With this production hell bent on not loving Yan Xun, I just have to shoulder that responsibility and love him more. To that end, I’m really confused why some fans are confused about the ultimate ship. I think my synopsis is really clear with Yue-Qiao as the ending game. But knowing that doesn’t mean that our heroine can’t love more than one man! She should! Can’t she experience love with different people and finally settle down with the ONE? Spoilers at this point won’t even help much because with all the changes made to Yue’s character, intentions have been altered and we just have to follow the drama as it presents the story to us. Enjoy the ride, enjoy not knowing what’s gonna happen. What’s fun when you know everything beforehand? (Trust me, it’s not fun… )
Thanks Candora for helping me with episode 12 recap. I’m so drained.
Episode 9 Recap (Written by Kappy):
Xing Er’s carefully planned scheme carries out without a hitch, ending last episode with her shoving the pot of snakes into Jin Zhu’s arm before she jumps to her supposed death. She doesn’t die of course because she has found a lair at the side of the mountain and swings herself into there, where our bunny Prince Yan Xun is peacefully reading. Right on cue, Xiao Ba leads Yue Qi to the scene and points at Jin Zhu as the culprit.
Up at the cliff, Jin Zhu’s words fall on deaf ears because they saw her with the pot of snakes and Xing Er is nowhere in sight. Yue Qi snorts at her story of being set up, he asks if someone would jump off a cliff and die just to pin the blame on her? All said and done with, Yue Qi hands Jin Zhu over to Zhu Butler and tells him to handle this matter, while the keen old man picks up on Xiao Ba’s lukewarm reaction at Xing Er’s death. He tries to make a case of searching for the body but Yue Qi doesn’t want to waste time looking for a corpse.
Yan Xun approaches Xing Er and catches on the situation, he tells her to behave herself and not carried evil intentions, and at that, Xing Er lifts a dagger to his neck to silence the talkative man. Heh. After the people leave, she points out Yan Xun’s suspicious behavior in a secret cave and he defends himself, saying that he’s here to escape the hot weather. He turns the table around and asks how she will repay him for not exposing her just now. His quote of “repaying the favor” is my source of constant amusement in the book. He just wants her attention.
In true Xing Er’s style, she ignores his question and climbs all the way up again and tells him she will repay the favor when she gets a chance. Yan Xun is about to leave when Yuwen Yue’s people arrive and and inform him that they will close up his lair, Yan Xun feigns innocent (“What lair? That has nothing to do with me!”) The guard adds that Yuwen Yue knows of his crying in the cave when he misses his home, and closing it might make him return to his home in Yan Bei soon.
Damn. Yuwen Yue knows everything.
Zhu Butler reports the whole story back to Yuwen Huai and the latter expects this outcome, knowing that Xing Er is trained by Yuwen Yue and shouldn’t be underestimated. The only way to get to her is… to bring her precious sister to him. Xiao Qi paces the room in fear and relays to Xing Er that Xiao Ba got taken away and she thinks Yuwen Yue has caught on to their elaborate lie. Xing Er doesn’t think it’s Yuwen Yue and sneaks right into Yuwen Huai’s manor, where the bald bully happily welcomes her entrance.
The doctor declares Yuwen Yue’s eyes as recovered and advises him to be careful not to catch a cold in the next few days. Yue Qi walks in and worriedly tells him about Xing Er jumping off a cliff but Yuwen Yue knows she won’t die because a cat with tricks, they have more than one. Just then, another servant reports to Yuwen Yue how his supposedly dead grandfather has awakened. Turns out his grandfather was saved on the nick of time and has been in a coma since then.
Chained up and stationed on a small platform surrounded by water, Xing Er is interrogated by Yuwen Huai, who is displeased at her repeated successions in thwarting his plans. Her guts must be big to offend him again and again and Xing Er plays the dumb slave card, she’s not smart enough to understand his deep talk. If she doesn’t understand, he will help, and he sends Zhu butler and a few guards down to help her understand.
Once surrounded by armed men, Xing Er says she’s Yuwen Yue’s personal maid, she dares not bother Yuwen Huai’s people to discipline her. Lol. Tired of her constant jabbering, Yuwen Huai unleashes his anger, saying that she’s merely a slave; a dog by Yuwen Yue’s side, even if he kills her today, “You think Yuwen Yue will find justice for you?”
Going right along with his words, she’s still Yuwen Yue’s maid, others don’t have the rights to decide her life. Fed up now, Yuwen Huai orders his men to entertain the little beauty, let her know about the rights she speaks of and who wields that authority. Zhu Butler is too happy to oblige to any dirty tasks but Xing Er readies for combat, kicking the men down one by one, even with her hands tied, and freeing her hands in the process.
Yuwen Huai watches with disinterest at the pathetic scene his men put up. Ha. Zhu butler grabs a sword and tries to attack but is subdued easily and held as a hostage by Xing Er. He screams at Yuwen Huai and Xing Er calls him stupid, “If Master Huai really wanted to kill me, would he personally do it and waste his efforts?”
Yuwen Huai claps, impressed with her smart deduction, she’s really a maid by Yuwen Yue’s side. Taking this chance, Xing Er fesses up that she’s only a small maid, her goal is to live peacefully and stay out of trouble. Even when she knew about Jin Zhu being Yuwen Huai’s mole, she didn’t say a single word. What happened today is the result of Jin Zhu’s jealousy over Yuwen Yue’s affection for her and she needed to fight back to stay alive. It’s no longer a secret at Qing Shan manor how Jin Zhu’s head over heels infatuated with Yuwen Yue.
