Xiao En continues to try and find ways to keep Chu Chu and Ao Ran apart, but finds herself attracting Ao Ran’s attention, and not necessarily in a good way. She does, however, find a surprising new ally in Qing Feng. Meanwhile, Ming Li is busy consolidating power in the real world and taking down anyone who might stand in her way.
Xiao En’s doctor tells Chun Tian that Xiao En seems fine. Her nosebleed was probably because of the dry air in the hospital room.
In story land, Qing Feng finds Xiao En putting medicine on her wounds and asks her what she was doing before, with her dolphin-like dive. Xiao En claims that she saw a very rare, one-of-a-kind face mask on the ground. Qing Feng is reasonably skeptical, but then Chu Chu shows up to check on Xiao En, guessing that Xiao En got hurt because of her.
Qing Feng’s expression immediately softens as he gently asks Chu Chu if she’s okay, and tells her that she shouldn’t blame herself for Xiao En’s injury; she only fell to the ground because of a hallucination.
Xiao En can tell that Qing Feng likes Chu Chu, but as an expert in these novels, she knows that he has no chance. She pats him on the shoulder, telling him so, and heads back out.
Ao Ran and Qing Feng survey the banquet set-up. Ao Ran spots Xiao En watching Chu Chu, sneaking around behind her, and generally acting shady, and tells Qing Feng that she must have some ulterior motive. Qing Feng agrees that Xiao En is quite strange, but doesn’t think she’s the kind of person who would hurt someone else.
Xiao En continues to prevent Chu Chu from doing anything that might hurt her, which basically means she doesn’t let Chu Chu do anything. Plugging a socket into an outlet is too dangerous. Wiping down a table is too menial. Lighting a candle is a big no-no. Chu Chu listens to her obediently, but looks very confused. Xiao En finally just tells Chu Chu to go rest instead of making herself busy, and to stay away from the chandelier.
Su Shan comes over and calls out Xiao En for being so attentive toward Chu Chu. But in that moment that Xiao En isn’t paying attention, Chu Chu bends down to plug in a cord. Xiao En rushes toward her and flings her away from the wire, but it’s too late. A circuit breaker trips and the lights go dark. Chu Chu gets flung into a table, then starts falling — right underneath the chandelier.
Ao Ran sweeps in to catch her, shielding her with his body as the chandelier falls. They stare deeply into each other’s eyes as electric sparks fall romantically around them.
Xiao En, Su Shan, Qing Feng, and Chu Chu all accompany Ao Ran to the emergency room, where he gets treated for his injuries. Chu Chu tearfully apologizes to him for getting hurt because of her. Ao Ran gently cups her face and says, “Protecting women is a man’s responsibility. Protecting you is my destiny.”
Su Shan and Xiao En exchange a looking, thinking the same thing: Chu Chu must die. Su Shan steps forward and promises Ao Ran that they will make sure the banquet tomorrow goes smoothly. He responds that if anything goes wrong, they are all fired.
Ao Ran tells Qing Feng to handle the rest of the banquet matters. He’s going to personally send Chu Chu home.
Xiao En interjects herself without thinking, then has to improvise and ends up asking Ao Ran to take her home, too, since she lives along the way. He’s insulted that she would treat him, the CEO, like a chauffeur. To her surprise, Qing Feng comes to her rescue, saying that Xiao En also was injured and that Ao Ran should probably treat all his employees the same way.
Even though Xiao En is relegated to the back seat, she sticks herself up front and inserts herself between Ao Ran and Chu Chu on the way home. Ao Ran tries to send her home first, but Xiao En insists that Chu Chu should go first because she’s more in need of rest. Chu Chu is too accommodating to say otherwise.
Once Chu Chu is out of the car, Xiao En eagerly slides into the front seat. But Ao Ran unceremoniously drops her off at a bus stop and leaves her to find her own way home.
