Ao Ran continues to focus on Xiao En, but this time, instead of targeting her, his attention seems… different, in a way creates a rift between him and Qing Feng. Meanwhile, both Mo Ran and Tian Jian start plotting in their respective worlds.
Qing Feng teases Xiao En about eating so much and negating the earlier pilates workout. He moves to tuck her hair behind her ear and starts to lean in, but then Ao Ran shows up and puts their hand between them. He insists on taking her home.
He grabs Xiao En’s wrist and pulls her up, then drags her out of the restaurant against her protests.
Outside, Xiao En finally manages to stop Ao Ran and shake him off. He asks if she knows what she’s doing. Does she like Qing Feng? He accuses her of leading him on and warns her that Qing Feng is his best friend and he won’t let her mess with him.
Xiao En is offended that he doesn’t trust her and that he’s constantly trying to control her. He tries to make her get in his car so he can drive her home, but she tells him that she’s am adult — she can find her own way home. He tells her to do whatever she wants and leaves.
After he’s gone, Xiao En mutters to herself, annoyed that he’s trying to interfere with her business. He’s always talking about Chu Chu: why doesn’t he go bother Chu Chu instead?
She walks away in the opposite direction, not noticing the flickering halo of light that circles her feet.
Ao Ran gets into his car and stares at his hand. Earlier, when he grabbed Xiao En’s wrist, he saw a flash of grainy images and heard Xiao En’s voice saying “He Tian Xing.” He remembers how Xiao En also called him He Tian Xing when they first met. Who is he?
When Ao Ran returns home, he finds Qing Feng waiting for him outside his house. Qing Feng notes that he came home pretty quickly. Ao Ran admits that Xiao En refused to get into his car.
After a long moment of silence in Ao Ran’s living room, Qing Feng tells him that he’s too overbearing. Qing Feng has always tolerated him and accommodated him, but he doesn’t want to anymore. Ao Ran crossed the line when he dragged Xiao En out of the restaurant. It wasn’t only overbearing — it was rude.
Ao Ran claims that he was trying to protect Qing Feng from being played by Xiao En. But Qing Feng responds that maybe he doesn’t mind. If he willingly wants to be played, would Ao Ran let him?
Qing Feng says that he knows what he should and shouldn’t do and who he should and shouldn’t get close to. He can make his own choices. Ao Ran thinks he’s gone mad. The Qing Feng he knows isn’t this rebellious. He thinks it’s because of Xiao En’s bad influence.
Qing Feng stands up angrily and says he won’t let Ao Ran speak poorly of Xiao En anymore. He likes Xiao En. If Ao Ran thinks of him as a friend, then he will respect the person he likes.
Qing Feng starts burning up again.
Xiao En angrily brushes her teeth at home while remembering what happened earlier in the night. At first, she’s upset she didn’t get to finish her ice cream. Then she smiles to herself as she realizes that the scene was straight out of a romance novel, and she was in the lead role. She starts giggling to herself and saying she won’t wash the hand that Ao Ran grabbed.
Then she suddenly gets annoyed again as she remembers how Ao Ran accused her of toying with Qing Feng. She frowns. If she were to toy with anyone, it would be Ao Ran.
Su Shan Na tries to visit Tian Xing but gets stopped outside the room by Qiao Zhi.
Inside, Tian Xing starts breathing heavily on his ventilator.
Ao Ran wakes up with a gasp, having dreamed of falling from a tall building. He looks up what it means to dream of falling. The internet suggests he’s experiencing a great predicament that he needs to face head on if he wants to overcome it.
Ao Ran tries to think of what kind of problem he could have in his life. Then he realizes that he does have one: Zheng Xiao En. She’s the bane of existence. Does Qing Feng actually like her?
Qiu Tian and Su Shan are quick to pull Xiao En aside when she arrives at work the next morning. They ask if she’s okay and are relieved when she says she’s fine. They tell her that Mo Ran was asking about her earlier. Xiao En frowns and looks troubled at his name.
Ao Ran and Qing Feng arrive and are distracting as usual. Ao Ran greets Qing Feng, who only stares back and doesn’t respond.
