Nowadays, I really look forward to Shu Shu’s side-eyed faces. Lol. I know I’m way behind with this show. Sorry! I might be in competition with Chusen‘s crawling plot. XD And guess what? It’s Qin Jun Jie’s birthday today (turning 25)! So he gets to be in the cover image. hee.
The Legend of Chusen (Novel Aspirations) Episode 11 Summary:
SO MANY NEW CHARACTERS. My brain hurts. The first two that we meet has a connection with each other. Standing on the busy street in front a Silk Embroidery Workshop, Tian Yin sect’s disciple, Fa Xiang (Li Chen Hao), demands the return of his wife-to-be from the lady boss, Jin Ping Er (Jiao Jun Yan). She finds him irritating and the arrival of busy bodies, Shu Shu and Xiao Fan, increases her level of annoyance, so she shoots out her red thread and ties their hands together. Seemingly more skilled than them, Shu Shu threatens to seek help form his grandfather, who he calls the Lord of Yudu City. The threat works and she releases them.
The boys then relocate to an eatery and Fa Xiang relays his woes to his new friends. As a child, he wasn’t blessed with good looks and was arranged to marry Ding Ling, a pretty little girl who repulsed his look. Ten years ago, he was lucky enough to be accepted by Tian Yin Sect and now returns to see his lady love, but she escapes to the Silk workshop, still thinking that he’s unattractive. Shu Shu outwardly sneers at his new comrade, saying his looks must had been pretty tragic to traumatize the girl till this day. Lol.
They come up with a plan to check for Ding Ling’s presence at the shop. Fa Xiang puts on a skimpy mustache and pretends to be a businessman while Shu Shu and Xiao Fan enter the backdoor and act like evil overlords. Lol. Xiao Fan’s version of an evil overlord cracks me up – he looks like an itchy dog, shaking and tapping his feet. They meet Ding Ling and put on a show of being rascals so Fa Xiang can step in to play his part as the hero saving the day. Their little farce ends up with real pain because Fa Xiang hits a little too hard, to the dismay of Shu Shu and Xiao Fan. Ping Er watches their show with amusement, a knowing glint in her eyes.
After shooing away the rascals, Ping Er exposes Fa Xiang, and he hopelessly vies for Ding Ling’s recognition and she recognizes his name as the kid with horrible teeth ten years ago. In the back alley, Shu Shu and Xiao Fan hobble away and find themselves at the tip of a sharp sword, wielded by Qin Wu Yan (Mao Zi Jun), here to carry out official business for the Wei Residence. He’s the leader of the guards.
All three silly doofus get tied up and when asked if they know each other by Guard Wu Yan, all three firmly deny knowing each other beforehand. That means Fa Xiang is acquitted of crime and the two busy bodies get thrown in jail. A high-quality jail that has a spell on the locks resistant to their magic, no less. Not before long, Shu Shu’s grandfather is brought to the jail and he runs immediately to claim his grandson – hugging and patting Xiao Fan, to the frozen face of Shu Shu. He calls out grandpa Wei’s mistake and all three break into awkward laughter to clear the air. Heh.
Back at grandpa’s mansion, he reveals the sickness is all a sham to get his grandsons to visit him. When asked if he had sent the same letter to his cousin, he says he can’t be biased, and Shu Shu cries out at the mention of his cousin, Li Xun, telling Xiao Fan that the kid is a egomaniac.
We get a quick look at Da Zhu palace and everyone eats in eerie silence, missing their little sect brother, Xiao Fan, and worrying about him getting bullied in jianghu. Even Ling Er dispels her worries to Qi Hao, and he admits being envious of Xiao Fan’s training experience down the mountains. He promises to take Ling Er with him one day when it’s his turn. Even Shifu Bu Yi walks himself into Xiao Fan’s room and dusts off his clothes. This is the classic representation of distance makes the heart grow fonder. Wife Su Ru sees him and tells him not to worry, Xiao Fan has always been persistent and strong, reminding her of Bu Yi when he was younger. I legit spit out my drink. LOL. If you get my drift.
