Not even sure why I busted my fingers to finish this long recap. It’s July 4th! No one will be here to read recap. Ya’ll should be outside drinking and having fun. But if you’re waiting for your drinks to arrive, feel free to take a peak. In related news, HunanTV has changed the airing days of Flower to Sundays and Mondays starting tomorrow to sneak in their in-house production, Taekwondo Girl, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Why? Because Flower has been crushing the ratings game and Hunan wants to dip their own production in the said time slot, hoping for the same high ratings. I’m having evil thoughts right now so I better stop when I’m ahead. LOL.
Happy 4th of July!
The Journey of Flower Episode 9 Recap:
Nighttime at the hall of Emotionless, insomnia drives Bai Zi Hua to sit up and play on his zither, and when his wooden door abruptly opens, he confronts a very upset-looking Tan Fan. Zi Hua calls him out on his rude behavior and Tan Fan casually says he isn’t here to discuss manners. Oh really? How awfully honest of you. He’s here because he wants a small reunion before he leaves. A poor excuse to get Zi Hua off his cool butt and go see their junior sister, Zi Xun. He speaks of the old times when they were the first five immortals living a life free of worries and longings of the world.
Tan Fan calls Zi Hua heartless and cold for not caring about Zi Xun even though she went as far as leaving the Seven Murder Faction for him. In a matter-of-fact tone, Zi Hua repeats that Zi Xun does not need his pity. “Pity is more hurtful than not meeting.” He believes that one day she can let go. YEA. I see that day. Episode 54.
Talking proves a waste of saliva, so Tan Fan resorts to fighting Zi Hua and they are interrupted by Xiao Mo who pretends to announce Zi Xun’s appearance.
Failed at kidnapping Zi Hua, Tan Fan returns to his residence where he bids Zi Xun goodbye and she accurately guesses that he went to see Zi Hua to no fruitful results. He re-iterates his opinion – if she let go of this emotional attachment, she would become a better person in the end. She cuts him off and tells him to take care where ever he goes and may they meet again in the future.
Qing Shui announces to her fellow classmates that Qian Gu is back to Chang Liu as a student and Man Tian snickers, she knows Qian Gu isn’t a talent so her return as a student is not news. Her words are harsh and Xuan Lang barks back immediately, repeating the same thing she just said about Qian Gu but this time using Man Tian’s Sect Leader’s daughter status as an attack on her decision to pursue better martial arts at Chang Liu. Good thing Shi Yi stops them before the argument turns into a full-blown fight and orders the whole class to do three laps to cool off.
Qian Gu, now steady on her Abstain Thoughts sword, flies back to Chang Liu. She pauses and looks back, feeling like someone’s with her the whole time. We flashback a few hours in the morning and Qian Gu’s feeling is not wrong. While she was sleeping, a guardian angel in the form of a pretty flower boy aka demon lord, Sha Qian Mo, kept her company all night by fanning the heat away and killing mosquitoes around her. SERIOUSLY. Jie Jie, wanna go camping with me? =D
At the crack of dawn, Qian Gu discovers him hiding behind a pillar and he confesses to following her the whole way to ensure her safety. He then chides Yun Yin for letting their Sect Leader travel alone, “Doesn’t he know that many are watching you like a prey?” LOL. And you’re not?
She cheekily replies that she didn’t let Yun Yin waste resource on her and brags that her sword skills have improved and she can take care of herself. Sha Qian Mo smiles sweetly at her minimal self-professed skills. Then Qian Gu hangs onto his arm and follows him around the temple while he reminds her to use the pinky whistle whenever she’s in danger.
He urges her to come with him: “What good is it to become immortal? Why don’t you come with me? We can rely and depend on each another. Isn’t that better?” And I’m looking at him like…. aren’t you immortal too, you pretty tall thing? heh. She tells him that while there are bad seeds in the good sects, in general they do mostly good things and when one does good thing, one would have a peaceful heart and mind. Only then would they have a youthful and beautiful appearance. Did she just give him skincare tips?
