First Impression: The Legend of Shen Li Episode 1 – 4 “One Very Angry Arrogant Bird!”

It’s here! It’s here! Man, my stamina is unlike before. This post alone took me one week to write and finish! Are you guys enjoying Shen Li too? I know March is offering a lot of dramas so everyone can pick one for their enjoyment and this is mine. It has been a while since I committed to writing an impression. You see, I’m somewhat of a supportive fangirl too. 😀

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We begin the drama with a swift introduction. A female warrior is being chased by three males. She proclaims to be Lord Bi Chang, Shen Li of the Immortal realm and will not submit to an arranged political marriage with a fella in the Divine Realm  – someone she calls a loser. Lol.

She easily escapes them but the handsome one of the three sneak-attacks her from behind and stabs her right in the shoulder. She looks betrayed but then he takes her spear and stabs himself. Getting close enough to whisper to her and us, he says, “My Lord, this is all I can do for you. Take care.”

She smiles, “Very loyal. That’s my subordinate.” Her injured body then falls to the mortal realm transforming into a phoenix and finally into a chicken/bird, what have you, and is being sold in the local market the next morning. XD

An ordinary but not so ordinary human picks her out and when offered a discount for the chicken (due to the burnt feathers in its butt), he waves it off because he knows the chicken wouldn’t be too happy about the low price. Lol!

Thus begins the story of human and bird.

Bird Shen Li finally wakes up and is disoriented from being turned back to her majestic form while human casually throws a piece of food in her direction. It lands at her chicken feet. 😛 Why does he think this cocky bird is gonna eat his crumbs on the floor like those ladies feeding pigeons at the park?!

Angered at the pure disrespect, Bird Shen Li picks up a damn tiny branch and starts waving it around like her formidable spear and I die. 🤣

“How dare you! I’m the formidable lord of the Immortal Realm! Cluck Cluck Cluck!” ROFLLLLLLLLLLLL.

She tries to fly at him but without her spiritual power, she falls flat on her bird face. Then he pokes her trying to shoo her into the dirty pond water for a bath.

As expected, Bird Shen Li can’t swim and hence we see her chicken feet sticking out from the water. LOL!

Did you guys see the hearts attached to bird Shen Li’s 3 strands of hair? SO CUTE.

Second round of feeding. Bird Shen Li looks haughty on the pretty tree but her birdie belly betrays her so she flies down reluctantly to the table and demands to be served like humans. HAH.

As she eats his yummylicous food, she becomes his fortune teller too, citing his weak nature and dark under eye circles as signs of a short life so he will die soon and forget their days together, while she can go back to the immortal realm – dignity preserved. Food is so good she forgets about her dignity and he sneaks in some pet pet pat pet pat pat pat. 🤭

Bird Shen Li finishes the food quickly enough and demands some more. He shrugs, that’s all he made for today and hurries off to sell ginseng. She mistakenly hears that he’s selling his body (another shen) and sighs. After he leaves, a woman clumsily climbs over the window into his house and starts cleaning it.

Hahah, it’s Ming Lan’s maid!

But listen to your sister from a different mother, ladies. DO NOT EVER GO TO A MAN’S HOUSE AND CLEAN IT. You are looking to become his beloved, not his mother nor maid. Act like one! 🤟

In any case, she sees Bird Shen Li and decides to cook her. Lol. With her beautiful head on the chopping block, Bird Shen Li makes a blood oath to fight whomever ordered this ridiculous political marriage. Fortunately for her, her human returns on time and doesn’t even acknowledge knowing or seeing this girl before. Sigh….. Girl is obviously sad because she’s going away soon and will never see him again while he thinks she’s here for a farewell gift.

SO HE FREAKIN HANDS HER A HANDKERCHIEF THAT HE JUST WIPED BIRD SHEN LI WITH.

PFTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.

She doesn’t take it. Phew.

After the maiden leaves, Bird Shen Li wonders how on earth she could fall for such a guy in this line of work (selling his body for money) and human accidentally answers, “What line of work?”

Bird Shen Li gawks in horror at him, and it turns out he has understood bird language from the very beginning. Not so ordinary.

With his ruse busted, he introduces himself again as Xing Yun.