Cousin Li Xun (Pu Shuo) reaches Grandpa’s residence, looking well and polished, which ruffles Shu Shu even more because it proves he took his time to come. They trade barbed words back and forth before grandpa, but grandpa smiles at his grandsons, and sighs that he’s growing old and will eventually die. He calls them here to see if between the two of them, one would like to take over as Yudu’s city leader. Li Xun puffs up his chest with pride, while Shu Shu relays the message to his friends, Xiao Fan and Fa Xiang, of how he doesn’t want to be stuck at Yudu forever, and yet he can’t just give up the seat to an unreliable person like Li Xun. You can’t have the cake and not eat it, dude!
Fa Xiang explains that Yudu is a very desirable place, built as a vessel between heaven and earth, with rare magical herbs all year round. Both righteous and evil sects want a piece of this land. He observes the new influx of disciples from both sides of good and bad. Xiao Fan and Shu Shu head out to investigate the reason for the influx of evil sect’s disciples. Shu Shu can’t gain much upper hand over Guard Wu Yan because he strictly only follows orders from the City’s Leader, which he (Shu Shu) is not.
Per Wu Yan’s flimsy description, the boys make their way to the source of water for magical herbs and discover a pungent smell, surmising that the evil sect disciples must have poisoned the water to affect the growth of magical herbs in the area. The residents are afraid of going upstream because a blood-sucking monster roams the land and has killed someone before.
On their way to find Shu Shu and Xiao Fan, Jing Yu and Xue Qi stumble upon a beautiful session in the woods, filled with red flowers and surrounded by dragonflies. Ping Er notices their presence and hurries home to alert Ding Ling and the girls that they must be careful going forward as to not reveal their identity.
The Legend of Chusen (Novel Aspirations) Episode 12 Summary:
Hiding behind Xiao Fan like a true hero, Shu Shu scurries his way upstream at night. I don’t know why they want to investigate when it’s pitch black either. They run into Li Xun, who’s being swarmed by…a bunch of feathers? bats? Whatever they are, they attack the boys and one chicken foot grips Xiao Fan and hauls him into the air. After a short moment of struggling, a figure dashes out to chase away the unknowns. Xiao Fan loses his staff, and it’s picked up by a girl with a veil over her face. Bi Yao. You’re finally here!
Stalking behind a new girl, Xiao Huan (Bai Xue), Fa Xiang signals Shu Shu and Xian Fan that her presence in town coincides with all the strange thing that happened. Shu Shu thinks she’s acting innocent and takes it upon himself to test her…by bumping into her from behind and demanding to check what’s in her bag, guessing it’s Xiao Fan’s staff. She calls him a sicko and runs to her fortune-telling grandpa, at which Xiao Fan sees her face and says she’s not the girl who stole his weapon.
They head home and of course, Shu Shu’s grandfather has two guests in Xiao Huan and Grandpa Zhou. The grandpas play-fight for a bit; one wants to arrange marriage for her between his two very handsome grandsons, and if they don’t work, Grandpa Wei says there’s also Xiao Fan. Lol. She runs away in morbid embarrassment. Later that day, she runs into the boys again and knowing a bit about fortune-telling, she sees that Xiao Fan has lost something important. Their conversation is interrupted when Li Xun arrives and seeks out her attention.
Next day, Xiao Fan and Shu Shu stand before Xiao Huan with one request: locating Xiao Fan’s staff. She’s all curt and snappy with Shu Shu and he returns the derision just as much. She works her magic sticks and says the person who took his weapon is someone he’s met before.
The grandpas go at it again and ask Xiao Huan who she likes, and she blurts out Xiao Fan’s name when he walks past. They escape and she reveals her inner thought to Xiao Fan about wanting to travel and see the world before settling down and having a family. Then she’s stuck at home all day. Xiao Fan pats her head and says she’s still a child herself. They are camped outside the Silk Embroidery Workshop because Xiao Fan believes the girl who took his staff is one of the ladies in there. He finds the store very suspicious with a highly skilled owner. When he starts listing off the girls he knows, Bi Dao walks out of the store with a veil over her face. Ding! Ding! Ding!