Who cares because Sha Qian Mo lights up at the prospect of eternal youth and beauty. He grabs her hand and takes her to do some good things. He comes to farming area where people are working hard to water their plants and raises their water buckets into the air and begin to water the plantation….to their dismay and horror, and they scream and run for their lives. Upset that his kindness isn’t looked fondly upon, Sha Qian Mo cries out, “You see, these people cannot distinguish between good and evil!” and leaves in a huff. Pretty people are short-tempered. Tsk, tsk.
Qian Gu jumps in the embrace of her good friend Qing Shui and tries to approach Man Tian but the bratty girl is beyond redemption. She pivots around and walks away, which is when Xuan Lang steps up to get Qian Gu’s attention and shyly asks how her journey went. She nods her head cheerfully, right before constipated-looking Mo Yan marks his entrance and tells everyone, especially Qian Gu, that the person who places last on the list during the Immortal Sword Assembly, will get kicked out of Chang Liu. And the person places first becomes Sect Leader’s disciple.
Friendship means the world to Qian Gu and we see her try to appease Man Tian again by waiting outside her room with bags of food she brought back from her journey. Looking down on the measly food, Man Tian cocks her head and boasts that Peng Lai has everything, who needs these broken wings? Feeling guilty for no good reason, Qian Gu apologizes for hiding her Sect Leader’s role, she didn’t know where to start and one thing led to another. Having heard enough, Man Tian breaks off their friendship and shuts her door.
Later that night, Qian Gu practices her sword but the sword no longer complies to her commands and it flies straight into Zi Hua’s grip. Ha. Like Boss, like sword. Erratic behavior! He explains the sword was well-behaved during her trip because it listened to him and protected her. Now that she’s back at Chang Liu, she needs to be acknowledged as the new master to control it. He wonders why she doesn’t stay at Mount Zu to be a Sect Leader and she reveals her desire to be his student. I don’t understand….I don’t understand why….
He splashes cold water on her desire immediately with “I won’t take you as my student.” She bulges her eyes out at his declaration. heh.
At lunch time, it’s a round of I-bet-you-win, you-bet-me-win battles among the students.
Afterwards, Qing Shui begs Qian Gu to give Xuan Lang a lucky charm and when asked why she doesn’t give it to him herself, her face tinges a pink color. She tries to explain to our naive heroine what love is but she doesn’t know a good way and scares Qian Gu when she says it’s a numbness that spreads through your limbs and you lose control of them. After much persuading, Qian Gu heads to Xuan Lang’s room to give him the charm. He accepts it with a casual attitude.
Next morning, Zi Hua is greeted with terrible news. Zi Xun offers her service as a teacher at Chang Liu and Mo Yan pretends that he doesn’t have a good reason to decline her offer. Time for class and everyone gapes in admiration as Zi Xun steps up to her desk, including Qian Gu, who is known for her likes towards beautiful people. She’s in charge of teaching them the power of scents and fragrances. “Only scents can kill without form, only scents can never be forgotten.” She releases a wave of pleasant smell and when everyone is distracted, the flying rose petals cut a line on their hands. Monitoring the class in the back door, Zi Hua sighs internally while Xiao Mo hopes that she can forget Z Hua too.
After class, Xuan Lang stops Qing Shui and asks whether it was her who made the charm. Caught off guard, Qing Shui shakes her head, allowing Xuan Lang’s mind to run wild with the idea that Qian Gu likes him. Later, he asks her to practice sword and the whole time, he looks bedazzled at her smile and gets poked by her at the shoulder. Hearing his yelp, Qing Shui rushes to his side and Man Tian intervenes to make a scene by asking why he only wants to practice sword with Qian Gu, does he like her?
Xuan Lang bravely turns Qian Gu around to face him and confirms his affection for her. The crowd ohhsss and ahhsss, while Qing Shui’s disappointment can’t be hidden and Qian Gu’s shock can’t be calmed. The former runs away in tears and Qian Gu chases after her, explaining that Xuan Lang was probably going with the flow and didn’t mean what he said. Easily pacified, Qing Shui steps farther from anger and towards worry when Qian Gu advises her not to be upset because wrinkles will form on her face. She promises to help the two have more time together.
