Xing Er proves she’s a female warrior through and through – it’s not just her skill but also her righteous heart and loyalty to her people. Even when the world is against her, as it often is, she stands her ground and is never the one to break gaze with her enemies.
Episode 6 Recap:
Yan Xun practically bounces as he steps into Qing Shan Yuan, chirpily stealing food from the maids and plucking a rose. The guards stop him from meeting Yuwen Yue since he is napping but he happily bursts in anyway.
Yuwen Yue really is sleeping and Yan Xun jumps into bed with him. He begins teasing Yuwen Yue’s face with the rose and when Yuwen Yue wakes up to attack him, they start tussling in bed, har.
It ends with a tie and Yuwen Yue asks if Yan Xun is morphed from a monkey, lol. Yan Xun says he only dirtied his sheets: “What’s the big deal? Just send Xing Er to the river to clean it.”
Of course Yuwen Yue picks up on Yan Xun’s interest in his maid. Yan Xun doesn’t deny and asks where he hid that little wild cat. “It’s not my business but I’m just worried you’ll end up dulling her sharp claws.”
Yuwen Yue asks if Yan Xun isn’t afraid of those claws destroying him but a chirpy Yan Xun retorts it’s Yuwen Yue that should be afraid instead. Yuwen Yue doesn’t look too happy during the entire conversation and just leaves.
Turns out Yuwen Yue has gone to check on Xing Er practicing, who by now has improved to be able to deflect the arrows hard enough for it to extinguish a flame. Neither of the arrows hit her either and she’s so good that she manages to even capture all the arrows.
Xing Er asks if she’s considered passed but Yuwen Yue disagrees: this is the only second stage. Yue Qi is called on to demonstrate the next and the number and frequency of arrows has only just increased.
If she wants to leave, then she must pass this stage as well. So she continues to practice, even as the arrows hit her and she falls.
The mean girls walk into the servant’s chambers, followed by a weakened Xing Er being carried in. Xiao Qi and Xiao Ba go over to help their sister and another maid asks Jin Zhu why Yuwen Yue allows Xing Er to stay with them.
Jin Zhu smugly announces that since Xing Er went against her, their master has personally punished Xing Er. She orders Xing Er to be placed on a bed near a broken window, where the wind will come in at night: “This is just right for a maid who has been kicked out of the chamber just after a day. Let her clear her head.”
Xiao Qi protests but there’s no way to win against the mean girls. She’s angry at Yuwen Yue but Xiao Ba thinks it’s odd that a master would personally punish a maid until late hours of the night.
They find the all-cure medicine and Xiao Ba happily says that they have to care for their sister well so that their futures can be taken care of. Xiao Qi doesn’t get it but Xiao Ba just tells her not to ever take out the wooden artifact from Xing Er’s past. This girl.
A sleeping Xing Er dreams of her past: as a young girl, she stumbles through a grassland with memories of her mother warning her the only one she can trust is herself.
The next day the ordeal continues again and this time she’s much better. Seeing the stones that hit her triggers another memory: her as a child practicing using stones to hit her target. With renewed confidence, she uses those techniques from the past to get through the challenge.
A watching Yuwen Yue looks clearly surprised, mildly impressed even, at how Xing Er uses those stones to close the mouths of the shooter (so that no arrows can come out). Yue Qi wonders if this unconventional method is even valid but Xing Er reminds them she only needs to “take care” of the eight lion heads. That she has done.
Yue Qi says she’s here to practice her speed, not her wit but she says she has already gotten the hang of it. But no go – Yuwen Yue thinks she still hasn’t gotten the point of the punishment yet so she continues.
The next punishment is her standing on a pole high up in the air as Yuwen Yue sedentarily plays his flute below. Yue Qi informs her that she can rest after three incenses’ time. She asks irritably if it’s considered the last stage. Yuwen Yue shoots yet another stone at her leg, causing her to fall, as an answer.
Xing Er says it’s not her fault she fell but it doesn’t please him and he forces her to stand on her hands. After watching him practice sword-fighting for a bit, an unsatisfied Xing Er gets down and he attacks her.
A disappointed Yuwen Yue says that he just knew she can’t achieve great things(?) but shows her the sword-fighting move again all the same. Xing Er repeats to herself that she must persist but alas she faints much to Yuwen Yue’s displeasure.
Jin Zhu reports to Butler Zhu what’s going on. He surmises that this means that Yuwen Yue has found some use in Xing Er. Jin Zhu suggests killing Xing Er before she becomes even more important later on. Butler Zhu simply orders her to test Xing Er further.