He follows her into a residence and yanks off the veil. Bi Yao: “You saw it already, isn’t it nice (referring to her face)?” It takes him a few moments to dazzle out and he looks relieved it’s her. They walk through the garden and when she bends over to pluck a flower, he chides her for ending the blooming flower’s life so easily. She scoffs, the flower is blessed to be picked up her! Lol. He points out the dew on the flowers as a sign the flowers are crying and she laughs at his simpleton ways.
Xiao Fan: “Was it you who saved me the other night?”
She says she just happened to pass by and wonders out loud why his kung fu hasn’t improved one bit. He grins that it’s her and promises not to forget this favor. She rolls her eyes and tests the water, “What you can’t forget is…I’m a demon girl from the evil sect!” He quickly denies it, describing her as a good person. He then meekly asks for his treasure weapon back and she chooses Jing Yu as the person to pick it up.
With an explosive plan in mind, Li Xun enlists the help of local citizens to place bombs around the river, hoping to blow up the mountain and causing sand to block the toxic water from feeding nature. Shu Shu and Xiao Fan show up at the scene and disagree with this solution knowing that the water isn’t the source of contamination, but the sand and dirt surrounding it. However, they don’t have a plan to solve the contamination, forcing Shu Shu to face off Li Xun in a brief struggle of power before Xue Qi arrives on the scene and interferes with the fight. She and Jing Yu stand right next to Shu Shu as a symbol of You-are-outnumbered, Li Xun. Lol.
Grandpa tells his grandsons to come up with their own plan and he’ll decide which one to use. One look at Xue Qi has him all jubilant and he asks whether she’s married yet. LOL. Grandpa’s last mission seems to be marrying off his grand kids. Xiao Fan catches Jing Yu up the current situation and Jing Yu guesses Bi Yao didn’t come here alone. Moreover, from the news he gathered, the leader of He Hwan Sect is Mr. Miao, a beautiful girl. Their evil sect has no male members. Ah~~
The girl in red, Ping Er, visits Shu Shu’s grandpa with a vial of medicinal liquor and the fact that she knows him for many years alarms Shu Shu and Xue Qi. They inform Xiao Huan of their suspicion on Ping Er and she flatly denies the accusation on Ping Er’s behalf and good name. She even goes as far as saying it doesn’t matter if Ping Er is really from an evil sect because has done many goods since she came here five years ago. Xue Qi is adamant of her instincts, taking in Ping Er’s gaze as full scheming intentions.
Everyone turns to Xiao Fan for a plan because he’s the least involved and knows more information than the new arrivals. He’s like what? Me? Yes, you deer! Xiao Fan suggests splitting up into two groups and helps out Shu Shu’s hopeless romance with Xue Qi by placing them in a team to solve the water pollution, while he and Jing Yu investigate the evil sect’s doings.
The boys totally leave Xue Qi out when they do their quick three-way cheering. Aw.
The Legend of Chusen (Novel Aspirations) Episode 13 Summary:
We start off this episode with a long conversation between Xue Qi and Xiao Huan, the latter on the pretense of seeking for advice about a dress but is armed with the mission to smooth out Xue Qi’s suspicions of Ping Er. She says Ping Er has helped countless of homeless girls in the past and gave them a new purpose in life. Moreover, even when she was injured, Ping Er stepped in and saved Xiao Huan and her grandpa five years ago. If that’s not a hero, she doesn’t know what is.
Having listened to the long story, Xue Qi promises to do a thorough investigation, definitely not going to frame an innocent person. When she gets up to leave, Xiao Huan continues the coddling, hoping to give the beautiful silk dress to Xue Qi. She says she can see from Xue Qi’s eyes that she was sad for their plight. Her insistence traps Xue Qi into accepting the gift.
Elsewhere, Lord Dog bows and greets Bi Yao. He wants to help out Ghost King in obtaining Yudu and lists off all the complicated relationships in and out of the good and evil sects. Bi Yao clocks him as useful for the time being and agrees to let him join her.