At the main hall, Xuan Lang stands before Zi Hua, Xiao Mo, and a visibly enraged Mo Yan, scolding him for professing his love on Chang Liu’s pure grounds. Flustered but not suppressed, Xuan Lang claims that his father didn’t forbid him from falling in love and Chang Liu doesn’t have that rule neither. If his love for Qian Gu stops him from reaching immortality, he would rather give up now. When he asserts that they love each other, Zi Hua’s attention stirs awake.
Elsewhere, senior brother Shi Yi finds Tang Bao chomping on food in the kitchen and brings her back to Qian Gu, reprimanding her eating behavior with a sweet smile. They are so cute. 🙂
Qian Gu meets with Xuan Lang that night as scheduled and she returns the charm he gave her, thanking him for his kindness but she won’t be practicing sword with him anymore. While she doesn’t care what others think, she places great emphasis on Qing Shui’s feeling and wishes not to hurt her when she is the own who likes him. Not giving up nor redirecting his feeling, he declares that he will wait for the day she accepts him and puts the charm back in her hand before walking away.
Oh Bai Zi Hua, always sneaking around to eavesdrop on people’s conversation!
Episode 10 Summary:
In the highs of mountains, Bai Zi Hua plays his zither, reminiscing the old times with his four immortal buddies, and then his brows quirk up as Zi Xun disturbs his solitary moment by asking for one more song.
In the palace of Shu Kingdom, the sick emperor coughs and asks to see Xuan Lang, so First Prince orders the guards to bring the second prince back to the capitol immediately. He isn’t pleased and the minister suggests they murder the emperor just in case. First prince isn’t worried because the State of Shu is already under his control.
The palace guards show up at Chang Liu and Xuan Lang can no longer hide his royal identity. Before he leaves, Qing Shui and Qian Gu send him off and his eyes linger on Qian Gu as he mumbles a question, “Qian Gu… are we still friends?” Poor Qing Shui, the dense girl only sees what she wants to see.
A mock competition to assess everyone’s skills and show them what they need to work on to win at the Immortal Sword Assembly. Qing Shui is up against the quiet boy Yin Shang Piao and defeats him in four moves. Something feels off and Qian Gu gives her elated friend a forced smile. When she’s up against Man Tian, she puts on an impressive improvement in skills, which distresses Man Tian a little even though she manages to win the mock round.
Man Tian paces back and forth in front of Shuo Feng’s room and once she’s discovered, he asks why she’s here, which she honestly says out loud, “The Immortal Assembly is coming soon and you’re my only enemy. So name your price to lose to me.” He HUHs at her request and walks away.
Galloping fiercely on his horse, Xuan Lang makes his way back to the palace and daddy emperor sends everyone out to have private talk with his favorite son. He appoints Xuan Lang as the next emperor because First Prince is too ambitious and easily swayed by the corrupt ministers. In his hands, the Shu State would fall into chaos. Again and again, Xuan Lang says he’s not made of the right materials to lead a kingdom. His older brother bursts through the door and confronts daddy about his favoritism. Daddy doesn’t care an ounce about his hurt feeling and announces Xuan Lang as the emperor right then and there. Wow. And then he passes away.
Peng Lai’s Sect Leader, also Man Tian’s father, visits his pampered daughter at Chang Liu to see how she’s faring and gives her special herbs to boost her inner power.
Next day, before the Immortal Sword Assembly begins, all the Sect Leaders gather around to witness the upcoming battles. In comes Kun Lun’s Sect Leader, Luo He Dong, followed by Dong Fang, who throws some looks around searching for Qian Gu. Likewise, she’s elated to see him and scoots to the front for a closer look. I don’t think He Dong is very well-liked with his blunt attitude and Mo Yan is ready to give a piece of his mind before Zi Hua waves a stopping motion. Dong Fang finds Qian Gu in the crowd and they adorably wave at each other. 😀
Loyal fellow Yun Yin greets Qian Gu and gives her a pellet to treat internal and external injuries. What a good lad!
The competition begins. Not much to say because we all know who will be the final competitors: Man Tian, Qian Gu, Shuo Feng, and Yin Shang Piao. The night before the second round, Dong Fang visits Qian Gu in her dorms and Qing Shui whispers to him that he makes a great match with Qian Gu. I think so too! He tells her to be careful and wonders why she doesn’t use the powerful Abstain Thoughts sword and she shakes her head, she wants to use her own skills to win the competition and not let other think Sect Leader is playing favorites. But he is! Totally!