Meanwhile, the sisters happily chat over cleaning duty on how Jin Zhu appears to be getting more and more jealous of them. Xing Er says they’re looking more like Jin Zhu which Xiao Qi takes as a compliment that they’re looking more like a high-class maid.
Xing Er clarifies she means that they’re looking more petty and harsh but Xiao Ba thinks it’s good for survival. Jin Zhu overhears and orders for Xing Er to clean her clothes by tomorrow. When the sisters protest, Jin Zhu tries to slap them but Xing Er intervenes in time.
Jin Zhu hurls a bucket of water at Xing Er but she displays some, ehem, very impossible kungfu and it splashes over Jin Zhu instead. Humiliated, she attacks Xing Er but finds her tougher to bully now that she’s trained properly.
Xing Er ends up getting the upper hand when she manages to tie a rope on Jin Zhu’s foot. So the mean girl is caught like a fish, lol, and she yells for Yue Qi for help. Ignoring the mess at the courtyard, Yue Qi asks what’s the big deal and Xing Er just says that the big deal is that Yuwen Yue wants tea. He orders for her to go.
Later he reports that Xing Er is able protect herself under Jin Zhu’s claws but Yuwen Yue says he didn’t just train her for that. Xue Qi thinks it’s impossible that Xing Er is able to improve so quickly unless she has a very good foundation. So he has someone check her background.
Yuwen Yue doesn’t find her a threat yet so Xue Qi suggests that they “spice” her training further to test her true potential. He approves. Later that night, he burns through the night to build a mechanism of sorts.
The maids gather in a row and a mean girl forces Xing Er out of the way, making Xing Er stand behind her. When Yuwen Yue arrives and gestures in their direction for her to come, the mean girl walks up, only to be waved away, lol. Of course it’s Xing Er that he wants.
He asks for a pair of scissors and everyone watches in confusion as he calmly cuts leaves out of a plant. Then Yue Qi arrives with a silver hair ornament. OH. It’s to replace Xing Er’s steel-bell ornament to signal her new status as a higher-ranking maid.
The other maids gossip in surprise but Xing Er only stares at Yuwen Yue, not sure how to take the news in. Yuwen Yue looks adorably flustered in his very constrained way, as if he’s not used to such overt displays of kindness.
Xiao Qi says that Xing Er’s silver ornament is much better-looking than Jin Zhu’s, which earns her a kick. But Jin Zhu doesn’t get to have any satisfaction because Yue Qi orders her to clear out her room. It’s Xing Er’s now.
She pulls ranks and refuses. Yue Qi rebukes her: “This is Qing Shan Yuan. Miss Xing Er is the master’s personal maid. Don’t forget your position. From now onwards, only silver-bells can clean the master’s study and only Miss Xing Er alone can enter the master’s chamber.”
Once dismissed, the maids gossip over Xing Er’s new position and how she managed to grasp Yuwen Yue’s heart of all people. An enraged Jin Zhu says that from now on they have to treat Xing Er even “better” from now on.
Yue Qi wonders why Yuwen Yue is giving Xing Er the carrot instead of the stick instead. Yuwen Yue: “The worst pressure is to give her luckiness that she can’t bear and to let her bear the jealousy and envy of everyone else.”
As per his words, Xing Er is indeed the new target of the maids for gossip and bitchy attitude. No one helps her when she’s looking for honey and one tries to sabotage her by giving her a broken stool when she’s reaching for it. She’s not hurt thanks to her kungfu.
She tells them: “We’re all slaves. No one is better or worse than anyone. I’m only here so that my sisters and I can survive. I won’t bully you without reason but you all better not provoke me. I’m not that easy to be bullied.” She advises them that it’s not easy to live here with all the rumours and scheming so it’s better to help each other instead.
The maids meekly apologise. Jin Zhu struts in and sarcastically wonders if Xing Er is preaching now that she has the silver-bells. She offers her some delicate desserts as gifts that usually slaves can’t afford to eat, humiliating Xing Er for coming from the grasslands where people find even rat meat delicious.
When Xing Er just stares levelly at her, Jin Zhu snaps if she should teach her the rules. Xing Er: “To teach the rules, one should know the rules. I don’t suppose you have the right.” She just leaves, leaving Jin Zhu fuming as usual.
