The fiercely loyal and devoted wife of Er Ye finally succumbs to her illness, leaving a wake of destruction and despair in her death. In this lifetime, she bids farewell to her husband but makes sure he doesn’t try to follow her. Meanwhile, our OTP ship is all set to sail.
The Mystic Nine Episode 14 RECAP:
Qi Shan gives up, simply telling Xin Yue that he understands. She asks if he still wants to kick her off the train but Ya Tou helpfully adds that the train is already moving. Qi Shan asks for his bangle back but she calls him shameless for wanting a present back. “Besides, this is your token of love for me!”
She decides that since they are already together, she will tell him her real name. Her given name is Ying Han but she is nicknamed after her family’s hotel. He reluctantly tells her his name (most people call him Fuo Ye).
Ya Tou worries about Chen Pi but Er Ye doesn’t answer. Meanwhile Chen Pi is getting tortured by Officer Lu’s men. We know where Qi Shan is but Officer Lu only knows he is at home, refusing all guests. He wants to know what Qi Shan is up to.
Chen Pi answers that he doesn’t know. Officer Lu taunts him about Ya Tou’s illness and promises to let him go if he tells. If he doesn’t, then it’s to the gallows for the crime of conspiring with the country’s enemies. Officer Lu sows a seed of doubt in him, asking him to think about why Qi Shan would arrest him.
It’s almost sad when Chen Pi assures himself that his master and Qi Shan is out trying to save Ya Tou’s life. He keeps his mistress in his thoughts and vows to leave alive so he can feed her the snacks he bought.
Night falls. Qi Shan and Er Ye are alarmed by the noises of footsteps above the train. It is Peng San Pian and his men hunting our main characters. Qi Shan goes out to take a look while Er Ye keeps vigil.
Xin Yue is in the washroom, and when she leaves, she runs straight into Peng San Pian. Unable to run, she chooses to fight but he easily deflects her moves. Her little tricks are useless and he mocks her for trying to murder her husband. He tells her not to worry, he’ll sleep with her tonight. Ew, ew, ew.
The bangle Xin Yue is wearing rings, alerting Qi Shan to her location, as she is dragged towards some other compartment. She cries for Qi Shan, calling him husband. That just annoys Peng San Pian further and he drags her away, leaving his men to deal with Qi Shan.
Qi Shan utilises a tray of bottles left by the waiter earlier and smashes them on his enemies’ heads. He smartly uses the things around him to get the upper hand in the many-versus-one fight. Meanwhile, Xin Yue is defending herself against Peng San Pian who is set on raping her.
At long last, all the men falls and the road is clear for Qi Shan to save Xin Yue. He flings a sword through the glass door and Peng San Pian barely manages to avoid from being pierced completely. He crashes onto the floor.
Qi Shan runs to check on Xin Yue, noticing the tear on her shoulder. She stares at him for a moment, and then clearly touched, assures him she is fine. Peng San Pian opens his eyes and sends his whip flying at them – resulting in a cool scene where Qi Shan tosses Xin Yue out of harm’s way. Their faces get too close for comfort for a flash of a second.
The fight continues and Qi Shan deflects many of the whipping with his hand. Qi Shan says he should have shown mercy because he did stole Peng San Pian’s invitation but it is too late for that now. With a decisive move, he cracks Peng San Pian’s skull. When Peng San Pian falls, his back lands on the knife that Qi Shan flung earlier. This time, he stays dead.
Xin Yue naively asks what is wrong with Peng San Pian and seems genuinely shocked that a person with a sword through his torso can be anything but dead (too bad he’s not the main character). Qi Shan sweetly picks up her coat, dusts it off and puts it on her.
Back in their compartment, Qi Shan explains that it is the Japanese’s work. Er Ye reveals that the two compartments beside them are also Japanese assassins but he implies that he has already killed them. Worried about the girls, Qi Shan lies, clarifying that he means that the Japanese would not be so dumb as to attack them again.
Wingman Ba Ye tells them to go sleep, pushing the girls towards their husbands. Xin Yue happily leans onto Qi Shan’s shoulder and thanks him for saving her. He doesn’t acknowledge it but does not seem to mind her holding on to his arm. The narrator explains that ever since Qi Shan lit the three sky lanterns, the fates of Beijing’s Xin Yue Hotel and Changsha’s Old Nine Gates have been tightly entwined.
