Back home, the younger sister tells Ruo Lan about her day. Exclaiming over Ling Lung’s fine qualities, she says it is well named. Ruo Lan looks at in surprise at her excitement and Ruo Xi pauses, asking if she know how to ride.
Ruo Lan asks, “You don’t remember again?” Ruo Xi nods slowly, a slight tension in her expression.
Her sister replies that she does not like horse-riding. No matter how much their father had tried to force her, Ruo Xi had resolutely refused to learn.
She laughs, “That’s fine then. Now I like horse-riding.” Wincing as she sits, Rou Xi declares a discovered liking for riding, grinning over at Ruo Lan and asks her to join them the next time.
Ruo Lan turns away and asks Ruo Xi to take her bath. Ruo Xi motors on about how careful 8th was, ensuring her safety and enjoyment. Ruo Lan shows no interest and when the girl persists. Praising 8th and saying that since they are married, her sister should try to be good to the prince. Afterall, he is someone worth fighting over. This is an interesting viewpoint since Ruo Lan had earlier said that she is not interested in anyone with many wives. She does not want to fight any women because of a man.
Ruo Lan gasps as she pricks her finger. She holds her hand and then quietly states she wants to go to the prayer hall.
Ruo Xi bites her lip, asking Qiao Hui if she had misspoken. Qiao Hui shakes her head. On Ruo Xi asking again, Qiao Hui is quiet and then says, “Second Mistress, actually when two persons become husband and wife, there might be duty but fate is hard to force. To be able to live amicably is quite acceptable.”
From Ruo Lan’s long time maid’s careful reasoning, Ruo Xi deduces that her sister does not like 8th. Qiao Hui denies saying anything that could lead to that conclusion. The young girl sighs softly.
A while later, Ruo Xi walks with Qiao Hui to look for 10th though she asks the maid not to reveal that fact. 10th is her playmate and she enjoys her time with him. Qiao Hui agrees, saying that 10th is quite amusing and that he would be peeved if Ruo Xi does not tease him. He frequently loses in their verbal spurs but laughs happily when he loses to Ruo Xi.
Ruo Xi agrees, finding 10th fun. He is simple and candid, poor in the literary arts with an impulsive temper but because he is a simple man, he would make a good friend. They both laugh.
Qiao Hui wonders if it would be fine to interrupt the princes while they are in a deep discussion. Ruo Xi blithely indicates it would be fine as long as they do not encounter the 4th prince. She nicknames 4th as the ‘Ice Face’.
A maid runs up, calling Qiao Hui and both maids turns back while Ruo Xi continues forward. She stumbles when she spots 4th in front of her, muttering in a slight panic, “Oh no, Ice Face!” She promptly twirls and tries to make her escape.
4th calls out, “Maertai Rou Xi!” Rou Xi winces, making a face as she stops then slowly turns around to greet the prince.
He permits her to stand up and then asks if she is avoiding him. She denies it vehemently. 4th points out that fleeing when she sees him could be interpreted as that.
Ruo Xi’s eyes dart away and says that she remembered a task she had to complete and did not notice 4th. 4th replies that she has a guilty conscience and is afraid that he would pursue the reason for her death-seeking behaviour in the second horse incident. He is more determined to find out the more she refuses to answer him. She says there is nothing to tell.
4th repeats her words, “Seeking life thorough seeking death. If you don’t want to answer, then fine.” He turns and starts to walk away and Ruo Xi calls out, “Eh.”
He waits with cool patience and slowly walks back while Ruo Xi struggles to voice her words. She says she’d explain using a metaphor. “If I feel like I am in a dream but it is a dream that I cannot wake up from, what can I do?”
4th replies confidently with 6 words, “Since you’re there, make the best of it. Do you understand?” She is thoughtful and he adds, “Be flexible, the hardiest wood would shatter under too much pressure.” She remains silent and 4th snorts, “Never mind. I am preaching to deaf ears!” He walks away but Ruo Xi mulls over his words.
