On to the next big drama airing this season: Legend of Fu Yao, starring Yang Mi and Ethan Ruan, is proving to be the next big thing. Encompassing love, revenge, fate, friendship, companionship and royal intrigue, the drama is set to keep viewers on the edge of their seats whether in suspense or all out belly-aching laughter.
Join the crew of IMOmusings, Iridescent, Enid Bee and linjaturtle as we embark on this 66 episode long journey with weekly recaps.
Let’s begin Week 1!
WARNING! DO NOT OPEN FOR SPOILERS!
Chinese Title: 扶摇
Genre: Ancient, Romance
Broadcast Source: Tencent Video, Zhejiang Satellite TV
Airing Schedule: 2 eps a day, Mon-Thur
Current Progress: 8/66
The main character factions are used as label headers for each tab, however, the tabs will only be updated for new characters that show up in each recap roundup.
After defeating her martial brother in the Tian Dou Competition, she left the Sect to find herself and justice. On the way she meets a man with whom she falls in love and they join together to take down the forces of chaos in Taiyuan Kingdom. Helping to defend the people’s peace and gradually revealing their life secrets along the way.
Crown Prince Wu Ji of Tianquan Kingdom, the illegitimate son of Empress Yuan and Prince De. Chosen by the heavens to prevent eternal doom from falling upon the Five Kingdoms.
He is courageous and resourceful and willing to do anything for those he loves. On the journey with Fu Yao, they fight side-by-side and grow together through mutual encouragement and affection.
With a mysterious connection to the Firmament, he has a lotus birthmark on his hand.
1000 years ago Di Fei Tian ordered a massacre on the five kingdoms, striking the world into chaos. The elder of Qiong Cang, Chang Qing Zi, used the Dark Soul Leaf to turn the situation around. The last drop of Di Fei Tian’s blood coagulated into a five colour stone, to be used by a young girl to awaken him. The camera pans onto the backside of a man with long, luscious, black hair, dressed in white; the one who has been chosen by heaven to fulfil the legacy of the Dark Soul Leaf. He kneels in front of an old man, who tells him of his important task to find the girl and prevent her from causing eternal doom to the five kingdoms.
The next scene captures a blindfolded Fu Yao (Yang Mi), standing in the middle of a snow field as the wind unravels her mask. She is approached by four iced men on horses, having secretly snuck into the third round of the Xuanyuan Sect’s secret chamber. She quite easily defeats the men on the horses, but just as she, dramatically, in slow motion, reaches for the glowing orange globe to complete the level, she is pulled away by a string that appears on her arm and thrown back into the Secret Chamber of Five Elements.
Her senior sister, Pei Yuan (Li Yi Xiao), the first female disciple of the Sect, catches her in the room. She announces her detest of the servant and her desire to bring Fu Yao to their master for punishment, but the cheeky and quite daring Fu Yao easily escapes through the window.
Fu Yao sits in a tree (*cough* Bai Qian anyone? *cough*), where she awaits her senior brother, Yan Jing Chen (Huang Ming). The two share conversation, but not for long when they’re interrupted by Pei Yuan again. Pei Yuan demands that Fu Yao is punished for not following the rules and now for sneaking down the mountain. Fu Yao cheekily rebuts that Pei Yuan has done the same, especially since it’s the day of the grand sacrificial ceremony. Jing Chen covers for Fu Yao, claiming he’ll punish her later as he tells Fu Yao to leave and reflect, with a sneaky wink. As Pei Yuan tries to chase after Fu Yao, Jing Chen pulls her back and they accidentally collide into a hug, which causes Pei Yuan to blush. (*cough* looks like someone’s smitten *cough*)
Fu Yao overhears them talking about the sacrificial ritual and you can tell she has something up her sleeve.
On top of the mountain the disciples have gathered for the ritual. Jing Chen and Pei Yuan arrive. Unseen is Xiao Qi (Jiang Long) hiding behind a rock, also watching events nervously. Fu Yao climbs up the side of the cliff to join him so they can watch the ritual. In the meantime, Uncle Zhou (Sang Yan) at the bottom of the mountain is explaining the divisions on the mountain to a little boy. Only disciples born into noble and prestigious families are entitled to join the Xuanyuan Sect. Those in the Xuanyou Division are in charge of tending to their needs and are always subservient to them. The Xuanyou Division wears black clothing to show their status. As he warns the boy not to be like Fu Yao, he suddenly realises Fu Yao is missing and goes in search of her.
Back on top of the mountain, Fu Yao has found Xiao Qi who gives her robes to change into. He is nervous about being caught, but Fu Yao is fearless and wants to see this ritual that occurs only once every eight years. Yan Jing Chen, his father, the Chief Yan Lie (Li Hong Tao) and another man stand around the Armillary Cauldron and raise their swords toward it to make it rise until it is floating in mid-air and Fu Yao and Xiao Qi watch. A pair of birds fly overhead (I’m guessing a good omen) and then some papers in the box fly around and fall back in. The Chief then announces that starting today any member of the Sect can submit their name to participate in the Tian Dou Competition. (anyone else get a Goblet of Fire vibe?) The winner will become an influential member of the Sect.
Of course, just then Fu Yao and her friend are caught by Uncle Zhou.
At the bottom of the mountain, Fu Yao is again up in a tree. Uncle Zhou is yelling at her to get down so he can beat her. Finally, Uncle Zhou promises not to beat her if she comes down from the tree and that he’ll give her a chance to go into town, but once she is down the tree, starts beating her. You can tell that even though he’s stern with her, he still cares about her, but wants her to act appropriate to her level. She hates that there have to be different levels of status and that everyone should be treated the same.
That evening at the Sect, Jing Chen is talking to his father. We learn he was gone three months to Kunning, the capital of the Taiyuan Kingdom, where he met the legal first prince who is looking to form his own army. His father advises that the situation in Kunning has changed.
They have planned to get rid of Qi Zhen, who has been coveting the throne, before the prince’s coronation. But Qi Zhen (Liu Yi Jun), through the aid of some kind of fishbowl listening device, overhears their plans and his army attacks first in the night.
Jing Chen and his father worry that Qi Zhen usurping the throne will throw the five kingdoms into chaos. Jing Chen wants the Sect to help, but the Chief says that the Sect must remain neutral and wants his son to focus on winning the Tian Dou Competition.