Like any other day, Yun Xun invites himself to Yuwen Yue’s study, lamenting his friend’s indoor tendency when it’s a beautiful day outside, what if he becomes moldy? So he’s here to solve that issue by organizing an outdoor game, dropping the fact that Yuwen Huai won’t be invited at all. If Yuwen Yue doesn’t come, he’ll regret it, but the former thinks that if he does come, Yan Xun and the good food would be the ones regretting. When Yuwen Yue gets up and moves to the door, Yan Xun takes that as a yes and casually throws out another invitation to his little wild cat.
Yan Xun thinks Yuwen Yue should let her out so she can understand the world they live in. “Then she will be more useful to you in the future.” Lol. All sorts of excuse to see his cat! Yuwen Yue asks why and Yan Xun calls him petty and wants to exchange his dad’s precious horse for Xing Er. Cutie pie, that is wrong!
Nope, nope. Yuwen Yue wants her here with him, helping him, no one is allowed to take or borrow her. Yan Xun is adorably jealous, he thinks of Yuwen Yue as his closest friend in Chang’An!
At last, Yuwen Yue leads the way to his exercise garden, where Xing Er is swinging to her heart’s content, dodging sneaking arrows here and there effortlessly. Even Yue Qi is surprised at her expontential kungfu growth and speed. Yuwen Yue asks in an annoyed voice why Yan Xun followed him here, and Yan Xun confessed that it’s a beautiful day and in this garden, there’s a spectacular sight he doesn’t want to miss out on.
Later that day, Xing Er brings in fresh flowers for Yuwen Yue’s room but upon entering the door, he attacks her, letting some drops of water stain his pretty clothes. Xing Er catches the vase in time but Yuwen Yue still thinks she’s too slow and orders her to dry the invisible spots on his clothes. And that she does… dabs dabs on his chest as he takes in her nearness invading his personal space with keen awareness.
He sneaks a glance at her concentrating face and when she looks up and locks eyes with him, he turns away awkwardly, unsure how to process the rising heat in his body. HAH.
He breaks away and decides to punish her more (because of your growing feeling?), he wants his personal maid to be fast and precise, while performing prettily all the required actions. She’s thankful for his teaching but he doesn’t want to hear her sugar-coated words and tells her to retire to her room.
….Where Jin Zhu’s room used to be. heh. Jin Zhu says she’s cleaning out the room for Xing Er and uses this opportunity to place an incriminating item in her bag and pretends to be disgusted when she finds it. I don’t know what that is but it seems like some bedroom voodoo crap? Lol. Xing Er merely snorts at Jin Zhu’s wasted effort and throws the jade item, breaking it in many pieces. Then Xing Er casually throws out a statement, “Jin Zhu jie jie, your item broke!” for the benefit of anyone listening, scaring Jin Zhu a bit.
Then she steps closer and warns Jin Zhu that there are words she would only repeat once and threats she would only let it out once. If Jin Zhu wants to conspire against her, Xing Er hopes she would use some of her brain in the planning.
Xing Er grabs Jin Zhu’s belonging and smashes it to the floor, telling her to disappear, but the content spills out and Xing Er recognizes the human glove, deducing that Jin Zhu is the masked girl the night her Wu Ge died.
Later, Xing Er returns to her new room to find Jin Zhu frantically ransacking the bed, looking for a pair of human-skin gloves (wait, did I hear correctly?). Jin Zhu fibs she lost something but it’s not that important.
Xing Er gives her the opportunity to look as she pleases but Jin Zhu says it’s already been a few days so it might not even be here anymore. She’ll just consider it as being generous and giving it away to a beggar.
Xing Er knows Jin Zhu is acting out of guilt – she must have something to do with her brother’s death.
Deep into the night, an archer shoots an arrow through the forest and into a secret compartment in the manor. Don’t question the physics of this world, okay? Turns out it’s a letter from Yue Qi’s man. They have found Xing Er’s background.
He explains that Xing Er arrived at Jing household three years ago as an apparent illegitimate daughter but no one knows anything about her life prior that. He wonders if Yuwen Yue recalls the incident a year ago of Luo He(?) being murdered and his niece falling into the river and disappearing.
Yue Qi thinks he could be overthinking it but the fact that Xing Er’s speedy improvement at kungfu makes it possible.
Episode 7 Recap:
The boys are playing polo when a messenger comes with an urgent message from the king for them to enter the palace. When Yan Xun calls himself a loyal son to Chang’an while speaking to the guards, the bratty Xi Feng scoffs and asks him to return in case people get suspicious of his intentions to help.
