This 7 episodes a week release is insane! I love it as a watcher but hate is as a recapper lol Well, the romance definitely starts to pick up this episode as Julan’s cool and icy demeanor starts to crack just a little. We get to know Yin Hu a little better, my heart continues to break for Xiao Husband, and Ah Li annoys me a little less. Hey, that’s progress people.
Episode 3 RECAP:
Lord Lu meets with Lord Qin who praises Lord Lu for getting rid of Zheng Donghai. Since Zheng Donghai disappeared the merchants selling at the dock are treated fairly and do business freely. Of course I don’t think he knows that to get rid of the bully Lord Lu had Zheng eaten by dogs, ignorance is bliss?
Lord Qin then calls his son, Qing Hao, over to meet Lord Lu. It’s Xiao husband! All recovered from cleaning those chamber pots I hope lol Xiao greets Lord Lu saying that it has been ten years since they last saw each other. Lord Qin is surprised but happy to see that the two men know each other and leaves them to catch up.
Smitten as he is, the first thing Xiao husband asks is if Li Lu is well. It doesn’t go unnoticed by Lord Lu who chides Xiao for caring more about Li Lu then for him. Haha, get used to it Lord Lu. Lord Lu rcalls that when they were children, Xiao and Li Lu pretended to be husband and wife. Even dragging their friends along to be guests at their wedding. “In the blink of an eye, it’s been more than ten years. I wonder if your promise from then can be taken seriously?” At being asked the question Xiao just smiles. Aww this guy is going to break my heart! Nice guys finish last Xiao, save yourself!
Finally Lord Lu goes into Li Lu’s study. Handmaiden Zi Xun is still sitting at the table. This time her face is covered by a broad hat with silk hanging from the rim. Dachun stutters that miss Lu has a cold and jumps in front of Lord Lu blocking him from approaching since he doesn’t want Lord Lu to catch the cold. Getting the hint that something is obviously wrong Lord Lu sweeps aside the silk hiding Zi Xun’s face.
Both Dachun and Zi Xun kneel on the floor holding books above their heads while Lord Lu scolds them. “Miss has been missing for two days, and you only tell me now?” Ha! Poor Dachun is fired and Lord Lu threatens that the two conspirators will be properly punished after Li Lu is found. With that Lord Lu orders his personal guard to send men into the city to find the missing Li Lu.
The guards search Chang Le for Li Lu but come up empty handed. The only place left to look is the shipyard. Luckily Ah Li sees the guards coming and runs through to the docks to escape detection. As the guards draw closer, checking every worker’s face Ah Li hides behind a barrel next to the water. A few yards away Julan watches Ah Li hide and sees the guards approach. Julan’s eyes widen in concern when Ah Li slips falling into the ocean.
Ah Li struggles to hold her breath as the main guard walks over to investigate the splash and studies the water where she fell in. Running out of air Ah Li fights the urge to inhale. She’s about to swim back to the surface when two arms pull her back. Julan softly turns Ah Li to face him, hesitating only a moment before planting a kiss on her lips. I must say that I never get tired of the kissing to exchange oxygen device in dramas. Plus, it’s about time Julan puts his merman powers to use!
Unfortunately Ah Li is not as happy about the underwater kiss as I am. Her face is a mixture of shock and embarrassment. She doesn’t close her eyes once during the kiss and instead blinks rapidly trying to process what’s happening. Julan on the other hand seems to be thoroughly content. Finally the guard is called away having found any trace of Li Lu. The pair resurface as soon as the guard leaves. They exchange awkward glances with one another.
It’s night and in her room Ah Li sits on her bed wrapped in covers trying to get warm after her dip in the ocean. Julan offers her a bowl of soup to help with the chill. Sheepishly Ah Li takes the bowl and sips the hot soup. Her mind replays the underwater kiss and now an almost smile flickers across her face.
Trying to disperse some of the awkwardness Julan asks who the men looking for her are. Ah Li tells the truth that they were sent by her family to find her and bring her home. She’s been gone for a long time but says she doesn’t want to go back yet. Then quickly clarifies that her wanting to stay has nothing to do with Julan. Uh huh, sure Ah Li, just like me watching this drama has nothing to do with Feng Shao Feng.
