We finally learn more about Qing Feng and what’s going on inside his head! While Ao Ran waits for Xiao En, Xiao En is getting dinner with Qing Feng. He tells Xiao En about his past and gives her a warning about what will happen if she chooses Ao Ran.
Su Shan and Qiu Tian give Ao Ran a pep talk before his proposal, reminding him that a proposal should be moving, not as straightforward as possible. He thanks them for their help and expects them to leave, but they just keep standing there, smiling back at him. He finally asks if they’re going to leave. They want to stay and watch and promise to be silent, but he says no.
After they’re gone, he says out loud, “Xiao En, I trust you. I hope you won’t let me down.”
Xiao En is at dinner with Qing Feng, where she tells him that tonight is her treat. Other than time, food is the best way to heal. Qing Feng picks at his food and doesn’t say anything. Xiao En looks down awkwardly and admits that even though Qing Feng is always the one to comfort her, she has no clue how to comfort him.
Qing Feng tells her that her company is enough. Her cell phone rings with notifications and she frowns. He looks at it questioningly and she tells him that it’s just Ao Ran, who refused to reschedule their date. Qing Feng asks if he’s causing them unhappiness. Xiao En quickly denies it, saying that today, his happiness is most important.
Qing Feng puts down his fork and says he has no appetite — why don’t they go for a walk instead? Xiao En hesitates, but follows.
They end up at a park overlooking the city. Xiao En admires the view, saying it’s sure to improve his mood, but he just stares silently out into the distance, unsmiling.
Xiao En tries to put on a peppy smile, saying that the best way to get over a heartbreak is to find someone else to like. But Qing Feng still doesn’t respond. She suggests that he should participate in the company’s group dates. He’s always voted the most likable person at the company.
She starts pitching how there are some very eligible women at the company, but is interrupted by the sound of another text. Ao Ran says that he’s already waited for a long time. Qing Feng guesses that it’s Ao Ran. She tries to hide her phone screen. Qing Feng says that Ao Ran hates being ignored. That he’s waited so long indicates that he loves her very much.
Xiao En says that she really has to leave, but that doesn’t mean she’s trying to ignore him. She tells him that if there’s ever anything bothering him, he should let her know. He shouldn’t try to handle everything himself. He doesn’t respond and keeps staring ahead.
Xiao En turns to leave, but then Qing Feng grabs her arm and tells her not to. He asks her not to go to Ao Ran. If she does, she’ll disappear. Flames sprout from his shirt again. She looks at him, alarmed. She can see the flames. What’s happening?
Qing Feng tells Xiao En that his role is to drift from one world to the next. Before, he didn’t know who he was. He might be Duan Mu Qing Feng one day, and Huo Shao Qing or Leng Zi Qing the next.
From what he remembers, the first time he existed was in the last year of the Qing dynasty, when he was an heir to a prominent Chinese medicine family named Chen Qing. His childhood sweetheart had disappeared. In order to find her, he took a ship to the West, which led to a series of risky adventures.
Xiao En asks if he found her. He says no. He met a foreign diplomat’s daughter, who fell in love with him. There were several other women who also liked him.
Xiao En thinks to herself that this sounds like a novel targeted toward men, where the main character is surrounded by women in times of hardship, but still able to get what they want in the end.
Qing Feng continues, saying that he was able to find his sweetheart in the end. They planned to return home together, but before they could, flames lit up the sky and it looked like the whole world was burning. Chen Qing’s story had no ending; when Qing Feng woke up, he became a different person in another story in another world, but ever since that second story, he’s felt like a spectator, unable to do anything.
Qing Feng says he didn’t understand Xiao En at first, when she told him what his role was. He thought she was like him, a spectator in every story. But the more he got to know her, the more he understood what she meant: he’s just a character in a book. But it’s also because of her that he realized he didn’t have to follow what the author meant for him to do.
He repeats his request for Xiao En to not go to Ao Ran. If she does, she’ll disappear. She asks what he means.
He says that once a male and female lead get together, that’s their happy ending. After that, the story is over. They disappear and no one knows where they go. As someone who has always drifted from one story to another, Qing Feng has never had an ending. But why can’t he try to achieve his own ending? He grabs Xiao En’s hands and asks her to come with him. They can travel across different story worlds together. They exist in different books, together as themselves. He looks at her with a pleading expression.
But Xiao En doesn’t stay with him, instead she contemplates what he said while riding the bus. She wonders what it means to disappear. Does it mean they’ll cease to exist? Or is it like a movie, where every time the story is seen, she’ll be called upon again to act it out? After the happy ending, will the real world version of her die? And what about Ao Ran and Tian Xing? She also wonders out loud what will happen to Qing Feng. It must be so lonely to drift from one world to the next.