At the palace, Qi Zhen’s troups have killed the Emperor’s soldiers. He then kills Xuan Yuan Xiao and orders his soldiers to kill all of the members of the Xuan Yuan royal family. In bed, the Emperor awakens to find Qi Zhen standing over him, but Qi Zhen will not kill him as he wants him to witness his take over of the throne.
He tells her that he is the legal firstborn of Quan City, Xuan Yuan Min, and asks for her help him get away from the soldiers before passing out. She hides him in her cart and then proceeds. Unfortunately, Pei Yuan and her friends have set up a trap to teach Fu Yao a lesson. (Is it just me, or was anyone else wondering why she would jump out of the cart just because a jar of wine was broken?) She ends up in a net strung up in a tree while the cart crashes into a ditch. The prince’s body is dragged away by someone unseen, but when the soldiers arrive at the crash, they find another body (note the shoe change) and take it away.
On the mountain top, Yan Jing Chen is enjoying the view. Thinking Fu Yao has arrived, he reaches out to grab her hand, but finds himself holding Pei Yuan’s instead. She makes it very clear that she wants to marry him and stay on the mountain rather than go home to the marriage being arranged by her parents. He tries to, as politely as possible, brush her off (just say no, dude!), but Pei Yuan is determined. Just as she’s about to confess, they hear Fu Yao calling for help and Jing Chen runs off to help her.
In a shed, the soldiers stand around the prince. Their leader, Yun Hen (Liang Ze Mu), comes in and orders that the prince be killed, but just as a soldier is strangling him, another one arrives to tell Yun Hen that Qi Zhen has ordered that the prince not be harmed.
Jing Chen gets Fu Yao out of the net. She is worried about getting in to trouble for the broken wine jars and then also realises the Prince is missing. She asks if Jing Chen saw an injured man, but he is more worried about her injuries and the Prince is forgotten. As he tends to her wounds, Jing Chen tells Fu Yao that once he becomes Chief of the Sect, he’ll let everyone know she is his woman. Pei Yuan overhears this and storms off in anger. However, Fu Yao is more concerned that he makes the rest of Xuanyou Division no longer have to be slaves to the others.
An alarm sounds warning of trespassers on the mountain. It is Yun Hen and his soldiers carrying the body of the Prince and asking for their help to heal him. As they argue, Qi Zhen arrives with his entourage. On the mountain, the Divine Physician, Zong Yue (Lai Yi), is treating the Prince with magic acupuncture.
Fake Xuan Yuan Min (his name will be italicised from now on when referring to Ethan’s character) wakes up, startled and timid, and asks what is going on. Qi Zhen asks if he really is the prince and then, to test him, throws a cup of tea at him. When he does, the Prince quickly is able to manipulate the water, a skill that presents only in the Xuan Yuan family. Taking this as proof, Qi Zhen bows before the prince and calls him Your Highness. Qi Zhen tells him he has been named the legal heir to Taiyun Kingdom and that they will escort him back to the palace. Xuan Yuan Min is ecstatic at the news.
I am also curious.
Xuan Yuan Min is acknowledged by Qi Zhen as the new Crown Prince after having been tested at the end of the last episode.
Through a flashback it is revealed that Qi Zhen had given the current Emperor medication to cause him to fall into a coma. His initial intention was to kill him, but Qi Zhen had to change his plans after the Emperor revealed that only someone of his bloodline would be able to ascend the throne as agreed by all of the Five Kingdoms. A condition that only those of Xuan Yuan blood are aware of. This has made Qi Zhen turn his attention to Xuan Yuan Min as a pawn in his quest for power.
Returning to Xuanyuan Sect, Fu Yao is shown being punished by having to wash all the clothes, only to have Xiao Qi run by panicked about Xiao Bai for whom the only cure is a flower found on Forbidden Peak. Fu Yao runs off in search of the flower only to meet the mysterious Crown Prince. The two fight for the flower in the pond, eliciting some rather… close encounters. Fu Yao uses the Prince as a means to escape the binding vines found in the lake only to be conned into falling back in while setting him free.
The fake Xuan Yuan Min, Zhang Sun Wu Ji, meets with Zong Yue and hands him the flower after being mocked for being so dirty. Wu Ji swallows the flower pill before discussing his meeting with the interesting girl.
Meanwhile Fu Yao is being interrogated by Uncle Zhou about her appearance and whereabouts. She is hurriedly sent off to serve in the main hall where the attention Xuan Yuan Min gives her causes Pei Yuan to bring it to the attention of all in attendance, especially Yan Jing Chen.
Xuan Yuan Min, being his lovely self, causes Fu Yao to pour wine all over him. He makes her follow him to help change his clothes. She demands he return the flower to which he replies that he already ate it, stirring her to begin sparring with him. They are caught in a compromising position by Yun Hen whom the Prince sent to get a change of clothes.
When Fu Yao returns to the village, Xiao Qi advises her that Xiao Bai is very ill. But then Uncle Zhou arrives with some medicine that has just been delivered to him by Xuan Yuan Min. Zong Yue and Xuan Yuan Min takes a walk in the forest where Zong Yue scolds him for giving away such precious medication that was meant for him to use at the last moment in order to save his life. Now even Zong Yue is curious as to who this girl that has captured the attention of our Prince is, to which he answers, “I am also curious.”
Fu Yao is informed by Uncle Zhou that senior elder brother and Pei Yuan were betrothed at the banquet today and earnestly advises her to move on; they are not people on the same path. In her love-addled state, she hurries to confirm this with senior elder brother only to be stopped and criticised by another senior brother for her unseemly ways. She then witnesses Pei Yuan and Jing Chen walking amongst the cherry blossoms where Pei Yuan wants to talk wedding, but Jing Chen wants to take things slow. Not hearing their conversation, Fu Yao takes this as confirmation of their relationship. When Jing Chen sees her, she runs away.
Fu Yao runs off crying only to bump into Xuan Yuan Min who is derisive of her thinking that senior elder brother would follow after her. He then states that there needs to be an appropriate end to the morning’s situation, of which she assumes is death. Before anything else is said, both are forced to flee by the appearance of a beast, the Iron Buffalo. Xuan Yuan Min grabs her hand as they run and pushes her out of the path of the beast. Attracting its attention, he leads it away from Fu Yao. However, he isn’t able to get away quick enough and is hit by its tail. As the beast is about to attack him, Fu Yao then makes noise to get it’s attention and save him.