Shu Yue defends Yan Xun, calling him a childhood friend of his Wei household. Yan Xun says even though he’s from Northern Yan, his family is loyal to the country.
The guard (general?) explains that news have come from Northern Yan that Marquis Ding’s city in Yan endured for three days and has finally defeated Rou Ran. The boys look elated except for Yuwen Yue – who looks a little concerned even.
As they praise Marquis Ding’s prowess, a soldier comes down to invite Yuwen Yue alone to meet the king. Inside, they walk past Yuwen Huai who merely smirks in response.
The king tells Yuwen Yue how his concubine Wei has praised him greatly. He asks after the Tie Zi Tian Yian, an organisation under the care of the Yuwen household. Yuwen Yue answers that it’s currently mostly in hibernation. As for a portion of it, it’s under the use of the palace. He adds that his master, Mr Ouyang has been continuously training new people. So anytime the king desires it, Tian Zi Tian Yian (Eyes of God) will be ready in three months.
The king then says he’s heard how Marquis Ding opened the storehouse to feed the people, buying their hearts. The people all go to Northern Yan to settle down. When Yuwen Yue praises Marquis Ding’s magnanimity, the king adds that the marquis has apparently colluded with the general of Rou Ran.
So he wants Yuwen Yue’s Tian Zi Tian Yian to verify the rumours and squash any possible hints at rebellion. Yuwen Yue thinks that Yan family has no such aspirations but the king yells that what use he has for his organisation if they can determine the truth based on Yuwen Yue’s thoughts alone.
Yuwen Yue and Yuwen Huai receive the imperial edict. Yuwen Yue is ordered to lead his manor’s soldiers and join the army in the front lines. Yuwen Huai on the other hand gets a secret mission.
Later, concubine Wei invites Yuwen Yue for a quick chat. She tells him that the king’s intentions are very clear. If Yuwen Yue doesn’t make any move, Tie Zi Tian Yian will have a new owner.
Back at the other Yuwen household, Yuwen Huai reports to creepy ol’ Yuwen Xi that the king has secretly ordered him to look for the evidence that Marquis Ding has rebelled. It’s a rare good opportunity but without Tie Zi Tian Yian, it’ll be difficult to carry out the order.
He laments that Yuwen Yue gets both the official and unofficial support. He thinks the king wants to test the loyalty and capability of their San Fang. So the most urgent thing to do is to take out Yuwen Yue. Since he has some kind of cold and needs to rest at home for three days every spring, that’ll be the perfect time to make their move.
Yuwen Huai thinks he has the upper hand because he has Yuwen Yue’s weakness – a jade dog. Yuwen Xi thinks the dog won’t come and tell him his enemy has died so he has to look out for it. Instead, if there’s a human who does the assassination, it’ll be more efficient.
But they’ll need someone unrelated to them and with good kungfu. Yuwen Xi says that back in the day when he’s still with Tie Zi Tian Yian, he has heard of Wang Sheng Ying, a secret location that trains cold-blooded assassins and where the highest bidder wins.
Xing Er makes Yuwen Yue a cup of tea which he rejects. After several more tries and rejections, she finally presents him with ten cups of tea with varying temperature and steepness, HA. She tells him to choose but he lectures her that such luxury isn’t present in real life. There’s only a brief frame of time to make a decision.
She says that whatever rumours there are, what you see is what you believe. He then demonstrates how naive she is. First, he shows her a painting that looks different when viewed upside down. Then half a painting where she thinks the woman in it is in danger, only to reveal that another person is saving her.
That’s Yuwen Yue’s lesson for her – not to believe what she sees, for deception exists everywhere. But a stubborn Xing Er thinks there aren’t that many coincidences in life.
He relays of a story of how Disciple Jian, in order to get his master’s true teachings, try to outdo the other disciples Heng and Zhong. The disciple gets a killing intent and is subsequently kicked out by the master.
When Xing Er hears that Zhong has died, she deduces that it’s Heng who killed him since Jian is gone. Yuwen Yue questions her surety and then shows her how Jian has shot needles at Zhong. Even though he feels slight pain, Zhong doesn’t realise enough to know he’s been mortally injured.
Yuwen Yue asks if it’s coincidence that it’s Heng that finds Zhong’s corpse. Like a good student, Xing Er answers that it’s Jian’s scheme to kill two birds with one stone.
