We finally start to get into the main plot as Xiao En finds herself in a storybook world. At first she thinks she’s the protagonist, but then she soon realizes that not only is she a side character, she’s an evil side character. While she starts scheming in her story world, Tian Xing’s allies and enemies are also up to their own scheming in the real world.
He Tian Xing grabs Zheng Xiao En’s wrist as she sidles past his hospital bed. She lets out a small scream and turns, then sees his face and recognizes who he is. He Ming Li stares at her for a second, then inserts herself, grabbing Tian Xing’s arm and holding it up to the doctor, demanding to know what this means. Is he awake?
The doctor checks Tian Xing’s vitals and determines that he is still in a coma. They roll Tian Xing toward the ambulance and start loading him in. Ming Li glances at Xiao En, who has turned to hide her face, then ignores her and steps into the ambulance.
Ming Li starts to remove Tian Xing’s mask, but the doctor sees her in time and warns her not to touch it; it could jeopardize Tian Xing’s life. She smiles thoughtfully as the ambulance starts to drive away.
Xiao En steps forward and finds herself in an empty space surrounded by darkness. A light in the distance focuses on a hospital bed. As she steps closer, she recognizes Tian Xing in the hospital bed. He grabs her wrist and doesn’t let go. She screams. His eyes snap open and he demands to know why she didn’t save him.
Xiao En wakes blearily: it was just a nightmare. But she’s feverish and accidentally knocks her water mug off her nightstand, shattering it. She crawls out of bed to find her phone, and manages to dial Chun Tian, but faints before she picks up.
Xiao En’s alarm clock rings and she hits snooze, smiling in her sleep as she slowly wakes up. She’s surprised to find herself in bed. Did Chun Tian come by without saying anything? She looks at her clock and bolts awake when she sees what time it is. As she brushes her teeth, she praises herself in the mirror for going to work today despite being so sick last night.
Xiao En sprints toward her office then comes to an abrupt stop as she stares up at an unfamiliar building. Why did she come here?
She’s startled out of her confusion when Chun Tian rushes by, urging her to hurry up because they’re both late. While they wait for the elevator, Xiao En spots Chun Tian’s unfamiliar-looking ID card: Royal Group? When did their company rebrand? She notices the name on the ID: Lin Qiu Tian, marketing department. When did Chun Tian’s name become Qiu Tian?
Qiu Tian thinks Xiao En is spouting nonsense. Her name has always been Qiu Tian and their company has always been called Royal Group. She tells Xiao En to check her own ID card if she doesn’t believe it. Xiao En looks through her purse and finds her own ID card. Her name is still the same, but apparently she works at Royal Group too.
Su Shan Na is now Su Shan, her manager, and Chu Chu is her coworker. Xiao En marvels that a Mary Sue type person like Chu Chu can exist in real life. She’s clumsy, spilling a tray of coffee all over Su Shan, but also unbelievably nice.
Xiao En tries to figure out what’s going on. Does she have amnesia? Is this just a dream? Or is she dead? She throws herself into a glass wall and hits it, hard, confirming that at least she isn’t a ghost.
She stands up and promptly runs in Tian Xing, alive and well. She immediately gushes over the fact that he’s okay, clutching his face, then realizes she’s being over-familiar and drops her hands. He stares at her, unamused. A man (Simon Lian) comes to his side, checking if he’s okay.
Tian Xing looks at Xiao En’s nametag, then asks if he knows her. She laughs awkwardly and says of course not. He traps her against a nearby glass wall, asking if this is her way of trying to seduce him. She says no; she’s just glad that he’s okay. She keeps calling him He Tian Xing, which confuses him. Doesn’t she know who he is? His friend convinces him to leave, saying that this is clearly a case of mistaken identity. Both men give her puzzled backward glances.
Xiao En rushes to tell Qiu Tian that she ran into He Tian Xing just now, but she has no idea who that is. Xiao En frowns, then finds a magazine cover with Tian Xing’s face on it and shows Qiu Tian. Qiu Tian shows her a different magazine cover with his face on it, this time attached to a name: Si Tu Ao Ran.