Didn’t you always want me to accept my fate? If this is my fate, then I’ll accept it.
Starting where the last episode left off, Fu Yao attracts the beast, causing it to chase after her. After struggling with it for a while and being flung to the ground, Xuan Yuan Min swings by and punches the beast at its vitality point, causing it to fall to the ground and pass out. He tells Fu Yao to leave quickly as it’s likely someone will come looking for it soon. Surprisingly he has dropped the will to kill her, warning her that, as a smart person, she should know when to not let words slip.
Fu Yao sits alone reminiscing her moments with Jing Chen who soon approaches her from behind. He tells her that she made a major mistake yesterday, knowing that he had already promised to marry Pei Yuan. He assures her that although he’s marrying Pei Yuan, his heart towards her has not changed. In the future, after he has developed a stable holding, he’ll make her his concubine. (Wow, he really thought she’d just be thrilled with that bit of news… smh)
However, Fu Yao informs him that being his concubine was never something she wanted. She wants a life where she’s not controlled by others, where she can work to obtain the things she wants. She knows liking someone is something you have to do wholeheartedly and cannot share.
Having been informed by her servant of the meeting between the pair, Pei Yuan watches as Jing Chen pulls Fu Yao into a hug, confessing his love. But regardless, that’s not the life that Fu Yao wants, so she runs off after promising to never disturb him again. Pei Yuan takes her jealousy out on her servant by choking her with her whip as she vows that she won’t spare Fu Yao and she’ll make sure her life is worse than death.
At night someone dressed in black cuts Fu Yao’s finger in her sleep. The next morning numerous disciples gather, exclaiming their displeasure of the new entry in the competition: Fu Yao’s. Jing Chen approaches her to voice his concerns with Fu Yao confused and denying she did anything. The process to enter the competition requires a person to prick their finger and stamp it on the entry form so he refuses to believe she didn’t do it. The two end up in a quarrel with Fu Yao storming off.
Pei Yuan visits their master to talk about Fu Yao’s entry. Pei Yuan wants Fu Yao dead, but she doesn’t want Jing Chen to think she’s petty. Pei Yuan requests that the Sect Leader allows Fu Yao to enter the competition as she’s likely to die in the first round with her limited martial arts. The Sect Leader allows it. Jing Chen rushes in just after they’ve finished their conversation to request that he strip Fu Yao of the ability to enroll. Angered, his father claims that he does not have that ability and reminds Jing Chen of the political importance and advantage of his marriage to Pei Yuan. He further warns Jing Chen to not betray the hopes he has for him.
Xiao Qi rushes to Fu Yao, asking if she’s crazy and seeking death. Uncle Zhou interrupts them and tells Fu Yao to come drink with him. Although she does not want to, she hesitantly follows upon his insistence. As the two drink, he tells her that this was the wine he had saved with plans to drink it on her 18th birthday. She reminds him that she doesn’t have a birthday because he found her abandoned and no one knows when she was born.
The mood dips as he tells her with sorrow to leave and never return. He’s prepared a carriage for her the day after, telling her to go and get ready. But, knowing that her departure will bring trouble upon the division, she refuses to leave. She asks him “Didn’t you always want me to accept my fate? If this is my fate, then I’ll accept it.” He responds by shouting that he doesn’t want her to accept this fate. Tears well up in her eyes as she tells him she never wants to drink with him again and walks off, claiming she’s going to catch crickets.
Xuan Yuan Min stares at the moon and thinks about Fu Yao while Fu Yao sits on top of the mountain, thinking. Jing Chen arrives and tells her she needs to get her rest. He apologizes for being a jerk and tells her that he’ll keep her safe during the Tian Dou Competition, but she is resigned to her fate and would rather be alone.
The participants gather in a cave where the first sacred beast has been held captive. They are told to break into two teams and that the team which captures the beast and seals it with one of two spiritual forces will get to continue in the competition. When they break into teams, no one wants Fu Yao, but Jing Chen eventually pulls her in to join his team.
Outside, Qi Zhen and the Chief discuss the competition while the very bored Xuan Yuan Min is more focused on the fruit he’s eating, much to Qi Zhen’s disdain.
As they go into the cave, the beast attacks. It turns out to be the same beast that Fu Yao and Xuan Yuan Min had fought before, the Iron Buffalo. (Hmmm, wonder if he knew all along…). The disciples try to fight it, but end up getting stomped on or hit with rocks that fall from the ceiling due to the beast’s heavy steps.
The Chief sees some of the wounded disciples coming out and is happy to hear that they are not from Jing Chen’s team.
Though Fu Yao tries to tell him that she knows how to fight the animal, Jing Chen drags her to safety and then he and Pei Yuan succeed in putting a collar around it, but the beast is not subdued. As it’s about to attack Jing Chen, Fu Yao starts making noises and attracts the beast away. She tries to do the same move that Xuan Yuan Min did and fails when the beast turns its head at the last minute. She then attempts to make the move again and… end of episode.
Since this is her destiny, she should go down her destined path.
The episode starts again with Fu Yao’s failed attempt at subduing the Iron Buffalo. She tries again, but Jing Chen, not realising what she is trying to do, knocks her out of the way. He then tries to attack the beast, but Fu Yao stomps over his shoulder and, as the other remaining disciples appear to watch, succeeds this time in hitting the beast right where Xuan Yuan Min had before. The disciples watch in shock as the beast collapses.
Cut to outside where everyone is waiting to see which team wins and the very bored Prince is still chomping away. The Chief sees his son exiting with Pei Yuan and is proud, but then pride turns to shock when he sees Fu Yao riding the beast she’s tamed.
The Prince enthuses about all the great hidden talents they have. (You just know when no one’s looking, he’s going to have that smart alec smirk going on.)
The other slaves celebrate Fu Yao’s win, but Uncle Zhou is worried. He warns Fu Yao that even though she passed the first round, she’s also put herself in danger. He makes it clear that the Chief will not be pleased and will be looking to pay her back for making their Sect look bad.
Pei Yuan is trying to tend to Jing Chen’s wounds when his father arrives. When asked about the wounds, Pei Yuan blames Fu Yao for distracting him and causing him to be hurt and also for taking credit for defeating the Iron Buffalo. The Chief announces that Fu Yao is no longer allowed in Xuanyuan Division and will be arrested if caught.
