A huge thanks to Maymay, Candora, and Kath for recapping these episodes! – Kap
Episode 13 RECAP (written by maymay):
The King summons both Yuwen Huai and Yuwen Yue to inquire about the stolen map. Yuwen Huai places the blame squarely on Yan Xun’s door, clearly something the King wishes to hear. The King hesitates on granting him power over Yuwen Yue but instructs him to keep an eye on Yan Xun. On the other hand, Yuwen Yue would not commit to accuse Yan’s family for treason without concrete evidence. The King’s suspicion is so strong he would rather wrongly kill a loyal subject than to miss out on a potential danger of rebellion.
Yuwen Zhuo wants to utilize Xing Er for their mission. Yuwen Yue hesitates initially but agrees on the condition that he be told the truth regarding the reason his mum went mad…and whether Ji Le Ge has anything to do with it.
So Yuwen Yue sets Xing Er on another of her training sessions. She has to escape within a certain time frame while her limbs are being chained, before arrows are released at her (why does this feel like a magic show….the illusionist?). Anyway she barely makes it alive but of course Yuwen Yue knocks away the last few arrows. He is still being his strict self though and orders her to do more shooting training.
Yan Xun drops by offering to buy Xing Er. Yuwen Yue naturally refuses. Yan Xun tries to convince him that Xing Er, like himself, is not the kind to live in submission. She deserves to be free or else she would only be hurt later. He can sorta guess that Yuwen Yue is training her and not too agreeable on that. Yuwen Yue points out that Yan Xun’s sensitive position is bound to bring greater calamities if Xing Er is to follow him.
Xing Er is practicing her shooting when Yan Xun’s horse gets in the way. Well actually Yuan Song is here and pesters her to ride with him. He uses the fact that the horse is fond of her and coaxes her to join him. Xing Er is in a good mood and agrees.
Yan Xun is still bent on persuading Yuwen Yue to let Xing Er follow him, with nil progress. At one point, Yuwen Yue is mildly alarmed hearing that Xing Er left the compound with Yuan Song. He then later declares that Xing Er is not to leave again without his permission lmao.
Yue Qi wonders why Yuwen Yue is not telling Yan Xun about the King’s suspicion. Yuwen Yue feels that based on Yan Xun’s temperament, it is bound to make things worse. It would be better that Yan Xun leaves before the King takes any action.
Meanwhile, Xing Er on the most awkward horse ride ever, belatedly realizes she’s being taken to somewhere else. Well, actually Yuan Song claims it’s a little secret place he likes – all dreamy falling plum blossom petals (sigh however fake it is) but since they are actually being followed by Butler Zhu….it’s probably not so secret after all. Poor Yuan Song is trying so hard to impress Xing Er but she is distracted by Butler Zhu’s presence and soon excuses herself.
She allows herself to be taken by Butler zhu (well hit unconscious) and taken to the servant punishment quarters again. At least Yue Qi witnesses everything. Unsurprisingly, it is Yuwen Huai who wants to capture her. He wants information on the spying network, even promising her a way out of slavery – by becoming his concubine but she just plays dumb.
Yue Qi reports to Yuwen Yue – Yan Xun immediately rushes to help while Yuwen Yue… orders Yue Qi and their people not to intervene. Sigh.
Xing Er pretends to align with Yuwen Huai, explaining that she now has the trust of Yuwen Yue. She will eventually have access to the secretive spying network. Yuwen Huai believes her because she still has to take revenge for her brother, and she plays the part of the double spy role supported by half truths.
By now, Yan Xun has made his way to the prisoner area. Yuwen Huai is bemused by her ability to attract many suitors. He also realizes that she is very good at playing pretend and holds Xing Er hostage. Yan Xun refuses to back down, his personality and background dictate that he never backs down from a provocation. Yuwen Huai gives in readily, not wanting a confrontation. Yan Xun warns him off.
Yuwen Huai is pissed to the max, having realized he was taken for a fool by Xing Er. He orders Butler Zhu to engage the Wang Sheng Ying assassins to kill her.