Chu Chu beams as Ao Ran walks toward her, but he walks by without looking at her and instead stops in front of Xiao En. Xiao En stares up at him defiantly, asking what he wants. He stares at her for a long moment, then says “good morning.” Everyone is surprised. Qing Feng hides his laugh with a cough. Chu Chu frowns.
Qing Feng hums happily to himself while working. Ao Ran asks him why he’s so happy — is it because he showed Xiao En the respect that Qing Feng wanted?
Qing Feng asks Ao Ran why Mo Ran came back. Ao Ran thinks it’s because of money, but Qing Feng remembers Xiao En’s warning. He tells Ao Ran to be careful around him, claiming that he has a sixth sense about it. Ao Ran doesn’t like how enigmatic he’s being and mutters that he’s become more and more like Xiao En.
Xiao En, Qiu Tian, and Su Shan stare at her phone and celebrate when it doesn’t ring. Xiao En has made it a whole day without being called up by Ao Ran. She’s officially safe.
Qiu Tian and Su Shan take credit for helping clear Xiao En’s name. Qiu Tian laments that it was tough choosing between her friendship with Xiao En and her love for Ao Ran.
Chu Chu suddenly slams down her binder, startling them. She apologizes, claiming she accidentally dropped it, but it seems like a page straight out of Xiao En’s textbook.
Chu Chu ends up in the same elevator as Qing Feng. She asks him if he’s free the next day. She wants to give him the wax tablet she promised him. He had forgotten all about it, but agrees to meet up.
Uncle Hu gathers up some board members to discuss Ming Li’s poor performance and to propose another candidate for chairman: He Tian Jian.
After the meeting, Tian Jian asks Uncle Hu what the next steps are. Will they hold a board meeting to remove Ming Li? Uncle Hu says that it’s not time yet. First, there’s a gift he needs to give Ming Li. He has a recording of Tian Jian meeting with Director Xu and talking about how Ming Li always makes a mess of the companies she’s led and has needed Tian Xing to clean up after her.
Ming Li receives the recording and thinks that Tian Jian wants to start a fight. Qiao Zhi points out that the recording could be doctored, but Ming Li is confident she knows her brother’s voice.
She confronts Tian Jian about the recording and asks what he meant. He purposely provokes her, saying that Tian Xing would have been a much better chairman than her, with some other jibes about how she can be replaced. She slaps him. He continues to mock her and provoke her.
She says that if he weren’t her brother, she would’ve already had him killed. She gets so angry that she picks up his nameplate and smacks him in the head with it, making him bleed, but he continues. She starts throwing things around his office. Tian Jian keeps smirking until she leaves, then he drops the facade.
Uncle Hu comes into his office, having recorded everything on his phone.
The marketing team prepares for a promotional event. Qiu Tian and Xiao En struggle to setup a heavy backdrop and wonder where Chu Chu is. Why isn’t she helping?
Chu Chu is with Qing Feng, who is trying to get out of his meeting with her later and asks if she can just give him the wax tablet now. She looks up at him with wide eyes and says that she also wanted to discuss something with him later. He glances toward Xiao En but forces a smile and agrees to keep their later meeting.
Mo Ran shows up and asks Xiao En and Qiu Tian what’s happening. Xiao En lets out a small scream when she turns around and sees him. She tries to distance herself from him, but he’s extremely interested in her and follows her around. He claims that she looks familiar to him — could she have been a one-night stand of his?
Mo Ran asks Xiao En what kind of relationship she has with Ao Ran. She claims she has no relationship, but he doesn’t believe her. If she has no relationship with Ao Ran, why did he rush out after finding out that she fainted? Xiao En perks up — did that really happen?
Ao Ran walks by with Su Shan and stares at them. Xiao En turns and spots him, then freezes. She turns back around and busies herself with preparations. Mo Ran smirks as Ao Ran dismisses Su Shan and walks over.
Ao Ran tells Mo Ran that he doesn’t care if he’s trying to pick up women, but he doesn’t want Mo Ran messing around with his employees. Mo Ran comments that the way Ao Ran said “my employee” sounds a lot like he’s saying “my woman.” He grabs Xiao En and asks point-blank whether she is Ao Ran’s woman. Both Xiao En and Ao Ran simultaneously say, “No.” They both awkwardly look away while Mo Ran smiles.