When they arrive at Changsha station, Fu Guan is there to meet them. Qi Shan orders his men to send Er Ye and his wife home. Xin Yue stares expectantly at Qi Shan, who ignores her. He gets into his car and Xin Yue follows.
Poor Ba Ye feels neglected when Fu Guan asks him which car he is following. He complains that everyone is married now, does he even have a place? During the entire journey, someone got a new wife, and someone is all sweet with his lover. “Me, what did I get? A body full of injuries!” Fu Guan tells him to leave on his own then, lol.
Qi Shan is still determinedly unpleasant to Xin Yue, which irritates her. But she does find out why he is called Fuo Ye though, there is a giant statue of Buddha (Fuo)’s head outside his manor.
Inside Fu Guan updates Qi Shan that all is safe in Changsha and the Japanese are also quiet. However, oddly Officer Lu has taken Chen Pi away to secretly question him. Fu Guan has not yet found his exact location. Qi Shan looks worried and tells him to look harder.
Xin Yue crashes the party, calling him by his full name. Qi Shan looks annoyed and asks for his butler to prepare a guest room for her. She doesn’t want it because it is her first time in Changsha and she is not familiar with anyone else. “I only know you. So I want to be in the same room as you.” Hee.
Everyone’s eyes widen at her candidness. She asks if there is anything wrong with her staying with her fiance? Qi Shan actually turns to look at his butler and Fu Guan for help but they all look away, lol. He grumpily orders them away.
He tries to explain again that he is sorry for ruining her matchmaking and he will make amends. But Xin Yue wants to hear none of it. Everyone in Beijing knows he is her fiance now. If he chases her out now, where should she put her face? What about her hotel? She actually lightly pats his face when he says this. His expression is priceless.
He tells her that he gives her three days before kicking her back to Beijing. She cries foul and asks to be brought to her room. When the maid calls her young miss, she orders her to call her madam instead. Qi Shan’s eyes widen again. You should really be used to this by now, buddy.
The maid smartly learns to obey the madam of the house, lol. With the most satisfied expression, Xin Yue leaves. Qi Shan actually chuckles a moment later, apparently amused. Who rewinded this scene at least ten times? I didn’t. Did I say I did?
Qi Shan finally learns about Chen Pi’s location and he takes him away. Chen Pi looks terrible. Officer Lu tries to stop him but Qi Shan clears Chen Pi off any wrongdoings except for some illegal trading business at the harbour. After they leave, Officer Lu wonders about Qi Shan and Er Ye’s relationship with Chen Pi.
When Er Ye goes to check on Ya Tou, he is shocked to find her slumping over the table. But she is only asleep. She assures him that the medicine they fought so hard to get is working well for her. She feels better everyday. He looks relieved to hear that.
Jiu Ye is asked to check on how Ya Tou is taking the medicine. Er Ye is not with them because someone from the opera house is looking for him. When Jiu Ye asks if Ya Tou is experiencing various body discomfort, she tells him that she has been feeling well since trying the new medicine.
He nods and tells her that she seems well. But it is only a show for the benefit of the maid. He sends her away on an errand and Ya Tou immediately coughs. It is so bad that she coughs up blood. He exposes her. The medicine is not working at all.
She gets down on her knees and begs him that no, the medicine is working. She will get better soon. She knows what Er Ye and Qi Shan has done to get the medicine to save her and she does not want to see Er Ye disappointed. Jiu Ye tells her that they will find another way and they should tell Er Ye.
But she knows her health. If even such priceless medicine is unable to save her, there is really no cure for her. She wants to live her life quietly with Er Ye. She begs Jiu Ye not to tell but he reasons that at least Qi Shan must know.
Ya Tou disagrees. With his brotherhood with Er Ye, Qi Shan would definitely tell. Jiu Ye asks if she knows why Qi Shan is trying so hard to help her. It is not due to the mine, it is to save Er Ye’s life. He asks if she really understands Er Ye. He loves her too much to live on after she dies. The thought horrifies Ya Tou.
The Mystic Nine Episode 15 RECAP:
Ya Tou asks what they should do. Jiu Ye tells her they need to give Er Ye a reason to live on. She agrees easily, whatever it is. It seems like Jiu Ye, ever the strategist, has a plan.
