Excited! It’s nice to recap a Li Ying’s drama again (can’t let Ryu have all the
work fun!) I think I’m armed with enough peace to accept everything this show gives out. Except, as I learned in the past week, remembering names. Heaven, you are cruel! How many characters are you intending to have?! Even a monkey has a name… Call me old, but when they push the limit past 5 names, I need a chart and a highlighter. Lol.
The Legend of Chusen (Novel Aspirations) Episode 2 Summary:
After being received unkindly by his Shifu Bu Yi, Xiao Fan is led to his own room by a caring senior older brother who goes by Song Da Ren (Zheng Guo Lin). He fondly holds onto the boy’s shoulders and advises him to depend on himself in the future because life in the mountains is not easy, however, he can always ask his senior brothers for help. Da Ren brushes off the question about Shifu Bu Yi’s reluctance in accepting Xiao Fan as a student and tells Xiao Fan to cook a delicious meal for Shifu to impress him since he admits in being a good cook.
Xiao Fan wrestles in bed that night, recalling everyone’s hostility and silence when pushed to accept him as a student. Yes, these junior masters didn’t impress me that much either, buddy. He takes out the Blood Pearl and remembers the Not-hooded man’s words in destroying it without telling a soul, and tucks it right back in his clothes. He wanders down the quiet hall and overhears Shifu Bu Yi and his wife, Su Ru, discussing about the evil sect’s massacre of Grass Temple village, leaving only two surviving kids. Sect Leader has already sent Xiao Yi Cai out to investigate, and for now we sleep. At least these two.
In a hurry down the road, Xiao Fan runs into good friend Jing Yu, who’s on his way to sneak into Da Zhu Palace to check on his good friend. Aww. That’s sweet. He wonders if Xiao Fan recalls what happened before the massacre but Xiao Fan sticks to his story and says he doesn’t. Seconds later, the two are attacked by the hooded figure (which I think is okay to point out as Shifu Cang Song). Jing Yu throws himself before Xiao Fan and is knocked unconscious to the side, at which his bumbling friend hurries over to check on him, leaving his back unprotected against the twirling blade of hooded man. A few centimeters away from executing the deathblow, Shifu Bu Yi blocks the attack with his broad body. They exchange a few blows and it’s clear Shifu Bu Yi’s skills is a tad below the hooded man, but do not fret! Materializing out of thin air, Elder Wan Jian Yi (Huang Hai Bing) comes to the rescue with his sword and successfully chases the hooded man away. (I don’t think I can remember all the Junior Shifu names.)
When Jian Yi approaches the injured Bu Yi and Xiao Fan, the kid shields his Shifu hastily. “Don’t hurt my Shifu!” Lol. I don’t blame you for not recognizing all the Masters since your eagerness to protect Shifu earns you some brownie points with Jian Yi Elder and he pats Xiao Fan on the head, calling him a good disciple, to Bu Yi’s annoyance, of course.
Sleeping Beauty aka good friend Jing Fu stirs awake from his nightmare with Cang Song at his bedside (maybe that’s why he’s having nightmares?) and urges his young disciple to keep the matter (the attack) a secret. He meaningfully coaches his new student to use hate as a means to strengthen and sharpen his potentials, instead of letting it control him. So you’re playing both good and bad cop? Interesting.
At Da Zhu Palace, all the senior brothers and Ling Er salivate and inhale the aroma of the spread in front of them, even Shifu Bu Yi is lured to the sight of delicacies, his eyes swaying away from the upside down book he’s reading. Lol. His daughter points out the fact and ushers dad to start eating so everyone else can follow suit; they’re dying over here! Su Ru knowingly wonders out loud whether Old Six cooked today and in comes Xiao Fan with the last bowl of soup. He places it next to Su Ru and lingers at the edge of the table, waiting for Bu Yi’s acknowledgement. The room grows quiet and Su Ru elbows her husband, which prompts him to say roughly to Xiao Fan, “Go sit next to Ling Er.” With the first spoonful of porridge, Bu Yi’s eyes bulge out of his skull as he quickens the swallowing process to have more. Xiao Fan smiles excitedly when everyone enjoys his food and one brother even calls him a treasure to their sect.
After breakfast, Bu Yi takes Xiao Fan sight-seeing (jk!) and asks why he wants to join his sect (uh, you guys sorta decided for them, no?) His hands roll into fists and Xiao Fan honestly says he wants to avenge for his parents and his people. Oopsie, not the answer Bu Yi wants to hear. Shifu tells him that hatred and rage won’t take him far and only righteousness lasts forever. A person who doesn’t know how to protect the living and only think about revenge and taking lives does not fit to be his disciple. Shaken, Xiao Fan kneels down and promises to adhere to his teaching – protecting the world and upholding peace.
The themesong sang by Richie Ren plays as we get a montage of Xiao Fan’s formal apprenticeship day, complete with a new wardrobe. But to learn kung fu isn’t easy. Xiao Fan learns from his senior brothers that he has to chop bamboo trees for at least three years before any other training takes place. So he looks on in awe as they practice swords and flying until Ling Er hovers over him and happily tells him not to mind their haughty senior brothers. She will take him flying together since she also has to chop bamboo. She takes out her red belt and ties it around Xiao Fan as they fly over the high mountains with Xiao Fan slowly settling in and smiling openly.