Once they are safe, Yan Xun starts teasing for her gratitude. Annoyed, she complies but her attitude is anything but, and eager to keep a distance with him. Yan Xun grabs her when she tries to leave but Yuan Song has belatedly arrived to “rescue” her. Yuan Song notes the skinship and not-so-subtly butts Yuan Xun out of the way while he asks for her welfare. She replies she is fine and excuses herself.
Yan Xun grumbles that Xing Er is an ingrate… and pledges never to stick his nose into her matters again. Yuan Song agrees. But in the very next moment he asks that Yuan Song covers for her (for riding his horse out the house without permission) before Yuwen Yue. Heh. Yuan Song, followed by Feng Mian, tease Yan Xun about a picking a new surname.
That night, the assassins come for Xing Er. She notices them right away but thinks they are from Yuwen Huai’s normal warriors. Not sure why Yuwen Yue is masquerading as batman and flying across the sky at the time, but he is looking over Xing Er, that’s for sure. Xing Er fights them evenly at first but is soon outnumbered and restrained. Yuwen Yue intervenes at the last moment and she is once again rescued by the physics-defying bow arrow.
Yuwen Yue is having some me-time with his flute when Xing Er shows up. He asks for an explanation over her capture. She considers for a moment then decides to tell the truth, or the surface of the truth. That Yuwen Huai wants information on the spying network which she does not know anything about anyway. She also describes Yan Xun’s rescue and the assassins after her. She asks about the assassins but he just dismisses her. On the other end, a drunk Yuwen Huai also receives news of the failed assassination.
Perverted geezer Yuwen Xi is enjoying one of his debauchery nights when he receives a special guest. Yin Xin shows his badge – identifying him as a spy of the Southern Empire. He blackmails Yuwen Xi with the secret of the Yuwen Yue’s mum’s death… for the map of the Spy hideout. Yuwen Xi complies. Then Yin Xin asks that they hold a party and invite Yuwen Yue.
Xing Er resumes her chambermaid duties, making sure Yuwen Yue’s bed is warm but our cold instructor suddenly feels a sparring session is due. Lol. He wants to teach her how to overcome her shortcomings during her fight with the assassins. After a while, the sparring session begins to look more like a dance and she falls into his embrace looking startled. The charged moment is ruined when Yuwen Yue drops some liquid into her eyes. *Facepalm*
Episode 14 RECAP (Written by Candora):
The king is still worried about the stolen map and speculates the Northern Yan of rebelling. Consort Wei reports that Yan Xun’s mom, Bai Sheng, is here and she wants to take Yan Xun back to Northern Yan with her.
On the other side, princess Chun Er tricks Yan Xun to come see her. She is constantly bothering Yan Xun to play with her. He accidentally lets it slip that he will be returning to Northern Yan soon. Hearing that, she cries and tells him that she doesn’t want him to leave! She drags him to where the king, consort Wei and Yan Xun’s mom are and begs her dad to make Yan Xun stay. At least for another month until her party. The king happily agrees and orders Bai Sheng to stay as well.
Alone with his mom, Yan Xun asks if he had soiled her plan. She just smiles at him. Since they will be returning to Northern Yan (Yan Bei) soon, she asks him if there is anyone he will miss. He smiles cheekily and says there is. Even though her status is different from theirs, he likes her.
From afar, princess Chun Er eavesdrops on their conversation and thinks that the person Yan Xun is talking about is her. She cries tears of happiness. Yuwen Zhuo deduces that Yan Xun stays in Chang’An for Xing Er. Yuwen Yue reports that spies from Da Liang got information that the king wants to attack Yan Bei and therefore sent out an elite female spy to infiltrate Da Wei. He wants Xing Er to be in charge of intercepting that spy. Yuwen Zhuo questions Xing Er’s ability and Yuwen Yue defends her ability and says that with his training, she should be ready.
On the other side, Yuwen Xi reprimands Yuwen Huai for slacking on the party arrangement. He orders, again, to invite Yuwen Yue no matter what.