4th enters the study where his brothers appear to be arguing. Puzzled, 4th asks what the matter is. 13th turns at the question, “Good, since 4th Ge is here, let’s hear his thoughts on the matter.”
The others greet 4th while he asks the cause of the debate since he had left them while they were discussing 10th’s birthday celebration. 8th explains that 10th wants to celebrate in his mansion, but the Crown Prince is also intent on hosting the celebration for the 10th prince.
4th smiles indicating that since it is 10th birthday, the Crown Prince had earlier instruction that everything should follow according to 10th’s wishes. Since 10th wants the celebration at 8th’s place, then it should be so.
10th grumbles that it is what he wants and that the Crown Prince is making an unnecessary gesture. Both 8th and 9th come forward saying that the younger brother should be appreciative since the Crown Prince wants to make it a happy occasion. 10th says he’s already quite happy as planned, turning to 8th and asks if it will be held at Ruo Lan’s courtyard.
Stunned silence greets his question and all the brothers look at 10th, smiling as they realize the source of his discontent. 9th asks what is the matter, do you want Ruo Xi to arrange the celebration? It is fun watching how transparent the 10th prince is.
10th goes “Ah?” while 13th laughs, “So that’s why you were arguing so vehemently with me over such a small matter.” 10th protests his innocence while his brothers tease him.
Meanwhile, Ruo Xi sits at the scene of the staircase accident, running 4th words through her mind. She looks up at the long flight of steps and suddenly leans on her knees, “No wonder he will become the next emperor!” Leaping up, she repeats his words once more and then says, “Bingo!” Her finger raises up and she laughs softly in delight. Ruo Xi is a juxtaposition of youthful maturity, the adult modern woman merging with the very young Manchurian noble girl.
She saunters off and spots the maids playing with a shuttlecock. The young women laughs as they transferred the feathered toy to each other by agile kicks. Ruo Xi catches the shuttlecock happily, pleased to find something she could play well. Qiao Hui asks if Ruo Xi knows the game and she replies, “A little.” in cantonese. Promptly, the young girl performs tricky kicks with the toy while the maids look on in awe. She twirls and spins, sending the feathered toy up and out before sitting against the edge of a stone table while continuing to kick the shuttlecock.
A last flick sends the shuttlecock flying towards 8th who silently observes Ruo Xi’s performance with pleasure. Everyone drops a curtsy to 8th before retreating, leaving Rou Xi with 8th.
He returns the shuttlecock and Rou Xi sulks that he was watching without warning any of his presence. He retorts, saying she did not wake him when she saw him dozing in the horse carriage. He asks her along to a discussion with Ming Hui and Ruo Lan about 10th’s birthday celebration. She follows, tossing the shuttlecock over her shoulder.
Ruo Lan tries to turn down the request to organize 10th’s party, stating her inexperience might mar her husband’s reputation. 8th replies that it is 10th wish and than the Di Fujin is busy with the household responsibilities. Ming Hui states that since it is 8th’s request, Ruo Lan should accept the task. She finally agrees. 8th reassures Ruo Lan that it a simple affair for the family, just a space where everyone could relax and enjoy themselves.
Ming Hui appears disgruntled and offers her help, making the point that it should not affect 8th’s dignity. Ruo Lan nods. Ming Hui starts to take her leave, asking when 8th would be visiting her. 8th replies that he’d be staying over at Ruo Lan’s place (Nan Ge Lou) instead. Ming Hui curtsies and leaves as Ruo Lan slants a serene glance in her direction.
Ruo Lan in turn takes her leave to prepare for 8th’s stay. She appears uneasy but quietly accepts the situation. A few moments later, Ruo Xi follows with a nervous wobbles as 8th smiles at her.