In Qi Shan’s manor, Xin Yue is bored out of her mind. Qi Shan is not around. The maid explains that he leaves early and returns late, to which Xin Yue grumbles that he is just avoiding her. But he has left orders for the servants to treat her like a guest but she wants him to serve her.
Xin Yue calls him a coward for avoiding her for two whole days and she vows that she will find him no matter what. She leaves the maid to go look around the manor. She is delighted when she finds his study and decides to hide there in their hide-and-seek game.
She plops down on his chair and checks out the books on his table. She calls him old-fashioned for reading those books, ha. She spies a similar artifact that she has at home and accidentally activates his secret door.
Meanwhile, Qi Shan is home early. His butler tells him that the madam has been bored senseless. Qi Shan is surprised that she has been asking for him but the butler assures him that she knows nothing except that he has been swamped with work. Qi Shan grins and tells him he did well.
The secret door leads Xin Yue to Qi Shan’s treasure room. She is not too impressed. One wrong step and she accidentally falls into a trap. She immediately blames Qi Shan for installing traps for what she calls cheap playthings and calls him an idiot, lol.
Qi Shan is upstairs looking for Xin Yue when he notices the door to his study is open. His expression tells me he is immediately suspicious of Xin Yue playing around and he is right. He asks him why she is here. Even though he did say she can freely roam the manor, but not this place. She should totally remind him he was the one who broke into her hotel’s treasure room first.
He doesn’t help her and just takes off his coat and sits down, lol. She asks if he thinks she is like him, a thief. He teases her about her abnormal curiosity and she tells him to stop it and let her down immediately. He slooowly takes off his gloves. When Xin Yue struggles, he shouts at her not to move around.
Xin Yue is chastised and fake-cries that he is bullying a girl. He tells her that the treasure room is filled with traps and any movement can possibly trigger one. But she doesn’t believe him and thinks he is trying to humiliate her. She struggles even harder and when the rope snaps, arrows fly in her direction.
Lucky for her, Qi Shan jumps and hurls her out of harm’s way. When they fall, their faces are within kissing distance (just do it!). They look at each other and he softly asks if she is okay. She assures him he is fine with a shaky voice and turns away.
She notices his injury from the arrows and fusses over him. He curtly tells her he is fine but then looks at her for quite some time. Xin Yue tries to defuse the awkwardness by commenting that his traps seem interesting and how she will recommend them to her father.
He shakes his head at her and then simply says, “[I] should really prevent [you].” She grumbles, thinking he is scolding her. His words are ambiguous, I wonder if he is implying that he should be preventing (or be careful of) her from entering his heart. Hee. Picking up the arrow that penetrated the floor, she notices that it is rusted.
Dinner time. She happily declares that she is here to accompany her husband for dinner but the maids tell her the meal can’t start before Qi Shan is here. Her face falls. Not even her father has prevented her from eating before. She double-checks if she really cannot eat if Qi Shan doesn’t come.
Xin Yue gives up and thinks to herself that Qi Shan is really like her father, an old stubborn man, ha. Based on his personality, if she continues to be mischievous, he would kick her out. But if she tries to act a little cuter and is more obedient, maybe things will change for the better.
So she goes up to his room to find him. She is surprised to find him half-naked but braves it anyway. He tells her to leave, a little harshly. She turns around, miffed but notices the injury from saving her earlier. She checks on him, holding his hand, and lectures him for installing the traps.
She balks when he tries to ask her to leave again. But this time he is honest and says he is not trying to drive her away. But Changsha is dangerous and he doesn’t want anything to happen to her. She is not touched and tells him she can see through him. But she sits him down anyway and begin to help him wipe his body (I feel a little shy just writing that).
The mood improves when she complains that she can’t even get a good meal. He tells her he would immediately order the servants to feed her properly but she just tells him to go grab a bite together later.
When she moves to help him wipe his back, she is startled at all the whip marks. With a shaky hand, she begins to trace them. Her touch seems to fluster Qi Shan too. She complains about Peng San Pian’s brute and tells him off for not mentioning his injuries. Again, he tells her it is not serious.
The heat from the towel causes Qi Shan’s family tattoo surfaces. Xin Yue marvels at the tattooed creature, calling it scary. Qi Shan explains that it is a mythical beast in the legends, known to be most ferocious and blood-thirsty. She asks him why would he tattoo such a blood-thirsty monster.