The blinded Xing Er now has a very keen sense of smell. Yue Qi tells her that no matter how well she can smell, her blindness will still put her out of commission. Xing Er knows that Yuwen Yue has arrived by his unique smell. He asks if she hates him for blinding her. Xing Er: “I know you will not harm me.” He takes off her blindfold and she can see the pearl on the parrot’s mouth. Her eye sight has improved a lot! Yuwen Yue explains that the Hua Tou Water he dropped into her eyes has the ability to improve her eyesight and allow her to see details that normal people can’t. He will take her to a banquet and she will have to use all her senses to monitor and remember every little detail.
Outside Qing Shan Yuan, Yan Xun plays the flute to call out to Xing Er. Yuwen Yue reminds her not to get distracted. Yan Xun wants Xing Er to go to Yan Bei with him but his loyal guard questions whether she will follow him.
The day of the party, princess Chun Er arrives to only find Yuwen Huai, her brother, and other people that she doesn’t care for. Because Yan Xun is not there, she takes the chance to lash out at the guys, poking fun at Yuwen Huai and calling Zhao Xi Feng a hypocrite.
Yuwen Yue and Xing Er are also heading to the party. The minute they step outside, Yan Xun is there to greet them. He asks if he can speak to Xing Er alone. He tells Xing Er that he will be returning to Yan Bei soon. Since it is a long trip, he asks what she would need so that he can prepare for her. She rejects his offer and wishes him a good trip.
Everyone is enjoying the dancing and music at the party except for princess Chun Er, who is waiting for Yan Xun’s arrival. Yan Xun, Yuwen Yue and Xing Er arrive at the same time. Yuwen Yue and Xing Er notice right away the veiled lady’s agility. Princess Chun Er gets jealous when she sees Yan Xun starring at Xing Er. She lashes out at the dancers calling their dance obscene.
The veiled lady, Fan Qing, comes out to defend the dance and music. The princess gets even angrier. Yan Xun defends the lady and dismisses her since the princess doesn’t like her. As she walks pass Xing Er, Xing Er recognizes the smell to be the same as the veiled lady from the lantern festival. She gets the signal from Yuwen Yue to follow her.
Fan Qing (Da Liang Princess) returns to her room and changes into all black clothing with a black cover over her face. Xing Er follows her to her room but is a step too late. She continues to follow her to a hidden passage where she gets attacked by Fan Qing. Fan Qing escapes into another hidden room and Xing Er continues to follow her. They start to fight in the room but Xing Er is at a disadvantage. Just when Fan Qing is about to deliver a fatal blow, Yuwen Yue comes out of nowhere to save Xing Er. Fan Qing runs away after seeing him.
Yuwen Yue looks at Xing Er without a word. She asks him what he’s thinking. He replies, “Whether to kill you or not.” He tells her that they’re standing at the heart of Die Zhi Tian Yan. Only spies can know of the existence of this place. There are only two fates for her now. One is to join the league and become a spy or two, to commit suicide now. Without a choice, she picks to join as a spy of Die Zhi Tian Yan. He gives her Chang Hong sword as proof of her spy status.
Episode 15 RECAP (written by Kath):
Yuwen Huai is the peeping tom on the Liang Princess. She calls him out on it. They talk about his ambitions and goals, despite being the son of a concubine. Then he simply asks her to how to change his fate. She says time will tell.
Grandpa is furious at Yuwen Yue for not taking precautions because the female spy (the Liang Princess) was able to penetrate and breach into the Tower of Die Zhi Tian Yan. Grandpa suspects the incident was planned by Yuwen Huai, but Yuwen Yue says Yuwen Huai looked clueless. They deduce that it’s Yuwen Xi aka creepy pervy old man. They discuss Xing Er being the spy for Die Zhi Tian Yan, and Yuwen Yue backs her up and says he believes in her potentials. When he’s gone, Grandpa and servant discuss plans to get rid of Xing Er, and Grandpa says he can’t let his grandson follow down the same path as his. (WHAT DID HE DO? TELL ME NAO!) BUT NO, now they want to get rid of our gal!)
With the princess at him, Yan Xun tells her a joke. They’re in each other’s company, and he’s able to make her laugh. Despite the story being a joke about an emperor who enjoys music, but no one else around him could understand, and how alone he must feel. It’s a reflection of how Yan Xun feels — that no one can understand him.