He says: “The point is that when someone wants you to see something, what can your ability help you see instead?” She’s reminded of how he killed her brother and rethinks the true situation.
As he tells her the most crucial moments in life is between life-and-death, she thinks of the little things she found suspicious: a human-skin glove, matches, the cut on her arm by Yuwen Yue.
As Yuwen Yue practices his flawless archery, Xing Er hides herself to watch. One particular arrow (more like a block of glass) goes right through the board. It’s clear to Xing Er now it’s the same arrow that saved her life in the hunting grounds. She asks him directly if he was there but he just leaves without an answer.
In a corner of the manor, Xiao Qi is hacking away at the walls. Xing Er drags her away and asks for an explanation. Xiao Qi has heard how Yuwen Yue rests just before spring comes and she wants to dig a hole to get into his chamber and attack him then. Xing Er demands that she forget her plans, because she’ll definitely be found out and punished.
Xiao Qi angrily accuses Xing Er for changing. The fire in her eyes has all dulled. She asks if Xing Er has fallen for Yuwen Yue. Xing Er answers, “Of course not! It’s just that we can’t make any sudden movements until we’ve investigated the truth.”
Like Xing Er before the lesson, Xiao Qi thinks it’s irrefutable truth that Yuwen Yue killed their brother. Xing Er makes her promise that she won’t do anything but Xiao Qi’s clearly unsatisfied and secretly calls Xing Er a liar.
Yue Qi assures Yuwen Yue everything is arranged as per previous years and he can rest with assurance.
Somewhere in a forest, Yuwen Huai is surrounded by a group of masked men. Wang Sheng Ying asks for a target and Yuwen Huai says it’s the person who will come across this path in another hour.
It’s Fei Ma Tie Zi, messenger of Yuwen Yue’s organisation. One of the men thinks it’s futile since the intel can only be read by the leader but it’s not intel that Yuwen Huai wants.
In their meeting place, Butler Zhu hands Jin Zhu a jade item that will be sure to provoke Yuwen Yue’s cold. He says it’s the old trick that works best – killing someone with another person’s dagger. So they decided to frame Xing Er.
Jin Zhu delivers the jade dog and fibs that it’s from the madam from San Fang, Yuwen Huai’s household, and that it’s already been checked by the guards. Xing Er’s suspicious but takes it anyway. Jin Zhu thinks it’s an item that sends chills to people without inner kungfu and hopes that she also dies after Yuwen Yue.
Xing Er is made to wait outside the chamber since Yuwen Yue’ is resting. Xiao Ba sees her and wonders why her lips are blue. Xing Er thinks it’s because of the jade and sends her away.
As Yuwen Yue meditates, Xing Er gets increasingly weak and pale as she holds the jade. She wonders why she’s getting colder, even as her insides feel like it’s on fire.
The messenger gets intercepted by Wang Sheng Ying and sends out a green flare, alerting his organisation. Yue Qi leaves to rescue him, leaving only a number of followers to protect Yuwen Yue. So this is the plan.
Xiao Qi sneaks around the manor, only to be captured by the guards. Apparently she has already released some poisonous snakes to go through the hole she’s made into Yuwen Yue’s chamber.
As soon as Yue Qi sees the dead messenger, he knows he’s fallen for a trap and rushes back. But it’s too late – mysterious people are intruding the manor and killing the guards.
The effect of the jade on Xing Er is getting more and more pronounced as she gets hallucinations of her past. The parrot shrieks to warn its master of the snakes but to no avail. The remaining guards outside the chamber leave their post to attack the intruders.
The parrot calls for Xing Er and she runs in, to find a weakened Yuwen Yue struggling to even hold his sword. Xing Er seems unlike herself, as if taken over by an evil spirit. She observes Yuwen Yue with a strange glint and walks closer to him.
Oh no. Xing Er holds Yuwen Yue’s hand and wrangles his sword away. She thinks of how he killed her brother and swings the sword – only to kill the snakes instead. I know there’s no way she would’ve killed him logically, but in that moment she’s capable of it and Yuwen Yue is also aware of that.
Xing Er falls. She slices Yuwen Yue’s wrist, likely to stop the snake venom for entering the blood, and struggles to keep the snakes away. Yue Qi comes in at this time and saves the day.
The wise Yuwen Yue instantly knows there’s something wrong with Xing Er. Even in his weakened state, he helps her sit up and transfers some of his energy to her. She falls into his chest, unconscious.