Elsewhere, Jing Yu practices with his sword, with Cang Song instructing him a few feet away. Total concentration. The next move sends Cang Song back to his training days and we see that Elder Jian Yi was his Shifu. Sharp on the uptake, Jing Yu asks what’s bothering his Shifu and Cang Song sighs, citing that only two people have managed to master the first level of Qing Yun’s martial arts in just six months. Cang Song plays coy and doesn’t answer but Jing Yu correctly guesses that Cang Song is the other talented person. Describing Jing Yu as a rare talent, Cang Song warns him to watch himself and don’t always rush ahead without thinking. He reminds him not to live because of revenge and hopes that he can help Shifu manage their sect and fellow disciples in the future. “Your life doesn’t end after your revenge. You must move forward.” I’m torn. Are you the bad guy?
We don’t know how long it has been but Xiao Fan works furiously to chop down bamboo trees, though one has yet to fall. Fed up with his weak self, he takes a few steps back and runs at the harmless tree with renewed energy and lands a quick swipe. The tree wobbles and falls, inciting a bright smile on Xiao Fan’s face. Ling Er runs in to congratulate her junior brother and effectively gives us a quick run-down of time: “You have successfully chopped down one bamboo tree in six months! Hurray!” Lol.
Ashamed of the time it took him to get this far, Xiao Fan wonders if he’s stupid, and Ling Er shuts him down for good. “So what? Learning is an endless journey and diligence is the path to success. If you have poor natural ability, then work harder, and your efforts will make up for it.” I really like this girl! Can we keep her?
Xiao Fan brightens at her wisdom and they exchange a few harmless blows, but she quickly subdues him and throws out her red silk band to drag him along. And they fly like that over the beautiful scenery, laughing and giggling with time passing by. At the bottom of a big waterfall, they continue to practice and now we are introduced to their adult versions, Zhang Xiao Fan (Li Yi Feng) and Ling Er (Tina Tang). And yes, she still beats him. XD The senior brothers observe overhead and Sixth brother wonders why Xiao Fan’s cultivation skills hasn’t improved but Da Ren says Xiao Fan came in later and might need more time than others. At the mention of going down the mountains when one has mastered the fourth level of Qing Yun’s martial arts, Ling Er’s light bulb goes off.
Using the excuse of earning money for Sixth Brother’s travel money, Ling Er digs out some plants from her father’s garden and intends to sell them with Xiao Fan as her accomplice. At He Yang Market, after urging Xiao Fan to yell louder, Ling Er leaves him to take a walk, rendering him speechless when a hooded person asks how much per plant. He stares blankly and the hooded person casually throws him some money and rushes away, with three men tailing right behind.
We finally see her face and this is Bi Yao (Zhao Li Ying). Not a moment too soon girlfriend!! Xiao Fan looks at the money in his palm again and this time it’s a solid rock. He gives chase and she easily deflects her human chasers with a few barrels. On the opposite end, Xiao Fan gets in a skirmish with her under the lantern hangar. She flies over and lands on top of the hangar and starts running with him chasing at her heels below. Tired of his persistence, she cuts the ropes and the whole hangar falls down, trapping Xiao Fan in one of the openings.
As she squats down to talk to him, her hood falls over, revealing a mischievous girl and our hero stares for a second before questioning her identity, not before she points out that he’s from Qing Yun Sect. She goes on to tell him it’s not her responsibility he didn’t check the money thoroughly. He half-heartedly demands the money back and she chirps, “If you want it, come get it yourself!” Our little thief flies off when Ling Er’s voice rings nearby and Xiao Fan screams louder for help. HA.
Determined to catch the hooded girl, Xiao Fan runs down the street and bumps into a fellow sect disciple, Zheng Shu Shu (Qin Jun Jie), and asks whether he’s also chasing the same girl. To Shu Shu’s ears, chasing a girl is equivalent to pursuing a lady, and he clocks in happily, asking for a favor from Xiao Fan before bestowing him with knowledge of courtship. Lol.
Shu Shu takes Xiao Fan to a bookstore and hides away to look for a book. Are we looking for wuxia porn, dear brother? Whatever they are searching, the librarian has his eyes peeled on the duo with a menacing glare. In comes the arrival of another Qing Yun disciple. She’s Lu Xue Qi (Andy Yang Zi) and as she crosses before them, Xiao Fan very naturally reaches over to close Shu Shu’s jaw, preventing it from hitting the floor. hehe.
Still searching for Xiao Fan, Ling Er sees senior brothers, Qi Hao (Chen Ze Yu) and adult Jing Yu (Cheng Yi) from afar and ducks out of sight. They are investigating rule-bending disciples and Yi Cai tasks Jing Yu with checking out the old bookstore, known for sex books, among other things.
Jing Yu inwardly winces.