Yuwen Yue, Yue Qi, and grandpa’s servant discuss the tactics and strategies of their spies placed around the city to investigate the spy that infiltrated the tower. Yuwen Yue wants the secret tunnels to the tower rebuilt, impressed that the Liang spies came into the city, infiltrated their secret tower, and was able to run off. Yue Qi later reports that they captured some of the spies, but unable to get details. Yuwen Yue tells him to capture the leader, and all other details will be revealed.
The Liang Princess is informed about the situation, and her servant tells her to escape. She refuses and says she must get rid of Yuwen Yue. The Liang Princess deduces that Xing Er is Yuwen Yue’s weakness. The Liang Princess says the men from the Yuwen Household are very romantic, alluding to grandpa who disabled his legs for a maid and destroyed his future. She concludes that to take out Yuwen Yue, they’d have to get rid of Xing Er. (Dang, our girl has so many targets on her back now!)
Creepy pervy old man while in his spa, hallucinates that his maid is out to kill him and suffocates her to death. Yuwen Huai arrives and asks his grandpa about the ceremony and gets straight to the point of why information was withheld from him. Creeper grandpa berates his grandson and insults him. Yuwen Huai stays silent, but his palms clench his outfit.
Xing Er practices her sword exercise only to find Yan Xun approaching her. He tells her to come with him again, promising that she won’t be a slave. He sees her worries, and asks if it’s related to her sisters, because if that is the case, he’d have an arrangement for the sisters too. There is a slight bit of hope on his face as he glances down almost shyly. He hopes she’ll consider his offer, and gifts her his flute, placing the object into the palm of her hand.
(This really is heartbreaking, because it does feel like it’s still more one-sided, unrequited. Yuan Xun is such a sweetheart, and reading spoilers and knowing about the cards that he’s given forces him to change so much is soooo sad! While I can sense that Xing Er sees the sincerity in Yan Xun, and she has to be incredibly touched by his gestures, she is so controlled and restrained around him. I do hope to see her love for him blossom before we bring on the angst and heartache!)
Yuwen Yue sees this interaction between them from above and walks away.
Later, Xing Er arrives with medicine for Yuwen Yue and reminds him he has to take it on time. (He does look jealous/annoyed before he takes the medicine though!) Yuwen Yue comments that the medicine is bitter, and Xing Er responds that all medicine is bitter. She asks when she can start training. He dismisses her instead, but then calls her back. She asks him what else he needs, and it’s a cute list she runs through, such as asking if he needs fruit to fight the bitterness of the medicine, or if he wants to call the carriage to go outside, etc. He is clearly upset now as he slams the medicine bowl on the table.
He continues to pierce his stare on her and finally says if slaves like her run away, they need to be executed. Yuwen Yue then asks her if Yan Xun is serious and lets her become a concubine, wouldn’t that be what she wants? Xing Er throws back that she isn’t going to simply follow someone blindly for just a piece of meat.
She excuses herself, and Yuwen Yue continues to drink his bitter medicine. This time though, there’s a slight grin on his lips. (This boy is totally head over heels and in major denial. It’s really sad though because I feel Xing Er can probably get an idea that he does like her, because he treats her well, but she’s so busy doing what she needs, I doubt she is even aware how deep his feelings for her are.)
Yue Qi and men are stationed around the city, but find no way to infiltrate or eavesdrop on the spies from Liang because contraptions have been laid out. They have bugs kept in baskets chirping loud enough that the men can’t hear anything.
Yuwen Yue and Xing Er enter the secret tower. Yuwen Yue turns the knob keys on a stone-wall which opens up into another secret room, leading to another room. He tells her it’s her first day being an agent, and she’s allowed to be in this area. Xing Er is pleased. She examines the room and studies the weapons laid out. A large map of the whole world hanging on the wall catches her attention. Yuwen Yue explains that the province of Chang’an is the heart of the world, where information is sent and destiny is controlled. He cautions her to follow orders and survive. Then he presents her with a box and tells her to open it. She sees a uniform, and a gold medallion. The gold medallion represents a decree that she is free. She asks if it’s for her, and Yuwen Yue confirms it is, stating that she’ll need to be free to travel and complete her mission.