Looks like Xiao Huan might be right after all. Ping Er only wants to live a peaceful life with the homeless girls she helped out. She rejects the offer of joining Ghost King’s quest, pointing out the ongoing and useless fights between the good and evil sects. Bi Yao doesn’t back down – different time, different situations. If a fight were to break out, the Silk Store won’t last very long unprotected. But that wouldn’t be case if everyone minds their own places in this world, Ping Er counters. Bi Yao fumes in her seat, leaving Lord Dog to do his bidding and failing at it.
Ping Er throws out the challenge: if Bi Yao can obtain the treasures of both sects, she will obediently follow orders then.
Back at Fa Xiang’s home (where Bi Yao and Lord Dog are staying, like a motel), Bi Yao sees her two handsome guests at the paladin. Jing Yu demands the staff back and Bi Yao orders Xiao Fan to leave. Jing Yu stops him with a hand, he’s not Bi Yao’s underling, how could she order him around! Seeing the tension rising quickly in the air, Xiao Fan excuses himself. Poor kid. Jing Yu thanks Bi Yao for saving their lives last time but now she’s clearly pissed and tells him to get lost. LOL. I love that she doesn’t lose her attitude facing her crush. HEE.
Alone, Jing Yu takes issues with Fa Xiang housing people from the evil sects and the latter explains the unspoken rule of his family’s business, as long as you don’t do evil within the city, they won’t deny business with anyone. Ding Ling arrives then and asks to speak with Fa Xiang. She’s here to try and attempt to like him on Ping Er’s behalf but the block-headed guy speaks over her and insists she can’t find a better and richer man than him in this area. He keeps referring to Ping Er as a demon girl, annoying Ding Ling to the point where she slams the engagement bracelet onto the table and declares to break off the engagement. Once she leaves Fa Xiang grins, he likes her more now that she is her own person with opinions and thoughts.
Shu Shu comes up with an awesome plan to solve the polluted water. They will build a new irrigation system to filter out dirty water, allowing the poisoned sand to sink to the bottom. However, he has one problem: money. Grandpa Wei might be the City Chief but he’s too kind and has used up the family money to do charity. There is nothing left in the treasury. Xue Qi says she has a plan to make money and it involves Shu Shu asking Xiao Huan to perform in a play.
Xiao Huan refuses and tells Shu Shu to ask Xue Qi to act with him. Shu Shu’s response cracks me up: “How could her cold face act?” LOL. In the end, Xiao Huan reluctantly agrees to act, but only with Xiao Fan. They will be performing a play at the Mid-Autumn Festival and asking for donations from Yudu citizens. The synopsis of the play is a poke at Chusen romance: A disciple of the righteous sect falling in love with a girl from the demon sect. HA.
Xue Qi notices the red flowers floating down in the river and asks to investigate alone.
Shu Shu sends Jing Yu on a mission to make Qing Yun disciples look better in Ping Er’s eyes. heh. Xiao Huan’s dress for the play is too long so Jing Yu uses that excuse to scope out the enemies. The two exchange thinly-veiled threats; Ping Er insists the girls at the Silk Shop are weak and unskilled, they only ever want a peaceful life, and as long as nobody bothers them, they won’t cause trouble. Jing Yu, ever the man without a filter, basically puts all the evil sects under one microscope, describing them as beings who like and perpetuate hatred. “They can hide in the city for the time being, but they can’t hide for life.” She finds hypocrisy in the righteous sect’s teaching: why so stubborn to group and label people permanently if they have already repented?
Conversation is stopped short with the loud announcement of Lord Dog’s arrival. He’s here one last time to recruit Ping Er and her sect to come under Ghost King’s wing. She refuses the offer once more and they are about to fight when Jing Yu calls a stop and actually speaks up for Ping Er. If Lord Dog insists on a fight, he will fight and barks that he won’t lose.