Dachun is back to drinking in the town’s tavern. He laments that Li Lu left his lesson even though he is such a great teacher. The other tavern patrons tease him, saying that he’s lucky that she ran away or else it would have been him that ran away eventually. Offended Dachun stands on his chair and makes up a poem on the spot. The poem doesn’t impress and the other patrons laugh as they go back to enjoying their evening.
The high priestess and her student escape! They try to make a mad dash for the ocean but High Priestess is severely injured and needs help to walk.
At the shipyard bath house Ah Li stares dreamily into the indoor fish pond. Her and Julan’s kiss plays out on the pond’s water. Ah Li enjoys the scene for a moment before throwing a pebble into the water, the memory dissipating. A shirtless Julan walks up a couple yards behind her. Ah Li turns taking in the sight for just a second before shyly turning her head back towards the water. “Again? Oh no, Oh no! It looks like I’m seriously ill!” Ahaha! She thinks this is another illusion her mind cooked up. She picks up a stone to throw into the pond sending this illusion away like the last. She catches herself instead thinking, “Wait! He’s an illusion anyway! Let’s see what he’ll do next!”
Almost as if on que Julan says, “The bath water is ready. Let’s bathe together.” That’s naughty. Ah Li turns to look at the “Julan illusion”, disturbed that her illusion would be so unrestrained. At that moment the shipyard worker that Julan was really talking to walks up and he and Julan head to the bath.
Trying to help the high priestess, they are both surrounded by guards. Unable to escape together the high priestess tells her student, Yin Hu, to go without her. Yin Hu refuses to leave her teacher but the High Priestess pushes her into an ally and begins fighting the guards. The high priestess doesn’t last very long and is quickly recaptured.
As fate would have it, a drunk Dachun is stumbling out of the tavern as Yin Hu runs around the corner. Thinking fast Yin Hu grabs Dachun in a hug. Despite Dachun’s protests that he doesn’t want a prostitute tonight (haha that’s rude!) the guards fall for the ruse and walk past them.
Julan relaxes in the shipyard bath with a few other coworkers. One of the coworkers has been courting a lady and brags that they are so close to marriage that he has even kissed her. The other mens’ reactions have Julan asking Manager Li if it’s such a big deal for a man to kiss a woman on the lips. Manager Li scoffs, “Of course! Ever since ancient times, men and women have to keep their distance… The lady’s innocence has been completely ruined!”
This is news to Julan who answers, “But I didn’t have ulterior motives! I just wanted to save her and help a drowning person breathe.” Manager Li doesn’t accept that excuse, “That still won’t do!” Aww Julan’s guilty face is one of my favorites. You can tell that he’s really worried now that he knows Ah Li’s honor is at stake. Manager Li isn’t going to let him off easy either, “As I see it, if you really did that to her you should marry her! That’s what a man would do.” All I can say is my how the times have changed lol.
Back in her room Ah Li is still smiling to herself as she daydreams about the kiss. She snaps out of it when she hears Julan coming back and quickly blows out the candle. By the time Julan walks into the room Ah Li is laying down in bed pretending to be asleep. Julan obviously has a lot on his mind from his talk with manager Li. As he stands near the bed watching Ah Li sleep for a moment, so many emotions run across his face. He starts to gather his bedding to move it to the usual place but he can’t help but look at Ah Li again. Gently he pulls her cover up over her shoulders to keep her warm, then he grabs his bedding and goes to sleep across the room. Ah Li opens her eyes and smiles happily into her pillow.
Boss Liu kneels before Lord Lu as he apologizes for letting Yin Hu escape. Lord Lu orders that the high priestess be moved to another location. Now that their plan may be out Lord Lu stresses that they must get the secret to creating Canming from the high priestess before the merpeople come find them. Boss Liu is confident that they can make the high priestess talk as he has found the western medicine Lord Lu was looking for.