(Omgosh, is that his subtle way of freeing her? I mean logically, if she’s a spy, she shouldn’t be seen, and doesn’t need to present anything to anyone. Am I right? So I think it’s sweet that he’s basically giving her her freedom, and using this as an excuse!) There are similar looking boxes to the one she opens, and she asks about them. But Yuwen Yue says she’ll know what they contain when the time is right. (Is it more freedom medallion Yuwen Yue plans to use to set the slaves free?)
As Yuwen Yue continues to go over the history and warning, Xing Er picks up a crossbow in fascination, distracted. Yuwen Yue continues when he has her attention again, alluding to how the daughter of the Wind and Cloud Sector (Feng Yun Ling) disappeared. But says that if the daughter reappears again, there would be war because of her talent and skilled martial arts.
Xing Er, unaware, says she would love to meet this daughter.
Episode 16 RECAP (written by Kath):
In the palace, the emperor eats a treat made by Bai Sheng (Yan Xun’s mom) and suddenly rages; he throws the treat to the floor. He wishes people could remain innocent and Bai Sheng is at fault for doing everything for her son. (I was cracking up seeing the eyeliner on the emperor’s eyes.) The empress is able to convince the emperor to let Bai Sheng return home.
Yan Xun is only able to escort his mother partially until the carriage stops. He climbs down from his horse to bid her a farewell, and they talk. She tells him to be careful, but he tells his mother the emperor is skeptical, and they must stay in line, at least to ride out the storm. (I love his smile, and we get to see another side of his intelligence and observations despite the goofy demeanor he shows.) Yan Xun’s mother tells him to take the girl he loves back home to Yanbei soon. (Oh no, why do I feel this is the last happy moment he’ll have with his family before things take a turn for the dark side? NOOO, my heart isn’t ready to see the heartbreak he’ll have to endure!)
Yuwen Yue continues to lecture Xing Er, and says she has ambition, just no abilities. (This irks me, because despite his ice cube persona, and how he truly feels, he still insults her. I get annoyed, because it’s literally such a jerk thing to do. At times, as much as I adore the cute scenes, he can really be a jerktwat.)
In his room, Yuwen Yue reads a letter and looks at the toy bird. He pens a letter saying how despite he wants to be free and flow like the river, he has to remain steadfast and still. It perhaps alludes to how restrained he has to be — matches with his ice cube persona.
Yuwen Yue meets with his grandpa and informs them that the spies from Liang this time are different. He doesn’t want to send Xing Er yet, because he feels the mission would backfire. In mockery, grandpa taunts him about the duties of Die Zhi Tian Yan vs that of a servant.
Yue Qi comes in to report that he can’t obtain any information. Grandpa forces Yuwen Yue to send Xing Er in place to execute the mission, and this will be a test of her abilities and if she’s a capable spy or not. And if she fails, it will cost them nothing. Yuwen Yue is reluctant, but agrees. Later, Yuwen Yue tells Yue Qi to follow Xing Er in secret, but if something happens, let her rely on her abilities.
Xing Er waits for Yuwen Yue and asks when she can start her training again. He instead says her practice will now be a real mission. Yuwen Yue informs her that her mission is to tail the woman she fought with (the Liang Princess) to obtain information and be the spy she’s meant to be. Yue Qi presents her with an eavesdropping device to use.
The Liang Princess is informed that Yan Xun plans to escape because one of Yanbei’s best female fighter (Zhong Yu) is in town. But she has to get rid of Yuwen Yue first. She toasts to the death of Yuwen Yue soon. (Why is she so out to get him? Do they have a personal history or is he just simply in her way?) The Liang Princess is aware that she is being eavesdropped. It’s Xing Er eavesdropping on their conversation. (WAIT! She can’t be that naïve? Actually, the whole house of Yuwen can’t be that naïve to think they could use that device right? WHATTTT?)