Shocked, Xiao En hangs out in the office building’s mezzanine to clear her head. Could he really be that Si Tu Ao Ran? At that moment, Si Tu Ao Ran strolls in through the lobby doors and Xiao En realizes that the paragraph introducing him in the novel matches this man perfectly. Ao Ran looks up and spots Xiao En watching him from the mezzanine. He smirks, then keeps walking. Xiao En yells, “Oh my god!” very loudly. She is in the novel CEO, You Nasty.
Back in the real world, Chun Tian sobs as she escorts an unconscious Xiao En in the hospital. She tries to pull herself together and tells herself that Xiao En will be okay. She has to be okay.
Ming Li stares down at Tian Xing, then detaches his ventilator. He starts struggling to breathe and alarms ring, but Ming Li does nothing. Tian Jian enters the room and demands to know what his sister is doing. A nurse enters behind him and quickly fixes the ventilator. Tian Jian takes responsibility, saying he accidentally bumped into it.
Once the nurse is gone, Tian Jian turns on his sister. She tries to defend herself, saying if Tian Xing doesn’t die, then he’s going to come kill them. Doesn’t he remember the look on Tian Xing’s face when his mother died? Tian Jian says that if Tian Xing dies now, she might as well wave a sign telling the world that she killed him. It’s too suspicious. If Tian Xing dies, none of them will be able to escape unscathed.
Ming Li comes up with a new narrative. What if they tried their best and gave Tian Xing the best of care, but his injuries were just too severe and he succumbed two weeks from now? Ming Li likes this version of events. Tian Jian grimaces incredulously and shakes his head. Ming Li ignores him and calls Qiao Zhi, telling him to prepare a press release.
Uncle Hu watches the latest news headline announcing that He Tian Xing’s condition does not look good. He smiles and knocks over the king on his chessboard.
Xiao En has not gained anymore clarity into her situation the next morning. She wonders how she can leave this world and return to her original one, but then she realizes that her original life wasn’t great either. She was always being berated by her boss and forced to live paycheck to paycheck while still working so hard.
She remembers the wish she made to find an arrogant CEO and nearly getting hit by the car. Maybe this is fate’s way of making her wish come true? After all, there’s an arrogant CEO very close by.
Xiao En, thinking she’s the protagonist of this romance, finds a tree to climb after work. Is this the way she’s supposed to meet-cute with Si Tu Ao Ran? She starts trying to climb the tree, but finds that climbing trees is not easy.
She suddenly hears a scream, and turns to see Chu Chu landing in Si Tu Ao Ran’s arms. They look deeply into each other’s eyes and smile.
Xiao En realizes that she’s not the heroine in this story — she’s just a side character.
In real life, Tian Xing’s vitals start to go haywire. Tian Jian panics and summons the doctors. He also notices someone watching in the doorway who turns to leave. He follows and catches Chu Chu.
Tian Jian guesses that Tian Xing and Chu Chu are dating. She admits that they were supposed to have their first date this weekend. He had scheduled it the day he had his accident.
Chun Tian keeps vigil at Xiao En’s bedside. When a doctor comes in, she finds out that Xiao En doesn’t appear to have anything wrong with her. It seems like she’s just sleeping. The only abnormality is that she’s been sleeping for days, but there’s nothing they can do except wait for her to wake up.
Chun Tian grabs Xiao En by the shoulders and shakes her, urging her to wake up.
In the story world, Xiao En suddenly finds herself feeling nauseous. She thinks it’s because her taxi driver is going too fast, but he’s actually crawling through rush hour traffic at a snail’s pace.
Xiao En is still glum about her recent discovery that she’s just a side character when she walks through the doors of her office building. There’s a sudden commotion when Si Tu Ao Ran and his friend walk into the building behind her. A bunch of female employees start shrieking like he’s a celebrity, and even Su Shan and Qiu Tian’s eyes light up as they gasp and swoon.
