It only took five episodes, but I am officially hooked! This drama is so fun. There’s something special about the way that Xuan Ji’s naivete manages to be endearing rather than annoying. No wonder Si Feng has fallen in love with her so quickly!
In this episode of Love and Redemption, the tournament continues as the demon clan tries to infiltrate the sects and figure out the whereabouts of the spirit keys. Xuan Ji and Si Feng connect more as he opens up to her. The four friends make a real enemy out of Wu Tong when they try to fight back after he continues to antagonize them.
Ling Long and Min Yan compete as a pair against two disciples from Dianjing. Ling Long gets knocked out of the ring early and starts crying. Wu Tong makes fun of her and starts trash-talking Shaoyang, which makes her stop crying and get angry instead. Min Yan is left fighting against two people in the ring. Overhearing Wu Tong’s trash talk and hearing Ling Long and Xuan Ji’s encouragement gives him new vigor and he knocks his two opponents out with one blow.
The Tianxu sect leader’s crony has learned that only elders of the five sects know about the spirit keys. He asks for more time to locate them. The Tianxu leader tells him that the Xuanyuan sect has been waning in recent years but wants to be more powerful. He gives his crony a pill bottle to pass on. The pill will enhance the Xuanyuan disciples’ performance at the tournament. In exchange, they can acquire information from the Xuanyuan sect about the spirit keys.
The elder representing the Xuanyuan sect is unhappy with his disciples’ performances at the tournament, but also recognizes that their skills are simply not up to par and that they were set up to fail. After he dismisses his disciples, the Tianxu crony suddenly appears in his room.
The crony knows all about the Xuanyuan sect’s misfortune. In an attempt to become more powerful, members of the sect crafted illegal drugs, but suffered for it. That’s why Xuanyuan has so few disciples at the tournament. The current elder was one of the few people who didn’t take too many drugs and was in good enough shape to attend the tournament. The disciples who came with him were also the more average ones who didn’t take the drugs.
The Tianxu crony reveals that he’s a member of the demon clan and that he secretly slipped a performance-enhancing pill in the Xuanyuan elder’s tea, which he already drank. The elder is upset at first, but the demon tells him to try out his abilities and he’s astounded at his newfound power.
Si Feng finds Xuan Ji practicing her swordsmanship in a bamboo grove. She gets her sword stuck in a bamboo stalk and can’t remove it. He has to help her out with a bit of magic. She frowns, saying she’s practiced all night but can’t get the motion right. He gives her a bit of coaching, telling her to pretend she’s fighting over food with someone. When Xuan Ji tries again, she glows with blue energy and sends a powerful blast toward Si Feng that he has to jump to dodge. She cuts open his purse in the process.
Xuan Ji gives Si Feng her handkerchief so he can wrap the jewelry inside — an heirloom from his mother — and keep it clean. She asks him if he had a close relationship with his mother, noting how much he treasures what she left him. Si Feng tells her that he grew up in Lize Palace and never met his parents. All that he has left of them is a golden hairpin and a portrait of his mother.
Xuan Ji looks at the drawing and asks if she’s beautiful. He nods, then says that Xuan Ji’s mother must have been beautiful too — that’s why Xuan Ji is so pretty. Xuan Ji tells him that her mother also passed away when she was very young. She remembers how much her mother loved her, yet when she passed away, Xuan Ji didn’t cry a tear. She wishes that she had her six senses and could cry like Ling Long.
Si Feng tells her that he’ll help her find the pieces of the mirror so she can get all her senses back. She makes him promise to meet up again in four years so they can wander the world together.
The competition continues the next day. A Xuanyuan disciple named Shi Feng impressively defeats a Dianjing disciple, his eyes glowing green at one point. Everyone is surprised. Min Yan remarks that he’s never heard of Shi Feng before.
The Xuanyuan elder praises Shi Feng for his wins, but Shi Feng seems anxious. His internal energy is too strong and he can barely control it. He’s worried that he’ll self-destruct like the other Xuanyuan disciples, but his teacher is quick to silence him. The other disciples took prohibited drugs, but this pill he made himself. He tells Shi Feng not to overthink it, but also tells him to keep the pill a secret.
The Tianxu crony chuckles and appears once Shi Feng leaves. The Xuanyuan elder looks unhappy to see him and asks what he wants. The crony responds that he wants to know about the spirit keys. The Xuanyuan elder frowns, but when he looks up, the crony has vanished.