She gets another text from Ao Ran, asking if she’ll be much longer. He also sends a photo of a lobster in a tank, waiting for her to arrive. She zooms in on the photo and notices Su Shan and Qiu Tian’s reflection in a corner. Why are they there? Why did he insist on going out for dinner on this exact date? She smiles as she realizes what’s about to happen.
But then she frowns as she also realizes that she’s so close to a traditional happy ending. If Qing Feng is right, that means that she’s close to disappearing. Should she still go?
Ao Ran paces as he waits for Xiao En to show up, wondering if she really has that much to talk about with Qing Feng. He starts talking to the lobster on his plate, saying that it looks like Xiao En doesn’t really love it. He’s about to stab it, when Xiao En calls out, “Don’t move!”
She warns him again not to move, otherwise Cupid’s arrow might miss. She walks up to him and asks if he was going to propose to her today. He says yes. She asks if he likes her. He says yes again. She asks if he’ll do anything to make sure he doesn’t lose her. He says yes again.
Xiao En cups his face and says that even if the ending is near and they’ll all disappear, she wants to be with him until the end of the world. He looks at her, slightly confused, and asks why she suddenly sounds so literary. She responds with more flowery language, saying that if she’s going to burn, she wants to be a firework, not a stick of incense.
Qing Feng broods alone at home, thinking about what Xiao En said to him after he asked her to come with him. She had asked if he was happy. Does he actually want her, or does he just want a companion? He hadn’t been able to give her a response.
She had pulled her hands out of his and apologized, saying she couldn’t stay with him. Ao Ran is the reason she’s here, the reason she exists in this world. Even if she could accompany Qing Feng, she wouldn’t be able to fix the loneliness he feels.
Now, Qing Feng looks at a photo of him and Xiao En on his phone, saying, “It’s you.” But he didn’t tell her that, because it wouldn’t have changed anything. At least this time, he tried.
Xiao En tells Ao Ran that from now on, she’s going to do everything she wants to do. She tells him to look at the moon reflected in the pool. He glances at it, then asks her to stop talking. She kisses him instead, then dives into the pool with all her clothes on.
She asks Ao Ran to get the moon for her. He doesn’t want to and turns away, but she grabs his hand pulls him into the pool with her. He asks if she’s gone crazy. She throws herself around his neck and then says, “I do,” and kisses him.
Tian Jian rushes to his father’s hospital room with his mother and Uncle Hu. He’s gone into septic shock and the prognosis isn’t good. Tian Jian suggests to his mother that they just let his father go. His mother doesn’t want to, but Tian Jian pleads, saying he seems to be suffering so much.
She finally nods her agreement. Tian Jian nods to the doctor, who moves to take the elder He off of life support, but on the monitor, his heart rate looks normal. Mama He sobs and tells Tian Jian that they must let Ming Li know. Tian Jian reassures her that he’ll tell Ming Li, but for now, she needs to focus on getting better. He Zhao Nan flatlines after the doctor takes him off life support.
Ming Li refuses to eat and demands to see her brother, her mother, or anyone she knows instead of the people who work her. A couple of nurses force her down and sedate her. After they leave, Qiao Zhi sneaks into the facility and looks at her sleeping form through the window of her door. He tells her that she must hold on. The elder chairman has just passed.
Su Shan Na and Jie Sen watch a news report on He Zhao Nan’s death. Then, they watch worriedly from Tian Xing’s bedside as doctors defibrillate him. Su Shan Na says that she knew they shouldn’t have told him about his father. Jie Sen wonders if he can hear what they’re saying.
A tear slips from Ao Ran’s closed eyes as he sleeps, and then he wakes with a gasp, startling Xiao En, who also wakes up. She asks if he had another nightmare. He’s not sure. All he knows is that something very, very sad seemed to have happened in his dream. It made him so sad he couldn’t breathe.
Xiao En shifts so that she can put her arms around Ao Ran and pats him gently on the head. Then she starts spouting cheesy lines about wanting to protect him and loving him that are usually things he would say. He gives her a strange look and puts some distance between them, but Xiao En has no shame anymore because all that’s left between them is three words: “I love you.” After that will probably be the end of the world.
Xiao En keeps spouting cheesy lines to Ao Ran, who warns her that she should stop talking if she doesn’t want to become a widow before the wedding.
But things suddenly get a bit more serious as Xiao En admits to Ao Ran that she used to be someone who was always afraid of speaking up. Whenever her boss asked her to do things she thought were unreasonable, she still say yes anyway. Once, she saw a thief rob an old lady in broad daylight. She had a photo of the perpetrator on her phone, but when she got to the police station, she started worrying that the thief would try to get revenge if he found out she was the one who reported him. Then she started worrying about what the old lady would do if she didn’t report the thief. Paralyzed by indecision, she stood outside the police station for a good two hours before fainting.
