The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

For a drama billed with a central pair in an angsty forbidden love, the budding romance has disappointed me. There was no build-up and we’re literally told, just like the heroine, how her heart feels. It’s not even the acting, because Wallace and Li Ying are perfectly cast for the characters, and while I poke fun at Zi Hua a lot (because I’m spoiled by the future), he hasn’t done anything that I dislike… yet. Not sure how it is written in the book but so far, I’m not buying the drama’s development: I-love-shifu-and-want-to-be-with-him-forever shenanigan.

Episode 17 Summary:

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Let me catch you guys up to speed with the story. Epic battle at Sect Tai Bai. Sha Jie Jie’s identity is exposed and Qian Gu bites down her affection for him and refuses his only request – he wants the Flow of Light Harp. We don’t why he insists on obtaining it but I have a gut feeling it has to do with his already dead dead dead sister. Qian Gu won’t budge and if he wants to get it, he would have to kill her. Stuck in an impasse, Dong Fang thinks it’s fair for them to compete in 3 rounds of martial arts with one deity device as a trade. The winner gets one deity device from the loser.

The rounds so far (winner is bolded):

1) Mr. Veins vs Dong Fang.
2) Yun Yi (Bad twin) vs Yun Yin (Good Twin): A Draw

and the third round, Bai Zi Hua replaces Meng Xuan Lang in battle with Sha Qiao Mo.

To sum up the fight:

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Second half of the epic cute fight at Tai Bai between the good sects and Seven Murder Faction.

Oh Sha Jie Jie, in your next life, don’t be a farmer okay? After a portion of his hair is cut off by Zi Hua, he decides to play another game – pushing the huge cauldron between the two of them. In the end, he loses and leaves in a huff. Qian Gu and her fellow sect friends rush down the steps and surround their Sect Leader with hugs and claps, while Zi Hua accepts their jubilant congratulations with an awkward smile. Aww. Zi Hua looks so cute in this scene.

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Dong Fang takes an injured Qian Gu back to her quarters and on the way there they see Yun Yin looking dejected on the side. When asked about the results of his battle with Yun Yi, he states that his corrupted brother committed suicide rather than come back to Mount Shu with him. She tries to console him but he asks to be left alone.

Back in her resting quarters, Dong Fang adorably lectures Qian Gu for always putting her life in danger and berates himself for not stopping her from the very beginning. She thanks him for always being there and when she really looks back, she has done nothing for him. He tries to lift up her spirits by saying that she saved him when he was hit by a horse carriage WAYYYY back. Lol. Nice try dude. He’s an important friend to her and she’s willing to risk her life for him. Hearing the confession, Dong Fang looks a tad startled and worried. He asks, in carefully chosen words, “If one day, you find out that I’m like Sha Qian Mo, that I’m a bad person, would you still be my friend?”

Qian Gu smiles and says in a casual tone that if he’s a bad person, she won’t be his friend anymore. “So don’t become a bad person, okay?” NOPE. The ship has sailed, sister.

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Once he’s outside her room, Dong Fang’s face twists in agony. “If you knew the truth, will you really not forgive me?”

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And the list of Qian Gu’s enemies continues to grow with the poison lady in purple (Bo Ru Hua) swearing that she will avenge for the humiliation she endured today at Tai Bai. She sees Dong Fang releasing a messenger bird in a distance and quirks up a smile, trying to poison him with a flying dart but he dodges in time. She considers it’s his bad luck to meet her here but with a few quick moves, Dong Fang traps her inside a small enclosure made of wooden sticks. Since she likes to use poison so much, he lets her try the real thing by flinging a few drops of his own potion at her face and body.

As he walks away, he listens to her agonizing scream with a smirk. *chills*

Well, the list just got shorter, again. 😛

Meanwhile, Zi Hua heals Qian Gu of her wounds and openly compliments her for doing a good job at defending the sect and her fellow sect members. Hearing that, she literally drops onto the bed and giggles with her hands and feet in the air before he even steps outside the room. He pauses and gives the smallest of all smiles.

The next day, at the main hall of Tai Bai Sect, a dinner party is held by the Sect Leader to thank his friends for lending a hand and defending Tai Bai yesterday.

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Sect Leader Fei Yan personally thanks Bai Zi Hua and Hua Qian Gu, and then Dong Fang joins the thanking club as well, not paying attention to Zi Hua shooting daggers out of his eyes. LOL. Across from them, a very upset Man Tian pokes at an innocent orange, dismayed that the attention is never on her. Her father advises her not to keep certain things in her heart for a long time and promises to bring her to the top one day.

Knowing his limitations, Sect Leader Fei Yan willingly relinquished the task of protecting Fantasy Dream Bell, one of the ten deity devices, to Bai Zi Hua. This exchange doesn’t sit well with the other Sect Leaders and one-by-one they verbally voice their opposition in the nicest way possible. Oh shut up, if you guys were so good, why don’t I see ya’ll faces when Sha Jie Jie was around? Tskk Tskk. These Sect Leaders are a bunch of selfish cowards.

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They say drinks make you braver and Qing Shui uses liquid courage to confess one last time to Meng Xuan Lang. He’s grateful for her feelings and tries to reject her again nicely, but Qing Shui doesn’t care that he likes Qian Gu because she believes that one day he’ll find out how good she is and start liking her. Oh girl… He admits that she’s a good girl and has always treated her like a little sister. He also knows that Qian Gu doesn’t like him and he’s willing to wait for her. Qing Shui sniffs back her tears and says, “Brother Meng, you don’t have to force yourself. I know that one must be insistent in their pursuits. You can wait for Qian Gu because I’ll continue to wait for you too!!” Well, I guess we got that cleared up.

Turns out Qing Shui isn’t the only one drinking because we see Yun Yin, wrecked up in guilt for indirectly causing his twin’s death. Zi Hua passes by to console him and he quickly hides a glowing injury on his arm. You’re the bad twin!! Where’s my upright Yun Yin!!

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Well, it’s time for Man Tian to stir up some troubles too and she crosses to the other side to drink three cups with Qian Gu. After the first cup, Shuo Feng, who has been watching them silently, offers to drink for Qian Gu and Man Tian moves the cup out of his reach. After the third cup, Qian Gu wobbles into a chair with Qing Shui and Shuo Feng watching over her.

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When all the Sect Leaders marvel at Zi Xun’s talent in providing fragrances, drunk Qian Gu casually lists out the ingredients to the one that is pervading the main hall. This is an act of rudeness and Man Tian calls her out, but drunk Qian Gu has the guts of a thousand people as she challenges anyone to test her ability in identifying the ingredients. Feathers ruffled, Zi Xun accepts the challenge when Qian Gu is pulled to the center stage by Man Tian and competes with Zi Xun.

The smile on Zi Xun fades as Qian Gu correctly lists down all the ingredients. OMG. I’M SO EMBARRASSED FOR HER RIGHT NOW. DRUNK QIAN GU is NOT CUTE. AT ALL.

Zi Xun ups her game with another scent and even dances in the air for performance points. Not backing down, Qian Gu returns the favor with a dance as well. SOMEONE STOP THIS DRUNK GIRL. I’M EMBARRASSED.

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The last scent triggers sad sentiments for people with pain and everyone looks on the verge of tears, except for Zi Hua, because dude has no emotions. Once again, Qian Gu correctly guesses the components but missing one key ingredient. And at this point, I just want to tell Zi Xun to accept the drunk girl as her successor. Scratching her head, Qian Gu gets the last one: Zi Xun’s tears on a day with full moon. Her face spells devastation. Why you gotta go and make things personal for?!

