Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 11)

Tensions remain between everyone in the group except for Ruo Yu. But when Min Yan and Ling Long get abducted by demons, the others team up to go rescue them.


Recap

The Xuanyuan elder who represented the sect at the tournament, Ling Shi, pores over books trying to figure out how to replicate the pills that the demon gave him. His disciple stumbles in, looking unwell. It turns out that the pills are powerful but addictive. Without consistent use, the user will go into withdrawal.

The Xuanyuan sect leader, Zhu Shi, sees Ling Shi’s research and is furious when he finds out that the pills are demonic in origin. He banishes Ling Shi from the sect. Ling Shi begs for forgiveness and says that he will figure out how to craft the pill. Otherwise, how are they supposed to defend against Tianxu Hall when they attack in three days’ time?

An elder suggests to Zhu Shi that they ask the other four sects for help, but Zhu Shi is too proud and doesn’t want the other sects to know that they’ve been using drugs. He tells his elders to prepare for battle. They will win or they will die trying.

Ling Long opens the door to her rooms in the morning to find Min Yan sleeping against them. He jumps up and tries to talk to her, but she tries to shut the doors in his face. When he forces them open, she rushes past him and out of the inn.

Ling Long finds a little girl crying outside the inn and offers to bring her home. Min Yan follows them into a dark, foggy part of the forest and frowns when he sees that Ling Long’s arms are empty. When he sees her next, she’s being dragged along in a blue web of energy by the little girl, who turns into a bigger girl. Min Yan attacks the demon.

But the rain in the forest makes him drowsy and the demon manages to claw him, poisoning him. Min Yan carries Ling Long as far away as he can before he collapses. Vines scurry out and pull him into the underbrush.

Si Feng tries to wake Xuan Ji up in the morning, but she claims she’s not feeling well and stays in bed, asking if they can go to Xuanyuan some other day. Ruo Yu and Yan Ran come looking for Si Feng and tell him that Min Yan and Ling Long went into the forest early in the morning and aren’t back yet. Xuan Ji hops up, concerned. Yan Ran thinks that they should still go to Xuanyuan as originally planned, but Xuan Ji wants to go after Min Yan and Ling Long, and Si Feng agrees.

They get to the foggy forest clearing, where they split up. But they end up wandering in circles and the rain makes everyone except Xuan Ji paranoid and eventually lose consciousness. Ruo Yu and Yan Ran get nabbed by the demon girls, but Xuan Ji manages to save Si Feng, since they’re attached.

Xuan Ji tries to revive Si Feng by feeding him a pill from a bottle she finds on him, assuming it’s an antidote to poison. Then she feeds him water using her mouth. He wakes up on her second attempt and pushes her away. When he finds out which pill she fed him, he gets even more upset. She gave him a rare truth serum pill.

Si Feng realizes that the pill is starting to take effect, but there’s nowhere for him to run. Xuan Ji frowns, acknowledging that she is dumb and always causing trouble for him. That’s why he’s always pushing her away. Unable to lie, Si Feng tells her that he doesn’t want to push her away. He’s always wanted to be with her.

Si Feng asks Xuan Ji to stop talking to him, but once she realizes that he can’t lie to her, she peppers him with questions. Si Feng is forced to admit that he’s been lying to himself and everyone else this whole time. She’s the most important person in his life and the person he can’t bear to lose.

Xuan Ji beams, then asks why he said before that they should never see each other again. Si Feng remembers what Yuan Lang told him about his mask: if he falls in love again, the mask will take root and three green marks will show up on his wrist. Every time he gets hurt, a mark from his wrist will turn into a red mark on his chest. Once all three marks have transformed, he’ll die.

Si Feng struggles to stop himself from saying the truth and manages to hold on until the effects of the truth pill have passed. Xuan Ji is disappointed that the effect wore off so quickly, but now that she knows how he truly feels about her, she says she won’t be tricked by him again.

Ling Long finds Si Feng and Xuan Ji and shares what she’s discovered, which isn’t much. They’re wandering around looking for the others when Xuan Ji notices that they’ve walked past the same tree again. Si Feng realizes that it’s actually the tree that’s moving. It’s a special type of tree that lives in symbiosis with a magical plant that feeds on blood to produce a powerful blood fruit. There must be someone nearby trying to lure people here to drain their blood to feed the plant to grow fruit. He figures out how to find the root of the tree and the three of them arrive just in time to save the others.