With eyes still glued on Xue Qi, Shu Shu apprises a disinterested Xiao Fan that the beautiful girl before them is ranked as the number one beauty of Qing Yun Sect. Throwing back his hair, Shu Shu braves his nerves and shows Xiao Fan the right way to pursue a girl. The second he approaches, she turns to the other side, eyes never leaving the book she’s reading. His disgruntled face cracks me up. After being turned down twice, he manages to offer his service in helping her locate the books she needs. He smooths out his hair to cover up his embarrassment and Xiao Fan, hiding a few feet away, imitates the flirty move. Oh, you silly doofus!
But a voice stops Shu Shu from his flirtation. It’s Jing Yu! He asks the book keeper if any of Qing Yun’s disciples wander into this place and thinking fast, Shu Shu tells Xue Qi the secret passageway out. They rush there at the same time and the rustling alerts Jing Yu. His hand spears past the screen and grabs Xiao Fan’s shoulder. The boys exchange a few moves before shoving the screen aside. Face to face, they stare at each other in …recognition?
The Legend of Chusen (Novel Aspirations) Episode 3 Summary:
Jing Yu and Xiao Fan stare each other up and down, and Xiao Fan has to be the boy to point out the obvious. “Jing Yu.. you, you have grown up a lot!” Seeing how the two are good friends, Shu Shu snuggles his way in and grabs them both close, confident that they wouldn’t be in trouble now, but Jing Yu goes by the book and bends the rule a little only for his best friend. He tells Shu Shu to bear the responsibility instead. HAHA. Cut to everyone being herded out by Senior brother Qi Hao. Ling Er locates them and drags Xiao Fan out of the mix, pointing to Shu Shu as the troublemaker, outwardly absolving Xiao Fan of playing hooky.
Da Zhu Palace. Xiao Fan kneels before Shifu Bu Yi and glances at Ling Er for direction when Shifu asks whose idea was it to go down the mountain. She averts her gaze in shame and Xiao Fan clamps up, not saying a word. His silence infuriates Shifu further and he orders another period of chopping bamboo as punishment. Su Ru steps in and tells Xiao Fan to go cook dinner, which triggers another round of tirade from Shifu, complaining about Xiao Fan’s slow uptake of magic. Lastly, he has a favor to ask: If Xiao Fan ever wanders jianghu and someone asks who his master is, Bu Yi doesn’t want his name to be mentioned because he couldn’t take the shame of mentoring such a lackluster student. Xiao Fan apologizes and hangs his head. Once Bu Yi is out of the room, the Senior brothers gather around and cheer him up. “There’s an expert in every field!!” “Don’t rush!” “It’s not bad being the best cook in Qing Yun sect!”
Xiao Fan cracks a small appreciated smile.
Later that night, Xiao Fan feeds a mentally-traumatized Second Uncle and raves about how handsome and charismatic Jing Yu has become. Aww, are you telling me you’ve been taking care of him for five years? You’re a good kid. Once he leaves the humble resident, he finds Ling Er outside; she wonders why he didn’t bust her out earlier in front of dad and he, ever so sweetly, blames himself instead (Sigh~). Then a menacing presence approaches the two and Ling Er is the first to sense the hooded figure. Recognizing him from five years ago, Xiao Fan ushers Ling Er to call for help while he stays to fight. What. Kiddo. She has a better chance at NOT dying than you!
Our little deer runs and runs until he reaches the beautiful Red bridge and is knocked over. “Who are you? Why do you want to kill me?” Getting no response, Xiao Fan continues to run and the hooded killer takes his darn time to walk up them stairs. LOL. The slowest killer in history right here! Xiao Fan reaches an invisible barrier mid-bridge and is cornered. Without a second option, he dives over the bridge and lets himself fall…. until two swords appear and buoy up his body, flinging him back to safety. Yay! It’s Elder Jian Yi again!
They combat back and forth until hooded killer bends over and releases a dozens of crows, leaving Elder Jian Yi to perform his own duplication technique, killing all the crows with his many, many swords. Lol. I cannot describe action scenes.
Elder Jian Yi shows the feather to Bu Yi and the two agree that it belongs to Lie Xie’s Sect’s Blood Crow technique. While Bu Yi thinks their audacity has grown big over the years for them to invade directly, Elder Jian Yi muses that they might not be sneaking in. Yes! A mole! They deduce that his multiple attempts at Xiao Fan’s life might be related to the massacre of Grass Temple village. “Maybe Xiao Fan saw the assassin’s true face and he wants to kill the key witness?”
Ling Er hands Xiao Fan the manual to learn the flying sword technique and he refuses to skip ahead without mastering the second level. She assures him it’s okay to skip part 2 and learn part 3 because in case he can’t beat the enemy, he can at least run away on his sword. Hahah. She got a point and you know it dude! He adorably practices while she stays nearby to give him pointers. Sigh. How could he not like you?
Back to chopping bamboo trees. Today, Xiao Fan has a naughty company. Remember how Hua Qian Gu has the adorable caterpillar Tang Bao? Well, Xiao Fan finds himself an amusement for a little monkey. While tracking the monkey down, he runs into Ling Er and together, they follow the monkey to a river misting with black smoke. Ling Er thinks the monkey is playing dead and approaches cautiously, only to sniff the black smoke and pass out, just like her animated friend.