Qiu Tian and Su Shan have overheard everything and abduct Xiao En to confront her about her relationship with Ao Ran. Since when did she become Ao Ran’s woman? They note that she has been acting very odd lately and suspect she’s hiding something. They try and force her to confess.
Xiao En is saved when Qing Feng shows up and asks if she has a moment. She gratefully escapes from Qiu Tian and Su Shan and leaves with Qing Feng while they gape after her.
Qing Feng asks Xiao En where she needs to go. He’ll drive her. She says she needs to head back into the office to grab some things. He pats her on the head and says that they’ll get it done.
Mo Ran and Ao Ran get lunch together. Mo Ran comments that Ao Ran doesn’t look well. Ao Ran admits that he’s been having trouble sleeping lately. Mo Ran teasingly asks whether it’s because he’s afraid of the dark. He laughs to himself as he remembers how he used to prank Ao Ran by turning off the lights to scare him. He felt a great sense of accomplishment doing that to Ao Ran.
Ao Ran says that he was always envious of how their father never punished Mo Ran, only him. Mo Ran jokes that it’s because their father only loved Ao Ran. Then he says that it’s Ao Ran’s fault for being too exceptional. Mo Ran always failed his tests, so their father gave up hope on him and didn’t even bother punishing him.
Mo Ran tells Ao Ran that he has a new idea and asks if Ao Ran is interested in investing. He wants NT$20 million. Ao Ran doesn’t say no; he doesn’t say yes, but Mo Ran takes his silence for assent.
Xiao En greets some coworkers who are leaving the lobby as she walks in. They whisper to each other, saying “Is it her? It must be her,” to one another, and glance back at her as she passes. She finds the interaction odd, but continues walking. The “lead role” circle flashes around her feet again.
Chu Chu is still in the office when Xiao En gets there, but quickly takes leave. Xiao En grabs the document she needs and is about to head out when her desk phone rings. She tries to ignore it, but ends up picking up. Her eyes widen as she exclaims, “What?”
Ao Ran invites Qing Feng out to dinner after work, but Qing Feng says he has plans and heads out. Ao Ran wonders who he has plans with. Could it be Xiao En? He starts to follow Qing Feng, telling himself that he’s not a stalker, he just happens to be hungry. But then he gets a phone call.
Xiao En rushes to the venue for the upcoming event and is distraught to see that someone has sprayed graffiti over the backdrop she put up. The security guard who called her asks if she wants to report it to the police, but Xiao En just sighs; the police won’t be able to restore it to its original form.
At dinner, Chu Chu asks Qing Feng whether he knows if she did something to offend Ao Ran. He’s been asking strange lately. Qing Feng reassures Chu Chu that Ao Ran has only said good things about her, and encourages her to keep pursuing him.
Xiao En gets to work painting over the graffiti. The backdrop panel tilts over and starts falling toward her. She ducks, covering her head, but it doesn’t hit her. She looks up: Ao Ran is there, propping up the panel with one hand. He pushes it back in place. She grabs his hand: it’s covered in paint.
Xiao En meticulously cleans Ao Ran’s hand. She’s worried that if she rubs too hard, she’ll hurt his hand, but Ao Ran says that, as a man, he can withstand it. (🤮)
After he’s cleaned up, Ao Ran takes a paintbrush and offers to help. She’s surprised that he can paint. He says the only thing he can’t do is wipe paint off his own hand. She smiles and says that she’ll do that for him from now on.
They get to work painting, but Ao Ran keeps glancing toward Xiao En. He says that he thought she would be at dinner with Qing Feng. She says there are plenty of people Qing Feng could have dinner with. Ao Ran responds the person Qing Feng wants to have dinner with the most is her. Xiao En is quick to try and clarify her relationship with Qing Feng, saying that it’s pure, but Ao Ran says that it’s not as pure as she thinks.
“Qing Feng likes you,” he says, turning to look straight at Xiao En. She holds eye contact, then slowly shakes her head. That’s impossible, because she knows who he really likes, but she won’t tell Ao Ran. It’s a secret.
Ao Ran doesn’t seem to like that Qing Feng and Xiao En have their own secrets. When Xiao En asks how his lunch with his brother went, he responds that it’s a secret.