He stands up and gives her the same speech all over again, which clearly she has heard one too many times. He tells her that he is cursed with blood-thirsty creatures and he is destined to have a difficult life. But she is not the same. She is born of a wealthy family, she will have a good life ahead. He tells her to leave Changsha, it is too dangerous for her.
Xin Yue tells him that he doesn’t need to curse himself to chase her away. She will just leave. It is obvious she doesn’t really want to but he just ignores her. She leaves in a huff.
She mulls over his words that night. She thinks about how she fell for him and their adventures in her family’s hotel. On the other side, Qi Shan doesn’t seem to be able to fall asleep either. He gets up to read a book but his thoughts are of Xin Yue.
The next day, Xin Yue visits Ya Tou who is confined to her bed. She complains that there is a home that she cannot return to and she is chased out by the other. Ya Tou sweetly offers to let her stay. Who knows, maybe Qi Shan would send someone for her at night.
In his manor, Qi Shan orders his butler to call Xin Yue for breakfast but he tells him that she has left at dawn. Qi Shan asks where is she headed. When he learns that she has went to Er Ye’s manor, he merely nods.
Elsewhere Pi wakes up in a hospital room, the nurse tells him that it is Qi Shan who sent him here. He insists on leaving and struggles. The nurse barely manages to knock him out with a shot, and even as he drifts from consciousness, he begs his mistress to wait for his return.
Ya Tou is unable to sleep, mulling over Jiu Ye’s words. He tells her to write two letters. One is to Qi Shan, to explain that the medicine can only postpone her inevitable death but the side effects are too much for her to bear. She will return the medicine to Qi Shan and he is not to give it to Er Ye. The second letter is for Er Ye, to explain everything.
When Qi Shan reads Ya Tou’s letter, he vetoes the idea. Jiu Ye tells him that if they can’t save Ya Tou, they must at least save Er Ye. Not only can this method preserves Er Ye’s will to live, it can also encourage him to explore the mine. But Qi Shan thinks Er Ye would not forgive him, even after he knows about the truth.
Meal time. Ya Tou shows up with a bowl of homemade noodles for Xin Yue. Er Ye asks for his portion but Ya Tou teases that he must be bored of it already. Xin Yue’s face falls a little – the noodles is both sour and sweet. She wonders to herself if Ya Tou didn’t realize she put in the wrong seasoning. But she chirps that Er Ye is right. The noodles is delicious and it wouldn’t lose out in even Beijing. It makes Ya Tou very happy and she says that she cooked it according to her tastes.
A servant announces the arrival of Qi Shan and Ba Ye, who are here to visit Ya Tou. This alarms Xin Yue but she pretends like she wants nothing to do with them. After Er Ye and Ya Tou leaves though, she grins like a loon.
Qi Shan pointedly remarks about how well Ya Tou looks. The air is tense between them, though Ba Ye just yaps on about how expensive medicine is worth the money. Er Ye thanks Qi Shan, oblivious as to what his wife has just asked him to do.
A bored Xin Yue looks for Ya Tou after. Ya Tou cheers her up, telling her that Er Ye is going take them out boat-riding this afternoon. She also teases Xin Yue that Qi Shan is here for her, but of course there is no way she would let him take her away. When Xin Yue finds out she is joking, she gets truly disappointed.
The Mystic Nine Episode 16 RECAP:
Xin Yue asks if Ya Tou has ever fought with Er Ye, but she says no. Er Ye takes care of her very well and never lets her worry. But she knows she doesn’t match someone like Er Ye. He is someone high up on a pedestal, while she is only an ordinary noodles-selling girl. Many feels bad for Er Ye.
But Xin Yue sweetly takes offence on her behalf. “What do they know? Such an excellent person chooses you, then you are his only treasure. It doesn’t matter how good everyone else is, they cannot replace your position in his heart.” She tells her to believe in Er Ye and believe that their life would be even better. But Ya Tou, who knows of her fate, can only smile sadly.
Later, Xin Yue helps Ya Tou choose her outfit for their outdoor excursion. She decides on red for Ya Tou and lo and behold, Er Ye too shows up in red. But their sweet moment is interrupted when Ya Tou begins coughing up blood. She faints while Er Ye panics. Xin Yue just watches, stunned.