The question Yuwen Huai throws out, “How do you know Jin Zhu is my people? Do you really know or just pretending to know?” He takes out a piece of paper and declares it’s written by Yuwen Yue, an official announcement that she’s kicked out of Qing Shan manor. Even Xiao Ba is forced to fess up about their elaborate scheme to frame Jin Zhu. He asks if it hurts to know your own kin betrayed you? At this point, Xing Er already tunes out Yuwen Huai’s words and recalls Yuwen Yue’s lesson about not believing what she sees because deception exists everywhere.
Yuwen Huai insists to know how she knew Jin Zhu is his people and Xing Er wants to show him instead of telling him. While Jin Zhu is being fished out of prison, we are back with Yuwen Yue and his grandfather. There was only one pill of antidote and it was given to his grandfather. Yuwen Zhuo asks about progress and Yuwen Yue submissively lowers his head. He hasn’t gotten the King’s trust yet and Eyes of God is still under wraps. Eyes of the God is an organization led by Yuwen household of trained soldiers and spies. Grandfather doesn’t scold him but instead is concerned about him keeping a maid with unknown background by his side. Her superb Kungfu is a source of danger and suspect, but Yuwen Yue trusts that she won’t kill him. Asked why, Yuwen Yue recalls when she’s given the chance to beat her enemy to death and she didn’t because she has kindness. His grandfather scoffs at kindness, believing that one who possesses kindness isn’t fit to be a cold-blooded spy for them.
Yuwen Yue defends the cold-bloodedness of their agents, as it is stemmed from their absolute devotion to die for the bigger cause. If one doesn’t have kindness, they won’t be loyal to their master. Moreover, Xing Er has all the great assets of becoming a great agent, her keen attention to details, her observant skills, her precise memorization, and her strong will to live is like that of a beast. Grandfather calls bullcrap on all those potentials and reminds Yuwen Yue of Yuwen’s royal bloodline and his own promise never to be moved by a maid.
Moved by a maid? Of course not. From beginning to end, he’s only using her. He says those words and looks askew to side, as if afraid the truth from his eyes will say otherwise.
Grandfather knows Xing Er’s taken by Yuwen Huai and takes this as an opportunity for her to show her potentials. If she can’t escape on her own, there’s no use for her here. He forbids them from saving her and Yuwen Yue nods gently in agreement.
Jin Zhu is brought down to the dungeon and Xing Er asks to be left alone with her. Yuwen Huai agrees because they have peepholes. Of course they do! They are creeps!
Xing Er launches right into her plan, decorating Jin Zhu’s part in playing with both sides – Yuwen Huai and Yuwen Yue. Now that Xing Er’s tossed out of Qing Shan manor, she only hopes Jin Zhu wouldn’t cause trouble for her two younger sisters. Like a crazed cat, Jin Zhu raises a sword and promises to kill Xing Er and then her two sisters.
Yuwen Huai calls a stop to the killing and wants to know more of the story and Xing Er makes him promise to let her sisters go with a freedom card and some money. He doesn’t relent easily and only let Xing Er see Xiao Ba on the side as she continues her story of lies. Xing Er’s story includes a conversation between Jin Zhu and Yuwen Yue on how she’s hired to help assassinate his grandfather and her guilty conscience pricking at her on a nightly basis. hahah This lie.
Shocked at the story, Jin Zhu cries her innocence and Xing Er defends her position, if not for Jin Zhu’s sugar-coated words by Yuwen Yue’s ears, would he kick his personal bed maid out of Qing Shan manor? What did they do together that drove him to write the letter? Jin Zhu then spills the beans: Yuwen Yue didn’t kick Xing Er out of the manor! It’s Yuwen Huai’s made-up letter!
Yuwen Huai: “Stupid like a pig….” Jin Zhu realizes her slip but Yuwen Huai is done with her and orders her to be sold to a brothel.
Outside the prison, our handsome bunny Yan Xun arrives to search for his missing person. Ha.
Back inside, Yuwen Huai calls Xing Er smart, impressed at her calm demeanor when pinning blame to others. She continues the innocent act and tries to get on his good side, offering herself as the upgrade trade-in for Jin Zhu but Yuwen Huai worries that she’ll be trouble in the future and decides to kill her on the spot. Only his sword is snapped in two and the front section bounces off the wall and flies right back into Yan Xun’s bleeding palm, before it reaches Xing Er’s pretty face.
Yuwen Huai comments how frequent Yan Xun’s been dropping by his manor and wonders if he likes the pretty girl held captive here. Liking is going a bit too far so Yan Xun settles for having a little interest in her. Hehe. Calling himself the most idlest person in Chang’An, it’s a rare occasion for him to have interest in anyone, therefore taking two maids from a friend’s household isn’t much of a ruckus now, would it? The men lock eyes and the tension in the room rises until Yuwen Huai drops his sword saying it’s not much to fight over with.
Outside, Yan Xun’s bodyguard, Feng Mian, tends his his bloodied palm, but Yan Xun plucks the bottle of medication away. Worried about what Yuwen Yue might do, Yan Xun asks if she needs help in explaining to her master but Xing Er says she will take it up to Master Yue by herself. Fine, fine, but if Yuwen Yue bullies her, she can come to his manor. Hehe. I’m being bullied! Can I come too? =D
Yan Xun asks for the bottle of medication to give to Xing Er. When she does nothing to his outstretched hand, Xiao Ba thanks Yan Xun and takes it in her stead. He then excuses himself and turns around to ask her to remember this additional favor with a bright smile.
There’s a quiet moment as Xing Er tries to understand why he’s so nice and kind to her.