Min Yan faces Wu Tong. Ling Long heckles Wu Tong, who gets provoked and starts using spells to fight against Min Yan, summoning purple lightning that he flings around recklessly. One strike careens out of the ring toward Ling Long and Xuan Ji. Ling Long is able to dodge, but Xuan Ji isn’t. Both Hao Chen and Si Feng look alarmed, but it’s Si Feng who springs into action and throws himself and a shield in front of Xuan Ji, deflecting the lightning.
Ling Long calls foul and demands that Wu Tong be thrown out. Wu Tong says that Xuan Ji was just too dumb to dodge. The Dianjing sect leader claims that using spells isn’t against the rules; it just requires more skill, and most disciples in the tournament aren’t up to par. He suggests that Chu Lei is biased because Wu Tong’s opponent is his favored disciple and it was his daughter who almost got hit. Chu Lei acknowledges that Wu Tong didn’t do anything against the rules and declares him the winner, but he also bans spells from the rest of the tournament because it’s dangerous.
Ling Long fumes at night, wanting to get revenge on Wu Tong. Min Yan tries to calm her down, but Xuan Ji has her back. Si Feng also agrees that Wu Tong was out of line and needs to be put in his place. He has a plan.
Si Feng puts out a notice offering a hefty reward for anyone who can find and return his spirit snake. Then, he and the others hide in the woods, waiting for Wu Tong to show up. Wu Tong eventually does, and they trap him in a net.
Ling Long demands he apologize, but he refuses to. When she threatens to leave him there, he claims he’ll say sorry. But instead of apologizing, he tries to strike Ling Long with some purple lightning. Si Feng notices in time and manages to whirl Ling Long out of the way, not noticing that he’s dropped a hairpin.
They decide to leave Wu Tong there for the night. He warns Si Feng that he won’t let him get away with it.
Ling Long celebrates finally giving Wu Tong the lesson he deserves. Xuan Ji declares that she’ll focus on sharpening her skills. Even if she won’t be able to get into the tournament next time, at least she won’t be struck by lightning again.
The Xuanyuan elder is disappointed with Shi Feng’s conditioning. Shi Feng asks for another pill, claiming he feels weaker than before, but his master won’t give it to him. After he’s dismissed, the Tianxu crony appears again. He offers the Xuanyuan elder some pills to help his sect win the tournament and get the glory he desires. In exchange, the crony wants to know the whereabouts of the four spirit keys. The Xuanyuan elder decides to share the four sects that hold the keys — all of them except Xuanyuan. Three of the keys are obvious, because those sects have well-known signature magical objects. Only Shaoyang’s key is unknown.
The tournament is almost over. Ling Long is still upset about Wu Tong and tells Si Feng to crush him in their match tomorrow. She and Min Yan start bickering. She runs off and he follows, leaving Si Feng and Xuan Ji alone. Xuan Ji notices that Si Feng seems unhappy. He says that he’s just realized how quickly time has gone by. In a few days, he’ll be headed back to Lize Palace. Xuan Ji asks if they’ll be able to see each other again after he leaves. He looks at her for a moment, then says yes. No matter how difficult it is, they will see each other again.
Si Feng asks Xuan Ji to not forget him. Xuan Ji says she definitely won’t forget him. Everyone thought she was weird growing up and no one wanted to be her friend. Other than Ling Long and Min Yan, he’s her first good friend. Si Feng smiles and says that she is a bit weird, but he doesn’t mind.
Si Feng has a magical object that will allow them to communicate over any distance. He starts to look for it, then realizes that he’s lost his silver hairpin.
They go to the forest to try and retrace their steps. Instead of finding the hairpin, they find that Wu Tong is gone. Wu Tong tries to attack them from behind, but Si Feng senses him in time to stop him. Si Feng thinks they should be even now, but Wu Tong isn’t willing to let his grievances slide. He pulls out Si Feng’s mother’s hairpin and taunts him with it. He’ll only return it if Si Feng kneels and begs.
Si Feng is ready to leave without it, but Xuan Ji won’t let Wu Tong bully them. She lunges toward Wu Tong, who grabs her by the throat and threatens to scar her face if Si Feng doesn’t kneel. Xuan Ji doesn’t care and tells Si Feng not to kneel, but he says he will. He starts bending down and Wu Tong laughs in delight, but then at the last moment, while Wu Tong is distracted by his own glee, Si Feng launches up and flies toward Wu Tong. He kicks Wu Tong in the chest, grabs Xuan Ji, and leaves.