Rushing forward, Xiao Fan drags both Ling Er and the monkey back, cutting his palm in the process. He waddles to stand straight and with arms outstretched, a red energy glows inside his chest from the Blood Pearl. Lifted into mid-air, a disturbance in the dark water catches his attention and a staff rises from it. The Blood Pearl comes forward and merges itself into the staff, as if reuniting with its rightful place. Seconds later, the staff flies into Xiao Fan’s palm and he struggles to control it. He grabs it tight and falls to the ground with a thud.
A short while later, Ling Er hovers over his still body. He comes to and finds the staff in his healed palm. He muses for a moment before Ling Er rushes them out of there and Xiao Fan feels the monkey tugging at his sleeve. He picks it up and carries his new friend home.
Back to the naughty bookstore. Looks like the book keeper is an up-and-rising leader of the evil sect, Lie Xie. He’s tracked down the location of the Blood Pearl and recites how dangerous it is to his follower. Any living thing that crosses its path will be sucked dry of power and blood, and their former sect leader had used the evil object to annihilate many leaders of the righteous sects.
Xiao Fan stands before his Shifu with the sweetest, awkward smile on his face while his pet monkey marvels at the surrounding and fidgets on his shoulder. Bu Yi’s flabbergasted face at his disciple’s new friend kills me. When he steps down from his high chair and scrutinizes the monkey and the identical expression on Xiao Fan’s face, I almost die. He leaves in a huff.
In his own room, Xiao Fan has a brief headache with the monkey destroying his cabinet, but when he chides him, the monkey pouts sadly, softening Xiao Fan almost immediately. He then takes out the staff and examines the object until it gives off a blue glow. That startles the both of them and Xiao Fan tosses it on the ground before picking it up again to tuck away.
Next morning, Xiao Fan tries again to control his sword and it flips briefly side to side before dropping at his feet. Shu Shu emerges and encourages his friend to work harder. He sees the monkey and Xiao Fan has a name for it: Xiao Gui. Great. More names. -___-
When Shu Shu reaches down to touch it, Xiao Gui lashes out and knocks his hand away. He then adds he should know better since these three-eyed monkeys are known to be not nice. Three eyes? Shu Shu explains that once they hit adulthood, the closed third eye will open up, giving them vision within a thousand miles. Cool.
Shu Shu then drags Xiao Fan away to show him more ways to court a girl. He has multiple barrels at the Red bridge and a crowd of female disciples gather around. He asks for the one girl: Lu Xue Qi. She appears and glares up at the commotion, warning him not to step past the boundary. He openly and loudly declares his one-sided crush on her, spewing out poetic verses, not minding her growing agitation and embarrassment. On his count, Xiao Fan lights the firecrackers and colors burst into the blue skies. Once it’s settled, a light in the form of a phoenix flies around, impressing everyone, and dare I say it, even our aloof Xue Qi looks slightly affected.
The show is over. Shu Shu: “Junior sister, do you like it?”
Her response? She calls forth the power of sword duplication and they line up his escape route along the bridge. Lol. Once they are cleared of danger, Shu Shu combs through his hair and notes bravely, “Look, she likes me so much!” I love the side-eye Xiao Fan throws at him. But his words fall on deaf ears because to Shu Shu, the more she likes, the more violent she becomes.
Ling Er walks along the forest in a happy mood until a swarm of crows comes her way.
The Legend of Chusen (Novel Aspirations) Episode 4 Summary:
After being attacked by a swarm of crows, Ling Er puts up a respectable fight using her red belt, but her concentration on dealing with the controlled crows leaves her blind to their leader’s attack, as he sneaks up and grabs her by the neck. He leaves a kidnap letter behind, identifying his goal: he wants to exchange Ling Er’s life for the object, not revealing what the object is. News of the kidnap spreads wide and fast, even Jing Yu is sent to join the rescue party shortly after, and picks up on the paper material of the kidnap letter – it belongs to the naughty bookstore. (Since they are wuxia porn, might as well use special material to prolong its existence, right?)
The two-person team split up to check for clues: Xiao Fan makes an excuse to go inside the bookstore, while Jing Yu sneaks in the backdoor. Just as he notices a black feather, he gets into a fight with our small-framed hooded figure aka Bi Yao. The brawl ends in a tie, with them pointing their sword/dagger at the other. Cut to Xiao Fan failing at casual talk with the book keeper, trying to glean out information from him. Tied to a chair in a secret room nearby, Ling Er hears Xiao Fan’s voice and starts hopping in place. What he fails at maintaining a casual composure, he makes up for by noticing the cracked edges on a wall, leading to the secret room where Ling Er is held. He scoops past the wall, followed by a frantic book keeper.
Outside, neither Jing Yu nor Bi Yao answer the question Who Are You? and both get attacked by another gang of crows. Jing Yu gets his moment of the day for carrying a longer sword and lends a hand when Bi Yao’s small dagger becomes stuck in the crow’s beak. Lol. He repeats, “Just who are you?” and she replies briefly, “Thank-you,” before escaping over the fence.
