Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 15)

The group is separated when Wu Tong and his demons attack in search of the Xuanyuan spirit key, giving each couple some quality time alone. Xuan Ji gets closer to unlocking another piece of her identity.

Recap

Zi Hu wants Xuan Ji to give her the Tianji Pearl, but Xuan Ji refuses to. Si Feng proposes a trade: if Zi Hu gives them the mirror, they’ll give her the spirit key. But Zi Hu pretends that she doesn’t know what mirror they’re talking about. Ling Long and Yan Ran run up, calling her a liar. They saw the mirror in her palace. Zi Hu responds that she wants to keep both the mirror and the spirit key.

But before they can discuss any further, they are suddenly attacked by a flock of flying monsters. The monsters fly off after a short while, replaced by a circle of Tianxu demons who surround the group. Their leader dumps a bag full of nameplates on the ground. Ling Shi is distraught as he recognizes the names of his fellow Xuanyuan sect members. They must all be dead. The demons attack.

Zi Hu spots one of the flying monsters flapping away with something in its beak and chases after it. It’s holding a large chunk of mirror. She fires an attack at it, breaking the mirror into several pieces. Zi Hu catches one piece. Xuan Ji catches another. The bird monster keeps flying away with another piece in its beak.

Xuan Ji’s vision flashes as she holds the piece of mirror and suddenly she can see color. She smiles. The clouds above her grow dark and stormy. Si Feng grabs her and they return to the ground as Wu Tong also shows up, flanked by more demon soldiers.

Wu Tong warns the group that he’s unmatched and they better hand over the spirit key unless they want to end up like the rest of the Xuanyuan sect. Ling Shi gets triggered and confronts Wu Tong. Wu Tong gloats about how he convinced the Xuanyuan disciples to attack their leader in exchange for the drug they had become addicted to. He has his demons attack.

Ling Shi summons his strength and pushes Si Feng and Xuan Ji away, asking them to take the others and cover for him. He flies up and uses his remaining power to turn himself into a bomb. When he blows up, Si Feng and Xuan Ji are sent flying over the edge of a cliff into a body of water.

In the water, Xuan Ji has another vision. Someone says that she killed countless Asura in battle, yet can’t tell the difference between good and evil. This time, even the Celestial Emperor won’t be able to protect her. She responds saying she did nothing wrong. They’re the ones who are wrong. She struggles against her chains and cries out for Dingkun.

For a moment, Xuan Ji eyes open and she glows blue, her hands crackling with blue lightning. Above, the sky darkens and lightning flashes. Then everything calms down again and her eyes close.

Ling Long and Min Yan run through the maze-like halls of the palace inside the mountain, looking behind as if being chased. They fall through a weak tile in the floor, landing on a different level, where they keep going.

Xuan Ji wakes up in a grotto and finds Si Feng unconscious a short distance away. He’s bleeding and unresponsive. Concerned, she tries to wake him up and remove his mask. His mask comes off.

Xuan Ji carries Si Feng to a more sheltered area where she treats his wounds. She’s checking a large cut on his chest when he finally stirs and wakes up. Si Feng is uncomfortable with her proximity and worried she saw something she wasn’t supposed to when she checked him for injuries. He tries to stand but is still weak and holds his head in pain. Then he realizes his mask is gone.

Si Feng can’t seem to believe that Xuan Ji took off his mask, and Xuan Ji is worried she did something wrong again. She stands and says she can go retrieve his mask, but he hugs her from behind. She’s worried he’s angry, but he laughs and says he’s happy. He starts coughing and Xuan Ji makes him sit back down, concerned he’s hurt. But Si Feng is delirious with joy. He was worried Xuan Ji wouldn’t be able to take off the mask. He thought he would have to wait a long time.

Xuan Ji is lost and confused. So he’s not angry she took off his mask? Why is taking off his mask sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing? Si Feng holds her hands in his and says that it’s very complicated, but it doesn’t matter now. All that matters is that she was able to take off his mask and now he knows that she wants the same thing he does: to be together.

Si Feng says that once they leave this place, they can go to Lize Palace together where he’ll come clean to his master. Xuan Ji asks if he’ll be punished again. He responds that whatever happens, at least they’ll be together forever. His face suddenly grows serious and he leans in toward her to kiss her. But before he can, she darts in and kisses him on the cheek.

Xuan Ji notices that Si Feng’s face is turning red and teases him about it. He tells her to stop, but he smiles, secretly loving it. Si Feng realizes that Xuan Ji can now see color. She asks him about the different colors in the world and he explains.

Yan Ran wakes up with her head resting on Ruo Yu’s arm. His mask has fallen off, broken into pieces. When he wakes up, she quickly shows him the mask, making sure to clarify that it fell off by itself — she didn’t take it off. He should probably find a way to glue it back together. But Ruo Yu says that now that it’s in pieces, it’ll never be able to go back to its original form. He’ll accept the consequences when he goes back to Lize Palace.

