Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 3)

Xuan Ji and the rest of the monster-hunting mission go to the mountains in search of the gudiao, but find that there’s more than one monster preying on villagers. Xuan Ji and her friends end up finding a gudiao, but it’s more than what they anticipated, and Xuan Ji learns more things about herself that she never knew.


Recap

The monster-hunting group arrives at a village being terrorized by the gudiao. There, they’re shown the corpse of a man who was killed by a monster just yesterday. The rest of his family could not be found. The villagers are now trapped because the mountain where the monster was seen is the only way in and out of the village.

Dongfang Qing Qi declares that they’re here to kill the monster and save the village, then proclaims that it’s clear the monster is a gudiao. But Xuan Ji approaches the corpse, oblivious to everyone else’s disgust, and points out that the wounds look more like bite marks than claw marks, so it’s likely not a gudiao. Si Feng and Hao Chen both back her up. Ying Hong confirms their observations, and Dongfang hastily backtracks and claims that he knew all along, then gives the younger members a disgruntled look.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng are assigned the task of gathering supplies at the market. Before she leaves, Hao Chen stops her and gives her a magical object that will allow her to teleport to anywhere she can think of. The rest of the group will do their best to protect her, but it may save her life if something happens.

Xuan Ji flips through the demon handbook at the market, trying to figure out what supplies they need. Si Feng grabs the book and immediately points her to the right page, then hands an errand boy a note with all the supplies they need, leaving them both free to do whatever they want. He goes off on his own while Xuan Ji uses the free time to try and figure out how to use the teleporting object that Hao Chen gave her.

After a few tries, Xuan Ji manages to figure it out and gets herself onto the rooftop of the inn. But then she loses her footing and starts falling. She instinctively teleports herself away to save herself — and ends up in Si Feng’s bathtub, where he’s taking a bath.

Xuan Ji doesn’t seem to find anything particularly awkward about the situation and instead says, “So this is where you’re staying?” Si Feng asks if she thinks this is an appropriate situation for a conversation; Xuan Ji acknowledges that it’s not, but she can’t find the teleporter Hao Chen gave her and says she’ll leave after she finds it.

She starts feeling around the bottom of the bathtub, getting progressively closer to Si Feng. She doesn’t seem uncomfortable, but he tenses, and finally uses his powers to whisk her out of the bathtub, throw a towel over her head, and shut the doors. She pouts and leaves, while he breathes heavily in the tub.

The Tianxu leader’s crony interrogates Ting Nu, a merman. He mocks Ting Nu for once being a favored healer of the gods, yet now that he’s fallen out of favor, he’s here in the mortal realm like the rest of them. The crony is searching for an answer on how to break the iron chains so that he can acquire Juntian Cehai. Ting Nu remains silent until the crony threatens him with a loved one.

Xuan Ji finds Min Yan and Ling Long, who are worried that this new monster in addition to the gudiao will complicate their plans. Xuan Ji remembers Hao Chen telling her that the gudiao loves eating human tongues. She doesn’t feel pain anyway — she can bite her tongue to make it bleed in order to lure out a gudiao.

Si Feng interrupts, telling them that they’re looking for death with that plan. The blood will attract the gudiao, but it’ll also increase its demonic energy. They won’t be able to defeat it.

Ting Nu tells the Tianxu crony that the only way to open the iron chains is to unite it with the four spirit keys. But the keys have been under the protection of the five cultivator sects for thousands of years. The crony wants to know where they’re hidden, but Ting Nu doesn’t know. The crony warns him that if anything he said wasn’t true, he’ll eradicate his whole clan.

The monster hunting group goes out into the woods in search of the gudiao. Ling Long hides in the cart of supplies while Xuan Ji and Min Yan push. Xuan Ji pretends to twist her ankle, and the older group members tell them to wait there while they go ahead looking for the gudiao. Si Feng is left behind, in charge of protecting the others. Ying Hong gives Xuan Ji a whistle for if anything happens.

After the adults leave, Ling Long hops out from her hiding place. Si Feng instructs them on his plan to lure out the gudiao. He goes off to set a trap and Xuan Ji follows. Min Yan holds Ling Long back and hands her a dagger for her own protection. She recognizes it as his family heirloom, which he once said he would only give to his future wife. He hastily tells her not to read into it — he expects her to return it once this is all over. At that, Ling Long suddenly gets angry and shoves it back at him, saying he should go give it to his future wife.

A demon reports to the group torturing Ting Nu that cultivators have been spotted on the mountain. While everyone rushes to move the prisoners and erase all their tracks, Ting Nu uses the distraction to mesmerize one of the demons into attacking the others. He crawls to his nephew and heals him, then tells him to go warn the rest of the merpeople to leave “that place.”