Later, Xing Er follows the Liang Princess and her servant, with Yue Qi tailing her.
The female fighter (Zhong Yu) comes into a store owned by Zuo Man Cang and gets straight to the point of asking him to purchase weapons. He asks her if she’s planning to raise an army to rebel. The female fighter says they aren’t rebelling, but they’re afraid they’d be framed for rebelling.
The Liang Princess and her servant enter the same shop and the Liang Princess fights with the Yanbei female fighter (Zhong Yu). Xing Er is soon caught into the scuffle and fights with the Liang Princess. Zhong Yu continues to fight the princess’s servant as Xing Er and the Liang Princess battle with their swords.
Yue Qi is injured by the male servant (Yin Xin) of the princess until Yuwen Yue comes to save him. Yuwen Yue realizes Xing Er is gone.
Xing Er fights both the princess and the servant in what appears to be an underground cave. As the two women fight Xing Er, Yuwen Yue comes to her aid. As the princess aims a sword at Xing Er, Yuwen Yue pushes her out of the way. The Liang Princess calls him out on risking his own life to save a simple servant.
Xing Er and Yuwen Yue are forced into another part of the cave as a boulder comes crashing down, courtesy of the princess’s servant. This traps Yuwen Yue and Xing Er into another section of the cave. The Liang Princess reflects that though the world has countless lovers, not many would sacrifice their life the way Yuwen Yue just did. They reference Xing Er and Yuwen Yue as Romeo and Juliet. Before leaving, they burn down the place, assuming they have trapped and killed Yuwen Yue.
Back inside the trapped cave, the shop owner, Zuo Man Cang, explains to Xing Er that he understands now why they used his place – they wanted Yuwen Yue to come. They lured Yuwen Yue to the cave using Xing Er as the bait, and now he is trapped and will die. The keeper laments that his fate is the worst, because his store is smashed and he is caught in-between the quarrels of lovers.
Xing Er corrects him that she’s only a servant, and Yuwen Yue is her master. The shopkeeper comments that Yuwen Yue is a good man for being a master, even risking death for a mere servant. He comments that Yuwen Yue is an upstanding man lasting perhaps nine generations, and the keeper admires him for it.
An injured Yue Qi returns to the manor and informs that the young master is in trouble.
The keeper is able to tell that Xing Er and Yuwen Yue are spies from Die Zhi Tian Yan because of the weapons. Xing Er follows the keeper further into the cave. The ground is uneven, and she slips, only to be saved by Yuwen Yue as he wraps his arm around her waist to break her fall. (Aww, it’s cute and awkward at the same time! But I am frustrated that if she’s so well-trained, she wouldn’t have slipped right? Or am I being too harsh? I mean he’s always there to rescue her, and that’s just shoving it down our throats!)
Creeper grandpa Yuwen Xi walks the grounds and sees a dead slave. He sees a flying cloak and screams. The Liang Princess arrives and Yuwen Xi seems to recognize her. She tells him she wouldn’t have to come in person if he had executed the plans properly. Yuwen Xi tells the Liang Princess the map she gave him was incomplete, so the mission failed. The princess’s servant tosses the flying cloak at the man. And the Liang Princess threatens if Yuwen Yue ever finds out about the death of his mother…. she leaves this sentence hanging because she senses Yuwen Huai’s presence. She and her servant disappear as he enters Yuwen Xi’s quarters.
Back in the cave, Xing Er is annoyed that the keeper can still find time to take a nap instead of finding a way out. The keeper keeps his eyes closed, but says he knows Yuwen Yue is the inheritor of the Yuwen Household, but again points out that Yuwen Yue risked his life for a maid. Basically he says that Yuwen Yue is a goner — totally whipped by our girl. The keeper says their generation of men gets worse and worse, referring to perhaps the men being romanticists. Xing Er tells the keeper to shut up.
Yuwen Yue sits down against a boulder, and Xing Er asks him if he’s thinking of a way to escape. He tells her they have no choice but to wait things out and let fate run its course. For once, Yuwen Yue does seem weary as he lays back against the cave wall and closes his eyes.
—- END —-