Lord Dog loses quickly and runs with his tail between his legs to Bi Yao’s side. Lol. Jing Yu asks her to explain her underling’s spoiled behavior and she’s as cool as a cucumber. “They are my underlings, so what?” If he likes to play hero, she suggests he captures her and brings her back to apologize to Jing Ping Er. He can’t argue with her sharp tongue and wonders about Xiao Fan’s staff. He agrees to comply with her request if she returns the staff. They will meet at the riverside on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival. ON A DATE?!
At the Wei’s residence, Xiao Fan waves his staff around like a happy child, leaving Shu Shu to lean close to Jing Yu, “You return so soon, did she ask for your body in exchange?” heh. Jing Yu sputters at the ridiculous idea and says he only needs to spend time with her during the festival. Shu Shu snorts at his play being performed in real life. “A Love Story that transcends all boundaries!!” ;D
Jing Yu: “Cut the nonsense!!” HAHA.
Xue Qi returns and shows the boys the red flowers she gathered around the river. They think it’s the source of poison and agree to find the garden of poisonous flowers after the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The Legend of Chusen (Novel Aspirations) Episode 14 Summary:
While investigating about the pollution, Xue Qi observes Xiao Fan’s sharp thinking outside of Qing Yun and apologizes for making preconceived judgments about him before. He nods at the implied adjectives useless and dumb and comments about her inventive ideas about performing a play to earn money. At his inquiry of how she came up with the idea, she hesitates before revealing a memory from her past about living on the outskirts of town and seeing circus troupes making money that way. He tries to ask more questions but Xue Qi walks away on the excuse of patrolling the perimeter to ensure no evil disciples can cause trouble tonight.
Ping Er delivers the dress to Xiao Huan and bumps into a troubled-looking Li Xun. Since he’s doing her shop favors by ordering a hefty amount of clothes to be made, she’s obliged to help him out aka interfere with Shu Shu’s plans to build the irrigation system.
As promised, Jing Yu spends the morning of the festival with Bi Yao but all they talk about is Xiao Fan being affected by his staff. When asked, Jing Yu reveals nothing too serious has happened yet but Xiao Fan can feel the staff influencing his cultivation. With him done asking questions, Bi Yao voices her own, why are they here at Yudu? Jing Yu: “To protect the city against evil sects.” Bad answer. She glares right up at him and questions, “Protect against us for what?” Her sharp response and piercing eyes stop Jing Yu from shooting his foot again and she defends Ghost King sect. They don’t kill for fun but are passionate when it comes to returning debts and avenging for their own people. She calls people from the righteous sects a bunch of long-winded naggers. Heh.
Jing Yu argues that one should live for the good of the world and Bi Yao spits back that she only lives for herself. He thinks no one can live for themselves and rather live for the world than act like people of her kind. She’s stumped at his words and after a short moment, he asks gently, “Bi Yao, do you intend on staying at Ghost King Sect?”
Clearly flabbergasted at this tone, she declares one more time that it’s her home. He says Ping Er’s words left a deep impression on him. If one can put down their knife and follow the order of goodness, then the righteous sects will readily forgive their previous crimes and give them a way out. He turns and continues his speech about her quitting Ghost King sect, while Bi Yao stares at him, befuddled and agitated. She exits the scene and he turns back to find her gone. “Different paths have different ends.”
Upset with Jing Yu’s words, Bi Yao broods at a nearby pavilion, which is where Xiao Fan locates her and asks if she fought with Jing Yu. Lol. She’s snippy with Xiao Fan, calling herself an evil sect member and that he shouldn’t be seen hanging around her all the time. Hearing her displeased tone with his good friend, Xiao Fan speaks up on his friend’s behalf, explaining that he’s a person who doesn’t say what’s in his heart, very similar to Bi Yao. Moreover, his insistence on keeping good and evil separate stems from the massacre of their families five years ago. For revenge, Bi Yao sacrificed and entered dangerous grounds to kill the book keeper. It’s the same for Jing Yu, who’s struggling to rein it in when he sees people from the evil sects. Um, I would say find the real culprit and take out his anger at the right people but whatever Xiao Fan!