By herself out in the woods, Fu Yao sees a fat mouse (Aww fat? He was just a wee bit chubby) run up to her. She tries to befriend it, but it runs away and onto the shoulder of the faux Prince who is watching her. He gives her medicine that will treat the poisoned wound from the Iron Buffalo’s claws. Some flirting commences with the mouse playing the jealous Tinkerbell before the Prince leaves, smirking to himself as usual. As Fu Yao demands to know who he really is, he promises that she’ll know when he takes off his mask.
While Fu Yao is doing laundry, one of the disciples brings some of Jing Chen’s bloodied clothes for her to wash. Concerned to hear that his wounds won’t heal, she sneaks up to see him, despite being warned she’s not allowed. Jing Chen is happy to see her, but she only wants to give him the medicine and say goodbye.
As she is leaving, she is arrested as it turns out the disciple had been paid by Pei Yuan to tell Fu Yao about Jing Chen’s wounds. As she is brought before the Chief, he accuses her of theft and asks her where she got the medicine, but she won’t say. As a punishment he sends her to the Realm of Nothingness, saying that if she was being truthful, she’ll be able to escape.
In front of the entrance to the Realm of Nothingness, Pei Yuan is gloating as she hears from the others that no one has ever gotten out alive. They tell her she’ll know when Fu Yao is dead whena black force of energy rises out of it, so she decides to wait and watch. Inside Fu Yao finds herself in a frozen cave and is quickly impaled against the wall with two icicles where she is then covered with ice.
But then Xuan Yuan Min appears and thaws her out (seriously, who is this guy, it’s killing me!). He is surprised to find that she hasn’t yet died and gets her out of the cave. Pei Yuan is angry when another disciple arrives to tell her that Fu Yao has been found alive in the woods and has made it out of the Realm.
Back at Xuanyou Division, Uncle Zhou and Xiao Qi tend to Fu Yao. Jing Chen, hiding outside, is happy to hear she is alive. Uncle Zhou assures Fu Yao that since she made it out, the Chief can not punish her further. Fu Yao is determined to continue with the Tian Dou Competition and Uncle Zhou says he won’t try to talk her out of it. But when outside, it’s clear that he knows a little more than he’s been letting on. He raises his staff and vows that “Since this is her destiny, she should go down her destined path.”
The disciples gather to hear instructions for the next round which begins with a scroll being thrown into the cauldron and then a bunch of smoke rises. The participants have to group up in pairs and any who have not found themselves a partner will be paired up randomly when the round begins.
In the temple, Pei Yuan kneels before the altar of the Grand Mentor and vows to help Jing Chen through the next round. Jing Chen is obviously not happy to pair up with her, but he knows he can’t do anything about it. That night as Fu Yao sleeps, Xuan Yuan Min thinks about her and how she is doomed in the next round.
As the participants gather, the disciples make fun of her for bringing a stove poker. One of the senior members of the Sect informs the Chief that they have arranged to pair Fu Yao up with someone named A-Chen, but that he will desert her during the round so that she’ll lose. Jing Chen tries to talk her out of participating, but she refuses his help.
Back at the Sect headquarters, the maids enter the Prince’s chambers and find that he’s missing. They call for the guards who decide to look for him first rather than tell Qi Zhen, just in case the Prince is out having fun somewhere.
Among the people watching is the (really smoking hot) Divine Physician. Then there’s a long explanation about this Sect treasure, the Projector, that will allow everyone to see the entire mountain and the competition as the participants get through it. There’s a big red candle with dragon heads that will blow out the colour of the winning teams so that they will know who won. (But if you can watch them in that one artefact, why do you need the candle to tell you who won?)
The rules of the round are that once the candle is lit, the participants have to jump onto the fan blades in the light that matches the color of their team and then fight the other team to pull out a bead from the top of the fans. (Ok, not super obvious what light they are talking about when you watch it, but just go with it.) They have to work in pairs to succeed and must make it back to the destination with the bead before the Dragon Incense burns out.
As the round starts, Fu Yao is alone trying to fight another team. Just before she is defeated, Xuan Yuan Min shows up on the back of a bird, knocks off the other team and helps her up to the top of the fan. (But wait a sec, won’t everyone see and know he helped?) Fu Yao asks him what he’s doing here and why he’s helping her, but he tells her that she just needs to remember that he’s the one who saved her life. And then the episode ends…
Someone keeps coming for me. He keeps forcing me to learn martial arts.
The episode starts off where episode 4 ended with Fu Yao and Xuan Yuan Min on the fan blades. Just as he tells Fu Yao to remember that she will have to pay him back later, their adversaries appear and accuse Fu Yao of cheating by bringing a stranger in to help her and the fighting begins. (Won’t they tell everyone the Prince was there?)
In the meantime, Pei Yuan and Jing Chen are fighting their opponents. Pei Yuan has no qualms about killing off the competition which shocks Jing Chen since they are fellow disciples. He wants to treat others fairly, but Pei Yuan reminds him that being nice will only put him at risk. They get their umbrella and ride it down.
Everyone continues to watch as one flame after another announces yet another winning pair. The Chief is happy to see his son has succeeded. Pei Yuan and Jing Chen arrive and Pei Yuan hands the bead from the umbrella to Jing Chen to turn in.
Fu Yao almost gets knocked off the fan blade, but Xuan Yuan Min catches her and then they defeat the other team and take the umbrella down. Of course, right in the midst of what could be a really romantic ride down, a strong wind comes and tears apart the umbrella and suddenly they are falling. The spectators see a black cloud come out and go back into the Dragon candle and are surprised.
As they fall Xuan Yuan Min asks Fu Yao if she can swim. “A little.” He tosses her into the water as he hits the side of a cliff and suddenly Fu Yao is sinking in the water as the fire poker from Uncle Zhou suddenly dives down. Suddenly she is no longer in the water, but a strange cave and the poker staff has changed into some other item that acts as a key in a giant stone seal. Fu Yao lands on the seal and wakes up to find four watery-shaped soldiers appear and a watery sword in her hand.
Everyone back on the mountain is waiting for the final team to appear. (More over the shoulder glances from hotty physician… Yes, please!) The Dragon incense is about to burn out, signaling the end of the second round. We learn that if the final team has gotten the bead, but doesn’t appear before them, that their fate will be determined by the Projector. Jing Chen is worried as he knows Fu Yao is missing.