Yue Qi apologies and another guard comes in carrying a shuriken. Yuwen Yue recognises it as Wang Sheng Ying’s item. They go off to secure the manor.
A doctor later attends to Yuwen Yue and says it’s fortunate that he received quick medical attention and has great inner kungfu. His recovery would be speedy. He takes in the doctor’s words with understanding of what Xing Er has done for him.
Jin Zhu, Xiao Ba, and Xiao Qi have been singled out as prime suspects. Jin Zhu’s trying to dig her grave at this point by blaming Xing Er. She says it’s only Xing Er who can enter the master’s chamber.
When Xiao Ba protests that Xing Er has been carrying the jade dog all night long, Jin Zhu further blames the Jing sisters for being Xing Er’s accomplices in trying to avenge their brother. Only Xiao Qi is quiet, knowing full well what she has done.
The doctor confirms that anyone without inner kungfu would suffer greatly from encountering the jade dog and orders it placed far away from Yuwen Yue.
Yuwen Yue asks the doctor to look at Xing Er, who’s tucked away in the inner compartment of his bed. Upon seeing Xing Er’s silver-bell ornament, he asks why Yuwen Yue would humiliate him so, asking a noble like him to treat a slave, and refuses. Jeez, is the Hippocratic oath not invented yet by then?
Yuwen Yue: “A noble? If I want to, I’ll make Chang’an lose a noble and gain a slave.” The doctor’s unhappy and says he’s threatening him, but Yuwen Yue easily admits it.
With no choice, the doctor is forced to do his job and finds that while Xing Er looks ordinary, she’s actually hiding a frightening amount of inner kungfu. He deduces that some kind of accident has forced her to suppress the kungfu but once it’s unleashed, she would lose her life in half a day.
Episode 8 Recap:
The only cure is for someone with a cold inner energy to suppress Xing Er’s hot inner energy. Yue Qi threatens the doctor and he smartly says he’s only seen Yuwen Yue today and nothing else.
Yuwen Yue watches as Xing Er struggles and orders Yue Qi to carry Xing Er to the lair. Yue Qi thinks there’s no way to save her but Yuwen Yue says he’ll decide on her life.
It turns out Yuwen Yue is the one carrying Xing Er instead. He asks for the jade dog (likely to supplement his own cold inner energy) but Yue Qi refuses. His safety represents the safety of the entire Tie Zi Tian Yian. But Yuwen Yue is determined to save Xing Er.
The doctor is intercepted by Yuwen Huai and Butler Zhu. At first he refuses to speak but after a stab on his thigh, he reveals everything except for Xing Er’s part. But he gets killed anyway to appease Yuwen Huai’s frustration.
Back at the lair, Xing Er remembers how her mother transfer her cold inner energy to her that’s too strong for Xing Er to control. Yuwen Yue spits out blood and is momentarily blind, but the worse is over.
Yue Qi thinks it’s not worth their efforts to save a mere slave but Yuwen Yue thinks there’s more to her. She and Jin Zhu are the prime suspects to the case. Yue Qi is relieved, thinking that’s the only reason why his master saved Xing Er. I think otherwise.
Yuwen Yue orders Yue Qi to pressure both suspects and see who’ll find out each other’s incriminating evidence first. It seems harsh but when he turns to look at Xing Er, I really think there’s more to what he reveals.
Xiao Ba is hauled into the room where Xiao Qi is hung from the ceiling. Xiao Qi confirms that it’s her who released the snakes and while they’ve all forgotten about their brother’s murder, she has not.
So Xiao Ba tells her to push all the blame onto Xing Er: “She’s the one who wanted revenge, why should you take the blame for it?” Xiao Qi refuses to implicate anyone for her own deeds. Xiao Ba tells her Xing Er isn’t their biological sister. The two of them are the only living Jing.
Xing Er gets even more vague memories of her mother telling her she didn’t want any of this for me. She only wanted her daughter to be able to take care of herself: “Only by living on, you’ll have unlimited opportunities.”
She wakes up to Yuwen Yue watching her(?) and grabs the sword sitting at the edge. She apologises for hurting him to save him. Yuwen Yue: “I think you wanted to kill. Only when you saw Yue Qi, you changed your plans to save me. Is that it?”
Xing Er defends her innocence. Yuwen Yue thinks it’s only because she’s not capable now and asks if she will avenge her brother in the future. Xing Er says it’s impossible since nothing gets past Yuwen Yue. But he’s literally blind and can’t see her now, so he has her taken away for interrogation.