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When it’s Qian Gu’s turn to pose the question, Zi Xun misses two ingredients: Qian Gu’s body scent and Shifu’s pillow fragrance. The importance of this WHOLE sequence is letting Zi Xun know that Qian Gu has fallen in love with her Shifu because one of the scents she tested was a love fragrance. As if Qian Gu can hear Zi Xun’s thoughts, she widens her eyes in shock. “You have fallen in love with your teacher. It’s outrageous and unforgivable. OUTRAGEOUS AND UNFORGIVABLE.”

Episode 18 Summary:

Standing in a daze, Qian Gu mentally replays Zi Xun’s words in her head until a tap on her shoulder by Zi Hua breaks her out of the trance. She excuses herself and goes outside to ponder on a rock up high. Does she really like Shifu? She doesn’t know but when she thinks about him, she smiles sweetly. Xuan Lang passes by and tries to get her down from the dangerous heights, but she mistakes him for Shifu and confesses her feelings. *facepalms*

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Silly Xuan Lang thinks that she’s found the courage to confess to HIM and inches closer to kiss her forehead…and is stopped by Bai Zi Hua, standing next to a GREEN bush to peek at them. LOL. Geddit? GREEN BUSH? LOL.

He takes her back and lays her down onto the bed while she mumbles about him forgiving her foolish words and he’s confused about her fragmented sentences. Good thing he doesn’t try to pry because she falls asleep in a few seconds.

Outside her room, he meets another one of her boyfriend potential man in Dong Fang and he’s here to bid goodbye since he’ll be returning to Shu State with Xuan Lang tomorrow. Zi Hua denies entrance and if he has important words to tell her, he can tell him. Ha.

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Elsewhere, Man Tian wanders to  a secluded area and finds herself bounced back from an invisible barrier and hovered in mid air above the mountains. Zi Xun makes her appearance and prepares to kill her for indirectly causing her humiliation at the celebration. Seeing Man Tian’s clamped lips, she allows the girl to say her last words. Man Tian: “I hate Hua Qian Gu! I hate her to death!!” Really? Your last words? What a poor life.

Hearing the hateful words for a common enemy, Zi Xun lets Man Tian go, liking her gumption and forwardness. She tasks the young one with one mission: keep an eye on Qian Gu and uncover her weakness. Oh great, after one mole is killed off, the mole handler becomes the mole now.

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After sleeping for three days and three nights (damn, what kind of alcohol did she take? and where can I buy a bottle here?), Qian Gu wakes up from the throbbing headache, just to find them, meaning she and shifu, sailing on a ship. She proceeds to tell him about her three dreams; the first dream, she was a rock surrounded by beautiful flowers and birds but she wanted to fly, in her second dream, she became a bird and wanted to fly higher. In her third dream, she became the sun, high and almighty in the sky and yet the loneliness of it all makes her feel heartbroken and regretful.

Looking on the bright side, she concludes that being alone in the sky may not be a bad thing after all, she could give warmth to every living thing and see interesting events from afar. Her understanding of the dream: as long as you’re true to yourself, you can find happiness. Zi Hua tells her to remember the heart of the little rock despite how strong and powerful she becomes in the future.

Looking at Shifu’s back, she thinks in her head, “Shifu, I don’t want anything else. I just want to be a little rock by your side forever.” What a magnificent plan, your parents will be proud.

Returning to her room in better spirits, she reads Dong Fang’s handwritten letter, reminding her to be careful because her cocky Shifu has countless of enemies. LOL. Love how he jabs at Zi Hua at every chance. hehe.

At the Shu State kingdom, Xuan Lang busies himself with gathering the best herbs and food to strengthen Qian Gu, but his loyal General Lie has urgent matters at hand. While he was away, the two ministers became in-laws. He doesn’t care about stamping royal reports, watching the treacherous ministers, and orders general Lie to hand everything to Dong Fang or his older brother.

The ship has arrived safely and Qian Gu, along with her Shifu, descends. To make sure that the students are still free from worldly desires, they are forced to walk in the Three Life Pool again. Naturally, most of them the fail, except for Shuo Feng, and Qian Gu is able to hide any grimace of pain from her face.

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However, Zi Xun has caught her lie and immediately goes to Zi Hua to snitch on his disciple harboring a forbidden love towards him. Enraged that she could spout such nonsense, he warns her to stop spreading rumors or else he wouldn’t give face to their years of friendship.

Sitting in her room with a pair of swollen feet, Qian Gu has a headache and scrambles her brain cells to figure out a plan to hide the truth from her Shifu. Tang Bao rushes inside and bellows about overhearing Zi Xun’s conversation with Zi Hua. To help her mother cover up the injury, she goes to Shi Yi and pretends that she has fallen into the Three Pool Life on a playful excursion. He gives up the medicine easily and then wonders who she likes… “Could it be me?” Oh, you silly doodle bug.

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A simple pulse test and Zi Hua dictates that Qian Gu has indeed fallen in love. He tries to let her down easy with nice words like, “You are young, so the inability to block out distractions is normal…but you must get rid of these desires and not hide them.” Caught in the act, she kneels and asks for forgiveness and I can’t believe the next words that come out of her mouth! “I’ve fallen for Dong Fang.” He’s taken aback by her answer since he’s so used to being the main character of every shouju romance. Lol. Not blaming her libido at work, he gives her a light punishment.

Qian Gu goes back to her room and relays the news to Tang Bao and the latter laughs out loud, hoping that she could love her daddy instead. But Qian Gu is determined to study hard and get rid of emotional entanglements. She thinks that by avoiding her Shifu, she won’t feel the drives of her desires.

Except the person experiencing the loneliness in the Hall of Emotionless is now our Shifu. I admit, it’s sad seeing Zi Hua in a huge room by himself with a table of food after Qian Gu nicely says she won’t cook dinner.

And because we all know that the state of Shu is right next door to Chang Liu (lol), Dong Fang drops by to visit Qian Gu on his business trip. He senses a disturbance in the group of students and when he turns around, the suspect reveals her face to be the Pavilion Master’s assistant and she’s here to secretly help Man Tian get even with Qian Gu. First clue? Hua Qian Gu’s Test of Life Stone.

Episode 19 Summary:

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Man Tian informs Zi Xun of the clue and she tries to steal the stone by hypnotizing one of the students and asking for the stone in the name of Mo Yan. Except Zi Hua smells her monkey business and tells her that the stone is under his care and protection, if she continues this behavior, he will cut off relations with her and kick her out of Chang Liu. Go Shifu! Kick her out!

Out of the ten deity devices, the Flaming Crystal and the Sympathy Life Sword are still missing and Zi Hua plans to descend Chang Liu in a few days to search for the powerful sword. Meanwhile, Zi Xun sneaks into the Hall of Emotionless and notices the enchantment spell he used to protect his home, which naturally raises her suspicion levels for Hua Qian Gu’s Test of Life stone.

She uses half of her power to break off the enchantment. Zi Hua feels the intrusion and hurries back to the Hall of Emotionless, in time to witness her holding the stone. She gasps in horror and thinks that he has gone crazy for accepting his fated calamity as his student. He snatches the stone back and tells her to mind her own business. She reminds him of teacher’s will, “Kill without mercy,” but Zi Hua believes that he can change that. Hearing that Qian Gu’s safety is just as important to him, Zi Xun decides to end his pitiful student’s life on her own. He tries to convince her that fate cannot be avoided and killing Qian Gu won’t finish all the fated entanglements.

