scene shifts back to Ding Ling Lin who somehow made her way to Border Town all by herself, looking for Ye Kai. She’s in the room that Fu Hong Xue is supposed to be sleeping in but has no idea that anyone even lived there at all. The moment Ye Kai gets into the room to try to steal the sword, he’s met with Ding Ling Lin’s harsh whacks with a wooden stick, cursing him. She thinks she’s hitting someone else (who?) and is thoroughly chastised when Ye Kai reveals that it’s actually him. She’s all like “Brother Ye why didn’t say it was you?”

Ye Kai is all peeved and goes like, “Did you give me a chance to say it was me?” She immediately goes into “starstruck” mode and tries to help him. Ye Kai is super annoyed, but he notices that there are assassins outside the window (presumably trying to kill Fu Hong Xue, as he is a newcomer to the Border Town) and pulls her onto the bed where he shields her. The assassins run off.

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The next day, Ye Kai and Ding Ling Lin go out and walk around, Ding Ling Lin saying enthusiastically that they are now “partners” and she will follow him around the jianghu. Ye Kai is still trying to make her go home. He says, “This has nothing to do with you! Get the ** away.” (** is any word of your choosing)

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When they get to a forest clearing, Ye Kai is suddenly surrounded by assassins and tries to fight them off. These assassins are of a different league than Cui Nong’s group but they are still under Cui Nong’s command. Ding Ling Lin realizes that she can be of “help” and decides to use her Ding Family’s flying daggers technique.

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It hits Ye Kai tho. Ye Kai is pretty furious and he’s like “Your Ding Family’s technique is so powerful. I’m scared!” and she says “Sorry I’m too nervous right now.” T_T

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She tries a second time and the dagger embeds in the tree next to his head that he is got against during the fight. He glares at Ding Ling Lin and says “STOP!!”

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Ding Ling Lin says sorry again and she now tries a third time, promising that this time she will make things right and this time she throws out three daggers, hitting all three of the assassins. Notice the way Ye Kai shields himself lol; he’s definitely learned his place after the first two attempts. They retreat.

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Later, Ding Ling Lin tries to reconcile with Ye Kai, but to no avail. She tries to help him pull it out but he tells her, “Don’t touch me! Stay far away from me!”

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Cui Nong finds a deliberate footprint in the high sand that makes her think that Fu Hong Xue only came to the inn to check out the surroundings. She thinks he’s going to go in for the kill soon.

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Cui Nong’s lackeys have reported that Fu Hong Xue is currently gone and they failed to assassinate Ye Kai. They speculate if Fu Hong Xue is the one from the Demon Sect but Cui Nong says “Even though his skill is high, his martial arts don’t seem like he’s from the Demon Sect.” (Suure Cui Nong, whatever you say)

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Cui Nong is feeling uneasy and she goes to report to the “Boss”. Once there, he emphasizes that he’s no longer her master. She doesn’t care and shows him the message she found from the dead assassin’s mouth. To the message he says, “Destiny, the Ma Family’s fortune is about to end.” But when Cui Nong asks him for further assistance, he says that he’s no longer involved in the jianghu and is now a normal, crippled, boss of the only inn in Border Town. He only wants to spend the rest of his time here.  Cui Nong is alerted by her lackeys that something is up with the returning carriage of Ma Fang Ling so she goes to check it out.

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Now, we go back to Fu Hong Xue who somehow disappeared earlier. He’s in front of a carriage that presumably has Ma Kong Qun in it. Many people watch him nearby from Ye Kai to the assassins. Of course, Ye Kai has to shush Ding Ling Lin who is super excited and goes like “OMG I’m actually watching a jianghu fight. This is way too cool!!”

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While the assassins just watch from a high cliff. They can’t see Ye Kai or Ding Ling Lin from their perspective.

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He fights through the guards who call for him to halt and get away. Then, he goes for the carriage itself, doing a corkscrew from a very very high altitude.

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A split second before his sword can pierce the carriage, a woman goes out of the carriage through the window. This is Ma Fang Ling. Fu Hong Xue fights her on the carriage top. The episode ends when Ma Fang Ling’s full face is revealed after Fu Hong Xue used his sword to take off her face covering.