Armed guards scour the city late into the night looking for Yin Hu. She is safe hiding in Dachun’s home but nervously listens behind the door as the guards search. Dachun lays passed out on the bed. The next morning however, Dachun wakes up on the floor lol You go girl! Crawling back into his bed he finds that he is not alone. He freaks out running from the bed into a corner while holding up his covers as protection from the dirty prostitute that forced herself on him. “In broad daylight, in a peaceful and orderly world, for a little money, you even attacked a pure young man like me!” He offers to pay her to leave but when he turns back to give her the money Yin Hu is gone.
Thinking things may have calmed down enough to make it to the ocean, Yin Hu leaves Dachun’s home. She barely closes the gate behind her when she spots groups of soldiers checking the faces of every person they come across. Dachun gloats about having got rid of Yin Hu only to turn around again and have her back in his house. “I want to live here,” she says flatly. Dachun protests for a while and even threatens to tell the officials but his whining come to an abrupt end when Yin Hu uses her mermaid strength to split his table in two with one kick. Poor guy haha
The mershipbuilders report to Julan that though they have been searching for clues about what happened to the high priestess nothing has been found. One of the mermen is quick to suggest that the disappearance of the high priestess might not be connected to the humans saying the all the people he has met by working at the shipyard have been kind people.
General Jing Lin on the other hand has no problem thinking that humans may be responsible for whatever has happened to the high priestess. “Merfolk are stronger than humans, but in terms of tricks and slyness, merfolk are no match for humans.”
Julan tells the mermen to not make any rash decisions until the matter is cleared up.
Now in a new dungeon Boss Liu forces the high priestess to drink the western medicine. Though the priestess still denies that an unsinkable ship is possible it’s not long before the drug starts taking effect. The priestess shakes her head trying to clear away the drug’s effects. Boss Liu bend down and grabs the priestess hard by her jaw. He repeats, “How can we build a never sinking ship like the Canming? Say it!”
Unable to resist the truth serum the priestess breathes out slowly, “The method to create the Canming… is merfolk…” Boss Liu laughs triumphantly before looking behind him. There in the shadows stands Lord Lu who gives Boss Liu a satisfied nod.
Ah Li and Julan are busy building sales when Manager Li hands Ah Li a box of sweets and tell her that she has a visitor waiting for her outside. She starts walking to meet her visitor when Julan chimes “You are quite popular.” Is that jealousy I see peeking out of your eyes Wu Julan? Ah Lin stops for a second then continues walking.
Outside Xiao husband is waiting for Ah Li next to his food cart. Ah Li greets him, thanking him for the snacks. He has her try one anxious to see how she likes it since he woke up early to make them. By the look on her face you can tell that they aren’t good at all hahha! Ah Li notes that in fact they don’t taste very good and no wonder he has to attract business by helping wash chamber pots. Ooh that hurts lol.
She gives him some ideas on how he might improve the recipe then asks if he might be willing to take a letter to a maid who works for the head of the Maritime Trade Bureau. When Xiao husband starts asking how she knows someone inside the Lu Manor Ah Li calls out to some passing shipbuilders that they should come try this merchants’ delicious green tea balls.
Excited to try them all the shipbuilders and Manager Li grab a tea ball and take a bite. Simultaneously they groan and some even spit the treat out. Not willing to stick around Xiao husband leaves while everyone’s distracted. I would too, dude.
When Ah Li goes back to making sails Julan grabs her basket of green tea balls from her and tells her that there is something wrong with the food merchant. “Who does business by running off before collecting money? Besides, a grown man calling himself Xiao Little Husband (Xiang Gong). He’s clearly trying to take advantage of someone!”
Julan knows a little too much about what happened when she was outside. Ah Li asks, “You eavesdropped on us?” Busted! Julan tries to defend himself but Ah Li continues, “This is called not being able to eat the grapes so you say they are sour.”
Hilariously another ship builder corrects her, “This is called being jealous!” Manager Li steps in at that point saying that Julan can’t be jealous because Julan, Ah Li and Xiao husband are all male. The shipbuilder insists that even though they are three men, it still seems like Julan is jealous.