Chu Chu appears in front of Ao Ran, offering him a neatly-packaged cookie to show her gratitude for his saving her yesterday. The female employees present all frown and whisper jealously among themselves. It’s another reason to dislike Chu Chu.
Ao Ran and Chu Chu stare at each other for a moment. Xiao En decides to interject and grabs the present, then proceeds to eat the cookie. Xiao En feigns innocence, saying she thought Chu Chu was sharing with everyone, and apologizes, packaging up the half-eaten cookie. Behind her, Su Shan and Qiu Tian commend her for ruining Chu Chu’s moment. Chu Chu, the perfectly angelic protagonist, graciously gives Xiao En the whole present. Xiao En takes it with a quick glance at Ao Ran, who is staring at her with narrowed eyes.
At her desk, Xiao En wonders if she was sent here just to watch someone else fall in love. But she refuses to just be a side character in this story. She will get herself an arrogant CEO! She glares at Chu Chu, silently telling her that she better not get in her way, otherwise she’ll edit Chu Chu out of the real novel.
Chu Chu goes to the restroom. Su Shan and Qiu Tian make eye contact then follow her, with Qiu Tian grabbing Xiao En and bringing her along. In the restroom, they gesture for Xiao En to dump water on Chu Chu in the stall. Xiao En doesn’t want to, so they end up doing it themselves. When Chu Chu starts to exit the stall, they shove the empty bucket into Xiao En’s hands, then run away. Xiao En tries to follow, but it’s too late: Chu Chu sees her.
Xiao En tries to apologize, saying she didn’t do it, but Chu Chu doesn’t listen and runs out of the restroom, upset. She runs straight into Si Tu Ao Ran.
Ao Ran summons Su Shan, Qiu Tian, Xiao En, and Chu Chu together and berates Su Shan for allowing this kind of harassment in the workplace. Su Shan, trying to create an out for Xiao En, loudly tells her that she should check that no one is in the restroom the next time she starts cleaning it. It takes Xiao En a moment, but she catches on and plays along. But Ao Ran isn’t easily convinced and pokes holes in her story, forcing Xiao En to spin up some more lies and excuses about having OCD.
Xiao En apologizes to Chu Chu, who again forgives her, saying it’s okay because it wasn’t intentional.
After Ao Ran leaves, Su Shan and Qiu Tian demand to know why Xiao En has had a sudden change of heart about Chu Chu. She was the original instigator who bullied Chu Chu, and it’s not like they didn’t try to be friendly and nice to Chu Chu before, but she makes it so difficult. She always leaves her work half-finished and expects other people to cover for her, and never accepts their invitations to hang out.
Xiao En realizes that she isn’t just a side character: she’s an antagonist who bullies the heroine.
After work, Xiao En rushes to a bookstore and tries to find CEO, You Nasty, but unfortunately the book doesn’t exist in this world. Instead, she grabs a pile of other romance novels for research. She’s determined to change her own storyline and become the protagonist in this story.
In most romance novels, the hero and heroine’s relationships progress through a series of moments in which the hero saves the heroine. Xiao En’s goal is to eliminate those moments, which means being nice to Chu Chu and making sure she’s never put in harm’s way.
In the real world, editor-in-chief Yao is upset that Xiao En is missing and thinks she’s making up excuses to avoid work. He berates Chun Tian for not having a cover prepared and warns her that if he doesn’t receive a suitable cover in three days’ time, both she and Xiao En are out. Chun Tian, already stressed and upset by Xiao En’s mysterious coma, snaps back at Yao, unleashing all her grievances toward him and mentioning Xiao En’s coma. Unused to having someone talk back to him, and realizing how wrong he was to make light of Xiao En’s hospitalization, Yao is suddenly meek and awkward.
Ming Li finds out from Qiao Zhi that her father’s will still cannot be located. It wasn’t found on Tian Xing’s body. Where could it have gone?
Su Shan Na decides that she needs to take matters into her own hands and investigate the circumstances of Tian Xing’s accident. Ming Li has barred anyone from going up to the rooftop, but Jie Sen and Su Shan Na determine that she can buy herself about a minute and a half of time on the rooftop if she moves the security camera. Su Shan Na narrowly avoids getting caught, but doesn’t find anything useful.