The six pair up in groups of three to fight off the vines that the original girl demon summons to attack them. Si Feng gets cocooned in some vines that break the magical rope tying him to Xuan Ji. Xuan Ji frees him from the cocoon and shields him with her magical parasol. For a moment, he hallucinates, imagining that he’s back in that snowy field in the Thirteen Tribulations, but this time Xuan Ji is hovering above him, telling him to get up. She’s here to save him. He blinks and he’s back in reality. His mask glows red as Xuan Ji stares up at him, asking if he’s okay.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng team up to clear the forest around them. Afterward, he sits against the trunk of a large tree, Xuan Ji sleeping against his chest. He remembers Yuan Lang’s warning about the mask’s curse and looks at the three new feather marks on his wrist.

Xuan Ji wakes up and the others find them. Ling Long and Min Yan crowd Xuan Ji while Yan Ran checks on Si Feng. She immediately notices the curse mark on his arm. He hides it with his hand, saying now isn’t the time to talk. They have a demonic spirit to catch.

They chase down the girl demon and catch her with a magical shawl. Xuan Ji is ready to destroy her, but then a voice says to wait. Yi Huan flies in and frees the girl, then starts reprimanding her. The girl pouts and argues back. She’s his daughter, Yu Er.

Yi Huan introduces himself and sheepishly explains the situation when Ling Long is confused by how he could have a daughter who is so old and a spirit. He admits that his daughter was already half-demon and turned into a spirit after she died in an accident. Ling Long is unsympathetic and thinks the girl should be destroyed for killing so many people.

Yi Huan points at the mark on Yu Er’s forehead and says that it’s not Yu Er’s fault she’s harmed people. She’s being controlled through the mark by someone evil. He tries to get Yu Er to tell him who is behind the mark. She suddenly grips her head and starts crying in pain, saying she doesn’t want to go back. She asks for help, but then vanishes upward. She was summoned back by whoever is controlling her.

Xuan Ji can still smell the demonic spirits and leads the way as she follows her nose. They find a clearing in the woods where a cauldron has been set up with a multitude of candles. The man controlling Yu Er demands her blood fruit, then threatens to throw her into the cauldron when she admits she doesn’t have any. He starts to force her toward the cauldron. Yi Huan flies in and knocks him down, then goes to catch his daughter while Si Feng also flies in to hold off the man. It’s Ling Shi.

Ling Shi is already out of his mind, fixated on his failed attempt to craft the demon drug. Si Feng says that as juniors, they can’t do anything to him. The best they can do is deliver him to Xuanyuan for the Xuanyuan sect leader to deal with.

Xuan Ji suddenly smells a strong demon scent. A woman flies down in a cloud of purple and grabs Ling Shi, then destroys the cauldron in a purple explosion as she flies away.

Si Feng shields Xuan Ji from the blast. She sits up and sees him dripping blood. Yan Ran rushes over to check on Si Feng and asks why Xuan Ji always makes him so careless with himself. She glares at Xuan Ji. Xuan Ji tries to protest, but they’re interrupted by a distraught Ling Long, who is trying to get an unconscious Min Yan to wake up.

Min Yan wakes up with a cough and asks if Ling Long was crying over him. She hastily stands up and claims that it was just the wind in her eye. He asks why she refuses to admit the truth when they both know they feel the same way about each other. Ling Long glances at Xuan Ji, then warns Min Yan that he should think about her feelings before walking away. Xuan Ji is confused, as always. Min Yan turns to her, wanting to clear things up, but then Si Feng warns him to think before he speaks. He also won’t forgive Min Yan if he hurts Xuan Ji. He walks away as well, to check on Yi Huan and Yu Er.

Yi Huan teases Si Feng about Xuan Ji. Xuan Ji comes over to ask Si Feng why everyone seems unhappy. Yi Huan points out that it’s obvious — they’re all unhappy because of her. Before he can say more, Si Feng suggests that he go look for Yu Er’s runestone. Xuan Ji turns to Si Feng, still confused, but he walks away to help look for Yu Er’s stone.

Si Feng finds the stone. Yi Huan is ready to destroy the stone so Yu Er can be set free, but Ling Long and Min Yan are both unwilling to let go of a demon; they’ve been taught that all demons are evil. Si Feng tries to reason that Yu Er is a victim, too, since she was used by Ling Shi. Xuan Ji agrees. As a spirit, she already died once. If they destroy her soul, then she’ll never have a chance for redemption. That can’t be right.

Si Feng looks at her with surprise. She holds his gaze. Ling Long nods thoughtfully, saying that she agrees.


Commentary

Something I’ve really appreciated about this show so far is how well-balanced it is. Xuan Ji and Si Feng have plenty of heartbreak and angst between them (though Xuan Ji doesn’t know it yet), but they also always manage to get into some ridiculous shenanigan that forces Si Feng to clear some of the air between them. Last episode, it was the rope. This episode, it was the truth serum.

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