To Xiao En’s surprise, another car pulls up after him: it’s Qing Feng. He takes her to a fancy French restaurant, remembering that she hasn’t eaten dinner yet. She’s surprised that the restaurant is open so late at night, but he thinks it’s nothing out of the ordinary, and speculates that it must be because she’s in a dream world. She’s even more surprised when it turns out that neither he nor the waitress know what Taiwanese fried chicken is. Does fried chicken not exist in the world of romance novels?
Qing Feng guesses that Xiao En likes Ao Ran. She counters by guessing that he likes Chu Chu. He asks her what she likes about Ao Ran.
Xiao En smiles as she remembers the many days of spying on him with Chun Tian and her drone. But instead she tells Qing Feng that to her, he’s like a safe harbor. She remembers feeling dejected and caught in a rainstorm one day after work, then seeing an interview of Tian Xing talking about setbacks. He had quoted a French quote, saying that one should act like an adult in a rainstorm, and like a child in good weather. She had taken that quote to heart.
Xiao En tells Qing Feng that seeing his face and knowing that someone like him exists makes her feel better. But she wasn’t able to help him when he needed it the most. Qing Feng is confused — when did Ao Ran ever need her help? She doesn’t quite answer and instead says that she feels like she owes him something from a past life. Otherwise, why would she be here?
He gives her a thoughtful look and repeats that she’s quite a strange character. She responds that maybe she’s from a different world. Then she asks him what he likes about Chu Chu. He easily lists out all her positive personality traits. She stops him before he says more, probably annoyed with the way everyone seems to profusely praise this novel’s protagonist. If the novelist has deemed that he is destined to secretly crush on Chu Chu forever, then that is his fate.
Xiao En stares at her reflection in the window and wonders how Tian Xing is doing out in the real world.
Tian Xing is alone in his hospital room, still on the ventilator. Meanwhile, his stepmother is busy making sure his father gets the best of care. She’s a little glad that he’s in a coma. This is the most she’s been able to talk to him in a long while. She won’t hold the past against him anymore.
Ming Li loudly bursts into the room to ask her mother if she knows anything about her father’s will. Her mother doesn’t know anything. Ming Li expected this but rolls her eyes anyway. She tells her mother to make sure her father continues to live, at least until she is able to find the will.
Ming Li arrives at the company office building to find Chu Chu organizing employees to write get well cards and fold paper cranes for Tian Xing. She’s irritated by this outward show of support for Tian Xing, but can’t berate Chu Chu in front of so many employees. On the elevator up to her office, Ming Li remembers Tian Jian reminding her that Tian Xing has plenty of supporters within the company, as someone who worked his way up.
She holds a meeting with Tian Jian and informs him that she wants to layoff a third of the company staff. He thinks it’s absurd, and looks to Uncle Hu for backup, but it’s no use. Ming Li has already decided and has a list of names ready for Tian Jian. His eyes widen when he sees who they are. Ming Li also pointedly asks Uncle Hu how the directors who voted against her are doing. It’s time she paid them a visit.
Jie Sen reports news of the layoff to Su Shan Na. Su Shan Na knows that Ming Li has ulterior motives, and she’s determined to figure out what. In the meantime, she feels confident that Ming Li won’t be able to do anything to them.
When he leaves, she pulls out an envelope from her purse. “I’m doing this for you,” she says, before she opens it up and pulls out the document inside. (Looks like the will!)
All the Royal Group employees are dressed up for the company banquet. When Ao Ran and Qing Feng stride in wearing their suits, Qiu Tian swoons over how handsome they look. Xiao En, remembering how Ao Ran abandoned her at a bus stop, tries to act nonchalant and turns away, saying he looks okay.
Ao Ran notices that Chu Chu isn’t there yet and asks where she is. Xiao En rolls her eyes and spins up a flowery introduction for how Chu Chu will show up fashionably late, looking beautiful, and running in slow motion toward Ao Ran. Sure enough, Chu Chu shows up in a princess-like gown.