In the kitchen, Qiao Hui bosses the stuff and asks for fresh fish as well as vigilant care in the food preparation. Ruo Lan stands at the door, asking Qiao Hui not to be too flustered by a simple family meal. Qiao Hui disagrees, saying that 8th seldom stays over and they must not make any mistakes in serving the prince. The maid has prepared the ingredients for dumplings since 8th enjoys the dumplings that Ruo Lan personally wraps.
Ruo Xi whispers to Qiao Hui, asking why she is more concerned that her own sister. Qiao Hui replies that she does not want Ruo Lan to suffer under the servants. 8th seldom stays over and the servants believe that Ruo Lan is not favoured by 8th. Ruo Lan is aware of the servants calculative streak, but she does not take it to heart.
Qiao Hui states that it is difficult to survive in the 8th household if the Ce Fujin does not have any rank or status and she is anxious to ensure that Ruo Lan receives the respect she deserves. 10th’s celebration would be the ideal opportunity to show off Ruo Lan’s ability.
Ruo Xi senses the cool distance in her sister’s demeanour and offers to help with the dumplings.
“We have to to make a successful party for 10th.” Ruo Lan smiles, “Don’t worry, you are such good friends with him, I am sure he will appreciate the effort. I am well aware of your feelings for 10th.” Ruo Xi denies this and Ruo Lan replies that 10th actually wants Ruo Xi instead of her to make the celebratory arrangements.
Ruo Xi says she knows that. They are such happy playmates, and she enjoys their time together. Ruo Lan quietly stuffs a wrapper and her younger sister assures that Ruo Lan is making too much of their friendship.
Ruo Lan asks if she is wrong to think there is more to this than friendship. Ruo Xi nods and replies, “Yes, you are thinking there is more than there is.”
Bored, Ruo Xi sits beside the pond and tries to stone skip a pile of pebbles. Head twisted to one side, she flicks each stone with languid laziness with repeated refrains of “I am bored, I am bored, I -am- bored!” Her neck is stiff from her lazy posture and gingerly, she rubs it down. Ruo Xi jumps upright when she sees a rabbit, and runs over. In a sing-song voice, she coos to the small creature offering food bribes and playtime before reaching out to hold it. The rabbit scurries off and she pursues it with loud cries of “Don’t run!”
8th, 10th and 14th are walking across the garden. 8th asks why 10th thought of asking Ruo Lan instead of Ming Hui to arrange his birthday. 10th asks 8th not to make wild guessses, he enjoyed the past parties that Ming Hui had made for him. He thinks that Ruo Xi would have more tricks up her sleeve and might come up with a fresh idea.
Speaking of the devil, Ruo Xi’s cries is heard before they observe her running in front of them. 10th calls her name in delight and darts forward while the others follow. 8th comments with a smile that Ruo Xi is indeed like elfin hoyden. 14th remarks that it would be much better to meet her instead of just hearing about Ruo Xi, observing that she does seem quite lively.
10th trails behind Ruo Xi as she twirls in midstep, grinning at 8th as she declares her rabbit find. 10th is surprised and asks to see it. She looks around and then says it has been frightened away by 10th. The 10th prince is disgruntled at being faulted but 14th comments that it would be easy to find it again since it is a small garden.
Ruo Xi looks curiously at 14th and 8th introduces the prince. She drops a curtsy before promptly running off with 10th to search for the rabbit. Smiling, the other two princes follow.
Crouching over a cage, Ruo Xi apologises to the rabbits in the cage. She knows that the princes caught the rabbits because she had been chasing them, but she promises to take good care of them since she cannot release the gifted rabbits. Pensively, she remarks that they are alike. Both them and herself are trapped in their cage.
A new voice disturbs Ruo Xi’s reverie, saying that the fall must have damaged Ruo Xi’s brain. She looks up and examines the new face, a young woman dressed in her fine white and blue silks. Ruo Xi asks she is and the young woman frowns, saying Ruo Xi must really be brain damaged not to recognise her.
A memory pricks and Ruo Xi replays the fall, recognizing the vague female form who had laughed at the top of the stairs. Qiao Hui’s voice accompanies the memory and Ruo Xi realises that this must be Ming Yu. However, she keeps quiet, giving Ming Yu a hostile stare.