But the moment is ruined by the arrival of Zhu Butler. Yo, I don’t need your disgusted face on my screen every two minutes! He’s here to deliver Yuwen Huai’s message that if Xing Er follows through with her promise to him, he won’t pursue the sisters anymore. Now that she’s safe, Xing Er doesn’t remember what promises she made. Lol.
Yue Qi informs Yuwen Yue that his message to Yan Xun has secured Xing Er’s safety. Wow…they are really pulling all the moves back to Yuwen Yue. Yue Qi complains that Xing Er ignores him when he told her to come and care for Master Yue and Yuwen Yue shushes him. The parrot repeats Yuwen Yue’s words and Yue Qi adorably puts a fist in the air as a warning and the bird actually flinches in fear. So cute.
That night, Xing Er sneaks into Yuwen Huai’s manor and has a chat with Jin Zhu where she told Jin Zhu about her using Wu Ge as a scapegoat to carry the poisoned tray. Begging for her life and for forgiveness, Jin Zhu states that she’s only a maid, a weapon used by Yuwen Huai to carry out his plans. She knows she’s wrong now to follow the wrong master and thinks that Wu Ge, known for being kind, would agree to forgive her. Xing Er softens and agrees to let her go, giving her a baggage with clothes to change into.
Once outside, Jin Zhu opens the baggage and sneers at the maid clothes and vows to get back at Xing Er one day. So when she sees Yuwen Huai’s carriage coming bay, she hops right on and explains her story again to the devil himself. When asked how she got out of prison, Jin Zhu says Xing Er let her out and gives Yuwen Huai proof – a freedom letter and a badge to get out of the manor. He looks at the letter and throws it at her face. “I don’t think it’s Xing Er who let you out, but your precious Master.”
She looks down and sees Yuwen Yue’s stamp on the letter, a clear-cut evidence that Yuwen Yue does care a lot for her, also a sign that she’s betrayed Yuwen Huai. Desperate to live now, Jin Zhu wants to show her loyalty by saying that she can become his personal chamber maid too.
He beckons her on his thigh and stabs her to death. As he wipes the blood off his blade, he tells his people to inform Qing Shan manor that Xing Er has killed Jin Zhu.
Xing Er finds Jin Zhu’s body and thinks that Jin Zhu has wasted the chance to live. She picks up the letter by her side and it’s the one to relieve one from slavery. She hurries back to her room because Yuwen Yue is doing roll calls right now. He enters her room and she barely makes it in time to groggily “wake” up.
On the excuse of checking up on her, he’s here at this late hour. She says she’s okay and now he wants tea. She asks for a moment but he walks closer to her bed…. “But I want tea now!” and yanks the bedsheet she has wrapped around her body out of the way, revealing her blue undergarment underneath. He and Yue Qi look away immediately, both taken aback by bare skin. Ha.
Ashamed of his behavior now, he says, “If your body doesn’t feel well, then rest up…” As he walks out, the camera pans to her ninja clothing hidden under a nearby table.
Xing Er smiles knowingly at Yuwen Yue’s bashful face. Oh, she got chu now boy. You’re doomed! Lol.
Her sisters enter the room and Xing Er reveals Jin Zhu’s death to them. The girl dies because of her own stupidity, no one else is to blame. On the topic of receiving deserved punishment, Xiao Qi wonders if Xing Er would let Yuwen Yue undergo the same price (for killing their brother?) Xing Er doesn’t answer readily and Xiao Qi waits with bated breath by the side until Xing Er nods quietly, putting her worries to rest.
Then Xiao Ba brings up the topic of Song Da Niang’s death because she overheard Yuwen Huai and Zhu Butler wanting to dig up the body and put the blame on them. Rather than wait for death to come knocking at their door, Xing Er thinks it’s time to take the initiative.
Episode 10 RECAP (Written by Kappy):
Annoying grandpa is wheeled out of his cave before Yuwen Yue and Yue Qi and one look at the bell ornament on the table tells him that Jin Zhu has fallen, and Yuwen Yue says Jin Zhu has done things to guarantee this outcome. He defends Xing Er’s actions, stating what she did was merely borrowing the waves to push the boat and it was a means of survival.
Grandpa tells Yuwen Yue to look into his eyes, then adds that if one day grandpa can’t decipher his feelings through his eyes, then he has become the top spy agent in their field. The caveat being that day marks the end of their affectionate relationship and Yuwen Yue hurries to say that he never has secrets before his grandpa.
He then allows Xing Er to stay by Yuwen Yue, but he must train her, honing her to become the sharpest blade by his side. After Yuwen Yue and Yue Qi leave the room, grandpa shows his displeasure instantly, revealing that the spider which poisoned him shines a light on a case 16 years ago – Liang’s secret governor, Mr. Cao’s murder happened the same way. His death turns the King against Yuwen household, believing that they house a mole from Southern Liang dynasty, leading to his abandonment of their organization (Eyes of God).
Grandpa just can’t believe that the spider has returned in the palm of Yuwen Xi. He doesn’t want their royal hands to be dirtied by eliminating Yuwen Xi and his cohorts, and that leaves the best person for the job – Xing Er. He feels slightly bad for keeping a secret from his own grandson but this decision has to be made, for the sake of the King and the sake of Eyes of God.
It’s a raining day and Yuwen Yue finds Xing Er diligently practicing her calligraphy. He tells her it’s enough but she pushes forward and he ponders why she’s pushing herself so hard, then moves to take away the brush, but she’s faster and maneuvers the brush quick enough to place a dot on his forehead, much to his chagrin. He calls out her increasing rude behavior and she apologizes. “Do you have anything to say to me?” She doesn’t and he walks to the wider view area, admiring the rainbow after the rain, and questions whether her hometown is prettier than this place. She reveals her head injury and memory loss to him, at which he then asks if anything interesting happened after she escaped prison. Nothing interesting happened to her but he insists her attitude is not what a servant should have. She replies that if he suspects her, just torture the answer out of her and be done with it.