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-END-

Tranzgeek’s Thoughts:

The drama is off to a great start. A ton of things happened in the first episode and really set up the whole drama for what is to come. Ye Kai is really my fave so far, being so masterful of every single moment. He’s pretty playful with his tricks; the whole Ding Ling Lin thing, tying up MRMZ, and his absolute determination to look at FHX’s sword. Ding Ling Lin is super adorable though, even if she does get on my nerves in the next few episodes. For some reason, I’m looking forward to the tragic in this series.

Fu Hong Xue is super pro too tho; his martial arts is soo high and the way he just made his way into the carriage after defeating every single person was pretty sweet.

26 comments

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  1. Hannah

    Have you seen TVB’s version? I don’t know how accurate that was, but it was a good drama.

    China’s remake is a bit to colorful for my taste.

    1. tranzgeek

      I actually wasn’t aware that there was another version of Border Town Prodigal. Do you know where I can find it?

      1. Hannah

        I’ve watched it many years ago. It was a late 80s/early 90s drama called The Black Sabre.

      2. Ironfingers

        There is also another crappie mainland version with wallace chung,Baron Chen and zhang meng in it also. It was so awful I couldn’t finish it.

        1. chasingpolaris

          That’s an adaptation of a different Gu Long book. Same characters but different universe–I think that’s when FHX is much older than he is here.

  2. chasingpolaris

    Welcome, tranzgeek!

    The first encounter of Hong Xue and Fang Ling will always remain a favorite OTP moment of mine. The change in his eyes after he sees her face says volumes about what he thinks of her beauty. Hehe.

    I’m already watching ep 16 of this series but I’ll definitely follow your recaps. Gotta relive my other favorite moments with Ye Kai. He’s just too hilarious! I love it whenever Ding Ling Lin and Ye Kai are together. Comic relief is very much needed in this drama.

    Keep it up!

    1. tranzgeek

      Thanks chasingpolaris!

      The first encounter of Hong Xue and Fang Ling was pretty intense. All of those twirls made me so dizzy lol. They definitely do have a certain chemistry when they stare at each other.

      Wow I feel so behind! I’m only on Episode 4 😛 Ye Kai is definitely my favorite character so far. He’s filled with that spunk and ingenuity. Even though I totally love Ding Ling Lin and Ye Kai moments, I can’t help but feel sad for Ding Ling Lin, just knowing that she’s going to get her sweet, naive heart broken (well I don’t know the specifics but it was implied in the trailer). Laughter is probably something I never expected, the trailer being so intense, but it’s very welcome 😀

      1. chasingpolaris

        Their romance is a very frustrating one but well worth watching. They don’t really do much except let their chemistry speak for itself. Hehe.

        The trailer makes it seem like Ding Ling Lin will get her heart broken real bad but I promise you there’s more comedy to their relationship than angst.

        1. tranzgeek

          That’s good. *Phew~

        2. tranzgeek

          Btw, I’m seeing a lot of people say Fang Ling…is her name Fang Ling or Su Ling?

        3. chasingpolaris

          It’s Fang Ling. I think you might want to change it in your recap. 🙂

        4. tranzgeek

          Wow I have no idea what I was doing lol. I think I saw dramalist list Fang Ling’s character as Su Ling…maybe it was that… 😛 I hope I changed all of them!

  3. xing

    Hi tranzgeek, really happy you bring this series recap! and thanks too ^^
    I already watched till episode 18 and I really can enjoy this series so much <3
    for the first time I only try to watch because of Zhu Yilong & Viann Zhang, but now I like all the cast *even though they're not too famous like zhao liying, li yifeng, etc :P*
    Nowadays every series mostly fantasy with CG and I really happy I can still found this classical ones^^
    This is the new version of TVB 1989 series called The Black Sabre (邊城浪子) and Fu Yilong is played by Hugo Ng (吴岱融 / Wu Dai Rong) I watched this version too but it was a long time ago and I don't really remember the story, but one I know is the old version of Fu Hong Xue was love Cui Nong, and this new version I found that Fu Hong Xue love Fang Lin, I really curious about how the story going between them at the end..but I don't really mind/care about the story, I can enjoy this series so much, and make me can't wait every Mon-Wed hehee 😛

    1. tranzgeek

      Thanks!
      I’m really liking all the actors too, since they all fit their roles pretty well!
      The Black Sabre seems really different from this new version. I might take some time to watch it when I have time. Have you ever read the book?
      Well that makes me more curious as to what will happen in the future~ I’m really liking this drama too, classic wuxia is always the best 😛