Ming Yu laughs, then let me remind you. I am Ming Yu, sister of Ming Hui, the Di Fujin. Ruo Xi feigns ignorance, “Who is that?”
Ming Yu angrily accuses Ruo Xi of not taking her seriously, the younger girl agrees and Ming Yu loses her temper. “Even your sister needs to speak politely to me, who are you to speak to me like this?”
Eyes burning bright, Ruo Xi decides to be cautious and not cause more trouble for her sister, “Oh I remember now, you must be Gorolo Ming Yu.” She shrugs, excusing herself with a shrug but Ming Yu is determined to make trouble.
Ming Yu stands forward and demands the rabbits just because she wants them. Ruo Xi says there are some exceptions but Ming Yu continues to demand the animals.
Rou Xi says she’s already given Ming Yu. Pleased at the apparent surrender, grabs the cage but Ruo Xi pushes her hand away, “I’ve already given you ‘face’. Both struggles and Ming Hui commands them to stop, asking Ming Yu to release her grip.
Ming Hui slyly references the animals while looking at Rou Xi, “Saying they are just animals, why are you fighting and lose your own dignity.” The young Gorolo sister drops her hand, agreeing with the hidden sentiment and hisses ‘animal’ at Rou Xi.
Rou Xi sneers as they walk away, “Well done.” Clearly, her mind is working on payback.
10th wonders why Rou Xi wants to bring his dog out. She starts to explain that she wants to take revenge but cuts off her words, settling on saying she wants to sic out the dog on bad people.
Innocently, 10th wonders who the bad person is, asking if someone bullied her but Rou Xi refuses to explain further. She praises the dog for its loyalty and 10th laughs. Quietly, Ruo Xi asks 10th if he knows how her sister is being bullied by Ming Hui.
10th denies there is any tension between the two women, saying they live amicably with each other. Ruo Xi refuses to believe, saying 10th is lying to her. She asks if he is really her friend. He denies being evasive and mentions that it is usual for women to be jealous and to speak in coldly and formally to each other. Ming Hui would not be physical with Ruo Lan, 8th would never allow that but there are other ways to be bullied. 10th tells Ruo Xi that the Gorolo sisters are known to be argumentative and unreasonable. He states that even he is somewhat afraid of them.
He adds that Ming Hui is not impulsive unlike the younger sister. He says that sometimes, Ming Yu does not even respect him. Rou Xi says, “Oy.” and 10th is annoyed at how matter-of-factedly she accepts his last remark.
Rou Xi shakes her head, assuring that is not how she feels. She is sure that Gorolo Ming Yu might even disregard Kangxi when she is angry. 10th retorts that it is impossible for Ming Yu to be so bold. Even if her grandfather was one of the old supporters of the past emperors.
Rou Xi snidely grins, “Well perhaps she has no real guts to take on the heavens, but would ‘dog guts’ do the trick?” Obviously, she is planning a trick using 10th’s dog. Oh dear, how simple is 10th?
Ming Yu is playing with her maid in the garden. Ruo Xi calls 10th over with a hiss, asking to play where the two women are. 10th demurs when he sees Ming Yu, and suggests going elsewhere.
Rui Xi says it is the 8th household and they can play wherever they want. 10th clearly wants to avoid any problems but follows Ruo Xi with a sigh. Ming Yu is catching butterflies with a net, unaware of the two newcomers. Ruo Xi asks what the dog likes to play.
10th replies, ball and imperiously, Rou Xi holds out her hand for the toy. Eyes glinting, she tosses the ball as the dog follows the movement before suddenly throwing it in Ming Yu’s direction.
10th whelps and tries to go after the ball but Rou Xi holds on tightly while the dog dashes forward. The ball lands in Ming Yu’s net and the dog leaps excitedly. The woman flails her net, swinging the ball and the dog trails the toy. Both Rou Xi and Ming Yu screams. One out of real fear, one of feigned fear.