Minutes before the play begins, Lord Dog kidnaps Xiao Huan, in an attempt to teach Xiao Fan a lesson for messing with his young mistress (Bi Yao). Ha. Bi Yao arrives at the play and is tasked to play the heroine in Xiao Huan’s stead. She refuses but the boys are insistent in making this play a success so she goes along, complete with awkward acting and missing lines while Shu Shu narrates the story.
Tied up and blindfolded, Xiao Huan uses her fortune-telling skills to pique the interest of Lord Dog, successfully describing his sad past and even predicting his future as one of Xiao Fan’s men. *gasps!* That pains my heart! Curiosity kills the cat, er, dog, and Lord Dog lets Xiao Huan out, only for her to escape shortly after.
The play continues with Xiao Fan’s awkward acting and Bi Yao being pulled in further and deeper into her character’s turmoil. After her character injures Xiao Fan’s heroic character, she tends to him, at which he says he knew this day would come when they fight for their own sect, and he would rather die in her hands instead. Eyes flickering with emotions, Bi Yao remembers her mother’s promise to save her life in the cave. Let’s take note that at this point, sniffing can be heard from the audience and Jing Yu and Xue Qi return just in time to comment about the story being possibly lifted from a real event that happened at Qing Yun sect. Ohhh.
When Xiao Fan’s character prepares to accept his death penalty for meeting with a demon girl, Bi Yao’s character hurries to the stage and confesses her love. “What is evil? What is good? If we love each other, why can’t we be together?” Confused at her wrong entrance, Xiao Fan stares, and Shu Shu looks through his script book. “Hey, that’s not part of the script!” But the audience is apparently a bunch of romantics and shouts for the two lovebirds to be together. Yay!
Shu Shu has no choice but to change his script as well. Bi Yao uses her bracelet to send fluttering petals around them, putting up a magical show for everyone. Then the flower lifts the two lovebirds up into the air as everyone watches in awe and in tears at the happily ever after. Fireworks explode, highlighting the unforgettable night at Yudu.
The aftermath: Xue Qi and Xiao Fan standing over the bridge overlooking two pairs: Jing Yu and Bi Yao chatting below while Shu Shu and Xiao Huan play with fireworks nearby. Jing Yu looks up and thanks Bi Yao for her help with the play and promises to pay her back. This dude is funny, if you think about it, he doesn’t really have any involvement with the play AT ALL but likes to insist that he owes Bi Yao at every opportunity he gets. Lol. Bi Yao jokes that she’s still from the evil sect, shouldn’t he cut ties and separate the two clans cleanly? He’s still convinced good and evil can’t be together, but he knows how to distinguish between good and bad people. Riiiiiitght.
Up on the bridge, Xiao Fan explains why Jing Yu is lighting the lantern below: lanterns can carry one’s yearning to faraway friends and relatives, like the people of their village. Xue Qi encourages him to move on and stay strong lest the demons of his heart might strike again. She’s about to reveal more about her family history when Shu Shu bursts in between them and pulls them down to play.
When everyone joins together at the bottom of the bridge, Bi Yao steps back and enjoys the scene quietly. She then looks down at the group of Qing Yun disciples and the sad glow in her eyes reveals more loneliness than ever.
— END —
Kap: Not much happening again. It was nice that the show pointed out Xiao Fan and Xue Qi’s changes when taken out of the beautiful bird cage that is Qing Yun. When you’re always in your comfort zone, you stay in that mold, never growing, never changing.
Xiao Fan’s leading ladies are starting to show care towards him. Xue Qi softens towards Xiao Fan after being pulled in his dark past and Bi Yao seems easily appeased with just a few words. If there is one purpose to the silly play, it is to foreshadow reality vs fiction and to emphasize Bi Yao as an individual. Her thoughts, her actions, her identity do not follow what the books say. Her conversation with Jing Yu was very thought-provoking. The good sects live for the greater good while the evil sects live for themselves. Is that the line of distinction for good and bad in the show? I don’t think he’s right and she’s not wrong either, at least not completely.
I hope we get to revisit this topic in the future when Jing Yu is a bit more jaded from his time in jianghu.