Si Feng sets some seals in the ground and it’s not long before Xuan Ji sniffs the air and smells demons. A gudiao attacks from the skies. Xuan Ji is the only one who can’t use magic to protect herself, and she falls, cutting her hand and dropping the whistle Ying Hong gave her. The scent of blood drives the gudiao mad. Si Feng manages to hold the monster back, but tells everyone else to run, because he’s not strong enough to defeat it.

The older monster hunter group reaches a lake shore and spots a demon running across the water. They recognize it as a tiangou and take off after it.

The younger monster hunters escape to a grotto. Si Feng tells them to wait there while he heads out to go after the gudiao. Min Yan insists on going with him, even though Si Feng rejects his help. Ling Long spots something in the water, and Ting Nu pops up. Min Yan thinks that Ting Nu is another demon and is about to attack, but Si Feng stops him. Before anyone else can do anything, Xuan Ji smells the gudiao, which attacks.

Si Feng, Min Yan, and Ling Long attack the gudiao, but Min Yan and Ling Long immediately get thrown back. Xuan Ji watches, helpless, and struggles to use her magic to summon something. Ting Nu sees that things are taking a bad turn and uses his own water magic to help, freezing the gudiao in a block of ice. Xuan Ji manages to summon a small sword. She and her friends simultaneously try to attack the gudiao, but instead of defeating it, they free it from the block of ice.

The gudiao stands over Min Yan, Ling Long, and Si Feng, who all slowly lose their strength. Xuan Ji runs at the monster again with her small sword raised and hacks at it, but it easily bats her away. Xuan Ji’s eyes flash blue and suddenly she rises on her own, surrounded by swirling blue magic. She directs a powerful burst at the gudiao, decimating it.

“Who are you?” Xuan Ji asks herself. “Who am I?” Images flash. Suddenly, she’s in a white space, a deeper version of her own voice telling her that now she understands. Understands what? She looks down and her hands are covered in blood.

Xuan Ji wakes up in a bed, the words “who am I” still on her lips. Ling Long and Min Yan are at her bedside, looking relieved that she’s okay. While Ling Long rushes off to get some food, Min Yan asks Xuan Ji what happened in the cave. But Xuan Ji doesn’t remember — all she remembers is a fuzzy dream. He has her go through the motions that she used to summon the magic that defeated the gudiao, but nothing happens.

Only then does Min Yan explain what he saw in the grotto. Xuan Ji realizes that her dream wasn’t just a dream. Min Yan suggests that maybe Xuan Ji had the help of an immortal who temporarily lent her their power, and that’s why she doesn’t remember anything. He tells her that it’s best not to tell anyone about what happened and let it be their secret.

Hao Chen and Ying Hong come in to check on Xuan Ji and ask if they remember what happened. Xuan Ji starts to speak, but Min Yan cuts her off, saying that they were all knocked out and don’t know what happened. Xuan Ji protests, but Min Yan interrupts her by chiding her for not training more. It works to distract Xuan Ji, who protests and says that he should’ve trained harder.

Ling Long interrupts their bickering with food for Xuan Ji. Ying Hong and Hao Chen say that they plan on going back up the mountain to look for the water demon they saw earlier. Xuan Ji says that it seemed like the demon was trying to help them, but Hao Chen gently reminds her that demons are demons and that she shouldn’t be deceived by their tricks.

Ying Hong seems disturbed to find that the gudiao has been completely decimated. The only beings powerful enough to destroy it so completely are the gods or the Asuras. Hao Chen reminds her that all of the Asuras should have been defeated long ago. Perhaps Xuan Ji got lucky and encountered a wandering god. He checks the water, which is bloody but absent of any demons, then suggests that the water demon must have been killed along with the gudiao, or escaped.

Xuan Ji, dissatisfied with Ling Long’s cooking, eats noodles at the inn. Si Feng sits down next to her. She offers him her noodles, but he ignores them and instead gives her some handmade ointment. She notices an injury on his hand and thinks that he needs it more than her. She gently applies the ointment, ignoring his protests, and he gives in, then watches her, enamored.

Once she’s done, Si Feng says that he’s leaving, his “stutter” suddenly back. He plans on going up the mountain to look for the gudiao‘s horn. Xuan Ji tells him that Ling Long and Min Yan also planned on looking for the horn. She suggests they should all go together, then grabs his wrist and drags him away to go find them.

The Tianxu leader kills two of the demons in charge of Ting Nu’s capture with a wave of his hand, furious that they lost him. He orders his crony to send people after Ting Nu. If the cultivators find him, he may reveal the existence of Tianxu Hall.

The Tianxu leader is certain that the person who killed the gudiao with one blow must be either Mosha Star or the God of War. The crony reports that they’ve found someone who may be of interest: Chu Ling Long. She was born on the fourth day of the fourth month sixteen years ago, the exact same day that Mosha Star and the God of War went to the mortal realm. The Tianxu leader tells him to go test her.