Realizing how the situation is looking to the shipbuilders Julan and Ah Li try to go back to making the sails and ignore what just happened. Manager Li is not finished reprimanding the shipbuilders for thinking Julan was jealous. “Close your mouth if you don’t know how to talk! Thankfully, everyone in the shipyard knows that Wu Julan is a normal man! If someone didn’t know, they’d think Julan was a homosexual and liked Ah Li!” Startled by the last comment Julan cuts his finger with the tool he was using to work on the sail. Ah Li sees That Julan cut himself but continues working.
Wu Julan sits on a large rock watching as the ocean waves send up spray a few feet in front of him. Ah Li finds him in his hiding spot. She sits next to him and grabs his hand to look at the cut. Gently she applies medicine to the small wound then wraps it with cloth to heal. “You usually are very nimble. Why weren’t you careful today?”
Julan sighs before answering, “You know and you ask anyway? Next time, don’t go eating such bad tasting green tea balls anymore.” Wu Julan being possessive is adorable. After a pause Julan asks Ah Li why she likes ships and the ocean so much. She tells him that one of her dreams has been to sail into the seas, her boat riding the wind and breaking the waves. She almost fulfilled her dream once but her brother caught her before the boat got very far. Ah Li tells Julan that as a woman once she gets married she can only stay home. She admits to being afraid that after that her dream will forever be an impossible dream.
In the market place Dachun is trying to sell dirty books. He finally finds an interested customer when two neighborhood kids tell him that his house is on fire. Dachun runs to his house to discover that in an attempt to earn her keep Yin Hu caught the kitchen on fire while making dinner. Though upset Dachun is grateful that he recently bought a kilo of bread which they can eat for a few days until Yin Hu leaves. Ready to chow down Dachun opens the bread box, it’s empty. Yin Hu admits that she was very hungry that morning and ate all the bread. This is a girl after my own heart lol
Xiao husband is in his room when he notices that the rabbit doll Li Lu gave him when they were kids has a tiny rip in one of its seams. Instead of asking one of the maids for help Xiao husband carefully sews the doll himself. His servant comes in to let Xiao husband know that he has bought green tea balls from Chang Le’s best snack shop as Xiao husband requested. Xiao husband knows that green tea balls are Li Lu’s favorite snack and is excited to send them to her again tomorrow.
Getting back to her room after a hard days work Ah Li’s peace is interrupted when Manager Li runs in to tell her that her family is at the shipyard looking for her. Panicked Ah Li doesn’t know what to do. Manager Li yells for her to leave out of the back door and run along the beach shore til she escapes. Ah Li takes his advice.
Waiting for her at the beach shore is Julan. Still thinking that she’s being chased by her brother Ah Li tells Julan she can’t talk to him right now and tries to leave. Julan gently takes her by the wrist and leads her to a waiting boat. “This is,” Ah Li asks confused.
“I’ll take you away from here.”
——————- END ——————-
Mel: Oh you sly devil!
Let me get a collective “Aww!” from all the fan girls out there! Haha What did you all think of episode 3? Comment below J
Episode 4 RECAP:
*Sings* Here we go, here we go, here we go again!
Julan whisks Ah Li away on a little boat to fulfill her dream of being on the ocean. “I never imagined that the first time I really went out to sea, it’d be like this. Wu Julan, thank you.” Julan smiles, glad that he helped Ah Li fulfill her dream. Ah Li says that it’s strange that Manager Li knew her family was looking for her since he doesn’t know that she’s not a man. She also says that it’s awful coincidental that he specifically told her to run along the shore. “Wu Julan! You planned all this, right?” Aww Julan’s guilty face!
Ah Li stands to properly scold Julan when the sky suddenly fills with black clouds. Thunder crashes nearby. A large storm coming, Ah Li suggests they head back to the shipyard. Julan knows there isn’t time to make it back to the shipyard before the storm hits and instead he says that they should find a reef island to wait out the storm. While Ah Li looks concerned with the idea of the two of them being alone on an island, Julan is all smiles.