Xiao En also predicts that Chu Chu will fall, right about… now. On cue, Chu Chu trips and goes flying toward Qing Feng and Ao Ran. Qing Feng is the one to step forward and catch her, then help her up. Ao Ran looks away, then notices that Chu Chu has lost her shoe. He bends down and helps her put it on, while Xiao En watches unhappily.
Ao Ran disperses everyone to finish up preparing for the banquet. Xiao En reminds Chu Chu to be vigilant and not do anything by herself. Su Shan runs up, asking to know where the caviar is. The shipment hasn’t arrived yet. Chu Chu, who was in charge, is ready to rush out to look for it on her own. Xiao En stops her, reminding her about what she said about not doing things alone, and offers to go with her.
Xiao En and Chu Chu unload the boxes of caviar from the refrigerated truck, which has arrived late. Chu Chu realizes she’s missing her phone and is about to go back into the truck to check, but Xiao En offers to look instead.
Xiao En finds the phone inside the truck, but the driver is in a rush and closes the back without checking to see if anyone’s inside. He starts driving off with Xiao En locked in the truck. She bangs on the door, yelling “help!” but no one hears.
Qing Feng goes outside to the loading dock as the truck is driving off. He spots the caviar packages stacked on the ground with no one around and brings them inside, puzzled.
Su Shan is discussing something with Ao Ran when Qing Feng walks by with the caviar. She asks where Chu Chu is; she was supposed to be handling the caviar. Qing Feng realizes that he may have heard someone yelling “help” from the back of the truck. Ao Ran rushes off to rescue her.
Xiao En shivers in the back of the truck, wondering why the hero is taking so long to rescue the heroine. Then she realizes that she’s not the heroine. Chu Chu is supposed to be the heroine. Does that mean she’s doomed to freeze to death in the back of this truck?
Meanwhile, Ao Ran is finally able to reach the truck driver on the phone. Unfortunately, the brakes on the truck are broken and the truck driver is unable to stop. Ao Ran comes up with a plan that involves leaping from his car onto the moving truck as it drives by. He opens the back and is startled to see Xiao En. Xiao En is just as surprised to see him.
He helps her up and doesn’t give her much warning before he leaps with her in his arms off the back of the truck. They roll down the pavement, mostly unscathed other than some scrapes. The truck hits a fire hydrant, sending a shower of water down onto Xiao En.
Ao Ran pulls Xiao En out of the water. Still in shock from everything that just happened, she starts yelling at him and hitting him on the chest, saying that he might be the CEO, but she’s a nobody. She doesn’t have any special powers in this story. She could’ve died when they jumped out of that moving truck.
When she finally stops for a moment, he says that she can hit him if she wants, but can she hit his other side? This one hurts. She remembers the chandelier falling on him from the day before, then suddenly deflates and says she doesn’t want to anymore.
Ao Ran asks Xiao En if Chu Chu really wasn’t on the truck. She’s suddenly reminded of who he is and who she is, and says that Chu Chu wasn’t there. He can relax now. She starts to walk away, but he grabs her wrist, stopping her. Then he takes off his jacket and puts it around her.
She asks him if he needs to go the hospital to get his injury checked. He responds that he has something more important he needs to do, and walks toward his car while she stares after him.
Qing Feng tries to delay the banquet and make excuses for Ao Ran. The investors present are angry and threaten to leave, thinking that Ao Ran and the company don’t respect them enough. But right as one of the most vocal investors stands up to leave, Ao Ran strides into the room.
He takes the stage and starts presenting like he hadn’t just jumped out of a moving truck. All of the employees and investors watch him rapturously, and burst into applause when he finishes. He only has eyes for Chu Chu.
Xiao En notices their connection and sighs, then leaves the banquet hall. Qing Feng notices and finds her in a side room. He offers a towel, which she accepts gratefully while trying to turn away from him. But he follows and insists on standing in front of her, despite her attempts to avoid facing him.