Night time arrives and as Bird Shen Li lays out there in the yard, the moonlight essence enters her body and she’s transformed back to her human self. Xing Yun looks at her nekkid self and compliments her beauty and then taps a rock to magically turn her back into a bird. OMO. Dude, you meanie.

Next morning while the maiden bids goodbye to Xing Yun again, Bird Shen Li escapes! Girl! Why do you run back to the market! She luckily survives the bird-thristy crowd and finds herself wet under the rain with no where to go. Xing Yun arrives and to him, he sees her human form. This is when forlorn-looking Bird Shen Li decides to stay with this fine chef for now while she recovers.

It’s in episode 2 that the misunderstanding of him selling his body is cleared up while she bathes in the ginseng-washing bin. He picks her up and starts brushing her chicken leg and the close vicinity causes her to get a close up look at him. She mutters, “He’s quite handsome…” Gurl, so easily impressed! Lol.

Embarrassed by her mental declaration, she pecks him in the face and he smiles down at her, making Bird Shen Li think he’s going nuts.

Its dinner time and Bird Shen Li is not pleased with the plates of veggie and pastry anymore. She wants MEAT!

“But I don’t have money.”

“Not even occasionally?” LOL. I’m dead.

That night she looks at him as he makes his life-saving medicine and decides that she needs to help out this sickly fella since he has shown her kindness. She begins pacing back and forth in the yard with Xing Yun looking at her, shaking his head. She’s no doctor so she can’t treat his ailment so Bird Shen Li begins to use her barely-recovered magic to turn rocks into gold. Lol.

Cue some cute chicken dance! xD

Alas, the effects are short-lived due to her limited power. Frustrated, she kicks the rock and limps away cursing. Xing Yun laments for a moment then takes out his secret stash of coins for some meat tomorrow. Kay, that’s adorable.

Morning arrives and Xing Yun prepares to go to the market and Bird Shen Li wants to come along. He suggests putting a leash on her so she doesn’t get lost and become chicken soup. She, of course, finds him audacious as ever and says her accompanying him is out of kindness.

“Out of gratitude, you should hold me.” Hehehe. And he does.

At the market, Xing Yun discovers another way to make money. A fortune teller (Ha! Another friend from Princess Agents!) is talking to a man when Xing Yun interrupts him and predicts that the man’s house is going to be on fire soon so he should head home and put it out. It turns out to be true and Xing Yun is paid and they get meat.

His good deed travels far and a woman seemingly a little coo-coo approaches him, desperate for news of her husband who went to war and hasn’t returned in 15 years. No body, no letter.

Turns out as we expected. He’s long dead and has been staying by her side all these years, protecting her. Unseen and unheard. Bird Shen Li fights him to calm him down and Xing Yun helps her return to her human form. Together they help and watch the two lovers reunite under Xing Yun’s spell formation. They agree to let the husband know that by staying at her side his aura has shortened his wife’s life already. He understands and will ascend.

The next scene kills me. Fans of Princess Agents finally get their closure after seven years. Your boy is rescued by his lady but she ain’t doing it pretty though.

Xing Yun trips on the bridge and falls into the water.

There he is floating peacefully like a mermaid in the darkness. He smiles slightly when he sees her coming down for him. So he closes his eyes, expecting everything but…

SHEN LI DRAGGING HIM UP BY HIS HAIR.

I’m dead. He struggles to breathe under her tight grip. LOL

His face questioning Shen Li on her hair-pulling method. Hahahhaahahhaha She looks down and sees a clump of his hair in her fist and swiftly hides it away. xD Now that she’s human again, she tries to bid farewell but is quickly disappointed when she’s turned back into Bird Shen Li.

Unfortunately, her transformation is witnessed by another human and he reports this black magic back to some wealthy young master with the last name of Gu. He requests to see Xing Yun in person so his lackeys come to the house to forcefully drag Xing Yun back.

Out of options, he knocks over a stone in his formation to turn Shen Li back into human form. She arrives and questions loudly who dares bully her….. SERVANT. Lol. She fly-kicks the three lackeys over the entrance without breaking a sweat and turns to bust Xing Yun about his formation.