Later, she and Jie Sen watch a televised news report on a recent contract signing between Uncle Hu of Tian Liang Construction and Ming Li of Tian Liang Hospitality. 19% of Tian Liang Hospitality’s stock has been signed over to Tian Liang Construction. Su Shan Na is sad on behalf of Tian Xing. He worked so hard to build up Tian Liang Construction, and now Ming Li is going to drag it back down.
Xiao En initiates her plan by gifting Chu Chu some cookies the next day as an apology gift. When Su Shan and Qiu Tian demand to know why she’s suddenly being so nice to Chu Chu, Xiao En claims that Ao Ran already has an eye on them and it would be good not to give him an excuse to punish them.
The marketing team is in charge of setting up an important company banquet. Xiao En decides to test her theory that Ao Ran shows up to save Chu Chu whenever something bad happens to her. She grabs Chu Chu’s hair as she walks by. Sure enough, Ao Ran shows up, demanding to know what Xiao En is doing. Xiao En quickly makes an excuse about trying to grab Chu Chu’s shirt and accidentally grabbing her hair. Chu Chu forgives her, but Ao Ran doesn’t seem as convinced and watches her with narrowed eyes again.
Now that her theory is confirmed, Xiao En starts analyzing everything around the room, assigning percentages to various objects based on the likelihood that they could harm Chu Chu. This place is too dangerous, she muses out loud to herself.
She’s startled when someone asks how it’s dangerous, and turns to see Ao Ran’s friend from before. He asks her if she knows his name; she has to awkwardly admit she doesn’t. He introduces himself as Duan Mu Qing Feng (“refreshing breeze”), and Xiao En tries her best to hold back a laugh. This author’s style is too obvious.
Qing Feng tells Xiao En that she’s a strange one. Xiao En asks hesitantly whether he means that as a compliment. He says no. It’s very strange that she’s an employee at Royal Group, yet doesn’t recognize Si Tu Ao Ran or him. He asks her what’s so dangerous about this place.
Xiao En starts to answer, but then gets distracted when Chu Chu walks by holding a platter of forks and knives. Qing Feng watches, puzzled, as Xiao En quickly takes the platter away from her, saying that it’s dangerous.
When Chu Chu starts to climb up a ladder, Xiao En rushes over and tells her to come down: it’s too dangerous. Xiao En climbs the ladder in her stead. Then, when Qiu Tian pushes a trolley stacked high with boxes toward Chu Chu, Xiao En valiantly throws herself forward to use her body as a shield.
But Chu Chu is perfectly fine and instead, Xiao En ends up faceplanting on the ground, right at Ao Ran’s feet. Qiu Tian helps her up, then gasps, screaming, “Blood!” at the twin streams of blood coming out of Xiao En’s nose.
In the real world, Chun Tian arrives at the comatose Xiao En’s bedside, ready to keep her friend company, but then gasps and calls for a doctor. The real Xiao En’s nose is bleeding, too.
I am officially in love with this show. It is made for lovers of rom-com idol dramas with all their ridiculous tropes. I love it.
This episode was super enjoyable because the focus is mostly on Xiao En. She is a breath of fresh air, at once charismatic and awkward and adorable, and perhaps the most normal part of these crazy worlds.
It’s fun to see the contrasts between the real world and the story world, as well as the parallels. For example, Su Shan in the story world is waaay different from Su Shan Na in the real world and the dichotomy is hilarious. On the other hand, it seems like Chu Chu is basically the same character with the same story line in both worlds, at least that we’ve seen so far.
The real world plot is just as outlandish as the story world, if not more. Everything going on with Tian Xing’s family is over-the-top. Evil half-sisters, murderous plots, and a family friend “uncle” who is secretly plotting his own takeover. It seems like Hu doesn’t really support Ming Li; he just knows that Ming Li is a much easier target to take down than Tian Xing.