Jing Yu joins Xiao Fan in his losing fight against the book keeper and both boys are thrown back several feet. Thankfully, Shifu Bu Yi arrives and he quickly chases away the book keeper. (LOL. I can’t help but play with this scene. The book keeper’s escape protocol is HILARIOUS.)
Shifu Bu Yi then glowers at Xiao Fan and only Xiao Fan. Dude, you know he’s not on par with anyone so why the long face when you know his credentials. He squirms uncomfortably in place.
Back at the main hall of Qing Yun, the sect leader and his fellow sect masters gather around, all unsure of what the mysterious object is, perhaps it’s Lie Xie Sect’s treasure left here by accident? Or perhaps, the evil sect is aiming to obtain the powerful Zhu Xian Sword? At that, Bu Yi pipes up hastily, that they overestimated his importance in the matter too much. Cang Song arrives hastily with more alarming news: the human family members of over 200 disciples have been captured, all letters demanding the same object to be handed over. Moreover, the disciples must do the exchange themselves, involving none of their Shifus. Everyone turns to Sect Leader for guidance.
Xiao Fan overhears his senior brothers worrying about their family members and volunteers to help, but is shot down curtly because Shifu Bu Yi already dictated his recuperation in Xiao Zhu Palace. Determined to do something, Xiao Fan seeks out Shifu Bu Yi, who is thinking at his favorite place, overlooking the cliff. He says thoughtfully, “Learning martial arts and practicing magic is the only way to enable you to protect those important to you.” Xiao Fan understands and says he wants to rescue Ling Er, even if he risks his life. He kneels down in an earnest persuasion act, but Shifu isn’t kind with his words, “Look at you, even if you go, it’s meaningless.” Ouch, Shifu.
Good thing Jing Yu arrives in time to inform them of Sect Leader’s plan. All the Masters shall remain out of sight while Jing Yu and Qi Hao will lead the disciples on a quest to the designated location (Lie Xie Sect’s headquarters) and rescue the hostages. Jing Yu helps Xiao Fan up and tells him to rest well, promising to save Ling Er. Xiao Fan gives a defeated nod, but is later joined by an equally indignant Shu Shu. Both delinquents think it’s their duty to save the family members too.
Yay to delinquency! 8D
The pack of disciples arrive at the forest lined with beautiful trees with red leaves and Leader Senior Brother Qi Hao stops everyone from advancing, sensing a dangerous enchantment spell ahead. They take two steps forward and two figures drop at their feet – it’s Xiao Fan and Shu Shu. Lol. Qi Hao asks Xiao Fan in an annoyed voice why he’s here, and Xiao Fan assures him that they won’t drag them down. Qi Hao continues on his way with a strut.
At the crow cave, Ling Er is tied to a pillar, and book keeper explains to his minion why he thinks one of the disciples is carrying the Blood Pearl. Because within the last five years of tracking, the Pearl has never stayed constant in one location. Someone must be carrying it around. With epic poor timing, Ling Er stirs awake then, missing a whole chunk of the exposition. This girl and her beauty sleep!
The disciples take a rest and we see some more bromance between Jing Yu and Xiao Fan, the stronger telling his weaker friend to be careful. On the other side of bromance, we have a dead-end romance happening with Shu Shu speaking to a wide-eyed Xi Que about a marriage proposal. He doesn’t get far though because some disciples are attacked by flying red leaves and the stronger disciples help the attacked disciples, while Xiao Fan tries cutely and ineffectively to shoo away the leaves, only for them to glue more viciously to him. Lol. The intercut makes this scene funny.
His staff glows blue though and just as he struggles to maintain control over it, Bi Yao descends down in all her female glory and transfers some of her power to him. They twirl and exchange eye contact. He looks at her, confused, and their combined tango dance stops the leaves from attacking. Jing Yu recognizes her and Xue Qi steps a little bit too close to the new strange girl. HA.
Everyone gapes at the new intruder: What, who, why?? and Xiao Fan smiles gratefully at Bi Yao and she returns a grin of her own. Afterwards, Bi Yao sits on a rock, enjoying the view and their interrogation as she plays with her belt. They all ask the same question, “Who are you?”
“We saw you at He Yang market.”
Bi Yao: “Who I am isn’t important. Just remember that I saved you.” She turns to Shu Shu and Xue Qi, confirming that she’s not talking about them. Ha. Cheeky.
When they apprised her of their lack of knowledge of the enchantment, she tsks tsks at them for coming here to die. Her familiarity with the Evil Sect’s doings raises a red flag with Jing Yu and he asks whether she knows someone from the evil sect. She turns sharply at the accusation in his voice and flashbacks to the death scene of her own mother by Book Keeper. Their carriage exploded in mid-air and we don’t know how Bi Yao survived. A round of sympathy glances run high in the group and Xue Qi wonders what sect she belongs to. Bi Yao turns brightly to Xue Qi and says harshly, “What is it with you? If you guys can’t even handle the Red Forest, you guys should leave.” The response annoys Xue Qi and she steps up, about to get a piece of her mind out before Shu Shu pulls her back, advising her to calm down.