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His words fly in one ear and out the other, and by night time, Zi Xun has located Qian Gu having dinner in the garden with Dong Fang and Tang Bao. Before she even appears in person, Zi Xun throws a powerful force towards them and Dong Fang, always the protector of Qian Gu, throws himself forward to take the hit. The force so strong, it knocks everyone back ten feet. He passes out and fortunately, Zi Hua shows up to suppress Zi Xun. He tries to heal Dong Fang with his power but the injured only stirs awake for a few seconds before slumping into Qian Gu’s arms again.

Outside, Zi Hua professes that Dong Fang’s injury is serious because Zi Xun used her specialty move and a huge chunk of her power to deliver the fatal blow. For the next 49 hours, Dong Fang’s life is sustained by his power but after the limited time passes, no one will be able to save him. He walks away to talk in private with the ever-so-stubborn Zi Xun, and she admits she did wrong by harming an innocent man but she would rather he hates her than let Qian Gu harm him. Zi Hua: “Don’t you understand? No one wants to harm me. And no one can harm me. Hua Qian Gu is my disciple, and no matter what, I won’t forsake her.” HOHOHO. I will write down those words and secure them in a rock for use later. XD

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When Zi Hua threatens to cut off all ties with her if she continues her killing quest, lines of shock form on Zi Xun’s forehead, her eyes glitter with tears. She promises she can spare Qian Gu’s life but she won’t forgive her. LOL. Right. We need your forgiveness.

Qian Gu tends to Dong Fang and begs him to wake up and tell her a way to save him. Zi Hua enters, followed a few steps behind by Zi Xun, who’s here to rectify her wrongdoing. However, as hard as she pushes, she can’t push the negative energy out of Dong Fang’s body. An idea comes to Zi Hua’s mind and he gravely adds, “That means only Sha Qian Mo can cure him since Zi Xun’s root is from the Seven Murder Faction.”

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Without a second option, Zi Xun meets Sha Qian Mo in his lair and he laughs about her offer: “If you help me today, one day, I will return the favor.” He doesn’t need her help and when she glares at him, he straightens and his face turns solemn. “What? Are you trying to use your beauty on me? Do you think… I’m more beautiful, or you?” LOL. Oh Jie Jie, go ask a mirror!

On the sideline, Chun Qiu comes in for an attack, believing that once he captures the pretty lady, Bai Zi Hua would have no choice but hand over the two deity devices. With her power not up to standard, she falters backwards and is subjected to Sha Jie Jie’s skin routine lecture. XD Sha Qian Mo pokes at her soft skin, disclosing her sleepless nights being reflected on her dry skin.

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The news of Zi Xun’s capture reaches Zi Hua and he arrives at the Seven Murder Faction Hall as a VIP guest. Sha Jie Jie asks, “What a rare guest! How does this place compare to your lifeless Hall of Emotionless?” No answer. When Sha Jie Jie keeps joking around, Zi Hua levels him a glare and our Jie Jie pretends to shrivel back in fear. “Are you mad? I get scared easily.” He motions to Sha Chun Qiu to release Zi Xun. LOL. Oh Jie Jie, I miss you on my screen so much!!

He then circles around Zi Hua, taking in his earthly beauty. Zi Hua: “What are you looking at?” Jie Jie: “I haven’t seen you in so long, so what if I look at you a bit more?” ROFL. He continues to tease Zi Hua by bringing out a fake Zi Xun, which doesn’t fool Zi Hua’s observant eyes.

But in my head, this scene plays out like this…

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Play time is over and Jie Jie declares his offer: bring him the Flow of Light Harp in exchange for two lives. Not a bad deal at all but one that has senior brother Mo Yan sputtering in rage at the audacious request.

At a loss, Qian Gu musters up the courage to face her Jie Jie again and he, likewise, looks ashamed. “I thought you’ll never look at my face again.” She tells him to put down his hate and he’ll always be the Jie Jie she once knew. He doesn’t directly reply and adds that the Flow of Light Harp has special meaning to him. He only needs to borrow it for a few days. Sensing the sincerity in his voice, Qian Gu promises to beg her Shifu. Nope, Zi Hua ain’t giving up the harp to no one. Now that she has no choice left, Qian Gu and Tang Bao are going to steal the harp!

And we get this silly scene below (why are they so cute?):

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It’s obvious he lets them steal the harp but the two are so dense to figure out Shifu’s intention. Sigh… And here I thought this would be a good scene to show our heroine’s character development, that she somewhat understands her Shifu…

Sha Jie Jie works his magic and it will take some time before Dong Fang wakes up. He leaves with the harp and as suspected earlier, he wants to play a song for his dead sister. But his peaceful emotions soon become a rowdy display of guilt and anger as the memory of her death pricks at his conscience. The sounds emit from the harp cause much suffering to his underlings and Qian Gu searches for his whereabouts.

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She finds him without much difficulty and he reveals the story behind his desire to obtain the harp. His sister once said that if she could play the Flow of Light Harp, she could die without regrets. She went to Chang Liu and met eldest disciple Zhu Ran, who subsequently manipulated her feelings and used her to get his deity devices. When she thought that Jie Jie valued the devices over her, she killed herself.

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Jie Jie’s sadness makes Qian Gu step up her game and she plays a song in his sister’s place. As the soft sounds pervade the dark halls, Liu Xia’s spirit rises from the ice bed and advises her brother to let go of his quest in gathering the deity devices and let himself be happy. “There’s no meaning in being first in the world if you constantly live in exhaustion and hatred.”

He tells Qian Gu to take the harp away and she returns to Chang Liu to make up for her bold move in the presence of Mo Yan, Shifu, and Xiao Mo.

Episode 20 Summary:

I just hate this dude (Mo Yan) so much. What’s the big deal if everything has returned to Chang Liu? It’s a good thing Xiao Mo is around to speak some sense into his tofu-filled head. Qian Gu expects and insists punishment, but Shifu repeatedly tells her to leave for the time being.

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She checks up on Dong Fang and his eyes flutter open. Expelling days of relief, Qian Gu smiles jubilantly down at him. He struggles to sit up and earnestly asks her to leave Chang Liu with him and they can wander anywhere she wants to go; Chang Liu is not the place for her, with everyone waiting with bated breath and preying on her. Oh, stop trying Dong Fang, this girl is not going to listen. Let her enjoy the short days of happiness before hell descends.

The next few days go accordingly to the song “Is the Night” by Mao Fang Yuan with Qian Gu trying her best to avoid direct eye contact with Shifu and Shifu takes in her strange behavior with a confused expression.

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Having had enough of her silent treatment, he asks her to make the Peach Blossom Soup that he likes and judging from the new taste, he wonders what’s weighing on her mind. Being vague about her heart matters, she dilvuges that she can’t make out the answer to her problem. He tells her to let nature run it course because only natural events have peace within them. The more one focuses on it, the more confusing it becomes. She then decides to put down the heavy burden of running away and cherish the moments she has with her teacher.

Deciding that his naive disciple needs to experience more of the world to gain insights and open up her vision, he comes to the conclusion that a trip down the mountain will do just that. Secondly, he needs to find the Sympathy Sword too. Qian Gu also wants to visit Mount Shu and hands the sect leader position back to Yun Yin.