Fu Yao finds herself trying to battle the watery soldiers, but they just go through her like… water. She passes out and back in the Illusion Hall that we last saw near the start of episode 1, a cloud of black smoke rises and the Lady of the Illusion Hall, Fei Yan, appears to announce that the girl with the five coloured pebble has appeared and that the Grand Mentor eventually will get control of the Five Kingdoms.
A whirlpool appears in the river. It is announced that the incense has burned out and the Chief announces the end of the second round, ignoring Jing Chen’s question about Fu Yao’s fate. The spectators see a strange dragon formation in the clouds and wonder what it could mean. The Chief explains that it’s it signifies the proximity of ‘a true dragon’ (Dragons are a symbolism of the emperor), but the heir apparent is not close by. The Chief further adds that since it has appeared then the true dragon should be on the left. It just happens that Qi Zhen is standing to the Chief’s left. (I think Qi Zhen reads this as an omen that he is the heir apparent.)
In the temple, the Chief chastises Jing Chen for letting Pei Yuan carry the bead rather than him and warns him that though they are engaged, anything could happen before the actual wedding and he shouldn’t put himself at risk. He urges his son to think of his own interests first. Jing Chen again asks about Fu Yao and his father gets angry that he’s still thinking of her. He tells Jing Chen that she still has not been found, but they know that she fell during the competition. Before Jing Chen can run off to find her, his father warns him that if he doesn’t stop thinking about her, he won’t hesitate to punish either one of them.
Back at Xuanyou Division, Fu Yao is in bed and being tended to by Doctor Zong (lucky girl). Uncle Zhou keeps bugging him until finally, the doctor tells him to leave. Fu Yao is dreaming about being in the cave and fighting when she suddenly awakens with no memory of how she got back. She asks what happened, but the doctor can only tell her that physically she’ll heal quickly. Jing Chen, hiding outside again, is happy to find that she’s alive. Back at the Xuanyuan Sect, disciples report to the Chief that Fu Yao was found in a deep pool in the valley and that Doctor Zong has checked her out. He asks who sent the doctor, but they don’t know. As Fu Yao sleeps, she dreams of competing with Xuan Yuan Min.
The next day Qi Zhen is asking the Prince why he didn’t attend the competition and he says he was hunting crickets at the back of the mountain. (Isn’t it strange how the excuses are always catching crickets?) Qi Zhen is trying to instil the importance of the Prince’s role, but he is too busy playing with a ladybug and not paying attention. After he chastises the Prince, the Prince tells him a parable as a way to say that he has no great ambition and will rely on Qi Zhen to advise him.
Fu Yao arrives demanding to see the Prince and everyone is shocked by her impudence. After she finally remembers her place and bows, the Prince starts flirting with her. Qi Zhen excuses himself and, outside, asks Yun Hen if that slave is the girl he said the Prince liked. He tells Yun Hen to keep an eye on them to make sure it’s not a trick.
After Qi Zhen leaves, Fu Yao starts asking Xuan Yuan Min if he helped her in the competition. Aware that Yun Hen is listening in, Xuan Yuan Min denies helping her and declares she must be brain damaged. He tries to get her to quiet down, but she keeps yelling out that she’s being molested. He warns her that everyone saw her barge in there demanding to see him. They won’t believe that she didn’t throw herself at him and that if she doesn’t play along, she might have to accompany him forever. When she threatens to tell Qi Zhen that he’s not the real Prince, he doesn’t believe her since she already once gave up the opportunity to reveal him and save herself.
Jing Chen watches his father erase the names of the disciples who died in the competition. He is surprised and asks why. His father informs him that they only want to remember the winners, not the losers, or it would be an insult to their ancestors. He reminds his son that showing mercy to others will only lead to poisoning himself and that he needs to put more effort into the next round. He reminds Jing Chen that Qi Zhen is ruthless and that the Prince is probably not as hopeless as he appears. He needs to be very careful and avoid all distractions, including Fu Yao.
At the doctor’s house, the Prince arrives to play a game of Go. He asks the doctor what medicine he gave Fu Yao to make her forget, but the doctor says he had nothing to do with it. He wonders if Xuan Yuan Min has fallen for Fu Yao. He offers to give him a drug to give to Fu Yao to make her forget all about him so she doesn’t ruin his plans, but he refuses.
In her dreams, Fu Yao is back in the cave fighting. In the daytime she finds herself waking up in strange locations, not knowing how she got there. Xiao Qi comments on how she’s been really tired lately. Fu Yao wonders if someone is playing tricks on her and wonders why she wakes up so sore every morning. Xiao Qi promises to guard over her as she sleeps and beat up anyone who comes to get her, but the incidents continue. Disciples at the Xuanyuan Sect gossip about her strange sleeping habits. The Prince overhears and is intrigued.
The next night Xiao Qi ties Fu Yao to the bed, locks the door and closes the window, but after another night of dreams, she wakes up in the forest in the middle of a rainstorm with a sword in her hand. She sees more of the water soldiers and starts to fight them.
The Prince, walking in the rain, sees her seemingly practicing on her own and is amused at first, but then realises something isn’t right. Rushing over to her, he hits some of her pressure points and she collapses. When he asks her what she was doing, she can only say, “Someone keeps coming for me. He keeps forcing me to learn martial arts.” before passing out.
The Chief has been called to the temple. One of the beads from the last round of the competition is missing. When they look at the Projector, they see that the bead is in the Xuanyou Division.
You’re right. No one can always be so lucky. But no one can be unlucky forever.
In Xuanyou Division, Uncle Zhou is cooking chicken soup. While he is tending to the fire, Fu Yao sneaks in for a taste, but he tells her that he made the soup especially for her and there’s no need to sneak around. As she eats, he asks her if she’s still waking up in strange places and she tells him all the places she’s shown up at, including the Grand Mentor’s hall. He asks her about her dreams and, as she describes them, he mumbles that “it really must be true.” He asks her where the fire poker staff that he gave her is and she tells him about how she fell in the water and it turned into something else, but she thinks it must have been a dream. Uncle Zhou says she’s talking nonsense and sends her to do chores before she finishes eating.
