Already, the show is out for the hero’s blood using the tried-and-true method of killing off the protagonist’s loved ones and leaving him in a strange and hostile environment. But our underdog is foolishly kind and like attract like. Pretty good for a first episode.
The Legend of Chusen Episode 1 RECAP:
The narrator explains that in the wide and boundless Shen Zhou, the Good and Evil have never stopped fighting among themselves. Hundred years ago, the Evil Sect and its army attacked the Central Plains. Qing Yun faction, representing the Good, managed to resolve the Zhu Xian sword’s seal and defeat the legendary immortal soldiers.
While a mysterious figure is seemingly harvesting the blood of all the fallen Evil Sect warriors into a red orb, the narrator tells us while it was Qing Yun’s complete victory, the Evil Sect has never once given up their intention to enter the Central Plains.
Grass Temple village. A boy calls after his friends to chase him, taunting them to run faster. He is our protagonist Zhang Xiao Fan (Wang Yuan, later Li Yi Feng). His friend Jing Yu (Wang Jun Kai, later Cheng Yi) chases him into an abandoned temple, where a man is hiding. The man lifts the red orb we see earlier. Something comes over Jing Yu and he pins Xiao Fan to the wall in a fit.
The mysterious man begins chanting, which seems to affect Jing Yu. His eyes are red as he strangles Xiao Fan. When the chanting stops, a force hits Jing Yu and he falls. Xiao Fan checks on his friend but he seems alright – as if he was merely under a spell earlier.
The man comes out in the open and he asks why Jing Yu uses so much strength even though he is still young. Xiao Fan notices his deformed hand and worries over him. But Jing Yu is suspicious of the man, who is not a villager, and drags Xiao Fan away. Jing Yu later apologises for the incident, not knowing what came over him. The kind-hearted Xiao Fan readily forgives him and instead worries about the stranger.
Meanwhile, a hooded figure is spying on the man from earlier, who is now cultivating the blood orb. He nearly loses control but he succeeds in sealing the orb with a gold mark before it fades.
In a humble but happy home, Xiao Fan sweetly pours his father alcohol during dinner. His parents clearly dote on him. After dinner, he leaves home to visit his friend – which is when he sees a dark-hooded figure carry an unconscious Jing Yu away. Xiao Fan gives chase.
Jing Yu is dropped outside the temple, where the man notes that he has been poisoned. It is not light either. He begins healing Jing Yu, while a panicked Xiao Fan watches. Jing Yu writhes in pain, unconscious. But an unwanted visitor arrives: the hooded man from earlier.
The not-hooded man puts up a barrier which blocks the hooded man’s attacks and tells him that it is unbecoming of a skilled master to attack an innocent child. But the hooded man only wants one thing. He will spare Jing Yu and Xiao Fan then, but if not, the rest of the villagers will pay.
Jing Yu screams in agony as the man works on him. The poison seems to be transferred, where a worm-like thing squirms under the man’s skin. He gently assures Xiao Fan that things will be alright. He tells him that no matter what happens outside, he must not come out. But of course Xiao Fan doesn’t listen and follows them.
The two men size each other up. The hooded man comments that the not-hooded man is truly deserving of his fame, to be this powerful even after stealing the red orb and suffering Jing Yu’s poison. They fight.
Both men summon their strongest power: the hooded man with his lightning and the not-hooded man with the stolen red orb. They match aura to aura, which knocks Xiao Fan out. Unable to win, the hooded man escapes. But it is no victory for the not-hooded man either as he spits out blood.
The poor man still has to heal two boys after, one of which should have really listened to his advice in the first place. The man thinks that the hooded man is right, he is really dying from the poison. Once he dies, there will no one to protect the villagers from the hooded man. He can only save the two boys and the only way to do so is to send them to Qing Yun faction.
The red orb suddenly takes over him and his personality seems to shift. He snickers that if he teaches the boys Tian Yin faction kungfu and sends them up to Qing Yun mountain, [his] lifelong ambition can be fulfilled. Even though Jing Yu has the better ability, he is unable to keep the secret. He decides on Xiao Fan.