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During their brief trip on a wooden plank, Qian Gu finds relief near Shifu’s icy body.

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Our young emperor’s swordplay has improved greatly and he’s able to put a sword next to his trusted general’s neck. He finds it meaningless that he keeps winning and when Qing Shui attacks them wearing a mask, he recognizes Chang Liu’s swordplay and unmasks her. She smiles brightly at him and he urges her to return before someone finds out and punishes her.

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Shifu and Qian Gu encounter an unconscious man on the ground and after palpitating his pulse, Zi Hua deduces the snake species immediately. Qian Gu wants to use magic to lure out the snake but Shifu tells her they can’t use magic and must use the mortal way to provide aid. The man awakens and thanks the two for their help. When he says he lives in Lotus Flower Village, Qian Gu’s stomach churn at the name of her home.

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Standing before her wrecked house, great sadness evelopes Qian Gu, and Shifu thinks they should clean up the place for it be habitable. Shifu gets to work, tinkering with various tools and objects around the house. Qian Gu watches him from a distance, a sense of familiarity swarms through her.

At the Shu State, Qing Shui volunteers to become Xuan Lang’s maid, waiting on him in his sleep and wishing to wash his face in the morning. This girl, I don’t know what to say to her anymore. It’s getting creepy now that she has access to the King’s bedroom and the authority to tell everyone to stay away.

When dinner is ready, Shifu pokes a bun with his chopstick and offers it to Qian Gu, who stares dumbfoundedly at him, and seeing Brother Mo’s face instead. She confesses to Shifu that she can’t remember Brother Mo’s face and often confuses it with Shifu’s.

Back at the palace, Xuan Lang’s older brother has brought home a rare pearl and wants to hold a celebration to thank the neighboring country and assuring the officials and people that a harmonious royal family means a peaceful country.

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While Qian Gu buries the wooden sword and memories of Brother Mo, Zi Hua steps forward and reveals his identity as Brother Mo to Qian Gu. His eyes drop to ground level in remorse as he discloses his decision to let Qian Gu’s father die instead of using magic to save him. She stares up at him in disbelief and he proves his words by taking her arm and moving to the swordplay he taught Qian Gu a long time ago.

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Zi Hua: “That’s right, I’m Mo Bing.”

Tears well up in her eyes and she runs into the house. Exasperated with the timing of the declaration when she’s ready to let go of Mo Bing, she cries out, “Why? Why did you tell me now?!”

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Shifu comtemplates his decision and the repercussions of it over a cliff. Zi Xun interrupts his peace with her sarcastic comment: “You and your disciple live here in the mountain area alone to gain experience. No wonder why your emotions run deep.” She scans the area and is gripped by the fact that Qian Gu was the same little girl back then. She smirks and wonders whether he’s told her the truth. Continuing to stare ahead, he ignores all her questions but one. “I’ve told her everything.” He then visits her dad’s burial ground, “I’ve told Little Bone everything. She’s grown up and has the right to know and decide whether she will forgive.” My respect for ya Shifu.

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Our Qian Gu buries herself in the same spot as before, unable to move or speak. It’s not long before the doors swing open and Zi Xun steps in to provoke the vengence in Qian Gu. “Didn’t your Shifu tell you that I was the one who refused to save your dad?” Slowly, she straightens up and asks with a throb in her throat why people like her – people with the ability to save others refuse to save and instead watch others perish. Zi Xun replies, “Because your Shifu can’t lose his position as Sect Leader.” Ooohh. The answer burns all the logic in Qian Gu’s head and she runs away to an isolated place beside a tree to gather her thoughts.

And history repeats itself, the villagers locate her and trap the demon girl in their net. Cut to: Qian Gu being tied up on a stand while the villagers get ready to burn her alive. But her face betrays no emotions, no life of its own until the memory of that night comes flooding into her vision and she lets out a scream to break off the ropes. “I’m going to kill all of you and avenge for my father!” She picks up a man and ties him to the same stand, hovering a stick of fire in mid-air.

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Zi Hua descends near the stand and says nothing. Watching from the second floor, Zi Xun urges her to kill them. Kill them all. Hesitation flickers in Qian Gu’s face and she recalls her dad’s dying words. “They are frightened. They don’t know what they’re doing.” The fire stick falls to the ground and her anger subsides. The man’s daughter rushes up the stairs and cries for her father. “Don’t harm my dad! Don’t harm my dad!!” The anger in Qian Gu now completely disappears, replaced by a calmness and understanding of the big picture.

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She lifts up her legs and run. She runs through the forest, searching for her Shifu. When she arrives home, her Shifu stands there in his wholeness. Her face lights up. She calls out to him and runs into his arms. He’s surprised and she quietly tells him that Mo Bing is all but a memory of the past, and Shifu is now the most imiportant person to her. She never wants to be separated from him. Moreover, she believes that beside hate, there is love and happiness in this world. “Since I can forgive the people of Lotus Flower village, why can’t I forgive the teacher who holds the entire world in his heart?” Shifu smiles and strokes her hair. “Xiao Gu, you’ve grown up….”

—————— END ——————

Kappy: That was quick. Almost too quick. I wanted more inner struggles… But Qian Gu is innately a good person. How else could you explain the years of torment, beating, and shunning of the villagers and yet she did not lift a finger to harm any of them? That last scene only confirmed that goodness is still there. Zi Hua believes her morals and hence did not say a word. With or without her Shifu, she wouldn’t kill the man whose daughter was staring straight at her, reflecting the anguish and helplessness she once felt. It will take a lot to change a person and it will take a lot of deaths and suffereing to flip that kindness of Qian Gu inside out. Can we look forward to that day? HECK TO THE YEA. I’m waiting for this MarySue-ish phase to vanish and for her to wreak havoc to the world!

I love tragic romances as much as the next fangirl but the whole sequence how Qian Gu found out she’s fallen for Shifu felt ridiculous and contrived to force the loveline. When the lead couple falls in love with each other, I want to feel their developing feelings and not being told she likes him. What’s the point if I have to be told? Moreover, at this point in the story, I simply don’t understand when her feelings develop for Shifu. There’s no differentiation among the men and they all do the same thing – protect and guide her. Therefore, I don’t understand how she could easily say she treats the other two guys like her brothers when she never had one to begin with! How does she know the different feelings of affection if she needed to be told? There has to be some form of confusion in her heart and yet her belief that she loves her Shifu and only her Shifu makes it unbelievable. And why I’m not on this love train.

Dong Fang does way more and even risks his life serveral times over the course of their friendship but she does not feeling anything for him? Only a brother? Really? REALLY?

  1. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    I love your recaps! They’re so funny and sarcastic. I also love that picture of the batter between BZH and SQM! LOL pew pew pew…aha

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Thanks! Enjoy the humor while I have any left for this one. Lol. ~~~

  2. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    I love your recaps. So much. So, so much. PEW PEW PEW!

    Also, I agree with everything you said. The ‘romance’ build-up was basically drunk HQG –> stupid competition –> drunken dancing that should’ve been censored, burned, and never spoken of again –> shit I’m in love with my master.

    This drama has been my background noise as I play Candy Crush. Literally 90% of the ppl in here are either stupid, annoying, or batshit insane (hello Zi Xun). Breaking into a sect leader’s room? That’s grounds for a restraining order. The script feels like it was written to achieve certain plot points without regard for anything that goes on in-between these points.