Dong Fang advises her to use the reverse technique she used against Chubby Elder in tomorrow’s battle. Meanwhile, Yin Shang Piao meets up with Mr. Veins (Dan Chun Qiu’s lackey), revealing to the audience he’s working for them. Mr. Veins hands him a poisonous needle. It doesn’t kill the opponent but merely decreases their inner power for the next two hours.
Zi Hua notices Qian Gu’s reverse moves and asks where she learned it from and she replies that Dong Fang taught her when they were at Mount Zu. He’s like an older brother to her, always looking out and protecting her. Those words enter one’s ear and go out another and Zi Hua warns her against the technique because she’s still new and has less control over her power, and if she isn’t careful, she could internally hurt herself and other disciples as well.
Yin Shang Piao comes to Man Tian and gives her the poisonous needle, lying that he only wants her to win the competition because he likes her. Such a shameless method, and she barks that she won’t use it. Right… When she goes up against Shuo Feng and nearly loses, she flings out the needles at him. AND NO ONE SAW IT BUT HER DAD? WHAT THE HELL? We need to schedule an eye appointment for these blind immortals ASAP. Shuo Feng knows what happened and asks her sternly, “Is this so important to you?” We see a fleeting moment of guilt on Man Tian’s face.
Up next, Qian Gu versus Yin Shang Piao but she doesn’t have the 10+ years of power that he does and staggers between losing and thinking. Watching anxiously on the sideline, Dong Fangs muses to himself, not understanding why she’s not employing the Reverse technique. Not before long, Yin Shang Piao stabs Qian Gu in the shoulder and the episode ends. BAH.
Episode 11 Summary:
Taking a stab to her shoulder, Qian Gu takes the opportunity of their close proximity and palm-strikes Yin Shang Piao, catching him off guard. Though she wins this round, she sustains some serious internal injuries and Dong Fan voices his concerns about the final round. Being a good friend, Qing Shui requests for a few days’ break but Zi Hua is inflexible in his law-abiding ways.
Lying wounded in bed, Qian Gu refuses to back out from tomorrow’s battle, even cute little Tang Bao scoots up close and says that bratty Man Tian won’t let her off easy. Not as cold-hearted as he was seconds ago, Zi Hua arrives to let her know that she’s destined to lose tomorrow. LOL. Thanks for stating the obvious Mister! She didn’t use the reverse technique as expected and Zi Hua ponders her reasoning. She states that he’s right, between fellow sect members, she shouldn’t put their safety at risks with her uncultivated power. Looking guilty, Dong Fang remains quiet.
Man Tian drops by Shuo Feng’s dorm to explain her predicament which led to her employment of the needle in the fight. With her head hanging low, she asks for his forgiveness, and if he wants, he can stab her once and they can call it equal. He doesn’t budge and reminds her that not everyone is like her and if she uses any dirty trick tomorrow, his lips won’t remain sealed. Reading between the lines, Man Tian scoffs at another of Qian Gu’s body guards. haha. XD
Still as persistent as ever, Zi Hua chats with Kun Lun’s Sect Leader and casually inquires about his favorite student, Dong Fang. Before the old man can mumble a word, Dong Fang answers the question about his background and if Zi Hua needs proof, he can visit his hometown to check.
Dan Chun Qiu brings the news to Sha Qian Mo that their guy lost to Hua Qian Gu, and instead of anger, the latter laughs out loud, expressing more interest than ever and I think Chun Qiu looks scared for a split second. Then his expression goes from incredulous to anger as he reveals that Qian Gu didn’t win unscathed either. When he learns that she’s injured, Sha Qian Mo feels the desire to check on her wounds and disappears instantly. Yay! All the fanboys in one place. Oh wait, we’re missing the prince.
Despite her shoulder screaming I need to rest, Qian Gu tries to practice in the middle of the night. Sha Qian Mo grabs her by the shoulders and leads her down to the ground before passing some of his inner power to cure her internal injuries. Afterwards, he wants to teach her some useful magic skills for tomorrow’s competition because the ‘useless‘ techniques she did just now cannot help her win tomorrow. I love your bluntness, Jie Jie.