The dog lunges once more and Ming Yu falls flat on her face! She gets up, lips swollen and pouty. Rou Xi starts to giggle. Ming Yu demands to know who owns the dog, 10th claims ownership and Ming Yu pushes the prince.
Rou Xi dashes forward, swing a finger at the dog, calling it a beast while looking at Ming Hu. “How dare you attack someone like that. Aren’t you just like a dog who threatens others because of a powerful owner?*” Indirectly, Rou Xi is comparing Ming Yu to the dog. She leans forward and softly repeats the words Ming Yu had said to her previously. She lays claim to the misdeed and asks Ming Yu not to blame 10th.
Ming Yu stammers through her swollen lips and Rou Xi mocks her, mimicking her words. Furious, Ming Yu steps forward to hit Rou Xi but 10th steps between the two young women and ends up beaten by both.
He is upset, face bruised by their fists. Rou Xi begs 10th to be quiet, persuading him to allow her to massage the bruises out with an egg.
Clearly afraid that Rou Lan would find out, she asks 10th not to speak of the matter.
He is peeved, stating that she is no hero but a coward. Wheedled, 10th finally settles down as Rou Xi rubs his face with the egg while persuading him to command the servants not to speak of the matter. She is gentle and flutters anxiously around 10th while working hard to assure him that the bruises would not show when his birthday comes around.
It is a fun scene between the two friends. It certainly shows a different side of Rou Xi.
It is time for 10th’s birthday and Rou Xi rumages through her wardrobe, searching for the perfect combination. She runs up to Ruo Lan, showing off her new makeup and dress. Ruo Lan smiles and praises the new look. Ruo Xi retorts that since both of them look somewhat alike, Ruo Lan must look really pretty as well.
Ruo Lan smiles, chiding her for her playfulness.
Di Fujin walks up with Ming Yu. The younger Gorolo sister derides the arrangement just as Ruo Lan steps forward to greet the first wife. Ming Hui looks expectantly at Rou Xi and she finally capitulates, offering a cursory greeting to both sisters.
Ming Yu mocks Ruo Lan again, making fun of the simple layout. Ruo Lan gently explains that she made the arrangements according to 8th’s instructions, to make it a comfortable setting for the family to relax and enjoy themselves. Obviously, Ming Yu is Ming Hui’s mouthpiece despite the quiet reprimand when Ming Yu sarcastically remarks that without any firm support, no one knows how something could turn out.
Ming Yu feigns an apology, claiming that Gorolo sisters are straight talkers and do not know how to doubletalk or sugarcoat their words. How else would a person be able to receive favour without much effort and thought.
Ming Hui rebukes Ming Yu again, saying she would not like 8th being unhappy by her words. Rou Xi smiles, “All the cheap shots have been made and yet someone tries to act generously.”
Rou Lan murmurs Rou Xi’s name but the damage is done. Her words cut Ming Hui to the bone. Rou Xi smiles again, saying that 8th is a fair man and knows who is playing foul and who is making trouble. Furthermore, Ruo Lan and 8th prince understands each other well.
The tension runs high and Ming Hui is infuriated. She steps forward just as the princes enter the courtyard. Everyone closes in on the princes, offering greetings to the imperial brothers.
10th compliments Ming Yu and she simpers. One of the other princes, 12th, notices Rou Xi and asks when had a fairy descended from the heaven. He exclaims after a moment, stating this must be the Rou Xi that 10th often talks about?
Ming Yu pouts as all eyes are pulled in Rou Xi’s direction.
10th grins happily, eyes on Rou Xi as 14th steps closer to 12th, asking how his brother knows this must be Rou Xi. 12th says the other princes all had mentioned a beautiful lady living in the 8th household and he comments that anyone could see which of the women present matches fits that description.