    For me, HQG is the worst character ZLY has portrayed so far. I think I read somewhere (maybe here?) that HQG resembles Shan Shan. It’s strange because I actually enjoyed Shan Shan. Her character wasn’t meant to be amazing. She was ordinary and was portrayed as ordinary, although her inner monologues really captures her character well. Plus, she was cute. I feel like nearly every aspect about HQG has been either vomit- or eye-rolling-inducing for me. HQG is supposed to be a cute character, but she isn’t cute to me. It also makes no sense to me how she’s so amazing. Her character was so mediocre but through the right circumstances she managed to weasel her way into coveted positions. And yet, none of the training or whatever actually convinced me that she is amazing. I have a feeling I may drop this drama.

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Drunk Qian Gu should never be allowed to happen again. It was cringe-inducing, gotta say (as much as I love ZLY.)

      My favorite Zhao Li Ying’s character is probably the one that brought her to light – Female Prime Minister. Coupled that with her immense chemistry with Chen Xiao, and I could rewatch with the forward button. Shan Shan was too sugary for me but she did well and earned love from many novel fans.

      Thanks for reading xiaoxiu, and *pew pew pew* right back. XD

  3. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    I haven’t watched anymore episodes since like ep 9 or something but this is what happens when scriptwriters change too much of the novel storyline! In the original, the author made it very clear that it was due to the very long time that HQG and BZH spent alone together that led to the development of romantic feelings. HQG met BZH when she was 12, and she’d been with him for years before she realized she felt romantic feelings for him. None of this “suddenly I met my knight in shining armor and OMG he’s so dashing I’m totally in love with him even tho dad just died but hey whatevs Mo Bing here I come~!”

    HQG is somewhat Mary Sue to begin with (even in the novel) and unfortunately the drama made her even MORE Mary Sue-ish! Zi Xun’s character in the novels is actually more of an ally – she’s in a one-sided love with BZH but she still helps BZH and HQG when they need it. She knows BZH and HQG love each other and even though it hurts her, she doesn’t stoop to acting batshit insane or anything like that at all! OMG what the drama has done to Zi Xun’s character! And what a waste of Jiang Xin’s talent to play this role! I rather watch Jiang Xin as Song Ning in Huaxuyin!!!

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Nooo…. So Zi Xun is not like this in the novel at all? Too many character assassinations lately to play up the central romance. And that’s the worst because we could have one, at least one female character who is somewhat not cray-cray and sympathetic.

      I should check out Hua Xu Yin. But I heard it’s another tear festival!

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        No no, Zi Xun acts like a bit like an older sister in the novel and as I said, is more of an ally even though she has romantic feelings for BZH. I really, really don’t like what they did with her character in the drama because one thing I absolutely hate is how females, if they’re not the main girl’s best friend, usually end up being evil bitches who fight for the main guy. I hate this trope so much. If guys can have epic bromances, why can’t girls have epic sisterhoods?

        In Huaxuyin almost everyone gets a tragic ending – the only not-so-tragic ending is our main couple who can still be together but with only a limited amount of years (the guy split his remaining life and gave half of it to the girl). All the other couples have tragic endings and usually it’s the guy who’s the scum who dumps or does something that causes the girl to die tragically and then the guy usually either lives with regret for the rest of his life or ends up dying tragically too.

        I only watched the Shen An/Song Ning part of Huaxuyin, because Song Ning is the most epic badass lady ever (she’s a female general who’s smarter and a better fighter than most guys and she’s got so much guts and perseverance) and Jiang Xin totally nails the role. She’s such an incredible and amazing actress OMG she’s the only reason I even watched something like Huaxuyin (this type of story is not really my type).

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          Agreed with Angela above, why did the author agree to change her character so drastically? For all we know, HQG needs a mother figure in her life more than the testosterone battles going all around her. I don’t understand why they always play up the bromances and leave the girls to do the evil/jealousy acts. It’s frustrating.

          Song Ning sounds AWESOME. Right up my alley. =)

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        And I can’t stand the works of the author of Huaxuyin because her prose is a Goddamn mess – she’s a well-known plagiarist who copies story ideas and passages of other people’s works, which is why the only decent prose in her works are the bits she’s copied and others are a mess. Her prose is long-winded and flowery and has no substance, and pretty ALL her main characters are the same. Huaxuyin is one of her more decent works and only because of the awesome Song Ning. Her 3 Lives series are long-winded and draggy and full of melodrama all around – the plot and prose and characterizations are terrible and I’ll stop before any novel fans get angry LOL 🙂

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        Even HQG as a novel has plenty of room for improvement, but at least I could finish reading it because of the awesome characters like Dongfang and Sha Qianmo (and also because I wanna see BZH get his ass kicked emotionally because all the suffering he indirectly caused for our main girl). Seriously, DF and SQM are the highlights of the entire story, just like YY’s Kylin was the highlight of the Lost Tomb drama.

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Awwww that Zi xun would have been a nice touch to this drama!! How could the author agree to let them ruin her lovely characters like that?!! *shakes head*

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        Maybe the author doesn’t have much say over the script once she’s sold the production company the rights?

  4. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    I echo others in praising your hilarious recapping (and the memes – oh they’re precious! :))), Kappy. Very entertaining and fitting to this drama, that somehow has started to drain my emotions. The script manages to make many of the characters unlikeable and stupid, except for DF and SQM. I might be biased, as DF is my fave character so far, but I think his is the best written in this drama, more layers and complexity compared to the other characters that are quite 2 dimensionally — yes, even BZH dan HGQ. As for SQM, I’m sure the writers are having fun with him, being a powerful, narcissistic creature, who is evil without actually harboring evil intention nor ambition.

    Regarding HGQ love to BZH, however, I slightly disagree with you. It has been shown from almost the very beginning how she’s obsessed with him. Now that I don’t get at all, how and why she becomes that obsessed. I also don’t like that the show gives the idea that obsession = love (e.g.: both XZ’s and HGQ’s) . No, it’s not, and it’s unhealthy.

    Speaking of which, the ladies in wuxia/ancient dramas tend to settle too quick. In most dramas, they are 16 and they find the love of their life, and spend the rest of their lifetime with that one male. I hope some day we will have an ancient drama where the female characters have been in 2 or more romantic relationships before they are finally with the one.

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      When the story takes away my fun, I would have to add my own. =D I’m with you, Dong Fang is my favorite character in the story. We finally saw his conflicting emotions in these episodes, followed by a chilling reveal about his poison use. What a scary character, if only he didn’t like HQG, he could go much farther. Lol.

      I didn’t get obsession part at all but I optimistically attributed to him being her *first* ever friend so she hung on to him a bit more. But it got weary and contrived real quick when she kept saying how great he was when her other friends have done more than Mo Bing ever did. Obsession is definitely not love and (to me) she seems misguided in that direction, thanks to the scripts and….Zi Xun. Zi Xun has herself to blame because she planted the seed!! The irony. =P

      Talk about not moving on? I don’t think any country could beat Kdramas in that regard. They love when they are 6, get separated by some horrible, horrible incident, and love each other to death when they meet again (even if one person is disfigured, changed, they will recognize each other x years later!) XD

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        The Mo Bing nonsense is completely made up for the drama! The original Mo Bing Xian is ANOTHER character entirely who only appears in the very late part of the story! Mo Bing Xian is an immortal with his own sad past who’s retreated from the world but looks a lot like BZH, and after HQG turned into Demon Goddess the Chang Liu people sent Mo Bing Xian to seduce HQG and suck away all her powers.