Min Yan and Ling Long spot some demons and duck out of sight; Min Yan puts his arm around her shoulders. Once the demons leave, Ling Long realizes how close they are and pushes Min Yan away. They manage to get into contact with Xuan Ji using the bells, and arrange to meet at Fuyu Island.

Ling Long and Min Yan are surrounded by demons and confronted by Wu Tong as they try to escape the mountain. Wu Tong seizes Ling Long by the neck and takes her hostage, leaving Min Yan to be slaughtered by his minions. Min Yan tries to follow Wu Tong, but gets surrounded by the demons outside. He fights off a good number of them, but gets stabbed multiple times and kicked into the river.

Xuan Ji goes out looking for food and spots a tree with some fruit. She tries to use magic to fetch the fruit, but her magic doesn’t work. She frowns. Is this place enchanted? She can’t find a way out, nor can she use magic. She tries climbing the tree, but can’t reach the fruit. Then she spots a stick in the ground.

She grabs the stick, which glows with a blue energy. Storm clouds form overhead and a lightning strikes the stick. Xuan Ji ducks away and looks up at the sky, confused. She tries grabbing the stick again. Lightning strikes again.

Up in the heavenly realm, the Four Auspicious Beasts report to their leader. The immortal waiting for them, Si Ming, says that Bai Lin isn’t present at the moment and tells them to leave their reports with him. They each release a glowing orb and coin, which the immortal grabs in one sweep. He breathes a sigh of relief. Their attentions are suddenly drawn by a commotion above.

Teng She tries to escape the room in which he’s being held, but immortal guards block his way, under orders from Bai Lin to prevent him from causing chaos in the mortal world. Teng She promises that he has a real reason for going to the mortal world and pulls out a glowing token. It’s glowing because someone is trying to mess with Dingkun, which is a big deal. The guards are unmoved and the token stops glowing. Teng She tries to get it to glow again. The guard warns him that if he keeps causing trouble, he’ll go get Qing Long, the Azure Dragon. That seems to convince Teng She to let go of his escape attempt, though he tries to tell the guards that Qing Long doesn’t scare him.

Lightning keeps striking, at one point zapping some fruit off the tree. Xuan Ji gathers as much fruit as she can hold, then rushes back to her cave. She tells Si Feng that the place seems enchanted, but Si Feng says it doesn’t matter. They need to stay here a few days anyway to recover, so it doesn’t matter if they can’t use magic or get out.

Xuan Ji is proud of her fruit gathering and feeds some to Si Feng, asking if it tastes good. He lies and says it does, tricking her into eating some. The fruit is actually a bitter apricot. Xuan Ji frowns, not sure if she can stomach such bitter food for the next few days. Si Feng pulls a mantou out of his pocket. He packed it in case Xuan Ji got hungry, and gives it to her. She tries to split it with him, but he claims he only eats good mantou, not something as plan as hers. He starts a game of pretending the food they’re eating is actually some delicious specialty dish from somewhere else, to make it feel more palatable.

Xuan Ji dozes off sitting up against a rock wall. Si Feng covers her with an extra piece of fabric from their wedding attire, then sits down next to her. She sleepily leans her head against his shoulder, then tries to share her blanket with him. He says that she keeps testing him, but he’s not a saint. If she keeps doing this, he won’t be able to restrain himself. She mutters that she knows (but does she?) He puts his hand over hers.

Ling Long wakes up to find Wu Tong ringing her bell in her face. He guesses that it’s a way of communicating with Xuan Ji and demands to know how to use it, threatening her with torture. Ling Long acts like she’s contemplating showing him and takes the bell, then smashes it on the ground, shattering it.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng wake up to find flower petals gently falling outside. Xuan Ji spins happily while Si Feng stares at her with a smile. They explore the area some more and discover that even though they were brought here by the river, now they can no longer even touch the water. It’s blocked by a magical barrier.

A couple of hunters find Min Yan lying in the grass, unconscious.

Si Feng guesses that this place must be protecting something and that’s why it’s enchanted. But every spell can be undone somehow. He asks Xuan Ji where his mask is — it’s made out of a special kind of bark and might be of use in breaking the enchantment.

Xuan Ji finds the mask, but frowns as she holds it out to Si Feng. He said that when the mask was taken off, it would turn into a smiling expression. So why is it crying?


Commentary

I was expecting this mask to be a Very Big Deal and was surprised when Xuan Ji took it off so easily. But this ending suggests that perhaps breaking the curse isn’t as simple as they thought? There also seem to be endless obstacles for Xuan Ji and Si Feng to overcome. The mask is just the beginning.

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