Ao Ran suddenly asks Xiao En why she called him He Tian Xing when they first met. Who is he? Xiao En freezes, then slowly says that Tian Xing is someone who is very important to her. Ao Ran asks if they look similar. Xiao En says that they look too similar — they look exactly the same. Ao Ran seems offended that someone could look the same as him. He’s too good-looking for that to happen.
Ao Ran suggests that he should meet Tian Xing to see if they really look that similar. Xiao En suddenly frowns, saying that’s not possible. She starts painting and doesn’t respond when he asks why. He continues to watch her while she paints.
Qing Feng drops Chu Chu off in front of her place. He’s just driven off when Mo Ran suddenly appears, asking Chu Chu if she knows Qing Feng very well. She hastily responds that they’re just coworkers, but Mo Ran saw them getting dinner together. Does Ao Ran know? He smirks.
Xiao En puts some finishing touches on the backdrop, then turns to find that Ao Ran has fallen asleep at a picnic table with his head propped on his hand. She gently lays his jacket over his shoulders, and has just turned away when he starts making some sounds of distress. She wakes him up and teases him about falling asleep and leaving her to do all the work.
Ao Ran admits that he’s had trouble sleeping recently. He’s surprised that he was able to fall asleep with her by his side. She asks if he had a nightmare and he nods. He tells her how he often dreams he’s been pushed off of a tall building. In his dreams, people call him He Tian Xing.
Xiao En presses Ao Ran for details. Does he remember who was chasing him? What did they want? Ao Ran remembers being forced upstairs and that they wanted something from him. Then he was either kicked or shoved and he fell off the building. He doesn’t remember what they wanted or what his assailants looked like, but he does remember what he was wearing: a pink suit. Xiao En looks shell-shocked.
Ao Ran peers searchingly at Xiao En. Does she know who pushed him? “Si Tu Mo Ran,” she says after a moment. Ao Ran laughs it off, saying that Mo Ran is his brother. How could he push him off the side of a building?
Ao Ran asks if she’s trying to create conflict between him and his brother. But why? Xiao En can’t say much and instead just asks him to be careful. Ao Ran reminds himself — and her — that this was just a dream. Why are they talking about it so seriously? And why is she bringing his brother into this?
Xiao En frowns, remembering how Tian Xing grabbed her wrist, then wonders out loud: who is the dream? Is he the dream, or is she? Why did he dream what he did, and why is she here?
Ao Ran suddenly holds up a hand, blocking her eyes from his view. He doesn’t want to see her sorrowful expression. It doesn’t suit her. He admits that he used to find her infuriating, but he liked who she was then better than the sorrow he sees now.
Xiao En pulls his hand away, starting to say that no one asked him to like her, but then falls silent when she sees how intently he’s looking at her.
“You really don’t want it?” he asks. “(My) liking (you).”
She stares at him as he slowly leans in… and kisses her.
Xiao En remains wide-eyed, frozen as still as a statue, as Ao Ran pulls away. They stare at each other for a moment.
“Sorry,” Ao Ran says, before grabbing his jacket and walking away.
Xiao En continues to stare after him, then slowly brings her hand up to her lips.
What a note to end on!
I love seeing these sweet moments between Ao Ran and Xiao En. It’s cute to see him finally paying attention to her and getting petty and jealous when Qing Feng gets involved, but it also feels disingenuous.
This episode, we’re seeing that Xiao En is slowly creeping her way into the lead role. Other characters in the story — like the random coworkers in the lobby of the office building — are starting to treat her differently, like she’s actually the female lead in this story. That also makes it feel like Ao Ran is starting to like her because she’s now in the lead role, and not necessarily liking her for who she is as Xiao En, the person. She might be happier with his attention on her, but that doesn’t make their relationship any more real.
If the previews for the next episode are anything to go by, it looks like Xiao En is starting to take on the lead role with all the injustices that come with it, and it looks like maybe Chu Chu will slip into the old role that Xiao En held. But where does that lead us? There are so many loose threads and open questions dangling around and it feels like each episode, we only get some more, with nothing tied back together. I hope we start to get some more answers instead of more questions.
I also take back what I said last episode about Ming Li being sympathetic. I am officially back to being weary of the real-world drama. Everyone is just so unlikable. Every scene without Xiao En this episode felt lackluster. Her fate is the only one worth caring about.