Just then the Chief, with other members of the Sect, arrives to accuse Fu Yao of stealing the bead. At first, she insists she doesn’t have it, but after searching in her pockets, she finds it. Before the Sect can arrest her though, she says that she must have it because she attained it in the competition, which means she can go to the final round. The Chief, certain she won’t survive, says that she can participate if she insists, much to Uncle Zhou’s dismay.
The next morning Fu Yao kowtows in front of Uncle Zhou’s house since he will not come out, and the other slaves are crying, certain they will never see her again. After a final goodbye, she heads out for the third round of the competition.
On the top of the mountain, everyone gathers for the third round. We don’t see the actual competition, but learn that all the contestants have to go through a realm of illusion and the two survivors will fight each other to determine the winner. Fu Yao and Jing Chen end up being the finalists. (Cute moment with Uncle Zhou giving Fu Yao a thumbs up for being a finalist.) Jing Chen is shocked to see her and asks how she can be so lucky all of the time to which she replies, “You’re right. No one can always be so lucky. But no one can be unlucky forever.” Jing Chen tells Fu Yao that she is no match for him and that he doesn’t want to hurt her. If she will just give up, she’ll be saved, but she refuses because she wants closure. (Translation: I’m going to teach you a lesson for trying to make me a stupid concubine, you jerk.)
Pei Yuan, hoping to stop the fight and expel Fu Yao, tells the Chief that Fu Yao has secretly been learning some demonic martial arts. The Chief lets the fight proceed anyway. Jing Chen vows not to show any mercy as does Fu Yao. Their fight is mixed with memories of when they used to practice together, but despite his experience, Jing Chen is not able to defeat Fu Yao, much to everyone’s surprise. She even manages to take his sword from him. But then she concedes the fight to him and walks away.
The spectators are disappointed in the fight as they feel like it was just a setup. The Prince even encourages them to have another round. Pei Yuan can’t leave well enough alone and taunts Fu Yao for being an orphan and a slave. She accuses her of using demonic powers to win all the rounds and tempting Jing Chen. When she asks Jing Chen to confirm, he agrees, much to Fu Yao’s anger. She quickly returns to the fight and beats his sorry ass using all the skills she’s been learning in her sleep. The Chief recognises her moves as being part of the Sect’s lost martial arts, the Ninth Heaven Breach, and knocks her out. He tells the crowd that she has stolen this training and that in the hands of someone evil it can be extremely disastrous so he needs to seal her powers for everyone’s safety.
Fu Yao wakes up in a dungeon with her hands chained (not sure why they wasted money on CGI chains here) and an energy field keeping her in place. The Chief enters the dungeon and demands to know where the manual for the Ninth Heaven Breach is located, but she has no idea where it is. He demands to know who taught her and she insists that she didn’t learn from anyone. He tells her she’ll remain there until she turns it over.
Jing Chen hasn’t eaten for three days. His father slaps him for being a sissy and a loser, then has him come to the temple. He prays to the ancestors. Now that the Ninth Heaven Breach manual is back on Mount Xuanyuan, he can finally accomplish their goal of restoring their Sect to its former glory and once again reign over the five kingdoms. Then he shows Jing Chen a hidden chamber; a location which is only shared between chiefs.
Uncle Zhou comes to the dungeon bearing snacks for the guards. He has been sent to talk Fu Yao into telling him where the manual is. As he goes to see Fu Yao, the guards pass out from the hypnotic powder he uses. Fu Yao is surprised to discover that he has the power to get rid of the force field around her. He is concerned that she is injured, but she wants to know what is going on. He explains that he’d hoped that maybe he could get her to just be a regular slave and avoid this destiny, but that there’s no use in fighting fate. He confirms that her dreams were actually her learning the Ninth Heaven Breach.
Back in the hidden chamber, the Chief explains that the Ninth Heaven Breach is a special magical martial arts that attaches itself like an aura to a person. When Jing Chen asks if it’s recorded on any scroll, the Chief opens up another room full of statues in various poses. And credits…
You were never born to be ordinary.
The Chief is showing the statues of the various Ninth Heaven Breach poses to Jing Chen which he recognises from Fu Yao’s moves. As the Chief explains the history of the Sect, Uncle Zhou is also explaining it to Fu Yao. The founder of the Xuanyuan Sect happened to get a hold of some pages of the Ninth Heaven Breach and it became the foundation upon which the Sect was built. Years later the pages were lost and never found again.
Hearing people approach, Uncle Zhou takes Fu Yao out through a secret passage. They run and make it past one door before it closes, but as a gate comes down, though Fu Yao gets through, Uncle Zhou ends up being crushed. Uncle Zhou tells her “You were never born to be ordinary.” and about the spell that was placed on her. He quickly gives her the five coloured stone and tells her it was found on her when she was abandoned. She now needs to use the stone to find a place where spiritual essence gathers so that the spell can be lifted. Fu Yao refuses to leave him and stays with him as he tells her how proud he is of her before he dies. As she cries, disciples of the Sect surround her.
Back in Taiyuan Kingdom, an official gets some news and demands to see the Emperor. He informs him that the city is about to be flooded and begs him to take care of his health so that he can save the city. Rain pours down over the city.
Back at Mount Xuanyuan, Qi Zhen is practicing archery as the fake Prince watches. When a messenger arrives, the Prince wants to know if it’s time to return, but Qi Zhen instead sends him back to his quarters. After he’s gone, Qi Zhen asks Yun Hen if he’s heard from Lady Fei Yan. He replies he has not. Yun Hen wonders why he is risking the capital. Qi Zhen makes it clear he doesn’t care what happens to those in the capital as long as he can become King of Taiyuan. Yun Hen seems dismayed by the news, but not willing to risk his status.
Jing Chen reluctantly goes to see Fu Yao. He’s been tasked by his father to give her a soul splitting powder which will make her tell him anything for two hours so that he can get the secret of the Ninth Heaven Breach, but then it’ll kill her. His father also destroys the statues that record all the movements as they are no longer of use to him. Fu Yao wakes up back in her cell after dreaming of Uncle Zhou’s death. Some of the disciples enter her cell as she mourns him.