She shakes her head and leans against his shoulder, thankful for his healing session. He thinks it’s okay if she doesn’t become Bai Zi Hua’s disciple because she can always learn from him but the thick-headed girl is determined to torture herself (and me!!) by becoming Zi Hua’s disciple.
In the walls of her own room, Man Tian receives some inner power from her prideful dad. Hey, I guess it’s fair now. He also lends her a special sword as well.
Before the competition starts, taciturn manly guy, Shuo Feng, tells Qian Gu it’s not entirely impossible to beat Man Tian because while the girl has great inner power, her techniques do not match up yet. And that’s it.
The competition commences and not long before Man Tian strikes the sword out of Qian Gu’s hand and the ladies engage in a palm-to-palm inner power struggle. The lazy Abstain Thoughts makes an appearance, finally recognizing Qian Gu as his master but she shoos him away. HA. Without a detailed explanation, Zi Hua informs Mo Yan that he gave the sword to Qian Gu.
The ladies give it their all and both crash into the ocean at the same time. Eyes fluttering awake, the first thing she asks is the results and based on Qing Shui and Dong Fang’s face, she ranks second. Poor Tang Bao is crying next to her bed, “I don’t care if you get your teacher or not, I just want my mother.” Awww.
On the day of the disciple-accepting ceremony, Zi Hua remains quiet and frigid in his seat when the elder asks him to call his destined student. He defers the pickings to his seniors in the sect. Not shy from being first, Xiao Mo picks the two chatter birds as his personal disciples. When Old Professor wants Qian Gu to be his disciple, senior brother Shi Yi also voices the same decision. I did not expect this. Amusing. They engage in a verbal argument and slowly Qian Gu rises above ground level into the air. It’s Zi Hua’s doing and he pulls her to the stage, totally calling dips. XD
Oh Bai Zi Hua….Bai Zi Hua. Out of everyone, I did not expect you to be watching Korean dramas! That was totally Kim Soo Hyun’s move from You Came From Another Star when he flew Song Yi across the street to his kissable lips! LOL!
Everyone is shocked at his decision but Xiao Mo smiles knowingly and Man Tian’s father vents in anger. Zi Hua whips out the sword Man Tian used during the competition and reveals its true form – a vicious ancient sword that drives the handler into killing mode. Without further objections, Zi Hua seals the apprenticeship by bestowing her the temple bell and Qian Gu gazes at the magical item fondly. Mo Yan ushers him to take all three top contenders as his disciples, and Zi Hua firmly announces that he will only take one disciple this lifetime.
To assuage Man Tian’s raging father, Mo Yan decides to take her as his disciple and Shi Yi also wants Shuo Feng under his wings. Not to leave Qing Shui out, Old Professor takes her under his wings. Everyone is happy….for now. Purposely planting a fatal seed in Man Tian’s hostility towards Qian Gu, Yin Shang Piao tells her that all she needs to do is end Qian Gu’s life and then take over the spot. Still valuing the broken friendship, Qian Gu pleads with Man Tian one last time before getting a door slammed in her face.
She finds a quiet area and sits down, contemplating the price of becoming Zi Hua’s disciple and losing a friend in the process. Sha Qian Mo’s voice interrupts her train of thoughts and she happily calls out, “Jie Jie? Is that you?” And his response: “To possess such a pretty voice, who else could it be but me?” ROFL. He’s concerned about her new status as Bai Zi Hua’s disciple because he’s so cold and she might suffer. PREACH IT SISTER.
He wants to take her out to play but Qian Gu doesn’t want to be late meeting her master so he decides to visit her the third week of every month. “You’ll be bored facing that wood block every day at the Hall of Emotionless.”
At the Pavilion of Strange Decay, the peacock man laughs as he awaits Bai Zi Hua’s worst days to come now that he went against his fate and accepted his calamity as a disciple.
Episode 12 Summary:
This episode is pretty bland. As the Sect Leader’s sole disciple, Qian Gu moves to the Hall of Emotionless to live with him, well, more like being carried there because she faints from exhaustion while talking to Qing Shui and wakes up on his special ice bed. Someone wants to practice Xiao Long Nv’s specilaty. He tells her to call him officially as Shifu from now on and her grin widens. She stops him and asks why he chose her as his disciple and he frankly replies that Man Tian played dirty and does not deserve the spot. However, she shouldn’t be too happy either because he could kick her out anytime if her performance fails his expectations.