Eyes bright, 10th tactlessly steps close to Ruo Xi as he notices a difference in Ruo Xi’s makeup and dressing. He indicates his approval and Ruo Xi grins back, approving his perception. Their easy camaraderie is such a pleasure to watch. He waves an arm, complimenting the layout and credits Ruo Xi. 8th corrects 10th, saying it is all Ruo Lan’s efforts.
Ming Hui asks to leave, claiming a slight illness. 8th glances at Ruo Lan and after a brief pause, allows his first wife to return to her rooms.
Most of the princes except the Crown Prince and 13th have arrived. They decide to first have tea while waiting for the remaining royal brothers. 10th declares that he will drink 13th under the table. 8th laughs, saying that 10th would not be able to outdrink ‘Risktaker 13th’. 14th agrees, adding that even the Hades King is afraid of the risktaker prince.
Pensively, Rou Xi watches the princes from behind and imagines the fates that 10th, 9th, 8th and 14th face in the future. Both 10th and 14th being confined while 9th and 8th dies from poison. She is sad, tears washing her eyes and Qiao Hui nudges her, expressing concern.
Rou Xi waves her concern away, declaring her hunger. Qiao Hui smiles and offers to bring food to her room. Running, Qiao Hui returns with a tray of snacks to Ruo Xin moping in the room.
She expresses her dissatisfaction about Ming Yu, saying that today has been the worst experience. Qiao Yu explains that the Gorolo sisters’ mother is Kangxi’s cousin and their father is a highly placed noble. In addition, Ming Hui is 8th’s Di Fujin. How could Ming Yu not be different from the usual nobles.
Ruo Xi snorts, “So what. What can she do to me?” Qiao Hui sighs at Ruo Xi’s competitive streak, hoping that nothing else would happen. Especially since Ruo Xi’s already been given a lesson. “Lesson?” asks Ruo Xi and Qiao Hui’s eyes widen before holding very still at her slip of tongue.
Waving a finger, Ruo Xi speaks out loud and she realises that the fall was not an accident. Qiao Hui turns away, nervously laughing and says she did not say anything.
Ruo Xi stands up, leaning in to stare at Qiao Hui. Her smile is gentle and softly, Ruo Xi mimics Qiao Xi, “You did not say anything.” A soft shoulder pat and she picks up a pastry square. She starts to bite but changes her mind, going ‘Ah’ at Qiao Hui.
Qiao Hui goes ‘Ah’ and Ruo Xi stuffs a different pastry square into her mouth. She murmurs, “I understand.” Qiao Hui twitches at the soft whisper and looks fearfully across at the second mistress.
Ruo Xi saunters out, biting into her pastry, swinging her arms and then pauses when she spots 4th across the courtyard, standing outside the rooms reserved for the male guests. Her movement catches his eye and he turns to look at Ruo Xi.
As he continues to watch her, her movements slowly become more lady-like. There is a small almost smile in his expression while Ruo Xi fidgets, shifting left to right before giving the slightest bob to acknowledge the prince.
It is fascinating to watch the nervous Rou Xi squirming under 4th piercing eyes, an almost ethereal connection that is highlighted by the background music.
8th steps out, and Ruo Xi seems to light up as 8th stands beside 4th. 4th looks back at his younger brother and they exchange glances before both turn to watch Ruo Xi. A voice announces 13th’s arrival. 8th walks to greet 13th and 10th steps out a moment later. 13th explains the Crown Prince will be late. He has gone back to change and asks his brothers to start the festivities.
The three princes move towards the door where 4th stands. 13th greets 4th. After acknowledging 13th, the 4th prince turns back to face Ruo Xi and 13th’s eyes follow. 10th is standing behind 13th and glances across at the young woman.
Even 13th appears captivated as three pairs of eyes gaze at Ruo Xi, before 10th leads the way to where the others wait. Rouxi gives an almost defiant bite and is that a flounce as Ruo Xi returns to her room?