Xuan Ji and Ling Long dress up as servants in order to get close to Wu Tong and steal Si Feng’s hairpin. Ling Long volunteers to do the actual theft, since she has her magic, but then she realizes that Wu Tong went into the men’s bathhouse and says they can’t go in. Women aren’t allowed to see men without clothes on. Xuan Ji doesn’t understand why and goes in.
No one pays attention to Xuan Ji, thinking she’s just a male servant. She spots Wu Tong going into the showers and finds his belongings. But he sees her taking the hairpin out of his purse and gives chase. Xuan Ji leaps nimbly out a window and takes off running.
Ling Long also takes off running when she sees that Xuan Ji has escaped. Wu Tong catches her by the hair, loosening it from its tie and revealing who she is. He demands the hairpin, but she spots his bare chest underneath his robe and slaps him, then screams, hiding her eyes. He asks why she’s suddenly being shy when she was just in the men’s bathhouse. She calls him a liar and runs away. He holds his swollen cheek and smiles.
Xuan Ji finds Si Feng in his rooms and joyfully returns his hairpin, but what catches his attention is her bleeding leg. He makes her sit down. She can’t feel pain and says that she’s fine — what matters is that she was able to get his hairpin back. She presses it into his hand. He stares at her for a long moment. She asks what he’s looking at, and he stands up to go get some medicine for her wound.
He suddenly gets awkward and stiffly tells her to lift her pants. She teases him for stuttering again. Si Feng gently treats the cut on Xuan Ji’s leg, telling her that she shouldn’t say it’s okay when she gets injured in the future. She might not feel pain, but her body still suffers. He also tells her to keep her distance from Wu Tong if she sees him again in the future.
Si Feng asks how Xuan Ji found the hairpin and why she’s dressed like a servant. She beams and tells him how she stole the hairpin while Wu Tong was showering. He stands up abruptly, appalled that she sneaked into the men’s bathhouse and saw so many naked men. Doesn’t she know that it would be very bad for her if other people learned about this? Xuan Ji doesn’t understand what the problem is, but notices that Ling Long had the same exact reaction. She asks what it means to be shy.
Si Feng bends back down to treat Xuan Ji’s leg again and starts describing how being shy is a feeling of embarrassment. Men and women are different and shouldn’t touch, so there can be a feeling of shyness there. He tells her that in the future, she should avoid skin contact with men.
Then what is he doing now? She asks. She suddenly leans in close to look at him. Is he being shy now? Si Feng stares back and drops the pot of ointment in his hand, stammering that he’s just helping her put ointment on. They both reach for the fallen pot at the same time and bump heads. She gently pats his head, asking if he’s okay. He stares back at her.
The moment is broken when they hear voices outside from fellow Lize Palace disciples on their way back to the shared room. Si Feng hustles Xuan Ji away. When the disciples enter the room, they find Si Feng already in bed, turned away from them. Xuan Ji tries to look up from her position under the covers on the other side of his body, hidden from view, but he pushes her gently back down.
Two of the disciples gossip about how Si Feng has been hanging around Ling Long and Xuan Ji a lot and suggest that he wants to leave Lize Palace and stay at Shaoyang as the sect leader’s son-in-law. Si Feng’s overly-friendly friend Ruo Yu notices the bloody rag and ointment on the table, as well as the fact that Si Feng is fully clothed in bed. He offers to help treat Si Feng’s injury and add more blankets, but Si Feng tersely declines his offer and extinguishes the candles in the room with a wave of a hand. Ruo Yu sniffs one of the ointment pots as he neatly puts things away, then smiles knowingly. The other disciples complain about the dark, but Ruo Yu tells them to go to bed.
Xuan Ji suddenly starts patting around Si Feng’s robes. Xiao Yin Hua stole her hair accessory and she wants it back. Si Feng tells her to take her hand back and stay down. She pouts and turns away.
Chu Lei tells Hao Chen that out of all the young members of the sect, he holds Hao Chen in the highest regard. Hao Chen responds that he understands protecting Shaoyang’s secret place is the sect’s top priority. He’s willing to protect it with his life.