Senior Brother Qi Hao comes to check on his junior sect siblings and muses about the young miss before she snaps at him unabashedly, “I’m the one who saved you all!” Lol. On the side, Xiao Fan smiles at her bubbly shamelessness and continues to stare at her as Jing Yu suggests to Qi Hao a second option. Instead of charging forward blindingly, they (meaning the well-trained disciples) should investigate in small groups first. He readily agrees with the brilliant idea.
Leading them to a river, Bi Yao mulls over something for a pregnant moment and asks aloud what book keeper (aka Boss Nian) is after. She’s told that something they might be carrying and almost lets something slip. She only spares a glance towards Xiao Fan. Does she know?
As if heavens hear their plea for ideas, a small boat swims towards their direction, carrying a small luggage, and in it, Jing Yu finds a jade pendant. He spends a good chunk of a minute to stare at it intensely. And then we cut to the split groups, all dressed in black cape: The super glue, Shu Shu, stays with his beloved Xue Qi, while Bi Yao, Xiao Fan, and Jing Yu form a romantic love triangle unit. heh.
They walk and walk, with Shu Shu assuring Xue Qi that he’s very good with directions, as he blathers on and on about the beautiful mountains and lake, unuaware of Xue Qi’s daggered eyes a few steps behind. Fed up with his blabbering, she holds her sword to his neck, asking if he’s walking in cricles on purpose. He defends himself but it’s no use because she demands to leave this area within one hour. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts, loverboy!
On the other love boat (hehe, literally!), Jing Yu raises up a good question: splitting up into teams is a good idea, but he thinks the teammates on the other team has a slight disadvantage (read: Shu Shu) and doubts their ability in saving the hostages. Xiao Fan waves off his concern by clarifying that Shu Shu can step up to the task when he needs to impress his lady love. The jade pendant turns out to be a token from another Qing Yun Sect. It’s clearly a booby trap to lure in mindless disciples but Jing Yu decides the risks are worth it. All is aboard!
Man, I can really get on this love boat. HAHAH. The boys paddle quietly behind, and Bi Yao sits at the front of the boat like she’s the leader. XD As they paddle towards the booby trap, Xiao Fan tells his friend not to worry about him later on, and just save Ling Er and the family members first. Responding with great confidence about their tough luck in life, Jing Yu says not to worry, and Bi Yao practically rolls her eyes. She wonders why they knowingly walk into traps, “Are your family members captured too?” The boys drop their gaze and reply that they have no direct family members anymore, everyone was murdered in one night at Grass Temple Village.
The mention of the said village piques her interest and she recalls another scene from her childhood. Aww man! Really? They met as kids?! I hate these storylines! Apparently, an injured Bi Yao lay stiffly in a dark cave, whimpering out inaudible sounds to alarm a younger Xiao Fan of her existence. He didn’t know if it was a person or an animal, and ever the kind-hearted boy, he threw a bun into complete darkness and promised to come back tomorrow.
In her head, Bi Yao mulls, “Who was the one that saved me?”
The peaceful waters rumble beneath the boat and our trio of muskateers look around in panic at the huge fin lurking around. Oh Krap, I don’t do sea monsters so you three need to haul your butts to shore!
We cut to Shu Shu with his immodest stare down of Xue Qi the whole walk into a dark cave. He tells her not to be scared later because he’s around to protect her, and she tells him to stay at the entrance. “Don’t drag me down.” Lol. His bruised ego deflates quickly, “Xiao Qi Qi, how can you talk like that?” HAHAHA.
Our three muskateers made it past the sea monster and end up at the headquarter, located inside a volcano. One their way up, Book Keeper’s right hand man stops them and calls them out on their disrespectful behavior towards him. Being quick on her feet, Bi Yao turns on the charms and states that they are new and asks Lord Dog to forgive them. He does but asks Bi Yao to follow him to carry out a job. She motions to the boys to continue but Xiao Fan, being the least skilled of the two, wants to follow and makes sure she’s safe.
He loses sight of them and stumbles into a hall of party. Trying to be stealthy, he walks sideways across the room and gets called out within seconds. Lol. This knucklehead!
The Legend of Chusen (Novel Aspirations) Episode 5 Summary:
When caught, Xiao Fan is a nervous wreck, but fortunately for him, his senior brother Xiao Yi Cai (he was the senior brother who brought younger Xiao Fan and Jing Yu to the elders, played by Liu Xue Yi) has already acquainted himself with the other lackeys and jumps in to save the poor deer. He, of course, hasn’t met Xiao Fan in five years and is taken aback when the youngin identifies him in private. They happily reunite but Yi Cai also shares that a dangerous demon monster is guarding the hostages (where Shu Shu and Xue Qi are headed.)
Elsewhere in the comfort of his own room, Lord Dog tasks Bi Yao as his personal masseuse. She does it pleasantly, casually asking questions and extracting some answers from the old fool. Turns out the hostages have another use – Book Keeper plans to feed them to their pet Blood Fish. Once they retrieve the Blood Pearl, they can garner the power from both items and become powerful in a short amount of time. Having a hard time hiding her annoyed face now, Bi Yao knocks him out cold and searches his body, taking a badge with her.