Now, she recognizes that some things are not worth overthinking. If she wants to do something, then she should do it. She tells Ao Ran, “I like you,” because she wants him to know. He asks her to repeat it several times. She does, then kisses him on the cheek, and says that one day, she might not even have the chance to say it to him anymore. That’s why she’s determined to tell him she likes him all day every day, until he crumbles.
He smirks, saying he doesn’t crumble that easily. She puts her arms around his neck, stares deep into his eyes, and says, “I like you.” He pretends to stumble and jokes that he’s crumbled already. “That fast?” she laughs.
“I can’t help it,” he says, “Because it’s you.”
They smile at each other for a moment, before Xiao En pulls away and suddenly looks down shyly. She admits that he’s too good to her. He’s more than she could have imagined from all the books she’s read. She feels like he’s helped her fulfill all of her life’s wishes.
She asks him what wishes he has. Maybe she can help fulfill some of them.
Ao Ran takes Xiao En to an elementary school. She looks at him, confused. Is his wish to be a kid again?
He shows her his old desk in his old classroom. She waves to an imaginary younger version of Ao Ran. Ao Ran tells her that his brother always thought their father cared more about him. But because of Mo Ran, Ao Ran’s father was always absent during important moments in his childhood.
He tells Xiao En about a time in elementary school when all the parents were invited to class. He was chosen to speak in front of everyone, but because Mo Ran got into a fight, their father went to the hospital to settle with the victim, instead of coming to Ao Ran’s class. In his speech, Ao Ran said that if he could have a superpower, he’d want to be invisible, so that he could appear only in front of the people he cared about.
Ao Ran says that eventually he got used to his father’s absence. He tells Xiao En about other important moments in his life that his father never showed up for, always because of Mo Ran. Eventually, Mo Ran caused enough trouble that their parents decided to send him abroad. But Ao Ran’s parents went with him to America, leaving Ao Ran behind. He was doing just fine without their guidance, so they thought he would be just fine on his own. But whenever he didn’t fulfill their expectations, it was like he’d committed the ultimate wrong, and they would lock him up in the dark. In reality, he is the forgotten son.
Xiao En says that she’ll help him fulfill his wish. She pushes him up to the front of the room, then pretends she’s the audience and gives him an encouraging smile. He starts giving the speech he once gave as a kid. Xiao En cheers for him loudly and tells an imaginary fellow audience member that he’s her husband. He’s number one in the world–no, he’s number one in the universe.
Xiao En and Ao Ran revisit all the places where he was disappointed growing up, creating new, happier memories.
Ao Ran asks Xiao En about her family. Are they all like her? Xiao En smiles and turns away as she says that she has no family. She’s an orphan and has been alone since she was young. So he doesn’t need to worry — she doesn’t have any annoying siblings.
Ao Ran wraps his arms around Xiao En and tells her that in the future, they will be a family. She has him. They’ll be there for each other in all the good moments.
Xiao En suddenly starts crying. Being able to revisit his past with him was already so beautiful. If they’re able to have that kind of future, then it’ll be too beautiful.
“I have a wish,” she says, “Can you help me fulfill it?”
He asks her what it is. She turns to him, tears still in her eyes, and says, “Please don’t forget me.”
“As you wish,” Ao Ran says. Xiao En hugs him and cries.
Chun Tian tells the comatose Xiao En that their novel is nearing publication. She already has a hard copy. She begs Xiao En to hurry up and wake up so she can see her throw the book in Editor Yao’s face.
Ao Ran rings the doorbell to Qing Feng’s apartment, an envelope that looks like an invitation in his hand. He smiles, then frowns as his image flickers, transposed with Tian Xing’s.
Qing Feng opens the door and greets him by name, saying, “Ao Ran.”
“Who?” he responds. Qing Feng motions for him to go inside. He walks in, surveying his surroundings and looking confused.
Qing Feng asks if he’s here to deliver an invitation. Invitation? He looks down at the card in his hand and indeed, it is an invite to a wedding. Qing Feng knows he proposed to Xiao En. He proposed to Xiao En? Qing Feng looks exasperated and takes the envelope out of his hands.
His image flickers again and then he looks around at his surroundings, confused. Qing Feng says that he knows he and Xiao En will have their happy ending.
Ao Ran asks if Qing Feng will give him his blessing. Qing Feng pauses but doesn’t say anything and doesn’t turn around. Ao Ran says that Qing Feng is his best friend and the person who is most important to him. He’ll understand if Qing Feng can’t give him well wishes, but it’ll be his biggest regret. He leaves.