Our Master Yue doesn’t have a response to that cause and walks away, fuming internally. HA.
(Li Ying looks adorable!!)
Sometime later, it’s training time and Yuwen Yue tells her when one sense is taken away, the others are enhanced. She’s blindfolded and must distinguish the different smells of flowers. She blathers on about a smell and the roundabout no-answer upsets Yuwen Yue so much that he threatens to have her stand upside down for seven days. She mumbles to the side that doing that would just kill her. Lol. Her ultimate goal is find a specific flower in this garden that’s blooming beautifully.
She thinks that’s her cue to remove the blindfold and when she tries to take if off, Yuwen Yue asks softly, “You don’t need those hands anymore?” Meaning he would chop them off if she cheats. Lol.
He takes a break and she walks around the garden, inhaling the different smells around her. Then an interesting scent drifts towards her and she finds herself touching a head full of hair. Alarmed, she steps back but 13th prince, Yuan Song, tells her not to take the blindfold off, convinced that she’s role-playing a blind fortune-teller or a blind beggar, and wants to play too. She doesn’t mind and thinks of it as a chance to practice. As he jumps from one flower bush to another, Xing Er turns her head to his location every time. Hee!
He runs across the mini bridge and she follows, catching him, but he tries to wrestle out of her grip and she sends his cheating self into the water for a bath. Upset that he’s thrown like a doll, he tells her to open her big eyes and see who he is. She knows but pretends not to know as she only sees a wet kid screaming his lungs off. Offended, he tries to hit her with his horse whip and she removes the weapon out his grip and tells him a horse whip is used on a horse, not a human. He tells her to watch herself, he has the power to kill all her family with just one word. Her cavalier attitude comes through, she doesn’t have that many family members left.
She tosses the whip at his feet and turns to leave and he reaches out a hand to stop her. She flips and turns his arm behind his back. He yelps in pain and she lets go. Now he doesn’t want to kill her family anymore, he wants to take her back to his manor and slowly tortures her.
Dude! Get in the damn line!
She lies that she doesn’t belong to Qing Shan manor anymore. Moreover, she’s very well-loved by her owner so he would need to work hard in order to obtain her. She tells him who she belongs to and this is a play on word to poke fun at the silly, harmless prince.
He walks away proudly while our girl just smiles at the buffoonish prince. The exchange is witnessed by Mr. Stalker in town, Yan Xun. He understands her wordplay and smiles.
Later, he climbs a tree outside of Qing Shan Manor and waits for her. When he throws a rock in her direction, she dodges it successfully. He teases her for coming up with a witty wordplay to tease the prince and she warns him to be careful up that high on a tree.
He doesn’t need her to worry about him and advises her to watch out for her skin with so many tricks up her sleeves. He points to the dark clouds gathering on the sky and tells her to be careful, the lightning might strike those who are sneaky.
Arms crossed, she replies that it’s him who should be careful, sitting up so high, lightning would strike him first. Heh. She turns to leave but he’s not done bothering her yet and throws another rock at her head. OMG. He’s about five-years old right now. Why don’t you pull her pigtail too? 😛 She’s rightfully enraged and he points out that lightning has eyes. *smiles brightly*
Right on cue, Yuwen Yue’s parrot comes and poops on him while chanting, “Bastard! Bastard!” LOL.
Xing Er breaks into the biggest and most natural smile she has right at this moment, laughing at his punishment. He’s thrown in a dazed and compliments her beautiful smile when laughing at other’s misfortune. HEE!
SO CUTE. SO CUTE. I need as much of Yan Xun’s smiles as possible before he turns dark and never smiles for the world anymore. Xing Er ah, can you let him see your smiles more often? For me?
Anyway, the fun part continues because Yue Qi informs Yuwen Yue of the princes’ arrival at his doorstep. He tells Yue Qi to keep his recovered eyesight a secret for now… Up to something naughty?
Yuan Song walks in first, followed by Yan Xun. It’s hilarious to me how everyone takes off their shoes when entering his chamber. Without looking at Yuan Song, Yuwen Yue guesses that the Prince is drenched and Yan Xun is blessed by his parrot. HAHAHA.
Yuan Song asks about his eyes and Yuwen Yue says it’s been the same, and Yan Xun sneaks in a knowing line that his eyes might just miraculously recover one day. Remembering why he’s here, Yuan Song asks about Xing Er, chanting off her wordplay story, her big eyes, her rare but pretty smile. He doesn’t remember people easily but he remembers her. Yan Xun has to explain to Yuan Song that her whole story means she doesn’t exist. Taking a word out of the whole sentence = zi xu wu you = nonexistent and imaginary. Hehehe.
He fakes anger and relays a message from his mom for Yue that his seal won’t be taken away.
Then he deflects words of thanks and wants to take Xing Er away, to Yan Xun’s disapproval and Yuwen Yue’s objection. To be fair to both princes, Yuwen Yue has the perfect excuse, he is still VERY MUCH blind and needs her around to help him. HAHAHA. I knew you naughty self is up to something.
With the prince removed to change out of his wet clothes, Yan Xun and Yuwen Yue have the first heart-to-heart talk. Yan Xun knows the poisoned jade was a work of Yuwen Huai and that the King wants a power balance between the two manors (like our checks and balances system). Yuwen Yue knows of the King’s intentions in keeping one official from gaining too much power over another, and adds that shouldn’t Yan Xun’s father be aware of this by now? He tells Yan Xun to warn his father, “Keeping a low profile and hiding one’s talent is a good choice.”