They approach the end of the palace and he informs her that immortals cannot see things like normal citizen, they have to use their heart to sense and absorb every single being. She’s in awe and wonders how long he’s been living here alone. Far too long and he doesn’t keep track of time anymore. It just dawns on me that Bai Zi Hua is a freakin old man in a beautiful, youthful body. LOL. That age gap is huge!
Qian Gu practices day and night with hunger threatens to surface. When Zi Hua agrees to let her go eat in the dining hall, she lights up and hurries to go off. He halts her steps and picks up the temple bell she dropped and hangs it back on her robe. The close proximity heats up our naive heroine.
In exchange for his life, Yin Shang Piao promises to procure Bai Zi Hua’s zither for Dan Chun Qiu, detailing his plan in using Man Tian’s hatred for Qian Gu as a pawn in his hand.
The hall of Emotionless proves to be a huge obstacle for our directionless heroine as she wanders from room to room, hall to hall, repeatedly calling out Shifu, and when he does reply back, he states he’s in the library and offers no help. Lol. When she finally locates him, he instructs her to memorize a book, and she lingers in the room, proposing assigned chores for her to do. Cookng? Cleaning? Massaging? I’m looking like, this girl is crazy.
At Shu State, our clumsy second prince Xuan Lang ascends the throne in a gorgeous royal robe sporting a new air of confidence and maturity as he greets his subjects. He gives his brother the title of a Lord (?) and assigns him a massive army in charge of protecting the capitol, though his loyal guard Lie Xing Yun is against the idea.
The new scholar champion is called in to greet the King and it turns out to be our Dong Fang. 😀 Do I like this idea or not? Two men with one girl in mind in the same place?! HOHOHO. GIMME MORE.
Zi Xun visits the Hall of Emotionless while Zi Hua shoots daggers out of his eyes at her appearance. Curiosity has driven her here, interested to see the person who is crowned Bai Zi Hua’s disciple. She hears the new student is a girl and expresses her disapproval, “A male and a female living in the same space, isn’t that an inconvenience?” He looks up at her. “One day as a teacher is a father for life.” Okay, Zi Hua, now you just made things CREEPY. BURRRR.
Sleep escapes Qian Gu that night with Tang Bao hanging out elsewhere, and the beautiful sounds of a zither draws her to Zi Hua’s room.
And then we have this scene:
Seeing how her mom has eaten less this past month due to loneliness, Tang Bao urges her to invite Zi Hua for dinner to cultivate the bond between them, hence she begins to pick various plants in the garden and cooks up a bowl of soup. When he’s busy snacking the soup, she throws in a request: “Can you have dinner with me every night?” She uses her dead dad’s card and a cute squishy face to demonstrate how thin she has become and he softens, even cracking a slight smile. Then all hell breaks lose when he realizes that she cooked his precious orchids into food and forbids her from eating dinner tonight. LOL. Why does it matter Bai Zi Hua if you’re the one eating it? Why not nourish your old body? =P
Looking to start trouble, Man Tian fights with Qing Shui and Qian Gu but the latter is still weak and can’t do much so Tang Bao, ever the loyal bug, intervenes. Man Tian grabs a hold of her and throws her in the air, ready with her sword to to spear the bug.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I know Tang Bao won’t die but if anyone puts a hand on that cutie pie!! I will!!
————————- END ——————————–
Kappy: I find the exchange between Man Tian and Shuo Feng interesting. She hates Qian Gu with every fiber because the girl does very little and yet inspires the adoration of all the men. However, she doesn’t hate Shuo Feng because I’m thinking he earned her respect right from the beginning with purely his skills. This makes me wonder whether we would see the day where Qian Gu earns her respect at all. Her character trajectory is poorly executed because of the quick transformation for the sake of having someone sabotage Qian Gu early on in the game. Had her character allowed to slowly change over time, it would’ve been a more convincing and interesting arc for at least one female character. As of right now, none of the female characters stand out as deep and complex.