At the interrogation, Jin Zhu blames Xing Er for the snakes since she’s the only one unafraid of them. When they bicker, Yuwen Yue angrily slams the jade dog to the floor, which frightens Jin Zhu. But Xing Er is calm as she explains, “I’m not a princess, I’m a slave. When I’m hungry, I’d even eat a rat, much less a snake.”
Yue Qi takes this to mean that this means her sisters would be unafraid as well. Only now her expression changes and she furiously defends them. Xiao Ba tries to suggest it’s Xing Er but the kind-hearted Xiao Qi admits her own faults.
Xing Er slaps Xiao Qi to shut her up and Jin Zhu jumps on that confession. Even if Xiao Qi can’t enter the chamber freely, there’s Xing Er. But Xing Er raises doubt about Jin Zhu instead: why is she able to see Xiao Qi acting suspicious days in a row?
Xiao Qi fibs that she’s looking for something and Xing Er chimes in to say it’s a handkerchief she lost. At this, Yuwen Yue caresses a handkerchief he’s kept – which triggers a memory of when Xing Er used the said handkerchief to clean his robes.
He has stared at her with an unreadable expression of interest. When she looks at him, he turns away, ha. That was definitely a moment. When she left, he had held onto that handkerchief.
Back in the present, Xing Er explains the handkerchief is the only thing that their mother gave them after their entire family fell. She tells the sisters that it’s fine that they lost it, as long as they cherished it in their hearts. The girls cry.
Jin Zhu looks alarmed at the sob story but it’s not something that deters Yue Qi and Yuwen Yue. What’s worse is when Xing Er asks her buying new plants in their courtyard, a species of plants that attracts bugs and snakes. She’s further accused for swindling money but suspiciously not buying her freedom with that money.
That’s enough to convince Yuwen Yue yet so she brings up the fact that Jin Zhu is the order who gave her the jade dog. With the jade smashed, she blindly refuses her involvement. When Xing Er picks up the fragments, she gets up to “protect” Yuwen Yue.
Jin Zhu accuses Xing Er for wanting to harm Yuwen Yue even as he’s blind. That’s answer enough for Yue Qi as he calls for her to be hauled away. Only the culprit would know the true nature of the jade dog.
Jin Zhu is forced to reveal that Butler Zhu’s the one who gave it to her but maintains her innocence that she doesn’t know of Yuwen Yue’s disease. Yuwen Yue orders for Xing Er to punish Jin Zhu. Oh ho, how the tides have turned.
Xing Er’s tempted but her good side ultimately wins. She thinks it’s too cruel to hit human to death. Yuwen Yue says if it’s up to Jin Zhu, she wouldn’t have felt that way but agrees to take over. He orders Jin Zhu to be hit twenty times.
He rewards Xing Er but she only wants her two sisters to live with her instead. Yuwen Yue agrees and I’m glad to see Xiao Ba looks a little ashamed of herself.
Yue Qi asks why Yuwen Yue let Jin Zhu go. Yuwen Yue’s answer: “She’s not a threat. Further I need the king to believe my blindness is a result of Yuwen Huai’s jade dog and cannot execute his imperial edict.” He also wants to see how Xing Er suppress Jin Zhu.
Yuwen Yue calls for the mourning period to be over and Yue Qi happily asks if it’s time to “invite” Xing Er into his chamber: “From what I see, master is also at the appropriate age…” LOL.
The king sits with his concubine Wei, who relays the jade dog incident. She’s clearly on Yuwen Yue camp and berates Yuwen Huai. But the king thinks it’s just everyday business for such violence to occur in big families. If they bring it up, it’ll only smear his reputation.
The king says the most important matter is to select a new master for Tie Zi Tian Yian. Yuwen Yue’s out now since he refused the edict. Concubine Wei tests the king’s true feelings by asking if he wants the cruel and wicked Yuwen Huai instead. That increases the king’s doubt of Yuwen Huai’s character and he says he has to consider further.
So concubine Wei’s trick works and Yuwen Yue receives the edict to do his job anyway. On the other side, Yuwen Huai is rebuked for “accidentally” harming his cousin and is put under house arrest. Yuwen Xi slaps Huai and scolds him for humiliating San Fang like his father before him.
Butler Zhu relays Yuwen Huai’s disappointment to Jin Zhu and orders for her to stay away from Xing Er at the moment. She relents under pressure but she promises to herself she would kill Xing Er.