      1. xing

        oh gosh I just realize that I messed up Fu HongXue with Zhu YiLong *LoL*sorry 😛
        I have the same thought with you, this series make me want to try to watched again the 1989 version, maybe when I have time I will recall again, because this day too many wuxia series to be follow..so busy *LoL
        I have not read this book, because I actually prefer to watch rather than read hehee^^
        Yes!! agree with you classic wuxia is always the best 😀 let’s waiting & watching this series till the end 🙂 thanks again tranzgeek <3

  4. unforgetableme

    I’ve been waiting for this series for the longest time!!! I’ve watched up until ep. 18 and I like it!!! I love Zhu Yi Long because he’s soooo handsome and doing pretty well as Fu Hong Xue. Viann Zhang is doing pretty well, too. Overall, I appreciate that the women in this drama can do more than look pretty and cry, because they can actually kick ass!!! ^_^

    Thanks for the recap!! It really helps because I’m just watching the drama without eng subs. So, this helps with me understanding the story more.

  5. Abcd

    Thank so much for this recap. I have been waiting for long. I watched raw version and have no idea since i can’t understand the language.

  6. tranzgeek

    @Abcd and @unforgetableme

    I’m so glad that I could be of help! All the actors and characters are great! Looking forward to what lies ahead~

  7. lenje

    I may be late, but thanks tranzgeek for recapping this drama. I’m really interested as @chasingpolaris was praising it & said it had the old wuxia drama feeling. I don’t think it has been subbed yet, so your recap will be very helpful!

    1. tranzgeek

      Thanks lenje! Hope you enjoy the ride~

      1. Luna

        I thought that this series wasnt good, but reading the recaps and the comments here made me wanted to watch it. I think I’ll try 1-2 episodes before deciding.
        Thanks for the nice recaps! 🙂

  8. nell123

    Hiiiiiii, tranzgeek ! Thank you for taking the time to recap this drama! 🙂
    Btw, some time before the show started I watched a translated version of the long trailer. If I remember correctly, it probably was on your YT channel, in which case – thank you. It made the story a lot clearer. 🙂

    Now, about the episode, is anyone familiar with the original story? I really want to know how the members of the younger generation are ranked by fighting skills? hong xue, ye kai, cui nong, fang ling?hong xue, fang lin, ye kai/cui nong? where do we put that handsome guy in white? or fang ling’s bodyguard? It gets really confusing between episodes because, for example, in the first episode fang ling did well in her fight against hong xue but then later somehow forgot she can fight. Everybody’s skills fluctuate between episodes.
    Also, what’s the deal with hong xue’s demonic seizures? Can someone, please, spoil me ? 🙂

    1. chasingpolaris

      SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. <3

      From what I can recall from Xiao Bie Li’s conversation with Cui Nong, Fu Hong Xue developed some sort of allergy to snakes because some form of practice from his mother’s sect. This practice is done to develop more powerful kungfu—I am totally not fluent in wuxia jaron. Lol. But you get the idea. So whenever he comes in contact with a snake or if a snake summons him, he’ll turn into a half-human, half-demon form. Which is why Cui Nong isn’t so wrong when she tells Fang Ling that Hong Xue isn’t human. =P

      Hehe the guy in white Lu Xiaojia’s sword fighting skills is #1 in terms of speed, but I don’t know if there’s an official ranking. Ye Kai doesn’t have enough fighting scenes to really determine where he ranks. He’s got the brains so no need for him to fight at all. Lol.

      1. nell123

        Spoilers very welcomed, polaris!Thanks!
        I really need to improve my wuxia vocabulary.Lol. If all this information is from the dialogs in the past episodes and i missed it somehow, I need to pay more attention. :/

    2. tranzgeek

      Wow nell123 I didn’t know people actually went on my YT channel :P. I don’t use it often except to sub trailers that haven’t been subbed yet for my website. Thanks for your support!

  9. lenje

    I’m up to episode 6, despite the lack of English subs *sobs*. But no subs never stopped me from watching, this is no exception. And it’s indeed quite addicting! My favorite character so far is Ye Kai! Such a fun person, and his interactions with Ding Ling Lin provide the light moments in an otherwise dark drama. Frankly I’m not familiar with Gu Long stories, so I can only make comparison between this and Xin Xiao Shi Yi Lang. I’d like to know, does he always make annoying lead characters? At least, that’s my impression based on, yeah. only these two, LOL. And the female lead characters are bordering insufferable. Thankfully, the likeable secondary characters and great plots can make it up 🙂

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