        MBX has a special ability to suck away people’s life force or something which is why he couldn’t be with the woman he loved because the moment he touches her he’d suck away her life force (think of Rogue from X-Men). HQG knew that he was sent to kill her but she healed his unwanted “curse” (ie. so that he can touch people without sucking away their life force) and told MBX to go find the person he loves. From the time MBX spent with HQG, he understands what made HQG this way and he felt sorry for her and wanted to take her away with him, away from all the people who want to kill her.

        I have no idea why they made that whole BZH = Mo Bing sequence in the beginning because IT WAS NOT IN THE BOOKS. NONE of that “people burning her house down”, etc. was in the novel – they just made it up for the drama to make HQG more pitiable.

        Technically HQG’s first ever friend was Tangbao and Dongfang. Out of our main 3 guys (Dongfang, BZH, Sha Qianmo), HQG met DF first. He then followed her around and told her all about the 6 Realms and the immortals and stuff, and was the one who advised HQG to find Yixiujun (who is actually DF). Yixiujun then told her what she wanted to know and gave her Tangbao, who ends up being HQG’s guide and friend. Tangbao knows lots of stuff and was the one who helped HQG get into the Immortals’ banquet, where she met the important deities there and met BZH for the first time. They changed SO MUCH STUFF in the drama I can’t even predict what’s gonna happen next.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          Oh Lord. Even Mo Bing is changed completely to further play up the fated calamity angle between HQG and BZH. I have a feeling they don’t want the fans to like Dong Fang all that much, hence he’s relegated to being not so important… But some of us still adore him. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

          This makes me sad…even when she’s a demon, she’s still so nice. And I can’t believe the hypocrites at Chang Liu send someone to seduce their enemy!! So low!

          Well, Shimo, lets see how far the unpredictability go until all the essence of the book is lost!

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          Yes, I’ve heard that the drama deviates greatly from the novel. And it seem like the more episodes that airs, the further they stray from the actual novel. But to be fair, there’s a reason why this series is titled “Hua Qian Gu”/”The Journey of Flower” and not “Xian Xia Qi Yuan Zhi Hua Qian Gu”. They are not the same. Think of it as version 2 if you must. I heard the author worked closely with the production of this series as well. It’s her work to begin with, it’s only fair she can modify / change the story as she wished.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          I have said MANY times in previous posts of different dramas that books and dramas/movies are not the same, and that there will always be changes whenever books get adapted. It doesn’t matter WHOSE idea it is – if the changes are good, then they’re good, if they’re bad, then they’re bad.

          The fact they made HQG older is good, because it makes the romance between BZH and HQG less pedophilic.

          But the fact they made HQG obsessed with BZH because of Mo Bing staying with her and celebrating her birthday RIGHT AFTER HER FATHER DIED is just BAD TASTE and horrible in all senses of the word. We’re judging the drama and script regardless of author’s involvement. As others have said, the romantic development between HQG and BZH in this drama is badly written and a romance based on obsession is unhealthy and abnormal.

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        @ Kappy: DF is an awesome character and most readers actually sympathize with him way more than BZH, which may explain why the drama changed so much stuff to play up the HQG/BZH romance. Unfortunately, the changes haven’t really improved their romantic storyline much, because as you and others have said, the development is too sudden and a romantic relationship based on obsession is unhealthy and abnormal.

        The Changliu bastards (especially Mo Yan) are hypocrites which is why the original Mo Bing wanted to take HQG away. In fact, one of the things about the original novel that pisses me off is how Mo Yan continues living a good life even after all the horrible things he’s done. TBH the original novel has MUCH room for improvement (prose, story logic, characterization, etc.), but Dongfang and Sha Qianmo kept me interested and even after they stopped appearing so much in the story, I wanted to keep reading because I wanted to see what Demon Goddess HQG would do LOL

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Totally agree with you about unhealthy obsessions and ladies who settle too quickly!

  5. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    Love your sense of humor. I’d rather read than watch this drama. Beautiful to look at but very little substance, I’m afraid to say out loud… 54 episodes….what??!

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      More episodes = more money from advertising, which is why they DRAG this drama so much. A story like HQG can be told in 40 episodes (or less), but of course they add a heap of extra melodrama to drag it out to 54 eps.

      I’ll probably wait till the whole drama comes out and then watch it by fast forwarding LOL

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      TBH I also rather read the recaps than watch the drama, because the recaps are way more entertaining LOL 🙂

  6. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    “pew! pew! pew! …” made me laugh.

    i yearn for the days when fight scenes were choreographed.

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      I get you, Tex! I get you. Those days are long gone with this generation of CGIs…

  7. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    Thank you, Kaptain, for the funny and very informative recap ! 🙂

    I’ll agree with everyone about the strange development of the romantic feelings (well, more like an acute awareness of each other for now) in both QG and BZH. I, however, find BZH’s development even stranger than QG’s.
    He knows who/what she is almost from the very beginning. He knows that if they are together bad stuff will happen. And yet he didn’t kill her. Fine ,she was innocent and very young (although his immortal friends don’t really care about that, so why does he?), fine, he doesn’t want to kill innocent people, but why does he keep her close to him? He lets her get into his sect, he picks her as HIS PERSONAL desciple? Why? He feels guilty because he let her father die? May be, but the logical and safest choice would be to care and protect her from a distance not to keep her around. He had hundreds of years of living experience, unlike QG who is too young and sheltered to know anything.

    Btw, this is the main reason why a can’t fully commit to a ship. JieJie has a brotherly affection to QG, so he’s out of the competition, and BZH and DF both are soooo irresponsible. They know she is the calamity, they know (because they both can see the future if I’m not mistaken) that if she remains by BZH’s side catastrophic events will happen and yet both of the for whatever reason push towards them. And I know you all like DF, but I really can’t. I am ok with him seeking revenge against the immortals who killed his father. However, he basically doomed an innocent party to years of suffering. Not cool, dude! Not cool at all… 🙁

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Hello Nell! And you’re welcome. Great points you brought up there.

      What I think of Bai Zi Hua: He’s bored and needs a challenge, believing that he could train her and somehow change their doomed fate? Or he’s a firm believer of the phrase: Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.

      Oh no, I don’t ship Jie Jie with Qian Gu because like you said, he has brotherly affection for her. He’s such a sweet big head troll. 🙂 With Dong Fang, he’s driven by revenge so all responsibility is out of the window. He knows and purposely pushes Qian Gu to meet BZH. She’s his weapon against the immortals. Is he a good person? NOPEEE. But as a character, he’s more interesting than all of the Mary Sues/bland cookie cutters we have running around in this drama. Plus, him liking the very weapon he’s been manipulating = rich character arc. So I don’t support him but it’s interesting to watch his character unfold onscreen. ^^

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        DF’s character arc is even more delicious – even with all his manipulation he still ends up falling in love with her and sacrifices himself for her, which is why the 15 min trailer shows him with his epic quote when dying in HQG’s arms (after taking a lethal hit for her): “Never in all my calculations did I ever think I would really fall in love with you. You must live on, because even if the whole world doesn’t love you, you must love yourself.”

        DF is the most interesting character out of the 3 main guys. Sha Jiejie is the funnest. BZH is the designated OTP (LOL)

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          @ Kap & shimokuren

          Agree. DF is the most interesting to watch at the moment. I love complicated villains. Even with my limited experience with wuxia and xianxia series I find them to be too few and far in between.