Yan Xun isn’t worried, his father and the King are sworn brothers; he has saved the king three times. “Moreover, I’m still here in Chang’An, aren’t I? The king doesn’t have to worry about our Yan Bei.” That breaks my heart. T_____T My Hostage Prince.
He in turn tells Yue to tell his Uncle, a general, to be humble instead. Yue thinks it doesn’t matter anymore because the King gave up on changing him. Being given the commander’s seal is an important matter but Yuwen Yue doesn’t appear to want the authority and says cryptically that those who don’t understand him, what could he ask of them?
Yan Xun understands him so he’s the one to worry about the secret mission the King has given him but Yuwen Yue avoids answering the question and tells Yan Xun to find a chance and go back to Yan Bei. While Yuwen Yue is blind, his heart isn’t, he knows Yuan Chun princess has the heart for him since they were little and if he rejects her, the royal family won’t let him off, but if he accepts her, he might not survive her spoiled attitude for long. The only solution is to take off to Yan Bei.
Smiling, Yan Xun tells his friend to stop acting like the blind. Yuwen Yue: “Even if I’m acting, what business does it have with you?” He shoves Yan Xu’s hand out of the way. Heh. Yan Xun is the opposite of Yuwen Yue, he isn’t afraid of nuisance and wants to sacrifice himself to find some troubles instead.
What is the meaning of those words? He wants to relieve Yuwen Yue’s problem by removing and bringing the troublesome person back with him. Lol. Yuwen Yue turns around, Yan Xun is a good brother to him, he can’t send a good-for-nothing person to him.
End of discussion on the topic of stealing Xing Er. XD
Heeding Yuwen Yue’s words, Yan Xun sends a letter to his parents shortly after.
Yuwen Yue visits the queen and she has investigated a girl with strong inner power for him; the evidence leads to Luo He’s daughter, the new chief of an organization called Feng Yun Ling, who was presumed dead when she fell into the river last year.
The revelation has Yuwen Yue narrowed his brows and he sends in Xiao Ba to learn more about Xing Er’s background. Turns out the girl is Jing’s side kid with another woman and started living with their family three years ago. When a palm reading was performed, she’s destined to be a lone star and that began their family’s series of misfortunes, followed by her disappearance for a period of time. Xiao Ba cries and believes that Xing Er is deemed as an unlucky star to anyone close. Yuwen Yue finds the whole analogy interesting and the next time we see him, he’s viewing the scenery, joined by Yuwen Huai. Yuwen Yue doesn’t beat around the bush and asks why Yuwen Huai is speaking to him and latter tries to mimic amicabilty between them, a brotherhood if you will.
Yuwen Yue calls bullcrap to that, pointing out how Yuwen Huai does whatever he pleases, including capturing his personal maid. “What secret can’t you unravel then?” A maid is a trivial matter and Yuwen Huai rather they laugh about it, then asks casually what happens to Yue’s female steward, Song Da Niang, because it’s been an awfully long time since he’s seen her.
Yue snorts at his brother’s pretty words of shouldering the family’s big and small matters, and Yuwen Huai climbs right on the compliment, he’s bearing a lot of responsibilities, unlike his Yuwen Yue who idles by day in and day out. Compared to the mounting headaches his brother has, Yuwen Yue doesn’t envy him at all.
Being drowned in the scandals and rumors, Yuwen Yue wonders if his brother ever grows tired of his life but Yuwen Huai thinks rumor is false, evidence is truth, so why is his 4th brother standing up for a lowly maid?
Yuwen Yue steps closer and delivers his warning, “You should know I hate people touching my things, my people.”
Dodging an answer, Yuwen Huai suggests having a tea party to kick off the upcoming Cold Food Festival and Yuwen Yue obliges with his decision.
On the day of the tea party, Yuwen Yue, accompanied by Xing Er, arrives outside the entrance and directs her to stay there, knowing she’s an attraction for trouble. Once he enters, Yan Xun saunters up close and looks for his little wild cat, only to be ignored by Yue again. Princess Yuan Chun is the last to arrive and when she hops off the paladin, her sight scares another maid and she drops tray. Princess Yuan Chun doesn’t care much and reaches down to pluck up a fragrance box but Xing Er grabs it and informs the princess that it’s rat poison, highly lethal.
The princess’ maid kicks up a fuss and Yuan Song sees his sister and tells her to hurry inside. Once he lays eyes on Xing Er kneeling by the side, he brightens and motions for her to stand up too, but Xing Er, knowing her position, greets the prince respectfully. Yuan Chun recognizes her name and asks if she’s Yan Xun’s little wild cat because she wants to ask more questions. Brother Yuan Song ushers her inside and she orders Xing Er to follow them. Xing Er steathily wipes some poison onto her handkerchief.
Inside the garden, Yuan Chun greets a disinterested Yan Xun with delight, only to see his eyes wandering to Xing Er. She gets upset and orders Xing Er to brew tea for everyone’s enjoyment. While she presents tea to each table, Yuwen Huai finds thrills in revealing a lake possibly full of dead bodies in Yuwen manor, he wonders how many bodies he can find after draining it in a few days?
Once Xing Er reaches Yuwen Huai’s table, he clutches her hand and asks if she knows what fragrant incense box he’s holding? Nobody does because it’s his grandfather’s specialty, made from the blood of virgin girls mixed with herbs from Western regions. *barfs*
I need a shower.
He elaborates the making of the said box….the blood from Xing Er’s sister, Zhi Xiang. While the aforementioned maid is dead, Ji Le pavillion still burns her blood incense and it is a class of its own.