He transfers the power (aura?) to Xiao Fan, which wakes him up. The man asks why Xiao Fan followed him, the boy says he is worried over his injury. He hands him the medicine he brought from home. Oh this boy, he is going to be too kind and too foolish, isn’t he?
The man asks if Xiao Fan wants to learn kungfu from him. Xiao Fan agrees eagerly and the man once again transfers some sort of energy to him. They have now become master and disciple. He hands Xiao Fan the red orb and asks him to toss it someplace no one knows. Xiao Fan promises not to tell anyone. With that promise, the man knocks Xiao Fan out and leaves.
The next morning, Xiao Fan and Jing Yu finds all the villagers mascaraed, including Xiao Fan’s parents. They sob over their dead bodies, which is how a Qing Yun immortal finds them. They are taken to Qing Yun mountain, where they looked as terrible as they probably felt.
A Qing Yun disciple takes them to see the immortals. On the way, they meet a mythical dragon which overlooks the mountain. The dragon takes a strange interest in Xiao Fan, because main character.
In the hall where the immortals are (this is giving me Chang Liu feels all over again), the boys barely have a minute to take in everything when the remaining survivor of the village massacre, Uncle Er. Jing Yu looks grim while Xiao Fan pleads with Uncle Er to tell him what has happened. But Uncle Er is in no condition to talk as he is scared out of his mind of a ghost only he knows of.
The no.1 immortal orders him to be taken away and addresses the two boys. Jing Yu doesn’t recall anything while Xiao Fan has his memories wiped. But regardless, Qing Yun will take responsibility for them, considering they have lived under their mountain. The best way is to make them their disciples.
The immortals fight over Jing Yu, who has extraordinary abilities, but no one wants to take Xiao Fan. Being a good friend, Jing Yu tries to help but he really has no say. Poor Xiao Fan is shoved towards the smallest Da Zhu Feng clan, with only six disciples and an unwilling master, Tian immortal. Jing Yu goes under Chang Song immortal.
Da Zhu Feng disciples crowd around Xiao Fan, overwhelming him with their hospitality. A sweet young girl interrupts, asking the shi xiong not to bully Xiao Fan. She introduces herself as his shi jie Tian Ling Er and begins introducing all the six disciples who have really similar names. Xiao Fan looks super confused, lol.
Their master clears his throat, interrupting the happy chat. It turns out Tian Ling Er is his daughter. Tian immortal blatantly ignores Xiao Fan and theatrically wonders who this new disciple they are talking of is. He even congratulates Ling Er for getting a new disciple. This man is infuriating.
But fortunately for Xiao Fan, the mistress seems fair and asks the oldest disciple to bring Xiao Fan to his new room. The oldest disciple, Song Da Ren, explains that their clan always had the fewest number of disciples in its 700-year history and their master is simply feeling desperate. Song Da Ren is really kind and tells Xiao Fan that he may feel lonely, but he has to depend on himself from now on. But he and the other shi xiong are here for him and will help him out.
Ryu: Everyone’s most anticipated show and probably the least interested reader of the blog gets to write about it, lol. Honestly, it is not my type of genre and the last one I watched was Hua Qian Gu, of which the angst was entirely self-inflicted (on myself. But the pain was so good). This show did gave me similar vibes, especially with the high and lofty immortals who already have revealed their hypocrisy when they refused to accept Xiao Fan. He may be weak and untalented for now but the poor thing just lost his entire family and village. Would giving him a place be so difficult? Xiao Fan’s unwilling master may be forced into it but he was ridiculously petty and disgraceful about it. I don’t hate him yet like I do Mo Yan (from Hua Qian Gu) but from what little I have seen of him, it is this close. And nope, not giving him the benefit of the doubt.
I watched the episode not really knowing anything about the show, except that it stars Li Yi Feng and Li Ying. When I reread some of Kap’s posts, only did I realized that this show is really, in some ways, Hua Qian Gu 2.0: a hero/heroine sets out in a journey to find a place for himself, is the underdog and generally belittled, and is eventually forced to the dark side. I really, really want to see how Xiao Fan turns “evil”, because Hua Qian Gu let me down. If the show is going to make me sit through people and circumstances that will no doubt hurl abuse at Xiao Fan at every turn, they better make the comeuppance worth it.