Back at Chang Le, Xiao Husband pushes his cart of delicious green tea balls to the shipyard. Grabbing a box of the tea balls he bought for Ah Li, Xiao Husband approaches Manager Li and asks to see Ah Li. Manager Li tells Xiao Husband that Ah Li has gone out to sea with Julan. Xiao Husband knows that there is a storm out at sea and worries about Ah Li’s safety. He decides to go find her, but before he can leave Manager Li stops him. Since the storm has already hit no boat owners are willing to go out, besides Julan is an adept sailor who has surely found a reef island to wait out the storm. That is not what Xiao Husband wanted to hear.
Sure enough we see the boat tied to a rocky shore as Ah Li and Julan run into a cave to escape the pouring rain. Their clothes are soaked. A little too eagerly Julan tells Ah Li to take off her clothes so that he can make a fire and dry them. Faced with the impossible decision of nakedness or death Ah Li goes behind a boulder and strips.
A couple hours go by as the rain continues. Clothes dry, Julan roasts a fish as Ah Li sits next to him. “Wu Julan, how come you know so much? Not only do you know the weather over the ocean, you also know where there is a reef island.”
Julan smiles, “Because the sea is my home.” Ah Li totally misses the hint behind his words and says that she thinks of the sea as her home too but knows far less about it than he does. He continues, “Humans, think they know the ocean very well. Actually, they can only see the edges of the ocean. The ocean is deeper and more mysterious than what you humans think.” Am I the only one who thinks that Julan just basically told Ah Li that he’s a mermaid? Does she get it…? Nope lol
Then to make the evening even more romantic Julan uses his merman powers to grow flowers in the cave for Ah Li. Excited to see such beautiful flowers growing in the cave Ah Li eagerly leaves Julan’s side to pick a couple flowers. While she’s distracted with the flowers Julan uses his powers again, this time to put out the fire. As the fire goes out the cave ceiling lights up with thousands of glowing algea? (No idea what glows like that) Ah Li looks at the sight in awe, Julan only looks at Ah Li.
“Wu Julan! You said that the ocean is very deep and mysterious. Besides these things, what else is there?”
Julan stands and walks over to Ah Li. Looking into her eyes he answers, “Also me.”
Ah Li laughs at his answer. Looking at the starry sky over the ocean she says that as beautiful as this sight is, it’s no more beautiful than the Chang Le Lantern Festival. Julan doesn’t believe her so they make a promise to go to the lantern festival together to so he can see it for himself.
At Chang Le Tavern a couple of mermen drink wine and chat with one another. One of the dancing girls confirms they are mermaids before signaling to Lord Lu’s personal guard who is drinking nearby. In turn Lord Lu’s personal guard gives the go ahead one of his accomplices who then approaches the mermen. He compliments them on their taste in wine then invites them to a private wine house where the best and most exotic wine is sold. The merman is eager to go to this private wine house. The accomplice offers to show him the way and tells the merman to invite his friends to join them.
In a secluded part of the woods the merman and four of his friends are served wine at the exclusive wine house. They gulp down their first bowls of wine pleased with how good it tastes. One of the mermen gets up to pour his comrades another bowl but stumbles slightly hit with a sudden dizzy spell. In seconds all the other mermen start feeling the effects of the drugged wine. Jumping back from the table they groan as their hands, ears, and eyes change into their true mer form. The wine was spiked with Angel’s Trumpet.
Soldiers come out of the woods and surround the mermen. The mermen try to escape but are soon captured and taken to a secret shipyard where a huge, scary looking ship is being built. Oh no! They’re already starting to build Canming!
One of the mermen curses at Lord Lu demanding to know why they’ve been captured. Lord Lu’s eyes fill with rage, but then he chuckles slightly as he explains. “The merfolk have congealed fat that is colored yellow. It does not melt when it enters the water. If you get some and apply it on the surface of a ship, even if it faces waves a hundred meters high, it will ensure that the ship won’t be damaged. This boat is called Canming. I built the Canming to destroy the merpeople.” With that Lord Lu draws his sword and kills the merman.