Yan Xun tells Yuwen Huai to stop his taunting and another young master joins in to preach about compassion but human words fall on deaf ears and Yuwen Huai condescends the maid’s life as lowly and only worthy of becoming his blood incense. He turns to Yuwen Yue and suggests letting Xing Er join the ranks of her sister at Ji Le pavilion. The spoken to doesn’t respond and Yan Xun again says to stop it, giving Yuwen Huai’s the opportunity to blow up a little, good things should be shared!
He tells Xing Er to smell the incense and Xing Er purposely swipes the incense with the same handkerchief she used on the rat poison. Smart girl and Yuwen Yue picks up on it. She returns the box and admits her status is far from using such a high-class material. She asks to be dismissed, citing illness. Me too, I’m sick of his disgusting ways!
Later, Yuwen Huai carries a coat and places it over our pouting princess and she turns around happily, thinking it’s Yan Xun. He’s not so she throws the coat back at him, not mincing her words and calling him and the rest of Yuwen household perverted and disgusting. He turns on the pitiful act and says wistfully she should hate him, for he’s nothing more than the son of a concubine, unlike her royal, cute self.
The tacked on compliments work like a charms and Yuan Chun feels bad but also firmly denies his advances. He knows she’s untouchable and she tries to smooth it over by saying that he has some virtues too, only she can’t list them from the top of her head. Yea, that’s a sign he’s not in the decent book of men!
His virtues… Yuwen Huai says it’s liking the same thing she likes and hating the same thing she hates. Whatever she likes, he can give, and whatever she hates, he can also eliminate. After the Cold Food festival, what or whomever she hates will disappear.
It takes Yuan Chun a few tries to understand his hidden meaning of getting rid of Xing Er. But! She only dislikes the girl a tiny bit and tells him not to go too far. Is this the first day you know this nasty man, girl?! What’s NOT going too far?!
Episode 11 RECAP (Written by Kappy):
The draining of Yuwen Lake has begun and Xiao Ba’s shifty eyes could use some training. You’re giving yourself away and she even drops an item in the kitchen for dramatic effect. She runs back to her room and announces the news to Xing Er and Xiao Qi, both are preparing their baggages. Xing Er plans for them to escape tonight during her date at the lantern festival with Yuwen Yue. Aww. You gotta leave the poor boy right after the date?!
She sneaks into Yuwen Yue’s room and fakes a release slavery form for them, stamped by his seal. He returns with Yue Qi in tow and she hastens to clean the area and pretends she’s on cleaning duty. Hehe. Yue Qi carries a tray with new clothes for her (customized by yours truly), reminding her to be pretty tonight since Young Master is taking her out.
Yuwen Yue finds her presence in his room fishy and observes his chamber, settling his eyes on the drawer not completely pushed in. DAMN. He regretfully informs Xing Er the clothes were made for Chang’An lantern festival but with Empress dowager’s sickness, it’s been delayed and the King has granted another festival in the name of celebrating his birthday.
He tells her to go change but she dawdles at the door, not wanting to miss the escape plan but when push comes to shove, Yuwen Yue has the upperhand and she listens obediently. He takes a look at his desk and envisions her writing a letter in the same seat.
All changed now, Xing Er steps outside her doorway, letting both Yuwen Yue and Yue Qi marvel internally at her beauty. Lol. I honestly don’t think much of this boring outfit…but if the boys ogle at her… I’ll just go along with them. XD
Watching Chang’An from the gate we have two new intruders. They are bodyguard Yin Xin (Zhao Xuan Qi) and Princess Xiao Yu (Huang Meng Ying), from Southern Liang. She sweetly refers to a man who goes by the name Yue (different stroke than Yuwen Yue) so I’m not sure who she’s referring to at the moment. But she’s not here to simply reunite with him, but to battle to the last one standing. Cool. We could use a smart girl with authority around here.
The duo walks past Xiao Ba and Xiao Qi as the two silly girls worry about being left behind unprotected if Xing Er finds out they are not related by blood to her, assuming she knows something about her mother’s heirloom.
Prepared to take off on their date, Yuwen Yue supposes she doesn’t know how to ride a horse and says she can ride with him, but she thinks that is inappropriate because she knows how to ride a horse. Then they look up at the sky, analyzing the sign pointing at the impending wars between the neighboring countries. The skies would rain blood when the moles from within link arms with the soldiers from the outside. Citizens stare in fear at the imminent deaths of some key figures and even the paranoid King figures it must be the wind from Yan Bei (Yan Xun’s home) rebelling against him. GAH. I can’t. I don’t want to see that play out yet!
Yuwen Yue and Xing Er mount their own horse, ending our fun at skinship. heh. Let me also make you aware that they didn’t need to step on someone’s poor back to climb the horse.
Yan Xun receives a letter from his parents, assuring him that everything is fine in Yan Bei and he should stay put in Chang’An. Feng Mian then drops the fact that Master Yue has brought Xing Er out to play tonight ~
At the festival, Yuwen Yue takes the initiative to buy a bunny lantern for Xing Er when the sales lady approaches her. She breaks into a smile when the bunny has the ability to stick out its tongue. He doesn’t KNOW how to process her smiling face so he mutters that she’s shallow, and she takes issues with that. “Isn’t it cute? If it’s not cute, why did Master buy it?” HEH. He thinks it looks like her so he’s gifting it to her.
Once his back is turned, Xing Er and the bunny stick out their tongue at him. Lol.
They begin walking along the street and when it buzzes with people coming at them, Yuwen Yue tells her to hold onto his sleeve (“Where else do you want to hold?” LOL. So naughty.)