Qing Feng looks at the invite and asks out loud, “Are you really not going to turn back?” then sighs.
Xiao En jokes around with Qiu Tian and Su Shan at work, pretending to act like a haughty rich wife. She hands them both wedding invitations and promises to get them raises and promotions. They comment that she’s seemed especially rash lately.
Su Shan and Qiu Tian convince Xiao En to go out clubbing one last time, because she probably won’t be able to when she’s married. At the club, they try to get her to dance. She tells them that no matter how she dances, she’ll immediately become the center of the party, because she’s the lead character.
Sure enough, the moment Xiao En gets onto the dance floor, other clubbers start whispering to each other, wondering who she is. Men ask her for her number. Qiu Tian and Su Shan watch incredulously, wondering what the world has come to. Are they all blind?
Some men approach Xiao En and try to hit on her. She drunkenly tells them that her husband has a body like a leopard, then tells them to ask her friends if they don’t believe her. She calls out to Su Shan and Qiu Tian, who rush over, embarrassed, and try to drag her away.
But the men follow them, asking where they’re going. Xiao En warns them that her husband will come save her. They laugh at her, thinking she’s bluffing. She yells. On cue, Ao Ran says her name and comes strolling into the club.
She greets him with a wide smile and throws her arms around his neck. He tells her to stop messing around, but she’s too drunk to care and starts trying to show off his face to the men as proof that she was telling the truth. He picks her up and carries her out. Su Shan and Qiu Tian scurry after them.
When Ao Ran returns home with Xiao En, he tries to lecture her about going out to the nightclub with her friends, but she doesn’t listen and interrupts him, telling him to take her hand. She leads him over to his nightstand and then turns off the lights. He protests, but she leads him over to the window, and he seems to be okay in the dark.
They stare out at the night sky for a moment, and then Xiao En suddenly seems to sober up and asks him, “If you knew we would disappear after the wedding, would you still marry me?”
Ao Ran asks what she means by disappear. She says that she doesn’t know, but she just wants to know what his answer is. He responds that even if he would go to hell after marrying her, he still would. She smiles, saying she never realized he liked her so much.
Ao Ran says that the moment he realized he liked her was like going to hell. She glares and tries to hit him, but he catches her arm. He presses her against the glass and kisses her.
The Tian Liang Group board of directors meet to elect the new chairman. Uncle Hu leads the vote for Tian Jian. The rest of the board slowly raise their own hands in agreement for a unanimous vote.
Uncle Hu presents Tian Jian with numerous documents that he’s expected to review. Tian Jian is more than happy to let Uncle Hu verbally tell him what’s important. Uncle Hu tells him that his father has about ten billion dollars that are unaccounted for. Neither he nor his father’s lawyer knew about it.
Uncle Hu gives Tian Jian a few other pieces of advice for the company. The subsidiary that Ming Li was in charge of needs to be closed. There was an investment into a foreign biotechnology company that Ming Li stopped that Uncle Hu thinks is worth pursuing. Tian Jian lets Uncle Hu make the decision about what to do.
Tian Jian asks Uncle Hu if Tian Xing has been found yet. Uncle Hu shows him a map of the places that Qiao Zhi has been. He’s been by Ming Li’s facility several times, but has also made a trip to a healthcare facility a long distance from the city. That must be where Tian Xing is.
On the day of her wedding, Xiao En waits nervously in her bridal room. Su Shan and Qiu Tian try to help her quell her nerves by taking lots of selfies together. Xiao En takes both their hands and says that she’ll never forget their friendship. She’s grateful to have met them here. She knows that she would have been very lonely without them.
Qing Feng shows up, and Su Shan and Qiu Tian quickly make themselves scarce. He and Xiao En smile at each other.
This episode is the first of the past few that I found myself enjoying a lot more! It still had a lot of fluff, but it also had a lot more content. We finally get some answers and more insight into the lore of this universe. It’s also kind of meta. It is way too soon for us to have a happy ending and for our leads to be so couple-y, but it seems to me like we only got these few episodes of happiness because it’s all about to blow up soon. Like… next episode.
Hearing Qing Feng’s backstory makes him even more tragic of a character, as someone who is constantly aware, yet constantly lost and alone and drifting through the universe. And though he seems like such a lost, tragic sweetheart, I can’t in good conscience support Xiao En going with him. His proposal was for her to also be constantly lost and wandering. Sure, they’d be together, but Xiao En has already been uprooted her whole life with few connections and friends. It would also mean she has to abandon the few friends she’s close with. That’s not what she needs or wants.