Qing Feng asks Xiao En how she knew Chu Chu would be in danger. Xiao En tries to claim she has a sixth sense, deja vu. But Ao Ran overhears and strides in, calling bullshit. He thinks that Xiao En knew Chu Chu would be in danger because she’s the one who has been plotting Chu Chu’s misfortune.
Xiao En insists that she’s innocent and that there’s no proof she tried to harm Chu Chu. Ao Ran says he doesn’t need proof. He has reason to believe that she would harm Chu Chu based on her previous actions toward Chu Chu. She asks how she can prove her innocence. He decides to transfer her out of the marketing department and instead make her Qing Feng’s personal assistant. That way, Qing Feng can keep an eye on her. They’re both surprised by that news.
Qiu Tian and Su Shan watch as Xiao En packs her things. Chu Chu comes over to apologize, thinking Xiao En is being transferred because of her. Xiao En tries to reassure her otherwise. Before she leaves, Su Shan makes Xiao En sign a NDA. She doesn’t want to be implicated with Xiao En if Ao Ran decides that they are guilty of bullying Chu Chu.
Xiao En takes her box of things to Qing Feng’s office, where he greets her and surprises her by carrying her box. She labels him with a “warm man” archetype. There’s one more surprise in store for her too: Qing Feng shares an office with Ao Ran. She’s now closer to him than ever.
In the real world, Qiao Zhi goes around blackmailing the three directors who voted with Tian Xing and kicking them off the board. Qiao Zhi also finds out that Su Shan Na is the one who took Tian Xing’s personal belongings from the hospital. She likely has the will. Ming Li smirks; Su Shan Na will be too easy to defeat. Uncle Hu listens to this news with a frown.
Su Shan and Qiu Tian go for their lunch break. They reluctantly try to invite Chu Chu, who politely tells them to go ahead without her. To them, it’s another reminder of why she’s so unlikable. Qiu Tian suggests that they go find Xiao En, but Su Shan says no. They can’t risk upper management thinking that they’re associated with one another.
Instead of working, Xiao En is distracted by watching Ao Ran and narrating his actions as if writing a novel. Qing Feng catches her drooling (figuratively) over Ao Ran and reminds her that he is her superior and she’s supposed to be working for him right now.
Xiao En has just finished up her work and is trying to find the accounting department when she spots Chu Chu unpacking her meager-looking lunch box alone in a stairwell. Chu Chu is startled when she looks up and sees Xiao En and drops her lunch. Xiao En takes Chu Chu out for lunch and insists that she order something substantial, ignoring her protests.
While they eat, Chu Chu admits to Xiao En that she knows she’s a slow worker. She knows the company made an exception when they hired her and she’s been trying to improve herself to be better, such as by taking classes on the side. Xiao En wonders out loud whether Chu Chu is the type to stay up late, studying until midnight.
Chu Chu hears her and responds that she can only study until ten, not midnight, because she has to go to the hospital. Xiao En guesses that Chu Chu has a family member who is ill. “How did you know?” Chu Chu asks.
I can’t get over how much I am loving this show! It is ridiculously cheesy but in a very self-aware way, because it’s all supposed to be cheesy, over-dramatic gestures and wildly ridiculous plot points. I think it’s interesting how the “real world” is even more dramatic and ridiculous than the story world in some ways, with all the cliche corporate/family politics and drama. But I’m into it as long as most of the focus is on the parts where Xiao En are.
I think this role suits Marcus Chang very well right now. We haven’t seen much of Tian Xing, but Si Tu Ao Ran is supposed to be a very one-dimensional character who doesn’t seem like a real person, because he is just another romantic novel archetype. Like Marcus Chang, Ao Ran is one of those beautiful to look at, but distant and untouchable types. Give me more!
I continue to adore Xiao En. She’s imperfect but so likable! I love all her running commentaries on the world around her and the way she views every scene as a paragraph that needs to be written. Her attraction to Tian Xing seems shallow at first, but I think there are hidden depths to explore there.