Knowing her escape time is running out, Xing Er wants to buy herself a way out by picking a busy location to play a game. A boy by her side compliments her beauty and gifts her with his sticks of Tanghulu and I’m dying at the narrowed glint Yuwen Yue throws his way. She takes the candy but Yuwen Yue removes them and tosses the bunch to the ground. “If you want to eat, we can buy on our own.” He moves to exit and she snaps at him (Lol!), “To where?!”
“I don’t want to eat. I want to play this.” *looks at him defiantly*
So they play games and Xing Er guesses correctly, giving her a chance to leave the crowded area and get her prize (Tanghulu) but Yuwen Yue stops her, citing the area as packed with sweaty men, “What worthy prize could they have?” Xing Er insists on going, thinking it’s her luck after all and Yuwen Yue says to wait for him here. Awww. You big softie. You neat freak is entering the tiger’s den to get her CANDY?!
He walks out carrying two sticks of Tanghulu but discovers that Xing Er has left with her horse. She’s stopped in her tracks by Yin Xin because he finds the rabbit lantern cute and wants to buy one for his lady. Xing Er doesn’t have time to spare so she hands over her rabbit lantern and rides away with her horse. However, Yin Xin finds her eyes quite familiar to the Leader of Feng Yun Ling, the same person who killed Yuwen Hao a year ago. They have fought before and he remembers the red spider lily tattoo on her back. Her cold inner power has reached a level he’s never seen before and when even she was injured, he couldn’t hurt her and was knocked out.
Yin Xin gives chase and successfully strikes a gaping hole in her back, only to discover nothing is there. He tries to attack by throwing his sharp spinning fan but Yan Xun appears, gives Xing Er his vest to cover up and flings the fan back at the culprit who disappears very quickly. Yin Xin returns to Xiao Yu and she smiles at their luck with trapping Yan Xun outside the city. They trade words back and forth and he’s preparing to steal Yan Bei’s map from the King’s clutches, which will force him to be increasingly paranoid at Yan Bei’s intentions.
Yan Xun chases Xing Er’s freaked out horse and offers to help her down if she pleads with him for help. You are so five years old! Lol. She won’t bow down to him so he changes tactic, if she tells him her real name, he will help her, but when an arrow aims in their direction, she takes him down the horse with her. They begin running, blaming each other for bringing trouble. Hehe.
As they dodge flying arrows, they trip into a hole and Yan Xun falls on top of Xing Er and she shoves him off. XD He realizes they are in a hunting ground and she notices his bleeding hand before he does, calling him silly when he doesn’t catch on as fast.
She can’t stay here over night because she has important thing to do so he says she can step on his back and try to reach the top, confident that she will call for her to save him after. She thinks it’s indecent for her step on his “royal” back but he waves it off. She quips that he’s looking down on women and he’s quick to reply that he doesn’t! Nope!
She takes a few steps back and runs onto his back. Oh boy. Girl, be careful of his spine…. It’s important…. ROFL.
Yan Xun, you adorable marshmallow, doesn’t speak a word as he bears her weight on his shoulders and she notes his effort and struggling face.
“You won’t leave me right?” She promises not to.
But it looks like she’s going to leave his arse behind until the cries of wolves claw at her conscience. Her steps become heavy as she trudges forward, coming up with reasons to leave; she can’t leave her sisters unprotected, they are her family! But Yan Xun is a royalty and he’s been nothing but kind to her….she can’t leave him here to die….
The struggle is real and we see Yan Xun literally like a lost puppy with his pout in the hole.
At a street stall, the two sisters find themselves attracting the attention of a herd of perverts. *gulps*
Xing Er returns to the hole lugging a big tree branch and Yan Xun smirks that she’s trying to kill him. She snickers at him and he breaks into his trademark goofy grin that I can’t resist.
Xing Er: “If I didn’t return to save you, would you hate me?”
Yan Xun: “Hating you for what? If you didn’t return, you must be lost, or you found the wrong hole.” Then he drops his voice a few pitches and mocks her would-be girly tone calling out for him in fear during the night. OMG. So cute.
When she hops off and he notices her sprained ankle, he offers a piggyback ride, as a reward for not being heartless and leaving him behind. She doesn’t shy away and puts her weight in climbing onto his back. She drops the release letter and hurriedly hides it away.
As he piggybacks her, he tells her about the beautiful flowers and nice weather in Yan Bei, guaranteeing her liking if she comes along. Then he drops the question, “Return to Yan Bei with me?”
GO WITH HIM!! GO WITH HIM!! Then the tragedy of this novel wouldn’t happen!!
He’s being serious and asks her to consider it seriously.
The sounds of horses galloping breaks the romantic atmosphere. Damn you show! Xing Er doesn’t think it’s his horse and they hide as a general executes slaves on the spot. Xing Er wants to help but Yan Xun shakes his head no, they are in no position to save all. Deafening cries and slain bodies display before them.
Xing Er imagines Yuwen Huai killing her sisters and that serves as a much needed wake-up. Her attitude turns cold and she splits the line between them clearly, he’s a royal and she’s a slave. They don’t walk the same path and might as well divide their road here.
Episode 12 RECAP (written by Candora):
Xiao Ba and Xiao Qi are being harassed by a group of spoiled rich lads who guessed that they are runaway slaves. During the struggle, one of the lads pulls out a knife and slashes Xiao Ba’s face. Luckily, Xing Er comes in time to fend off the guys. Since one’s face is one’s future, Xiao Ba begs Xing Er to take them back to Yuwen Manor for medicine that can save her face.