Moving on to a much brighter and happier scene, we see Julan and Ah Li asleep in the reef island cave. Oh snap! Ah Li is snuggled up next to Julan with her arm laying cross his chest. Ahaha Julan isn’t cuddling her at all, it was a one sided sleep cuddle. Mortified Ah Li tries to leave before Julan wakes up but he’s lying on part of her shirt and she’s unable to pull it free. Julan starts to stir so Ah Li quickly lies down facing away from him and pretends to be sleeping. Waking up next to Ah Li, Julan smiles. Unable to carry on the ruse Ah Li sits up saying how refreshed she feels after such a good sleep. Julan tries to tell her something about last night but Ah Li quickly changes the subject.
Back at the shipyard Julan follows Ah Li into their room. Manager Li walks in and scolds them for being gone so long. “A fortunate thing among all the misfortunes, you two are both men. If one was a man and one was a woman, and you two spent the night together alone, it’d be no small matter!”
Wu Julan asks Manager Li if it would be such a big thing if a man and a woman spent the night alone together. Manager Li says that of course it would be a big thing and then asks Ah Li why she’s blushing lol.
Xiao Husband’s parents are at their manor looking for potential brides for their son. Xiao husband walks in just in time to keep his mother from going to the city’s matchmaker. He quickly tells his parents that he cannot agree to the marriage they are planning. Lord Qin asks his son what objection he could have about the bride they’ve picked. Shyly Xiao Husband says that it’s because he already has someone that he likes.
Surprisingly, Xiao Husband’s parents are delighted to hear that he is in love. They ask him who this young lady is and Xiao admits that it’s the Maritime Trade Bureau Head’s little sister, Lu Li. Lady Qin is pleased that Lu Li is a lady from a magistrate’s family and again tries to leave for the matchmaker to begin new wedding preparations. Xiao Husband stops his mother and asks her to be patient and not rush the marriage. He wants Lu Li to come to him and like him on her own, not because she is forced.
Gah! I always try my hardest not to fall for the underdog in a love triangle. I came into this drama wholly and completely on Wu Julan’s team but Xiao Husband is just so darn sweet and caring and considerate! No, I will not be pulled onto Xiao’s team, I will not set myself up for heartbreak! We all know that Julan and Ah Li are the main couple! Stay strong!
Wu Julan meets with the mer shipbuilders. They inform Julan that merpeople are going missing all around Chang Le Town. They suspect that these disappearances may be connected to whatever happened to the High Priestess. Julan simply says that they will know if the humans are to blame once they test their theory.
Elsewhere in the shipyard Zixuan has come to visit Ah Li. Zixuan tries to convince Ah Li to come back to the manor so that Lord Li won’t be so moody and take it out on the servants anymore. Ah Li sympathizes with Zixuan but asks to stay in the shipyard a few days longer so she can play to her fullest. Zixuan agrees. To change the subject Ah Li asks Zixuan what a lady should do if a man likes her and the lady also likes the man. “What is there to wait for?” Zixuan responds, “Of course she has to confess!”
Ah Li seems shocked at the idea of confessing her feelings first. Zixuan on the other hand tells Ah Li that it’s the only way to make sure the man doesn’t move on to loving someone else, since men are so fickle. Pff preach it girl!
Spurred on by the thought of losing Julan’s affection Ah Li searches the beach for him. When she finds him she grabs his wrist and announces, “I have something to tell you.”
“Let me ask you about the matter this morning on the island, do you still remember?”
“I don’t remember.” (Ahaha! He’s so mean!)
Flustered Ah Li asks how he could not remember. “That is… when I was sleeping…that I…”
She smiles, “You remembered?”
“I didn’t,” Julan shakes his head and starts walking away.
Determined to make him remember Ah Li stands in front of Julan, grabs him by the waist and pulls him close to her. “You most likely have remembered now, right? This morning, you secretly hugged me like that.” They argue back and forth for a bit but Ah Li finally gets to the point, “because I like..”