On her way out, Jing Yu spots her and moves her aside. They both ask about Xiao Fan, and she’s rankled Xiao Fan was sent to look for her, but the feeling disappears when Jing Yu says he was worried about her and all since she’s a girl alone in this big place. A teeny smile plays on her lips. Girl, why are you so easy! Don’t smile! Lol.
Well, well, well. The demon monster stands guard over the prison looks like a revengey pony in flames! Xue Qi wants to charge in but Shu Shu holds her back and tells her to cover her ears while he plays a tune on his flute. The beast falls asleep against its better judgement and we cut back to Shu Shu also falling victim to his method. OMG. HAHAHAHA. Speechless, Xue Qi gazes down at the sleeping, foolish boy.
Xiao Fan locates the main chamber where Ling Er is kept and his presence is leaked, thanks to the crows stalking the area. He engages in a fight with Book Keeper. Uhmmm, last time, you didn’t win!! Bi Yao and Jing Yu near the said area and she almost slips into the sea of lava when the crows attack them. Jing Yu rushes forward to grab her hand and she looks up at him, admiration growing by the minute. She’s in a dazed by the time he pulls her up.
When they make it to main chamber, Xiao Fan hangs uncomfortably in the air, raised by Book Keeper. They run in and fight with Book Keeper until Xiao Fan tells Jing Yu to save Ling Er first. His friend follows his wishes and Book Keeper, afraid of losing an important hostage, tosses Xiao Fan into the sea of lava. Good thing Bi Yao reaches out to grab him and by the look on his face, he’s visibly touched. With Jing Yu engages in a power struggle with Book Keeper, Xiao Fan hurriedly frees Ling Er, but Jing Yu is no match and gets knocked out. Book Keeper turns his attention to the other three, only to confront another visitor in the form of a red phoenix, giving the trio enough time to escape.
Outside of the main hall, Xiao Fan intends to go back and Bi Yao shoots down his lame request. She’s the better fighter of the two and volunteers to go save Jing Yu. A woman wearing a purple veiled covering her face appears and asks Bi Yao to return because her father is looking for her. Stubborn, Bi Yao adamantly refuses to back down now that she’s within distance to avenge for her mother. She calls the woman Yao Yi and requests her to bring Xiao Fan and Ling Er to safety.
Leaning Shu Shu against the cave wall, Xue Qi presses down on the area between his nose and lip, a technique to wake him up. Shu Shu enjoys the skinship and visibly smile at the contact, making sure to keep his eyes closed. She figures out his pervie tricks and slaps him across the face. Lol. The silly doofus.
They approach the gate and Shu Shu finds the lock soooooo complicated to crack. He asks for a prize if he can figure it out, and Xue Qi tilts her head a little to offer her slapping service to the other cheek. He sighs and places his hand to the injured cheek, feigning loss of motivation. At wit’s end, Xue Qi agrees and he cracks the lock within two seconds. Boy, these people are in danger! I’m fed up with your ways right about now!
Poor Xiao Fan. He escorts an unconscious Ling Er out and sees that Qing Yun disciples have completely intruded the place. He places her down to join the fight, only to have Qi Hao appeared in Ling Er’s field of vision when she wakes up, and she deduces that he saved her.
Meanwhile, Shu Shu leads the family members out of the cave and returns to save Xue Qi from being pinned to death by the beast. She delivers the final blow and when the shot goes through her body to his, he’s now officiously electrocuted by love. Lol.
Xiao Fan makes it to Jing Yu first, seconds before he’s fed to the Blood Fish. However, Book Keeper senses the Blood Pearl in the staff and delivers a good blow to keep Xiao Fan from interrupting for a few minutes. He then proceeds to suck power from the Blood Fish and as he’s doing it, Bi Yao arrives to stop him, announcing his crime of killing her mother many years ago.
Book Keeper laughs evilly. “So you’re Ghost King’s daughter,” just as Xiao Fan stirs awake and grows alarmed at the new fact. No time to dissect it though and he launches himself at Book Keeper. Jing Yu finally wakes up and together, all three kids do a little push-and-pull dance with Book Keeper until Xiao Fan’s blood drips down the staff and a new surge of energy allows him to swipe at Book Keeper, freeing himself from his vice grip.
Bi Yao charges forward, demanding his life then, and he flings a metal chain around her waist and hoists her over the lava hole in the center of the chamber. Both of the guys reach out, each grabbing a hand, and she looks up at both of them, surprised. They pull her up and the guys keep Book Keeper busy, giving Bi Yao the chance to deliver a deathblow, sending Book Keeper to the stomach of his beloved pet Blood Fish. Oh Karma.
One by one, the disciples head out to daylight, greeting Shifu Bi Yu at the river. Shifu Bi Yu asks about everyone and finally looks for Xiao Fan. He knows the kid has secretly tagged along. Aww, are you worried Shifu?