The three Jing sisters sneak back into Yuwen manor at night and see guards draining the lake. By luck or on purpose, the door is not locked and the three sisters easily enter their court.
Xing Er wants to explain to Yuwen Yue what happened. She stands outside nervously but shortly after, the light in his room goes off. Yuwen Yue sits on his bed and watches Xing Er’s shadow disappear.
Twisting and turning, both Xing Er and Yuwen Yue can’t fall asleep. Xing Er gazes at the moon high up while Yuwen Yue looks at her. He calls out to her and she slips from the roof top. He dashes over to catch her and tells her to follow him into the room.
Yuwen Yue asks her what happened during the lantern festival. Xing Er tells him that she got lost in the crowd, then got attacked by a mysterious person, Yan Xun came to save her, they both got attacked by a group of people, and therefore she was so late to return. Yuwen Yue asks her again what happened and she repeats the same story over and over again.
Disappointed that she didn’t tell him the truth, he asks her to light an incense. Out of nowhere, he asks why she didn’t use the rat poison this time. The same rat poison that she smears on Yuwen Huai’s incense box. He asks her to prepare hot wine. For his “health” purpose, she insists that he doesn’t drink hot alcohol. Yuwen Yue takes the cup and downs it. He stares at her and asks: “Do you think that your little trick was enough to kill him? The Yuwens are trained since young on various poison and antidotes.” Xing Er’s plan was for the rat poison to activate when Yuwen Huai lit the incense and drank hot wine because of the change in season. But if that couldn’t kill Yuwen Yue then it will have no effects on Yuwen Huai either.
Yuwen Yue brings up the body of Song Da Niang and Xing Er’s fear. She kneels and asks him to use her since they both have the same enemy – Yuwen Huai. Seeing his disbelief, Xing Er sheds tears and promises that she is loyal to him. She begs him to help her with Song Da Niang’s case. Yuwen Yue reaches for his handkerchief, hesitates for 3 seconds, and then grabs it to wipe away her tears. On her way out, Xing Er dries her tears, turns back and locks eyes with Yuwen Yue.
Xing Er returns to the slave court. Her sisters rush out to greet her. Before she can reassure them, Yuwen Huai’s guards surround them and arrest them for killing Song Da Niang.
Back in the room, Yue Qi reports to Yuwen Yue that Xing Er and her sisters got arrested. Yuewen Yue nods and throws the handkerchief at Yue Qi. He tells him to throw it away. Seconds later, he changes his mind and tells Yue Qi to wash it and return it to him. (LOL, so cute, – Kap)
The guards bring Xing Er and the sisters to the lake now that it is nearly drained. Yue Qi also arrives at the scene for support. The guards find a total of 3 bodies (only 3? – Kap). Yuwen Huai tells Xing Er to reveal the first body. The body is identified to be doctor Xie, the doctor that served Yuwen Yue when he went blind and got killed by Yuwen Huai. The two remaining bodies are identified to be two slaves that were supposed to be sent to Ji Le Ge. Shocked that Song Da Nian’s body is not found, housekeeper Zhu brings out a “witness.” The lady accuses Xing Er of killing Song Da Niang but when asked, she points to doctor Xie’s body as Song Da Niang. Her testimony is deemed nonsense. Yue Qi, Xing Er, and the two sisters safely leave.
Back in their room, Xiao Qi and Xiao Ba finally reveal to Xing Er that she is not their real sister. The necklace belongs to Xing Er and may reveal her real identity. Xing Er twists open the top and finds a blank piece of cloth.
Xing Er thanks Yuwen Yue for saving her and her sister.
Yuwen Yue: “Is that all? 4 words of thanks? To help you, Yue Qu and the guards spent the whole night digging up Song Da Niang’s body.”
Xing Er replies, “You’re right. I’ll go thank Yue Qi.”
Not pleased by her ungratefulness, Yuwen Yue tells her that he had prepared a present for her but since Yue Qi did all the work, he might as well give it to him. He hands the box to Xing Er to give to Yue Qi. Xing Er takes the box and leaves the room. She comes back seconds later smiling with the ring on her finger. She tells him that the ring is sized. Yue Qi wouldn’t have fit.
She thanks him for the present and leaves. (Oh you teddy bear – Kap.)
—- END —–
Kap: A little disappointed with the way they are handling Chu Qiao. She’s not a damsel but they keep putting her in damseling situations; how many times is she gonna get rescued? And what I realize is all these so-called training only serves to create OTP moments. Xing Er/Chu Qiao is a highly trained fighter before her memory loss. Even if she loses her memory, she should still retain her muscle memory, no? When she does regain her memory, she will rank higher or as an equal to Yue even.
They also keep making Yue the know-it-all and I actually think that will hurt his character more because it takes the suspense away from the story. Like how they did he know Xing Er used the same handkerchief to wipe the rat poison? He was already inside the banquet! Next time someone farts in the garden, I will ask him who did it. Lol. But I do like how adorable he is with his shifty eyes, backwards thinking, and an unexplainable tendency to show his pettiness around Xing Er. I just want to squish his cheeks!
As we stand right now, all three characters have an interesting approach to kindness and trust. With Yuwen Yue, you have to earn every single trust by proving your loyalty, and with Yan Xun, he gives it out unwittingly, going by his feelings. Then there’s Chu Qiao, who’s unfamiliar with the concept of kindness and unearned trust, hence is always baffled and touched by Yan Xun’s help. He might just be the first person she didn’t have to win over.
I wish they had use a different color scheme for the drama, the bright and sunny colors do not serve a drama with slavery as a topic well. It feels very idol-ish and takes me out of the moment. Still fun to watch but not what I expected.