“All right, already. Stop talking.” Julan interrupts suddenly. “I know… what you’re going to say.”
Ah Li takes this as Julan saying that he doesn’t share her feelings and begins to leave disappointed. Now it’s Julan’s turn to grab Ah Li’s wrist. They stare at each other for a moment. Julan explains, “I didn’t want you to finish what you were saying because it should be the man that confesses his love first. Lu Li, I like you. Before I met you, I had never thought about who I would like someday. From now on, we might meet a lot of trails and dangers. Are you willing to face them with me?”
“I am willing.” Ah Li answers excitedly.
I have a feeling that this scene marks the purest and most innocent moment of their relationship. Right now they have no worries or complications or cares except for each other. Life and especially life in a Chinese Drama has a way of staining that innocence as time goes on.
Manager Li stands in front of the shipyard calling out shipbuilders who have left their dirty underwear around their room. Zixuan watches from a distance as Manager Li scolds them. “Today, it is just forgetting to wash your measly underwear. Then what about tomorrow? Couldn’t you also put one dowel less on that ship?”
Oh man, this is giving me flashbacks to when my husband scolds me for forgetting to clean the cat litter box. I’m sorry husband!
Zixuan is mightily impressed with Manager Li’s speech and even claps when he is finished. She flirts a bit with Manager Li but she makes a hasty retreat when Manager Li asks her if she knows anyone who works in the shipyard. As Zixuan leaves she is seen by Lord Lu’s right hand man. Right hand man looks at the shipyard suspiciously.
In Chang Le Town a drunken man stumbles down an alley on his way home. A couple seconds later he is being followed by men dressed in black. They wait until no one is around then reach for their drug covered daggers. Luckily we see the mershipbuilders hiding around a nearby corner. The drunken merman is actually a trap set to flush out the kidnapping culprits. The mermen surprise and easily defeat the would be abductors. General Jing Lin tries to catch the retreating villains but is delayed when an unknown enemy attacks him. After a brief fight the mystery man vanishes as suddenly as he appeared.
In the nearby forest the mershipbuilders apologize to Julan for not capturing one of the men in black for questioning. Julan says the operation wasn’t a total loss since now they know now that the mastermind behind the merpeoples’ disappearances is indeed human.
I object! No matter how true that statement is, it’s still conjecture. A merperson may be hiring humans to abduct the merpeople to frame the humans! I rest my case.
The camera shifts from focusing on Julan to focusing on a group of trees nearby where Lord Lu’s right hand man is hiding. Has he heard everything or just seen them gathering? Does he know that Julan is the prince of the merpeople?!
Of course Lord Lu’s right hand man goes directly to Lord Lu to report what happened. He tells Lord Lu that their movements have been found out by the merpeople and that they almost fell into a trap set by the merpeople. However, he learned that the merpeople seem to be following the orders of someone new to Chang Le Town and whoever the person is, he must be highly ranked among the merpeople. Lord Lu gives the order to have this person’s background investigated immediately.
Lord Lu’s right hand man, whom we’ll now call Commander Jiu, passes by Zixuan on his way to investigate Julan’s identity. He orders Zixuan to stop and asks her why she was at the shipyard early that day. Zixuan denies going to the shipyard and Commander Jiu lets her leave. You can tell by the look on his face that he knows something is going on in that shipyard.
Tired and hungry from a hard day’s work the shipbuilders swarm the cafeteria for food and wine. In the back of the cafeteria there’s a paper screen set up for shadow puppet shows. Manager Li nervously peeks around the screen at the feasting shipbuilders then tiptoes to the stairs hunched over and holding his stomach. When he reaches the basement Manager Li runs into Julan and Ah Li. Manager Li dances in place as he asks the two for a favor. “It is actually the turn of Ming Zhe and I do a shadow play for everyone. But this stomach of mine… how about you two replace us for a while?”
Ah Li objects but all Manager Li can think about is getting to a bathroom. He pushes Julan and Ah Li up the stairs, wishes them luck, then runs back down the stairs grunting.