          BZH is lucky because Wallace is playing him. I am a shameless WH fan and will watch anything with him. :))) (What can I say, I like pretty dudes. Don’t judge, plz … 🙂 And yet this OTP is harder to ship than his couple in Swordsman which I honestly never thought was possible.

          Out of everybody else I like JieJie the most. Handsome+ funny+vain+ powerful= quality television 😀 in my book. I just wish we get more JieJie vs. BZH verbal and physical exchanges because these two are pure gold together. :))) Sooo vain and self-centered. 😀 Btw, ever since I found out that ZX used to be a member of the JIeJie gang her conduct became much clearer. She did graduate from JieJie’s School of B**chiness but unfortunately lacks his sense of humor which makes her insanity uninteresting and, quite frankly, difficult to watch…

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          Jie Jie is so adorable. He and Bai Zi Hua should really exchange beauty tips instead of fighting over nonsense. They are immortal anyway!

          Zi Xun gets her lack of humor from being near BZH for so long! LOL.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          LOL my thoughts exactly – I love Jiejie the most cuz he’s hilarious and just so much fun, but DF is definitely the most interesting! 🙂 The producers made a smart move in getting Wallace to play BZH cuz Wallace himself has legions of fans who will support him regardless (I’m one of Wallace’s fans so yeah hehe).

          Hahaha Jiejie and BZH’s banter is more fun to watch than the whole BZH/HQG thing 🙂

          Book Zi Xun is so much different to the drama Zi Xun so I don’t really have much words to say LOL

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          lol shimo you’re one of the sane wallace’s fan around…the ones i see just blindingly ship shifu with hqg just because Wallace is “prettier” and he’s playing shifu. if he had played the other guy, they wouldn’t be so nice anymore to the one playing shifu! ROFL. they did pick the right actor to play boring shifu. XD

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          LOL I always maintained the producers made a smart move with choosing Wallace because really, BZH isn’t that sympathetic to the audience as a character. DF and Sha Jiejie are more interesting and TBH, Ma Ke and Zhang Danfeng are much better actors here in this series than Wallace. Wallace wins because of his good looks but his BZH is flat – the book BZH is stone cold on the outside but passionate on the inside, but so far I haven’t seen any of that in Wallace’s performance.

          I love Wallace and he was my dream cast for BZH (because he’s got the right look/aura for the character), but his performance here is more posing than acting. He hasn’t made the character come alive like Ma Ke or Zhang Danfeng have.

          Hehe I may be a strange sort of fan because I often end up criticizing the actors I like in their performances, just like how it’s obvious to everyone here that I like Li Yifeng but I think his performance in Lost Tomb is TERRIBLE (it’s so bad I can’t watch without cringing) and seriously hope that he won’t be the movie version of Wu Xie LOL

  8. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    After overdosing myself on 10+ episodes of HZG in two days, I ended up taking a break and watched Battle of Changsha instead. Big mistake because now I can’t watch 5 minutes of HQG without being insanely bored and irritated by everything. *cries* Luckily your recaps are amazing so I can continue catching up without actually watching! Woohoo!

    Really not getting how HQG “fell” for BZH just like that. Totally random. If anything, she should be in love with Dongfang. <– biased

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Really not getting how HQG “fell” for BZH just like that. Totally random. If anything, she should be in love with Dongfang.

      LOL you and me both!!! 🙂

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        Dongfang has been with her through thick and thin, and all she sees is her shifu who picks up what others have started for him. 🙁

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          LOL this series is like a shoujo manga masquerading as a wuxia drama, so of course the main girl only sees the main guy *sigh*

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          @shimokuren: You nailed it. I rarely develop Second Lead Syndrome but Dongfang makes it so hard not to!

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Hey Lady Polaris, no cheating!! Watch and suffer with us! Lol.

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        I will wait until the rest of you guys are done with this drama. LOL

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      Polaris, I watched The Great Protector in between TJOF episodes, and it was one of the best C-dramas I’ve seen in recent years! (not that I’ve seen many, though). I was really impressed by Wallace Huo there. I heard he was excellent in the Battle of Changsha (which I haven’t touched).

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        I haven’t seen much about The Great Protector so you are the first one to tell me that it’s good. I will have to check out the trailers! 🙂

        Up until Battle of Changsha, I never thought Wallace was a good actor. He was really impressive there and brought his character to life. Hope you get the chance to watch it. There is surprisingly A LOT of comedy for a war drama.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          I haven’t seen Changsha but here in this drama, Wallace’s acting hasn’t impressed me much. There are so many actors/actresses who have portrayed “cold outside / passionate inside” type of characters better than Wallace here has. His character BZH is quite complex and has so much internal struggle (and angst) but so far I haven’t seen any of that onscreen. Of course we’re only halfway through the series but so far, Wallace has very little onscreen chemistry with ZLY and his BZH is flat (he looks the part but that’s about it).

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          To be honest, when I watch the unsubbed episodes of TJOF, I tend to skip until the scenes with DF (my bias), Sha Jiejie, ZX and even NMT! Because when you don’t speak the language and can’t understand the convo, you will at least want to see the acts. BZH has bored me, not even Wallace’s beauty can make me attentively watch his scenes or his interaction with HGQ without the sub. For an inexplicable reason, HGQ becomes a clingy, overdependent girl around her shifu. On the other hand, I love HGQ and Tang Bao’s scenes, despite human TB annoys the heck out of me.

          Watching The Great Protector and TJOF side by side makes me compare Wallace’s acting in both dramas. BIG SPOILER here, IMO his role in TGP is similar in character to BZH. Wallace’s role in TGP is a reserved man, he grows up with old values which weigh on nobility and responsibility, puts public interests above his own, and is not expressive, just like people in that era (end of Qing/beginning of Republican era). But Wallace successfully makes me care for the character. Words are not really necessary, emotions are rendered subtly through the eyes movement, twitch of lips, fingers anxiety. When he meets the female lead for the first time, it was not the best encounter. He’s engaged to another female character, and she is everything he’s not fond of, but you can’t deny their sparkling chemistry. Viewers who worship extensive skinship may be disappointed, but somehow their eye gazing and quiet exchange of smiles send butterflies to my stomach many times more than shifu holding HGQ hands. 🙂

          Sorry for going overboard with TGP, but I just wonder if it were a better script, the portrayal of BZH could probably be much, much more engaging for this non-Wallace fan :). Like I said earlier, I feel like the writing of DF is way better than that of BZH. He’s complex with multiple layers, and the script allows him to be a very interesting character. It is not that Wallace is less capable than Zhang Danfeng — in fact, TGP shows that he is more than a pretty face, he is a competent actor. But it’s like the scriptwriters and the producer just rely on his physical appearance and leave everything else.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          @shimokuren: Wallace has done too many of these characters in the past that I feel he’s getting tired of it himself. I’m getting tired of watching him myself even if he is pretty.

          @lenje: You’re making me want to watch TGP right now! 😉 I’m not sure I can sit through another Wallace drama at the moment. Changsha really hit me hard. Makes me want all dramas to be made by that production company.

          But yes, I agree with you that the scriptwriters are just banking on the fact that he looks the part but not really developing much of his character. It’s such a waste. Wallace said he didn’t want to take this role when it was first offered to him and I’m wishing he hadn’t given in.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          @ lenje + chasingpolaris:

          I agree with your comments and I feel like Wallace’s heart isn’t in his BZH performance. Like, it’s really obvious when an actor is emotionally invested in a role or not. I feel like Wallace is just taking on BZH cuz at the end of the day it’s another handsome paycheck, just like how Li Yifeng’s heart wasn’t in it when playing Wu Xie. LYF really loved his character in Fragrance which is why he acted so well in that series, but here as Wu Xie it’s just another day job type of thing. (In comparison, it’s obvious how much YY loves Kylin which is why his performance in Lost Tomb shines.)