Ling Long weeps as the four of them return from the mountain. There was nothing left of the gudiao and she’s afraid that Xuan Ji will be locked away forever. Xuan Ji tries to reassure her that she doesn’t care if she’s locked away forever, but Ling Long gets more upset and storms off. Xuan Ji turns to Si Feng, confused. Did she say something wrong?

Si Feng asks why she lied and said she didn’t care about being locked away in Mingxia Cave forever when she clearly doesn’t want to be. Xuan Ji responds that she wanted Ling Long to stop crying and thought that it would make her feel better. Si Feng sighs and says that she really is dumb.

Xuan Ji’s only thought now is that if she does get locked away forever, she won’t be able to eat good food anymore, so that’s why she wants to take advantage of the time she has now to eat everything she can. Si Feng asks her what she wants to eat — he’ll buy it for her. She can consider it his making up for not being able to acquire the gudiao horn. She beams and grabs his arm in excitement. He tells her to let go, but smiles.

Ting Nu is gravely injured and tries to heal himself, but is too weak. Some hunters spot him in the woods and fearfully approach with weapons raised.

Si Feng and Xuan Ji go to a street vendor who loads their table with food. Si Feng pays with an expensive-looking stone. Xuan Ji suddenly sighs, wondering why she can’t enjoy the smell of the food. She laments her lack of sense and inability to absorb and enjoy the world around her. Everyone else must be so happy to be able to enjoy the world so fully.

Si Feng responds that most people get used to their daily lives and forget about the happiness and freedom that Xuan Ji envies. Besides, most feelings are the same, no matter how you experience them. He has her try a sweet cake, telling her that the sweet, fulfilling taste feels like happiness. Then he shows her a lotus seed; its bitterness is the feeling of hardship. A kumquat’s sourness is like the pain of words that can’t be said.

Xuan Ji tries them all, but doesn’t quite understand what Si Feng says. He smiles. She points it out, saying it looks good on him and reminds her of the cold sweet rice wine. She tells him he should smile more, and pushes his cheeks up. He dodges away, asking if she wants to continue, but keeps smiling.

Si Feng dips his knuckle into some jam and waves it in front of Xuan Ji, saying that some things you might want to taste but not be able to. That’s called desire. But Xuan Ji grabs his hand and licks the jam off his knuckle. He’s stunned. She doesn’t notice.

Si Feng looks away, shaken, but Xuan Ji keeps talking, saying that she thinks she understands a little bit of what he means. It makes her feel even more reluctant to be locked away. She asks why he’s staying silent, but they’re interrupted by the hunters returning with Ting Nu in a cage.

Xuan Ji recognizes Ting Nu from the grotto. Si Feng recognizes him as a merman. Xuan Ji has heard about merpeople, and asks Si Feng if they’re good or bad. Si Feng says that all demons are different. Some demons feed on people to strengthen themselves. But merpeople are kind by nature and only help people, never hurt them.

Min Yan thinks Si Feng is crazy when he suggests that they should go rescue the merman. Si Feng explains that the merman is innocent. But aren’t all demons evil? Ling Long asks. Si Feng responds that demons are like people: there are good and bad.

Si Feng tells them that they don’t need to do anything. All they have to do is pretend they don’t know anything while he figures out how to rescue the merman. Xuan Ji decides that she will help Si Feng. She remembers that the merman tried to help them in the grotto against the gudiao, and she believes that they and the merman are connected by fate. Ling Long says that she will help too, because her job is to look after Xuan Ji.

Min Yan asks if Si Feng must rescue the merman. Then he says that it doesn’t matter — he views Si Feng as a brother and he won’t stand by and do nothing.

Min Yan and Si Feng quickly incapacitate the guards and free Ting Nu while Xuan Ji and Ling Long keep watch. The Tianxu leader’s crony (I’ll figure out his name one day…) shows up on a rooftop with several henchmen in tow. He sends them after Ting Nu while he plans on seeing who Chu Ling Long really is.


Commentary

I’m starting to get into this show now that the action has finally started. Supposedly “dumb” girl secretly has badass superpowers? Yes! I am all about it. Also, it’s pretty clear that Xuan Ji may seem “dumb” in some ways, but she’s very astute in other ways. Her complete obliviousness to propriety and lack of inhibition is both endearing and hilarious, and also means that she’s not afraid to speak the truth.

So Ling Long and Xuan Ji are fraternal twins? It now makes sense why in the beginning, when their mother was in labor, Chu Lei was fretting over the “second” one. I kind of assumed he meant the second child, but now I realize that he actually said the second twin. That’s also a smart, probably unintentional diversion by the God of War (do immortals have any choice over the mortals they’re born as?) since it would be tough to figure out which sister she is. I love the dynamic between the sisters though and how Ling Long views herself as Xuan Ji’s guardian and protector. Little does she know that her role is even more important than she could have imagined…

I’m lukewarm on Si Feng as a person and a love interest, but I do love how Xuan Ji can get him all riled up by just being herself and not trying to do anything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s