The wind picks up around them as Shen Li’s anger simmers at his betrayal. He runs inside his hut and she flings him right back out. HEEEEEEEEE. Suffer Xing Yun! Suffer! He quickly puts up an act, “I save your life once, remember! Is it necessary to break my arm?” *wails*

She feels bad immediately. Lol

Shen Li tries to part ways again and he feigns a headache, wailing after her, that his broken arm prevents him from collecting and selling ginseng, now he can’t do the chores around his house. On top of everything, the lackeys will come back for revenge too!

Such pretty house this sickly fella has…

She returns but will only stay until his injury is healed. He’s giddy and calls her Gegeda again so she sucks him from the house into her grip and informs him of her name. He doesn’t think Shen Li sounds like a woman’s name, and she returns the favor by saying his name doesn’t sound like a man either. Heh.

Xing Yun asks Shen Li to move a big basin around for him since his arm is injured now so he can’t do it himself. After a few location changes, Shen Li flings the basin up into the mountain and he calls after it regretfully. Lol.

Up in the immortal realm, Mo Fangie feels Shen Li’s power and wonders why she’s using it, risking exposure. Before he can head out to look for her, he’s interrupted by General Shang Bei, who’s here to ask if he knows the whereabouts of their lady lord. Of course he doesn’t.

Down in the mortal realm, Xing Yun asks Shen Li to do some more chores for him, one of which is sweeping the leaves. When she does with a broomstick, he adds that he usually picks them up by hand.

Pissed off at his constant teasing, she sends the broomstick to meet with its friend, the water basin up in the mountain. PFTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.

Xing Yun: “Why did you throw something away again?! We have nothing left.” 😂 😂 😂 😂

“Why are you messing with me?”

“Not this time.”

“So you WERE before?”

HA. Busted.

He brings her into his office and explains that he collects leaves to record the time of leaves falling each year, just a hobby to pass time.

Episode 4 is a montage of them enjoying each other’s company.

Them having a moment in the kitchen as his elbow grazes her chest. A shade of pink enters our warrior’s cheeks quickly.

Sickly fella, why is your ear 5 shades of RED?! LOL.

“Shen Li, time to eat.” Uh oh, you know what they say. Love is through the stomach and he got her at Bird Shen Li already. XD

To him it’s a very casual and mundane phrase, but Shen Li is moved by the combination of her name with something so simple. She’s used to being called for very important meetings and battles.

The Gu Young Master arrives at Xing Yun’s place to ask him to work for him. Xing Yun refuses and teases the chubby man that the only way he can flatten his house is by sitting on it. Heh.

Angry, Gu Young Master splashes hot tea in Xing Yun’s face and of course, his whole team gets a beating from Shen Li, with one literally flying out to the river on a bamboo stick. HAH.

Quidditch!!

Another heart-fluttering moment for Shen Li. She hurries to help him pour some medicine from the hot kettle without a heat protectant glove on! Xing Yun is taken aback by her gesture and says, “You are a girl, don’t treat yourself like a man.”

He takes a look at her tiny hand. “Even men aren’t this hard on themselves.”

He blows on her wound and Shen Li is a goner.

Next day, Shen Li accompanies Xing Yun to The Gu Second Young Master’s home to plant his seed and begin his plan of pushing younger brother to take over the position of City Lord. Because chubby big bro is greedy and unfit to run the city. However, upon seeing younger brother, Xing Yun seems engrossed in the moment, remembering an old acquaintance with white hair.

While he talks to Younger Brother, Shen Li encounters a maiden named Miss He. She trips and Shen Li literally sweeps her off her feet to the balcony, accidentally undoing her tie to her skirt in the process. Horrified, she crouches and Shen Li stands before her to cover her when the guards come. Younger Brother rushes outside and picks up Miss He bridal-style to safety.

Shen Li wonders why Younger Brother keeps a demon around. Gasp!

— END OF FANGIRLING —

Kappy: I’m gonna be quick here because I’m drained writing this post. Bird Shen Li is such a mood. I could watch her for a few more episodes. Lol. And how nice to see Li Ying in a costume drama again! 😭 She looks divine! I missed her in costume dramas. The intro sequence was a nice watch! Must have been difficult to film and I’m glad they didn’t commit the crime most xianxias do with the prolonged info-dumping! I also really like the opening themesong, sounds very majestic and I imagined it being played live and guess what! The production team released a video of it soon after.

Played by the Budapest Film Symphony Orchestra.

What do you think?