          I didn’t know that Wallace was reluctant about the role until you just said so, so I guess now it makes sense why I got the feeling that his heart wasn’t in it with BZH. In that case he should’ve left the role for someone else but I guess who’s gonna say no to paychecks?

          I also agree: chemistry with others isn’t just kissing or skinship – it’s more like the subtle interactions in the gaze, facial expressions, etc.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          @shimokuren: It took the production team half a year to persuade Wallace so I don’t think it was just the paycheck. He said in an interview, or two of them, that he turned it down first because he didn’t want to star in another costume series. (Similar reason as to why he turned down BBJX.) However, one of his staff members read the novel and told the story to him. He was intrigued after that and he gave into the production team’s persuasion after six months of constant contact. It almost feels like he tried to bring BZH to life but it just failed miserably. He’s repeatedly said that this is the hardest character he’s ever had to play. BZH is probably too complex for him to interpret right now when he is just being recognized for his acting.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          Thanks for the details! I didn’t know about how Wallace eventually took the role (until you just explained now) but I agree with your assessment that perhaps the BZH character is too internally complex for him to play. I feel like Wallace is just getting by with his resemblance to Changqing (his famous role in Chinese Paladin 3), rather than becoming the BZH that I was so looking forward to seeing onscreen.

  9. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    I like this drama plot except the romance. I agree with you that her feeling to her teacher is weird. Is it because there are lack of chemistry? but it also feel that their loveline is so underdevelop. I feel more chemistry between her and Jie Jie. Jie Jie is my fav character, I love him so much!! Perfect cast for that character. When they’re together, they’re uber cute. I’m team JieJie not Shifu <3

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      The lack of romantic chemistry is definitely a key factor that I noticed a long time ago in the promotional stills and videos between the actors when they’re “in” characters. When they are not in characters, they are cute, just like on Happy Camp. =)

      Ship whoever your heart likes Be!

  10. 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

    I love our conversation here! @Shimo, we can always count on your giving an extensive and passionate responses/comments :). But I like and tend to agree with your posts here.

    Ma Ke plays Sha Jiejie to almost perfection, all the way down to his dramatic flair. I like Zhang Dan Feng portrayal of DFYQ, but I think he could improve it by showing a little more of his coldness. From how he is written in the novel and the drama, it looks like DF has a psychopathic tendency — except he genuinely loves HQG (psychopaths can’t have empathy towards other people).

    • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

      LOL I love our discussions here too. I have a tendency to rant and ramble so thanks for putting up with me 🙂

      I think they made DF more of a villain in the drama than in the book. In the book he doesn’t have that personal vendetta against BZH and the immortals so he’s more of a “manipulative for the LULZ” rather than “I have to destroy these bastards who killed my father!!!” But no matter the book or drama, I find DF to be a very interesting character anyway 🙂

      Ma Ke is excellent as Sha Jiejie! I haven’t seen this guy before so his acting really impressed me! Zhang Danfeng is great as DF too – again, first time I’ve seen him but his performance is very impressive. He has a tough job because DF is so complex, but so far he’s pretty good! 🙂

      I love Wallace but I really think the other 2 guys outshine him in every way when it comes to playing their roles. Wallace wins cuz he’s so good-looking, but IMO here as BZH he hasn’t displayed the “cold exterior but passionate interior” that is the center of BZH’s character.

      • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

        about Wallace:

        Well, yes, the other guys kinda outshine him but, tbh, BZH hasn’t had anything challenging to work with yet.To me the true test will be when the big dramatic stuff happens. Besides, I’ve seen a lot of Wallace’s recent work and he is not the kind to show great romantic chemistry with just anyone. For example, with the actress in Battle of ChangSha or Joe Chen in Swordsman everything is ok, but Yuan Shanshan (again in Swordsman) or Tang Yang (Perfect Couple/CP 3) not sooo much. It almost looks like as if he’s better at establishing connection with people he also likes in real life (not necessarily romantically). I’ve noticed the same with ZLY. You can tell when she really likes some costars better than others.With Chen Xiao in Legend of LuZhen – awesome chemistry, with Hawick lau in Wife’s Secret – somewhere about “dead fish” level.Oooor may be she prefers younger men, who knows. But then again, the point of the actor’s job is to mask personal preferences and show us “real ” emotion.

        Anyway, with all these nice things said about the “Great Protector”, now I simply have to watch it. Curse you, sleep and social life 🙁 , where will I find the time ?!!!

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          Totally agree with you about the chemistry! Wallace and ZLY have very little chemistry in the drama, but as you rightly said, the point of acting is to make it look like they have awesome chemistry even if they don’t! The point of acting is to become the character onscreen and make the audience forget the actor behind the character. Unfortunately I think Wallace fails in that respect as BZH – so far I’m only seeing Wallace himself and not BZH the character.

          BZH is actually quite a complex character in the book, because he has the burden of protecting the world and as a leader of the immortals, also has morals and principles he must obey. Also, he’s never known romantic love (because as an immortal leader he is supposed to be relatively emotionless), and has been alone for centuries, which is why he’s always torn between his duty and his growing love for HQG. At first he took her on out of compassion because of her tragic life, and then gradually all the years they spent together led to romantic feelings developing between the two.

          As the story progresses, for all his emotionless exterior, he’s struggling more and more with his internal angst and feelings for HQG. He outwardly has to punish her but then secretly protects her without anyone knowing. There’s so much internal struggle in BZH’s characterization in the novel which so far has failed to translate onscreen. So really, BZH’s character has just as much substance as Dongfang and Sha Jiejie – in fact, because BZH is the main lead, we often see him and his thoughts/emotions WAAAAAAY more than DF or Sha Jiejie! Sha Jiejie is mentioned quite a bit but rarely appears in the novel, which DF only comes in every now and then. BZH is in the novel almost from beginning to end and large sections of the novel are told from his side of the story.

          Of course we’re only about halfway through the series so it’s too early to tell, but the fact that drama BZH appears flat onscreen isn’t due to the characterization, but more because his complexity hasn’t been acted out (sorry Wallace but it’s the truth). IMO the reason DF and Sha Jiejie outshine BZH in the drama is because Zhang Danfeng and Ma Ke have better acted out their characters.

        • 55 thoughts on “The Journey of Flower (Hua Qian Gu): Episode 17 – 20 “Romance is here…”

          I’m only watching this series now. I was initially intrigued, but as the story went along (now around episode 16-ish) I find it got quite draggy. Hence, the reason I’m here – reading recaps lol xD

          I agree the other two guys acted their characters better than Wallace. I didn’t read the novel. I was curious about the actors and actresses so I went to search. What captivate me to learn more was surprisingly the actor acting the role of Jie Jie.

          Yes although Wallace was good-looking and I did googled on him at first, I find Ma Ke is the one who caught my eye for longer. I feel he’s a much better actor.

          With regard to their romance (BZH-HQG), I think the production should have introduced a fast-forward part (e.g. 10 years later) to show the long years they spent together, to account for the romance and make the transition smoother. Right now, I find their romance seemed quite forced lol.

          See how long I can continue watching…Your recaps are much better to read! xD

What do you think?