The shipbuilders start to get impatient and yell for the play to get started already. Left with no choice Ah Li and Julan get ready to begin the play. Knowing that Ah Li is worried about the play Julan places his hand on hers, “Don’t worry. I am here.” Comforted, Ah Li smiles.
The play starts with Julan’s puppet “Brother Liang” saying that marriage is orchestrated by fate and he is just waiting to meet his fated bride. Ah Li’s puppet disagrees saying that marriage is 30% set by the heavens and 70% is done by humans. Her puppet then offers to help Brother Liang look for his fated bride. The person she is thinking of for him is her ninth little sister. Brother Liang thinks this over for a second then refuses the match. Forgive my lack of knowledge in Chinese History. I’m guessing this is a well-known story because all of the shipbuilders are surprised by Brother Liang’s refusal and begin mumbling, “That’s not how it should go.”
Undeterred Julan continues rewriting the part, “Little sister, there is something that you don’t know. I actually have already met the person fated for me. This person does not know how to play the zither, play Go, the classics, or how to draw. Not reliable in terms of being well mannered and elegant. Has a violent personality. Totally nothing like a lady from a rich family.” Ah Li tries to play along by saying that Brother Liang has unique taste. Julan turns from looking at the puppet and fixes his eyes on Ah Li. “Even if it is this way, I still think about her day and night. I really want to dig out my whole heart and give it to her. From this time on, the material things in this world are just like smoke and clouds that dissipate. I only look forward to her being safe and happy. And to stay by her side forever, for a lifetime.”
Ah Li’s puppet asks, “Who could be this fated lover of yours.” As the two puppets move closer and eventually embrace (Weirdest sentence I’ve ever typed!) Brother Liang continues, “This person is seemingly far away but is actually just in front of me.”
The room is completely quiet, the shipbuilders lost in the beautiful moment. Julan and Ah Li stare into each other’s eyes. Slowly they start leaning towards each other. Their lips just inches apart Julan cocks his head to the side ever so slightly. Ah Li closes her eyes and… “How come there is such a long pause?! Continue with it!” One of the audience shouts angrily. (Best kiss interruption ever!)
Still giddy from their almost kiss Ah Li goes to their room. When she enters Lord Lu is there waiting for her. Lord Lu compliments his sister on hiding from him for so long. “Are you planning to pack up your things by yourself or do you want me to help you?” Trying to act cute Ah Li asks Lord Lu to let her stay at the shipyard for a few more days. Lord Lu actually agrees to let her stay, but if she stays then he’s going to come live at the shipyard too. Haha romance killer! Defeated Ah Li Packs her things.
With Ah Li back at Lu Manor and dressed as a woman Lord Lu apologizes to their parent’s shrines for failing to be a good older brother. Ah Li stops him and admits that running away was a mistake. Lord Lu reminds Ah Li that she is all the family that he has left and he has worked very hard to ensure that she can marry into a good family. He decides to ground Li Lu for a month and despite her protests Lord Lu is firm in his decision.
Xiao Husband enters Lu Manor with his servant, Erliang following close behind carrying gifts. Zixuan finds Li Lu in her room and hands her a name card. Zixuan explains, “This is the name card of young Lord Qin Hao, the son of Provincial Governor Qin.” Lu Li doesn’t recall knowing such a person so Zixuan guess that he’s fallen in love with Lu Li and come to call on her. Lu Li says she’s not interested in seeing this man. Zixuan frets, “But he’s already outside.”
——————- END ——————-
Mel: Well, what did you guys think about this one? 4 episodes in and they’ve already pledged their undying love for one another and it looks like the gender part of the drama might be over. I hope that the writers are making these episode so fast paced because they want to get to the really good stuff that’s hopefully to come. I think in the first season of The Starry Night The Starry Sea it took a good 8 or 9 episodes for the main couple to fall in love. Maybe because by then Julan has been so hurt and betrayed by humans that it takes so much longer to break down his walls?
Is anyone else slowly climbing onboard the Ah Li & Xiao Husband train?