That night, masked and dressed entirely in black, she and her accomplice hide something in Xing Er’s room. They then release snakes and spiders into the servant’s chamber and yell about it in the morning. They put on a show how it must be Xing Er. (How does anyone even believe her anymore? Are these maids stupid?)
The maids are determined to ransack the sisters’ room for evidence. Xiao Ba asks if Jin Zhu’s not afraid and gets a slap from a smug Jin Zhu who dares Xing Er to find her.
Right on cue, Xing Er calls Jin Zhu and throws a bucket of water at her, ha. When asked what are they doing here, they say they’re here on the butler’s order. Xing Er calls their bluff and asks if they should ask Yuwen Yue about it.
The maids try to stop her since it’s not a big deal and they can’t find any evidence. They run away in fear and the mean girls’ plan is thwarted.
Outside, they wonder where those things they’ve hid are gone. Jin Zhu thinks as long as those things are still in the manor, Xing Er would try to throw them away and that’s when they can catch her in the act. That way they can reopen investigations on the assassination case.
Xing Er has indeed hidden the snakes in a pot under her bed. Turns out she’s seen them leaving her room and the sisters wonder if they should throw them away. But the intelligent Xing Er knows it’s just what Jin Zhu wants and she wants to use Jin Zhu to find out the truth about their brother.
Xing Er brings fresh flowers into the room for Yuwen Yue, who calls her a kitten up to something. She tells him she doesn’t understand his weird words. Yuwen Yue: “Jin Zhu isn’t smart but you’re not all that more intelligent. Don’t think that I don’t know where the snakes are from.”
She says he’s overthinking and tries to escape with the excuse of bringing a new cup of tea. Even blind, he manages to hold onto her wrist and she drops the cup. He still suspects her and says all she has managed to do is implicate Jin Zhu alone.
She winces at his grasp and he immediately lets go, asking if she’s okay. His clear worry is so telling. Xing Er thanks him for his concern: “My life is given by you. All I want to do is live well. As for Jin Zhu, I truly don’t think about her and don’t dare to lie to you.”
He doesn’t quite believe her and thinks she’s already thought of handling Jin Zhu. He warns her not to show her wickedness and have him find out. He dismisses her for being a pain to his eyes and she retorts under breath he can’t see her anyway, ha.
Yuwen Yue: “You think that since I’m blind, my ears are not working anymore?” Xing Er apologises. He then asks if she wants the entire Chang’an to know he’s blind. She says she won’t bring up the fact, by bringing up the same fact. Lol.
When Jin Zhu opens the door, she just oh so happens to see Xiao Qi walking past suspiciously with a pot. She thinks she’s hit the jackpot and asks her accomplice to call for Butler Zhu and Yue Qi as witnesses. Then she intercepts Xiao Qi and tries to steal the pot – only to find it’s just honey.
Meanwhile Xing Er is climbing to a mountain where the greenhouse is at. She finds Yan Xun’s horse there but our adorable puppy is not around. She finds the pot she’s hidden and, noticing Jin Zhu’s presence, takes it to the cliff.
Jin Zhu confronts her and Xing Er asks so what. She dares her to steal the pot from her and provokes her by threatening to throw the evidence away. As butler Zhu and his people arrive, they see the pot in Jin Zhu’s hand and Xing Er falling off the cliff.
I had high hopes for this show, hyping it up in my own mind because I’m a fan of the main cast. That’s also why I wanted to recap the show. But when I watched the first two episodes, I was honestly not all that impressed. The disregard for psychics just cheapens the intensity of some scenes, especially the part where Xing Er kills the wolves. Still find her a badass but I can do without the physically impossible stunts.
Then these episodes came along and I’m firmly in the show’s camp. There’s a clear story to be told, strong recurring themes, and fleshed out characters. I’m rooting for Xing Er, I want her to survive the odds and find her real family, I want her to succeed. I like her when she’s on survival mode but I want to see more of her when she’s allowed to be happy and secure, like how she snarks against Yuwen Yue.
As for the male leads, there’s not much I can say yet. Yan Xun is absolutely adorable and a ball of sunshine but the synopsis has warned us what he’s capable of: breaking our hearts, that is. Kap warned me about Yuwen Yue and I think I like how the show tweaked some of his personality to be more likable from the start-off. I don’t want to hate him. In fact I’m enjoying how he seems to be caring for Xing Er, even if he won’t admit it. Yan Xun is right: Yuwen Yue seems to be in so much more danger of being bitten by the wild cat.