13th brings up Rou Xi, praising her beauty as exceptional and uncommon. 8th demurs, waving off 13th’s compliment and points to 10th who is determined to outdrink his younger brother. 13th proposes that everyone drink and get drunk together! An idea gladly received and promptly acted on.
Rou Xi is bored, lazily watching the opera while the males compete in their own drinking contest. The Crown Prince is announced.
After the general formalities, the Crown Prince declares that he has a special gift for 10th. It is a jade ruyi. Other than the Crown Prince and 10th, every one else in that little group stiffen in shock. 8th quietly asks if the jade ruyi is part of the imperial tribute send to Kangxi. The Crown Prince indicates it is, looking pleased that it is recognised. 10th is pleased but 14th steps forward, expressing his fear that their father would be upset if the ruyi is gifted in such a manner. 9th glances at 14th, flattering the Crown Prince and saying that anyone else would be in trouble but certainly not the emperor’s beloved son. 4th observes the others even as 8th tries to dissuade the Crown Prince from accepting the gift.
13th tries to defuse the situation by suggesting that 10th would certainly refuse such a gift. A strong hint to 10th that there would be grave trouble if the jade ruyi is accepted. 10th stoutly denies being afraid to accept the gift. Oh brave feckless prince. The Crown Prince concurs.
4th quietly explains to 10th that the Crown Prince is making a joke. Certainly, the Crown Prince must have brought the ruyi his brothers. He points out that one ruyi had been send to the imperial empress dowager, and one to a Royal Concubine. If 10th accepts the ruyi, it will show disrespect to the elders. 8th closes his eyes and the Crown Prince heaves a deep breath, realising the mistake he almost makes. He concurs with 4th, saying it is a joke. The Crown Prince then promises to send over the real gift in a few days.
13th reminds the heir that he has a new herd of horses and had mentioned gifting one of those to 10th. 10th is pleased and thanks his brother.
8th changes the subject, inviting the Crown Prince to select a performance. The Crown Prince points out that it is 10th’s birthday and he should be the one making the selection. 10th replies that he had chosen one. Given the title, the Crown Prince declares that that is what he wants to listen to as well. 13th suggests that 10th offers the Crown Prince wine. 10th retorts that since the Crown Prince arrived late, he should have 3 cups as a punishment. Saying that, 10th retreats to take a break.
Rou Xi brightens when 10th makes his exit and hurriedly beckons Qiao Hui, asking if the arrangements have been completed. The maid confirms this and Rou Xi goes after 10th.
She finds 10th bend over, heaving his guts out into the bushes. Slapping his back, she hands him her handkerchief.
10th scouts their surrounding, “Did anyone see?” Ruo Xi frowns and chidees 10th about being worried about his status when he is in this state. 10th wonders if Ruo Xi is there to watch him be called out for being a poor drinker. Ruo Xi frowns, and slaps his wrist and wonders how he could think that. She slants her eyes, tilting her nose and says she wants to treat him a little better for his birthday.
Ruo Xi has a present for 10th and asks him to close his eyes, directing his steps towards a specially prepared pavilion. Calling him ‘Little Red Hood’, she holds his sleeve and asks him to follow granny.
10th is nervous and demands that she serve him for the rest of his life if there are any accidents. Their lighthearted banter and their informal ease with each other reveal the affection between the simpleton 10th and Ruo Xi. She is no simpering noble lady, her genuine warmth and care obvious in her special gift to 10th. No wonder 10th is happy to spend time with her. No wonder …
They walk slowly, 10th with his squinted close eyes with Ruo Xi laughs beside him. Qiao Hui waves at Ruo Xi, giving a nod before scurrying off. “Open your eyes now!”
String after string of multicoloured paper cranes dance between rows of colourful paper lanterns. They bob merrily in the wind. 10th exclaims, delighted and hurries forward. He twirls the paper cranes and asks what they are. Ruo Xi replies 1000 cranes. All personally folded by Ruo Xi!
10th dashes back and forth, bouncing the cranes when he hears Ruo Xi singing behind him.