On a cliff the doctor is talking to the fake Prince who we find out is really Crown Prince Wu Ji from the Tianquan Kingdom. His job is to pacify the unrest in Taiyuan Kingdom without going to war. Doctor Zong is concerned that the Prince is not taking his role seriously enough, but Zhang Sun Wu Ji is aware of the significance of what Qi Zhen is doing. They are sure he is looking for Lady Fei Yan to gain the ability to manipulate water so that he can take over Taiyuan Kingdom. She resides in Illusion Hall which can appear in any location in the right circumstances, so they are sure it could appear at Mount Xuanyuan. We also find out that the doctor is actually part of the Xuanyuan royal family, but has cut all ties with them.
When Jing Chen arrives at Fu Yao’s cell, she is gone and he is happy, thinking she has escaped. But really she’s near a cliff, lead there by Pei Yuan and some of her friends. Pei Yuan wants her dead and has risked the Chief’s anger to get her out of her cell. Back at Xuanyuan Division, Yun Hen reports to Qi Zhen that they have finally heard from Lady Fei Yan and he is very pleased.
To get Fu Yao to jump off the cliff on her own and keep her hands clean, Pei Yuan threatens the life of her friend Xiao Qi. After Fu Yao gets her to promise not to hurt Xiao Qi or any of the Xuanyou residents, she jumps. Since Pei Yuan doesn’t believe a dead person can extract revenge she pushes Xiao Qi off the cliff as well. She also brags that she’s booby trapped the cliff so that there’s no way Fu Yao can use any of her tricks to survive.
Qi Zhen and Yun Hen are waiting by a river for the Illusion Hall to appear. Yun Hen confirms that the area is surrounded by checkpoints so that no one can intrude. As the sun sets, smoke appears and turns into the hall. Lady Fei Yan asks what he desires and why. Qi Zhen tells her he wants the power to manipulate water so that he can take the throne. She tells him that he will have to lose something to gain something (oh, please let it be Pei Yuan) and that if he gets the Englobement Bell and uses it with the blood of a Xuan Yuan heir during the red moon, he will get the power to manipulate water.
Pei Yuan is pissed. None of the disciples can find Fu Yao or Xiao Qi. As she yells at them, the Chief arrives. He sends them to keep searching and then chastises Pei Yuan for being impatient and ruining his plans. She tells him that he doesn’t need the Ninth Heaven Breach because he has her family connections, but he tells her that power fades and luck changes. What matters are abilities and being able to depend on oneself. He also warns her not to mess with Fu Yao again and to stay out of the Sect’s matters. Pei Yuan storms off and ends up taking out her frustrations on her maid.
Fu Yao is bathing in a tub inside. Outside, the Doctor is giving her instructions on which acupoints to activate and then throws acupuncture needles at her back through a window. (So, I’m guessing he doesn’t like girl cooties?) Fu Yao later asks him where Xiao Qi is and is told he is safe and recuperating. She thanks the doctor for helping her and Xiao Qi, but he makes it clear that he’s only doing it because the Prince asked him to and that he’s more concerned about him.
Qi Zhen asks Yun Hen to deliver a letter to the King of Tiansha Kingdom asking to borrow their national treasure, the Englobement Bell. He has promised the King something he wishes for in return. He also tells Yun Hen to arrest the Prince so they can keep him locked up until the red moon to keep their plans from going south.
In his quarters, Zhang Sun Wu Ji is asleep when a figure comes into his room. Suddenly the Prince is awake and, with super speed, is able to come up behind the figure who then kneels. It turns out this is Jiang Feng, a Shadow Guard. He has been keeping an eye on things and witnessed Qi Zhen’s meeting with Lady Fei Yan and has also seen that guards are coming for the Prince. Zhang Sun Wu Ji tells him to stick with their plan and Jiang Feng leaves out the window.
Qi Zhen’s guards appear and surround the Prince’s chambers as the Chief and Jing Chen witness from a distance. Yun Hen knocks on the door, but gets no answer. When they go inside, they find the place empty and the window open. A guard reports that a carriage was seen leaving. As the guards go to follow it, the Chief tells Jing Chen that they will pretend that they didn’t see anything as they have already chosen to be on Qi Zhen’s side. Once the guards leave, the Prince drops down from his hiding place in the ceiling.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
In Xuanyou Division, Qi Zhen’s guards are searching for the Prince to no avail. Yun Hen and Qi Zhen meet in the woods. The carriage was a ruse and they think the Prince has not left. The only place left to check is Doctor Zong’s, so they head there.
The doctor is tending to his various herbs as the guards arrive. Qi Zhen asks him about the Prince, but the doctor says they are not well acquainted and asks why he would be at his house. Guards are sent to search the house and grounds as Zhang Sun Wu Ji and Fu Yao watch from their hiding place in the trees. While waiting on the guards, Qi Zhen touches a poisonous herb. The doctor quickly slices Qi Zhen’s finger to drain out the poisoned blood.
He also advises them that he’s been working on a deadly poison and that the fragrance they smell is that poison. Suddenly a guard falls ill and then another passes out. The doctor says that if someone had been hiding here, they would have died by now from the poison. He adds they are welcome to continue searching. Qi Zhen decides there’s no point in staying further and they leave.
Safe from the guards, Fu Yao asks if the scent truly is poisonous, but the doctor walks off without answering. The Prince tells her that the smell is osmanthus and not poisonous at all, but to people with evil intent, they will believe it is.
Inside the house after the doctor has tended to Fu Yao’s wounds, the Prince tells her she’s lucky he’s here because the doctor will not dress the wounds of female patients. She’d be disabled if it weren’t for him, he says, but the doctor calls him out. The Prince still insists that Fu Yao remember she owes him. She asks what he wants and at first he says the Ninth Heaven Breach, but he’s actually joking. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, he says and because Yan Lie wants her dead, he wants to keep her alive. Much to Fu Yao’s chagrin, he starts to get all flirty again. After pushing him away, she asks him for another favour, but he’s already figured out she wants; revenge on Pei Yuan. He tells her that he has an escape plan and if she can return from her errand soon enough, he will take her with him. Otherwise, she’ll be on her own.
Jing Chen is gazing at the window when Pei Yuan comes to bring him food. She senses he’s angry and asks if he is mad at her. He sarcastically says he wouldn’t dare blame her for anything. He tells her to leave, but she can’t let it go. She asks if he blames her for Fu Yao’s disappearance and he asks what she knows. She tells him that Fu Yao jumped off the cliff in shame. When he asks how Fu Yao is doing, she tells him it would be better to think of her as dead. As he is distraught, Pei Yuan decides to bring up wedding plans which only makes him mad and more sarcastic. She then asks if he ever liked her (girl, if you have to ask, you already know the answer), but he just tells her to leave. After she leaves, Jing Chen cries.