But the bad news keep arriving. Jiu Ye has left home since this morning and is nowhere to be found. The medicine is missing. Ya Tou says that she doesn’t want the medicine anymore and has returned them to Qi Shan. He wants to find Qi Shan but she makes him stay with her.
Jiu Ye is with Qi Shan at his manor. When Qi Shan learns that Er Ye is almost reaching their door, he reluctantly orders for the door to be closed. Both men look grim. Outside the Zhang manor, Er Ye has taken Ya Tou with him. Why would he leave a sick, dying person out in the rain?
Er Ye asks for Qi Shan: “Er Yue Hong is here to plead for the medicine!” He repeats his pleading loudly. His voice carries over to Qi Shan, who looks like the guilt is eating him alive. Sitting at the trishaw, Ya Tou looks heartbroken as she watches over Er Ye.
He takes a look at Ya Tou and he grows desperate as he bangs at the door, begging Qi Shan to open it and save his wife. He repeatedly calls for Qi Shan. He even kneels down. “Please grant me the medicine, I am willing to work to the bone and repay with my life!” Ya Tou pitifully calls out to him.
When Qi Shan finally shows up, Er Ye looks hopeful but Qi Shan crushes that hope. “Stop wasting your time. Under the request and order of someone, I will not hand the medicine over to you.” He thinks about Ya Tou’s request for him to lie to Er Ye before. He told her he wasn’t willing to betray Er Ye but she had tearfully begged him to keep Er Ye alive. The only one who can do that is him.
Back in the present, Er Ye begs and begs. Qi Shan tells him that the one who asked for the medicine is someone important and high up, he cannot say no. He asks for forgiveness and turns away.
Hopeless now, Er Ye turns to embrace his wife. He tells her he is sorry for not being able to get the medicine. She simply smiles and tells him she wants to go home. They do finally return. Back in the manor, Qi Shan is angrier than we have ever seen him. He asks Jiu Ye if it is worth it but Jiu Ye has no answer for him.
In Er Ye’s manor, Ya Tou is forcing herself to wash clothes, even though the pain must have been unbearable. She nearly falls over but Er Ye is there to help her. She tells him that she has no energy to wash the rest of the clothes. She asks if he can take her to eat a bowl of noodles.
But fate is not on their side. At this hour, none of the restaurants are open and Er Ye grows increasingly desperate. Ya Tou gently tells him that she doesn’t feel like it anymore and they agree to eat them tomorrow.
They sit in the middle of a pavilion, staring at the night sky. She reminiscences about their wedding day and asks if he remembers. Er Ye: “I still remember the first time I met you. You were still small then, like a little boy. I really liked your noodles. Even if I eat it for five or ten years, I will still like it.”
Even Ya Tou is aware that the noodles she cooked lately has been terrible. But Er Ye is ever sweet and constantly tells her they are great. But she knows and tells him they have both worked hard. She tells him she is sorry. “I thought I could always accompany you like this, for a lifetime. I didn’t realize my forever will not be your forever.”
Er Ye tells her that if he had not met her, he would have probably been a bachelor or a playboy. He would have lived without meaning. Ya Tou tells him to take care of himself when she is gone. “If there is a life beyond this one, I must meet you.” Cradling his face, she tells him she doesn’t regret her life. Her hand falls limp and Er Ye cries.
Next morning. Er Ye shows up at Qi Shan’s manor, dragging a sword behind him. He looks murderous. He asks why Qi Shan won’t give him the medicine. Knowing Ya Tou must have died, Qi Shan gives him his condolences. But Er Ye won’t hear it and wants him dead now. He flings his sword but Qi Shan looks unperturbed. The sword stops at his shoulder.
Hearing the commotion, Xin Yue and the maids come running out. Xin Yue knocks the sword of Er Ye’s hand, asking if he lost his mind. Qi Shan tells Er Ye that if he explores the mine with him, investigate the Japanese’s scheme and save the Changsha people, his life is his. Er Ye agrees. He wants his entire family to die with Ya Tou.
After Er Ye leaves, only does Qi Shan betrays his injury where the blade has cut into his shoulder. Xin Yue asks him why did he stupidly gets himself injured but he assures her he is fine. She fusses over him and Qi Shan allows it.