Not to worry, our three musketeers make it out alive because this is only episode 5. Lol. Jing Yu pointedly asks for Bi Yao’s name and Xiao Fan answers for her, even revealing the fact that she’s Ghost King’s daughter. That fact puts a grim expression on Jing Yu and he maintains a cool attitude when she asks to speak alone. “I don’t have anything to say to you. You and I belong on different side of good and evil.”
Disappointed by his matter-of-fact attitude, she asks her question anyway, whether or not he frequented the cave behind the village when he was younger. “Did you save anything alive?” Jing Yu: “Bunnies and other living things. I don’t remember.” The poor mistaken girl smiles brightly. Satisfied with his answers, she tells him her name. “Remember. We’ll meet each other again.”
Oh Xiao Fan, always the hero, but never the credits. Third time the charm?
By himself, Xiao Fan nurses the wound on his hand. Jing Yu joins him shortly and they agree to keep Bi Yao’s identity a secret from their Shifus…. just as Xiao Fan gasps when his Shifu stands a few feet away.
Cut to Xiao Fan being punished for conspiring with Shu Shu, going against order, and sneaking out to help his fellow disciples (embarrassing Shifu in the process). He’s kneeling on hard ground with both hands over his head, clutching a sword. He gets whacked for each defiant move and remains quiet through them all.
On order of his Shifu to bring over some medication, Jing Yu tries to intervene but is reprimanded by Bi Yu to step aside when he’s disciplining his own disciple. Pushed to the limit, Jing Yu says outright that he’s in charge of the Discipline Unit at Qing Yun and in his eyes, right is right, wrong is wrong. He hopes Shifu Bi Yu can investigate more and stop misunderstanding Xiao Fan’s good nature. The challenging tone in Jing Yu’s voice drives Bi Yu off the wall and in a moment of rage, he attacks Jing Yu with a swipe and the blow lands at Xiao Fan because he’s always protecting his friend. And everybody.
In Xiao Fan’s room, Jing Yu voices his frustration with Shifu Bi Yu and the senior brothers in this palace. Everyone says the same thing, “He [Xiao Fan] is used to it. It’s okay!” Jing Yu finds this senior brothers exasperating in the way they watch and allow unfair punishment being executed without pleading for mercy on Xiao Fan’s behalf. A pale-looking Xiao Fan blames himself for not being a bright child in learning martial arts and magic, but Jing Yu deems Shifu unfit as a teacher. I agree! Lol. He wants to switch teacher for Xiao Fan and the latter quickly refuses, promising to work harder. Jing Yu lets the topic drop for now.
Later, Shifu’s wife, Su Ru, drops by to hand him a miraculous pellet to heal his injuries, saying it’s Shifu’s idea. She asks Xiao Fan not to be mad at Shifu because he’s a man who cherishes reputation and doesn’t express himself well. Even when he’s wrong, he won’t admit to it. “But in his heart, he cares and likes you a lot.” Furthermore, a competition is being held next year among the seven sects of Qing Yun and Shifu, who has the weakest group of disciples, is always being laughed at. He’s under a lot of pressure and feels ashamed towards his ancestors. Yea, yea, yea. I’m still angry at him.
Next morning, Ling Er sits in the Bamboo forest alone, looking glum. She explains to Xiao Fan how she’s worried about Qi Hao’s injuries but her parents refuse to even give her one pellet to help him. The annoyed expression on Xiao Fan disappears at the new revelation – shifu only gave it to me? two of his precious healing pellets? Hee. Ling Er thinks her father is driven mad by old age. Lol. To prevent her from going down the mountains to buy medicine, Xiao Fan gives up his other pellet and she runs off in glee. She even stabs at him verbally before leaving, “You must practice harder and beat the stinky Lin Jing Yu! But no matter how much you practice, you won’t be as amazing as senior brother Qi Hao.” Ouch. This girl. I take it back, I don’t like you no more!!
Xiao Fan stares after her, hurt and dejected.
— END —
Kap: Boy did that take long to write.
I really like the character setups right now. Here we have two male characters – one is your typical, natural-born Kung fu learner, and the other is on the opposite end of the spectrum – the kind, inept best friend. Even his name, Xiao Fan, has a literal meaning of Little Ordinary. Lol. And who doesn’t like to root for the underdog? Right now, Xiao Fan is a bowl of frustration both to himself and to us because he’s deemed as incompetent by everyone worthy of speaking of (seriously, those masters shaded him harshly and unfairly) and believes in it himself. Jing Yu, on the other hand, is a cautious, confident individual, being raised by the Devil himself.
Master Cang Song’s duplicity provides a great foil and ultimate betrayal to Jing Yu down the road and I can’t wait to see what happens after. Depending on how their character arcs play out, we are in for some interesting transformation and conflicting developments (shifu-disciple angle) along the way. I just hope the writer delivers when the time calls for it because the setups practically scream juicy revelations and clashes.
While the male characters have great setups, I’m a little worried about our female characters. I know it’s a male-centered series, but is it too much to ask for some great female character arcs too? I don’t think Xue Qi said more than 10 lines.