Fu Yao visits Uncle Zhou’s grave near where he died to bring him offerings and share a jug of wine. As she talks to him and remembers him, she thinks she hears and sees him, but then he disappears and she is heartbroken.
Rain pours down on the mountain and Pei Yuan is taking her frustration out on her maids. She ends up making them kneel in the rain and tells them not to come inside. As she enters her chambers, a drop of water from the ceiling alerts her to an intruder. Fu Yao drops from the ceiling and cuts Pei Yuan’s face. As they fight, Fu Yao tells Pei Yuan each slice and stab is payback for all her various schemes and slights. Outside the maids hear the commotion, but stay put out of spite.
Jing Chen goes to the Chief to ask for the engagement to be cancelled as Fu Yao and Pei Yuan fight. Pei Yuan suddenly cuts her hand and starts flinging blood around (gross) which acts like acid on whatever it touches. Fu Yao recognises it as the Force of Blood Sacrifice and is surprised the Chief taught her something so vicious. Their fight continues outside in the rain.
Jing Chen tells his father that he’s realised what a horrible woman Pei Yuan is and that he doesn’t want to marry her. The Chief tells him it’s too late and they can’t afford to offend her family.
The maids watch as the two women continue fighting until finally Fu Yao is able to defeat her. Despite having an opportunity to kill her, she tells Pei Yuan that she’s the better person and will let her live because she doesn’t want to turn into her. As Fu Yao leaves, the two maids pick up Pei Yuan’s sword and (cue the “karma’s a bitch” clip) proceed to cut up their mistress’ face to pay her back for how she’s treated them.
Qi Zhen’s soldiers have been tracking the Prince, but lose his tracks in the rain. Qi Zhen advises Yun Hen that they should search the waterways. Fu Yao and the Prince meet up and, once they see the soldiers, jump into the water together. In the water, Fu Yao passes out so the Prince gives her the kiss of life (awwww).
In the morning, a guard reports to Qi Zhen that something has happened to Pei Yuan. In her chambers she’s shrieking about her face. The Chief and Jing Chen arrive and the maid tells them that her injuries aren’t bad, but her face is badly damaged. Pei Yuan tells her uncle that it was Fu Yao’s doing and to go kill her, but Qi Zhen is more worried about the damage to the family’s reputation if people find out she was wounded by a slave girl. When she sees Jing Chen, she yells for him not to come near. The Chief and Qi Zhen go outside to discuss the matter further.
Jing Chen stays inside with Pei Yuan, but she wants him to leave. She yells about what Fu Yao did to her, but when he is happy to hear Fu Yao is still alive, she realises her mistake. She yells at him that he wishes Fu Yao had killed her and is laughing at her. She starts going a little cuckoo and offers to show him her scars, but he just holds her as she cries.
Outside the Chief apologises for the incident, but Qi Zhen is more concerned about how to spin it. Either he can tell people that the Sect was colluding to kill the heir apparent and his niece, or they can say it’s foreign officials and that Pei Yuan was hurt saving the Prince who ended up being kidnapped regardless. The Chief agrees to go with his story to protect the Sect’s reputation. He also confirms again that Jing Chen will still marry Pei Yuan.
By the riverside, Fu Yao is remembering the kiss of life in the water. She is sitting far from the Prince, but he tells her to come closer to the fire to warm up. She sits by him, but warns him she’s not as frail as she seems. She asks him if he did any strange things to her in the water and he plays dumb. Then he says he sees someone coming and, as she looks, he grabs her arm to give her some of his internal force to help her heal. When someone really approaches, she doesn’t believe him. But Xiao Qi happily shouts from afar in new clothes and with some horses. They reunite happily.
IMOmusings: My favourite character by far is the mouse!
Iridescent: I, one hundred percent agree, the mouse is the cutest thing to exist in this drama. On another note, have you seen Ethan’s smirk? It’s pure evil, in the way that it makes me giddy with joy.
IMOmusings: Oh, you mean the one during the slap or when he’s spinning her around in his room or the one where he’s telling the servant that he came into the room too early~. Ethan is perfect for this role, playful but devilish!
Enid Bee: Is it a mouse? I thought it was a gerbil. But that’s just because of the animation I guess. They made him all chubby and cute. 🙂 I’m definitely liking Ethan switching between timid and inept prince to cunning, devious guy. He’s definitely sexier when he’s being a jerk. Overall there are parts of this series that reminded me of other series (Princess Agents, Castle in the Sky), but I’m hoping as the story goes along I’ll compare less and just enjoy. I’m definitely interested in the story so far and not just because I am eagerly awaiting Vengo Gao’s arrival. Just wish Dramafever was subbing a little faster so I wasn’t so far behind.
Episode 4 is my favorite now. The look on everyone’s faces when Fu Yao defeats the beast. I was expecting that they would find a way to give someone else credit as usually happens, so I was very happy when she got to ride out with that smug look on her face. Oh wait, spoke to soon. Of course Pei Yuan has to make it seem like she did nothing. Please tell me there’s an episode where she gets punched in the face.
IMOmusings: ehehhehe Pei Yuan gets smited soon enough! This series has the best opening episodes I’ve ever seen for one based on a female lead~
Iridescent: Pei Yuan definitely deserves more than just to be punched in the face. If this series doesn’t have a happy ending I’ll revolt. I’m way too absorbed in this romance already, although it’s a little cliche with how many times he has had to save her already. I’m currently down the route of skipping all the talking to see our OTP. I’ve heard that Fu Yao is very much like a Mary Sue character, but so far she’s shaped to be a little more than that, and I really hope it continues that way.
Enid Bee: I just have to say, I have a major crush on the doctor. The more Lai Yi pops up on different series, the more I’m wishing he’d get bumped up to lead (or at least second lead). Guess I’ll have to find Hi Flower for that.
But I am glad that in this series Yang Mi gets to play a woman who doesn’t get pushed around. Would have hated it if she had pined for Jing Chen or agreed to be a concubine. Also, loved the look on that maid’s face as she was cutting up Pei Yuan’s face. Whoever that actress is, I hope she get to play a lead bad girl in a series some day.