Ya Tou’s funeral. Er Ye is lying lifelessly against the coffin. Jiu Ye offers his condolences and hands him the letter Ya Tou entrusted him with. Inside there is a photo of Er Ye and Ya Tou. She narrates that if she has been sold into slavery back then, she would not have so desperately hope to live on.
But she fears such a hope, knowing her numbered days. She ends her letter with: “With you my husband by my side, even if I die today, I am really content. My lifetime should not be your entire lifetime. You must live on happily and live a long life.”
Jiu Ye reveals the truth. The medicine from Beijing do work but Ya Tou’s illness is too great and the side effects from the medicine puts her in a lot of pain. He also explains about Qi Shan’s involvement. Qi Shan had simply been unable to say no to Ya Tou, considering her great love for Er Ye.
In the hospital, Chen Pi finally wakes up. Oh dear, all hell is about to break loose. He asks the nurse until when they intend to keep him but she laughingly tells him that this is a hospital, not a prison. He is not humoured and rips off the IV. He sneers when the nurse says that she is under Qi Shan’s orders to make sure he recovers, and walks out.
Out in the streets, he overhears people discussing about Ya Tou’s death. Panicked, he runs over to Er Ye’s manor and he finds the funeral. His entire world falls apart but he holds onto his sanity by insisting that it is a lie. He is in disbelief and thinks that Er Ye likes her too much to let her die.
Flashback to the night Er Ye saves Ya Tou from being sold into slavery. A tearful Ya Tou looks up at Chen Pi and he smiles at her. I wonder if this is when he fell for her. Back in the present, Chen Pi remembers that Qi Shan promised to save Ya Tou as well. Oof, his denial breaks my heart.
Another servant discovers him and tells him that Ya Tou has passed on, confirming his worst fears. He pushes the servant and stops himself short just of kicking him. Instead he lets out his temper at the funeral flower arrangements outside the manor. He goes mad with fury.
In a seedy night parlour, Er Ye fools around with the ladies who drown him in alcohol. Ba Ye storms in and yells at him for doing this when Ya Tou has not even been buried. But Er Ye is completely drunk and Ba Ye leaves, disappointed.
He complains to Qi Shan at his manor. They are both worried about their friend. Xin Yue walks in, interrupting them. She asks why is Ba Ye here again. “Is this your house? Can’t you let others recover in peace?” She stares at Ba Ye until he promises to come less often, no, no, he will try not to come ever. She immediately dismisses him. The men stare at each other but they obey, LOL.
Ryu: Phew, this took me forever to write. Well, now we know for sure Xin Yue is the de facto madam of the house and Qi Shan can’t argue otherwise. That little chuckle of his betrayed his true feelings and really, actions speak louder than words. He cares for her: he worries about her playing around and setting off god-knows-what traps, he worries when he hears she is not well fed, he worries about her safety when he is not around to protect her. And notice how Qi Shan allows and almost doesn’t mind her fussing over him now. It is almost as if he (gasp!) is treating her like a wife. I like this development.
OTP moments aside, Ya Tou’s arc finally comes to an end with her inevitable death. I think the show dragged the plot for so long that I actually feel glad that it is over even though I am actually regretful that they killed off such a wonderful character (and actress!). Yuan Bing Yuan did such a good job. Even though Ya Tou is entirely characterised by her immense love for Er Ye and her plot-forwarding illness, she managed to bring the character to life. Ya Tou is so sweet and has such simple desires that it is impossible not to feel for her. It is evident that she lives for Er Ye. Her heart breaks for him but mine breaks for her. Life is cruel, dramaland worse. I will definitely miss her, and especially her with Xin Yue.
I have been trying to refrain from commenting about Lay’s acting for a while, hoping to give him the benefit of doubt, but these few episodes really did it for me. He cannot emote, period. The climax of Ya Tou’s arc fell flat because of how bad he was at showing us the depth of Er Ye’s desperation. Oh he definitely tries but I feel nothing. I catch myself thinking that I am supposed to be feeling sad and emotional at this so-and-so scene but I am not. I actually feel more for Chen Pi, who is supposed to be the secondary character. Despite all the cruelty he demonstrated so far in the show and how perverted his obsession with Ya Tou feels at times, I feel for him.